Venice
May 1628, 16-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1916

Pages

92-110

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'Venice: May 1628, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 92-110. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89184 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Contents

May 1628

May 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
122. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The gentleman from Brussels brought me news received some weeks ago that a fleet of 33 ships has left Holland. This has caused them to accelerate their naval provisions, and the suspicion that the English fleet is at last about to sail against these realms, has given no slight impetus in the same direction. Nevertheless they announce that his Majesty wishes to help his brother in law, the Most Christian, with their forces, there being some reports that ships are ready in England and in Holland under the English flag, to carry succour to La Rochelle. But they have the utmost difficulty to find the money to meet such heavy expenses and it appears that they will not be able to collect the forces required against the Dutch and those known to be necessary for the defence of these realms, beyond those desired to unite with the French fleet.
The Count of Olivares sent for several of the Portuguese nobles and tried to persuade them that Portugal ought to bear the cost of these preparations, for the sake of Brazil, which the Dutch may attack, and to secure their coasts against raids of the English. This is not considered likely to prove successful. The Portuguese complain bitterly that their little State is called upon to bear the whole burden of opposing all the enemies of this crown. Before the union with Castile their kings did not want more enemies than they could deal with. They always tried to keep at a distance all occasions of war with the English, ambassadors being sent to adjust the very important differences which arose about navigation. Their king would never accede to the request of Charles V to make war on France, although the emperor helped him constantly. Now they are at constant strife with the Persians and the English in India and with the Dutch in all waters.
Madrid, the 16th May, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
123. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The emperor's declarations and the arms of the Spaniards seem to be wisely conceived and calculated to show the Duke of Savoy that he is only likely to do himself harm. They even speak of the emperor and the French King giving him command of all the forces, but this is unlikely, as they mistrust him more and more. They also hope, from the arrangements which the duke has with the English, that these movements in Italy may give no little warmth to the feelings of that king and the depraved inclinations of Buckingham, leaving to the Duke of Savoy the satisfaction of having demonstrated to the English that their deeds will be greater than his promises against the crown of France. They therefore calculate that Savoy will persist.
Madrid, the 16th May, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
124. PIERO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Vuolestain is to treat with the Hanse towns about joining with the Emperor and the Spaniards in the navigation of the Baltic, which they are anxious at all costs to stop the Dutch and English from. As the towns seem reluctant I foresee that they will inform them that if they do not enter into alliance with the House of Austria, their ports will be closed, and if their merchantmen fall in with Dunkirk ships, they will be treated as enemies. This has troubled the towns greatly, and I have been told that the men of Lubeck might consent after such threats to sell forty large ships to General Vuolestain to be armed.
Prague, the 17th May, 1628.
[Italian; copy.]
May 20.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
125. To the Rectors of Padua.
The English ambassador here has informed us that for his private quiet and content he proposes to withdraw to that city and stay there eight or ten days. Through his secretary he has intimated that he would be glad for you to know of this. The ambassador will stay in the house of the state mathematician. You will pay your respects and gratify any wishes he may express showing him such courtesy as you think fit and proper.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 0.Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
May 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
126. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After remaining fruitlessly for eight whole days off the mouth of the port of La Rochelle, the English fleet sailed away at day break, it is not known whither. The king and cardinal are singularly relieved, the more so because they had both made up their minds that nothing could prevent the relief of the place. If the English had pushed on, as they ought, it was expected that the Rochellese would sally forth to attack the lines. Now the cloud has dispersed and every one rejoices at the clear sky. The king forthwith sent the unexpected news to the queen mother, and the cardinal also wrote, expressing the hope of saying mass in La Rochelle at Whitsuntide.
It is impossible to speak of the future with certainty. The Rochellese seem able to hold out for a great while yet. It is not known either whether this departure of the English was from necessity, by arrangement, or with some purpose. It may be that the fault lies not only in their feebleness, as many assert, but in the sea and the wind, which to tell the truth, have not committed their usual excesses this last full moon.
The scanty accomodation at the camp has compelled me to stop here; and the preoccupation of the king and cardinal over the English fleet has prevented me from paying my respects to them.
Sorgeres, the 20th May, 1628.
[Italian.]
May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
127. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Although many proposals have been made to adjust the Amboyna affair, they have not been able to find one to give mutual satisfaction. Accordingly the matter remains in its original state and the commissioners appointed are in difficulties as to how to proceed. I hear that they will treat for a decision with the ambassadors extraordinary in England. That is desirable because on that affair alone all the others depend, although they are actually more important and should have their due amount of consideration. The English say that this affair affects the honour of the nation, but it is not right that it should spoil everything else. On some days there was good hope, but Carlisle's operations have not gone beyond what I reported.
