Venice
June 1627, 2-15

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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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237-255

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'Venice: June 1627, 2-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 237-255. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89122 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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June 1627

June 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
289. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My last letters should have crossed the sea with Lord Carleton, who has been to take leave of me for the third time, though with their usual instability here his departure will not take place until after that of the fleet. The pretext assigned for the delay is that the Dutch commissioner has not yet been despatched, that it is useless to treat one and the same affair in two places, and that Carleton will be better received in the Netherlands should his arrival be preceded by some concession to the Dutch, who are irritated by the seizure of their capital and ships.
I believe that in reality they do not mean anyone to go out before the fleet, and not having yet settled its destination, as no insurrections have hitherto occurred in France, whilst in Spain there are some orders for naval provision which cause suspicion, they wish him to leave with all necessary information.
Perceiving the delay to grow worse daily, although I sent two packets by the Danish ambassador through Holland, and wishing to keep your Excellencies well informed, I despatched these present secretly as well as the preceding ones by way of Holland in the hope that they may go that way with less suspicion, as my messenger will embark in a fishing boat a good way to the North, towards Scotland, I would not ask for a passport, being sure of a refusal, as besides the custom of the country and the duke's interests, the Dutch ambassador and other foreign ministers are not excepted from the rule. Even if obtained it would be of little use as the French boats would not be licensed, the English would not sail, to be seized in France, and the Dutch are forbidden to carry on this traffic. On this same account the letters from Italy are in arrear, this being the third week in which I have not received any. So I again request duplicates of instructions by way of Holland, as affairs here become more and more straitened and distrust and difficulties increase.
Besides the 200 horse reported, which being undisciplined are of little use for this service, they have ordered a fresh reinforcement of five regiments of infantry, amounting to about 4,000 additional men, three being English and two Irish. For the first they press the people of the realm as usual, so that they may be ready in ten days. All the counties are ordered to have their contingents at Portsmouth by the 7th inst. The same rigour is used in this city, exciting no little discontent among the people. A somewhat longer term will be conceded to the Irish and the order is to await a second fleet, which is announced as intended to follow up the undertakings of the first, though I cannot promise great things considering the feebleness of the government and because it seems they have no means of raising money save what is obtained from the French goods, or subsequently to join the first at some appointed place. This fresh reinforcement merely serves to give colour to the delay of the fleet, which will not put to sea for another 15 or 20 days at least, and to encourage risings in France, as it seemed that every one hesitated to run the risk of a rebellion with so small a force as 4,000 foot, though, indeed, these new troops, being undisciplined, disorderly and utterly inexperienced, will cause more confusion than any service they can render. The king, they say, will leave next Monday for Portsmouth, to inspect the fleet, and withdraw from the constant worries which beset him amid these commotions and difficulties. The day before yesterday he went to the Tower to hasten the artificial fireworks and other instruments being prepared.
In this new levy they are increasing the amount of provisions and ships, which will not, however, exceed thirty-seven, eight royal of middling size, carrying sixty guns and three pinnaces, also royal, ten merchantmen of twenty guns, mostly bronze, ten of the colliers bring coal from Scotland, each with fourteen iron guns on an average, and twenty inferior ships to transport provisions, the gun carriages of the field pieces, implements and horses; a few others will be added for the fresh reinforcement, but not armed, as their fitting out requires too much time. I have heard nothing further of their plans, but confirm what I have written. I know that the duke has ordered a selection of the best soldiers and sailors of the whole force so as to efficiently strengthen the royal ships and some of the strongest merchantmen, which indicates thoughts of cruising and perhaps a project for burning vessels beyond France in like manner.
It is incredible that a landing in France can be effected in any other name than Soubise's or that of some other French leader, as the English name is too hateful and would raise the entire population against them.
Negotiations with the Huguenots continue. Those of Nimes and other neighbouring places answered that they could put no trust either in Rohan or Soubise, who have so often deceived them, making terms for money and neglecting their defence. The English government replies that they need be under no apprehension, as at present neither Soubise nor Rohan but the King of England will direct the affair and he will not allow them to succumb, as he is not swayed by private passion. These are all pretexts to commit them to a lasting war and to stir up the French blood.
They also give Soissons to understand that if he loses this opportunity offered by his Majesty's forces, he will never again find a better for avenging the injuries he professes to have received from the Most Christian. They act similarly with Savoy, Lorraine, and others to make charcoal of all sorts of wood.
The duke has dismissed from his service some Frenchmen, although favourites, giving them a fair recompense, thus showing his animosity and distrust for the nation.
He gave their Majesties an entertainment, representing the putting to sea of the fleet, to inflame the king's ardour. (fn. 1)
Great alarm has been caused by the proclamation printed in France rigorously prohibiting all commerce with the English, even when done through other nations, especially as this proclamation (it is not known whether as an artifice or in reality) has the assent of the king's brother, in order to pledge him against the English and prevent their mines from exploding. In short the trade is utterly destroyed by the irreparable rupture between the two kingdoms, as they have recently issued letters of marque to all subjects and inhabitants who ask for them, to cruise against the French, and all goods found in ships carrying that flag, to whatsoever nation they belong, are declared good prizes. This phase pledges them more and more to war, and will be one of those most difficult to adjust as it affects the interests of private individuals, and once these ships have put to sea it will not prove so easy to recall them or find out where they are.
