Venice
April 1632

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1919

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603-615

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'Venice: April 1632 ', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice: Volume 22, 1629-1632 (1919), pp. 603-615. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89294 Date accessed: 30 August 2014.


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April 1632

April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
794. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledge receipt of letters of 27th February and 6th ult. Have already sent instructions about accommodation with Savoy. Advices.
Ayes, 86.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
795. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in England to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Fontane, perceiving the careful attention not to say jealous feeling at this Court about what Don Gonzales might do in France in the quality of ambassador extraordinary, decided, shortly after the arrival of letters which reached him from Paris by extraordinary despatch, to make a special communication to the members of the Council, possibly even by the royal command, not only of the speedy departure of that minister, but also of the substance of the offices passed by him in the audiences he has had of his Majesty. From what he says these did not enter into particulars of importance, since he has not conducted negotiations of any kind soever during his short stay. He has indeed, in an unaccustomed manner, betrayed feelings of dissatisfaction by refusing any sign of honour in the present offered to him by his Majesty.
The same ambassador publishes the collection of numerous levies by order of his king, which are being massed and sent to the frontiers of Picardy, as well as the confirmation of everincreasing good relations between the Most Christian and the Swede, so that in this way he may afford some encouragement to the hopes that France will not take up an attitude prejudicial to the interests of the Palatine. Here they always consider that Bavaria is too closely bound by interest to the House of Austria, to such an extent that it will be quite impossible to separate them, however hard the French may try to achieve this, and they consider the effort here mere waste of time. I know on good authority that many members of the government are displeased at the way in which they say the French deceive themselves over what they call this vain hope. One who has a place in the Royal Council told me that the letters from Germany of Anstruther and Vane, English ministers at the Imperial, Court and with the Swedish army respectively, agree precisely in their views upon this point.
The last despatches of the former bring the king here news of the embassies extraordinary from the emperor to the Princes of Italy, and notably to the pope and the most serene republic. The talk about this varies according to the variety of the offices.
When some one of the palace said that these selections were practically pledges for the quiet of Italy, I drew his attention to the constant preparations and in particular to the troops from Naples for the state of Milan. I touched on the feeling to which the Spaniards gave expression about Pinarolo; I hinted at some fresh designs on the passes of the Grisons, adding further particulars which I have learned from the public instructions, the last being of the 4th of March.
A person sent expressly to this Court by the King of Denmark has recently arrived. From conversations he has had with a person in his confidence, it appears that the relations between his king and Sweden are not altogether good. This serves to give more weight to the opinion of some of the lords here, who believe that Denmark does not mean to come out to the hurt of the imperial party. It does not appear so far that the despatch of this person was for any affair of great importance, apart from trade in the island of Iceland, where the Danes claim that ships of this country cannot go to lade or unlade merchandise of any kind, excepting only free permission to fish; the fisheries of those coasts being marvellously rich.
The deputy extraordinary of Holland has had to return to this city after his first audience, which he insisted on having of the king, although his Majesty had previously gone into the country. All his business is referred to the return here of the Lord Treasurer, and although that minister has little affection for the affairs of his masters, he will have to deal with him chiefly and arrange with him the management of everything.
The queen, who followed the king's exercises and coursing in the country here, in which she possibly overtired herself, has now completely recovered, and to-day their Majesties are to enter this city together.
London, the 2nd April, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
796. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador continues his instances for some declaration about the Palatinate. The Spanish ministers, not knowing how to excuse the delay any longer, have made up their minds to assert that the Catholic has approved and ratified the restitution and sent orders for this to the Duke of Guastalla, but he had died, and no one was authorised to open his Majesty's packet. A courier had been sent with a duplicate to secure the despatch of this business. By such tergiversations they kept the Palatine exiled and irresolute what course to take, and the King of England neutral in the hope that his brother-in-law's dominions will be restored.
Vienna, the 3rd April, 1632.
[Italian; copy.]
