Venice
July 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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289-307

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'Venice: July 1627, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 289-307. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89125 Date accessed: 20 August 2014.


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Contents

July 1627

July 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
356. To the Ambassador at the Hague and the like to the other Courts.
Notification of the arrival of Prince Christian William of Brandenburg at Venice, his reception in the Collegio and the arrangements for his voyage to Spalato. This is sent for information.
To the Hague add:
The enclosed for Holland, open, will give you our views about the way of introducing yourself in cautious confidence with Carleton, and in learning about his negotiations. You will not fail to give him full information of our replies to Denmark's letters, to Wake and to Brandenburg's offices.
Ayes, 132.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
July 16.
Senato,
Secreta,
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
357. To the Ambassador in England.
The multitude of your letters, which have all arrived at once, does not diminish their interest. You must keep your eyes open, and from what Carleton negotiates in Holland with Scaglia, as well as with the States and the Palatine, one may argue a good or bad turn to those affairs. We have ordered our Ambassador Soranzo at the Hague to encourage the most confidential relations with Carleton, and you may take advantage of this to find out about his negotiations.
We are glad to see that you have limited your offices to pointing out the good will of the republic towards the common cause, and towards a reconciliation, without committing yourself further to things which might prove injurious.
M. de Montagu left Turin, leaving in the duke's hands a paper giving him full powers for the adjustment with France. We hear of a good disposition to listen to the proposals of his Highness, but as the French are somewhat suspicious of the duke it does not seem that they have as yet entrusted him with similar powers. Thus a person has been arrested at Lyons in the belief that he was Montagu himself.
This will serve you for information, and so will the copy of what we hear from Rome about this very interposition of Savoy.
It is useful to encourage friendly relations with the ambassadors of Denmark and Sweden by visits and offices, and by abstaining from public meetings you avoid altercations. We have shown every kindness to Mansfelt's officers, paying up their wages to the day of the count's death. The Count of Soissons is at Turin. His mother has at last agreed to a conference with the cardinal; thus their opinions are always changing, which renders a judgment difficult.
Denmark has renewed his appeal to France for help, but the ministers will not hearken and have even openly answered that they do not mean to help those who adhere to the enemies of the Most Christian. This will serve you for information.
We make you a provision of 300 ducats for couriers and the carriage of letters, for which you will render account.
Ayes, 132.Noes, 3.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
July 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
358. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Montagu has returned from Piedmont, having come through Switzerland, Lorraine, Brussels and the Hague. He says he received great marks of honour everywhere, so that they could not have shown more to the king himself. Of this he is very proud. At Brussels the followers of the Infanta and Marquis surpassed everything else, the Spaniards being masters in the art of gaining good will by every possible means. He abuses the French, who tried to stop him on the road, but were foiled by his disguises and stratagems, no delay being caused to his master's service, who commends him and is satisfied. Some letters intercepted from a good quarter, and which I have been able to corroborate, reached me, I believe through sheer good fortune, as owing to the absence of the court I have to feel my way in business matters.
In the first place I confirm what I wrote that Savoy is extremely anxious to be absolute arbitrator between these two crowns, so as to serve his own interests. England being already in his hands he is now labouring to gain France also, either through fear of peace between this country and Spain or of joining with the French malcontents, or of these English naval forces. The English also have their reasons for placing themselves in the duke's hands, as Montagu reports in his Highness's name that Soissons has returned and with his friends will have a good number of troops The English knowing that these revolts in France are not durable and always vanish when the Most Christian satisfies the parties, wish to secure themselves as well as they can through the Duke of Savoy, all their hopes resting upon insurrections in France, especially as it is supposed the French princes will not declare themselves absolutely friendly to England, to avoid the reproach of an open rebellion against their own king, but form a fresh party to create jealousy, harassing the Most Christian and benefiting their own interests as well as others.
On this account the English government seeks to bind the Duke of Savoy, by treating him confidentially, accepting freely his arbitration so as to make sure of him. He enjoys this and suggests means, seconding their projects for his own advantage and to avenge the affronts he pretends to have received from France.
He is so bent on this arbitration that some theorists, but men of sound judgment, will have it that Scaglia in the Netherlands, being completely in Buckingham's confidence, as well as interested for his master, will prevent any negotiation at that court if it excludes the arbitration aforesaid, he knowing the site to be most opportune for success in this matter by reason of all the consequences for the United Provinces, of the foreign ministers in attendance there, and of Carleton's good intentions. Though the news will have reached you long since I send this confirmation together with the copy of the paper given by Montagu to the Duke of Savoy and by his Highness to the Ambassador Marini, to which I understand the French replied that they would not give ear to any treaty of peace soever whilst overpowered by hostilities to show that they would not be induced by fear.
