Venice
March 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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594-603

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'Venice: March 1632', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 594-603. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89293 Date accessed: 29 August 2014.


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March 1632

March 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
779. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There are some who say, and it obtains credence, that the Infanta now proposes to hand Franchental to the King of England to hold in deposit, to be subsequently consigned to the Palatine, and if that sovereign will not consent to take it, they say they will strain every nerve to relieve it.
The Hague, the 1st March, 1632.
[Italian.]
March 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
780. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear nothing from England beyond the customary hopes of good intentions. The king has recently written to the Princess Palatine, saying he refers to what Carleton will bring, from which I conclude that it will not be very satisfactory.
The Hague, the 1st March, 1632.
[Italian.]
March 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
781. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Anstruther writes from Vienna that the Chancellor of Bavaria has arrived at that Court, and has most frequent and lengthy interviews with Echembergh. Wake has published the news at Court. The nuncio and others of that party meet this by saying that it comes from a suspicious source; but the wisest believe that the Duke of Bavaria will deceive France and will never detach himself from the Austrians.
Paris, the 2nd March, 1632.
[Italian.]
March 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
782. To the Ambassador in England.
Advices. Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 30th January and 6th February. Pleased to hear of the arrival of Gussoni at that Court in good health.
Ayes, 86.Noes, 1.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
March 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
783. VICENZO GUSSONI and GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Dutch ambassador has published at Court, before everything else, news which has caused universal rejoicing here, both of the safe arrival of the Prince Palatine with the Swedish army, where he met with a most cordial reception from the king in person, and of a rout he says that king's arms have inflicted upon the troops which came out of Luxemburg under the command of Count John of Nassau. In this way the king is determined to put a stop to the designs of the Austrians in those parts, and to their succour for the Palatinate in particular. A report that Heidelberg, their capital and seat of residence, also has escaped from the hands of the Imperialists increases their desire for a more definite confirmation of everything, as well as their hopes of still further successes. Amid the great convulsions of Germany, the thing which touches most nearly the interests of the king here consists essentially in the rehabilitation of the Palatine, as the ministers also show, very emphatically. They would feel absolutely certain of achieving this in all his states if they did not fear what the government here calls the blocking procedure of France (le procedure che questi del governo intitolano attraversamenti della Francia). They regard that country very suspiciously here, not only because of the character of the negotiations of Sciarnese, who is labouring to prolong the armistice with the ecclesiastical princes, but quite as much because of Bavaria. The royal Council here is much impressed by the new understanding and secret union of that prince with Saxony, which is whispered to have been brought about by the interposition and influence of the Most Christian. The Ambassador Fontane finds it hard to deny this since the news is known to have come from several quarters, and from the Venetian ambassador in particular; but though he will not confirm it, he tries to remove any unfavourable impression by maintaining that even if it prove true that France has done this, she probably will have had no object than to secure the eventual election of this same Bavaria as King of the Romans, and thus confirm him as an enemy of the House of Austria. They would not object to that here, provided that the doubtful fortunes of the Prince Palatine could be brought back to their original prosperity.
People form various opinions about the return of the king to Versailles and of the Council to Paris. Some deduce from it some fresh disagreement with the parliament and people, and some a plan of the cardinal to get the king to travel to Picardy again. This much is certain, that the last letters of the Secretary Bottiglier, written from Court to the Ambassador Fontane, make no reference to any such motives, but state clearly that his Majesty has returned to the neighbourhood of Paris chiefly for reasons of his health, and has given up his idea of remaining on the frontiers of Germany since the agreement with Sweden about recognising the neutrality of the princes declared to be under the protection of France. But it is also quite certain that the kind reception of Monsieur at Brussels, and perhaps his dealings with this Court even more have aroused increasing uneasiness in France, where they have become so suspicious as to imagine that Monsieur, egged on by the Spaniards, has tried to obtain permission, through Biscara and Valanze, who recently left this Court, for the armament of a certain number of ships in this realm. Whatever the truth about such transactions may be, and Fontane denies it absolutely and calls it pure suspicion without warranty, he admits that he received royal commissions beforehand to oppose any such attempt with the most vigorous offices possible. For this purpose he has gone to-day to speak with the Lord Treasurer, the king being absent from the city, as he has gone away with the queen to Newmarket, for the pleasures of the country and hunting.
