Venice
June 1627, 16-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1914

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255-272

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'Venice: June 1627, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 255-272. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89123 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

June 1627

June 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
311. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Secretary Agostini is still at Dover to send my preceding despatches. I have heard of the departure of Lord Carleton for the Netherlands and now send these few lines. I receive more and more confirmation of his interviews and negotiations with Scaglia and add that Burlamacchi having written to the Marquis Spinola, about commercial matters, he says, though I do not quite believe it, that minister answered in friendly terms on behalf of the Infanta touching the interests of this crown. These are all artifices to enable the Spaniards to realise those ends which they anticipate through the rupture with France. They have also given as companion to Father Adrian the Portuguese Franciscan friar, of whom I wrote, a Catholic Scot named Rosce, (fn. 1) after lavishing every favour on the friar, who had several interviews with the duke, but I fancy without the king's consent. I am told, moreover, that they have remitted 200 crowns to Brussels as a present to M. Isaac Antonio Luz, sometime a servant of your Serenity, to introduce him in some business as the friend of Burlamacchi. A few weeks ago Luz was at Brussels about claims at Breda formerly granted to them by Prince Maurice; but he is now at the Hague, as he writes to me, but with the intention of returning thither. They have no reason to trust him as he is too well affected to the common cause and dependent on the States, unless it be that they wish thus to unbosom themselves. Should Luz be absent it is possible that others may take his place, perceiving the ardent inclination here. I should regret this as he is a great confidant of mine and preserves his former affection though deprived of his pension. I am writing to the Ambassador Soranzo to encourage him to show his zeal in the public cause if he embark in this affair, and to obtain full knowledge of all that is taking place at this important crisis your Excellencies would open your hand somewhat, but only in case of profiting thereby. I do not think it would be money thrown away, as besides being a needy man, no one can be found to bestir himself nowadays without this inducement.
It is reported at Court that the duke will leave for Portsmouth to-morrow, and next Monday the king will do the like, while everything will be ready for sea towards the close of the month. But these same resolves, so often made and postponed, can no longer obtain firm belief, although in the end they will certainly not choose to waste such vast expenditure and application for the mere benefiting their negotiations or from the dread of war.
Two Frenchmen, Savignac and Bolore, who were lately sent to the Tower, are accused of having a secret correspondence with the French ministers and also of having made mischief with the Rochellese, they likewise being Huguenots, disparaging the forces of England, magnifying the difficulty of reinforcements, the want of money, civil discord and the like. To them is imputed the arrest of the two Frenchmen at La Rochelle, of which I wrote.
The Dutch ambassador has spoken as from himself of some persons in order that the transmission of the insignia of the Garter to the Prince of Orange may be delayed. Carleton replied that he was ordered to do his utmost in the assembly to obtain the assent of the States, and he should therefore take the insignia with him, though others tell me that they will follow and that the same herald will also take them to the King of Sweden.
London, the 16th June, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
312. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
We imagine you are conversant with our desire for good relations between France and England. We have already sent you some idea of how to conduct yourself with the English and Savoyard ministers who are coming. We can only repeat that it will be useful to be on confidential terms with them and find out their business, owing to our sincere union with their princes. You will take care not to offend them or make them mistrustful of us, during their present quarrel with France. If these negotiations really tend to a union with Spain, as you conjecture, you will take occasion to point out the many disadvantages of such a course, subversive of their ancient policy, while you will encourage overtures for a reconciliation with France. All these suggestions will be useful, and we have given a similar charge to our ambassadors at London and Paris.
Ayes, 129.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
June 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
313. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The cardinal has retired to Scialiot, a pleasure resort a league from here. He tells every one he is very busy, but he sees whom he pleases. All his aims are directed to assembling and arming this fleet of his, and even in this place his chief delight is in testing the guns and various other machines invented by the engineer Targoni.
Paris, the 17th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
314. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At the news of the sailing of Buckingham and the English fleet, France sighed and the cardinal grew pale. He feared ruin and destruction and that the laments of the people might reach the king's ears and bring about his overthrow. When the fleet sailed they had a great awe of it, but since its speedy return they speak of it with derision and of the commander with contempt. The cardinal has waxed bolder with every sign of weakness of the English. He means to have fifty ships ready at the end of this month and expects to increase the number. He hopes that the English fleet will break up for lack of money. He sees the Huguenots obedient, La Rochelle reasonable and the malcontent princes disorganised. All these might have been stirred by the English fleet, but now he considers he has them in hand.
The parliament of Bordeaux refused to accept the edicts against English trade, and a Maître des Requêtes sent from here to sell the goods arrested had to return re infecta as neither the parliament nor the people would agree to this open rupture, as they have no other market for their substance than England, which also supplies them with what they lack in Gascony and Guienne. This mutual trade binds the two together so that the slightest change affects those provinces seriously.
I enclose two packets from England.
Paris, the 8th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
315. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Montagu left the day before yesterday. He received a chain with diamonds and a portrait of his Highness, set in diamonds, which might be worth some 5,000 crowns.
