April 1631


Institute of Historical Research



Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published





Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: April 1631 ', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 492-500. URL: Date accessed: 23 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


(Min 3 characters)


April 1631

April 3.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
638. To the Ambassador in England.
We send you a copy of what we hear about the strained relations between the English ambassador at Constantinople and our Bailo. You will use it to uphold the courtesy which ministers should observe to foster friendly relations between princes. Advices from Italy, Spain and Germany. Receipt of his letters of the 14th.
Ayes, 80.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
April 8.
Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives.
639. To the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma.
Colonel Douglas has written to us about some soldiers who have been officers in Holland and two others who are without employment. We ask your opinion if it is advisable to let them go, or to give them some pay in order not to lose them. You will give the two officers 5 ducats a month, and send us the names of the soldiers and officers, taking your information from Colonel Douglas.
Ayes, 120.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
April 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
640. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My indisposition has by hard necessity prevented me from frequenting the Court or paying visits these last days. Overwhelmed as I am by the pains of my illness I shall not have much to tell your Serenity in these presents. I send you this as being the duty of my office and possibly even if I were free from this hindrance I might not be able to do much better, owing to the habitual scarcity of news at this Court. The Secretary of State, Carleton, has been to see me. In talking with me about the affairs of the States, while I tried to sweeten as much as possible the bitterness which seems of late to have made great progress between these two peoples, he renewed the complaints he had made to me before about the scant attention they seemed to pay to the treaty made with Spain. His manner of speaking forced me to heed what he said, especially as he had spoken on the subject before, and so I thought proper to inform the Dutch ambassador, just as I had told him about it before. He came to see me yesterday, and had a long conversation with me, while I always tried to instil the best ideas in order to prevent harm. I wrote a letter about the whole affair for the information of the Ambassador Gussoni, which I enclose, so that your Excellencies may know what has taken place.
The ducal missives of the 6th ult. have just reached me. I find in them express commands from your Excellencies to seek an opportunity to perform offices calculated to remove the beginnings of ill feeling between the king here and the States, of which you are already informed, over the last seizure of ships, so I feel more bound than ever to continue the work I have begun. I will do so with the tact prescribed to me, and will try, as if on my own responsibility, to pave a way for better resolutions. The affair is one that deserves the greatest consideration, because there is no doubt that they aim here at giving an advantage to the Spaniards in everything possible, in order to facilitate trade, the sole object of this peace; but it also becomes more apparent every day that they have a strong desire to injure the Dutch, whom they envy for their prosperity and consider excessively haughty. If I was well and could work and perform good offices with the ministers here, I would not fail in my duty, because, as a matter of fact, no other way is open at present except my representations, because the French have been very jealous in the past of the close and confidential union between the States and these parts, and they are not sorry to see these beginnings of disunion, as I have been able to perceive on several occasions from the conversation of the French ambassador.
The agents of the Palatine have left, in such a hurry that they did not see any minister before they set off. They sent me a letter of apology instead. They are going back to the Hague to inform their master of the commissions to be given to Anstruther. He is to proceed to Vienna, and Rusdorf will go with him on this business. It is not apparent what beginning or what end it will have for the advantage of that prince. Thus many believe, owing to the great readiness they show in accepting the promises of the Spaniards, that the Palatine also may be advised to give up some of his claims about the electorate or religion to make it easy to open a way for him to enter his states; and in the end he might well do anything, moved by the hope of obtaining his intent and by the fear of giving offence here, where they claim that the advice which they give him shall have the place of necessity; but that the Spaniards and Imperialists will do nothing for him, and so he may find himself worse off than he was before, after having renounced his claims.
M. della Rame arrived here recently, sent by Monsieur to inform the king and the queen, his sister, of the progress of his affairs, and in particular to recommend the interests of the queen mother, and also, according to what they state at Court, to try and get the king to intervene for an adjustment. They corresponded here by welcoming the mission and promising to perform every good office. The French ambassador told me that Rame had made some overtures in case Monsieur should wish to come over here. They denied him this, in the shape of advice not to leave the kingdom. Rame did not stay here more than five days, during which he did not allow the ambassador to see him, indeed he professed that he was practically incognito here.
They are expecting the Marquis of Vesterlou from Brussels, nominated by the Infanta to perform a complimentary embassy upon the conclusion of the peace. The advices from that quarter report great preparations of the Spaniards, hastened on by the increased provisions made by the States. By the general imposition of a poll tax, including infants in arms, the Infanta has raised a considerable sum of money; but they thought that the Dutch would forestall them by taking the field first. If this happens they will have time to push forward before the others are in a condition to resist them.
