Venice
November 1626, 12-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1914

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7-26

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'Venice: November 1626, 12-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 7-26. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89107 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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November 1626

Nov. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
14. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador Wake left one of his men at Coire who will arrive here in a few days, as he himself told me, to take charge of the contribution for six months to the Margrave of Baden.
I know that at Coire Wake had a very confidential interview with five of the leading men of the Grisons. Seeing his great hostility to France, I cannot help suspecting that he made the same suggestion to them as he did to me, to turn from the French to the Spaniards, from whom they would obtain much better conditions. Such an idea is very strongly opposed to the common service and I do my best to resist it.
Zurich, the 12th November, 1626.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
15. To the Secretary Padavin at the Imperial Court.
As despatches reached Rome, from Sacheti to the pope, from Cordova to Oñate and from Coure to Bethune, about the Valtelline, various discussions took place about the adjustment. Bethune informed our ambassador that no difficulties remained; Cardinal Magaloti was to draw up the articles, which would be very different from the last. The pope also spoke to our ambassador as if the matter was arranged. In the meantime the Governor of Milan left Como on the 4th inst. for Gravedona on his way to inspect Fort Fuentes and the positions at Riva, which are believed to have been reinforced. He went with few troops to avoid creating alarm, so the Marquis is not moving from Sondrio. We send you this for information.
The like to the ambassador in England and the Secretary Surian at the Hague, adding: and to make use of as opportunities arise.
Ayes, 100.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
16. To the Ambassador in England.
You have done very properly in procuring the arrest of the ship which had reached Dormont with a cargo of our subjects for this city. We enclose copies of what we have written to our ambassador at the Hague and our office with the Dutch minister here. You will speak in conformity, if necessary.
The Ambassador Wake has returned. He has spoken at large with our representatives, expressing his ill will towards the French, although he does not conceal the present discords and weakness of England. We notice especially that he has advised the Swiss and Grisons to turn to the Spaniards instead of to the French for support. This would be a great matter if it originated in England, but we believe it is merely his indignation, as otherwise it would involve a complete change about of the hereditary principles of that kingdom. You will keep your eyes open, and cherishing confidence by the enclosed advices from Germany, you will point out the consequences to the king and urge them to a reconciliation with France, to prevent worse evils. Our ambassador with the Most Christian will also labour on his side. For the rest, your letters confirm your abilities.
Ayes, 113.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
17. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days after the sending of my last despatch the commissioners appointed went to the house of the French ambassador. They took the reply in writing in general terms, just as I wrote, concerning the misdemeanours of the French attendants, and the king's justification of their treatment. Bassompierre thanked his Majesty for the information, adding his willingness to believe that they had done much worse than was represented, but the justification did not constitute a reply to his proposals, and unless the king entered into further particulars he requested leave to return without any other rejoinder. The commissioners took time to inform the king, who, on the morrow, chose to see Bassompierre in his private cabinet with the duke alone. After much discussion it seemed that the king gave way, and two days later promised him satisfaction by reinstating the bishop, six priests, a chamberlain, two ladies of the bedchamber, the secretary, the physician and some other officials, amounting to about forty or fifty Frenchmen. With regard to the native Catholics the king also promised him some mitigation of the penal statutes, dispensing especially with certain spies or informers who harass them in their own houses and constitute their chief grievance. Concerning the dowry, Bassompierre offered to pay the remaining 400,000 crowns immediately on receiving valid security for the annual payment of 50,000 crowns due to the queen by the marriage contract. It is thus seen for certain that England does not find it so easy to discover unencumbered property, and that the residue of the dowry is mostly assigned to sundry individuals, while on the other hand it is well known that France also shares the general poverty, and is unable to pay down a considerable sum of ready money at call. Even Bassompierre tries to rid himself of this burdensome charge, for having come to me on purpose to communicate the foregoing details of his negotiations, he said he should leave them in charge of the ambassadors in ordinary resident at the two Courts.
Such are the matters transacted so far, of which Bassompierre has as yet received no written voucher, as he expected, the communication being made merely by word of mouth. The Court, however, thinks that it can no longer be doubtful, as besides the essential points conceded the king, as an additional grant, allowed Bassompierre to have two gentlemen who came with him from France, among those banished, in the queen's service. He has granted him the release of a number of the Catholic religious now in prison, but on condition of his taking them with him out of the kingdom. He has allowed him to enlarge the queen's chapel, making some other concessions of minor importance. Thus whereas at first the king showed himself harsh so now he seems quite ready to relent. His Majesty requested the ambassador to wean the queen from certain degrading ceremonies introduced of yore by the French attendants, and especially from betaking herself on solemn festivals to some small rooms built like a monastery at the top of her palace, where she remains without decorum, as she did lately on All Saints' day. The king seems very vexed about this, and Bassompierre does not approve, but the queen is obstinate and very determined.
