Venice
September 1627, 1-10

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1914

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348-365

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'Venice: September 1627, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 348-365. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89129 Date accessed: 16 September 2014.


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September 1627

Sept. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
432. To the Ambassador in England.
The English ambassador sent promptly to offer our bailo every assistance in an unfortunate incident in which a Venetian subject was condemned for the death of Azamoglano. The bailo made a suitable response, and we desire you, when you have an opportunity, to express our gratitude, and our desire to reciprocate this courtesy. The ambassador has also shown the bailo an extract from a note from Gabor's agent to him and the Dutch ambassador, which we enclose, as well as what the bailo writes about the peace of Hungary, which will serve you for information, and the ambassador having recommended to our bailo the Archbishop of Smyrna, at the request of his secretary, who is a Catholic and related to him, the bailo has shown his good will towards that prelate. You will also see what our secretary with the emperor writes about the peace of Hungary.
The like as regards the advices to the Hague.
Ayes, 91.Noes, 11.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Sept. 1.
Consiglio di X,
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
433. That the remonstrance of the English ambassador about the wounds inflicted on his gentleman, John Ayres, be received and that a process be drawn up according to the decision of the 15th December, 1625.
Ayes, 17.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Sept. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
434. MARIN MUDAZZO, Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Every one here is most anxiously awaiting the English merchants, who have left for Venice, so that they may pay them for the currants received on credit last year. I pray God that the English will come or send money for the currants of the present harvest as well, as otherwise it will be very difficult to levy the State taxes.
Cephalonia, the 23rd August, 1627, old style.
[Italian.]
Sept. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
435. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
The secretary of the Dutch ambassador came yesterday morning to tell us of the advance of the Dutch army under Grol, and later of its fall, asking us for help. You will express our satisfaction at the successes of the States, and you will encourage them with the news of the breaking off of the treaty of peace between the Turks and Austrians. We have no despatches from you this week. From what we hear from Vienna it does not appear that the Palatine will come to terms with the Austrians without the concurrence of England and the other princes helping him. We have full accounts of the Margrave of Brandenburg's gratification at his reception, and of his esteem for the republic, which he has also expressed to the Turkish ministers. You can use this when an opportunity occurs in conversation.
The last portion to the ambassador in England with the addition:
The governor of Calais has intercepted and opened the letters of the courier from England, and it is said that he will do the same in the future. This is for your guidance in finding other ways and in sending duplicates. We send you the reply of the Ambassador Wake to the deliberation read to him, so that you may follow the whole affair of the reconciliation of the two crowns.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Sept. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
436. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I avail myself of a shallop which leaves to-night for Gravelines with prisoners, lest the letters of the merchants anticipate mine. I have received the public despatches of the 29th and 30th July and the 6th August, some by Holland and others by the new passage from Flanders, which continues to ply, not without suspicion of still more confidential intercourse, although I understand the Dutch keep their eye upon it and their blockade will prevent it from doing any harm.
I will use the replies given by your Excellencies to the Ambassador Wake about help for Denmark.
I hear nothing more about the fleet, as no one arrives from France, and the advices which reach the Court from the duke never get out of the king's cabinet. It is said that the capture of the fortress becomes more and more difficult and that the French may be able to succour it. On this account forty of the small boats which ply on the Thames are to be sent out immediately, to use at low tide, which at certain hours allows of crossing from the mainland to the islands, and prevents the large ships from remaining there. Every one believes that if the French can continue to hold their position throughout October, the hopes of the English will vanish owing to the approaching bad season, and the fireworks in which the French excel might be of use to them during the dark nights, as the ships near the mainland are in great danger and very close to each other. Here, on the other hand, they hope to make the conquest speedily, and that the duke will only return dead. Should this occur the war will not cease for the present, as the duke, increasing in favour, will not allow so fine a morsel, added to the English crown by him, to be restored save on very advantageous terms.
For the 10th of next month, old style, they have ordered the succour I reported to meet at Portsmouth, though it will not leave so soon from lack of money, which causes them more anxiety than anything else, but they cannot find means to obtain it. The king asked the city of London for 150,000l., which, together with the old debt of 180,000l., he wishes to liquidate by selling to the city crown property to that amount; but I do not hear that there is any inclination to strike the bargain, as they well know that the first parliament would annul all these contracts, reunite the estates to the crown, as they maintain they cannot be alienated without an act of parliament, and punish all the parties concerned. A decree has also been issued forbidding anyone to sell tobacco in the realm save the king's contractors. (fn. 1) He chooses to be the master of all that the companies of Virginia and Bermuda are bound to bring, receiving it at a low price and selling it as other princes do salt and other regalia. They expect this plan will be very profitable, but in course of time. The merchants of these companies complain about it, though that does not suffice.
