Venice
August 1628, 11-20

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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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217-237

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'Venice: August 1628, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 217-237. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89192 Date accessed: 26 July 2014.


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August 1628

Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
282. To the Ambassador in England.
We have heard nothing of Carlisle's journey hither since last week. He has said nothing to Cornaro about his negotiations with Savoy, although he paid him his respects. One may fear that his negotiations are related to those of Scaglia and his own at Brussels, as we hear from the Hague of new steps towards an accommodation with the Catholic. The difficulties in the way are patent and great, but the idea of relieving the Huguenots in France may suffice to overcome them, as well as the quarrels between the two kings and the ministers. In any case the matter is of the utmost importance to the common cause. A special office is not possible at present, but you will watch the progress of the business and lose no opportunity in conversation for appropriate remarks. It will also be useful to find out how other foreign ministers are acting, especially if Denmark inclines to come to terms with the Austrians.
In all this we consider your presence with the Court and king necessary, and we repeat our instructions of a week ago. We will give you a similar increase of salary for the time that you are away from London to what we have granted to our ambassadors in similar cases in France and elsewhere.
Ayes, 104.Noes, 4.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
283. PIER ANTONIO MARIONI, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen letters from Brussels announcing the arrival there of the Marquis of Trichasteau, son of M. de Tampen, marshal of Lorraine, (fn. 1) to beseech the Infanta in the name of the widowed Duchess of Lorraine to protect her rights in the Monferrat, in conformity with the offer made by his Highness some days ago to the Marquis of Villa, when he went from Lorraine to England. Thus it is understood that an express courier has been sent to the Duke of Savoy and to the Ambassador Carlisle, though it is not known for what purpose.
The royal camp under Casal, the 11th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 11.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
284. With respect to the paper presumably presented by the French ambassador upon the attack made by the Englishman Zuanne Son, captain of the ship Assurance (Segurta) (fn. 2) upon the French ship S. Giovanni Battista, we have to say that this Son made the capture some miles from Cerigo, according to the account of the French ambassador. There is no doubt that it is hurtful for such incidents to occur near our ports, yet as this happened a long way off, and the port of S. Maria de' Martiri is about twenty miles away from the town and fortress, and as guns can be heard for 25 or 30 miles at sea, as I, Ciuran, have had occasion to observe, we are of opinion that his Serenity should not concern himself in these affairs, as in the event of western galleys falling a prey to the Turks in those seas, as has sometimes happened, claims might be made against your Serenity. We think, however, that a fresh office might be performed with the English ambassador, asking that these occasions of offence may be avoided as much as possible.
By the magistracy, the 12th November, 1628.
Nicolo ContariniSavii alla Mercanzia.
Vettor Pisani
Iseppo Ciuran
Bertucci Valier
Paragraph from a letter of the Proveditore of Cerigo of the 5th June, 1628.
Your Serenity may see how these seas are troubled by the incursions of these thieves. A squadron of four bertons, in sight of the church of S. Maria de' Martiri, chased a French saetta, which was proceeding from Smyrna to Marseilles, and captured it in a short hour, the guns being heard by the guards of the mountains here. The French fled in their boat and reached here. They are leaving to-day for Zante and will proceed thence to Venice. I have informed the ministers of Cyprus and Zante.
[Italian.]
Aug. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
285. To the Ambassador at Rome.
We hear this week from the Ambassador Soranzo of negotiations for an accommodation between England and Spain, and between Denmark and the emperor. We desire you to make a confidential communication of this to the pope, telling him that we have thought it our duty to inform him, so that his prudence might understand the gravity of the case, and how the common interests are affected, since the Spaniards keep seeking farther aggrandisement and absolute domination over this province, and the matter deserves the most serious consideration of his Holiness. You will speak to the same effect to Cardinal Barberino.
You will also make the communication to M. de Bethune, as a continuation of confidence, with the observations appropriate to such an important matter.
Ayes, 124.Noes, 2.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 12.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
286. As Alvise Contarini has completed two embassies, one at the Hague and the other in England, it is only right he should be relieved:
That at the next meeting of this Council a noble be chosen as ambassador to the King of Great Birtain, under the penalties for refusal prescribed by the laws, to start at the time and with the instructions that this Council shall decide. He shall have 300 gold ducats a month for his expenses, for which he need not render account; 300 ducats of 6 lire 4 grossi each for horses, trappings and chests, and 1,000 gold ducats as a present. 40 crowns of 7 lire each shall be assigned to him monthly for all expenses, except for couriers and the carriage of letters. 100 ducats to his secretary to equip himself, and 20 ducats to each of two couriers who will accompany him. For the salary and table expenses of his chaplain and interpreter he shall have 186 and 100 ducats a year, respectively, and the interpreter shall also have 100 ducats a year in addition, of current money.
Ayes, 133.Noes, 20.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Aug. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
287. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune told me that a courier from France brought letters from the camp of the 24th ult. reporting the straits of La Rochelle and their diminishing hopes of relief, as they had no news of the English fleet. Even if it came it would find the obstacles in the way of landing too great. They had detained and had before the king one who had been his page, who had gone from La Rochelle to England to hasten on the relief, and was returning with intelligence and the plans of the English fleet. (fn. 3) When asked to say what he knew and to give up his papers, he said he had nothing written, but would tell the king some very useful things. Bethune makes much of this. At Paris there are ambassadors from Holland and Denmark, sent to bring about a reconciliation with England. The Count of Tillières had been sent to them with the necessary powers. Bethune told me in great confidence that he had letters from the king by the same courier, in reply to what he had written about being able to expect nothing from the pope, in which his Majesty expresses his determination to go to Lyons immediately after the fall of La Rochelle, with all his army, to succour Mantua, without waiting for the pope to move.
