Venice
August 1626, 1-15

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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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495-510

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'Venice: August 1626, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 495-510. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89069 Date accessed: 23 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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August 1626

Aug. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
681. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
If the English ambassador is returning home in September, as he says, and is going to Zante on his way to England, we shall direct the Proveditore of the Fleet to supply him with a galley as far as Istria. You will inform the ambassador of our decision, saying that we always welcome the opportunity of showing our esteem for his Majesty and his representatives, and especially to the said ambassador, owing to his past declarations at the Porte to the advantage of our service.
That the Proveditore of the Fleet be instructed to provide a galley for the English ambassador, who is leaving Constantinople and should be in Zante at the end of September next, so that after doing quarantine, he may embark in it and go as far as Istria; and that the expenses thereof be paid.
Ayes, 140.Noes, 0.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
682. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador designate to England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With great regret do I inform your Serenity that I am still in this luckless place. For thirty-seven days I have been ready to cross, but it has been impossible to put to sea, the wind being dead against us. It has rained incessantly and the cold has been unusual, surprising the oldest inhabitants, so my misfortunes are unique.
Madame de la Tremouille who was accompanying to England her daughter, lately married to the Earl of Derby's eldest son, has determined to betake herself to Zeeland in the hope of better fortune. Our game will be one of chance, for she also must submit to the heavenly influences. If she finds things more propitious there I will procure fresh orders from the Prince of Orange for men of war and have my baggage taken to Zeeland, regardless of the trouble and expense. It also occurred to me to obtain a passport for myself and some fifteen or twenty of my attendants, enabling me to cross the Infanta's territory, going to Calais and sailing thence for England, leaving the baggage, horses and lower servants here at the mercy of the winds; but I thought your Excellencies might not approve, for political considerations, which are more important than my personal inconvenience in this den of despair, where there are sixty other vessels, to the great loss of those concerned in them. The mariners promise some improvement with the full moon of next Thursday. In any case I promise that no vessel shall leave these ports without my making the attempt to free myself, whatever the hazard.
Rotterdam, the 2nd August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
683. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Letters from Germany this week report that the two generals of the emperor have decided to enter Holstein, an imperial fief held by Denmark, as they consider the enterprise most easy; they propose afterwards to invade the kingdom itself declaring it under the imperial ban. It is considered certain that Gabor will take the field, as he continues to arm; it is rumoured he will do so when he hears of the landing of the Swedish troops and that Mansfelt has moved. Among other pretexts he will advance the claims of his wife to the margravate of Gingrendorf in Silesia taken by Cæsar from the margrave, Brandenburg's brother and given to the Prince of Liectristain. Wallenstein writes that he is sending Don Baldassar Maradas to Silesia to oppose Gabor. The Ambassador Préaux was in our Collegio on the 1st inst.; we enclose a copy of his exposition. We in reply stated our appreciation of the honour shown us by his mission pointing out how punctually the republic had fulfilled her obligations to the league and showing what would serve the common cause.
All this will serve you for information.
The like to England, mutatis mutandis.
Ayes, 140.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 7.
Consiglio di X. Parti, Roma. Venetian Archives.
684. In the Council of Ten.
That the letters of the ambassadors extraordinary to the King of Great Britain of the 18th ult. about discussions with the Duke of Buckingham about his Majesty's views upon current affairs of France, and the Duke of Savoy, be read to the Sages of the Collegio by a secretary of this Council, after enjoining due secrecy and also to the Senate if they see fit, imposing the oath of secrecy on the missals and taking the names of those present, as usual in the gravest and most important affairs.
Ayes, 12.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
685. ANDREA ROSSO, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The quarrels between their Majesties do not cease, but even become more and more bitter. It seems that the queen herself spoke to the king and told him that she desired no more for the regulation of her household than his mother Queen Anne enjoyed. The king replied that his mother was a different sort of woman from her. To this the queen retorted that there certainly was a great difference between a daughter of Denmark and one of France and of the House of Bourbon. The king rejoined that a daughter of France was nothing very great, as she brought no prerogative with her beyond her simple dowry, besides she was the third and last, and therefore of less account. In short such angry words passed between their Majesties that Carleton was directed to proceed to France immediately. He did so on the 4th inst. with orders to hasten to that Court with all possible speed. The Bishop of Mande wished to forestall Carleton's arrival to inform the Most Christian first of the state of affairs. But I fancy that upon this resolution becoming known they purposed closing the ports so that no one should cross the sea before the ambassador extraordinary. When this reached the bishop's ears, he seemed on second thoughts to abandon his proposed journey, postponing it to another time.
