Venice
August 1629, 17-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1919

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158-174

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'Venice: August 1629, 17-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 158-174. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89258 Date accessed: 21 August 2014.


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August 1629

Aug. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
202. To the Ambassador SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
M. de Sabran has replied to the paper given him by Cæsar. He perceives that they are bent on war, and they pretended to want peace merely to gain time. In spite of this they have succeeded in cooling off Sabran. The Spanish ambassadors and Echembergh have employed the Capuchin Magno as intermediary for this. He made specious proposals to Sabran, but without authority and directly contrary to the refusal to send plenipotentiaries to Rome. A confident of his has let out the secret that it was merely to slacken the preparations of France and the allied princes while they hasten on their own. Sabran determined to leave and go to Italy. He reported his negotiations to the Most Christian. They sent the news of this to Spain the very day the reply was given. Wallenstein has orders to go to Italy with his army, being charged to attempt nothing against Magdeburg and to leave the empire alone. Spinola has left for Italy with a large sum in cash. The Duke of Lerma goes with him to command the cavalry, and the Abbot Scaglia, so that the Duke of Savoy may keep his promises to the Catholic. They are intriguing against the republic and we are very anxious about the sea. We have therefore decided to increase our forces considerably both by land and sea.
To England add:
We send you what we hear of Wake's negotiations so that you may discover the truth of the matter. We have just received your letters of the 20th and 27th ult. which give us entire satisfaction. We regret to hear what has happened about the goods plundered by Digby. We hope they will not allow such a monster to live. It was very prudent to try and prevent him having the free disposal of the goods adjudicated to him. We direct you to uphold the business as much as possible and to pass all the offices you consider advisable, remarking that we do not wish to be forced, by the constant instances of our merchants, to take any disagreeable measures, when we see that besides having ships destined for this city outraged and our patents violated, that we cannot obtain the restitution of goods wrongfully taken. Digby had no orders to hurt friendly powers, indeed it was expressly forbidden, and the period of his letters of marque had expired, so that his aggression was the more noteworthy.
We send you a copy of what we have from Spain about the English fleet.
Ayes, 112.Noes, 1.Neutral, 12.
[Italian.]
Aug. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
203. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Sunday, the 12th inst., I have audience of his Majesty at one of his country places thirty leagues from here. (fn. 1) When I arrived at the Court the Secretary Carleton came to meet me in the apartments prepared for my reception. He told me that my arrival had occasioned unusual curiosity because at the same moment a courier had arrived from the Ambassador Wake from Turin, and so the ministers thought that I was to pass some counter office to Wake's advices, of which I will speak in their place, or that I was going to approach his Majesty once more about the affair of the merchants. Upon the first point I showed that I knew nothing about the despacth. On the second Carleton expressly asked me if I intended to speak to his Majesty about it. I replied that I had come to Court for something else but I might seize the opportunity to renew my offices. He tried to persuade me not to say anything, telling me plainly that the office would not please the king, as he considered that he had done everything in his power in the matter, and he could not abrogate the laws of the realm. I considered this a most extraordinary proceeding to forestall the offices of ambassadors and prevent them from speaking on any subject that they please. However, without making any promise about keeping silence or speaking, I asked to be introduced to his Majesty. I concluded from this that the business was quite hopeless. I will write what I have to say about it at the end.
When I came into his Majesty's presence I told him everything contained in the public commissions, showing that your Serenity devoted ceaseless attention to the common cause. After the establishment of the peace between the two crowns you had thought of expedients to render it secure and durable. Among these you considered the most weighty was a reunion between the Most Christian and those of the religion. The republic had devoted its offices to this with such energy that the Most Christian had decided to give peace to his kingdom by the pardon of the Duke of Rohan and Soubise no doubt with especial regard to the satisfaction of England By M. della Saludie, sent on purpose to Venice, his Majesty had sent word about it, always affirming his devotion to the interests of Italy, for which he would have 50,000 men ready. With those differences settled and every shadow removed, they should be able to assure their friends of the fruit to be derived in the future from the good relations between the two crowns, because if the common enemy profited so much from their differences, they ought to see that their friends profited from their reconciliation. Your Serenity in particular hoped this and had instructed me to inform his Majesty of the actual state of affairs in Italy. I gave a precise account of this, and when I arrived at the point of the late violence shown to the Duke of Mayenne, his Majesty interrupted me impatiently, being unwilling to wait for the order of the narrative, but desiring a full and particular account. He really seemed to attach importance to the event.
