Venice
October 1627, 2-9

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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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399-416

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'Venice: October 1627, 2-9', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 399-416. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89133 Date accessed: 28 July 2014.


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October 1627

Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
501. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Before the arrival of the ships, Dorie, an English ship came. After unloading various goods at Leghorn it brought others here: such as pepper, tin, skins and London cloth. The Venetian merchants here immediately proposed to hire it for Venice, and they were quite willing, having no other business. I made difficulties about granting leave, because of the Dorie ships. They promised to lade these and pointed out the losses they would incur if they had to keep their goods here several months. The question of the cottimo at once presented itself. The English ambassador ultimately consented that it should be paid to your Serenity, though without prejudice, as he puts it, since he has instructions not to agree to such payment, but to see that the point is settled at Venice by the English ambassador there. I am assured, however, that the merchants are paying ten per cent beyond what is usual for Venetian ships, with which the master of the ship may satisfy the cottimo of the English ambassador here. Nevertheless, our merchants declare that they get an advantage, as the English offer to insure them for five per cent, whereas they have to pay ten or more on Venetian ships. This constantly harasses me, because all want to lade on them; but I will not suffer any prejudice to our ships here.
I think the matter worthy of consideration, because if the Venetian merchants are not compelled to provide their own ships the few which are now here will disappear altogether, while everything possible should be done to increase their numbers. The only way is to prevent them using the ships of others, when they would have to buy or build their own. If they are free to hire foreign ships these are sure to arrive when there are no Venetian ones, who may withdraw from the competition. If the lading of English ships is permitted, which deliver goods at Leghorn and other marts, the policy of the state will be defeated, which requires such ships to take their goods to Venice when they want to take goods from Venice, currants from the islands and other things required for their country. I permitted the hiring this time because there was a great outcry when I unexpectedly refused it. But if a public decree was made, soon enough for the merchants to make provision, there would be no cause for complaint, and the English would be forced to take steps conformable to the requirements of this mart and the intentions of your Excellencies.
I do not wish to prejudice the ship hired, by these remarks, as it is going to Venice in good faith, although I made no promises.
The Vigne of Pera, the 2nd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
502. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two Arabs arrived here some days ago, sent in great diligence by the Pasha of Balsara, with many complaints against the English, who navigate the Persian Gulf. The Pasha reports that they have plundered many ships and goods, and have a close understanding with the King of Persia, to whom they have supplied the means of building galleys in that sea. They propose to help him to take Lassa and Balsara, places of great importance. These complaints have been referred to the English ambassador, who told me that he took the opportunity to remind them of all the damage that had been done to his merchants in these parts and he inveighed strongly against the corsairs of Barbary, who infest these seas. He told them that all these things compelled the English to facilitate trade in those parts and to have an understanding with anyone, no matter who. The ministers here promised that his countrymen should be well treated for the future and that a remedy should certainly be provided against the Barbary pirates. With the power he holds from his king, he gave them letters that the English ships should desist from hostilities against the Turks, always provided they are not provoked, and with these letters the Arabs were sent back with all speed, as they are much exercised about this matter. But as they do not seemperfectly assured, they have chosen a Greek of Gallipoli, very skilled in the building of galleys, with others, so that in case of need the Pasha may build for those seas. I am assured, however, by people acquainted with those parts that it will not be possible for them to get together all the things required for this purpose. The English ambassador told me that by helping the King of Persia to take those two places he thought his countrymen wished to shut out the Portuguese from that trade as much as possible, and although he is not certain, many declare that the towns are already in that king's hands.
On the 27th ult. news arrived here of the conclusion of the truce or peace with the emperor for 25 years. No other particulars are announced.
The Vigne of Pera, the 2nd October, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
503. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Wednesday in the chapel the French ambassador spoke to me about the dispute between his king and England. He said it might easily turn the world upside down. He considered Buckingham's imprudence, whose manifesto ought to have appeared under the name of the King of England, and it showed great weakness in that king. He maintained with great vehemence that the Most Christian will make peace with some clause apparently favourable to the Huguenots, though his Majesty would be very ill advised if he carried it out afterwards. He had no idea of doing so, as it was bad policy to allow a section of his subjects to be protected and fomented by foreign princes, as this would mean another monarchy in France, a thing abhorrent even to his friends, as they could not help Savoy, the republic or the rest of Italy if the English could create this diversion whenever they pleased. It would be better for the King of France to concede to England all Poitou and the part of Britanny where the Huguenots are strongest, provided he was free in the rest of the country and so be free from the danger of this plague infecting the whole state.
