Venice
June 1629, 1-9

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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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72-87

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'Venice: June 1629, 1-9', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 72-87. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89252 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


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June 1629

June 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra,
Venetian
Archives.
105. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received the despatch of the 4th May this week, with the gracious approval of your Excellencies of my efforts to bring about the peace. It is due to the protection of the Almighty, and I trust that He will second the work with His benediction, to the advantage of our country and of all Christendom.
The esteem your Excellencies have won with the two crowns is shown by the honour and confidence shown to me by the Most Christian in sending to ask me to obtain a delay of fifteen days, for the passage of the ambassadors extraordinary. Full particulars will be found in the enclosed letters to France, sent back this morning by his Majesty's own messenger.
I do not regret the fresh choice of the ambassador extraordinary here, because his goodwill towards France compensates for everything else. Wake, who has sent his secretary here (fn. 1) (he returns to-morrow) will remain at Turin until the French ambassador in ordinary arrives here. Although I had stopped his game, so that any mischief he might have attempted, such as the ideas he published at Turin, would not have succeeded, it is just as well that at the outset matters should be in the hands of one who is friendly and tactful without being too speculative.
All that your Excellencies send me in the despatch of the 4th agrees exactly with what I was about to write. Every one anticipates the most evil consequences from the return of the Most Christian to France, because it gives the Spaniards time to prepare, and it is manifest they are not asked. Here they by no means approve of the attack on the city of Privas, and I have hard work to put matters straight, as it is only too true there are persons who declare that this is a direct affront to England, immediately after the conclusion of the peace. If I did not stoutly maintain that this is not an affair of religion but of state, owing to the report received by the Huguenots from the Spaniards, I do not know what would be the fate of this peace, even though it is concluded. Not only England, but the whole of the North is beginning to lose hope of the diversion they expected from Italy, for the common cause as well as for that of religion. The express sent me by the Most Christian told me that after mastering Privas, his master meant to attack Nismes, a very important place which will take him a long time, and that the French Court is devoting all its energies to prosecuting the war against the Huguenots.
On the other hand the Spaniards avail themselves of the time the French have given them to obtain reinforcements, and also of the dissatisfaction caused by the Huguenot war, making all the progress they can by means of blandishment and deceitful offers. In proof of this there appeared here lately from Lorraine the Marquis Villa, who was here last year at the same time as Scaglia, and afterwards went to Spain, whence he has recently returned. He remained here negotiating but incognito four or six days, and only made himself known at Court for two days. He returned home by way of Brussels. (fn. 2) The king gave him a diamond. To-day also Wake's secretary has arrived in all haste from Turin. He brings word that the duke is by no means a Frenchman, that he has strengthened himself at Vigliana with 14,000 foot and 3,000 horse, he does not allow any Frenchman to enter Montferrat, and thinks of recovering Susa by force of arms. The departure of the king and cardinal disappointed him of recovering it as he had expected, but he waits until the Spaniards are reinforced to attack Susa and Casale, the latter place not being provisioned, as every one knows. He also writes about conferring with the Ambassador Cornaro about peace for Rohan. The messenger told me that they are very obstinate, and the king is no less determined to destroy them. So far as we can see the royal presence has not served to bring them to obedience, and force of arms will delay the business a very long while.
At about the same time there also came from Brussels one Tailler, whose father is a Spaniard and mother English, cousin of the Ambassador Mirabel, now in France, who used to be secretary with Gondomar here. All these breezes, at the suggestion of Brussels, Lorraine and Turin, have been puffing simultaneously to thwart the peace with France, but they are too late. The negotiations relate to what I have reported, and at Brussels I believe they are expecting something from the emperor about the Palatinate. The Spaniards have given it to be understood that they will not only restore what they hold, but will try to get the emperor to do the same. They say he will do as they wish because he needs them. In spite of this I believe the contrary, because of Italy, and I do not know what will happen. They are doubtful here, as they are afraid of being deceived, and the Treasurer, who is all powerful with the king and directs the business, confides nothing to any one, not even the secretary of state. Being alone he tries to treat firmly, to avoid the ruin that might follow if the results did not correspond with the promises, as I am certain they will not, and if the king were manly. I have very authentic advices that the Spaniards themselves cause it to pass current here that they will assuredly avenge the injury received in Italy, for which they will give up all the rest. And so they cajole the north, as they are very anxious about Hungary. Report varies as to whether they will continue or not.
