Venice
November 1627, 21-29

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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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478-496

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'Venice: November 1627, 21-29', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 478-496. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89138 Date accessed: 29 July 2014.


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November 1627

Nov. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
597. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The secretary of the English ambassador at Venice has passed offices, with the duke similar to those of his master with your Serenity, and gave him in writing all the relations that your Excellencies have let me see. He told me that he would show them to me when he had them back, and I did not tell him that I had already seen them.
Turin, the 21st November, 1627.
[Italian.]
Nov. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
598. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The last news from France has aroused the curiosity of the whole Court to hear more. I have seen letters from the camp of the 27th ult. and Arbo's letters to Marini of the 31st. The Rochellese continue to help Buckingham, and about 300 English have entered La Rochelle, believed to be sick and wounded, to be cured, because the garrison has made no sortie. The Most Christian hastens the building of forts. After various deliberations of the Council they decided to send 5,000 to 6,000 men under Schomberg to the Isle of Ré to compel the English to raise the siege. The opposition represented the danger of crossing and landing the troops without severe loss and of taking provisions over and the difficulty of driving the English from their trenches. But the firm resolution of the cardinal prevailed, as he has cherished this plan for a long time. If it succeeds it will reflect remarkable glory on the French arms for expelling very powerful enemies without foreign help and without a fleet. Most considered the passage of the troops would be easy with a favourable wind, as the large English ships cannot weigh anchor so soon and arrive in time to damage the fleet convoying the troops, a thing the barques and small boats engaged in preventing succour to St. Martin cannot effect. They propose to fight these if they come to the attack. The issue has shown the soundness of the plan, as three regiments have already passed, those of Navarre, Beumon and Presis Pralin, with a great quantity of munitions sent from Brouaia, the cardinal's own place. He went there in person to hasten the operations. The troops were landed successfully without hurt. They relied greatly on the dash of the infantry of La Prea, and the few ships Buckingham had for the double task of besieging the fort and going to meet the French. The chief difficulty being overcome, they hope for an easy success, not only from the ardour of the fresh French troops, mostly volunteers from the nobility, but from the staleness of the English after the long siege.
The English, as if from original sin, never know how to take up a good position to resist attack. But this time Buckingham, more fortunate or more wise, has fortified himself all about so as to be able to resist the French fury. Accordingly the Council decided to make fresh trenches and surround the English, making them the attacked instead of the attackers if they obstinately declined to profit by their ships. This is all that happened up to the 27th. Arbo writes that Schomberg was to embark that or the following night with the rest of the troops, consisting of the guards, full of noble cadets and other picked troops, and 400 gentlemen volunteers, including three of his sons-in-law and a son of the Marshal of Dighieres. In addition to these 100 men at arms of the company of the queen mother, fifty of the king's, as many of Monsieur and a hundred of Plesis Lamet (fn. 1) should have crossed to the island. In short, the attempt is a very vigorous one, and the only doubts about its success arise from the non-appearance of an extraordinary courier with the news.
Arbo says that the king wished to forestall the help expected by Buckingham from England, and he refers to the slight hope they have of seeing the Spanish fleet, in which they no longer believed. They heard they had not passed Coruña, although with Spanish artifice two couriers had come hot foot to ask news of their fleet, causing as much amusement as anger.
In spite of this, the duke's paper about Montagu's business pleased the king, who replied that his Highness must pursue the negotiations for peace, always provided the English withdrew. I believe that upon this they will send to Scaglia in England and that Montagu's departure will do but little harm; but the question is whether Buckingham will withdraw of his own accord or will be compelled to take to the sea owing to the present enterprise.
I hear from every quarter that the king will not comprise his subjects in the treaty with England, and he will not suffer foreign princes to meddle in the matter of their accommodation.
Turin, the 21st November. 1627.
[Italian.]
Nov. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
599. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As I was about to send my despatch a courier arrived in haste from France. The English have been badly beaten and have abandoned the Isle of Ré. I obtained the particulars from the French ambassador. On the 6th inst. Buckingham heard of the decision of the French and made a last attack on Fort St. Martin. Schomberg had not then landed in the island, being driven hither and thither by a gale. The commanders of the infantry of La Prea, with such troops as had reached the island, took the field to create a diversion. The English, alarmed at being attacked from the rear, were thrown into confusion. Those troops, however, did nothing except approach a quarter of a league to St. Martin and on their return they burned three barques laden with food and other goods. The result of the attack on the fort proved unlucky for Buckingham, as he lost 600 men, twelve leaders being taken, while the French only lost 25. He decided to abandon the island. This much in letters of the 7th from Toras sent to the Court by Beumon.
