Venice
September 1627, 23-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1914

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389-399

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'Venice: September 1627, 23-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 389-399. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89132 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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September 1627

Sept. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
488. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Danish ambassadors had a second audience of the king, who referred them to the Council, where they had their first conference yesterday. Nothing else was determined save to report to the king their proposals, already notified. The ambassadors tell me they found the Lords of the Council harsher than the king himself, because, from fear of disgrace no one will be the first to declare himself contrary to the duke's intentions.
The Dutch ambassador also had private audience of the king to second the offices of the Danes. He tells me he had the same answers as before, namely, that the French must make the first overtures as they began the attacks. The king himself expatiated on the benefit to the common cause of this war, as it had opened the eyes of all the princes concerned. He knew for certain that in the treaty of Monzon about the Valtelline there were secret articles relating to the present proceedings, to the machinations against the reformed faith and the junction now forming between the French and Spaniards; and without further explanation told him that the Most Christian had granted things unworthy of a king, interpreted as an allusion to the advantageous terms conceded to the Spaniards through the union of the fleets. I think the English themselves may be the cause of this through continuing hostilities, although this is not universally believed but considered an artifice of the Spaniards. Secretary Conway is gone to his government of the Isle of Wight to provide for its safety. The same has been done in other parts of the kingdom as they anticipate, should the junction be effected, that the enemy propose making a diversion to avenge the affront and compel the English to quit the islands, it being certain that the Spaniards will not risk a sea fight unless compelled solely for their own advantage, the loss of a single vessel meaning too much to them.
All the ships in this river are detained to prevent the passage of the French galleons which are already on the point of sailing in the port of Amsterdam. They have not yet put to sea, nor do I know whether they will be in time.
A chamber attendant in the duke's service has been despatched to the islands. The duchess, his wife, told me she had sent him good supplies for the winter, which implies that victory is not so near, and, indeed, when I spoke to her about his return she said he would come either on the capture of the fortress or when it became hopeless. I believe there is some project on foot for recalling him, though it is not yet determined, and in fact if the fortress has been relieved as reported, his dependants wish someone else to be left in these difficulties, and that he rid himself of the blame, especially as the Danish ambassadors here seem to wish for his return. But I always consider him too much piqued against the French in this matter and do not believe it.
Yesterday Dalbier also returned from the fleet, late in Mansfelt's employ and now serving Buckingham. He has not yet returned from the Court. It is believed they have despatched him to hasten the reinforcements, as the duke's forces diminish daily, so that they do not exceed 3,000 men. However, I do not expect him to depart so soon, as many supplies, including money, are lacking. Possibly he may bring some news of the succour introduced and of the reported disputes between Buckingham and Soubise. At any rate they think this silence a bad sign, though I understand he said the English would ultimately take the fort.
Carleton has sent a long despatch from Holland. I hear of great confusion among the English troops there because the States have given their companies and those of the French, to lieutenants and other officers, of those in the service of either crown, in order the better to maintain their neutrality, which they will find difficult should matters be protracted, especially on account of trade and the sea.
I also hear that Carleton having gone in person to the camp of the Prince of Orange, the French regiment of Hauterive would not lower its colours on his passage. He complains of this as the other troops paid him the compliment. By this despatch the report of Scaglia's coming is revived. They suspect this worthy prelate, contrary to the precepts of religious charity, to be bringing fire instead of water, as according to the replies given by either king to the ambassadors of the States it seems that it would be difficult to renew negotiations at the French Court and that he is coming now to embroil the small hope remaining through the Danish ambassadors, though as yet I consider it very faint, the English ministry stating so much, unless there be some greater show of benefit to Christendom and Germany from the peace, and that France also gave help according to the intent of the first rupture with Spain and of the marriage. The Ambassador Soranzo informs me that the minister may come as ambassador, having provided himself in the Netherlands with coaches and other trappings. Should he come while the Danish ambassadors are here I shall follow their example over the first visit, but if I remain the sole minister of a crowned head here, I again beg for instructions as I will not act capriciously in a matter which in all future ages might be quoted as a precedent prejudicial to my country.
