Venice
December 1628, 21-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1916

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442-460

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'Venice: December 1628, 21-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 442-460. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89209 Date accessed: 21 October 2014.


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December 1628

Dec. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
636. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Don Antonio Porter left this Court some days ago. I cannot find what intentions he takes from here or what way he has taken. It is quite certain that the ministers here would like to see the King of England friendly to this Crown, the more so at present because they cannot help being very dubious about the French.
Madrid, the 21st December, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
637. To the Ambassador in England.
We have no letters from you this week, but write to tell you that we hear that Carlisle is going to England on purpose to upset the peace with France, or if that may not be, that it shall not be brought about by anyone but the Duke of Savoy. Baroccio has also been sent for this, and Scaglia to Spain for the purpose of negotiating a peace between the Spaniards and English and upsetting the one with France. The close affection and union between his Highness and the earl is understood everywhere, to the advantage of an understanding with England and Spain to the exclusion of France, while the Ambassador Wake is closely united with them in the same interests. We also hear from Turin that he will not return to Venice, but that Sir [Thomas] Roe will come in his place. You will make use of this information and advise us of what you hear.
Casale is hard pressed by the Spanish force. It is supported by hopes of the French coming, as freely promised, but all delay is most dangerous, as the Spaniards are fortifying themselves to maintain the war with the idea of making further progress. We hear from France that a considerable naval force is ready at Marseilles, and that the king's forces are marching towards the frontiers, determined to relieve the Duke of Mantua.
Ayes, 110.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Dec. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
638. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The enclosed copy of my letter to France gives the most essential events here. I am sorry that the principal affair should go lame; and I must now foretell evil, instead of the good that was already in hand. If the French deceive us again this time, as seems likely, your Excellencies will draw your conclusions. If they mean to undertake a fresh war to the knife, without the possibility of winning, and allow the common cause to go to ruin, I confess I am at the end of my Latin, and the world will see very remarkable events, as the foundations of true policy are changing.
I have spoken to the Secretary Conway about the order given to Digby to return, representing that I did not dare send your Excellencies the entire copy of that writing. This course was the more necessary as a printed account is in circulation, boastful and mendacious, to assuage the disgust felt by the merchants here at Digby's imprudence and temerity, and at the 50,000 reals ransom which they had to disburse for the release of their consul. I remarked that such publications, issued merely to conceal defects, are unusual between friendly powers, as they generate hatred instead of love. I would not let it appear that I attached much importance to this narrative. It is clear that Digby falls back upon the pen because of lack of right and fair dealing; but I have not failed to remonstrate.
Conway said that the previous paper was not intended to justify Digby, but to let the republic know that despite the favourable account given of Digby by the ambassador at Constantinople, they preferred to gratify your Excellencies and condemn him by a recall, instead of leaving him where he was. This was a civil cloak to their action, and I chose to take it as such. He said he knew nothing about the printed account, but he would see it and reprimand the printer for having published it without the consent of the government. I shall await the result, and if I can humble this boastful spirit I shall do so gladly.
The Dutch admiral with the fleet which was plundered in the Gulf of Mexico and a convoy of nineteen is in Falmouth harbour. Ten other vessels to serve as escort, and which came from Holland, are in other neighbouring ports. There has been some fighting with the Dunkirkers, who always got the worst of it, and by this time the fleet may have passed over Holland.
Meanwhile we hear that mutiny has broken out at Bolduch and other places in the Netherlands. This will increase, as the rest of the fleet will not come to Spain this year. Now that the Dutch have discovered the nest, great precautions will be required for the future. Men of great judgment are of opinion that if the Dutch take the field next year they will greatly benefit themselves and their friends. The decision would be the more opportune as those who ought to think most about it neglect such a good opportunity, though I understand that the Dutch are afraid of the emperor's forces in their neighbourhood. This is merely to report the current talk here.
The Amboyna affair is becoming more embittered. The ambassadors here are trying to calm it, lest it serve for some pretext. Meanwhile orders have been issued to all the ports not to molest the Dutch traders with France, unless they convey war material and naval stores, the last rigorous decree being modified in this sense.
Reports persist that parliament will meet on the 20th January. So far there is no appearance that the king will adjourn it; on the contrary, they are preparing for a good harmony.
