Venice
December 1628, 11-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1916

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429-442

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'Venice: December 1628, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 429-442. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89208 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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December 1628

Dec. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
615. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They do not form a good opinion here about the peace between the two crowns, although it is known that Montagu returned to England with fresh proposals. They do not like the individual, because he carries no credit with him, and the Agent Carleton himself has let it be understood that his king is not pleased at the employment of Montagu.
Joachim will leave for England with the first favourable wind, and with him will go the deputies of the East India Company in order to settle the Amboyna difficulty and other outstanding differences with the English about that trade.
Since the news of the surrender of Crempe remarkable revelations have come to light showing the negligence of the royal commissioners. Still worse is feared from this cause, because in Gluckstat they are short of the most necessary things, to such an extent that when Morgan arrived there and proposed to open a passage towards Cremp, they could not find the necessary materials, and the troops he brought with him were distributed in private houses, for lack of quarters, causing grievous discontent among the citizens.
The Hague, the 11th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
616. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Carlisle pursued his journey to Basel, where he stayed some days, contrary to what he told me that he would only stop two nights. But he was waiting for the courier whom he expected from the Court, from whom he feels sure he will have some instructions, as I gathered from what he said to me on the visit he paid me before he left. I accompanied him a little way on horseback with the lords here.
Zurich, the 11th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 11.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
617. The deliberation of the Senate of the 9th inst. was read in the Collegio to the ambassador of his Most Christian Majesty and M. della Saludie, who listened with great satisfaction, especially the ambassador. Among other things he said:
I may add that the English fleet has gone, as his Majesty would not leave La Rochelle before he saw it go. By good fortune also a storm came on and five large ships were wrecked on that coast, many English prisoners being taken. But the king with his usual gracious generosity sent them all to the queen, his sister, and this has brought about a better state of feeling with hope of every good.
[Italian.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
618. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
For the last forty days I have received no advices from France, in which time I have sent three expresses thither. This is most prejudicial. A few days ago the Danish ambassador had audience on certain business, demonstrating the advantages of peace and the need for concluding it. The king told him that he was as willing as ever; his disposition had undergone no change, but the French did not reciprocate. Having gained La Rochelle they did not care about him. They deceived everyone, as they always had done. Had they meant well, they ought to have advanced the negotiations after the victory. He added other expressions of anger and disgust.
Immediately after the audience the ambassador came to tell me. I answered, without being disheartened and rather warmly, that some of the ministers spoke to me to the same effect, but I pointed out to them the impossibility of settling important affairs of this nature in hours. They might choose to adjust matters with Rohan first, and the other Huguenots, in order to give better satisfaction to England. The Court cannot reassemble in Paris without some delay. Such suspicions might lead the way to negotiations with Spain, and so forth. I begged him to reply to this effect, both to the king and ministers, whenever they made remarks about delay. I do this myself in order to uphold the business and prevent the advance of the negotiations with the Spaniards, who are very active, until the intentions of France are known. In this I hope to succeed. It is true that even if they mean well this bad impression on the king and the whole Court cannot be beneficial, and the slightest suspicion will be taken for the substance of some great deceit. I rage, but I must repair the hurt as best I can, although I begin to doubt their sincerity there, which was always very corrupt, not to say perfidious.
I acknowledge the despatches of the 3rd and 10th November. The affair of the peace remains as reported. I cannot open my lips without ruining everything until the reply from France arrives, which alone can remove suspicion and jealousy. It will be no slight thing to prevent the disturbance produced by delay. I wrote fully on the 2nd what Carlisle sent by Gerbier and another. It comforts me to see that the advices from that Court are of the same tenor. I must add that Mr. Ud (fn. 1) has been sent back to Carlisle, whom he expects to find at Turin, or near, as he is waiting for remittances to continue his journey. The treasurer has delayed them, lest he come to thwart his projects for peace. The king assures the duke that Montagu's proposals were not requested but volunteered by the cardinal, nor were they quite ripe for a speedy conclusion, as announced at Turin. His Majesty adds that the foreign ministers, and especially the Venetian, had some agreement on hand, to which, for the common weal, he would give ear whenever the French did the like. The Duke of Savoy at the beginning of the troubles had urged him to do this. He declares that he will not forget the duke or his other friends when concluding peace, and sends one of the declarations he made previously to all the foreign ministers, in which place is reserved for Savoy to take part in this good act if he pleases.
