Venice
March 1631

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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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482-492

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'Venice: March 1631', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 482-492. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89281 Date accessed: 25 July 2014.


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March 1631

March 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
617. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear that the pirates of Algiers have done much damage in the ocean during the last few months or weeks; they have taken about seventy ships in a few days, including twenty-nine Dutch ones, the rest being from England, Hamburg and other coast towns of Germany.
The Hague, the 3rd March, 1631.
[Italian.]
March 5.
Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives.
618. In execution of the decision of this Council of the 22nd ult. to assign to Colonel John Douglas the stipend of Suynton, drowned some months ago, that 150 ducats a month of current value be assigned to him so long as he serves his Serenity, beginning from the aforesaid date, when he was appointed colonel.
Ayes, 93.Noes, 3.Neutral, 30.
[Italian.]
March 7.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
619. To the Ambassador in England.
We did not write to you or to the Hague last week. Cottington receives extraordinary favours in Spain. You have already spoken to the ministers about the fisheries, in favour of the Dutch. When occasion serves you may move again with tact, as of your own accord, so as not to disturb an old and tried friendship for the sake of a new one. You will also try to induce them to refrain from the hostile action which Dutch ships experience in England.
We send herewith what we are writing to the Hague, for your information. We have at this moment received your letters of the 17th.
Ayes, 107.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 7.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
620. To the King of England.
Your Majesty's secretary informs us that he has received leave from you to return to England. As a token of our entire satisfaction with him he will render these presents to your Majesty, which will also confirm our friendship and esteem.
Ayes, 107.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 8.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
621. To the Ambassador in Germany.
With respect to cloth, it would be most advantageous for England to take it from our state directly. That which comes here from other parts scatters the profits of the duties among the princes and lands of Germany. If any one speaks about it you will say that you are writing about it to the magistrates. It is a matter for negotiation between private individuals with the assistance of the state. We shall take our measures in accordance with the solidity of the proposals and the appearance of advantage.
Ayes, 104.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
March 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
622. GIOVANNI CAPPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English merchant has been arrested not far from this city and brought to the house of their ambassador. He promises satisfaction to all from his goods in England. At Leghorn he enjoys scant credit, and they claim that all the merchants shall be jointly responsible, as they all trade on behalf of the English company. They claim that the ambassador, as being rather the head of the merchants than the representative of his king, is bound to do this. He declares that he has no such power, and threatens, in case of violence, to depart with the merchants and their business. In this way the excitement has in part died away. The merchants claim a discharge in the Divan, as the Jews charge 20 per cent. interest contrary to the laws of the country. Whatever be the outcome it is certain that this incident will seriously affect the credit and business of these nations.
The Vigne of Pera, the 8th March, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati Venetian Archives.
623. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Their consultations of late have turned upon maritime affairs and the question of taking the field. The latter depends largely upon help from the French, while the former is concerned with the English. Since the peace between England and Spain difficulties for this nation multiply daily. The favour of England does not seem so marked to them as heretofore, while the Spaniards have the use of those ports and can sequestrate in that realm the plunder taken from their ships by the Dutch. Besides this the States have heard from Joachim that the Infanta has permission to levy a regiment of English. The climax is a report not yet confirmed that the Spaniards are tempting the English by specious offers to issue to them letters of marque against the States. They have written to their minister in England to offer the most strenuous opposition to any such proposal, whether direct or indirect, even if it only has the tacit consent of the King of Great Britain.
The Hague, the 10th March, 1631.
[Italian.]
March 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
624. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sir [Isaac] Wake is expected here this evening on his way to his embassy with the Most Christian, to which he was appointed by the King of Great Britain some time ago.
The royal camp at Rivoli, the 10th March, 1631.
[Italian.]
March 14.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
625. To the Ambassador in England.
The Dutch begin to fear harm from the peace with Spain; the Palatine hopes to benefit. What we hear from Rome of the Most Christian's request for the pope to invest him with the title of that kingdom, shows how the Austrians profit by the quarrels between those two kings, and how they aim at kindling them. We send you a brief account of the state of affairs in Italy, which at one time used to be the special care of that Crown. You will use it as you consider opportune. You will thank Carleton in our name for his interest in our affairs, and show the utmost confidence on your side to confirm it.
