Venice
July 1627, 2-14

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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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273-288

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'Venice: July 1627, 2-14', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 273-288. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89124 Date accessed: 24 October 2014.


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Contents

July 1627

July 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
331. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days ago a courier reached the Duke of Longueville from Dieppe with news that the English fleet had left the Isle of Wight for Plymouth and was waiting for suitable weather to proceed from point to point. To-day a report of unknown origin is circulating that the fleet has already set sail towards this kingdom. At this news the cardinal, though he cherishes not a few hopes, has even more fears. He bases his confidence on the fact that in France one sees no leaders of spirit or enterprise, and he builds upon the good understanding with Spain and his private friendship with Olivares, from which he expects to add to his fleet forty ships of Biscay and Dunkirk, commanded by Giovanni di Riva. With this powerful reinforcement he hopes not only to counter-balance but to drive off and scatter the English fleet. On the other hand he is anxious because the troops sent from Poitou as a reinforcement for the island of Boin near La Rochelle have been turned back by that fortress: because the Duke of Rohan is in a position to put 10,000 men in the field in a few hours, and because the Governor of Bayonne, Gramont, shows signs of wavering and of ill will to France. He hopes to force Boin to obedience and to stop Rohan, but he has no remedy against Gramont, and only a few days ago he remarked that he did not know whether the Governor of Bayonne held that fortress for himself, the King of Spain or the King of England, or even for the King of France.
An English ship, the Standard, has been captured by the French vessels and taken into St. Valery. The cardinal looks for greater successes after these beginnings.
Paris, the 2nd July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
332. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is considered certain that the German cavaliers who passed this way a few days ago are the ones who let it be understood at Coire that they were going to confer with the English ambassador at Padua.
Zurich, the 2nd July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia
Proveditore.
Venetian
Archives.
333. FRANCESCO MORESINI, Proveditore General of Candia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ship Amite, Captain Thomas Gais, has laded 9,600 mistachi of oil at Canea, and has paid the duty, of which a note is enclosed.
Candia, the 3rd July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
334. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Abbot Magnesio, familiar of the Cardinal of Savoy, called upon me and as a sign of confidence communicated the advices of which I enclose a copy. I thanked him warmly.
Rome, the 3rd July, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
335. The King of England wrote to the Duke of Savoy sending him the papers and articles arranged with the Most Christian, telling him those which that king had infringed and submitting these differences to his arbitration. Although the duke had no ties of kin with England he had readily taken up this matter, writing to the Most Christian at the same time telling him that for some time past the French ministers had treated him badly, though he was sure it was against the king's wishes. The Most Christian replied thanking him for telling him of the steps taken by England and stating that he also was ready to submit these differences to his Highness. Accordingly he sent him all the necessary papers and someone to inform him orally, feeling assured that he could not submit these differences to anyone more well disposed than his Highness. All that his ministers had done was by his order. This last sentence piqued the duke, who wanted to make a sharp reply, but melius consultus, he dissimulated, and he proposes to send the Abbot Scaglia to England, or someone else in the confidence of both crowns.
[Italian.]
July 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
336. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is reported that in the English channel thirteen English ships with three Dutch have engaged thirteen ships of Hamburg, Lubeck and Danzig, which sailed from Lisbon and confident in their strength had declined an escort. Some were taken and some sunk.
Madrid, the 4th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
337. GIOVANNI ALVISE VINCENTI, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The sailing and immediate return of the English fleet has afforded their Highnesses much food for thought and comment, as all their hopes and intrigues depended upon it. They cannot cease to wonder or to believe that it will sail again after so much preparation and expense. Seeing that the king there has no sound adviser they have decided to hasten the journey of the Abbot Scaglia to that court, who is excellently informed upon the views of his Highness, and the affairs of the world, of England and France in particular. What is more important, he is sagacious, adroit, loved and esteemed for his virtues and enjoys the greatest credit there with the king and the Duke of Buckingham, so there is no doubt but that he will encourage them to make fresh attempts, if by chance they have decided not to move again.
