Venice
June 1630

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1919

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345-364

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'Venice: June 1630 ', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 345-364. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89271 Date accessed: 25 November 2014.


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Contents

June 1630

June 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
427. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Cottington has again sent his secretary and a courier to England. He told me himself that they took new proposals, but from what I gather they are inventions of the Conde Duque in which he has little or no hope of good business; indeed he says he thinks he will have orders from his king to depart on the return of his secretary. He declares that twenty-four men of war have put to sea and may do the Spaniards hurt, but there is no news of this from any quarter, and it may be a specious invention to keep up their reputation.
Madrid, the 1st June, 1630.
[Italian.]
June 3.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
428. That in response to the petition of Edward Meplisdem, captain of the English ship London, and because of the services rendered by him to the Mart and the public customs by his eight voyages to Cyprus, that he be allowed, on his return to the West, to lade currants at Zante, with exemption from the charge of 5 per cent., though he must pay the usual 10 per cent. of the new impost. (fn. 1)
Ayes, 139.Noes, 5.Neutral, 31.
[Italian.]
June 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
429. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Hague.
Spinola pressing Casale. The king means to relieve it. He promised the queen to return within four months. Venetian forces gathered at Peschiera. There also are Candales and Milander, after engaging in a long and sanguinary fight with the Imperialists.
To England add:
Your last letters of the 10th give us full satisfaction. You will try and find out all about the peace negotiations. We are anxiously waiting to hear about the levies and if you have persuaded Colonel Morgan. We have decided to engage the Duke of Rohan, who undertakes to raise levies and hopes through his brother in England to get some thence. You will tell us what grounds there are for expecting this. You uphold your position with your usual vigour and ability, and you will not agree to any prejudicial tribunal and will advise us of what happens in any case. You will inform us in what respects they treat you differently from the French ambassador. As we advised you not to follow the king if he went on a long journey, yet, as this is not the case and as you are compelled to take a house outside the city because of the plague, you will try to be as near the Court as possible, so that you may not lose facilities for negotiating, which would be too harmful to the state.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
June 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
430. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The advices from Spain still tarry in their coming. They are awaited with impatience, especially by the treasurer, who hopes that they may be conclusive, in conformity with his desire. Letters reached the French ambassador four days ago. They are of the 20th ult. from the Court, dated at Chambery, very brief and without any particulars of note. The Secretary Bottillier writes that four days earlier they had despatched a gentleman to the ambassador, who was going to France with his despatches, and he would have received these with a reply to all his letters and the particulars of current affairs. He has not yet come and yet they reckon that he should have arrived ten days ago. Accordingly the ambassador is very anxious for several reasons. I also most earnestly desired his coming, because he should bring the ambassador the commissions required for his operations to upset the negotiations with Spain, and I am sorry for the loss of such a good opportunity as is afforded by the delay of the letters from Spain. I tried to induce him to anticipate his instructions by his offices, on the assumption that they would be very ample and adequate to the need, but he excused himself, more especially as he expected his letters at any moment. I know that he has little hope of achieving anything, and therefore he does not want to be in any hurry to act. I share his fears, because they grow more enamoured of peace every day, and to make sure of its being advantageous they would like matters more embroiled in Italy. For this reason they would like the French to declare themselves, and contend that while they wage a merely defensive war it is impossible to trust those who will not speak. I have tried to maintain the contrary, not that I do not know full well that a formal declaration is not desirable and might be very advantageous. In the second place I have not failed to promise that so far as appearances go, if England is willing to play her part they will easily obtain a declaration from France. I have argued by the most palpable reasons I could adduce that no step could put the French under a greater obligation to declare themselves than the breaking off of the negotiations with Spain and a vigorous resolution to join France for the service of the common cause.
I spoke recently to this effect to the ambassador of the States when he came to see me. In the interests of his masters he insists strongly upon this declaration of France. But I do not see why, as the saying goes, they should want to take the serpent by their fellow's hand, and will not commit themselves at all. Among the other things of which the Dutch ambassador spoke to me, to make sure of a vigorous war against the Spaniards, with the almost certain expectation of excellent results, was that the powers interested could undertake nothing more certain than to collect a powerful fleet of eighty to ninety ships and keep them in the seas of the Indies for three or four years, to prevent the return of the gold and silver fleets to the King of Spain; but there would be very great difficulties about arranging this, because so many parties are concerned. I told him that the States could carry out such a plan more easily than anyone else, because at present they are the strongest at sea; the merchants of Amsterdam are the most interested in the trade of the Indies, and if the State would afford them any assistance they would undertake it most willingly. He answered that they could not take any such step alone, but without it there could be no hope of quiet in Europe, because unless they took away the fount which supplied gold to the House of Austria, it would always be aspiring to universal monarchy.
Of the many reasons given for the coming of Sir Henry Ven I find that the one which has the best foundation is this. When no advices came from Spain for a month and more, the king was very anxious for some days, and the treasurer was much alarmed lest the whole fabric should fall upon him and smash him. He suggested, as a middle course, that they should send for Ven in order to hear from him what they might look for from the States, supposing the negotiations with the Spaniards fell through, hoping to gain time in this way and keep the king's mind occupied with this show. They therefore sent for Ven, and a few days later a courier arrived from Spain, to be followed soon after by Cottington's secretary, so that everything resumed its former channel, and they made use of Ven's coming for other information.
