183. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Anstruther has gone to see the Queen of
Sweden (fn. 1) at Volgast, to offer condolences for the death of her
husband in the name of the King of England.
The Hague, the 4th August, 1633.
184. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The king has accelerated his journey extraordinarily by relays
of coaches at several places, after the manner of the posts.
By this haste he wished to take the queen by surprise, so
as to make his return more welcome to her when she was
not expecting him, although she awaited him with impatience
when he tarried before for the space of some days. The Duke
of Lennox, the Marquis of Hamilton, and three other great
lords, no more, attended on his Majesty on this very hurried
and almost flying journey. The Lord Treasurer, the Earl Marshal
and others of the Council and Court have remained behind
and will come by easier stages with the rest of the cavaliers
and officials of the usual company that follows the king. His
Majesty's entry into this city will be delayed for some months
still. An idea is current that as the crowned king of Scotland
he will have to make a public state entry here also, to be
celebrated by arrangements and functions which the people
here are devising. Meanwhile the usual round of offices and
compliments for his safe return have performed not far from
here at a delightful spot in the neighbouring country. (fn. 2)
It was my duty to offer congratulations, according to the
custom of the Court, and the king ordered that the ambassador
of the most serene republic should have the first audience. When
I had left the royal apartment the residents of Spain, the
Infanta and the Grand Duke were introduced after me on the
same day for the same office. To the general astonishment and
remark they not only put off the Dutch resident, in spite of
a previous request on his part, refusing him for that day,
but the king sent him word that if he wished for an audience
he must wait a week to have one appointed for him. This
unaccustomed reply and extraordinary delay in a matter which is
usually granted as soon as requested, has supplied material
for much comment among the general and has rendered that
minister very uneasy in particular as it is thought to be connected
with some offence or with some other mystery not
thoroughly cleared up.
To the various occasions for bickering and disputes which
arise daily between England and Holland, a new one has occurred
recently, which has irritated and offended the king and Court.
This is that some Dutch war ships, engaged in a fight in
these waters with others of the Dunkirkers, who had with
them a Dutch ship which they had captured shortly before,
entered the port of Jamuth with their battle flags flying and
continued the combat with their guns and muskets. Although
the Dunkirkers had already landed there, to take refuge, and
in spite of the protests of a few unarmed English peasants who
had gathered there, who declared that violence to the people
who had taken refuge there was violence to the King of England,
yet they were taken prisoners by the Dutch, who also
landed, and taken by armed force out of this kingdom, with
their ships and booty. (fn. 3) An express upon this was sent with
all speed to Bosuel in Holland, who was ordered to make very
strong and resolute offices for the satisfaction which they claim
in this affair, to which they attach the utmost importance here,
because of the way it affects their reputation, security and
navigation. Accordingly there are some who believe that they
wished to give the agent time for a reply before offering facilities
here for other offices by the Dutch deputy.
My office with his Majesty was devoted to suitable expressions
upon his happy return. The office appeared to be very acceptable
to the king. He told me he was always glad to hear
of the friendliness of the lords of the republic. He went on to
utter these words : I assure you that I also will always be a
good friend. He asked me what the Cardinal Infant meant to
do. I said that the consequences of his visit to Italy were
altogether mysterious and full of jealousy and trouble for that
province. The provisions for 25,000 infantry and 3000 cavalry
far exceeded the requirements of the defence of Milan alone and
gave the Italian princes good cause for remark.
The king remarked, Let us wait a little to see what happens in
Germany. Sire I replied, your Majesty knows well that both
there and in Holland the Spaniards are aiming at their advantage
by negotiations for peace. The king replied, In Holland it is
true that the negotiations are progressing little by little ; but
in Germany, with the expiry of the armistices, they are now
exercising their arms with more fury than ever, and even Volestain
is pushing on. The conversation returned once more to the
affairs of Italy. With respect to the possession of Spain in
Correggio and their designs on Sabioneda the king asked me divers
questions showing curiosity about that place as well as about
the Princess of Stigliano, which I satisfied with the light afforded
by the public instructions. The king seemed to know
about the Duke of Medina Lastores, of whom he said a rumour
was in circulation that he was to marry the princess in question.
