Venice
April 1630

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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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313-329

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'Venice: April 1630 ', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 313-329. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89269 Date accessed: 29 July 2014.


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April 1630

April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
385. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Hague.
Cardinal Richelieu, fearing an understanding between Savoy and the Spaniards, has taken Pinarolo; the castle holds out, but is expected to fall by Easter. The Duke of Savoy urged Spinola and Collalto to help him. They were to leave on the 2nd with 11,000 foot and 2,000 horse for the Astegiano. They gave the Savoyard minister at Milan 150,000 ducats and promised every assistance. The cardinal legate has made no progress in his peace negotiations. Eight thousand foot have reached Dauphiné to join Richelieu's force. Bassompierre, at the cardinal's repeated orders, was hastening on the levy of 6,000 Swiss, and was making arrangements for another levy of 6,000 for the recovery of the passes of the Grisons. The Duke of Savoy has ordered the French to leave his state and they have begun to ravage his villages. The republic has given orders so that its efforts for the cause may be more apparent than ever. In Hungary, the soldiers of Castel Nuovo, owing to their privations, threaten to hand the fortress over to the Turks. The Sultan demands his tribute from the Imperialists. Sweden is arming strongly to invade the empire with two armies. Our ambassador writes from Madrid that the ships of war which brought Cotenton on their return fell in with some Portuguese ships, coming from Brazil, laden with sugar. They captured them, and when the news reached Lisbon it so stirred the people and the royal ministers that they immediately ordered the arrest of all the goods that arrived there with the ambassador and demanded all the duties. (fn. 1) This will serve to show that the peace negotiations are not so advanced as is represented.
To England:
The above advices will serve you for information and you will continue to keep us informed of all that takes place at that Court, as you have done in your last letters of the 1st and 8th ult. to our entire satisfaction. We hope that you will soon recover your health.
Ayes, 163.Noes, 0.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
386. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Monday, the 1st inst., the courier who came from Spain was sent back. On the preceding day Don Carlos had audience of his Majesty, and stayed there a long time. From what I have been able to gather from several quarters I have come to the conclusion that they are beginning to repent here of having gone so far in this business. They recognise that they have been too ready to believe the wiles of their enemies while they have paid but scant attention to the sound views of their friends, who have always told them that the greater the promises the Spaniards made the more suspicious they ought to be. I do not lose the opportunity afforded by this change of encouraging those who would like the negotiations broken off. I wish my strength were not broken, so that I might labour more assiduously, though your Excellencies may rest assured that I shall always be ready to injure myself in the service of the state. I made an effort to do something. Two days ago I came out of the house and saw the secretary of state, from whom I had some confirmation that the affair is tottering. For the rest I send your Excellencies the letter which I have written to the Ambassador Gussoni. From this you will see how they go about hat in hand to find pretexts to cover their own weakness. If it were possible to attain the point of recalling Cottington, that would be a master stroke, which would cut away the ground from under the machine. I am labouring at this and I only wish that the Ambassador Castelnovo had gone. M. de Fontane will not take up any business while the extraordinary is here, and Castelnovo coldly asserts that France has no interest in this affair, as if she did it would enable the English to say that they had been compelled by her to abandon a treaty, which, according to him, will fall through of itself. My own hopes about this arise from the knowledge that the king has always been steadily opposed to any composition for an armistice until they see what they may really promise themselves from the business. On the other hand I am fearful of the corrupt counsels of those about him, against which he will not be able to protect himself, while it will not be so easy for others to warn him. In a few days we shall see things clearly, and the result will itself make public those counsels which as yet are kept very secret.
Don Carlo has taken a house in the country. The pretext is the plague and the rigour shown against the Catholics. He says he wishes to remove occasions for offence. Nevertheless, last Sunday, when the pursuivants wished to do as they had done the week before, those of the ambassador's household came out and beat them, rescuing the prisoners. Those of the French ambassador extraordinary did the same, although he disapproved of the act, so that one of the Lords of the Council, who secretly favours the Catholic rite, spoke very strongly. When Secretary Cuch was sent in the name of the king and Council to complain about the action and to demand that those responsible should be punished, the Spanish ambassador answered that if his Majesty would punish those who had shown so little respect for his house, he, the ambassador, would have occasion to be satisfied. On my side no disturbance has yet arisen, as although they have proceeded against those who come to this house, they have done so quietly, and so long as the sufferers do not complain to me I think it best to dissimulate, especially as those who were arrested last Sunday, when summoned before the Council, were released with the declaration that his Majesty released them out of his own clemency, not from any consideration for the instances made to him by the ambassadors. He need not have troubled to make this declaration, as the result would have been the same, and the honesty greater.
