79. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the Collegio
and spoke as follows :
I was much gratified by the last deliberation which your
Serenity had read to me, seeing the appreciation of my efforts
for trade, which is so much to the advantage of states and
subjects, as shown by the mutual relations which have always
been encouraged by England. The Collegio has recognised this,
and hence the good order has resulted, to the advantage of trade.
His majesty, who professes such regard for the interests of the
republic will appreciate this.
The doge replied, We have every disposition to increase trade
and afford facilities to merchants, following the example of our
ancestors. We are very glad that you are satisfied with the
deliberation. We shall always be ready to contribute to all that
is of mutual advantage for the increase of trade in our islands,
and for the good treatment of his Majesty's subjects there and
The ambassador said, I am fortunate in receiving so many
favours during my service. I had thought of recommending
this conduct of the trade to the discretion and good intentions
of Henry Hider, a merchant and gentleman by birth, who could
thereby act with safety and advantage. He has many rivals
and enemies, who stand in the way of his advancement, and he
deserves the protection of your Serenity, who might write letters
and send orders to your representatives to protect him, as he
certainly deserves the public favour.
The doge said, We know Hider as a worthy man who has
brought much advantage to our state by his trading. Now that
he has taken up the duty of the new impost and for other matters
which may be raised by his consuls, he may need the protection
of the state, which will certainly be afforded to him and we are
especially anxious to gratify you in all circumstances.
80. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
This week the Council has been exclusively occupied with the
Palatine's affairs, owing to the arrival of another courier from
the Earl of Arundel. He reports the very scant satisfaction
received from the emperor, and the impossibility of doing anything
by negotiation, as owing to their private interests the
Austrians cannot bring themselves to render England the satisfaction
which she claims, although by soothing treatment and
fair words they try to make her believe the contrary. The courier
was sent back to the earl yesterday with all diligence. From
what I gather he takes very highflown commissions to speak in
determined fashion, express their deep resentment, and, if
appearances do not change, to depart with every indication of
their wrath and mischievous intentions here. To assist his
negotiations they have told him of the new negotiations for an
alliance with France, averring the great inclination of the king
to effect it, although in reality they may be thinking of anything
I am told on good authority that the declarations on this
subject sent to the Earl of Leicester last week were intended
to include the Duke of Lorraine particularly in the specified
re-establishment of all the oppressed princes of Germany. They
attach great importance to this here and seem to think as much
of it as of the Palatinate. But the French, for reasons which
they perhaps keep concealed, seem to detest the very mention
of the restitution of those states, and make it clearly understood
that even if they consent to the alliance on terms more agreeable
to the King of Great Britain, it will only be on the understanding
that the Duke of Lorraine is excluded from every treaty, as
one whom they claim to treat not as a prince of the empire but
as a natural subject of that crown. Even if both sides were
more inclined to make this alliance than they are, these difficulties,
in the common belief, would always prevent it coming to pass,
and if they succeed here in their efforts made in conjunction
with the King of Denmark and perhaps of Poland also, to bring
about the desired composition in Germany, they certainly
will not trouble any more about an alliance with France, especially
when their present reasons for keeping the Austrians jealous by
such proceedings have ceased. But everything must depend
upon the result of Arundel's negotiations, as he has charge of
these transactions, and until this be known all is vague.
The Secretary of the Ambassador Hasteyn in Spain has arrived
here (fn. 1) with some business about the above matter. That is
the pretext, but he has really come to obtain money on account
of his salary, as he has received nothing since he left here. A
few days will show if there is really anything more.
Although the French ambassadors have repeated their requests
for Irish levies, they have not been able to get anything beyond
fair words. Their serious transactions are confined to this at
present, as they have not yet had any order to intervene in the
matter of the alliance. This excites the belief that the new
move from France on the subject was engineered by them
secretly, in the hope of obtaining some advantage over the Spaniards
from the noise of it. Such is the most general opinion, and everything
goes to confirm the conviction that these treaties will not
go beyond words.
They have been discussing the question of sending a competent
minister to the congress at Cologne, but nothing has been decided.
It is thought that when it has assembled they may send the Earl
of Arundel there, not as sent expressly, but on his way back to
England. The French are watching this closely because they
have always believed that England would not like the general
peace. For themselves they are very willing and almost anxious,
the Ambassador Sennecterre expressing great pleasure to me that
your Excellencies had decided to send an ambassador and thus
facilitate the result by your good offices.
They seem to think little more here about the marriage of the
Palatine princess to the King of Poland. They consider the
question of religion insuperable and imagine that the king's
sentiments have changed. Gordon writes that he will set out
for Danzig although he has not entirely recovered from his
indisposition. The result of his negotiations will be awaited
and they will be guided by events. They would also like to see
the younger brother married, and for an advantageous match
they have in view Mademoiselle d'Orleans, although the
Ambassador Leicester does not hold forth much hope. There
are those, however, who think it better to obtain one with the
emperor's second daughter (fn. 2) on any terms, as it is imagined that
he may have devoted some attention to the subject, but both
projects seem confronted by too great difficulties.
