Venice
July 1628, 16-31

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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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179-198

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'Venice: July 1628, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 179-198. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89190 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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Contents

July 1628

July 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
234. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
More progress has been made with the mole on the side of Fort St. Louis these last days than I have seen before. The passage is made more and more difficult every day. Time and the delay of the English fleet will render it impassable. I hear that when that appears there is an order to sink in the open channel all the ships, both large and small, which are no good for fighting. This also will increase the labour and the danger, and even if the English come the business may end without a very great effusion of blood.
Saligni, the 16th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
235. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have noted all the opinions about Carlisle's visit to Brussels, and I think that I have found out as much as is possible in such cases, where reserve and secrecy are practised with the utmost rigour. I have had no special correspondent at that Court, owing to the difficulty of finding anyone sufficiently qualified whom I could trust, willing to expose himself to the great peril of handling the business without being recognised as a dependent of your Serenity.
Letters of Carlisle have been seen in which he says he received orders to go to Brussels when on his journey. There is nothing more to be said upon this subject, upon which both he and others have said such contradictory things that it is wisest to believe the worst. I fancy he will go on to the emperor; indeed they said here that he had general commissions to treat of the interests of the Palatine and Denmark.
The Hague, the 17th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
236. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen letters written to Marini from Paris, of the 6th, stating that they have heard that Buckingham has lost the king's favour, and he has been deprived of his offices of Admiral and Warden of the Cinque Ports. He showed me other letters written by the king's agent at Brussels, stating that there was a well authenticated rumour that as the King of England could not obtain funds from parliament, he had finally agreed to accept the proposals of the Lower Chamber, and had therefore agreed to take the office of Admiral from Buckingham and give it to the Earl of Warwick, and the office of Warden of the Cinque Ports to the Earl of Essex. He says, however, that Buckingham retained the office of Master of the Horse (Gran Scudiero), as being immediately in the king's disposal; and his Majesty had asked them not to take steps against the duke's person or his goods.
Turin, the 17th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
237. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They say that the English fleet attempted to surprise a place in Normandy, owing to intelligence with the sergeant-major there; they landed, but the nobility of the province gallantly repulsed them.
Madrid, the 17th July, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
238. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I send these by special dispatch at the urgent request of the Consul of Aleppo, and to inform your Excellencies of the brave and vigorous resistance offered by your galeasses and galleons to five powerful English ships, which entered the port of Alexandretta to plunder four French ships, which were there for trade. The consul has written fully, so I will only add that I hear that up to sunset on the 22nd nothing further had occurred, they understood everything was settled and that the English would go away without making any further attempts. I fancy the French ambassador here will make a great outcry to the ministers here, as their consul did at Aleppo, but so far he has not moved. The English one has been to the Caimecan, who had to admit him, though in bed with the gout, in order to obtain orders for the release of his consul, arrested at Aleppo. He gave an account of the affair with some variations, passing over what might damage them and excusing the fight by saying that the original provocation came from the great galleys.
I also thought fit to send my dragomans to give him a true account, and that he might recognise the services of the republic ministers to this empire, but without doing anything to offend the consul or the nation of the English merchants. The Pasha said that the English ambassador had told him about it with little difference. He commended the action of the captains of the galeasses and galleons, but did not seem to think so much as he ought of the attempt to violate one of their ports of such consequence. I asked him if the English consul was at all to blame for it. He said they thought not, and seemed glad, from which it is evident they are going to order his release.
The French ambassador has not said anything so far, but his merchants do not deny that their ships were saved by the galeasses, though they admit it without expressing any sense of obligation, indeed their dragomans go about spreading the untrue report that the galeasses were roughly handled in the fight.
The English ambassador and his merchants complain of the action of the galeasses, because it was not a port of the republic and they wanted to stop an attack on declared enemies; but he has not said anything to me either, as yet.
Ortachiuui, on the channel of the Black Sea, the 18th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
239. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle is believed to be very near, and they think he may arrive on Monday. I will perform the proper offices with him, and will send such advices as his coming may occasion.
Turin, the 20th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Aleppo.
Venetian
Archives.
240. ALVISE DA CA DA PESARO, Venetian Consul at Aleppo, to the DOGE and SENATE.
To-morrow I shall hand over my charge to the Vice-Consul Salamon.
The merchants here were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the silk from Persia, and they were fortunate enough to have it in time, and had the opportunity of investing their capital, though with much competition from the English and French, which affected the price. They are busy preparing the caravan to send the goods to the coast, but the incident with the English ships at Scanderoon hinders this, owing to the confusion and the circumstances which have arisen out of it in this town.
Aleppo, the 21st July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
241. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hear that five (fn. 1) very powerful English ships have arrived at Leghorn, including one of 40 guns, the others being of 20, and two with very rich cargoes, notably 2,000 bales of pepper, 1,800 loads of Perpignan cloth and baize, 1,000 barrels of tin, a good quantity of lead, 400 barrels of cloves and other things. In these same ships has come the wife of the English ambassador at Constantinople. She will travel on alone so soon as the vessels are despatched from that mart.
Florence, the 22nd July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
242. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News has come that the English are off La Rochelle again. The ambassador is on tenter hooks to know what has happened, as he believes the battle will have taken place between the 18th and the 21st. He thinks they may try to land near Bordeaux if they cannot break through into the channel of La Rochelle.