Marini has received letters from Arbo of the 22nd ult. in which he says that the king has received Montagu's reply, and has decided not to answer at once, but to think it over, especially as he is advised that Buckingham is to sail at the end of the month with 36 men-of-war and 25 provision ships, besides merchantmen. That he has 6,000 foot and 200 horse to attack France, but his Majesty has no fear and is holding a general review of his forces, and he meant to lead his army on the 8th to attack the English wherever they might have landed. He did not believe that Montagu was here merely to arrange an accommodation, but with some more secret design, using the other as a cloak, and to render France uneasy, as all their actions tended the other way. Although the English announced that their fleet was to go against the Spaniards, their plans were known. They had arrested and taken the letters of one Seithon, a Scot, a captain of the Most Christian's guard, who was going to Scotland on his affairs, and imprisoned some Frenchmen who live in London, because they send information to his Majesty, and similar acts of hostility, which they do not commit against the Spaniards. However, they were not afraid, thank God, as neither the Huguenots nor the malcontents of the realm had given them any help, and they hope that ultimately the English would have the worst of it.
Turin, the 5th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
338. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Tuesday Carleton went into the assembly and spoke of the election of the Prince of Orange to the Order of the Garter, declaring that it was intended as an honour to the people here. The office was well received, though there is some uneasiness about an excessive union with England. The ceremony took place to-day. They had decided to have a banquet afterwards, but all the preparations were stopped by a difficulty about precedence between Carleton and France. This ceremony has taken up all the time, so they have not negotiated with Carleton on matters of greater importance. However, the States have sent to the French ambassador to know if he has authority to treat about current matters and for the accommodation. He replied that he would always listen, but he could do no more before he received extended powers from his Majesty. They would like to make the overtures without further delay, but apparently they do not know to which side they can turn with safety.
The Abbot Scaglia left on Wednesday for Utrecht and may come back to-morrow. This delays a decision because they hope that he will declare himself and open negotiations for the adjustment. On the other hand he profits by the delays, while the negotiations with Montagu are proceeding at Turin. For my part I do not think he will move until the duke tears himself away, which he will not do very readily for reasons already given; or until he sees some one else take the matter up. In that case I believe he will do everything to thwart it, and will go to England to be at the front and to secure the advantage for his master, with the usual artifices. There has been some talk without any grounds, that Scaglia is waiting here for instructions, and that he will ask the States and England for ships to form a fleet against the Genoese. One does not know what to believe, seeing this man here so long without opening any negotiations.
The treaty of Compiègne is still in suspense. Since a conference a fortnight ago, they have not met the ambassador, who told me he had asked for his leave. I believe he will pass this affair on to his successor.
The Hague, the 5th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 6.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
339. That the Five Savii alla Mercanzia be instructed to offer the farm of the new Custom on currants at Cephalonia and Zante, upon the usual terms, including the decision of this council of the 16th June, 1626.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
July 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
340. PIER ANTONIO MARIONI, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Genoese, because of the written power left by Montagu before he departed from Turin, are fearful of some storm if the crowns of France and England become reconciled, and therefore strongly commend themselves to the Catholic king and send frequent despatches to Spain.
Milan, the 7th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
341. To the Ambassador in England.
After a long interval without any of your letters, owing to the rigorous closing of the ports, we have at last received your despatches, Nos. 70 to 83. Some of those which have now arrived by the ordinary of Milan we cannot read owing to the delay of the ciphers. By others received yesterday by way of the Hague, we have a long series of particulars, which are all important and interesting. We have not had time to give you any instructions, but we wish to commend your abilities and acknowledge the receipt, before writing to you more in detail.
Ayes, 101.Noes, 4.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
July 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
342. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Your court has become the theatre of great events; we consider it most necessary for you to adopt a cautious reserve in speaking, so that no one can come to conclusions hurtful to us. To speak more precisely, if Scaglia aims at an adjustment between the Spaniards and the King of England, or between the latter and France, or if he hopes to win advantages for his master by setting both by the ears, which is a point of great uncertainty, as well as the object of Carleton's sudden move from London, it behoves us to maintain a reserve in expressing our opinions, as the safest course.
Ayes, 154.Noes, 4.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
July 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
343. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has sent me word of the departure of Gabor's ambassadors. He added that he had again approached the Caimecan and Cussein Effendi about the peace with the emperor, and they assured him that it would not be concluded without his knowledge or that of the ambassador of Flanders. They further promised that they would procrastinate, so that for the present year they would enjoy the advantage of the emperor's forces being kept occupied until they could be certain of what would ensue. This seems likely, as no advices arrive from Buda, as if it was at the remotest end of Europe.
