Venice
June 1628, 12-19

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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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118-133

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'Venice: June 1628, 12-19', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 118-133. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89186 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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June 1628

June 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
161. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I wrote some weeks ago that peace was in negotiation between France and England by unknown and mediocre persons. I think one may now argue that this is either arranged or on the point of being, owing to the recent ignoble exhibition of the English fleet, besides other things. It is clear that from the sea, one who does not wish to, cannot succour La Rochelle; the floating chain can never stop any one determined upon going in, any more than spider's webs can stop eagles or nets enchain the winds. I have been all round the fortress three times. The present condition is that each side is secure from attack, and they remain tranquilly awaiting events. The deliverance of the town depends exclusively upon the sea. There, despite the labour and expense, the situation is the same as for many months past. The gap between the ends of the mole is 1,100 paces, in which are no more than ten large vessels, resembling the large frigates of Zara, stationed at equal distances and united by cables, form the unbreakable chain which the English have not cared or dared to attack. These have been stripped of sailors, they have not the number of soldiers arranged; the soldiers do not know which ships they are attached to and so they generally remain empty, at the sport of fortune. Even supposing that fortune is always on their side, how can they supply the notorious lack of ordnance, for they have not a single gun on all these ships. Apart from a foist which serves as vanguard for the ships within, there is not a vessel worthy of the name. They have, indeed 30 or 40 pinnaces or pataches (petacchie) as they call them, though I should consider them small caiques. The Marquis of Tavannes showed me one of these, presumably among the best, yet it had only six oarsmen and the coxwain, though all carried arms. This blind confidence and the obtuse negligence of the English fleet, with the negotiations constantly kept up on either side by nameless individuals, leads many to believe in a peace. However, I have not been able to discover anything definite, though it is freely stated that the peace is not announced because the French would not consent to La Rochelle being named in it, while the English, hoping to cover their shame, do not want a declaration to be made before the fate of La Rochelle is decided one way or the other. Before it falls for the sake of appearances only, they will send the fleet once more, to show that they will attempt the impossible, and after its fall, as it is irreparable, they will announce the accomodation, which has already been signed some weeks since between the crowns, and has only been kept secret for these respects.
They point to Montagu as the author of this work with little glory to him. No sooner was he released from the Bastille than they won him over by promising to allow the Duke of Buckingham to come on an embassy extraordinary to France next winter. They say this was all powerful.
All the negotiations with the Rochellese are broken off. They wanted to send commissioners to England and to the churches of the realm, but the king will not listen to them.
Niort, the 12th June, 1628.
[Italian.]
June 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
162. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Carlisle has gone to Brussels after all. Every one here is the more astonished as he constantly declared that he would not go there. No one believed him less than I, and I told the Prince of Orange that this step, which was intended to alarm the French, would not realise its intent if he did not make this journey. The earl tried to win reputation and show that he had to go for the sake of compliment. Two days after he reached Antwerp, where he had no reception, he sent a gentleman to Brussels to pay his respects to the Infanta. The pretext was to thank her for the passport, and he offered to go and receive her commands. The Infanta replied courteously, though she merely wished him a pleasant journey. When Carlisle received this reply and saw every way cut off he decided to remove the mask. He sent back to tell her Highness that he had come with particular commissions and letters from his master, in whose name he had some business to transact, and he therefore desired admission. Many say that a special Council was held at Brussels, and before introducing him the Infanta wanted to know what business he brought. But I am not sure of this. It is certain that he was conducted thither with every ceremony, and during his stay at the court he was defrayed with all possible splendour. The advices stop here, because there is no certain news as yet of his departure and they have not yet learned what he negotiated.
The Palatine and his wife feel this action of the earl very deeply, so contrary to all that he said, especially the queen, who declared he would never deceive her, either as her brother's minister or as one who always professed especial devotion towards her. She remarked to me: I have been deceived. The earl might have acted differently, as there were other ways, if he had decided to go there, though they might not have aroused so much suspicion; but she clearly saw that everything was going from bad to worse. Here she broke out with ideas which I can hardly characterise as well grounded or vulgar saying it was already stated that the fleet had behaved ignominiously (fatta una popolata). She was determined to write and tell the king what was publicly said. Everything was done by design, I am sure he will be angry, she added, but I do not care. She asked if I had heard of the duke receiving money from the French. I replied that it was talked about quite openly. She asked if I believed it. I replied that one could not rely upon such extravagances. She said she believed the worst, and it was always best in such cases. I seized the opportunity to speak of the accomodation between Spain and the English and the consequences of the truce with these parts.