When Scaglia first came here he endeavoured to effect the adjustment with France for the sake of returning with honour to Paris, whence he had been expelled, but on seeing the difficulties, and with the Mantua affair cropping up unexpectedly, he changed his opinion. If Carlisle stops at Brussels on his return, I am told on good authority that he has no commission to treat, though the queen has let out that he will arrive there and stay some days, though with regard to Scaglia accompanying him report varies.
Some letters from Brussels written to the Catholics here have been intercepted. They state that the Infanta, after the orders about this peace arrived from Spain, wrote to Scaglia to return. The courier found him three days off and he replied that as he was so near he thought he would first learn what his master thought.
Meanwhile it is quite true that the Spaniards seek the peace. They have already proclaimed the full powers received from Spain, which will serve as an invitation. They compose papers to persuade the king. The merchants' letters from Brussels announce the appointment of three commissioners, one of whom is to come here, and Cottington would go to that Court. In the first instance an eight months' truce would be made, as the easiest way of advancing the rest of the business, and to open the trade during the interval. All these steps might be more advanced but for the capture of the plate fleet, owing to which everyone clamours against peace with Spain. The replies from France also cause suspense. Some suppose that after the reconciliation with France England will obtain better terms from Spain. Others wish to gain time until parliament meets on the 20th prox., to see how it will comport itself after the duke's death. If it contribute money without making objections, the friends of England will be assisted, and peace with Spain will become more difficult. If parliament is recalcitrant or claims to enlarge its privileges, the shop will undoubtedly be shut up, and they will devote themselves exclusively to home affairs, so as for the future to render the king master without parliament. Thus matters here are seriously embroiled, and these are the real maxims of the present government.
That parliament is to meet may be inferred from general report, as well as from what the king said to the Danish ambassador, requesting him to delay his demands until then. There are open signs of the meeting, for Felton, who killed the duke, has been hanged without further torture. The king would not interfere and referred him to the judges in ordinary, who punished him for simple murder, in order not to exasperate the people. The king has also made the Council pass a declaration upon the abuses attributed to him on the score of religion. All these measures are preludes to dispose parliament in his favour.
It is difficult to say if the policy will answer. There are many corrupt humours and parties concerned, and the opinions of the Puritans agree badly with monarchy. The treasurer, who now rules everything, is supposed to be half a Catholic. They say that the Lord Treasurer of England ought not to have a seat in the Council, as no one dares oppose him, since everyone has to pass through his hands. If they begin talk of this kind everything will certainly break. Meanwhile he is strengthening himself by means of Arundel's party and other great lords, not only against parliament but also as a counterpoise to anything Carlisle might do to him. For this reason he would like peace, because if the king was no longer in want, the treasurer would be more secure from any danger. In confirmation of this I hear on good authority that the king will not bind himself either to France or Spain not to make peace with whichever of the two is hindermost so as to be free to treat with all, but the one that is first will have great advantage.
Down to this time I venture to assert that the Dutch have no share in these negotiations at Brussels, and they are the less inclined to yield the least point of the sovereignty which they claim, as the Spaniards will now undoubtedly offer them more than before, as the Dutch have discovered the real way to ruin them. This affair of the fleet is a very great matter, and I hope they will not spoil it. It is possible that Spinola may try to prolong the truce, but I do not hear that the Dutch reciprocate or share any such wish. In a popular government so great an engine cannot be moved noiselessly, and the people will not trust the promises of the Spaniards unless guaranteed by the great powers, as at the last truce, not to speak of a variety of other considerations about religion etc.
I return very hearty thanks for the information about Italy, against whom the Spaniards aim all their arrows, now they no longer have anything to fear from the North. I will avail myself of it with circumspection, but lessening the detestation I feel for the acts of violence, and whatever can be interpreted to the dishonour of the French, although to the detriment of others, is not unwelcome here. You will allow me to use these advices according to affections and passions, as well as state policy. After the conclusion of peace with France, for which I pray God, the language must be changed, in order to break the threads with which the Spaniards visibly weave their net against the liberty of all governments.
