232. To the Ambassador in England.
On the 22nd ult. we sent you an office about the release of
Boni, of which you will have informed his Majesty. We gather
from your despatch of the 15th ult. that he was displeased with
the action taken by his ambassador in the affair of Easter day.
If he still retains any resentment against the ambassador on this
account you will endeavour to remove it, not insisting upon
the circumstances. As the principal affair has been adjusted
we should like everything to be settled with mutual satisfaction.
We leave to your prudence the nature of the offices to be performed
with the ambassador's mother, the Marquis of Hamilton and
others. The Ambassador Fielding has repeated his request
for the punishment of the officers who exceeded their instructions.
We have referred the matter to the chiefs of the Council of
Ayes, 87. Noes, 4. Neutral, 16.
233. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Affairs here are in their usual state of fluctuation. Everything
depends on the French alliance, which seems to be hindered by
the non settlement of a stated period, on the expiry of which,
if the Palatine is not satisfied, England is to declare open war
on the House of Austria, and secondly by the disposal of
hypothetical conquests in Flanders. The French want the term
not to be later than the 1st September, and England wants
more time, as well as security that anything won in Flanders
shall be consigned to the Palatine as a pledge for the Palatinate.
This last point might be arranged, but the other is difficult,
because they hold fast to the principle here that they must avoid
war as far as possible. They cherish hopes that if they have
time to negotiate with the Austrians after the conclusion of the
alliance by which they expect to cause them apprehension,
they may compel them to act more sincerely about the adjustments
which at present they probably only pretend to desire in
order to gain time. Moreover they do not consider so few
months enough to equip conveniently the thirty ships which
England is obliged to contribute in addition to those of the
Palatine, in case of a rupture. Thus far and no further has the
Meanwhile they have delayed the departure of the Earl of
Northumberland with the sole object of knowing the end of these
negotiations first. He was ready and had indeed started to sail
with the fleet. They say it will not sail so soon, as they wish
to avoid an encounter with the Dutch fishermen, as with the
strong commissions against them still in force, they do not desire
anything to happen which might disturb the satisfactory position
of the present transactions. Accordingly the Palatine will not
put to sea either, with his few ships, as they are too weak for any
considerable experiment, especially now that the Dunkirkers are
making themselves so much stronger.
Under these circumstances the Ambassador Senneterre has
persuaded him to get together what little money he can, both
from the king and his friends, and to proceed without further
delay to Germany, to avail himself of the offers of the Landgrave
of Hesse, now that his forces are strong and his dominions free
from the Croats, over whom he has recently won a great victory.
The Prince approves the advice because he knows that his name
is greatly acclaimed in Germany and would greatly advance his
interests, but he has not the courage to act upon it, having
submitted entirely to his uncle's direction, so much so that one
may say that he wields nothing but the pen in support of his
cause. New papers appear every day setting forth all the
embassies and negotiations in which this crown has engaged with
the House of Austria so vainly, all for the purpose of inducing
it to take some generous resolution, its reputation being certainly
The king of Denmark has sent a gentleman here on a special
ship. (fn. 1) He arrived at Court two days ago, and is to see his
Majesty and present his master's letters to-day. The object of
the mission is not known yet. People augur ill if it is about sea
matters or the Palatine's affairs, both being equally perilous.
Upon the first they know his pretensions are high, as he will not
recognise the sovereignty of the English and even demands
tribute of them for the Iceland fisheries upon the second it is
thought that he advocates his interposition with the emperor
more with the idea of upsetting the alliance with the Most
Christian and of wasting more time, than to establish any proper
accommodation. They also resent here the mission of Count Benck
on a conspicuous embassy to the emperor, (fn. 2) in short they are
much afraid of Denmark linking himself closely with the emperor,
especially if the duties on ships entering the Elbe be sanctioned,
and also because in reply to requests for help for the Palatine
he answered curtly. In addition to this they know that he is
dissatisfied with England because of the recent seizure of some
of his ships.
I have received letters from the Ambassador Giustinian in
Spain about the parity of treatment accorded to him there. I
will see that this reaches the Count of Ognat to give him an
opportunity of declaring himself. Nicolaldi has said nothing so
far to my confidant. I will show every courtesy, and if the
results do not correspond, the reason will be apparent.
