Venice
August 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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529-539

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'Venice: August 1631 ', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 529-539. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89286 Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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August 1631

Aug. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
693. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sir Henry Ven has not yet started, and it is not known when he will set out on his journey. I have discovered recently that their present plan is to send him to the Hague and Brussels. In that case his negotiations certainly cannot turn upon anything else than the truces, about which I do not venture to say a word here. But the Secretary of State said to me recently that the army of the States had halted in the neighbourhood of Breda, and that of the Spaniards did not yet seem inclined to do anything. They were both equally strong, so the position seemed a favourable one for instituting negotiation for a truce or peace. The agent of the king, who recently went to Brussels, has written back that all their enterprises this year will end in a treaty. After he has been at Brussels, Ven will go to Sweden and perhaps he will also go to the emperor, if they have occasion here to procure that adjustment. So far Anstruther has not given up hope of receiving some satisfaction, although he does not commit himself so far as to promise so much, although he received the most cordial welcome at his entry.
The Abbot Scaglia has not yet arrived, but he may put in an appearance before very long, as letters are coming for him from every quarter. I believe that Ven will not start before his arrival, in order to receive instructions from him, as they know that that minister cannot have other negotiations in hand than such as concern the commissions to Ven also. However, I do not find that they attach much importance to his coming here, internal affairs here being brought to a state of great tranquillity, while the one who has the largest share in the Government is determined not to meddle with troublesome intrigues. Some are of opinion that Scaglia may be coming to foment their resolutions to exclude the Dutch from the fisheries. He would have more chance of doing something in this affair than in any other, because the generality are much disposed to do it, and the cost would not come out of the king's purse, as a private company has been formed for this purpose. I have tried to gather the opinions of the ministers here. (fn. 1) Many of them only mumbled something to me, and I believe they are the ones with the worst intentions.
In speaking to me recently about the affairs of France, the Secretary of State complained somewhat of the way in which they talked of the Government here at that Court, as if it were altogether, so he put it, corrupted by the Spaniards, and as if they meant to join with them in making war on the States. He also touched on the question of the fisheries, and really seemed strongly opposed to any idea of change therein, though one must not trust to this altogether. I tried to suggest to him a way in which Sir Isaac Wake could negotiate with Cardinal Richelieu, the more so because the last ambassador extraordinary of the King of Sweden at that Court had prudently dropped all punctilio in order to serve his master. But I found him very stiff, and he persisted in the idea that an ambassador ought in no wise to yield to the rank of cardinal. They gave very clear reasons for this, and chiefly that in Spain Cottington always had precedence of Cardinal Zappata. They do not admit their own past examples, and indeed condemn them, and they will not submit to those of others, such as this last of the Swede. They hold fast to the commissions given to Wake, which are to see the cardinal as a minister of state, and to avoid the punctilio of precedence by not expecting him to meet, accompany him or to return his visits, in which case, however, he has instructions to give him the hand. So far as one can gather as yet the cardinal is not yet satisfied, but I do not think that they will come to any other resolution here.
Advices have arrived recently of the departure of the queen mother from Compiègne and of her arrival at Arras. They do not approve here, considering the step a violent one. In conversation with the lords here I have discovered that so far from desiring they are afraid that she may come here upon consideration of the expense alone, as on other accounts the Spaniards are agreed that she ought to lean upon any support rather than that of the Spaniards.
I have been told that the son-in-law of the Marshal of Fiat (fn. 2) has arrived, and that he has gone to find the king, who gets further and further away every day with all the Court. (fn. 3) This deprives me of the means of finding out quickly about these and other events. The French ambassador has also left London and will not return until the progress is ended. The Dutch ambassador remains away all the time, so I am the only one here, and to my great distress I find a very great scarcity of news.
The Marquis of Hamilton has embarked with his troops. They succeeded in almost reaching the number of 6,000, including the Scots. The king is to see the fleet at Portsmouth, and will take the opportunity to inspect some of the royal ships as well which are in that port. They are still busy preparing the royal fleet, though they have not yet decided whether it will go out, unless it be for the sake of reputation, when the Cardinal Infant makes his expected passage from Spain to Brabant, they may send a certain number to sea with the sole object of meeting him, although some say it will be to invite him to come and see this island.
