Venice
August 1628, 1-9

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1916

Pages

198-217

Annotate

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

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: August 1628, 1-9', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 198-217. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89191 Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

August 1628

Aug. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
259. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle has received from Don Gonzales a passport and most cordial letters. When I saw him to-day he remarked that the Spaniards deal very differently from the French. I gathered that when he leaves Venice he will come back here and remain some time. He told me this evening that he expects to start on Monday, unless curiosity to observe the proceedings of the French here detains him. The members of his household have hinted that the earl expects to receive the same treatment from your Serenity that you accorded to M. de Preo.
Turin, the 1st August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
260. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Collegio, and that the following be read to him:
The expressions of affection and esteem made by his Majesty to our ambassador conspicuously confirm his cordial disposition towards us, and is especially gratifying to us, who have always valued him so highly. We have expressed this to our ambassador and we repeat it to your Excellency. We consider the coming of the Earl of Carlisle, of which you inform us, as a new testimony of his Majesty's confidence and affection, and he will be received and welcomed here accordingly, as befits his rank. We heard from our Ambassador Contarini that the earl was to make a tour in Flanders, Savoy and elsewhere, with some rumour that he might also arrive here, but without giving us any idea that he was to come in the character of ambassador extraordinary, especially sent by his Majesty to the republic. If this is so, and the king's letters are forthcoming, showing that he is to treat in his Majesty's name, in the character of ambassador extraordinary, we shall show him the honours due to such a position, and as the representative of a king so greatly esteemed by the republic. We will at once give orders about the escorts which your Excellency desires.
We have directed the necessary information about Captain Son's (fn. 1) affair and have already obtained much bearing on the matter.
We assure your lordship of our affection for the King of Denmark, so that you may testify thereto, and we esteem him the more as a kinsman of his Majesty. Although the pressing needs of Italy force us constantly to increase our forces, we are disposed to deprive ourselves of the services of Colonel Durante Prigni in order to gratify his Majesty.
That Prigni be granted for a year.
Ayes, 89.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
261. To the Ambassador in England.
Enclose copy of Wake's exposition and the reply. To speak in conformity with the first paragraph. He will observe the distinction made about Carlisle's coming, and make use of it. Will observe what that minister exposes and send word of what he says.
As the Court is to be away for some months and the ambassador's absence would be to the detriment of the state, he should follow the Court, after making sure that such is his Majesty's pleasure, taking the lead from the other foreign ministers.
Ayes, 89.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 3.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
262. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
My king's last letters tell me of the settlement with Contarini, how the king showed him every honour and the ambassador seemed completely satisfied. His Majesty will always seize opportunities to evince his great esteem for the republic, and although your ambassador will have sent a full account, yet my king has charged me to perform this office. In order further to express his esteem for the republic his Majesty has charged the Earl of Carlisle to come as ambassador extraordinary to your Serenity. He will present letters from the king and make the warmest protestations of his goodwill to the republic. He will communicate his Majesty's opinions upon the current affairs of Europe, taking your Serenity's advice, to which he will always adhere. The earl will leave Turin on Monday and travel with all speed, as he considers himself much honoured by this embassy. He expects to be received with demonstrations of affection and honour befitting the greatness of the republic and deserved by his Majesty's good will. The earl is a knight of the king's order, a gentleman of the Bed Chamber and a leading Councillor and Minister of his Majesty. This makes him loved and respected by the king and all the Court, especially as he professes a singular esteem for the republic. With your Serenity's permission I propose to go to Bressa to meet him, and owing to the insecurity of the way I beg you to grant me an escort thither from Vicenza.
The doge replied: Our Ambassador Contarini informed us of the demonstrations he received from his Majesty, whereby he was entirely consoled. The Earl of Carlisle will always be welcome here.
The ambassador continued, I must take this opportunity to ask you to grant the King of Denmark the assistance of Sig. Durante Prigni, in whom he has great confidence. Matters proceed vigorously there. The fortresses of Stranzol and Linchstan detain the two forces of the Austrians and Wallenstein. The first is well supplied with men and munitions. His Majesty keeps that sea so free with his own and Swedish ships that they cannot stop help for Stranzol. He can also find men easily, but not commanders. Accordingly Sig. Durante will be most useful to him, and may perhaps prove more useful to the republic there than here, where there are many like him.
The doge replied: This republic wishes the King of Denmark all prosperity. In our present situation we need to have all our commanders together, and that will help the common cause. However, we will consider your Excellency's request, every one being anxious to show his Majesty the goodwill of the republic.
When the ambassador asked that the English captain Roni (fn. 2) might remove from Malamocco the booty made by him under letters of marque from enemies of the crown, the doge said they could decide nothing without the necessary information. The ambassador asked for despatch on account of the interests involved and the expenses borne by the English master, and so took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
263. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The mole, which resisted the wind and tide at the full moon of the Magdalen, has failed before the last spring tide. The water submerged it to a depth of over 15 feet and destroyed the work of over two months. Anyone could now enter the port of La Rochelle, which is spacious and open, and if the English appear, as expected, before the damage is repaired, it is clear that they would encounter no obstacle except the guns of the forts and the shore, as the same storm broke up the floating chain and wrecked 28 ships of the fleet, 16 being absolute wrecks, while 12 can be repaired, although with difficulty. The king knows nothing of all this ruin. He remains away from the camp of his own accord, and the cardinal conceals unpleasant things from him.
