Venice
February 1632

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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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583-594

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'Venice: February 1632 ', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 583-594. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89292 Date accessed: 25 October 2014.


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February 1632

Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
767. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Marquis of Santa Croce is not at all pleased at Cordova coming here, for fear that he may dispute with him the generalship of the Palatinate. It is clear that the Spaniards do not mean to lose that country, which joins Alsace to the Netherlands, and completes the chain between Italy and Flanders. Yet the English seem to believe that they wish to restore it, and Wake recently showed letters of the 19th January of the Infanta, inviting the King of England to send some one to take possession of Franchental, but this is all a game, because Franchental is still defending itself well, and the Spaniards do not seem in the least disposed to part with it.
Metz, the 2nd February, 1632.
[Italian.]
Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
768. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards recently sent 1,000 of their foot with 1,000 Irish and two companies of horse to the confines of Namur, for the relief of Franchental, it is supposed.
Carleton is only coming to take leave of the States, as a secretary of the Earl of Carlisle has been chosen in his place. (fn. 1)
The Hague, the 2nd February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
769. GIOVANNI SORANZO and VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The entry of me, Gussoni, was honoured in accordance with his Majesty's instructions. The royal barges, all richly furnished, came to fetch me from my quarters in the inn at Greenwich as far as the Tower of London, forming a very showy and notable passage. Lord Herbert, considered one of the principal persons at Court from his birth and his own qualities, came to meet me at the landing place. He paid his respects in the king's name in such a way as to bear out fully the esteem and friendship which he said his Majesty wished always to preserve with the most serene republic. I replied in a suitable manner, confirming the most sincere disposition of your Excellencies and your devotion to keeping up the best relations with this Crown. The coaches of the king and queen with our own and those of the ambassadors of France and Holland, accompanied by many others full of lords and gentlemen of the Court, made up a stately procession which accompanied us as far as your Serenity's embassy. When there I did not forget to follow the example of my predecessor to do everything possible to raise the reputation of the state, and I shall try in all things to imitate the prudence of this most noble minister. My first audience is already fixed for next Sunday. Their Majesties intervened to have it postponed until a holiday in order, so I am informed, that more may attend and that there may be a more stately show, which will all serve to increase the reputation of the republic and stimulate me to serve my country.
The son of the Ambassador Ven has recently arrived at this Court. He came from Anstruther at Vienna, and stayed some days with his father, who afterwards sent him on here with all speed. It is not known what relation there may be between the negotiations of these two ministers. We know even less about what he brings, because Ven has not written any particulars, but merely gave him letters referring to what he would represent orally. The opinion formed about these expeditions is that as they have formerly given Sweden great hopes of succour, this young man comes on purpose to ask that they may be carried into effect, and also brings a more emphatic declaration from that king that if he does not receive assistance from this quarter the Palatine shall not receive that relief from his arms that is prepared for him. There is no sign at present that these ideas have given them any impulse, as they are not making any provision, indeed they seem more tepid than ever. The Spaniards help with their artifices, and by their resident they now promise to deposit Frankenthal in the hands of this Ven. Although every one clearly realises that this is nothing but a device to prevent help to Sweden, yet they delude themselves here, and in their present weakness they prefer to base their hopes on these unsubstantial promises, which have so often failed them, than on the more solid foundation of the victorious arms of that king.
Assurance has come that the Palatine has left the Hague, because Ven's son declares that he met him on the road. Every one approves of this step and it is thought that his resurrection should be at hand and easy under present circumstances if England does not thwart it owing to considerations which have been reported.
The talk about the union between the Most Christian and the King of Sweden is varied, just as the views and wishes of this Court differ. All believe that if the French wish to assist the ecclesiastical electors the good understanding of the past will be affected. The root of the matter with respect to those events would seem to depend upon this point and we consider it superfluous to enter more deeply into this matter.
Since the arrival of Ven's son some reports have circulated about the death of the Marquis of Hamilton. The one thing certain is that the plague had broken out in his force and many of its officers have died. The rumour in question may have arisen from this.