I listened with patience, and when he had finished, pointed out that the Huguenots were not a new phenomenon in France and some bad humours must be expected in so large a state and even had their uses. In the time of Henry the Great France had done wonders, as he knew how to extract poision from the viper and turn it into an antidote. Buckingham and the Huguenots deserved great blame, but they ought not to put everything to the hazard on their account. God had perhaps allowed the manifesto to appear under Buckingham's name intentionally, as it was commonly said that this was a war of favourites, and the good will of the King of England would remain manifest, leaving an opening for a good understanding.
Bethune seemed to become somewhat calmer, but added that no composition or reunion was possible or could be listended to by his king while the English stood with the knife at their throat and claimed the inclusion of the Huguenots and rebels, as these did not deserve the slightest protection, and the king must be left free to punish them in the exemplary manner that their felony deserves. He repeated that if the king was advised otherwise he would be ill advised.
Rome, the 2nd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
504. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I had scarcely entered the pontifical room for audience yesterday when his Holiness remarked to me with great glee: The island of Rheé has been relieved, this relief will last for a while, and those Biscayans who are subjects of the King of France have found a way to prevent Fort St. Martin from falling. This relief will help the French a great deal, not only to save the island and their honour but for making terms with the English, and if the Huguenots do not freely hand over La Rochelle to the King of France, he ought not to accept any terms but carry on war. As for us, said the pope, we shall not advise otherwise, not so much for the sake of religion, though we should desire the extirpation of the heretics, but for reasons of state, as the king will never be master of his states while he has such people about, who can be fomented by foreign princes against their own lord. His Holiness subsequently condemned Buckingham's manifesto, calling it imprudent, indiscreet and only calculated to show the weakness of the King of England. In short I perceived that the French ambassador had thoroughly impressed the pope with his views. I made no reply except that such disturbances were hardly propitious for Christendom, and then changed the subject.
Rome, the 2nd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
505. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune has received letters from France this week. He told me of the relief of Fort St. Martin with the utmost satisfaction. Fifteen boats called pinnaces were prepared for this, two went astray in the darkness of the night, though they returned safely, all the rest entered successfully with about 130 men, including ten good captains, and with provisions and war materials for about five weeks. He had no doubt, now the way had been opened, they would introduce greater succour, which would render the English utterly hopeless of taking the fort, as they had already suffered heavy losses and considered their advance as desperate. Their sole expectation was to take it by siege. The English force was so diminished that they were obliged to employ the very sailors, unskilled in the use of arms. The king's force was increasing. The Duke of Guise had over 50 ships ready without the foreign ones they were expecting, meaning the Spaniards, though he would not admit it, saying that they wanted too much.
He added that Carleton, the English ambassador at the Hague, had made overtures to the States to interpose for an accomodation, from which he inferred that the English want it. He returned to what he has frequently said before, that he has written to advise the king to accept an agreement, and all his friends should unite for this object. There would be nothing derogatory in the king listening to an accommodation, notwithstanding the hostilities, provided the agreement did not speak of his subjects and contained no word which might encourage the Huguenots to take advantage of this example in the future; rather than that they had better continue to wage war and they must deprive that enemy of his arms once and for all. Langerach, the Dutch ambassador in France, was treating for this, and notwithstanding his advantage his king would come to terms except upon that most important point. He never tires of repeating this again and again.
Rome, the 2nd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct, 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
506. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards here declare that Fort St. Martin in the island of Rhé was relieved by the efforts of their fellow subjects, the Biscayans, while the French on the contrary assert that the men of Bayonne, who are subjects of the Most Christian very near Biscaya, played their part with great bravery. Accordingly, this truth admits of no doubt, and the pope, in mentioning the Biscayans to me, made a distinction in calling those who effected the relief subjects of the Most Christian.
Rome, the 2nd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
507. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News has just arrived that Fort St. Martin has surrendered. Toras has obtained the best terms he could and the garrison has come out bearing staves. Others say that the English after carrying a demi lune with considerable loss, have agreed to give up. Paris is full of conflicting reports. I cannot say which to believe. It is true at any rate that the Duke of Rohan and the Huguenots in Languedoc have met and decided to join the English, and they have laid hands on the royal money, driven out the Catholic judges and officials and compelled the Catholics to contribute to the war. The duke is marching at the head of 4,000 men, but it is not known where he is going.
