Venice
August 1636, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1923

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42-57

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'Venice: August 1636, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 24: 1636-1639 (1923), pp. 42-57. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89405 Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


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August 1636, 16-31

Aug. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
43. That the ambassador of the king of Great Britain be sommoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him :
We have considered the memorial presented by your lordship on behalf of the English merchants and have decided that without altering the laws we will write to our representatives at Zante and Cephalonia for the relief of those merchants. We tell you this to show our regard for his Majesty and our desire to show favour to his subjects. The merchant Obson will profit by our disposition and the merchant Hider may advance his claims without meeting with any difficulty, while we will favour despatch in the matter.
That the Five Savii alla Mercanzia give effect to the decision of the 9th May last touching the merchant Obson, and that fresh letters be sent to Cephalonia on the same subject.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 1. Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
44. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The Polish ambassador has instructions to combine with the Earl of Arundel, if necessary, about negotiations for peace. It is true that he has not yet conferred with the Englishman. The earl, having encountered difficulties about the Palatinate, proposes to go to Prague to confer with the Elector of Saxony and get him to urge the emperor to restore that province. It is not known what pledge the English ambassador holds to enforce such offices or what the result is likely to be. Some of the ministers suggested a marriage between the Prince Palatine and his Majesty's daughter (fn. 1) as a means of settling the dispute, assigning them not the Lower Palatinate but the Duchy of Wirtemberg after the duke's death. But this would give offence to Saxony, so the union is unlikely to win the confidence of England. They say that this point also will be discussed in the electoral diet.
Vienna, the 16th August, 1636.
[Italian.]
Aug. 16.
Senato, Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
45. In Pregadi, on the 16th August, 1636. (fn. 2)
The English ambassador having made strong representations in the Collegio for the relief of the English merchants dwelling in our islands of Zante and Cephalonia from the burdens and extortions inflicted upon them by the customers and others, and it being the desire of this Council that those merchants shall have such relief and every facility, it be resolved :
(1) in response to the first complaint about weighing, that our Rectors at Zante and Cephalonia, if they discover that the customers are unduly delaying the weighing and sealing of the goods to be laded, be instructed to warn the customers to assist at the weighing etc. without delay, subject to such penalties as the Rectors may think proper. The Rectors may also depute a sufficient person to assist at these proceedings with the other officials who ordinarily take part.
(2) the issue of licences to lade currants at other ports than those of Argostoli and Val d'Alessandria is not permissible, and the Rectors shall publish severe penalties against those who venture to issue such licences.
(3) to avoid delay, when three or more ships are lading at the same time, the Rectors may depute officials, satisfactory to the customers to assist at the lading, but the charge must not fall on the state.
(4) the Rectors shall find some fit and sufficient person in the neighbouring parts or in the Turkish dominions for testing the weights and measures. The Five Savii shall see if there is any one suitable to go to these Islands for this purpose.
(5) the Rectors shall take steps to secure the safe transport of the money of the customs from Argostoli to the Chamber.
(6) this Council confirms the decision of Antonio Pisani, Proveditore General of the three Islands, of the 17th April 1632, that in the islands of Zante and Cephalonia creditors shall have liberty to obtain sentence upon their debts, have them entered and exacted, and they shall also be free to remove unjust charges or gratuities (magnarie) even though they pass under the name of presents.
(7) for the protection of the merchants our Rectors are to take steps to restrain those who slander, contemn or ill treat the English living there, or who venture to molest them in deed or word.
That a copy of this decree be sent to the Rectors of Zante and Cephalonia and another to the magistracy of the Five Savii della Mercanzia, and registered there, as also in the chanceries at Zante and Cephalonia.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 1. Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
46. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On leaving Salisbury with the confusion reported, his Majesty betook himself to a small village only fifteen miles away, where he took the house of a gentleman. Although it was very small for his requirements, he decided to wait for the queen and assemble all his household there to take up the thread of the interrupted progress. Here in the mean time one of the gentleman of the Prince Palatine, who lodged at Salisbury in the infected merchant's house, died after a few hours of suffering, with more than one symptom of the plague, and so, soon after, did one of his Majesty's guards, of the same sickness. These unexpected events have so discomposed the Court that they have practically abandoned their baggage and transferred themselves to this place whither the plague has not yet penetrated. (fn. 3) It is thought that they will stay here some days, and if they do not change their minds they will also divide the households, for less confusion and greater safety, the king taking one way and the queen another for the rest of the journey.