With this the audience terminated, and I took leave.
I intended to perform a similar office with the queen, but in
those few hours occurred the accident of her fall, when she
tripped up on the level ground. Owing to her very advanced
pregnancy the accident was considered dangerous and the king
ordered her to go to bed at once. But being assured afterwards
that no harm was done she sent me word that she would
be glad to see me on the following day. Accordingly I performed
the office I intended adding expressions of the esteem of the
state for her, and further that the republic rejoiced to see that
her Majesty, under the blessing of Heaven was about to increase
the felicity of England with a new offspring, under happy
auspices. This testimony pleased her.
The ministers here consider the last defeat of the imperialist
forces in Westphalia as involving very considerable consequences
to the prejudice of Cologne and for strengthening the united
princes, and the king himself told me that he considered this
defeat of the greatest importance. (fn. 4)
The Polish ambassador, after staying on at this Court for
some days incognito to all except the Master of the Jewels, who
gave him the usual present of silver gilt in the king's name,
departed for his sea passage shortly before his Majesty's arrival.
They are still without not only ambassadors, but any other
kind of minister from France. The report about Guron coming
soon has died away. Accordingly there is a suspicion
and a murmur among the Courtiers and those of the government
that by the despatch of that individual to Lorraine, when
he was previously announced for England, observing that Anstruther
had been sent to Germany, the French mean to proceed
in this delicate matter in exactly the same way as they do here.
This has roused them to more diligent application here and they
decided that the Secretary Windebank should speak to the queen's
grand Almoner, as he has done, assuring him that as soon
as the king can remove Anstruther from Germany, he will
send him straight to France without permitting him to return
to England. The last time this grand Almoner came to see
me he himself told me that he had reported this office of the
secretary to his Court. He added that as he had to go to Paris
before long he would make the same report orally.
The despatches of the 6th ult. have arrived together with
those of the 8th which are the last to reach me. With regard
to the matter of the beheaded Cassinensian apostate I will make
use of the information in case anyone speaks to me about it.
London, the 5th August, 1633.
185. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to
the Doge and Senate.
Your Excellencies will have herewith an account of the fight
between the Turkish fleet and two English ships, which arrived
at the same point by way of Malta, the evil augury
which the Pasha must conceive of it, and the confusion of
that fleet. They think here that it may divert them from coming
to these waters.
Rome, the 6th August, 1633.
186. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The deputy Brasser has at last been introduced to his Majesty,
a week after all the other ministers. The audience was not
confined to compliments alone, but the king, mindful of the
offence caused by the incident at Yarmouth, went on to express
his resentment. The Dutch minister tried to mitigate the matter
more by excuses than by denials or a different version of the
facts. He showed that the Spaniards, by plundering Dutch
ships in any places soever, were the first to violate the freedom
of the ports of this kingdom. He made much of a similar
case, indeed with much worse circumstances, which has occurred
quite recently in Ireland, where some Biscayans, who entered
the port of Dublin, had the audacity, in contempt of the king
here, during these last days, to fight with their guns and
muskets against his subjects who would not allow the plundering
of a Dutch merchant ship which had gone to those waters
for trade alone. As they could not get it into their hands
they set fire to it in the very roadstead off that port. (fn. 5) The
truth is quite well known here, as neither the Spaniards nor the
Dutch show much respect for the immunity of these shores,
but owing to the Spanish predominance in the government
here, they seem to take a more haughty tone in their remonstrances
with the Dutch.
Letters from the English Agent with the Infanta report that
the armies on both sides in those countries, remain entirely
idle, so that it is supposed the decision is mutual not to
undertake operations of importance this year. Accordingly they
are hastening the fresh despatch of the Brabant deputies to
continue their negotiations at the Hague. From this the lords
here apparently conclude that the desire for peace is equally
shared by the Spaniards and the Dutch, and the king himself
intimated as much to me at my last audience.