The king has stayed away from the city all this week, engaged
in the pleasures of the chase, and he only returned this morning
to dine. In his absence I saw the ministers, some of whom asked
me with curiosity how Fielding's affair stood at Venice, as he had
not yet written anything about it. I said that as he stated that
he had authority to adjust it and knew better than any one else
the respect which had always been shown to his house, I thought
he would have done this by now. He told me that the Earl of
Arundel was of this opinion, and was extremely glad of it.
London, the 5th June, 1637.
234. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassadors are asking for a written reply upon
their negotiations for an alliance with the crown. Leicester
complains bitterly at the long delay, as his sovereign wishes to
know whether France does or does not mean to attend to the
matter. The king considers himself offended at this delay and
at the refusal of what was so eagerly offered in times past by
two of his ambassadors. The earl declares that it is only
necessary to remove some formalities for the settlement of the
matter. The king will never declare war unconditionally. He
claims that princes shall be restored to their dominions on both
sides, an occult reference to Duke Charles and Lorraine. England
fears the aggrandisement of France as much as that of Spain.
He fears that is the reason why they will not announce their
acceptance of the treaty. He also wants cautionary fortresses
given to the Palatine of those which France holds in Alsace or
which they acquire. He says he hopes to leave the Court in a
few weeks, although he has no orders on the subject, and that
his king, seeing himself contemned and that they think of making
a peace to the exclusion of the Palatine, will take sides with the
Spaniards, to see if he can reinstate his nephew in his dominions
in some way, seeing that every one is looking after his own interests
and not the general good or the common cause. Such views and
others which he expresses to the same effect show that they are
becoming very embittered, although the people of the ambassadors
announce and the Ambassador Seneter writes from London to
his friends that the treaty is practically concluded and he
expected the news of it by the next courier.
Paris, the 9th June, 1637.
235. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and
spoke to the following effect :
I think that your Serenity will be pleased to hear that his
Majesty directs me to assure you of the pleasure with which he
has heard of your good intentions, as represented by the
Ambassador Corrar, for the public weal and universal peace,
urging him to pursue the same object by sending ambassadors
extraordinary to the emperor and the diet at Cologne, for the
peace as well as the interests of the prince Palatine. His Majesty
thanks the republic for its lively demonstrations of affection and
he has charged me to assure you that he will always be ready to
do everything to please the republic.
I may add here that his Majesty has the same objects of the
public interests and peace, but it must be considered that he is
hardly likely to feel disposed to take the necessary steps or to go
so far without the certitude that the business of the Palatinate
will proceed safely. It seems impossible on this account that a
general peace can be made. However, his Majesty's aims are
good and upright, and he has the utmost confidence in the
republic and feels sure that it will do all that he could desire.
The doge answered, The republic loves and esteems his Majesty
and will therefore seize every opportunity to show its perfect
unity with him. We desire quiet and tranquillity with all our
heart, and he will always find us ready to fall in with his
The ambassador replied, My king is sure of that, and with
that object he desired me to perform this office. He added, I
must remind you about the complete fulfilment of what was
promised to me. I have received what I expected on the first
head, and from the promise of such a great prince as your Serenity
I must expect the fulfilment of what I asked. I need not blush
at speaking first, but let me be appeased by the prompt satisfaction
of the whole affair.
The doge replied, Your lordship may be sure that the Senate
desires the termination of the affair, but the forms of justice must
be observed. It is necessary to write and examine, but nothing
is forgotten. It all requires time, but be certain that it will
be done as soon as possible, so that you may have every satisfaction.
The ambassador interposed some words to urge the
more speedy despatch of the affair, bowed and departed.
236. That the following be read to the English ambassador
this evening by a Secretary of this Collegio :
We are pleased to receive all your offices in his Majesty's
name, which correspond so exactly with our desire for universal
quiet. We recognise his Majesty's inclinations in that direction
and look to see results in proportion. Peace is desirable and that
it should be on sound foundations. We leave the methods to
his Majesty's prudence ; but he may rest assured that he will
always find us ready to give him satisfaction.
With respect to your lordship's instances against the ministers,
whom you complain of as having exceeded the limits, we have to
say that in our desire to please you two of them have been arrested
by order of the Council of Ten and if they are found guilty they
will receive the punishment they deserve.
Ayes, 108. Noes, 3. Neutral 7.
|237. To the Ambassador in England.
Two days ago the English Ambassador was in the Collegio.
