658. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Court continues to complain of the French for the seizure
of his Majesty's barque, because when, from the information they
received, they were expecting its return, the captain arrived
without it, reporting that they have detained it owing to some
claims of the wife of the deceased French captain. The efforts
of the French ambassadors to appease the king are vain. He
declares, practically to their face, that he wants to see it avenged.
He is thus displeased with the Earl of Northumberland, because
he only sent six ships to sea and remained behind himself with
the rest of the fleet to take part in the funeral of the Earl
of Carlisle, his brother in law. Yet he says that with a favourable
wind he will sail to-morrow at latest, all ready and full
of spirit for carrying out his Majesty's orders. Unless these
are revoked these are to fight any French ships they meet, and
if this happens the consequences may be imagined. Dreading
this the French ambassadors have sent an express to the French
Court and also to the Governor of Calais not to let any vessel
put to sea until the affair takes a more favourable turn. To
make matters worse the Master of the Posts has chosen to put
in his spoke, representing to his Majesty that no English barque
will venture to leave Dunkirk from fear of the French, and so
it will be beyond his powers to keep the couriers going unless
two ships of war are assigned for their passage.
Meanwhile we experience the effects here, as no despatches
came last week and none have come this. All the merchants and
the ministers of the emperor and Spain complain bitterly. The
Resident Nicolaldi, indeed, hopes that these quarrels will go on,
and he has employed his artifices to foment them. He has
spread a report that the French have determined to contest the
sovereignty which the king here claims over these waters. He
declared that the numerous force they have collected is certainly
with this object, while on the other side he expresses
the disposition of Spanish subjects to gratify the king's wishes.
But they do not make an open declaration, for fear of committing
themselves, and only touch the subject distantly in order to prejudice
their enemies without cost to themselves. The antipathy
to France renders this flattery most acceptable, although the English
probably place no great faith in it.
The Earl of Leicester has left for France. Besides his other
commissions he is to make the strongest representations and
remonstrances about the seizure and detention of the barque
in question. M. de Ferte left with him, having completed his
compliments with their Majesties about the birth of the last
princess. He takes away for himself very liberal presents of
jewels, and a certain number of saddle horses to present to the
Queen of France in the name of her Majesty here.
On the day before yesterday Cæsar's Councillor had his second
audience of the king. It transpires that in a long discourse he
spoke of the languishing state of Germany and the emperor's
wish to obtain for it some breathing space by means of peace.
He said nothing about the interests of the Palatine, but stated
that he had another and more particular charge which he could
set forth better in writing. The king answered in general terms,
though full of his desire to see the agitations of Christendom
reduced to quiet and secure repose. The slowness of this minister
about opening the business of the Palatine is noted with some
jealousy, because they think his proposal to negotiate by writing
is only a device to gain time ; although in any case he cannot
do much here because the Earl of Arundel on the other side
holds absolute powers.
The earl writes that the Spanish governor, who was in the
fort of Schenel Scant, refused him a passport to go safely to
Cologne, apologising because he could not do so without express
orders from the Cardinal Infant. This irritated his Majesty as
much as the news that Count William put an escort at the
earl's disposal gratified him.
Both the Dutch ambassadors called here yesterday to inform
me of the surrender of the fort. I congratulated them and
thanked them for the communication. As regards their negotiations
here they declare that they are pending in their original
state without making the least movement, and I have been assured
of this from other quarters as well.
News has come of the arrival in Holland of the Polish ambassador (fn. 1)
together with Gordon, and they will cross to here in a
few days. They are most eagerly awaited and the Palatine
brothers in particular seem very pleased. His Majesty has
already ordered a house to be prepared for them and it is said
that they will be received and entertained with the greatest
Letters from Hamburg of the 2nd inst. relate that the Chancellor
Oxistern has written to the Most Christian that he will
very soon have three powerful armies under him, to wit, the
Swedish, for which he expects good reinforcements, that of the
Duke of Luneburg, who has decided not to observe the articles
of the peace previously violated by the emperor, and the third
that of the Landgrave of Hesse. Accordingly Duke Bernard is
hastening back to the Rhine, where he feels sure that he will
find considerable reinforcements.
