Venice
April 1623, 23-30

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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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63-75

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'Venice: April 1623, 23-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 63-75. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89182 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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April 1623

April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
81. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is a maxim with this prince to follow many roads, and the compass of reason does not serve as a guide. He often looks one way and goes another, and it is hard to see the reality of his affairs. Marini has written to France expressing the opinion that the Duke of Savoy is on ill terms with the Spaniards, but he says nothing about any steps towards a reunion with France, indeed he spoke of it as of a lost cause. He remarked to me that he had urged them to send to France in Madame's name in order to smoothe away these quarrels. They would not listen to him, but are negotiating all manner of harm through the Abbot Scaglia in England. I have since learned that Guron presented to the duke the letters brought from France in the Cardinal's name, which were found upon Montagu. He wished to burn them in the duke's presence, and bury all memory of past quarrels, making him every advance from the king for the sake of keeping friends, but the duke said he had come too late.
Turin, the 23rd April, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
82. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke has lately sent the Secretary Baroccio to England. He ordered him first to go to the English ambassador at Venice, who sent his Highness many presents. Baroccio is to take to Scaglia in England the most urgent instructions to press on the relief of La Rochelle and to continue the war with France, encouraging a good understanding with the Spaniards. This is all intended to keep the Most Christian busy and prevent him from helping this province.
I hear that some English ships certainly go to the port of Villafranca, and fourteen of them arrived these last days. But the business is not so easy as there is no money and no buyers to take what is brought, although little besides salt fish came in those ships. The merchants here predict little good of that affair and think that the diligence and application of his Highness will not suffice to nourish and assist it.
Turin, the 23rd April, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
83. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose the despatches which arrived two days ago from England. I note that at the same time came fresh orders for Carleton to return home. For this reason he has already despatched his business with the State, and proposes to embark on the 28th and go with the first favourable wind. From what I can gather all this haste has no further reason than that he may not clash with the Earl of Carlisle here, who, however, is expected any day, and this will be a private punctilio. He leaves dissatisfied and declares that his king will not keep an ambassador here any more, seeing that the laws of respect and reason are violated in every direction. The fruitless instance he has made during the term of his stay here, to be readmitted to the Council of State, is the reason why he has broken out in this fashion. In addition there are these incidents with the French, as the English cannot tolerate their professing neutrality here when the Dutch have such a close league with them, while the alliance with France expired two years ago, and there is also the question of religion. But they will have to put up with these things, as very soon they will not know which way to turn.
There is a report that Spinola may bring a truce from Spain. This comes from Brussels, and as the States are very perplexed I am afraid that they might grasp at the opportunity of a breathing space, with their affairs in so hazardous a state owing to the division between the two crowns, for the adjustment of which they have not the slightest opening. The ambassadors of France and England alike represent the matter as hopeless, England owing to the success of the parliament, although it is only just beginning, by which they reckon to become the masters of France. The Prince of Orange remarked to me recently that they ought not to be so delighted over the five subsidies, because they do not supply enough money to make war on the French and Spaniards as well as the emperor, on behalf of Denmark, and if the States had no better provision they might consider themselves lost.
Carleton has told me of an audience of the French ambassador at Venice, and the reply. I think he had it from Wake. He says the ambassador asked for help for Nevers, apologising for his king as being employed against rebels and the English, and affirming that as soon as the king was free he would give ample assistance to the Duke of Mantua and to your Serenity also if you needed it. The reply urged the speedy settlement of the kingdom, where the disturbances were from choice not necessity, and not to delay help to Nevers. The republic was compelled to think of its own defence, but it would not fail to play its part if his Majesty acted with vigour.
The French ambassador will leave next week, and probably will not return. The talk of his going to treat with the ambassadors extraordinary is merely to save his face. They granted him the passport for a portion of the things, not all, chiefly those bought before the rupture. Carleton professes it was done with his consent and that the States begged him not to offer further opposition. This report alone will suffice to destroy any gratitude France might feel.
The Hague, the 24th April, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
84. PIERO MALIPIERO, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two English ships arrived recently in this port, brining a Flemish ship with a cargo of grain from Sicily. They said it was destined for Naples. With the serious scarcity here I was compelled to take extraordinary measures, but I could only induce them to unlade by the payment of 5,000 ryals. The Spanish consul, for some reason or other, subsequently asked that the conveyance of the wheat should be stopped, but was told that the sum mentioned had been paid to the English.