M. di Biscara, secretary to the queen mother, has gone. His negotiations were all concerned with the interests of his mistress. His first proposal was that he should be sent back to France to urge that they should send an ambassador extraordinary to conduct that affair. He had the assistance of the queen and the Earl of Holland in the conduct of his negotiations, the former with the object of relieving her mother, the latter in the hope of getting some employment in the matter and perhaps with the further purpose of advancing his own private interests owing to the relations he keeps up with the Garde des Sceaux, who is so bitter against the Treasurer here. The French ambassador, who has found out these machinations, has performed all the offices which he considered most proper to destroy them, pointing out how displeased the Most Christian would be to see England taking part in that business. He added that he knew quite well how far matters had gone and the declarations made by his master that he did not desire interposition. Upon these considerations he had decided to suspend any resolution, especially with the considerations of the Treasurer in addition. Thus the thread of this affair was cut.
After this, so that he might not prove utterly useless, Biscara again proposed that the queen should come here. To instil this idea and to divert their attention from the expense that it would be necessary to incur, he said that once she was removed from the support of Spain France would supply her with all the assignments which she had before she left, so that he would not give them any trouble. The French ambassador met this also repeating the above considerations, and asserting that the king would not give any support during her absence. Thus this second proposal also remained fruitless and the secretary took nothing away except friendly expressions of good will and copious declarations of their desire to assist the interests of his mistress whenever it could be done without losing the friendship of the Most Christian.
The Chevalier de Valanze has been here with this Biscara during the whole time of his stay. He has never let himself be seen at Court and has had no share in the transactions with ministers, as he was only sent to assist with advice, and because, if they had decided to send an ambassador extraordinary to France, he would have advised the form of the instructions, because he knew the queen's wishes more particularly. The king's agent at Brussels writes that they are expecting Monsieur, brother of the Most Christian, there. He has already reached Luxemburg and they are preparing to receive him with every honour, notably with that of the baldachino, as a sign of extraordinary respect. The Spaniards announce in addition that they will employ all their powers, by means of negotiation for his reinstatement in France, and if this does not succeed, they are determined to assist him powerfully by arms. But everyone sees that these are protests without any foundation but vanity and that they are worth nothing for the public interests of that prince.
The French ambassador has been to see us, although I, Gussoni, have not yet had audience. I, Soranzo, may take this opportunity to confirm to your Excellencies the sincere good will that I have always observed in this minister towards the interests of your Serenity. The Secretary Dorchester has also sent his nephew Carleton, who was resident at the Hague, to pay his respects to us, as he himself has been very ill for a long time. This still further bears out the good will which I, Soranzo, have always reported about him. During these last days there has been some talk of this younger Carleton being destined as ambassador to your Serenity. In our talk with him we touched upon this point in order to learn the real truth of the matter. He confessed that the Secretary Bosuel had been chosen in his place at the Hague, but he seemed to know nothing about his own despatch to Venice. I, Soranzo, have of late earnestly urged a decision on this subject, pointing out that the consideration about the plague had ceased, and there was no other pretext. As the king, in his letter to your Serenity, had promised and had charged Rolandson to report orally his decision to send an ambassador, it certainly was not right to postpone it. In support of my argument I instanced the approach of the Ambassador Gussoni. Thus if any decision has been taken I may conclude that it has been chiefly due to my offices. I shall not fail to renew them before my departure, especially with the assistance of his Excellency.
Scaglia has not gone and no one knows the reason for such a long delay. It is certain that his stay here is not supported by commissions from the duke, indeed they say that some one will arrive soon from his Highness on purpose to compel Scaglia to leave.
I, Soranzo, have received from Gussoni your Excellencies' commissions for my new post in France and my letters of credence. I shall readily execute the commissions and hasten my departure as much as I can. No letters have arrived from Venice either last week or this. From the advices we have from Antwerp, the difficulty of passing through the Palatinate causes this most annoying delay, which must mean the loss of packets. Those of the 12th and 19th December are missing as well as all those addressed to me, Gussoni, since the 4th December last. Owing to these irregularities we have decided to send duplicates of the two preceding despatches next Wednesday.
With the Ambassador Gussoni the Most Illustrious Lorenzo Capello has arrived, whose qualities are being confirmed by his journeys to many Courts. As Flaminio Marconi, the courier whom I, Gussoni, brought with me from Holland, is to proceed to France with me, Soranzo, we beg your Excellencies to order that his turn for Rome may be held over for him.
