629. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident here told me that he did not think his
master would unite with France as the French are indifferent and
say that England thinks nothing of the Palatinate. But the
Princess Palatine asserts that she is perfectly certain that the
Prince Elector will leave content and that the king will hazard
his own kingdom to re-establish his nephew in his dominions.
Their High Mightinesses are making representations that his
Majesty should begin to forbid the transport of provisions to
Flanders, of which the Spaniards receive a great quantity from
England. The Dutch merchants have such interest in this that
without a thought for the state they compete in sending foodstuffs
to England and from thence to Dunkirk. The States are
aware of it and do not know what to say. Great scarcity was
being felt in the enemy Provinces, but with this way open,
they have everything in abundance.
The Hague, the 3rd April, 1636.
630. To the Ambassador in England.
Commendation of the action taken by him to controvert the
things put abroad by Panzani in the matter of the eulogy. To
continue this course so that every one may be convinced of the
just cause of complaint that the republic has in this question.
Ayes, 71. Noes, 4. Neutral, 5.
631. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Count Palatine, in despair at the last news from Vienna
has asked the king to take some decisive step which would serve
to keep up his hopes, so much cast down by the replies received.
He demonstrated how the arts of the Spaniards were
devoted to spinning things out. Although they had decided not
to move a step before they had heard what the Aulic Councillor
had to propose, these representations of the Palatine moved the
king to resume discussion of the matter in the Council, with
the firm intention of deciding on something for his satisfaction.
They met and after considering Caesar's demand for a person
with full powers they have decided to direct the Earl of Arundel
to get ready at once to set off to that Court within two weeks
at most in the capacity of ambassador extraordinary, in order
to obtain an open reply from the emperor as they are tired
of being put off with ambiguities. Meanwhile, in order to create
the impression that if they do not obtain a satisfactory reply
they think of trying some other way, they are beginning to
collect troops, and they have directed all those who enjoy ecclesiastical
goods to get together the men they are bound to maintain,
and have them ready at the king's disposition. When they are
assembled his Majesty himself means to review them and they
say that all together they will form' a corps of more than 12,000
This will delay the negotiations of the French ambassadors,
as it will be necessary to wait for the result of so solemn a
function as Lord Arundel's mission. Many bring themselves
to believe that under this pressure the Austrians will give some
satisfaction, perceiving that they would not have committed
themselves so far if they did not mean to see the thing through.
But all the negotiations will gain time for the Spaniards, at
least in the present season, which is a considerable point for
their immediate interests. The haste with which the Earl proposes
to proceed to Germany and the eagerness with which he
announces his intention to negotiate are not considered sufficient
to arrive in sight of the end of an affair of such consequence
in a short time. The Palatine takes courage and hopes that
things will take a favourable turn and that such an important
step must lead to results greatly to his advantage. He went
at once to thank his Majesty, who received him with tender
affection. All these indications go to make it likely that they
are beginning to speak seriously. Even those very persons who
have always held back good resolutions are beginning to speak
sharply, saying that once they have seen to outcome of this embassy
they will lose no time in carrying into effect what may
be considered proper for the re-establishment of the Palatine
family in the possession of their dominions, whether it be by
negotiation or by the sword, and it does not matter which of
the two it may be. But this sudden ferocity does not impress
every one in the same way. Those who are willing to shut their
eyes and not look beneath the surface, believe in it thoroughly,
but those who take the trouble to penetrate to the quick cannot
feel any assurance that they mean to follow any course
in this affair but that of negotiation. The Spaniards are well
aware of this, and set about to confuse the issue by their subtleties,
so as to make it go on for ever, unless they can make, a
settlement with the utmost advantage to themselves.
The Dutch ambassador extraordinary had his first audience
publicly last Sunday, in which he performed no offices except compliments.
On Wednesday he had another special one, at which he
made the most ample offers to do all in the power of his
masters for the interests of the Palatine family ; but he did not
treat of this or any other business particularly, because this
second function was destined for the presentation of the gifts
which he brought for the king in his masters' name. He
gave the king seven very fine horses ; a clock set in a mirror
of excellent workmanship, and five or six pictures of exquisite
craft. He gave the queen a large piece of ambergris and a
casquet of mother of pearl, full of very fine linen and work
of Flanders, everything being received with particular gratifification. (fn. 1)
On the day following he called upon me here and we exchanged
compliments. I promised to do all in my power to further his
negotiations. This pleased him greatly. From what he said
his mission will be chiefly concerned with the situation at sea
and with the question of the fisheries, although he will also
discuss with them matters concerning the common cause.