The reasons why the affair has changed its aspect in a few days are supposed on good grounds to be as follows. First of all the want of money and the difficulty of finding any. Secondly, the fact that the Puritans, much more than the Catholics and Protestants, show themselves inflexible about subscribing to the subsidies, many having gone to prison. Thirdly, they did not at all relish Bassompierre's demands for security from parliament for the dowry. Fourthly, they wanted to get possession of the residue of the dowry itself, on which many members of the Council have heavy credits, especially Carlisle and Holland, who negotiated the marriage and have aided the adjustment. Fifthly, they have not met with the response they expected from the French conspirators and the Huguenots, either because the Most Christian is evidently intent upon home affairs, or from the fallaciousness of English assistance, which is but too limited on the score of necessity. Above all there is the fear of Scotland, as your Excellencies will hear, that nation having always received support from France. Gondomar's death has also contributed something to the adjustment, as through him the government expected to make terms with Spain when they pleased and with less disadvantage, though England has never had a more insidious enemy than he, with all his blandness. I might also add the zealous offices of the foreign ministers, who all joined to express their desire for the union of the two crowns for the common weal when the affair was in the greatest peril, especially at this last period, were it not that in matters of state individual interest alone guides. Many believe that the plaster will not last long, both parties being exasperated. At any rate the delay of the rupture is an advantage, because all the powers who were taken unawares this time will now have the means to provide for any future event.
As naval matters are the most important and perilous if not adjusted, they have appointed Carleton and the two secretaries of state to treat with Bassompierre about the restitution of the French ships seized in this kingdom, and the release of English property sequestrated in France. I fancy that Bassompierre himself is of opinion that French subjects should be generally prohibited from conveying munitions for war or for fleets to any country where war is declared, not excepting England or the Netherlands, so that when such stores are sent to friends this may be connived at, though exercising rigour against those who trade thus abusively in Spain; nor may England seize French ships unless they carry such prohibited merchandise. If some such projects are not carried into effect there will always be confusion one way or the other.
I understand further that the ambassadors of Denmark and Holland, now that the king has given satisfaction to the Most Christian, want to secure some advantage for Germany, it being already reported that Goring, who is destined for Lorraine, will have the charge of ambassador extraordinary in France, to pay compliments on the adjustment, to prefer some suit for the rest of the dowry, and to invite the king to help Germany, all matters depending upon the fluctuations of this Court, as I have often said after observing what happens daily.
In my confidential conversations with Bassompierre I gathered that France's maxim is not to pledge herself openly or directly against Spain in any matter soever, but to do everything underhand to serve her interests; she is disposed to alienate the Duke of Bavaria from the House of Austria with a view to separating the Lutheran from the Calvinist faction in case of a rupture with England. This project is supposed to be Spanish as the Most Christian thus omits to help the sovereigns who are already armed for the common weal and interested in it, for the sake of forming fresh and illusory parties. Others think that Germany is reduced to such extremities that nothing can make her condition worse, but all conclude with difficulties because of the discredit of France with foreign powers, and because without arms in her hand she cannot carry out such schemes. He observed to me that the internal affairs of France being inextricably entangled keep the Council busy, so that their attention is fixed upon them to the exclusion of foreign affairs.
While on this topic I may add that the ministers greatly distrust the Marquis of Coure and consider him a convicted accomplice in the conspiracy. Nothing is said about him because he has arms in his hands, but he no longer enjoys much credit or authority. Your Excellencies will have heard all this long ago, but in matters of such importance I prefer to err on the side of excess and it will at least serve for confirmation.
London, the 13th November, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
18. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A fund of 30,000l. has at length been found for the succour of Denmark. The Amsterdam merchant, Calandrini, who is here and will depart with the first fair wind, is ordered to provide money in the Low Countries and together with the English agent at the Hague settle everything for the removal of the troops there. It is universally believed, however, that when all the arrangements are completed the weather will not serve on account of the frosts, which begin very early in those parts, so that they will be unable to make the passage without danger and difficulty.
The efforts to obtain the five subsidies continue. As yet they have not begun to levy the money, choosing first of all to know what may take place in the country, whither the lords lieutenant have received orders to betake themselves in person to every place under their jurisdiction, to obtain the subscription and facilitate it by their assistance, according to the example set by the Lords of the Council here in London. The result is uncertain; some persons who refused to contribute having been already imprisoned, who are mostly Puritans, whose faction is the most numerous, nor do they choose to infringe the ancient laws of the kingdom.
The reports of discontent in Scotland continue. It is certain that hitherto they have purchased 500 of the largest horses in England and there is also some indication of their having supplied themselves at Amsterdam with 10,000 suits of armour and reinforced their ships. The duke as Lord High Admiral laid claim to his share of certain prizes, which they refused under pretence of having an admiral of their own, independent of others. They carry on the prosecution of the Lord Chancellor of Scotland and the duke spoke against him openly to his face before the king, and it is said he replied very boldly. No one anticipates any serious disturbance in that country, but rather that the inhabitants will vigorously defend their privileges in case the king tries to abrogate them by violence.
The ships of the fleet have put back owing to the storm, as reported. Four of them remain out, causing anxiety about their loss. I spoke to Admiral Willoughby, who commanded them, and he told me he had but twenty sail with him, that the soldiers who were promised had never been put on board from lack of money; in case of need he could not have landed his men, the Dutch never made an appearance; he had instructions not to go any distance from this kingdom; the provisions sufficed for four or six weeks only, so this deficiency would have brought them to the same pass as the storm did, a few days sooner.
