Consiglio di X.
222. That the return of the Captain of this Council of the
11th February last about the arrest of Andrea della Nave and of
Francesco di Boni be sent to the Savii of the Collegio.
Ayes, 11. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
223. On the 11th February, 1637.
The Captain reports that he went this night by order of the
Chiefs of the Council of Ten and of the Inquisitors of State and
broke into a little house in the Calle San Moise, with balconies
on the Grand Canal, to arrest Antonio della Nave, who leaped into
the water with a dagger in his hand. The officers were obliged
to fire at him and wounded him in the arm after which he was
seized. He also arrested in the same house one Francesco di
Boni. They found two pistols on his bed. There were two youths
in the house one of whom said he belonged to the household of the
English ambassador. These they left in the house, being persons
of base quality.
224. The Ambassador of Great Britain was summoned
to the Collegio and the Senate's deliberation of the 16th was
read to him. He raised his cap twice where he is spoken of with
great honour, and spoke as follows :
The satisfaction of which you have informed me is so complete
that more could not be desired. It agrees with what I asked,
and this courtesy will still further confirm the affection of the
republic, and will increase my desire to cherish the good relations
with his Majesty, the advantages of which will redound to the
common benefit. I will not touch a wound that is practically
healed, but only say that I did not want to ask for any one
guilty of treason. His Majesty would never protect such and if
he had them in his hands he would immediately hand them over
to your Serenity for punishment, because he desires the prosperity
of the republic, and he expects the same from you in similar
cases. As I must consider guilty of that crime all who are declared
so by your Serenity, I must accept your decision. I must express
my joy at the happy settlement of this affair, which I accept
through the power that my king has given me, in the assurance
that his Majesty will be throughly satisfied. I am greatly
obliged by your Serenity's expressions of good will, and promise
that you shall have no cause to complain of any slackness on my
part in fostering the cordial relations between his Majesty
and the republic.
The doge replied, We are glad that you are satisfied. The
republic values his Majesty's friendship highly and would do
anything to please him, thus cherishing the ancient friendship
with that crown. The Senate also wished to show its esteem
for your lordship.
The ambassador replied, Nothing could please me better than
to see this affair settled. God knows how much the matter
distressed me, and how far I was from wishing anything distasteful
to your Serenity. I will try to prove to you that I have no greater
ambition than to help to advance the cordial relations with his
Majesty and to serve the republic with all my strength. The
doge added some courtesies, and the ambassador took leave,
showing his lightheartedness by his expression and all his actions.
He went to take a copy of the deliberation, as usual with him.
When entering the box (chiesola) he said to me, the secretary,
I could hear nothing to please me better than the office that has
been read to me. When he went away he said, I hope that this
will be the last disagreement that will occur during my stay here.
Girolamo Cavazza Secretary.
225. To the Ambassador in England.
We sent you copies of the exposition of the Ambassador Fielding
and of our reply about the men arrested. Two days later he sent
a paper containing demands corresponding with those made of
you by the ministers. While we refused to admit that a house
disconnected with the ambassador's should enjoy the same
privileges, yet in our desire to satisfy his Majesty it was decided
to release Boni. We enclose copies of the papers and of the
ambassador's expressions of consolation at what was read to him.
You will give his Majesty an account of everything to show our
respect for him in the strongest light. You will do the same with
the ministers, especially the Earl of Arundel.
We enclose extracts from the despatches from Spain of the
Ambassador Giustinian about the reciprocal treatment of
ambassadors. You will evade encounters with Ognat until you
see whether he really means to correspond in the matter of
titles etc. We commend your prudent conduct in this matter
and we have nothing to add to previous instructions. We
enclose the usual sheet of advices.
Ayes, 124. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2.
226. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
On behalf of the state I urged the king to send a representative
to the congress at Cologne. He replied with the utmost courtesy,
expressing his appreciation of your recognition of his upright
intentions, which were always directed towards the common
tranquillity, and he wished he could secure it speedily alone.
