Venice
December 1626, 1-10

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1914

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37-50

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'Venice: December 1626, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 37-50. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89109 Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


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December 1626

Dec. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
54. To the Ambassadors in France, England and the States.
Enclosed letters from Bailo of the 1st ult. show what is taking place at the Porte about Hungary and Gabor, the decisions of the Turks, and a conversation between the Bailo and the French and Dutch ambassadors about the pirates. This is for information and to use as our service requires, and to find out his Majesty's decision about the pirates, to guide our own decisions.
Ayes, 115.Noes, 3.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
55. To the Ambassador in England.
From the enclosed exposition of the Ambassador Wake you will observe his satisfaction with our reply to what he brought forward at his first audience. You will see that we have satisfied his desire to be advised of the affairs of Transylvania, and we shall always do so in the future when we have anything which we know they would like to hear, and which will serve to cherish confidence. Thus we enclose herewith an abstract from Germany. Yours of the 23rd ult. inform us of your conversations with the Danish ambassador and your prudent suggestions to the extraordinary of France and the English ministers about a reconciliation between the two crowns. We are entirely satisfied with all this. You already have sufficient authority for the sending of despatches, and despite the military operations in Germany and Flanders, the way seems open to couriers, and we imagine it will remain so, as, otherwise, the inconvenience would be mutual.
Ayes, 125.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
56. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the other Courts.
M. della Salodia, who has returned from France to the Marquis of Coure, has brought express commissions from the king not to proceed any further in the treaty until the forts have been rased and the article about the tribute adjusted. When the marquis told the governor, he was incensed, as if France meant to withdraw from the treaty. He said he had no authority to define the tribute and if the people of the Grisons and the Valtelline did not agree to submit to the decision of the two crowns, things will remain in suspense. At the same time the Grisons have refused to accept the terms; they have told Preo so much and have written to us as enclosed. Bitterness is growing. The French say their king is sending 200,000 crowns to the valley to strengthen his force. As we do not know for what to prepare, we wish to inform you of the present state of affairs, so that you may continue your confidences in interviews, and show how the heavy expenses of the republic continue.
Ayes, 107.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
57. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the other Courts.
With the arrival of Captain Bernardin Rota at Zara on the 22nd ult. our Proveditore General in Dalmatia heard of the coming of the Count of Mansfelt to Venice by that route, accompanied by many captains, by a baron of the Prince of Transylvania and Alel Aga, a Turk.
The reasons for this step of the count may well arouse the consideration of the princes who are most interested in his support, but they cannot be known by us, as we have not been advised beforehand.
A few days will suffice to throw light upon this, and in the meantime we have sent you this news for information, so that in case of provocation you may not appear ignorant of an established fact, for this would generate mistrust and arouse injurious suspicions.
To England add:
We send the enclosed abstract of advices from Germany and Constantinople to use with such regard to their contents as your prudence will suggest.
To Spain, Milan, Naples, Florence without the second paragraph.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
58. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bassompierre departed two days ago. Last Sunday he took leave of the king, who with his own hand gave him four diamonds and a large pearl, valued generally at from 8,000 to 10,000 crowns, these jewels having been taken from the crown. He was accompanied as far as Gravesend by the royal barges, which stopped there without boarding him or going further. A Genoese gentleman of the Fiesco family (fn. 1) who came with him from France was presented with a diamond in the king's name, who had known him in Spain. They did all they could to detain Bassompierre, wishing strongly that he should first entirely adjust affairs and above all the shipping business. He always excused himself on the plea that he must be present at the assembly in Paris which is summoned for the 15th inst., and that he will do all he can to obtain satisfaction for the English ambassador, who is to be sent to France. He also foresees that should this matter not be adjusted, all the others fall to the ground, and the concessions made for the queen's satisfaction may, through a bad return, be vitiated in the execution and annulled. All this causes a bad impression such as is easily aroused by the antipathy between the two nations.
They had promised Bassompierre to desist from persecuting the Catholics and to grant him the release of fifteen or twenty priests who are in prison; but the patents were not made out before his departure and have consequently remained without effect as yet.