His office was under two heads : (1) the incitement given to the
king by the sending of ambassadors to the congress at Cologne,
and (2) his understanding that the republic means to support the
interests of the Palatine. Your letters of the 22nd ult. report your
offices with his Majesty and the ministers, from which we see that
you have not gone beyond your instructions. You will confine
yourself to similar generalities in any further conversations on the
subject with the king and the ministers. We enclose a copy of our
reply to the ambassador which will serve you as a model. We
also enclose a copy of the decision of the Council of Ten about
the officials and of the representation to be made to the Ambassador
Fielding this evening. You will use this as you see fit, confirming
our desire to gratify his Majesty and his ambassador.
We must not forget to add that this Fielding, to confirm the
advantage he has possibly gained, sent one of his gentlemen after
dinner on Wednesday with a paper which he said contained
his exposition, under the pretence that he might not be well heard,
seeing that he had been let blood that very morning. As the
full body of the Savii of the Collegio were not assembled, and it is
not customary to accept papers from foreign ministers except in
the Collegio itself, he was told that if he liked he could come on
Friday morning, when he would be introduced ; but the gentleman
did not appear again. We tell you this for information,
and so that you may be able to answer if anything is said on the
subject. We enclose the usual sheet of advices.
Ayes, 108. Noes, 3. Neutral, 7.
238. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Danish mission was not of the nature expected. That
king merely requires an assurance that any military succour sent
from here for the Palatine shall not land in his dominions or in
the country of Bremen. The king has gladly agreed to this.
Such was the ostensible object of this mission which really aims
at discovering what the fleet means to do and what is said in
England about the reported intention of the king of Denmark to
attack the Hamburgers because they refuse to do homage to
his son, now that he intends to put him in possession of the
alternative jurisdiction in the Duchy of Holstein. But the
causes of offence which that king brings against them so far
as the impositions at the Elbe are concerned, create the impression
that he sought this pretext for making war on them, in the
assurance that by arms he can compel every one and the Hamburgers
in particular, to agree to any imposition he pleases to
exact on that river in the future. England has no intention of
interfering in this matter, the less so because they believe that
Hamburg stands alone without hope of aid from the other Hanse
towns or the Dutch either ; in whose distresses Hamburg has
always remained neutral.
For these reasons and because the emperor threatens Hamburg,
if she allows the enemies of the House of Austria to assemble
there, the congress in that place seems to be considered undesirable.
In discussing what other place might be most suitable it appears
that the king intimated that he would accept Paris, possibly
wishing the Earl of Leicester to settle the whole affair. But the
Dutch do not approve of this or the Swedes either, as Oxistern
proposes to attend the conference in person. All these hindrances
are attributed to the Spaniards, who seek to prevent the conference
in order to gain time in the present season. If nothing is
done in it, they think that the peace negotiations which must
arise in the midst of it must cause a change in present troubles,
and as the King of Great Britain is not openly interested therein,
and consequently has not taken action on the peace negotiations,
the case of the Palatines must remain a victory for them without
a contest, or will be settled in the way that they dispose.
Here they either do not perceive the artifice or they labour
with more subtlety, as they do not seem to mind about delay.
This makes the Dutch very bitter, as it confirms their old opinion,
that they have determined here not to abandon the enjoyment of
the present repose and unique tranquillity for any reason, or rather,
to speak more candidly, they rather lack resolution than the desire
and opportunity to act. The interests of the Palatine, on the score
of reputation and his own incitements stand nearest their hearts,
but they are waiting, so they say, to see what the French intend, and
as that nation seem always more involved with new and changing
circumstances, it follows that the fleet remains idle in port, while
they listen to the proposals of the Spaniards and the Palatine
brothers themselves, allured by the pleasures of the Court, allow time
to slip away insensibly, at the price of the inevitable ruin of their
As the fleet does not put to sea naval affairs also sleep. They
observe with indifference the preparations of the Dutch for the
protection of the fisheries, and the report that thirty ships are
coming from Spain under the command of Captain Collart to
reinforce the Dunkirkers, causes them no apprehension. They
certainly attach great importance to the reports of a plan to
establish a new port at Gravelines, seeing that if it is realised
these realms will suffer most notable hurt. After many consultations
about this and rejecting violent proposals, they decided
to make strong remonstrances in Spain and Flanders, alleging
that it is contrary to ancient agreements between the House of
Burgundy and this kingdom, in which they contend it was agreed
that the number of ports generally should not be increased with
out a general agreement. If this argument is admitted it will
be a great advantage to the Dutch, as they can show in the
articles of the treaty concluded in 1495 between Henry VII and
Philip, Archduke of Austria, that a reciprocal right to fish is
clearly set forth. (fn. 3)
The Swedish levies proceed slowly, for lack of money but also
apparently because Oxistern still hopes to make peace with the
empire, and does not want to waste money on them to no purpose.