The king was present all the time, and I spoke for quite an hour without being interrupted. I began at the beginning and expressed the belief that Carlisle might put the finishing touches. They listened with remarkable attention and I observed that the queen being quicker witted and more intelligent than the king, changed colour. She was much moved, and gave utterance to remarks which expressed the idea of the saying that no one ever deals with affairs of state straightforwardly when there is an admixture of evil arts. I understood her to refer to the duke, against whom she bears the utmost ill will, and not without good reason (mi avidi che la Regina particolarmente, come più spiritosa et di maggior senso del Re, cambia i colori del volto, e tutta concitata mi disse concetti, che esprimevano il senso di quel detto che nessuno mai tratto le cose dello stato con buoni sensi mentre vi si era introdotto con male arti; intesi parlar del Duca contra il quale e di pessima voluntà, et non ha poca ragione).
The king said that he did not know what accomodation the English could negotiate with the Spaniards, as the latter would not restore the Palatinate. He seemed to deduce that therefore they could not negotiate. I tried to rouse him from his lethargy by a violent blow and told him that existing circumstances allowed the entertaining of greater absurdities than negotiations excluding the Palatinate. He did not answer a word, and I saw he was afraid and angry about a truce here; he remarked that he was sure that if the States could have the late terms they would conclude at once. He feebly added: Who could urge them to do otherwise? since they are abandoned by all. I retorted that if they made the truce they would abandon themselves.
Carleton embarked two days ago, and although the wind was not quite favourable it is thought that he has crossed the sea. Colonel Morgan has also gone to England to solicit satisfaction for himself and his troops who are still in quarters here.
The Hague, the 12th June, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
163. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I obtained audience of the duke, who received me graciously. He expressed the views he has repeated so often about the scant confidence one can repose in France. The English would make terms with the Spaniards before they did with the French; and in France they are venal and dominated by gold.
Turin, the 12th June, 1628.
[Italian.]
June 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
164. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They do not talk so much about naval provision. They have encountered great difficulties and are short of many things. The usual squadrons will be formed, but the number of ships will be less than stated. I hear nothing about sending a fleet to the Gulf, or ships of any kind. They can only provide a feeble fleet for the Ocean, and as the Duke of Albuquerque has warned them about the Turkish forces at sea, they think of providing him with money for eventualities.
Madrid, the 12th June, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian Archives.
165. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Don Lorenzo Ramires remains on here about the usual proposals to join forces against the English, and to offer ships, not so much to make more sure of the enterprise and prevent succour from reaching the Rochellese, as to attack England, a peccant humour of the king to obtain a full revenge. But his Majesty sees through the device and grows angry when it is mentioned, while the cardinal jested about it with me. Yet I should not like to say that we may not again see this monstruous union between the Spaniards and the French if the English really mean to succour this fortress; and in such case vessels might hasten hither from Cartagena or Santander and interrupt their design.
France is already not a little suspicious about the proposed embassy of the Earl of Carlisle to half the princes of Europe. They even contemplated sending special persons to the divers courts to counteract his offices. Now they know that the embassy has no other object than to gratify the private caprice of the Duke of Buckingham, that idea has vanished and astonishment has taken its place, as they learned on good authority that Carlisle is to proceed to Rome and treat with the pope.
Niort, the 14th June, 1628.
[Italian.]
June 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
166. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King's exertions to make the succour return to La Rochelle without loss of time proved vain. It attempted nothing and returned leaving six transports with victuals in the hands of the Dunkirkers, who seized them off the English harbours. They brought back the others all shattered. The Earl of Denbigh, who had the command, is still at the Isle of Wight with a few ships. He dares not come to court for fear of the king, who was very angry at this misconduct. Time and the favour of the duke, his brother-in-law, will doubtless heal the wound. For this purpose the dependents of the family already announce publicly that the return was necessary, because the channel was blocked, preventing any ships from entering except at very great risk, to which the king's ships ought not of purpose to be exposed, as they are the sole defence of this kingdom. With this same intent they have confined to his own rooms one Clerk, (fn. 1) appointed agent for the king at La Rochelle. He is accused of having dissuaded the attack, as if the commander-in-chief had been bound to adopt his opinion. The codes of punishment and reward are so confounded that affairs here are advancing more and more towards an inextricable chaos. Soubise and the Huguenots, who are here, strongly deny the assertion, declaring that a few Rochelle ships which followed the fleet bound themselves to risk the attempt. and enter, provided they had the least assistance. This was refused, to prevent them having the honour in the teeth of the English. They remonstrate strongly to the king, in which they are justified, as Rochelle has not been in such straits for many years, as if the king as well as Rochelle had been openly betrayed. His Majesty replied he was aware it looked like it, and swore that punishment should be inflicted, no matter on whom it might fall. But as truth is entangled by favour, he becomes cooler in the matter every day.