I have heard that Ven brought word that dissension is increasing daily among the United Provinces on religious matters, and that the Prince of Orange recently prevented the meeting of the national synod, thus showing a great partiality for the Arminians, and that changes of great consequence may shortly be feared.
Yesterday a valet de chambre of the queen mother arrived from France. He brought for the queen here in the name of his mistress the swaddling clothes for her approaching confinement, consisting of some charming lingerie and other things for the child.
By this means the ambassador has received letters from Paris from some of his friends, notably the Governor of the Bastille, who writes that the king left a considerable force at Momigliano, and marched for the Val d'Aosta, to the relief of Casale. The ambassador brought me the news immediately.
We took the opportunity to talk together. I told him that the Spaniards would be quite content that the Most Christian should take Savoy, provided they could possess themselves of Monferrat and Mantua. I asked him what they would do if Casale fell. He replied that at the worst the king would recover it in exchange for Pinarolo and the other places he was taking. I was sorry to hear this idea of an exchange, because it shows that they have already considered a remedy, and this might make them move more slowly. With respect to the defence of Mantua, I find from what the ambassador says that they leave it all to your Serenity. God grant that they are not looking for pretexts and also that they may not have occasion for dissatisfaction.
There was a report at Court of some negotiations for an accommodation between the Most Christian and the Duke of Savoy conducted by the Princess of Piedmont, and this valet from the queen mother said something to me about it. The Resident of Florence here told me he had received advice that a gentleman sent by the Most Christian to Mantua to treat with the duke there and with the general of the most serene republic upon current events, had been seized by the soldiers of the garrison of Goito on his way back. They found papers on him about the matters he had negotiated, and owing to this discovery they had hastened the movements of Collalto to return under Mantua.
I have no letters from Your Serenity this week.
London, the 7th June, 1630.
Postscript.—I may add that the Spaniards here wager that before the month of May is out Casale will have been taken by the Marquis Spinola.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
431. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Ambassador at the Hague.
Most Christian takes Romigli, Clermont and Nissi; intending to move towards Conflans. Savoyards abandon Valtarantasia. Efforts of the republic to re-open communication with Mantua and introduce relief. Duke of Rohan has entered her service. undertaking to levy 10,000 foot.
To England:
We have no letters from you this week. You will use the above information for our service, with your usual prudence.
Ayes, 108.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
June 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
432. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On Saturday last, the 8th inst., the queen happily gave birth to a prince, about midday, and so the king sees his desires fulfilled and the succession established. The rejoicing was very general, although beyond bonfires lighted by persons of every condition as the law enjoins, and a procession of the king, the Lords of the Council and others to St. Paul's, to give thanks to God, nothing has been done as yet.
The news was sent to France by the young Montagu, the one who was kept prisoner in the Bastille in the time of the war, and they have invited the king and queen mother to act as godparents to the child.
They sent a gentleman of the chamber to Holland to inform the king's sister of the birth and to invite the Palatine to act as godfather at the christening ceremony. They hope by this honour, which is greatly valued to soften the news as much as possible, which is very bitter because of its consequences. They have also sent a courier to the Ambassador Cottington in Spain and to Wake in Piedmont. I have not heard yet whether anyone special has been sent to the Princess of Piedmont, though I expect they have, because they profess here to be very particular about maintaining the reputation and satisfaction of that house. With respect to the invitations, it is thought that no more honourable and manifest demonstration can be made by France than the sending of an embassy extraordinary, to take part at the christening, and that the Palatine, being so near, may come in person. But I do not think that they want either the one or the other here, and they let it be understood that the king thinks of naming himself those who are to take part in the name of the invited godparents. The plague is the ostensible reason, which compels them to be very cautious and to avoid such public gatherings. But the real reason is that they wish to escape the expense this ceremony would involve, because if the French sent an ambassador they would have to defray him, not to speak of the presents, because in such a case as this it would not be possible to adopt the other rule. That is why they sent Montagu to take the news, as being more or less adapted to discover their intentions and adroitly to divert them, while insinuating their wishes over here. They have not said a word about it to the ambassador, and he made some complaint about this to me; but there is no need to wonder at their silence with him, as this being merely a question of economy they would blush to speak about it to any foreign minister. If his master came personally or sent an ambassador, besides the expense, it would be necessary to come to some formal decision about the manner of his reception and treatment, whether as prince or as King of Bohemia. They have used equivocations on this subject for some time past, although with mutual satisfaction.
There is also another very important consideration, that if he comes it would be fitting that he should bring his wife with him, otherwise it would be sure to excite remark, especially among the Puritans here who cry out more than ever against the exile, so they call it, of this princess, to whom they are so much attached (desideratissima da loro), and therefore she is rendered every day more suspect to the king. This is accentuated at present because many of the Puritans, indeed the majority, have shown their sorrow at the birth of the prince because of her.
