Venice
June 1629, 11-18

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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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87-100

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'Venice: June 1629, 11-18', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 87-100. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89253 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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June 1629

June 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
120. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I fancy the Abbot Scaglia will return from Spain very soon. The duke did not deny it. Some one told me he might come with Spinola, but I find nothing to bear this out.
The English ambassador, who has kept away during this report of the peace with France, has not passed any office with me or with Madame. It was thought he would go to her, because he is ambassador designate to the king, her brother. He told my secretary that he heard from England of the publication of the peace, but without any celebrations, and it is clear that he does not approve of it. His usual ideas are mistrust of France; to take exception to the King of France making war on the Huguenots; to want the Duke of Savoy not to come to terms with France. He said he knew for certain that the Spaniards mocked at the talk of peace. The Resident Aspri here had told him so; the Cardinal della Queva had said as much to some one at Brussels; but the object of this talk is to help Rohan's party.
Turin, the 11th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 13.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
121. The secretary of England, being introduced into the Collegio, said:
I am sure that your Serenity is fully informed about the movements of the imperialists. I have received some particulars about these from a Scot, who is a man of experience and judgment although a soldier, and has followed those forces from the first. He then read the advices, and went on to read the number of regiments marching through the country of the Swiss and Grisons, handing the paper to the secretary after reading.
In the absence of the doge, Anzolo Morosini replied as senior councillor, expressing their thanks for the communication. The secretary made a deep reverence, offered to let them know whatever else he heard, and departed.
The Forces which have taken the road of the Grisons.
Fifteen companies of Colonel Aldingher, of 300 men each.
Seven companies of Count Ernest, of 300 each.
Seven companies of Luxemburg, of 300 each.
Four companies of Brandenburg, of 300 each.
Ten companies of Merode's Walloons, 800 in all.
Ten companies of Brabant, 1,500 in all.
Cavalry.
Three companies of the Prince of Analt.
Three companies of Lunemburgh.
Three companies of Montecucoli.
Three companies of Vilonost.
Two companies of Pieno Fexxaxa.
All the above force remains among the Grisons, except the regiment of Merode and the cavalry of the Prince of Analt. Other troops are constantly marching, and when they have arrived the others will march towards the State of Milan.
The imperialists have assembled the mass of their troops five German miles from Strasburg, giving out that they are going to besiege that town and other imperialist cities, in order to compel them to surrender ecclesiastical goods, in accordance with the emperor's order of the last day of April. But after the troops had been there ten days orders arrived to march towards Ulm. After they had marched two days, fresh orders arrived to go to Lindau on the Lake of Constance. A report circulated in the army that they were to take up their quarters on the Swiss frontiers, and receive contributions, according to the custom of the imperial forces. But courier after courier arrived with orders to march with all speed from Lindau to Olbrithen, a place belonging to Leopold and four hours from the Grisons, where the cavalry and infantry stayed. But some troops continued the march with marvellous speed and took possession of the first passage of the Grisons, not far from Meiseld, and some six or seven hours from Coire. They marched thence with the same diligence to the bridge over the Rhine, one hour from Coire. Having won the passes, the forces made a general rendezvous. On the following day, Colonel Merode, who led the vanguard, marched with 6,000 foot and 800 horse to Coire itself, which forthwith admitted the troops, supplying them for cash with provisions, of which they had great need after their long and toilsome marches. On the following day Merode sent, to take the passages of the Spulga, and the Count of Soltz with seven companies of infantry, of 300 each, and three companies of horse went and took all those of the Engadine, as well towards Berlina as Bragagia and all the other passes of importance throughout the country of the Grisons are equally taken or guarded by them, and they fortify them daily, especially those in the direction of the Swiss. Two days after the capture of these passes orders reached Colonel Merode to cross the mountains with his regiment of Walloons and the three companies of horse and des end into the valley of Bragasa, where he has his quarters at present, with a company of horse, at Castagona, two hours from Chiavenna. The rest of the troops are quartered in the villages between that place and the mountains, in the valley of Bragaia, where they arrived on Monday the 4th of June. The Commissioner Magnolo left for Milan on the day before, to get boats for transporting the troops on the Lake of Como. Mons. Galla, a native of the Trentino, commands all this force.
