300. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
I find that just now they are neither satisfied with England,
nor without suspicion. They think that if the king there arouses
from the lethargy in which the Lord Treasurer has so far kept
him, and comes to an understanding with his people, they may
interest themselves seriously in the affairs of Germany, support
the Palatine and by no means favour the designs of France.
I am told that a gentleman of Monsieur has been arrested
at Calais, whence he proposed to go to England and they
have taken many important documents on him.
Moretta, the 1st June, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
301. Piero Foscarini, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Jew of the Captain Pasha, who is his great favourite,
has married simultaneously two of his sons and a daughter. He
invited all the ambassadors to the wedding. They attended
with their wives, except the Count of Cesi, who pleaded the
indisposition of his wife, on account of the disputed precedence
with England, and sent his son. Some English gentlemen of
quality were also present, including the Earl of Carnarvon. (fn. 1)
The Vigne of Pera, the 1st of June, 1634.
302. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who hides his animus against
the Lord Treasurer under the cloak of zeal, persists in seeing
the king privately, when, as many have observed, he has long
conference with him, and, it is whispered, tries to impress upon
him how various difficulties are due to that minister. He
recently showed his Majesty a letter written to him by the
Viceroy of Ireland, with a detailed account of the most essential
matters and of supreme importance for that island. He asserts
that these have been laid before the Treasurer several times,
who has been asked most pressingly for a decision. He has
always promised one, put it off and never done anything. The
Viceroy, finding that he pays no attention to his loyal representations
protests that he is not responsible for any disorders
that may arise in his government to the disservice of the
king, for want of attention to the matters in question. An
intimate of mine, who is in a position to know all about such
particulars from the office which he holds at Court, assures me
that the letter has stirred his Majesty greatly.
In consequence of the decision of the royal Council last week
consenting to the convocation of parliament in the kingdom
of Ireland, which has not met for twelve consecutive years,
I gather from various sources that they are now preparing the
patents to be sent to the provinces of that kingdom so that
those who are to take part may be present at Dublin on the
10th of August next, that place being the usual residence of
the Viceroy, for the opening of the parliament and for the
decision of whatever else may be deemed best for the service
of the king and kingdom.
The Ambassador Oxisterna has caused the utmost satisfaction
at Greenwich by a private visit to his Majesty to communicate
the good news which reached him by an extraordinary courier
from Frankfort, sent by the Grand Chancellor, his father, with
the account of a battle fought in Silesia between the troops of
Harneim, general of the Elector of Saxony, and twelve Imperial
regiments under the command of Don Baldassare Maradas,
resulting in a considerable reverse for the latter and the loss
of guns, ensigns and baggage, causing general consternation
to the Austrian party in that province. (fn. 2)
Douglas, who is staying at Frankfort in the capacity of
minister for this crown, confirms the news in his letters to
his Majesty, who was very glad to hear of such success for
the Protestant party in Germany, and also for the relief which
the Upper Palatinate will experience therefrom, which was
greatly harassed by the Imperial forces since it is believed
that those troops will be summoned to a place where they are
more needed, away from that much afflicted province.
Another defeat of no less importance is reported from Cologne
as having been inflicted by the Swedes, joined with the forces
of the Landgrave of Hesse and of the Duke of Luneburgh on
the troops of the Catholic League in Westphalia, commanded
by General Boniclusen. This has added to the satisfaction of
those who favour that party. On the other hand the Spaniards
have tried to discredit the news, declaring that it comes from a
prejudiced source. Accordingly we remain in suspense and many
are waiting for the confirmation with curiosity.
They have settled the case of Nedersolt, who was formerly
Agent at this Court of the Princess Palatine, and who was
arrested for a letter concerning the interests of his mistress,
written with excessive freedom to Cuch, the first secretary of
state. He is dismissed from his office and forbidden to discharge
its duties any more, and he is confined to a country house of
his 100 miles from here during the royal pleasure.
