252. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman has reached the Princess Palatine from her son
with the announcement that the treaties between England and
France have been concluded and that ratification will follow at
the diet. She has not heard any more and expects the Palatine
any day. The Court considers this a trick, and the Princess
herself admits that she is not entirely satisfied and she fears
that the results will not correspond.
The States are pressing Sig. Grasvinchel for his reply to the
English book. He is trying to gain time so that he may be
able to wait for the sheets sent to your Serenity.
The Hague, the 2nd July, 1637.
253. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Rusdorf, the Palatine's first councillor, left yesterday for
Holland with the Prince's household and baggage, escorted by
four of his Majesty's ships of war. (fn. 1) The rest of the fleet is all
ready to accompany the prince himself, who will take the same
route on Monday with his brother. Both of them take away
liberal presents of jewels and horses made to them by the king and
queen and by many of the leading lords here. Besides having
all their debts paid, the king has ordered the payment of 3000l.
in cash to the Palatine, and that secure assignments be given him
for the yearly pension of 12,000l. and that he be defrayed and
provided with everything that he requires until he reaches Holland.
The king assured the prince that he would never fail to protect
his interests. He urged him not to lose courage but to remember
that he was not the first great prince of Christendom to experience
rude storms, and with prudence and good counsel he would emerge
happily. He added that by the measure of his actions he would
be more or less ready to supply help. In short in a long and
affectionate discourse he did his utmost to encourage him to
procure his own advantage by industry, possibly finding him
more tepid than he ought to be about his own interests.
The prince listened attentively to all. He said that not only
the king's advice but his wishes would be a law to him always,
and thanked him becomingly. He presented him with a new
memorial, which contains enquiries what he is to do if he asks
the States to enter the alliance with France, and on what terms
he is to invite them if his Majesty does not propose to send an
ambassador on purpose, who would go on to the Landgrave of
Hesse and the Chancellor Oxestern, to make suitable overtures.
Also if the States ask him about his Majesty's decision on the
question of the fisheries, what he is to answer, as if this point is
not settled to their satisfaction it will be impossible to induce
them to take any step in his favour.
Also what answer he shall give the Swedes if they ask help
from this quarter in troops and munitions corresponding to what
is supplied by the Most Christian and the Dutch.
The Prince begs his Majesty to be pleased to declare openly
his will upon all the above particulars and to give him suitable
powers to satisfy the just instances of the allies, so that the good
results which are intended may begin to flow readily without
This paper is to be examined in the Council on Sunday, and
the Prince will have his answer before his departure.
With respect to the matter of the Dutch fisheries I find that
Northumberland has orders not to molest them, but it is also a
fact that he takes with him 400 printed licences to be granted to
those who ask for them. The Dutch object to this procedure
because they say that when the fishermen meet the fleet, intimidated
by what has happened before, they will make no difficulty
about receiving the licences, and so, by a tacit violence, they will
be compelled to pay, to the irreparable hurt of their rights. If
this affair is not sincerely settled it will certainly stand in the way
of every other satisfactory arrangement, since the Dutch are
determined not to give this time without receiving.
The ministers here continue to announce the alliance with
France as concluded, but give no details. This confirms my
opinion, especially as I am sure that his Majesty has not signed
the articles and it is uncertain whether they have even been signed
by the ambassadors and commissioners at Paris, although everyone
They declare that in the articles the emperor is only called
King of Hungary, which they think is calculated to induce him
to grant good terms for the general peace more readily.
Besides his other demands the Danish envoy asks for the payment
of the old debts claimed by that crown for the pensions
which it paid to the late King James at the time of the war with
Cæsar. He also asked for an assurance that his Majesty will not
prevent his master from trying to extort by arms the rights which
he claims to receive from the Hamburgers. They told him that
the debts were ceded to the Princess Palatine in payment of the
value of the jewels left by the queen, her grandmother, to be divided
between his Majesty and the said princess, his sister ; and
as for Hamburg, the king would be better advised to make terms
than to incur the embarrassment of war, which cannot fail to injure
the common cause. The envoy is to leave tomorrow. He will take
word that the fleet is at sea, well equipped, numbering twenty
four sail, besides the fifteen reserved for the Palatine, which
is the point to which he has devoted most attention.
The Ambassador Ognate has fulfilled my expectations by
sending a gentleman to thank me and leaving me nothing to
desire. He is still very ill and in bed, which has prevented me
from seeing him ; but I have sent often to enquire after him and
this has pleased him greatly. If he is better I hope to see him the
day after tomorrow.
