Venice
February 1629, 12-20

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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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533-548

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'Venice: February 1629, 12-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 533-548. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89216 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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February 1629

Feb. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
740. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have been to congratulate the Queen of Bohemia on the birth of her daughter. (fn. 1) I wished her every felicity and that past bitterness might disappear, remarking that nothing could help this more than her helping to encourage the good disposition of her brother. I urged her to perform the necessary offices for this. She was very pleased and told me she appreciated the esteem of the Senate for her, prizing it very highly. With respect to approaching her brother about the peace with France she said these words: You know what my interests require, and so you may assure the republic that I will not omit any good office and I assure you that the king my brother is most disposed to it so that he is the only one to desire the correspondence with France, because they have now played tricks with everybody, and those who treat with them must be on their guard. I told her something of the excellent steps taken by the Most Christian towards peace, and there remained only some slight difficulty about the queen's household and Toras' ship. I also told her of the French king's warlike preparations, and we were only waiting to hear of his passing. She replied that her brother would never give in about the household, and if the French wanted peace they would not ask for the restitution of the St. Esprit. She thought it had been introduced in order to blow the whole thing into the air. She thought the Huguenots had more reason to fear than the Italians had to hope from France's preparations, and you will see, she said, that I am a prophetess. This at bottom is what every one fears here, although I would not let it pass and I said that the French had made so many declarations that it was impossible not to be hopeful, especially as the Most Christian did not require so many men against the Huguenots. The Prince of Orange arrived at this time and the Queen with her usual sprightliness (hilarità) told him she was having a great argument with me, and asked him to help her, telling him our arguments. The Prince rather inclined to my opinions, but he seemed to think that the French would try hard to arrange a treaty of accommodation. He thought they would suggest depositing Casale with the pope.
The Ambassador Joachim will leave for England in a few days. He recently showed me letters from London of the 22nd ult. giving good hope of the peace with France, though without further particulars. His colleagues had had a special audience of the king on the subject, from which they had come away very satisfied and had forthwith despatched a courier to France. I gather that a Spaniard named Mendoza has come with Porter from Spain, in response to his mission, bringing some drafts for negotiation from the king and ministers, though ill received owing to their exorbitance. This has produced a good effect because it has made them more inclined to the peace with France.
They are expecting Mr. Car, a gentleman of the chamber of the King of England, with condolences on the death of the Palatine's eldest son. We hear that the king and all his court have gone into mourning for two months, and for the same reason they have adjourned parliament, of which there is no news, as they had scarcely begun.
The Hague, the 12th February, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
741. To the Ambassador CONTARINI in England.
Your letters of the 21st January as well as those of the 7th about the peace cause us great satisfaction and we commend your conduct of the affair amid difficulties, with good hope of a conclusion. There is a good response from France and the day before yesterday the Ambassador d'Avo confirmed the excellent disposition of the Most Christian towards the peace and his desire that it might be established by the ambassadors of the republic, declaring that the interposition of the Dutch will rather tend to embroil matters. News comes from Spain of Scaglia's arrival at that Court. He will attempt everything possible. It is affirmed that the Duke of Savoy declared he held the will of England in his hand and nothing would be done without him. Although we know that this is unfounded, yet you will be on your guard, to cut short the slightest approach to reluctance and to procure the settlement with all possible speed.
You acted most wisely in presenting to the king your letters of credence, while thanking his Majesty for the honour he has done us in recognising the sincerity of our good will, and also in referring to his Majesty the affair of the printer of the pamphlet about Digby. With regard to that pirate we send you a copy of the exposition of the French ambassador on the 4th January about a French saettia, plundered at Argostoli, 6,000 reals and a quantity of merchandise being taken, partly by Digby, although he afterwards restored the saettia, and some of the goods, and partly by some English trading ships which were in the port. It is a very scandalous case, as the merchantmen, under pretence of protecting the saettia from the pirate, took away a good part of its cargo, and on the following morning sailed away with a part of the money and goods. Digby has had no compunction about entering our ports for booty, claiming that he had a right to do so, although the public representatives expressly warned him that every one must be secure in that port. We desire you to insist strongly upon the punishment of this pirate, who especially deserves it for the capture of the two ships destined for this mart, besides so many other sinister operations. You will also try to obtain restitution of the goods of the French saettia both from Digby and from the merchantmen, which were then in the port, to the number of fifteen. We enclose a note of their names and a copy of the letters from the Proveditore of Cephalonia for your information.