Rome, the 12th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
288. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear nothing certain about the English fleet. They think here that it has proceeded to the coasts of Germany and Denmark to render some assistance to that king.
Madrid, the 12th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
289. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle came to see me when I had barely arrived at Turin. He spoke to me with much feeling about what Wake wrote to him and showed me the reply made in the Collegio, saying that the Earl of Carlisle as ambassador extraordinary will receive the honours befitting the minister of a great king. I now see, he remarked, that the republic thought I was a charlatan or mountebank, who wished to climb into St. Mark's Square in that character. I am not a false but an honest man, known as such in every Court where I have been to negotiate. He looked very pale and angry as he said this. He continued: The Ambassador Contarini could not write that I was going to Venice as ambassador extraordinary, because when I left there was the incident of the letters, and my king could not say he was sending an ambassador to a prince who professed to be offended, and the Venetian ambassador had then absented himself from Court.
I should have liked further information, but I said I did not think he should feel aggrieved. Your Serenity had not heard from the English Court that he had been named ambassador to Venice, as he had to Holland and Savoy, indeed, I understood Contarini had written that there were only some rumours that he might go to Venice, and it was only reasonable to suppose that he was going out of curiosity, as we understood he was going to Rome. The republic regulated its receptions according to rank and charges. M. de St. Simon, although ambassador extraordinary of France in Italy, had gone to Venice and remained there incognito because he had no charge or business.
Carlisle insisted that Wake had told the doge in the Collegio that he was going as ambassador. He thought that was enough as he would present his credentials at the proper time. He would not go without them and he was to go when the affair of the letters was settled.
I soothed him somewhat, as owing to the esteem he enjoys in England I should be sorry for him to go back there in an ill humour. I believe he never intended to go to Venice except as minister of his king, and as ambassador, to treat as he has done here. When he leaves he will have rich presents and will expect the same honours from your Excellencies. I must say he has shown me every honour and exceptional courtesy as your Serenity's minister. I fancy he thought he would be treated curtly (corto) in order not to offend France. He tells me he expects to start the day after to-morrow. He is waiting for the duke, and if his Highness does not come he will certainly start. He only waited because he was slightly indisposed, and he really was in retirement for some days. He may still wait a few days. I think he will travel by boat on the Po.
He told me at this same time that advices from France state that the republic is nobly supporting the Duke of Mantua with money, and all to stop the progress of the Austrians, that being your Serenity's policy.
He said he knew for certain that La Rochelle would not fall and they have food for a while. He said he heard that General Volestain had been murdered.
Turin, the 13th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Capitanio
delle Galeazze.
Venetian
Archives.
290. LORENZO TIEPOLO, Proveditore of the Fleet, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A ship arrived from Messina reports that off Cape Spartivento five bertons of Barbary chased them. They escaped, but a hundred miles further they fell in with an English ship. The captain had to go on board and allow himself to be stripped of all he had. With cloth of Leda, pewter and money the English took the value of 24,000 crowns, besides the guns and powder. They said they would go to Zante to the Proveditore and restore everything, if it was not Spanish or French. Your Excellencies will realise the importance of the revival of this port in these parts, and how necessary it is to provide for the safety of navigation, especially for the ships of Crete.
The galley off Cape Dricato, the 13th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
291. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some difficulty having arisen about the Dutch vessels seized for the fleet, the duke in person went to the embassy and asked them to intervene to induce the merchants to make the sale and so they did. The duke took the opportunity to speak about the Spanish negotiations. He told them that he remembered having himself concluded the league and assured them on his honour that nothing would ever take place to their detriment. He vowed that as yet there had been nothing but some polite overtures, made by the Count of Olivares himself, as between private persons. I do not know if this may be credited or whether the first move came from this side. There have long been secret negotiations, as proved by Porter's despatch to Spain. In any case these overtures correspond marvellously with the invitation which I was told the duke received from the Spaniards to succour La Rochelle, and this belief is confirmed by the negotiations being carried on by the two favourites alone. The duke added that owing to the affairs of Europe and the corrupt principles of the French, he did not see how these overtures could be rejected, but as yet there was no treaty or proposal, and if there was any the matter would be dealt with hand in hand with the allies. He hinted confidentially that England would endeavour to effect the continuation of the war in Italy as the only way to bring the two crowns to blows, to the great benefit of the common cause and the powers interested therein, especially the States. He went on to tell them that these overtures might facilitate peace with France, towards which the king was inclined, as proved by his recent declaration. The neutral place for the commissioners could only be in the Netherlands, and more of the same kind, showing clearly that he means to trade upon these suspicions with a view to purchasing peace, I will not say most advantageously, since there is no comparison, but where they are most ready to sell it.
