Venice
November 1629, 2-14

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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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216-230

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'Venice: November 1629, 2-14', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 216-230. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89262 Date accessed: 31 July 2014.


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November 1629

Nov. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
273. To the Ambassadors SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
The Duke of Mantua has held back the Imperialists as much as he could. The negligence of Bolduin dal Monte and the impossibility of defending the pass of Il Chies, which was too exposed to artillery, allowed them to reach the entrenchments of Mantua. They resisted there for some days, but fear of being cut off from Mantua induced the duke to abandon it, as the city would have lost its best defenders. After this the Germans found the approach to Mantua easy. They took Governolo on the Menzo, and proposed to move on S. Giorgio, to surround Mantua and cut it off from our state. Gazuolo had to surrender, and news coming that they had occupied Ostia on the Po, our Proveditore General despatched Colonel Durante to the city with the rest of his regiment, and sent many waggons of provisions. We have always supplied an abundance of money and everything else. There will be more than 5,500 of our troops in the city. In Monferrat the Spaniards are only 7 miles from Casale. Until help comes from France Toiras has confined himself to defending Rosignano, Pontestura and Casale. He has fortified these and is munitioning Casale. He has sent 400 foot to Rosignano and 1,000 to Pontestura with four guns. Meanwhile Mazzarini has laboured hard for an armistice. He went first to Turin and then to Mantua, but meeting Collalto on the road he found his fabric had no foundations, as Collalto would by no means consent. However, the negotiations somewhat delayed the duke's provisions and fortifications. You will use these advices with prudent dexterity, representing matters so as not to prejudice the service of the state.
To England:
We have your letters of the 5th ult. with entire satisfaction at your prudent conduct. You will continue in the same manner. If you are able to obtain wheat and rye 25,000 to 30,000 stara will suffice. We will do everything possible for Disputini and the despatch of his cause; but no one has yet appeared in his name to ask for anything.
Ayes, 77.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives
274. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassadors in France advise me by their letters of the 12th ult. that in their last audience of his Majesty and Cardinal Richelieu the point that they insisted upon most strongly was about getting France to declare open war against the Austrians. They did not find the cardinal disinclined or the king either, but the fear that they might be left to act alone made them move slowly towards a decision. The cardinal asked them if England would make peace with Spain, and they replied most decidedly not if the French would declare openly against the Spaniards. The cardinal then remarked that it would be as well to see what could be done; for the moment he knew that England had not the power of doing anything considerable. An effort should be made to get that king to afford what help he could to Sweden, and France would do the same. If they feel themselves strong enough here to take up any enterprise against the Spaniards at sea, France will assist them with a third part of the force, and the enterprise shall be carried out under the English flag. On the other hand, if they are not equal to that here, France will assemble a fleet of sixty ships, England will contribute thirty and the French would direct the enterprise. They state that they said they would inform me of these proposals, and the cardinal approved of their doing so.
These overtures seemed to me worthy of deep consideration, and I thought that without losing time I ought to try and do the best I could to forward the public cause, especially as the ambassadors write to me that if the proposal is rejected here it will at least bring to light what they mean to do, and enable them subsequently to make overtures to France, and in either case it will serve as a check upon the negotiations between the king here and the Spaniards. With this end in view I have seen the most important ministers, and both yesterday and to-day I have sounded all those who are best disposed and who have the greatest influence. I found them well disposed, but the appointment of Cottington for Spain constitutes a great and almost insuperable obstacle. He may possibly start to-morrow. In spite of this I did not hesitate to advance every conceivable reason to show the importance of listening to such a proposal, though I was very cautious in the way I represented it, in order not to commit myself more than was seemly.
