Venice
December 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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411-429

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'Venice: December 1628, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 411-429. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89207 Date accessed: 25 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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December 1628

Dec. 1.
Senato.
Secreta.
Deliberazioni
Venetian
Archives.
590. To the Ambassador Contarini in England.
We gather the general state of the peace negotiations from your letters of the 3rd November, but we have not yet had time to decipher those written to Zorzi. We cannot therefore send comments, but merely express once more our complete satisfaction with your efforts. We reserve any further commissions until after we have read the other letters.
We are pleased that the Ambassador Corner has sent you such full advices. We have already written of Carlisle's departure from Turin, and that Wake is to remain there until he hears that Carlisle has reached home. Soranzo writes from the Hague on the 13th November that Scaglia is going to Brussels and thence to London and subsequently to Spain. This shows that they want to revive the earlier negotiations. Soranzo also advises us that the States will not agree to accept Langarach's treaty, though the French ambassador urges them, and also asks for the restitution of a French ship taken by the English. Carleton protests, on the other hand, that ships going to a French destination are lawful booty. We think these disputes may do great harm, and possibly induce the States to plunge into negotiations for a truce. We send you the information so that you may try to prevent this, and endeavour to assuage their bitter feelings. We are writing to the same effect to our ambassador in France.
You answered very prudently what the Secretary Conway said about the pirate Digby, to show that we ought to be thanked for the action of our galleys, as preventing worse evils. You gave them a true account of the facts, and we send you information of the evil behaviour of this pirate elsewhere, with instructions to make vigorous remonstrance again, so that he may be recalled.
In Italy things are tending towards war, as you will see by the enclosed sheet, which will serve for information.
Ayes, 118.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Dec. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
591. To the Ambassador Soranzo at the Hague.
You acted quite rightly in not interfering in the quarrel between the Palatine and the French ambassador. The conflicting offices of that ambassador and Carleton may induce the States to fly to a truce. We wish you to try and induce both of them to make their offices milder as the common cause requires. We have written to the same effect to Contarini in England and Zorzi in France.
Ayes, 118.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
592. To the Ambassador Zorzi in France.
Now the peace negotiations have returned to the French court you will have to use all your prudence and vigilance to bring the negotiations to a successful termination. The chief difficulty seems to be about the queen's household, but as she declares that she is quite content and well treated, the French should not insist on that point. They will gain nothing by it, and if they waive it all their claims under the articles will remain unaffected. This will make the way easier and continued satisfaction more sure, with an increase of influence for the queen herself and a more solid confirmation of the friendship between the two crowns.
With regard to the difficulties raised by Montagu's negotiations, and the jealousy shown in France about peace between England and Spain, this should prove a greater inducement for France to close the treaty. As the interests of Savoy have been introduced and England has written to that Court, a thing which will involve delay, if nothing worse, you will endeavour above all to avoid all delays. We are instructing the Ambassador Corner to keep you advised of all that happens.
With respect to what Contarini writes about the possibility of a union of the crowns against the House of Austria, though it would help the common interests, you will not meddle in the matter, but let them arrange it between themselves. The essential object is to secure the peace between the two crowns, and if the other follows, so much the better. The first consideration is the speedy conclusion of the peace and it must not be delayed by a desire to embrace more, as that would be the worst hurt of all.
Ayes, 119.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
593. To the Ambassador Corner in Savoy.
Contarini tells us how much your advices have helped him in his negotiations. He tells us that they have written about the peace negotiations to your Court. You will not open your mouth about it, but try to find out all you can, without interfering. The duke might be glad to upset these negotiations, as if the French are set free they can turn their arms against him. You will therefore see which way he inclines, if he favours this peace, or if he inclines to procure one between England and Spain, and especially if, since the arrival of this business, he has sent any communication to the Catholic or his ministers in Italy, as that might show which way he leans.
You will keep the ambassadors in France and England informed of all that you find out about the peace between the two crowns, and you will also send us full particulars about Wake, if he stays on, and what his objects and business may be.