They are all now in Portsmouth harbour for repairs, nor is there any appearance of their putting to sea again for this winter; indeed, I fancy that the government would gladly dismiss the twenty fitted out by the city of London if the city would offer to have as many more ready in the spring. The duke has discussed this with some citizens appointed for the purpose, who would prefer them to serve for the three months as promised and that the 24,000l. expended on their outfit, to the serious inconvenience of the poor people who contributed, may not be thrown away.
All the hopes of a new fleet seem now to be deferred to next year and reports are circulated, I believe artfully, about great projects being on foot. The whole will come to light speedily, for unless they make the necessary supplies of provisions at this season and especially meat, which to keep long cannot be prepared at any other time, it may reasonably be inferred that they neither can nor ought to attempt anything of importance.
Four very richly freighted ships are reaching these ports from the East Indies. I enclose a copy of their cargoes. Concerning the negotiations of Gabor's ambassador and of the gentleman from the Margrave of Baden, there is nothing to add to what I wrote, the commissioners having all been occupied with the French negotiations. The Dutch ambassador tells me that there is an inclination towards the margrave's movements. I find, however, that all proceeds from the Secretary Conway, who, being the father-in-law of the Ambassador Wake, encourages these conceits while Wake is guided by the caprice of the Duke of Savoy.
It is said that sixteen other ships have put to sea from Dunkirk, where, some days ago, Spinola certainly disbursed a sum of money to sailors and was hot for them to go out. Many think they meditate an attack towards the Elbe under favour of Tilly's forces. Other persons of experience think they can do no good in those parts because of the frosts, which will have begun already. Were they to land anywhere in Great Britain they would find it utterly defenceless, a neglect that makes me suspect that the Spaniards either will not or cannot attack England unless dragged into the conflict by the hair of the head, or else that this government has some pledge in hand on which to rely (se venissero in alcune parte di questi Regni troverebbono tutto certo senza diffesa, trascuragine che mi fa creder che li Spagnoli non la vogliano con Inghilterra senon terrati per capelli, o che non possino o che questi habbino alcuna cosa in mano per fidarsene). It is also said by some that they may convoy the shallops already prepared in Spain for their passage to Dunkirk. At any rate they have to wait for certain intelligence, three weeks having elapsed since the receipt of letters from Holland, Germany or Flanders, those from Italy being also two posts in arrear. This may be noted with regard to any commands or information addressed to me.
London, the 13th November, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
19. Cargoes of ships from the East Indies, which arrived in England in October, 1626.
By the ship Charles:
105,000lbs. of pepper.
10,000lbs. cloves.
Two cases China silk.
Two cases of tamarinds.
By the ship The Hart:
685,000lbs. of pepper.
250,500lbs. of ebony.
One case of China silk.
Two cases of tamarinds.
By the ship Great James:
627,828lbs. of pepper.
1,434 chests of indigo.
270 bales of saltpetre.
494 bales of muslins and other goods.
137 bales of gumlac (goma lacca).
109 bags of cotton.
69 bales of Persian silk.
10 jars of preserved gingers.
7 bales of Persian carpets.
3 bales of silk counterpanes.
3 cases of aloes.
One small basket of stones to staunch the blood (cestelletto di pietre per stagnar il sangue).
By the ship Jonas of Surat:
544,852lbs. of pepper.
484 chests of indigo.
202 bales of muslins.
45 bales of Persian silk.
34 bales of ebony.
2 bags of cotton.
2 strings of diamonds.
One small basket of stones for the blood.
Total, 2,914,580 pounds of pepper in gross, making 4,605,000 pounds in the light (alla sottile) by the Venetian standard, 11 miliari, 512.
[Italian.]
Nov. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
20. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
By letters of our ambassador in England of the 9th October, we learn that a gentleman named Vuich (fn. 1) has left that Court for France and may go to Piedmont, as it seems that the duke's plans depend largely upon the dislike of France for the views of Buckingham. This will serve you for information, and you will observe the person if he comes.
Ayes, 103.Noes, 2.Neutral, 29.
[Italian.]
Nov. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
21. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have told your Serenity of the affair of the Bey of Andros and the violence of the Captain Pasha. I asked the English ambassador to remonstrate with the Caimecan on the behaviour of the Captain Pasha to the dragomans. The Caimecan promised that they should be well treated in the future.
A few days ago the Caimecan and Captain Pasha sent for the dragomans of the other ambassadors to the Arsenal, and told them to ask all three ambassadors to urge me to come to an agreement with Pervis, but they sent to excuse themselves from performing such an office.
The Vigne of Pera, the 16th November, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
22. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassadors of France and England, in response to letters from the King of Poland, have concerned themselves in the negotiations of his nuncio; but the former has done so much more than the latter.