The quarrels between their Majesties are attributed to the Duke of Buckingham, who would like to have the same dominion over the queen as he exercises over the king; but the French here oppose his plans as much as possible and consequently live under constant threats of expulsion and being sent back to France as the cause of the disturbances. I fancy that Carleton has instructions to request the Most Christian for their recall, as his Majesty will not dismiss them out of the respect he owes to the Most Christian, but it is impossible to endure them any longer, and therefore he hopes for a remedy from his hand, otherwise he will be compelled to take some step.
Meanwhile the king desired the queen to receive the ladies mentioned previously with the addition of the Duchess of Buckingham. They have taken the customary oaths. I have some suspicion that one of the principal reasons for Carleton's mission to France, besides the quarrels between the king and queen, is for some overtures for peace between them here and the Spaniards, by means of the Queen Mother, acting as mediatrix. On the other hand I am assured that he has orders to support the interests of the King of Denmark and the Count of Mansfelt at that Court. Possibly he has both commissions, but while this quarrel with the queen lasts, his going is considered ill advised, as men think, with good reason, that he will not get anything from the Most Christian before satisfaction is given to his sister.
They keep detaining the Danish ambassador here with hopes, but nothing can be done, because it is impossible. The gentleman of Mansfelt, who asked for money to transport the 3,000 Scots, after obtaining an assured assignment through the leading merchants has proceeded to Scotland to arrange for the transport of those troops. They promise the Count his portion when the money is given to Denmark.
There is a rumour that the King of Sweden, feigning to return to Livonia to complete the enterprise begun last year against the Poles, embarked with a good number of troops upon 125 ships, but turned his sails towards Prussia, where he landed and took Elbing and two other places of importance. He proposes to entrench himself between the rivers Nagot and Wesel, in order to cut off supplies from Danzig and compel it to surrender. It would be an important acquisition, as he would enjoy the untrammelled dominion of the Baltic Sea and would command the wheat granary which supplies all the neighbouring nations, as well as Italy and Spain. If Sweden held the country occupied he could easily proceed to Silesia and unite with Gabor. But it is not thought that he will make any further efforts this year, but will firmly establish himself in what he has got.
The despatch of the fleet is delayed because 800 casks of salt meat for provisioning it have been spoiled, to the value of about 6,000l. sterling. Thus the opinion grows ever stronger that only twelve ships will sail, or very few more.
They have made the same public request reported to the people, for the collection of the subsidies, pointing out the most urgent needs of his Majesty and the danger from enemies; but they have gained nothing owing to the fear of opening this door to the king to exact the subsidies without a decree of the parliament, and in such case that body would no longer be called together and the people would lose their prerogatives.
This hope having failed, they have drawn up letters under his Majesty's privy seal to be sent to every one in the kingdom, asking for a loan according to the amount at which they are entered in the subsidy book, which actually means much more than what they are accustomed to pay. But it is not thought that the king will obtain more than a small sum of money in this way either, merely from those who have interests at the Court, because the others hang back from fear of receiving some punishment or mortification from a new parliament.
Meanwhile, they have chosen eight commissioners to control the king's expenses. These with the Lord High Treasurer are to revise the royal revenues and propose to cut down salaries for the purpose of benefiting the king. They have already cut off the expenses of the tables of the officials of the Court which were numerous, reducing them to four only, the Duke of Buckingham, the Lord Chamberlain, his Majesty's secret steward and the Secretary Conway. The others have a sum assigned for their food. By this reform they reckon to save the king about 50,000l. sterling a year.
They have not withdrawn the pensions, but the Lord Treasurer has received express orders not to pay money to any one for any cause soever for two years or until further order from his Majesty.