The ambassadors told me all this immediately. They said they told the duke that without a union with France no good could result to the common cause, especially to the Netherlands, as they cannot support the war without help from both crowns, and unless their trade is free. Peace is insecure without their guarantee, as was the case at the last truce. The Spaniards would limit themselves to hopes, without concluding anything, as it is not to their advantage to lose the just pretext they now have for hurting England whenever they have the chance, as they seem to have at present, from which peace would debar them. By making the agreement with England they might be apprehensive lest France should open her eyes and join the pope and other powers, forming a party the more dangerous to the Spaniards, because they would lose the advantage of religion which now serves them better than war. It would answer their purpose to encourage this turmoil by holding out hopes, in order to enfeeble these crowns, without either of them predominating, or getting so far ahead as to make the other despair.
I have made similar remarks, first to Carleton and then to the duke himself. He came to take leave at this embassy before his departure. Carleton told me practically the same as the duke said to the Dutch ambassadors, with the exception of the particular about Olivares. I showed that I was not ignorant of the fact, but did not allude to the individuals. He assured me on his word, and I was to write so to your Serenity, that as yet there was nothing fundamental, something had been written to the Hague, as the nature of the business required, but there was much speculation and gossip on the subject, and all quite false. He declared that the king would always prefer the friendship of the French, when sincere, not false as hitherto, because in that case it was worse than war itself. As regards his Majesty's last declaration to the ministers of the friendly powers, we were to exert ourselves without any apprehension about this fresh affair, because the king will certainly keep his word, although meanwhile he will also listen to the Spaniards. I replied that we were all of us perplexed at seeing the King of England change his principles without cause, without constraint, especially as it did not procure for him the results for which he had waged the war. Everyone was surprised at the difference between the words uttered at this Court and what was written to the Hague. Above all, suspicion was caused by the declaration made to us by the king simultaneously about the affairs of France, as if it were to serve to facilitate the adjustment with Spain, as his statement that he would listen to the Spaniards did not agree with the intended mission of Porter, to the great disadvantage of the business itself and our prestige. He thereupon denied all knowledge of Porter's destination, and this may be true, as he is not acquainted with everything.
I remarked that all friends had now lost heart owing to this blow, while the enemy had become more daring. The affairs of England were in greater danger than ever, as her desire for peace stood in the way of her attacking, while she herself was exposed. Above all I expressed astonishment that these schemes should be based on the continuation of war in Italy, as necessary for the cause, thus to weaken the two crowns and benefit the north of Europe and the Huguenots. In reality the French have never given a thought to Italy, and have not even given Nevers the use of their name of flag, under the plea of civil turmoil and the war with England. They will lay much greater stress on this when they have the just pretext of these fresh schemes. It might be desirable for the French to open their eyes, but the true way to effect this was to lure them by peace, not to exasperate them by war. This single stroke gave the victory to the cause of universal monarchy, and it disunited all the powers interested in making the balance. It left the Spaniards masters of the game, because if they like to make war in Italy, they have everything their own way, and so all parties will suffer, even England, though far away. If Spain does not choose war she can trade on this tendency of England in France, obtaining whatever she wants without opposition, and without that diversion in Germany and regard for the Huguenots which this country seeks.
I spoke very strongly to the duke also about Italy, which I have more at heart than all the rest, where passion and corruption give the name of state policy to so manifest an equivocation. In their replies they make no real answer, merely puffing themselves up. They say it is necessary to bring the French and Spaniards to blows, when they will be masters of the game. Every one will need England, and they will bring France to her duty. They will make a diversion in Germany. They will secure the Huguenots, though this is by no means true. I am more and more convinced that these false notions were put into their heads by the Spaniards, or rather that this is the price for which they will sell the peace. In reply the duke said that much more had been said about the Spanish negotiations than was justified by the facts, but if the peace were made they would follow the example of the French, who showed the way in the Valtelline affair. After committing England and all the other powers to a rupture with Spain, so far from helping the common cause, they immediately began to persecute the Huguenots. They bargained with the Spaniards to divide the traffic between those two crowns, they made their reports common to each other, to the serious detriment of the allies, and at last made peace, the betrayal being admitted by everybody. By this unlawful act they put the whole of Europe in confusion, and he thought matters could not be restored to good order except by a general overthrow of everything. He repeated this idea several times, and I remarked it as an indication of very mischievous despair. He added that all the powers interested in the good cause, the republic included, had left England alone in the storm, and no one ought to be surprised if this poor island, unable to hold out, should seek to save herself. The French still had the power to remedy this, as if they keep their promises to the Huguenots and Germany, England will always abide by the same good principles, but single handed she is not strong enough. Owing to the faults of the French the king commanded him in the first place to attack the Isle of Rhé, and when after the failure of that enterprise the Rochellese still remained in danger, his Majesty again ordered him to go and succour them, because his honour and conscience bound him to do so. He hoped in a few days either to effect this or to prove to the world that it was impossible.