In the present state of affairs in Italy, as the Spaniards have sent their forces towards the confines of Mantua and of our State we have sent a part of our forces to our frontier towards Milan, at present amounting to 10,000 foot and 1,000 horse. It seems that the Governor of Milan has been made very uneasy by this, and he recently left the camp under Casale with some of his best officers with the intention, they say, of going towards Lodi. The Spaniards have also abandoned the fort of Piadena, at night, erected by them facing the Mantuan, removing their artillery and baggage and firing two mines to blow up the fort. This will serve for information.
Ayes, 123.Noes, 3.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Feb. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
742. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Cardinal of Berul, whom I have never seen, sent his secretary to me the day before yesterday, to tell me that he had orders from the king himself to say that however advantageous an arrangement Botru might conclude in Spain, his Majesty would not agree to it, or draw back from what he had already resolved, if the last agreements made were punctually fulfilled which were sent to your Excellencies, though I do not know what they were, and the secretary would not enlighten me. I have seen the same thing written in the letters of Cardinal Richelieu. The Prince of Condé who proposed to go to Britanny to seize the goods of the Duke of Rohan, has been countermanded.
I know the real root of the mystery. The cardinal sees that he will soon be at grips with the foreigner and wishes to settle internal dissensions as far as possible. The same reason moves him to conclude the other matter, with the removal of impediments, and at this moment we should enjoy the fruits if England was willing, as in essence France has abandoned all her most just claims and holds out over two words only, which have no connection with matters of state which might cause that Crown alarm, and which only mean some gratification to the queen mother, who herself helps me to settle this business. The Savoyard ministers here say that the peace between the two crowns, manipulated without success by various foreign ministers, will never be completed by the ambassadors of the republic, although they have made considerable progress. They contend that England and France, having a good understanding together, will think it the best course in the agreement which they conclude, to exclude all, with some dissatisfaction, rather than include only those and disgust all the others. I will not venture to prognosticate, but it is not difficult to see from what quarter these winds blow. I know that the last time I spoke to the queen mother she told me that the republic alone acted in the public interest with sincerity and good faith; all the others, without exception were induced by selfish motives or by ulterior designs, and they only tended to make bad worse, and no good could possibly come of it. She referred to the poison scattered by Scaglia, the bad designs of his master and the ill-will of Carlisle. She urged me to hurry up both England and the cardinal, as the Spaniards being hard pressed, might make haste to conclude peace with England.
Since the hopes circulated that the Queen of England is enceinte, I fancy that the queen mother is better disposed towards her satisfaction, so that the two crowns may resume their friendly relations and perhaps the recall of the Duke of Chevreuse to Court is due to her good offices, as I told her that the King of England would like France to send him as ambassador extraordinary.
Paris, the 15th February, 2628 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
743. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By the enclosed letter to France your Serenity will comprehend the replies given to Zorzi about difficulties suggested to me, before his departure from Paris, and particularly about the household of the queen of England, the only point left undecided for the peace. I send a copy of what the French have proposed and what I have arranged here, so that you may form your opinion and aid my offices. England now claims to have revived the marriage contract, which had been buried by the French through their own misconduct and then by the disapproval of Bassompierre, this fresh declaration bringing it back to its former state, and rendering it capable of any form which the French themselves propose, by referring it to the queens, which at present seems very unreasonable. It is quite certain that the honour and pretensions of the French have been duly considered, and that the satisfaction they desire is nothing but a private fantasy, combated by good arguments on this side, for the king here will not admit of any subjection, happen what may. Even if there was any hope of effecting this, existing circumstances do not require it, owing to the fear of fresh trouble.
