Venice
February 1633

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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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70-79

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'Venice: February 1633', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 23: 1632-1636 (1921), pp. 70-79. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89331 Date accessed: 18 September 2014.


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February 1633

Feb. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Constantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
108. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
Behaviour of M. de Marcheville, the French ambassador there. Have complained about him in France. To thank the English ambassador and tell him they are doing the same to his king, to express their appreciation of his conduct of affairs, offering him every correspondence in his own affairs.
[Italian.]
Feb. 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
109. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
On the return of the Earl of Arundel from Amsterdam and Utrecht, the English ambassadors again met the deputies of the States. These reported to the States what they had been told about the king's good will and the affairs of Germany, confined always to generalities. They decided to thank his Majesty for the embassy, and as their opinion was asked, money and men being required for the war in Germany to help the Princes of the Union and above all the interests of Prince Charles, that they were excellently disposed, if safe and sound means could be found for upholding those affairs. When the Earl heard their reply to this effect, he decided to start for England without proceeding any further. He set off the day before yesterday by way of Brill, being accompanied thither by the sons of the Princess Palatine. She is by no means disposed to go to England, although it is doubtful what the real sentiments of the earl and above all the king will be about this decision of hers.
Anstruther will remain here some days yet, to wait for the gentleman of Duke Louis. (fn. 1) We shall see if he makes any more definite proposals. Their High Mightinesses are doubtful about this, seeing that so far he has entered upon nothing but generalities ; but they are quite determined here not to commit themselves unless they see definite action, as they place no faith in words. England has such a bad reputation, not only with the States but in Germany that a personage of trust, who informed me, told Anstruther that they do not propose to take any steps either in these Provinces or elsewhere unless the king produces prompt remittances of money and troops all in readiness to supply the assistance he promises, a very difficult matter for a prince who is not on good terms with his subjects.
These States are pleased with Anstruther's idea of getting the Duke of Bavaria elected King of the Romans, and the Prince himself commends it highly, if it can be done, as separating the duke from the House of Austria.
The Hague, the 3rd February, 1632 [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
110. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The despatch from Brussels to this Court sent recently by the Resident Gerbier reports the determination of the Infanta to go on with the negotiations which are being conducted by the deputies of Flanders for some accomodation in Holland. Gerbier adds that the Duke of Arescot was setting out for the Hague charged with instructions rather for keeping the matter on the carpet than for a conclusion. He was supplied with a ship, which was waiting for him at Antwerp, especially set apart for him by the Prince of Orange. He also states at the end that a courier having been despatched at the same time by the Infanta to Spain, to learn the supreme will, they were necessarily obliged to wait for his return, which they reckon will be in this present month of February. I understand that the contents of this despatch from Brussels have been communicated to the Dutch ministers here in confidence by one of the members of the Council. They replied that their masters saw through the artifice of the delay after the manner of the Spanish negotiations, but on the other hand, their Assembly was busy with preparations for the coming campaign, and had issued very strenuous orders to all its officers to be at their posts by the first of March.
Here they believe that the thread of these negotiations may be interrupted the more easily or even cut because of the growing noise of arms in the direction of Cologne. The States have protested to the Elector there and to the Duke of Neuburg as well about the infraction of their neutrality, every time that Spanish troops proceed in the direction of their borders as they have already sent to those parts under the pretext of helping Cologne and Neuburg against the Swedish forces under Baudesin.
The Danish minister stays on here, although he has already taken leave. He states that he has advices that his king is collecting a considerable force in Holsatia, possibly in order to enforce the claims of his son to the archbishopric of Bremen, at present held by the uncle of the late King of Sweden. Some say that he has already had recourse to the Chancellor Oxestern, who has intimated that he will help him.
A report, though ill grounded and vague has spread about peace negotiations in Germany. It seems that the Landgrave of Darmstadt, in spite of his connection with the Elector of Saxony, (fn. 2) has always held himself at the service of the emperor, and proposes to intervene to find some adjustment.
The despatches of the two ambassadors, Arundel and Anstruther have arrived at last. They write about the perplexity of the Princess Palatine about coming to this kingdom. Some believe that if his sister does not make some plausible show with her letters and excuses, the king will be very ill pleased, the more so since all the members of the government here say that in her answers to the first letters she not only seemed desirous but pledged herself to come ; and this was the reason why the king went so far, in making so many provisions, in sending the royal ships to receive her and by so many other dispositions. Others maintain that the king did well to invite her, but that she has done much better to postpone her coming on the one hand and on the other to show her appreciation of the invitation. This is certain, that her coming would not have displeased them, both because they hoped to comfort her, and because they proposed, under the fair appearance of invitation, to escape the necessity of contributing the 20,000l. sterling, and it has already been stated on good authority that the Lord Treasurer, who has so much influence with the king, had it in his mind to make a very great reduction in that sum, under the pretext, once she had got across here, of supplying all that was necessary for her ordinary requirements, for which, they added, it was better the money should be spent in England than in Holland.
