Venice
December 1627, 1-9

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1914

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496-511

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'Venice: December 1627, 1-9', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 496-511. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89139 Date accessed: 20 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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December 1627

Dec. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
621. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose the packet from England, which has just arrived. I have little to add to what I wrote the other day. Ill feeling continues between France and Lorraine. The cloud, which seemed dissipated by the failure of the English and the defeat of Chevreuse, has gathered again with the arrest of Montagu. Time and ability will be required if it is to dissolve without a storm.
At Bordeaux they are building a number of large boats to sink at the mouth of the port of La Rochelle. Targoni is making great progress with his chain, and the Duke of Guise has orders to bring the few ships he has ready from the Morbiban forthwith, in order to strengthen the fleet and prevent succour from reaching the Rochellese. The king has richly rewarded Toras, creating him marshal of France, governor for life of Xaintonge and Angoulême and paying all his debts, amounting, they say, to 600,000 French crowns. The king has made Schomberg governor of Britanny in succession to Tamines.
Paris, the 1st December, 1627.
Postscript.—The Countess of Soissons has just called here and gives me occasion to add the following:
The king of his own accord, without being asked, has freely released all the English prisoners and sent them as a present to the Queen of England. Lord Mountjoy, who offered 10,000 Jacobus at his capture, will profit by this, as the king has let him off, instead of his paying such a large ransom, and has intimated to his sister that he will expect four hunting dogs from her. These civilities in the midst of the rage of arms makes me hope for a better conclusion for the service of the world quite soon. Perhaps the anger of the queen mother against the Spaniards and their delusive promises may bring this ship to port out of the storm and the rocks.
[Italian.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
622. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Through the duke's return some of the more important particulars have come to light. The English, driven by their hardships and the Most Christian's reinforcements, attacked Fort [St. Martin], from which they were repulsed, and two days later they made their retreat. Sixty-three officers remained on the field, 25 were taken prisoners, and 47 colours and two small guns were taken, the rest having been reshipped before Schomberg landed. The king laments above all the loss of the colours and the officers, as England does not possess as many more who have seen service, should they be required for fresh occasions. For the rest his Majesty makes it appear that he takes this blow as the chance of fortune, who strikes inconstantly, sometimes here, sometimes there. Apparently he thinks little about it, though perhaps he has it at heart, for when the queen was asked to write to France for the release of Lord Mountjoy, a relation of the duke, who is a prisoner, the king told her it was not yet time to do so.
The Earl of Holland put back, having heard of what happened. The repairs of the ships, which suffered from the foul weather, will require five or six weeks at least; and for the sailors they have sent the provisions destined for the islands, part of which will be sent to La Rochelle should the port not be blockaded, as some write, and according to the proposals of the two deputies from that city, (fn. 1) who came with the duke and are expected daily in London. They have ordered the troops to disembark, and they will be quartered in the best counties near the sea. They will number about 4,000 foot without the 2,000 Scots, who arrived lately under the command of Murton and will garrison the Isle of Wight, as they have not performed any other service. The duke has left to superintend all these arrangements and to appoint new officers for the troops in lieu of the prisoners and those who were killed. He also took some money with him to comfort both soldiers and sailors, who already begin to show themselves tumultuously in London. For this winter I do not see any sign of a fresh naval expedition, unless it be a few ships to alarm the French coasts, capture vessels and relieve La Rochelle. Although they talk of great preparations for the spring, I assure your Excellencies that nothing will happen unless they obtain money, which will be extremely difficult if not impossible; and on this penury I base my only hopes of some good result.
The Dunkirkers, after the sea fight off Zeeland, in which the Dutch are said to have had rather the worse of it, sailed along the English Channel a few days ago, and letters announce their arrival off the coast of Poitou, followed by the Dutch. It remains to be seen what will happen, and fears about La Rochelle increase, as although the duke says he hears the siege has been raised, this is supposed to be an artifice, to moderate the rage of the populace. On this account also M. de Soubise keeps out of sight, and unless he allows the ferment to subside, mischief may befall him, so greatly is he detested and blamed by everybody for having kindled this conflagration.
