Venice
December 1632

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1921

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39-53

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'Venice: December 1632', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 23: 1632-1636 (1921), pp. 39-53. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89329 Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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December 1632

Dec. 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
64. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The return of the Ambassador Ven has at last followed the breaking off of the negotiations with Sweden. Some bitterness has been caused on both sides by the failure to come to an agreement between the two crowns. He arrived here the day before yesterday, and set out soon after to find the king, who, in spite of the season, continues his recreation of hunting and remains in the country. He left that embassy without the appointment of any successor. To avoid shutting the door absolutely on any revival of the negotiations, especially with the necessity of not leaving the interests of the Palatine altogether derelict, they have decided to instruct one Creuius, (fn. 1) although a German, not an Englishman, to follow the royal army with the title of Agent, with patents from this crown. But everyone concludes that while the king certainly has good intentions as regards his brother in law and the public cause, yet as the sympathies of more than one of the leading ministers are possibly preoccupied with other matters, he may be prevented from doing anything adequate, as it is clear those are not far from the truth who assert sadly that the advantage of the Spaniards at this Court keeps increasing. So far one discovers nothing absolutely authentic about the long and very secret negotiations of Nicolaldi with the Lords of the royal Council, but there is some evidence in support of the whisper which reached me through the Dutch ambassadors, in conformity with what I had guessed myself, that the Spaniards are trying to carry the point of uniting the ships at present arming in this kingdom with some fleet of theirs for Flanders, and although opinions differ about the manner of the Cardinal Infant's coming, it seems that the lords here believe that it will be by sea.
With the arrival in the port of this city of a Hamburg ship the deputy of that city has circulated in the palace a report of a battle between the Swedes and imperialists in Saxony, with the defeat and flight of Volestain and heavy losses in men and trophies ; but as they only have the news from him, every one is eager for further confirmation.
It is believed here that Orsoi has been captured a second time by the Dutch, and the Palatine's agent affirms not only the recovery of Franchendal, but the capture of Beinfeld in Alsace. The first couriers who are expected at any moment from Germany and France will bring enlightment to clear up contradictory advices.
Monsieur, having fled from France, has returned a second time to Flanders. The queen mother and he met at Ghent. The fact that Gerbier sent a special courier to his Majesty seems to have rendered the French minister here the more apprehensive that one or the other of them will come to England. He has accordingly repeated his offices at Court to thwart this intention and he has found out that while their coming here would really not be relished, so there is little likelihood of its happening, except with open consent or at the least some sort of connivance.
Your Serenity's last despatches of the 4th ult. have reached me The Lord Treasurer is eagerly waiting to hear about the reception of the Ambassador Weston.
London, the 3rd December, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 7.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
65. The Resident of England came into the Collegio and spoke substantially as follows :
The ambassador has received the passports, adding another to the honours already shown to him. He is leaving to morrow and would welcome some command from your Serenity which would enable him to show his devotion.
The doge replied, We wish him a good journey and we shall always be ready to gratify him.
The Resident continued, The ambassador understands that the affair of Colonel Duglass has been taken in hand and also that of the merchant Hider, with the recommendation for the rest of our nation. He cannot wait to see the end, as he has to continue his journey by his Majesty's order, but he hopes that everything will be carried through as quickly as possible. The doge promised that everything possible should be done, as they were always anxious to do everything for that nation.
The Resident then said, The ambassador has desired me to go with him to Florence, because my presence may help him. I inform your Serenity to have your consent, as in this journey I must also obey his Majesty's commands.
The doge accorded the leave and said they would always be glad to see him back again.
The Resident added, Six or eight ships are leaving for Zante in a few days for English merchants. In order that they may be well treated I ask your Serenity to send letters with them to Zante and Cephalonia. The doge asked him to leave a memorial, and he replied that the consul of the nation would supply one. He asked the doge to receive the consul during his absence.
He then recommended an English captain, so that he might have his wages as officer of a regiment. He introduced him, and the captain presented a memorial. When that had been read and the Resident had said some more in his favour, he took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
66. To the Ambassador in England.
We are waiting to hear what effect the news of the death of the King of Sweden will have upon that king and Government. The Ambassador Weston left yesterday for Florence. The Resident Rolandson came two days ago to tell us that he would do so, and to make the enclosed exposition. We forward you the advice. Your last are of the 5th ult. We enclose a paragraph from a letter of our consul at Aleppo. (fn. 2) You will find out what you can in this matter.
