Venice
April 1627, 16-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1914

Pages

183-203

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'Venice: April 1627, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 183-203. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89119 Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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April 1627

April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
211. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Danish ambassador has returned from France. He does not complain of the Court there, as if they were not very lavish in deeds they made amends by abundant courtesy. He states positively that he has left sure money orders for 50,000 francs, with which a regiment will be raised, either by the Count of Lavalle or by M. de la Noue, adding other particulars.
Two days after his entry, which happened privately, he saw the king, the duke and the ministers. Among his other offices for the common weal he endeavoured to convince the government that as yet the policy of the French does not tend towards direct persecution of the Huguenots, but rather to guarantee themselves against the apprehension caused by the reinforcements which the Huguenots receive from England. In short he endeavoured to mitigate and eradicate those ideas which others invent so gladly for the purpose of bringing about a rupture between the two crowns.
In the midst of these soothing expressions he inserted the offer of his own mediation to effect the reconciliation of the two kings and received the same answer as was given a few days ago to the Dutch ambassador, being told in general terms of their good will and wish for peace, but that they could not promise it to themselves with security, by reason of the behaviour of the French, their designs and the accumulated affronts heaped by them on this crown; exaggerating them as usual with those who wish to maintain their own advantages. Some of the ministers, I believe from a real love of the common weal, asked if he had brought anyone with him from France to set the business on foot and expedite it, as before his arrival a report circulated at Court about a mutual conference at Calais and Dover, to remove the difficulty as to who should cross the Channel first, or else that the negotiations should take place between the ministers of the two kings in the Netherlands. The ambassador replied that the offer proceeded from himself, as the rupture vitally affected the interests of his king; in France he had done the like, and although the ministers there had no lack of pretexts for complaining of the English, at any rate they did not seem averse from entering upon the matter.
As yet everything reduces itself to general terms, nor do they incline to the proposal here, perceiving that the boasts hitherto made by the French, their caprices and their subterfuges, according to their humour, are more plentiful than their naval forces, and indeed they are now more in a condition to receive injuries than to inflict them. Through the malcontent princes and the Huguenots the government counts on kindling a conflagration, especially through the king's brother, whose character is notoriously disposed to receive such impressions. On every account England has the advantage, and the duke, who knows it, rejoices thereat, and proposes to establish on this promising basis his own permanence in the royal favour. He talks more than ever of going with the fleet, which is being hastened, though want of money bars its progress. Montagu, who was sent to France, has written to the duke. After remaining there two days he proceeded on his way to Lorraine. Some say that he not only received courtesies but discovered in many an inclination to the adjustment. This leads them here to raise their pretensions the more.
The Dutch ambassador, after having seen the ambassador from Denmark, told me that cabinet ministers informed both of them that the mediation of Denmark and the States might seem suspect to France, not merely on account of religion, but because the one was this king's uncle, while the others were his offensive and defensive allies. This clearly shows what small inclination there is, as to conceal it they advance arguments for the other side, it being obvious that the more mediators are interested for one side, the better results may be expected by that side. They then added they were surprised your Excellencies had not bestirred yourselves about this adjustment, so important for the welfare of all Christendom, supposing you acted thus as a covert revenge for the bad behaviour of the French to the republic over the Valtelline so that you rejoiced at their difficulties due to the current disturbances.
I strongly combated such notions, maintaining the prudent policy of the republic, which ignores passionate hatred whenever it affects the common weal. I said that all who reasoned thus supposed that all states suffered from private passions, but so far as the republic was concerned they deceived themselves. I had previously demonstrated to the ministers the mischief caused by these disturbances, the public ruin, with all the consequences in Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere; my offices had been appreciated as they demonstrated the friendliness of your Excellencies, confirmed by the orders given to your Ambassador Zorzi in France to make suitable remonstrance at that Court also. In short, I did my best to avert this opinion, which whether entertained or invented, cannot help with the friendly powers, especially in France, where I gather they gladly find pretexts, to use offensively or excuse to themselves their past breaches of faith and by making the world believe these mutual breaches diminish their own balance of treachery, especially as not only did the ambassadors and the Secretary Conway speak to me in this strain, but the whole Court echoes it and comments on the withdrawal of your Excellencies. I am aware, however, that the ambassadors would fain have companions and that I should take my share of the vague replies they receive and the exiguous results. If the English really desire your Excellencies to mediate, they are already sufficiently convinced of your good disposition. The motion must come from the duke; those who would succeed with honour must first secure his good will and interest, without which everything will ultimately be thrown away. As I have repeatedly said, I believe they wish to strike a blow first, every indication of this remains as well as the report of employment for M. de Soubise. Meanwhile, I mention everything that has happened in an affair of such a nature, which can be digested and converted into good nourishment solely by the mature prudence of your Excellencies.
London, the 16th April, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
212. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Amid the mutual compliments exchanged with the Danish ambassador on his return to this Court he spoke to me about the imprisonment of the one lately resident with your Serenity, who was taken by the Dunkirkers into Nieuport and deprived of his papers. (fn. 1) He assured me of the satisfaction received by that minister from the most serene republic, but as regards the common cause he returned empty handed. At this point he expatiated particularly upon the dismissal of your Serenity's troops, remarking to me on the double prejudice thus received by Germany, as the disbanded soldiers would enter the emperor's service, he being the nearest to the passes, while, on the other hand, the troops in the Milanese, who would otherwise have remained in that province will accelerate the complete subjection of Germany by re-crossing the Alps.