On the very day the prince was born I made a special effort, as the occasion demanded, although very shaky on my feet, and went to see the Secretary of State to say what I thought necessary in your Serenity's name, asking him to impart it to his Majesty as a testimony of your Excellencies' satisfaction at so happy an event. On the following day, a Sunday, I asked and obtained audience of his Majesty, who received me in his ordinary apartment, but in the presence of the majority of the Lords of the Council. I paid my compliments, such as I considered appropriate to the occasion, and said that would serve as a pledge of the sincere and cordial affection with which your Excellencies would always hear of any good fortune to him, and I was sure that when you heard the news you would charge me to perform a fresh office. My office pleased his Majesty, who asked me to thank your Serenity. He is usually a prince of few words, and even on this great and extraordinary occasion he was as reserved as usual. The other ministers also offered their congratulations. The eagerness shown by the Spanish ambassador was noticeable. On the very day of the birth he went to the city, entered the palace and saw the king without asking for audience. His Majesty had not been warned, because he had been in the queen's chamber all the time, amid the familiar functions. I am told that there was some question of admitting him on this account, but the treasurer and Carlisle were present and had all the difficulties removed.
I also was at Court two days ago, to see the Countess of Holland, a lady of the queen's bedchamber, and through her I tried to let her Majesty know of your Serenity's rejoicing at her well deserved consolation, and when, after a time, an opportunity presents itself, I will not fail to perform the necessary office with her. The Countess of Holland took me to the prince's apartments, and I saw him in his cradle. So far as one can judge from present indications he will be very strong and vigorous. The nurses told me that after his birth he had never clenched his fists, but had always kept his hands open. From this they augur that he will be a prince of great liberality in the future.
London, the 14th June, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
433. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When I performed my office with the Secretary of State about the birth of the prince, he told me that he had already received orders from the king to direct the agent at Venice to inform your Serenity. This opportunity served me admirably to fulfil my instructions about the criticism so justly aroused from your having had no ambassador or other minister from the king here for so long a time. I told him what I thought proper about this. He replied that his Majesty's agent had always been provided, but admitted there had been some irregularity because no letters of credence had ever been sent to that minister. He assured me that they would send them upon this occasion. I also asked him, as if for myself, if any reply had ever been made to the ducal missives which I presented to his Majesty informing him of your Serenity's election. He said, No. To prick him a little I asked if that was the custom. He said they had really forgotten, but if I wished an answer would be sent. I said I left it to his prudence to decide, because I did not want it to look as if I was begging for an answer to a public letter, and for my own part I do not think that they will omit to answer. One thing is very certain that in matters that do not touch them very nearly they are very ready to slip into carelessness. I shall secure one thing at any rate from my offices, namely, to make them see that the way this government behaves and proceeds does not pass without remark.
On Sunday, the 9th inst., Cottington's secretary arrived back here, having done the journey in twelve days. Besides the despatch of that minister for the king he brought another for the Ambassador Coloma, who asked for audience two days ago. I do not know if he has had it yet, because Cottington sent word of the commissions that were coming for Coloma, and before giving him audience the king wished to meet the commissioners deputed for this affair to hear their opinion and arrange what answer they should give. But this kind of consultation is not free and merely serves to give reputation to the affair, because it is certain that everything that is propounded there has been settled beforehand by the king and treasurer, so that no one dares to contradict. What these despatches bring has certainly not transpired. I have learned from someone. however, that the negotiations are making very good progress. Some think that though time will play a great part in the business, yet they will end by concluding peace. I have heard fresh whispers about a truce for two or three years; in the interval they are to negotiate for the restitution of the Palatinate. Before the secretary goes back, which from what they say, will be within ten or twelve days, I will try to find out all that it is possible to discover, and your Excellencies shall hear full particulars.
The gentleman for the French ambassador has at length arrived. He has brought two despatches, the last of the 26th ult. Its contents consist for the most part in advices of his Majesty's operations in Italy, which the ambassador communicated to me as usual, and brings things down to the withdrawal of Prince Tomaso from Conflan and his going to the Val d'Aosta. He told me that the king writes that there is no pressing need about Casale, so that his Majesty can attend to the enterprise begun and still be in time to relieve it. I asked him what he had about the negotiations with Spain. He answered, Nothing, and then remarked, we will wait and see, clearly showing me that he had not received the commissions he expected. Thus every day shows more clearly that the French attach no importance to England, and they do not care whether she makes peace or a truce with the Spaniards. If they had wished to make any resolute proposal they would have done so before now, and would either have stopped the negotiations or have obtained a more explicit statement about the views of the king and treasurer. But as they perceive that the English want to make them declare open war while they can expect but little assistance from them here, they evade the experiment and hope to manage without this help. I asked him if the alliance with the States will be concluded. He told me that by his last letters from the Hague the Ambassador Boisi wrote to him that he was expecting definite orders about this, but in the meantime affairs there were going just as they wished, because they were getting everything ready for the Prince of Orange to take the field. That minister, who leans to the Spanish party, has always seized upon every occasion for delaying the conclusion of that affair. He will be the more eager to do so now, when he knows he can obtain his intent without binding the king to the yearly contribution of a million florins.
