Venice
December 1627, 11-20

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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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511-527

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'Venice: December 1627, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 511-527. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89140 Date accessed: 17 September 2014.


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December 1627

Dec. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
643. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We have not been able to obtain the articles of the peace with the emperor from any quarter. The English ambassador has tried to get them by various ways and by offers of money, and I have made every effort, but they have never left the hands of the Caimecan and the Grand Chancellor. The imperial commissioners have kept them very closely to themselves. Gabor's ambassador has declined to give them to the ambassadors of England and Flanders, though he promised to do so. I think it will be impossible to obtain them, at least before the internuncio has gone.
The Vigne of Pera, the 11th December, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
644. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday morning I went to audience at St. Peter's. The pope showed me all over the Vatican, and when we reached the consistory chamber he began to speak of the advantage to Christendom of the French victory over the English, chiefly because the King of France will certainly rid himself of the yoke of the Huguenots and thus make himself better able to defend the common liberty. He remarked this was the time for the King of England to get rid of Buckingham as the prime mover of the unreasonable attack on France, and by casting all the blame on him save his own royal honour and recover his lost credit, which might not be possible in any other way, unless he ventured to equip another force. At the end the pope said: The King of England ought to come over to the true Catholic faith, for otherwise with such a diversity of creeds he can never hope to enjoy either peace or quiet, neither by human statecraft is it possible that he can maintain and save himself (et finalmente disse il papa, dovrebbe il Re d'Inghilterra ridursi alla vera Religione Cattolica, perche altrimente con tante diversità di Religioni non può mai sperare di goder ne pace ne quiete, et è impossibile per via anche d' humana politica che possi mantenersi et conservarsi).
I said his Holiness spoke very devoutly, but what he said was rather desirable than likely to come about.
Rome, the 11th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
645. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is announced here that Montagu has been made prisoner by the French on the borders of Lorraine, when on his way home to England from his embassy at Turin, causing great offence to the Duke of Lorraine, who is an object of much suspicion to the French, as something has been said of a league he had concluded with the English and Dutch, while the English force was in France. This led to his arming and enlisting troops, though he afterwards withdrew when that force fared so badly. I understand that when the pope heard of this league he expressed the utmost astonishment and deep displeasure.
Rome, the 11th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
646. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Coruña fleet sailed on the 26th ult., 19 galleons in all. They were so ill found that Don Federigo di Toledo wrote to the king pointing out the weakness of the force and of each individual ship. The fleet lacked the necessary compliment of sailors and soldiers, had no camp marshal, was short of many boats and there was great risk of hazarding the royal reputation.
Since this action on the Isle of Ré I do not hear that they propose to prepare any forces here. They wait to observe the progress of the French king against La Rochelle. They think that the English, being bound to the Huguenots, will not cease to send them strong assistance, and therefore the Spaniards have less fear of new invasions.
Madrid, the 12th December, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
647. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Montagu's negotiations at this Court always aroused reasonable suspicions, and it was impossible to find out about them in the ordinary ways. The French have laid hands on him to take his papers. Among them I fancy there will be the one that I enclose, the origin of which they can easily guess, speaking of the desire of the princes here to ruin the Cardinal Richelieu. It is clear this will do much harm, and tend to foment the quarrel between the two crowns to the advantage of the Spaniards, although the aspect of affairs has greatly changed. The English have been beaten, and have not that influence in La Rochelle that they had. Buckingham remained six days at anchor after his defeat. He tried to introduce a garrison into the town, but the people would not receive it. So he had to return without achieving anything whatsoever.
One may clearly see what effect this paper will produce in France. It will not help them to swear here that Montagu carried no papers which could prejudice the confidence with the Most Christian, and it may serve to diminish rather than to increase the confidence with England, owing to the evil offices which I believe the Ambassador Wake is passing with his Court, since he was deeply offended, so I understand, at the rejoicings in this city at the expulsion of the English from the island, so much so that he writes that if they had sung the Te Deum at Venice or given the least sign of joy he would have left forthwith. He is not content even though they attribute it all to Madame here. Thus it may happen that the princes here will not at the moment have sincerely confidential relations either with France, England or Spain. However, Scaglia is highly esteemed by the English king and Buckingham, and may not allow Wake's vehement complaints to make the impression which they might otherwise do.
Letters left here by the courier from Rome state that the Count of Ognat gave out that the fear of the arrival of the Spanish fleet has thrown the Engish into confusion, thus claiming a great part of the victory. This has given Bethune great offence.