I satisfied him by pointing out the many years during which your Excellencies have defended the common cause, so that you promised yourselves the like from the others, as you took a little breath solely to render yourselves more vigorous for the need, in which every one must do his part, as all find themselves together on the same shattered ship. On the troops disbanded I merely said I had received no information from your Serenity, and even if it were so, the armies of Denmark and the allies would profit, as all the officers would more willingly re-enter the service of that king or the United Provinces than of the emperor, some from being of the same religion, others because they were natives of the north and all from their presumable affection for the common weal, for the sake of which they travelled so far. I think he was convinced. Meanwhile, he is hastening the departure of the recruits, endeavouring to get the number increased to 4,000 by reason of the desertion of the veterans which is understood to have occurred in the Netherlands.
Desertion will increase in Denmark also if they persist in the determination to pay them by the long month, as is the custom of the United Provinces, whereas the entire army of Denmark is paid by the short month. After forwarding these troops and receiving the reports of the Scottish levies, one regiment of which is understood to be already on foot, he himself proposes to return to his master in a few days. It is true, I hear, he received a long despatch from Denmark this morning, and that in the midst of assurances that he will act more vigorously than ever, his Danish Majesty inserts a few recommendations for money and help. From the shortness of the time I have not yet been able to learn all, nor do I even know whether this new affair will delay his departure; but I am well aware that he insists upon not going back empty handed, having told the duke that knowing the present necessities of this kingdom, he does not demand great assistance, as he could not obtain it, but merely some testimonial, to a very small amount, to show that his Majesty's good will is not quite extinct, and then receive the supplement when a more convenient opportunity occurs, otherwise the King of Denmark will consider making terms for himself.
The Palatine requests his majesty to desire Anstruther, the English ambassador in Denmark, to get that king, in case of an accommodation with the emperor, to include his interests, with regard to the Palatinate and the Electoral vote. On the other hand should Denmark continue vigorous action, that he join him in protest against such resolves as may be formed at the next diet, prejudicial to his rights. I believe he will have no difficulty about this, and that the drafts of the commissions he asks for have been already drawn up.
The Dutch commissioner encounters obstacles in his business. The ships already seized, for which he demands compensation, number forty, He would fain have a stop put, applying a remedy for the future, so that these irregularities may not continue, and then discuss past claims more at leisure, as otherwise fresh complaints will arise daily during the discussion without any hope of a settlement. I do not fancy that he finds them disposed to comply with his desire, because the want of money and the facility of thus obtaining some small sum, blinds them both to equity and duty. Carleton will not depart until this affair is started, and they furnish him with funds for his outfit, as he is a poor gentleman. I fancy he would like to negotiate the matter himself in the Netherlands, in which case it is evident he would avail himself of this pretext for remaining a long while at that post, having so far got more toil than profit from the favour he has enjoyed. As reported, he hoped and perhaps still hopes for the secretaryship of state, but old Conway will not give it up to him except by force, nor is the king inclined so easily to recompense his long service by such treatment. I must mention that two days ago he himself said that Wake had written about the dismissal of your Serenity's troops, your policy of being a spectator at the dance, the retreat of the troops from the Valtelline and the command which the Spaniards will finally obtain of that pass, as they at any rate intended to keep it for themselves and will begin hostilities very soon should anyone oppose them, so that the tranquillity of that province was still very doubtful.
The Lords of the Council have been into the city about the subsidy loan. The Lord Mayor and councillors expressed readiness and a good result is hoped for, though I fancy they intend to deduct from this disbursement the expenses incurred by them in fitting out the twenty ships previously mentioned, in which case only a small sum will reach the royal purse.
I do not hear that the negotiations with the Spaniards advance and am assured more and more that whilst the duke inclines towards them they are most distasteful to the king, always provided he can resist the overmastering character of the favourite. I see clearly that our diligence in publishing the schemes formed at Brussels and remonstrating against them has hitherto produced some good effect.
A spy lately returned from the Court of Spain reports that a certain number of ships are still in readiness and that the troops already appointed for embarcation are not scattered over the country as usual when there is no project on foot. This, and the assertion made by the Spanish partisans, that for a certainty no agreement will take place save on ignominious terms for England, causes the government to waver and will perhaps make them hesitate to attack elsewhere, should passion give way to prudence, as reason requires, and in conformity with the good offices of well-intentioned persons, of which there will be no lack when the opportunity presents itself.
London, the 16th April, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
213. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Scaglia stays on here. After receiving a courier post this week he sent an express messenger after Montagu to Lorraine, it is not yet known why. For this reason and in order to gather from him some particulars of the intentions of the King of England, Cardinal Richelieu delays his departure; fanning his hopes of obtaining money for France to satisfy the claims of his master. In this I think he is deceived.
The sailing of the English fleet, which may happen any day, prevents the Cardinal Richelieu from sleeping at night. He has set everything in motion to re-establish negotiations for a reconciliation, but without success so far. His last step is to summon, by three several couriers, the Duke of Chevreuse to Court to employ him in this business, although the duke is out of favour in France and the duchess is in disgrace. They are expected to-morrow.
Paris, the 16th April, 1627.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
214. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
The more the duke recognises the important consequences of the English king coming to terms with the Spaniards, and the impossibility for him to resist them and the French simultaneously the more he should attend to our representations and rather help than impede a reconciliation between the Most Christian and England. You will continue the same arguments, when fresh occasions arise, but in such way as not to injure the confidence the duke shows you. You will carefully observe whither his feelings lead him this, and send us word.