The king is greatly piqued about the matter, and held the Council in his presence several times. Soubise and the Rochelle delegates were introduced and maintained that the succour could be put in, and that La Rochelle would still hold out for some months. Its inhabitants were determined to perish with the place, as they expect neither clemency nor good faith from the Most Christian, as according to the maxims of the Jesuits it is lawful not to keep promises made to heretics. Soubise himself implored permission to go in person, in the interests of his mother and the party. He proposed that at least a few ships in readiness should put to sea without delay, that the besieged may again take heart, and this was settled. Letters were previously sent to the place in divers ways, to keep the defenders staunch, through the speedy return of the fleet. But they do not find means to execute this project, as the victuals have been partly captured and partly spoiled. Those for the ships of war, which were only for three months, are already consumed, so they have to replace both. The season is unfavourable for their keeping, there is no money and they are short of sailors. In short the succour will not go, or will not go soon, and possibly not in time, though the good Protestants here declare that the place will hold out for another two months and perhaps longer. This, in my opinion, is the worst of all, as the Most Christian will waste the whole summer there, the succours for Italy will be delayed, the Spaniards will establish their footing in the territory they have gained, Germany will be completely subdued and England will throw away both treasure and repute.
The king sent for the Dutch ambassadors to acquaint them with this event. To tell the truth they seem rather anxious about La Rochelle because of the faith, because they traded thence to Spain, and from fear of the pride of the French themselves when they no longer have that fever to mitigate their ardour. They tell me they commended his Majesty's worthy intentions of assisting the Huguenot party, but he had not been properly served in their execution. Every one says openly that in order to thwart the peace Buckingham does not want La Rochelle to be relieved, because the king was of opinion that after the relief his honour would be satisfied, and he might enter into negotiations without scruple about punctilio. Of a truth, apart from a combination of great corruption with great ignorance, twenty transports might have been laden with victuals much sooner, without their being reduced to this plight. It is now well known that the Most Christian and the Cardinal would not remain spectators of the relief, if attempted in their sight, and the fleet would not have returned without attempting anything, allowing the transports to be captured under their eyes. It is now scattered in several ports, and it would take time to collect it in case of need. In short it is impossible to do so much for the worst by sheer accident. Even the Savoyard ambassador speaks of this event with great resentment, because after the French have La Rochelle they may overwhelm his master, and it will be necessary to keep France within bounds by severity and not by blandishment. Passion prevents him from concealing the fact that he forewarned the king of all the French preparations, and gave him all the advices in advance, which may cause the continuance of all these troubles and disturbances. The king also remains in suspense; on the one hand he is piqued by the event and inclined to make a fresh attempt, and on the other, the duke's regard for his brother in law and perhaps his own sentiments keep matters in an idle interval, without any action or negotiation, so that affairs remain in the worst possible plight as without immediate succour La Rochelle is lost.
London, the 15th June, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
167. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Baroccio has gone back. The king gave him a diamond. He travels through the Infanta's territories, Lorraine and Switzerland. The ambassador from Savoy negotiated several times with the duke by night, and I confirm the fact of his having come to justify the proceedings of his Highness and the reason for his fresh alliance with the Spaniards. This seemed strange from the first to the king and to honest men, and I hear already from the Court that they will take the tone adopted by Scaglia with the Secretary Agostini, that Savoy could not do otherwise, owing to the injuries done him by the French, which were even greater than those against England. Baroccio told a person in his confidence that he obtained favourable replies. From what I hear these relate to French affairs, that is to say that should England make terms with France, she will not leave the duke exposed to invasion, and in the meanwhile will assist him to embroil that kingdom. He also said there was something about the affairs of Spain, which corroborating circumstances show to concern this country, namely, good will on the part of Buckingham to adhere to the project, but not so much on that of the king, who sees his own family interests going to ruin as well as his reputation and the common weal. With matters in their present state I dare not prophesy which of these will ultimately prevail, but I know that Spain, both here and in France, trades in suspicions of confidential relations and treaties formed with herself. It suits the Spaniards admirably to listen to both sides, and they derive great advantages thereby. England will not so easily come to a formal peace, but rather to one of connivance, for the sake of trade, and with regard to direct hostilities. Some say that Baroccio asked for ships against Marseilles, but if this is the case, we shall see preparations, and till then I refuse to believe in them.