Turin, the 12th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.648. Advice to the King of Great Britain.
All Europe is divided into two faiths. Each thinks itself the true one. They are under the protection of the House of Austria and the King of Great Britain. The Austrians aim at universal monarchy and have nearly succeeded. The states of the King of Spain alone furnish 140,000 warriors, and all the other kings of Europe have not so many great captains as he. Nevertheless the King of Great Britain can do much to avoid this eventuality. If France and the other princes who fear the House of Austria joined him it would be an easy matter to oppose their greatness and reduce them to the defensive. Such a generous resolution cannot be expected from France while Cardinal Richelieu rules there. Even if he promised it, he is too faithless to keep his promises, and it is repugnant to his profession, his honour and his promises to Rome and Spain. Accordingly the key to this situation is to ruin the cardinal, and it remains to consider the means. The only way is to continue the war begun in France, which will lead him into difficulties that he cannot avoid. Suppose the siege of the fort is raised; that gives a bad appearance to the affairs of the King of Great Britain, yet properly considered they are in a better state, as La Rochelle is worth more than the fort, and this misfortune throws Rochelle into his arms. To make things last it would be necessary to supply Rohan with money, 200,000 livres would suffice to maintain his troops for a year, to munition La Rochelle, leave it the men it requires for defence and 4,000 to 5,000 men over and above to attack the forts, which are not yet in good condition. That would compel the King of France to keep his army extraordinarily strong and so to incur great expense. The king or Monsieur could not leave it, and there would be other inconveniencies.
The King of Great Britain might then make a declaration to Monsieur and all the princes of the blood that he regrets that Cardinal Richelieu has so much influence over the king, so that he could not impart his intentions to him. He had only taken arms to repair the injuries which the cardinal had done him. He had shown his affection for France and the king by preferring her alliance to one with Spain. If the King of France preferred his friendship to that of the cardinal, no one should be surprised at his behaviour or judge ill of his designs. He desired the welfare of Christendom and of France with so much passion that if the king assembled the princes of the blood, the ancient officers of the crown, he would evince his esteem for their birth, sufficiency and probity as he would defer to their advice all that the dignity of his crown would suffer. He had only begun this war very reluctantly, because of the desolation it brought to the common affairs of Europe. During that time he should scour the coasts of France with his ships and show what difficulties they will be in if they do not join with him to prevent the Spaniards taking the upper hand in those waters. France, seeing that the cardinal is the cause or the pretext of her ills, will revolt against him and will readily follow whichever prince of the blood undertakes to ruin him.
It is noteworthy that the cardinal has done all in his power to make an accommodation with the Count of Soissons, recognising in him his most dreaded enemy, and the cardinal has committed no fault by which the Count has taken advantage. The war will provide the Count with several opportunities for ruining the cardinal. The time he takes to declare himself will enable him to say that he has dissimulated his private injuries so long as he thought it might injure the state, but perceiving that the cardinal's misdeeds struck at the very roots of the crown, he could not delay any longer to be his declared enemy and demand justice of the king and parliament, as he detested the authors of civil wars. Undoubtedly the best elements of the kingdom would unite with him. The manner in which the Duke of Buckingham has lived with those of La Rochelle has put that town at the disposition of the King of Great Britain, and all those of the religion in France will receive his commands as an honour. This consideration will make France hold him in great respect. He cannot make peace without ruining his reputation, and there is no need to do so since war gives him these advantages, as it will ruin the cardinal and make England the chief of all the Protestants of Europe, enhance his reputation among his neighbours, and in the treaty of peace he can so arrange matters as to engage France to oppose the designs of the House of Austria. This will give him eternal glory and security.
[French.]
Dec. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
649. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Before confirmation arrived of the presence of the Dunkirkers at the Isle of Wight, we learned that seven ships of that squadron had returned to Dunkirk, so severely damaged by the recent terrible storms that they will not be able to sail again this year. There is no news of the seven others, which made up the fleet, and it is thought probable that they have gone down, as reports of wrecks arrive from every quarter.
The Count della Torre has been to see me, and lamented his ill fortune. He arrived here without following or baggage, and would have fared badly if the King of Bohemia had not helped him. However, he does not lose courage. Since coming here he has tried to renew the negotiations for a league with the Prince of Transylvania, and would like to have 15,000 paid infantry supplied, feeling sure that prince would make a strong diversion. He spoke about it to the States and the English ambassador. The first would grant something if the other princes joined in. Carleton confined himself to generalities, well knowing that his king will now be thinking of quite other matters. I have heard something about approaching your Serenity.