They have ordered the Mayor of London to keep ready at the cost of the city 4,000 men with muskets, powder, balls and rope, ready to march in case of need whenever they may be required. They have also ordained a general census of those capable of bearing arms from eighteen to sixty years of age.
A general fast has also been ordered throughout the kingdom for the 2nd inst. old style, for his Majesty's needs and to return thanks to God for the termination of the plague.
The persecution of the Catholics had gone so far that they even ruthlessly took away the beds from under the sick. When the king heard of this he went into the Council and announced that it was not his intention that such barbarity should be shown, though he desired the carrying out of the laws against them. These involve great loss to the Catholics and bring little profit to the king, as it is found that last year they paid 40,000l. sterling but only 2,000l. reached the king's purse.
The Catholics would be willing to give some yearly contribution to his Majesty provided they gave up persecuting them for ever and allowed them to live freely or at least without fear. But no agreement can be valid without an act of parliament, and reasons of state do not permit of any compact being made with them, since they wish to tire them out by constant persecution and compel them to go to Church, and in addition, to make more sure of their belief, they make them take their pretended sacrament, and take the oath of fealty to the king, in temporal and spiritual, and publicly abjure the Catholic faith.
In Scotland, the Lords of the Council, who left Court some months ago very ill pleased, as the Ambassador Pesaro reported, have ordered parliament to meet. On hearing of this sudden decision his Majesty forthwith sent the Earl of Annandale thither, to get them to postpone the meeting till Michaelmas, saying he could not be in that kingdom earlier owing to the most urgent business here.
They are waiting to see the effect of these offices upon those malcontents, who may prejudice the king's authority if the parliament meets, though it cannot do so without his consent. It is believed that they are certain to institute an enquiry about the deaths of the late king, the Dukes of Richmond, and Lennox and the Marquis of Hamilton, all with the object of attacking Buckingham, who will almost certainly be attacked in a new parliament for having deprived those who were against him in the last assembly of their offices of justices of the peace.
They have sent a gentleman of the Ambassador Wake, (fn. 1) who was still here, I am told, with orders to his master to proceed to Venice immediately.
The Earl of Bristol has received leave to go all over the Tower, where his wife has permission to go to her husband. His son, who was confined to his father's house in the country, has been set at liberty. The Earl of Arundel with his wife and married children and the Duchess of Lennox have received permission to go where they like in the kingdom for two months and attend to their affairs, provided they always keep five miles from the Court.
The Duke of Buckingham, who is seeking supports to establish his fortunes better, has affianced his four year old daughter to the eldest son of the Earl of Montgomery, aged six, hoping thus to gain the Lord Chamberlain Pembroke, who was opposed to his interests; Montgomery's son will be his heir. (fn. 2) Others declare that the carrying out of this matrimonial arrangement was to put a stop to the gossip that the duke intended a greater marriage for his daughter.
The Earl of Carlisle and the Earl of Holland have taken the oath as gentlemen of his Majesty's Bedchamber. The king has added to his Council of State the Earl of Dorset and the Earl of Salisbury, both friends of the duke.
The king has been two nights in this city. He left for his ordinary pleasures of the chase. He will return to-morrow and proceed on Monday to his houses in the neighbourhood taking the queen with him, who is waiting for him in her quarters here.
London, the 7th August, 1626.
Postscript.—I am told that the Count of Tillières, the queen's chamberlain, has left for France to inform the Most Christian of the state of affairs. I am also assured that Carleton will set on foot negotiations for peace with the Spaniards, Gondomar will proceed to Spain and will return to Paris whither the Duke of Buckingham will betake himself to conclude the business.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
686. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador recently sent to the king for instructions about the Margrave of Baden. The duke promised him 4,000 German foot to be raised by Prince Christopher, the Margrave's son. This costs him 20,000 crowns. The money was paid before the peace between the two crowns was established. Now his Highness promises that the margrave may levy these troops himself. The English minister is entirely devoted to the interests of that prince, but everyone knows the poverty of his king, who has undertakings and obligations in so many directions, and does not know where to get money.
