Venice
January 1630

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1919

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261-279

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'Venice: January 1630', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 261-279. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89266 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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January 1630

1630
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
332. To the Ambassadors SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
We had no time to send advices last week. The last relief we threw into Mantua made the Imperialists decide to retire, and they only delayed in order to arrange quarters for their troops. They have spread along our frontiers. They have laid a heavy contribution upon the Modenese. Collalto withdrew to Reggio and then to Bologna, where he met the cardinal legate, Barberino. The Mirandolese, Correggio, Nuvollara suffer from the billeting of Germans. They thus occupy various states and hope to renew their efforts with the strong reinforcements they expect from Germany. They thus hold the most convenient positions for besieging Mantua. They withdrew stealthily, leaving behind a quantity of arms and baggage. The duke recovered Curlaton and Montanara. Many Germans were slain. Marmirolo was recovered, opening communication with the Veronese. It surrendered the moment the duke appeared. Goito gave them no help. They sent out a force, but it returned without doing anything. The duke will not remain idle, but will win every advantage from the present weakness of the Germans. Four regiments of Provence have arrived near Susa, preceding the cardinal, who was ready to set out. He will take over 1,200,000 crowns with him, with power to obtain more, so as to support the armies for a long time and prosecute the war.
Ayes, 107.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Jan. 4.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
333. To the Proveditore of Zante.
From your letters of the 20th November we learn that many English ships have arrived in that port to lade currants, and as they could not have them at the price arranged between English merchants, they left for the Archipelago, to take wheat for Leghorn and Genoa. We consider this very important, and you point out that it will seriously affect the public duties, reducing the funds of the Chamber. We have therefore directed the magistracy of the Five Sages for trade to make a careful enquiry upon the subject forthwith, and to give their opinion in an affair of such consequence, of which we have learned with much astonishment and displeasure. In the meantime, until our instructions reach you, it will be necessary for you to take suitable measures. We have to say that you must punctually carry out all the orders about currants that have been issued. The matter requires great application and vigilance, and if you do so, you may be sure of our approval.
Ayes, 100.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Jan. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
334. To the Baili at Constantinople.
We were glad to hear that the Captain Pasha is informed of the circumstances of the capture made by the English ship Golden Cock. We have heard from England that the merchants of the Levant Company think of compensating the Turks for that loss. It will be ruinous; but we think there is no reason to believe that any more will be said to us about it.
Ayes, 88.Noes, 4.Neutral, 51.
[Italian.]
Jan. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
335. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The negotiations about the interests of the Palatine are pursued in a lukewarm manner both in England and France as well as with the States here. Rusdorf wrote from Paris that he could obtain no resolution because the French were unwilling to offend Bavaria. The Palatine cannot even get the debt owed to him there. As regards England they now say that Colloma has crossed to that kingdom upon a matter that is practically settled and he is going to sign the treaty of peace between Spain and England which will contain no arrangement worth anything for the Palatine's relief.
Burlamacchi has gone back to England. Before he left he had all the gold and silver things melted, which were pawned by the Crown, and turned into money, and with the agreement about the guns sold he paid off a good part of the debts. For the rest a quantity of jewels remain in the hands of the Amsterdam merchants, until they are fully satisfied.
The Hague, the 7th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
336. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Couriers from Flanders and France bring word that the King of England has sent a gentleman to thank the Infanta for the good treatment of his subjects found in the island of St. Christopher, taken by Don Federico di Toledo, although I am told that very serious damage was done to the English by that loss. Toledo's letters about this affair have not arrived yet, and the first news went to London, taken by the ships which the Spanish force allowed to go free.
Madrid, the 10th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
337. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
While the whole Court criticised very freely the delay of the coming of the Spanish ambassador, and the right minded bluntly spoke the truth as was becoming, news came of his arrival at Dover. He landed there on the 7th inst. and proceeded by short stages to London, to give time for preparation, so that he might be received with proper honours. The Master of the Ceremonies was sent to meet him at Canterbury, a day and a half away, and the Earl of Newport went to Gravesend, not more than half a day away, with four gentlemen of the king's privy chamber. The Earl of Newport brought him in the royal barques as far as the Tower here, where the king's coach was awaiting him, with 25 others belonging to private individuals. He was taken to the house prepared by the king's orders. His entry took place to-day. No great pomp was observed, because all the things above are usual with all ambassadors extraordinary. No ambassadors' coaches went to meet him. France has none of his own, as he has always used the king's; the interests of the Dutch one excuse him and I did not think it proper to appear alone on so public a scene.
So far I have not passed any compliment, because I thought it necessary to make sure of not receiving any prejudice. However this may be, I will send to pay my respects at his coming and will even go further, as I may consider myself obliged, since the intercourse is not apparently sincere. He may possibly have his first audience next Sunday, and it is not thought that he will take any further steps at present, as the real, definite negotiations are to come from Spain. I will keep a close watch on all his transactions in the matter of his mission, and supply your Excellencies with a full account. This will supply me with the most definite and curious material for my despatches, which in other respects may prove of little or no service, since the Court here is so involved in internal disorder that it produces no material for negotiation or advices. However, I shall always be assiduous in fulfilling my duties.