A letter from Smyrna reports that the dragoman of England got into trouble for selling gunpowder to rebels, and had to pay 3,600 reals to escape, the sum being found by his nation, and for fear of worse harm English and French ships had left the port, leaving only the Venetian ship Giona there.
The Vigne of Pera, the 9th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
344. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
To the absence of the king and court there is now to be added that of the merchants, and I may say of all other respectable persons, for trade being entirely ruined and suspended, the ordinary assembly of the merchants has no object, especially as no letters arrive from any quarter, while two months have passed without anything coming from Italy, causing a confusion easily imagined and endangering the bankruptcy of the merchants by being overwhelmed by bills presented to them for payment all at once. Besides the injury to public affairs those of your Serenity also suffer. Being so long deprived of instructions and news of the course of events I cannot but lament being deprived of your support, and again petition that duplicates may be sent through the Netherlands so long as these misunderstandings with France continue.
The Franciscan friar and the Scot (fn. 1) have been embarked with some fifty prisoners, including a Jesuit and a Spanish captain, for conveyance to Flanders. At Dunkirk, in exchange for the two friars and the captain this country is to receive forty English sailors, the others being exchanged, man for man, without further distinction, a bargain which, if rendered customary for the future cannot but prove extremely prejudicial for England, as the Dunkirkers, sure of not encountering any greater mishap than imprisonment, will risk everything to make reprisals on British subjects. Should they have no other means of releasing themselves they will land from small boats on English soil and make prisoners, as they easily may, to exchange subsequently for their own sailors. The decision is not a little distasteful to the Dutch ambassador, not only because they promised him not to negotiate anything in this matter without his knowledge, as reported, but also because such overtures cannot fail to arouse suspicion, especially when they tend to preserve a race so detested by the Dutch as the Dunkirkers; for, considering them pirates, they always put Dunkirk prisoners to death or throw them into the sea, a thing not done in the fighting on land.
A gentleman who came hither from the Duke of Lorraine to buy horses for hunting has obtained permission to recross with them. The agent of the United Provinces, who was sent over by M. de Valance, governor of Calais, has returned without effecting anything. The duke told him that to open the passage between that place and Dover for merchandise would be an infringement of the general reciprocal seizures between the two kingdoms, but if for his own gratification the governor desired free passage for a boat or two, they would grant it willingly. Meanwhile, it is a piteous sight to see scattered over these cities, ports and shores an infinite number of poor French mariners, and robbery proves so sweet that fishermen of one country go in quest of those of the other, waging a miniature war. The queen asked as a favour, which the king absolutely refused, the release of the poorest of the Frenchmen, in order not to see them die of hunger under her own eyes. The king gave orders for a pittance derived from the sale of the French goods to be given them daily for their maintenance, but the officials rob it, especially as some worthy merchants, the most respectable on the mart, who superintend this affair of the French reprisals, have been removed, others of the court being put in their stead, so that they may indemnify themselves for the pensions and make a profit.
The merchants of the Levant Company have presented a petition to the council remonstrating against sending a fleet into the Mediterranean. The Grand Duke's agent, on account of the interests of Leghorn, has encouraged the company and given them advice. It seems that the Lords of the Council renounce the idea, but this does not suffice unless the duke agrees with them.
Meanwhile Pennington, who wanted the command of this expedition, has been ordered to destroy the French fisheries in the island of Grondland, considered a matter of great importance. Upon this and other matters relating to the fleet, presumably now at sea, I refer to the enclosed letters from the Secretary Agustini, sent me this very day from Portsmouth, whither he went by my order, to see everything and not to report at second hand. Your Serenity may hear of the results before the news reaches England. I will send them, if I can learn them so far from the court, and Carleton's negotiations in the Netherlands, these two affairs comprising all the business of this kingdom, as I have frequently written, explaining their objects.
A ship of war has arrived, sent express by the Prince of Orange to fetch Colonel Vere, who has two regiments in the Dutch service. It did not bring letters from Carleton or others, only a single packet for the ambassador, having left suddenly and in the teeth of the wind. As yet I do not understand that this vessel has any more important business than to urge the colonel's departure, the United Provinces being afraid that Spinola may reinforce Tilly with a few regiments, and they are determined to avert the peril by exciting jealousy.