London, the 6th February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
770. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has recently been to the emperor, telling him that as no decision about the restoration of the Palatinate has been taken after such a long time, he begged his Majesty for leave to return home to England. This request greatly perturbed the emperor, who apologised for the delay as not arising from lack of good will but because of the succession of events in the empire. He referred him to treat with the Prince of Ecchembergh, as he has done, insisting that he must leave. They hold constant meetings about this, but so far without any decision and the ambassador is still waiting for their answer.
Vienna, the 7th February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian; copy.]
Feb. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
771. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
These last days the son of the Ambassador Ven, who represents England in Sweden, passed hastily through Rotterdam on his way to England, with letters and despatches from his father, supposed to be exhortations to that Crown to help the Palatine.
The Hague, the 9th February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
772. VICENZO GUSSONI and GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I, Gussoni, had my first public audience of his Majesty last Sunday, as arranged. By the king's command the Earl of Warwick, a great lord of the country and very high at Court owing to the preeminence and prerogatives of his birth and his house, came to this embassy with the royal coaches, followed by those of the ambassadors of France and Holland and a good number of others as well, forming a very long and most noble cortege, made up of many lords and gentlemen. The earl paid his respects to me in the king's name, expressing the utmost affection and esteem for the most serene republic, to which I made a suitable response. The earl then took me, accompanied by all the others, in a stately procession, to the apartments of the royal palace. There we were introduced in the most honourable manner and received with equal cordiality by his Majesty. After I, Soranzo, had addressed the king upon the conclusion of my charge, I, Gussoni, took up the thread, expressing the sense of my commissions, and telling him of the sincere desire of your Excellencies to continue and even increase the existing friendly relations, as the republic was animated by a ready zeal for the greatness and glory of this Crown. By the way he looked and by his words in reply, the king seemed exceedingly pleased with the offices of both of us. He spoke most definitely about his appreciation of your Serenity's good will. He said he counted the Venetian dominion among the best friends of his realm. He valued the affection and esteem of the republic and would always seize every opportunity to respond to it. We also performed offices with the queen, as directed by our instructions. She seemed pleased with them and repeated her wish to give your Excellencies every satisfaction.
We have already begun our visits to ministers and others in high position at this Court. We shall continue this, and I, Gussoni, shall try to cherish good relations with everyone, for the greater advantage of the public service.
It seems that the king and those of his most secret Council are at present devoting their chief attention to the very important affairs of Germany and the Palatinate. On the one hand they would like to press forward the negotiations for a closer union with Sweden, in order to have that part which becomes them in the progress which they desire in the Palatinate in particular. On the other hand, the shortness of money, the commodity upon which the successful prosecution of this affair chiefly depends, and the difficulty of obtaining any without assembling parliament and obtaining its consent, involves every resolution in successive delays, not without exciting some feeling of disgust in those who seem the best affected towards the interests of the public cause. The departure of the Palatine, whom they supposed to have already reached the Swedish army, the negotiations of the Ambassador Ven, the hurried despatch of his own son to this Court and the return here of Edersolt, the secretary of the Princess Palatine, serve simultaneously as a very efficacious impulse and stimulus to extract some good resolution from this quarter in such a matter, but the Lord Treasurer, who moves all the wheels of this government as he pleases and who holds the royal heart and will in his hands, inclines, so far as can be seen and from what we have been able to gather from his own conversation, to take advantage of the benefit of time, keeping the transaction alive, but discouraging a conclusion. His object is to find out the better what the French intend. The proceedings of that nation in receiving the princes of the Catholic league into protection render them very suspect here, where they hear that the French, to the detriment of the progress of Sweden and in the interests of Bavaria, may impede the entire recovery of the Palatinate. This is the point to which they devote most consideration at this Court. Upon the rise or fall of their hopes here will depend the greater or less effective carrying out of the contributions and succour, recently offered, as the Treasurer himself told us, by his Majesty here to the King of Sweden.