Ayes, 109.Noes, 1.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
March 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
626. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In connection with the unhappy check to the sending to Venice of the troops levied in Holland for the service of your Serenity, some of the sailors of the ship King David, one of those which were at Falmouth for provisions, arrived here yesterday. They told me that both ships had sailed from that port to return to Holland to take food. This vessel has perished by unhappy mischance, with the loss of all the soldiers, except two or three out of a total of 250. The lieutenant of the company also escaped. He has not yet turned up here, having suffered ill treatment at Aruich, near which the shipwreck took place. I fear the news is only too true, involving loss to the state, but I am waiting for further evidence, and if it arrives in time I will enclose it herewith.
The Spanish ambassador has left, after receiving from his Majesty some very handsome tapestries, worth 10,000 ducats. I have not heard that they made any gifts to his people, corresponding to the treatment received by those of Cottington in Spain. He left without visiting the French ambassador, an unusual behaviour which has attracted the attention of the whole Court. He himself has let it be seen that he recognised it as such, as he charged one Gerbier, a servant of the late Duke of Buckingham, and a man dependent on Spanish sympathies, to make his excuses to the French ambassador by means of a third person. Gerbier has done this, writing a letter to a French friend of his, begging him to let the French ambassador know that Don Carlos Coloma, ambassador of his Catholic Majesty, professes a peculiar esteem for the French ambassador personally, and would always wish to serve him in his private capacity. With this friendly feeling he wished he had been able to perform the usual courtesies before his departure, but the behaviour of the French ambassador during his stay here had acquitted him of this obligation, not so far as he personally was concerned, but as regards the respect due to his Catholic Majesty; firstly, owing to the behaviour of the French ambassador to the person sent here by the Duke of Lorraine, of which I wrote on the 6th September last; secondly, he says that all the French ambassadors at other Courts have been to congratulate the Spanish ambassadors upon the establishment of peace with England, of so much advantage to Christendom and the public cause, an office which the ambassador here neglected; thirdly, he declares that he is bound in some way to make public the pain and dissatisfaction felt by his Catholic Majesty and all his servants at the ill treatment which the Queen of France is at present receiving, unworthy of so great a princess. Gerbier asserts that he did not add a word to those expressed by the ambassador himself. The individual who received the letter as a personal apology, handed it to the French ambassador, who communicated it to me. The Spanish ambassador need not have been sticklish about the first point, because even if he wished to insist upon the respect due to his sovereign he might suppose that France would claim the same for his. On the second point the French ambassador asserts that he did not offer to make him any compliments about the peace, because he had visited him twice, whereas he only returned the first visit. The third point is of great consequence, because the declaration compels the Catholic to show more resentment if it be true that this alleged injury is done to the queen, his sister.
Progress has been made these last days towards an adjustment of the outstanding difficulties with France. The ambassador has met the Secretary of State many times and had numerous audiences in the Council as well. The English finally decided that they would join together the payment of the remainder of the dowry and the restitutions left over after the war. The ambassador declared that he had no commissions about the money of the dowry, and tried to make them see the want of connection between these two interests. However, they insist upon their pretensions here, and as these have little to justify them, perhaps they wish to make the most of their opportunities, and to seize the occasion to reach the end. They have sent Montagu back to France. The pretext is to visit the queen mother in the name of the king here, amid the disorders at present existing, but really to try and obtain payment of this sum which they claim. He himself instigated this step, giving hopes of a successful issue by using the influence of the Garde des Sceaux. He will make by word of mouth the same protestations as have been made to the ambassador, that they wish to terminate everything amicably and to satisfy France if she will make up her mind to the payment. In the third place, foreseeing that some pressure will be brought to bear upon him for help to Sweden, they have instructed him to be very cautious in his replies. In case of insistence he is to make it plain that before the king commits himself he wants to know what the Swede will promise about the recovery of the Palatinate. This caution and circumspection agree thoroughly with the disinclination they have always shown to have any part in these affairs.