The King of Denmark has sent a despatch dated the 26th November, by a ship express, and his ambassador has approached his Majesty about three matters. First, the restitution of 300,000 rix dollars with interest for five years lent by him to King James. The king replied, apologising for the present state of affairs, and referring to parliament, without which he can promise nothing. The entire revenues of 1630 are already committed. The cost of food, the household and salaries is for the most part met out of the last subsidies. But now, to dismiss the troops, every other payment has been suspended greatly to the dissatisfaction of the courtiers. The second point is a demand for ships in the spring, as since the Imperialists got possession of Rostok they have been trying to strengthen themselves on the Baltic. The king fully understands, and promised this help without reserve. The third point was the letter and the other remarks about peace with France. To impress his Majesty he observed that after Denmark had declared her readiness to send commissioners for peace, the Imperialists instead of responding continued their conquests, taking Crempe and never sending a passport for the commissioners. They no longer think of peace and recently desired Lubeck and Hamburg to receive an imperial garrison. The two towns took time to reply and they are in great trouble. The fact is if the emperor gets possession of them and of the great number of ships there, the Danish Isles would not be safe, and all the rest in danger. In consequence of these events the King of Denmark had a manifest printed to exculpate himself before Germany, showing that the emperor, not he, refuses peace. Under that pretext he deceives everybody and proceeds with his conquests. The ambassador told the king that as his master saw little prospect of quiet or of help from others he had decided to confine himself to the defensive, keeping a small well paid army. The nobility agreed to this, paying the contributions and keeping separate commissioners for the disbursements to the troops, so that the money may not be wasted by passing through the hands of the royal ministers, as the people may suspect. He justified the cession of Stralsund to the King of Sweden, in order to involve him in the affairs of the empire, from which he is very averse. He already has 2,000 foot in that town, and the King of Denmark only 300. It is the only place remaining to those two kings by which they can set foot on the mainland, and is therefore of great importance. Peace between Sweden and Poland is in negotiation with hope of success, as the Poles have acknowledged the King of Sweden's title, which they have never done before. Danzig protests that it will declare for Sweden, and all appearances promise this, save the offices of the emperor, who tries his utmost to prevent it.
The victuals for Gluckstadt have been sent hence. The plague is in that fortress as well as in the imperial camp hard by, so Morgan with his troops has been admitted. The fortress is strong from the ease with which it receives provisions. All these advices come from the King of Denmark himself and were communicated to me in great confidence by the ambassador in person.
London, the 22nd December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.639. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
Ten more days have passed without any letters or messengers arriving from France. All the excuses given for delay begin to fail. With the bridle removed, all speak as they please, and the malignants say what they like, and try to controvert what we say. It no longer suffices to allege the king's journey and the distractions of the Court, as they think here that you might have sent back at least one of my messengers, and they suspect that both may have been stopped. It is useless to observe that as the Most Christian has with him the Ambassadors Fargis and Marini, who were at Madrid and Turin respectively, he may want to discuss what is most expedient in the present negotiations and then take the true course, as they reply that the cardinal should have done this at first, before pledging himself to the peace, as he did to you. Still less will they admit that negotiations with Rohan and the other Huguenots may delay the replies. They refute this by advices that the war will be waged more hotly than ever against them and against England itself. This justifies the suspicions about the islands of which I wrote and the fresh naval preparations near Rouen, whither the king is said to be sending a quantity of cannon, lately removed from the Bastille. A good number of armed ships are already fitted out, and the king's brother and the Duke of Guise will command this expedition. The English government, therefore, rejects excuses and concludes that the French have no wish for peace, and any move in that direction will be by force and in order to deceive. They suspect the cardinal of some negotiation with the Spaniards, just as he did about the Valtelline, making them believe that he can make peace with England when he pleases. But he deceives himself, and there is really cause for suspicion, as for the last few days I have not heard of any progress with the Spaniards, and on the contrary some whisper that they are going backwards. I cannot vouch for this. It will be a fine thing to see the Spaniards assisting the Huguenots and at the same time encouraging the king against them, wishing for peace with England and urging France to make war on her. In short, one knows not what to believe. Suspicion is so rife at Court that even if the French drew very near to the proposals I believe that weeks and months would now be required where everything might have been settled in a couple of days at the beginning. It is certain that there is some mystery in this delay in an affair which is so profitable and practically necessary to France, on account of Italy. I infer that you are much perturbed, and although I argue here that your delay is in order to make more sure of the promises received, and should produce a good opinion, yet I cannot believe in the existence of either deceit or repentance, and am much worried.
The Dutch ambassadors in France write on the 26th November that the cardinal clings to his old idea about establishing companies, as in Holland, and extending navigation. The English will never permit this, so as not to put arms in the hands of a hostile neighbour, against an open kingdom like this, and state policy does not allow it. They add that no agreement has yet been made with the Huguenots, and there are no visible means of effecting it. Appearances rather point to a continuation of the war against them at the persuasion of the French clergy. So it is evident that the interests of Italy are the last thing considered by France. She cannot attend to both as besides weakness at home from lack of money, diversions made by England will not be contemptible, when better planned than hitherto, owing to the union between the king and the people. God grant that there be not someone who wants to keep this pretext of war with England alive, as an excuse for not helping Italy, since everything goes to show that the queen mother has no great affection for the house of Nevers.
I should like to give the lie to all these things, but it would be ridiculous to speak without the authority of your letters, and to pretend to have any without speaking of the peace would increase suspicion that we were cajoling them as well as the French. So I am compelled to let the mischief pass, without the means to stop it, and God knows the torment I endure. I convey to the Court, covertly through friends, such remarks as may allay these evil rumours, as I no longer have the heart or the face to go there in person. The same ambassadors write that the nuncio was exerting himself for the internal peace of the kingdom, and certainly, on the score of religion and for the pope, he does well, though it seems a paradox. Otherwise, the poor Catholics here, without any fault of their own, will suffer similar harshness. In addition to their being more freely persecuted of late, a Jesuit was recently condemned to the extreme penalty, to wit the gallows, drawn at the horse's tail and so forth (fn. 1) ; but there may have been some hidden reason besides the priesthood. Yet it has been unusual to hear of such rigour before now. It is true that after the condemnation the king granted him his life, but it is not a good beginning, and, what matters more, it is unseemly for the French that such ancient and non-enforced acts against the Catholics should be revived in the face of a French queen, who came here for the sole object of benefiting Catholicism. It is quite certain that one of their reasons for leniency hitherto has been to give an example for a like moderation towards the Huguenots.