The departure of the Ambassador Castelnovo draws near. The little he has done in the time of his stay here renders him very ill content and full of those ideas which I reported in my last despatch. In order not to leave any good office undone I approached the Secretary of State to the end that some satisfaction should be given to him. I find great difficulty, as they claim here that the ambassador has no reason for dissatisfaction if he does not obtain what they declare here to be against all reason. His claims are to arrange by means of a capitulation that the trade of the French in Spain ought to be free. They rejected this here from the first and still do so, saying that their reason is always the same, that they do not wish any commodities to be carried to their enemies from foreign countries. I remarked that while the only war they are waging against the Spaniards is to make reprisals upon the French and others who are going to Spain, the hurt is more felt by their friends than by their enemies. It would have been a good thing to send a fleet to sea and go directly to attack the Spaniards. In that case the French and others would have accepted the veto upon their trade. He answered that they had to do what they could, and I know full well how great their weakness is and that very little improvement could be expected even if the peace negotiations were broken off. But the chief and practically unavoidable question is that so long as they make no further efforts here and still persist in their intention to stop trade, especially to the French, that nation will not put up with it, because the war is waged more against them than against the Spaniards. That is why I foresee a fresh rupture.
Some two months ago there went to France Mons. Garnier, husband of the nurse of the queen here, in order to fetch a midwife for the coming confinement. With him went a dwarf of the queen, a marvellous sight and the most perfect imperfection of nature that ever was born, and therefore much beloved by his mistress. On their return a week ago they fell in with some Dunkirkers and were taken prisoners (fn. 2) . The news moved the queen to tears, and it was necessary to send a courier to Brussels for their release, and the Spanish ambassador was asked to write letters in their favour. But scarcely had the booty reached Dunkirk than the Infanta gave orders for its release and all have arrived safely, except the baggage, which might amount to 20,000 ducats, for presents which the dwarf had received in France, an advantage for which he went there, and for other things which their Majesties here had sent for for their service. But the other English who were in the same boat were held and ransomed. Although this accident seems of slight importance, yet as it touched the Court so nearly, it made the hurt more sensible, owing to the shame of being misused every day. It caused so much disturbance that one of the lords here, laughing at their weakness, remarked to me that they were more upset at Court than if they had lost a fleet.
The news about the encounter between the Dutch and the Spaniards in the Indies is still unconfirmed. In the house of the Spanish ambassador they speak about it as certain, with the victory on their side. The Ambassador Edmons is back home. I fancy he announces that he is ill pleased. I have not had an opportunity of seeing him, although I have not neglected to try and make one.
The ducal missives which reach me this week are of the 7th ult.
London, the 5th April, 1630.
Postscript.—M. de Fontane has just been to tell me that he has this morning received from Trois letters of the 27th ult. in which the Secretary Botilier advises him that the Duke of Savoy has at length declared against the French and so the cardinal has been compelled to attack Vigliana. The same ambassador also informed me that the king has this day received a courier from Wake, who sends to his Majesty the same declaration of the Duke of Savoy, printed, giving his reasons. The chief of these is the harm done by the army in Piedmont in passing; he further adds that the cardinal made a feint of attacking Vigliana, but he had sent the bulk of his army to besiege Pinarolo, which was already blockaded. At Rivoli the French had found a great quantity of food, of which they had taken possession. The ambassador considers war a certainty, but remarked that M. di Castelnovo was not of the same opinion. I communicated to the ambassador the entirely opposite advices which I received from your Serenity with my letters of the 7th, as by them it seemed that the duke favoured the royal force and that the garrisoning of Vigliana was merely a show to please the Spaniards.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.387. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to VINCENZO GUSSONI, his colleague in the Netherlands.
Your letters of the 4th and 9th ult. have reached me at the same moment. Those of the 23rd February have arrived since. I thank you for the promptness of your advices. The most important thing that I have to relate about the negotiations with Spain is that the courier sent by Cottington has not been sent back before to-day. The conclusion of the affair constantly becomes more and more difficult. One can only imagine that the Spaniards are really playing with them, because notwithstanding the very great desire of the English, if not to conclude the peace, at least to go on with the negotiations, in order to profit by the lapse of time, since their purse is absolutely empty, they are obliged to contemplate breaking off the business, although nothing very serious is said about it as yet. It is whispered, however, that Cottington has written to his friends that he hoped to be recalled soon, and by letters I have received from Spain from the Ambassador Mocenigo, although he tells of the deputation of fresh commissioners and quarters to treat with him yet he does not think they are very confident, and I think that the best policy is to fear the worst.
