Venice
August 1627, 11-19

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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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319-331

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'Venice: August 1627, 11-19', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 319-331. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89127 Date accessed: 23 September 2014.


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August 1627

Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
396. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King of England has sent letters here to ask that, if the emperor holds a conference of the electors at Nürenberg about the Palatine's affairs, he may be allowed to send some one to it. They have not answered yet. We hear from Nancy that the commissioner, whom that king sent to Colmar, had already passed through, so they reckon that by now he has joined the others of Lorraine and Wirtemberg, and their negotiations should soon be known. We also hear that owing to the plague at Nancy, the duke and his Court have left the town.
Vienna, the 11th August, 1627.
[Italian; copy.]
Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
397. PIER ANTONIO MARIONI, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ministers here were extremely perturbed by the news which arrived here last week, though not well authenticated, of a landing made at Dunkirk by the English fleet. They devoted all their energies to the provisions which they considered necessary for assisting those parts. When letters from Turin, which arrived the day before yesterday, announced that the landing had really taken place at the Isle of Re, near La Rochelle, they all breathed again and immediately relaxed their efforts.
However, they will send infantry and cavalry to Spinola in Flanders at the earliest opportunity.
We hear from Genoa that the Ambassador Palavicino, returned from the Catholic Court, said that Don Diego Messia would certainly conclude peace in France. Others here say that Messia will also propose defensive and offensive alliances against the English and other Protestants, and other unions between the Catholic and Most Christian crowns, leaving the completion to the Marquis of Mirabel, the ordinary ambassador.
Milan, the 11th August, 1627.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
398. To the Ambassador in England.
Last week we sent you the exposition of the English ambassador about helping Denmark, and our reply; we now send you what the ambassador repeated. The last letters from Vienna represent Denmark's evil plight in Silesia. Wallenstein finds it hard to take Troppa, which Colonel Ranzau defends bravely. There is a rumour that Denmark is sueing for peace through Saxony, but there are so many discrepancies in the reports and in events that the truth is uncertain. At Turin they were apparently glad at the attack of the fleet on the Isle of Re. The prince pointed out to the Ambassador Moresini that the Most Christian would hardly incline to an agreement with enemies on his soil. On this account his Highness thought of warning Scaglia not to proceed to England but to stay in Holland. He adds that the English will not make an agreement unless Savoy has his part in the treaty, the cardinal is excluded, and France undertakes not to abandon her original decision to succour Germany, the Palatine and her allies in Italy, and to make war on the Spaniards.
This is the substance of what we have to communicate to you. We have received your letters of the 16th, which give us full satisfaction, and we are glad to know that there is hope of recovering the three packets in arrear.
The like to Holland, except the last paragraph.
Ayes, 122.Noes, 2.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
399. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Through the mission to the king by Buckingham of Crems, (fn. 1) his equerry, particulars of what happened at the Isle of Rhé have arrived. Coming from an interested quarter the story will not be unprejudiced, but by comparing it with statements from elsewhere, your Excellencies will gather the truth.
On the 22nd July, after being repulsed the first time with the loss of many men drowned when making their escape, the English, at the second attempt, succeeded in landing and establishing themselves there. Having entrenched themselves, they made two days' march, obtaining the open places of the island at discretion. On the 25th they approached Ville St. Martin, where, after some show of defence the inhabitants surrendered, the French troops, consisting of 2,000 foot and 100 horse, retiring into the fortress. The English encamped there, landing eighteen battering guns for its bombardment, and 500 sappers brought by the fleet to make the approaches and trenches. They hope to take it very speedily by storm or siege, as the fleet which surrounds the island deprives the defenders of all hope of succour, as they have no equal naval force. The storming must cost many lives if the French resist, whilst the siege must be tedious if they have the necessary supplies, as one may suppose; but seeing that after the French have been expecting this for over six months they have less troops than announced, it is believed that the other supplies will be on the same scale, so that in a very few days, perhaps by now, they hope to have the fort and the whole island.
In the engagement which took place 200 French cavalry, the greater part noblemen, performed miracles to prevent the landing. 100 of them were killed, and Toiras, the governor of the island, having requested their bodies of the duke, he was allowed to bury them with due honour. The number of the English loss is not known for certain, probably about 500, mostly drowned in the sea during the first flight. Among these are twenty officers; Sir Eideni, general of the artillery, (fn. 2) and the Frenchman Blancart, who, having been sent to this Court a few months ago by the Duke of Rohan, blew the fire constantly to kindle it, and the first flame reduced him to ashes. They say the inhabitants of La Rochelle received the wounded English to tend them, which would be a tacit declaration, but the town could not do otherwise as it is included in all treaties between the two kings and is defended from any attack by the Most Christian. The neutrality of the Rochellese could not be tolerated under pain of high treason.