Niort, the 4th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
264. The English ambassador came into the Collegio and the deliberation of the Senate of yesterday was read to him; he spoke as follows:
I thank your Serenity warmly for the Senate's prompt reply to all the points I raised yesterday. I will inform his Majesty by the ordinary of this evening of the Senate's satisfaction at the conclusion of the matter of the Ambassador Contarini and he will be greatly pleased. The Earl of Carlisle should have come straight from Nancy by way of Basel to fulfil his embassy extraordinary, but being sent for from Savoy by express courier and invited to pass through Turin he could not refuse. He will come on straight, as soon as a member of my household reaches him. I thank your Serenity for the escort. The English captain suffers severely from delay. He has fifty-eight persons of the ship on his hands, and the season for sailing is passing away. I therefore beg you for despatch. This evening also I will inform the King of Denmark of your Serenity's goodwill towards his interests, confirmed by giving him Colonel Prigni. He will esteem this highly.
The doge answered confirming the republic's affection and esteem for his Majesty of England and their esteem for the Earl of Carlisle. They would do everything possible for the English captain. The ambassador took leave and departed. In the hall of the Pregadi when taking notes of the office he said, I am amazed that the Ambassador Contarini has not sent word of the mission of the earl as ambassador extraordinary; the ambassador must have been away from the Court; yet the earl certainly paid his respects to the Ambassador Contarini at the Hague, and he did so at Turin with the Ambassador Cornaro, whence he will come to negotiate together with me. I also had letters by the Hague and by Nancy. As I told his Serenity, he went to Savoy by invitation from his Highness; I may add that he went to Brussels without orders and without letters. The ambassador took notes upon two points only, the thanks about the audience of the Ambassador Contarini and for the Earl of Carlisle; he added, I do not know whether his Serenity wishes first to see the king's letter and if this is customary. Upon my remarking that the earl and his Excellency must decide the point for themselves, and that this had been done upon many extraordinary occasions, he went away.
ANTONIO ANTELMI, Secretary.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
265. The papal nuncio came into the Collegio and said:
I have an office this morning worthy of your Serenity's prudence and piety. In the islands of Zante and Cephalonia there is an old bishop of the Greek rite, a worthy man of good report, as I hear. He has as assistant one Nicodemus Metaxa, who having studied for many years in England is somewhat tainted with Calvinism, and goes about spreading it. Upon the bishop's death he hopes by his influence to obtain that dignity, and as the bishop is a septuagenarian and the election, I understand, belongs to the citizens, this may happen very soon. Such an event would produce very evil consequences since a man of such character might do a great deal of harm, not only to our religion but politically also, because wherever Calvinism sets foot it wishes to form a particular kind of republic. This affects the interests of those islands of your Serenity and all Italy, owing to the commerce of many Greeks in Apulia and Romagna, because many young Greeks of those islands go to study at the English universities (studii), and anyone might bring back the evil seeds and infect the others. I have heard of the perverted studies and ambitions of this Mutaxa from more than one, from priests who have been to those parts and in conversation elsewhere, and though I cannot speak from actual knowledge, I represent it to your Serenity as a circumstantial report widely corroborated. I do not speak of the errors of the Greek rite, which would be out of place here, but of the pestilential dogmas of Calvinism, begging your Serenity to reflect upon all the considerations I have urged and apply the remedy you think best after taking full information.
The doge replied: Everyone knows the zeal of the republic for the Catholic religion, and we shall all listen readily to anything tending to its advantage and preservation. Our ancestors introduced it to our islands of the Levant, and cultivated it with great zeal, so you may be sure that we shall not lack in equal zeal for its furtherance or for preventing anything that might trouble it.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
266. In response to the memorial presented by the English ambassador for Thomas Trenchfeilde, captain of the William Ralph of London, stating that the captain would rather lose his ship and his life than give pledges to release himself from the sequestration made upon him; the matter is of great importance, as it is whether a friendly prince has to survey the actions of another against his enemies. The captain fought his enemies in the wide seas and had royal commissions. We have examined the captain in the presence of the English ambassador and the other interested party, and we find that England being at war with Spain and France, the ships of those sovereigns have the right to fight each other. In the waters of Spartivento the ships William Ralph, captain Thomas Trenchfeilde, and Unicorn, captain Richard Adoch, both of London, met the ships Three Kings of Holland and Greyhound, of neutral powers. The English captains, holding letters of marque, wished to see if they belonged to hostile powers, and stopped them. On the Three Kings they found grain of Manfredonia for Nani Savonese, a Genoese subject, and on the Greyhound 22 sacks of aniseed for some Frenchmen. They took this away and they brought the Three Kings to Zante, where they sold the wheat, the captain paying the hire. Although the parties agree that the arrest took place at Cape Spartivento, Nani's agents contend that the ships met in the Gulf; but this is not proved. The agents of the Frenchmen could give no information.
We are told that the Three Kings and Greyhound are Hamburgers, and on examining the letters of marque we find they give power to attack all French and Spanish ships and even those taking provisions to hostile countries, though they must take their prizes to English ports; and after due reflection we do not consider it is in the interest of your Serenity to intervene, as the incident occurred in foreign waters, and if the captain has transgressed his orders it is the business of the Admiralty to judge him.
Nicolo ContariniSavii.
Alvise da Ponte
Bertucci Valier
[Italian.]