The Vigne of Pera, the 16th November, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
23. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier has arrived from England, sent by Bassompierre, telling the king of his negotiations, which are well under weigh, for the friendly reunion of these crowns, as well upon the matter of the queen's household as about the ships and reprisals. He adds that the king there has received financial help from his people and that those affairs also are proceeding satisfactorily.
I have just received letters from England from the Ambassador Contarini of the 3rd inst., with the packets for your Serenity. They relate that things are no better there than before. Yet the courier who reached the king from London while I was at Court reported what I wrote above. Pray God it be true.
Paris, the 16th November, 1626.
[Italian.]
Nov. 16.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
24. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
After a long journey I rejoice to return to your Serenity's presence and to find you in good health. I have informed your representatives of my negotiations here and there, so little remains to say. The ambassador of Savoy here will have told you of the events of that country from time to time, and I need only mention certain things which happened on my way back. In passing through Switzerland I found the lords of Zurich and Berne in particular not a little perturbed by the detriment they foresaw from the recent agreements. They claim to have been the first to grant troops and passes and make declarations, and now they find themselves left in the lurch. This perturbation is much more marked in Rhaetia, so as almost to amount to despair. That poor republic sees its liberty practically extinguished, all their character being changed by the nature of the articles. The Marquis of Coure felt sure that the replies given to him thereupon only came from a few, and sent to each community hoping to get a different answer, but all the communes sent a member to Coire to confirm that if the proposals were not improved in substance they could not change their answers. To preserve their liberty the three leagues now propose to send embassies to inform the powers of their condition, to show the necessity for their operation if they are allowed to fall into extreme despair, and to notify that if it be decreed that they shall be miserably sold, they would rather sell themselves than leave the profit of the transaction to others. This headstrong resolve was strongly opposed. The archduke has various ministers and adherents on the frontiers, who point out that the present government of the French is much more grievous than that of the officials of his Highness, under Baldiron, although the latter were received as enemies, and the former came as allies and protectors. They also point out the advantage of the nearness and for opening trade with the house of Austria. They promise them their liberties and dominion in the valley, if only they leave the Catholic faith alone. They ratify the articles stipulated with them at Milan, and in short neglect no means of tempting these sorely tried souls. Some, however, think that once the Most Christian becomes acquainted with their serious interests and how the treaty of Spain is but a grave to bury the corpse of their dominion, he will not permit a people so devoted therein to go to this tomb, and they ask at least to be heard before condemnation. They begged me to get my king's ministers in France to urge this, and I wrote asking them to intervene. They obtained a like intervention from the Duke of Savoy and beg your Serenity also to intercede, and I am sure your Signory will approve of what has been done for that people.
I have now to assure your Excellencies of my king's good will towards you and his firm desire for the general welfare. His Majesty knows that fate seems to smile upon the prodigious Spanish power, and when the reflection of other princes occasionally reduces it, their own sagacity increases it again, like the hydra's heads. However, his Majesty is resolved to pursue his plans, and on his coronation money he stamped a hand holding a naked sword with the motto Donec Pax reddita terris. He has sent a fleet against the Spanish coasts this year, although last year's expeditions did not turn out well. Since the recent disaster to the army of Denmark he helped that king with 4,000 Scots, promising him the veteran troops that England keeps in quarters in the States; he permitted him to make levies in England and sent him 70,000l. sterling, equivalent to 200,000 ducats. His Majesty continues to pay the Count of Mansfeld and offered to do his share for the Prince of Transylvania on learning that the Most Christian promised money and your Serenity had expressed your good intentions.
On my journey I met a gentleman of the Margrave of Baden as he had already shown me how well disposed his affairs were if he received a little assistance, as he had 4,000 foot ready and 1,000 horse, and was joined with the Prince of Wirtemberg, help from the free towns of Transburg, Nürenberg and Ulm, the Lower Palatinate having only 500 men, my king ordered me to offer him means for the support of 5,000 foot and 1,000 horse for six months, so I begged him to send a person to the Swiss, as he did, telling him that at Transburg I had the letters of credit ready with the powers from his Majesty, and that would afford a most opportune diversion for Denmark, to relieve it from the pressure of Austria, and form a safe parapet for Italy. I therefore beg you to consider carefully the margrave's request for help from your Serenity and the Duke of Savoy and favour me with a reply upon this and your intentions about Transylvania and the Grisons.
The doge replied: We are very glad to see your Excellency back in good health and rejoice at the fresh assurances of his Majesty's good will and his prudent designs. We thank you for the confidential communications. The Signors here will deliberate upon the other matters and give their reply. I can only say that the republic has never failed, and never will, to do the utmost possible for the common service and liberty.
The ambassador replied, I am sure of this, and my king hopes that his good relations with this state will last for ever. Relying upon this, while he is at open enmity with the Spaniards and the house of Austria, he begs your Serenity to charge your ministers at the Courts of those princes to observe the levies and preparations made by them by land and sea and send him information, thus helping to preserve one of the most friendly crowns that the republic can have. His Serenity declared that there was no prince whose preservation and prosperity the republic desired more than his Majesty's, and the ambassador, after humbly expressing his thanks, departed.
[Italian.]
Nov. 16.
Cinque Savii
alla Mercanzia.