I enclose the statement of an English merchant, come from Algiers.
Zante, the 14th April, 1628, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.85. On the 8th April, 1628.
Statement of Hugh Let, merchant of London, arrived yesterday from Algiers in the ship Patience:—
In Algiers seventeen days ago. Cargo mostly money, with a few goods, to wit London [cloth], belzoim, (fn. 1) red cloaks (? capa rossa) and lead for Patras. Stopped two days at Cephalonia and came straight here. Off Sardinia met nine English ships which had taken cargo in these parts for the West. Perfect health at Algiers. Only news the war with Tunis.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
86. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and said:
With the return of the courier sent to England I have orders from my master to kiss your Serenity's hands and inform you of what took place with the Ambassador Contarini about the letters, and what passed subsequently between the ambassador and his Majesty's ministers. Before the arrival of the courier the king, besides expressing his sorrow for the event and his esteem for the ambassador, gave him a comprehensive passport for sending his letters, and further, as he had left London on his last journey, he sent a delegation signed and sealed for some of the leading lords of his Council to take information on the subject and let him know. Upon their report the king caused the culprit to be imprisoned in the Fleet (carceri della Nave) during his pleasure, lose his office and humble himself before the ambassador, and the secretary registered the decree in the ordinary archives of the Council. All this was done to gratify the ambassador by the king's express order and by decision of his Council before the arrival of the despatch. After the courier arrived from Venice and the king and his Council had read the Senate's paper, although they considered it too sharply expressed at a time when the general interests require suavity, yet in order to show the world their friendship and esteem for the republic the king sent to the ambassador three lords of his Council, the earl of Carlisle and two Secretaries of State, to repeat his ignorance of the fact, his great displeasure at what had happened, the punishment of the culprit and other decisions, remarking to him that while we are all in the ship of the common liberty, we must not abandon its skilful piloting. His Majesty is determined always to stand united with the republic and rule his conduct by her counsels, feeling sure that the Senate will always advance opinions for the common welfare, worthy of their mutual friendship. Meanwhile for the ambassador's satisfaction, the culprit remains in prison, to remain during his Excellency's pleasure, deprived of his office and incapacitated from ever exercising any other charge, so that the decree may perpetuate the memory of the king's displeasure and the remedy. It was also decided to send their minister to the Venetian embassy to express still further the king's good intentions. In order to show his affection and respect for the republic the king would have given public audience to the ambassador, sending a subject of high rank to fetch him from the embassy and expressed to him personally his ignorance of the fact, his displeasure, the punishment of the culprit and the measures taken for the future, but the ambassador's secretary was sent to the Secretary Cornvel saying that he could not accept anything without further orders. Accordingly the audience was postponed and the ambassador given time to write and receive a reply, while I could speak to your Serenity. I assure your Serenity again of the excellent disposition of the king and of his esteem and respect for the republic and for the Ambassador Contarini, and I expect a corresponding reply from the Senate, so that the ambassador may receive satisfaction, which will render pleasant the remainder of his stay with his Majesty. I offer your Serenity my good wishes at the present holy festivities and wish you all prosperity both public and private.
The doge answered: The republic most highly appreciates his Majesty's affection and we fully reciprocate the feeling. This event is not sufficient to change our sentiments. These signors will deliberate upon the matter, and the Senate will give you their answer. We thank your Excellency for your good wishes, which we reciprocate, as we have the highest esteem for you. At this the ambassador took leave with much feeling and reverence and departed.
[Italian.]
April 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
87. PIERO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Squaremburgh has returned, who went to negotiate a union of the Hanse towns with the emperor and the Spaniards. He reports that there is some disposition, but their large capital in Denmark, Sweden, England and Holland is the reason why they claim to remain neutral. Here they are not without hope that by promising those towns the free exercise of their religion and certain privileges, they may accept this union, which General Vuolestain will begin to negotiate afresh. He will try chiefly to win the burgesses of Hamburg and Lubeck, and once they are gained the others will concur.
Prague, the 26th April, 1628.
[Italian; copy.]