The peace is now in the hands of the French. Here they cannot draw back, nor do they wish to, although I ought to say that they have almost repented, not because they have not the same good will, but because of the bad impressions brought by Carlisle, from remorse at abandoning Savoy, contrary to the promise made to him, and above all from their suspicion of being duped together with the utter subjection of the Huguenots. If the treaty is sent back here, all these pretensions will revive, and for a private satisfaction demanded by France, and which it is impossible to concede, this grand affair, fraught with the most important consequences, will fall to pieces, and what has been good hitherto will be converted into the worst possible. If after being advised of all these things by Zorzi, they do not attach importance to them, we must suspect that they do not want to undertake the affairs of Italy, the war with the Spaniards and the common cause, holding their own private affections in greater account than all these advantages. If this is their wish, it will be out of their power, as they will be prevented, and in the dance they will desert the others. I have set this forth clearly, not only to exculpate myself, but as my duty and to ask for your admonitions.
Parliament continues to sit, but forms its decisions very slowly. It chose to take in hand the matter of religion, to put down the newly rising sect of the Arminians. The king has intimated several times that these are not the times for such a business, but that they must consider the necessities of the state. Parliament replied that no good beginning is made except by God, and He must be served first of all. His Majesty at length consented to their continuing as they do, asking them to make haste and not to interfere in the punishment of private persons, favourers of the new sect, as there are not a few, including some bishops. It seems that parliament does not agree to this. They mean to maintain their full liberty, but as they began to punish the Arminians, the leaders of the Catholics, many of whom are about the king's person, will also be in danger. For this reason they loose the reins unwillingly. For the rest, it seems that on the settlement of this point, the king will have the customs, the subsidies and every satisfaction. But in the first place he must give satisfaction to parliament, who will willingly protract, in order to preserve liberty and predominance which is very sweet to those who are born subjects.
Roe, who returned from Constantinople, has made a long speech in the Council chamber, in his Majesty's presence, propounding sound but uncommon maxims upon the affairs of Denmark. He showed how forty ships might be fitted out, and 6,000 foot raised in the course of March, and employed to advantage before the imperial forces, now scattered in garrisons, can meet again. They listened, commended and referred him to another meeting, about which they have said nothing more, and he complains of it. The ambassadors help him, especially the Dane, but as there is no money, the good will, even of the best, must give way. Everything depends on parliament, but if it protracts, as many suspect, the good season will pass before anything is done, or there will be some disappointment. Some impulse has been given by the news that the city of Danzig has conceded ten good ships of war to the emperor, at the request of the Poles. With this and the other imperial forces in the Baltic, Denmark, unless he is succoured, risks losing everything. No progress is heard of in the treaties of peace, but rather fraudulent practices, impracticable conditions being proposed, such as those frequently offered to the Palatine namely that they should pay the arrears due to the imperial forces, which amount to enormous sums, and things of that sort.
A few days ago a sea fight took place within sight of Dover, between some Dutch ships from the Mediterranean, and some English ones which wished to search them, the latter getting the worst of it and having some forty men killed. It is a bad affair, especially at the present moment. The Dutch ambassadors apologise for the event, and point out the despair of their seamen because of the loss they incur when they allow themselves to be taken and brought here, being detained interminably by law suits and costs. I know what your Excellencies command me about soothing on all occasions. I do not fail to do so, and I hope that everything will pass off quietly.
The said ambassadors, having heard of the departure of their colleagues from France, think of doing the like, but they may first await the return of the Ambassador Joachim to continue his charge. In the meantime they told me in confidence that they heard from the Hague that Carlisle left a paper in the hands of the Count Palatine assigning the reasons why peace should be more advantageous with France or with Spain, coming to the conclusion, that for the common cause, the former would prove the most profitable if it could be relied on, but the latter for the especial benefit of England, on account of trade, This nobleman perseveres in his cabals, and being full of ardour he captivates the mind of a young king. The other ministers, who would oppose him, proceed cautiously for fear of losing the king's good opinion, in case the French do not favour the common cause, as Carlisle maintains that they never will.