He has left his secretary, Moulins, in London, late in the service of the Count of Tillières, with orders to seek performance of the promise, but the distrust is increased by the recent seizure of four English ships bound with merchandise to La Rochelle. The merchants concerned in them and in the general embargo upon English property are to-day in the Council clamouring for letters of marque to fit out privateers against the French. I understand that they have been refused or at least the decision is deferred until France's decision upon the negotiations of the ambassador extraordinary, who will discuss the matter there; though to satisfy them to some extent it was decided to sequestrate the property of French subjects here in like manner. The order is written but not yet signed by the king, perhaps in order to allow Bassompierre to proceed on his journey for a few days and not put this affront upon him while in England.
From these premises your Excellencies will see that unless this shipping question is adjusted all the others will remain useless, and had the French chosen I feel sure it would have taken a better turn here than in Paris, the tide of the other matters carrying this along with them. All the difficulties consist in this, that the English insist first of all upon the removal of the embargo in France, as a hostile act contrary to the convention between the two kingdoms, which absolutely prohibits the seizure of property and vessels in warehouses and harbours as reprisals for the capture of ships, especially before the Admiralty Court has decided whether they are good prizes or not. The French, on the other hand, want the original aggressor to give the first satisfaction, and the matter to be dealt with at their Court for reputation's sake, nor do they mean to furnish proofs in England that the property is really theirs, for it is only too true that the capital of Spanish subjects circulates in trade under French names. The affair would not be difficult if they would only arrange it in gross, leaving aside niceties, but unless they find remedies for the future a settlement will avail nothing and we shall remain in the same plight.
Before Bassompierre departed a gentleman (fn. 2) arrived from France, despatched by the queen mother to her daughter, to congratulate her, I believe, on the adjustment. He saluted the duke in the name of the Bishop of Mandes, adding that he wished to be in his good graces and so forth. The duke took this amiss, rather as a jest than a mark of esteem, especially after the recent reconciliation. He replied contemptuously that he did not care about him, whereupon Bassompierre, who was present, made some rejoinder, it being very important for him to stand well with Richelieu, who is Mandes' uncle. Not the slightest shadow of disagreement, however, has manifested itself between them; on the contrary Bassompierre has highly commended the duke's behaviour to him on every occasion, and with reason, for he alone overruled the king and the whole Council, at least in the manner of the adjustment if not in the realisation.
I do not know how far the king approves of these French proceedings, above all of such as regard the sea. He gave it to be understood very freely that he had again made concessions for the satisfaction of the queen out of consideration for his brother-in-law and to oblige friendly powers and the whole world, but not on compulsion or as a precedent for other affairs, he caring but little for the friendship of the French when they think to intimidate or play with him and not to reciprocate on equal terms.
Other members of the Council with whom I conversed when visiting them are of opinion that this shipping business cannot be arranged until the English have enough French property in their hands to balance the amount of English merchandise seized in France, and on this ground I believe they determined to issue decrees for the sequestration of French goods in this country.
Bassompierre came to take leave here at the Venetian embassy and I paid the customary return visit. In the course of these two conferences I elicited the confirmation of what I wrote in my previous despatches. After the queen's adjustment he spoke to the duke about his present position, the state of this kingdom, the want of money, the difficulty of finding any and the reports in circulation of missions to Brussels and elsewhere, indicating a wish for peace, in which case he offered the mediation of his king to render it fitting and honourable. He told me he performed this office conversationally, to show his interest in the duke's welfare, to discover the intentions of England and in order that at any rate his king might be the arbitrator and have one eye on affairs here and the other on the interests of his friends, assuring me, however, that he had no commission for this. I suggested something of an embassy to Germany about the Palatinate. He replied that before he left the French Court, the ministry there anticipating a rupture with England or at least that the two crowns would be on bad terms, had determined to send him to Germany, France adhering to the proposals of Bavaria already mentioned by me; but that affairs here being now adjusted they did not know what their present intentions would be. He added in an undertone that even were the embassy revived they would consider the Palatinate. This confirms what I had already discovered.
He also told me that with regard to Bavaria's proposals and the Most Christian's intention to declare himself chief of the Catholic and Lutheran League in the empire, he discussed both matters with some of the councillors here to learn their opinions, and many of them expressed approval even though the protection of the Palatine was apparently renounced, believing that the distress of Germany is so intense that despair may produce some relief. I understood, however, perhaps from the very persons to whom Bassompierre spoke, that their object is to interest the French in Germany, all the princes there to encourage this to the utmost and to let them enter by the easiest road, even should it prove prejudicial. About the proposals to mediate for peace with Spain, Bassompierre added that the duke stated the King of England was very averse to it; that he could make terms whenever he pleased, but would not until he had first performed some feat; he knew the Spaniards could do him no harm, though he could injure them were his affairs in rather better order; he will not desert his sister; he hopes to get money shortly; the disturbances in Scotland have been quieted and so forth, indicating his aversion to the proposal, though thanking him for his courteous offers.