The Dutch ambassadors, being rendered suspicious by the route taken by Baroccio, by the reports circulated and from coincidences, as the business was transacted between the ambassador and the duke alone, determined to tell the king plainly how these reports, whether true or false, give umbrage to the allies, encourage the enemy and blemish the king's word, as according to the treaties he promised not to do anything or listen to anything without the common consent. These indications are corroborated by the trade opened with Dunkirk by the free passage of letters, by the exchange of prisoners, by the reserve with which the English government proceeds against the Spaniards, while they subject the allies to very heavy losses daily. By other circumstances and by their language they compel their friends to think of their own interests, as in this state of suspense they dare not wage the war vigorously, and they cannot look forward to any advantage from treaties when each power makes terms separately. The king confined himself to generalities in reply, the more they urged him to tell them what they were to do, when they transmitted these advices to their masters. He referred them at last to the commissioners, who are to discuss with him the other matters reported. It is supposed that these apprehensions may render the States more inclined to declare themselves in favour of England, as it is now a very strict maxim of statesmanship to scourge both friends and foes.
Just now, while awaiting this decision, news comes of the journey to Brussels of the Earl of Carlisle, and of the two audiences which he had of the Infanta, contrary to what the ministers here said invariably, and what he himself announced publicly; contrary to what he said at the Hague and promised the Princes Palatine, namely that he would merely pass through the territory, having no other road, but that he would not see the Infanta or any other official personage. When he arrived at Antwerp, Rubens, who had some share in the negotiations on foot last year, obtained a double invitation for him from the Infanta, who treated him well and gave him presents. He has informed the Court of this by a gentleman sent express, to the general dissatisfaction, on the score of decorum and policy. In consequence of this the Dutch ambassadors immediately had fresh audience of the king, repeating their remonstrances the more earnestly, because the conference of a leading minister with the enemy, although merely complimentary, as they could not suppose it took place without the king's order, would cause great suspicion to all the allies, especially to Denmark, who would judge from appearances, being far off and with no envoys, and would fear being deserted, and so he would accept the yoke of servitude with which they tempt him daily. To these remarks his Majesty replied very plainly that he regretted the circumstance; Carlisle had done wrong, he had disobeyed his instructions and should be reprimanded, and they were to tell their masters that neither with Carlisle nor others would he treat with the Spaniards, without the general consent of the allies, and without such advantages as might well be anticipated from the union and a good mutual understanding.
The real truth of this business is that the earl was not commissioned to see the Infanta, but went to her in order not to make a rude return to the invitation of a lady, as he is extremely punctilious in the matter of chivalrous compliments. It is also true that his letters show little intention on the part of the Spaniards to make peace or to treat sincerely, perhaps utterly to shut out any hopes of his having left here his good sentiments. As these do not agree with those of the duke, the latter will doubtless obtain for him some correction, at least by letter, and he will encourage the king's opinions while no one here will defend Carlisle. For the rest, the States, seeing that letters and goods have passed practically openly between here and Dunkirk, without their ever being able to obtain a proclamation forbidding the intercourse entirely, as they still desire, their ships of war captured a vessel worth 20,000l. off the English coast, took it to Zeeland and confiscated it forthwith. The owners complained to the ambassadors, who replied frankly that they were sorry the prize had not proved a richer one, and that these rencounters did not take place more frequently, as the like will certainly take be done always. They are thus beginning to stop that passage, which the merchants will no longer dare to make, after this experience. They also took two boats with the ordinary messengers, who were going to and fro between here and Antwerp, and sent all the letters to the Hague. From this I gather that they elicited the fact of there being some slight design of negotiation on foot between this kingdom and the Spaniards. The ambassadors told me so, as it were in a whisper. These suspicions are most harmful, as the States also will avail themselves of them as a pretext, whenever they have a fair opportunity. In the event of the dissolution of parliament they are determined to request his Majesty, since they cannot receive assistance from this kingdom, that he will allow them to seek their safety where best they may. I believe, however, that they will proceed cautiously with regard to taking this step as the policy of the Dutch government forbids it ever to detach itself from these two crowns. At any rate it would be for the sake of playing the same game and creating suspicion. Between friends this does not please me as I am certain that the Spaniards are merely playing with them and will not make any serious agreement either with England or with the States, as during the disturbances they gain still greater strength and advantage without danger.