In reply I said that it was not laudable to follow an evil example, and it ought rather to be avoided. It would be desperate to upset everything in the hope that confusion would produce good order, if it could be more surely attained by prudence and address. This kingdom of itself was very powerful, as in the time of Queen Elizabeth it constantly waged war on the Spaniards, supported the United Provinces, quelled the Irish rebellion, and always remained rich and flourishing. There was more hope at present when they were allied with other very great powers, possessed of very considerable forces and heart, and especially when the country was ruled by the prudence of his Excellency. The republic, in the Valtelline affair and others had always acted in concert with the other powers, contributing much more than her quota, and she would always show the same courage and constancy. It was desirable that all the allies should fulfil their obligations with the same punctuality. At this point he interrupted me, saying that the republic had always shown excellent zeal; she must be supported, and if the necessity arose he would himself gladly come for her service. I did not like this because it relates to the revolutions in Italy, which he evidently has at heart. I said it was inconsistent to distract the French by war, and claim that they should contemporaneously assist the common cause. It was also very difficult to compel a king to make terms with his own subjects, and the precedent might one day prove injurious to England and its princes. I did not allude to the injuries of which the French complain, and I did not inveigh against the Spaniards, because I do not trust him while he has this fit on him, and I do not wish things uttered against them by your Serenity's ministers to be repeated. Carleton was present at this interview, and although he never spoke I know he was not displeased. I cannot rest, because of the impossibility of convincing them that their supposition about the affairs of Italy is false. I try hard, because if the deceit whereby the Spaniards cajole them were exposed, it might unweave these webs; and the same if France granted her subjects an amnesty, as she might well do of her own accord; but the Spaniards, who have equal credit with both Courts, do not mean to lose so fine a game. God grant it be not played out on the board of Italy.
I hear from a most worthy person, who has a hand in the most secret plans of this expedition, that the duke will do his utmost in the first place to relieve La Rochelle, and if successful will enter it in person, thinking perhaps by so ostentatious an act to invite the Cardinal Richelieu to come to some negotiation. Buckingham has said that the cardinal let slip that the English have no choice but to attempt the relief of La Rochelle. If they succeed the Most Christian will raise the siege, but if they fail he will take the place; so in either case they can negotiate. In case of failure the duke will doubtless make an attempt against the Isle of Oleron, or some other place, if that is well defended, for the sake of helping the Rochellese to obtain better terms, although in this also they may be deceiving themselves. It was proposed to him that should everything else fail he should cruise off the Spanish coast to burn ships. He said he would do so rather than return with the shame of having employed so considerable a force in vain. But he said this coldly, and even if he wanted he would find it difficult to carry out this plan, as the fleet is only provisioned for three months, so he cannot go any great distance. In short he will do something merely for the purpose of subsequently exaggerating it to the populace, as otherwise he would find himself in a sorry plight. He thus leaves very determined and practically desperate, but his long delay in setting sail astonishes everybody, and many suspect that La Rochelle may be betrayed.
Owing to the absence of the Court, we remain here with the merchants alone, and they are few because of the ruin of this city's trade. The other ambassadors seem inclined to follow the king, because of the present most serious emergencies. I will keep on the alert; my service now requires activity rather than speculation. If there were time I should wait for orders, but this is impossible, as no one is allowed to leave the kingdom, and even the Dutch men of war are detained, although the Dunkirkers may take the sea at any time. I ask pardon under the circumstances if my despatches arrive in bundles, but the present circumstances are more important than any that have occurred within the last hundred years, especially for Italy, and I consider that the most minute details may not prove unacceptable.
I am writing to Zorzi about the designs of Olivares, the persuasions of the Spaniards for the relief of La Rochelle and, indeed, the pith of the present despatch, so that he may co-operate.
London, the 14th August, 1628.
[Italian: deciphered.]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
292. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I called upon the Prince of Orange yesterday. He told me the States had received letters from their ambassadors in England of the 29th ult. They wrote of two things of importance: they had had audience of the king upon their commissions to find out about the negotiations with the Spaniards, and they had applied to his Majesty for the release of two Indiamen laden with merchandise, which have been long detained there practically as hostages for the satisfaction which the English claim about Amboyna. They report that the king assured them with a flow of words and protestations that he knew nothing about these negotiations; the suspicion was the more baseless because nothing had ever been said to him of such an accommodation. He begged them to assure the States that he would never enter into negotiations prejudicial to them or their friends. The prince remarked that he could never cease to marvel at such advices; he did not know what to believe, as he himself had seen the king's letters to his sister here, telling her that proposals had been made to him for an accommodation with Spain, and he was bound to take them up, while the Agent Carleton had informed him about it. This contradiction confounded him and he might say there was no longer any faith. He asked for my opinion, and I said there might have been some negotiation, but the king had not obtained the satisfaction he claimed. So nothing had happened and it would be best to say no more about it, and the old confidence would be restored. The prince remarked, God grant it be so, though I observed that he was not satisfied.
With respect to the ships, the ambassadors were referred to deputies, but the ships would be released and would sail with the first fair wind. The ambassadors had promised that the king should have the justice he claims upon the Amboyna judges and they will send commissioners on purpose to adjust the differences in the Indies and remove all occasion for quarrels in the future. Thus the most important affair is settled to the very great satisfaction of the mart of Amsterdam, which would have been hard hit if the two ships had been confiscated, as they are worth more than two million florins, and the release was hardly expected considering the difficulty of the affair, and the king's needs.
The fleet had not left on the 29th. It was said that the duke would go with it. He had resigned to the Earl of Suffolk the important charge of the Cinque Ports. I fancy that the fleet has sailed since that day and that the ports are open. If this is true letters will soon come from Contarini.
The Hague, the 14th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
293. PIER ANTONIO MARIONI, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Sunday the secretary of the Ambassador Carlisle was here, to request a passport in the name of his master, to go by the Po on his journey to Venice. He received this promptly, and then asked leave to go to Casale to make the same request. This also was granted, and a trumpeter even accompanied him to the gates. That in passing so near to the pavilion of Don Gonzales the ambassador must see his Excellency to pay the necessary respects, if not for something else on such a pretext, must occur to everybody. Thus some think that Carlisle chooses to take that route solely for that purpose.