The fleet is at sea, distributed as announced. Strong in
munitions and men the commander proceeded towards the
North with the design of disturbing the fishing of the Dutch.
They have no news yet of the event, but word has come that the
Turkish pirates who raided Ireland, as reported, at the mere
report of the Vice Admiral coming against them, departed at
once from those shores. If this be really the case the Vice-Admiral
will take his squadron to join the commander, as
they fear a vigorous resistance from the Dutch fleet.
A gentleman of the Cari family, who had been for a long time
under restraint at home by his relations because of a certain
melancholy humour, broke out recently into a new and most
furious frenzy, and unexpectedly took the post to London,
telling some one that he was going to Court to kill the king, not
doubting that when he had achieved this he would be master of
England. (fn. 3) He was at once followed and seized on the way before
his Majesty had word of it. When the queen was informed she
was in the greatest agitation for two days, and would not reassure
herself of the king's safety before he had gone in person to
Oatlands, where she was living apart. He did this the more
readily because she is known to be again enceinte with some
indisposition and more trouble than she is accustomed to
experience, and he was afraid that she might be in some danger.
I have your Serenity's letters of the 5th September with the
instructions about my intercourse with the Spanish ambassador.
At a time when they had almost given up thinking about his
affairs his first public audience has been fixed for the day after
tomorrow. The Earl of Dorset will accompany him to this,
without there being any preceding public function. In spite of
his specious declarations to me, which I wrote about, he has
not made me any intimation in the usual way, so that I might
send my coach, and I have taken no notice of it. When he has
seen the king I will send to pay my respects, if I find he is of the
I have also received the account of the reception in Venetian
territory given to the Cardinal Legate on his way to Cologne. (fn. 4)
Meanwhile I must not forget to inform you that Panzani and
Coneo have jointly carried this news to the Court, commending
and amplifying upon what your Excellencies have done, and
announcing that as a result the friendly relations between his
Holiness and the republic are completely restored.
Westcourt, the 2nd October, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
81. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
News has come of Arundel's stout reply to the emperor's
proposals. The Princess Palatine is greatly relieved, seeing the
mask removed ; and she expects a declaration from England
which is bound a thousand times over to take up arms if Cæsar
does not give satisfaction. The Court here is amazed at Cæsar's
speaking so plainly, but they think it due to the necessity of
appeasing the jealousy of Bavaria. They feel sure that England
does not intend to precipitate matters and that there will still
be time to resume the negotiations with their subtleties, when
occasion calls for it.
The Hague, the 2nd October, 1636.
82. To the Proveditore in Terra Ferma.
You will show every confidence with Colonel Duglas, it being
the desire of the state that everything shall be done to satisfy
him, and you will try to keep him grateful and content.
Ayes, 70. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
83. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in
Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
They are apprehensive here of trouble with the Turks, and this
may put a stop to their progress in France. The Earl of Arundel
has seized the opportunity to renew his instances with the
emperor about the Palatine family. He has announced his
firm intention to leave at once if he does not receive satisfaction,
in which case England would not put up with the affront. Yet
the reply seems to have been general as usual. Thus it was
noticed that his Excellency left the emperor's chamber with a
very red face, and the moment he had descended the stairs
and mounted his coach he directed his people to write to Nurenberg
to secure quarters. Two days later he sent a courier to
the king. It is supposed, to ask permission to leave. As the
business touched the emperor closely and the Count of Ognat
even more, they informed Arundel that they were writing to his
king, offering the portion of the Lower Palatinate held by the
Spaniards, and this would not bar the way to further claims.
Two letters have been sent to England by the same courier,
one from Cæsar, the other from Ognat.
The Earl of Arundel expresses his deep dissatisfaction ; but
on the other hand he has had long conferences with Ognat,
so that many consider his announcements an artifice, although
nothing substantial has been done. Thus when Bavaria left here
he told the nuncio positively that he had not given and would
not give any satisfaction to England, and nothing would be done
in the Diet to his prejudice ; of this he had a promise. The Dutch
deputy here was refused an interview with the duke. He fears
some agreement which will engage England to help Spain against
the States. Arundel has always refused to discuss the subject
with him, and has steadily evaded it. This minister told me
that he would not visit Arundel again, as he only showed him
pictures and galleries, and he saw that the earl was hiding
something to the prejudice of the States.
Ratisbon, the 7th October, 1636.
84. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador extraordinary of England has sent his
secretary (fn. 5) to that country ; he states that it is about his private
affairs, but one may conclude that he has received some reply
to his negotiations, which he is trying to keep hidden. He offers
excuses that his king cannot easily declare himself against the
Austrians, they must be content here with what is proposed and
take what they can. He lets it be generally understood that
they must not press so much for this declaration, but allow a
little time, because he hopes they will obtain their intent. He
will pledge his honour and his life that the king of Great Britain
will do something great, but they must not rush the matter and
it is necessary to remove all shadows and jealousies. Here,
however, one of the ministers has intimated that without an
open declaration from England there is no appearance that his
Majesty will commit himself any further.
They have proposed to the Polish ambassador, who is leaving
soon, either Mlle. de Bourbon, daughter of the Prince of Conde,
or the Princess Maria, daughter of the Duke of Mantua as a wife
for his king. His Majesty and the ministers incline more to the
latter than the former. The ambassador says that his king
will soon decide on one of these marriages as that with the
Palatine Princess is broken off.
Paris, the 7th October, 1636.
85. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Joachimi reports that the king will not argue about the
sovereignty of the sea, but he expresses his friendly disposition
to the Provinces. The English Resident argues that the protection
of England is worth more than the tax levied on the
fishermen. Since these letters were received the States have
announced their intention to increase the fleet, but no steps have
been taken and they are acting with great deliberation in the
matter. Joachimi reports that they have hopes of an alliance
with France and these States, which would divert these Provinces
from negotiations for a truce.
The Hague, the 9th October, 1636.
86. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
As arranged beforehand, the Spanish ambassador, accompanied
by the Earl of Dorset went to have his first public audience at
Oatlands of both their Majesties, who received him graciously
in the same room. In terms of pure compliment he expressed
how much his king valued the friendship of and good relations
with this crown, and the particular merits of the present monarch.
He spoke in Spanish, employing as interpreter an English Jesuit
who usually lives in the house of the Resident Nicolaldi, and
very well known at Court. It displeased the king that he should
bring to his face to such a public function one who by the laws
of the realm is declared a rebel against the crown, and he
intimated his sentiments somewhat strongly. The ambassador
said nothing further about having another private audience,
although his Majesty informed him by a third party that he
intended to stay all this week at Oatlands so as to cause him less
inconvenience if he wished to set forth any part of his commissions.
This hanging back, in addition to the prolonged incognito
and the scandal of the Jesuit will have not only utterly discredited
this minister but will serve to increase the bitterness against the
House of Austria because of the Palatinate, which increases daily.
They feel perfectly sure that in Spain as in Germany the Austrians
merely aim at diverting England by compliments from those vigorous
resolutions which they recognise she ought to take against them.
I received no official intimation either about his entry, which
I only heard of three days beforehand, or of the audience. When
I asked the Master of the Ceremonies for the reason he told me
that when he was arranging with the ambassador about the
number of coaches to accompany him, he asked him expressly
and repeatedly if he wished mine to be invited, and he made
no answer. Knowing that our relations had only been sketched
out he had not wished to take any steps on his own account which
might have equally offended us both. I remonstrated with him
for not having informed me of this in time. He apologised on
the same grounds and because of the distance, assuring me
that he had not found the ambassador at all anxious that I
should be informed of his affairs.
In order to escape from this ambiguous position I sent my
secretary on the morning of Monday last, the day after the
audience at Oatlands to the ambassador's house at Chelsea to
inform him how anxious I was to show him respect and how
much I regretted not being informed of his entry and first audience
so that I might have paid the usual compliments. Before
hearing the secretary Ognate insisted on his covering and taking
a seat. He then said, you may tell the ambassador that I fully
appreciate his courtesy. I need no further evidence that the
negligence of the one who arranged such functions, the practice
which has now passed into oblivion and the present disturbance
of the plague are the things which have prevented me from
enjoying the effects before. I thank the ambassador with all
my heart. Assure him of my full response and ask him not to
put himself out to come and see me, as in times of so much
distress good relations can be maintained even without visits.
When the secretary, who always called me, "Excellency,"
told him that I intended to visit him, he repeated that he was
eager above all things for friendly relations with the ministers
of your Serenity and with me in particular, but he asked me
not to trouble to come and see him, as at such times confidential
relations could be maintained even at a distance. Thus the
interview ended, at which he never called the republic "most
serene" or me "Excellency," and as he showed so little desire
to see me I infer that there is no indication, from his past
behaviour of the resumption of these relations with him.
I am unable to decide whether this is his fault or due to a
revocation of orders. I can see clearly that if he has the orders
which your Excellencies heard had been given to him in Spain,
he thinks very little of them, since on the one hand he allures
by specious promises, while he draws back on the other. It is
incredible that he will make objection because I did not send to
meet him at his entry, because in addition to his refusing to answer
Finet, it was impossible, after he had been here incognito for
three months, for any one more than thirty leagues away to know
or divine when the humour seized him to appear in public ; and
even if I had known it would not have been decorous to go
without an invitation from the proper quarter. In the mean
time, if the secretary's visit is acknowledged I mean to let him
know through Finet that I hoped to meet with a better response,
in order to hear what excuses he will make, and so that he may
see that if he expected to deceive he is himself deceived.