Meanwhile dissatisfaction increases from the reprisals made on the Dutch and the seizure of their vessels. The council exerts itself, but its members and the court being far asunder it is difficult to gain ground. I do not know how far the king may be inclined to settle any important business during the duke's absence, judging by what took place previously when Buckingham went to Holland, and everything remained in suspence until his return.
London, the 9th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
345. GEROLAMO AGOSTINI, Venetian Secretary, to the Ambassador ALVISE CONTARINI.
I arrived here on Thursday, having hastened my journey in order that the necessary information might at least in part correspond with the speedy execution of your lordship's commands. I found the king and the duke, who had come together from Southwick, where the court was lodged, and whither they returned immediately after inspecting the preparations, everything being at the water's edge ready for shipment. Next day, his Majesty having to depart, after a long parley with the duke about reinforcements, which they say will consist of 14 ships and 4,000 foot to secure the success of the first fleet, assured him of his affection. Accordingly, he came here much comforted after taking leave, and shortly afterwards an express arrived whereby the king required him to appoint the commanders and other officers of this reinforcement, thus showing that his supreme authority will not be in the least diminished.
The body of the fleet consists of 90 ships, of which, as will be seen by the list, not more than 42 are armed, including 8 royal ships of 700 tons with 40 brass guns and 250 sailors. Four pinnaces, though small, are also armed, and in a calm these sometimes use oars. The merchantmen number 30, 400 tons each, and 20 guns, partly brass, partly iron, with 100 sailors. Fourteen Dutchmen bound for La Rochelle with timber have been forcibly hired by the duke, owing to the scarcity of transport, for the conveyance of provisions. Thirty-four small colliers and vessels of other sorts will carry horses etc. and 40 small rowing boats, with which to effect the landing, form the rest of this naval force. There are seven infantry regiments, each of which numbers 900 men, well armed and clothed by the king, and consisting of veterans mixed with recruits who will soon diminish by reason of the natural delicacy of the nation.
There is a surplus of 500 foot, which after being joined at sea by as many more on their way from Ireland, will form a new regiment under the command of the brother of the Vice-Admiral, the Earl of Lindsay. All these troops embarked in most excellent order, being so divided that the king's ships had only one company each. The cavalry, numbering 300, with 16 coach horses and eight saddle horses for the duke, did the like at Southampton.
The duke is generalissimo, the Earl of Lindsay is under him, the Earl of Denbigh is third in command and the old Cavalier Arvi (fn. 2) fourth. Soubise goes in the duke's own ship to be ready to give advice, but without any command at sea, having given the ships he brought on his escape to England to a private captain to cruise for prizes and perhaps to get intelligence.
From these forces twelve armed ships, including two king's ships, detached themselves, and last Friday the 2nd inst. set sail under Pennington's command, bound, as a confidential friend at court tells me, for Greenland to destroy the fishery for whales and other large fish carried on at this season by Frenchmen and people of other countries with no small profit. On the way he is to touch at the harbour of Blavet, and should there be a fair opportunity he is to burn some vessels which according to advices have arrived there from Holland.
Their chief design is said to be a landing at La Rochelle, carried out by the duke himself for the purpose of destroying fort St. Louis. This will at any rate serve as a pretext for hostilities, solely in execution of what was stipulated by the Most Christian with the Rochellese and not performed. They hope the English forces will be encouraged by some insurrection in the neighbouring provinces peopled by the Huguenots. The opponents of the expedition observe that the neighbouring islands are very well garrisoned, the batteries may damage the ships on their passage and the most opulent inhabitants of La Rochelle may not choose to receive the English. All these objections are overcome by the hope of a fair wind to give them a swift passage and by the good bias of the populace to the English, which may be yet more increased by the preachers disturbing the Huguenot consciences. Besides the one in Soubise's service, who enjoys great repute, the duke is taking with him three of the most learned, who speak many languages. On the day of the embarcation one of them delivered a long oration, urging all to uphold the Protestant faith. I understand the duke's steward has enquired from some of Soubise's attendants if good lodging will be found for him at La Rochelle, as on board his ship he is well accommodated and provided with everything, as in his own house, 20,000l. having been expended for this. Something has also been said about the port of Brest, which is considered of great advantage for thwarting the designs of the cardinal, who would fain make it the centre of trade and navigation, but when on the spot they will make their choice.
I am also assured that Gerbier, on returning from the Netherlands after obtaining information, will join the fleet, and according to the conference between Carleton and Scaglia about the Brussels negotiations they will decide as to sending the Earl of Denbigh with 20 ships to burn vessels on the coast of Spain or no.