I have carefully observed all the other proceedings of this minister, and I find that nothing has been concluded. A thousand discussions have been held, but no steps have been taken to establish anything beyond what I wrote. It has been whispered to me that there was some talk of a truce, but I have not the authority for this that I should desire. Yet appearances make me suspect it, except that this very ticklish affair ought to be negotiated with more reserve, in order to remove suspicion and the obstacle of offices in opposition, because, although everything has not come out, yet when any steps are taken it will be known very clearly.
It will be necessary to fix attention on the decisions of the English, because with their connivance and trade with the Dunkirkers, which is beginning, they intend to go still further, and cause the principal overtures for their accomodation with the Spaniards to be made from this quarter, they will also of a surety try to make the stroke for the Dutch also, because the alliance binds them not to treat without the participation of the Dutch, and they profess themselves as very particular about this by inclination and as a contrast with the French, whom they blame so much and detest for the treaty of Monzon.
With an opportunity for an adjustment, and only too much inclination that way, it is probable that a truce is proposed here, as being easily and readily concluded. It would not be a peace, as that always presents countless difficulties and would require years to adjust, while the need is urgent, especially here. I know that if the proposals were only moderately advantageous they would grasp them with both hands, as they are much depressed and lack the support they once had.
On the other hand there seems no reason to move the English to make an accomodation with the Spaniards, as after eliminating the interests of trade, which can very easily be carried on indirectly, they have not received the slightest hurt since they declared war, and as the Prince of Orange remarked to me recently, not a single man has perished in that space, so that I do not know what advantage they hope from the accommodation, unless it be to deprive the French of their help, although that would not be very considerable. Thus one might conclude that they would not incline to the peace. However, if this were so, it would not be possible to verify the agreement which it is said the Infanta proposes to the English, that they may help their friends, but not attack each other; besides, the Spaniards so far have not done so much to help the French that the English have anything to fear from the alliance. In this connection the Earl of Carlisle told me that the Count of Olivares had remarked in Spain to a person of quality, who wrote it to England, that the orders to Don Federigo di Toledo were so chastened that the King of England would have occasion to recognise the respect which the Catholic bore him, and as a fact, he did not leave port until the English had departed from the isle of Rhez. These are machines that do not move so violently, and I therefore hope that there will be time to countermine.
I am told that the Earl of Carlisle is to treat with the Duke of Savoy, and that the Abbot Scaglia told him in London in general terms that if he succeeded in making a stroke he would make himself famous for the whole for his life. I do not know if he has any illusions in this matter of the truce, and if he will insist that the duke shall not only bring about the accomodation between the Spaniards and English, but also a union between the two crowns to the exclusion of the French.
The Hague, the 22nd May, 1628.
[Italian.]
May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
128. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador left last Wednesday. Carleton started yesterday, because the wind became favourable. There was a dispute with him about the present, which he would not accept as too slight; but I hear he will receive one of greater value.
The Earl of Carlisle says he is leaving to-morrow, and continues to assert that he will not go by Brussels. However, he is going to Antwerp, and it will be easy to go on to Brussels when he is there, and, as the Prince of Orange remarked to me yesterday, he can always say he was compelled out of compliment.
Stadem has at length fallen to Tilly for lack of munitions. I enclose a copy of the capitulation. General Morgan, who defended it, is momentarily expected here with his troops, and some officers have already arrived. The English troops number 2,000 although reported as 3,000. They have undertaken not so serve Denmark for six months if they remain in these parts, but if they are recalled to England they are set free. The English ambassadors intended that they should go to England to get free and so be sent to serve Denmark, for which also, it is rumoured, they propose to use the 1,000 horse they are levying on the frontiers here, as there is no longer any need to employ them in England. It seems however that the King (of Denmark) has more need of infantry than of cavalry. The Prince of Orange desired that these troops should remain here, because they find it very difficult to raise the 10,000 men ordained. The ambassadors sent off Calandrini at once, as he happened to be here, to supply the prince with some money.
A colonel of these troops, who has arrived here, reports that owing to this surrender matters beyond the river, affecting Gluchstat and Creing are in great confusion, with little hope of a good issue. Upon this advice the States concluded that all help would be thrown away, and at once withdrew their orders for the relief of those places.
The Hague, the 22nd May, 1628.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.129. Copy of the capitulation made between General Tilly and General Morgan for the surrender of Stadem. (fn. 1)
(1) General Morgan will hand over the fortress on Sunday, the 7th May.
(2) He will withdraw with his troops as speedily as possible towards Holland and not elsewhere, and his Excellency will provide him with convoy, provisions and quarters in the Infanta's dominions.
(3) The German soldiers shall be free to follow Morgan or to go home, but not to the enemy's side.
(4) The two general commanders and the German officers may withdraw to Denmark.
(5) When General Morgan reaches Holland, if orders reach him from his king for his troops to stay there, his officers and men from Stadem shall not render any service to the King of Denmark for the space of six months.