There comes news from Holland of the departure of Altariva on his way back to France. He won scant commendation as he could not make great progress with his negotiations, because he went without money. It is still doubtful whether the States will put their army in the field this year. The French ambassador seems very suspicious that from this quarter they are continuing to urge a truce. One sees no sign between the States and the king here of that confidence that the conduct of such an affair would demand, but the French believe all the same that while they are trying to prevent the truce the English are intervening to bring one about.
The ducal missives of the 31st January and the 6th ult. have reached me with the copies to the Hague. The judgment in the case of the ship Golden Cock has not yet been obtained in writing as the Council is postponing the announcement owing to some difference of opinion among some of the commissioners about the manner of issuing it. That is why I do not send it enclosed herewith.
London, the 14th March, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
627. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sir [Isaac] Wake passed through France; he wished to create the impression that he does not now stand well with the Duke of Savoy, but this is thought to be a device in order to remove the distrust caused by the idea that he is a creature most dependent on his Highness, as he was known to be.
The royal camp at Rivoli, the 14th March, 1631.
[Italian.]
March 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
628. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They still keep receiving scant satisfaction from England. Carleton tries to sweeten the bitterness and works hard to give their High Mightinesses to understand that the King of Great Britain will try to induce the Infanta to restore the ship with all its cargo, to the value of over 17,000 florins, which was recently taken by the Dunkirkers in the very heart of that kingdom. The States have scant hope of this, so they attach but little faith to Carleton's assertions, although made in the name of the king.
The Hague, the 17th March, 1631.
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
629. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
That a copy of the advices to the Hague be sent to the ambassador in England for his information, advising him of the receipt of his letters of the 21st and 28th ult., which have just come. That 300 ducats be paid to the representatives of Giovanni Soranzo for couriers and letters.
Ayes, 84.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 22.
Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives.
630. As our Proveditore General in Terra Ferma has made a contract with Capt. Thomas Henderson, a Scot, on the 11th July last, that the said Henderson be engaged at 600 ducats a year for five years certain, with obligation to serve where he is ordered, the present arrangement being understood to begin from the 1st March, 1630.
Ayes, 131.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
March 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
631. MODERANTE SCARAMELLI, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English resident has been to see me, accompanied by the eldest son of the Earl of Denbigh, who is travelling about the world in a spirit of adventurous and youthful curiosity, on his way to Padua to learn Italian. In his own name and that of his father, a leading man and a favourite of the king, he expressed his devotion to your Excellencies. He informed me that the Marquis of Hamilton, his kinsman, wrote to him that besides the infantry they are levying in Scotland and England, he will take to the service of Sweden 2,000 cavalry besides, obtaining the men from Germany and the horses from Denmark. In addition to this the levies arranged for in Prussia are already arriving at the front, and, further, many great nobles of Poland are offering similar levies.
Baden, the 22nd March, 1631.
[Italian.]
March 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
632. GIOVANNI CAPPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The affair of the English merchants has taken a bad turn, and their claim not to pay interest to the Jews has done them more harm, because the Jews have bribed the ministers, in the usual way, and have obtained a judgment contrary to the laws. Thus the leading English merchant has been imprisoned and one of the ambassador's dragomans. They have been released on bail, but one of their ships has been stopped as it was leaving the Caselli. (fn. 1) Now all the debts of the nation are being settled up, with a great loss of credit and a corresponding gain to the merchants who are subjects of your Serenity.
The Vigne of Pera, the 22nd March, 1631.
[Italian.
March 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
633. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Prince Palatine came on purpose to see me before going on a pleasure trip to Rhenes. He told me of the arrival in England of Rusdorf and the Secretary Mauritio, as requested by the King of Great Britain. He mentioned with regret that the bad weather had delayed them so that they could not reach London before the Spanish ambassador left the realm, so the opportunity was lost of making arrangements and getting more satisfactory assurances about his interests from that minister. He still had hopes from the journey which Anstruther was to make to the Imperial Court on those same affairs.
The Hague, the 24th March, 1631.
[Italian.]
March 28.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
634. To the Ambassador in England.
We have your letters of the 21st and 28th ult. What is obtained for the saetia and the information you send to the Bailo will arrive in time to obtain the utmost possible. We highly value Carleton's good will, and remember a long series of proofs thereof. You will keep up confidential relations with him and assure him of our regard. The possibility of the peace with Spain tottering is a great matter. It will be advisable for Carleton to attend to the negotiations with France.
