485. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 20th and 27th of April,
which arrived by the extraordinary courier sent to the Ambassador
Fildin. We enclose the usual sheet of advices together
with a copy of the last exposition of the English ambassador
and of the reply given to him. You will make use of the
same ideas of mutual good will and reciprocal relations when
you see the king and the ministers.
Ayes, 160. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
|486. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be
summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him :
Acknowledgment of his communication about the preparation
of the fleet, which has been received in friendly confidence and
with every wish for prosperity and success to the king in his
admirable efforts for the welfare of his own kingdom. Great
satisfaction felt in learning that these armaments need cause no
alarm by any possible disturbance of the public peace and
Ayes, 160. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
487. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The French ambassadors here, anxious to shake off, once and
for all, the ambiguities by which the conclusion of their negotiations
are always being delayed with more and more artifice,
have put forward a most urgent request for a definite reply.
Their offices consist in pointing out that such great delays
serve for nothing except to increase the prejudice and disadvantages
of the Most Christian ; while the war is progressing
indifferently in every quarter, their decision can no longer
be held in suspense ; the king, their master can but feel serious
displeasure at seeing an ambassador extraordinary of his staying
so long here without any effect, which by no means befits his
dignity, merely for chimerical and frivolous discussions, and
accordingly they desire and ask for a speedy decision, whatever
it may be. This much they have set forth in a document for the
commissioners in writing, as by the royal order they are no
longer permitted to negotiate personally together, as his Majesty
desired that the papers which were given as well as those
which they received should be most precisely weighed. The
Ambassador Seneterre was anxious to represent to his Majesty
orally the considerations made in the paper, and for this purpose
he asked for a special audience, but the king, who foresaw
what he was aiming at, and who did not at all wish
to listen to such an office, refused to hear him, on the plea
of other serious occupations. The ambassador, who did not
expect such an answer, was very indignant when he received
it, and draws the worst conclusions. But he goes about very
prudently dissimulating his resentment and continues to conduct
his affairs with the same openness as before. But the Court
has not failed to draw its usual speculative conclusions upon
an incident so unusual. They say among other things that the
king never makes up his mind to speak with this ambassador on
affairs without great apprehension, because he considers him
too sagacious and is afraid of being ensnared in some way by
his artifices. But this is only idle talk.
They are still negotiating about the despatch of Baron Schidemore
on his embassy in ordinary to France. The facts are really
thus, the king, at the persuasion it is said, of some of the
leading ministers here who openly profess to favour the Austrian
party wherever they Can, signed the confirmation of Devich at
that Court with the title of Resident of the Embassy. The baron
was excessively annoyed at this as he could not endure that one
whom he expected to have as his secretary should be made his
colleague, and one might say his preceptor. He therefore let it
be freely understood that he would not go unless the order
was completely revoked first. Everybody recognises that he is
in the right and all conclude that he will get what he wants.
But it does not look as if they would make any other decision
just yet, as in the present state of affairs they are content
to leave the matter undecided.
News arrived from Brussels the day before yesterday, confirmed
from the Hague of a defeat by the French of the forces
of Prince Tomaso (fn. 1) and of their passage into Flanders to unite
with the army of the Prince of Orange. The news was brought
to the king at a time when he was in the queen's chamber.
Encountering the Ambassador Pougni there his Majesty greeted
him with a radiant face and congratulated him on this success,
saying that such a happy beginning augured well for further
triumphs and a prosperous conclusion. He then began to talk
with him about the way in which the victory had been won,
and then said smiling, And what do you Frenchmen propose, to
ruin the world by kindling a conflagration in so many quarters?
The ambassador replied that the intention of his master was
neither to destroy nor to ruin, but rather to protect and to
preserve. He sought to purchase repose and tranquillity for the
community at the hard price of the blood of his subjects as,
well as of his own treasure. This was the sole object of his
policy and righteous aims, in the fulfilment of which he would
not consider either toil or hardship. At Ms the king asked him
if he was sure that the Duke of Savoy was going to fall in
with the wishes of the Most Christian of his own accord. The
ambassador replied that this was another point, and they were
absolutely certain that the duke would not detach himself from
their party. When his Majesty retorted that he could not believe
it, the other broke in unabashed, But what will your Majesty
say when you hear that he has been declared the commander
of our armies in Italy, with the Duke of Chrichi as his lieutenant?
I will believe it when I see it, retorted the king, but
before it actually happens you must allow me to hold a different
opinion. I do not tell your Majesty this, said the ambassador,
as absolutely certain, but very soon I hope the event will
render it sufficiently manifest. (fn. 2)
It is certain that the issue of the battle referred to has been received
here generally with incredible displeasure, especially among
the members of the government, and although they make every
effort to conceal their feelings, yet these are so strong that they
clearly show through all attempts to hide them. If his Majesty's
disposition was not what it is, so fond of quiet and so hostile
to parliaments, he would ere now unquestionably have declared
in favour of the Austrians. But even now, if Fortune continues
to favour French arms in their progress as much as she has
done at the beginning, every one agrees in the belief that the
Spaniards will obtain the benefit of assistance from this quarter
if not openly at least in a furtive way (certamente il successo
della battaglia predetta e stato universalmente qui e da
quelli chi governano in particolare, con discontento incredibile
sentito, e con tutto che ogni cosa faccino per celare le loro
appasionate intentioni, sono tali in ogni modo che anco sopra
l' arte si fanno quelli sono schietamente vedere, e se l' animo
della Maesta Sua non fosse tanto quanto egli e amico della
quiete e inimico di parlamenti, si sarebbe fin a quest' hora in
favore degli Austriaci indubitabilmente dichiarato ; ma se anco
al progresso delle armi Francese andera la fortuna cosi favorevole
come si e da principio dimostrato, ogn' uno concordemente
conclude che ottenerano Spagnoli se non dicharatamente celatamente
almeno favorevoli gl' effetti dell' assistenza di questa
No courier has arrived from Italy this week.