Ayes, 119.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
594. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My last related my progress since the disasters at La Rochelle. I do not know what more I can attempt without due reciprocity from the French. The enclosed copies of my letters to Zorzi show the causes which move me to hasten the replies and decisions of that Court. The Spaniards have already got scent of the present schemes and are advancing at full speed to thwart them. The affairs of Italy compel them not to trust the French, and in the last important event of the India fleet to restrict their brawls. I think an antidote can be made of this poison, and I try to provide it, as England is so far from having to make peace at this conjuncture, that if she had made it she ought to break it, in revenge for so many outrages. No one denies this and indeed the reason is so stringent that I almost doubt if they are pleased with the Dutch expedition here. They are almost compelled to revise the maxims established by some of them, to shut up shop, make peace with all parties, and adjust their internal affairs, without which it is certainly impossible to continue the war. It is true that whichever of the two peaces is first ratified may easily disturb the second, especially if it be the French one. I do not know what to believe, as Montagu, who returned lately with the fleet, brings very harsh answers from the cardinal, who told him that if the English do not choose to satisfy the Most Christian about the queen's household or the St. Esprit, he did not care about the peace as he was already in possession of La Rochelle. This reply has filled the king and ministers with indignation and suspicion, which is fomented by the delay of my letters, by the nomination of Botru to Spain, by the lack of news of progress in the agreement with the Huguenots, by the earnest demands made at the Hague for ships and similar things. The Spaniards, on the other hand, advance. At Brussels there are full powers for peace or a truce. The Infanta desires them, the Dunkirk passage is open, Savoy storms by means of Carlisle, at Rouen the effects of the Portuguese are seized, which means a rupture with Spain, and so forth.
A leading minister who has covertly told me all these particulars has urged me to hasten the French business. He also told me the secrets of the Court, so that I might not grow suspicious or give up hope, as these matter as much as those of state and perhaps more. The treasurer thinks solely of peace, for which the people clamour loudly, either with Spain or with France, on account of trade and the king's present necessities. He suspects that Carlisle, whom the king does not dislike, may break the web of his designs and forestall him, owing to the generous ideas contained in his letters, trading upon these peaces, being of opinion that for the authority he enjoys and the post he holds, peace is more convenient than war.
The king, in talking with the Dutch ambassadors, evinced punctiliousness, because, although more than a month has passed since the fall of La Rochelle, nothing is heard about the intentions of the French, as if, being victorious, they no longer care for anyone. He is full of suspicion, especially about the cardinal. He held the same language with me when I saw him. To counteract these evil roots I at once availed myself of Zorzi's letters to confirm the good will of the French and check disaster. I explained the reply to Montagu by the harsh proposals which he took hence; the delay of my letters by the return of the Court to Paris; the mission of Botru by the example of the English, who are also treating with the Spaniards, accounting for all the rest by the sinister interpretation given by malignants, and alleging the need of Christendom, which does not deserve so much subtlety. I will not belie the honourable impulse and paternal affection shown in your despatches. I would the result of the business could render me worthy of it. The many difficulties do not alarm me so long as I am not taken unawares. It is true that papers have been given to the king to the effect that peace with Spain is more profitable than the one with France. From the latter they receive wine and other commodities and from the former silver for the most part. The reason would be good if trade took precedence of the most obvious interests, of repute, pledged faith, kindred and friends, and if the Spaniards had the abundance of money that the vulgar seem fallaciously to believe. They also say that it is the more honourable as in the affair of Cadiz the Spaniards confined themselves to defensive operations, and subsequently showed the greatest courtesy towards England. They consider the wounds inflicted on their repute more recent than those already healed by time and oblivion. It is also proved to be more durable, as with the Spaniards there is no question of the Huguenots or the queen's household, or jealousy about navigation, which always generates disagreement.
It is said that the Palatinate ought not to prevent peace or a truce because the decision about it may be left to negotiation or arms, and the matter cannot be disposed of without the emperor and Bavaria, to whom it is maintained that the French are pledged to keep him in possession of the territory and the vote contra quouscumque. I do not know if this is true, but it is circulated by the Spaniards in order to show the king that there never can be union between Germans and France, and consequently peace is of no use.
There is also some indication that there exists between France and Bavaria the same league that used to exist between the Most Christian and the Palatine of the Rhine, with exactly the same obligations; and this also is worthy of consideration. The Spaniards are working with their hands and feet, and present circumstances and their own advantage persuade them to do so. The knowledge of this ought to keep England resolute, if she were not tired of war and the consequences which proceed therefrom. It is for the French to study how to gain this second fortress, the artifices of the Spaniards, which are as hard to conquer as La Rochelle, and they may do so if they apply the remedies with which they are already acquainted. He who is whole ought to help the sick man, and not expect it, whilst others, with cruel charity, offer him their hand for the purpose. Though these schemes are prejudicial to my negotiations, yet they do not alarm me, until the replies come from France. I hope that Zorzi will assist me. Meanwhile I will communicate to him whatever comes to my notice.
London, the 2nd December, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
595. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The fleet has returned with all the principal commanders. The royal ships have been very roughly handled. Thirty good merchantmen and inferior ones are still at sea. Many with troops on board are known to have foundered. Soubise is expected daily at Court and he will not perform good offices because as his own case is desperate he would fain see everyone else ruined. The soldiers and sailors are all dismissed with two months' pay, so that they may return to their own homes. The king will be relieved of the cost, and the country from the billetting of soldiers, as was conceded to the last parliament. I have received great offers to take some of these troops into your Serenity's service, before the regiments are disbanded. Ministers have approached me especially about the Scotch brigade of 2,000 picked men, and there would have been great advantage in the price if I had a free hand. I make fair replies and promises to write, but the answers cannot arrive in time, as the officers would not defray the expense out of their pockets even if they were sure of the service.
