Venice
October 1628, 1-10

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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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324-343

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'Venice: October 1628, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 324-343. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89201 Date accessed: 28 August 2014.


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October 1628

Oct. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia.
Proveditori.
Venetian
Archives.
442. FRANCESCO MOLIN, Venetian Proveditore of Crete, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The commander of the English ships left two days ago with his consorts. He said he was going to the Curzolari and apparently steered in that direction. He wanted to remain here, practically by main force, and it is whispered that some of his men said that if any violence was shown to him they would turn their guns on the town and offer a stout resistance against anyone soever. He also had the audacity to torture with the rope (di far tormentar con la corda) in the port some sailors because they landed and stayed on shore some nights, taking too great a liberty and setting a bad precedent. It disturbed me greatly that justice and jurisdiction should be thus exercised in the places of your Serenity. Then again, one night recently some ships of Venetian subjects arrived here unexpectedly. He immediately sent to observe them and demanded imperiously what they were. They answered that they were Venetians. He said he wanted no more, as much as to say that if they had belonged to any other prince he would have attacked them, even under the fortress.
His men landed and went about freely in the city, taking little notice of the Proveditore's orders. It is well known that this disobedience is due to the favour shown them by the English merchants and all the city here, because of the advantages they derive from the trade with England and the desire to keep their goodwill.
Fourteen of your Serenity's subjects on those ships have abandoned them and remained here. The commander permitted it, although with some reluctance, as he was short of men. Only eight stayed with him, mostly deserters from the garrisons, induced perhaps by the hope of a share in the booty and the promise of good pay, although as a matter of fact it is not made to them.
Zante, the 1st October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
443. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I arrived at Etre at midnight, and at daybreak I proceeded to the coast. The king and cardinal were already there with all the grandees of the Court. I went with the others to La Lua to observe this great force of ships. Although there was but little wind they came with all sails spread towards the middle of the Isle of Ré, threatening simultaneously the mole and Coreglie with the superior portion, and a landing at our position with the inferior. Orders were given and preparations made to resist a landing. It was a superb spectacle which I do not think could be equalled. Meanwhile the ships approached very slowly, but as the wind dropped altogether at high tide they did not reach the point of Chief de Baia at the mouth of the port of La Rochelle before evening. They drew up in battle array not more than a mile from land, to the number of 140, and cast anchor. Thus September closed with a spectacle, not lugubrious for those concerned and agreeable to spectators.
Considering the hurt the public cause would receive if these two nations proceeded from words to deeds, with Buckingham dead and my courier not returned from England, I decided, even though without orders, to try and divert the tragedy. Accordingly, somewhat late at night, I went to see the cardinal. Though very pre-occupied and more than half asleep, he received me gladly and asked what I wanted at that hour. I replied: The business I have come upon needs no introduction or delay. If France succumbs, she will not desire peace; if England loses, she will be back every four months. Fate is playing with Europe and I see the war between the two crowns going on for ever. Why then, rather than suffer such a disaster, do you not listen and answer those who propose a middle way? It is not long since I spoke to you about the excellent disposition of the King of England, but what good has it done? You did not see fit to send to a neutral place; the grant of a passport ought not to have been refused; a letter was given, but the time limited to a fortnight. A thousand mischances have occurred over this affair. What wonder then if it is believed elsewhere that France abhors the peace; and that is why the fleet has sailed without delay, and possibly my courier has been detained in England in order that he might not bring the first news of it. I have not come to complain of wounds, however, but that we may devise some means of healing them. The present admiral might have orders to speak with me, like those which Buckingham was to have had. It is unlikely that the king has changed his mind. If you will grant me a shallop, on the pretext of asking if he has letters for me, who knows what may happen, and if I may not be able to take up the business again and do some good. I had proposed to send my secretary to the fleet, and go there myself afterwards, if occasion arose, to arrange for a conference between the two influential ministers, before they came to blows.
The cardinal, who is open to all impressions, seemed to accept my proposal and thanked me. He said there was no objection if this office could be performed without others knowing about it. If not, it was impossible, as the English would be rendered more haughty, imagining that I should not have undertaken such a mission without his consent, and the French would be correspondingly incensed. If I wrote them a letter to the same effect, and sent it by someone, those who frequented him would not think this was arranged but merely to gratify me, so even if the matter came out afterwards his name would be covered, and that would block the way against satire and malevolence.
I confess I was somewhat taken aback at this care for his reputation, as putting things to paper cannot be done in a hurry, especially in a matter where nothing is firm. However, under the circumstances I thought that the worst course was to do nothing. I therefore decided to send a letter containing a few words which should not excite comment or suspicion, and, above all, not committing your Serenity. Early on the following morning I sent my secretary with this letter open to the cardinal, who read it to two or three gentlemen who were with him. He put off Battista until after dinner, as he said he wished to have a word with the king first. In the meantime, whether the cardinal had grown accustomed to the sight of the English fleet, or whether the approach of danger dissipated his fear, at all events, when I sent Battista back he told him that the king, after long consideration, considered such a step would be useless and harmful to his reputation, as with Buckingham dead and my courier not back, things in England might have changed, and the new commander might not allow any French vessel to approach, even with one of my men on board. The king thanked me for my good will and was greatly obliged to me. In the meantime I must consider irrevocable what he had frequently said to me, that he could never object to peace with England provided that monarch decided to give up protecting La Rochelle and the Huguenots. As soon as the place surrendered he would go to relieve Casale and help the Duke of Mantua.