Meanwhile I know for certain that the Duke of Savoy, in order not to let the fruit of these very confidential relations rot on the tree, made most friendly offers to Montagu for his own profit, and to alarm the Genoese and French, to open Villafranca as a free port for the British flag. I also know that the whole body of the London merchants does not incline to this, seeing that of Leghorn prospering, and having no market for their wares at Villafranca. They therefore make two demands which are very difficult for the duke to grant, one, liberty of conscience provided they cause no scandal; the other a bank at Lyons or any other neutral town as security for their goods, they having previously been deceived by the duke's mere word. The English secretary resident at Turin writes that with regard to the first they will have a difficulty, the duke having been reproved at Rome for promising a free church for the sermons of Calvin, and trade to the Dutch and English at Genoa if he could obtain it. For the second, he has neither credit nor the means of contenting them, but Montagu has spoken about it to the king and I believe they will feed the duke with hopes, so as not to delay what matters more and what they anticipate from his assistance, knowledge of affairs and good counsel, these overtures for trade, especially at the beginning, being matters for discussion between merchants rather than between sovereigns.
With Montagu came a gentleman named Whittingham, who is to proceed to the fleet to acquaint Buckingham with what has been negotiated at Turin. I understand that Montagu himself is to return to Piedmont, perhaps about some combination between the forces of England and the malcontent princes. He will go through Brussels, which looks suspicious, as there is daily talk of peace with Spain, although as yet without substance. Those who desire it wish the first step to be the opening of the trade, which cannot happen without alienating the Dutch. But your Excellencies will hear more from Turin where there is not the disadvantage of a court 100 miles away, as here, keeping me in the greatest distress on every account.
The return of Gerbier from the Netherlands is expected, with the news of Carleton's negotiations, that the resolves of this government may be formed in conformity with what I wrote. Men are surprised at his long delay.
London, the 16th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterre.
Venetian
Archives.
359. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the departure of the fleet ten days ago nothing whatever has been heard of its progress. Some vague reports circulated of its having gone to St. Malo, but it is more and more confirmed that they made straight for La Rochelle; for the reasons given, if the duke can do no more he will land there with a few of his followers to provide the fleet with what it needs, until they take or besiege some of those islands, of which it seems French sympathisers are more afraid than of anything else. I now leave all this to the more certain advices of results.
With regard to the preparations for the new reinforcements, which they say will be ready in six weeks, though I do not believe it, apparently everything depends upon supply of money. To obtain this I hear they are resuming vigorous measures against those who refuse the subsidies, as well as the treaty of compromise with the Catholics. Upon the last the king has issued a proclamation for some counties towards Scotland in order that the Catholics there may bind themselves to defray the cost of some armed ships for the defence of those coasts. (fn. 1) But the Catholics, having been often deceived by these treaties, are not inclined to give ear to it. They find it more advantageous to give the king two-thirds of their goods according to the law, based on the old estimate, rather than make a new inquisition and give him but one-third as demanded.
The seizure in Denmark of the English ships laden with woollens was true; but the parties concerned appealed to the king and the goods were released with an assurance that the seizure had not been made by his Majesty's order; so that a clear sky after this storm has greatly comforted the merchants. (fn. 2) So measures of this sort do not fail to create suspicion bearing in mind that the King of Denmark, being compelled to wage war and spend money, has also some right to extenuate whatever he may do in self defence, on the plea of the considerable arrears due to him. The merchants will certainly proceed cautiously and not run risks of any sort, so that business and trade visibly decline and perish daily.
There are two delegates here from the corsairs of Salee in Africa. I understand they have come to open some sort of free trade. It is unreasonable for them to expect any good result, as two Dutch ships were seized here and declared lawful prizes, solely because they came thence, though I do not find these scruples about equity ever take effect when they interfere with profit. The Dutch commissioner is at work on this question, but with the usual dilatoriness, the king being far away from the ministers and both from the Council. He says he shall depart in a few days, although the business is but sketched and he hopes to give the finishing stroke more successfully in the Netherlands, under the good auspices of Carleton.
The Dutch ambassador told me that his masters were assured, through some intercepted letters, that for the present year the Spaniards could not send money for the troops in Flanders, notwithstanding the contracts already made, and to Germany they will remit very little, meaning rather to avail themselves of it for some naval reinforcement. In proof of this there are also advices of the muster at Cadiz of some thirty galleys for the purpose of arming them completely as convoy for the fleet, which usually arrives in November, to defend it from the English, but above all to fan the flame in France, as by these demonstrations of naval armaments they encourage the hopes of assistance given to the Rochellese, so that they may not listen to agreements but embark might and main in an obstinate war, and in due season Spain may reap the ripe fruit which she anticipates.
The queen has gone into mourning for her sister-in-law, the Duchess of Orleans, and she also has begun her progress, not intending to return to London for some weeks.
I am still in arrear of three packets from Italy, which I hope to receive if they have reached Calais, as the king has granted me a French fishing boat to go and take them. It is incredible how much trouble and anxiety are caused by this interrupted communication.
The Ambassador Soranzo writes to me that after receiving some of my first despatches, which I sent to Italy through that channel, he believes they miscarried, but I take consolation in thinking that he is punctually acquainted with all these affairs and may have given some hint about them. For the rest I am convinced that your Excellencies will do full justice to my zeal.