I was especially diffuse in the representations and considerations that I laid before the Treasurer, because he is the prime mover of their decisions, and I thought I ought to show more zeal with him. I led up to it by telling him of the advices from Italy, informing him of the dangers which threaten Italy so imminently, and of the steps taken by your Serenity to defend yourself and the Duke of Mantua. I did not fail to make the most of the decisions of the Most Christian, so that this might serve to stimulate a good disposition in this quarter also. I remarked in particular that although France was making good resolutions every day I imagined that she would be ready to take even better ones if England would back up on her side. I begged him to consider this and to contribute towards the public service with his usual zeal. He replied that he would always perform every good office. He knew that France was in a position either to make war or a good universal peace. I replied that if they would embrace the proposal here they would sure to find the best disposition in France, but it was necessary to begin by stopping Cottington, so as not to increase the jealousy, which had become only too prevalent, especially with the States, who had allowed themselves to be induced to enter upon negotiations for a truce so suddenly. He answered that Cottington was about to start and it was impossible to stop him. His mission ought not to cause any jealousy, because if he concludes his business, which it is hoped will prove advantageous to all, their friends would have reason to be satisfied, and if it proved otherwise the King of England will not fail to do something appropriate, both for his own reputation and for the public service. For his own part he felt sure that Cottington would return without any conclusion, because the Spaniards are not in a position to act up to their promises. To this I made the obvious objection that if such an important minister as his Excellency, so highly esteemed by his Majesty, was of this opinion he should have been the first to dissuade the mission, because the reputation of the crown was involved. All persons of good sense are of the same opinion, although there are countless numbers who cannot persuade themselves that the treaty is in such an imperfect state, since they are sending one ambassador and receiving another, who is coming on behalf of the Catholic. These were the most weighty arguments in favour of the idea that the matter was much more advanced, but as his Excellency assured me that matters were in this state, it was much better to make up their minds to wage a resolute war in conjunction with France, as in order to wean the king here from his dealings with the Spaniards they might perhaps make some advantageous proposal. He reflected upon this point and asked me what proposal I thought the Most Christian might make at present. I told him, as if it was my own idea, that the best proposal would certainly be to assemble a good fleet, each one contributing his share. I followed the suggestion made by Cardinal Richelieu about the direction of the enterprise, pointing out that it suited England much better to undertake a naval force than anything else whatsoever. He admitted that it was a suitable proposal, and, with regard to its direction, the king would always have that advantage if he would send fifty or sixty ships to sea; but they had tried the experiment before of waging war jointly with France in this manner, and it had not succeeded. The right way to set things on a proper footing was to make a defensive and offensive alliance. He then remarked that he knew they were not disposed to this in France, and it was superfluous to discuss the matter further.
When I spoke to the other ministers, they all referred to this point of a defensive and offensive alliance and some openly told me that the inclinations of England had always leaned in this direction. It is indeed an affair of the greatest importance if it could be managed, though full of the greatest difficulties. Thus, in particular, supposing the proposal is made in France, where they are perfectly well aware of the weakness here, I think it would meet with no response, just as I see no sign of any inclination here to accept the proposals which reach me from France. However, as my chief object is to defer the mission of Cottington and to upset as much as possible the negotiations with Spain, while keeping on the look out for the advantages which time may bring, I have not neglected to point out to everybody, as my own idea, that as France is very dissatisfied with the House of Austria for several reasons, she might decide upon taking this step and if they gave me their word that they were ready to make this treaty supposing France was disposed to it, we should soon see where we were. In the meantime I begged them to weigh the proposal and give me an answer as soon as possible. I insisted strongly upon this, especially with the Treasurer, who remarked to me definitely that the proposal was great and important, and if it had been made before it would have been much better. I replied that as Cottington had not gone I considered that the proposal had been made in time, as it was only a matter of a few days, and they need only postpone his departure long enough to send to France and receive their reply. He said he did not see how they could do that, but it would be advisable to keep the matter alive, because if Cottington's mission proved fruitless, that would be the time to push it on. I repeated what I had said before, that the French will listen more readily at the present moment, in order to break off the treaties, and if England chooses to take the course of first treating with Spain, and then, if that does not succeed, of turning to France, I thought they would find the French more exacting, and they were not likely to be so willing. I made a great point of this. But before doing so I suggested that the course was a dangerous one from every point of view, because if the Spaniards found out about these overtures for treaties with France, they might withdraw their proposals, and they ought to think here of their feelings. Seeing that I had made some impression by these remarks, I pressed the point as much as possible in order to make him decide to tell me his opinion. He evaded this, saying that he could not give his opinion alone, but he would speak to the Secretary of State, to whose province such matters belonged.
