Venice
May 1627, 1-15

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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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203-223

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'Venice: May 1627, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 203-223. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89120 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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May 1627

May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
240. SEBASTIANO VENIERO and ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassadors at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Here they maintain that Gabor has not really made peace with the emperor. The English ambassador sent us word that Gabor's agent constantly asserts that nothing has been concluded as yet. There is an ambassador of Gabor at Buda and the Turks have been urged to send thither the gentleman sent here by the emperor. They seem to have decided on this, so that all the negotiations may take place on the frontiers, all being armed. They say that if they find the peace good they will accept it, but on honourable terms and with the knowledge and consent of the Sultan's friends, otherwise they prefer war. The English ambassador informed us of this; he has determined to have a hand in the business. But they are so careless here that they have not yet sent that agent, or forwarded the investiture to Gabor, though they know how important it is to keep him in a good humour.
The Vigne of Pera, the 1st May, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
241. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
English and Dutch ships continue to flock to Leghorn to their great delight. The latter nation has brought goods to the value of 2½ millions. I have heard it said that the Spaniards are negotiating about opening a trade there of 700,000 ducats, and the merchants would be Corsini, Corsi, Ricardi and Salviati, who are the richest on this mart.
Florence, the 1st May, 1627.
[Italian.]
May 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
242. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ports of this kingdom, which had been closed as reported to prevent the escape of sailors, now prohibit the transmission of letters also. The postmaster assures me that all my former packets for your Serenity crossed, but that for the future they will not be forwarded, as it is customary in this kingdom, some weeks before and after the putting to sea of fleets, to forbid the egress of advices and reports, a fashion which will be observed the more rigorously in this case as the interests concerned are those of the duke himself, from whom the order must proceed, and as Lord High Admiral he disposes absolutely of this. However, I will obtain a passport in case of important events here or that your Lordships send me any commands. As for ordinary matters, I do not see the necessity of sending an express every week to France, especially as the hindrances will not last long. Meanwhile, I take advantage of a Dutch ship which is about to sail with the Danish ambassador, and send my present letters with the duplicates of last week's, so that they may reach you at the same time as the Ambassador Soranzo's.
From the foregoing your Excellencies may comprehend that all the energies of this government are centred in the fleet. The duke went lately to Rochester and in courteous terms ordered the ship-wrights there to use the utmost diligence. The vessel called the Triumph, on board of which he proposes to embark, has already come up the river to take in the chief necessaries, the provisions for his table being calculated to last three or four months. The officers of the regiments are commanded to have their men ready for the 5th May, and are promised six months' pay in advance before their departure. Burlamacchi is buying from 5,000 to 6,000 bushels of wheat to send with the other military stores. The ships, in all, will be 30 merchantmen and five of the royal navy. They are weak in sailors, and provisioned for three or four months from the date of sailing. The commander in chief will be the duke; the second Lord Willoughby, Lord Chamberlain of the kingdom, and the third Harvey, an old man and a sailor by profession, ever since the days of Queen Elizabeth. (fn. 1) The landing will be superintended by Colonel Boroughs and the other colonels in succession. The time of the movement is not yet very clear. They are doing their utmost to hasten it, but the want of money causes delay. Three or four weeks will elapse at the least. Many also doubt the duke's departure, although he himself and his followers affirm it.
The public are so anxious to see him at a distance that to pique him into the execution of his own resolves, they say it is unreasonable for him to run so great a risk, unless sure of success, if so much can be promised with regard to the fortunes of war. His grudge against France does not allow him to listen to anything which may prevent his being revenged on her, and now the cardinal is Superintendent of the Sea and very ill-provided, he has a design upon him. The fleet has been fitted out with the money of the French themselves, derived from the effects sold, to maintain the reputation of the kingdom against the reports circulated of its weakness. One of the projects, and perhaps the chief, is to release the wine vessels which were seized some while ago, a secret understanding being on foot with the English crews, and provided at Bordeaux they do not take away the sails and tackle, the English fleet will go up the river and bring them out. But they would rather that the cardinal should make use of them at sea, with a reinforcement of French soldiers, provided they leave some of the aforesaid English sailors on board. Soubise also will go with the fleet, without holding any command, they say, and should they need fresh supplies of victuals and ammunition at La Rochelle, they will pass under his name. If on the appearance of the fleet they should perceive, as they hope, any signs of insurrection in the kingdom, they might attack some port, but otherwise they would scarcely do so, having no horses to draw cannon and the amount of troops being limited, for the performance of great things and to retain them when effected.
With the pretext of these preparations I visited the Earl of Holland to learn their purpose and whether the common cause might expect profit or loss from them, as hostilities waged for the purpose of bringing about an adjustment are no less praiseworthy than mischievous if they displease all Christendom. On the one hand I mentioned the projects of the Spaniards with regard to the considerable loans made lately, and on the other the repeated orders given by your Excellencies in France owing to the assurance he gave me heretofore of the good disposition of the English government. He told me that the king meant to be armed afloat, because England without a fleet was a body without a head; with these thirty ships the duke would perhaps make a cruise off the coast of Spain, and after their departure a fresh reinforcement of even greater amount would be provided. In reply to what he said about Spain I expressed incredulity because the States had not contributed their quota of ships. He repeated the assertion with great volubility, renewing the complaints against France, which I have frequently reported. I elicited that they will make no further amicable advances here, as some desired. Should any ambassador come from France, he may be repulsed like the duke, and if received will not obtain satisfaction, as the king considers that he was treated contemptuously when the French disavowed the negotiations of Bassompierre. It is said that Chevreuse will be employed; since his recall to the Court he is chief confidant here, but before undertaking anything I fancy he will know what he may promise himself.