With these words the matter dissolved in smoke. It is not unlikely that your Serenity will soon hear of the surrender of La Rochelle, especially, as one may judge by appearances, if the English leave it destitute, without doing anything; but I am very doubtful about the royal standards passing into Italy. In short, the French will let Casale fall by the same acts that the English have used for the ruin of La Rochelle.
Etre, the 2nd October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.444. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to CARDINAL RICHELIEU.
I expect some news from England from the Ambassador Contarini. I think it may come to me by this fleet, if your Eminence will favour me with a shallop, so that I may send someone of my household to make sure. I shall take it as a singular favour.
La Lua, the 1st October, 1628.
[Italian; copy.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
445. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Herewith are numerous letters from England which came with the two Danish ambassadors, who have handed over their charge to Rosencranz. The ambassadors only stayed here a day and a half. I gathered that they were not fully satisfied with their negotiations in England, although they hope that things may be better managed in the future.
Orders have reached the Agent of England and Colonel Dulbier to dismiss the cavalry levied by order of the Duke of Buckingham. From this one may conclude that this step was due to the duke alone. The Danish ambassadors told me that the king offered them for the service of their master, but as they had no orders on the subject they did not think it advisable to accept, especially as the king is more in need of infantry.
The Ambassador Joachim has arrived with the Indiamen in Zeeland. He has not yet reached the Hague.
The Hague, the 2nd October, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
446. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Scaglia has arrived, and Gerbier with him. They say Porter has gone to Spain. Scaglia had quite seven hours with the duke the moment he arrived. One who is with him stated that the union between Spain and England is certainly progressing towards a conclusion. We hear that the king there is sick since Buckingham's death and that there is great confusion in the realm.
Turin, the 2nd October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
447. GIACOMO BEMBO, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I learn from the purser of the berton Redentor, captain Steffano Brochier, a Frenchman, which left Canea twenty days ago for Venice, laden with oil and wine, that it was attacked by a tartana off il Prodino yesterday morning, which was acting as scout for four English bertons lying near Sapienza. They flew the English flag and offered to fight. The berton displayed the flag of St. Mark and prepared for defence. The wind was favourable and the berton got away to this port. The purser says it was fortunate that the English ships, commanded by a so-called general, were a long way from the tartana.
These English ships and the tartana have been sighted to-day off this island towards the east, with the apparent intention of attacking some ship. They turned in this direction late and anchored in this port. Considering the proceedings intolerable, and not knowing what else to do, I decided to send the enclosed paper to the English consul, which I shall act upon, if I receive the approval of the state. I have also directed the Proveditore for Health not to give these English ships access, under the plea of carrying out the sanitary regulations, but to allow them to have refreshments or other things they may want, and this in order to deprive them of the occasion to make a long stay here to keep a watch on other ships, which arrive daily.
Zante, the 23rd September, 1628, old style.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.448. The attacks committed by English ships in the waters of the republic, against vessels arriving, which ought to be safe there and in all the coasts of the republic, cannot be tolerated. Accordingly we notify you, Agesilao Seguro, English consul here, so that you may inform the English of this to stay them from such detestable operations, protesting that any hurt done by the English ships of any kind in the republic's waters will have full recompense against the English nation, as justice shall decide.
On the 13th September, 1628.
This office was notified by me Zorzi Macrinicola to Sig. Agesilao Seguro, consul of the English merchants, and a copy was consigned to him.
[Italian.]
Oct. 3.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
449. The extraordinary and ordinary ambassadors of England came into the Collegio and the former spoke as follows:
My first instructions and acts were to express his Majesty's cordial esteem and affection for you. My last charge from the Senate is to take back to the king corresponding assurances from the republic to his Majesty. I have fully recognised the affection of your Serenity for the king and will assuredly report it. I have experienced it in the favours showered upon me, and I have found friendship practically universal in this state. I am under deep obligations for these favours, the preservation of my lost health, and my increased strength. I shall have little trouble to impress my king with your Serenity's friendship, because the ordinary ambassador, my colleague, has done so with so much zeal at every opportunity that he has left little room for anything else, yet no one can leave with a heart more full of gratitude and respect than I. It is impossible for me to find words adequate to express my thanks, which I must show by deeds.
The doge replied, Your Excellency cannot please us better than by expressing your satisfaction with this visit and your appreciation of our good will which you will represent to his Majesty. We indeed desired that you should receive every facility and satisfaction.
The ordinary ambassador remarked that he proposed to attend upon the earl on his journey, and he wished first to beg his Serenity for the release of one Provaglio, a Brescian gentleman, condemned to prison by the Rectors there. After the doge had spoken of the public appreciation of his good offices and their desire to satisfy him whenever possible, the ambassadors took leave and departed, Wake having left a memorial for this favour with the sentences.
[Italian.]
