Venice
May 1629, 21-31

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1919

Pages

65-72

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: May 1629, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 65-72. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89251 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

Contents

May 1629

May 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
96. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear that the King of Great Britain has selected Roe, who recently returned from Constantinople, for the reconciliation of Poland and Sweden. He is a very well intentioned minister with the right views. If those two kings are reconciled Caesar will be relieved of helping Poland but will have to defend himself because Sweden contemplates attacking the Empire, and that is the chief object at which they aim, because they feel sure Denmark will come to terms and they do not know how far they can count on the wars of Italy.
Such is their sympathy for the Huguenots here that I find them incredibly lukewarm about the success of the peace with England, as if it counted for nothing when they are not included.
Vane returned from the army, stayed here a week and then went back. Everything is cloaked under compliments and visits to the Princes Palatine. Yet I suspect some secret negotiation, directed to induce the Palatine to accept moderate terms because England is at present in no condition to secure him the advantages previously promised. This consideration may induce the prince to accept the proposal, because he is tired of living upon hopes and he knows that the English will not be able to help him with arms for a long while. He is thoroughly undeceived in his belief that his interests would rise through Buckingham's death. The Princess of Orange told me that when Vane comes back here from the army it will be as ambassador. This confirms my belief that he has business to negotiate.
The Hague, the 21st May, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
97. To the Ambassadors, Contarini in England, and SORANZO and GUSSONI at the Hague.
The ardent desire shown by Don Gonzales for peace was reasonably thought to be due to fear of the French arms, as he hoped by a proper humbleness and by giving up what he could not keep to divert the evils which menaced him. This is now clearly proved, as what he could not obtain by arms, by gold and the sacrifice of so many lives, he tried to get by craft and stratagem, arranged with Monbrum, colonel of the Duke of Mantua. The plan miscarried, however, the plot was discovered and Monbrum arrested with his accomplices, through whom Don Gonzales aspired to obtain possession of Viadana and Carietto, his ideas even extending to killing the duke.
From what we hear from Spain they incline to war and to trouble this province more than ever, which has suffered for so many years. Our ambassador writes that in order to set up their machine, the Spaniards think it a sound foundation to keep Savoy busy, although they make a pretence to him of having received very serious offence, a thing they did not know how to do successfully at first. The apologies of the Genoese were accepted, so that fear of having provoked the Catholic's wrath and dread of his resentment might not make them throw themselves into the arms of the Most Christian, for safety. The Duke of Feria was being sent towards Barcelona in the hope of diverting France. With the same object they had directed the Marquis of Santa Croce to proceed to the Mediterranean. In order to keep the Marquis Spinola in Italy they have given him the command of the troops in the state of Milan, although he seemed reluctant to take it. They will not sign the treaty of Susa, saying it is the emperor's affair, and therefore every decision depends upon his Majesty, and they let it be known that a due regard for his reputation did not allow them to accept the treaty. They informed him of the preparations they were making and sent some money to Germany, urging the emperor to send troops to Italy.
As a further inducement for him to favour the Spaniards, the espousal of the infanta had been performed by the Imperial Ambassador, and they told him that she would very soon go to join her husband. In these ways they hope to induce his Majesty to do what they desire.
From Turin and Milan we have just heard that the Catholic promises the Most Christian not to molest the Duke of Mantua or his allies. Events will show the truth of this. In any case the Most Christian will probably take the necessary measures, as it is considered certain that by this time he will have pacified his kingdom, so that he will be able to afford more vigorous assistance to this province, the gates being open and his allies and friends well armed and resolute for the common cause.
We hear from Vienna that Wallenstein writes he has hopes of peace with Denmark, and that commissioners had left Lubeck for the final arrangements. You will make enquiries about this.
You will keep well disposed those who seem desirous of coming to serve us, because of future contingencies, although it must be very costly to bring troops from such a long way off.
We need only commend your prudence over the affair of the ships taken by Digby; you will continue to handle the affair in the same way.
Your offices with the king about the peace with France will suffice, as we have not sent special letters on the subject even to France, but have only passed the proper offices orally through our ambassadors.
Ayes, 90.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
May 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
98. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Your Excellencies will learn all of importance that is passing from the enclosed letters to France. The anxiety betrayed by the Spaniards to arrange matters here in the north deserves your consideration for your own interests and because of any designs they may have. I suspect that the first blow will be the peace with Denmark, and every one confirms the fact that the imperial commissioners have been ordered to lower their demands and to offer to give back what has been occupied in Jutland and Holstein, provided that king renounce all pretensions to the bishoprics, which he only advanced for the sake of providing for his numerous sons, and which is not a point of great importance for him. There will only remain the supremacy in the Baltic, a very great matter both for the imperialists and for Denmark. If the king gives it up, it will be his ruin, with that of Sweden and the Netherlands, including England also, while if the imperialists make such great concessions as they suggest, it must be supposed that they have either great designs or great fears elsewhere. The ambassador, who will leave with the first fair wind, cannot take a good report, as in a whole year he has obtained nothing whatever, and the utmost hope for the present year is to obtain four or six ships. Even this is very doubtful owing to the present necessities of the king, which defy description. The queen's premature confinement proves the misfortune of this poor sovereign in everything, but it might turn out to be for the benefit of the common cause if it induced him to resort to parliaments, by means of which this kingdom, now so debilitated might revive in a moment.
The peace with France is concluded, both sides having punctually performed what was agreed, and the people already feel and enjoy the advantage. For that with Spain another style must be observed in conversation and when giving intelligence to the ministers here, many of whom know that they are being cajoled. They desire nothing from the treaties except to gain time, without the object or hope of concluding, though in the end, if they adhere to this they will be deceived, for that is precisely what the Spaniards want. God grant that your Serenity's offices through your ministers may be as successful in breaking as in adjusting, for the profit will not be less.
All the merchants both native and foreign have been called before the Council and invited to sign a bond to purchase a certain quantity of woollen goods, which come from the country in such plenty that now there is no market and sale for them, as formerly, the poor are in distress from lack of employment, and we hear of some slight riots. Only two foreigners out of all of them signed, one for 1,000l. and the other for 500l. This is a mere nothing, especially as from the negotiations begun they expected to find them very well disposed. It is not certain where this disturbance will end, but things certainly cannot go on thus. (fn. 1)
As regards the ships, the Earl of Dorset, who is one of the commissioners of the Admiralty, has been asked to persuade Digby to give up the law suit. Any other prince, however small, would have commanded, but here subjects dare anything when they appeal to the laws and privileges of the realm and find the king too complaisant. We hear of no decision, as the queen's miscarriage has upset the whole court, and the most important business must adapt itself to these accidents.
No letters have arrived from Italy this week. When the fleet arrives in Spain everybody anticipates a brisk and lasting war in Italy, and that it will come to a bad pass if the Most Christian continues to act against the Huguenots, especially by attacking fortified places, which is endless. It not only keeps his own forces occupied, but here in the north the powers lose their confidence in the French. That matters more than anything, as through the diversion it affects state policy, and that of concience through religion. These points are so universal that they comprise all the rest put together.
I beg your Excellencies to have a money grant voted to me for couriers and postage of letters, as I no longer have any funds to defray such costs.
London, the 25th May, 1629.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.99. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to GIROLAMO SORANZO and ZORZI ZORZI, his colleagues in France.
On Sunday the 20th the peace was published and I enclose, a copy of the proclamation. At Greenwich, where the Court now is, their Majesties and all the chief officers of state were present at the announcement. In London the Lord Mayor and sheriffs also attended in state at the usual places. The king would not issue express orders for bonfires in the evening, and the ministers told me it was because this was a reconciliation rather than a peace, and they did not know what would be done in France. They thought it might be done at any time if arrangements were made for a mutual celebration. I celebrated the occasion so far as my shattered finances would allow, after my numerous expenses, and my example was followed by not a few in this city. On the Monday following the queen came on purpose from Greenwich to her residence at Somerset House, where she had the "Te Deum" solemnly chanted, but two nights afterwards the poor princess was prematurely delivered of a male child. I already have advices that the same proclamation was made at Calais on the 20th. This doubtless implies that the same was done at Paris and elsewhere, so we can now say that our show has now come to an end (che resti terminata la nostra festa). The merchants are already going to and fro to begin their trade for which they have so long sighed. They are your Serenity's debtors for these favours.