Although Seaton, the Scot, made no proposals for negotiation, I got scent that he had some orders, though solely in the event of doing well for France and greatly to her advantage, such as assenting to Buckingham's return on an embassy, to urge the sending of some one to France in the king's name and similar exorbitant demands. I have not seen him but fancy, after the refusal of the passport, he left on the plea of buying horses in the country, but really to get out of the kingdom, after having thoroughly acquainted himself with all these affairs, his impression being that the English forces can neither do great things nor follow them up by reinforcements if done. These very unfavourable reports will increase the pretensions of the Most Christian. I believe all the court rejoice at the turmoil because, being employed, they profit by it, and they look no further.
The courier arrested at Dover has been released at the French secretary's request, but the letters were detained and opened under pretence of having miscarried. He greatly resents this and came to tell me about it. I urged him to prevent such incidents by advocating an adjustment. He assured me that his master was very well inclined to this, and I found they would not object to Carleton's negotiations in the Netherlands and the secretary had already written about them to the Court. In conclusion, despite all this progress, the Court still doubts whether the duke will put to sea. I consider him so far pledged that he cannot honourably draw back, though bearing in mind past events some doubts on the subject are now current here.
London, the 2nd June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
290. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Dutch commissioner negotiates daily with the Lords of the Council, but makes very little progress. They have decided that the trial about the Amboyna affair shall be continued under Carleton's eye in the Netherlands of such of the accomplices as have returned thither, without waiting any longer for Cun, who went back to the East contrary to the promise made to the king here, Carleton having undertaken to propose his recall at the Hague. As regards the seizure of Dutch bottoms in this country they discuss the claims of each vessel separately, which causes much delay. He hopes for satisfaction, declaring that if it is not granted Carleton on his journey will receive some affront from the populace of the maritime towns, who are much interested in these reprisals, and are impatient of control.
As regards the property of Dutchmen seized on French ships they have promised the commissioner that distinction shall be made, but as it is of considerable value and the want of money so great, I know not what to expect.
When they nominated the Prince of Orange a Knight of the Garter, no communication was made to the Dutch ambassador, Joachim, who was accordingly offended. Buckingham merely wrote a letter to the prince, who from what I understand, after consulting with some of the provinces in his confidence, has given it to be understood that when this honour was conferred on his late brother, it was with the assent of the States, and he also must pursue the same course. Owing, however, to the present disputes with France he does not know what resolve they might form so that it would be well to delay sending him the order for a few days longer. Despite this Carleton will take it with him and decide on the spot so as to avoid a repulse, as the choice was really only made to render France suspicious. The Prince of Orange and the King of Sweden were both chosen without receiving any previous notice, as the nominations are mostly made accidentally and according to the caprice of the moment.
Some of the ships of this fleet being quite ready for sea have gone' out to guard the coast and the Channel, though we hear that some Hamburg ships have passed in safety, laden with cordage and other naval stores for Spain. This, together with other intelligence from that country that they purpose arming briskly, has somewhat disconcerted the resolves made here.
One Lionel Wake (Lovach), an English merchant of Antwerp, related to the ambassador at Venice, has arrived here. He is commissioned to procrastinate the negotiations for the opening of the trade with Dunkirk for four or six ships on either side, a project which at the present crisis is also encouraged by the postmaster for the passage of the letters, as, should the misunderstanding with France continue, the trade will be interrupted. I do not hear that as yet they listen to this, nor can such treaties take effect without the consent of the United Provinces, because of the usual guard which they keep on the coast. I am not aware that he has any other business, though I well know he says very freely that the Spaniards are most disposed to make terms with the English. I have some suspicion that this Wake left Flanders after the Abbot Scaglia's arrival, which has been announced, though not for certain, as there are no letters from any quarter, which makes it very difficult to learn any political news, especially about these affairs, as they conceal them to the utmost from those whom they suppose to be opposed to them.
A Portuguese Franciscan friar (fn. 2) has also been released from prison at the Infanta's request, in exchange for 90 sailors. He is about to depart for Brussels, and having been to the duke for his passports was requested by him to wait a few days, as the king wished to speak to him. It seems that a conference has already taken place between these three alone, the duke having offered him board, clothing, money, etc., which looks very suspicious.
A gentleman has arrived from the King of Denmark, with despatches addressed to the Ambassador Rosengratz, who has already departed. It is said he brings demands for money, the usual urgent requests for the troops who have been already sent, and praise of Colonel Morgan, because in the defence of a certain post towards Bremen he behaved admirably. It cannot be ascertained whether there are any more secret commissions, as the agent of the Danish king here, (fn. 3) being an Englishman, has not the key of the cipher.