The Court has been away from the city three weeks, (fn. 2) They
propose to go on with the progress, which they intend to make
much further away than usual, to escape the dangers of the plague.
London, the 3rd July, 1637.
254. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France
to the Doge and Senate.
In the negotiations with the English ambassadors the Earl of
Leicester has intimated that England will agree to France
retaining the duchy of Bar after the peace, as her fief, as well
as some places of Lorraine in some sort of way, either as deposit
or purchase ; also that the Swedes shall keep Pomerania or some
places there. For the rest, everything shall be restored. But these
particulars will have to be better established in the diet of Hamburg.
Paris, the 7th July, 1637.
255. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Last Sunday I called on Ognate, who was still in bed very ill
and weak. He was greatly pleased at the attention. He spoke
to me in a very contemptuous manner about this Court. He said
there was no school in the world where one could learn how to
negotiate with the English, and he admitted that he was not capable
of understanding their humours. He had proposed conditions here
calculated to adjust the Palatine's affairs. They had either not
listened or not understood them, and to his great astonishment,
held them in so little account that in the very middle of them
they had concluded an agreement with the Most Christian. That
looked very fine, but it was not feasible, as the French lacked
money and the king here was in no state to supply them with it.
He swore to me that his king earnestly desired a general peace
and was obliged to your Excellencies for your efforts. He
thought that one would be made as France would have to come
to it though she did not want to. He asked me if it were true
that the Sieur delle Tullerie had remonstrated about the Cavalier
Pesaro being sent to Poland. I said I had no information,
but his Excellency was excused from going to Cologne. He
objected that France had allowed enough time for both missions,
but the republic had done well ; he only made the remark to
show that the French were not sincere about a universal peace.
I made a short reply and the visit ended.
London, the 9th July, 1637.
256. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday last the Council discussed the Palatine's memorial,
and as arranged the answers were given that same evening by
the king himself to his nephew, in the following substance :
That it was unnecessary to send an ambassador to the States,
the Chancellor Oxistern or to the Landgrave. With the advice
of his mother and the Prince of Orange he could make his own
arrangements with the first ; and it is beyond a doubt that they
are already well disposed and as their interests are deeply concerned
that they will embrace the project and send their delegates
immediately to ratify the articles of the alliance. The Landgrave
had an agent here and his Majesty would see that he had the
satisfaction desired. They did not yet know the real intentions
of the Swedes and in order to learn them they had sent instructions
to their agent at Hamburg to communicate the agreement with
France to Oxistern and urge him to send some one to the appointed
place with suitable powers. When they know what he intends
to do there will be no difficulty, should it be necessary, about
sending to him some special individual to concert with him what
is to be done. Finally upon the question of the Dutch fisheries,
which is the most troublesome one, the king told the prince that
he had commanded his agent to assure the Provinces that they
shall not be molested by his fleet in any way, so that there was
no further occasion for him to discuss the matter. He would
tell him for his personal satisfaction that the commander has
instructions to treat the Dutch fishermen amicably.
With these replies the prince left on the following day, to wit
the 6th inst. with his brother. He sailed for the Hague escorted
by the whole of the royal fleet and accompanied by many of the
leading lords here. The weather was favourable and it is reckoned
that he will have arrived safely by now. (fn. 3)
I have been unable to obtain a copy of the treaty with France
owing to the extraordinary secrecy observed, but I trust that the
state will have received one from Contarini from Paris. However
I have found out on good authority that to bring the auxiliary
alliance into active existence the ratification of the allies is
necessary, and in accordance with the teachings of experience
they are devoting their earnest attention to getting these to meet.
The ships which have been prepared for the Palatine and which
by the terms of the alliance they are obliged to send out, are still
kept close. Although many here make a pretence of desiring
the offensive and defensive alliance, to be preceded by an open
rupture with the House of Austria it is well known that they are
trying their hardest to prevent it coming to pass and they hope that
by negotiating with Cæsar during the time that remains for the
purpose, they may be able to get out of it as they are very apprehensive
about involving themselves in a long war without hope of much profit,
and with the certainty of considerable losses in trade, the more so
because they have an idea that French vigour will keep declining,
as they attach much more importance to the trouble caused by the
risings in Guienne than to the successes of the Cardinal della
Valletta in Hainault, or those which are not yet certain, of the
Duke of Longueville against the Duke of Lorraine.
