Venice
February 1628, 3-14

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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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578-593

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'Venice: February 1628, 3-14', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 20: 1626-1628 (1914), pp. 578-593. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89145 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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February 1628

Feb. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
726. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Danish ambassadors, perceiving that it would be mere loss of time and trouble, have given up the idea of insisting upon some arrangement with La Rochelle and the Huguenots; but they have spoken at great length and very warmly for their own ends and for the peace with England. To tell the truth no one could speak upon the first subject with any hope of success, with France so sensitive on the matter and thinking the mole will soon decide it in her favour. The proposals of the ambassadors are briefly as follows: That by April at latest France shall send her deputies to the Hague, where they will find some from England, and there, among mutual friends and with their assistance, discuss and arrange a good and stable peace. They are both actuated by regard for the public cause, but one of them is trying to obtain help from France in money and men. They hope that the business will develop of itself. They reckon in this way. By April the mole will have succeeded or not. If it does, La Rochelle will have to give in and England to yield her claims and be patient. If it does not, and relief enters the town, France may realise that the harvest of her hopes produces more flowers than fruit, and will have to change her opinion. They think that in the short interval one of the two parties must be convinced by the facts, and that what now seems impossible will not prove so difficult then.
In the present state of affairs I think I shall be acting in accordance with the wishes of the state if, in order not to irritate the queen mother to no purpose, I avoid speaking to her about any compromise between the king and the Huguenots. The moment is decidedly unpropitious for anything of the kind. The Court is too apprehensive over the success of this enterprise. I will see her to-morrow evening to present the ducal missives. I will tell her of the desires and good will of the republic, in the universal necessity the world feels for peace between these two kingdoms, and I will offer my services according to the nature of her replies. God grant me success and a hearing.
Paris, the 3rd February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
727. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some one who has come from Nice reports that only four ships have arrived in the port of Villefranche, laden with herrings, cod and other salt fish, so they got little good from the journey of the general of the finances and the merchants. I hear that Baronis alone bought some bales of cloth.
Turin, the 3rd February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
728. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is little of interest from La Rochelle this week. Whether from fear of the succours from England or for other reasons, the French and Spanish fleets, numbering from 60 to 70 ships, under the command of the Duke of Guise, have been blockading the port since the end of last week. Gamorini's stone mole and Targoni's wooden stockade both make marvellous progress. They have sunk nine of the forty ships being built. The rest will be sunk in a few days. They propose to erect two forts to guard the narrow space between by which alone succour can reach La Rochelle. This news has made them consider easy what they thought impossible a week ago. In the king's last letter to the queen mother he tells her that he will not leave the camp, whatever happens. He will either achieve his purpose or grow grey there.
Paris, the 4th February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
729. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has informed me that he gathered two particulars about Gabor from the Caimecan. One is that Bernaschi, Prince of Wallachia, had intercepted letters from Gabor to the King of Poland urging him not to send ambassadors here, but rather to profit by their plight, with other letters to the King of the Tartars, urging them to move. He said he had these letters by him. It shows that they build upon the bad state of affairs here. The other particular is that the Caimecan urged the ambassador to get me to tell them what I knew on the subject. However, he said nothing to me at the audience.
They have sent Jusuf to Gabor, as the English ambassador recommended. He is a Turk, well acquainted with that country. By this man they have sent letters to the prince, partly threatening and partly cajoling, showing that they know all his proceedings.
The Vigne of Pera, the 5th February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
730. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have the commission of the Senate of the 27th November not to permit the hire of any foreign ships when Venetian are available, or when they are expected soon. I seem to have acted rightly as the order is not an absolute prohibition. The whole affair was carried out smoothly without the usual disputes. I explained the matter of the larger sum for the hire of the English ship; but it is usual to pay more than for Venetian ships as they carry more sailors and gunners and less cargo, leaving plenty of room for fighting. I have told the merchants here clearly that I shall not permit the lading of any but Venetian ships or ships hired in Venice with the licence of the Five Sages, until further order from the Senate.