The Danish ambassador hoped for some of these troops, but has obtained nothing, on the plea of the season. He also knows that the frosts will have already begun in those parts, and therefore bears it as well as he can. He would like certain promises of ships and men for the spring. Meanwhile Crempe will certainly fall, and the King of Denmark will make peace. He might have done so already but for Sweden, who keeps up his vigour. The Danish nobility does not approve, and is suspicious, especially since the cession of Stralsund. We hear that Morgan has passed to Gluckstadt with 1,000 men. The king is very angry because the States have refused to contribute five soldiers out of every English company, with a promise of as many more in the spring, as if he were not master of all his subjects wherever they may be. The ambassadors say it is impossible, and mean-while Denmark alone suffers.
The Dutch ambassadors have informed the king of the capture of the India fleet by Pietro Henrio, admiral of the West India Company. (fn. 1) The rivalry between the two nations causes some feeling, not to say envy, so that the entire population here reduces the value of the prize, said to be 12,000,000 florins, for the reason that the fleet from New Spain does not usually bring so much treasure. All the Dutch men of war in this neighbourhood have had orders to go and meet it, and the Dunkirkers also have put to sea, as well as all ships which could be fitted out on the coast of Spain. Some expect an engagement, others believe the fleet has been dispersed in a gale and that some of the ships have already passed up this Channel towards Holland. Be this as it may, the blow is one of the greatest, and one which both the English and Dutch have longed for during the last half century, but has never once been accomplished until now. The money and ships are the foundation of the Spanish monarchy, and on the present occasion both have suffered. If the powers do not know how to avail themselves of it, the ruin of the common cause must be inevitable.
On the very night that the ambassadors communicated this event, the house of one of them (fn. 2) caught fire and was completely destroyed. The wife and children of Joachim were also staying there, the one who went lately to Holland and was to return. The multitude say falsely that on that night they were merry-making over the fleet, but the truth is they have lost their effects and scarcely saved their lives.
They are trying to get the last rigorous edict modified prohibiting their trade with France, and they have obtained a verbal promise that it will mean only naval and military stores. They want a written proclamation, in order to prevent disputes, as the war between the two nations renders the Dutch entirely masters of all trade.
Sir [Francis] Cottington has been made a Privy Councillor. (fn. 3) He is a decided Spaniard and practically an avowed Catholic. During the duke's lifetime he was to have gone to Spain for the negotiations; as he had resided there a long time before and the place was accordingly promised to him. It is now said that he is to go to Brussels for the peace and he is one of the chief instruments who have a hand in it. These appearances arouse suspicion and render peace a matter of barter between the crowns, so no one can say that England has not a fine game in hand.
London, the 2nd December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
596. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received the ducal missives from the 6th to the 27th October. I have performed the office with the king about Carlisle as directed. The king was much gratified and assured me that the earl wrote that he had never before been treated with more magnificence.
With this sweetmeat I paved the way for bitter complaint about Digby. The king interrupted me, saying that by this time he would doubtless have left the Mediterranean, and for the future all these disorders and their causes would be removed. He also had to complain of your Serenity's representatives, remonstrating mildly about Scanderoon. He ended by saying that if Digby was guilty of that encounter he would punish him, but if innocent he hoped for the same justice from your Serenity. With equal moderation I expressed surprise at so very unequal a comparison, upholding the rights of the republic's ministers against a pirate, and instead of punishment they deserved reward from his Majesty for having preserved the goods of the entire English nation in the Turkish dominions, which Digby had seriously endangered. The king made no further reply and did not press the matter much, what he said being merely to counter my complaints, so I think he was satisfied. I therefore repeated my office for orders to be sent to Wake, so that he may find them on his return from Turin, and hasten to execute them with greater ardour. The king rejoined that he would give me entire satisfaction. I have already spoken to the secretary of state and the commis- sioners of the Admiralty, who put me off from day to day, according to the custom of the Court. To await it I would not delay the present despatch, especially as every one assures me that by this time Digby is near England. If he wishes to justify what happened I must remind your Excellencies that I have no information or instructions since the time of the first fight, which was not ended when the letters of the Consul Pesaro were despatched.