With respect to the Court and the lords who serve his Majesty in appointments, considerable necessity has been observable for some little time, the consequences being the more noticeable from the persons concerned. It seems that they are beginning to take notice of the naval provisions of France, the more so because it is said that in Britanny they have collected a great number of large barques to make some surprise landing. On this account it was proposed at the last council meetings to set apart a sum of 500,000 ducats for restoring the ships and sending a certain number to sea, as well as to choose a Lord High Admiral of the Realm, as the post has been vacant since Buckingham's death. The pretendants are the Earl of Pembroke, Grand Master of the king's household, the Earl of Dorset, who is the queen's chamberlain, and the Earl of Holland. The Earl of Pembroke is assisted by Montgomery, his brother, who is the king's chamberlain, to enter into his office of Lord Steward. The Earl of Carlisle also favours Pembroke's side, as he hopes to become the king's chamberlain, and in the second place he does not forget to perform every office for Dorset, so that he may have his post. There remains the Earl of Holland, who has no appointment at Court, and so is not moved by these interests. Besides there is a great deal of feeling between him and the Earl of Carlisle because of the favour which both claim. He therefore leans for support on the French ambassador's favour, as he has always been in sympathy with that nation, and that is more pronounced now than ever out of opposition, because Carlisle has been suspected of Spanish leanings ever since his journey to Italy.
The intrigues have been secret and are going in favour of Carlisle, because the countess, his wife, has for some time enjoyed the special favour of the queen, to whom she is a lady of the bedchamber. The Countess of Holland has the same honour, but has not attained to the same favour. In order to get rid of this support for the earl, it was whispered in the queen's ear that Lady Carlisle abused her favour, and bore herself with little respect in her actions, going so far as to make sport (burlarsi) of her actions. They say that all this was imparted by the French ambassador, who in discrediting Lady Carlisle to the queen and consequently to her husband, tried to profit the Earl of Holland and his wife. He succeeded so far that the queen in her disgust recently complained to the king and asked him to remove the countess from about her. The king himself told Lady Carlisle that it would be advisable for her to abstain from coming to Court until the queen was appeased. Before going away she tried to exculpate herself, showing her readiness to do so effectively, if she was permitted to know the accusations. As the affections of years cannot be cancelled in a day, the queen inclined to give her an opportunity of defending herself, but they say that the French ambassador pointed out that it was not right or proper to enter into this discussion between mistress and servant. Thus with the countess absent from Court the chief interest about the choice of admiral has cooled off. Wherefore it is thought that Carlisle has spoken very freely in the Council, setting interests of state against the French ambassador, pointing out that while they are thinking of making an admiral because of their mistrust of France it was not good policy to leave the choice to the French ambassador as the person must as a consequence depend upon that Crown. The ambassador, however, dissimulates and operates covertly, because he is at Court every day, high in the queen's regard, and directs this affair as he pleases. However he has not succeeded in making much progress, because the appointment of an admiral has been postponed, and the Earl of Holland is prejudiced by time if by nothing else, and in the interval his rivals will try and get him shut out absolutely. To avoid an utter defeat the ambassador is trying to introduce the Countess of Exeter in place of Lady Carlisle, to shut out the latter from all hope of return, and to create a friendly and numerous faction at Court. It is thought, however, that he will not succeed, indeed that he may injure himself by so much eagerness. It may excite the king's suspicions, as he never likes the French to have anything to do with his household. He is not inclined to underrate the merits of his followers and Carlisle is certainly not out of favour.
It is stated that the ambassador took up this affair firstly for lack of something bigger, and then because it was said that Lady Carlisle, who is bright and sharp witted, had made game of him. But it is more probable that his leading object has been to have an important share in the choice of the admiral, that being of great consequence to France. Those also who say that he wished to mortify Carlisle are not without good grounds for the statement, because in the last war he favoured Savoy so strongly and opposed the peace. Nevertheless, before they began this intrigue Carlisle was with the ambassador every day, with such assiduity that it caused suspicion, and the ambassador himself remarked to me that he had brought the earl round to his original principles. It may be that he was deceived; at all events the earl has no further dealings with him and his hostility is very apparent. They now say that he will betake himself to the Spanish ambassador in order to make a party in opposition to the French one. But that will not be so easy, owing to the facilities which he enjoys at Court as a servant of the queen, and the knowledge that he is near her render him very secure and powerful. However, the rival factions are joining, and I fear that the Spaniards, if peace ensues with this Crown and the war continues in Italy, may instil a feeling of jealousy against France, especially as this has already taken a start.