London, the 16th May, 1636.
659. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in
Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
An ambassador from England is expected at this Court. It is
thought that he will have full powers to make a settlement
about the Palatinate. Teller had letters from Brussels from the
ambassador himself directing him to proceed to Nurenberg and
to go on from there to Ratisbon.
Vienna, the 17th May, 1636.
660. Giovanni Giustianian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The insistence of the imperial and English ministers about the
Palatinate has had no result so far except the confirmation of
the commissions to the Count of Ognat. It looks as if they did
not wish to proceed to more open declarations before the young
Count of Ognat has gone to England and given a better shape to
the negotiations with that crown. The ambassador knows the
circumstances quite well and he confided to me that while they
are disposed here to satisfy his master, it is impossible for the
Austrians to deprive Bavaria of what he holds.
Madrid, the 17th May, 1636. Copy.
661. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador in the
Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The Polish ambassador left yesterday for Brussels. He saw
the Princess Palatine several times, but concluded nothing, because
he only spoke about religion, saying that once this point
was arranged she should have complete satisfaction. He took
away the reply that no change could be made in this, reputation
could not permit it, and if the king persisted in his opinion
the marriage will certainly not be arranged. The ambassador
most fully confirms the king's sentiments and sighs that the
estates of the crown refuse their consent on the score of religion.
He showed the king's portrait, dressed in green in the French
fashion. He said his Majesty's devotion was coupled with hopes
of obtaining the lady. He assured the mother that the eminent
qualities of her daughter would assure her affection, esteem and
incredible influence over the whole kingdom, and she fully
came up to what report said of her.
The lady is indeed very well made. She is not more than
seventeen. Her complexion is not entirely white, but tinged with
brown, forming a very pretty and attractive tint. Her eyes are
full of sparkle. Her speech is full of grace ; her dancing astonishes
every one. Her beauty stands of itself and she abhors
extremely all womanish artifices. She speaks many languages
German, Italian, French, English, Flemish, Spanish, and it is
supposed Polish also. She would not let this appear, because she
never wished to betray hopes of being queen.
The ambassador said that he hoped, through the Queen of
England, to bring this lady to the Catholic faith, and to console
the king, his master, who sighs for her. Thus he left a report
that he would come back here after his journey to France. But
the Princess mother remains obstinate and it is not thought that
any consideration will move her. The ambassador showed her the
portrait of the king's sister, (fn. 2) and the princess asked him if the
report was true that they were negotiating about marrying her to
the Cardinal Infant. The ambassador replied that it was not
impossible, so it is supposed that he is going to Brussels about
On the ambassador's departure the States gave him a chain
worth 2000 florins. Gordon, the English resident in Poland,
accompanied him here, and yesterday he left for London.
The Hague, the 22nd May, 1636.
662. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
This week the imperial envoy had another audience of his
Majesty, who expected him to say something about the Palatines.
As he again indulged in generalities and did not make the slightest
allusion to the subject the king conceived some suspicion at this
unusual way of treating. Wishing to clear matters up he invited
the envoy then and there to tell him about the other particular
business which he mentioned at preceding audiences that he had
instructions to represent to him. But this proved useless as he
was determined not to enter into particulars, and only repeated
confusedly the things already said, whereby he pretended to
fulfil all his duty in the matter, letting it be understood that he
had nothing more to explain. His Majesty was observed, full
of wrath and astonishment, to speak immediately to the Prince
Palatine and some of his councillors, who were present, as not
one of them all knew what opinion to form up on the objects
of this mission, since it gives rise to nothing substantial and
they can only imagine consequences full of uneasiness and
suspicion. The Palatine than said openly that this was one of the
usual tricks of the Austrians, and they will go on playing until
they are compelled to do something proper by force of arms.
He expressed himself even more definitely to the Marquis of
Hamilton and the Earls of Pembroke and Holland, the only
ones he believes to favour his party, concluding that all the
negotiations will end in words, and if they want to obtain any
real satisfaction for him they must make up their minds to
draw the sword.