Madrid, the 22nd July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
243. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With the full moon of this week, the tides were very high, as expected, and completely submerged the mole, so that Nature played her part for the relief of La Rochelle, and all the blame must now fall unrelieved upon the tardiness of the English, who by not having appeared at such a favourable moment after so many promises, have done not a little to strengthen the impression, caused by so many vain attempts, that they will never do anything effective. Yet the townspeople keep up their hopes and their determination to resist and conquer. They propose to sally out and attack the royal forces, putting everything to the hazard. To this end they have armed forty small ships, well adapted to the purpose, and with sixteen others full of explosives, they propose to come out, when the English fleet appears, and in conjunction with that to attack both the mole and the chain. My personal opinion is that the cardinal knows as much about these preparations as I do of the affairs of Mexico. Many circumstances in the past have shown me that he is in the dark about the most patent things, and that is why, I suppose, they are making no preparations whatever against this diabolical invention of fireworks. If the hostile fleets are well supplied with them, it may prove the most effective weapon. It seems to me that they depend entirely upon chance here.
Niort, the 23rd July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
244. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After the king left, almost all the nobility immediately dispersed. Yet the besieging force remains at its usual strength of 10,000 to 12,000 men, and if the English came it is probable that the others would not neglect their duty. A blind confidence is now abroad, though I know not on what it is based, that the English will not come. In La Rochelle they think differently, and expect the fleet at any moment. It is impossible to believe that the cardinal would run such risks if the enemy was not far away or likely to come, but neither is it possible to penetrate to the bottom of the secret, as he alone disposes, and all the rest are merely agents. It is true that there are negotiations both with the Queen Mother at Paris and in England, but there seems no reason to suppose that there is more of this to-day than there was yesterday.
Four days ago the royal ministers captured La Grossettiera, returning from England to Normandy, who left La Rochelle with San Flori to go to London and ask for help. It is supposed that the cardinal bases his opinions on some papers found upon him. The Rochellese have sent word that they will revenge themselves on the prisoners if any hurt is done him.
Yesterday an extraordinary courier from Spain reached the Ambassadors Mirabello and Ramires. One of them announces fresh offers from his king to the Most Christian to subdue La Rochelle and drive off the English.
Niort, the 24th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
245. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Prince of Orange has told me that two days ago the Queen of Bohemia showed him letters from her brother telling her that offers had been made to him on behalf of the King of Spain to treat for an accommodation, and in the circumstances and for the interests of his State he could not refuse. Young Carleton has also been to see him, and said he had something important to communicate in his king's name, but he wished him to keep it secret. I replied, said the Prince, that his Majesty honoured me, and if the matter did not touch State interests, I would gladly keep it secret. Carleton then said that his Majesty had frequently reflected upon his differences with the King of Spain, and had always tried to obtain therefrom advantage for himself and the common cause, but not having done much for either he had decided to try another way, and to benefit the cause by means of the accommodation offered to him. He wished to inform me first of all, assuring me that nothing was concluded, nor would be, without the knowledge of his allies.
You may imagine, said the Prince, my dismay at this unexpected news. However, I replied that as he told me that his Majesty had decided to open negotiations, I could only shrug my shoulders, as all considerations, no matter how weighty, about the prejudice to the cause, would serve for nothing. I did not consider myself bound to secrecy, first because it prejudiced the States and it was my duty to warn them, indeed he had not told me anything that I did not know, though the fact of its being communicated to me in the king's name made my astonishment and confusion the greater. He replied that his Majesty had only begun this negotiation and might not go on with it, although for the moment it is not his advantage to trouble the Spaniards even by making them uneasy. He added: I fancy he advises them to make war in Italy, in order to force the French to attend to events there.
What do you think of this news? the prince asked me. Do you think the republic, the poor King of Denmark, the States themselves are in a happy position? But as England is resolved to abandon the Palatine and his wife, I think we can all put up with ill treatment. The prince, to tell the truth, seemed much moved about it, although he thinks that no conclusion is imminent. He attributed it all to Scaglia thinking that Savoy grows more and more anxious to enable England to trouble France. This agrees with what the king told Contarini, that the duke, through Barocio, had offered to interpose for an accommodation. I laid stress on the plain disadvantages of this business if it was carried through, and we should try to divert it, instructing the ambassadors at that Court to thwart it as much as possible. The prince said they had already sent and asked me to advise Contarini, as I have done, without delay.
To-day an ambassador from the King of Denmark has arrived unexpectedly, named Rosengran. Last year he was in France and England to solicit help. He is to proceed to England and perhaps to France, as the two now in London are to return home. Besides the usual commissions to ask for help and to try for an adjustment between the two crowns, he is charged to defend his master for treating with the emperor. He presented a long paper on the subject to the States.
I called upon this ambassador, and spoke to him about the negotiations between the emperor and his king and the Spaniards and England, so that he might direct his offices at that Court in the interests of his master. To my amazement he tried to make me see that owing to the constant losses of the English at sea, especially from the Dunkirkers, and the few occasions they have for hurting the Spaniards it will not be bad for them to come to terms, as England will then be better able to help her friends. I felt bound to contradict him flatly, and I fancy that I opened his eyes. I said, if the Spaniards came to terms with England it would be on condition that no help should be given to their enemies or the emperor's, and so his king and the States would be abandoned by England. All England wants is to strengthen herself against France, not to help the cause. The Spaniards would be strengthened and heartened when they no longer needed to guard against England, which involved them in expense and anxiety, even if they suffered no other hurt, which was not the case. I urged him, when he reached England, to unite with the ambassadors of the States, Contarini and his colleagues to upset the beginnings of such negotiations, and to strive above all for the reunion of the two crowns.