Turin, the 9th August, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 10.
Collegio, Lettere. Venetian Archives.
687. To the Ambassadors Extraordinary in England.
As we propose to send the Secretary Surian, who is with you, to the States, we have directed our Ambassador Contarini in France to detain him there, but as you may have already passed on when the letters arrive, we sent these presents so that in any case you will send the secretary back to Paris.
By virtue of a decision of the Senate of the 8th August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
688. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By the Sultan's orders a general council has recently been held about Prince Gabor. The prince's paper was read and a letter from the Pasha of Buda. The Caimecan proposed the matter as if it was a question whether the Sultan should declare war on the emperor and the Poles also. The general opinion was that during the war with Babylon and the bad state of affairs, they ought not to think of exciting other troubles, though they might write to the prince in a friendly way, referring him to the Pasha of Buda, who is versed in these affairs. Thus the meeting ended, though without any definite decision. The English ambassador, who has been very zealous in the matter since he received the king's orders, decided to go with the ambassador of the States to the Caimecan, the Transsylvanian being indisposed, being well aware that the Caimecan had put forward the business in the way described in order to ruin the whole affair, being moved by the promises of the imperial resident and Montalbano, and when he was Captain Pasha he always leaned to peace with the emperor and truces with Spain. The ambassadors remonstrated with him for his action, as they did not wish the Sultan to make war on the emperor or the Poles, but merely to permit the prince to use his forces with those of the princes friendly to the Porte who oppose the ascendancy of the House of Austria, and to direct the Pasha of Buda to keep armed on his imperial frontier, have an understanding with the prince and oppose all attempts against him. The Sultan had expressly declared that he did not desire the truce with Spain and would not see those who came to treat for one, and he would not confirm the peace with the emperor unless his ambassador came here, as is usual. As regards ordering the Tartars to keep armed against the Poles, this happened without any fresh orders. The Sultan would not refuse these two things and in any case they would let him know.
On hearing this the Caimecan promised to write to the prince and give the Pasha of Buda such orders as would satisfy them. The two ambassadors then performed the same office with Cusein Effendi, cadaleschier of Greece, a man of great influence in the state. Being well informed of the matter through me and unfriendly to the House of Austria he promised to see the Caimecan and procure a favourable decision. He succeeded well as your Excellencies will see from the enclosed translations of letters sent to the prince, the late Pasha of Buda and the allied princes, showing that in the present state of affairs the Porte will not make war on the emperor or give him cause to tax them with breaking the peace by getting Gabor to make war, but their orders to him and the Pasha of Buda will appear merely directed for defence, without saying anything about Gabor uniting his forces with those of the confederate princes as the ambassadors desired, but that he is in unity and concord with them with which the prince's ambassador seems satisfied.
The French ambassador seems to grow steadily cooler about this business of Gabor. On the other hand the English ambassador is very zealous to encourage the prince to take the field at once.
The Vigne of Pera, the 10th August, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
689. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In your letters of the 9th May last your Serenity advises me of the arrival of two Persian ambassadors, one in England and the other at the Hague, and of their negotiations about the silk trade, ordering me to prevent this, to obtain information and to discover if our merchants would gain by bringing silk to this city by the country of the Emir of Saida to Baruti. I have discovered on good authority that the negotiations about silk between Persia and England are very difficult and almost impossible to carry through for various important reasons. The King of Persia desires from the English an undertaking to export every year 8,000 bales of silk involving a sum of money out of the question for the English. Although the king would accept half in cash and the rest in cloth, lead, tin and other things, yet the ready money would amount to more than four millions of gold, a very heavy sum for them. Moreover, the English would not know what to do with such a quantity of silk, as 600 bales would suffice for the requirements of their country, and 2,000 at most to send abroad. The expense would be very heavy as to secure such trade the English would have to keep armed ships on the route and keep Ormuz in their power, otherwise the silk would be constantly plundered by the Portuguese. They cannot trust the promises of the Persian, who would alter the price at his pleasure. He would not undertake to supply the silk except unspun (spiandila), and it is more than forty days from the port of Giasches in the Persian Gulf, whither it would have to be taken by land at the cost of the English; so instead of gaining they would lose heavily. In addition to all this, such trade would destroy the India and Turkey companies in England, which must be kept on foot for serious reasons, and although the King of Persia promises to continue the war against the Turk with the money from the silk, and after securing Babylon, to occupy Aleppo, and give the same silk to the English there, and to smooth the way to the treaty represents that by diverting the silk trade they will deprive the Sultan of a large sum of money derived from the duties, thus facilitating attacks upon him and especially the capture of Aleppo, with so much advantage to Christendom, yet the English do not think these advantages outweigh the other considerations, especially as they know full well that the King of Persia has made the same offers to Spain, where they were not accepted for the same reasons, amd they feel sure it will be so with the Flemings. Although the King of England has agreed that the Indian company shall send someone to Persia with the ambassador, I hear that this was rather because of the quarrel in England between the Persian ambassador and il Ciarlas, who was there with the same title. There is a rumour that M. d'Ae, who was sent here by the King of France to put straight the affairs of that country at Aleppo, has some orders from his Majesty to proceed to Persia on this same business of silk, which the Persians have also offered to France. I will try to find out more.