Sir [William] Bosuel, his Majesty's Agent with the States,
who was recalled from Holland to throw light on some points
of this case, will soon be returning to his post now that the
affair is settled.
Dingli, the secretary of the Princess, has come back here
unexpectedly with letters from his mistress to the king. He
has not yet gone to the Court. It is believed that he has come
to urge something about permitting Nedersolt to return to
Holland. We shall know more about it after he has set forth
By a decree of the Council recently issued all sailors, whether
English, Scots or Irish, who are serving foreign powers, are
recalled under severe penalties if they do not return to their
homes within a certain specified time. (fn. 3) The curious have a
great deal to say about the objects of this decree, but those
who seem best to understand the principles of this government
consider that the ill feeling between this nation and the Dutch,
which never grows less, has had a great deal to do with
this step, so as to deprive the Dutch, by a general law, of
the advantages they derive from the countless sailors, subjects
of this crown, who serve on their men of war and merchantmen.
With regard to the negotiations for an accomodation between
the Most Christian and Monsieur, Gerbier writes from Brussels
that there is little sign of a favourable issue, as the individual
da Bene has returned from Paris without anything being arranged.
He adds that the ill feeling between Monsieur and
the Queen Mother increases daily.
The same letters report the arrival at Dunkirk of various
ships returned from Spain with a good sum of money and
with 1200 Spaniards of poor appearance and destitute of everything,
and that they have already despatched arms and clothing
from Antwerp to supply their needs.
I learn from various sources that in the opinion of their
Majesties the return of Monsieur to France has been delayed
through fresh devices of Cardinal Richelieu. They say that
the articles of his agreement had already been settled in a
satisfactory manner, contrary to the Cardinal's expectation, who
did not want to have him near, and that fresh difficulties had
arisen when they were on the point of a settlement.
I have received the state despatches of the 5th and 12th ult.
I am unable to add anything further about the merchant Sautin.
For the rest, as regards the appointment here, I will spare
no effort to find out all particulars and report them from time
to time. For this the extracts of advices enclosed with the letters
are very opportune. By the communication of these, with due
circumspection, I shall be able to keep up the confidential relations
which are so necessary to the proper discharge of my office.
London, the 2nd June, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.
303. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
There is a strong suspicion that the English had a hand in
the despatch of the individual arrested at Calais as I reported.
I hear he was obliged to go to that place as he could not
get a prompt passage at Dunkirk. I have sent the information
to the Secretary Zonca so that he may see if there is anything
in these transactions.
Moret, the 6th June, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
304. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
Dingli, the secretary of the Princess Palatine, who arrived
recently in this city, has been to audience of the king, to
whom he presented letters from his mistress of compliment and
credence for affairs. I learn on good authority that they consist
in substance of the usual humble and most pitiful instances for
a final decision to supply the assistance which his Majesty has
always declared his intention to contribute for the support of
her interests, which are so depressed, and those of her innocent
children. She points out that the occasion is more propitious
than ever, with the present consternation of the Austrian arms,
owing to their disasters in Silesia and Westphalia. She declares
that with such an opportunity as this she is ready to proceed
to the Palatinate herself, accompanied by her numerous family,
provided that she has the means to maintain herself as becomes
her rank. She goes on to express her confidence that the
Provinces of Holland will follow the example set here in affording
her assistance ; she cannot believe that England will abandon
her, and that from this time forward things should be restored
to their pristine condition with satisfaction to the king and
The suspension of arms in the Netherlands is noted here
with some astonishment. The ambassador of Sweden and Germany
is more concerned about it than any one else, and I hear
that he had a long discussion on the subject with the Dutch
ministers, to induce them to make suitable representations to
their masters, pointing out the opportunity offered by existing
conditions, how much was being done in Germany in the interests
of the common welfare, that others ought to give their support,
and the Dutch in particular, who are so deeply concerned in
promoting the success of the party opposed to the House of
Austria, in conformity with the intentions which were expressed
to him when he was at the Hague.
