Venice
October 1627, 22-31

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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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429-443

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'Venice: October 1627, 22-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 429-443. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89135 Date accessed: 24 November 2014.


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Contents

October 1627

Oct. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
545. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
To-day a courier has arrived with letters from the king to both queens. He came in two days and not finding them here he went after them. Such haste means the best news. Private letters are earlier in date than the king's. They state that the English, having lost hope of reducing the fort by hunger since the relief, decided to make a final attempt at a storm. While they were making the necessary preparations on the night of the 17th, the whole regiment of Navarre crossed to the island in 29 barques, by the usual route, which was badly guarded. They number 3,000 men, among the best disciplined and the finest in the kingdom. The king was expecting some great and generous sortie at any moment, as he had ordered. The English, seeing the position was hopeless, and in order not to leave empty handed, had sent to their ships a part of their guns and the pick of the possessions of the unhappy islanders. A confidential friend tells me that such is the contents of these letters. When the queens reach Paris to-morrow we shall know all.
Paris, the 22nd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
546. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A report is current here, coming from persons who discuss the affairs of the world with knowledge that the kings of France and Spain have an understanding, not by a formal alliance but by a secret understanding between Cardinal Richelieu and the Count of Olivares, to surprise Ireland, where they have such intelligence with the people as to render the enterprise safe. For this purpose the Most Christian recently hastened on the renewal of the alliances with the Dutch to prevent them from helping England; they say that among the articles is one providing that the Dutch shall not assist declared enemies of the crown of France, an article not registered publicly but kept secret between the parties.
Apparently the pope encourages this design, considering the Irish as subjects of the apostolic see and therefore wishing them free from subjection to a heretic prince. I remember that the pope once talked to me of Ireland with great delight. He assured me that they were vassals of the Church, and gloried in the fact. They frequently came to Rome assuring his Holiness of the devotion of all their race to the Roman pontiff; and nothing pleased them better than to see the pope, kiss his feet with the utmost humiliation and receive indulgences. Among other things they are accustomed to bring before him great baskets of wheat, asking him to bless them, assuring him that when they take it back to Ireland, every one will rush to get some, and will eat a small mouthful with great devotion, believing they are doing themselves good (beatificarsi).
Some of the wisest, however, think that this Irish expedition will not take place, although the Spaniards might use it for their own purposes to keep France and England apart; that the French will not attempt anything of the kind, but only publish it in order to compel the English to desist from the present hostilities. I say this in reply to the letter of your Excellencies of the 16th. about the way the pope encourages France and Spain to make war on the English. They might receive incitement from this quarter, but not money or any affective aid, in my belief.
Rome, the 23rd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
547. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Of French affairs Bethune told me that 3,000 Scots gathered to reinforce Buckingham, practically mutinied and refused to go when they learned on embarkation that they were sent to fight the French, justifying their disobedience by the favour, and ancient privileges which they acknowledge from the French crown, and their long connection therewith. No protests or punishments would avail, and they said they were quite ready to fight against anyone soever provided their king was attacked in his own dominions. I am not sure whether this news is true or proceeds merely from his hot head. He seemed not to know whether his king would lend an ear to proposals of peace or would consent to make one while a hostile force remained on his soil, but he abides by his opinion that if he had to advise his Majesty he would urge him to come to terms on every account, provided they did not wish to include his subjects in the treaty. He expressed the view that the English could not have played the Spaniards' game better than they have done, and the Spaniards had known how to profit by the chance. This he proved by the plight of the King of Denmark, whom France and England first supported, the latter inducing him to take arms against the Emperor and then abandoned him in his extreme need. It all showed the imprudence of Buckingham and the weakness of the king, though he might have some lucid intervals and recognise how he had been deluded by Buckingham's specious promises. He did not see by what resource the duke could continue to go about or rule in England, when all were against him, even before this enterprise (che non sa con qual scampo potra più portarsi o regnare in Inghilterra che prima anche di questa intrapresa tutta l'era contro). He commended the prudence of some in France who had replied to his manifesto, and one in particular, who deals with him very freely, under the name of a Huguenot. He concluded that he did not believe that anything remained for the English force, seeing its present condition, the advanced season and the strength of the French, but to withdraw.
