222. To the Ambassador in England.
We have yours of the 28th October with news of the birth of
a new prince. You will do all that you consider proper in our
name expressing our friendship and our desire for his Majesty's
prosperity. We send news from Constantinople and other parts.
Ayes, 91. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
223. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
After a very considerable delay the letters from Italy arrived
towards the end of the present week, which have been expected
here since the beginning of last month. With them the state
despatches of the 28th of October have reached me. Among
the advices which have struck the Court here as novel and
strange is one that the Capuchin sent from Rome to Mantua
has brought word that the idea of the marriage has practically
fallen through, as quite recently they wrote here to a very
different effect by way of Rome about this self same mission of
With respect to the commands which reach me from the
Senate about the ordinary embassy I am gratified at having
attained a successful result with regard to their decision, since
all the difficulties encountered have lost all their strength owing
to the considerations which I have advanced.
The Lords here meet the exaggerations of the Spanish Resident
here, which have really gone too far, about the advantage
of the Imperialists in the operations of Volestain and Feria by
the diversion announced as quite successful in the last letters
which have reached the palace, although they are awaiting
further confirmation, through the capture of Ratisbon. Gerbier,
the English Agent writes that this news had reached Brussels
also and had greatly damped their rejoicings shortly before,
over the defeat and imprisonment of the Count della Torre and
Dubald with the rest of their forces, which surrendered. (fn. 1)
Letters from Colonel Benicausen, who has correspondence
with more than one of the Lords of the Council here, bring
renewed assurances of the determination of those princes, who
will run every hazard before they will return to the Austrian
The Princess, his Majesty's sister, has sent to represent here
her generous designs to send her eldest son with some fresh
force into the Palatinate, but at the same time she has not
hesitated to point out her powerlessness to bear such a heavy
weight of expense alone, and she presses for help from here.
As usual they procrastinate about this. There is a great deal
of reflection and consultation, but so far nothing is decided,
notwithstanding that, at the instance of the Princess, the Lords
here have devoted the more attention to the matter because the
Dutch, out of regard for the public welfare in Germany and the
satisfaction of this kingdom, have supported her offices with
ample offers of their co-operation jointly with this crown, whenever
they choose to come to some definite resolution here. In
his last confidential interview with me Brasser intimated that
his masters would hear of this the more gladly as it would
serve to cement the good understanding, and would also prove
very opportune to render difficult the passage of Feria's force
into Flanders. To that end it is known, also from Brussels,
that the Infanta is about to despatch a certain number of
infantry and cavalry, which besides alarming the French in the
direction of Luxemburg will proceed to join hands with Feria's
force. This important consideration makes the Dutch minister
more earnest in supporting the requests of the Princess Palatine.
He also hinted something to me about the close attention
his masters were paying to the movements of the Duke of
Neuburg in Cologne who is at length about to declare himself
leader of the Imperialist forces in that part, not without some
idea of injuring the interests of the Dutch.
There are various opinions about the Duke of Arescot's journey
to Spain. Many believe that as his journey will lead to the
Brabant deputies making a longer stay at the Hague, the
Spaniards may not be sorry to drag out the negotiations in this
way, in order to gain time thereby, and not to deprive their
subjects altogether of the hope of some accomodation. A gentleman
has arrived from this same Duke of Arescot. He handed
in letters and performed offices of thanks with many of the
ministers here for the king's reception of the duke's nephews.
He left in a few days and certainly did not transact any
business by commission of the Infanta, although when he arrived
in Court, it was believed that he brought some business from there.
They talk of the Duke of Savoy being about to send an ambassador
extraordinary also, and that by sending Baronis he
wished to prepare the way for this mission, in order to have
the Lord Treasurer more favourably disposed and prepared,
by the present sent to his son. Meanwhile Baronis has gone
away without any further business and he did not even see
the king. The queen mother has sent here M. della Lue, her
Master of Horse, merely with congratulations on the birth of
the Duke of York. They say that the Sieur di Santa Croce will
arrive in a few days for the same office, sent by Monsieur.
When I had written as far as this the latest from your Excellencies
of the 4th of November reached me. With respect
to the embassy I have done what I am recommended to do.
For the rest, as regards the book of the Duke of Savoy I think
I can assert that no copy has reached the Lords of the Court,
since I know that the Tuscan Resident here has tried especially
hard in his desire to see it. Thus after he had asked for it
from many, so he told me, to whom he felt sure it must have
come, he asked me for it. As I did not think it advisable to
let him see it, I pretended not to have it, remarking that
it was no use taking any notice of such beggarly, baseless and
empty advantages, which cannot make kings out of those who
are not kings already or give a kingdom to one who has never
London, the 2nd December, 1633.
224. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
I have informed some members of the government of the
office passed by the Ambassador Gussoni with the King of
England about good relations with these Provinces. Their High
Mightinesses expressed their appreciation of the action of the
republic. They declare that in general and in essentials they
are well united with their neighbours and allies, and will try
to keep it up. Although there are some private disputes with
England these ought not to affect the sentiments of princes.
I hope however that events will not occur to upset the good
relations between friendly powers, especially in present circumstances.
I will not cease to apply my good offices.
The Hague, the 5th December, 1633.
225. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Asks leave to return home speedily, as he has already completed
two years of service at this Court, while his house
suffers more and more from his absence.
London, the 7th December, 1633.
226. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Agent Curtius has arrived here from Germany these last
days, sent by the Duke of Symeren, administrator of the Palatinate.
He brings some incitements and instructions on behalf
of the Chancellor Oxestern. His arrival at Court appears to
have greatly assisted the instances of the Princess, his
Majesty's sister, to such an extent, that after first giving him
a private audience the king got him to meet the royal Council
more than once to hear the particulars, more especially concerning
the interests of the Palatinate. He represented the state of
affairs in Germany, pointing out the advantageous position of
the imperialists, the successes of Volestain and Feria having to
some extent changed the course of events. He brought forward
many considerations as to the most urgent necessity of speedily
placing some force in the Lower Palatinate, declaring that the
fortresses there are stripped of their garrisons, and the country
all but destitute of troops, remaining entirely at the discretion
of any one who cares to take possession. It is expected that
the Spanish forces under Feria will do so whenever they
are released from Alsace. He intimated that 6000 foot and
1000 horse in the opinion of the Administrator and Oxestern
might suffice for the defence, with the addition of some
others which it would not be difficult to raise from the people
there For this purpose he brings proposals which will involve
not less than 20,000l. sterling in cash from here. For the
ordinary payment of the troops he suggests that they might be
supported on little more than 6000l. sterling a month.
The Dutch minister keeps his eye on these negotiations, to
help with his offices and the support of his masters. But in
his last confidential interview with me he seemed to have little
hope of any satisfactory decision from this quarter. The matter
remains in the balance and so far one neither hears nor learns
anything definite. Yet it is an ascertained fact that the Treasurer
here is trying in the mean time with all his might to
get together a good sum of money, and is further endeavouring
to obtain from the farmers of the royal customs the revenues
for three years in advance. From this many are willing to
conclude that there is an inclination to supply some assistance,
especially as it is stated on good authority that the opinion of
the Administrator has made some impression on the king and
ministers, in representing the absolute impossibility of holding
what has been recovered unless England supplies assistance.
Two couriers bring the same news of the death of the Infanta
of Brussels which happened on Thursday in last week. (fn. 2) There
is much talk at Court about the disorders which may ensue
from this event, among the Spanish commanders and the people.
It is thought that this will hasten the departure of the Cardinal
Infant from Milan, now that the passage of Feria's force is
Among those who are left in charge of the government they
write that the Duke of Arescot is included, and accordingly
they have immediately sent with all speed to stop him from
continuing his journey to Spain and to get him to return at once
to Flanders. The Dutch are already on the alert for what may
ensue, and it appears that they regret not having their army
in the field at the moment. The Deputy Brasser seems to
believe that the total breaking off of the negotiations for truces,
already begun, will happen so much the sooner.
Baronis, who left recently, brought here remittances of money
for the Abbot Scaglia, and made use of them, although to a
small amount. Scaglia's correspondents here say that more than
anything else he is contemplating in what way he can make
his peace with the duke, his master.
A courier has reached Botard, the French, secretary, who announced
that he was on the point of leaving, with commissions
for a special office of congratulation to their Majesties on the
birth of the Duke of York, and with instructions in addition
to stay on until further orders from the king.
Last Sunday the ceremony of christening the Duke of York
took place. They gave him the name of James. The Marchioness
of Hamilton took part in the function as the representative of
the Princess Palatine ; the Lord Treasurer as the substitute for
the Prince Palatine and the Earl of Arundel on behalf of the
Prince of Orange. They invited not only the nobles of the
Court, but those around London as well. Six of them carried
the canopy for the little duke, to whom, that same day, the
mayor and magistrates of this city presented a gold cup of
the value of some 3000 crowns. Subsequently the people raised
their voices and acclamations to the health of the little prince
and the king.