The ambassador told me that the Secretary of State had recently been to complain to him because a courier sent from here to Wake had been detained four days in Dauphiné. He said this was contrary to usage and all reason, and had never been practised between two friendly kings. In the second place he told him that the coadjutor of the Secretary Botillier remarked to the courier when he received his passport that it would be given to him, although against reason, because Wake was daily becoming more unfriendly to France. They knew his opinions, that he had always aided and abetted the intrigues of the Duke of Savoy, especially through the last offices of the English agent with the Swiss to prevent Bassompierre's levy, and he certainly would not be well received when he went as ambassador to France. That when Wake knew of this he had written here that it was not reasonable for him to go to France after this pretext, and he begged the king to let him off and appoint someone else for the post. The ambassador replied that the affair of the courier did not deserve so much attention or elaboration, when the circumstances were considered, as his Majesty was just about to proceed to Savoy, so that it was quite reasonable that they should not wish couriers to proceed to Piedmont at that time.
The courier has since returned here and says that he was stopped for that reason alone. He said he had no instructions about Wake, but he might remark for himself that when he was in France and since he had been here he had heard that that minister was constantly becoming more and more unfriendly to the Most Christian, and if it was true, as he had no doubt whatever, that this person of position and intelligence had spoken thus to the courier, it was necessary that the king must have said as much upon some occasion that arose. The Secretary Dorchester remarked that Wake had served him as secretary at Venice for six years, and he had always noticed that he was naturally inclined to favour the prince where he was resident. Being at present at Turin he felt obliged to serve the duke as the friend of his master. Before he had been four days in France he would be thoroughly French and the Most Christian would be quite satisfied with him. The ambassador merely remarked that he could not speak on this subject without orders. He either could or would not seize this excellent opportunity for excluding that minister. As these means fail me I do not know what more I can do. In order to serve your Serenity in this matter I have called to mind the office performed by Preo. He told me that if Wake's exclusion could not be obtained then, it could not be managed now, and they do not know here whom to send in his place to facilitate all the things past. I reminded him of Roe, who is now in Sweden, and pointed out on solid grounds that he was the man who ought to go to France. He seemed to consider the point, but I do not think he will make any further attempt without express orders from the Court. Wake has many supporters here, and the generality afford him support in proportion as they incline to quarrel with France.
Dorchester recently spoke to the Ambassador Fontane, as if for himself, to get him to send away the physician who came to serve the queen. He told him that the king is very sensitive and takes his stay here as a sign of insolence, and as positive proof that they intended to force his hand and make him accept the man, a thing he cannot tolerate. The ambassador replied that the king had nothing to complain of in this matter, because everything was done according to his good pleasure. There was no attempt to force him, because it had been left to him to accept or no. The physician was in his house, and he did not think they would deprive him of the liberty to keep in his house anyone he pleased. Dorchester told him that when he was ambassador in France Montagu arrived there. They intimated to him in the king's name that he must leave, and he had to do so. The ambassador replied that Montagu was suspect and indeed known as a fomentor of the civil discords then in France, and he came solely for that purpose. They could not pretend that this physician was a person of that description, while he himself would always serve as a guarantee for all those who were in his house and he would never take up anything to the disadvantage of the King of Great Britain. This office was performed before the queen's confinement, because the king thought that if any difficulty arose at the birth the queen herself might have asked for the assistance of this person, who is highly esteemed, and as the physician was still here he would not have been able to refuse in such case, and so he wanted him to depart, so that he might not be forced on any consideration to do anything he did not like. Castelnovo must be blamed for any offence that may arise over this affair, as he promised more in France than he could perform, and his intentions cannot have been good or commendable, whatever the outcome may be.
Sir Henry Ven has recently been honoured by his Majesty with a place in the Council of State. He was formerly a great enemy of Buckingham, to avoid whose wrath he lived for a long while in Holland. As the king still preserves an affectionate memory of that favourite this step is sufficiently remarkable. It must be because Ven now belongs to the party of the treasurer or at least flatters him, because I know that he has been described to me before as a man of sound sense, and so I have always found him in my dealings with him.
The ducal missives of the 17th ult. continue the advices of events in Italy, and I will not omit to use them for your service.
London, the 14th June, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
434. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This Saturday morning I have just received the ducal missives of the 24th ult. with orders for the levy of a regiment of 2,000 or 1,000 infantry, and other commissions, which shall be promptly executed. I have also received the two letters of credit of Ridolfo Cimes. There is no time at present to add more. In my next despatch I will send all that I consider necessary to report about this matter of the levy and other things. I may add that although it would be desirable that Colonel Morghen should undertake the charge, if willing, yet from what I can gather it is not possible to expect this, as he looks higher, having been honoured several times in the wars of Denmark with the title of general. I have had him in mind before when your Excellencies charged me to give you some information about persons fit to take a command. You may consider your own service, because this Morghen is certainly very skilful in the practice of arms. I shall be able to send more precise information in my next despatch.
London, the 15th June, 1630.
[Italian.]
June 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
435. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News has arrived from Cadiz and Gibraltar that 52 French sail have passed through the strait, the majority of them being powerful ships of war. Some days ago there was a rumour of ships entering the Mediterranean. Now the English ambassador has imparted the news to the French. The English ambassador also says that his master's men of war have defeated six Dunkirkers from whom that island and all the trade of the north had suffered much harm, and for the future the English Channel would be safer and less infested by the Spaniards.
Madrid, the 16th June, 1630.
[Italian.]
