Venice
March 1627, 19-29

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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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151-165

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'Venice: March 1627, 19-29', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 151-165. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89117 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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March 1627

March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
176. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the duke's arrival at Newmarket the king's Privy Council assembled several times, and after discussing the disputes with France, the danger to which the Huguenots are exposed, the detriment caused to England by the French naval reinforcements, showing open distrust of the king and necessarily causing suspicion, they announced the overtures received from Brussels for fresh movements, and to induce the king to adopt them more readily, they placed upon the carpet the withdrawal of your Serenity and Gabor and the disregard of the Turks for Germany, to prove that he alone remained practically isolated. The king declared himself not averse from entering upon negotiations with the Spaniards, provided the terms were honourable, that the Dutch assent to them and that they combine the interests of the Princes Palatine. His Majesty's reply, which comprises matters of very difficult attainment, is a confirmation of what I wrote about his antipathy to similar negotiations; but the present necessities, the embarrassments of the kingdom, the behaviour of the French, and yet more the authority, the interest and the persuasions of the duke, tear him by main force from that first root, and although this resolve remains based on many conflicting elements, according to the general opinion of the artifice and present advantage of the Spaniards, on which occasion they certainly will not choose to be losers, yet at any rate this bias of the king is worthy of reflection, as on the one hand, those who are enamoured of this new model of public ruin will on such foundation raise the loftiest structure, while on the other it might generate confusion in the Netherlands and Germany, with the risk of very serious disturbances.
Such precisely is what now transpires, as before the duke's return from Newmarket, Carleton was appointed ambassador extraordinary to the Netherlands, whither he will depart with the first fair wind, as was told me no later than yesterday by his wife. The duke himself went to inform the Dutch ambassador of this, saying his chief commissions are to induce the United Provinces to have ready a contingent of ships proportioned to the project forming here for the fitting out of a hundred sail and more within two months; and to consult with the Prince of Orange about their destination as enjoined by the league between these two potentates, asserting that to avoid being deceived by professions of good will and negotiations they must keep the mutual forces in a state of good defence, and vigorous. With this opportunity the duke again complained somewhat to the ambassador of his having spoken about the overtures from Brussels with the Secretary Conway, which warrants a belief that this last had forewarned the king before the duke, as I wrote. He then added that with regard to this affair the king was more than ever determined not to take any steps without the advice of his allies, the Dutch and Denmark, Carleton being commissioned in private conversation to elicit their intention covertly. However, I hear on good grounds, that besides the two commissions aforesaid, the first of which will be executed in public assembly, and serve as a pretext for the embassy, he will be ordered to countermine the impressions made on the Princes Palatine by the disturbances here, and by their agent, who went back, no less ill pleased than well acquainted with the Court, as reported, so as to discover their minds and the more easily induce them to agree to the negotiations. He will also fully represent and justify the proceedings of the king here, who is estranged from the common weal through the bad treatment of the French, and limiting himself to censure of the cardinal's intentions against the Huguenots, deprecate to the utmost the renewal of the alliance which he is already treating between the Dutch and the Most Christian, especially as they purpose binding the United Provinces to contribute ships contra quoscumque, a condition which I understand they have already rejected.
I perceive clearly that the duke wished to have a confidential agent in the Netherlands, not choosing to confide his projects to the Dutch minister here, who is dissatisfied with him and would on all occasions have gone to the king, making such remarks as become the interests of the United Provinces and the common weal. Carleton, on the other hand, being well acquainted with the Netherlands, where he has many friends, will ascertain the wishes of the government there and acquaint the duke with them privately; as also with the inclinations of the Palatine. According to Carleton, Buckingham will regulate the despatch of business at Brussels and its advancement by the king, for such ends as are now only too manifest. Calvert, who went to the court as reported, has not yet returned. They still declare he will be employed in this business, though possibly no further steps will be taken until after the receipt of a despatch from Carleton, and I hope the more the matter is discussed the more difficult they will find its accomplishment.