The Savoyard ambassador is strongly urging the affair of Villafranca. He has given patents to two ships laden with fish, which will make that voyage, but it costs him money and entreaties to set the business on foot. He hopes that the good treatment which these two ships will receive may serve as an invitation to others, but as yet I do not see any sign of great success.
With the opportunity afforded by the Dutch ambassador's demands for assistance for Denmark and the coasts, they proposed the maritime league to him and found that he also was of the same opinion, to wit, that they are all inventions to gain time; yet delay is the greatest obstacle to any good resolve.
After waiting two months, the exact time required for replies from Venice, the Lords of the Council here have decreed that English ships trading in the Levant may not receive merchandise from any nation whatever, without paying the consulage to their consul, or carry any other flag than that of St. George or St. Andrew, in conformity with Roe's orders. (fn. 2) Being warned of this by some confidential friends and also of the instructions to be given to the Ambassador Wake, to make an announcement in conformity to your Serenity, I thought fit to see the President of the Council to have the despatch of this business delayed for a few days longer, as I think it impossible that your Serenity's commands should not have reached Holland, from whence neither letters nor ships have arrived for the last four weeks, to my intense distress. I hope to carry my point, although the merchants of the Levant Company are urging this matter, which affects their interests to the utmost, as I well know the advantage of supporting the republic's rights before any act be passed to their detriment, as afterwards it would be difficult to obtain its repeal.
London, the 2nd December, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.623. Declaration of the English ambassador at Constantinople about the right of consulage on the goods of foreigners laded in English ships, which are transported from one port of the Turkish Empire to another. (fn. 3)
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
624. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke came to London and was met by his relations and friends and by the queen's vice-chamberlain (fn. 4) in the name of her Majesty, who remained in bed for some days under the plea of indisposition, as she did not know how to act. The king received him more familiarly and kindly than ever, if that is possible. The entire blame is laid on the delay of succour, for which they say the king himself apologised to the duke, while praising his courage and capacity. It is reported that the persons who were ordered to despatch the succour will be punished, those named being the Earl of Holland, the Secretary Coke and some others. The duke cannot save himself better than by laying the blame and the disaster upon others. He passed a whole night alone with his Majesty to acquaint him well with these matters.
Two days before his arrival the Savoyard ambassador had audience of the king, qualifying what took place and predisposing his Majesty in the duke's favour, adding that his master would always share the fortunes of England. On the day of the duke's arrival he went seven miles out to meet him. His protests become more vehement in proportion as he sees the decline of the views first formed about his master, for reasons already given, though there is no doubt but that the duke will replace matters on their former fair footing by reason of the good will professed by him for Savoy and because they are both agreed about overthrowing the present government of France. These are separate interests, inimical to the public cause, and many persons know it:
Thè other ambassadors visited the duke, and I paid my respects by the secretary on the very evening of his arrival and the next day in person. We all gather that he no longer shows his former ardour against the French, possibly perceiving that he cannot succeed in his designs. All his impetuosity is vented on the delay in the succour and the persons who, as he says, assassinated the king and himself at the same time. For the rest he represents his movements and their result as much to his advantage as he can. In the act of dismissing me he said he would speak to me more at length about business, as there was not time enough then.
To the Danish ambassadors he made a very express avowal of his pity for their master's misfortunes, of his fixed determination to set those affairs to rights, that he would go in person with a fleet of 50 sail and 15,000 infantry, and similar boasts. He asked them as a favour not to leave so soon, as on his return from Portsmouth he would certainly make some decision. From this the ambassadors have conceived some hope and think of insisting on their sending help to the King of Denmark forthwith, without speaking about peace with France, perceiving clearly that the first overtures cannot proceed from this side, and that it would be a good deal if the English were to remain solely on the defensive, molesting the French at sea and succouring the Rochellese, as fitting means for facilitating this peace, through the loss to the French without the hope of indemnity. They also told me in confidence that they intended to make two other proposals, one to send provisions, money and troops for the support of Morgan's force during the winter and for the important post of Stadem on the Elbe; the other, that when the ice thaws 40 good ships be sent to curb the Hamburgers and prevent them from trading in Spain or contributing provisions and necessaries to the imperial armies, and in the meantime their master would do the like at Lubeck, as the maintenance of those armies depends on those two towns, without which they would have to leave the neighbourhood.
