60. In response to the instruction of the Senate upon the
new memorial presented by the English Ambassador, we are of
opinion that in the matter of lading at all the ports, the original
decision was based upon the laws ; but seeing that lading is
clearly not practicable at two ports only, this question is a proper
one for decision by the Senate ; at the same time the ships should
not be released from the presence of the customers at the lading.
In the matter of exporting food for use on the ships free of the
new duty, we think this may be allowed, especially as Hider is
interested in the new duty. We consider reasonable the proposal
that the captains of ships shall be required to give pledges against
smuggling by their sailors.
On the question of the exemption of Londons, half Londons
and tin from the new impost, we find that some four or five years
ago a warehouse was newly established in the Morea with cases
of English goods, a quantity of cloth has been brought by English
ships, which afterwards lade currants, oil and other goods for the
West. Other ships go first to Zante and Cephalonia to unlade
Londons and then go on to the Morea with the rest, so that a
very small quantity of these goods goes to the islands. It is
difficult to estimate how far this injures the trade in Venetian
cloth. We find also that Hider proposes to divert the trade
and ships from Patras and the Morea, and to destroy, if possible,
the houses newly established there. This would be a great
advantage to the state, as the oil taken by the English from the
Morea would of necessity come to the Venetian dominions,
and pay duty, without reckoning other profits. But we do
not feel competent to form a judgment on this question.
Dated at the office, the 2nd September, 1636.
|Girolamo Lando, knight
61. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Admiral of the fishing fleet reports that the English
seized five boats and compelled them to pay a florin per lastro
or the equivalent in fish. They then gave them passports to
fish in the king's waters for a year, confirming the lordship
claimed, to which they say the Dutch have tacitly consented.
The report has caused an extraordinary sensation and greatly
increased the bitter feeling as they perceive that the English
seize every opportunity for pushing their claims. On the
following day the States informed the Prince and asked his
advice. Meanwhile there is a loud buzzing especially among
the people of Holland, who are more interested in the fisheries
than the rest, to the effect that they must on no account pass over
this injury, without showing due resentment, that to put up
with this innovation is equivalent to accepting the caprices
of the English and the manifest loss of the liberty which these
Provinces claim at sea as their absolute right. The Prince,
however, will probably assuage their heat, and if they do not
take some rash step at the outset, it is thought that they will
appoint commissioners to enquire into the subject. This with
no intention of giving way, but only in order to gain time, in
the hope that the king may relax his claims, or that some
change in circumstances may help them to uphold their
The Princess Palatine is very distressed and labours to
persuade them that the state is not attacked and that it concerns
the fishermen only as individuals. She points out with a
sigh that every slight disturbance tends in the first instance to
prejudice the interests of her House. But she received a reply
full of heat and passion, it being openly asserted that no
circumstance was more likely to constrain these Provinces
to accept a disadvantageous truce than the proceedings of
England and a persistence in the course adopted.
The fleet sailed ten days ago, with orders to lower sails if
it meets with a superior force and not to run any risks on this
account. Some say that they ought not to refuse this slight
honour to the English, on the ground of friendship ; but
if the ill feeling continues to grow it will increase on this point
as well and their High Mightinesses mean to uphold with
punctuality that liberty at sea which reason and force may be
able to concede to them.
The Hague, the 4th September, 1636.
62. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The King has been considerably stirred against some of his
leading ministers, and has already shown his resentment. He
has ordered the Secretary Windebank to remain in retirement
in a country house of his until further order, and they say that
Lord Cottington has received a similar command. The reason
for this sharpness really depends upon essentials, as everyone
freely acknowledges, because his Majesty commanded that the last
money which arrived here from Spain to be transported to Flanders
should be seized for outstanding debts of his, and he sealed the order
for this with his own hand. (fn. 1) They say that Windebank and
Cottington, being aware of this, forestalled the royal commissions
by their own, and obliged the captain of the ship to present himself
immediately at Dunkirk with the money, as he certainly did,
without losing time. The strong feeling which had struck root in
his Majesty's mind through other similar incidents could no longer
remain hidden upon this occasion, as the offence was too sensible
and public. Thus it is not thought that his severity will end here,
as the king has let it be understood that he knows full well that
besides these two there are others in his Council who receive a yearly
pension from the Spaniards, and that he will also be able to find
a way to make them repent bitterly.
It was this condition of mistrust which induced him to write
in person to the ambassadors in Germany and France, and
that is also the reason why he keeps the substance of his despatches
so secret, as it seems that he no longer trusts anyone, even in the
most minute things.
