186. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England
to the Doge and Senate.
The announcements made by the king about the Ambassador
Fielding's affair have prevented me from taking any direct
steps in the matter, but I have caused my intimates, at any special
meetings of the Court, to advocate the Signory's cause, and
all unprejudiced persons express themselves in very uncomplimentary
terms about those who foment the mischief. But the
ambassador's relations persist in their outcry and neglect
no art or effort to keep the king imbued with the principles
they have already impressed upon him. This week the Countess
of Denbigh, the ambassador's mother, with the Marchioness of
Hamilton, her daughter, have availed themselves of the queen's
interposition to obtain the confirmation of the king's promise to
them to recall the ambassador, however things may go. It has not
been difficult to obtain this, because as in addition to any feeling
which this incident may have left in his Majesty's mind present
experience shows that he does not like the expense of an ambassador
extraordinary with your Excellencies, or what he pays at present,
which in all will exceed 50 of our ducats a day, as Fielding still
enjoys the allowance of all ambassadors extraordinary. I had
this confirmed to-day by a person of very great credit, in a position
to know, who added that the Council were unanimously of opinion
that there was no need to keep a minister of such rank ; so he
concludes that if Fielding is removed we shall not hear of the
nomination of another very soon, although there may be many
pretenders for the post. As these opinions are true in essence
and current at Court I have thought it my duty to report them,
so that you may have solid ground for your decision upon this
The despatches for Fielding have not yet been drawn up
and I understand they will not be sent this week. I am not sorry
for this delay, because time cannot fail to mitigate their severity,
and if coldness in everything was not natural to this nation I might
think this present exhibition of it was an indication of an inclination
towards the adjustment of the affair. The ministers try to get it
to reach my ears that unless Fielding obtains a satisfactory reply
he is to leave at once. Meanwhile they ask with curiosity if the law
has taken extreme measures against della Nave. Some seem to
think that if his case had been despatched before the ambassador's
representations in the manner that his crimes deserve, the affair
might have been adjusted more easily I cannot venture to comment
upon this but will only remark that those who speak thus are persons
of considerable estimation, and to make myself clearer, the Earl of
Arundel is inclined to hold this opinion, indeed his wife said as
much to me very clearly. Both of them, upon this occasion, contrary
to my original opinion, have given me signs of great cordiality.
A person of considerable estimation and well affected towards the
republic has maintained before his Majesty that it is not advantageous
to the general welfare and peace to raise difficulties about mere
punctilio at the risk of losing the confidence of so friendly a state,
which may be very helpful in the present fluctuations for the interests
of the Palatine, both by interposition and action. The satisfaction
demanded of the republic is such as cannot be granted without
upsetting the regulations for its good government, and opening
the gate to consequences which will be very prejudicial in the course
of time. He now complains that his advice has not been adopted.
I have all this under a pledge of keeping it secret, as it would damage
him greatly if it became known, but I have thought it right to inform
your Excellencies. I assured him of your deep gratitude and of
the great esteem you have always had for him personally. I
find that this has done wonders in confirming his previous
friendliness, and hope that I shall continue to profit by it with
considerable advantage to the service of the state.
London, the 2nd April, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
187. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of the exposition of the Spanish ambassador.
You will try and ascertain whether the orders referred to have
reached Ognat. On the 13th of February we sent by special
courier an account of the remonstrance of the English ambassador
because of the arrest of an individual opposite his house. We
are surprised to find no reference to this in your letters of the
6th ult. just received, especially as the Spanish ambassador
says that he has received news on the subject. Advices. Vote
of 300 ducats for his couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 66. Noes, 2. Neutral, 4.
188. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
It having been settled that the Palatine shall have the fifteen
ships, they have been discussing the best means of rendering
his forces as powerful and vigorous as possible. Finding that
they cannot do this adequately without the assistance of foreign
powers, they have decided that he must go in person to Holland
to ask for their help. Accordingly he has himself conferred with
the Dutch ambassador to ask his advice. That minister suggested
that it would be advisable for him to be accompanied by a special
envoy from England, as an additional stimulus, since it could
never be displeasing to his masters that the king of Great Britain
should show confidence in their good will in any situation where
they were in a position to advance his interests or give him
satisfaction. Accordingly, recognising that the Dutch would
like to have this compliment paid, it is considered advisable
to send a special ambassador, who will prefer the requests
jointly with the Palatine in his Majesty's name.
That this may be done more regularly and on more solid
foundations they would desire that the ratification of the treaty
should first arrive from France, whence, owing to the illness of
the commissioners or the absence of the king, the Ambassador
Leicester writes that he has not yet been able to come to an end,
a thing which they take very ill here, and it makes them speak ill
of the behaviour of the French, as if they aimed at keeping in suspense
the best resolutions of this quarter, in order to derive profit for
themselves for some secret truce or armistice with the Spaniards,
about which they remain very suspicious here.