The ministers here are afraid of some difficulty with the Swedes about the places conquered in the Lower Palatinate, unless they come to terms beforehand about the expenses of the war. Here they would like everything to be placed in the hands of the Duke of Symeren, Administrator of that country, in the name of his nephew.
By the first courier we hope that the three ordinary despatches from Italy which are still missing, will arrive together.
London, the 4th February, 1632 [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
111. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Arundel could not leave Brill owing to contrary winds. As the bad weather seems likely to last he will have to return to the Hague as a private individual. Anstruther has made no further proposals, so it is clear that these ambassadors came more to listen than to make proposals. Anstruther says he will leave for Germany some day soon, as he is urged to do. He proposes to go and see Duke Louis before proceeding to the Princes of the Union. I am assured that these ambassadors have not concerned themselves about the truces, indeed Anstruther himself remarked to me that he hoped the matter would be broken off. It is feared that something has happened to Duke Louis's gentleman, as he has not arrived. The Princess Palatine is doing her utmost to induce the king and ministers of England to help her, so that she may not be abandoned, but everything moves slowly and nothing is done.
The Hague, the 10th February, 1632 [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
112. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
They recently sent to Creucius, the Agent of this crown, the royal commissions for the offices he was to pass in his Majesty's name with the Duke of Symeren. They exhort him to maintain vigorously his charge of administration in everything that concerns the interests of the Palatine's eldest son, nephew alike of this king and that prince. With these went most ample offers of co-operation from this side, and that they will never desist, as the ministers here assert openly, from every kind of active assistance, as circumstances may call for it, and to meet the greatest emergencies.
Meanwhile fresh despatches have arrived from the two ambassadors who recently went to Holland. They write that they have already made their overtures for a conference with the States about the affairs of Germany. From the insistence of their proposals to the deputies of that Assembly it would seem that their efforts were devoted to trying to ascertain clearly how much England might really promise herself from the States for the direction and support required for the affairs of the Palatinate in particular. A copy of these proposals has reached the Ambassador Joachimi by express, with the addition of some further instructions from his masters on the same subject. It is stated on good authority that he has adroitly intimated to some of the Council here, that for the service of Germany and substantially of the Palatine, the Ambassador Anstruther had asked at the Hague merely what the States would do, without specifying what the king would do for the same effect ; and it was necessary that a particular and specific declaration from his Majesty should come first. Joachimi remarks that these same English ambassadors write that they have discovered clearly from their discussions that the States do not intend or make any pretence to claim to be the first or the principals in the declaration of assistance, but they are disposed to co-operate promptly and actively with the resolutions and assistance given by the king, as being more interested in that affair than their Provinces can be. I will inform Contarini of everything.
The mission of Sciarnasse to Holland is announced at this Court. (fn. 3) The French recently repeated their representations in order to get the offices of Great Britain united with their own for the prevention of the truces. But here they remain fixed in their original resolution, not to meddle in that affair. The Spaniards encourage hopes among the people of the Provinces subject to them of their advancement, and the French Agent at Brussels writes to the Ambassador Fontane to this effect. He adds that he has performed at another time the offices with the Infanta in the king's name about not allowing the continuation of the fortifications begun in the neighbourhood of Cambrai, so that the work has been abandoned for the moment, but that now, in spite of repeated representations on his part, they have begun other fortifications in another and more important part on the borders of Luxemburg. In the same letter he intimates that the Spaniards, apprehensive of the troops under San Sciomon, propose by the erection of these new fortifications to prevent succour by that way and the communication of the French with Treves.
Nedersolt has returned here to take charge of the interests of the Princess Palatine in the capacity of her secretary. He brings the excuses of his mistress in terms of grief and piteousness. He represents the upheaval of the house, the needs of the children and the advantages of the place where she is staying, for giving a better direction to affairs in the course of time, and says that she does not refuse but defers her visit to this kingdom to a better opportunity.
At the supplication of the naval authorities the king has chosen to confer the happy augury of his presence on two great ships newly built for war, and he was present in person to see them launched in the waters of the Thames for the first time, from their boat yards. (fn. 4)
They are daily expecting the arrival of an ambassador from Poland, who comes to impart the election of the new king.
When I was expecting to receive three despatches from Italy together the courier has arrived with only one of them, which brings me the Senate's letters of the 31st December.
London, the 11th February, 1632. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Aleppo. Venetian Archives
113. Piero Gritti, Venetian Consul at Aleppo, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of Persia continues to demand considerable sums of money from the English and Flemish nations, under various pretexts. This still further ensures their departure from that realm, with advantage to this mart.
