Venice
March 1628, 11-19

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1916

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14-29

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'Venice: March 1628, 11-19', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 14-29. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89178 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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March 1628

March 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
18. That the letters voted in this Council to the ambassador in England on the 9th March be suspended, so that a revision of them may be proposed on the first day that this Council meets.
Ayes, 47.Noes, 4.Neutral, 2.
That we abide by what has been decided, and that the courier with the letters of the 9th be despatched this evening for England.
Ayes, 120.
Copy of letter written by me, the secretary, by order of the Savii, to the ambassador in England.
As the English ambassador has sent me the enclosed, the Most Excellent Savii direct me to add to your Excellency, that you can remove the cover and cause the same courier to bring it back, but without any reward, as he has already received a part here.
Your most obedient servant,
ANTONIO ANTELMI.
Venice, the 11th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
19. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Grand Duke [of Tuscany] is glad to talk of the affairs of the world. On one occasion he said, in speaking of the French, that they are braver soldiers than the English, but the latter are better negotiators, quoting Argenton, whom he has evidently read, and he wished to show his erudition. (fn. 1)
Rome, the 11th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 11.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
20. The secretary of England came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
The ambassador in his devotion to your Serenity's service does not wish to omit communicating any advices which may concern the interests of this state. His Excellency has some particulars of forces gathering on the Swiss frontiers towards Swabia. He thinks the approach of these forces of Germany to Italy merits your Serenity's consideration. These sheets contain the particulars and he begs your Serenity to approve of his zeal and courteously reciprocate with any advices touching his Majesty's interests. After the doge had made a courteous reply the following sheets were read:
On the 23rd February, 1627.
It is announced that the following forces are collecting on the confines of Swabia:—
A regiment of 3,000 foot and 10 cornets of horse under Colonel de Veturgo.
A regiment of 3,000 foot and 10 cornets of horse under Colonel Kracio.
A regiment of 3,000 foot under Colonel Cromburgh.
A regiment of 3,000 foot and 10 cornets of horse under Colonel Mansfelt, who is in command of all the above troops who are quartered at Ulm, Memminga, Kempta, Luicrich and Eisna, which have to support them.
At Memminga there are three cornets of horse. Mansfelt has fixed his quarters there, but has not arrived. There are many convents about there which expected to be exempt, but they are also charged with the troops. It is said that Tilly will go there with all his force. Some say it is a plot against the free towns, some think they will march to Italy and many expect them to turn against the Swiss.
On the 30th February (sic), 1627. (fn. 2)
Hamburg, the 12th February.
General Morgan is in perfect health with all his troops, and makes sallies daily, burning the enemy's quarters and capturing much booty, which is taken to Stade. The King of Denmark is making great preparations both by land and sea. The Hanse towns are in great trouble and perplexity, anticipating that they will have to pay for the levies, as the princes have no money to give their troops. On the 4th inst., all their deputies will meet at Lubeck, and I hope they will do something good, in making a levy for their defence. If they do not they may be surprised, while if they do they will make the emperor mistrust them. The Elector of Saxony is so surrounded by armies that he dare not move, although he is quite willing and ready. The towns refuse to let provisions go to the emperor's army, and this would suffice to ruin everything. The communities do not want to give any offence to their neighbours; but there is much corruption among magistrates, secretaries and other officials of the princes and towns.
[Italian.]
March 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
21. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Dulbier and Balfour have gone, leaving a rumour that they were going to Gluchstat to fulfil their commissions about the levy.
The States have not yet decided about their own levies. Some decision also is highly necessary about the Baltic. The Prince of Orange told me that Denmark and Sweden will have 40 men of war and 20 galleys ready by the spring. A shortage of sailors may delay this provision, but Carleton told me that the Secretary Quinter is going to England, and he may have commissions to obtain sailors.
We learn that the King of Denmark has ordered a levy of 6,000 men in France and that he has also sent officers to England to raise troops.