I said that I should have had much to say about Germany if the many and important interests of his Majesty there did not to some extent absolve me, as I recognised that I ought not to advance arguments in a matter that touches his Majesty so nearly and the honour of this Crown. This made great impression on him, and he repeated it in his answer, declaring that his interests there could not be exaggerated. He kept his attention fixed there and was determined to do all in his power for the relief of his sister, as he was bound. I remarked that the opportunity was very favourable as an opening was afforded by the distraction of Cæsar's forces in Italy and the Netherlands, with every hope of success. I also urged his Majesty in your Serenity's name, as the French ambassador was here with full commissions and powers, to give the subject his earnest attention so that the treaty of peace may be fulfilled in this respect also, as he had let it be understood that he was anxious to agree with the Most Christian in bringing relief to the public cause. Here I dwelt upon what France has done up to the present, and to tickle his ears, I said that it was in the power of England to confirm the good resolutions of France, and practically force her to persist by a declaration to second her powerfully. The king replied that he recognised the need, and would do all in his power to fulfil his promises and justify the confidence of his friends, among whom he valued your Serenity most highly, as he always recognised the friendliness and disinterestedness of your office. This gave me the opportunity to say that the friendliness always shown by your Serenity deserved that greater consideration should be given to your suggestions than to those of others which might possibly be more specious but less sound. They should not be led astray by transparent devices. With his prudence and the good advice of his Council they should take the measures requrired by the time and the cause. He answered me in the terms given above, because in grave affairs the king is not accustomed to give conclusive answers, because he has no confidence in himself and seems born to be always dependent on the advice of one individual (non essendo solito il Re in negocii gravi far risposte concludenti, perche non si fida di se stesso e par nato col' obligo di dipender sempre dai consigli d'un particolare).
Knowing that I should get no more definite answer I went on to ask his Majesty to have the judge's paper consigned to me, as promised at my previous audience. He replied that if I would admit the laws of the realm, it should be done. I said I could not, because of my instructions, and he had made the promise freely without conditions. Seeing me so determined, he referred me to the Secretary of State, who brought the paper to me in the apartments of the Earl of Holland before I left the Court. I took the occasion of having these two leading ministers together to repeat in brief what I had said to his Majesty, knowing that the confidence would gratify them, and that the Earl of Holland in particular would approve of my offices as his private interests for his own advancement in favour have made him strongly opposed to those who advocate the negotiations with Spain. I spoke more resolutely, being absolved from the respect which it is customary to observe when speaking with the king, but Carleton made no reply. This astonished me especially as the nature of my office deserved acceptance and ripe consideration, or at least the admission that it was sincere. Accordingly when I was alone with the Earl of Holland later on I repeated it with more emphasis, and if I had more opportunities for carrying out the good ideas which we discussed together I believe I could effect a great deal at this Court. I suggested first of all the suspension of Cottington's mission to Spain, not only to prevent the suspicions of friends and to afford an opening to the proposals of the French ambassador, but because the reputation of the Crown is injured, if they send a qualified ambassador, when the others respond with a minister of inferior rank sent from Brussels and not from the Court of the Catholic.
The minister spoke to me very frankly. In the first place he told me that his Majesty had refused to receive Zappata. This gave me occasion to remark that that was the last thing to consider; it was much more important to reflect upon the mischief that would arise from Cottington's mission, which he also freely condemned. From this I perceived is desire to upset it, and this became even more clear when he himself told me that the Dutch ambassador was more interested than any one else and ought to speak freely to the king, because Sir [Henry] Ven, who is destined for the Netherlands, ostensibly to first confide the resolution which is already taken and to wait upon the decision of the States, will not have left before Cottington starts, and that was not a straightforward manner of dealing. I undertook to make the requisite observations to the Dutch ambassador, and I begged him to urge upon his Majesty that it was not to the general interest to allow the French ambassador to depart without giving him an opportunity to disclose his commissions, with which he would do nothing whatsoever unless the negotiations with Spain ceased; and with this ostensible reason every one was at the disadvantage of not really knowing what the intentions of France might be in this particular, and although the ambassador speaks quite frankly, nevertheless it would be advisable to be quite clear about his commissions. He replied that the ambassador ought to go on, because his proposals might force the king and Council to abandon their dealings with Spain. Here I quoted the ambassador, saying that the leading ministers here seem to have a great propensity for treating with the Catholic, and he would not make his proposals from fear lest they should serve to better the conditions made with Spain. I suggested that if his Majesty thought fit to suspend Cottington's mission, I would try to get the French ambassador to make his proposals. I begged him to make this suggestion, either as coming from himself or in my name. He seemed to fear that the matter had gone too far and that there was no hope of remedy. He did not refuse absolutely, but promised to use it when a good opportunity occurred.
I see that it will be necessary to follow the Court, as if I am far away I can neither know their plans nor encourage those of the right opinion, who sometimes need support, for representing things as suggested by others and not as their own proposals because they think they will do themselves less harm if they no not appear as the authors of these ideas which counter the aims of those who have most power with the king.