I wrote that the commissioners had orders to modify the terms to Denmark and some one announced that the peace was made. I hear first of some arrangement for the Baltic, without which Denmark cannot exist in freedom and Austria cannot advance the designs with which she is credited, especially Walstein, so I believe nothing. It is indeed true that the Danish ambassador before he left, said that his master was very weak and that he could not hold out. After going on board a ship at Gravesend for Denmark, he landed at Dover with only three or four servants, crossing from there to Dunkirk. The Dutch ambassador and I knew that he had the passport before he left, and he was warned that the journey would cause suspicion. He was strongly dissuaded, but he assured me that he had no other object than to see the army under Bolduc or near it, and really those who know his nature and how seldom these ministers have letters from their king, can believe that this is more a matter of his own private taste than concerned with the common cause. The longer he takes to reach the king the more delay for his bad accounts of this Court, where he has obtained nothing whatever and is convinced that nothing can or will be done even for the future. I must add that the Swedish ambassador, in talking confidentially about this peace with Denmark, told me that he will be ruined if he makes it, whatever the conditions. It is nevertheless true that at the conference between him and his king the latter invited him to join an offensive and defensive league. He refused to do this, which shows his inclinations towards peace, though it will reduce him to servitude instead of giving him the liberty he expects. If the good offices of the United Provinces, who are deeply interested, do not make amends, nothing whatever can be hoped, as those of England cannot be followed by deeds, and never were.
This Swedish ambassador had audience this week. He thanked the king for permission to have the drum beaten publicly for four regiments to be raised in this city, and it is unusual. He also thanked his Majesty for the appointment of Sir [Thomas] Roe to the embassy. Roe leaves in two or three weeks, and will perform the service admirably because of his correct opinions. He is called by the Poles and Swedes to negotiate the peace, but under this pretext an arrangement might be made for a good diversion between Sweden, Muscovy and Gabor. If the peace with the Poles is made, Sweden insists upon the league already announced with England, Denmark and the States, and offers to lead the armies against the emperor at once. The ambassador asked me if I had received any reply from your Serenity on this subject. In conclusion he told his Majesty of his king's landing in Prussia, where he was halting to set his troops in order and reinforce them, and then push on where required. It is his intention to winter free of cost and keep them in good quarters in the enemy's country during the winter, to give them heart and have them readier next year, for which time that sovereign reserves his more vigorous operations.
Sir [Henry] Vane has not yet returned from the Netherlands. I have already written of his negotiations. If he brings anything more I will try to find out about it. There has been some talk about a change of abode for the Palatine family, but I have never elicited any authentic confirmation. Even if true it is not likely to be done at present, as the premature delivery of the queen, who is now well, revived their hopes, which they must not give up. Even if the change were true, necessity alone and the interests of the ruling ministers induces England to make it, and they to avoid their ruin must keep the king from incurring expenses as well as from parliaments. In this way they serve themselves and humour the king, who is very averse from the people, indeed he has declared that whoever speaks to him about parliament will be his enemy, and this also is the game of the Spaniards.
The affairs of the merchants and the duties are in course of adjustment. The king in Council sent for them, and dealt with them separately. The majority promised to continue trading and paying the duties, especially the Hamburg Company, to which he has promised six ships to secure the passage against Dunkirk, and he is having them fitted out forthwith. They will go to the Elbe and serve the interest not only of this Crown but of Denmark, if she cares to avail herself of them.
London, the 1st June. 1629.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.106. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to GIROLAMO SORANZO and ZORZI ZORZI, his colleagues in France.