The Ambassador Joachim has not uttered a word to the ministers or the king about the gift made by his masters and the Prince of Orange to the Palatine upon the occasion of his going to Germany. His Majesty received the news of it in some sort of a way from his sister. We learn on good authority that he was more pleased at what had been done than with the way in which it reached him. It seemed too much like an incitement and almost a reproof because no resolution has yet been taken in this quarter upon so pressing an occasion.
The Ambassador Fontane, realising the suspicions current at Court about the inclinations of his master to the prejudice of the success they desire for the army of Sweden, announces that the Marshal de Brese and M. de Schian ase have succeeded in bringing about an excellent understanding and union between the affairs of the two kings, as Sweden has consented, although after a great deal of difficulty, to grant neutrality to the princes of the Catholic league.
A report has circulated, upon the occasion of Monsieur, the king's brother, going to Brussels, where he was received with all the honours accorded to the queen mother, that the army of Flanders, under his command, might invade France. But a consideration of the great opportunity this would afford to the States prevents this rumour gaining any credit. It is also contradicted by the announcement made by Fontane himself that Monsieur, when he left Nancy, dismissed the President Cogneut and Monsigot, who are more hateful than any others to the king and cardinal, and it is thought that their departure may make it easier for Monsieur to come to terms.
Some English officers and colonels under contract to serve in the armies of the States are here on their private affairs, with full leave from the Prince of Orange. The Ambassador Joachim has informed them by commission from the States that they must prepare to return with all speed to Holland to their posts. This confirms the idea that the Dutch forces will certainly take the field in the spring, as the Prince of Orange assured me, Gussoni, most emphatically they would, at the time of my departure. The Ambassador Joachim confirms the same thing. He came to see me and expressed his sincere friendship and desire for the best relations, to which we made a suitable response.
The last letters of the queen mother to the king and parliament have arrived from Brussels, printed in that city. There are various opinions about the ideas expressed in these and men talk according to the variety of their sentiments.
The last letters of your Serenity directed to me, Soranzo, are of the 29th ult. With respect to keeping up communication with the ambassadors near at hand and at the other Courts, I, Gussoni, will not fail to attend to the matter with all application. We regret to hear of the delay in the arrival of our letters. I, Gussoni, have begun to send them by way of France.
London, the 13th February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
773. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Princess Palatine confided to me that she had good news from her brother in England. She says that this time he will not allow himself to be deceived by the Spaniards, as he knows them too well. She thinks the help will consist in supplying money to Sweden and permitting that prince to levy some men in England. The Ambassador Joachim also writes to the States here in general of the good will of that king, and the hope of some good, but he does not seem to indicate any definite resolution or promise from that sovereign, who could count for certain upon good results from such help.
The Hague, the 16th February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
774. VICENZO GUSSONI and GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
During these last days we have been doing what is required by the custom of this Court, I, Gussoni, for my introduction, and I, Soranzo, for my leave taking, in the matter of special visits and the necessary compliments with the lords here and the ministers of the Council. We feel obliged to report the friendly disposition displayed by every one of them, both in their replies to our offices and in the honourable reception accorded, with expressions of respect and esteem for the state ministry in our persons, affording the fullest testimony to the response they make to the good will and friendship of the republic, as they declare they always will. Yesterday the Earls of Pembroke and Arundel came one after the other, on purpose to visit us at this embassy, with the same friendly demonstrations. The first is lord chamberlain to the king and the second earl marshal of the realm. We responded to their compliments in a suitable manner, calculated to confirm their friendliness.
The chief interest of the members of the government here seems at present directed towards the Palatine's journey and the turn his affairs may take. On the first head they imagine but do not know that he has reached the Swedish army, and they expect the news at any moment. On the second point the proposals and offers made by the king here to the King of Sweden still remain in negotiation. We do not discover as yet that the last courier from Germany brought any essential alteration in the operations of the Ambassador Ven. Every one sees that no stimulus or warmth will be imparted to these from this quarter, since they move with their usual slowness. They merely wish to keep things going without arriving at a definite conclusion in order to gain time until with the arrival of the spring the designs of the French arms may be disclosed as well as the results of those of Sweden.