These ideas agree with what the Dutch ambassador and I have frequently gathered from confidants; but they are at variance with the duke's interests and with general report at the Court, notwithstanding which they will serve as a light and sign, nor will I relax my vigilance.
For the rest Bassompierre made me the most courteous offers to serve the republic at the French Court, professing especial respect for the Signory. I assured him of your Excellencies' great esteem of his extraordinary ability and his sound opinions, already proved on several occasions, enhancing the glory of his sovereign and benefitting the public cause.
He made some allusion to the Valtelline, apologising for the decision, taken on the plea of suspicions at home. He blamed the last agreement made by Fargis to consign the fortresses to the Catholics of the Valtelline or to the Spaniards themselves, representing him to me as an impetuous and imprudent man, who is very easily caught in the Spanish snares, as instanced, he said, by the last overtures promoted by him for peace with England, which I reported and which Bassompierre had heard of. He assured me that both these faults lacked the support of any orders from the Most Christian, and on this account he may be superseded by Rambouillet, of whom the account given here is not much better. In reply I thanked him for the confidence, urging him to extend it to his Excellency Zorzi, with whose abilities I sought to impress him. I said the republic's constant sincerity towards France merited reciprocity and the confidence of a true friend. The history of the past showed this, but recently in the League no possible offices were omitted for the common weal. The utmost sincerity was observed in the negotiations and the republic referred everything to the Most Christian's prudence. After the treaty they also wished to regulate money matters, an important question which forms the basis of other resolves. I took this opportunity of speaking thus, as owing to his rivalry with the Marquis of Coure it may be profitable, and I found him well intentioned. Meanwhile, I will communicate the whole to his Excellency Zorzi.
Bassompierre has certainly given satisfaction at the English Court. He is a well-mannered gentleman, talks much, is by no means impetuous, wishes for the good opinion of the Spaniards as much as of the other powers, prides himself on the glory of his past successful negotiations, although but slightly fortunate in their execution, and the same may be apprehended for this last transaction as for the former ones.
London, the 4th December, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
59. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Before his departure for France, which took place last Sunday, the Danish ambassador had audience of the king, presenting letters from his master complaining bitterly of the vacillating counsels of England about helping him. The style displeased the king, who, indeed, took occasion to complain to the ambassador of his having made similar statements and been a minister of distrust between him and his uncle. The minister did not deny having written in this sense, because contradictory resolutions had been announced to him in his Majesty's name; excusing himself on the plea of being bound to act sincerely by his natural sovereign, as he would were he the subject of his Majesty. The king rejoined: You wrote besides that this assistance of ours had slight foundation and that without parliament we could not continue it or obtain money. The ambassador said he did not remember what he had written, but if questioned by his master he would give a good account of his proceedings, having no further responsibility.
The audience in short was passed in these and similar complaints, which were, however, adjusted without offence, and we have discovered universally that this was the cause of the silence which gave suspicion and umbrage to the Court with regard to the peace negotiations. I therefore confirm what I wrote, as besides this ebullition the king granted the levy of 6,000 Scots under Lord Speim, brother of the Earl of Murton, who declined it (fn. 3) . Colonel Vere, likewise by favour, has been exempted from serving in Denmark and in his stead they have sent patents to Colonel Morgan, now employed in the Netherlands and the best of all the English soldiers, so it is suspected that the United Provinces will not willingly deprive themselves of such an able officer; but the Dutch ambassador asserts that the English government will not be thwarted, to avoid the charge of any hindrance which might otherwise be laid to the account of his masters. Lord Willoughby has ceded his regiment to Morgan, who will have the title of colonel commandant, but not of general, a title odious to Germany, and which would cause disturbance by reason of the solemn oath taken by all the princes there to oppose the employment of foreign troops not dependent on the Germans. He will have the command of the four English regiments already appointed, and also of the 6,000 Scots, who are to be levied and transported at the cost of the King of England, which is, however, to be deducted from his promised contribution to the League of Denmark. But their appointed colonel seems averse to obey Morgan and serve under him, as he has never hitherto exercised any extraordinary charge.
