Venice
May 1629, 1-10

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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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35-50

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'Venice: May 1629, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 35-50. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89249 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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April 1629

May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
54. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Everything has been done here exactly according to the arrangements made, and the king could not have kept his word better. Doubtless the same will happen in France, owing to the vigilance and ability of our ambassadors there, so that the common cause will benefit more and more, and the republic has greatly increased its deserts with these two great nations, which sighed for this peace. Your Excellencies will hear every particular from the enclosed letters to France. Only one thing remains, namely that Wake shall not go as ordinary ambassador to France. I spoke strongly against this. I therefore write about it for the information of our ambassadors, as Carleton is writing to Turin on the subject by the same express. The king really surprised me, as the articles of agreement only bind him to name the ambassador extraordinary, the ordinary being beyond our province and dependent on the other. But as the king himself named him to me in the presence of the commissioners, I thought it best to put a good face on the business. Indeed I dilated in his honour and on the satisfaction received by your Serenity during his embassy, and so forth. As all the lords were present, especially Carlisle, who will doubtless write everything to him, I thought it best to act thus, to keep the English minister in France well affected, for the very important events already foreseen, though I do not believe him ill disposed towards the common cause, but only prejudiced for the Duke of Savoy. (fn. 1)
If your Excellencies think fit to write to his Majesty for the esteem he has shown for the republic's advice, and the credit shown to your ministers that must be left to your judgment. Nothing remains for me but to wish that all that has taken place may benefit public affairs and especially those of Italy, and that you will take my feeble efforts in good part.
London, the 1st May, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.55. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to ZORZI ZORZI, his colleague in France.
They have concluded the negotiation for peace here exactly as arranged. I hope there will be due reciprocity. I have begun to lay down a most heavy burden, as I have in my hand the articles signed by the king. The courier, Claude Chretien, brought me the punctual approval of what you agreed with cardinal Richelieu, that the articles should be signed on the 24th April and the rest, whereby the peace is completed. On the 21st I wrote about the suit made to me for Soubise, Laval and the ladies. On the 24th I went to Court, because I had been warned that some persons wanted letters of marque for privateering against the French, this being the season for remaining at sea the whole of the summer. But I found that on that same evening the king had given orders to suspend them, so that all patents issued subsequently exclude the French and are only available against the subjects of Spain and the infanta. This step leaves me nothing to wish for. But yesterday the secretary of state told me that some sailors of Calais captured an English barque, stating that it came out of Dunkirk with a cargo, of which I also had been informed. He did not lay much stress on the matter, and was much satisfied when I told him that there had not been time to receive the necessary orders from the Court, which was far away.
Yesterday the king sent for me, and in the presence of all the commissioners, who are seven of the chief lords, he read the treaty word for word. It agrees absolutely with the one already sent, but I enclose a copy. He told me what he had done about the article on reprisals, and hoped they would do the same in France. He told me he had appointed the Earl of Danby ambassador extraordinary, not Denbigh, who took the relief to Rochelle. I mention this to prevent confusion. The person in question is one of the chief peers of the realm. He was formerly commander of the cavalry in Ireland against the rebels, and is now viceroy designate there, the chief office in the gift of the Crown. He is a man of mature age, and for a long while he served Henry the Great in his wars.' Even now he does not cease to proclaim the merits of that great monarch, after whose death he continued to follow the French Court during the best years of his life. He is very discreet and will give the greatest satisfaction, as he is used to the French, speaks their language, and above all is excellently disposed, and contributed to this peace, as a member of the Council.
After the articles had been read and compared, the king signed them and gave them to me saying: You see I have done my part punctually, and if the peace does not ensue, I shall not be the cause of it, and the world cannot complain of the result. I have trusted the sincere and affectionate advice of the most serene republic above all, and to your assurances that France will act with the same sincerity and regard for the common weal, so I accepted the promise about everything given to you and the republic.
I thanked him and again confirmed the contents of your letters, and the excellent intentions of the other side. As some of the commissioners alluded to the capture made by the Calais ship, I said I would drop a hint about the suspension here of letters of marque against the French, to the governor of that town, and I did so. It is settled that the peace shall be proclaimed in this kingdom on the 20th of this month, after the kings know that the treaties signed by them are respectively in our hands. I refer to what you send me by the courier whom I am expecting in eight or ten days about sending the documents by our secretaries to hand to the kings on the same day, or keeping them for delivery to the ambassadors extraordinary.