Digby has at last returned from privateering, with his consorts. He is in the Downs and has not yet come to London. Some say he is rich from having made good prizes, others, that after deducting the expenses, he will not have enough to live on. Be that as it may, it does not matter to me, since your Excellencies are freed from that annoyance and your subjects and friends from his audacity. He pretends to justify himself for what took place at Scanderoon, about which I have no information beyond the first letter of the consul Pesaro. I do not intend to dispute with him on terms of equality, but if I did I should not be at a loss for invectives against his evil proceedings; but I would fain be well armed for this special circumstance. No letters from Italy have appeared, those of the 29th December are still the last.
London, the 16th February, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.744. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his Colleague in France.
Christofforo, who left on the 4th arrived on the 10th. He brought me your letters Nos. 94 and 95, and next day I received Nos. 92 and 93, with the additions sent by Montagu. You did excellently to send back Christofforo, to counteract these infected advices by your sincerity. Everyone is unanimous in believing that the last edict to the Huguenots is the sole pretext that remains for crushing them entirely, compelling each of the rebel towns to depend separately on the neighbouring parliaments, a custom never observed before. The king himself has told the Danish ambassador that the French had sent an express to his master, to dissuade him from making peace with the emperor, adding that he was to trust in them alone as England could not relieve him. That there are ships preparing on the coasts of Britanny and Normandy. That the report of the departure of the Dutch ambassadors is attributed to despair of the peace and of the Huguenots, which they do not care to witness. All are false, but passion gains credit for them, and you may imagine how I can defend myself against such phantoms. The few remarks which you have sent about our negotiation convince me of your vigilance and friendship, which I am bound to return.
Toiras' ship is not given back by treaty, because the French restore nothing, because the English, with an eye on the future, will not declare the Dutch harbours free ports, and because it is the only sign of victory to counterbalance so many losses, besides the other reasons given before. They do not bind themselves by courtesy to give it back, but when the reconciliation is affected, they do not refuse to show a good reciprocity. I say no more as you say there will be no great difficulty about this point.
You say the queen's household resembles the Gordian knot, with the difference that it will be untied. You must know that I proposed referring the matter to the two queens. It was not suggested or approved by his Majesty, who, on the contrary, rejected it entirely. I never aimed at anything but quietly to commit them here, especially after the fall of La Rochelle; I wrote that the king would not make any concession about the household, but if reference to the queens was approved by France, I would endeavour to get it sanctioned here. I did this, but when the alteration came, assigning the preeminence to the queen mother, the commissioners would not listen to me. I strove with the king for four days, and he would not agree to anything whatever, especially in the matter of the two queens, as he said there would have been disputes daily, because the daughter always agrees with her mother, and if he was occasionally unable to gratify her, he would commit an act of incivility to one and would displease the other, and revive the former causes of dissatisfaction, the mere shadow of which gives his Majesty more concern than all the other political considerations. Thus, the very reason, which France believes to be so much to her advantage, from the certainty that the queen mother would command without difficulty, owing to the subordination of her daughter, is precisely what the King of England will not accept on any account, as disagreements would doubtless follow, from frequent variations, alterations and demands that first one and then another should be admitted to the queen's household, and he would not be master of anything. He preferred to submit the business to the two crowns, as had been the case at first, in order to establish mutual satisfaction, in conformity with the greater service of the queen, so that it may be durable and not subject to change and dispute.
With this foundation, suspicions of deceit vanish. Further, there is the last clause I sent, and which you say is the voice of Jacob, but with the hand of Esau. This is not deceit, for England never approved of the reference to the queens, but always stoutly refused, and would not treat at all about this. From this position, the third article was brought forward as it stands, by toil, good offices and almost by violence. To me it seems sufficient, not only because it is impossible to get more, but for good reasons, provided what is fair is admitted. If France merely demands appearances, and to justify herself with Rome and all the world, behold the corpse which she herself slew, to the disgust of Bassompierre, revived. If the precise execution of the marriage contract is required, here is the door open through this third clause. If they are satisfied with moderation, through Bassompierre's treaty, or in some other way, or even the identical reference to the queens, with a little address, so as to rid the king of his suspicions, that same clause would give them the means to do so. As it specifies the queen's household, according to her greater service, I do not know what more France can reasonably demand, verba tantum valent quantum sonant.