The merchant Calandrini, after at least four attempts to cross the sea, has been obliged to put back and is now in London, the wind having been contrary for three whole weeks. Despite this, by way of Brussels and the French ambassador there, the orders for the four regiments were transmitted, so there is no longer any doubt of their dismissal according to the assurance given by the United Provinces, although every one believes that the weather will prevent their passage to Denmark until the ice thaws again, and here there is no slight apprehension of what may become of them, the last supply of money only sufficing to the middle of February next. Even should the United Provinces not dismiss them, a question would certainly arise between the two kings, the English pretending that the cost of their maintenance throughout the winter is to be passed to the credit of England on account of the contributions, while the Danes may object to this on the plea of not having received any service from them. Despite this it seems to me that through the opportunity afforded by Calandrini's presence here they are in close negotiation for a remittance of 100,000l. to be made to Denmark by the middle of next month, this sum and a yet larger one having been promised though not yet paid by the subscribers to the five subsidies.
To-day there returned from the Netherlands the Earl of Essex, who commands one of the four English regiments aforesaid; he will perhape make some complaint because their command was not given to him, as senior colonel, and should a declaration not be made in his favour, as probable by reason of the indifferent terms on which he is with the duke, he will resign his colonelcy.
During the last few days Gabor's ambassador has negotiated constantly with the commissioners. I imagine the affair has been practically adjusted between them on the following terms, although they are not yet signed: that Gabor shall be received into the League so far as concerns his Majesty; that his name will be included like that of the other allied princes in every clause of the confederacy, for mutual treaties of peace, truces, suspension of hostilities, as in everything else throughout, precisely as in the agreement made last year at the Hague, of which I sent a copy; that this new form of agreement and supplement will be signed by his Majesty; and the ambassador, on his return, will also see to its being signed by the King of Denmark and the United Provinces. With regard to the 40,000 rix dollars, the King of Denmark having disbursed 30,000 in a single payment, his Majesty will pay 14,000l. at Constantinople in the month of May; that both these sums shall be deducted from the quota assignable to one and the other of the two kings, about which in the meanwhile an adjustment will be negotiated by common consent of all the allies, and I believe with the intention of including other powers also if possible. That Gabor shall be assisted by 14,000 Germans, a condition already fulfilled by Mansfelt's reinforcement. That Gabor will bind himself to wage war against the oppressors of the liberty of Germany and against the House of Austria and its adherents. Here they wished especial mention to be made of the Duke of Bavaria, but the ambassador excused himself on the plea of having no commission to that effect, although he gave an oral assurance that his master has no detached interest in this affair. That the king will order his ambassador at Constantinople to use his good offices so that the Turks may aid rather than impede the movements of that prince. What has been negotiated hitherto is in the aforesaid terms, as I have seen the document myself. I hope that the result will correspond with it, though for this I will not vouch, as indeed, I do but too much regret the frequent and inopportune changes of this government. I also understand that the king purposes to acquaint me with this matter when it is settled, perhaps with the intention of inducing me to make some demand, but being forewarned I shall perhaps avert it. In the meantime the Dutch ambassador complains, and not without reason, of not having been invited to take part in this business in which his masters are so deeply interested.
The gentleman from Baden has departed with a very ample patent, whereby the king promises to aid the Margrave with 4,000 foot and 1,000 horse, paid by his Majesty, to be employed expressly for the relief of Germany. I am told that this has satisfied the gentleman, as the promises of your Serenity and Savoy were to follow the example of England. He has proclaimed this, and thus it is believed here, as I wrote many weeks ago, though I am still in the dark about the facts, though I may add that they intend to give some orders on the subject to the Ambassador Wake. In this case it will help your Excellencies to know that the only satisfaction his suit obtained here was a handsome patent and a big seal, without money or remittances as yet.
For some days past a gentleman from the King of Sweden has been at Brussels about ships and trade. The Infanta offered him to negotiate a general peace with the emperor and the King of Poland, and amongst the other conditions the Pole will renounce all his claims on Sweden and her dependencies. I do not believe that this mine will take effect, at any rate warnings are useful and the notice will serve to compare with any further news which may have reached your Excellencies much earlier.