No authentic news has arrived about Sweden. Some reports from Hamburg, current among the merchants, confirm the successful progress of the king. A rumour is current that the Marquis of Hamilton will move soon, as the king has given him permission for the levy, and they also speak of some assignment made to him upon the wine duties of Scotland, but as these are not considerable in amount or readily available, I do not attach much importance to this.
I have not been able to obtain any more authentic information about the wreck of the ships with your Serenity's troops. I have written to Suffolk to obtain some more accurate testimony, and received the reply that nothing whatever was published there on the subject. I have not yet been able to get the necessary particulars about the despatch of the Golden Cock, because such matters are very long drawn out here. In addition to this, the parties interested themselves prefer their suit in a leisurely fashion, so I also must postpone sending to your Excellencies the decision of the Council upon this affair.
I must not forget to add that some comment has been made here upon the letters recently written by your Serenity to the king, as they were on bombasin, sealed with tape. I provided an outer cover, but I could not prevent the Secretary of State speaking to me about it, as something unusual. But as I had noticed it myself, and was prepared to meet any such remark, I told him that such was the custom in time of plague, when sealing with silk was very dangerous, and the respect due to his Majesty had led to this being done on this occasion. They were quite satisfied with this.
The peace with Italy is announced here as far advanced. The French ambassador does not contradict this, and I know that his attention has been called to the news sent by the Duke of Rohan to M. de Soubise, his brother, informing him that he has obtained permission from the Most Christian for the levy for the service of your Serenity, but this will not be carried into effect, because your Excellencies wish to relieve yourselves of the expense, owing to the favourable turn the peace negotiations have taken. But I shall use the safer advices which I receive week by week with the ducal missives, so that your wishes may be carried out.
London, the 11th April, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.641. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to VICENZO GUSSONI, his Colleague in the Netherlands.
The ill feeling between the States and these parts increases every day. The principal causes arise from an inveterate feeling that is held over there of prejudice and harm received in the past, and it may easily be that they have been not a little alienated by this last conclusion of peace, upon which occasion they may have omitted on both sides certain offices which might have tempered the bitterness of such an affair. Here they have always expected a great deal of confidence, but have shown little. They have done nothing in fulfilment of their declaration that they would inform the States of the affair with everything leading up to it; and yet they consider that too much mistrust has been shown on the other side, as well as an affectation that they attached but slight importance to the matter. The long delay in replying to Ven increased the impression, the more so because they pretended that in conformity with what had been done at other times and upon similar occasions, the Dutch ought to send special ambassadors here to represent the interests of their Provinces, and bring forward the usual considerations of the prejudices they suffered. From their silence and practical neglect, they have concluded here that the Dutch have changed their principles, and that they have been rendered unduly proud by their recent captures and successes.
It is quite two months ago, when I happened to be seeing the Secretary of State upon other business, that I had occasion to speak of Dutch affairs, and in particular about the herring fishery, to which your Excellency has already referred, and the conclusion of the peace with Spain. He opened out very freely, and spoke in the sense I have represented. I attached importance to this, and did not fail to participate it as mildly as possible to the Ambassador Joachim. who broke out into the usual lamentations, and the matter went no further for the time being. Only five days ago the same secretary, whom I happened to see, broke out afresh into complaints in more bitter terms than before, especially drawing my attention to the new way of proceeding in not having sent any one before the conclusion of the peace while now it seems that the States find it harmful.
At the repetition of this office, I thought it my duty, upon reflection, to add my own more particular and express offices with Joachim, the more so because just now, since the seizure of some booty brought to these parts, there are occasions for fresh bitterness. This has gone so far that the ambassador himself told me in great confidence that those interested in this affair, seeing that they received ill treatment and injustice, might resolve upon desperate courses, hinting that they might put to sea to attack the English. At this most important suggestion, fraught with such tremendous consequences, especially with the present aim of the Spaniards to estrange the king here as much as possible from the confidence of the States, a course to which a great part of the Council leans for their own private interests, I thought it necessary to sketch out some form of negotiation, which could be licked into shape subsequently with the assistance of your Excellency, for whose abilities no greater or more important occasion of serving the state might arise. I had a long and serious talk with the ambassador about the means which might be taken to find some compromise; so that if they became sticklish here, in the belief that the States did not care about the negotiations with the Spaniards, and possibly had not shown that regard which was due in consideration of their ancient dependence and the great benefits received from England, it might be possible in some way, with mutual satisfaction, to remedy the disorders which might arise from a more extended dissimulation on one side and the other, from which, as a rule, open mistrust and enmity proceed. I told him that the charge I hold would not disqualify me from uttering a word, especially as the Secretary of State had opened out to me on two occasions. I also remarked, as if it were my own idea, that if here they wished the States to send either deputies or ambassadors under the pretext of these new arrests or about the trade in cloth, which they now propose to transport from Holland to Antwerp, or for some other affair, since many occasions might arise, it might not be the worst policy to gratify them. To do this with reputation and satisfaction, before sending the mission, they might discover the sentiments of the ministers here. I spoke for myself alone, and could only throw out these simple considerations, moved by the zeal and affection that the most serene republic has always shown for the interests of the States.
