Venice
September 1628, 26-30

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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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307-324

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'Venice: September 1628, 26-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 307-324. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89200 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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September 1628

Sept. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
422. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
From the enclosed copies of letters to Zorzi you will see what is passing about the peace, and that the good intentions here are thwarted rather than cancelled. In matters of this sort I think the beginning is far more difficult than the continuation, and the process of soothing the parties. May God grant success to my overtures, which will be marvellously facilitated by your hints and resolves. As the harbours are closed and the winds contrary I fear some weeks may pass without your receiving letters from me, but I am sure you will make allowance, as you know my zeal.
During these few days the chief news has been the arrival of Porter's brother and his own passage to Spain with a gentleman of the Infanta. I should have been better pleased had he returned, though I do not believe that the Spaniards will accomplish anything without giving some satisfaction. If they incline to this all their energies will doubtless be devoted to the affairs of Italy.
The Danish ambassador had two audiences yesterday, one public and the other private. He left immediately after for London. I have not heard any more important particulars than those already reported, except we hear through the merchants that his king has been defeated again. If this is true it must necessarily help the adjustment.
The duke will be buried next Thursday, privately, for the reasons given. There are many candidates for his offices, but the king keeps very close. A gentleman has been put in the Tower on the charge of having foretold the duke's death (fn. 1) ; so there is a suspicion of collusion, though on slight grounds, so far.
The Dutch men of war have been released, and a decree has been issued exempting them from seizure in the future, as fourteen sail of Dunkirk put to sea and did much damage to the herring fishers and sunk the two Dutch men of war which were protecting them. At the suit of the Dutch ambassadors the trade with the Dunkirkers was formerly prohibited, but some ships still continue it and the English are well treated there, though the passage is not so free as at first.
I have received the ducal missives of the 25th August and the 1st September. All the particulars about Carlisle will be of use to me, and I can thus place the English under an obligation for the munificence of the republic unless the minister adds something to obscure it, which I cannot believe.
Capello, by his skill and valour, will, I believe, have long since relieved the republic of Digby's molestation, and in a better way than my remonstrances. So far nothing has been said to me on the subject, but I understand that the news has reached the merchants, and they are also apprehensive lest the Turks confiscate all English property. At first they thought they would not speak about it to the king, but later they determined to beg him to recall Digby and all the others from those waters. Indeed, they run great risk, and on this account Queen Elizabeth would never allow privateering in the Mediterranean. They say nothing to me, and I remain quiet, but well prepared to meet their remonstrances, and let them know that the English themselves ought to feel obliged to your Serenity's representatives instead of complaining of them. I understand there is a belief among the merchants that Digby intended to attack your Serenity's galleons, and therefore deserved to be well beaten. I allow this to pass, as a corsair who goes to plunder can scarcely be expected to be guided by reasons of state. Universal detestation is thus raised against him, and I know that the king expressed his displeasure at his assuming the title of his Majesty's admiral. I firmly believe he will be recalled. He would have been already, but he has the support of many relations and friends. Your Excellencies must try and prevent him from taking the law into his own hands, and reimbursing himself, as I hope there will be no trouble here. In case of accident I beg you to give me the most precise information as my letters by way of France have not arrived. I hope that they will also give me orders to impart to his Majesty the election to this Court of his Excellency Soranzo, the particulars of which are alone communicated to me. I congratulate myself and my country on the advantage it will derive from his ability, as compared with my feebleness, though I can boast of my good will.
Windsor, the 26th September, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.423. ALVISE CONTARINI, Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, Ambassador in France.
Your Courier Giacomo Bibonetto, who left on the 11th, arrived on the night of the 20th, three days after the departure of the fleet, without molestation. As soon as the cipher was translated I conferred with some of my confidential friends and lovers of this peace, sounding as to whether it would be advisable to continue the form of negotiation begun by the duke, namely that someone should cross from here to confer with the cardinal. I found two insuperable difficulties, one that the king neither could nor would make this dispatch to the cardinal in his own name, while the others had not the authority to do it, like the late duke; the other that even if the king was gained, we ambassadors ran the risk of being tricked, as the fleet might already have made some attempt, and the French, in their heat, might have arrested and maltreated the person sent to them in revenge for having the enemy in their territory at the moment, especially as he would have no formal passport, as you gave me no assurance about safety, merely saying that if anyone cares to come he may do so. I have therefore taken another and better way.