Since the emperor's death the king here is evidently bent on
carrying on the war, giving ever more manifest signs that he will
not acknowledge the new King of the Romans ; thus he told the
Dutch ambassador to intimate to his masters that it was high
time for their troops to take the field, and alacrity would prove
very helpful, and he would be very glad when he brought him
word of it. This declaration deserves much consideration,
as the king is not accustomed to speak with so much resolution
where the affairs of others are concerned.
The matter of the fisheries makes very little progress, as they
are determined to maintain their sovereignty over the sea ; the
ministers try to smoothe matters by saying that their actions
will not be so severe as their words, but this does not reassure the
Dutch or remove their uneasiness, as they consider the question
of the most serious importance, in short this matter will always
lead to trouble and may possibly prevent sound operations in other
The dispute with Denmark still remains on foot. That king
will not accept the balance offered, being of opinion that the bother
about the Palatine may enable him to do better. This annoys his
Majesty here, but does not shake his resolve to maintain the maritine
supremacy of Great Britain. This shows that there is no assurance
that the royal fleet may not be used for something else, and that if the
Palatine does not provide for his requirements in some other way,
his fifteen ships may bring him more trouble than strength. This
will certainly be the case if he does not receive that assistance from
the French of which he makes sure.
The accident which prevented the audience of the Ambassador
Ognati last week was only too true, as three persons of his household
have died of the plague. This curse creeps into every part
of the city, so that it has occasioned fresh alarm at Court. They
say that as soon as the queen is able to travel their Majesties
will go more than 150 miles away, but if there is any hope of
improvement, they will not take this trouble.
The Persian merchant has taken leave of the king to-day, and
he will embark tomorrow to return home. He goes away quite
satisfied with the treatment he has received at Court, but very
irritated by the extortions of the merchants and customs officials,
as with all his efforts he could not escape paying the double duty
exacted from all foreigners with the usual severity. I have done
all I could for him, and I am sure that he departs under increased
obligations to your Excellencies.
I expect to have audience next Monday to offer my congratulations
on the birth of the princess, and if the letters for the
Ambassador Fielding have not been forwarded, I will endeavour
to soothe his Majesty.
London, the 3rd April, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
189. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here employ the greatest industry to prevent the
union between England and France. For this purpose alone a
courier was sent to that Court last Friday with instructions to
the Catholic ambassador to assure the king there that his Majesty
has written to Cæsar, and that he is as much concerned to give
him satisfaction as he is to provide for the defence of his own
dominions, and suggesting some other equivalent instead of
the surrender of the Lower Palatinate. The minister here
represents that such an exchange of satisfaction would not be
difficult, unless promises are betrayed by deeds.
Madrid, the 4th April, 1637.
190. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday I had audience of the king to congratulate him on
the birth of the princess. After I had expressed regrets about
Fielding's affair and observed in vain that the troubled state of
the political horizon ought to make him form such resolves as
were expected by the republic, the king reflected for a space on
the subject ; he then replied : I have always valued the republic's
friendship. I know, as you say, that these are times to make it
even more close. The ample expressions of goodwill which you have
made towards my nephew's interests oblige me to be grateful and I
confess it. In this case I claim no more than is right. Let the
republic do her part, as she knows that, saving my honour, I shall
do everything to satisfy her. After I had replied the king turned the
conversation to other topics, to which I shall allude in another
despatch. I then went to the two secretaries, to Lord Holland
and the Earl of Arundel, insisting that in such a matter justice
must take its course. I pointed out to them in particular what
an unfavourable impression it would make on the world if the
confidence of two princes who had always been so friendly, were
put to the hazard for matters of such slight consideration. It
was the part of ministers to maintain and increase a good
intelligence between well affected princes. I did what I could
and hoped they would help me. I had to repeat my arguments
several times to convince the Secretary Vindebanch. However
I left them all excellently disposed, and the Earl of Arundel
in particular, who promised to do his utmost to get the affair
satisfactorily settled. In fact the two secretaries returned at
two o'clock this afternoon and spoke to the following effect :
His Majesty desired to maintain his friendly relations with the
republic unchanged, and in order to adjust the differences, saving
his honour, he would be content to relinquish all claim for the
release of della Nave, owing to the nature of his crime and because
he did not wish to interfere with the laws of the republic. But this
being conceded, his Majesty expected the release of Boni who
was arrested, they said, because he ate flesh in Lent, played on
a Friday or some crime which they knew did not affect the
majesty of the state. They insisted on his being handed over to
Fielding as well as those officials who dared to put guards at
his door on that occasion, as this would not contaminate the
justice of Venice while it would satisfy the reputation of England.
In the course of my reply I said that Francesco de' Boni was
an evil liver, a blasphemer and guilty of serious crimes. As
for the officials, if they had done anything beyond their orders
they would be severely punished. So then, took up the secretaries,
your Excellency admits that the republic will afford his Majesty
that satisfaction which has been granted to others on similar
occasions, and that if the officials have set guards at the ambassador's
doors, they shall be handed over to him to be punished.