If these two ministers remain in disgrace, the French hope that
their affairs will profit greatly, because not only the sympathies but
the overt acts of those two were always devoted to helping the
Spanish side. However they have such favours and so many
connections (favori e dipendenze tali) that their fall will be no such
easy thing, although their power will be diminished, as they
certainly will not soon recover their former influence with the king.
Accordingly everyone is awaiting the issue of this affair with
great anxiety, as it is believed that the greatest deliberations will
take their direction in accordance therewith.
Owing to this disturbance, it is believed, his Majesty would not be
present at the Council this week, and it is thought that he will not
attend the present one either, as he can conceal the reason which keeps
him away under colour of the numerous diversions which the
students of the Colleges here will give him.
The Secretary of Prince Tomaso has been here a week, sighing
for an audience, which has been put off from day to day
under various pretexts. He says that he brings secret orders
from his master to treat with his Majesty. (fn. 2) These have not
transpired, but they seem to attach such slight importance to
him personally at the Court that he can have but scant hopes
of a successful issue to his negotiations.
The Spanish victories in Picardy and the reverses of the
French, now that all fear of their fleet is dispelled by the news
of its entering Toulon, begin to cause regret to the ministers
here, and unless the emperor comes to a more favourable decision
about the Palatine, there is every likelihood that the French
will achieve the end they aim at, as what previously might have
depended on inclination alone has now become practically a
necessity. The ambassadors lose no time and make the most
of circumstances, always in conjunction with the Dutch
ambassador extraordinary, whose vigilance in everything
certainly has no peer. The adroitness of the Ambassador
Joachimi, who has arrived in Holland this week, and his prudent
advice will prove wonderfully opportune in the present
No further news has arrived of the fleet. The Dutch are
fishing at present in the middle of the sea, and so they no longer
have occasion here to molest them while they need not fear
molestation. But this does not cause any diminution in the
bitterness over past events, and they continue to speak with the
The merchant ships which were to go to sea in the king's
service, have been allowed to go free at the instance of the
interested parties. The other ten of his Majesty, which were
being fitted out. are supplied with everything and only need
captains to command them ; (fn. 3) as the nomination of these is
delayed so long and the season is so far advanced, it is thought
that they will not sail at all.
Sir [John] Finett came to see me the day before yesterday,
and told me that now his Majesty will be somewhat nearer the
city the Spanish ambassador thinks of performing his first
public functions. The ambassador had again confirmed his
desire to correspond with the Venetian minister, and charged
Finett to assure me that I should receive from him every satisfaction
that I could desire. He added that if you had sent
an ambassador extraordinary to the emperor about the diet,
as he understood you would, his father would treat him in the
same way, as he also wished to restore the friendly relations
which existed previously. I made a suitable response to this
fresh office, and without committing myself told him that I
would lose no opportunity of giving effect to our mutual
His Majesty has again arrived here with the intention of
staying some time, both because the air is good and the plague
has not yet made itself felt, and to please the students of the
Colleges, who entertain him with various kinds of virtuous
recreations. He will pass from here to the place which will be
considered best for health ; but he will not go anywhere without
extreme inconvenience to the Court, as the country is ruined
everywhere by an excessive drought, causing the greatest
suffering to everything and making the miserable weakness
of the country people general, while even the purses of the
greatest find it insupportable. Everyone declares that there
is no memory of such a misfortune in England, whose usually
damp climate is so changed that the trees and the land are
despoiled of their verdure as if it were a most severe winter.
Rossi, who was secretary of the Ambassador Michiel in Holland
arrived here the day before yesterday. He told me that he
had the cipher and I made him hand it over at once. I am
keeping it myself as my secretary is in indifferent health and I
know of no one else to whom I can trust it.
Oxford, the 5th September, 1636.
[Italian : the part in italics deciphered.]
63. After consideration of the memorial presented by the
English Ambassador and the remarks of the Five Savii alla
Mercanzia, it is resolved :
That the duty on currants shall be put up to auction by the
Five Savii alla Mercanzia, precisely in accordance with the
offers made by the merchant Henry Hyde for the present
contract, and under the conditions and obligations expressed
in the usual articles of the farm.
That under the present contract, for the lading of currants,
the islanders of Zante and Cephalonia and the English merchants
may use other ports as well as those of Argostoli and Val
d'Alessandria, which those merchants and islanders consider
more convenient for lading, and better for their interests,
but the customers or their agents and other public officials must
That in conformity with the representations made, those who
lade at Cephalonia shall have one day's expectation (faccino
stalia d'un giorno) in the port of Argostoli, and those of Zante
shall have a day at Zante, for the necessary enquiries. (fn. 4) That
if smuggling is discovered the smugglers shall be punished.