London, the 1st June, 1635.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
488. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
News has come of the slaughter of 700 Germans with 300
prisoners of the army of Duke Charles, Colonel Hebron cut down
the 700 in an ambush and the Duke was ultimately obliged to
retire. (fn. 3) It is hoped that Fichiers will join la Force with
other regiments which have been sent in that direction. 1500
Irish and Scots recently went from here to those parts.
Cesi, the 3rd June, 1635.
489. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday in last week the king went to review the twenty
seven armed ships in the Downs. They have been there several
days all ready to start, and only waiting for the royal command.
Now that they are dismissed they will put to sea with the first
favourable wind. The commissions to the Earl of Linge, the
commander, were handed to him sealed, (fn. 4) with orders not to
look at them until he was several miles from land. It has not
been possible to discover their contents with absolute certainty,
but it is known that in general they contain most strict orders
to the earl not to permit any ship soever to pass through the
strait of this sea without rendering obedience, to the royal
ships, as belonging to the master of these waters. Every one
sees from this that disputes will inevitably arise with the French
about this, because they declare openly that the King of Great
Britain does not possess greater dominion over the sea than
the Most Christian, so that wiih both sides strong and resolute
there can be no doubt that if they meet they will have recourse
to arms. Many go further, although perhaps with no better
grounds than their own desires, and say that they ought to
unite with the Spanish ships which are now in the port of
Dunkirk, and guarantee jointly the ports of Flanders from the
incursions of the Dutch, and also serve as an escort for the
passage of troops which will be supplied daily from Spain.
Before this we shall very soon know from what happens,
because at the present moment there are ten Spanish ships in
the ports here with troops and money all ready to make this
passage, so that there is an opportunity of carrying it into
execution at once.
Some weeks ago the Resident Nicolaldi here obtained permission
from, the king to raise 1000 men of this nation to be
sent to Flanders, and they are practically all gathered already.
It is announced however that they are merely recruits, so that
the French ambassadors may not make objection, but in reality
they are of the first levy and I believe the first part of a
regiment of 3000, and permission was obtained to go and
raise them under 'this pretext to avoid making a disturbance.
It is also claimed that the transport of these troops to the
other side should be protected by English ships. In such crafty
ways does the Resident of Spain at this Court secure advantages
for his master in every way.
The pretext that he is unwelcome at the Court because of
the difference about the ship which was settled in favour of
the Dutch, which led him to remonstrate too haughtily and in
consequence of which representations were made in Spain from
this quarter for his recall, (fn. 5) has served him marvellously for keeping
concealed all his business as being of the greatest importance.
Those who persuaded themselves, after the incident referred
to, and the appointment of an ambassador, that he would no
longer have the power to intervene in matters of consequence,
made a great mistake, for it has come to my knowledge, on
very sound authority, that at the present moment he holds much
more definite and ample powers than before, both for dealing
with the affairs which arise every day, and for making proposals
for an alliance and for concluding any treaty, however serious
and important. He neglects no art to create the impression.
He remains in retirement all day long, and does not see a single
minister. But after it has grown dark he goes almost every
evening incognito to the house of the Secretary Vindebanch, and
has been observed to hold the most lengthy conferences with
him. As no one is present beyond their two selves it is,
quite impossible to discover what they discuss, but the facts are
as stated (grandemente si ingannano tutti quelli chi dopo it
successo predetto e la nominatione del ambasciatore si sono persuasi
che gli non habia piu facolta di ingerirsi in rilevanti
faccendi, perche mi e venuto fatto di risapere da parte molto
sicura che egli tiene de presente poteri molto piu risoluti ed ampli
di prima, cosi di maneggiar l' affari che vanno giornalmente
occorendo come di far propositioni di lega e di concludere
ogni piu grave e importante trattato non tralasciando egli veramentc
arte alcuna per farsi credere, facendolo sta in retiratezza
tutto il giorno, ne cede minislro alcuno ma depo che l'aria si
e fatta bruna alla casa del segretario Vindebanch che quasi
tutti le sere incognitamente si trasferise, e con lui e stato
osservato di tenere lunghissime conferenze, cio che trattino veramente
non intervenendovi che le due loro persone si rende
impossible a poterne trarre ma l' effetto sta veramente cosi).