Oct. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
450. To the King of Great Britain.
What the Earl of Carlisle, your Majesty's ambassador extraordinary, has set forth to us has increased our confidence in your good intentions but it could not augment our esteem. That is due to inherited sentiment, mutual advantage and your Majesty's personal qualities. The earl will give a full account of our sentiments on current affairs and how we appreciate your friendship, as well as our desire for a perfect mutual understanding. The ambassador will further explain our intentions. We pray that God may grant your Majesty prosperity, which cannot befall you without advantage accruing to the universal cause.
Ayes, 86.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Oct. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
451. To the Rectors of Padua.
The Earl of Carlisle will leave here on Saturday, the 7th, in the morning, reaching Padua in the evening on his way to Turin. We advise you so that you may arrange for his reception at the public cost, but with a moderation that reconciles public decorum with the avoidance of superfluous expenses. He is accompanied by the ordinary ambassador Wake. You will observe the style used for ambassadors extraordinary of crowned heads, notably M. de Preo. You will keep the Rectors informed from place to place, so that all may be done in orderly fashion.
That a copy be sent to the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma.
The like to Vicenza, Verona, Brescia, Bergamo and Peschiera.
Ayes, 86.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Oct. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
452. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ships remained unmolested for two days. In a crescent formation eastwards they advanced somewhat towards the French fleet. This did not move from its post, which is well within the mouth of the channel in a semi-circle formed by the point of Chef di Baia, which partially covers it. They have strict orders to retire when the enemy attacks them, and to gather behind the mole, and sink ships to block the passage. Early on the morning of the 3rd a frigate was sent to reconnoitre the gap between the two ends. It turned back quickly either voluntarily or in flight. At sunrise the English fleet spread its sails and seemed inclined to attack the French one. The first thing they did was to send forward a large fire ship. But while they were expecting it to do some notable damage, it all burned away in a moment, without any effect, except it filled those here with a poor opinion of their discipline and therefore encouraged their ardour. Meanwhile the English ships merely turned about, firing countless guns, but did not seem inclined to do anything else. The batteries of Chef di Baya and Coneglie and the French ships responded with less frequent shots. Here they passed from fear to contempt, and although the Rochellese also fired and sent out some boats which had to retire precipitately, everyone is confirmed in the idea that this is one of the usual displays of the English and a veritable birth of the mountain. After three hours of this bloodless but noisy conflict, the English fleet withdrew with the same deliberation or languor to its original position, lowering their sails, forming in a half moon and dropping their anchors.
The king, accompanied by the cardinal, the Count of Soissons and many other grandees, went to the battery of Chef di Baya to see the spectacle. Two English cannon balls passed near him, but did no harm. Their losses certainly did not exceed forty slain, but they have gained much by the discovery of the scanty courage of the English, as although it is believed that the English lost few, if any, as their ships did not seem to be struck, they were so far away, except by two or three shots, they await them here without fear, and no longer think of retiring but of going out to meet them. The French feel sure that this fleet will do nothing that counts, and that at its departure La Rochelle will be forced to submit.
So far is a description of what happened yesterday, which I do not think will trouble the historians much. This morning again, some two hours earlier, the English fleet, favoured by the same wind, again spread sail, but did not approach nearer than the mouth of the channel. Although it was still dark, every one hastened to his post at the news. The first thing they saw was six fire ships, called brulloni, like the one of yesterday, which scattered flames and smoke in every direction and might have done a lot of harm if they had been supported by some men-of-war. As it was, they simply burned away, while the Bamberge (fn. 1) of England remained distant spectators as if enchanted. Several feluccas here, despising the fire in front and perfectly safe in every other direction, approached these floating volcanoes with marvellous courage, and, fixing long cables, towed them to a place where the powder and metal they carried could do no harm. Meanwhile the English fleet poured in an incessant tempest of shot, which did not carry half across the channel, while they remained further out than before. This only served to confirm the opinion of their feebleness.
The Rochellese did not make any movement whatever during the four hours that this comedy lasted. The king and princes remained at the same place as yesterday, keeping all his cavalry ready. The infantry was divided among various places where a landing was feared. There were only 8,000 foot and not more than 1,500 horse, but although fine troops they could not have done much with such extensive lines to defend. If the English had landed anywhere and made some show of a naval attack while the Rochellese made sorties, it would not have been possible for the royal troops to resist. But there is a time for everything and perhaps this is the critical hour for La Rochelle. The longer the English delay a supreme effort to relieve it, the more they put themselves at a disadvantage and damage their own cause, as now the news of their arrival has spread, the nobles will flock to the camp from all the neighbouring provinces; indeed, yesterday evening Monsieur arrived from Paris with a very numerous company.
Etre, the 4th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
453. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Olivares has heard with deep regret of Buckingham's death. Although this sadness may easily be caused by the example thus given, and by the fall from the top of the turning wheel, yet I am persuaded that the negotiations suggested by means of the dead duke, and by sending persons here specially, lose their principal support, and all hope of advancing what the Count of Olivares counted on doing in the affairs of the world by such means.
