160. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty pursues his journey to Scotland, and even on
the road he does not give up his pleasures of the chase. They
believe that he will have reached the county of York by now,
that is to say, half way. Nedersolt, the Agent in ordinary
for the Princess Palatine here, is following the Court,
with the intention of returning to confer with the gentleman
of the Duke of Symeren who is waiting for him in this
city. He also wishes to have the latest decisions about the
money remittances in connection with the matter of the restitution
of the fortresses in the Palatinate, about which there is
no longer any doubt whatever. He laments so many delays
and fears that Nedersolt may be constrained to go to Scotland,
to obtain the final decision. The long round of promises and
deferred hopes in this matter cause the interests of the Palatinate
to languish in the meantime. He says that the Administrator
has already pledged himself to the Swedes to some actual
payment in cash, being induced to do so by his confidence in
the succours from England and by Anstruther's persuasions as
well. As a matter of fact, so far as I can ascertain, there
are very considerable indications that they will make some
money contribution, which the ministers here call ransom money
to the Swedes for the Palatinate fortresses. Cholb wishes to
remain here until he obtains assurance, in addition to this
payment, at least of the remaining provision required for the
payment for the garrisons, in conformity with his Majesty's
intentions, and I fancy this matter is progressing very favourably.
Cottington opened out to me on this subject the day before
yesterday in the course of our conversation. He has stayed
on here in the king's absence and had occasion to see me
on an ordinary visit of courtesy. I sounded him adroitly in
order to see if he might have anything to tell me with respect
to the ordinary ambassador to Venice, but I could not get
anything more, in spite of the fact that the Secretary Cuch,
shortly before the king's departure, promised to let me know.
Accordingly it grows more and more evident that they mean to
procrastinate. To tell the truth the government, just at present,
devotes but scant attention to foreign affairs, to such an extent
that it has been observed that England at present has no minister
of her own at any Court of Europe soever in the capacity
of ordinary ambassador, except the one at Constantinople, who,
as they say here, is maintained for the interests of trade at
the instance of the merchants, and he is, moreover, paid by
them and not by the king.
Fontane has left at last, after performing all the civilities
incident on his departure, at this house, to which I duly
responded. Just at present France has no minister whatever at
this Court. They say a secretary will be sent thence to take
charge until the despatch of Guron, who is selected, so they
say, to succeed to the embassy. From what one hears and
from the general talk, it seems that his movements will be
regulated according to what they decide here about Anstruther,
who was chosen some time ago as ambassador in ordinary to
France, and is at present engaged as ambassador extraordinary
A gentleman arrived recently express from Anstruther (fn. 1) and
went straight after the king, after having stayed for a few
hours with some members of the government who are staying
here. From what I gather on good authority, he leaves a
report that owing to the ever increasing warmth of the union
among the princes of the party, the negotiations for peace in
Germany are cooling off considerably. The ministers here have
always adhered to their conviction that in the present state
of affairs these would never come to any conclusion. Thus
Cottington intimated to me that while they neglect no offices
here to encourage the closest union between those princes, so
they hope that although Saxony is allured by the Imperialists,
yet after the deliberations come to at the last diet at Heilbronn
he will reflect more than ever upon the danger he would incur
every time he separated himself from the others, against the
A brother of the Landgrave of Hesse has arrived these last
days, and he is making preparations to follow his Majesty on
his journey to Scotland, although we do not hear so far that
he is going there by reason of any business.
They are expecting shortly two young princes, nephews of
the Duke of Arescot. (fn. 2) Although it is announced that they
are coming solely for the purpose of seeing the country, yet
the lords here who have remained at the palace have orders
to receive and welcome them with every cordiality, and even
to send some one with them to follow his Majesty's journey,
if they seem desirous of doing so.
So far the last communications from your Serenity are of
the 6th ult. With respect to the two master workmen for great
anchors for the requirements of the Arsenal, I will devote
my efforts, as instructed, to obtaining information.
