Venice
November 1628, 21-28

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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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404-411

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'Venice: November 1628, 21-28', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 404-411. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89206 Date accessed: 20 November 2014.


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November 1628

Nov. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
577. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
These few lines are merely to accompany the additional packet for France after the return of a very small portion of the fleet, the rest having been dispersed by a storm. There are doubts and fears about the return of the rest. Your Excellencies will see how bravely they behave here in the face of dejection and disaster, and how the resolves already formed advance under every fortune. You will find means to second them for the good of the common cause, and especially of Italy. It seems to me that the pope might contribute with well considered offices upon this question of the queen's household, which to some extent concerns religion, as the absence of the French does not cause any impediment or scruple to her Majesty's conscience. The Duke of Mantua also might help, through his party and influence.
London, the 21st November, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.578. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
I had despatched the foregoing when three ships of the fleet arrived with Colonel Scott, who was in La Rochelle, bringing back 200 English soldiers, who had been in garrison there. I detained the despatch for two days, because of the promise they made here when they knew for certain about that fortress. I have worked day and night to elicit some decision about the proposals in my last. The treasurer, who holds the chief place of favour since the duke's death, answered in the king's name that his Majesty remains of the same favourable disposition as regards an adjustment with France, provided the French, now they have the advantage, continue of the same mind as hitherto towards peace. He said he had shown the king the agreement I proposed. It was approved and he hoped that when the French agreed there would be no difficulty. He added that he said all this as a friend and to encourage me to continue the business; but this suffices for one who well understands.
The king remains firm in refusing to bind himself about the queen's household. However, if the French approve of what stands in the agreement, I hope to induce his Majesty also to agree to it. I do not guarantee this, and if your Excellency can omit it, matters will be facilitated. If not, I will exert myself to have it included. As regards method, he tells me that if a way is found that does not imply inequality, it will be admitted, either by separate signature or in some other way suggested by the mediators, provided there be no apparent advantage for either of the parties. He hinted something about the internal peace of France being effected, and if it would take place before the foreign peace. I said I knew nothing, but felt sure that it would come to pass either before or after, as the French had expressed themselves thus, and even more clearly by the courtesy they had shown over the capitulation and other matters relating to La Rochelle.
Scott and others on their return gave so good an account of the civilities they had received that they could mitigate the king's harshness. It will always be the same for the future, if the French know how to avail themselves of the opportunity. I have done this, for I know the humour, which resembles that of a miser, who rarely spends, but sometimes squanders.
The imprisonment of Madame de Rohan causes a little vexation, but many hope that the king will avail himself of it to make peace with her children. I also believe that in consequence of the intentions announced to her by the cardinal, a pardon will be proclaimed for the Huguenots, or at least the peace with them will be furthered, thus removing some hindrance on this side, which no longer insists on directing, a great point to gain; but they should be glad to see that the Huguenots do not complain of being abandoned, and the king ponders this. You must not, however, fail to advance the rest, as the morsel is already masticated, and if the French choose to give a little assistance, it will soon be converted into the nourishment we desire.
I confess to being like Cardinal Richelieu before the surrender of La Rochelle, as although he considered the result secure, he was always apprehensive lest storms or some other accident should snatch the place out of his hands, so he tried to act quickly. I consider peace practically certain, but we must try and make it quickly because of the storms which may come from Spain, Soubise and other blustering Boreases, whose breath might destroy our works. I think we shall agree upon the matter, except about the queen; but as that was not the cause of the war it ought not to disturb the peace, and the half measure proposed should suffice. I think it impossible for the cardinal to refuse this honour to the queen mother. If the French send back the proposals, which I consider impossible, the queen here will reject them, to avoid displeasing the king. She is quite right, so as to avoid losing the great authority she enjoys both with her husband and the nation.
As regards signing, to avoid giving an advantage to either party, a day might be appointed beforehand, allowing sufficient time for the advices, and the ambassador extraordinary could be named on the same day. I considered this the easiest and quickest way, especially since Montagu's arrival with the French proposals. Owing to the unfavourable position of England, I encounter many obstacles in sending persons, under the pretence of visiting the queen mother. As was represented to me long ago at the conference of Windsor, this measure seemed impracticable because of their recent disadvantage, and the precedent of Porter's mission to Spain does not help, because he was sent by Buckingham and many years after the defeat at Cadiz. As the first proposals came from England before the attempt to relieve La Rochelle, the second while the fleet was present and the third after the loss of the place, all being of the same tenor and showing an excellent disposition, all reason requires that the French should quicken their pace a little and do or at least promise something now that they have the upper hand, especially as a failure here will hurt them and their plans more than it will England, against whom they can attempt nothing.