I said that I was sure all the privileges enjoyed by ambassadors
at Venice would be conceded to Lord Fielding without reservation,
and it was certain that the sbirri would be punished if it was
proved that they had committed a fault, as it was not customary
to give ambassadors this trouble. All right, said they, then the
affair is settled. If the king's ambassador receives the same
satisfaction as has been granted to others, and if the officials
receive the punishment which they deserve for their offence, his
Majesty asks for nothing more.
Such was the end of our interview. The principal point about
del Nave has certainly been won, but I think there will be difficulties
about the remainder, as they will claim that the ambassador must be
believed in what he asserts about the guard set at his door, and as
regards Boni's release they consider they have better examples on
their side than I have adduced to the contrary. However, if they
confine themselves to genuine instances and do not claim more
than has been done for others, as the secretaries declare, it will
not be difficult to find a way to satisfy them.
London, the 7th April, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
191. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here do not agree to the proposals made by the
English. The Cardinal told me that things must be properly
adjusted as he does not consider the force promised by the king
of England to the Prince Palatine adequate to what is required.
He considers that king high minded but fears that those about
him divert him from what he ought to do. The Earl of Leicester
works hard and wants to persuade them that this is enough for
the present. He contends that to claim that England shall
declare war if she is not satisfied about the restitution of the
Palatinate is not just because she has no personal grievance against
the Austrians. They certainly wrong her in not attending to
their promises but this does not oblige her to resentment sufficient
to make her take such a great step so readily. They do not
properly understand here what is to their own advantage ;
because if his king entered the alliance and made war about the
question of the Palatinate alone, he would have to abandon the
league when he received satisfaction from the Spaniards, whereas
if they accept what is now offered and his Majesty binds himself
to declare war if the Austrians, within a certain time do not
restore not only the Palatinate but all the other princes of
Germany, that is something more secure and more advantageous
for their interests here.
He complains that the French treat the ships of his king,
which they take on their way to Flanders with foodstuffs,
worse than they do the Dunkirkers and Spaniards, although the
Cardinal has recently had some released at his instance. He
professes to fear that when they perceive this coldness in
England his Majesty there may be persuaded not to allow the
Palatine to arm at sea in order not to give greater offence to
the Spaniards with a matter of slight consequence. With
respect to the congress at Hamburg he maintains that the treaty
must be concluded here before it meets.
Paris, the 7th April, 1637.
192. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England
to the Doge and Senate.
After my conversation with the Secretaries of State yesterday,
I thought I was justified in considering the matter in good train,
but whether it be my ill fortune, their obstinacy, the power of Fielding's
relations or that their passionate appeals have more influence than
reason, I can see that they have little idea here of consenting to a
just composition. The Secretaries came here this morning by
express order of the king to intimate that his Majesty would not
rest content with general satisfaction in a matter where his honour
was especially affected, and claimed that his ambassador should
receive special demonstrations of respect. These should at least
consist of Boni's release and the assurance that the one who set
guards at the ambassador's door should be punished. I expressed
astonishment at hearing such different views from the same lips after
such a short interval. I told them that confiding in what I had heard
from two public ministers, and especially as regards the English
ministers enjoying privileges in no wise inferior to those observed with
other crowns, I had already informed your Excellencies of what was
arranged yesterday, and I did not see how this could be withdrawn
without damaging my reputation, as you certainly cannot do more
for the English ambassador than you have for the Spanish.
They answered me that such was the absolute determination
of the king, which they could not resist. That the despatches for
the ambassador were already drawn up and there was nothing
more to do except to despatch them this evening.
I afterwards went to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Earl
of Arundel to complain. They both shrugged their shoulders
and said that the secretaries had imagined there would be no occasion
to retract, but his Majesty would not rest content. Arundel, to whom
I spoke more confidentially, advised me not to speak to the king again,
as I should do more harm than good. He told me further that he
himself had heard the letters which were written to the ambassador
this week, to which his Majesty made them add that if he could not
obtain the satisfaction indicated he must come away, without writing
direct to England again ; but he thought the ambassador would
devise a means to avoid the blame which must attach itself to such
I am sending this despatch by Basfort, who is taking those of the
Ambassador, as I have not had time to do otherwise.
London, the 8th April, 1637.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
193. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Fears multiply that the treaties between England and France
will vanish without result. The English and the Palatine
family say that the French are only manœuvring for time and
will not conclude unless Sweden and these Provinces join. If
it is so this Court will not consider England in the wrong, as if
Sweden and the Dutch are to enter there is no time to lose. The
Princess Palatine told me explicitly that the French are drawing
back and are not playing fair. Yet there are signs that the
fault is with England, who tries to throw the blame on France,
as Beveren says they have greatly cooled and have reduced the
number of ships to fifteen while gentlemen have been forbidden
to take service. It is believed that the parties wish to approach
each other, but not to unite, and that their object is to gain time.
If the Swedes and these States are to join, the Austrians need
have no fears for this season.
The Hague ; the 9th April, 1637.
194. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
In spite of the plague Ognate has had audience of the king,
with whom he remained alone for fully two hours. It is supposed
that he made offers about surrendering the Lower Palatinate,
which is almost entirely in the hands of the Spaniards. For the
rest he made general but impracticable offers of equivalents for
the dominions, and more specifically that after the death of the
present duke of Bavaria the electoral vote should be exercised
alternately by the Palatine House and by Bavaria's heirs. If
the conditions are such there seems no likelihood of their being
embraced, because they do not differ greatly from those proposed
in Germany to the earl of Arundel, which he was far from
accepting. It is possible that there is something more solid and
practicable, because since this audience the secretaries of state
have been twice at the ambassador's house and had most lengthy
conferences with him. They make a grievance at Court that
while Ognate is the only minister of the House of Austria here,
he has neglected to inform the king of the death of the emperor,
and for this reason his Majesty has not chosen that sombre
clothing shall be worn, as is usual upon such occasions.
His Majesty spoke to me about the emperor's death at my
audience last Monday and said it should give an impulse to fresh
disturbances in Germany. The accession of the new one was
certainly not legitimate. The most essential fundamentals
were lacking in the election that took place at Ratisbon. The
king did not say so much definitely but he meant me to understand that
he did not mean to recognise him as emperor. Thus, in referring
to the Congress at Cologne he remarked that it was a time to think of
something else and it was impossible to give shape to the peace without
a proper disposition of the materials. This affords the strongest
grounds for concluding that their thoughts here do not run in the
direction of an accommodation, and if the proposals of the Spaniards
are not such as to give them complete satisfaction in the matter of
the restitution of his dominions and of the electoral vote to the
Palatine, it is quite clear that they will not be embraced.
The Palatine undoubtedly contemplates sending an ambassador
extraordinary to Holland, to help the treaties they think of
concluding with those powers ; but they still hold back the
appointment, as they wish first to see what resolutions France will
take about the last proposals which Oger took to them many
weeks ago. As they profess that these are the same as the French
themselves desired on previous occasions, with conditions indeed
greatly altered to their advantage, the ministers here are exceedingly
perplexed at this long delay of the ratification. The
Secretary Cuch told me personally, very roundly, that the dilatoriness
of the French procedure in this affair had deeply offended his Majesty,
and it was not the way to encourage a warm friendship with England,
such as they profess to desire. The moment was most favourable
in every respect, but if it was lost, it would not be so easy to find it
again a second time. To soothe him I pointed out the importance
to France of union with this crown and that it was unlikely they would
miss the opportunity. The delay was probably due to the absence
of the king and the illness of Buglion, not to lack of goodwill ; but
it was desirable not to lose time.
I have heard others speak in exactly the same way, and I have
noticed the display of strong feeling everywhere at this affair
remaining unsettled for so long a time. In addition to the prejudice
which the delay itself causes, it is believed that their reputation suffers
thereby, because the Spaniards do not scruple to speak about it
in a way that they do not like. They go about saying that there
was too much shouting about it and the results do not correspond
with the noise. That the French are seeking their own advantage,
and apart from that they do not care about England. Such remarks
are wounding, but in the long run they will not help their authors,
the more so because they tend to bring pique to the support of judgment.
The French on their side contend, although not openly, that it
is not reasonable they should be committed to the war without
being at liberty to end it except with the consent of England which
for her part offers nothing but piracy, as they call it in so many
words, by a few ships under the shadow of a prince who has nothing
to contribute except his name. In questions of more importance
the English reserve to themselves the right to announce their hostility
to the House of Austria in the event of a failure to arrange amicably
the outstanding differences between them. If in such case they are
compelled by necessity to take action, this may serve as being
sufficiently meritorious to weigh with all that the French have been
obliged to do. However, the replies given to his Majesty's ambassador
at Paris are not in this vein nor do his letters report such sharp
criticisms. But the Ambassador Seneterre here, when he writes
privately, cannot fail to take exception to what is said and expresses
himself even more freely, and so in the conduct of the negotiations
for a treaty of friendship, distrust and rancour are aroused which
may well hinder the sincere development which is desirable.
A brother of the Landgrave of Hesse (fn. 1) left here recently. The
king gave him a diamond worth 1200 crowns, but for the rest
he was ill pleased, as he could get no decided reply. He left
an agent here. He again offered his services to the Prince
Palatine on any conditions he pleased. The Prince told him
that the fleet would be under his absolute command and he
might be his lieutenant general. He does not ask for troops or
for money to raise any new ones, but only for the means to support
his present forces. He says they are in a poor and devastated
country and cannot hope to subsist any longer. However he
only asks for 100,000l. sterling, of which he will be content with
20,000l. paid down, and for this he promises to do things worth
much more than the money. As the Landgrave is going on his
private affairs to Wesel, he asks the Palatine to confer with him
at the Hague. His offers are recognised here as liberal and are
greatly appreciated, but they do not vouchsafe any answer
which really settles anything, excusing everything on the ground
of the delay in the ratification of the treaty with France.
Accordingly, in the meantime, the agent here has received orders
from the Landgrave himself to go and meet him in Holland and
when he leaves all this business may be utterly dissolved. The
Dutch ambassador has strongly urged the king and the Palatine
not to miss the opportunity of this Conference, but he has been
unable to get any satisfactory reply. Apparently the Landgrave
will go from Wesel to Hamburg to take part in the assembly
there, to which Oxestern talks of sending a minister.