London, the 15th June, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
168. That the English Ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him:
We spoke recently to your secretary about the prejudice caused by some English ships in attacking the ships of others and even our own in sight of our islands and in our ports. A graver incident has occurred. On the night of the 7th April last Captain Digby, who calls himself his Majesty's general, attacked the Venetian, ship Cantarela outside the Guardiani of Cephalonia and drove it into that port under a hail of shot. Two days later he entered our port of Argostoli bringing in a prize with grain from Barletta, in order to dispose of it, although our Rectors refused him facilities for sanitary and other considerations. In addition two English ships from Leghorn had previously arrived at that port, bringing two French tartane taken by them. Finding a French saettia there, they made two of its men prisoners, although they released them on the serious admonition of four representatives, who caused the prizes to leave our waters. However, they returned two days later, and a part was taken under the island of Zante. Digby has not hesitated to make inspection of all ships, and in this way two of ours were abandoned by the sailors while a third was wrecked on the Turkish coast when escaping. He has betaken himself to this port of Argostoli with other ships under his command, and his men have come into conflict with ours of the armed barques. He also receives outlaws and other soldiers, and finally, hearing that eight Western galleys had arrived at Zante, these English ships occupied the mouth of the port of Argostoli.
All these events prevent navigation in the sight of our islands, violate the jurisdiction of our ports, entirely destroy trade, damage our subjects and injure the republic with other powers. It is an abuse of the royal patents, and we are certain that his Majesty will be much displeased at such scandalous operations, which we cannot tolerate. The republic has never permitted the molestation of shipping in sight of its islands, much less in its ports and channels, and its commanders at sea have orders to carry out, in the event of such incidents occurring. They can do no less both for the security of shipping and for other considerations.
We feel sure that in order to prevent any unfortunate incident, your lordship will take the matter into serious consideration, for many important respects and the interests of the common service, as we feel certain that his Majesty is not cognisant of such proceedings. We feel confident that you will therefore make the necessary representations to his Majesty and send resolute instructions elsewhere.
Ayes, 134.Noes, 2.Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
June 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
169. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As mentioned in my last, the two Houses joined and presented a memorial to the king. Everyone anticipated a good result soon, because the members of his Majesty's Council, including the duke himself, adhered to it, and also because the German cavalry was countermanded until further orders, it having been levied for the sole purpose of compelling the people to make contributions. His Majesty received the memorial, saying that as parliament had taken three months to discuss the matter, he also wished for a few hours to answer it. This reserve caused some suspicion, and the two Houses thought that the king ought not to have received the memorial unless he had decided beforehand to sign it, as it had been repeatedly submitted to his censorship and that of the Council. This suspicion increased subsequently, because on the day appointed for the king's reply, he was taken by the duke of Buckingham to a country seat, where the duke kept him many hours in familiar private conversation. It was not until two days later that his Majesty gave his reply, which seemed strange and unsatisfactory to parliament as it was expressed in a few words, by no means conclusive, admitting of a double interpretation, and rather to the advantage of the royal prerogative without mentioning the memorial or the points contained therein. For two days parliament hesitated to take any more violent step. But the flood of animosity was swollen by the remarks referred to. These were attributed to the duke, as for his own interests he wants the king to be master, disunited from the people and joined with him alone. Then by the intrigues of the Spaniards under the direction of the Catholics in general and of the Jesuits in particular, who are intimate with Buckingham's family, the Commons determined to put in writing the present state of the affairs of the kingdom, recapitulating all the disasters of the Spanish voyage, Denmark, Rochelle, the attacks of the Dunkirkers, misunderstandings with the Dutch, confusion of the kingdom, cannon and gunpowder exported in great quantities, the destination being unknown, the ruin of trade, the deterioration of the navy and so forth, coming to the conclusion that everything proceeded from the present bad government.