The Vigne of Pera, the 5th February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
731. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Although no letters have come from France for some days, there are reports of the wreck of some English ships in a storm, which had sailed to relieve La Rochelle or for some other enterprise against the French. The French ambassador himself confirms it, and says he first had the confirmation from Brussels; whence he also hears that they are expecting the Earl of Carlisle there, who had orders to proceed to Holland, Lorraine, Turin and Venice; and his commissions are more show than substance. This has been especially arranged by Buckingham, in order to get him away from the Court, so that he may not throw any hindrance in the way of the restoration to the king's favour of the Earl of Bristol, who is in disgrace, and suspected of too close an understanding with the Spaniards in past events. The English and Buckingham in particular, have forgotten these, and the duke wants to restore him so as to use him as a means for introducing some fresh negotiations for friendship and confidence with these same Spaniards.
Rome, the 5th February, 1628.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
732. The secretary of the English ambassador was introduced into the Collegio and spoke substantially as follows:
The ambassador, always zealous for the service of the republic and having received some advices from Germany which he considers important and worthy of your Serenity's knowledge, has directed me to communicate them. They come from a well-intentioned man of worth, known to some of your Serenity's representatives, namely, Mr. Anstruther, English ambassador at Hamburg. The secretary then read the letters and handed them to the secretary.
In the absence of the doge the Senior Councillor, Foscarini, expressed their thanks to the ambassador, after which the secretary departed.
[Italian.]
733. Advices sent by Sir Robert Anstruther from Hamburg, dated the 15th January, 1628. (fn. 1)
[Italian.]
Feb. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
734. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have executed your Serenity's commands with the Secretary Conway, about the hostilities of English vessels against those of the republic. I noted the courtesies of Sir [Thomas] Roe in this matter as well as in the maintenance of a good understanding with the republic's ministers. He answered that if the English had acted in this manner they would receive capital punishment for acting contrary to the sincere intentions of his Majesty. He would announce the fact and give me a more positive answer. As regards the future he would write to Constantinople and other places where there are English ministers so that they might be as much on the watch not to bring on similar proceedings. As regards the last matter, if I had the name of the ship they would have proceeded here against the owners on such grounds as necessary. He hoped your Excellencies would have discovered that these were Dutch or Algerine pirates, who very often use the English flag in order to approach their prey in safety.
I replied that to act equitably by a friendly sovereign and his subjects would be quite in accord with the advantages enjoyed by the English at Venice. I was expecting further particulars about the persons concerned from your Excellencies, who had ordered the formation of the process in order to obtain precise details. Meanwhile, I could assure him that the ships were English, as a similar one made an attempt to injure the republic's subjects, but was frustrated by the Bailo by means of Sir [Thomas] Roe. I added that never before in England, particularly in the time of Queen Elizabeth, were letters of marque issued for the Mediterranean, and England should continue this good system to avoid estranging friends and irritating the Turks. This will actually happen when the duties levied by the Porte suffer from the trade of other nations being intercepted by the English. It is certain that these private persons, after incurring the cost of fitting out a ship, mean to indemnify themselves at the expense of any one soever, friend or foe, and when once away from England it is impossible to apply a remedy save by force.
I may mention that these letters of marque directed solely against enemies proved very advantageous in time past as they increased the sailors' experience, the shipowners' profits and the enemies' losses, as of all prizes, one tenth part goes to the Lord Admiral, one-third to the sailors, and the other to the owners, the rest going to the purveyor who supplies the victuals at his own cost and risk. But now these letters are so abused that they drain this kingdom of sailors, who enter this service with the hope of plunder and shun that of the king. This causes the scarcity of hands I have so often mentioned, and it increases daily. Whereas before they served as a reinforcement of hostilities, they now serve as a way to pay off debts. Such was the case lately, when all who had incurred loss by the seizure of English property in France, and cared to fit out ships, were allowed to go and cruise, although with the limitation to act solely against the French and their effects. Your Excellencies hear daily how they treat the Dutch and Hamburgers and every other nation, without regard for any of them. His Majesty's orders at the ports of the Levant might be of some avail, but not much. The safest plan would be to contrive to get the Mediterranean closed to cruisers, but the objection to this is the hope of great plunder to the hurt of the French, through the Levant trade. Should these attacks still continue it would be very useful to send hither a detailed account of the names of the ships and their captains, in order to proceed against the owners; but the surest course of all would be to expel them by force, as they are practically pirates, who cloak themselves under his Majesty's protection, contrary to his intention and that of his Council.