Ayes, 136.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
215. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
I have come to present a memorial of Count Henry Mathias dalla Torre, and before going further I desire to hear its contents, and so he read the memorial, which is below.
The ambassador then continued: Your Serenity may perhaps consider this a cipher, so I must first interpret. My king and the kings of Denmark and Bohemia, many months ago, desired the help of M. della Torre for their forces, and wrote for me to ask the favour of the republic, but I postponed the request owing to the disturbed state of the Valtelline. Now the Grisons question is settled and this province is quiet I thought your Serenity might favour his Majesty, as the order has been repeated. To avoid occasion for comment we have decided to make the request for the reasons set forth in the memorial, and I feel sure that your Serenity will see your way to gratify the count and the three kings. The count would return whenever you required him. I ask for a favourable and speedy reply, as matters are pressing and their Majesties are waiting to hear.
The doge replied: The republic will always be ready to gratify their Majesties. We will deliberate upon the memorial and give you our reply.
The ambassador continued: I will give your Serenity some news which I have received this week, to continue our usual confidence. My informant tells me that the Prince of Transylvania is more steadfast than ever. He has sent a gentleman to the Grand Tartar to obtain light cavalry to harass the enemy, and the flying troops kept by Denmark in those parts will serve the same purpose, giving that prince a safer approach to Hungary to increase his conquests there. The Margrave of Baden has gone from Basel to Geneva. Your Serenity may have heard that he is to go to France, but he will not go to the Court or see the king unless strongly urged. He proposes to go straight to Calais where he will find an English man-of-war to take him to Hamburg, where the King of Denmark will give him 15,000 foot and 2,000 horse, with which he can join his son, the Duke of Wirtemberg, the Duke of Deuxponts and others of that circle, and so he will be able to effect on that side what he could not attempt from the front, because your Serenity and Savoy would not support him. If he succeeds in joining these princes he will have an additional force of 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse. The margrave was very fearful that as my king promised help on condition that he got some from your Serenity and Savoy he also would withdraw on hearing of your refusal; but his Majesty, in his great zeal and activity, has confirmed his promises, and so Denmark can divert Wallenstein and confront Tilly.
The doge replied by expressing his satisfaction at the communication of the news and wishing every success to the princes. The ambassador then took leave and departed.
Letter of the Count della Torre.
Most Serene Prince: As I am somewhat indisposed I need a change of air, and the most expert physicians advise me to go to some baths outside the dominions of your Serenity. I will not move without your leave, and as I cannot come to prefer my request in person I have explained my case to the ambassador of Great Britain and begged him to plead my cause in the Collegio, and beg you to grant what will redound to your service and help me to recover my health.
HENRY MATHIAS COUNT DE LA TORRE.
[Italian.]
April 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
216. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Scaglia sends me letters for his brother, confirms this approaching departure and the coming of Montagu to this Court. He writes strongly in favour of that cavalier, who is coming to demonstrate the esteem of the English king for this house, and as a response to the offices passed upon several occasions. He hints that Montagu may prove the instrument for some good and refers me to the Count of Verua, his brother, for the particulars.
The French ambassador here is much disturbed and fears he may be recalled or suffer some other blow. The coming of Montagu increases his discontent as he foresees that the French ministers and especially the cardinal will take offence. I endeavoured to dissipate his fears. He said his king would be greatly obliged by the interposition of your Excellencies.
The Count of Verua is at Rivoli and I have not been able to ask him about what the abbot hints. He recently assured me on his honour that the abbot will not go to Holland or England as announced in France. He has orders to go to Brussels, and return by Lorraine, Franche Comté and Savoy, without touching France.
Turin, the 18th April, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
217. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States learn from England that Carleton's visit will be delayed until next month, and circumstances confirm this. Accordingly, they have quite changed their minds here about the urgency of the mission. It seems to confirm the first idea that there will be no truce or peace with Spain, especially as royal orders have recently issued that English ships shall seize all things found going to Spain or elsewhere in that dominion, without excepting friends. They hope in this way to hurt the Spanish trade seriously.
The Commissioner Caz writes that his negotiations are not prospering either about the ships and goods arrested, in which there is much tergiversation and pretexts to avoid giving them up, or the very thorny Amboyna affair, on which they have spoken to him very sharply, especially Carleton. They said that if the king did not receive due satisfaction, Carleton's visit might be postponed. As it was announced that Carleton was coming in haste, they supposed that the commissioner had arranged some compromise, though indeed he had no commissions except to justify the fact. They are waiting for the arrival of the processes and the judges, in order to throw more light on the affair, to do which the king allowed them eighteen months, though meanwhile they have never ceased to proclaim their disgust and demand satisfaction. Thus even when all the information arrives it is unlikely that the affair will be settled, as here they uphold their ministers absolutely. I fancy they will repeat their request to his Majesty to refer the matter to a friendly prince before whom they would lay the whole case. One of the government told me that this suggestion had been made from the first, and they had nominated your Serenity or the Most Christian.
Joachim, having audience of the king for some other business, spoke to him of the quarrel with France, expressing the desire of all his friends that it should cease, and pointing out the harm it does, while no one profits more than the Spaniard by the separation of these two kings, who united might resist the progress of the House of Austria. He says that the king seemed impressed, but answered that Cardinal Richelieu aimed above all at the suppression of the Rochellese and he was determined to help them in the interests of his faith.
I hear that Scaglia will visit England before going to Brussels, and some say he is coming here to confer with Carleton.