That the captains of ships shall give sureties in the chambers
there for the sailors, for any misdeeds which they may commit.
That Londons and half Londons may be brought to the two
islands, and those which are disposed of there shall pay the
duty of the new custom, and those which leave them to be
taken to the Morea, shall not pay the new custom, up to 150
Ayes, 100. Noes, 4. Neutral, 46.
64. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Arundel has written to the Princess Palatine
that he is waiting for his answer and is working for the best.
But everyone laughs at this, perceiving the devices of the
Austrians and Spaniards to increase ill feeling and to persuade
England to unite with them. But so far nothing has been decided
and they will wait to hear the advice of the Prince and the report
of Joachimi. The Princess Palatine says that she is impatiently
awaiting news from England which she expects to be excellent,
but this is considered a device to stop any decision here. Yet
she spoke to me very seriously on the subject and expressed
Beveren reports that in reply to his remonstrances about the
fishermen he was told that they had paid willingly, without
any force being used. The king expressed his desire for friendly
relations with these Provinces. Beveren adds that the king
could not speak with greater kindness, but that the mischief
lies in the heart of the ministers who bear no good will to this
state, because they are all in the pay of the Austrians. The
letters have done nothing to soothe public feeling. Their High
Mightinesses say that the king speaks in this way because he
wants to avoid trouble not because he has any intention of
adjusting the matter or of abandoning his pretentions in the
smallest degree. They hope through Joachimi's negotiations
to find some way of avoiding a collision.
The Hague, the 11th September, 1636.
65. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The moment Joachimi landed, without Beveren knowing all
about it, he went straight to Court by order of his masters, and
told the king how deeply the Dutch felt the attack on their fishing
busses, without regard for his royal promise, making the fishermen
contribute a great part of the fruits of their labours, as if it were
a toll. They did not know why they should be subjected to this
new and transcendent charge and had ordered him to ask his
Majesty to agree to nominate someone with whom he could
confer upon the merits of the affair, so that he might send them
definite information, in order to decide the matter as speedily
as possible and free the Dutch of this tax. He further besought
his Majesty that since the question was a matter for negotiation,
he would be pleased, during the time that arguments were
being advanced on one side and the other, to order that no
further steps should be taken in the rigorous measures already
instituted, so that the business might be settled in a friendly
way without noise or cause for further offence. The king at
once understood that the aim of this office was present delay so
that they might quietly enjoy the benefit of time for the second
fishing, adroitly seized upon the point and made the delay turn
to his own advantage. He said he did not think there was any
need for discussion as the reasons for his authority were perfectly
clear. But he would not refuse any satisfaction to the States,
whom he had always considered good neighbours and friends
and so he would consent to receive the present request in writing,
so that it might be duly considered. Joachimi could only
answer that when the paper was presented he hoped that he
would have a reply at once. In this way the matter has been
shelved and as the original orders are still in force, the fishermen
will certainly be compelled to continue their contributions if the
king's ships encounter them.
The ships have returned to the Downs, having left six ships
only to cruise together where they may be required. It is
said that these also will very shortly be compelled to betake
themselves to these waters, as like the others they lack everything
required for living. (fn. 5) The ambassador will urge the despatch
of the affair with no less pressure because he has orders to return
to Holland at once, to report orally what he had done.
The Secretary of Prince Tomaso was introduced to audience
of the king last week. He asked permission to enlist some
Scotch recruits. They practically refused this by an ambiguous
answer to the effect that they wished it postponed, so he seems
inclined to depart at once.
The Spanish ambassador still keeps hidden, careless about the
displeasure of the Court, which increases daily. It is said that
he has brought 300,000 francs with him, and that before explaining
his business he wishes to pave his way with them. He
certainly has some very special visits and frequent and most
secret meetings are held in the house of Nicolaldi. That
minister has been declared secretary of the Cardinal Infant, and
when Ognate takes up his ministry the other will go forthwith
to his new one.
Both the French ambassadors had a long audience of the king
this day. It is supposed to relate to the alliance, especially as new
and most specious offers have been made to Leicester in Paris
of which I hope to find out particulars. The king is most anxious
for news of Picardy and also of Italy. He enquires almost weekly
of me about that province through the Secretary Coke.
The king went last week to Oxford with the intention of
proceeding thence to Windsor or some other place nearer the
city but on hearing that the plague is making considerable
progress not only there but in all the villages and other places
around, he decided to resume his turn at a considerable distance
still. He arrived the day before yesterday here at Southampton.