To make them unbosom themselves further, I observed that to attack the Hanse towns would perhaps afford them a pretext for uniting in defence by the terms of their alliance. They rejoined that on the contrary the Hamburgers desired some excuse with the emperor, and as the Lubeckers had already declared for the Austrians, they might be treated as enemies, for it is certain that without the ships that those two towns alone can furnish, the Imperialists will make no progress against Denmark. This should be borne in mind above everything else. I said I did not see how anything could be done without money, and even if funds could be raised, if peace were not first made with France both army and fleet would probably go where the flames of the greatest hatred are already kindled, using the pretext of Denmark to cloak some other design, while the preoccupation of France and England with that war would prevent their master from receiving any help. They should therefore seek peace first to make sure of the promised help. They rejoined that Sobl would go to France for this purpose and was merely waiting for letters from the queen here to the queen mother, who had given them to understand through the Danish agent, that she wished them to go asking them to pass through Paris before seeing the king; she pitied the disasters of their master, and everything would be done to support him.
When the duke returns we shall see better what turn this very important affair takes. Meanwhile I believe that if the rout had been delayed a few days, they would have made a declaration here to the ambassadors of the friendly powers, which was already under discussion after the last bad reports, apologising for these hostilities on the score of the obligation to maintain the edicts in favour of the Huguenots, and that England wished for peace with the Most Christian provided they were not molested, and that assistance were given to Denmark, referring the private disputes to some treaty.
If now, when the advantage is on the side of France, a similar declaration could be obtained, I believe that they would listen to it here, and also to such offices as might facilitate so great a benefit especially if conducted secretly to divert the counterpoise of the Spaniards, for beyond doubt the honour of England is so pledged that the first overtures cannot now come from this quarter, nor would it be a small advantage to restrain the king, who is much piqued, within the limits of mere defence, and attack by sea or at the utmost relieving La Rochelle, were it not that the scarcity of money and the many necessities assist offers of this sort, which are deemed the most efficacious at the present crisis. I send word of all this to his Excellency Zorzi, for his information and for the fulfilment of such orders as he may have received.
London, the 2nd December, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
625. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The affairs of Lorraine are still disturbed owing to the capture of Montagu; but while arms are being prepared by both sides, they do not neglect milder offices. Last Tuesday the Prince of Falsbergh, (fn. 5) a kinsman of the duke, who is popular in France,arrived and saw the queen mother at once, making a mild complaint, and asking that the differences might be settled. He requested the release of Montagu and that he might not be brought to Paris. The queen replied that it was not her affair, but the king's, who had given the order several months ago before she had the regency. Montagu must be brought to Paris, since the king had ordered it. Every one must have patience. With this reply Falsbergh left at once and is thought to have returned to Lorraine.
The queen has sent 800 horse to join Borbonoys and bring Montagu to Paris, in spite of any attempts to rescue him by the way.
Paris, the 3rd December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
626. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Sunday, the first in Advent, at the service at St. Peter's, I saw the French ambassador, whom all the cardinals and every one else congratulated upon the success against the English. I also offered my congratulations, dropping a hint about his not imparting the news to me. He offered copious excuses, saying he had been very busy. I asked him for particulars, which he gave, corresponding exactly to the printed narrative, which I enclose. Bethune had it printed here to please the palace and at their request.
I also went to the embassy on purpose to offer congratulations, following the example of the cardinals and the other ambassadors, expressing the satisfaction of your Excellencies at the success of France, not only from the great respect the republic bears for the Most Christian, but from the good which may result to Christendom, putting a term to the evil influences which have prevailed between the two crowns, disturbing the good understanding desired by those who desire the tranquillity of two most noble realms and the common liberty.