Sir [Isaac] Wake's gentleman, who was to have been sent with letters and demands to your Serenity, has not yet departed, nor will he go, in order not to place himself at the mercy of the French, after the arrest of the couriers, but I understand that the journey to Italy will be performed, but at leisure, by a servant of Buckingham named Lanier, he being sent to Mantua to make a purchase of pictures and antiquities now they hear that the Duke Vincenzo wishes to part with them. I do not think he will have any other business. (fn. 4)
London, the 2nd June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
291. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are making forty pieces of artillery in the foundries here for the fleet, according to the invention of Targoni, I wrote of. Twenty will be of 800lbs. and 20 of 1,000lbs. weight. Although they are so poor in metal they design their guns to fire balls of 100 to 150lbs., wherewith to send to the bottom whatever they meet. The terrible results they produce are shown by experiments made in the river here for several weeks past in the presence of the cardinal, Schomberg and others. He called upon me yesterday and said he was going in a fortnight to Britanny, to equip a good number of ships, with which he imagines he will not only reduce La Rochelle but boasts that he will enter the ports of England itself, with these thunder-bolts of his, or will go and sink the fleet.
The English agent, Achin, (fn. 5) who has stayed on here through all these disputes, has had leave from the ministers, which was refused some days ago, and his passport. He left yesterday, having first called at this embassy.
Paris, the 2nd June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives
292. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day before yesterday I addressed two long despatches to your Serenity by an express messenger, who was to cross the sea privily towards Holland, as the ports are still closed. Last night letters said to be from the Abbot Scaglia arrived from Brussels and to–day they suddenly decided that Carleton should immediately leave for the Netherlands. I endeavoured to see him and obtain confirmation of this sudden resolve from the Dutch ambassador and others, and I am still at work to-night to acquaint your Serenity with the result.
I find, as I wrote several months ago, the Duke of Savoy goes about embroiling everything and a sharp look out must be kept upon him. In the very brief space granted me I discover that on Carleton's arrival in the Netherlands, either Scaglia will be already there or he will arrive shortly, and they will have a very close understanding together. The overtures will be for adjustment with the Spaniards, from whom Scaglia will perhaps have had good words at Brussels, as I am certain they would give them to anyone for the sake of a rupture between the two crowns.
Carleton will sound the inclination of the States and try and make them adhere to Scaglia's proposals; but should he meet with difficulties I fancy he will expatiate on the misconduct of the French and allege the considerable succour afforded them by the Spaniards, it being understood that some of their ships are already defending the coast of Britanny, causing uneasiness owing to its nearness to Ireland.
He will endeavour to acquaint the government here with what they may hope from their friends, so as to make the attack in the most advantageous quarter, seeing that war with France and Spain simultaneously, would be very perilous, if only on account of English trade. In short, they seek to profit by the fear of the fleet before it puts to sea, or to ascertain the intention both of friends and enemies, as on going out and not doing anything, which would be very difficult, the King of England will be in a sorry plight.
It is evident that Scaglia is negotiating this affair at Brussels with the intention of passing it on to the Hague, and indeed they say he will subsequently come to England to make it appear, for reputation's sake, that he prays the king to make peace and also to alarm the Genoese by the naval preparations of this government. Carleton himself does not deny this and talking with the Dutch ambassador, who remarked to him that it was not the moment to make such attempts until after soundly beating the Spaniards at sea, as so long as they remained in force afloat any truce or peace conceded by them, however advantageous it might appear to England, would be a law of slavery for all and for Germany in particular, although little thought is had for that region as being too topical (topico) and ordinary. Carleton replied that he should not have made such proposals, but he believed they proceeded from some friendly power, which so far as I can see means no one but Scaglia. This is confirmed by the unusual reserve shown by Carleton when speaking to me and the Dutch ambassador about this sudden resolve, his tone and countenance indicating the regret of one compelled to act contrary to his own judgment. He also takes with him that Gerbier, who set on foot the colloquies with the Antwerp painter, for the purpose, I believe, of again employing him on the same business; so suspicions increase in every direction.
Some persons, judging from the fickleness of the English government, assure me that Carleton himself will go to Brussels, though neither in reason nor for the king's repute can I believe it, though the reserve about this journey is certainly suspicious, and the severity used to prevent the passage of messengers and letters causes general mistrust. The Dutch ambassador is in great distress, not knowing how to forewarn his masters. Indeed, he tells me he would fain go to them himself to counteract these machinations. I am in a like state of anxiety, but if my diligence can be of any avail I hope your Excellencies and the Ambassador Soranzo will not be taken unawares by unexpected negotiations, especially of such importance as this which would alter the state of all Europe.
I have spoken to Carleton as I have frequently written, especially urging him to uphold his reputation by uniting these two crowns and not separating them for ever by these new treaties. He answered me by making the usual complaints about the French, with whom a rupture draws nearer daily. The English secretary, who has now returned from France confirmed to me the orders given him by his king to listen to any proposal and support it warmly, telling me, moreover, that should the French wish it in earnest, they would still be in time to draw down these devices on the head of Spain. This is what Savoy should apply his mind to, as were there any apparent hope of success I have no doubt but that by arranging with the States for some secret reinforcement for this fleet, they would strike a better blow in a quarter where less suspicion is entertained.