I spoke on the subject to Camerario, the resident of Sweden, and also to the Palatine; but the Prince of Orange told me that the poor prince is utterly dependent; he only has a small competency, which he owes entirely to the liberality of the king, his brother-in-law, from whom he has to receive everything as a favour, while he is subject to the various changes of opinion or rather of the interests of the government there.
News comes from England of the nomination of an ambassador in ordinary for this post, and that he will cross the sea very soon. The Queen of Bohemia told me that he was a young man who had never had a post before.
The Hague, the 24th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
246. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Arbo says that at La Rochelle the besieged are anxiously awaiting the succour from England, but owing to the contrary winds they are afraid it will not find it easy to come.
The Nuncio Bagni writes that he has heard that the fleet is not such as has been reported, and even if it appeared they thought it would not do what the Rochellese expected. The besieged were short of provisions, and only had bread for twenty days, and they could only find a few cows for the sake of the little children.
Letters from Brussels of the 17th state that the preparation of the English fleet and the indifference of the Infanta of Flanders, when the Spaniards always used to take note even if a single brigantine was moved, caused a lot of talk to the effect that the mistrust between the Spaniards and England was at an end, and that a full reconciliation between those crowns was in treaty.
The Earl of Carlisle entered yesterday, and had an extraordinary reception, by the duke's order, exceeding the use of other ambassadors, even extraordinary, who have come here, and even of the Nuncio Scappi, who arrived a few days ago. A number of cavaliers met him, accompanied him through Savoy and Piedmont and defrayed him. The duke's guards wore new liveries for the occasion, and at his entry almost the whole city was lined with troops. He is lodged in the apartment of Prince Thomas, and it is said they are preparing festivities and many diversions for him.
The air here is not good except for the enemies of France, and although one may suspect that the duke will treat with Carlisle more about reconciling the Spaniards and English than England and France, yet the English, by their negotiations for a union with the Spaniards, think more of rendering France uneasy than of proceeding to a sincere accord.
Turin, the 24th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
247. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As the relief of La Rochelle is so long delayed, some think that if it is not effected they should make some other steps against France. This would occasion a fresh quarrel and perpetuate the war. To avert this disaster, the Danish and Dutch ambassadors and I have been separately to the ministers. Some of them, as we subsequently learned from each other, thought it absurd to bind an enemy not to take advantage of his adversa y by acting without reserve, and alluded to fresh undertakings, of which there is no sign as yet. Some practically stated that the king would make a quiet declaration to us ambassadors of his excellent feelings towards France, and his willingness to send envoys to a neutral place to treat about peace, provided France would do the like. This resolve to speak first, to which England has so strongly objected up to now, and the practically spontaneous offer to all the friendly powers, made us suspect that it was intended to gain the king over to the Spanish interests, if France did not embrace the offer, as then she could not complain if England pledged herself elsewhere. We determined to learn his Majesty's intentions better at separate audiences. In reply to our usual remonstrances about the perils of Christendom, he gave us word that if the French would send envoys to a neutral place to treat for peace, he would do the same, but he did not on that account mean to delay his fleet, and he did not wish his name to come out unless it proved successful. We remarked that the business had been pre-arranged, as the king did not require much pressing, and the duke, contrary to his wont, took the same line. This made us infer that there was some secret mystery. But we determined not to let this declaration drop, but to transmit it to our colleagues in France, in such fashion that the French should not be too enraptured on hearing the English speak first, and perhaps let the opportunity escape them. We also thought it advisable to hasten the despatch of this advice to the French Court, so that before the arrival of the fleet, in the doubtful state of hostilities, we may fix this pivot on which subsequently to turn the compass of this business, even after the relief is accomplished, without detriment to the losing side, while awaiting the finale, as whichever of the two kings loses will think of revenge rather than of reconciliation. His Majesty told me that he made this declaration for the sake, not of the French, but of the friends who have urged him so long. He asked me angrily whether I knew about the treachery devised by them against Monferrat, offering the Spaniards to deposit it in the hands of the emperor, with the retention of all conquests. I said that my last letters from Italy were dated the 9th June, but I had heard by way of Antwerp that a treaty arranged at Turin had been cancelled, it being ascertained that the Spaniards only wanted to gain time by it, so that their forces might descend into Italy before the French, and overwhelm her entirely, to the loss of Germany, which affected his Majesty so deeply. I have sent word to France, and as the king here is pledged, God grant that the French may know how to take advantage of the opportunity. Perhaps your Excellencies may employ some good offices with Nevers and the pope, and the Huguenots may make peace with their king, as the declaration of England must imply decline, since there is not the means to support them, and they will assuredly be undone. I should bless this circumstance, were it natural, but I know it to be so contrary to the complexion of this body and to the passions which predominate, that I infer their inclinations are corrupt. I desire a good result, more than I feel sure of one, yet as the French have the upper hand, they may, if they choose, make the stroke succeed completely.
