Venice
January 1629, 21-24

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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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483-499

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'Venice: January 1629, 21-24', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 483-499. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89212 Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


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January 1629

Jan. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
690. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I am still in the dark about what is passing on the other side of the Channel. My last from Italy is no later than the 10th November. This misfortune, caused by storms and contrary winds adds to my impatience, but nothing more can be done, and I still hope to hear by Antwerp.
The printer who published the accounts about Digby was put in prison. I wanted to have the copies burned in public, but as the narrative was bound up with the articles of the surrender of Rochelle, and other matters, his Majesty raised some objections in burning the articles at the time of the present negotiations. As this seemed reasonable, I left everything in his Majesty's hands, and he sent the bookseller to ask my pardon and to bring me the copies. The printer is still in prison, and as the name of your Excellencies has never been introduced, I shall take the liberty to have him released, as he has been sufficiently punished. I would send the narrative itself, but I have not had time. For the same reason I sent no letters by the last post. Your Excellencies will learn all the details from the enclosed letters to France, which I am sending off to-night.
Your offices have never been more necessary than at the present time, when everything depends on one single point. In fourteen days of incessant negotiation, I did everything possible to overcome the difficulties, which seem to me to be narrowing. The business is the most important in Christendom, and involved in many crosses through the offers of the Spaniards, the reproaches and evil offices of the Huguenots and the invectives written by Carlisle. The Almighty has helped me, and all these difficulties are passed, if the French choose. This is the turning point of the crisis. If the French do not make internal peace the English will make up their minds that they mean to destroy the Huguenots, and all the powers in the world will not make them change their opinion. To support Protestantism, their honour and state policy they will throw themselves into the arms of the Spaniards and run any risk. If the French lean towards the common weal everything will go well especially if parliament grants money. God grant this. If I were not considered an Englishman, because I am serving in England, I should say that this will be the sole security for what France desires, and if she does not respond it will be a very bad sign. No one could trust her, for even if she wished to aid the common cause it would be impossible for her to do so while waging civil war.
Meanwhile I ask that money may be voted me for couriers and the postage of letters, as I have none remaining on that account.
London, the 21st January, 1629.
Postscript.—I do not send the articles, because I suppose you will have received them from Zorzi.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.691. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his Colleague in France.
Last evening I gave a few lines to a gentleman, who is being sent to France by the Danish ambassador, with the duplicates of what I wrote the day before yesterday by Antwerp. As the Dutch ambassadors are sending back the Secretary of Langarach, who is accompanied by this Dane, I have time to add these few words. The despatch of the Dane is merely to mark time, while every one else is at work. His king has written to his Majesty here in favour of peace and has instructed his ambassador accordingly. My belief is that he has picked up the crumbs we dropped, or else he is trying to enter the arena, since he has never negotiated much about the details of the business, but has rather seconded us. As our course is becoming tiresome by the long delay, I think he will try to find a shorter and speedier road.
The Dutch ambassadors really did receive yesterday the replies from the commissioners about the peace which they expected. I had not time then to ascertain their purport, because the Danish gentleman came to me in the evening and said he intended to leave at midnight, so I had hard work to make the duplicate and add a few lines.
The reply stated that England was glad to hear what their ministers had already announced about France's good will towards peace. They fully reciprocated, as his Majesty always had done. He rejoiced that hopes of success daily became stronger. There would be no difficulty about the opening of trade on the renewal of the old alliances, compensation for prizes, and so forth. As for the St. Esprit, both sides should forget what had happened during the war, and this claim should lapse. If it was objected that the capture was made under a foreign jurisdiction, it might be shown by precedents that the Spaniards and the Dutch had very often done the like on these coasts. They concluded that the Dutch were interested for the sake of preserving their own jurisdictions within which the prize was captured. I am told that if no other difficulty remains, a way out will speedily be found upon this, but I neither promote nor approve it because the cardinal never spoke to you about it, and I am rather surprised at this changeful mode of negotiating, after the French fashion.