They no longer think of Prince Rupert going to Germany
with troops, but of sending him with a large force to try and
conquer the island of Madagascar otherwise called the island of
San Lorenzo. The Council has worked hard over the matter
this week. The Earl of Arundel has maintained the propriety
of the enterprise more vigorously than any one else, because
many, dreaming of improving their fortunes, promise that it
will be easy. They have already arranged that Prince Rupert
shall have the sovereign rule of the country, with the royal title,
while individuals aspire to the greatest advantages and very
fat profits. People who know and consider the matter without
prejudice believe that these light fancies will die away in mere
speculation before they begin to put them into effect, because
they do not think that a very large force supplied with provisions
for so long a voyage, can easily sail, and even if it does, as they
have to conquer a people of the utmost ferocity and barbarity,
they think the attempt will either fail, or if it succeeds partially
it will be impossible to lay the foundations for a quiet rule. But
this is the matter to which the Court devotes most of its attention
at present, and one is curious to see what decision they will
take ; for the rest everything moves with the slowness of their
habitual circumspection. One sees nothing actually done beyond
the arming of the king's ordinary fleet. This, with the fifteen
sail destined for the Palatine's service, one may expect to be ready
to sail at the beginning of next month.
I have received this week two despatches from the Senate.
London, the 10th April, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
195. To the Ambassador in England.
The ordinary from Augsburg only brought the letters from the
Hague on Thursday, but this morning we have received your
despatches of the 13th, 14th and 18th ult. We approve of your
offices with the Secretary Coke and the other ministers, and
especially of the impression made upon the king who seems to
admit the validity of our arguments. We feel sure that the
misrepresentations of Fielding and his partisans will make no
impression. If necessary you will continue to insist with emphasis
with the king, the ministers, and everyone that the small house
was rented to a workman at the Mint, a subject of ours, who had
nothing whatever to do with the ambassador's house. We may
add, as further evidence of the nature of the crime with which the
culprit is charged, that two of our nobility, who were implicated
in the affair, have been banished for ever and degraded from their
nobility, with other most severe penalties, which are only
customary in cases of the highest importance and in matters of
state. We enclose a copy of the sentence.
Ayes, 128. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
Consiglio di X.
196. In the Council of Ten.
That the attached papers about the English ambassador be
communicated by a secretary of this Council to the Savii of the
Collegio, to be used by them as they may see fit.
Ayes, 14. Noes, 0. Neutral, 9.
197. (1) ... (fn. 2) last Thursday a man went to his house to
offer himself as a boatman. He said that he was at the traghetto
of San Giobbe. The ambassador liked his looks and engaged
him, telling him to come the next morning. When the man
came the ambassador sent him to San Moise to fetch some goods.
But the ambassador sent some of his people after the boatman
who seized him and brought him to the house, although he tried
to escape with the barque ... (fn. 2) The ambassador refused
to have anything to do with the man, although he had sent for
him. (fn. 3)
(2) The Captain General reports that last Sunday, the 12th
inst., he had arrested one Andrea Mendnor da Pani, in the habit
of a flagellant, who had gashed the face of Laura Montagnana
Posamanna with a razor as she came out of the church of San
Moise, and who then took refuge in the house of the English
ambassador, from which he was afterwards conveyed to another
place in the ambassador's gondola.
198. To the Ambassador in England.
On Saturday the 11th inst. we informed you by way of France
of the receipt of your despatches of the 13th, 14th and 18th ult.
chiefly about the English ambassador here. On the Sunday
following this a most scandalous incident occurred which has
incensed the whole city to the highest pitch. On that solemn
Easter day, as a certain lady of virtuous habits was coming out
of the church of San Moise, her parish, an individual clothed in
sackcloth, which covered his face, who was waiting on purpose
for her, approached her under the pretence of asking alms, and
seizing her throat with one hand, disfigured her face badly with
a razor with the other. He then took to flight and took refuge
in the house of the English ambassador. Many of those about
and the relations of the unhappy victim pursued the villain, but
when they reached the ambassador's house and saw him enter,
they stopped out of respect. The ambassador made the culprit
enter his gondola, and with four oars he had him rowed hurriedly
away through the Grand Canal, so that it is impossible to know
whither he has gone. He has thus rescued from well merited
punishment a rascal who ventured to commit such a crime on
this holy day against a poor woman who had just performed her
duty as a Christian at church.
In addition to this the ambassador has shown violence to a
servant, upon a vain pretext, having him removed from a barque,
where he should have been safe, and dealing with him as you will
see from the enclosed copy, which we send for your information,
so that you may inform the king and ministers and especially
the Secretary Coke of this behaviour, which cannot fail to arouse
our deepest displeasure while it is also a scandal to the whole
community. You will express to them how strongly we feel
We had your letters of the 20th ult. yesterday and enclose
Ayes, 120. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
199. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish ambassador is trying to find if any opening
remains for resuming the negotiations about the affairs of the
Prince Palatine which have been entirely broken off with the
House of Austria since the return of the Earl of Arundel. To this
end also he had spent a long time this week in audience of his
Majesty. He asked his Majesty that for this purpose he would
be pleased to depute commissioners for the purpose, with whom
he might conveniently treat upon the points he had to propose.