The ambassador replied vindicating the pure motives of his king, who had only acted out of absolute necessity against an attack on his own dominions and an attempt to foment his own ill affected subjects. His Majesty would go on to remove every stone of offence, such as La Rochelle and other places disobedient to the Crown, a thing that friendly Princes should desire, as it will remove obstacles against serving his allies. That done, it will be easy to make peace with England, for which his sovereign shows every readiness, although he will not include rebels in such a reunion. Bethune added: I doubt whether the English will want peace, as they will consider their honour has suffered from the recent conflict, as they lost a great number of men, ships, standards and guns, especially as they thought they had reduced Fort St. Martin to the last extremity and considered it more likely to surrender ignominiously than to repel the attack with such intrepidity. My king is most proud, he went on, of having obtained the victory without foreign help, and particularly without the ships the Spaniards promised. He owes his success to God alone and values this more than if he had conquered England with the help of the Spaniards.
Bethune said all this with much warmth, and declared he was delighted at being able during his embassy here to impart such good news, which he declares is for the benefit of the Catholic faith. He hopes it may help him to personal advantage and takes credit for having advised his king to take up this enterprise.
The pope has expressed extraordinary satisfaction, and has ordered a mass pro gratiarum actione to be sung in S. Luigi, the French church, and has ordered 1,000 low masses. He has sent 150 crowns' worth of wax candles to that church, and in every way he shows his joy at what he interprets as a miraculous advantage for the faith. I do not find that he has given the Most Christian any more substantial help.
Rome, the 4th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.627. Relation of the victory of the Most Christian King against the English in the Isle of Ré on the 8th November, 1627.
At Rome, by Ludovico Grignani.
[Italian, printed pamphlet of seven pages.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
628. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador told me that the Dunkirk ships which were going to help his king had started. Two were wrecked in leaving the port. They did not know where the English force had withdrawn or what their plans might be. The king proposed to blockade La Rochelle, and the Huguenots were very discouraged.
Rome, the 4th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
629. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Sunday the Ambassador Bethune had the Te Deum sung in the church of S. Luigi, for the victory. Among a large attendance were Cardinal Bentivoglio and the ambassador of Savoy. The latter, owing to instructions from the duke, to make every sign of rejoicing, including festivities and bonfires, though he did not make these, since the French ambassador himself did not do so. The courier brings word that the duke ordered equal rejoicings at Turin; but the greater the demonstrations the duke makes the less the French believe in their genuineness, and call it lying dissimulation, so that the duke is in worse odour than ever with that sovereign.
Rome, the 4th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
630. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The brother of the secretary of the French Ambassador Farges has brought him word of the defeat of the English at the Isle of Ré with heavy loss. On the morning of the 27th they sang the Te Deum in the chapel. The ambassador states that the success was achieved by a small portion of the troops, not more than 3,000 out of 8,000. The government here is very perplexed. They attach great importance to this first victory of the Most Christian, because of the Valtelline as well as his union with the Dutch.
The Lords of the Council of State meet frequently. We are waiting to see what they will decide about the fleet prepared for France. It is recognised that no trust can be placed in them. Rambouillet was not deceived, like the ordinary ambassador, who was persuaded that they could not conquer without the Spaniards. They fear that an agreement with the English will follow, and they will be left here with many difficulties to face and with the obligation to keep employed here the forces they proposed to send elsewhere.
Madrid, the 4th December, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
631. AGOSTIN VIANUOLO, Venetian Secretary in Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Henceforward they consider as finished the resort of English ships and the trade of that nation at Leghorn, and I understand their Highnesses equally fear it owing to the articles drawn up between the King of England and the Duke of Savoy about the port of Villefranche, which recently reached their hands through merchants of Leghorn, who had a copy from Turin. I also obtained a copy, which I enclose. By the first article the English must not be subjected to the Inquisition. It is thought that the king will send them all to Villefranche with general instructions in the interest of his religion, not to submit to the Roman Inquisition. The seventh article allowing them the disposal of their goods in case of death, is considered a great allurement to that mart. Their Highnesses here say these two points will displease the pope as directly contrary to the ordinances of the Council, which are received there, but as the duke is hot-headed and easily moved, his Holiness may dissimulate his sentiments. He might also refrain from aggravating the Duke of Savoy in his own interests, as the exemption from all gabelles throughout the states of Savoy is considered a great matter, as here, although goods do not pay at Leghorn, they pay at Pisa and Florence.