In spite of all this, rumours persist of proposals for peace. I hear on good authority that the Duke of Holstein has offered peace to Denmark in the emperor's name, with the restitution of Holstein, Jutland and Schleswig, on condition that he renounces his alliance with the States and England, giving up the mastery of the Sound, but undertaking to prevent the Dutch and English from passing through. We hear that none of the States has listened to these siren songs. The king is strongly opposed, not only because of his new alliance with Sweden, but because he sees that they would only prolong the danger without removing it.
We have not yet heard whether the Hanse towns have taken any definite resolution upon the proposals of the Count of Sfalzemburgh. There is no likelihood that they could resist the Imperialists, even if united.
The Hague, the 13th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
22. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They speak of the Earl of Carlisle going to France to adjust the affairs of England, but doubtfully, and the more the French ministers here announce hopes of an accommodation, the less do the facts seem to bear them out. The gentleman sent by the Most Christian who is expected here to join with M. de Sansciomon over these affairs has not appeared. The ambassador told me that he was expecting him, but the delay excites the belief that he is not coming.
Turin, the 13th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
23. MARIN MUDAZZO, Venetian Proveditore in Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At the beginning of last month two English ships from Leghorn arrived in the port of Argostoli, bringing with them two French tartanelle, laden with wine, which they had taken off Sicily, without their crews, who had escaped to land in their boats. One of these two ships was destined for Zante, and the other to lade currants in this island. The very day they arrived they found a French scithia called Santa Maria, which happened to have wine from Zante with a cargo of hides, on its way to Messina. They had the audacity to take prisoner two men of the scithia in the very port. When this came to my knowledge I forthwith sent for Humphrey Bonniton, the only English merchant now here of his countrymen who live in the island, to whom the cargo of one of the two ships was directed. I spoke sharply to him of the audacity of such action and ordered him to get the men set at liberty at once and to make the prizes leave the port. He told me the prizes were in the port, but he seemed not to know of the seizure of the two men, which he regretted. He promised to do his best for their release and the departure of the prizes. The men were released at once, and they explained the arrest on the plea that they wished to question them. The prizes left on the following day, and they returned afterwards with three Venetian ships, destined for Cyprus and Syria, owing to the unfavourable weather, they said. But from what I learned afterwards they took out 70 butts of wine and put them on the Venetian ships, with which they made a bargain, and divided the other forty butts among some ships of their countrymen, which were here, laden with currants. I heard that the tartanelle subsequently left for Zante, directed to one of the merchants there, who contracts to sell them. I wrote at once to Capello, captain of the galeasses, then at Zante, as I could not go there; but my letters did not arrive in time, as he had left for Dragomestre.
Cephalonia, the 4th March, 1628, old style.
[Italian.]
March 14.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
24. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
Last Friday, the 10th inst., I was summoned hither to hear a paper from the Senate about the opening of some letters of your ambassador. I could not then enter into particulars as I had no information. I did, indeed, express his Majesty's desire to please the republic. Letters have now reached me from London; they are very old, but I will not stop now to ask why they were delayed. One of them, in the king's name, informs me of the circumstances and directs me to impart the whole to your Serenity. I feel sure that after listening to his ambassador you will not refuse to hear what his Majesty has to say. The letter is dated the 26th January last and is written by the Secretary cornovelt. (fn. 3) The ambassador took it up and read as follows: His Majesty has commanded me to inform you of a circumstance that happened with the ambassador of the republic, wherein although the ambassador kept within terms of moderation, he took great offence and tried to drag in the honour of the most serene republic, so that acting on his own ideas, of which we are innocent here, he may make a report diverging from the truth and give the Senate a wrong impression, which the circumstances do not warrant. The true account is this. At a time of great suspicion when his Majesty had closed all the ports of the realm, the ambassador begged the king to let all his letters come and go with those directed to him. His Majesty granted this favour and the Lords of the Council gave him a passport every fourteen or fifteen days, each one stating that it was only valid pro hac vice, so that the ambassador every fourteen or fifteen days, had free passage for his letters to or from France, upon French ships, if no English ship could go to Calais or French one come to Dover, except for his special service. While this was going on the Danish ambassadors embarked at Dover for France, and when they were on the ship letters in the name of the Venetian ambassador under cover of a Dover shopkeeper, were brought to them or their servants. As the ambassador's letters did not come in the regular way permitted, the royal officials became suspicious and as they had general orders not to allow letters to pass without a passport they seized these, and thought they were doing right since every passport given to the ambassador bore the words Pro hac vice tantum. The letters being thus taken, the ambassador complained that they were also opened, represents the republic as affronted and declares that he must suspend the exercise of his functions until he receives orders from the Senate. His Majesty gave him gracious audience, heard his complaints and tried every possible means to assure him of his confidence in the republic and his good will and his desire to favour all his representatives. His Majesty declared that the letters had been intercepted by virtue of his general orders, but he regretted their being opened, and after restoring them he had the person guilty of opening them brought to London and punished in an exemplary manner in the hope that this would satisfy the ambassador.