On Sunday, the day after the above mishap and the first here, they did not hold the usual council, for lack of those who take part. Knowing that his Majesty had no occupation of any kind after dinner, and that he was walking almost alone in a garden, I seized the opportunity to see him. I met him in that garden which at that hour was open to all, as if by chance. After approaching and making a reverence I told him how sorry I was to hear of the dangerous event at his house, and how glad I was to see that his Majesty, the queen and the principal lords who follow them had come away safe and sound. The king thanked me graciously and invited me to continue the walk with him. He began to speak of events in Italy and asked me to tell him the latest particulars. I gladly seized the opportunity, making use of the information that had reached me a few hours before in the public despatch of the 18th ult. I told him of the rumours that the forces of the allies had taken Varese, an important place on Lake Maggiore, as a pass and for trade, which would be a great advantage to them. They expected Rohan to join them, and it was said that the Swiss would let him pass by connivance. I also told him what else I considered worth his notice.
As regards Rohan his Majesty told me that it appeared by his letters that his intentions were different as it was thought better for the safety of the valley, which is so important, that he should remain to assist in person. He asked me about the number of troops your Excellencies are maintaining at present and what would be the final direction of your resolutions, considering the agitations of the province. I answered him that your forces were adequate and that you intended them for the safeguarding of your dominions, and to preserve such tranquillity for your subjects as present times allowed, in the hope that the establishment of a good general peace would soon give Christendom the repose for which it has sighed so many years. The republic's views, said his Majesty, have always been most prudent, and afford an example to any one who wishes to govern a state well, and there is no reason to doubt that she will in the present case take the course which is most beneficial to the interests of the public weal. I assured him that all your efforts were directed to that end and he took the right view. I responded modestly to his praise and commended his own glorious government. He interrupted me and changed the subject to pleasant and general topics, hunting, pictures and the like, in which he takes the greatest delight. I responded and he detained me for a full hour, treating me with much more friendliness and confidence than is usual with him.
I would not lose the opportunity of finding out if possible his views upon present circumstances. Going a long way round about I tried to get him to talk about the interests of the Palatine and the disputes beginning with the French and Dutch about the sea, in order to find out his real sentiments as far as possible. But he, who is generally disposed to speak soberly where he himself is concerned, fenced cleverly with all my leading questions, and in general terms expressed his desire to see the cause of his nephews properly adjusted, and for the rest a like desire to live neighbourly with all, provided his jurisdiction and the privileges of the realm were not prejudiced. Here he could not refrain from saying that the Dutch arrogate to themselves rather more authority than they ought, and that they were not strong enough to maintain their vast pretensions, which they may imagine to be easy and incontestable. At this point, without giving me time to reply he entered upon more familiar conversation, and when that was ended to his satisfaction he gave me an opening for taking leave, which I did.
From what I could observe in his expression of these ideas, I thought I could easily perceive his agitation about the matter of the fisheries, and so conclude on solid grounds that his ships have resolute orders to proceed against the Dutch in the way they announce.
After I had left his Majesty in the garden and as I was about to enter my coach, the Earl of Holland accosted me and told me in his Majesty's name that if I liked to join him on the following day in a hunt arranged in the neighbouring forests he would be glad to see me. He added that if I decided to go, I could come to his quarters on the day and he himself would escort me to follow the king. I could not refuse the kindness offered me and pretended to appreciate it as a singular favour, asking him to convey my humble thanks to his Majesty and tell him that I should be ready at any time to serve him the next day. I did so and I shall never be able to speak without blushing of the great kindness and courtesy I received. After the hunt was over and I had accompanied the king to his quarters and thanked him suitably, as a climax to the honours shown to me, he presented me with a stag, and deer from the best of the bag. I made a suitable response to this last favour, always with a view to encourage confidential relations, for the service of your Excellencies, and for the same purpose I have thought it my duty to send a full account of these events.