(6) If he is recalled to England with his troops, all shall be free from this obligation.
(7) Upon these terms his Excellency will allow General Morgan, Colonel George Uslar, Thomas Derenton and all his men to come out freely.
(8) But no citizen of the town shall come out with them or any of his Excellency's soldiers who entered the town during the siege.
(9) They shall come out with the honours of war, drums beating, flags flying, carrying their arms, matches lighted, bandoliers full and balls in their mouths.
(10) All those mentioned in article seven may bring away their horses, baggage, women and children and their arms, including those of dead or sick soldiers; no search being made, but any arms left there by the King of Denmark must not be taken away under this pretext.
(11) The baggage and the sick may be removed by land or sea, and his Excellency will supply the necessary waggons and ships.
(12) Any wounded officer or soldier who cannot be moved shall have quarters in the town until he recovers and may then go where he pleases.
(13) If any of the soldiers have booty taken previously because of the war; they may retain it.
His Excellency will behave towards the town and its inhabitants in such sort as to show that he does not desire their ruin.
Dated on Friday, the 5th May, 1628.
Signed: John, Count of Tilly.
Charles Morgan.
[Italian.]
May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
130. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are waiting to hear about the succours for La Rochelle. They talk of preparations by the Conde Duque for increasing the forces of Don Gonzales. The outcome of the La Rochelle affair is awaited with mingled feelings. The Spaniards would be as much cast down by its fall as the English, and from what I gather, the nuncio is not far from believing that the Spaniards are even supplying the Rochellese with money. He would like to make sure about this and I believe he has special commissions from the pope to that effect.
Madrid, the 22nd May, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
131. PIERO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Staden has at length surrendered to General Tilly. All the conditions are not known. I have merely heard that before coming out the garrison swore not to bear arms against the emperor for six months. On hearing the news the town of Traisond in Pomerania sent to ask pardon of the emperor, promising loyalty for the future.
Prague, the 24th May, 1628.
[Italian; copy.]
May 24.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
132. To the PROVEDITORE GENERAL in Terra Ferma.
On the 31st March we empowered Captain John Thomas, a Scot, to raise a company of 200 Ultramontane foot to serve our Signory. He will present himself to you to receive his orders, for Bergamo, which is his place d'armes; as when twenty men have come they should be mustered and when the number reaches sixty the standard should be raised. One payment as a gift is to be made to him from the chamber, for the muster, in accordance with the Senate's decision.
[Italian.]
May 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Capitanio
della Galeazze.
Venetian
Archives.
133. ANDREA ZULIAN, Captain of the Gulf, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I left Corfu on the 16th to take up two Galleys at Asso and to escort as far as Cerigo two ships going to Crete. We heard that there were six galleys of Florence at Zante, twenty Spanish ones at Chiari, and eleven English vessels in the port of Argostoli, two of them armed for war, commanded by Sir Kenelm Digby. Four were prizes and five merchantmen lading currants at that island, I decided therefore, not to continue my voyage, but to draw under the fortress of Asso.
I hear this morning that the commander of the two armed ships has driven off all the sailors from his prizes and armed them with men from his own ships. As he asked these sailors to remain in his pay, I think this is a proof that they refused, and he wants to force them to enter his service by necessity. He offered them clothes and 10 ducats a month. I hear that some of the exiles of that island have agreed, and seven soldiers of the garrison have deserted. He has been at the port for several days, on the pretext that his mizzen mast (mesa) is damaged and he must make new provision, but the truth is he wants to dispose of his prizes. He shows patents of the King of England directing all ships of his subjects to render him prompt obedience. I regret this, seeing them take possession of your Serenity's ports with so large a number of ships. This renders them insolent, and they have even attacked one of the armed barques of the guard, men being slain on both sides. I think your Excellencies should take some steps, as they claim to search all ships.
The Galley at Corfu, the 25th May, 1628.
[Italian.]
May 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
134. To the Ambassador in France.
Our Proveditori at Zante and Cephalonia have advised us that English ships which frequent those parts for the trade in currants and other things, have begun to take the plunder taken from the French elsewhere, and have committed acts of hostility against a small French ship there, under the pretext of war. Our Proveditori prevented this and we have given them orders on the subject and to use force, if necessary, to keep the English within due bounds, and to show the respect due to the jurisdiction of another prince, especially ourselves, who esteem both crowns equally. We have passed offices in conformity with the English ambassador and the same will be done with the king, so that the disorder may be provided against.
We send you word merely for your information. You will take no step unless you are spoken to and then you will express our displeasure at such accidents and say what our representatives have already done.
Ayes, 93.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
May 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
135. To the Ambassador in England.
We are advised that English ships which frequent Zante and Cephalonia for trade, are molesting the French on the pretext of war, plundering ships and selling the booty in our islands. This has displeased us greatly and we have made representations to the English ambassador as enclosed, and we desire you to make similar ones to his Majesty and such ministers as you think proper, so that in future they may abstain from such behaviour, especially in our jurisdiction, because we profess equal respect for both crowns. We shall await your report on this.