My indisposition has greatly hindered my operations, for although there is little to do in any case, yet one can do something every day to achieve the best that is possible. I have recently seen the secretary of state, Dorchester. He told me that Sir Henry Vane had written that the greatest difficulty he encountered in his negotiations with the States was their opinion that the negotiations with Spain were so far advanced that they had practically arrived at an effectual armistice. He could not remove the impression because I had written to that effect to your Excellency and you had mentioned it to a member of the government, so that they considered it absolutely certain. I replied that it did not become the dignity of my office to answer to anyone for what I had written, but as for the armistice, facts contradicted it, if they took into consideration the reprisals which the Dunkirkers make every day to the very great hurt and disgrace of the English. I therefore thought that in this case I could tell him without prejudice that I had not written any such thing. I told him that, not for the sake of the information, but to let him know that I am better informed than he might imagine. He made me some amends in his reply, but it did not satisfy me, because he told me that he had not believed it. He added with some assurance that it was not in the interests of the most serene republic that there should exist jealousy and mistrust between the king here and the States, as if I had been the minister who had started these scandals. I thought it necessary to tell him that I thanked him for his zeal in the interests of the republic; that in serving her I knew what was proper and I should be answerable to her for any errors I might commit. I knew it was not only good but necessary that mutual confidence should exist between this Court and the States, but seeing what was going on and what was being done here every day to destroy it, the ministers of the republic had not the power to prevent the misgivings which were excited daily in the breasts of their High Mightinesses, with good reason.
At this point I went into the whole of the past affair with the Spaniards. I pointed out how little regard they had had for the alliance with the States, in beginning it without their consent and in pursuing and continuing it without participating the matter to them. I had a fine opportunity to make much of this, because the Ambassador Joachim had recently complained to me bitterly about their treating here with great secrecy, and although they had communicated what the first courier sent by Cottington brought, which was merely about ceremonies on his arrival at Court, two others had arrived since and it was not possible to discover anything, although he had purposely tried to see the ministers, naming the secretary himself, in particular, and the king. From this I drew the lesson that it is necessary to operate properly with regard to friends in order to avoid mistrust and jealousy, which could not possibly be prevented when the causes are so potent and when the grounds for it are so strong as those which the States have with respect to this Crown.
I think it right to inform your Excellency of all this conversation, although I know that I did not write that the armistice was arranged, which would be contrary to what one sees every day, though the English alone suffer, and although I am more than certain that you did not announce it as concluded, as Vane pretends, yet I think it would not be amiss if you made this clear to Vane, so that we may not be exposed to anything similar at another time. I must not forget to mention that at the end of this interview with Dorchester, I said that I would write about it to your Excellency, and he replied that it was not necessary. From this I conclude that it was an invention to use as a pretext with the Dutch ambassador, in order to smoothe away jealous feeling and show that it is without grounds. Be that as it may, I do not think it proper that we should put up with it.
London, the 4th April, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered; copy.]
April 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
388. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier from Wake has passed with all speed for London. It will be to take word of events in Italy and to urge the king to help the duke; but at present in that kingdom they think of nothing but their own affairs.
Troyes, the 10th April, 1630.
[Italian.]
April 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
389. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Hague.
The French take the castle of Pinarol, thus uniting Dauphiné to Italy. Cardinal unlikely to give it back. Reinforcements reaching him. Intends to take Saluzzo. The duke at Carmignola where joined by Spanish regiments. Spinola marching to help Savoy. Cardinal legate, unable to make any progress with peace negotiations, going to Bologna. Venetian forces ordered to enter Mantovano to drive out Imperialists and create a diversion in favour of French arms in Piedmont.
To England:
Your last letters of the 15th and 22nd ult. with full information afford us entire satisfaction and we should like to hear you were well. With respect to the renewal of the edicts against the Catholics, you conducted yourself in a fitting manner in your reply to the Secretary of State. If you act as the other ambassadors do, you will completely fall in with our wishes and intent.
Ayes, 112.Noes, 6.Neutral, 10.
[Italian.]