A certain Dominican priest, an Irishman by race, suffered
the extreme penalty two days ago, being torn in pieces by
horses (tormentato a straccino di cavalli). He went away to
Spain, and there, so they say, remained as confessor to the
Viceroy of Seville. Returning again to this kingdom he was
immediately recognised, arrested, accused and convicted of having
said in Spain that he did not mean to return to England any
more unless it was to assassinate the king. (fn. 3)
As the recently chosen ambassador Carri is to take his wife
with him, he has arranged to delay his departure until the
spring. Through the Earl of Arundel and other protectors of
the Agent Rowlandson they had already obtained the continuation
of a part of the yearly assignment and provision made
for him beforehand by the king. I have ascertained that the
question of expense, which they represented as unnecessary, was
one of the objections to their coming to a proper decision about
that ordinary embassy.
The last despatches to reach me from the Senate are of the
11th of November.
London, the 9th December, 1633.
227. Pietro Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople,
to the Doge and Senate.
The other day the king was looking for a diamond of great
value which he had lost. Hearing that it had come into the
hands of an English merchant, he sent Bastangi to take it. When
the merchant came the Sultan found that the diamond bought
by him was not the one he sought, but another, also of the
Seraglio, which the merchant said he had not in his hands but that
it was in the house of the English ambassador for safety. As
he had made an advantageous purchase for 5500 reals for what
was worth 12000 his Excellency wished to have the refusal ; the
Chiecaia of Bastangi Pasha sent to the ambassador for the ring :
Bastangi remained all the time at the kiosk, because the weather
was bad and the hour late. The Chiecaia returned with the
ring which was forthwith handed to Bastangi. He asked the
merchant from whom he had it, and he replied, from a certain
Chiaus. He sent for the Chiaus on the following day and asked
how the diamond had come into his hands. He said he had
it from the Sultana di Caffis and had given her 5500 reals.
They sent to the Sultana who, to avoid trouble, denied all
knowledge of the ring or the money so the Chiaus was beheaded
and the merchant bastinadoed. Of the money taken from the
Chiaus 2000 reals was given to the ambassador with an intimation
that he should have the remaining 3500, but he is doubtful
whether he will get it.
The Vigne of Pera, the 11th December, 1633.
228. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The two Agents Curtius and Nedersolt are acting in concert
with respect of the affairs of the Palatinate at this Court. Each
of them is increasingly insistent upon a subject of which they
are much afraid here, of fresh invasions by the Spanish forces.
But while they are aware here of the nature of the danger and
the need for succour, they wish for some greater and more
specific assurance with respect to how the Dutch will carry out
their offers of co-operation for the purpose. Accordingly they
have thought fit to send to the Princess Palatine to get her
to try and ascertain more clearly some particulars about the
good intentions of the Dutch. She writes that she has done
this, assisted by similar offices by Camerarius, the Swedish
ambassador at that Court. She says they are both anxiously
waiting for the answer. But this serves to postpone the resolutions
which they say the king wishes to take on the matter.
The ministry are also curious to hear what the Ambassador
Joachimi may bring on the same subject. After ten months'
absence they expect his arrival any day. A report has got about
that he is coming with more exact commissions from his masters
to co-operate expeditiously in the matter to secure the best
results. The Deputy Brasser also repeats that the Dutch are as
ready as possible for the closest understanding with England,
especially for anything that may help the Palatinate and at the
same time serve as an obstacle to the passage of the Spanish
forces into Flanders.
This is the way the matter is proceeding, a manner which,
as the Palatine agents are well aware, unfortunately involves
inopportune loss of time. But those who have definite information
about the shortness of money of the crown here, have
little hope of a favourable issue, since they still remain opposed
to provide it by the means which is more and more detested,
of summoning parliament. Accordingly one of the most clear
headed persons at the Court is inclined to believe that even if
it were finally to meet it would either do nothing or the delay
in providing effective succour would necessarily be so great
that any adequate advantage would hardly be obtained.
Persons have come from the Landgrave of Hesse with patents
to raise levies in this kingdom, but it is not known or believed
that they have remittances for a sou as yet. It is further stated
that the Chancellor Oxestern in particular, among the numerous
levies which he proposes to raise in various quarters, thinks of
having a regiment of 3000 Scots. They will make no difficulty
about permitting that here provided he only wants men, not money.
