291. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
I am condemned to a painful detention in this island solely
by the contrariety of the weather, but I hope that my departure
hence will not be delayed for more than a few hours, to judge
by what the sailors say, as apparently the wind is inclined to
become favourable soon.
When I was on the point of going away his Majesty chose
to honour my departure in the usual way with the usual present
of silver gilt. If your Excellencies will allow me to keep this
present it will serve to some extent to make me feel my expenses
The Ambassador of Sweden and Germany met with much
greater difficulties about the levies than he expected, in agreement
with the general opinion. Under various pretexts they
keep delaying and restricting the permission although to make
matters easier he reduced his request from entire regiments to
The heat of the Lords of the Council here and of the merchants
as well in their resolutions about breaking off business
in the Turkish dominions has cooled off. Although the despatch
of the ambassador chosen for Constantinople is still suspended
as well as of the four ships laden with cloth, which were to
go with him to that mart, it is stated on good authority that the
royal order is about to be withdrawn, as they consider that
the affair may already have fallen through of itself without
any worse consequences or inconveniences.
The Court is full of whispers that the Spaniards have made
some very far-reaching agreements with Savoy. Every one is
waiting to see what employment will be given to Prince Tomaso
in Flanders. The English Resident at Brussels writes that
an extraordinary courier has arrived from Spain with orders
to the Marquis of Aytona for the imprisonment of the Prince
of Barbanson, the Duke of Buonovilla, the Count of Epinoi and
many other lords of great mark in those Provinces. He adds
that the Duke of Arescot has been arrested at a place not far
from Madrid. (fn. 1) There is much talk about the confusion which
may arise from such measures, but the most general opinion
agrees in expressing the great fear among the leading men of
the country at the publication of those orders.
The king celebrated the annual feast of St. George by inviting
all the Knights of the Garter to dine with him, after the
two earls the one English and the other Scotch, newly chosen
and numbered among the order, (fn. 2) had made a very splendid
appearance with their robes, liveries and horses.
The last public despatches to reach me are of the 7th of April.
London, the 5th of May, 1634.
292. Alvise Contarini Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Oxenstern writes from England that he will
soon be back at the Hague on his way to Germany. He speaks
doubtfully as to whether the levy of Scots, they spoke about,
will be granted to him.
The Hague, the 8th May, 1634.
293. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
In accordance with the obedience which I owe to the commands
of the Senate I have taken up the burden laid upon me by
the Ambassador Gussoni to reside here in the capacity of
minister of your Serenity until the arrival of the Ambassador
Corraro. In these duties, in which I trust that Heaven will
support and direct my excellent intentions I shall use my utmost
endeavour to secure every advantage for the state. In the
first place my efforts will be directed to bring to the knowledge
of your Excellencies the most exact particulars of all that I
succeed in discovering about what takes place in the constitution
of the present government here, using the most careful judgment.
I shall cultivate the same confidential relations which have
been maintained with such useful results by his Excellency,
and I shall pay particular attention to this the better to discharge
my duties to the public satisfaction. I will also carry
out with the most exact punctuality such commands as reach
me from your Serenity and I will study to leave nothing to be
desired in all that concerns the public service, so far as my
After having ruled contrary to the sea passage for many days
the wind changed to favourable and the Cavalier Gussoni set
out for Dover to take his passage there for Calais. He stayed
here chafing for some days after he had finished with the
compliments at Court. Very great regret at his departure is
felt by the members of the government here and by the foreign
ministers as well, with whom his Excellency kept up a mutual
intimacy with advantage to the public service. They extol the
splendour and generous dignity with which he maintained the
lustre of his position as minister of the republic throughout the
whole course of his charge, and they commend to the skies his
prudence, experience and ability in affairs of state and in the
current events of the time, as well as his most zealous circumspection
towards the interests of his country.
The principal efforts of the royal Council these last days have
all been devoted to finding some means to soothe the Protestant
Princes in Germany over the refusal they have just given to
the Ambassador Oxisterna about the regiments of the infantry
and the assistance in money for which he asked. In substance
the replies both orally and in writing to his original and repeated
offices amount merely to representations of the condition
of this crown, as powerless to contribute money for the common
cause for reason commonly known, and the inconvenience of
permitting complete levies owing to the numerous drafts taken
in the last years for the service of France, Germany and the
Netherlands. In this last connection it was found good to issue
a royal proclamation forbidding the grant of levies to any one
soever. It is further asserted that the rules of good governance
require that while the united powers, such as France and the
Netherlands, are powerfully armed, they ought not to be liberal
with such permits as they should first consider what may be
necessary for the defence of his Majesty's own dominions,
where the number of men capable of bearing arms has been
greatly reduced owing to the reasons indicated above. They
go on to point out that the demand for troops and money point
to the obligations of an alliance between England and the
Princes, his superiors, and this is not yet established. That
orders will be given to the Ambassador Anstruther so that
he may negotiate this article first of all, and that settled, his
Majesty will give the fullest support. In the mean time, as a
further pledge of the king's good intentions they have promised
him the levy in Scotland of certain recruits, to avoid establishing
a precedent for whole regiments, which could not be refused
subsequently to others without giving rise to remonstrances.