The decision already reported to raise 10,000 men has been
postponed until further order. This has been done because as
it is proposed that they shall be supported by the country,
great difficulties stand in the way of its being carried out, and
those concerned are already making a great clamour. However
the ministers here are inclined to believe that by dint of appropriate
arguments showing the need for such measures they may
easily be prevailed upon to consent. Accordingly they go about
saying that as all their neighbours are arming, good governance
requires not that they should stand by looking on and
unprepared, but that they should make every provision in all
directions for the safety of the realm. By thus drawing their
attention to the importance of looking after the general safety
they think that the objectors will not long prove recalcitrant
to the royal wishes. But sensible men are not so easily impressed
by such fears because they know very well that the forces of
the foreigner must of necessity be employed elsewhere, so that
there is not a shadow of reason for fearing that they will
cause the slightest trouble in this kingdom, let them say what
they will ; but it is because the king wishes to use this opportunity
to get together a considerable body of troops, with the
intention of not disbanding them again but to use this means
to enable him in the future to compel the people with more
ease to submit to every demand of the crown, without the need
of convoking parliament again. Many are already going about
instilling these ideas, and there is no doubt that once they are
impressed on the minds of the simpler sort they will become
rooted and it will require no little dexterity to remove the
jealousy and suspicion in order to bring this important affair
to the end desired (di tal opportunita si vuol servirse il Re per
mettersi sotto i piedi un corpo considerabile di militia, con
oggetto di non piu disfarsene, ma di andarsi con tal mezzo
assicurando di poter constringer piu agevolmente il popolo ln
avenire a soccombere ad ogni urgenza della corona senza altra
convocatione di parlamento. Con tali concetti vanno di gia
molti altamente parlando, et non e dubbio che imprimendosi
negli animi de' piu semplici, non vi habbino a restar radicati,
di sorte che una mediocre desterita non bastera poi per levar
loro le gelosie ei sospetti et per condure questo importante
negotio al fine che si ricerca).
Amid this ambiguity the Court, as usual, forms various judgments ;
but they are all words, born of curiosity and nurtured
in idleness and it is not worth while to repeat them.
No news has arrived from Italy this week, and I fear that
the state despatches must have been detained.
London, the 6th June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
490. After the office determined on the 1st inst. had been
read to the ambassador of Great Britain, he spoke as follows :
I shall not delay to inform the king of your Serenity's approval
of his actions, in order not to delay his pleasure at the
unbroken confidential relations existing with the republic. I
personally have come here to serve your Serenity and shall always
esteem myself happy when I find that service acceptable.
After the doge had made a suitable reply, the ambassador went
on, that he had been asked for a favour by an English merchant,
as the memorial, (fn. 6) which he presented would explain. After this
had been read, the doge said they would take information and do
everything possible for his gratification. The ambassador then
rose and asked to be excused if he cut things short, as he was
not yet fully master of Italian. He took leave and departed
after having a copy made in the antisecreta of the office read
to him by his secretary, who told me, the secretary, that henceforward
he would go with the ambassador to audience, but
this time he had descended the stair before he had decided to
take that copy, because he thought he had fully understood, but
afterwards he thought he would make more sure by having it
in writing, but he did not wish in any way to alter the customary
Moderante Scaramelli, secretary.
491. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
On the 7th inst. urged on by repeated orders from his Majesty,
the Earl of Linze put to sea with the whole fleet. He sailed
in the direction of Dover, and before he goes anywhere else
it is said that he will cruise along the shores of this kingdom
for some days. The Spanish ships which arrived at these ports
on their way to Dunkirk are ten in number. They only carry
1500 soldiers among them all, but a considerable sum of money
to supply the present requirements of Flanders. When the
Dutch heard of their arrival they rapidly made preparations to
attack them, but since the sailing of the fleet, with what intentions
they do not know what to think, the facts show that
they have changed their minds. A report is circulating freely
that a certain number of ships of the King of Denmark are
stationed in these waters, waiting to unite with those of England ;
but I do not find any substantial confirmation of this.
As regards the land forces they hold consultations every day
as to how these can be maintained, as they have quite decided
to put a certain number of men under arms. To this end they
have ordained and begun a general census of all the men of
the kingdom of the age of sixteen and over, up to the age of
sixty, without distinction of the estate or rank of the individual. (fn. 7)
Some believe, however, that the object of this measure is only
to discover the number of foreigners who ordinarily sojourn
here, and especially how many French. The day before yesterday
they made a muster of 6000 infantry, which done, they
were all sent back to their homes, with orders, upon pain of
their lives, to assemble at the slightest call.
With the increase of occasions for spending the need for
money daily becomes greater. The chief industry at present of
the ministers here is to find some way of providing it. They
are contemplating putting a great increase upon all the customs
duties, and especially on wine and silk, although those are
perhaps the heaviest. The only thing left to determine is the
amount of the increase, since it is already quite decided that
the increase shall be made. This decision will certainly make
the people discontented, as they are not accustomed to have
their burdens multiplied. But it is probable that they will
find another plan for getting money out of them even more
difficult to bear which is now being put into operation.