He left on paper the most ample powers to his Highness to terminate the differences between France and his master, with an obligation never to listen to the proposals of any other prince soever. This declaration has given extreme satisfaction to the princes here. They make much of it and claim to have the yoke on the neck of France or at least of her ministers. It is said that Montagu might return, and his Highness told Marini that he had only gone to persuade his king not to take measures against France because the duke hoped to accommodate the differences, and he had urged Montagu to go for this purpose. The ambassador attaches little credit to this because the objects and passions of the princes here are apparent. He told me of the pressure they put on him to obtain the title of king from his master. England has promised it as well as the Duke of Saxony and the Protestant princes of Germany. After Montagu's departure the prince had said to him: If the ministers will give us satisfaction, we will show them our gratitude, as their good or ill rests with us.
The duke has sent to Venice the secretary of Wake, who usually resides here. (fn. 2) The reason is not known, but they say he may recall Wake, who is bound to him in many respects, to help in the negotiations begun by Montagu.
The leading merchants here have received orders to set up a house at Nice and to make use of the mart of Villefranche which has been declared a free port. The English have promised to go there with their ships and goods. In this way the prince proposes to enrich his dominions and to divert trade from Leghorn and other places as well. But the new and old impositions stand in the way, and do not allow the people or the merchants to breathe; while the insolence of the officials is even more injurious.
Turin, the 21st June, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
316. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Monday morning I went to see the cardinal at Scialiot. He met me on the way and got into my carriage. He at once began of his own accord to speak of the affairs of England and never stopped until we reached the city, hardly giving me time to breathe, let alone to answer. He said he knew that the Ambassador Contarini had sent a special person to me from London, so he supposed I had later news than himself of Buckingham and the fleet. He was sure of their ill will, however, and need not ask more. Let them come if they pleased, the report of their coming was nothing new and expectation was tedious. For the sake of the common cause and to preserve affection between kinsfolk, France had hitherto played the part of a tolerant father, putting up with a thousand injuries and affronts from the English. The scene would now change, and the persons also. He tried to make me believe that if matters grow worse the forces of this realm and its fleet will suffice not only for defence at home but to carry the war into the enemy's country, in short, to attack England itself, a thing I certainly do not believe he can do.
In the short space I had to answer him I could do no more than assure him that I had no news from across the water that he did not know. For the rest, I merely impressed upon him the condition of the world and the successful progress of the Spaniards to dominion. I left him at the Louvre with an incitement to an adjustment.
Paris, the 24th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
317. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
We have many particulars in yours of the 7th about the proceedings of the Abbot Scaglia, which seem contradictory and therefore curious and unlikely to succeed. You must try to get to the bottom of all this as we have no confirmation from elsewhere that they are to open negotiations at that court for an adjustment between France and England, and still less between the latter and Spain. Montagu has been a long while at Turin and has held discussions with the duke and the Ambassador Marini on the subject. This will serve you for information.
Ayes, 80.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
June 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
318. To the Ambassadors in France, England and the States.
We enclose a copy of what our bailo at Constantinople sends us about a very important discussion with the ambassadors of Christian princes there, about the pirates, when they unanimously agreed that no remedy could be expected from the Turks, and if the powers armed fleets of their own they might destroy these pirates, and if the Porte saw they were determined, it might do something.
You will direct your offices so that they may not put aside any preparations which may help this affair, showing that the mere appearance of a real understanding on the subject among the powers might move the Turks, where mere offices and words would never prevail, and none of their ministers, who dispassionately consider the matter, such as Calil Pasha the Grand Vizier, could object to reasonable provision against the pirates, whose only aim is to trouble all nations. Every one must bear his share of the burden, as experience has shewn that separate action is useless. We ourselves, by keeping a large fleet at sea, do our best to secure shipping in the most remote parts of our state. We have done and shall do everything in our power to prevent this hurt, hoping that others will respond with equal good will and sincerity. Let every one do his share, and if that does not help matters, God alone can put things right.
You will speak to this effect when you have the opportunity, as doubtless the news of the discussion will have reached those parts. You will confine yourself to generalities and wait to hear what is proposed, but so that the ministers may be certain of our willingness to join in any reasonable plan.
You will advise us fully of any proposals that are made so that we may declare our intentions more definitely, and the more you can accelerate this important affair, the better it will be for the public welfare and mutual satisfaction.
Ayes, 80.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
June 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
319. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king will take the field on Monday. On the 1st July 12,000 foot and 2,000 horse have a rendezvous between Tours and Montrichard. Everything cries aloud for arms and war; but it is not known whether the king is going to Poitou or Britanny. The worst is that there is no provision of money. They propose to spend what they have not got, and the cardinal relies chiefly upon the edicts, which have not passed.
A rumour has done a great deal of harm to the effect that the king is only making this expedition to confirm the cardinal as Admiral of the Sea in more than one province which has rejected him, and Britanny in particular. God grant that all may go off without further disturbance; but I fear some great disaster, as I see nothing but confusion and violence all around.