Ayes, 80.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
March 28.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
635. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
The new idea of the English ambassador to exact cottimo from our subjects who lade in English ships surprises us. It may be only a move of his own to draw his king's attention to his merits, and in that case your prudent representations may have impressed him. However, for greater security, we have decided to direct the Five Savii not to allow our subjects to lade English ships unless the captains previously give a guarantee to hand over the goods to those to whom they are directed without the payment of any additional claim for cottimo. We think this will suffice to protect our interests and those of our subjects. If anything further occurs we shall act according to your advices.
That instructions to the above effect be given to the Five Savii.
Ayes, 122.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
March 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
636. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have recently received the ducal missives of the 13th and 20th ult. The first indicate but do not specify the reply I am to give to the Marquis of Hamilton. I am, therefore, still in doubt, because as he made me an express request, and even presented it in writing, I think he will hardly rest satisfied unless I speak to him more explicitly than you direct. To avoid these experiments means obviating the necessity for such discussions. I could always manage this if it rested with me, though I know no way of avoiding instances which are made in order that your Serenity may be advised of them. The best way to avoid them will be to avoid discussing that occasion; but at present it seems that those who do nothing for the public cause propose to derive their most weighty arguments therefrom to use the good example of the Swede as an incitement, and perhaps such incitements are more necessary at this Court than elsewhere. However, I can easily adapt myself to what your Excellencies judge best, and I will make no other reply to the marquis at present, although I know that he has complained of not having received one before; the more so because I do not hear them speak with so much certainty as before of his going to the King of Sweden. After his wife was delivered, they said he would go to Scotland to begin his levies, but as the season is now so far advanced it is thought that he will not leave here. His hopes of assistance from France and your Serenity have fallen through. Those which he promised himself on better grounds from the King of Great Britain have become more tenuous than ever since he started. I have informed M. de Soubise of your Excellencies' appreciation of his offers, and that you will take advantage of them when occasion arises. This has pleased and obliged him, and he expressed most copiously his affection and devotion to your Serenity.
The letters of the 20th bring me the reply for his Majesty to the letters informing your Excellencies of the peace with Spain. I have punctually fulfilled my instructions in this respect, having demanded audience of the king and presented the letters, accompanied by the office which I thought most proper to assure his Majesty of your appreciation of the confidence of your constant desire that he may enjoy all prosperity, and your hopes that his good intentions in concluding this affair may be realised. The king responded in most friendly fashion. He said he considered the republic one of his best friends, and so he would not have omitted this sign of confidence. He said the object of the peace was to remove occasions for trouble. He hoped that his friends would take it in good part, because he could be more ready to assist them. I have been careful to report this idea precisely so that your Excellencies may form your own opinion about the particular principles that exist at present at this Court.
The king asked me about the affairs of Italy. I told him, laying stress on the interdependence of circumstances and the uncertainty which pertains as yet about the peace. He told me that the Most Christian was persecuting (seguitava) Monsieur, and suggested that these fresh disturbances at the French Court would be of great consequence for the affairs of Italy. He told me, however, that he heard that the queen was certainly enceinte, and that was enough to discountenance the disturbers of quiet. Here, as I have reported before, they cannot hear better news than of such disturbances; firstly, because they greatly fear the successes of the Most Christian; secondly, because they take it as a rebuke to their standing idly by when they have so many reasons to take part with others for the common cause.
I have seen the exposition of the English secretary and take note of his leaving. As I wrote, he has not instructions to take leave absolutely, but merely to come for some time for his private affairs; accordingly no successor has been appointed. The Secretary of State recently confirmed this to me, but the resident may not have expressed himself more definitely in order to gather the fruits of the state's liberality on this occasion, as I observe from the ducal missives he has succeeded in doing.