Meanwhile France will lose the habit of the sea and the opportunity for securely advancing her victories, by giving the Spaniards the mode to gain them. I mean that if the French are the first to sign these agreements, or under some pretext send hither a person with powers to conclude in some other form, so as to avoid the danger of delay, no difficulty ought to be raised. They have the means in their hands of playing a great, unexpected and important trick on the Spaniards, giving breath to the common cause and to their friends.
I say plainly that it would be difficult for me to gain anything more from the king, and you could not believe how hard I find it to keep the affair in its present advantageous position. They wanted to await the resolve and overtures of France after the victory, as was perhaps reasonable. I assured them that your letters were expected at any moment, but I gained the point by repeating the promises made me repeatedly by the king that the treaty should follow after the event of La Rochelle, by saying that a peace gained by force would be more indecorous than if it proceeds from a mind equally generous in defeat as in victory. I pointed out that if the king did not act quickly the French might join with the Spaniards, placing Casale in the hands of the pope, with similar things of my own speculation in order to stimulate them by such doubts and suspicions. I imagine that you will cloak my despatch in some similar way, saying that they must hasten the replies of the last couriers, as affairs are advancing with the Spaniards here, instead of proposing point blank the matters here alluded to, as the French would begin to pretend that here there was a great desire for peace, which, on my honour, is not the case. On the contrary, the whole has been extracted by me with incredible patience and trouble. You must see that we are not deluded by delay. Nothing can make me believe that even in France they are not under the necessity of acting speedily. If it is so, they have the game in their hands, and they cannot gain so much by any protracted negotiation, either about the queen's household or in the matter of appearances, which after all are only trifles, especially to the victor, as they will lose by the loss of time and opportunity, for the Spaniards are not asleep. I state this for my own sake, so that I shall have foretold what will undoubtedly take place if it is not prevented.
You wrote that I was to urge peace with France by preference to peace with Spain. I have done this with the king and ministers a hundred times, and they are already sufficiently impressed. But if they are not met, and helped to overcome the difficulties, and I might almost say invited by him who is the superior, the French will only have themselves to blame. I speak with some warmth, as my duty dictates, because the matter may be settled in a fortnight if they choose. I also confide in the prudence of your Excellency, to whose despatches I shall make no further reply until I get the answer to the present one. I expect it in a few days.
London, the 21st November, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Nov. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
579. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
The employment of English ships with goods for the mart of Leghorn is a very important matter for our interests. The Turks also ought to take heed, as by this means the declared enemies of the Porte are enriched with goods coming from the Ottoman Empire. This much will suffice for your prudence, as we do not consider it advisable to give you definite instructions to attempt to divert it, because we know that you will take advantage of every favourable opportunity to do what you can.
Ayes, 106.Noes, 0.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
580. To the Ambassador Contarini in England.
By your letters of the 23rd October received yesterday we observe that you are waiting to hear from France about the peace, just as we also are waiting to know what has happened. The French ambassador has told us of the surrender of La Rochelle, and we hear from Mantua that peace has been concluded between the two crowns and also in the kingdom of France with all the rebels. After being several days without letters from Zorzi, owing to the blocking of the passes, several have reached us to-day, from which we see that nothing has been concluded as yet. But the peace is more desirable than ever, owing to the state of affairs in Italy, which need speedy and powerful assistance from France, as you will see from the enclosed sheet of advices, which we wish to serve for your information. For your knowledge alone also we tell you that there has been some dissatisfaction at the Hague with the Prince Palatine, because he did not call on the ambassador recently arrived from France, who apparently claimed this honour. You will not open your mouth on the subject, or even betray any knowledge of it, but if anything is said you will tactfully try to soothe their ruffled feelings, with special care not to endanger the good that has already been secured, or which is about to be, by peace between the two crowns.