A friend, who has frequently assured me of the fraternal relations between Olivares and the cardinal, tells me once more of the excellent understanding between them. He declares that not a few of the Biscay ships and several Dunkirkers will join the fleet here against the English. The Dutch ambassador has also scented something of this. The cardinal has strongly urged upon him the renewal of the alliance, but he has let it be very freely understood that they do not mean to guarantee the ships of Spain thereby; that the Dutch fleet will attack the French and Spaniards indifferently if they are together, and will chase them to the very ports of this realm and sink them there.
Paris, the 25th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
320. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
Commend his discussion with the foreign ministers about pirates, especially with England. The idea is worthy of all praise, and to insist on it by frequent offices with those ministers cannot fail to help greatly, as it will impress the Turks. Enclose copies of letters sent to the ambassadors in France, England and the Netherlands. The sign of action on the part of the powers may induce the Turks to move on their own account.
Ayes, 128.Noes, 0.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
June 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian Archives.
321. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English merchants here who trade in the Indies are advised that the King of Magor has inflicted a great defeat on the King of Persia, capturing a large district and taking the very important city of Cardior. The Persian ambassador has not yet arrived here. It is thought that this news is for the purpose of putting thoughts of peace out of their heads here, while increasing their hopes of success.
The Vigne of Pera, the 26th June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
322. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador here shows me the most remarkable confidence. After the first visits he was the first to call on me, out of pure friendliness. He invited me to his garden at Scutari, where I met his wife and the Greek Patriarch here. He deals with me with great openness and confidence. He told me that there was an ambassador of Gabor here, sent to him and to Flanders. He is afraid he has been sent to deceive them, though he wishes to be better informed, and he promised to tell me all that happens.
The French ambassador, on the other hand, is very stiff and mistrustful with me. He has no cause, as I invited him and not England to the banquet at my entrance. England visited me before him, but I have not shown any opinion on the dispute for precedence between them.
The English ambassador has just been here and given me a minute account of his negotiations with Gabor's ambassadors, which I will retail as briefly as possible. (fn. 3) He said they first presented their credentials to him and Flanders, as representing the league concluded, and then set forth the claims of their prince, three in number: (1) the payment of certain money, which he claims is due to him from last year; (2) that they shall pass offices with the ministers here to upset the peace in negotiation with the emperor; (3) the payment of the current instalments, so that he may fulfil his obligations. Before answering these demands England remonstrated strongly about the prince concluding peace when they thought he was about to fulfil his obligations. He said he did not know what to expect from the prince, but to bring him to a proper state of mind he had simulated a belief that the prince would fulfil his promises, and therefore he displayed his readiness to adhere to what his king had undertaken. He made representations calculated to dispose them to the service of the common cause. He said there was no obligation to pay the arrears claimed, because the league was only concluded last February. He promised his good offices with the King of Denmark, to whom they should address their requests in this particular, and as a just and powerful prince he would assuredly give them satisfaction. He was not bound by the articles to make offices with the ministers here, as when the league was concluded he clearly stated that they meant it as one with a free prince, who could make war and peace as he pleased, styling him, By the Grace of God, Prince of Transylvania, lord of part of Hungary, and he had promised, even if nothing was done from this quarter, to join the Danish troops with 15,000 Hungarians and do his share towards the common cause. When England saw the prince actually armed and carrying out his obligations under the treaty, he would pay the money promised on behalf of his king, for which he had the means. He feared that the ambassadors had come here, not to proceed with sincerity, but to find a pretext to cover the shortcomings of their masters and lay the blame on others. He told them that he wished to negotiate by writing, as a guarantee. They protested strongly against this, but finally agreed, presenting a cautious document very different from what they had stated verbally, only claiming the outstanding debts to their prince and saying nothing about making offices against peace with the emperor, in order not to accuse themselves, and finally they end in generalities, saying that the prince has not failed in his oblgations to the allies. England made a long reply, substantially the same as he had told them orally. He tried to induce them to get the prince to send 15,000 Hungarians to the frontier, to which he is bound, to join the forces of Denmark. He could do this without leaving his states or even making declared war on the emperor; but they would not promise this for certain, though they held out great hopes.
The ambassador told me that to facilitate this affair he and Flanders had decided to go to the Caimecan and Cusein Effendi to induce them not to conclude the peace, pointing out how harmful it would be and reminding them of their encouragement and promises, which had led their princes to make the league with Gabor, but they found them so set upon peace that they could get nothing out of them except that the articles should be reported here before they were accepted and that it should be postponed for some time, and in concluding it they would comprise the powers friendly to the Porte. If it agreed with their interests they would also consent to Gabor joining the Danish forces with 15,000 Hungarians, if it did not force them to make war on the emperor. England told me much of the caution, circumspection and ambiguity of the ambassador of Flanders and his difficulty in inducing him to speak forcibly to the ministers here. He is doubtful about a favourable issue, but thinks he has done a great deal. He hopes that the Administrator of Mademburgh, general of the Danish army, may help the common cause.