He had not yet decided to send any ambassador to Cologne,
believing that many circumstances, caused by the infinity of
divergent interests might disturb or prolong the meeting. Yet
he did not think he should have done harm to himself if he had
forestalled others in sending a minister there, if other considerations
had not prevented him. He was now doubtful what to
do, as he had not been asked, and had no interests of his own to
prompt him, while minor interests were full of very difficult
and thorny questions, so he thought he lacked a real pretext for
sending. Seeing that he was very inclined to send I encouraged
his disposition, remarking that the interests of his nephews
afforded a legitimate reason for not allowing this great matter
to go on without the presence of a minister of his. He admitted
that the interests of his nephews were a great inducement, but
the protestations already made to some extent cut the ground
from under his feet. He would think about it, and if duly urged
by his friends he would, in good time, make manifest such
decisions as they might expect and desire. Thus and from the
repeated utterances of the ministers I infer that the king is
really eager to interest himself in the peace negotiations, but as
the protest of the Palatine against the election of the King of
the Romans was done under his auspices, this does not leave him
free to treat with the plenipotentiaries of Cæsar, and he lacks a
legitimate pretext for himself while the interested parties do not
ask for his interposition, so he would like an open invitation from
your Excellencies. When the question is raised I confine myself
to generalities, expressing the desire of the most serene republic
to please his Majesty.
They have at last conceded a levy of 4000 to the Swedes,
to be drawn from the English, Scots and Irish, but all at the cost
of the Swedes. They are much gratified by this beginning and
hope for further aid.
The Ambassador Ognate, seeing results so contrary to his
designs happening in the midst of his negotiations goes about
declaring roundly that while they keep taking resolutions favourable
to the enemies of the House of Austria, his instructions are
no longer good and he withdraws from all negotiation. He
further protests that his king will show resentment, and if things
go on in this way he will be compelled to leave. He has contrived
to get these remarks conveyed to the king, possibly in the hope of
alarming him. But the effect has been just the opposite, as his
Majesty is much incensed and says that if the ambassador wishes
to leave he will not find anyone to beg him to stay. Thus the aspect
of affairs changes here with every accident, only their irresolution
remains constant so that nothing substantial is done in the end.
The king's ships have not sailed yet. The Commander
Northumberland remains at Court, and the Palatine, instead
of going with his fleet, or proceeding to Holland as was decided,
to forward his own interests, intends to accompany the king on
his progress a function which will occupy him the whole of this
summer. It is not known what will be done with the ships
destined for him, as they are almost completely equipped. He
has published a manifesto about his rights and the wrongs done
him by the emperor, full of very important particulars, I am
told, but as they are only issued in German and English, I cannot
report their substance. I have not sent a copy because they are
having it printed in Holland in Latin, and your Excellencies will
get it much earlier from thence.
The French alliance is still in vigorous agitation, but does not
seem to make much progress. Yet a gentleman arrived last week
from the Earl of Leicester (fn. 1) with rather satisfactory news, which
so pleased the king that he sent him back yesterday to the
ambassador with letters entirely in his own hand, which have
not been communicated to any of the ministers.
These last maintain that the affair has made great progress
and assert that the articles which concern the two crowns are
already agreed and that upon the arrival of this gentleman in
France they should be ratified. Those articles which regard the
interests of the allies are also established, but they cannot be
carried into effect before they have been verified at Hamburg
with the intervention and assent of the parties. When the
ratification arrives from France the king will despatch a special
ambassador to that city for this purpose. With regard to what
these intricate negotiations will at length produce I think it the
wisest counsel to wait to see what happens when time has allowed
them to mature.
The Resident Nicolaldi has made no reply to my confidant
about the orders from Spain for the Ambassador Ognat to visit
me. If these good relations are not established your Excellencies
may rest assured that the fault will not lie with your minister.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 1st inst.
London, the 22nd May, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
227. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose extracts from the despatches from Spain containing
fresh assurances of the Count Duke about the question of titles
etc. We expect from you a full account of what happens in the
Ayes, 118. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
228. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The enclosed sheets belong to Sig. Grasvinchel. In them
he demonstrates and confirms the absolute dominion of your
Excellencies over the Adriatic. He asks your Serenity to be so
good as to have these revised and corrected and then sent back
to him, because they belong to the reply which he is to make to
the English book "Mare Clausum." (fn. 2)
The Hague, the 28th May, 1637.