Paris, the 3rd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
508. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Wednesday morning a courier arrived from Paris, sent by the Count of Moretta on the 22nd ult. The count had seen the king and obtained the release of the galleys seized at Marseilles. He speaks of a rumour that a nephew of Buckingham, Lord Fillin, a youth of 18, had been sent with M. de San Surin. No one has seen this gentleman except Botru, and when Moretta tried to visit him they politely refused. Since his arrival the Council was summoned, and they announced that he had come to see upon what terms France would make peace. It is reported that they gave a very vigorous and resolute reply, that the Most Christian would listen to no negotiations until the English withdrew or until he entered England with his own forces. Despite this announcement the Count of Verua seems to believe that the negotiations for peace are far advanced. He says that Buckingham would not have sent to Paris unless he had something certain in hand. This lord was to leave on the 23rd, and the king was going to Poitou. The king wanted to join the army under Rochelle, in which direction the English ships had turned.
Some papers have arrived, by the wits, I fancy, attacking the Duke of Buckingham in lively fashion. I hear that Montagu has sent some to Wake at Venice.
Turin, the 3rd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
509. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke remarked that the peace between the English and French was in a promising condition. I said that as the English had placed the matter in his Highness's hands, Buckingham must have sent to Paris with some other object. He replied: Really Montagu is renouncing his baptism (si disbatteza). I cannot believe him, especially as he brought letters from the King of England solemnly promising that he would not employ any one but me for the accommodation. But if only peace is obtained the means do not matter. France cannot help breaking away from Spain, all for the general good. I suggested withdrawal, as if the English did not take the fort they could still retire with honour, and if they took it, it would help them against the French. So they have written to France, and Montagu has written to England; but I feel sure that the business will finish nearer the place where the armies are. He said this with great passion, unable to conceal his chagrin that the affair might be concluded by others, since it has been published throughout the world that he is to be the arbiter of this peace.
Montagu has been to see me and pointed out the impossibility of Buckingham having sent to Paris practically to ask for peace. He thought the gentleman had gone with San Surin about the surrender of the fort. Toras could not hold out and had sent to Court to justify his surrender, so that the report of the relief might not prejudice him. Montagu might be the victim of his own credulity. His Highness told me that Botru, sent by the cardinal, had conferred several times with the Englishman, on whom the cardinal showered honours and presents. He was to leave Paris on the 23rd.
The duke spoke to me about Montagu's journey to Venice, and asked which way he would return to England. I said if he was to treat for peace he ought to stay here. The duke said he thought he wished to return to England. If the war continued he might ask help of your Serenity and might go by Lorraine. The English had a very good understanding with the duke there and with the Count of Soissons also.
Turin, the 3rd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
510. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The letters which have reached the Ambassador Pez from France this week report that the league with the States is concluded. However, the state here has no news. They suspend their belief until the secretary arrives. Carleton and Scaglia agree in maintaining that it cannot be true, with their usual effort to foment mistrust. Carleton would like in any case to prevent the French ships sailing and he has performed offices both publicly and privately, but he meets with no response because there is no reason to prevent their going, seeing that they were built at the cost of the Most Christian and under the superintendence of his ministers. There is the pretext, which Carleton also adduced, that they must have a Spanish escort, to which the French ambassador replied that since the Dutch refused, they were compelled to take this course in order to get safely to the port of Blavet. Carleton protests that as the ambassador has declared that their ships will be used against this king, it will be an unfriendly act to allow them to go. They tell him that they cannot make these distinctions, and that as the States refused the ships which the French asked for as succour, they could not possibly prevent the French using their own, and they have no honest pretext for detaining them. It so happens that the chief one. called il Re, which is at Inclusem, draws too much water to get out of the port, and their efforts have only made its position worse, so that they fear it may become a wreck unless some lucky accident occurs, such as a high tide and a strong wind. The French ambassador is anxious, as it is his fault for not having foreseen the danger. This affords Carleton some satisfaction.
I find him very perplexed, however, and fancy it arises from his perceiving the difficulty of Buckingham succeeding against the fort, which we hear from France has been relieved. Accordingly this minister is troubled, as he is considered a humble follower (pedisequo) of the duke's fortune. Right minded men think it may be an advantage to the reconciliation for the fort not to fall, while those who consider Buckingham's interests see that if his enterprises do not succeed it will be the last blow, as he took up arms as the last resource for his safety, and he might take the most desperate steps, giving himself and a great part of the fleet into the hands of the Spaniards.
Scaglia is only awaiting a favourable wind to cross to England. He confines himself to generalities about his commissions. I think he is aware of the difficulties, and although he relies on his master's approval he does not venture to pledge himself very deeply. He relies upon the slowness of the Spaniards, as without them he considers the French incapable of resisting and therefore likely to incline to an adjustment.