They said the king would never bind himself about the queen's household, as that was not the cause of the war. It did not concern the common cause but merely his personal quiet, for which he did not desire to be bound to anyone soever. The queen had nothing to desire in respect to her service and her conscience, which is a fact. Bassompierre's treaty was disowned by the French themselves. Its revival would inflict a double injury on England, and would not be without reproach to France herself, for seeking to establish what she at first abhorred. The king practically forced himself to accept that treaty. He is unlikely to do so now, when he finds the difference between those disorders and disagreements of the French, and his present state of repose. The queen does not desire any change in her household, in order not to lose her popularity with the English and her influence with the king, a thing she tells everybody. The offices are distributed, which was not the case at the time of Bassompierre's treaty. The chief persons of the Court are employed, and cannot be removed without compensation, or for misbehaviour. There is further the king's tenacity, which no argument can shake in a matter of this kind, since it depends on his mere humour and taste. If it were merely a political question, we should wish the French might never return, as with them would return war and dissension between the two kingdoms. It is clear that the Dutch ambassadors have obtained nothing more, nay rather less, than what I sent to France on the 21st November, to which I still wait a reply.
On the other hand we can hardly continue to urge the arbitration of the queens, or by quietly admitting the claims omit to stipulate anything about them in the present treaty. I feel sure that after the peace the French will obtain the utmost they can desire, without injuring the common cause by clinging to this punctilio. I know what I am saying. I have not heard that the interests of the Huguenots were brought forward at this conference, or at least very sparingly. One sees from this that England does not wish to meddle with her neighbour's affairs, as she wants to be free for her own. The commissioners indeed added that if the Most Christian would bestir himself for his friends, England would never leave him in the lurch, even if peace were not made. This is mere compliment, to deprive France of any pretexts about Italy, but they are of no use to us, and do not, in my opinion suit the present negotiation. But the delay and indecision of France is more and more mischievous. Necessity is my excuse for this repetiton. Carlisle, Porter, the Spaniards and a thousand embarrassments are threatening us, and they do not allow me to speak as I used. All men speak according to their passions and time furnishes matter for a thousand disappointments. The French know already how far England will go. To attempt more is opposed by the very persons who, for their own private interests desire the peace, seeing the impossibility of obtaining it on other terms, and that it is better not to treat than to benefit the schemes of others by this irresolution. You know exactly what news the other ambassadors have, so you have a large field for your proposals, as they are more advantageous than any that have come from here direct and not derived from conversations first held in France.
London, the 7th January, 1629.
Postscript.—Christofforo has just arrived with your letters of the 26th ult. He was detained ten days at Calais by contrary winds. From the reply to the Dutch ambassadors you will see what we may promise ourselves from the cardinal's revised treaty, which adds the restitution of Thoiras' ship, about which nothing has ever yet been said to you. Upon the household, it excludes Bassompierre's treaty, but includes the whole of the marriage contract, which is much more, and refers to the two queens, not the claims which might revive, but the execution of the old contract, which stipulates for 300 or more French instead of fifty, and to arbitrate about this it appoints, not the two queens, but the queen mother alone. I marvel at these extravagancies and perceive that they have no wish for peace, as instead of helping they promote fresh difficulties. As the letters have only just come I have not had time to see any of the ministers. I will do so at once. For the reasons given, I know that the king will never consent to admit Frenchmen into the queen's household. If the other points had been accepted he might have come to the half measure I suggested, though with great difficulty. In a few days you shall know the decision. I will work hard, as it is better to toil than to remain idle. Meanwhile, you should endeavour to dissolve the asperities, as the French certainly will not overcome them, and I believe the King of England would rather lose his Crown than readmit the French into his household.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.692. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his Colleague in France.
Christofforo arrived here on the 8th. After examining your despatch and the revised treaty I remained for two days with a bad taste in my mouth, not knowing what to do, as this alteration would cause the English as much suspicion and disgust as it did you. However, I took courage and applied, as I usually do, to the treasurer and Carleton, as ministers favourable to the peace, the one for his private interest, the other from love for the common cause, alleging reasons to divert any suspicion, owing to the change of the treaty. At each alteration they asked me why this had been done. Upon the ship and that deadly addition making the queen mother sole arbiter of the articles of the marriage treaty, it was impossible to pacify them. Partly by address and partly by flattery and intimidation, I contrived to have the articles shown to the king, who would not keep within bounds, so that the ministers abandoned the helm, and advised me to represent my reasons boldly. I therefore went to the king with an array of arguments, dwelling on the importance of the peace, the necessities of the common cause, the good behavionr of France, the present weakness of Spain, and finally on the fact that once opportunities are lost they do not always return. I said you had so conducted yourself that peace would ensure in a fortnight if his Majesty agreed to the point I had mentioned. I backed myself with the letters of credence given me by the state many weeks ago, the moment being suitable when the whole structure was in danger.