Some think that the councillor may be awaiting news of Lord
Arundel's negotiations, but the general opinion is that the real
object of the Austrians is to gain time with regard to granting
the satisfaction which England claims ; employing mild inducements
in order not to compel her to have recourse to force, as
that, in any case, could not fail to be most harmful to their
interests and aims, unless they succeeded in arriving at a solid
alliance. In that case it is probable that they would not look
too closely into all the details, in the hope that with the progress
of time they would gain some most important advantages, with
respect to sea traffic in particular and to disturbing the trade with
But so far as present appearances go one can discern little
inclination that way in this quarter, as they do not attach so
much importance to the interests of the Palatines that it is
likely they will purchase them at the price of a league which will
directly compel the crown to involve itself in the war, to the
manifest disarrangement of domestic affairs, to the successful
control of which his Majesty's thoughts are entirely directed.
It is therefore improbable that he will abandon them merely
for this affair, and he would hardly do so even if he could
lay his hands on money more easily, to avoid disturbing the
happiness and repose which his dominions enjoy amid the agitations
of the world, to go deliberately to share the miseries
of others instead of being a looker on. Yet the Spaniards are trying
very hard to involve him, and although it is not difficult for
them to find out all about the most secret principles of the
government here, in spite of all the obstacles mentioned
they employ their most subtle artifices in the hope, if not of
inducing them to serve them openly, at least to make sure that
they will not side with their enemies.
I have tried to find some evidence of offices being passed with
the pope from this quarter for his interposition in favour of
the Palatine house, as I observe that the idea is current in
more than one place. In spite of every effort I have only succeeded
in discovering that they have never thought of touching
on this matter either through Panzani or by the mission of the
queen's resident. The latter, certainly, has not left yet and
might receive some instructions, although it is thought unlikely,
as it does not behove the king to have such open correspondence
with the pope, because besides the general opinion current here
that he is mistrustful of the Spaniards, it is also well known
that although the offices would be performed in the queen's name,
it would not be possible to make the world believe that she would
have been willing to take up such a big matter alone without
instructions from her husband.
The king is annoyed at the news of the pregnancy of the
Electress of Bavaria, which destroys all hopes of the Palatine
recovering his possessions and the electoral dignity through
the lack of an heir. The duke's replies to the emperor on the
subject have always been given in the form quoted below, which
I have received from the Court to wit : Electoralem dignitatem
quem Carolus IV. a domo Bavariae ademit in lineam Palatinatinsem
transtulit, illam jure belli recuperavit propterea nequaquam
consentire potest in petitum Regis Britanniae quo ad
Provincias ad Palatinatum pertinentes se libenter restituere velle,
quando primo linea Rhenensis Palatini refundet fructus perceptos
a tempo Caroli IV. Secundo quando domus Palatina refundet
damnum Bavariae per Regem Suediae illatum. Tertio, quando
Imperator refundet domum Bavariae sumptus quos pro Imperio
Romano impendit. Itaque domus Palatina nullam habet expectationem
nisi per arma. The imperial councillor says nothing
about giving the Palatine territory in Flanders or elsewhere, as
the Spaniards suggested, the king seems to detest the idea and
the prince himself says that he would not accept it, considering
the arrangement servile and unworthy of his birth.
They are daily expecting the arrival of the Polish ambassador
Zaraschi, as they hear that he has already left the Hague. They
greatly dislike his taking the Brussels route, as they cannot see
the object, since he could easily have facilities for his safe
passage on the seas of Holland and of England also.
London, the 23rd May, 1636.
663. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Northumberland has been unable to put to sea
owing to a strong contrary wind. This distresses the king, who
would like his arms to achieve something against the French
ships in revenge for the seizure of the barque which they still
detain at Calais. The French ambassadors, seeing that their
firm promise to his Majesty of restitution is not fulfilled, are
much dashed and do not know what excuse to offer. They
have no resource but to urge the despatch in the most pressing
manner. The determination which the king shows in this resolution,
if France does not make proper amends, gives cause to
fear something dreadful, which will give rise to the worst and
most dangerous results in corrupt minds, which are only too
easily led to the most ruinous resolutions. In proof of this they
gladly seized the opportunity to order some of the ships which
put to sea last week, to accompany to Dunkirk a very large
amount of money, which recently came from Spain, in spite
of the vigorous remonstrance made on the subject a short while
ago by these same ambassadors, to deprive the Spaniards of the
convenience of this safe passage. In order to render the blow
more sensible the ministers here announce that they will go on
doing the same thing, a clear sign how much passion is stirred
and how ready they are to make trouble.