They have begun to discuss here how the French may use their help. In the best opinion the French will on no account allow the Spaniards to enter their country, but the cardinal intends them to make a diversion in Scotland or elsewhere, so as to compel the King of Great Britain to recall his fleet. This is the interpretation they give to the Most Christian's declaration to the Duke of Savoy, that the fleet must go before he treats for an accommodation.
Here they have decided to send the ambassadors extraordinary, and although the persons are not selected they are discussing their commissions, and the States have asked the prince to come here about this.
The Hague, the 4th October, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
511. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Doulbier merely came to hasten the reinforcements as reported. To this effect 2,000 English foot which are near the place of embarcation are to depart with the first fair wind, all efforts made to obtain enough money for the despatch of the 7,000 having proved fruitless.
Wilmot will command the 2,000, as the Earl of Holland considers it beneath his acceptance, and not choosing to remain any longer at Court, where his presence makes the duke suspicious, who wrote to him about it, he has determined to go out as an adventurer. Buckingham's relations, and especially the ladies, hope that on the earl's arrival the duke will return, but possibly this is the effect of passion regarding results desired.
The ambassadors from Denmark cannot obtain any conclusive reply on their business. They complain that after their first conference with the Council none of its members went to see them. They have sent letters to France to their king's agent to elicit something of the intentions of the French ministry about an adjustment, and to gain time while matters drag on here. Some day soon they will demand a fresh audience of the king to press the business, especially as the emergencies of their master require it, the armies of Tilly and Walsteim being already united and free to scour all Holstein, having made an agreement with Lubeck, Hamburg assisting them from fear, whilst their designs on the Baltic are seconded by the Margrave of Brandenburg in person, who has adopted a new form of plausible servility unusual with princes. What matters more, an engagement took place lately to the disadvantage of Denmark, who retreated from a very important post, some French, recently brought out by Montgomery, being slain, though they say that Tilly likewise was wounded in the foot.
I have ascertained on good authority that his Majesty here does not intend to listen to any proposal for peace until the fort is taken, when he will be ready to treat. He proposes to hand it over to the Rochellese, that they may benefit themselves in the other treaties, as owing to the reserve of the Huguenots, which was never believed here and is much blamed, about declaring themselves, his Majesty may not pledge himself further. The ambassadors know this resolve and are aware that the king is deceived, as all the weekly advices from the islands announce that the fort will be taken, yet some Flemish barques come from La Rochelle bring word that the besieged are provisioned for some weeks to come and that in a sortie 600 English remained on the field.
Three Dutch East Indiamen on their homeward voyage with cargoes worth about 2 millions of gold have been seized at Plymouth at the suit of the English East India Company, which in consequence of the Amboyna affair claims many credits from the Dutch. (fn. 1) I fancy the move is due to letters from Carleton, who ranks this among the chief of his instructions, and writes that owing to private interest the Dutch will not proceed to give satisfaction, although they have appointed commissioners. Owing to this most significant act, which everybody considers very ill timed and which might cause great changes in the Netherlands, the Dutch ambassador has been twice to Court, remonstrating against the impropriety of acting while the matter is sub judice, and he has sent an express to Holland, though without obtaining restitution; yet the king promised that nothing should be moved. The merchants here maintain that as it is a private affair between the two companies, it ought not to affect the good will of the rulers or the peoples. By such pretexts they deceive people and think solely of their own private interests, whilst the Council, if composed entirely of Spaniards could not do more for their service by increasing the ill feeling between the two nations.
When the ambassador had his audiences the king told him he had letters from Constantinople giving assurance that neither Gabor nor the Turks would negotiate with the emperor without having regard for the interests of Germany and other powers. Things desired are readily believed to the detriment of the public cause perhaps being secretly invented by the Spaniards in order that this country may persist in the policy she has begun, so much to their advantage.
I understand they are dispatching a person from this Court to Montagu at Turin. As yet I do not find it is for anything but to hasten the promised move there in the name of Soissons. He will go by way of Holland. I have informed Soranzo.
The king has recalled five ships of war which he kept off the Elbe to prevent the exportation of the naval stores which the Hamburgers usually send to Spain. I do not yet fully understand whether he aims at facilitating the negotiations I reported, which the Spaniards now suspend, the more as matters go well with them everywhere, without affecting the possessions they hold. It is maintained that the resolve was one of necessary expediency, because the Hamburgers raised an outcry against the house of the English ambassador because of the impediment those ships caused to their trade. On this account all the goods of the English were in peril. Owing to this and the nearness of the imperial forces they have suspended all traffic in that quarter also, the merchants now having no business at all. These ships on their return will serve to guard the coast, which will need them the more in the event of the French and Spanish naval forces joining, which is very hard to credit, and they will serve to impede any Dutch ships which might be secretly hired by the Most Christian, as suspected here, and some war ships are on the watch accordingly.