Aug. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
267. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
With respect to the English ambassador who has taken leave of the Sultan, if he comes to Venice we shall show him our esteem and our gratitude for all he has done, as we have full testimony from you and your predecessors of the goodwill he has always shown towards our affairs. If he has not left you will fully impress him with the goodwill we feel towards him.
Ayes, 113.Noes, 2.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
Aug. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
268. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two messengers from Aleppo who arrived on the last day of last month bring me three despatches from the commanders Capello and Gradenigo with all particulars about the Alexandretta affair. The letters are of the 24th June and the 8th and 11th July with three packets for the Senate which they ask me to forward. I cannot account for their delay in reaching me.
I need not dilate on the matter. Nothing fresh has happened here. Every one marvels that the French ambassador has not passed any office with the Caimecan. This is attributed to the ill will which he knows that official bears him. The English here seem to realise to some extent the mistake committed by their countrymen, and are obliged to admit the prudence and valour shown by our commanders.
Ortacchivi on the channel of the Black Sea, the 5th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
269. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has at length been able to kiss the king's hands, which was prevented by the Caimecan's gout. He presented 38 garments, namely 18 of cloth and 20 of silk, pretty things but cheap, and four fine muskets. Owing to the plague he immediately withdrew to a villa some miles from here, while the Caimecan went back to bed with his gout worse.
Ortacchivi on the channel of the Black Sea, the 5th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
270. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Nothing has been published all these days about the English fleet; yet the French ambassador has letters, and I hear that some men have reached him from Bordeaux. Perhaps there is bad news.
Madrid, the 5th August, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
271. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle, after having seen his Highness, will go straight to Venice. I must say that he spoke to me well and prudently at my departure from Turin, rendering him most worthy of honours from your Serenity. His kindness is certainly beyond the ordinary. He said to me among other things, I shall always be more of a Frenchman than a Spaniard, but if the French take La Rochelle I do not know what we shall do, except make a complete rupture with France, because my king certainly must not fail his friends.
He went on: Mr. Ambassador, I wish they did not behave thus in France, as we do not want to be friends with the Spaniards. We know that if we are the friends of France it is for the good of Europe, but if of the Spaniards it means the ruin of everybody. So no one desires a satisfactory union with France more than we do. That is why the marriage was made, and if we had not been deceived about the Huguenots the alliance of the two crowns might have released Germany and Italy from servitude. Every one suspects the principles of France. May God give them light again some day, even if it be to their costs, to bring them to recognise their disorders as words and remonstrances cannot.
Fossano, the 6th August, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
272. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Marquis of Mirabel has sent his secretary here and he arrived at the same time as the one of the French ambassador. He says that nothing fresh has happened at La Rochelle. The king has strengthened the work enclosing the port. The set of the tides was unfavourable to the English fleet, which, so he says, has made no attack on the kingdom. It is thought that they are waiting for the tides before making any attempt to succour the place.
Madrid, the 6th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
273. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My last certainly required an express, but I could not manage it. At Calais, through the imprisonment of a number of persons, the French have discovered a very dangerous conspiracy formed by the English for the surprise of that important fortress, so suspicion is rife. (fn. 3) The king, as a special favour, allowed the packets of us ambassadors for France to pass, together with the declaration he made us, but not express. So the secretary of the Dutch ambassador went to hand them to the captain of a Dutch man of war, in the presence of the Governor of Dover. I gladly left this trouble to others, for reasons easily imagined. Into the packet I put the despatch for France and another, very much condensed, for your Serenity, which must take its chance, for I am as mistrustful of France as of England. I hope your Excellencies will pardon me under the circumstances, especially as the Ambassador Soranzo has anticipated my advices about the decision of the King of England.
After the last audience of the Dutch ambassadors, his Majesty got Lord Carleton to confirm the negative to them. This surprises us the more because the letters from Holland confirm the original statement. We note a distinction, indeed, that the king gives assurance that he has not concluded anything and does not intend to without the due participation of his colleagues. Both expressions may be true, but they are not enough, as no one is at liberty to treat without the assent as well as the participation of the others and must present the proposals in writing, as specified in the treaties. We believe that nothing has been concluded as yet, and they may possibly pretend that they will not conclude without participation, though they may claim to have done this by the letter to his Majesty's sister and by the announcement to the Prince of Orange; but they pass over in silence the question of consent, and they may be guilty of a double entendre, a stratagem of war not of friendship.
I also spoke to the ministers about this affair, in order to compare the statements. They all deny, express astonishment, say it cannot be, abhor the orders and the minister who executed them, and vouch for the king's sincerity, although, poor people, they know nothing. From what we gather the conspirators are only four, the king, the duke, Carleton, not from his politics but because of his nephew at the Hague, to whom he is supposed to have written the letters, and lastly the ambassador of Savoy.