I left the Court with these rough drafts, and have seen the Dutch ambassador, with whom I performed the necessary office, so that he may remonstrate and not allow his masters to be so ill used. He assured me that he did not know what to do, because he had many times urged the despatch of Ven, and had always been assured, by the king also, that he will leave and will have time to send back the views of the States before Cottington starts. He remarked to me, as he had done before, that their decisions here must be considered as of no account until they are carried into effect. Nevertheless I am constantly hearing them speak of this expedition to Spain on the appointed day, the 10th prox., and there is no appearance of the Dutch one. I should state that the ambassador hopes to see the king some day soon because he has received instructions to represent the state of affairs as very perilous since the enemy crossed the Isel. They have made no slight progress, taking up positions giving them an advantage over the Dutch, who have lost 600 men and more than forty officers. The ambassador admitted this much and so the loss was probably greater. He will ask for pecuniary assistance, but it is a forlorn hope, and it will be something if Morgan's troops, recently sent with a few others from the Carnesei islands, are paid. The ambassador requests that Burlamachi may leave for this, because he is charged to make these payments. He would like to have 900,000 florins, which the States ought to receive from this Crown, their present need being very great.
The ambassador further told me that besides the extraordinary troops already levied for the siege, they are making another levy of 16,000, so that they are involved in very heavy expenditure, with a powerful enemy, and it may be feared that they will accept proposals for an accommodation if England prepares reasonable conditions. However, they seem determined, and the ambassador assures me that after many serious debates the States have written to the Prince of Orange to persist without fear in his undertaking as they will supply everything necessary. He hinted to me the need of his masters for assistance from your Serenity. I think I made the right answer telling him that the Imperialists had divided themselves in order to keep both the republic and the States fully occupied, and everyone had to think of himself. I tried to learn in what sense the States will express themselves about the proposals of Ven. He told me that they would give the same answer as before, namely to exhort the king not to be credulous and to break loose from the treaties. For their own part they had practically decided to treat separately in any event. I know that they had practically decided upon this in my time.
I have not seen the French ambassador since my audience, although I have tried to, as he has been in attendance on the queen, who has been staying on in London. But I know that I shall do little with him, as he persists most obstinately in his decision not to open negotiations, and they will not press him here. Thus he recently assured me that he proposed to treat verbally but not in writing, and had received no reply to this. He fully recognises the weakness of this government, and but for the ostensible pretext of the negotiations with Spain I do not think he would mind much about proceeding further, in the absence of the chief grounds for expecting any good.
They announce at Court that the courier sent by Wake brought private affairs of the ambassador. I have discovered in another way, however, that he brought incitement to make peace with Spain, as in the event of it being arranged, the Duke of Savoy wants some of the credit. On this side the affair seems to move with great strides, but I do not believe that the Spaniards ever mean to conclude, because they cannot accept any accommodation here without the restitution of the Palatinate, and it is unlikely that Spain will agree to this surrender by way of negotiation, as they know full well that England cannot do anything against them by force. The king here freely says that he will not listen to any proposals without that restitution, although when he admits the Spanish ambassador he will be compelled to make a suspension of arms, or a truce, because the nature of that affair cannot allow them to pass from war to peace without the usual gradations. When this is pointed out to the king he always says that he will not do it, and he recently declared to the French ambassador that he had decided to send Cottington to Spain in order to ascertain clearly the intentions of the Spaniards, who offer to give him satisfaction. He assured us again that if, after a month, Cottington had made no progress, or if he had not found that the Spaniards meant what they said, he would return, and the mask would be raised more than ever, and they would never believe them again. The ambassador replied that if his Majesty could obtain by negotiation what he had not been able to get by war, it was an excellent notion to develop, but added that the issue was beyond doubt.
Since the arrival of the courier from Turin it is announced that risings are reported in France owing to the last gabelle on salt, and that the rebels have killed many of the king's officials. Thus the Dutch ambassador remarked to me that France was always suffering from some kind of internal division. I considered important another item of news that he told me he had heard from Angarach, that the understanding between Cœsar, the Catholic and France for a war of religion seemed to continue. I try to disabuse them of this idea as at this Court they are only too inclined to believe that France leans to such an enterprise. Perhaps this is one of the chief reasons which prevents a closer union between these two crowns.
I have just received the ducal missives of the 26th ult., to which this may serve as a reply. I will try to get the information about the news that Rubens has brought 200,000 florins here to facilitate his dealings. But these do not seem of such a nature that the Spaniards would need to buy an opening, especially as England seems to have such a propensity for their ideas.
So far I have not heard anything said about the Scanderoon incident. I do not think the action can be upheld, and so they are silent. I enclose the paper received from the king about the ships. You will see the weakness of the arguments, but I can do nothing, because in the absence of argument they turn to authority and force. I impatiently await your opinions about the confiscation, so that I may be able to do something for the relief of those concerned.
London, the 17th August, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.204. Fundamenta seu rationes praecipua Judiciorum seu sententiarum pro et contra Dom. Kenelmum Digbie latarum (fn. 2) :
(1) Bona ad Barth. Spinolam pert. Dno. K. Digbie praeda ligitima adjudicata sunt, quoniam:
(a) In omnibus syngraphis seu schedulis operationum nuncupatus erat Barth. Spinola de Madrid.