April 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
797. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Realising, although late, the vain hope indeed the impossibility of ever bringing to a successful issue any negotiations at Vienna about any interests of the Palatine, the king here has at last decided to recall his minister Anstruther from that Court. Two days ago they sent an express courier to him with the royal despatch containing his instructions to leave at once. Now all their hopes are based on the sole foundation of supporting the arms of Sweden. They would like to find some way of concluding an arrangement with that king for an alliance which shall secure the help desired by the Palatine, who repeats his urgent representations to this Court on the subject. The Lords of the Council here assert that by the alliance which this Crown thus offers they intend to bind themselves in two ways, either to pay 50,000 florins a month with some reasonable compensation in addition for the expenses over the conquest of the Palatinate, or to pay 100,000 florins a month, without any additional conditions about recompense for expenses of any kind. The Ambassador Vane writes that various difficulties have been raised over the proposals for these articles. He has not been able to overcome these, and further, whatever the manner of his negotiations may have been, one of the ministers here has remarked that his conduct of this business has not given satisfaction either to the king here or to the King of Sweden. Mean while as a help towards some satisfactory adjustment, it is said that they are thinking of contributing 60,000l. sterling, worth about 300,000 ducats, in a lump sum. But although it is confirmed from several quarters that when the matter was mentioned to his Majesty recently, after the return of the Court, he did not seem to have any objection, yet it is also known that whatever they may decide the means for carrying it into effect will not be found without many obstacles in the present scarcity of money.
The Earl of Dorset has returned to Court. He is a nobleman highly esteemed in this kingdom for the high position he holds in the Council and in the king's favour. According to the custom I tried to see him and pay my respects. In the most courteous manner he refused to allow this, and chose to forestall my office. He came to this house two days ago, in order, as he put it, to give the more striking testimony of his good will towards the most serene republic. I made a suitable response, and perceived by a hint he gave me that he wished your Excellencies to be informed of this unusual display of friendliness, of which I did not fail to assure him. Indicating that he meant to talk confidentially with me, he went on to speak of the affairs of Germany, in which he remarked that England was deeply interested, at least until such time as the claims and affairs of the Palatine were established upon a secure basis. He said that his king was advised of the alienation of the Duke of Bavaria from France, not only open, but uncivil, the duke having several times declared himself in an offensive manner, so he assured me, to belong to the party of the emperor. He added that the King of Sweden bitterly lamented having let slip an opportunity for inflicting a much more ruinous defeat upon the princes of the Catholic League, merely out of consideration for France. He asserted that this bore out the opinion held by the king and all his Council who had never wavered in their belief that Bavaria, by his device of interesting the Most Christian and the pope under the pretext of religion, merely aimed on the one hand at allowing the victories of Sweden to cool, and on the other to afford the emperor time and opportunity to take stock, and to the army of the League, already weakening and all but dispersed, to recover and regain strength. He told me that the last letters from Brussels reported the relief at that Court, where the late advantage gained by Tilly over the Swedes under General Horn at Bamberg was made the most of and greatly exaggerated. Bavaria also took courage from that event to bluster more than usual. He concluded that from this series of events the public cause might derive this advantage, that the French would come to a more vigorous and open declaration.
As this afforded me a very suitable opening, I did not fail to seize it, to induce him to open out upon what they would do in this quarter amid the disturbances of which he was talking. He answered with these very words, England can do nothing in her present state except to unite herself to Sweden by the bonds of money contributions, and she is at present labouring at this with the utmost enthusiasm. He then repeated again his argument about what might be done if France did not seem reluctant to believe that while Monsieur remains under the protection of Spain, incidents may occur on one side or the other so that the levies of the Most Christian near the frontiers of Germany and Picardy might have to be employed for an invasion of Flanders. This shows, and the Ambassador Fontane does not deny having received information to that effect, that the Infanta recently granted troops to Monsieur for the defeat of some French troops on the borders of Luxemburg and Champagne, but the design was frustrated by the opportune withdrawal of the French troops to Doncheri on that frontier.
The deputy extraordinary of Holland has called upon me, and I responded, so as to confirm the very friendly feelings of the state. He told me that he was charged by his masters to inform the king here of how the forces of the States were to take the field in the present year, which will serve, he said, to create a diversion in favour of the cause and of the Palatine also in Germany. He intends to take advantage of the opportunity to initiate overtures to ask for help, holding up the present example actually set by France. But appearances here all concur to convince one that they will be very close and indeed show the utmost reluctance to consider such a proposal.