He told him that these were everything that could be desired
for the mutual satisfaction of the interested parties, and accordingly
he felt sure that matters may easily be arranged provided
he has not to deal with the Earl of Holland or the Secretary Coke,
whom he would exclude as professed enemies of the House of
If the proposal does not in itself displease the king, the manner
of it angered him. He told the ambassador that he knew the
Earl and Secretary were his good servants, and he could not
surfer others to accuse them of partisanship of which they were
not guilty. As regards appointing commissioners he arranged
nothing, indeed he afterwards remarked candidly to others that
he did not believe the ambassador had instructions for this, but
was acting entirely on his own responsibility with the object of
preventing other and more opportune resolutions.
That is the general opinion of the Court and it is therefore
supposed that this step will only have irritated the king the more,
and confirmed the unfavourable opinion which he had already
formed of the ambassador. He has taken it very ill that Ognate
has never called on any of his ministers of state, declaring that he
would not do so unless they first visited him, a course not only
contrary to the common practice, but contrary to the invariable
behaviour of all his predecessors here.
On the other hand, although these new motions ought to
create suspicion, the affairs with France do not proceed
satisfactorily. The Earl of Leicester writes that the Cardinal
now haggles about two points not previously in dispute, so
the conclusion seems to go constantly further off. It seems he
wishes England to declare herself more openly against the House
of Austria, and not to molest the Dutch fisheries so long as the
alliance lasts, remarking that it cannot soundly exist for long
without a good understanding between England and those
Provinces. He also recommends the inclusion of Sweden.
Accordingly he proposes that the matter shall be arranged, not
now, but at the congress which the Chancellor Oxestern is trying
to bring about at Hamburg for this purpose, and at the same time
a strong party be formed consisting of France, England, Sweden
and Holland which would be able to sustain the most vigorous
offensive enterprises against the House of Austria. But although
they might eventually co-operate for such an end, their views
here are not at present of this character, and they would prefer,
first of all to see the alliance with France definitely concluded,
and then treat with the others, one by one. It is also possible
that, with all these delays, they are afraid that the Most Christian
may secretly be arranging terms with the House of Austria.
With respect to a more open declaration here against the House
of Austria, it is known to be impolitic, as the English have very
large investments (grossisimi capitali) in Spain, which they are
constantly increasing, and they will not readily risk them.
The king personally, moreover, has not yet got his courage so high
as to plunge right away into so great and costly a war. The question
of the fisheries also seems in great disorder. They find it very
strange that the Most Christian wishes to interfere, when they have
declared so positively that they cannot suffer it, but that they will
grant by connivance more possibly than may be asked by a definite
arrangement. If the French do not abandon this pretension it is
intimated that all negotiations with them must be abandoned
altogether, so that this long business becomes more and more disturbed
every day to the increasing detriment of the interests of the Dutch,
since the rush of these sudden humours has upset all that was being
slowly won, step by step, through patience and tact. For the same
reason they are holding in suspense their reply to the landgrave.
With Sweden friendly offices are constantly being exchanged
and they are far from niggardly with their promises to Oxestern.
But he, desiring rather liberality in deeds, is not content with
words and threatens those strokes which are most dreaded here.
With matters in this condition they have suddenly taken a
resolution which will only serve to make things worse, as the king
has signed a patent for a gentleman of the Cherch family, giving
him full powers for twenty years to exercise the sole use of the
fisheries between the island of Newfoundland and Virginia,
places held by the English in the West Indies. As Canada
which the French hold under the name of New France, lies between
these, off whose coasts they have been accustomed for a very long
period to fish for bacalao, or cod, as they call it, with very great
advantage, it seems unlikely that they will bear this patiently.
Anyhow, Cherch is preparing a considerable number of ships
and hopes to gain by force what may be opposed by reason.
The Ambassador Seneterre has made strong remonstrances to
the ministers, but without any result. He also protests that if
Colonel Ferens goes to France for the old debt which the Palatine
House claims from the king there, according to his instructions,
he will be wasting his pains. Accordingly the Colonel's departure
is postponed, and they think that the whole subject will be dropped
entirely. Thus dissatisfaction is accumulating on both sides,
especially as there is always material for the ill will to which
these two nations are naturally disposed.
They are also awaiting Denmark's reply to their offices, and
the dissatisfaction which he professes with Cæsar for abolishing
the duties on the Elbe at the petition of the Hamburgers, affords
them hope that he will concur with the better heart and force
for the relief of the Palatine, the more so because with respect
to his maritime pretensions already referred to, he has not yet
made any move to excite uneasiness.
