Venice
September 1629, 17-29

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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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188-196

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'Venice: September 1629, 17-29', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 188-196. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89260 Date accessed: 20 August 2014.


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September 1629

Sept. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
234. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Their disposition here is to press their advantage. Thus with their defensive and offensive alliances with Great Britain, and with their important successes at Wesel and Bolduch, and hope of more to come, they might change the commissions of Cottington, and even delay or put an end to his mission to Spain. It would be advisable that this should happen before Vane arrives here.
The Hague, the 17th September, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.235. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to GIOVANNI SORANZO, his colleague in England.
The fall of Bolduch is expected at any moment. They take very ill here the long delay of Vane's visit. They wish to know from himself what he has to propose, before the newly chosen English ambassador leaves for Spain, so as not to forestall and prevent as far as possible any harmful operations and perhaps stop his going. That might not be difficult, as the successes at Wesel and Bolduch should restrain the English from approaching the Spaniards nearer. You will be able to serve the public cause by showing the tricks and lures of the Spaniards, which are the more injurious to that kingdom because such negotiations may not be sincere but merely to lull them to sleep and secure the delay of generous resolutions. Incitements to these Provinces to come to terms with Spain are clearly harmful to English interests, and especially now when they are so prosperous here and the Spaniards dejected, with a large part of their forces engaged in the unjust affair of Mantua and Monferrat. You will therefore be able to suggest that it is a better and more profitable course for the common good to encourage these States and invigorate their arms rather than enfeeble them in the full tide of victory.
The Hague, the 15th September, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
236. GIROLAMO SORANZO, ALVISE CONTARINI and ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After we had discussed the affairs of Italy at length with the cardinal, he remarked that he feared the English might make peace with Spain, as they seemed only too willing. We said the King of England had taken this up so eagerly because of his present needs, and because he thought, with this peace, the Spaniards would restore the Palatinate. But these might be considered vain hopes, and they would never do it except by force. I think so too, said the cardinal, and I consider the Palatinate as settled (ispedito). We remarked that the object of the Spaniards was to draw the English into a truce in order to enjoy freedom at sea and in trade. When that was obtained they would say no more about peace. His Eminence should warn M. de Castelnovo to thwart practices so pernicious to the common interests.
Melun, the 19th September, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
237. GIROLAMO SORANZO, ALVISE CONTARINI and ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Sunday, the 16th, the peace with England was sworn at Fontainebleau with great solemnity. The English ambassador extraordinary dined this morning with the king in a great hall, with royal state. The king afterwards went to church to vespers, and when it was over the ambassador was brought, and the king swore the observance of the peace on the missal, and the ambassador being of the Religion, on the bible.
Melun, the 19th September, 1629.
[Italian.]
Sept. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
238. To the Ambassador SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
Ten to twelve thousand Germans have entered the state of Milan and are joining the Spaniards. The majority are about Lecco, and many are on our frontiers. Collalto has gone to Milan, and has had several long conferences with Spinola. Foreign ministers have tried to avert the ruin that threatens this province. Massarino has done more than the rest, and has gone to Mantua, but Collalto declares he has no power to stop, but has definite orders for war. The pope has ordered Scappi, Bishop of Piacenza, to take up negotiations again, and to go to Mantua, Milan, Savoy and other princes of Italy, but there is no hope of any good. Scaglia is to return to Turin, they say to confer with Spinola and Collalto, but he was not too pleased, because he could not get money.
To England:
We commend your services. You can tell the French ambassador the state of Italy, and how we have always foreseen and predicted what now appears.
Ayes, 101.Noes, 0.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Sept. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
239. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have the ducal missives of the 30th, enclosing the exposition of the English secretary about the affair of the ships taken by Digby and a copy of the reasons whereby they claim to justify the sentence, which I remember to have sent, and which will always be unjust but irremediable. I also see by the letters of the Captain of the Guard of Candia the excessive pretensions of English ships, which richly deserved the treatment they received from that minister. News has come that a very rich saettia, laden at Lisbon for Venice, was taken by a Turkish galley. That galley with its prize afterwards encountered an English ship, which took possession of the saettia and carried it off to Zante, where they disposed of the goods. I have no more definite information than the first reports, which came through the merchants; nevertheless, I have made a remonstrance in general terms to the Secretary of State, who seemed to know something about it. He said he thought it had been done by a certain very contumacious sea captain, who was responsible for other actions even worse. He hinted that if I made complaint about it I should easily obtain satisfaction, but as he did not disclose the captain's name or the circumstance, I did not take any further steps, as I thought I had done enough to prepare the way for any circumstances that might arise. I went on, however, to make very strong representations to this secretary about the affair of Digby's ships, and gave him the enclosed paper, which serves as a reply to the arguments adduced by the Admiralty judge to justify his sentence. He took it, and brought it back the next day for me to sign. I refused to do this, because it consists of simple arguments of merchants, and that act alone would destroy all the procedure followed up to the present, because with it they might have proved that I had agreed to the judgment. Upon this refusal, he wanted to hand me back the paper, and after much argument I had to take it, because he told me frankly that it could serve no purpose, and that he would not show it to the king, as I had asked him to do, unless it was authenticated by me. That could not do the slightest harm, because if it was necessary, I myself would take it to his Majesty. I should have done so already if I had thought that it would bring me the slightest advantage in this affair, but the nail is clinched, and there is no kind of office that could put it straight again. I know that I have done precisely what your Excellencies command me in your last letters, because I have devoted all my energies to it. But this and all that my predecessor, Contarini, performed only go to show how exceedingly this nation is devoted to possession. In my own defence, I will only say that when I arrived here the affair was already hopeless, and so I suffered the loss of reputation which a physician experiences when he undertakes the care of an expiring and abandoned body.