London, the 25th July, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
248. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The relief for La Rochelle remains in the state already described, and it will not depart for two or three weeks at earliest. Fresh reinforcements are decreed daily, the realisation of which requires delay. Of late they have been busy loading three vessels with large stones, which, by a clever device, are to be blown up in the air to clear a space in the floating batteries, which close the channel. The officers of the troops who are to go on board the fleet come to Court daily for orders, which are not issued as yet, and no distribution has been made. Above all they lack money and sailors. They have pressed those who put into Portsmouth on board ships from the Levant, so the merchants clamour, and if they wish to get these ships into the river, they must send sailors hence, at the risk of their being pressed likewise. I understand that at least 200,000 crowns are needed for the despatch of the fleet, and no one can be found to advance them, not even on the subsidy fund, owing to the Court's lack of credit.
The king's departure is delayed from day to day under one pretext or another, that the things are not all ready, nor does his Majesty's resolution suffice, as they are perhaps too ingenuous. The reports about the duke commanding the fleet are contradictory. Many men of valour and skilled in Queen Elizabeth's school, have refused to set this lame affair to rights, so it is inferred that a successful issue is not so easy.
The Rochellese have written a letter to the king promising as much constancy in holding out to the last as his Majesty's forces showed cowardice at their last appearance in sight of that fortress, by retreating without making any attempt of consequence. They also say they have provisions for two months. One of the messengers sent with letters and promises to La Rochelle was able to pass conveniently by a Huguenot gentleman of Normandy, who holds a certain jurisdiction over a place near the sea. He has been arrested with some accomplices under pretence of an understanding with the English (fn. 2) ; so the guards have been doubled all along those coasts, and the passes are very dangerous in every direction. The French infest these seas, making no little profit. Private individuals arm daily and get much plunder, and the Dutch although neutrals, are almost as badly treated as the English.
The Savoyard Ambassador Scaglia says he means to go. He still speaks of his journey doubtfully, to keep up suspence. He will certainly go to Brussels, either direct or from Holland, with the idea of causing suspicion. He aims solely at adding to the disasters of the public cause, and finds in the duke a perfect sympathy. He favours the English Catholics extremely. A decree has been published to their advantage, so that if they like they can make an agreement with the king to live with a quiet conscience. He lately arranged with the duke an audience of the king, at which to dispose his Majesty to make peace with the Spaniards. Some say that he wants to go, his stay here being very expensive; others, that as the prince cardinal is to marry, he lays claim to inherit the red hat, and therefore favours the interests of the Catholics and of Spain. Thither, it is said, they are sending secretly one Endymion Porter, gentleman of the king's privy chamber, sometime page to Olivares, the same person who arranged the king's journey to Spain when he was prince. These schemes do not seem in harmony with the overtures received by us for peace with France, unless they wish to agree with all parties. One feels the more doubtful, since the well-disposed ministers do not reply to these remarks, as they ought, it being very evident that they know exceedingly little about the business.
The king has pardoned the preacher who was lately condemned by parliament for having upheld the royal prerogatives as against the people, and has provided him with a good benefice. (fn. 3) And because in this and in other matters his Majesty does the exact opposite to what parliament demanded, it is supposed that he will not reassemble it so very soon, indeed from day to day public business is conducted with a view to dispense with parliament, and the illfeeling between the king and people is reciprocal, more than ever. Everything possible will be done to avoid the necessity for holding one as it usually commits monstrous extravagances. Without it they can do no definite hurt, and thus in the present circumstances no great reliance can be placed on this kingdom.
The Danish ambassadors daily demand succour for their master, while those from Holland agitate for liberty of trade and for their Indiamen, but they do not make progress as the business is tedious. At the request of the first, remittances have been made to Holland for three months' pay for the troops who went out of Stade with Colonel Morgan, who is on the point of leaving for the Netherlands, whence he will proceed to Denmark. The troops will follow, as they must first find money to retain them, lest they cause confusion instead of rendering service. The king will not decide anything about the ships until after the event of La Rochelle, so the summer will pass without any great assistance being given there.
Fifty-two ships are about to come out of Dunkirk, the greater part taken from the English, and they are laden with victuals taken from them, being manned by sailors who escaped hence. So great a force in that small place has never been heard of. Thirty Dutch ships are off those coasts to prevent them from coming out, and two days ago eleven others arrived to remain in the Channel between Dover and Calais for the same purpose. It is very doubtful if the Dunkirkers will join the French or the Spanish fleet. The delay of the Marquis Spinola, and the present quietness in the Netherlands excite the belief that the entire effort will be made at sea, though others say that Spinola is exerting himself to effect the truce.