[Italian.]
June 13.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
122. I, Renier Zen, set down, as instructed what I have recently set forth to your Excellencies. Having met the Abbot Boccalini for the despatch of some of his affairs in the Council of Ten and this Collegio, I told you that I had known him in Rome as a good friend to the republic. He was staying a short distance from my house and came to me yesterday evening to tell me that the Duchess of Rohan, whom he serves, as do many of the French lords here, had been to see him that evening. She had taken him out on the water and spoke to him of current affairs. She expressed her astonishment that the republic had not sought to include the duke and the Huguenot towns in the peace its ministers had arranged between France and England so that the Most Christian might be more ready for the enterprise of Italy, as the cause of the English and those towns was the same, namely to help each other to obtain the promised demolition of Fort St. Louis at La Rochelle and the preservation of the privileges of those towns. Her astonishment arose from the fact that as the Most Christian was engaged all the same in the war against the Huguenots, he could not attend to external affairs, and so the republic would not-reap the results of the peace between the two crowns. She complained somewhat because the duke, her husband, had always shown such confidence and esteem for the republic, and hoped for especial protection on such an occasion, and not to be excluded from the peace.
The abbot told me that he told her that the ambassadors of the republic had certainly been the means of bringing about this good work, but the inclusion or exclusion of dependants and allies belonged to the principals, though he thought your ambassadors had done their best. The duchess added that two ministers had been appointed to arrange the differences between the Most Christian and the Huguenot towns, but while this was proceeding, the king had besieged and possibly surprised Privas. Although the French ambassador made much of this place of conciliation, there was nothing to excite astonishment, because ambassadors are paid to do this, but the truth was that more than fifteen strong places, besides Nimes, Catras and Montauban still remained in the hands of the Religion, so that the king had a great deal to do before he could conquer them. She said it was important for the Spaniards to keep the Most Christian busy in France, yet they had not helped the Huguenots while they saw they were protected by the King of England, so that they might not become too strong and compel the Most Christian to make peace with them, which would be the worst thing that could happen for them. But now seeing them abandoned by the English, they offered help in various ways. The duchess herself had received orders from Turin.
She said that her husband never desired to be other than a good servant of the king and to leave France in his service when peace was made; but he could not abandon those of the Religion, who trusted him so completely, leaving them exposed to the armies which surrounded them. She desired the abbot to bring these matters forward, so as to set on foot a peace equally advantageous for France and Italy. She offered to treat on behalf of her husband. She told the abbot that he would do well to speak to me on the subject.
I told him that such grave affairs were for other shoulders than mine, especially as I had been too busy to go to the Senate or have information of the affairs of the world. I therefore excused myself, but I thought it my duty to come and inform your Excellencies at once, especially in present circumstances, and it might prove helpful to treat with the duchess. The abbot also told me that the duchess is informed of all these negotiations, and had managed almost all of them in France. That is the reason why she keeps out of that country, from fear that the king may have her arrested, because he knows that it would help him greatly to have her in his hands, because of her influence, not only with her husband, but with all the Huguenots.
The Abbot Boccalini has returned to tell me that the duchess has sent for him, and said she had forgotten to tell him that this business required supreme secrecy, as if the Spaniards and Savoy got to know that she is the prime mover of this affair and is negotiating the accommodation, they would either upset it or do all the ill offices they could with the duke and others. Accordingly she would prefer that it should not be brought before the Senate, or in such way that it may not appear that she has promoted it. It does not matter about the Collegio. She says that she not only promoted this but she begs for this interposition, as owing to the small numbers of this body foreign ambassadors cannot find out so easily about things as with the greater number. I told her the customs of the government and the wonderful secrecy throughout, and even when people think they know as happens at other Courts, they are very far from the truth.