I have spoken with one of our merchants about the proposed route by the country of the Emir of Saida to Baruti. He has consulted some Turkish merchants who know the way thoroughly and have supplied me with the enclosed information.
The Vigne of Pera, the 10th August, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in the preceding despatch.690. Information of the Journey from Persia to Damascus.
On leaving Persia it will be necessary to go straight to the town of Bavera by the desert. From thence to Damascus messengers can go in twelve days and a caravan in thirty. The route is quite safe for caravans and persons on horseback. Small companies might be robbed, but not murdered. From Damascus to Beyrout is three to four days by caravan and the same to Saeda. The port of Beyrout is excellent for large galleys; Saeda is a shore but has some rocks forming a port. The way from Persia to Damascus by Diarbekir is bad, long and dangerous, but by Bavera it is short, perfect and safe. I have this from many Turks of Aleppo, who have been in those parts.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
691. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Several letters have reached the Assembly of the States General from Anstruther, the agent of the King of England, at Hamburg. I immediately obtained the substance of them, supposing that this diligence would not fail notably to advance the interests of the public cause. While I was expecting to hear of a great provision of money, the people being united with the king, and that the fleet had already sailed, I find that for the affairs of Italy the diversion is likely to be late, uncertain and of no consideration.
I hear on good authority that the King of England, driven by necessity and desiring to obtain money by hook or by crook, has sent my lord Carleton as ambassador to France for the remainder of the queen's dowry and about the matter of the arrests of which I wrote. He should be at Paris by now, unless stayed by the treacherous weather. I fancy he has obtained a certain quantity of money from the Lower House, that he has put a stop to extravagance at table at Court and other wasteful expenditure, and by this reform and by economy thay hope not only to collect sufficient money for the present requirements, but to obtain 4 or 500,000 florins a year in addition. Thus necessity makes men industrious.
The Hague, the 10th August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
692. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States are also showing vigour in naval matters. The fifteen ships to join the English fleet are ready. They have selected Admiral Laurence Real to command them, a man at once prudent and bold. He has come to the Hague to await his orders from England and receive his despatches and patents here.
The Hague, the 10th August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 12.
Bibl. di S. Marco. Cl. VII. Cod.MCXXIII.
693. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE. (fn. 3)
Although the weather continued foul, I determined to risk the passage, even against experienced advice. I suffered from incessant sickness on the passage, which took seven days, the usual time being two; a threatening storm made us deviate greatly from our straight course. Off Dunkirk, where the Spaniards keep some armed galliots to plunder the small boats which cross to France and England, an incident happened to protect the voyage, as the man of war which convoyed me made a point of defending some of those which were in danger, its cannon making the galleots sheer off in fear of being caught between it and the usual Dutch squadron of some twenty-five sail and upwards which blockades the Spanish coast, and prevents twelve or fifteen large Spanish galleons, clearly visible at a distance in the Flemish ports, from putting to sea, their cost and service being alike useless and no less ignominious than astounding, but a safe passage is of too great importance to the liberty of that government.