Risposti 147.
Venetian
Archives.
25. With respect to the petition of the Flemish and English merchants, we have examined them and the chief of the saltfishmongers. They object that by the decree of the 25th September last the chief or one of the fellows of the art of saltfishmongers must be present at every sale. This can only serve to embarrass the merchants and hinder the trade. We think they should be released from this.
They are bound to give a note of the quantity and quality of the fish brought here. They say this will leave them as badly off as they were before. They think it would suffice if they left their bills of lading with the Proveditori alla Giustizia Vecchia.
They think that instead of the vendor and buyer sending a note of the transaction, this might be done by oath at the said office.
We think the merchants may be relieved of the obligation not to sell till the goods are unladed and taken to magazines, provided no transaction takes place before the goods have passed the Custom House.
They also ask for some relief in the duty on fish taken hence by land. We do not think this necessary, for since the export duty by sea has been reduced by one half, the merchants can sell to whom they please and anyone can buy, we think this should be sufficient to bring them here and prevent them from going to all places to reach this city.
We think the decision of the 25th September might be altered in the sense indicated, and for the rest remain in force.
Dona MorosiniSavii.
Antonio Donado
Alvise Mocenigo
Domenico Thiepolo
[Italian.]
Nov. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
26. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The peace of Italy is considered very doubtful from the news which arrives here. The Spaniards have no intention of giving up Riva. Coure raises difficulties so that the Spaniards may not be left idle, especially with the danger of a breach between the Most Christian and England, which seems imminent and to which the King of Great Britain is much inclined because of the advantages he expects to derive from the Huguenots. They write from Brussels that the English king, in order to devote his whole attention to that war, would find some way of coming to terms with Spain, and the Catholic ambassador here has remarked that very shortly they may begin negotiations for peace with that king and for a truce with the Dutch. It is further stated that England has taken M. de Soubise into his service, to prey upon the French coasts and take troops to help the Huguenots of Rochelle, and the Spaniards will not refuse but will rather seek an accommodation with England, as it suits their interests to see France harrassed both at home and abroad. They will therefore try to keep those two kings at loggerheads, and secretly encourage the English and the Huguenots.
Vienna, the 18th November, 1626.
[Italian; copy.]
Nov. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
27. PIERO MALPIERO, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Of recent years currants have sold at very low prices, 10 or 12 reals the thousand, although they used to sell at 40 so I am informed. Accordingly the island is practically reduced to extremity, and we do not know where the fault lies. I have used every diligence, particularly as the revenue this year has been extremely exiguous, especially from the currants. I find that it is due to the English and Flemish merchants who live in this city, as by private and secret papers they dare, without actually meeting, to agree together to put a low price on the said goods, as your Serenity will see by a copy of this paper which I enclose. The guilty have been discovered and will be punished as they deserve, as it is a matter that affects the whole island. The price has been assessed at 36 reals and we hope to go further. I have sent this so that your Serenity may be informed in case of any instances in the matter.
Zante, the 8th November, 1626, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
28. Laus Deo, on the 26th August, 1626, in Cephalonia.
We, the undersigned, have agreed as follows by the present deed: We, the undersigned English, bind ourselves to consign to the Flemings, or their representative, the sum of 500 thousand of currants in good condition here in Cephalonia, on demand, they undertaking to pay 26 grand reals of Spain per thousand immediately upon consignment; the said English further bind themselves to consign to the said Flemings 300 thousand of currants at Zante upon the same condition, beyond the sum which the Flemings have at present in their seraglia, they paying 28 reals the thousand. The Flemings bind themselves to buy no currants anywhere and if they have further instructions to buy more than the 800 thousand aforesaid, they may do so by arrangement with the English. Both parties bind themselves to uphold the contents of this deed under a penalty of 5,000 reals of eight, to be levied immediately the fault is proved.
Signed: John Plumonton, John Obson, Richard Gressuel, John Humphrey Boniton.
Daniel Neel, agent for James Frets, Arnold Clochir and John Martin Agazzi.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
29. That the ambassador of England be summoned to the Collegio and the following be read to him:
During your Excellency's absence we followed your progress with every good wish, highly appreciating the confidences which you imparted to our representatives. We can highly commend the prudence of your negotiations. We have worked hard for the relief of the Grisons. They know that we had nothing to do with the treaties. We have always shown our good will to the Prince of Transylvania; our offices have served him in the past, and we shall not cease to show our good will. Let his Majesty reflect upon the importance of those affairs, especially for his sister and brother-in-law. His decision to help the Margrave of Baden is very opportune, and we have always assured that prince of our good wishes and have helped him by keeping so many men busy in Milan over the Valtelline, for which we have to maintain such large forces and to bear other charges. We sincerely desire every success for his Majesty's enterprises, and our Ambassador Contarini at London will always maintain the most confidential relations with the royal ministers in all that may concern the interests and service of that crown, with whom we have always enjoyed the most cordial relations.