I hear that Joachimi told him that the States were as alert
as they could be for anything that would serve the common
cause. That although the Prince was not actually in the field,
yet he did not neglect to provide in several directions to prevent
the enemy from the possibility of supplying help to the members
of the League of Westphalia, and he had so disposed his army
that in a few hours he can direct it wherever the need may
be most pressing, but he is awaiting an opportunity for employing
it to the best advantage. That the army of Flanders is quite
as strong as that of the States and each is equally afraid of
the other. That to undertake a siege is very difficult in the
present year and it is believed that both these armies will watch
the proceedings of their opposite during the whole of this
season, without taking the field, asserting that the one that
takes the field first will be at a disadvantage. He ended by
saying that his masters, in order to do everything possible in
the interests of the public weal had instructed Colonel Pilzen,
who is in command in the neighbourhood of Rimbergh with
some regiments of infantry, to unite with the troops of the
Landgrave of Hesse, and he thought this was already done.
The Ambassador Oxisterna sometimes goes hunting with his
Majesty, where he is welcomed and made much of, being often
invited to banquets by the principal gentlemen of the Court.
He is impatiently waiting for the replies from Frankfort, which
are to make plain the qualifications under which he acts. It
is stated that this is the sole reason for his stay, but many
do not believe this, as they do not think he would have stayed
so long on a mere question of punctilio.
The courier of Antwerp this week brings confirmation of
the two victories in Silesia and Westphalia, with other successes
against the cavalry of Bonichusen. This has rejoiced the hearts
of those who belong to the Protestant party here and has correspondingly
depressed those of the opposite faction, although they
do not fail to discount these advantages with the hope of all
that the King of Hungary is to accomplish. They boast that
he has taken the field with 80,000 combatants and that he will
soon be joined by the army of the Cardinal Infant as well, to
put a better face upon the affairs of the empire.
From Cologne they report the death of the Duke of Bavaria.
The ministry here believe that if this is confirmed the aspect
of affairs in Germany may be changed, and may turn towards a
general peace with complete restoration of the Electorate and
hereditary dominions to the young Prince Palatine, which is
desired here above everything else (sopremamente desiderata
qui), and also to relieve them of the yearly contribution from
this quarter for the support of his Majesty's sister.
I have received the state despatches of the 19th ult.
London, the 9th June, 1634.
305. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassadors extraordinary of these States [to France] (fn. 4)
left last week. They both came to take leave of me ; Pau told
me they had orders to do so and tell me their commissions. He
added that they had orders to tell me that by this new alliance
the States did not intend to prejudice in any way those which
they have with the King of Great Britain and your Serenity,
and they had freely said as much to M. de Ciarnasse, asking
him to inform the Most Christian.
The Hague, the 12th June, 1634.
306. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The courier has returned whom the Ambassador Oxisterna
sent to Frankfort with a summary of his negotiations and the
objections raised against him at this Court. He keeps the
answer brought to him very secret, and it has not yet been
possible to learn what it is, although' the curiosity of his intimates
uses every means to induce him to speak. This much is
known that so far he has not produced the clear definition of
his powers, which he gave it to be understood he would have
sent. We know that after the arrival of the courier he proceeded
to Greenwich to audience of the king. He told him in the first
place of the numerous difficulties encountered by the officers
whom he sent to Scotland to raise the recruits promised by
his Majesty, and he repeated his original request for whole
regiments, asking for a final and categorical reply. He represented
how grateful such a testimony of the royal good will
would be to the princes his masters and to all those in Germany
who follow their party, and what benefits would result for the
pressing interests of the sister and nephews of this crown in
All these considerations with others of less moment availed
nothing to induce his Majesty to make any alteration in his
first answer, which I reported in my letter of the 12th ult.
The ambassador received this final refusal in the same terms,
to his infinite mortification. Accordingly recognising that he
can do no good at this Court, and showing the dissatisfaction
he feels without disguise, he is asking for letters in reply to
those which he brought here, declaring that he is recalled and
must, leave very soon.