The greater service of the queen ought to be the foundation of any treaty, together with reciprocity on the part of the two crowns. If France now insists on a personal satisfaction, hateful to the king, not without good reason, and perhaps to the disservice of France herself, because a refusal to the queen mother deprives her of the means of intervening as mediatrix in a thousand circumstances which may arise for her daughter's service, I know not what to say. It is impossible to gain any more on this point, as the king is exceedingly suspicious about it and almost repents from fear lest this article disturb his present state of satisfaction, which is now increased by what is now the certain pregnancy of the queen, with increase both of influence and love. This suspicion renders the councillors very reserved, as if anything disagreeable should arise, where his Majesty is so sensitive, they would be ruined. As they are giving France all she requires in policy and honour, they will not interfere further, and you know that without the support of the ministers, an ambassador can promise himself but little. The third clause does not concern England solely for the residue of the dowry, as by embracing all the articles, things most essential for France are included. The question is imminent, in the queen's condition, because of the child's education in the Catholic faith until the thirteenth year, a point so important for reasons for conscience and state, and for the Catholics here, that this alone is worth the settlement of the peace with one's eyes shut, so that France may assist in so grand a work through ambassadors or others, and it may be of great assistance hereafter. The only thing besides is the word "to renew" instead of "to satisfy." In our sense there would be some difference, but in French it means the same thing. If one does not please, insert the other. I should not like a dispute to arise for one word, by sending back the treaty here, and rendering doubtful an important business already settled, as since Carlisle's return, because I know that the king repents of not having included Savoy, to whom he had pledged his word, I would on no account begin the negotiations over again here. They might add something that has not been mentioned and which might displease France more on public grounds than the affair of the household, which is not one hundredth part so important. Carlisle clamours about Rohan, Soubise and others not being included, although they are rebels, convincing the king by the example of what is done in all other treaties of peace.
It is quite certain that on the appearance of the conclusion all these clouds will be dissipated. On the other hand, if they find a corner, they will easily be converted into rain and hail. This exorcism, which is now in the hands of France beyond recall, is capable of breaking all the spells both of Spain and Savoy, and the Huguenots, to the great advantage of that country, on account of trade and the common cause, because of the help that will certainly be given to Denmark from here.
By these considerations I think I have expressed the reasons and removed the shadows of deceit or advantage in one clause more than in the other, because there is no parallel, the first was my proposal to advance the business, and the last is that of the king to conclude it, without hope of gaining one single word more, as his honour and appearances being satisfied, all the persistence of France is merely individual satisfaction, for which this is not the time.
I have not spoken thus to the ministers here. They all showed some resentment at my seeking to change the last settlement without first waiting for your formal reply in the name of France, which I am anxiously expecting. They told me that the king will not go a step further, happen what may. My confidents told me two other important things, one that if England was not pledged, she would not pledge herself, in her present position, because of the movements of the Most Christian, which imply scant esteem for this Crown as without concluding peace with it he enters upon another important war, which must at length explode, either against Savoy or the Huguenots, both of whom are recommended to this Crown. The other is that if the treaty is sent back altered in one single word, so that it must be negotiated anew, the English, being released from their promises, will add what was omitted in the first one, to make sure of the aforesaid points, which would certainly not have been done had Carlisle arrived previously with the minister and the supplications of Savoy, and with his offers never to detach himself from this Crown. Carlisle had scent of these offices of mine, and persuaded them to send for me to meet the commissioners about including some alteration about the queen's household what he insists on and has so much at heart in favour of Savoy and the Huguenots, but I was informed of this by those who assist me from affection and interests, and would not let myself be caught in the trap. As the peace remains in the hands of France, I want her to avoid them, after weighing all these considerations, and that the merit of warning her may rest with you, so that she may never have to complain of us or of the republic. I believe that the cardinal, who is well advised from here, knows this even better than I. For this reason I write again that the business remains in its original position, without hope of gaining any point whatever, and even if one could, it would not answer, from fear of the additions. I am certain that sufficient justice has been rendered to the honour of France and appearances. After balancing a personal satisfaction, claimed by her against so many consequences, fatal to peace, both at home and abroad, the friends of that kingdom and her enemies also would not wish individual passion to predominate. But as the chief point is established, to the confusion of so many intriguers, I feel sure that the pretensions would no longer break the peace, and disagreements would give way to affection, whereas at present any trifle may give the final blow to a very great benefit which is in their hand.