The whole Court believed that the Earl of Holland would have the appointment of ambassador extraordinary, and he himself told me so, and the king had announced this intention to him, but when it came to the point, the poor man was hampered by debts and required a considerable sum to put himself in trim for so conspicuous an office. As the king's present straits by no means allow of these extravagancies, they decided on Danby, who is well supplied with money. Thus, although they give a very low salary, he is content to spend a good deal of his own money, and in reward he is appointed Viceroy of Ireland. He will go with the determination to benefit the present business to the uttermost, but also to make overtures for trade between France and Ireland, much to the advantage of the people on both sides. I hope to see him soon, and have already complimented him through my secretary. I will try and dispose him favourably, though it is unnecessary, and then announce the result.
The ambassador in ordinary is to be Sir [Isaac] Wake, now resident at Turin, and who lately left Venice. I mention this merely for your information, and that you may keep it to yourself as our business is merely to give a hand to the ambassador extraordinary, who will subsequently be replaced by the other, according to the articles and his instructions, with which we have nothing to do.
I send this as agreed by Messer. Antonio Strozzi a Bergamesque, well known to you. I have given him 160 crowns, including letters and money, for the journey to the Court alone, and I hope he will be there in eight or ten days at latest.
London, the 1st May, 1629.
[Italian.]
56. Articles of the Peace.
First, the two kings agree to renew the ancient alliance between the two crowns and keep it inviolably, and any additions or alterations shall be made to their mutual satisfaction.
(2) No more prizes shall be made or reprisals permitted on account of all that has passed during this last war.
(3) The articles and marriage contract of the Queen of Great Britain shall be confirmed in good faith, and any alterations about the queen's household shall be made to the mutual satisfaction of both sides, in conformity with what shall be deemed most fitting for the queen's service.
(4) All the old alliances of both crowns shall remain in force without any alteration through this treaty.
(5) The two kings, being thus reunited, will exert themselves to asist their allies and friends for the advantage of the common weal, everything being for the purpose of obtaining entire repose for Christendom.
(6) Ambassadors extraordinary shall be appointed, persons of quality, with the ratification of the present agreement, who will subsequently announce the appointment of ambassadors in ordinary, to consolidate this affection and prevent occasions arising for disturbing it.
(7) As many ships may be at sea with letters of marque, which cannot hear of this agreement at once, anything which takes place within two months of it being signed shall not disturb the peace, but on condition that all taken within that time shall be restored.
(8) The two kings will sign the present articles by the 14th April. They will be consigned simultaneously to the Venetian ambassadors resident with them for delivery to the kings on a predetermined day, immediately one has heard from the other of the receipt thereof, and from the day of signing all acts of hostility shall cease, and the necessary proclamations to this effect shall be made in both realms.
Given in our palace of Westminster, this 14th day of April, of the year 1629.
Signed: CHARLES R.
[Italian.]
May 1.
Bibl. S. Marco.
Cl. vii.
Cod. 1927.
57. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, his colleague in England. (fn. 2)
I have fulfilled all your instructions except the reward to the courier. He undertook to be here on the 24th ult., but did not arrive before the 28th. I had the articles in my hands at the time appointed. I send you the enclosed copy for comparison, keeping the original to give to the English ambassador extra-ordinary. You will do the same with the French one. The peace will be published on the 20th. You should write a line to the queen mother at Paris, informing her about it, as there will not be time for the courier to go to Susa and get back to the Louvre, and any hitch there would render our labours vain. At my request the cardinal has written to the queen mother, by the king's command, and the moment she hears from you she will have the peace published. The king will do the same wherever he may be, and we shall do it here to the crowned heads of Italy and the neighbouring princes.
M. de Castelnuovo is nominated as ambassador. They would have liked to send the Marquis of Fiat, but after much deliberation they decided it was not possible to remove him from his post without damaging the king's affairs. So they chose the other, who knows that the king and ministers wish to build solidly; and he will tell them what France means to do for Germany. If they had wanted two ambassadors, France would have made no difficulty about giving him a prince as colleague. In that case it would have been the Duke of Elbœuf. Some other occasion is reserved for the Duke of Chevreuse as the Court does not incline to give him the first embassy because of his wife as well as himself.