London, the 16th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
360. Memorial given by Mr. Montagu to the Duke of Savoy, and by his Highness to the French Ambassador Marini. (fn. 3)
July 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
361. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I am told that Carleton has requested the States to supply gunpowder and other munitions for his king's fleet, which is in need of such things. They considered the request and would not grant it because of the interests of France, although Carleton gave them a sort of assurance that the fleet will not be employed against France, telling them that if they supplied the munitions requested it would be to their own advantage. This has led to some discussion about the possibility of joining forces with that fleet and landing at Nieuport to create a diversion in Flanders. This would prove very useful for the common cause, but in the present state of affairs it seems impossible to credit it.
The Hague, the 19th July, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
362. GIOVANNI ALVISE VINCENTI, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador has letters from the Secretary Albo in which he writes of the determination of his Majesty to listen to no proposals for an agreement with England while their fleet has designs against France, but if they withdraw their fleet or turn it against the Spaniards, he will not then refuse the interposition of his Highness or of any other friendly power. They have news of several meetings at the Hague between Scaglia and Carleton in which they did not forget to call to mind all the malcontents and enemies of France. The fleet was ready, not to go against La Rochelle, as the evil minded Huguenots stated, or to impose the taxes on wine and salt in Poitou, but to thwart any attempt the English might make against the realm. They had withdrawn, but it was not likely they had done so to facilitate an accommodation, but from fear of getting the worst of it, as they certainly would.
There are more recent advices of the 12th, brought by a gentleman of the Count of Soissons named Duplessis. These state that the fleet is to go to La Rochelle, where they will build a fort. Thirteen persons had been hanged in that town for having intelligence with the cardinal, the two imprisoned as confidants of the English having previously been released by popular tumult. The English fleet had been sighted off Boian and near the islands. The people had revolted at Bordeaux on the publication of the edicts and at the new tax on salt.
Turin, the 19th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
363. PIERO MALIPIERO, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In order to prevent foreigners from taking oil from the Turkish dominions to foreign lands, I have forbidden the art of the coopers here to prepare any cargo for the said places for the future, without having my order beforehand; in this way, for lack of casks, the masters will have to come to these parts. This will relieve the people here and benefit the state.
Zante, the 21st July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
364. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
We must commend your offices with Lord Carleton and the French ambassador. The mutual visits of these ministers afford some opening for good, and perhaps the recent movement of the English fleet, the state of affairs in Germany, the insinuations of the States and the cautious encouragement of other well wishers may help those treaties while keeping attention on those, possibly different, which Scaglia has in hand. The continual supply of all particulars in such a serious matter is essential.
You will thank them for the communication made in the assembly, of the conferment of the Garter upon the Prince of Orange by the King of England, and express our satisfaction, complimenting the prince.
We hear from Germany that Gabor has really made peace with Caesar. He is postponing the ratification in order to see what happens in Silesia, and will take his line from that; this makes the Austrians doubtful about him. We imagine that you have communicated what your letters relate about the negotiations for an adjustment between the two crowns to our ambassadors in France, Savoy and England, as this is most necessary.
The last paragraph to England, adding:
You did well to take an opportunity of representing to Buckingham the advantages for the general interests and his own, and it is to be hoped that it made the impression it seemed to.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 2.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
July 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
365. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By an express courier sent by the Marshal of Tamines, lieutenant general in Britanny, they received word the day before yesterday that the English fleet, numbering a hundred sail, had doubled the cape of Conche and was steering towards La Rochelle.
Paris, the 22nd July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
366. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
All their decisions here depend upon the fleet. Nothing whatever is heard about it either here or at the court, according to the advices received by me thence. Since its departure 18 days ago no intelligence has arrived, which caused surprise and also doubts of the easy and successful result anticipated.
A ship from Hamburg laden with rope and other contraband of war was stopped by the fleet and sent hither, where the entire cargo remains confiscated, according to the proclamations.
The merchants receive notices from La Rochelle to the effect that since the fleet sailed the Most Christian has had constant and powerful reinforcements by land from one side and the other; the burgesses of La Rochelle hold frequent consultations, not without diversity of opinions, in accordance with the invariably conflicting affections and passions of a popular government, and meanwhile Madame de Rohan had left the place, announcing her intention of conferring with the Duke of Savoy at Geneva. As regards this Montagu assures the king that the Duke of Savoy will put the Count of Soissons and his adherents in the field with 15,000 foot and 3,000 horse, and also covertly supply the Duke of Rohan with a sum of money to raise cavalry. Apparently these rumours begin to make France suspicious, nor are they so secret as formerly.
It is settled that Montagu shall return to Piedmont by the Hague, Brussels and other places, as he came. He will take a plan for some combined movement between the English fleet and the forces of the French malcontents, so that one side may not make terms without the other, so as to keep the factions in the interior united. As to peace, if Savoy can obtain the arbitration for the French as he has for the English, the king here will allow himself to be led and possibly Montagu will take someone with him to negotiate the arrangement, which I am told the Duke of Savoy will encourage if able to make good terms for his kinsman the Duke of Soissons and all that party, so as to place them under eternal obligation to him, as otherwise he will keep these disturbances going.
I am assured that Montagu has no commission to negotiate anything at Brussels, and that his appearances at that court and the honours lavished on him there are nothing but a game of rivalry, played by the English and Spaniard both, to make France uneasy. I am assured, however, that no overtures have been made on either side, but only formal words and expressions of good will, and I feel sure that the Spaniards will not give up their advantage of looking on at the game and profiting by the mistakes of others.