I wrote of the appointment of the Earl of Danby as ambassador extraordinary and that the selection of Wake as ordinary did not altogether please me. Danby intended to spend 20,000 or 30,000 crowns and make a fine show to Paris, returning in a few days. After pondering the cost of taking a numerous retinue into Languedoc or across France into Italy, he discovered late that he had overrated his means. Taking the opportunity of illness, he went to a house of his near Oxford (fn. 3) to recover, and under this pretext sent his excuses to the king. His Majesty and the whole Court were very much displeased. The king sent his own physicians twice, and may fine him, while he may lose the governorship of Ireland. On their return the physicians, possibly from bribery, reported him as really very ill, with symptoms of consumption (hebesia), and quite unable to perform the journey, especially at this season, and in a hot climate. I wrote to him and he answered me frankly that he would not undertake the embassy on any account. Accordingly I urged the appointment of some one else.
While the government was at a loss what to do, owing to the straits of the king and the poverty of the nobility, I received a despatch from the Most Christian. His Majesty asks me to get consent for the passage of the ambassadors extraordinary until the 24th June, and I did this. The only person mentioned in the letters is M. de Chateauneuf. It was not possible here in a few weeks or rather days to find anyone who would undertake to furnish himself with a stately retinue to correspond with that of the Duke of Elbœuf, and the king has not the means to supply them with the money for the purpose. No one could afford it, especially as he would have to go into Languedoc or Italy, by a long and toilsome road. All these difficulties, and nothing else, induced the king to respond to M. de Chateauneuf by one person only, his equal, sent hence at once, without removing Wake from Turin, until the time when the ordinary ambassador comes from France. His Majesty has therefore named the Treasurer of the Household, Edmondes, a member of the Council of State and of the Privy Council, a man sixty years of age, who has been ambassador at Brussels and in France, a person most worthy to be recommended for this charge before any one, as he was recalled owing to his not being in favour with the late Duke of Buckingham.
His good qualities are that he is very much attached to France so he always spoke freely against this war, but was not listened to, as favour went the other way. He is the open enemy of the Spaniards, no stickler for punctilio, so that he will not break off, and the cardinal will lead him as he pleases, since Edmondes is a worthy fellow though rather choleric. He has passed through all the grades of this profession, as he was first agent in France for twenty years, then ambassador at Brussels, finally ambassador in ordinary in France for nine years, and ambassador extraordinary for six months, and it is supposed that the entire foundation of his fortunes was laid by that legation.
The objections to him are that he is neither of high birth nor title, although in right of his office and as a member of the Council, he takes precedence of many titled persons. He is not even a man of great ability, so for the honour of this kingdom I am not quite satisfied. After being put to so much shame they ought to have sent one of their cleverest men. But the necessity for doing what they can rather than what they ought, blinds them to the objections, and sovereigns choose their representatives to derive qualities from the employments given them.
Yet Edmondes is considered a very good match to Chateauneuf, being a member of the Council and with so many years of diplomatic service, especially in France. Besides when he was ambassador at Brussels, Chateauneuf was a mere agent at the same Court, and to make some distinction they had to reserve the earls and titled persons to respond to the embassy of Elbœuf.
Edmondes has undertaken this embassy when everybody else shunned it. It is now apparent that on so conspicuous an occasion the king has no one who will serve him. I have seen Edmondes, and he has assured me that he will go with a single servant rather than not be at the coast on the 24th June and I am certain that he will not fail.
Danby and Wake are therefore relieved of this function, without my opening my mouth. But as I greatly regretted that everything should be done twice over, and that his Majesty had made me name the Duke of Elbœuf, since he might have been dispensed with; a remedy has been found without offence to that prince, by telling the king and queen mother that if the Most Christian desires the duke to come, in order to celebrate the peace by balls, entertainments, etc., they will respond here by sending a person of equal rank, to be selected from among the young nobles, who wish to cut a figure and make love, but allowing time to put themselves in gallant trim and to find the king in the midst of Parisian delights, not in the Alps or Languedoc, or in a cloud of cannon smoke. I cannot doubt but this decision will also be approved in France, because it agrees very well with her first resolves, while much money will be saved and the service may possibly be better performed. I gathered from the gentleman sent to me, who is a creature of M. de Chateauneuf, that the latter knew nothing about having the duke for colleague.
I send all these particulars so that you may know how matters are proceeding and inform the cardinal. But when writing to their Majesties I must give some higher character to these devices adopted to conceal their poverty, not to say misery. It is distracting for reasons have no weight when confronted by necessity. I hope however that Edmondes will perform the service well. He will take a numerous retinue, and serve the French Crown, as he always has done, with great affection, from regard for which and for the common weal he gladly incurs this expense.