Since the last advices, the troops being pressed here for reinforcement are countermanded, some few alone marching to garrison Guernsey and other English islands off the coast of Normandy. The government inclines to provide victuals, but supplies come in slowly. The 2,000 Irish previously ordered will be ready whenever wanted. It is universally believed that this suspension proceeds from some accommodation of provisions received by the duke through La Rochelle, and of French Huguenot troops whose lives he will more willingly hazard than the English for attacking the fort, so as not to diminish his own forces. Meanwhile, I do not observe the popular rejoicings usual on such occasions, hatred of the duke being so rooted in this people that it even checks the ordinary current of human nature. The dependants of the favourite have not failed to circulate printed accounts, glossed with marvels and rhodomontades to inspire the populace with some affection for the duke on account of his valour, indeed, some tell me they were compiled by the king's own order.
If the English remain complete masters of the island, of which they seem to have no doubt, and La Rochelle remains staunch to them, they will merely require a good garrison of other troops to hold what they have; but should they decide to keep a fleet there it is supposed the French will pay the cost, just as the sale of their goods defrayed the expenses of the present expedition. They will manage this by laying heavy duties on over 200 ships which, I understand, go yearly to lade salt at the salt pans of Brouage and others thereabouts, not only for foreign nations but for France itself, land carriage being too expensive. They will doubtless wound the vitals of the French revenue, notably inconvenience the population, only too heavily burdened, and greatly assist their own subjects through the trade carried on by them everywhere in salt fish, which is perhaps one of the chief means whereby the duke expects to gain the affection of the lower populace, especially of the sailors.
Abbot Scaglia does not make his appearance, nor is it known why. People in general suppose he is awaiting the duke's return, as he knows he can advance no business of importance at this Court without him. They say a gentleman from Denmark went straight to the Court and some advices from Hamburg state that an ambassador from his Danish Majesty is coming here, without disclosing any more.
After the successes of the fleet the king sent for all the lords of the Council, who were scattered over the country, to the Court. With this opportunity the Dutch ambassador went thither to present the letters and perform the office I notified, to open negotiations from which I anticipate very little good, the duke's absence alone, besides other things, especially the reference to Savoy, sufficing to prevent rather than elicit any final resolve from the king. He took his household with him, with the intention of not residing for the future at so great a distance from the Court, being aware of the prejudice to the service of his masters and the embassy.
London, the 13th August, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
400. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Among the conflicting considerations induced by these serious emergencies, since what may be called the declaration of war, for which I understand they are drawing up the manifesto, a very important one is the vicinity of the island of Rhé to the coast of Spain, as were the English completely masters of it, and kept a number of ships there, as they certainly will, they might in a single night or rather more invade Biscay, and by reason of the position prevent the passage from those realms to Dunkirk, Hamburg and other northern ports; so either the Spaniards will not want the English for such near neighbours or they will not wish to have them for enemies, especially if they make an invasion, as was hinted to me and is now again discussed. To expel them from the Isle of Rhé, the Spaniards must either make an agreement with the French as the latter vainly try to make believe; a very difficult matter, as it suits Spain to keep the Most Christian constantly harassed and weak, and for La Rochelle to remain free, that door being open for dissension and civil war whenever it suits the Spaniards to introduce them, as they did not long ago, or else remaining neighbours that they be not enemies, and with this opportunity resume the negotiations reported last March, as confirmed by Soranzo and by the journey of the painter, Rubens, from Antwerp to Amsterdam, when he conferred with Gerbier.