In fine they do not forget to advertise their services here
towards the common cause in Germany, as well by the troops
led thither by the Marquis of Hamilton, by the money expended
at the time of the making over of the Palatinate, and by the
offices contributed by a special ambassador, with the princes of
the party, which proved so helpful to the public cause.
The ambassador seems highly dissatisfied at such, a categorical
reply. However, in order that his mission may not
prove altogether fruitless he has already sent some officers
to Scotland to raise some 1800 soldiers as recruits with all
speed, as he has announced. He has sent an express to the
Diet at Frankfort about his negotiations and I imagine he will
not leave here before their reply reaches him. He may then
perhaps take up his negotiations again, so some think.
The intimates of the Abbot Scaglia here announce that Prince
Tomaso makes much of him. He conducts all the prince's affairs
at Brussels, and his Highness's plans and actions are all guided
by the abbot's views and advice. The English Agent at that
Court confirms this entirely in his letters. It causes great
astonishment here, where it is well known that the Abbot is
not in favour with the Duke, the Prince's brother, and they
are waiting to see what observations France will make about
it, notwithstanding the remonstrances which the Duke had made
at the French Court on the subject.
Attempts are again being made by several members of the
Council here to abate the overweening authority of the Lord
Treasurer. I learn on good authority that the royal treasury
being exhausted and it being necessary to pay the account of
the Proti who built the last two ships for the king, (fn. 3) his
Majesty decided to alienate a certain forest for this purpose,
estimated to be worth enough for the purpose of paying the
Proti. He gave the treasurer leave and special orders for this,
but he sold it for a very low price, and devoted a small
amount to the reduction of their large claims. The Archbishop
of Canterbury and the Lord Keeper constitute themselves
the heads of the party. I will inform your Excellencies by each
post of what ensues.
From the house of the Spanish Resident here they have
published a declaration printed at Brussels in French by order
of the Marquis of Aytona, after the imprisonment of the nobles,
as reported. From the tenor of this they argue here that
the Spaniards are afraid of some revolt prejudicial to the interests
of the Catholic owing to the connections which those
individuals have in those Provinces. I enclose a translation of
the paper into Italian for those of your Excellencies who may
be curious to see it.
Two days ago their Majesties with divers gentlemen of the
Court made the first move of the annual progress out of this city.
They have gone to Greenwich to begin with, in order to spend
some weeks in the neighbourhood in the pleasures of the chase.
London, the 12th May, 1634.
294. Manifesto of Francesco di Moncada, Marquis of Aytona,
etc. that the king recognises the loyalty of his subjects who
have resisted the attempts to prevent their allegiance and will
pardon those who have offended in any way, with the exception
of those condemned by the Great Council.
Brussels, the 29th April, 1634.
295. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The stay here of the Ambassador Oxisterna in expectation of
the return of the courier sent by him to Frankfort with the
news of his negotiations makes the Resident Nicolaldi anxious
and uneasy because of the more secret overtures which may
have been made to him at his last private meeting with his
Majesty, shortly before the courier left. At all events it is
clear that while there is no sign of anything here to make one
believe their eager good will to co-operate for the service of
the common cause in Germany, yet on the other hand they
snatch at every pretext that can justify their delaying action, although,
according to the general opinion, they do not mean in
the end to contribute any more than they have done up to
the present. This determination, for the rest, agrees in every
respect with the actual impotence of this crown and with the
inclinations of the majority of the lords of the royal Council.