Confirmation has come from France of the good resolutions taken by his Majesty, and there is also news of the cardinal's departure. On this account the French ambassador told me that he had orders to tell the king here that the Most Christian has decided to send powerful forces to Italy, and that they will not depart from that province before they have relieved it from Spanish oppression; these are the precise terms which he used in speaking to me. I commended the idea and said that he would have a favourable opportunity to rouse the king here also to some good resolution. He said he had no instructions to do so and they do not want to concern themselves more deeply. They are quite capable here of discerning the need of themselves, and whenever they make up their minds they will be in time. With these offices the king is behaving justly, like a most Christian prince; he has no other aim than to justify his actions. I replied that in this case his Majesty's generous action justified itself. To my astonishment he replied that the king could not justify himself enough, as if he called in question the justice of the present cause. He told me he had letters in the cardinal's own hand assuring him that he would reach Italy in very good time because the Duke of Mantua advised him that he had the means of holding out for eight months. Some have said that the ambassador had indicated an open rupture with the Austrians, but I have nothing to bear out these rumours and there are no signs. The same thing was published about your Excellencies because of the first relief introduced into Mantua; the ambassador himself said to me, The republic has at last declared herself. I told him that a declaration had been made long since to France that she would assist the Duke of Mantua in his dangerous situation, a matter in which circumspection was just as perilous as delay was harmful.
In his negotiations about navigation the ambassador claims that such differences as arise in the future about reprisals and other things ought not to be subject to the Admiralty tribunal, where the disputes go on for years, but ought to be summarily disposed of by the Lords of the Council. This would be a benefit to all, and so far as I can see they do not object here to giving him satisfaction.
I have the ducal missives of the 7th and 14th ult. I will use the information whenever it may serve for the public advantage, and indeed the prompt assistance afforded to the Duke of Mantua sheds great glory and reputation on the arms of the republic. Whereas at first some spoke with scant respect, now since these last events, malignity keeps silent and gives place to those who proclaim the republic's glory.
I have a copy of the Consul Gritti's account of the imprisonment of the English consul at Aleppo and the beheading of his dragoman. As yet I have not heard anything said about it. In any event I notice that there are no grounds for offence with your Serenity. If provoked I will not fail to defend the action of the state.
In the matter of the ship Golden Cock I shall wait for the information of the parties, which is really very slow in coming. My action is based on the commissions which your Excellencies have given me, but without more definite information I cannot carry on an affair which presents a thousand difficulties. The chief one is the claim of the Levant Company that the goods or a part of them shall be restored to the Turks. I do not know what I ought to do in this case because I do not believe that we shall succeed in preventing this from happening, but even if the Turks obtain that capital and stock, I think our merchants will claim it. It is essential that your Excellencies should instruct me how to proceed. So far nothing has been done beyond keeping the goods safely sequestrated and the captain in prison. But as it appears that the goods may suffer detriment by time, they have decided to sell them. This will be done in the most advantageous manner and the proceeds will be subject to the same sequestration. I opposed this for some time, but by the advice of friendly merchants I finally consented, because they assured me that there would be no loss. I appointed Pietro Richaut and Filippo Burlamachi to represent me and they will be present at the sale.
London, the 11th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
338. SEBASTIANO VENIER and GIOVANNI CAPELLO, Venetian Ambassadors at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We have observed the negotiations of the Captain Pasha through Cosmo Orlandini, for friendship and trade with the Florentines. The Florentines do not incline to it, and neither does any one here except the Captain Pasha and the Caimecan. One of the reasons which may prevent the Florentines from consenting is that through the English they trade safely in any event, as much as they please.
The Vigne of Pera, the 12th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
339. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Someone reached the Ambassador Wake yesterday, sent express from England with letters of credence and commissions for his embassy in France, upon condition that if the Most Christian leaves Paris he must first see where he is going, as in England they did not know if he would go towards Champagne or Italy. The ambassador extraordinary is to return to London immediately the king leaves Paris. The ambassador has been to tell me of the orders which have reached him and told me he expected to send his goods forward on Monday and to arrange about his house. I have seen his letters with advices, sent to him by the secretary resident at the Court.
Turin, the 12th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
340. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador arrived five days ago. He is waiting for his Majesty to appear. He travelled by sea, where he had very bad weather, and landed at Lisbon. The count speaks of him with great honour and says he is as good a Catholic as he is himself. I have been to see him and he responded with the utmost courtesy, saying that his master gave him special instructions verbally to express his affection for the republic. So far as I can discover the step has been taken by the English. I do not believe the Spaniards have given more than fair words and very general at that. They have succeeded in getting a minister on whom they can rely here, as it seems. They will try also to open up trade, which will constitute a snare for the English from which they will not easily manage to escape. Once they are sure of that part they hope that the negotiations in Flanders will be easier as well as the conclusion of the truce with the Dutch. The thing of which they take advantage in every direction is the Palatinate; they first assigned a portion to Bavaria to deliver Austria; they then offered it to England to escape the fear of their fleets and the alarm on their coasts; it was offered to Leopold to stop his demands for money; it is now used to attract the Palatine and the Dutch to enter their truce. These are the machinations of the Conde Duque, who may have conceived more extensive designs. I know that he has scoffed at the peace with France and says that the Catholic will soon have arranged a more solid correspondence with England.