He brought special orders from the Prince of Orange to all the
officers of the States, now here, who came with the Palatine
brothers, to return to their posts without delay, and they obeyed
forthwith. The Court likes this solicitude, because it confirms
Joachimi's assurances that they are no longer thinking of negotiations
for a truce.
I was not able to see the new Lord Treasurer before last
Saturday. He apologised to the French ambassadors and me
for not receiving us before, because he was so busy at his entry
into office. He was much pleased at my assurances of your
Excellencies' esteem, because your regard for his Majesty made
you esteem those who are dearest to him. He assured me that
from his earliest years he has professed a sincere devotion for
the most serene republic, and now he hopes he will be able to
show it by deeds. He is certainly a man of great integrity, not
fanatical for any party. This is a valuable characteristic not
usually found nowadays in any one.
The ministers here are at last satisfied with respect to the,
reported negotiations between your Serenity and the Spaniards.
Some of them told me as much explicitly assuring me that his
Majesty is very pleased about it. From this one may surmise
that they are uneasy over the good fortune of the Spaniards,
although on the other hand the Spaniards daily derive a thousand
advantages from this quarter.
I enclose the book of Grotius entitled "Mare Liberum," though
I imagine you will have it, but I thought it necessary because
you considered the other that I sent worthy of your attention.
In the state despatches of the 7th ult. I have the bill of
lading of the pistols to consign to the Persian merchant. When
he comes I will not fail to carry out your orders.
London, the 4th April, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered]
632. That when the Ambassador of the King of Great
Britain comes into the Collegio, the following be read to him :
The republic has the interests of English merchants as much
at heart as those of her own subjects, especially those merchants
recommended by your lordship. But in order to profit by this
disposition the merchant Hider must express himself clearly
and not in generalities, so that we may be able to do all that
is possible, in justice, to gratify him as we wish. Your lordship
will see what has been done for the merchant Obson, and we
shall do all in our power to make it easy for him to obtain
Ayes, 79. Noes, 2. Neutral, 0.
633. To the Ambassador in England.
We forward you a copy from the despatch of the Resident
Ballarino about the despatch to the English Court of the Councillor
Radolti in place of Verteman, in case this information has
not reached you ; and also of what the ambassador in Spain
reports about the designs of the Catholic for an alliance with
England, and the action of the English ambassador with respect
to the negotiations for peace with the Dutch. We send these
for information and to help you to penetrate into the essentials
of these transactions.
We enclose a copy of the office of the English ambassador
about Hider, Obson and other English merchants, so that you
may be able to answer if the king or any of the ministers refers
to the subject. With regard to the petition of Hider in particular
you will show how insubstantial it is, contrary to all good order
and to every sound rule of justice, and that it cannot be considered
unless Hider puts his requests into a proper shape.
Ayes, 79. Noes, 2. Neutral, 0.
634. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The king is urging the immediate departure of the Earl of
Arundel for Vienna. He wants him to leave before the Spanish
ambassador, whom they expect to arrive very soon, and that he
shall find the earl out of the kingdom as well as away from
Court, fearing perhaps that he will alter or prolong by some
artifice this function which is thought so necessary. In obedience
to his Majesty's commands the earl is busy over his preparations
and expects to start in two days. He will go straight
to Holland, as he has to stay some days at the Hague to inform
the Princess Palatine in his Majesty's name of the cause of his
despatch. I have been told in confidence by one through whose
hands his commissions passed that their sole impulse is the
determination to know on good grounds the real intentions of
the emperor in the matter of the Palatine ; they are confined to
this and say nothing about proposals, protests or anything else
beyond generalities and compliments.
When the knowledge of these commissions reached the ears
of the Prince Palatine, and on his being informed that the decision
was taken by Arundel's own advice, he showed very strong
feeling, as it seemed to him that with all the noise of this move
they were not proposing to go any further than in the past.
He remarked very freely that Arundel only encouraged this decision
and got the appointment for himself in order to have the
direction of the affair in his own hands so as to keep up the
usual irresolution and in this way satisfy his own private sympathiies,
which he knew were always guided by the interests of his
own house in particular, and that as a general rule he avoids anything
that will serve or please the great (si alontana dal
servitio o dalle sodisfaltioni de'Grandi). These words, spoken
by the prince with great frankness and scant regard for who
might hear them, were very speedily reported to the earl. He
took great offence and remonstrated strongly with the Palatine,
informing the king with much warmth of the reason for his
sentiments. He protests that these would not have prejudiced
his loyal and sincere discharge of his office, even if his Majesty
did not excuse him from it, as he earnestly besought him to do.