Bagshot, the 10th October, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|87. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
Another courier reached the Court this week from the Earl of
Arundel with despatches dated the 14th ult. So far as can be
discovered they are full of regret and give no hope of a good
result. They also intimate some notable offence recently received
from the emperor, which they do not want to become known here.
The earl adds that unless the courier whom he is expecting brings
orders to the contrary he proposes to take leave entirely, and to
come home to England without further delay. They have not
decided to send him any further response from here, indeed they
believe that the resolution with which they have already written
to him will suffice to confirm him in his present frame of mind, a
thing which the ministers here, in the end, make a show of
Meanwhile they are thinking more than ever about the alliance
with France, but with advantage and without being obliged to
spend, a very essential point in these days. The French observe
and resist this, as they see how present circumstances are making
it necessary for England to unite with them.
With respect to including the Duke of Lorraine among the
oppressed princes of Germany, now they see that the French will
not listen to it, while they anticipate some idea in that quarter
to grant the restitution of Lorraine by a special treaty, to avoid
being forced to it by a general peace, the English now intimate
that they will treat without raising this point, and that they are
ready to negotiate a defensive and offensive alliance about the
Palatinate alone. But the French mean otherwise and declare
that they want an alliance not confined to terms which suit
England only, but general and embracing the interests of both
crowns against the House of Austria, with the obligation that
neither side shall make peace before the Palatine is completely
reinstated, promising further to give him the title of elector
and to obtain for him the electoral vote.
Both the ambassadors here speak this way, although they
profess not to be informed, as the matter no longer rests in their
hands but in those of the Earl of Leicester. They cannot deny
that Lorraine may be restored by a special treaty. They justify
it saying that when peace is made the places there, now deposited
in the hands of the Most Christian, may be restored by him
without further dispute. The interests of the queen mother
likewise may be determined by a special agreement. They mutter
things which go to show the propensity of the French to make
peace. When divulged at this Court these cause trouble and it
becomes ever more manifest that such a peace would not please
them. A little space should suffice to make clear to what end
all this topsy turvy state of affairs is tending, and so the effect
of this alliance, should it ever take place, ought very speedily
to become public property, and sooner than I can send word of
it to your Excellencies, as the whole of the transactions have
taken place in France without the ambassadors here having
any hand in it, as I have remarked before.
When these ambassadors recently informed his Majesty of
the sailing of their king's fleet for the Mediterranean, they told
him that when passing through the Strait they fell in with three
Turkish pirates. They captured these and released fifty English
whom they found on board, providing them with money and a
passage to return to England. They certainly enlarged somewhat,
using the incident as evidence of their king's good will. His
Majesty replied that he had already heard the news and rejoiced
at it, because it will prove to the world that the King of France
is the enemy and not the abettor, as many have believed, of those
people, who harass the repose of Christendom with their barbarities.
Some boxes of reals, which must be worth about a million francs,
arrived at Dover two days ago, to be transported to Flanders,
and have been seized at once by his Majesty's order. People
feel sure that he will pay the debts he claims therewith, as he
would have done so with the others if they had not been taken
away by trickery. The Ambassador Ognat has not spoken
about the matter yet and the Court is curious to see the result.
With respect to the glass monopoly of Sir [Robert] Mansfelt,
I note the state's wish to allow time for proving the value of
his offers about importing Murano crystals here. I shall keep a
look out to see what come, but as my efforts may not avail to
prevent me being defrauded by the interested parties, I ask your
Excellencies to direct the masters of furnaces to provide you at
such time as you think fit with definite information as to what
work is sent or sold for this realm, so that you may have solid
grounds for forming an opinion on the subject.
The Persian merchant still remains here waiting for an opportunity
for his passage. They have never been able to find Richard
Gatwood, who behaved so abominably to me over his money.
Everyone declares that he has gone to Venice. If he is there,
he will be in the power of your Excellencies, whereas he has been
able to escape the punishment that was designed for him here.
The Senate's decision of the 10th August to the advantage of
the English merchants trading at Zante and Cephalonia has
reached me in the public despatches of the 12th September.
I will use it to show how eager you are to give satisfaction to his
Majesty and for the benefit of the state's service.
Bagshot, the 10th October, 1636.
88. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday I had occasion to see his Eminence. Among
other things he spoke in the usual way about the treaties with
England, showing little hope. He spoke highly of the Earl of
Leicester, as an accomplished nobleman and well intentioned.
Amiens, the 12th October, 1636.
89. Stefano Capello, Venetian Proveditore at Zante,
to the Doge and Senate.