I must add that the doubt you left me in about the St. Esprit turned everything upside down, and they were only set right, by the cardinal's dexterity, by telling the king that if the queen mother asked for it, she would have it without trouble. I therefore ask you to see that this is borne out, so that that queen and the king may have no reason to complain of the cardinal and me.
Susa, the 1st May, 1629.
[Italian; copy.]
May 1.
Bibl. S. Marco.
Cl. vii.
Cod. 1927.
58. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, his colleague in England.
As usual, you must consider the first letter as expressing the cardinal's views out of his own mouth. He gave me the formula in writing as well as verbally, possibly to prevent mistakes. There is no other way; I have to put up with it. It is fortunate that I can express my opinions in the second. Thank God we have reached the end and are all agreed. In execution of your orders I have achieved the impossible to-day. I wanted to send off Christian the courier, who promised to arrive on the 10th. Both couriers are therefore to start to-day so that the peace may be published on the 20th in both countries. We keep the articles to hand to the ambassadors, who are to cross the Channel simultaneously. I insist on punctuality, like yourself, to avoid jealousy. Orders will be given at the ports, but some incidents may occur, and the parties should put them right. There will be no difficulty on this side. I admit the appointment of M. de Castelnuovo does not entirely please me not from any lack of consideration and ability in him, but because I think for such an occasion France should have chosen some one of nobler birth and more distinguished rank. But the kingdom lacks men, the king mistrusts the princes and of the others there is no one willing to incur the expense, so I have raised no objection. To speak against him would have hurt us too much, as he was ambassador at Venice for the ratification of the treaty of Monzon. The English cannot reasonably complain, as they can choose some one similar but they should select a better man.
The cardinal made me write that the affair might break down over the St. Esprit. I can assure you that all semed lost through the friar Weston, who arrived here most inopportunely, and in a short colloquy with the cardinal and nuncio urged the one to help the Catholic faith and the other not to make peace without this ship; so it is a miracle that the whole agreement was not upset. Your letters helped me to meet the situation and they were more ready here to believe the word of a great king than that of a friar, undoubtedly malign and ignorant even if a good Christian. The cardinal posed me with a dilemma, Did the King of England bind himself to this promise? If so, he ought to keep it; if not it was foolish to let this friar come to France, where he has roused the king's passions when they seemed assuaged.
Susa, the 1st May, 1629.
Postscript.—As I was closing the packet, Cardinal Richelieu, who is very anxious to give every possible satisfaction to England, sent me the enclosed paper. I observe punctuality in everything so that the peace may be proclaimed on the 20th, and we shall be released from this long but not unhappy history. I may add that the cardinal wishes me to believe that Chevreuse will make his embassy at the queen's delivery. You must form your own opinion.
[Italian; the words in italics deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.59. Copy of letter sent by the Cardinal.
Messieurs les Ambassadeurs de Venise laisseront la liberté au Roi d'Angleterre de choisir lequel il aime mieux qu on lui envoie, ou M. Delbeuf et M. de Chasteauneuf ensemble, ou M. de Chasteauneuf tont seul. Si l'on envoie deux Ambassadeurs leur voyage sera un peu retardé. Ils donneront charge s'il leur plait a Paris, de faire advertir la Reine lorsque le courrier qui doit partir le premier Mai d'Angleterre passera, si M. l'Amb. Contarini aura reçu les articles et s'il faudra publier la paix a Paris le 20 jour de Mai. Ils manderont aussi s'il leur plait audit Sieur Contarini qu'il face scavoir a la Reine par le retour du courrier qui partira demain s'il faut envoyer deux Ambassadeurs on un seul a fin que la Reine advertisse M. Delbeuf ou ne l'advertisse pas.
May 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
60. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador tells me that Closel has gone to Don Gonzales, to whom he was to take the despatches of the Duke of Rohan, and then he thought he would go to Venice; but I have learned in other ways that he has gone back to Languedoc by sea.
I hear that some of the English ships carrying grain to the port of Villefranche have made reprisals upon others which were bringing wheat from Sicily to succour the state of Milan. They were brought to Nice and may possibly supply the needs of Casale.