Although all these schemes may be considered artifices whereby to render France suspicious, yet they are commended by good arguments showing that ultimately they may be carried into effect. It is certain that Carleton was sent to the Netherlands after the overtures at Antwerp, which the king declared he would not continue without the assent of the United Provinces, so that he might covertly acquaint himself with their opinions and prepare the Princes Palatine. His movements having transpired were subsequently delayed in order to veil the mystery by a show, so as to give time for the fleet and await the result of its action. What the intention of the States may be in this matter I cannot say. The ambassador assures me that they will always be very averse to the negotiations, as one may reasonably suppose, because peace and truce will equally ruin them owing to the religious disputes and the prepotency of the aristocracy. Yet without the assistance derived from their alliance with the two crowns, as heretofore, overwhelmed by expenditure, compelled by necessity and not dissuaded by the prince, whose opinions are already manifest, they may in the end allow themselves to be brought thither, the siege of Groll being a mere effort of necessity, to support Denmark and make better terms by means of victory. Besides, if the disputes between France and England continue, the Dutch will remain masters of the trade which together with profit introduces luxuries, mitigates ferocity and makes nations lose the taste for war. As for the Spaniards it must be remembered that the worst they have to dread is from the English, especially when so near and victorious, the attacks they can make on the Spanish fleets, the help they can give the Moors, the sole object of Spain which is utterly to subjugate Germany, the projects of abdication on the part of the Infanta Isabella, in order to attach the Flemings to a new government without risk of troubles, as experienced by them of yore, the lack of treasure, the inducement of separating the Dutch from the King of England at present, with the intention of attacking them again alone at the fitting moment; the doubtful peace of Hungary and the affairs of Mantua also, should the opportunity present itself.
Then as to England one has to consider the turbid passions of the duke, the difficulties of keeping up the war against two great kings, the losses incurred by the merchants from not trading in Spain and those of the country from the neighbouring Dunkirkers; the small profit derived from prizes taken from the Spaniards, who never risk the sea unless with very safe fleets, other nations carrying and receiving their merchandise; on the other hand the prevalent innate hatred of the French, whom they can harass without receiving injury, besides the advantage of prizes. It is further, worthy of remark that for the maintenance of this flame against the French a certain prerogative exists, based on the statutes of the realm, authorising the kings to dispose of many things when waging war with France, where they have claims and bear the title, in order to recover it. These things are denied them on all other occasions and for any other wars. So with these prerogatives on having recourse to parliament, as seems inevitable, for ready money, especially with this basis of natural hatred for the French, and the duke being victorious, with all the forces of the kingdom in his hands they hope to bring the Puritans to their duty, knowing that in this case the king can dispose of means exceeding his ordinary authority, so as thus to make them follow the maxims of the Court, which are regulated by the said turbid passions, but little to the benefit of the public.
I have deemed these tedious details worthy of your Excellencies' consideration, nor would I omit them lest I wrong myself, to show you the way they keep tacking amid these French fluctuations, with great risk of wrecking the public cause.
London, the 13th August, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
401. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English continue to batter Fort St. Martin from all four sides with forty guns. It is defended by a good captain and a determined garrison. and as it is provided with a double fosse, exits, demi-lunes, ravelins and everything required by such a work, the undertaking proves more difficult than it looked. The cardinal already hopes that if Buckingham will not take it by assault, the army will merely waste away there. Inside, it seems they are short of many things, including water, as it is salt there and no use for either men or animals. Accordingly, they carefully dole out the fresh water there, and they have killed all their best horses, leaving the inferior ones as booty for the enemy. They are also very short of gunpowder, flour and salted meat, but as the distance to the mainland is short attempts are constantly being made to supply them by Angoulême. Four days ago eight barks, of a large number, succeeded in getting through safe, passing through the midst of the hostile fleet. This has filled the garrison with hope that they will receive even greater relief in the future by the same way. In addition to 1,500 foot there are still 300 gentlemen in the fort, who are determined to die rather than yield and will give the English plenty to do, unless hunger more than the sword forces them to surrender. It is not likely that Buckingham will allow them to enjoy the advantage for long, and will deprive the besieged of even this slight relief by a provision of light, agile barks, and then they will be reduced in a few days.
Buckingham has spoken very angrily to Soubise because he promised that on the appearance of the English fleet the Duke of Rohan, his brother and those of his party would come out in his favour, and now after so many days there is not a sign of the fulfilment of this promise. He would have to tell the king, his master, who is running such risks, and incurring such expenses, so that this experience may show him how deceitful are the hopes of exiles and how fallacious their plans. In spite of these lamentations it is believed at Court that the Huguenots are joining the English force in great numbers, and just as the whole body of the Religion have so far contributed a good sum of money to Buckingham, the Rochellese will have proceeded to a more definite engagement with him, the details of which are concealed. Meanwhile, the parliament has declared Soubise and the others who have joined the English guilty of high treason, confiscating their goods and levelling their houses, proceeding to even more severe penalties.
