278. Francesco Corner, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The courier from London did not go to Lisbon as he said,
but has been sent back from here. The English secretary
conceals the motive for this despatch. The French ambassador
is curious about it and it is believed that there may be some
offer from that king to assist the peace of Germany, and that,
at bottom, there is no friendly disposition towards France.
Madrid, the 1st April, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
279. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
Rusdorf left a few days ago for the diet of Frankfort, in
appearance with the title of Agent of the King of England, as
he received a passport in that capacity from the Spaniards
and the States here ; but as a matter of fact he only has old
instructions, so that he may go the more safely on his journey,
passing through Luxemburg and the Palatinate to Frankfort.
The Hague, the 3rd April, 1634.
280. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
There are rumours of an alliance between the Spaniards and
the English and the Duke [of Savoy] but I have no certain news.
Paris, the 4th April, 1634.
281. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The king having returned, after having been expected any
day, my audience for taking leave of his Majesty is arranged
for next week, and I shall then perform all the state commissions.
I have already begun with the secretary of state, telling him
apart of the reasons for the leave granted to me and of the
approaching arrival of my successor. He fully approved and
said he was sure his Majesty would be quite gratified. He
went on to an office which he said he had to perform with me
expressly in the king's name, who directed him to beg me to
thank your Serenity on his Majesty's behalf for the succour to
the ship Freeman of London, by a galley sent for the purpose
to the waters of Magnavacca, as the Agent Rolandson wrote. I
told him I would punctually execute all that his Majesty desired,
and I rejoiced that this occasion had come to show their good
will towards this kingdom.
From this the conversation turned to other matters and to
events in Germany. He remarked that two things had astonished
the king and the Lords here, one that Volestain had allowed
himself to be caught, the other that his death had not, as
the first advices seemed to indicate, been followed by consequences
more disadvantageous for the Imperialists that they
heard had been the case so far. He said they had letters from
Lorraine that la Motta the only place left with a garrison belonging
to that duke, was in a position to gain a little time
before it fell. (fn. 1) In this connection he let fall remarks expressive
of sympathy, not only with the misfortunes of the house of
Lorraine, but of grief that it had fallen, as he put it, under
the feet of France. He went on to make comments full of
jealousy at what the French have done up to the present and
what they are going to do. He called this marching with
great strides to a strong ascendancy, which, as one gathers from
several indications, they look on here askance, either from the
ancient rivalry between England and France or because any
increase in the greatness of that neighbouring power makes
them suspicious here.
The negotiations and proposals which must very shortly be
definitely produced by the new ambassador from Sweden and
Germany, arouse the curiosity of the Court, the attention of
the ministers and the jealousy and opposition of the Spanish
Resident here. It is already known that he will insist on proposals
which interest England more closely in the union of those
princes, chiefly through the supply of contributions, which will
serve for the more secure maintenance of the Palatinate. The
Dutch ministers also have orders to second his offices with tact.
Yet they express very scant hopes of a favourable issue to the
affair. They remarked to me with their habitual confidence, that
just as they fear that even this conspicuous effort on the part
of Sweden and the princes allied with her will prove useless in
the end, so they recognise that the failure in this quarter will
then be inexcusable, and, as they say, it will be interpreted by
those interested in the right side as an open refusal and utter
abandonment of the common cause. Proceeding they intimated
further that from certain indications their suspicions were increased
that they do not keep their ears utterly closed here to
the cunning offices of the Spaniards, who leave no stone unturned
turned to divert England from interesting herself more closely
in the affairs of Germany, even to the extent of indicating that
they would not object in time to co-operate for the removal of
the imperial ban against the Palatine house. And indeed it
is known that the strongest reason for England not agreeing to
the heir of the Palatine entering Germany armed, was due
in the last resort to considerations suggested by the Spaniards,
that it might prove of advantage to the prince one day that
he had so far done nothing to offend the emperor.