Among all the plans none is credited. They boast to me that by beginning the negotiations in the Netherlands, with the assistance of friendly powers and their ministers, who will use their good offices sincerely, and the reports circulated by the Spaniards for the purpose of kindling this flame will not meet with the same impassioned partiality at that Court as elsewhere. The fear of the fleet will render the French more tractable and the negotiation conducted adroitly at a distance will more easily mitigate the king's indignation, than if the attempt were made under his own eye. In short it would be necessary to have orders or an ambassador from the Most Christian, under some other pretext, at the Hague at the moment of Carleton's arrival there, whose wife died suddenly two days ago, (fn. 2) so he is greatly disturbed and perplexed, so that were the States to ask him to negotiate this adjustment with the French he would not utterly reject it, but would take time to write about the matter and obtain a speedy reply. It is true that it is important for the States not to loose their neutral independent confidence with the parties by complying with the demands of the French, who want them to send an ambassador to Paris. For his own repute and because of his sound views Carleton probably is not averse from the negotiation, unless he again receive counter orders from the duke. I hope the loss of his wife may not detain him, as if the fleet puts to sea and does nothing, through being weakened, they will try here to infuse fresh vigour by new and greater reinforcements; and should anything be accomplished the French will insist on revenge, so the mischief will be unavoidable, whatever happens.
If possible the news will be conveyed to France, and I will keep the Ambassador Zorzi informed, while doing my utmost, though without compromising your Excellencies, according to your commands. I have sent such particulars of the forces, projects and negotiations of England as to put into this letter all that could be told in a whole series of despatches.
London, the 2nd May, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
243. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the course of our conversation the Earl of Holland told me that the Abbot Scaglia, after seeing the Infanta at Brussels, might possibly go to the Netherlands and even come on here. The abbot's close intimacy with Buckingham makes me suspect that should he meet with some good overture at Brussels he intends to be at the Hague during the stay there of Carleton or any other English minister, with whom he will attempt to resume the negotiations for an adjustment with the Spaniards. This would be contrary to reason, the Duke of Savoy no less than the other princes being all interested in the maintenance of the public liberty, especially as I hear from Brussels that the Spaniards, suspecting Scaglia of making the attempt, reject the duke's arbitration about the accommodation. Others tell me that the journey to the Netherlands and England is intended to facilitate the negotiations with the Genoese, should they not have come to terms, because of the advantage to be derived from their ships, as on former occasions.
The Dutch commissioner is still negotiating with the hope of good results, though many reciprocal claims stand in the way. The English are determined to obtain satisfaction for the Amboyna business, and the States to do justice, an act which was to have been performed in the Netherlands, where some of the participants in the outrage now are. The Dutch wished to wait until all the delinquents were in their power, but the English want them to make a beginning. For the rest, the Lords of the Council have supplied a formula to regulate the abuses of the voyage, and though some disapprove yet they hope ultimately to effect an adjustment.
The Danish ambassador, having taken final leave of the king and Court, only awaits a fair wind to depart. His Majesty gave him his portrait set in diamonds, estimated at about 800l. sterling, and he bears letters of credit for 100,000 francs, a sum which they again promise to pay to the king every month, besides the pay of the four regiments, making a monthly total of some 200,000 francs. Although by articles of the last league the English are responsible for 300,000 francs, yet considering the present straits it will be no small help, if the performance corresponds with the promise. In truth the king and ministers all declare that they will not desert that cause, and believing the King of Denmark to be in force, they again take heart. This gentleman will make his way through the Netherlands, remaining there merely to see the Princes Palatine and the Prince of Orange and to urge the States, should Spinola wish to reinforce Tilly with part of his troops, to prevent it by rendering him uneasy. He has obtained the release of several ships belonging to Danish subjects, seized many months ago in this kingdom and Scotland. At his last visit to me he said he had very recent autograph letters from his king, with hopes that Gabor would again embrace the good cause, at least by supporting the army of Silesia, which is generally supposed to be the most important as it virtually affects the interests of [the emperor] and his territories.
Some counties have sent their subsidies in full, but with the express condition that they will not contribute for the future, contrary to the statutes of the realm, thus following his Majesty's proclamation, which gave them a promise to that very effect. Following their example, many others will do the same, and so the king is constantly plunging into deeper straits.
The bills due for the last loan supplied by the Portuguese have arrived at Antwerp at a moment when from want of money and fear of disturbances the Infanta had pledged jewels to the amount of 200,000 crowns in the Dutch pawnbrokers.
It is said that the three richly laden ships, captured by the Dunkirkers on their voyage from Amsterdam to England, have been taken to the French harbour of Bayonne, from fear of the Dutch squadron recapturing them on their entering Dunkirk. This proves that the French ports are open to the Spaniards, a suspicious circumstance, and the English make the most of it to bring the Dutch over to their side, though, if true, the fact is certainly not without cause for complaint.
London, the 2nd May, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
244. ANDREA DA MOSTO, Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the 21st April sentence was finally pronounced against the English and Flemings for having arranged a monopoly of currants by their document dated the 26th August last. Sentence enclosed.