I enclose copies of my letters to the king, the queen mother and Chateauneuf. I shall be glad to hear of the receipt of this despatch.
London, the 31st May, 1629.
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.107. LOUIS XIII, King of France, etc. to ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England.
His being so far away makes it impossible for the ambassador extraordinary for England to be at Calais so soon as he desired. Considers it advisable to prolong the term to the 24th June and asks the good offices of the ambassador to have this approved, when he promises that his ambassador shall be at Calais at the same time as the English one is at Dover.
From the camp under Privas, the 20th May, 1619.
Signed: LOUIS.
Postscript.—Since the above was written, peace with England has been proclaimed in the army. The same will doubtless have been done at London, and with God's help this event will produce the good results that everyone expects for the common weal.
Countersigned: BOTTILLIER.
[Italian; copy.]
Enclosure.108. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to LOUIS XIII, King of France, etc.
When the king's letter arrived he was about to send to the queen mother a report of the serious illness of the Earl of Danby, who was found by the physicians to be nearer the grave than to the possibility of travelling, and they were thinking of some other colleague for Wake. But considering the time required for equipment, the inconvenience of a long journey and the uncertainty of where the king found might be, while it might not be possible to remove Wake from Turin without confusion his Majesty has decided to send the Treasurer of the Royal Household, to respond to the mission of M. de Chateauneuf, who has served as ambassador at Brussels and in France, and who will betake himself to Dover, on the 24th June. If the king would still like the Duke of Elbœuf to come, his Majesty will respond with some one else, if he has sufficient time to supply himself with such a retinue at the occasion requires. Everything else has been carried out punctually, especially the proclamation of the peace. May God second the common weal of Christendom with such advanatge as the present important crisis requires and as is expected from the king's conquering hand.
London, the 31st May, 1629.
[Italian; copy.]
Enclosure.109. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to MARY, Queen Mother in France.
The peace was duly proclaimed as arranged. Danby, the ambassador selected is too ill to act. When he was about to communicate this to her Majesty, a letter arrived from the Most Christian asking for the postponement of the day when the ambassadors should be at the coast, from the 10th to the 24th prox. Owing to the various difficulties, the king has decided to leave Wake at Turin and send the Treasurer of his household Edmondes, at once, who will be ready to cross on the 24th June. If the Duke of Elbœuf is sent, the compliment will be returned but after a sufficient interval for preparation.
Sends this back by the express to the Most Christian, and asks that Chateauneuf may be at Calais on the 24th, ready to cross.
London, the 31st May, 1629.
[Italian; copy.]
Enclosure.110. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to MONS. DE CHATEAUNEUF.
The express from the Most Christian brought his letter. Expresses regard. Has fixed the 24th June for the ambassadors to be ready to cross the Channel. The illness of the Earl of Danby has caused some change in plans. Is sending back the express and if he does not go beyond Paris, asks that the packet for the Venetian ambassadors and the Most Christian may be forwarded. Will be happy to receive his commands.
London, the 31st May, 1629.
[Italian; copy.]
June 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
111. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Conde Duque was advised of the peace between England and France. He betrayed the most sullen annoyance (ne ha mostrato un sollenissimo dispiacere). He spent some time apart without seeing any one. He has lamented to his confidants that nothing succeeds with him. He sees all his measures for the king's service turn out ill. If he does not draw in his sails speedily he will lose all the friends of the Crown. He has upset the whole government, so that reputation, fear, love or force cannot make the monarchy safe.
Madrid, the 2nd June, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Mantova.
Venetian
Archives.
112. MARC ANTONIO BUSINELLO, Venetian Secretary at Mantua, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The duke considers the peace with England as a disadvantage to Spain and an advantage to France, and feels confident that the princes of Italy with this fresh move of the Spaniards against liberty and the general peace will also declare against them.
Mantua, the 3rd June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
113. GIOVANNI SORANZO and VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassadors in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Vane left early on Wednesday morning to embark at Brill for London. It seemes he is recalled to take part in the negotiations which the painter Rubens may have in hand in the name of the Spaniards. It is considered that England ought not to make any arrangement or listen to any proposals from Spain without knowing the opinion of the States and the Prince of Orange and the Princes Palatine. From the last Vane certainly takes back nothing likely to please the Spaniards, while the States have decided to ignore all proposals for a truce or peace so long as the siege of Bolduch lasts.