Other letters of the 9th relate that Schomberg landed in the island on the 7th with the rest of the troops, and on the 8th he drew up in battle array and advanced on the English trenches. These immediately began to withdraw towards the isle of Orzie, fired on by the king's men. But when they reached a bridge of boats and faced round to give time for the passage, Schomberg fell upon them and routed them all, with great slaughter, owing to the breaking of the bridge. Five colonels were taken prisoners with many captains and other officers. They say they have captured thirty flags with three guns. Besides the 600 before countless numbers were miserably slain. Lord Mountjoy, commander of the cavalry, brother of the Earl of Holland, is a prisoner and they say Buckingham was wounded by a musket shot. If a part of the troops had not fled, not one would have got away. Soubise showed excessive cowardice at the very beginning of the retreat, going up to his neck in the water to reach a shallop. Toras bravely sallied out of the fort with 800 men of the regiment of Champagne and bore himself like a valiant soldier after maintaining the honour of France and holding Fort St. Martin. Gondi, general of the French galleys, was wounded in the shoulder, Villichier had a ball in the stomach and Pisiurs (fn. 2) in the thigh. They say that Desplan has gone to Lyons to tell the Prince of Condé.
Buglion writes that a nephew of Buckingham is prisoner and many English were drowned by the breaking of the bridge. They have left the island of Oize and taken on board the few who escaped the French, who did not number more than 3,000. The king was resolved to prosecute the enterprise against La Rochelle, hoping that the mole would be completed by Christmas.
Turin, the 21st November, 1627.
[Italian.]
Nov. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
600. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador had audience recently and again asked for ships to convoy those of the king at Amsterdam, where they are safe from surprise by the English. I hear they sent him a cautious refusal yesterday, based on their present needs. The ambassador told me that he had obeyed his king but with the assurance that he would get nothing. He expressed his contempt for the government and said their ambassadors would be the less welcome in France, though I do not hear of their starting yet.
The authentic news that French regiments under Schomberg have entered the Isle of Ré, arouses the belief that by this time the English will have withdrawn or the French will have lost the fort, as they reckon that the Earl of Holland will have reached the island. Events there will have great influence upon questions of peace or war. Rumours are constant here of the determination of the Most Christian against the Rochellese, and they believe in an understanding with the emperor and pope as well as Spain leading to the utmost rigour against the Huguenots.
We have continual notices from Hamburg of the progress of the imperial party. They have removed a councillor of the administrator of Maetemburg, who stood for the interests of the Princes of the Union, Gabor and Denmark, and given all his papers to the imperial ministers and the Spanish ambassador. I understand that Anstruther has been to see these, although the usual relations between ministers must be interrupted by the war, because there is some negotiation on foot about trade, the Imperialists and Spaniards announcing that they wish to grant facilities to all. This is a trick to prevent the disturbing of their negotiations with the Hanse towns, as when these are concluded they claim with reason that they will be masters of the navigation. Anstruther's correspondents here tell me that he has not paid much attention to these proposals, perhaps recognising their nature from the character of the proposers. If the English do not proceed further in their quarrel with France, and if they find themselves hard pressed by the union between Spain and that country, there is no doubt but that they might apply their minds to these proposals which might appear more advantageous. Your Excellencies may find something more in the enclosed letters from England, because I know that they have opened some such negotiations at that Court. But they have not yet given any intimation to the agent of the States at Hamburg.
The Hague, the 22nd November, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
601. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My last despatch was sent to Antwerp by Calais, where the governor offered me every facility, even by English boats. His Majesty here has done the like for the French, and I send once a fortnight. I would do so once a week, but hesitate on account of the expense, though it would be well incurred. It is remarked that your minister began this passage in the heat of the war, and it may prove an instrument for better progress. I send these present by way of Holland, so as to lose no opportunity of acquainting you with current events.
No advices have come from the islands since my last. The merchants here, however, have heard by way of Rouen that four deputies left La Rochelle as hostages in the Most Christian's camp, and Bassompierre and Vignoles entered the fortress to negotiate a settlement. If true, this will not have happened without the duke's consent as the Rochellese would never risk their ruin by the loss of his protection. He can do what he pleases without the king, although the king dares do nothing without Buckingham. Other persons of judgment believe it may be a device of the French to lull the duke and reduce him to the last extremity by this cajolery of negotiations. The deputies appointed by La Rochelle have not yet made their appearance here, but there is talk of division among the burgesses at La Rochelle, the richest adhering to the Most Christian, encouraged by the cardinal, who has some friends there, ever since the time when he employed them against the king on behalf of the queen mother. The populace follow the English, and this division may prove their ruin.
The Earl of Holland has not yet left Plymouth, and wrote to the king that he should set sail on the 22nd inst. He takes with him 17 ships and 2,000 English infantry and provisions for ten days for the whole force, which only has supplies to the 4th or 6th of next month, and it is incredible that it should put to sea at this season unless provisioned for 15 or 20 days, for fear of perishing on the voyage. Unless the duke has obtained supplies from La Rochelle or in some other way, it is supposed that by this time he has quitted the French coasts and that the provisions for two months now being prepared here in all haste will not arrive in time.
Buckingham issued a decree authorising all British subjects to convey provisions to the Isle of Rhé, but the king, when confirming it, extended the privilege to all foreign nations, hoping that the concourse and aid would be the greater.