In conversation with some of the gentlemen of the Court he
has let out that his letters were read in the full Diet at
Frankfort, and excited deep feeling among all the princes there,
who were scandalised at the neglect of the affairs of Germany
in this quarter. Some of them openly suggested the abandonment
of the Palatinate, now it is seen that England, which,
has such strong ties of obligation, cares nothing about it. They
hava discussed among themselves about granting Filipsburg,
the key of the Palatinate, to the Most Christian, who desires
it so greatly. He added that the Administrator of the Palatinate,
in the hope that Oxesterna's mission, out of regard for
the United Princes, would mitigate the harshness of the ministers
which he himself encountered at this Court and move the king
to undertake the defence of the Palatinate, had broken off some
negotiations which he had already begun with France, for
recommending it to her protection, following the example of
other princes but now that he saw that this last essay was
fruitless he proposed to resume the interrupted transaction,
to avoid leaving that unlucky province which was powerless
to defend itself, utterly defenceless and a prey to its enemies.
When these particulars were reported to the king dnd Council
it is understood that they were all much concerned, as any
suggestion for introducing the French into the Palatinate is
most distasteful to them both from natural rivalry, opposed
to the progress of that power, and also because it is very
well known that once those states have fallen into the hands
of the Most Christian, no matter under what title, he will never
let them go again. Some also represented the great condemnation
and discredit that this kingdom will suffer in the eyes
of the world for having so weakly abandoned the just cause of
that innocent people. But in spite of this they decided upon
no remedy, while there is still time to apply it, indeed they
care little about allowing this ambassador to depart ill pleased
in every respect, so far as all indications show up to the present,
and as he himself declares.
Signor Benicausem, who was ambassador extraordinary here
for the Princes of the Union in the year 1624, writes to a
certain German gentleman of his acquaintance employed here
by Cuch, the first secretary of state, on the affairs of Germany
more particularly, and with whom I cultivate the most intimate
relations, in the interest of the public service, from Paris, where
he now is, and dated the 3rd inst., that the Protestant Princes
have a poor opinion of this crown, and if it is unwilling to
declare in their favour, they would be glad, at least, if it did
not unite with their enemies ; but that as the Spaniards were
spreading reports of some treaty of alliance between the House
of Austria, France, Great Britain, the Duke of Savoy and some
other princes of Italy, they would like to have definite information
from him on the subject. He told me further that he
had shown this same letter to the secretary himself in order
to extract from him some reply to send to Sig. Benicausem ;
but he had not got anything substantial out of him. In reply
to my enquiry he said he did not know whether there was
any one here secretly or publicly for Savoy, or for any other
Italian prince either, except the minister of the Grand Duke,
and he had not heard that he was conducting any negotiations.
He knew quite well that your Serenity did not hold such opinions.
Finally he declared that he did not believe that England, even
if asked, would join such an alliance, as the present government
prefers to be free from all troubles. I thanked him suitably
for his confidential communication and promised to be on the alert
for any further particulars, communicating everything to him,
as he asked me to do, to keep up the mutual understanding
between us. Although so far I have learned nothing to corroborate
this I have thought it my duty to communicate the
particulars to your Excellencies, so that you may know what is
reported, and discover what foundation there may be. I will
keep carefully on the watch for anything further and will
keep your Serenity punctually advised, forwarding all particulars
to his Excellency Soranzo as well.
Dingli is vigorously pressing the negotiations begun by him
with the ministers here in order to hasten a reply. Through
some of his friends they have intimated to him that 100,000
crowns in ready cash will be supplied for the moment for the
proposed journey of the princess and her family to the Palatinate.
He declares that the assistance which he confidently
expects to receive from the States will be governed by the help
which he gets from this quarter. He receives fair words from
everyone, but the categorical reply lags behind, and the wisest
are of opinion that it is based upon slender hopes.
