Venice
July 1628, 1-15

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1916

Pages

159-179

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: July 1628, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 159-179. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89189 Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

July 1628

July 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
210. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
According to two English ships who have come here to trade 45 armed bertons have gone from Algiers to Tunis and stationed themselves before the Goletta. They heard later that the Tunisians had been beaten by the men of Algiers, who had gone, after the victory, to besiege Tunis.
These two English ships have 20 guns each and are of 500 butts burthen at least. They have returned from Barbary empty, not having found any cargo.
Florence, the 1st July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
211. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune informed me that the ambassador of Savoy had remarked that the enterprise of La Rochelle would not prove so easy, as the works, or dykes (diche) as they call them, would not suffice to prevent the relief from England which would very soon be sent to that place. Bethune called the ambassador of Savoy and said, I hear you have very recent news from La Rochelle, please tell it me. The ambassador said he had heard nothing. Bethune replied that the ambassador had stated and it was reported at his embassy that La Rochelle could receive succour and that the dykes were not well placed and would have no effect in preventing it. The ambassador of Savoy declared that neither he nor any one of his household had said anything of the kind. After a short interval Bethune remarked to me secretly in an undertone, He denies things which are true, but I would not insist, to spare his blushes. It is impossible to give greater offence to Bethune than to remark that it is impossible or difficult for La Rochelle to fall into the hands of his king.
Rome, the 1st July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
212. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune asked me what I thought Carlisle, the English ambassador, was going to do at Venice, whither he understood he was going. Without waiting for me to answer, he went on to say that it was too late to suggest a league, as distant remedies were no good for a trouble near at hand, and for the affairs of that side the Dutch and the Princes of Germany of that party might easily treat alone with the king. I replied that Carlisle's visit was altogether news to me, not to speak of his commissions. If it were true I should think it were merely for his own pleasure and a simple show, and I quite agreed with his Excellency's remarks.
Rome, the 1st July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 1.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
213. That by the authority of this Council Thomas Transfilli, master of the English ship William Ralph who has brought goods of great value to this city, benefiting the duties by some 6,000 ducats, be allowed to take his ship to Zante to lade currants for the West, since it appears by an affidavit of the customers of that island that he unladed caviare, cloth and other things there, and also because he brought his ship to this city with a cargo. But as the affidavit is not signed by a public representative in that island, the said Thomas Transfilli shall give security to satisfy our Five Sages of the Mercanzia to forward within six months an affidavit in due form from the Proveditore of Zante that he unladed cargo from his ship in that island as aforesaid, otherwise his security shall be taken by that magistracy to satisfy any claims against him.
Ayes, 141.Noes, 5.Neutral, 17.
[Italian.]
July 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
214. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Numerous couriers were posted yesterday and the day before. Some went to Paris and elsewhere with the report that the English had been sighted near the islands. But this is a false alarm, solely to induce the nobility to hasten to the army when the need is pressing and opportunities are at hand.
Niort, the 2nd July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
215. FRANCISCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Secretary Baroccio, who has come back here from England, reports that they are collecting the fleet again and adding fourteen ships to relieve La Rochelle, and if they cannot enter the place, they will land somewhere else on the coast of France. But this may only be reports put about here in order to discredit the French.
Turin, the 2nd July. 1628.
[Italian.]
July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
216. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassadors write from France that the proposals of the commissioners resemble the first ones, namely if the old treaty is renewed an article shall be added binding the States to assist France against any one soever. After a long discussion I gather that they suggested that it should not cover the present dispute with England, but after peace was made they should give help in all occasions even against the English.
The ambassadors state their views upon this and I fancy they do not hope for any good results from their negotiations at present. No reply has been sent, but I think they want them to persevere, as if La Rochelle falls, as is daily expected, there will be better opportunities for opening negotiation and they hope they will also be able to introduce negotiations for peace with England. Some think they ought to return, as with the fall of La Rochelle the King of France will be more encouraged to proceed against the Huguenots, and England will be stimulated and obliged to protect them. They themselves lean to the side of England, but I do not believe there will be any declaration, at least for a great while. I am more afraid that in the meantime they will take up the question of the truce.
The Hague, the 3rd July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Capitanio
della
Galeazze.
Venetian
Archives.
217. LORENZO THIEPOLO, Proveditore of the Fleet, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Four English vessels were sighted twenty-five days ago in the neighbourhood of Zante. They are said to be waging fierce war against the French ships. Among other prizes they have taken a saetta coming from Smyrna with much capital, and have stopped with it in the port of Zante.
The galley off the island of Mezo, the 8th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Aleppo.
Venetian
Archives.
218. ALVISE DA CA DA PESARO, Venetian Consul at Aleppo, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The five English ships sailed away on the 28th ult. The English captain realised his mistake and no doubt he did not expect such a vigorous resistance. When he passed our galleys, he saluted them, an honour which they returned, and so I think no ill feeling remains.
It is true that the English consul here is offended with me, without cause, merely because he pretends that before informing the Pasha I should have told him, because he knows quite well that I have not brought harm upon him in any way, but have rather tried to help him. He has found the Pasha friendly, and settled the matter by a gift of 10,000 ryals, after which he returned to his house. His ill feeling would trouble me if my conscience was not clear.