For this reason I have informed the Ambassador Soranzo, through an express despatched by the Dutch ambassador, that he may know of it before Carleton arrives and use the facts in conversation, especially recommending the States to let the affair pass through the hands of their ambassador here, so that the king may be acquainted not only with what the duke chooses, but also with such considerations as affect his own interests and the public advantage, whereas Carleton, as strongly suspected, will serve the duke more than the king in this.
I have also conversed lately with the Earl of Pembroke, the Lord Steward, one of the king's most intimate councillors, a man of excellent views. He told me with entire confidence that he utterly distrusts the negotiations with the Spaniards, being well impressed with the detriment to which this crown is always subjected by them. He assured me that the king will not do anything to injure his own repute or the allies, hinting in an undertone that those who wished to introduce these proposals had not obtained from the king the resolves they expected; a considerable fleet would certainly be fitted out and the 6,000 English troops be sent to Denmark, giving me to understand that money would be ready for both purposes. I foresee indeed that they reckon on the proceeds of the French goods, as all other funds are only too deeply mortgaged. He expatiated on the ill behaviour of the cardinal, who alone, and for the gratification of private passions, prevented the reconciliation of the two crowns. Upon this he added that there were many difficulties, above all the disapproval of Bassompierre's negotiations, which the king here deeply resented for his own reputation, nor could good men wish for anything but to remove these difficulties. Rightminded men should devote themselves to smoothing these away and settling the affairs on foot.
I thanked him for the confidences and replied suitably, limiting myself to say that even the secret overtures of Carleton in the Netherlands would create suspicion in the people there and diminish their energy, perceiving the king to have cooled, as too many venal Dutchmen desire only too much; and that for a thing so uncertain and perilous as these overtures with the Spaniards the king was risking the destruction of a power so very friendly with this crown, true to the common cause and practically the only one that remained boldly armed against prepotency. Seeing he was very warm about supporting the Huguenots in France, I said that the best way to keep them strong was not to abandon the same party in Germany, as the example afforded by them would dishearten the French Protestants also. I think this remark satisfied him completely and made him ponder the matter, so as to use the argument with the king himself.
London, the 19th March, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
177. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Affairs with France do not advance more than already indicated. From what I hear on good authority they do not intend here to make an open rupture or court an adjustment. They will attend to naval equipment, prevent the French from doing the like, seize every sort of vessel, sell the cargoes, use the money and for the rest do their utmost to raise disturbances by encouraging the malcontent French princes and promising help both to them and to the Huguenots, so as to put the whole kingdom topsy-turvy and into confusion. To this end I am more certain than ever that the duke's favourite, Montagu, will go into Piedmont, and passing through Lorraine visit the Duke and Duchess of Chevreuse, who may have withdrawn thither for the same purpose. Soubise has frequent conferences with Buckingham, and a gentleman in the service of the Duke of Rohan, (fn. 1) who is negotiating with both, will soon return to his master. The particulars of their negotiations have not been discovered, but I may say generally that they relate to these machinations. In Piedmont Montagu will receive letters from the king for the Duke of Savoy, and will make him promises calculated to inflame his pretended grievances against France and perhaps resume the negotiations of the Secretary Barocio, who some months before my arrival here offered the duke's mediation for an adjustment with the Spaniards. I inform the Ambassador Morosini of all this so that he may prevent the disasters which threaten the common cause, as I believe great good or great mischief may proceed from that quarter, by reason of the intimacy between the two Courts.
They are hastening to the utmost the fitting out of the ships, though not one has yet put to sea. The Dunkirkers continue to take advantage of the opportunity to plunder with impunity all ships bound for this kingdom, from whatever parts they come, to the increasing and irreparable destruction of trade. The reports of yet greater efforts persist, but so many things are wanting that I dare not vouch for the fact, especially as this affair of the subsidies proceeds languidly, for they have not yielded 40,000l., while the discontent of the people becomes constantly keener.