Niccolaldi has arrived, who comes to reside as agent for the Catholic at this Court. It has been observed that he has taken his house in a quarter much inhabited by the Catholics, and every one is talking about it, putting interpretations upon it which correspond with the intrigues which the Spaniards have always carried on in this kingdom.
The Secretary of State has sent me word that he has news in letters of the 12th inst. from Hamburg that the King of Sweden has cut in pieces 2,000 cuirassiers of Tilly's army, capturing 70,000 rix dollars in ready money and a great quantity of baggage from the sack of Magdeburg. The victory is the more noteworthy in that he did not lose a man, as the people of the country guided him and showed him the ford across the Elbe, by which he was able to cross and recross with great ease. This is the first considerable news received since the loss of Magdeburg.
The Secretary Rolandson has not yet left here. He is delayed by the hopes he cherished of obtaining the title of agent. The Secretary of State himself told me this. He assured me that the king was willing to agree to this, but declares that the most serene republic ought to be honoured with an ambassador, and therefore this individual should hold the post of secretary of the embassy. He added that when the scourge of the plague had ceased, they would forthwith send an ambassador, to which end, indeed, I have not neglected to perform all the offices which I considered proper.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 20th and 27th ult.
London, the 1st August, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Proveditore
in T.F.
Venetian
Archives.
694. ALVISE ZORZI, Proveditore General in Terra Ferma, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A solder of the Dutch company of Duglas, arrived from Brescia, died of the plague two days after its arrival, and four others are suspect of being infected. I saw the colonel at once, and without any delay had the company taken to the Lazaretto, the infected being separated from the sound ones. Upon enquiry, I found that the infection comes from some blankets which had not been properly cleansed.
Verona, the 1st August, 1631.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
695. GIOVANNI CAPPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English merchants and the Jews, in spite of my refusal to arbitrate between them, have all come together to this embassy with a capigi of the Caimecan, who asked for my opinion as he had to judge the cause. I thanked the Caimecan for the honour but asked him not to force me to do something for which I was not qualified, and in this way I escaped, though with an effort.
The Vigne of Pera, the 4th August, 1631.
[Italian.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Corfu.
Venetian
Archives.
696. ANDREA VENDRAMIN, Venetian Proveditore of Corfu, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have not been able to arrest the English ship from which the grain of the Marquis S. Erasmo was unladed, as it has already proceeded towards Zante, whither I have sent word to Pisani, without losing time.
Corfu, the 25th July, 1631, old style.
[Italian.]
Aug. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
697. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King of England has sent an express, who started on the 28th, to inform his Majesty here of the departure of the troops with the Marquis of Hamilton to help the King of Sweden. Wake seized the opportunity to suggest that this evidence of his king's good will should facilitate joint operations with France for the public cause. He came to perform the same office upon both points with me, declaring that his king was more ardent than ever for the cause. I thanked him and tried to confirm this good disposition. He went on to speak of the Cardinal of Savoy. He told me that Richelieu would show him every deference. I asked with what object. He said, to detach that House from the Spaniards and consolidate it with France, as in that case they would never venture to trouble Italy again. He asked me if your Excellencies had any minister with the duke, and if I had seen the Cardinal of Savoy. I told him no to both, and gave the reason, which he approved. He said, I have written to my king, motu proprio, that when Sig. Gussoni leaves he may re-establish friendship between the republic and that house. I should like to be the means of this public advantage. Friends need not wait to be asked, although I shall wait for an answer. I commended his zeal, and said it rested with the Duke of Savoy to put himself right with the republic. I asked him his opinion of the duke's feelings. He said he would detach himself from the Spaniards if France wished, but not from the emperor, to whom he was much bound. I gathered from the conversation that the designs against the Genoese persist, and this will be one of the chief centres about which the negotiations will turn.
Meaux, the 6th August, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
698. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are anxiously awaiting here the confirmation of the news, published by Carleton himself, of the departure from England of the Marquis of Hamilton, with all his forces. They are the more anxious for their speedy arrival because of the report of great reinforcements for the imperial armies.
A certain John Rogozchi, a very wealthy Pole, has arrived at the Hague. He is going in a few days to England in the capacity of ambassador extraordinary of Poland. He is not giving or receiving visits, and the Court pretends not to know of his presence. It is supposed that he is going to confirm the inclination of the English to mediate a long and durable peace between the kingdoms of Poland and Sweden, where there is only a truce at present. (fn. 4)
The Hague, the 11th August, 1631.