The French have never said a word in recognition of the service rendered, but they are trying to make the most of it. They represent lies, because our captains did not allow anything to be taken from their ships, and we fought for that alone. The French consul, by false testimony means to get a great sum from the poor English here, and threatens that he will go to the camp and inform the Vizier. I do not know what will happen, but probably the English will try and choke him off with money, to prevent him going on with the matter, which would prejudice their interests too seriously.
The Pasha, after settling with the English, sent several times to ask me for the letters written to our captains. He is the greatest tyrant ever seen in these parts, and it is useless to reason with him. I will put him off as much as possible, but I fear I shall have to spend money to escape from him.
Aleppo, the 4th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
219. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle reached Basel on the 3rd from Nancy. He should have left there yesterday, very ill pleased, we understand because the lords of that town did not receive him with the honours they showed to Marshal Bassompierre, and which he claims as ambassador extraordinary. They have this excuse, that the marshal was sent as minister of an allied king expressly to them.
Carlisle travels with a train of 80 horse and four coaches. He has taken the road of Solothurn and Geneva to go straight to the Duke of Savoy. We have not learned anything here of his negotiations with Lorraine. It can hardly be anything of great moment, as he only spent twelve days with the duke. But if what a French gentleman told me proves true, that the duke and the bishop of Verdun are arming one might fear some evil design.
I hear that the earl was waiting for two couriers from England, and was troubled at their not coming.
Zurich, the 7th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Capitanio,
della
Galeasse.
Venetian
Archives.
220. ANTONIO CAPELLO, Captain of the Galeasses and GIOVANNI PAOLO GRADENIGO, Captain of the Galleons, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English gentleman with whom the incident occurred, perceiving finally that he had gone too far, through excess of insolence and rash pride, tried to cover his fault by wise and adroit counsel, trying his hardest to get an attestation from the Aga here, in writing, that he had come as a friend to take refreshments, that he had done harm to no one and much less plundered the French ships. But as all this was contrary to the truth, the request proved vain. The Aga indeed saw the incident with his own eyes, and having the testimony of many Mussulmans agreeing with the demands of the French vice-consul and the captains of the ships, he made an affidavit that 150,000 reals had been carried away in the attack, in money and goods, a falsehood expressly suggested to him in order to magnify the business, and to do that nation the more harm at Aleppo and at the Porte, if the complaints carried so far, because it anything was taken it was of small value, and they had already taken on shore the money of the merchants and sent it by caravan to Aleppo.
The Aga, after the manner of these barbarians, has seized the opportunity to further his own interests and glut his insatiable desires. Thus in accord with the French he has given out that on the days preceding the incident, they put 12,200 reals on the largest of the ships from fear of the Maltese, and they claim this from the English, pretending that it was plundered at the same time. There is no dearth of witnesses to second his malignity. Owing to the cautions that we have we can say for certain that our merchants cannot suffer any harm on our account, as nothing whatever has been said up to the present, and it is well known that I moved not without reason but from necessity, because of the injuries they wished to do me, and from my suspicion that they were Barbary ships, of which I had repeated advices from the Bailo. It is true that the ministers here are insatiable, without law or reason, and move not as they ought but at best serves their turn. We experience the effects. After the Pasha had received a considerable sum of money from the English, he sent to ask us to return the letters written to each of us in commendation of what we had done and prayers to go on, if occasion arose. We excused ourselves on the plea that we had sent them to your Serenity, and owing to the hurry we had not even kept a copy. We hope by this to have countered his move, in wishing to take away from us such clear testimony to our actions.
The Aga sent for the English vice-consul, and informed him that if he did not make the ships depart he would stop the trade, abandon the port and leave it in his power. When this was brought to the knowledge of the general, it made him reflect upon the consequences. He therefore decided to go. He sent the leading men of his ship to perform most courteous offices to me, the captain of the galleons, who were astonished when they saw the condition to which I had brought the galleon. I sent them back, after giving them a suitable reception, and they reported everything to the general. I thought it best to act on a friendly footing with him, and sent my chancellor to thank him for the courtesy, offering my services, by which he was most gratified.
He left on the 26th, firing a salute, and we did the same. He cruised about in sight until the end of the month, and is now behind Cape Ganzir, about 60 miles away. He has there provided himself with provisions through the master of a Caramusal, which he captured but released, and is awaiting the French ships in an excellent position, especially two which are expected here from Marseilles, with a great quantity of money.
The morning of the day before yesterday the English vice-consul, by order which reached him from his consul and nation at Aleppo, sent letters to the general to depart, because if he did hurt to any one between here and Cyprus they would suffer for it, and would pay more, as the Pasha had announced. We do not know what he has decided, but up to the present he has not gone.
The same morning a saetta which we had sent to Cyprus for food, came upon him, as there is extreme scarcity and distress here, and although men in armed caiques came on board, they touched nothing when the papers were shown, indeed the general himself showed every courtesy, and sent his greetings to us. Nothing has been done against the French saettas which are still here. They have begun to careen them, as everything depends on their speed.
We have been unable to avoid receiving the Aga on the ships. He thanked us warmly for the defence of the port and the French ships, and he has written to the Sultan about our action. We gave him an honourable reception, and he left highly pleased.
We sent our letters of the 23rd to the consul at Aleppo, begging him to bring the drafts with all speed, as there are no trustworthy messengers here.
We do not think that we shall be able to leave here before the 15th prox although we are working hard.