It is believed that they will find the advance of the latter very
formidable and it is thought that they will require great efforts
to resist it. In short such divisions in the country are considered
here of great consequence, and not less so the difficulties which
the Count of Soissons persists in raising over the adjustment of
his affairs. Accordingly they have come to the conclusion that
the undertaking of France not to make peace without their
consent here is of very slight value, since she is incapable by
herself of sustaining the war at the necessary pitch any longer.
This point will ultimately prolong the effectuation of these
treaties, even if they are quite matured by time and circumstance.
The Ambassador Beveren is about to take leave of the king,
as he has no further negotiations upon the affairs for which he
came. He received permission by his letters last week, and
announces that the ordinary Ambassador Joachimi will arrive
before long to continue his residence.
They still speak in different ways about the removal of Teller
from the imperial Court. Most declare that he has been recalled,
but with such reserve that I do not consider it certain. The
Resident Ballarino will dispel this uncertainty. These masks
over a simple matter of fact arouse the belief that they hide some
important interest, unless it be that the ministers here, by being so
secret about everything, pretend, as the Spaniards say, to have the
power, without hindrance, to regulate the affairs of Christendom
according to their own satisfaction.
From Fielding's exposition which reached me in the despatch
of the 12th, I see the advantage he has tried to take, in making
it appear as if I had urged his Majesty in the Signory's name to
send ambassadors to Cæsar and the congress at Cologne, offering
the republic's help for the Palatine. I assure your Excellencie
that they have not so interpreted my offices here. It is an
equivocation of his own, unless in their great desire to be asked
they have decided to make use of artifice. If anything more is
said to me on the subject, I will avail myself of the instructions
sent, and will not go a step beyond the general terms to which I
have confined myself in the past.
With regard to the detention of the officials at Fielding's
instance, I have informed the ministers, confirming your desire
to gratify his Majesty and the ambassador as well. The office
pleased them extremely, and I know that his Majesty was very
pleased. He is at present not more than ten miles away, (fn. 4) but
he has decided after two weeks to go much further off with all
the Court, as the plague has begun again, making considerable
progress not only in London, but in the neighbouring villages.
Owing to my illness and the inroads upon my fortune I shall have
to stay behind, and I ask to be forgiven if my despatches are
London, the 10th July, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
257. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your despatches of the 18th ult. We have
nothing to add about Ognate. You were chosen ambassador
to France many months ago. It is desirable that the move of
the ambassador from France to Spain, and from Spain to England
as well as your own should be made with every due convenience,
and you are to be the first to start. You are therefore to be
ready to set out at the first opportunity.
That 300 ducats be paid to the agents of Anzolo Correr for
couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
258. The Senate's decision of the 27th ult. was read to the
English Ambassador, who spoke to the following effect :
From what your Serenity says about universal peace I perceive
that this is your sole object. I will inform his Majesty, who aims
at the most perfect correspondence. It will confirm to him the
excellent disposition of the republic.
I am pleased that the offer of my services has been accepted.
I see what the Senate has ordained about our merchants and
expect the desired result. That is the case with Obson, whose
affair depends on your Serenity's justice, and I need only thank
you for what you have imparted to me about the orders in his
favour. The republic in this, as in everything else has especial
regard to the satisfaction of our nation.
The doge replied, From what has been read your lordship can
judge that we aim solely at the universal welfare, and our special
object is to maintain and increase the good relations with his
Majesty. Obson shall have his cause decided by the Avogador
Pesaro, in conformity with equity and justice. You may rest
assured that we have at heart the interests of English merchants
at Zante and Cephalonia.
The ambassador said he could only thank the doge for the
orders, and after some respectful remarks he bowed and went
to take a copy of the office read to him. In doing so he remarked,
I see that their Excellencies are very disposed to increase the trade
by the orders they tell me of. I have performed every good
office for this and will continue to do so, and his Serenity should
I commended the ambassador's idea, saying it was worthy of
his prudence. He replied that he would never fail to establish
and increase the good relations with his Majesty and to develop
trade, and departed.
Christoforo Surian, Secretary.
259. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The treaty with England being concluded, both the Most
Christian and the King of Great Britain, have sent to invite the
Swedes and Dutch to enter the league and to send ministers
to Hamburg to take part in the diet. The secretary of the
Ambassador Leicester has arrived from England. The earl has
not received leave to return home although he desires it greatly.
Paris, the 14th July, 1637.
260. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince Palatine has arrived escorted by twenty four
English ships to Rotterdam. Both he and the English Resident
asked the Assembly to send a representative to the diet. The
States find it hard to believe that the treaties are absolutely
concluded and the Court thinks it is an artifice of the King to
send back the Palatine to Holland and to begin to shake him off.
The Prince says that he will return to England, but he has brought
all his baggage and no one believes it. The Princess Palatine
admits that the ratification depends on what the Swedes decide
and these States also. But the gentlemen of the Palatine and
especially the Englishmen in his service declare that the only
decision is to call a diet and that their king does not want a formal
rupture, the feeling against France being too strong to allow an
The Hague, the 16th July, 1637.
261. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassadors extraordinary of France and Holland both
demanded audience to take leave for last Sunday, but the Sieur de
Seneterre alone availed himself of it the other pleading sudden
indisposition. It is supposed that he did this because the sudden
and simultaneous departure of these two was criticised as taking
place at the very moment when the negotiations with their
masters were becoming active in England, that Beveren was
unwilling to offend the king and preferred to inform the States
first, especially as Joachimi might arrive in the mean time.
The Earl of Arundel and some other ministers tell me that the
king resents the withdrawal of Senneterre, who, however, has
received handsome presents, seeing that there are two English
ambassadors at the French Court and an affair so important as
the alliance should not be confided to a mere secretary. However
the Ambassador left with every satisfaction in respect of his
treatment and presents, as he told me yesterday when he called,
and we exchanged compliments.
They have held long consultations and finally decided to set
up a new Company to trade in the West Indies and acquire
possessions, after the manner of the Dutch, with whom they
are treating, to act in concert. The Dutch seem quite willing,
but doubt whether the English will be prepared to get together
the amount of capital required, and they would prefer to make
some alliance with England first. Thus in this as in the
common affairs, one sees the disputes about the fisheries removed
by some legal paper not by words, as the Dutch know
full well that the English persist in their intentions and pretend
that the connivance which they offer this year does not
prejudice them. The fishermen, intimidated by their encounter
with the fleet, have come of their own accord to obtain licences,
a point the Dutch fear as much as they detest it, because they
see that it may become customary, and then it will be difficult
if not impossible to abolish it.
The ill feeling is increased by a fresh incident which happened
recently in sight of Portland. Five Dunkirk ships encountered
four Dutch men of war there, and engaged in a long fight, but
when the Dutch were gaining the advantage and almost sure of
victory, a squadron of the king came out and separated them.
This incident has aroused a great outcry and certainly it will not
help the matters at present in negotiation.
As a counterblast to the treaty with France the Spaniards have
had published the oath of fealty taken to them by the people of
the Lower Palatinate, of which I enclose a copy.
They are persuaded here that the Hamburgers will permit the
conference of the allies, and so they have sent instructions to the
English agent, as they do not think it advisable to send any one
on purpose, because the finishing touches are to be put at Paris.
They watch with interest for the news from Italy. They deeply
regret the last received about the loss of Nizza and other places in
the Monferrat, just as they rejoice at the French successes in
Hainault and the county of Burgundy, although report makes the
former much greater than the latter. In short at present this
nation seems entirely on the side of France ; I must leave others
to decide if the heart corresponds. I know that some of the
ministers here took umbrage rather at seeing me opening relations
with the Spanish ambassador amid these circumstances, but I
have entirely dispelled their jealousy. That ambassador is still
confined to his bed. He sent one of his gentlemen to thank
me for the visit with every courtesy that could be desired.
The city has been greatly excited this week over a sentence
against three persons who had written against the reforms introduced
into the church by the Archbishop of Canterbury, bitterly
libelling him personally as well as the king. The first is an
ecclesiastic, the second a physician and the third a lawyer, a
well chosen triumvirate. They publicly cut off the ears of all
three, condemned them to perpetual imprisonment and forbad
them the use of the pen for ever. (fn. 5) They defended against the
Archbishop the party of the Puritans, that being the name
derisively given to those who claim purity and dissociate themselves
from the rites of the Protestants. This has now increased
enormously, and being encouraged by persons of rank, they take
all sorts of liberties and pretend to lay down the law to the
government altogether. The king, seeing this poison spreading,
tries to keep it far from his heart and to pull out its roots, but the
more he tries to extirpate them the stronger they become. They
do not care about their goods or esteem their lives when efforts
are made to moderate their doctrines, or rather their ignorance.