I went to the king full of hesitation, but I did not come away quite in despair. I perceived that his Majesty wished to recede, for, to my remarks about the common cause, he replied, that if the French acted in earnest, he would never make any diversion against them on the ground of these differences. I retorted that this was not sufficient, as no one would act with confidence while there was a risk of such a diversion, and the French would always have the means of retracing their steps, under the plea of these alarms. The king seemed to admit it, but added that this remark also applied to the Huguenots, so that unless internal peace followed, the friendly powers could not rely upon France.
He spoke resolutely about the queen's household, as he always has done. He said it would be contrary to policy to declare that Thoiras' ship was taken in a free port, as it was well known that all this had been suggested over there by the Dutch ambassadors. It would be dishonourable to make restitution, as France seized the ships at Bordeaux in time of profound peace, and they did not restore anything. As the French intended to make themselves strong at sea, it would be a bad precedent, not from the quality of the ship, but because of the circumstances relating to its restitution. In fine, he ended with an absolute negative.
I answered upon the disputed points, causing the king to reflect. At the end he agreed that I should confer with five or six of his most confidential ministers, and, meanwhile, I must keep the affair secret. For the sake of the common weal he assured me he would lay aside every consideration to prove his excellent disposition to all the allies. You will be pleased to hear the progress made, through my subsequent despatches.
London, the 20th January, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.693. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his Colleague in France.
Three days after my audience of the king I was summoned to the Council. I found there the Earls of Arundel, Holland and Pembroke, the treasurer, Conway and Secretary Carleton. With these ministers I held three conferences on three different days, during which we were always debating the disputed points. They said the king valued most highly the advice of the republic, who had moved in this matter solely for love of him. His Majesty had authorised them to meet for the purpose of discussing the peace with me, and to conclude it, always supposing that the cardinal would treat with you also in France in the same fashion, with authority from the Most Christian.
I felt that my offices had not been fruitless at my audience. I returned thanks and said I was not punctually informed about what had taken place in France upon the negotiations, but I knew your ability and prudence, which convinced me of perfect solidity in the negotiation. I confess I should have preferred treating with my usual two confidants, as I began, because things are done more quickly with a few. They told me that in a business of this nature it is not fitting to be alone, as they incur too great a risk of overthrow, and so they themselves wished for colleagues. Be this as it may, I will say that the treaty you sent me, drawn up by the cardinal, is approved entirely, without alteration, except about the ship. The king gave me most cogent reasons, the chief of which was state policy, lest this should constitute a dangerous precedent. I am sorry that some malignant should have devised this expedient to disturb the confidential relations with them. Everybody told me that the Dutch ambassadors were the first to promote this question, of which you had not previously given me a hint. The commissioners told me that Montagu never advanced the matter, and if he did it was contrary to his orders. They said that Toiras seemed to care but little about the ship in his talk with Montagu, when he was a prisoner, in case there was any difficulty about an adjustment. Others added that it was a mere mark of victory in the midst of so many losses, incurred by them; others that in the church of Notre Dame at Paris there were still flags taken at the Isle of Rhé, and similar mendacious reasons. I do not hold these in account and they are easily dissipated, but those mentioned above are the most important. Nevertheless, I believe that when the mutual courtesies begin the ship may be included in them. But they will not hear of any stipulations about it, especially as it has been repaired, and it would be impossible to replace it in its original state, as the French claim. Many guns are wanting, other materials have been distributed on other ships, and a part is lost, while to give it up when they are not sure of the peace would be to lose a point.
On the question of the household I have secured an arrangement better than the French themselves could have desired, between the king's absolute refusal, and referring to the queen mother, as the cardinal desired. There are two points, one that the marriage contract shall be re-established in good faith, the other and more important that both parties shall negotiate upon what shall be best for the queen's service, though in this they confined themselves to generalities. The French thus have a free field for their negotiations. Although, when making the concession, the commissioners said they hoped France would merely make use of it for appearance, without disturbing the king's repose and the inclination of his subjects, it is not our business to scrutinise these reservations. After the peace is made we will leave the parties to carry them into effect, as it is quite certain when peace is established they will not break it for such trifles. I did not allow any other alterations to be made in the treaty, although many were demanded. I am convinced that the French will be satisfied, for I do not know how the king came to treat again about the marriage and the household, which he stood out against so strongly. It was the only rock of this navigation.