The eight Dunkirk ships, which separated, as mentioned in my preceding despatch, all steered the same course towards Spain, being followed by Admiral Nassau with twenty-two Dutchmen. Among the latter are comprised those of Admiral Real, who is here in London to learn the designs of the English, and will then proceed to the Isle of Wight, where his whole squadron is to find him on its return to Spain. The Dutch ambassador spoke about this to the duke, who, though he at first offered the ten ships fitted out by the city of London with four royal ships besides, now seems to draw back from fear of France. This is increased by the news that three big galleons, purchased and fitted out at Amsterdam, have entered the service of the Most Christian king. It is impossible to narrate the trouble of this minister, for in one and the same business he has to unsay three or four times what has been written and promised; but he will not press the matter much, as he is glad to see the force, although a small one, under an efficient commander, and relieved from disputes with the English about precedence and prizes. It is confirmed that the aforesaid Dunkirkers propose giving convoy to 2,000 foot from Biscay and a considerable sum of ready money for Flanders, which will cause the Dutch to look the more sharply after them.
In Scotland matters are practically adjusted, the decree for the annexation of the Church property to the crown having been repealed as usual. I wrote previously about this business and that it affected the interests of the whole Scottish nobility, by whom I understand the Marquis of Hamilton has been received with much honour.
I have received the ducal missives of the 5th and 6th November with orders about the demands of the French ambassador. I will not make use of them unless roused to do so, and with such reserve as befits the prudence of the State.
Concerning the negotiations of Bassompierre, I performed such offices as I reported, without showing myself either a partisan or distrustful, but preserving a confidential neutrality, especially with Buckingham. Upon the other affairs your Excellencies will already have learned what is essential from the foregoing letters.
London, the 4th December, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
60. SIMON CONTARINI and ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have discovered that the cardinal nuncio here has spoken to Richelieu several times these last weeks at St. Germain, by order of the pope, I believe, of a league against the heretics, between his Holiness, Caesar, the Catholic King, the Most Christian and the Duke of Bavaria. Richelieu seemed to incline to this idea in order to bring those forces against England, towards whom they bear no good will at present, owing to recent events.
I hear that the Duke of Bavaria has sent a Capuchin friar (fn. 4) here to treat of the same subject. What arrangements they may have come to I cannot discover, but seeing the favourable turn taken by the English business, owing to the prudence of Bassompierre, who may be back here soon, I do not believe that this idea will make any progress, though it may easily generate suspicion, seeing that they say one thing here to-day and do something quite different the next.
Paris, the 4th December, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
61. GEROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Margrave of Baden was at Basel and spent a day in cheerful discussion with the rulers there. He seems very hopeful, and believes the Palatine will be reinstated and his own fortunes improved. I hear he had some secret negotiations there, possibly for some assistance to help him collect a powerful force with England's help, seeing that the Ambassador Wake has confirmed to your Serenity his king's help to that prince.
Zurich, the 4th December, 1626.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
62. To the Proveditore of Zante.
You have done quite right in discovering the monopolies and harmful arrangements contrived by the English and Flemish merchants living in that island and Cephalonia in buying currants; you will proceed to punish the guilty and take steps to prevent such abuses in the future.
We approve your diligence about the export of oil, contrary to our express instructions, and we feel sure that you will overcome all difficulties in carrying out our instructions and preventing the frauds whereby the same English and Flemish merchants, by connivance with the vendors, endeavour to export oil, and we are satisfied that you will prevent this smuggling. If you inflict an exemplary punishment upon one, the others will doubtless give over.
Ayes, 138.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
63. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
We enclose a letter of the Proveditore of Zante of the 8th ult. about the arrangements made by English and Flemish merchants for currants; you will take measures to destroy such monopolies, and you will punish offenders, seeing that no proprietor is compelled to sell his currants or other goods according to the wishes of others. You will inform us speedily of what steps you take in this matter so that if necessary we may add further orders.
Ayes, 138.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Dec. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
64. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are not pleased here at the news of the adjustment between the two crowns brought about by Bassompierre, although the duke expressed his pleasure outwardly, because they hoped that these disputes would compel France to treat the affairs of this house with more application and suavity.
The Huguenots are restive and the capture by Soubise of a ship under the eyes of Tours, governor of Re and Oleron, may arouse fresh quarrels. He withdrew with his prize to English waters.