[Italian.]
Aug. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
699. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 3rd and 11th ult., and will use the advices they contain for the service of your Excellencies.
Since my last despatch, nothing of consequence has happened here, either for their own or for foreign affairs. The Court remains a long way off, this city is destitute of ministers. In this desert, after collecting for many days, I may say that I have not gathered enough fruit to discharge the duties of my office. I hope that this deficiency will be excused. Rolandson, secretary of the embassy at Venice, has been despatched and started two days ago. He takes with him letters from his Majesty for your Serenity which not only serve as letters of credence for him, but as a reply to those which I presented recently with news of the doge's election. The king has also chosen to promise therein that once the bad influence of the plague has passed, he will send the ordinary ambassador, in conformity with the offices which I have so often passed. Rolandson has left as well disposed as ever, and much comforted by the assurance which I gave him that he would always be welcomed by your Excellencies.
Ven still delays his start. The decision about his going to Holland still holds, although the Secretary of State recently told the Dutch ambassador that it might easily be cancelled. I have just been told that Scaglia has crossed the sea and arrived at Portsmouth. I do not consider the news as absolutely certain, but as the Secretary of State told me that he had embarked on an English ship in Spain, it cannot be long before the appears.
Wake has sent one of his people here in great haste. He urges that Burlamacchi shall go, and he should start to-day, as without him they cannot complete the last agreement between the two crowns. I discover also that Wake wished to have special orders as to how he should behave with the Cardinal of Savoy. Here they insist on the point that he shall not give place to the cardinals, and they direct him not to see that cardinal if no compromise can be found, which saves his Majesty's reputation. This incident might occur opportunely to settle the difference between that minister and Cardinal Richelieu, as it would be easier to cover over the pretensions of the king here.
His Majesty has been to see his ships at Portsmouth, and found them all ready, like the others, to sail at the word of command. But all this activity is merely for show, as I am assured that after this visit of the king the ships have all been dismantled. Thus it is not credible that they think of making any further provision of forces here. Four vessels have already sailed, of which two have gone to Ireland to defend the coasts against certain pirates, who recently attacked them, burning and taking many prisoners. The other two have gone to convoy the Marquis of Hamilton, of whom it is conjectured that he has directed his course towards Stralsund, since it is known that the entrance to the Elbe is blocked against him. (fn. 5) The last advices of the King of Sweden state that he has surrounded Magdeburg, in the hope of recapturing it. It is said that his ambassador, who recently left Paris, intends to come here. It is impossible to suppose that he comes on anything but a complimentary mission, because it would hardly be opportune to make requests for fresh assistance after the recent expedition of Hamilton, which has certainly surpassed the expectations of every one, because the king has devoted large sums of money thereto.
The gentleman who came from France recently was not the son-in-law of the Marshal of Fiat, but his own son. He has not brought any business, however, since he has come because of a duel in which he took part in France, and he will stay here until he obtains his pardon from the king.
London, the 15th August, 1631.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
700. GIOVANNI CAPPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have worked hard over the matter of the saetia taken by the Golden Cock. I first saw the ambassador. He said he had orders from his king to advance the just claims of your Serenity's subjects. He promised his help to obtain this imperial letter. He went on to say that, owing to the troubles that arose over the capture of the saetia, he had to pay 1,000 sequins to Assan Pasha, then Captain of the Sea, for the release of an English ship, detained at Scios for that cause. The king, the Caimecan and the Captain Pasha had written to the King of Great Britain asking for restitution, while he had no more power in the matter. I asked if he had written about this at the outset, and if he had been reimbursed. He said he had written, and satisfaction was delayed until the capital of your Serenity's merchants was restored. He said to me that with respect to the bankruptcy of his merchant, the Caimecan had told him that the death of Assan ought not to bury this affair in silence. In this way he predicts and perhaps prepares great difficulties for me with the Caimecan. He said the booty ought to belong to the captain of the Golden Cock, as it had been many days in the hands of pirates, but it was detained for fear of trouble here. From this it was easy to apprehend rocks ahead, and so I was the more eager to overcome difficulties with the Caimecan. I begged him to inform the ambassador of their intention that the sum should be handed over to our merchants. He became excited, and said if this was the saetia taken in the time of Assan, it must be restored. They had written to England and expected a reply. I spoke to him of the Venetian goods. On the following day the ambassador sent to ask me the result of my interview. The Pasha had sent for him, and he wished to know what he should say. He showed me a copy of the letter written by the Sultan to his king, though I think he interpreted it after his own fashion. I left the matter to his prudence. A few days later he sent to tell me of his interview. The Caimecan asked for the reply to the Sultan's letter and the restitution of the goods. He spoke of the requests of the Venetian merchants and the decision of the Admiralty Court. The Caimecan broke out wrathfully: This is the way they treat the Sultan after waiting so long. The property is his Majesty's. I shall speak to him, and you will very speedily give full satisfaction. The ambassador defended himself as best he could, but the Pasha was too excited. I said I should not give up, intending to dissipate any idea he may have of getting the affair buried for a small outlay and then dividing the raiment of our people among his merchants. I ended by saying that if we could not get what was required within the year, we should try to obtain satisfaction by falling back upon the capital in these parts, and I would never abandon the affair. No reply was given. I will not neglect every possible office, though with scant hope.