When the sentence in question was being executed, one could see
even women and children collecting the blood of the victims,
exalting their punishment and ignominy with tears and cries
to the most exalted martyrdom. In short this pest may be the
one which will ultimately disturb the repose of this kingdom.
The Spaniards devote all their attention to it, to turn it to advantage
in proportion as their differences with the crown increase.
The Bishop of Lincoln is at present in disgrace for the same cause.
I will send word of what happens, as I consider events of this sort
well worthy of attention.
No letters have arrived from Italy this week. It is reported
that the courier met with an accident at sea.
London, the 17th July, 1637.
262. Copy of the oath taken by the people of the Lower Palatinate
to the King of Spain.
263. To the Ambassador in England.
Enclose the exposition of the Ambassador Fielding for
information. Acknowledge his letters of the 25th ult. Commend
his skill and prudence in the affair of Ognate. Will await further
particulars with curiosity.
Ayes, 106. Noes, 1. Neutral 2.
264. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and
spoke to the following effect :
I recently offered to impart advices which might prove helpful
to you and to the common service. I think that I ought not to
postpone this office because I have something which I consider
essential. I will not speak of what is passing in the Milanese
or in the Valtelline and Grisons, as that is under your eyes. It
will serve to help you towards general peace. I need not speak
of the news which comes from your ministers, and only say that
all that is taking place is of great importance and I am much excited.
I have very recent letters from Germany, and numerous reports
corroborate. This much is certain, that the vanguard of the
Duke of Waimar of 2500 men has entered Alsace, and it is thought
that the duke has followed with the rest of his army, since his
commissioner has gone to the Swiss diet, hoping to obtain from
them among other things a free passage through their country
in order to cross the Rhine. This will be difficult, because the
Imperialist forces are gathering to prevent it. If the Duke of
Lorraine is not too hard pressed, he is inclined to lay siege to
Montbelliard, with the reinforcements of Giovanni de Vert,
which were to reach him after the capture of Hermestain. They
were expecting Piccolomini and his forces at Brussels. The
Cardinal Infant sent for him to come at the earliest opportunity.
Although they said the Count of Soissons would join the Cardinal,
his loyalty and honour prevent him from meddling. Yet the
Cardinal has tried hard, using as intermediary President Rosa,
the leading minister of Flanders, who accordingly strongly
opposed the treaty without greater advantages. However the
Cardinal showed a letter from the King of Spain absolutely
ordering him to take advantage of the opportunity and neglect
no means of obliging him, so it was hoped that this would give a
great impetus to the accord between them.
The governor of Landreci gave sanguine promises about the
defence of that place, besieged by the French ; but they are
doubtful about the issue. They will feel the loss the more, since
by taking it they opened the way to the very gates of Brussels.
The Dutch are only waiting for a million from the French
before taking the field, by arrangement, with 260 companies of
foot and five cornets of horses. The Swedish Resident recently
left the Hague, very satisfied with his negotiations. He obtained
promises and assurances, so that on every hand we see great
preparations which afford material for prudent reflection.
In the midst of these unhappy reports about war I have some
pleasant news for your Serenity, confirming my king's friendship
for you, as he approved the accommodation made and was highly
pleased with my account. He has charged me to assure you of
his constant and sincere friendship. He has written a letter with
his own hand expressing his desire to maintain this friendship.
The doge thanked the ambassador for the advices. They had
heard of some, but he had given them other matter which required
reflection. They rejoiced at his Majesty's friendship and hoped
that these cordial relations might flourish for ever.
The ambassador made some further complimentary remarks,
hoping that he might be able to serve his king and the republic
simultaneously, for the preservation of their friendship and
confidential relations. He then took leave and departed.
265. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Swedish ambassador reports that his country will be
unlikely to send deputies to Cologne unless they see how things
go at Hamburg, as the administrators of the crown have decided
not to give up Pomerania. The Ambassador Leicester is confident
they will be able to draw the King of Denmark into the league,
especially about the Palatinate, and it seems that monarch
intimated to M. d'Avo that he meant to do something solid for
the Palatine house. But some attach little credit to these reports.
Paris, the 21st July, 1637.
266. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Palatine's Agent came to see me yesterday to tell me of the
prince's journey. He said he was commanded to maintain most
cordial relations with the ministers of your Serenity, for which I
thanked him. He went on to express the satisfaction felt by the
Palatine House at seeing cordial relations opened between the
Spanish ministers and those of your Serenity, as from this they
might hope for fresh negotiations and other advantages. I
perceived his object and answered with general compliments.
