Venice
June 1629, 21-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1919

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100-117

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'Venice: June 1629, 21-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 100-117. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89254 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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Contents

June 1629

June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
130. To the Ambassadors CONTARINI and SORANZO in England, and GUSSONI at the Hague.
The troops under Merode in the Grisons keep increasing, and it is said that Wallenstein will be coming to Italy with a large army. They have occupied the pass of Regaz besides those of the Grisons, thus encroaching on the jurisdiction of the Swiss. These are much disturbed and very disposed to take strenuous measures. Anything that would facilitate this would be most profitable, especially from the King of Great Britain. You will try and secure this, pointing out the great benefits to be derived therefrom. The imperialists and Spaniards freely declare that they want not only the Monferrat and the Mantuan, but that the French ensigns shall be removed from Italy, then Susa shall be restored and that there shall be no opening into this province for any but themselves. Everything goes to show that the Most Christian will come here speedily, or at least send powerful forces to support the Duke of Mantua, that being the chief reason why his Majesty moved from Paris, and to preserve and increase the reputation of his arms. M. d'Avo asserts that this will happen, with persistence. We have again supplied the Duke of Mantua with money, and we are sending him a great quantity of munitions of war. We are raising levies and a large force will take the field under our general, to go wherever it is required. We could not possibly do more for the public cause.
We are making very strong representations to induce the Most Christian to give quiet to this subjects, and our ambassadors with his Majesty have orders to work hard for this result. We are hopeful because he seems well inclined and disposed to accept reasonable satisfaction. This will serve to check the bad impressions, spread abroad by ill regulated spirits with the worst intentions. We note that you, Contarini, have done this, to our entire satisfaction, and that you have also arranged about the sending of the ambassadors by both crowns.
We believe that you, Soranzo, will have arrived by this time to take up your new charge, in which we feel assured of excellent service such as you have already rendered at the Hague.
Ayes, 157.Noes, 1,Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
June 21.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
131. On Sunday last I, Antonio Padavino, went to the house of the Duchess of Rohan as commanded She was away on pleasure. On the 19th, one of her servants whom I had known in Paris came to tell me that she had returned as soon as she knew that a secretary had been to see her. I went at once and told her the deliberation of the Senate. That same evening she sent this paper to the Senate. Besides what she committed to writing, the duchess told me that Sig. Boccalini had frequently urged her to let your Excellencies know her opinions about the peace between England and France and to go to the Collegio. She had not done this but let Boccalini speak there, and she repeated several times that it touched your Excellencies to see if the affair concerned your interests. She added it was announced here that the duke had sustained a great defeat, and had fled to Nimes; but he had really captured three ensigns and some drums from Marshal d'Estrées. She expressed her great obligations to the republic, where she had found safety. She had been a prisoner three times in France and feared a fourth. She would not go to England, to avoid the accusation of mixing in the disturbances of the kingdom. The Duke of Rohan was acting as his conscience dictated. When he saw the importance to the republic of peace in France she was sure he would do what he could. She said it must not be known that Mons. di Belluson was negotiating in France at her suggestion, as that would render him suspect, but the ambassadors would find him very serviceable. She repeated that when she knew what was wanted of her she would do it, as she desired peace, so that she might return to her country. I confined myself to compliments.
Paper of the Duchess of Rohan.
With my imperfect command of Italian I may not have expressed myself well to the secretary, so I have written these few lines. In conversation with the Abbot Boccalini we spoke of the peace between France and England, made through the interposition of the republic. I said I thought it useless for Italy if those of the Religion were not included. I thought that if the republic continued her offices with my king, she might obtain a complete peace, which would leave him free to come to Italy. The abbot asked me if I should like any of the nobles to know these views. I said I should be very glad, as I had always desired peace in France, especially at the present time, in which I judged the republic had a considerable interest, and I knew the Duke of Rohan would co-operate the more readily as he had the honour to be born a Venetian noble, and had always been desirous of serving the republic. For my part, I would do all in my power, and to facilitate the matter there was a gentleman in France named the Sieur de Belluson, Baron of Compet, as the Ambassador Morosini could testify. I said all this to the secretary.
Venice, the 19th June, 1629.
Margaret de Bethune, Duchess of Rohan.
[Italian.]
June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
132. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The enclosed letters from France contain all the best of this week's news. They have left me little room to say more. These delays and alterations for every trifle do not please them here and they are very suspicious. Chateauneuf ought never to have failed to come to Calais on the day appointed by the king himself. He would have done better not to have said a word about the matter which caused him alarm, as every one passes strictures on these alterations. The ambassador who is to go has already begun his expenditure, and all are displeased. I perceive that regard for personal profit is the ruin of an honest man. He let his retinue understand that they were to be at Calais on a certain day As they do not supply him with food here he would prefer to stay as short a time as possible. This leads to pretexts, which however untenable are well understood by malignants, who would like to fish in troubled waters, especially through the Most Christian's hostilities against the Huguenots. I am sorry that there is no one in Paris, who, if warned by me could give due notice of what is to be done, especially as a bad odour comes from that quarter, owing to the advice of Cardinal Berul and others of that party.