London, the 25th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
249. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hope that the affair of the English ships which molest your Serenity's subjects and plunder the French near your Islands, will be settled as you desire. During the last few days I have several times discussed with the ministers here the impropriety of molesting your subjects anywhere and the unlawfulness of attacking the French or other friends of Venice in harbours or roadsteads belonging to the republic. The difficulty consists in the open sea, and they assert that they cannot renounce the privilege exercised by all sovereigns with regard to what is held in common, and in the open sea they cannot assign definite limits. I hope I have convinced them by remarking that your claim do not imply the wish to usurp the supremacy of all the seas in addition to your own, but merely where your galleys in ordinary keep guard; as if, within those limits, the English were permitted to plunder and pursue their enemies, the Spaniards and other enemies of the Turk would claim to do the like. This is forbidden, lest the republic should risk serious misunderstanding with the Turks, and that must be avoided at any cost. From what I gather, they will write to this effect to Wake, desiring him to give orders to all consuls, officials, sea captains and others, where necessary, to respect your Serenity's subjects wherever they may be, and not to attack the French or other friends of the republic, although hostile to England, in Venetian harbours or near Venetian coasts; and with regard to the open sea, to arrange some boundary with your Excellencies. I thought it desirable to keep this particular about the guard, as it may embrace or extend to all cases, as far as your Excellencies' interests require, and if I have not done as you wish, my excuse is that I have had no light. From what your Excellencies inform me I gather that Wake has represented past events with moderation, and he says he gave you such satisfaction that you ask nothing further. The reply aforesaid was not given me on behalf of the king, but merely hinted by Secretary Conway, who procrastinates because of his distress at loss of office. As he is old, the Court wants him to retire of his own accord, offering him the post of President of the Council, the old one having been made Lord Privy Seal; but Conway does not intend to resign unless the king commands him, and as a good and old servant, the king does not yet want to compel him against his will. There would be two rival candidates, Lord Carleton, well known to your Excellencies, who is well qualified and has the right views, and Cottington, a thorough Spaniard. The former has the merit of great aptitude and many services. The latter was the king's secretary when prince, and has the patronage of 10,000l. sterling, with which they say the Spaniards would at any rate supply him. Matters are therefore in suspense, as well as changes in many other posts, which are talked of at Court. It involves a great outlay of gold, the persons thus displaced, without demerit, contenting themselves with this, which is now the common and ordinary form.
The king has declared his intention of going to Scotland to be crowned. He has summoned the parliament of that kingdom for the 15th September next, perhaps to satisfy his subjects there about the last regulation on Church property, which is not universally popular. The orders given and preparations made render it certain that he will start towards the end of August. The other ambassadors, with whom I have spoken, are determined to follow him, as they suspect the duke of wishing to keep the king away from continuing the business already begun; so they consider the journey necessary, otherwise everything will vanish into smoke. I must do the same, to prevent remark, and lest it should appear that I shunned the honour of the negotiation in which I already have a hand, but I shall await instructions until the last moment, though there is little hope of receiving them before I have begun to incur expense, which will be very heavy. I have already begun with carriages and liveries, and without assistance from the state I shall be the most unfortunate of men. No one in this kingdom has experienced such constant calls as have fallen to my lot, after five years of incessant expenditure, without the slightest relief. I should be sorry for the public decorum to suffer from lack of support. I am impoverishing my family for an honourable end, not for deceitful profit, but when ship-wreck is in sight I shall be forced to lower my sails if not assisted.
London, the 25th July, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.250. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France.
The succour for La Rochelle is delayed, and some suppose that some other enterprise may be made against France. The Danish and Dutch ministers and I have spoken to the ministers to try and avert this, and we found a disposition of a sort that never existed previously. We were given to understand from the king that if the French were inclined to send envoys to a neutral place to treat about peace, the King of England would do the like. Although this seemed extraordinary, as it had previously been rejected with scorn, we thought fit to make sure of it, as if the French choose to take it as a pledge, it doubtless opens the road to a good result. We therefore had separate audiences of the king, who promised the same, though he said he did not mean to stop his fleet, and asked us not to bring his name forward, except in case of a favourable conclusion. After the audiences, we conferred together, and the readiness of the king and duke to make this first declaration confirmed our suspicions of some hidden mystery. However, we did not wish the matter to drop, in the hope that the French might not despise it. We have therefore sent word to our colleagues in France, as the declaration is made just as the French wished, that the English should speak first. We should have wished you to confer with the other ministers, so that you might act in concert, but as you are with the army and the others are at Paris, we must leave it with those on the spot, merely protesting that the king's name is not to appear except in case of success, so as not to displease him, and because the French will be more easily gained when anxious for such an offer than when cloyed with it. But we think it very necessary to make some overture to the king, the queen mother and the ministers, at least in general terms, before the fleet arrives off the French coast, that may be for two or three weeks, so as to secure this pivot on which to turn the negotiation, even after the event, without dishonour to the losing party, as if we wait until afterwards the losing side will think more of revenge than reconciliation. If the French will not second these intentions, you need not let the matter drop completely, because in the meantime other steps may be taken unexpectedly by Nevers and others to revive it, or perhaps the Huguenots may make terms with the king. If the French are favourable it would be well to have a period assigned as well as commissioners and the place, which must be in the Netherlands, as convenient for all and removed from Spanish influences. We are sending this by express to Paris to be forwarded. The advices are enclosed as usual.
Written to Zorzi in France on the 21st July, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
July 27.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
251. The French ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
My last letters from France inform me that his Majesty has learned with displeasure of the delay of the entry of the French troops into this province.
I take this opportunity to renew my offices about the plundering of Frenchmen in your Serenity's waters. The Proveditore of Zante indeed showed his good intentions in not allowing such booty to be sold there, and by affording no facilities to the robbers, but they might have arrested the booty and done justice. An English ship has arrived here, stayed at Malamocico for quarantine, which perfidiously plundered one of our ships after they had laded together at Smyrna, enjoyed friendly intercourse and travelled together in good faith as far as the waters of Cerigo. There the Englishman attacked, took the cargo, sank the ship and brought the booty to this city. I therefore beg your Serenity to order the arrest of this cargo in deposit and appoint judges, so that the party concerned may profit by the justice of this republic, and his Majesty have further assurance of the correct attitude of your Serenity to his subjects. I will send a more particular memorial.