June 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
436. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days ago a gentleman arrived from the King of Great Britain with letters to these States and the Princes Palatine announcing the queen's happy delivery of a prince. The people here range the bells and fired guns. The Prince of Orange, the Palatine and the Agent of England conveyed to all the ambassadors here, France, Sweden, Denmark and myself, that they would like us to celebrate the occasion by bonfires, as we all did. Rusdorf, who came to this embassy in the Palatine's name, showed me the very letter of the King of Great Britain inviting his master to act as godparent with the Most Christian and the Queen Mother of France.
Letters from Hamburg state that the accommodation between that town and Denmark is progressing very favourably, thanks to the efforts of Anstruther and Roe, who are both at Gluckstadt. I have seen a letter of Anstruther, who says that when that accommodation is made, as he hopes it will be soon, he will make haste to proceed to the diet at Ratisbon.
The Hague, the 17th June, 1630.
[Italian.]
June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
437. To the Ambassador in England and the like to the Hague.
Valiant resistance of Toras at Casale; Spinola deceived in thinking it easy to take. Most Christian marching to relieve Casale. Emperor sends troops to help Savoy. Venetians introduce relief into Mantua, inflicting considerable losses on Imperialists. Plague prevented more progress.
To England add:
We hear that Cottington is receiving no satisfaction at Madrid, but he continues to see the ministers and postpones his departure. He seems unlikely to leave that Court this summer. He remarked that his king had a good number of armed ships and the Spaniards would repent of treating everyone so badly.
You will use the above particulars for the public advantage. You will keep up your friendly understanding with Fontane, preserving the peace between the two crowns as much as possible, and hastening the levies committed to you, as if the bargain is delayed we shall lose the favourable season for their passage. We regret your continued indisposition and we hope you will soon recover. We have voted you 300 ducats for couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 148.Noes, 4.Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
438. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I sent my despatch on Friday evening, the 14th inst., and then a letter advising the receipt of the ducal missives of the 24th ult. I have been working with the greatest diligence. I sent at once for the merchants Daniel Harvie and Thomas Simons, draper. They were both away from the city. In order not to lose a single instant and assuming that there could be no doubt about the financing, I approached Colonel Scoto in particular, although I have also treated with others, so as to enjoy the advantages of competition. I hoped that I had the matter in good train, and sent again for the merchants. At length they came to see me yesterday. I told them that I had letters of credit upon them and asked them to be ready to make payment. They told me that the amount was very large and payment was not easy owing to the scarcity of money on this mart, especially as repayment was to be made at Venice, where there was no money at present. They therefore said they would think over the matter and give me a definite answer some time yesterday. I saw that they were not disposed to make this payment, especially Thomas Simons, a man of scanty credit. In my opinion he has also subverted Harvie, who is very wealthy, whose credit stands high in the mart, but who prefers to deal in perfectly safe business, or rather something that is easier than the question of the exchanges, which he professes to avoid in particular.
They came back to me yesterday and said definitely that they could not pay the sum of 8,000l. sterling, because there was no money on the mart, especially for such an amount. I told them that I did not require the whole sum at once and could take it in instalments, at their convenience. I was also at pains to show them how safe this outlay would be, how much their refusal would discredit Cimes, in short I left nothing untried in order to induce them to make the payment. They steadily excused themselves, complaining of Cimes for having given them such a commission without advising them beforehand. They said that although they were his agents they had no money of his in their hands, and for such large sums it was usual for merchants to employ safer means of transmission than letters of credit. Harvie expressed his willingness to supply me with his share if I would give him a sufficient security. I told him that the letters of Cimes ought to serve as a pledge. He said he would give 500 ducats not to be mixed up in the matter, in which he and Simons could do nothing. He assured me that they could not get together such a large sum of money on this mart in four months.
They employed every subtlety to excuse themselves. Thus Harvie, amid my warmest exhortations, told me that these were not letters of exchange. He was not willing to advance money on the credit of the republic. He would risk no more with it. A short time ago he had lost a large sum of money by a ship of his which happened to be there and which he says was compelled to go and lade wheat. The captain was put under arrest and the command given to someone else, who had ultimtely run it on to the rocks and he had lost it. Two payments had been made to him and he had been compelled to return them. He meant to appeal to the Lords of the Council.
These are the outlines of his remarks so far as I could gather them, as he interspersed them with something that had nothing to do with what I was talking about. I asked to see the commissions they had from Cimes, as from their hanging back I suspected that there were some reservations in their private letters, as I never dreamed that anything like this could happen. They sent me a copy of a portion of their letters, which I enclose. This seems to me quite definite and friendly, but there are two particulars, one where he writes that I might not use this money, the other that he tried to excuse himself and had not succeeded, but had practically been forced to give these letters, which may have rendered his agents here suspicious, because, like all merchants, they make a fuss about all threats. I did not fail to show them that my letters speak decidedly and clearly, without any reserve, but it was not possible to persuade them.
I cannot say how much this check has afflicted me. One cannot avoid seeing that it wounds the credit of the most serene republic, as although the letters come from the merchants, yet the money was to be raised on the credit of the Signoria. I felt so sure about it that I could not believe I should not get it the moment I asked. If any doubts had entered my mind, I should not have spoken to Scoto or anyone else about the levy, which cannot be carried out without a public declaration, in order to give a chance to those who might wish to undertake it, if for no other reason, and through the advantages of competition to be enabled to select the best. I had to publish it for this reason, and now I am in great distress because of the need of finding pretexts to remove the suspicion that I am not going on with the negotiations for lack of money. I fear that I shall not be able to supply a good enough reason, because I know that the merchants Harvie and Simons have already announced on the Exchange that they have refused the letters. This report will become public and will very quickly reach the ears of the Spanish ambassador, a thing that causes me endless regret. I am preparing to have reason from the letters I expect from Venice to say that your Serenity has imposed some delay upon me, especially as it is rumoured here that matters over there are near an accommodation.