With respect to naval affairs news comes that the Dutch
have at length captured some accessories of importance in the
capitanate of Fernambuco, with hopes of great benefit for
the sugar trade. (fn. 6) This by no means pleases the merchant
companies of this kingdom, who compete with those of Amsterdam
and who are much concerned about the prosperity of that
nation. The Deputy Brasser announces at the palace with much
exaggeration all that his masters have done for the common cause,
since notwithstanding that they have the enemy at their gates
they have paid down 100,000 florins at Frankfort, at the disposition
of the Chancellor Oxestern. He further states that the
Provinces have agreed to provide 50,000 florins a month for
the next three months, for the same contributions. He spoke
to me to the same effect, when he recently paid a complimentary
visit to this house. I gathered from his discourse that the
object of the States is to use this as an excuse if they are
unable at the same time to show their good will towards the
Princess Palatine. He intimated to me that the king and that
princess ought to consider what the Dutch do for the common
benefit as done in their own particular interests, since the arms
of both serve this same end.
The consequences of the victory in Westphalia are represented
as ever greater for the princes of the party. One of
the Lords of the Council here has letters stating that besides
the fall of Hamelen they consider that of Minden practically
assured and that the whole province will very soon be entirely
relieved of subjection to the emperor, while making Cologne very
fearful as well. The Lords here say that that prelate will
ultimately have to cast himself upon the protection of the
Most Christian. One of them has remarked to me, not without
some concern, that neutrality would not displease Bavaria either.
But they added that no trust can be placed in that prince, although
he is having representations made expressly about this
in France. I perceive from what they say that while they do
not consider peace in Germany near at hand, yet whenever it
is concluded they would like this crown to have some share
in it. I am assured on good authority that the ambassador
extraordinary of Poland who has recently gone, passed some
office on this point when he saw the king in Scotland. On
this account fresh commissions were recently sent to Anstruther
to have this same end in view in his negotiations with Saxony
and Brandenburg, directing him, as often as it may be necessary,
to proceed from one Elector to the other, from Dresden
They speak at the palace of some new action in which the
imperial forces had the worst of it, but so vaguely that further
confirmation is awaited. The Resident of Denmark here, although
out of his office, has word that the son of that king
has returned to Gluckstadt. It would seem, as they write to
him from that Court, that the king there, to give greater
credit to his interposition for peace, has chosen deliberately
to withdraw his son from armies hostile to the Austrians in
Divers reports come from the house of Nicolaldi about the
advantage which the Catholic receives from the arrival of the
fleet, which they announce has certainly reached Spain. The
queen's grand Almoner, before starting for France, came the
day before yesterday to take leave of me. He repeated to me that
he was to pass offices at that Court to remove any doubts they
might have about the Ambassador Anstruther, so that Guron
may come as he hopes, to act as ordinary ambassador here.
He further remarked to me that unless France was sure of a
due correspondence from this side, they would not send Guron
to this Court. Meanwhile this long period without any French
minister of any kind in this country is disliked, especially
by the queen. The only one here in the capacity of an ambassador
is myself, as Joachimi still delays his return, and
Brasser takes charge as simple deputy.
The English secretaries write from Paris that good progress
is certainly being made to some agreement with Monsieur.
The queen here would like her mother to be included in it,
with some concessions to recompense her for her long absence
which they call here her most bitter exile.
A deplorable accident involving the burning of two large
ships of this kingdom is understood to have occurred in some
port of the West Indies, since one of them had already laded a
great part of its cargo of most rich merchandise. This will
mean a great loss to the traders and to the joint owners in
those merchant companies.
The last letters to reach me from your Serenity are of the
London, the 12th August, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
187. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident Bosuel has returned from the camp,
where he formally presented the order of the garter to Prince
Charles. They now style that prince Elector, and he has also
been declared such by England. The prince's party here say
that the English king has announced that whoever invades the
Palatinate will be considered as the enemy of England herself.
The administrator is raising levies to garrison the fortresses,
and it is thought that they will be paid chiefly by that sovereign.