(b) Probatum est per exhibita data et producta ex parte Spinola et per testes judicialiter et legitime examinatos quod dictus Bart. Spinola eo ipso tempore quo bona ipsius capta erant habitasse et familiam habuisse Madridae et multos ante annos habuisse.
(c) Asseritur per testes omni exceptione majores quod dictus Spinola dicto tempore durante libertatibus et immunitatibus Hispaniensis Vicini fruebatur quodque omnibus ibi censibus tributis et vectigalibus pendendis fuerit obnoxius instar vicini Hisp.
(d) Praeterea probatum est quod specialis sit officiarius et magnae fiducia in Regis Hisp. curia et miles ord. S. Jacobi.
(e) Postremo probatum est quod quoniam Hispaniae Rex est Genuae protector et respectu usus cui Genuenses illi sunt, vix ulla sit inter Genuenses in Hispania habitantes et ipsos indigenas differentia: cum in aliis peregrinis aliter se res habeat.
(2) Tria dolia cochenealli abjudicata sunt a Dno. K. Digbie et decreta in usum Bern. Benzii Veneti restituenda vi tantum quarundam attestationum, non obstantibus variis exceptionibus contra ipsos attestationes captis, et quamvis ex schedula onera originali, reperta in navi nuncupata le Jonas cum capt. fuit, appareat dicta tria dolia Carthaginae onerata fuerunt in rationes Jacobi et Petri Maria Ayroli de Sivilia; confirmata est per attest. exhibitam contra Dom. K. Digbie istos Ayrolas esse de Sivilia nativitate Genuenses.
(3) Bona ad Joh. Batt. Preve pert. adjudicata Dom. K. Digbie quoniam per instrumenta in nave reperta et per testium depositiones probatum est Joh. Batt. Granadae vizinum esse et libertatibus et immunitatibus subditorum et vizinorum Hispaniae frui et istic omnibus censibus et tributis ut subditum Hisp. obnoxium fuisse; et similiter ejus longa in Hisp. habitatio, ut in causa Spinolae vizinus est naturalizatus Hisp. subditus.
(4, 5) Bona ad August. Panese pariter Dom. R. Digbie adjudicata sunt quoniam probatus est Carthaginae vizinus esse, ibique maritus et habitans.
(6) Bona ad Pantaleonem Lardonem et soc. Genuensem pert. in nave Jonas capta eis restituta sunt, quia nulla pro Dom. K. Digbie facta est probatio.
(7, 8) 266 sportarum barigliae dimidium unum Dom. K. Digbie adjudicatum est tanquam bona Alex. Chaparae, subditi et vezini Carthaginensio. Alterum dimidium restitutum est in usum Bern. Benzii, virtute attestationum ut ante.
(9) 90 ampli sacci lanae et 270 sportae barigliae Ant. Ramiro Veneto, vi attestationum restituta sunt.
(10) 24 sacci ad Joh. Nunez. Saravia Madridensem pertinentia Dno. K. Digbie adjudicata sunt.
(11) 150 sportae barigliae restitutae sunt Petro et Aug. Durazzi Genuen. per attestationes.
(12) 45 sacci adjudicata sunt a Dno. K. Digbie et decreti restituendi petitoribus Genuen. quamvis Dom. K. Digbie probaverat per schedulam onerationis in nave inventam et alia scripta agnita et exhibita a parte adversa dictos saccos lanae apud Allecantum pro Joh. Maria et Octavia Maria Cavana Madridensibus et conceditur dictos Cavanas nativitate Genuen. esse, sed vivere Madridae et apertas domos ibi habere et negotiari.
(13) 37 lanae sacci decreti sunt restituendi Ludovico Mendez Veneto super attest. solum Venetiis ut dictum est, factis, quamvis Dom. K. Digbie per schedulam onerationis et literas advizationis in nave inventas probaverat dictos saccas Allecanti per ordinationem et pro rationibus et usu Barthazaris Arriquez Madridensis oneratos fuisse.
(14) Alia bona capta in S. Michaele dicto Pant. Lardone et soc. (de que no. 6 mentio facta est) restituta sunt, quoniam pro Dom. Digbie nulla facta est probatio.
(15) Bona ad Bapt. Zarettam et Ant. Talliacarine pert. adjudicata sunt Dom. Digbie quia apparet per literas in nave inventas eos esse vezinos Genuen. idque per testes verificatum est, cum aliis qualitatibus ad eos Hispaniae subditos faciendos.
(16, 17) 69 sportarum Barigliae dimidium unum Dno. Digbie adjudicatus est tanquam bona Alex. Chaparae Carthaginensi, vezini dimid. alterum Benzio restitutum est, ut supra.