Bradford, the 19th August, 1636.
[Italian.]
47. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Master of the Ceremonies called on me late last evening to tell what he had done with the Spanish ambassador, who expressed his willingness to grant all that was demanded, but he would not make a bargain or bind himself to any precise form of procedure. I am of opinion that he has orders from his Court to make all these concessions, but that he tries to conceal this and wants to make it more a courtesy than an obligation ; nevertheless these first acts show clearly that what he wishes to make appear his own kindness is express instructions from the Court which he could not disobey.
Meanwhile his proceedings here continue to be observed with jealousy, and even with displeasure. His close relations with the Imperial minister Radolti, who himself never appears at Court are regarded with dislike, as if all agreement between them meant nothing but the planning of artificial delays to cause all vigorous resolutions taken here to fall through.
Nothing has been heard of Arundel since the courier was sent back. They say at Court and it is printed in the Gazettes of France, that he has gone on a trip to Hungary, a thing that fills the ministers here with disgust, as they consider their reputation is being wasted as well as time. Some think that immediately after the first overtures, seeing that a positive reply was delayed, he ought to have come away, especially as it was known that Bavaria was inexorable and so no reliance could be placed on the good intentions expressed by the emperor, whose own interests compel him not to alienate Bavaria, and consequently to neglect those of the Palatine, and with things as they are, these last cannot be adjusted without that prince suffering considerable harm. On the other hand, considering the expense in which any resolution on the part of England would involve her, it is considered less dangerous to temporise, until the peace of Germany matures, of which they do not lose hope, when they may expect the advantage which they could not promise themselves to obtain from the uncertain issue of arms, without much trouble. With this aim they are working hard to cultivate the Swedish party, as the enclosed paper, presented by Avery, the English Agent at Hamburg, to Oxestern, serves to show. It contains many particulars which I need not weary you by recounting. Neither will I remark about the point concerning the general peace, differing from the desire for a special one in the empire. The well informed intimate, who favoured me with this copy, promised me the Chancellor's reply as well, which I shall at once forward.
The French ambassadors are full of suspicion and also tossed in the perplexities of others. They would like to convince them that an adjustment of the Palatine's affairs with the Austrians is impossible, and it is all hopeless for him unless they make a way by arms. Here they seem to listen and to heed them, although they do not really, their only object in treating with them being to make the other side jealous. But these devices have by now become so old and worn that they not only pass without remark, but have almost become comic, and go to show that the chief preoccupations and the present turn of affairs in Christendom do not look to this quarter for regulation.
As already reported, they are making ready the twenty picked merchantmen which are to reinforce the fleet now at sea. The merchants have now presented a petition setting forth their unbearable burdens and the great loss to trade, so that their despatch may be stayed. If this is not done at once, it serves at least to unsettle the king, who is still undecided what to do, considering on one side the loss occasioned by the diminution of trade and on the other the need which he considers he has of these same ships.
They have no news yet of the squadron sent to meet the Dutch fishing boats. All are eager to know what happens and they do not like the delay at all. On the other hand it seems to afford great encouragement to the Dutch. At first they were dismayed by the unexpected decision, but now they hope that a continuance of the past connivance will secure their interests, and I should be inclined to agree with this view if the serious remarks made to me by his Majesty on the subject did not induce me to think the contrary.
Bradford, the 19th August, 1636.
[Italian.]
Enclosure. 48. Proposal of the British Agent to the Chancellor of Sweden, dated at Stralsund, the 3rd day of June, 1636. (fn. 4)
[Latin ; 5 pages.]
Aug. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
49. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary Bottiglier has taken the answer to the English ambassador Leicester about the ship Pearl, that although it was adjudged lawful booty, his Majesty is willing to give it up with everything therein, as a favour to the king of Great Britain. The ambassador says he does not know if his king will accept this indicating that England claims the quashing of the sentence as unjust. Nothing further has been done about the barque captured and detained at Calais. (fn. 5)
Paris, the 19th August, 1636.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
50. The Senate's decision of the 16th inst. having been read to the English Ambassador, he spoke to the following effect :
The reply read to me conforms with the friendship my king professes with your republic. I thank your Serenity, but the reply is general, and I should like particulars, and also to see it, so as to compare it with the articles of the memorial which I presented. The interest of the merchants is great, and I undertook to make the representation because I knew the case to be not only just but advantageous to his Majesty's subjects and to those of your Serenity. I therefore beg you to give me a full reply and satisfaction.