The Lords of the Council have made me no further reply about the claims for consulage in the Levant, but I know from a confidant that they commend Roe's action and perceiving their error pretend that they merely sent me the papers as a mark of confidence rather than for the purpose of negotiating a matter which, they say, depends immediately on their own subjects and is general for every nation. Absence prevents me from renewing my offices, but I will keep the business in the balance until I receive instructions, so as to take advantage of the last remonstrance, which has not yet been answered.
I have received the public letters of the 13th and 20th August and will use their contents as directed.
The messenger I sent to recover my packets, detained contrary to the law of nations, and to obtain the passport, has returned from France.
The Ambassador Zorzi writes that owing to the absence of the Court he has been unable to negotiate. If obtained, the restitution will vindicate the State's honour, if not I must depend solely on the uncertain passage through Holland, all others being closed.
I enclose the answer to my letter of the Governor of Calais.
London, the 23rd September, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
dispatch.
489. The bearer handed me your letters from London of the 16th August. He returns at the earliest opportunity. I have had to inform you about the packets of which you asked. He will give you satisfaction about them. As to your wish for packets to be consigned for the future to Carlo Steltius, I cannot do so without an order from the Court, which has commanded me generally not to allow the conveyance to England either of persons or letters and but for especial regard for yourself I should not have allowed your messenger to return without a passport from the king. I well know the excellent understanding between his Majesty and the most serene republic, but when general orders are given me I must obey and those who desire particular orders must obtain them from the Court. I pray you to get them to command me whatever you desire, in the assurance that you will find me personally most willing to oblige you.
VALNCEÉ.
Calais, the 13th September, 1627.
[Italian; translated from the French.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
490. To the Ambassador in England.
Yours of the 27th ult. give us great satisfaction. We enclose a copy of our letters to the Hague. Sciausenon, sent once more to Italy by the Most Christian, is thought to be going to get help against England and not about the marriage. However, these rumours may be far from the truth. We leave it to your prudence to decide what use to make of this information.
Ayes, 93.Noes, 2.Neutral, 12.
[Italian.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta,
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli
Venetian
Archives.
491. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Hague.
Two pirate ships entered the port of Alexandretta on the 5th June last, where they found five French barques; the pirates claimed these as booty, but were ultimately bought off for 10,000 ryals. The French consul complained to the Vizier, then at Aleppo, and urged him to build a fort at Alexandretta for the protection of ships, to be paid for by the nations interested. Our consul, seeing this would be an excuse for additional burdens on the merchants without security of any benefit, spoke to the Vizier, as you will see by his letters of the 30th June. As the common interests are concerned you will try and get orders sent to Constantinople and Aleppo to stop this plan. For the same purpose we have written to our bailo at Constantinople to try and prevent the fortification of that or of any other Turkish port, as that would be much worse than the peril from pirates, as merchant ships would be subject to every caprice of the Turks, as happened at Tripoli for a like cause, much worse than is the case at present, with the ports open. This is for information and you will insist strongly in order to thwart this mischievous proposal of the French, and you will advise us of what you perform in the matter.
That these particulars be sent for information to the ambassadors at Rome and in France,' with a copy of the present letter.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 3.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
492. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Sunday evening there arrived together from the Isle of Rhé a close kinsman of Buckingham, from his camp, and a relation of Toras called San Sourino, from the fort. (fn. 1) This caused universal curiosity and excited a thousand rumours. When the king reached Paris on the following day he saw San Sourino but would not admit the Englishman or even give him the passport for England he requested, but ordered his return to the island at once. No one can discover the real meaning of this mission. They say at Court that the two came of their own accord, moved by a desire for the reconciliation of the two crowns, with the assent of Buckingham and Toras, to see if France could find a middle term to which England would not object. But as the French will not listen to any proposals before Buckingham and his troops have left their soil, and the Englishman, whose name I have been unable to learn, had no authority to propose or accept. Others think that Toras, being at the last gasp, wished to refer the question of surrender to the king and Council. Others, more wise or less credulous, believe it was all arranged by the cardinal, to facilitate an adjustment with England; as the Englishman has not yet left and is very well treated in the house of the Bishop of Nimes, Toras' brother, where he is staying, and they think that nothing but Richelieu's authority would suffice to presume so far, and that the cardinal is trying to find ways to please the king and satisfy the world to bring the matter to a head, as while the Spanish promises will be fulfilled when it pleases Heaven, Buckingham, through weakness and having found the task harder than he thought, will say and do anything which will cover the reputation of France without prejudicing his own king. The stay of this Englishman excites universal comment; nothing certain can be stated.