Turin, the 1st May, 1629.
[Italian.]
May 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
61. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A rumour is abroad that Spinola is to go to Milan. That will depend upon the result of the negotiations with the Dutch. It is probable that some proposals have been sent to Brussels about the differences with the English, by means of Rubens, as I know that Scaglia has had very secret conferences with unknown persons, and nothing more likely can be imagined, although he has been a long time without letters from his master he ought to restrain himself more.
Madrid, the 2nd May, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
62. To the Ambassador CONTARINI in England, and to SORANZO at the Hague.
The Count of Schomberg, who went to negotiate an arrangement with Rohan has, we understand, made good progress with his negotiations, causing the king to move from Susa for the gratification of the Huguenots, in response to their readiness to afford him proper obedience. This step was decided on the last day of last month. The cardinal, however, was to remain at Susa and only the guards were to accompany the king, a clear sign that he was only going away in order to tranquillise his own kingdom. It is therefore probable that nothing is lacking for a complete arrangement but the royal person to sign and conclude it. The desired results may be anticipated because the cardinal is very anxious to unite the kingdom into a single body, rendering it more vigorous for all enterprises. Yet he does not abandon the affairs of Italy, clearly perceiving that they have not reached a state of stable tranquillity, as the Spaniards announce for their own ends.
We hear that the king will always be ready at Susa with a strong force, arranging his own affairs until the decisions of the Catholic arrive. Their nature may be judged by the constant preparations they keep making; and his Majesty's ambassadors in Rome and Germany have declared themselves sufficiently, as Monterei openly counsels war, thinking it better to hazard Milan which he considers in danger while Casale depends on the Most Christian, and so he thinks they ought to secure that place at all costs.
The ambassadors with the emperor declare that their king will not agree to the treaty, in order to preserve unimpaired the imperial dignity, which they declare it offends, and in this plausible way they ask for powerful assistance. They are now raising levies and treating with Popnain for a considerable number. Villani declares at that Court that Milan is in danger of total loss, and tells some of the ministers that the agreement cannot stand, as the Most Christian ought not to meddle in Italy and still less with feudatories of the empire. They revise the old and impracticable idea of depositing Monferrat and Casale in the hands of an imperial commissioner, settling the affair afterwards either by a judicial sentence or by a friendly settlement.
At the same time the Spaniards trade with the claims of Guastalla to the Mantovano and with those of Lorraine's widow to the Monferrat, in order to raise pretexts for taking what belongs to others, as they have great confidence in their influence at the Imperial Court. They feel sure of a decision in their favour there, and of a decision to send armies to the frontiers of France and Italy. The imperialists seem inclined to do this, but the affairs of Poland may keep them too busy owing to the movements of Sweden and Muscovy with the help of Bethlem Gabor, which makes them very uneasy, besides the protest made by the Turkish ambassador for the restitution of those villages in Hungary which were comprised in the peace. Their affairs are also involved through the behaviour of Wallenstein, who thinks more of his own advantage than of Cæsar's service.
From Naples 2,000 foot have been sent to Milan; 2,000 more are expected there to be sent to the same place as well as 8,000 of the militia. At Vienna, perhaps for their own ends, they announce that peace with Denmark will be easy because the articles have been modified to suit that sovereign, and that commissioners will again meet this month at Prussia in Poland, and Suabia to arrange a treaty. Ambassadors from England are to take part, that sovereign having offered to intervene; also that an armistice had been arranged until the 25th of June by means of Brandenburg.
We have sent these particulars solely for your information, and so that you may supply confirmation. We must not forget to tell you that while the Most Christian is attending to the affairs of his own kingdom, and the answer from Spain is awaited, we have decided to withdraw our troops to the towns and fortresses near by, to avoid the hardships of the field, keeping the regiments together so that they can enter the field again in a few hours where they are most required. Meanwhile we supply them with bread, to keep the soldiers contented, although the burden is very great.
We hear from our Ambassador Soranzo that the king her brother is urging the Princess Palatine to leave the Hague and go to some place less objectionable to the Spaniards, as a beginning towards conciliating them. This is important and you will try your hardest to discover the real facts and what his Majesty's motives may be.