They still discuss the Madagascar enterprise, but they seem to
realise its impracticability more every hour. The Earl of
Arundel works exceedingly hard at it and intimates that if the
king gives up the idea for Prince Rupert, he himself may take
it up with his friends ; but if it is unsuitable for the one people
think it will prove less feasible for the other.
I have been this week to kiss the queen's hands, and congratulated
her, in the name of your Excellencies, on her happy
delivery. The new princess was christened the day before
yesterday (fn. 4) and they gave her the name of Anna. The function
was private and the prince and the elder of the princesses took
part, in the name, so they said, of their deceased grandparents,
a form newly devised by the king, as there is no memory of its
ever having been done before.
London, the 17th April, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
200. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 23rd, 25th and 27th March.
We are amazed at his Majesty's sentiments on the subject, but
approve highly of what you said to the two secretaries of state as
well as to the king. We understand from your despatch of the
27th that an express was to be sent to the Ambassador Fielding
to enable him to set forth his Majesty's view and decisions. We
are now approaching the end of the month and the ambassador
has not yet appeared in the Collegio. Possibly the courier has
met with an accident. We will await events. The Senate's
reasons have already been set forth, and there is now the fresh
case of the man who assaulted a woman coming out of church.
The little house had no public character whatever. With
regard to the contention that the ambassador used it as a
passage to the garden of the Ca Dandolo, you can state that as the
house pertains to one of our nobles the ambassador's entry would
not be permitted. We enclose a copy of a letter written to the
king on the subject, and we will leave the rest to your prudence,
according to the aspect which the affair may have taken.
With regard to his Majesty's suggestion that we should ask
him to send an ambassador to Cologne, you will, when you see
him, express our gratification at this mark of confidence, commend
his generous efforts for universal peace and assure him that if
he sends a minister to Cologne our ambassador will co-operate
with him in every possible way in the interests of the general
welfare, feeling sure that the assistance and authority of so great
a king cannot fail to promote general quiet and tranquillity,
and so forth, to show his Majesty our desire to respond in the
fullest manner to his confidence. Your offices should be in
these general terms while expressing our most friendly esteem.
Ayes, 37. Noes, 15. Neutral, 99.
Second vote :
Ayes, 37. Noes, 6. Neutral, 115. Pending.
The letter to the King of Great Britain was countermanded,
and meanwhile the letter to the ambassador was sent, omitting
the passage referring to that letter.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 0. Neutral, 6.
201. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
They have declined to appoint commissioners for the Spanish
ambassador, who has refused to show his powers, although he
says he has them. He asserts that he is punctually informed
about the treaties with France, he supplies the particulars and
works his hardest to destroy the effects. The circumstances of
the present time show the ministers here that the alliance with
France is necessary above everything else. Although they
are vexed at the bottom of their hearts because it has not yet
been ratified they are constantly devising the most ready methods
for establishing it, rather than let it drop, and they think it
expedient even to give way on those points which up to the
present time they have tried to evade. Meanwhile the Earl of
Lester reports that he has again met the commissioners appointed
for him, and has left the matter in a better state than it was, so
he hopes soon to be able to report the ratification, and when this
is signed he will send the news by an extraordinary.
Yet they never give a thought to sending an ambassador to
Hamburg, although France and Holland urge it. The ministers
here prefer to treat with each of the powers separately. Accordingly
the news recently brought from Sweden by Colonel Flitwud,
who was the first sent from here to that Court, has pleased them
greatly. He reports that the news he brought about his Majesty's
generous resolutions in regard to the Palatine were received with
applause ; he brings the very warm thanks of that kingdom for
his Majesty's offers and assurances that if he. carries them into
effect they will think no more of a private agreement with
Caesar, but will continue the war with ardour so that the peoples
of Christendom may be established once for all in repose through
a general composition after so many past calamities. He has
presented to the king capitulations which the Swedes ask to have
in writing, to be stipulated by the parties within a period of three
months beginning from the 6th February last according to the
English style. These contain that a levy of six regiments of
infantry, partly English and partly Scots, shall be granted to them
at their own expense, a certain sum of money being paid down to
them, either as a free gift or as a loan, to be repaid at their
convenience, and some monthly pension for the maintenance of
the troops, offering for the security of the king the maintenance
of some places in Westphalia, near the River Weser. On their
side they undertake to continue the war with the emperor until
the Palatine is fully restored to his dominions either by force or
treaty, and is fully satisfied about the electoral vote.
They are to deliberate next Sunday in the Council upon these
proposals which are considered both substantial and advantageous
for them here, and will at once decide what they will do, as the
three months' term has almost entirely expired. But whereas
the granting of the levies and the payment of a certain sum of
money are recognised as inevitable, so the consenting to receive
the deposit of the fortresses is not considered a safe course, as
it involves expense and a thousand other embarrassments, to
which they would gladly avoid putting their hands.
They have given no answer as yet to the Landgrave of Hesse
because they are doubtful about his sincerity, because they feel
perfectly sure that he has not the troops on foot which he
professes, but that he wants to entangle this crown insensibly in
the war by large oblations in order to discharge himself of the
burden which he now has on his shoulders. As a matter of fact
it is believed that he is not strong enough to maintain himself
even in his own states. Accordingly unless he gives more
convincing proofs of his forces they will abandon the negotiations
with him altogether.