The king, perceiving their projects for attacking the duke, desired them not to enter upon fresh affairs, but to confine themselves to those already begun. Parliament greatly resented this as contrary to the liberty of the assembly, which does not exclude any proposal relating to the advantage of the realm. So shortly afterwards his Majesty communicated a declaration of his excellent disposition, remote from anything prejudicial, which mitigated the irritation. His Majesty went in person to parliament to-day, and made another reply. This seems to give rather more satisfaction. I enclose copies of both. When the news of the second reply reached the city, to the effect that everything would be adjusted and the duke in danger, bonfires were lighted everywhere and are still being made by everybody. This is a clear proof of the wish of the people to reunite, rather than try the flames of civil mistrust. I cannot say that all is over until the passing of the subsidy bill, as from day to day turbulent and influential individuals arouse fresh chimaeras. But I still have firm hopes for the best, and if I am deceived, it will be contrary to all the rules, and will render all surmise very doubtful in the future.
Carleton has at last returned from Holland, transferring to this Court the affair of the Amboyna massacre and the other matters about navigation which he was unable to settle in the Netherlands.
Colonel Morgan arrived soon after, having quartered the troops that came out of Stade with him, in the territory of the States. He spoke very freely to the king about the delay of the succours, and the importance of Stade and the neighbouring posts, because of the command of the Elbe and for the trade of Hamburg; of the danger of Denmark and the need of Gluckstadt and Crempe under which Tilly has encamped. The Dutch ambassadors also seconded these offices; but the king replied distinctly that he could do nothing, until he saw the result of the parliament. I fancy that Morgan offers to put succour into La Rochelle. He is really a fine soldier, but his best plans must depend on skilful seamen. Meanwhile he is pressing for the arrears of pay due to him and his troops, amounting to no small sum, as be was many months in Stade without pay. But as yet, in addition to 10,000 florins raised by Carlisle and Carleton on their own credit at the Hague, the sum sent hence amounts to no more than 2,000l.
The Dunkirkers besides the capture of some thirty colliers, have taken off the Texel nine large ships bound for England, with cordage, pitch and other naval stores, depriving her of what she needs, and inflicting a double loss, as the Dunkirkers require nothing else to render them masters of the sea, as with these supplies and the victuals destined for La Rochelle they have supplied their fleet with every necessary for a whole year. So far as I can ascertain the English are treating for the restitution of the ships only, as the Dunkirkers have taken so many during the last two years that they are at a loss what to do with them, there being as many as sixty idle at Ostend. These disasters make the people murmur, as they do not enjoy the advantages of peace or of trade, while they feel the losses and dishonour of war, without any redress, even if they also capture a few ships; and the merchants of Rouen and St. Malo, beginning to relish piracy, are fitting out privateers. The arrival in Holland of eight richly laden ships from India and Guinea is not liked. The English fear the entire loss of that trade, as they hear nothing of their own vessels, and when they come they will find a bad market because the Dutch have come before them. The affair of the Amboyna massacre and of the ships which were seized, will now be treated here, but it will be long and intricate, by reason of the universal interests concerned.
The Danish ambassadors are at Gravesend on their return from France. I do not gather that they have obtained much at the French Court, either for their master or for the common cause. I will keep on the watch for the future, but have no great hopes.
Among the many ships now putting to sea for the Strait, one is bound to Venice, but I understand that it will touch at Leghorn, leaving there all its lighter goods for conveyance by land to your Serenity's territory and to Mantua, Ferrara and thereabouts. At Ragusa also it will leave a quantity of baizes and other woollens, which the Ragusans used to come and purchase at Venice. I am not aware of its bringing anything direct save lead, tin and other heavy goods, the carriage of which over land would be most costly. I tried to get the entire cargo taken direct to Venice, promising good treatment in general, as ordered, but my arguments are of no avail against profit; gain, however slight. being the soul of the merchant and of trade. Sir James Scott writes me the enclosed letter, offering your Serenity levies, but under the king's favour and dependent upon his permission, Your Excellenices know him as he served for ten years, and so you know what to expect from him. The levies can only come by sea, and you know how expensive that is. I must add that owing to present events I do not know if the king will consent to deprive himself of this officer and the troops.
London, the 17th June, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.170. The Petition of Right.