Cephalonia, the 2nd May, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.245. The Sentence.
That 375 thousand currants pertaining to John Hobson, John Plomoton and Richard Gresuel, English merchants, now absent, as their portion contained in a deed dated the 26th August last, be confiscated, to be reckoned at 8 reals the thousand, for which their persons and goods shall be liable in any place, and whenever they come to this island.
They shall be incapable of trading at any time in this island, Ithaca and Zante, until they have discharged the said sum.
Nothing is said for the time being against Nufrio Boniton, a fourth English merchant, process being reserved against him for 125 thousand of currants touching him for his portion.
That James Frets, Arnold Chocler and John Martin Agahi, Flemish merchants, are condemned together to 200 reals and costs.
Nicolo Lippomano,Councillors.
Carlo Malipiero,
[Italian.]
May 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
246. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke decided to avail himself of Marini to take the first steps in the matter proposed by Montagu. On the day following my last he saw Marini, the prince being present, and informed him of Montagu's arrival and the object of his journey, begging him to write to the Most Christian to see if he would approve of the duke's interposition. He sent for Montagu to confirm what he said and desired him to put the things said in writing. To this paper his Highness made some additions; I enclose a translation of it. He asked Marini to send a courier express to the king, while Montagu was to take a journey to Switzerland, and he would return in time to meet the reply from France. At this meeting the ministers endeavoured to show that their opponents were in the wrong and to justify their masters. Montagu declared that his king did not want the affair to be in any hands but those of the princes here, although they would take in good part the interposition of Denmark and of any other friendly power, naming your Excellencies, with whom he said he had to pass an office, either personally or through Wake. It is said that they will confer in the Grisons, though they have not told me, I fancy the duke has prevented Montagu from speaking with me in the fear that I might discover something which they wish to keep concealed, and there is nothing remarkable in this closeness seeing that they count upon some profit from the confidence of the English king, as the whole thing might be spoiled if it were known to many.
Montagu left unexpectedly by night, they say, for Switzerland, but it is not known why. (fn. 3) The duke sent for me and told me of this, saying your Serenity should unite your offices with those he intended to make; you had ambassadors in France and England and you should write to them to help. I assured him that the ambassadors had special instructions and I was sure they would do everything proper to bring about peace, but without a definite invitation they would not depart from generalities. I wanted to disabuse him of the idea that your Serenity wished to deprive him of the glory of an adjustment.
Turin, the 3rd May, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.247. As my lord of Montagu has come to his Highness chiefly about the quarrel between his king and the Most Christian, and as the duke is very anxious for the reconciliation of those two crowns, his Highness has thought fit to communicate the matter to the Ambassador Marini with the points that Montagu has set forth, so that if his Majesty approves, the duke is quite ready to interpose for a reconciliation:—
(1) He assures the duke that his king is more set than ever on the good of the common cause.
(2) He has tried to show the duke all that took place at the time of these quarrels with France and how his king behaved, even to the prejudice of his own affairs.
(3) As the Prince of Piedmont acted as guarantee for the former treaty, the duke seems bound for the performance of what was promised.
(4) He has shown that the zeal of the King of Great Britain for the common weal is such that though he is deeply offended by France, he will not let this affect a general settlement, so that the duke may take more precautions than in the past, when his king found no security.
(5) All this is in order to invite France to treat as she promised.
These are the very words of Montagu to the duke, who has thought it right to set them down without alteration. The duke assures the ambassador that the matter will be conducted in a manner satisfactory to his Majesty. As a continuance of uncertainty cannot fail to involve pernicious consequences, a prompt decision seems more than necessary.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
248. To the Ambassador in England.
We note the suggestions made for our interposition in the quarrels between France and England, and the sinister interpretations put upon the reserve we have shown about proceeding to definite offices. These poisonous insinuations are made covertly by those who aim at taking advantage of the disputes between the two crowns, and are far removed from the sincere zeal the republic has always shown, without any selfish motives, You will refute this idea and remove the impression, adding that the republic deeply regrets the progress of these quarrels, fears the evil consequences that may ensue and desires to see a reconciliation. We would devote ourselves to this with all our heart, and we have already spoken in both Courts whenever an opportunity occurred, and we are ready to do so always and to perform every office that can be desired from a prince free from all partiality and moved by zeal for the common cause, while deeply interested in the greatness and union of the two crowns. We have spoken to the same effect to the Ambassador Wake and have written to the Ambassador Zorzi, and in the present state of affairs nothing more can be done to prove our good will, while it would do no good to hasten the pace without some good grounds and overtures. We hear from Turin that Wake has written to the duke that at the present moment no ambassador is more in favour with the republic than the Spanish and we have nothing more at heart than a reconciliation with that quarter. We inform you of this, although Wake apologised for this and withdrew it on the remonstrance of the Ambassador Moresini to the English secretary at that Court, as we treat the ambassadors here with equal honour, while our policy remains the same, and it is most pernicious to let pass reports to the contrary.
You will see by the enclosed copy that we have released an English ship here, in gratification of the English ambassador, for a payment of 500 ducats only, instead of a much greater duty which it would legally have been obliged to pay. He has sent a brief reply, but it shows some appreciation, and they ought to feel it also in England, and for that purpose we send you word.