From the galleon at Alexandretta, the 8th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
221. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They debate a great deal here, but only waste time and decide nothing of any use. The subject of discussion is the landing of the English to relieve La Rochelle, but as they rely upon its impossibility they are not like one who steers by the pole star, but like a helmsman working in the dark, and all their talk is a mass of disorder and confusion. The point is, if the English land a large force, as expected, how the French, with only 10,000 or 12,000 men at most, can contain the beleaguered town, guard the mole, defend the lines and forts, keep their quarters, prevent a landing and remain masters of the country. The problem which the cardinal has to face is to do all this without weakening any part; but the victuals do not suffice for such an extensive banquet. The best informed therefore conclude that if the English only land 6,000 or 8,000 men, they will suffice to confine the royal forces to their posts, and compel them to await, without moving, what fate may have in store for them, because the works are so extensive that Archimedes himself could not guard them all, as they form an immense circuit of not less than four leagues. It is therefore hopeless for the royal cause to unite all these forces in time to meet the enemy on the field, or to defend all the works; and the capture of one of these would suffice to open the lines and clear the way for relief. The townspeople also, by well timed sorties, could make themselves felt in several directions, and it is not likely that they would lose such an opportunity. The question of what will happen if the English direct their attack against the mole or if they land in several places, is what exercises the mind of ministers here, and disturbs the cardinal's sleep. Yet he means to fight and conquer. He counts on two things, one that between now and the Magdalene (fn. 1) the army will be at least doubled; the other that the English will not show any better qualities than they have in the past attempts.
The first step was to send to protect the Sables d'Olona, where they fear the English may come to shore, owing to its facilities. Brisach and Vignoles went to their post with some picked musketeers and five cornets of horse. The king has gone to Marrano, and by sending away some of the most suspect and influential of the party they hope to dissipate the cloud. This was not the case in Normandy and Picardy, for when the royal officials went there for the new taxes, the people rose against them and some were killed and the rest beaten. The general ill will has reached such a pitch that very little would convert it into rage and fury. Whoever sees the wretchedness of this unhappy people must revolt against it, if he is a man, but it is impossible not to shudder at hearing the imprecations with which they fill the air against the author of their calamities.
Yesterday the Duke of La Tremouille arrived at Etre to serve the king. He used to be a leader of the Huguenots, but is now a good Catholic. His younger brother, the Count of La Valle, is in England, and is expected to cross the sea with the fleet. Thus every one here follows the course which promises him the greatest advantage, so easy as it is for this race to reconcile their conscience and their honour.
Meanwhile the cardinal has armed fifteen ships with brave and noble youths, as well as ten of the most powerful of the floating chain. All these, although very scantily supplied with guns, put to sea the day before yesterday by his orders, not as a show, but to meet the English and to fight some squadron if they happened to find one detached, showing that they mean to flesh their swords and not confine themselves to mere demonstrations. They made up the chain with an equal number of weaker ships.
On Thursday night, when the moon set, the Rochellese gave a furious alarm, as if they meant to make a general sortie, but while the camp stood at arms, a few cattle were introduced into the town by invisible hands, between Laffont and La Molinetta. This is only important as showing with what ease the lines may be traversed.
Niort, the 8th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
222. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My last crossed to France and told of the settlement of the affair of the packets. When Lord Carleton returned from Holland, we went together to the Duke of Buckingham, for the final completion of this. I have thus suppressed my private feelings for the advantage of my country. I have received the Signory's letters of the 26th May, which are my last. I spoke to the king about the affair of the English precisely as you had spoken to Wake's secretary. His Majesty answered: You know that I am at war with the French, and my subjects who incur great loss thereby, take part in the quarrel the more readily, and pursue the enemy wherever they find him. They thus deserve some excuse, though I regret that they forget the respect they owe to the republic. I mean this to be punctually observed, especially in the Signory's islands and harbours, as for the rest of the sea, it would be very difficulty to assign them boundaries, especially when they are stimulated both by hatred of their enemies and hope of gain. I do not imagine that the republic will expect me to do more for her than I do by others, for when we were friends the Spaniards several times gave battle to the Dutch in the waters round this island and even in the Channel itself, which every one knows to be under my undoubted jurisdiction, without my making any objection, until they chose to enter my harbours, fighting and capturing each other there.
I replied that though there were other important considerations which differentiated this case, I would deal with this point, because four years ago on my first passage from Calais to Zeeland, I was on board a Dutch man of war, which with its consorts had a few hours previously given battle to four Dunkirkers, and on their coming in sight of this island, the English ships of the guard interfered in his Majesty's name, and would not allow harm to be done them. The remonstrances of the States were of no avail to deter the late king from maintaining his maritime prerogatives, and the Dunkirkers remained blockaded there until they parted company in a storm. I also spoke of ancient custom, the jealousy entertained by the Most Christian, the claims which the Turks would make to do the like, and so forth. He rejoined that that might be an accident, but he assured me that he had never held these invasions in the open sea in any account owing to the difficulty of prescribing a boundary and enforcing obedience. He spoke with great affection and esteem for your lordships, and finally referred me to the Secretary Conway, as he wished to give you satisfaction in all that is possible.