As no one can be found to purchase the crown lands from fear lest the sales be annulled by the next parliament, as will certainly be done, according to the ancient statutes of the realm, they have decided to mortgage them for two years, with the obligation to redeem them. Should this redemption meet with the same impediments, they propose to assign them to the Lords of the Council to compel them to raise on their own private credit about a million florins, the sum being levied equally on each of them. Many do not relish this morsel, as they serve rather for the sake of gain. Others are afraid of being punished by parliament, while a third party suspects the king of compromising them in order to have more partisans when compelled to assemble it. The conjuncture therefore for resuming the discussions about peace, during this hesitation of the councillors, was suitable and by no means inopportune, as it concerns their own interests. I did not neglect the opportunity, but kept always within the limit of my commissions; should your Excellencies wish to go further and let me know, as I am on the spot, some chance might in a moment open a way such as the most subtle statesmanship could not promise itself in many months and perhaps years, especially seeing the king's character, firm for the interests of his favourites and also for those of the Court, although as I must wait two months for replies from Venice I cannot hope for such fruit, as I know you desire extremely.
London, the 23rd November, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
602. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The trade with Dunkirk has been suspended at the request of the Dutch ambassador, but I suspect that they connive at it secretly, for they make some difficulty in giving him the decree in writing as he wished. Others tell me that these first ships being already well loaded will be allowed to depart. Meanwhile this freedom of trade has been proclaimed in the usual places at Antwerp, the archduchess's subjects being ordered not to treat as an enemy's vessels such English ships as shall be named for this purpose. This showes that the Spaniards at present aim at the peace for trade solely, thereby increasing the resources of their subjects, the king's customs, the suspicions of their neighbours and above all the security of their own projects in Germany. I do not believe, however, that they will take so prejudicial a step here as the king and ministers are already warned and sufficiently impressed.
We hear that 15 Spanish ships have already put to sea, from Dunkirk or Ostend and are sailing towards the Sound, pursued by the Dutch, with whom an action was fought off Zeeland; confirmation is awaited. Meanwhile the course pursued elicits two facts, one that the French will by this time have ascertained what reliance can be placed on the promises of these forces made to them by the Spaniards, the other indicates the designs for the utter slavery of Germany. Owing to these advices and this last about the decline of Denmark, the Dutch ambassador had a special audience of the king, pointing out in particular the danger to this kingdom and its rulers should the Austrians strengthen their hold at the Sound, in the Baltic and in the Elbe and Weser, giving them a great advantage for their fleets and a corresponding disadvantage for the two nations, which necessarily obtain many stores from those parts. He coupled this office with two others, one justifying the neutrality of his masters, who were, I fancy, secretly urged by Carleton to declare themselves in favour of the English at the moment when some misunderstanding with France was becoming embittered. He demonstrated that such a declaration would be their ruin, as they would lose their trade with France and her assistance. This would prejudice the King of England also, as he would have to supply the loss of both, to his serious inconvenience, and might find it impossible, as otherwise they would be unable to support themselves. He also took the opportunity again to exhort the king to make peace, but met with the usual harshness. The other office was for the restitution of the Dutch East Indiamen, justifying what his masters had done hitherto to give satisfaction and what they proposed to do. He did not allude to the violation of the neutrality of the Texel, and I find the States will dissemble to avoid increasing ill feeling. I fancy the embassy extraordinary on the same questions will be delayed or dispensed with now the ambassador has performed these offices.
The gentleman who came from Turin is going back by way of Brussels and Germany, conveying assurances that the duke's suspicions about English negotiations in France are unfounded, and that nothing will be done without his participation in order not to abandon his interests. On the road he may meet Montagu, who is recalled for having, I believe, gone beyond his instructions in speaking of peace. Abbot Scaglia, however, supports him, because he allowed himself to be cajoled by the duke in the writing about free arbitration, so he may hope for similar advantages in the future, as well because this young man is the creature of Buckingham.
We understand from Germany that the peace of Hungary has been concluded for 25 years. I am asked to confirm this, but three weeks have elapsed since I last received letters from Venice. The king finds it difficult to believe because his ambassador Roe at Constantinople has always written to the contrary, and at any rate the proposals for sending money to Gabor are on the wane for this reason and even more because of poverty.
From Lubeck also they announce remittances for the purchase of ships to sail in the Baltic under the emperor's flag. If true this will be something never seen before, which ought to horrify all the north of Europe. Meanwhile, the Imperialists are fortifying Regesbergh, where the King of Denmark thought of making a stand. The English ministry, in conjunction with the States would fain send some ships in that direction to prevent those stations and rivers from falling into the enemy's hands, and they have written to Carleton to negotiate with the United Provinces. But the Dutch ambassador here requires deeds rather than words, time being the greatest enemy of that weal which good men desire.
London, the 23rd November, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 23.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
603. The English ambassador was summoned to the Collegio and the deliberation of the Senate of the 19th inst. was read to him, he spoke as follows:
The reply of the Senate so admirably meets the matter in question that I cannot trust myself to transmit it adequately to my king unless your Serenity allows me to take a few notes, I perceive the zeal and the considerations which have moved the Signory, and it makes me hope that God will find some better way for the universal welfare. My master is certainly as well disposed as could be desired, and with his esteem for the republic he will value more and more the opinions of the Senate above those of any other prince. I should be sorry to omit the smallest point, and with the permission of your Serenity I will withdraw to another room, after thanking you for the favourable despatch given to the English merchants trading at Zante and for giving a passage to the Prince of Brandenburg, whom I expect at any moment. I have his letters from Zara, though I think he does not intend to appear in this city as he tells me he proposes to go to Murano.