Ayes, 101.Noes, 14.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
249. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Scaglia has at last left for Flanders after waiting so many weeks. I think his master is sending him chiefly in order to render France uneasy. He goes full of wrath against the ministers here, who suspect him deeply. Accordingly, if overtures were made to him at Brussels for an accommodation between the Spaniards and English he would take up the task gladly, and might easily bring it about by going on at once to England, where he is highly esteemed, to the utter destruction of this affair.
On Monday night an express courier from Turin passed this way, sent by Montagu to England. He had letters from the duke to Scaglia, but not finding him, he proceeded on his way at once. This has increased the cardinal's suspicions not a little, especially as the courier outstripped one sent by Marini, with the same matter.
Paris, the 5th May, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 5
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
rchives.
250. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is a rumour at the Court not only that the Spaniards are trying to win over the Duke of Savoy, but that the duke is much inclined to this, owing to his dissatisfaction with France, and is causing his ambassador in France to proceed to Brussels in order to arrange a settlement between Spain and England.
Vienna, the 5th May, 1627.
[Italian; copy.]
May 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Brescia.
Venetian
Archives.
251. DOMENICO RUZINI, Podestà, and ALVISE VALARESSO, Captain, of Brescia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We went to the Count della Torre two days ago to inform him that your Excellencies had released him absolutely from your service, in reply to his memorial and through the mediation of the English ambassador. He expressed his indebtedness and devotion, asking us to return his thanks. He was very glad he would not have to continue an idle life. He would always remember the honours received from the republic. He would leave soon; go through the Valtelline and the Grisons to Zurich and thence by way of Geneva and France to England, where the king wishes to see him, and therefore a ship will be equipped to fetch him. He will only stay a short while there and then proceed to Denmark, where he expects to have the post that the Duke of Weimar occupied. He heard the enemy would lay ambushes for him on the way.
We endeavoured to impress upon him that your Serenity had granted him the release in order to gratify him and to please the kings of England, Bohemia and Denmark. We also told him of the present, for which he returned warm thanks. We gather that before leaving the expects letters from the English ambassador at Venice.
Brescia, the 5th May, 1627.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
252. Yesterday evening I, Marco Antonio Padavin, went to the English ambassador to read him the office about leave for the Count della Torre. After it was read his Excellency sent for writing materials, and asked me if he might take a note. He took down many particulars, stopping me from time to time in reading and repeating the same thing more than once. He then charged me first of all to thank your Serenity for granting leave to the count, declaring that the kings of England, Bohemia and Denmark would take it as a great favour. The count also would be very glad, as he had not preferred the request from caprice, but his conscience could not rest if he missed this opportunity of using his talents. He then said that he ought especially to thank your Serenity for so quickly dispatching the affair. I made a reverence and departed.
[Italian.]
May 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
253. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Very bad news has reached Paris to-day from various parts of the realm. An express from Brest advises Richelieu that the English fleet has landed at the point of Conche in Britanny and taken 18 ships, three of which had the value of 600,000 crowns, and it then withdrew without inflicting further damage. (fn. 4)
Sir [Thomas] Discinton, the Scot, still cherishes the idea of negotiating peace between this crown and England. He has spoken to the king and the queen mother, who gave him courteous replies. He is a man of great sincerity and freedom of speech, but as he goes about publishing his design and announces that he is acting against Buckingham's wishes. I think his objects are better than his judgment, especially as the duke has numerous partisans in this realm, and those who do not desire an accommodation with England are countless and very powerful.
Paris, the 6th May, 1627.
[Italian.]
May 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Brescia.
Venetian
Archives.
254. DOMENCIO RUZINI, Podeste, and ALVISE VALARESSO, Captain, of Brescia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count della Torre has returned our visit, and he also came to tell us that the letter he expected from the English ambassador had arrived, with a copy of the Senate's reply about his release. He also told us that a gentleman of the King of Bohemia (fn. 5) arrived yesterday sent on to him from Turin by the duke. He would travel with him. He will leave Brescia this evening. He proposes to take ship at Calais and hopes to reach the Hague in four weeks. He is most anxious to see the King of Bohemia before proceeding to Denmark. He told us in confidence that he will not go to England, but had spoken of doing so to please the ambassador, as he had heard of the king's wish to see him.
Brescia, the 6th May, 1627.
[Italian.]
May 6.
Cinque
Savii
alla
Mercanzia
Risposte.
vol.147.
Venetian
Archives.
255. In reply to the petition of Rodolfo Simes, English merchant, for leave to unlade a ship in this city laden with cotton and other goods, upon payment of the usual duties, or to give it leave to go to other parts of the world; and another, presented by the merchants of this mart, claiming that only Venetian citizens may trade in the Levant:
We find that by decrees of the Senate of 19th April, 1524, and the 26th February, 1536, it is forbidden by penalties of forfeiture and fines that foreigners or any but Venetian citizens shall trade in the Levant, showing that the chief object was to reserve the trade for citizens, and although foreigners have made several attempts, your Serenity has never agreed to grant this liberty, although they offered to take goods from this city to the Levant and return hither with their cargo. If the unlading of this ship is permitted it will be contrary to the laws and of notable prejudice to the trade of this mart, which has suffered only too severely of late by the rush (concorso) of so many foreign nations to the Levant, and by the advantage they have in bringing their kerseys at the same time with ready money. We do not believe that this cotton is at present required in this city, as there seems to be a quantity in quarantine and on its way from Smyrna and Cyprus on the galleons of your Serenity, which are expected in a few weeks. By prohibiting the trade of foreigners and the escorts granted to our galleys, we may expect a notable increase of our own trade, whereas if foreign vessels are allowed to come here with goods from the Levant all the measures taken to revive this trade at so much cost will fall to the ground. We think, however, in regard for our good relations with this nation and in the assurance that the captain of the ship came here in good faith in ignorance of the laws, that your Serenity might dispense with their full rigour for this occasion and allow the ship to leave with its entire cargo, but taking it westwards outside the Strait of Gibraltar, for which a satisfactory guarantee should be given.