April 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
390. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By the postscript to my despatch of the 5th inst. I spoke of the advices come from Italy. On the following day I saw the Secretary of State in order to make quite sure. He read me Wake's own letters, seven in number, dated from the 10th to the 26th ult. The advices agree with those which I have from your Serenity up to the letters of the 15th, which are the last I have received, because up to the 18th Wake writes that quite cordial relations existed between his Highness and Cardinal Richelieu. From the 18th to the 22nd he sends word of the rupture, laying stress on the causes and reasons for it. He says that when the French army reached Susa, and wished to proceed further on its way to Casale, the duke sent an intimation to the cardinal that everything was ready by the way of Vulpiano and Civas. Many troops had marched in that direction, but when they brought the guns along the French considered the route very inconvenient and difficult, owing to the number of marshes. Accordingly the cardinal sent an intimation to the duke that it was not possible to proceed any further by that route, because the guns would be buried there, and so he wished to change his road and take his army by the way of Pinarolo. On hearing this the duke sent the senior prince to treat with the cardinal and to point out to him that as all the preparations had been made by way of Vulpiano, it would be impossible to take the other route without great inconvenience, and besides it was undoubtedly much longer. Wake goes on to say that after some debate the prince proposed that they should send the troops by the way already arranged and the guns by Pinarolo. To this the cardinal responded that he would not agree to divide his force in such a way. Wake further writes that at the same time that the prince went to treat with the cardinal the duke sent the Marquis Villa in the direction of Pinarolo to oppose the passage of the French. It was known already that the cardinal had given orders that notwithstanding the conference with the prince, his troops should continue on that road. They did so and found the marquis in their way. The first troops therefore were obliged to halt, but, being reinforced, they forced a passage on the following night, and the cavalry went forward and invested Pinarolo, in such sort that it is believed that the succour which the duke sent thither immediately cannot have arrived in time. He reports the reprisals made at Rivoli and that Marshal Crichi on arriving at Milleflore sent to Turin for his baggage. Difficulties were raised about giving it up and the marshal had pillaged and burned the prince's house. Wake's advices take matters down to this point. He goes on to say that the duke, stirred by these hostile acts, had immediately called Spinola and Collalto to his assistance.
From what the Secretary of State said to me I perceived very clearly that he wished to convey the impression that the cardinal had crossed the Alps with his mind already made up to act in a hostile manner against the duke, and possibly to take possession of the marquisate of Saluzzo. This is confirmed by the talk of the whole Court, which is divided in opinion about the causes and circumstances of this great event. The French ambassadors steadfastly maintain, in opposition to what Wake wrote, that the cardinal's decision to take the way of Pinarolo proceeded from nothing except the duke's reluctance to allow a French garrison to enter Vigliana or to demolish its fortifications, because it was not in reason to take the army any further while leaving in the rear a fortress devoted to a prince whe was none too friendly, and who, according to what the Secretary Botiglier writes, has so often broken not only his word but his bond, signed by his own hand, and who might thereby close the passage of succour from France. In that case Susa would be utterly useless and so to obviate all such difficulties the cardinal had been obliged to try another passage. It is certain that he could not select a better one than Pinarolo because as they have told me themselves last year he suggested an arrangement to the duke, to let him have Susa and to take Pinarolo in exchange, as more suitable for the passage, but the duke would not consent.
The same courier who brought Wake's letters said that before he left Turin, which was on the 22nd ult., the news of the capture of Pinarolo had already arrived, and although the castle held out, the French ambassadors did not suppose that it could do so for more than a day or two. They make much of the capture and say that they will be able to abandon Susa, setting free the 6,000 men required to garrison it. They talk very resolutely and say that the king will not give back to the duke those places which he takes in fair warfare. They speak of the town of Carmagnola, that though it is very strong, the cardinal might at least make the attempt, so I think we may take it that there was some design to trouble the Duke of Savoy in this second journey to Italy. I must not forget to add that in order to sow discord and create dissension Wake writes in his letters of the 22nd that your Serenity's ambassadors have sent to say that they have had no share in all the things which have occurred against the Duke of Savoy, and that they were against the wishes of your Serenity. (fn. 3) This is the point that the ministers here lay most stress on, and it has produced a great impression upon the minds of the French ambassadors. I have addressed myself to them with all my energy in order to remove this bad impression, pointing out that it was contrary to all reason to suppose that your Serenity's ambassadors would have performed such an office of justification with the English ambassador in a question with which he had nothing whatever to do so far as his master's interests were concerned. This afforded them great satisfaction. I thought fit to add it was true that your Excellencies could not view with satisfaction the cardinal's delay in going to Monferrat and of the help for the Duke of Mantua.
I must not forget to add that news has come in letters from Genoa to the Ambassador Fontane from a confidential correspondent that the Duke of Savoy had previously made an arrangement with the Marquis Spinola to remain always on his side, in consideration of a payment of 150,000 crowns down and 50,000 a month during the war, and that he had put the places of Crescentini and Una in the hands of the Spaniards as a security. They add that both sides had delayed to carry this into effect for two reasons, first, so that it should not be declared openly and second on account of some difficulty which arose between them, as the Spaniards wanted to have the places before paying the money, and the duke wanted the money before he handed over the places.