After the reading the ambassador remarked: Up to this point we are agreed upon the facts. The officials could not help carrying out their general orders and arresting the letters which came without a passport, especially as they came under cover of private shopkeepers. His Majesty has declared so much, and he thought the ambassador had the less cause to complain because in the present state of mistrust he enjoyed a privilege granted to no one else, the passport only being renewed every fortnight to avoid creating a precedent. The king regretted the opening of the letters and sent for the culprit to London for punishment. I do not fancy that these distinctions have been represented to your Serenity, at least the office read to me does not suggest it. There are other differences which considerably alter the case. The letters detained were not guarded by the passport. There has never been any doubt about the friendliness and sincerity of the republic towards his Majesty, as he declared so much to the ambassador, and charged me to do the same here, as his Majesty trusts the republic more than any prince in Christendom. He therefore desires to express his regret at such unfavourable reports, which may damage both himself and the republic as well as the common cause, whereas he wishes to increase the mutual understanding. Your Serenity's letters must be of a date posterior to mine. My king has always treated your ambassador with every consideration and upon the present occasion he thinks that he has done everything possible, by silencing the present trouble, to continue the usual friendly relations with your Serenity. By the ordinary of Friday I represented to his Majesty the grave remonstrance of the Senate, which I repeated by the extraordinary courier sent on Saturday evening by the Signory. I know that his Majesty's feeling and displeasure will augment at this news of the resentment of the republic. I should like an answer to this office as soon as possible, and so categorical that I can assure my king that your Serenity is satisfied, as I believe to be the case, and if your later letters confirm what I have just said, I have nothing to add.
The doge answered: We rest fully assured of his Majesty's excellent disposition and his confidence in our republic, as we measure it by our own affection and esteem for him, demonstrated at all times. The accident of the letters, being due to ministers, cannot alter this feeling, though it could not pass without the Senate taking serious note. They will reply to your Excellency. The ambassador expressed a wish to have it as soon as possible to inform the king, and he asked if the later letters from London confirmed what he said. He felt sure that if they believed their ambassador they would also believe his Majesty, and so he went away.
[Italian.]
March 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
25. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Gabor's nephew has asked me to send the enclosed letter to Venice, to be handed to Daniel Nys to send to Transylvania. I find that Francesco Bornenizza, who is with this youth as his tutor, has orders from Gabor to justify his master's withdrawal and the peace with the Emperor, offering to prove that he is in earnest about the public cause, when the league is united and ready to employ him in earnest. He is possibly becoming apprehensive at the frightful progress of the Austrians in Germany. He acted on this commission here, for when the duke practically complained that Gabor had abandoned Denmark, he trumped the card, telling him they did the same here and that the English ambassador at Constantinople gave them nothing but words and never had any security for the money, although he promised many things in order to hold his ground in competition with the French ambassador. He added that the disunion of the kings would have ruined Gabor were he now pledged to them against the emperor. The duke replied that the move against France had been necessary for the common weal, as her policy was very pernicious but he hoped soon to put right both home and foreign affairs and Gabor would see results to lead him to resume his designs for the welfare of Germany. I find this individual is a strong partisan of the French, and he will make but an indifferent report of this government, as it seems to him a Tower of Babel, without body or members.
Your Excellencies may hear further particulars about this at Venice, as he proposes to remain there some weeks, to renew a contract for cattle, as instructed. He will make the same apologies there as in France. I took care to show him all such courtesies as might encourage his master's good will towards the republic, and he declared that Gabor attaches more importance to your promises than to those of all the others put together, and he will always give you proofs of earnest friendship.