Exp. Pap.Very serious commotion prevails between the Bishop of Chalcedon and the regular clergy, who refuse to acknowledge his jurisdiction over licences for hearing confession, administering the sacraments etc., which causes great irritation in all this small residue of Catholicism. They wrote to Rome, one against the other, and some of the first letters fell into the hands of the king, (fn. 2) who is having diligent search made for the bishop, especially as he is the creature of Richelieu, who procured his appointment, and at the present moment of distrust of France and apprehension of the Catholic league, they are not without suspicion of him. This bishop was introduced into England by Gregory XV when he instituted the Congregation de Propaganda Fide, for the purpose of taking out of the hands of the Jesuits certain collections raised by them yearly for their colleges and profession houses, under pretext of employing the funds for the universal good of Christendom. These subscriptions occasionally amounted to 20, 000l. sterling per annum, and were they at Rome to devise a remedy for these disorders they would certainly benefit the Catholic faith, which the heretics deride and vilify on account of these disputes among the clergy. The Catholics themselves disapprove of them, the bishop choosing to establish a chancery here from which issue excommunications, probates of wills, disposals of legacies, visitations of the houses of the Catholics, and so forth. (fn. 3)
I have received the ducal missives of the 27th August. As regards the carte blanche which the Ambassador Wake offered your Serenity for the adjustment between the two crowns. I only regret that he is acting without orders, nor do they remark every particular, as the king is determined not to talk of peace until the fort is taken, which they expect daily. At any rate Wake's proposals will prove useful should your Excellencies undertake the business, and also serve for my instruction, according to my orders to elicit the truth when the vicinity of the Court renders it possible, although the king, despite a blow in the face received when stag hunting, thinks of going to a distance this winter to hunt hares, and has commanded the queen to meet him, much to her regret on account of the inclemency of the season, while she has had a slight bowel complaint, caused by her passion for sour fruit.
I request a vote for money for couriers and postage, as I have no more in hand for such expenditure.
London, the 5th October, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
512. Whereas by decision of this Council on the 27th November of last year it was resolved that goods brought to this city from England and the Netherlands should have certain exemptions then specified.
Be it resolved that this concession be extended to Lisbon, Seville and the whole coast of Spain, so that merchants may be encouraged to bring their goods to Venice rather than elsewhere.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Proveditore
dell' Armata.
Venetian
Archives.
513. FILIPPO BELEGNO, Proveditore of the Fleet, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday I arrived at this port to receive money from the chamber here and that of Cephalonia. I learned with regret that two days before an English ship named the Dragon was in the port, commanded by Captain William Gusel, a man of about thirty, a powerful ship from the guns it carried. (fn. 4) On seeing a tartana approach this city, supposing it to be French, he fired several shots and sent a boat with several men to board it. By these and the guns the tartana was somewhat damaged and many sailors were wounded severely. He committed this excess in contempt of the fortress and without ascertaining if the men were French, as he says he has orders from his prince to fight them whenever he meets them, without any respect. As they proved to be Greeks from Santa Maura, they deserve every compassion and relief for the hurt received.