It has not been possible to collect much about events here these last days. Cottington's secretary arrived from Spain four days ago. So far I have not been able to find out for certain what he brings, but as I have much to confirm the impression that they are about to decide to recall Cottington, I am able to conjecture that the secretary will give the impulse. The Dutch ambassador told me recently that the lords here have made some overtures to him, although in very general terms, about increasing the confidential relations between the States and the king here. He asked to see some sign of such good will before he wrote to his masters, as he wished to build upon safe foundations and it is necessary to remove the suspicions which have been occasioned by these last negotiations with Spain. He told me in confidence, however, that he had written about it, and I did not fail to make remarks appropriate to the occasion. I believe that they might find the States in a friendly disposition, especially if they broke off the peace negotiations on this side, but the lack of money and of everything else here at present will retard the results.
The ten ships intended for the guard of the coasts here are on the point of sailing and they ought to put some curb upon the free career of the Dunkirkers. The Ambassador Castelnovo still stays on here. He saw the Council three days ago to hear their final decision about his negotiations, but I think he will get exceedingly little out of them.
Edmons, returned from France, made his report to the Council very bitter, remarking on the ill satisfaction received while saying nothing about the reasons. This tickled the ears of the king and Council, who like nothing better than to hear France spoken of with contempt and dishonour. From this evil disposition your Excellencies may form an idea of the value of the union between the two crowns.
I will use the advices which your Excellencies send me of the 15th ult. about the detestable action of Zucato, secretary of the Ambassador Mocenigo, for my information only. I will not fail to defend the action of the state if I am provoked.
London, the 12th April, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
391. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Here they have again advised having a large squadron to watch the English Channel for the return of the enemy's ships from the Indies, to win or at least prevent the passage. This is the chief reason for their correspondence with the King of Great Britain, as they would like to have the advantage of his ports for the ships destined for this purpose.
Madrid, the 13th April, 1630.
[Italian.]
April 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Padova.
Venetian
Archives.
392. The RECTORS OF PADUA to the DOGE and SENATE.
We send your Serenity the cost of entertaining the Marshal of Etres. We hastened his departure because he not only appeared with a large following, but all the French and English who happened to be in this city accompanied him, so that there were always above a hundred at table.
Padua, the 14th April, 1630.
[Italian.]
April 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
393. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have sent to England the powers for the Princes Palatine, to be sent on to Spain, although they clearly perceive that these are all Spanish incantations in order to induce the English to make some adjustment by the mere show of a favourable disposition in the matter of the Palatinate.
The Hague, the 15th April, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 17.
Consiglio di X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
394. In the Council of Ten.
That the jewels of the sanctuary and the halls of arms be shown to Mr. Thomas Sermeset, son of the Earl of Worcester, an Englishman, with others of his company.
Ayes, 16.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
April 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
395. GIACOMO BEMBO, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With respect to the difficulty raised by the English merchants here about exporting currants from this island and Cephalonia, I will await the instructions of the Five Savii. I need only report that if the Flemings do not buy a large quantity of currants here this year it will be necessary to give them to the English at a very low price and on credit, as for the most part has been done in both these islands; but the highest price has been 21 ryals and a tenth, more than one half less than last year.
Zante, the 18th April, 1630.
[Italian.]
April 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
396. To the Ambassador in England.
We have two of your letters of the 29th March. In the matter of the Catholics you will follow the example of the other ambassadors, performing every suitable office and trying by every lawful means to obtain the release of those who came out of your house, because this also behoves the dignity of the state and the preservation of privileges, and because you must not be treated as inferior to the other ambassadors, though you will show the circumspection and address that the delicate nature of the matter demands. We are very glad to hear of the recovery of your health. With regard to the king's progress, as there is at present no matter of importance which obliges you to follow his Majesty, you will try to avoid it, pleading your convalescence or some other excuse. If the spread of the plague compels you to leave London, you can go to some country place near until his Majesty's return. It is of consequence that for some months no ambassador or other minister has been here, and no one is appointed. If you have the opportunity you will drop a hint of this to someone, with great tact. We leave it to your prudence. As there is some trouble between France and England which might lead to quarrels, after peace has been established with such labour, you will always aim at mollifying their sentiments and encouraging a good understanding.
Further progress of Richelieu. Swiss levies of Bassompierre. Austria raising new forces against Italy. Venice has its army ready for all emergencies.