The king, for personal considerations, did not think fit to agree
to this and so the earl is to leave in two days. He will go
with no goodwill and with scant satisfaction of the Court,
which forms strange judgments at seeing him depart so dissatisfied.
They think that this mission will have the same results
as the others, and certainly if the negotiations are limited to the
single point mentioned, they cannot expect much better fruit.
The king somewhat regrets the outbreak of his nephew, but
he dissimulates in order not to increase his dissatisfaction. The
prince, on the other hand cannot conceal his feelings even in
his own interests. He made a sudden and violent demonstration
to the king of his fears and jealousies, urging him hard, while
they are waiting for Caesar's declarations to order the Earl of
Northumberland to harass the Spanish ships or make some
hostile demonstration against them. The king refused this utterly,
it being unsatisfactory to him as too resolute and contrary to his
aims but he promised to satisfy his nephew in his own way.
The prince, however, is not satisfied, and now seems very sad,
as one hopeless of any good result. He speaks with great freedom
and lets it be understood that he means to return to Holland
The ardour of youth, spurred on by interest, and without
listening to good advice, are beginning to lead this prince into
unsafe ways. If he continues to follow them he will soon ruin
all his affairs, as they have not such deep roots that they cannot
be thrown down by any slight shock. Yet his Majesty continues
to show every desire to please him ; but he has become impatient
and cannot settle down to wait for the issue of such slow affairs
since he has got it firmly into his head that the Spaniards mean
to deceive, while here they do not think or care to expose the
rottenness, because they must know full well that to make the
Spaniards change their behaviour there is no way more certain
than the sword.
The day before yesterday the Earl of Leicester was appointed
ambassador extraordinary to France, with instructions to start
soon. It is stated that he is to forward negotiations on behalf
of the Palatine. The Court is surprised at the step and cannot
see that there is any hope of good results, but if this means
the exchange of Lorraine for the Palatinate, Scudamore has
already been answered on that point. The French will be better
entitled now to await the result of Arundel's mission than when
they could only allege a mere courier's journey. Some think
that the king here wishes to alarm the emperor in this way ;
others that he will appoint Leicester ambassador in ordinary in
place of Scudamore, who has given scant satisfaction ; a few
days will show.
They also talk of an embassy extraordinary for Spain, and
Arundel is canvassing it, saying that to arrange anything with
the emperor it is necessary to have the good will of the Spaniards
and to be ready to ratify the adjustment with them so far
as they are directly concerned.
The Dutch ambassador extraordinary has begun his negotiations.
He asks that the Dutch fishermen may not be prevented
from following their avocation in the seas of Scotland by the
British fleet. The Secretary Coke went to him yesterday to propose
that if the Dutch would acknowledge British supremacy
in these seas and pay so much a year for each fishing boat,
the king would guarantee them against the Dunkirkers or any
others, and would do the same for their merchantmen. The
ambassador objected to this saying that they have hitherto had
the royal protection for nothing and if the king claims the
dominion of these seas he ought to render them safe for all
flags, and he trusted that the Dutch would be covered by the
shadow of the royal protection without paying more than others
had to pay. The secretary replied that the Dutch derive more
profit from the seas than others and so they ought not to marvel
at the king exacting some acknowledgment. The ambassador
would not commit himself but promised to write. When this
matter has once been fairly launched it is believed that they
will take in hand the affair of the Indies, which has been pending
such a long time amid the most complicated difficulties, but it
will be no easy matter to bring it to a conclusion.
The ambassador has got a coach and is seeking a house, so
his stay is not expected to be so very brief. The Resident
Nicolaldi watches his actions closely and yesterday had a long
audience of the king. The matter of it has not transpired.
The ships have returned which convoyed the money from Spain
to Dunkirk. They say that another considerable sum has arrived
and he may have asked for its safe transport.
The good news which arrived from Holland this week about the
hopes of the speedy recovery of the fort of Schench Scans, was
communicated to his Majesty by the Dutch ambassadors themselves.
He was not sorry to hear it, as the fear that necessity
may drive those Provinces to conclude a truce induces them for
the moment to rejoice at all Dutch successes.