A few hours before his Majesty started, the Ambassador Joachim went to audience. After commending to the king the interests of his masters in the matter of captures at sea from the Spaniards, he said that in the present most serious state of affairs, with respect to the welfare of the public cause in Germany, the States had decided, in addition to what they have done so far in the interests of the Palatine, to support his plans and the progress of Sweden at the same time by a strong diversion which the Prince of Orange would make by taking the field in the spring. He further informed his Majesty, as a sign of confidence, that commissioners and deputies had already been chosen on purpose to accompany the prince, with an oath not only to continue to help everywhere without any substitute, but with an authority no longer divided, so that he can decide on the spot to undertake anything even without letting the Assembly know beforehand, the sole object being that everything may be done with the utmost secrecy and speed. In fine, to provide a stimulus to some useful decision from this quarter, seeing the great interest this Crown has in the Palatine. He remarked that France would undoubtedly contribute for the approaching entry into the field of the Dutch army the million to which she was bound by the alliance. Joachim declares that while he found the king strongly in favour of everything that might help on the public cause, yet when he made substantially the same statement to the Lord Treasurer, that minister replied, smiling, that with respect to the payments due by France to this Crown, she gave words, promises and assignments, but never put down the cash. From this the ambassador conjectures that in their present difficulty here of raising money without assembling parliament, they might possibly be more willing about the contributions which are in negotiation with Sweden, if they received actual payment from France, and not an assignment for show, for exacting their debt. I, Gussoni, will not fail to inform the Ambassador Contarini of this office of the Dutch ambassador with his Majesty, as it is in substantial agreement with a very confidential conversation which the Prince of Orange had with me when I was on the point of leaving Holland.
After a long and more than irritating delay, owing to hindrances on the road and the unhappy character of the times, the state despatches of the 3rd, 16th, 30th and 31st January and the 6th February have at last arrived this present week. I, Soranzo, am quite ready to cross the sea and nothing prevents my journey except the wind, which keeps obstinately contrary, so that it has not yet been possible to get my baggage away from these shores.
London, the 6th March, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
784. VICENZO GUSSONI and GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The confirmation which was expected of the last announcement of the Dutch ambassador to the advantage of Sweden and the Palatine, has not yet appeared. In an altogether contrary sense the Abbot Scaglia, who always speaks here with the breath of the Spaniards, spreads reports of successes for their side. He shows letters of recent date which he has straight from the Marquis of Santa Croce, informing him of a victorious encounter with the troops returning from accompanying the Palatine, when many were taken prisoners.
Scaglia's departure has been announced and withdrawn by himself so many times that the ministers here do not believe in it, not even when he went recently to the palace to take his congé. It seems that the Ambassador Fontane has now dissipated all their doubts on this subject, as he showed a passport two days ago, sent to him by special despatch from France, which he forthwith handed to Scaglia, who pressed him very hard for it. Perhaps he was not so pleased when he got it, because of two conditions which it contained, showing only too plainly the dissatisfaction felt in France against him. Thus the passport does not give him the title of ambassador, and it stipulates that he may avail himself of it provided, firstly, he does not remain in England more than fifteen days after it has been delivered into his hands; and, secondly, that if he passes through Paris he must not stay there more than eight days. With regard to the first condition, Fontane almost laughed in his face after he had showed him the very letters of the Secretary Bottiglier which accompanied the royal command, dated the 1st inst., and said he had got his secretary who took the passport to Scaglia to tell him to make a note of the day when he received it, because he would have to write to France in conformity, in fulfilment of the royal commands.