There is no doubt that the business set on foot by the duke will end with him, and something else must be devised, both sure and easy, to persuade the Council as well as the king, as without them nothing will be decided for the future, especially in a matter so important as the present. Accordingly, confiding in the good disposition you had found in the cardinal, and knowing what I could promise myself from the king here, I began by reducing the generalities to details, in order to cut short delay and get at the bottom of the difficulties. So I drew up a rough draft agreement, partly from the conversation you had with the cardinal and partly from my observations here. I communicated it to some confidants, who commended it as an excellent means of facilitating a speedy settlement of the business, as otherwise everything would always be stopped by generalities. I then went to audience of his Majesty. After some remarks to demonstrate the need for this adjustment, and to keep the king pledged, I said there was no escape from what had been settled by the duke, and obtained by his Majesty's great ability, namely to send some one to France, selected by the duke. I then begged the king not to do injustice to the excellent ideas of his favourite, and to continue what he had begun. He told me that he would not change his opinion. He wished for peace with the Most Christian, and perceived with regret the harm done to the common cause. On these grounds, when I spoke to him about the peace after the duke's death, he declared his excellent disposition, but observed that it was not possible to continue the mode of treating begun by the duke, as the new admiral had not the same experience of his affairs, and the king had not the same confidence in him as in the duke. In proof of his good will, he had added to the admiral's instructions in the act of his departure, that if able to relieve La Rochelle he was to do so without damaging any other place in France, and if unable, he was to return with the same regards, provided he was not provoked; indeed, if the French propose any treaty to him, he is not to reject it, but to send it hither immediately. He is also to return, if able to relieve the fortress without bloodshed, not as succour from England, but as provisions purchased by the Rochellese.
These points seem to me worthy of great consideration, even though they are not to impede the attempts of the fleet, such being the admiral's orders, as they will end the hostilities, and you may use them to soothe the French. As the fleet had already sailed when the courier arrived there was no longer time to recall it, as the wind was quite fair, and they would not have done so from fear of being tricked in the negotiation and losing Rochelle at the same time. The king spoke to me at great length about this, pondering the deceitful acts of the cardinal with regard to the friends of France, how he could not be trusted, and so forth, rather for the sake of taking the part of his late favourite, than from ill will, so as to use this pretext for the sake of withdrawing, as he assured me more and more of his excellent good will. So I proceeded to sift the particulars of the negotiations with him. After hearing me he answered that it was not the moment for entering into a close and formal treaty, and he must first await advices from the fleet, as if the relief got in he might obtain peace on better terms. I rejoined, Nay, Sire, now is the fitting time for your Majesty to declare yourself, before you know what your fleet may accomplish, for whether the relief enters or not the one of the two kings who may be the loser will still have it in his power to continue the negotiation with honour, as it was begun before the event, which for the most part must depend on fortune. I urged this strongly, and you may still be in time to pledge France to this treaty with honour, whatever happens to Rochelle. I said it is true that if the succour enters your Majesty may have peace more cheaply, but if it does not how can you dispose yourself for peace afterwards and have it with honour? The king paused, and I knew he was pondering what I had said, and I told him that I had drawn up a sketch of an agreement, in order not to confine the negotiations to general expressions of good will. This seemed to please him and he told me he would think about it and let me have an answer on the morrow.
Leaving him thus half won, I went immediately to the queen, to further what remained. I told her in general of what had passed with the duke, of the ground gained by your Excellency, of the republic's application and readiness, and the king's promise to me to think about it. I begged her to help me in a matter which concerned her own interest, and to which I had pledged myself at Venice, attesting both to France and to the whole world his Majesty's good disposition towards peace. Although the negotiation begun was cut short by the duke's death, I should not be ashamed to put forth a similar one founded on this same disposition. The queen took this up with great joy and readiness, showing that she already knew something of what had passed, as she certainly would not when the duke was alive. She thanked me very warmly and said she would speak about it to the king that night, and I must return next morning at the hour of her mass, when she would give me the reply. I learned subsequently from the Earl of Holland that the queen told the king that although she did not pretend to interfere in state affairs, yet the reconciliation with her brother concerned her greatly, and she besought him to excuse her if she dared to recommend to him the negotiation already begun by me, with other earnest expressions, indicating a good opinion of me personally, that both crowns might feel sure that the republic would not deceive them, as her ministers were always sincere and the true friends of the two kingdoms; she could not say the same of others. I know that her entreaties have made an impression, in addition to my own. I must add that every day she concentrates in herself the favour and love that were previously divided between her and the duke, and on this account alone she ought to help, so as the better to establish her position by making peace.
That same evening the Secretary Conway came to tell me that the king agreed to begin to treat, and I was therefore to begin to discuss with him the points I had drawn up. I did so, and they are enclosed, but I did not give him a copy. He took not of them and told me that the king would send for three or four councillors to consult and decide. Two days later the Earl of Pembroke, the Treasurer, Carleton and the Secretary Conway, all singularly well disposed, conferred with his Majesty. After the consultation Conway and Carleton came to me, saying that his Majesty commended and thanked the republic for the zeal shown over this reconciliation, and authorized me to declare freely in France and elsewhere in his name his singular inclination and wish that it should take place for the advantage of the common cause. He would never fail to give proof of his upright intentions, and he availed himself of the opportunity I afforded him seeing the force of my arguments about not losing time by awaiting news of the fleet. For the rest they would talk with me about the articles I had drawn up. They asked me, however, not to allow this meeting to be reported in France of elsewhere, as anything but a discussion, not a formal conference, as it really was, and not to mention the king. You will use this as a formula for introducing the discussion, saying it was a conversation, but with such foundation that I had assured you that it would undergo no change in coming to a conclusion. You will see the remarks they made to me and for the most part we are agreed, as you will observe by my annotations.