Ayes, 93.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
May 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
136. That the Secretary of the English ambassador be summoned to the Collegio, and that the following be read to him.
As the ambassador is out of the city, we have sent for you so that you may inform him of this office. We are advised that English ships which frequent Zante and Cephalonia for trade, where they have the friendly reception we always accord to that nation, have been plundering French ships and selling their goods in our islands, even committing acts of hostility in our channels and ports without any regard for us. As we intend the ships of friendly princes to enjoy every security in our jurisdiction, such operations displease us greatly. We are sure they proceed more from the habitual daring of sailors than from anything else and that the ambassador will regret the matter equally. Let him reflect upon the consequences and send word to the merchants interested, the consuls and others so that such behaviour may be prevented for the future and so become a precedent, leading to further mischief. Our commanders at sea have express orders to keep the seas well guarded for safe navigation for all.
You will report this to the ambassador so that he may write speedily when he thinks fit.
Ayes, 93.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
May 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
137. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
Great indeed has been the audacity of those English ships in bringing to our waters and ports the booty they have taken from the French, and selling it publicly, and even in lying in wait for, attacking and capturing other French ships in our ports, under colour of the war between the two crowns, although that does not absolve them from the respect due to the jurisdiction of others, especially as we have an equal esteem for both sovereigns. However, we commend the prudent provision you have made. If other French booty is brought to those ports, you will have it taken elsewhere, warning all owners and captains of English ships, which come to that island to trade or for other purposes, that they are their agents must abstain from molesting the French or any others in those ports and the neighbouring waters, where we desire every one to enjoy complete security and free traffic under our protection. If they neglect this warning, you will advise thereof our captains at sea nearest at hand, so that they may be able to carry out the Commissions which they hold from us. Proper representations will be made to the ambassador here, and in England to the king himself.
That a copy of these presents be sent to the Proveditori of Corfu and Zante as well as to the Proveditore General in the Kingdom of Candia, with orders to carry out the same in what concerns their jurisdiction, and also to the Proveditore of the Fleet, who is to inform the other commanders of what concerns them.
Ayes, 93.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
May 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
138. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and SENATE.
Nothing has been heard of the English fleet since it disappeared from these coasts. Opinions about it are as varied and uncertain as passions are deeply rooted. Some say it left on seeing that it was hopeless to relieve La Rochelle. Some that it left by arrangement with the Rochellese themselves, and in conformity with orders from Buckingham, who did not wish to risk his king's reputation and the safety of a friendly town without stronger forces and greater preparations; he had only wished to make a demonstration, and with the stronger force that he would bring with him he would show the firm and steadfast intention of the King of Great Britain to keep his word and keep up the heart of the community of that place, when they were beginning to waver. They conclude that as the fleet was sent to succour La Rochelle if it was short of munitions and food and about to fall, and finding it supplied for many months, capable of holding out a great while and in no danger, they arranged to return to England, not only to make better arrangements and get more powerful guns, but to unite with a still larger squadron, now fitting out at Plymouth, and at the full moon of July, when the tides are always exceptionally high, they will certainly return to succour the place, while the French will get no help from the mole, which will be submerged, or to be able to make any use of their feeble vessels, which will all be in danger from a tide fifteen feet higher, so they say, than the highest during the rest of the year. These hopes of the oppressed side are possibly more apparent than real. Those of the others are sounder, though they may not be realised so soon as the royalists imagine. They think that if the fleet did not even venture to make the attempt to enter the first time, they are still less likely to summon up courage to do so the second, when the place is further reduced. The town has 16,000 mouths to feed, the rivers are drying up. Both sides build upon such hopes and do nothing more.
In the meantime the Rochellese have acted as follows since the departure of the fleet. They have removed a flag with the English arms from the highest tower of the town and another from the flagship, flying in its place an entirely white one, which after some hours they replaced by a black one. They did this for three days in succession, as if to say that they would either live free in the modest liberty to which they were born, or would all perish with their town. They afterwards set all their mills to work, as if to show those without that they had abundance of grain. But such things are often done not amid plenty but in extreme misery. What has chiefly exercised the mind of the cardinal is that the Rochellese have recently sent out 500 pioneers to work about the fort of Tadon, known to be impregnable, and which the royalists had decided not to attack, as the besieged know.
The day after the English left a certain M. della Lua came out of La Rochelle saying that he wished to speak to the king. He was brought before his Majesty and the purport of his business was that if his Majesty had let the succour enter La Rochelle, the Rochellese would have recognised him as their king and lord but otherwise his Majesty must not expect to have the place except as a heap of ashes. It is now recognised that the man is not right in his head.
