Venice
April 1629, 16-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1919

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15-35

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'Venice: April 1629, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 15-35. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89248 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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April 1629

April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
26. GIROLAMO SORANZO and ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By letters from Paris, confirmed here, we learn that Mirabello made fresh proposals to Cardinal Berulle for an alliance between France and Spain against England. The cardinal replied that he had been deceived so many times about such proposals that he did not think he would find any credit if he laid them before the king. In their reply to the cardinal from here, they express disapproval of his answers, and direct him, in case the same proposal is made to him in the future, to pretend to listen and discover the intentions of the Spaniards with their own tricks, with the object of directing their plans to achieve the objects professed by Richelieu the better, seeing that the king here has gone so far for the establishment of the peace with the English that no further doubt about it is possible.
Susa, the 16th April, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori,
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
27. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days ago the Palatine returned from his hunting. I went at once to offer condolences to him and his wife on the death of their son. The queen in particular was gratified by the office. She said: The republic has lost a servant, but all my sons are destined to serve it, and I hope that those who are left to me will repay the great obligations we all owe, when they are old enough. I had no opportunity of entering upon further particulars, because the days of devotion interfered with business. It distresses me that I am still in the dark about what Vane came for, but I have learned something of immense importance on good authority, namely that he is urging the princess, in the king's name, to leave this country and go and live in some place not suspect to the Spaniards. That means a step towards gaining their goodwill by this show of respect. So far I have discovered nothing more, but this comes from so great an authority that I fear it must be true. The Abbot Scaglia deludes the English, who are hard pressed and disposed to believe, if nothing more. One step leads to another, and when they have made so many without due reflection, it is neither honourable nor possible to draw back, even when the damage becomes apparent. Thus under a show of reputation they rush to destruction, with their friends. The Princess Palatine is very wide awake, and trusts the Spaniards just so much as she has reason to do. So she will not let herself be engulfed without good reason, unless necessity compels her to take the risk.
The Hague, the 16th April, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
28. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SEANTE.
Wake says that the places held by the Huguenots are sufficient to keep the king busy for three years. But perhaps what he says is influenced by prejudice.
Turin, the 17th April, 1629.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
29. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They speak of a reply of the King of England to the minister of the Duke [of Savoy] at that Court, to the effect that his Highness was now urging peace with the Spaniards, and in a day or two he would suggest it with the French also. Accordingly, they conclude that the duke is thoroughly found out everywhere, and he has known how to beguile us here.
Madrid, the 17th April, 1629.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
30. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are anxiously awaiting a courier from Flanders about the negotiations with the Dutch. Truce or peace with them does not seem likely, but they talk a great deal about it. In their present distress, I am more inclined to believe that they have some hope of peace with England, and the missions from Brussels and from that island, also since Scaglia came here, give some colour to this. But as the Spaniards do not mean to give any essential satisfaction to the claims of that king, apart from trade, it is easy to see that nothing will be arranged, and if the French are wise, the game is in their hands.
Madrid, the 17th April, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
31. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The peace between this Crown and France is finally concluded by your Serenity's hand. I rejoice that the esteem for your good counsels and intentions makes progress at these Courts, and at the notable profit for the common weal. I ask your pardon for omissions and return thanks for support given. The enclosed letters contain the particulars. Want of time forbids more, but I will make amends by the ordinary of next Friday.
London, the 18th April, 1629.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.32. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
I rejoice that we can at last witness the fruits of our labours of eight months. The peace between the two crowns is concluded exactly as proposed in your letters of the 4th April, brought by the courier express, who arrived on the night of the 16th. I am sending him back to-day, with a promise of 25 crowns if he arrives on the 24th inst., the day arranged by you for the signature. During this time I have been disputing day and night, as they wanted some obligation for the Huguenots. But I never would consent as it seemed too prejudicial to France. As all is settled, I will not relate the disputes, but merely say that this rain has resolved itself into a gentle dew of words, by saying that as France showed such good will towards the common cause, they hoped the Most Christian would give the Huguenots a good peace, in order to attend better to the affairs of Germany, in concert with England.
This important point prevented me from making a demand for the St. Esprit, though I did my utmost to comply with the cardinal's desire, and I think it will be a very good exchange and very agreeable to him. The king himself, to whom I spoke twice, assured me that he had never promised this restitution, either to the Scottish religious (fn. 1) or anyone else. He will not bind himself now, for very important reasons of state, but he will always show respect and esteem in endeavouring to satisfy the queen mother. He added, laughing: Let them talk of the Father and the Son, but not of the St. Esprit. I have always written that when peace is made and friendship renewed, all the rest will go well. As you have disposed of this claim on the ship, I have arranged all the rest in the following manner.
The treaty is precisely as I sent it, except that "confirmés" is substituted for "renouvelés" in the third article. The treaty will be signed by the king under the date of the 24th April, in conformity with what you arranged with the cardinal. I will adhere to this punctually, although I am pressed for time. As there are doubts if the courier will be able to get there in six days, it has been settled that the treaty will be consigned into my hands on the 30th April, but dated the 24th. On the 1st May I will send a courier to you with the advice of having the treaty signed by the king in my hands, and with the nomination of the ambassador extraordinary. On the same day you must send me a similar express about having the counterpart. According to my calculations, these couriers should arrive about the 10th of May, but as a precaution against any mishap, we have decided that the day of the general proclamation of the peace in the two kingdoms shall be the 20th May next.