Besides the clauses there are three memoranda which they gave me apart, so that I might advise you. The first and most important is that they insist on the peace being internal and external at one and the same time, for reasons already given, although arranged by separate treaties, asserting that one without the other will do no good to the common cause, England or France. The draft for the foreign peace is already made. For the internal one they refer to what the Most Christian will do, declaring that they will be content with whatever satisfies the Huguenots, so that the world may know that the King of England claims nothing either from the Huguenots of France, as shown by the orders to the fleet and the present treaty, in which nothing is said of them. They think that the best course will be to renew the treaty of Compiègne, to which the Huguenots ought not to object, and to conclude everything at once. The best disposed say that the best way to bring peace at once would be to revive some old treaty, instead of making new engagements, which require time. I add that it will be more to the advantage of France to conclude some liberal agreement with the Huguenots, which might be maintained for the future, than to allow the last one, made with the guarantee of England, to remain in force, and so deprive her of this pretext for assisting them. The second purports that when these matters take shape and are so far advanced as to give hope of conclusion, they will send a gentleman to France under pretence of his being despatched by the queen here to visit her mother. He will have powers to treat for the external peace and to acquaint Rohan and the other Huguenots with the determination of England to come to an agreement with France, to facilitate the peace of the kingdom, even if it is necessary to do so speedily, and not give the Spaniards time to thwart it. This seems to coincide with the views of Cardinal Richelieu. I also strongly urged this in order that some vestige may remain of the negotiation begun with the duke, so that the French may the better adapt themselves and know that we speak on good grounds. Yet Carleton told me that he hopes the queen mother will send someone hither to visit her daughter owing to this change at the Court since the duke's death. This compliment might be returned by the mission referred to, as a very prudent measure to save the king's honour. It will at least serve to enlighten you so that if he comes he may bring water for quenching the fire. It might not be amiss for you to urge his despatch.
The third stipulates that all these things must appear to come from you and not as the decision of the king or Council, though you may say that I promise you success. I beg you to keep on the alert, as there will be some bellows blowers, who from inability to find other means may devise trifling pretexts to raise difficulties and possibly thwart the business. I may add for your information that Porter's brother has arrived from Brussels with news that Porter has left with a gentleman in the service of the Infanta, who is taking him to Spain. They are travelling post through France to avoid being recognised. It is true that when Porter left Brussels he did not know of the duke's death, so he is acting on the old instructions. He is the very man for such an important negotiation, so you will enlarge on this journey, without mentioning names, because it really deserves consideration, and if the French do not act soon the Spaniards may anticipate them. England now has a fine game, and some members of the Council, and well affected ones, tell the king that peace with Spain is better for England than one with France, the French not having yet declared themselves the enemies of Spain, solely on account of trade, because if the French continue to carry Spanish goods peace with them could hardly last any length of time.
Thank God, we are coming to close quarters with the business, and I know that it will remain firm on this side, and it tends greatly to the good will of the French for the king. The queen told me that when she had spoken to his Majesty as recorded he replied that he would never fail in his word to her or to me, so she might assure me that I should never be deceived. She added that she would take advantage of my courier to write to France, so I asked her to be mediator with the queen mother for you, just as she had been mine here with the king. She promised to do so and to give me a letter, which I will enclose if it comes, as I will not delay my despatch for it, because of the importance of its leaving before news arrives of the fleet, since the losing party will thus be pledged in honour to the negotiations. I send back the courier, having only detained him five days, during which I have been busy in advancing the business. Possibly feeling may run high when this despatch arrives, with the fleet in those waters, and therefore you can await the fitting opportunity to use it. On this supposition I have alluded to anticipations of delay, and ask you not to send back the courier, who has a passport for his return, even if the negotiation is broken off, but to try to keep it alive, as the disposition is good and nothing but patience and address are required. If the French wish to help Italy in earnest, it would be better for them not to lose the moment for embracing this good opportunity, as when once peace is made with France England will either no longer care about the one with Spain or be very hard to treat with. If France declares against Spain, I think that the two crowns might be induced not to make peace separately. England desired this at the time of the rupture, and France would not consent. I do not know how it may be, but circumstances in Italy favour it, and we cannot begin proposals of this sort, on public grounds, in case they are not carried out or the rupture does not take place. In short, I am more pleased with the business now than during the duke's lifetime, although it is a little longer, as everything is done deliberately, and the cards will not be changed, if the French do not cheat, as they still fear here, because of past experience. Here, neither we nor they will be deceived.