We have not yet received your letters this week. We enclose the exposition of the secretary of England about the two ships, about which we have nothing to add to what we have already written.
Ayes, 74.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
May 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
63. To the Ambassador CONTARINI in England.
Since we wrote the preceding letters news has arrived of the conclusion of the peace between the crowns of France and England, which you have conducted and finished with great prudence. The merit you have thus acquired is equal to the importance and happy issue of these negotiations. The Senate is extremely satisfied and highly pleased at the conclusion of so difficult an affair, full of most important consequences. You also should be gratified at having rendered such a remarkable service to your country and to all Christendom in the course of your ordinary embassy. These will serve to advise you of the receipt of your letters and as an abundant testimony that you have achieved everything that could be desired in every direction, by the great application, which you have always exercised with such success.
Ayes, 74.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
May 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
64. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Three days ago I sent an express to France with the news of the execution of the peace here, and I enclose a duplicate herewith. Anstruther, the king's ambassador writes from Hamburg about the interview between the kings of Denmark and Sweden, and the good ideas established between them, especially for the defence of the Baltic and to destroy the naval forces which the emperor is now assembling there, in order not to let him establish himself in those parts, as he will unless they oppose him in earnest this summer. For this purpose, Sweden, besides the levies raised here, importunes the Netherlands to give him 3,000 men and some ships on hire, as well as permits to export sailors and military stores. The troops have been refused, because the States require them in the approaching campaign, but the ships, stores and sailors will be granted. The two kings have similarly ordered their agents at the Hague to treat with the States about the defence of the Baltic, and the Danish ambassador insists on having some ships. They say here that they will at least send for the defence of the Elbe, but I do not know what to promise until they have some better method of supplying money. The scarcity of this is so great that this Danish ambassador himself is unable after a year's residence here, to get any of the interest due to his master from England, for money lent, and as he is aware of the present necessities, I believe he will depart in a few days without waiting any longer, and I cannot imagine what good he can report of this kingdom.
The King of Denmark has written that Anstruther has made him great offers in the name of the King of England, telling him that he might make his choice of the help that this kingdom intended to give him, either in money, ships or troops, as if affairs here were in the best possible state. The king answered that he keeps an ambassador in London, and when he hears from him that any of the things have come to pass, he will not fail to return fitting thanks. There is not much likelihood of peace, because Denmark has pledged himself to Sweden, whose generous ideas will keep the former aloof from engagements, and also because the proposals of the imperial commissioners are as impracticable as ever, although they give it to be understood that they will propose more moderate ones, for the sole purpose of delaying more vigorous measures.
The news sent me by your Serenity about the emperor's ambassador at Constantinople has given great satisfaction. The Dutch ambassador tells me that his colleague there writes that Gabor, through his ambassador at the Porte seems not a little inclined to disturb matters by means of Poland, in the event of the death of the king who is in poor health, from some claim that Gabor himself might have through a good understanding which he has maintained, or else for the purpose of raising to that throne one of the sons, or some one else, less well affected to the House of Austria, and not so closely allied with it. In conformity with this, the Swedish ambassador says that a good understanding exists between his master and Gabor about Poland to which the Turks might be ready to listen the more readily, as they might rid themselves to some extent of the tyranny of the Cossacks. I send this merely for corroboration, though I think it well grounded, as it comes from the ambassadors of the two powers interested.
Sir [Henry] Vane, who went to the Netherlands, has written home twice. He was not to make actual proposals, but merely to learn from the Prince of Orange and the Princes Palatine, whether, if the Spaniards offered a good agreement by restoring the Palatinate and procuring a good peace for Denmark, it would not be advisable to listen to it, considering the prostration of England, including the States in the same treaty, and whether they wouly approve of instituting this by sending two persons to Spain. Some one tells me that he also urged the Princes Palatine to withdraw to some neutral place to facilitate the adjustment, but so far I have no corroboration of this. The Dutch ambassador who told me this says, on the contrary, that Vane did not utter a word to the Prince of Orange about this change. I gather that they told Vane that the Spaniards are deceitful; they talk thus to lull to sleep; it is not in their power to restore the Palatinate, as it has gone to Bavaria. With such proposals the Spaniards can keep a treaty on foot for ten years without ever concluding, and it was as prejudicial to listen to an affair of this kind as to agree to it, because of the suspicion it causes to friendly powers, and the fair pretext for retreat for those now in arms for the common cause. The ambassador tells me that the Prince answered thus, and the Palatines will speak to the same effect. He came to ask that we should separately endeavour to find out if Vane wrote to this effect, as we discover that Carleton and many other well affected persons do not know of these schemes, or if they do, they disapprove of them, and the treasurer alone and some one else is responsible.