With Zappata, sent here by the Infanta of Flanders, came one Antonio Porter, and they also say that the Secretary Cottington has come very secretly from London, but it does not seem to be true. Perhaps some more insignificant person is here in the Court for the same interests, as I have been assured, in general. Since Buckingham's death it is considered certain that these negotiations will not have the vigour behind them that was suspected. It has also been said that a person sent expressly by the King of England had arrived at La Rochelle to treat with his Majesty and the ministers.
Madrid, the 7th October, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
454. GIACOMO BEMBO, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I reported the operations of four English ships and a tartana against a French galleon from Canea. I have now to add that the captain of these ships is called Digby, an Englishman. He sent his purser to me to present his respects and he offered to defend the port, if required, placing himself under my orders, with other friendly expressions. I expressed my appreciation, but said that in order to prove his zeal for your Serenity's interests he must desist from attacking ships sailing in these waters. He expressed his desire to serve not his own interests but those of the republic, whose honour and greatness he lauded.
I have got the consul to persuade him to leave as soon as possible, and have refused a landing on the ground of the sanitary regulations, though he asked me more than once, in order to hasten his departure. He will sail when the weather allows; at present it is north-west. I am afraid he will steer for Cephalonia. I have advised the Proveditore there and of the measures I have taken, which have proved successful, as so far Digby has behaved with great modesty and respect. I shall hurry on his departure for public considerations.
Zante, the 25th September, 1628, old style.
[Italian.]
Oct. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia.
Proveditore.
Venetian
Archives.
455. FRANCESCO MOLIN, Venetian Proveditore designate to Crete, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The outlaws here, having nothing to lose and induced by the hope of easy gain, readily make arrangements with foreign armed ships of every kind, and go privateering. With this assistance the corsairs make their nests in these parts, especially as, despite the rigorous prohibition against plundered goods, there is collusion with the merchants to unlade such goods at neighbouring places in the Morea, whence they can bring them safely and sell them freely. Owing to these advantages such ships are more masters in these ports than your Serenity's own galleys.
Zante, the 5th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 5.
Cons. de X,
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
456. In the Council of Ten.
That leave be given to Zuanne Venier, son of Gasparo, to visit, once only, the English ambassador, who has recently arrived from Constantinople, and also to receive his visit.
Ayes, 13.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Oct. 5.
Cl. vii.
Cod. 1927.
Bibl. S. Marco.
457. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, his colleague in England.
Description of the English attacks off La Rochelle. From the reluctance which the English show to approach, in order to break through, they conclude here that the fall of La Rochelle cannot be far off. The mole is practically complete; there is only a gap of 100 paces, and in that space there are so many boats, stakes, sunken ships and obstacles (baltresche) (fn. 2) that even if the English fleet should venture to attempt the passage I think success would be unlikely.
The camp under La Rochelle, the 5th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
458. To the Ambassador in England.
The Earl of Carlisle took leave on the 3rd inst. We enclose his exposition. We gave him a gold chain of 2,000 gold crowns and one of 300 to the secretary, making every sign of friendliness. We have sent orders to Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Brescia and Bergamo for his reception and entertainment. All this will serve for information.
Ayes, 86.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
459. To the Rectors of Padua.
Two days ago we wrote to you about the reception of the Earl of Carlisle and the ordinary ambassador. We now learn from your letters that the English ambassador returning from Constantinople will be with them. We desire him to be treated and honoured like the others. With regard to his wife, we leave it to your prudence, as there is no precedent for ladies.
Ayes, 89.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
460. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Basso, the courier, reached me in 16 days with your Serenity's despatches, which contain the overtures made by Contarini in England about the peace. Buckingham's death makes me feel that fate is opposed to anything good. I will do all in my power, but I think it would be improper to ask an audience while the English fleet is here and the king is so occupied, and I might easily be refused. Moreover, as it seems probable that the English will depart with their weapons dry and as La Rochelle is at the last gasp, circumstances will provide me in all probability with a better opportunity. I might speak with the king, but all decisions rest with the cardinal alone.
By a courier sent some days ago from Paris Mirabel has again offered his Majesty twenty galleons fully armed against La Rochelle and the English, in the name of the Catholic. Here they deride the help and laugh at the offer. The cardinal remarked to me that last year the Spanish succour only consisted of fourteen vessels wretchedly found, which arrived after Buckingham had gone, so this present offer was only a device of the Conde Duque, who, for the regulation of his peace with the English, is anxious to clear matters up, upon some solid foundation, until the moment arrived for a rupture, or the accommodation between that Crown and England had progressed, and by this device he hoped that a refusal or an acceptance would serve his purpose equally. He was resolved to parry subtlety by subtlety, and he would not betray himself. These are the usual subtleties of the cardinal.
The Novaglie, the 6th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Capitanio
delle Galeazze.
Venetian
Archives.
461. LORENZO TIEPOLO, Proveditore to the Fleet, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I arrived in the port of Zante to-day. The English captain Digby, who entered this port some days ago on his return from Syria, with five ships, sailed two days before I arrived.
The galley in the port of Zante, the 6th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia.
Proveditore,
Venetian
Archives.
462. FRANCESCO MOLIN, Venetian Proveditore designate to Crete, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses statement of the master of a saetia, who left Alexandria on the 20th ult. and reports he was chased by four large ships.
Zante, the 6th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.463. 1628, the 3rd October, at Zante.