For the vacant office of Secretary of State there are many competitors who are mentioned at Court as having claims because it is a most highly valued appointment owing to the profits and honour attaching thereto. The king's decision is not yet declared, but from what they say he inclines strongly to announce the selection of Wake, at present ambassador in France. But meanwhile the Treasurer, with the object, it is whispered, of restricting the number of ministers to the smallest possible, has taken the burden of that office upon himself, retaining the seals in his own hands. Most people believe that his interest in increasing his own authority and the dependence of his party induce him to postpone the appointment under other pretexts. The whole Court is observing all this with interest and attention.
They are expecting the newly chosen deputy extraordinary of the States to arrive here shortly. The Ambassador Joachim confirms that the commissions already consigned to him by the Assembly will be in consonance with those given for the last extraordinary mission of M. di Fonsbergh to the Most Christian Court, where he has already opened his negotiations. No letters have appeared from Italy this week, either public or private; those of the 6th February are still the last.
I, Soranzo, am still detained in this island by the wind, which continues contrary. I have decided to start for the coast on the 15th inst. to await there an opportunity for crossing. His Majesty has honoured the end of my ministry with the usual present of silver plate, which I shall hold in deposit, to be disposed of as your Serenity may decide.
London, the 12th March, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
785. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Those interested in an English ship which reached Cartagena from Malamocco with a cargo of cereals, looking glasses and steel have told me they have had some difficulty about obtaining admittance, because of doubts about the health of Venice. I spoke to the President of Castile, and assured him that Venice was entirely free, so he sent at once to allow the goods to be admitted. The ship will go back soon with a cargo of wool and other things.
Madrid, the 13th March, 1632.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
786. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The couriers of the Ambassador Brese have arrived at last, and with them another despatch has gone with all speed to England with news of the Palatine's arrival with that king. The French ambassadors would not take any notice of the Palatine's arrival. Wake, informed by his colleague Vane, has shown some resentment at their behaviour, as he told the ministers here before the prince's departure from the Hague, and they approved, while the proposal was made in writing by M. Dupont, the Palatine's agent, who came here on purpose.
Paris, the 16th March, 1632.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
787. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Don Gonzales arrived three days ago at Bourg la Reine. He stayed two days, and received extraordinary honours. He came on here incognito yesterday evening. The English ambassador has been to see me and urged me strongly to be on my guard. He thinks that Don Gonzales di Cordova will revise the specious proposal formerly embraced by the cardinal in the treaty of Monzon for an understanding between the two crowns to lay down the law to all other princes in Germany, Italy and elsewhere, with regard solely for their own interests. He told me he had support for this from Burlamachi by a courier who left Madrid on the 5th inst. for England. He said they attached great importance to this embassy at that Court, and the pope himself had intimated to them that they had gone too far in upholding the party of the Catholic league detached from the Austrians, and he saw no other means of saving the faith in Germany than a good union between the two crowns against heretics and to impose their will on others. Wake also told me that as soon as Don Gonzales arrived he had sent to visit him, but the Don told his secretary that he was merely passing through, and would go on as soon as he had seen the king, without negotiating with any of the ministers. This increased his suspicions. I promised Wake my correspondence in this important affair. I fancy, however, that the cardinal will not trust him, especially as the Spaniards plot so openly against his life and favour.