From these devices the very great need, especially for the moment, makes them guilty of acts of violence. Only yesterday they seized thirteen ships with very valuable cargoes shipped at Amsterdam and Zeeland and bound for France, contrary to the promise to the ambassador, as reported, although he has always remained doubtful since the Council refused to give him the same reply in writing. This causes a universal outcry and complaint from the Dutch, and if the vessels are not restored some serious misunderstanding will certainly arise between these friends, as without trade, especially with France, the Dutch cannot subsist, either their state or private individuals. They already talk of a union with the Hanse towns for the attainment of this necessary convenience by force, if impeded. All this is due to the crude policy of the English ministers, who have not the slightest regard either for the common cause or their friends. Such were the precise words uttered to a nobleman of high rank, much in the king's confidence, when speaking about French affairs, that his Majesty's honour was so deeply hurt by the French that he was bound to take revenge at the risk of ruining the whole world. Thus flattery measures private passions, compromising rulers, destroying kingdoms and exterminating subjects.
Some ships armed by the French have issued from St. Malo and are molesting the channel, having taken some unarmed ships and fishing boats. The islands off Normandy accordingly demand reinforcements, apprehensive of some attack, and I believe some soldiers have already been sent to them. For the rest, the king has ordered the inspection of the fortresses commanding the principal harbours. As these are all in ruins, it proves that the strength of the entire kingdom consists in its advantageous situation. An order has also been issued for the enrolled militia, some 60,000 in number, to hold themselves in readiness, being drilled and armed for any service required. These decisions are largely due to reports that the Spaniards have promised the French to assist them with Dunkirk ships, the most stringent and subtle artifice that could be devised by that astute nation, as it must make the Dutch break with one or other of the two crowns; for if the Dunkirkers aid France and are attacked by the Dutch, the Most Christian will complain; and by not doing so they infringe the league with England. Moreover the Dunkirkers, who always remain at sea, will continue to do so as usual, without serving the French in the least, but with this advantage, that they will be more respected, better able to plunder securely and then save their prizes in French harbours, whereas at present they must take them to Biscay or Dunkirk at great risk. One may also suppose that these arrangements for the defence of the country at home may proceed from other advices received here to-day, the confirmation of which is awaited with great curiosity, namely, that the Dunkirk galleons which sailed from Biscay some time ago with 2,000 foot, have landed them in the isle of Shetland. At any rate, this is supposed to be merely an affront, for the purpose of sacking the place, though it would certainly be a very convenient station to prevent the important herring fishery of the neighbourhood.
Intelligence has arrived that Tilly has crossed the Elbe with some regiments. The Danish ambassadors declare that he is in great peril, but unprejudiced persons think that Hamburg and Lubeck first and other maritime confederates will make terms with the emperor. With this belief it is certain that the London merchants immediately sent off orders to their correspondents to secure their effects and credits, some desiring their goods to be sent back, to the total destruction of the trade, which I apprehend will damage the mart of Venice also, as I understand that being unable to dispose of the great quantity of cloth manufactured in this kingdom, as it is now prohibited in France, these ships have recently been laded entirely with such goods for the Levant, where their low price will prevent the sale of Venetian cloth, as may have already happened to some extent. If the Austrians can plant a firm foot on the shores of the Baltic or the Elbe besides subjugating all Germany and the very narrow territory to which the United Provinces are reduced, the blow will certainly be most fatal to England also, as the Spaniards will be able to lay hands on the vessels and on all sorts of warlike stores, to prevent the passage of which into Spain the Dutch and English have always made such strenuous efforts. The Spaniards will no longer experience this want, they will arm as many ships as they please in those parts, they will prevent all trade with Poland, Muscovy and Dantzic and also impede the progress of the King of Sweden. I know that many ponder this matter, as they ought, but I do not know if such is the case at Court, where the Council depends for the most part upon private passions and interests, a course so manifestly prejudicial to the public cause that all the advices unanimously declare that Tilly did not determine to cross the Elbe until the moment he heard of Buckingham's landing on the Isle of Rhé, when he saw the forces he had reason to fear employed elsewhere.