Owing to these important advantages and the greater liberty of conscience that the English will enjoy at that mart, so great that the duke will get nothing out of it, though for the present he will be satisfied by diverting trade from here to there, and will afterwards find ways to profit greatly, it is thought that the trading of the English at Leghorn is practically done for, but besides this, those who live there and do not desire any change have presented a petition to the duke, begging him to interpose with the King of England for the continuation of this trade. It is argued here that the interest, although great, of satisfying the companies of his merchants, and the admitted benefits in Leghorn, will not stand for anything with the king when set against weightier interests of state and of religion. His Highness accordingly would not do anything, recognising that his offices would have no effect. He has indeed, so I understand, drawn up a paper for the merchants themselves, pointing out the advantages of this way over the other to help their case with the king. For this purpose some of the leading men among them have left for London. One of his considerations, and the weightiest, is that by this route, from Leghorn to the Po, they can go half way by water, to wit, from Leghorn to Florence, and afterwards from Bologna to Ferrara, whereas from Villefranche the whole journey to the Po is by land. On the other hand one might point out that when the water is high one goes up very laboriously from Leghorn, and when it is low, as in summer, it is not navigable. Unless something turns up in opposition to the present articles, it is considered on good grounds that all the trading of the English at Leghorn will be absolutely broken off. In the same connection it is thought that the Duke of Savoy may still have some idea of making trouble in Italy, and that he intends in this way to provide himself with a good body of ships of war, and once he has that he may easily revive his brave and spirited ideas.
Florence, the 4th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
632. Articles made at Turin for the franking of the English nation in the ports of Nice and Villefranche. (fn. 6)
1. That the subjects of the King of Great Britain shall not be amenable to the Inquisition, but be judged in the civil courts.
2. If war arise between the two princes, his Majesty's subjects shall have a year to remove their goods from the dominions of his Highness.
3. The goods of Englishmen who go to the said ports shall not be consigned to others than Englishmen.
4. No subject of his Highness shall be allowed to monopolise the goods of the English, who shall sell them to their best advantage.
5. When English ships come to the said ports and leave their goods for transit, they may transport them where they will without paying gabelle.
6. In all other cases the English shall not be bound to pay gabelles in leaving or entering those ports.
7. If any Englishman die in the state of his Highness, they may dispose of his goods at their pleasure, without hindrance.
8. The money of his Highness shall stand at the same value as now, without change, and the money of Spain may be taken away without hindrance or gabelle.
9. There shall be an ordinary courier between Turin and Nice, to arrive on a fixed day each week, to take letters.
10. The goods which go to other ports, such as Finale or elsewhere, and have to pass through the dominions of his Highness, shall pay 12 per cent, but those which go to Nice or Villefranche shall not pay any gabelle, but shall pass free throughout his Highness's state.
11. The aforesaid articles and privileges shall apply only to the English and not for the free port.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia
Risposte,
Vol. 147.
Venetian
Archives.
633. With respect to the representation of the Ambassador Contarini in London of the 18th September last about the decree of the Ambassador Ro at Constantinople forbidding merchants and masters of English ships to lade the goods of foreigners unless they contribute to the consuls of that nation, and upon what the Bailo wrote on the 2nd October last, we have to state that on the 27th December, 1625, the Senate directed our magistracy that when subjects hired foreign vessels, pledges should be given to satisfy the consuls and Bailo of your Serenity for the cottimo, and the agents of your subjects are not bound to pay them to the minister of any other prince. On the 6th and 11th April, 1626, two ships were hired, the S. Giorgio for Syria and the Stella Dorata for Cyprus, and a security was accordingly taken from them. We note that Ro's decrees made in response to that of your Serenity. We are of opinion that a foreign ship hired by your subjects becomes practically Venetian for the time. It is only during the last few years that the English consuls and ambassadors have claimed consulage, and we believe with the Bailo that the owners and masters of the ships have had a tacit understanding with the ambassadors and have always satisfied their claims. Now that Ro has issued the decree, we do not see how we can prevent it being carried out by the English, who can make what laws they like for their own subjects, as your Serenity has done. We think, however, it will be advisable to hold fast to the decree of the 27th December, 1625, and see that it is properly observed, and the self-interest of the owners to hire out their ships may help to thwart this new attempt.