He then spoke of the advantage of the affair being in the hands of
a neutral prince friendly to the general tranquillity. The Palatine
did not expect much from the alliance with France, the House of
Austria being too strong while France was feeble, the Swedes were
ruined and the Dutch tired, and all of them together unequal to replace
the Palatine by arms, or to maintain him even if they could. So
the way of negotiation was necessary and could not be in better
hands than those of the ministers of the most serene republic. He had
addressed me before saying anything to his Majesty in order to hear
what I thought.
From his open and determined manner I concluded that this
came from a higher quarter, which chose this way in order to avoid
committing itself at the first move. Perceiving numerous
difficulties I confined myself to generalities, expressing the esteem
of your Excellencies for the Palatine House. I said I should
personally be proud to serve it, but I had to proceed to France.
He replied that for such an important matter it would be worth
while to prolong my stay here. He begged me to think it over and he
would give me further particulars ; and so he took leave.
From all this it seems clear that their hopes from this new alliance
are very feeble and that they find themselves in an almost desperate
plight and compelled to go about everywhere begging for assistance.
Thus events themselves are bearing out what I wrote to your
Excellencies, that the only steps taken here have been forced upon
them, and abhorring the very name not to speak of the practice of
war they are ready to do anything rather than become involved in it
and to avoid being obliged to carry the affairs of the Palatine to the
congress at Cologne. They believe that they will be at a disadvantage
there, but more than this they would rather that it never took place,
because although they affect to desire peace in Christendom passionately,
it is certain that in their own interests they desire the continuation
of the war with equal fervour, as for political reasons it is
recognised to be to their advantage, since by means of it they are
rendering themselves sole masters of the trade, and in the troubles
of their neighbours consists the true security of their repose. I may
leave your Excellencies to consider the effect of these circumstances
in the conduct of the enterprise suggested to me, together with the
peculiar difficulties of that most thorny affair, not to speak of what
the French might think about it. I will await your commands for
dealing with further advances from the Resident or from the ministers.
London, the 22nd July, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
267. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
By letters dated the 15th inst. the Palatine acquainted his
Majesty with his arrival in Holland and how he had begun his
negotiations, making overtures in the Assembly for a new
alliance and asking them to send deputies to Hamburg to arrange
matters with the other allies. He had not yet received a reply
and he feared that it would not be favourable, as the States
objected that the articles arranged with France had not been
communicated to them at the outset and that he had said nothing
about the fisheries. The prince thinks that it will be difficult
to induce the Dutch to join a defensive and offensive alliance
against the House of Austria without assuring them of some
considerable advantage, as it is not in their interest to break
the neutrality with the empire, a point upon which they have
never wavered in past negotiations with the king.
To avoid incitement from this quarter, as they say, but really
to save their reputation, the Ambassador Beveren has again
received orders to return to Holland, and so, laying aside the
considerations reported, he has arranged to take leave on Sunday.
He leaves the affair of the fisheries in the usual position and the
English would not put their concessions in writing and the Dutch
are not satisfied with a tacit connivance, which would leave them
always subject to fear and doubt.
The particular affairs of this kingdom continue subject to the
most serious agitations, as the people have been greatly moved
and exasperated by the recent condemnation of the Bishop of
Lincoln. He had written about matters of religion, opposing
the forms introduced by the Archbishop of Canterbury, cloaking
his rancour under the veil of piety. He is to pay the penalty
by a fine of 10,000l. sterling, by suspension from his charge and
by imprisonment in the Tower during the king's pleasure, or, as
many insist, so long as the archbishop lives. (fn. 6) This and the
examples of last week ought to subdue the insolence of that
scandalous party ; but it seems that the more they seek to
abase it the more vigorous it arises, auguring ill for the outcome,
and prudent people who know the danger are not a little afraid
of it. At the end of next week the king will begin his journey.
As it is long and very inconvenient, the queen has decided not
to follow him, but will stay near by in places least affected by the
plague. (fn. 7)
Before his Majesty's departure the Spanish resident also will
take his leave, as he has to proceed to Flanders to the service of
the Cardinal Infant.