He added that the duchess had also told him that the cavalier whom the King of England is sending to France on these affairs, is one who was ambassador here. He goes rather to make a fresh breach than to establish quiet. He is stuffed with evil maxims, and he will rather upset than confirm the agreement with the Huguenots. He is a thorough Savoyard, because the duke has completely won him, and his interests and those of the Spaniards agree together for the upsetting of the agreement. The abbot gave me the enclosed note of the towns and fortresses still in the hands of the Huguenots, as well as the copy of a letter from the King of England to the Duke of Rohan on these subjects, all of which the duchess told him.
Letter of the King of England to the Duke of Rohan.
In our letter of the 12th January we told you how those who interposed for peace between us and the Most Christian urged us to sign the very reasonable conditions proposed. Nothing stayed us except the interest of the Huguenots. We did not see matters ripe for their accord, but we were assured of the king's desire to give them peace. In the meantime we received an offer to treat direct with him, which the mediators have strongly urged upon us, and matters have made great progress, although they have not yet arrived at the point of mutual embassies. these will be sent soon, and we shall perform offices for the Religion through them, and for you in particular. Things have only been arranged in general terms, because the mediators are foreigners. As we shall do everything to obtain what is necessary for the repose and safety of your Churches, we beg you to induce them to accept these and make terms with your sovereign, thus removing the pretext that you prevent him from engaging in foreign enterprises. We ask you to believe that we shall have especial regard for your interests and those of your house to obtain conditions necessary for your safety. We pray that God may have you always in his holy keeping.
From the palace of Westminster, this 10th day of April, 1629.
There are a number of Huguenots throughout France, but chiefly in Guienne and Languedoc. In Guienne they have no great fortified towns except Montauban. This is esteemed the best stronghold, owing to its situation and the great fortifications. These are three or four small fortresses about it, which cannot stand a regular siege, but might detain the armies while preparations were made for resistance, as St. Antonino did in 1621. A day's journey off are Masere and Saverdun, considered excellent, and seven or 8 about them of small importance. This country is at the foot of the Pyrenees and has commercial relations with Rousillon. Half a day off one enters the Albigese,. where Castres is well situated and fortified. Eight miles in one direction and 10 in another are Revel, and Puylaurens, well placed and fortified. Three miles from Castres one enters the mountains of Rouergue. Brassac, Viana and Sainte Friqua are fortified as well as the mountains allow, but the same reason renders attack difficult. Conde besieged Sainte Friqua and the Duke of Rohan relieved it. Millet between Rouergue and the mountain is a populous town well supplied and fortified as well as the nature of the country allows. For three days' march the country is barren. A large army could not live and a small one could do nothing. It is as important as Castres. Thence one enters the Cevennes, of which this fortress is a key. It consists entirely of very high mountains, hard to surmount, and cavalry must make long detours. The valleys are very fertile with many populous towns, engaged in iron work and the manufacture of arms. It goes on for 5 or 6 days' march. Cannon cannot cross it. The people are warlike, and in case of need 15,000 men could be raised. Ordinarily there are 6,000, who are always in Rohan's force. The passes are so difficult that a few men could defend them against a great army. Alez and Anduze, strong and populous fortified towns, stand at the head of these mountains. Twelve miles thence are Nimes and Usez. The latter is excellent for fortification and nothing has been forgotten. Nimes is richer and more powerful, as it may have 6,000 fighting men within its walls, as a small district called Lavanighe is close by which is entirely Huguenot, and at the least rumour of war the people betake themselves to Nimes, bringing corn, which is excellent there, and take up their quarters within the new fortifications, with which the city is greatly enlarged. It stands against a high mountain on which they have made forts. At the foot are traces of a temple to Diana, with a spring the stream of which is strong enough to turn four mills, which are within the fortifications. Two armies would be required to besiege it, which could not help each other. There is no water for the besiegers, except a small brook, two miles away, which is dry after a month's drought. The nearest water after that is twelve miles away. Nine miles from Nimes is a small town called Aigues Mortes, which the Duke of Rohan took and fortified, so that is now as good as the others. Three days from Nimes is Privas fortified as well as it allows, though it is much overlooked. They say it has 2,000 men. Throughout France the soldiers most valued as infantry for their courage, sobriety and endurance are those of Guienne and Languedoc, who have much of the temperament of the Italians and Spaniards. The Svecioti are the most esteemed among them now they are fighting for their faith, goods, wives and children. Such is the present state of those of the Religion.