London, the 15th March, 1628.
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
March 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
26. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I see that Zorzi's last letters confirm France's perversity about the peace. Here they are still well inclined, though I cannot promise that they will remain so for ever. I am convinced of this by the progress of the Dutch ambassadors. At the first conference with the commissioners they confined themselves to opening the affair, practically suggesting the same as I wrote to Zorzi. They received no formal reply, perhaps for the sake of communicating with the king, or awaiting his return. But to enter on negotiations on so delicate a matter argues a good disposition, and indeed makes me suspect that it runs to extremes, and when known to the French, in their overweening conceit, will only confirm their pretensions and projects, which are so injurious to the public cause. This seems the more likely as reports circulate again of the Earl of Carlisle's journey to Lorraine and Italy. For his private ends, as I have written, he would fain absent himself from Court with honour, and have no share in the present extravagances. His opinions are excellent. He is by no means a friend of the Spaniards, and will labour for the peace. But all these activities may rather hinder it, and from what the French are doing and designing I believe the proper way to obtain it would be to succour La Rochelle, to arm vigorously at sea, and above all quell internal discord. Without this no good result can be anticipated. It seems unlikely, however, to be realised, for as the opening of parliament approaches all hope of good disappears. All the counties have uniformly rejected candidates who had even a shadow of dependence upon the Court, electing members who refused the late subsidies, who are now everywhere called good patriots. At the present crisis private hatred ought to give way, but all that one wishes does not come to pass. They have determined to dissolve parliament if it does not give money in a few days, and to impose taxes, using the meeting as a pretext that they are not infringing the liberties, and see whether necessity can overcome the stubbornness of this people. But I well know that without ready money, which they cannot promise themselves to any great amount, save by means of parliament, they will scarcely be able to fit out a great fleet this year, as the season is too far advanced, and they lack many materials. They have received information here of an intended French attack on the island of Guernsey and others, the only remains of the English possessions in Normandy. Effective orders have been given to avert the danger, and it is thought that they are well secured.
The succour for La Rochelle has not yet set sail. The delay proceeds from the same causes which impede everything else. The ships, however, are not yet ready, and it is announced that they must await the full moon of the equinox, when they have no doubt they will force the channel and destroy all the French works. If, as suspected, the Dutch forbid the levy of horse which Dulbier was to make, it may not be effected elsewhere by reason of the great progress of the Austrians. At any rate the people of England make a great outcry, and it will certainly cause some disturbance, as they dislike foreigners, especially when they come to make them chew the bit.
Stadem is already considered as lost, and as the Dutch have provided for Glucstat and Crempen, which were assigned to them by Denmark for their defence, they urged England to put some succour into that place, which has not yet departed. The case of Denmark is supposed to be desperate, as he does not realise the extent of the evil and does not give up wine and wantonness. The advance of the Austrians on the Baltic causes reasonable apprehension, and will prove too late the mischief of the past decisions against France, just as they may inspire the present leaning towards an adjustment. This is especially the case, as the Hamburgers, at Tilly's request, delivered up the papers of the administrator of Magdeburg, who was lately there, thus renouncing their liberty. The documents are to serve for the investiture of that bishopric and others of the same circle, which are destined for the emperor's son Leopoldino. Mons. de St. Michel has arrived from France with presents for the queen from her sister, the Princess of Piedmont. (fn. 4) I do not hear that he has any other business, as the Abbot Scaglia has been here over three months without any despatches from the duke. Yet he encourages Carlisle's journey, to show that he has done something, though the greatest machinery has now to be put in motion elsewhere.
London, the 15th March, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
27. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have to report the sequel of the affair of my packets, At a private audience, I expressed myself clearly about such unjustifiable proceedings. Everybody admitted this, but it only made me labour the more for reparation. I added that they might proceed to interfere with the personal liberty of the ministers themselves, and even if I had been in correspondence with the French ministers, I was not bound to give account of it to anyone but your Serenity. Not only were the packets seized, but the republic's letters opened. The confidential relations between the two countries required that I should be warned of any suspicion that others used the name of the republic's ministers. I supposed this to be a malignant invention and his Majesty had practically declared this to be the case. As the prisoner had been declared guilty, I wished him to be punished publicly, as otherwise I could not renounce the privilege conceded to all princes and their ambassadors. But though I talked in this strain, I perceive the difficulty of obtaining further redress.