The doge replied: What the Senate said in the matter of the dispute between the two crowns proceeds from the most cordial affection and esteem for both sovereigns. The republic recognises that an accommodation will best serve the greatness of both realms and also the best advantage of the general cause. We desire this boon with all our heart and will try any means likely to prove successful, while our ambassadors will employ persuasion and the most cordial offices. We have so many causes of friendship with his Majesty that no opportunity of proving it will occur without the republic seizing upon it. Your Excellency has worthily sustained the charge here for many years, and we ask you to bear witness to this. The ambassador promised readily, expressed his thanks to the doge for so friendly a reply, and then took leave and departed. He went into the Hall of the Pregadi and there took notes of the part of the office touching the business between the two crowns.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
604. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday I sent off my despatch and last night a courier arrived from Plymouth with the news of Buckingham's return. The fleet is in very good order, and what remained of the army was cut to pieces, only 500 men of the 5,000 and upwards in the Isle of Rhé having returned. Thus end my anticipations at the beginning of this stir. The king bore the blow with fortitude. He immediately sent one of his gentlemen of the bedchamber (fn. 3) to console the duke and permit him to approach London, nor does he seem as yet to have lost his Majesty's favour in the least. The people are furious and in addition to the old hatred this fresh national disgrace, attributed largely to his bad leading and flight, may keep him in retirement for some days for fear of a rising.
A more ruinous or unseasonable blow for Christendom could never have been struck, as the ministers were beginning to recant, and after the last dispiriting news there was a hope of obtaining some declaration which might warrant the first overtures for negotiation. At present it would be idle to discuss the matter, nor can any steps be hoped for here, the honour of the country and its army being too deeply concerned. The ambassadors visited me to-day, and until the heat subsides we agreed to limit our offices to moderating extreme measures and such decisions as may inflict the final blow to everything. On this account Sobl proposes to go to France to see if he can obtain anything there, it being thought that every effort should be made at that Court and that the Most Christian may embrace a peace much to his honour, in order not to lose the fruit of the victory. The Danish ambassadors will remain here to await the duke and hear his opinion, expected to be all fire. I will not lose sight of the interests of the common weal until I receive more particular instructions. Only one thing causes me anxiety, namely, the peril of La Rochelle, the massacre of the Huguenots and the fear that the Most Christian may now attempt to pluck this thorn from his foot. They therefore regret the departure of the Earl of Holland, as his reinforcement of troops and provisions might have succoured La Rochelle itself, as is still possible. But the unfortunate accidents which detained him so long to no purpose, caused his departure, when least needed, two days before Buckingham's return. He did not fall in with the fleet and if he is not cautious in getting intelligence he will also be beaten by the French ships, already prepared in the neighbourhood and which may have already put to sea.
For the moment, there being more confusion than money, counsel or reason, I fancy things will tend in two directions, the relief of La Rochelle, and keeping up trouble in France, if possible, and the destruction of all French shipping by keeping a certain number of vessels at sea. This might enable them to moderate the pride of the French or set on foot a daily war for many years, which would at length worst them, and meanwhile inflict irreparable harm on the best friends of the two crowns.
I see no appearance of preparations for a fresh force in the spring, although they were talked about. I do not think that they will be in such a hurry to risk a fresh disaster. I rather suspect that they think of an adjustment with the Spaniards, against whom their hatred is already extinguished by time and this new enmity. It is quite probable that the Spaniards themselves may mitigate their harshness in order to keep the Most Christian occupied, as they cannot but be jealous of his victories and progress. I fancy the English ministers will also caress the Duke of Savoy by reason of the troubles which he might keep up among the malcontents of France, but probably the English are not quite satisfied with him, as during the recent stir he promised much and performed little, while he knows how weak they are here and will not run great risks. I expect, however, that your Excellencies' good offices at the Court of Savoy could not fail to do good as the duke is not quite disinterested in this affair, being dissatisfied with the present government of France and seeking to upset it. I notify all this to his Excellency Zorzi and the Secretary Padavino at Turin.
Only the first brief advices have arrived about the battle, and I have no time to transmit the whole account by the express I am sending through France this night. At the first opportunity I will tell what is most interesting. I can only say now that for the moment all are in tears and lamentation for the death of the flower of the nobility. There are few leading families which have not suffered. Fortune who has shown herself a mother to Buckingham at Court has proved a step-mother to him in war.
I will add one important particular told me to-day by one of the Danish ambassadors, whose colleague is still in bed awaiting the medicine of the 1,000l. sterling, namely, that the bad news from his king renders it advisable to send some men-of-war for the security of the Sound and the coasts of Germany. The English ministers proposed a league between England, Denmark, Sweden and the States, for the defence of the sea alone, which they tell me the ambassadors opposed, because the negotiation of these treaties only wastes a lot of time, which would do more harm than anything, and to make a league every year and to keep none of its conditions has by this time become ridiculous. Denmark and Sweden are so interested in the Baltic that necessity leagues them together for its defence, and their forces cannot go beyond. Between this crown and the States there is an adequate alliance, which only needs carrying into effect to produce advantages. In short this loss of time does not please them, nor is it profitable, being a mere pretext whereby to apologise for faults and weaknesses. I fancy the proposal should be pondered lest its execution (which is, however, far distant) excite those ideas of a league of religion about which I have so often written, which would be by means apposite.