In accordance with this plan the king is sending to the
houses of all those who are considered most flush of money
and asking them for a loan in proportion to the supposed amount
of their property, leaving them as security a privy seal with
a statement of the amount. It is said that this has been done
on previous occasions. The manner in which these demands
are made is actually in the form of an exhortation, simply, but
as the persuasions of the great in respect of inferiors and subjects
in particular, always have the force of commands and of laws,
they will be compelled to obey, however reluctant they may feel,
and they are doing so, in appearance at least, considering it
the wisest course to concede to courtesy that which they might
not be able lawfully to refuse to necessity and fear. Accordingly
for such reasons it is believed that the majority will accomodate
themselves to things which at other times they would
have boldly resisted. When things are abhorrent, in order not
to nauseate altogether the delicate stomachs of the people by
too much bitterness, it is a good plan to sugar the dose with
the sweets of utility and reason.
The ideas already reported of the urgent need that the king
feels to arm swiftly, because of insufficient security, for the
preservation of the realm and of their substance, are maintained
with increasing vigour, and this inducement easily wins the
consent of the more simple, while the others persuade themselves
that such preparations may prove sufficient means to lead this
crown into the complications of the war, and consequently
to the necessity of summoning parliament and so they submit
to every burden, and are much more tolerant than they
would otherwise be of all the above acts and operations. They
serve to point to the conclusion that these should finally
result in an open declaration in favour of the Austrian party.
Certainly, if one looks at all the preparations that are being
made there is no doubt but that they give constant reason for
suspicion, since they exceed the need, and it is impossible to
believe that the king would put himself to an expense which
he cannot keep up alone, for the mere shadow of vain jealousies ;
but if on the other hand one considers the aversion he has
always had for the meeting of parliament, and that without
having recourse to that body he cannot for long engage in costly
affairs, and that, even if it is assembled a very long time will
be required before money can be obtained in settling past
affairs before deciding about present ones, it is only reasonable
to conclude that he will not entangle himself in anything without
solid grounds, and therefore as it is only possible to guess at
what more recondite ideas and more secret aims his Majesty
may have, it behoves one to await events and to form a judgment
about the rest from what one sees (i gia divulgati concetti
della urgenza che ha il Re di trovarsi per difetta sicurezza e
conservatione del Regno e del loro sostanza celeremente armato
vanno sempre piu vigorosamente facendo sostenere ; tal alettamento
guadagna facilmente gl' animi de' piu simplici e gl'
altri persuadendosi che simili preparationi possino esser sufficienti
mezzi per condur questa corona negli imbarazzi della
guerra, e per conseguenza in necessita di convocar il parlamento,
soccombono ad ogni peso, piu toleranti assai che non
farebbero ; tutti gl' effetti e operationi predette vogliono a far
concludere generalmente che in una dichiaratione aperta a favore
del partito Austriaco, debbono li risolutioni di questa parte
terminar : e certo che se sopra le preparationi che si vedono si
vuol fermar l' occhio non e dubio che non diano sempre occasione
di sospettare, perche sono eccedenti al bisogno, ne per sole
ombre di vane gelosie si puo persuader voglia mettersi il Re in
una spesa di non poter solo continuar, ma se dell' altra parte
della aversione che egli ha sempre havuta alla unione d' parlamenti
si vuol haver riguardo e considerar che senza ricorrere
a loro non puo lungamente tenere le mani in dispendioso affare,
e che in caso anco della convocatione nel ruminare le cose passate
prima di risolver delle presenti per cavar aiuti di denaro, tempo
molto lungo gli bisognerebbe impiegare, si puo ragionevolmente
credere non vorra senza sodi fondamenti in cosa alcuna restar
impegnato, e pero mentre ne' pensieri piu reconditi e per fini
piu secrete non e possibile che per congettura potere penetrare
quala della Maesta Sua essendo veramente tali conviene rappresentarsi
a gli effetti e da cio che si vede andare il rimanente
The French ambassadors here have not yet been able to obtain
any reply to their last instances. The delays are cloaked under
the pretext of his Majesty's absence. He went away to Tibol
at the beginning of this week with a small following, and he
will stay on there until Saturday next, engaged in the pleasures
of the chase. Before his departure the Ambassador Seneterre
chanced upon an opportunity of speaking to him apart in the
queen's chamber. In passing and as if from himself, he made
some slight reference to the levy recently made by the Spaniards
in this kingdom. The king replied that he had been misinformed,
that no levies had been granted, but that they had been
allowed to raise a few recruits, by connivance rather than by
having any concession, and that these did not amount to any
considerable number. The ambassador made no reply to this.
It was enough for him to have let them know that he was
aware of the matter so as to render difficult the raising of
the remainder if it does not stop the passage of the first ones.
It is freely stated that his Majesty will not go on the usual
progress this year, because the queen is enceinte again. This
has only been announced this week, and their Majesties and
the whole Court seem extraordinarily pleased. Some think that
the king is glad to seize upon this pretext for not going far
away, so that he may be at hand for emergencies that may
arise at any moment.
Nothing is heard as yet about the nomination of a new treasurer,
although quarrels take place daily between the administrators
of the office, between the Archbishop of Canterbury
and Cottington in particular. All this redounds to his Majesty's
hurt in the end, but he does not seem to think of taking any
further steps. He inclines more and more to the Viceroy of
Ireland but the good service he receives from his ministry makes
him hesitate about removing him, so that this perplexity will
cause still further delay. As a consequence of all this Cottington
is in a serious predicament.