It rests with you to determine whether, after the receipt of the advices and the signatures, we shall send the treaty reciprocally by our secretaries, so that it may be consigned to the two kings on a predetermined day, or whether we shall keep it in our hands to deliver to the ambassadors extraordinary when they come. I have bound myself to all these things, not only with the commissioners, but with the king himself, whom I have just left. He made me give him my word and the republic's promise. He asked me how I had addressed your letters, whether the date of the treaty will be the 24th inst, with confirmés instead of renouvelés, to be consigned to you on the 30th, and all the rest without alteration. The eighth article, however, must be as you will see by the copy, for a mere supplement to the words which remained in blank, namely the day of signature and the nomination by the Venetian ambassadors.
From the day of the date, which will be the 24th, a private order will be given at the ports for the ships to abstain from injuring the French. It would be advisable for the like to be done there, so that it may begin in all gentleness, until the proclamation of the general peace. During the interval, the king wished the affair to remain secret. This will serve as notice for you. I shall, therefore, await the return of the courier for the entire execution of every punctuality, which is most necessary between two great kings, who will keep their eyes fixed on it. I ask you to take great care of this, for the republic's interests, our honour and my responsibility. Including letters and ready money, I have disbursed 160 French crowns to the courier for the journey, and you will provide for his return. I pray you to forward the enclosed packet to his Serenity, and to send me the duplicate of what you write to me by the expresses, and I will do the like as a precaution.
London, the 18th April, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.33. Eighth Article.
Les deux Rois signeront les presents articles dans le 24 d'Avril, lesquels seront consignés au meme temps par leur commandement en mains des seigneurs ambassadeurs de Venise, residans pres de leurs persones, pour len delivrer reciproquemont auxdits deux Rois a giour prefix incontinent que chacun deux aura seu l'un del autre qu'ils ont les dits articles entre les mains et du giour de la signature tous actes d'hostilité tant par mer que par terre cesseront et les proclamations necessaires a cest effect seront faites en un mesme giour dans les deux Royaumes.
April 18.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
34. Letters patent of GIOVANNI CORNELIO, doge of Venice, directing the subjects and ministers of the republic to grant free passage to Michael Zon, destined for the service of the Ambassador Soranzo in England, with his servants and baggage, affording him every favour.
Ayes, 23.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
April 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
35. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I did not write to your Serenity last Friday, in order not to waste time with things of no importance. This Friday I find myself in the same case, as I have seen no letters from Italy since those of the 9th March. The chief business these last days has been the peace with France, of which I sent all particulars in my last. Internal affairs fluctuate owing to the unwillingness of the merchants to trade, to avoid paying the duties. In spite of this, if the king remains firm, as is expected, they will decide to pay rather than lose their profits, especially on the opening of trade with France, of which all may avail themselves at pleasure, without companies. Meanwhile, the king has the goods of those who will not unlade their merchandise, to avoid paying the duties, placed in the Tower, paying the freight to the sailors. But all these things are not devoid of notable commercial disadvantage, and with risk of more serious consequences.
The ambassador from Sweden continues his levy of troops. It seems to me that the king is not inclined to let all the best officers go. He has been to see me, and spoke with great affection of the republic. He assured me that the king of Sweden intends to wage war on the emperor, perhaps this year. He advances proposals for a league of which his master offers to be commander in chief. He does not rely on help from allies, but merely wishes to have a great band of friends, more for repute than profit. He told me besides that his king is very knowing. He will not put his trust in leagues, but will work for himself, and whatever else he might obtain would be so much to the good. He suggested that your Serenity might also join, as you, like everyone else, must fear the eagle's haughty and victorious flights. I commended the king's ideas, saying your Excellencies admired and esteemed his valour, with all the rest of the word. I pointed out that you labour incessantly for the common weal, not merely by good offices, but with arms, and at very great cost, as seen in the affairs of Italy, which are so useful to Germany, because of the diversion. I said that you should be informed of the king's good resolves.
They have detained for twenty days at Dover a packet-boat from Barocio to Scaglia, authorising him to come on board a Spanish ship. as they do not propose here to send a ship on purpose. They then sent it back to him, somewhat to his dissatisfaction. Your Excellencies may imagine that affairs proceed in conformity with the wind that blows.
I refer to the enclosed letter for French affairs. With respect to the demand made by the king on me, in person, to write to your Excellencies as well as to Zorzi for the outlaws to be restored to the Most Christian's favour, I see clearly that there will be difficulties about Soubise so long as Rohan remains in arms. Therefore, against those who wish to include Rohan in the peace, I argue that he must not be considered as the chief of the Huguenots for the defence of their faith, but as a limb of the Spaniards, because of the help he receives from them, as shown by his replies to his Majesty when recommended to make terms with the Most Christian namely, that he had 17,000 men ready for defence or offence. However, we might begin with the Count of Laval, brother of the Duke of la Tremouille and nephew of the Prince of Orange, a young man not capable of doing much mischief, and with some concession for the female prisoners, so as to introduce some civilities at the beginning. If your Excellencies reply to this you will express a regard for his Majesty's good pleasure.
London, the 20th April, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.36. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
The day before yesterday, at 5 p.m., I despatched the courier in all haste with the conclusion of the peace. Yesterday the king sent for me twice. He enquired if I had sent the courier, and ratified all that had been said the day before. He added that he would respond in every particular in the matter of signing, relying on my word and the faith of the republic. I have no doubt of this, and you can promise that the entire contents of my letters of the 18th will be punctually observed on this side. You must do the same on your side, for otherwise the alteration of a word would cause very great inconvenience. The king went on to say that he wished this renewed friendship with his brother the Most Christian to benefit the common cause as well as to open trade and intercourse between their subjects, and that their mutual satisfaction might be shown by deeds indicating their true affection and kinship. He therefore begged the republic to intercede for the Most Christian's favour for M. de Soubise and the Count of Laval, who are in this kingdom.