Respecting the Huguenots, the peace would be indeed desirable for Italy and all parties, as without it the assistance from France can be of little use or duration. Here they are on the horns of a dilemma, they do not want to declare that they will not make the peace without the Huguenots, or to detach themselves from them, in case the peace is not made. They do not want to say no, to avoid pledging themselves too far about the subjects of a foreign power, a thing all princes abhor. I therefore think that you should attend, above all things to adjusting the peace abroad, and send the treaty here, without pledging yourself to the day of its signature, as our reputation will be thus saved, whatever happens. During this interval the French force will have marched either against Savoy or the Huguenots. If towards Savoy, you will be able to write to me all that concerns the Huguenots, in conformity with what they desire here, and the hopes of a speedy peace, if it has not already taken place. If against the Huguenots, write the causes why the Most Christian has been irritated, and lay stress upon them. I hope that England will thus either embrace the peace, provided no opening remains for cavil and a fresh treaty, or, by refusing it, will incur the blame. I know they would like to attribute the rupture to France, so as to have the justification, which they have not at present, with the world and their friends, for coming to terms with Spain, which is the most essential point.
London, the 16th February, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.745. Third Clause, received from France.
The two kings will comply in good faith in the articles and marriage contract of the Queen of Great Britain, and they refer the execution of this to the queen mother and the Queen of Great Britain, promising to ratify what the queen mother shall deem best for the welfare of her daughter, after she has given her opinion about it.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.746. Third Article sent from England to France.
The articles and marriage contract of the Queen of Great Britain will be renewed with good faith; and if there is anything to add or diminish about the queen's household, it should be done by one side and the other to mutual satisfaction, as shall be deemed most fitting for the service of the said queen.
[Italian; deciphered; copy.]
Feb. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives
747. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen the Ambassador Wake to-day to express your Excellencies' just resentment at the capture of the two ships by Digby. He seemed to have heard of it from his secretary at Venice as well as from Digby's own account. He says he met the ships and saluted them, believing them to be friends, and flew his king's flag. They did not respond, but fired, doing his ships much harm. Thereupon he fought them. He asserts that he found from the bills of lading that they were hired for Spain, the goods belonging to naturalised subjects of the Catholic; Bencio and Pompeo Massa were only agents. He justifies the capture by this and says that he will await the decision of the English admiralty. I cannot say that Wake seemed convinced by Digby's letter, and when I said that the ships had the patents of the republic and gave your Excellencies' arguments he seemed to hold out hopes of free restitution. I think he knows Digby's nature, that he is acting more as a pirate than as a good servant of his king, and is glad that he has gone back to England even before the order was sent to him. The ambassador will write strongly to back up the offices of the Ambassador Contarini, and with my present despatch he will gain a week, as it can be sent off on Friday, whereas he usually sends his despatches to England through Venice.
Turin, the 16th February, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
748. That the French ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him or that he be informed as the Collegio thinks best:
We have made a diligent enquiry in the matter of the French saettia. It is perfectly certain that the public representatives did everything possible, and the saettia was restored to its master with its tackle and other things by the pirate, so that the master and the French consul were both entirely satisfied, as your Excellency may see from their own letters. As there is some conflicting evidence about the goods stolen, according to the information of our rectors, since the English merchant ships which were in the port before the pirate arrived, sailed away on the following morning, without it being possible to know which of them had the goods, we have made every effort, writing to the Proveditore of Cephalonia trying to find out if there was capital or anything else belonging to the merchants concerned. We have decided to proceed according to justice and have written to our ambassador in England to do all in his power to obtain redress for those interested in the saettia and punishment for the pirate Digby, who deserves severe correction for his other operations as well.