Two posts ago I reported speaking to the king about the ships, and his Majesty promised to try and give me satisfaction. After that I had a conference with the commissioners, and told them of what the king had said. The Admiralty judge has now confiscated some few effects, about which indeed Nelli had no instructions and they belonged to Spaniards. Although the sum is not very great, the principal is the same, your Serenity's house is forced and your protection violated, while the guilty party is favoured. I scolded and stormed on this account. Tomorrow I am to meet the commissioners to make my complaints. I shall also see the king, unless they give me satisfaction, as his Majesty sent me word that he was not very well pleased with this proceeding, for which some remedy would be found. He sent for the judge, who told me that at the next sitting of the Court on Monday, the ships and all the goods belonging to your Serenity's subjects would be restored. But this by no means satisfies me, and I insist on maintaining the republic's rights, which are of much greater consequence than these cargoes. I shall wait to see what they decide, and if it is not satisfactory, your excellencies will consider the matter, since the offices performed fail to take effect, more particularly at a time when the greatest advantage might have been anticipated, independently of duty and equity. If a remedy is not applied I shall be not appeased, and I regret that the king should allow his subjects to embroil his promised word.
London, the 22nd June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.133. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to GIROLAMO SORANZO and ZORZI ZORZI, his colleagues in France.
On the day of my last despatch M. de Molins arrived from France, who was formerly secretary of the Count of Tillières in England, and subsequently agent here. He was sent by M. de Chateauneuf to hear about the preparations for the ambassador extraordinary, corresponding to the mision of Oger. He brought me a letter from M. de Chateauneuf, of which I send a copy with my reply. They ratified to Molins what had been already settled, and further, I obtained the sending of the king's ships to Calais on purpose to bring him across, if he cares to use them, and that he shall constantly have one of the king's coaches at his door to use as he likes. I made a fresh attempt to have him fed, and so follow the French example, on the score of repute and other reasons, but without success, as the present necessities do not permit it.
Yesterday morning Edmondes went to take leave of the king, having already received instructions and the ratification of the peace. He is to depart this morning, and has sent his baggage to Dover in advance. I impressed upon him the advantage of this union; but late yesterday evening M. de Pico came to me, being sent express by M. de Chateauneuf, with the enclosed letter, that he is staying in Paris from some trifling cause, based I believe on more hidden ends. I see that on account of the Huguenots they do not want the English ambassador there and that is why they sent the queen mother full powers to take the oath. Here, not without good reason, they want the matter to be equal in every particular, their disadvantage in the war being quite enough for them. As they cannot dispute this at Paris, they have devised this pretext. Nothing has ever been said upon the point here, and they can only insist on equality. Carleton has sworn to me that he gave no order to Oger to promote it, and he showed me the letters sent by Oger. The move came from Paris. Messer Paolo Claudii writes that consultations have taken place twice between the queen mother, Berul, Chateauneuf and others on this subject. If I was not compelled to make myself heard on this subject, to prevent this ambassador being at Dover first, I should not have referred to it. If Chateauneuf had come without raising the point, they might not have thought of it here. But it is difficult and unbecoming to declare that they will swear to the peace before the Most Christian does so. For this reason, I endeavour to show Chateauneuf in my reply that the business is not of such great consequence, the oath being a ceremony which does not prevent the progress of negotiations, and it is often delayed for months and years. Much less do I let it appear that I perceive their objects, the discussion of which might displease the queen mother. I fancy she is piqued at their not wishing to receive the oath from her. But it is not fitting any more than it would be for England to give similar powers to his wife. I have to take this course because I cannot send everything by letter, and I think your Excellencies have judged better than I suggested, by sending one of your secretaries to Paris, until the final conclusion of this affair. Until then I must remain in England, where I will advocate equality in every particular, so that no one will be able to complain. I know that their object is equality, and a discreet and well informed person in Paris would thwart every trick, especially as the English agent writes in one way and Chateauneuf in another, so that I have to use my wits to get at the truth.