London, the 6th February, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
735. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I sent my last by way of Holland with the account of the seizure of the packets, and at a venture, as there were no ships of war. These are going the same road, as I shall only use that of France when the service of the state requires it. Your Excellencies will have heard of the intimation by the French to the Dutch ambassadors, about which Carleton has sent an express, narrating his office to induce the United Provinces to make the desired declaration. The Ambassador Joachim has spoken in conformity, not by order of his masters, but as if the ambassadors themselves had written to him on the subject. Despite the remonstrances they say they will proceed on their mission and be here with the first fair wind. With this opportunity he resumed his demands about freedom of trade, the seizure of ships and so forth. On this subject, although state policy should have prompted them to announce the best possible disposition, at least for the sake of rendering the French suspicious and gaining the States, he meets with greater harshness than ever, on the usual principle of compelling their friends instead of alluring them to do what they wish. Thus in the first place they have practically determined to forbid the Dutch to carry goods between the United Provinces and England, but permit them to trade between France and Holland, whither the English propose to send their own ships to fetch such commodities as they require. They do this for two reasons, to give satisfaction to the English Company here which previously had the privilege of trading in France, and in order not to lose the trade entirely. The ambassador will do his utmost to have this modified, but, as he told me this very day, he foresees that everything must come to ruin, as even with regard to the Indiamen that were seized, they seem to insist that the perpetrators of the Amboyna massacre shall be made to stand their trial in England, contrary to all law, which requires the plaintiff to sue before the defendant's court. He is in fact afraid that they will lay hands on them to make money, which is the most important and reasonable of his suspicions. For the rest he says he told them freely that his masters will not declare themselves for either of the two crowns, as if this war lasts they will both be ruined, and if not, they do not want to lose the assistance of France, as here they cannot supply their own needs, let alone those of others.
As the conference with the ambassadors extraordinary for France was not approved, Joachim sent his secretary to do the business with less noise. But in consequence of this last news he has recalled him. He intends to send him back when he hears of their passage. They have written to him that they will wait three or four days at Calais for the purpose of an interview. As all these schemes proceed with the duke's knowledge and connivance they serve to show the leaning towards peace of which I have frequently written. The difficulty about money is always increasing and without it all reports of preparations and projects for the spring, however grandly they are amplified, will all turn to nothing, I venture to say, unless means be provided, and men begin to whisper this. It is very true that the circumstance of these ambassadors, coupled with the emergencies of Italy will cause more punctiliousness, as the French act with too great vehemence and contempt for their friends, while they are called to more important machinations elsewhere. The complaints of Savoy are considered as pretexts to obtain reparation for the wrong done him by the French, who without him would hardly be able to help in Italy, should it be necessary. This is the more likely as Scaglia says that before he left Paris the marriage of the young princess to the Duke de Rhetel, (fn. 2) which passed through his hands, was near completion. So, if he did not disapprove of it, it is evident that his not asking for leave and other punctilios were mere pretexts for the ends described, and there is no doubt that if things break out in that quarter, the English will rejoice, believing that the Most Christian cannot abandon Nevers, who cannot be succoured without Savoy. Such a diversion would suit their present plans very well, and if the adjustment of the Genoese with Savoy has taken place, as reported, it will doubtless have been with the assent of the Spaniards, both by reason of their share there, and of their predominance in the counsels of France. They would not have agreed to it without the certainty, or at least probability that the forces of Savoy, being turned aside from that war would second their projects, as otherwise they would have prevented the peace which was in their hands. Since recent events these considerations must occur to the thoughtful. The Ambassador Wake gives hopes of a rupture in Italy, narrating the preparations of the Spaniards and the bonfires at Turin for the victory over the English, a demonstration not much relished here, though Scaglia does not confirm it, and apologises on the plea that the duke's real sentiments differ widely from the ostensible ones, and it was necessary to gratify the princess.