Authentic news states that two out of eight barques sent to fort St. Martin arrived there, favoured by fog, which prevented the others finding the place of embarcation, though they returned safely after wandering for several hours among the English fleet. The Earl of Holland has arrived in the island with his reinforcement, reviving the courage of the English commander and soldiers, who were weary of the long siege, undistinguished by notable events, but dull and tedious.
I enclose the articles of the alliance recently concluded between France and the United Provinces, as well as a large packet which reached me yesterday from England, weighing 28 ounces. I mention this because here they are accustomed to stop the letters even of princes and ministers, and those coming from England are most suspect to the ministers here, who, accordingly, may tamper with them.
Paris, the 24th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
493. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. de Bethune called upon me the day before yesterday and informed me of the manifesto issued by the Duke of Buckingham upon the causes which led his king to send the fleet against France. These amount to a desire to support the liberties of the Huguenots; Bethune said that in plain language it amounted to a claim to foment rebels against the King of France. If that was really the intention of the English it was an advantage to make it manifest to the world and he would always advise his Majesty to press on; it was worth something to uproot the seeds of such grave scandals from the vitals of France; better than temporising and allowing them gradually to infect the whole. The world would certainly condemn the English and their pretensions. No one would fail to help his king in such a just cause. The ecclesiastics of France and of Rome in particular competed in offering large contributions, especially as it was a question of extirpating the opponents of our religion.
I thought fit to answer that such quarrels could not fail to grieve all who desired the welfare of Christendom, as it upset the balance and only profited those who rejoice at and perhaps foment such troubles. As a good minister he should not excite passion but show his generous sovereign what was the real advantage of his realm and of all Christendom. He said I spoke well, but the King of France must attend first to his own, and to others after. I suavely remarked that the weal of France was never separated from the common welfare, and there the conversation ended.
I gather that Bethune has two objects in view, first to arouse such feeling here against the English, in the pope in particular, as will enable him to obtain powers to alienate ecclesiastical goods in France to supply money for the war and, secondly, to give the pope to understand that the King of France gladly undertakes this war as an easy way of expelling the Huguenots from France and thus dispose his Holiness to grant a yearly pension to be employed in so pious a cause. I understand that Bethune has already begun to attack the pope upon this.
Rome, the 25th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
494. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune asked me if I had any news of France by way of Venice, as he had no letters thence since the 28th, and he was very anxious about fort St. Martin. I told him something of what the Ambassador Zorzi wrote me in his last and of the alliance arranged with the Dutch. This pleased him and he remarked, the Dutch ought now to be friends of the king and enemies of the English. I hinted gently at the succour which the French had arranged to receive from the Spaniards in the act of closing this alliance. He replied that it was a question of a common enemy, both French and Spaniards being at present enemies of the English, and this succour would not assuredly involve them in any obligation, otherwise the results would be incompatible. He knew it amounted to nothing more than the carrying out of Messia's offer, at first refused and then accepted. The king would soon be able to shake off the obligation of help from others and act with reserve as regards satisfying the Spaniards, though the present need might render him more lax and indulgent. He maintained this with much energy, assuring me that I should soon see evidence and the truth.
Rome, the 25th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
495. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters from the duke of the 14th reached Scaglia on Thursday and he has since announced that he is going to England and has asked the States for a ship to take him. He told me this morning that this was granted and he was only awaiting some goods from Paris and an emissary from Montagu, though these will not detain him beyond this week. He has news of Montagu's arrival at Turin and says he has given his Highness more definite particulars of the wishes of the King of Great Britain. Marini had declared that once the English were out of the islands, his Highness might count on a favourable acceptance of his intervention. On this basis I think they will treat for an armistice, though this may be difficult, as it seems that Buckingham's interests will not permit him to leave without taking the fort. Here some say it is relieved, others that it is near its fall. In any case the duke has directed the abbot to act with energy. They think here that the abbot would not be going unless there was something more definite than appearances indicate. I have seen Carleton again to learn what he knew. I found him very taciturn and he merely remarked that the abbot might do some good as being the ambassador of a prince whose wife was sister of the King of England. I think he wished tacitly to confirm the things he said to me about the first paper which Montagu handed to the duke. I told him what the abbot had said to me about the more complete declarations which Montagu had taken. He said nothing except that we must judge by the result.