Dona Moresini, Savii.
Paulo Basadonna,
Piero Foscari,
Andrea Dolfin,
[Italian.]
May 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
256. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
From the manner of Montagu's negotiations and the course of his journeys one may suspect more profound objects than appear on the surface, and your previous letters serve to confirm the conjecture. You will try and find out the truth, as the matter is most important in every respect.
You gave a proper reply to the duke's suggestion that we should try to bring about the reconciliation of the two kings. The republic desires this cordially and sincerely, and has given general orders for representations to be made when an apportunity occurs.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
May 10.
enato,
Secreta.
Dispacci
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
257. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is a report here of the defeat of Tilly by Denmark. The news should have reached Venice through the English ambassador, to whom his Highness has written on the subject and I find that he thinks more of him than of his own ambassador, Scarnafiggi. A diamond necklace is ready to present to his wife and they cultivate that friendship greatly. The duke either recognises that minister really as a man of spirit devoted to his service, or desires by every means to preserve the confidence of England, which he has sole and entire, so as to derive the advantages therefrom which are now coming to light. But if the Secretary Conway leaves his post, as we hear, his son-in-law, Wake, may lose his high favour with the duke, as princes can rarely afford to consider aught but their personal interests and aims.
He wrote some weeks ago to the duke that your Serenity was on good terms with the Spaniards, and that no ambassador was better received at Venice than the Spanish. The duke took alarm as usual and spoke to me with passion, though he did not mention the author. I suspected him, however, and after reassuring the duke I made a mild remonstrance to the English secretary here. (fn. 6) He made excuses and wrote to his superior, whose reply he showed me yesterday, full of excuses and protests, partly denying and partly confessing, and ending with an expression of his deep devotion and affection for the republic. I hope he will show more reserve in the future, now he is aware that his letters are known and seen, and I am sure he highly esteems the favour of your Excellencies.
Turin, the 10th May, 1627.
[Italian.]
May 11.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
258. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
In response to the representations of the ambassadors of the island and after taking information from Antonio da Ponte, the late Proveditore, and others, we have decided as follows:
Whereas they asked for the removal of the English domiciled in the island, because they have made a monopoly of currants, and forbid cloth and kerseys, which they dispense at more than their value, and the price of currants fixed at 25 ryals the thousand, by our ambassador in England, we do not find it feasible or desirable to fix the price or remove the English, but we incline to prohibit the cloth and have reserved the matter for further consideration.
Replies to nine other articles of the petition, with the decisions of the Senate.
Ayes, 81.Noes, 0.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
May 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
259. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The closing of the ports is enforced with the utmost rigour, to prevent the conveyance of reports and letters. Some suspicion of a secret mission from the queen mother aroused especial vigilance. Twice they have refused permission to the Dutch ambassador to send out some ships of war now here, nor will they allow the departure of certain soldiers, who are to fill up the vacancies in the English companies in the Netherlands. They would not act with such marked violence towards the Danish ambassador, as it seemed unbecoming to stop him, but under pretence of delaying the money order they procrastinated so long that perceiving their object he finally insisted on departing at any rate. He received his passport but with very stringent conditions about searching the ship, etc., and he conveyed the despatch to Soranzo, which will arrive with my last.
I have little to add about the fleet. The surest projects are against France, though some say the contrary. Preparations for the landing multiply, some field pieces having been prepared, palisades to impede the cavalry, etc. The duke reckons on taking with him 100 horse or rather more, having requested all the chief persons here, his friends, to provide him with them entirely at their own cost, some furnishing two, some three, more or less, armed and mounted. They talk of the island of St. Martin near La Rochelle, because of its use to the Most Christian with its salt, and to open that passage to the Rochellese. Others mention Brest in Britanny, others suggest some uninhabited islands on the Garonne.
Most persons think, however, that the most effective way to thwart the cardinal's projects, and the safest and most advantageous plan for injuring France is to burn her vessels in harbour, as it is impossible to suppose that 4,000 foot can make great conquests, or retain them when made, as the necessities of England do not allow of speedy and essential reinforcements, and the hopes of insurrection in France not yet being realised, it is possible the fleet delays putting to sea on this account also, and it will not sail for two or three weeks at the earliest. All impartial people who arrive from France say there is no talk of war and they merely think of their own safety, nor are any sparks of insurrection visible so far. It is true, however, that Montagu sent hither in all haste one of his gentlemen, (fn. 7) who was sent back to him in Piedmont on the morrow with a remittance of 500l. sterling to help him. I fancy since that individual's transactions in Lorraine they have hopes of turmoil in that quarter and from the princes of that house, there being also an understanding with the Huguenots which is to take effect at the first blow struck either by the military or the naval forces of England.