At the Hague Montagu will see the Abbot Scaglia, in order that all the schemes may proceed better by their acting in concert, and the king with his own lips has desired the Master of the Ceremonies to be ready to receive Scaglia. Although it is not yet known whether he will have the title of ambassador, yet he will come with a few persons and his Majesty wishes him to be well treated. I cannot ascertain the real objects of this journey, for no letters come from any quarter, nor as yet has any safe way been found for sending them to Italy. I remain four weeks in arrear and fear the fate of despatches sent through Holland, which are at the mercy of the wind, while the road through France is unsafe.
Burlamacchi, to whom, though a merchant, the king and all the chief persons listen most graciously, again repeated to the Secretary Agostini the ideas about your Serenity's mediation. He was told that the ministry had already heard from my lips the proofs of your Excellencies' good affection and what mischievous results might ensue from these ruptures. I have already given general assurances of the republic's good intentions, but now, owing to the power given by Montagu to the Duke of Savoy and his return to Piedmont, and also owing to Scaglia's visit and the orders for his reception, I shall proceed with great reserve and caution in executing the last commissions of your Excellencies. Burlamacchi added that the said paper proceeded from the usual boastful ideas (gloriosi spiriti) of the Duke of Savoy, which had beguiled young Montagu to draw it up for him, that he might subsequently publish it everywhere solely for the purpose of exalting his own reputation, and Montagu had no commission to draw it up, as the paper itself made perfectly clear; it is devoid of arguments and could have been made much more forcible with good and mature counsel. I believe, however, the favour which this young man enjoys with the Duke of Buckingham will always overcome every obstacle, especially as he acts in accordance with his patron's ends, which aim at closer union with Savoy or rather dependence upon his counsels and intrigues.
Meanwhile the king has appointed some of the commissioners for the trade with Villafranca, as Savoy earnestly desired, and I understand he has given carte blanche about the terms. Some tell me that if, as at Leghorn, there were wealthy merchants to purchase all the goods immediately on arrival, which a company of several members could manage, as usual here and in Holland, some commercial intercourse might be established. But there is no appearance of this, as people have too much distrust of the duke's mere word, which is wont to veer according to his personal interests, to risk their merchandise without good security.
The king has ordered Moulins, the French secretary, to depart. He asked for a few days' time to write and receive orders from his master or else a public document signed by the king, to prove he had received such a command. The Secretaries of State refused both and said he ought to have gone already of his own accord without awaiting this hap or something worse; but the Earl of Holland has interfered to procure some satisfaction for him. I should not like him to depart in dudgeon, because of the evil offices he might perform at court, especially under the influence of a corrupt little Spanish spirit which rules him. He came to see me and tell me everything. I urged him to make the best possible report in the interests of himself and of France, as by breaking with England she could not help losing her sea trade while risking perpetual civil commotion, which will consume her, especially when kindled among those ardent spirits which are so easily inflamed by affronts. I assured him that I had special instructions to do every good office to moderate this extreme distrust, and I had done so abundantly already in France. The perfect sincerity of the republic would appear at all times, guided solely by the wish to see these two crowns joined in affection as they are in blood and interests, for the greatness of both, the advantage of their friends and the benefit of the common cause. All this seemed to please him vastly, and he said he would represent it sincerely to the ministers and to the king himself. During the conversation I elicited that his last letters from France came under cover to the Dutch ambassador, and when on another topic he asked whether I thought that in Holland the United Provinces and Scaglia might negotiate some adjustment. From these two remarks I gather that the French place somewhat more faith in the States and that to render England uneasy about naval affairs they might make use of them in such negotiations, as they might decide to open, but which will always depend on the result of the fleet, which will regulate the atmosphere of this horizon.
The queen has gone to Wellingborough (Volemborgh), 150 miles away, to drink some mineral waters, which facilitate generation, as with no signs of anything in more than two years people naturally begin to comment on the matter. Having heard of the slight indisposition of the king, her brother, the queen seized the pretext to beseech the king to allow her to send one of her gentlemen to visit him. This was granted, but on condition of his not being a Frenchman. Indeed, all the French members of her household are forbidden to write to France. She therefore named a gentleman of her privy chamber, Mr. Germen, who will start in two days, the king having instructed him how to behave upon current affairs, lest it be supposed that under this pretext he make the first overtures for an adjustment. However, I know for certain that the queen will request her mother as a special favour, considering the distress to which she would be subjected amid these misunderstandings, as shown already perhaps by her shedding tears on account of the dismissal of Moulins, to moderate these harsh punctilios by her influence with both kings. She also complained somewhat that since these disturbances the queen mother had never sent to her, as habitual, every two or three months at the utmost, just as if they had entirely forgotten her in France. The Ambassador Zorzi has been informed of all this.