Paris, the 16th March, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
788. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The deputy extraordinary of the States has arrived recently with the king still away at his usual pleasures of the chase. The curiosity of the Court about the negotiations he is to introduce has been the more excited by seeing his hurry and eagerness to have his first audience, even in the country, although one of the ministers here, to save him the trouble of a fresh journey, assured him that they were expecting his Majesty back very soon. In order to see him as soon as possible the deputy set out yesterday from this city, together with the Ambassador Joachim. One gathers already, and it is indeed confirmed afresh, that by the special mission of this person the Dutch intend to make a supreme effort at this Court to obtain for the public cause and their own interests, no less than for those of the Palatine in Germany, some strong resolution that will serve to give more speedy movement and greater heart to their arms, into which they mean to put all their strength, as they spread the report, taking the field at an early date. With the same object the French also publish here the repeated and unquestionable promise of the Most Christian to contribute a million florins, as agreed, to the support of the States. In further confirmation of this M. di Vosbergh, who was recently sent from Holland to France, writes to Joachim that he found the king and cardinal as friendly as the States could possibly desire over this matter. He adds that he still had to work very hard to get that Court to approve at all of his remonstrances, directed to showing them the essential impossibility of keeping the Duke of Bavaria apart from the House of Austria, however much France may apply herself to it. The members of the Government here highly approve of this opinion, and they are impatient of all talk about Sweden recognising the neutrality of Bavaria and the Catholic League. With respect to that neutrality, the paper with the articles already drawn up has reached the royal Council here. I enclose it herewith, so that your Excellencies may see what is published at this Court on the subject.
The Abbot Scaglia, who is to leave to-morrow, has not chosen to visit the Ambassador Fontane. In order to take his leave he sent one of his gentlemen to perform a simple complimentary office. The ambassador responded in the same form. Scaglia's nephew has already embarked; they say he will go to Holland. Some say that he may try to open some negotiations at the Hague, but most agree in thinking that he is only taking that route out of pure curiosity, and will afterwards join his uncle, who will stay at Brussels, so they say.
Two days ago his Excellency Soranzo left this city on his way to cross the sea; with him went the Most Illustrious Sig. Lorenzo Capello, son of Andrea.
No state letters have arrived this week either, though those of the 20th ult. are due.
London, the 19th March, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.789. Articles of agreement between Bavaria and France.
Dated at Mayence, the 9th January, 1632.
[Latin; 5 pages.]
March 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
790. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The negotiations of the Ambassador Ven with the King of Sweden on behalf of England are reported to have been brought to the point of conclusion.
The Hague, the 22nd March, 1632.
[Italian.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
791. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Wake and the royal commissioners have signed the agreement about navigation and trade between the two nations. (fn. 1) The assignments for the remainder of the dowry of the Queen of England have been made to the satisfaction of Burlamachi, who has already begun to raise money, and the restitution of Canada and the other places occupied by the English in the last war will be consigned by Wake to the king to-morrow or the day after, under the Great Seal of England, so that French ships may profit by trading there this very year. Wake has great hopes of the office of Secretary of State, vacant by Carleton's death.
Paris, the 23rd March, 1632.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
792. To the Ambassador at the Hague and the like to the Ambassador in England, mutatis mutandis.
Arrangements for secure passage of letters. Instructions repeated as to reply to be given to Swedish requests for help, and to maintain that the republic is under no obligation to contribute. Notification of the arrival of Baron Rabatta from the emperor. No foundation for the Spanish report that Venice is about to make an alliance with the House of Austria. Advices from Italy and Switzerland.
To England: Acknowledge receipt of letters of the 13th and 20th February. With respect to the overtures made for an accommodation with Savoy, enclose copy of exposition of the French ambassador in the Collegio on the subject, and the reply thereto. To reply in the same sense if the matter is raised again by the king or ministers.