Montagu also writes from Piedmont of the good treatment he received from the Duke of Savoy, as the king and Buckingham loudly extol his Highness in their conservation, some believe in hopes of a movement in that quarter also, based on the affronts received daily by Savoy from France. But I find many who believe that the duke wishes to use this close understanding with England for the Genoese affairs, of which they talk here also, but really your Excellencies may rest assured that this fleet will not proceed so far away, firstly because of the season, when calms prevail in the Mediterranean, and then because of the scarcity of provisions, which the fleet only has for three months.
Meanwhile Pennington, with six of the ships which went lately to convoy the French vessels, appeared suddenly off the harbour of Conquet in Britanny, where many vessels were lying, from some of which he took their sails and tackle, not having hands to man them, and carried off twenty-one others, including two worth 400,000 florins. Thus with the usual ebb the French lose everything, and instead of beating Buckingham maintain him in great authority and credit, even by means of their own money, thus providing for the king's needs. Your Excellencies will readily see how matters are gradually coming to a crisis. Although they have apologised for this act of hostility by the check received by Pennington some weeks ago, when he went up the Garonne and did nothing, in consequence of which popular ballads and farces were composed about him in Paris, yet the king and the duke are glad of the pecuniary assistance thus obtained, which was much needed.
On board these ships as well as in those seized previously, there is property belonging to the Dutch, the Hamburgers, the subjects of the Grand Duke and others. To avoid a crop of claims a decree was issued the day before yesterday that property of any sort to whomsoever belonging, arriving in British ports or captured at sea on board French vessels and belonging to the subjects of the Most Christian, is understood to be confiscated and applied to the king's own use. It seems that the merchants who persist in trading despite all severity, will take their goods and ships to La Rochelle, thus to save them from seizure by the English.
Following the example set here by the sale of French property I believe that in France also they have decided to treat English goods similarly. The parties interested have come forward claiming compensation, and the king replied that he would readily grant them letters of marque against the French that they may at their pleasure receive double the amount of their losses. But the merchants persist in refusing the letters, seeing clearly that the king thus relieves himself of making them any further compensation, through the goods of Frenchmen which are now being sold, but I fancy that at the end, in order not to lose everything, they will accept. This will form a second and much more difficult period in any case of adjustment, which becomes more and more arduous.
Something has been said to the Dutch ambassador in order that the States may either not conclude or not renew their alliance with France, or at least remain neutral. The ambassador thinks it advisable to encourage the idea, as he thinks the discussion of this desired friendship between the two crowns may render the United Provinces mediators. As already reported, Carleton will have instructions about this. Just as all good men approve of such offices, so the duke listens to them reluctantly, being more anxious than ever to revenge himself on France, especially in those matters to which Cardinal Richelieu is most inclined. Some assure me that the duke's mother, wife and sister mean to intercede with the king to prevent him from undertaking this expedition, under pretext of the sea, the war, the dangers and because he has no heir. Should this take effect it will be with the duke's own assent, and his going may be doubted. Meanwhile, I see him so pledged that he cannot retreat with honour, hot as he is to overcome the difficulties, having disbursed five months' pay to all the troops to render them satisfied, and delayed their embarcation until the end of this month to give time for the reinforcements and for the cavalry should they be able to find in all England a sufficient number to form a single company, so unusual and out of use is this sort of soldiery.
London, the 12th May, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
260. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the day after the despatch of my last, the Knights of the Garter performed their ordinary ceremony. The Danish and Dutch ambassadors were present in a private place, from curiosity. I also was to have been there, but not choosing to risk myself without instructions about precedence over Denmark, I stayed away under pretence of indisposition, without the matters being published or talked about. I have always been on very good terms with the Danish ambassador here in exchanging visits at our own houses, but I have always avoided meeting him on neutral ground. If your Excellencies will acquaint me with your wishes about the ambassadors both of Denmark and Sweden it will make it easier for me to conform myself to the will of the state in the future.
On this occasion three new knights were created, the King of Sweden, the Prince of Orange and the Earl of Suffolk, of a great family in this kingdom and one of Buckingham's dependants.
To the first they know not how to send the order, it being customary to transmit it to the Kings of Denmark by a stately embassy, which is at variance with the present need, and it is very certain that the king would not receive the ordinary herald.
Carleton will convey it to the Prince of Orange, and although he is not much attached to the English, the chance of arousing the suspicions of the French has made them overlook this, especially as his deceased brother had it.
For the rest the king would very willingly have knighted barons and other titled persons, it having become usual to pay many creditors by offering to confer rank on individuals, who obtain it by paying large sums to the said creditors by whom they are nominated.
The Danish ambassador has worked hard to obtain the 10,000l. reported, the city of London not having chosen to give its guarantee to Burlamacchi, as agreed. He also withdrew, as the payment of the subsidy proceeds very slowly and a good part of the money finds it way into the purses of the courtiers. But at length, by a handsome payment to the Lord Treasurer, the Dane overcame the obstacles, and this is the game that must always be played at this Court by those who would succeed in their negotiations.
Carleton's departure is delayed by his wife's death, but yet more by lack of the money which he is to take to the Queen of Bohemia, as also a small sum due to the States, on account of costs incurred by them in advance for the troops of Count Mansfelt, two years ago.