The royal camp under Casal, the 15th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
294. As we have received confirmation from our ambassador in Savoy that the Earl of Carlisle is coming to this city as ambassador extraordinary from the King of England, it is reasonable to treat him as the minister of so great a king. Therefore the magistracy of the Rason Vecchie shall furnish honourably to receive the ambassador the house at San Antonio, which is empty, and belongs to the Procuratia de Ultra, which is large and handsome, and see that it is assured in the public name against fire.
That our Collegio have authority to give orders where necessary, according to the advices, and especially to Chioggia, as we hear that the Earl is travelling by the Po, for his reception and entertainment in that city, and wherever he passes through our State. The same magistracy shall make the provision for Chioggia and elsewhere, according to the orders of the Collegio, and as has been customary in similar cases.
Ayes, 93.Noes, 2.Neutral, 10.
Ser Anzolo da Mosto, councillor, desires the postponement of the present matter, for which 35 voted.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
295. To the PODESTA of CHIOZA.
We are advised that the Earl of Carlisle, ambassador extraordinary of England, may betake himself to your city. He has embarked at Turin to travel by way of the Po. As we wish him to be received in a manner befitting his rank, we send you this advice so that you may be prepared for all emergencies. We have given orders to the magistracy of the Rason Vecchie for the entertainment of the earl at the public charge. You will arrange with them so that things may go as the dignity of the state requires, omitting none of the courteous offices that we desire to show, and so that he may receive every satisfaction.
Ayes, 93.Noes, 2.Neutral, 10.
Anzolo da Mosto desires the postponement of the present matter, for which 35 voted.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
296. That the ambassador of England be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him:
We are always ready to attend to your Excellency's requests and to his Majesty's interests. We desire the captain of the William Ralph to experience this. After weighing your contention that the matter took place in the open sea, we are ordering the release of the ship. Although we do not wish to meddle we should like to take any opening for arranging a reconciliation between the two crowns, for whom we have an equal love and esteem. We also repeat our just and strong instances to you that hostile acts to shipping may not take place in our waters, or under our islands and fortresses, so that trade and intercourse may be safe, as they ought, and all occasion for evil consequences may be avoided. We have already received from your Excellency, as our Ambassador has from his Majesty, the confirmation of his upright intentions; but so long as instances occur, we must repeat our requests and offices, so that his Majesty's good intentions may be carried out, as is reasonable and as we expect.
Ayes, 127.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
297. That the French ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him:
The information for which we were waiting has now reached us about the ship S. Gio. Battista and the English. From this it seems clear that the fight took place in the open sea, a long way from Cerigo. That being the case we cannot intervene in a matter between two kings for whom the republic entertains an equal respect, and whom we should prefer to see reunited. We have always observed this course in the similar incidents which occur in the open sea with Turks and other powers, with which the republic avoids interfering on every consideration.
Nevertheless at the first news of these proceedings we made energetic representations to the King of England and to the Ambassador Wake, while issuing the most rigorous orders to our naval commanders and the Rectors of our fortresses and islands.
Ayes, 127.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
298. SEBASTINO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The merchants here press me hard to allow them to lade their property, which is in great peril, on the English ship hired by Arigoni. I told them that I desired them to obey the orders of the State, that neither Jews nor Greek subjects of the Turk have ventured to lade on it, as they proposed, which would have increased the prejudice of our merchants. The captain of the ship has stayed here his sixty days, in conformity with his obligation, so that he may claim his hire. The English ambassador asked me to recommend the affair to your Excellencies owing to the losses which the captain will have sustained in coming here expecting to be hired and not being employed. I told him this was a matter of justice and assured him that it would be administered punctually.
The English merchants here, with this occasion, have laded many thousands of hides for Leghorn, to the great prejudice of the mart of Venice on many accounts. I also think it is going to Smyrna to take a cargo of cotton there.
Ortachiuui on the channel of the Black Sea, the 19th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
299. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hear from Leghorn that the English ships which arrived with the ambassadress for Constantinople are about to sail, the largest one with her, for that port, and the others for Zante and Venice.
Florence, the 19th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives
300. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome to the DOGE and SENATE.
I called on the French ambassador on Thursday. After speaking of other matters he informed me of advices from the Hague about negotiations for an accomodation between England and Spain and Denmark and the emperor. He was not inclined to attach much credence to these, remarking to me that the Dutch made up these things in order to get something out of the most serene republic. He said your Excellencies would be able to get at the bottom of all this business with the coming of Carlisle to Venice, who has left Turin and must soon arrive there.
Rome, the 19th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
301. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have communicated to Cardinal Barberino by my secretary the very important advices of the Ambassador Soranzo from the Hague about the negotiations for peace between England and Spain, Denmark and the emperor, with the considerations and opinions sent me by your Serenity in your letters of the 12th inst. I did not go myself as he is unwell and not giving audience. As there is no ordinary day for audience this week, I asked him to communicate everything to the pope. The cardinal sent his thanks and promised to do so. He added, with considerable reserve, that these negotiations were not so easy to carry out, as they were incompatible with the interests of the various powers allied with England and Denmark, and were open to suspicion of fraud. There was also the difficulty of the Palatinate, which could not be left out by those powers, who professed to be waging the war for its sake. He referred to the Abbot Scaglia, who might be, to some extent, the source of these negotiations in England, and then advanced the usual consideration with which he is imbued by the pope, with whose mouth he always speaks, that the more successful the emperor is, the more is it necessary to maintain the friendship and confidence of the Duke of Bavaria.