229. To the Ambassador in England.
The last letters received from you are of the 1st inst. You
will continue to observe the movements of the Ambassador
Ognat, and we have nothing to add to previous instructions in
this matter. The consequences which may ensue from the
decisions of the English Court are considerable. The king is
waiting to see what may be the outcome of the negotiations with
France in order to decide how to act towards the Swedes, who are
trying to move England by representing their needs. All this
demands your most diligent application.
Ayes, 85. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
230. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The usual uncertainty still prevails. As the season is so
advanced without any apparent preparations for the war, one
may believe that they will not make any great efforts this year
either by sea or land, especially as they delay the sailing of the
royal ships, although they are all ready. The Spaniards take
hold of the opportunity for their own advantage. They make
a great fuss about the levies granted to the Swedes, but actually
it affects them but little as they know that with money short
they cannot do much, and that before these men are in a condition
to be employed in Germany, they will suffer infinite disasters,
in the usual way. Yet Ognate does not cease his lamentations
and he persists in the protestations I have reported. His duplicity
is ascertained by letters from the Imperial Court to the effect
that Castagneda (fn. 3) has declared that he cannot treat of the
surrender of that part of the Lower Palatinate held by the
Catholic, and that Bavaria will not listen to any cession of his.
Ognate also talks of alternate possession of the electoral dignity
between the Palatine and Bavaria, but they do not seem to pay
attention here, possibly because they do not believe him.
Teller writes that the emperor is inclined to send an ambassador
here to finish off the affairs in question, if they will give up
treating with the French, and if they are sure that the ambassador
will be properly received. They do not dislike the proposal, but
object to the conditions, as they do not wish to break off the
negotiations with the French or agree to recognising the legitimacy
of the present emperor, so as not to prejudice the claims they
wish to make, without security for a free accommodation. But
it is certain that all these things depend more on necessity than on the
inclination of the ministers here, whose hearts are strongly impressed
with the desire for peace, and probably they only pretend to desire
war in order to make it more certain. If they press the French
alliance, it is not because they wish to plunge with them into fighting,
as the terms do not provide for mutual action if they cannot obtain
satisfaction for the Palatine, it resting with them to withdraw ;
but because they are assured that if the Most Christian will not make
peace without England's consent, they know that the Palatine's
interests are in a most advantageous position ; but they are glad
that the assembly at Cologne should be delayed until something is
settled about this.
This week also another gentleman has arrived from Paris
with letters from the Earl of Leicester, which serve to fill them
with greater hopes for the ratification of the treaties. He asserts
that in a few days everything should be decided and he himself
might bring the news to his Majesty since with that affair settled
there remains nothing further for him to negotiate in France.
The king, who seemed very happy, spoke in conformity with
this yesterday to the Dutch ambassador, who came to complain
that the negotiations with France had not been communicated
to his masters. The king assured him that no stipulation would
be carried into effect without his being apprised, indeed there
were many things to be settled at Hamburg with the assistance
of their deputies. He has decided to send an ambassador there
in due time, but they have not yet formally nominated anyone.
Many think that Sir [Thomas] Roe may get the appointment, a
man of tried prudence, and known sincerity.
The king is about to leave this city altogether with the Court,
as the plague is still very considerable, but the marriage to be
celebrated between the Duke of Lennox and a daughter of the
late Duke of Buckingham, postponed because of the illness of
the bridegroom, will make them stay somewhat longer.
I have received the despatches of the 8th May with the reply
to Fielding. When an opportunity occurs I will speak to his
Majesty and the ministers of your devotion to this crown and I
will do everything to foster good relations, as I am instructed.
I hope that the matter is now to be finally adjusted, and I take
the opportunity to thank your Excellencies for the confidence
reposed in me.