With things in this state and the vessels with the troops and provisions which had been embarked elsewhere having arrived here, a proclamation was issued on Sunday the 4th inst. ordering every one to be on board, upon pain of death. This too sudden resolve caused no little grumbling. The duke himself embarked weary and bewildered, being unused to such a task entailing a multiplicity of orders and regulations, and perceiving an opportunity for getting out of port he set sail immediately with all the ships there were, and having joined the others the wind is supposed to be fair for the voyage, as that which took them out of harbour would not serve.
This is as much as I have been able to observe so far, and unless fresh commands reach me I shall return.
Portsmouth, the 6th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
346. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After concluding his business at Turin, Montagu has returned by way of Lorraine and Champagne. They say he will go to Holland, where Scaglia and Carleton are waiting for him on the same business, before returning to England. Meanwhile the cardinal does not worry himself about these negotiations or about the English forces, thinking that nothing can hurt a hair of France, and he makes even less account of the interposition of the Duke of Savoy for a reconciliation. Although he is anxious for this yet his principle is that he will not be the first to institute negotiations. This important business thus turns upon a mere point of punctilio.
Paris, the 9th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
347. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After despatching the foregoing I received simultaneously four packets from Italy, landed on the beach, the last dated the 4th June. I am still without the letters of the 7th May, which were, I understand, seized by the Dutch troops before they reached Antwerp, and two other packets of a later date are also missing. Miscarriages evidently do not cease, and although once the fleet is at sea the ports will remain open, at any rate the French boats will not be allowed to depart, nor will the English risk themselves, as they are sure to be arrested in France. So we shall hobble on, but I shall omit no effort, hoping to convince your Excellencies of my zeal in the performance of my duty.
With respect to my instructions. I will mention first that I alluded to leave of absence for Count della Torre merely in the course of conversation, as desired by you, so as to bind this crown to the offices performed at Venice by the English minister. Secretary Conway spoke to me on the subject, but no one has said anything to me since, indeed, when talking to Carleton about this business before his departure I found him utterly ignorant of it though a member of the Cabinet and one of the most confidential counsellors of the king and duke. I infer from this that the demand came from Wake alone at the request of Denmark, from whom the first overtures certainly came: but Conway. Wake's father-in-law, being anxious to see him advance in credit by negotiating, inserted the king's name, which occurs in many matters without his knowledge, the government here not being so very particular. The gentleman who told me that he was to take the letters, crossed with Carleton and will travel through Germany, the French route being now unsafe for Englishmen.
It is perfectly true that Wake wrote to Turin that your Excellencies are making love to the Spaniards, and that the Spanish ambassador in Venice loses no opportunity of blandishing you. He wrote the same hither, although Conway told me he had it from the resident at Turin. I have no difficulty in confuting such ideas so that they cannot root. I stifle their growth, tilling the soil incessantly, so that I hope to gather fruit for the state. I think many of these ideas came from a great number of ultramontane soldiers, who, being dismissed your Serenity's service, frequent Wake's house. Some have taken offence and through passion make unsupported statements which are occasionally false.
As regards Montagu I always wrote that a sharp look out must be kept on the Duke of Savoy. I repeat this as all the pungency comes from that quarter. he being utterly disgusted with the French, and his credit with Buckingham. which certainly is very great, his connexions with Soissons, his understandings with other malcontents, but always, so some think, for the sole purpose of rendering himself absolute arbitrator for the adjustment, so that for his own interest and repute he blows the coals, suggesting suspicions to the French, and to the English hopes of peace, while he intimidates his enemies by making them imagine he can dispose of the naval forces of this kingdom. All these schemes are depicted in the Abbot Scaglia's negotiations.
I do not find any orders about a league between your Serenity, Savoy and this Crown I know that Wake, in Savoy's interests, first introduced the duke's insinuations here, and it is certain that all Montagu does is solely by commission from the duke. The council know nothing about it, perhaps not even the king himself knowing all.