London, the 3rd June, 1633.
161. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The news lately arrived of the capture of Heydelberg by the
Swedish troops with great hopes that that of the citadel will
follow, (fn. 3) has been sent after the king to Scotland with all
speed. In addition to the constant solicitude of the two ministers
here for the Duke of Symeren and the Princess Palatine,
it would seem that this same news has given them some fillip
here, since Cottington and Windebank, who have remained here
with the insignia of the government, received orders from the
king the day before yesterday that they were to send Colonel
Douglas to the Palatinate immediately ; they are also to consign
to him letters of exchange for the amount to which the two
instalments arranged with the Chancellor Oxestern will come,
estimated at 60,000 thalers. The state tax collectors here, holding
as they do a security for the assignments, have already
undertaken to transmit the remittances for this either to
Amsterdam or to Frankfort, as Anstruther may prefer. He is to
arrange this according to the advice of the Duke of Symeren,
no less than in accord with the good pleasure of the Chancellor
Oxestern. A well grounded rumour is already circulating that
the Swedes, into whose hands this money is to arrive, propose
to have it from Amsterdam, to be transmitted thence to Sweden
for the benefit of the fleet of ships which they have already
begun to prepare there for the Baltic.
Cholb is on the point of returning to his master the Administrator.
He goes ill pleased at the little he has been able
to obtain after the numerous promises and hopes held out to
him, although just at present, by the provision referred to
above everything points to a prompt and effective fulfilment.
But the point upon which he insisted most here was to obtain
the money required for the payment of the garrisons in the
Palatinate. They still postpone their contributions for this,
which they have so often promised, but never yet fulfilled. It is
true that Colonel Douglas has express orders in his instructions
to join with the Swedish Colonel Puebliz in the Palatinate to
arrange with him about all that is required for the defence
and maintenance of those fortresses. But Cholb intimates to
me in confidence that he is well aware this is a middle course
in order to procrastinate without coming for the time being
to any actual disbursement beyond the 60,000 thalers. He told
me that he feared a change of fortune or of arms might lead
to some accident there such as would cause England to regret
that she had not supplied in time what was required to make
sure of the captures.
From York, where we hear his Majesty has recently arrived,
Horst, Anstruther's secretary has been sent here. He is going
straight on to the Palatinate to represent to the Duke administrator,
who proposes to proceed to his residence at Franchendal,
the good intentions of this crown to supply every possible
succour from time to time. He is to proceed thence to Saxony,
to rejoin Anstruther.
That ambassador was charged by his commissions to proceed
in that direction, to procure in the first place the closest
possible union between that Elector and the common interests,
and those of the Palatine house in particular.
All the letters and advices from Germany which pass through
this city on their way to Scotland agree in representing that
affairs in that quarter point rather to deeds of arms than to
negotiations for peace, it is confirmed from several quarters
that Wallenstein has taken the field. He has amassed such
large forces that he claims he can conquer single handed all
those of his opponents.
Amid the uncertainty about the negotiations for the truces
in Holland the Deputy Brasser here publishes the news which
has reached him from Zeeland of the capture of Rimbergh by
the Prince of Orange. (fn. 4) If this proves true it is thought here
that it may serve as an inducement for further progress, and
put a stop, at the same time, to all further negotiations for
At Vapin and Blackwall where those most skilled in making
great anchors live I have opened negotiations to get some
of them to go to Venice to work in the Arsenal. There will
be great difficulties as the number of those capable of skilled
work is extremely limited. However I will do my best to
fulfil the wishes of the state in this matter.
London, the 10th June, 1633.
162. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The change made by the Duke of Savoy in his arms has
excited little or no remark in this city, beyond the comment
of a certain amount of general amusement. In the meantime
his Highness has not obtained or attempted to get any advantage
here which might encourage him in taking such a step. So
far there is no sign of any kind that would lead one to
conclude that there is any support from this quarter for any
such idea. What I am able to gather, in the absence of the
king and leading ministers, leads me to believe is that while it
would not be easy for the duke to obtain any sign of approbation
from this quarter before he got it elsewhere, yet if he obtained
recognition from France he might hope to get some similar
confirmation here also. Since the Abbot Scaglia, who stayed
here while he was in disgrace with his master, no one has
resided at this Court in the capacity of ordinary minister for
Savoy. Yet they have always maintained excellent relations
by means of extraordinary missions of gentlemen from either
side. Owing to this and also to the queen, sister to the duchess,
it has been intimated to me by one acquainted with the opinions
and sympathies of the government here, that Savoy would have
a good prospect of getting England to join in with any declaration
made by France if a way could be found to induce France
to declare herself first. I will not lose sight of anything that
occurs in this delicate question in order to supply your Excellencies
with the fullest particulars if occasion arises.
The actual arrival of the Cardinal Infant in Italy is announced at
last. The consequences and resolutions arising from such a move
excite general attention and curiosity, and so I know that the news
of it has gone from here to the king. Cottington further
intimated to me, although very superficially, that he had heard
something about the Duke of Savoy not having got much satisfaction
from the conference he had with the Cardinal Infant.
I could not get him to dilate any further upon this subject.
London, the 10th June, 1633.
163. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
There are only three master anchor makers here of outstanding
ability and intelligence. Two of them, owing to their advantageous
position would never forego the great gains which they
make here as I have learned from themselves. One is attached to
the king's service and the other to that of the India Company.
The third is named George Halli, and although he has a family
and a well frequented shop he would allow himself to be persuaded
to enter the service of the Arsenal. But to tell the
truth his claims are too exorbitant though, owing to representations
made to him, he has given up some of the most intolerable
demands, but even so they are not reasonable. However, I
enclose them herewith.
Two other young men, skilled in the manufacture of every
kind of anchor, would come to Venice on much more moderate
terms, which I also send. It is true that they have not the
capital to set up a shop, but they profess, and it is said,
that they know enough to be masters. This is what I have
been able to do in fulfilment of the state's commissions.
London, the 17th June, 1633.
164. To the Ambassador of Venice.
I, George Halli, am master of a shop here in England, and
of all sorts of anchors for ships and galleys of any weight
and size soever, and here in England I make 20l. sterling a
month. If the republic of Venice will give me 25l. sterling a
month, I am at its service for three years. I demand twelve
months' pay in advance to be paid here in England, to wit
300l. sterling, for which I will give sufficient security.
I ask 15l. sterling for my expenses to Venice and 15l. more
for my return to England.
165. To the Ambassador of Venice.
The work which Bartholomew Sovver and Geoffrey Reince,
smiths, propose to undertake is the manufacture of all kinds
of anchors for ships and galleys. For their voyage to Venice
by sea they are told by old sailors to ask 8l. sterling of English
money per man, it being estimated that their passage will
cost that much, to wit 16l. for the two to go to Venice, and
consequently the same for their return.
They demand 5l. sterling a month per man for their work
while there, as it is laborious and hard.
Before they leave England they desire two months' pay in
advance as a loan in order to buy what they will need before
166. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
They have at last effected the despatch of the 15,000l.
sterling, that being about the equivalent of the 60,000 thalers
agreed upon with the Swedes. Douglas, to whom the letters
of exchange were consigned, has already started. Horst, Anstruther's
secretary, went with him, with a royal despatch for
that ambassador. The Agent of the Duke of Symeren has
gone too, ill pleased at such scanty succour, seeing the impossibility
of obtaining any more from this quarter for the
moment. He will travel by way of Holland in order to give
a more detailed account of what he has done to the Princess
Palatine. Those of the government who remain here in the
king's absence make public the contribution of this money
in order to show that England is giving more support than ever
to affairs in the Palatinate. They add assertions and hopes
that even greater things will be seen very soon, for continued
and ever increasing assistance in a matter which touches his
majesty's interests to the quick.