I thank God that I did not commit myself with the king, as immediately the commissions reached me it came into my mind to go to his Majesty, not only to obtain the requisite permission for the colonel who might treat with me to beat his drum and assemble his men, but chiefly to forestall any evil offices that the Spanish ambassador might perform through the Earl of Carlisle and others of his party. I do not imagine that they could prevent the levy altogether, but I know that they could create difficulties, which would have injured your Excellencies, by delaying the despatch, if by nothing else.
I should like to add that if you still wish me to make this levy you must either send letters of exchange, with which you will certainly lose less than 15 per cent. of what you would do if the transaction were performed here, or if you prefer letters of credit you must choose merchants of greater substance, because Cimes, although he stands very well on the mart, has not enough credit to meet such a sum. I may add that letters of credit will always be subject to the drawback which has just been experienced.
I considered this matter serious and was on the point of despatching an express courier, but when I came to make enquiries, I could not find a courier acquainted with the journey, and to send an inexperienced person was to run the risk of his arriving after the ordinary, especially with the difficulty of the passes, which are shut everywhere. If your Excellencies will send an express to me I think you will find it easier, and I shall wait to hear your pleasure.
In the meantime I shall not refuse any offers that are made to me, though without coming to any conclusion. I have acted thus with Colonel Scoto, who has been to see me about his terms. I would not enter into these, so as not to commit myself any more. From what he said I gather that he will take as his guide the terms he arranged with my predecessor Contarini, which I enclose. I think it will be very suitable to arrange with this colonel, not only for the levy, but for taking the men to the dominions of the republic at his own expense. You will observe that the sum amounts to 45 ducats di banco per head, including the levy, equivalent to 11¼l. sterling in their money here. Thus the grand total exceeds by some thousands of ducats the limits set me by your Excellencies and costs 5 to 6 ducats per head more than the levy of Holland. I may also state that the colonel told me this morning that when he arranged his terms with the Ambassador Contarini food in particular was practically a third cheaper than it is now, and that there will also be some additional difficulties about the levy. Thus I imagine that if I am to go on with these negotiations I shall have to deal with somewhat higher demands. I shall therefore await your commissions upon this particular, as I am fully determined not to assume any authority whatsoever upon this question of money, which is the most thorny that I could have to deal with.
London, the 21st June, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
439. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king gave audience to the Spanish ambassador, who remained with his Majesty for the space of two hours. It has since been stated that neither of them was satisfied, and that accordingly they had to send a courier to Spain to adjust the business, and before Cottington's secretary leaves they will wait for the answer. I have not succeeded in finding out wherein the difficulty lay, though I have made every effort to do so. The French ambassador does not care, or else, through always associating with the French at Court, he is not able to find out much. I have not been able to learn anything from him beyond general talk. The Dutch ambassador knows very little because as he says, and it is perfectly true, the business passes through the hands of very few and they keep it most secret. In this connection he told me that they always declare that they will tell him what is passing, but they never do. There is more talk of a truce than of anything else. Time alone will show with certainty, and the issue of the negotiations.
His Majesty has made Ven Comptroller of the Royal Household, an important office immediately beneath that of High Steward. He might easily attain to that, since it has been vacant since the death of the Earl of Pembroke, although it is not thought that they will be in any great hurry to fill that very important position, worth 40,000 ducats a year, which the king will save. Indeed, they say that Ven has received this appointment so that he may exercise one office and superintend the other, upon a single salary. Such are the economies of the treasurer. As a matter of fact they took the post from an old minister, who was not competent to support so great a burden, owing to his age and his incompetence. (fn. 2) Ven will return to Holland in ten or twelve days, so he told me, but he will come back in less than a month, with all his train, and they say that the younger Carleton, who now acts as agent, will remain as ambassador.
The Dutch ambassador told me that the Prince of Orange was ready to take the field, but he had not made up his mind whether he should apply himself to any definite undertaking or merely visit and defend the frontier. The advices from those parts which obtain most credence report grave dissensions between the provinces about the meeting of the national synod and that the prince has decided to take the field in order to stop these disputes. But such a fire may be damped down but not quenched by such remedies.
The Dunkirkers have recently captured eight Dutch barques laden with goods which were going to France. The loss may amount to 100,000 ducats. The Spaniards here say that this indemnifies them for the loss of Fernambue.
The old duchess de la Tremouille arrived here from France four days ago to see her daughter, the wife of the Baron di Strange. The day after her arrival she went to Court to see the queen. They made some difficulty, because the king did not wish her to be admitted, merely because the queen was not so well provided with household goods as became her estate, as they make the most miserable economies even in the things that show most. Finally the queen herself desired to see her. When she entered the room they shut all the windows to exclude the light and prevent these short-comings being seen. The lady was affronted by the first refusal and therefore says she will leave in a few days, although she came to stay a year or so.