April 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
88. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him:
His Majesty's excellent disposition and friendship, the response and esteem of the republic, the sincere operations of our ambassador and the friendly resolutions of his Majesty emulate each other. The stronger the friendship the more regrettable the slightest shadow that falls upon it, though it cannot affect the substance. In the present sea of troubles the ship of the common liberty is tossed about on agitated waves. For its better guidance nothing can be better than firm decision and action on the part of the princes on the right side, who love the right and their own safety and may deservedly rely upon Providence. We have written to our ambassador that we have gladly heard the relations and exposition of your lordship, the expedients taken and the friendship expressed by his Majesty in the recent incident. We have directed him to respond, expressing to his Majesty in public audience our unalterable affection and esteem. We are sure that the fulfilment of the promises made will prove to the world the affection which his Majesty bears towards our affairs, as shown by his copious favours. We feel sure that you will forward the admirable intentions of his Majesty and the republic, as for many years you have been interested in the love of this country and know our good will.
Ayes. 118.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
April 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
89. To the Ambassador in England.
Your prudence and ability and the circumstances of the time have led to sufficient satisfaction in the matter of the letters. We enclose Wake's exposition and our reply, as well as the duplicates of our last letters which we understand have been lost. From all these you will see that the Senate accepts the satisfaction offered. In a similar case with the French ambassador, the king's guards were sent to fetch him, and we should be glad if you could obtain the same; but we leave it to you. In any case, with the satisfaction offered you will go to audience of the king and perform the offices suitable to the occasion, expressing our affection and esteem, and endeavouring, as a sign of greater confidence on the part of his Majesty, to encourage his views upon the common service. After the offices of reconciliation with his Majesty and the ministers, you will ask pardon for the prisoner and try to obtain his release, but without committing yourself, as a final conclusion of a most thorny and unpleasant business, which has served to bring into relief your abilities, for which the Senate gives you the warmest praise.
Ayes, 118.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
April 28.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
90. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and the deliberation of this Council of the 22nd inst. was read to him; he said:
I humbly thank your Serenity for the prompt and gracious reply read to me. His Majesty will be delighted at your reception of his good will in the matter in question. I assure you that he will do everything possible to demonstrate his affection and esteem for the republic. I think your Serenity arranged to give me the reply to-day, because I may send it to his Majesty by the ordinary through France. If you have occasion to write to the ambassador in another way, I should be glad to know, so that I may send my letters and advices speedily to his Majesty at the same time.
The Savio for the week, Contarini, replied that they sent instructions to their ambassador by the ordinary, and for the moment they had no special occasions. The ambassador remarked that whenever they had he would take it as a favour if they would let him know. The doge then expressed the constant friendship and esteem of the republic for his Majesty. The ambassador returned thanks and asked for a note of the reply. When he was taking it he said that the news would prove the most grateful to his king that he had received during his reign, and he wished the courier had wings to take it. When leaving he asked me if the conspiracy of Genoa were true and if any prince had a hand in it. I said I had heard nothing about it, and he again asked to be informed if there was occasion to send to France, so that he might send his letters to England in that way.
[Italian.]
April 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
91. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador Roe left nothing to be desired in his confidential relations with me, with advantage to the public interests. I have paid my respects to the new one. He seems a good and wise gentleman. I proposed to be circumspect in my dealings with him, as he lived for many years at the Court of Spain, which is a syren. However he is well liked by all, although the Ambassador Roe did not seem to care for him personally. He assures me constantly that he is utterly opposed to the Spaniards. Your Excellencies may rest assured that the interests of the State will not suffer from my dealings with him, as they could not either from my relations with Roe, with whom I never went beyond the essentials of my instructions.
The Vigne of Pera, the 29th April, 1628.
[Italian.]
April 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
92. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Parliament continues firm in the decision to contribute five subsidies. They have also declared that these shall be levied within a year. The bills have not been passed, because the concessions about privileges are delayed from fear of infringing the prerogatives of the crown. Parliament wished to know from the judges on what grounds they decided that the king might imprison those who refused payment of the subsidies, without declaring the cause to them, as this was contrary to the most ancient statutes. Except in cases of felony they do not allow any one to be kept a prisoner beyond a certain brief period, unless he is informed of the cause, otherwise he is by law to be released.