They have not yet chosen the ambassadors extraordinary, as they do not consider the moment opportune. Possibly they are waiting to see the outcome of Scaglia's offices in England and of the negotiations for the alliance with France. They are very uneasy since they heard of the Spanish help. Scaglia told me he was sure the agreement was made, and the French will abandon them here, since the Spaniards have undertaken to assist them against those of the Religion. They do not speak so openly here, but betray great fear. When the ships for the French king were taken from the ports here the ambassador announced that others were at Dunkirk to convoy them safely to the port of Blavet. There will be twelve in all, including four of the convoy, so they hope to arrive safely in spite of the English fleet.
Although they have declared that if they meet Spanish ships they will fight them, despite the union with the French, I know that they do not want to draw this sword, and there is some difference of opinion. However, I think the more resolute party will prevail as they cannot afford to let the Spaniards become stronger at sea.
I have the copy of Padavin's letters from Turin. The numerous particulars stated by Montagu make me the more perplexed at the reserve shown by Carleton. I fancy that they do not greatly appreciate such affairs being taken up by this people, who in matters of state are extra muros. I have only to add that the French have no ships here except those built at Amsterdam and Incuisen at the king's cost. When the ambassador recently asked for more ships they merely told him that the king could have them if he paid for them.
The Hague, the 27th September, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
496. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Montagu is better and has begun to get up. I called and found him very weak, but being young he will soon recover his strength. I passed the offices entrusted to me in the letters of the 11th inst., expressing the republic's desire for a reconciliation. He answered to the same purpose as I reported on the 6th, and which I need not repeat.
Letters of the 14th have arrived from France from the Count of Moretta. He said he had seen the king and told him that the ministers had no reason to be suspicious about Montagu's visit, as his sole object was to adjust the differences with England. The duke did not deserve the mistrust they showed. The king said he desired the most confidential relations with his Highness. He said he would be very glad if the duke succeeded in his efforts to bring about an accommodation with the King of England, for which the duke was especially fitted as being related to both of them. Verua told me that they arranged with Moretta that the first point should be the withdrawal of the English forces. Immediately after the arrival of the letters they began to act here, and the duke suggested to Montagu that the forces should be withdrawn as a favour to him, so that the two could treat as relations, not as enemies. I fancy his Highness will put something in writing to give to Marini to send to France, while Montagu will send to England for instructions. When I visited Montagu he spoke of his request and I found him writing, I think about these affairs. He said that for his part he would gladly satisfy the duke about withdrawing, but his instructions did not allow him to give the promise that the duke wanted. He would communicate the requests to the king, with whom they would have great weight, but of himself he could only deal with the case as it stands at present. If the English had taken up arms to gain some advantage in negotiation, he could not give it away without express instructions. To speak of treating as relations is merely a compliment, and it would be better to make peace as enemies to confirm friendship rather than risk worse quarrels by treating as relations. He was afraid the French would make exorbitant claims, rendering the accommodation more difficult. Even if the fort was taken he would ask nothing more than he does now, because his king does not want to keep it.
I have discovered another great difficulty which I fear the duke has encouraged. The chief object of the English in taking up arms was undoubtedly to bring about the fall of Cardinal Richelieu. Montagu has remarked to me more than once that the cardinal has deceived all. He has not observed the obligations of the alliances of the crown and therefore they cannot be sure that the promises will be kept even if a treaty is made, so long as he is in a position to prevent the fulfilment.
It is true that Montagu means to go to Venice, but he has no passport as yet from Cordova. He has asked me to write to the Secretary Marioni at Milan to get him one. He told me that the Earl of Carlisle was going to Lorraine on a complimentary mission, although he thought he had postponed his departure. I have never been able to discover any more about the objects of this journey, except that it is for his own pleasure and to see Wake. Perhaps Montagu does not wish his commissions to be known before his arrival.