When I parted from him I think I left him in some perplexity, and not so resolute about letting Cottington start at once. If this point is gained I think it will be on the condition of making the offensive and defensive alliance. If any overtures to this effect are made to me I will not hesitate to send to France at once, so as not to lose the opportunity, to which I will devote all my attention, in the interests of the public service.
It has occurred to me personally that the French have shown great dilatoriness in making their proposals here, and they have never come to the point of an offensive and defensive alliance, so I really should not know what one might expect, supposing England inclined to it. However, this uncertainty has not cooled my ardour, because gaining time means postponing the negotiations with Spain, and I think that no slight advantage. I may add that here also there i no great sign of their entering upon so vast a business because penury pervades everywhere, but as I have no other opportunities of serving advantageously I thought it my duty to take up this affair with all possible zeal.
I have not yet spoken about it to the French ambassador, and I do not intend to, except in very general terms, because I cannot imagine what the cardinal's intentions may have been, seeing that he did not make use of him. I fear it is some elaborate device to make the ministers of other princes believe that he is well disposed, although really he has not fully made up his mind to act. I am the more afraid of this because it seems borne out by the proposals to the king here, from whom, I know only too well, he is unlikely to have a favourable answer. It may also be that his inclinations lead him to make use of other means than his own, not only in this matter about which he seemed to wish the ambassadors to write to me, but also with regard to the renewal of the alliance with the States, about which he has also induced their Excellencies to write to the Ambassador Gussoni. If it were not too fanciful a speculation I should say that the cardinal thinks so highly of this Ambassador Castelnuovo, that his esteem is converted into fear and jealousy, and he might even go so far as to try and deprive him of the honour that he might derive from such a treaty. While I am aware that the ambassador could assist this he could also injure it just as much if he became captious because he saw it conducted by someone else. However, if God offered me so fortunate a chance I should not be afraid of his ill humour, and indeed, if the general opinion that the cardinal does not like him is correct, it might be the means of bringing about his ruin.
Having learned on excellent authority that after I left the Treasurer yesterday the Secretary of State had had a long interview with him, I decided to go and see the secretary to find out what they had said to each other about my proposals. I have just got back from this visit. I learn from it that it will be more difficult than ever to delay Cottington's departure. He maintains that Cottington's going will not prejudice any overtures that may be made, since he is only going to listen to such proposals as may be made to him. The Spaniards, when entering upon their negotiations, demanded an armistice. His Majesty would not agree to this, but has always declared that although he may treat with them he does not, on that account, intend to suspend hostilities or cease to do what he considers necessary in the interests of his friends. They agreed to leave it so and thus the field is free to treat of anything. I tried to make him see that this reason might be good for England but that it would have no persuasive force abroad. I repeated what I had said to the Treasurer and others, trying to make him thoroughly understand that if they did not care for the proposal about arming a fleet jointly unless they stipulated an offensive and defensive alliance, then I would send word of this to France, with great solicitude, and I expressed the belief that they would find them well disposed, but until the reply came it was necessary to postpone Cottington's departure. This is the point that I am labouring to gain. He told me he did not see how it could be done, because Cottington had already taken leave of the king and had sent all his baggage to be put on board. He added that he did not think they ought to suspend a decision already fully made in order to send to France to learn if they meant to take up this business in which he knew there were strong reasons which militated on the other side. I did not hesitate to say that there were also great appearances that it would succeed, and even if the French did not embrace it, his Majesty would have a full justification for his negotiations with Spain and all the other resolutions. But the thing that would please me most of all would be their acceptation of the suggestion that they should arm a good fleet jointly. He replied, Sir, it is first necessary for the French to be our good friends, and then we can act together as colleagues. They treat us badly and use violence at sea. On this account we cannot be at one. In one word I may tell your Excellency that it is they who force us to treat for peace with Spain, because while they insist on claiming to trade freely and to carry their corn to Spain, it is not possible for us to make war on the Spaniards. He enlarged upon this as you will see from what follows. I did not fail to point out the harm done here by giving passports to trade in Spain, and in truth he had nothing to say in their excuse, although he stated that those concerned traded at their own risk, and that notwithstanding the king's patents if the English ships which are at sea took them they would