The ambassador told me a matter of great moment, namely that here they have a letter of the prince for the French ambassador, with the obligation not to present it without their consent. They urged its presentation, as it was advisable to show respect to the minister of so great a king, who could greatly assist the common cause. When they proposed to do it the Caimecan absolutely forbad it, saying it was against the interests of their prince and in favour of those of the emperor. This shows the esteem which the leading ministers here have for him and the result of what I said to the Caimecan some days ago. I thanked the ambassador for his confidence.
The Vigne of Pera, the 26th June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
323. AGOSTIN VIANUOLO, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English duke, who as I wrote recently wished to sequestrate English goods at Leghorn for 1,200,000 crowns because of his claims to the duchy of Northumberland and to help their realisation, offers one half to the Grand Duke, whom he has tried to convince that in addition to this great and certain advantage, according to him, for the port of Leghorn, which brings him but little so far, the trade at that mart would also return as before, because of the obligation he would take not to claim any more in these states for such reasons. At all events the Grand Duke would not allow it, and the Englishman now claims compensation from his Highness himself for the advantage he has prevented, in accordance with a papal act and decrees that whoever hindered him should be bound to compensate him for the loss under pain of excommunication. Thus he keeps pressing his demands, and the prince puts him off with words.
This would have been a good opportunity to divert the English trade at Leghorn, and I have not failed to contribute my influence, with tact, as this individual is very friendly and confidential with me.
Florence, the 26th June, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
324. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Carleton had his first audience of the assembly on Thursday. It was more complimentary than for affairs, in which he only referred in general terms to the ill behaviour of the French, laying all the blame on them for the disorders which have ensued. They have deputed some of the assembly to treat with him, but they have not met yet.
He called on the French ambassador and so did I, and on Saturday morning both visits were returned. I spoke to Carleton of the need for union between the two kings. He received this in good part and declared that the steps taken by his king had been forced upon him. Matters had gone so far that he did not see what hope there was of any reconciliation. However, we must not despair altogether because here there was a general disposition to lend a hand in the matter. He added: I think we shall follow the custom in France, where, as duels are forbidden, gentlemen go outside the country to settle their differences. He did not explain the metaphor, but I fancy he meant that it would be difficult to negotiate a reconciliation in England and France, but it might not be so hard outside those countries. He expressed his special satisfaction at the way in which the French ambassador had behaved to him, and said he could not desire more good will than he observed in the States. He also spoke well of Scaglia.
I know from report that Carleton is a man of right views, very anxious for the settlement of these troubles. After he left, the French ambassador came to see me. He said he had called on Carleton, offering his condolences on the death of his wife, and expressing regret that the quarrel between their kings had gone so far, but he hoped his arrival would bring about a speedy adjustment. The ambassador remarked that he thought he had gone very far and his observations deserved a better response than Carleton made, as he was very curt. I told him that Carleton had expressed to me his high appreciation of the ambassador's office, and this mollified France. He took leave without discussing anything else.
The Abbot Scaglia stays on here privately, saying he is awaiting commissions, which never arrive. Because Carleton delayed going to audience for four days some think that there was an understanding, but this has died out. He sees all the ministers and treats most confidentially with the French ambassador. I encourage this as much as possible. I find him very wide awake and sagacious and am the more cautious in my behaviour.
I gather from his remarks that he claims to have in hand the business of an adjustment, to be negotiated in France or England. He does not think the overtures will be made here, because the great part of this affair is in the duke's hand. The chief desire is to ruin Richelieu, of whom he always speaks with great venom, and the duke's interests may bring the relations between the two crowns to an even worse pass than they are at present. I pray God his aims may be recognised. I believe that if Scaglia goes on to England, a thing he has never denied or admitted, it will be for nothing else than because the English have not so far agreed to bring pressure on the French to satisfy the duke. I gather this from a remark he made that it is necessary to bring about an adjustment that shall satisfy others besides the French. In this state of affairs I think it is not necessary to do more than make manifest all tricks and show from which quarter difficulties arise. I think the abbot is much afraid that this affair will be taken out of his hands, as he would certainly lose the advantage he desires, and it might serve the public cause if he was forestalled from some other quarter and that may be the reason why the States here have decided to perform every possible office with Carleton, and if they do not find suitable openings they will even send an ambassador. They are not without suspicion at seeing the abbot dealing freely without all the foreign ministers without making any further declaration. I confess I am not suspicious, because I find that the French ambassador has a very different opinion. I think he will remain a few days longer, because he has told me several times that Montagu is to come, and he may easily be waiting for him, though in the meantime he may take a tour about the country.
The Hague, the 28th June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 28. Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
325. MARC ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters from France speak of the great alarm caused by the sailing of Buckingham with the English fleet, as he can land in countless places, sack and burn the country and withdraw at his ease, without their being able to offer any resistance. Here they base great hopes upon this, and news is awaited with great eagerness, both by their Highnesses and on Seiston's side (dal canto di Seiston).