On the evening of the same day he sent for me a second time, and made a similar request on behalf of the old duchess of Rohan and her daughters, who are prisoners, in a deplorable state, begging the Most Christian that they may be relieved from their present miseries, and that the nobles in question might experience his clemency. His Majesty showed that this affair was not to be proposed by any one but you. From both these offices I augur the best results for our labours.
After promising to execute his commands, I did not forget what the cardinal desired about the ship. I told him that to give credit to your Excellency's demands you must be able to promise as much from me through his Majesty for the satisfaction of France. Here I stimulated his generosity, the interest of the queen mother, for whom he always expressed great esteem, the desire of the Most Christian, giving a hint that it might be made a present to the Queen of England. I thus made several points as the opportunity seemed so favourable, and I will do so always when occasions present themselves. So you may assure the cardinal that I shall not lose sight of so rare an opportunity for rendering myself worthy of his favour, though in England things move but slowly, the climate generating cold humours and tardy circulation. The king answered: Believe me, I hold the ship in no account, and were it anything else, worthy ten times as much I should not object to satisfying France in so trifling a matter; but it is connected with affairs of state of such importance that they constrain my will, and I again assure you that for these same reasons this restitution has never been promised to any one, and you can assure your colleague of this. For the present, I would not let it appear that I was bargaining about your last commands, and therefore you must try and get the granting of favours to begin in France, especially about the female prisoners, in order to facilitate the receiving of similar courtesies, and thus advance through mutual good offices, adding that the most friendly ministers, as well as the king, protest to me that Friar Weston invents, and nothing was ever promised to him here, and they never spoke to him of any intention of restoring the ship, and indeed wonder at his venturing to speak on such a subject. With this assurance, France remains satisfied, though no promise has been made.
Although you write that peace will ensue, even if the ship is not restored, yet I have kept an opening for the requests of the queen mother, who has not yet appeared on the scene, and of the ambassador extraordinary, who by gentle means will know how to gain for himself a good place in the favour of his Majesty, who has really behaved very discreetly in the matter of the outlaws, for I never heard of a peace being made which did not include the adherents of one side or the other. Yet in ours no mention is made of them, and the king did not choose to speak about them until after the departure of the courier with the final settlement, to remove all suspicion and to request these concessions, not as parts of the peace, but as a start towards their reunion.
I have only to add that they are sending a gentleman from here to Savoy and Lorraine to communicate to those princes the adjustment between these two crowns. (fn. 2) I hope that all the turmoil about negotiations with Spain will thereby be converted into a most perfect calm for the common weal. Some letters with passports for Scaglia have been detained, and they decided not to send him a ship. It must be admitted that the king was always disposed to benefit the liberty of Europe, but for bad advice.
The queen has sent to her mother her gentleman, M. de Cugnet, to bring back some women to wait on her in childbed, and to give account to her mother of her pregnancy. This will be the more prosperous if mental satisfaction on account of the peace be added to her present good health.
The ambassador from Sweden is raising five regiments. That king is determined to attack the emperor. He suggests a league, with himself as commander in chief. It seems that the Dutch will give him the 50,000 florins which they contribute for Denmark. He does not rest his hope on allies, but only wishes to have many friends, to give him repute with his own subjects and with the enemy. He would move towards Silesia, to make a distant diversion for the relief of Denmark, but if Walstein attacks Stralsond, it is possible that he may stay this year to defend it, and preserve the Baltic, which is of very great importance to the North of Europe.
London, the 20th April, 1629.
Postscript.—I remind you of the nomination of an ambassador agreeable to them here. I wrote before that the king wished for the Duke of Chevreuse. I feel sure that it will be of great importance at the outset, and France will more easily obtain the concessions she desires. They will send a person of discretion from here. On the 1st May I shall send the name of the ambassador extraordinary, and do not fail to do the same, as the punctual execution of the order is all the honour to which we can lay claim.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered; copy.]
April 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
37. To the Ambassador CONTARINI in England and to SORANZO at the Hague.
We told you of our decision to send a force to relieve Casale, and after the news of the peace at Susa reached us we sent you an express telling you to suspend the previous orders and postpone the office committed to you. The courier crossed the Bolzetta and left the letters at Persenon with the master of the posts, who promised to forward them safely. We now find that they have not arrived at the Hague with the first, and fear that they have not reached you either. We send you the duplicates, feeling sure that with what we have supplied you week by week, you will have duly regulated your offices and conversation by the thread of what has taken place day by day. We also informed you about our signing the league with the Most Christian, and as we learn that the courier has suffered some mishap on the road, we send you duplicates of that also.
We have further to say that the decision of Don Gonzales to evacuate the Monferrat, though it has stayed the Most Christian, has not diverted the sending of 4,000 French foot and 400 horse to that State, under the command of M. de Torras, who owes his post to his reputation for maintaining discipline. Don Gonzales hastened to Milan in great distress, and has entered a monastery to attend to his prayers during holy week. He also returned to Alessandria to superintend his affairs, leaving Milan much distressed by his demands for money to supply his needs. He seems all devoted to peace, and one hears nothing from the Spaniards but the most moderate views in favour of quiet. They make every effort that this shall reach the ears of the Most Christian, before whom they bow themselves to the ground. On the other hand, Don Gonzales does not stay his preparations, hurries on his levies, fortifies and makes the most of his time. There is therefore good reason to believe that the affairs of Italy will not easily be established while the Spaniards, whose honour is touched to the quick, want to attend to that wound, the pain of which they endure at present, in order not to make it worse, and it is evident that they consider temporising to be the most wholesome policy for them at present.