An unknown author has replied to Selden, who in his book
"Mare Clausum" upholds the claims of this crown over the sea.
The copies only appeared yesterday, and the sale was suppressed
to-day by the king's order. (fn. 5) However, I have succeeded in
obtaining a copy, which I send herewith, in obedience to previous
I have received this week the state despatches of the 27th
ult. I hope that orders will reach the Ambassador Ognat and that
he will act in accordance with them. I have had abundant
evidence of his reluctance to re-establish relations on an equal
If this is not so full of particulars as it should be I beg your
Excellencies to excuse me, as a severe fever compelled me to take
to my bed some days ago, and it gives me no respite to write more.
If it does not entirely take away my strength, I shall not forget
to continue mv labours.
London, the 24th April, 1637.
202. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary
in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Teller, desiring to win for himself a reputation for astuteness,
goes about suggesting to the emperor and ministers the necessity
of finding some middle way for the satisfaction of the Palatine.
He labours to make the Court understand that he is no longer
a minister of his king but is staying in a private capacity. It is
known, however, that this is the exact contrary of the truth,
because frequent letters and orders reach him from that Court.
The last of these impelled him to ask for audience of the emperor,
to whom he spoke of his own motion urging him very strongly
not to abandon these negotiations which may possible be rendered
more easy than in the past and nearer a conclusion. He was told
that so much had already been said that it was useless to add more.
He was referred to the Count of Traumestorf for further particulars.
Apparently there is some proposal on the carpet for the Palatine
and Bavaria to enjoy the electoral vote alternately. There are
powerful obstacles in the way of restoring the Lower Palatinate.
Teller has told several persons that at the audience he did not
give the emperor his imperial title. He says that he remains in
a private capacity as otherwise he would have to present a protest
in his Majesty's name.
Vienna, the 25th April, 1637.
203. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Last Friday I went to see the Cardinal at Sciaron. After
speaking of other matters and in order to find out his sentiments
about the treaty with England, I told him, what was actually
true, that I had noticed the Ambassador Leicester was very
troubled about not being able to conclude his treaty. The
Cardinal remarked, They want things to suit themselves ; to
avoid pledging themselves and do nothing while we do a great
deal. You yourself shall judge of this and see who is right.
I modestly disclaimed this honour. It so happened, said he,
that at the very moment your Excellency came in I was looking
at the treaty with England. Look here, we say it is not right
to want us to pledge ourselves not to make peace until the
Palatine is reinstated without our knowing what they mean to
do. They certainly say that they will declare war within a certain
time if they do not receive satisfaction and we are with them,
that they may see in the diet of Hamburg what they may expect
from the emperor, and if they can get the restitution of the
Palatinate without coming to blows. We are quite content with
this ; but if they do not get it, a discussion will be held there and
suggestions brought forward with the Swedes and the Dutch about
what can be done, not only for that prince but for the others as
well. The English have been played with so often that they will
see through the trick. They now want to pledge us without
saying what they mean to do. I remarked that Leicester had
told me that they will declare war. But, rejoined the Cardinal,
they do not say how. They must state whether by sea or by
land. See if we put ourselves in the right. If they will not do
any more we say We have an alliance with the Swedes and
Dutch whereby we cannot have fresh confederates about minor
matters without first obtaining their consent, so before going
further it is necessary to hear their views ; but if they are willing
to wage war in real earnest, we shall conclude with them and
come to an agreement, because we shall know their intentions
and shall have no further doubts. But better still, see how little
we are contented with, if they declare war we shall be satisfied
if they provide thirty men of war, suitably equipped, and 6000
foot and 2000 or 1500 horse to send to Germany ; in that case
the deed is done. His Eminence said nothing about the Grisons.
The Earl of Leicester knows nearly all these particulars, but he
complains that they give him no definite answer ; this offends
the king of England besides the numerous variations which he
declare they have started here, having changed their proposals
two or three times, so that he says nothing seems settled. The
only reason they give is that circumstances have altered and so
they have to change their decisions. In short, so far as one can
gather from his statements, the affair is moving in the direction
of a dissolution rather than towards a conclusion, with some
acerbity on both sides.
Paris, the 28th April, 1637.
204. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Beveren writes that the king there wants
these Provinces to help his nephew, under a promise not to
mention the sovereignty of the sea for some time. The Princess
Palatine told the Prince of Orange that her son would come here
about this and then go back to England. The Prince remarked
that the Palatine should not leave that Court before the treaties
are concluded and intimated that he might find difficulties about
returning. The States do not consider that the English will
find it so easy to get support for the Palatine here under the
promise indicated. The French protest that they have offered
England to adjust the question of sovereignty, to open the way
for an alliance with these Provinces, but the English would not
listen and the fleet was only intended to uphold their dominion.
Thus the ill feeling between England and France seems only to
increase, each party intimating that the fault is with the other.
The Hague, the 30th April, 1637.