Marini has had no letters of importance this week, merely a confirmation of the king's willingness to listen to the proposals made by his Highness in the English business, but not to put things in his hands.
Montagu wrote from Chambery that he heard the royal ministers had intended to arrest near Lyons a certain Montegni, being deceived by the similarity of the name, but finding that he was a Frenchman, they let him go. Montagu protests loudly against this, and here those who favour his side, who are numerous, declare that it is absolutely contrary to equity and the law of nations. Montagu will avoid every place subject to the French crown and will even prefer the dominions of the Catholic, as he has a passport from the Marquis of Mirabello and possibly from the Infanta also. From this your Excellencies will see that the enmity between the Spaniards and English is not very strong and how the former seek to embroil the latter with the French.
Turin, the 28th June, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
326. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Carleton at length departed for the Netherlands as announced, accompanied by Gerbier, the duke's creature. I have nothing to add to what I have written about his negotiations. On that same day, the 17th, the king also went a distance of 100 miles from this city in order to betake himself to Portsmouth, where the fleet is on the point of putting to sea. Meanwhile he amuses himself hunting in that neighbourhood.
Three days later the Duke of Buckingham did the like, having previously come to take leave of me here, an unusual mark of favour. He remarked he supposed I was not ignorant of the forces assembled by his Majesty, and of the reasons for employing them in support of his honour and that of the kingdom which the French had outraged in so many ways without any regard for the courtesies shown them by his Majesty, to keep up the union with the Most Christian, his brother-in-law and friend, for the advantage of the public cause. Here he expatiated on the usual items of complaint, which I omit, having repeated them several times, laying much stress on the seizure of the vessels at Bordeaux, an innovation at variance with the treaties between the two kingdoms, and dwelling on the disavowal of the agreements made by Bassompierre, who, if guilty, should have been soundly punished, and if innocent, it was their duty to approve his negotiations, according to the usage and custom of all potentates. He confined himself to telling me that in return for so many reports spread by the French about the weakness of England, the king and the council, as well as the scarcity of money, they would prove to them that there was still spirit (suavita e spirito) for self support and vigour to repress them. To this effect, without the slightest allusion to the malcontent princes or the Huguenots, they would show themselves with the fleet, numbering, he hoped, 100 sail, on the French coast, to give battle to any naval force which might oppose them, such being the admiral's office and jurisdiction, nor did he unbosom himself further.
I remarked especially this last idea, in confirmation of what I wrote, that the landing will be made preferably in the name of some French leader, especially Soubise, who left London with the king, having completely dismantled his house here, which his Majesty furnished and paid for. It is possible the conceit is in order to rid the French of suspicion and render them less diligent about defence; but regard for the king's reputation and the duke's interest forbid them to go beyond the sea until they perceive what turn the affair takes, especially seeing how quiet everything remains in France as yet, though it is true nothing certain is known, four weeks having elapsed since the arrival of any passage boats, both sides equally preventing it, from suspicion that anyone crossing to England comes to spy, and those who land in France wish to raise rebellion, so that it is six weeks to-day since I had letters from Italy or anywhere else.
I thanked the duke and told him that although common report had informed me that his Majesty's preparations were directed against France, yet his prudence and so many public considerations were so much at variance with such a resolve that I always doubted whether it would be realised; but as his Excellency assured me of the fact I repeated, as from myself, the considerations which would merely show my regard for the interests of this kingdom and himself privately. I spoke first, as the opportunity seemed suitable, about Germany, which must go to ruin without England's support. If England's gold and forces are employed elsewhere, Germany is in the last stage of decay. The levies made by the Austrians everywhere are merely in order to compel Denmark to accept the terms of slavery, or to make a fresh trial of their good fortune, the one a hazardous experiment, the other extremely detrimental to the public and to the repute of this kingdom, which is pledged to those affairs by ties of blood, treaties and state policy. Owing to these very important considerations those potentates who still have some vigour remaining hesitate or decline to declare themselves, whilst those already annihilated merely serve to add to the triumph of prepotency. Others petition spontaneously for permission to exchange liberty for servitude, supremacy for dependence; others absorbed by mere self interest renounce regard for the public on the plea of fear and the example of so many other powers ruined and deposed. Unquestionably the United Provinces, involved in a most serious war, contribute to it all they can, and believe that by supporting Germany they uphold themselves and the public, it being evident, when the Austrians talk of renewing the Cleves affair, already settled, and uniting it with the others of Germany, that they aim solely at embroiling those provinces with the emperor with whom they have always professed neutrality, so that by doubling the charge they may more speedily be exhausted; and also destroy the Elector of Brandenburg, whom Saxony would soon follow, thus reducing the hereditary empire and raising themselves to the highest pitch of supremacy by depressing all other nations, a policy held in such account by former Kings of England that they desperately broke all alliances with Charles V and united with the French to check such lofty designs and counterbalance the prepotency of the Austrians.