The treaty being thus agreed to, they told me that they hoped it would be received in France also. For the sake of the common cause, out of courtesy and for honour before the world, England prayed the Most Christian to give peace to his subjects. They reminded me that first of all they apprehended that his Majesty would move the kingdom to rebel, then that he would claim some share in their treaties, and finally that he would want to superintend their subjects, including them in the treaty; but everybody would remain convinced of the sincerity of his intentions, which are solely for the advantage of the common cause. There is nothing in this save a trifle of honour, and a little Calvinistic conscientiousness. They told me that if some general pardon should be made, or the peace according to the project shown by the cardinal to the Dutch ambassadors, your Excellency, with the said treaty may establish the peace, if they agree, and arrange a day for its signing, and the nomination of an ambassador extraordinary, giving me the time to do the same here.
This circumstance is the one that the English have always advanced, and they cannot for their honour omit, at least, to speak about it. England is now content to accept from courtesy very much less than she first required. I have toiled hard to persuade them. I said the Most Christian bore the Huguenots great good will, since he pledged himself to foreign affairs, which was the best security they could have. The commissioners replied that they hoped so, but the army marching towards Provence can turn as well towards Italy as in the direction of Languedoc. I replied that if the Most Christian had offered peace to the Huguenots at the suggestion of the Spaniards or others, they might have rejected it. They said that after the Most Christian had given them this testimony of his favour, his Majesty desired nothing, and he would not encourage their obstinacy or allow their corruption to disturb this adjustment or the common cause. They added that if the Most Christian thought it necessary, the King of England would join him in endeavouring to make the peace, but if he feared that England would espouse their interests, they would not cause any suspicion to France, and left it to her to get rid of the business in her own way. England is evidently acting sincerely, and France must not take umbrage at what passed heretofore, as the scene is changed. It must be owned that the common cause cannot be sure of taking breath, so long as the interior of France is in a state of langour. It is folly to suppose that the French will assist Italy and Germany in earnest so long as the civil war continues, so it is also in our interest to ratify this clause. I asked the commissioners if you should fix a day for signing supposing pardon or peace for the Huguenots was not proclaimed, but I could never make them answer yes or no; but they rely on your address not to advance the one without the other. They did not say no to me, because it would be pledging themselves and offending France, if they said they would not make the agreement without satisfaction for the Huguenots, still less would they say yes, so as not to declare that England has forgotten the Huguenots entirely. I think that if, on the arrival of this despatch the proclamation of peace or pardon to the Huguenots has been made, and the treaty, as I doubt not, gives satisfaction, you should conclude and add the signature, but if the proclamation is not made, you can adjust the treaty, encouraging the grace and favour which England desires for the Huguenots, and adding that I did not insert it for signature, perhaps from forgetfulness. I say this that you may have time to advance the matter, and be able to let me know what is necessary.
I consider that we have furthered what is most essential, namely the affair of the household, so that peace between the two countries may be said to be established. I hope that by address we shall adjust the other matter also, as the French are determined to give peace to the kingdom, in order to attend to affairs abroad, according to what the cardinal showed the Dutch ambassadors. It is quite certain that this advice encouraged the entreaties in favour of the Huguenots, and there is no wonder, as the Dutch are of the same faith; but you must not say so over there, lest you take credit from those ministers, who have it in their power to do good.
For the rest, the English say they will perform miracles for the common cause, break more than ever with the Spaniards, assist Denmark, gain Savoy over to the French side; and they will do it, for humours here either overflow or stagnate. The king has already spoken of the French to the Danish ambassador in very honourable terms, that they mean to attend to the common cause, that he hoped to be united with them, and so forth, what he has never said before. I hope that when this peace is concluded any treaty with the Spaniards will be at an end. If all play their parts, as appearances indicate, their grandeur may perhaps have reached its term. On the other hand, if the English find the Most Christian obstinate, and see plainly that he will not take thought in earnest for the common cause, the clear sky which begins to show here will be overcast. The king himself said so to me, that he will always follow the French if they work for the common cause, as both crowns have suffered injuries alike from the Spaniards.
This is the crux of a great crisis, on which depends the safety or ruin of the public cause. You must make every effort for the love we owe our country. Here everything is taking a good turn, since the king prepared in earnest for the peace. Carleton has shown me that I did a great stroke by gaining the king before Carlisle arrived, at a time when the Spaniards are making more offers than they ever did before. He vowed and swore this, and that the fair wind is beginning to spring up. You will be pleased by the accompanying letters, full of pleasant jests, in order to receive courtesies and return them, if required.