The Earl of Lincoln presented himself before the Council, in answer to a charge of evil speaking among his servants against this new form of exacting money. Such is the pretext for not punishing those who refuse payment, amongst whom he is one of the chief, and as they are many, chastisement might cause some great disturbance. The Corporation of London, understanding that the Council was coming within the Lord Mayor's jurisdiction to levy the subsidies, anticipated the demand by requesting the king to repay 180,000l. lent on two occasions to the late king and to his present Majesty for his coronation. Thus did the city stem this flood, and the government is now discussing the best way of finding some other outlet.
The king has issued a decree enabling the Catholics to take leases of their estates, confiscated by law on their being declared such. Hitherto this law has not been rigidly enforced, and it was made solely to keep the Catholics in check. Now they apparently intend in this way to effect a sort of compromise between them and the king; though the Catholics cannot rely on this, as on the meeting of a new parliament all would be cancelled.
After long delay a Dutch commissioner (fn. 2) has arrived at this Court, charged by his masters to regulate the navigation and obtain redress for the affronts and injuries which the people of the United Provinces complain of receiving from the English. I hear that he also has a commission about the Amboyna affair, but only if they speak to him about it, as they certainly will, from what I hear, since the parties concerned are not yet entirely satisfied. He has not yet seen the king, but will have audience shortly, in order to begin his negotiation. He is accompanied by the Queen of Bohemia's secretary to acquaint the king with the proposals made by Echembergh to the Duke of Wirtemberg for the adjustment with the Palatine, as reported, and with the usual piteous demand for the arrears of her pension. I understand, indeed, that the worthy princess, adapting herself to the present confusions, proposed through the secretary some privilege for the Dutch to export certain merchandise from England, in consideration of which they would pay her pension and contribute something to the king also. Thus they are compelled by these inventions to provide for their own necessities and succour their neighbours, and to this end the king lately granted a monopoly for the sale of tobacco, which will yield him a considerable sum.
Three sets of despatches from Italy have reached me this week, including those of the 13th and 22nd February, about the settlement of the matter of the Savoyard ambassador's servant, and the reports circulated at the imperial Court by Gabor's commissioners, which I will use as your Excellencies direct.
London, the 19th March, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
178. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The patents have been made out for Cardinal Richelieu as Grand Master of the Sea. (fn. 3) His objects are to arm at sea, so as no longer to have recourse to the English and Dutch as in the past, and to make himself master of La Rochelle.
They say here that the differences with England are accommodated through the Savoyard ambassador. Buckingham is coming to Paris where they are preparing to receive him; things very far from the truth according to my information.
In the Cabinet of late for the reconciliation of the two crowns, they have debated whether the queen mother, under colour of a visit to her daughter, should send her first secretary of state, Rottigliero, (fn. 4) to England, an able and prudent man, much in Richelieu's confidence. Nothing has been decided, so they speak of it as something that may happen, but not as a certainty.
I send your Serenity two packets from England which have reached me this week.
Paris, the 19th March, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
179. GEROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The man of England who stayed at Coire (fn. 5) arrived here in great haste and went straight on to Basel, I have no doubt in order to see the Margrave of Baden, for some commissions from the Ambassador Wake. I have not been able to gather their nature owing to the haste with which he left.
Zurich, the 19th March, 1627.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
180. To the Ambassador at Rome and the like to the other Courts.
The Spanish ambassador has again asked that Gardar shall be handed over to him, and has referred to the recent incidents with the ambassadors of France and Savoy, which were fully settled by our reply. We send you our answer to use when necessary. The ambassador seemed better pleased; he could not refute the arguments, but only tried to put a different interpretation upon some of them.
Ayes, 120.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
181. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As regards France they talk much here of the quarrel with the English, the unpopularity of the cardinal and they attribute the change in his opinions to the want of prudence of the English ministers. They say the public welfare is sacrificed to private interest. They expatiate in particular on the imprudence of Buckingham and the others about the English king. I know little of such matters, but one thing I can assert, that the cardinal neglects no means of adjusting that affair, going so far as to caress Scaglia, as a confidant of the duke, letting it be known here that Madame should interpose between her brother and her brother-in-law and have the honour of settling their differences. They are again thinking here of making the proposals which were rejected when first advanced. Meanwhile, at the French Court, suspicion is constantly on the increase, and the prisons are full.