Statement of Andrea Balancato, a Frenchman.
Left Alexandria fourteen days ago with his saetia and a cargo of linen to sell at Messina or Ancona. The day before yesterday, 100 miles off Sapienza, sighted four large ships. They gave chase for a long while, but could not catch him. Could not make sure if they were English or Turks.
Twenty days ago the Venetian ships of Seghetti arrived at Alexandria, and two English ships in their company with Venetian merchants on board.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Padova.
Venetian
Archives.
464. The RECTORS OF PADUA to the DOGE and SENATE.
The forerunner of the Earl of Carlisle has just arrived here, bringing word that besides Wake, the English ambassador returning from Constantinople is also coming with his wife. As we do not know how the State wishes her to be received, we are sending to ask for instructions on this point.
The forerunner also brings word that the ambassador has decided to stop here all Sunday and to dinner on Monday, so it will be advisable for your Serenity to repeal the commissions to the Rason Vecchie, which you wrote yesterday evening, so as to have enough for this stay. We should have reported this earlier if we had known.
Padua, the 6th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
465. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bassompierre has no wife and consequently no sons-in-law who could go to England. It was said that Tillières, his brother-in-law, had been sent thither again, but it did not prove true, and the cardinal will take good care not to send an intimate of his to England, as he would not ratify the treaty of peace solely because it had been too well negotiated by Bassompierre, to whom he would on no account give honour or consideration. With a new accommodation, however, Tillières might still be sent because he is more Bassompierre's relation than his friend.
The English fleet has gone two leagues further out to sea, and stays there without doing anything. It is thought that they have decided to go away, but not before they see the effects of the spring tide.
The Novaglie, the 7th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
466. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When I presented myself at audience yesterday, before I had said anything, his Holiness remarked: We have news of Buckingham's death and that the Rochellese are parleying with the royal ministers. Richelieu gave them six days and more to consider the terms, to show that he was not afraid of the English fleet. It was rumoured that it would sail from England very soon, in most formidable strength, and the orders necessary for fighting it had already been issued to the royal camp. They felt sure the fleet could not possibly enter the port, owing to the dykes constructed.
The pope had letters of the 14th ult. of the appearance before the king of a Frenchman who called himself butler of the King of England. He came from Plymouth, whence the English fleet was to start, and brought word that Buckingham had been stabbed through the body with a sword by a Scot, in revenge for a kinsman whom the duke had murdered. The Scot was arrested. The King of England wished to see Buckingham before he died, but they told him it was useless, as the duke was already at the last gasp. The king left immediately for London in a litter, amid the plaudits of the people, who shouted "Long live the King." There were no lamentations over the death of the favourite, but rejoicings and a sense of relief, and they lighted bonfires. This Frenchman hoped to get a reward from the king for bringing this good news. The pope added: We hope, with these happy events, that Christendom will have a breathing space and that the affairs of Italy in particular will take a good turn. We have frequently said to you, Mr. Ambassador, that we hoped to see miracles; now the prophecy is fulfilled. We cannot alone resist the power of the Spaniards in Italy; now the French will be set free to help us, their own and the common interest.
I thanked his Holiness warmly for the news. I was advised that the Rochellese had begun to parley, but I had heard nothing of Buckingham's death.
Rome, the 7th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.467. Under Rochelle, the 14th September.
A Frenchman who serves in the Court of the Queen of England reports that when at Plymouth he heard that Buckingham had ordered an English captain to embark. When the captain refused because he had not received his salary, and made an insolent answer, Buckingham seized his sword and wounded him in the stomach, from which he died. At his death another Scottish captain drew his sword and ran Buckingham right through the body. This happened on the 13th of August. He said he saw Buckingham lifted from the ground covered with blood.
The king wished to see the duke, but turned back when on the road, as they told him it was too late. He had seen the Scottish captain under arrest, brought before the king. He gloried in the deed with intrepidity. He saw the king on the 24th in a litter, apparently returning to London. On the 26th he had heard the people cry "Long live the king," and seen them make bonfires before their houses.
He had escaped and taken ship. He offered to endure any penalty if what he said proved false.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
468. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I took the news to the French ambassador, who had confirmation of it. He expressed the hope that with the fall of La Rochelle, now very imminent, and the removal of that stone of offence, so he called Buckingham, they might promise themselves peace in France as well as in Italy.
This ambassador remains suspicious as ever of the negotiations of Carlisle, especially of a union which he may negotiate between his king and the Catholic. He remarked that evidences of this constantly accumulated. A man called Endymion (fn. 3) had recently crossed to Flanders on his way to Italy and Turin to confer with the earl. He had been page to Olivares and was now in Buckingham's service. I believe, however, that he said this out of jealousy rather than on any sure grounds. He is very anxious for peace and union between his king and England, and he constantly shows a better disposition towards public affairs.
Rome, the 7th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
469. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In his brief stay at Brussels the Abbot Scaglia had long audiences of the Infanta in which he tried hard to obtain some decision for liberty of trade between Spain and England until peace should be concluded: but they would not listen to him, to avoid giving the Dutch facilities to trade under the name of the English. They told him it would be better to wait until a general accommodation was made between the three nations. The abbot's secretary reached Basel eight days after his master left, following him from Brussels. He remarked that this peace would ensue, although it is considered that Buckingham's death will make a considerable change in matters of that nature, and that the Earl of Carlisle, who was said to be going to Turin, will be impatient to return to England, as his absence is bound to prejudice his favour with the king.