A courier from Madrid to Brussels and quite recent letters thence which arrived this week bring word of great activity in Spain over preparations for war and money. They write that the Catholic and his Council are deeply affected by the conquests of Sweden in the Palatinate, in particular, and by the declaration, whether it be, as they add, voluntary or forced, of the Duke of Lorraine for France. It is known that the Infanta, from the absolute assurances of Spain, repeated by this same courier, feels certain that she will be provided with a million and a half. The lords here believe this to be an exaggeration, but they say that if it prove partly or even entirely true it will not be adequate, because the States spread the report here that they will take the field in the spring to a certainty; on the other hand in Flanders the troops are ill paid and in arrears of pay, while the people are discontented and overburdened. Things are at such a pass that the letters of the English agent to the Council here relate that the Marquis of Santa Cruz, to reinforce the frontier in Luxemburg, has not been able to use the troops in garrison in those provinces, because the magistrates protested that if he removed the garrison they would not be answerable for any revolution or disturbance that might arise. They attach the more importance to this here because the ministers are advised that the Infanta is either dissatisfied with or regrets the despatch of the Count of Emden, governor of Luxemburg, who is at present near the bishopric of Treves with four regiments, and some think that he may be recalled to Flanders. They are expecting Don Gonzal di Cordova there from Spain, with powers to command and orders to satisfy the troops and people. They continue to fill the ears of these and of all the world by the announcement of numerous formidable levies by Wallenstein. In speaking about this recently Viscount Dorchester said that if they allowed the Imperialists time to collect many troops under such a commander, he was very much afraid that the King of Sweden would repent of having, at the instance of France, granted neutrality to any prince of the Catholic league.
Two days ago I, Soranzo, went to take leave of his Majesty. With his usual favour he chose to make me a knight. I received the honour the more willingly as it may perhaps render me less unworthy of the character I bear. He also charged me at this last audience to tell your Excellencies his desire to see your confidential relations with the Duke of Savoy restored to some extent. He expressed himself in the most friendly fashion about the duke's interests and I am sure that he desires this accommodation for the advantage which the public cause may derive therefrom. I answered in general terms with respect to the accommodation. For the rest I spoke freely about your devotion to the common cause. He told me that before I left Viscount Dorchester would speak to me about it more expressly, and he was sure that his intervention would not prove less acceptable than that of his father, King James, had been upon another occasion. I have not yet seen Viscount Dorchester, as I have been busy with the ceremonies connected with my departure, and I think the delay will give greater reputation to the affair. His Majesty also hinted that Sir Isaac Wake, his ambassador with the Most Christian, had received commissions to treat with me about this. I, Gussoni, will follow the orders of the Senate in this matter, so that I may know how to frame my replies every time that the subject is broached.
London, the 20th February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
775. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador is still without an answer to his request for leave to return home; they have tried to appease him, however, by some of the councillors here, and he has decided to wait until his secretary returns from England, who will bring him the definite intentions of his king and instructions about how he is to act.
Vienna, the 21st February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian; copy.]
Feb. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
776. VICENZO GUSSONI and GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The arrival of advices is delayed more than usual, and more than it should be. The king and the Court are anxiously awaiting them to hear about the Palatine's journey in particular. The attention of the ministers is directed chiefly to the restoration and relief of that prince as well from the arms and protection of Sweden, according to their unanimous opinion, and by an accessory monthly contribution from this quarter. In order to keep things unchanged one discerns their intention to go adroitly and slowly, postponing carrying it into effect until something occurs to enlighten them more upon what grounds they may look for a happy issue from the course of events or the affairs of the Palatinate in particular, from the negotiations of the two kings of France and Sweden and from the procedure and resolute enterprise of each of them. Such, so far as one can discover, is the substance of the royal commissions sent hence by the last despatch to the Ambassador Ven. On the other hand, and with the same object, they do not neglect to keep an ear open to the insinuations, whatever they may be, of the Capuchin sent from Vienna to this Court. Although there are some in the royal Council who realise that the deceitful stay here of this man, who does nothing, does the worst harm, by delaying their best and most vigorous decisions, yet the one who enjoys the highest position of credit and who has supreme influence with the king, with the usual object of keeping his Majesty as far as possible from committing himself to any kind of expense, in order to avoid the necessity for parliaments, is not sorry that the Capuchin stays on, even if it be useless or harmful. In the meantime that friar serves as a counterpoise to some extent against the opinions of the Ambassador Anstruther. That minister writes and protests clearly that no good can be hoped any more from his offices and remonstrances made during his embassy at the Court of Vienna.