Before Vane left and when he was going on board he reported that the Queen of England had miscarried of a boy. If this proves true the Princes Palatine here will not be sorry, because they consider they have no safer refuge than England.
The Hague, the 4th June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
114. To the Ambassadors CONTARINI in England, and SORANZO and GUSSONI at the Hague.
You will see from the enclosed what has taken place in the Grisons, the bold attempts of the Austrians, their efforts to disturb this province and the emperor's declarations in his letters to the Grisons. The news from all the other parts agree. They are making great provision in Germany, in fact they are doing just what the Spaniards desire. They are sending more troops from Naples to Milan and they are still asking for others. A good provision of grain has arrived at Genoa for Milan, where they have arranged to supply 32,000 rations a day. There is no longer any doubt but that the stress will fall here and they only pretend to want peace in order to gain time. The negotiations for the terms with the States, are too true. The progress of the peace negotiations with Denmark shows that at present they prefer the interests of Italy to all others, however important. The ambassador of the Most Christian asserts most positively that his king will assist this province with vigour. Our forces are still entire, so we may hope that the Austrians will not be able to obtain their ends as easily as they may imagine. We hear that the peace with Denmark is all but concluded. You know the prejudice this will cause, the advantage that assistance from England and France for that king would afford, and so if there is any room for hope you will not neglect to make proper representations.
We have no letters from you this week. The last were those enclosing a copy of the one you wrote to the queen mother and of your paper on the affair of the merchants. It only remains for us to commend what you have done.
Ayes, 152.Noes, 10.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
June 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
115. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The same wind brought Vane from the Netherlands, Rubens the painter, who has been made secretary of the Council of Flanders, (fn. 4) and the ordinary, who handed me your Serenity's despatches of the 11th May last. In addition to the office I was instructed to pass with the king about the peace with France, I added remarks, as from myself, about the arrival of these persons, and the common reports of their schemes.
The day before yesterday I went to Greenwich, where I had audience. I congratulated myself in your Excellencies' name on his Majesty's good opinion and the honour done to your mediation. You rejoiced that the sincerity of your offices had been recognised, and hoped that they would be seconded by corresponding deeds, as requried by present circumstances. I went on as of my own account, to say that the presumed object of this peace was proved by so many missions and messengers despatched to this Court from several quarters, for the sole purpose of upsetting it or of rendering it useless. As the king likes brevity I merely told him that Rubens had come in order to weaken all the friends of this Crown by suspicions; that whatever pleased the Spaniards ought to displease England, as their interests were opposed, and his Majesty ought to be on his guard. The very important diversion of Italy bound him to consolidate the affairs of the North, just at the time when all the princes were more than ever united, and they ought to show vigour and determination, owing to the great advantage which they will derive from that diversion. It was as harmful, from this point of view, to begin a treaty as to conclude one. The Spaniards were well aware of this advantage, and only wanted to begin, without ever finishing, as his Majesty would have discovered, and as shown by the quality of the negotiation. It would be a great disappointment and a public calamity if, while all the princes who love the liberty of Europe are in arms, the Dutch with such considerable forces by sea and land, and the King of Sweden with such generous thoughts, his Majesty, who was the first to give heart to all of them should also be the first to discourage them. I thought it necessary to make these observations as of myself, because they are not made by people in general, and because I see the negotiation advancing too far.
The king heard me attentively, as I found him in a good humour, and answered, I made peace with France for the benefit of Christendom and to carry out my principles in favour of the common weal. It now remains with the French to dissipate all these shadows about painters etc. which you have hinted at. But I do not know what to believe about them, as they forthwith began open war against the Huguenots. I feel sure that the republic also will resent this. The affairs of Italy also are not adjusted, and there is not much thought for arranging them. In such case, the republic, deprived of French assistance, will not be well placed, and it is quite certain that to satisfy their own passions against the Huguenots, they will abandon the public cause, at the most unpropitious moment, and pretend to lay upon us the whole burden of the defence against Spain. But they must know that they will deceive themselves, and that we have the means to make an adjustment with the Spaniards, just as they have the wish to break it. But I repeat that this will not take place unless they give me cause, and if they act in earnest.