In this connection they have not allowed to pass without
opposition the claims advanced by the ambassador to have powers
for the kingdom of Sweden and the United Princes, seeing
that his letters of credence are only authenticated with the
name and seal of his father although the letters themselves
state that the Chancellor, as Director General for the kingdom
of Sweden and with the advice and consent of the United
Princes in Germany, has sent his son to his Majesty as ambassador
extraordinary. When this was pointed out to him in
the last reply he showed that his mission had been approved
in the other Diet of Frankfort. He added that he had also been
recognised as such by their High Mightinesses in Holland,
without any question, as is well known. But as they are not
altogether satisfied with this here and refuse on that account
to negotiate more intimately with him, as he seems to desire,
unless he can show more imposing commissions, they have
intimated to him that the necessary instructions will be sent
to the Ambassador Anstruther to proceed to Frankfort, and
negotiate what is necessary at the Diet there. This did not
please the Ambassador Oxisterna and he has undertaken to have
a more explicit justification of his qualities sent, and this is the
principal reason for his delay, of which I have confirmation on
The affairs of the Lord Treasurer here still remain in the
balance. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Keeper
inveigh boldly against him, and have proved to the king in
his presence that he acquired the forest already mentioned at
a very great disadvantage to his Majesty. It is whispered that
the Earls of Holland, Carlisle and Dorset have joined these two
and all are conspiring together for the Treasurer's ruin. Every
one cries out against him, and in his prosperity he laid no
one under an obligation who could be of use to support him
under such circumstances. He tries to justify himself, but
feebly because the accusation against him is proved. He lives
in the deepest affliction and in retirement, colouring his absence
from the councils where his presence is necessary, under the
pretext of bodily indisposition. He bases all his hopes upon his
Majesty's favour, of which he has had such abundant testimony
in the past, and on the offices of the Duke of Lennox, who is
very dear to the king, a sister of whom is married to the
Treasurer's eldest son, the one who was lately ambassador extraordinary
to your Serenity.
There are various opinions about the issue of this savoury
affair (aromatico negotio) according to men's sympathies. The
wisest however think that as this matter touches his Majesty's
private interests, he will pass it over and condone the offence,
in consideration of the numerous services which he receives
daily from the employment of this minister.
News arrives from Brussels that the Count de Firsin, a Walloon
Colonel under the command of the Prince d'Espinoy, has
withdrawn to Liege followed by some troops of cavalry of the
the same nation. Here they expect some disturbances to follow
the decision taken in Spain against the most distinguished
nobles of those Provinces. The partisans of the Austrians here
do not approve of such measures under existing circumstances.
We do not hear that the commissions have yet reached Prince
Tomaso touching the offices which it was announced he was to
exercise in Flanders. Those who know the Abbot Scaglia best
assert that the prelate, with his usual intrigues, may have contrived
the movements of the prince, by means of letters to
Spain and Piedmont. His intimates announce here, at all
events, that he retains the prince's favour.
Gerbier writes that the coming of the Cardinal Infant with
his army by land is only spoken of as an idea which is far
from practicable, notwithstanding the resolutions of Spain and
the preparations in Italy ; they consider the obstacles which he
will encounter from Sweden in Alsace, and still more from the
French in Lorraine.
Some articles and points suggested in the Diet of Frankfort
have issued from the house of the Swedish ambassador here.
They have reached me through an intimate and I enclose a
translation from the French to serve as confirmation or illumination
for the Senate.
Your Serenity's letters received this week are of the 20th ult.
London, the 19th May, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
296. Articles proposed in the Assembly at Frankfort.
(1) General Assembly of all the reformed Princes and Nobles.
(2) Conditions upon which a general peace may be concluded.
(3) In what form the interposition of the King of Denmark
may be used, who is trying to maintain the peace.
(4) What reward shall be given to Sweden for her great
(5) By what means can sufficient forces be kept on foot
to obtain a good peace.
(6) How to deal with the King of France's pretensions to
(7) How to deal with the Palatine Wolfgang William of
Neuburg about the neutrality for which he asks.
(8) If they shall receive or refuse the help and alliance of
the Protestant Princes and Towns who offer to join the Swedish
party, and how to treat with them.
[Italian, from the French.]
297. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
Amid the dependence in which the Court lives the generality
of the city here does not concern itself with what may
happen about the accusations made against the Treasurer of
the Realm. It has been unexpectedly announced that his
Majesty's affection for him has prevailed, assisted by the offices
of the Duke of Lennox, who, according to the talk here, obliged
the Duchess of Buckingham, heiress of the royal favour of
her husband, to join with him in upholding the interests of the
Treasurer. The day before yesterday he went to Greenwich,
where their Majesties are still staying, and there kissed the
king's hand in the presence of all the lords of the Court, in
considerable numbers. The king received him without any
change and showed him outwardly all the ordinary signs of
his customary confidence. This greatly afflicted those of the
contrary party and others who deplore the present state of the
government, who hoped that with the fall of the Treasurer the
fundamental principles of the country might be revived, for
the greatness and better convenience of the king, the benefit
and content of his subjects and the renewal of the ancient fame
of the British nation.
On the other hand the Treasurer does not fail to get his
dependents to advertise his great deserts with this kingdom,
which has experienced such relief, so they say, since he entered
the government. They refer in the first place to the embarrassments
in which England was involved by the rupture
with the crowns of France and Spain, the forces which were
maintained abroad, running up heavy debts, the counties incommoded
by the billeting of soldiers and sailors ; his Majesty's
treasury exhausted and deeply injured, with countless other
disorders. All these things were made good under his direction.