Ayes, 128.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
30. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received the enclosed office from the Ambassador Wake on his return here. In reply we endeavoured to indicate support for the matters he introduced, without committing ourselves. We direct you to comport yourself so as to display complete and cordial confidence with the ministers. With respect to the resolutions which Wake said had been carried out by his king, we fancy he spoke rather of what is necessary and desirable than of what has actually been done, seeing the discords that prevail there at present; but we feel sure that you will know all about these matters and will send us information. A motion here to contribute to Transylvania has given rise to this rumour that we have actually done so, and we have a copy of a letter from the king to the King of Denmark saying that the republic and Savoy have agreed to supply money and men to the Margrave of Baden. You must keep on the alert for such ideas and answer in friendly and general terms, without departing from the truth.
Ayes, 127.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
31. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Hague.
Enclosed you will receive for your instruction a copy of the articles arrived this day from Rome about the Valtelline; you will be guided absolutely by the views imparted to you last week.
Ayes, 127.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
32. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hear from Lyons that they are making reprisals on the English for the capture of four French ships.
Colonel Boest, (fn. 2) who was in Piedmont for the Margrave of Baden and conferred with the Ambassador Wake here, proceeded yesterday towards Brescia. The margrave cannot move before the spring. I find the King of England really promised to pay 6,000 foot and 1,000 horse for him as the ambassador stated; but I do not believe the notes are ready though he said they were at Strasburg.
Zurich, the 19th November, 1626.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
33. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Hague.
We have letters of the 4th from Germany this week. The war grows worse; the chief reason being from letting Mansfelt through, so that the war has spread from Silesia to Hungary, and to the negligence of Wallenstein, who when urged to enter the enemy's country, after he had neglected to pursue the Turks in their retirement from Novegrad, with the opportunity of recovering Strigonia and possibly Buda too, said he could not do so without provisions and money.
The imperial army is falling away through hardship, sickness and desertion, while Gabor ambushed and cut up the Count of Slich and Colonel Lorenzo dal Maestro, who were going to inspect some positions on the River Vaga. Gabor also cut up about 1,000 men, surprising the Walloon quarters under Merodi. We hear he is sending 6,000 horse towards Trincino, to secure Mansfelt's return to Silesia. Cæsar has sent 500 Hungarians towards Comar to protect the peasants against the Turks. Prainer failed to surprise Alba Regale. He took a stockade on his return, capturing 100 Turks, and burned some villages.
They heard at Court from Brussels that since the recent defeat by the Dutch the latter are much inclined to a truce by which they might arrive at a secret treaty, if they could do so without France, England and their other allies getting wind of it. We send all this for information.
Ayes, 137.Noes, 0.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
34. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The concessions made by his Majesty to Bassompierre displeased those of the Religion, that is the most zealous of them, so much so that either from reports circulated by them or from the fickleness of the English Cabinet the affair threatened a fresh rupture. The motive proceeds from conscience; they object to the return of a Catholic bishop and priests. The pretext is one of statesmanship, England being unwilling to give without receiving; for if the satisfaction of the queen and the union of the two crowns concern the common weal, that is much more affected by the affairs of Germany; and if the French exert themselves for the Catholics of England, the English ought not to forget those of La Rochelle. The Protestants therefore blame the duke, and as he is universally detested, his measures, whether good or bad, do him equal harm, envy assigning evil consequences to every event. Accordingly he determined to make overtures to Bassompierre, wishing to insert some obligatory clause in the paper which contains the articles granted for the queen's satisfaction. The ambassador had no small trouble to separate the matters, being greatly assisted by the duke, who prevented any fresh conference with the king, such as Bassompierre desired, for the observance of the promises made whilst his Majesty, strongly urged by the ministers and the Countess Palatine would fain obtain help from the French for Germany by all means. This object alone may have induced him to countenance the adjustment, so if disappointed he might break off entirely. They are intent on obtaining the remainder of the dowry and, as many members of the Council have assignments upon it, they are in quest of a fund whereby to secure to the queen the pledged sum of 50,000 crowns yearly rent, though very little of this money will reach the king's purse.
The commissioners have negotiated several times with Bassompierre about maritime affairs. This affair is the most important of any and if not adjusted will always be a source of contention, nor can it be settled except by allowing the French traffic with the exception of such military stores as are prohibited and by limiting the range of privateers, for after incurring the expense of fitting out a ship they certainly will not want to be losers whether their gain come from friend or foe. The point disputed is that the English claim first of all to have the embargo taken off their property in France, considering it an act of hostility, not like the seizure of vessels where it is merely a question whether they are legal prizes or not. Bassompierre, who perceives some difficulty in this business and perhaps knows that the French are inclined to arm at sea, which would certainly arouse suspicion here, apologises on the plea of having no instructions, and urges them to send an ambassador to the French Court, offering to assist him both in this matter and in obtaining help for Denmark, and any other proposal made on the king's behalf.