Madrid, the 16th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 17. Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
341. To the Ambassadors SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
The Imperialists are busy fortifying Goito and devastate up to Mantua. The states of the princes who have given them quarters are no better off. The Duke of Mirandola is practically besieged. The duke is fortifying Mantua and we are supplying him with money and munitions, while we receive the disabled soldiers. They are casting guns at Mantua. Fresh signs of the evil disposition of the Austrians are always appearing, and they are working to bring more German troops into Italy. They are less likely to realise their ambitions because they are unrighteous, and Cardinal Richelieu is on the way. He left Paris on the 29th and will now be at Lyons. He will soon reach Susa with a very powerful force. He has obtained 2,500 of his Majesty's guards. He comes with noble ideas for the cause. The negotiations of the Savoyard ambassador for an armistice leading to peace did not detain him. The king answered so outspokenly that the ambassador held his peace. The cardinal replied with equal spirit to the Secretary Navazza, saying he was going for anything but peace, showing that he would not listen to deceitful proposals which might delay his movements.
Ayes, 99.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Jan. 17.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
342. The secretary of England came into the Collegio and after various compliments on his return to this city, he expressed the concern with which his king had heard of the troubles of Italy and especially of the republic. After the senior councillor Marin Querini had replied, he presented the following memorial. Having read this, he said, I have two other orders to execute, one in the name of the Earl of Carlisle. He has had a quarrel with a minister of your Serenity and does not want an unfavourable account to give a bad impression of him, when he is under such obligations for the extraordinary favours he received from the republic. The other is a commission from the Ambassador Wake to kiss your Serenity's hand. The councillor Marin Querini said that they would take the memorial in hand; they were sure of the good disposition of the Earl of Carlisle, and reciprocated the compliment of Wake. With this the secretary departed.
The Memorial.
His Majesty has taken into consideration the frequent requests of the ambassadors of the republic to his father to grant leave to Venetian subjects to take to his realms currants, wines of Candia and Cephalonia and all other merchandise growing in this state, and especially the efficacious offices of Alvise Valaresso, owing to which that king granted that the said subjects might freely bring to his dominions the said goods in English ships, on paying the duties, all which was duly registered in the acts of his Majesty's Privy Council, the last being dated the 29th September, 1624. His Majesty is astonished that no one has availed himself of this favour in so long a space. He feels the same cordial affection for the republic as his father, and has accordingly sent express commissions by Sig. Francesco Vercellini, a gentleman of his privy chamber, to the Ambassador Tretie (fn. 1) , to wait on me, so that I may represent to your Serenity that if the state or private persons of sufficient means and guaranteed by the state, care to open a way whereby the said goods can arrive in his dominions in the future, on their account, at a reasonable price, so that they may be distributed among his subjects at some advantage, he will immediately take steps, and have the money paid to them promptly, in accordance with the arrangement made, so that the goods may not remain on the hands of those who send them.
May your Serenity be pleased to take all this into consideration, and give a reply, so that his Majesty may decide what he considers best.
[Italian.]
Jan. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
343. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The audience of the Spanish ambassador was postponed until the 15th inst. at his own desire. The procession of coaches was considerable, because, as usual, all the Lords of the Council sent theirs and other private persons also, to please the king, who expressed the wish that this minister should have full honours. His Majesty received him in the great hall of Whitehall Palace, together with the queen and a large number of lords. There was a large concourse, the meeting being peculiar for many respects, but especially because hostilities are going on. This however did not prevent the king's welcome from being most cordial, indeed it was remarked that his Majesty had never received any other ambassador soever with so much geniality (cosi giovialmente).
The compliment was very brief, but it is announced, I report it as news of the Court, that the king said he was glad to see him for every respect, but especially because he hoped that the ambassador's well known abilities would readily adjust everything. They say that the ambassador replied that his Majesty had had opportunity before of judging of his sincerity, and he would always be the same. The king his master would not have chosen him, who was only half a Spaniard, if he had intended to deceive. The king was observed to burst into a roar of laughter (fu veramente veduto il Re prorompere in gran riso), and it is supposed to have been because of such an argument.
He did not pay any compliments to the queen on that occasion. He merely bowed to her and asked leave to see her in her apartments. He was introduced there, the French ambassador being present, uncovered, in the capacity of a simple gentleman. He presented letters from the Infanta, not having brought any from the Queen of Spain, her sister. This excited astonishment, but it is called mere inadvertence. The French ambassador visited him the day after his arrival, accompanied by all his countrymen in the queen's service by her express command. I merely sent to express my desire to honour him, and I hope to keep the reputation of the republic unimpaired.
The ambassador confirms that he has no commissions whatever to treat, so he will merely serve as a surety for the negotiations taking place in Spain, and to receive here the views of the ministers most inclined to the accommodation and to inform his Court thereof.
The French ambassador told me that he had spoken of this affair to the king and ministers also, especially the treasurer. He said he did not find the king so much in favour of peace, but his ministers deceive him, because they do not disclose the greatest difficulties to him, in order to get him to approve of their plans. He is certainly a prince of the best disposition, but not at all inclined to war. He is liable to be managed by one person alone. He does not give his confidence to numbers; and when he conceives a good opinion of any one, he adheres to it, and it is usual to say that he needs to share his favour with one only and uphold him, because it is certain that all the blows will be aimed at him to bring him down and generally calumny as well (certamente e Principe d'ottima mente, ma niente inclinato alla guerra; e soggetto ad essere regolato da un solo; perche non si fidi di molti, e quando concepisse buona opinione di alcuno, mantiene il concetto; et e solito dir che bisogna partecipar il favore ad un solo, et questo sostenerlo, perche e cosa certa che contra lui si arrizzano tutti li colpi per abbatterlo, e per il piu, con la calumnia).