A brother of the Porter (fn. 2) who went to Spain has been ordered to fit out a galleon, of which he is captain, to fetch him from Santander, as he will not venture to return through France. Some far-sighted politicians think that as a royal galleon is sent he will be accompanied by some person to advance the peace, but of this there is no certainty.
A gentleman has arrived post from the Earl of Carlisle, whom he left at Basel. I hear he is to meet him at the Hague. I cannot discover more, except that Savoy continues his complaints about the peace, and I gather that he will carry his point. This gentleman asks for money, and expects Carlisle to be here in a fortnight or three weeks. This implies a fresh hindrance to our affair. I am again assured that he has no commission to negotiate at Brussels, but if the Infanta makes any overtures he will report it on his return.
The King of Denmark has written a letter to the king commending him for the declaration made to the Danish and other foreign ministers about sending commissioners to some neutral city. He prays him to further the peace as much as he can, as the sole means of relief for the public and his own individual interest. He desires the ambassador now here to repair to this neutral city, whenever it may be named, and to aid the completion of the work. The king replied with the usual expressions of his good will, which, if not reciprocated, will rather injure than benefit the common cause.
London, the 22nd December, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 22.
Bibl. S.
Marco.
Cl. VII, Cod.
1927.
640. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England.
With the king away, the Court dispersed and all twelve to fifteen leagues away from Paris, you may imagine the difficulty of negotiating an affair of this consequence with an oracle, who just at present will give no answers to anyone soever. Despite this, partly by importunity, partly by effrontery (insolenze), I succeeded in seeing the cardinal once. After having adjusted the affair and brought it to the point of arranging for the signature of the articles and the nomination of the ambassadors, and after two days and three nights had passed with this good taste, the worthy cardinal (seductus a diabolo), has changed his cards and upset the whole affair by two new demands, not made before, which seem to me unjust, unfounded and unreasonable. However, I may tell your Excellency that when the Court is back here and he himself, I do not yet despair of the business: but it needs address and patience, owing to the things that France is doing now, which, to tell the truth, are the exact opposite of what England believes.
If England ever wished to give a slap (fn. 3) to the Spaniards, now is the time, when they have neither money nor men, and if the English now make an adjustment with the Spaniards one may well say that they are the cause of the ruin of the world and of all their friends. All the princes of the world want to operate against the Austrians. I know this, that England will never get his own back for the Palatine if they lose this chance, and it would be much better for her and for all to make some concession to France than to make terms with the Spaniards.
I enclose a letter from the queen mother to her daughter in response to the one sent to me. I may add that the king was very pleased to see his sister's letters.
Paris, the 22nd December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 23.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
641. That as a gratification to the Earl of Carlisle, who was ambassador extraordinary of the King of Great Britain, the goods described in the enclosed note, recently presented in our Collegio by the secretary of the ordinary ambassador, be exempted from the duty, which would amount to 30 ducats.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
On the 14th December in the Collegio:
Ayes, 20.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Dec. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
642. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Il Falconier has been substituted for the deposed Aga of the Janissaries. The first day he left his house he had the agents of Prince Gabor imprisoned for not showing him respect. He goes through the city filling everyone with fear. He has had many nailed by the ears and beaten for insignificant causes. The essential thing is that whereas the merchants and shopkeepers expected to find their business greatly increased, it has been curtailed more than ever, as everyone is afraid to sell or to buy. The English, some months ago, by virtue of a good outlay, had the Hart removed from their "London" cloth, yet in spite of this the vendors dare not take advantage of the privilege.
The Vigne of Pera, the 23rd December, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
643. AGOSTINO VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two large English ships have arrived at Leghorn, laden chiefly with salt fish.
Florence, the 23rd December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Aleppo.
Venetian
Archives.
644. BERNARDO SALAMON, Venetian Vice Consul at Aleppo, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Pasha has returned from the war. As soon as he arrived the wife and children of the Turkish Chief Calil appealed to him for vengeance, saying that the Venetian consul had shown too much fury. The Pasha sent for me and I found him very angry. I told him the man was a thief who had stolen diamonds from a Portuguese. I succeeded in placading his fury, but he then tried to secure his intent by another way. He told me to appear next day at the public Divan, when the consuls of France and England would also be present. At this there were great disputes. England said that his ships had come to Scanderoon as friends and only entered the port for refreshments. The Venetian squadron stopped them and they had to defend themselves. Here in Aleppo, to prevent trouble to his nation, owing to the pother made by the French, he had spent a large sum of money, of which the French consul had received 11,000 ryals, and he appealed against that official and against the Venetians, because they began the fight.