London, the 23rd July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
367. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news that the English fleet has sailed and has been sighted off these coasts has put the whole of this kingdom in confusion for various reasons and conflicting passions. Angoulême, who was stopped by the royal command, has now received orders to advance with all possible speed, with the whole army. They have sent 300 veteran infantry to the fort to join the 800 already there, and so they calculate that the English will find it a harder nut to crack than they expect. The cardinal, with the danger imminent and possibly increased by the king's sickness, is reported to have been seen tearing his beard. To add to his troubles it is added that the king cannot move and Monsieur shows the more eagerness to go to the camp. I know on excellent authority that he has not been so much upset by the sinister offices that Scaglia might perform with the English and Dutch against France as comforted by the advice sent by Depesses that your Serenity has interposed for the reconciliation of the two crowns.
Rohan also is arming and the whole party of the Religion turns its eyes towards the 9,000 men he is said to have ready They say he has issued patents for fresh levies, which they can easily raise, as Languedoc is full of Huguenots. Encouraged by the English fleet, and in defence of his faith it is said that he will risk everything in the defence of La Rochelle and of his party.
Paris, the 23rd July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
368. MARIN MUDAZZO, Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The harvest is good, especially of currants; this will reduce the price below the current one of 12 reals the thousand; and last year, with a bad harvest and competition among the nations, the English paid as much as 40 reals the thousand. Now the leading English merchants have left here on the plea of going to Venice to bring money for the new currants and to pay what they owe to the leading men of the island, amounting, I am told, to over 30,000 ducats. I also hear on good authority that these English have left here to proceed to England, to raise money from their principals, who last year sent them enough money here to buy all the currants, in the belief that the price would remain low, as it was last year. This is likely to give rise to considerable trouble in England, and if this delays the sending of the money it will do great hurt to the people here, whose harvests would find no purchaser, and it would hurt your Serenity by making it difficult if not impossible to raise the money due to the state.
Cephalonia, the 13th July, 1627, old style.
[Italian.]
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
369. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador called here a few days ago and told me that the Caimecan informed him that he had recent letters from Buda in which the Pasha advised him that the commissioners who had met to negotiate the peace had sent him a bundle of articles which were so hurtful and dishonourable that he had torn them up. They laid the blame for this on a certain person, and the others had taken up the negotiations, but had only arranged the first general article, and it will be a very long business.
The Vigne of Pera, the 24th July, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
370. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A Janissary, when in the company of two youths of il Cigala, a merchant, slew a Bostanghi, or one of the royal gardeners. Cigala took refuge at the Venetian embassy. The real culprit was sentenced, the others were in danger from having been in his company. They stayed sentence for five days, possibly in the hope of getting money out of Cigala. This was impossible because the matter was notorious and from what happened a few years ago to a member of the household of the present English ambassador, who had slain an Azamoglano, which is an inferior rank. The ambassador was obliged to hand him over, and he was impaled before his own house, in spite of all that the English nation would have gladly paid for his release.
The English ambassador here sent a servant here, at the very outset, to assure me with the greatest courtesy of protection in person, household and nation, and asked me to command his services. I made a suitable reply to this favour, which was offered by none of the others.
The Vigne of Pera, the 24th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
371. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador sends me an extract from a note written to him and Flanders by Gabor's agent here, which I enclose. He says he hears from the ministers here that no such peace will be concluded, or at least not so soon, but Gabor and Mortesa Pasha will have every opportunity to gratify their inclination for war in those parts.
The Vigne of Pera, the 24th July, 1627.
[Italian, deciphered.]
Enclosure.372. Voluntatem et consilium Domini tui per te expeditum et trattatum simul omnia Budae acta clare intelleximus atque totus Divanus et Consiliarii Caesaris nostri absolute conclusimus, Dominos confederatos Christianos Reges, Status et Ordines minime derelicturos sive in tractatu pacis, sive in bello, propter quod modo noviter serio commissum est Mustesa Bassae, ut tractatum istum ita accommodet, scilicet ut ex tractatu pacis Domini confederati uti amici Caesaris nostri nullo modo excludantur, imo absque illis nullo modo pacem absolvat, verum curet ut si aliter fieri non potest, differet etiam ad futurum annum, quosque Domini Amici Imperatoris nostri possint curare negotia sua, atque sic conjunctim omnia perficere, nam aperte dico, sine illis pacificare cum Imperatore Germano nullo modo volumus; si erit pax, sit generaliter in tota Europa, sin minus geramus aperta bella.
Deo volente ecce Persa quidem tractat pacem, illa etiam vel per pacem vel armis interim speramus in bonam finem redactura. Addidit, si dilatio hujus tractatus aliter non potest fieri, non caret si interim sub particularibus velitationibus et excursionibus erit dilatio ad annum futurum, nisi caveat isto anno generalem expeditionem.
Injunxit mihi serio ad Dominum meum ista rescribenda quae Ego fidelissime rescripsi. De cetero Illustrissimi Vestri provideant Ill. Vestram maximopere rogo ut scripta ista mea maneant in secretis. Valete.
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
373. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The archbishop designate of Smyrna has begged me for protection, as he is much persecuted by the French ambassador here. He is a relation of the English ambassador's secretary, who is a Sciot, a Catholic and a man worthy of great esteem. The English ambassador, at his instance, has asked me to write to the ambassador at Rome on the archbishop's behalf.