London, the 20th January, 1629.
Postscript.—The importance of the present negotiation emboldens me to add that you will try not to send me back despairing letters. I do not anticipate them, as everything is going as the French desire, but they would utterly ruin everything, as the Spaniards, Carlisle and the Huguenots would never allow us to get so far again. You must above all contrive to keep it on foot, either by facts or promises, which, coupled with fair words of courtesy are of great avail. The release of that prisoner and above all the employment of Chevreuse would win their affections here for France, which will remain in the balance until the return of Christofforo, who is leaving to-night.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.694. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his Colleague in France.
After my meetings with the commissioners, when I was at the Court with the Secretary Carleton, the king sent for me to his apartments. Taking me by the hand he said that supporting the Most Christian to have the same good will as he professed, and in the hope of renewing friendship he would tell me what he had not communicated to any one else, namely that if an ambassador extraordinary was to come here, he would be pleased to see the Duke of Chevreuse. As that duke and his wife had possibly incurred some disgrace on his account, he wished the peace to be of some advantage to them, in gaining his Majesty's favour, and that love should be confirmed from the beginning by courtesies and mutual acts of satisfaction, leaving it to your prudence to avail yourself of this as you may deem best. He certainly spoke with great feeling. I believe in his good will, and if the French know how to cultivate it, I am sure they can turn it to advantage. I promised to obey his Majesty, and I hoped to secure the return of the ship, but the king remained firm, so I understood that he was resolute, and that cogent reasons combined to divert him from this act of courtesy.
I hope that this overture will serve to effect the appointment to France of a person in favour there. I confess that openly to exclude Carlisle seems difficult, and the interests of the republic do not admit of it, as he might be favoured. Fortunately the Earl of Holland is one of the commissioners, and he would be glad to go. I will help him and there is already a fair prospect. Thus if this re-union begins under ministers agreeable to the two crowns, I feel sure the progress on both sides will be auspicious. The lack of suitable persons was embarrassing with the desire of France for an acceptable minister, as Carlisle and Holland are the only Knights of the Garter accustomed to embassies, and suited to such pompous solemnities. I must confess, however, that I do not understand the way these princes treat, as they talk about ambassadors and practically name them before anything is settled. Nevertheless, these seem to me sure signs and arguments of their being well disposed. If France cares to trust me, she will be mistress of this Court, greatly to the advantage of the common cause, provided she go the right way. The king also had it intimated to me that when peaces are stipulated, it is customary to include those who have followed the opposite party. His Majesty will not adopt this usuage in the present case, but he asks the favour of the Most Christian for Rohan and Soubise, as his kin, and for the Count of Laval, promising to make them perform every act of submission to their natural sovereign, and to ask his pardon in such way as may be deemed necessary; but he does not intend that regard for these individuals shall impede the present negotiations.
His Majesty also had me told expressly that a Scottish gentleman of his Chamber, Sir [Thomas] Drissinton, had been in the Bastille since the beginning of these troubles, (fn. 1) where he was imprisoned as reparation for that Setton, also a Scot, who was sent hither to spy and was set at liberty four months ago. He would like him to be released, either in return or as an act of courtesy.
The Count of Laval, son of Madame de la Tremouille and nephew of the Prince of Orange, has been to see me, as he wants you to give some hint to the Most Christian about his forgiveness and pardon. I replied that ambassadors are bound to their public commissions, and it would be bad for them to interfere in such matters of their own accord, but I would write to you as I felt sure that you would gladly oblige him whenever you were able, his family being beloved by the republic. I leave it to you to write a few civil words should you think fit.
London, the 20th January, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.695. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his Colleague in France.
Porter arrived as I reported. When the king heard of the ill treatment he received, he sent a royal warrant to punish the offenders, together with a present of 500l. sterling, with which to clothe himself and the others. He has arrived at Court accompanied by two Spaniards, who, from what I hear are no more than Biscayan sea captains. Some tell me that there is another person of quality incognito, but I have no authentic information about this. It is also a secret what has brought him from Spain, and one cannot discover much from general report, though it is true that he left Spain before the loss of the fleet was known. What Carlisle may bring from Brussels deserves more attention, as they have full powers there. Some one told me that there is one of those Capuchin friars here, who were formerly employed about the Palatinate, but I do not vouch for it.