With respect to this matter, the merchants persist most obstinately in not paying the duties, while at the seaports trade is carried on without paying and there have been some riots in the country for want of work in the factories. (fn. 3) Some of the richest merchants gave it to be understood that they would pay duties if trade were opened with Spain, where the English are generally supposed to make greater profits than elsewhere. The treasurer therefore seemed to lean strongly to these overtures, but when the matter was brought to the point, in the company of Merchant Adventurers, they all remained more obstinate than ever. I happened to have received letters very much to the point from the Ambassador Mocenigo. Besides other advices of that decayed government, he states that the ships which left here some time ago with merchandise, had been seized, in spite of the king's patent, and together with the goods usually conveyed by them they also had munitions of war, so much needed by the Spaniards for fitting out ships, while England is jealous of such exports to prevent them from becoming strong. I considered all this so much to the purpose, that I gave the letter to Carleton. He approved entirely, thus increasing our confidential relations, and urged me to let him have a summary of it in English to show to the king, exactly as I wished as he is very often not acquainted with everything. Carleton, who never leaned to Spain, is glad to further the public service in this way, without displaying prejudice or displeasing anyone, so I hope that this will have been of some advantage, and that efforts of this sort, coupled with resolute replies from the Netherlands, in opposition to this witchcraft, as well as the peace with France, will cause all these schemes to end in smoke, although countenanced with some passion by the treasurer. He may now be styled the favourite, and for his own interests and the sake of the revenue he would like peace with all parties, to avoid parliament, which has already hit him. But his friends have warned him not to preceed further, as the Spaniards will deceive him, and consequently be his ruin. Although in her present state England can do but little, yet for her own repute, to encourage certain friends and to deprive others of pretexts, she ought on every account to shun these negotiations.
The king had the arrangement with France announced to Barocio, who still persists in denying not only the descent of the French, but also the agreement made with them by his master, solely because he has no letters from the duke, who I believe now thinks little of him. He thus loses credit and disserves his master. During his stay here he has never been to see me. I observe that in his Serenity's despatch of the 6th April, there is even some hope of Savoy joining the league, so there is no concordance between the allied powers and their disunited ministers.
I presented the enclosed memorial to the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty about the ships. Without yielding a jot about treating as between prince and prince I have endeavoured to insinuate the rights of the private individuals concerned. For the information of the king, who very often does not know everything, I have drawn up a paper, as he seemed to wish for it, and because the confidants told me that oral negotiations rendered replies difficult. We shall see the result, and to-morrow, the usual day for those lords to meet, they may announce something I have also spoken with each of them severally. Some tell me that Digby is a poor gentleman, and that he would lose 100,000 florins of his own by this voyage if sentence were to be passed that these ships did not belong to him. I cannot have patience with such nonsense, as calculations of this sort are made on a man's own property, and not on that of his neighbour. Others tell me that such iniquities are not to be borne, but I suspect they are in the minority, as is usually the case with honest men. To Carleton in particular I read the reply which your Excellencies had decided to make to the English secretary, who has not yet transmitted it. He urged me to show it to the other commissioners together with the other paper, and I did so. He expressed a wish to help me where he can, as Digby has spoken ill of him and he is not very well pleased.
I note all that can be of advantage to me as I am most anxious to fulfil my duty in this as in every other matter.
London, the 4th May, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.65. Memorial.