They speak of the levy which the ambassador Oxestern is to
ask for. For this he already has many officers with him and
has also brought a good amount of money in letters of exchange.
But they reckon that the sum will not nearly suffice for the
10,000 to 12,000 men whom he wants to send from this kingdom
to Germany. Accordingly they say that he will have to
perform further offices to obtain succour from the king here
in order to make up what is lacking for the complete effectuation
of this levy. On his arrival I sent a gentleman of my
house, in the customary way, to pay my respects, and he
responded in the same manner. To his first audience, which
was purely complimentary, he was accompanied in the usual
way by the royal coaches, behind which followed those of the
ambassadors, of your Serenity's in the first place, then the
Dutch ones and many others of the Court after.
A whisper comes to me from a good source that while the
king was away from this city, they sent by a courier to the
English minister at Madrid, charging him with offices and
overtures, showing their strong inclination towards anything
that would lead to a closer and more friendly correspondence
between this crown and that, a thing at which the Spaniards are
also aiming, for the furtherance of their plans.
London, the 7th April, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
282. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
People begin to say that the King of England and these
States think of interposing to prolong the truce between Poland
and Sweden, as it is understood that the Elector of Brandenburg
has sent word that in a month or so a diet will be held in
Poland to discuss this question ; but many fear that it will
prove difficult if the Poles continue their successes against the
Muscovites, and that this may do considerable harm in Germany.
The Hague, the 10th April, 1634.
283. Francesco Corner, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary of England, when I saw him, gave me no
indication of his secret affair at this Court. He spoke to me
of the offence done to his king by the attempts of Flemish ships
to take Dutch vessels in the very ports of England, owing to
which the Dutch try to chase Spanish ships right into English
ports. There is a report in the squares that negotiations
for an alliance are on foot between the kings of England and
Spain, but I have no confirmation.
Madrid, the 11th April, 1634.
284. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
Being in a hurry for my despatch as soon as possible I
had the audience arranged for Palm Sunday. For this, as a
sign of honour the king sent expressly to this house the Earl
of Bouchen, (fn. 2) a great lord of the kingdom, with the royal coaches,
followed by those of the Dutch ministers and the Court. I
took leave of his Majesty that same day with a suitable office,
handing him the letters from the Senate and presenting the
Secretary Zonca as minister to take charge until the arrival
of my successor, who would come soon, I told him. The king
received my office very graciously. He said he valued very
highly his excellent relations with the Signory of Venice. He
added even kinder remarks about my feeble service. Before
I went away his Majesty chose, according to the custom, to dub
me a knight. I similiarly took leave of the queen to whom I
expressed the friendly good will of the state. She showed her
pleasure by courteous gesture and a smiling face, while she
spoke of the republic with esteem and friendship. I am informed
from the palace that next week I may offer my good
wishes to the princes, their Majesties' children, according to
The negotiations of Oxestern are pursued with eagerness and
ardour on his part, but he perceives, as he himself intimates
that the ministers here respond in a cold and dilatory manner.
In spite of this he seems determined to press his demands,
being imbued with the universal idea that what he cannot obtain
now it will be utterly hopeless to expect from England at any
other time. His representations are backed equally by the partisans
of the princess, his Majesty's sister, and by the Dutch
ministers here. They have seized upon this very opportune
occasion to inform the king of the resolution of the United
Provinces, notwithstanding the burden of the war, to continue
the monthly contributions for the service of Germany. They
add that this was the sole object of the despatch of Colonel
Pilzen with a hundred companies in the direction of Rimbergh, (fn. 3)
with orders to unite with the Landgrave of Hesse, who had
withdrawn after having encouraged the princes of the Union
on that side. The Ambassador Oxestern not only asserts this,
but loudly approves it. I also hear that in his conversation
he expresses satisfaction at the present assistance of the French,
but he adds that all this does not suffice, and it appears that
by the examples in question and by the interests of this crown
in the Palatine nephews, he is urging them here with all his
might to some good resolution.