The Spaniards have not neglected every effort to prevent it. Three couriers have arrived in six days, one from Spain and two from Antwerp, despatched by Don Carlos Coloma to the Lord Treasurer, whom he knew when he was ambassador here. Besides rodomontades about the arrival of the fleet they offer the restoration of the Palatinate, not only the fortresses they hold themselves, but also those in the hands of the emperor and Bavaria; to effect a good peace for the King of Denmark through the restoration of Jutland and Holstein, having heard by advices from Hamburg that the imperial commissioners were to make these proposals; and to include the States in this treaty. Some one tells me vaguely that they would even be the first to send an ambassador here to do this honour to England, on the pretext of responding to Porter's mission. Those who urge the king to close the bargain, although they know that the proposals of the Spaniards cannot be realised, remark that the sole object of the war is the restitution of the Palatinate, and as, in the present state of England, no reliance can be placed in her military forces, they must have recourse to negotiations, and gain time, which profits them here as well as the Spaniards. On the other hand, those who advocate the contrary, including the Dutch ambassador and myself, point out that it is unreasonable to rely upon impossibilities, and so is the plea of necessity. The Palatinate has already become rem judicatam. Bavaria has given back other territories in order to become its rightful possessor, and we do not know what influence the Spaniards have with that prince at present. To begin a treaty with the Spaniards would be as bad as concluding one, because of the discouraging effect it would have on the friends of England. She spends nothing in this war and does not fear anything, so she has no need of time. Although she can do nothing at present, her friends take courage from the hope that this kingdom may revive while they are working, and subsequently assist them.
The proposals about making restitution to Denmark are not worth a fig, unless the Austrians remove their forces from the Baltic. They will scarcely do this owing to the vast designs they reasonably found on its occupation, and if they do not withdraw their troops, Denmark either will not make peace, or will remain enslaved, having no longer the supremacy in that The interests of the States are so important and so manifold that they cannot easily be included in an accessory treaty framed by others. We concluded that the more the Spaniards seem anxious to insinuate themselves into a friendship with England, the more the king should be on his guard, and suspect injury to the common weal, in short, whatever pleases the Spaniards ought at present to cause suspicion to England. There is no doubt that the Spaniards set all these powerful machines in motion, in order to disturb the peace of France. As this is now established, they may act with more reserve for the future. It is no wonder that the thought of this should agitate England, as the affairs of the kingdom are in great disorder. But it is quite certain that they have not begun to negotiate as yet, and even if they do they will not conclude so speedily, except by means of a truce or armistice. I hear on good authority that the Spaniards aim at this above all things, and to excite suspicion among the princes interested in the common weal, and to open the trade. These are their two chief and unique objects.
Sir Henry Vane has not yet returned from the Netherlands, and the replies of the Princes Palatine and of Orange are by no means in accord with these overtures of the Spaniards. Meanwhile the arrival of the ambassadors of this king will serve as encouragement, and your Excellencies will be able to give them the necessary hints. I will uphold the cause here and expose tricks, since it is very clear that the Spaniards will not stand upon ceremony, unless it serves their own interests. Up to now we have always sacrificed to the Goddess of Concord, but we must begin to change our style, as the turn in affairs requires it. In proof of this, the States, in deciding to send deputies to meet those of the infanta, for the usual exchange of prisoners, their ambassador here decided to inform the king, with a declaration that they are commanded not to speak of or listen to any other negotiation for a truce or anything else, perhaps to force a similar declaration from the king, because of the rumours of the great offers the Spaniards are making to them here. As they have not yet arrived the supposition is perhaps premature.
On Tuesday night, the 21st, the queen was prematurely delivered of a male child. If it had reached the seventh month, it might, in the opinion of the physicians, have lived, as it did for two hours, until it received baptism. Yesterday evening it had a private and honourable funeral. The queen was in great danger, but is now well. They could save either her or her child, but the king said he could have other children, please God, and he would rather save the mould than the cast (et che voleva salvar piutosto la stampa che l'abbozzo), showing by this and his constant attendance at the bedside, the great love he bears her. His Majesty and the whole kingdom are very greatly distressed since the premature delivery of the first child is usually an obstacle to posterity. A very exact account of the event was immediately despatched to the queen mother. It was drawn up by the chief physician, and to day M. de Sivet, (fn. 2) one of the queen's equerries, departed with autograph letters from her and the king himself, which are his first since the rupture three years ago. The catastrophe is most unfortunate at the present crisis, during the strained relations between the king and the people, whose eyes are only too firmly fixed on the Countess Palatine and her progeny. Many believe that, owing to this event, the road of parliament will be resumed, as the increase of discontent would endanger the king's very life.