The Dutch ambassador has acquainted the king with the capture of Groll. He was a day in London and I saw him, as owing to the absence of the Court I must not lose an atom of time. He told me the prince would not follow up the victory but put the troops into winter quarters, unless the Spaniards attack him. This makes me more than ever apprehensive of the schemes mentioned before. He added something of great importance, namely, that he understood a difficulty had arisen, because in the negotiations the Spaniards will not give the little of Free Princes of the United Provinces, as they did at the last truce, but merely style them the United Provinces. I was surprised that the ambassador should unbosom himself thus far to me, as if they have got to these details the negotiation is necessarily on foot. I enquired whether he had received this intelligence from the Netherlands or some other quarter. He said he had heard it here, adding with a smile: From a person in a position to know, without explaining himself further. He continued, I assure your Excellency that in public my masters as yet know nothing about it, but possibly Carleton and Scaglia may adjust matters so that when proposed to the other parties concerned they may meet with as little opposition as possible. He repeated that as yet his masters had not entered into any negotiation or made any proposal to the Provinces, as required. The Secretary Agustini has obtained some confirmation of this through Carleton's steward, sent with despatches for the king, before his journey to the camp to see the prince, all which despatches have gone to Court. Your Excellencies must not marvel at the ambassador speaking to me so freely on the subject, as besides the intimacy between us he is utterly opposed to these negotiations, maintaining the true principles of the late Prince Maurice and of the liberty of that country, which would doubtless perish if peace or truce were effected. I dare not promise that these schemes will soon come to an end. Fortune favours the Spaniards, so they must second her. It suits their interests to give words in order to advance without hindrance as shown by their various proposals disseminated here and there, but their progress certainly causes alarm or should do so.
I am assured on good authority that the Earl of Carlisle's journey into Lorraine is extremely desired by him to get away from the Court, as the king has ordered him always to accompany the queen, which he much dislikes, especially as this absence from his Majesty and the Council was arranged by the duke himself before his departure. The mission of Carleton to the Netherlands also had the same object in view, namely, to send away from the king all in favour of the public good. All these things coincide perfectly with the interests of Spain.
The two ambassadors from Denmark made their entry into this city yesterday, without receiving any presents. Their expenses were not paid and they were met so meanly that they only had six coaches, including the Dutch ambassador's and mine; the king's coach had hired horses. I have not yet seen them, but they told the secretary who visited them yesterday evening in my name that their chief command was to seek the union of the two crowns, for which, after using their good offices here, they would proceed to France if necessary; but should they find the soil incapable of culture they would demonstrate as a final justification to the whole world their master's necessity for coming to terms, which they expect to happen when the king chooses, though in the present state of affairs I do not believe in this result, unless it be effected much to his disadvantage and to that of the public.
London, the 3rd September, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
437. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The alliance between France and Holland has been renewed for nine years. I do not know the terms, as only the draft has been signed. It is based on the treaty of Compiègne. It will not prejudice the ancient alliance of Holland with England. I do not know what Holland has undertaken to do, but I understand she remains free. The Ambassador Langerach told me he had done a good stroke and I notice that all the Spanish party is upset.
The cardinal rejected with disdain the proposals made by the Spanish ambassadors. Finally, Father Berulle, the author of the work, Marigliach and Sciombergh came with two proposals: the Spaniards would abandon their demand for ports or security and lend their ships gratis. The French could fly the lilies, man them with their own sailors and soldiers and use them against the English. The other, that the Spaniards should lend the French forty ships under Captain Gio. da Riva, which should join the French fleet and obey the Duke of Guise. This unusual display of affection has excited much comment. Some think Spain is not in earnest, some raise the numbers from 40 to 60. The Ambassadors Mirabello and Messia have represented the ships as ready and they have undertaken that they shall be in Normandy or Britanny by the 15th or 20th, according to instructions. In order to enhance the reputation of those who have managed this it is announced to be without conditions. There are at least two, that the Spanish commanders shall have the choice of the rear or the wing, and that there shall be as many Spaniards as French on the Council of War. The Duke of Guise did not admit this, when he called here yesterday, but he could not deny it. He told me that on Saturday he will go to Blaia by the king's command, against his wish. The fleet is to be all assembled.
Fort St. Martin is short of everything, but holds out bravely. Desplan and Brise, who offered to introduce relief, have received 3,000 doubles from the ministers for the munitions required and have gone to those parts this week, but we have heard no more of them. Buckingham has expelled all the Roman Catholics from the island, lest they should help the besieged in the night, but he gave them protection for taking away their goods.
Angoulême has invested La Rochelle with 12,000 foot and has occupied the point of Coreglie on the sea side.
The Ambassador Messia left yesterday. I enclose Buckingham's manifesto.