In the instructions sent to Douglas they direct him to start
some kind of negotiation until Anstruther arrives. Oxisterna
says that this is to make a show before the assembly of princes
and ambassadors gathered at that meeting, that they are anxious
here to co-operate on behalf of the common cause in Germany.
I do not fancy, however that these orders are as definite as
they want to make Oxisterna believe.
So far we have heard of nothing fresh in the matter of the
Treasurer. He continues to enjoy the king's favour as before,
although much discredited with every one at Court. He cares
little about that, and in the mean time he goes about making
The courier from Italy who should have arrived here this
week with the despatches of the 26th May, has been robbed
near Cologne by soldiers and so no letters have arrived here
from that province.
London, the 16th June, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
307. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
It is stated that the Duke of Orleans has concluded a treaty
with the Spaniards. (fn. 5) It is asserted that England, Savoy and
Lorraine are included and that they found letters of Gerbier,
the English Resident at Brussels, on the gentleman arrested
at Calais, but they cannot verify the contents.
Paris, the 16th June, 1634.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
308. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
A sort of confession of the Duke of Arescot has appeared
here. (fn. 6) He tells the Catholic king that he was urged by the
Count of Enim and the Princes of Epinon and Brabanzon to
join with them, because all the Provinces would follow him.
He also names the English Agent at Brussels, who passed a
similar office, intimating that the Kings of Great Britain and
France and these States would favour the design. The duke
asserts that he would not listen to them. He says he did not
report the matter to the Infanta in order not to prejudice
The Hague, the 19th June, 1634.
309. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Swedish ambassador went on Sunday last to take final
leave of his Majesty. The Earl of Holland accompanied by
divers gentleman of rank was appointed to escort him,
with the royal coaches and many others of the Dutch ministers
and the principal members of the ministry. They conducted
him as far as the Tower of London, and from there by water
they travelled in the royal barges to Greenwich, where his
Majesty is still staying. The Court crowded with numbers of
ladies and cavaliers, and the stately arrangements ordered made
the ceremony more notable than had been expected, seeing that
he has never made a satisfactory reply to the objections raised
against him, as he undertook to do. Arrived in the presence
of the king he spoke for a long half hour in the most elegant
Latin, recapitulating the whole of his negotiations and the
answers given to him with the objections raised. He replied
to all this again with an office adapted to the occasion. Raising
his voice somewhat and turning his head first in one and then
in another direction, an action he repeated several times, to
make himself heard better by the bystanders, he said that he
had been sent by the kingdom of Sweden and by the United
Princes in Germany upon a matter that concerns the dignity
of this crown as well as the public good. The English ministers
had always assured them of the goodwill of their sovereign
towards them. In order to obtain a full assurance thereupon
they had sent him, by common consent to obtain a categorical
declaration. The postponement of this up to the present under
various pretexts had been interpreted by his superiors as an
open refusal. He took his departure with this consolation only,
that he had punctually discharged what had been laid upon
him, although neither his representations of the benefit to the
cause nor even the special and lamentable case of the princess
and her family, the king's sister and nephews, which he had
amply set forth, had been able to move this realm, at one of
the most favourable opportunities, to support the party in Germany,
who were so sympathetic both in the matter of religion
and in everything else. Such was the substance of his long
office, at the end of which he concluded his discourse with a
few complimentary phrases for his final leavetaking.
The first secretary of state began to answer him, also in
Latin, upon the question of fact, being prompted by the king
in English. But whether from lack of memory, considering
his advanced age, or from some other circumstance, he did
not report it in accordance with the king's intent, although'
corrected more than once, and his Majesty himself took it up
from the beginning and explained to the ambassador in French,
a language he understands well, his real meaning much better.
As it was spoken in a very low voice only a few heard it,
who were standing nearest. I gather, however, that in substance
it was the same answer as the first one, with very little alteration ;
and that it only enlarged upon an attempt to make him believe
that the incompleteness of his powers with regard to what the
United Princes would do touching the Palatinate, supposing the
levies for which he asked were granted, was the only reason
for the delay here in granting permission and that the matter
would be settled satisfactorily by Anstruther at Frankfort.