Yesterday when out on his usual pleasures of the chase he
came near losing his life. He was following a stag at full speed
when he unexpectedly came upon a deep bog, which was disguised
by being covered with fresh grass. He plunged so deeply
into this that his horse was completely submerged, while only
his head and the top of his shoulders remained above ground.
He was in danger of being swallowed up also, if those at hand
had not rescued him by their agility and at the risk of their lives.
The horse remained dead on the spot, but the king, undismayed
as if no accident had occurred, changed his clothes with the
first person he met, at once mounted another horse and decided
to continue the chase.
Some of the foreign ministers here have gone to-day to congratulate
him on his escape from so great a danger, and I shall
not fail to do the same.
Acknowledges Senate's letters of 31st July and 8th ult.
Southampton, the 12th September, 1636.
66. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
With the commisions from England of which your Serenity
will have heard, the Earl of Leicester has met the commissioners
Bullion and the younger Botillier, to whom he has made proposals
of a new co-operation in the interests of the Palatinate. They
have replied asking for a declared union with his Majesty against
the Spaniards, promising that they will do what he desires ;
but as he has not authority to go so far he has sent a courier
to that Court, representing that there are strong arguments for
taking such a step ; and now he is waiting for the reply.
Paris, the 16th September, 1636.
|67. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
An idea prevails just now that things may look up, and
especially if they succeed in winning over and uniting England
with themselves, then the Cardinal may be ready to try his fortune
for another year, with the aim, if it be any way possible, to keep
Lorraine for himself in a treaty of peace, as a monument of
his services, a thing he now perceives he cannot realise.
Paris, the 16th September, 1636.
68. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in
Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Arundel came here three weeks ago to see the
emperor. In spite of his insistence for a definite reply about
the Palatinate, he has had no luck, as with their advantages in
the present campaign, and because they attach more importance
to pleasing Bavaria than to good relations with England, the
ministers only try to keep up the ambassador's hopes with fair
words, in order to delay any move of that sovereign against the
House of Austria. I found his Excellency greatly disturbed and
dissatisfied. He spoke unwillingly on the subject, but told me
with much bitterness that they make a great mistake here if
they build on their present success, as nothing is more inconstant
than the fortune of war, and they may regret their refusal to
listen to proposals for an accomodation. He told me of what had
befallen one of his principal gentlemen and to his esquire on their
way out to him, who were bound to a tree by assassins, robbed
and murdered. (fn. 6) He has again spoken strongly to the bishop,
threatening what England will do, especially if the Diet confirms
Bavaria in possession of the electoral vote. He declared that
this would never be tolerated. The bishop replied that they
would not be disturbed by threats. They could not shut their
eyes to the harm the Palatine had done in Germany. The
Ambassador had offended the Duke of Bavaria by refusing to
see him and calling him an enemy. This closed the way to
The Count of Ognat has exchanged visits with Arundel and
intimated that the matter can easily be settled. I learn that
he postulated that the Catholic was ready to yield that part of
the Palatinate which he holds if Bavaria will do the same and if
England will give suitable satisfaction. But it is clear that these
offices are performed in concert with Bavaria, in spite of the
apparent breach between the duke and Spanish ministers. The
Count says that with the arrival of his son in England the aspect
of things will change, and England will be glad to continue to
enjoy the advantage of trade with Spain, the interruption of
which would hurt them seriously. As a matter of fact this
frankness of the Spaniards as well as that of the Imperialists
rather inclines one to believe that they have more probably
good grounds for thinking that they have penetrated the essential
intentions of the English ministers, most of whom they have
captured by heavy pensions to serve the Catholic's will. It
is also believed here by many that they supply detailed information
about what is transacted in the most intimate cabinets
at that Court.
Confronted by such difficulties, which he may not have foreseen
when he started on his mission, the English ambassador circulates
reports that he will depart from here suddenly, without taking
leave, in order to make an oral report to his King. But this is
considered a device to win him some satisfaction.
Ratisbon, the 16th September, 1636.
69. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
I went to congratulate the king on his escape. With his face
full of kindness he told me he was particularly gratified by what
I said, as he was as sure of the affection of your Excellencies
as that he always considered your interests with affectionate
regard. I meant to take leave immediately after the compliments,
as I was warned that he had other important occupations,
but with his usual kindness he detained me, and asked me about
events in Italy. From the account I gave him I observed
that he would have liked the arms of the allies to be more
advantageously situated but he said nothing except out of
curiosity, and so I did not think it advisable to enter into
particulars. These sentiments, which are not devoid of jealousy,
together with the scant satisfaction it is thought he will get at
present from the Austrians for the Palatine, give great encouragement
to the judgments which have been formed about his propensity
to unite with France, although other circumstances which
I shall relate below provide material for believing the contrary.