First reply of the King.
Second Reply of the King.
[Italian; four pages.]
Enclosure.171. Letter from SIR JAMES SCOTT to the Venetian Ambassador ALVISE CONTARINI.
My Lord:
I have heard that in Italy preparations are being made for war. Should the Most Serene Republic wish to have English and Scots, I offer myself to go and serve her with a regiment of ten companies, of such amount as shall please his Serenity, but on condition that your Excellency obtain my leave and permission to make the levy. With regard to terms, your Excellency will let me know when I am to come to treat about passage and arms. Many gentlemen will offer their services to the republic, but your Excellency may rest assured that there is no one better affected than I, and I hope in God to prove this when employed. In the mean time I remain
Your Excellency's most humble and obliged servant,
James Scott.
From Hanton, the 20th May, 1628.
[Italian.]
June 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
172. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I am writing this evening to a friend at Leghorn for the information your Serenity requires about the English and Dutch ships which frequent that mart. But as this is not a settled and ordinary thing and so many are always arriving there, I do not think I can fulfil the wishes of the state better than by reporting from time to time when any arrive, their burthen, quality and armament. I will also advise your Excellencies about the trade and the goods they bring.
Florence, the 17th June, 1628.
[Italian.]
June 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
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Spagna.
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Archives.
173. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador here has announced the hope of peace between his King and England, a circumstance which is the more distasteful to them here owing to the fluctuations of serious affairs elsewhere.
Madrid, the 17th June, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 17.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
174. The ambassador of his Most Christian Majesty came into the Collegio, and the deliberation of the Senate of yesterday being read to him he said among other things:
I have orders to represent to your Serenity the constant complaints which reach his Majesty about the action of the republic's bailo at Constantinople, as he has no relations with his Majesty's ambassador there, whom he has never visited since the news of the Most Christian's victory, although the republic rejoiced over it. But this bailo, in conjunction with the ambassadors of England and the States acts for the oppression of the religious who proceed to those parts under his Majesty's protection to propagate the Christian faith, particularly against the Jesuits. His Majesty feels sure that the bailo's conduct is contrary to the intentions of the republic, and he asks you to bring about good relations between the bailo and his Majesty's ambassador, and not to trouble but to favour those religious.
The doge replied, We are sorry for the complaint against our bailo, which we hear with astonishment, as we know him to be a Senator of great prudence and experience, having served the State a long while. He knows our intentions and our esteem for his Most Christian Majesty, and we know that he has acted upon every occasion for the relief of the religious and has even prevented further persecution of the Jesuits, so we see no cause for the complaint; however, these Signors will deliberate upon the matter.
The ambassador answered, His Majesty really heard of these events with much feeling, seeing it came from the ministers of a friendly power. He therefore commanded me to make complaint to your Serenity and procure redress. With this the ambassador took leave and withdrawing to another room took notes of the deliberation read to him.
[Italian.]
June 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
175. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Owing to Carleton's arrival I received a quantity of letters, orders and instructions from your Excellencies, which I have awaited with impatience. Among other things I find the approval of the arrangement I made about the intercepted letters, for which I thank you. The Ambassador Wake, by duplicate advices sent by way of Antwerp, anticipated the news of this affair by three weeks, and his house steward, who is here on private business, came to see me in his master's name, and congratulated me on the adjustment, with other complimentary remarks to which I made a suitable reply. I am much perplexed by this accident, fearing that my delay may be misinterpreted at the Court, either as the effect of excessive punctiliousness, or in some other disadvantageous way. I thought it advisable to send word to the Secretary Conway, and I will acquaint the other commissioners with your Excellencies' commands, awaiting the promised results at his Majesty's pleasure, with as much speed as is compatible with general business, the common cause and the king's occupations on account of the parliament. Meanwhile I add these particulars to my despatch of yesterday, hoping that the whole of my negotiations will soon follow it. I will communicate to Zorzi what concerns the French Court, hoping to hear later news of its resolves after his journey to the army.
London, the 18th June, 1628.
[Italian.]