With respect to affairs of state, this Court affords the scantiest material for writing about, so I must be very brief in order not to grow prolix over nothing, which would be irritating and mischievous, as well as useless. I beg you to have compassion upon what I may call my misfortune and to rest assured that with all this excessive penury I shall not be backward in informing you of all that I know will tend to your service.
On the 16th inst. the ceremony of swearing to the peace took place at Windsor. Only the French ambassador was present, on the supposition I reported that the same thing was done in France. After the French ambassador had returned to the city I learned from him that nothing had been decided upon his proposals about assisting Sweden, and that they certainly will not resolve upon it. From a conversation with the Secretary of State, I was also able to gather that it is superfluous at present to hope for anything in this or in other matters where money is required.
Cottington has not gone; but this delay must not excite any hopes that they will depart from their decision for him to go, because neither the capture of Wesel, the practical certainty that news will come of the surrender of Bolduch, the report of some resentment among the princes of the Empire, or the great probability that the emperor and the Spaniards will be kept busy over the wars of Italy, have any influence upon them here, as the only things they think about are how to avoid expense and the need for a parliament. Nevertheless I do not fail to advance all the considerations that are necessary, but they scarcely listen to me, and I know that they are so sensitive in such matters that instead of doing good I am afraid of doing harm.
Barozzi and Sisa have gone. The gentleman who came recently from Turin (fn. 1) brought some request for the king here to interpose with France, although it has been refused; though the ministers merely let it be understood that that prince has always had good relations with the king here, and has always seemed anxious to be advised as to what he ought to do. In this connection Carleton remarked to me that it was not necessary to advise one who had already made up his mind, and accordingly his Majesty had not gone beyond expressing his appreciation. Nevertheless, they go about at Court saying that it would be advisable to deal gently with that prince, and that to keep hold of Susa cannot produce good results, because it irritates him more. I maintain a reserve about this, but I maintain quite openly that the duke ought to have a good understanding with the Most Christian and with the most serene republic, and when he comes to the king here for advice, that would be the most suitable and sound advice that he could have. I tried to learn from the French ambassador if any more special office had been performed with him than the one I wrote about that the king passed for the restitution of Susa, and I find that nothing has been said about it.
Upon this occasion I did not fail to carry out your Serenity's orders, by pointing out how necessary to Italy is immediate assistance from the forces of the Most Christian. To do this with the more effect I communicated the advices I have received, all agreeing about the determination of the Spaniards and the emperor upon war. He understands this business thoroughly, and assures me with the utmost asseveration that the Most Christian will be ready and that he will not abandon the interests there. He told me that he had letters from the cardinal, written with his own hand, advising him that he hears from every quarter of the preparations of the Austrians for war in Italy, and on that account he is very determined to stand by the undertaking, as his reputation is concerned. The ambassador added that he perceived from these same letters that the cardinal is more inflamed than he has ever been, and there is no doubt whatever but that he will do all that is requisite. I did not suggest any doubt about this, but I pointed out that it is necessary to make haste and to succour Crichi, hinting that Susa is very weak and would be difficult to defend it attacked. He answered that when Crichi left those quarters he was very well supplied, and he was assured that he would lack nothing. The cardinal had not yet arrived in Paris. Without him they would not decide anything, but when he came they would decide in one day enough to last a long time.