Rome, the 23rd October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
548. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy to the DOGE and SENATE.
We have no news of the peace negotiations. They have sent a steward of Abbot Scaglia to England with Montagu's messenger. This is chiefly due to the news that the gentleman sent by Buckingham to Paris has gone on to England, where he may have some negotiations, and they want Scaglia to have a share. The hopes of the queen mother are all based on help from Spain. She talks of it every day, but nothing is heard of the sailing of the ships. News comes from Lyons that 25 out of 30 boats have entered Fort St. Martin, while three others got in before, but this is not confirmed and is not believed. Count Fiesco reported the death of Toras here. It may be true, as he was ill, but it is not certain. The English are bombarding the fort and many have entered La Rochelle for its defence. The arrival of reinforcements for Buckingham is confirmed. I hear that the plague has appeared among the French and English troops.
Turin, the 24th October, 1627.
Postscript.—Since writing the above I know that a courier reached Montagu a few hours ago from England. He has sent me various items of news thus brought. I do not send them because I wish to make sure. Montagu is to see the duke to-morrow, and I hope I shall have better certainty.
[Italian.]
Oct. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
549. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
So long ago as Montagu's first return from Turin, I discovered through some intercepted letters the object of Savoy with regard to the port of Villafranca and wrote about it. Subsequently I watched its development, the merchants in general hanging back although invited by the Council to avail themselves of the advantages offered by Savoy. All those with whom I have spoken tell me that no trust can be placed in the Duke of Savoy, and when 15 to 20 ships are in the port under the guns of the fortress he will be able to make reprisals and avail himself of such goods and money as they may have on board for his own ends, in keeping with his restless character. They also told me that Villafranca would benefit England because salt fish and cloth might be conveyed to Spain, who will not allow them to come direct, as they are now sent from Leghorn. But so long as the Duke of Savoy is distrusted by Spain and not very friendly with France, this advantage will not obtain, as the natives of Marseilles would stop unarmed vessels or other coasting craft on their passage and the whole plan would be reduced to utter confusion.
I find that this indirect trading from Leghorn or other ports on those coasts is extremely detrimental to the interests of Venice, which is too far away to afford the same convenience; but I understand that should the communication with Hamburg be stopped, the channel by which all Germany and Poland are supplied with English goods, it might easily be transferred to Venice. Possibly this pretext for openly inviting the English by some advantages, following the example of other powers, might not prove impolitic, without giving umbrage to Leghorn or other Italian ports from which the transmission of goods to Germany would be neither convenient nor profitable. I am told that on this account a variety of merchandise has arrived lately in Venice from England for the first time for many years, but I observe that of seven ships which are now about to sail for the Strait all go direct to Leghorn and one bound straight for Venice is unable to make up a full cargo. In short, for the above reasons and others I have mentioned about the ready sale for their goods which these merchants obtain at Leghorn, I scarcely think they will abandon that port which is already so well established. Possibly, while the English are unable to trade in France, Spain or Germany, they may at first make some move from necessity to Villafranca, but no one believes that they will continue to do so for the reasons given, and also because the site is not adapted for the sale of much merchandise. Should the opportunity present itself I will keep both eye and hand intent on your Serenity's commands so as to further the trade of Venice, from which I am well aware that the opulence and real prosperity of empires proceed.