The king has given orders for a general inspection of the ships of the fleet, so as to begin to repair them, that they may be ready for employment, or at least a part of them, provided they are not diverted for the service of the King of Denmark, whose ambassador insists on having ships, because the emperor is doing his utmost to strengthen himself in the Baltic.
Parliament will meet in ten days, and good results are expected, as his Majesty is carefully preparing everything and will proceed more advisedly than he did before.
In one day thirty ships came into this river, freighted with wines and merchandise from France. This has not happened at any time during the last two years. His Majesty also continues to give permits for the exportation to France of fish etc., so I think that the mutual interests of the two kingdoms are gently compelling them to reunite.
There was some hope of the queen's pregnancy, which seems still to continue. This would be one of the greatest consolations for the kingdom and the king, facilitating a good effect both for the meeting of parliament and for the common cause. Garnies, the husband of this queen's nurse, has come from France, but only brings ordinary and domestic news. A gentleman has also arrived from the queen of Bohemia, to announce the birth of her tenth child. (fn. 2)
The Danish ambassador has received letters and informed me that Wallenstein and Tilly have required Lubeck, Hamburg and the Hanse towns to renounce their neutrality with Denmark and Sweden, and give ships for the service of the emperor. They took time to reply and to send commissioners, for the sole object of gaining time, to see the upshot of the great mass of negotiations now on foot. From the city of Brunswick, now besieged by the imperialists, they demand either 10,000 rix dollars monthly or that it accept a garrison. Wallenstein already has fifty well armed ships, great and small afloat, and is endeavouring to strengthen himself at sea. The emperor is beginning to dispute the administration of Wirtemberg. It is said that he has given patents for the levy of twenty fresh regiments, showing that he hopes for new conquests and has fresh designs.
The Malaga merchant I mentioned is trying to obtain partners for the exportation from here of merchandise for Spain, but as the king has not given the permits, the merchants will scarcely risk going shares with him.
The queen here recommends to your Excellency the enclosed letter, in reply to those you sent me for her. I am sure that the two queens contribute every good office in favour of the reconciliation, and I believe that her Majesty recommends particularly your Excellency's negotiating over there, as she always has done.
London, the 20th January, 1629.
[Italian; copy.]
Jan. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
696. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the valley of Angrogna, between Saluzzo and Pinerolo live subjects of his Highness who enjoy liberty of conscience, though they have Capuchins who preach to convert them. Considerable progress has been made with the conversion, disturbing some of them who have appealed to his Highness, saying that the Prince has sent to have mass celebrated. They have applied to Wake and fear that their liberty of conscience may be taken away. The English ambassador is really disturbed, but he says he will not meddle in the matter. He merely remarked to me that this was a move of the Marshal di Crichi, who wants to bargain with these princes to advance Catholicism among that people. He knew the duke did not approve, and it was not the moment for him to lose the devotion of his subjects, so I think his Highness will move cautiously in the matter.
The Earl of Carlisle has written to Wake from Antwerp, saying he was nearly drowned in the Rhine near Cologne, as their boat broke in the night. He had been met and favoured at Brussels. He saw the infanta at the fourth hour of the night. Wake declares that they had no negotiations to transact. I did not conceal my information that some business was designed at Brussels. Wake said it was not certain, but this does not agree with what he said about plenipotentiaries arriving at Brussels to negotiate or with Carlisle having orders to go there. It is true he has always asserted that Carlisle's instructions are to listen only. They say no more about peace between England and France, as if it had never been in negotiation. Wake speaks of the business of Sweden and Denmark with Wallenstein as having made little progress. He said he had heard from Hamburg that the emperor had given Wallenstein full authority over his arms throughout the empire; he had left political affairs to Echembergh. He knew that Wallenstein was very anxious to attack France.
Turin, the 21st January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian].
Jan. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
697. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has been overwhelmed by what I told him of the Senate's affection for his person. He again assured me of his esteem, and that he would show it everywhere. He came to read me some letters he is writing to one, Digby, against whom Contarini has appealed, asking that he may be recalled. The letter is strong and Wake shows extraordinary diligence so that the order may reach the man. He sent one to Villefranche; he gave me another to send to Florence and he has sent others to the Secretary at Venice. He said he thought it would reach him through Leghorn, as he had heard that Digby had taken two ships off Sardinia with silk and money. He thought they were Spanish. If the goods were for Venice he could have them restored.