I went on to speak about France, lamenting that at both courts a ready ear was given to those who made false, insidious and prejudicial statements, prompted by others or their own passions, or hoping for advantage, with a view to kindle this flame. I knew well that even from Spain there was no lack of hopes of giving peace to England, just as they gave promises of help to France to render her hostile. If such patent artifices were not understood, it must be solely God's will. All reports from France showed an inclination for peace; their preparations and resolves being solely defensive and to keep in check those turbulent spirits who might be carried away by the present crisis, everything going on quietly and with the hope of even better feeling than before. I said this to shake their belief in disturbances there. I had always admitted his Majesty's reasons, knowing his prudence, but the French also had grievances, and though such recriminations make for war they are equally necessary to facilitate adjustments. The present is a case for a profitable one. Even if the French had somewhat exceeded the limits, the duke of his prudence and authority, always so well affected towards the public, invited to turn aside all rancorous feeling, to make some concession to circumstances and to the inflammability of the French nation, in order by gentleness and address to gain that advantage which it might be equally difficult and prejudicial to obtain by force.
I thought I might also descend to his own private interests, such as he could not advance in the king's favour even in the event of success, of which in war no one can make certain, while absence has always proved inimical to favour. The French have had a long while to prepare their defence, so the difficulties of achieving great success are manifest. If such an important person as himself took the field it meant risking his character as a statesman without obtaining his purpose. In order to obtain some confirmation about the designs on the Spanish coast, hinted at by Carleton and other ministers, I insinuated that good captains generally feign attacks in one quarter and strike in another, rendering victory secure by surprise. I did not explain myself further.
The duke listened to me very attentively and assured me I should see something that would restore to England the esteem which she had twice lost by inauspicious circumstances. I urged that it would be more advantageous for him to make attempts where others with greater forces had unfortunately suffered repulse, rather than where mere captains had gained honour, an allusion to the recent reprisals in French harbours. Knowing his nature and inclination to be more stimulated by private than public interests I did not omit any incentive of glory or fear which seemed to me likely to touch him to the quick. Had I not been tied by instructions I might have gone further, as the opportunity was favourable, for the duke not only approved my office but thanked me for the zeal with which I advocated the public interests and his own also. He recognised the duty of helping Germany and his king would not fail to do so. He complained that other powers, such as Saxony, who were more concerned and would be the first to fall, were asleep and made his Majesty lose heart, knowing that he alone could not bear the burden of that enterprise. He said the cost of this fleet had been defrayed without touching the king's money, meaning the sale of French goods, so they had not lessened the means for helping Denmark. He assured me that the king had excellent preservatives against the spells of the Spaniards, ties of blood, pledged faith and the infringement of former treaties; in France excellent opinions in favour of England were heard, but their heart was not in them, the interests of the papists, on whom the cardinal depends, not being in accordance with those of the heretics. The expelled French afforded proof of this in England, as well as all the subsequent negotiations, which were unusual and very contemptuous to the king, so that he had to settle the account for himself.
He dropped no hint either about the Huguenots or the malcontent princes in France, although my remarks afforded him an opportunity for doing so. He mentioned many things more about what would be well than about what actually is. I especially remarked great ambiguity in his discourse and opinions, which occasionally contradicted themselves. I fancy he would rather not have pledged himself so far, although I do not believe his feeling against the French has at all subsided. Soubise has given them to understand many things, that the nearer they come to the test the fainter are their hopes of a good result. All is quiet in France; all the most important places are well provided and all the coasts well guarded. If the French allow themselves to be surprised after foreseeing the storm so long, the pilots there may well resign the helm.
London, the 29th June, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
327. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I am much disquieted because the king and court are over 100 miles away, in conditions that vitally affect your Serenity. The upholding or annihilating of the liberty of Europe rests in great measure, I believe, on the decision of the English government. The persons charged with these and who go to and fro do not come to London but go to the court, which will remain away the whole summer. If I lose sight of any single measure it will discompose the whole web of negotiation which I have mustered. I must say the Secretary Agustini rides post with indefatigable diligence, in his love for your Excellencies' service; but he cannot be everywhere, nor do I know whether his frequent presence at court would be acceptable, especially in these suspicious times, when it is far away. I suppose your Excellencies are not inclined to incur further expense, as I suggested, and I cannot believe that you mean to lay the burden on the embassy, which rather needs relief, owing to the exorbitant price of things here, now higher than ever. I merely give warning, should anything unexpected take place, which I may not hear of owing to this separation, though I shall use all possible diligence.
The departure of the fleet is still delayed, as usual. The king dined lately on the flagship. On his leaving it, the silver utensils he uses when travelling fell into the sea and were lost. One of these days they meant to hold a general review of the troops in his Majesty's presence, but it is postponed, because two of the regiments are neither clothed nor armed. Meanwhile they think of having another pleasure party on board the fleet, which will entail a great consumption of powder and ammunition. (fn. 4)
I understand that they are pressing 500 sappers, and in Ireland they have closed the ports and stopped all vessels for the two regiments of which I wrote, it being stated that they will serve to reinforce the attack to be made by this first fleet.