Signed by all five; consigned to the Most Excellent Dolce.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.634. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I am told by one who has opportunities of knowing that the Ambassador Wake is to go to Mantua and that the duke here may have correspondence with him.
Turin, the 5th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
635. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The last ordinary from the camp before La Rochelle reports that Buckingham, all the prisoners being given up, has departed, the Rochellese refusing to receive more English into the city. From intercepted letters to Buckingham, it seems that they regret they cannot support any longer 1,500 sick and wounded, including, it is said, the Duke (sic) of Soubise. These letters rouse great hopes that the Rochellese will surrender. Negotiations are on foot between the cardinal and the town, I am told by a Frenchman, but he is interested.
Turin, the 5th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
636. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The visit of the Dunkirk fleet to the Scilly islands is not confirmed, nor is it true that it turned towards Biscay. We now hear that it is at the Isle of Wight, where they have begun to prey upon the ships coming from France. Many laden with wine have been plundered, although some have escaped and brought the news. It is not yet known if they have landed, but if they remain long at sea they will seriously obstruct the passage. For this reason Admiral Dorp, who was blockading when the Dunkirkers escaped, has orders to take out his fleet of 32 ships and attack them at the island.
The unfortunate incident of the escape has given Carleton occasion to question the orders of the States. At one of the meetings he intimated that the admiral had not fought as much as his instructions enjoined. In spite of all his efforts to get them to declare themselves on the side of his master, he has found no one to support him; indeed a consideration of the matter and the prejudices has rather stirred them against him, and he has not the popularity which he formerly enjoyed in these parts. For this and other reasons he has tried to be recalled. He recently showed me letters of Abbot Scaglia advising him that he had spoken about it to his Majesty, who promised to give the orders he desired. When he performed these offices the English were favoured by fortune, but now things have altered the minister may change his mind, as although it is announced that Buckingham has returned to Court in undiminished favour with the king, so much so that his Majesty has refused to listen to criticisms of his operations, saying that owing to the failure of succour the duke could not sustain the enterprise with greater vigour, yet those who can distinguish the sun's ray from the comet's tail, see the precipices which are inseparable from such eminence. If this favour sets, the whole party is in danger, especially those who are nearest the wreck. For this reason it is thought that Carleton will not press for his recall before he sees that the duke has again caught the mane of his fugitive Fortune.
I note considerable mortification in the speech and expression of this minister, who with his unmeasured prejudice, cannot perceive the course that must be followed by those who profess neutrality. He has recently displayed an excess of confidence with me, in order to find out what advices I have from France since the landing of the French in the Isle of Res and the first news of the English defeat. He sent his secretary to mine, not to learn some particulars, but for the letters themselves. As they were largely in cipher, written for my private information and containing particulars true but prejudicial to his master, I did not think it advisable to be so free with my communications. So I got Vico to tell Carleton's secretary the part which might be made public without prejudice, so far as I thought I might to avoid the remark that the first news of the English defeat had issued from the Venetian embassy, which might create a wrong impression. In other respects I leave nothing undone to encourage confidential relations with every minister while maintaining the independence which your Excellencies profess.
I say this much because I suspect that Carleton was not satisfied. When recently with the Queen of Bohemia I answered a hint of his in such a way as to give no opening for a reply, because a good reason always produces more effect without a gloss.
Before this accident I saw Carleton at the Prince of Orange's. He asked about news from Venice, and told me that Wake had informed him of his office. He did not commend that minister, because he had spoken by name of Richelieu and other ministers, remarking that your Excellencies' ears would be offended by such violence. He added: They are more afraid of hearing at Venice than others are of speaking, asserting that they like negotiations to be placid. He asked if I had heard of any reply to those offices. I said I had nothing beyond the reply of your Serenity pointing out the harm done to the common cause by these differences and your readiness to do everything to bring about a reconciliation between the two kings. He retorted: I could make the reply that will be given to the ambassador, although I could not find such fine general phrases, but I could at least conclude that I would not do anything. I replied that in the offices we were speaking about your Serenity was not asked to do anything. As for past operations, if all the princes of the party had done as much as your Excellencies, the common cause would not be in its present deplorable condition. He freely granted this, but said we must blame those who had broken their promise. He had no opportunity for saying more, as the Queen of Bohemia was present and the meeting was more for pleasure than business.