Ayes, 89.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
April 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
397. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ducal missives of the 22nd and 26th ult. have reached me at the same time. On Wednesday evening, the 17th inst., a courier reached the Ambassador Fontane from Trois with letters of the 10th, in which his Majesty sends word of the progress of his forces in Piedmont. The ambassador showed me the king's own letters, which really go to great lengths against the Duke of Savoy while highly extolling the action of Cardinal Richelieu. From this it is clear that his Majesty approves of the cardinal's decision, as indeed he seems to have been guided hitherto by good judgment. This courier says that before he left Trois another courier had arrived from the cardinal with news that he had advanced with the army to Carmagnola. The ambassador said to me that the marquisate of Saluzzo will pay for the duke's faithlessness. I tried to find out what they propose to do in the interest of Mantua. The ambassador assured me with great emphasis that everything would be done, as all the steps taken had been made with this interest alone in view, and the king would never abandon it. I am very much afraid that they will allow themselves to be carried away by their desire to humiliate Savoy, and so your Excellencies may be urged to support Mantua single handed. I therefore take pains to point out mildly that it is necessary to succour Mantua before the Spaniards and Imperialists are reinforced, and I pretend to believe that the cardinal intends to do this without delay. The Ambassador Fontane pressed me to know what was the opinion of your Excellencies about this change of proceedings. I was very guarded in my reply, because it is superogatory to give an opinion upon a decision already taken and I am aware that it does not behove one to disapprove of what has already been carried into execution. I confined myself to representations about the need of Mantua.
As regards affairs here, nothing has happened except the return of Cottington's secretary to Spain. The talk about what he brought and took back is most vague. The Dutch ambassador told me yesterday that he had tried in every way to learn some particulars, but had not found it possible to discover anything. All the ministers hold their tongues, and he complains of this because he claims, and with reason, that they ought to tell him. He told me that he had learned through his confidential informants that the Spaniards were ready to offer every satisfaction to the king here, but they raise great objections to the restoration of the Palatinate, endeavouring to give him to understand the difficulty of inducing the emperor and Bavaria to give up the portion which they hold, saying that owing to the hostility which the princes profess against the Palatine, they can promise themselves little from their intercession.
For a year or so there has been some whisper of sending an ambassador from here to the electoral diet. One may conjecture that this decision is due to the encouragement of the Spaniards, who foster the belief that in this way England may easily obtain its desire from Cœsar and Bavaria too. This step is especially necessary for the revocation of the imperial ban. They also promise to assist with their offices and instances. One thing is certain, if they decide upon this embassy here it will remain as fruitless as the Spanish one. Thus England will go playing the mendicant only to receive the refusal of the whole House of Austria, with a dishonour of which many of the lords here are sensible. They have to put up with it, however, because the one who has control so decides and the king allows himself to be carried on by slow degrees without becoming aware of the prejudice. As yet they have not chosen anyone, but some say that the Secretary of State, Carleton, might go there, others that commissions will be sent to Anstruther, ambassador to the King of Denmark.
They continue to speak of Cottington's return. It is not thought that they will send an ambassador in ordinary to that Court.
The Ambassador Castelnovo still remains here without any business, but merely for his own pleasure. The last time he saw the Council he obtained no satisfaction. The lords there excused themselves on the ground that in the affair of Canada they had not received the requisite information from the Council of Scotland, whence they expected it, because it concerned that nation to supply it, since they made the acquisition. They made use of this obvious excuse to cut short all demands of the ambassador in the matter of trading, because the question of Canada is the leading one and the others are merely relative, and so everything was postponed. They have taken three months here to make up their minds and the French ambassadors have required as much to answer the requests made to them about the restitution of two very rich ships which were taken some months ago off the Barbary coast and carried off to Dieppe. (fn. 4)
Thus Castelnovo is going away after ten months' stay here without having effected anything. He goes honoured by the king and queen in a very signal manner, owing to the confidential relations he has always enjoyed at the Court. As a further testimony they gave him between them presents to the value of 25,000 ducats. Some overtures were made to him these last days for an offensive and defensive league with France, but neither he nor the Marquis of Fontane paid any attention to this, because the French pretend that they cannot go so far as to make a league with England, adducing the pretext of religion, and maintaining that without entering into any stipulations they can act together in the interests of the common cause, each one doing his share towards what is necessary. The French will not hear a word about open war with Austria, and although such a declaration would be most necessary for the safety of those concerned, they contend that the world can see, anyhow, how much they are doing without it, and they profess that by adhering to the offensive they are able to take up the offensive with a greater show of reason, without any further declaration. I was recently with both the Ambassador Fontane and the ambassador of the States, when we dealt at length with this matter. I maintained that it was good to make a declaration; Fontane upheld the contrary for the reasons given above, and the Dutchman took my part. There is nothing astonishing about that because I know it is the idea of the States that by means of these differences the French may become involved insensibly and engage in an open war.