London, the 11th April, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
635. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England to
the Doge and Senate.
In spite of the incident reported the Earl of Arundel is determined
to set out to his post without further delay. He wished
first to come to this embassy to show his devotion to the republic.
In proof of this he told me in great confidence and I believe
with sincerity, the reasons for his going which are the same
as I reported. He confirmed that his commissions only contain
generalities, but he has more secret orders from his Majesty
and powers not only to enter into negotiations but to conclude what
he considers to be for the service of the Palatine and the honour
of this crown. When I sounded him adroitly he disclosed to me
that the king was resolved, once for all to get at the truth
of the emperor's intentions about his nephews, and then to make
demands and reduce them subsequently to fair limits. He would
insist on the restitution and investiture of the Lower Palatinate,
and on the death of Bavaria would treat about the rest, giving
an electoral vote for the Upper Palatinate. As the restitution
of the Lower Palatinate does not depend entirely on the emperor,
since the Spaniards hold a good part, who would not choose to
give it up and claim considerable sums for its custody, the king
means to propose a general peace so that under the cover of
it the Palatine may be able to enjoy quietly the possession
of his dominions, while he himself is relieved of the burden
of any other obligation whatsoever. He is certainly determined
not to commit himself to any occasion for strife, so that it may
be readily inferred that all these strenuous movements have nothing
vigorous about them except the appearance, since fundamentally
their sole aim is peace. Apparently they are indifferent
to the consideration that the hopes of the advantages to be derived
from it are very remote. Accordingly if the Palatine
sees to the bottom of their real intentions and shows some resentment,
those who feel some sympathy for his passions may
not be so very reprehensible.
On taking leave of me the earl spoke of acting in concert
with the Venetian minister at Vienna and expressed the hope that
he might have instructions to help the peace negotiations if they
progressed favourably. He then spoke very fulsomely about the
regard of his family for the Signory, fomented by the great
favours received by himself personally and also by his wife,
when she made a long stay there. He seemed most eager to see
the city again on his return privately, in order to prove to
your Excellencies the reality of his devotion. I replied that
he could not go anywhere where he would be received with more
regard. This ended our conference. As I have said before it
shows that their peaceful thoughts here will not be moved from
their natural bent for any events that may occur, and there is
no hope of seeing any change whatever in the manner in which
the machinery of the present government is conducted.
London, the 11th April, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
636. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague,
to the Doge and Senate.
Beveren reports his first negotiations in London. He says
that any disposition they may have felt to declare themselves
has been weakened exceedingly by the proposals of Caesar, which
are all directed to waste time. And it seems that the English are
playing the very game which the Imperialists desire by the
nomination of an ambassador to Vienna. This shows the confidence
they place in the Austrians and will doubtless serve
to keep things going until the season has passed, which is just
what the Austrians want. The Princess Palatine told me that
the Earl of Arundel had always shown himself a Spanish partisan.
She laments her misfortunes, saying that she perceives
that the Austrians will certainly beguile her brother. She feels
strongly that if, under present circumstances when all the
world is at war, she does not receive the restitution of her dominions,
it is useless to think about it any more. She is all
but desperate and every one feels sympathy for her. In spite
of all this England enjoys great prestige at the moment, because
she is arming, and the Austrians, the French and these Provinces
are alarmed and the one side is as eager as the other to win
her. But if the Austrians mock her again this time and she does
not resent it she will undoubtedly lose this prestige, and all
esteem and credit.
Eighty ships passed from England to Dunkirk some days ago,
laden with wheat, wine and other goods.
The Hague, the 17th April, 1636.
637. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 21st ult. with the news
of the appointment of the Bishop of London as Treasurer.
We feel sure that you will have congratulated him, but in order
that the office may be more emphatic you are to perform it again
in the name of the Senate expressing our satisfaction at the
appointment of a person of so much worth. We commend your
reply about the reported alliance of this state with the Spaniards.
You will continue in the same way to divert the sinister impressions
created by those who spread reports without foundation.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 0. Neutral, 6.
638. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
Last Tuesday the Earl of Arundel took leave of the king and
of the Palatine brothers on his way to Holland and thence to
the Imperial Court, with all speed. He is accompanied by
Rusdorf, the Palatine's chief Councillor, who is to supply him
with the necessary information. To satisfy his nephew the
king desired that to the written instructions which the earl
takes with him there should be distinctly added the particulars
touching the faculty which he freely gives him orally to negotiate
and establish some arrangement which may be of service to his
nephew and honourable to his crown. The king further straitly
charged the earl to press for a decision from the emperor and
to assure him that any delay would be considered as a decided
negative ; but with all this the Palatine does not seem content.