The discussions take time, although the king desired that parliament should sit every day, without granting them vacation for Easter, as desired by the commoner sort, who were not a little dissatisfied at this unusual severity. It also happened that on the first announcement of the subsidies, the duke congratulated the king in Council on having gained the affection of his subjects, to show that he had no part in the late misunderstandings, as so many believe. He offered his mediation at all times for the maintenance of a good understanding between his Majesty and the people. This speech was not only reported to the Lower House, to render the duke popular, but was also printed. This gave offence, because they consider that good faith and the profession of a liege subject do not require mediation with the sovereign.
However, these and other incidents have not yet disturbed the hope of a good result from the present parliament, which still proceeds with a very sincere intention of satisfying the king, putting aside all private passion and attending only to the necessary points of liberty, to which the king seems well inclined. One need only wish for the speedy despatch of the business for the removal of every obstacle. It is true that the sum voted does not amount to much when compared with the numerous expenses and debts, and many suspect that those who enjoy the chief influence and advantage would rather see the king absolute master without this dependence, so as better to dispose everything in their own way.
Very serious complaints have reached parliament from the provinces where the soldiers are billeted, about the outrages committed by them against the peasantry. They have petitioned for relief. The king graciously promised this, and I believe it is on the carpet to send these men, about 5,000 in number, to Denmark. Parliament would like this and would assume part of the cost, to relieve the people and assist the Danes. That is urgent and weighs upon them, but I do not know whether they will care to weaken the kingdom.
Three weeks ago a messenger arrived from France sent by the Dutch ambassadors to their colleagues here. On the morrow they had audience of the king. They told him of the Most Christian's departure for Rochelle and that of the Duke of Guise for Marseilles with money and orders to unite the fleet in the waters of Lisbon. It is supposed that the two crowns have un understanding together and designs on one of these kingdoms or on the Netherlands. It seems that Spinola recommended and urged this on his way to Spain, as well as some other matters. In the course of their remarks upon these proceedings they took occasion to renew their offices in favour of the peace, showing that by acting speedily they might yet be in time to dissipate this cloud and prevent the threatening storm. They said the ambassadors in France had found the Most Christian, the queen mother and the ministers well disposed for peace. They desired two things, one that between the king and his subjects there should be no other mediator than his own clemency and justice; the other that the one who first offended should be the first to speak. They begged his Majesty to unbosom his intentions to them. The king justified his action in the usual terms, saying that the critical state of Christendom made him wish for the reconciliation, and so forth. At the same time he pointed out that he had been the first offended, and by ancient policy and recent promises he was bound not to abandon the Huguenots.
The ambassadors came to tell me all and said that they gathered from what the king said that he would consider himself too much hurt if he entered upon negotiations before he had at least attempted to succour La Rochelle, since report and long preparation bound him to this. For the rest he pointed out to them that the greater the understanding between France and Spain, the more their masters were called upon to declare themselves in his favour. They might arrange together for a joint defence and the security of the sea. With respect to speaking first, I gather from another quarter that they think of sending two of the Dutch ambassadors simultaneously and reciprocally to either Court, in order to remove this pretension by treating on equal terms. As regards La Rochelle, the Most Christian apparently hopes to win it in a short time, and the King of England to succour it much more speedily; so the delay of a few days must be borne, especially with the absence of the Most Christian and the chief ministers.
It seems to me that the apparent good disposition on both sides is prejudiced by neither of the two kings trusting the other, especially as regards the promises of the French after what happened about the Valtelline and Bassompierre. There is no doubt but that this understanding between France and Spain causes some anxiety, and the Most Christian himself gave some hint of it to the Dutch ambassadors, observing that the English had invaded his dominions, and for his reputation's sake he must endeavour to do the like to them. The report that the Duke of Guise is to command the expedition and that the Spanish forces will second it as auxiliaries, suggests that they may thus aim at keeping the Dutch in check, in order not to break with France. Ireland no doubt presents the greatest danger, but it is not intelligible to every one how the French in the present state of affairs in Italy, can either trust the Spaniards or join with them in earnest. This contradictory policy is a novelty never practised before. The French on the other hand say that the Most Christian is not pledged to Italy except in honour, in the interests of one of his subjects, but that against rebels his sovereign rights are at stake; so he will only assist Nevers according to the means he has for continuing the war against the Huguenots.