Turin, the 20th March, 1627.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
182. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have decided to devote only one galeotta to bring stones for the construction of the mole [at Leghorn]. It is said that this will save them 12,000 ducats a year. They adopted this the more readily because the English engineer, with a small channel which he has called to mind, promises to do as much and more with small barques.
They are doing their utmost to render the port perfect. Ships flock to it already, twenty-three arriving in a single day from various parts, while the Court was there, and eight more on the following day, and so on. The English in particular frequent it, as with their present quarrels with France and Spain they cannot touch at the ports of those countries, and Leghorn is the only place they can go to in the Mediterranean, whereby they can supply their cloth and other goods to Italy. The goods are taken hither and thither in small barques called role of Leghorn. The trade is so abundant that I hear five millions of goods reach that place from England every year. The princes here would like to introduce some charge, but have been prevented by the complaints raised, though I do not believe it can be long before they impose some burden, since the Grand Duke derives no benefit from all this trade, except in the rents of houses and magazines, which let very well.
Florence, the 20th March, 1627.
[Italian.]
March 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
183. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are expecting Botaro, the French ambassador, back from Paris. Here they would like to renew the treaty of Compiegne but I think the French will want an assurance that they will not help the English or the Rochellese. I fancy the States will be very cautious about agreeing to such an arrangement, especially as they make a great point of keeping to the agreement originally arranged.
The rumours of a junction between the French and Spanish fleets persist. As far as England is concerned they think the French may be willing to settle their differences, seeing the plight they are in, as they suffer some notable blow from the English fleet every day Recently they lost eight very rich ships, by which the Dutch suffered also from having much on board, though with no hope of restitution. They consider that the French will always have the worst of it at sea, and those who control the machine may come to realise that force will not avail them to obtain reparation and so they may agree to negotiation.
The Hague, the 22nd March, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
184. GIROLAMO GRATARVOL, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have no information about the report that the French Ambassador Rambouillet has to negotiate a league between the two crowns or arrange an adjustment of the affairs of Germany or of England, except that I have heard he has had two interviews of the duke count. The count received him with great warmth, but what took place has not transpired, since no one else was present.
Madrid, the 23rd March, 1627.
[Italian.]
March 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
185. To the Ambassador in England.
Your abilities are always proving themselves; however, in the matter of Veis, the ambassador designate to Constantinople, we think it best to maintain the reserve we enjoined on the 29th January last, for reasons which you will fully appreciate. You will continue your offices for a reconciliation with France, always as if on your own responsibility, in order to divert worse ills. We do not think it advisable for the present to give you more precise instructions to speak to the king in the name of the republic, as there is no precedent for such a course, and no one has asked us to do it. Your letters, the last are of the 26th February, give us complete satisfaction.
Ayes, 114.Noes, 2.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
186. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople to the DOGE and SENATE.
The resident of Gabor here obstinately denied the peace between the emperor and his master, but being convinced by the advices of the ambassadors of England and Holland, he began to excuse his prince and to throw the blame on the allies, complaining especially of France. The ambassadors of England and the States believe that Gabor has made the peace without any intention of keeping it, in order to alarm the Turks, with whose delays in granting him the investiture he is disgusted. He has written a very sharp letter to the Caimecan. The ambassadors think it very strange that while Guadl, the prince's agent, obtained from the King of England all that he asked, and could promise himself as much from Denmark and the States, and the prince had received 30,000 thalers from them and promised to wait for a reply to Guadl's negotiations until the end of April, while a gentleman whom he sent here received every assurance from the ambassadors of England and the States, yet he has made such a disadvantageous peace, even though they consider it fictitious. It is credible, however, that he made up his mind on seeing the Turks determined on peace, and the coldness of the allies.