In order to discover what the instructions to Leicester were I
went this week to pump the two French ambassadors. Contrary
to my expectation, I found them entirely in the dark. Sennecterre,
however adroitly pressed, skilfully evaded speaking about
them, but the ordinary Ambassador Poyne, who has always
opened out to me with the greatest confidence upon all the
principal affairs, told me, though he begged me not to speak about
it, that by letters from his private friends he had some distant
knowledge of this matter, but from the Court no advice of any
kind had reached either him or M. de Sennecterre. The queen in
speaking with Sennecterre gave him some hint about it, and
although taken by surprise, he covered his ignorance by his
address, in order not to give offence in showing by it how little
they think of these projects in France since they leave their
ambassadors without information. He added that they had
written jointly about this, complaining of their neglecting to
give them proper notice of such an important matter. To
convince me of the truth he wished to show me the copy of the
letter which they wrote about this to the Secretary Bottiglier.
He also promised to show me the reply with the particulars
which will be sent to them about the affair. With respect to
the last audience of the king, he vowed that it related to a levy
of Irishmen, which they had been very strictly ordered to request,
and that his Majesty had given him good hopes that he would
grant it. I thanked him suitably.
Although these advances are by no means disagreeable,
nothing has been settled about them, nor, according to report,
have they even been discussed, and to judge by appearances, the
Privy Council, which meets but rarely, will not discuss them until
the king's return to Hampton Court ; a proof of how little they
wish to settle anything, since as the negotiations for a general
peace are so nearly ready to begin, they would not waste such
precious time if they really meant to do anything.
The Palatine does his best to urge this alliance, and two days
ago he made very strong representations to the king how present
circumstances made it imperative not to wait any longer for
Cæsar's decisions about Arundel's negotiations, since it is clear
that he is losing his pains over the business as so many others
have done, because if the operations for a general peace proceed,
as seems likely, he does not see how that peace can benefit his
fortunes in the least with things remaining in their present state,
unless the king makes a vigorous demonstration. He also referred
to his desire to go away together with his brother, as now he has
reached his majority and become a man he thinks that he is losing
reputation by wasting time in idleness. The king tried to console
him with words full of gentleness, expressing as usual a great desire
to see his affairs satisfactorily concluded ; but the prince wants
deeds, and is very ill satisfied with words, and is always lamenting
his unhappy state, his utterances being almost desperate.
The news from France this week is by no means unsatisfactory,
as it brings assurances that the king there is very strong in the
field and there is every indication that he will soon recover
what was lost. The Baron du Bech, who was governor of la
Capella, and the Sieur de Socurt, who commanded at Corbie,
have taken refuge at this Court. They are both in London and
would like to come to the Court to present themselves to the
king, for the purpose of justifying their actions to him and to
make him see that it was not the crime of failure but the fear of
being punished when innocent which compelled them to take
this desperate step. (fn. 7) So far his Majesty has not given ear
to their instances, and it is not thought very likely that he will
listen to them because he agrees with the general opinion that
they seriously failed to do their duty and so it is not thought
that he will give this affront to France.
As was agreed, Joachimi has made his demands in writing
about having commissioners appointed him upon the present
differences at sea. The written reply states that the king
observes with deep regret that the States are so audacious as to
call him to a conference to discuss a matter which legitimately
belongs to the right of the crown. He laments that they, who
have always been so well treated by England and by his house
in particular, should be the first to call in question what so many
princes quietly accord to him. He says that if they do not agree
to fish and contribute, they shall contribute and not fish, and
here he inserts threats and severe protestations, in short the
paper is full of serious and far reaching points. As these admit
of no opening to the ambassador to reply, he has taken leave and
is waiting for an opportunity to cross, to take back this unlucky
issue to his negotiations. Meanwhile he has received word that
the fishermen have almost all withdrawn, although they were
making their second fishing no longer off the coasts but in the
middle of the sea. They are full of the bitterness which the
loss of that advantage almost always means to that nation.
For this emergency his Majesty has ordered that the whole
fleet shall be provided immediately with everything, as he seems
absolutely determined to uphold his pretensions in the most
rigorous manner. This occasion shows clearly enough to what
disorders these bitter feelings may give rise, and one fears that
we shall quickly see the results, as the Dutch seem quite
determined not to submit to the burden.
Acknowledges the Senate's letters of the 22nd ult.