My perils and dangers have come to an end and to-day, thank God, after a brief but toilsome passage, I find myself at Gravesend, not more than six leagues from London. I understand that the king is taking his pleasure in the country. This will not delay my public entry into London, which I mean to make soon, although much embarrassed by the late vicissitudes to which my attendants and horses have been subjected and because of many necessary provisions which I have to make owing to the absence of my predecessor.
After this first entry I will endeavour with great haste to obtain my first audience of his Majesty, as soon as my liveries are ready, and so far as my scanty fortune allows I will maintain a decorous appearance as my deputy enjoins.
The Secretary Rossi having heard of my arrival, has just been to see me, and I have requested him to remain on and help me in the matter of advices, especially as in a few days and perhaps to-morrow, they are expecting here at Gravesend the Bishop de Mandes with the ladies and other French subjects recently dismissed from the queen's service which in my opinion indicates the beginning of storms, very prejudicial to the common cause. I shall therefore exercise the greater attention and vigilance, and when favoured by your Excellencies with the necessary insight into public affairs, I will seek to do your service satisfactorily to the utmost.
Gravesend, the 12th August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 12.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia. Busta 23. Venetian Archives.
694. Approbation of AGESILAO SEGURO as English Consul at Zante.
Ayes, 4.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
Marco ZustinianSavii
Alvise Basadonna
Lorenzo Valier
Zorzi Corner.
[Italian.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
695. To the Ambassador in England.
Although we have not yet heard of your arrival at the Court we imagine you have been there some weeks, and we wish to give you the enclosed advices from Germany to serve for information. We can give you no information about the Ambassador Preo at present, except that he continues his negotiations with us, and is hurrying them on, so that he may proceed to the Grisons, and the Swiss to put the finishing touches to the current affairs of the Valtelline. We send you, likewise for information the offices passed by the ambassador of Denmark in England with our ambassadors extraordinary. You will try and divert this matter, about sending an ambassador to us, and every other matter. We hear from our said ambassadors that his Majesty is sending Lord Carleton as his ambassador extraordinary to France, with instructions to favour our interests at that Court. You will thank his Majesty suitably at the first opportunity.
Ayes, 132.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
696. ANTONIO ROSSI, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The quarrel between their Majesties has reached such a pitch that the king has suddenly dismissed all the French attendants upon the queen, as your Serenity shall hear. Last Monday, the 10th inst., the day appointed for the king to go to the country, as I wrote, his Majesty went into the Council and decided to remove the French from about the queen. On leaving the Council chamber he sent for the queen herself, but owing to the toothache from which she has recently been suffering, she excused herself as being unable to leave her room. When this was reported to the king his Majesty went there with all the Council. After making every one go out he shut himself in with her and imparted to her the decision taken for the good of herself and the nation urging her to comfort herself with the assurance that in the future she would be better served and with more decorum.
The queen, taken unawares, made no answer, but seeing herself deprived at one blow of all those in whom she had any confidence, she began to weep bitterly. But her despair availed nothing, as the king immediately ordered all the French of both sexes to leave the Court at once and withdraw to Denmark House, the queen's residence, to proceed to France at the earliest opportunity. Accordingly they were constrained to obey, without even being able to say farewell to their mistress.
On the following day the king went where all the French were gathered and spoke to them in the following manner: Sirs, you will forgive me if I do not speak French very well, as I am in some embarrassment. I have decided to possess my wife, which was not allowed me while she was surrounded by you others. I do not mean thereby to give offence to the French nation. I pardon you the wrongs and will try and get you favourably received by your master.
At these words the Bishop of Mande rose and answered: Sire, we have orders from the king our master not to abandon the queen without her commission, but we have had to do it owing to the violence shown us by your Majesty. We have always attended the queen with proper respect, and have served in accordance with our duty to our mistress. We have a clear conscience of having always discharged our duties properly and we need no other testimony with the Most Christian, our master, than our own actions, the sincerity whereof, without other means, will pave the way for the continuance of the favour we claim to enjoy from the king our master. I only beg your Majesty's compassion for eighty and more of the lower servants who have waited upon the queen and who expect assistance from your Majesty's benignity in order to cross the sea.