The doge replied, our republic values his Majesty's friendship most highly and that is the reason of the present decision, as the Senate's object was to secure the advantage of his Majesty's subjects and our own in trade.
The ambassador also returned thanks for what was said to him about the merchant Obson. He added that Hider would have liked a magistracy to be declared to which he could apply for his affairs, and the ambassador again asked the doge for this satisfaction. The doge said, the Senate thought it would be better for Hider to take his affair before the ordinary magistrates, as the business might prove long with magistrates especially delegated, who would have no other business, would not meet often and now one, now another would be absent from the city. The ordinary magistracy, which is that of the Five Savii, meets daily, and can therefore deal with his claims more expeditiously. Nevertheless the ambassador persisted that Hider would prefer to have a special magistracy, the doge repeating his answer. To his request for the decision about the English merchants they told him that the parties might have a copy in the chancery. With this the ambassador took leave, and went into the hall of the Pregadi to take with his own hand a copy of the office, and then departed.
[Italian.]
Aug. 21.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
51. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the Collegio and expressed himself to the following effect :
Your Serenity's last reply to me about the English merchants could not have been more satisfactory, and I again thank you in the name of my king. I am sure that he will be pleased with what has been done for his subject. In many of the articles of the memorial your Serenity has indeed shown that you desire the safety and convenience of the merchants, but in others I note that the mature consideration required by the business has not been given. I now come to draw attention to this, so that complete satisfaction may be given, as otherwise your Serenity's interests will suffer. I could say much on the subject, if I was not afraid of wearying you, and it is the less necessary because I will leave a fresh memorial for consideration, asking your Serenity to avoid all discontent for your own service, and as a testimony of the good relations which I will always endeavour to cherish. He then handed the memorial to his Serenity.
The doge replied, in the answer given by the Senate the matter was deeply considered, with especial regard, saving our laws, to do everything possible for the English merchants. As we have so often told you, we desire the merchants to be well treated, and to have every possible advantage, for the sake of our mutual trade. Everything possible has been done in this business, and your lordship will recognise our desire to continue our good relations with his Majesty. If there is anything in this new memorial, these Signors will see and do what is proper.
The ambassador said he was sure of the good feeling of the republic, and he begged them again to take the affair in hand so that the merchants might be completely satisfied. He added, with regard to the other merchants I do not see that there is any more to say about Obson, as I consider his affair settled. Hider's misfortunes and present miseries compel me to ask your Serenity that his case may be considered again, as he declares himself injured in many ways and he will not be satisfied except by having special judges. For him, then, I present this memorial, which I should like to be read, so that some decision to satisfy him may be taken. This memorial was handed in and also read. (fn. 6) After the reading the doge said, We see that Hider claims to have suffered injury in his sentences, and some wrong. It is easy to appeal to the superior magistrates, who can give him the relief he desires. That was the meaning of the Senate's reply, but they will deliberate upon this also. The ambassador begged again for consideration upon both affairs. He then took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Aug. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
52. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
There is an extraordinary stir among the people at the arrest of the Admiral of the fishing fleet by the English, as it strikes them in their most sensitive part. Three hundred sailors at Rotterdam would have smashed the houses and magazines of the English merchants if the magistrates had not intervened. The English disclaim any idea of interfering with the fishermen. They say that the Admiral was released soon after, as they only wanted to talk with him. Of this the States have no certainty, but they are greatly offended and have ordered Joachimi to set out without delay in order to find out the intentions of the king and to make a remonstrance. They have at the same time ordered their Admiral to sail with all the fleet of 32 very large ships, though they announce the number as fifty. The Princess Palatine says that the king will not trouble them as he knows quite well that any offence given to the Dutch will only encourage the Austrians. The Resident says he is amazed that their High Mightinesses do not speak and endeavour by negotiation to remove suspicion and avoid the danger altogether, since they may rest assured that they will receive every courtesy and kindness from the king. From this it is thought that England would like to choose commissioners to make such progress as may be possible and to make a show of granting the rest, or at least to hold in suspense the affair, already deeply committed by the declarations and announcements made, while held back on the other hand from taking definite action both by their desire not to prejudice the interests of the king's nephews and in particular of not losing their quiet. The States do not look on it in this light and say that they are as much masters of the sea as the English and that they will not submit to arbitration that which most certainly belongs to them.