The Hague, the 19th April, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
218. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I learn on undoubted authority that the Palatine thinks of sending Rusdorf to Germany to make a final effort to prevent the diet at Nuremburg or to mitigate the ill effects anticipated. I believe that to give more credit to Rusdorf they will send a special minister with him from England also, to render vigorous assistance.
The Hague, the 19th April, 1627.
[Italian.]
April 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
219. To the Ambassador at Rome.
Notification of the arrival at la Standia, opposite Crete, of two galeots, one of the Bey of Negropont, the other of the Bey of la Cavalla, brought by slaves who mutinied and killed the Beys. The galeots have been taken into custody, and the Christian slaves released. The ships, goods and Turks on board will be handed over to the Turks, on account of the good relations existing between them and the republic. This for information in case the subject is discussed.
The like to the following:
France, Spain, England, Germany, Naples, Milan and Florence.
Ayes, 143.Noes, 1.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
April 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
220. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Neuburg heard from Dusseldorf that news had arrived there from the Hague that the King of England was dead and that the Palatine had already proceeded to that kingdom; but as no confirmation has arrived from Brussels or elsewhere, the news does not obtain full credence. If it is true, some think that we shall have peace soon, as with the Palatine king they would alter the form of treating; but others believe that as that prince is very angry he will make every effort to obtain revenge and re-establish himself by arms.
Vienna, the 21st April, 1627.
[Italian: copy.]
April 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
221. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is said that in England they are not only selling the goods arrested, but the king there has issued edicts permitting privateering against the French. The merchants of Britanny and Normandy had promised the cardinal to collect a most powerful trading fleet, after the manner of the Dutch, and by a union of all the marts of this confederation (conferenza) to make Brest and the Archipelago of Britanny an emporium of the world. Now with the fear of the English and the certitude of losing their substance they have abandoned the idea and with much show of reason exclaim that the cardinal has broken the principal and most necessary conditions therein.
In the Council here they have decided to take similar steps. It is easier to do this than to withdraw, and such measures will render a reconciliation more difficult and also delay it. With the fear of Soubise and the English flect, the cardinal has this week sent reinforcements to the isle of Oleron.
I am again assured that there is a public and private understanding between the cardinal and Olivares, and that if matters between England and France go on to an open rupture, then in revenge for private affronts and to chastise enemies by enemies, the Spaniards will risk quite a small number of ships, to please the whim of the cardinal, and will encourage the French forces. But after every effort I have discovered no further particulars and I believe it is rather a passing jealousy than anything solid.
With the persistent report that the English fleet will shortly sail and the certitude that it will hurt France by sea and land, Cardinal Richelieu has strongly pressed the Dutch ambassador to get the States to grant him some ships to strengthen him at sea. But as the ambassador has not received a penny of the money so frequently promised and as they keep altering the treaty of Compiegne, he stated definitely that they will not sign any fresh agreement or grant ships to France without a declaration that they are to serve against the Spaniards and the House of Austria. The cardinal in a rage got the king to refuse him audience and uttered threats against him and Holland.
For the last few days, several individuals, most of them unknown to me, have been to the embassy, and suggested in conversation that a friendly prince should intervene to reconcile the two crowns, and no one would be more suitable than the most serene republic. Two of them were Doctor Deodati, of Lucca, and the Marshal of Tres, both known as Coure. (fn. 2) who begged me to take up this task. They tried to make me believe that it did not come from the cardinal or the ministers but from an extreme desire for the common weal.
Yesterday Sir [Thomas] Discinton, a Scot, just arrived from England, called here with letters from the Ambassador Contarini. He is a man of birth, a gentleman of the king's chamber and high in favour. After speaking in high terms of Contarini he went on to use almost the same terms as the other two. Being thus approached from both sides I had a single answer for both, as I did not wish to commit myself in a matter thus privately advanced and promising little advantage to the state, since it seems that no one but the Duke of Savoy is to be the mediator. I will keep the intentions of the state in mind to use when called upon, that is, when duly approached by the cardinal or one of the ministers in the king's name.
I must add that from the words of Discinton I find he is an enemy of Buckingham, of whom he avers that he conceals the most important affairs and the truth from the king. He also declares that the duke has an understanding with the Spaniards, because he desires an open rupture with the French.
Paris, the 22nd April, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
222. That the English Ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him:
We cannot give better evidence of our good will towards his Majesty and the Kings of Denmark and Bohemia than the warm feeling with which we have always followed their affairs and with which we have employed our offices and works upon occasion. We should willingly agree to the licence of the Count della Torre, as you ask, but we cannot do so because he is going to fight with other princes in the character of our captain. We feel sure that his Majesty will see the force of this and we trust your Excellency to represent it in the proper light, assuring him that we shall always be glad of any opportunity to prove our good will.
Ayes, 114.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
223. To the Proveditore General in Terra Firma.
Enclose office of English ambassador and reply. To tell the count he is to go and serve as the republic's commander. Impossible to grant his request for leave, to recover from his indispositions. To send word of any requests or overtures made on the subject.
Ayes, 114.Noes, 6.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
224. That the following be added to the letter to the Proveditore:
When an opportunity occurs, you will tell the count, as from yourself, that we are so anxious to please his Majesty, that with the exception of this case, we should place his satisfaction before our other interests. If you think it useful you will express to the count the thanks of the state, and you will send us his reply. We must add that the count's contract has no time limit, and obliges him to remain in our service. This is for information.
Ayes, 27.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
225. That the following be added to the letter to the Providitore:
If the count seems to object to our reply and persists in his desire to accept the invitation of those princes, you will tell him, as from yourself, that the republic would be pleased to gratify those sovereigns and serve the count's interests, and as his contract prescribed no limit of time, he would be at liberty to do as he pleased, always excepting the considerations mentioned above.