It is announced that at Stadem the Imperialists have captured the fort which General Morgan built for the defence of the place at the mouth of the Elbe. The loss would be most serious, as all hopes of holding out depend upon keeping the coast open for succour.
The Hague, the 13th December, 1627.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
650. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I will give my conversation with the duke later, but first of all I must tell your Serenity that he informed me in the courteous manner he always shows me, that while he was at the islands the king warned him that advices issued from the Venetian embassy in France, derived from my letters, were by no means flattering to them here or to himself personally. On his return many persons who frequent this house gave him conflicting accounts of my affection for him and the king's service. In this uncertainty he suspends his opinion, informing me of the circumstance, assuring me that he had never forfeited his claim on my affection, with other friendly expressions.
With my experience, I know that ministers cannot render efficient service without the good opinion of those who govern, while in my letters I have always imparted everything, and not far from the result, and in my conversation I have sought to cultivate and increase good relations, in which I have succeeded. I therefore seized upon this overture to increase affection, as silence would have irremediably increased the dissatisfaction, while as the statement came from so high a quarter I could not let the matter pass without a contradiction. I thanked him for having given me an opportunity to prove my candour towards the king and himself. I demonstrated clearly that these were the inventions of persons who thought to shake the confidence between his Majesty and most serene republic by simultaneously accusing two of her ministers. I said that such things had not proceeded from my pen and from his Excellency Zorzi's lips, nor could we have imagined them without incurring the indignation of your Excellencies, who gave us commands of an exactly opposite nature.
The duke remained very well satisfied, but when I left him and thought over the matter, I reflected that his Excellency Zorzi has received all my letters, not one being intercepted, and the most important matters were always in cipher, and his Excellency is very prudent, and I found a certain indication which causes me some suspicion. So far back as last February the duke told me Abbot Scaglia had written to him from France many particulars seen in my letters, confided to him by his Excellency Zorzi, whereby I represented the preparations for the outfit of the fleet as less than they were in reality. I gave the duke full satisfaction about this, adding that through lack of experience and a knowledge of the English language I was obliged to depend on the statements of others. Such ambiguities, therefore, as may have existed were due to this and not to ill-will. On the 9th March I acquainted his Excellency Zorzi with this as by the enclosed copy, and as a most prudent and worthy minister he answered as you will see, it being evident that the breach of confidence was intended to affect not the ministers but the republic, and for this reason alone I am compelled to give the whole story.
When he arrived here Scaglia had taken offence at my not seeing him, although without any reason, as I offered to visit him whenever the Danish ambassadors did so. Enraged lest this should be quoted at other courts to the disparagement of his master's claims, which are well known to your Serenity, jealous beyond measure lest, for his own interests, anyone but the Duke of Savoy should have a hand in these negotiations, finding how much your Excellencies are esteemed at this Court and the trust reposed in your ministers, which is perhaps greater than he expected, all these considerations, coupled with what the Duke of Buckingham confessed openly, make me suspect some cunning stroke, though I cannot be sure of it, as well as some verbal statement engrafted on those written heretofore. Hence I infer that he certainly wrote to Buckingham from France. If his Excellency Zorzi did not communicate my letters to him, then he wrote according to his own caprice, and if the letters were shown to him, he abused the trust, and converted into poison what was meant for the food of the respective states, to trouble the good understanding here. What took place makes me suspect the rest.
After pondering these circumstances, I returned on the morrow to the duke, expatiating upon my displeasure very amply, hinting that I myself would assure his Majesty of the proceedings of the republic and her ministers, that I could no longer continue to serve her here, being mistrusted, that on other occasions I had spoken to this effect; in short I did not omit any argument to prevent the usurpation of that post of confidence which I reserve more securely than ever.
Next day the duke came to me, assuring me that since his return he had not spoken to the king about this affair, until now; that he found him quite indifferent, as these first advices reached him in a dubious form, and without any subsequent confirmation. The duke entertained his original good opinion of your Serenity and of your ministers, and if I had spoken to the king I should have found him of the same mind. He prayed me not to distress myself so much about a thing which had no real substance.