I have not been able to obtain any further information about the loss of the ship King David. The Dutch ambassador told me that they thought two were lost, but he did not let me know the name or the place; he said he thought it was in the neighbourhood of Suffolk. The Ambassador Gussoni, in his present letters, writes to me of the loss of one called the Swan. So far I have considered this due to a confusion, and that only one ship is meant under two names; but now I am really afraid that there are two, one lost off Harwich, and the other off Suffolk. I have done my utmost with the merchants and with the Secretary of State as well, to find out something more definite, but without success. Your Excellencies will perhaps have received the true facts from Holland by this time, because if any one escaped, he will have gone back there and seen Gussoni.
Cottington has returned from Spain. For state affairs he brings the greatest protestations of the Catholic's good will to satisfy the king here; and for private affairs he also comes laden with advantages, with the bargain arranged for Flanders for 200,000 crowns, with goods exported free of duty, so that for his own profit, in various kinds of negotiation he will have quite 50,000 ducats. He has established a course of exchange for Flanders, so that all the money which the Spaniards used to provide by way of Genoa they will now arrange for with the merchants here. On the other hand, they afford every convenience to the Spaniards for sea trade, while they constantly keep restricting the privileges of the Dutch. These can no longer enter the ports here with their booty, because it is immediately sequestrated, partly under the title of interested parties, in consideration of the Spaniards, and partly owing to the king claiming the right to a large portion of what comes in of this character. Accordingly, they are greatly incommoded, and I gather that they are so disturbed in Holland that they propose to send a solemn embassy of seven ambassadors, one for each province, in order to show the king how things have changed and the harm done to his best friends. The Spaniards wish for nothing better than to foment distrust and excite quarrels, so that the Dutch may altogether lose the convenience of these ports, which are useful and necessary to them; indeed the ambassador himself told me that without them they cannot make war on the Spaniards.
With regard to the ship taken out of the Thames by the Dunkirkers, the Council has declared to the Spanish agent that it is the king's will either that it be restored with its cargo to the place where it was taken, or that the parties interested shall be fully compensated, in accordance with their claims, lawfully adjudicated. If it had not been a question more of the king's resolution than of the convenience of the interested parties in this affair, they certainly would not have been so punctilious.
Two persons have come here, sent by the Palatine, (fn. 2) to consult about the instructions which are to be sent to the Ambassador Anstruther, who is going once more to the Imperial Court to solicit some resolution for the benefit of that prince. One of these will accompany Anstruther. He is the one who was at the diet of Ratisbon with him. I have had a long conversation about this matter, and find that they are more uncertain than ever. He hinted to me that the electors are strongly opposed, and they are in a position to hope for more from the emperor, than from them, not from any good will that he has to do anything for the Palatine, but to make a counterpoise by this pretext to the great power of Bavaria, who becomes ever more suspect and jealous to the House of Austria, to such an extent that so long as he lives they do not hope to obtain the election of a King of the Romans, and if he survives the emperor they believe that the empire will leave the House. The most considerable points of this affair depend upon the electoral vote, already possessed by Bavaria, and upon the Catholic faith, without advantage for which they despair of being able to obtain any possession in the States. Here they are more hopeless than ever, and Viscount Dorchester recently confirmed this to me; but they try to do what they can by these offices, and if they serve for nothing else they will at least keep up the hopes of the Palatine, who will not realise that he is utterly abandoned, although the subsequent results will make him see and admit it.
London, the 28th March, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
637. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier has arrived from Germany, who went to Vienna and thence travelled by Flanders and France, so that they have received all the news which they were awaiting, and I learn that the count is very rejoiced and full of new confidence. It is stated that there is some trace of a more recent suspicion that his Excellency is concocting some plot with England. He will take the detention of the queen mother to provide an opening for offices and representations from the King of England to the Most Christian, causing anxiety from that quarter and even armed interference.
Madrid, the 29th March, 1631.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 "Here is stayed and embargoed the ship Dragon, full freighted by English and other merchants and bound for Ligorne. The pretence is to force satisfaction for the debts of some English merchants who have failed here, upon the place, who have laden goods upon the said ship. The business is pressed in a very violent way, it being practised to lay all the debt upon our nation; the which, hitherto, I have resisted and kept off and am labouring to make liable unto the creditors but only the persons and goods of the debtors." Wyche to Dorchester, 22nd March, 1631. State Papers, Foreign, Turkey.
2 Rusdorf and Mauritio. See page 479 above.