The Hague, the 18th August, 1633.
188. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday a despatch arrived from the Ambassador
Anstruther brought by a gentleman express, who also
gave the king some account of the affairs of Germany, apart.
The verbal and written accounts with the particulars of what
he has done in carrying out the negotiations with which he
was charged with the Duke of Saxony, lead to the conclusion
that he found that Elector rather tempted than disposed towards
an accomodation apart from a common one in the interests
of Germany. From casual conversations I have had with members
of the royal Council who are here, I gather that the
opinion which they all seemed to hold alike was confirmed
about the difficulty, which increases with every day, of
arranging a peace, in spite of the efforts of the Austrians.
Yet they are doubtful here about what orders to give to Anstruther
with respect to what the interposition of the King of
Denmark may obtain, who does not cease to operate in the
matter with the utmost energy. Anstruther writes that he has
already set out for Hamburg, where he will await the royal
commands about proceeding to that Court to perform the offices
which they may consider suitable here in the interests of the
A Savoyard has arrived here in the capacity of a simple
gentleman with letters from that duke. He has gone to find
the king, who remains away from this city at his usual pleasures
of the chase, scouring the country round. (fn. 7) They do not speak
of his intending to stay at this Court for more than a few
days, or of his having come for anything but friendly and
complimentary offices of ceremony. These compliments are frequent,
sometimes in the name of the duke and sometimes on
behalf of the duchess, now with the king and then with the
queen, by missions to which they respond here in the same
manner, accompanied at times by some curiosity as a present,
on one side or the other.
Nedersolt, the Agent of the Princess Palatine was confined
to his house by the king's order for an insulting letter written
by him to the courtier Gorin. (fn. 8) He claimed immunity in his
capacity as a public person, but they told him that as one
born in this kingdom and an English subject he was not included
in the privilege. This has excited a great deal of talk
because of the strangeness of the step. Meanwhile the Princess
by sending her secretary Dingli with all speed, has obtained
from the king that no further steps shall be taken in the
matter on condition that Nedersolt is dismissed from his post,
and this has been done.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is dead, and the Bishop of
London here, who enjoys the particular affection and favour
of his Majesty, feels sure of being very soon announced as the
successor to that very rich and most highly valued position. (fn. 9)
The king has chosen to take part personally in the prayers,
repeated for three days for the happy progress of the queen's
I have in hand the state despatches of the 21st ult.
London, the 19th August, 1633.
189. Richard Gresuel, English merchant trading at Cephalonia
represents to your Serenity that owing to the damage to
currants there in 1630 the Proveditore Erizzo allowed Marin
Megliarissi, a native, to export a great quantity and to pay
the duty afterwards, by virtue whereof Megliarissi arranged with
Gresuel to export 80 thousand thereof, for which amount Megliaressi
was entered as debtor in the chancery, for which export
proceedings were afterwards entered against Gresuel and a ship
of his seized and sold by auction for 700 ducats ; alarmed by
this he kept away and as a consequence was banished from
the island for ten years, and he asks that enquiry may be made
in this city and justice done, professing his readiness to give
We cannot give such full information as we could wish, as
we have not the full particulars, which should be in the process.
From what we learn from the petitioner we gather that the
matter reduces itself to two considerations (1) order and (2)
desert. In the first and the matter of his banishment, the
grace rests with your Serenity. We understand that other interested
parties have appealed to the Council of Forty. In the
second he has shown us a paper signed by Megliaressi and
Tedoro Ulterra, stating that all the currants exported by him
were laded in their presence and by virtue of the licence granted
to the former, with payment of the usual duties within the terms
set by the Proveditore. Upon this we have to say that such
arrangements are not in accordance with the interests of the
state, because of the uncertainty of collecting the duties, which
ought to be paid immediately upon the exportation, but he
has the defence of having acted in good faith, being assured
by a state official, and as he was banished in his absence we
think he may be worthy of such clemency as your Serenity
may see fit to show after due information is taken.
190. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
Although they adhere to their usual intention not to intervene
with the Dutch in the matter of the truces, this does not
mean that the lords of the council here are free from some
jealous apprehension. So far they have seemed to believe that
the manifold difficulties of the affair with the offices of the
French in opposition would suffice to prevent any conclusion of
those negotiations. At present they seem to fear the contrary,
indeed they begin to say that the Spaniards and Dutch are
equally eager for them. Every one of the ministers here recognises
that the circumstances are very inopportune, and is aware,
from what I hear of their talk, of the prejudice that may
result to the interests of Germany and consequently of the
Palatinate. These voices of the Court, having reached the
Deputy Brasser, have induced him to make representations to
the contrary to the king, to prevent such an impression taking
hold of him. He said that their High Mightinesses had most
definitely decided to push forward with their forces, even in
the present season, to some other considerable enterprise. For
this purpose, he asserted, they had sought and finally obtained
the cavalry of Hesse for the service of the States, with a certain
number of infantry. These veteran troops would not be kept
idle. He declared that the Prince of Orange had express orders
to employ them immediately he had passed them under review.
He took the opportunity to enlarge upon the good will of his
masters, and their correspondence with the Chancellor Oxestern.
He said they had obtained from him in particular the greatest
assistance in faciliating the transfer of the troops in question
to the service of the Provinces.
In the opinion of the lords here there is little expectation of a
successful issue to the negotiations for an accomodation in
Germany referred to the assemblies of Vratislavia, since they
tell me they are advised from there and from several other
quarters of more steadfast and better united resolutions on the
part of the princes of the party. For the most part they
believe these princes will be obliged to advance their interests
by arms to a position of greater advantage, which will render
Cæsar more ready to give way in the treaties and make Volestain
more flexible in his pretensions.
They specially remark the declarations of the Duke of Lorraine.
They consider it will be difficult for him to take up a position
which is not opposed to the interests of France. Upon this
point the two English secretaries represent in their letters
the intention of the Most Christian to reduce that prince to
his duty towards France at all costs.
They write from Brussels that the Infanta has permitted the
city of Antwerp to send its own deputies to negotiate with the
Seven Provinces some arrangement to free themselves from the
floods caused and maintained by the Dutch about that city.
It is believed that this fresh opening of negotiations is intended
to facilitate the other and more important ones of the Brabant
Nedersolt has been restored completely to the king's favour,
through a reconciliation obtained from the Courtier Gorrin,
who claimed to be affronted by him. Meanwhile the hopes have
grown feeble and have practically died, of the succour which
that princess counted upon receiving from a universal voluntary
contribution, which they proposed to obtain from the people of
this kingdom for the support of her interests. But the king,
realising the difficulty of carrying this into effect without obtaining
the assent of parliament, the calling of which he hates,
has withdrawn all the promises which he had been induced
to make shortly before, moved solely by the wish to please his
The Spanish Resident here, according to the reports which
come from his house, reckons that by now the troops under
the command of the Duke of Feria will have effected their march
out of Italy. I am told that he intimated to one of the Lords
of the Council here that this ought to dissipate the alarms of
the princes of that province for the future. Even the Dutch
who are at this Court seem apprehensive about Feria's move
with so many troops but the difficulty of the passes and the
opposition in Germany reduces their fear that this Spanish
army is intended for the requirements of Flanders.
The Abbot Scaglia has raised a great sum of money from this
mart, which he kept in his own name in the hands of the
merchant Richaut, from whom he has, during these last days,
received a remittance through Antwerp amounting to 10,000
crowns. One of his friends here has whispered that he intends
to proceed to Spain, but as yet one learns of no good reason
and hears nothing said to explain what may be the motive of
The information brought me by the public despatches of the
23rd, which reached me together with those of the 29th ult.
will be very opportune, in what they say about the fruitless
attempt of the Savoyard ambassador at Rome in his visit to
M. di Crichi, with the object of obtaining some open testimony
that France agrees with his new pretensions to the royal title.
London, the 26th August, 1633.