I therefore addressed myself to Conway, who told me that he had received information from Wake, but he did not remember the purport, and asked me to give him a memorandum. I did so and he promised a reply. This has tarried so far owing to their usual dilatoriness and to the parliament, which has now come to an end, and by the approaching departure of the king and Court to the country. I have spoken to the other ministers, urging the republic's claims, and will keep on the watch for some decision. For this I would suggest that some good correspondent follow the Court. I have two things to add about the English vessels, one that you should give me the names of the ships which damaged your subjects, as whether corsairs or merchantmen they have all their articles, owners and securities in England, and the king himself asked me the names of the ships and captains who incurred your displeasure on the last occasion; as sometimes they excuse themselves by saying that they may be Dutch or Barbary rovers, who very often fly the English flag, and some persons, interested in the privateers which have entered the Mediterranean, have endeavoured covertly in my house to discover whether I have complained of any of them by name, of which they seemed afraid. The other is to seize one of the aggressive vessels, so that the ambassador at Venice or the ministers here may become principals, and complaining of the fact, apply a remedy for it, that being in their own hands, one act of vigour being more effective than a score of remonstrance, especially as it is difficult to prescribe orders to the multitude of vessels at sea.
The Catholics of the kingdom, having ascertained that parliament had pased two bills, against them, one that their children should be taken from their mothers at birth and brought up in the new faith, which savours somewhat of inhumanity, and the other to annul the agreements previously between them and the king, and suspecting that his Majesty would pass them, had recourse to the Savoyard ambassador and myself for protection and the performances of good offices in their favour. I told those who appealed to me that if the Catholics remained obedient and respectful to his Majesty, they would always have proof of his clemency. I performed this office with his Majesty with all the circumspection enjoined upon me. He was greatly pleased, as I told him that other ministers at other times had possibly urged the demands of the Catholics with the intention of alienating them from him, but I did so in order to unite them the more to their natural prince. He told me that he did not approve of all that parliament required nor yet of so much rigour against the Papists, but it was necessary to keep them somewhat curbed, as they were sometimes seditious. I really found him very favourably disposed towards them, as he would not consent to any bill against them. I acted thus because of my general instructions, and because I did not wish to be behind the Savoyard ambassador, in an affair of this nature, affording an opportunity for comment to those who are only too eager to impress upon people the scantiness of the republic's religion. I also thought that in the present crisis in Italy the announcement of this incident at Rome could not fail to correspond with your Excellencies' intentions and the service of the state, especially as what was wanted has been obtained.
London, the 10th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
223. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The bill for the five subsidies has been delivered to the king. Two are payable in July, one in September and the last next March, the entire sum amounting to two millions of crowns. I have made a brief extract from the Remonstrance, which your Excellencies may like to see: the whole is very long. As I have reported, parliament was discontented, and two days later a libel, expressly against the king was found in the House. When they began to read it, it proved so execrable that they sent it sealed, forthwith, to his Majesty, who was much gratified at this procedure. If the subsidy bill had not been passed, they certainly would have endeavoured to stop it, but that being no longer possible, they laid hands on the London customs, enjoyed by the crown, by virtue of an act of parliament, which is confirmed at each accession, when the king binds himself to guard the sea. His present Majesty never had this confirmation, as the two last parliaments were dissolved without any result. They pretend that for the future he could not levy the customs, but the king, without giving them any opportunity to proceed further, took the first step on Thursday the 6th inst. by adjourning parliament to the 20th October, old style, an adjournment which he can prolong at pleasure. At this session his Majesty gave his assent to only two public bills, namely, the one for the subsidies, about which there was no doubt, and the petition of right, on which they were based. To the remonstrance he made no further reply, but rather complained of their proceeding to interfere so much in the government about the customs. He declared that neither now nor ever would he allow them to meddle with them, as he proposed to include them among the prerogatives of the crown. He did not give his assent to the bills against the Catholics, and only approved of some others, cutting off entails, and things of that sort. Thus for the present parliament is at an end, with but little satisfaction either for the king or for the people. Meanwhile his Majesty will have this money, and many persons are of opinion that until fresh need he will not reassemble the present parliament. They foresee this and wish to continue, not as an entire body, but as committees, to continue the business already begun about enquiries, statutes, etc. With everything put a stop to they will have to begin at the beginning at the next meeting, the bills which have not received the king's assent remaining null. With all the debts and expenses this money grant will be of little use, though it is as much as parliament is accustomed to give within so short a term. They say that in the meantime the duke will dispose of some of his offices, will come to terms with the Puritan party, and other matters which are desired, often discussed but never effected. It is true that he has a better understanding than formerly with the Earls of Arundel and Bristol, and they are at liberty to return to the Court. The latter in particular frequently negotiates with the duke, of which many persons do not approve, as he is a strong partisan of Spain.