unquestionably be confiscated. To bring him to the point of my business I reminded him that the best and safest means of terminating all these differences was to interest France in an open war with Spain, and then they could be more certain that they would not provide any supplies. He remarked that there was little appearance of it, but all the same he would speak about it to the king. He was going to see him at that moment and would be back to-morrow. I again reminded him that it was necessary to detain Cottington, but I have no hope that they will. I added this much in order to inform your Serenity of all I have done. I have given a full account to the ambassadors in France of all that I have transacted up to Wednesday morning. I have not had time to let them know the particulars given here that I obtained from the Treasurer and Carleton, but I will make that good this evening by way of Calais, so that they may know all that is taking place, and if they think fit they can set about preparing the cardinal's mind for some proper resolution.
London, the 2nd November, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
275. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The imprisoned members of parliament remained constant in their resolution and even the one who accepted the offer and gave a pledge for his good behaviour to obtain his liberty, has withdrawn his pledge and decided to go back to prison again with the others. It is not known whether he did this of his own accord or moved by considerations of popularity. From this it clearly appears how rigorously they maintain the principle that they cannot be adjudged guilty. The king has intimated to the judges that it is his royal pleasure that they shall proceed to their condemnation. The judges excused themselves, thus giving his Majesty particular offence. He subsequently sent a writ for the suspension of one of them, (fn. 1) and they say it is the one who asserted more than the others that they ought to decide to detain the prisoners, because there were laws which condemned them. It is thought that he will be dismissed altogether, and that might give some satisfaction to the people when they saw that the king punished one who deceived him.
Cottington has taken leave of the king and should depart to-day or to-morrow, unless they stay him owing to my remonstrances.
Yesterday I returned the visit of Ven, who is to leave to-day. The same ships which carry him to Holland are to go on to Dunkirk to fetch Don Carlo Coloma. They have had some difficulty about preparing quarters for him, as no one was willing to give his house for the ambassador of Spain, owing to the detestation of the generality for that nation, especially the Puritans, whose party is in the ascendant (che prevagliono con loro partito).
All the ministers here betray a great deal of feeling about the Dutch negotiations for a truce. They asked me if they had informed your Serenity about it, and were amazed when they heard they had not. The French ambassador also says that his king has had no knowledge of it. From this they conclude that that State is advancing greatly just now in superiority and independence. The Treasurer told me that he could not believe they would conclude anything without the two crowns, although extensive particulars have been published up to now. Although I am utterly in the dark yet on the strength of common rumour I have not forgotten to approach the Ambassador Joachim, to whom I have remonstrated very seriously. I fancy that I spoke to him with considerable effect, because my experience of that government supplied me with good arguments. He was unable to deny the fact, but tried to excuse it on the grounds of the want of money and because they had to keep up the war with the House of Austria alone. He told me, however, that he did not agree with this, and he detested the idea of treating with the Spaniards, because however specious their offers might be they could never be advantageous for his masters. He told me that while the Imperialists were in the Velua an armistice was suggested, and from that they subsequently proceeded to the truce; but while they were talking about this in the Assembly news arrived that they had abandoned that position. Since then he had received no letters and he supposed that the whole thing had fallen through. I know, all the same, that the ministers here have remonstrated with him strongly and expressed their regret at the States treating without ever breathing a syllable to them here. He was not so particular about his excuses to them because he is disgusted with the way they go on here. He told them that everyone thinks of himself, and his masters had to do the same, but that up to the present things had not gone so far that they would have any reason to complain of them. He said nothing about all the more important considerations which might indeed serve to divert the States from any such idea. The question of the correspondence with England may be the one that has least weight with them, because they were the first offended in this respect by the treaties with the Spaniards, and although they pretend here that they have most scrupulously fulfilled all their obligations, they have not really done so. Even if they have not fallen short in other things, they have done so now, committing an unpardonable mistake in letting Vane and Cottington leave at the same time, because they always promised the ambassador that one would leave so soon as ever the other had time to negotiate and write back. As the ambassador made a special point of this he has taken deep offence at such a breach of their promises, and possibly he is afraid that his reputation with his masters may suffer on that account.