To tell the truth they are ill provided here for defence against a full flood, in case this strange conjunction of the French and Spaniards should be witnessed. The officials themselves tell me that in the whole kingdom they have not weapons to arm ten thousand men, and they are scantily provided with powder. This is proved by a new proclamation, prohibiting salutes of honour either on board ship or at reviews. (fn. 2) The yeomanry cavalry is very often exercised, but the native horses are not adapted to military service and therefore all snaffles have been forbidden, and they are told to accustom their mounts to curbs or ordinary bits, to render them more manageable. As to the sea, I will merely say that the Dunkirkers infest these coasts unmolested. doing very great mischief without hindrance. They even captured two Dutch men-of-war lately, which they sunk.
The succour for La Rochelle cannot set sail for want of three hundred sailors. The king has sent a gentleman of his privy chamber to urge the departure, by reason of some intelligence that since the plot in Fort Talon (fn. 3) the Most Christian has an understanding within the place. Six English soldiers, who have been captured in a sally, were courteously sent home by the Most Christian, their journey being paid as far as Calais. They state that of the three vessels sent hence some time ago, two got in, and one ran aground. The entry of the channel, although difficult, is not impossible, the besieged are determined to hold out to the death, and they are in want of defenders. On this account 600 infantry under Colonel Fregies (fn. 4) have been embarked on board the fleet for La Rochelle, to remain there if needed; if not they will return. Some think that the kingdom ought not to deprive itself of these new forces, leaving itself without any defence whatever, and they are apprehensive of these hostile fleets and understandings. Possibly, by seeking to prevent the succour of Rochelle they expect to protract the negotiation for peace, which greatly depends on this result, but I do not think they will succeed.
Montagu returned last night, having been released at the suit of the Duke of Lorraine. So far as I learn he reported that the French are well disposed to peace, owing to the crisis in Italy. This has diminished the fear of the junction of the two fleets, though here they believe the whole to be a French invention for the purpose of lulling England to sleep and delaying the succour, since these oblations do not agree with the king's journey to La Rochelle. He brings letters from the queen mother to the queen here relating that the fortress of Casale is already besieged, the Imperial troops being on the Swiss borders to second Cordova's attack and alarm the Cantons. There are also some reinforcements on your Serenity's confines towards Gradisca. All this pleases these Northerners, as it proves a very advantageous diversion.
The Earl of Carlisle came to see me lately. He told me that the king orders him to make the journey already reported. He has credentials to present to your Serenity and orders to go to Venice. I endeavoured to elicit the causes, but could only detect curiosity and compliments. He enlarged on his king's love and esteem for the republic and his wish to remain united with it, saying that no sovereign surpassed him in these sentiments, with more, which I acknowledged suitably. His first halt will be at the Hague. After justifying his master's movements against France there and the corrupt policy of that Court, he will make the overtures I reported for the northern league with Denmark, Sweden, the Hanse Towns, the States and this kingdom for the defence of the sea. He will resume the proposals made repeatedly by Carleton in protesting against neutrality and declaring in favour of combined naval preparations. He will proceed thence through Brabant, without touching Brussels, towards Lorraine, in acknowledgement for the embassy sent by the duke on the king's accession and to thank him for the offices performed through Montagu and for his release. From Lorraine he will go into Protestant Switzerland, and there, according to events in Italy, determine about going first either to Turin or to Venice; so some months will elapse before he gets there. At each of these Courts he will justify the proceedings of his master, demonstrating his care for the public cause and his wish to be united with all those who are interested in it.
Such are the pretexts for his embassy, though it is based on curiosity and a wish to absent himself from the Court. He is quite devoted to the common weal, no friend to the Spaniards, and anxious for peace with France, and perhaps that is why the duke wants him away. I report his views, because if he goes to Turin, the Duke of Savoy may trade on this mission so as to cause suspicion of an adjustment between England and the Spaniards now that he is united with them. I must also mention a report that the Infanta offers free trade here, as she did before, and because Spain is short of so many things, she adds a mutual obligation that England and Spain shall not invade each other's territories, but leave them free to aid or attack friends and allies. This merits consideration, because of what happens daily with regard to the intrigues of France.
London, the 29th April, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
93. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The siege of la Mamora proceeds with great vigour. They believe here that the English or Dutch are helping the Moors, who show more skill than is usual with them in their military operations, as they make good trenches and are also availing themselves of some guns which they have recovered from a wrecked ship. They molest the boats bringing provisions, but the bad weather does more, and it has detained the relief prepared in the port of San Lucar, which the place needs very badly. When the weather allows it will pass safe, as there are no enemies of any kind at sea now to prevent it.