From this I gather that the king may have appeared upon the stage without a part, as he very often does, and from fear of offending the duke I abstained from having recourse to his Majesty. I answered the duke that from the beginning of this affair my peace of mind was not disturbed, as I had never acted contrary to my usual candour, which deserved the good opinion both of his Majesty and of the duke. I added: Now that your Excellency is satisfied both with regard to the most serene republic and her ministers, as you tell me, would you not wish us to get to the bottom of this falsehood? If you will tell me from whence it proceeds, I am willing to show you the letters written to the Courts by me since your departure, to undeceive you entirely. This was the register kept by me of the ordinary advices, which contains nothing but public affairs and events, though to tell the truth I sought with this small bait to fish how this mischief arose, whence it came, whether the cipher had been discovered, or anything else of that sort. I told him that in extraordinary cases between the ministers of confidential powers, the boundaries of our office might be overstepped. In the matter of writing I was responsible to your Serenity alone, as he was for the secrecy of his reporters. This suggestion nailed the duke; he ruminated, and I knew that all the shadows were dispelled. Not knowing what other course to pursue, he embraced me, adding: No, Sir, this is unnecessary, nor can I say more to you than that I know from my own experience that those who occupy high station always have rivals and malignant enemies.
This, my lords, is the outcome of a diabolical imposition, which has met with a harsh rebuff, and as I have blunted it as it deserves, I trust it will help me if others try to injure me by similar unworthy devices. As I expressed deep regret for the annoyance which the king or duke might receive, I am certain that the incident will serve to increase my confidential relations with them, of which your Excellencies will find some indication in the following letter.
London, the 14th December, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
651. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The cloud of suspicion being dissipated, I saw a good opportunity of speaking to the duke about the present state of affairs, in accordance with the invitation he gave me when I first visited him after his return. I laid before him, in short, the state of Europe, the ruin of Germany and the other urgent necessities of Christendom. These being only too manifest, he made no reply. I added that the most serene republic earnestly desired to effect this reconciliation, without which everything threatened ruin. To avoid that, you had not failed to use your good offices at both Courts, and would continue to do so. I felt sure that his Majesty, no less than the duke, would ponder the sincerity of your Excellencies' proceedings, your affection for this kingdom and the reputation for maturity and prudence which the republic has earned after so many centuries of decorous and beneficent policy, with the common weal always in view. All these things coupled with the good disposition always shown by the duke towards the common cause, both by making the French marriage and the league with Denmark, are a guarantee that he will not suffer monsters to be born of these his labours, but good and profitable offspring, in conformity with his views.
The duke listened to me attentively and said: His Majesty and the whole kingdom are fully acquainted with the republic's sincere prudence and friendly affection, and hold it in great account. The object of our move was certainly not to injure the common cause, but to benefit it by proving to the French that it was neither honourable nor profitable to break faith and act contemptuously by the other friendly powers, as shown by the league of the Valtelline, by the edicts promised to the Huguenots, by employing the late Count of Mansfelt, and by persuading the king to declare against the Spaniards, and desert him after he had committed himself, under the plea of not offending the pope. We are still of the same mind, that the world may know that our counsels are not light or based on air, but on true statecraft, for if the Most Christian will unite in earnest with us and other Christian powers, such as Denmark, Sweden, the United Provinces, the most serene republic, the Duke of Savoy and others, who desire reparation for Germany, and that he would entirely renounce his friendship with the Spaniards, we would make peace at once. As we were duped in the case of Bassompierre, we desire as a guarantee and pledge of this being carried out that he shall not molest the Huguenots, because they are the true Frenchmen, and because he cannot attend to two sides. When these points are settled, without which any treaty would be vain, as every one can see that they are based on the common weal, we shall not haggle over details (non la guarderemo per sottile). The French are interested in the restoration of Germany for reasons of state, and we merely by consanguinity and our engagements. Heretofore the French aimed at the empire and kept Germany divided for their own ends, they now neglect her because they are bewitched by the Spaniards. This will prove their ruin long before we are destroyed, as after all we are in an island which supplies itself, and we shall keep the sea. The Huguenots were always commended to this Crown, nor does it matter that they are the subjects of the French Crown, as he on his part assists the Dutch. In defence of the Huguenots the king will not hesitate to employ his force, his aid, his kingdom and his very life. I assure your Excellency of this as I know it. The affairs of Christendom are brought to such a pass that unless a vigorous remedy be applied they must perish. It is clear that if the powers act one by one they will but destroy themselves. All must conspire for one end. If France, which is the vital part of this body, fails us, it will be proper to harass her, so that if she refuses to do good, she may be prevented from doing harm. Although we believe the King of Denmark to be irretrievably ruined, we will contribute for him, though but little. We cannot give much as we have to divide our forces for the defence of our own coasts and for the assistance of La Rochelle. If with these two conditions, the path of peace, which we value highly, can be made clear to us, we will readily follow it; but otherwise it is not to be thought of, as we really do not care about it. Although I did not do what I wanted at the islands, because of the betrayal practised upon me here (per esser stato qui assassinato), yet I can rest satisfied with what I achieved in holding my ground for four months on French soil, and with the certainty, believed by the French themselves, that I should have taken the fort had I received assistance. It is notorious, moreover, that we can injure France without receiving hurt from her, as she will at least entirely lose her sea trade and be involved in civil war for many years. In spite of this, my king, who never had any aim with regard to France than of inducing her to espouse the common cause and making her repent of her errors, will not look to small advantages lest the greater ones be sacrificed.