Zurich, the 7th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
470. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hear from Leghorn that two ships have arrived from Alexandria with good cargoes. One is English, hired by Flemish merchants of that place; the other belonging to Jews. They were frequently chased by Barbary ships, which have come out in great numbers.
Florence, the 7th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
471. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the departure of the fleet the only news of it comes through a ship which put back, having proved unseaworthy. (fn. 4) It reports having left it on Sunday, the 24th ult., off Rochelle, where it was only waiting for a fair wind to complete its attempts, everything else being in good order. Some of the ships fell in with four Dunkirkers, who sheered off after exchanging a few shots at long range. Advices are expected hourly.
The king has appointed four of the chief lords of the Council to superintend the affairs of the sea and the Admiralty, (fn. 5) so that the person chosen to succeed Buckingham will have little but the name.
On the night of the 28th September the duke's body was buried privately. 10,000l. sterling had at first been assigned for a state funeral, but they followed the other course because of the expense and the risk of a popular tumult. However, the burgesses were armed and lined the streets. Although the ceremony took place at night there was a great concourse of people, but they made no disturbance except some little noise, more like joy than commiseration. Crowds flock to the Tower to see the culprit, and depart in tears and prayers that he may remain firm. They would wish him not to be put to death. Some indeed talk of this, especially if sentence is deferred until the meeting of parliament, but so scandalous an example is not credible and could not be tolerated.
On Wednesday last the king solemnised the annual ceremony of the Garter, postponed from St. George's Day owing to other occupations. He was expected to dispose of the duke's vacant stall and the offices held by him, but they still remain in his Majesty's breast, with a great concourse of candidates.
The Danish ambassador has been to see me. He told me that he informed the king that his master was not only urged to make peace, but reproved by all the princes of Germany for not even listening to the emperor's proposals. To give them this satisfaction he had named eight deputies, four of the nobility of Denmark and the others of Holstein, who were to meet the emperor's at Lubeck. This meeting had not taken place, and would prove fruitless if Denmark received assistance from here, as something has already been heard of the emperor's proposals, which are to restore all that has been occupied in the territory of Holstein and Jutland, including the bishoprics, with which his sons had been invested, though on condition that the King of Denmark renounced the league with England and the States. The ambassador told me he would never do that unless he was deserted. He added that he was to insist chiefly on prompt and monthly payment of the 300,000 florins, for which England is bound by the league, and for some little advance of arrears by instalments. The season was too far advanced for ships and troops, as before they could be got ready the frosts will have begun, thus rendering them useless. He begged me to help him with the ministers whenever an opportunity occurred. I replied courteously, so as to encourage his king's resolves and his own hopes here, though I do not anticipate for them a more favourable result than they have had hitherto. I did not, however, like a hint dropped by him that the king had undertaken the war without the concurrence of the Danish nobility, and to avoid their advice he pretended to be waging it as Duke of Holstein and General of Lower Saxony. Nevertheless, the nobility had twice contributed the fifth of their revenues and would do even more if there was hope of assistance and of some good, but it was impossible to continue as at present. I must mention that Dr. Cratz, who was ambassador at Venice, after making his unfavourable report of the republic to the king, finally went over to the emperor. The news of Denmark's retreat and of some check from Wallenstein, although represented from Brussels as a general rout, has been shown in its true light and has therefore produced no bad effect.
The Marquis of Tre Castelli has arrived here from the Duke of Lorraine, with condolences, they say, on Buckingham's death, and to learn of the king's health, since it was reported at Nancy that he was dangerously ill. It seems to me that this did not require so much haste, though as yet he has only seen the king once, speaking briefly and in general terms. He passes most of his time at the queen's Court, and he has not negotiated with any of the king's ministers or visited the ambassadors. I cannot find that he has any more important business on hand than to see how things go on here now the duke is dead. This seems likely if he leaves in two days, as announced, but I will keep on the watch.
It is said that some Dutch ships have arrived off this coast with a rich prize of plate and other valuables taken from the Spaniards at sea in the West Indies. According to report it is now on its way to Zeeland, the amount being estimated at three millions. (fn. 6)
I have just received two packets, dated the 8th and 15th September, giving account of Carlisle's audience and instructions. As my despatches with the overtures about the peace had arrived, I am anxiously awaiting the Senate's decision, as I greatly distrust my own powers in such a matter. Delay adds to the difficulties and I am therefore the more eager to hear. The business is on a much firmer footing under the approval of the king himself, and the concurrence of the four members of the Council mentioned. Your Excellencies will see the progress made, by the enclosed letter to Zorzi.
Windsor, the 8th October, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.472. ALVISE CONTARINI, Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, Ambassador in France.