The affair of the Dutch commissioner similarly tends to delay, and Carleton will convey some proposals to the Netherlands where it seems both parties desire negotiation. The English resist the restitution of the ships in order not to disburse the value of their cargoes, on the plea of their claims for Amboyna and the exemplary punishment of Can, (fn. 8) sometime Dutch general in the East Indies, where he did the English great mischief. After promising his Majesty that he should never go there again, those worthy merchants sent him out in a private capacity by the last fleet, so unless he returns the English seem disinclined to receive satisfaction and the Provinces apologise, saying it happened without their consent or knowledge.
Mansfelt's late treasurer, Dulbier, has arrived. As his demands relate to money they do not find favour with the king, especially now when disbursements would be fruitless. I am told he speaks improperly about the republic, because he and all Mansfelt's other dependants were not retained in your service, saying all the disbanded troops are dissatisfied and henceforward your Excellencies will not find it easy to get soldiers, especially Germans. Such are the effects of passion, though it deserves reproof, which I will administer when I see him.
The Dunkirkers continue to cruise and plunder, but I do not hear talk of invading them, just as if they were not enemies.In nine months I do not know of a single Spanish ship being seized though many have been taken from other nations, who make a great outcry.
Two bishops have been added to the Council of State, Wells and Durham, (fn. 9) who are, I understand, strongly opposed to the Archbishop of Canterbury and Protestants rather than Puritans, one of them being about to publish a book on the seven sacraments, whereby the Anglican church would draw somewhat nearer to the Catholic.
A Franciscan friar, a Portuguese, (fn. 10) after an imprisonment of some months, has lately been released at the Infanta's request, who promises in return the release of 40 sailors, prisoners in Dunkirk. He was to leave on a small boat, despite the closing of the ports, and was accompanied by another person. I cannot discover as yet whether, besides the affair of the prisoners, the last has any further orders about the negotiations.
1,500 infantry have left Hull to fill up the English regiments in Denmark. The remainder, numbering 4,000, who are partly in the Thames and part at Harwich, will set sail when the complements are full, as many desert every day.
I have received the ducal missives of the 9th April with the Ambassador Wake's exposition. I will use this as ordered, requesting your Excellencies, meanwhile, to have money voted to my credit for couriers and postage, as no more remains to me on that account.
London, the 12th May, 1627.
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
May 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
261. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Contrary to the usual custom the report of the loss inflicted by the English fleet was much less than the truth, as instead of eighteen, there were forty-two ships taken. Three had 600,000 crowns in money on board. Two had Dutch cloth worth 400,000 crowns, and two others, very rich ones, had goods of the Cardinal Richelieu, who wished to encourage others by his example. Immediately on the arrival of this news they sent for the king, who arrived in Paris on the following day. Arguing that the shame and loss was all due to the Rochellese, he wished to take the field against them at once. Many of the Council did not like this. They proposed an order against the lives and goods of the English and all the subjects of the King of Great Britain, but as this would include the Scots, who have been allies for so long, the proposal was not adopted. Bassompierre wanted the king to send the Duke of Guise to Provence, and by joining his galleons and those of the Mediterranean to the royal fleet, to pursue, capture and sink the English ships. This also fell through owing to the expense, the time and above all the vast pretensions of that duke. They talked of making four new infantry regiments and with them and the old troops to finish the affair of La Rochelle once and for all, which is the beginning and the end of these troubles. But as experience has shown that the land forces do not suffice for this without naval help, they put off this plan until the fleet should be ready. Many other proposals were made but the only one adopted was to send Colonel Sciapes with his regiment, to prevent the Huguenots from crossing the Loire.
The Duke of Lorraine left very ill pleased, considering he had been sent for nothing. He visited no one but the Countess of Soissons, and I hear on good authority that he promised to take the side of her son whatever happened with Savoy or with England, with whom it is thought he will be united.
The Duke of Chevreuse, who came with him, has not left yet. He remains against his will. He receives no instructions from the cardinal about intervening for a reconciliation, and he is either unwilling to act by himself or does not dare. He knows that he is suspect and that they would not have thought of him if there had been anything better, and now with Discenton's negotiations, they are thinking of other ways.
Sethon will leave to-day. I do not know if he is sure of setting foot in England, as the ports have now been closed a month. His instructions are as voluminous as the prohibition to publish them is severe. The cardinal wants him to feel his way, and if he finds things as Discenton represents them, to execute his commissions. To advance this desired reconciliation the cardinal has discussed it alone with the queen mother and Bottigliero. The same queen is sending a gentleman with presents to the Queen of Bohemia and her godson to induce that unfortunate couple to move in the matter. Richelieu hopes that they will decide to act as mediators.
On Tuesday Montagu's courier returned by this way. I do not know what he carried that demanded such haste. He passed through at night without stopping.
Paris, the 12th May, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
262. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Savoy's offer to France to intervene for a reconciliation with England has not been accepted. The ministers here do not believe him disinterested. They propose to send him an inconclusive reply in order not to irritate a temper easily roused.
Paris, the 14th May, 1627.
[Italian.]
May 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
263. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I cannot find any indication of any steps being taken in Lorraine for an agreement between the Spaniards and the English. As the Duchess of Chevreuse aimed at a reconciliation with the French court, it seems unlikely that the Duke of Lorraine would have a hand in the operations between Spain and England. Montagu either did not see him or it took place some time before he went to Turin.
Zurich, the 14th May, 1627.
[Italian.]