When she came it was stated that affairs over there are tending towards an accommodation, as she said that before she left Paris letters had reached Monsieur from Conflan of the 6th inst. stating that a draft of the terms for the peace had been sent to the queen mother at Lyons, and by letters of Rohan of the 12th the merchants have advices confirming that the negotiations are very advanced.
I enclose a packet for Rowlandson, the king's agent with your Serenity. Dorchester, the Secretary of State, sent it to me to-day asking me to send it with my letters. They include letters for your Serenity of ceremony, and of credence for the resident, so I fancy my offices have not been misdirected. Dorchester told me when he brought the packet that a courier has arrived from Turin to-day, having come in twenty-one days, confirming my opinion that it is very difficult to pass. He also told me that the Spaniards complain about the Duke of Savoy. They believe that he has but little love for them and do not trust him at all, and they will never give him back the places which they now hold. This information comes straight from Wake and must be taken into account.
London, the 21st June, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
440. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday evening I sent my ordinary packet for your Serenity, in which you will see the absolute refusal of the merchants to meet the letters of credit. This morning, Saturday, the ducal missives of the 31st ult. reach me with the commissions repeated very urgently. While this increases my desire to do everything in my power to serve you, it also augments my affliction at seeing myself absolutely cut off from the means of doing so. I have decided to send these by express to the Master of the Posts at Antwerp, with orders to send my packet by express courier, and to let me have promptly the directions and orders requisite for carrying out the commissions of the state. This will be done fully, as there is no doubt but that I can manage the matter quickly, with good commanders, and I think you will be supplied. With respect to what you say about sending other letters of credit next week, I am afraid they will be refused. However, they may be from merchants with better credit, and I will try to get the money, as I am eager to begin because I know the need. But your Excellencies must not build upon this, and it is necessary to think of some more certain method. It is useless to think of Colonel Morghen, because he would on no account undertake so small an affair, as he claims the position of general, but there are plenty of other persons competent to act as colonels, who will willingly go to serve you.
London, the 22nd June, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
441. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I spoke to the cardinal about Wake's suggestion to mediate between France and Savoy. He said that the duke's behaviour showed little inclination to what was good, but nevertheless the mediation of Wake, England or anyone else would not be rejected. I acquainted the Agent of England with this so that he might inform Wake.
They are expecting Montagu, who is coming to bring word of the queen's delivery and to invite the king and queen mother to be godparents to the little prince.
Lyons, the 22nd June, 1630.
[Italian.]
June 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
442. To the Ambassador in England, and the like to the Hague.
Most Christian erects fort at the Little St. Bernard to shut out the Savoyards. His eagerness to relieve Casale. Brave resistance of Toras. Austrians urging help for Spinola and Collalto. Conference with Leopold about the imperial forces in Germany and Italy. Venetian generals drive back Austrians and intend to relieve Mantua which the enemy are pressing closely, taking advantage of the plague.
To England:
You will use the above advices for our service and continue your offices as represented in your last of the 7th. We do not urge you as we are sure of your application and vigilance.
Ayes, 84.Noes, 0.Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
443. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As the ordinary messenger for Antwerp did not leave here on Friday night last week in time to add a letter of the 22nd to my despatch of the 21st for your Serenity, and because of the difficulty of the passage, I sent my packet direct for Venice by an express courier. So far I have not heard what has happened, because the one whom I sent has not come back. I instructed him to take advantage of the ordinary, because I did not want to throw away money. I fancy he will have reached Antwerp safely and that the Master of the Posts will have despatched the courier, if the passes happen to be free from the difficulties of war. I should have decided to send someone of my household, without it passing through the hands of others, but in the state in which we are we must use the means that circumstances provide for us.
I have nothing more to add about the merchants or the persons who offer their services, only that every day of late I have been trying to keep in touch with all who have come to see me, by encouraging their hopes, whether captains, soldiers, merchants about ships or others, though without committing myself. In this way I think I have covered up the disturbance, and for taking up active operations it only remains for me to receive your Excellencies' more express orders as to what I am to do about the expense of transport. Others as well as Scoto have made very high demands. This was done verbally, because I would not have any written terms, to avoid committing myself. I hope to reduce these, but I think it impossible to bring them down to the level of my commissions, namely to spend 5 to 6 ducats per head more than the amount of the levy in Holland. In the Dutch terms I see no definite undertaking by your Serenity to keep the regiment on foot for any specified time, so that if you wished you could disband it the day after it arrived at the Lido.
Everyone here demands a year or two of safe employment after his arrival out there. They seem very firm about this, although I have tried to damp their hopes. I do not think I shall be arrogating too much to myself if I arrange that condition as best I can, but really I should be greatly relieved if you expressed yourself definitely about the whole of the Dutch arrangement and upon the increase in the cost of transport, because I am in doubt, since you have altered that point only and not said anything of your intentions about the rest, whether I am to be ruled according to the form and tenor of that. However, when I have the particulars and the declaration of your wishes about the expense, in consideration of your urgency and the need, I will arrange for the rest to the best advantage, with such zeal for our service as is my duty.