The king answered, I have given orders for civility to be shown to those who have served my wife, and he returned straightway to Whitehall, whence he immediately set out with the queen alone, and they went to Nonsuch, eight miles away, followed by other barques of ladies and cavaliers.
There are rumours at Court that before leaving the king left instructions for his officers to recompense the French with 30,000l. sterling, 11,000l. in money and the rest in jewels. However the French profess to have received nothing as yet except some trifle of little consequence, and they declare thay have been treated too harshly and cruelly in their own words in not being allowed to see the queen first or even time to take away their baggage from the Court. They declare they will carry such a report to the Most Christian as will arouse quarrels between the two kings, so that with a good accommodation it may be possible to repair the offence which they pretend France has received by the manner of their dismissal, and the queen may obtain some advantage. Her prayers to the king have only resulted in obtaining for her a solitary French lady and two fathers of the Oratory, one of whom, because of Scottish nationality will be her Majesty's confessor. (fn. 4)
Apparently this affair has been brewing for a long time, and Carleton left for France after they had made up their minds, to represent to the most Christian the disturbances caused by the French at Court and the necessity for the king to dismiss them, and he will beg him not to take this step in ill part, and that the rumours reported were put abroad so that the true reason for his mission should not come to light. However it cannot fail to be useful to keep an eye on the negotiations.
After the dismissal of the French they at once sent the news to Carleton by M. de Vich, an agent of the Secretary Conway, (fn. 5) so that he should know of it first and inform his Most Christian Majesty.
Just as his Majesty's decision is universally considered necessary at Court for the proper management of the queen's governance, so all blame the manner of it, as it might have happened with less disturbance and offence to France. But the incompatibility of the two nations and the ambition of the Duke of Buckingham is considered the reason for this violent step, which cannot fail to give rise to evil consequences, prejudicial to the common service.
The Bishop of Mande, whom I saw before the dismissal of the French, in discussing the state of affairs with me, remarked that he heard from France that things in Germany are going very badly, and lamented their ill behaviour here, where they think of nothing but Buckingham's preservation and neglect the rest, and here they let everyone see, ambassadors and others also, that France will do nothing, but they do so to cover their own short comings (necessità). The bishop asserted the good disposition of France towards those interests, and he had told the ambassador of Denmark to try and get them to do something here; the Most Christian would always be ready to do his share. He also said that they had written from this Court to France that they had found their million crowns. They had done it in imagination but not in fact. The king had spoken to him of the means used by the kings of France to rid themselves of parliament. He replied that they did it at an opportune moment when they had plenty of money and they could not take such steps in time of need (che il Re le ha parlato del modo che hanno usato li Re di Franza di sottrarsi dal Parlamento; che ha risposto che lo hanno fatto in tempo opportuno e mentre havevano denaro a sufficienza; che nelle necessità non si può intraprendere simili risolutioni). He said they will certainly have to come to a Parliament as the king is in too great need. The king will either have to cut down his private pleasures and abandon all foreign affairs, with loss of reputation to himself and the state, or have recourse to Parliament; he does not want to do this because he fears the certain fall of Buckingham. Without it the king will have neither money nor credit. Even if he found money in some other way it would be insignificant. To maintain foreign affairs one wants a good foundation, otherwise the others will withdraw.
He went on to talk to me about the queen's grievances, the nonfulfilment of the things agreed upon, and that this marriage profits the Spaniards more than if their own had taken place, owing to the strong hatred there is against the French. Everything good done by the French is misinterpreted. If the queen's attendants disposed her Majesty to something after the king's desire, they were said to have too much influence with her, if they did not, it was thought they maliciously opposed the king's wishes and so they did not know what to do. The queen was in the greatest necessity as for eight months she had not received a penny from the king. All the French had lent their money to her Majesty. Here they are poor and proud; they have not a penny to give her, but will not allow any to reach her from France, either from her mother or brother. It is thought that all these things and the very high tone in which the bishop spoke to the duke on the same subject led to the king's unexpected decision to dismiss the French.