France defended himself vigorously. I was armed with papers and public cozzetti and so represented the case that instead of being condemned, as England claimed and France hoped, I repelled every attack and returned home with honour, while all the ruin fell on them. For the Pasha had a command of the Vizier General read and immediately ordered that the consuls of France and England with their Turcimani should be sent to Constantinople, and meanwhile be detained as prisoners in the castle. They started twice for this, but finally he made them turn back and let them go on a surety, though he first had all the goods of the English sealed in their magazines.
I cannot say for certain if these consuls will go to Constantinople, as although the fury of the Pasha might make the sentence seem irrevocable, yet the profits from this immense trade may make him anxious to reconsider the matter. There is no law here but the will of the ruler; no reason is listened to unless backed by gold.
Aleppo, the 23rd December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
645. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have had occasion to speak to Wake about Ferrari's poem. I told him that poets were allowed considerable licence. The word audaci meant brave and courageous; Ferrari meant no insult to his king, and one day would applaud his victories. Your Serenity saw no reason for complaint. Wake would not interpret the verses as being aught but blame of England; but he said that Ferrari was his friend. He would think no more of the matter, as he had done his duty. I would not dispute with him any more, as I think the ill success of his fleet makes him irritable, and he does not give me the impression that he will perform evil offices in England.
I am not sure but his discrediting the movements of France may not be for the purpose of giving advantage to the Spaniards. He always betrays a great bias against the latter; makes much of their feebleness and misery, always welcomes talk of expelling them from the state of Milan. He has frequently remarked to me that if your Serenity thought his king might trust France, and that they would not betray their partners as in the past, a thing which the hot blood of a young king could not stand like a republic, he would do so and render great assistance to the cause, and it will encourage him to detach the Duke of Savoy from the Spaniards. If I remarked that he should note if the French really meant to move against the Spaniards and were not tricking, he said that he never saw any reason why the house of Savoy should suspect France, and if the duke was attacked his king would assist him with ships and money, and with money the duke could obtain as many men from Lorraine and Burgundy as he wanted.
I further observe that Wake is awaiting with curiosity the negotiations of Passer at Milan, if the Duke of Mantua will come to terms. He remarked to me that in a fortnight we shall see how things stand in Italy, and he would then send an express to England. He asked me to allow him to send with my letters to Zorzi, to be forwarded to London; he would pay the cost. I did not promise anything, but I beg for instructions. It may be that he wants to make the Duke of Savoy the intermediary with France, if peace is made between the two crowns. He fancies that when the French have collected their forces in these parts, they may have designs on Geneva, and say that if they do so France certainly does not want the friendship of England or of those of the religion, nor would they want hers any more. A comparison of numerous conversations makes me give some credence to what he says, though in treating with him I always maintain a proper reserve.
Turin, the 24th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
646. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have met the French ambassador twice lately. I spoke to him about the peace with England and events here. He answered the first part with generalities, saying that his sovereign was excellently disposed towards the King of Great Britain. He had not done anything from which a different conclusion could be drawn, as in this war he has acted solely on the defensive. By all the rules of war the English ought to be considered the enemies of France, because they were the aggressors, and the pretext itself should render them odious to all princes as they wanted to uphold rebels, and that a sovereign should treat with his subjects, absurdities unworthy of consideration. Every time he talked on the subject his blood boiled because he knew that all these forces and the money should be much better employed, but he took consolation from the fact that all disinterested persons would agree that his master could not have acted otherwise, because the English went to seek him in his own dominions. I said the results of the good disposition of his king towards England were greatly desired, and this would be the more fitting since victory renders the Most Christian's arms glorious, and may afford an opening for negotiation previously impeded by the uncertain issue of the operations. He would realise that such an affair between two of the greatest kings in Europe could not be discussed in the same way as a private matter. To make a peace it was necessary to forget offences and put aside punctilio, in order to establish union and brotherliness. From what had come to my knowledge they would find the King of Great Britain equally well disposed.
The ambassador said that the States needed to stand well with both kings. The Most Christian knew this and did not wish to prejudice them; but princes must preserve their authority intact, as if they permit actions derogatory thereto the stain is conspicuous. All this simply refers to the capture of the St. Esprit at the Texel, which the French claim the States ought to have restored to them. The matter is a very delicate one, as the English claim they need render no account of that action to the States; and the States could not ask for it except very tactfully and mildly, because they themselves, on previous occasions, have entered English ports to capture Spanish ships when England had no war with the Spaniards. This is a great asset for the Ambassador Carleton, who is now here. I have pointed this out to the French minister with many other considerations. I did not find him so difficult as I had expected, as he has won the reputation of being ill disposed towards them here.
With respect to Langarach's treaty, I do not think that anything will be arranged with France while the dispute between the two crowns continues, both because of the obstacles which the English themselves put in the way, and because the Most Christian will not abandon his claims for the ratification of that treaty as it stands.
The Hague, the 25th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
647. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day before yesterday letters arrived from Admiral Peter Hein, who is at Plymouth with twelve ships of the fleet. The rest have arrived here safely. He says he put in owing to bad weather to repair his ships and so as not to bring so many sick with the scurvy. The States are anxious for his arrival and I think they well send him an escort. They said here that the King of Great Britain had laid hands on the ships to make booty of the booty, but this is not confirmed. The prince told me that it would not be so easy to arrest them because the ships are well provided with men and guns and would make a vigorous resistance. If it was not necessary the Admiral would be reprimanded for putting in there.