The Hague, the 6th December, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
637. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since we heard of Buckingham's return to Court, some one has announced, I do not know on what grounds, that he is coming here. The longer the ambassadors already chosen delay their departure, the more this report gains credit. It is supposed he may forestall them to treat something about the accommodation away from the Court. It is true that the ambassadors talk of going, but they take no steps in that direction. Doubts about success prevail, increased by the last events at the Isle of Res. If he comes, he may be accredited to the Queen of Bohemia. She told me recently that the king had sent the Lord Chamberlain to meet Buckingham and welcome him upon the success of affairs under his command. Thinking possibly that she had gone too far, she added, Yet the duke cannot be blamed for the last event, although there is something to be said about the beginning. The king remarked that both the beginning and the end were flightiness (leggerezza). From this your Excellencies may judge the feelings of these fallen princes. They are lost on every side. Their hopes of commending themselves to the emperor vanish, because they perceive that he does not think about them at all. From England they do not even get what they require for food and clothing, or the 22,000l. sterling assigned to them for this purpose, no remittances having reached them for a very long while.
One, Temple, has arrived from Brussels, sent by the Infanta, they say, to treat with the States for a truce or a peace.
We hear that Tilly has invested Stadem, but not on the sea side from which succour can enter. General Murghem is there, a brave and experienced soldier, who will leave nothing undone for its defence. He has made the fortifications required; money and food depend upon others, and are not likely to be so promptly supplied, especially as the English troops are controlled from England, so that there is little appearance of what is required being supplied.
The Hague, the 6th December, 1627.
Postscript.—A French gentleman (fn. 7) has just brought me the enclosed letters from M. Durant, governor of Gluchestadt. He tells me, among other things, of the defeat of the cavalry a fortnight ago to-day, so that no more than 400 effective horse are left.
Carleton recommends the enclosed for the Ambassador Wake, and I add those of the Ambassador Contarini from London.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
638. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the capture of Montagu and his papers, a great deal of gossip started here, for, say what they may, there is no one who knows for certain what they contain; so every one speaks according to his fancy. Among those who give the rein to their imagination are Mirabello and the Austrian residents, who declare that the most serene republic has an understanding against France with England, Savoy, Lorraine and others interested in this cabal. This view gains the more credit with them here from the consciousness of their own shortcomings, and confirms the common opinion in France that your Serenity and your Excellencies are not satisfied with them. The same authorities say that for the same reason the Duchess of Rohan has gone to live at Venice. I know that the queen mother remarked the other day to the Marshal of Coure, the President di Mem, and some of the secretaries of state, that she was waiting patiently to see if the Venetians had any share in this affair, a matter she expected would be soon cleared up by the papers referred to. After two weeks the matter is not settled, and the evil seed has grown to a bad plant, spreading its noxious branches.
Amid all these troubles the truth is that they are eager for peace with England, and the queen mother is excellently disposed. Her indignation with the Spaniards has taken deep root. God grant that this may endure. She also foresees the mischief, and this week she wrote to the king and cardinal that if they did not wish to see the house of Austria quickly sovereign over all, they must accept some equality with others and check by force their ungovernable ascendancy. There was no other way to do this than to put an end to the discords of the kingdom, give peace to the English, have a good understanding with the Dutch and renew their confidential relations with their old friends. First of all they must protect the Danish king; if this was neglected every other way of safety would be gone. If they allowed Cæsar to dictate to the conquered, a flood of 100,000 armed men would soon inundate France and perhaps the world. She referred to the intrigues of the Spaniards, and indeed no better letter could have been written for the public cause.