At the conclusion of his office with the king the ambassador
turned to the queen, who was present, and took leave of her
also in a brief ceremonious office, according to custom. He
afterwards returned with the same company and in the same
manner to this city, where he is visiting the lords of the Council
and telling people that as soon as he is free he will be leaving
An extraordinary judgment has been delivered these last days
upon the Portuguese ship which, was captured about three years
ago by Dutch ships, when on its way from Brasil with a
cargo worth over 80,000 crowns in sugar and tobacco, and
seized by the Resident of Spain, with the King's orders, in the
ports here, whither it had come on its voyage. The Admiralty
here adjudicated it to the Dutch in the first instance, as lawful
booty, and the Resident appealed to the king. The Lord Treasurer,
the Earl of Linze and the two secretaries of state, Cuch
and Vindebanch, were deputed by his Majesty to decide this
appeal finally. After a long interval and a consideration of
the arguments on one side and the other, they have presented
their decision in writing, confirming the original sentence, but
with a clause that the Dutch shall pay the costs of the appeal
and other damages to the Spaniards, to be assessed by the judges
themselves, and paid by those concerned before they enter upon
possession of the ship and its cargo. (fn. 7)
The Spaniards, who desired better conditions, protest strongly
against this. The Dutch are not satisfied either, as they do
not know what laws condemn them to the costs of the action
instead of claiming their own from their adversaries, on every
ground of justice, seeing that right is declared to be on their
side by a twofold sentence. They say that the sugar and tobacco
may be for the most part perished in the warehouses, where they
have lain for more than two years. The ship will be practically
rotted in port and the sum which they are condemned to pay
added to the costs of prosecuting the action will probably exceed
all that they can raise from the far gone remains of that
booty. Joachimi has sent full particulars about this to his
masters with all speed and he will await their reply so as to
decide whether the sentence shall be accepted or not.
With regard to the particulars of the alliance of which Signor
Benicausen wrote here, with all my efforts I have not been
able to discover anything further. I have confirmation from
several sources that the ministry here, no matter what offers or
overtures are made to it, has no inclination to declare itself the
partner (parciale) of any one soever. However, I have sent
the necessary information to all the Courts, as I do every week.
A person of quality writes here from Cologne on the 12th
inst. that the Count of Mansfelt is there and that he was urging
the Duke of Neuburg to unite his forces with those of the
League, assuring him that he holds a commission from Cæsar
releasing the duke's subjects from their oath of allegiance to
him and to forbid them to continue to pay their taxes if the
duke should venture to disobey. In spite of this the correspondent
reports that the duke remains uncertain. He points
out his dangerous situation, and also the threats of the Dutch,
as well as the example of the Bishop of Wirtenberg, who, so
soon as he declared for the emperor, lost all his states. He
asks that they shall allow him to remain neutral, to avoid the
risk of leaving his possessions at the discretion of enemies.
Douglas writes from Frankfort that Duke Bernard of Weimar,
after forcing the army of Bavaria to withdraw from the siege
of Ratisbon has written to the Diet there to arrange for the
junction of his forces with those of Horn. When they are united
he proposes to fight the army of the King of Hungary, and
it is supposed that Aldringer, with some regiments may have
set out to prevent such a union.
The Agent Bosuel is ready to set out on his way back to the
Hague to take up his charge there again. They say that he
has instructions to look after the interests of the Princess
Palatine which crop up at this Court, and in this way to
deprive her of the pretext for keeping another agent here.
A fresh matter for increasing the ill feeling between the
English and the Dutch has arisen these last days. A ship
of this country which left Dunkirk was captured by the Dutch
men of war which guard that port, according to their point
of view. Remonstrances have been made to the Ambassador
Joachimi, who points out that this has been done in fulfilment
of an order made by the States as far back as 1598 and
several times renewed, declaring that the States consider the
coasts of Flanders to be besieged by sea, and accordingly that
ships of all nations, without distinction, must abstain from
trading there, or they will be treated as enemies. (fn. 8) But these
arguments do not content them and it is said that Bosuel's departure
is being accelerated and that he has particular instructions
upon this business.