This point deserves jealous observation, the more so as the tenor
of several letters from Germany only serves to render suspicion
of this more lively. The Spanish ambassador in imitation of
the Swedes, makes a demand for fresh levies, besides the ordinary
recruits, but does not obtain either. All his other demands are
being treated in the same way, as the king and ministers seem to
intend to deal with him in precisely the same manner as they
dealt with the Earl of Arundel in Germany.
I have the state missives of the 22nd May about the satisfaction
given to his Majesty's ambassador. I will acquaint the king
and ministers with it on his return to London, which was to take
place early next week.
London, the 12th June, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
239. I, Christofolo Surian, secretary, went by order of your
Excellencies to the English Ambassador to read to him yesterday's
deliberation of the Senate I was introduced to his Excellency.
Before the reading he said, I wish to apologise for sending that
gentleman with the paper, which only contained what I had said
and was afraid I had not. Owing to an indisposition I was so
feeble and depressed that I was afraid I had not made myself
understood, and I wished to relieve you of the trouble of putting
down my words. I also thought that the paper would be accepted.
I repeated what had been said to the gentleman, that a sufficient
number of the Savii were not present, and that it was not usual
to receive such papers except in the full Collegio. That was the
He replied, I followed another example, as in the early days
after my arrival I sent a paper. The secretary Rolanson took
it, and it was accepted. It is true that I had expressed myself
in French. However, I apologise. He then signed to me to
read. I read the office, which seemed to please him. He asked
permission to take a note of it, and did so with his own hand.
He rose and said, I beg your lordship to give my thanks for the
favour they have done me. He then said, Two were arrested.
I replied, Yes, your Excellency. He remarked, They will suffer,
for their fault. I said, Your Excellency may be certain of that,
if they are found guilty. When leaving the room he said I am
quite sure of the good will of their Excellencies and that they will
desire me to receive satisfaction. He accompanied me towards
the staircase, and insisted, although I tried to stop him from
taking the trouble. Before we reached the staircase he said.
The relations of the imprisoned ministers have been to beg me
to have compassion on them. They are poor folk. To this I
said, They are poor and miserable. He answered, That is true.
He said no more and I departed. (fn. 4)
240. That the paper in which the English Ambassador asks
for the release of two officers detained in consequence of his
demands, be referred to the Chiefs of the Council of Ten.
Ayes, 103. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
241. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
I went to audience of the king on Tuesday and told him what
I was instructed to say about the prisoners. I used the arguments
I thought most suitable to justify the action of the state, but
enlarged upon the promptness you had shown in seizing the
opportunity to confirm your intention to gratify his Majesty.
The king told me that he had a similar account from his
ambassador. He approved of the decision, begged me to tell
your Excellencies so, and thank you, especially for releasing
Boni, since Nave was adjudged guilty of high treason, although,
he added smiling, his penalty had been mitigated with great
indulgence. He repeated that he was entirely satisfied and was
much beholden to you. I told him that you always sought
opportunities of gratifying him. The ambassador's protection
has not prejudiced Nave, and possibly the Council of Ten had
given the mildest sentence in order to please him. At this the
king smiled again and taking me by the hand said, I am and wish
to be content, pray write as much to the republic. When I had
promised to do so he began of his own accord to speak of the
Valtelline, asking me what recent yews I had. I told him what I
knew and he remarked with heat, Those positions will not remain
the hands of the Grisons but of the Spaniards and if the fortifications
are dismantled, with the French far away, they will have
time to make others before they can return. Decidedly in the
common interests the departure of Rohan has been the worst
fault, and the republic has more reason to regret it than any one
else. (fn. 5)
I dexterously turned the conversation to the construction of
the new port at Gravelines, to learn his views. He seemed much
moved, saying that it was a universal interest to prevent the
realisation but he feared that time will give the Spaniards every
On taking leave of his Majesty I saw the secretaries, who were
both at Court, and afterwards the Earl of Arundel, at his house.