I have told Pico and Molins as much as I thought advisable about this affair, which I do not think of sufficient importance to delay the ambassador's departure. If in Paris they expect to delay Edmondes' departure by these indirect and artificial means, I think they will find themselves mistaken, for so long as equality is preserved no one has reason to complain. But this looking for pretexts for delay, in one way and another, is not well received here, and those who eagerly desire the rupture of the peace make the most of it. I may add that by advices received through several channels the Ambassador Mirabel declares in Paris that although the peace is signed and published, it will not take effect. You must therefore be on your guard, as I shall be, and I think the best way to baffle Rubens would be through good offices on the part of France, while on the other hand, these trifles will make them lose vigour, and I can attribute it to nothing but misfortune.
I cannot say that Rubens has made much progress so far, because they insist first on hearing the opinions of the friendly powers, to whom no announcement has been made as yet. I fancy he proceeds very soberly about the Palatinate, and that the chief object of his mission was to break the peace with France, but he will not succeed unless France herself gives him the opportunity.
They believe here that the commissioners from Denmark have signed the peace, but that the king will not ratify it, as he has been misled by them. The terms are that he shall pay two millions to the imperial army, which the Hanse towns will lend, reimbursing themselves by the tolls of the Sound. He is to resign all claims to the bishoprics for his sons, and above all, renounce alliances with any one besides the emperor. The emperor restores all that he has occupied forthwith, notably the two cities of Rostock and Wismar, the possession of which gives the imperialists the command of the Baltic.
The five ships for the Elbe for the service of Denmark, have put to sea, if they will still be in time. (fn. 1) For the rest, all the affairs here consist in keeping the merchants well disposed to trade. This proceeds very slowly, and they are also seeking means to punish the members of parliament who are now in the Tower.
London, the 21st June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.134. Copy of Letter from M. DE CHATEAUNEUF to ALVISE CONTARINI.
Acknowledges his letter and asks for continuance of advice and help for M. de Molins, whom he is sending to England to prepare what is necessary, with orders to go to Dover on the 24th and send word of the arrival there of Mr. Edmondes. Is impatient to be at Calais and to see the ambassador to thank him for many acts of kindness.
London (sic) the 10th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.135. Copy of Letter from ALVISE CONTARINI to M. DE CHATEAUNEUF.
Molins has delivered his letter. Will try and prove his esteem in what Molins mentioned. In some matters complied with what was desired, in others there were some objections, which Molins will report. The king has ordered the release of certain French prisoners taken in Canada and elsewhere, although as the prisoners of private merchants ransom is claimed. His Majesty would like the same to be done for certain Englishmen who are prisoners in Britanny, and especially Sir [Thomas] Disciton, a Scot, who is prisoner in the Bastille. This will serve as a foundation for friendship and produce fruit for the benefit of both kingdoms as well as of Christendom. Mr. Edmondes will start on Thursday, so as to be at Dover on Sunday. Has certified that Chateauneuf will do the like, and rejoices that the time is approaching when he may get to know him personally.
London, the 18th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.136. Copy of Letter of M. DE CHATEAUNEUF to ALVISE CONTARINI.
Was ready to start for Calais when Oger showed him a letter from Carleton ordering him to declare that the King of Great Britain intends Mr. Edmondes to go straight to find the king, only stopping to salute the queens, although the queen has absolute power to take the oath. This plan was considered the more suitable in order to save the ambassador trouble, and relieve him of going to find the king in the Cevennes, where he is engaged in war, and at a distance from cities convienient for the proper performance of the ceremony, while similar ceremonies are usually performed at Paris. However, if such is the wish of the King of Great Britain, the queen agrees to Mr. Edmondes going on to the king, but as M. Oger gave it to be understood that a day was to be appointed for the oath to be taken by the two kings, represents the difficulty of arranging this with the king so far off, and Mr. Edmondes must be at least a month before reaching his Majesty, perhaps as some moment when he is occupied with a siege and far from any place adapted for the ceremony. It would be useless for Chateauneuf to remain idle in England in the interval. All these difficulties have induced the queen to despatch the present courier to England, and he asks the ambassador to ponder the matter as it deserves, reporting the decision of the King of Great Britain, so that he may arrange his movements, and he could arrive in England four days afterwards. Hopes to testify by his services his obligations to the ambassador.
Paris, the 19th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.137. Reply of ALVISE CONTARINI to M. DE CHATEAUNEUF.