I found the whole Council was ignorant of what had taken place, and they had signed the last decree, the one I sent, without knowing what it was, merely at Coke's request, who proposed it as a matter affecting the Duke of Buckingham. After staring at each other with astonishment, they decided to withdraw to a separate chamber to discuss what answer they should give me. On coming back, they said they had not understood the particulars at first, but they realised its importance, blamed the proceeding and promised me satisfaction. Next day I sent to the president to learn what had been decided. They replied that Coke would come to see me, though I learned through my confidants that nothing whatever had been proposed or determined, but that this might be by order of the duke to gain time and embroil the business, as he cannot consent to the public punishment of a man who obeyed him, and his remorse for this tyranny makes him have recourse to every kind of violent remedy. I sent word again to the president that the king had given his command for me to receive satisfaction. I now expected this in action not in words from the Secretary Coke. In three or four replies I could get nothing but evasions, that they were expecting the king's return, that they would write about it to him, and finally that they had more important occupations, and it was of no use for me to speak out and tell them I should return to the Council. The duke dislikes this, as he does not want such things done on his sole responsibility to be published.
In my frequent private conversations with nobles they say I am in the right, it was ill done, an excess and so forth, but when I come to the point of reparation, they shrug their shoulders and nail me by saying that I see how the other more important affairs of the kingdom, which are necessary for its welfare, are carried on, and I must have patience. Should any of them attempt to do me justice he says that by law the Council does not meddle with punishments entailing bloodshed, and as they are quite unable to do more, I ought to rest satisfied.
I shall stick to my point and shall not remain content with less than is due to your Serenity. It is at least a protest. Unless your Serenity's strong protest to Wake, or possibly some other vigorous resolve square this account, I do not know what to hope, though I am sure that unless the duke choose, the statements of Wake will never get beyond Conway's cabinet. As this is not an affair in which the king's assent or the ill-will of the country is concerned, but merely ungoverned curiosity, protected by favouritism, regardless of consequences, as seen in so many other matters, your Excellencies may possibly see fit to play the same game on the Ambassador Wake at Venice, though restoring the letters courteously to him afterwards, thus teaching him that you can do the like when you please. Such a course when adopted in very similar cases has been much commended among friends.
London, the 15th March, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
28. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE. (fn. 5)
There is a syndic of Hamburg here, who is said to have come for the confirmation of certain privileges; but I learn on good authority that he was sent to beg the emperor not to use their ships against Denmark, because those citizens have all their wealth in England and Holland and would risk the loss of this if they armed ships against him and his allies. It is thought that they will admit the plea and that General Vuolestain will try to complete his number of sixty ships in another way.
This instance only confirms the emperor the more in his resolution to try in every way to interrupt the navigation and enormous trade in the hands of the Dutch and English. I am assured that this is the chief reason why the House of Austria desires the union with the most serene republic so as to send all their merchandise and goods from Spain safely to Venice and distribute them throughout Germany. To the same end they propose to exclude English cloth, which is imported in the empire to the value of a million every year, in favour of that of Venice and other Italian powers. In order to ruin the trade of the Sound and deprive Denmark of the enormous advantage of the duties, Vuolestain is thinking of making a cutting at his own expense in the Duchy of Mecklenburg, to come out at the port of Hamburg, so that ships will no longer pass that strait, and the Hanse towns will be compelled to come to terms with the emperor.
Prague, the 15th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
29. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Dutch ambassadors arrived as expected and were better received than any representatives of their state had ever been because the king issued special orders. This arouses no small hope for the cause which points for peace between the two kings. They had audience of the king on Monday and briefly set forth their commissions. His Majesty referred them to Vilocler, the little Buglione and Arbo. I understand that they all met yesterday, and after much expenditure of talk and time both sides held fast to their opinions. The ministers have maintained that the alliance must be signed before they discussed anything else, while the ambassadors refused to ratify a treaty from which they could derive no advantage, with a rupture between the two crowns, so the matter is at a standstill from the outset.