Ayes, 101. Noes, 6. Neutral, 20.
[Italian.]
Dec. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
67. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
News has come of the Palatine's death at Mayence. (fn. 3) He leaves seven sons and four daughters ; Charles the eldest is aged fourteen. His poor wife will be utterly disconsolate, with so many children and at such an unlucky moment, which may hasten some unhappy decision in this quarter.
The Resident Bosuel on hearing of the death of the King of Sweden, sent an express to England in the interests of the Palatine. That prince's Agent at Vienna, Rusdorf, arrived here, left the Ambassador Anstruther at Hamburg about to embark for that kingdom.
The Hague, the 9th December, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
68. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The report of the death of the King of Sweden in the great fight at Leipzig has caused universal sorrow at this Court. The place is a fatal one for battles and this last is considered the most sanguinary that has occurred in Christendom for many centuries. The report is general that although Volestain succeeded in getting off with a few regiments, yet the imperial army was completely defeated, with such immense slaughter on both sides that the lowest estimate puts it at 30,000. Every one concludes that the losses of the Swedish army were much the lower, as they remained masters of the field with the baggage and artillery of the enemy. The particulars of this great action, which they desire here, will have reached your Excellencies. The king here laments that no couriers have been sent to him from Germany, though they expect them momentarily, because his Majesty only has the first simple advices sent him by the Princess Palatine, his sister.
Eager partisans of the right side consider that the fall of this Hercules of the North is more important than the victory, because of the consequences. At the palace they are preparing to put on mourning, and they are considering what more this crown can do to meet this great and unexpected emergency, with respect to its own interests and the public cause, in the turn which affairs are likely to take in Germany.
I called upon the Lord Treasurer, knowing his desire to see me to hear something of the ambassador his son. To his great astonishment he has no letters from him this week by the courier, who brings those of your Serenity of the 12th ult. My visit pleased him exceedingly and he uttered these very words, Mr. Ambassador, we have bad news. The King of Sweden has gained the battle but has lost his life. I remarked that the imperial defeat on the one side and the fall of the king on the other left one very doubtful as to what the future course of events in Germany would be. I said that the greatness of this crown made it more imperative than ever that it should consider the situation. He at once rejoined, That is certainly true. His Majesty has it at heart ; indeed he has at once sent a despatch to Hamburg with all speed to stay the Ambassador Anstruther, who was going to that city from Vienna. The king has decided to send him with all speed to the princes of the Swedish party. He will confer first of all with the Duke of Saxony and will then go on to the Landgrave of Hesse, to Duke Bernard of Weimar and to all the others concerned. On behalf of his Majesty he will persuade every one to a good union and mutual intelligence, advising them to select among themselves a good commander to lead the armies, who may at least follow the plans even if he cannot equal in valour the king who has died so gloriously. While thanking him suitably for his communication I commended his Majesty's most wise decision and said that the arm of this great kingdom could not only give fresh spirit to the body, but by the interposition of its offices it could bring about a better union, and the closer the union between them and the better the understanding the more profitable and necessary it would prove in the present circumstances of Germany.
The Treasurer seemed very pleased at this commendation of their resolutions here and he amplified this by adding that his Majesty would not make any change in the future with respect to the contributions previously offered ; and they might possibly be able to adjust more easily what they had not been able to conclude hitherto in this connection. He went on to express a special curiosity for news of his son, the ambassador, of whom he said he had heard nothing since his arrival at Venice. This gave me an opening to enlarge upon the particulars. I noticed that he listened with gratification and attention. I told him that his son had already made his public entrance and had his first audience, and in receiving and lodging him the republic was anxious that he should have a worthy welcome to confirm their appreciation of this embassy, and I was charged to bear witness to this. I could easily see that my remarks gave him exceptional gratification. He declared himself the humble servant of the most serene republic, and poured out his thanks, repeating that he would carry in his heart the memory of so many favours. He asked me whether I had heard if the Duke of Lenos, brother in law of the ambassador, had appeared in Venice, as by previous orders from his Majesty he was to pass from Spain to Venice in order to join the ambassador and so increase the noble company of the embassy ; he also had orders to travel home to England in the ambassador's company. I replied that I could not say anything for certain about the duke, as no special confirmation had reached me, but one might believe that he also had arrived, since it was certain that the numerous and noble suite of Englishmen had greatly increased the gratification and obligations of the republic.