He complains, indeed more bitterly than ever of his bad fortune,
and he seems to repent that he ever decided to come to this
kingdom and that he did not take the advice of the Prince of
Orange, who counselled him against doing so, predicting exactly
what has happened. He asserts that he really did not want to
come but was obliged to do so in order not to offend his mother.
Accordingly he again states with the utmost freedom that if,
while the ambassadors are talking, they do not make some move
against the Spaniards, no one will be able to persuade him that
his interests are of any account here.
His depression is increased by the news received this week
of the idea of excluding him from the treaty of peace with
Sweden, under the plea that he was under the ban before the
Swedes entered Germany, whereas the Duke of Wirtemberg and
the Margrave of Baden, who are included with other Swedish
partisans, misbehaved themselves subsequently. In addition to
this the Duke of Bavaria steadily asserts that he will not agree
to the restitution of any portion of what he holds in the
Lower Palatinate. As he definitely holds Heidelberg there, the
place with which the electoral dignity goes, and as, only a few
months ago, he got a great part of the remainder to swear
fealty, including Frankenthal and other places guarded by the
Spaniards, it is calculated that nothing remains at the emperor's
disposal, so that his last promises to Teller practically amount to
nothing, and all the time spent will have been simply thrown
away. But all the hopes which rest upon the Earl of Arundel
are confined to this alone that he may be able to produce in a
satisfactory way a general peace. He assured me at his departure
that to forward this he would gladly devote all the energy of his
offices, and would leave nothing untried, well knowing that if
anything good is to be expected in addition from his negotiations
it must be drawn from that wellspring, every other resource
being subject to countless difficulties and obstacles. Such ideas
are already circulating at Court and are pleasant hearing for
the Spaniards giving them solid grounds to confirm the belief
that they are in no danger of molestation from this quarter,
and that they are sure to have the advantage of the present
season in their favour.
They have not yet decided on the instruction to be given
to the earl of Leicester, and nothing is heard of the appointment
of anyone else for Spain. Nicolaldi has sent the ships to Spain
for the new ambassador who is expected in a few days, possibly
thinking that this may hasten the sending of the embassy extraordinary
from here to Madrid, which is supposed to be delayed
merely for the sake of hearing his proposals. In the midst
of all this stir the French ambassadors have dropped their
negotiations, being obliged to stand and watch the effect of
these new moves. The Dutch ambassadors at their last audience
offered their fleet to help the king's against the Spaniards in aid
of the Princes Palatine. The king neither accepted nor rejected
their offer, but desired them to put it in writing. In reply
to the Secretaries Coke and Windebank, who spoke to them
again about the payment of an annual tribute from the Dutch
fishermen, they stated that if other difficulties could be overcome,
it must at least be inserted among the first clauses that
the king shall bind himself to indemnify the fishermen against
all loss from their enemies, as otherwise it would be more advantageous
for the Dutch to employ the tribute money in keeping
a fleet of their own on whose constant assistance they could
safely rely. But they will not hear of such a thing here, saying
that they will be so powerful at sea that every one will have
to bow to their will. So it is expected that the matter will
drag out to great length, will fall through or will result in
some serious incident.
The individual who was to have gone to Rome to reside there
as agent for the queen, (fn. 2) has ended his days after a long illness.
They will choose some one else in his place. Sig. Panzani is
very busy over this, and the king seems ready to consent to
it as well as to receive a new secular agent, whom his Holiness
will send here shortly. All this does not happen without exciting
much comment and talk, everyone's opinion being guided by
personal feeling and by interest. The generality are certainly
exceedingly irate, as it seems to them that the steps taken in
every direction are leading to a complete change of system.
Owing to this his Majesty's Court is seen to become constantly
poorer, and the few who frequent it are mostly Scots ; all the
greatest nobles of this realm, in despair of ever seeing parliament
called, keep away as much as possible.
The Ambassador Douglas, after having received orders not to
exercise his office any more, has died suddenly in Pomerania,
while on his way back to England. (fn. 3)
Gordon writes from Danzig confirming the resolution of the
King of Poland to marry the Palatine princess. For this purpose
he says that he is to return to this Court, and he will
travel with Zaraschi, who is coming with the title of ambassador
for the same end. When they arrive they will certainly be
welcome as the whole Court desires the conclusion of that affair
with the utmost eagerness.