London, the 12th December, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
619. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Offers made by Colonels Kniphausen and Scott and other officers to raise and command soldiers for the service of Venice.
The lieutenant of the Scottish regiment has been to offer it to me, hoping that the king would give him some support until such time as your Serenity's reply arrived. Several days have passed and he has not returned with this decision or the offers which he said he would bring, so I imagine that the king will not hear of it.
Not a day passes but I am importuned, with this general disbanding, and if your Excellencies wished, I believe a levy could be made with great advantage, and, what is of more importance, of good war hardened troops accustomed to the sea, as only a very few died on this last voyage. Very suitable people have applied to me.
One Fonsberg, a Zeelander, who formerly acted as agent for Denmark at the Hague, now claims to act here in the same capacity. The Danish ambassador spoke angrily about this to the king, who, with some commissioners, declared that Fonsberg should no longer be admitted as such, or allowed to quit London. The ambassador would like to have him put in prison and to seize his papers, but cannot obtain this. Fonsberg enjoys some protection because he has given hints how to raise money without parliament.
Crempe has fallen, not without suspicion of treachery on the part of the governor, a nobleman of the country. It might well have held out for some days longer. On retiring to Hamburg he had a bad reception and the people maltreated him.
Morgan with his thousand men has been refused entrance into Gluckstadt, in order not to burden the besieged with troops without food. But there is some confusion, because Morgan as general will not obey the governor there. The English merchants at Hamburg have raised some money for the maintenance of those troops, until they receive orders from here or victuals. These were shipped many days ago, but there were no men-of-war to convoy them, and they may be useless because of the ice, which will soon bar the Elbe.
There is a Muscovite ambassador here, who has come to compliment the king on his accession; so it must be supposed that news arrives very late in those cold regions. As he has not much business to transact, he does not trouble about seeing the king, unless he can do so quite at his ease.
London, the 12th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
620. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is said that the Duke of Savoy is still hopeful of adjusting the differences between the Catholic and the King of England. He wrote recently to the Count of Olivares. The Marquis of Mirabel has sent a courier express, who arrived to-day.
Madrid, the 12th December, 1628.
Postscript.—I have just heard on good authority that an adjustment has taken place between the King of England and Spain, and what is more, capitulations for a league.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 12.
Cl. vii. Cod.
1927.
Bibl. St. Marco.
621. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, his colleague in England.
Cristofforo arrived at La Rochelle just as everyone was starting for Paris. Accordingly I made every possible effort to get speech with the cardinal, and after I had sent twice to him he gave me an appointment; however, either time was short and he was busy, or he promised merely to please me rather than meaning really to see me. At any rate, when I went to the house at the appointed hour I did not find him and when I returned later they told me that he was in his bath, so he postponed the business to Paris, as he was leaving very early on the following morning.
Paris, the 12th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 13.
Cl. vii. Cod.
1927.
Bibl. S. Marco.
622. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, his colleague in England.
Conter went to seek me at La Rochelle, but found me on my way back in the hills of Touraine. I send him back without news, as that is better than keeping him waiting so long. Your letters show that our affair could not possibly have made better progress on your side, and here also I expect all will be well, but the difficulty is that while they are preparing for the king's state entry into Paris to celebrate the capture of La Rochelle, his Majesty, the cardinal and all the ministers have become invisible, and I must remain idle until Paris takes to business again. You must not think it strange that I do nothing, because I cannot. I know the importance of time and how the Austrians and other malign spirits may embroil a work so well in hand, but what would you ? Do you keep their steady heads there firm and I will try and steady these voluble ones here. In short, I hope.
To-day I presented the letters of the English queen to the queen mother. She was very pleased and thanked me. She told me that she liked the present and promised to do everything possible to second our common and excellent intentions. I should have sent Conter this very evening, but I promised the queen mother, at her request, to wait until the day after to-morrow, in case she wished to write, as I asked her.
My steward has given Conter 40 crowns for going to La Rochelle, with the 120 francs. I have given him the money to return to England and also 21 francs for the hose and spectacles.