Turin, the 7th December, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
65. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him:
When your Excellency previously spoke to us for the Margrave of Baden we commended his Majesty's zeal, expressed our good will and pointed out what our forces had effected by way of a diversion, showing that we could not undertake further expenditure. We afterwards learned that a letter had gone to Denmark reporting our promises to the Margrave of Baden. As these have no foundation in fact some doubts may be cast upon our straightforwardness. We have recently sent some one to that prince to express the same views which we stated to your Excellency at your first audience. You fully agreed with these and we need not repeat them.
With regard to the Grisons, the disposition of the republic is constant, and they show their gratitude. Your Excellency has had opportunities for seeing that we remain always the same towards them and we are sure you will bear witness of this to his Majesty.
Ayes, 130.Noes, 3.Neutral, 13.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
66. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke substantially as follows:
The Margrave of Baden having sent M. Boetto (fn. 5) to your Serenity consigned to him letters for me at the same time. These contain two leading points. One I will carry out promptly as instructed by my sovereign, about the assistance arranged between him and the Duke of Savoy, when I passed that way, when he should take up arms for the common cause; the other that I should warmly urge your Excellencies to do the like, so that you may co-operate in this good work with your usual prudence and generosity, in the manner suggested by his agent, who arrived here recently. On the first point I may say that I should be most ready to carry out my master's orders if I were assured that all the parties and especially the most serene republic would carry out the proposals of the margrave, and I would willingly bear my share of the cost, as I have the funds in hand. Upon the second I beg your Serenity to allow me to say a word or two, to point out the advantages of such a resolution. You know full well the present state of affairs in the Valtelline, and the precipice to which the one who claims before all others to protect the Grisons has been brought. Thus as the Perugians after a great defeat, when asked what peace they desired, said Give us a good one that will be lasting and not a bad one which will leave us worse off than before, we may appropriately consider the danger and certainty of further trouble from the peace arranged by the Most Christian with such harmful terms prejudicing the interests of the Grisons as well as of the allies, a truth proved by that oracle of Christendom, the Venetian Senate, which with its customary prudence refused to ratify this agreement made without its being consulted. Granting this I have little more to say on the subject. War is like the game of Pallone, where every one tries to keep the ball in the air and when it comes to send it as far as possible to the other side, as it is wise to keep the conflagration as far as possible from one's own house. The diversion suggested by the margrave affords the best chance of this and it will greatly benefit this province and the important affairs of Germany, thus killing two birds with one stone. Enough upon this subject.
I will take this opportunity to remark that I have also received letters from the Grisons advising me of the meeting of their communes and their resolutions in reply to the Ambassador di Breo, who with great ability strove to convince them. They seem most determined to perish rather than accept the treaty, and for this the ambassador has left Chur for Solothurn to meet the diet summoned in Baden, where their ambassadors will assist, and if they remain determined they will be sent at once to the Most Christian to explain their position. They beg your Serenity to direct your representatives in France to help them and have asked me to make similar representations to my sovereign to do the like, as I have done.
The doge answered: The agent of the Margrave of Baden has been here recently with letters of credence, but he did not enter upon the business of his mission as the hour was too late to allow him to enter upon any details. He was again introduced yesterday, and the Senate will decide what answer they will give him. The interests of the Grisons are very dear to the republic, and we shall certainly let slip no chance of helping them, as we have always done.
The ambassador said he would say no more to avoid becoming tedious, and so took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Dec. 10.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
67. The English ambassador was summoned to the Collegio and the Senate's deliberation of yesterday was read to him, he said:
I learn the Senate's decision not to entertain for the moment the proposals and requests of the Margrave of Baden, either because your Serenity does not consider them so advantageous to yourselves and the general service as others imagine, or because you do not consider the present moment favourable. I am not here to act as advocate for that prince. I gave my king full information about his approaches at Turin to his Highness, your Serenity's ambassador and myself, and although he was committed to heavy expenditure in offensive and defensive operations both by sea and land, yet out of his zeal for the public weal he promised effective assistance and the necessary funds with the sole condition that your Serenity should take your share, as the margrave reported in our Court you intended to do, so that my cause depended upon the action of the most serene republic, and I could do nothing until I heard your decision. I hear it now for the first time and it suffices, as my king cannot bear the burden alone. The margrave must wait for a better opportunity. I will speak to his agent to this effect. Your Serenity will appreciate this fresh sign of my king's confidence in abiding by your prudent decisions. In the office read to me, I fancy I understood something about a letter to the King of Denmark, with advices of promises to be given to Baden by your Serenity, but I have no information about this and my king knows nothing of it, so neither he nor his ministers are concerned to clear themselves, though the margrave's ministers may be, as those who are hard pressed may easily take good intentions for promises.