London, the 25th October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
550. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
From what has been done so far for peace by the ambassadors of the King of Denmark, his Majesty's uncle and confederate, who is in danger of losing his crown through the English, and from what I have always written, that without Buckingham nothing of importance will be decided, your Excellencies may easily imagine what more can be hoped. Nevertheless, on receiving your commands of the 17th September, which are expressed more strongly than heretofore, I contrived under other pretexts to see such of the ministers with whom I have most intimacy, who are anxious for the common weal and have access to the king's closet. One was Secretary Conway, who told me before I opened my lips that he had communicated to his Majesty that part of the letters of the Ambassador Wake in which your Excellencies recommend and discuss the benefit of the union with France. He added that Wake had sent the original paragraph in Italian, saying it was word for word your reply. He said the king was much pleased with your opinion and advice as fitting your friendship, commending the sound prudence of the republic. Availing myself of this happy coincidence I thought fit to go to the extreme limits of my instructions. After alluding to your desire for the welfare of this kingdom and of the common cause, I expatiated upon the difficulties of taking the fort after the succour it has received, on the king's honour being fully vindicated by having set his foot on the enemy's soil, on the ruin to this kingdom by the destruction of its trade and finally painted in dark colours the loss to Germany and to the whole of Christendom, for whose welfare the republic was always urging the two crowns to an adjustment, endeavouring not to pledge themselves so freely as to cause the repulse of other foreign ministers, but also not to do injustice to the republic's views, which are very decided and clearly expressed.
The Secretary Conway replied: Your Excellency knows that I have always favoured peace; I shall urge it whenever an opportunity occurs and will keep on the watch for any overture, for the sake of the common weal, out of esteem for the republic and because of the glory my son-in-law Wake might win; but to speak confidentially, this fruit is not yet ripe.
My rejoinder failed to elicit clearly in what the unripeness consisted, but he told me in disjointed sentences that the French have no wish for peace, because they give themselves a prey to the Spaniards. Richelieu, whilst saying that he will not interfere in the business, obtains the red hat for Berulle, who managed the whole of this affair.
In order to make him unbosom himself further I said that the French could not speak first, because the enemy is in their territory, and as to the Spaniards I understood that Messia had left ill content, having been denied the fortress or harbour he asked as security, but this tie would be attributed entirely to the hostilities of England, as supposing the Dutch to be neutral, France, to defend her islands must apply to those who are strong at sea, these pernicious designs being rendered plausible by the English manifest to the effect that the war was for the service of the Huguenots.
Conway rejoined: We believe that the secret league and understanding is concluded, as Messia has not only proclaimed it at Brussels, but refused to further any treaty with us. This agrees with what I reported the Dutch ambassador told me. Through another channel, however, I hear that a gentleman who manages the affairs of the English Catholics and is consequently utterly Spanish, is to go to Brussels. I know for certain that he has already been there three times, being sent by the Court and was then stopped. I will keep good watch upon him.
After much beating about the bush I elicited that the first steps in the negotiation might be made at the French Court, with reference to the English manifest, whereby they declare that they merely demand the observance of the terms previously granted to the Huguenots, as guaranteed by King Charles. I hear nothing of what the French pretensions may be. If the passage was open, one might smoothe the path covertly through his Excellency Zorzi, but as the letters have to go round by the Netherlands or await the return from Italy, important changes might occur in the interval and I see no prospect of success, since those who wish for good results can only hope for it at the outset through secrecy, as these formal embassies from Denmark and other open offices performed by the Dutch are immediately opposed and annihilated by the Spanish faction and by other endless passions and interests, to the prejudice of the powers and the detriment of their offices.
When I referred to Montagu and his professing to have powers for an adjustment Conway said to me with a laugh: Unless he has commissions from others, meaning the duke whose creature he is, he is certainly not authorised by the king, as I wrote his instructions with my own hand and had them signed by his Majesty.
I spoke subsequently with the Earl of Pembroke, who after staying several months in the country with the king, came to London, where I visited him. I spoke to him to the same effect upon this subject. He expressed the same views as Conway, but more frankly, assuring me that until the king sees the result of the fort he will listen to nothing, nor will he form any decision. He added in confidence: In a few days we shall know for certain what we may hope in this matter, either it will be ours or the approach of winter will compel our fleet to withdraw. In either case I believe the king will give ear to peace, with especial regard for the opinion and esteem of the republic.