While I was dining to-day the guards came from Scopo to report that they saw two large ships off Chiari, a port at the cape of this island, engaged in a fierce fight with five small ones. I forthwith decided to sail with my three galleys, suspecting that these ships were the Englishman and a Fleming in its company, which left here the night before after lading much merchandise. The sent on board some of our ships coming from Candia for information. I soon drew in sight of them and saw that the large English ship, abandoning a prize which it had in tow, sailed away from the land on perceiving that I was following it. I came up with the others and learned from the master of one of them, Gerolamo de Zorzi Marafone, commanding the saetta Madonna del Rosario, that they were coming from Candia with two other small galleys, the Donadoni and the galley of Nadalin Furlano, laden with muscat and other things, when this large ship gave chase this morning, refusing to recognise them, firing shot at them almost up to the port of Chiari. This Marafone cast anchor, to save the ship from wreck, and escaped in his boat to this island. Thence he saw the large ship send a boat to board his and then take it in tow, cutting away the anchor. The Captain, Guscel, on sighting me, left his prize, after removing some of the goods, and sent to tell the master, who had taken refuge on shore, that he must come on board. When he arrived Guscel threatened him for not admitting that he was French, although he is a subject of your Serenity and well known to the captain. That individual cursed him, and said he should not go free until he had paid for the powder consumed. Accordingly, Marafone and Nicolo, master of the galleon of Nadalin Furlano, gave him eight reals and two barrels of muscat each, to get off. Seeing that night was approaching, and that I could do nothing against the audacious fellow, I returned to join our ships here. With them was the Flemish ship, the companion of the English. Seeing it was spreading its sails, I fired a gun without shot so that it should render the customary obedience. They took no notice and prepared to put to sea. I could not tolerate such insolence, and followed with my squadron, firing several shots, one of which carried away the foresail. The captain then surrendered and I took him in tow, reefing the sails so as not to be surprised in the night by the Englishman, who seemed inclined to come to his assistance. I will institute a process, and if I find the captain guilty of firing on our ships, I will keep him prisoner, make an inventory of his cargo and put a crew on his ship, sending the particulars to your Serenity so that you may command me. If he proves to have been merely disobedient, I shall let him go with a severe caution, first making him responsible for the losses suffered by our ships from the Englishman, his consort, and payment for the anchor lost. I hope in five or six hours to pursue and fight the English ship, so that, by God's help, he may pay with his blood for his great audacity.
From the galley at Zante, the 6th October, 1627, new style.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
514. To the Ambassador in England.
Enclose copy of letter to Soranzo; note what Bethune said to use as prudence may suggest.
Ayes, 96.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
515. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Commend his offices with Carleton and the French ambassador. The congress of Milhausen postponed. The emperor's success only makes the reconciliation of France and England more necessary.
Ayes, 96.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
516. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I went on Friday to pay my respects to the queen mother. Before I could utter a word she said: Thank God, Buckingham will not take us by famine. Three barques have entered St. Martin with enough provisions to last until others arrive. I expressed my satisfaction and went on to speak of the unfortunate differences and that the world looked to her to bring about a reconciliation. She replied: My son must have recompense for the offence. If the King of England, taking on himself the quarrels of others, comes to attack France, it is only reasonable, if they do not abandon the country of themselves, that France should drive out these English by force. She will not refuse afterwards to listen to proposals for an agreement. It is true that both kings are my sons, and the present circumstances cause me great pain, but it is not reasonable that the one born of me should rank on the same footing as the one related by chance. I replied that such considerations applied rather to private persons than to great kings, and she should consider the public cause. She laughed and said that if only the English departed everything could be settled. I wished her a pleasant journey and took leave.
Six or eight French ships have fallen into the hands of the English, of those which took Montgomery's regiment to Denmark. They had an escort of Dutch ships going and coming, but off Calais they thought they were safe and dismissed the escort. But in going on to Boulogne they fell into an ambush waiting for them beyond the point. No harm was done to the neutral passengers, but they took the money and food of the French, and stripping the sailors naked they put them on shore in revenge for similar treatment from French ships of Dieppe.
The king proposes to go to Brittany to see the fleet. He thinks, from what they have told him for several months, that he has forty-five, but in reality only six are ready for service. To avoid exposure the cardinal dissuades him from going, and also from going to La Rochelle until the forts are in a better condition. The truth is that while the king is paying for 12,000 foot and 1,000 horse, Angoulême, who is responsible, has only 5,000 and 300 respectively.
Paris, the 7th October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
517. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news of the capture of Fort St. Martin proves untrue, though it is a fact that the English captured a demi lune, planting their flag while the French took to their heels. The excessive caution of some proved the salvation of the others. The English suspected that this disorderly flight was a stratagem in order to draw them on and allow Toras to fire a mine under them. Thus, through fear or this suspicion the English did not push forward as they should have done, but stopped to defend what they had taken, giving the French time to recover themselves. Later on the English could not resist the fury of the French assault, but were driven back by pike and musket and had to yield the place. We do not hear that anything has happened since either at the fort or at La Rochelle. The silence is due to the departure of the queen mother and couriers do not come as they used.