Ayes, 134.Noes, 0.Neutral. 2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
749. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
We enclose the exposition of the French ambassador on the 4th January about the French saettia S. Michiel plundered in Argostoli and of our reply to him. You will make every effort to find out in whose hands the plundered goods really are, as it is very doubtful which of the merchant ships had part of the booty. We do not see from the process whether the merchants detained in the castle have been released or are still under arrest. We charge you to give us full information about everything and also to proceed to administer justice for restitution and compensation wherever you find capital or anything else of those interested in the merchant ships which were in the port to lade currants, and which may come again. In any case you will advise us of the names of each of the ships and their masters and owners, which can be learned from those who laded them, who sold the currants or others, as they must have stayed there several days. We shall wait to hear from you.
Ayes, 134.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
750. To the Ambassador ZORZI in France.
We are glad to hear that the peace negotiations are in good train on the English side, and every reason is in favour of a corresponding readiness on the part of France. The Ambassador d'Avo here has especially confirmed the good disposition of his master and his great desire for the establishment of the peace through his ambassadors. France certainly ought not to lose such a good opportunity, and should also avoid delay, as other ministers for Spain have arrived in England with Porter, and Carlisle will be arriving from Brussels, with views strongly opposed to the peace, while Scaglia has reached the Court of Spain, resolved to do his utmost for the peace with that Crown. They should therefore avoid all obstacles and cut short the slightest delay. You will employ all your efforts to bring the ships to port, putting the finishing touches by fixing the day for signing and choosing the ambassadors, not allowing the business to drop or to slacken for any reason soever.
Ayes, 134.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
751. To the Ambassador CORNER In Savoy.
You do well to give attention to what the Ambassador Wake says whether as a guide towards obtaining information, or as information in itself, for the service of the state.
Ayes, 134.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
752. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The desire for peace with England increases here in proportion with their fears of the French arms. They inform that king and those who have the affair in hand here that they cannot yet be quite certain whether it is in their power or no to have the Palatine's state consigned to him; it is necessary to apply to the emperor and the Princes of Germany; they will devote their offices for the entire satisfaction of his Majesty; but while retaining what they hold of the Lower Palatinate, they treat of the other part, proposing to win over Bavaria by a promise to preserve and support him in possession of the Upper.
They would like to introduce trade with England. They have already granted leave for the importation of goods, even from hostile countries, up to a limited amount. They would like to arrange a truce at least, in order to facilitate the rest, and meanwhile to enjoy the benefit of time in that quarter. I am advised that the Abbot Scaglia goes about to forward these ends of the Spaniards; and he is also treating about the truce with the Dutch. I fancy they publish much greater hopes about all these transactions than they really feel, for their own advantage.
Madrid, the 17th February, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
753. AGOSTIN VIANUOL, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A written treaty is practically concluded to send a squadron of ships under convoy and well armed to Amsterdam and other places of Holland and England for trade, and I hear already that various Florentines, a Medici, brother of the Archbishop of Pisa, an Orlandini and others want to have a ship in that fleet. By this convoy the Grand Duke must be designing to secure the trade of Leghorn more fully and to increase it. He does not wish to lose his consideration with the English and the foreigners by imposing taxes.
Florence, the 17th February, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
754. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Only a few days ago the Ambassador Contarini sent me a copy of a third form of the article about the queen's household, so that if they agreed here and the cardinal approved, he would arrange for us to put the finishing touches to this long and troublesome business between the two crowns, although there is no further descrepancy at present than two words of pomp by which France wishes the queen mother to have some preference over the Queen of England, her daughter. This is not a difference of rank, but merely of nature, and there seems nothing improper or unreasonable about it, especially when France has conceded so much, notably about the numbers of French in the household. I feel sure, with regard to Toras's ship, that if everything else is settled, that alone will not stand in the way of the peace; so I do not see what more I can say or France do. The difficulty therefore consists in accidents, not essentials, and putting words in one article which shall satisfy one side and not offend the other. Contarini works nobly at this, and from his messenger Christoforo Alemano I have received his draft article. After considering it for three or four days I decided on the 4th to send it back to England, for very solid reasons which I have written to him, because it would not be acceptable if I know anything of the French humour or of the cardinal's disposition. The most cogent reason was that the cardinal was away and I was very ill, so there was no means of treating with him, and I thought it best to gain rather than lose time if the English would give the articles riper reflection and come to some reasonable decision. I am in better health now and awaiting Christoforo's return in order to start for Grenoble at once with these useful documents. I will not delay a moment when these arrive, if I can so much as stand, and I hope it will be at the end of next week at latest.