At this same audience I dropped a hint about the peace with France, and the necessity for it, saying that the common cause had an opportunity provided by Heaven, through the capture of the Indian fleet. My idea was to elicit something rather than negotiate. The king answered that he maintained the same sentiments towards the common weal. He did not know what to think about France, as a month had elapsed since the capture of La Rochelle, without their telling him their intentions. He therefore expected deceit rather than good will. He believed they cared little about him now they were victorious. I assured him in general terms that the disposition of France had not changed. The Court being separated caused the delay of the letters. I tried to remove his suspicions, as the king is only too much impressed with the affairs of the Valtelline, Bassompierre's negotiations and other matters I have written of. I pointed out what deadly fruit these seeds may produce, and how those who seek to destroy the entire business try to sow them. I also alluded to the reports of the negotiations with Spain, which render friends suspicious. I used such parts of the news letters from Italy as seemed suitable, but the king's answers lacked substance, so I did not press him further, as I had no business to transact. I shall only make use of my credentials in case of a favourable result, as it is only under such circumstances that I wish to commit the state. I told him of the election of my successor Soranzo, as I understood that his Majesty had heard of it long ago and was surprised that I delayed the announcement so long.
London, the 2nd December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.597. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
The longer the replies to my letters of the 3rd and 21st inst. are delayed the more I am distressed. Two gentlemen sent by Carlisle arrived lately in succession, sent post haste from Turin. Carlisle, at Savoy's request, pretends that the peace with France is either very near or concluded. He violently condemns the decision as precipitate and indecorous. He hints that La Rochelle surrendered owing to the proposals of Montagu. He blames the desertion of the Huguenots and rendering the Duke of Savoy desperate, after promising not to negotiate without him. The person who confides these things to me assures me that the king is not in the least disquieted, and if possible our negotiation should not await Carlisle's return. He will be on the road already, possibly accompanied by Scaglia, as it is quite certain that they have full powers at Brussels from Spain to conclude the peace. Since the defeat of the fleet by the Dutch it is offered with clasped hands. The Infanta strongly urges it and holds out great hopes.
On one occasion when seeing the king and ministers about other state matters I used this same argument about the Dutch victory to prove that even if England were at peace with Spain she ought to wage war now in order not to lose the opportunity of doing herself justice. I do not know what will happen, as many things are done out of season. England is very weary and cannot continue the war. The people clamour for peace with France or Spain or both, so that trade, which has been stopped for so long, may be opened. A leading minister, with whom I am very intimate, and who is a lover of the common weal, gives me to understand that as a month has elapsed since the fall of La Rochelle, and no letters have arrived from France, it is supposed that victory has altered the good disposition of the French; and the mission of Botru to Spain also causes some suspicion. I declare that this is not the case, but the distance of the king, the Court and yourself is the cause of this, and I used your last letters of the 21st inst. to encourage hope and lull suspicion. That the French were better disposed than ever, and you would send me the particulars immediately the Court returned to Paris. Everything depends on despatch and anticipation. The Spaniards are advancing as far as they can, and for the affairs of Italy they do not rely so much on France as on England, now her wounds are still open. Here, although worsted, they maintain their good disposition. I do my best to prevent its being impaired. It is the duty of the French, whose interests are deeply concerned, to apply a remedy and desist from punctilio, now they are victorious, otherwise they will remain behind. Let them send someone with secret powers to settle, under pretence of visiting the queen, let them embrace my proposals, or let them suggest some other arrangement, provided it be speedy and conclusive. They must not suppose that I urge despatch for any reason except what the facts clearly show. Remember to write two things to me, and if they are out of cipher, so much the better, as I will show them. One is that the Most Christian observe the conditions granted to the Rochellese, the other that there be a treaty with the rest of the Huguenots, or a decision not to molest them, as this would greatly serve our purpose. I write in haste so that this letter may reach you soon, and I beg you to reply speedily. Put aside the scruple about burdening the state with the cost of expresses, as money expended opportunely yields usurious interest. Periculum in mora.
London, the 28th November, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
598. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bethune told me that he had the certitude of the peace with the English in letters from Paris of the 9th ult., but he was expecting more precise details in his first despatches.
Rome, the 2nd December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
599. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The surrender of La Rochelle is confirmed. The ministers here seem to fear that this circumstance may prevent the effectuation of the last arrangement and declare that they have indications of a league between the Kings of France, England, Denmark and Sweden and the most serene republic and the States, not only to recover the Monferrat, but also to renew trouble in Germany in favour of the King of Denmark and the Palatine.
Vienna, the 2nd December, 1628.
[Italian; copy.]
Dec. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
600. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has been to see me to-day. He told me that he had received yesterday from Venice a poem (canzone) printed with the publisher's name and duly licensed, entitled L'Espugnata Rochella, by Christofforo Ferrari. The author was his friend, an able and respectable person, and if he had not insulted his king he would have said nothing against him, but he could not pass this over. The republic seemed partial to France, but at least they professed neutrality and a good understanding with his king, while Ferrari was Advocate fiscale. He had introduced verses and words very offensive to his king, speaking of "legni audaci et temerarii," which could only refer to their fleet. He said he did not object to the praising of the King of France, but at the conduct of Ferrari in speaking of a great king like his master with the lack of respect these verses show. He said he would get his secretary to read his letter in the Collegio and asked me to back his complaints. He counted on the republic dealing with the author and asked this for the satisfaction of his king, so that the republic might not be thought to be siding with the French. This would be more esteemed in England than ten Rochelles, as his king was very anxious for the friendship of the republic as of every other great power.