June 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
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176. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As yet there is no certitude about Carlisle's departure from Brussels, although it is supposed to have taken place some days ago. A certain Dame Cerclas (fn. 2) has arrived from there, who formerly went about for the arrangement of the truce. She affirms that he has treated with the Infanta about an accommodation between his master and the Catholic, the proposal being that they should not hurt each other at sea. As the news is brought by a woman some do not believe it, although they know that the favourite has been ready to go thus far for a long time. Yesterday I saw the Prince of Orange to communicate advices. I found him incensed and puzzled about this journey. He told me the news brought by Cerclas and remarked that if the English agreed not to hurt the Spaniards at sea, peace was as good as made between them, as the only possible hostilities between the two kings are at sea. He spoke strongly about such proceedings, saying there was no longer any faith or honour and everyone did what suited him best, without caring about friends. He said it was all the contrivance of the Duke of Buckingham, who, like all favourites, only seeks his own advantage, and, provided he is in favour, does not care whether his king is at peace or at war. Thus the affairs of Christendom must go to ruin, because such men are of ordinary position and have no other interests than their private ones, being incapable of the ideas proper to princes, who would not fall into the base courses to be seen at present, if they governed themselves. At this point he told me that Carlisle had assured him in the most explicit manner that he would not go to Brussels, and he himself volunteered the remark that, as his king was at war with the Catholic, it did not become his honour that his ambassadors should confer with Spanish ministers, and he did not even think of going by Antwerp, in order to avoid every occasion for taking that step. The prince told me he had exhorted Carlisle to stand fast to this, as otherwise the world would certainly think that he went on bended knee to ask for peace. The prince added: In spite of all this you see what he has done. If it be true, as is most likely, that Carlisle spoke thus to the prince, I think he wanted to discover his views, and I fancy he pretended to be unwilling to go to Brussels in order to see if the prince would approve or no, and finding that he objected and having definite orders to go, he could not speak otherwise than he did. Accordingly I am not surprised, especially as I did not believe him. It now remains to see if the views they express are their real opinions, and if there is not some secret agreement to deceive those who trust them most.
I sounded the prince about ships; he said it would be very difficult to get warships directly, as the States had made arrangements with the India Company for ten, which are not yet ready; quantities of merchantmen could be obtained to be converted into warships, but that was costly. I also mentioned the subject to young Carleton, who told me it would be easier to get them in England than here.
The Hague, the 19th June, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
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Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
177. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the return of the English fleet we learn that one Edmund Clerk has been arrested at London as the one chiefly responsible for the failure, by his opposition to the Earl of Denbigh and Corbet, minister of La Rochelle, on the fleet, by his interpretation of the instructions, that they ought on no account to hazard a single ship in fighting or in trying to enter the port. By throwing all the blame upon him they try to divert it from the duke, and to suppress the revelations which already begin to come out. Nevertheless the action is condemned here both in public and in private and the preachers frequently speak strongly about it in their pulpits. We understand that Clerk is a creature of the duke, promoted by him in the late king's time to be doorkeeper of his Majesty's privy chamber, and he was constantly employed over the Spanish marriage, so that every one feels that he did not act on his own responsibility. As an indication of this they say that when the fleet sailed he was heard to remark that he was sure they never would introduce succour into La Rochelle, and the thing was a jest. In fine every one is waiting to see how this affair will end, which every one believes a pretence and a betrayal.
The younger Carleton, who is acting as agent for his king here, spoke to me at length on the subject. He said there was certainly some deception, as there was in the preparation of the fleet, for it was absurd to say that England required six months to collect such a force, though it is difficult to discover the source of the failure. I have seen letters from the Palatine's secretary in London expressing the belief that parliament will pass some censure against the duke for it. On the other hand, we hear that matters are proceeding very quietly, that the first session is over and they are to meet again in September. Carleton also informed me that orders have come to detain the cavalry recently levied here by Dulbier and Balfour, which was all ready to cross the sea. This indicates that there is an understanding, as the measure was intended to overawe parliament, if it did not conform to the king's wishes. I am not quite certain what they will do with it; I fancy they will keep it in existence and that shortly the States here will be able to make use of it for their own advantage.
There is also some difficulty about the troops from Stadem. Here they want to fill up their companies from these soldiers, especially the new levies, and to pay off the officers. The English do not like this, and Morgan, who has gone to England, will try to get them all across the sea, in order not to lose men who are war worn and inured to hardship.
We hear that the ports are again closed in England; it may be in order to raise the recruits for the fleet, as already announced. Thus we shall be some weeks without news from that quarter.
The Hague, the 19th June, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Edward Clarke, Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 359. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1628–9, pages 68, 134.
2 Juffer Tserclaes.