In reply, the ambassador told me he had always been of opinion that the States should have sent before the conclusion of the peace. He hinted to me that he had pointed this out to his masters, but they had not decided to do it, because they did not expect to gain anything thereby, seeing the propensity of England to conclude the negotiations, and also having regard to the fact that the ambassadors who had been sent on a previous occasion had returned with very scant satisfaction. At this point, as an epilogue, he spoke extravagantly (esagerato) about all their proceedings on this side over this last affair of the peace, from which I perceived with sorrow that if they are dissatisfied here, they are equally so there. However, the ambassador is a man of sound views, who knows how important it is for the States to stand well with England, and he told me that he would not fail to consider the proposal I had made to him, and as I imagine he will send word to Holland about it, I have thought it necessary that your Excellency should be fully informed, so that you may seize upon occasions for assisting any good resolutions they may take.
I must not forget to add that the ambassador told me that the greater consequences of these differences depend on particular interests in the damage which they have received there for such a long time until now about the affairs of the sea, from this quarter. Accordingly I was able to understand, from my knowledge of the Government there, that there may be some interested parties in the assembly itself, besides some turbulent spirits with little affection for their country, who would not hesitate to blow up the fire. Accordingly your Excellency may think it more opportune to make some insinuation to the prince, from whom you may also learn what the ambassador has reported on the subject. My respect for your prudence makes it unseemly to proceed further, and so I finish these presents.
From London, the 10th April, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
642. MODERANTE SCARAMELLI, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The secretary of England with your Serenity passed this way on his return to the Court. He told me he would give a glowing account of the favours he had always received, both during his service and at his departure.
Baden, the 12th April, 1631.
April 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
643. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. de Rusdorf and the Secretary Mauritio reached the Hague yesterday evening from England. This morning they proceeded to Rhenes to see their master. They have left a report here that they bring good resolutions of the King of Great Britain in his interests both for hastening Hamilton's levy and for a close union between his Majesty and the King of Sweden, especially if this last mission of Anstruther to Vienna proves fruitless; Rusdorf is to accompany him thither.
The Hague, the 14th April, 1631.
April 15.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
644. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
What you write about the failure of the English merchant More induces us to look for results beneficial to our mart. We commend your conduct towards the English ambassador. The behaviour of that minister is explained by the character of the persons who usually occupy that position for the English, who are ignorant of what is seemly and are more at home in matters of commerce than in the affairs of princes. We have informed our Ambassador Soranzo of everything, so that he may support you. We also commend your writing to the Proveditore General in Dalmatia to please the Dutch ambassador, and we will write to him to shut his eyes and pretend not to recognise the person, so as to do nothing contrary to the liberty observed in our state.
Ayes, 81.Noes, 2.Neutral, 16.
April 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
645. GIOVANNI CAPPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The difficulties with the English ambassador over the bankrupt merchant are worse than ever. The culprit, who is in prison, encourages the Pasha's idea that the debt ought to be paid by the whole nation, hoping to escape from his hands in this way. He tries to show the ease of it, asserting that the other merchants hold a part of his capital. He persuaded the leading Jews, his creditors, to procure through the Caimecan, who is also interested, that the letters of the English merchants which reach that chancery shall be consigned by me to the Pasha. Alegnaes, the chief of all and confidant of the Caimecan, spoke to the dragoman general about it. I let him know that I did not consider the request just or straightforward. The chancery did not do such things. The letters were sacred. I felt sure the Caimecan would not listen to any such proposal. I hope that this has stopped them, because nothing more has been said, and that I shall thus have extricated myself and also satisfied the ambassador, as I have done so far by handing over to him all the letters of his merchants.
The Vigne of Pera, the 19th of April, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 24.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Corti. Venetian Archives.
646. To the Ambassador in England.
We send you the advices for information. You will show every courtesy to M. de Soubise, expressing the republic's appreciation of his offer. Confidential relations with Hamilton are also desirable, and without giving him a refusal you should answer him in general terms, as his negotiations have fallen through of themselves.
Ayes, 105.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
April 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
647. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have not obtained sufficient respite from my indisposition these last days to allow me to leave the house, and so, although I have had some relief, I have not been able to see the ministers here, as I was most anxious to do, in order to instil some proper ideas into their present relations with the States. However, I sent to the Dutch ambassador to know if he had come to any decision about the last conference that I had with him. He sent me word that one of the ships recently seized had been released, but there remained another in dispute, and moreover the Dunkirkers had entered the Thames these last days, and had taken another only six miles from London. He had been to audience of the king about this that very day. He promised to come and see me, but as he has not been I imagine that he has been too busy. The French ambassador, who frequently honours me with a visit, has given me the opportunity in the course of conversation, to perform some good office with him. I found him very well disposed, so I hope it may do some good, unless the interests of his nation stand in the way, as I have hinted before.
I gather that the Spaniards will make a great effort for the renewal of the cloth trade at Antwerp, and they pretend, by virtue of the treaty, that the King of England must secure them the passage if the States offer opposition. They certainly will do so from what the Ambassador Joachim has said to me, because the shortest and easiest route for that transport is by the River Schelde, and so they are bound to touch a great part of Zeeland, which belongs to the States. In addition to this they have many forts on that river near Antwerp, and that of Lillo above all, capable of hindering the passage. Thus if they accepted the interpretation of the Spaniards here, and undertook to open the passages, even those outside their jurisdiction, and if they began from this quarter, it would prove a very great stone of offence and would lead matters between the king here and the Dutch to an inevitable separation and rupture. The Spaniards aim steadily at this, and they will try to lead the king on to it insensibly, bit by bit. I fancy that when the Marquis of Vesterlou arrives here in the name of the Infanta, he will have commissions to lend a hand to this affair, and it will be necessary to keep very wide awake, because the Spanish party is very powerful just now.
The Count of Scarnafis, ambassador extraordinary of the Duke of Savoy, has come. He arrived on Wednesday in Holy Week, and did not ask for audience until the day before yesterday. I do not gather that he has any but complimentary commissions, to impart the death of the duke and the accession of his son, and also for the birth of the prince here. At another time it might possibly have aroused some jealousy, but the existing state of internal affairs here removes all suspicions. Yet there has been a rumour that Scaglia may be coming, and Scarnafis himself has confirmed it. If this should happen, it will not be without danger, because the unquiet spirit of that minister has always brought hurtful innovations.
No exchange of complimentary offices has taken place between the Savoyard and the French ambassadors. I have guided my conduct by the example of the latter, to uphold my position.
Montagu returned from France three days ago. He brought full powers for the Ambassador Fontane to treat of and conclude all the differences between the two crowns. Fontane was in the Council yesterday for this purpose, and I imagine that we shall soon see things amicably settled, the more so because they seem by no means reluctant in France to make payment of the remainder of the dowry, and the ambassador has instructions not to put any difficulties in the way. But in any case the Most Christian wishes those interests to be dealt with separately from the other affairs, as being of a different nature and import.
The French ambassador sent me word yesterday by his secretary that he had heard from the Court by letters of the 3rd inst. that peace was concluded in Italy at the congress of Chierasco, with honour and satisfaction to the Most Christian.
Confirmation has arrived of the re-capture of New Brandenburg by General Tilly, with the slaughter of all the garrison placed there by the King of Sweden, because it was taken by assault. Since then a report is published that the king, having pushed forward in that direction to succour the place, and finding it already lost, decided to give battle to the imperial army, and gained a great victory, routing the hostile forces and recovering Brandenburg again. This news comes from Hamburg, and is confirmed from Lubeck; but it is not absolutely certain.
I have received the ducal missives of the 14th and 21st ult., with the copies to the Hague. I will not fail to inform Lord Carleton in the most cordial manner of your Excellencies' appreciation of the friendliness he shows towards your interests, and it is to be hoped that this will suffice to keep him well disposed.
London, the 25th April, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
648. ALVISE MOCENIGO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The count contemplates fomenting the disturbances in France through England, and causing some revolution there. But success will not be easy. They have sent couriers one after the other. They want a lot of money, and at present all the provisions are very sparse.
They have been debating the question of the Palatinate every day of late. There are reports that it will be restored without any advantage for the Catholics, in order to win over England utterly, and secure their support not only in Flanders but in Germany. These may be machinations of the count, but persons of great eminence and religious have been consulted, to have their opinions.
Madrid, the 26th April, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
649. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In letters of the 10th inst. from London, Soranzo advises me that one of the ministers referred to the sending of ambassadors extraordinary from here to that Court, which the English think the States ought to do, to remove any ill feeling caused by their not being sent before, which might give rise to further ill will on both sides. He also says that he has spoken on the subject to the Ambassador Joachim. In this delicate matter, which was formerly discussed here, but which the Government would not decide because of opposition of one kind and another, I will behave in the way that best serves the interests of the state. While awaiting instructions from your Excellencies, I will second Soranzo's efforts.
The Hague, the 28th April, 1631.

March 1631