I suggested that the words might bear another interpretation than the one he put upon them. He said he could not find any. I remarked that poets favour the victorious, and it would one day be England's turn, and Venice would be as glad to applaud them as the French. However, I promised to make the representation he asked for. He said he could not excuse Ferrari for having chosen to make glory for France out of the ignominy of England. If he had been merely a private poet, he would have taken his punishment on himself, but as he had a public character he applied to your Serenity for satisfaction.
The ambassador took this opportunity to say that he was very anxious, because he did not hear if peace with France was concluded, whether the fleet had left or no and what was to happen. It had been suggested to him that Richelieu might want to keep that fleet employed in those waters so that it might waste away, and, once that had happened, make the conditions of the Huguenots worse. With respect to the peace, the duke had told him that the cardinal would deceive the Venetian ambassadors; he did not know what to think. He said he should like to speak to me of the affairs and interests of his king which had always been those of the republic, although they were not yet in such a state as to permit one to speak. For that reason the Earl of Carlisle had observed reticence at Venice. He wished to tell me that day, however, that they would like to have France co-operate in their plans, but if she would not, they must think of something. His king attaches great importance to Casale, and if its fall is near he would be more eager to relieve it than he was for La Rochelle. He knew that the Duke of Savoy also felt that in the long run it would be bad for Piedmont and his own safety if Casale fell into the hands of the Spaniards, but one must remember that the princes here are bound by promises. He told me he had himself seen the treaty drawn up by his Highness about the Monferrat. It was a great thing to break faith, but he knew the duke's sentiments, namely that one must conclude the French will say they will succour Casale by this route or another; if the former it will be a vanity, merely to excite fear, because of the difficulties, but if they thought of entering the state of Milan through the Valtelline, and thus restore the liberty of the Grisons and the credit of France there, with such notable consequences for the cause and creating a diversion at Casale, the King of England would contribute thereto most gladly, and the Duke of Savoy would be on our side. If they spoke of a way through Genoa he saw no reason for hurting that republic, and it would only mean throwing this mouthful to the Spaniards the sooner. His Highness had never said anything about moving against them to him or the Earl of Carlisle, knowing that they would not listen.
I told him that if the duke had spoken to me about these things I should certainly have informed the republic. I desired the honour of his Highness's confidence. In reply to what he said I could only bear witness to the firm intention of the republic to maintain its own and the common liberty. I would not say any more because I fancy that these English ministers are more anxious to take up the protection of the Grisons and those of the religion than his Highness is to follow up this sentiment. The ambassador also told me that his king would like the republic to take possession of the Valtelline, and that there the duke says he has a league with your Serenity, uninterrupted, and he would like his son to maintain it. He is really well disposed, but he cannot speak, until he has made things straighter with France, to one who is the minister of a republic which desires to be united with France. I said that there was no union except for the common cause, and it was desirable that these disagreements should not encourage the confidence between the crowns of France and Spain. Wake replied that a union between the French and Spaniards would always be bricks without straw, and he was not afraid of it. But I fancy there is some fear if things go on as they are, and Richelieu serves the Spaniards alone. The ambassador added that there had never been a better opportunity for striking a blow at the Spaniards than now; they have neither money nor men; the princes of Italy hate them. Something should be devised. I said he should speak to the duke, who requires more persuading than the others at the present moment.
With respect to the negotiations of these English ministers, I find that the King of England, who was very mistrustful of the French these last months, desired Carlisle to speak to the duke here to treat for some union with the Spaniards, comprising the restitution of for some union with the Spaniards, comprising the restitution of the Palatinate. I know the King of England said he attached great importance to encouraging confidential relations with this prince. I observe that if they found, in the progress of the business, the deceit which they expect from the Spaniards, while their differences with France continued, the king wanted some other way of defence to be devised. I think he had in mind a concert of Protestant princes, and I gather that they proposed to speak about it at Venice; they say your Serenity has had too much experience of the faith of France to hope much from her. They never thought of making peace with the Spaniards and abandoning the States. Wake was irate that this had been believed, and that it was thought Carlisle had some negotiations with the Infanta at Brussels. The mission to Spain of priests and friars and the person Porter was all a caprice of Buckingham, and we should see that the King of England would never come to terms with the Spaniards without the restitution of the Palatinate. I find, however, that Wake is very anxious over the arrest of Porter in France, and he himself remarked to me that it seemed that the Marquis Spinola had orders from Spain to negotiate the adjustment, and they will express the intention, in the name of the Catholic, to restore the Palatinate, but the English do not trust these promises.