The Duke of Guise called upon me yesterday. He said the king wanted him to go to Britanny to collect the fleet. He would not undertake the office of General unless that of High Admiral was joined with it, as the cardinal would lay upon him the responsibility of any ships taken by the English fleet, when they were going to the rendezvous, and further that after all this expenditure there were no ships to resist the English, and he did not want the failings of others to be laid at his door. The cardinal enjoyed the honour of that office and must bear its inconveniences. The fleet must be consigned to him fully equipped and then he would not lurk about for single ships like a pirate, but would go straight to attack Buckingham and destroy his fleet, or perish. As he left he whispered in my ear: The cardinal is lost.
Deputies from La Rochelle have arrived at Court and as a sign of their devotion to the crown have brought word of the arrival of the English and of all the events on the Isle of Rié up to the present time.
I hear from the Countess of Soissons that Lodrieres, brother-in-law of the Marshal Châtillon, has gone to join Buckingham with 500 foot and eighty horse.
Gravelle, the 13th August, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
402. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune showed me letters from France of the 23rd ult. with the latest news. The king is recovering from a tertian fever. The English fleet has sailed, numbering ninety sail with 6,000 to 7,000 foot and 100 horse, battering and landing trains, lodging materials, provisions and victuals of every king, musical instruments of every kind, bedding, coaches, horses for tilting and other hindrances to warfare on board the commander's ship. Soubise was down with fever. The fleet had been sighted off Brittany and subsequently off the Isle of Rhé. It is said to be so furnished as to arouse no fear. The ordinary will bring further particulars
Rome, the 14th August, 1627.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
403. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The messenger from Antwerp arrived to-day who generally brings the despatches from Italy. On his arriving at Calais the governor there took away all his letters and opened them, the only ones left intact being those addressed to me, namely, the packets dated the 16th and 23rd July, which he said he sent to Paris, though he should have left them to be brought to me. The same fate befell last week's messenger hence, so I infer three of my packets are in Paris or still at Calais. The governor has orders no longer to allow the passage of letters or persons to and from England. The courier himself told me this much with additions of trouble, inconvenience and outrage. Every one thinks of his personal grievances, but we can do nothing as the few Flemish boats plying across will give it up, while the French and English boats are prevented by the mutual seizures and sequestrations on both sides. Some send and receive their letters through Holland, but the winds delay them and that will grow worse with the winter season. Others resume the negotiations for opening the passage at Gravelines or some other place belonging to the Spaniards; but either the Dutch will not allow it or if pressed it will be due solely to the progress of those untoward events and projects which are only too rife.
To remedy the past I am sending my last despatch to France, with another for the governor of Calais, enclosed. I pretend to know nothing about my packets having gone to the Court in order to have it from his own mouth, enabling the Ambassador Zorzi to recover them. In this case I have desired my attendant to go on to Court to receive them and obtain a passport for the governor, to provide for the future. It is unlikely he will have any difficulty considering the courtesy shown to the French ministers at Venice about despatches from Constantinople and elsewhere. I cannot serve the State advantageously unless I receive the French and Spanish correspondence, which cannot reach me by any other way without much loss of time. Since the trouble began with France I have formed a confidential intercourse with a merchant named Carlo Steltius, living at Calais, which has so far proved most useful, and I am writing to the postmaster at Antwerp to address my packets to him for the future. I shall do the same from here, but as the Antwerp carriers do not go and come direct I cannot promise that you will receive letters every week. I cannot see any other remedy less costly or more easy; otherwise I should have to send an express every week, which would be difficult and costly. I shall only do this with the most important unless your Excellencies give orders to the contrary. Meanwhile, I will send all duplicates by way of Holland, and ask that the same may be done from Venice, to show one how much these serious emergencies affect the public interests, and how much your directions and opinions aid my poor ability, particularly if the news be confirmed, received from Antwerp, of the dispersion of the Danish army in Silesia, and of Spinola's vain attempt on the fortress of Lilo. I have sent you every particular, as your suggestions may open a better course for me to serve you as I wish. If it is impossible to obtain the passport from France the public letters must be sent with those of the Ambassador Soranzo to Holland and will reach me at the wind's pleasure. In such case I have asked Zorzi to give notice at Venice.
Meanwhile, hostilities between these two kingdoms constantly increase as well as the exorbitant price of everything, as it seemed that no other root remained whereby to revive some negotiation, save only an epistolary correspondence. The rigour extends even to ambassadors, for the one from Mantua, (fn. 3) appointed to compliment their Majesties, remains at Calais, I learn, because he has no opportunity of making a safe passage and awaits one through the medium of the Dutch agent, who has written for Flemish ships. For the rest they say very freely that no other hope remains of some sudden and unexpected good fortune save the death of the Most Christian, who is indisposed to overthrow the party of the queen mother and the cardinal, of whom his Majesty's brother is jealous, and whom they detest here.