A few days ago his Majesty sent a gentleman to the Hague to
visit the princess, his sister, who is reported to have lain sick
of a fever for some days. (fn. 8)
I learn from the Master of the Posts at Antwerp that the
last two packets from Italy have been delayed in Lorraine and
that one has got into the hands of the Prince of Conde. I am
taking steps to recover it. I have received this week the state
despatches of the 4th and 11th May. I will continue to send
the despatches by way of France as I consider that the only
safe route under present circumstances.
London, the 13th June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
492. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident has returned after seeing the Duke of
Lorraine at Neoburgh. He called on me at once and told me
that the conference was due to the duke's desire to express his
dependence on the King of Great Britain. He had interposed his
offices on behalf of the Palatine, and the duke wished to express
his own friendly feeling and the desire of Cæsar for the restoration
of that prince. Once his nephew was re-established, of
which the duke seemed to entertain in no doubt, his Majesty
should supply a force of 10,000 foot to Germany to oppose the
operations of France. He spoke strongly against the Most
Christian. The Resident has sent all particulars to his Court
and will await their decision, although he expects little from the
duke. He told me that his king would never consent to the
Most Christian retaining Lorraine, for which his Majesty was
more concerned than for the Palatinate.
Zurich, the 16th June, 1635.
493. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
I hear that the King of England has written to thank His
Majesty for informing him about his decision to break and
congratulating him on his successes. It seems however that
at the end he intimates that he cannot help showing himself
the enemy of the Dutch (che non potra far di meno di non
dimostrarsi nemico agl' Olandesi). Owing to the sailing of the
fleet there, the necessary orders have been issued for the defence
of the coasts of Normandy and Britanny.
Paris, the 19th June, 1635.
494. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The king returned from Tibol on Saturday evening and went
straight to Greenwich, where the queen has been all the time.
So soon as the French ambassadors heard of his arrival they
energetically renewed their instances for the reply for which
they have been waiting. As this could not be postponed any
longer without increasing their reasons for offence, it was delivered
the day after, in writing, but in such terms and so
ambiguous as to contain no really substantial conclusion. Nevertheless
they wish to intimate clearly that they may, of themselves
abandon the affair, because they will not get any further declaration
from here, as their aim above everything else is to
keep in such a position that they will always be able to take
such measures as time and interest may show to be the best
and most expedient Alarmed by the noise of the military preparations
reported, although so far they consist more of rumours
than of actual facts, they take a contrary view of affairs, and believe
that the machinations of the Spaniards and the ideas which
they maintain artificially so different from the real intentions of
Spain, constantly create a stronger impression to the disadvantage
of their negotiations. However, as nothing so far has certainly
been decided in favour of one party or the other, and as they
are moving with incredible deliberation in the provision of arms
it looks as if their action here should not be taken too seriously,
the more so because if they contemplate doing something in
support of the Austrian party, present circumstances, which
are of the greatest urgency, do not permit of so much circumspection
or consideration, as the menace which seems to threaten
the Spaniards is imminent and calls for the most abundant
and speedy succour from every quarter.
Since the junction of Sciatilon with the Prince of Orange (fn. 9)
copious news arrives here at every moment of the successful
progress of their forces. The last report that they have already
entered Brussels and that the Cardinal is retiring with increasing
disorder and confusion. Although this news is not absolutely
certain, there is no doubt of this that the more astonishing it is
the more bitter the feeling it arouses in every one here, and
especially in those who take part in the government. These
according to the measure of their passions do their utmost to
suggest mischievous ideas to the king. But he, with his determination
not to humiliate himself to parliament, makes everything
else subordinate to that one idea which is fixed and rooted in
his heart. He cannot make up his mind to any decision, so
that in order to obtain some action in conformity with their
desires the only hope left to them is to see the fleet attack
that of the Most Christian, about the claims to the sovereignty
of the sea. But that will not be very easy to accomplish, because
the French avoid an encounter as much as possible, and they
are not seeking for one on this side.
In this connection, I have made every possible effort to find
out particulars of the instructions given to the General, the
Earl of Linze. I do not find that they go beyond substantially
what I have reported more than once, which is expressed in
this way, namely that the King of Great Britain, seeing that the
ships and goods of his subjects are outraged every day by all
the nations, and the sovereign dominion of this king, the lawful
patrimony of his crown, constantly disturbed and prejudiced
by such proceedings, has been moved to send forth a certain
number of ships in order to make himself respected in the future
and to preserve intact that possession which he sees disputed
without cause every day. Accordingly he gives strict orders to
his servants that when they meet with other ships, whatever
their condition and to whatever prince they may belong, they
are to make them stop, lower their flag and not allow them to
continue their voyage unless they have sent on board as a sign
of due recognition. If they will not consent to do this in a
friendly way, they must be compelled without further delay.
It may happen that in addition to these he has some other instructions,
more secret and particular, but the one who reported
the above to me, through whose hands the papers have passed,
assures me positively that he did not know of any further orders
and he did not believe that there were any.