May 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
264. To the Ambassador in France.
We have heard of the overtures made for a reconciliation between the two crowns. These are not such as to lead us to make special offices at present, but whenever anyone speaks to you, or the matter is discussed, you will point out the serious consequences involved, the regret of all right-feeling men at the state of affairs and the expectation of every one to hear that the prudence of the two kings has found the way to a reconciliation.
Ayes, 107.Noes, 0.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
May 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
265. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassadors of France, England and Flanders have spoken there at length about the corsairs, in the visits which we have exchanged. They all agree that no real remedy can be expected here by remonstrances alone, because they are weakening the Christian powers and they expect great help from these Barbary people, who are their subjects, in the event of war. They do not lose heavily on their customs, as the plundered Christians continue to trade. They all agree equally that the powers concerned should apply a remedy without further delay. They think it would not be difficult if their princes armed eight or ten powerful ships each and your Serenity employed the great galleys and some of the light ones. These forces acting separately could follow up the pirates and deprive them of the means of plundering and, in a short time, destroy them altogether. A show of vigour on the part of Christendom might produce effects here which mere words and negotiations would never do. The English ambassador, who is indeed a cavalier of great prudence and worth, having long served his king in the East and West Indies, told me that the Caimecan had sent for him these last months and complained to him about news which had arrived that some English ships in the seas of the Indies had captured some others going to Mecca, causing grave prejudice to the traffic and considerable revenues which they derive here from the great city of Cairo and its surroundings. The ambassador replied that he knew nothing about this event and he would write to his king and obtain a reply. He had consigned to him a very long and humble letter, which he keeps by him to take to his Majesty, as he is leaving here in a few months. He remarked that he thanked God they recognise very well here that the English can recoup themselves quite well for the injuries they receive from the Barbary subjects of this empire, and they are made to understand here that it is necessary to punish the pirates effectively with those who support them, and the English will no longer be satisfied with mere promises but demand hostages or some security.
He says that he expects this reply in two months and expects it will give them cause for reflection. Two English cavaliers, disguised as sailors, had been to reconnoitre Algiers and Tunis and promised to take them by landing 3,000 men, not to keep but to destroy them utterly. He thinks that ten ships with good guns could bombard those towns and force them to any terms, similar events having happened with English ships in the Indies.
This cavalier is returning to England in a few months. He goes brimfull of most noble ideas, which he proposes to carry out himself. He hopes to induce his sovereign to make adequate provision, moved by his ardour, great experience and credit with that king. I encourage these ideas and all like them, and I commend them earnestly to your Serenity.
The Vigne of Pera, the 15th May, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
266. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the 20th March last I gave the reason why English ships flocked to Leghorn. I have now made further enquiries, as instructed. Leghorn is very well placed for the trade of the English and Dutch, as goods can be taken thence to any part, and it is one-third nearer, the hire for Leghorn being one-third less than for Venice. They can also reach the Levant more easily for their return cargoes, so they save both time and expense.
They are also encouraged by the chance of buying there in ryals, which come from Genoa, although very few do so now and it is thought they will be less in the future. They got them much cheaper than at Venice and liked to have them to spend in the Levant, where that money is so gladly taken, and to send to the East Indies. They also profit by taking this cloth of Florence to the Turkish Dominions. The enmity with France and Spain makes all other ports in the Mediterranean unsafe, and they no longer go to Genoa, Naples or Sicily.
The freedom of the port, from which they can take away their goods already laded, without any charge and send them where it suits them best, also helps to great deal. The ships come in fleets, for greater safety, with so many enemies about, whereas before they came one by one. Business has multiplied at Leghorn, many merchants of various nations have established houses there, and these nations have their consuls, notably England, which encourages their agents to go there and trade.
I consider one of the principal inducements is the trade with Barbary, as by a change of marks and an alteration of the bales, goods stolen by those pirates are bought by the agents of the Leghorn merchants at easy prices, and sent forthwith to Leghorn.
The trade at Leghorn of the English and Dutch is thought to be so great that it cannot be increased because that town cannot dispose of the quantity of goods which they bring, and that is why some of the last English ships that have come have gone on to Venice, while others are only unloading a part of their cargo here.
Florence, the 15th May, 1627.
[Italian.]
May 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
267. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Soissons stayed here until Tuesday, remaining incognito. He did not see their Highnesses. I understand from an English lord that Buckingham has sent some one to look for the count, to tempt him and try to dispose him against the Most Christian king.
Florence, the 15th May, 1627.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 William, Lord Hervey, who had distinguished himself against the Spanish Armada and at the capture of Cadiz in 1596. He commanded as Rear-Admiral.
2 Anne, daughter of Sir Henry Saville, who was buried in Westminster Abbey on the 21st April, o s. Cal. S.P. Dom., Addenda, 1625–49, page 211.
3 Montagu left for Venice on the 29th April. Despatch of Hales of 1/11 May. S.P. Foreign, Savoy.
4 Pennington's raid on Conquet. See his report, S.P. Dom., vol. lvi, no. 9.
5 Called Sig. Gorio Guglielmo Bernstorf in a letter from Venice of the 4/14 May S.P. Foreign, Venice.
6 Anthony Hales.
7 Mr. Whittingham; despatch of Hales of the 20/30 May. S.P. Foreign, Savoy.
8 John Pietersen Coen.
9 William Laud, Bishop of Bath and Wells and Richard Neile, Bishop of Durham, were sworn of the Privy Council on Sunday, the 9 May. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 222.
10 Called Father Adrian in Contarini's despatch of the 16th June, below.