The Council meets daily with great secrecy, even the secretaries in ordinary being excluded when the king is present. The sole topic is the supply of money. Some of the members propose the abandonment of foreign affairs and attending solely to the defence of their own realms, and to the mastery of the sea contra quoscumque. These are the views of the Spanish faction, in order to escape the cost of sending aid to a distance. But circumstances, the employment of their forces, and the reputation of the country in so many quarters, will not allow this to be adopted. I hear that others, pointing out the necessity of calling parliament, offer the king their guarantee, in case he consents, that nothing shall be said about Buckingham. I know that the proposal, although odious, is under discussion, from necessity; hence this secrecy. I am told that in the houses of the Archbishop of Canterbury and of the Earl of Arundel it is said they will be released. This would be an indication, but we shall see.
The Earl of Denbigh (Videmburgh),the duke's brother-in-law, took leave of the king to take the succour to La Rochelle, twenty ships being already prepared for this purpose. But two nights ago the Rochelle deputies received notice that there were sixty good ships off their coast, including Spanish and French, so they have decided here to increase their convoy with ten more royal ships, as they only had three before, which will cause more than a month's delay, unless this dread of the enemy's force subside.
They bestow incessant praise on the King of Sweden for his magnanimity in rejecting the emperor's offers, and good hopes are also entertained from the promised assistance of troops to Denmark and from the present good understanding, and his subjects, owing to the tyranny of the Imperialists about the Holsteiners, who, to continue in possession of their patrimony, devastated by the war, have been taxed exorbitantly, and from Lubeck and Hamburg they demand 150,000 rix dollars each annually. The first refused absolutely, the other promised 80,000 but proposed raising troops for self–defence.
The English ambassador sends all these particulars, adding that Denmark complained of having been betrayed by Gabor, as he sent his troops into Silesia, trusting to Gabor's help, he being so near, but they were deserted and destroyed. It was said in Denmark that this year the emperor would form three armies, one for the empire, the other to join the infanta against the States, whose beginnings are already visible in the county of Embden, and the third for Mantua; but I do not know if they will be able to accomplish so much. A messenger despatched in all haste has also arrived from the King of Denmark with autograph letters for his ambassadors who were here. The particulars are not known, but merely that the king had a very strong force for the defence of the Danish islands and that the enemy's attacks had hitherto failed. Meanwhile, at Brussels the deputies of the Hanse Towns are puffed up with the idea of their pristine greatness being restored by having an exclusive privilege to trade with the Imperialists and the Spaniards, all other nations being denied this advantage; indeed, some say that a maritime league has been concluded between the parties.
It has been decided to subsidise a thousand German horse. Dulbier and Balfour have been appointed to go to Hamburg for this purpose. The Dutch ambassador has already demonstrated that this levy cannot be made in the Netherlands as intended. They say the object is to defend the country, though I believe it is to keep it in check, in case they decide to exact taxes contrary to the ancient privileges. Again, some say that in the spring these troops are to be sent to La Rochelle together with an infantry force; but I have good reason to suppose that nothing will be done, as it is too great and indecorous a novelty to introduce foreign soldiery into this kingdom, which without employment or discipline, would in two years or a little more become worthless, without taking into account the sum required for raising and providing for them. This does not agree with the present penury, the one criterion whereby I believe or disbelieve whatever is said or published, and I perceive daily that this pole star is infallible.
I beg your Excellencies to vote me money for couriers and the carriage of letters, as I have no more for the purpose.
London, the 7th February, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
736. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassadors made a fresh start last Saturday, the two for England and Vosbergh by himself for France, as Aerssens is still indisposed and unwilling to go on that mission. The wind is not good and they may come back again, causing fresh delay in this mission, which is considered so necessary. The lack of arrangement and of diligence shown over it are of ill augury for its success. Carleton told me that when he was here before, such disorders were not seen, so time was evidently undermining the good government of the state. He told me that the ambassadors would be heard, but before deciding they would have to see what the others would do in France. He said the business would be long because the Most Christian might not receive the ambassadors at the camp, and if he made them stop at Paris, they could not begin the negotiations very soon. He repeated what he had said before, that delay might prove very injurious to the affair, as preparations would go forward with the spring, and the expense would be an inducement to continue fighting, not to treat for peace. He told me that his king had sent 18 ships laden with munitions to La Rochelle, and he hoped they had got in, as he heard that the mole they were building there had been utterly destroyed in a storm. Some have told me that these 18 ships entered the port of Hâvre de Grace and fortified themselves there, but I have no proofs of this.