I replied that the result of the fort on the contrary, would render any arrangement difficult, as the balance will lean too much to one side or the other. He rejoined. To say the truth some are of this opinion, but the king remains very decided and is constant to the idea. I believe this constancy to proceed from the absence of the Duke of Buckingham as it is not based on any reason. Such is the way in which I shall proceed in executing my instructions. Meanwhile from the enclosed your Excellencies will learn something more on the same subject.
London, the 25th October, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
551. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When the Danish ambassadors were on the eve of departure, a present of 2,000 ounces of silver gilt being destined for each of them, for the payment of their debts, Soble, an agent of their king in France, arrived here. They told me that when he was on his way homewards, after receiving 300,000 florins at various times, besides promises of a larger sum, he found orders at Calais to return to the Most Christian. As he was supposed to be near La Rochelle the shortest way appeared to be to embark here for the islands and proceed thence to his Majesty. This is the pretext given, but in reality he came to inform the ambassadors of the state of affairs there, not without the secret participation of the cardinal, of whom he speaks highly. It is believed that after the rupture of the negotiations with Messia he turned his thoughts to this side. An indication of this is that Soble has not only seen the ministers and the king for two hours, but the ambassadors themselves, although dismissed had a fresh private audience of his Majesty.
This minister announced that the intentions of France are in favour of peace, that the queen mother, who remained at the head of the government, sought to effect it, her mediation possibly suiting both son-in-law and son. That her Majesty has also written to the King of Denmark, thanking him for his intervention. That the Most Christian in person told him of his inclination for quiet, though he added they must first have a good fight to render it easy. That the ministers spoke to him in the same tone and gave it him in writing, that though they wished for peace yet all seasons were not favourable for making it with honour, an allusion to the enemy being on their soil.
The firmest foundation I have found is that some of the French ministers and perhaps the cardinal understanding that here they represent the war as beneficial to the public cause, to confute this, announce their intention of doubling the assistance for the King of Denmark were it not for the diversion caused by England. The device is indeed a very shrewd one, stimulating the Danish ambassadors to further their master's interests by compelling the king here to listen to them in order at any rate to lay on him the blame of the ruin of Germany, in which he is so much interested, and to cloak their own faults of oblivion or delay in helping that country. I am aware that already at the private audience the ambassadors laid great stress upon this, and I am told that some better inclination than heretofore was shown, but I cannot vouch for any particulars as yet. I also know that they suggested negotiating in the two camps, in which both the favourites are present, but owing to the serious illness of Soble, who was to have embarked for the islands with the Earl of Holland, I believe this project will fall to the ground, and the ambassadors will negotiate the matter at the French Court. The Earl of Holland, who came to bid me good-bye, also told me that the king would not utterly renounce the business, though he persisted in witnessing the result of the fort and that the French should speak first directly and in this tortuous manner in which the Danish ambassadors were to treat at the French Court. As yet I do not observe any great progress in the essence of the business although I think the coming of Soble has softened some harsh resolves.
We hear from all quarters that a number of Spanish vessels are at Coruña and that on board 22 others at Dunkirk 4,000 foot are being embarked, and the object of the expedition is suspected. They have issued strenous orders at the Isle of Wight and other places most liable to attack. Holland said to me: At the fleet they will find 100 fine ships, and although the fort will be relieved we shall at any rate fight bravely, and the king has determined to arm 40 other vessels. But I know that this reinforcement is mere bravado, there being no money, nor can I believe that out of mere charity the Spaniards will risk their ships. At any rate, either from this suspicion and from the negotiations with the French, or from the difficulty in taking the fort, or because the Spaniards, seeing this country on the road to ruin do not respond, the passion for treating with them is apparently on the decline. The nearer the approach of winter the more they doubt the capture of the fort. Already it is whispered that when the fleet retires they will leave a good English garrison in La Rochelle, provided the inhabitants do not refuse it, and the duke, in despair, will try to seize the Spanish ships in some harbours, so as not to return utterly discredited.