The French ambassadors here have informed his Majesty of
the naval force assembled recently by the Most Christian, to
unite with certain Dutch ships and intimated to him that in the
future they will cruise about in these waters in conjunction
with the Dutch to secure the trade of the subjects of the two
countries. The king replied that he already had the information,
and said nothing further on the subject except to ask them how
many ships there were. Following their instructions they said
that they did not know precisely, but there might be about
twenty. This answer seems to have somewhat disconcerted his
Majesty and he could not entirely dissimulate some feeling of
apprehension. This was not so much because they had assembled
this fleet as because he had been assured that the
galleons of France amounted to forty in number, at least, and
his suspicions were aroused that the ambassadors were trying
to make him believe there were less. (fn. 10)
The merchants here say that two ships belonging to them, on
their way from Spain, encountered a portion of the French
fleet and were obliged to render them obedience. This report,
whether true or invented, has been publicly circulated at the
Court. The ministers here talk about it very heatedly and say
that if it is confirmed, his Majesty will be greatly incensed,
and it might give rise to some unfortunate incident as it is
not possible in honour to put up with so manifest an insult in
the face of a new fleet ; but as no confirmation has arrived it
is believed that the incident will not prove to have happened.
Authentic news has come of the capture near here of a small
French vessel by the Dunkirkers, but it had nothing of much
importance on board.
The ten ships from Spain which were lying in the ports here
last week with troops and money to take over to Dunkirk, have
been negotiating to assure the transport of the plate for an
outlay of 25 per cent. Considering this charge too heavy and
believing themselves sufficiently safe under the shadow of the
English fleet, which had sailed shortly before, they decided to
venture out alone. Accordingly they seized the opportunity of
a favourable wind, and without saying a word here crossed over
successfully. This incident has by no means pleased them here,
owing to the loss of the benefit which they had promised themselves.
There is a rumour at Court, on very good grounds, that the
queen mother, no longer feeling safe in Flanders, and having
no other asylum at hand, intends to come here before long.
The queen here desires it greatly and therefore I think that she
is contriving adroitly to persuade the king to invite her. He
always showed great reluctance to accede to such incitements
in the past, and he seems as disinclined as ever to interfere
in such matters. However, people think that circumstances will
compel him to agree to it in the end. It is a fact that he has
ordered remittances for 50,000 crowns to be sent to her in the
mean time. (fn. 11) This is considered a great step and may possibly
oblige him to incur even greater expenses.
The day before yesterday a gentleman arrived here sent by
the Cardinal Infant in response to the compliment paid to him
by Porter, some months ago. (fn. 12) This is actually the chief reason
for the mission, but they say he has some special and more
important charge as well. The Resident Nicolaldi, in whose
house he is staying, has sent word to the king to-day of his
arrival and arranged to present him at the audience to-morrow.
I will try to get full particulars of what they may have to
On the same day there arrived at Court also from Brussels,
M. Gerbier, his Majesty's Agent there. He brought letters to the
king, to the first secretary of state and to the general of the
fleet, but it has not yet been possible to discover what they
They have not yet come to any decision about the despatch
of Viscount Schidemore to France. Indeed it seems that the
negotiations and the discussion of so many affairs have altogether
damped it. Thus we hear nothing said either about the
departure of the ambassador selected to reside in Spain, and
so far he gives no sign of having any intention of starting on
This is the fourth week that has passed without letters from
Italy. I believe that the couriers have been detained in Lorraine.
London, the 20th June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|495. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
News of importance which reaches me at this moment, although
not very detailed or well substantiated impels me to add
these few lines. They say that yesterday morning when the
ship of Captain Cherch was about to take on board two sons
of the Earl of Pembroke to proceed to Dieppe, (fn. 13) an order reached
the Captain from the General to leave his passengers and to
proceed without delay to join the body of the fleet. This he
did promptly, but long before he could have arrived, a great
deal of gun firing was heard, which lasted a long time. From
this people argue that some encounter has taken place with the
French fleet and many assert as much with the utmost assurance.
This much I know for certain, that soon after the news reached
the Council they all immediately proceeded to Greenwich to
inform the king about it. This makes it probable that they
have other particulars better authenticated and more important.
But I have not had time to find out more and I have thought
it my duty to forward this slight information until I have
an opportunity of reporting on better authority.
London, the 20th June, 1635.
496. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague,
to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman has arrived here sent by the King of England
to visit the Princess Palatine, (fn. 14) who has kept her bed for two
months with a tertian fever, very weak and distressed. As the
gentleman has no other commissions he is only awaiting a
favourable wind to return.
The Hague, the 21st June, 1635.
497. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
While people were talking with the utmost lack of reserve
about the encounter of their ships with the fleet of the Most
Christian, because of the information received, and were awaiting
news of the event with anxious curiosity, word came yesterday
morning which explained the whole matter. It seems that
the manifestations which were supposed to indicate stress and
conflict were really nothing else than joyful signals of friendship
and impediments to the plundering and rapine of others. It is
also reported that General Linze being warned that a considerable
fleet of sail was advancing in his direction, in order to
be well prepared for all emergencies which might arise, sent
with all speed to some ships which were separated from the
body of the fleet, to rejoin him without delay, and this was
why Capt. Cherch was recalled. This was the original source
of the alarm and confusion reported. The reason for the firing
which was heard soon after was this. Some Dunkirk ships,
having sighted a small Dutch one which was sailing away from
them as fast as it could go, set off in chase of it, and pursued
it, firing many shots, but always at long range, right up
to Dover castle, in which port the Dutch vessel took refuge.