Within three days the king is to be at Windsor, where all the lords of the Great and Privy Council are to meet. Here and at Court they talk of great resolves, such as convoking parliament, sending Lord Carlisle on an embassy to Spain or Lorraine, but passing through Brussels, and as he is not too friendly to the Spaniards I do not readily credit this. However, I have sent the Secretary Agustini to learn for certain, to let your Excellencies know at the first opportunity.
London, the 16th August, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
404. Letter of Alvise Contarini to M. de Valancé, Governor of Calais.
Henoc Leind, the ordinary from Antwerp who arrived to-day, tells me you have detained two packets of letters addressed to me, and that last week the like befell Sanson Baetz by whom I sent mine to Venice, who reached Calais on the 10th inst. I therefore send one of my household that you may restore all three packets to him with any others for myself or retinue. In the future, when the passage of the ordinary is impeded, I request you to have my letters delivered to Sig. Carlo Steltius, a merchant of Calais, and to allow him to send me all such as reach him to my address. I feel confident of your help owing to the friendly relations which have always existed between France and Venice, shown especially in such matters.
London, the 16th August, 1627.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
405. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The secretary of the English ambassador at Venice has arrived here, the one who used to reside at this Court. (fn. 4) I think he will stay here again, in order to advise the ambassador of what takes place. He brings word of some trouble with the Turks at Zara, and that your Serenity had sent troops thither.
The Count of Moretta has left for France.
Turin, the 16th August, 1627.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
406. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have your Serenity's letters of the 29th ult. As regards reserve with Carleton and Scaglia. I have always tried to make manifest the good will of your Excellencies towards the common weal. but I have always avoided committing you, and now I think there will not be any more occasions for going further, since hostilities have gone so far and take away the hope of any good for the present.
No replies have yet reached the States from France or England. The French ambassador has received a reply to his despatch though he told me it was inconclusive. Langarach has written that he was going to Villeroy for the answer and he complains of not having been able as yet to speak to the king on the subject. From England nothing has come, either to the ministry or to the ambassador, and as no letters have come except by the Commissioner Catz it is supposed that the ports are closed.
The advices about the fleet here are that they have landed in the Isle of Rhé and are battering Fort St. Martin, and if it has not surrendered it will soon be beaten down by artillery fire. If they do not take it so quickly I am afraid they will stay on to trouble that part, because Carleton told me that the fleet is provisioned for five months and they have an enormous supply of war material. It is, moreover, certain that they are preparing a reinforcement of fourteen ships. Their greatest want seems to be men and especially officers, chiefly because many have been slain in these first attacks. However, Carleton himself told me that in England they had a mass of men and a great quantity of officers, as many as 130 being without employment, and they proposed to form a volunteer company of their own, which had been accepted as a personal bodyguard for the duke. They would be ready to take the places of the dead. He assured me they were all old soldiers and most of them captains. I am only too prepared to believe that they have the material and the will to do mischief. However, the attempt made by Buckingham and Soubise to enter Rochelle has not succeeded, as the Rochellese stated that they could not decide so important a question without the consent of the whole body of the Religion, and their hopes of the advantages to be derived from the absolute possession of that town seem likely to be dashed. God grant that something else may occur to prevent their further progress at sea.
The French ambassador has orders to urge the despatch of the ships at Amsterdam. I do not know if they are ready to sail; the ambassador says they are not; others tell me they will start very soon, although not supplied with all that they require. It is true that there are 35 pieces of ordnance at the foundry here, cast but not finished, for use on board, and this is because of lack of money. If the ships sail without such necessary provision they will run a great risk. It is believed that five other ships built here have already reached Havre. The French have thirty others, though small, taken from the English by way of reprisal at Bordeaux. They are very ill-provided and Buckingham knows all about them and I hear he has detached a squadron to fight them if they come out. I believe the ambassador here has a commission to ask for ships from the States, but he told me he had not made the request as he considers the moment unpropitious. Assistance from Spain is considered very far off and unlikely, as the Spaniards would like to see the breach widen, and in any case their help would only consist of the fifteen ships at Dunkirk, and that is unlikely because they are required for defence against the Dutch. It would be of very little use in any case to send the squadron unsupported against the powerful English fleet. Nevertheless the negotiations of Don Diego Messia cause great uneasiness, especially as there seems no reason why he should stay so long at the Court. Langarach sends word that he is ill; the artifice is transparent and may cause reflection. If any treaty ensued between them all fear of an adjustment between them and England and the States would vanish, because the interests are incompatible. The various opinions on the subject are infinite.