[Italian.]
June 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
123. To the Ambassador CONTARINI in England and in his absence to the Ambassador SORANZO, and to the Ambassadors SORANZO and GUSSONI at the Hague.
The troops under M. di Meroda have already occupied all the Grisons. The minor as well as the principal passes are being fortified. They are building a great fortress at the Steich. They frankly say that they mean to hold it until the end of the war, and these measures indicate that the imperialists mean to render themselves absolute masters of that country. Some troops have crossed to the State of Milan by the lake of Como, where Pecchio is stationed. This encourages Sultz's troops and he has advanced to Poschiavo with 4,000 foot and 500 horse. This causes us some uneasiness, and we have sent a Proveditore to Valcamonica as well as some troops. By the lake of Como they are supplying provisions and munitions to the Milanese. We also hear that Antonio Peras has gone to Milan to take 30,000 crowns to the army, which was in the greatest need of money.
A guard of musketeers was set at the house of the French Ambassador in Coire and then removed, but he has been forbidden to leave the town. We believe his Majesty will resent this and that it will give a stimulus to his generous resolutions. We shall guard our frontiers and do our part in the league, as the rumours about peace have never deceived us, since we always believed that the Spaniards meant war. We have borne the expense of a very large force as if war had actually broken out. There should be no doubt about the Most Christian acting for the relief of this province, as reasons of state and his own reputation demand, and we feel sure that God Almighty will assist the right and damp the ardour of those who try to usurp the states of others and disturb the world.
Letters of the 18th and 25th ult. from you, Contarini, have reached us this week, and we are quite satisfied with your negotiations. We much regret to hear that the queen has miscarried of a son. We desire you or Soranzo to offer our condolences to her and to the king, expressing our satisfaction that the queen has been preserved, and our hope that the loss will soon be repaired. We will provide you with 300 ducats for courier and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 116.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
June 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
124. That the secretary of England be summoned to the Collegio, and that the following be read to him:
The news of the descent of the imperial force upon the Grisons is of great importance, and so we attach the more value to the communication you have made to us of what has come to your knowledge. This is in harmony with the confidential relations which the republic has always maintained, and so we shall be glad if you will inform us of any more that you hear, as the matter is one of great importance.
Ayes, 116.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
June 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
125. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The enclosed letters to the French Court will show all that relates to the affairs of that country. Rubens has had a conference with the commissioners, the treasurer, Sir Francis Cottington and the Earl of Pembroke, the chief persons of the Court being excluded, as well as the principal secretaries, a thing hitherto unprecedented. This shows clearly that the Spaniards are gaining ground with the favourite, and they would like to persuade him to make a peace in their own fashion, to get rid of the objections which are encountered when they are compelled to negotiate with a number of persons whose opinions often vary. I am told that Rubens, in his desire to treat as advantageously as possible, excludes German affairs, and he began the overtures about the Palatinate by saying that the King of Spain has nothing to do with those affairs; he would willingly restore the places held by him on deposit, but he should not wish the Emperor or Bavaria to get possession of them, as they certainly would, because England has no powerful force, lest they become too great, and begin to cause suspicion to the Spaniards themselves. They would be rather glad to see the King of Denmark set himself up again, for the Hanse towns to remain free, and similar things, which should only be said to over credulous persons. I am told that they would come to no decision about Rubens' proposals until they have sent again to the Netherlands, the States and the Princes Palatine, to inform them and receive their assent. I have written to France on this subject and insist that if the French will only attend to the cause in earnest, they may thwart this business, but the war against the Huguenots rather helps it, as it is freely said that with that example every one must look after himself without caring about the common interests.