The Vigne of Pera, the 24th July, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
374. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ordinary French ambassador has called upon me at last and conversed for a good hour. I asked what good news he had from court. He said he heard in the last letters that his Majesty was about to start for La Rochelle, and the breach with England was widening and was more dangerous to France than to Spain owing to the pretensions of the English. The King of England and his council had broken with France without any reason, as they had done everything to please them. Buckingham had quarrelled with Olivares when he was here with the prince, and he did not believe he wanted war with France more than with Spain. I did not think it necessary to make any reply. I asked what hopes he had of an accommodation. He said the Abbot Scaglia had made important proposals in Flanders, and Don Diego Messia had left here for Brussels on this business and might negotiate with the Most Christian on the way. The abbot also proposes to settle the differences with the Spaniards.
They have sent couriers to the coast with orders to keep good guard, as they are afraid of the English fleet and are not sure where it will strike. They have heard that it is about to sail, excellently equipped. On the coast they are constantly drilling the militia, and they are afraid that attack may be made on the ships of the Indies and Portugal and on the galleons and fleet of the Indies of Castile which are accustomed to appear in these waters in September.
Two Englishmen have been arrested at Cadiz on the suspicion of being spies.
Madrid, the 24th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
375. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We have just heard from several quarters that the English have landed at the isle of Rhé. Brion, brother of the Duke of Vantador, brought the confirmation, being sent by Monsieur. The delay in landing was caused by a very high sea, which did a good deal of damage to the fleet on Monday in last week. On Friday Buckingham would not wait any longer and began to act. At the first shock the French repulsed the English, who withdrew in order under cover of their ships. These drew near to the shore and fired their guns at the French, making no small impression. With this help, the English pushed forward their second attack and raising earthworks stood on the defensive, while the fleet surrounded the whole island, so that I am assured it will be practically impossible to throw in reinforcements. Report says that the French lost 200 slain and the others many more, but the French losses are seriously felt because thirty gentlemen of quality remained on the field, including two brothers of Toras, governor of the fort of the isle of Monfico, with La Foré, La Rosciabarito, the Baron of Sant' Hal, the Cavalier d'Ho, the Marquis of Navaglia and others whose names are not yet ascertained.
Toras sent a soldier, who took part in the action, to inform the king and to state that in his fort he can hold out for three months, but he considers the fort in that island as already lost. Meanwhile he has hanged five Englishmen and three Frenchmen, who were driven on shore in a frigate and fell into his hands, without any trial, in the sight of the whole fleet.
It is added by some unknown person that since this action the English advanced to fort St. Louis, to the very place indicated by Targoni, who foretold all these happenings to the cardinal at least four months ago. That prelate sent for him this morning and has done him the honour of making this fact public.
Paris, the 28th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Venetian
Archives.
376. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
We are pleased at what you have done with regard to a reconciliation between the crowns of France and England; you will continue to demonstrate the zeal of the republic, intent on the tranquillity of the Most Christian and the universal service. You will thank their High Mightinesses for their friendly and confidential communication, and express the desire of the republic that the States also will intervene, so that this reconciliation, which all so greatly desire, may not be delayed. You will maintain a prudent reserve with Scaglia, as his proceedings and the objects of his master are doubtful, but so as to avoid giving offence and to encourage confidence. You did right to communicate the events to our ambassador in England, and you will do the same with the Ambassador Zorzi in France.
We should have desired better news of the good will of the States towards our subjects, but we shall await the result of your offices, for we cannot abandon the just cause of our subjects.
The Prince of Brandenburg left this city to-day, where we showed him every honour. He will have the chief command of the King of Denmark's army in Silesia, and is going there now.
That a copy of these presents be sent to the ambassador in England, for his information.
Ayes, 110.Noes, 1.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
July 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
377. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Angoulême meant to go to court to complain about the confusion in the camp and chiefly about the pay, but on hearing of the landing of the English, he left the bulk of the army at Blois and hurried to the coast with 2,000 musketeers and 400 horse, but owing to the lack of ships to carry him to the island he is left an idle spectator of friend and foe. He has written to the king, reassuring him about any attempt that the English fleet might make against the mainland, but considering the islands of Oleron and Rhé as good as lost. They must keep a watch on Languedoc as well as upon Rohan and the Rochellese. The present tax on corn may only confirm their ill will. Montmorency wrote to the cardinal to the same effect, that the edicts and the English fleet have caused an equal stir in that province. He adds that they have neither the forces nor the money to hold down an incensed populace, and thought it would be better for him to retire to his country house than to risk his reputation in some disaster. Rohan has also written to the cardinal saying that he will do everything in order to remain a loyal servant of the king, but the cardinal must observe the last treaty of peace. The cardinal threw the messenger into the Bastille.
When someone remarked to Richelieu that the coming of the English might be very gratifying to the Duchess of Chevreuse, because the dispute with England could only be settled by her restoration to her former position, the cardinal turned furiously upon him and said: We shall make the coming of the English the cause of no small grief to her Grace the duchess; you will know it to-morrow morning. He then pointed out to the king that in such troublous times it was not good for Picardy to remain without a chief, and that same evening, with his Majesty's consent, he conferred the governorship of the province on the Duke of Elbœuf.