The doge answered: At the first news of this damage to French subjects, the republic sent strong orders to its commanders at sea and representatives in the islands to prevent privateering as much as possible, being induced by the goodwill it has always displayed to the French nation, and these orders will be repeated. As regards your Excellency's present request, we shall take the necessary information upon the memorial you will send, and do what is possible to gratify you and for the relief of his Majesty's subjects. With this the ambassador took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
July 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
252. To the Ambassador in England.
We are much gratified at the adjustment of the matter of the letters in the public audience and other demonstrations, and we desire nothing more. We imagine the prisoner will be released as the result of your intercession. We observe that your representations have convinced the king that a reconciliation of the two crowns will help the common cause most, but it is not enough to induce his Majesty to abate the rigour of his first demands when the new fleet to relieve La Rochelle is so far forward. It shows that they are resolved to make the new attempt, so that greater insistence would prove vain. The troubles of Italy also call his Majesty to lean to a reunion with France, and you set forth the reasons admirably. But you must not insist too much, so that what is wholesome may not be turned to poison. The French succour for Nevers is grudging and slow, owing to the distractions of France, and one may fear they will not go forward owing to the Spanish preparations, or prove too late. The advantage that England would derive from such a diversion should advise them to encourage the French, especially as the Duke of Mantua is upholding the cause and has decided to take the field. The movement of the pope and other princes of Italy help, but they cannot alone make an adequate counterpoise for the united strength of the Austrians. You will advance these considerations, speaking of the constancy of the republic to the common welfare.
We keep hearing of hostile acts committed by English ships in our seas and in the waters near our islands. This impels us to repeat our instructions for you to make representations in order to prevent regrettable incidents, which cannot fail to have the worst consequences. On the 2nd ult., we did not send our letters or indeed any that week. This for advice.
That 300 ducats be paid to the ambassador's agents for couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 115.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
July 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
253. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We are now able to explain the phenomenon of the numerous malignant influences which have prevailed since the year which ended last March. I have reported from time to time the intrigues at Brussels and the duke's leanings to an adjustment with the Spaniards, thinking it a fine stroke to ruin Christendom entirely. My letters were seized, the Dutch maltreated at sea, Denmark abandoned, and a thousand other courtesies performed, all tending to the same end. Only one thing remained to be gained, and that was the king's consent. He smarted from the sense of honour, inherent in a noble mind, and was loath to fail in his duty to God his promises and what was due to his family, friends and honour. The wretched circumstances of our time have done more than all the rest, as kings born to command are content to resign the sceptre and become slaves to the passions of their favourites, no matter what becomes of their kingdom, crown and everything else. We must no more abuse the French for their perfidy about the Valtelline, as the English will not give them place, after they have proved inferior to them in the field. If the French broke faith with their friends, at least they did not desert them, as they were included in the treaties; but the English, at the cost of their own ruin, propose to purchase a disgraceful peace, and the shrewd Spaniards well know how to seize their advantage, and profit by the follies of their neighbours. It is not possible to contain oneself, when witnessing such follies. In the midst of their promises to the Dutch, to publish a proclamation forbidding intercourse with the Dunkirkers, which was at variance with their alliance, after the promise given by the king himself and confirmed lately at the Dutch embassy by the duke, the Earl of Holland, Secretary Conway and Carleton, in the very act of the king's oath that the Danish ambassadors might assure his uncle that he would never enter into negotiations with the Austrians without giving him previous notice, justice requiring that he should not abandon him in the midst of the storm into which he himself had led him, in the very act of writing letters in his own hand to his sister, who was justly jealous of these negotiations, assuring her that he would never neglect her interests, signing himself "Your most loving brother, never to deceive you," and while declaring to all the ambassadors the sincerity of his intentions, condemning the perfidy and treachery of the French and even expressing goodwill towards France, perhaps for the purpose of deceiving, although we knew the object, with a thousand other things which I need not repeat, yet two days ago a ship arrived express, sent to the Dutch ambassadors by the Prince of Orange with the enclosed letter. Immediately on receiving it they came to inform me, displaying natural resentment expatiating on such statecraft and crying to Heaven against it, with some suspicion that all have agreed to destroy the new religion. I also lament this because of the hurt to my country and the common cause, and if I had not foreseen it long since it would be unbearable.
Next day, without giving a hint to any of the ministry, the Dutch ambassadors went to audience of the king. Lord Carleton, who is supposed to have written the letters to his nephew, neither secretary nor minister having been privy to the resolve, insisted on knowing what they wanted of his Majesty, and almost compelled them to tell. They told him something in general terms, and he went off to warn his Majesty, who might have been supposed ignorant of what had taken place, if he had not written to his sister with his own hand. On entering his Majesty's presence, the ambassadors told him in general terms that a report was circulating in the Netherlands, and they had it on good authority, that peace had been concluded between his Majesty and the King of Spain. They besought him to give him some particulars, as the whole world was full of it. The king replied: It is not at all true; those who say so lie. I confirm what I have always told you, that I will not treat or abandon my friends, and so forth. They persisted that his own minister had said so and there were letters in the king's own hand to his sister. The king replied: I refer to my sister for what I wrote to her, and I again assure you of my sincerity, about which you will never be deceived. I told you that I informed Baroccio, who urged me on behalf of Savoy, that I would listen to nothing whatever without my friends, and I took advantage of Carlisle's journey to send the despatch itself to my sister, to convince her. There are no other negotiations on foot. They persisted still, telling him of the treacherous stipulation about Italy, I will not say sought by Savoy, for I know not how it may benefit him, though it is known to be the true price, without which the Spaniards will not sell the peace, and England, at a price so mean and disgraceful, is not ashamed to purchase it. The king denied persistently, indeed he could not do otherwise, after the way he began, and he certainly was not aware how much the Dutch ambassadors knew; but one no longer knows what to believe from kings. The ambassadors, since his Majesty assured them of the contrary, begged him to give them a passport to let a warship of theirs, now in the river, depart, so that these rumours, which are so general, may not produce some bad effect in their country. The king took time to think about this, and many believe that he wishes to have them informed better by one of the ministers apart, apologising for the moment on the plea of the rigorous closing of the ports, by reason of the approaching departure of the fleet, on which occasion all passports have been declared null. I shall have to puzzle my brains for the conveyance of this important intelligence to your Excellencies, but I will seize every opportunity, and hope that some day you will allow me to get out of this wearisome cage.