Our merchants here have petitioned me for leave to hire an English ship which has arrived here. As there was no ship of ours, the Guadagnata being already laded. I granted permission, but on condition that they pay no cottimo or consulage to any but the Bailo. As the English ambassador sent his secretary to pass an office with me on the subject, I adduced the arguments given before, and your Serenity's desire applying to all foreign ships. I do not yet know if he will allow the ship to be hired on such conditions, but without them I refuse leave to our merchants. (fn. 6)
The Vigne of Pera, the 26th March, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
187. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke's creature, Montagu, departed yesterday. He will certainly go to Lorraine to the Duke and Duchess of Chevreuse and he has orders to stir up the malcontent princes, to confirm the bias of the well disposed and to make the Huguenots rebel. I understand he will stop at Paris, and then, according to instructions from the Abbot Scaglia, proceed into Piedmont or not. He was heretofore sent back by the Most Christian, as he announced the determination not to receive Tillières, whom they intended to join with Bassompierre in the late embassy. Thus many persons disapprove of this appointment, feeling that this consideration alone, under the circumstances, may cause him some mischance.
The Dutch ambassador has orders from his masters and the Prince of Orange to expatiate on the mischief of these dissensions between the two crowns and the consequent disadvantages to the United Provinces, offering their assistance towards a reconciliation. The king's absence has so far prevented the ambassador from making this overture, and he tells me he will first of all discuss the matter with some confidential adviser and then decide about approaching the king or duke, to avoid risking the repute of his masters; though I do not see that such offices and a declaration of their regard for the welfare and union of the two crowns, with whom they are on equally friendly terms, can prove harmful, even if they produce no effect. He then told me confidentially the great straits in which the United Provinces find themselves. Religion, which is of no slight consequence because of the influence of the preachers over a popular government, compels the Dutch to support those of the same creed in France and to act in concert with England. On the other hand state policy advocates neutrality, as they require the help of both crowns, especially as the last league with England, instead of relieving the United Provinces, oppresses them. Dutch navigation being more and more injured and inconvenienced. Nor does England arm for the diminution of extraordinary burdens and to get rid of them, according to the intention of the league, and what matters more, the 6,000 English soldiers, hitherto paid by the king, being now on service in Denmark, the United Provinces find their forces much diminished. In short he appeared to me equally anxious to check these suspicions and doubtful of success.
This I really believe, for within the last few days it has been remarked that the French proclaim to everybody the wish for an adjustment, the Secretary Moulins himself publishing this desire; but at the same time their naval preparations augment, the cardinal, so interested in the matter on every account, being designated as superintendent, and under the pretext of defence the blockade of La Rochelle becomes daily closer. The English government therefore strongly suspects that all these are artifices to lull them to sleep, and to make them believe by word of mouth what appearances belie, and with these remarks they confute whoever utters such ideas. They are, indeed, bent on reinforcements and overcoming the penury which delays every good project. I suspect that while England by promises and instigation seeks to make ashes and charcoal with wood of all sorts to trouble France, she may from her own feebleness utterly ruin the Huguenots as she did the similar party in Germany.
Samblancart, a gentleman in the service of the Duke of Rohan, as reported, confers frequently with Buckingham, in the presence of Soubise also. They talk of an expedition of ships and infantry, and to facilitate this by diminishing the cost, they propose to reduce the ten regiments to four, giving hopes of relief to the cashiered officers by a levy of 12,000 men, to be commanded by the duke in person, the four regiments aforesaid embarking under the command of Colonel Boroughs, an Englishman who fought in the Palatinate and was at the surrender of Franchental. They will be put on board thirty ships at Portsmouth forthwith. Their voyage, according to general report, is for the defence of Ireland, since many persons announce some severe blow in consequence of the last act of bankruptcy committed by the Catholic King at the cost of the Genoese, for the purpose this year of making an effort, generally expected to take place in Germany, so as definitely to establish the predominance of the House of Austria. However, I gather on good authority that these troops and ships are bound for La Rochelle, and I gather from certain persons about the Court that they will not go in the king's name, as it would amount to an open declaration of war, to which they seem averse, and prefer to observe the same style as the French, speaking and acting simultaneously. But if these troops, active employment being peculiar to soldiers, choose, for the sake of the Protestant faith, to go to that fortress, the king will not prevent them, and the duke himself talks of going thither in person with the main reinforcements should matters become serious, it seeming to him that this is the only way to get reconciled to the public, which is greatly exasperated against the French, to eschew parliaments, and to re-establish himself with the Puritans, who are his greatest enemies. All the ships for conveying the four regiments are not ready, it is true, but they are daily hastening them on to the utmost. Pennington will command them or else the Earl of Denbigh, the duke's brother-in-law, should he return from Scotland in time. Yet I do not see that these resolves can take effect for some weeks to come, although they are pressing the sale of the French effects, which are certainly detained to supply the chief sum required for so many emergencies.