Yesterday the French minister here went to special audience of his Majesty. He took the opportunity to assure the king of the safe return of his master and the flight of Monsieur to the queen mother in Flanders. I am assured on good authority that his office was especially devoted to preventing any openings for either of them to come over to this kingdom. Of the queen mother in particular a report is in circulation to the effect that the four ships armed by the king here, which may put to sea any day, are about to receive instructions to serve as an escort to bring her from the shores of Flanders to those of this kingdom.
The negotiations of the deputies of Brussels who went to the Hague are considered here as delusions and artifices of the Spaniards, who find it necessary to comfort their subjects at least with the appearance of some hope of a peace or truce, and to get all the advantage they can from gaining time. The ministers here, who have no belief in these negotiations leading to any conclusion, declare that England can have no share in them and does not mean to.
Some sort of report has circulated that the French propose to send a special embassy to prevent such negotiations coming to a head, if ever they should progress towards any sort of agreement ; but people believe that this will disappear in difficulties and delays. As I am about to seal this despatch I hear a report has come from his Majesty's chamber, that news has reached them of the death of the Prince Palatine of the plague.
London, the 10th December, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
69. To the Ambassador in France.
We are informed that M. de Tullerie may be impressed with the idea that the Ambassador Weston has recently proposed a defensive league in Italy and other matters having the Spaniards in view, and he may even have sent to France to inform the king. We inform you that Weston's three offices merely passed in compliments and there were no negotiations of any kind. If necessary you will assure the ministers of this, and remove any credence they may have attached to such reports, which may have been spread insidiously to encourage discord between those two crowns and make France suspicious of the republic.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Dec. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
70. Pier Antonio Marioni, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier of the resident Buondelmonti at Venice brought the Grand Duke word on Wednesday of the coming of the English ambassador.
Florence, the 11th December, 1632.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Rettori. Venetian Archives.
71. To the Proveditor of Zante.
The English Resident has taken the opportunity of some English ships being ready to sail in your direction, to ask us to recommend to you the merchants of his nation who are with you and manipulate the property of their correspondents. We therefore direct you to show every favour and kindness to these English merchants and to those who frequent our marts, without prejudicing our orders or interests, for which you will always have a proper regard.
Ayes, 122. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Constantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
72. Giovanni Cappello, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Relates that by reason of disorders at the convent of S. Maria of Galata he had Friar Giovanni Fermo of Bergamo, an ambitious man removed to his house. The French ambassador demanded that this friar should be handed over to him. Bailo claimed him as a Venetian subject. The French ambassador came to the Venetian embassy in person, followed by eight armed men, whom he left in the street, a good many others being placed outside armed with arquebuses etc. This disturbance excited the whole neighbourhood, but the English ambassador, on hearing about it, supposing some mischief might occur, at the moment when France was departing, sent to offer to come in person with all his Court and others of his nation to do what might be thought necessary. Merchants and others also came up from Galata, as the report spread. Re monstrated with France, who has since admitted the folly of his action. Sent the secretary to thank England for his prompt and friendly offer. He repeated his offer to come in person well supported whenever he was notified. He is amazed and condemns the action.
The Vigne of Pera, the 16th December, 1632.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
73. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
Some one is expected here from England to assist and advise the Princess Palatine, who is deeply afflicted by the loss of her husband whom she loved in an exceptional manner (unicamente). She is not altogether hopeless now of help from England, especially for garrisoning the fortresses.
The Hague, the 16th December, 1632.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Padova. Venetian Archives.
74. Alvise Valaresso, Captain of Padua, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday a Capuchin came to see me, called Fra Alessandro d'Allis, a fellow of Father Hyacinth, both of whom I knew in England. He wore the secular habit. He wanted post horses. He told me he was going to Germany, having recently come from Spain after some months, having gone there from England, where he had stayed a long time, carrying on active negotiations in the emperor's name about the Palatinate, perhaps in the hopes of delaying help from that quarter, but the successes of Sweden stopped all the transactions. He assured me that the King of Sweden had received a lump sum secretly from the King of England.
Padua, the 16th December, 1632.
[Italian.]