London, the 4th June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
293. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A Bohemian gentleman, who came from Venice and brought letters of the Ambassador Wake to Olivieri, (fn. 6) who is now here, sent on the letters and continued his journey to Basel, although the ambassador wrote that he would confer with Olivieri, who would know what to do. Accordingly, Olivieri is very perplexed. Two other English gentlemen, who went to Turin with Montagu, and came here out of curiosity to see Geneva and this country, left four days ago for Venice, expecting to find Montagu there.
Zurich, the 4th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 4.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
294. Presented in the Collegio by the Secretary of England in the name of the Ambassador Wake.
3,000 horse and some 4,000 foot of his Majesty have entered the margraviate of Brandenburg, where they are trying to drive the enemy from the places they recently took, and I venture to say that in my next your Excellencies will find that we have driven them from Brandenburg, Rahenau, Puurlburg and Favelburg. The king having put the English in his new fortress near Bremen, Tilly sent five regiments of foot and three of horse to attack them, but they were repulsed with the loss of many men while we only lost four. 12,000 men (fn. 7) of Sir Charles Morgan have arrived and we expect the others daily. The king proposes to leave Stade with 3,000 horse and as many foot. At this instant the king writes to me in his own hand that three of the best of Tilly's cavalry regiments have mutinied, those of Colonels Buk, Curtenbak and Erffet, but these colonels continue with the enemy. As a postscript his Majesty writes: Crescit crescit haec mutinatio brevi plura dabo.
Hamburg, the 15th May, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
295. To the Ambassador in England.
It is some weeks since we had letters from you, the last being of the 23rd April. We attribute this to the closing of the ports, as we know your diligence in sending us all particulars. Cardinal Richelieu sent the Abbot of Foes (fn. 8) to inform our ambassador of the capture of many rich French ships by the English fleet. In his reply Zorzi expressed regret at the embitterment of the quarrel between the two crowns. Perhaps this incident may bring about overtures for an accommodation. We have already expressed our good will towards this and directed you how to comport yourself. We hear on good authority that they had some idea in France that Montagu's mission to Turin was to bring about a union between England, our republic and the Duke of Savoy, we do not know upon what grounds, except Montagu's journey, and the rumour that he travelled incognito as far as Padua to confer with the Ambassador Wake. This will serve you for information, so that you may find out what you can.
Ayes, 126.Noes, 0.Neutral, 10.
[Italian.]
June 5.
enato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
296. To the Ambassador in Spain and the like to the other Courts.
When we released the French ambassador's servant, arrested for firing a pistol, the Most Christian expressed his complete satisfaction. Since then, owing to the malicious report of the ambassador, those ministers, though not including Cardinal Richelieu, said they would refuse audience of the king, unless their representative's dignity was vindicated. Zorzi decided to abstain from seeing the ministers till he heard from us, and we instructed him to point out to the cardinal the impropriety of asking more from the republic than what it had done, and our astonishment at their way of treating our ambassador. The cardinal recognised the force of this, and confirmed the king's desire for cordial relations with the republic. We have informed you of the sequence of these events because we understand that the matter has been misrepresented abroad, and so that you may contradict false statements, showing that the royal ministers are so far from persisting in these pretensions that even Richelieu has spoken to our ambassador in a long interview about the quarrels with England, and has sent on purpose to inform him of the recent capture of French ships by the English fleet.
Ayes, 127.Noes, 2.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
June 5.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
297. To the Rectors of Padua.
Your visit to the English ambassador and the other matters which you report in your letters of the 27th ult. have given us full satisfaction, seeing the importance of encouraging good relations with foreign ministers by such demonstrations. We commend you for what you have done and are very glad to have the advices you sent.
Ayes, 150.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
June 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
298. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After I had worked the whole of the night before last that my letters might be taken by Carleton, who had sent his baggage and effects to Gravesend with all speed, besides having taken leave of the king and court, he was stopped in one moment by the duke, under pretence that his creature, Gerbier, was not ready to depart, a mark of distrust with which Carleton himself is by no means pleased, seeing himself the sport of caprice. He has therefore gone into the country with the intention of returning shortly.
The cause of this delay is attributed to designs on France, which have bee in great part discovered by the arrest of certain persons at La Rochelle, to fresh chimeras based by the duke on the negotiations at Brussels and to reports that the Most Christian is sending an ambassador extraordinary to the Netherlands, as, for reputation's sake, they want him to arrive before Carleton.