Ayes, 10.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
226. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The commissions for Anstruther, the ambassador in Denmark, have been transmitted in conformity with the demands of the Palatine, as reported; the matter being referred to him and having the opinion of the Danish king, he is to attend the imperial diet wherever it may be held. He will take letters of credence to the emperor, and will be joined with Wirtemberg and other princes, having full powers for the Palatinate, for its restitution to its former state, without diminution of territory or dignity, otherwise he must protest. Many laugh at the Palatine still trusting to negotiations seeing that his cause has always suffered from them; but I believe his bad opinion of this Court makes him sail upon another tack, which may lead him among quicksands and rocks, to prove that he is the most pitiable of all men and a butt for all the misfortunes of these present times.
The despatch received by the Dutch ambassador, as reported, confirms the permission given him to return home. He has taken leave of the king and is doing the like by the ministers. He insists on not departing empty handed and expatiates on the disastrous results attendant upon doing so. The king and the ministers declare that even if compelled to go to war with France, they will not abandon Germany or allow the Palatine to succumb disgracefully, and would follow up their words by deeds, by assigning 30,000l. to Denmark from the money which they are raising by the subsidies in London; the ambassador exerting himself to find merchants to advance the money on this security. But they are all terrified by the monster Necessity, who occasionally cancels even the most explicit promises. The Danish ambassador also told me that his king wished to engage the Count della Torre, and that the Palatine was to send one of his gentlemen to your Excellencies with letters from the King of Denmark requesting permission. He urged me to back this in case of difficulty. On the first part, I confined myself to complimentary phrases, which are not binding but flatter, expressing the admiration of your Excellencies for his king. Upon the other, I said secrecy alone would ensure your consent, so the thunder should be heard before showing the demands. The Margrave of Baden also is to join the Danish army, and they say he will take a turn in this island to thank the king for his great offers of help before going over to Denmark.
The chief concern of the government at present is to provision the fleet and send it out speedily. Two royal galleons, besides the six merchantmen, have been ordered as a fresh reinforcement, and they have commanded an additional stock of provisions for three months, but so unmethodically, that while discussing the fresh supplies the old ones are consumed, so it cannot be supposed that the ships will remain long in commission. There is also a lack of sailors, not only from the seizure of the crews of the wine ships in France, who were numerous, but also owing to those who embarked on board the India and Levant fleets. Many desert, being dissatisfied with their payment and treatment. To prevent this inconvenience the ports are closed, vessels being forbidden to put to sea, so that the fleet may be first named. They also reduced the usual number of hands by about 20 per cent.; some maintaining that the season being good and the service near at hand, and from the certainty of not having to give battle at sea, as no other fleets are out, even an incomplete number of sailors may suffice. The regiments have been increased to five, without augmenting the number of the 4,000 foot, to make room for several unemployed officers. The duke declares he will go out with this fleet. All speak about this, but no one believes it.
In France they are warned, and some of the least secure maritime positions are being put in a state of defence. 4,000 men for great undertakings and to preserve them when effected, is not a considerable force in a powerful kingdom. It would be rather difficult to induce the inhabitants of La Rochelle to receive them as garrison were it not for certain reports that they themselves desire it. I attribute this to a wish to render France jealous, rather than anything else.
All the members of the Council do not approve of these precipitate actions, and those most attached to the common cause, being unable to avert these consequences of the duke's authority and rooted passions, seek to delay them. They would fain first of all send either letters or an agent to France to announce that the king, being bound to the Huguenots, not merely by the ancient maxims of this kingdom, but in virtue of his attestation made to that party when he recently reunited it to his Majesty, cannot but help and guarantee them against oppression by urging the observance of the edicts and of the promises previously made to them by the Most Christian. Should the king entertain these ideas, they will at least gain time and open the door for negotiations and good offices, though I dare not promise this by reason of the violent heat which I discover, but the flames will scarcely take effect, as the mere obstacle of necessity will stay them.
Meanwhile the effects of the French are being sold. The eleven ships which went out to convoy the prizes have returned with them. The private merchants prosper; they destroy trade and impoverish the king as he now receives no duties. The French seem inclined for an adjustment. The Count of Tillieres writes that a gentleman was to be sent by the queen mother to visit her daughter. Others say that Scaglia will come, though my belief is if he does he will do more harm than good because of his corrupt and passionate bias against France.
They have informed me that on the arrival of Carleton, who has not yet left, for the reasons given, should he find any person in the Netherlands or commissions from the Most Christian to negotiate he might perhaps easily resume the business about help for the States and the Palatine, who are alike interested in the matter. But neither party plays with open cards.
I do not find that the movements made at Brussels progress. The king is certainly most averse to the business nor can he be induced to undertake it save by necessity; though I clearly perceive that they are sailing on this tack and should Scaglia pass through Brussels as reported, watch must be kept upon him. The letters about this business, which were transmitted by the Dutch ambassador, having reached the Prince of Orange, have so far elicited no orders to act; so I urged the ambassador to smoothe matters by repeating the firm determination of the king and thus dissipate the peccant humours which the news had generated, especially in the breast of the prince, who, as I well know, prefers making love to making war. I anticipate no difficulty, as my remarks agree with the opinions of this minister, who is very much opposed to the negotiations, and was brought up with the same sound political tenets as those of the late Prince Maurice. In short I hope that this first blow will not kindle a flame and that the meshes of the net will be broken. I will not cease to watch and thwart the affair, as if spontaneously, without compromising your Excellencies, so as to guarantee you against all accidents, inclinations and events, that eventually nothing sinister may occur to disturb by jealousies and expenditure your present tranquillity.