The courier you sent returned on the night of the 26th September, and should have arrived by now. In case of accidents I send duplicates by way of Holland with the news letters, which contain very little. I have had some conversation about the peace with the noblemen employed by the king for discussing the treaty. They assure me that the king continues excellently disposed, not only towards reconciliation, but that the adjustment should benefit the common cause. Carleton in particular told me confidentially that the French ought not to lose this opportunity, as the king has been won over with great trouble, despite the suspicion of the cardinal's sincerity, which still prevails here. He asked me as a favour to obtain a reply of such a nature as to confirm this perfect opinion of the king, because if the adjustment was hopeless England could not remain without friends, an allusion to the Spanish affair. He told me, in this connection, that during the duke's lifetime there had been nothing but talk, though now there are persons of that party who make it appear that the Spaniards would give satisfaction to England about the Palatinate. As I began to laugh incredulously, he rejoined: I am of your opinion that these are all feints, but even things of this sort often produce unexpected results, and I know what I tell you. As this comes from one who is well intentioned and intelligent, they may be supposed to aim at facilitating a reconciliation with France by means of suspicions, especially as I have no proof that since the duke's death any greater progress has been made in the negotiations with Spain, although some leading merchants write from Antwerp, and my secretary has seen the letters, that the Spaniards offer England a thirty years' truce, which accords well with including the States and the Palatinate, without making restitution. Therefore, considering these advices, the past declaration of the king to his sister and the States, Porter's journey to Spain, the intrigues of Savoy, the resolves of the Spaniards about Italy, and like things, we must fear the shadows, which might very easily be converted into solid bodies, if they have time.
The Dutch ambassadors at Paris have written to their colleagues here that they have received the joint letters which we sent them, with the king's offers about commissioners at a neutral place. They say they spoke about it to the queen mother, who answered eagerly that she desired the peace and approved the overtures. She had written about them to the king and cardinal, but nothing would be determined until after the result of the relief. If they get in they suspect the king will persist in the siege, though my opinion is that necessity will make him change his mind. They add an important particular, that proofs exist that the Duke of Savoy supplied Rohan with 100,000 crowns from Spain. This makes it appear that that party inclines to treat, so that Spain will not continue to furnish similar subsidies to the Huguenots, provided the French renounce Italy. I send this because they say it is fully confirmed, and Carleton himself seemed amazed that the French, after being betrayed by the Spaniards in every quarter, should do all they can to second them and aid their supremacy. I remarked that if the Spaniards helped the Huguenots the latter might reject fair terms of peace. He answered: No Sir, for even if they resisted my king would not allow the common cause to go to ruin on their account, and they could not refuse his Majesty's advice. If the French only act sincerely we will never deceive them or lay claim to a span of territory or a carat's weight of jurisdiction in that kingdom. We should not now succour La Rochelle had not the king been pledged by the French themselves by the peace with the Huguenots. I know it, as I was ambassador in France at the time. But they must let things take their course, and adapt themselves to circumstances, giving up the idea of making themselves masters of the sea and of introducing popery into England, and such vanities, which we can never tolerate. For the common cause they may expect the best from us, and unless something is settled while matters are in suspense I foresee that all will go to ruin and we shall not be able to prevent it. I took the opportunity to lay stress about the queen's household, but found the same hardness, that the king will never again make any terms soever, but he will concede everything by courtesy. Some say that he will revive Bassompierre's treaty, others that if the French pretend merely to give satisfaction to the world to save appearances, as the cardinal hinted to you, we might include in the 6th article about alliances the one of the marriage also, in general terms, without entering into numbers or anything else that could bind the king in detail. He repeated that if the French come here the peace will not last, as their heat does not agree with the phlegm here. The few now here, though underlings and dependant on the king, make more noise than all the rest of the Court. I do not think the queen is very anxious to have them, foreseeing disagreements, which might impede her growing influence, while the king is obviously disinclined to have Frenchmen in his household. The chief offices are already given to great lords, and if they had to make way for Frenchmen they would always be the queen's enemies; so she would thus render herself unpopular with the whole kingdom, showing contempt for the English by preferring her own countrymen. Moreover, the example of Spain and Piedmont serves in great measure to justify them here.
I add all these particulars so that you may use them for the common cause.
Windsor, the 8th October, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
473. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sends particulars of the offer of Colonel Chinpausem to serve the republic and raise a force in their pay.
Windsor, the 8th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
474. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I do not find that they know of the negotiations for an adjustment between France and England, of which your Excellencies write. The duke certainly remarked that the King of Great Britain had promised not to let it come about by any other hand than his, and it seems that if the relations of France with this house took a good turn, the question of a union between England and Spain might disappear, which the duke may have advocated more than anyone else.
They are expecting Carlisle, but it is thought that owing to Buckingham's death he may accelerate his return to England with the idea of establishing himself in the position of chief favourite.
They think that the fleet cannot have arrived at La Rochelle, or the duke would have heard from Moretta, because the issue there is so important to this prince.
Gerbier has gone post to meet the Earl of Carlisle. The Abbot Scaglia is always with the duke, but he sent to say he would like to see me to-day.
Turin, the 8th October, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
475. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke did not seem to know anything about the adjustment between England and France, but stated that the King of Great Britain had declared that if his Highness chose he would put in his hands the peace and reunion with France, but, said the duke, Cardinal Richelieu will not let me have that honour on any account.