Others have different views, thinking that the king also inclines to peace and to free himself from all external obligations and put himself in a position to make the people obey him by force. Perhaps he means to rid himself of the need for recourse to parliament when he wants money. He could not do this without imposing duties upon articles of consumption, which are now absolutely free. This has been discussed before, but there are serious difficulties, as the king has not the support he would require in an open country without fortresses, exposed to the fury of a very fierce people. As they have lived a long while free from such burdens, the mere mention of them may give rise to serious revolts, and it is certain that on such occasions they would call in the Spaniards and worse, if possible, to their succour (alcuno parla in altri sensi, credendo che il Re anzi inclini alla pace et levarsi da ogni obligo esterno et porsi in stato di farsi ubbidire dal popolo con la forza, dissegnando forse di levarsi dal bisogno di ricorrere al Parlamento quando vuol danaro; il che non potrebbe fare senza aggravar con datii le cose consuntibili che hora sono libere afatto. Di cio si e discorso altre volte, ma gran contrarii vi sono, non havendo il Re per lui quegli aiuti che sarebbero necessarii in paese aperto senza fortezze esposto al furore del popolo molto feroce. In questo riguardo sendo per tanto corso di tempo vissuto libero di simili aggravii, il solo nome di quali puo far nascer grandissimi sollevationi, et e certo che in tali occasioni chiamarebbono Spagnoli et peggio se fossero in loro soccorso).
The Treasurer continues to declare openly that if the Palatinate is not restored, peace will not be made, they will not let themselves be deceived and the truth will soon come to light.
Don Carlo has remarked that he did not know the beginning, middle or end of this affair, and yet he gave the French ambassador to understand that he might remain here eight months or a year. It is therefore quite clear that the only thing the Spaniards want is to gain time. They have always profited by this and will do so still more in this affair, since they are in possession and they lull this king to sleep with words. Meanwhile he does not stir a finger and allows himself and his friends to go to ruin. He might treat for peace and abstaining from acts of war, since he has always steadily refused an armistice, and he can cite the example of the Spaniards, who are making reprisals every day. The last one at St. Christopher is conspicuous, but in addition the Dunkirkers capture booty at sea without the slightest hindrance, so that they have not only given up all thought of the offensive here, but they even neglect the defensive, to their most notable prejudice. This is most necessary both for their advantage and reputation, which suffers severely at a time when they are treating for an accommodation with an enemy, who goes off every day laden with spoils to the shame of such a powerful realm.
Coloma has brought great supplies of money (grosse rimesse) and he keeps four priests in his household, or at least they pass under that title. They might be Jesuits. Two of them are Irish. By both these means, employed according to the nature of the persons with whom he is dealing, he will win their affections as much as he can, with the usual object of making a party, dependent and interested. In his talk about matters outside his business, I hear that Don Carlo announces that the States offer any terms the Catholic pleases, to obtain the truces. This is spread abroad in order to bring him advantage, even though baseless. In any case I have warned the Ambassador Gussoni about it.
The Countess of Carlisle still remains away from Court, and the earl, her husband, and Holland no longer salute each other. Each of them tries to score by legitimate means, and illegitimate ones also. The first, in order to deprive his rival of all hope of the Admiralship, encourages feelings of suspicion against the French, going so far as to whisper that the extensive warlike preparations going on in that kingdom are to serve for some invasion. Such suggestions are most harmful, because if ever this nation was out of sympathy with the French it is very estranged just at present when there are new reasons, both because of harm they have suffered and by no ordinary promptings of envy because of the glorious actions of the Most Christian. So they are quite ready to receive such ideas, and if they produce no other ill effect, they serve to keep the two nations apart and to prevent a closer union.
The French ambassador tries to remove these impressions with great adroitness, not ignoring them altogether and not affording them greater credit by appearing to attach extraordinary importance to them. But by making himself a party in these divisions at Court he has rendered himself somewhat suspect. Thus he told me recently that he knew they did not like to see him frequenting the Court so much, but as they could not find any good reason for preventing him, out of respect for the queen, he meant to continue as he had begun. He gave as the reason for this the general custom of the nation of mistrusting everyone. He did not mention any of the particulars narrated above, except that he repeated what he had said before about the envious way in which they contemplate the glories of his prince, and that they could have no better news than that affairs in Italy were going to ruin, because they are commended to his protection. But the staple of his conversation is the weakness and disorder of the government. He told me he had seen letters from Scaglia to Rubens which speak of France with great respect, but he had written very differently to the same person at other times, even going so far as to say that all the princes interested ought to unite against her for the common service, especially in the case of Italy, to oppose her usurpations there. From the present palinode it seems likely that his master also has changed his mind, since necessity, if nothing else would compel him to do so. This possibly accounts for the increased ill humour of his Highness, because he finds himself compelled to accept dictation from the Most Christian, much to his disgust.