London, the 23rd April, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
227. To the Secretary Cavazza at Zurich.
Montagu has reached the French Court, but instead of making proposals, he asked for passports to Lorraine. This has increased the French suspicions of an understanding between the Spaniards and English, negotiations having been opened at Nancy to be concluded at Brussels. Montagu was to go on to Turin to assure Savoy that England would not come to an agreement with France without informing him, and the Ambassador Scaglia at Paris may have a hand in these proceedings.
We send you these particulars so that you may endeavour to discover what is being done in this matter at the Court of Lorraine, and send us word with your usual diligence.
Ayes, 101.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
228. The deliberation of the Senate of yesterday having been read to the English ambassador, he said:
I understand what has been read to me about the request for leave of the Count della Torre on the grounds of health. With respect to the statement that the advantage of the republic will not allow him to serve other princes while he remains her captain, I would remark that the count asked leave on the grounds of health and I gave your Serenity the other particulars in confidence. However, I will report the answer to his Majesty, although I believe that the King of Denmark will be disturbed at losing the hope of unloading a large part of the burden which he has on his shoulders on to the count, in whom he has great confidence.
The doge said: Your Excellency may rest assured of our good will towards their Majesties, but you will also recognise the sound reasons which have guided the Senate as it really does not behove the republic to allow the count to serve away while he remains our captain. We feel sure that their Majesties will appreciate the reasonableness of our answer.
The ambassador replied: I will report everything; not this week, as the ordinary left yesterday evening, but next, and as princes must first look after their own interests their Majesties must rest content. He continued: An English ship has reached this city with a cargo, and being a foreigner it has been prevented from unlading here. The matter is pending before the Five Sages, who are apparently below their proper number. To detain the ship longer here with its cargo will injure the merchants greatly owing to the number of men and other things. I therefore beg your Serenity to declare speedily whether they can unlade in this port or if they must go to find another port to discharge their cargo.
The doge replied: These matters belong to the magistracy of the Five Sages. Their number should be made up to-day or at the next Pregadi. A memorial should be left so that the matter may be despatched at the earliest opportunity.
The ambassador continued: Since the last news which I gave your Serenity letters have reached me from the Margrave of Baden of the 28th March from Chalons sur Saone in France, telling me that he was going straight to the Hague to proceed to the King of Denmark, where he hoped to find a well furnished army to turn towards the Rhine. I heard later from Zurich that in the diet of Baden they decided to write to the Archduke Leopold asking him to remove his troops from their frontiers, and if they do not receive a favourable reply they will send ambassadors with the same request, and if that fails they will take arms. His Majesty's agent at Coire writes to me of important disturbances in the Valtelline about the form of government, as some want an aristocracy, others a democracy and Robustelli aspires to rule alone. The Grisons are very dissatisfied with the French ministers, especially Miron, who did not treat their ambassadors over well. If they do not obtain satisfaction from the king they may easily make overtures to the Spaniards. They are expecting Alcala as governor of Milan, to whom the ambassadors sent on the pretence of a visit to conclude a treaty. This may be considered as made already and only lacking definite form. I have given your Serenity this important information so that you may write to France to prevent so harmful a decision.
His Majesty's ambassador at Constantinople does not write to me so resolutely or so categorically as he used about the steadfastness of Prince Gabor, though the Turks remain firm. The prince has not yet given the ambassador any particulars about his negotiations as he used before, and has only written to the Captain Pasha. Although his agent says there is no mystery this change raises some doubts about his intentions, especially as even in his letter to the Captain Pasha he seems to have changed his style, speaking higher than he used and demanding the investiture of his wife as if he sought pretexts for some other design. Indeed that prince is so crafty that if your Serenity has any sound information about his proceedings it would help his Majesty to have information thereof.
The doge replied: We thank you for the news and the Signory will deliberate upon it. If there is anything worthy of imparting they will impart it. The ambassador made a reverence, took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
April 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
229. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Montagu arrived here on Wednesday. He is lodged by the Count of Verua, and defrayed by order of his Highness, whom he has so far seen twice, and the prince also. He paid his respects to Madame in the name of her sister and brother-in-law, but without letters of credence, a thing which she took in ill part. He has seen no others and keeps rather quiet, either to keep his negotiations more secret, or because he has no suite or the means to appear with all the pomp the English in favour are accustomed to display in the Courts. The ground of his negotiations is not known. The first visit was merely complimentary and the second took place in very confidential cabinets. The duke has expressed his wish to-day to see me to-morrow to speak to me about this and your Serenity's minister shall be told all.
Two opinions have been formed about the rumours of truces between the Spaniards and English; of the cardinal's inclination for an accommodation with England; of Buckingham's drawing back (retiratezza); of fresh quarrels between Savoy and France; of the disposition of the princes here and of the arrival of this minister, a favourite of Buckingham and aware of all secrets. One is very widespread, though it involves many contradictions, namely, that the English think of using the duke to arrange an accommodation with the Spaniards. The other is more probable and agrees with present circumstances and with what I have gathered from Verua, the duke and others, namely, that these potentates, by a close union with the malcontents and Huguenots in France, think of forming a powerful party which shall force the cardinal, on the pain of ruin, to become prudent and to adapt his views to the common welfare.