Your Excellency's express found me yesterday at Greenwich, where the Court now is. I had gone to establish the things already arranged for your coming. I immediately informed his Majesty of the contents, to delay the departure of Edmondes, who had taken leave of the king and queen and set off this morning, so as to reach Dover to-morrow, having sent on his baggage and suite. The king sent me word that as the peace was agreed, signed and published, you could have your first audience when you pleased, and you might at once begin your negotiations, to which the king would readily listen, without their being in any way delayed by the ceremony of the oath. He thought that the ceremony should proceed in the same manner as the other public ones, in all of which care was had for both sides to combine for the same day. In the present instance the fixing of this will depend upon the Most Christian's convenience and the pleasure, as the ceremony does not hinder the progress of the rest. This reply removes the fear of your remaining idle, and as it is all one whether you negotiate before or after the oath, I send back the express without delay. With his consent and that of Molins I have also postponed the departure of Edmondes until Tuesday next, so that he may be at Dover on Thursday, the 28th, in the firm belief that you will be at Calais on the same day, where you will have the king's ships for your passage. At Gravesend and the Tower the royal barges and coaches will meet you, with a person of title, and every day there will be a royal coach at your disposal. In my last I mentioned some prisoners. I am waiting to serve you in person, as I feel sure that it will be less difficult to arrange matters on the spot, and after the ambassadors have crossed the sea, many persons who talk and invent things will hold their tongues.
London, the 22nd June, 1629.
[Italian; copy.]
June 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
138. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I called upon the Grand Vizier at Scutari to pay my respects. I commended to him our consul and merchants at Aleppo, reminding him of what our galeasses had done at Alexandretta, so that we deserved not only immunity from molestation, but favour and assistance. He said he felt bound to this, as oppression and injustice displeased him deeply, and he would apply the proper remedies everywhere.
Among those concerned in the plunder of Cosmo Orlandini's ship by an English vessel are some Janissaries who claim 700 to 800 ryals compensation. They appeared before the Vizier, who sent for the dragoman of the English ambassador to give them satisfaction. The dragoman replied that all the money was stamped and sealed; it would be sent here and the Janissaries would be paid in time. The Vizier seemed satisfied, but when the interested party claimed satisfaction before going to the war, he sent again for. the dragoman and said the ambassador must give satisfaction and he could recoup himself when the money arrived. He sent a chiaus ordering him to tell the ambassador that if he did not give satisfaction he swore by the king's life to cut off his head. It is clear that the Vizier has a poor opinion of the ambassador, while his desire to satisfy the Janissaries prevents him from always showing a proper respect for foreign ministers. The ambassador is trying to prove that the threat about his head was intended for the dragoman not for him.
The Vigne of Pera, the 23rd June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
139. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There has been talk at Court recently of a squadron of English ships casting anchor in some place of Portugal, landing a large force and sacking a place of considerable size. It has not been possible yet to learn all about it.
Madrid, the 23rd June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 23.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
140. This morning one of the household of the Duchess of Rohan sent for me, Marc Antonio Padavin, and told me that she had received letters from her husband of the 8th inst. advising her that the adjustment of the differences of the realm was making progress. There were difficulties about some fortresses, which he did not think considerable. The duchess would do what was committed to her to facilitate the affair, and if she was not wanted she would retire to Stra for the sake of her health. I immediately informed the Savii, who directed me to tell her that they felt sure she would use her efforts for the peace of France, while the republic would not fail to do what they had informed her. I did this at once.
[Italian.]
June 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
141. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have heard that the Huguenot Clousel has been at Turin these last days. I fancy he has had secret negotiations at Wake's country house (vigna) and then gone on to Don Gonzales. Some think he has gone to Madame de Rohan at Venice.
The English ambassador has never been to see me since the conclusion of peace. As I have no business I have not been to him either. It is true he keeps away from the city at the country house. I sometimes see his nephew and send the secretary to him. From what I hear the ambassador is expecting one of his gentlemen from England, and as soon as he arrives I think Wake will set out to the Most Christian. He is having his goods fetched from Venice by land, fearing that they will not arrive in time if they come by water. I learn that when I was told that Closel had been here, Wake came to Turin, negotiated with his Highness and sent me word that he had only come because the duke had sent for him. He says he frequently has news of Rohan, making much of his strength and of his determination to keep the king busy for a while.
Turin, the 24th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 24.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
142. The person sent before by the Duchess of Rohan came into the Collegio, and sending for me, Marc Antonio Padavin, handed me a letter written by her to her husband. She had gone to her villa and sent the letter for the criticism of the Collegio, and if they pleased, she would send it to the duke. He asked me if I had seen the account of the affair with the Marshal d'Estree. It was directed that the letter should be translated from the French.
Letter of the Duchess of Rohan to her husband.