Windebank, who occupies the position of second secretary
of state, when I met him recently on a visit of courtesy,
intimated that despatches had reached him from the journey
pursued by the Court in Scotland, with fresh orders from the
king whereby they are to make arrangements here for greater
provision for some more considerable disbursement which they
have in contemplation for the future for the benefit of
the same affair, to turn to the advantage of the common
cause. He also assured me of his Majesty's good intentions
to contribute to the monthly payment of the garrisons
in the Lower Palatinate. With regard to the Upper he told
me that while they knew it would be easy to recover, since
it has no fortress of account, so it was impossible to keep
it without the advantage of an army strong enough to hold
the field. He further added that with respect to the garrisons
in particular Colonels Puebliz and Douglas were expressly charged
to inspect them with their own eyes and consult together about
every thing in order to make a report immediately to his
I observed, however, from his discourse the desire very openly
expressed that the Palatine house should enjoy that security in
what has been recovered and in what remains to be recovered joined
with the inference that this is practically impossible, except by
means of a general accomodation in Germany. This would
indeed please them highly here, always provided that it comprised
a full restitution of the Palatine heir. For his interests
they undoubtedly count much upon the interposition of Denmark,
since the transactions of Pare, which seem to have cooled at the
moment, would make further progress with an advance in the
offices of that king acting as mediator.
At this same interview I took occasion to speak about the
affairs of Italy. I remarked upon the misgivings aroused by
the arrival there of the Cardinal Infant. Availing myself of
the state's instructions, the last being of the 20th ult., I gave
him the full particulars. I also had an excellent opportunity
for doing what the Senate charged me with in the matter of
the claim made by the Duke of Savoy to the arms and title
of King of Cyprus. (fn. 5) I must say that upon this I find the
members of the government here treat this not only with a
certain amount of derision, but even go further and seem
opposed to such a change, as one involving prejudice to other
princes of Italy. Thus the secretary of state uttered these very
words to me : If the Duke of Savoy obtained his intent the
Grand Duke also would claim the title of King of Tuscany,
from what his Resident here says. He said this as if ridiculing
the idea, fully confirming the notion that this new idea of
Savoy is not admissible.
Nedersolt is back from York, where he left the king. He brings
commissions to Gerbier here to return to his residence at Brussels.
He also handed him letters from his Majesty for the queen mother,
full of friendly sentiments with regard to the affronts she has
received. But there is no handle for anything definite, with
respect to her unceasing demands for assistance from this
kingdom. But here they adhere to the principle which I have
reported so frequently, that it does not behove England to
intermeddle against the wishes of the Most Christian in the
affairs of his own mother. The report spread here about an
accomodation between that king and Monsieur by means of a
person who has already proceeded on purpose from France to
Flanders, still remains without any further confirmation.
The queen remains at Greenwich, enjoying the pleasant position
and the more healthy air there. She assembled the few
members of the royal Council who are left and informed them
of the certainty of her pregnancy, in accordance with some
form of ancient ceremony. For the happy progress and issue
of this those lords at once ordained public prayers in all the
By the last letters from Spain, which were immediately sent
on to his Majesty, I hear on good authority they are advised
that the Spaniards have armed some English galleons, which
are specially destined to convey troops to Italy, while others
are for other emergencies, though all will fly the Spanish flag. (fn. 6)
It seems that this is taken very ill here.
The report persists that an ambassador from Poland will
arrive here shortly. Cottington and Windebank have sent with
all speed to the travelling Court to know if they are to defray
and entertain him in this city, or if they are to send him
accompanied to Scotland. The two princes, nephews of the
Duke of Arescot, set out for that country two days ago.
London, the 17th June, 1633.
167. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
They reckon that the king will certainly have crossed the
Scottish border by now. The last letters from the travelling
Court bring word of a decision newly come to by his Majesty,
who is most determined to make the shortest possible stay in
that kingdom. The majestic ceremony of the coronation will
be the first business, with the object of getting rid of it as
soon as possible. All the rest they will despatch in the most
speedy manner. The parliament, already convoked, would require
many sessions, but the king has intimated that he wishes
matters cut short. I keep up suitable confidential offices, sometimes
with one, sometimes with another of the ministers who
remain here. One of them, opening out more freely in ordinary
conversation, expressed the belief that until his Majesty's return
nothing can be provided and no further resolution taken
about the contributions, although they are more necessary than
ever for the Palatinate just now. So far as I can gather, they
mean the remittance of the 15,000l. sterling to constitute a full
stop for the time being to any further expenditure. But apparently
they do not cease to encourage hopes about the further
monthly payments required for the garrisons. But this matter
must necessarily be hung up until they have the reports they
are to receive from Colonels Peblitz and Douglas, who have
orders to inspect those fortresses and report their requirements.
This pretext is invented purely for delay, and it will certainly
lead to more than the urgency of the case demands. The
ministers here, possibly aware that any one can easily see
through this, try on the one hand to confirm and magnify the
constant application of England to the interests of Germany,
while on the other they almost apologise for the small amount
of money recently sent and the delay of further contributions,
remarking on the present difficulty of providing sufficient ready
money, which is greater than ever here, seeing that the necessary
expenses of the king on this journey of his are by no means
inconsiderable, so they say, amounting according to their account
to 100,000l. sterling equivalent to half a million of ducats.
Cottington who from his own autocratic ideas now rules
preeminent in all matters that occur during this absence of the
king, in what one may call a supereminent capacity over the
few other members of the government who remain, imparted
to me the advices which arrived yesterday about the surrender
of the citadel of Heidelberg also. He has sent the good news
to his Majesty, although they are waiting for more authoritative
confirmation. If this proves true the whole of the Lower Palatinate
will be freed entirely and handed over to the administration
of the Duke of Symeren.
With respect to the peace negotiations in Germany he asserts
that Denmark through the dexterity of his intervention, besides
winning the confidence of the Imperialists has also made great
advances in the confidence and esteem of Saxony. On this
subject he made this remark. If any commotion ensues it
will be better to make it before the emperor has the upper
hand in arms. Here he confirmed as a matter of great importance
the large force collected by Wallenstein. He said it was
necessary to wait for the turn the negotiations would take, in
accordance with the fortunes of the attacks which are now
near at hand, on one side and the other.
The queen mother has sent to the queen here by special
messenger news confirming her improved state. Advices have
recently reached this queen from France, as she herself has
said, in the king's absence, that the Most Christian, her brother
will not have any dealings with his mother or Monsieur so long
as both of them remain in the arms of the Spaniards.
The little prince here has during these last days been suffering
from a severe attack of fever, accompanied by rather
troublesome symptoms ; but this has passed and he is now
quite out of danger.
M. di Soubise, having recovered from his illness, has been
to see me, to confirm his devoted attachment to the most
serene republic. He told me that at the least sign from the
Signory his brother the Duke of Rohan would gladly return
to his customary service. I responded in a suitable manner.
London, the 24th June, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
168. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
Last week Colb, gentleman of the Administrator, arrived here
with Colonel Douglas. Colb left immediately for the prince of
Orange. He is expected back at the Hague to return with
the Colonel to the Administrator.
The Princess Palatine declares that the king her brother
promised to be back in London by the 25th prox. Her people
would like that sovereign not only to think of the preservation
of the fortresses in the Palatinate, as he seems inclined to do,
but to supply a good round sum in cash every month. They
declare that the Lower Palatinate is utterly wasted, and that
the Swedes did more harm in one year than the Spaniards in ten.
The Hague, the 30th June, 1633.