Since this event the duke has excused himself to all the ambassadors for being unable to attend to them on account of the affairs of the fleet. Indeed, he has referred the Dutch ambassadors to Carleton for some business already begun with them, so one can say nothing of his views, though they are proved by what I have reported and by passing events. The king denies everything, although he has written with his own hand, but that is the way of the world now. Carleton is also supposed to share the king's opinions, but when pressed he unbosomed himself to me in the following terms: Sir, if there is anything I certainly think I know more than others about it, because my nephew is the person saddled with the first overtures. If he exceeded his orders, he deserves punishment, though possibly speculation and gossip have exaggerated things. The king has too great a detestation of what the French did about the Valtelline, and he certainly will not imitate them. He took up arms to support his friends, and especially his sister, for whom he also pledged the King of Denmark. If it is possible to save her interests, which are the sole and real causes of the war, the king will doubtless make peace, and now I leave it to you whether these are matters easy of achievement. To the hint that the war with France is irreconcilable, a thing much at variance with the declaration made by his Majesty to me and to all the ambassadors resident here, so that we might suspect some false representation, he replied that there was no deception whatever, as the king would punctually abide by what he had declared to us, but internally he was well aware that the French and the cardinal had very different maxims, as it was impossible for there ever to be peace between these two crowns without internal peace in France. To the third point, which was more important, namely that the war in Italy was advantageous for England, and that the king would have exhorted the Spaniards to wage it, I implied that they deceived themselves if they expected to draw off the French to defend Nevers, as France was the more incited to defend her own interests, and had ever refused Nevers the king's emblems, for which he wished; and the certain victories of the Spaniards in Italy involved the certain ruin of Germany. I said that practically England purchased the peace with Spain at the price of Italy's ruin, of which former kings had been so jealous, and although this was one of the most secret articles of the treaty, yet, when once it was concluded, the Spaniards would publish it as a trophy of their management, with a view to introducing hatred between England and France, when they ought to be united. I gave him other home thrusts. Carleton answered that he believed nothing of all this. Although the king had no league or other obligation with the princes of Italy, he would never be unmindful of his honour. I saw he was getting away from the point and was far from content, and I feel sure that this is one of the hinges of the present negotiation.
Comparing this interview with others, including those with the other ambassadors, no doubt any longer remains of the office performed by Carleton or of what was written to the Countess Palatine, although the king denies it. They thought it better to speak to the Prince of Orange rather than to the ambassadors here, hoping that as he proclaimed himself favourable to the peace, he would aid the overture. As yet we do not believe that there is any conclusion. On the English side the duke has long leaned that way, but he only recently gained the king's consent. With this foundation they may come to any decision. The Spaniards, as the party approached, have not yet, I believe, made any positive reply, as they will first weigh whether they ought to wage war in Italy or rather consolidate in Germany, and this affair will depend on their decision. I believe they are in a position to bind the English so closely that they can compel them not to make peace with France during the war in Italy. They will keep as much faith as may suit them, but meanwhile the declaration would be terrible, and Savoy for his interests certainly urges them to make it. During this interval your Excellencies may rest assured that with England's present disaffection and disunion if the Spaniards come to a conclusion they will do so either on high terms or with vast projects, which can only relate to Italy.
A leading Spanish minister has been heard to say that since the last attempt to relieve La Rochelle the Spaniards suspected that the English would abandon that undertaking, and they covertly encouraged them to persist, saying that they ought not to lose any more time, thus giving them assurance that the forces of the Catholic would not hinder by diversion or opposition. But the English had great doubts of the Spanish fleet, especially in Ireland. I feel sure that this office was performed because the Spaniards and English would both like to keep alive that humour, which gives France a paroxism of fever at their convenience, but their affectation of religion forbids them to do so directly, and they avail themselves covertly of the passions of others. I leave it to the state to decide whether this is a master stroke, as it deceives the French and seconds their ideas here. The purpose is to depress France, and gradually insinuate what they please, and the parties concerned do not perceive that they are drinking poison flavoured with honey. I will send word to Zorzi, as never was so genteel and treacherous a scheme devised for the destruction of all, and France in particular.
As yet the Danish ambassadors have not spoken expressly to the king about this business. They say their master is not at war with the Spaniards; but they deceive themselves, for it is all one, and if by this peace the Spaniards can obtain the convenience of the English harbours, as they doubtless will, the Sound and the Elbe will fare badly. They think it is impossible for England to be of less use to them than she is at present, and hope that when freed from the cost of the Spanish war she may be able to do something for them. There might be something in this if she was not obliged to redouble her efforts against France, to the double loss of the Danes, who will not receive help from either power. Perhaps they are waiting for Rosencranz to learn how the negotiations begun with the emperor are proceeding, but they perform offices with the ministers. I have remonstrated with the same ministers, and will do so again, but it is of little or no avail unless the duke be gained, and I believe that impossible at present, as he has been cherishing vengeance against France for a long while, his purpose being utterly alien to the common cause. I know he told a person in his confidence that he hoped very soon to kindle a fierce war between the Spaniards and the French.
I should not dare to speak expressly with the king, unless I have a good opportunity, until I have orders from your Serenity, because they claim that they have no obligations to Italy, as Carleton said, and I have been told that while England was at war the republic remained at peace for more than two years, and never did its duty to the league, for example about the subsidy to the States. They speak foolishly, for your Excellencies abundantly redeemed your pledges, and I would the English had done the like for their allies. I make a proper answer to those who speak thus, but I do not think fit to argue the point with the king without orders, though meanwhile I will urge the parties most concerned, treat with the ministers and even give a fillip to the king if an opportunity occurs, at least to forewarn him of the evil consequences of these dishonourable and useless resolves, which one may suppose he knows to be such, as he is acting without the knowledge of his Council.