Dec. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
75. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The latest advices about the battle of Leipsig differ greatly from the first, although there is no difference about the most important item, the death of the King of Sweden. The contradictory reports about everything else leave the ministers at the palace here doubtful as to what judgment they shall form about them. Anstruther arrived here unexpectedly two days ago, a favourable wind having brought him straight from Hamburg to this kingdom, (fn. 4) and he has thus come too soon to permit of the royal commissions of which the Treasurer told me reaching him. With respect to his being sent on a fresh mission to Germany I hear on good authority that they propose to wait a little here until they can obtain more authentic particulars about what has happened in that country, and so form a better judgment of the direction in which affairs are likely to move there.
From what one hears the death of the Prince Palatine seems to have grieved his Majesty deeply, more particularly with regard to the protection of his sister. To comfort her he at once sent M. di Edersolt, who takes a promise that they will continue in the future to pay her the same yearly contribution of 20,000l. sterling which they have paid so far from this quarter.
The Spanish Resident here has already intimated that in the future his king will have a more easy means of obtaining every satisfaction for England in what concerns the Princess Palatine's interests. The truth is, and I gather as much from one of the Council, that the Spaniards want to seize upon this opportunity also to encourage hopes, with their usual artifice, and to forward their interests at this Court. Meanwhile they are trying to have the ships recently armed by this crown sent to Spain, pretending that with the provisions and money for Flanders, to be transported here with the return of that shipping, this kingdom will have an opportunity of making a profit, since of necessity and by the laws of the country a good part of the ready money which is brought must remain, to be remitted from this mart to that of Antwerp either by letters of exchange or in some other way.
The French minister here, by order of his king, has made strong representations to his Majesty to thwart the designs of the queen mother. He has at last obtained a very ample promise that they will do everything possible here to prevent her from coming, as she has seemed anxious to do, by her various instances. With this intent they have sent the Sieur dolla Murrey (fn. 5) to Brussels, to convey to the queen mother the fullest assurances of the admirable intentions of this crown, with apologies and dissuasions to prevent her from coming. There are some who assert on good evidence that if he finds that her Majesty has any intention of going to Spain, he has further instructions to offer her the very men of war of the king here to serve as an escort. But most people agree in believing that if she cannot come here she is still less likely to leave Flanders.
A ship has arrived from Zeeland in a few hours bringing his Majesty a despatch on the affair of Rimbergh, a place which the Spaniards apparently wish to render neutral. This is confirmed by the two Dutch ministers, who add, however, that their High Mightinesses are quite willing to agree to this if the Spaniards will consent to place that fortress in the hands of the Elector of Cologne ; that of Linghen is not valued, seeing the despatch of the two deputies with protestations that they intend to demolish all the fortifications.
With regard to the truces in Holland they adhere to the resolution I reported, that England will not intervene in any way, either to persuade or prevent it. In this connection the last advices from the English Resident to the royal Council assert that in the opinion of everybody both sides are prolonging the negotiations because they wish to see first what the consequences of the battle of Leipsig and the fall of the Swedish king may be, which change the face of affairs, what new dispositions and revolutions will happen in Germany, and also what effect the return of Monsieur to Flanders will have.
After the king had suffered some slight disturbance spots appeared on his face and neck, indicating either smallpox or over heating of the blood, so the physicians here say. His Majesty does not believe the first and will not hear a word of it, and he thinks nothing of the second. He declares that he feels very well in himself. He is with difficulty persuaded to take care of himself in the warmth of a small room and he will not stay in bed. Meanwhile he has suspended public audiences and affairs.
The report of the welcome given to the Ambassador Weston has roused warm feelings towards the most serene republic and afforded great pleasure to the Court, but above all to the Treasurer. I will make ever greater efforts to prove the sincere esteem of the state for his Majesty.
London, the 17th December, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
76. Pier Antonio Marioni, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Weston entered Florence on Thursday evening. Prince Don Lorenzo met him at the gates, the Grand Duke awaited him at the Pitti and met him at the palace gate, taking his right hand and leading him in. He asked audience of the Grand Duke and princes yesterday, the Cardinal (fn. 6) having withdrawn three days ago to avoid the meeting. He attended the comedy in the evening with his Highness. Today he has been hunting pheasants and has been in the preserves near the city. Tomorrow they are preparing for him the game of football (calcio) in the piazza of Sta. Croce as usual, and so they will go on every day while he stays here. (fn. 7) They are preparing a galley for his departure, to take him from Leghorn to Marseilles. It is thought that his Highness will accompany him to Pisa.