The plague continues and has increased notably. The king thinks of leaving London in a few days. All the ministers will follow him and I shall be obliged to do the same, since I have no orders to the contrary.
London, the 19th April, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
398. GIOVANNI CAPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses petition from the merchants asking for relief in the present decline of Venetian trade, although the total amount of it has rather increased.
The Vigne of Pera, the 20th April, 1630.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.399. Petition of the merchants, showing the reasons for the decline of Venetian trade at Constantinople. Not due to general decline of trade as the people have grown more luxurious, but to competition. Venice was formerly alone in the Levant and exported a quantity of cloth. Now the French and English bring a great quantity of cloth of Paris and London respectively. The Londons do the greatest harm to Venetian cloth as they not only imitate its colours, but can sell it at a lower price, thus tempting the middle and lower classes to buy them.
The satin and damask of Florence also do great harm to the Venetian satin and damask. The former were introduced by the French twenty years ago, but land transport proved too costly; now the English ships which touch at Leghorn bring not only these but velvet and other sorts of Tuscan silks, and the capital is sent back to Leghorn in the English ships and laid out on kerseys and wool, making them dear at Constantinople. These goods are now distributed about Italy from Leghorn.
Impossible to compete with the Londons as cloth like it cannot be made at Venice except at a much higher cost, because wool is so plentiful in England and the Londons are brought by sea at a slight cost. Time is needed to make them lose their reputation in the country.
[Italian.]
April 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
400. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has received letters by a courier of his own. It seems that the whole of his business is upset and in confusion. He trusts to his secretary, who he hears has reached Dover. This minister would like to uphold the business, open trade between the two nations and for the rest second their inclinations here and let things take their course.
Madrid, the 20th April, 1630.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
401. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The assembly of Holland will meet next week as usual. I understand that the partisans of the truce will try and keep those negotiations alive. The Spaniards are renewing their inducements and apparently hope to make a joint accommodation through the interposition of the English, comprising the satisfaction which they profess to want to give to the Palatine. In this connection there is much talk about the hurried despatch of the English ambassador's secretary from the Spanish Court to London.
Meanwhile the Princes Palatine, so as not to be lacking in their present straitened circumstances, have sent two gentlemen to the two Kings of France and England, to try and obtain a supply of ready money as a debt from one and as the fulfilment of promises from the other. This move is also attributed to some other motive, and it is whispered that when the gentlemen arrive they may have commissions to treat for some closer correspondence with these States in the present highly favourable circumstances. I have sent information about this to my colleagues in England and France so that they may penetrate more deeply into the matter.
The Hague, the 22nd April, 1630.
[Italian.]
April 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
402. VICENCO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have been on the look out for other suitable commanders for the service of your Excellencies. Among these Colonel Hey is an experienced officer and seemed ready to make reasonable terms. He is a son of the Lord Chancellor of Scotland and a knight of the King of Great Britain. He has served in war on several occasions, notably as colonel during the whole siege of La Rochelle and recently as colonel of infantry in command of 17 companies serving the States at the siege of Bolduch. I have begun to treat with him and hope to come to terms, although his demands are much higher than those of M. de Bervevert.
The Hague, the 22nd April, 1630.
[Italian.]
April 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
403. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Hague.
Richelieu determined to keep Pinerol. Reinforcements reach him at Vigliana. King going to Lyons to cross Alps if necessary. Spinola and Collalto to join in Mantuan. General skirmishes. Proveditore Querini takes La Volta. Cardinal legate returning to Rome. Bassompierre, with Swiss and French forces, moving on Savoy. All German preparations directed against Italy. This for information. Enclosed advices from Spain show the despatches made for England and the artful plans and promises, which through empty offers aim at giving them greater advantage in Italy.
Ayes, 68.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
April 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
404. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As I reported, there was a great stir at Court and the king was much moved by the advices sent by Cottington that there was scant hope of obtaining satisfaction in the peace negotiations, and so all the ministers are very sorry that they allowed themselves to go so far. A rumour got abroad that Cottington was to be recalled. The Ambassador Colona feared the rupture of the treaty, because he must know that in Spain they have no thought of coming to anything effective, and negotiations easily fall through which have no other foundation than trickery and which are maintained by deceit and breaking faith, such being the nature of the present affair. In addition to this there are the by no means slothful offices of those who try to make them realise the real interests of the king and who stand for the common cause, when they have a favourable opportunity.