Last week the Dutch ambassadors informed the king of the
surrender of fort Schench Scians, and of the hope of further
successes against the Spaniards. The office pleased His Majesty
who said he was always glad to hear of their successes. M. di
Beveren, intent on pushing his negotiations, took the opportunity
to remind his Majesty of the desire of the United Provinces for
a closer union with him, for the better support of their common
interests, especially as regards his nephews. He added that as
a sign of friendliness to his masters he hoped they would grant
the just requests made on behalf of the Dutch fishermen. The
king made no definite reply, but merely expressed his good will
in general terms, and so closed the audience, leaving the ambassadors
with scant hope of obtaining the end they desire in
either affair. M. Beveren spoke to me especially about this
matter of the fisheries trying to make me see the validity of
their claims. He further said that an answer will soon be made
to the book "Mare Clausum" as someone has been ordered to
undertake the task. As he will print this in Holland the Ambassador
Michiel will relieve me of the duty of supplying a copy
speedily to your Excellencies.
A Colonel Fleetwood, (fn. 3) an Englishman employed in the Swedish
service in Germany, has arrived here with letters to his Majesty
from the Chancellor Oxestern. These contain invitations and
exhortations to induce him to undertake the recovery of the
Palatinate by arms. He declares that the moment is more
favourable than it has ever been, and offers to do everything in
his power to help. He further asks permission to levy troops,
for which the colonel has commissions; he is working hard with
the ministers here, but he finds them disinclined and has no
hope. He reports that he found the Swedish party very strong
and receiving reinforcements every day; that they are getting
a force ready to invade Silesia and they will very soon be in
a position to cause the emperor considerable trouble from every
The Earl of Arundel wrote from Cologne on the 5th that he
was making great progress with his journey. They reckon that
he will have reached the Court by now, and they are waiting
with great impatience to hear of the beginning of his negotiations
by extraordinary despatches.
Rolanson, who was secretary of the English embassy at Venice,
arrived here last week in ill health. He hopes to obtain his
arrears of salary and then return to Venice, where he has left
his household. I have not seen him yet.
The Court will start on Tuesday for Hampton Court, being
driven by the violence of the plague, which has spread to almost
all the parishes of this city and the surrounding villages, appearing
even in more than one house of the nobility. His Majesty
had accordingly intimated to all the ambassadors and foreign
ministers that if they wish to have communication with the Court
they must leave the city and go somewhere which is not suspect.
Owing to this declaration, so soon as his Majesty has gone, I
shall proceed to some place as near as possible to the Court, and
shall continue to follow it or to stay according as your Excellencies
I have received the Senate's letters of the 10th and 18th
April. I will represent the unpropriety of Hider's demands
if any of the ministers speak on the subject. I have examined
one of Hobson's witnesses I will do the same with the other
when he comes.
I shall not fail to renew the congratulations to the new treasurer
on his appointment in your name, although I have already
done what I thought proper, so that he may be the more ready
to do what may be required for the public service, for which
he has readily offered himself.
London, the 23rd May, 1636.
664. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
An English galleon has arrived at Coruna. It will take to
Flanders 200 cases of reals and to England the young Count of
Ognat. (fn. 4) The ministers here cherish great hopes from the negotiations
with that crown. They say that the Count and his
father have very full commissions about the Palatinate to give
every possible satisfaction to England and to encourage the best
relations with that crown. The English ambassador informed
me that this is intended to place his master under an obligation
to the most resolute action in the interests of this crown, in a
general settlement, for which, he informed me in a confidential
manner, he is about to apply himself with all his will.
The twenty four ships at Coruna with the remainder of the
money and troops for Flanders, the latter reduced to very small
numbers by great mortality, will be convoyed by the English
galleon. This is an obvious device for the protection of the
fleet and also for committing England in case of an action with
Madrid the 23rd May, 1636. Copy.