Letters have arrived from the English ambassador at Constantinople
relating some strange happenings at the houses of
the merchants and even at those of the ambassadors themselves. (fn. 4)
This outrageous news has excited a great commotion here and
all the ministers, abhorring what has been done, look upon it
as a manifest infraction of privileges and an open violation
of the jus gentium. The Secretary of State communicated to
me some of the particulars from these letters, which he held
in his hand, and was glad to hear what news I had on the
subject, for purposes of comparison. He told me that the
French ambassador had been obliged to have the chapel for
the use of his house demolished by his own people. Fortified
very opportunely with the sheet enclosed with the public despatch
of the 17th ult. I told him of the prompt offices of the Bailo
Foscarini, who was the only one of the ambassadors to speak,
when they all gathered before the Captain Pasha of the Sea,
reminding him of what was right and of the respect due to
the capitulations and obtaining some diminution of the excesses.
All the leading ministers showed him every sign of affection
and respect, and the Caimecan in particular expressed his disapproval
of such proceedings. The Secretary replied, Such
proceedings are indeed too barbarous and the powers will have
to consider whether they will continue that residence or the
trade either. Passing from this to another subject he told me
that he had already prepared the commissions for the Ambassador
Cari, but he was very ill, weak and suffering. I wished him
good health and said that I understood that in the opinion of
his physicians the change of air might do him more good than
They talk of an ordinary ambassador from France coming
here soon, the Most Christian having recently nominated the
Sieur di Poigni (fn. 5) in place of Guron. New hopes have risen of
a fresh accomodation with Monsieur, whose familiars write from
Brussels to a person in a high position at this Court that his
favourite Pyloran will have the title of duke for reward. But
all these things are so uncertain that they say here the only
thing to believe are the events themselves.
From the house of the Spanish Resident here before any other
quarter has appeared an order of the emperor printed at Vienna,
dividing the command among four persons, Galasso, Aldringher,
Piccolomini and Marradas. They are not pleased here at the
Princes of Lorraine going to France, as they consider that the
cession of their claims, which it is whispered they are to
make, will consolidate still further the hold which the French
have at present there and which is by no means approved at
London, the 14th April, 1634.
285. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
I am just returned from St. James, the residence of their
Majesties' children, where I have been to pay my respects to
confirm the affection of the republic towards this crown, when the
news reaches me of the death of Cari from an old standing complaint,
seriously aggravated. He had been chosen as ambassador
in ordinary to your Serenity. In the few days that remain
I will try my hardest with the leading ministers and the royal
Council to induce them to get his Majesty to nominate some
one else, and the sooner this is done the better the republic
will be pleased for the sake of mutual correspondence.
The commotion about the events at Constantinople continues
here and even increases. The English ambassador has written
very strongly about the offence committed against the jus
gentium. The letters containing particulars only make their
complaints the louder, as they show that the devices to get
money out of them are becoming unbearable. Accordingly there
is a universal murmur about the loss and heavy charges upon
merchandise exported from this kingdom to the Turkish dominions.
Owing to this accident, after a discussion among the
Lords of the Council these last days, a royal command has
appeared suspending the departure of four English ships laden
with cloth to considerable value, which were all ready to start
for the Archipelago and Constantinople (fn. 6) and at the same time
they have suspended the commissions and orders to Sir Sachfil,
who was already chosen by his Majesty as ambassador to the
Sublime Porte and was ready to start any day to succeed the
one who is now there. (fn. 7) They have further directed the merchants
who trade in the Levant marts to draw up a paper to be
presented to the royal council containing their considerations and
interests in this matter, to which, in the meantime they are
devoting their assiduous attention. Many seem strongly in favour
of a rupture of business with the Turks ; others seem more
cautious about it, particularly those of the government. In
the general opinion the majority of the merchants are disposed
to agree to breaking off the trade. Thus it is said that they contemplate
in their paper asking for permission without expense
to the king, with well armed vessels of their companies, to go
and do all the harm they can to the shipping and trade of the
Turks, with the idea of withdrawing their capital and correspondents
at a time when their interests will suffer least, as it
seems that at present, owing to the sales already effected, there
is not, so they say, a great quantity of English goods at
those marts. They have also sent to Sir Thomas Roe,
who has gone on his own affairs to his residence a long way
from this city, (fn. 8) as they want his opinion as one with a great
deal of experience, owing to his long stay in that embassy.