Yesterday the Earl of Holland at length departed to embark at Plymouth on board four royal ships, waiting for him there, including the galleon taken from the French in the Texel, on board which they found 42 guns, mostly brass and 2,000 infantry weapons Sir [Sackville] Trevor who took the ship has received his commission to command it and the other vessels of his squadron have returned to the Texel to prevent the rest from coming out; so the two years devoted to their outfit by France and the vast expense will all be lost for this occasion, so important to them. I do not hear that the Dutch have as yet complained of the violation of the harbour, whereas in Holland the French claim damages. On the other hand, the ambassador here insists on the release of of the Indiamen, because as there are eight others about to sail for those parts he fears they may cause trouble between the two nations by taking this news.
Of the duke's return on the arrival of Lord Holland at the islands, report speaks doubtfully, especially as the infantry force did not go with him, owing to the usual lack of money, the king having lately given security for 74,000l. on the duties of next year, which diminish to such an extent that I am assured that the export and import duties paid this year by a single merchant were less by 8,000l. than heretofore.
The remittance of 5,000l. to Venice for account of Gabor had been practically decided, but owing to the difficulty of finding funds it was said the money would be thrown away unless all the prince's were liquidated, so the matter is more undecided than ever.
London, the 25th October, 1627.
Postscript.—At this moment the two packets that were seized, and an order for the governor of Calais have reached me from France. I will endeavour to obtain a safe conduct for the boats which might be employed, and meanwhile acquaint his Excellency Zorzi with the substance of the present despatch.
I also hear that the Abbot Scaglia has arrived at Canterbury. I withhold until the next opportunity an account of his machinations, which I shall watch most keenly, though I wish circumstances would exonerate me from the inordinate trouble which I expect to cause your Excellencies.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
552. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States have not yet come to any decision about the Texel affair. From what I gather they will not do so until they hear how the French king and ministers have taken the matter. If they make great complaint, as is probable, it will be impossible for the Dutch not to try and give them some satisfaction. The three English ships which remained have left the port. It is declared that they did so by trickery, cutting their cables and sailing away with a favourable wind. Seven Dutch men-of-war guarded them and are said to have pursued, but they started too late. The French ambassador remarked to me that this was not a matter to be settled by buffoonery. If the States had done what they ought they would have already made good the loss to his king. If they really meant to do anything they would have informed him in order to have the credit, but they never intended to do anything. The pretence of neutrality did not meet this emergency, because their own honour was concerned. He hinted that English interests were in the ascendant here; but I find that Carleton complains as much and he told me that he knew his master's ships had been pursued and fired at when they left the port. This was not a sign of friendship and his Majesty would take it ill. If no harm was done the English should not object to the States making this demonstration to France of having done all in their power.
Carleton told me that they had found 6,000 coats of armour in the ship taken to England, 48 guns for use on the ship and 14 unmounted, all cast here, for use in Fort St. Louis. He values the capture at 400,000 lire, though the French say it does not amount to more more than 200,000. But the weakening of the fleet is a point of greater importance. The others are detained by their insufficiency and the fear of leaving the port of Enkhuizen, because the English are watching for them and Carleton himself declares that if they go to the Texel they will be captured. They certainly will not venture unless the Dunkirkers come far enough to protect their sailing, the ships at that port now numbering thirty; but I do not think they will do so because they would have to fight the English as well as the Dutch. If the French ambassador desired it he would have said something, as he is much upset by the accident; on the other hand he has never approved of this union with the Spaniards.
The Prince of Orange came to see me recently and said the English profess to support the Huguenots in France and they do not consider Germany, where there is the question of religion as well as very powerful interests of state.
Scaglia left on Thursday night and will have reached the Court by this time. We shall wait with curiosity to hear of his proceedings there.
The Hague, the 25th October, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 28.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
553. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose particulars of what is taking place at the Court of Rome for a union of France and Spain against England, at the pope's instigation, and his claims of an understanding in Ireland. This will serve you merely for information and that you may send us information thereupon. If it is true it is of the greatest importance in the present state of affairs, especially to Germany and Denmark. God grant light to provide remedies and temper the good fortune that leans so much to one side. You have not given up your efforts for peace with France, and the republic is always ready to lend its aid. We are awaiting information about the affair of the consuls and we will send you particulars at the earliest opportunity.