When the Mantuan ambassador, the Count of Odolengo, arrived here, in order to abound in showing him honour, I sent to pay my respects on his coming before he had intimated his arrival to me, as it is usual to do; indeed, I slurred over this point, in order not to appear excessively punctilious, although I might very suitably have spared myself the pains, following the example of the French ambassador, who did not take this step. He responded by a third person, and subsequently tried to find out if I was going to visit him. I replied very soberly, saying that I should follow the French ambassador, who, as far, has not called upon him or sent to pay his respects. Indeed, he expressed himself to me as very disgusted at this behaviour as uncalled for, and setting up a claim that the Mantuan ambassador in France did not make. He went on to remark that the duke makes a very ill return for the benefits he is receiving from his king and your Serenity, and that this was no time to send an ambassador with such commissions, and they would certainly resent it deeply in France. These words made a great impression upon me, and I tried to act as a mediator to smoothe matters over, although, as I am a party, I have not been able to do much so far. The ambassador has remarked that he did not expect to receive this wrong from me of all people. I have had it said to him that if he realised my position he would have no reason to wonder at my behaviour, and I felt hurt at not receiving from him those tokens of respect and gratitude that the most serene republic deserved. He suggested seeing the French ambassador on neutral ground, but the offer was not accepted.
It is announced that at the island of St. Christopher in the West the French have attacked four English ships. Three of these were plundered, all those on board being slain. The fourth, being more nimble and alert, escaped the danger and brought the news here. It has caused great consternation on this mart, because the loss is very considerable, especially as they say that the French followed up their attack upon the island itself, which belongs to the Earl of Carlisle, who may draw some 50,000 ducats a year from it. The people murmur and display irritation against all the French who are here. The French ambassador does not know what to say in defence, except that the news is not yet authenticated, and that in any case the ships which made the capture cannot have heard the news of the peace. Nevertheless, as we further hear that a French ship has recently captured another English one off the Barbary coasts, worth over 250,000 ducats, the outcry grows louder. The Court, as yet, however, dissimulates, hoping that suitable orders will be issued in France to remove all occasions for dissatisfaction. The ambassador keeps asserting that this will be given, and it seems impossible to think otherwise.
M. de Soubise has been to see me. He thanked me most cordially for the honour shown by your Serenity to his brother the Duke of Rohan, who had told him all about it. I made a suitable response. I took this opportunity to assure him that in the matter of the peace your Serenity had always tried to secure every advantage for them. This statement afforded him much pleasure, as they have always had a slight suspicion that you had not considered their interests.
London, the 21st September, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.240. Summary of arguments alleged to the Admiralty Judge.
The sloops Jona and Michael Arcangelo, Venetian and Ragusan respectively, were hired by Venetians to lade wool and ashes (cenere) in Spain and then return to Venice. The capital laded therein belonged to Barth. Spinola, Gio. Batt. Preve, Batt. Laretta, Ant. Taliacarne, Agostino Panese, Alessandro Chiappara, Jacomo Corvari, all Genoese subjects, about to return home soon though they happened to be in Spain, where they are treated as foreigners. Digby has shown nothing to prove the contrary except the evidence of Alduino Mantoano, a Frenchman of the lowest description. Digby's claims are all based upon the aforesaid persons being Spanish subjects. Digby has obtained the testimony of Cottington on this point, but we have the evidence of Peter Paul Rubens, who says that all the Genoese who live in Spain do so as foreigners, and he knows Spinola personally.
Digby passes over the point that he had no patents to attach the ships of friendly princes. Quotes examples of ships and goods restored in similar cases. The goods confiscated in Digby's favour are: Wool, 1421 sacks; ashes, 1,153 baskets.
Replies to the Judge: Goods of Spinola.
The name Barth. Spinola of Madrid in the bills of lading is merely merchants' style, as one writes Pietro Rycaut of London, though he is not English. Spinola is a resident and not naturalised at Madrid. The King of Spain is protector of the Genoese, but protection does not make naturalisation.
Goods of Preve:
He is a resident and not a native, although the papers found in the ship describe him as such. He does not enjoy the privileges of a Spanish subject, and this has not been proved.
Goods of Agostino Panese:
The fact that he is married and domiciled in Spain does not make him a native.
[Italian.]
Sept. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
241. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Earl of Arundel has sent five fine horses to the prince, and some one has come on purpose to bring them. They will be presented by the Ambassador Wake in the earl's name. Wake has ordered his secretary at Venice to come and see him with all speed, and says he is expecting him soon. (fn. 2) He told him to make haste before the passes were closed. I shall look out to see on what he employs him.
Turin, the 21st September, 1629.
[Italian.]
Sept. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
242. GIACOMO BEMBO, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ship detained at Modon by the Captain Pasha proves to be the Sta. Maria de Gratia, a tartana. He released it, and it has arrived here to-day. Zuanne Balsamo and Salamon di Rossi, whom I sent to confer with the Mufti of Morea about the claims for the booty made by the English [ship] Golden Cock, have returned and report that they were well received. He told them that the Captain Pasha had a bad report and had ordered him to make enquiry, meet him at Lepanto and give him full particulars. The Mufti promised that he would tell him the truth, the claims should be waived and the past friendship with your Serenity's subjects maintained, and that there should be no further molestation for that cause, but that his action should be directed against the English. He has already done so by the arrest of the English ship at Scios and written about it to the ambassador of the nation at Constantinople.