London, the 28th June, 1630.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
444. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Among those who came to offer their services to your Excellencies was the son of the President of the Council and former Secretary of State Conway. His first employment in the service of your Serenity was with the troops of Colonel Peyton, and he has continued the practice of arms ever since. His last service was in Denmark with the troops of General Morghen, whose lieutenant colonel he was, with a very good reputation among the troops. The President, his father, himself came to offer him to me. I maintained as much reserve as possible, although I thanked him very heartily for so friendly a demonstration. He said something to me about the treaties with Spain and suggested it might be as well to ask permission of the king for the levy before peace was made, as if friends might be prevented from receiving such services in this kingdom after the conclusion of the negotiations. I have thought about this, chiefly for the reasons which I have already reported, but in my present situation I have not thought it advisable to commit myself with the king. For some days past, they say, the Spanish ambassador has let it be understood that after the conclusion of his affair he has instructions to make a levy of three regiments to send to the Netherlands. Anything may happen, because this has become the kingdom of exhibitions and indecencies. In this connection I may add that it is announced that Sir Kenelm Digby, whom your Excellencies know, will very soon be added to the Council of State, notwithstanding that his father was a convicted criminal, beheaded for his share in the gunpowder plot against this king's father. (fn. 3)
With the progress of the negotiations with Spain, the ambassador since his audience of the king has met the commissioners two or three times about his business. It is thought that they have arrived at an agreement, as they announce here that all they desired has been granted in Spain, yet in order to make these proceedings look more respectable they are postponing the announcement and pretend to be much more jealous of the welfare of this kingdom than they really are. The difficulties at present in the way are mere formalities, both unnecessary and useless. The king claims that some papers which recently came to the hands of the Ambassador Colona from Spain shall be consigned to him before the articles of the peace are signed. The ambassador declines, saying that he has no instructions to consign them except after the ratification. On this account it is thought that another courier may be sent back to Spain.
I have not been able to find out what these papers contain, but it is probable that they concern the Palatinate. It is said that the Spaniards have promised the king here every satisfaction about it, and that is why the king wishes to have this security in his hands, so that he may communicate it to the Princess Palatine for her consolation, and to show her this consideration before the peace is concluded. They still keep announcing that this affair will end in a truce, but many believe that it will be an effective and durable peace, cloaked under the name of a truce to please the people. In order to appease them as much as possible one hears some whispers of a parliament. Among the principal offences and prejudices that this conclusion can bring with it the greatest will be if the Spaniards take advantage of the supply of ships here and hire them to use against the Dutch in the Indies. I know that this point was raised, in order that a clause might be inserted in the treaty to obviate this danger, but it was not embraced.
The ducal missives of the 31st ult. bring me the advices of events in Italy, including the combat between your troops and the Austrians in the Mantovano. This is reported here as having been very sanguinary and that your forces had rather the worst of it. The Earl of Carlisle, as usual, has magnified this and exaggerated the circumstances, but as he always has his hands full of vanities and falsehoods, I easily destroyed his credit. When the President of the Council came to see me I asked him something about the orders given to Wake for the intervention of the king here between the Duke of Savoy and France, in the way Wake confided to the Ambassador Cornaro. The good old man, who does not deal in such tricks, answered that I might put it to myself whether it suited the King of Great Britain that affairs in Italy should be accommodated. I remarked that I thought his Majesty's intentions were so good that he would not desire war in Christendom, least of all between two princes who are intimate with him, but I perceived that no such orders had been given, at least that he did not know of them. On the other hand, I have learned that some days ago the Secretary of State remarked to the French ambassador in this connection that the king regretted to see the quarrel in progress between the Duke of Savoy and the Most Christian, and as Wake was to go to France very shortly, he had given him instructions to bring about an accommodation. I learned these particulars from the ambassador himself, who told me that he attached very little importance to this interposition, especially if it was conducted by Wake.
So far letters have not arrived from Venice, although in order to have them quickly so as to get on with the matter of the levy I gave orders at Dover that so soon as the messenger from Antwerp had crossed the sea they should send on my packet by express. I do not think it will come to-morrow either; however, if I receive it in time and there is anything to answer, I will not fail to add to the present despatch what seems necessary. I am particularly anxious to have those letters promptly, because I hope that the drafts which you wrote that you were sending with them will be realisable, and that will afford me an opportunity of obliterating a recent mishap which afflicts me greatly.
London, the 28th June, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
445. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Sunday a courier arrived from England with news of the happy delivery of the queen there. The Spaniards immediately seized the occasion to show the cordiality between the two kings, bonfires being lighted at the public palace and by all the Court, while on the following days the Ambassador Cottington was invited to public festivities of bull fights. He co-operates with the intentions of Olivares in every possible way. He is waiting for his secretary and hopes that these events will serve to push on the negotiations. I saw him recently to offer congratulations. He told me of the remonstrance made to him by the Conde Duque about the levies permitted in those realms for your Serenity. I replied in a suitable manner, referring to the continued favours of the King of Great Britain to the republic and his royal decisions always to her advantage.
Madrid, the 29th June, 1630.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 There is an entry to the same effect in the Capitolare of the same series, the only difference being that the number of voyages is given as three and the name as Dreplisdem.
2 Vane succeeded John lord Savile as comptroller of the household. Savile had only held the office for three years; he was 74 years of age and died in this year.
3 Sir Everard Digby was hanged, drawn and quartered on the 9th Feb., 1606. Birch: Court and Times of James I, vol. i, page 48.