A Portuguese named Lopes has come here in the name of Cardinal Richelieu. They call him his spy, but he has orders to provide ships and to enquire about those already built, because, they say, M. de Custoius, who was to look after this, is suspected of not having acted as he ought, and they even question the ambassador's conduct. Carleton says that the cardinal is so accustomed to deceiving others that he cannot bring himself to trust his own creatures.
Carleton communicated letters from the Ambassador Anstruther from Hamburg, stating that the Count of Slich has gone to see the emperor to receive the command of 30,000 men against the Venetians. He adds that he had spoken with a leading colonel who had come from Denmark, to whom they had offered a share in that enterprise.
I thanked him and begged him to communicate to me all that he might hear on the subject.
The Hague, the 7th February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 7.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Risposte.
Vol. 147.
Venetian
Archives.
737. In response to the Senate's orders of the 30th December and 5th January last about the prohibition of foreign cloth in Venice and Candia: send a copy of their previous reply on the matter, which they consider very important, and they do not sea any reason to lead them to such a decision except this decree of the Senate prohibiting foreign cloth in Zante and Cephalonia. As regards Venice the prohibition might be good, considering the benefit the state would receive from the increase of cloth in the city and state, especially as they learn that only a small quantity is brought, though there used to be more, which was taken to the Morea and other places, and is now taken thither direct by the Westerners themselves.
Signed by all five.
[Italian.]
Feb. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
738. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Friday I saw the queen mother and conferred at length with her about ending the dispute with England and preventing the rival claims of the houses of Savoy and Mantua from leading to war. The public cause requires greater abilities though not more good will than mine. The reply I received from her Majesty was not bad, but it was not really good or conclusive either, because delay is harmful in the present state of affairs. I introduced myself by presenting the ducal missives recently received. I sought to gain her good will by praising Avaux. I spoke first about Italy, and Mantua in particular.
After the queen had answered me on this subject, I went on to speak of the peace with England. I assured her first of the untarnished affection of the republic for this crown. I had often spoken to her before of the regret of the republic at the quarrels between the two crowns. I was going to repeat this and offer your interposition for some adjustment. I told her that the Ambassador Contarini was to perform the same offices in England, so that they might move towards a reconciliation together. I showed how the House of Austria needed curbing in Germany, and if speedy succour were not provided, there would be a crash which the united forces of Christendom would not suffice to repair. I hinted that the capture of La Rochelle and the crushing of the Huguenots would always agree with the royal wishes, but it would not be so easy to repair the imminent mischief or the threatened Dutch. I pointed out the impropriety of long drawn out hostilities between blood relations, without excuse, if I might say so, and how glorious it would be if her Majesty took the matter up, granted my request and put in operation the excellent disposition of the Senate.
Never before have I found the queen in a better mood. She took me apart to a window, thanked me for my office and told me to thank your Serenity for the offer. After digressing summarily upon some of the matters I touched upon and admitting the truth of all, she spoke to this effect. Every one had laboured this year to bring about a reconciliation. They would not lose time. She desired it exceedingly, especially as Meos had brought her a letter from her daughter, begging her for peace, assuring her of the good treatment she receives from the king. These particulars made a great impression upon her and left her content and bound to interpose for a reconciliation.
At these words I abandoned generalities and told her there would be few difficulties if she gave her consent. I begged her to show me the confidence that was so well deserved by the republic. I asked her to let me know how far I might go. Here the aspect of affairs changed entirely, as my eagerness may have pressed her too hard. She said that in such a serious matter she would not decide anything, but it was necessary to speak to the king, who was the master. She did not think she was far wrong, however, when she said it seemed only right that those who had begun the war should be the first to ask for peace.
This severe answer did not silence me. I remarked that, granted England had first drawn the sword, she had received full payment. In the interests of peace I begged her Majesty to suppress her feelings and listen to reason. She can do what she pleases, and let her therefore allow the most friendly and confidential prince that this kingdom possesses to introduce peace between her sons.