His offices so far have merely been complimentary and friendly from what is said uniformly. I have not yet been able to see him, but I sent to pay my respects and I hope to do so personally to-morrow. I hear that he speaks most highly of the favours he received from the most serene republic.
Florence, the 18th December, 1632.
[Italian.]
Dec. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Ceffalonia. Venetian Archives.
77. Gasparo Querini, Venetian Proveditor of Cephalonia, to the Doge and Senate.
After various experiments with the English merchants to help the people here in the sale of their currants, and having reduced the price to 20¾ reals the thousand, with the assent of the syndics and leading men, and seeing the very scanty supply of money in the chamber, the large stock of currants, the petitions of the people to export them, induced by their need of grain, and considering the advanced season and the hardness of those merchants, I made up my mind to fix a price, more for the general relief of this island than in accordance with my judgment. I have bargained that the merchants shall take away everything before the end of March, or shall pay as if they had received the goods. I have thus approximated to the prices at Zante, where currants are 22½ reals, as they are always worth 2 or 3 reals more there, but this year the difference is only 4/7ths. In this way I was able to arrange for a loan from the English of 20,000 reals, to be made good by the duties of the new impost, and I paid that sum forthwith to Sebastiano Veniero, the Captain designate of Candia.
The troubles of this island are due to the presence here of Simon Vitcombe, an English merchant, a man of great sagacity and artifice. He has lived here for many years and being most versatile he is better acquainted than any one else with public and private interests, and takes advantage of this for his own benefit. Thus this year he delayed until this moment the arrival of ships to lade, and by reports of their going away he is always able to lower the price at his pleasure. The delay hurts the people and reduced the price 4¼ reals last year, and some year he will delay the export of currants so long that they will be spoiled, with serious loss to your Serenity and the people here.
Cephalonia, the 12th December, 1632, old style.
[Italian.]
Dec. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
78. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The gentleman sent about the Palatine's affairs (fn. 8) has arrived from England. He reports the goodwill and readiness of the king, but it is feared that the signs thereof will be sparse. They say here that the Ambassador Anstruther will come to proceed to Germany again, to the Princes of the Union. Owing to the offices passed in the interests of the late Prince Palatine with the States, his people hope they will be included in any peace or truce that may be made.
The Hague, the 23rd December, 1632.
[Italian.]
Dec 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
79. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The despatch of his Majesty's ships is still undecided ; they are all fully equipped and armed for war. It does not yet transpire whether the delay proceeds from the offices of the Spaniards, who want to use them for their own purposes on the pretext of advantage to this kingdom, or if, as seems more probable to many, they are waiting here for the reply, which cannot be long delayed, to the negotiations carried on at Brussels by Murey, a gentleman of the king's bedchamber, recently sent to the queen mother. Although she greatly desires to come to this kingdom, as she herself has expressed it, for quiet and an asylum, they are just as strongly opposed to it here, as the ministers intimate, owing to the expense and inconvenience. They will be glad to prevent it by representations from this quarter, since the French continue to exercise pressure to prevent her Majesty's design. The Ambassador Fontane has so much in hand with the assurances of the crown and ministers here that he has the fullest confidence in the respect which they tell him they will show for the wishes of the Most Christian in this matter.
With respect to the affairs of Germany, from what one hears the decisions of the royal Council are not fully matured about what they can do and contribute after the death of the King of Sweden. His Majesty shows resolution and firmness in his wish to give what support he can to the princes of the party that was once Swedish, by supplying advice and help and sending one of his ministers on purpose. To this end, although Anstruther was previously destined for the ordinary embassy in France, the Lords here say that he will certainly go to Germany, chiefly in order to go to Saxony, and then wherever it may be necessary in order to encourage the movements and cement the union of that party. But while his commissions are not drawn up and while this despatch has not been carried into effect, it seems impossible to state anything for certain, or that they will not alter any decisions which have been disclosed up to the present according to the measure of events and the trend which resolutions in that province may take.
The Princess Palatine, who is most popular at the Court and in the whole kingdom, has the sympathy and grief of everyone in her sorrow at the loss of her husband. Some of the ministers have already approached his Majesty about her coming here, but so far as appearances go his Majesty does not seem very inclined to this.
The Dutch ministers here speak of the negotiations of the deputies of Brussels with great reserve. This makes some suspect that the affair may lead to some sort of composition. But it is certain that here they will not take a hand or interpose in any way whatever.