Ayes, 100.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
793. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The more the hopes of the government here increase about the affairs of Germany, the greater becomes the desire of the whole Court to see the long awaited consolation of the king's sister, through the relief which they feel sure the Prince Palatine will obtain through the arms of Sweden. Reports which have arrived from several quarters already circulate about the capture of Kreutznach. Although this is not confirmed as they would desire, yet they are the more inclined to believe it, because it is announced that in that affair Lord Craven was wounded, a very rich English subject, who insisted upon following the fortunes of the Palatine, taking some competent officers with him, all at his own expense. His relations have already sent the news to his Majesty, who still finds his pleasure in pursuing the chase in the surrounding country. The publication of this news in addition to the common opinion that nothing really substantial will be established about the neutrality in negotiation between Sweden and the Catholic League, a matter which the Lords of the Council here dislike or rather abhor, seems just at present to have afforded a most powerful stimulus to the king to carry into effect the offers already made, to contribute a monthly sum of money for the recovery of the Palatinate. Some merchants of this mart have already intimated that they have recently received royal orders to arrange for remittances and to procure letters of exchange for this affair. But the truth is that unless the money is actually paid down beforehand the merchants refuse to be induced to arrange such transactions or payments in any place. It comes to my ears on good authority that the Lord Treasurer, amid all the difficulties of providing for this affair without assistance from parliament, still continues to proceed according to his usual principles, which others of less influence in the royal Council do not dare to oppose openly. Those who support his opinions there have represented to his Majesty that it may be just as well, in the meantime to watch and see in what direction the designs and blows of the King of Sweden are likely to turn, as provided he does not abandon the Palatine, the ministers here would gladly see the forces of Sweden down the Rhine (al basso del Reno) towards Cologne, as by joining hands with the States, they would then separate Flanders from Germany, a point to which these ministers attach great importance in their discussions.
Two couriers from Spain recently arrived in this realm one after the other. The first came straight, without stopping anywhere, the second travelled by way of Brussels and stayed some days at that Court. The Ambassador Fontane, who is jealous of this duplicate mission, says that he has found out on good authority that they bring substantially the usual delusions to England to make them believe that some satisfactory arrangement for the interest of the Palatine will be found by means of negotiation. But as they know full well the vanity and insubstantiality of this, the lords here admit that at present they must pay more attention to the works of Sweden than to the words of the Spaniards. They announce that the same letters bring word of the preparations of the Spaniards for the war in Germany, and in particular of their heroic efforts to strain every nerve to provide money. The difficulty of doing this will be augmented if a report circulating among the merchants proves true, of the loss by shipwreck of the Spanish fleet in the voyage of Havana, where, according to the report, only three or four ships had arrived safely; all the others are supposed to have been wrecked and lost in the fury of the storm.
The negotiations which Don Gonzales di Cordova might transact at the Court of France about the affairs of Germany do not fail to cause some jealousy, but the Ambassador Fontane never ceases his endeavours to impress upon the lords of the government that he certainly has no commissions to carry on negotiations of any kind. Meanwhile he is merely conducting himself as courtesy requires, and there has been nothing remarkable about the nature of his reception.
Two days ago there came to see me his Majesty's agent, who is shortly about to return to his post with the Swiss. He showed me a letter from the lords there, advising him by public decree of the decision of all the Cantons to support the liberty of the Grisons against any oppression of the Austrian arms. He told me that he had at once taken the news to his Majesty, who expressly commanded him to neglect no office calculated to encourage them in such a good resolution. I thanked him for the office, and suitably commended the excellent disposition of his Majesty, and I thought the opportunity a good one to communicate to him what reached me in the last public letters of the 26th ult. I must not omit to add that from the course of the conversation I found this minister very well disposed. He hinted at the credit which he enjoyed with that nation as English minister, and that he would, by special letters, anticipate the offices which he was to perform more actively by order of his king when there, to persuade them not to allow themselves to be forestalled by any attempts which the Austrians might make by amassing troops in the Tyrol and in the passes of the Grisons.
As I was about to despatch these present the Ambassador Fontane called at this house. With that intimacy which I do not fail to cultivate, he showed me letters which have reached him to-day from Brussels, advising him that the Spaniards make more of Monsieur every day, from which it appears that they do not put aside the idea of using him if they can as an instrument for stirring up trouble in the kingdom.
The Abbot Scaglia has gone at last. Everyone believes that he will go to Brussels, not without the hope that his master may change his alliance, as he would like, and as he said they are inclined to suspect at Paris just now.
London, the 26th March, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 The treaty was signed by Wake, Bullion and Bouthillier on the 20th March. See Wake's despatch of the 21st, S.P. Foreign, France, vol. 9I. There is a draft of the articles somewhat earlier in the same volume.