Falsbergh is expected here on Sunday. He is supposed to have taken a more moderate proposal from France, which the duke may accept. The king is willing to release Montagu without conditions. It is true that as England and France are at war the king would like Montagu to be detained at Nancy for two or three months. But this is not a necessary condition.
Paris, the 16th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
30. MARIN MUDAZZO, Venetian Proveditore in Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose the accounts of the revenues from the new impost. The ordinary duty of 10 ducats the thousand has realised 42,000 ducats, and the 5 ducats in addition from those ships which do not bring their cargoes to this island or to Venice, about 10,000 ducats.
This new exaction of 5 ducats, which is kept separately, has succeeded admirably. Neither the English merchants nor the people of the island trouble about it, though two or three of the citizens, who farm all the currants, cannot feel the same. With the influence they possess over the others they propose to send ambassadors to your Serenity to get this impost removed, so that they may profit themselves. I fancy they will see the futility of the notion.
This year I hope that 4,000 or perhaps 5,000 ducats more will be brought in by the new impost. Two ships are expected to fetch the remainder of the currants from this island.
Cephalonia, the 6th March, 1628, old style.
[Italian.]
March 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
31. To the Ambassador in England.
Since we sent our courier about the seizure of your letters, Wake has had a fresh audience. Our reply will show you that while we uphold the dignity of the state, we are smoothing the way to an adjustment, as present circumstances demand. We might have enlarged upon several things with Wake, but we confined ourselves to two points beyond the punishment of the Dover man, namely, some demonstration of honour from the king towards you personally, and that Buckingham shall call at your house with some words of excuse. We now wish to say that if, in addition to this punishment, they will agree to these two things or offer some other demonstration of esteem that may reasonably satisfy our reputation and yours in the face of the Court, you have authority to accept and end the matter, going on with your visits and audiences again. When the adjustment is made you will intercede for the Dover man, if you are petitioned by his friends. If in a fresh audience you see some hope of advantage in the affair of the reconciliation of the two crowns, you will not let the opportunity slip. As the Governor of Milan took the field on the 12th, and it is said that his conference with Savoy to the detriment of Mantua will take place soon, we see that this news may raise their pretensions in England about the adjustment with France, owing to the distraction that they think these affairs of Italy will cause to the Most Christian. If conversation turns on this point you will try and get them to decide, pointing out that if the rupture between the two crowns continues France will not weaken their own affairs for those of others, and so Mantua, deprived of that powerful assistance, will have to yield to anything the Spaniards propose, who, being relieved of that trouble will be left free for other matters, to the serious detriment of the common cause.
Ayes, 173.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
March 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
32. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him:
In the matter of the letters of the Ambassador Contarini you must have recognised our cordial disposition towards his Majesty, as we have always attached especial value to our union with that Crown, cultivating it with sincere observance and putting aside all that might injure it. We were therefore especially glad to hear what your lordship said of his Majesty's good will, which our ambassador confirmed, and we expect action in accordance. We cannot refrain from saying that when his Majesty thought fit to order the closing of his ports our ambassador did not attempt the passage of his letters except with the permission of the Council; so, when the ports were opened to some others, he could profit by their passage, and there was the less occasion for suspicion as they passed by the hands of the representatives of friendly princes in close alliance with England, such as the King of Denmark. Moreover the letters were not only seized and opened, but detained several days, and those coming from the Ambassador Zorzi were detained even longer, while other packets which arrived subsequently from Italy were seized. All this clearly shows the consequences of the incident. We therefore feel sure that his Majesty, besides the exemplary punishment of the one who stopped and opened the letters, will devise some demonstration which will put an end to the malevolent interpretations of the incident, restoring mutual confidence, which is due to our ambassador, who has always laboured for the greater advantage of that Crown. All our desires tend to the same end.