In my reply, I omitted the item of unsound policy which has brought things to this pass, as this is irremediable. I confined myself to commending the good sentiments of the king and duke, showing that with such excellent intentions the result would be even more advantageous under the duke's guidance. I hinted that this body corporate of the common liberty was so feeble that violent medicines, alluding to the league, would rather make it worse. It must be invigorated by degrees. The union of many required time, which is the greatest enemy of the good. It would be no small feat to stipulate the peace without thinking of leagues, as the reasons which prevented France from concurring still subsist. When unable to obtain all that is desired, we ought none the less to secure all that we can, and as in similar cases our rule should be to select with prudence what is most necessary and profitable, not what is most desirable. If the Imperialists make themselves strong on the Baltic, the ocean and the coasts, England will indeed find herself in a sorry plight, being deprived of her trade and of the means for building ships, with which at present she blockades Spain. It will be difficult to bring France to make treaties with foreign powers about her own subjects, as England would not suffer the like with the Catholics, either with the Spaniards or with the French themselves. The case of the Dutch is not in point, the United Provinces having been already declared free princes. It is worth considering whether the Huguenots can best be preserved by treaties or by arms. In short, with these and similar ideas I shewed the difficulty of carrying their plans into effect, and urged them to adopt a proper moderation. I had no commission to interfere further or to enter into particulars, as I might easily have done.
With respect to the congress and these affairs, I observe that all the ministers have changed their tone and are more mild. Even the duke speaks more soberly, although he and the king cherish thoughts of vengeance in their hearts, peace is desired, but it will be hard to bring about so long as the Most Christian King persists in besieging La Rochelle. Without this condition all will be vain. That for the French Huguenots England will abandon Denmark, Germany and all the rest, that the English being losers cannot speak first for decency's sake, and are therefore obstinate. That should the war last, Denmark will not receive assistance from England, because she has not the power to give it, nor from France, as she will always apprehend some surprise from the English. In addition to this Denmark needs vigorous succour. If some reasonable overture could be obtained from France they might not allow it to drop here. Although the duke speaks high, yet it is no small thing for him to admit that he perceives the harm done by the war. In conclusion, even were this peace to be made, if money is not forthcoming it will prove of little use, and assuredly there is neither money nor the means of providing it save through parliament, which the king and duke abhor more than ever, and from the lack of which they have been led to neglect even their own affairs, as they will continue to do, so that still less will they help their neighbours. Accordingly, I foresee very little good.
London, the 14th December, 1627.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
652. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the duke's return the only business which they have settled is the embassy of the Earl of Carlisle to Lorraine, though it will depend in great measure on the finances. The earl is very extravagant and deeply in debt, and he will make difficulties about setting out unless he is well supplied with money, while their present straits are beyond description. This business is both public and private, public because of the necessity to return the compliment paid by the duke on the death of the king's father, and on his own accession, private, because, as I have previously reported, the earl is looking out for an honourable retreat from the Court, and Buckingham also likes to have him at a distance.