Seeing that the state of affairs requires that the peace of France shall follow that with England, and that it may be of great service to the most serene republic, I have thought it my duty to inform you, knowing the regard you have always had for their interests here, increased by the honours I have received, so that it may serve to facilitate an accommodation, to which his Majesty may be disposed in the present state of affairs in Italy. Do not lose such a good opportunity, from which Christendom may receive such advantages. I think that the religion and you may find your advantage if the king is engaged in a foreign war, in which you may be employed, as you have always desired. I conjure you to consider this and how much honour you will gain. The Archduke Leopold has taken possession of the whole of the Valtelline in the emperor's name, and has sent 16,000 infantry into the Milanese, because they cannot support them in Germany. Troops arrive from Naples and Sicily every day on the way to Genoa. The Marquis Spinola is expected at Milan in a week to command the forces in Italy. He would not accept the commission until he had the money for his expenses. Don Gonzales is ready to go. The Spaniards have given up hope of relieving Bois-le-Duc, and are waiting for the winter rains, hoping that the provisions will last until then. The Prince of Orange fears this and wants to storm the place while the Spaniards are collecting all their power against Italy and to wipe out the shame of raising the siege of Casale. The English ambassador who was here has orders to go to France to complete the arrangements for peace. I think you will be advised of this by the letter of the King of Great Britain, from which you can judge of his sentiments towards the peace. May God touch the king's heart, so that our country may enjoy a long repose and the Church and you may find liberty and safety. May the Creator give you his holy spirit, to advise you what will be for his glory and have you in his keeping, so that I may see you soon, and our little daughter, who is very well. Thank God, my hope of seeing you soon enables me to leave to our meeting an account of the beauties of Venice, and of the honours I have received amid my trials and apprehensions, leading me once again to conjure you to concede something to the interests of this marvellous republic.
Venice, the 23rd June, 1629.
On the 14th May there was a great fight between the Duke of Rohan and the Marshal d'Estrees. As the latter has announced a victory the duke wishes to give his account. The marshal proposed to retire towards the Rhone. The Duke abandoned the siege of Sorcona and took 1,800 of his men, ordering the rest to join him at Covisson. The marshal left Somiera at the same time, with 5,000 foot and 600 horse, and skirmishes took place at the entry into Covisson. On the following morning the marshal sent to propose that the two armies should go out into the country, with banners flying and drums beating, and this was done. On the marshal's side two colonels, 40 officers and 500 men fell, while the duke lost the captain of his guard, 8 officers and 100 men in killed and wounded. He captured three flags a drum, two baggage waggons and some prisoners, and writes that if the rest of his men had joined him in time he would not have made this agreement. His letter is of 8th June and reports that the deputies have conferred about the peace.
[Italian.]
June 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
143. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States intended the first ship which arrived here, to secure my passage to England, although I had to contest the privilege with Wake's wife, who also claimed it for the same passage. My suit prevailed, but for the sake of her husband and because she is niece of the late Secretary of State, Conway, I offered to share the favour with her. She did not accept, as she claimed a ship for herself alone, and I understand that she obtained this subsequently from the Admiralty of Rotterdam. I am ready, my goods are on board. For an hour, the day before yesterday, the wind was favourable, but it changed suddenly, and I must delay my departure.
The Hague, the 25th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
144. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Colonel Crier has arrived at the siege of Bolduch with 200 English gentlemen, who have gone to serve as adventurers in the Dutch army under the special protection of the Prince of Orange.
The Hague, 26th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
145. To the Ambassadors CONTARINI and SORANZO in England, and GUSSONI at the Hague.
Merode still remains in the Grisons and daily increases his hold on the country. He has forestalled the arrival of Spinola at Milan and the coming of the bulk of the German forces for Italy, in order to open the gate, before the designs of the House of Austria were known, which might deprive him of the opportunity of effectually carrying out his orders. The delay looks bad, because everything is being arranged so that they may take up the war with greater vigour. They say that Wallenstein has offered to come to Italy if peace ensues with Denmark, and their promises to make him a sovereign prince appears to be the inducement. From Milan, in the meantime, they are supplying the imperial forces in the Grisons with money and good. They are causing great alarm to the Swiss by these measures, and we repeat that it will be useful to profit by this, in order to facilitate the passes leading to Como and the Valtelline, so that Don Gonzales may not neglect anything or the Viceroy of Naples, which may help them to hurt this province.
Our uneasiness in the direction of Trieste is increased by the gathering of troops at Goritz and Gradisca, and Lieutenant Chiesa is making various preparations there. Troops have also been introduced into Trieste. All this has induced us to select a Proveditore for Trieste and to give orders for the preservation of the peace. We have sent a quantity of grain to Lombardy, provided the towns and fortresses with money, secured the frontiers as far as possible and put a large flying force in the field, while we have provided the Duke of Mantua with provisions and money. We understand that the Most Christian is increasing his forces in Provence and at Susa and ordered Crichi to obtain a clear declaration from the Duke of Savoy, in order to know on which side his forces will be. His Highness said that if Casale was attacked he would side with the French, but if anything else was done he would take two days to declare his mind. Crichi constantly declares that if the imperialists descend upon Italy the Most Christian will come with 50,000 men. Thus the Austrians may not find it so easy to realise their plans. If the peace with Denmark, drafted by the commissioners at Lubeck, is not signed by that king, their forces would be diverted. Your offices may help to secure this result and you will try to engage the authority of the King of Great Britain, who has such a great part in this affair. You will also urge the Swedish ministers to do all in their power to prevent the peace, and you may not find it difficult, as they must see the danger of allowing the Austrians to keep their own forces in the Baltic.