Southampton, the 18th September, 1636.
|70. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
I should ere now have sent your Excellencies a clearer account
of the proceedings of the papal ministers here, if their secrecy
and circumspection had not deprived me of the means of doing
so. I have already reported Panzani's labours for bringing about
an adjustment between the regular and secular religious here,
and his plans for establishing over them the authority of a bishop,
on whom the entire direction of ecclesiastical affairs should
impartially depend. He has tried all he knew in order that the
Bishop of Chalcedon. (fn. 8) who formerly exercised such functions
here with scant success, should be freely reinstated with the
assent of the state. As this plan failed, he turned to another,
asking permission for an ad libitum, without naming anybody.
His operations have proceeded through the means of the queen's
confessor, in this way he has been allowed to meet her quite
often and has succeeded so far as to dispose her to undertake
the direction of the affair.
Accordingly, with her customary tact, she has broached the
matter to the king opportunely upon several occasions, pointing
out to him how advantageous it would be if the licence which the
religious sometimes take from not having a superior over them,
could be decently restrained without scandal by the authority
of a bishop. She was told that to permit a chief to the Roman,
ecclesiastics would mean granting the use of that religion freely,
which amounted to nothing more or less than encouraging civil
discords the one thing that disturbs the peace of states. However,
as the queen added prayers to her arguments, it appears that the
king at length intimated that if the pope will consent to remove
the severe censure fulminated against the Catholics who take
the oath to him, he also will shut his eyes to the stay here of a
bishop who has authority over them, provided he does not
exceed the limits of modesty and exercises merely his legitimate
functions. But this suggestion does not please the pope, who
would like the Catholics to be altogether released from the oath
of fealty. Although he recognises the difficulty of the affair
and that it involves equally grave consequences, yet he perseveres
in trying to attain his end by gentle means. To this end he has
sent Cuneo here, whom, as a secular and a subject of this crown,
he considers the most suitable and least suspect for the conduct
of such a weighty matter. Yet Panzani has orders from Cardinal
Barberino not to leave and they talk of another competent
person being sent here shortly, so that they may render better
service in conjunction and that the multiplicity may tend to
establish by degrees that jurisdiction which they hope to achieve
by use, since it is impossible in any other way.
But the projects of the Court of Rome do not stop here, and
they are directing their present attention to higher aims. His
Holiness entertains the idea of rendering his name glorious to
posterity by a work at once great, charitable and pious in fine
to bring the king himself over to the Roman faith. The foundations
of this machinery have been laid very wide, and signs
of progress become constantly more apparent (i fondamenti
di questa machina sono stati gettati ben lontani, et sempre piu
pare i segni dell' avanzamento si vadino apparenti.)
No nation is made more of at Rome just now than the English,
where in the past the subjects of this crown went about incognito
and at great danger. Here, again, the priests have never had
so much liberty, and whereas in the past the Catholics could
only hear mass at the embassies, with great risk of being arrested
when they came out, now the chapels of the queen and of the
ambassadors are not only frequented with freedom, but anyone
who wishes a celebration in his own house can avoid the danger
of the penalty with very slight circumspection. This is all
due to the connivance of the ruler, and indicates if not a leaning
to the rites of the Roman Church at least an absence of aversion.
Coneo has brought many presents of reliquaries adorned with
jewels of great price to offer to the queen in the name of his
Holiness and Cardinal Barberino. He has already presented
some, including a cross of diamonds arranged in the shape of
bees, of very considerable value. (fn. 9) This one in particular she
showed to the king, telling him who had presented it to her. He
looked at it carefully and when giving it back to her said "Is it
possible, my heart, that the pope has given you this?" She
said he had, and the king went on "I am very glad of it, because
I shall change the opinion I have hitherto held that the priests
of Rome are always ready to take, but never give anything away
(egli la osservo diligentemente et nel restituirgliela le disse Possibile
mio cuore che il Papa ve l'habbia donata? Affermo ella che si,
et egli riprese, ne son molto contento perche mutero quel concetto
che ho tenuto sin hora che i Preti di Roma sempre volontieri piglino
ma mai donino cosa alcuna).
Those present noticed that his Majesty uttered this jest with a
very straight face, without a smile. This is considered very remarkable,
because they give the words "I shall change my opinion"
a much more extensive and profound meaning. But in the opinion
of the wisest these things are rather desirable than within reach, and
even if the good disposition they talk about exists, only a long
succession of years can bring the truth to light.
This is the main substance which I have been able to extract
in this ticklish matter, I give it to your Excellencies in the
same terms as it reached me, in discharge of my duty, and so
that you may be able to give it such mature consideration as
you consider advisable.