London, the 26th March, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
188. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news of Rubens's negotiations at Antwerp with Gerbier had reached the Prince of Orange when he despatched his last letters. He informs the Dutch ambassador of this and urges him to keep his eyes open, as reports of the duke's inclination towards that side are in circulation everywhere.
Calvert has returned from the Court and treats frequently with the duke in person. Some assure me that because he is so notoriously a Spaniard the king cannot employ him from lack of confidence. It is true they will take no further steps until after the receipt of Carleton's advices, at least with the assent of the king, who, I am more than ever convinced is forced into these schemes (e portato a questi maneggi con violenza). But in order to deprive him of the possibility of retreat they daily involve him deeper in the disputes with the French, which are certainly unbecoming and should at least be delayed until they obtain some certainty of the Spanish conditions. This mode of proceeding causes the duke to be more and more suspected of some secret understanding, as frequently reported. In short, the Spaniards voyage with full sails, and present appearances do not suggest the slightest change of wind.
The Dutch commissioner has seen the king, who received him with all courtesy. He is referred to certain delegates with whom he has held his first conference, when they discussed whether they should begin by guarding against fresh disputes or by redressing the past. There were various opinions, but Carleton is hastening his departure and is fully informed about this matter, which will not, I expect, be settled so speedily as is usual whenever any particle of private interest intrudes.
The Dunkirkers continue their reprisals, to the serious disrepute of the English, who used to be masters of the sea. They capture and burn the ships, drowning the sailors; they land and carry off the male inhabitants and their cattle, treating all alike barbarously, and it is reckoned that within a few days, great and small, they have taken sixty sail. The parties concerned remonstrated with the king, who for their relief, gave them permission to plunder whatever they fall in with belonging to the Dunkirkers, just as if the mere fact of war did not constitute a sufficient permit. Amid these complaints, however, nothing vindictive is said against the Spaniards, and the ministers, when spoken to on the subject, dismiss it in silence, limiting themselves solely to remonstrances against the misconduct of the French, as if they were the cause of all the other mischief also.
The Duke of Buckingham's only son has been seriously indisposed of late, nor is he yet out of danger, to the grief of the whole family. His niece, daughter of his late brother, treasurer of Ireland, is to marry the son of the Earl of Morton, a Scot with a large following. The Earl of Denbigh, the duke's brother-in-law, has gone to Scotland to pacify the Marquis of Hamilton, who left in dudgeon, as reported, in order to bring him back to the Court, and perhaps employ him on board the fleet, as the obduracy of youth is most easily mollified by the flames of glory and honour.
The Earl of Warwick has obtained permission from the king to make a voyage in the West Indies with five ships of his own, for the purpose of plundering vessels, seizing settlements, taking possession of them in the king's name and so forth. Some merchants likewise would fain set on foot a company for the same voyage, but without an act of parliament; and should an adjustment be made with the Spaniards, they are afraid of losing their money, as on former occasions; so this checks their inclination.
By the king's order the Earl of Lincoln is committed to the Tower, for reasons already given, and may possibly remain there a long while without hope of release.