It is already known that he has frequently recommended the
breaking off of business with the Turks as the only means of
reducing them to desire it again and to set it up once more
with greater advantage and honour for this nation. But this
idea, which was not well received in the past, will, in the opinion
of the most intelligent of the ministry here, provoke many
other considerations in the future, involving other conclusions.
The Resident of Tuscany is persuaded that the flow of trade
to Leghorn will become more abundant supposing direct commerce
between this kingdom and the Turkish dominions ceases,
and he believes that in such case they would be obliged here
to send a larger amount of capital to the merchants of that mart.
The Ambassador Oxestern has frequent meetings with the
ministers here. He has not so far been able to arrange anything,
either about the levies of troops or about the contributions
of money, but while he is confident about the first he seems to
entertain little hope about the second request. He came to this
house to return my visit, as a mere matter of courtesy.
They are making hasty preparations to arm four war ships,
with the intention to unite them with the ordinary squadron
which cruises about this kingdom. (fn. 9)
The last public despatches to reach me are of the 24th ult.
London, the 21st April, 1634.
286. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Sig. Cornaro informs me that the English minister at that
Court is busily engaged over the reported alliance between
Savoy, the Spaniards and the English. The conclusion of this
alliance seems likely from the indications, or at least it seems
that Savoy is very greatly inclined to break off from this
Crown and to seek its own advantage by a union with the
It is supposed that the alliance with England is merely for
a diversion to harass trade at sea and trouble all the Atlantic
coast, which is the most that England could undertake at
present. It would be an advantageous war based upon the
genius of the nation, which is devoted to plunder more than
any other, in which all the merchants would interest themselves
in the hope of gain and the king would not have to spend a
farthing and would even share a portion of the booty. The
people would gladly take part, as besides their interests they are
inspired by their hatred of this nation and by their desire to
avenge injuries received and the hurt done to their religion.
But these are only general rumours and I do not find that
the ministers attach much importance to the matter. Indeed
one of them said with regard to the report about the provision
of a fleet in England, that it was to favour the passage of
the Cardinal Infant to Flanders. I do not enjoy very good
relations with the English residents here but they do not know
or do not seem to know anything about the designs of their
master, although they make a fuss about the progress of the
French in Germany.
Paris, the 21st April, 1634.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
287. Henrica Maria, Dei gratia Magnæ Britanniæ etc. Regina,
serenissimo principi Francisco Erizzo, Venetiarum Duci,
amico nostro charissimo, Salutem etc.
Serenissime Princeps etc. Nobilissimum virum Vincentium
Gussonem, equitem Serenitatis Vestræ legatum, in patriam revocatum
sine nostris redire noluimus Debemus illi modeste et
prudenter obitæ legationis testimonium ; Debimus oblatæ benevolentiæ
vestræ non Levidense hostimentum : utrique debito per
hasce satisfactum cupimus, unaque serenissimæ reipublicæ persuasum,
nos erga tam benevolo semper fuisse animo et in eodem
medesmenter permansuras : Quod quia prædictum legatum
(qua est fede) fusius vobis expositurum confidimus, nos compendifacimus.
Deum Opt. Max. interea venerantes, ut Serenitatem
vestram diu incolumem aeternum felicem esse velit.
Datum e palacio nostro Londini, idibus Aprilis 1634.
[Signed] : Henriette Marie.
288. Carolus, Dei gratia Mag. Brit. etc. Rex, fidei defensor
etc. Serenissimo Principi dom Francisco Erricio Venetiorum
Duci amico nostro charissimo, Salutem et prosperitatis incrementum.
