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.
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
Vienna, the 16th August, 1636.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Bradford, the 19th August, 1636.
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.]
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.
50. The Senate's decision of the 16th inst. having been
read to the English Ambassador, he spoke to the following
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Bradford, the 27th August, 1636.
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
Paris, the 29th August, 1636.
|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
The Hague, the 29th August, 1636.
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.
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.