London, the 23rd June, 1634.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
310. Piero Foscarini, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to
the Doge and Senate.
Since my last I have seen the Bostanghi Pasha twice and
believe I have won him completely. The other day an English
merchant named Pech appealed to him for the restitution of a
sum of money, as his share in the late troubles. The Pasha
sent to me and said he would wait three or four days to hear
from the ambassadors, as he understood the proportions were
to be settled between them. We met at the English embassy
and three of us agreed, the English ambassador dissenting, that
each nation should contribute to the expense in proportion to
the amount of its trade, and that for this, precise information
should be taken of the capital employed in trading by each
of the nations during the last three years, and that the portion
touching each of the nations should be assigned to each in
proportion at a soldo per lira. The three ambassadors assigned
to the English 3½ parts out of 8, to the French two, to the
Venetians two, and to the Flemings a half. But after much
discussion the English ambassador would not accept the judgment,
thus causing the affair to go back to the Bostanghi Pasha,
with the worst consequences. I am not surprised that the
English ambassador is indifferent about allowing his merchants
to appear in the Turkish Courts, because upon some claim for
three slaves bought by one of the Beys here the ambassador
himself procured the judgment of the Cadi of Constantinople
before the Bostanghi Pasha.
The Vigne di Pera, 23 June, 1634.
311. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman of the Duke of Orleans has been arrested and
imprisoned at Calais. He was taking letters from that prince
to the King of England, asking for help because he could not
make things up with the king his brother so long as Cardinal
Richelieu rules. It is thought that the alliance between his
Highness and the Spaniards is offensive and defensive.
The Hague, the 26th June, 1634.
312. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
In accordance with the expectation of those who know most
about the affairs of the world, the Ambassador Oxisterna refused
the royal present, consisting of vessels of silver gilt,
of the weight of 2000 ozs. which is more than was allowed
to the ambassadors extraordinary of France and Poland who
were recently here, with whom, in all matters of ceremony he
was placed on a perfect equality. When the Master of the
King's jewels took the present to him according to the custom
of the Court, delivering it with suitable compliments in the
name of the sovereign, Oxisterna replied that he thanked his
Majesty with all his heart for the favours which he had bestowed,
especially on another occasion when he was here in a
private capacity, (fn. 9) when there was nothing left that he could
desire, and the very great obligations he was under remained
ever fresh in his memory. That the present demonstration
must be due either to regard for the office which he holds or
for him personally in his private capacity. He did not think
that it could be the former, when he reflected upon the uniform
refusals with which they had answered all his requests in the
public name, no matter what they were. If it was for him
personally, he humbly thanked his Majesty, but as he had not
achieved the chief object of his employment, about which he
was concerned above everything else, he hoped the king would
allow him to refuse the accessories relating to his private
satisfaction. He appreciated to the full the courtesies offered
by his Majesty and besought his pardon if he did not show
it by deeds, his sole object being to justify himself better in
the eyes of the world, and in those of his superiors above,
all, and to show that he had conducted the negotiations with
which he was entrusted in a manner befitting the urgency of
the common cause, without the slightest reference to his own
private interests. He ended by charging the Master of the
Jewels to take back this answer to the king together with the
present, with assurances of his most devoted service.