The king is already recovering from his slight touch of the smallpox. He is already without fever, but the physicians make him take a slight purge. This will postpone public audiences of his Majesty for some days longer. When a suitable opportunity occurs I will avail myself of the instructions which reach me in the latest from the Senate, of the 25th November.
London, the 24th December, 1632.
[Italian.]
Dec. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
80. Pier Antonio Marioni, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador is still here. He is waiting for a reply from Genoa about a free passage by land that way. If he does not get this he will have the use of the duke's galley. His stay restricts the Grand Duke and the Princes more than they like. His baggage has already been sent to Pisa. I have been too unwell to see him. He sent a gentleman in response to my offices, expressing his appreciation of the honours done him, and the English resident at Venice has since been to do this in his name. He said he would go back to Venice immediately the ambassador left Florence.
After the football game played in fine, showy liveries, the ambassador has had no passtime except to see the sights of the city. The Grand Duke has invited him twice to his table.
Florence, the 25th December, 1632.
[Italian.]
Dec. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
81. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
Duke Lewis has informed the Princess Palatine that he will undertako the guardianship of her son's dominions. She has announced her husband's death and begun to receive visits. Accordingly I went to pay my respects. She said that nothing would console her for the new and unexpected blow so long as she lived. Speaking for herself she would rather never have an inch of land than have lost her husband. But she had to consider her children and took consolation from the hope of their restoration. She commended them to the republic and me, knowing that her husband had always loved the republic greatly. It was a great misfortune that none of them was old enough to rule, with more to the same effect.
She told me afterwards that the King of England had written her a most courteous letter, assuring her that he would be a father to her children and try with all his strength to restore them to their dominions. He made her a most loving invitation to go and live in England, but she could not do so so soon, and she ought not to leave this country before she saw her sons established in their dominions so that she might not seem to abandon them at such an emergency. When that was done she would not fail to please his Majesty. I understand that she has written to England to this effect. (fn. 9) A gentleman named Edersolt has come thence, who took this letter. He has seen the Prince and the States. He leaves a report that Anstruther will arrive here in a few days on his way to the Princes of the Union, and will take this opportunity of treating with the States about the interests of the Princess. It has been observed with remark, that she has never been invited by the king to England since she has been an exile from her dominions. Although that sovereign shows this warmth and good will, yet there is some doubt about his coldness, as the ministers in writing here have shown an utter ignorance of what is required and ask for information. This was given with the reply to the letter, and it would have been despatched by me, had not the wind been contrary.
The Hague, the 30th December, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Ceffalonia. Venetian Archives.
82. Gasparo Querini, Venetian Proveditor of Cephalonia, to the Doge and Senate.
Price of currants reduced by quantity produced. Plantations limited by law but this is not observed. Sentences of confiscation not carried out under predecessor. The abuse is aggravated. Has had the law enforced since his arrival, and will do the same with previous illegal plantations if empowered.
Cephalonia, the 30th December, 1632.
[Italian.]
Dec. 31.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
83. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
During the days of this week the king decided to receive private visits for the congratulations of ministers and ambassadors on his recovery. In conformity with my request I had an audience assigned to me in the most privy chamber. I duly performed this office and went on to offer condolences on the death of the Prince Palatine, for whom his Majesty is wearing mourning. In reply to the first office he expressed his friendship and thanks ; for the second I observed that he is really much grieved about the death of his brother in law, and I omitted none of the remarks that the occasion required. In thanking the king especially for the sending of an ambassador extraordinary I told him of the manner of the welcome accorded, in confirmation of the republic's esteem. The king, with a much more happy and jovial expression than usual, answered in these words, I have already received from my ambassador a full account of the cordial welcome afforded to him at Venice. He writes that no other ambassador has ever been better treated than he. This puts me under great obligations. I thank the Signory, and, he added, be so good as to write this. I replied that all that had been done could not nearly express the regard felt for his Majesty and the ambassador, and I would write and tell the Senate what he had said.