You could not have shown more prudence over the business of the ships taken by Digby. You will have received what we have written from time to time on the subject. Nelli will have arrived. The essential thing is to contend for treating as between prince and prince; that Digby, by virtue of his patents, could not stop our ships, search them, take them to England or compel our merchants to engage in litigation in that kingdom, as if the attack is admitted to be wrongful, restitution follows as a matter of course. As there should be no difficulty about this, you must insist upon it, so that he may receive the punishment he deserves.
You will have heard from the Ambassador Zorzi about his negotiations with the cardinal upon the peace. We hope that a single word will not be altered to upset a matter of such importance, involving such serious consequences. We shall wait to hear from you.
Ayes, 83.Noes, 27.Neutral, 25.
[Italian.]
April 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
38. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They say that the commissioners of Poland and Sweden will once more go together to Prussia to treat for an accord, and that ambassadors of the English king will take part in these negotiations. Meanwhile an armistice until the 25th June has been arranged through the Margrave of Brandenburg.
Vienna, the 19th April, 1629.
[Italian; copy.]
April 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
39. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador came to tell me that letters of the 2nd April had arrived from Spain, and that the courier landed at Monaco on Holy Saturday. He pretends that they show the Catholic indisposed to accept the treaty of Susa, but he means to go with his sister to Barcelona to encourage his forces, which he hopes to increase in the State of Milan. He said they had raised 4½ millions, and the Marquis Spinola had orders to attend to the affairs of Italy. He said his Highness had recently received the same news from the Abbot Scaglia. This account may easily be influenced by this minister's interests and his fears that the Most Christian's arms may be turned against his friends in Languedoc. Wake also said a great deal to me about your Serenity interceding for the Duke of Rohan and those of the religion, for a reconciliation with the king. He asked me to write to Zorzi. He knew the French were disposed to treat, and he had full powers from Rohan. Everything could be arranged at a single meeting. The Duke of Savoy was not in a position to deal with this matter, and there was no one better than the republic.
I told him that your Excellency's good intentions were well known. The Most Christian was very favourably situated, so that Rohan might hope to obtain his Majesty's favour more easily. I hoped some good would ensue with Schomberg's return. I would write to Zorzi and tell him that if the peace between France and England was arranged, the affairs of the Huguenots would remain outside, and he could pursue the good intentions of the King of Great Britain, who has not included those interests in the treaty.
Wake said he was certainly advised that the King of England had agreed not to speak of the Huguenots in the peace, as a sign of his upright intentions, but he had privately instructed him to interpose zealously for the adjustment of his friends. He was therefore sure that nothing would happen in England before his king had heard from him that Rohan was reconciled, and those who thought they had the peace of those crowns without this deceived themselves, I did not think it worth while to raise any further question.
Two days ago a gentleman arrived from the Duke of Rohan. After seeing the duke and the English ambassador, he came to me. He is a M. de Closel, from Montpellier.
Turin, the 22nd April, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
40. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There are different opinions about the object of the Prince's preparations. Vane will follow the army. He stays on here, waiting for some commissions, I understand, though I cannot learn their tenor. The prince told me he heard that this Vane had spoken strongly to the Princes Palatine about the negotiations with Spain. He adduced three points: (1) giving back the Palatinate, (2) making peace with Denmark, (3) including the States. The first is probably the dressing with which they colour their tricks, because they know that England cannot treat honourably or reasonably without putting that in the forefront. There will be no lack of difficulties about the method of restitution just as they will draw back from peace with Denmark if their affairs take a turn for the better. It is probable that the Spaniards merely wish to gain time, but when they are pressed they may the more easily come to terms with that king, who can still do them some harm, whereas the Palatine is utterly incapable of thinking of such a thing. As regards including the States, the prince said they were taking too much upon themselves, when they did not take them into their confidence.
The project will do harm in several directions, because if England is bound not to treat separately, she will have to defend the proposals made, and if they are not accepted, the king will claim to be released from his obligation. I therefore think that the matter is not so easy, and as it all arises from Scaglia's operations the whole may disappear if the Duke of Savoy is reconciled with France. Yet Vane himself told me that the duke was labouring to reconcile the Most Christian and the Spaniards, to which I replied that my information was just the opposite, because Scaglia had sent proposals for peace from Spain to England.
This conversation took place in the presence of the Queen of Bohemia. It went no further, as my reply dashed him. I think I did rightly, because their sole object is to make the French more suspicious, and it is necessary to show that they are acting for the common cause. I told the Agent Carleton also that it was necessary to back up the Most Christian, and if his king did as much for Denmark as the French are doing for Mantua, the affairs of Europe would go much better. There is no answer to this, but they have not the power, and he merely shrugged his shoulders and admitted that Denmark must not expect much help from England this summer. He could but admit that the French were doing a great deal, but referred to the scant hopes of a reconciliation with Savoy and their constant preoccupation about the Huguenots. I find that they place great reliance on Rohan's forces.
Anstruther's secretary, who passed this way to England, brought news from Hamburg, showing there is little prospect of an accommodation with Denmark. Denmark, being abandoned by England, will have to look after himself. He builds upon the truce between Poland and Sweden with no small hope of peace, for which they say the King of England and the Margrave of Brandenburg will interpose.