Amid this universal confusion Cottington's secretary arrived. It appears that he brought a very resolute reply received by the ambassador in Spain and Don Carlos presented a paper here to the Council to the same effect. So far as can be ascertained it consists firstly of a lengthy and elaborate attestation of the Catholic's keen and cordial desire to satisfy the King of Great Britain in every possible way. Secondly, that in order to put the affair of the restoration of the Palatinate on the road to a successful issue it is necessary that peace between the two crowns shall be made first of all. The Prince Palatine should be included in this, as they say it is not right or reasonable that while the Catholic is at enmity with that prince his Majesty should interest himself for him in demanding the Palatinate of the emperor and Bavaria. They promise then that when the accommodation is made they will perform in good faith everything that is necessary to secure the revocation of the imperial ban, through which the Palatine is at present incapable of obtaining anything in the empire. After this revocation they will promptly restore that portion of the Palatinate which they hold. They justify this delay in the restitution of this portion on the grounds of the imperial ban. For the rest they promise faithfully to intervene with offices and accommodation so that the Palatine may be completely invested with his dominions again, including those held by the emperor and Bavaria also.
Those who are most zealous and who see furthest want a more precise declaration or formal promise from the Spaniards for the restitution of the Palatinate. Several Councils have been held upon this point, but the Ambassador Colona has not failed to inform the lords and tried to make them recognise that it does not become the Catholic to pledge himself so far as by a direct promise, and he cannot commit himself to such an obligation with the King of Great Britain for restitution to the Palatine, as if the emperor and Bavaria proved to be indisposed to make the restitution he would one day find himself bound to make war on them. Here they insisted resolutely upon an absolute promise, but at length they relaxed, under the influence of private interests. Cottington's secretary has left, as I reported, taking with him, to all appearance, a demand for a formal promise of restitution, but actually, if they cannot get this, they will conclude the treaty and sign the peace upon an empty and most slender verbal satisfaction, which will go to show how little they care here for their reputation and the service of their friends.
There is a general curiosity here to learn the progress of events in Italy, as no advices have arrived this week. The king will set out on Tuesday, the 30th inst., with the queen and all the Court, to escape the danger of the plague. I shall follow his Majesty, who will make his first halt at Greenwich, always supposing that he holds to the decision taken to-day, as they have changed their arrangements several times these last days. It is expected that the queen's confinement will take place there.
The Earl of Pembroke, a Knight of the Garter, a member of the Privy Council and chief steward of his Majesty, has died suddenly, to the great sorrow of the whole Court, owing to his great qualities. (fn. 5) Apoplexy is assigned as the cause, but with this great outbreak of the plague it is not without suspicion.
M. de Castelnovo left here last Monday, the 22nd inst. to return to France. He spoke very undecidedly these last days about his going to Italy.
London, the 26th April, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
405. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Three days ago the English Ambassador Vane received a despatch from his Majesty, recalling him in haste to England. He is preparing for the journey, but says he will return as he is leaving his household and the house open. The reason seems to be the interests of the Princes Palatine here, on whom he has waited with great assiduity since the arrival of the courier, to receive all the instructions they may wish to give him before he leaves. It is said that the King of Great Britain will make use of these for the special ambassador whom he is to send to the electoral diet. M. de Rusdorf is also going there in the Palatine's name and has already received his passport from the emperor.
Colonel Hey showed his readiness to serve your Excellencies and selected a number of capable officers to take with him to Italy. When our negotiations seemed on the point of conclusion, he told me that he must go to England before he proceeded to Italy, accompanying Vane thither. Some of his officers were very disgusted at this. I shall try and find someone else.
The Hague, the 29th April, 1630.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 This appears to be taken from Mocenigo's despatch of the 21 February, but the original despatch is so much ruined by damp as to be practically illegible.
2 Sir Geoffrey Hudson, the dwarf, was captured on Thursday, the 28th March. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1629–31, pages 217, 218. See also Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. ii, pages 69, 70.
3 "The Venetian ambassadors, Soranzo and Cornaro, did send unto me after dinner to assure me with protestations that they were innocent of these innovations and that this proceeding of the Cardinal de Richelieu had no conformity with the sense of their republic." Wake to Dorchester, 22 March, 1630. S.P. Foreign, Savoy.
4 The James and the Benediction of London. See de Vic's despatch of the 4/14 April. S.P. Foreign, France. The same volume (86) contains several papers on the subject.
5 He died on the 20th April, very suddenly. See Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol., ii, page 73.


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