36. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary
in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
I travelled to this place to meet the Earl of Arundel, who, after
seeing the queen and the archduke came here on his way to
Prague, where he proposes to stay until he sees what will happen
about the Diet. After exchanging compliments I led him on
to speak about the Palatinate. He told me that the ministers
deputed by his Majesty proposed to refer the decision to the Diet
at Ratisbon. He had offered no opposition although he was
very anxious to return home. He saw that their chief aim here
was to prevent the Palatine family from becoming too powerful
in the empire, so that they might not do worse things than the
father had done, with the support of England. If the wound
cannot be healed otherwise they must apply iron and fire. He
spoke highly of the emperor as a generous and gracious prince ;
but he did not seem pleased with the ministers, especially the
bishop. He went so far as to say to me that he marvelled greatly
at seeing a person of that condition with scarcely any grip of the
various interests of the powers or of what the affair of the
Palatinate means. As a matter of fact the short comings of
the emperor's council seem to be recognised by general opinion,
since it contains no individual with sufficient spirit and resolution
to withstand the views of the Count of Ognat, who carries his
point every time with scarce any exertion. Although his
Majesty is aware of this prejudicial state of affairs, yet he does
not see how he can help himself. The earl told me that he thought
of coming to this Court when the business was done, but he could
scarce see a beginning and the matter was so tangled that he
did not see how it could be unravelled in a short time.
Under his breath he complained of Teler, though without
naming him, because he had negotiated in one fashion here and
had written to London in another. This was the origin of the
sending of an ambassador, which was perhaps premature as
it was undoubtedly most hurtful to the dignity of his king,
because Cæsar had scarce heard of the decision when they shut
Radolti's mouth. I knew that the emperor and the ministers
had told the ambassador of the alliance offered by Teler if the
Lower Palatinate was restored. Arundel declared that Teler
had no such instructions and deserved very severe punishment.
The emperor wished to send for Teler to confront Arundel and
say it to his face, but he steadily refused. In any case he has
been much discredited and covered with confusion (volse
l'imperatore che si facesse venir avanti de lui il Teler in presenza
d'Arundel per dirglielo in faccia, ma egli nego sempre, restando
in ogni modo assai discreditato e confuso.)
I have also heard from a most trustworthy source, that although
Arundel demands everything, yet he will be content in the end
to lay aside his threats and severity and agree to receive that
portion that is offered to him, but upon two conditions. These
are : that the Palatine family shall not be debarred from claiming
more at another time and that Cæsar shall make an express
declaration to this effect ; and secondly that England shall not
be saddled with any obligation to make an alliance against
France and still less against the Dutch ; since it is understood
that the several claims of the English and their High Mightinesses
to the lordship of the sea are on the way to an adjustment.
On the other hand the Spaniards say that they are determined
not to let go of the Palatinate, and Bavaria will offer vigorous
opposition. So the affair is plunged in deeper difficulties than
ever. The outcome will depend largely upon the success of the
Austrians in the present campaign.
Fraistat, the 1st August, 1636.
37. Representations have often been made of the hurt done
to the customs by goods brought by ships from the West coming
to lade oil in Apulia, which first come here. With regard to the
measures to be taken in order to induce English and Flemish
ships to come to this city and to encourage trade, be it resolved :
That for two years the oil brought to this city for the West,
Flanders and England be free of all export duty and that it pay
the same import duty as oil of the Levant, which is only two
thirds that paid by oil of Apulia.
That oil not exported within the term of four months and
eight days shall pay the entire import duty and shall only be
exempted from the export duty.
That those who export the oil shall leave a pledge that it is
to be taken to the countries aforesaid.
Ayes, 121. Noes, 1. Neutral, 9.
The last paragraph was added in the Pregadi, on the 5th
Ayes, 133. Noes, 2. Neutral, 6.
38. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador Leicester is awaiting an answer
from Bottiglier, one of the commissioners appointed for him
about remedying the irregularities which he declares are
committed by all the French on the sea coast infringing the
treaties with England. He says he fears that if they do not
attend to this reprisals will be begun on both sides, and an
open rupture between the two crowns will arise from private
quarrels, a thing which they would deeply regret.
Paris, the 5th August, 1636.
39. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Little or nothing of importance has been done this week.
The King hunts all day and therefore never stops more than
two or three nights in the same place.