Aleppo, the 14th February, 1633 [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
114. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
Anstruther left yesterday on his way to see Duke Louis. He will travel to the Palatinate by Maastricht, Liege and Treves. Before he left he came here and told me he had found them excellently disposed here, and he left very content with the good sentiments of the States. He was to see Duke Louis to learn what was required for the Palatinate and would then go to the Chancellor Oxenstierna and the other princes. He would try and persuade Oxenstierna to hand Frankenthal over to England, the late Prince Palatine having practically bought that fortress. This would oblige the king to defend the Palatinate from the Spaniards. Money and not troops were required from England, as the men die and go to the bad (vanno a male). He had advised his Majesty to this effect. The Ambassador of Denmark was with the Protestant Princes. He was glad of this, as if they could have an honourable peace, they ought not to refuse it. It they cannot the King of Denmark will be committed by the bishoprics he claims. If the Duke of Bavaria will consent to be chosen King of the Romans, all will unite for this, but if not, they will have to choose another, and Bavaria will be ruined. He took in good part the refusal of the Princess Palatine to go to England, and he had written about it to the king.
He suggested that France might take Alsace for itself, and the two crowns might work together in the interests of Prince Charles. I have heard since from another quarter that the States recently intimated that they would second the good resolutions of his Majesty in the interests of Germany if they see prompt action. Accordingly the ambassador has written that some letters of exchange have been sent from England, by which he can show the Protestant Princes that the king is beginning to act in earnest ; also that he has instructions to beware lest he mix himself in the peace negotiations, from fear that the Imperialists may deceive. They have the same fear of the Duke of Bavaria here, as it will be very difficult for him to separate himself from the Austrians. He is very scrupulous about religion and would not consent to side with the Protestant party, as he would have to, if he agreed to be chosen King of the Romans, because the Austrians would take it as a mortal affront and would certainly make war on him.
The Earl of Arundel made an effort to cross one day last week, but we hear that owing to the contrary wind he had to put back to Zeeland. The King of England has written to the Princess Palatine, accepting her reasons for not going to England and assuring her that he had no object except to please her. He took advantage of Anstruther's departure to send letters to the Princes of the Union and to some of the free towns, exhorting them to uphold his interests. M. di Sciarnasse has assured the princess that the Cardinal is most anxious for her relief and had stated that it would he a great cruelty and injustice to deprive these poor children of their own, for no fault of theirs.
The Hague, the 17th February, 1632 [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
115. To the Ambassador in England.
You performed suitable offices with the king about the recovery of his health and the death of the Palatine. If the Princess Palatine comes to England you will express to her our esteem and our deep regret at her misfortunes, with our desire for her greatest felicity thus endeavouring to arouse the spirit and vivacity of that wise and prudent princess. You did right in suggesting an embassy to the united princes. With respect to the king's proposed journey to Scotland, you will follow the example of the other ministers, because then we shall take the necessary steps if you have to follow the king to Scotland. We enclose an abstract of the advices.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
116. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Anstruther, who is going to Germany, has informed his Majesty of his last conferences with the States. He writes that at the end of the meeting they asked him what England would contribute for the common cause and the Palatinate. He said that his commissions by which he was to treat with the Princes of Germany, extended to offering assistance from this quarter of 10000l. sterling a month, enough to maintain a large army corps. He asserts that he performed warm and repeated offices to obtain the best and most vigorous resolutions from them also. From what he adds, a declaration from that quarter remains still in suspense.
In conformity with this offer, in which the sum corresponds precisely with what I reported was offered by this crown to the late King of Sweden, the Treasurer has told me recently more than once that he had strong hopes that Anstruther would arrange with the Princes of Germany what Ven had not been able to settle with the late King of Sweden.
Here they do not want Anstruther's negotiations in Holland to be prolonged unduly in order not to postpone the business he is to transact either at the first meeting of the Princes or separately with them. They are anxious for him to set out for those parts but taking some promise in his hands from the States, as they believe that this example will greatly facilitate and strengthen the proposals to be made in Germany.
The Earl of Arundel has returned to Court. He merely had the title of ambassador extraordinary in conjunction with Anstruther for the sake of precedence in his negotiations in the Assembly. As he would not intervene in these, he told his Majesty on his return that as regards negotiations he referred to what Anstruther's letters contained, and he would only report his own business with the Princess Palatine. He brought her excuses like those sent by Nedersolt, about postponing her coming to this kingdom. He asserts that the princess, after the death of her husband, having lost all consolation, had several times charged him to tell them here that she desired nothing but to see the relief of her children, to embrace her brother once more and then give up the ghost.