The duke has taken with him 40,000l. in cash, realised by the sale of the French goods, sold hitherto to the amount of about 2,000,000 florins. It is true this India begins to fail them, for I do not hear of a single prize being taken by some ships which put to sea in order not to remain idle while the rest of the forces are mustering. The duke does well to take money with him to pay the soldiers and sailors, in case of need, as having been taken against their will they might easily resent arrears.
I learn that the four vessels with which Soubise made his escape to England two years ago are being fitted out as a reinforcement for the fleet, though it will not exceed 50 armed ships, amounting in all, with the unarmed units, to 80 or 90 sail, the number increasing daily with the additional supplies and troops. All the preparations for putting to sea cannot be completed for another ten or fifteen days at least, as they proceed slowly for reasons already given. Some tell me that before starting they will await Gerbier's return from the Netherlands, because their decision will be influenced in one way rather than the other by the result of Carleton's conferences with the States and with Scaglia. I have some confirmation of this, as Gerbier is put down in the duke's own hand on the list of persons to accompany him on this voyage, though I do not know what satisfaction Carleton can expect in that legation, as reprisals on the Dutch become more and more frequent, even on vessels coming from or going to the Indies and other remote places, which put into English ports from stress of weather, thus increasing the grievances in no slight degree.
I have heard that the Earl of Warwick is going into the Mediterranean with his five ships for which the king gave him a patent heretofore to cruise against the Spaniards. I also learn on good authority that to take revenge for injuries received of yore from the people of Marseilles, Pennington is endeavouring to obtain a commission to sail with ten or twelve ships in that direction, promising not only a great booty from the French prizes, but also giving hopes that the Huguenots of Languedoc may make themselves heard with such a diversion in their neighbourhood.
I believe that with similar designs many others who lately obtained letters of marque against the French propose to attack the ships trading in Syria and the Levant. I do not find the duke and the ministers opposed to this, except in so far as the merchants strongly oppose the project from suspicion that as it affects the Levant trade the French may obtain from the Porte a general sequestration of all English property. Those who trade with Leghorn also remonstrate, observing that that port alone in Italy is free and convenient for the English nation. They do this because some of the ministers announced that besides the property of the Spaniards and French they would connive at the seizure of Genoese goods with an exception in favour of the subjects of your Serenity, Savoy and the Grand Duke, to whom indeed they recently restored some reals and other effects included in the captures from the French, as reported at the time. I do not believe that Pennington will be appointed to this expedition until after he has served the fleet, and the season is unfavourable owing to the calms in the Mediterranean. It would be necessary to supply the ships with additional victuals, though it is said they could be supplied on better terms in Barbary. I cannot discover whether the Duke of Savoy seconds this idea, owing to his relations with the Genoese, or how far a stir in that quarter would benefit your Serenity. I shall be on the watch as they have yet to decide and I give timely warning for the sake of getting instructions.
When we thought that Seaton had gone back to France, we learn that he is a prisoner in Scotland. Two other messengers, sent to the French secretary, have been arrested, their letters taken from them and sent to the court, to the serious displeasure of the minister; small sparks, which may, however, kindle a great flame with but little hope of speedy extinction, as I understand that the French have become intractable and more than ever averse to peace. Moreover, they have discovered plots in Brouage, Oleron and St. Martin, nor is there any reason for France to give place, as she would utterly lose all seafaring habits, which are so important. Neither can the English keep the fleet properly supplied for all eventualities unless they find means to raise money. I understand that the affair of the subsidies is resumed and that certain leading earls and barons have been deprived of their lord-lieutenancies because they refused to pay or subscribe. Dissatisfaction at home and war abroad cannot conveniently be combined at one and the same time save in a country surrounded and secured by the sea, like Great Britain.
Friar Adrian, the Franciscan, and the Scot may depart for Brussels any day, Burlamacchi having orders to provide them with a passage with money and every convenience, though no one can bring himself to believe that during the present state of things the Spaniards will feed the hopes of England with anything but words, as is their wont, in order not to lose so fine a game as is prepared for their advantage and which improves daily.
The question of reciprocity for merchantmen with Dunkirk is still being discussed, the chief obstacle, as reported, being the Dutch coast guard. The Dunkirkers now offer to go out at their own risk, provided the ships have a passport from the King of England to prevent the Dutch from attacking them; a grand device of the Spaniards to increase rancour and bring the two nations to blows, as if the king grants them passports he infringes the league, and if not granted they will certainly be attacked, though I cannot believe that the king will consent to this without the approval of the States, who, I know, will never permit it, so I hope that in the end this scheme will fall through.
Meanwhile, advices have arrived of the good fortune of the Dutch in the bay of Todos los Santos in Brazil, where they made a great prize of sugar and burnt a great number of ships laden for Spain, as your Excellencies will have heard from the places in question should the news be verified. (fn. 5)
Real, who passed last winter in the seas of Spain, as reported, has come up this channel on his way to the Netherlands, without having had any encounter, consuming his provisions and incurring cost with small profit.