Wake does not expect to return to Venice again. He is waiting for Carlisle to reach England, whose confidential slave (intima creatura) he has constituted himself, so that he may have letters from him before he leaves here. I fancy, if this peace with France is made, that he expects to go as ordinary ambassador for his king.
Turin, the 3rd December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
601. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They propose to establish a regular service of couriers, twice a week, to Nice in Provence. The reason for this is apparently for the correspondence of merchants, which the duke encourages, with the mart of Villefranche. The Ambassador Wake, as of his own accord, devotes all his energies for the success of this; indeed I fancy that he has an idea of carrying it through (d'arrivar fin la). He told me yesterday of five ships which had arrived, and that he has an excellent opinion of the success of the affair; but I have not heard anyone else say so, and I think it is because of Wake's devotion to this undertaking.
Turin, the 3rd December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
602. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Prince of Orange told me that he heard from Brussels not only that they were expecting the Abbot Scaglia and the Earl of Carlisle, but that in Spain the peace with England was far advanced. I urged him to do everything possible to upset this. The prince fully understands the situation. He fears that if the peace with France is not arranged England will come to terms with Spain and the Duke of Savoy himself may be the mean.
The Dutch ambassadors write from Paris that the final reply of the Most Christian to Montagu was that if the King of England desired to procure benefits and liberty for those of the religion, he would claim the same for the Catholics in England, that they should be better treated and have the free exercise of their faith and churches in all the towns of the kingdom, which means that he will not agree to the treaties if subjects are included.
The Hague, the 4th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
603. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle arrived here on the last day of last month. The lords here showed him every honour in their power, bringing out troops, firing guns and so forth. I met him three miles out, as a sign of esteem. He expresses unmeasured appreciation of the favours shown him by the republic. He performed a general office with the lords here upon the perfect disposition of his king towards the Protestant Cantons. He presented royal letters of credence in conformity, to which they replied with expressions of devotion and esteem towards his Majesty. The earl does not consider the peace with France well established as yet and I observed him most anxiously to hear what news there was, especially what Montagu had done. I could easily understand his desire to be at Court before the total conclusions, but I could not find out whether it was from ambition to have a share in putting the finishing touches or to thwart it, as I have heard him speak very freely about the breaches of faith of the French ministers, although on the other hand he seems very obsequious and beholden to his queen and eager for a change in the fortunes of the Queen of Bohemia. At any rate, he considers the accommodation with Spain a very long way off, and seems to attach no importance to the negotiations of Porter at that Court.
Yesterday he had a solemn meeting with the lords here, at which I was present. A despatch arrived there from Turin with very long letters from Wake and the Abbot Scaglia, of the 26th November, I fancy. When he had read them he said the news of Casale was not good, as without relief he did not think they could hold out two months. They were very cast down after the death of the Marquis of Beueron. He would be very sorry if it fell, for the sake of Italy and the Duke of Mantua in particular, for whom he expressed great affection. He remarked that the republic should assist him with the forces she has ready, as no help can be expected from elsewhere. I said your Serenity had done your full share, and if others had done as much Casale would not be in its present state. But it was to be hoped that France would repair the fall of that place. He replied, Call me a fool if the king goes to Italy or accompanies his forces out of France. We know they will do nothing worth anything. They will make a diversion towards Genoa which will not help Mantua or the others.
He asserts with the utmost assurance that the Duke of Savoy has not received a farthing from the Spaniards, although it has been stated for reputation that il Paser took 80,000 crowns. They had also spread the news of Scaglia's journey to the Catholic Court. He sticks to it that his Highness is in no way committed to Spain beyond the Monferrat affair, that king being bound by writing to maintain it according to previous agreements. This time they had prayed him to take away what they had previously made war on him for taking out of their hands. For the rest he is free to co-operate against the Genoese or wherever else it may suit him. He will make some stroke worthy of him with the numerous forces he commands; and he also has two millions of gold to dispose of at pleasure.
The earl spoke highly of the Ambassador Cornaro and said he was especially beholden to him during his stay at that Court.
The earl proposes to leave to-day for Basel, where he hopes to meet a courier from England. He will go by boat on the Rhine to Amsterdam in order to reach the Court as soon as possible. It seems the queen in particular is very desirous of him; he says her influence was rather eclipsed by Buckingham's favour, but he believed she would now shine as her eminent qualities deserved. He leaves here a general impression of great generosity and liberality, and has won all hearts by his courteous behaviour, especially to me.
Wake's gentleman Fleming is going with him, but he says he will come back in two months, he hints, with the title of resident in ordinary for the king with the Swiss.