The ambassador of Savoy, availing himself of the opportunity does his utmost to get Carlisle appointed to Piedmont. He fancies that his master's interests will profit greatly by this decoy, so as at any rate to draw the whole negotiations for the peace to that Court, where alone it might be managed without sharing with others, as he earnestly desires; also that the first negotiations of Montagu, although done without orders, may be upheld, although I believe that the French will not give in to it. The duke told me that this resolve was not yet made, as it might be construed as a first step towards peace, as in fact it is; but at any rate Carlisle will not have any power over similar treaties. I am certain, however, that should Scaglia insist, as I have no doubt he will, Carlisle will go to that Court taking with him some instructions, though secret, about the peace. He will take the road through Holland, where he will propose the league I reported for the defence of the sea and the Sound with Denmark, Sweden, the States and this kingdom. But the Dutch ambassador told them that it would be better for him to convey a resolve to assist Denmark, as otherwise that kingdom would perish before the conclusion of these treaties. He will justify the war with France, both to the United Provinces and to the Princes Palatine, announcing the wish for peace on the terms mentioned in my last, so that the whole blame for the ruin of Germany may not rest on the shoulders of England. From Holland, Carlisle will go to Brussels, availing himself of the passports he obtained when this journey was mooted before. The partisans of Spain say that he will be well received even without them. This indirect road is compulsory, as there is no other, a deplorable fact; but one may also say that the embassy is intended to create suspicion. I know that Buckingham stated that the Spaniards cajoled him when Gerbier last negotiated with them, and by means of this journey he will renew the attempt. If unsuccessful, he will then raise all Christendom against them, an allusion to the general league aforesaid. If therefore in the course of his journey Carlisle should be invited to enter into any negotiations, he will give ear to it, but by reason of his good character for antipathy to the Spaniards, I do not anticipate any mischief from that quarter, but he will rather serve the interests of the Duke of Lorraine, with respect to the part taken in his movements by the Austrians; and then in Lorraine he will encourage hostilities. Even if he does not effect much, the mere suspicion will irritate the French irreconcilably. Scaglia desires these jealous doubts, so that the duke, his master, being thus well provided, may take advantage of them with the French, and place them under the necessity of depending on him. As I have reported, this is the basis of all his negotiations. To this end he has been to see Soubise, to impress him the more with these sentiments, though I do not know how the French will relish them. Should the commissions for this embassy proceed further I will report them, as I know that they have not been deceived about them down to the present time.
Soubise and the two deputies from La Rochelle have had a long interview with the king. It was proposed to send thither immediately 300 Frenchmen whom the Rochellese despatched to the islands, and who came back to England with the duke, accompanied by a corresponding number of Englishmen; but the deputies have requested the king not to send the troops, of whom they have not much need, until the spring, but rather to send them more victuals, with which they are only provided for six months. They thus astutely endeavour to induce the king to send them a considerable reinforcement in the spring, which cannot be promised at present owing to the lack of many supplies and of money. All that they asked was granted to them. After the king had heard them for three hours in his cabinet in the presence of the duke alone, he went into the Council Chamber and recommended the dispatch of the business with the utmost warmth.
The Dunkirk vessels, pursued by the Dutch, were driven towards the English coast. The Dutch ambassador informed the duke of this, who ordered Pennington to put to sea with all the best ships, so as to catch the Dunkirkers between the two fleets, but they had passed before he got out. On board of them are 3,000 infantry, commanded by the Irish Earl of Tyrone, who is in the service of the Infanta. On this account, and by reason of advices from other parts in conformity with those I have received from your Excellencies, there has been some suspicion of attacks on Ireland in conjunction with the French and the galleons of Toledo, but it is said that the season guarantees them against any alarm in those parts, which, however, are ill provided, and some persons are of opinion that the duke wishes for some invasion in that quarter, so that the people for self defence may grant the king money without touching it, and thus attain the desired end. The Danish ambassadors are endeavouring to obtain some assistance for their master before their departure. They presented a paper asking for twenty or thirty ships armed and manned for the spring for their master's service, wherever it may be deemed best, as well as for money and a levy of troops. All this has been promised them, though I know not what the result may be, or what the conditions are. They wish to take this declaration to France, to obtain the like from them if possible, as they firmly maintain that they cannot wait for the peace, as it will be too long postponed. As an effort is now being made to divert the Most Christian king from the war against the Huguenots, about which he is very warm, and as the English will be no less ardent, as being of the same faith, their mediation cannot fail to create suspicion.
Sobl, who was sent to France as I reported, came to see me. He brings nothing whatever about the peace, and the queen would not give him so much as a letter, to avoid causing suspicion. He told me that the only hope of any good lay in the jealousy between Schomberg and the cardinal. The former had always been opposed to the Huguenots, especially since the defeat of the English.
They intended to release some of the prisoners taken at the last battle, but when they heard that the colours had been carried in procession in Paris and the English prisoners paraded as it were in triumph, they have delayed sending them back.
I enclose a formula or letter given to the merchants by Abbot Scaglia, to induce them to go to Villefranche. As the word of the Duke of Savoy has not much credit they have found a very rich London merchant to invite the traders here. The ministers here promised me not to write to Wake about the consulage affair, but as the Signory's commands have been so long delayed, I do not know what they will have done. At any rate I will not fail to uphold the rights of the republic.