He was very grateful for the efforts made to get the passports for his wife. She could start when it arrived. I spoke to him about the Pasqualigo affair and found him very ready to write about it to England. He received the memorial from me and promised to accompany it with his offices. He said the matter would be difficult as English merchants have a mart at Susa and he thought it was doubtful that the English had bought from pirates, but it might be they were Flemings. He said in England they only used muscat of Crete for medicine so he did not know how they could have bought 400 butts which they could hardly get rid of.
Turin, the 21st January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
698. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are supplying money to the Duke of Savoy. It is expected that the Abbot Scaglia will proceed to England to continue his negotiations for an adjustment between these two crowns, I take the occasion of an extraordinary to send this. He has not started yet.
Madrid, the 21st January, 1629.
[Italian.]
Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
699. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Thursday I went to the assembly. I first congratulated them upon the capture of the fleet. I spoke afterwards of the greater help which might be expected from France for Italy and all Christendom if the accommodation with England was effected and to that end I urged them to send fresh commissions to their ambassadors extraordinary to the two Courts to encourage this, and not to decline in any way from their confidential relations with your Serenity. They thanked me for the congratulations and said that their ambassadors had special instructions to forward the peace, for which they had been sent, though to tell the truth they had not so far had many opportunities for treating about it, especially those in France, as the king and ministers were far away, but on the king's return the ambassadors would execute their orders. But difficulties were near to the advantage of the common enemy, who alone profited by the dispute.
I saw the Prince of Orange afterwards and spoke to him about the peace between the two crowns. I found that he also had discovered Carlisle's affection for Savoy, and his hostility to the peace with France. The earl left two days ago to embark at Brill, but as the wind remained contrary he returned here yesterday with the intention of going to Dunkirk and thence to England. Every day that passage becomes more free, and it shows that the transactions for a reunion with the Spaniards are not extinct.
Before Carlisle and Roe left they asked Rusdorf, councillor of the Palatine and a man well versed in affairs of state, to give them in writing his opinion about peace with France and with Spain, with comments on the advantages of both, for the use of the King of Great Britain. They received a long document from him, which has not been communicated to anyone else, so far as I know. I fancy that he makes a distinction and that he considers peace with Spain better for England and one with France better for the general good of Christendom. I have not yet succeeded in finding out what his arguments are, despite my efforts. However, the author told Vico very confidentially that when reading the paper to the Earl of Carlisle he found him strongly inclined to the Spanish side and I am afraid that on his return to England he may upset the little good that has been secured for the accommodation with France. It is announced here that when he has arrived at the Court they will treat for peace with one or the other, to bring it to a conclusion. There are many prudent and experienced persons, including Joachim, who is full of information about England, who maintain that it will be most difficult if not impossible for there to be peace with Spain, because the Spaniards will never make any concessions to the Palatine, and without including him the King of Great Britain cannot honourably make peace with them, while apart from this it is believed that the Spaniards are only trying to gain time without any intention of concluding. Personally I do not know what to think. The extravagant proceedings of the present day and the new rules of modern policy confound my scanty experience, but I am aware that there is very great danger that we shall see the horrid spectacle of the Palatine being abandoned, including the ruin of Denmark and the rest. God grant that I may prove a false prophet. If peace ensures with Spain and the war continues with France, for there cannot be one without the other, as the Spaniards will want the English to help them by diverting the French from Italy, I think that the States will do their utmost, as a necessary consequence, to secure an accommodation. I believe this for two reasons, first that it is a fundamental maxim of their state that they cannot subsist without the help of the two crowns, and second now the Spaniards are short of money, the Marquis Spinola is likely to come back with powers to conclude a truce.
The Palatine, who has so long played the tragedy part, although he knows that these treaties with the Spaniards cannot be for his service, yet allow his ministers to mix in these affairs and even advance reasons in favour of them. He has his reasons, however. He hopes to be included in the treaties and recover some portion of his state better by negotiation than by arms, as while the quarrel between England and France lasts he recognises that Germany cannot get breath because of war. His hopes from France grow less and less, as he sees they takes the part of Bavaria both in the matter of his dominions and of the electoral vote. His spirit also fails him and his fortunes compel him to accept what others arrange, and because he is afraid of offending the King of England from whom he receives his appanage. The King of Denmark cannot bring him to the front, because his bad management of his own affairs has destroyed his credit. The States here ought to have a large share in the negotiations, because the alliance states very clearly that there shall be no treating separately, but I note that they are not very sanguine because England has always claimed that the alliance obliged the States to declare for them against France, and as they did not do this, the English maintain that they were the first to break the treaty. On this specious pretext they abuse what was capitulated, and while they exclaim against the French for breach of faith, they themselves fall into the same case.