Paris, the 13th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
623. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
With regard to what the English Ambassador Wake said to you about the ballad of Dom. Christoforo Ferari upon the Rochelle affair, the secretary of England came into the Collegio yesterday in his name to set forth the contents of a letter written to him by Wake to this effect. He had always been certain of the good disposition of the republic to his king, remaining neutral as between his king and France, but he had seen this ballad with amazement, printed by licence in this city by an able author, who, however, had gone too far in this instance, as not content with praising the Most Christian, who deserves it for so great an action, but on page 11 he has the King of England brought behind the triumphal car and calls the English fleet legni audaci. The ambassador asked that Ferrari might be punished so that the news of it might reach his Majesty before the offence. In the absence of the doge, Senior Councillor Cigogna answered that they saw no cause for offence in the ballad and the part indicated being read all the councillors pointed out to the secretary that the words legni audaci were generally used by poets for military affairs in an honourable and praiseworthy sense, meaning bold and valorous. So there was really nothing to complain about. Poetic licence is well known and Ferrari could not have had the least idea of offending his king. The secretary shrugged his shoulders, said he had executed his orders and went away without another word. (fn. 2)
This is for your information. We desire you to speak courteously and tactfully to Wake to the same effect, adding that Italian and Latin poets too use the word audaci in the best sense with an honourable meaning, as a hundred passages in ancient and modern histories will show, and there is no question of any offensive meaning.
As to Ferrari being a public person, you will tell him that Ferrari wrote the ballad as a poet and in a private capacity, as he himself stated in his dedicatory epistle. You will try to quiet him this way.
Ayes, 134.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
624. To the Ambassador in England.
We were the better pleased to learn from your letters of the 18th and 21st ult. of the favourable state of the peace, as we have an equally good report from France. The French ambassador told us he heard by letters of the 13th November that Montagu had arrived and conferred with the cardinal and Schomberg, and seeing it was of no use to treat while La Rochelle held out, immediately after the surrender he had sent and expected new commissions from his king, who was excellently disposed to the peace. The Most Christian was also, and there were great hopes of a conclusion. As a sign of good will his Majesty had released and sent back some English prisoners to the queen, his sister. We send this to show what you may achieve by constant vigilance and attention.
The English Ambassador Wake, now at Turin, has spoken to our Ambassador Corner, as you will see enclosed, about a ballad of Ferrari upon Rochelle. We also enclose what the secretary of England represented in the Collegio on the subject and our reply, together with our letter to Corner. You will use all this for your information alone, as the question is not worth speaking about unless anyone says anything to you, or others refer to it in a sinister manner, in which case you will speak in conformity with our reply, showing the slight grounds for the action.
We must add that we suspect Wake may have acted out of annoyance at not obtaining from us the release he asked of one Provaglio, a Brescian, condemned to ten years' imprisonment for a very serious offence, involving insuperable difficulties with the Council of Ten. He may also have acted in the belief that he would please the Duke of Savoy by raising some quarrel between his king and the republic, as it is certain his Highness does not like the peace between England and France, still less through the interposition of our ambassadors, and that Carlisle, after extraordinary favours and presents worth 20,000 crowns from the duke and his eldest son together, has gone with speed to England to upset this peace. All this will serve your ends and you will keep it to yourself.
Ayes, 134.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Cl. vii. Cod.
1927.
Bibl. S. Marco.
625. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, his colleague in England.
I refrain from sending you all the particulars of our negotiation until I have seen the cardinal. It will be very helpful if they will let their suspicions vanish in England. I speak of the Huguenots, the peace with whom makes great progress, with my help. But I must tell you that nothing will spoil this business more than if England shows a propensity to have a share in it; so we must avoid the rock, and England must show herself as far from any such idea as the earth is from the sky. When the situation changes, princes need never seek for pretexts, which are often dashed but never die. Verb. sap.
I expected to send you the queen's reply to her daughter, but when I sent for it I learned that the king had come incognito to the city and spent the whole day with her, so I could not see her. I am sending Grisone and keep back Cristofforo. I have great hopes that this business will turn out as we desire, but anyone who wishes to overcome difficulties must have patience here.