Paris, the 3rd September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
438. Manifesto of the Duke of Buckingham, general of the forces of the King of Great Britain, declaring his Majesty's intention concerning the present armament. (fn. 2)
[French.]
Sept. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
439. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Piedmontese at Marseilles were very much afraid of a rupture between France and Savoy when they heard that the king had ordered that two galleys built for the duke in that port should not be allowed to leave, as his Majesty wished to use them. It is stated that all the English ships which were in the various ports of Provence have withdrawn to Nice.
Tilly has sent to intimate to Bremen, Lubeck and Hamburg that they must declare themselves imperial and to make other demands. The English merchants at Hamburg are much alarmed and have sent their wives and children home.
Zurich, the 3rd September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 3.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia
Risposte.
vol. 147.
Venetian
Archives.
440. In conformity with the orders of your Excellencies we have had the bills of lading of the ships Thomas, Prudence and Talbot brought to us. We find that the Thomas unladed at Leghorn 125 bales of pepper, 60 bales of cloth; at Corfu 12 bales of cloth, 50 pieces of lead; at Ragusa 95 bales of kerseys; and at Venice 910 pieces of lead, 201 bales of pepper, 91 bales of cloth, 20 bales of skins and 5 bales of spices.
The Prudence unladed at Leghorn 100 casks of caviare, 130 bales of pepper; at Corfu 18 casks of caviare; at Venice 113 casks of caviare, 185 pieces of lead, 48 bales of pepper, three bales of Bulgarian leather (Bulgari), three bales of cloth and three bales of grey squirrel skins.
The Talbot unladed at Leghorn 100 barrels of tin in lengths, 300 pieces of lead, 346 bales of pepper, 40 bales of cloth; at Zante and Corfu 10 bales of perpetuam, (fn. 3) 30 bales of herrings, four casks of caviare; at Venice 52 bales of pepper, 14 bales of divers goods, five barrels of vermilion and 860 pieces of lead.
Dona Moresini, Savii.
Paolo Basadonna,
Andrea Dolfin,
Agostino Bembo,
[Italian.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
441. To the Secretary in Savoy.
You will tell the duke that the republic realises the perilous state of affairs and the only antidote is to bring about a reconciliation between France and England. Once this is secured, other matters will return to their proper channels. The return of Montagu affords his Highness an opportunity to win this glory for himself. We have made the best representations to both Courts and to the English ambassador here. Amid the haze of negotiations for a union with the Spaniards we hear of proposals from France to renew the alliance with the States, the departure of the Spanish ambassador, and the remittance of 100,000 francs to Denmark, although it is rumoured these are to serve that king to make terms with the Austrians. With the foregoing materials you will try to persuade his Highness that he may act with advantage, assuring him that we care for his interests as much as our own, without exceeding the limits prescribed to you.
You will be cautious about opening yourself to Montagu, carefully observing his negotiations and advising us.
Ayes, 122Noes, 4.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
442. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news about the peace in Hungary agrees with what the Caimecan told me. The agent of the emperor, who used to say that the peace was concluded, now announces that he does not believe it will take place, although he says he has no letters on the subject. The agent of Gabor has sent a note to the ambassadors of England and Flanders telling them there is a rumour, although he says he has no letters, that his prince is in the field, well armed, and asks for money, as the league requires; but they certainly will not disburse their cash so easily or without good cause.
The Vigne of Pera, the 4th September, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
443. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A month and a half ago an English ship brought hither a Greek Father of the Metaxa family from Cephalonia, with letters of recommendation from the Proveditore. I proposed to receive him at the embassy. He declined, having a dwelling near the English ambassador, though he frequently came to my table. He said he had come out of pure curiosity. He seems a man of some learning, having studied two years at Athens and about four at London, where the Ambassadors Valaresso and Pesaro knew him. He is a declared enemy of the Jesuits and very zealous for the Greek rite. He expressed the wish to found a college for Greeks at Cephalonia. He knew what was going on at the English embassy, but I do not wonder at that, from his long stay in England, his coming in an English ship and the great trade of the English with Cephalonia; however, I kept him under observation. About twelve days ago it came to my knowledge that he had brought many cases of Greek books here, with type and a workman to print Greek books in this city. He came one day and told me that when he was in London the Greek patriarch here sent to a cousin of his, who was studying there, a book of St. Isidore, Bishop of Thessalonica, and of a famous Greek patriarch here when Mehemet took the city, about the Holy Spirit and Purgatory, as well as the work of one who studied at Padua and another of the patriarch here against the Jews. He had brought a number of these books here from that realm, at the patriarch's request, as well as a Flemish printer, and he proposed to print books from time to time for the instruction of the Greeks, to instruct them and fortify them against the Jesuits.