Turin, the 9th October, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
476. BALDISSERA DI PRIULI, Vice Governor of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
One of the chief disorders in this island of Ithaca, which I am visiting, is the increase in the plantations of vines and currants, which has grown of late years to the disadvantage of your Serenity. The island has 1,723 inhabitants and all its lands are devoted to such plantations. This has deprived your Serenity of the revenues from the duty on corn, which is practically extinguished, and the island enjoys a special exemption from payments on wine and currants. These plantations are forbidden except under written licence from your representatives. My predecessors have been accustomed to confirm the plantations made, when they paid their visits. I, on the contrary, have had the vines dug up in six new plantations, confiscating the lands and selling them by auction. The inhabitants have been accustomed to get their corn from Atoco, Calamo, Curzolari and Arvedi, which are claimed by the Turks.
Ithaca, the 29th September, 1628, old style.
[Italian.]
Oct. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Padova.
Venetian
Archives.
477. ANTONIO DA CANAL, Podestà, and MARIO PRIULI, Captain of Padua, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Saturday, about the third hour of the night, the ambassador extraordinary of England arrived here, together with Mr. Wake, the ordinary, and the ambassador returning from Constantinople with his wife. Some hours before we sent Sig. Galeazzo Rologio and Anibal Capodelista with a number of other gentlemen as far as Stra, to pay our respects. Although the rain and their late arrival prevented all the honours we had prepared, yet we did the best possible, with the cuirassiers, capelletti and gunners, whom his Excellency observed. He landed from his boat at the bridge of S. Lorenzo, where I, the captain, received him, amid a display of lights. We took him with a noble procession of coaches to the captain's palace, just as we did when he came. I, the podestà, went down the stairs to receive the company. We gave the ambassadors the apartments selected for them. They stayed here yesterday, as they wished to see the city after dinner. They seemed to like to go about alone, incognito, but we told off some gentlemen of the place to attend on them.
This morning after dinner they left for Vicenza. I, the podestà, accompanied them to the gate of the city, and I, the captain, a good way beyond, with troops and coaches. The cardinal (fn. 7) here lent his coaches, notably the one for six horses, which will take the ambassador to Vicenza. Il Burchiello did the same for meeting them and lent his plate, as on the previous occasion.
We have made every effort to carry out your Serenity's commands. The ambassador made a most gracious response to our offices, expressing his thanks and gratitude and his indebtedness for the favours and honours he had received from your Serenity, of which he would inform his king. The ordinary said he would take it as a great honour if the request was granted which he made to the Council of Ten before he left Venice. He said he would wait for orders from his king as to whether he shall return to his post at Venice. In conversation their Excellencies spoke frequently of the excellent disposition of his Majesty to satisfy the most serene republic. We can assure your Excellencies that the ambassador extraordinary and all the gentlemen in his company were highly delighted and professed the deepest obligations to the republic. We have sent word to the Rectors of Vicenza and Verona and will send the account of the expenses when it has been made up.
Padua, the 9th October, 1628.
[Italian.]
Oct. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Capitanio
delle Galeazze.
Venetian
Archives.
478. ANTONIO CAPELLO, Captain of the Galeasses, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I informed your Serenity by way of Constantinople and Marseilles of my move from Alexandretta on the 15th ult., having been unable to get away before in spite of every effort. Before I left an English berton named the Tiger arrived at that port. When it was about two miles off it reefed its sails and sent its boat to ask my leave to enter the port. I sent word that for my part it could come freely and offered my services. I believe that this act of submission and humility is due to a conference held with the general of the five English ships which went to that place to capture the French saettas there, and whom I prevented, so that action has proved fruitful, because now that nation has learned the power of the galleasses by experience and will hold them in more respect for the future. (fn. 8)
I arrived here in Cyprus on the 21st.
From the galleass at the saline of Cyprus, the 10th October, 1628.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Apparently he means ramberges, defined as "a fashion of long ship, narrower than a galley, but swift and easy to be governed." Cotgrave: French Dictionary.
2 Baltresca: ogni macchina stravagante, particolarmente di legno; e ciascuna di quelle cose sopra le quali si salga con pericolo che non si regga e si precipiti. Boerio: Dizionario del Dialetto Veneziano.
3 Endymion Porter.
4 The Transport of London, captain Gabriel Puckle, Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, pages 329, 332.
5 The king appointed Lord Treasurer Weston, Robert, Earl of Lindsey, Lord Great Chamberlain; William, Earl of Pembroke, Lord Steward; Edward, Earl of Dorset; Dudley, Viscount Doncaster and Secretary Coke to execute the office of Lord Admiral, by commission dated the 20th September, o.s.; so there were six, not four, Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 333.
6 These three paragraphs are missing from the filza at the Frari, but are to be found in the ambassador's register in the library of St. Mark, Cl. VII, Cod. MCXXV.
7 Pietro Valier, Bishop of Padua, Cardinal of St. Mark
8 The Tiger of London of 240 tons, Capt. William Ellis, which received letters of marque on the 26th July, 1627, Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 300. Digby records meeting it on the 5th July, o.s., on its way to Scanderoon. Journal of a Voyage to the Mediterranean, page 45.