Sire: When I first heard of the arrival of Sir [Kenelm] Digby with his plunder I had some reasonable suspicion that it might comprise goods belonging to our merchants. I therefore petitioned your Majesty for their sequestration. I was warned that notwithstanding the royal order certain goods had been landed, and I had recourse to your Majesty twice when you assured me that nothing should be missing. A fortnight later very cogent orders reached me from the republic, who would have made reprisals, if she had not confided in your Majesty's friendship, and from respect for this Crown she even sacrificed her own subjects. Her chief arguments were that the English had never previously claimed to search Venetian ships, and it could not be suffered, as it would destroy freedom of trade if all the powers claimed to search for their enemies' goods. Secondly that Digby had acted contrary to the royal patents, as the Jonas was the property of a Venetian subject and protected by a patent from the state. Thirdly shese ships, having cargoes worth over 300,000 ducats, are of great consequence to the republic, an account of the duties and the manufacture of woollens and soap, whereby the poor gain their livelihood, while trade is the support of the state. I added other arguments, showing that these important interests should pass between prince and prince and be settled by your Majesty, the example of the Dutch or other nations not being applicable, and even they are warned. If heralds are employed to declare war on an enemy, it is even more reasonable to warn friends before attacking them.
In spite of all this I was told that this affair had been judged a private one between subjects, to be settled by the ordinary judge, and that such was the custom in England, but such disorders would be prevented in the future, and on the present occasion prompt and speedy justice should be administered. I refused to consent to this as contrary to my instructions and to policy, not from any feeling against the judge, whom I believe to be incorruptible and of mature judgment, but because this was not food for his stomach.
To speak plainly, the republic cannot permit and your Majesty cannot pretend that our trade should be interrupted by search, in seas not subject to your dominion. If this is infringed the republic can only have recourse to your Majesty, as no one else can satisfy the state. If Digby has infringed your Majesty's patent he has not shown a due respect to the patents and colours of a friendly republic, whose chief complaint is on this account, and your Majesty cannot refer me to the Admiralty judge for redress. If the republic informs you in confidence that such action without correction utterly ruins the trade of Venice, through the example thus afforded to other princes, there is no doubt it is your Majesty's duty to ponder the injury done to a friend, the correction of the disorder for the future by fresh laws being of little avail, when those already violated are not maintained, in accordance with the common saying that one execution is worth a hundred laws.
My instructions forbid me to receive any reply from the Admiralty judge, I ask your Majesty to represent to him that the republic does not understand how Digby alone should have dared, after whole centuries of friendship, to infringe its inviolable laws, because, if he did so by your Majesty's command, that friendship did not deserve it, and if without, I cannot see why the culprit should be supported and the friend injured. It is evident that this circumstance must injure the security of our trade, that the consequencies must be intolerable, but that the chief injuries should proceed to those from whom there was a right to expect aid, is the greatest grievance of all.
At my last audience your Majesty commanded me to put the whole affair in writing. For this reason, and not to prove the claims of the merchants or to undeceive those who made a great noise to induce a belief that beneath the rights of the republic there is a desire to conceal goods of the Spaniards, for even if it were so, they ought to be as secure on Venetian ships as in Venice itself, but for your Majesty's information, I state that all the goods laded on these ships, although in several parcels, are limited to four addresses, one for Bernardo Benzio, merchant of Venice, laded by Bartolomeo Spinola, Alessandro Chiapara, Agostin Panesi and Franchi, all Genoese by birth, who dwell in Spain solely for business, as they are not naturalised nor are they subjects of the Catholic king. Some parcels belong to Pompeo Massa and Gio. Battista Previo, Genoese, one living at Grenada for business the other at Venice and naturalised there, being his own property, shipped by Corcai, who are Genoese living in Spain, solely for trade. The third belongs to Antonio Ramirio, a Venetian by domicile and birth. The last belongs to Hoste and Flangino, Venetian merchants, the property of the Durazzi Genoese by birth and residence, and now employed in that republic's magistracies. All are merchants, Venetians or Genoese, entitled to all the priveleges of their states, and I shall always be ready to prove the fact if your Majesty wishes to see the papers. Traders abroad do not cease to belong to their own country. There are numerous foreign merchants here, and many English merchants in Holland, who do not cease to be British subjects on that account.