Rome, the 19th August, 1628.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
302. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Olivares told me it was true that the Catholic was ready to give a good many ships to the Most Christian for La Rochelle, if he would not meddle with the Montferrat business, but merely treat about some way of satisfying Nevers. He repeated that the Catholic would not give these ships without recompense, as he did last year. He told me that the English fleet had not sailed, and there would be no lack of places for them to land and make an impression on the kingdom. He said that the king's fleet in the ocean was very powerful and well equipped. I hear that there are some good ships at Santander, others at Lisbon and others again at Corunna, but not in sufficient numbers to do much. If they are not sent to help the Most Christian they will have to remain to meet the fleet and secure it.
Madrid, the 19th August, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
303. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have strange metamorphoses to report, but this time not, I hope, unpleasant. As this comedy represents a variety of events and characters, your Excellencies will allow me to give my own parts. My last was about my offices with the duke and Carleton about the intrigues of Spain. Afterwards Carleton told me that the duke had talked with him on the subject, with comments which he encouraged, because of his excellent bias. Two days later I received some despatches from Zorzi, stating that the French were somewhat apprehensive of the English fleet, which will in fact put to sea in very great force, although with some deficiencies. My colleague most prudently remarks that before blood is shed it will be advisable to use both pen and brain in this matter, and on this I have acted. I need hardly enter into particulars, as the enclosed letters to France will tell all. The first is written with the entire consent of the duke, who made me go to one of his houses. After being introduced by secret stairs and chambers where there was no one, I remained there a good four hours debating the matter, always with the assistance of Carleton, who behaved admirably. Buckingham desired a copy of this letter to show to the king, who knows nothing about this affair, despite its great importance, as he is far away. From this your Excellencies will infer with astonishment how great the duke's authority is. I did not refuse, because it is written with his consent and pledges him, but I shall not give it him, if able to do so without breaking our confidential relations, to avoid making a precedent. The other letter contains some hints which I elicited during the interview, so that Zorzi may be enlightened about an affair of such importance, and this letter has not been seen by any one. The third is a letter which it was proposed to write to the Rochellese by their delegates here, about the consent of England to dispose them to negotiations; but when one of them brought it to me on the morrow the duke sent me word that he no longer wished for its transmission, apprehending that the French might presume too much upon it. To tell the truth I was not over anxious to commit myself so far, because, if by bad luck it had been discovered in my packets, evil persons might have put a bad interpretation upon it, and it does not seem to me that the French want mediators between themselves and their subjects, so one must go carefully. However, I keep the original letter in my possession as a proof of their consent here, and if Zorzi knows this or any other attestation to be necessary for the good progress of the affair, it can be obtained.
I have reported everything in a single despatch, as time passes, and I have decided to send the Secretary Augustini, as he is quite competent and can serve Zorzi in all that may be necessary. In case of negotiating with the duke in France, he knows all those about the duke's person, the current maxims and the particulars of the moment, which I could never guess even if I wrote a hundred sheets. I have been forced to do this as the whole burden of writing rests with me alone. I have also desired him to forward this despatch in haste from Paris, so that fresh vigour may be given to the negotiations by your most prudent commands. If the Rochellese refuse to treat without the consent of this Crown, in order not to lose its protection, as they frequently stated when former negotiations were broken off, they are now satisfied and the duke will consent to their doing so. If the French refuse to treat with other powers about their own subjects, they are satisfied, because the King of England merely claims to give them a free field, though under the protection of his forces.
Touching the other causes of the war the duke does not object to an interview, which will settle everything in two days, and the French will not be able any longer to excuse themselves for not assisting Italy, on the plea of war with England and civil strife at home, as in their hands they have the means of making peace instantaneously and are more expressly invited to assist Italy and the common cause. If they do not embrace the opportunity, they cannot complain if much blood is shed, whether La Rochelle is succoured or no, or if England make terms with the Spaniards, for which the Savoyard ambassador is going to Brussels accompanied by Porter, who was destined for Spain, Gerbier, who negotiated with Rubens, and an Irish Dominican, who after having been in Spain, proceeded to Brussels and returned hither lately. Carleton exerted himself in this matter in his own interests, but with a change of scene and policy he no longer counted, and was no party to what was going on. He told me that the duke will always prefer peace with France to one with Spain, provided it is honourable, as the former might be settled in two hours, England claiming nothing from France, while France does not want anything but her own. On the other hand there are so many conflicting interests and intrigues that an immediate result is impossible. As I made very confidential advances, Carleton confessed to me that a negotiation with Spain had been set on foot, though at this beginning it was very faint and doubtful. This convinces me of the harshness of the Spaniards, as from other quarters I hear that the ambassador of Savoy has promised much more from that quarter than will really be performed, but I do not credit this so easily. He told me that the fleet will certainly sail to help the King of Denmark, if it is no longer needed in France, and it would be a great blow to the Spaniards if the two kings, the one in Germany and the other in Italy, changed sides unexpectedly at the same time.