London, the 24th November, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
605. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Paris is merely the echo of the Court. Since Beringam arrived we have heard nothing except what M. Saughin, one of the gentlemen of the king's chamber, report to-day. He brought letters for the queen mother and came from La Rochelle in less than three days. Buckingham with the English fleet set sail on Wednesday the 17th inst., leaving France. This long stay after the fight on the island, apparently without doing anything, was not idle or fortuitous. Buckingham spent the time over two things, one to take back with him the numerous sick persons of quality who were in La Rochelle; the other that the Rochellese should decide whether they would receive an English garrison, or what would suit them best. Three opinions were discussed, first, that owing to the breaking of the royal promise they should open their gates to the English; second, that with the absence of help and the weakness of their own party and the English arms they should submit freely to their natural sovereign; and third, that they should not rush to extremes, but should take advantage of time, and meanwhile commit no act of disloyalty to this sovereign beyond their necessary defence. The old duchess, (fn. 4) mother of the Duke of Rohan declared herself the chief of the first, followed by a large number of the inhabitants. The mayor, with his partisans, and the consul of the town advocated the second. The remaining burgesses followed the last. Whilst the discussion was carried on with some warmth as to which course was the least hazardous, the mayor seized one of the gates of the town and sent to offer the place to the king, if he would take it in person. The day might have been for ever memorable for Rochelle if the king had been more resolute or his council less cautious, but they let the opportunity slip. In the meantime the Rochellese became aware of the mayor's proceedings and their danger, and put a stop to the business. They met again and decided to defend themselves as they could, not to listen to the slightest proposals for an accomodation unless they were assured of the privileges which they have enjoyed for so many years.
I cannot find out if there was any agreement between the Rochellese and Buckingham this last time. It is certain that just as he complained about them when he had barely arrived in France, he has left very ill pleased with them. Thus, when he came he proposed to put 3,000 or 4,000 infantry into Rochelle to make France's head whirl, but the Rochellese had determined not to consent to this unless they were reduced to the last extremity.
At the moment of his departure, Buckingham released all the prisoners. Among these the last was Boliu, (fn. 5) a Gascon gentleman, who was without a sword. Buckingham took off his own most valuable one and presented it to him, asking him to kiss his king's hands in the duke's name and tell him that the duke was his most humble and devoted servant, and if he had been unable to conquer, fortune had not been able to deprive him of the satisfaction of not having been conquered by the greatest and most courageous king in the world. So this affair, whose principal motive was levity rather than anything worthy of history, has ended in vanity and romances.
All the troubles in Lorraine are accommodated. The Duke of Chevreuse claims the credit, when every one knows his weakness. The queen mother remarked herself that if the affairs of the island and the English did not go straight, those of Metz and Lorraine would certainly take a bad turn.
Another cause of quarrel has occurred between France and Lorraine. Montagu, after a long stay in Piedmont, left for Nancy, by order of his master. When leaving Franche Comte, where he had been to confer with the Duchess of Chevreuse, and continuing his journey, without suspicion, he was arrested and made prisoner between the frontiers of Lorraine and Champagne, being awaited by an ambush of M. de Borbonoys, the governor thereabouts. It is uncertain where Montagu took to flight, but there is no doubt that his capture took place well outside Lorraine. They are now disputing about the frontier, and even profess the intention to punish Borbonoys if he violated another's jurisdiction. But, however Montagu was taken, he will remain a prisoner, and no rights or claims will suffice to release him. They expect him here any day, and they have already prepared his room in the Bastille. All his letters and papers, even his private ones, were immediately seized and have arrived here. I am told that they have been sent on to the Court towards La Rochelle. Opinions vary, just as the subject itself is delicate and curious. Most people agree in the opinion that they want to find out the scope of a full year of negotiations, and they hope the papers will make this clear. They hope that this sounding will deprive the King of England, the Duke of Savoy and the Duke of Lorraine of the deeps in which they have been fishing, and reveal what correspondents Soissons had in the kingdom, what foundations Buckingham built upon and whether the Abbot Scaglia concealed the worst intentions behind his fair words. In short, from these papers and from the capture of Montagu they hope to make it clear that France does not require the glasses of Galileo to see into the intentions of others. Some laugh about it and consider these notions vain and frivolous, since they know that a good head experienced in affairs serves for a thousand roles, and one cannot persuade wise men that the hearts and wishes of princes are committed to scattered papers, to be the prey of Fortune and Chance. I hope soon to know something definite.