It was announced here that Montagu had crossed to France again with England's decision, naming Lorraine as the place for negotiating the accommodation, but by the letters which arrived yesterday from London I see that this and last week's news also is false, and that this great business is still immature. The Prince of Orange, whom I saw recently, still betrays his great fear that the party for an accommodation with Spain will prevail in the end, and that the English incline much more to that than to a union with France. I note Contarini's suspicions that Carlisle may do something in support of that when he arrives. I hope that my offices will help to disabuse him of such views and I will urge the States, the Prince, the Palatine and his wife to contribute their offices to the same end.
Two commissioners of the States arrived two days ago from Gluckstat, with news of Morgan's arrival there. The States will send a considerable sum of money directly to keep the place well provided and the troops loyal through regular payment.
I will make every effort to mitigate the bitterness which arises from time to time between England and these provinces, though I must repeat that the States, recognising where their interests lay, have practically decided to gratify the English.
The Hague, the 25th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
648. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose the two articles which stand in the way of the peace with England, altered in such a way that I hope we may soon see the conclusion if the English also will accept some middle way, rather courteous than essential, as I feel sure they will. I confess that for treating with the cardinal one needs more luck than judgment and it is before all things necessary to be armed with patience, as he is always fixed in his ideas, deaf to reason and most obstinate in his opinions, and so any progress made with him is due more to fortune and time than to mature discussion or the balancing of what is right and proper. Your Excellencies will note the alterations in the articles, observing that very great results often depend upon trifling circumstances. I recast the articles about the queen's household more than twenty times, so as to fall in with the views of the English and to avoid making any disparity between the queens, if posible, since they are equal in title. The variation is slight, but a close observer might detect something to indicate a preference for the queen mother; but what could be done ? All the oratorical art in the world will not persuade a man when he stops his ears.
Your Excellencies will similarly observe three proposals made by the cardinal about Toraz' ship and discussed by me. If England will not accept one of these I hope to get from France, or rather from the cardinal what I do not venture to promise. I should speak more freely if I were not in France and treating with that nation. I say here that I do not despair when elsewhere I should say I believe. The cardinal has justified the difficulties he has raised by Montagu's treaty, which offers the ship. I cannot vouch for the truth, though the cardinal swore it. However, if the slight change in the article about the queens does not ruin the business, I fancy we are not far from port.
The state may rest assured that neither Contarini nor I will undertake to decide between two crowns, equally friendly, if the decision is likely to prejudice the interests of our country, especially without the good pleasure of your Excellencies. I have arranged to send this compromise to England, because the cardinal desired it, and if I had not thanked him for the confidence I should think I had acted wrongly. For the rest I will move very cautiously.
Paris, the 27th December, 1628.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.649. Articles revised by the cardinal.
2e. Et dautant qu'il serait difficile de faire les restitutions de part et dautre des diverses prises qui ont este faictes, durant la guerre, les deux couronnes sont demeurées d'accord quil ne sen fera aucune et ne s'accordera aucune represaille par mer ou autre facon quelconque pour ce qui s'est passé entre les deux rois et leurs subjects durant ceste derniere guerre.
ler partie: Le Roi de la Grande Bretagne promet neantmoins de bonne foy faire restituer le vaisseau du Sieur de Toiras et tout ce qui estoit lors quel a este pris comme ayant este pris en lieu neutre et de franchise.
2e. Le Roy de la Grande Bretagne pour satisfaire au desir de la Reyne Mere promet neantmoins de bonne foy faire restituer le vaisseau du Seiur de Toiras et tout ce qui estoit dedans lors qu'il a este prins.
3e. Et neantmoins pour regard du vaisseau du Sieur de Toiras les deux Rois promettent de se contenter de ce qui en diront les deux Ambassadeurs de Venise, Zorzi et Contarino; et en cas que les ditz Ambassadeurs ne donnassent concordement leur advis dans quattre moys, le Roy de la Grande Bretagne promettra de bonne foy fayre restituer le dict vaisseau et tout ce quil y estoit dedans lors qu'il feust prins.
3e. Quant a ce qui regarde les articles et contracts de mariage de la Reyne de la Grande Bretagne les deux Rois satisferront de bonne foy et sur ce qui concerne la mayson de la dite Reyne pour le Respetz quilz portent tous deux a la Reyne Mere et l'affection quilz ont envers la Reyne de la Grande Bretagne, soeur de l'un et consorte de l'autre, ils remittent entierement l'execution aux dictes deux Reynes promettans d'accomplir de bon foy ce que la dite dame Reyne Mere estimera plus a propos pour le bien de la Reyne sa fille, apres qu'elle luy aura donne son advis.