After this the Dutch ambassadors came to tell me everything, and together with the Danish ambassadors we debated whether it was well to persist in sending the declaration to France, because of this novel and deceitful negotiation, which gives no security for anything, as our preceding letters are still on this side the Channel, the passport not being refused but delayed. We determined in the affirmative, as if on the discovery of these schemes, perhaps earlier than England wished, the king or ministers should think of retracting that declaration, we might reply that it had already crossed to France, so as to pledge him and prevent disavowal, thus trumping their cards, but giving a hint to our colleagues, so that with this intelligence they may insist the more on the French not losing the opportunity and rendering them suspicious.
At the conference we all agreed to publish this affair to everybody, especially as it was and is kept secret, particularly to right-minded ministers, the duke alone and perhaps Carleton knowing. The latter acts in this affair from compulsion and fear. Some thought that the King of England means to make terms with both crowns, so as to rid himself of parliament, perhaps change his religion, and impose taxes, which cannot be done while at war, and with the necessity for spending money. Others think that this double dealing may be intended to facilitate an agreement with the first who makes an offer, especially as the publication of the terms about Italy is of no service, particularly in the Netherlands, where, indeed, it offends the rulers by disposing of them as if they were dependants. All come to the conclusion that the matter is not yet ripe, that Scaglia has a share in it, and that the Italian powers are doubtless indebted to the Duke of Savoy for this good work. We already know on good authority that the Duke of Buckingham has had translated from Latin into English the articles of the peace made by King James, and so there will not be much difficulty about coming to terms, with both sides willing The Palatinate will be a hard matter to digest, but they will abandon it or allow themselves to be deceived by promises, as they will not know how to support it. In that treaty the States are not included, but room is left for them, and I do not know if it will be altered. It is ridiculous for the Spaniards to seek peace, the English run after it and make the purchase by ruining the common cause.
I find from afar that the whole hurricane will burst upon Italy, and your Excellencies must think about it betimes. Here they are already disposed to make terms with all parties, or at least with Spain. The States cannot bear the costs of the war alone, and have huge debts. Denmark has already sent commissioners to treat, and Rosencranz, the ambassador now at the Hague, has made that declaration in the assembly and will do the like here also. If the emperor and Spain agree in earnest to peace in the north, let the south look to itself. They assuredly have some vast design, and if the French do not take care, they also may be caught in the net. In other times the wars in Hungary, so long as the States refused to treat, were the real cautery, especially with the war between England and France, which will ruin them owing to the loss of trade. Peace with England alone would matter little if it were not for the consequencies to her friends, as at present this war is merely in name, and indeed the Spaniards daily gain advantage over the English, who never do the like by them, and never assist their friends, as perhaps they may do when at peace. In the present state of England, it is of little or no importance, but it is very injurious from its consequences, from the repute it gives the Spaniards and the terms which are talked of. I will keep on the watch. God grant that the reply from France may prove to the purpose.
London, the 28th July, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosure.254. Extract from letters written by the PRINCE OF ORANGE to the Dutch Ambassadors.
Yesterday Carleton, agent of the King of England, came to me saying that he had business of importance to communicate, but I must first of all promise extraordinary secrecy. I did so, provided it was not to the prejudice of the republic. Thereupon, he added that he was commissioned by the king his master to tell me that, knowing himself to be unable to bear the burden of the war against two such great kings, and the one with France being irreconcilable, whereas the King of Spain urged him to make peace, he had determined to embrace it, with the intention of especially including therein his sister and this State, and that exhorting the King of Spain to continue the war in Italy, he would bind himself in his own name and that of his allies not to make any diversion so long as it lasted. On Carleton's departure I went to visit the Queen of Bohemia, who showed me an autograph letter written by her brother, containing the same things as Carleton told me. I have thought fit to acquaint you with this much, in order that you may diligently investigate the terms on which such a business is being negotiated, because if kept secret it will doubtless prove prejudicial rather than advantageous to this State.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
255. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle is much regaled here. I expect to see him to-morrow. So far his time has been occupied by visiting all the princes. They have announced that he has brought letters of the Infanta of Brussels to the duke, and his Highness will be intermediary to recover the Palatine's state. They have also announced that a truce will certainly be made between the States of Holland and the Spaniards. If their reports did not suit the present circumstances at this Court so well, I should give them more credit.
Turin, the 28th July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
256. PIERO MALIPIERO, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Complaints of the behaviour of the Commissioner Ciuran.
Some English ships arrived here, and I had got them to leave as reported; when they returned at the time when Ciuran was here, I wished to act as before, but he opposed me on the grounds of interests of state, so that the English ships remained five or six days, during which time they smuggled various goods on shore, a good part of which came into Ciuran's hands. He sold various goods to many debtors of this chamber, notably hides. He has disbursed a sum of money to various citizens for trading in currants, oil and other things, on his own account.