The queen replied: I have said that I desire it, and I repeat the same. I will not discuss whether the English have been beaten as much as they deserve. God is protector of the right. He who wishes to forget injuries has no time to recall affronts. I praise the intervention of the Signory, as the parties would never agree of themselves. I promise you I shall always try for the good and the public service. But I can do no more. The details must be negotiated with the king. Let those who began the quarrel take the first steps towards a reconciliation. There is no reply to this argument.
I repeated what I had said before and other arguments, but without success so far as I could see, she held by these three points: that she was excellently disposed, that it was necessary to speak with the king and that the English must make the overtures.
Your Excellencies may judge from this what may be expected from this quarter. The queen is very passionate in her feelings, and resentment prevails over all her other sentiments. She does not rule of herself, but is directed by others and by those worst disposed to the common cause. It is doubtful if she will exercise her high authority, as every one who treats with her is ultimately forced to proceed to the Court. I do not believe this humour will subsist, and with the affair of La Rochelle hopeless, I do not consider this business hopeless.
Paris, the 8th February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
739. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Ever since I took up this post I have always represented the necessities of the kingdom, which could only be provided by the usual means, and the mischief which has resulted from obstinacy. At length, after many windings, the point of necessity being always fixed, they made up their minds to a parliament, which has been summoned for the 17th of next month, old style. I wrote in my last that I had been told in confidence about this being in discussion in the Council, which met with extraordinary secrecy, especially last night, when the matter was decided at a very late hour, and I hope this letter will be in time to accompany what I wrote on the 7th.
The writs of summons have already been ordered, but I understand that in a few days a proclamation will be issued with conditions for the proposals of parliament, namely, that lawyers must not sit in the lower house, as was usual in the time of King James (che non siano admessi jusdicenti nella camera bassa, come altre volte fu osservato in tempo del Re Giacomo), and before the meeting the people are to pay 200,000l. sterling for the necessities of the war, a point which in my belief cannot be carried. (fn. 3)
This decision is due to compulsion, from the impossibility of selfdefence in any other way, and from the promises made by many of the chief personages that nothing shall be said about the duke, and at the opening, either a general pardon shall be proposed for him, or else a protest will be made for the dissolution of parliament, should they give way to private passion at this critical moment. In that case the crown would avail itself of such means as are common to all sovereigns, even contrary to the privileges of the realm. But as they have not been able to annual them so far, this is probably said to intimidate. On these terms the king allowed himself to be persuaded, nor could the duke gainsay him. It is even said that he will be sent as viceroy to Ireland during the session of parliament, the sop being intended for his safety: but I do not vouch for this. No more do I promise anything about the result, as it depends on so many whimsical and irritated brains. Meanwhile, I may say that all resolves, whether of peace or war, of repute or disrepute will depend upon it, so I shall keep on the alert at this beginning of a change in the policy of this habitually fluctuating government.
A messenger from La Rochelle arrived lately with news that the stockade for closing the channel had been forced a second time, that the Most Christian had offered honourable terms to the besieged, who rejected them constantly, unless they had the consent of the English crown, and they remained bent on most vigorous defence. Although the account of the enemy's naval reinforcements on that coast is confirmed, they also say that Lord Denbigh will set sail with the succour, although it does not exceed what I previously reported.
London, the 10th February, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
740. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have letters from the 4th from the Camp. Pompeo Targoni has finished his machine, and boats have been sunk at the deepest part. As these do not suffice to block the channel, the king has arrested all the ships he can to sink there. My informant writes that they will require a great many more yet. There was a report in the camp that the English succours might arrive at any moment, so the Duke of Guise and Don Federigo of Toledo were to withdraw to some safe port as they were not strong enough to encounter the English fleet. Don Federigo had taken offence because the king had not made him cover himself and he had several times asked for leave to go, possibly from prudence, as he did not appear until the English had departed and when he was no longer needed, and he may now want to get out of danger.
The Prince of Falsburg has come for the release of Montagu. They say nothing more about that here and no orders have come from the Court, as if the matter was utterly forgotten.
From fear of the English fleet the queen mother has this night sent various couriers to Normandy, to warn them and for the necessary provisions.