Being in a good humour he then said smiling: Pray listen to this for it is a very goods story. The queen mother sent a gentleman to visit the queen, my wife, on her indisposition. Yesterday he came to see me and I asked him where the king my brother was. He answered that he was battering Privas with all his might, and hoped to have it in a few days. That immediately after he should attack Nismes and Castres, and by sending to lay waste the environs of other Huguenot places he hoped and intended to take all of them in six months, to the total extermination of the Huguenots. This person, in short thought he was giving me the best news I could desire. I thought at first that he was bantering me, but on finding he was merely stupid, and after listening to him very patiently, without answering further, I began to ask him about Italy.
The king finished this narrative without showing the least annoyance, for on the contrary, he was laughing and familiar. Your Excellencies can imagine with what disgust I listened to the story, seeing the imprudence of this Frenchman, who goes kindling fire where others are pouring water. I therefore praised his Majesty's prudence in not listening to him, as he was not a statesman, and the French ambassador who is coming here would speak differently. Just as the French show devotion to the common weal, so they would give cause to his Majesty to put in execution the good ideas mentioned above, in conformity with his ancient maxims, especially as his Majesty was convinced of the good opportunity presented by the diversion of Italy, and I thanked him for warning me to write to your Excellencies. I said that there were two things to consider with regard to the Duke of Rohan and his party, their religion, and their dependence on the Spaniards. Both were acts of rebellion, and they ought to humble themselves to the king, who had already made them many offers, but the dependence on the Spaniards forced the Most Christian's hand more than anything. He answered: You are right, but the French must not excuse themselves on the plea of this dependence. I assure you that the Spaniards make much greater boasts about it, for their interests, than they have any reason to do, for as yet I do not believe they have given one penny to the Huguenots. At any rate I bind myself to behave in such a way that Rohan will renounce that party, and attend with the others to the common weal. Without this internal peace in France it is vain for anyone to expect a change in public affairs, and but little fruit will result from this peace concluded by me, solely for the common weal I should like you to hear a paragraph in a letter from Turin, which I will get Carleton to read to you.
After performing these offices, I proceeded to speak about the ships, showing how grevious it was for your Excellencies to receive such serious hurt, owing to the consequences elsewhere. You did not expect it from this quarter as you had always looked upon this nation as your own, and supposed his Majesty was interested in the republic's welfare more than any other prince. He replied: The republic does not deceive itself in having this good opinion of me. I will do whatever is possible to satisfy her. I think over the way more than you believe, for one cannot deny the course of justice. I instructed some of the members of the Council to speak with Digby, and will endeavour to obtain a reply as near as possible to what you want.
Through another channel I am assured that the king himself spoke to Digby, telling him that he intended to gratify your Serenity, that the business should end without litigation, and that Digby replied that his Majesty was absolute master of his subjects, but he did not know what to say about denying him justice, and insisted by all possible means on having justice done to him. However, I know that the king was not over well pleased with him, or else the persons who discussed this matter with him, as he seemed too obstinate and stubborn in a matter in which he is in the wrong, according to law and equity. If I am not mistaken, I think the Court has made some little stir to give your Serenity some satisfaction in this matter, so I think of going to the commissioners to-morrow, to tell them what took place with the king, and to hammer the iron while it is hot. God grant that I may get it into the shape I desire.
London, the 8th June. 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
116. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After seeing the king, and while I was in the council-chamber awaiting a reply to my inquiries about the queen, who is in good health, the Secretary Carleton came. After I had told him all the particulars of my audience, he said I had done well to speak thus. He did not believe that Rubens brought much, or that he had great powers. They would hear what he had to say, but nothing would be settled in haste. The king was determined to maintain excellent relations with France in preference to anything else, provided that king would act for the advantage of the common weal. They would observe all the articles of the treaty with the utmost punctuality, and the ambassador would go to reciprocate in everything. These steps against the Huguenots, at so unsuitable a moment seemed done on purpose to spite England and gave a chance to many, who disliked the peace, to render the king suspicious about it and propel him towards other resolves, which were proposed to him by the Spaniards. But his Majesty remained firm in his resolve. The ambassador would depart and not even open his lips about Huguenots, unless the war continued and it became plain that all hope of relieving the public was at an end, and that every one thought more of selfish interests and passions than of the general welfare.