Zante, the 18th July, 1628, old style.
[Italian.]
July 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
257. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Shortly after the arrival of the extraordinary courier from Spain last week, the Secretary of the Ambassador Fargis arrived from Madrid. Both were charged with the same business, the former being sent to the king and ministers, and the latter to the ambassadors. They bring the continued and manifold offers of the Catholic to France to send a fleet to serve against La Rochelle and the English, as well as some composition in Italy. They propose to answer the latter in general terms only, while with respect to England and La Rochelle they will send a polite letter. The events of last year cause France to disdain fresh experiments. I know for certain that the king and the cardinal laughed at the offers. Yet I cannot feel sure that if the cardinal thought he could obtain a good number of ships supplied with guns and men to use in case the English came, he would not take advantage of it, and that his old antipathy for Buckingham would not prevail over his recent anger against the Spaniards. The former passion is so deeply rooted that added to the Rochelle affair it might at any time prove a stone of offence. I mean that if the Spaniards take pains, as they undoubtedly will, to make the cardinal believe that they really wish to help France against England, I have no doubt that it will always act as a bridle upon his ire, and a stimulus to make him revise his opinions.
Niort, the 31st July, 1628.
[Italian.]
July 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
258. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I had a very favourable opportunity of talking with the Palatine and his wife about the accommodation between England and the Spaniards. At the outset I betrayed no great eagerness, so as not to disturb confidence. As they would not enter upon any particulars, I would not omit any of the considerations which I considered proper in a matter of this kind. I found them torn between hope and fear. The queen told me that her brother had good friends who spread these reports about him. I replied that if they were not verified they would be of little value, but from the office performed with the Prince of Orange in the king's name, one feared that they were well authenticated. The Palatine said he did not believe there was anything, but the King of England could not wage war with everybody. Your Majesty is quite right, I replied, and it is therefore desirable that he should only wage one, and that against the oppressors of States and princes who are his allies, and give up the others. The queen answered this, saying that if others would not make peace with her brother, he could not make it with them. I said matters had certainly gone very far, but if his Majesty would listen to the friendly proposals of princes who desire the accomodation, and especially of your Serenity, it might not prove so difficult to find a way for adjusting these differences; but in the meantime he could not do worse than negotiate an agreement with the Spaniards, as it meant the abandonment of the Palatinate, and the powers friendly to his crown would suffer great injury, notably in Italy. The Palatine said your Serenity had been so long at peace that it was now your turn to have war, though he said it with a slight laugh. I said I wished all the Palatine's enemies had had the peace the republic had enjoyed for the last twenty years. It had spent scores of millions and was now more deeply involved than ever. If others had done the same the world would not be in its present state. This ended the conversation, and I have not been able to discover any more. They also are on the watch, and seem incredulous about any negotiations.
It was recently announced that the treaty had been concluded upon the same terms as with King James, and the States had not the power to enter; but this last clause is repugnant, as the interests of that state and terms good for the English are different.
Yesterday there arrived here on his way to England the Earl of Argyle, a Scot, after having been ten years at Brussels. He is a leading nobleman and a Catholic, and being in disgrace with King James and the present monarch, he has always stayed with the Infanta. From what the Queen of Bohemia told me, they have been treating for his return at this Court since last winter. (fn. 4) While she was talking to me about this in the presence of the Ambassador Carleton, I fancy he did not like me being informed of it. I remarked at the time that the return of a person, known to be a Spanish partisan, so soon after Carlisle's passage, when these suspicions about negotiations were in the air, seemed to me to justify the fear of evil practices. Those who spoke with him tell me that he declares that nothing whatever is said at Brussels about these negotiations. This also increases suspicion, and it is thought that he came here to find out what they were saying, although the pretext was his wish to pay his respects to the queen. I know that he has never enjoyed her favour, especially now that he has made himself a creature of Buckingham.
The Danish ambassador left for Rotterdam yesterday, and will cross to England with the first favourable wind. I think I have succeeded in changing his views. He called on me before he started. He got no satisfaction from his negotiations here. He left here one Scultetus as agent for his king.
The Hague, the 31st July, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Only four are mentioned as bound for the Strait in May, viz. the Elizabeth and Margaret, London, Paragon and Hector. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 144. Lady Wyche took passage in the first named though Salvetti in his letter of the 14th June says she went in the London. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962E.
2 The letter of the Rochellese to Charles is the one dated the 18th May, printed by Mervault, Journal du Siège de La Rochelle, pages 344–6. It was entrusted to Grossetière and Champfleury, the former of whom obtained the means of crossing to Jersey from Isaac de Piennes, Seigneur de Bricqueville. This Bricqueville was arrested and taken a prisoner to the royal army. Rodocanochi: Derniers Temps du Siège de La Rochelle, page 28. Batiffol: Au Temps de Louis XIII, pages 235–9, 274.
3 Dr. Roger Mainwaring, pardoned on the 18th July and presented to the rectory of Stanford Rivers in Essex on the 28th of that month. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, pages 198, 217.
4 He had petitioned to return, and on the 16th Oct., 1627, Conway wrote that Capt. Colville had been sent to bring the earl to England. On the 1st February following Conway informed Argyle that the king gave him leave to return. Cal. S. P. Dom., 1627–8, pages 389, 576.