Although they had heard before, they seemed very pleased at the
confidence, especially Lord Arundel.
Fielding's mother, whom I saw on the following day, expressed
her extreme satisfaction, which had caused her more delight
than anything that had happened in her life. She declared that
she had always borne the most sincere affection for the republic.
She said that Contarini, now Bailo at Constantinople (fn. 6) could
bear witness how she had taken the side of your Excellencies
even against the late Duke of Buckingham, her own brother.
She now says openly that even if her son stays a long time at
Venice it will not be distasteful to her, although she is very
anxious to see him married, and considers it necessary. I tried
to return the courtesy of this lady and left her well content.
And so the matter is settled to the entire satisfaction of the whole
Court as well as of the parties interested, and all bitterness is
London, the 18th June, 1637.
242. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The States here are hopeful that the fishermen will not be
troubled this year, as they think that England will try to keep
up the appearance of a conclusion with France and that these
Provinces will join, which they certainly would not agree to do
if the fishermen were obliged to pay. They sailed last week
with several men of war and frigates, to cast their nets on St.
James's day as usual. The Princess Palatine says that they will
not receive any molestation whatever.
The Hague, the 18th June, 1637.
243. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
I spoke yesterday to the gentleman, my confidant, about the
continued reserve of the Count of Ognat in avoiding me, in spite
of the orders from Spain and every incitement. It is now ten
days since Ognat, either being or feigning to be sick, retired to
his house and would not grant a moment to my friend to visit
him, although he used to have free access. This renders me very
suspicious of his intentions. I think that what has happened
shows that my caution was justified, and I am determined to
wait for the ambassador to make the first move. Once I am
certain that I shall be received properly I will do all in my power
to confirm friendly relations.
London, the 19th June, 1637.
|244. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Some gentlemen have arrived from Holland with letters to
the king from the Princess Palatine, who requests that her son
may not take command of the fifteen ships as his presence would
do more good in Germany ; but she wishes them to be employed
in his service. The Ambassador Senneterre proposes simultaneously
that they shall be placed at the disposal of France for
the common cause.
With regard to the Palatine, if he inclines to go to Germany,
it is thought that they will urge it here, as they are eager to see
him leave England for several reasons, but chiefly because,
abandoned to pleasure and ease, he seems to give no more than
a passing thought to the things which most concern him. Owing
to this they have asked the agent of the Landgrave of Hesse
who was about to depart, having lost all hope, to remain a few
days longer, with the intention, it is supposed, of resuming
negotiations with him, to see the lowest price at which it is
possible to arrange with him for the Palatine's taking the field
with the command of his army, which the Landgrave has frequently
offered to him.
They will encounter many difficulties, however, in providing
him with enough money, as the assignment of 12,000l. sterling
a year made him by the king for when he goes, will not suffice
to maintain him and the troops as well. Everything depends
on the agreement with France, the settlement of which is not yet
Great anxiety is felt about preventing the formation of a new
port at Gravelines, as the argument about the conventions with
the Dukes of Burgundy which they advance does not suffice
to prevent Spain from carrying out so great a design, though it
is well suited to give them time to complete it successfully, as
here they shrink from decided measures and place their reliance
on the appearance in the German Ocean of Count Harcourt with
thirty-five French ships, and in the Dutch ; they strongly urge
both of them to show themselves there.
The Earl of Northumberland went yesterday to the fleet,
but it is not thought that he will sail without fresh express
orders from his Majesty.
The Danish envoy is not yet despatched. They say they are
detaining him for a good object, but as a fact they wish Northumberland
to be at sea with the fleet and beginning the operations
with which he is entrusted before the envoy can get back to
Nothing more is said about the Hamburg diet as the difficulties
are constantly increasing. The Swedish colonels have received
some remittances from Holland, but are slow in completing their
levies. This arouses suspicion, which is increased by letters
from Germany announcing the progress of an agreement between
Sweden and the emperor. This subject is distasteful above all
others, as once this fire has died out in the empire, it is believed
that the hopes of righting the affairs of the Palatine will also be
extinguished in great measure, as a consequence. The ministers
here assert that Teller is acting in a private capacity, as the king
has withdrawn his credentials, and if he is conducting any
negotiations about the Palatine's affairs, he is doing so of his own
caprice, without orders and without sanction from this quarter.