I might have combined my last letters and these present, but I thought it better for your Serenity to see to the life the vacillation of this government and judge of its feebleness. I am confounded by this time at having to announce on the same subject so many variations as to seem practically incredible, but if they proceed in this way I shall certainly continue to track them in all their windings, regretting in the meantime that all these forms of government are not only injurious to England but also to the common cause of Europe, the French being emboldened and elated by their reflex. At any rate, besides the other mishaps and impediments, the wind continuing contrary since I sent my messenger to the seaside a week ago, I think it advisable to despatch these present to him, that they may cross at the same time, if possible, although their strictness increases daily, so that I have to think more about getting the letters across than about the letters themselves. Certainly in England they have never seen so long a closure of the ports, so inconvenient for the merchants and so rigorously enforced, as not only do they deny the Dutch ambassador the departure of his men-of-war, which remain idle here, though much needed on the coast of Flanders, but also of those which on their way to and from the Levant have touched these harbours, although utterly ignorant of the present proceedings with France. I therefore still keep quiet, being sure of a repulse, and wish these present letters to cross the sea before asking for the passport, in order not to be so much watched and perhaps prevented.
Meanwhile, during these last two days, since the despatch of the last, I have received confirmation of the journey to Holland of the Abbot Scaglia, in a private capacity; for this intelligence I am indebted to the Ambassador Soranzo; who thus dispels my darkness from lack of advices from Italy and elsewhere. I send these letters to him open as I think it important to get to the bottom of Scaglia's negotiations and designs.
With regard to the fleet everything tends to delay more than ever, nor will it put to sea for the next three weeks at least. The king has also delayed his departure for Portsmouth. Never were such doings witnessed in this kingdom, where trade and letters being stopped, everything goes to ruin.
The magistracy at La Rochelle have imprisoned two Frenchmen, Lavin and Ravic, they being two of those who left with letters from Buckingham and Soubise for the Huguenots. The news causes great regret, and simultaneously report says that the projects of this side having been discovered, they cannot be so easily resumed and that the duke's departure is more uncertain than ever. Continuing his purge he remains in bed all day and works and negotiates at night, so that he himself and those who transact business with him may be less remarked.
he levy of the new English regiments continues, and the troops are placed in the Isle of Wight to prevent their escape, which all endeavour to effect, showing that they make war unwillingly and by compulsion.
Some of the French ships which were seized are being fitted out as men-of-war, others already armed are being caulked, and altogether require time for their equipment. Trial has been made on the Thames of some submarine artificial fireworks, with which to blow up ships, but from what I understand, they have not succeeded, though the affair is kept secret.
Lachins, secretary of the Earl of Holland, has returned from France, where he had the name of his Majesty's resident at that court, being recalled by the king. I do not yet hear that the French secretary here has similar orders, but they will hardly let him go owing to his knowledge of the projects and forces of this government, this mutual recall of ministers indicating increase of dissatisfaction.
A Spanish ship has been captured, (fn. 9) on board of which was a Spanish gentleman of good family, a Mendoza, said to be related to Inoiosa. Being brought to London he was presented to the duke in a place where the king could see him unseen. The Spaniard knelt and the duke most graciously embraced, comforted and promised him that immediately the ports were opened he should be dismissed without ransom, offering him every accommodation in the meantime. I am told that the duke wished the king to confer some honour on him, but his Majesty declined, saying it sufficed to restore him to liberty, the greatest of all boons.
I also understand that they are drafting from Ireland 14 companies of veterans for the fleet, so that owing to the diminution of the regiments there would remain but few other paid troops in that kingdom for its defence, a proof that they have small fear in that quarter; nor could they have any save of the Spaniards, to whom the Irish are devoted, nor do I hear of any more Spanish and Dunkirk ships on the coast of Britanny. From these premises and other facts reported the court now talks very freely of negotiations with the Spaniards and of their inclination towards peace with England, special mention being made of a friar in Spain who is exerting himself greatly. The duke alone favours this machination and possibly by the advice of the Jesuits, who have free access to his house. As frequently remarked, the king is very averse to agree to this without allies, many of the other councillors and ministers being of the same opinion, talking to me about it as of a thing ignominious beyond measure for England. I do not believe they say so to humour me, as the thing is evident. I may add that the queen having offered to mediate for a reconciliation, the king forbad her to do so. It is true I should not anticipate any great good, as she is very young and has no counsellor at hand but at any rate it shows that his Majesty is irritated.
London, the 6th June, 1627.
Postscript.—At this very moment the agent of the United Provinces at Calais has arrived here from that fortress having been sent, so far as I can gather, by the French governor, to try and obtain some facility for the poor seamen, that by means of small boats they may convey passengers as formerly, seeing they have no other means of subsistence. I do not know whether this overture for private individuals has deeper roots, I do not believe so, but I will keep on the watch.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
299. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since I sent my last, two French gentlemen have come bringing word of Scaglia's arrival at Breda, whither they accompanied him from Brussels. The fact that he does not continue his journey when he might easily do so, excites comment. It was said before that he delayed his coming in order to meet Carleton. It is announced with every appearance of truth that a congress has been summoned at Rosendal, a neutral place in Brabant, four hours from Breda, whither representatives have gone from the Infanta and the States. It is said to be for an exchange of prisoners and some matters of trade. There is fear of a truce or a complete settlement; the prince is more anxious for peace than anything.