The last letters from Brussels communicate to this Court from Madrid the news that the Duke of Lennox, a nobleman of great birth and outstanding quality, in this kingdom, has been made a grandee of Spain. There are letters of the duke himself about this, of a later date. He relates the fact as involuntary so far as he was concerned. He declares that the king commanded him twice to cover himself, and he modestly refused the honour, but he did not see how he could continue to do so when his Majesty repeated the command resolutely a third time. The enemies of this nobleman at Court here put various interpretations upon this action. They all agree in making the most of it as something very novel, to such an extent that the circumstances of the times rather than the act itself permit the king here to dissimulate. Yet the universal opinion of all the Court here is that this new character, whether obtained willingly or unwillingly, will bring with it no privilege or advancement in position or rank whatever.
The queen celebrated the end of the carnival by a sumptuous masque, performed with wonderfully rich decorations before a numerous assembly in the great hall of the royal palace. The king himself, by gaily taking part in the dancing, proved the pleasure which he took in it.
No letters have appeared from Italy, whether public or private, either this week or last. Every one complains about the practically universal delay of the couriers, who usually arrive at intervals at this Court from several quarters. It is supposed that their absence is accounted for by the bad weather preventing the sea passage, because owing to the impediments which might be encountered in Germany they have begun to send duplicates by way of France.
I, Soranzo, went recently to pay my respects to the Secretary of State, Dorchester. In conformity with what the king said when I took leave, about reunion with the Duke of Savoy, he confirmed his Majesty's very ardent desire that the matter might take a good turn. He let it be understood that Sir Isaac Wake has made his first overtures about it at the instance of the Cardinal Prince of Savoy. I replied guardedly, remarking that every defect ought to be corrected from its own source. In the actual matter in hand I could assure him that your Excellencies appreciated the confidence his Majesty had shown. For the rest, I must wait for more definite information before I could say what hope there might be. He replied that when he was ambassador at Venice he had occasion to deal with a similar matter. At that time he found complete good will and so he hoped there would not be any great repugnance at present, because when the matter was well considered the reasons for the accommodation could not be gainsaid; except by some greater or smaller formality, but in essence they must always be the same, for the common service. A few hours after this meeting Dorchester was overtaken by a most violent catarrh, which proved fatal. (fn. 2) The loss to this state is considerable and very momentous for the public and most disadvantageous for the interests of your Excellencies, to which he always showed himself well disposed.
London, the 27th February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
777. NICOLO ERIZZO, Venetian Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Many persons in this island, with the knowledge and money of the English merchants, go about buying currants from the poor at the very low rate of 14 or 15 reals the thousand. The poor are induced to accept any offer, owing to their urgent needs, in order to obtain a little money. The Syndics and Deputies have appealed to the government to stop this. The council of this city was accordingly assembled and it was decided to add five leading men to help the Syndics in the matter. An enquiry was instituted and it was considered that the best plan would be to set up a universal market with the English for the export of all the currants. At the same time there was a report that the English had arranged to send some of their ships, then in these waters, to the Morea, to lade oil, grain and other goods whereby the people here would suffer, as well as the public revenues, of which the duty on currants is the staple. In the course of time the price of currants was fixed at 25 reals the thousand in cash, whereas previously cloth and other goods had been included. This pleased all, as every one had been afraid that the ships would go away. The government promised to support the agreement and the lading of currants was forthwith begun. Money began to flow, the island at once, began to breathe, the duties came in freely and many who had been indebted to the chamber since last year made payment. Other English ships are momentarily expected to take away the remainder of the currants which have already been sold.
Cephalonia, the 28th February, 1632.
[Italian.]
Feb. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
778. GIOVANNI CAPPELLO, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Consul of Smyrna writes that the French and English nations have agreed to the new duty on silk and to the payment for time past. This is a prejudice to the business of that mart, and it may possibly divert the silk trade and bring it to Venice and perhaps Spalato may feel some benefit.
The Vigne of Pera, the 29th February, 1631 [M.V.].
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 William Boswell.
2 He died on Wednesday, the 25th February.