These presents will be sent to the ambassador at the Hague for his instruction.
Ayes, 20.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Oct. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
554. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The queens gave a gold chain to the one who brought the news last week. It has filled the city and Court with satisfaction and hope, while generating a thousand projects. Every one imagines that St. Martin is no longer besieged, that Buckingham is beaten and the English fleet gone, France being relieved from the enemy in a moment, and that the land forces have Rochelle in their hands and the Huguenots defeated, while with the fleet in order they even contemplate an attack on England. Whatever the relief may have been, every one forms his own opinion because the exact truth has not arrived. It is clear that when the surrender had been arranged with Buckingham on honourable terms for eight o'clock, the relief arrived at four, and all negotiations vanished. Meanwhile Buckingham's force remains firm and St. Martin is steadily battered in its entrails, so that no one can be safe inside, the houses and barracks being utterly demolished. The brave garrison has no refuge but mother earth in which they bury themselves in the damp. Anyone who is not determined to be deceived may judge how long they are likely to hold out under such conditions, especially as they are short of food and there is much sickness. With all their succour the fort cannot hold out more than three weeks longer. We hear this from private letters, as there are no public ones this week, either because the news is not good or because the king is contemplating a new and greater succour, as they say publicly here. He will not therefore leave those parts, where his presence smoothes away difficulties and encourages the garrison.
While Desplan, one of the leaders of the last relief, was conversing with Toras in an exposed place, he became a mark for a great cavalier, who commands at the place; by good fortune Desplan only had a slight wound in the thigh, which did not touch the bone, while Toras was thrown down by the concussion of the gunshot, but uninjured.
His Majesty frequently goes to the coast to find the English fleet. The other morning, I am told, after contemplating in silence its well equipped ranks he broke out: It is not right that he should hazard the force of his friends and allies with his own. I do not know if he really meant this or if he wished to show his faith in the Spaniards. But what does it matter if the cardinal continues his instances and Mirabello makes profuse promises? We may say that when Troy is taken and Priam lost here comes Miltiades with the relief. Yet France continues to hope and dream. The blindness of this government is incurable except by the hand of the Almighty.
They work slowly about La Rochelle, lack of money restricting their operations. The cardinal is impatient for a speedy conclusion. He often goes to the place in person. The other day he had the mortification of seeing four English barques enter La Rochelle without any hurt, although constantly fired on by the cannon at the fort of Coreglie. The royalists depend most of all on the chain.
This is a summary of the final resolution of the English and Rochellese. Buckingham, seeing the capture of Fort St. Martin is hopeless and the Rochellese hard pressed, if they raise the English flag, will either go there or send them 4,000 men, while fortifying himself in the island, both to resist St. Martin and provide a magazine for the munitions which arrive from England from time to time for the use of the fleet, which will always be able to scour the seas and these coasts while its special care will be to prevent the entry to La Rochelle being cut off, and provide them with succour in time of need. There is nothing definite so far of any understanding between Rohan and others with Buckingham, although there are many indications of intrigues. I have learned two things on good authority, one that the cardinal knows of these intrigues and in alarm has sent Bassompierre to La Rochelle to persuade them to submit to the king's clemency; the other that Bassompierre, under this cover, had commissions for the adjustment between the crowns, negotiated by the Rochellese in accord with the cardinal.
Paris, the 28th October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
555. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There was various opinions about the Duchess of Chevreuse but all agree that she is provoking war against France from every quarter. Some think that, fearing Buckingham may give up his enterprise owing to the relief of Fort St. Martin, she has gone to assure him that the forces of Lorraine will move soon, as agreed.
Paris, the 29th October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 29.
Cinque
Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Risposte.
Vol. 147.
Venetian
Archives.
556. The agents of the Flemish ship Speranza petition that the said ship, which has come here from Trapani with salt fish and other goods may go to Zante to take half a cargo of currants, taking the other half from this city.