(18) 3 doliola cochenealli a Dom. Digbie abjudicata sunt quia decretum est ut restituerentur Pompeio Messae et aliis Genuen. super attestationibus, non obstante probatione facta per Dom. Digbie, ut supra, quod ea ad Ayrolos pertinerent.
(19) Duae diversae particulae barigliae decretas sunt restituendae Cosmo dil Hoste, Jeronimo Flangini Venetis et aliis, virtute attestationum.
(21) Bona ad Jacomo Cravario piet. Dom. Digbie adjudicata sunt; propterea quod dictus Cravario probatus sit vezinus et Rigidorus Carthaginensis.
(22) Lanae sacci 32 (fn. 3) decreti sunt reddendi Ant. et Simoni Mendez d'Almegda, Venetis super attest., licet per literas consilii et onerationis schedulam in nave inventam, Francisci Mendez Gomez Madridensis magis interesse videtur.
Post etiam in memoriam revocari quod ad dictas restitutiones impediendas Dom. Kenelmus allegavit regis Majestatis edictum quo naves quae bona vetita in Hisp. Regis dominia invehunt et quae ea ibi vendiderint et disposuerint, in reditu capiendae sunt praeda fiunt cum omnibus bonis. Et sua opinione et consilii sui opinione probavit multos qui restitutionem petiverunt intra ambitum ejus edicti fuisse; quod quantum vel illi profuturum vel illis obfuturum fuerit (si appellatum fuerit) eventus palam faciet.
Aug. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
205. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king has come to Paris to-day to give his first public audience to the English ambassador extraordinary. The Duke of Angoulême brought him to his Majesty. The ratification of the peace is fixed for the 10th September, and the ceremony is to take place in the church of the fathers of St. Bernard in this city, where they previously celebrated the peace with Spain.
When I was travelling through Picardy a courier passed on his way to Spain from England, I think, to arrange about sending ambassadors.
Paris, the 17th August, 1629.
[Italian.]
Aug. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
206. SEBASTIANO VENIERO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The imperial ambassador, who meant to leave some days ago, has only just departed. When he came, France and I sent to meet him, but England and Flanders did not. When he left I learned with astonishment that although he had not sent to pay any compliments to the French ambassador he had sent his secretary to Flanders and England to do so. The office was unexpected to them and hardly proper. England in particular thought they had taken too much wine, and asked several times whom they wanted, before opening the door. They answered, "The English ambassador," and were then admitted. The offices were performed on both sides by secretaries, though they make game of such compliments.
The Vigne of Pera, the 18th August, 1629.
[Italian.]
Aug. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
207. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The enemy is ravaging the country fearfully. The imperial troops and Croat cavalry are cruel to excess. The cry of the wretched peasants is heard everywhere. The government resists with fortitude, increasing their forces at the necessary points. At Utrecht they have placed 6,000 foot. At Hainem, a position of great importance in the same plain, they have introduced Colonel Morgan with 2,000 English; at Vich, another important place 1,500 Scots, and 9,000 to 10,000 foot are divided among various entrenchments, which they are busy building along the banks of the Utrecht district.
The Hague, the 20th August, 1629.
[Italian.]
Aug. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
208. To the Ambassador SORANZO in England and the like to the Ambassador GUSSONI at the Hague.
M. de Sabran has left Vienna, considering further replies unnecessary, and that if he stayed longer he would compromise his king's reputation. He said he attached no credit to Father Magno's proposals and represented the true state of affairs to France. He travelled with great speed, passing through this city, leaving the report that there will certainly be war in this province. He travelled to Genoa, where he said he had serious business, going by Mantua to confer with the duke. They would not have let him leave Vienna in this way if they had meant to treat honourably. They mean war and are believed to be ready for it. The Grisons have been occupied easily and they try not to let the people feel the yoke. The troops for Italy are advancing. They do not mind any disturbances at Magdeburg, content to profit by the good fortune that has relieved them from past dangers. Spinola left Spain on the 28th ult. He may be in the State of Milan by now. He is well supplied with money. Good captains go with him, and they say Scaglia also crossed the sea with him. Don Gonzales seems content at being relieved of the burden he could no longer bear, though he is sorry to leave before he can re-establish his reputation. The renown of his successor may add to his chagrin, from the fear that his enterprises may prove more successful. Danger increases with Spinola's approach. All decisions are postponed until his arrival. He holds the Catholic's intentions in his breast; decisions are left to him, he has his Majesty's purse and can use it as he pleases. The Duke of Mantua does not lose heart and is fortifying his country with our contributions. He is ordering levies; we shall supply the necessary money, we are also arranging for more troops. We hope the Most Christian will take the steps required by the situation and his greatness. We send you this for information so that you may maintain our service with the accuracy and diligence you have shown hitherto.
To England alone add:
The affair of our merchants touches us deeply. They apply to us for the recovery of their goods. The request is reasonable because they are interested besides for the safety of large sums. We therefore repeat that you will have that matter at heart, because it is very important and of great consequence.