This week a Dutch ship has arrived in this kingdom laden with rich merchandise from the I dies. It came from a port called New Netherlands, where the Amsterdam Company has a position fortified by their arms and men. Immediately the ship arrived in these waters it was seized, under the pretext that it came from countries near or connected with Virginia, where some English companies claim the privilege of a monopoly of the trade in those parts granted them by the king here. The Dutch concerned raise their clamour to the heavens at the injustice shown, and call it practically a hostile act, not only because the case is clear that the goods in question were laded in a port belonging to Holland, but because they contend that the limitation set by the king here to trading in Virginia cannot extend to any but his own subjects. Both the Dutch ministers are preparing to carry their remonstrances about this matter to the king himself, jointly, and for this purpose they are asking for a special and extraordinary audience of his Majesty.
Persuaded, so they say, by the Lord Treasurer, who may be aiming at the better establishment of his own authority, to limit the number of ministers in the government as much as possible, the king has united the office of the late Dorchester with that of Coke, whose life is a bad one, because of his age, and who is unable to discharge the duties of the single one which he held before.
London, the 9th April, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
798. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Princess Palatine is expecting letters from her brother by a ship which is said to be leaving England; but so far we see nothing but the usual fair words and promises from that quarter.
The Hague, the 12th April, 1632.
[Italian.]
April 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
799. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The negotiations of the Ambassador Ven, which were approaching a conclusion, have been prolonged by the absence of the King of Sweden.
The Hague, the 15th April, 1632.
[Italian.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
800. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
While the last courier sent from here to Vienna, owing to the bad weather, was waiting for an opportunity to cross the sea, with the despatches for that Court, he was fetched back by the king's order. People surmise that this is in order to change some orders, owing to the change in the news which recently arrived here, reporting some check to the hitherto swift and successful progress of the Swedish arms. Owing to the last unfortunate encounter of the General Horn, (fn. 1) the letters state that the Swedes proposed to go and join battle with Tilly, who is said to have since gone away from there, having decided on entering the Upper Palatinate, and then go and join hands with Wallenstein. With this check some think that the decision to recall Anstruther will also be postponed. That minister's brother continues his strong representations to the ministers here about the uselessness of that service, and works hard to secure that the leave already granted to him shall not be revoked.
The Ambassador Vane also, from what they write, is constantly meeting with fresh obstacles in his negotiations, as he is unable to accommodate them to the conditions prescribed to him from home. He sends word that he is beginning to discover that Sweden intends to retain the conquests in the Palatinate until the end of the war, and some of the larger fortresses for such time longer as may be necessary to make quite sure of them. But from another excellent authority we hear that the King of Sweden is not disposed to be very open with Vane, knowing him to be a creature utterly dependent on the Lord Treasurer here, whom his Majesty considers to have strong proclivities towards the Spaniards. What is sure is that they are very much afraid here that the army of Don Gonzales, which is reported to number 24,000 foot and 4,000 horse may enter the Lower Palatinate and easily recover the conquests of the Swede.
The Ambassador Fontane has been twice this week to audience of the king. At the first he told him of the decision of the Most Christian to have himself ready and armed for all eventualities in the present disturbed state of affairs, for the greater safety of his own realm and the benefit of the common cause. He asked permission for the Sig. di Gurdon, a great personage of Scotland, (fn. 2) and other dependants of his, officers of the same nation, to proceed to the command of the Scottish cavalry, which is in the pay of France. At the second he presented to his Majesty the treaties of Canada and for free trade, signed by the commissioners on both sides, and at the same time he handed him a letter from the king his master. With the confidence he shows me and which I encourage, Fontane showed me the very copy of this letter sent him by the Secretary Bottiglier, with his instructions for these audiences. The royal letter, after some superficial remarks about the happy conclusion of the affair in question, goes on so as to seem like a reply to another letter of the King of Great Britain about the interests of the Palatine. The Most Christian expresses his intention and makes the most ample promises to work for the ultimate restoration of that prince, whom he calls his cousin. He expresses his good will to him and his children, adding his strong hope that some reasonable way will be found of obtaining satisfaction for him. He declares that he has devoted his energies to this task, and promises once more that he will continue to do so in the future until success is achieved.
Reports have reached the Royal Council from Lorraine, afterwards confirmed from Paris, that the duke there, in his mistrust of France, and hoping to find a way to save his state, is about to throw himself into the hands of the Austrians. More than one of the members of the government has assured me that he has seen letters in his Majesty's own hands, that Monsieur has already committed himself so far in the marriage with the princess that reports are circulating almost everywhere that she is enceinte.