I keep Scaglia under observation. There has been no meeting since Rubens left, though he may have seen Carleton. Gerbier has not been seen since. The abbot told me he had gone to Amsterdam, but I am afraid he may have returned to Brussels with Rubens.
The Hague, the 16th August, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
407. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassadors here frequently appear at the palace, and I have discovered that they are trying to get the help of the fleet against the English. Many debates have been held about this, but so far I do not think they have come to any decision.
Madrid, the 18th August, 1627.
[Italian.]
Aug. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
408. PIER ANTONIO MARIONI, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Don Filippo Spinola is leaving to-day for Spain. I managed to see him to-day. He told me that the Dutch had taken the field in time, but they were more concerned about the English; accordingly they had quite 4,000 of their most veteran troops in Flanders, besides the usual garrisons. Now that these fears were dissipated, to the greatest relief of the all Spaniards, they would send their troops with all speed to the Rhine.
Milan, the 18th August, 1627.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
409. To the Ambassador in England.
We send you a copy of what we are writing to the Hague, as it concerns your charge. (fn. 5) We have received your letters, the last of which arrived yesterday. You will keep up communication with the ambassadors in France and Holland, as that is most necessary.
Ayes, 96.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
410. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This cloud will burst upon La Rochelle. Angoulême has received orders to sit down before it, to protect Targoni in building a new fort. As this is within gunshot of the town, it is hardly likely they will resist firing at it, as once raised it will cut the town off from the sea and deprive the Spaniards and the English of the chance of having a friendly port in the heart of the kingdom. Thus does the cardinal spread his web. If they resist, he will accuse them of treason, cut them off from their party and justify the movement of the royal forces.
The siege of Fort St. Martin seems likely to be long. For some days Buckingham battered it furiously, but seeing that he made but little progress at a great waste of munitions, he decided to reduce it by hunger and has it so closely shut up that no succour can reach it except by air. Those within are suffering severely; they have no physicians or barbers and the sick and wounded are numerous. They are short of vinegar for the guns and of water for the men. There has been more than one fight between the garrison and the camp for wells, which are close under the fort, but outside it. The English captured them with blood and toil and the commander had them filled with earth, but that same night Toras had them cleared again. Accordingly there was another fight, when the English again took them, filling one with salt and the other with rye, rendering them useless to both sides.
The nobility under Angoulême (Angoles) are unwilling to take orders from Marsigliach, (fn. 6) marshal of the camp, who is a new man of very common origin. After some confusion many of the most distinguished have left the army and gone home.
The Mediterranean fleet is to come to the ocean. To strengthen this the cardinal is having twelve pataches (pettazzi (fn. 7) ) built in Normandy. They are said to resemble the great galleys. They propose to use these to drive off the English, but as these latter have plenty of time, they will probably make their plans and foreseeing the distant storm will not allow themselves to be caught until they are safe.
The ministers here have not yet given any reply to the Ambassador Langarach about the offer made by the States to interpose for the reconciliation of this crown and England. I think they are aware that this work is destined for another prince and are awaiting news from Piedmont. They are also procrastinating in order to see if Scaglia will send for Salmatoris, as arranged, and as the duke has ordered.
Among the numerous letters intercepted by the cardinal's orders are some from Soubise to the Duke of Rohan, urging him to send the promised succours, and in particular either the 4,000 foot or the 40,000 crowns as arranged with the most serene republic.
I enclose a packet from England which arrived this week.
Gravella, the 19th August, 1627.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Captain Richard Graham or Grimes.
2 Sir William Heyden.
3 The Marquis Pompeio Strozzi. Finet was notified of his arrival on the 6/16 August. Philoxenis, page 212. He reached London that evening. Salvetti's letter of the 18th. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962D.
4 Anthony Hales.
5 The letter related to the peace between the Turks and the emperor; the presence of the Prince of Brandenburg at Spalato and the reconciliation of England and France.
6 He means Marillac, Count of Beaumont le Roger.
7 patache, petit vaisseau de guerre qui suit ordinairement un plus grand ou qui mouille à l'entrée d'un port pour aller faire la decouverte et reconnaître les navires qui viennent ranger la côte. Littré: Dict. de la Langue Française.