Ayes, 86.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
209. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king and ministers are far away from here, so there is no opportunity for getting trustworthy information about their plans, which is so important just now, especially as we learn that an express from Spain brings word that they obtained here the withdrawal of Zappata, and the substitution in his place of Don Carlo Colonna, the leading minister with the infanta. The Spaniards do not spare inducements, and they readily conceded this apparent satisfaction to England. I attach great importance to the coming of this minister, as besides his attitude he is a great friend of the Treasurer here. Thus as I wrote, some assert that they have sketched out between them this hurt to the public cause, so that, with the good understanding they will have together, they will hide the truth from the king, and keep up his hopes. I gather that so far these have been increased by those who favour the Spanish party.
With nothing beyond the show of the mission of such a leading minister the king himself informed the French ambassador of his nomination and despatch, four days ago, when he was at a pleasure resort (fn. 4) with the queen. The ambassador said that under this great show the Spaniards wished to hide their greater artifices. The king said he knew it but he could not refuse to hear those who came with proposals for an accommodation. The ambassador replied that he would say nothing against their listening, but for that it sufficed to let the Spanish ambassador come here and not to send another to Spain. The king answered that he responded out of good faith, and renewed his assurances that if in a month he found that the Spaniards did not really mean to give up the Palatinate, he would cut short all negotiations. He said he had entered upon them to discover the intentions of the Catholic, and if their deeds will match their words. He hoped to be highly praised, because he will make much more progress by negotiation than has hitherto been made by the war, though he is resolved to wage that if the negotiations fail. Meanwhile it will be in the power of France to prepare the way for it. The ambassador replied that he was ready whenever his Majesty pleased, and he was there for the purpose. The king then told him that he was not ready and they must give him time. Meanwhile it was necessary to think of supporting the States. He dilated upon this to the astonishment of the ambassador, who could not refrain from saying that his Majesty urged others to do what he did not do himself, as these Spanish negotiations will certainly cause the States to lose heart. He spoke to the same effect to the ministers and notably to the Earl of Carlisle, who recently intimated to him that the king did not wish him to leave here. But he persists in his decision to leave at once after the peace is sworn, although Carlisle has practically let it be understood that the king will beg him to remain and that they will inform him of all the negotiations.
The ambassador argues in other wise, saying that if they do not send an ambassador from here to Spain and only receive the one from thence, he will be ready to stay, because he could not be sure of the negotiations which must of necessity all take place at this Court; but while Cottington is in Spain everything will be arranged between him and Olivares, while Don Carlos will make his negotiations here a cloak. He further considers that it would not be for the honour of France that a disadvantageous peace should be concluded under the nose of her ambassador, as would be the case. The ambassador told me all about it, making the most of the weakness of this government and the faint hopes of obtaining any decisions useful for the public cause from this realm at present. Although I know that this is only too true, I tried to mollify him and especially endeavoured to persuade him to remain here, because as they announce that they mean to impart all the negotiations to him one may conclude that they have no evil intentions, and even if they wish to rush to destruction he could dissuade them and support them with his address and ability, with which he has already obtained great credit. As a matter of fact I know that in this perilous state of affairs the help of a French ambassador would be most useful, as it would serve to get at the bottom of things if for nothing else, as he always has intimacy in the king's household through the queen, through whom he can always know everything. Although she is a very young princess, and therefore disinclined for business, yet with an adroit ambassador to suggest to her the way to insinuate herself and find things out, there is no doubt but that she will always be ready to meddle in affairs for the sake of her reputation if for nothing else. But I have no hope of his staying. He, assures me, however, that the ordinary ambassador, the Marquis di Fontane, will be here very soon. He has already sent some one on purpose to find a house. I fancy he is a man of the sword, who has not been in similar employments before. As he is to arrive here in such difficult circumstances it may be that he fears the test.
He repeated his usual notions about Italian affairs, that the Imperialists will attempt nothing, and for this winter things will remain as they are at present. I pointed out the burden of the expense and the advantage to the Spaniards in causing the expenditure through jealousy. He replied that they also are spending a great deal, and it is not advisable to precipitate matters. From this, one may conclude that the French have not thoroughly decided to commit themselves further for the moment, and they wish to profit by the time, in the hope, possibly, of arranging the differences here. God grant it, and that past events may not be repeated, of which it would be better to lose the memory.
The ambassador of the States had his audience of the king at which he set forth the state of affairs of Holland. He pressed hard for pecuniary aid and permission to make a levy of 500 men as drafts for the last troops which went with Morgan. The ambassador told me that the king showed an excellent disposition towards the interests of his masters. He forthwith granted the levy, for which they are now beating the drum, and it will soon be ready. With respect to money, which is of more importance, the king made excuses, and the matter being referred to the Council, the ambassador was told that it was impossible to raise money here for the present. I saw him again yesterday, and he told me that he wanted a fresh audience upon the latest advices of the advance of the Imperialists and the capture of Amesfort. In my presence he made very strong representations to the Treasurer who told him he knew full well that the king could not do more than he is doing at present. He consoled him with the news of the taking of Wesel, of which there is much talk here, though it is not fully authenticated. The French ambassador was also at this gathering.