The States are the most deeply concerned, and can demand justice. The last league which they joined at England's own suggestion stated expressly that she chose to make sure of those Provinces by declaring herself against Spain. In virtue of such an arrangement the ambassadors told the king that although reports of a truce were in circulation, they assured him that there would be no treaty without his assent and participation, as the league enjoins, and they begged him to give them the same firm promise about the rumours now current. But the king evaded this and said he assured them there was no conclusion, and nothing would be done without acquainting them. It may easily happen that they will not be included in the peace made, except in general terms, the Palatinate affair being also referred to some congress, to bury it completely in the prolixity of negotiation. If they mean to observe the articles of the league they will have to assemble the princes who were parties to the treaties, and that would be very slow, and owing to the emperor's claims on some of the Low Towns, there would be much to ponder, whereas here they want to act in haste. I do not see what else could induce the States to consent to the treaties, save the intolerable expenditure, the government and present dejection there, and reports that Spinola will bring the truce with him. For the rest there are the religious disputes, which would certainly revive during quiet, and the doubt about the Spaniards keeping their promises, since the Dutch never ratified the last truce, without the guarantee of the two crowns. They will not trust England alone, knowing that she either cannot give the security or has not the power to do so, so that the States would run a greater risk in peace than in war. I will keep on the watch to learn what orders are given by the States to their ambassadors here, as so far they have spoken as of themselves and only about the overtures of the Prince of Orange. As these orders are long delayed I suppose they are discussing them or else are awaiting replies hence, which cannot cross. The great severity about stopping them is not without mystery. Meanwhile the ambassadors are dissatisfied because of the slight confidence shown them in this matter, and although they have tried to soothe them by giving up the Indiamen they shortly afterwards detained all Dutch vessels to make use of them in the fleet. The intention here was to manage this negotiation secretly until it was more advanced, and its premature discovery may perhaps thwart it. This can only be done through France, who by giving internal peace to England will doubtless change the whole game, otherwise France also will find herself in great difficulty and perhaps danger, as all these engines are devised to compel her by force to do their bidding.
We shall wait to see the effect of the last declaration made to us. Although it evidently aims at justifying England to her friends, perhaps to lull them to sleep that they may not watch the present negotiation, and make the Spaniards themselves jealous, to bring them to a decision much sooner, yet if the French choose they may turn it greatly to their own advantage and that of the common cause, and with that object we shall encourage their good intentions.
I have closed this letter to have it ready for any opportunity to cross, although that is so uncertain and difficult. The king and ministers have left London. I promise all application in the future, but not the same fruit, as it cannot be gathered at a distance.
London, the 7th August, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
274. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Your Serenity's commands of the 21st June about Digby arrived in time for me to execute them the day before his Majesty left London. I represented how intolerable it was to any power and especially to your Serenity under existing circumstances and in that quarter, because of the Turks and other important consequences. I insisted on punishment, as an example to others, and to make his Majesty's upright intentions apparent to everybody and serve as a remedy for the future, before more serious disturbances arise, as would be the case, seeing that the chief duties recommended to a sovereign by God and Nature are the defence of his subjects and the freedom of his dominions. I then narrated the facts, involving the infringement of the republic's harbour laws, destroying their trade and proceeding to overt acts of hostility against the Signory's own subjects. I expatiated on the necessity of a remedy, which concerned my office, to preserve the intercourse between the two countries. The king heard me attentively and said he could assure your Excellencies that he had not given such orders or permission to Digby to attack his friends or even enemies in the republic's harbours. By acting otherwise he rendered himself utterly unworthy of his Majesty's protection, and after writing to him for his own account he would proceed to more open demonstrations. In the meantime I was to present a memorial to the Secretary Conway.
When I entered the audience chamber it was whispered in my ear that on the very morning the king discussed this affair at the Council Board, which some of the ministers had possibly communicated to him. I applied to them before speaking to the king. They said I was right about the republic's ships and subjects within her own ports, but not at sea. This made me suspicious of these delays, and I repeated that your statements were as sincere as the respect in which you held his Majesty, although Digby made an ill use of his name. You would like to see the remedy applied by his Majesty rather than any other way. It would be far more effective if he himself refused to sanction such proceedings. If he wished for information from the culprit himself, who ought not to be credited, he ought at least in the meantime to desire him to withdraw from those waters, so as to avoid future scandal. He repeated that he did not doubt your Excellencies' statement, but he wished to await that of his own subjects, and told me to present my case meanwhile to the secretary.
I told him for the third time that the matter was one of the utmost consequence, and did not admit of delay, and I besought him again to apply the remedy with his own hand or at least not to take it amiss if your Excellencies did so, with more to the same effect in order to obtain a decision, to which, however, this Court is very averse. He rejoined that so soon as I had given the information to the secretary he would examine it and send me his reply, and asked me to assure your Serenity of the extreme rectitude of his intentions, with similar phrases.
Seeing that the king would not move from his first reply, I spoke that same day to the Secretary Conway, to whom I gave the enclosed memorial. My chief object has been to prepare the way by taking his Majesty's words as the foundation, since he said that he would not protect such proceedings. The secretary told me that he had already drawn up the letter for Wake about such disorders, to the effect that English vessels were not to molest your Serenity's subjects or the enemies of this crown within your harbours. As regards the sea, endeavours should be made subsequently to arrange some boundaries to the republic's satisfaction, but this letter had not been despatched by reason of his Majesty's numerous occupations. He promised to add a postscript with particulars and instructions about this fresh affair, but the absence of his Majesty and the whole Court does not permit me to hope for the despatch required, though I will do my best.
I spoke about it to many other ministers. Some answered that such outrages ought to be anticipated after the fashion of Queen Elizabeth, who never would allow piracy in the Mediterranean, to avoid inevitable disputes with those friends who are interested in every corner of it, and all the wisest statesmen here are of this opinion. Digby's partners say that on the arrival of these orders he will have gone towards Alexandretta, Scanderoon, Cyprus and other places further on, where he will certainly receive complaints from the Turks and other powers, perhaps from your Serenity, whose interests are concerned in the voyages to Syria. This strengthens my contention that he must be recalled from the Mediterranean as the sole remedy for this most serious affair.