Madrid, the 29th April, 1628.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
94. MARIN MUDAZZO, Venetian Proveditore in Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the night of the 17th inst. outside the Guardiani of this island Sir Calem Digby, minister of the English crown, fell in with the English ship William Ralph and its companion the Cantarella, sailing from Zante to this city. Digby had two ships in company, and with one of them he attacked the William Ralph, not recognising it as a friend, while the third attacked the Venetian Cantarella. The William Ralph was recognised at once, and it saluted Digby with its guns, and lowering its sails; but the Cantarella, alarmed at the firing, would not make itself known to the other ship which followed it and demanded submission. The English ship fired several shots, while the Cantarella fled for this port. A sailor who wished to fire a gun against the English, blew off his hand and fell into the sea, bu the swam over a mile to this port. He represented to himself the English as barbarous Turks.
Digby subsequently entered the port of Argostoli with one consort and a prize he had taken, laden with wheat, at Barletta, they say. He calls himself general, sent by his king against his enemies. I know he has made various captures, which he has directed to Zante to get rid of the goods. He asked me for pratique (fn. 5) here, but I absolutely refused, pretending that I could not give it, as he had recently come from Algiers, and I did not know how long he had left those parts. This same pretext would serve to make him withdraw and take his prizes elsewhere. But the members of the community and all the people came to me in a rage, to get me to grant this pratique and allow the sale of the wheat, representing the scarcity in the island. I endeavoured to pacify them, but they will not listen to reason nowadays and insisted upon supplying their own wants. Thus some of them went to bargain with Digby, who expressed his willingness to dispose of the grain at a profit. I refused pratique and shall continue to do so, but I fear I shall have to connive at the purchase of the wheat by the people, as I cannot prevent it, and they are ready for mutiny and riot in the present scarcity.
I shall do my utmost to get Digby to leave as soon as possible, although it is rumoured that he has some idea of bringing other prizes with cloth captured off Sardinia, for sale here. To prevent this, I have armed the channels, and if they come I will station the armed barques at the stern of the ships, to prevent this fraud.
These English continue to bring prizes publicly into your Serenity's ports, to my great mortification. I have to remain a mere spectator. I can only refer to what I wrote some weeks ago, and beg that some orders may be given, as the matter is of the highest consequence. In the meantime I will try to remain in the background, so that no one may think that the State encourages the capture of prizes from friendly princes; but I regret that my strength is not equal to my will, especially when any one can make himself absolute master in the port of Argostoli without any regard for the sanitary regulations or other obedience.
Cephalonia, the 28th April, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.95. On the 18th April, 1628, at Argostoli.
Examination of Giacinto di Steffano of Venice, sailor on the berton Gerlanda di Rosa, master Anzolo Cantarella, a Venetian:—
Left Zante last Monday in company with an English ship. Arrived off this island yesterday. Outside the Guardiani met four bertons of evil aspect, he believed of Tunis. One attacked them at once, and the others the English ship. In firing a gun blew off his right hand and fell into the water, but swam to shore. Their ship withdrew behind the Guardiani after sunset yesterday, but the English ship must be outside resisting the four bertons. Did not know if any one else was hurt. Had no news of the bertons. The bertons were sailing eastwards towards land. There were Turks on the bertons, and at the moment of the assault their captain, who is English, spoke with the Turks, but he did not understand what they said, from not knowing the language and because the Turks shouted. There were many passengers on the English ship, notably the Consul Sagredo, returning from Zante and other notables whom he did not know.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 A resinous gum, used medicinally.
2 Proclamation of the 4th April, "the effect of certain branches of the statute 33 Henry VIII touching the maintenance of artillery and the punishment of such as use unlawful games, to be put in present execution." Steele: Proclamations, Vol. I, No. 1545.
3 An attack in force on the Fort de Talon on the 12th March, carried out by Richelieu in the hope of ending the siege, owing to an understanding with some in the town. Mervault: Journal du Dernier Siege de la Rochelle, pages 220–7.
4 Colonel Sir Thomas Fryer. They did not go, but were marched back from Plymouth.
5 Practica. Digby uses the word "prattike" (Journal of a Voyage to the Mediterranean, Camden Soc., page 28). It means permission to trade and have free intercourse with the inhabitants.