In reply we have to say that they have not met with the intention of the state, which is that ships must bring their entire cargoes from England and other western parts, without touching first at Leghorn, Genoa or elsewhere, but as we find that this ship has come here for the first time without knowledge of this regulation, we think the petition may be granted, but as similar ships with salt fish may come we think your Serenity should make public declaration whether this cargo will be permitted or no, as we do not think that such vessels with such cargoes fulfil the ordinances of the state and therefore they ought not to have permits from our magistracy to lade currants.
Vicenzo GussoniSavii.
Iseppo Ciuran
Andrea Dolfin
[Italian.]
Oct. 30.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
557. One of the chief demands made last year by our lieges of Cephalonia was the prohibition of foreign cloth in that island. We have now heard the opinions of the Rectors who have been in those parts, of the Five Savii alla Mercanzia and of Antonio da Ponte, who was Proveditore General there, and they are mostly of opinion that this will be advantageous, chiefly on account of the great consumption of foreign cloth in those islands as if this is excluded it would benefit the cloth made in our state; a decision is the more necessary from what our ambassador in England reported on the 3rd September last, that the English merchants, fearing the loss of one mart, through the war about the Hanse towns and excluded from France, have laded three whole ships for the Levant, so that it is necessary to protect Venetian cloth: be it resolved, that in the future the selling of kerseys made in any place outside our dominion shall be prohibited in our islands of the Levant; and in order that those islands and especially Cephalonia may not remain without cloth of the requisite quality, the Five Savii shall publish the present decree, so that our subjects may send their cloth, especially to Zante and Cephalonia; it will serve not only for the use of the islanders, but they can barter it, according to their custom, for the wheat and other things which the Turks bring from the mainland.
Ayes, 92.Noes, 1.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Oct. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
558. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I called on the English ambassador here to-day about the peace with the emperor. He said he proposed to go with Flanders to the Caimecan and try and place difficulties in the way of the ratification though he had little or no hope of success because they both wish and need peace here. He took the opportunity to express his regret at the continuation of the war between his king and the Most Christian, repeating his opinion that your Serenity was the most suitable person to adjust these differences. He is indeed a good Englishman and a bitter foe of the Spaniards, against whom he would like to see the forces of his country directed. He told me very confidentially that there are some English ships in the Mediterranean for the purpose of raiding French ships and merchandise in the Levant and all these waters. He told me that the English ship which is leaving here for Venice had such powers and also had designs upon a certain French ship which is leaving here almost directly. He could not command the contrary, but he has pointed out that as they are going to Venice they ought not to make any capture, so as not force the republic to take steps which might offend either side. He further pointed out that as they were going to Venice with Venetian goods they ought to consider their ship Venetian. Accordingly he persuaded them to abstain. I highly commended his prudence in making such provision.
The Vigne of Pera, the 30th October, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
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Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
559. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is announced that the King of France has defeated the English in the Isle of Ré, a brother of Buckingham being slain with many others, and all the troops compelled to embark in such haste that many were drowned. The French king has joined his army and expressed his wish for a naval encounter with the English and La Rochelle is hard pressed. There is no certain source of this news.
Madrid, the 30th October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
560. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The courier brought M. de Montagu letters of the 12th inst. by way of Brussels and Lorraine. The news announced is copious, but the essentials are kept secret. I will not occupy your Serenity's time with the former; they represent matters so much in favour of England that no credit whatever is given to them. Montagu is ordered to return and will do so very soon, going by way of Lorraine. He has not been able to conceal this, though he tries to dissimulate it, pretending that he has been advised to leave as present circumstances do not admit of any negotiation for peace. He has seen the duke more than once, but I have not succeeded in learning more than I have heard from his Highness's own lips.
I know that the Dutch and England have remonstrated with Abbot Scaglia about the ill treatment of the Huguenots of the Val di Lucerna. The abbot replied that they had behaved very badly.
Turin, the 31st October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian.
Archives.
561. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Friday morning I had audience of the duke. After a while he began to speak of French affairs. He said that the cardinal and Angoulême were quarrelling, the former complaining that things were not going right, whereat Angoulême wrote a letter saying that he was sorry that all those of the king's Council were not soldiers and did not understand the business. The duke would like to overthrow the cardinal, The duke went on to discuss the fortification of La Rochelle. He did not think they could make the stockade designed by the royalists, because of the distance between Fort St. Louis and Correglie. Montagu assured him that nearly 2,000 English had been introduced into La Rochelle, and his king might be considered the master of the place. He asked me if I had any confirmation of this news. I said I had heard many talk about it. He told me that Montagu had decided to leave. The gentleman who had come brought him nothing of importance, only that the English king wished to preserve his reputation, he did not think it proper to negotiate peace before the fort was taken; he heard, however, and the Court is full of it, that Buckingham was re-embarking his guns and leaving the island. I remarked that when I heard this news and the arrival of the gentleman I thought they were withdrawing their forces at the duke's request. The duke replied: Would to God they had done it, as it would have been better for their reputation, and matters would come right, whereas now they are much embroiled. I have taken great pains and done all I could, but so far without effect. Montagu assures me that they have not treated by means of others and will not, and they know nothing in England of Embresem's visit to Paris. But perhaps necessity will compel them to use as mediators those whom chance may put forward. I have not been able to find out if the negotiation for peace will really fall through here with Montagu's departure; but I have learned on good authority that the duke has expressed a wish to see Montagu, who is indisposed.
Turin, the 31st October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Oct. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
562. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news of the relief of Fort St. Martin is confirmed by letters of the 14th. I enclose an account of it. I congratulated the Ambassador Marini, who is much rejoiced. While I was talking with him M. di Flori arrived. In the course of a long conversation, the Spanish help was mentioned. Marini asserted that the ships will certainly have arrived in the port of Morbihan. Flori said he did not believe they would before a league was concluded between the Most Christian and the Catholic. Marini said I consider it as good as concluded. He then excused the King of France owing to the necessity of making use of every one who offered, in order to defend his own. He inveighed against Buckingham, who had forgotten what was most important and out of mere caprice had armed and set foot in France.
The Count of Moretta arrived from Paris on Friday morning. He says he heard that the English had withdrawn because they could not continue to ride at anchor without great risk. They have gone further out to sea, having taken on board some pieces of ordnance for the protection of the ships. Others say that Buckingham was compelled to move in order to fight the Spanish fleet, and he burned the town of St. Martin and abandoned the island. Every one gives a different account. I think they are rather talking of what may happen than of what actually has occurred.
Turin, the 31st October, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.563. True account of the relief which entered the Isle of Ré, on the 8th October.
Merely to give a brief account of the munitions which entered Fort St. Martin on the night of Friday and Saturday the 8th to the confusion of the English, and the reinforcements which reached them on Saturday the 2nd, reducing them almost to despair.
State of those who entered:—
Sixty gentlemen of quality.
Two hundred and fifty soldiers.
Nearly five hundred sailors.
Two commissioners of artillery.
Sixteen gunners.
Three men for the mines.
All sorts of medicaments.
Twenty-five thousand of powder.
Ten thousand of lead.
Eight hundred pairs of shoes.
A great quantity of shirts.
A hundred pipes of wine.
A great quantity of biscuits, flour and meat for more than two months.
Names of the lords and captains taken by the barques and who entered the island.
Mons. de Beaulieu.
Mons. de Persac.
Mons. de Launay.
Mons. de Rasilly.
Mons. de Sansac.
A gentleman brought up as page of Cardinal Richelieu. All these resolved to live or die in this hazardous enterprise. They brought thirteen great barques from Havre.
Mons. Desplans and the son of Richardiere brought five barques which the Sieur of Marsillac had laded a long time before for the Sieur of Richardiere.
The Sieur Audouin, gentleman of Mons. de Grammont, took two pinnaces laden with food.
The Sieur Cantelou took a flyboat (philibot) of Holland of fifty tons laden with munitions and with fifty men. All these arrived safely and we look for a good victory with God's help; we expect the fleet soon, which will complete the ruin of our enemies.
[French.]