The case of the republic is so clear that it needs little enforcing, though in these times anyone who adopts the pretext of attacking the French is easily forgiven. This person is nephew to the Earl of Bristol, who is constantly with the duke because of the Spanish negotiations, and he is warmly supported by some other personages of the Court. The trade of robbing is so much to his taste that he sold a part of his property for the purpose of privateering. His first intentions were to go to Guinea to take some islands and found colonies, but the merchants of the East India Company objected, saying their trade would be ruined by the introduction of hostilities into those parts. So having incurred the cost of equipping the ships, he got permission to go into the Mediterranean. He is universally known to be Hispaniolate, as he was many years at that Court with his uncle. For this also his cruising round your Serenity's islands and important fortresses warrants suspicion, as I hinted to the king himself and to some of the ministers. I will try and hasten a decision, but I think it would be advisable for your Excellencies to take some steps so as to render the English the plaintiffs. The king would not mind much, as the ships are not his, but only privateers licensed by him, and others would be more deterred by such an example than by a hundred orders received from his Majesty. I think it necessary to act thus in this case because of the distance and uncertainty about the delivery of orders, to which Wake gently alludes at the close of his statement. Some will pretend not to have received them and others will not care to obey; so even if the king decides to apply a remedy, it would be difficult for him to do so, unless he recalls them all out of the Mediterranean, which would be the best remedy, and we shall always find ourselves in the same embarrassments, while the fear of some criminal sentence bruited in those waters would bring them all to their senses.
London, the 7th August, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.275. Memorial given to the Secretary Conway.
Sire,
Some days ago I represented to your Majesty the evil proceedings of certain English vessels, which not only seize French ships and bring their plunder for sale to the most serene republic's islands, but perpetuate many acts of hostility within her harbours. The Signory cannot tolerate this. They have also attacked ships belonging to subjects of the republic, who is bound to protect them. I spoke to your Majesty about these very serious outrages in general terms, as the names of the delinquents had not reached me.
I have now received fresh instructions, charging me to represent the unlawful acts of Sir [Kenelm] Digby, asking for the correction which he so justly deserves, and a remedy for the future. I do this the more willingly, because I wish to anticipate any mischievous encounters to which these intolerable proceedings may give rise.
That gentleman lays claim to search all vessels, although under the flag of friendly powers, to ascertain whether they contain goods belonging to the enemies of the crown. This can no more be allowed than it would be for the republic to permit a corsair to rule the sea. He fought the Venetian ship Cantarella, and by a brisk cannonade compelled it to take shelter under the guns of the castle of Cephalonia. After taking some French vessel laden with grain and other commodities, he claimed the right of selling them in the ports and islands of the republic. When this was refused, for sanitary reasons and because the republic wishes all to have the use of her ports in safety, that gentleman effected a landing by force. This led to a fight between his crews and the republic's coastguards.
He more than once practically blockaded those islands, watching whatever entered or left them. He repeatedly attempted to cut out in those harbours French and other vessels; he went about for intelligence, examining all arrivals and departures, even taking their sailors prisoners, so that many of them have abandoned their ships for fear, and one ran aground for lack of hands and went to pieces, causing great loss.
The republic is conscious of the duty which compels her to apply suitable remedies to preserve the free exercise of her jurisdiction and the liberty of Venetian subjects. In spite of this, in order to show their great esteem for your Majesty, my masters have decided to acquaint you with the circumstances, being convinced that you will show your disapproval of such proceedings and administer the correction they deserve, giving order for the future as fair dealing, duty and the law of nations require, either by recalling Digby or punishing him. Although I know that after this application to your Majesty any remedy applied by the republic would be justified before the world, your Majesty was pleased to declare to me yesterday that you did not mean to countenance such proceedings, as they were contrary to your permission and will. Your ambassador at Venice also states that this person is not your Majesty's supreme commander, a title which he abusively usurps, but a mere privateer, with letters of marque. At any rate, I beseech you with the utmost earnestness to give some prompt resolve and reply, so that I may fulfil my most important function, that of preserving and improving the good relations between this kingdom and my country, which is so advantageous to both powers and to the common cause.
[Italian.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
276. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the 1st inst. the king left for Portsmouth, where he proposes to inspect the entire fleet. (fn. 4) On the way he will stay to hunt, until the duke, who is now here, follows him. The 10th of this month is fixed for the assembling of the soldiers and sailors, so the fleet will not sail until the end of another fortnight at most. They are busy making artificial fireworks, on which they place all their hopes. If these do not succeed, the English will probably give up all further hope. They are really masters of that art, especially three ships, which are to explode with ten thousand pounds' weight of powder each compressed with sacks of shot, walled up in a stone and brick chamber in the ships themselves, to make the powder explode with greater violence. The invention is said to be ancient, but with fresh additions by Colonels Kniphausen and Peblitz, late followers of Mansfelt. I cannot estimate the efficiency of these individuals at sea, as that requires a special apprenticeship, but it is supposed that many of the houses in Rochelle itself will be insecure, especially those nearest. They also have in readiness many other fireworks. Buckingham assists and hastens the outfit. There seems to be no longer any doubt of his going in person. According to report the Colonels above will fill the chief posts, one as serjeant major, the other as master of the ordnance and director of the mines. I do not know whether the English officers approve of this; it might give rise to disputes.