Your Serenity's letters of the 22nd only confirm my opinion that the cardinal wishes to cast the defence of the Duke of Mantua upon the republic, while France remains an idle spectator. This is his usual and recognised artifice. He sends certain half measures, which have neither character nor authority. If the aspect of affairs changes he denies everything and retires into safety as no signatures can be produced. The English have experienced this. When they had come to the point for carrying out the treaties and in particular for the rasing of Fort St. Louis, the cardinal told them to explain what they had on paper, and if France had any obligation he would gladly fulfil it.
Niort, the 26th May, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
139. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
One of the English ships sent here empty by the merchants in Alexandretta, but with some 150,000 ryals, a great part of which the English have taken at interest to despatch the vessel immediately, with the idea of paying the debt with the money derived from the Londons discharged here, has been recently stopped on the pretext that with the great scarcity of ryals they must not be taken away. Subsequently they claimed the duty only. It was released after a few days but from what I hear after considerable expense.
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th May, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
140. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters from Brussels of the 29th ult. state that after the Infanta had thrice renewed a passport for the Earl of Carlisle, who was expected from England, Don Carlos Coloma was reported to have gone to Dunkirk to confer with that earl and learn the reason for his mission, and if it was for anything touching the Palatinate to ask him not to trouble to proceed to that Court, as her Highness had no intention of listening to him upon that subject, though she would upon any other tending to an accomodation between Spain and England. This agrees with what I wrote about the desperate state of the Palatine's affairs.
Zurich, the 27th May, 1628.
[Italian.]
May 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
141. MARIN MUDAZZO, Venetian Proveditore in Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Commissioner Ciurano arrived recently at Argostoli with four galleys. Finding Digby there with his privateers and prizes and owing to false reports that the Spanish galleys were near, he forthwith took the galleys under the fortress of Asso, as a precaution, and went straight on to Zante, escorted by the Captain in the Gulf.
I have repeatedly requested Digby to withdraw from the port. He seemed inclined to do this when he had repaired the damages done to his ships. He has done this and is ready to sail. He says he will steer toward Sapienza to lie in wait for some small ship. I need not repeat my distress at his stay here. There is no wonder if words without force are powerless. Yet even at the sight of the seven galleys with the Captain in the Gulf they did not trouble to move or dislodge, as the one who had the greater force usually constitutes himself master of the port of Argostoli.
I believe your Serenity will have taken steps to prevent this practice from taking root, because I hear on good ground that the English propose to make Argostoli a repair for all the booty they take from friendly princes, as they cannot do this at Zante or Corfu owing to the fortresses, and to sell it in these ports. I have taken the precautions I reported, the more so as the English with extraordinary audacity, have dared to fire on shore, to correspond openly, against my will, to enter private houses by force where ladies were, to brawl with the guards, and one night, passing all bounds they attacked four of the Croats, killing one. The Croats to avenge the death of their countryman, pursued the English, who took refuge in the house of one of their merchants living here. A Greek servant of the house, who shut the door behind them, was killed by a shot from the Croats. I at once sent to the Captain in the Gulf asking for his help to suppress their disorders.
Great as has been the audacity of the English some of the islanders are even more deserving of correction, who have fomented the English against the Croats.
Cephalonia, the 17th May, 1628, old style.
[Italian.]
May 27.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
142. The Ambassador of the States came into the Collegio and presented the following memorial, to which he spoke, asking relief for Albert Schuyl, merchant of Amsterdam.
The Memorial.
These last months the Flemish ship St. Pierre, of 250 tons burthen, captain Nicolo di Guglielmo of Amsterdam, the owners being Albert Scoit and Isbert Tollins, leading merchants of Amsterdam, went to Smyrna to lade cotton. This done it left in company with a large English ship and a Venetian one named la Giona. They arrived at Zante, where the Giona left them for Venice. At Zante the English ship and the Flemish one took on a few goods and left together for the west. As they were leaving they fell in with some Flemish and Venetian ships coming from Crete. Because of the war between England and France, and to see if there were any French among their ships, the English ship fired some shots. At this the Venetian galleys at Zante came out and took with them the ship St. Pierre, which was sent to Corfu and thence to Venice. (fn. 2) Petition for the immediate release of the ship and that it may continue its voyage.