Paris, the 8th October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
518. PIERO MALIPIERO, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the 25th inst. I told your Serenity how William Gusel, captain of the English ship Grand Dragon had sailed from this port to surprise a saetta, which he believed to be French. After discovering that it was not French, but of Sancta Maura, he left it and returned to this port, but anchored out of range of our guns. He remained thus all the 26th, but early the next morning he sailed with a Flemish ship and cruised all day in sight of this port. They went further off at night, and on the following morning were sighted off il Chieri. The guards there came to tell me that these two ships were fighting five which came from the Levant. I at once advised the Proveditore of the Fleet who had arrived the night before. With remarkable celerity he made sail with three consorts and actually found that the English and Flemish ships had fought and scattered the Venetian ships coming from Candia with muscat. The English ship, on sighting the galleys, at once put out to sea. The Flemish one did not succeed in doing the same, because the Proveditore took it and brought it into port.
I report this so that your Serenity may realise the harm that may be done by the orders which the English say they have from their king, to take French ships, with which excuse they attack the ships of your subjects.
Zante, the 28th September, 1627, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.519. On the 27th September.
Examination of Nicolo de Piero of Venice, Proveditore of the galleon Santa Maria delle Grazie, sailing from Candia to Venice with four other ships, two Flemish and two Venetian.
On the 26th at dawn off Chieri and Geraca, fell in with two large ships, one English and the other Dutch which bore down on them. We tried to make the land at Chieri, and the Englishman tried to cut us off. They fired twice, and seeing we were getting away, opened with twelve guns. We abandoned the ship and took refuge on land. The Englishman then sent a barque to take our ship. The Fleming came up and fired on us on shore. Our captains went out in a boat to them; they took 8 ryals for powder and shot, but left us when they saw the galleys coming.
Similar account by Piero Bernardin, purser of the tartana Santa Maria del Rosario, Zorzi Maraton, master; Giovanni Battista Rovetti, purser on the galleon Donadoni.
[Italian.]
Oct. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
520. To the Ambassador in France.
To use every means to urge upon the king and ministers the importance of concord between France and England. The emperor's arms are prospering, but if France, England, Holland, Denmark and other princes languish when disunited, they will form a strong counterpoise when united to the present enfeebled condition of Spain.
Ayes, 86.Noes, 2.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
521. To the Ambassador at Rome.
You acted with prudence in your reply to what the pope and Bethune said to you about the differences between France and England. We feel sure that you will continue to advise us of what you gather about it, especially the ideas and expressions and of Bethune also.
Ayes, 96.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Oct. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
522. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome to the DOGE and SENATE.
I told Bethune the advices of the Valtelline which your Serenity sent me on the 2nd inst. I found that in France they are not pleased at the new government set up at the instance of Don Gonzales. Bethune remarked that everything was going from bad to worse owing to this dispute with the English. I took the opportunity to recommend a reconciliation between the two kings, telling him the news from Germany and of the peace made by the emperor with the Turk. He said he had heard from Constantinople that the Grand Turk had ordered the Pasha of Buda to make peace with the emperor as soon as possible, as with France and England quarrelling, Denmark could get no help from them while the emperor became ever stronger. I told him that as he recognised the root of the evil he should use his advice to provide a remedy, and not leave these two crowns engaged in a barren contest to the general ruin. He said he could do little, but it did not suffice to advise France, one must bring England to a sense of right and duty, especially as the original seeds of all the evil sprang thence. I am not, said he, one of those who advise my master to precipices. I do not say that he ought not to make peace with his brother-in-law, indeed I urge it, and say further that although the English are in his Majesty's dominions all ready for hostilities I could not advise him to refuse to treat. I would advise him to treat for peace if the English were masters of all the island of Rhé, because great kings always stand upon their honour when they treat for the advantage of themselves and their states; but if the King of England wished to introduce special articles favouring French subjects and to protect rebels, making articles for the Huguenots, under the plea of religion I would rather make war a thousand years and let everything go to ruin than suffer French subjects to require foreign protection. If the King of England wishes to favour the Huguenots let him do so in the way the King of France favours the Catholics of England, by good offices and requests for kind treatment, but not by violence or claiming places of safety for them, such as the Huguenots demand. I shall always be of opinion, he added, that we ought to leave every one's conscience free. If one church in a town does not suffice let the Huguenots build as many as they want, in short let them be treated exactly like other subjects, but I would never advise my king to let them hold fortresses or walled towns, as all the disturbances of the realm are due to this. If his king could not be master in his own house he would not be able to help his friends in theirs. Accordingly it concerned the interests of all the friendly princes that the king should become master of all his realm.
Although his speech admitted of a thousand contradictions, I judged it best to avoid dispute, though recognising his object, on the settlement of the dispute with England to kindle civil war in France under the pretence of taking the fortresses from the king's subjects; so I merely commended his prudence in distinguishing between what was feasible and what was full of difficulties, and said that the world desired to see France absolutely at peace.