The government is busy about the relief for La Rochelle, which will not start for at least another three weeks, although the king desires it, and will listen to nothing to the contrary. He recently went in person to inspect some ships still in the Thames. His Majesty confirmed this to me very positively at my last audience, the duke also saying the like. Both showed that after the result of this relief negotiation ought not to be rejected, and it is certain that the duke never expressed himself to me in more respectful terms about your Excellencies. He told me quite ten times that for the public and for yourselves in particular he always wished to prove his good will, and he wished all record of the past unfortunate circumstances to vanish, with more to the same effect, to which I replied suitably. As a fact everyone believes that the real moment for negotiating will be after the attempt on La Rochelle, and that cannot be delayed for many weeks. By that time all the means and appliances should be in readiness, and your Excellencies will perhaps send a special letter of credence, as is usual in such circumstances, as if the opportunity is lost, there will be no more hope of this blessing for many a day. It is very certain that should succour be put into La Rochelle every effort must be made to prevent the Most Christian from persisting in the impossible, and from being urged to this by the Spaniards. Here they declare that in the event of success, the national policy will be maintained. On the other hand, if the place is not relieved the English can make no further attempt against France, except by sea, which will then be very restricted. I shall avail myself of this necessity to intervene, and my offices would certainly be more efficacious if the Most Christian granted peace to the Huguenots, and moved for the public cause, the two points on which the English insist, when all trouble would cease, if the Most Christian acted without being compelled by treaty, but spontaneously, which would also serve his own interests best. We must, however, bear in mind the mutual understanding between the French and the Spaniards, which, according to report, has been lately confirmed in writing, some say against Savoy, others against England, though I vouch for nothing, as three weeks have passed without any letters arriving from any quarter. Possibly the Spaniards foresee that an adjustment between the two crowns is either easy or, as I believe, necessary, after the relief. They therefore think of giving the French some encouragement at sea, and thus rekindle the flame, either in Ireland or in another of these islands. This is easier as the French ministers already whisper that so far they have acted on the defensive, but that they must avenge the injury received from the English on their own soil, and things of that sort, as told me by the Danish ambassadors. I draw inferences from this, and it is well for your Excellencies to be forewarned. The king is to leave in a few days to inspect the fleet, which has had orders to assemble at Portsmouth. He will proceed thence to his country diversions. They also say that the duke will command it though as yet this is not generally believed. It will certainly consist of sixty men of war and forty inferior vessels, with 4,000 musketeers and a quantity of fire works. Some persons left here lately with orders to make their way into La Rochelle, by various roads, to give the news of the approaching relief. It is not known whether they will pass; but while fresh reinforcements continue to muster, time passes, and perhaps the expense will prove too late. They intend to send 4,000 of the troops billeted with the peasantry with the fleet, 2,000 to Denmark and 1,000 to Ireland, though they need money for this, as much is due to the men. The Danish ambassadors are not satisfied. They want at least 6,000 foot and a sure assignment for their payment, though as yet they have not succeeded in obtaining anything but a deputation of four commissioners which will afford a pretext for delaying decision. Accordingly both the Danish and Dutch ambassadors extraordinary are in quest of houses, as they do not expect to leave soon. To tell the truth they have made very little progress during these three months of parliament, either for the general interests or the special ones of their masters, who for the most part are asking for money, or an equivalent, and encounter obvious difficulties.
The jealousy continues about Carlisle's passage through Brussels and his visits there. Although the king again told the Danish ambassadors to assure their master that he will never be a party to any treaty which does not include him, they do not find that the minister has been corrected for such notorious disobedience to orders, at which the Spaniards boast excessively. Many believe that Rubens, who introduced him, received some previous order secretly, but I adhere to what I wrote, and try to divert so much suspicion, as it can do no good and may do much harm.
The Admiral of Denmark, on arriving off the Elbe with six of his king's ships, sent an advice boat hither, expressing surprise at not having found the English vessels which had been promised him. He said the Hamburgers were stronger than he and did not allow him to intercept the victuals bound to Holstein for the Imperialists. He remains useless and wants to know what he is to do. The ambassadors spoke about this to the king, who has some excuse in the preparations of Spain, which induce caution about this fleet now fitting out for La Rochelle, lest it suffer grievous hurt, and leave them defenceless. I fancy some would like the fortress to fall quickly so that these forces way remain intact. Perhaps those in command are so slow and dilatory with a view to saving both their forces and their honour. This same advice boat announces that the King of Denmark has put 1,200 musketeers and two pieces of ordnance into the town of Stransond, and he was still besieging the island of Rughem, where there are four imperial regiments, which he hopes to take by hunger, without fighting, with some other particulars.
London, the 10th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.224. Extract from the Remonstrance concerning the danger of the King and Kingdom, made in the Lower House and presented by it to his Majesty on the 10th June, 1628.
The articles proposed and examined by the Commissioners are eight:—
(1) Fear of innovation in religion.
(2) Suspicion of alteration of government.
(3) Disaster and misfortunes in all designs and undertakings.
(4) Weakness and decay of the fortifications.
(5) Lack of ammunition.
(6) Diminution of trade and ruin of artificers.
(7) Loss of ships and mariners.
(8) Little care in guarding the seas.
With regard to the fear for religion they remark in the first place the connivance at Popery, contrary to the laws and statutes, and the reply made by his Majesty himself about three years ago at Oxford to the petition then presented by both Houses of Parliament. Secondly, the favour of Papists with persons of great quality and power, to whom they have free access continually, naming the Countess of Buckingham, the duke's mother in particular. Thirdly, the bestowal on Papists of offices and posts of command. Fourthly, the compositions made with them of late, with a sort of liberty of conscience, whereby their number increases daily in the kingdom, and especially round London and the suburbs, whither many familles flock on account of the public connivance at the masses in the queen's palace and elsewhere, while they hold very perilous meetings among themselves. Besides the Papists is to be added the increase of the Arminians, a faction which destroys both Church and State, in the parts whence it comes and in those where it arrives. It has lately increased owing to the connivance and favour of the Court; secondly, by promoting to charges and ecclesiastical benefices those who profess it, so that many persons apply themselves to those studies, operations and maxims. Thirdly, tolerating their books, published and printed, and prohibiting those which are written against them in the orthodox religion. To this must be added the suppression and discredit of the most industrious and orthodox preachers, who oppose their prelacy and preferment and are indeed persecuted, so that in many places there are no preachers and thus the people are kept in ignorance of the true faith and are more apt to be seduced to error and superstition. There is also the danger of Ireland, owing to the open profession of the Popish religion. All these disorders deserve the more reflection as it is sought to destroy the true religion professed in these realms, at the very moment when all the reformed churches abroad are already suppressed and destroyed, so one cannot but suspect some secret conspiracy with the enemies of our religion to extirpate it entirely.