Dec. 27.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia,
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
650. The Flemish and English merchants, in their petition, referred to us, make three requests, one for the confirmation of the decree of the Senate of the 25th September, 1626, with the alteration of the 21st November, either indefinitely or for such time as your Serenity sees fit, which releases them from some obligations in the sale of salt fish from the west; the other that they may have three months in which to pay the import duty on salt fish, after the despatch of the goods in the gross, as was done with other duties, and, thirdly, that the export duty over land may be conceded for two or more years, as your Serenity thinks best, as we find that since the decision of the Senate in question a far larger quantity arrived in this city than before, and the second request might also be granted, with the customary securities. With respect to the third, we do not see any reason for alteration, as this city is copiously supplied with salt fish, and because it is impossible to make sure that what was granted to them for foreign lands does not remain in the republic's continental dominions, to the confusion of the whole business.
The 27th December, 1628.
Geronimo Moresini,Savii.
Paolo Valaresso,
Francesco Pisani,
[Italian.]
Dec. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
651. To the Ambassador Contarini in England.
Three of your letters of the 2nd reached us yesterday. We hope that the replies from France after the return of the Court to Paris will enable the work of the peace to be carried to completion. You will lay special stress upon the point of the usefulness and importance of peace with France, and removing everything that may prevent them from vigorous action in Italy, for which they show great determination. If France keeps the Spanish forces busy in this province it will prove a notable advantage for the English Crown over the Spaniards. In such case his Majesty could impose his will upon them either for peace or war. You will therefore insist that nothing can be more advantageous at the present moment than a speedy accomplishment of the peace with France and giving the French every facility to send their forces to Italy. The Duke of Mayenne has already arrived in our States, and the Duke of Guise has a powerful fleet ready at Marseilles, while the royal troops are marching through Dauphiné. You will attribute any delay in the replies and peace negotiations to these activities of the Most Christian. To remove any suspicions about Botru's mission to the Spanish court you may add that we are advised that he has been sent to protest and declare the Most Christian's determination to relieve the Duke of Mantua from oppression. The Spaniards have shown their intentions recently by the attempt to surprise Castel Giuffredo and Viadana, which the duke happily frustrated.
We have already written to you of the intentions of the Earl of Carlisle, and this should be an additional incitement to you to hasten your operations. It has also induced us to inform the Ambassador Zorzi, and to urge him to procure as soon as possible both a reply to us and a speedy decision from France.
We send you a copy of the request made to us by Wake's secretary, for your information. We are writing to the Secretary Vico at Vienna for the passports he desires for his wife. We notice that the ministers of England, France and the United Provinces foment the differences between those states to their own detriment and the advantage of Spain. You will endeavour to divert these differences. We are writing to the same effect to our ambassadors in France and at the Hague.
Ayes, 156.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 28.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
652. The secretary of the English ambassador came into the Collegio and wished the doge a happy festival in the ambassador's name. After the doge had made a courteous response the secretary added:
The ambassador does not know if he will return to his residence with your Serenity as he has not yet received any intimation of his Majesty's intentions. He has written telling his wife to go to England if the weather and her poor health allow, and as she must go through the empire and Bavaria he begs your Serenity to procure her a passport from Cæsar and that duke.
The doge made a gracious reply, expressing their singular esteem for the ambassador. He was extremely sorry that anything had occurred to prevent the ambassador's return, but as this pleased his Majesty and possibly the ambassador also, the republic would take it well. He asked for a memorial for the passport and promised every satisfaction. The secretary thanked him warmly and departed.
The Memorial.
The Ambassador Wake begs your Serenity to procure from the emperor and the Duke of Bavaria a passport or safe conduct through their dominions for his wife and her household.
[Italian.]
Dec. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
653. To the Ambassador Soranzo at the Hague.
You will remark to the Prince of Orange, the Palatine and his wife how the peace between France and England will assist their interests. You will add that we have confirmation that Carlisle is going to England to upset the peace, if possible, and to advance one between England and Spain. We hear that they have full powers for this at Brussels and the Infanta is very eager for it. We desire you to be very vigilant about this, to obtain the most accurate information, advising us of everything that may reach you from any quarter. You will also try to divert the dissensions between the States and the crowns of France and England, which are fomented by ministers.
Ayes, 156.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
654. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The enclosed letters from France will acquaint you with all that is passing. No letters have reached me from Italy since those of the 10th November. The merchants have received theirs down to the 8th December, by Antwerp, that route being re-opened. I ask your Excellencies to have the ordinary packets sent that way, so that I may not always be the last to know what is doing on the other side of the Channel.
I have complimented Carleton, the new secretary of state. He is excellently disposed to the common cause, and professes especial respect for the republic, as his embassy to the Signory was the foundation of his advancement. If you should write me a complimentary paragraph about this appointment, I would gladly read it to him, to confirm his affection, which is very necessary at the present moment.
Wake has lost his father-in-law, who protected him, but Carleton is fond of him, as he was his secretary at Venice.