Southampton, the 18th September, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
71. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Twenty four Spanish ships have arrived at Dunkirk with 4000
men and a million florins. The French say they were escorted
by five English ships. The Princess Palatine denies this and says
that such reports are only designed to stir up ill feeling between
England and the States. She induced the Count of Colemberg
to assure the States in the Assembly that the announcement was
false. She laments the behaviour of the French and says that
England has not united with them because she could not trust
The English say that a single royal ship made the whole
Spanish fleet lower its sails. The Spaniards did not at first
seem inclined to do this, but when the English ship fired they at
once complied. (fn. 10) The English boast of this and say that reason
and not fear prevailed. The Dutch fleet also lowered its sails
on meeting an English squadron.
Joachimi will himself bring back the replies about the fishermen.
The Prince urges the utmost prudence, in view of the exhaustion
of the Provinces and the risks of war. A member of the government
remarked to me that if the English carry off this ransom
from the fishermen without noise, as they have begun, and treat
them with gentleness, it may be that the States will shut their
eyes and pass over the wrong until such time as their present
difficulties are over, when they may be in a position to make
England recognise the liberty which these Provinces claim at
sea, and the power they possess.
The Earl of Arundel has written this week to the Princess
Palatine that the ambassador of Poland is negotiating a marriage
between his master and Cæsar's daughter. Some think that this
is to move the Palatine family by jealousy. But the Princess
Palatine says that it is to unite that king with the Austrians, not
to render them more yielding here, or to try and achieve the
impossible with a rush. She declares that the king may rest
assured and she knows full well with the utmost certainty that
he was disposed to some other match, that all other interests,
no matter how important, would not suffice to alter her steadfast
determination to adhere to the reformed faith.
The Hague, the 18th September, 1636.
72. To the Ambassador in England.
Approval of his action with Finet, the Master of the Ceremonies,
to which there is nothing to add. Enclose advices of Italy.
Rossi, secretary of the ambassador at the Hague has announced
his intention of going to England, taking the cipher with him.
To take all steps necessary for the recovery of this and to send it
back forthwith to the Hague. To employ the Secretary Zonca
Ayes, 107. Noes, 2. Neutral, 3.
73. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
Before the young Bottiglier left for Monsieur's army he went
to assure the Earl of Leicester that they would issue satisfactory
orders for the observance of the capitulations with England
about trade on the coasts of France. Since then the courier
sent by the earl to Court has arrived and the earl has seen Buglion
to whom he has made proposals for an alliance by order of his
king, which have been sent by Buglion to the Cardinal. These
things are kept most secret, but from what one can gather England
is unwilling to declare herself against the Austrians, but the
ambassador asserts that if the French will behave straightforwardly
(caminar di buon piede), we shall soon see something good established,
not only advantageous for the Palatine house, but for all the Princes
of Germany, as his king desires the establishment of all.
Paris, the 23rd September, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
74. That by an ordinary of the ducal chancery the following
be read to the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain in his
In response to your new office on behalf of the English
merchants, and to confirm the benevolent disposition of the
republic in the interests of trade we regret that it is impossible
to appoint a special judge for the case of Laurence Hyder owing
to the numerous and varied heads of his demands. We can only
repeat that Hyder should carry his case before the proper
magistrates, and if there is any difficulty he shall have the protection
of the state and prompt despatch.
Ayes, 90. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
Not given in time.
75. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Joachimi took leave of his Majesty last
Monday. Before he left for the coast I saw him twice. I noticed
that he was all in a fluster and deeply agitated. He told me that
it wrung his heart, after he had the good fortune to maintain
for the twelve years that he had been ambassador, good relations
between this crown and his masters, he should have to serve as
the instrument of a quarrel with it in the end, by taking back
such pernicious and unpleasant things. He assured me repeatedly
that if the English continued their present proceedings they
would not only incite but would force the States to make some
pernicious agreement with the Spaniards, because their too
harassed fortunes certainly could not long resist so many and
such serious blows. He said that French pressure alone had
induced the Prince of Orange to take the field this year, and the
disorder of internal affairs did not allow of such heavy expenditure,
without any provocation from the enemy. Their excessive
penury would force them to take some decisive steps unless their
friends came to their aid. He knew that the Ambassador Lir
was to ask your Excellencies for assistance before he left for France.
He had not heard the result. He begged me to represent the difficulties
they are in and the trouble which is being prepared for them in this
quarter. To cut matters short I told him that your Excellencies
had no need of incitement to show your friendly disposition towards
the States, and you had shown this by deeds. Circumstances
were now different and heavy expenditure nearer home did not allow
you to do what you would desire to do if conditions were more
favourable. I observed from the eager manner in which he spoke
that the office was premeditated, and was the more sure of it
when he told me that he had been present in the Assembly
when the subject was last discussed.