Describes the damage done by the earthquake on the last day
of the past month.
Zante, the 5th October, 1636, old style.
90. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Court has been full this week of violent clamour and
denunciation against the House of Austria, due chiefly to the
scant satisfaction received from the emperor in the negotiations
of the Earl of Arundel. Very frequent consultations have been
held since his last letters, and it is supposed that orders have
been sent him to come away without taking leave of the emperor.
The noise, however, will be greater than the results, as it is
unquestionable that even if the necessity for his leaving had been
more urgent, secret orders would have reached him not to leave
Germany, but to stop at Frankfort on the plea of indisposition,
in order to see what effect this move will produce, and seize
such advantage as circumstances may supply. There was some
question of making him halt at Cologne, on the pretext of sickness,
to superintend the general pacification, but as he had no
ambassadorial credentials and so would not have been admitted
to the congress, independently of the difficulties he must have
encountered in treating with the Cardinal Legate, they gave up
this plan and he will remain at Frankfort or some where else.
To smoothe matters the Imperial minister Radolti presented the
king yesterday with a letter from the emperor, expressing his
readiness to bring the affairs of the Palatine to completion. It
appears that his Majesty received both the office and the letter
with scant gratification. Many of the Court believe that they
were written in England, as no couriers have reached either
him or the Spanish ambassador who could have brought it in
such a short time.
There is talk of raising troops and augmenting the fleet by
50 sail, but neither can be carried out for lack of funds. With the
same object they announce that the negotiations for an alliance
with the Most Christian are nearly completed, indeed practically
settled, they declare, seizing the occasion of the arrival in Court
of the Earl of Leicester's secretary, (fn. 6) who was really despatched
by him last week for this affair. What he brought that is really
substantial is not allowed to transpire, but it is quite certain
that it does not yet include the needed conclusion, indeed it
brings some augmentation of difficult and painful disputes.
The French ambassadors press for permission to raise levies
in Ireland and receive fair promises, but nothing is done. They
say that if the agreement between the two crowns is established,
all these realms will be open to them to raise as many men as
The Earl of Northumberland is returning to these waters,
having avoided an encounter with the Dutch fishermen, because,
seeing that they were assisted by a number of well armed ships,
he would not take the risk. He is to come in person to Court
to give his Majesty an oral account of the matter and receive
new commissions for the future. This withdrawal has displeased
everybody, as they would have liked him to attempt the
encounter, but the advanced season may not have permitted
The Ambassador Ognati has not chosen to perform any office
for the release of the money seized, because he avoids meeting in
private conference not only his Majesty but any of his ministers,
and he has seen very few of rank as yet, while he has never yet
asked a special audience for anything else. The king certainly
does not like it, and I know he has complained bitterly. The
Prince Palatine also is much hurt by his proceedings, because
he has not only discontinued those signs of respect which Nicolaldi
began, but has not even performed any complimentary office with
him. He has not called on me or in any way acknowledge the
compliment I paid him twelve days ago. I have not been able
to see the Master of the Ceremonies since. When I have the
opportunity I shall tell him what a difference there is between
the offers he made me in the ambassador's name and his behaviour,
so that he may find out the reason for it and inform me, as he
assures me he will do with sincerity.
Two young sons of the Landgrave of Hesse, who arrived in
this realm from Holland a few days ago, went yesterday to kiss
their Majesties hands. They were received with special honours
and also received presents by the king's command. (fn. 7)
The Secretary Zonca, though in indifferent health, will lose
no time in taking the cipher to the Ambassador Michiel in
Windsor, the 17th October, 1636.
91. Andrea Malipiero, Venetian Proveditore of Cephalonia,
to the Doge and Senate.
Destruction caused by the earthquake. Scarcely a house left
standing. The currants on which the unhappy inhabitants
might have depended to some extent for relief are spoiled by the
rain under the ruined store houses, and at present nothing can
be got for them. So all the inhabitants are reduced to extreme
misery and are certain to die of hunger, as no corn at all is left,
of any sort.
Cephalonia, the 10th October, 1636, old style.
92. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet of sixteen ships has been off these coasts and
exacted the toll from the fishermen under threats of force. There
is a great outcry here against Admiral Dorp for not carrying out
his instructions. The States sent for the Prince to come at once
to the Hague. The excitement has been very great in the whole
government. Many talk of an appeal to arms, as matters have
gone too far. But no decision has been taken and they will wait
for the report of Joachimi and the advice of the Prince, who is
trying to soothe them because of the existing circumstances.
The people of Holland in particular insist that they must not
delay any longer to conclude the truces, in order to break openly
with England. They would like to make overtures for this
purpose and resume the negotiations.
The Spaniards will find these Provinces more disposed to
peace than the French, owing to their differences with the French
and the dispute with England about the sovereignty of the sea.