Zurich, the 4th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
604. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards are as much affected by the fall of La Rochelle as if Spain itself had lost it, or had lost a province. They know that France is displeased at their secret and effective help to the Rochellese, while that of England was open and a mere show (finti). The aspect of the quarrels of France and England being resolved into a union excites their apprehensions. They are afraid of something similar with Savoy, with the participation of the pope, who so readily granted the dispensation for the English marriage.
Naples, the 5th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
605. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters of the 21st have arrived from Paris to-day. The sea has broken the mole at La Rochelle and if the king had tarried in taking it the fleet would certainly have relieved the town. The king stayed on there in order to see the fleet go, and I understand that it has sailed for England. Montagu has returned to France and spoken with the cardinal, and the peace was obstructed by impediment rather than difficulties. This is all I have learned to-day.
The Abbot Scaglia has been to see me to-day. He said the duke was sending him to Spain and he wished to tell me. The duke saw that France and Spain were more inclined for affection than war. He thought there were several proposals for an adjustment from England, but only that of Father Croua seemed in being, and he did not think that likely to succeed. He said he thought Rohan would do well to accept the peace, but he knew full well that the crowns of England and France would remain disunited and this peace they talk about is not so easy. He knew that the King of England spoke very haughtily when Montagu went to him. The English will make peace if the King of France promises to send his forces to Italy and concerts something useful; in fine all are well disposed except France, which only wants to stand side by side with the Spaniards to smash Venice and Savoy. England was somewhat resentful that his master had not been able to stand on the same side, and they believe your Serenity will find this out about them one of these days.
From what Scaglia said to me and other circumstances I find that he is ostensibly going to Spain to be present at all the intrigues between France and Spain, so that they shall not make a peace like that of the Valtelline.
Turin, the 5th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
606. To the Ambassador Contarini in England.
We enclose what we wrote to Zorzi on the 2nd inst. We have also informed Corner about their writing to Savoy. Soranzo writes of the continuance of ill feeling between England and the States. You will try to assuage this, and we are telling Soranzo to do the like. We hear that the Dutch have captured the Spanish fleet, worth 12 millions of gold, and that this and the fall of La Rochelle may make the Spaniards more inclined to a truce with the Dutch and peace with England, as they aim at deluding that Crown by encouraging its disputes with France. You will keep on the watch about this, advising us of all you learn worthy of our notice. For your information we enclose a sheet of advices which came in letters from Spain.
Ayes, 89.Noes, 3.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Dec. 8.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi,
Venetian
Archives.
607. The French ambassador came into the Collegio with M. di Saludie, sent with letters from the Most Christian. After the letters had been read, the ambassador said:
I come gladly to pass a most pleasing office with your Serenity and to perform the most glorious part of my charge in telling you of my king's victories and the storming of La Rochelle. Words are not adequate for such a task, but his Majesty's command and my own gladness compel me to make the attempt rather than deprive the most serene republic of the greatest satisfaction it can receive from the prosperity of others. Your Serenity knows the day of the Island of Ré, and the marvellous event that would not be credited by our grandchildren if it had taken place under another ruler less spirited than his Majesty. You know the following event of the spring equinox and the withdrawal of the enemy who came with such ardour, being turned back by the mere aspect of our forces. This third time, when all England armed, you know how the fleet made two unsuccessful attempts, and finally gave up altogether, after losing many ships. One might almost say that the English had made arrangements with the genius and fortune of France, and this last preparation of so many ships was made, not to oppose the king's forces, but to take part more worthily in the greatest action of our times, and accompany his victory with splendour. All this is well known to your Serenity and your Excellencies, who fully appreciate the significance of these events and the glory due to his Majesty. I have now to announce the surrender of La Rochelle.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
608. To the Ambassador Corner in Savoy.
We have just received five of your letters. We note particularly what has been conveyed to the duke's ears, and cannot help concluding that it is all artifice in order to create mistrust between the republic and France. The arguments and offices of the Ambassador Wake may aim at a similar result, as he has always been very keen in the duke's interests.
Ayes, 139.Noes, 1.Neutral, 38.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
609. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A leading minister has remarked that very soon there will be a good correspondence between this Crown and the King of England. In spite of all this it is not known if any negotiations are progressing, as I have previously reported.
Madrid, the 9th December, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
610. AGOSTIN VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With respect to the English ship returned from Alexandretta, my friend writes to me from Leghorn that it was sent there by the house Marcelli with specie and some cases of satin for that house. He thinks, but cannot say for certain, that they were directed to a Sig. Job, an Englishman; most of the goods were for the Manelli, some for Antonio Petri, a merchant of Leghorn, and some for Thomas Langor, an English merchant. He could not find out for certain if there were any for subjects of your Serenity, though he conjectured there were, as the Tasca had some interest from being insured and at Cyprus the ship was recommended to a Venetian. The goods consisted of cotton, spun silk, gall nuts, rhubarb and cloth. He sends me no further particulars.