London, the 29th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.655. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
My servant Conter arrived on Christmas eve. He brought four letters from you, dated the 12th, 13th, 14th and 18th inst. There is little to answer, because as you have not yet spoken to the cardinal or any other minister about my despatch of the 21st November, the result is based on mere hopes. I therefore am anxiously awaiting Christofforo, whom you propose to send with the ultimatum, after seeing the cardinal. As you had already made arrangements to see him, and the queen mother had sent the Secretary Botiglier to consult you about the reply to her daughter here, I will be hopeful. As soon as the queen here heard of Conter's arrival, she sent to see if there were any letters for her. I sent word that you had delivered what she wrote to the queen mother, and kept back your despatch for two days in order to send the reply; but the cardinal's absence caused some delay, and as another servant of mine would follow shortly, the reply had been postponed till then. I note that the French say they wish for peace immediately, from fear lest the Spaniards advance. But they put off giving audience to those who negotiate it for whole weeks, so I do not think that their words and deeds agree. For two months I have been writing to the same effect, that delay is very hurtful, and these irresolute proceedings facilitate those with Spain. It would be advisable to express this clearly, as the spring will be here before they have even thought of helping Italy. I think some person should come here ostensibly to visit the queen in the name of her mother, with secret commissions to conclude peace, especially now the English sentiments are known, as in a fortnight they would unmask completely. It might be asked why I do not have a like mission sent from here. I reply that while they are treating with the Spaniards here it would be advisable to have a person on the spot in the confidence of France, to send advices and decide, and to interfere where necessary, especially through the queen here. This could not be done by negotiating in France. Moreover, the conquered party, especially when he has nothing to fear, cannot ask for peace at a time when others are offering it to him. I know this is not the moment for punctilio, and rather than amuse ourselves with them it would be better to break off entirely, as delay breeds suspicion, and that helps the Spaniards. If the French replies by Christofforo are conclusive, I think of removing the mask in a few days, as the longer the delay the better for the schemes of our opponents. These are my individual sentiments.
On receiving your despatch I went immediately to Court, and spoke with the treasurer, who now rules everything, and with Carleton, who has succeeded Conway as secretary, to the advantage of the common cause. I said that all the advices from France during the time that I was without letters had gone through me, as some said that France, rendered insolent by victory, no longer thought about peace or England; others that an expedition was being fitted out against the islands of Normandy; others that the ports were closed and my despatches detained, with a thousand other fancies, generating suspicion instead of confidence. God be praised all these machinations fell of themselves, as I learned quite the contrary from your letters, as they are just as ready for an adjustment in France as before. The delay was entirely due to the king's journey and his public entry, and because the ministers were away from him. There was no shadow of an attack on the islands or anyone else belonging to this Crown. The passes were more free than ever, as with my servant there came two messengers from Antwerp, with letters thence, a thing that had not happened since the rupture. I thus tried to make them agree with me and discredit the malignants, who never let a day pass without inventing the most false and harmful advices.
I think I observed especial satisfaction on the part of these ministers, when I communicated the contents of your letters to them. Carleton added that it was necessary to act speedily. I tried to elicit some reason for this, and especially whether it depended on the coming of Carlisle. He rejoined: Sir, Carlisle, I and all wish for peace, but there is some difference about the time. Some think it advisable to delay, others to act quickly. I am of the latter opinion and know what I tell you. I could not elicit anything further, but am not without suspicion that he meant to hint at the negotiations with Spain, for they would not be for his interest, as he is opposed to the treaties. Indeed it would be a great thing for him to assume the office of chief secretary with the credit of instantly concluding an honourable and lasting peace with France.
Both ministers showed that the suspicions about the Channel Islands had been very strong, so that the king decided to send the Earl of Danby, the governor, with ships of war, munitions and soldiers. I replied immediately that this would at once draw those parts into trouble, contrary to every reason, as neither my letters nor the secretary of the Dutch ambassadors made any mention about it. I insisted so strongly that the treasurer said: So you pledge your word to the king that the French will make no attempt against those islands ? I replied that I would not do that, but reason promised for me, and they should place greater faith in that than in the artifices of malignants.
Two days later I returned to Carleton to resume upon this point. He replied that as you wrote nothing, and the king had heard on good authority that troops and ships were assembling in that direction, policy required him, in a doubtful case, not to neglect the defence of those islands, lest he should repent, but he afterwards decided to send the Earl of Danby alone, with munitions for the castles, and a few captains to drill the natives, in case of any accident, but without soldiery, to avoid giving suspicion. As I had heard through another channel that some of the king's subjects in those islands are dissatisfied with England, so that apprehension of the French may have proceeded from that cause, I thought it advisable not to insist too much, lest in the event of some mischance they should charge me with hindering the defence, though I said that as there was no ill will on this side, I should inform you. He approved of this, and as no troops are sent, all is at an end. It is also possible, as is usually the case when parliament is going to meet, that these fears are introduced to facilitate contributions, and the alarm vanishes afterwards. This may happen in this case, as neither the ships nor the supplies are ready, and God knows when they will be. You need not speak about it except in reply to enquiries. Carleton told me that some desperate Frenchmen had offered their services for an attack on France, at least to stir up trouble, provided his Majesty would help them, but they were rejected. This will serve as a topic of conversation. With respect to your paragraph about the Huguenots, they do not pretend here to take any part with them, but that the adjustment is necessary for the common weal. I think everything will be made clear by the coming of Christofforo, and I therefore await him with singular anxiety.