Paris, the 18th February, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
755. THADDEO VICO, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are expecting the ambassadors extraordinary back from France. Before they left they had an express from their commissioners in England with news of the high hopes there of an adjustment with France, and the information necessary for them to join in with Zorzi's offices at that Court, and any other means they might consider appropriate in order to induce the Most Christian to second the good will of the English king. As these ambassadors had already taken leave of the Court they thought they ought not to delay their return home any longer, but they left the matter in Langarach's hands, and God grant that he may achieve the end desired.
Car arrived from London on Wednesday evening. He brings letters from the king and queen which seem to be merely of condolence, and they are especially affectionate to the queen. His Majesty declares that he always keeps his eyes fixed on the interests of the Palatine house, which he would never abandon, but endeavours to re-establish. Car remains on here, seeing the country, until his master's intentions reach him about the manner of burying the dead Prince. He would have brought them, if the king had not wished to consult his parliament on the subject, whether the body should be taken to England, and also to obtain the money for the expenses. They are trying to pass on the pension of 8,000 francs which the dead prince had, to one of the younger princes, as the one who is now the eldest does not need it, because he has 20,000 granted to him by the present King of England, at his christening. It is thought that there will be no difficulty on the subject.
Car considers that on the English side the peace with France is brought to such an excellent pitch that all that is required is for France to respond, and although it seems that Savoy through Carlisle tried to foment mistrust of the French yet his Majesty's better sentiments have prevailed, aided by Contarini's efforts, and they have written to the Ambassador Wake at Turin to induce the duke to come to the same opinion as the English king and to unite with France for the service of Italy and the common good.
The Ambassador Joachim left on Friday for London, with a favourable wind. When he arrives the ambassadors extraordinary will place in his hands the serious matters now in negotiation, and will then take leave and return to the Hague. With Joachim went the commissioners of the East India Company, who go about the Amboyna affair, and they hope to find them well disposed and to be able to adjust the affair and settle their mutual differences.
The Hague, the 19th February, 1628 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 20.
Cl. vii. Cod.
1927.
Bibl. S. Marco.
756. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, his Colleague in England.
I am still here and shall not leave before next week, because of my illness. It was due to my labours and fatigues both physical and mental. At Venice they think that we are in port and enjoying the delights of the Earthly Paradise. Those who have experience know that things are not so easy. If I get back I will never go away again unless the Collegio insists. I am now waiting for Cristofforo. If the article is drawn up according to the copy sent hence, with corrections accepted by your prudence, I hope to conclude speedily. Since Cristofforo left I have made some progress, and where the article says havendo dalla Regina d'Inghilterra il suo aviso, I hope we shall get the cardinal to agree to the following, subject to the approval of the queen mother, con l'aviso però sodisfattione et consentimento della Regina della Gran Bertagna sua figliola. Although appearances are great for the queen mother, yet the effect will be considerable, because nothing can be done without the queen's consent. But these are phrases of vanity and pomp which do not touch the root. They ought not to think of incidental matters in England since from first to last France has conceded substantially all her claims.
The Savoyard ministers here are very angry because the king of England has sent a gentleman to tell his Highness that he wishes the peace to be carried forward by the ambassadors of the most serene republic. This week they have announced here at Paris that the two crowns understand each other well, and in the treaty they will make with each other they will exclude all foreign ministers, the Venetian with the rest, as they think it better on both sides not to satisfy any one than to offend all, I do not mind provided we achieve the result; but you know how the affair sticks in the throat of others, so that they certainly will not help, if they have the chance.
Paris, the 20th February, 1629.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Charlotte, born on the 19th Dec. preceding.