Wake has sent an express here to know how he ought to comport himself with Cardinal Richelieu. I do not know if he has received any reply as yet because the person has not departed. It is not thought that they want to make any declaration here, and they would have preferred if the Ambassador Edmons had not raised this difficulty in France, especially as he had the example of his predecessors, who observed the usual customs of the Court. That could not do them any harm, since there are no special instructions about this, and that is why they do not want to make any final declaration at the present moment. By way of compromise Edmons already has instructions to see the cardinal, but privately without receiving any honour in public and that in private he should give him precedence, but the cardinal refused to admit him, and he might equally refuse Wake, whom this punctilio might affect considerably, as he is to go as ordinary ambassador to France.
Preo lays the blame upon Carlisle for these subtleties, just as he also complained of him when the king here wrote Latin letters to the Most Christian giving himself the title of King of France. This was the last time Edmons was in France, where they were not received, being sent back to be rewritten according to the ordinary French style, in which they have always conducted their mutual correspondence.
The ambassador told me yesterday that the king had informed him he had heard from France that the affairs of the Duke of Orleans were accommodated. I asked him the conditions, but he could not tell me; indeed he added, The king did not tell me and I did not care to ask him. From this I perceived that by his apparent carelessness he wished to convey tacitly that they attached no importance to the matter in France, although he has confessed to me at other times that it was worthy of consideration. When I spoke to him about the affairs of Italy he seemed to believe that the Spaniards will not want to attack in earnest. He remarked in particular, You Excellency will certainly hear that no sooner has the cardinal arrived at Susa than Spinola will send to pay his respects and will perform every other courteous office.
The queen's pregnancy is certain and is announced in the churches, because they have offered public prayers, rendering thanks to the Almighty. In naval matters the French ambassador recently refused to accept the release of some ships which had been taken, maintaining steadfastly that a general declaration was required, that the trade ought to be free, and that unless this is done he will not receive any provisional satisfaction, because France is now in a position to insist upon her rights herself. It is unlikely that they will consent here to such a declaration. The king himself spoke to the ambassador about it, urging him to accept the release of this plunder for the time being and promising to take measures so that no trouble should arise in the future. He said that he told the king that his Council deceived him and that many of his councillors are anxious to encourage disputes between him and the Most Christian, to the advantage of the Spaniards. His last conference with the Council was over this difficulty, in which he certainly shows no sign of yielding.
I have the ducal missives of the 21st ult. They bring me three commissions. I will not spare myself in doing all that my efforts can achieve, but all effort is in vain, because Ven, the ambassador in Holland, also has commissions to confirm their High Mightinesses in their negotiations for the inclusion of the Palatine. He is also charged to perform vigorous offices, as he has done; but they told him in reply that it was necessary England should not abandon him, because this is the greatest interest it has, and if she does what is becoming that may possibly suffice for his service, but that if they think of abandoning him here, so that the States should take him under their protection, they could not promise anything. It is certain that the best resolutions for that prince must come from this quarter.
The third article of my commissions is about the disbanding of the troops in Holland and the possibility of their going to serve Wallenstein. The Ambassador Gussoni mentioned it to me in his letters. As there are no ministers of either Denmark or Sweden with whom to perform the necessary offices, I addressed myself to the Lords of the Council here, as a large part of those troops was Scottish and English. I tried by every argument to persuade them either that they should be paid and maintained in the service of the States or that the colonels should have orders to take them to Sweden, or as a last resort, that they should be brought over here. I made no impression, because if they had interested themselves in this affair it would have been necessary to make some outlay of money, and they are especially anxious to avoid this. So much will suffice to exonerate me for what I have not been able to do.
London, the 18th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
344. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The count tries to win this English minister by all manner of public demonstrations and devices. He wanted him to make a public entry and to go to his first audience with the greatest state. Cottington did not desire this, not only for reasons of state, but because he was not provided with all the things necessary for such a function. So I feel sure he will adopt the simple style and ceremony of ordinary ambassadors. He has been hunting with the count and had some audience of his Excellency. He spoke of business, but did not go very deeply into things, I understand, in the king's absence. The count told him that his Majesty wants to restore the Palatinate, and to facilitate this he had sent a courier to Cœsar a month and a half ago, asking him to send for Count Fuccheri, with full powers, or else send an Aulic councillor, the Baron di Rech or the Baron di Cur. He expected the courier back at any moment. I hear that Cottington complained at not finding the Abbot Scaglia here, and that Ventimiglia said he was coming very soon, as he seemed anxious to communicate with that minister. From the conduct of the Spaniards one may fear that they are thinking of the war in Italy more than anything else.
His Majesty returned to Court yesterday evening.
Madrid, the 19th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
345. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Four days ago an English berton arrived at Villefranche with a caravel as a prize, taken on its way from Brazil in the seas of Portugal. It has 400 cases of sugar and other goods on board. There is every facility at that port for disposing of plundered goods.