I have received your communication upon the dispute between these two crowns. With regard to overtures and private considerations you will have seen how far I went whenever opportunities occurred. To the slanderous reports circulated for the sake of urging your Excellencies forward I always made vigorous opposition, not because malicious falsehoods need such great resistance, but because circumstances may not admit of honourable escape. I am sure the accounts will produce no bad impression, and the state can but gain additional praise, as all know that the republic aims at the general good, independent of either of the parties, with whom the republic has always been equally united. For the rest, being away from the court, I know not what to promise or how to conduct myself. But for the expenditure I should not now be in London, being well aware how important it is to be present or at least near at hand to avert the threatened mischief, especially such as vitally affects the common cause, as is more and more evident daily.
I must add very momentous intelligence, received this instant by the merchants, to the effect that in the Elbe the King of Denmark has seized seven English ships laden with woollen cloth worth 2,000,000 florins. I know that king is disgusted because after England suggested the war to him she deserted him at its zenith, he being creditor for over 4,000,000 on account of the last league. (fn. 3) Being in want of money owing to his heavy expenses, offended by the seizure of some of his ships here and by reason of the scanty satisfaction obtained by his last ambassador he will declare that he had reason to proceed to this extremity. In short, should the news be confirmed, as seems certain, the blow will be of great consequence to this realm, as it destroys the trade with Muscovy and the Baltic, which is one of the most extensive enjoyed by the English, who, besides the risk of alienating Denmark from the common cause, as may be expected should he lack the means of exporting infantry from this country, are gradually and imperceptibly embarking on a war with all the neighbouring powers, on slight grounds and not without danger were it not for the natural advantages of this island.
With the present despatch I send to the Magistracy of the Mint the ounce of silver of the alloy of this realm, with such particulars as may correspond with the State's intentions.
London, the 10th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 10.
Cl. vii.
Cod. 1124.
Bibl. S. Marco.
Venice.
348. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador, to the Proveditori for the Mint at Venice. (fn. 4)
The Collegio commands me to transmit to your lordships an ounce of silver of the current standard of this kingdom. The utmost care was taken about the weight, so that it may entirely correspond to the intention of the state. The cost is 5 English shillings, equivalent to precisely 7 lire 10 soldi of Venetian current money, though if valued according to the exchange and in proportion to the pure money of Venice it would be something less, the difference cannot be stated exactly because of the daily variation in the rates of exchange, which is precisely at par with the said 5 shillings when reaching 60 English pence per bank ducat. They tell me that this silver is one penny per ounce better than that of France, and a penny equals five of our beci. This silver is mostly obtained from the Spanish reals, though the king lately issued a proclamation forbidding the goldsmiths and other private individuals to purchase them as usual for their manufactures and desiring that all reals brought to England be taken to an office newly instituted there, to receive their amount in current value (fn. 5) : a resolve which has caused no little murmuring and increases the value of the silver, because the contractors, not being able to sell it as they please, hesitate to send any. All wrought silver is of the same standard when stamped, and of that which is coined in the mint for money they pay two English pence for each ounce of coined silver.
There are some mines in Wales, the silver of which is purer than that of the reals, but it is not in use and they reduce it to the current standard.
This is all I can add on the subject, as my orders are general and merely tell me to forward the silver and give its cost. Should further particulars be required I will endeavour to comply with the public wish.
London, the 10th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
349. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Savoy did not succeed in his overtures to start negotiations for a reconciliation with England. Possibly a letter written by one of his ministers to a friend may have better fortune. My intelligence cannot grasp the methods of the government here. The Abbot Scaglia has written to a gentleman named Salmatoris, of the marquisate of Saluzzo, who lives in France. After matters of no importance he writes that as the English fleet may sail any day in great strength, he prayed God that it would not add to the hurt already done to France and render satisfaction still more difficult. He had made every effort to prevent matters going so far, but all in vain, and his efforts had only rendered him suspect to France. He could only pray to God to prevent the worst consequences. He had the satisfaction of knowing that he had done his duty to his prince. He had never failed to show his esteem and devotion for France and he only waited for an opportunity to spend his life in her service.
The moment this most crafty letter reached Paris Salmatoris took it to show to the Duke of Angoulême, who is related to the House of Savoy and Scaglia's declared protector. The duke took it to Villeroy to show to the king and cardinal. The three decided that Angoulême should see Salmatoris again and try to obtain another letter of the same kind from Scaglia, with a request for him to go to the Hague, because there were various important things which could not be put upon paper. There he was to assure Scaglia in the name of the king and cardinal of their sincere affection in order to favour the progress of the negotiation and give the ambassador his former confidence, so that nothing remained except that Scaglia should get the Duke of Savoy to write to the cardinal, expressing his desire to maintain friendship and the best understanding with him.