Orders have been sent to the English agent at Hamburg to
proceed to Denmark, so that, for the service of the common cause,
the king there may charge all his representatives in Germany to
act in concert with those of this country. This serves to confirm
what I said before that all their hopes of doing anything for
the advantage of the Palatine are based upon a peace.
I have received no despatches from the state either this week
London, the 18th April, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered]
639. Stefano Capello, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to
the Doge and Senate.
When I was expecting a polacca of the English merchant
Hyde back from Crete, laden with wheat, news came that it had
been robbed by Mainotti in the port of Vitullo, who carried off
2500 reals belonging to that merchant. I cannot express my
distress at the loss of this eagerly expected succour.
Zante, the 10th April, 1636, old style.
640. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
M. de la Perte, son of the Ambassador Seneter, has started
for England with royal despatches to congratulate their Majesties
on the birth of their daughter, and it is thought, with some
more secret commissions to the ambassadors there. The English
minister here, however, complains of making no progress with
Paris, the 22nd April, 1636.
641. Francesco Mtohiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague,
to the Doge and Senate.
Beveren writes from London that the king informed him of
the sailing of the fleet, for the purpose of keeping the sea
free which belongs to him. The secretaries of state insisted on
the question of possession and drew his attention to the book
"Mare Clausum." This claim has created a great commotion,
as the action cannot fail to encourage the Austrians. The Prince
remarked to me that England is full of ill will and in speaking
about convoying ships they mean to indicate that they will
always help the Spanish ships, as they have done in the past.
He told me further that it was not a time to think of a union
but rather of being in readiness to defend their own rights, as
there was every sign of disturbance and discord. He exclaimed
that it all arose from the offices of the Spaniards, who have
acquired such great influence with that government. The English
have become aware of what has taken place and are getting
their minister to announce that the king has no other object
than to give help and to render all ships safe, without speaking
about dominion over the sea, declaring that the secretaries, who
speak French badly, did not know how to express themselves.
The Princess Palatine, the earl of Arundel who arrived two
days ago, and Bosuel the Resident all say the same. But the
wound is there and to heal it the Earl of Arundel announces
that he is being sent with all speed to Vienna to receive Caesar's
final decisions; and if these are not satisfactory his king is resolved
to break with the House of Austria. The earl has refused
all ceremonies, saying that he is only passing through ; but he
had a complimentary audience in the Assembly.
The Hague, the 24th April, 1636.
642. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The only negotiations this week worthy of remark are those
with the Dutch ambassadors about their proposed alliance. They
have been busy over this with all good will but scant hope of a
favourable conclusion. The Dutch repeated their proposals in
writing, to oblige his Majesty, about a junction of the fleets, to
strike a notable blow against the Spaniards and compel them to
listen to reason about the Palatinate. After examining this
suggestion the royal Council has answered unanimously with
thanks, but adding that as the king has no reason to be dissatisfied
with Spain either on account of his nephews or for any
other cause, he did not see how he could bring himself to
take such severe measures against her unless she gave provocation.
That with respect to the matter of the Palatinate, of which
the Spaniards held a certain portion, he proposed to address
himself directly to the emperor, who has absolute powers of
investiture. If he cannot obtain justice in this way, he will
claim to have received an affront. He feels persuaded that if
the emperor proceeds to grant the investiture, that which remains
in the hands of the Spaniards will be promptly restored.
If this does not prove to be so, that will be the time for
action and revenge. This is not the moment for taking so
resolute a step without occasion, by which, instead of gaining any
advantage, everything might be upset and thrown into confusion.
The ambassadors seemed ill pleased with this style of talking
although they may not have expected anything different. They
say that it does not correspond in any respect to the goodwill
and sincerity shown by their masters they consider it most
strange and novel that they chose to separate and distinguish
in this case "the interests of the emperor from those of the
Spaniards, when everyone knows that they are identical. They
conclude that there is no intention to take any action in the
matter by arms at any time, whatever appearances there may be
to the contrary, when they refuse such a favourable opportunity
of doing against Spain what it is impossible to do at any time
against the emperor, where the distance of his states, the inconvenience
of transporting troops, the expense and the length
of time will always render action difficult. Accordingly as the
ambassadors have repeated the same office both orally and in
writing it is not thought that they will take any further steps
as the answer has taken away all their hopes of being able to
arrange anything of value. The affair of the fishermen also
remains dormant in its original condition, and one does not
see what compromise will suffice to settle it to the equal satisfaction
of the parties.