I had written thus far when I was advised that Scaglia had arrived, and at the same moment he entered my room unannounced. He stayed an hour but did not talk of affairs. I think he wished to give me the impression that his movements were merely in order to alarm the French. He said he did not know what had moved the duke towards an accommodation between the Spaniards and the English; if he had been at Turin he would have opposed it strongly. He believe that Chevreuse went to England because of the Most Christian's dislike for him. It was announced as coming from the cardinal. Every one thought that the English would hear him gladly because of the high opinion held of him by Buckingham and the king himself. He told me that the Marquis of Coure might go instead and people had already gone over to find out if he would be received. Nothing is heard of the sailing of the fleet; the ports still remain closed and no news comes from that quarter. He knew no more of Carleton than what I have written.
The Hague, the 7th June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
rchives.
300. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After I despatched my last letters an incident occurred to change all the affairs of this kingdom. Last night a post arrived unexpectedly from Portsmouth with news brought by a ship that 28 vessels, including some large galleons with 3,000 Spanish infantry, were in that neighbourhood and said to be steering towards Dunkirk. The king having received the news two hours after midnight, called a council, and they determined that the duke should put to sea at once with the ships ready in the Downs, some 25 in number, all the others in the Thames having orders to delay their repairs and hasten to sea.
The duke therefore departed to-day at noon, with the intention of embarking to-morrow night, to prevent if possible the passage of this reinforcement, and as the Spaniards have the wind in their teeth, it is not known what may happen if the two fleets fall in with each other. They have acquainted the Dutch ambassador with the news that he may impart it to the guardships of the United Provinces on the coasts of Flanders and on this occasion they have allowed the two men-of-war which were stopped in the river, to depart, Such is the circumstance, which excites comment, not without good reason, because in the first place no other courier has arrived since midnight, so it may be supposed these vessels are out of sight of England, or that they have put back owing to the contrary wind. Others believe this an invention to save the duke's reputation, so that his designs being discovered by the seizure of the two persons at La Rochelle he may avail himself of this fresh emergency as a pretext for renouncing his expedition. Appearances demonstrate the fact, for they have slackened the rigorous closing of the ports at, perhaps, the least opportune moment, so that he will expose himself yet more. The ships about to put to sea are without troops and have merely been ordered to remain on their stations within the realm so as to be ready for any service; similar commands being issued about all other provisions.
The Dutch agent who arrived lately from Calais four days ago, as reported, has been told that he must await the duke's return, which will be in a few days, and meanwhile he is not to depart. Were it not that the French prizes which are taken daily relieve the king's necessities and consequently save the duke from ruin, I should say there is some glimpse of an adjustment, as the new governor of Calais sent this agent to offer the duke the best neighbourly treatment and the use of the harbour for the passage of goods, provided reciprocity was conceded in England. For the benefit of the poor they wish the small passage boats to ply as heretofore, in short, they make courteous offers which might serve as overtures for more important matters.
I learn this very day that if Soubise knew how to begin negotiations with the Most Christian, he would gladly make the attempt, but I suspect he is no longer in time and that they do not trust him. Personally I will neglect no effort towards so great a benefit, and although the delay of Carleton's mission does not displease me, by reason of the undesirable offices to which I alluded, yet I do not perceive that the king and the duke have made up their minds, there being some other suspicious appearances, besides the constant variation of these projects or chimeras; so I can promise nothing positive about that good result which all honest men desire.
London, the 11th June, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
301. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By my last I announced the sending of despatches by way of Holland. After that I applied for a passport. In reply they alleged difficulties and cited the example of other foreign ministers, saying finally they could only grant it me for Holland. I flatly refused in order not to limit the prerogatives of the embassy and place myself at the mercy of the winds. But all difficulties were overcome, his Majesty graciously allowing me to send one of my attendants out of the realm in whatever direction I pleased. Despite their preoccupation about the fleet and other matters mentioned, the king chose to rely on my not transmitting other despatches with my own, a course I have scrupulously observed, keeping the matter secret from the other foreign ministers to prevent them from asking. I sent the Secretary Agostini to Dover for the purpose, as he has great experience, so I am certain he will do what is necessary. Regard for your Serenity's neutrality does not, in my opinion, allow of any other course, to retain his Majesty's confidence.
I thus send by way of France all my letters since the 2nd May and have warned my messenger to proceed cautiously, as I suspect the governor of the towns along the French coast, thinking perhaps the letters are not in cipher, may play them some trick, to gain credit for zeal about advices. I have given him an ample patent to use only in case of emergency to save the letters. I have told him to apply to the Ambassador Zorzi, whom I have asked, if he thinks fit, to send me a passport from the Most Christian to use in future difficulties, as the road through Holland is very uncertain and long and the Antwerp courier has been hitherto stopped, many weeks having elapsed without my receiving letters from Italy. With the increasing strain in the relations of the two crowns I must forewarn until your Excellencies assure me better of your will. Meanwhile, I will labour for you to receive letters as frequently as possible, being well aware that the emergencies here are the most curious and perhaps the most important, with the certainty that I have nothing more at heart than your service and that the difficulties of sending letters are exceptional. I make sure that you will pardon a delay of a few weeks, not in writing, for that has been more frequent than usual, but in receiving my advices.