The Grand Duke's agent, through letters of credence has acquainted the king with the marriage of his master's sister to the Duke of Parma, and with this opportunity preferred earnest suit that certain goods belonging to the duke's subjects, which were being conveyed to France from Spain, and have been brought into England with the rest of the seizures, may be separated from the French property. He has not yet obtained a decision, but with his example many other nations concerned in the matter expect to derive benefit. (fn. 7)
They write to me from Brabant that certain French merchants have proposed to convey the merchandise of the Netherlands and Germany to Spain overland; as well as Spanish produce, at least the most precious and portable, binding themselves to make the transfer in thirty days. The Most Christian desires the arrangement for the benefit of his subjects, nor do the Spaniards disapprove, as they hope thus to draw off the attention of all sovereigns from the sea, which must of necessity render them apprehensive by reason of vicinity and the importance of their maritine interests. I do not see any obstacle to this, save the civil wars, which seem to make more and more progress. The same letters add that of the last contract for four millions with the Portuguese, money orders have already arrived in the Netherlands for 1,700,000 crowns, 200,000 crowns being payable at once, one-third of the rest in the course of April next and the remainder in instalments every three months.
Of still more consequence is the news in circulation in those regions of the emperor's intention to reinstate the Archduke Leopold in Cleves and Juliers, as the person originally appointed to keep possession until the final decision, and although Neuburgh seems dissatisfied at this, yet everything will be done according to a secret understanding with him, if only for the sake of a pretext for turning the imperial forces also against the Dutch, who have possession of the other portion of those territories pertaining to Brandenburg. Should this news be true your Excellencies will have had confirmation, and the brunt of the attack is evidently destined for those parts, to the very serious detriment of the powers there.
Sir [Lewis] Lewkenor, who was Master of the Ceremonies, is dead, greatly to the advantage of your Serenity's ministers at this Court by reason of his well known bias, which was ill calculated to preserve for them that post to which they are entitled by every right. He may be succeeded by Sir [John] Finett, a man better suited for the post and well calculated to divert misunderstandings and dissatisfaction. (fn. 8)
It has come to my knowledge that Captain Scott's company, heretofore in your Serenity's service, has been disbanded, notwithstanding the intention announced to the English ministers of continuing his leave until the end of next March. I have not received the slightest information on this subject but know for certain that the king is not very well pleased. Should anything be said to me about it, I will maintain the justice of your Serenity's proceedings on the plea of this individual's long absence and of the courtesy shown to him by the republic even to the infringement of your laws, for the sole purpose of obliging his Majesty, but I fear, and I am sorry for it, that this trifle may check the course of more important current matters, especially because the king is naturally so swayed by first impressions that it is very difficult to eradicate them.
London, the 26th March, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
189. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Rosegran is still here. He would not leave without money and finally obtained from the cardinal letters of change for 50,000 crowns, and a promise for the rest of the amount. He will start for Calais on Monday. He told me that he would hasten the more because he considers it extremely necessary to confer with Carleton before he goes to Holland, for the reconciliation of the two crowns.
A rumour has been current here for some days that when this affair is mature M. d'Aerssens will come from the Hague. Richelieu would like it, as the quarrel has rendered the arming of his ships impossible, and he wants them completed at all costs. The cardinal hoped that Montagu would visit Paris some days ago, with some orders, but as he did not come the hope died away, and the English show more rigour in capturing ships and selling the goods. Amid the outcry of the numerous merchants who thus suffer, the cardinal lets it be understood that he is ready for a settlement to the advantage of England. He does not find any one ready to undertake the task, the example of Bassompierre being too recent, while in the general opinion, once the cardinal has obtained his men-of-war he will think no more of his numerous promises.
Paris, the 26th March, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
190. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A gentleman has arrived here [from Denmark] on his way to England to ask for help. He says his master's force is very strong and will amount to between 10,000 and 18,000 foot with Morgan's levies and the other Scots when they arrive. He brings patents from the king for Morgan, declaring him lieutenant-general of the infantry. Morgan is an old and experienced soldier, highly esteemed by all the troops and the Spaniards have done their utmost to get him away from this service.