I am at a loss to say whether it may be inferred from this that they will no longer succour La Rochelle, seeing that they begin these steps after so many delays. I believe they will not, and the duke would fain remove the king's pecuniary necessities, as he can hardly subsist if they continue. This extraordinary benevolence about inviting the French to Italy is also worthy of remark, considering what was said, but be that as it may, the worst thing of all is war between these two crowns. God reward my zeal by a result such as is reasonably desired. It was impossible to obtain more from England for all the disputes or claims of the French are settled, and what matters more, the duke binds himself to decide on the spot any doubtful points which may arise. He assured me several times on his honour that I shall not have cause to complain, with other apologetic expressions about past grievances, for I am reserved about believing his assurances, though without rendering him suspicious. Meanwhile I beseech you to pardon me if I have not done exactly as desired. I have tried hard to make up for lost time when I did not go to the Court. If all the shoals have been avoided it is due to the Almighty.
London, the 20th August, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosure.304. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to his colleague ZORZI ZORZI, at the Most Christian Court.
I have your letters down to No. 69, and note what you say about an adjustment between the two crowns, especially now when their swords are drawn, and the result depends more on fortune than on anything else, and victory on either side is bound to injure the common cause. The question of the Rochellese may mar any amicable arrangement, the other causes for war being few. I said something about this to Lord Carleton, who repeated it to Buckingham. He told him that as the King of England does not claim anything of France, as the Rochellese will not treat without England's consent, lest they lose its protection, and as the French ministers say it is not becoming for their king to make terms with his own subjects by means of foreign powers, it would be advisable for the removal of this chief hindrance to suggest to the Rochellese, to the chiefs of their religion and others of the religion that if they contrive to make peace with their king it would be to the satisfaction of the King of England. The duke in proof of his good will sent me word in reply that he has sufficient authority from his king to dispose of his forces and of the peace according to circumstances, and on arriving with the fleet in sight of La Rochelle, instead of proceeding to hostilities for its relief, he should prefer hearing that the Rochellese requested him to desist, as they had obtained satisfaction from the Most Christian. His Majesty here will always welcome this provided it was to their security and satisfaction. They discussed the means of letting the Rochellese know that England would not disapprove of their negotiating with the Most Christian, and we thought of sending one of the duke's gentlemen to you, one of the delegates from La Rochelle, or a letter from them; but as very serious considerations forbid such a course, we thought it better for you to do as you think best, guaranteeing the following promise if necessary, that the King of England consents to it, and if this is not credited, obtaining a passport for a gentleman from the duke, who will come to ratify it, and giving me, with all speed such other as you think opportune for the furtherance of the affair. If there is not time for this, as the fleet may soon put to sea, let us arrange for you to have an interview with the Duke of Buckingham himself, or to send to him on his arrival off the French coast, so that an adjustment may be arranged before they proceed to extremities. You Excellency already has full power.
From my observation the whole affair is reduced to three points. I believe that an adjustment between the Huguenots and the Most Christian would be easy, and to preserve at the same time the reputation of the two kings. Negotiations for peace between the two crowns might be referred to commissioners in some neutral city, or else, and far better, the duke and cardinal might arrange between them in a short time, what others would fail to do in years, to the glory of both and the astonishment of the world. The third point is that this fleet might be employed greatly to the benefit of the common cause, to prevent its cost being wasted; and similarly the English would like the French to help the cause in Italy or Germany, on dissolving their union with the Spaniards.
I must warn you, however, that the peace with the Huguenots and between the two kingdoms must go together, as here they do not mean them to be separated, and they also want to add the assistance for the common cause. Also they by no means intend to stop the preparations for the fleet here. If the duke has set sail when your letter arrives, you can negotiate with himself about the final conclusion, to which he seems singularly disposed on account of the hurt to the cause. God grant this may be done before blood is shed, as it will be great, since the duke is very serious. He has made a great effort and his honour is engaged. A fair peace is always preferable to the uncertain result of war, especially when even victory must be mischievous.
London, the 20th August, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosure.305. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to his colleague ZORZI ZORZI, at the Most Christian Court.
By the accompanying letter and from Agustini, you will learn all my negotiations. Firstly the affair of the Huguenots must not be put so far forward as to leave that of the peace between the two crowns behind. The duke told me that if they continued the war they did not want to lose the help of that faction. You must be careful about this, as if the French obtain internal peace they may care little about peace abroad, and that will not suit the common cause. The two must be kept together, although in separate treaties, for the sake of the French. Secondly, the delegates from La Rochelle, in concert with the duke, wrote the enclosed letter to the besieged, but afterwards they were sorry, saying it would drive that city to despair, and next morning the duke repented that it had been sent saying that if necessary you would assure the Huguenots that the King of England is content they should treat. I also was not very anxious to send it, as it contained many other particulars which would have created much suspicion and caused scandalous comments if discovered. I keep the original as a pledge, so that you may treat securely, and in case of need you can have it on sending the passport. The delegates told me that they sent this assent of England to La Rochelle through another channel, but I do not believe them, as they have opposed it. Thirdly, the fleet is very powerful, and the French must not rely on depression here because there is none. We must not deceive them. The secretary will tell you details. I think the fear shown by the French is the best ground whereon to rest the negotiation, as the duke, for his honour and maintenance, must either die or enter La Rochelle, if he fails to enter he will not return without attempting something. Fourthly, they must not wait till this relief comes, because in the first place it will notably diminish the forces of the two kings and so hurt the cause, as they will not recover very soon, and then we cannot make sure that it will not be the beginning of a long war, and the losing side will want revenge. Fifthly, I can confirm what I wrote about the negotiations with the Spaniards, although I believe that instead of making an agreement in earnest, they will give words, in order to render one of these two crowns desperate, lest the one deceived form another party. Yet these mere hopes suffice to ruin Italy and the common cause. Sixthly, if you cannot effect this settlement, try at least to bring about a conference between the two favourites before blood is shed, as I hope that when matters are most desperate they will be able to find some remedy between themselves, as they are both ambitious of the honour of the adjustment, and I do not see how the cardinal can withdraw, as by reason of his ready wit he has a great advantage. This argument will perhaps serve to persuade him.