Vane told me yesterday that the last letters from the Hague brought word that all negotiations were suspended until the last day of this month; that the Prince of Orange had gone to Wesel with all the cavalry, and the infantry was also in the field under the command of Count Ernest. There was some idea of going to besiege Linghen. With the season so far advanced it seems impossible that he can have this plan, unless it be that owing to the lack of money he cannot disband his troops and is obliged to give them employment.
Many ships have reached the ports of this kingdom, including the Muscovy fleet, which is very rich. But we hear that the one which has reached Holland from the same place is much more opulent. Two ships from the Indies have also arrived here laden with pepper and cloves to the value of 450,000 ducats, and the Dutch fleet is off the coasts of this realm, numbering sixty vessels, waiting for a wind to take them to the West Indies.
I have received the ducal missives of the 5th ult., as well as the duplicate of the lost despatch of the 24th August, bringing me word of the course of events over there. There is no ambassador of the King of Sweden here at present or anyone acting in his interests. For Denmark there is an agent with little experience, so I will try to obey your Serenity's commands in another way. While the king here is in the country I have tried to make the communications entrusted to me through ministers. I think that his Majesty will terminate his progress to-morrow, and with a favourable opportunity I will not fail to obey.
I do not neglect to pass all the offices necessary with the French ambassador or to keep up a perfect intimacy with him. He speaks very constantly about the resolution of his master and the cardinal to help Italy. Here he is working at nothing except the arrangement of the queen's household; and he has brought this to a successful termination, with mutual satisfaction. In the second place he is working for the regulation of shipping. Over this indeed he grows very warm and speaks in a high tone. He says that France is in no mood now to be dictated to by England. She has eighty ships at sea. She means her merchants to be able to trade in Spain all the goods proper to the country. They may rest assured that the Spaniards shall not lade on their ships, but nevertheless they cannot on any account permit English ships to make search, as has been the custom in the past. If the king here had a powerful force off the coast of Spain, as was the case in former days, they might not raise any difficulty on this score, but when there were no royal ships at sea they absolutely declined to allow those which sailed with letters of marque, whose sole object was privateering, to have this jurisdiction over them.
While this affair, which encounters very great obstacles, is pending, the French keep sequestered in their ports the very rich ships recently plundered. Not without reason they call this an outrage on England. All the lords complain about it bitterly and say that it is impossible to keep up a proper friendship while they behave in this fashion. They say that the common service is concerned, because if the French take munitions of food to Spain, as they claim, they will always be affording the Spaniards the power to supply their forces and as a consequence enable them to increase them with greater ease. The sole advantage which England has over them depends upon their lack of grain, which makes it difficult for them to increase their forces. If the French insist upon infringing this right, to which they have previously subscribed by special capitulations, the Hamburgers, Danzigers and every one else will want to do the same, and take not only grain but every kind of material for war and for building ships, and it will be impossible to prevent them. The argument they adduce is not a valid one, that this business of grain is the most important for their trade, their state producing a great quantity which cannot be consumed unless it is exported, because they can take it to other parts besides Spain, as they have done in the past. On the other hand, the ambassador maintains his claims, both because he knows that they are not strong enough here to stop them, and because he can always supply very excellent precedents created by the English themselves, which possibly gave rise to these French claims. He told me recently that he had in his hands a passport whereby the king here permits a company of merchants to take goods of all kinds out of this kingdom to any part of the world. He told me he knew that under these powers those merchants had given the King of Spain 30,000 crowns for permission to trade in his dominions to the extent of a million of gold in five years. From this he argues that if the English themselves infringe their own regulations they cannot expect other nations to respect them. However, every one cries out because in France they are carrying matters into effect, and while the ambassador is negotiating they are trying to make arrests to gain an advantage in the negotiation, a state of affairs which is not very far from hostilities. I do not neglect to employ my good offices to diminish the ardour of both sides, because I foresee that if they go on in this way it will be most difficult to preserve good relations between the two crowns.