Paris, the 24th November, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.606. In pursuance of the instances made by the Duke of Savoy to the King of Great Britain by M. de Montagu, to suspend all acts of hostility against France, and representations made to his Majesty to withdraw his forces from France, to make way for a settlement of the present differences, since his Majesty assured the duke of his disposition towards a reasonable accommodation, the duke again beseeches his Majesty to consider the straits in which public affairs are to-day, and that nothing could help them more than the settlement of these differences. Nothing can be proposed with hope of success unless steps are taken to secure that new incidents which may occur shall not hinder. That is why his Highness had decided to ask his Majesty to withdraw his troops, and to give M. Montagu powers to give assurance of a suspension of hostilities, and also to give the necessary orders to the Duke of Buckingham, so that the troops may be withdrawn promptly.
[French.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
607. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke presented a gold chain worth 100 crowns to the courier who brought him the news of the withdrawal of the English. Madam also made him a present and the French ambassador showed his joy by bonfires and illuminating the embassy for three evenings. Madame and the cardinal prince did the like. Marini has tried to get the duke to do something, observing repeatedly that the king will take notice of those who evince satisfaction at the event. The guns were fired from the citadel one evening, and Marini has taken this as a great declaration. The Te Deum was sung in S. Giovanni in the presence of all the princes, the Count of Soissons and the same ambassador. Some one tells me they will send M. di Druent to Court to offer congratulations.
Turin, the 24th November, 1627.
[Italian.]
Nov. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
608. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose a letter from the Abbot Scaglia from England to a friend and confidant. He is a priest of very low birth, but with a very great influence over the cardinal. He serves as interpreter between them and thus intervenes without formally committing his principals. I cannot venture to predict the outcome of these proceedings, which may be dictated by private passion, especially as the scene has changed since the letters were written. He communicates the whole affair to a great personage here, deeply interested in the reconciliation, to whom he addresses his packets. I have been allowed to see and to copy the letters, and I hope this favour will be continued. Secrecy cannot fail to be helpful, as any announcement would tend to cool confidence.
A certain Dr. Deodati came to the embassy here yesterday. He expressed his wish to serve the republic and his desire for peace between the two crowns. He could not undertake this, because he was too humble and feeble a person, but it ought to be taken up by a great prince, who was a friend of both. The queen mother had spoken to him about it the day before. He asked me to consider the matter and to keep it quiet. She said that now the honour of France was secure they would gladly listen to anyone who spoke of an agreement, especially if he was great himself or the representative of a great and friendly prince. The Duke of Savoy had laboured some months with scant success to bring the parties to some adjustment; the Dutch had appointed ambassadors for the purpose both to France and England, and they are momentarily expecting one from Denmark here to the same end. If all these representations brought matters to the end desired, it would seem strange if the republic took no part. The ministers might be averse from an accommodation, but the king was excellently disposed and as she was the same, there were good grounds for expecting success. Deodati added much more, especially about the queen's ire against the Spaniards, the way they fomented Rochelle and the help that Rohan expected from them and the consideration that while France was involved in a dispute with England the Spaniards were subduing Germany, conquering Denmark and advancing unopposed to the empire of the world. Such is the substance of what Deodati said to me.
I listened attentively to all that he said, using my ears more than my tongue, and in replying, I confined myself to generalities. My opinion upon the matter is that while France does not trust Savoy and might not like the interposition of Holland just now, they consider here that there is only the hand of your Serenity to shut the doors of the temple of Janus. I will not move a step without express orders from the State. I have been twenty-two days without letters from Italy.
Paris, the 26th November, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.609. Letter of ABBOT SCAGLIA.
You wrote to me that our friend would listen to proposals for a good treaty in the public service. I made the answer necessary at the time. I am now in a position to say that, having done what was required here, through friends and intelligences, to secure so great a benefit, I have brought matters to the point of the enclosed request, to which I hope that the reply will be what the public service requires. No one soever knows that the affair is so far advanced, either across the sea or even in my house, although they desire to. You will therefore make use of the information with our friend, and try to come here about it, all making the excuse of coming as my servant, in order not to excite suspicion, because I must inform your friend of things which cannot be written. In order that others besides those in your confidence may not penetrate this, give your reply to the person who hands you this, but lose no time in communicating the business or in coming as soon as possible, because opportunities are often better than arguments. I hope that God will grant me this favour of confirming what I have done before, and of sealing my words with deeds.
London, the 4th November, 1627.
[Italian.]
Nov. 26.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
610. The Secretary of France came into the Collegio and said:
The friendly relations of my master with the republic convinces him that you will always rejoice to hear of any successes of France. The English, contrary to the law of nations, without previous occasion or declaration of war, invaded his Majesty's realm. It is now two months and a half since they landed in the island of Ré with a powerful force, attacking chiefly the fort of St. Martin. His Majesty had provided for the defence of his coast fortresses against any sudden attack and thanks to this, the wrath of God and the skill of M. de Toiras, those who thought to injure others have suffered themselves, with shame on their unjust, ill conceived designs. Buckingham on learning that the king intended to send a strong support to the island, decided to attack St. Martin. On the 7th ult. they took a considerable force from Bonaum to the Isle of Ré. The English wished to attack, but on the advance of the king's troops they were afraid of being surrounded and took to flight, 700 being slain. On the 7th inst. his Majesty sent M. de Schomberg, Marshal of France, with a large force to relieve St. Martin. Their landing was stayed more than once by rough weather, but he landed the troops and joined Toiras. He drew up the infantry in twelve battalions and the cavalry in two squadrons with the scouts at the head. They attacked the English trenches with so much vigour that they had to withdraw to the island of Orca, where they were pursued and defeated, leaving over 1,200 dead, they say, including many captains and persons of note, while we only lost seven private soldiers and eleven wounded. Thus the king has damped the ardour of the English and driven them back to their fleet.