I believe that the fleet will not set sail for another fifteen or twenty days. If an adjustment can be made, it will doubtless steer for Denmark. For this effect you will mediate with both forces, as the duke will hear of what you have done, on board, even if he has started. Do not wait long, especially if you have a good opportunity. You must speak clearly to the ministers, lest they think it strange for the negotiation to be so immediately followed by the fleet, and complain of us; the cause being the short space of time and the critical condition of La Rochelle. Be very careful about this as it is the most important of all. The duke approves of your managing the matter with the cardinal alone, which makes one think there is some correspondence between them, both for carrying the strenuous opposition of the Spanish faction and because such men never take pleasure in bringing forth monsters at a moment when they are really astonishing the world.
I suppose you are in the French camp, and if not you will immediately go thither, so as not to lose this vital opportunity, which may never come again, so much to the advantage of the two crowns and the common cause, and for the honour of our republic, when the favourites also are trembling for their own fortunes. I suppose the nuncio and others are with you in this affair, and you may make use of them for greater repute. I have ordered the secretary, on reaching Paris, to forward my despatch in haste to Venice, so that the Senate may issue the necessary orders, especially as time is so short. When answering you must abide by the contents of the enclosed letter which is written in concert with the duke, so that I may communicate something to him and keep up the confidence. I gave him a copy to read to the king, as it pledges him to stand by the contents. In another letter you will give me such hints as you think, and I shall not disclose them. We can thus go hand in hand.
To summarise, if the French will not treat with foreign powers about their own subjects, let them treat with those subjects alone, as England will not interfere, provided they are satisfied. If the Huguenots will not treat without England's consent, it is given them, so they have no excuse. If the French want to attend to Italy, this is the real way, and England invites it. If they cannot dissolve so many humours in such a short time, let them prepare to put the finishing stroke, either by an interview between the favourites or by allowing a special envoy to come to France; but they must not procrastinate, as the duke on his arrival will not lose the first opportunity of doing his own business.
London, the 20th August, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosure.306. H. VINCENT, delegate from the Rochellese, to the Huguenot Government at La Rochelle.
I hope you will witness the sails of his Majesty's fleet at the same time as this arrives. The greatness of the preparations delayed matters, despite my urgency. But now everything is ready for departure within a few days. His Majesty is already at Portsmouth, whither the duke will follow him, after remaining here a few days to direct some preparations. He will find there Mons. de Soubise, who is waiting for him in order to embark immediately. God grant them a fair wind. I can assure you that they are coming with such forces and determination that with the aid of Him on whom events depend you may be sure of success. M. David and my other colleague are with his Majesty. I regret this the more as I wish to consult them about an important circumstance. As the affair is important and does not admit of delay I have thought it my duty to send you notice of it. I must tell you that the common friends of the two crowns, perceiving with pain the sinister consequences of this war, are most anxious to find some way of reconciliation, especially the Venetian ambassador here, who thinks that now is the moment for negotiation, as the two kings may make it honourably and advantageously. Thus if the Venetian ambassador in France makes any proposal you should think of your security and whether you ought to think of seconding his good intentions, to avoid bloodshed and to shelter our poor city from the peril of defeat, as events often prove different from appearances. I do not intrude my opinion, but merely say that I have spoken with the duke, from whom I heard that his Majesty will never be opposed to any reasonable adjustment, or object to your listening to what may be proposed to you, until the arrival of the fleet. Meanwhile do not believe that proposal will produce the slightest delay, as the duke has decided to put to sea with the first fair wind, without waiting for a reply, and to act on arrival without allowing any opportunity to escape him. If God bless this way, or we have to open the road by force, I hope soon to have the honour of seeing you. It is decided that M. David and Deneins will await your commands here, and I am to make the voyage. Meanwhile, I pray you to take my efforts in good part.
London, the 17th August, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
307. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. de Villars has come here for the Duke of Lorraine in the interests of the dowager duchess. He said he was also going to Spain for the same purpose. One of the leading men here told him that he could hardly credit this, as the duchess had such a bad case that there was no chance of success, and he rather suspected that he was sent to Madrid to the prejudice of France, to negotiate some composition between the Spaniards and English as they knew the caprices of Buckingham and the natural leanings of his master. Villars denied that absolutely, and by the brevity of his answer avoided the risk of giving or receiving some offence.
Niort, the 20th August, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Erard du Chastelet, Marquis of Trichasteau, son of Jean du Chastelet, Sieur de Thons, marshal of Lorraine and Chevalier du S. Esprit. Père Anselme: Hist. Gen. et Chron. de la Maison Royale de France, vol. ix, page 98; Chesnaye-Desbois et Badier: Dict. de la Noblesse, vol. v, pages 416, 419.
2 The ship Assurance of 300 tons, Captain Bence Johnson. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 290.
3 Charles de la Grossetière. He had been one of the pages of the king's petite ecurie, but was dismissed in 1621.