Roe, who is going as extraordinary to Sweden for peace with the Poles, who desired the mediation of the king here, confided to me that this peace will be of little use to the cause, as the Poles will be free to help the emperor, and Sweden, who has worked hard so far and with good fortune, may be enervated by the delights of peace, and so we run the risk of losing the one courageous prince who might do some good in these times. Therefore whether the peace is made or not, Roe would like a league between these northern powers, with the King of Sweden at its head, who would assume the office instantly against the emperor if assisted, and that he had a good union with Gabor, from whom alone they might hope for some advantage, because of his esteem for the king of Sweden. That monarch would derive more satisfaction from the title than from the results, and would pledge himself to this undertaking for no more than 400,000 crowns a year. In his hands this would be worth more than a million, because of his abundance of copper coinage. He wants this money solely for the maintenance of the cavalry, which has already passed from the service of the King of Denmark to his. As he would be unable to maintain it for a long period, it would revert to the emperor. Roe hopes to persuade that king to take all the rest upon himself. Of this sum Roe would like your Serenity to contribute, covertly, if not openly, such portion as you might think reasonable, from 80,000 to 100,000 crowns annually. If England were in a different state just now, he would not speak to me about this, but things being as they are, they must seek every means to save the common liberty. The States, Denmark and the Hanse towns, so far as they could, would supply the remainder of the sum, but Roe would not compromise his own king, Sweden or himself until he knew what to promise himself from each of the parties separately. He begged me to write about this to your Serenity, but without naming him, as he had not yet received his instructions, though from conversation with the king and ministers he believed they would be such. On receiving them he would tell me more details, by the royal command, and when in France he would write to me whatever he thought would help the cause. For that alone he undertook this laborious and expensive office, at the risk of ruining himself, as his politics do not agree with those now current.
I imagine that this overture is the equal to the one previously made to me by the Swedish ambassador. I replied in the same manner, pointing out the expenses of the state, the diversion of Italy, the constancy of your Excellencies to the common cause, the turmoil in which you find yourselves, and the peril in which it has placed your territory. For all these reasons I hoped that the King of Sweden would take heart in his valorous enterprises, and that Roe would have occasion to confirm him in them. I took the liberty to ask him how I could induce your Serenity to believe in such a resolve from England, when they were negotiating a peace with Spain. That fact alone would discourage the King of Sweden and all the princes of the North, more than any financial assistance, however considerable, would give them heart. He answered that before his departure he would ascertain the fact from the king himself, as he well knew that the circulation of this bad odour would discredit his good offices, though from what he could gather the answer would be that the affairs of Germany have nothing to do with those of Spain, and that the Spaniards prefer that the emperor should toil in those parts rather than employ his overpowering forces elsewhere, nearer their dominions. He would not fail to answer, but when abroad, he could set forth his views with more credit and vigour, and less to his own disfavour and to the knowledge of the king himself, rousing those who sleep, provided their lethargy proceeds from ignorance and not from malice. He also dropped some hints about the unseasonable stir made in France about the Huguenots. I replied that these negotiations with Spain discourage the King of France also from attending seriously to affairs either in Italy or elsewhere. In conclusion I told him of the opportunity he would have of acquainting my successor Soranzo with what was necessary, as I am expecting him every moment, the wind being fair for his passage.