[Italian.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
143. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
While the dispute was going on in parliament about the paper presented by the Lower House, the king determined to write a letter, in which he gave assurance that he intended thenceforth to govern his people according to their privileges and not to have any person imprisoned without declaring the cause for doing so, except in serious cases, known to be such by his own conscience and Council. This also failed to give satisfaction, as it was supposed that the general term embraced every case, when such was the king's pleasure. The duke did his utmost to have it accepted by the Upper House at least, and, failing in the attempt, employed stratagem, which almost ruined everything, as it was determined at a sitting to delay further discussion of the business until the morrow. Private bills having been brought forward, many of the opposition peers left the House. Thereupon the duke, perceiving that there was a good opportunity for him and his party, had the public matter reintroduced in the middle of what was private, and endeavoured to obtain a vote to his mind. The news instantly flew over London, to warn the lords. Some of them returned to the House and protested against such an act of violence. It has rendered everybody suspicious and endangered the business. It is, however, still supported more than ever by honest men, with the hope of a good result. After writing the letter and the verbal declaration, and passing the term fixed for the 23rd, the king is still willing for them to debate this ticklish matter, which involves a restriction of the authority of the crown and of his own prerogatives. As the king keeps silent, it is believed that he does not intend a rupture. As a consequence of this supposition the people are more rampant than ever about not losing an opportunity for extending their liberty. However as a testimony of their readiness to pay, the subsidy bill has been read in the Lower House for the first time, and as the Catholics and aliens are thereby taxed double, the account will be increased by some thousands of pounds. This matter is of so much importance to both king and people, involving their mutual relations, the welfare of the country and that of the friendly powers, that nothing else is thought of, and men talk of little besides.
In addition to this engrossing topic, one must add the non-arrival of letters from any quarter, owing to contrary winds, and because, with the Dunkirkers masters of the sea, the Dutch ships do not care to risk the passage without convoy, which awaits Carleton's departure. The delay has proved so vexatious and irksome that some passengers risked crossing in small rowing boats from Zeeland, and in this way I received the two state despatches dated the 24th and 31st March.
From Italy Baroccio has arrived by post, who was formerly Scaglia's secretary in France, and who now fills the same office for the Prince of Piedmont. He left the camp under Trino on the 28th April, and came by way of Switzerland, Lorraine, Brussels and Dunkirk, stopping some days at each. On his arrival here Scaglia chose to have practically a public audience, at which he introduced him to the King, who so far has given no account of what took place to the Council or to any one else, so reports and suspicions vary. In the first place I will record what Scaglia himself sent me by the Secretary Agostini, and what I heard since through my correspondents, in order to throw light on conflicting statements. Scaglia said that his master, after receiving a thousand outrages from the French, had been tricked by them over this affair of Mantua. He had to indemnify himself. He had reduced his claims to Monferrat to asking for Trino and all the other places this side the Tanaro. The French offered only three very weak ones, as if he was in want of bread. Perceiving that state a prey to the Austrian forces, he thought it advisable not to lose the opportunity for doing himself justice. After obtaining Trino and the places mentioned, he would certainly withdraw his troops into his own territories, and he would not join Cordova with whom he had no understanding or agreement. The duke adhered to his ancient policy, which was that of a good Italian potentate. These fresh incidents, joined to past injuries made him determined to have no reconciliation with the French. No one but the most serene republic could take this negotiation in hand, and if it could bring the French to reason, the republic would always find the duke of the same mind. He was aware of the present mischief and his own danger. As regards the journey of this person, the French and everyone else might well suspect the duke of seeking the union of England with Spain. He said all this deliberately. His proclaiming these sentiments openly at the risk of harm if they were repeated to the Spaniards, makes me think that it is chiefly to arouse suspicion, though, as this person was employed in an affair very similar two years ago, it should not be despised. As the inclination of Savoy to join Spain caused no slight dissatisfaction at this Court, Baroccio has justified his master and his resolves, demonstrating his perilous position, between the French, who are practically his enemies, and the Spaniards, whom he cannot trust. He is endeavouring to find out the king's intentions about peace with Spain or France, as if it is made with the former, he wants at least to have a hand in it. If with the latter, he wants to be included. I believe that he will succeed and that will prove a fresh impediment. In the meantime he wants attempts to be made to coerce the French by encouraging the Huguenots and the malcontents. This agrees marvellously with their ideas here, and it is now more necessary than ever, because the French levies cause suspicion to Savoy, who embroils everything to keep himself a float.
This mission of Baroccio alarms the Dutch ambassadors for the general reason that whatever passes through, comes from or has anything to do with Brussels, must be an object of suspicion to them, especially as the trade with Dunkirk continues very freely and no remedy is applied. They told me as a fact that there is some negotiation on foot by means of underlings, which I can easily believe. Indeed I have no doubt that the Spaniards, who are past masters in fictitious negotiations, are cajoling England, in her lethargy, for the sake of creating suspicion, without coming to any conclusion. The Dunkirkers are committing every possible excess, and if the fleet now fitting out at Lisbon have any design, it would not meet with the least obstacle, especially as nothing is heard of Spinola's departure. He is greatly interested in naval matters, because of the ancient family rivalry with the Dorias at Genoa his birth place. But I do not believe that he or the duke of Savoy has any definite project of the sort on hand. The ambassador here made so much noise by his audience, which might have been more private, and by publishing his news to those who did not want to hear it for the sake of causing suspicion rather than of striking a blow. The chief object of this journey is to inform the king and to remain as much linked with him as possible. Your Excellencies will be able to compare this with the news from elsewhere. I will not lose sight of Scaglia until compelled to give him precedence, as I feel sure that the king has always been very averse to the agreements with Spain that being essential to his alliances and friendships as well as to his maxims of state and religion. On the other hand the duke thinks of nothing but his own maintenance, and distrusting the Puritans now relies thoroughly on the party of the Catholics who are all Spaniards and suggest ideas to the advantage of the Austrians, as the facts show.