Their proceedings at this Court are always much the same, as
they continue to deliberate much and decide upon little. With
regard to the matter of the offensive and defensive alliance
again proposed to the Ambassador Leicester in France, they have
decided after various discussions, to answer that his Majesty
will always be ready to embrace it if the conditions, which are
general, are restricted to what concerns the restoration of the
liberty of Germany only. By this form they aim at reaching
the desired end that the Palatine and the Duke of Lorraine shall
achieve the restoration of their states. But I imagine that
France will not embrace this condition, because they well know
that the aims of England do not coincide with their interests
in this particular. Thus we have clear confirmation of what I
have always guessed, that their plans here are always confined
to the peace of Germany only, because they do not think, a general
one will be altogether to their advantage ; but before very long
circumstances will make this point more certain.
There is a whisper at Court that the Earl of Arundel will be
returning soon, without anything being arranged ; but they let
nothing be known definitely, so I cannot be absolutely certain.
The fleet has completely replenished its provisions, and has
sailed from the Downs divided into two squadrons. The commander,
with sixteen ships, will steer towards the Dutch fishermen,
who are understood to have assembled and to have begun their
second fishing. The rest, under the Vice Admiral have gone off
towards Ireland, where they hear that some Turkish pirates
have landed and not only done much harm to the country, but
they fell in with and attacked one of the king's ships, which would
have been lost had not two Dutch ones come to its rescue.
The Secretary Windebank has been permitted to return to
Court, the king's indignation against him being assuaged but not
extinguished. The Secretary Coke has instructions to draw up
the process about the violent transport of the money of the
Spaniards to Flanders, as his Majesty seems determined to know
exactly how the affair happened.
The courier is prevented from crossing this week by strong
Westcourt, the 24th September, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
76. I, Thadeo Vico, went by your Serenity's command to
the house of the English ambassador. I found his Excellency
coming down the stairs to go for a little recreation. When
he saw me, I made a reverence and told him that I had come
to communicate a public office, which I asked to him hear,
either then or when he returned, whichever might be more
convenient. He said he did not wish to give me more trouble,
and while speaking he mounted the stairs. I followed and he
brought me to his ordinary room of audience. There I took
the sheet given me by the secretary Suriano and read it all to him
distinctly. He listened with a most gratified expression and
then said, Your lordship will allow me to take a copy. I said he
was the master. He sat down, making me sit also and cover,
and he copied the office in his own hand. That done he rose
and said, You will thank his Serenity and their Excellencies
warmly ; they are constantly heaping favours upon me, both for
merchants and in other matters. I will perform my duty in
person at the earliest opportunity. He added, The Collegio
did not meet to-day, but the Grand Council? I said, Yes. Then
he said, the Collegio will meet tomorrow and Saturday to which
I said Yes also. I will come, he said, to pay my duty to his
Serenity. I then took leave, and he accompanied me to the
staircase door in the portico. On the way he told me that he
and all his gentlemen and household had been ill four or five days
from having eaten white mushrooms. They were afraid they
were poisoned, and he in particular had been so ill that he thought
he was going to die. I expressed my regret at this accident,
and said I was doubly glad that God had preserved him because
of his great merits. He also said he was glad he had recovered,
because he could serve his Serenity with his customary zeal,
and so I departed.
77. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of the office read to the English ambassador
and of his reply, which will enable you to discuss the matter
and to explain the reasons for the action taken.
Ayes, 90. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
Not given in time.
78. Piero Mocenigo, Captain of the Great Galleys, to the
Doge and Senate.
On my return from Zante I fell in with an English ship, at
which I fired the usual shot of assurance, without ball. He
replied with a similar shot but without vailing his topsail as he
should have done as a sign of respect for this flag. To uphold
the dignity of the flag I fired another gun, also without ball,
and to this he responded in the same manner as before. This
satisfied me altogether about the position. Knowing the
excessive audacity of the people of that nation I made ready all
my artillery and then, to intimidate him I directed the chief
gunner to fire a culverin with ball, but with express instructions
not to hurt him. He did this and fired a shot which fell just
under the prow. When they saw this they not only lowered their
topsail but sent a boat with a Venetian merchant on board,
who told me that the ship was named the Seven Stars, from
Venice for Zante, with forty guns. He said that the captain
had met ships flying the Venetian flag, but none had fired a shot.
I told him that the action I had taken was necessary, but if
proper respect was shown I would not be more severe than
From the galeasse at Corfu, the 28th September, 1636.