With respect to your commission to find a merchant to make a contract for powder, I think I can find some one who will take up this affair. From an estimate which has been supplied to me, every barrel of gunpowder weighing 112 pounds at 16 ounces the pound will cost about 24 ducats di banco delivered at Malamocco, including hire, insurance, expenses of the customs, provision and exchange for the remittances, and some other small matters which may be added. If your Excellencies mean to take advantage of this proposal it will be necessary to advise me how much you want, and to send me remittances in accordance, because they want to have the cash ready here and will not treat on any other terms. Although it might be possible to find a merchant to give it and recoup himself at Venice, yet the loss on the exchange would amount to nearly five per cent. for your Serenity, whose commands I shall await.
I ask your Excellencies to be good enough to vote me money for the carriage of letters, as I have none left for that purpose.
London, the 2nd November, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
276. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They announce that off the Canaries Don Federico of Toledo fell in with nine well armed English ships. He fought with these, and the conflict was long. The majority of them went to the bottom and the others surrendered to the Spaniards. They say that Don Federico was wounded and that will be the reason of the distress at his house, if the story is true. They state that they learned from the prisoners that nine other English ships were to arrive at the same place, who were following the first, and they were all on the way to the Strait of S. Vicenzo. Don Federico remains on the spot waiting for this new fleet.
Madrid, the 3rd November, 1629.
[Italian.]
Nov. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
277. To the Ambassadors SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
While the Imperialists were advancing on Mantua the Prince of Bozolo entered the town and tried to persuade them that they would avoid serious danger by showing some respect to Cæsar. Landrigher received him more than once, and it was finally arranged that the duke, out of respect for the emperor, should allow the Germans to enter S. Giorgio and hostilities should be suspended while they communicated with Collalto to know if he approved of an armistice for a month to arrange some adjustment. Collalto did not approve, and claimed that one of the gates of Mantua should be given to him. The duke said he would only do so with his life, and devoted himself to the defence of the city. He has provisions for about a year, abundance of munitions and a garrison of over 5,000 foot; so he is well placed to stand a long siege. They could not cut the bridge towards S. Giorgio, but it is very well fortified. They have erected good fortifications at La Pradella and Cereso. The Imperialists will probably be kept busy for a long time; they will need a very large force for the siege, especially as the latter increases the circuit. Landrigher has planted a battery on the consecrated ground of the church of S. Giorgio, but it is not thought he can do more than damage the belfrys and cupolas; some troops have gone towards Rivolta, but that still holds out. Our army, posted near Valezzo and Villafranca, keeps supplying help to the city, which is not yet totally invested, though the Imperialists are doing their utmost and fortifying at S. Ruffino and Porto. They have tried to inflict damage on our towns near the Mantuan, especially near Governolo, but so far they have got the worst of it, with loss.
Ayes, 63.Noes, 0.Neutral, 14.
[Italian.]
Nov. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
278. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My opportunities have vanished and all my attempts to stay the departure of Cottington have proved vain, as he left London three days after I sent my last despatch. He stayed one day at his country house on his way to the point of embarcation, to which he subsequently proceeded, and by this time he should have sailed.