This is not only the sense but the exact words, and Angoulême received the same from the cardinal. To-day they run after what they fled from yesterday. They now propose to give reputation to a discredited minister. Consideration of these things is enough to make one's hair turn white before one discovers the real reason. It suffices to say that this is France.
Paris, the 11th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
350. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
No couriers have reached Scaglia, who says he is awaiting them. On mid-day on Friday Montagu arrived here. He only remained for six hours, and left in a small boat for England, which he should have reached on Saturday evening at latest, as the wind was favourable. He brought letters for Scaglia, but not those expected, as instead of his being employed upon the adjustment, Montagu himself is taking the duke's offices to prevent the fleet sailing and to suspend hostilities. Scaglia has been petrified by this decision, although the duke and his brother inform him that the motive comes from France, which passed an office through Marini against his being employed in this affair, as he is mistrusted by France. Scaglia cannot restrain his feelings and told me that now he was far away from the court he thought he was safe from their malice. He was particularly bitter against Marini. He does not speak of the duke's decision to take this first step without him, but I know it weighs upon his mind, as he thought the duke would always support him. I suggested that the employment of an Englishman might not please France, who would have preferred some neutral person. This touched a sore spot. I said if the duke desired an accommodation he would have employed means to bring it about quickly. He said the duke wished to serve one and not offend the other.
We must now wait to see what offices the duke will perform and if he really means business. So long as the abbot remains here I shall try and obtain information. He says he is expecting a courier who should have been despatched two days after Montagu left.
The Hague, the 12th July, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
351. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the ceremony of conferring the Garter on the Prince of Orange the States have begun to negotiate about the reconciliation on the spot. They did not think it advisable to send special ambassadors to the two kings and consider it better to treat with their ambassadors here. The deputies have paid frequent visits, but for some days it seemed hopeless to do anything as neither would yield to the other in being the first to speak, both declaring that they had no powers to treat and could only listen to proposals made by friends. They decided here to write friendly letters to the two kings, expressing regret at the quarrel between them and anxiety to bring about a reconciliation, for which they offered their services if their Majesties would accept the interposition. They were deeply interested, as they are exposed to great danger without the assistance of the two crowns. These letters were to-day handed to the ambassadors of France and England, who sent them at once with letters of their own by an extraordinary despatch. These two ministers show good will and they may have instructions to do so, to open the way to negotiations.
They sent deputies to inform me about this and to ask for the co-operation of your Serenity. I told them of your repeated offices at the courts of France and England, and said I had commissions of a like nature and said I would not miss any good opportunity. I said your Serenity would have co-operated already, without hesitation, if you had been certain that it would be well received and helpful. In conclusion I commended their prudent action.
If these offices do not clash with those of the Duke of Savoy they may do some good, and the negotiations might take place here as neutral territory, convenient for both England and France. I am sure, in that case, that the States will keep me fully informed and will summon me to any special negotiation.
Although Scaglia has no public capacity he deals with all the ambassadors and meets Carleton every day. I think Scaglia has very confidential relations with Carleton, because of his intimacy with Buckingham. I suspect that he confides everything to him, and I fear he may perform evil offices, in the present state of affairs, to prevent the acceptance of the mediation. I have not told him anything, though I have tried to learn from him what the deputies negotiated with Carleton to find if he had any part in the communication. He could not tell me all the particulars, but is trying to find out. He remarked that the Dutch wished to interpose, although the duke had forestalled them. I think all the offices will be accepted, but we must have security that the cardinal does not press the Rochellese or persecute the Huguenots. This is significant, because the French will not suffer interference in their internal affairs, and I think the abbot introduced it in order to occasion delay. I therefore think it best not to admit him to any confidence in the present affair. That will be easy, because he is only here in a private capacity. The members of the government here have often asked me about him and have told me that they had no negotiations with him and did not propose to have any. He has a friend in Arsen, but if Carleton did not confide to him he would remain ignorant of many things.
Within a few days Montagu's answers will return as well as those of the ministers here; we shall then be better informed and shall know if the negotiation will take place here or elsewhere, because I do not believe that either in France or in England they will let these overtures fall to the ground without result.