As regards deceit, I send you, for information only, the enclosed paragraph from a letter of the Governor of Calais, from whom I have always received great favours in the transmission of letters. In spite of this the cardinal, in ordering him to allow the duke's messenger to pass, takes the pretext of our complaints, which is utterly false. This excess of cunning to his neighbour's injury has a bad appearance to me, so we must keep on the alert. I resent it in particular. I enclose my reply to the governor. You will observe that I do not give the lie to the cardinal or agree to this quibble. You might now expedite the business with the cardinal alone, or by communicating the good intentions to the king, as the queen will write to the queen mother, or in any other way you see best, though the more secret it is the less it will suit the Spaniards, and I hope they will not find it easy to arrange their own, unless France renounces the adjustment entirely. I do not anticipate this because of Italy, and therefore I ask you to detain the courier rather than send him back with news of the negotiations being broken off, lest it make the English despair. God grant that we may obtain the desired end, which I hope by reason of the good disposition of both, and present circumstances.
Windsor, the 26th September, 1628.
Postscript.—You will also receive the queen's letter for the queen mother. You can send it to her immediately, accompanied as you think best, if you cannot see her Majesty soon. I intended to send the copy, but cannot, as it is written throughout in the queen's hand.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.424. First draft of the peace between France and England.
(1) That the friendship required by uniformity of interests, ties of blood and alliances be re-established between the two crowns, who will forget all causes of disagreement.
The commissioners approve of this exactly as it stands.
(2) That both kings find means to satisfy their subject with regard to the prizes taken, hinc inde, without demanding account the one of the other, as it would be too difficult to appraise the amount of damage or indemnity.
Agreed to with the addition of the word reprisals, because in the conventions between the two kingdoms it is provided that if anyone suffers loss at sea it is lawful for them to indemnify themselves by reprisals, which in this particular case shall be especially prohibited to the subjects of both kings.
Accepted as it stands. The word reprisals is left because in the agreement between the two kings it is provided that there shall be reprisals if justice cannot be obtained otherwise.
(3) Other changes which have happened owing to these last events shall be returned to the state in which they were before the disturbances began, the same being understood with regard to the treaties and agreements existing between the two crowns.
Agreed as it stands.
(4) Trade between the two kingdoms shall be re-established and free to the subjects of both crowns as it was before the troubles.
Agreed, with the remark that war with Spain was waged at the suggestion of the French, who, by keeping in the background, and taking advantage of their opportunities, expected to make themselves masters of the whole trade and thus strengthen themselves at sea. For this end the French established the two ports of St. Malo and Calais, whither the merchandise of the Spaniards is conveyed for removal to Spain, Flanders and elsewhere. The English, who hoped to inconvenience the Spaniards by stopping their trade as well as by war, perceived that they did not succeed because the French supplied Spain with all they wanted. So they claimed to search the French, as they did in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and as the Dutch do. When they found Spanish goods they seized them, restoring the rest. The French complain, and there are always disputes about this. The English declare that they must either have peace, even with the Spaniards, or the French must consent not to take Spanish goods on their ships. I said that if this was advanced it would ruin everything. I hinted the right of every sovereign to be master in his own house, lest it might prejudice the republic itself, who claims that everything must be safe under her flag. I said this clause might be left general, and if any fresh difficulty arose after the peace, the ordinary ambassadors could settle it, as they were better informed on the subject than the ministers of foreign powers. They will agree to this, but I warn you, because the peace will not be durable unless it is provided for, though it is true that for the sake of Italy I hope this adjustment will produce a rupture between the French and Spaniards, in which case there would be an end to that sort of disagreement.
(5) That the marriage stipulation remain in force about the queen's household or the number of the French attendants be reduced to two hundred.
They will on no account agree to this, saying that if the Most Christian will not treat about his own subjects with foreign powers, still less will England treat about his wife and her attendants. To the objection that it is in treaty, they reply that the disavowal of Bassompierre and the war have cancelled all that, though if the queen wishes some one about her person, or even the queen mother, it may easily be arranged, since her influence with the king increases daily. The king knows that the French made trouble and for the future he means to be master here. Carleton swore to me that the king would never again treat of this point, though from courtesy he will concede everything. Besides, the queen's household is already established, the principal offices being filled by the highest, and if they resigned, it would be necessary to provide them with equivalent revenues. The Buckingham ladies remain, and the king will not remove them so soon; so the French must bide their time. If some place falls vacant, the queen may then employ one of her nation, though I fancy she begins to forget them. I do not at all think that this point would prevent peace, if there is a sincere wish for it. The queen mother, the friendly powers or other mediators might intervene, though here they speak very plainly, and two hours' discussion did not shake them in the least. However, negotiation and tact often prevail, especially when the rest presents no obstacles.
(6) That all the ancient friendships, alliances and relations with either Crown do remain in force.