You, Contarini, made a very prudent reply to the king about the Huguenots. It is really a matter of state owing to the assistance which Rohan receives from the Spaniards, and his agent at Milan is publicly soliciting the payment of the money which they are contributing to him. Yet the king seems most ready to receive his repentance, and commissioners are already devising the means, so we may hope for an end to their troubles, and our ambassadors will contribute their offices.
You also acted prudently about the ships. You will leave all the instructions to your successor Soranzo, so that he may uphold the interests of our merchants and our reputation. You will commend Carleton's proper ideas, expressing our appreciation of his disposition.
We will send your letters of credence for France to Cornaro at Turin, to be forwarded to you at once, to Paris, so that they may arrive there in time for you to use them.
You, Soranzo, must keep a close watch on Rubens, who has had such a friendly reception, in order to find out about his negotiations. This is most important and we know that you will show your usual ability and prudence.
Ayes, 107.Noes, 1.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives
146. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and said:
I have learned that peace between the emperor and the King of Denmark is considered here in Venice to be firmly established. As I have some advices upon this from my king's ambassador at Hamburg, I have thought fit to bring it to your Serenity. He then gave the news and left a paper in conformity.
In the absence of the doge, the senior councillor, Pasqual Cicogna, thanked him for this sign of confidence, after which the secretary departed.
Hamburg, the 23rd May, old style.
The Paper.
If the wars of Italy go forward, they will procure some good effect in these parts, and although articles may have been drawn up at Lubeck by the commissioners on both sides, yet they are not confirmed. Nevertheless they are striving hard to induce this king to sign, but do not credit any news soever about this until I send you word.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
147. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have sent all my information this week to their excellencies in France, of which I enclose a copy. Your Serenity will be able to decide what is necessary.
This week's ordinary from Italy has not yet arrived, and I did not have any despatch from the state late week.
London, the 29th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.148. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to GIROLAMO SORANZO and ZORZI ZORZI, his colleagues in France.
Mr. Edmondes left yesterday morning, in order to be at Dover this evening. This delay has been made for the greater convenience of M. de Chateauneuf. I hope that Edmondes will cross when he arrives at the coast, and not stand upon punctilio with the Frenchman as to who should move first. I have tried hard to suppress these and all other punctilios which often destroy what is more essential, and I think I have persuaded this minister who is well disposed. The evening before Edmondes left, his Majesty, as a mark of honour and confidence, sent for my perusal the ratification and power given to the ambassador to receive the Most Christian's oath. These papers are in Latin, except the articles, which are in French. He showed the honour due to the republic, though other princes have pretended to have had a share in this adjustment.
Everything is ready for Chateauneuf as arranged, and something has even been said about boarding him, in consequence of my remonstrance about honour to which I revert in conversation, but nothing is yet settled for certain. Sir Thomas Roe has been to take leave of me before his journey, but as there subsequently arrived the news of the peace, signed by the imperial and Danish commissioners, I do not know if his instructions will be altered. Their chief point was to second the admirable ideas of the King of Sweden against the emperor, announced by him openly at this Court through his ambassador Spens, and to unite with him in some good alliance, the whole of the north, namely, England, Denmark and the States for the defence of the Baltic, in which they all have a very great interest. They will have to decide something at the Hague now that Denmark seems to detach herself by the peace, and I do not know what they will do. This intelligence is much regretted but the English were perhaps the original cause because they never gave that king any help, and did not fulfil their obligations. Perhaps they repent of this neglect now it is too late, and they apologise on the plea of inability. They hope that the King of Denmark will not yet ratify, because the articles are reported variously, and it is hoped that a gentleman sent to the king with an autograph letter from his Majesty will have arrived opportunely, praying him to postpone any decision until Roe's arrival, to assure him of the five men-of-war which have already left for the Elbe, after taking Edmondes to Calais, and to promise him every possible assistance. Indeed any good office is well employed to avert this catastrophe, which cannot profit any of the powers interested in the cause, Italy least of all, nor has France any cause to congratulate herself on it.