As regards the government there is the violation of the fundamental law and liberty of this kingdom, procured by certain of his Majesty's ministers, although this fear is removed by the last gracious reply. Secondly, the billetting of soldiers, some of whom are inclined to Popery, quartered at the seaside where they are more capable of doing mischief, especially when united with the dependants of that faction within the realm, or even by having an understanding with some unexpected invader. Thirdly, for the exaction of many taxes without the confirmation of parliament. Fourthly, the design to introduce German cavalry, for which they have already remitted 40,000l. beyond sea, which should have been employed to guard the sea. Fifthly, commissions to raise money by exactions or otherwise. Sixthly, the frequent violations of parliament. Seventhly, the deposing of chief justices, ministers and other officials, diminishing the authority they had in public affairs. Eighthly, the adding to the authority of the Admiral, the generalship on land and the command of the ports and most important places, in the person of one individual, which places the king and kingdom in great peril.
They allude by name to the Cadiz voyage, to that of Rhè and the last expedition to La Rochelle, attributing the failures to the choice of persons unsuited to the command, inexperienced or faithless, to undertaking these expeditions at unsuitable times without the necessary supplies and without orders for the necessary reinforcements, with little judgment and less courage, which have brought dishonour on the king and nation, causing the death of worthy captains and many officers, besides some sixteen or twenty thousand men, without counting the expenditure of over a million sterling.
There are fortresses that are unsuitable and unused. Small thought is taken for repairing those in ruins. The want of garrisons and ammunition, notably at Saland in the Isle of Wight, which could not have defended itself when the enemy's ships appeared as the walls were so weak that they might have fallen by the discharge of the guns. The same might be said of many other places.
In the Tower of London, where by ancient rules the magazines ought to be supplied with 300 lasts of powder, they do not now amount to sixty, the greater part having been removed to some place unknown; but 864 barrels have been sold, contrary to the order of the 14th January last, and as the fortresses were unprovided the king was persuaded to have some brought from beyond sea, to the value of 14,000l., for which Burlamacchi had the order, and it cost 8l. sterling the hundredweight, where he might have obtained it here for 3l. 10s. without risk, while two pounds of English powder are as strong as three from any other place.
The 6th and 7th articles are alluded to in more general terms. They say that from these causes the kingdom is daily becoming weaker, poorer and more in danger. They add a catalogue of all the losses, of ships, sailors and trade, together with recent disasters, from the beginning of his Majesty's reign.
They remark that only six ships are assigned for defence, and even these are mostly in harbour, doing more harm than good. They never think of paying them, but leave them to despair. Many people do not send their private ships to sea, because they cannot do so without letters of marque, which cost 8l. sterling each, and they must also give security to the admiral, to whom they pay a tenth, besides a heavy tax to the king. Many ships armed by the merchants at their own cost for the conveyance of their goods have been seized and employed for the king's service. Consequently his Majesty is constantly losing his ancient royal supremacy at sea, his honour is affected, trade languishes and the kingdom is exposed to peril, as the ships which constitute its defence are destroyed or weakened by bad management. The Lower House finds unanimously that the reason for these disorders is the excessive favour, authority and power of the Duke of Buckingham, who abuses his Majesty's affection and constantly reduces the king, kingdom and friendly powers to most serious and evident perils and disturbances.
Reply of the King to this Remonstrance.
When I gave you the last reply to your petition I did not expect you to advance so far in a remonstrance as this which contains several important particulars concerning religion and the state, upon which I am sure that I know more about them than you, and I find that you know less about them than I thought. However I will take your remonstrance into consideration, and give you such a reply as it deserves.
[Italian.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
225. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The fear that the English fleet might land in Normandy has been converted into a certainty. The news has come from Paris. I have letters myself and have seen those to the governor here. Breville, governor of Vire, an important port of the province, had an understanding with the English, whereby he had arranged, either through bribery or disaffection, as he is a Huguenot, to hand over to them that town and his castle on the coast, and to take the field with them with 10,000 or 12,000 foot, wasting the country, making some attack if they prospered, or at least creating a diversion in favour of La Rochelle. This design has been overthrown by the fidelity of a Huguenot, who took the packets about this affair backwards and forwards, and by the diligence of M. de Macehignon, governor of the province, who lost no time as soon as he had the information. Breville, the Procurator fiscal, the Criminal Lieutenant, ringleaders of the plot have all been arrested, with many others, both nobles and burgesses, numbering twenty-two, they say, so the mine is already sprung without damage. The culprits will be tried partly by the parliament of Rouen and partly by that of Paris.
Every one is talking about some parley with the Rochellese. I do not know if that is the general desire or because the guns have not been heard for some hours. They began again this morning, so I do not know what grounds there were for this rumour, nor do I know whence the king derives his hopes that the English may not come after all, unless they are agreed, as has been stated. I am absolutely certain that this is his opinion, as he imparted it to one of his confidential servants, who informed me.