I have the ducal missives of the 20th June this week with
instructions about the efforts of ministers here to establish trade
at Ancona. Before this I have intimated how much your
Excellencies would regret any unfortunate incident, as your
officers have very strict orders to uphold your undoubted
jurisdiction. I find that this has made a considerable impression,
the proposal has been considerably damped and there is little
indication that they will do any more in the matter. If the
idea is revived I will speak more plainly, disclosing the hollowness
of the affair so clearly that the merchants themselves shall
The Ambassador Ognate called on me the day before yesterday.
He spoke of the Palatine and seemed very anxious to arrange
that matter, if they desire either justice or favour, either course
being indifferent to the emperor, so he says. Yet he does not
propose to make new overtures to the king, saying that he has
gone far enough for his side.
London, the 24th July, 1637.
268. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the Collegio
and spoke to the following effect : (fn. 8)
In my last audience I informed your Serenity of his Majesty's
upright desire for peace. I now come to confirm it and to inform
you of the conclusion of a treaty between his Majesty and the
Most Christian to show his intimacy with the republic. The
treaty concerns the interests of his Majesty and the princes
Palatine, his nephews, and it may be called a new treaty, because
it cements the friendship between the two crowns. That friendship
is likely to bring forth results such as his Majesty desires for
the service of those princes. He feels sure that your Serenity
agrees in wishing their welfare, and that he could do nothing
better for the general cause. At the same time he must consider
his own interests, in the present state of affairs, which requires
him to act thus. He sees that he can hope for nothing by any
other way, owing to the obstinacy of the Austrians, with whom
neither offices nor promises avail. They also seem reluctant
to grant passports to the princes and imperial towns, without
which the French are determined not to agree to the congress
at Cologne, which is not yet fixed. His Majesty feels sure that
your Serenity will consider this treaty opportune and calculated
to do what is necessary to overcome obstacles, where the claims
of the Spaniards are such that it seems unlikely they will be
overcome, to give what is justly demanded for his nephews. As
nothing can be expected from Cologne, the arrangement between
the two kings may prove a powerful means to obtain what would
otherwise be difficult, and my king expects that everything will
turn out satisfactorily to your Serenity.
The doge replied, We fully recognise his Majesty's good
intentions toward the common service and peace. We thank
you for the communication of the treaty. We had heard
something about it, but we are glad to hear it from you. We
feel sure it will conduce greatly to peace. We have always worked
for this and will continue to cooperate. We are sure the alliance
will help the princes Palatine, for whom we have always desired
what is their due.
The ambassador continued, Your Serenity will have heard that
the Prince Palatine and his brother were going to Holland, as
the States General were to be informed of the treaty, and to
obtain assistance from them. They are grateful for the favours
received by their father and themselves from your Serenity,
of which my king preserves a lively memory.
The doge thanked the ambassador for the communication. His
Majesty might be sure that they desired the welfare of those princes.
The ambassador said, I thought it my duty to communicate
this particular as I know that his Majesty wishes the republic
to be satisfied. The doge repeated his thanks.
The ambassador then said, I thank your Serenity for the courtesy
with which you received the advices I last brought. I only
regret that they were not so recent as I could have wished, but
as the information seemed important I thought it right to
communicate it. My last letters say that the Duke of Lorraine
was so badly beaten that he left more than a thousand men
on the field (fn. 9) and he had to withdraw to Bisenzone, as he could not
be safe elsewhere. The news caused some dissatisfaction in
Flanders, and they blamed President Rossa for being too tardy
with the negotiations, so that the blow could not be remedied.
I thought it essential to add this. If anything more comes I
will impart it.
The doge said, We are glad of your advices, although they
agree in part with what we hear from elsewhere. We esteem
them because they come from you. We thank you and we shall
always appreciate them. With this the ambassador bowed,
took leave and departed.
269. That the English Ambassador be summoned to the
Collegio and that the following be read to him :
His Majesty is operating most prudently and in conformity
with his most just intent towards the public weal. We have
learned with pleasure what you have told us about his alliance
with the Most Christian. Our wishes correspond with his
Majesty's desires and we wish him every success, hoping that it
will all lead to that universal peace towards which our republic
is always ready to contribute its good offices. We thank his
Majesty for the confidence shown and your lordship for the
advices, which we value highly.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 4. Neutral, 1.
|270. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of the exposition of the English ambassador
about the treaty between his king and the Most Christian. He
gives no particulars, which corresponds with the reserve shown
on the subject in England. We have received some particulars
of the matter from France. We are sure that you will send us
the articles and the opinions of the Court. With the Palatine
Princes gone the operations of the king and his ministers will
disclose themselves, when they no longer have the impulse of
the presence of those princes and you will see what direction
their resolutions take. We enclose a copy of our answer to the
ambassador, in which we confined ourselves to generalities,
corresponding with his office.