Carleton's nephew (fn. 1) has arrived from Turin, to which Court he was sent to announce the conclusion of the peace with France. He was ten days on the road and reported orally that the affairs of Italy were adjusted, through the ratification of the treaty of Susa, received from Spain. The duke after the fulfilment of all the things already promised, would send an ambassador to demand the restitution of Susa. His Highness was not yet a Frenchman, but he had dismissed all the Spanish commanders. He exaggerated as usual the rigour of the Most Christian against the Huguenots. I have not been able to discover what else he brings, and when I was at Court to arrange about the ambassadors extraordinary, his despatch had not been read. I note, however, that Wake is active, which proclaims his passion, and that cannot fail to be mysterious.
The Council has sat several times lately to reduce the militia in Ireland, an evident sign that little or nothing is to be feared from the Spaniards. The viceroy has been confirmed for a year, owing to the king's displeasure with Danby for evading the embassy to France, and it may mean his ruin.
In reply to the ducal missives of the 18th and 25th May, about the reports in France of the ease with which the king could adjust matters with his subjects, they are in disaccord with the facts, and it is believed that as France is seriously engaged in those matters, the affairs of Italy will again come to a rupture, although apparently on the point of adjustment, if for no other reason, at least on account of the pass into Italy, which the French will not relinquish so readily, whether it is that of Susa or some other. The Spaniards who spent and did so much to close it, by the exchange of Saluzzo, will not permit it, if they are able. Besides this, the pertinacity not to say baseness with which the Spaniards ask peace of this Crown, shows that they do not entirely forget the affront received in Italy.
Such is the epitome of the opinions current among the best persons, and those who are the best intentioned. I informed the king of the promptitude with which your Excellencies complied with his wishes, by desiring offices to be performed in France immediately in favour of the ladies of Rohan, and other persons recommended by him. I made use of the advices to point out that as the affairs of Italy are certainly not tranquil, but on the contrary, very near a rupture, owing to the treacherous designs against the Duke of Mantua, England ought not to lose the opportunity afforded by that diversion, for the affairs of Germany, which are not only discouraged by these negotiations with Spain, but they also deter France from advancing in the good sentiments which she seems to entertain. Your Excellencies may imagine that Secretary Carleton, with whom I had this conversation, is not over pleased at seeing himself shut out from Rubens' present negotiation, at which he ought to have assisted by virtue of his office. But he is adroit and tells me that domestic affairs are in such disorder that they must be attended to first. He also disapproves of the movements against the Huguenots, especially as he was among the strongest supporters of the peace with France, and consequently feels more keenly the trick of affront to which England considers she has been subjected, by the constant persecutions they are now undergoing, with more rigour than ever.
I will try to keep the contractors for troops in hope and faithful, but now that the levies for the King of Sweden and the two Scottish regiments have crossed to Holland, they have carried off the flower of the soldiery and of the commanders, who moreover, were well paid. Your Serenity would therefore find it difficult at present to obtain such good veteran troops as are required.
London, the 15th June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.126. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to GIROLAMO SORANZO, and ZORZI ZORZI, his colleagues in France.
When the queen was prematurely delivered, one Oixi, (fn. 2) a dependant of Carleton, was sent to inform the queen mother, with orders to remain there and to watch, sending word about ambassadors and other affairs relating to the peace. On the 4th he sent an express with the news that M. de Preo had obtained the commission to come to England, as sole ambassador extraordinary. The Duke of Elboeuf had demanded 100,000 francs for the embassy, but on the arrival of M. di Pico, who was sent by the Most Christian, together with the fresh nomination of Edmondes, everything was satisfactorily adjusted. He had visited Preo, who was glad to come alone, and he would be at the coast by the 24th June. The Master of the Ceremonies had informed him that Edmondes would be met at Lusers, three leagues this side of Paris, by some official of the Crown with the royal coaches. He would be taken to the usual lodging of the ambassadors extraordinary. There he will be supplied with everything necessary, but raw, to allow him to please himself in the manner of eating. On the same evening he would be visited by some prince of the blood, and the queen mother had full powers to swear to the peace and receive the ratification. It is presumed that the ambassador will not go beyond Paris, but the ceremony will be performed on a holiday as arranged, after vespers in the church of Notre Dame, but considering that it contains the flags taken at the Isle of Rhe, they would select St. Germains or another church. All these arrangements were communicated to Oixi by the Master of the Ceremonies. He sent the news on, with that of the taking of Privas, where many of the inhabitants had been hanged, and of the advance of the king towards Nismes, pillaging Montauban and other places, which they do not at all approve.