Rubens proceeds slowly with his negotiations. He speaks soberly about the Palatinate, and says that while the Catholic would restore what he holds, he would not wish it to fall into the hands of the emperor or Bavaria. With this deceitful proposal he hopes to facilitate his negotiation; but I believe that the artifice betrays itself by this slackening, as I gathered from the following. Immediately after his arrival it was declared that Vane would return to the Netherlands forthwith to communicate Rubens' negotiations to the Princes Palatine and the States. But it is now said that Vane's mission may be delayed five or six weeks or perhaps more. I do not hear that any form of articles has yet been put on paper, or that they have sent any despatch to Spain or Brussels, a clear sign that nothing is matured.
Roe has spoken to his Majesty to obtain information from his own lips about the negotiations which are so much at variance with those that he has in hand, and to know how he is to reply and dissipate the bad odour which will have preceded him. He told me the king replied that he was to assure all his friends and confederates that his Majesty well knows the artifices of the Spaniards, he had his eye firmly fixed on them, he merely listened to what was proposed, and he gave his word that he would not reply or begin to treat without the previous participation and consent of his friends. I have learned on good authority that the king intends first of all to hear the French ambassador, and he will decide according to his proposal and the designs of the Most Christian. I support this, perhaps not in vain. I also hear that the king will remain united with the Dutch as much as he can, and his Majesty himself said that he would gladly witness and forward a universal peace for the whole of Christendom.
By putting these things together I suspect that to deceive him the Spaniards are having peace with the empire proposed to him, promises for the Palatinate, a truce for the States and so forth, to fill him with these specious offers and prevent reflection about what is more solid. I confirm what I wrote before, that the French alone could avert these disasters. I will speak as required to Chateauneuf, with all the spirit and assiduity in my power, as I consider the matter in hand of the utmost importance. But your Excellencies might do much more with those in authority, as it is the Huguenot war which will make the balance lean more to one side than to the other, and it cannot be said they are subjects and rebels. Other princes ought not to interfere with them, as these principles are imbibed by the English with their mother's milk and maintained for hundreds of years, and centuries would be required to destroy them. I believe that while the French are engaged at home they will never do anything for the cause, and although England has neither management nor forces, being distempered at home, to undertake such important affairs, yet for this very reason I fear she may precipitate herself into evil courses, and by her own loss inflict grevious harm on the other powers also.
When Rubens was asked what he thought about Italy, he replied that peace would ensue if the Most Christian withdrew his troops from Monferrat and restored Susa. He added that there is no other way to keep the Duke of Savoy staunch to the Catholic, at whose Court this was a general principle and the pith of what has been determined. But able politicians here believe, and with reason, that the curb of Susa keeps the duke obedient to France, and without it he would break his halter, and Italy must secure itself by Susa or some open pass. With regard to this, a servant of the duke, one Cisa, arrived here post yesterday from Turin. Some say he is to remain as agent in the place of Baroccio, others that he is to report the replies from Spain about Italy, others to have some proposal made by England to Chateauneuf about the restitution of Susa, which interests him more than anything else. But everything remains in doubt as he has not yet seen the king or any of the ministers.
Much is said here about a descent of the imperialists towards Switzerland, of the subjection of the Grisons under Leopold, of the imprisonment of the French ambassador at Coire and so forth.
Five hundred infantry in Guernsey, being no longer needed, owing to the peace with France, have volunteered for the siege of Borleduc, and two days ago the Dutch ambassador sent for the necessary orders if the States care to employ them.
About the seizure by the French of some ships since the peace, of which Carleton spoke to me and to Molin, besides what will be said to Chateauneuf on his arrival, your Excellencies might also give some notice, though this is an ordinary occurrence, as after a maritime war many become pirates in order not to lose the cost and toil they have incurred in fitting out privateers.
London, the 29th June, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered; copy.]
Enclosure.149. ALVISE CONTARINI to MONS. DE CHATEAUNEUF.
I sent off M. Picot to you at noon on Friday the 21st. He arrived at Dover in a storm, and as the wind was contrary, he had to remain there two days. He told me of this in two letters, and said that in consequence he did not see how you could be at the coast on the 28th. Thereupon I announced this to the Court and to Edmondes, with the request that he also should delay for a day or two, lest by reaching the coast long before you he should cause suspicion and confusion. Although quite ready he agrees to being at Dover on the 29th. I hope that you will be at Calais on the same day or soon after, and that neither of you will lay stress on trivial formalities, which do not proceed from ill will, but very often from accidental circumstances and are unworthy of consideration. On this matter and all else I refer myself to the statement of M. de Molin, who is on his way to meet you, and will take the coaches which are to serve for your journey. He will also communicate the news current here of the seizure of some ships by the French since the peace. The bearer, a member of my household, will tender my respects. I congratulate myself that your arrival will perfect the union and friendship between the two crowns, which are so closely united in blood and interest, a union that has been desired and advanced by the most serene republic to this point, no less for their own advantage than for that of all Christendom.
London, the 26th June, 1629.