Florence, the 9th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
611. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In Hamburg they were raising troops for the Kings of Denmark and Sweden. To do this they displayed many ensigns. I have seen several letters stating that 6,000 foot and 1,000 horse, secretly levied for the service of the King of England in Germany, have all assembled and propose to winter in the bishopric of Munster and in the country of Oldenburg. If this is true it will confirm the suspicions of the Imperialists that there will be new troubles in the spring about the Palatinate.
Vienna, the 9th December, 1628.
[Italian; copy.]
Dec. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
612. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear that the King of France proposes to go to Dijon to attend the affairs of Italy there, but there seems little likelihood of his confidential ministers doing anything serious. A person, who has previously spoken with different views, remarked to me that if the Duke of Savoy thought he would be well treated and not trampled on by France he would form good resolutions, but he is afraid that if he trusts them and he does not promptly profit by their words and deeds, ruin will overtake him, and his hopes of gain will be converted into certain loss. I fancy that this peace between France and England, the negotiations for which seem to hang fire rather than run smoothly, will seriously interfere with good resolutions, and just as the capture of La Rochelle is undoubtedly advantageous for the affairs of Italy, so if that is not followed by good resolutions on the part of the French, it will be poison rather than medicine.
The Ambassador Wake always insists in prognosticating a lack of right sentiment; that the French are hand in glove with the Spaniards, and mean to destroy the Huguenots; and that the ministers think more of undertakings to employ the arms of the Most Christian than of using them for the common cause.
The Abbot Scaglia left on Tuesday in the snow. He said he did not expect to stop long in Spain, and he thought he should find the king at Barcelona. Besides what he said to me, I find that the duke sends him on purpose to find out how he stands at that Court, as his Highness has no one in whose ability and finesse he has more confidence.
Turin, the 10th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
613. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received the advices about the peace between France and England. I see indications that the Ambassador Wake has received all the negotiations and proposals made by our ambassadors from the Secretary Conway, his father-in-law. He has communicated them to the duke, who remarked that France was not moving with the sentiments with which your Serenity credited her, and that the cardinal had deceived Montagu and the other ambassadors.
Wake lays all the blame for the surrender of La Rochelle upon Montagu and says that the cardinal's sole design was to make the Rochellese jealous and surrender. He succeeded in this, as if they had waited four or five days longer the sea would have broken the mole, as it did. He maintains that they had provisions for five months.
Wake seems very zealous for his king's reputation, considering that when Montagu's negotiations have broken down the report will die away that the English betrayed the Rochellese by order of their master. He said that the proposals taken by Montagu to England from the cardinal were unworthy of being carried to a navvy, let alone a king.
I notice that Wake does not believe that the fleet has sailed for England, but that it will carry out its orders. He apparently wished me to believe that it would effect a landing somewhere in France.
He has despatched a gentleman post to England with orders to find Carlisle on the way, and go on to the Court before him. Barocio is to join him, and the prince asked Wake to make his man wait for him. He did so until the letters came with my packet from Venice. He set off immediately afterwards. I think he waited for them because his letters from England came that way, with the others. He told me he was sending this confidential person because he did not want to trust everything to writing. He had given him orders to see Contarini and pay his respects.
I really believe that this minister will one day play a great part in English affairs. I know that Carlisle will speak highly of him, as he has been his right hand and most faithful follower.
I reported that he will wait until Carlisle reaches England, and he does not expect to return to Venice. He remarked to me that he had taken leave of the Collegio; he had left as he had done before when he was secretary to the Ambassador Carleton; he would lose the present, as he had done then.
They write from France that Porter was arrested in a boat on the Garonne, as he was returning to England. Wake was curious about the news, but he expressed the belief that Porter was still in Spain.
Turin, the 10th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
614. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A gentleman has been sent to catch up the Abbot Scaglia, with letters from the duke. With your advices about the English negotiations it has occurred to me that as Scaglia is well informed about those interests he may be going in order to augment the misgivings about a peace between the Spaniards and the English, and strike the blow at the French, seeing that Barocio is going to England and that Wake is also sending to that Court.
Wake is certainly negotiating about the trade of Villefranche, and the other day he had audience of the duke about this business, in the presence of the prince and some of the presidents. They expect that as many as thirty ships a year will visit that port from England, with lead, tin and the like, and from what I gather, they desire some security for the merchants in these states. The ambassador thinks that it will be easy to obtain the capital, and he is really conducting the affair with great devotion.
Turin, the 10th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The capture of the Spanish treasure fleet by Piet Hein off Cuba on the 8th and 9th Sept. The value of the booty exceeded 11½ million florins.
2 Cecil House in the Strand, belonging to Lord Wimbledon; burnt to the ground on the 19th November, o.s. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 433–435.
3 He was sworn on the 13th November, o.s. Birch, vol. i, page 427.