Paris, the 10th February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
741. To the Ambassador in France.
Seeing that the affairs of Christendom languish owing to the inopportune differences between the two kings, while both express good intentions, you will seize every opportunity to renew your remonstrances, as what is of no use at one time may serve admirably at another. Now that France has the advantage in the victory over the English while the latter do not insist so much about the Huguenots, one may doubt whether such a favourable opportunity will recur for a long time.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 1.Neutral, 12.
[Italian.]
Feb. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
742. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ordinary of France has arrived bringing the confirmation of the disaster to the English fleet. According to the French accounts, this is so serious that the English are no longer in a condition to repair it or to give them any trouble.
Rome, the 12th February, 1628.
[Italian.]
Feb. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
743. AGOSTIN VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Various English and Flemish ships have arrived this week at Leghorn with rich cargoes, amounting to three millions, they say, although some of the goods are for other places, including Venice. It is therefore clear that neither the concessions of Savoy nor the inclinations of the English king avail to divert the merchants from that voyage, because it is convenient for them, they recognise their advantages and they have already planted their houses and their affections here. For the more speedy and less costly (because of the lower rate of insurance) transport of goods to the eastern parts of this province, such as Naples and Sicily, and facilities for disposing of a quantity of merchandise, they place Leghorn before Villefranche, and without express orders from the king it is possible they may never change. Their Highnesses have been very pleased to learn this, and owing to this disposition on the part of the merchants, they no longer fear the efforts of Savoy or the inclination of the English king to gratify him.
Florence, the 12th February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 12.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
744. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
I am charged to make a warm recommendation to you in the name of my king, who expects that his friendly feelings will be reciprocated. With this idea he has written these letters. The ambassador presented them and after they had been read he said: I will say nothing where his Majesty has so fully expressed himself, although with every effort I have not succeeded in discovering where the goods in question have got. I beg your Serenity to direct the magistrates concerned so that his Majesty may recognise the fruit of the good justice and friendliness of the republic.
I have also to present a memorial for another affair of our merchants trading in the Levant. As it contains many articles about the continuation of that trade, I will leave it for your Excellencies to read and to give it your mature consideration. I go on to ask your Serenity for a favour. An agent of one of our merchants (fn. 4) opened some cases of cloth of gold and silk when taking them to the ship, and filled them up with stones and straw. After some two months the merchant found this out, and says he knows the name and the place where the goods are. I ask your Serenity to have this matter sifted for the benefit of my countryman.
I am indebted to the republic for many favours, but I particularly appreciate the one recently shown to me about the bread of Padua. I assure your Serenity that neither I nor any of my household will do anything derogatory to your regulations or to offend you.
I must also especially thank your Serenity for the permission to have the portraits of those two noble heroes, famous for their incomparable friendship, although I understand that there is some prohibition. Although they have been rendered notorious by rumour and by penalties, yet their portraits will render my king's gallery more rare (curiosa). For this gallery his Majesty has had a collection made of the older pictures of Italy, which are deposited in the house of the merchant Nis, to be brought into a condition befitting his greatness. As a ship is arranged to take them away I beg your Serenity to order their free transit and to have the usual marks affixed to prevent fraud and permit your ministers to identify them. His Majesty will take this as a special favour.
In the absence of the doge, Councillor Alvise Foscarini replied: We must first thank his Majesty for his friendly recommendations, to which the republic responds by wishing him all prosperity. We will afford the most favourable patronage to the person recommended, as also to the merchants who are always welcome and well received in our state. Their Excellencies will also give the necessary orders about the pictures and the affair of the English merchant. As regards the portraits of the two nobles, your thanks are unnecessary, and as regards the bread your Excellency may rest assured that it was due to the ministers, and that the Signory gave the proper orders when they heard about it. We rejoice that you recognise in this the good will of the republic. With this the ambassador took leave and departed.
1628, Feb. 23.
Marco Trevisan and — Barbarigo having asked for a copy of the paragraph about the portraits, ballot was taken.
Ayes, 2.Noes, 2.Neutral, 1.
Second vote.
Ayes, 1.Noes, 4.Neutral, 0.
1630, on the 1st August.
That a copy of the said paragraph be granted in authentic form.