The English ambassador confirmed the particulars to me, adding some which the Greek had not told, that the number of books is considerable and the Greek out of zeal for his rite has ventured 7,000 to 8,000 reals which he is only likely to recover slowly and with difficulty, since the patriarch here is reluctant to take up what was done to please him. He added that the Dutch ambassador, who had great influence with the Greek, had interested himself in the matter and proposed to have the printing done in his house.
I am no inquisitor, and I do not meddle in the matter one way or the other.
The Vigne of Pera, the 4th September, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
444. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have been trying to discover if there is any foundation for the rumour of a league in negotiation between the crowns of France and Spain, but I have found no clue. I turned the conversation to this with the ambassador of Savoy, as we were waiting for audience. He said he had heard something, but he did not believe it. We promised to supply each other with all the information we could get. I hear that Don Diego Messia in France offered the Most Christian some ships to relieve the island of Rhé probably imaginative persons have constructed the league out of this. Probably England and Savoy will make the most of the report to induce other powers to join them. This has always been England's object. I remember when I was ambassador extraordinary there with the Cavalier Corraro, last year, Buckingham, spoke to some such effect, saying it would be advisable to harass France now she seemed alienated from our interests, and to make a sound league between England, the Republic and Savoy. It is therefore not unlikely that the English are making more of this league than is justified, to compel some power to join her. But in truth this league is not credible, especially if it be true as reported here that the English cannot hold out any longer in the island of Rhé, as they lack food and munitions, and a large proportion of the soldiers are sick or dead, and they have not found the support they expected from France, from La Rochelle, from risings in Languedoc and the attacks on Dauphiné, which clearly shows that the Duke of Savoy and the Count of Soissons have not moved and will not do so. Accordingly France is in no need of assistance.
Rome, the 4th September, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
445. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune told me that his king was much better. The English force was not increased but rather diminishing owing to sickness and other disorders. The French held the forts and could do so for a long while, so the English would be compelled to retreat when winter came. Don Diego Messia had only one audience of his Majesty and had offered him a prompt reinforcement of 40 ships against the English. The king had neither accepted, nor refused, to act according to necessity and the proceedings of the enemy.
In order to draw him out I remarked I had heard that Don Diego had made even further offers. He assured me positively that there was nothing more, indeed he knew that if possible his Majesty would not accept the ships or the slightest assistance, but it was prudent to be guided by events and take every means of defence against the enemy. I have no reason to question the sincerity of his statement, except that he seemed anxious to change the subject. He told me that the rest of Don Diego's audience concerned Genoa and Savoy. It was not likely he would remain long in France, as owing to the desire of the Spaniards to arrange a truce or peace with the Dutch, the Infanta, impatient of Messia's coming, had sent Rubens, a painter, to Holland, who had previously been employed on this affair. He believed the result would be achieved before long. He knew that the English ambassador, Carleton, in his speech to the Assembly, when conferring the Garter upon the Prince of Orange, rather advised the Dutch to come to terms, contrary to his own reasons of state and to the invariable practice of the English, arguing that different times required different measures.
Bethune complained subsequently of Scaglia staying on in Holland, being more suspicious of him than ever. He said that the French were now more certain than ever that the Duke of Savoy would not attempt anything against France at this crisis in conjunction with the English. It was perfectly true that his king had suspended commerce between his realms and the duke's subjects.
Rome, the 4th September, 1627.
[Italian]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
446. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Tuesday a courier reached the Abbot Scaglia. Since these letters arrived his people speak of his approaching departure for England. Carleton is expected back from the army to-day. They say nothing about his negotiations, observing an extraordinary secrecy over this affair, so that those who aim at prejudicial designs must be very suspicious. It was thought that the abbot would go with Carleton to the army; it is supposed he did not because it was stated that Carleton merely went to congratulate the prince about Grol. I hear that Carleton was received with every demonstration of honour, and that he would not take the right hand from the prince. This is strange, as in similar cases all the ambassadors have had the precedence. I am not much astonished because Carleton has special reasons for not being too rigid.
The French ambassador has had audience lately. They say he presented a paper in which his sovereign expresses his desire for the renewal of the alliance and presses for the ships. I cannot vouch for this. I do not think they will obtain satisfaction in the matter of assistance, as although the king declares that he wants the help against his rebels, these are so closely united with the English that there is no difference, and I think they will make the same reply that Langerach did in France, that as they are united with England in an offensive and defensive alliance, they cannot take any steps which might make her jealous.