Before the king's departure he appointed Lord Weston, late Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Lord High Treasurer, the ex-Treasurer being made President of the Council with a gratuity of 12,000l. to make him renounce the office spontaneously. At the duke's house the Earl of Arundel kissed the king's hands, returning into favour and to the Court, but not yet to the Council Board, or to the emoluments he enjoyed before. The chief offices about the queen, which by the marriage treaty were to be held by Frenchmen have been distributed. The Earl of Dorset has been made Lord Chamberlain, with unusual appointments to render him more satisfied; Lord Goring Master of the Horse, and other subordinates, these being indirect ways to render an adjustment with the French difficult, the queen's household being one of the first points in dispute. The French are now utterly excluded, and the queen herself is not quite satisfied. The French must adapt themselves to the humour before it becomes quite desperate, although some say that if there was no other difficulty it would be easily arranged.
The duke has voluntarily resigned the wardenship of the Cinque Ports, which are the most important keys of the kingdom, to the Earl of Suffolk, a mean spirited man, his creature and humble servant, so that the duke will remain the master in fact if not in name. His sister, the Countess of Denbigh, has also returned the privy purse to the queen, her Majesty having often complained that there was nothing to spend. There is an amusing story on this subject. One day she asked the King for 2l. sterling to give as alms to a poor young French woman. When the king insisted on knowing who this person was, the queen replied, I Sire am the penniless pauper. This piqued the king greatly, but the French always give themselves these airs.
The Dutch East Indiamen, after being detained here about a year, were lately given back. Some persons declare that to effect this the States sprung a mine of 10,000l., but, if true, it remains a secret. The reasons for the decision are that in return the Dutch promise to do justice for the Amboyna massacre before Martinmas, and in the same period commissioners are to come from the Dutch East India Company, to arrange the trade between the two countries, without disturbances, such as have prevailed between them ever since the year 1619. It suits the English to accept any terms, as any damages awarded by them to the Dutch here will be recovered by them tenfold in the Indies, where they are inferior in force and almost utterly debarred from trade. The English Company, instead of distributing profits among its shareholders, has lately required them all to increase their capital by one third, which not one of them has cared to do, so as they have neither money nor credit, they are now winding up the old concern, and if the shareholders recover eighty per cent. of their capital, after the money has been idle for ten years, they will not do badly. A new Company is being formed, though I do not know if it will fare better, as I do not believe that the Dutch will want to have partners in their profits. (fn. 5)
Five small ships arrived from the Netherlands with the last fair wind and were instantly seized for the fleet. This increases daily and will amount to 150 sail. The delay is for this cause and the lack of certain supplies. They may also be waiting for the advantage of longer nights and brisker gales. They say the Rochellese have provisions for some weeks, especially dried fish, on which they live. The Dutch meanwhile from state policy refuse to give their ships; but, no excuse being of any avail, they found a remedy by selling them. The Dutch ambassadors tried to make the sailors consent, though they did so covertly for fear of the French complaining, for after all they do not want La Rochelle to fall. The duke promised them to pass an Act declaring that this seizure should not be considered an example. The payment is guaranteed by private merchants, to whom the fourth subsidy payable next December is security, so the government is supposed to have come to the end of this extraordinary supply already, and notwithstanding the difficulties raised by the merchants, who do not want to advance money on a credit of that sort, exorbitant interest settles everything.
Rosencranz, the ambassador from Denmark, is expected daily about the negotiations already begun with the emperor. His colleagues here are asking for help for Gluckstadt and Crempen. They are promised everything, but nothing before the relief of La Rochelle, so if those important fortresses receive no other aid they may easily surrender.
Morgan is waiting for the opening of the ports to depart. He has obtained a little money. They propose to land on these shores the troops that came out of Stade with him, and who are now in the Netherlands, so that they may serve against the emperor before the six months; but these are remote matters and there is not much hope thence. Dalbier has come here for money to pay the cavalry which mutinied, and will be re-engaged until the end of October. No one knows on what service they are to be employed, especially now the surprise of Calais is supposed to have vanished, though it is certain that down to the present day it costs 400,000 florins, including armour for 12,000 infantry, already sent hither from the Netherlands.
The ambassador from Savoy says he is going every day. He will go to Zeeland and thence to Brussels, without touching at the Hague. Others say he will go straight to Dunkirk, but from this shuffling delay I suspect he is waiting first for some reply. He will certainly be accompanied by Porter, of whom I wrote, who will proceed to Spain, although he says he shall remain in Italy. They will both announce the good disposition of England towards the agreement, I am almost inclined to say, on any terms the Spaniards please. They certainly have a fine game in their hands, by means of which they may even strike a bargain with France about Italy, if they do not think it to their interest to carry the flood of war thither, though the French, if they like, are still in a position to spoil the game.
The king will not return to London for three months at least, and for a much longer period if he goes to Scotland, in conformity with the orders given already, for which provision is being made.