I was sorry to hear the Treasurer deluding him saying that these negotiations with Spain would not last, and stating openly that since the matter had gone so far it did not signify if they went on to the end, in order to discover the true intentions of the Spaniards, especially as the advanced season does not permit hopes of great progress this year. I would not let this pass without remark, rejecting the idea that they would come to any conclusion, and saying it was superfluous to examine their intentions, as they were known to be always most prejudicial to the public service, and were aimed at the predominance of Europe. The treasurer kept repeating to me that Cottington would not stop more than a month in Spain, or two at most. I noted this as the first sign of the licence they mean to take to spin out the affair.
It may be that this new appointment of Don Carlos has made them postpone Cottington's mission for some days, and meanwhile Ven might go to Holland to negotiate with the States; but I fear that the resolute answers which are necessary will not be forthcoming from there, firstly because the ambassador recognises that they will on no account abandon the negotiations and he will have informed his masters thereof, and then because the States are hard pressed in so many directions they would rather seek an opportunity for accommodation than persist in hostilities. I have written about all this to Gussoni. The Earl of Carlisle recently told the French ambassador that the king had decided to show Cottington's commissions to the Dutch ambassador, but I know this has not been done yet. If they do it, it will be in order to bind the States more firmly not to disapprove of the treaties. The ambassador foresees that the Treasurer wishes to bring the king to renew one of the old treaties with Spain, leaving the Palatinate affair undecided. This might be the least harmful, because if England does not accept any conditions at present, her claims will always remain in force and may be renewed at any time. One must believe that the Council of the king here will change in the end, as it is impossible to persist in its course, which reduces them to expedients and to necessity everywhere.
I have this day received the ducal missives of the 12th inst. which I will use as your Excellencies command.
In order to undeceive Sig. Castelnuovo of the idea that the Spaniards and Imperialists do not intend to prosecute their known designs with vigour, I shall act with industry, because I know that he stands high in affairs in France, so that on his return home he may not cool off good resolutions which may be taken by the king there. To judge by present appearances, it will be necessary to forestall these, in order to get them done. Your Excellencies recognise full well the need for using every stimulus to get the French to co-operate as willingly as is requisite. However, from very confidential conversations with Castelnuovo I learn that they know the aims and objects of the Duke of Savoy, and are confirmed in the judgment upon which your Excellencies advised me. Accordingly, on that head, I believe the cardinal will be strongly disposed not to leave the work imperfect, as I have heard the opinion of a person of consideration that Richelieu had persuaded the king to the descent into Italy more from his private desire to mortify Savoy than for any other important reasons, for which he might not have gone so far, when dealing with the great interests of the Spaniards. That prince has his feet in several places, so that ground may not fail him. He has excellent relations with the king here, and his Majesty recently performed a strong office with the French ambassador so that Susa might be restored to him, affirming that the duke would always concede that pass to the Most Christian. The ambassador assured him that the Most Christian held that place for the service of the duke himself and it will be restored to him when the affairs of Italy are safely accommodated. For the present it would not be advisable for France to close that pass and to have to regain it by force. From this it is clear that the duke is suspect in France, and I am sure that this office of the King of England will not have helped him much.
London, the 24th August, 1629.
Postscript.—When I was about to seal this the Dutch ambassador sent his secretary to inform me that Wesel has certainly been taken. I expressed a suitable satisfaction, and indeed the success is very considerable in the present state of affairs there. This will necessarily involve the fall of Bolduch, as the force of Count Henry di Bergh had collected in Wesel all their provisions, both in food and materials of war.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
210. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The packet consigned to the young Frenchman was from England and not from Flanders, and I am informed that it came from Rubens. By offering the restitution of the Palatinate and making more liberal declarations than at first he has induced the English to open negotiations, and they will send Cottington here as ambassador for this. The Spaniards need all they can get to make themselves safe, and they snatch at every proposal and offer in order to resist France.
Madrid, the 24th August, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
211. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Abbot Scaglia has gone to confer with the Marquis Spinola; it is supposed in order to arrange a conference with his Highness, to take place between Asti and Alessandria. I have heard something about Wake going to this conference with his Highness; and he told me that he had orders to see Spinola and to treat about the peace between his king and Spain, but I am not sure whether he will go with the duke himself. This minister's sole maxim is that they must make France uneasy and this may be more useful than a good and sincere union. He believes that those who gave the French entire satisfaction will not obtain their esteem and he manoeuvres so as to make himself necessary to them. Wake exaggerates just as he did when the English were at war with the French. He says that if the French will not break with the Spaniards, it is only right that every one should come to terms and think of his own affairs. He foretells that the emperor's arms will serve their purpose, the French will withdraw and a peace discreditable for France will ensue.