The duke embarked at Dover the day before yesterday, the 11th, followed by 23 ships. The wind was fair for him and contrary to his presumed or at least declared enemies, so that certain news of them was very speedily obtained. From a message sent to me by the duke himself they were two fleets, one of Hamburg vessels from the Gut, the other of Flemings coming from Bordeaux with merchandise; both at a standstill because of the same contrary wind.
Many blame the duke for not having given chase, and doubt the sincerity of his hostility against the Spaniards, because having got no further than Portsmouth, he came back last night, having ridden post, each moment of absence rendering him suspicious. The officers of the regiments went to their quarters, but with orders not to stir unless commanded, and with the pretext of the enemy they were marched away from here with the sailors without receiving the money they claimed.
Some ships which are still in the river with their outfit are said to be merely awaiting a fair wind to go to Portsmouth, where the muster of all the reinforcements will be made, when the king may go and inspect them accompanied by Soubise, who is here. However, they will certainly not put to sea so immediately, bearing in mind the tranquillity of France when those two individuals were imprisoned at La Rochelle, that the fortress, the capital of the Huguenots, practically declared for the Most Christian, while on the other hand the action was blamed because on a future occasion it might cause the loss of the king's usual protection, this new fear being possibly suggested for the purpose of making them change their course.
London, the 13th June, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
ispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
302. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The damage inflicted by the English fleet, though not very considerable, is quite authentic. Off Boulogne they took two ships, not valuable and without cargoes, and off Calais they captured a number of barges, chiefly for ferries and fishermen. These frequent blows, which only strike the ears of the cardinal, affect the merchants more seriously, who suffer the loss of their substance and cry out against the author of their unbearable misfortunes. Many have been sent to prison for having gone too far, and that has been the first provision to meet the emergency. In order to prevent matters from going from bad to worse they are hastening the equipment of many of the ships here, though it will be many weeks before they are ready. The governors of the coast towns of Britanny and Picardy have all been sent to their posts.
Even at the third session the edicts have not passed the parliament, and they have sent a written reply to the king, so there is no way but an exercise of the royal authority.
Paris, the 11th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
303. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE AND SENATE.
I learn from the man of England here that Montagu's journey incognito was undoubtedly taken in order to confer with the Ambassador Wake, and that they met at Padua, or some place quite close.
Zurich, the 11th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
304. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A Capuchin, colleague of the late D. Hyacinth, who acted for the Duke of Bavaria in Germany, has brought the friar's papers here. Lodovisio and Barbarino, appointed for the purpose, have seen them and they were subsequently sealed and put away. It is true that as they will have been seen by undesirable persons and the best scattered in all probability, this friar may have desired to make his zeal profitable by bringing them to these archives.
Rome, the 12th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
305. AGOSTIN VIANUOLO, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
An English subject (fn. 10) at this court who received a provision in the time of the other Ferdinand, by virtue of a golden bull obtained from the emperor, declaring him the true Duke of Northumberland in England, and of similar declarations by the pope, declaring that to him belong all the revenues and fruits of that duchy, had an idea, which he imparted to the Grand Duke, to have the goods which come from England to Leghorn sequestrated, by reason of these claims, which would amount to millions. But their Highnesses will not permit it, in order not to prejudice that mart by diminishing or rather entirely diverting the traffic of English ships there by such means.
Florence, the 12th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
306. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On hearing that all the dragomans had been excluded from the Divan because of some offence given to the Caimecan by those of France in the matter of the Archbishop of Smyrna, I went and pointed out to the Pasha the unreasonableness of excluding those of your Serenity for the faults of others. Accordingly, he gave orders for the admission of Brutti, and I understand that he did the same afterwards for one of the dragomans of England, who also made remonstrance, those of France and Flanders being still shut out.
The Vigne of Pera, the 13th June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 13.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
307. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the matter of the peace with the emperor I must tell your Serenity that the English ambassador also hopes that it will be upset by the artifices of Gabor, as he thinks it impossible that that prince will tail in the numerous promises made to his king and the other allies. He says that Gabor had received 100,000 rix dollars from the allies after it was reported that he had concluded peace. He added that he had 40,000 more here on Gabor's behalf and he would not have paid them it he had not first quite understood the event of these negotiations. He said he was the one who married Gabor to Brandenburg's daughter. He had always taken Gabor's part and will not believe yet that he has been deceived. I fear that this worthy cavalier speaks rather after the ingenuousness of his nature and what he desires than for what can be hoped. Nevertheless, I agree with his opinions, as instructed, although I have not passed any office with the Caimecan or Mufti to dissuade them, as one could hope for no good from it. The ambassador gently remonstrated because your Excellencies would not help Gabor, though it was so important for the common cause. I replied according to my instructions and easily satisfied him.
The Vigne of Pera, the 13th June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
308. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Scaglia tries to make me believe two things in his letters received last week from Brussels, one that he has no negotiations or business there, the other that the bad behaviour of Richelieu and the other ministers is not sufficient even to make him change his views about the public weal. He says he proposes to go on to Amsterdam for his own pleasure and tries to appear to me devoid of all passion.