London, the 29th December, 1628. (fn. 4)
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosure.656. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
A Malaga merchant has obtained a licence to export and import merchandise for Spain to the amount of 200,000 crowns. He has come here to obtain the like, as the king is persuaded to do this, not only for the profit of the duties, but by seeing that the King of Spain has taken the first step. Thus the Spaniards insinuate themselves and make use of even the most remote means. The Dutch ambassadors have complained and the Council has promised them that the matter shall not proceed further. In spite of this many merchants are making their requests. It is said that the Earl of Holland has already got a permit for 20,000 lire and it it is a question of profit, which is very much needed at the present moment, it may be expected to take precedence of everything.
The galleon which is to go for Porter has not yet put to sea, as the stormy winds have prevented it. A secretary of Carlisle has arrived, who left him in Lorraine. I understand that he is trying to obtain money, which is more easily got when on service than after his return. They say that Baroccio, secretary of the Prince of Piedmont, is with Carlisle, and it is quite certain that the merchants have received some letters of credit in his favour. He is supposed to be in the Netherlands by this time, and as a courier has arrived from Brussels, it seems that two days afterwards he was sent back in great haste. He said that he had orders to go either to Dunkirk or to Holland. In the uncertainty of more important particulars it is inferred that he may be the bearer of some order for Carlisle to go to Brussels; but I have no authentic intelligence.
Langarach's secretary, who had been despatched by the Dutch ambassadors, in France, came over with my servant. He brings word of a favourable disposition towards the peace, but I do not hear that they have news of any great progress. He came because the Dutch wished to assure the English ministry that in France no general prohibition about navigation was ever made, as alleged by them, as a justification for the last rigorous decree, though I do not believe it will be repealed so easily for this. I will send word after the ambassadors have negotiated.
At Calais my servant found a messenger from Montagu, with letters addressed to the Marquis of Effiat. I have already discovered that they are about horses, and it is quite certain that the Earl of Holland has got twelve in readiness together with some dogs for transmission to the Most Christian, to whom they will be conveyed in a few days by Mons. Ravi.
For some weeks they have been expecting Mons. Garnier, husband of the queen's nurse, who went to France some months ago. It is thought from this delay that he may bring some business upon current affairs, but he is not a man of sufficient capacity for this from what I hear.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has been restored to favour, and is a follower of the right party. The judges, who refused to sign the subsidies last year without parliament, have also been reinstated. All this shows that everything is being prepared for the meeting, now near at hand.
A very rigorous proclamation has been issued against the Bishop of Calcedon, primate of this kingdom, and also against his abettors and harbourers. (fn. 5) Conway, who resigned the secretaryship unwillingly, has been made President of the Council, (fn. 6) a higher office in appearance, though its functions are more limited.
The treasurer is doing his utmost to strengthen his party, and if it is true that Carlisle is loitering so long on the other side of the Channel, it is believed that he means to secure himself before he returns.
London, the 29th December, 1628.
[Italian; copy.]
Dec. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
657. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Guise's ships are at sea off Provence, and are well armed with guns. Prince Vittorio told me this and said that they seemed to be out to give chase to the English ships which are in the Mediterranean more than for anything else.
It is announced here that Valchemburgh, Governor of Orange, has sold it to the King of France for 150,000 crowns. The English ambassador has complained about it bitterly, seeing that instead of making war on the Spaniards they are still manoeuvring against the Huguenots. But I find that the news is not true and have reassured Wake, who had made the same discovery. He seemed very rejoiced at the coming of Valanse from France, and said that such things would make them change their opinions, but he is not yet sure about it or the way he will take.
Turin, the 29th December, 1628.
[Italian.]
Dec. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
658. To the Secretary in Germany.
The secretary of England has requested us in the ambassador's name to obtain a passport from the emperor and the Duke of Bavaria for the ambassadress, his wife, and her household, so that they may pass freely through those states. We desire you to solicit this and send it to us as soon as possible.
Ayes, 143.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Dec. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
659. To the Ambassador Corner in Savoy.
You will continue to advise us about the Ambassador Wake, who is still guided by the views of the duke, if he is or is not returning to this city, as we have nothing on the subject beyond the enclosed statement of the secretary of England, with a request for a passport for Wake's wife, about which we are writing to Vico. You will inform him of this in a friendly office. You will, however, closely observe his proceedings and negotiations, since the matters you write of in your letters of the 24th and 25th, received to-day, of which he has spoken to you, require the more careful observation, that Carlisle's opinions are totally different, and, judging by their operations, Wake is most closely united with the earl. To discover the truth is a task well worthy of your prudence and ability.
We do not see how you can refuse the ambassador's request to send his letters under your cover, but we are glad that you asked our opinion.
Ayes, 143.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 More, condemned on the 14th December. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, page 442.
2 Captain Thomas Porter.
3 Scopellotto: colpo che si da nella parte deretana del capo a mano aperta, fra capo e collo. Boerio: Dizionario del Dialetto Veneziano.
4 The decipher for this letter is missing from the filza at the Frari, but the text may be read in the Ambassador's register at the library of St. Mark, Cl. vii, Cod. MCXXV.
5 Proclamation of the 11th December for the apprehension of Richard Smith, Steele: Proclamations, vol. i, no. 1566.
6 He was sworn on Sunday, the 24th December.