At the sitting of the Council on Sunday two important topics
were discussed to wit, the Dutch fisheries and the last despatches
from Germany. In spite of the specious promises to the contrary
made to Beveren they decided to send 12 of the best ships with all
speed and secrecy to the North in quest of the fishing busses,
and to execute certain orders, the nature of which cannot be
discovered. It is supposed that the intention is to frighten them
to make terms and to use force if required. This is the policy
attributed to some of the ministers, so one may well doubt if
their deeds will ultimately prove as serious as their threats. A
strong argument for taking this view may be adduced from
observing what scant attention they pay to the offices of the Dutch
ministers, and that while soothing them with smooth words they
take the most vigorous and severe steps against the interests
which they represent. In discussing the matter with one of
the ministers Beveren said that the Dutch were not accustomed
to bear the yoke of servitude, but were friendly and free everywhere,
and least of all would they tolerate vassalage at sea, and
if provoked they might take unexpected measures, which would
certainly be dangerous. These were the greatest inducements
to make his masters come to terms with the Spaniards, not
because they wished it, but of necessity, if England will not change
her present principles, as the forces of the States cannot resist
the attack of so many and such powerful enemies. They seem
to pay little attention to these remonstrances here, and apparently
they think only of present profit, without any regard for future
The account given in Lord Arundel's despatches of the special
honours received from the emperor and of the good intentions
he expresses, give satisfaction, but on the other hand the slow
movements of the Spanish ambassador and the declaration of
the papal nuncio that he wishes to have a voice in the negotiations
are deemed artifices on purpose to keep up ambiguity and
irresolution for ever, and this increases the dissatisfaction.
In order to get rid of uncertainty they decided to send back the
same courier to Arundel, as they did at once, with orders to
press with all his might for a decision and to add fresh protests
that all delay would be considered as an absolute refusal.
Although they feel these checks, yet the successes of the Spanish
arms in France and their continuance by no means displease
them, the curiosity shown by many to hear such news affording
an evident sign that they look very partially on the Spanish
side here, which is supported by the one who can do most in the
position of the greatest advantage. They have given up without
difficulty the ready money brought with him by the young Count
of Ognate, which was seized for some old debts, upon no other
satisfaction than a few words from Nicolaldi. This has greatly
afflicted the French, showing them very clearly that they
continue to support the passage to Flanders not so much for the
profit which they make out of it, as because of their partiality
for the interests of Spain.
The Master of the Ceremonies called upon me two days ago.
As if from himself he approached the subject of my visiting this
new Spanish ambassador. He said he thought I should obtain
every satisfaction I desired in dealing with him. I saw quite
well that the motive was not the real one, but suggested by the
one who has an interest in this affair. Observing the rules of
decorum and courtesy I told him that for my part I was ready
to embrace every opportunity of corresponding with him, and
thus seal by the communication between ministers the good
relations existing between our princes, if I was sure that he
would treat me with the proper forms. He then began more
openly to ask me particulars of my claims. In order to remove
all pretexts for dispute and make myself clearly understood I
told him that I claimed nothing more than was reasonably my
due, and what was granted without dispute by the ambassadors
of France, leaving out the inferior ones, and everywhere and
always, namely the title of "Excellency," precedence in their
houses, reception in the proper place, and accompaniment to
the coach. If the Spanish ambassador would agree to these
conditions I should not be slow to show him the effects of my
good will in everything. The Master of the Ceremonies expressed
his belief that the Spanish ambassador would do by me as the
French had done, and he would undertake to assure me about it
for his part when he had another opportunity of seeing me.
Acknowledges State despatches of 27th June.
Oxford, the 6th August, 1636.
40. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Court seems deeply displeased and not a little ashamed at
the news brought last week of the return to Holland of eighty
barques laden with a most abundant quantity of fish, as if the
Dutch made mock of the severe and threatening protests made
to them and had triumphed to the shame of England more over
the glory than over the booty they brought home. Everyone,
therefore seems to be waiting with the utmost impatience to hear
what the squadron recently sent to the North may have been
able to do against the rest of them and if it were not for the
question of reputation they would like to send the remainder of
the fleet also. Many, however, believe that all these demonstrations
are only a show designed to please the Spaniards, that
they have studiously covered their connivance with coldness
and delay and are thoroughly satisfied that the fishermen have
performed their operations without hindrance, and indeed if one
examines the matter closely and trusts the evidence of actions,
one may clearly see that nothing has been done against them
but what they wished, and there has decidedly been no lack
either of time or opportunity for doing what they threatened.