Paris, the 14th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
626. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day before yesterday I sent my despatch by way of Holland. I now forward the duplicate by Antwerp. This evening the Secretary Conway sent me a copy of the orders to Wake about Digby, of which I enclose a translation. I am satisfied with the paragraph relating to your Excellencies, as you can see the orders are executed on the spot, and the ambassador cannot deny them. I shall take an opportunity to dispute the justification of Digby's proceedings at Scanderoon. Although I hesitated, I did not think it advisable to return the copy to the secretary, as it was satisfactory about the recall and future preparations, and God knows when I should have got the revised document. Besides, you can always repeat your case, or you may let the matter drop, for to-morrow I shall tell the secretary that I have not sent the copy to Venice, but merely the general order from the king, commanding Digby's recall, and I should not have dared to send your Serenity the assertions of a pirate, so much at variance with the truth, and with the statements I communicated.
Your Serenity will see by the copy what I am writing to France. I pray God that the course of the new year and many future centuries may be happy and abound in all prosperity for the republic and each of your Excellencies.
London, the 15th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.627. Extract from instructions to Sir Isaac Wake.
The Venetian ambassador here has repeatedly complained against Sir Kenelm Digby, especially for the action at Scanderoon. Although his Majesty has heard from several quarters that Digby offered no offence, but, on the contrary, arrived in that port without attempting anything against Venetian or French ships, until he was provoked and attacked, so that much might be said to justify the fact, nevertheless his Majesty, out of regard for the republic of Venice, his good friend and colleague, and to prove in how much esteem and affection he holds the satisfaction of those lords, in whatever may depend on himself or his subjects, has commissioned me to notify your lordship his pleasure, which is that in his Majesty's name you order the said Sir [Kenelm] Digby to leave those seas and come home, so that opportunities for further offences may be removed. This is all that I am charged to command you for the present.
Whitehall, the 2/12 December, 1628.
[Italian; copy; translated from the English.]
Enclosure.628. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
My last were of the 4th, and went by Calais. These will go by Antwerp, because sending them by France would cause suspicion here, as they are expecting the replies. I have written so much about the danger of delay that I need say no more. Two Frenchmen, servants of the Queen of England, have come here bringing me letters from Calais, announcing the safe arrival of my last despatches. They left Paris on the 30th November, and tell me that up to that time the king had not arrived at Limburgh, the cardinal's country seat, where he was to remain until his public entry into Paris. I use this to excuse the delay. For the rest they assert publicly that in France nothing is said about the English, as if they did not exist. Montauban and other Protestant towns have been summoned to surrender within three months. The preachers at La Rochelle have been exiled. They have demanded the pass into Italy of Savoy with a protest that if it is not conceded it will be taken by force. None of these statements produces any effect, first by reason of the small account in which they declare England is held, secondly, because the Huguenots are still persecuted, and thirdly, as although England wishes to see the French engaged in Italy, she is not unmindful of the interests of Savoy. I would gladly combat these ideas if I knew how, but it is inadvisable at the present moment, as I am too much observed, and they would become more suspicious if I spoke of French affairs without alluding to the peace.
Important news has arrived to-day that one of the ships supposed to have perished was driven by stress of weather to Guernsey (Garnei), (fn. 3) belonging to this king. The governor had some of the soldiers put on shore, and then sent word here that a number of armed barques were being prepared on the neighbouring French coast, and troops were mustering, so it was suspected they might have a design on some of the said islands. He points out the need for a supply of arms, a thousand men and some other military stores. I do not know if the governor is acting for the sake of his own advantage or from over fear, but I know that no reasons of state allow belief in it. If the French expose themselves to this fresh trial, namely an irreconcileable war with England, it must be inferred that by deceiving all parties they have no wish to aid the common cause, and especially Italy, or else that the Spaniards, by their corruption and stratagems, effect miracles to extend monarchy, as the saints did of yore to propagate the faith. I will not yet believe it, but I must let you know, so that you may keep on the watch, although this fact, coupled with the delay of your despatches, implying repentance or deceit, keeps me in suspense on the matter.
I enclose the usual news letter for your guidance.