Agreed, and they would like the alliance between France, Venice and Savoy to be renewed for the Valtelline, with additional clauses for the common cause.
(7) That the two kings, being thus reunited, will employ their forces to assist their friends and allies.
There will be no difficulty here about this; indeed they promise marvels for Germany, which may easily be effected through the union between the king and his people, and this will doubtless take place.
(8) That all the aforesaid things being established, ambassadors extraordinary be sent on both sides with the ratification of the present agreement, and with the nomination of ambassadors to reside at the Courts, to further this reconciliation and prevent anything troubling it.
They agree entirely.
(9) As there are many ships at sea far away, with authority to attack the enemy's vessels, which cannot receive news of the peace at once, that whatever takes place within four months after the agreement shall in no wise derogate from the peace of the good intentions of both crowns.
No difficulty is raised, and there is nothing else here that calls for consideration.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.425. Copy of a paragraph from a letter of the governor of Calais to the Ambassador.
I have received a letter from the Cardinal Richelieu in which he says that the Venetian ambassador with the king complains that you cannot send him news with security, because of the difficulty of the passage. This must have taken place in England, as I use all diligence that the despatches addressed to you may pass freely and speedily, and your own also. I have the king's order and should beware of failing to obey it. His Majesty commands me to send this despatch across to you in haste, and to allow two messengers, whom you will send within a fortnight, to pass through this place. I will not fail and will also treat well such English boats as you send with your despatches, but I pray you have the boat released, etc. (fn. 2)
[Italian; copy.]
Enclosure.426. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the CHEVALIER DE VALENCAI, governor of Calais.
The courier sent to me from the French Court crossed six days ago, and I send him back, as he has told me that the boat which brought him is returning speedily. He gave me your letters, for which and all other favours I thanks you, assuring you that neither my colleague nor I have ever had occasion to do otherwise than commend your rare qualities. The extreme desire of the Cardinal Richelieu to comply with the wishes of the republic renders him the more worthy of esteem and thanks, as he seeks to demonstrate it at this moment of suspicion, apprehending that we were less satisfied with your lordship than in fact we are. I declare myself extremely obliged to you and my colleague will vouch for this to the cardinal. God grant I may have the means of proving this to you, as you will always find me anxious to give you satisfaction.
[Italian; copy.]
Enclosure.427. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
From the enclosed letter and from Agustini you will hear all about my negotiations, which I pray God to bless. You must not push on the affairs of the Huguenots and leave the peace behind, as the duke expressly told me that if the war is to continue they do not want to lose the help of that party. You will be careful about this, as when the French secure internal peace they may not mind the other. But that will not suit the public cause or the weal of the two kings. The two things must therefore go together. Secondly the deputies of La Rochelle have written the enclosed letter to the besieged, but since then they have stated that it will make them despair, and on the following morning the duke regretted it had been sent. He said it was enough if you assured the Huguenots that the King of England was content they should treat. I was not anxious to send it as it contained other matter calculated to cause trouble. I have kept the original here as a pledge of these promises. The deputies told me they had sent the consent of England to the town by another way, but I do not believe it, as they proved recalcitrant.
The fleet will sail at great strength, so the French must not count on any dejection here. With regard to the apprehensions of the French, it is best to make up one's mind that the duke is bound to die or to enter, or if he does not enter, not to return without making some attempt. They ought not to wait for the result of this succour, as that is bound to diminish notably the forces of the two kings and consequently of the cause, and we cannot be sure that it may not be the beginning of a long war, as the loser will certainly want to recover himself. Then the negotiations with the Spaniards are progressing, and although there is more talk than real agreement, yet these hopes may ruin Italy and the cause. If all else fails you will try to get the two favourites to confer before blood is shed, because I hope that at the worst they will find some way out, as I see that both are anxious to have the honour of the accommodation, and I do not see how the cardinal can hold back, as he has a great advantage from the quickness of his intellect, and that will be a strong argument to persuade him.
I do not think the fleet will sail for another 15 or 20 days, and if a conclusion is reached first they will doubtless go to Denmark; if not you must be the mean between the two forces, as if your answer does not arrive before the duke sails he will hear it on the fleet. You will speak to the ministers so that they may not find it strange that arms immediately give rise to negotiation, and then complain of us. You must be very careful, as the duke has said as much to me, and he especially commended your dealing with the cardinal alone, as it prevented the opposition of the Spanish party, who are numerous and because their nobles are anxious to astonish the world. You will go to the camp, if you are not there, so as to lose no opportunity, as I do not think the circumstances were ever more favourable, with the honour of both crowns, with both favourites fearful about their fortunes, for the service of the crowns and the cause, and for the honour of our country also. I believe that the nuncio and others with him will support the affair.