The Dutch ambassadors have complained to the king that the East India Company here has not only presented to parliament, but also printed a very impertinent paper in abuse of the Dutch, whom they accuse of wishing to be tyrants of the sea, and of this nation, against which their hatred is deeply rooted, and so forth. The ambassadors recognise it as flour from the Jesuits' mill, and they cannot believe that private individuals would have been so bold without the support of an authoritative hand. The king has not expressed any displeasure, except at the memorial being presented to parliament without his consent or knowledge. But as yet this has not caused him to prohibit the printed copies or to issue any decree against its authors, as the ambassadors desired, lest this evil root, nutured by interest, fix itself in the passions of this people. The ambassadors try hard, but they obtain little.
The cloth ships for Delft do not start, while those bound for the Indies and others remain under embargo. As the Dutch need many ships for Denmark and the Sound, they have slackened the blockade of Dunkirk, and all ships get in and out of that port freely. I believe that their object in this was to injure the English, who have lost many vessels, though they do not show resentment. The articles of the league provide for a a naval force and all their correspondence from beyond sea now takes that line.
At this same audience although they did not formally negotiate peace, owing to the delay of the letters, they told me that they had confirmed to the king the news of the preparations at Lisbon, observing that if they were for the Indies, as many wish to infer, these would take place at San Lucar, as usual and not in Portugal. Guise's galleons would not be in Italy before the end of July. They attributed this delay not so much to the weakness of France as to the affairs of Italy, which are not disapproved. They pointed out the king's obligation to keep an eye upon them and prepare himself. They then spoke about the succour for La Rochelle, assuring me that if it gets in, the king may consider his honour satisfied. They therefore insinuated jestingly that as the Most Christian could not in honour treat with a foreign sovereign about his own subjects, and as the Rochellese did not choose to renounce his Majesty's protection, he might covertly authorise them to make their submission, and stipulate advantageous terms for themselves. The ambassadors received very general replies to this, but they do not despair.
The Chancellor of Scotland has come hither from that kingdom with many other lords. The reason is that King James divided among the nobility there certain Church revenues, the chief source of their wealth, which his Majesty wishes to reunite to the crown. This causes much natural resentment. It will be a long affair, but in the meantime I gather that Scotland warmly urges peace with France, as from the earliest times to the present day when the Most Christian's body-guard consists of Scots, their country has always preserved perfect friendship and alliance with France. I will encourage this disposition, which suits the common weal, and ought to prove profitably if reason ruled.
I beg that money may be voted for me for couriers and letters, as I have no funds left for those purposes.
London, the 29th May, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
144. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I will keep on the watch for military commanders, as instructed. There are very few suitable ones, and they are all employed. The Scot Bruce is in repute for his defence of Gradisca in the late Friuli war, but, I understand that when he left the emperor's service in consequence of the Palatinate, he promised never to carry arms against his Imperial Majesty. He is a staunch Catholic and has hopes of becoming colonel general of the English forces. Beplis, formerly under Mansfelt, who made good use of him, was taken into the English service when fighting in Denmark. He is a good soldier for counsel rather than action. He is a Swiss by birth, and his wife still lives at Zurich. Buckingham values him because he is an alien, as he does not trust much to Englishmen, so Beplis hopes to have the command of the artillery. Sir James Scott, now lieutenant colonel, who served as captain for your Serenity for eight years, and acted as quarter master general at the islands, is an old soldier attached to the republic. He speaks the language and is well known to your Excellencies, the generals and other public representatives. There are also some other officers, lately returned from their service under Colonel Peyton, but they have not the means to raise levies. If any of these or others wish to proceed to Italy, I will let your Serenity know, but as present events give them all high appointments, they will raise their demands proportionally, and the difficulties of the passes will render necessary the costs of transport by sea.
London, the 29th May, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
145. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With respect to the truce, I hear that Carlisle made some proposition, and all sorts of people talk about it. This arises from the expected arrival of the Marquis Spinola at Brussels very soon, as when he left Spain he freely stated that he was going to make a truce which both he and the Infanta desired, and he is now supposed to be bringing the conclusion. I will keep on the watch.