London, the 15th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered; copy.]
Dec. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
629. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Good letters reach me to-day from Contarini about the peace between the two crowns. His abilities daily overcome fresh difficulties and so I am very hopeful. It remains for me to do my part, if the English will only abandon their numerous pretensions, as well as all circumlocutions, once and for all, and come to a proper decision upon the three points in question. I will do everything possible, but I fear that I must tell him, to save him time and labour, that if the cardinal enters into this matter and finds me out, I shall not succeed in attaining the goal. In any case I beg your Excellencies not to blame the minister, as here one has to do with a king who never speaks except according to rule and with a cardinal who never listens except to those who tickle his ears.
Lina, the 15th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
630. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has letters from the Earl of Carlisle from Zurich that he is continuing his journey and has received orders to make haste. He writes of levies ordered among the Swiss by the Duke of Mantua and your Serenity; that Coure was asking a passage for 8,000 or 10,000 French. The Catholic Cantons objected and the Protestant ones would not agree unless their pensions were first paid and unless France declared that she was employing those forces against the Spaniards.
The Secretary Baroccio has left for England, and there is some doubt whether the Abbot Scaglia will pursue his journey directly, owing to misgivings about Guise's force.
Wake asks me to obtain a passport from the emperor for his wife, through the Resident Vico. He knows already that his embassy is at an end, and it seems that Sir [Thomas] Roe, who recently left the embassy of Constantinople, is destined to succeed him.
Turin, the 16th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
631. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I cannot find authentic information about what may actually have been arranged between the English and this Crown. I gather from various circumstances that up to the present they have arranged a good correspondence for trade. The Spaniards consider this an advantageous point for their interests, and they desire this much in order to feel secure from that quarter and delivered from the fear of their fleets. A formal peace cannot be managed so easily since the Spaniards and the emperor hold the dominions of the Palatine and the King of Denmark. They also hope to hinder the arrangement with the French and to arouse violent jealousy, profiting by their long negotiations.
Madrid, the 16th December, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 16.
Cl. vii. Cod.
1927.
Bibl. S. Marco.
632. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, his colleague in England.
The day before yesterday I sent off Grisone, but just as he was starting the queen mother sent to tell me to stop him, as she really meant to write. Accordingly I detained him, but I have left orders for him to start this evening, whether the letter comes or no. I am now going to hurry on our affair, and with that intention I am going to find the cardinal, ten leagues away. I forgot to say that I hear something about the queen mother intending to write two letters to the queen in England; one without cipher, in which she will say that if that queen will send someone on purpose to speak to her she will have various particulars to confide. . . . So I am told; if I can I will get confirmation.
Paris, the 16th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
633. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With no news arriving from any quarter about the most important negotiations of Europe, touching the reconciliation of France and England, and the dealings of the latter with the Spaniards, they are anxiously awaiting the issue here; everyone fears that the worse counsel will prevail, as they think that while the Most Christian will persist against those of the religion, the King of Great Britain is unlikely to come to an agreement with him, and so the quarrel with France is likely to develop into a long war, while it will be easier to embrace an accommodation with the Spaniards. I have recently conversed with the Palatine on the subject, in order to learn his views and to keep him aroused as much as possible, as he is naturally inclined to dismiss trouble-some questions which disturb his present quiet while he is waiting for a turn of fortune. In substance he seemed to believe that the Spaniards do not mean to come to any conclusion and that it will all end in talk, because the King of England cannot come to terms with them without the restitution of the Palatinate and he does not think the Spaniards will pay such a high price. He seems so sure that his brother-in-law will not accept other conditions that I found it impossible to shake him, as he said the king had so frequently promised not to abandon him, so that he was absolutely certain. He remarked that if the Spaniards really meant war in Italy or elsewhere, they might easily grant England any terms.
I spoke recently to the Prince of Orange about the Palatine's views, and found that he also had spoken with him and obtained substantially the same answers. He added very confidentially that the Palatine trusts to much in England, although from what had happened he had little cause to do so. But he had to make the best of what he could get. If the Spaniards gave him the portion of the Palatinate which they hold and Bavaria and the others did not follow suit, that would not help him much. In reality the prince fears that the English may abandon him, and if it suits them to accommodate the Palatine's interests, it cannot be prevented. He told me, however, that the latest news was that at the discussion in the King of England's Council upon the proposal of making peace with France or with Spain, only one voice was raised for an accommodation with the Spaniards, all the rest advised the reunion with France.