The Hague, the 12th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
352. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They hoped here that Carleton would bring them some satisfaction and adjustment, at least the restitution of the numerous ships and goods that have been plundered, from which they might have obtained money; but he proposed nothing effective in the matter. It seems, indeed, if they can adjust their differences and if the two kings are reconciled, the English fleet might join the Dutch one, and therefore I hear that the Spaniards are on the alert.
The Hague, the 12th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 12.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
353. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
When I went to Padua I came as in duty bound to inform your Serenity that I was going to receive and wait upon a prince of Germany, in conformity with the commands of my king and the King of Denmark. I must now tell your Excellencies of the coming of this Prince of Brandenburg and Halberstadt, Bishop of Hala, and general of the King of Denmark's army in Silesia, such are his titles. (fn. 6) He has come to this city and has letters for his Serenity from the King of Denmark, which he will present in the character of ambassador extraordinary. He desires to fulfil this duty to-morrow privately, divesting himself of his rank, as it may suit your Serenity, and be introduced here with the occasion of seeing this palace if your Excellencies agree. I may add that his Highness strongly wishes to hasten his journey, to take up his command, the season being so far advanced, and he would esteem himself highly favoured if the republic would grant him a galley as far as Spalato in the same private manner. He is now staying incognito in my house.
In the absence of the doge the senior councillor, Garzoni, replied: The republic learns with satisfaction of the prince's arrival in this city We shall at once discuss the best steps for seeing him and facilitating his journey, and will let him know at the earliest opportunity. In reply to the ambassador he said that the doge was well, only the weather kept him at home, and he hoped to be in the Collegio to-morrow. With this the ambassador took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
July 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
354. Having learned by the statements of the ambassador of England and the Secretary of the States of the coming to this city of Prince Christian William of Brandenburg, with letters from the King of Denmark that the English ambassador be informed that the prince may come to see the Collegio whenever he pleases, by the doge's private staircase; that he be received with fitting honours and that 600 ducats be spent on his entertainment; that the Collegio shall make provision for his passage to Spalato and also provide to defray his expenses on the way and in that place.
Ayes, 126.Noes, 3.Neutral, 14.
[Italian.]
July 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
355. PIER ANTONIO MARIONI, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters from France of the 28th state that the Most Christian will shortly take the field, owing to the fear that the English fleet may land troops somewhere. All their thoughts are turned to this and they think little or nothing about the Valtelline or Italy.
On the other hand his Excellency has some suspicions that the differences between the two crowns may serve as a cloak for greater designs, and he it trying to obtain information by way of the foreign ministers resident here. Florence told me this, and it must be true because last Sunday the Grand Chancellor and Senator Trotto called upon me at different times, and both asked me in practically the same words if I knew with what object so many ships had sailed from England, and if the king seemed far off or near a reconciliation. I told them both that I had had no news from those courts for a long while, and thus diverted the conversation to other topics.
Milan, the 14th July, 1627.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Father Adrian and Hugh Ross.
2 Lord William Hervey.
3 See Anstruther's despatch of the 16th June. He writes: On Monday last (i.e. 21 June, n.s.) there came into this river seven English ships with cloth and other merchandise appertaining to the Company here at Hamburg. which were all stayed by the ships of war of this king that ride in this river before his new fort at Gluckstadt ... the which sudden staying of them gave great alarm in this town." Anstruther remonstrated to the king and on the following Thursday order came for the prompt discharge of the ships: "as it was well known here that those of Hamburg had ... deceived his Majesty of Denmark in supplying his enemies, which those ships of war were appointed to look to, they could do no less than visit them also in their coming in, to the end that the Hamburgers might not allege any more rigor to be showed in looking to them than to others. Other circumstances or causes they could not learn." S.P. Foreign, Denmark.
4 This letter is not in the filza of the ambassador's despatches, nor is it to be found in the Archives of the Zecca. The text is taken from the ambassador's Register.
5 Apparently a reference to the proclamation of the 25th May: for the better exercise of the office of his Majesty's exchange and reform of sundry abuses and frauds practised upon his Majesty's coins. Steele: Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, vol. i, No. 1512.
6 Prince Christian William of Brandenburg, youngest son of the Margrave Joachim Frederick and uncle of the reigning elector. Wake brought him from Padua on the 9th of July, and lodged him in his house. Wake advised him not to appear publicly in his character of ambassador, but to dissemble his quality at Venice as he had at all other places. S.P. Foreign, Venice, Wake's despatch of the 9th July.