When it was approaching the port and the pursuers still continued
the chase and tried to make the capture. Those of the
fortress and two English ships which were in the Downs,
could not suffer such violence to be done under their very
eyes, and full of indignation at the lack of respect shown by
the Dunkirkers to the ports and arms of their king, resisted
their attempt and firing their guns frequently compelled the
Dunkirkers to withdraw.
The sails sighted from afar had in the mean time drawn
near the fleet and when they came near were immediately
recognised as ships of the King of Denmark on the return voyage
from the Indies. The salutes exchanged added to the number
and duration of the shots fired and so served to give credit to
the rumour, already in circulation, of a fight with the French,
and report made the news fly to the king, and being confirmed
to him by the Council, moved him to display clear signs of the
greatest displeasure. Probably as a result of his belief in this
report, he has, so they say, instructed the General to avoid as
much as possible occasions for similar encounters, and to this
end he is to sail with the fleet out of the Strait, without
delay and to withdraw to a position where he may easily allow
the French to cruise without it being necessary to approach
In this way then the uncertainty has been resolved and the
fears dispelled upon this incident, with peculiar satisfaction
to his Majesty but much more to the relief of the French ambassadors
here, who from so extraordinary a beginning foresaw
a succession of prolonged and most troublesome difficulties.
From this account of the circumstances of the case your Excellencies
will be able to understand all that I have been able
to discover in the matter up to the present.
Men speak with more and more certainty of the coming of
the queen mother, indeed they say that the Princess Margaret
of Lorraine is to come too. The French ambassadors say nothing
in private on the subject, nor have they as yet broached
the question with the ministers here, so that if the king makes
any sign of consenting there is no doubt but that both of them
will appear here before long.
The gentleman sent from Flanders by the Cardinal Infant
to pay his respects to his Majesty was admitted to audience
yesterday together with the Resident Nicolaldi, and was received
by both their Majesties with great courtesy. His office
was performed in a few words and consisted purely of compliments.
It is said that he will see the King tomorrow in private,
and will set before him some other special commissions.
But it may be matter of slight moment as the Spaniards suffer
from no lack of negotiators here, who have ample influence and
are very active.
The Agent of the Duke of Savoy (fn. 15) arrived in this city two days
ago. I reported to your Excellencies some weeks ago that he
was expected here to stay as ordinary Resident. He gives the
impression of being a person of some credit and experience. He
has brought with him his wife, children and all his household.
He will not present himself to the king before Monday. From
what I gather, there will be no renewal of the attempt to get
recognition of the titles, as the Ambassador extraordinary San
Germano exerted himself to the utmost on this question without
London, the 22nd June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
498. Giovanni Battista Ballarino and Antonio Antelmi,
Venetian Secretaries in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
This Court is anxious for peace, but France is not likely
to agree to one without great advantages, especially if the
alliance with England takes place. They are anxiously awaiting
the issue of that affair here and of the negotiations of the French
ambassadors in London. Bavaria above all fears the union
of their forces, because of the Palatinate, which might induce
the King of England to join the French and the Dutch. Moreover
the Sieur di Sciarbonera has intimated that his king will
never consent to this peace unless it is a general one for the
Protestants. Cæsar declares that this point would prejudice
his reputation too much. On the other hand the House of
Austria will never abandon the interests of Lorraine.
Vienna, the 23rd June, 1635.
499. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Count of Sisa, who has come in the capacity of Resident
of the Duke of Savoy, had his first audience of the king at
Greenwich last Sunday. His office consisted in expressions of
devoted friendship on the part of the duke, and a desire for
mutual correspondence. His Highness desired nothing but peace
and quiet to secure which he would employ every possible
means. The king replied graciously, thanking the duke, and
the Resident then took leave. He then proposed to present
himself to the queen, as had been arranged, but found that she
had gone to bed, having been taken with pains in the head
shortly before. So the function was postponed until the Tuesday
following, which was yesterday. The queen then received
him with superabundant terms of friendship, asked to see his
wife and after the compliments had been paid they continued
in long and familiar conversation, as they had many particulars
to report in the name of the duchess, her sister. To day
the Count has begun to pay the usual visits at the Court,
but as yet no time has been appointed for him to see the
king privately. He circulates a report that it was originally
intended that he should have the character of ambassador,
but in order that he might treat freely with the other ministers
of princes the duke had decided not to appoint him in that
capacity for the moment. It is not known whether the post
of Resident seems to him beneath his dignity as a Count. The
report is an intimation that if he succeeds in gaining some
advantage in the matter of the duke's claims, he would take
the rank of ambassador. From what has already happened
this Court is not likely to agree to any innovation.
Yesterday I saw the Ambassador Seneterre, who asked me
earnestly if I had any news of Italy. I told him that it was
now a month since I had heard from that province, as my
letters had been detained in France. He promised to do what
he could for their recovery. He afterwards informed me that
although the results of his negotiations left him with less and
less hope yet he had received orders to keep the affair alive
anyhow, in order by such means to have an opportunity always
at hand and the facility of opposing and countermining the
machinations of the Spaniards, who do not neglect to employ
all their arts to commit this Crown in some manner to the
support of their interests, using the most subtle inventions
imaginable. For this purpose he would have to stay here longer
than he expected or wished. He told me further that the
gentleman sent here by the Cardinal Infant had a very long
conference the day before yesterday with the secretary Vindebanch,
at which Nicolaldi was present, but he had not succeeded
in finding out anything about what they discussed,
although he had tried hard.