665. Piero Foscarini, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople
to the Doge and Senate.
The dispute between the English ambassador and the Count of
Cesy about the goods in the ship from Smyrna was decided by
the Dutch ambassador and myself in favour of the former, as
there was no indication whatever of any fraud in the papers.
Among the bales of cloth I noticed some which they call "Antivenetian"
which means in imitation and for the destruction of
ours, a prejudice which is increased by many other advantages
which the English have in trading in these parts, both from the
capitulations which they have with the Porte and because their
trading is done by means of a company, by which, on the
arrival of the goods, they establish the prices in cash by agreement,
without trusting to any one soever. In this way no one
can give a piece of London or of anything else at any time
or for a jot less than has been determined, in the presence of the
consul and with the consent of the ambassador of their nation
(con che all arrivo delle robbe stabiliscono li prezzi d'accordo a
cotanti senza fidar a chi si sia, in maniera che uno non daria
una pezza di Londra o qualsivoglia altra oosa a tempo ni per
un aspro meno di quello viene deliberato con la presenza del
console e assenso dell ambasciatore del loro natione). Thus tin,
which used to sell at 34 reals the ton (cantaro)now sells at
65 and it is the same, in proportion with all other goods. In
addition to this they are not bound to discharge their ships and
are at liberty to take away a part or the whole of their goods
wherever it pleases them best. They are not only exempt from
half of the duties, which may be remitted to them, but they
have a thousand chances of smuggling, which assuredly they do
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th May, 1636.
666. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Court here cannot believe that the Polish ambassador
spoke only of religion and think that other difficulties were
covered under that mask. The Princess says not a word, so
curiosity remains unsatisfied. It is considered unlikely that she
will upset the marriage though much sympathy is felt for her
on the score of religion since it seems that honour obliges
everyone to believe his own the right one and not to forsake
The Hague, the 29th May, 1636.
667. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty left London on Tuesday. To fall in with his
wishes I proceeded on the following day to this village, only
two miles away from his house of Hampton Court, where he
has decided to stay with the Court about three weeks. Before
leaving I went and kissed his Majesty's hand. He expressed
great satisfaction at my following him, and said he always preferred
to have me near rather than at a distance, especially
under existing circumstances. The queen also was very gracious.
She seems very nervous about the plague and told me that when
she was away from the king she certainly would not permit any
one who lived in a suspect place to be admitted where she was
The ambassadors of France and Holland and the Residents of
Savoy and Florence have also left the city. All the other foreign
ministers will soon do the same, as his Majesty has again
published very resolutely that whoever has not left London in
fifteen days at longest, shall not have access at any place in
the country. To make himself still safer he has commanded
those of his household whom he does not especially need to
withdraw and pass the remainder of the summer at their country
houses. The queen has done the like, thinking that the safest
expedient to escape the danger entirely is to keep a small number
of persons about them. Upon such occasions the greatest precautions
cannot fail to be helpful, but personally I do not think
matters are bad enough to require them. In a city like London,
which contains hundreds of thousands of souls, there is nothing
dreadful in hearing that fifty or sixty persons die of plague in
a week, and the number has not exceeded this so far. There
are certainly indications that it may increase greatly, as the
heat, which does not usually trouble this country over much,
has become very great, accompanied by so great a drought that
no one remembers the like. This is the third month that not
a drop of rain has fallen. As a consequence, with the plague
in addition, this will certainly cause a great scarcity of everything,
much greater than is experienced at present, owing to
the shortage of water last year, but even that was not nearly
comparable to this.
Before leaving London I called on the Treasurer and fulfilled
your Excellencies' commands, telling him I was specially charged
to express your satisfaction at his appointment. He received
this most courteously. He went on to talk of other matters,
dilating on his Majesty's sentiments, which, he told me, were
all turned towards peace, for which he was disposed to devote
all his efforts by offices and interposition, as he had been
solicited from more than one quarter. He touched briefly upon
the quarrels with France, which indeed keep growing worse, as
I shall relate. I replied in a suitable manner and so the interview
Totnen, the 30th May, 1636.
668. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Northumberland, after having waited many days
in port for a favourable wind, sailed yesterday, when it had at
length become favourable, with the remainder of the fleet. Altogether
it does not yet exceed twenty seven sail, although they
are busily equipping others, which will be sent to strengthen it
in a few days. As already mentioned the earl has three commissions,
to maintain the sovereignty claimed by this crown in
these waters exacting obedience from all without distinction ;
second to prevent all those who have not first obtained permission
from the king, from fishing, and third to try and secure
a free passage for everyone. He also has orders to exact some
considerable indemnification at the earliest moment from the
barques of Calais, because of the seizure of his Majesty's barque
when coming from Dunkirk. This has not yet been restored.
They have become most sensitive on the subject here, and it
may easily lead to some notable disorder, if the French do not
hurry up to avoid it. My grounds for this is what the Secretary
Windebank said to me the day before yesterday.
Enlarging upon the subject of the French treatment of his
Majesty's subjects and ships, he assured me that his king would
not tolerate it any longer, but would seize an advantage by
avenging them. To smoothe matters somewhat I pointed out
that the question of the barque might be settled without detriment
to the royal dignity, especially in the present state of
the Palatine's affairs, which would suffer from any differences
between the two crowns. In short I stuck to the point that
friendly relations with France could not fail to be advantageous
to his Majesty's interests and to those of Christendom. This
seemed to strike him and he admitted the force of my contention,
but said that perhaps the French did not look on it in that
light, as if they did not feel ill will against England they
would abstain from showing it in their actions. He then referred
to the fleet recently equipped in France, giving details of the
number of ships, the soldiers and the munitions of war, and guns
carried, ready to embark on some considerable enterprise. I
reminded him of the assurances given by the Most Christian
that this force was aimed directly against the Spaniards, his
enemies, and this was borne out by the facts, since the fleet
had arrived at San Sebastiano.
With this I terminated the interview, remarking that I had
entered upon this confidential discourse as his private friend and
not as minister of your Excellencies. During it I had occasion
to observe that as he is a strong partisan of Spain, so he is
one of those who supports her advantage at every opportunity,
especially with his Majesty, who seems to value his counsel very
highly. This shows how true it is that the private passions
of those who conduct the counsels of princes often lead them
to decisions which they might never take of themselves.
The Dutch ambassadors, aroused by the departure of the fleet,
have repeated their instances in favour of their fishermen ; but
the king remains firm in his original resolve, thinking that might
may prevail over what the States consider right. The ambassadors,
however, remain undaunted, and continue to negotiate, but
if any mischief happens in the mean time, neither words nor
good advice will avail to repair the hurt. The projected alliance
has also completely fallen through, as at present their attention
is fixed solely upon the results of the negotiations of Arundel
in Germany. This is the reason why the French ambassadors
confine themselves to ambiguities and do not venture to make
overtures for fresh negotiations, from fear lest the Spaniards
know about them before they get the slightest consideration here,
and so their having opened out will tend to prejudice rather than
to advance their ends.
The emperor's minister has allowed the king to go away without
seeing him again and without having declared himself with any
of the ministers about what he has come to negotiate, upon any
point. Thus he leaves every one in suspense, because no one
can see what were the objects of his mission. On Sunday he
went to kiss the queen's hands. He made her a Latin speech
lasting an hour and a half, setting forth what she did not understand,
and what the secretary, who should have interpreted, could
not explain to her, possibly because he was tired of listening.
He had a very concise and almost voiceless (mutole)answer, with
which he took leave. He possibly went away with scant satisfaction,
but he left occasion for merriment at the Court and
among the ladies for all the rest of the day.
The resident of Savoy has been most openly refused permission
to export powder and musket and cannon balls. As he very
indiscreetly made another request immediately after for some
levies of troops he only got another refusal. Many consider both
these attempts as the outcome of a superfine sagacity in order
to give the French to understand that the duke on his part,
will neglect no means in his power to fulfil his obligations, but
opinions which are the emanations of imagination are not always
in confirmity with the truth.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 2nd inst.
Tetnen, the 30th May, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]