The English official was astonished at this unexpected turn
of affairs and tried his utmost to persuade the ambassador not
to treat so lightly the king's token of regard. He intimated that
it was contrary to all custom and an affront to the king's
Majesty. But the ambassador only smiled and taking him by
the hand, as if going for a walk, led him into another room,
where he told him that this was not the first time such a thing
had happened in England. Among others he told him of the
similar case of Sig. Benicausen in the year 1624, when he was
sent as ambassador extraordinary by the Princes of the Union
to the late King James. That embassy proving fruitless, like
his own, that wise man thought fit to refuse every other demonstration
touching his own private convenience. (fn. 10) The Master
of the Jewels replied that the Polish ambassador who was
here a year ago, accepted the present although he had not
obtained what he asked. To this Oxisterna rejoined that the
two cases did not tally owing to the difference in the circumstances
and clinched the matter by saying that even Ven who
was for a long while ambassador in Germany, had not taken
any present from the Princes at his departure. Accordingly
seeing this minister so constant in his resolution the Master
of the Jewels took away his plate and told the king what had
happened, point by point.
The refusal is interpreted in different ways at the Court, and
each one speaks of it according to his personal opinions, but
the majority including those without bias, approve of his action
as generous and dignified. Those who have most experience
refuse to believe that these instruments have not been supplied
to him by the Director, his father, possibly with the advice and
concurrence of the General Union whom they admit to be right
and well advised. At present the ambassador is only waiting
for a favourable wind to take him across to Holland in a man
of war of that country, sent here on purpose, as he did not
even ask the king here for one. He will proceed to the Hague
and go on from there to Frankfort, to lay down his charge,
according to what he gives out.
One Fulvio Pergami has arrived here recently from Brussels
with letters of Prince Tomaso for their Majesties. He styles
himself secretary of that prince, and he proceeded at once
to the Court, which is now at Richmond, about eight miles from
here, taking with him some letters of Gerbier for the Secretary
Cuch. (fn. 11) It has not yet been possible to discover his business.
Another gentleman has also arrived, and he also has gone to
the Court to set forth his commissions. (fn. 12) I am keeping a
close watch upon all this, as is my duty, and I will not lose
sight of anything that is essential.
Dingli, secretary of the Princess Palatine, will leave with
the Agent Bosuel in a few days. The substance of the replies
to his negotiations amount to no more that the giving of instructions
to Bosuel to impart the decisions taken here to the
Princess, and it is confirmed that he is to act in her interests
and to report here by letter, without her employing any other
minister at this Court.
My confidant at Antwerp writes to me that Don Carlo Coloma
was about to start for Milan, where they state he has been
proclaimed governor in the absence of the Cardinal Infant,
who was going to marry Cæsar's daughter, as already rumoured.
He goes on to say that it is reported from Milan that after
the marriage has taken place the Cardinal will be invested
by his brother with the sovereignty of the Netherlands, as
was the late Archduke Albert. Here, however, they are not
disposed to believe that the Catholic will deprive his own son
of those Provinces to hand them over to his brother, and they
rather incline to assert that such ideas are circulated for the
purpose of upholding the failing energy of the people there.
He also writes that they are making arrangements for the
Spanish army to take the field, and if this proves true, Monsieur
and Prince Tomaso will go with it, but both of them in a
private capacity. Common report confirms that upon the arrival
of the Cardinal Infant Prince Tomaso will be proclaimed
Lieutenant General of his Highness. In the mean time the
Prince is staying at Brussels in great splendour, and continues
to attach a peculiar value to the counsels of the Abbot Scaglia,
of whom he makes as much as ever.
These advices correspond with what is written by Gerbier,
who reports in addition that he has discovered an agreement
which has been or will shortly be concluded between Monsieur
and the Marquis of Aytona, in which the former undertakes
not to come to any adjustment with the Most Christian for
two years or thirty months.
The advices which reach the Court from every quarter agree
that the present season in Germany will be a very bloody one.
This opinion is based on the universal scarcity of food in
all the provinces alike, for the most part left unsown or devastated,
and for this reason it is asserted that the armies will
be compelled to fight, no matter what the risks may be, in order
to have the means of supporting themselves each in the face
of the other.
The hopes of those who desire a general peace in Germany
are raised by the approval accorded at Frankfort to the negotiations
of Denmark for such a peace, although the clashing
of so many different interests makes success very unlikely.
I have received this week the state's letters of the 9th inst.
London, the 30th June, 1634.