I have written this for the complete satisfaction of your Majesty and everybody. My incessant demands and commissions relate to the injury done by Digby to the patent and to Venetian ships, the interruption of our trade, the consequencies with regard to other powers, and other maxims of policy, set forth in the sure expectation of obtaining the reply they deserve. I am also compelled to represent how Digby took a French barque in the harbour of Argostoli, and although he let it go at the request of some English merchants, lading currants there, he removed 5,500 pieces of eight and goods to a much greater value. Thus every one sees how your Majesty's patents are violated and the republic's harbours contemned. It must also be confessed that the laws of friendship were broken. Yet my masters will never allow the passion of any private person to disturb them; on the contrary, the republic will and always will place regard for all their subjects after their respect for your Majesty, with the certainty of a due response in a matter which so closely concerns the intersts of state and of liberty.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
66. To the Ambassador in Spain.
With regard to the treaty between his Majesty and the King of England, they are moving towards peace and are already near a conclusion. With the information which we have sent you about these affairs you will try and learn the opinions of the ministers; what they are going to say on the subject, and what they think about the entire progress of this negotiation, as well as what decision they are likely to take, in order to send us full particulars.
Ayes, 109.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Mantova.
Venetian
Archives.
67. MARC ANTONIO BUSINELLO, Venetian Secretary at Mantua, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Strigio writes that the ill feeling between France and Savoy kept steadily increasing. The peace between the Most Christian and England would be signed; the cardinal had the utmost intimacy and friendship with the Ambassador Zorzi and as the plans if not the movements of the Duke of Rohan depended in great part upon England, an accommodation in Languedoc and the peace of the whole kingdom was considered certain.
Mantua, the 5th May, 1629.
[Italian.]
May 5.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
68. The ambassador of the Most Christian came into the Collegio and said, among other things:
I do not know if your Serenity has certain news of the peace with England, as you might, since the whole affair depends on the officers and efforts of your ministers. I have no certainty as I only heard it in private letters. If I had it from the king I should consider it certain, but beyond a doubt matters are in a favourable state.
By common consent and the order of the Sages, the Most Illustrious Nani, sage for the week told him:
The news about the peace which we have is that it is really established, but the cardinal wishes it to be kept secret because the solemn announcement of it does not take place before the 20th inst. We are much relieved for every respect, and the news also reaches us from the Court of England.
The ambassador expressed his extreme satisfaction, and his Sovereign fully recognised the good will and efforts of the most serene republic, as the Ambassador Zorzi had always operated in France with the utmost zeal.
[Italian.]
May 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
69. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Vane has followed the army. I have tried to find out why because such persons seldom act casually. It has been suggested to me that he wants to observe thoroughly and report to his master what they are doing here, so that if the agreement with Spain is proposed they may know what to expect from this quarter. I am not satisfied by this hypothesis but cannot find a better, especially as I am practically sure that the proposals I wrote of which he made to the Princess Palatine about leaving these parts and about restoring the Palatinate are unfounded. In such matters I generally believe the worst, but I do not rely upon what others say, and I keep my eyes open.
Denmark is expecting his Ambassador Rosegran back from England without having obtained anything for his relief. I gather that they are so short of money in that kingdom that the ambassador has not been able to obtain money for his journey.
The Hague, the 7th May, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
70. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hear on good authority that the affairs of M. de Rohan are not so near an adjustment as was hoped, although the English ambassador tells me that he thinks all will go well. He told me he had heard that the king's brother threatened rebellion and it was said he wished to go to England. Coming from this minister this is certainly vain.
Turin, the 7th May, 1629.
[Italian.]
May 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
71. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. de Preo told me that the king had summoned him to Valenza. He expected to be sent to England, although he spoke of this to me alone because the cardinal did not want the peace between the two crowns to be announced before the appointed day, the 20th of May. He enlarged upon the glory the republic would gain from this affair, which would help all those interested in the common cause and give the Spaniards something to think about.
Turin, the 10th day of May, 1629.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The decipher of this passage is missing and the text here is taken from the ambassador's register, preserved in the library of St. Mark, Cl. vii. Cod. 1126.
2 There are also copies of this and the following letter in the Archivio di Stato, in the files Senato Secreta, Dispacci, Francia.
3 The distress was felt chiefly in Essex. The weavers of Braintree and Bocking presented a petition at quarter sessions, representing the number of persons thrown out of work, and there were actual disturbances in the middle of the month, put down by the Earl of Warwick and Lord Maynard, Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, pages 521, 524. Salvetti makes a vague reference to disturbances in the provinces in his letter of the 25th May. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962E.