In a conversation provoked with one of the lords here, who betrayed a curiosity for information about what had happened in the contentious places on the borders of the ecclesiastical states, I had a good opportunity for retailing the plain facts of the case, showing the innovations and undoubted mischief first started by the ecclesiastics and then resisted by the most serene republic, being naturally aroused to retain her own jurisdiction and the safety of her subjects, that being the business of all princes, with the other particulars supplied to me in the state despatches of the 13th ult., which are the last to reach me. The occasion of this conversation caused me to discover that the news of the adjustment which has taken place in the affairs of Rome between the pope and the most serene republic had reached the king here.
London, the 16th April, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
801. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A judgment very contrary to the just claims of our merchants was delivered in the year preceding my arrival at this Court by the royal commissioners in the matter of the ship Golden Cock, which was laded at Lisbon for Venice, then taken by the Turks, and soon after by the English. Although the matter has already been decided so unfairly, Richaut, the agent of those interested in the ship, has been to see me and asked me to interpose my most strenuous offices to obtain some delay before that portion of the merchandise which still remains in deposit, passes into the hands of our opponents. In this way he declares that we may possibly regain the advantage, not by altering the sentence, although so unjust, as that is altogether impossible in a case of appeal of this character, but to force our opponents to make some sort of compromise by means of which we shall at least be able to recover the money, to the amount of some thousands of crowns, devoted to the expenses of the long contest over this unfortunate affair. At present, although the matter is settled so far as the nature of the sentence is concerned, I have not failed to devote my efforts to delay or suspend the order of execution. I have spoken expressly about this to the Lord Treasurer in the first place, as it is always necessary to approach him before any one else upon all matters, owing to the influence he possesses. I also repeated a similar office with the Earl of Dorset and the Secretary Coke. So far, by securing some delay, I have succeeded in arresting the final act of the declaration which was about to be made upon the carrying out of the sentence already delivered. Meanwhile Richaut will not lose the opportunity afforded him by this slight delay to promote some accommodation. If I succeed, as I shall make every effort to do, in obtaining a somewhat longer space of four or six months, he will undoubtedly be in a better position to arrange some agreement for the benefit of the interested parties. But those on the other side, being already aware of this plan, are preparing their opposition, and are making the most strenuous efforts to obtain immediate possession of what was deposited, which still remains in the hands of the Admiralty here. Meanwhile I have thought it my duty to report all that I have done up to the present.
London, the 16th April, 1632.
[Italian.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
802. GIOVANNI SORANZO and ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Wake came to see us yesterday for the usual compliments. He said he thought the King of Sweden had already entered the states of the Duke of Bavaria, from advices which he had. He assured us that the report of the King of Denmark's declaration for the emperor was false. He said he had letters from Hamburg stating on the contrary that the Danish deputies had joined those of General Tod to remove the disagreements between the two kings, and the meeting was most successful.
Paris, the 16th April, 1632.
[Italian.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
803. ZUANE BONDIMIER, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With respect to the extra five ducats the thousand on currants, I may say that as the time for the new imposition has expired, your subjects here deserve some relief, as it is found by experience that the English merchants, owing to this increase, keep down the price of currants, so that your subjects pay this duty and not the English merchants.
Zante, the 16th April, 1632.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
804. To the Ambassador in France.
We hear of the present made to you by the king on your departure from London, and it is due to your merits to keep it as some relief for your expenses.
Ayes, 139.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
Balloting on the grant of the present to Soranzo:
Ayes, 127.Noes, 2.Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
April 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
805. GIOVANNI SORANZO and ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News has arrived from Frankfort of the capture of Donouert by the King of Sweden. (fn. 3) So far the English ambassador has the most certain advices in letters from Vane of the 10th, and when we went to see him yesterday he told us with every appearance of delight. He builds much on this success, and he has every reason. He complained of the scanty help that France at present is giving to Sweden, saying that the withdrawal of Marshal la Force had allowed the Spaniards to cross the Moselle and enter the Palatinate again, though it was well defended by Duke Bernard of Weimar. The King of Sweden had strengthened his position greatly by changing his mind, and instead of fighting a great battle, he would take the war into Bavaria and Upper Austria. He referred to the jealousy caused him by the coming of the gentleman from the emperor. He told us that Sweden could always make an accommodation with the emperor. He spoke very confidently, but the insignificant part which England is now playing in the affairs of Christendom renders his remonstrances however warm, of less effect. However, I, Soranzo, said something on the subject to the cardinal.