The Hague, the 21st August, 1636.
[Italian.]
Aug. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
53. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of our reply to the English ambassador about the English merchants. The ambassador has made a fresh exposition, of which a copy is attached. This contains matters to which we cannot agree. We hope however that we shall be able to convince him. We have sent you full particulars so that you may be able to speak if the subject is raised.
Ayes, 91. Noes, 1. Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
Aug. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
54. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
While they are impatiently waiting to hear that the Earl of Arundel has returned to the emperor and resumed his negotiations with the vigour that has been enjoined upon him, and which is so long in appearing, his Majesty unexpectedly decided to assemble the Council. He clearly set forth to them his views, both about his hopes from the emperor, and how he wished to hear the opinion of each of them upon what was most expedient to do to save his own reputation and with it the cause of the Palatine, binding them to the most absolute secrecy of all that took place at that council. When he came out, without anything being decided, and withdrew alone to a cabinet it was observed that he remained there almost two hours writing. In that time he drew up and sealed, entirely by himself, a long despatch. When he came out of the cabinet he handed it to one of his secretaries and directed him to take it to the Earl of Arundel in Germany with all speed, without speaking about it to anyone.
It is impossible to find out what was decided in respect to their discussion, and consequently what was written, as he did not even communicate it to any of the ministers. This extraordinarily secret action has greatly disquieted the Court, but the agitation of the Prince Palatine is incomparably greater, because hitherto he has always been kept in the dark not only about this, but about every other important step.
On the following day the king wrote another letter in the same manner to the Earl of Leicester in France, which has added not a little to the material for discussion and speculation. (fn. 7) It is said that the king, disgusted at the behaviour of the Austrians, whom he perceives to be wasting his time and doing nothing, has sent vigorous orders to Arundel to protest and depart, and to Leicester, on the other hand, to reopen some negotiations which may be carried through without difficulty. But what he said subsequently to the Ambassador Seneterre, who spoke to him at length about such affairs, as I shall relate in detail, seems to leave little credit for such an opinion, so one must await the event, of which your Excellencies will hear from the Ambassador Contarini in France and the Resident Ballarino in Germany before I can supply authentic information.
It is asserted that secret and urgent orders had been sent previously to Leicester, desiring him to devote himself adroitly to two very important affairs, one to introduce with proper reserve a proposal for a marriage between the Prince Palatine and Monsieur's daughter, (fn. 8) or at least to ascertain thoroughly how they would welcome it ; the other to find out what negotiations may be on foot for a marriage between the King of Poland and the Princess Maria, daughter of the Duke of Mantua, (fn. 9) of which they are very jealous here and mean to upset it at all costs ; my informant can speak with certainty because he has handled these affairs. I learn from the same source that their chief efforts here in the interests of that prince are directed to obtaining a good marriage for him, so that if he does not prove more fortunate, he will be able, with his matrimonial revenues, to pass his life in a manner befitting his birth ; and they do this because they see clearly that nothing much can be expected in other ways ; the electoral vote is too difficult to obtain, and that part of his dominions which might be restored by some composition is so wasted and harassed that it would prove a drain rather than a benefit, at least at first, and in this way they hope to escape the burdens which they see would be inevitable because of his weakness. I am giving the Ambassador Contarini full particulars of this, so that he may be able to discover the essence of these transactions, and that he may inform your Excellencies and supply me with the illumination with which he is always most liberal.
When they were expecting to hear the results of Gordon's operations to reopen the question of marrying the Palatine princess to the king there, news has come that he has fallen sick on the road, with little hope of recovering soon. The report of this hasty messenger may do more harm than good to the business. They will wait for further news of Gordon and then decide what they consider best in accordance with it.