Zante, the 22nd September, 1629.
[Italian.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives
243. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses copy of letter to Soranzo.
Schenovem, the 24th September, 1629.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.244. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to GIOVANNI SORANZO, his colleague in England.
This brings you particulars of the fall of Bolduch. (fn. 3) There is every sign here of further success. The prince hopes to derive great benefits for these Provinces by the capture of Wesel and Bolduch. With this prosperity, covert proposals and specious offers of an accommodation die away. I lose no opportunity of urging them to press their advantage, because the emperor and Spaniards are enfeebled by their operations in Italy. In England also they should reflect upon the successes of these States, and it should not be difficult for you to delay or prevent the despatch of Cottington to Spain and modify the instructions to Vane in the harmful persuasive part, and the incitement to any agreement between the Spaniards and the Dutch, for it is clear that Cottington's mission to Spain contravenes the previous despatch of Roe and the benefits that might result from his negotiations. It is also clear that Vane's commissions for an adjustment are not to the advantage of the Princes Palatine, of England or the common cause, as everything now points to greater successes.
On the 22nd September, 1629.
[Italian.]
Sept. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Venetian
Archives.
245. To the Ambassadors SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
The number of Imperialists descending upon Italy is greatly increased. Many have passed by the Cremonese, and are distributed along our frontiers. Meanwhile Massarini has gone to Mantua with vain proposals. The Spaniards have occupied Ostiano. They have thus taken the pass on the Oglio and are fortifying it. They say they hold it in Cæsar's name, thus cloaking open hostility. Collalto is expected at Cremona and was increasing his forces for this. Massarini has left Mantua. The duke told him that he must consult first the Most Christian and the allies. Scappi's commissions are withdrawn. All hope of diverting or stopping this aggression has proved vain, as we have always anticipated. The successes of the Dutch harass them, but the slightest gains in Italy are valued more highly than the most serious losses in Flanders. By order of the Most Christian, various regiments are marching towards Susa and Bressa, and his Majesty seems determined to return in person if necessary to help in this province.
To England:
We have your letters of the 7th inst. We see there is no need to urge you on, as you continue the proper offices. We commend your diligence and express our complete satisfaction.
Ayes, 92.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 27
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
246. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
No envoys go to the palace, and we know of no other negotiations being opened; no one speaks of the secretary or Ambassador Cottington, or believes that he will come as easily as they said. Hopes of peace with the Dutch have utterly disappeared.
Madrid, the 27th September, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
247. GIROLAMO SORANZO and ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. di Castelnuovo writes from England that he sees he can do no good at that Court, as the king and ministers are all eager for peace with Spain. Although the Spaniards give them to understand that the restitution of the Palatinate will follow the peace, without which the king professes he will never arrange it, the cardinal told us that he had written to Castelnuovo that if the king could obtain the restitution of the Palatinate, he should advise it, otherwise he suspected it would run to very hurtful negotiations, most prejudicial to his reputation. Nevertheless, it is believed that the Spaniards, with their usual astuteness, will bring England to do as they wish, either by a truce or in some other way, without anything being said about the Palatinate, but as the king is very feeble owing to the confusion of his own government, they do not attach much importance to that Crown just now, and there is no hope of obtaining any resolution in that quarter adapted to present circumstances and the common service.
Melun, the 28th September, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
248. Whereas at the petition of Captain John Nis, (fn. 4) an English man, who came with his ship entirely laden with goods from the voyage of Ireland, he had leave to lade for the West, and he afterwards went to Cyprus and Syria, returning to this city, with advantage to the customs of that State: that he have leave, as the Five Sages for Trade advise, to go and lade currants at Zante, paying the same duties as those who bring their cargo entire to this city, and as has been observed with others.
Ayes, 126.Noes, 5.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Sept. 29.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
249. To the Proveditore at Zante.
We have received the enclosed petition from the merchants of the Piazza. We have learned with astonishment that the English in that place have been allowed to dispose of goods on behalf of our merchants, and in the future it will be necessary to keep an eye upon it. We direct you, if you find any part of the goods named in the petition, to have them stayed and kept, so that they may be distributed afterwards as is reasonable, and you will send us word of the execution.
Ayes, 118.Noes, 0.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 M. de Morgere.
2 Rowlandson only mentions this in his despatch of the 4th October, and says he is leaving that evening. S.P. Foreign, Venice.
3 Capitulated on the 14th September.
4 John Dennis, captain of the Thomas and William of London.