Ayes, 173.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
33. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
We attach great importance to what you report about the negotiations of Prince Gabor, and especially what the English ambassador communicated to you with the utmost confidence. You will encourage confidential relations with that ambassador so long as he remains at the Porte, as well as with the new one, whom we understand to be on the way. As he may not be very well versed in affairs it may be advisable for you to show some reserve at first, until you see to what end his negotiations tend, as he may differ from his predecessor; so you must first sound the ford.
Ayes, 129.Noes, 2.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
34. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the peace England, France, the States and Prince Gabor are not included. I have not heard whether the ambassadors of these powers have passed offices for the nomination of their princes, as it seems from past documents here that it is not their custom to include other princes in their peaces.
I remonstrated with the English ambassador as instructed. He admitted the error of the English captain in the affair of Zante. He said he had not recognised the ship as Candiot because they carried no flag and he took them for French who are hiding from him. He told me also about the other ship in the waters of Cerigo, assuring me that the rector there had intervened and the English captain previously and spontaneously released the French ship, and therefore the rector favoured and caressed him. He assured me that he would give proper orders, he would send to England and the captain at Zante would give due satisfaction, since he himself admitted he was favoured by the republic's ministers. (fn. 6)
He asked me to grant release or a safe conduct to one Bortolo Bottaro, banished by the Council of Forty for homicide, who has received peace from the relations. He has lived in this county for seven years. I told him I had no authority but promised to write to your Excellencies; and I think the favour would be well bestowed.
I will carry out the orders forbidding subjects to lade on foreign ships, and encourage the building or buying of vessels.
The Vigne of Pera, the 18th March, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
35. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen Bethune, the French ambassador, and pointed out to him the great danger to Italy of this Mantua affair, and if his king did not provide a remedy, the fire might prove unquenchable. He said he had orders to make strong representations to the Duke of Savoy, but his king could not do much while he had such an important undertaking as La Rochelle on his hands.
Later on he spoke more frankly and said: Nothing would do more good to these affairs and put a bridle on the Spaniards than success at La Rochelle and a reconciliation with England. The Spaniards now profit by these circumstances, but when they are out of the way, the forces of France will be free to go where they are required.
I commended this idea, and said that the republic was so convinced of the marvellous advantage it would be to the common cause that she had offered her offices for a reconciliation between the two crowns. Bethune said this was true, and then remarked, laughing, that the Duke of Rohan had some large sequins with the device of St. Mark. I perceived the meaning of this suggestion and retorted hotly that there was nothing remarkable about such money being in France, as more sequins than crowns of the sun had been spent in the Valtelline.
Rome, the 18th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
36. FRANCISCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier for England arrived here on Wednesday. They detained him a day to grant his passage and to take the post. The duke said that he also was writing to England.
Turin, the 18th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
37. AGOSTIN VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hear from Leghorn that a large sum of ryals has been taken away on the English ships which left for the Levant, perhaps amounting to half a million, and consequently that place is seriously drained of ready money.
Florence, the 18th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
38. MARIN MUDAZZO, Venetian Proveditore in Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
One of the two tartenelle captured by the English has been wrecked off Palichi. The English ships now here laden with currants had some of the wine from them, as I wrote. They subsequently sent some casks to the merchants of their nation living here. I have been unable to interfere, but owing to this and to their publicly bringing prizes into this port, I have remonstrated again, especially seeing the increased zeal of the English in chasing the ships of their king's enemies in these waters and bringing them openly into your Serenity's ports, notably Argostoli, where, owing to its insecurity, they venture anything, acting as if they were masters there, without the slightest reserve or regard.
Thus an English ship was recently lading currants in the Valle of Alexandria and hearing that a French tartana was lading grain at Dragomestre, they got some Theatines to conduct them thither to capture it, and they would have effected this but for the two galleys sent thither by the Commissioner Ciuran. Further, a French tartana, the S. Maria Bonaventura, on its way from Alexandria to Messina, took shelter yesterday evening at Argostoli. The English had already begun their designs against it, when I had it taken under the houses of the port and warned the French not to continue their journey until they saw the English ships go away. There is also the danger of infection from their stopping in this port, as these people put their own interests before every other consideration.