Letters from the Earl of Northumberland have reached the king this week. He reports having fallen in with some Dutch fishing boats and having made them contribute a tenth of the catch which they were taking home. This has filled the Court with joy, as they were anxiously waiting for something of the kind about the lordship of the sea, while it has caused corresponding sorrow to the Ambassador Beveren. He raises his lamentations to the skies, and complains that the promise which his Majesty gave him at Windsor has been broken, when he said that his fleet would treat the Dutch in the most friendly fashion, and assured him that no act of hostility or violence should be committed against them or what belonged to them.
He went yesterday to make the strongest remonstrances to the Secretary Coke. He told him frankly that this unfortunate incident would give the impetus to greater mischief, because the Dutch people would certainly not tolerate any yoke of vassalage, and being hot by nature, they would assuredly take some dangerous measures, after deliberating upon the consequences arising out of such an affair. He spoke in the same manner and even more haughtily at another meeting, and I myself heard himself say in the presence of many that the Princess Palatine, who with her children and household had received such good treatment for such a long time at the Hague, where she had been very popular, will not be so welcome henceforward, because those who know least about affairs and who form the majority, will be persuaded that she is able but not willing to persuade her brother to treat them more gently. Such impressions are difficult to eradicate from the minds of those who only consider what is useful and convenient, and who cannot endure to be molested without cause. But here they let his words fall without attention and propose to go on as their interests require. From this your Excellencies can see how much importance may be attached to what his Majesty said to me on the subject, and how very far wrong were those who maintained that the great fishery which passed to Holland would certainly be carried on, protected by connivance from this quarter (s'haveria sicuramente far coperta della connivenza di questa parte.)
The Court divided at the beginning of this week, (fn. 10) the queen withdrawing to Ombi, a private place of hers, far from habitation. The king has decided to move from here tomorrow, but not yet where he will go, the plague, which spreads its roots in every direction, having entirely upset the arrangements for the progress. In London more than 800 die per week at present of this scourge, and it increases considerably every day.
The ship "Fior Dorato" has arrived. As soon as I heard I sent for the case with the pocket pistols which your Excellencies are sending to be consigned to the King of Persia's merchant. As the outside was in good condition my people thought proper to open it to see how the pocket pistols had fared within, and so that the merchant should see what had been consigned to him. They found them somewhat rusted and the cock of one broken in the middle, we cannot see how, unless it had a blow when being packed. Owing to this accident I resolved to keep it by me, until your Excellencies have sent me another cock of the same size as the broken one enclosed, with the utmost speed, although I do not think the time will he short, as the merchant cannot leave this kingdom for three months and more.
Acknowledges Senate's letters of 25th ult.
Bradford, the 27th August, 1636.
[Italian.]
55. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Sennecterre, having received a courier the day before yesterday, at once asked audience of the king, without giving time to the ambassador Poyne, who was lodged at a very great distance, to accompany him. The king granted it at once. So soon as he came out of the king's chamber, without his having seen any of the ministers, either before or after, Sennecterre communicated the rest of his interview to Poyne, and then they jointly sent off the courier, who only remained here one day and one night. From various sources, including a conversation with Sennecterre himself, I have found out that with a large embrace, in which he may be said to have included all the current affairs of Europe, he represented to his Majesty the unsettled state in which the affairs of France now are, owing to the changes of fortune, and showing by very evident reasons how closely these are bound up with the interests of this crown, he laboured to persuade him to throw aside ambiguity henceforward and resolve courageously to take the course which he showed to be the most proper and opportune for the common welfare and the special advantage of the Palatine. He pointed out in the first place the insuperbable power of the House of Austria ; that the more it was agitated and resisted the stronger and more vigorous it rose up ; he instanced the little that it had been possible to do against it in Italy in a long while and with great efforts. On the other hand he showed the successes of the Spaniards in Picardy ; the hopes they have of advancing into the heart of France and the appearance that the Dutch will move late and perhaps inopportunely to make the necessary diversion. By joining the affairs of Germany and making them appear much nearer the last extremity than they really are, he arrived at the centre of his purpose, concluding that it was the most serious interest of England not to allow the good fortune of the Austrians to go so far ; that it will be too late afterwards to think of overthrowing them once they have laid their foundations so solidly as all these evidences give grounds for fearing.