But the Spaniards go about declaring the contrary and indeed
add that he has new letters of credence for the emperor, which
amounts to an open admission by his Majesty here that that
monarch has attained to the empire in a legitimate manner.
The last letters that I have received from your Serenity are of
the 29th ult.
London, the 19th June, 1637.
245. To the Ambassador in England.
Both your letters of the 28th ult. contain matter of importance,
especially about the establishment of trade at Ancona. (fn. 7) You
will find out what objects and interests are moving the parties
and prevent it if possible. You will contrive to get to the ears
of those whom you think proper, how much the republic would
regret it if her representatives, who hold the most stringent
instructions, were compelled to carry them into execution
against those ships that might trespass and cross the Gulf,
of our ancient and undoubted jurisdiction, contrary to the
public intention, in the very sight of Venice, the republic being
unable to leave that passage free. You will in this way try to
make the merchants realise how unsubstantial the matter is,
and rather induce them to bring their ships here, to increase
trade, with greater advantage and less danger to them and where
we can offer them every facility. All your application and skill
will be needed for this.
We enclose a copy of the memorial presented in the Collegio
by the English ambassador. The Council of Ten released the
two officers two days ago.
Letters from Spain repeat the assurances of reciprocal treatment.
The Ambassador Zustignan reports that every sign of
honour has been accorded to him as well as the title of
"Excellency." Count Ognat certainly has orders to treat you
in the same way if you go to see him. We leave it to you to
decide whether you will pass the compliment. We enclose the
usual sheet of advices.
Ayes, 106. Noes, 1. Neutral. 10.
246. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Although the Spanish ambassador is really in bad health the
gentleman, who is my confidant, has found an opportunity of
conferring with him. The ambassador enquired whether he
had seen me lately and if I had told him about the settlement
of the differences with Lord Fielding, which seemed to him to
have been arranged with but little honour to the king or to
Fielding himself. The gentleman said that he had no information.
The ambassador then began to say that he had always
found me well disposed, and spoke highly of me. But while I
stood upon punctilio he was always ready to treat with me on an
equality, in conformity with what was done at Madrid and
promised elsewhere. He had already expressed his intentions
to the Master of the Ceremonies. He was personally much
indebted to the courtesy of the Venetians, shown to him when he
passed through Venice. He promised my friend that he would
give me the title of "Excellency" as well as every sign of respect.
Such is the present state of the affair and I think that it justified
me in making a second venture. Accordingly I availed myself
of the pretext of his indisposition to send to visit him again
apologising for not going in person, because I was suffering from
a catarrh, like himself, which actually confines me to the house.
When the secretary went the ambassador was in bed with a
severe cold in the head. He expressed his gratification at the
visit, giving me the title of "Excellency." Such is the conclusion
of the matter and good has come out of evil. I can now go and
see him unreservedly and will do so.
London, the 25th June, 1637.
247. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary of the Earl of Leicester has arrived at the Court
with news of the ratification of the treaties with the Most
Christian ; (fn. 8) so the ministers here announce with one accord.
The universal rejoicings testify to the same as well as the decision
that they have since taken for the fleet to sail and for the Princes
Palatine to take passage by it to Holland, without further delay.
I have tried all this week to discover the object of this move ;
but after comparing the statements of the ministers of the Court
with what the French and Dutch ambassadors say, I remain in
the dark. The former assert that everything is settled ; the others
that the ratification of the allies is required. But if the articles
are approved the treaty is not signed, and at the end of next
month a conference is to be held at Paris, to which the Palatine
is to urge the Dutch to send delegates. They also want the
Swedes to be represented, and an express was sent off
yesterday to the agent at Hamburg, to urge Oxistern to see to
The allied powers will be represented at that city. It is possible
that they may not approve of what has been approved in France
for the establishment of the auxiliary league, within the limit of
time allowed for making their own intimations to the emperor,
because they will not want to lose, for so slight an advantage,
the benefit of the moment for negotiating a universal peace, on
which question they strongly suspect the government here ot
scheming to disturb the effects. So this matter which has been
so much discussed between the two crowns can only be finally
settled when the allias finally ratify the articles, at least that is
With all this ambiguity and the armed ships for the Palatine
remaining idle, I venture to conclude, though it differs from what
is circulated from the Court, that nothing has yet been arranged
beyond the projects which are to be laid before the congress
assembled at Paris, to be carried out with their consent and
approval. If this be so, as I do not doubt, it is easy to see that
matters will drag on and that little will be done this year, as the
season is well advanced, and the points to decide are possibly
more difficult than they imagine.