Fielding does not seem inclined to return here in spite of the
pressure of his relations. I am assured on good authority that
he has got his confidants to ask that he may not be removed só
soon from his present position, and if the king objects, to obtain
extraordinary commissions for him to the Duke of Savoy. This
agrees with what he confided to the Count della Rocca from the
very first. The generality, however, feel sure that he will be
recalled. Those who pretend to succeed him, and they are
many, have already begun their intrigues. Chief among them
are Lord Harbert, who has been ordinary ambassador in France, (fn. 4)
and Lord Canoe, son of the late secretary of state (fn. 5) . The first,
with whom I am intimate, has confided his idea to me ; he enjoys
good credit with his Majesty, and if they decide to send any one
he may easily be the one chosen.
London, the 29th May, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
231. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here are still engaged on the question of opening
free trade between these realms and the States of the Church,
though in a very reserved way. Although it originated with
them they wish to appear to have been asked. The papal
minister, who perceives the interest, told them that the port of
Civitavecchia was free ; the English might go there without
danger and there was no need to bargain about their access,
and in this way he compelled them to explain themselves more
clearly. It seems then that they have decided to state that they
desire the same in the port of Ancona, and further that the
merchants may be allowed to establish their houses on shore and
receive English sailors and passengers freely, without inquisition
about religion. On this side the only consideration is gain, which
may not be so considerable as they imagine ; but on the pope's
side several considerations make it noteworthy. He also wants
gain and flourishing trade, but aims much more at making the
English people friendly, and at solidifying by benefits the structure
of which he has already laid the foundations so carefully. But
to admit English houses freely in the States of the Church is too
great a step, and not approved by the Catholics here themselves,
because instead of augmenting the Roman religion in England it
might sow the seed of heresy in that state. It will therefore
be a long business ; but meanwhile the English have gained this
much that their ships will be welcome at the port of Ancona. I
have found out this much, although they have shown more
circumspection with me than with any one else, possibly from
the suspicion that your Excellencies will not like it, a consideration
which moves me the more to send this account.
The rest of the affairs touching religion make good progress
every day. The Catholics are no longer hated or persecuted
with the old severity. The public services in the queen's chapel
are most freely frequented by very great numbers, while those of
the ambassadors are crowded, although the priests constantly
celebrate mass in private houses without scruple. The Archbishop
of Canterbury, who has assumed absolute command in
ecclesiastical affairs, so that they commonly call him the pope of
England, is pronounced by the generality to be the protector of the
Catholic party, because he not only does nothing against them, but
because he seems to make a very close approach to the rites of the
Roman Church. But the well informed know that his aims are
very different, and that he lets things run with their present freedom
not from inclination but from a forced connivance, because he aims
at destroying the party of the Puritans, which has grown so much as
to cause apprehension to the government. In order to abase them
he can only adhere to those forms which are most objectionable to
them. Accordingly he has ordered the erection of stone altars in
all the churches, which he wishes to have adorned with candles and
candlesticks, although not lighted ; for this he has set up a great
cross in the king's chapel, and adorned the walls with images ;
but what is more important, he causes auricular confession to be
advocated from all pulpits as most useful and necessary, so that
many have already begun to practise it. The king himself, having
heard a bishop preach about it, stated publicly that he considered
it most useful, and subsequently, when a minister revealed a great
crime confessed to him by a penitent, he had him punished severely,
absolving the delinquent from the penalty.
Whether the above proceedings are due to connivance, artifice
or friendly disposition, the papal ministers, with the priests and
other partisans go about gathering the fruits which they produce,
with the utmost dexterity, consolidating them as so much to
the good, in the hope that increased by use and strengthened by
God's help, they may be rendered permanent and unchangeable
for centuries to come, even if the principles of the government
change. It is certainly a wonderful thing to see in England a
dependant of the Holy See not only living at liberty, but frequenting
the Court at all hours with so much confidence, and
having such familiar access to the king's ear, as if he was one of
his most intimate servants, without any distinction of place or
time. As a consequence of this even the most rigid and scrupulous
Protestants esteem and honour him, visiting him frequently,
even in his own house.
M. di Perone has gone to France to receive possession of the
Bishopric of Angouleme, but he says he will return soon. His
watchfulness and artifices are the more effectual because less known,
and they hope that they will form the most secure foundation for
these admirable transactions. During his absence the queen's
confessor remains practically as chief to direct affairs, and continues
without fuss to make the most excellent progress.
London, the 29th May, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]