The Hague, the 23rd April, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
41. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. de Closel came to see me yesterday. He assured me that he had only come to treat with the English ambassador, because those of the religion were entirely dependent upon the King of Great Britain, and they did not wish to stir a step without the mediation of his ministers. He asked me for your Serenity's protection with the king. The Ambassador Wake would have full powers to arrange. I hinted to him that peace would soon be made with England. He replied immediately that if that was so, his own would also be made directly, but they knew it was not so far advanced.
Turin, the 23rd April, 1629.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Candia
Proveditore.
Venetian
Archives.
42. FRANCESCO MOLIN, Proveditore of Candia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The customs' duties here are constantly on the decline. The reasons are the highness of the moneys and the raids of the pirates, who seriously impede the passage of ships to this island, and have reduced it to very great want. Moreover, western vessels used to come here very frequently to lade wine, but now they go to Archipelago, where they can obtain it with great ease and at a lower price.
Candia, the 24th April, 1629.
[Italian.]
April 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
43. To the Ambassador CONTARINI, in England, and the like to the Ambassador SORANZO, at the Hague.
While awaiting the decision of the Catholic about peace, the Most Christian remains at Susa, though at great inconvenience, having secured the Monferrat by the troops sent under Torras, although the weakness of the Spaniards compels them to consent to peace in appearance. Yet it seems likely that they hope to profit by time and perhaps to refer the negotiations to the emperor's Court, thus diverting the ills which threaten them, by negotiation, while openly expressing their desire for peace, until they are in better posture for defence. Their diligent preparations for war show that their intentions are different from what they announce, especially as Olivares, since the negotiations, with Botru were broken off, has hastened on warlike preparations everywhere, relying upon them to obtain the advantages which he could not gain by negotiation. As Botru's negotiations, which were more advantageous to Spain, were not accepted, it is clear that they are unlikely to agree to those of Susa. This is confirmed by the news from Spain by way of Rome, that when they first heard of the retirement of Don Gonzales they became more eager for war. The minister's intentions do not differ from those of the Court, as while Olivares, at Botru's departure, ordered the Viceroy of Naples to give as much help to Lombardy as possible, Don Gonzales also pressed him for reinforcements, money and food. The Viceroy has already sent money and promises more. He has also sent grain and troops under Colonna. He is beating the drum and sending for the galleys of Sicily to send 500 more infantry. Ninety cases of ryals have also reached Genoa from Spain for Milan, and 500,000 crowns have been remitted in bills.
Panigarola, who has returned from Flanders, announces that 6,000 infantry are marching from Burgundy, and the troops of the Margrave of Anspach are entering the Milanese from Alsace and Swabia through the Valtelline, as well as those of the Duke of Saxony and Colonel Aldrigher, numbering 10,000 foot and 3,000 horse in all. We begin to hear that they will not abandon Guastalla, as they do not wish his claims to fall without support. Every effort is made to instil the emperor with sinister ideas. They say that his imperial dignity is offended by giving the pope power to judge the cause of feudatories of the empire, and they want to prescribe a time for the emperor to do it. They make various levies in Germany in the name of the Spaniards. They persuade Popnain to raise 16,000 men, although they cannot meet the necessary bills. Accordingly there is no doubt of the leaning to war and great troubles may be foreseen for this province. But if the hopes of some settlement with Rohan do not break down, it being in Schomberg's hands, the right can be upheld with greater vigour, his Majesty's intentions being excellent. You will see all our information on this subject from the enclosed letter from our ambassadors at Susa, with the cardinal's opinion about the proposals of the Spaniards to Cardinal Berulle for a union against England. This will serve to enlighten you and enable you to meet any evil offices Wake may make. We hear that when Wake learned that there was no longer any considerable difficulties in the way of peace with France, he sent a gentleman to the Court, possibly in order to suggest some poisonous idea, distilled by Savoy, for the pretensions of the duke to be the arbiter of the peace.
With respect to the ships taken by Digby, we commend you warmly. Your offices with the king were very proper and prudent. We see difficulties in the way of settling as between prince and prince, but you will not accept the court. You will see that Nelli has powers to treat for all the merchants, including the Genoese, and recovers all that he can, because you can always make demands, and if matters do not proceed as they ought you can still see that they have your protection covertly, while you do not abate any of your claims. The information of what is happening in Holland about the recovery of the ships Pearl and Unicorn, which we enclose, will help you, as Nelli, who is conducting that affair, knows all the particulars thoroughly and has many papers in his possession.
Ayes, 129.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
April 27.
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44. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have little to write about save to acknowledge your Serenity's despatches of the 23rd and 30th March, because, with no money, which is the mainspring of all movement, those of the state and Court are stopped. I have fulfilled my instructions, telling the king at a special audience of the descent of the French, the good resolves of the Most Christian, of the succours contributed by the most serene republic, with the idea of continuing to act together, and never to abandon the welfare of the common cause and the liberty of Italy, as clearly shown on the present occasion, on which you have no other interest than the support of a prince unjustly harassed, and by so useful a diversion to redress the wrongs of the princes of Germany, who are so closely united with this Crown by ties of blood and interest. Such an opportunity should not be lost, especially now with the diversion in Italy, by which more can be done than by direct contributions. I was especially instructed to impart all these particulars as a sign of confidence and in the assurance that the long desired time had arrived for seeing the French and the other princes of Italy well determined in favour of the common weal, and that he would by his acts prove his joy at these opportunities, which do not easily return if lost.
The king approved, commended your Serenity's resolves, and asked me to thank you for the confidence. He assured me that he would do everything possible, but added that he understood those affairs had been adjusted. This afforded an opportunity for telling him everything in detail. I remarked that the adjustment had taken place between France and Savoy, but the Austrians continue to create a disturbance, as they showed that they meant to strengthen themselves elsewhere. I deftly added particulars of the succour introduced into Casale, what your Serenity had contributed for those forts, with how much moderation the French had acted in the territory of Savoy and other facts imparted to me.