The ambassador extraordinary of Poland has arrived. (fn. 5) The royal coaches met him, followed as usual by those of the ambassadors of France and your Serenity. I sent a gentleman of my household to pay my respects and he sent back in response. After his first audience, devoted to compliments and informing his Majesty of the election of his master to that throne, I went to call at his house according to the practice of the Court, and he returned my visit on the following day. I confirmed the excellent disposition of the republic and told him that an ambassador extraordinary had been chosen to go to his king. He told me he proposed to leave in a few days for France, in a private capacity. There is a report that commissions may reach him to act as ambassador extraordinary at that Court for the same offices, after performing the like in Holland and at Brussels.
Joachimi has left, but they say he will return ; only an agent remains here. Fontane has told me that he will be going before long, and will leave his secretary until the king sends his successor.
The courier with the Senate's despatch of the 7th January is late as usual.
London, the 18th February, 1632 [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
117. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Without any previous notice to the ministers the Sieur di Santa Croce appeared here unexpectedly a few days ago. He is a gentleman of the queen mother and a brother of the dead Marshal Ornano. (fn. 6) His secret negotiations and his remaining here under an incognito have greatly roused the jealousy of the French minister here who is trying hard to get knowledge of the essentials of his despatch and to get to the bottom of it. They know already on good authority that his commissions, backed by letters from Monsieur and the queen mother, contain reiterated incitements to induce this crown to co-operate to some extent in their protection. Fontane came to see me two days ago, and in discussing this very matter he remarked in the course of the conversation with great confidence that a short while before he had conferred with the Lord Treasurer and made the vigorous representations required as a counterblast to these manœhuvres. He intimated to me that he felt a complete assurance that nothing would ever be decided on this side which would be calculated to displease the Most Christian. He added that he had got scent in another way that Ornano, at some private interview with one of the Lords of the Council, made various references to the hopes of Monsieur that he would receive help from the emperor.
I have some information which bears out this confidence, in addition to what the French ambassador told me, because here, especially under present circumstances, they shrink from any sort of interposition of offices or assistance in that affair all the more because they desire and are trying to obtain a favourable disposition in the Most Christian to co-operate for the relief of the young prince Palatine. Accordingly they have recently sent fresh commissions to the Ambassador Weston, directing him, when passing through that Court on his return, to renew the necessary instances and offices on this subject, and at the same time inform them of the despatch of Anstruther to Germany for the same purpose. I will inform his Excellency Soranzo of all this. They are watching very closely for the adjustment which may ensue from the negotiations of Fichiers, (fn. 7) sent to Germany by France.
The Lords here continue of the same mind as I have reported with regard to the negotiations between the Spaniards and the Dutch, indeed this has received greater confirmation from the last letters of the Agent Gerbier. He writes that their hopes at the Court of Brussels of any accommodation have greatly diminished. One might, indeed, come to the same conclusion judging by the pressure which is again being made here in the Infanta's name for some levies of troops in this kingdom.
The Ambassador of Poland departed the day before yesterday, having discharged his brief and merely complimentary embassy in a few days. Before going he came again to this house to take leave, as a token of esteem, and I made a suitable response.
The preparations for the king's journey to Scotland go forward. Out of the large number of those who are obliged by the laws of the realm to follow his Majesty at their own expense, the Lord Treasurer has persuaded the king to excuse everyone who is willing to contribute in one payment the third of a year's income from all his possessions. By this new invention they calculate that they will get together a large sum of money for the royal benefit.
No letters have appeared from Italy, not even during this week either, and the first courier who is expected should bring with him four despatches simultaneously, that being the number now due in this kingdom.
London, the 25th February, 1632. [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 John Casimir Kolb,
2 George II., the landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt was married to Sophia Eleanora, eldest daughter of John George, Elector of Saxony.
3 Boswell wrote on 3 Feb. that he was expected, and on the 22nd, that he had been at the Hague ten days. S. P. For. Holland, Vol. 146.
4 The Charles and Henrietta Maria, built at Deptford and Woolwich and launched on 29 and 31 Jan. O. S. Cal. S. P. Dom., 1631—3, pages 517, 558, Oppenheim : Administration of the Royal Navy, pages 254, 257.
5 The Polish Ambassador arrived on the evening of the Monday, 14 Feb. He was Janussius a son of the Prince of Radziwil, about 18 years of age, and a student at Leyden. He came to report the death of Sigismund III. King of Poland and the election of his son Uladislaus. Salvetti, letter of 18 Feb. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 F. His letters of credence are dated at Warsaw, 24 Nov. 1632, S. P. For Poland.
6 The proposed visit of the Marquis of Ste Croix was annouced by Gerbier on 12-22 Jan. ; so it could hardly have been unexpected. S.P. For. Flanders. Vol. 23.
7 Manasses du Pas, Marquis of Feuquièies. He was a cousin of Père Joseph.