Father Berulle, after very long conferences for two days with the Spanish ambassador extraordinary, Don Diego Messia, was observed to leave the house looking very happy, in the cardinal's own carriage. He went hurriedly to the Court. His negotiations were exclusively about the fulfilment of the promises of Olivares, the cardinal asking for the succour of the forty ships under Captain Giovan da Riva. For this purpose they sent a courier post to Spain yesterday.
Paris, the 29th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
378. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The losses in the fight on the island were greater on both sides than at first reported. The French suffered much more severely, but it will be difficult to learn the truth of these events here, as they represent things in favour of their own side, and the cardinal stops the couriers and takes away their despatches. This is what happened. Buckingham sent 2,000 men in boats, made for the purpose, to the shore with orders to keep the enemy engaged rather than make any special effort. Blancard, a Frenchman, was the commander on this occasion, a brother-in-law of the Earl of Holland, and Montgomery being under him. By firing all the guns of the fleet and in other ways they made a great smoke, and with the help of the wind this prevented the enemy from seeing. They pushed forward vigorously to where the French, under Toras and his two brothers offered a most valorous resistance. They kept these engaged while 4,000 infantry in numerous large boats made a circuit and landed behind them with several small guns. Making a forced march, they fell upon the flank of the French. After losing 800 men and a hundred gentlemen and nobles, Toras had to give ground, leaving the way clear to the English on his front. The French cavalry showed itself worthy of its ancient reputation, and numbering 150 they would never yield so long as their horses could move. They declare that the English also lost 500 or 600, including the three who led the vanguard, who were buried at La Rochelle with all pomp, being followed by all the officers of the fleet, including Buckingham himself.
The king is still sick and many fear a regular fever. It is remarkable that no one laments the sickness of a man of angelic temper and excellent life, while there is no Frenchman who does not rejoice at the success of the English against his country, such is the universal detestation of the government.
Paris, the 29th July, 1627.
[Italian.]
July 29.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
379. To the Ambassador in England.
You will have heard from the Ambassador Soranzo what is happening with regard to the reconciliation between the two crowns. We enclose a copy of what we are writing to that ambassador, so that with this information you may serve the state in accordance with out intentions. You will also use it about the passage of the Lord of Brandenburg (fn. 4) to this city.
[Italian.]
July 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
380. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Three weeks have elapsed since the departure of the fleet, but no certain news has yet arrived of its operations. A ship reports having fallen in with it on the 16th at 46 degrees, tacking with the apparent intention of entering the bay of La Rochelle. Some advices from Calais state that it had taken the Isle of Oleron, but this is not authentically confirmed either at Court or among the merchants.
Montagu has left for the Netherlands and the same ship is to bring back the Abbot Scaglia, whom they will lodge at the king's cost, as already arranged. But they write to me from court that some of his letters addressed to the Secretary of Savoy in Paris have fallen into the cardinal's hands, either by accident or design, and that they contained the idea that should the French have the same inclination for quiet as he found in the English, it would encourage him to do some good. Whereupon they sent to the Netherlands M. Duscian, Lieutenant Colonel of the Châtillon regiment in the service of the States, to hear something more on the subject. In such case they say Scaglia will delay his journey for a few days, though in my opinion the sky will change according to the operations of the fleet, and subsequent changes in the political atmosphere will follow this.
From the Netherlands Montagu will go to Piedmont, and as on his last journey he bore full powers for peace. Certainly the king here could not do more to show his practical dependence upon Savoy for peace; so at present it is not supposed that he will seek anything but contrivances and plots for the war and jealousies for such ends as I have already represented. I have some hint, however, that Savoy promised to have ready for Soissons forces very much greater than they are or can be in reality, but having made a very handsome present of 3,000 crowns and more to Montagu, it is thought that with this and the duke's impetuosity he obtained from that young man the power of arbitration sent by me and gave him to understand something which exceeded truth and also possibility.
The commissioners appointed for the Villafranca trade, chose to have the opinion of the merchants, as in business of this sort the mere inclination of the king to gratify the duke does not suffice. I confirm my statement that the generality of the London merchants are not disposed to abandon Leghorn, which is already flourishing, and where their goods obtain a speedy sale, to place themselves at the mercy of the word of the Duke of Savoy, who has deceived them before. (fn. 5) However, some private individuals suggest suitable means to the Lords of the Council, and they have written to the secretary in Piedmont, who, together with Wake, will do his utmost to satisfy the duke, on whom I may almost say they depend, and Prince Vittorio himself has written about this to Burlamacchi.
The queen's gentleman has gone to France with commissions exactly as reported. Moulins has not yet departed. As he received no reply to his demands, he takes advantage of the absence of the Court to await his master's orders.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who has been in disgrace since, at the last session of parliament, he declared himself against Buckingham, has been ordered to leave London and remain at one of his country seats and to meddle with affairs of state or church no more. This arises from a sermon in which one of the preaching ministers here, to please the Court, maintained that the sovereign was absolute master of the property of his subjects, and that he might dispose of it at will, depriving some and transferring their possessions to others, they being mere usufructuaries, and that for conscience sake they ought to acquiesce and obey. From this line of argument he proceeded naturally to expatiate on the much greater fairness of the subsidies, for the support and safety of the kingdom, religion and the friends of the crown. (fn. 6) The king wished the sermon to be printed, but the archbishop, as chief of the Inquisition, would not sign the licence, saying that it was contrary to right, the statutes of the realm and his conscience, so he has fallen into utter disgrace with his Majesty.