The king replied: I am informed of this by way of Italy, and I hear besides that the French complained that the republic's forces delayed their march too long. Subsequently, by way of France, we heard that Don Gonzales had signed, and taken six weeks' time to send for the ratification from Spain. The idea is to weary the French, while he fortifies in the meantime. If the French forces had advanced boldly, they would have taken the Milanese, but at present I think they will march towards Genoa, and again take up the affairs of the Valtelline. In short they will not make a direct attack on the Spaniards. These advices came with the merchants' letters, but not from Turin, as Wake, to the surprise of the Court, has not written for several weeks. When he does write, the views he expressed to the Ambassador Cornaro will not find credit, it being quite certain that both he and Carlisle will no longer cause much trouble, after maintaining from passion what the result has disproved. Indeed they have advanced me to a position of high credit with the king and Court, owing to the sincerity of the advices.
The English secretary at Venice wrote about the slowness of your Excellencies, so Carleton told me, and that the French ambassador had been into the Collegio to perform some office. As there is no mention of this in the public letters and those of the merchants have not much credit, I had no great difficulty in restoring his good opinion of what had taken place in Italy down to the 30th March. I also spoke similarly to the ambassadors, as instructed. Sweden again assured me that his king would make war on the emperor, that he had 11,000 foot and 6,000 horse in Prussia, that he had brought 14,000 more infantry and 3,000 horse from Sweden, and was determined to start about the 25th of next May; that although the last diet of the Poles had decided on war at the emperor's request, many of the leading men did not approve of it, that he should very soon have his levy here of 4,000 men ready to take to Prussia. He hoped that England would pay 2,000 of them until the close of the war, but I do not believe it until I see some better order in financial affairs. He asked me if I had written to your Serenity about these overtures for a league. I said I had, but where interests were involved there was no need for greater security. He asked if I thought your Serenity needed a large supply of copper, of which his king has a great abundance, as the merchants of Hamburg and Lubeck can no longer send it to Spain, as they used, owing to the war with England. When at home, his king used it for his coinage, but in Germany he would need another sort, although he hoped for this year to quarter his army in some hostile province, where he should become rich without paying. I replied that I did not know what copper you needed, but even if there was mutual profit to be derived from a contract, its conveyance would prove long, difficult and very perilous. However, I would write about it. I asked him to inform his king of the passage through Venice on his way to Transylvania of M. de Ferenbach. Your Serenity had provided him with galleys, and treated him with every mark of esteem, to prove the republic's affection for his Majesty. The ambassador thanked me, and said the king would do the same.
Both the king here and the foreign ministers make many comments about the imprisonment of the emperor's ambassador at Constantinople, which I communicated to them, omitting the other details, which show that the Turks and Gabor take little heed for the affairs of Hungary. Be that as it may, such affronts are bound to cause exasperation, and encourage those who desire the rupture of that peace.
The internal affairs of this kingdom proceed in a disorderly manner. The merchants, to avoid paying the duties, keep very determined not to trade. Letters have been intercepted in which they direct their correspondents abroad not to send any more goods. The king would rather suffer than give way. He has experienced too much pretension on the part of his people to his detriment, and consultations are held daily to prevent greater detriment. In the other parts of the kingdom the people make it lawful to trade and unload riotously, without paying the duties, abusing the king's officials, and it is very difficult to tell where this will end, the consequences being most important.
The English have captured and brought here a caravel from the West Indies with advices, bound for Spain. The intercepted letters announce that the Peru fleet had not yet got down to the sea, that with every effort it could not depart before the end of April, there was much confusion and deficiency, and great fear both in commanders and crews. That some sixty Dutchmen were constantly cruising in the Gulf of Mexico, and that the Spanish fleet would have great need of succour and assistance to bring it home in safety. The Dutch ambassador has had full account of this, and transmitted it to his masters.
There are reports that the Spaniards, to make peace with England, would restore the two fortresses they hold in the Palatinate. Some of the courtiers neither denied nor confirmed this, but the best informed know that it would be a mockery, unless all were given back, which cannot be done by negotiation, as the emperor and Bavaria have a part. I fancy Sir [Henry] Vane went with a proposal of this sort to the Netherlands, to get the opinion of the Princes Palatine, who are not likely to consent, especially as they have now more cause than ever to hope for success, because of the peace with France and the diversion of Italy.
It is also stated that the Spaniards have consigned to the emperor, Wesel and other fortresses held by them belonging to the Duchies of Cleves, in the name of the Prince of Neuburg; with two objects, one, to compel the States to do the same with the portion they hold, or else, by refusing to do so, to expose themselves to hostilities from the empire; the other to save the cost of garrisons and from fear that the Prince of Orange may wrest some places from them in the course of the year. Carleton told me. If it is true, your Excellencies will know it from the spot. It suffices to indicate that by all accounts the Spaniards seem very weak at present.
After the 24th, the date appointed for signing the peace with France, I went to remind the king to suspend hostilities against the French, but I found that his Majesty, with very great punctuality, had sent a prohibition to the Admiralty against issuing any more letters of marque for privateering against the French. This has caused the almost universal announcement of a speedy adjustment. On Monday next the signed articles will be delivered to me as agreed, and I understand that the Earl of Danby will be the ambassador extraordinary. But I shall not wait until he is named, and by the express which I shall send to France on the 1st of May your Excellencies will know all the most certain particulars. I observe in the despatch of the 23rd that the result was quite in conformity with the expectation, desire and demand of the French, as expressed in the Collegio by their ambassador.