[Italian; copy.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
150. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have toiled all the week over the ships. It has never been possible to get the matter settled by the king instead of the ordinary judge. I learn covertly from all the ministers that the king is extremely anxious to gratify the republic, but as his subjects appeal to the statutes of the realm founded on their privileges, in virtue of which they very often dare to oppose his Majesty himself, he could not prevent them, even if he wished. It would seem farcical to speak thus of the subjects of any other state. I consider it a weakness, but so great and so permissible are the quarrels between the king and his people, who censure his slightest act, and to terrify his ministers, that I do not know what to say. In the meantime all the offices of your Serenity, besides the letters of the Grand Duke, the Genoese and the Ragusans have obtained nothing more than could have been done by the captain of the ship alone, or any of his sailors who had come direct to demand justice. This rigour, when it cannot be modified by reasons of state and international friendship may be called injury rather than justice. To my repeated remonstrances the only answer has been that even if the king wished he cannot deny justice to those who ask it. In spite of this, his Majesty himself spoke to Digby and warned him to desist. But he threw himself at the king's feet, with his numerous partners, who share the cost and the plunder, and insists on the matter being left to the ordinary Court, so that no one can be wronged. As a fact Nelli and our subjects who are concerned have such strong proofs that they ought not to lose without manifest injustice; but Digby's extreme pertinacity, I had almost said in spite of the king, about going into a court of justice, makes me suspect that he has some secret stroke in hand, which renders him sure of a favourable or partial award.
The last confiscation of the goods which belonged to Spaniards deserves consideration because of the loss incurred by the insurers, and still more because the privileges of the republic were violated. I therefore let it be freely understood that your Serenity could not have our trade with any nation whatever interfered with by the English, and I felt sure the republic would take steps to indemnify themselves for so gross an attack on trade. Seeing that I was incensed, they told me that even if the goods were condemned, Nelli would have two months to prove the claims of the parties, and sentence about the ship and Venetian subjects would be passed immediately afterwards. I pretended to care nothing about this, saying that I took no account of these minor interests of private persons as compared with the important ones of the republic.
I refer to your Serenity's prudence if it is advisable to sound the Grand Duke and the Genoese about a general seizure of English goods, not for confiscation, but to show the feeling justly aroused by this affair. It offends all Italy, and if made into a precedent, would cause fresh and perhaps greater trouble both the English and with other nations, while the damage to the mart of Venice would be immense. I know that there would be no difficulty at Genoa, as the parties concerned are at the head of the government there. The Grand Duke is conducting a similar affair here about a ship taken by English corsairs, when going to Scios with his patent and flag. (fn. 2) They confiscated the cargo and he has failed to obtain restitution. He shows so much resentment about this that he might join the others in mutual action. At Leghorn there is English capital for over four millions of crowns, so that it would make a great stir and teach the English to respect other powers. But if the Grand Duke objects and your Excellencies were to make some seizure, it might cause the scanty remains of English trade at Venice to pass to Leghorn.
I have thought it my duty to present these views, which I have gathered from persons who understand trade well, without declaring myself. Meanwhile I shall assist Nelli in every possible way without assenting to the award, leaving your Excellencies free to take such steps as you think best. As I am constantly told that justice cannot be refused to those who ask it, and this business must pass through the ordinary channels, I have thought it right to give a full account of the whole.
London, the 29th June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
151. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Contrary winds delayed my predecessor Soranzo, but with signs of improvement, he proceeded to Rotterdam two days ago and at once embarked upon the man-of-war granted to him by the assembly.
The peace with Denmark, confirmed beyond question by the return of Colonel Morgan, causes these States more and more anxiety, because the emperor has his large army in the North set free.
The Hague, the last day of June, 1629.
[Italian.]
June 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
152. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Joachim's last letters from England report very active negotiations for an accommodation with the Spaniards and that Rubens, who has full powers, has frequent meetings with Carleton, the Treasurer and Secretary Conway, who are deputed to treat with him. In addition Rubens receives every mark of honour and esteem. Joachim adds that he has frequently remonstrated with the king about the prejudices of such transactions to the States, contrary to the terms of the alliance. As he obtained very general replies of little substance he expects to hear without notice of some settlement. The Spaniards have steadily aimed at uniting an accommodation with England with that of Denmark, and after the adjustment with England they may perhaps make a truce with the States.
The Hague, the last day of June, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The squadron, under Sir John Pennington, seems to have consisted of the Red Lion (flag), Adventure and three Lion's Whelps. It was very ill found and never went to the Elbe at all. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628, 9, pages 556, 572, 580. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. ii, page 15.
2 The ship of Cosmo Orlandini. See the preceeding volume of this Calendar, pages 280, 323, 346.