I am sure that for the sake of the public service your Excellencies will pardon some prolixity, which I am sorry to inflict upon you. I wish the state the utmost exaltation, glory and true welfare in the new year.
London, the 14th December, 1627.
Postscript.—I have just heard of the arrest of Montagu on the borders of France and Lorraine, as he was returning, an event that will increase ill-feeling and consequently make anything good more difficult.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.653. Copy of a paragraph from a letter written to his Excellency Zorzi in France on the 9th March, 1627.
I must, however, tell you in supreme confidence and beg you eanestly for the sake of our country to be very cautious in your communications to Scaglia, especially with respect to affairs here, touching the interests of the Duke of Buckingham. When he was talking to me the other day about this business of the French, he informed me, I know not whether I should say unguardedly, that my letters had been communicated by you to Scaglia, who being his most confidential adherent, wrote back their contents to him.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosure.654. Copy of a paragraph from a letter of the Ambassador Zorzi dated Paris, the 18th March, 1627.
I showed some parts of your letter to the Ambassador Scaglia, but only such as I deemed advantageous for the allied powers, where you extol the ability of the Duke of Buckingham, the excellent disposition of the king towards the peace, in short all that I thought Scaglia himself would approve, both for the advancement of the affairs and because, as the points favoured the English, he might take them in good part and communicate them to the duke in person. I considered this suited to the nature of the time, to the confidential relations between our masters and to the service of the public cause.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosure.655. 1627, the 1st of September, at Nice.
The new franchise of this city and the harbours promise such trade, and especially with regard to the sale of various wares for this and other states, that for the convenience of our friends we have determined in our own name and in partnership with Sig. Ottavio Baronis of Turin, to establish there a house of business, with the means of disposing on fair terms of whatever goods may be addressed to us, so that you may avail yourselves of our agency, which we offer you for the purchase of merchandise, at the usual commission of 2 per cent, and a like amount on sales, and 1 per cent for the guarantees. We bind ourselves to give credit to debtors at double cost, and as usual on bills of exchange, and one florin per bale on dispatching the goods, of which you may have note, as of the signature of our Sig. Giovanni appended, telling us how we are to act for you. God save you.
GIOVANNI DOMENICO PIERO PELEGRINI.
[Italian: copy.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
656. To the Ambassador in England.
We have your advices of the 23rd and 24th ult., and those of the 16th arrived later by way of Holland. Your offices with the king were prudent and adequate. We hear from France that they are using their victory with moderation. We gave you very express instructions about the reconciliation. It is not surprising that the English want revenge rather than peace, but we hope that reflection will bring better counsel, seeing the condition to which Germany is reduced and the plight of Denmark and their other allies. The peace in Hungary is only too true. The emperor is in the full tide of fortune, to the detriment of the common liberty. You will give warmth to your offices, pointing out the great importance of a reconciliation with France; assuring the king and ministers of our steadfastness in seeking this benefit.
Our resolutions will conform to your negotiations and advices; we have clearly expressed our wishes and we feel sure that you will carry them out with vigour and ability. We are sending similar instructions to the Ambassador Zorzi; and you will tell the minister so.
Ayes, 142.Noes, 5.Neutral, 14.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
657. That the following be added instead of the last clauses:
That owing to the necessity of showing equal esteem for both crowns, ambassadors extraordinary be sent to France and England and that nobles be chosen for this, to start in eight days, upon pain of 2,000 ducats. They shall receive 2,400 ducats each for four months; 200 ducats for chests and trappings; 1,500 ducats to equip themselves; 300 ducats for extraordinary expenses; 100 ducats for the secretary and 50 for the coadjutor, and 30 ducats each for two couriers.
Ayes, 22.
[Italian.]
Dec. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
658. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The wit of man cannot grasp the contradictions with which the world is ruled. The king is eager for peace with his brother-in-law, the queen mother sighs for it and the cardinal wishes it, and yet, when the States of Holland propose to send two ambassadors here for the purpose, they give them to understand that as they do not want either Aerssens or Pau, they will not receive them or others until the articles of the new alliance are established. The truth is the cardinal has declared himself the enemy of Aerssens; I do not know why; and they object to Pau merely to cloak the offence to the other, though every one knows quite well that Vonsbergh is Aerssens' colleague and that if the embassies take place Pau will go to England.
On Wednesday the Prince of Falsburgh arrived back here. Negotiations about the capture of Montagu are still on foot. Borbonoys had the courage to take him, but not to bring him. Gold can do anything in France. I gather that Montagu will be brought to Paris and that the Duke of Lorraine will express himself satisfied if he is set at liberty after six days, as has been promised. They say the decision will mature this evening. In spite of all the fuss over his papers, they say nothing so far about the particulars.