By encouraging these the Spaniards can force the Dutch to accept
what terms they please. The Austrians profit greatly by a
situation which relieves them of the fear of trouble on the score
of the Palatinate. Arundel reports his refusal to re-open
negotiations. Beveren reports that the Prince Palatine is very
happy as he feels sure that the king will support him with all
his power. An alliance with these Provinces is suggested if
they will admit the English sovereignty of the sea.
Two Dutch ships have rescued an English one chased by pirates.
The Hague, the 23rd October, 1636.
93. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After a whole week's discussion in the royal Council about
the Palatine's interests, Leicester's secretary has been sent
back to Paris charged to establish, not a general offensive and
defensive alliance, as projected, but a special agreement, whereby
the French arms shall receive considerable assistance to continue
the war. But it will not amount to an open declaration of war
from this quarter on the House of Austria, as they consider that
they must on no account come to an open rupture with it. The
king considers the matter as good as settled since nothing but
the approval of the Most Christian is required for establishing
it. Now that the difficulties about the Duke of Lorraine are
removed, which alone stood in the way upon other occasions,
he hopes and indeed feels certain that this approval will be
given promptly. The conditions of the treaty are still kept
secret, and more so by the French ambassadors than by the
ministers here. One of the latter, in conversation, even intimated
to me in a superficial fashion that if the agreement is accepted
not only the English fleet but a certain number of troops, to be
paid by the king here, will be at the service of France until the
end of the war. France will have liberty to raise levies throughout
Great Britain, for which she will pay herself, and similarly she
will be able to dispose of ships and sailors to her satisfaction
upon paying for their services. England will also give a certain
amount of ammunition to France, and the King of France will
have liberty to take as much as he pleases, at his own cost.
On her side France is to espouse the cause of the Palatine wholeheartedly,
until some equitable arrangement is reached. No
peace is to be made without the assent of Great Britain. Meanwhile
the ambassadors of France in London and elsewhere are
to concede the title of elector. I have been informed from
another quarter that at the present moment they are devoting
more attention than ever to this point. They foresee from the
procedure of the Ambassador Ognat that the Spaniards do not
intend to follow along the road that Nicolaldi started. In this
matter I will copy the example of the French ambassadors.
There remains yet another point to decide upon which there
are various opinions. This is whether the command of the
troops which they are bound to contribute in fulfilment of the
treaty, as well as of those troops which the Most Christian might
grant for the same purpose, should be confided to the Palatine
personally. They are debating this point while the prince, in
the most venturesome spirit, not only asks for this but that they
shall recognise here that by this means his name may render
more considerable and more valid the rights of his Majesty, since
his armies will be placed under the command of his nephew who
is the party interested, to whom help cannot be refused. On
the other hand it is pointed out that if they mean to uphold the
dignity of the prince in this way it will not be proper to let him
take the field without an independent and considerable command.
The troops to be contributed from here will not suffice and it is
not possible to depend greatly on those to be assigned in France.
Accordingly it would be more appropriate for these forces to be
led by French commanders than that the person of the Palatine
should be committed without the direction of a formal army, and
without the means to perform of himself operations befitting his
dignity and courage, to signalise his name and win that prestige
in the eyes of the world that would be abundantly helpful and
opportune for the interests of his House. The decision of this
question will have to be made here, as the French show no sign
of captiousness on the subject. This is utterly at variance with
the policy hitherto pursued by England. The ablest politicians
consider this step a necessity, owing to which, seeing the progress
that the general peace may make, they see themselves compelled,
beyond repair, either to make up their minds to give up the
Palatine's interests altogether, or to uphold them by some way
that seems best. Thus on the one hand an open breach with the
House of Austria is considered not only dangerous but difficult
to keep up for long without the help of parliament, of which they
will not hear a word, while on the other hand they know that to
trust the promises of the Austrians means voluntarily to go on
for ever and to perdition, they thought it best to adopt this third
course, as from either of two events considerable advantage
may arise ; because if peace ensues, it cannot, by the terms of this
treaty, be other than advantageous for the Palatine, while if it
is not, the same reasons hold as before, because nothing will be
lost, and they will continue to enjoy the advantages of sea trade
which the war between France and Spain at present brings them.