London, the 27th April, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 27.
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45. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The faithful Luca Nelli, who was despatched by the Venetians concerned in the two ships plundered by Digby, arrived on the 23rd inst., and brought me your Serenity's despatches on this subject, together with the letters for the king. I received all other instructions about the affair of Scanderoon through the ordinary channel. At my audience I presented these letters, and made the strongest representations. Unless I deceive myself, the king answered rather more favourably, telling me to give a statement to the Lords of the Council, superintendants of the Admiralty, as I hope to do to-morrow. I remain firm in declaring that I cannot consent to the ordinary law court, but that the business must be settled between prince and prince. I will do my utmost to obtain this, as I know its importance. If I cannot, I will let the agents manage the matter, without ever assenting to the ordinary justice, assisting them so far as I can. I think their instructions are good and clear, so that at the worst, I hope affairs will go favourably, unless manifest injustice is done by declaring that Genoese residing in Spain for mere commercial purposes are Spanish subjects. I should prefer to avoid this risk, if possible, both on account of state policy and the cost to the parties, although they will have to be indemnified in the end. I also bear in mind that bribery is often very powerful.
I hear that the owners of the ship do not mean to take part with the other persons concerned, though it is quite certain that if the law is enforced rigorously, the ship is in greater danger than the rest, for having exported steel to Spain, and if recovered, they must owe it to your Serenity.
Some weeks ago I forwarded an offer of service from Colonel Scot. I now send another from Sir [John] Bath, an Irish knight, who served the king with a regiment on the late occasions, and is a great dependant and friend of the treasurer, who now rules, so I did not care to refuse to write about it. You will note that the cost is almost the same, and I know he had used great diligence, item by item, in proportion to what the king pays, for ships and provisions. In spite of this, the price seemed exorbitant to me, and I gave him but little hope of coming to terms. But neither he nor Scot wishes to have the charge of supplying ships and provisions, and would rather receive just the five ducats a head for the levy. The Irish are very fine troops, fighters (feroci), capable of enduring hardships, and Catholics by creed, so that they would willingly serve, not for one or two years, but permanently in an ordinary corps of the republic, though they have the disadvantage of being rather partial to Spain. The Colonel has foreseen this obstacle, and vows and promises that they will be supremely faithful. He is a man who would himself, I believe, be incapable of any breach of faith. He belongs to one of the chief families of Ireland, where he has great influence and many followers. Whichever way your Excellencies decide, I beg you to give a positive answer, as now the King of Sweden is raising levies, everyone wants to know how to act, so as to have good fortune and employment.
London, the 27th April, 1629.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.46. Offer of Sir John Bath.
I, being a gentleman of the Privy Chamber of the King of Great Britain, offer to serve the republic of Venice with 2,000 or 4,000 men at the rate of 20 shillings English money per head, for the levying of the troops and taking them to the passage within the term of six weeks at the utmost. The men will be formed into companies of 150 or not exceeding 200. I shall have the same authority over the men as any other colonel under the republic.
I present a written statement of what is required for sailors, provisions, ships, powder and ammunition, which will amount altogether to 11l. sterling for each, including the twenty shillings, but if the republic undertakes this charge, I should be content with only 20s. for the levy.
Your Serenity shall advance money for the arms, to be deducted from the pay of the men, in six months, they retaining the weapons, or if the republic takes back the arms, they will remain for the state.
I wish the pay to be the same as is given to the others, and of the same coin, and that the men be taken into service for at least a year after their arrival in Venetian territory, the pay of the officers beginning on the day I receive my commission, and that of the men on the day of their first muster in Ireland. The republic shall give them all two months' pay when they are disbanded, to enable them to return home.
I offer my services contra quoscumque, except the king, my lord, by sea or land, and I hope my fortune will be such that my services will cause the republic to employ me and my troops, which I place freely at their disposal, as I wish for the republic's esteem.
[Signed] J. BATH.
[Italian.]
April 27.
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47. GIROLAMO SORANZO and ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king spoke very angrily to the Prince of Piedmont, saying that the duke, his father, was behaving very badly. He said: You have at Turin this very day an agent of the rebellious Huguenots, namely Closel, and if you cared for my friendship you would hand him over to me. The prince was much upset, and said the man had gone to Turin to treat with the English ambassador, but if his Majesty wished to have him, the prince would see that this was done. The king said he was most anxious for it. It is thought, however, that this prince will see that the man escapes.
The king got the cardinal to hand to me, Zorzi, the articles of the peace with England, sealed and signed, so that nothing remains to complete the accord but Contarini's reply to my letters about dates. I had to give the cardinal a receipt for the document and bind myself to give it back if the English made any departure from the proposals or did not respond, which is unlikely, or if they tried to introduce anything in favour of the Huguenots.
Susa, the 27th April, 1629.
[Italian.]
April 27.
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48. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador continues to assert that they will not find the Huguenots so easy as they think, and that things are not in the state that the French believe.
Turin, the 27th April, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 27.