M. de Bougi, the French ambassador at that Court, wrote to Arbo immediately Scaglia arrived informing him of all he had gathered about the reasons for that journey. He says Scaglia has gone in response to overtures made by the Catholic, the Infanta being related both to him and the duke.
I need not examine whether the French minister discovered this or if Scaglia gave it out in order to make France uneasy. I know that the information has disturbed that court, and Arbo has written warning Marini that the Spaniards are trying to win over the duke. The same letter contains the following:—The close friendship at present existing between his Highness and the English cannot serve them for the affairs of Italy, and we must conclude either that the duke wants to make himself necessary to France and so achieve his objects, and possibly also secure the title of king, from the two kings, or force them to continue their efforts against the Spaniards or to smooth the way towards a better union with those who wish to disturb the peace of the realm, and with M. de Rohan in particular. This is what disturbs them most and the latest news from France is of active preparations for the war which they expect to have with the English and Huguenots also.
He says that the English secretary had taken leave and certain news has come of the sailing of the English fleet, over 100 sail strong, towards Britanny, with the main object of attacking the cardinal's towns and ships, against whom it seems they really wish to wage war; and that is what the duke here always advises, in order not to create universal irritation and to conciliate those who lament the present government, with the object of forcing the king to abandon the cardinal, whose fall would bring about peace, a reconciliation and the joining of forces against the common Spanish enemy.
Yet although everything points to war, they do not cease to demonstrate a desire for peace. Montagu has replied to the paper from France and I enclose a copy. The duke wanted the French ambassador to receive it from Montagu, but he refused, and so the duke handed it to Marini, who forwarded it to Paris.
Turin, the 14th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.309. Reply of Montagu to the paper from France.
Lord Montagu replies in the name of the King of Great Britain that the public contracts made no mention of particular persons and so there was no obligation except to maintain the number of the officials and not individuals who were disliked and as they offered to reinstate all whom the ambassador demanded, they claimed to have done their part.
The first ships arrested came from Spanish ports. The treaty allowed arrests until the goods were adjudged to belong to Frenchmen, and some had already been restored when his Majesty ordered the seizure of all Engish goods, contrary to the treaty. This caused the English to issue letters for reprisals, since when they have made many captures.
A general seizure was made of all the English ships at Bordeaux, contrary to the treaty. This action of France led to all the acts of violence at sea. Although his Majesty would not ratify Bassompierre's treaty the King of Great Britain acceded to do all that was asked of him, and he did all in his power to maintain the agreements, but France took away the means of further negotiation by withdrawing her ambassador. What security was there if they granted what was asked that more would not be demanded, when the king refused to ratify a treaty arranged by his ambassador.
The point about Buckingham and the sending of Clerck and Gerbier was unreasonable; they were on the spot and told the ministers that they had no doubt whatever but that if Buckingham came he would try to give satisfaction to his Majesty. Buckingham had always been zealous for his Majesty's service, but never to the prejudice of his own master, and there is no evidence that he sent to agree that his master had granted too little.
In conclusion, the King of Great Britain, owing to the pressure of the Duke of Savoy, will agree to any accommodation that the duke may find honourable and sincere. As the demand for guarantees for the fulfilment of the promises made by the English that is more recrimination than accusation and the King of Great Britain is content to leave the Duke of Savoy judge of the past as well as of the present and to put all in his hands.
[Italian.]
June 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
310. GIROLAMO GRATAROL, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear that the quarrel between France and England waxes fiercer than ever, and that the English fleet has taken some forty-two French ships with much merchandise. The Marquis of Rambouillet says however, that they are only two small ships of slight consideration. He adds that his king has forbidden his subjects to trade with England on pain of their lives and the forfeiture of their goods, while he had sequestrated all the goods of the English in his realm. He has also decided to arm forty galleons to be kept constantly on that coast, and to keep forty more at Marseilles and Toulon.
Madrid, the 15th June, 1627.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 A farewell supper at York House and a masque, on Tuesday the 25th May. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 226.
2 Called Father Adrian. See no. 311 at page 255, below.
3 The Danish agent was William Belou; but perhaps the reference is to Sir Andrew Sinclair who had previously represented Denmark in England.
4 Nicholas Lanier. Salvetti writes on the 2nd June: Il quale (Charles) vorra forse mandarla (Mantua) per un tale Niccolo Levier, suo musico, che manda a quella volta per comprare diverse statue e pitture, che la Maesta Sua e informato siano per vendersi, appartenente al defunto Sig. Duca Ferdinando. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962D.
5 John Hawkins.
6 Oliver Fleming.
7 There is an error in the number, except that the Irish have arrived, otherwise there are no more than 1,200. Note in the text.
8 The Sieur La Fond, Abbot of Foix.
9 Captured by Sir John Hippesley's ship the Sweepstake after a fight with three opponents. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1627–8, page 188. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 232.
10 Robert Dudley, son of Elizabeth's favourite.