They assert that he brought about a reconciliation with the
French and Spaniards, satisfied the sailors and soldiers, disbanded
the army and relieved the counties, and consequently cut off
800,000l. sterling of the old debts of the crown, which were
charged with 10 to 12 per cent. interest yearly. He increased
and put in a better state of repair the king's ships of war,
which were reduced to a very small number and practically
useless, and finally, he had recently taken in hand the fortification
of the sea ports, which have been left hitherto unprovided
against emergencies. The adherents of the Treasurer
give utterance to such overstatements in order to dissipate
the ill will which the people have conceived against him, which
was increased by these recent coups. Besides this he is the
prime cause in the general opinion which prevents the king
from having a good understanding with parliament. All the
same, in spite of the above considerations and notwithstanding
the appearances in his favour, I learn from a very safe source
that the king himself wishes to enquire into the sale in question,
as they tell him that he was the loser by more than 100,000
crowns, and all do not consider this matter fully adjusted as yet.
The king's instructions have been sent to the Ambassador
Anstruther at Hamburg to proceed to Frankfort to the Diet there.
So far as I have been able to discover they amount in brief to
this : to hear the overtures that the princes there may make to
him touching the establishment of some alliance with England,
but with orders not to commit himself to anything, but to
write and to wait for the answers from here.
Oxisterna, concluding from such instructions that their object
here is to delay matters, has pointed out that this mission is
ill timed, since Anstruther cannot reach Frankfort before the
dissolution of the Diet. He declares that the princes there
being all of one mind about the better direction of the war,
or of the peace, according to the changes of fortune, there is
not much left to be discussed and settled between them, involving
a loss of time that would be better employed in prosecuting
From time to time, although without effect the Princess
Palatine renews her instances for some assistance for the entry
which she desires her eldest son to make into his hereditary dominions.
The prince himself, his Majesty's nephew, has represented
in his own lamentable letters his misfortune and begs
as a suppliant for some amount of ready money which shall
enable him to appear as becomes the estate which he has
from God, of a sovereign in those states. He asserts that
he is called thither by the whole of the people there.
The replies to these letters and petitions were inconclusive,
although they had the support of the Swedish ambassador and
of the Dutch ministers, who intervene in this affair with opportune
tact. They said here that they would not neglect to think
of a way to do that which would best serve the interests of
the Palatine and of the common cause.
Letters from Brussels, arrived this week, report that the
Cardinal Infant has written to the Marquis of Aytona that in
a few days he will be leaving Italy with a powerful army to
proceed to Alsace for the relief of that province, and to go
on thence to Flanders by force of arms.
The same letters add that Prince Tomaso betrays some mortification
at seeing himself so far disappointed in the hopes which attracted
him to hasten to those provinces, where he is considered
suspect not only by France but by the Spaniards too who say that
he is not clear water (chi dicono non esser egli acqua chiara).
They do not believe here that the Cardinal is leaving Italy,
arguing that his presence in Alsace can be of little use, and
his passage to Flanders by force of arms beset by obstacles and
dangers which they do not believe he will risk.
Several of the gentlemen here will not believe that Prince
Tomaso is likely to obtain the command which he claims in
Flanders. They say here that the Spaniards are very cautious,
and that they have enticed the prince into their hands for some
cunning ends of their own.
Various opinions are expressed about Monsieur, as to whether
he may find some difficulty about leaving those provinces, because
the agreement between him and the Most Christian is considered
London, the 26th May, 1634.
298. To the Secretary in England.
Acknowledge receipt of the Ambassador Gussoni's despatches
of the 21st April with the report of his offices about the appointment
of an ambassador in the place of the one deceased. Zonca
is not to insist upon this or to say a word about it. Enclose
advices for information.
Ayes, 107. Noes, O. Neutral, 2.
299. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The English talk more than any one about the negotiations
of Fechiers to win over the Princes of Germany to the Diet.
They say that the Swedes will not agree and that the King
of Great Britain will not be pleased at it. Yet every report
confirms that the Ambassador Oxenstiern is getting no satisfaction
in England. But if the conduct of the Lord Treasurer
Weston is the reason for this, it might fall with him. It is
known that he has recently received a severe blow from the
Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Keeper to the delight
of good Englishmen who consider that the king and kingdom
are reduced to the utmost impotence in the Treasurer's interest
alone. The news excites some perturbation here, as it is thought
that interests of state as well as of religion may lead to an
understanding with Sweden and serious interest in the affairs
of Germany, possibly to the exclusion of France. One of the
English residents here has told me that the Archbishop of
Canterbury has tried to suggest to the king the summoning of
Moretta, the 27th May, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]