Turin, the 25th August, 1629.
[Italian.]
Aug. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
212. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I saw the King of Bohemia during the short time that he stayed here before returning to the camp.He spoke of Denmark, and while recognising the advantage to himself and all the oppressed princes of Germany of upsetting that peace, he admitted that the arm of the English was very feeble for the support of those princes and France had never done any good. The mention of England enabled me to persuade him to oppose any evil offices brought by Vane. He promised not to fail to do his part, though he said he was unlucky in his undertakings. He said he knew the prince and the States were determined not to listen to any proposals that Vane might bring before the fall of Bolduch.
The Hague, the 27th August, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
213. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador demonstrates and enlarges upon the intention of his king to direct his attention to the peace with the Spaniards; but he has remarked and let the French here know that if the Most Christian breaks with the Spaniards they certainly will not make this peace. Some one has said that the Most Christian means to send 10,000 foot to the Palatinate.
Turin, the 28th August, 1629.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
214. To the Ambassadors SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
Spinola landed at Genoa where he received every honour. He left for Milan after inspecting the plans for their fortifications. He sent out orders for corn and despatched Panigarola to Germany with unknown commissions. Don Gonzales has left Milan and is to confer with Spinola at Tortona, or Alessandria. The behaviour of the people showed they did not like his rule. Spinola brings a very large quantity of powder and 700 boxes of ryals. At Genoa he advised a further provision of money. Scaglia went to Turin and says the duke will get all he wants from Spain. The Catholic sent twelve fine horses to his Highness. Merode has gone to Milan to arrange movements. The Imperialists are marching although Ossa would like more time to hasten the provisions. Collalto is to confer with Wallenstein about the conduct of the war. Magdeburg is to contribute 200,000 thalers and have an imperial garrison. The breach will approach as the season advances. Spinola said frequently that he would not start until he was well provided with money and everything was ready. We hear from several quarters that they mean to attack our state, and to provide a pretext they propose to issue the imperial ban against the Duke of Mantua, feeling sure that we should not abandon him, declaring all those who help him to be Cæsar's enemies. We shall make provision against every event.
If the King of Sweden carries out his generous intentions it will greatly assist the cause. The opportunity is favourable, because the emperor is engaged in so many directions. You will point out the present state of affairs to his ministers, with the requisite considerations and try to encourage them to take up these enterprises.
We hear that many ships have appeared off the coast of Portugal, and they are very uneasy. We should like to know if they are public or private, what are their numbers, if they have letters of marque and any further particulars you may hear.
To England alone:
Your close attention to the negotiations with the Spaniards is very useful. You will point out the harmfulness of the mere rumour of negotiations, the danger of the States hurrying into a truce, and how England would consummate the Palatine's ruin, in short the infinite and ineradicable evils that would follow, as well as the loss of reputation, while the present state of affairs and the strong diversions to be made in Italy leave no room for negotiations unless they wilfully devise their own hurt. You can point out to the French ambassador the need for speedy assistance from the Most Christian for this province, as the Austrians are determined on war.
You will see what the English secretary has said in the Collegio about Digby. The affair touches us nearly because our ships were attacked in spite of our patents and their being laded for this city. You will devote every effort to this matter. We send you a copy of what our Captain of the Guard of Candia writes, so that you may see how English ships behave in these days.
We send you for information what we hear from Turin about the Ambassador Wake.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia,
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
215. Captain John di Nis, an Englishman, arrived in this city with his ships, (fn. 5) carrying its entire cargo from Ireland, on the 7th February, 1628. On the following day our magistracy gave him leave to lade goods for the West. Allured by goods of this mart he refused the said leave and proceeded to Cyprus and Syria, and to the profit of your Serenity's customs and of individual inhabitants of this city, he has now returned from that voyage. He asked us seven days ago for leave to lade currants at Zante, in the hope of profiting by the provision that ships which bring their entire cargo to this city may lade currants at Zante and Cephalonia, contending that his arrival from Ireland last year fulfilled that condition: We consider that on the ground that his ship has at present come from the East and not from the West his request should not, in strictness, be granted, as the last voyage is the one that counts, and to grant it might lead to trouble with others; but we have decided to refer him to the supreme authority of your Serenity, so that he may receive what he asks as a special favour, and in our opinion we consider that the favour should be granted for this occasion, as his other voyage was not a long one, and we do not wish to render him desperate.
Alvise RenierSavii.
Nicolo Erizzo
Hieronimo da Leze
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Probably Oatlands, though in that case Soranzo has exaggerated the distance.
2 There is a copy of this paper, in Italian, among the S.P. Foreign, Venice, August, 1629.
3 The number is given as 22 in the Italian copy.
4 Oatlands. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1629–31, page 34.
5 It seems likely that this ship was the Thomas and William of London of 200 tons, master, John Dennis, which was granted letters of marque on the 28th July, 1628. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1628–9, page 308.