The dispatch of the ships building at Amsterdam is strongly urged, and bills arrived recently for 400,000 lire for this purpose. As the guns are now ready, they will make haste to put them on board, although I think it will be too late for them to do what is required. They say that Buckingham is going to build a fort on the island occupied, to prevent the French from landing. From what Gerbier said to me I gather that the Danish ambassadors will meet with a poor response in England, as they will not listen to them while things are going so prosperously. This man is an absolute dependant of the duke and I think he makes these remarks in order to divert opinion and stay those who are anxious for this reconciliation. Possibly the duke himself does not want it very much, since his activities may serve his interests at Court. The curt replies given to Joachim are an indication of how little they care for such business at present, and Gerbier told me that nothing will be adjusted so long as the fleet remains abroad.
The Hague, the 6th September, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
447. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Marini tries to make me believe that his king will soon have a powerful fleet at sea, and with his land forces he will have nothing to fear from the Huguenots. I find, however, that the French will not be able to collect a considerable fleet for a long time, even if they send the Mediterranean fleet to the ocean. The Duke of Guise only has three or four ships, the galleys are in a very bad state and very few of them could stand the ocean. The ships of Nevers are almost all destroyed, the Dutch ships do not exceed five and are not ready, the fifteen offered by Sabladolona are small traders, useless for war. I hear from one who knows France well that they cannot get together more than twenty ships with all their efforts. They might do more in two or three years, if they applied their minds to it, but miracles cannot be accomplished all in a hurry. I was at the French embassy at the moment when a courier arrived from Lyons on his way to Rome. The ambassador read the letters and remarked to me: They are afraid that the islands are lost. They were unable to relieve them because of contrary winds, and there is no further chance. Yet only a little while before he had warmly asserted that the fort would be relieved and the English would withdraw.
The ambassador told me that the league with the Spaniards had gone so far as people believed, as the Spaniards, seeing their advantage, made absurd demands, while the French could not be certain if their help would be steadfast. The cardinal is in such a tangle that he does not know what course to pursue.
Turin, the 6th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
448. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day after I sent my last despatch, I called upon Montagu. When I first saw him I was amazed that one so young and still beardless should be employed in such affairs, but when I spoke to him I found him so wise, prudent and well informed that my astonishment was converted into admiration of his abilities. I expressed the esteem of your Serenity for his king and he made a courteous reply. He said the King of Great Britain deeply regretted being diverted from his chief designs in order to bring the French to reason. If France were as she should be, all would be well; but as she was governed by a minister who was more Spanish than French there was no course but to try and ruin his party by force. His king had drawn the sword solely for the common cause. He could do no other than try and compel the French to keep their promises. His king showed his sincerity; he did not refuse an adjustment, but desired it, so as to pursue his designs for the common cause. Montagu told me that if he arrived in England before the fleet sailed he hoped that the very strong representations made by the duke here would induce his king to stop it, so that things might not go from bad to worse. He would do his utmost and he hoped the duke's efforts would succeed.
He said he had heard of the negotiations for a league between the Most Christian and the Catholic. This should afford England and all the other powers who do not love the House of Austria cause for reflection, as if it is concluded on the terms that the Spaniards desire, it will be in their power to say: The republic of Venice, the Duke of Savoy and others are our enemies, and compel France to consider them as such.
This was the first interview. Montagu came here after, but finding that the French ambassador was with me he drove on, returning two days later. The French ambassador also spoke to me about Montagu's negotiations. He said he would do nothing to thwart him, as he had no instructions. They would listen to no proposals while the enemy was within their gates. If the English withdrew or were driven out, they would treat. The duke here had committed himself to the same position. The duke had spoken about a withdrawal to Montagu, who was much perplexed, and answered that his commissions did not suffice for this unless peace ensued. Thus the matter remains in suspense and they are waiting to hear from the Count of Moretta, and will then send forthwith to England for instructions. The ambassador thinks that Moretta will return soon, as the duke will do all he can to bring the business to this Court.
Marini has heard that the English are drawing up a manifesto, so he told his Highness that such a thing will never do any good and it would be better to stop it. He told me that Montagu announced that his king referred all the differences to the duke, but he did not think the Most Christian would do so. The most he would do would be to negotiate through the duke. He said: I am astonished that the most serene republic does not interpose, although at present the Signory is more united with England than with France. I replied that your Serenity had made every proper effort from the very beginning, and I could not understand why he formed the opinion that the republic leaned more to England than to France, as her actions were always directed for the common cause. I do not know if they wrote this to Marini from the Court, where they might prefer your Serenity to the Duke of Savoy as mediator.