Probably to counterbalance all this the Spanish ambassador
has at last asked for an audience, which will be appointed for
him the day after tomorrow. The Court awaits the issue with
curiosity, because they believe that he has been roused to ask
for it more by these necessities than to set forth any other
He has never shown any sign of appreciation of the office
I performed with him. This is so contrary to the usual custom
in all Courts, that it confirms my idea that he only wanted to
entice me to take some step that would give him an advantage
in his claims. I spoke somewhat sharply about it to Sir John
Finet, who before the event told me that the ambassador had
expressed pleasure at my sending to visit him and stated that
he meant to respond. To this Finet answered : I tell you
with all sincerity he is not a man from whom much can be
expected. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart that I
meddled in the matter. I have been a devoted servant of the
republic for many years and should be sorry to be an instrument
of offence to it. But this man with his impassibility and subtlety
might deceive anyone. He promises liberally and performs
only what he considers to his advantage. His Majesty is by no
means pleased with him and the Prince Palatine already dislikes
him exceedingly. I assured Finet how much I appreciated
his good intentions and ask him to keep me advised of what
happened. This he promised to do. It is therefore clear that
the ample offers of this minister were only a flash which vanished
almost as soon as seen ; and he will refuse to move a step unless
stringent orders reach him from Spain. I will wait for what
time may bring.
The king, with a small suite, is to proceed to Theobalds, with
the intention of passing next week at Newmarket to enjoy
the pleasures of the chase. The Council will be held here, where
some of the principal ministers are staying. I also intend to
stay until his Majesty returns and decides to take some other
route, unless the plague in London chance to diminish ; but
there is very little sign of this, as more than two thousand persons
are dying per week at present.
Zonca left for Holland on Saturday in last week. As the wind
was favourable I hope that he has arrived by now.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 26th
ult. with the office read to the Ambassador Fildin about the
merchants trading at the islands of Zante and Cephalonia.
Windsor, the 24th October, 1636.
94. To the Ambassador in England.
The ordinary brought none of your letters, only duplicates.
We hear from Vienna that the Spanish Ambassador Ognat
has procured for the Cardinal of Savoy the protection of Germany,
which was sustained by the late Cardinal Diatrestain. Their
object is to detach the House of Savoy from France as much as
possible. We shall wait to hear from you what they say about
it in England.
Ayes, 91. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
95. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Because of the instructions sent to me on the 27th ult. I
thought it best to see the Cardinal. After speaking of other
matters I referred to the treaties with England. He said that
M. de Bullion was negotiating with the Ambassador Leicester,
and if there was anything essential he would have sent to him.
I remarked that the Ambassador Corraro was advised that the
ambassador had received instructions to introduce the question
of restoring Lorraine into the treaties. He replied, They spoke
some time ago about when we should restore it. We shall
do so freely, but not by treaties. By doing little the English
want us to do much. At this point he commended the good
intentions of the Ambassador Leicester and remarked that
there were many Hispanophiles in England.
Amiens, the 26th October, 1636.
|96. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Capuchin, Father Joseph, has never returned to Court,
but is staying at Paris to negotiate with the ambassador extraordinary
of England. Various messengers have passed to and
fro between there and this city to the Cardinal, and I find that
although they keep this business very secret, they are agreed
upon the principal point of a defensive and offensive league
between the two crowns against the House of Austria until the
Prince Palatine is restored to his dominions and electoral dignity,
that France has demanded money of the English to continue
the war, and the Swedes, Dutch and other powers will be invited
to enter this confederation. Nothing more is said about the
restoration of Lorraine, but some articles still remain which are
not yet quite decided, and for them the ambassador has sent to
Amiens, the 26th October, 1636.
97. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The States announce that they do not desire an alliance with
England but they want a truce as they are tired of war. This is
all artifice, to set off against the king's announcement of the
alliance with France, and in the hope of inducing England to
change her cards and desire an alliance with them. This is
what they really want, as a blockade of Flanders would compel
the Spaniards to come to terms. Yet there are some, in the
Assembly of Holland in particular, who would agree to a truce
tomorrow, without considering the advantages to be derived from
union with England.
The Princess Palatine told me about Arundel's recall. She
seems to believe firmly that the king will declare himself and she
expressed the hope that he will make a protest in the name of
the Prince Palatine, declaring the election of the king of the
Romans invalid if the prince is not admitted to the Diet with
power to elect.
The Hague, the 30th October, 1636.
98. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Court here is intent on what France may resolve with
respect to what was agreed here about the establishment of the
treaty with that crown. If this step does not come first, since it
must be the principle they do not think of making any further
decision, for or against, in the matter of the Prince Palatine
taking the field. They are only awaiting the reply to be sent
by the Earl of Leicester. The French ambassadors here will
not utter a syllable about the details of the project, and behave
as if they knew nothing about it. The ministers here also
seem reluctant to confirm what they divulged on the subject
last week. Thus doubts are entertained as to whether the king
intends to pay any English contingent until the end of the war,
and the ministers here seem reluctant to confirm what they stated
last week. They declare themselves very ill pleased with the
choice offered in France to the Ambasador Zavaschi for the
marriage of his king, either of the daughter of the Prince of
Conde or of the Princess Maria of Mantua, saying that it was the
secret intrigues of the French which prevented the marriage
of the Palatine princess. Despite this bitter event, which is felt
the more because of its intrinsic importance, permission has been
given this week to several captains sent here by the Chancellor
Oxestern to raise recruits in Scotland and Ireland, whereas in the
past they have scarcely listened to their requests. A general
census has been ordered in the realm of all persons capable of
bearing arms, and when that is finished, as it will be in a few days,
his Majesty has ordered the lists to be brought to him at once
They do not often show so much activity and so it makes men
believe that they have some considerable designs in mind.