I have ordered my secretary, when he reaches Paris, to send my despatch in haste to Venice so that the Senate may take the necessary steps, especially with time so short. In answering you will keep to the enclosed letter, which is written in concert with the duke, so that he may read it. I did not evade this because it pledges him to uphold the things contained in others. You will afterwards give me such advertisements as you think fit, which I will not communicate, and we will proceed thus in concert.
To sum up, if the French will not treat with foreign princes about their own subjects, let them treat with these alone and England will not interfere provided the Huguenots are content. Then the French will have no excuse for neglecting Italy. That is the true way. If so many humours cannot be resolved in such a short time, let them at least prepare to give the final touches by a conference between the favourites or by permitting some one to come to treat, always on the supposition that there is an equal disposition in France. But there must be no procrastination, as once the duke has arrived he will not hesitate to do what he has to do at the earliest opportunity.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Sept. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
428. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Four days ago an express arrived from Brussels. Since his arrival a report has issued from the palace that the Duke of Buckingham is dead at London, and they even say how. The messenger says he heard it in France, where the governor of Calais had sent word to the queen mother.
Rubens the painter has had several secret meetings with the Count of Olivares. I am unable to inform your Serenity whether he treated of the truce with the Dutch or the peace with England. I understand that he has been in England and has had long and intimate conferences with the Duke of Buckingham. He went subsequently to Flanders and came on to this Court. He brought several pictures and many were sold at the palace, but he spends most of his time in negotiation.
Madrid, the 26th September, 1628.
[Italian.]
Sept. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
429. That as a fitting tribute of honour to the Earl of Carlisle, ambassador extraordinary of England, a gold chain of 2,000 crowns of 7 lire each mint money, be sent to him in the name of the republic, and 300 ducats for his secretary, as has been the custom with other ambassadors extraordinary of crowned heads.
Ayes, 97.Noes, 0.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
Sept. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
430. That the ambassadors extraordinary and ordinary of England be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to them:
Our grief at hearing of your lordship's indisposition is equalled by our satisfaction at your recovered health, for we wish you every good. We have expressed our views upon the troubles of Christendom, and as his Majesty recognises whence the evil proceeds, and the true means for redress, all right thinking men cherish renewed hopes. They sigh the more for a remedy because the common cause has been struck in its most vital parts. The republic will do everything that pure zeal can suggest, as it has in the past. We like to believe that in the end public necessity will triumph over private sentiment in the minds of the two kings, who are so good and virtuous, and who hold a hereditary position in the theatre of the world, following the example of their predecessors in maintaining the public liberty. As the eyes of all princes are directed towards this deliberation, we rejoice at the reception that your Excellencies have given to our reply. With the addition of what your lordship can relate from your own observation on your journey, of the troubles existing on every side, chiefly among princes and states which matter greatly on account of kinship, interest and situation, we feel sure that you will further his Majesty's designs.
For the rest we take this opportunity to repeat out affection and most cordial esteem for his Majesty, which we are always ready to prove by our actions. Your lordship has had opportunity to see this and we hope you will give his Majesty a full account.
Ayes, 97.Noes, 4.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
Sept. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
431. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A gentleman of the Earl of Carlisle arrived here yesterday, who left the English Court twelve days ago, and took the post in order to join his master. I send these lines by him. He reports the death of Buckingham by a knife in the heart. The deed was done by a lieutenant of the king's infantry, who was removed from his post, and that is thought to have been the motive of his hatred for Buckingham, although they assert that the real stimulus was the outcry of the people against the rule of this favourite, which increased every day and induced the man to commit the act of vengeance, and consider it pleasing to God. They say that he set himself to make prayers and to visit the seven churches, after the manner of their religion, so that if it pleased God he should kill Buckingham, He should give him courage to do it, or else remove the temptation from his thoughts. He therefore went to the Court and in the crowd about the favourite he plunged a knife into his stomach and then gave himself up, without fear of the torture in store for him. The gentleman reports his Majesty's great grief at the loss of one whom he had loved so much. He does not know what happened to the murderer because he came away.
He admits that the Rochelle fleet had not sailed, but reckons that it will have started by now. He says it will consist of 130 sail and his Majesty is very determined and eager for the relief of that place. He said he left the Abbot Scaglia in Switzerland and that he will be here in a few days. Porter will have gone to Spain first; he will come here, and the gentleman does not deny the peace negotiations between England and the Spaniards.
Turin, the 28th September, 1628.
[Italian.]
Sept. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia.
Proveditore.
Venetian
Archives.
432. FRANCESCO MOLIN, Venetian Proveditore designate to Crete, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ships stay on here with their commander, although the Proveditore has courteously given him notice to leave at once. He pressed hard that facilities of access (fn. 3) might be granted to him, but seeing that he could not obtain it, he then asked for biscuit, munitions, oil and other things necessary for his men. The Proveditore refused everything, but with great prudence and tact, to avoid giving offence, and lead him to do some harm to your Serenity's ships, which frequent these waters. He has since let it be understood that he proposes to go to Argostoli to careen there and repair his consorts. I think they need it badly owing in particular to the damage they suffered in the fight with the galeasses at Scanderoon. He himself admitted that he had four shots just above the water line in his own ship. When that is done they keep in close touch with the fleet which is to assemble in that place.