In response they have decided here that Preo shall be met at Gravesend by the royal barges, and at the Tower by the royal coaches, with persons of title. He will be provided with a furnished house, but no food, in spite of the decree in force here for not lodging ambassadors extraordinary, as they will alter this on this one occasion. For the rest, the ceremony of taking the oath will be performed by the king in the hand of the French ambassador at the chapel royal. Thus they wish the English ambassador to receive the oath, not by proxy by the queen mother, but from the king himself, if he is in his own kingdom. I have had trouble on this point, for until it was settled they would not let their ambassador cross the channel; but I have always maintained that they might give the orders they thought best, that the proxy to the queen mother was perhaps intended to save the ambassador the trouble of so long a journey, and I assured them that on the 24th the ambassador will be at the coast and cross without further hindrances. At Paris he will visit the queens, but to receive the oath he will unquestionably go on to the king.
The reasons for this are first, repute as they think it necessary that the King of France should take the oath if England does so I feel sure that no trouble will be made about the proxy in France, provided there is no ulterior intention. As Edmondes by the treaty, has to discuss other public affairs, he will have to meet the cardinal, who is the fountain of all political business, while the stopping of an ambassador half way in a matter of this nature is very unpleasant.
They are even more concerned lest the stopping of the ambassador at Paris should be intended to prevent him from performing some good office in favour of the Huguenots. They suggested the idea of Oisi, a cruel religionist, so that I think it would be to the interest of the state for you to get some one in Paris to confute what this person writes.
I feel sure that they do not want the ambassador to stay in Paris, so that they may not have to respond by boarding the Frenchman here, owing to the scarcity of money, which has influenced this peace more that consideration for the honour of this kingdom or the lustre of so noteworthy an event.
For this reason, Carleton in commending the honours prepared for the ambassador told me in the king's name that everything would be reciprocated except food, which they did not consider necessary. They have written to Oixi to speak about it to the Master of the Ceremonies, and have asked me to do the same. You will see by the enclosed that I have complied. I have had great trouble to conceal the miseries of this kingdom, and the meanness of its rulers, if I may be allowed to say so (et mi sia lecita di dirc la bassezza d'animo di chi governa).
I send all this as a guide to your offices, and that you may arrange matters so that the English ambassador may not encounter difficulties on his journey, as that would certainly cause confusion. I see, by the matter of the oath that the English are ticklish on the part of repute, whilst they forget an essential point, greatly to the advantage of the Most Christian, namely, sending to ratify peace from under the walls of a Huguenot fortress for whom they say the war was waged. I think this more important than the flags in Notre Dame. However, I speak as little as possible of these matters because not only the ministers but the whole country are disquieted on account of the Huguenots and of the most ancient politcal principles of the country, so that I am compelled to parry rather than to thrust, perceiving the encounter to be too arduous. You would do well to do the same in France, for their service and the maintenance of the peace.
The Senate write to me that they have ordered offices in favour of the ladies of Rohan, Soubise and la Valle. I am waiting for some answer about them to show to the king that I punctually transmitted his demands. If these are conceded it will in part, if not entirely dissipate the present heat, and perhaps serve as an invitation to the other Huguenots to acknowledge the king as they ought.