With matters in this state his Majesty has left the Council
here and a great part of his household to go to Newmarket,
and on the first day of this week he proceeded to Theobalds.
There for the first time he received the Spanish ambassador in
private audience. His very diffuse office was all directed to
persuade the king to prolong the Earl of Arundel's stay at the
imperial Court. He apologised for the causes of offence of which
the earl complained, by the difficulty of the present times, without
entering into particulars, and he blamed the earl's too hot temper,
in his reception and interpretation of the replies of the emperor
and his ministers, which had always been full of respect and
full of good will. He said the earl had allowed himself to be
carried away rather towards the way of destruction than that of
moderation and duty. He advanced many arguments, and with
transparent artifice made it appear that the House of Austria
was entirely disposed to satisfy this crown. Yet he could not
hide the reasons which had induced him to perform this office,
although he tried not to betray that he knew anything of the
negotiations which are on foot with France.
The king replied in general terms and so soberly as to show the
little value he attached to the office, as after such a long time
they expected to hear something more lively and sincere, and
proposals with some solid substance. In spite of all this it is
believed, though not known for certain, that the instructions
to the Earl of Arundel will be confirmed only to go away from
the Court, but not to leave Germany, to wait and see what turn
the present negotiations with France take, and then he will
have more solid ground for arranging the rest.
The sympathies of the ministers here on the question of the
diet of Ratisbon are evidently at variance. The majority of
them, who cannot conceal their personal predilection for the
success of the House of Austria, have noted with sorrow the
protests of the Elector of Treves and the reluctance of others to
take part personally.
The Earl of Northumberland arrived at Court the day before
yesterday, leaving his fleet distributed along the most convenient
places of the coast. He reported to his Majesty that he had
fallen in with some other Dutch fishing boats and made them
contribute almost a tenth part of their catch, as well as to take
from him a licence to continue their fishing, in writing. This
is worth more for the establishment of the jurisdiction which
they claim, and therefore has given the more satisfaction to the
general. It has also won credit and reputation for Northumberland
himself, since it was reported that in alarm at the
preparations of the Dutch he had avoided trying conclusions
with them ; but it is also true that these boats were not convoyed
by the Dutch fleet but were accompanied by two armed vessels
only when he happened to fall in with them. His commissions
having been carried out, he has retired to one of his country
houses, to wait for his Majesty to renew them. Many think,
however, that with the season so far advanced if no greater
emergencies arise, the Vice Admiral will remain in charge of
the whole fleet, as if there is need he may be chosen to command
it, as a person of riper experience.
Now that time has consumed almost all the contributions
that were raised with so much trouble for this fleet, they will
have to think of a new way of providing for it, if they want
to keep it at sea any longer. The orders already issued for the
collection of the new imposts encounter insuperable obstacles
in their execution. For this purpose they propose to augment
the impositions upon all merchandise which enters or leaves
the realm, but even if these bring in the large revenue that they
hope, they will not be sufficient or soon enough to be devoted
to this purpose. It is decreed that every horse which in future
is taken from the realm shall pay a duty of 5l. sterling to the
king, besides the usual charge to obtain the licence. They say
this is rather to prevent the measures taken by the French to take
over a considerable number to France, than for any profit that
may be obtained.
The sons of the Landgrave of Hesse have more than once
received various refreshments in his Majesty's name. They have
now gone away from the Court and it is thought that they will
soon leave the kingdom. The ministers of the pope here proceed
with great deliberation in their secret transactions. They have
not yet been able to obtain any permission for the bishop. They
keep near the queen both living in the same house, and at present
they merely keep up frequent intercourse with her confessor.
Coneo has more than once visited the ambassadors of France
and Spain here, but he has not yet appeared at my house. I
really cannot ascertain the cause of this behaviour of his because
Panzani always kept up the most open correspondence with me.
I have the state despatches of the 3rd inst. with the thanks
of the English ambassador and Signor Giustinian's despatch
about the orders sent to the Court of Ognat. So far as that
individual is concerned, his actions do not correspond with
his professions and he has never thanked me for the compliment
I paid him. The French ambassadors seem to await the issue of
this affair with great curiosity. They were very pleased to learn
from me that the first move came from the Spanish ministers.
Sir John Finet has not said anything further to me and I have
not thought it worth while to remind him.
I will carry out the orders of the Council of Ten about Rossi,
who is still here.
Windsor, the 31st October, 1636.