London, the 25th May, 1629.
Postscript.—In letters dated from Paris on the 16th inst. the Ambassador Langerach has written to his colleague here, that the Antwerp painter, Rubens, has passed through that city on his way back from Spain to Flanders. As yet no particulars have transpired, but everything has doubtless been done with a view to exciting suspicion. We may see this individual cross to the Hague and England and conclude nothing after all. At any rate this advice will serve as a hint and enable you to compare it with what may be said on the subject.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.100. Proclamation of the renewal of the ancient friendship between the crowns of England and France, so that all hostilities shall cease on both sides from the 14th April last, and friendly intercourse shall be resumed. The seizure of ships on both sides shall not prejudice this peace, but anything taken during two months after the 14th April aforesaid shall be restored.
Dated the 10th May, 1629. (fn. 3)
[Italian.]
May 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
101. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have read Digby's account of the incident at Scanderoon. We cannot prevent people from publishing what they please. Your Excellencies will have received full information about the affair. Whenever I have had an opportunity I have insisted on the necessity of our captains acting as they did. The English ambassador spoke to me about it with a tone of remonstrance one day when I saw him. I tried to enlighten him upon some particulars which were incorrectly represented. But he and his countrymen seemed to maintain that there was no necessity and it was an unfriendly act, and it is impossible to make any impression upon those who are influenced by their prejudices and interests. So far they have not taken any further steps, and I hope they will not venture to do so in the future. I have passed the offices I considered necessary with that minister and it seems superfluous to repeat them, in order not to bring up a matter which is not in negotiation. When I go to take leave of the Vizier I propose to say a word to him on the subject, as a precaution, and I will do everything in my power to prevent trouble.
The Vigne of Pera, the 20th May, 1629.
[Italian.]
May 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
102. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English Ambassador Anstruther wrote recently that the Danish deputies at Lubeck are very reserved towards him. Previously they never took any decision or made any reply to the imperialists without informing him, but now they do not even answer his letters. He therefore augurs badly about these negotiations.
It is said that Rubens the painter, just back from Spain, is to go to London, with every appearance of taking negotiations for peace. In the Palatine's household they are sure about this, but it may be dictated by considerations I have referred to previously, because the prince feels sure these negotiations will not take place without including and benefiting him. I find he is already deluded by the hope of recovering at least the part which the Spaniards hold. I grow more and more certain that Vane, and Car before him, have insinuated these overtures, to get what they could at the moment without prejudicing what might be done when things were riper.
Vane returned from the army on Saturday and I understand that he intends to leave for England to-morrow. I will try and see him before, to discover something more, although I am busy about my own departure.
The Hague, the 28th May, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Comunicazioni
dal
Cons. di X.
Venetian
Archives.
103. In the Council of Ten.
That the undated and unsigned letters against the Archbishop Metaxa at Cephalonia be sent to the sages of the Collegio, so that they may give it such consideration as they think proper.
Extracts from the letter.
The archbishop made his studies in England, and consequently he is suspect, does not keep his oath, excommunicates himself and others, without conscience.
He has had a press brought from England to Cephalonia, where he printed in the convent of Mala.
[Italian.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
104. GIROLAMO SORANZO and ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Contarini writes that they have acepted the nomination of the ambassadors in England. Both the Duke of Elbœuf and M. de Chateauneuf are at Paris. The Viceroy of Ireland and Wake will come for England. The latter has received orders to travel with all speed to join the Viceroy, and he will stay on as ordinary ambassador. I, Zorzi, am sending back the courier Marc Antonio with the articles signed. I detained him for any eventualities that might arise before France publicly solemnised the peace. Now, thank, God, all is settled, and we hear that they have lighted bonfires for the peace. I have paid the courier 150 francs for his return.
Valenza, the last day of May, 1629.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 See note at page 45 above. Gardiner says the merchants were all summoned before the Council, one body of them after another, on successive dates. Hist. of Eng. vol. vii, page 84. Salvetti in his letter of the 11th May, says the leading members of the company of Adventurers in the wool trade were summoned before the king himself on the 7th, and urged to continue the export of wool as usual but most of them made excuses and only nineteen promised to do as his Majesty wished. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962E.
2 Pierre Civett.
3 Collection of Proclamations, Car. I., no. 108.