The doge replied, We are very glad to hear of his Majesty's successes. We thank you for the confidential communication. Of this news, which we have already heard from the ministers of the republic. We wish the king all further prosperity. With this, the secretary asked that the French consul might be introduced, made a reverence and departed.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
611. To the Ambassador in England.
Five packets of your letters have reached us this week, and we entirely approve of you interviews with the ministers. The negotiations of the Danish ambassadors for peace with France, the withdrawal of the English fleet from the islands, the passing of the Most Christian ambassador to England, the delay of the English ambassadors in leaving London, all these things may take a better turn; at all events your offices were opportune, and you must repeat them. You must point out that in engagements fortune plays as great a part as force, and in adversity a high spirit and prudence in counsel shine most. Owing to our long standing affection and esteem we wish his Majesty both prosperity and peace We shall always persevere in our friendly offices for the common service, especially in France, with the news we have of the withdrawal of the English fleet, and we shall do whatever else our republic can effect for the advancement of our excellent intentions in the interests of his Majesty. You will express yourself to this effect in order to draw from his Majesty and his ministers their true feelings, sending us their answers to enable us to take the necessary steps.
All that you tell us about English trade at Leghorn, Villafranca and Venice, serves us for light and affords us complete satisfaction. We enclose what we have from Florence on the same subject.
The Prince of Brandenburg arrived in this city yesterday in our galley. We issued orders for every honour to be shown to him. We hear by advices from Zara that he returns from Gabor ill satisfied. We send you also some advices from Constantinople to enable you to perform your duties better. You will receive these presents by way of France through the Ambassador Zorzi, with whom you will maintain correspondence, as required by present circumstances.
Ayes, 116.Noes, 4.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
612. To the Ambassador in France.
Yesterday morning the Secretary of France informed us of the withdrawal of the English fleet. You will express our satisfaction at his Majesty's success and take the opportunity to urge an accommodation. Now is the moment as the enemy has left the house. You will speak strongly to the queen mother, and will confer with the other foreign ministers, urging peace and common cause. You will speak in accordance with our letters to the king and queens and our reply to the secretary, always insisting on the readiness of the republic to show its zeal for the public tranquillity.
Ayes, 116.Noes, 4.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
613. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The pirates treat the French and Flemings in the worst possible manner, although they have agreements with them and keep consuls to see that they are carried out. They would do the same with the English, but their ships are powerful and the English do not allow themselves to be taken in by the promises of the pirates.
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th November, 1627.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
614. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador of Gabor has at last been to visit the English ambassador. He presented letters from his master resenting the complaints made against him for making peace with the emperor. It amounts to an apology and lays all the blame on the delay and irresolution of others. The English ambassador told me that Gabor's representatives certainly seemed desirous of upsetting the peace, but he had little or no hope because they are so set on it here. He seemed ready to assist England in creating delays and difficulties and had promised a copy of the articles so that England could show the ministers the loss they incurred. He did not send this, but after six days refused it with ridiculous excuses, so that England concludes he has an understanding with the emperor's ministers.
For this reason the English ambassador went to the Caimecan, following the imperial internuncio, and asked for a copy of the articles, as promised. They only showed him a letter from the emperor which speaks of the confirmation. The ambassador made various remarks about the peace of 1606. He pointed out that the emperor's son was chosen King of Hungary, and yet nothing was said about him, with other objections. The Caimecan said he would mention these matters to the internuncio, but never gave the least indication of delay in spite of the representations that this was in the interests of the empire, because it was the winter season, especially if the news of a victory of the King of Denmark over the imperial army was true. The ambassador has worked hard, but he has no hope because he knows they have made up their minds.
Cusein Effendi, who delayed the audience promised for many days, at last granted it, but told him frankly that he could do nothing and this peace was necessary. It is not yet accomplished, however, as they have spent all their time lately in translating the letters and articles and in discussing two points, the fortress of Vaz and the nomination of the Prince of Transylvania.
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th November, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
615. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With respect to the issue of certain books recently reprinted, which has induced the Greeks to reprint also in their own characters and circulate them under the patronage of the English and Dutch ambassadors at Constantinople, I have obtained some information, though not complete. It is now said that the Greeks were not led to take this step through that issue, but that it afforded them the opportunity, although it is not known whether this has taken place yet, as the English and Dutch tried to draw the Greeks to their profession of Calvinism, arguing that the dogmas and rites of that Church had more affinity with their own than ours, and instructions were issued here to undeceive them, pointing out that the exact opposite was the case, reminding them of the writings of the ancient Greek fathers.
Rome, the 27th November. 1627.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci.