He then entered into the most minute details about the interests of the Palatines, and here, with all the force of reason and art he made the final effort to make it clear that without a union between this crown, France and the States of Holland, every attempt to recover the Palatinate would be thrown away. He did not forget to support this cause by referring to the useless waste of time by the Earl of Arundel at the Imperial Court, saying that they were trying to make him forget serious affairs which were in his charge by the splendour of the most sumptuous banquets, and the enjoyment of pleasures and the chase. He drew a parallel between the little that they allow to be done by these arts and the absence of any negotiations by Radolti here ; with a third disadvantage which clearly arises from the backwardness of the Spanish ambassador here, from which he readily drew the conclusion that the Spaniards have no other object than to consume away every attempt for the restitution of the Palatinate, partly by arms and partly by time. They are on the high road to achieve this result, and there is no guarantee that when they are strong and powerful they will agree to what was not forced from them when they were weak and languishing.
He alluded to the approaching congress at Cologne for the negotiation of a general peace. He only touched upon its merits, but in a very penetrating way. He pointed out that his king, while things continue to go on in this way, would have good cause to hasten to conclude it, without showing himself sticklish for anything but what directly concerned the interests of his own kingdom, in order to come to an end ; as alone he could not and at the sole risk of his own he ought not to undertake the direction of what really should concern him less than England, whose reputation is concerned through the blood relationship.
In this way, by the force of his arguments, some suave and others sharp, he tried to induce his Majesty to make some resolute and generous declaration, pressing him then for some categorical reply. But the king does nothing and decdies nothing except after the most mature and weighty consultation. He confined himself to a few generalities, expressing his intense desire to co-operate for the common service and for that of the Most Christian in particular, which he said he valued as much as his own, owing to the very close interest he had always shown himself willing to take in the affairs of the princes, his nephews. He said he would never show a lack of vigour in supporting them reasonably, and he would labour for them without sparing anything, as his reputation demanded. When the ambassador pressed him again by repeating the arguments above, insisting especially upon the calculated delays of the Austrians, the king replied easily that there was time for everything, and prudence required that they should act according to occasion and without confusion. They were now treating with the emperor to obtain the reinstatement of the Palatines without fuss. He had employed one of the leading men of the realm for this. Here on the other hand there was a Spanish ambassador who was to treat of these matters, and while these affairs are pending it is not possible to change them so hurriedly without betraying scant acquaintance with them. He had, through his ambassadors, made known his real intentions sufficiently in France. These certainly did not deviate from the strait way of justice, and if they had met with more credit, something good might at this moment have been resolved ; and that in the mean time his king did not know what to resolve, and the others could not be blamed if they waited for their own convenience to do so.
The ambassador made further remarks and the king replied, all to the same effect as the above. These form a curious dialogue, but they settled nothing. Thus things remain as they were before, the noise of this despatch and this long interview will have served for nothing but to make the Spaniards uneasy, and possibly hasten Ognate to explain his instructions. The ministers here gladly use them to rouse him ; thus they contrive that somewhat sharp moves shall reach his ears, as they can by no means tolerate such a long delay. It is said in particular that they have intimated to him by a third party the dissatisfaction they feel, hinting that he might very easily pass as a private individual if he has no intention except to see the country for his own pleasure. Such ideas, however, are the result of passion and have little to do with the substance. He has excused his delay after his own fashion, and has tried to some extent to obtain his Majesty's approval in his discharge, whom it is necessary for the ambassador to please, but it does not follow that the king would not have heard him very gladly before he had gone so far in his progress. I have thought it my duty to inform the Senate of this.
Bradford, the 27th August, 1636.
[Italian.]