With the abandonment of this opening for a diversion for the Austrian and Spanish arms I feel sure that your Excellencies will communicate to me those things which may concern the serious interests of the king and the resolutions of those princes where he cannot have ministers or even correspondence, and especially that you will tell me if, notwithstanding the open repugnance of the Grisons, they will agree to settle their affairs at all costs, and in such case if the powers will remove their forces from Italy to where the Spaniards mean to press, so that his Majesty may know what to do and take the steps necessary for the security of his own realms and his own scattered forces.
The doge replied: The most serene republic has always professed the most friendly relations with the crown of Great Britain and taken every opportunity of displaying this, especially with the present monarch, and we beg your Excellency to assure his Majesty of this. You have heard the decision of the Senate about the Margrave of Baden, and how through our very heavy and continuous expenditure many princes and especially those of Baden have enjoyed as much advantage from diversions as could be desired. As regards the advices which your Excellency desires, whenever we have any news which we consider affects his Majesty's interests, we shall not fail to communicate it in the most confidential manner. At this the ambassador thanked his Serenity and went away.
Most Serene Lord,
We send to your Serenity Colonel Boetto to treat of matters concerning the general weal. We beg you to give him credence in the matters he advances by our instructions, which we will ratify as if we had acted ourselves, and doubtless your Serenity will take the course that the present circumstances require. We pray that God will grant the republic all prosperity.
Your devoted friend and servant,
THE MARGRAVE OF BADEN.
Dated at our castle of Röthlem, the 5/15 October, 1626.
Most Serene Prince,
My master sent me to Turin in the middle of last July to point out to the Duke of Savoy and the ambassadors of England and your Serenity the excellent opportunity presented in Upper Germany against the Imperialists or Spaniards, to facilitate the operations of the King of Denmark and Count Mansfeld and create a diversion there until the forces of your Serenity and Savoy should gain an advantage over their enemies in Italy and the Valtelline. In this the King of England would support 5,000 foot and 1,000 horse under my master for six months, the republic would do the like and the duke as much as he could. His Highness promised this, and the English ambassador asked for time to send my proposal to England. Your Excellencies' ambassadors, Morosini and Pesaro, told me that the initiative lay with the King of England as being the most deeply interested in these affairs of Germany, but if he did what was asked they did not doubt but that the republic would do its share, and I might assure my master of their good will. Accordingly, I returned home with this hope, eagerly awaiting the decision of the King of England, which has proved what was desired, subject to your Serenity doing the like. The Duke of Savoy abides firmly by his original decision and it only remains for your Serenity to decide. My master has sent me to beg your Serenity to contribute as much as England, considering how deeply the republic is interested and that if the House of Austria subdues Germany the republic will suffer more than others. By helping my master you will keep the war away from your own confines and therefore you will not have to maintain so many troops in Italy, and you will therefore be able to pay for the troops for which we ask. By granting this request you will lay not only Baden but all the other German princes allied with him under an obligation. In order to lose no time, which is most important, I beg your Serenity to consider my proposal and give me a favourable and definite answer as soon as possible.
Your most humble servant,
NICHOLAS BOET.
Venice, the 8th December, 1626.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Don Agostino Fiesco. Bassompierre: Journal de ma Vie, ed. Chantérac, vol. iii, page 267.
2 La Guette. Bassompierre: Journal de ma Vie, ed. Chantérac, vol. iii, page 277.
3 The Earl of Morton and Alexander Lindsay, second Lord Spynie were uterine brothers. Their mother Jean Lyon, married three times (1) Robert Douglas, Earl of Morton, (2) Archibald, third Earl of Angus, (3) Alexander Lindsay, first Lord Spyn ie. Paul: The Scots Peerage, vol. vi, page 375.
4 Zacharia Boueria of Soluzzo, who went in place of Hyacinth. Negotiations de M. de Bassompierre. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 30651, fol. 360.
5 Nicolas Boet.