Part of the Scottish soldiers raised for the King of Denmark have crossed the sea, others making their escape. I do not believe that more than 2,000 in all will enter that service. A thousand additional Englishmen are being pressed to fill up the vacancies in the four regiments, many of those already arrived having died, as usual with this delicate nation when they begin fatiguing service. I also understand that to remove all suspicion the administrator of Magdeburg made this long and circuitous voyage incognito and secretly to France, to proceed thence towards Silesia, where he will command the army, in virtue of certain ancient claims of his family to the marquisate of Gierendorf.
London, the 29th June, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
328. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sethon, who went to England without leave, passport or safe conduct, to make overtures for a reconciliation, being sent by the cardinal, has been arrested and put in the Tower of London. Here, although he had the assurance and promise of the king and the queen mother as well as a brevet, the cardinal has imprisoned Sir [Thomas] Discinton in the Bastille, whose worst crime may not have been the evil things he said of Buckingham and his praise of the cardinal.
Paris, the 30th June, 1627.
[Italian.]
June 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
329. PIERO MALIPIERO, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have taken pains to carry out the orders given by your Serenity on the 1st May, upon the information sent by Dimitri Rucani, farmer of the customs, about collusion between the people here and foreign merchants for taking oil from the Morea to foreign lands. Rucani is in hiding since he heard of a process against him for serious crimes, but I have examined his colleagues and have obtained full information. I have arrested one of the native merchants, another has fled. I enclose copies of the information and papers.
Zante, the 20th June, 1627, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.330. Examination of Zuane Pandoni, one of the farmers of the duty, on the 5th June.
Some three or four months ago two English ships arrived from Modon and Coron with oil. They remained some days and left under convoy with others, who had laded currants here for England. Were laded by two English merchants residing at Zante, Nufiro Boniton and Samuel Vitel. For lading one of the ships with oil they made a bargain with Anzolo Beniselo, and one Costantin Curumalo, living at Zante, so that as the bargain was made here we might not claim our legitimate duty. Another English ship arrived at the same time from Patrasco, laden with oil by Martin Chentis, an English merchant. It went to England with the others. This Martin had not made a bargain at Zante as he lives at Patrasco and is consul of his nation. Does not know of any other ships taking oil to foreign parts.
Examination of Desiderio Bertanza, farmer of the duty.
Three English ships arrived three or four months ago with oil, and after some days went on to England with others taking currants. Came from Modon and Coron, laded by Nufrio Beniton and Samuel Vittelli; the third came from Patrasco, laded by Martin Chentis. Beniton and Vittelli made a bargain with Anzolo Benisello for many thousands of ryals about the oil, but knows not if any one of Zante had any interest in the other ship.
On the 7th June.
Examination of Zuane Pailloppulo, conductor of the duty.
Remembers the two English ships and their departure. The merchants lading them and the bargain with Benisello. Does not for the moment remember any other foreign ships.
Agreement made the 18th November, 1626, at Zante, whereby Anzolo Benisello undertakes to consign to Samuel Vitel by free sale in the port of Modon 20,000 lire of clear, mercantile oil, by the measure of Zante, within 75 days from the present time. For this oil Benisello shall receive five pieces of damask, 223½ ells (braza) in all; 212¼ ells of tabinet (tabin a oppeia) of divers colours, at 2½ ryals the ell in each case, and 24½ ells of brocade on a silver ground (fondi d'Angento) with gold, at 6 ryals the ell, amounting in all to 1,236 ryals 30 lire, Samuel undertaking to pay the duties here and in the Morea. When the transaction has been completed Angelo will give to Samuel six pieces of brocade with silver, 276½ ells watered silk (ormesia) in the Florentine style, two pieces 23 ells, eight pieces of thin plates (lastre) with silver and gold, 306 ells, five pieces of satin (rasi in oppeia) of various colours, comprising a remnant (cavezzo di schetto) 241 ells, two pieces velvet with silver in oppeia 24¾ ells, which Samuel shall hold as a pledge until all the oil has been consigned. Benisello will not make any other purchases of oil at Modon, Arcadia, Ligcudescho, Aline and Navarino, but Samuel is free to make bargains in other places besides those places, as Sarnuta and Calamota, where Benisello may not do so under a penalty of 2,000 ryals.
Signed by the parties in the presence of Agesilao Seguro and Zamaria Marchetti.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Hugh Ross.
2 Anthony Hales. See Wake's despatch of the 9th July. S.P. Foreign, Venice.
3 See Roe's account, Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, pages 651–5. The agent of Gabor was Sigismund Miches; the ambassador, Paul Keretetsye.
4 Charles was entertained on board the Triumph by her captain, Sir John Watts, on Monday, the 21st June. The mishap to the plate chest is stated in a letter of Meddus to Mead to have happened on the second occasion of the king's entertainment on the flagship, but the banquet of the 21st is probably the one referred to. Charles again feasted on board on the 1st July. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1627–8, page 212. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, pages 240, 243, 244.
5 The exploit of Piet Hein of Delft on the 3rd March.