I need not point out the contradictions in the first idea: that the duke is no friend of the Spaniards, that they should increase his credit, and they are not likely to share their glories with their enemies. The second opinion is therefore probably nearer the truth. I fancy they will try the way of mildness first. The first steps, they think, will be to let the Most Christian know covertly that the King of England, in his desire for the public welfare, has not failed to acquaint his brother-in-law with this inclination towards an adjustment since he made the well known arrangement with Bassompierre. He does not know how to enter upon fresh negotiations because of the certainty that they will be rejected in France, and he therefore refers himself to what the Duke of Savoy and the Prince of Piedmont may think proper to arrange, concluding with a solemn protestation that the English king will never listen to any other proposal brought by another voice. If the King of France will not agree to the mediation of these princes, they will proceed to a written union and treaty, and already they have strengthened their companies here.
We hear that confidential communications are passing with Rohan, that Soubise is to cross the sea with four English regiments and throw himself into La Rochelle; that they are preparing a large fleet in England; that Chevreuse is obtaining help in Lorraine and fomenting rebellion; that Soissons will proceed to Neuchatel and thence to Burgundy, and that others not named or known are to strike serious blows. If the cardinal, to avoid all this, accepts the proposal, then the duke, as he told me himself, will throw off the mask, and express his willingness to interpose, but he desires his Majesty to appoint persons of credit, integrity and recognised loyalty, who shall have absolute power to settle, otherwise he does not want to lose his friends for the sake of France, or bind himself by a promise which might rebound upon him. He means to strike a blow at the cardinal. When I remarked that the king would never throw over the cardinal, the duke replied with some heat: Then it will be lost, but he seemed to repent of this outburst and began to talk of other things.
I cannot say if Montagu's negotiations will change established ideas, as I found out the above matters before he arrived, though he will probably confirm them by the promises of his king. The Abbot Scaglia is the author of all these intrigues. He has orders not to leave France so soon and to travel slowly to Brussels, waiting for orders on the road; and he may proceed to England, Holland and Lorraine, according to the decisions they may take.
Turin, the 25th April, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
230. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Cardinal Richelieu went on to talk to me about the quarrel with England, giving me a detailed account from the beginning to the end. He said the king would never approve the last treaty of Bassompierre with Buckingham, as it was too much to the advantage of the English. That people, for this cause, or from their natural perversity, by inflicting fresh and more serious injury thought they would make France forget the old ones. He hoped with the new fleet which he would soon have ready to inflict such ruin on them that they would become more modest in the future, and would learn the power of France. He spoke in terms of contempt and vituperation of Buckingham, attributing to him all the ills of France, Flanders, Germany and Italy. He even spoke of the uncivil way in which the duke had treated him in letters. I endeavoured to soothe him, pointing out the advantages the Spaniards and the House of Austria were reaping and urging upon him the necessity of bringing this quarrel to an end, with glory to himself.
When I was leaving he stopped me and said: I forgot to tell you another matter, dealt with by the French and English together, who are more friendly away from home than near it. Our ambassador with the English one and the Bailo of Venice in order to keep the Mediterranean clear, with the good will of the Turks have arranged to keep as many ships as they can armed and equipped for this purpose. His king would do his share and he charged me to inform the Senate of this. I said I knew nothing about it, but promised to write.
Paris, the 27th April, 1627.
[Italian.]
April 28.
Consiglio
di X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
231. That in gratification of the English ambassador, who asked in the Collegio for the removal of the ban passed against Giovanni Bragain on the 19th November, 1625, by the Rectors of Bergamo, the said Bragain be given a safe conduct for two years, whereby be may live in our state as he did before the said ban.
First vote: Ayes, 4.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
Second vote: Ayes, 4.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3. Pending.
[Italian.]
April 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
232. To the Ambassador in England.
The Ambassador Wake here has asked us to give leave to the Count della Torre, in the name of his king and the other princes. Although he used his king's name, yet, as no motion has been made from that quarter, we direct you to discover the truth and what Wake has written, though in his reply he seemed satisfied by our representations. You will see how they are received at that Court, and, if an opportunity occurs, you can speak to the same effect.
The like to the Hague.
That a copy of the office be sent to Germany for information.
Ayes, 118.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
April 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
233. That the following be added to the letter to the ambassador in England:
At the first news of the differences between France and England we told our ambassadors at those Courts to make representations to the ministers. As matters keep growing worse and delay may soon render all efforts fruitless, we have decided to make special representations to both sovereigns. You will obtain audience of his Majesty and tell him that the republic has always been zealous for the common cause and is convinced that nothing can help this so much as a good understanding between his Majesty and France, the powers appointed by God for the balance of Christendom. This has recently been upset, and the quarrel between the two monarchs is one of the worst misfortunes of our times. It is therefore worthy of the prudence of both to make things up, as all right-minded men desire. Nothing would bring his Majesty more glory or more console his allies, laying a sure foundation for the greatness of his crown. We are moved to perform this office by pure zeal and our esteem for both crowns, and we hope their Majesties will appreciate our sincerity. We shall most eagerly wait to hear what his Majesty thinks, and we shall consider ourselves fortunate if we prove the instruments of procuring such a public advantage.
This is the substance of the office which must be performed with feeling and vigour. When the king replies you can point out the grave drawbacks from persisting in this rupture. You will speak to some of the ministers after the office with his Majesty, as a sign of confidence and to keep the idea in their minds. You will send us a full account of all and also inform the Ambassador Zorzi.
That similar letters be written to France.