The English, on the contrary, want everything settled before his departure, anticipating many difficulties even in carrying out what has been agreed, nor is it universally approved that Bassompierre should limit his ambition to mere appearances of concessions to the queen, without first of all consolidating the basis of the union between the two crowns. But he is in a hurry to be despatched, not wishing to lose the honour of this agreement, content with having this merit with the queen, and well aware of the danger of a turn of the tide, such as nearly occurred a day or two ago. He thought of departing immediately, but the queen detains him to give him a masque on Wednesday next. Meanwhile he goes about reconciling many who were dissatisfied and forming the queen's household. Some subordinates have already been appointed at his request, and he has obtained permission for two Oratorian fathers, already in her service, to remain, though according to the new agreement they are excluded with the Jesuits. In short I foresee that Bassompierre will depart with his business unfinished, Goring will be sent as ambassador extraordinary to France, a courtier but not a man of birth and without distinguishing qualities; that this plaster will not heal the wound unless the peccant humours are purged, and you may rest assured that the adjustment is superficial, not hearty and general; that nothing is effected unless the maritime disputes are settled, and that all seek to gain time on account of the present disturbances and want of money, which are common to both countries. Meanwhile the tone of the Court has changed, especially the duke, harshness giving way to affability, artifice to good offices, strife to trust. Buckingham having taken the first step is intent solely on a thorough agreement with France, of whom he is somewhat suspicious by reason of past events, nor does he omit paying every possible honour to Bassompierre, who on his side takes every opportunity to assure him of French reciprocity, to maintain him in favour with the queen, and to reconcile him to his estranged friends, including the Earl of Carlisle, who had taken offence, as I wrote.
Last Sunday Buckingham gave a grand banquet and entertainment to the king, queen and Bassompierre, the service and devices being magnificent. The cost is said to have exceeded 20,000 crowns. Buckingham himself danced, as he excels in posturing and agility. The king and all passed a great part of the night very familiarly and with great delight. They say the ambassador will receive similar entertainment from the English noblemen who have been to France. Meanwhile they are presenting him with a number of horses. They say the king also is preparing presents for him to the amount of 6,000l. sterling in jewels.
In matters of state I do not observe that they think any more of Soubise. The twenty ships which were fitted out are dispersed. They intend to regulate the ten regiments in England, reducing them to three, measures adopted, as is well known, to cause apprehension to the French and ensure their protestations.
Thus do affairs here change their aspect from day to day, so that I dare not promise to confirm in my next what has been settled hitherto, and this because what the Council decrees the duke changes to suit his interest, without any reason but that of self will.
London, the 20th November, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
35. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Calandrini has departed for Holland. He takes drafts for the payment and passage of the English troops to Denmark, all four regiments going in that service, this being the fourth time that the government has changed its mind in the matter. Should the four regiments not muster 6,000 strong, as I believe, the colonels may recruit in Great Britain and meanwhile not delay the passage.
The command was given to Lord Willoughby, but he seems to have refused it on account of his domestic affairs, and the appointment will be given to the Earl of Essex, who is already in the Netherlands, not with the rank of General but as senior colonel.
Calandrini has received letters under the great and privy seals for the sale of the jewels formerly pledged at Amsterdam for 300,000 florins and the king has presented him with a diamond worth 300 crowns.
A gentleman has arrived from Denmark with assurances of the king's zeal for the common cause; that he has raised fresh troops; at the last muster there were 19,000 men under arms, including some 8,000 horse, besides the garrisons. He persists in his demands for succour, protests that if it is not granted he will make terms for himself, and finally charges his ambassador to go forthwith and make similar remonstrances at the French court. He has already taken leave of the king and queen and will take with him letters for the Most Christian and the queen mother. He hopes that the coincidence of this last adjustment and the 6,000 men sent to Denmark may produce some good effect; so Bassompierre's good offices have again been canvassed.
Within the last few days I have seen the Danish ambassador twice, in acknowledgment of his coming to tell me of his journey. I gather that he will make these remonstrances and protest that his master is compelled to make terms for himself unless assisted, as he cannot possibly bear the whole burden single handed. He will make some allusion to France's former promise to make a diversion with an army in Germany, having copies of letters written to his king on the subject, but as the French declare, alas, that they neither can nor will break openly with the House of Austria, he will limit his demands, press for some pecuniary help and quote as an example the 6,000 English sent to his master. He asked me to give him letters for your Serenity's ambassador, to help him manage his business, and I could not well refuse. He said a similar despatch was destined for your Serenity, whereupon I showed that your zeal for the public cause could not be more fervid, as shown by your action and expenditure, hinting adroitly that this office was unnecessary while alluding to the very heavy pledges already given by you. He thinks of leaving in two days and will travel post, he tells me. I have not failed to send word to your Serenity's ministers at the French Court.
As the City of London insisted on the employment of the 20 ships, already fitted out at great cost, the Dutch ambassador has obtained permission for ten of them to join the Dutch fleet, which had been destined to join the English, under Admiral Real, a man of fair experience, who will command the whole twenty or twenty-five, and is ordered to cruise off the coast of Spain; from whence it is announced that the 3,000 soldiers originally intended for Dunkirk are scattered over the country. The rest of the English ships will serve as convoy for the merchandise bound for Hamburg, Scotland, the Netherlands and other parts.