Carleton then showed me a long letter from Wake, on the margin of which was marked the passage which the king desired him to read to me. It was a conversation held between the Prince of Piedmont and Cardinal Richelieu, who used the peace with England to persuade him to join the league. The prince replied that the peace was made on the basis of benefiting the common weal, which neither England nor his father could further unless the affairs of France were adjusted. The cardinal did not answer this remark, which was repeated several times, so the prince added that the mask must be raised, or all else would be vain. The cardinal then said that no doubt could be entertained of England on account of the Huguenots, as they had abandoned and excluded them entirely, so they should not longer be mentioned. I know on good authority that the French have a grudge against the Huguenots when they least deserve it. But I may also surmise that the cardinal spreads these ideas in order to render Rohan desperate, and thus bring him to his allegiance. I have even more reason to suspect that Rohan makes the prince speak, to gratify Savoy and keeps this missile in hand for his own passions. Your Excellencies know how much I toiled to keep the Huguenots out of this peace, though the republic must not use this against the king here, as he always remembered them. If peace is given them and England does not open her lips, she will once for all be deprived of the pretence for interference, and France of any suspicion, while those who rely on the old feeling, like Savoy and others, will be more easily brought to their duty. I think that for these reasons alone the French ought to concede something to the Huguenots at this moment, and they can keep them as strictly as they like afterwards, as they will never lack pretexts. As the Huguenots have no sea ports and are in the centre of the kingdom, they are practically in a cage.
I thanked Carleton for his communication and repeated what I had said to the king, pointing out that peace with the Huguenots would benefit the cause, and they must look for it solely from the Most Christian. But as he looked on them as partisans of Spain he must secure himself against them lest they foment those diversions which the Spaniards are but too well known to be preparing on the frontiers of France, relying on the support of Rohan and the Huguenots, and if peace were offered to them they might not accept it. Carleton said there was no doubt of this provided the conditions were reasonable. I calmly threw discredit on the advices from Savoy and from Wake. Carleton, who is discreet and knows all, showed by a smile that he understood me, but came to the conclusion that without this peace all the rest was vanity, as I also believe, and that everybody would think about his personal affairs.
I can say no more about Rubens, except what I hear superficially, as he has not yet negotiated with any one. I do not know whether the king will see him, but he may under the pretence of pictures, in which he delights greatly. Some one told me that Rubens has a letter for his Majesty from the Catholic. Carlisle was the first to entertain him. He is lodged at the house of the painter Gerbier, who treated of these affairs with him before. He may be feeding him, but i am not sure. All declare that he brings nothing conclusive, but only overtures. I am inclined to believe this, because Scaglia has not stirred, and he certainly would not let go this chance of honour and profit. Rubens is an ambitious and covetous man, so he probably aims at being talked about, and at some good present. However, nothing can be discovered until he negotiates. As he left Spain on the 3rd or 4th May, the very moment when the first sure news of the peace with France arrived, the Spaniards sent him hither post haste to prevent it. But he will do nothing. Many talk of a truce or an armistice as the easiest way of beginning an adjustment, but I can almost venture to assert that if the French grant peace to the Huguenots and take up the cause in earnest, the Spaniards may not go on with this matter, as they think of doing, and what the king and secretary said to me may well make me believe it. I pray God that the French ambassador may bring instructions to that effect. I have decided to acquaint him with everything before he speaks to any one, especially about this present despatch, as I hope to be still at this Court when he arrives. Meanwhile I am sending a copy of it to the ambassadors in France, so that if the French know how to take this course they will still be in time to do much good or harm to the cause.
The Dutch ambassador has conferred with the commissioners for foreign affairs, who assured him, as they always do, that nothing will be arranged with the Spaniards without the consent and knowledge of the States. But these words can only be credited according to appearances, and no further. The offices performed by this minister in the present affair show that he is deeply interested in it, so that I cannot credit the reports of a truce, now circulated, though it is well to keep on the watch, since it is certain that the Spaniards are intent on striking a shrewd blow at the French and Italians, and on coming to terms in Germany, if they can.