The Vigne of Pera, the 16th August, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
701. To the Ambassador in France.
You made a prudent reply to the Ambassador Wake about a reconciliation with Savoy, avoiding encouraging his ideas, which would be degrading the position, and also avoiding the refusal of his king's interposition, which has been practised on previous occasions with full regard for the dignity of the republic. The suggestions of that minister to open the way for a renewal of intercourse between the two crowns for the advantage of the public cause, deserves encouragement. You have assisted this in the past and will continue to do so.
Ayes, 114.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
702. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Gentlemen have been sent from Flanders to Rome, England and Savoy to ask those powers to help the Spaniards to procure the relief of the queen mother. The nuncio said that if the Spaniards asked the pope, he could not refuse his offices. Wake spoke practically to the same effect about England and it is known that the last courier sent thither from here was about this matter, as they think here that the Spaniards want Carlisle to be employed for England and Scaglia for Savoy, to meet here and ruin the cardinal. I told Wake that they expected decisions from his king, foreseeing that from no quarter was delay so likely to arise, and following that example the pope and Savoy might excuse themselves. To-day I have also spoken to the agent of England and written to Soranzo.
The king was informed that Wake, in the name of the King of England, had levied 50,000 doubles from the merchants for Monsieur, but he exonerated himself to the king's satisfaction, althogh those who know the maxims and penury of England have laughed at these inventions, covertly promulgated by Wake himself, to gain credit. He should be here in two or three days as Burlamacchi has arrived from England with the complete settlement of the navigation question and orders to raise the remainder of the queen's dowry. He comes at a favourable moment to receive satisfaction.
Meaux, the 25th August, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
703. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days ago Carleton informed their High Mightinesses of the safe arrival at Stralsund of the English troops under the Marquis of Hamilton, who, after refreshing his men, was to march them to serve under the King of Sweden.
The Hague, the 25th August, 1631.
[Italian.]
Aug. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
704. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Scaglia has not arrived in this kingdom after all, indeed there is no news of him. I am rather inclined to believe that he will not come at all, since the Ambassador Contarini writes to me from France that the Cardinal of Savoy has sent for him to employ him in some transactions. He will certainly seize upon that occasion more readily than this one, because he hopes to make his peace at that Court. It cannot fail to be good for the public cause that he should not come here at the present time.
Burlamacchi has left for France, and on his arrival at Court the adjustment will certainly follow, with great satisfaction to all parties. Your Excellencies will have already heard from the Ambassador Contarini of the overtures which the Ambassador Wake is making at that Court. His Excellency has informed me about it, and I will not fail to uphold the public service and encourage all the best resolutions. The feebleness and ill-grounded counsels which have prevailed here for a long time are now apparent. The Treasurer wanted the peace with Spain, and he prevailed upon the king through the hopes that the Palatinate would be restored in a short time. Now that affair is not moving so smoothly as they imagined, and all this show of wishing to join in for the common cause is nothing but evidence that they have been greatly deceived, and that they did not thoroughly sound the depths of the affair. I cannot state as yet precisely what may be expected from this quarter, especially since the despatch of the Marquis of Hamilton. In that they certainly surpassed the expectations of every one, because they devoted nearly 200,000 ducats to it. This money certainly would not have left the hands of the Treasurer without the pressing interests of his own preservation. That will be seriously compromised if the king does not see the realisation of his hopes as he has been led to expect.