No courier has arrived from England as yet, so Montagu is anxious and fears that harm has befallen him. The one sent to Lorraine has not returned either.
No further confirmation of the relief of fort St. Martin has arrived, though the ministers consider it certain. It seems to rest upon some fireworks which were seen, although they could not say whether these came from the fort or the English fleet. The whole Court here is anxiously waiting particulars of this event.
Turin, the 27th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
497. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It seems that the cardinal quite recently had some idea of an adjustment with the Rochellese, as he announced that Marillac and Schomberg had induced the king to move against them contrary to his wishes, as he would have preferred to drive out the English and avenge himself on Buckingham first. It is clear that he negotiated with the Marquis of Cortumer and Galerand to this end, who offered, I hear, to help to drive the English from the island, even without the rasing of fort St. Louis.
Whatever the cause Richelieu has now changed his mind and is more eager about the siege than anyone. He tries to persuade all the Huguenots that the war is not against them but only against La Rochelle, as guilty of high treason, and a sure refuge for the enemies of the crown.
I have it on high authority that this new plan of taking La Rochelle has its origin in an understanding which the cardinal has in that fortress. Relying upon this, he will try and get the king and grandees as far away as possible, so that he and Angoulême alone may be able to boast of having taken the place which for so many years has belonged more to the King of Great Britain than to France, under the nose of Buckingham and the English fleet.
Paris, the 29th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
498. PIER ANTONIO MARIONI, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards praise God because the English have done them the greatest service they could desire by throwing themselves away in France. They confess their indebtedness to the King of England, who, by getting his powerful fleet entangled at the Isle of Ré, has removed the imminent danger of the total loss of Flanders, as if his ships had merely remained in those waters they would have encouraged the movements of the Prince of Orange.
Milan, the 29th September, 1627.
[Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
499. PIERO MALIPIERO, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The harvest of currants and wine has been very good this year, but prices are very low, as ships have not yet arrived. The year's produce of oil does not seem to be less, and I do my utmost not only to prevent it being taken to foreign lands, but that it shall come to your Serenity's service.
Zante, the 19th September, 1627, old style.
[Italian.]
Sept. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
500. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The fort St. Martin is reduced to extremity. God grant that its fall does not involve its brave garrison. On the other hand, Buckingham has opened again with his four batteries, no longer to make a breach, but firing in the air and destroying the roofs, thus depriving the poor soldiers of cover. This has done a great deal of damage. Denbigh, Buckingham's brother-in-law, has been slain. This has hit the duke hard because of the real affection between them. The damage to both sides increases as the affair drags on. The Spanish succours do not appear, though their promises remain the same, and the French believe them. The Spaniards now profit by time. It is universally stated that the fort will surrender on the 4th prox., while the Spaniards promise fourteen ships of high board for the 15th. To give more colour to the matter they have sent hither this week the Flemish Baron of Crevacore, to see if one of the ports of Britanny will be suitable to receive them. By this means Mirabello has obtained 50,000 crowns from the ministers here for the needs of Flanders.
Suason, who was seriously wounded when the English first landed and would have been in great danger if Buckingham had not humanely allowed him to leave the fort and sent a ship to put him on shore, was anxious to return and share the fortunes of Toras. He filled seven or eight shallops or pinnaces with munitions and food, but the whole fell into Buckingham's hands. Suason perished by an accidental explosion; all the rest were sailors and were drowned by the English. The news reached the queen mother on Wednesday, sent express by the cardinal. They are very careful not to publish these disasters. They announced that three boats had reached Toras safely. I am told that when the man announced this his nose bled and the words stuck in his throat; in fine no one believes it.
The Duke of Guise has written to the king from Brouage that in spite of all the time and effort to collect a fleet only five ships are serviceable. I understand that the cardinal is sending 400,000 of their lire to Amsterdam to buy some more smaller ones. Meanwhile the galleons are stayed in Holland, to avoid expense and so that they may not fall into the hands of the English. They have been expected in France for several months now; both lots should come together.
Paris, the last of September, 1627.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 John Ashburnham and N. de la Motte Fouqué, Baron of St. Seurin.