There are some reports here that Montagu's last journey to England was not approved, and the king would not receive him, so he is now in disgrace. The Princess Palatine confirmed this. The prince said he had heard the same from her, but he did not know whence she derived the information, as it is more than a month since letters have arrived from London. We have heard for certain, however, that the English fleet lost sixteen of their provision ships in their retirement.
The ambassadors report from France that Guise has orders to provide some fifty ships, as the Most Christian is determined to keep a fleet always ready for all emergencies.
Two other ships of the West India fleet have reached the Isle of Wight. They have sent to ask for an escort home. One who has come from England reports that he had spoken with a Spaniard, released by the commander of the said fleet in Scotland. He said they were at the Orkney Islands, but this is hardly credited, as if the fleet was really there they think it will not arrive here this winter because of the ice and fogs.
Gluckstat is provisioning itself and enlarging the quarters for the troops brought by General Morgan. The States devote much attention to it, because the fortress is well provided and well preserved and is not in the same danger from disorders as Cremp. It is not thought that Wallenstein or Tilly will make any further attempt upon it this year.
The Hague, the 18th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Capitanio
della
Galeasse.
Venetian
Archives.
634. GIOVANNI PAOLO GRADENIGO Captain of the Galleons, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I cannot express my regret at being deprived of the means of showing my zeal in the incident of the 21st June with the English ships. After many villanies to the prejudice of the public reputation their captain, perhaps by the divine will, himself selected the occasion for his own penance and the mortification of his unbridled insolence and boastful presumption. However, your Serenity has been pleased to approve of what I did on that occasion, and has honoured my devotion in your letters of the 26th September last. Though it cannot increase my natural debt to my country, it will serve as a fresh stimulus to my efforts.
The galleon off Rovigno, the 19th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
635. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I expected to send your Serenity this time the certainty that France would succour Italy immediately, and also the adjustment of the peace with England. I was so much in accord with the cardinal upon this that I passed three nights and two days happily. I then went to see him as arranged, to settle the day for signing the articles and for the nomination of the ambassadors hinc inde, when that inconstant and turbulent spirit upset the whole affair and changed the cards in my hand without listening to reason or remembering his promises. Two new difficulties are raised, suggested I believe by the Devil, as they have no show of reason for delaying this excellent work, though I will not despair yet, until I see it utterly destroyed. From the article about the reprisals, when the parties are not bound to mutual restoration, he excepts the St. Esprit for which he claims compensation, as being taken in neutral territory. He also wishes to change the essence of the article about the queen's household, which referred the matter to the two queens, giving supremacy to the queen mother, which they certainly will not approve in England. It availed me nothing to point out to him that it was not now a question between mother and daughter, but between queen and queen, where no disparity could be admitted. He would not hear anything about the ship either, though I said that if France had any claims she should apply elsewhere, but it was not possible to take steps against the King of England. I did not refrain from saying that he had not kept his word to me. He replied with some heat that I had broken mine also, as I had not determined on any one of the three contentious points. I thought it best to conclude our conversation there in order not to fire the powder any more.
Thus I left with the business all in confusion, and my hopes dashed. However, I do not lose hope, as I fancy I detected something in his choler and negatives which assures me of good, and although his tongue speaks differently, he really desires this peace. Once the malign spirit which now dominates him for some reason unknown, has had its way, I will make another attempt. My foundation is that the cardinal listened to me readily, a favour accorded to few. I will send word to Contarini of everything. He keeps the matter alive by his ability, and I will try to do the same, so that matters may proceed in an equally satisfactory manner on both sides.
Paris, the 20th December, 1628.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Captain John Wood. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, pages 350, 396.
2 Rowlandson's account of this audience is given in his dispatch of the 15th December. S.P. Foreign, Venice.
3 The Anthony of London, commissioned as a fire ship. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 197; id Add. 1625–9, page 303.