The ambassador from Gabor and the gentleman from Baden still remain, not only without the despatch of their business but without its making any progress. They have made some attempt to send off the former with a mere letter for his master containing promises and encouragement. The ambassador did not refuse to transmit it, but said he would take it himself, pressing for a final decision about being received into the league or no. Lord Carleton, one of the commissioners to whom I casually imparted the news of Transylvania and Germany, assures me he will be despatched with a satisfactory reply. All the foreign ministers proclaim the importance of Gabor's movements and how much they may contribute to the relief of Germany. But some think that England has no great mind to spend money in that quarter. I may add here that Carleton, by the king's command, asked me to let him see my advices from Spain and Germany, telling me in confidence that his Majesty gets none from thence but what are very prejudiced. Should your Excellencies think fit to give orders for a few separate extracts to be compiled at Venice from similar advices, with such remarks as may be deemed most useful for the public cause, to stimulate this government, and in such wise that they might even reach the king's hands confidentially, as if received by me from some correspondent, without compromising the name of the republic, I think they might be of service.
In the provinces they are actively continuing the demands for money, but as yet, I fancy, with various results, as some seem ready while others refuse, though they have not yet begun collecting, the king apparently wishing, first of all to make sure of the assent and subscription of everybody. Should things turn out well a great point will have been gained. At the worst his Majesty will get some thousands of pounds, having promised the Danish ambassador to supply 100,000l. before Christmas, I believe with the object of giving more impetus to the French, who have always excused themselves on the plea that England who is so deeply interested does nothing. But now through this conjuncture of the Danish ambassador's mission to France, of Bassompierre's adjustment and the despatch of the 6,000 English we shall see what Germany may expect from France, and once for all their intention must be made manifest to everybody.
Concerning the suspicions of Scotland, nothing more is heard beyond what I wrote. The Earl of Denbigh, the duke's brother-in-law and father-in-law of the Marquis of Hamilton, is trying hard to induce his son-in-law to return. They say he will go to Scotland himself on purpose, but the report is unfounded as he might be maltreated. From what I hear they do not find substantial charges against the Chancellor of Scotland.
They have decided to form the ten regiments into four and reduce them into regiments of Guards, as in France, the reformed colonels and officers being allowed a certain yearly stipend. The execution is delayed for want of money. It is thought that assignments for the arrears will be made upon church property, several bishoprics having been vacant a long while and no successors nominated.
I understand that the government has intercepted letters written by a certain religious to Rome, in which it is said that the Bishop of Calcedon, the Primate of the Kingdom, who is here, has a hand. The letters related the maltreatment of the Catholics here and their despair, and promised that should some public act, excommunication or release from the oath of allegiance be sent from Rome, an important insurrection would break out. The priest is already in prison, the case is being examined and he will be brought to justice, the government having refused to include him in the general release of all the Catholic religious now in prison, granted to Bassompierre, who received some hint of his offences and readily consented to the exception, telling me in an undertone that they had already discovered this to be a Spanish plot with the object of making a disturbance in the kingdom over religion, according to their invariable custom. The discovery of the plot will perhaps confirm the king in his favourable bias towards the common weal of Europe.
London, the 20th November, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.36. To the most Excellent SIMEONE CONTARINI and GIORGIO ZORZI, Venetian Ambassadors in Paris.
Letter of introduction for his Excellency Paller Rosencrandz, ambassador extraordinary of Denmark, who has been in England several months and hopes for their assistance in his negotiations in France.
ALVISE CONTARINI.
London, the 20th November, 1626.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
37. The English ambassador was summoned to the Collegio and the deliberation of the Senate of (fn. 3) being read to him, he spoke as follows:
I thank the Senate warmly for the reply read to me. I rejoice at the steadfastness of the republic in supporting the public cause. I am most satisfied, and my king and the princes on his side will always make a point of ruling their course by the maxims of this wise government. I will take the points of the answer one by one. The Grisons, I know, will stand firm in requiring better conditions, and the interposition of your Serenity and others interested in their welfare will help them to open the ears of the prince, whom the truth has not reached in this matter. If your Serenity will admit me more into your confidence about the Margrave of Baden, I have the support ready which I mentioned. I also understand the republic's intentions to support the Prince of Transylvania and rejoice at it. His agent at Constantinople has assured my king's ambassador that he will certainly move and has already made his arrangements. I also learn from Constantinople that that prince has not only secured the reversion of that principality to his bride, but obtained a promise of all the assistance he may desire from that quarter. I shall take it as a great favour if your Serenity will inform me whether the promises of such movements are confirmed in deed, as it will greatly assist my king.
The doge replied: We rejoice at your Excellency's satisfaction with the Senate's answer. We have always shown great zeal, and we enjoy the appreciation of others. The republic certainly will not fail whenever an opening occurs, especially in the interests of his Majesty. The ambassador expressed his thanks and took leave and in the hall of the Pregadi he took notes of the office. At his request they sent for and read to him an abstract of the advices of Gabor received from Germany; he seemed particularly pleased, arguing that better progress would ensue.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Henry de Vic. See the preceding vol. of this Calendar, page 567.
2 Nicolas Boet.
3 Blank in the M.S. It obviously refers to the deliberation of the 19th, No. 29, at page 18 above.