Marseilles, the 20th January, 1630.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
346. To the Ambassadors SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
The Imperialists continue to waste the Mantovano, though they are often worsted by our troops and sorties are made from Mantua. Recently our horse routed some troops from Goito marching to the Cremonese. The Albanians distinguished themselves. The need for food often compels the Imperialists to expose their lives. Their captains hope to resume operations against Mantua with fresh reinforcements from Germany. Six regiments in Alsace are destined for Italy and throughout Germany they are levying troops. They stand at no expense to advance their designs, and lure the Grand Duke with promises to obtain money. They get what they can from Naples, as well as troops. Two thousand men are at present on the way to Milan. It is their fixed intent to enslave this province. If they do not attain their ends it is because God does not wish it. The French forces will soon make themselves felt. We continue to help, keeping our army in the field in spite of the weather, at great expense, though we contribute gladly for the liberty of this province and our own preservation.
To the ambassador in England:
The vigorous movements of France should serve as a great stimulus to England to co-operate for the public cause. We commend your prudent offices and vigilance, shown by your letters of the 28th ult. which reached us to-day. We are astonished that M. di Preo had not heard of the departure of Cardinal Richelieu. You will keep up your correspondence with the Ambassador Gussoni, so that you may act with your usual diligence in the important affairs of the present moment, which are so closely related between England and Holland.
Ayes, 119.Noes, 1.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Jan. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra,
Venetian
Archives.
347. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After his first audience the Spanish ambassador had another secret one on Sunday, the 22nd inst. He had a long conference with the king, and I am told that only the treasurer and Dorchester, the secretary of state, were present, so that it has not yet been possible to find out about his negotiations. From this great secrecy and from the nature of the persons present men expect the worst issue to this business, because one cannot believe in the need for so much circumspection if it is merely a question of upholding the interests of the Palatine, as they go about saying, since there is no one who does not approve of the peace provided restitution is comprised in it, just as there is no one who does not detest the possibility of its being made without such a condition, which is required for reasons of state and of reputation. Since this particular audience they have sent a courier to Spain, possibly in order to inform them of Coloma's arrival. Those in a position to form a riper judgment have not discovered anything else. There is the ambassador of the States, who has great experience of these affairs owing to his long stay at this Court. I saw him in order to learn his views. After a thorough examination of all sides of the question he confirmed the opinion which I have expressed before, namely, that the best terms that the Spaniards can offer is to surrender that part of the Palatinate which they hold, which does not belong to the Palatine, because it is assigned as an appanage for his brother, and they will promise to act as mediators about the rest, which is in the hands of Cœsar and Bavaria. With the affair reduced to these terms they will try to satisfy everybody by such a compromise, and the Palatine will be compelled to accept any proposals soever. The ambassador also thinks the Spaniards will be the more ready to give up the portion which they hold from a consideration of the weakness of the Palatine, because, even if he enters into possession, they will always be able to drive him out of that state again.
The chief result of this transaction will be the opening of trade. No other interest has given a greater impulse to this business. Here they consider it essential in order to relieve them from their immediate necessities. The Spaniards also have been desperately anxious for it (lo hanno desiderato con passione), because this trade is most profitable and advantageous to them, when we know that in past years, and particularly in the time of Queen Elizabeth, the trade of the English alone in Flanders was worth more than 15 millions of gold in revenue. For a sure and well grounded opinion it is necessary to wait for what Cottington suggests by his first offices in Spain.
As yet there is no news of his arrival at Court, although the ship which took him to Lisbon has returned with his letters. He writes that he received the heartiest of welcomes there, and notably that before he entered the port the governor, by the king's order, sent two ships to supply all that he might need. When he came to land he found a patent from the king exempting the goods he brought with him from all duties, a matter of 40,000 ducats, and he had refused. These advices were forthwith published at Court, as if they thought thereby to justify their decision to send this minister. There has been a great deal of talk about it, and it has been remarked especially that this offer of exemption was no great honour, indeed it was a slight upon the dignity of his charge, because it showed they knew that the ambassador, at his first entry, had with him such a large quantity of goods that the duties would amount to the sum mentioned. However, he represented this as a demonstration of honour, and consequently he will make the most of even the most trifling satisfactions that he may receive, because he knows that such is the wish of his government, to lead his king towards the ends he has in view. So far as I can I will not fail to make comments and suggest such ideas as are most becoming. But all representations are thrown away where interest absorbs those who ought to all appearance to understand. However, I will not neglect to try every way in order to achieve the end which is the sole desire of your Excellencies with respect to these parts.
Rubens, who has been here up to the present as a sort of ambassador, will leave in a few days. He has obtained a passport from the king with a special clause asking the States not to do him any harm in case their ships fall in with him on his voyage.
Three ships from the East Indies with the value of a million and a half of ducats have reached these shores and are at present blockaded by the Dunkirkers in one of the ports of this kingdom. The parties concerned are sending a convoy to release them. Those pirates are most troublesome, and they seem to have shown more activity since the Ambassador Coloma arrived. At that time they also captured some barques coming from France and other places.