The cardinal, in not confirming Bassompierre's treaty, did not desire peace with the English. Now, disagreeing with Marigliach and Sciombergh, he does everything because he does not want war with them. To confirm him in this opinion it will always be enough that it is that of the queen mother. The truth is that although a great friend of Olivares, he is the least Spanish of all the ministers and no bigot. He sees the real state of affairs, and that these civil discords weaken his ascendancy. Thus his views coincide in every respect with those of the queen mother, with whose support he does all he can to reach the chief place.
Marsigliach and Sciombergh, on the other hand, are the implacable enemies of the Huguenots. They might agree to some accommodation with the English, but while they render the slightest help to each other, they would wage relentless war on both. The cardinal has struck a blow at Sciombergh in the guise of an honour, getting the king to make him governor of Britanny, with the express condition that he must not leave the province without the king's permission.
Paris, the 8th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
639. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
La Massura, lieutenant of the guards of the queen mother, whom she sent to Quefi to M. de Borbonoys, to fetch Montagu, returned to Paris without him the day before yesterday, to the queen's displeasure. He explained his return by the bad weather, and because Borbonoys said he wanted to bring Montagu to Paris himself. Such is the common report. The critics assert that this is an imposture and that the Duke of Lorraine has obtained by gentleness and gold what he could not have by bluster. Montagu offered Borbonoys 100,000 crowns for his ransom and 1,000 pistoles for each of the soldiers. This was angrily refused in appearance, possibly because made in public, and he even threatened to stretch him dead at his feet if he said a word more about it; but they say this rigidity was not maintained in private. Bourbonoys wanted to serve himself as well as the king; it was not reasonable that he should lose the chance, and there is no harm in granting what does not injure one and is advantageous to others. In short, they contend that Montagu will not come to Paris. His papers have been promised, but the more important will be missing, especially those of the Duchess of Chevreuse. Two circumstances support this view, one the long delay of Borbonoys in bringing him, as the arrest took place three days before the duke knew of it, and secondly, that Borbonoys is a Lorrainer and natural brother of the Marquis Villa, the duke's ambassador extraordinary at this Court, who came about the disarmament and is staying on to see what will become of this other cloud.
At La Rochelle Targoni erected great double palisades at the place where he meant to fix his chain. The Rochellese directed several guns on them, and in a short space ruined the work of several days. Accordingly, their hopes of closing the mouth are confined to sinking several boats there, a thing they will do before many weeks.
They say, but I am not sure of it, that a number of English ships have been sighted off Donflur in Normandy.
Paris, the 9th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
640. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News is circulating in Paris, published by the queen regnant, that 25 Spanish ships, of those promised to France by the Catholic against England, have arrived at Morbihan, and 15 more will join them in a few hours. Now the occasion has passed, it would not be difficult for the Spaniards to fire off this shot, in order to trouble further the eclipsed light of France.
Paris, the 9th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
641. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. di San Sciumon called here to see me. In the course of the conversation I expressed the satisfaction your Serenity had felt at hearing of the success of the arms of the Most Christian without foreign aid, and now would be the time to find some way to finish their disputes, which only served to increase the power of the House of Austria, which would surely fall upon France in the end. He replied: It is true that we must think of it. Buckingham has caused all the mischief, as he precipitated everything out of mere caprice, by landing in the island. He went on to inveigh against the duke.
Turin, the 9th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
642. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have heard that another ship has reached Villefranche from England in twenty days. Accordingly that business may be progressing, seeing that they put pressure on the merchants here to set up houses at Nice in order to facilitate it.
Turin, the 9th December, 1627.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 In a letter to La Rochelle of the 17th November, Charles mentions three, David, Vincent and Dehuisse. State Papers, Foreign, France.
2 On the 16th November, old style. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1627–8, page 436.
3 The paper is preserved at the Public Record Office among the State Papers, Foreign, Turkey, and printed in the Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, page 637.
4 Sir George Goring. Finet: Philoxenis, page 201.
5 Louis of Lorraine, Prince of Pfaltzbourg.
6 A copy of these articles may be found at the Correr Museum, Cicogna MSS., Cod. 827, No. 17, but dated the 28th October, 1628.
7 La Bussière.