Yesterday the Dutch ambassador informed me that he had heard something of the good offices I had performed and he seemed to regret deeply that they had produced no effect. He told me he knew for certain that at the time when I spoke to the Treasurer, Cottington's commissions had not been consigned to him, so that if they had been well disposed here they might without affectation have suspended his departure; but he felt sure that the ministers here and the king himself have not that entire confidence in the French that is requisite. He suggested to me also that the Ambassador Preo had never spoken quite openly, and although he has always professed to be anxious to make great proposals, yet he has never chosen to declare himself, but on the contrary he has maintained that all negotiations ought to be postponed until we know what happens to Cottington in Spain. The ambassador has often expressed himself to me in the same terms, and I find that he has spoken about this subject to every one. In the same manner the Earl of Arundel recently remarked to me, while tactfully contriving to commend Preo, that as he belonged to a party that leaned strongly to the Spaniards, he did not altogether object to these negotiations. For my own part I have always thought that the French do not speak as they should, because if the ambassador had wished to labour with zeal it is certain that either the negotiations would have been broken off or the intentions of the king here would have been disclosed. But as I remarked from the beginning there was no sign that France, knowing as they did the weakness of the government here, wished to carry matters so far as the ambassador announced, because the English could not enter into negotiations without great advantages, and the French could not make up their minds to deal with such a great flood alone. Thus the affair has been precipitated, though it is perfectly true that the chief blame lies with them here and it is impossible to expect anything whatsoever from them at the present moment. I believe that this lethargy will continue until the Treasurer has arranged his affairs, because he knows that his fall is inevitable if parliament should happen to meet, and so he will do everything possible to keep the king from any idea of summoning it.
I have not failed to renew my offices and remonstrances with the Dutch ambassador to the effect that the prejudice caused by Cottington's mission will be infinitely increased if his masters continue their negotiations for a truce. He gave me a detailed account of the expenses they have incurred this year. With respect to the truce he said that he did not consider that the matter was so far advanced as was announced, indeed, on the contrary he had been assured that the negotiations were suspended. I am very much afraid, however, that the arrival of Sir Henry Vane, who has also started, will make them decide to go on with them, because I am told on good authority that the negotiations between Spain and the king here are much further advanced than is published. I have always thought it, because the appearances are very evident, and those ministers who tried to make the opposite believed have departed from the truth. Every one says that the peace is arranged and that it does not contain a word about the Palatinate. A month or little more will bring all this affair to light. The public cause will not, in truth, suffer from it in anything but repute, because so far as deeds are concerned England has done very little in the past, and now it is not in a position to do anything against the Spaniards.
The French ambassador persists with his usual ardour in his pretensions about naval matters. He offers, however, to give some legitimate security so that they may rest assured here that the Spaniards do not lade upon French ships, but he absolutely refuses to permit search, that is to say, unless here they send a fleet to sea that shall watch the coasts of Spain habitually. This cannot possibly be done just now, and the ambassador therefore maintains that the trade ought to be free. If this dispute is not settled first it will die away of its own accord before very long, because they will be announcing the peace with the Spaniards. Otherwise one might fear that fresh troubles would soon be encountered, seeing that there is such an obstinate feeling. The French take their stand upon order and merit because they feel that they are very strong at sea and see that the king here has no considerable forces. Nevertheless those who understand naval matters maintain that the French can never keep it up for long because they have not sufficient ports for large fleets, and although the cardinal is making some preparations just now, in any case it seems that he cannot cause any anxiety to this kingdom which by its situation and by art holds the dominion of the sea very securely (Francesi si formalizano nell' ordine e nel merito, perche si sentono molto forti in mare e vedono che questo Re non vi ha forze considerabili, vogliono pero quelli che intendono la cosa del mare che Francesi possino mai sussister lungamente, perche non hanno porti sufficenti per grosse Armate e se ben al presente il Cardinale fa qualche preparativo ad ogni modo non pare possi portar gelosia a questo Regno, che per sito e per arte ha molto sicuro il dominio del mare).