La Novaglie, the 10th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
226. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This week the Queen of Bohemia has received letters from her brother, the King of England in his own hand. He writes at length saying that Carlisle went to Brussels without his instructions, and he never thought the earl would go there. It would justifiably excite the misgivings of herself and all his good friends. He goes on to protest that he will never treat to the prejudice of her interests or those of his allies. He sends her a copy of the letters sent to him by Carlisle, and charges her to publish his declaration with whatever else she considers necessary.
The Palatine informed me at once, while the queen told the Prince of Orange. Those who know the artifices of the present government still have misgivings that there is some trickery beneath these specious appearances. The copy of Carlisle's letter contains that he received the most pressing invitations from the Infanta, and constrained by these he had to go and pay his respects. Here on the contrary they have the most definite information that he tried hard to obtain an introduction, even to the prejudice of his master's reputation. The Prince of Orange, to whom I spoke about the letters, holds firmly to the belief that it is all a trick and that Carlisle would not have ventured to take this step without express commissions. I do not consider any other view possible. With regard to the Prince I fancy there may be some artifice under the appearance of zeal.
The Hague, the 10th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
227. FRANCISCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By letters from Paris I hear that there is news of an unsuccessful attempt of the English upon St. Malo and Havre de Grace, and that Soubise had taken possession of some place but had been obliged to flee together with the Earl of Montgomery; but I need more confirmation of this news. If it were true every one would believe it was one of the designs suggested by Baroccio when he was in England.
Turin, the 10th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 13.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
228. The secretary of the English ambassador came into the Collegio and said:—
A memorial was recently presented to your Serenity in the name of Thomas Trensfelt, captain of the English ship William and Ralph, persecuted by enemies of the crown. Now he is about to leave they are troubling him again wherefore the ambassador is sending this second memorial to your Serenity. I beg you to order his release so that he may go, as he has not committed any hostile act against anyone soever, in your Serenity's seas, and while here he incurs very heavy expenses. With the memorial I present the mandate of the magistrate to the examiner for the sequestration, the hire, charges etc. with a paper drawn by a notary at Zante. He added that some time ago a memorial was presented in the name of the English merchants dwelling in that city, and hearing that a reply had come thence, they beg to know something about it. He left the royal patents of the ship promising to present other papers with information if required.
The doge replied: We will make enquiry upon the requests made in the ambassador's name, and inform him afterwards of what is decided; he must rest assured that we shall always try to please him. With this the secretary departed.
Most Excellent Lord:
A petition has recently come before the doge asking for judgment in a cause which some Frenchmen living at Milan claim to have against the ship William and Ralph, whereof I Thomas Trensfelt am captain, because 22 sacks of aniseed were taken from them in fight, not in the waters of the republic but in the open sea, a customary thing in open war, as your Excellency knows, and his Majesty's ships plundered by his enemies can bear witness. I therefore beg your Excellency to afford me your protection in so just and important a cause, and to induce his Serenity to prevent us from being molested for things done outside the waters of the republic between his Majesty's subjects and those of crowns hostile to him.
Most Serene Prince:
Some sacks of aniseed were laded at Bari on the ship Greyhound, Captain Baldassar Vanmeis, for us Pignetti, Straza, Carcano and Pozo, to be consigned at Leghorn to MM. Impolito Doudori and Pietro di Coquel, which fell in with a ship, the William and Ralph, Captain Thomas Triemfelt, going from Leghorn to Venice, who plundered the said aniseed. As God would not permit this grave excess to go unpunished, he allowed the said ship and captain to reach this city, where we know that justice has previously been shown to poor sufferers, since pirates have no haven with this republic, but the magistrates enforce restitution. We therefore beg your Serenity to do us justice upon the robbers, appointing twenty Savii of the Senate as judges, with authority to give judgment without delay.
On the 9th April, 1628, on the shore of the town and island of Zante in the house of John Opsom, English merchant, residing in this city, there appeared before me, the notary, and the following witnesses Giberto Rainoldo Coundich of Annizene, captain of the Dutch ship Three Kings, who reached this port brought by Thomas Transfelt, Captain of the William and Ralph of London, and Richard Adoch, captain of the Unicorn of London, laden with wheat taken near Cape Martivento, come from Manfredonia for the kingdom of Naples, as the said captain confessed, and as the bills of lading show, of the knowledge whereof, to wit for the said Giberto, Leonardo Steffano Engibrunel, consul of the Netherlands, and M. Opsom for the English captains, have testified to me; the said Captain Giberto having now completely unladed the wheat in this city receives from the English captains 2,000 ryals as complete satisfaction for the hire of the cargo, payment being made to him as shown by the account in the hands of M. Transfelt, which remains in the hands of the Flemish captain aforesaid, the present deed being made as a surety and signed by both parties and by MM. Opsom, Leonardo, Stefano and Richard Gresuil, English merchants.
Gilberto Rainold Crondiche.
Thomas Transfilt.
Richard Adliot.
John Opsom, witness.
Stephen Colimbruna and Richard Gresuel also present.
Salamon de Rubeis of Cyprus, public notary.