Rome, the 9th October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
523. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Langerach's secretary arrived three days after the despatch of my last. By what I can gather there are two treaties, one by which the Dutch are bound to assist the French, the other, which is called secret, is said to withdraw this obligation and declare that his Majesty agrees to the alliance being precisely like that of Compiegne. Carleton spoke to me about it and remarked that although the secret treaty declares that the help claimed by France must not be against the English, yet he clearly sees that they are not following a proper course here; the States are under very strict arrangements with his master, whereby they would be obliged to declare against France, whereas they are entering upon an alliance prejudicial to his Majesty, allowing their ports to serve as an arsenal for the French.
Scaglia speaks to the same effect and maintains that they cannot conclude the new agreement without the English making some great demonstration. He even went so far as to say that if the Dutch do not take care the English will conclude peace with the Spaniards in four days, they will withdraw behind their trenches and that the Palatine must take a morsel of bread where he may. These are destructive ideas which may kindle the fire still more when he goes to England.
On Thursday last seven English ships entered the port of Texel which were watching for the sailing of the French ships and had grown impatient of waiting. After a fight of six hours they captured one called the St. Esprit, belonging to Toras, a large and powerful ship, and the best of those built here, except le Roi. (fn. 5) It was said that they had sunk those of the queen mother, but this is not confirmed. All the particulars have not come as since the news arrived the States sent six deputies to make an enquiry. The French ambassador went straight to the Assembly, more to obtain particulars than to make complaint. He came to see me afterwards. He said he had warned the States of the danger, and they told him to fear nothing as they kept good guard. They were bound to protect them and his king would require compensation, the event would cause great confusion. The government here wanted help from all and would help no one. It was impossible to deal with them, as they did not know how to behave and had no experience of great affairs. Although they had performed various offices for the reconciliation of the two crowns they had not found out the true way, which was to send a powerful fleet to sea before intervening, and then they could act with reputation and honour, because a mediator must be well armed to make himself feared. At the moment their offices are held as of no account, and they do not know what to do.
On the other side Carleton defends the action. He maintains that they cannot complain of the violation of the port, as at a time when his king had no war with the Spaniards they went to the ports of Scotland in pursuit of Spanish ships, to capture and burn them. He also says that those who are on the watch must not lose a favourable opportunity. They knew that these ships were intended to go against them, and they could not allow them to sail and join the Dunkirkers. The war with the French has become an open one, and now they have joined the Spaniards they will do them all the harm they can. The States here are more bound than ever to desist from treating with them, and if they had followed his advice this affair would not have happened, as he had always tried to stop the ships from sailing. He could not help rejoicing at the event because of the advantage to his master, as it would be a warning to the States, and because he could not bear to see preparations made against his king.
The States are in a quandary, because their position compels them to be on good terms with both kings, and the present circumstances make it very difficult for them to maintain their neutrality. When the prince arrives I think they will take counsel without losing a moment as to what course they shall pursue, and I fancy they will hasten on the despatch of the ambassadors for the adjustment with new commissions dealing with these fresh circumstances.
The Hague, the 11th October, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The Indiamen put in at Stokes Bay on the 12/22 Sept. They were arrested there by virtue of an order issued ten days later by the Council to Sir Henry Mervyn, Admiral of the Narrow Seas, who took them to Portsmouth. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1627–8, pages 342, 354. Cal. S.P. Col. E. Indies, 1625–9, page 403.
2 One of their letters is among the Domestic State Papers, vol. Ixxiv, No. 106.
3 The Congregation de propaganda fide was founded in January, 1622. The first Bishop of Chalcedon, William Bishop by name, arrived in England on the 31st July, 1623. He died on the 16th April of the following year. His successor, Richard Smith, the one in question in the text, arrived in England in May, 1625. Venetian Cal., vol. xviii, pages 103, 292; vol. xix, page 52. Brady: Episcopal Succession, vol. ii, page 71.
4 This must be the Dragon of London of 400 tons, Captain William Bushell, who was also the owner. Letters of marque were issued to him on the 1st Aug., 1626. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 289.
5 Thursday was the 7th October. The seven ships commissioned for this service were the St. George, Assurance, Happy Entrance, Convertive, Adventure, Mary Rose and St. Claude, with four pinnaces. They were commanded by Sir Sackville Trevor, but recently returned from blockading the Elbe. Carleton put the event on the evening of Friday the 8th, and says it was performed by three large and five lesser ships with pinnaces. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1627–8, page 347. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 275. Carleton to Conway, the 30 Sept. o.s. S.P. Foreign, Holland.