If your Excellencies do not make speedy provision all navigation by ships of the enemies of England will be stopped in these waters. The best means would be to make the English merchants resident here responsible for all the depredations committed by their countrymen in these waters, or at least to forbid them from bringing their prizes into your ports.
Capello, captain of the galeasses, arrived at Argostoli yesterday evening, owing to the bad weather. He meant to go to Zante on his way back from Dragomeste, where he had been to prevent foreign ships from taking away grain. I have warned the English merchants here that I shall hold them responsible for any damage done to the tartana Bonaventura in the port by their ships.
Cephalonia, the 9th March, 1628, old style.
[Italian.]
March 19.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
39. The English ambassador was summoned to the Collegio and the deliberation of the Senate of the 17th was read to him, he said:
I thank your Serenity for the last audience you granted me about your ambassador's letters. I also thank you for the courteous reply of the Senate; I perceive that the matter is adjusting itself in essentials, although there is some difference about details. The essentials may be summed up in two points, the punishment of the one who opened the letters, and the king's declaration of complete confidence in the republic. There is no need to dwell on the subject, and with the return of the courier your Excellencies will remain satisfied. With this confidence, although I have some other particulars in my commissions I think it best to keep them to myself. I have tried to smoothe matters and will abstain from the contrary. I ask your Serenity to allow me to go and take notes of the office read to me.
The doge replied: Your Excellency may review the Senate's office at your pleasure. The Signory is satisfied of his Majesty's good will, as the republic has always acted promptly whenever a question of satisfying his Majesty arose.
The ambassador added: I am sure your Serenity will find the king's declarations ample; if the punishment of the culprit does not satisfy the ambassador, it can be made to do so. The ports were not open even a long while afterwards, and they only allowed the ambassadors of Denmark to cross with their attendants and goods. I could say more, but I hope the whole affair will now be buried in silence.
I will take this opportunity of adding some news about the Austrian forces, in continuation of my confidence. He left the sheet and took notes of the office in the Pregadi. To me, the secretary, he remarked, I really hope that this affair will be satisfactorily settled, but in the contrary event I must execute my commissions, which I have put off. Shortly afterwards he added: I understand that the Duke of Savoy has hoisted the red flag and is to take the field in company with the governor of Milan. This is a novelty for our times to see. Cardinal Richelieu will leave but few friends to France. May God forgive him. He said this in a way to lead me to infer that the change did not altogether displease him. Finally, in taking leave, he said that the advices he had left with his Serenity were certainly of great weight, not only because of the number of troops assembled, but for the place of meeting, whence they could easily move in four directions, attacking in a few days, the Swiss, Italy, the free towns, or the Netherlands.
ANTONIO ANTELMI, Secretary.
Advices of the 27th February and 6th March, 1628. (fn. 7)

Footnotes

1 But Comines said precisely the opposite: "Jamais ne se mena traité entre les François et les Anglois que le sens des François et leur habileté ne se monstrast pardessus celle des Anglois: et ont lesdits Anglois un mot commun, qu'autres fois m'ont dit, traittant avec eux, c'est qu'aux batailles qu'ils ont eues avec les François, tousjours ou le plus souvent, ils ont eu le gain: mais en tous traitez qu'ils ont eu a conduire avec eux, ils y ont eu perte et dommage." Memoires, lib. iii, cap. 8.
2 The advices following are printed in Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, page 777, under date 1st March.
3 This letter is preserved,S.P. For. Venice,in three copies. Wake describes his audience in his despatch of the 17th March. He says: "The doge did with a very cheerful and serene countenance thank me for my exposition ... the faces of all the Savii were now in my favour and I was never more caressed than I was that morning. I did forbear to pass to the second part of recrimination because I do find by your lordship's letter that his Majesty is unwilling to ruin the ambassador. S.P. For. Venice.
4 Salvetti, writing on the 16th March, says that he arrived "last Sunday," i.e. the 12th. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962E. For the presents, see note at page 599 of the preceding volume of this Calendar.
5 The latter part of this despatch is printed by Zwiedineck-Südenhorst: Politik Venedigs, vol. i. page 237.
6 In his despatch of the 17th March Roe mentions the affair of the Dragon, but says nothing of the other ship. Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, page 780.
7 Printed in Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, page 799.