I have induced the English consul here to dissuade him from going to that port and I am trying in every way to prevent it, to avoid danger. I do not know what he means to do. He says now that he will go to Curzolari, to sell his booty near by. It may be bought by the merchants here, who know the rigorous prohibitions of your Serenity in the matter and have found this way out, arranging the price here and then having the goods landed in Turkish territory. I understand that the booty taken last winter was sold in the same manner. I have warned the Proveditore of Cephalonia of his original design to go to Argostoli, so that he may take the necessary precautions.
This commander speaks with great respect of the republic, for which he has always shown a proper honour and esteem. Nevertheless I have remonstrated strongly with him for venturing to pursue ships right under your Serenity's fortresses. He denied having done so, and said he would never permit such a thing, as he knew the respect due to his king's friends.
The captain of the English ship (fn. 4) which robbed the Sciot ship near these islands, carrying off about 34,000 ryals, is now near Patras. Moved, it is said, by the orders of the English ambassador at Constantinople, who is much molested by the Turks because of the incident, he has sent to offer 11,000 ryals to the Spanish consul here, made agent for such plunder, as complete redress. The consul refused to receive it unless the entire sum was restored; but the English say they had no more. That is the present state of the affair.
I have tried through the consul to learn the general's intentions, and I enclose his answer. He would never consent to speak of the affair with the great galleys. I am on the look out in order to remove your Serenity's subjects from his ships. They number 22, including six who recently deserted from Tine with their arms. They display the best intentions and a desire to get away, but as communication is forbidden and they are kept very closely it is very difficult to do anything. If I have an opening I will do all I can.
Zante, the 28th September, 1628.
[Italian.]
433. 1628, the 26th September, at Zante.
Report of Agesilao Seguro, English consul at Zante, of his interview with the commander of the English ships.
Went yesterday with an English merchant to the ship Ercola, on which the commander now is. Does not know if they have changed its name. Urged commander to leave the port, on grounds of health, and go elsewhere. He pressed for permission to land. Said to might not be refused, but knew it was not possible, as he had taken ships with goods coming from Turkish places suspected of plague. He said it was true that outside the kingdom of Crete he had taken a polaca and a saitia on French business, and had taken the entire cargo of the former on to his ship, consisting of sugar, indigo and other spices. There were also a few hides which he had sunk at once. He had only taken the deck cargo of the saitia on to his ship; he sealed the hatchway and did not know what was below. He has the saitia with him now. He said he had captured from the Messinese a Turkish ship which they had taken, laden with rice and other goods. Informed him of report that he had chased Cretan subjects on shore right under the fortresses and complaint would be made to his king. He expressed his great respect for the republic and declared he had never landed a man in Crete. The pure truth was he had been at Micono, where six soldiers of Tine took refuge in his ships with their arms. The Proveditore had asked for them, but he would not give them up. When they left they enjoyed the good fortune of a north wind to Cape Salomon. Owing to this he had gone to Millo with one consort and the flagship with the others to Crete, where they captured the polaca and saitia mentioned. It was true that their crews escaped to land, but he did not pursue them. Their boats had fought for two hours with the saitia, as the ships could not come up. He added that this summer he had taken a French flyboat (filippoto). Ten or twelve of the French on her had stayed with him and one would never leave him. If he could not have facilities here he would go to Argostoli to repair his ships, wait for the others to lade currants and then take all the fleet to England. Advised him to go to Petalà instead. Being doubtful of what he might do, as he hinted he would stay and keep on the look out, told him the place was unsuitable because of the Western galleys. He said he was not afraid of them even if there were fifty. Gathered he proposed to escort the ships with currants to the Strait, then turn back to cruise in the waters of Sicily and the Levant. He would not speak of the affairs with the galleys. Gathered that when he left Scanderoon he cruised through the whole of the Archipelago, but made no prize.
Found there were 23 or 24 natives of these islands on that ship, including some soldiers from Tine. Urged them to come away, promising them safe conducts if they were outlawed. They were not unwilling, being tired of the ships. There was a difficulty in their landing because of the sanitary regulations and because they were watched.
[Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
434. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
The Earl of Carlisle stays on here and we send you our reply to his second exposition. Our ambassadors have intervened for a reconciliation between England and France. We inform you so that you may see if they hear anything about it at Turin and how they take it. In case of provocation you will profess to know nothing about it, beyond the pleasure with which the republic would see those two crowns united.
Ayes, 158.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
435. To the Ambassador in France.
If the business with England progresses and La Rochelle surrenders, as reports indicate, it will be easy for you to make an impression, and you must insistently urge the two points of a reconciliation with England and help for Mantua.