News has come of the arrival of the Marquis of Hamilton at Stralsund. It was received with great applause. On the way he also saw the King of Denmark, who may be still further animated by such a considerable succour, and even more by the hope that it should continue.
Sir Henry Ven does not leave, and this is also a very clear indication of the scant satisfaction they are receiving from Germany, because his nomination was made with the intention that he should act as mediator between the King of Sweden and the emperor. This was the reason they advanced against the expedition of the marquis, about which Cæsar was so sensitive. But as at present they are careless whether Ven goes or not, it is impossible to avoid the belief that having lost hope of a happy issue to the affair, they want to let things run on, the more so because the reports of the successes of the King of Sweden continue very good. If it prove true that the King of Denmark has joined his side, of which there is no further evidence here, except that that king was in Holstein and was making preparations for war, they will be the more deeply committed here, from their closer connection with that king. The only thing left for them will be to find a way to supply their requirements, and that cannot be done without parliament. The intimates of the Treasurer have been announcing for some days past that the king is about to convoke it very speedily. This makes people believe that he has arranged his affairs very satisfactorily, because it is certain that under such circumstances, no one will be in greater danger of a fall than he.
If Ven does not go to Sweden, I fancy he will be obliged to go to the Hague, where he should meet an ambassador from Denmark, so that they can together adjust some differences between the two crowns.
A courier arrived recently from Brussels, sent by the king's agent there. They have since published a report that the queen mother is inclined to come here. But as they have always shown their disapproval of her move from Compiegne, so they have always declared that they do not wish to have anything to do with that affair. The queen here, however, her daughter, seems deeply interested. She spoke recently with some passion to the Ambassador Fontane, and announced roundly that so long as the queen's desires were limited to the removal of Cardinal Richelieu from about the king, his Majesty could not decently refuse his mother such satisfaction. Such ideas are instilled by those in the intimacy of the Garde des Sceaux, because they believe that with the fall of the cardinal no one but he could inherit his influence.
I have your Serenity's letters of the 18th ult. I thank your Excellencies deeply for the favour done me in choosing my successor.
London, the 29th August, 1631.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
705. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador presses for a final reply about fulfilling the promise made to his king by the King of Spain, that the emperor would promptly remove the imperial ban from the Palatine, while the Spaniards would restore the part of his dominions which they hold and get Bavaria to do the same. But he cannot obtain any decision, as the ministers here keep tergiversating under various pretexts, and he is beginning to lose patience, seeing that his long stay at this Court without any conclusion does not redound to the credit of his sovereign. I hear from a confidant that the Spaniards would like to derive some advantage from this restitution, letting it be understood that they want the Palatine to bind himself to grant that they shall always have a free passage for their troops against the Dutch, and that the King of Great Britain shall interpose to arrange a long truce with the Dutch or a good peace, or enter upon an alliance with Spain against them. Such extravagant claims can only serve to perturb that monarch greatly, who will see by these new proposals how he was deluded by the solemn promises of his Catholic Majesty, when he made peace with that Crown.
Vienna, the 30th August, 1631.
[Italian; copy.]

Footnotes

1 A Commission on the English fishing industry was appointed in June, 1630. A charter was not obtained until two years later, when the Company was established under the title of Society of the Fishery of Great Britain and Ireland. Scott: Constitution and Finance of English, Scottish and Irish Joint Stock Companies to 1720, vol. ii, pages 362–364.
2 Henry Coeffier, Marquis of Longjumeau, Effiat's son.
3 Charles left Greenwich on the 23rd July for Oatlands, as the beginning of his progress. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1631–1633, page 107.
4 "There lyeth secretly at Delft a certain ambassador of the King of Poland called Racotzky, preparing liveries and other equipage to go speedily to England." Dudley Carleton to Dorchester, 12th August, 1631. State Papers, Foreign, Holland.
5 The St. Claude, Capt. Thomas Ketelby, and the Antelope, Capt. Richard Plumleigh, were told off to guard the western coasts. Capt. John Pennington in the Bonaventure accompanied presumably by the first Lion's Whelp (see note to page 510) escorted the transports conveying Hamilton's force. They sailed on the 29th July, and the troops landed near Wolgast on the 12th and 13th August. Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1631–1633, pages 119, 137, 139.