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
616. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have sent orders to the Dunkirk fleet to stay in the ports of Britanny and not to proceed to join the other ships at Coruña, so the French ambassador says. It is clear that they do not mean to send this succour to France and the delay has served to detain the English in the hope of capturing the fort, so that their fleet has not troubled these coasts or pursued the fleet.
They have profited greatly here and they would be sorry to see a reconciliation between England and France. The king here was urged to help France until he was convalescent. One day the king remarked to the count: Let this help be sent speedily to my brother of France. The count replied: Your Majesty will take the opinion of the Council of State. The king waxed wroth and said: Let it be sent at once against this heretic, without so much Council of State.
Madrid, the 27th November, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
617. AGOSTIN VIANUOLO, Venetian Secretary in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English duke, (fn. 6) having received satisfaction in being recognised by their Highnesses and treated as Duke of Northumberland, now frequents the Court and begins to exercise the charge given him some years ago by decree of the Consulta, to instruct the Grand Duke in matters of State by lectures (per via di discorso). This cannot fail to profit his Highness and the public weal, for he has excellent views and as he told me, he will always try to persuade the Grand Duke to follow the example of his grandfather, to keep in with the Italian powers, especially with your Serenity, and to maintain good relations with France, thus causing the Spaniards to respect and esteem him more, as they never would by the way of humiliation and dependence, advised by Count Orso, of whom the duke foretells his Highness will rid himself so soon as he has taken up the complete command.
Florence, the 27th November, 1627.
[Italian.]
Nov. 28.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
618. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
The Prince of Brandenburg wishes through me to kiss the hands of your Serenity and your Excellencies. He returns warmest thanks for all the favours and courtesies he has received throughout the republic's dominions, not only at Zara, where he was shown every honour, but in the galley provided for him, the governor there missing no opportunity of doing him honour. Arrived in this city he has recently received a noble present, and while confessing his obligations he will gratefully remember the republic when an opportunity occurs. He was compelled to come to this city contrary to his intentions and will stay privately for a few days to make provision for his journey. Meanwhile he will readily fulfil the commands of your Serenity.
The doge replied: We are glad that the Prince passed through our State and was satisfied. We thank him for the office he has performed through you, and we shall endeavour to see that he is entirely satisfied during his stay here. We desire you to salute him in our name. With this the secretary made a reverence and departed.
[Italian.]
Nov. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
619. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In order not to lose the merit and advantage anticipated from conducting the negotiations for peace between the two kings of France and England, seeing that the first stone proves to the taste of the Most Christian, who has promised to negotiate upon the paper I reported, they have decided to send to the abbot in England, although the aspect of affairs has changed, and the English can no longer withdraw voluntarily from the island from which they have been driven by force. There can be little hope of success, as men feel sure that the Most Christian will press La Rochelle, which the English must succour, both for reasons of State and for their honour, and they will not readily give up the protection of the reformed churches in France. The Most Christian is determined to separate them, in order to give peace to his subjects himself. It is thought that the situation will only grow worse until pure fatigue of bearing arms and the difficulty of providing the troops help to quench the flames.
They say that an English flag has been taken to the queens at Paris, and some report that Buckingham was not wounded, as Mountjoy feared. At his instance a trumpeter was sent to ask about the duke and brought back word that he was very well.
Marini told me that the Spaniards made excuse that contrary winds prevented their ships from coming, remarking that they knew at Court how much they might expect from the Catholic.
Turin, the 28th November, 1627.
[Italian.]
Nov. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
620. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Prince Frederick, son of the King of Denmark, and the old Count della Torre on their way to join the king, were driven by a storm to these coasts and are now in Friesland. The Queen of Bohemia is expecting them, but incognito, as it is thought they will continue their journey.
The French ambassador writes that bonfires were lighted and the Te Deum sung at Brussels, in the presence of the Infanta at the news of the defeat of the English in the Isle of Ré. This shows the union between the two crowns. It is said that the Duke of Guise has countermanded the Biscay fleet, considering that France will no longer need that assistance. Langarach writes that Buckingham has not left, but withdrawn to the Isle of Loye, where he may be awaiting orders from England and can receive reinforcements. These disasters threaten him with ruin.
The ambassadors do not start and this last event has made their High Mightinesses more fearful of meeting with great difficulties, as France will become more haughty and England will want revenge. It is pointed out, however, that these things are natural in war and too much importance must not be attached to them, and that peace is the right way to divert all disorders.
The Hague, the 29th November, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 It should be Bussis Lamet. Baudier: Hist. de Toiras, page 90.
2 A mistake; it should be Porcheu, captain of a regiment of the Guards. Danjon and Cimber: Archives Curienses, IIe Serie, vol, iii, page 86.
3 William Murray, groom of the Bedchamber. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 287.
4 Catherine de Parthenay-Larchvêque, widow of Rene II, vicômte de Rohan.
5 M. de Beaulieu Persac. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, pages 293, 312. Bassompierre: Memoires, vol. iii, page 337.
6 Robert Dudley, son of Elizabeth's favourite; created earl of Warwick and duke of Northumberland in the Holy Roman Empire, in 1620.