The old treaties embraced two points. The English wished
it to be merely auxiliary, the French offensive and defensive.
This has not yet been settled and will be discussed at Paris.
At present the king here is only bound to grant levies of 6000 men,
to be paid by France, and to give fourteen men of war for the
Palatine to harass Spanish trade. In return for this France is
to pledge herself not to make peace without the consent of
England. The second and more recent proposals arrange for
England to declare open war against the Austrians, contributing
her entire fleet.
Meanwhile Leicester's secretary has been sent back to Paris,
whither he undoubtedly takes back the approval of what he
brought here. In the future they will devote their attention
exclusively to urging on the union of the allies. The Dutch
want the Palatine to be accompanied by a gentleman of rank as
ambassador extraordinary, to make the communications to
them and the requests mentioned previously, and the Ambassador
Beveren has said as much to him, intimating that without such
support his offices will lack efficacy. But with time short and
but scant inclination there is no sign that they intend to make any
They assert that the king has directed the Earl of Northumberland
not to molest the Dutch fisheries ; but this does not
suffice to reassure them, as they are too much alarmed by what
happened last year, and although present circumstances have
altered the nature of the affair they say that when the English
have struck them they will easily find excuses, so they want a
written declaration, which the king here considers too detrimental
to his prerogative.
The Ambassador Ognate is still unable to obtain permission
to raise fresh levies, in spite of the repeated instances that he has
made on the subject. Not only have they withheld this concession
but they have not even granted the ordinary recruits. In
his disgust at this he has been stimulated to speak unreservedly
and to confirm his protestations that if the royal ships sail to the
hurt of the king of Spain, whether they be commanded by the
Palatine or by any one else, he is to denounce open war on them
The Swedes are making up their regiments, although slowly,
for lack of money, and several companies are now ready to start.
I have received the state despatches of the 5th inst. with
instructions to remove any bad impression the king may have
against Lord Fielding. But so far as I can see, since my last
offices, everything is proceeding with the utmost satisfaction,
and past affairs are entirely forgotten. Moreover the ambassador
is so firmly established in favour that it would require much more
violent shocks to destroy him.
London, the 26th June, 1637.
248. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and
spoke to the following effect :
Since the answer you gave me, expressing your desire for
universal peace, letters have reached me from his Majesty
expressing the same views. I have come to inform your Serenity
of this, as it cannot fail to assist the public good. His Majesty
is so eager for this object that he will put his own interests on one
side for its attainment, and those of the Elector Palatine also,
although he ought not since it appears that those responsible
for the most unrighteous aggression upon him have neither the
will nor the inclination to make restitution. The king has
waited with the greatest patience, although he has never seen
any results, and he and his allies have been differently treated
from his expectations.
In this I have no doubt but that all interests will join in common
with your Serenity, just as I feel sure that it will arouse the most
sincere feelings in your Serenity about what his Majesty desires,
if this matter of the peace does not turn out as expected ; so
that your Serenity, as a wise and prudent prince may reflect
upon what will best suit the common service. His Majesty
wishes to enjoy the advantages of a mutual understanding with
this republic, especially in view of what is being done these
current months in this province. He will always be ready to
support the republic, even on the most important occasions
against those princes who have different objects from peace. I
shall enjoy the task, if I think that the advices which reach me
from various places will satisfy your Serenity's desire. I would
send to one of the secretaries or come myself, if I was not afraid
of wearying you by coming too often. If you wish me to serve
you in this way I will devote all my energies to it, from zeal to
The doge answered, We fully appreciate his Majesty's aims for
the public welfare and general tranquillity. We shall always be
glad to stand side by side with his Majesty, as our chief desire is
to increase this relation especially with an ambassador, who
becomes more and more devoted to our interests and worthy of
the affection and esteem which we have for him. You will
always be welcome and we shall esteem any advices as an
The ambassador made some complimentary remarks and said
he would have brought the advices he had if he had not feared
to be troublesome. The doge replied cordially, commending
the ambassador's goodness and sincerity.