Most Serene Prince:
Mr. Thomas Trenchfelde, captain of the William and Ralph of London, having asked for my protection in a suit unjustly brought against him by enemies of the crown, I sent the petition to your Serenity in the confidence that the litigants would be dismissed without any reply. I now learn that instead of obtaining relief the captain is still further aggrieved, that his enemies, assisted by your Serenity's arm have twice sequestrated his hire, so that I must again recommend him as warmly as possible. He showed great imprudence in giving a surety to escape the first sequestration as he ought to have sacrificed his ship and his life rather than compromise his Majesty's honour. The matter is extremely important, the consequences very great, as the point is whether a friendly prince shall review the actions of another against his enemies. The royal commissions of themselves exonerate the defendant from all molestation in the country of friends and neutrals, and as he has done no harm to your Serenity's subjects by fighting the king's enemies in hostile seas only, he claims that he can only answer for such acts to his Majesty, who gave him the commission and is bound to protect him. Wherefore your Serenity is besought to release him from all molestation and not to listen to complaints of this sort, which cast reflections upon the whole English nation, there not being a single English ship of the numbers here and of the others which will soon come to the dominions of the most serene republic which has not fought in proper places with the French and Spanish enemies of the crown, and they will all be subject to the same molestation from litigious enemies unless your Serenity, with your usual prudence, shuts the door upon this beginning.
ISAAC WAKE.
Most Serene Prince:
We the Savii alla Mercantia, in reply to your Serenity's orders upon the paper of the English ambassador about Thomas Trenchefeilde, asking for the dismissal of the litigants, have endeavoured to obtain the necessary information from the captain, always in the presence of the ambassador's secretary and representatives of the other side. We find that the crowns of England, Spain and France being enemies, their subjects have authority to fight and plunder each other. It happened that the ships William and Ralph, captain Thomas Trenchefeilde, Unicorn, captain Richard Adoch, both of London, met the ships Three Kings of Holland, and Greyhound of neutral powers, in the waters of Spartivento, and Trenchfeilde and Adoch, by virtue of the letters of marque they held, desired to ascertain if these ships contained goods belonging to enemies of their sovereign. They stopped them and found that the Three Kings was laden with grain from Manfredonia for one Nani Savonese, a Genoese subject, and was taking it to Naples; the Greyhound had 22 sacks of aniseed for Frenchmen. Perceiving this by the bills of lading, they took the aniseed from the Greyhound and took the Three Kings to Zante, selling the wheat there and paying the captain the hire. Although the parties agree that the arrest took place at Cape Spartivento, yet those interested in the wheat suggest that these ships met in your Serenity's Gulf, although there is no proof of this. We could obtain no information from the representatives of the French, and as it occurred to us that the Three Kings and Greyhound, though nominally of Holland, might have gone to hostile ports to load to discharge in another hostile port, we learn that they are Hamburgers, who sail under several flags, with great advantage. Therefore on seeing this and after inspecting the letters of marque which the captains hold, we find that they may fight in the open sea all French and Spanish ships as well as those taking provisions or grain to hostile countries, or other provision for ships of war, as is more fully declared by proclamation of the 4th March, but they must take the booty to the ports of England, with some of the company and especially the master and pilot. We do not find that your Serenity is concerned, as the event did not happen in the Gulf or your islands, but far off in foreign seas, We think you may readily grant the ambassador's request, as if the captain has transgressed his orders it belongs to the Admiralty to judge him, and also in case any English ship is plundered by the French or Spaniards they may not cite this incident, but be judged by the orders of their kings, as your Serenity wishes your ports and the eastern channel in the Gulf not to be molested, and the English ambassador has already expressed his regard for your Serenity's jurisdiction.
Dated the 2nd August, 1628.
Nicolo ContariniSavii.
Alvise da Ponte
Bertucci Valier
[Italian.]
July 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
229. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle left Basel for Savoy on the 14th, very ill pleased with the Lords there. At his departure they tried to make up in the matter of honours, which they did not show when he arrived, but he refused everything. I hear that his equipage does not prove so numerous as was stated. They say the Duke of Lorraine gave him a rich present, valued at 20,000 crowns.
There is no confirmation about the arming of that duke and the Bishop of Verdun.
Zurich, the 14th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
230. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
With respect to the English ship hired to take the goods of the ship-wrecked vessels and others to Venice, because of the danger of loss through there being no ships of our subjects ready to lade, we have consented, at the request of the merchants interested, that they may receive this convenience. For similar circumstances we have directed the Five Sages of the Mercanzia to report, so that we may pass a suitable resolution.
We commend your diligence in publishing our declaration that when our subjects lade goods on foreign ships they must not pay the cottimo dues to any but our representatives. To enforce this will be to serve the State.
Ages, 116.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
July 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
231. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune informed me in confidence that the Duke of Savoy was doing all he could to reconcile the Spaniards and the King of England, and he had issued a complaint against the King of France, in which he praised the Chancellor Sillery, Puisieux and the President Jeannin, maintaining that Henry IV intended to marry his daughter to the King of Spain, for the benefit of his kingdom, which Bethune says is utterly false.
Rome, the 15th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
232. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
An extraordinary courier, who arrived with all speed from France the day before yesterday, brought the ambassador word of the straits in which La Rochelle finds itself, though they still confidently expect help from England, with the advantage of the tides and the coming equinox; also about a conspiracy discovered in Normandy, devised by the English and Soubise, to surprise some fortress, where they could land men, and plunder and ravage the province, to make a diversion and harass the king. As this plan failed, the French suppose that the English will not make any other attempt, and that all the preparations in that island for a fleet will cease, to the utter disappointment of the besieged.
Rome, the 15th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
233. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier arrived from Flanders two days ago. Many things are announced in their favour, some incredible. They speak of the union of the Dutch and English fleets for the relief of La Rochelle, and that the place will certainly hold out, and its fall need not be feared.
Madrid, the 15th July, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The feast of St. Mary Magdalene on the 22nd July, when full moon was due.