Evidently the king aims at absolute monarchy, to free himself from the yoke of parliaments and sortir de page, as was said by Louis XII of France, when he did the like. He prostrates all the Puritan leaders as being of the faction most opposed to the crown. There is a clamour about three other subsidies; they are prosecuting vigorously those who refused to pay the last, and it is said that if the forces are unsuccessful abroad, they will serve to curb the people at home, though as the troops are similarly opposed to the king's views, I consider it an unsafe game. His Majesty may congratulate himself in having a kingdom without fortresses, and no other potentates in his borders with very sweet tempered subjects, who guarantee him against any mischance.
The Dutch commissioner has departed after being knighted by the king and presented with 500ozs. of silver gilt. At his last audience he gave the king a full account of his negotiations. His Majesty listened very attentively and ordered that he should be sent away well pleased. As regards the ships of private individuals, who complained of their seizure, I believe he has brought the matter to a good end and but few cases remain for settlement. He takes some articles for a maritime code whereby to prevent encounters between the two nations, that they may be examined by the States and negotiated with Carleton, though there will always be garboil (garbugli) as both are alike bent on gain. On other points relating to trade, even with pirates, the settlement is referred to the ambassador, the commissioner having determined to be at the Hague before the assembly of Holland adjourns.
Both these ministers, according to a recent order from their masters, requested permission from the king to cross to France taking goods and return in English ships. They were told that neither coming nor going would they be molested, as England neither intended nor wished to make war on France, despite these marks of distrust, though I know not if any good can be expected from these words.
The two delegates from the pirates of Salee in Africa have had audience of the king and their expenses are paid by his order. (fn. 7) This post, though in the kingdom of Morocco, rules itself very much like La Rochelle. The delegates are two Moriscoes, formerly expelled from Spain. Besides opening trade they hint at having forty good ships always ready to serve the king here, and also grant the freedom of their port, which would be of great consequence as facilitating attacks on the coast of Spain and in the Strait of Gibraltar. In return they ask the help of England for the conveyance of a number of Moriscoes to Spain, saying that one Santon, who recently rebelled against the King of Morocco, has a faction of over 30,000 of that race, offering thereupon to renounce piracy. Commissioners have been appointed to negotiate with them. But although they would gladly be at liberty to enter that harbour I believe matters will be procrastinated. It will be much if they come to some decision about the trade, and for the rest they have not sufficient largeness of mind to be capable of such an undertaking. I have an idea that the Dutch ambassador favours this business, as the delegates came in a Dutch ship, and I gather that he knows many particulars.
Two sons of one of the leading English nobles have been seized on, board a vessel with a false passport, accompanied by two Jesuits who were taking them to their Colleges. (fn. 8) All four are in prison, whence the Jesuits will not easily obtain release and the others will have to pay a high price for forgiveness.
Burlamachi says he has orders to remit to Denmark the pay of the four regiments. They are sending a gentleman in that direction. For the rest my distress is very great through not receiving letters from any quarter; from Italy since five weeks and from other parts four. Without the clue to the negotiations it is impossible to render proper service, nor do I believe I ever felt so much distress.
London, the 30th July, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 "A proclamation declaring his Majesty's pleasure concerning the forfeitures of Recusants in the Northern Parts of this Kingdom," dated the 27th June. Steele: Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, vol. i, No. 1514.
2 Salvetti, on the other hand, wrote on the same date: "l'avviso dell" arresto in Danimarca delle navi Inglesi con pannina non fu vero, ma se bene segui non so che scompiglio fra i galeoni di Danimarca et essa per conto di salutare et amainare le vele prima." Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962D, The Venetian was the better informed; see note at page 283 above.
3 A copy of this was sent from Turin by the Ambassador Morosini, on the 14th June. See No. 311 at page 254 above. The Tuscan Agent Salvetti sent it to his government on the 24th July. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962D.
4 Prince Christian William of Brandenburg. See No. 353 at page 287 above.
5 Salvetti, who was much interested in this question, wrote on the 21st July: "Questi mercanti mi dicono che mentre haveranno a Livorno il medesimo buon trattamento che fin qui hanno havuto, di non voler cercare in quelle parti altri porti." Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962D.
6 The preacher was Dr. Robert Sibthorp, vicar of St. Sepulchre, Northampton. He preached the sermon on the 22nd February before the Judges at the Lent Assizes at Northampton. It was printed under the title of "Apostolical Obedience." Gardiner: Hist. of Eng., vol. vi, page 206.
7 They had their first audience on the 27th June, old style. Finet: Philoxenis, pages 212, 213.
8 A younger son of William, Lord Petre, and a younger son of Henry Somerset, Lord Herbert. The state papers only mention one Jesuit, named Stamford. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1627–8, page 253.