Ayes, 7.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
234. That an ordinary of the Ducal Chancery be sent this evening to read the following to the English ambassador:
We were greatly delighted at securing the services of the Count della Torre, whom we highly esteem and love for his great qualities. We have great confidence in him and have given him the supreme command of our armies, and we are anxious to keep him in our service. However, our regard for him obliges us to consider his satisfaction and the reasons which make him so anxious to leave. Our regret is tempered by the reflection that this will please the Kings of England, Bohemia and Denmark, and at his departure we must show him some sign of the public favour.
Ayes, 123.Noes, 4.Neutral, 19.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
235. That 3,000 ducats of mint value be spent upon a chain and a medal with the figure of St. Mark, to be presented to the Count della Torre on his depature, as a token of honour.
Ayes, 130.Noes, 10.Neutral, 12.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
236. To the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma.
The Count della Torre, through the English ambassador, has asked for a complete release, and we have granted it. You will inform the count, in friendly fashion, and we are sending him a gold chain as a token of honour.
Ayes, 123.Noes, 4.Neutral, 19.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
237. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Hague.
Notification that the Count della Torre has been granted a complete release from the service of the republic. This is for information and to speak in conformity upon occasion, mentioning the fact that a gold chain will be presented to him as a token of honour.
Ayes, 123.Noes, 4.Neutral, 19.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
238. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Chevreuse has arrived and was well received by the queens. The cardinal had a long interview with him and gave him an account of the affairs of England, as he does with every one, without saying anything about employing him upon a reconciliation. He sent him away perplexed, as it had been whispered to the duke that if he was the means of such a good work the king might permit his duchess to come to Paris or at least to Dampierre. In short, the cardinal wants others to take up the burden of the reconciliation without adding anything of his own, in the fear that the world may credit him with fear and weakness, abusing his reputation while increasing that of his rival, Buckingham.
Seeing that the ships expected from Amsterdam and other places do not arrive, while the need for them becomes ever greater, as the English fleet about to sail is reported very powerful, Cardinal Richelieu has sent more than once to Holland to hasten them. Among others he has sent one Gentelot, a refugee from La Rochelle, an able man of much spirit, who, from what I hear, is not only to urge their speedy dispatch, but is to stay a good while in that country, wandering about the coast towns and noting the opinions of the States and of individuals and the strength of their preparations both if England should attack France and if France should attack La Rochelle.
Meanwhile among the cardinal's naval preparations there is an invention of an engineer, Targoni, which was tested in the river here the other day, with fearful effect. A small cannon, striking a large ship between wind and water, would cause such a large breach as to send it to the bottom; the ordinary sacks and even large ones proving insufficient to stop the gap.
The cardinal and the ministers fear that the English fleet will do more damage than in the past. To pave the way for negotiation they thought of getting the queen mother to send some one to London, under guise of a visit to her daughter. Bottigliero was the person designated, but upon consideration that he is as much a creature of the cardinal as a servant of the queen, they feared he would be too suspect and hateful to Buckingham on that account alone. In his stead they would like to send Sethon. (fn. 3) I do not know what sort of person he is. I am told that he also will be unwelcome, especially as Carlisle dislikes him excessively. Accordingly we must not build too much on this mission, especially as they say that all the ports of that kingdom are now closed.
Two express couriers reached the cardinal yesterday, one from the isle of Ré, the other from Brest, bringing word of the arrival in that port of four Dunkirk ships for refuge, which had been very roughly handled by the English ships.
Paris, the 30th April, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 30.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
239. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and said:
I have told the Count della Torre what I said to your Serenity about his request for leave, with the reasons you gave for not granting it, and he sends a memorial which I present. After it had been read the ambassador said: One may state that the first memorial which I presented and this one are and are not identical, like the phoenix at its re-birth, est eadem et non est eadem. Both contain a request for leave but in a different form. The former was for some months for reasons of health, but on learning that this could not be granted while he remained general of the republic he now asks for absolute and total leave, disturbances having ceased in these parts, as he does not like receiving pay without earning it while so many other cavaliers are bearing arms where he also might find employment. He desires to lay down his charge and emoluments without any reservation, though his devotion to your Serenity will remain unaltered.
The doge replied: We highly esteem the count for his great qualities, and have always sought to render him content. If the Senate could not grant the leave he requested, your Excellency could appreciate the important reasons for the decision. We shall consider this new request and let you know our decision.
The ambassador rejoined: I beg your Serenity for as early a reply as possible. I have no advices this week, but if your Excellencies have any I shall be glad to hear them. They told him that there was nothing of importance but if anything came they would let him know. The ambassador made a reverence, took leave and departed.
Letter of the Count della Torre.
Most Serene Prince: From the ambassador of Great Britain I learn that your Serenity will not grant me the leave I need so much. I regret that I did not express my necessity more urgently, and as I may not have a temporary leave I ask for a total and absolute one, for most weighty reasons which I am asking the ambassador to set forth in my name. If I leave your service and state, yet I shall always remain your most faithful servant.
HENRY MATHIAS, COUNT DELLA TORRE.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Dr. Joachim Kratz, who had been at Venice in December of the preceding year. See Zwiedineck-Südenhorst: Die Politik der Republik Venedig während des 30 Jährigen Krieges, vol. ii, page 67. In a newsletter of the 2nd April Salvetti mentions his capture, as he was going from Calais to the Netherlands. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962D.
2 Francis Hannibal d'Estrées, Marquis of Coeuvres, Marshal of France.
3 Captain John Seton. See Francisque Michel: Les Ecossais en France, vol. ii, pages 294, 299.