Ayes, 96.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Nov. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
581. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The question of reprisals against the English for the capture of a ship of Cosmo Orlandi by one of their ships seems to have been settled with great reputation to their ambassador here and their nation, upon their mere promise to write, as they have done, to Zante and England, whither they have also sent letters from the Sultan and the leading ministers here, for the restitution to the parties concerned of what was unlawfully taken from them. The Captain Basha was very anxious to arrest two ships which happened to be here, or that the ambassador should promise to answer for the robber, but the ambassador declared roundly that if he had to be answerable for the doings of private individuals he would not stay here an hour. If they chose to arrest the two ships, they could do so, but there were plenty more in the Mediterranean, and they could recoup themselves with great advantage. He told him this so that they should have no reason to complain of him afterwards. The Caimecan was always of a contrary opinion and so the ships have sailed with a cargo for Venice, and [the ambassador] has carried the affair through with vigour and reputation.
The Vigne of Pera, the 25th November, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
582. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The imperial ambassador arrived eight days ago. (fn. 1) There was some friction over his claim to enter with trumpets blowing and flags flying, as some of his predecessors have done. They refused to allow this and he had to be content. The resident came to tell me of his arrival. He performed the same office shortly before with the French ambassadors. After seeing me he went to England and Flanders, but merely as an ordinary compliment, telling them no more than the arrival of the ambassador and his entry, although in the past it has been customary to deal with all in the same way. From what I hear he made an excuse to both of them for not meeting as they had been used to do in the past.
The Vigne of Pera, the 25th November, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
583. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Rejoicings here for the surrender of La Rochelle are postponed until the news is officially confirmed. Bethune told Barberino that it would be better to make their demonstrations now than to wait until the arrival of the king's letters, which might bring other news, in particular that of peace between the Most Christian and the King of Great Britain, and if they rejoiced then, the Spaniards, with their usual perversity, might have occasion to say that the pope could not contain himself from giving public signs of rejoicing, even for what was distasteful to him.
Rome, the 25th November, 1628.
[Italian.]
Nov. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
584. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This week an English ship has arrived at Leghorn, of 18 guns and of 500 butts and more. It comes from London, laden with lead, cloth and other things of that country.
Florence, the 25th November, 1628.
[Italian.]
Nov. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
585. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There seems to be no doubt that by the capture of La Rochelle the French king will be able to bridle the Huguenots effectively. It is certainly true, as the English ambassador remarked to me, that there are still more than a million Huguenots in France, and they may wage war on the king even without fortresses; but this idea is due to friendship and the profession of the same faith.
I gather that they have letters here of the 9th from the Count of Moretta at Paris about the peace between England and France. They say that Zorzi has had a courier from Contarini bringing the ratification of the articles taken by Montagu, and they considered the peace as good as made. I do not find that the princes here have any doubts on the subject. Moreover. I know for certain that this same Montagu, when passing through Normandy on his journey from La Rochelle, told the Duke of Longueville that he was going to England, that the peace between the two crowns was far advanced and that everything was passing through the hands of the Venetian ambassadors. I do not know, however, how the adjustment of the peace, which can only have taken place a few days ago in any case, can have been taken to the Duke of Mantua by the courier sent to him on the 1st inst. about the fall of La Rochelle, as it certainly was not concluded then.
The Ambassador wake refers to this speech with much passion. He says the French here publish that Montagu went to the King of France to ask for peace and beg him to open negotiations; that the Rochellese, becoming aware of this, feared they would be betrayed by the English and surrendered before they were reduced to the last extremity, as they still had provisions for four months. The ambassador certainly thinks that they may have had misgivings, as they were in better case than was thought and the French knew that they might hold out some time longer.
Wake is very indignant about these reports of peace negotiations, so little to the honour of his king, and says that if it is true that Montagu went to ask peace of the King of France, and that the Rochellese were afraid of being betrayed, his king could never show himself publicly again. Montagu will have to pay dearly for this, and the King of Great Britain, sooner than stand by this peace, will lose London, all his towns and his kingdom. From what he knew, and he had special letters from the king, the matter was to proceed in quite a different way, namely that if the fleet could not effect the relief and the King of France sent some one to treat for peace, the commander of the English fleet had authority to listen to him and to go on with the negotiation. If matters proceeded this way all would be well. The idea that it might happen differently brought tears of passion to his eyes.