The ambassador then said, I have another matter. You
recently gave orders about ships trading at Zante and Cephalonia,
for the relief of English merchants. I hear that your officials
are not carrying these out properly. It will be necessary to repeat
The doge replied, The republic desired his Majesty's subjects
to be well treated and favoured everywhere, and the necessary
orders shall be issued if we find that they need them.
The ambassador stated that it was the customers or their
ministers in those islands who did not carry out the commands
of the Senate, and asked for vigorous orders on the subject.
He went on, I must also ask you to protect our merchant
Obson, whose affair was referred to the Five Savii for Trade, and
is now before the Avogador Pesaro.
The doge asked that Obson should present a memorial, when
the seniors should be assembled and something suitable ordained.
Obson deserved favour, as he had dealt honourably with the
Rectors and rendered good public service.
In conclusion the ambassador said, I must thank your Serenity
for the favour recently received about the two prisoners, who
have been released. I know that I ought not to mention a matter
which has caused some dissatisfaction but I see by the results
that your Serenity has desired to consider his Majesty's honour
and prove the sincere friendship of the republic for him and I
wish to express the pleasure that this satisfaction gives me
The doge said that everything had been done in order to please
the ambassador, and they would willingly do more to show their
affection and esteem for him. The ambassador again expressed
his thanks, bowed and departed.
249. That the English Ambassador be summoned to the
Collegio and that the following be read to him :
We are always glad of anything calculated to increase cordial
relations between his Majesty and the republic and we welcome
his Majesty's most courteous representations as we are always
glad to welcome your lordship. The republic will rejoice at
universal peace and will always labour for it. We appreciate
your offer to supply advices and shall be glad to reciprocate.
We have again written to Zante and Cephalonia in favour of
the English merchants and we are anxious that they should be
well treated in the interests of trade, both there and here, as his
Majesty also desires. We will inform Obson of our intentions
so that he may hope that his affair will soon be settled and that
he will be able to enjoy the fruit of your lordship's interposition.
We are much gratified by your expression of complete satisfaction
and we hope that you will always find us ready to oblige you.
Ayes, 101. Noes, 0. Neutral, 8.
|250. To the Ambassador in England.
On the 23rd inst. in the Collegio the Spanish ambassador
informed us of orders issued by the Catholic for the treatment of
the ambassadors of the republic on an equal footing. We direct
you to make request to visit the Count of Villa Mediana without
delay, in such way as you think best, if you are first assured of
equal treatment, and we shall wait to hear if the result corresponds
with the assurances given.
We enclose a copy of the exposition of the English ambassador
and of the reply given him. You will speak in conformity
if the subject is raised. We enclose the usual sheet of advices
and acknowledge receipt of your despatch of the 5th inst.
Ayes, 101. Noes, 0. Neutral, 8.
251. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The King of England has sent a courier extraordinary bringing
word that he has accepted the articles taken to him by the Earl
of Leicester's secretary. In substance they contain that two
treaties shall be made, an auxiliary one for the moment by which
the King of Great Britain will send out the Prince Palatine with
twenty five armed ships, with patents from the Most Christian,
to attack the coasts of Flanders and take action against the
Spaniards, with the obligation as well of defending the coasts of
France and giving them permission to levy 6000 men with his
own money in the kingdom. On to the other side the Most
Christian will be bound not to make peace or truce without
including the interests of the Palatine house, both with respect
to the electoral dignity and his possessions too. Before the treaty
is signed it will be communicated by his Majesty's ministers to
the Swedes and Dutch for their approval. The other is that in
the assembly of Hamburg all the claims of the princes concerned
in these wars shall be regulated. A person sent by England will
show these arrangements to the emperor and the Duke of Bavaria.
If they are accepted, the claim being that all the princes shall
enjoy their own as they did before these troubles, everything will
be settled amicably and the negotiations will be completed at
Cologne. If they are refused by the Austrians and the Duke of
Bavaria, the king of England will sign an offensive and defensive
alliance until he obtains complete satisfaction. He will agree,
however, before beginning open war, with respect to the
Palatine that as regards the electoral dignity it shall be exercised
by the Duke of Bavaria during his life ; but he means the rest
of the possessions to be restored without any exception. All
the friendly princes will be invited to take up a similar alliance.
Paris, the 30th June, 1637.