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49. The secretary of England came into the Collegio and spoke substantially as follows (fn. 3) :
I have received letters of the 19th ult. from the Secretary Dort, informing me that his Majesty is particularly anxious to satisfy the republic about the two ships. In order to do everything possible, his Majesty decided to summon before him the Lords of the Admiralty, and direct them to adjudicate with the utmost impartiality, without any regard soever for one side or the other. They were to afford time for all necessary instructions and papers to arrive, and to pronounce sentence after the completion of the process, without any precipitancy. He informed Contarini of this by the Secretary of State. His Excellency asked for six weeks' grace, pointing out that the merchants hoped that the matter would be arranged between prince and prince, and so they had not sent the necessary instructions and papers. His Majesty accordingly directed the Lords of the Admiralty to despatch the Venetian and Genoese merchants who wished to be despatched, and to give six weeks' grace to those who were not ready. This will be done, although those Lords represented that it was contrary to the custom of their Court. In order that nothing similar may happen in the future, his Majesty has resolved not to grant any more patents for privateering outside the Strait, always provided that this meets with the approval of the most serene republic, to whom I have thought it my duty to impart this much.
The doge answered that they always felt confident that his Majesty would respond to their affectionate esteem, and readily grant the republic all just satisfaction over these ships. They hoped that the matter would have been dealt with between prince and prince. They would deliberate upon what he had imparted, and if there was anything, they would inform him.
The secretary replied: I assure your Serenity that his Majesty was much grieved over the incident, but he cannot impede justice. He added: I thank your Serenity for referring to the Twenty Sages the cause of the English merchants dwelling at Zante; but it has been broken off owing to the change of presidents. I beg your Serenity to direct a notary to notify those lords of the order from time to time, in conformity with which I leave a memorial. He added the ambassadress will be leaving at the end of next week. She delayed her departure owing to the change in the weather. She commends herself to your Excellencies, and once more asks you for the passport, as she will only make use of the emperor's, since Bavaria's has not arrived. With this he departed.
Memorial asking the doge to direct the notary of the Twenty Sages to remind the presidents of that body from time to time of the order to bring to a conclusion the cause of the English merchants dwelling at Zante, which was referred to them, and has been broken off owing to the change in the presidents.
[Italian.]
April 28.
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50. To the Ambassador CORNER in Savoy.
We commend your prudence with Wake and M. di Closel in confining yourself to generalities. You will see what we are writing on the subject to France, and so, with Wake, you will encourage confidence, learning from him what you can, and advising us of all, as well as our ambassadors in France. You will respond to his friendly offices without binding yourself to anything in particular, but confirming our perfect inclination for the public welfare, for which the republic will never relinquish all helpful offices.
Ayes, 128.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
April 28.
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51. GIROLAMO SORANZO and ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As we were about to close the packet, the courier sent on the 4th arrived back from England. I, Zorzi, thus learn that the peace is settled there without difficulty. Accordingly I went with Soranzo to inform the king and cardinal, who rejoiced about it without ceasing. I spoke to them about all the points raised by Contarini. The cardinal promised to speak to me about the ambassadors and the solemn announcement of the peace, to be made on the 20th May.
With the English business settled, I, Soranzo, drew the cardinal's attention to the activity of the Spaniards. He answered, among other things: We have the peace with England established. This is a great point for us and for Italy; when the Spaniards hear the news, they will be really mortified. We shall certainly make them halt. He added gleefully: We have brought a fine undertaking to a successful completion.
Susa, the 28th April, 1629.
Postscript.—The cardinal told us, and has now repeated through one of his gentlemen, that he desires particular secrecy about the business of the peace with England.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 30.
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52. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Prince of Orange left last Tuesday with his principal officers. His force is reckoned to consist of 25,000 foot and 4,000 horse. When the two regiments of Scots arrive, which are expected from England, with others of the country who are being levied, the force will amount to 40,000 men.
With regard to the inclusion of the States in any accommodation between England, the Palatine and Denmark, with the Spaniards, I have heard from a leading man that they will not listen to it here, and if they wished to do so they would make a separate treaty.
The Hague, the 30th April, 1629.
[Italian.]
April 30.
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53. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has again asked me if I had letters from Zorzi telling me of any openings whereby the republic could intervene for the reconciliation of the Huguenots with the King of France. I told him that the ambassador wrote that if the Huguenots would recognise what they owe to their master and enjoy their goods and liberty of conscience as they have done since the time of Henry the Great, they had the edict of peace and might hope to obtain satisfaction from the king. Wake said he believed we were deceived by the French, because they separate this business from the treaty of peace in negotiation with England through your Serenity's ambassadors. He declared that some one sent by Cardinal Richelieu had promised his king that although the Huguenots should not be mentioned in writing in the peace between the two crowns, yet his Majesty would give them satisfaction. They had therefore resolved in England not to sign the document unless they heard from Rohan through Wake that he was reconciled with the Most Christian. I told him of the republic's desire to smoothe the way to mutual understanding between the two crowns, and all other advantages depended upon this.
I am now advised by Zorzi of the favourable replies received from England, although with orders not to publish the news, as Cardinal Richelieu desires secrecy. As I have frequently stated, Wake's opinions differ from those of his master, and to negotiate with him about these affairs is to invite trouble. I confine myself to generalities, in order to keep his confidence, but I hope that he also will soon change his way of speaking. I have informed Contarini of his views.
I have gathered from Wake that it is true Closel was in Spain, but he says it was some months ago, and that now France was turning her attention towards Italy they had changed their opinions, although now the king was turning against the Huguenots they might be reduced to despair and trust to their swords. Closel has left this town unexpectedly, and I fancy the Prince of Piedmont induced him to go, knowing that his presence here was distasteful to the King of France.
Turin, the 30th April, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Weston.
2 Edward Dacres. See his letters to Dorchester of the 4/14 May. S.P. Foreign, Savoy.
3 There is a copy of the first paragraph of this statement in S.P. Foreign, Venice. See Rowlandson's despatch on his office of the same date, ibid.