London, the 7th August, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
277. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I mildly suggested that Colonel Morgan should take service under your Serenity. He seems quite averse to this, because he is bound in honour to Germany, and because of his rank as General of the King of Denmark's Infantry, so it will not be easy to insist. Captain Theodore Vandenburgh, now in your Serenity's service, accompanied Dulbier. Although he showed me his leave of absence, I admonished him to return. But all these absentees are awaiting either promotion or fresh levies. He made some overture about levies on behalf of Colonel Kniphausen. He was in Mansfelt's service and became the emperor's prisoner at the defeat of Dessau. Report varies about his abilities. He told me that he would recruit from four to six thousand infantry at the pleasure of the republic, provided that the rendezvous was in the terriory of the States, whence he would convey the troops by sea. He would not ask for a penny before they had embarked or had arrived. He hinted that they would cost from 35 to 40 ducats a head, which is a very exorbitant price. I commended his good disposition, but went no further, as it is merely my business to listen and report. Meanwhile he will take part in the Rochelle expedition.
The Earl of Essex, one of the chief noblemen in the country, has also been mentioned to me in a whisper. He saw the Palatinate wars, and lately those of the Netherlands, when he had the command of a regiment. At the last Cadiz expedition he was Lieutenant General, and disputes occurred between him and Cecil. He now now resides in the country, not being in much favour at the Court. He is naturally rather harsh, though not without adherents. From what I gather he would not discuss terms until after the king's leave is obtained, perhaps from suspicion of being imposed upon. I do not believe he would make a job of the appointment, as he is a great nobleman and a person of quality. He would not be satisfied with a regiment of two or three thousand men, but would want the command of a greater force. The troops would be all raw recruits and liable to a thousand accidents. I shall not proceed further without orders. The sending of these men by sea involves difficulty, delay and expense, whereas if these Mansfeltians could pass through Switzerland they could muster on the frontiers there or in Wurtemburg, and march into Venetian territory either in bodies or one by one. The cost would be one third of the other way, the officers themselves told me so.
London, the 7th August, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
278. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
So far the armistice has not been confirmed. Two days ago I had a long talk with the Palatine on the subject, arising from my asking him if it was true that Carlisle was going to the emperor, upon which he said he knew no more than anyone else, and possibly less, as the earl had not said a word about it when he passed this way. He did not know what to believe, but if the earl had gone to advance his interests he would be satisfied. In order to draw him out I remarked that the earl could not undertake much without having first arranged with the Palatine. With an angry gesture he remarked: I do not know what they are doing; they certainly will not conclude without my consent. I only wish he could do some good, as I cannot be worse off than I am ; but while they act in this way I cannot hope for anything good.
With respect to the negotiations with the Spaniards, he said he had no confirmation, but he feared the States would make the truce while others were spreading such reports.
Some deputies of the States are going to Rosendal to meet others from the Infanta upon the usual pretext of exchanging prisoners, though it is thought they will discuss the truce. It is also thought that the Earl of Argyle may have taken something about it to England, but not much, as he only stayed a single day.
The ports of England are closed, and the Ambassador Joachim is waiting here for their opening. He had served the States for a long time and they let him come home, as the ambassadors extraordinary were there. Nothing more is said about the coming of the ordinary ambassador of that king, although somebody stated that Carleton will return to inform the States of the treaties with Spain, and possibly make some proposals to show that they do not mean to separate entirely from them.
The Hague, the 7th August, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 9.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
279. The French ambassador came into the Collegio, and after his exposition he rose to go. He sat down again, however, and said:
I again recommend despatch to your Serenity about the French goods plundered by the English ship. The deed was committed under your very guns and the goods are here in that same English ship. We ask for redress. Such depredations have never been committed before, and my master will not be pleased if justice is not done and the guilty punished, the goods being restored. This affair must be settled. It should be a great glory to the republic to act as arbiter between the two crowns.
The doge replied that the Sages would consider the matter and they were anxious to afford his Majesty every satisfaction. They had issued orders for the necessary information.
The ambassador said he did not see what information was required since the facts were clear. He pressed for a settlement of the matter and the relief of his Majesty's subjects, and so took leave.
[Italian.]
Aug. 9.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
280. Letters patent of Giovanni Cornelio, doge of Venice, to the ministers and representatives of the Venetian republic to provide an escort from place to place of as many capelletti as they consider necessary for safety whenever they are requested to do so by Sir [Isaac] Wake, ambassador of the King of Great Britain, who is going to Bressa or Bergamo and has asked for some escort in going and returning.
[Italian.]
Aug. 9.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
281. To the Proveditore General in Terra Firma.
Notifications of the letters patent to provide an escort for Wake. He will see that Wake receives all the facilities and satisfaction that he may desire, as due to a person dear to the state and who is most deserving for his own sake.
The like to the Captains at Vicenza, Bressa and Bergamo.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Captain Bence Johnson of the London ship Assurance.
2 Captain Bence Johnson of the London ship Assurance.
3 A plot of one le Parc, son of the captain of the port of Calais, to admit the English, on the night of Saturday the 22nd July. Mercure Français, vol. xiv, page 208.
4 There is some discrepancy among the authorities here. Salvetti, writing on the 5th August, says that the king left on the preceding Sunday, i.e. July 30 (Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962E), while Mr. Beaulieu, in a letter of the 23rd July, old style, says that Charles set out for Guildford, on the road to Portsmouth, on the Monday, i.e. July 31, new style. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, pages 381, 382.
5 This does not seem to be an accurate presentation of the case. The second joint stock of the Company had been at 80 for some years. Subscriptions for a third joint stock had only realised 12,000l. to 13,000l. on 25 June, 1628, and so a separate stock was raised for an independent voyage, of 125,000l., known as the "First Persian Voyage." Scott: Constitution and Finance of Joint Stock Companies to 1720, vol. ii, pages 109, 126.