Returning to Montagu, the ambassador said he had not seen Buckingham since he left this Court. When he left England things were different from what they are now, and he had not enough in hand for the adjustment. He was much astonished at the honour done him by the Spaniards when he went to Brussels, especially when there was war between England and Spain.
When Montagu called, he confirmed that the duke, to please the French ambassador, had asked for the withdrawal of the forces. He replied as reported. He remarked: If we retire, what guarantee have we that the French will not fall upon our rear ? But even if they do not, what certainty is there that peace will ensue ? The French may not desire it, the negotiations might fail and we should lose what we have won. If a satisfactory adjustment is made, our men will go back to their ships quickly. I find it necessary to treat, he added, taking things as they are, so that whatever happens afterwards may not alter the claims of either side, especially so far away from the spot where events are happening. If every one waits to see his hopes fulfilled, a thousand things will occur and the affair will never end. If the French show too much subtlety, an accommodation may easily prove very difficult, and it would be far better to behave frankly, as I certainly shall do. I am expecting a courier from the island. Meanwhile the Count of Moretta may have made some overtures in France. I shall try to settle the business without delay, which cannot help being hurtful.
He asked me if I had heard of any representations made by the English ambassador in the Collegio at Venice. He repeated to me the exposition which your Excellencies sent. He said this was the contents of the manifesto. It was drawn up but not published, as they wished to hear of Buckingham's landing. When that was successfully accomplished he expected to receive it soon. He told me that Wake wrote he had not yet received any reply to his office from your Serenity; that he had told you everything. There is evidently a close intimacy between Wake and Montagu.
Montagu is negotiating a treaty for transferring trade from Leghorn to Villefranche. He told me that although the merchants seemed reluctant he hoped to overcome all difficulties, and although it was impossible to take away the whole of the trade at Leghorn at one blow, he hoped to do so gradually, as his king was most anxious to gratify his Highness. The Grand Duke profited by the advantages of this very English trade to supply money to the emperor's force against the interests of England. He had good news from Germany, that Gabor had broken the truce with the emperor and was moving on Hungary, and Denmark had taken some places.
I have endeavoured to conciliate the good will of this Montagu, in order to profit thereby. I have understood from Verua that they must find some way of withdrawing the forces with safety and honour, with the certainty that peace will follow. I gather that the duke will not ask for the withdrawal until things have settled down a little.
While Montagu was talking with me, the secretary of the English ambassador here remarked to one of my household, I believe that the most serene republic will help my king by a diversion or with money, and thought his master would make some request of your Serenity. I have not been able to discover any particulars, with all my efforts.
The Count of Verua has just arrived and tells me they hear fort St. Martin has surrendered on terms, the duke wished me to know. I imagine the news was sent to the Count of Soissons.
I enclose a manifesto issued by Buckingham in France, which has just reached me. Another is expected from the king, the one of which Montagu spoke.
Turin, the 6th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
449. Manifesto of the Duke of Buckingham, setting forth the reasons for the action taken by his king.
Wednesday, the 21st July, 1627.
[French.]
Sept. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
450. PIER ANTONIO MARIONI, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters from France to one of the leading ministers here relate that when the Dutch ambassador there offered his services for a reconciliation with England, they told him that the French would only negotiate sword in hand; also that Buckingham and Soubise had quarrelled, because the former said his instructions did not extend beyond taking the island. We hear from Genoa that the Duke of Angoulême has built a fort commanding all the port of La Rochelle.
Similar advices come from all parts about the negotiations of the Spanish ambassadors at the French Court for an alliance. The most intelligent persons here consider it difficult if not impossible for countless reasons, especially now that every one knows of it. Some add, and the Genoese say the same, that for this reason a counter league is in negotiation between the English, the most serene republic, Denmark, the States of Holland and Savoy, to include the Turks also, from whom a Chiaus had been at Turin, offering fifty galleys against Spain.
Milan, the 8th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 8.