From Brussels, where an extraordinary number of troops
was introduced after the Infanta's death, it does not appear
from the advices which have recently reached the lords here
that any rising or commotion has occurred either in that city
or in the states. Apparently all is going on quietly under the
six leaders who take part in the government. (fn. 4) The Abbot Scaglia
writes from that Court to one of his correspondents in this
kingdom that they are already beginning their preparations for
the reception of the Cardinal Infant, who is to proceed to
Flanders at the earliest opportunity. But here they do not see
how a safe passage can be opened with so much ease and speed.
The same letters state that the queen mother, the princess
of Lorraine, Monsieur and all the others in bad odour with
France have felt this death as a heavy blow, as they feel, the
queen mother in particular, that they have lost a considerable
support in their difficult position.
The Sieur di Santa Croce has not yet appeared, sent by
Monsieur to insist that his marriage is a valid one. The
French secretary Botard has hitherto spoken very much to the
opposite effect at this Court. In confidential discourse he has
gone so far as to intimate that he is very well aware that his
representations to the ministers here have been well received
more in appearance than in essence, as well because of the break
up of that party, as because of what has been done for the
well deserved humiliation of Lorraine and the necessary security
of the Most Christian. He told his same confidant that
he had supplied proper information about all this to France.
The last from your Serenity are of the 18th ult. which have
only just arrived, with the delay usual in the winter.
London, the 16th December, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
229. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
News came from Liege that the Spaniards in Luxemburg
were preparing to march into Germany. Owing to a report
at Brussels that the cavalry of the Prince of Orange was
taking the field, orders were given to the English and Irish
troops to move towards Tilmon and Diest, and provision was
made for collecting the rest of the army in two days. But
the report proved false and the English and Irish, were countermanded.
The Hague, the 19th December, 1633.
230. To the Ambassador in England.
Your letters of the 18th ult. tell of your offices with the queen
and ministers about sending an ambassador here, and that you
found nothing to bear out what Biondi reported the Earl of
Arundel had said about not continuing our ambassador. You
will continue your offices for this and also for the maintenance
of a good understanding between the king and the States.
Ayes, 105. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
231. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Joachimi has arrived from Holland to take up his charge as
ordinary ambassador after a long absence. He went to see
the king and ministers, but merely for compliments. I also
paid my respects. In an interview with him at this house I
gathered that he brings instructions to obtain some decision
here about the affairs of Germany. We shall hear the particulars
of what he proposes. The ministers here seem to be
expecting them, and meanwhile they are involved in their usual
delays and irresolution and so procrastinate without a sign of
With the increasing reports of ever greater successes for the
princes of the party, especially in the heart of Bavaria, their
hopes at this Court correspondingly rise about a firmer union
between those princes. Indeed some of the Lords of the royal
Council have advices reporting new and reciprocal declarations
from Saxony and Brandenburg that they are determined never
to separate from their friends and confidants, rejecting all
proposals for a settlement which do not comprise the universal
From the mark of Brandenburg, which has been all but
totally devastated by Volestain, news has reached here that
the troops of General Bannier, in good numbers, have succeeded
in standing up against the Imperialists, recovering the places
occupied by them shortly before. While this is considered
important for that quarter, so on the other side the attention
of the ministry here is really more directed to what new
designs the Duke of Feria may be about to attempt, although
they hope and believe that Marshal Horn will be able to meet
The jealousy shown by the Spaniards of Monsieur affords
material for discussion at this Court. He, on the contrary,
laments that he has become an object of suspicion to them
and has expressed his willingness to the Marquis of Aytona to
give any security. It seems, however, that the queen here, after
the last audience she gave to the Sieur di la Lue, gentleman
of the queen mother, remarked that she believed an accomodation
and his return to France were at hand. But this expression
of her belief does not tally well with what the two English
secretaries write to this Court in their last despatch from Paris.
A gentleman of Monsieur returned from Spain is passing
through this kingdom, but without any business at this Court.
He is going straight to Brussels. Anstruther's last letters are
from Hamburg, where he is still staying. He goes frequently
to Gluckstadt for the negotiations with the King of Denmark.