The hopes of the Danish ambassador are built upon the promises that they will obtain a lot of money from the letters of privy seal; but no result is seen as yet. I think they want him to go, but he says he does not wish to return with nothing but promises, as his master has only had too many of them from this quarter, and none fulfilled.
Not only will they not satisfy the deputies of Hamburg about having their trade with the Spaniards free, but they are preparing two ships to go and relieve those which are already watching the port to prevent any going out which are laden with munitions for Spain.
They keep speaking about sending out the fleet. It seems that it has orders to be ready by the 12th inst., old style, but without some money for the captains, they will find it hard to carry this into effect.
The Ambassador Contarini reached Gravesend a few hours back after a toilsome voyage of seven days. I have been to pay my respects, and he directed me to send the foregoing particulars. After I have confided the official papers to his Excellency I shall return as soon as possible to your Serenity's feet.
London, the 14th August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
697. MARC ANTONIO CORRER and ANZOLO CONTARINI, late Venetian Ambassadors Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Sunday we arrived here and we should leave the day after to-morrow, giving our baggage some start for Lyons. Our colleagues sent to meet us at St. Denis. We found the ambassador ill. The Dutch Ambassador Langerach showed us great courtesy, but he abides by his claims about visits and titles. We remonstrated, but really it is not worth while to pay any attention to the caprices of this individual.
Paris, the 14th August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
698. SIMONE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Owing to the lack of money here it is difficult to foresee a satisfactory termination to the negotiations of the English ambassador extraordinary, Carleton, who arrived here two days ago. I hear on good authority that he comes to ask the king here to pay the whole or at least a portion of the dowry of the Queen of England, in accordance with the promises made to his master, who is also very short of money, so I hear. Apparently the ambassador comes merely for this, for the needs of his own country and to support the King of Demnark; but the moment is unfortunate, as the duke and the Cardinal of Savoy also may easily discover.
The ambassadors, Corraro and Contarini, have arrived here on their way back from England, in excellent health. They have a numerous and most noble train of Venetian nobles and knights. My ill health prevented me from paying them such respects as I desired.
Paris, the 14th August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives.
699. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune asked me if I knew the English ambassador resident with your Serenity had gone to the Swiss and thence to the Duke of Savoy. I said I did not. He told me he had heard they spoke there of leagues between the republic, the Swiss, Savoy and the English. He said your Serenity should always support the Swiss and Savoy, but the King of England is a long way off. He said he knew the prudence of your Serenity and he would not believe the current reports of your alienation from the crown of France. I told him I could not understand what he was talking about and assured him of the republic's esteem for the Most Christian.
Rome, the 15th August, 1626.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 His name was Smith. See Contarini's dispatch of the 21st August at page 515 below.
2 Montgomery's son Charles was aged seven and Buckingham's daughter Mary three. The contract was arranged on the 24th July, to be completed on the 9th August at Whitehall. There was a hitch because Pembroke made some difficulty about immediately settling his estate upon his nephew. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, pages 132, 135.
3 This despatch is wanting from the files at the Frari, and the text is taken from the ambassador's Register Book, preserved in the Library of St. Mark.
4 The French lady was Madame de Vantelet, who used to dress the queen. There were three English priests allowed, Fathers Potter and Godfrey, and Father Philip Preston, a Scot. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i., pages 122, 138. Tillières says the intention was to deprive the queen of all her French attendants, but as she refused all food and drink unless she had at least one, they allowed her Mme. de Vantelet. Mémoires, ed. Hippeau, page 146. The Bishop of Mandé wrote to Richelieu in August "Il a mis près de la Reine deux ecclesiastiques Godefrey et Potier très bien connus au Père Berulle pour ennemis de la Religion: et tout ce que nous avons faire par nos prières, et la Reine par ses larmes a été d'y faire entrer un père de l'Oratoire avec son compagnon, qui ont desia reçu defence d'écrire de sa conduite en France, et n'auront la liberté de lui parler qu'en presence de temoins." Public Record Office, Paris Transcripts. The French priests were Father Philip as confessor and Father Viette as chaplain. Tillières: Mémoires, page 252.
5 Henry de Vic.