Before dismissing me the king asked if I had any fresh news about the affairs of Germany. I said I imagined that the letters of his Majesty would be more recent. The king replied that the couriers had been delayed of late, but there is a report of some fresh defeat of Volestain, though he could not state it for certain. He then said, I hope, in spite of the harm done by the death of the King of Sweden that affairs in Germany will take a good turn and that the princes there will unite and have a good understanding together. Knowing that the Ambassador Anstruther is about to leave for Germany soon, I thought it opportune to remark here, Your Majesty will have a large share in the good that may arise from the union of those princes in Germany, by your despatch thither to them now of an embassy extraordinary, which will have the advantage of the skill and knowledge of Mr. Anstruther, a minister of much experience and ability. The king immediately replied, I am certainly doing it for some good end, and I venture to hope for it. Anstruther is on the point of setting out. He will go first to Holland and then proceed to Germany. He will confer with the Duke of Saxony and will then go on to all the other princes of the party. From this I gathered that by sending the ambassador to Holland they may possibly intend to unite their offices with those of the Dutch. I will send word of this to the Ambassador Contarini.
With the present state of affairs in Germany after the death of the King of Sweden, they are watching closely and with interest here what steps France will take, where their decisions so far have not been carried out or are suspended owing to the illness and absence of the Cardinal, whom the ministers here call the primum mobile in the firmament of the royal authority. One of the Lords of the Council has intimated that he has heard from a confidant at the Most Christian Court that the French army will march towards Metz, so as not to lose an opportunity of fishing in troubled waters.
Gentlemen sent on purpose by the Princess Palatine arrived recently at Court. They represent her as inconsolable in her grief at the death of her husband. This has moved his Majesty deeply, owing to his sympathy for his sister, so much so that he has decided to invite and beg her to return to this kingdom, so that he may relieve her excessive grief by the consolation of his presence. For this purpose the king has sent the Vice Admiral of the sea with orders to stop in port the ships recently armed (fn. 10) suspending all previous decisions about their voyage, as it seems they were destined for some other part. The Earl Marshal of the kingdom, has already received the royal commands, and together with a number of lords and cavaliers, is preparing to cross the sea, escorted by these ships. For the fulfilment of all this it seems that nothing is wanted except the consent of the princess herself to this sudden resolution of his Majesty. A gentleman has already set out to inform her and also to make arrangements for her coming over. We shall very soon know her answer and what she means to do. If she comes, as from the common talk people seem to make sure she will, I will observe the same style as the other ambassadors in paying my respects, and for anything further I will await instructions from your Excellencies.
The decision of his Majesty to go to Scotland to be crowned, which has frequently been announced in years gone by and always postponed, now receives more confirmation every day that passes. The people there seem to desire it. Apparently the arrangements and preparations of the Court, which are truly great and make a stir, have never been so advanced in the past as they are now. Some are of opinion that if his Majesty goes there this city may not see him again for little less than a year, owing to the time spent over the function and over the pleasures of the chase.
When the Earl Marshal called at this house recently he informed me of the decision given above. He told me that the king could not postpone any longer this coronation and the satisfaction of his subjects there in that way. I hope that I may be excused from such a long journey, which is likely to be superfluous rather than profitable to the state, even if his Majesty is followed by the other ministers, since it is known that the constant occasion for negotiation in the interests of their princes is very different and in no wise comparable to what can at present be done for those of your Serenity. However this is a question which must be decided by the state.
No courier from Italy has arrived in this kingdom during the present week.
London, the 31st December, 1632.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 William Curtius, Secretary of Sir Henry Vane. See Buch ; Court and Times of Charles I., Vol. ii. page 191.
2 See No. 4 at page 3 above.
3 He died, probably of the plague, on 29th November.
4 Pennington reports landing him and the Earl of Leicester on 30 Nov. O.S. Cal S.P. Dom. 1631—3 page 447.
5 William Murray, groom of the bedchamber.
6 Carlo de' Medici, cardinal deacon of S. Maria Dominica, brother of Cosimo II. and uncle of the reigning duke.
7 Weston's own account of his reception is contained in a dispatch of 3rd Feb. N.S. from Lyon. S.P. For. France. Vol. 93.
8 The envoy was Sir Francis Nethersole. Court and Times of Charles I. vol. II. page 204. See also No. 81 at page 50 below.
9 The letter of Charles dated 30 Nov. O.S. and the queen's reply dated 14 Dec. O.S, are printed in Mrs. Green's Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, pages 301, 309.
10 The Victory, Dreadnought and Bonaventure. The St. Dennis was left in the Downs to take on provisions. Their destination was Brill, Cal S. P. Dom. 1631—3. pages 467, 468.