Aug. 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
56. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Agents of England took leave several days ago to return home. Two packets have reached me from your Serenity. In that of the 19th July, I note what you say about the negotiations of the Earl of Arundel. In this connection I may refer to what the Ambassador Leicester communicated to me in confidence, that if the Austrians and Bavaria will agree to restore to the Palatine his dominions, namely the Upper and Lower Palatinate with a promise to let him have the electoral dignity after Bavaria's death, he believes that England will rest satisfied ; he knew for certain that they had made proposals to him to restore everything provided the King of Great Britain would be the friend of the friends and enemy of the enemies of the House of Austria, but his Majesty would never agree to such a proposal. This ambassador is not conducting any negotiations here on the subject because he has not more precise commissions than in the past.
Paris, the 29th August, 1636.
[Italian.]
Aug. 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
57. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The English are treating the Admiral of the fishing fleet well and have finally persuaded him to pay a florin the lastro for seven fishing boats arrested, the others having fled. The fishermen paid this willingly, without any regard for the prejudice done to the liberty which these States claim to enjoy at sea or for the dignity of their country. After this the English granted them passports, so that with the king's fleet divided into three squadrons, they should receive no further molestation, with offers of assistance and every courtesy. The English then released the Admiral, who sent a report to the States yesterday. The States display the bitterness and disgust which they feel strongly both against the English and against their own Admiral. They protest that they would never agree to this if the conditions were different, and if the truces were arranged with the Spaniards their High Mightinesses would be all of one mind in having recourse to arms and beginning war against England. Everyone says as much quite freely.
The fleet was to have sailed two days ago, to escort the Ambassador Joachimi to England. It is to go off Dunkirk. If the fishermen get back to sea they will be frequently visited and assisted by twelve ships of war, and if the English appear with the intention of carrying into practice what they began to do with the Admiral, it is certain that very great disorders will ensue.
The Hague, the 29th August, 1636.
[Italian.]
58. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Duke Bernard has sent a gentleman to England to ask help and permission to raise levies in particular. He is here waiting to confer with the Landgrave of Hesse. (fn. 11)
The Hague, the 29th August, 1636.
[Italian.]
Aug. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
59. Piero Foscarini, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The captain and purser of an English ship have been in great danger of their lives. When they left the port and neared Scutari they fired ten guns, although it was night. The Sultan has forbidden any sort of firing after sunset and was greatly incensed. He sent a galley after them and would have had them hanged. However the English ambassador succeeded in getting them off, representing that they were ignorant of the law and only wished to show honour to his Majesty.
The Vigne of Pera, the 30th August, 1636.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Cæcilia Renata, his younger daughter, afterwards queen of Poland.
2 A copy of this decision in Italian is among the state papers. S.P. For. Venice, Vol. 38.
3 This move to Bradford was thus on the 17th August N.S. It is remarkable that letters of Coke of this date give the impression that the king was at Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire on that day. Hist. MSS. Comm. 3rd Report page 73, Strafford Letters, Vol. ii., pages 24, 25.
4 Copies of this paper are preserved at the Public Record Office, State Papers, Foreign. Sweden.
5 The Miniken.
6 The memorial is not in the filza under this date.
7 Roe refers to the king writing privately to both Arundel and Leicester, but he says that the two letters were both written on the same day, Sunday 24 July—3 August, at Apthorpe. Cal. S. P. Dom., 1636—7, page 83.
8 Anne Marie Louise, duchess of Montpensier, aged 9 years at this date.
9 Maria Gonzaga, daughter of Charles I., duke of Mantua. She ultimately became the second wife of Uladislaus IV., in 1646. Hübner : Genealogische Tabellen, Nos. 96, 307.
10 The 27 August was a Wednesday, so that "this week" began on the 24th. This is difficult to square with the information sent by Salvetti on the 11 August, "Tutto il corpo della Corte si e ritirato a Hombi nella provincia di Nortanton per fermarvisi un gran pezzo ... II Re ha lasciato quivi la Regina e se n'e passato piu avanti alla caccia del settentrione, con pensier di ritornar da lei fra 15 giorni." Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 27962.
11 The gentleman was Ponickau, who had negotiated the agreement with France for the duke in the preceding year. The princess Palatine announced his coming to Sir Thomas Roe on the 15/25 August. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1636—7, pages 94, 435.