The Hague, the 22nd January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
700. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A tragic accident has occurred here. The Palatine left here for Amsterdam from curiosity to see the cargo of the fleet (fn. 3) and some say in hopes of receiving a present from the Company. He took with him his eldest son and some gentlemen. He reached Harlem and after dinner decided to continue his journey across the Harlem sea. The wind was not favourable, but it was fairly calm and there seemed no danger. By misfortune they were run down by a great barque, coming with the wind, with only one person at the helm. They were all thrown into the water together. The king, who was on the upper part of the boat, caught a rope, and was dragged through the sea a good way, as the navigator of the barque lost his head and would not lower the sail. The poor prince was drowned with all the rest, while the king was half dead from the cold and the shock. He was taken to a village, where they shortly brought him the prince's body, found attached to a mast of the barque. (fn. 4)
Vague news of this reached the Hague, and when the queen's ladies heard it they all began to weep. The queen, who was still in bed, asked what had happened. Not one would tell her, and she, supposing that the king was dead, came out all dishevelled from her room, asking if it was so. They told her no, and related the disaster. With her indescribable fortitude she shed for her son the tears she was prepared to let fall for her husband. The king arrived the day after the news. The prince was fourteen years of age, most virtuous by education and disposition, incredibly modest and perfect for his age in every way, so that he is mourned by all. The common interest is concerned, because he was elected King of Bohemia.
News has arrived at Brussels that Porter has been arrested off Bordeaux on his return from Spain. They hope that his papers will throw light on his operations.
Some here fear that France is not acting sincerely about Italy and that the Huguenots will be the first to feel the rigour of their warlike preparations. Carlisle is the first one of this opinion, and I have had a long dispute with him. He said that even if the French made some demonstration for the Duke of Mantua it would be with the intention of following it up with some agreement, and even if this was not satisfactory they would claim to have done enough, and it would be necessary to agree to what they decided. I would not admit this, although at heart I am of the same opinion.
The Hague, the 22nd January, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 23.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
701. The secretary of England came into the Collegio and spoke substantially as follows:
The ambassador left me here to serve your Serenity if orders come from his Majesty and gave me letters of credence which I present to your Serenity. When these had been read the Doge remarked that the secretary would always be welcome. The secretary then asked for the despatch of a memorial presented before about some merchants of Zante, the reply being committed to Sig. Zustignan and of another presented while the earl of Carlisle was still here, by a certain person who lets rooms to the English who come to this city, the information was committed to the office of la Guistitia Nova, that the poor man was molested by those ministers, and he therefore petitioned for its suspension so that the poor man might not be molested in the meantime before the case was despatched. The doge promised that they would take the case in hand and so the secretary took leave and departed.
Most Serene Prince:
When I took leave of your Serenity I did not mention Mr. Thomas Rolanson, secretary of the embassy, because I thought it would be superfluous, having already presented him, but as he now asks me for new credentials the better to authorise his negotiations, I beg your Serenity to place entire confidence in what he says on behalf of my king by virtue of royal orders, letters or commissions sent to him by royal secretaries or other qualified ministers. Your Serenity will always have in me a most devoted servant, wherever I may be. I kiss your hands and wish you every felicity.
Turin, the 13th January, 1629.
Your most devoted servant,
I. WAKE.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
702. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
Councillor Lippomano took the best steps for the restitution of the French ship taken by the pirate Digby in our port of Argostoli. The remonstrances he made represented our wishes and the feelings of the state at such evil operations. The councillor also did well to forbid the pirate access to the island or to take water there or any other refreshments. The same must be done for the future, driving him from our ports, whenever it can be done with safety, and that he may not receive any good treatment there, so that he may recoginse how the Senate regards his insolent audacity so contrary to the intentions of the King of Great Britain, whose patents he has. We have ordered our ambassador to make complaint to his Majesty about Digby's excesses in our ports. You will inform Councillor Lippomano of the Senate's satisfaction with his conduct, and that he could not have done better.
Ayes, 87.Noes, 0.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Sir Thomas Dishington was imprisoned in the Bastille in June 1627. See vol. xx of this Calendar, page 271.
2 Charlotte born on the 19 Dec., o.s. She was the eleventh child, but only ten were then alive.
3 i.e. the booty from the Spanish plate fleet captured by Admiral Hein.
4 This happened on the 17th January.