We have learned with peculiar satisfaction of the visit of the
Spanish ambassador and that you had his response without
difficulty and the title of "Excellency." You have done very
well in the management of this delicate affair.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 4. Neutral, 1.
271. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The furious storms which have raged at sea all this week have
left this kingdom utterly in the dark about foreign affairs. The
king is very upset because he has had no news of his fleet since the
Palatine arrived in Holland, and because he cannot hear what
that prince has done with the States, his last despatches being
filled with confusion rather than hope.
The Ambassador Beveren took leave last Sunday without
saying a word about the fisheries. This causes them more
anxiety, as it looks as if the Dutch, neglecting to compound their
more important interests with this crown, had begun to think
of other expedients, which would be more distasteful here. Yet
his Majesty received the ambassador very graciously, assured
him of his steadfast devotion to the common cause, told him that
he eagerly desired to hear good news of the Prince of Orange,
and begged him to urge his masters to make up their minds as
soon as possible upon the subjects which his nephew is now
proposing. But even this show of friendliness did not satisfy
the ambassador, who would have liked to take something more
solid to Holland about present affairs, and the fisheries in
particular, upon which he may have hoped they would say
something to him.
It is indeed with astonishment that one observes they wish
with the one hand to keep the Dutch checked and in subjection
at sea, while on the other they pretend to dispose of their arms
and affections as if they had no wills independent of this crown,
yet all the time the Dutch show themselves so courageous and
strong in their determination not only to assert their rights, but
in declaring that they will not give without receiving.
This departure of Beveren under existing circumstances
alarms the Council, who perceive that the good result of the treaty
with France depends on the Dutch, as they believe the party of
the Swedes not far from ruin, if not there. The Spanish
ambassador publishes as much already, and advices from
Germany bear it out, so the king here no longer fixes his gaze
in that direction, but looks to the fortune of the Dutch as the
orient of his designs.
A courier arrived recently from Spain brings word that the
French friar (fn. 10) was on the point of leaving that Court without
having settled anything substantial in his negotiations. The
matter has excited much attention here and they have heard the
news with particular satisfaction, as it is utterly impossible by
any means to uproot entirely from the minds of the ministry
here the suspicion of a secret intelligence between the Courts
of France and Spain for an armistice or a truce.
The Resident Nicolaldi took leave of their Majesties on
Tuesday, and yesterday the Court was almost entirely disbanded,
the king, with a small company starting on his progress, from
which he will not return before the end of September. The
queen meanwhile will stay partly at Oatlands and partly here
at Richmond. I have also come here, so as not to be totally
cut off from intercourse and so that I may have access to their
Majesties if necessary, without suspicion of bringing the plague,
which is raging in London. I shall try to do what little I can for
the service of the state, in the hope of being released from this
expensive embassy, and that on the return of the king, at least,
if there is no previous opportunity, I may have permission to
take leave and proceed to my new post in France, where I shall
have greater opportunity, if not more ability to show my
The state despatches of the 27th ult. with the exposition of
the Ambassador Fielding and the Senate's reply reached me last
Richmond, the 30th July, 1637.
272. The English Ambassador was summoned to the
Collegio and the Senate's deliberation of yesterday was read to
him ; he spoke to the following effect :
I am much gratified that your Serenity appreciates what I
said about my king's desire for general peace. He has no other
object in all that he does although he must also consider the
interests of the princes Palatine. His alliance with France cannot
fail to produce the good desired. I am sure he will be glad to
hear that the republic approves of the treaty. He will always
show his confidence and I shall take the greatest delight in
fostering this intimacy. I thank you for the reception of the
advices which I have communicated, and I hope they will always
help the republic and the cause of general peace.
The doge said that his offices could not be other than acceptable,
because of his manner of presenting them. They were sure he
would represent to the king their sincere devotion to the interests
of the princes Palatine, and they prayed God that all would turn
out to their advantage, as they believed it would, from the
alliance with the Most Christian.
The ambassador thanked the doge and said he would try and
show himself a good servant of his Serenity. With this he took
leave and went to take a note of the office read to him. When
leaving he said that he could assert that although the alliance
with France was for the benefit of the princes Palatine, it would
also help towards the general peace that being, his Majesty's
intention. If news arrived worthy of his Serenity, he would send
it ; and so he departed.