Bottaro arrived last Tuesday. Nothing has yet been said about the ratification of the league, but the States are most determined not to abandon the treaty of Compiègne.
The Hague, the 29th March, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
191. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Contarini keeps me informed about what is taking place in England. My advices arrived with letters for the Prince of Orange from the Ambassador Joachim. I have not heard what comments he made, but I am afraid that these fresh jealousies will foment their dissatisfaction here, possibly in the prince also, although the matter has been handled with great delicacy in England.
Carleton is designated as ambassador extraordinary here. Possibly they fear that when the news of their intrigues arrives here it may produce the opposite impression to what is desired, although that is not the pretext. So far the prince, who has not received the particulars, has not communicated with anyone. I have spoken to the king here and know that the prince has not told him anything. This astonishes me, but in this country they talk little and do not take their friends into their confidence. The king said: I would the late prince had known. The king does not know the inner reasons for Carleton's visit, and the considerations I have advanced have made him uneasy. I try and prepare their minds against listening to harmful proposals. It is true that in the present state of the country, at home and abroad, the mere suspicion of being abandoned would suffice to weaken their resistance. I will do my best to avert harm.
I wish I could rely on the help of the French ambassador, but for private offences, he is never seen and treats with no one. I do not know either what he could do, with this quarrel between the two crowns. In this connection Rusdorf, who arrived yesterday evening and called on me to-day, suggested that Carleton may be coming to make quite sure of the disposition of the States supposing England comes to an open rupture with France. The duke is very anxious about this as he does not want to have the Dutch naval forces against them. Here, on the other hand, they will not declare for either side, as they have an alliance with both crowns, but it might be that Carleton, if he comes and finds the differences now existing with France about the renewal of the treaty of Compiègne, would try and prevent its conclusion and foment the differences. This would not be easy as the Dutch do not want to lose the friendship of the French to encourage some new design of the English, which only amounts to a mere punctilio between the two favourites. It is true that the point of religion will have some weight, but amid so many other circumstances it might disappear.
In short the state of affairs here does not permit them to take sides. I think they will prefer to remain neutral and that England will rest content with this. We shall soon see an open rupture between the two crowns, if the ambassador comes for this, because England does not contemplate an accommodation, as they do not trust the French proposals. The differences might easily be removed by a mediator. Your Serenity is called upon to perform this office. I have not said anything about it to the king, though he said something to me, but it is worth the consideration of your Excellencies.
The Hague, the 29th March, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
192. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By letters of the 18th Ambassador Marini is ordered to observe the proceedings of the princes here. From this it appears that in France they suspect Savoy of fomenting the English and Huguenots. To increase the suspicion, orders have recently been issued for sending troops to the frontier near Dauphiné.
Turin, the 29th March, 1627.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Gautier de St. Blancart. Memoires de Rohan, cd. Michaud and Poujoulat, page 559.
2 Sir James Catz.
3 Richelieu had bought out the Admiral Montmorency. He assumed control of the maritime affairs of France under the title of "Grand maître chef et surintendant de la navigation et du commerce." The royal edict making the appointment was issued in October 1626 but not ratified by the parliament of Paris until March following, Mercure Francais, vol. xiii, page 361.
4 Leon Bouthillier, Count of Chavigny.
5 Oliver Fleming.
6 The ship in question was the Neptune. See Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, pages 625, 626, 635–7.
7 Salvetti presented the letters upon the marriage of Margaret de' Medici to Odoardo, Duke of Parma, on Saturday, the 20th March. The goods in question belonged to the Florentine firm of Galilei, for whom Vagio Mei appeared. They were captured by Pennington in the St. Peter of Havre and two other ships. Brit. Mus., Add. MSS. 27962D, letters of the 19th and 26th March. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1627–8, page 174.
8 Lewkenor died on the 12/22 March, and Finet became Master of the Ceremonies by that fact, the king having granted him the reversion of the office by letters patent. Philoxenis, page 199.