Ayes, 5.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
The king's letter. (fn. 5)
Carolus, Dei gratia Magnae Brittaniae, Franciae et Hiberniae Rex, fidei defensor etc., Serenissimo Principi Johanni Cornaro, Venetiarum Duci, salutem:
Serenissime Princeps, singulare studium quo vos, vestramque rempublicam quasi haereditario quodam affectu prosequimur, effecit ut Cives quoque vestros (si qui huc appulerint) gratiose clementerque recipere, et ab omni injuria immunes sub legum nostrarum praesidio tueri et conservare nobis in usu sit. Hinc Gasparus Despotinus Venetus, cum ab Henrico Wottono (Patris nostri beatae memoriae Legato) huc duceretur, et in Aulicam Clientelam receptus, et in medicorum apud nos classem, ut publice profiteri possit, illico ascriptus fuit. Qui sane multorum jam decursu annorum ita hic vixit, ut propter morum probitatem et doctrinae excellentiam omnibus sit charissimus, suaeque genti ac patriae summo esse ornamento merito censeatur. Hunc itaque virum talem cum jure optimo in demortui fratris bona succedere deberet, sub praetentu haereseos, indicta causa tanquam extorrem excludi, aegre sane ferimus. Et propterea Serentatem Vestram obnixe rogamus, ut saltem nostra causa cum illo mitius agatur. Ut si qui nostratium apud vos in simili causa versentur ne quid in eos asperius statuamus vestra mansuetudine et aequanimitate prohibeamur. Hoc (uti speramus) a vostra prudentia non videbitur alienum, ut illa necessitudo inter nos quae publice est saluberrima, etiam privatim subditis utrinque nostris sib commodo et saluti. Hoc nos certe cupimus et praestabimus quantum in nobis erit.
Datum a Palatio nostro Westmonasteriensi, decima quinta die Novembris, Anno Domini 1627, stilo Angliae.
Vestrae Serenetatis amicus fidelissimus,
[Signed] CAROLUS R.
Feb. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
745. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. di Buglion writes to Marini from Paris that they are expecting the ambassadors of the States, bringing the confirmation of the league. They would listen to their proposals and to those of Denmark also for peace with England, provided they did not speak of the Huguenots. He says that Montagu's affairs are not so bad as they thought, and they had not had his ears pulled to make him answer interrogations. They had found the copy of a letter written by him to the first secretary in England, in which, almost in the form of a diary, he relates his negotiations, and the dealings on both sides were fully disclosed. They would forget these negotiations, which were due to anger more than anything else. Marini told me that he was of the same opinion, and he had written to that effect.
Turin, the 13th February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
746. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear from Hamburg that the English ambassador, Anstruther, has negotiated with the imperial ambassador, Sualzemburgh, to obtain passports to go and treat with Caesar, no longer about the Palatine, but to propose some accommodation for his own master. The ambassador welcomed this gladly, but they sent word from Court to stop Anstruther from moving, because the moment was not propitious for treating of such things.
I hear from Stadem that they have abundance of food but are very short of money. Carleton told me otherwise, but one sees why, as the English garrison there ought to be supported by his king and all shortcomings would be the fault of that monarch.
With the present your Excellencies will receive several despatches from the Ambassador Contarini, which have recently reached me. The news of the seizure of your Serenity's despatches has reached here and caused astonishment to every one. Carleton spoke to me about it tentatively, saying he was not well informed, but we must have pity on the general state of uneasiness. I spoke of the respect due to ministers, especially with those who profess confidence and who work for the common cause. He did not know what to reply except that he believed that the Ambassador Contarini would have satisfaction. The Palatine asked me about it. He was utterly amazed, but he made no remark, except to say laughingly that it was high treason to speak ill of the Duke of Buckingham.
The Hague, the 14th February, 1627 [M.V.].
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Printed in Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, pages 737, 738.
2 Maria, daughter of Francis IV, Duke of Mantua, married Charles, son of Charles, Duke of Nevers and Rethel, who succeeded to the duchy of Mantua in 1627.
3 The proclamation was not issued until the 16th February, old style. It does not contain any of the conditions suggested. Steele; Tudor and Stuart Proclamations, vol, i. No. 1538,
4 The merchant thus robbed was Laurence Hide. See Wake's account of this audience in his despatch of the 28th February, S.P. Foreign, Venice.
5 Two copies of this letter are preserved at the Public Record Office, S.P. Foreign, Venice.