Sir [Thomas] Roe, the ambassador designate to Sweden, easily allowed himself to be persuaded to insist on knowing just how much there is in this Spanish business before he begins to treat with Sweden. That will doubtless comprise some proposal of a league for the Baltic, which is far from a reconciliation with the Spaniards, and he will not neglect to gather all information, so that your Excellencies will be well informed.
I have found out nothing further about Vane, except that the replies of Orange and the Princes Palatine do not correspond with the overtures made from here. I think this is the more likely as he is said to be about to make another journey in that direction, and his increasing greatly the forces of the States, the ease of taking Bolduc and the feebleness of the Spaniards in Flanders, all point in the same direction. But he only arrived two days ago, and has remained for the most part with the king and ministers, who are a distance away, to give account of his journey. I will keep on the watch for anything more.
I enclose a copy of the reply of the queen mother to my first letter. I shall withold the congratulations to the queen here on the peace and her pregnancy until another occasion, which the king hopes will soon occur.
London, the 8th June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.117. MARY, Queen Mother of France, to ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England.
Pleasure at the settlement of the peace, which she has so eagerly desired from the feeling a mother has for her children. Grateful for what he contributed to that end, and assurance that she will take the first opportunity to show it.
Paris, the 20th May, 1629.
Signed: MARIA.
Countersigned: BOTTILLIER.
[Italian.]
June 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
118. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the 23rd ult. letters reached me from one of my informants at Aleppo saying that the Vice consul there was writing to me about an English ship hired by Venetian merchants, which had reached Alexandretta shortly before. A Janissary who serves that nation arrived here on Sunday and Confirmed the sending of that messenger four days before his departure. As he has not arrived I fear harm has befallen him. News of the incident reached the merchant Negroni twelve days ago, so I enclose a copy of the letter. It would not be at all extraordinary if the English consul and merchants have done something to prevent the messenger arriving, so as to be the first to send the news here and to England. I questioned the Janissary, who confirmed the circumstance, one very honourable to the Vice consul and us and very mortifying to the English. They continue to lade the ship very busily and he says the Cadi has shown himself favourable to our nation. so that my offices with him through the Mufti and Cussein Effendi have brought him to a proper frame of mind. I fancy that the English keep declining more and more and they contemplate the misfortunes which may intensify the hurtful position in which they now are owing to the incident of Alexandretta, when the Grand Vizier arrives there because I hear that a person of authority treated with him about an accommodation with the English, though they asked for nothing more except that the matter should be allowed to die away and nothing more be said about it. He replied that he would see him about it, which means in plain language that he intends to extract a considerable number of ryals from him.
The Vigne of Pera, the 9th June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.119. ANTONIO GRANO to SIGNORI NEGRONI and LELIO.
The English ship Thomas William reached this port. It was hired in Venice by our merchants to lade here for Venice. According to the contract of hire it flew the flag of St. Mark; but the English consul made them take it down and fly the English flag. On hearing of this and because they had laid hands on the goods, with claims for consulage our Vice consul, Bernardo Salamon, appealed to the Cadi. The Cadi sent for the English consul and said he was a rogue, and all we Venetians rose and showered all the insults we could think of upon him. Our Vice consul threw his gloves at him, and took off his shoe as if to strike him. The Cadi and all the Divan rose but nothing further happened except that the Cadi seemed to favour us. On the following morning our Vice consul and all the nation asked me to go to Alexandretta for the public service. When I arrived, the Cadi sent for the English consul, I obtained the necessary papers and forthwith unladed the goods, sending the caravan to Aleppo. I also replaced the English flag by that of St. Mark.
Alexandretta, the 1st May, 1629.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Anthony Hales. He left Turin on the 16th May. See Wake's despatch of 22nd May, o.s. S.P. Foreign, Savoy.
2 Capt. John Mennes of the Adventure reports having landed him at Dunkirk on the 23rd May, old style. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 557.
3 Cornbury Park.
4 He reached London on Wednesday and saw the king on Thursday. Salvetti's letters of the 8th June. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962E.