Senato,
Secreta
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
451. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have met the Ambassador Rambouillet and conversed with him. He asked me repeatedly what reasons the English adduce for the rupture with France. I replied that he had told me previously that the only reason he could adduce was the interest of Buckingham. I did not know what frivolous pretext was alleged, but it might be because Bassompierre's treaty was not accepted in France. I know, said the marquis, that he exceeded his instructions in England. I remarked that all good men, and particularly the republic, desired peace for France. He thanked me. I know that he wanted to find out if I knew whether the English ambassador had said anything at Venice in justification of their expedition. I asked him if any negotiation for a reconciliation was on foot. He replied that his king would not even listen to the Dutch ambassador. I said there was no harm in listening, but he gave me to understand that they had found out that his proposals were not satisfactory. He told me that they would not hear the Abbot Scaglia, who had left France in disgust. I fancy this ambassador is not aware of the negotiations and the arrangement made at Turin between Montagu and the Duke of Savoy, of which your Excellencies informed me on the 22nd June.
Rambouillet informed me that they do not allow any English to enter La Rochelle; only Soubise has been able to go in with no more than three others.
Madrid, the 8th September, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
452. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is reported that the ports of England are closed, so they suspect the equipment of a new fleet. Here they do not hesitate to tell the French that it seems strange to send their ships to help the French king, who is maintaining his forces against them in help of the Dutch. Rambouillet replies that his king did not ask for this help, but it was they who offered it, and from what I hear it is true that Don Diego Messia made very considerable offers to his Majesty, which were accepted, but they will not express their thanks before they see them carried into effect.
Don Federico di Toledo remains here and seems in no hurry to leave for Coruna as he should be if he is to command their succours.
Madrid, the 9th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
453. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Nothing is heard of the English fleet. They expect many armed vessels will sail against the fleets and ships coming from the Indies. Accordingly they are equipping sixteen more ships at Cadiz to go and meet the fleet of the Indies and secure its passage.
Madrid, the 9th October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
454. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Amid the doubts as to whether the Dutch were negotiating a truce with the Spaniards or a closer union with France and England you have kept us well advised. We send you the information we have from various parts for your assistance. We hear from Rome that the Ambassador Messia was anxiously awaited at Brussels because of their desire for a truce with the Dutch; meanwhile, the Infanta has sent Rubens to Holland, and Carleton is advising the States to come to terms. The French ministers object to Scaglia's long stay in the Netherlands, suspecting that Savoy is intriguing against France. We hear that the renewal of the league, in the hands of the Ambassador Langerach, is in an advanced state. The departure of Messia after offending Richelieu is a good sign. Langerach's efforts for a reconciliation with England are very opportune.
We add other particulars which are not so well authenticated. Some say that the negotiations with Spain are prolonged so that the French may strengthen themselves at sea with the ships from the Dutch and more easily obtain the Spanish succour. You will try and find out quietly upon what terms these ships are given to France and for how long. The difficulties in the way of peace between the empire and the Turks are confirmed. This may revive Denmark somewhat, though that, like everything else in Germany, depends upon the reconciliation of France and England.
On the 16th ult. the Margrave of Brandenburg arrived at the Seraglio. He proposed to unite the Vizier's troops with Gabor. We send you a copy of what Marini and Montagu have communicated to our secretary in Savoy, so that you may renew your offices for a reconciliation between the two kings, when an opportunity occurs, and possibly you may find some easier opening.
The like to the ambassador in England with a copy of the news of the detention of his letters at Calais, this week again, although the duplicates by way of Holland have arrived, and adding:
We hear from Turin that Montagu is to negotiate for the transfer of trade from Leghorn to Villefranche, to cut off the money from a prince who contributes largely to the Austrians. The motive is a good one and the idea has occurred to other English ministers before. It will be your duty to get to the bottom of this and cautiously encourage the plan.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 2.Neutral, 28.
[Italian.]
Sept. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
455. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The alliance with the Dutch is not yet completed. I do not know whence the hitch comes.
Fort St. Martin is falling if not fallen at this moment. A man who swam thence and reached land after being ten hours in the water brought letters from Toras stating that he has received no help whatever since Buckingham shut him in and he has run out of all necessaries, so nothing remains but to lose their lives in his Majesty's service. He could not do much as the English were well entrenched, but he would not surrender until reduced to extremities. This is the truth, but they announce here that the fort has been supplied with food and munitions more than once, and can hold out for more than two months, by which time, with the bad weather, the union of the French fleet, and the Spanish help, which they say will soon appear, they feel sure they will drive off Buckingham in disgrace and scatter the English fleet.
Paris, the 10th September, 1627.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 A proclamation for the ordering of tobacco, on the 9th August, o.s. Steele: Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, vol. i, No. 1516.
2 Printed in the Mercure Français, ed. Richer, vol. xiii, page 809. There is a copy in the S.P. Foreign, France, dated 6 August, from the camp at St. Martin.
3 A very fine and durable kind of serge.