There is a report among the merchants, though on slender
authority, that the Duke of Bavaria is dead. It has at least
raised the spirits of the Court and the ministers are trying to
find out its origin, as if true it may be necessary to send fresh
instructions to Arundel, and they will not consign to the earl of
Leicester his despatch before fresh news arrives from Germany.
They say that a ship has been sent to Dunkirk to fetch the
emperor's Aulic Councillor, who is expected. Some think it has
gone to bring money; but I have not been able to find confirmation
of either report.
Yesterday the vice admiral's ship, foundered unexpectedly when
proceeding to join the rest of the fleet, causing the death of
more than twenty four persons and the loss of all the munitions
and goods on board. The disaster is attributed to the age of
the ship. (fn. 4) Some say the loss was designed. However that
may be, his Majesty is very sorry for it, not only for the
loss of the ship, considerable in itself, but because the accident
will delay for some days the sailing of the other ships, which
are practically equipped with everything, because before they sail
he wishes them all to be carefully inspected.
Sir William Hamilton, a Scot, has been selected by the queen
from more than ten claimants to go and reside with his Holiness
in her name. (fn. 5) He will set out in a few days.
This year the king proposed to remain in this city rather
longer than usual, but as the plague is beginning to make itself
felt more severely than was expected, with the fear that it may
grow worse, considering the time of year, he has decided to leave
in a few days. He has not yet made up his mind where he will go.
It is believed that he will go a long way off, and perhaps if the
plague spreads further through the kingdom he may cross to
Ireland to gratify the people by his presence, who seem to desfre
him so much because of the circumstances which I reported.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 28th
March. I will express to his Majesty and the ministers the
satisfaction given by the Secretary Rolandson.
London, the 25th April, 1636.
643. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Inquisitors of State.
I have your Excellencies commands touching the deliberation
of the Great Council on wide sleeves. (fn. 6) I will execute these diligently
and send you full particulars. So far little or nothing
has been said on the subject, since the news is not made public
yet and very few indeed know about it, but I will practise
the utmost diligence.
London, the 25th April, 1636.
644. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in
Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Progress is being made towards an alliance with Denmark.
The Danish ambassadors suggested it, always provided that
England made one too. Accordingly it is believed that they are
committed here to give the fullest satisfaction to the Prince
Palatine. I hear that Bavaria writes openly that England is
pressing for the restitution of Lorraine more earnestly than for
that of the Palatinate, and so there is more hope of that crown
moving against France than fear of any formal step against
the emperor. Accordingly they should not be in any violent
hurry to give satisfaction by a prejudicial and disadvantageous
adjustment, as the Palatine family will be easily satisfied with
all that is offered to them in moderation. But if those princes
found out that there was any fear on the imperial side of what
the English king might do, they would undoubtedly raise their
pretensions. This is precisely what Bavaria writes to some
of the ministers here. He adds that it would be as well to make
this more clear to Radolti in certain particulars, so that he may
proceed with more reserve in his offices. I learn that an intimation
to this effect has been sent to him in the last letters from
here, but always with the same end, to avoid offending that king
and rather to interest him as much as possible and make (him
see the necessity for his own advantage of this alliance to
enable him at the same time to maintain good relations with the
Catholic, which is so profitable to the interests of that kingdom,
the trade with Spain constituting the Indies of England.
Vienna, the 26th April, 1636.
645. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Imperial Ambassador here continues to press for a decision
and a specific reply about the Palatinate, and so does
the English one, but so far without success, although they say
that all the powers and instructions for this have been sent
to the Count of Ognat. But I find that they are waiting for
a reply to the express sent to the Spanish Resident in England
with the master of the horse of the English ambassador here. (fn. 7)
From what I see, if the king of England really joins the
Austrian party, of which they first require proof, the Spaniards
will certainly get some satisfaction for his nephews.
Madrid, the 26th April, 1636. Copy.
646. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
It seems from what the English ambassador says that to gain
time he asked to know with what forces and means France would
work for the restoration of the Palatine, if England should declare.
At first they seemed inclined to answer, but since they
have heard of the appointment of an ambassador extraordinary,
they seem to wish to wait for him, without proceeding further.
Paris, the 29th April, 1636.