Ayes, 158.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
436. To the Ambassador in England.
Since our reply to the first exposition of Carlisle and Wake, they have made us the enclosed answer. Instead of giving us light upon the earl's commissions, as we expected, they indulged in a long invective against the French ministers. We have also observed that in both their expositions they have seemed utterly ignorant of what the king said to the foreign ministers, and much more of your private negotiations with Buckingham. Thus in the second office yesterday evening we did not think it advisable to enlighten them, especially as the ministers never thought fit to inform you of so conspicuous an embassy, while we have never been able to discover its real objects. We are curious to learn all particulars about it, and you will try to obtain them.
By letters from France of the 8th and 11th we hear that Zorzi has begun negotiations with Richelieu upon the instructions received from you, and has informed you, with the cardinal's consent. From this close correspondence we hope for good progress in the affair. We can only leave it to both of you to go steadily forward, and indeed the plight of the common cause demands that no further difficulties or delays should intervene. If La Rochelle surrenders, and we hear that they have sent to parley, the greatest obstacle to the negotiations will be removed. You will behave accordingly, and as your prudence may direct.
Ayes, 158.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
437. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have just heard from the camp that the English fleet has appeared off the Island of Ré, numbering 75 ships. I am mounting horse at once to go to the camp.
Niort, the 29th September, 1628.
[Italian.]
Sept. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
438. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ship, which I hear is to lade for Venice, has arrived here from Leghorn. Another large one has also arrived, coming from England, bringing the wife of the ambassador here. I do not know what their plans may be.
The rector of Tine writes to me that the six English ships which were at Scanderoon have arrived at Micone, and are staying in those waters with the object of capturing French ships, which pass that way. We have since heard from Scios that they have taken three French saettie. The rector tells me that he heard from fugitives of those ships that as the captain has some goods at Zante he proposes to go there to take them, and if that is refused he means to bombard the town with his guns; and that he also claims the restoration of some money paid at Aleppo by English merchants, from some Venetian ship. The rector has sent word to those concerned, in the public interest.
There is a report that another English ship (fn. 5) has plundered the one of Cosmo Orlandi in the waters of Messina, taking 30,000 ryals intended for the Turks, for ransoming slaves, and 3,500 for Sciots. They let the ship go with the persons on board, and it is said to have arrived at Zante, where the Englishman also went.
Ortacchivi on the channel of the Black Sea, the last day of September, 1628.
[Italian.]
Sept. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
439. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news which reached the pope last week as well as the French ambassador about the disaster to the English fleet very soon died away, as later advices made it clear that the fleet had not even left port at the time they said it was shipwrecked. The report is supposed to be a trick of Cardinal Richelieu to make the Rochellese lose hope.
Rome, the last day of September, 1628.
[Italian.]
Sept. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
440. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen the Count of Olivares. He said little about the current affairs of the world. He remarked that the English had sailed again with a strong fleet; he did not think they could achieve anything of moment in their efforts at relief; the diversion would occupy the attention of the French. It was easy, nevertheless, to see his great anxiety that they may shortly have that fortress. He said the winter season would be opportune for negotiations, adding that the resistance of Casale was the cause of all the trouble.
An individual named Don Antonio Porter arrived at the Court six days ago. He was page of the Count of Olivares and passed to London with Buckingham when the present king, then Prince of Wales, was at this Court. Others also have been sent thence to this Court, it is supposed, with divers proposals, although it seems an extraordinary proceeding to entrust such business to several persons. So far they have only made a start in negotiations. So far as I can gather they do not go very deep, and are more in order to make the French uneasy, so that they may agree to the proposals made to them about the affairs of Italy. Rubens is treating for the Dutch, but so far as I can learn the negotiations have not made much progress.
Madrid, the 30th September, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
441. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador of England his wife, who came to Leghorn from Constantinople in the Gran Sansone, were present at the dress rehearsal of the comedy which is to be performed at the marriage [of the Duke of Parma]. The Archduchess had them invited at third hand, although, seeing that they are incognito, they had not gone to see their Highnesses. They set off immediately for Venice in order to join the Ambassador Carlisle on his return home, as they heard from a gentleman sent by the earl that he would not be coming here, as they seemed to expect.
Florence, the 30th September, 1628.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Mr. Robert Savage, a gentleman of Buckinghamshire. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, pages 394, 398.
2 The original in French dated the 17th September, is preserved among the Contarini MSS in the library of St. Mark, Venice, Cl. vii. Cod. MDCCCCXXVII.
3 Pratica. Digby himself calls it prattike. Journal of a Voyage to the Mediterranean, page 59.
4 Capt. William Bundock of the ship John Bonaventure.
5 Of Captain William Bundock who sailed from Zante. Wyche's despatch of the 4th October. S.P. For. Turkey; and so the ship was probably the John Bonaventure of London. Cal, S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 303.