He said he heard that Botru had been sent to Spain to propose an accommodation about Monferrat, and put Casale in the pope's hands, with the opinion that the Spaniards will get it from him, as they did the Valtelline. The news came from the lips of Cardinal Richelieu. He knew that instead of attending to Italy the French thought of taking Geneva, to complete the undoing of the Huguenots, like the fate of the Moors in Spain. He added, laughing: The cardinal will then have the king canonized like the other Louis. The Duke of Savoy would not at all approve of this French project against Geneva, which would divide him from the county of Burgundy, but the Spaniards would rejoice nominally on the score of religion, really because it would divert France from other designs.
I know that Wake has sent special letters to Geneva and that Carlisle will not leave Basel before he receives a despatch which Wake sent to him there.
I have never known anything about the negotiations of these English ministers except from conjecture. Carlisle has gone to England because the king wanted him after Buckingham's death; and Wake has remained here because his business may not be terminated. I continue to hear that Baroccio is going to England and he is expecting to start at any moment. The secret of their negotiations is a difficult one, but I keep on the alert to find it out.
We hear that Porter has been arrested in France. Wake said that he did not mind a bit; all they could discover would be the truth. He pretends that Porter only went to Spain by order of Buckingham, when the king wished differently, while he was to come to meet Carlisle first.
The difficulties which I have pointed out to the ambassador about Provaglio have induced him to withdraw his request, and he has instructed his secretary accordingly.
Turin, the 26th November, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
586. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle is expected soon on his way back from Piedmont. The Ambassador Wake's gentleman Flaming arrived thence four days ago. He has been here before. He passed by the camp under Casale on his way. He tells me that he heard from an English colonel serving the Spaniards that the soldiers are dying fast and that Gonzalo has no more than 9,000 or 10,000 men effective. These and other disorders will render difficult the capture of that place.
The lords here will receive Carlisle with every demonstration of honour. I will hasten to serve him as I know that he talks everywhere of the greatness and liberality of the most serene republic.
Zurich, the 26th November, 1628.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
587. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My information about Rubens contradicts his negotiating for these parts, as I have always heard that he was treating for an accommodation with England; and this has been confirmed by countless advices.
Colonel Ferenz arrived from England the day before yesterday. He asks the States for 2,000 English for the service of Denmark, assuring them that when the fleet returns the King of Great Britain will send a corresponding number to them to make up. Apparently they are not inclined to deprive themselves of these efficient troops and wait for recruits which are more than problematical; and yet there is great need of them, especially to send to Holstein, where the imperialists are being strongly reinforced. News has arrived this week that Wallenstein, Collalto and Colonel Altringher are now at Ibzchoa near Cremp with a very large force, with the object of hastening the capture of that place as much as possible. It holds out as they hope for assistance from Colonels Morgan and Carpenson. If they fail, it will not last long as the enemy waxes constantly stronger.
The Hague, the 27th November, 1628.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia,
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
588. In response to the petition of Bortolo Mazzaroti and Antonio Conti, coadjutors of the custom on cloth, that the 500 ducats that the Senate decreed on the 10th May, 1627, should be deposited in the Mint by the English ship which arrived in this city from Smyrna laden with cotton, and which your Excellencies let go, (fn. 2) we consider that the money should be credited to the said customers, as the Senate required it to be paid as a recognition of the duty when allowing the ship to depart with its entire cargo.
The 27th November, 1628.
Renier,Savii.
Morosini,
Contarini,
[Italian.]
Nov. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
589. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have already hinted at the suspicions of the Spaniards that the French and English are more confidential than hostile and their mutual interests in Germany and Flanders make a stronger impression than scattered and empty appearances and arts. The ministers here learn from those in Flanders, from an unknown person who is in England for Spain and from the Ambassador Mirabel in France that France and England are coming together. Accordingly their apprehensions of imminent danger and disaster to the fleet increase. They are not a little afraid that [the English] will pass from the ocean to the Mediterranean, capturing their galleons, making raids and incursions, impeding their navigation, occupying positions and inflicting great injuries upon Spain.
Naples, the 28th November, 1628.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Wyche calls him the Baron of Questanie in his despatch of the 28th Nov. S.P Foreign, Turkey. His name was Hans Ludwig von Kuffstein. Khevenhuller: Annales Ferdinandi, Vol. XI, 252.
2 See vol. xx of this Calendar, pages 213, 224.