Rubens has seen the king and presented credentials from the Catholic, clearly showing the earnestness of the Spaniards in this affair, as they forget their national stiffness. Commissioners have been appointed to hear him. They declare here that they will not proceed further without acquainting the friendly powers. I hear on good authority that just as Scaglia's first negotiations on this matter were directed by Cardinal Cueva, the present ones of Rubens are regulated by the Marquis Spinola. But as he has been ill-treated in Spain in his private interests, less reliance is placed in his authority than in that of the cardinal. It is quite true that while the cardinal is utterly opposed to the truce with the Netherlands, the marquis is very much in favour of it, and he is supported by the infanta. It remains to be seen what they will do. But for this war against the Huguenots I would venture to say that the French alone might break this web, which is being woven for the bondage of Europe. But owing to these movements and their duration, I believe he will have very little authority. Although dismissed by the king, Baroccio has not departed. I do not know if he is waiting for a present or for what may come of Rubens' negotiations.
I have received your letters of the 13th and 19th May.
London, the 13th June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.127. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to PAOLO CLAUDII, Major DOMO to the Venetian ambassador in France.
I have your letters of the 1st and 4th June, one brought by M. Chivet's servant, the other by the messenger of M. Oixi, who went to Paris with the news of the queen's premature delivery. He said he had seen the Master of the Ceremonies, who told him of the honours prepared for the English ambassador for his reception, entertainment and visits, and the ceremony of the oath will be performed in the church of St. Germain.
They will respond to these honours here, except about food, as they suppose that the Englishman will go on to the king for the oath, and merely pass through Paris. For the rest, he will be received housed and visited, and the usual ceremonies will be observed as regards the oath. Oixi's messenger has been despatched to-day with all these particulars. I inform you so that you may inform the secretary of the queen mother or M. de Chateauneuf, sending me word of what you chance to hear.
London, the 13th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
128. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I saw the French ambassador yesterday and communicated to him all the advices sent me by your Excellencies. He told me that the Spanish ambassador had called upon him recently and tried to maintain that the peace between the Most Christian and England was not yet thoroughly established, although it was being closely negotiated, just as one was with Spain. He wished in this way to convey that France was not so favourably situated as some go about representing. Bethune told me he had maintained the contrary by facts and arguments, for it was easier for the King of Great Britain to come to terms with the King of France than with Spain, where the difficulties in the way of an agreement were greater.
Rome, the 16th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
129. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After Vane's departure with the views of the States and the princes Palatine about their inclusion in the negotiations of Rubens they have learned from a person in his confidence that he will return soon to report what it may happen to suit his master to arrange with the Crown of Spain. He will then be in a position to obtain from the States that measure of connivance which they may recognise as most advantageous or least prejudicial to their interests as well as to procure a tacit consent from the Princes Palatine for the inclusion of their interests, as the opinion grows stronger that they must at last decide definitely to come to any terms, as they are tired of seeing the re-establishment of their fortunes postponed indefinitely while it is very difficult if not impossible for England, in the present state of her fortunes, to give them any help worth having. The Palatine left for the army two days ago, and the queen has withdrawn to Rhenes, the princess going to Bures, not far from her husband. I hear that the king has gone to consult the prince as to what he can do with the least detriment to his interests, his final decision being postponed until Vane comes with the wishes of the English king, who, through Anstruther, his ambassador at Hamburg has informed Denmark of the reasons which move him to treat with the Spaniards at the present time, and that he will be careful not to prejudice the interests of that sovereign.
We now hear that Denmark has refused to ratify the peace with the emperor. Encouraged by the successes of Colonel Morgan he has recently joined him with large forces and they have already captured various places in Holstein, causing Wallenstein to oppose them in person with the Count of Slich.
The Hague, the 18th June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Presumably his eldest nephew, Sir John Carleton, created a baronet in 1627, mentioned in April as being absent on the king's service. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 513.
2 Probably Réné Augier.