Serenissime Princeps consanguinee et amice charrissime :
Super vacaneum sane arbitramur nobilissimi viri,
Vincentis Gussonii equitis aurati, Legati et Oratoris vestri
merentissimi virtutis Vestræ Serenitati totique inclytæ Reipublicæ
jamdudum perspectas recensere eumdem tamen ad vos dimittere
nec debuimus neque voluimus quin hisce tentaremur eum sibi
multa sua prudentia et solertia nostrum æque ac vestrum parasse
et meruisse affectum et benevolentium. Ob quæ quidem meriti
dictum vestrum legatum omni laude et commendatione dignissimum
solito vestræ Serenitatis serenissimæque Reipub. in
viros prestantes favori fovendum reliquentes ejusdem fidei constantem
nostrum in vos animum et amorem commemorandum
relinquimus : Deum toto corde rogantes ut cum inclytissima
Republica vestram Serenitatem quam diutissime sospitet et prosperet.
Datum e nostro palatio Westmonasteriensi xiv Aprilis anno
Christi MDCXXXIV., Regni nostri decimo.
Vestræ Serenitatis Consanguineus amantissimus
[Signed] : Carolus R.
289. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
While hastening with all speed to rid myself of this charge
I do not forget the fulfilment of the state commissions in taking
leave of the ministers here. Thus the incident of Cari's death,
which has much grieved the Court here, serves me to urge.
them to make a fresh choice. The Secretary of State assures me
of his readiness to bring the matter before the king, and says
he is sure of his Majesty's desire to nominate someone who
will be acceptable to the most serene republic. I made a
suitable response, and while remarking that his Majesty's choice
was bound to be most suitable I tried to impress upon him how
necessary it was and that it should be proportionately expeditious.
Until the return of the courier whom I reported had been
sent to Spain, not without some idea of counter operations against
the progress of France, the ministers here have chosen
to postpone their answers to the Ambassador Oxestern. He
guessed at the reasons for the delay, by which he perceived
he was being put off day after day, and has become the more
suspicious of some secret intrigue from this quarter for opening
a more confidential understanding with Spain, when the long
expected reply proved to be merely in general and inconclusive
terms, and little if at all adequate to what he felt sure he
would obtain, at least in the matter of the levy, as he now
sees that all hopes have gone of obtaining contributions of
money from the king here for the service of Germany.
I know on good authority that Oxestern has been busily engaged
these last days with repeated audiences of the king and
by presenting fresh papers as well as by repeated instances and
offices with the Lords here apart, in order to consolidate his
instances and give them greater vigour. So, although he cannot
yet be absolutely certain of the royal decision, which is not
yet settled, the general opinion persists that as regards the
troops, but not for the money succour, they will finally grant
him what he asks with so much insistence.
The Lords of the government here do not seem to be quite
certain as yet of what arrangement there may be between the
Spaniards and Savoy, with the arrival of Prince Tomaso at
Brussels. They write from that Court that he has been met,
welcomed, lodged and entertained royally by the Marquis of
The Dutch ministers have gone off to a special and very long
audience of his Majesty at which they gave him full information
about the negotiations conducted by Sciarnasie at the Hague,
and of the agreement recently arranged by the French with
those Provinces. (fn. 10) By this they are obliged for a definite period
of time not to treat for any peace or truce without the consent
of France. They made great efforts to remove the suspicion that
seems to have got abroad here about the inclusion of some
article considered prejudicial to England.
The last state despatches to reach me are of the 30th of
March, and I hope that I shall have begun my journey before
any more despatches arrive from the Senate.
London, the 25th April, 1634.
290. To the Proveditore of Zante.
We have decided to continue the duty of 5 per thousand
on currants laded for the West by ships which have not brought
their entire cargo to Venice. You are to exact payment of this
duty without intermission and to await further instructions.
Ayes, 122. Noes, O. Neutral, 6.
The like to the Proveditore of Cephalonia.