Paris, the 20th April, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
806. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Princess Palatine tells me that the Ambassador Ven has started off after the king, such being his orders from England.
The Hague, the 22nd April, 1632.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
807. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two couriers from Germany arrived at this Court yesterday within a few hours of each other. The first was sent by the Prince Palatine, the second by the Ambassador Vane. Nothing well founded is yet known about the essentials of these expeditions, beyond the interest of the news, which was most acceptable to the king here, so that he himself was the first to publish that of the capture by Sweden of Donauworth on the Danube, an important step forward in the progress of which they expect to hear in Bavaria, and for which they are the more eager because of their detestation at this Court, on account of the interest of the Palatine, of the name of that elector, whom the ministers here refer to by the name of deceiver of the French, because of the negotiations for neutrality promoted earlier by the Most Christian with Sweden.
This very evening they have sent back the same courier to the Ambassador Vane, with the royal commands to be ever present in the Swedish camp, follow the king wherever he may go, and try to find out more completely the intentions of that monarch upon a subject they do not like and are very jealous about here, of which Vane has already written, namely keeping the conquests in the Palatinate until the end of the war, and some of the fortresses possibly longer.
They have at last sent to Vienna this week the despatch which was held back last. They have not absolutely revoked the permission granted to Anstruther to return, but conditionally, laying on him the obligation to be guided in this according to what he finds from events and circumstances may advance his negotiations in the future.
The members of the Royal Council have been meting more frequently than usual, devoting more and more attention to a matter which they consider very important here, which has been discussed before without any results. They are at present considering the setting up of a law that will result in taking away from all foreign nations the advantage of fishing in the seas surrounding this island. The Dutch betray great uneasiness about any new move in this matter, and very strong feeling, as they are more concerned than anyone else.
The Ambassador Joachim and the deputy extraordinary from the Hague, whom I happened to meet recently, with our usual friendly intercourse, told me that any steps that might be taken against the ancient freedom that had always been enjoyed in this matter would prove not merely vexatious but insupportable to the States, who have several thousands of small ships and scores of thousands of men engaged in that industry, or who profit by it. They assert that in this consist the preservation and increase of their marine, an essential part of the strength and recuperative power of those Provinces. It is supposed that the origin of this move here is chiefly due to the Lord Treasurer's incitement and persuasion of the king, with the purpose of increasing the royal revenues in this way, by some universal acknowledgement from foreign ships and traders. But these affairs, owing to the interests concerned in several directions, must take a long time to decide and prove even more difficult to carry into execution.
The Earl of Carlisle, having recovered from his slight illness, came to this house about two days ago on purpose to see me. He made the most profuse declarations of his affection and esteem for the most serene republic. He declared himself jealously ambitious of the public favour. He said he had received many favours and great honours at Venice. I replied in a suitable manner to all this. He went on to talk about the affairs of Italy, betraying a curiosity to hear more detailed information about the accommodation between Venice and Rome. He said news of this had reached the king here last week, but in such general terms, that no particulars of importance were specified. I took the opportunity to supply him with the authentic facts, while suitably upholding the dignity of the state.
The king nominated two ambassadors extraordinary on the same day of this week. The first is the Earl of Leicester for Denmark, and the second the Lord Treasurer's son for Savoy. The one will offer condolences on the death of the queen mother there, grandmother of this king, (fn. 4) and the second will perform the office of congratulation on the accession of the new duke. Since the death of the Secretary of State Dorchester, not one of the other ministers has said a word about the question of an accommodation between that prince and the most serene republic.
Letters written by the Abbot Scaglia himself from Antwerp have been seen here, confirming his move to Brussels. Some think that he may find another employment at that Court. The Deputy Braser, recently arrived from Holland, suspected of partiality in the matter of the truces, has certainly not started any negotiations here on the subject as yet. I will keep my eyes open for any meetings he may have with the ministers here, in order to throw light on it all.
London, the 23rd April, 1632.