They are at present negotiating a sort of renewal of the ancient
alliances between those two crowns, whereby they hope to put
an end to or dimish the occasions for the mutual differences
With the shortness of money, which increases daily, and the
disinclination to obtain it by the more and more detested means
of parliament, they have begun to invent devices and subtleties,
never practised in the past. They have so arranged the whole
business of the manufacture and sale of soap which is consumed
in this kingdom, into a monopoly, without any apparent
imposition or tax, since by fundamental laws taxes and
impositions depend on the arbitrament of parliament alone,
that the price of that commodity has been doubled, and they
reckon that this enhanced cost will mean a considerable sum
for the royal benefit. Accordingly they are contemplating very
much greater increases, and it seems that they propose to do
the same with corn, beer and all other kinds of merchandise,
following the example of this new device. However it does
not pass without exciting resentment and remonstrance among
The day after tomorrow the king and Court will begin to
wear mourning for the Infanta of Brussels. From the same
quarter orders have reached the Spanish Resident here to impart
the decision taken by those states to continue to the queen mother
and Monsieur the same assistance which they enjoyed in the
time of the late Archduchess.
My last despatches from the state are of the 24th ult.
London, the 23rd December, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
232. To the Ambassador in England.
We have this week your letters of the 25th ult. with news
of the appointment of a person of distinction and ability as
ambassador to us. We are well pleased with this result of
your offices, as it will tend to strengthen our good understanding
with that crown. You will assure him that he will
be very welcome.
Ayes, 89. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
233. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The French secretary, who is still in charge, in the absence
of any other minister, has recently made some overtures, whereby,
provided always that they are willing to co-operate effectually
here, they can unite for the current affairs of Germany and
arrange for a better concert between France and England.
They seemed to listen to him very readily here, the more so
because in his proposals he remarked that any plan sketched
out by him could be settled afterwards by the ambassador
when he comes. Their first questions were whether he
had any special instructions upon this. When he asserted that
he had they asked him to put them in writing, so that they
might make a suitable reply. He did not refuse, and took
time to do it, in order, as I gathered from what he said to
me, to receive some more particular orders from France. The
two English secretaries write thence that the new mission of
Fichiers to Germany with ample offers to encourage the princes
there, is further intended to obtain from them advantages which
concern the interests of France itself more, and for this in particular
he is to go to the diet at Frankfort. They add that
by the measure of his negotiations they have renewed orders
to Sciarnasse that he must continue to press his negotiations
Meanwhile at Court here they are watching for events of
greater importance in Bavaria, and they would also like to
have more authentic advices about what may happen to the
fortress of Passau, the frontier and pass to that of Linz in
Austria. The ministry here are agreed in the opinion that
matters on one side and the other in Germany are now fairly
well balanced and the advantage has all but dissappeared, of
which the Imperialists made so much everywhere a little while
ago, in favour of their forces. With the troops under the
Duke of Feria so greatly weakened their apprehensions about
designs on the Palatinate have much diminished. Although
we hear from Brussels of some fresh preparations of the
Spaniards to march into Germany with some idea that they
may enter that country from Luxemburg, yet the Lords here
seem to attach scant importance to this, upon the consideration
that the movement of those troops is more to unite them under
Feria than to employ them for any sort of enterprise.
No ambassador extraordinary from Savoy has appeared as
the partisans of that duke seem to have led them to expect.
Here they have not sent or even taken the trouble to inform him
of the birth of the Duke of York, and his persistence in his
notion about the royal title certainly meets with no encouragement
or support from this quarter.
I have already reported that they intended to give your
Serenity some notice of the choice and despatch of an ordinary
ambassador to Venice. It has come to my ears that a few
days after, by the first despatch of last week they sent orders
to the Agent Rolandson. Meanwhile the ambassador is getting
ready, and he is losing no time in perfecting himself in the
practise of the Italian tongue.
A somewhat dangerous incident has occurred at the house of
the Spanish Resident. Some official of the Admiralty wished
to arrest a certain Dunkirker who had escaped from prison, and
had taken refuge in the Resident's stable. Nicolaldi himself,
with his sword drawn, followed by his servants, who also had
their swords, dragged this official into the house and put him in
irons But from fear of a rising disturbance among the people
the official was subsequently released. The matter is not thoroughly
cleared up as yet, they seem offended at the palace
and by the king's order they are making a diligent enquiry. (fn. 5)
The latest dispatches from the Senate are of the 1st inst.
Upon the arrival of these presents the time will have expired
for the choice of some one to succeed to this charge. While
I have no doubt that this will be done with all despatch I
venture to add my humble petition for this.
London, the 30th December, 1633.