Paris, the 17th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
659. To the Ambassador in France.
We send you a copy of our letters to the Ambassador Contarini about peace between France and England. In conformity with these and our last orders, you will perform strong offices with the king, his mother and the ministers. If the other ambassadors go to the king you will do so also to offer congratulations and to speak of the important question of the re-union of the two crowns at a time when Germany is almost entirely under a single chief, and its frontiers are so near to France.
Ayes, 102.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
660. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As the Ambassador Bethune has been ill, I sent my Secretary Zon to see him. Among other things the ambassador said he had letters from Lyons of the 2nd inst. confirming the withdrawal of the English force, with a loss of 2,500 foot. He did not know what the English would decide. His king would now listen readily to proposals for peace, provided his own subjects were not mentioned. He did not know if the means employed at present to induce his Majesty were adequate and beneficial, possibly indicating the States; possibly your Serenity would interest yourself, and their resident at Venice, who did not, however, inspire much confidence, reported that you had sent some one to France, not in the character of ambassador, to sound his Majesty's disposition.
The same letters from Lyons reported the detention of Montagu and the remonstrances of the Duke of Lorraine. They had taken his papers, which would show the course of his negotiations at Turin, hinting that they did not suspect the Duke of Savoy so much as the Duke of Lorraine, it being sufficiently clear that he had arranged a league with the King of England in favour of the Rochellese. This would only exasperate the King of England still more, but they could not help that in the present state of affairs.
Rome, the 18th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
661. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A special courier has been sent to recall some Englishmen of those who came with their ships to Villefranche and who withdrew from Nice because of some homicide, as it is found that they were guiltless of the deed. I enclose some further orders which have been printed for the establishment of the trade in those ports.
Turin, the 19th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
662. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since Montagu's detention many reports have circulated in Paris against his Highness, the Count of Soissons and the Duke of Lorraine. I also hear that they state that papers were found on Montagu showing the understanding your Excellencies have with the Huguenots and the King of England. I have exposed the vanity and malignity of the report. I told the French ambassador that I had never concealed from him my conversations with Montagu, which consisted entirely of good offices for peace. The falseness is quite apparent, as it appears that only the inventory of the papers found on Montagu was sent to Paris, as Babora wanted to take the papers himself with Montagu. It was unlikely, when your Serenity keeps ambassadors in France and England, that you would treat with an English gentleman, and there was an English ambassador at Venice, so it was not likely that I should have the least business with Montagu when there were so many better ways of treating with the English and the Huguenots if any one wished. The ambassador knows that there can have been no negotiations. I did not ask him to write to his Court, as I did not want to show that I attached any importance to the matter. I think he will do so, however, and repeat the arguments that I stated laughingly.
Besides the paper I sent, Montagu had letters all in cipher from the Count of Verua for the abbot, his brother, and letters of the Viscount of Sardegni to the abbot, but they say merely complimentary, with letters of credence from his Highness to the king, queen and Buckingham. They swear that his Highness gave him no other papers, but they fear that he may have made some memorials in his own hand, containing many important matters. But the worst is the paper that I sent in which I understand the princes here and the Count of Soissons both concurred. However, Montagu's second despatch to England, of which they will have found the copy, may help, as I hear that he complained bitterly that they did not propose to make any movement soever here against France, as the English had been led to understand. The Count of Soissons is sending a gentleman to France, and I fancy the things published against him are the cause.
Turin, the 19th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
663. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ships of the Earl of Holland, arrived at the Isle of Ré, have sunk some barques taking thither troops and munition. It is not thought, however, that they will attempt anything further. There seems to be some ill feeling between Schomberg and Marcillac, as both were in the action with the English, and in a printed account all the glory is given to Schomberg and Marcillac is not mentioned.
Turin, the 19th December, 1627.
[Italian.]
Dec. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
664. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ordinary has reached me to-day. The letters for England will go on. I think they will take advantage of the passage of the Dutch ambassador, who have taken leave of the assembly and the Court, and will cross with the first favourable wind. Those for France are also waiting for good weather. They have all called upon me and shown me their instructions about a reconciliation between the two crowns. They pressed me hard to give them letters to the ambassadors, Contarini, and Zorzi, professing that they wish to act in concert in the common interest. I assured them of the excellent disposition of your Excellencies and I think that they will have nothing to complain of.
The Hague, the 20th December, 1627.
[Italian.]