We went on afterwards to discuss the affairs of Flanders.
He told me that the news from that province now reached here
so confused and garbled by men's prejudices that he did not
know what he could believe as authentic seeing that he had
received no fresh particulars. Nevertheless from all that was
said, he could not help being persuaded of the defeat of five
regiments and of six companies of Spanish cavalry in the
neighbourhood of Louvain, the more so because he had noticed
that some of the supporters of that party at Court were very
despondent and dashed. Following upon this it is stated quite
boldly that the remainder of their infantry was soon afterwards
almost completely routed and dispersed, but I would not venture
to assert this as a fact to your Excellencies as under existing
circumstances, if no special courier arrives, it is very difficult
by way of the ordinary ones to arrive at the truth of things,
even late. Here in the mean time they seem to watch closely
all that is happening, while they keep things moving to show
themselves vigilant and to keep the French in some apprehension.
They are proceeding with the census of all the men of the
kingdom and they have called out the ordinary musters throughout
the country, while orders have been issued to all the gentry
(cavalieri) to appear at the beginning of next month at a place a
few miles from London, armed and on horseback. But all
these things are mere demonstrations which are confined to
appearances alone and in the end mean nothing essential.
The twelve royal ships which were to be all ready by the
middle of the present month to join the fleet, are not yet
equipped, and they proceed so slowly because they foresee that
the fleet may not sail again during the present season. Nevertheless
the fleet has received orders to assemble in the Downs
in the confident expectation that while they are stationed there
in such a position, the French ships will not make up their
minds to approach in order to avoid disagreeable incidents,
which might occur, and consequently trade will remain perfectly
secure. But it hardly seems likely that this will be the result,
because the French are molested daily by the Dunkirkers, who
have already taken more than forty small boats of theirs, and
they find themselves in the necessity of making good the loss
and of avenging the insult.
The outcry of the people since the Treasurer's death, has
become so loud and so general against those who had the monopoly
of making soap, that the king, recognising their fraud,
has revoked the privilege although they offered him 40,000l.
sterling a year. (fn. 16) This has afforded quite indescribable satisfaction
to the people. All bless the king's justice and sincerity,
and now the obstacle of the Treasurer's interests is removed
they promise themselves ever greater satisfaction in all
London, the 27th June, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
500. Piero Foscarini, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople,
to the Doge and Senate.
A son was born to the English ambassador some weeks ago and
he asked me to be godfather. I expressed my appreciation
of the honour and consented, as I was told I could do so
without sin. The Jesuits have tried to make trouble over the
matter according to their habit. Following the practice of the
country I made a small present to the ambassadress.
About two weeks ago an English ship, the "Parangona" Captain
Jona d'Ardes, arrived here, hired by the agents of Jacob
Franco, a Jew living here. After leaving Venice it touched at
Ancona and bought 250 cases of steel bearing the seals of the
Ufficio dell' Uscita, weighing 2½ tons, one consigned to an English
merchant, Thomas Bresfort, with a quantity of pepper and cinnamon.
It also brought from Ancona 136 double bales of paper
and cases of cloth for the English merchant. I am astonished
at the privilege enjoyed by the English, which is not allowed
to subjects of your Serenity, to trade in the Levant under the
pretence of sending goods to Ancona. I remember that some
eloquent senators have advocated universal freedom of trade,
without persuading their colleagues. I may add that the English
devote their attention to depriving our people of the little trade
that remains to them in the mart of Constantinople, as they
imitate Venetian cloth and make borders after the Venetian manner ;
they also have plates and wheels sent from their country,
and although there is no market for these, it shows that they
are trying to imitate everything and to despoil our merchants of
all the trade they have left.
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th June, 1635.
501. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of what the Resident of England in
Switzerland said to our secretary there about a meeting between
himself and the Duke of Lorraine. You will use this
for information and to discover if any decision has been taken
in this matter, but you must be careful not to prejudice in
any way the confidence shown by the Resident.
We have received no letters from you this week. We are the
more anxious to have the results of your fruitful industry because
of the impending junction of the French and Dutch forces,
and of the advantage to the latter of a victory, as well as
for other designs.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
502. To the Syndics, Avogadori and Inquisitors in the
Order to deal with and dispatch as summarily as possible the
controversies in which the English merchant Hide is involved,
by reason of his trade in the islands of Zante and Cephalonia,
which it has been decided to refer to them, proceeding in accordance
with justice and affording him all proper protection,
because he is recommended by the English ambassador and
because of the advantage to the state of his transactions.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
503. Giovanni Battista Ballerino, Venetian Secretary in
Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The fear of an alliance of the French with England has vanished
away here, indeed they hope that the king there may
supply help to the House of Austria. The news is received here
with great satisfaction and makes them hope at last for some
successes in that quarter.
Vienna, the 30th June, 1635.