Captain John Barach (fn. 2) has at length arrived with his ship the Golden Cock. He has not brought any of the goods taken from the saetia according to the note he has given to the custom house, where all the cargoes of ships arriving are declared for the payment of the duties. He brought currants and muscat wine. With respect to the saetia I hear that he goes about stating that he took it from the hands of a pirate galley and therefore he claims that the booty is legitimate, because he says that it would never have been recovered from the pirate. When your Excellencies directed my attention to this affair you did not send me any information beyond the petition of the merchants, from which I cannot draw the arguments that I should require in order to make some claim against this person. However, I will not fail to see the Secretary of State to-morrow, so that he may give me some satisfaction. I have heard that an English ship has been seized at Scios, the Turks claiming that the saetia was taken out of their hands. I will avail myself of this argument in the interval while I am waiting for others to be supplied from Venice; but from what I gather it will be necessary for this affair also to pass through the hands of the Admiralty judge. I therefore beg your Excellencies to advise me of what you think and how I must behave. In any case it will be necessary for the interested parties to send the commissions and proxies required for this business to their agents or others. It will require expenditure of money and frequent representations if it follows the usual course.
I have received the ducal missives of the 12th ult. with the advices. I must no forget to add that here they live in practically certain hopes of the queen's pregnancy.
London, the 9th November, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
279. GIROLAMO SORANZO and ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have sent a courier to the Ambassador Boisi to hinder the progress of the truce until Castelnuovo arrives there. He is to cross from England for this purpose. They hope the Dutch will send an ambassador extraordinary in response. Castelnuovo will leave London immediately the ordinary ambassador, Fontane, arrives. He will start within a week, taking with him twelve Capuchins to serve for the queen's chapel there, in conformity with the last treaty of peace. We have written to inform Gussoni of all these particulars.
Poisi, the 9th November, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
280. SEBASTIANO VENIER, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have heard from an intimate at Aleppo, whose letters came by a messenger from the Turks, that the English consul was released, though at a cost of 25,000 to 30,000 ryals. I expect the particulars of this and many other matters will be in the enclosed letters of the consul, which reached me yesterday evening.
The Vigne of Pera, the 10th November, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
281. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have just been told that Rubens has come here from England, but I do not know it for certain. I know well enough that the Dutch and English have never had a better opportunity of scoring off their enemies, and if they persist courageously with their demands they will subject the wishes of the Spaniards to their own. The confusion and disorder of the government here is excessive.
Madrid, the 10th November, 1629.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
282. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At last, after being expected for so long, Sir [Henry] Vane, the ambassador extraordinary of England, has arrived. The States will meet him in the usual way at Rasuich the day after to-morrow, and I will show the republic's respect for his king, while I will keep a sharp look out upon his transactions here. M. de Rusdorf, a gentleman of the Palatine, has been sent from the Hague to meet him before anyone else, and possibly to have private conference for a day. The Palatine is at Rhenez, a pleasure resort a day from here, with his wife and children. After speaking with Vane, Rusdorf will go on to France, whither he is despatched on the pretext of congratulations for the peace between the two crowns but really to make some overtures in the interests of his master about which he will hear what the English ambassador brings.
The Hague, the 13th November, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
283. FRANCESCO CASALE, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador communicated to me advices from his ambassador in France, who writes that the last courier has brought more ample powers to Crichi to negotiate peace, and that the French do not want war in Italy; but I find nothing to confirm this. The ambassador also told me that many intrigues were on foot; that the truce between the Dutch and Spaniards was certainly nearly concluded, the one with his king was in hand and Scaglia was treating with Spinola. Scaglia would certainly return to Spain and all his plans were directed to frustrating the designs of France.
Turin, the 14th November, 1629.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Sir John Walter, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer.
2 Capt. John Barker. Particulars of this affair are to be found in Cal. S.P. Dom., Add., 1625–49, pages 352, 355, 356.