The French ambassador sent to tell me the day before yesterday that the king had told him that the Ambassador Edmons had written that the Germans had raised the siege of Mantua. This news was brought by an English gentleman who had been a prisoner in France (fn. 2) . Since his arrival a rumour has circulated at the Court that the cardinal was about to turn back after receiving this news. I attach no importance whatever to this report, because the ministers here are not well disposed to the good of Italy, because its interests depend upon France. In talking about affairs there I have been told that the Ambassador Colona remarked that he knew full well what jurisdiction his king had in the Netherlands, but not what claim he might have to the dominions of the Duke of Mantua. This is some evil trick of his, because necessity alone renders them reasonable.
The ill feeling continues between the Earls of Carlisle and Holland. Recently, to avoid greater disorders, the king announced in the Council that he took very ill the reports that were in circulation about his being about to choose an admiral, as he had never thought about it, and those who were most talked about were possibly the ones he had least in view. The Earl of Holland, who was present, begged his Majesty to allow him to speak humbly in his own defence, because he knew that he had been spoken of more than anyone else. He protested that he had never desired anything except what might come to him from his Majesty's graciousness. In this particular matter he had not sought any advantage either by deed or word, in any way that would indicate that his pretensions were meant to forestall his Majesty's wishes. The king comforted him with gracious words, and indeed it is observed that his Majesty is very friendly to him; all the same, the disclosure of his dependence upon the French ambassador cannot have done him any good. That ambassador, after seeing that his attempts have proved vain, is trying to some extent to justify himself to the Earl of Carlisle, declaring that he is equally well disposed to him, and that he would have let him see this if he had shown that he wanted it, as the Earl of Holland did. Carlisle, however, does not seem satisfied, and from what I hear he directs his efforts to discredit France and expresses his views in favour of the peace with Spain.
The Agent of Denmark came to see me recently. He told me, not as a certainty, but as what he had heard, that his king was forming a new army, owing to some suspicion he entertained of the arms of Sweden. Certainly if these two kings are not at one about the affairs of Germany they will tend to become mistrustful of each other, and just now the Imperialists will try to encourage this, on the part of Denmark in particular.
The ordinary courier of Antwerp has arrived. Among the letters which have come I have not those of the 18th ult. which I expected.
To-day his Majesty gave me the audience which I asked for some days ago, subject to his good pleasure, because I only had to offer congratulations on the pregnancy of the queen. The office pleased the king, who asked me to thank your Serenity, for whom he expressed his especial esteem. I will see the queen at another time, as she was prevented to-day by some slight indisposition.
London, the 25th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
348. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Some days ago Wake's secretary (fn. 3) passed this way for England, on the pretext of asking for instructions upon the question of precedence with Cardinal Richelieu. I have since learned that Wake adduces many considerations why he judges it necessary to remain some time longer at Turin. Many think that there is still something of the late cabal of that Court with the Spaniards against France and the cardinal. I have advised Soranzo.
Paris, the 25th January, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 26.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian Archives.
349. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador had public audience last Tuesday; his Majesty's steward fetched him, accompanied by many cavaliers and gentlemen. He spoke for a long while and the king replied, but only with complimentary remarks and enquiries after the king and the queen, his sister-in-law.
Yet I see that the coming of this minister is very acceptable and they are trying by every courtesy to confirm his hopes of arranging a treaty. He received great honours at Lisbon, with banquets and toasts for a happy peace between the two crowns. They fired frequent salvoes of artillery, all being devised by the Conde Duque to make the people believe that the peace was made, now that he wants to undertake another war and bind this ambassador to more. He wants him to be treated as ambassador extraordinary, so that he may be the more ready to do what they want here. Up to the present many thought that the Spaniards were deeply pledged to the restitution of the Palatinate and that this mission was to ratify the adjustment and the peace; but it is certain that the Spaniards maintain a reserve and adduce respect for Cœsar and the empire, offering to mediate for the satisfaction of the King of Great Britain, and being on the eve of a great war with France they try to make use of this friendship. Olivares may find this person disposed to second his designs, and if circumstances and their interests here show that the handing over of the Palatinate will prove a great advantage to their interests the French will have to keep on the alert both at home and abroad. If affairs in Italy go badly they are determined here to adjust matters at all costs and come to terms at the best time.
Madrid, the 26th January, 1629 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
350. To the Ambassadors SORANZO in England and GUSSONI at the Hague.
The Germans could not prevent the Duke of Mantua obtaining fodder near Goito, as he carried it off after a skirmish. The peasants have driven the Imperialists from some places. In revenge they made reprisals, not even sparing churches. A good part of our provisions for Mantua is already introduced. The Marquis Spinola, while talking of peace, is making every provision to take the field. They are hastening fresh troops from Germany. We hear they have sent the Chancellor Verda to Wallenstein to send troops here. Richelieu is advancing and refuses to listen to specious proposals. He will go straight to Casale. La Force and Baronis will move on Savoy. The Prince of Piedmont left Turin to confer with the cardinal, who sent to say it would be better for him to collect the troops promised in case Mantua was attacked. The French king told the Savoyard ambassador, who wanted Crichi to have powers to sign an armistice, that he had already sent orders to the contrary. So it looks as if deceitful proposals will no longer be of any use.
Ayes, 107.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Wake!
2 Sir Thomas Dishington.
3 Antony Hales.