Carlisle left last Wednesday. The Prince of Orange told me that the earl assured him he would not go to Brussels, and he only proposed to stay one night at Antwerp. In a long conversation with the Prince I gathered that there were various opinions about this move, and what they did not like was the prospect of some treaty with the Infanta. He only touched on this in passing, but I seized on the point, considering that they might wish to be included, though I would not say anything at the moment, especially as he had told me that [Carlisle] had negotiated nothing here except the Amboyna affair, and some overtures to establish greater security at sea, and that all remained imperfect.
He complained of Carleton who had presented a protest to the States, objecting to the judges who had been appointed for the Amboyna affair six months ago. I know at that time he told me this was settled and so the States consider it strange for him to contradict himself. But they adhere to their decision and pretend that the matter is being dealt with by law and the English cannot claim more.
The prince asked me if Carlisle would go to Venice and what business he would have. I replied he had told me that he would certainly go but I had learned nothing of his business. The prince said there was talk of his proposing a league between your Serenity, Savoy, Lorraine and his master against France. He asked my opinion. I said all the republic's efforts were directed towards peace and the reconciliation of the two crowns. Really, he said. I think these rumours of no account, as the reasons for this move are not known. It is even said that it has no real motive beyond some affection of Buckingham for Carlisle's wife. At this point the prince remarked that the duke was full of excesses, and it was also stated that he had received 200,000 crowns from the French not to effect the relief of La Rochelle. It is difficult to know what to think with so much delay in the starting of the fleet, of which there is no certain news. They speak very freely about it here and the ministers in their pulpits declare that God's cause has been sold. On the other hand the report still persists that the reconciliation of the two crowns is referred to the Duke of Lorraine, and they are negotiating this great affair to the exclusion of the Rochellese, who are considered lost here.
I hear that the cavalry levied for England at Emden is ready, and although it was stated that it would no longer be required for England and would be sent to Denmark, young Carleton informed me yesterday that it was ready to cross the sea, and two of the king's ships had come to take them. There is great danger of a disaster as the Dunkirkers are off these coasts, and have recently captured 61 ships laden with munitions, the bulk of which belonged to Englishmen.
General Morgan's troops have gone to the borders of Friesland; there are no more than 1,600 soldiers. They would be admirable if your Excellencies required them as they are inured to hardships. Morgan also is a highly esteemed soldier. I think his claims would be high but they might be reduced.
The Hague, the 29th May, 1628.
Postscript.—News has just reached the Prince of Orange from Calais that the English fleet has arrived at La Rochelle, numbering 80 ships, 8 large ones of the king, 30 of munitions and the rest merchantmen. Their first act was to send 5 fire ships to burn the boom, but they had scarcely left the fleet when the wind changed, and they were driven back, throwing the English into confusion. M. di Valance attacked and dispersed them with the French fleet. They lighted bonfires along all that coast.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
146. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last night there arrived in great haste a gentleman despatched by the Earl of Denbigh, who commands the fleet for relieving La Rochelle. He brings word that after a three days' passage the ships came in sight of the place. After preparations had been made to introduce the succour, the captains and crews refused to fight under pretence of the danger of wrecking the ships by going so close to the shore and to the French, who have some forty ships in the channel, besides a good number of shallops, protected by the forts, though I believe it is because the sailors are dissatisfied and ill paid. To satisfy and intimidate them at the same time, the earl exhibited the commission signed by the king. But it did not suffice to quiet them. So after remaining idle some days and being unable to make them change their minds he determined to put back, and has done so. Some even say that he has arrived at Portsmouth and has sent the news in advance as a measure of precaution. I cannot repeat how angry the king was, and his rage was more violent than ever before. He immediately renewed the commissions very clearly and positively, signing them with his own hand, and sent back the messenger who brought the news, and a son of the earl, with orders to return without stopping, whether he was in harbour or at sea. Some say that in a postscript to these commissions the king has added in his own hand that they are to risk everything to succour the place, and if they do not, they shall not come back to England under pain of death. I know that the king is very angry, but I cannot say whether he goes so far, seeing that it involves well armed vessels, which are the defence of the kingdom, and are in the hands of a nation which has no scruples about piracy.
In all the ports vessels of all kinds are put under embargo. They say that his Majesty will go to the coast in person, to send out as many ships as he can, not only as a reinforcement for the fleet, but to punish those who may refuse obedience to its commander. Only one difficulty remains, the contrary wind; so the fleet will not return very soon.
The fall of Stade is reported among the merchants.
This morning in parliament the two Houses agreed about the form of memorial to present to the king. As the Council assented to it, his Majesty may be expected to sign it willingly and everything will be speedily adjusted. I have thought it right to add these particulars to my despatch of yesterday.
London, the 30th May, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The terms are given in the Mercure Français vol. xiv, pages 403, 404.
2 See the Proveditore Belegno's account of the affair, no. 513 in the preceding vol. of the Calendar. The English ship was the Dragon, of London; Captain William Bushell.