But I will let the truth take care of itself and refer myself to what
happens in the future.
Orders have been sent to the English resident at Hamburg
to let Oxestern know that if Arundel's mission fails they will not
wait any longer to take such vigorous resolutions as are required.
He is also to persuade Oxestern to make terms with the emperor,
promising Sweden every assistance from England, on the understanding
that Oxestern shall befriend the Palatine in return.
Thus they wish this to be the principal object of such conference,
although for other ends they keep it secret, as it is certain that
the peace of Germany only is what they build their surest hopes
upon at present for reinstating the Palatine, as they consider the
operations for a general peace insecure.
They do not attach much importance to the legate's going to
the conference, (fn. 1) as they consider that the difficulties will be all
but insuperable. Arundel speaks very soberly of his negotiations
with Cæsar, so far, or else is indulging in a very elaborate
deception (ovvero con falacia molto artificiosa). The ministers
here, in their conversation on the subject, carry their reserve
to the most extreme limit. This is the most conclusive indication
that they are very far from satisfied as benefits and advantages
which are received or expected are generally made public with
abundant particulars even before the time.
An extraordinary courier has reached the new Spanish
ambassador, sent so they say, by his father on private affairs.
If it is for anything else there is no possibility of finding out, as
he still maintains his incognito and it is not known when he
intends to appear in public.
Nothing more has been said about his visit to me. Meanwhile
I have received with very great satisfaction your Excellencies'
instructions on the subject. I will let the French ambassadors
know in confidence that these overtures receive their impulse
from Spain and not from the republic.
Sig. Giorgio Coneo, sent by the pope to establish an ordinary
residence at this Court, arrived these last days (fn. 2) and on Sunday
Panzani went with him to kiss the hands of both their Majesties.
They received him with the greatest courtesy and it was
particularly observed that the king seemed extraordinarily
pleased at his arrival. This has much perturbed the lords and
leading ministers, who fear this novel and free revival of confidential
relations with the Holy See will in the end give rise to
divisions and bitter hatred which will serve to turn utterly upside
down the quiet of the people and the repose of the realm.
This individual will find great schemes, aiming at the most
profound alterations in the government, sketched out by Panzani.
If he has the wit and good fortune to carry these through to
the end for which they have been begun, he may hope to leave an
immortal name here. Although I have tried hard, I have not yet
been able to obtain all the information about these transactions
that I could wish, as they have been conducted with the most
secret circumspection ; but I hope soon to get to the bottom of
them and I shall then be able to supply your Excellencies with
The Mayor of London has decided the case of the Persian
merchant after the forms of justice which I expected, and
condemned him to pay one per cent, for the carriage of his money.
This sentence, far from all reason since by the laws he ought
either to pay all or nothing, was not even expected by the
interested merchants themselves, and has rendered them so
insolent and overbearing that it is impossible to describe adequately
their lawless behaviour. As a specimen of the rest it suffices
for your Excellencies to know that the moment the sentence was
pronounced, of their own authority, without the intervention
of the master, they opened the chests, inspected and weighed
the reals, paying themselves and only then, after they had
satisfied themselves did they permit the money to reach the
hands of the Persian. Although greatly perturbed by these
improper proceedings, he had voluntarily given up his claims and
petition against the effects of the English merchant Gotoard,
both because his loss only amounts to a small sum, and also
because he hopes to find an easy way of satisfying himself in
Persia. With regard to Richard Gotoard, who not only behaved
so improperly to me but also showed scant respect for the Court,
the mayor had an order from his Majesty to have him arrested,
so that he might be punished severely and made to repent his
temerity. But he, either foreseeing his misfortunes or warned
by some one who ought not, as I believe, has unexpectedly
left the kingdom and they say he has gone to Venice where his
brother Michael is. I give your Excellencies these particulars
so that if he arrives you may take such steps as you think
His Majesty had thought of staying in this place some time,
to enjoy the quiet, the air and the pleasant situation, which
certainly may be called one of the best in the kingdom, indeed
he had commanded a stay for ten days when unfortunately
the plague was discovered yesterday evening in the house of a
merchant where some gentlemen and pages of the Prince Palatine
were lodging, when he immediately changed his plans and set
out this morning at the break of day, I will follow him as I have
already done for 2½ months, but I ask the state to consider the
burden thus thrown upon me. I need double the number of
horses and there is the greatest scarcity everywhere this year.
Salisbury, the 13th August. 1636.
41. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
These last months his Majesty issued an ample patent in favour
of Sir William Mansfelt, who has the monopoly for making all
sorts of glass in this realm, confirming the old privilege granted
many years ago by the late King James, whereby the importation
of foreign glass and crystals is absolutely forbidden from
any place soever, upon pain of loss of the goods and other more
severe penalties. A clause at the end, however, declares that the
crystals and other important kinds of Murano work may be
imported by this knight only, and no one else, for the use of the
Court and the houses of the nobility, either for his own private
profit or at his pleasure. (fn. 3)
A few days ago I accidentally had notice of this affair, and
perceived that they were trying to keep me in the dark about it,
because when I sent to the printer in London for a copy of the
patent, he pretended not to have one and caused me great
difficulty in obtaining one. Having noted the tenor of this patent
and thinking it injurious to Venice because of the small quantity
of Murano work that could be disposed of in this kingdom in
the future upon such restricted conditions, I seized an opportunity
of seeing the Secretary Windebank. I pointed out how much
this patent where it concerns the trade of Murano would prejudice
the interests of the subjects of the republic as well as
those of his Majesty, because countless experiments had shown
that the crystal material in particular did not succeed anywhere
else than in Murano. To permit its free importation, as before,
does not, on the one hand, hurt Mansfelt, who can only
manufacture coarse glass, while on the other his Majesty may
profit greatly by the duties. I told him that since in the general
prohibition of foreign glass they found it necessary to make a
special reservation for that which comes from Venice, I thought,
for the reason given above, that the patent itself might well be
altered in that particular, granting to all the privilege which is
there conceded to Mansfelt alone. With that restriction, such
work might in a short time become scarce in England, so much
so that it would fetch excessive prices and the Court itself might
run short and those houses which are accustomed to use it freely.
Secretary replied that Mansfelt's monopoly could not be modified,
as he pays the king a handsome annual bonus for it. Moreover,
being a wealthy man, he alone would import as much Murano
glass as many others could do together, and as he enjoyed considerable
gain from the disposal of such merchandise, it was not
likely that he would neglect the privilege. I replied that he
probably made more profit from his own glass works, and certainly
with less trouble and risk, so it was reasonable to expect that he
would import as little foreign stuff as he could, both to compel
everyone to use his own, and to sell the few that he has from
Venice at more than he would a quantity, owing to their rarity,
than if they remained common as they are now. I asked him
to represent all this to the king, as he promised to do and let me
know the result.
Instead of this he sent me this same Mansfelt who, while
expressing the greatest devotion to the republic and her interests,
assured me that not only in his own interests, which were great,
but in order not to interrupt a trade which had prospered for
so long, he would not fail to act so that your Excellencies should
be perfectly satisfied with him. He promised and swore to me
that he alone would import more Murano work in a year than had
come in three before he obtained the privilege. He added that
if his actions did not bear out his words he would willingly
abandon all defence and not only allow his patent to be altered
as your Excellencies wished but have it annulled altogether.
I made him believe that I had instructions to ask his Majesty
directly in the name of the state for this alteration, and after
long hesitation I pretended to yield so far to his steadfast and
specious promises as to agree to put off the application until the
Signory repeated the order. Thereupon Mansfelt said he would
repeat his assurances on the word of a gentleman of honour,
and he declared at the same time that by interrupting the trade
of Antwerp and France through the powers which he holds, that
of Murano, remaining alone, must of necessity be greatly benefited.
I thought it well to act thus, while awaiting instructions, and
I thought I should thus compel Mansfelt to put the matter on
a proper footing. I did not think it advisable to speak about it
to the king, because I had no instructions about the wishes of
the state, and in order not to receive a repulse, which would put
a stop to a more favourable management of the affair, which you
may decide upon. Meanwhile I would only venture to remind
you that this is a question in which his Majesty will derive great
profit from the continuation of the privilege unaltered, and so
any one who tries to get it modified must use great tact, as it is
difficult to make him agree to anything which may be of the slightest
prejudice to him, even in appearance only.
Salisbury, the 13th August, 1636.
42. Stefano Capello, Venetian Proveditore of Zante,
to the Doge and Senate.
The plague has carried off Simon Vetcombe (fn. 4) among other
Englishmen at Patras. This has deprived me of the opportunity
of taking proceedings against him as I had resolved to do the next
time that he came here, about the oil sold by pirates to il Valapano
and by him to this Englishman, according to my information.
Zante, the 4th August, 1636, old style.