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
April 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
808. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have little hope here that the Prince Palatine will receive any succour from England, although some think that the 400,000 ducats which it is understood the Most Christian has ready to pay down for his sister's dowry, may be devoted to that purpose.
The Hague, the 29th April, 1632.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
809. VICENZO GUSSONI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king is pressing the departure of the ambassadors recently nominated for Denmark and Savoy. They are already preparing their instructions. The former is to deal with some matters touching the interests of navigation and trade, and is also to interpose some good office in favour of the Hamburgers. As an addition to his instructions he also has an express command once he has reached that Court, to keep on the look out for any thing that may arise to assist the interests of the King of Sweden, endeavouring either to divert Denmark absolutely from advances of any kind that may be made for a secret or open understanding with the House of Austria, or at least to render it as harmless as possible, if it proves hopeless to render him favourable in every respect, owing to the increasing jealousy in that quarter at the continued success of Sweden's enterprises.
The hurried preparations of these two ambassadors have supplied me with an opportunity to repeat my remarks to some of the Court about the long vacancy in the ordinary embassy to the republic. I may conclude that some report of what I said reached his Majesty, as it has come to me on good authority that the day before yesterday, after dinner, he again discussed the subject with the ministers, and declared with his own lips that he did not wish there to be any further delay about sending an ordinary ambassador to your Serenity. I am further assured, as a result, that the Lord Treasurer, in fulfilment of the royal wishes, immediately sent the necessary orders to ascertain the final decision of Lord Spenser, a person of very considerable rank who was chosen a long time ago for the post. In spite of the long delay report now says that he wants to proceed to the ministry with which he was charged so long ago. A few days will serve to clear up this matter, on which I shall keep an eye.
Letters have arrived from Flanders from the king's agent with the Infanta, which came in only thirty hours. From these they learn that the uneasiness at that Court has been greatly increased by the news which reached them express that a person sent on purpose to Holland by the Most Christian was conducting closely most secret negotiations, and kept not only the negotiations, but his own personality a secret from all, as no one saw him but the Prince of Orange, the President Pau, deputy of the assembly, being the only other person present. The king himself has remarked that this unknown personage is supposed to be the Cardinal de la Valette, but whatever the business and whoever the negotiator may be, your Excellencies will doubtless have received full information about it long since. It excites great attention and varied comment among the members of the government here, their interest being increased by the obscurity. Meanwhile, it is certain, from what the letters say, that the Infanta, strongly suspecting some arrangement between the French and the Dutch, and fearing some attack on the country of Artois, has sent for all the Spanish commanders to consult them about the best way to defend the frontiers in case of a sudden attack.
Some Dutch men-of-war which arrived in this port have left word that they are sailing at once to join the principal fleet off the coasts of Flanders. This confirms the opinion held by the ministers here that the Dutch have some plan to use their forces in that direction.
We hear that a powerful fleet of thirty to forty brave ships, well provided with Biscayan soldiers, means to put to sea from the port of Dunkirk very soon. Although the peace between this Crown and Spain has so far been very well observed by both sides, yet I gather from the talk of the lords here that they are not altogether pleased at the gathering of such a force in the seas surrounding these islands, over which the English claim jurisdiction, while other forces are being augmented in another direction by fresh provisions and naval preparations on the part of the States, as amid such armaments, although friendly to this realm, they consider there is great danger of some trouble for the ships of this nation.
Colonel Flituuit, who had money and commissions from the King of Sweden to make new levies of some regiments of English troops, went recently to receive his Majesty's permission. The king immediately granted him every facility and privilege with the utmost readiness, and they have begun to beat the drum for the purpose in this city. Many think that this new, although perhaps somewhat insignificant favour is intended here as a means to delay the satisfaction which Sweden claims about money contributions, about which there were promises and transactions here, although no actual payment has yet been made.
As I was about to despatch this letter, the courier of Italy arrived with your Serenity's letters of the 2nd inst.
London, the 30th April, 1632.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Driven out of Bamberg by Tilly.
2 George, Lord Gordon, eldest son of the Marquis of Huntly. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1631–3, page 316.
3 On the 6th April.
4 Sophia of Mecklenburg, widow of Frederick II, King of Denmark, and mother of Anne of Denmark, queen of James I. She died on 4th October, 1631.


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