283. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The letter found in the coat of the queen's groom was from the
Marquis of Mirabel, acknowledging the receipt of hers, thanking
her in the name of the Cardinal Infant for the information, urging
her above all to prevent the conclusion of the treaty with England
and to think of ways of upsetting it. The queen, being thus
convicted, had to sign a paper containing four heads, they say,
that she sent word to Flanders of the weakness of some of the
frontier fortresses of Picardy ; the defects of the Government ;
the means of upsetting this union with England, about which she
is greatly concerned, and to keep a look out in Spain on the
Minime friar. (fn. 1) The queen signed that before witnesses and
undertook not to write any more out of the realm unless the
Marquise of Senesse had seen the letter first. The enemies of the
government say these are all inventions and that they made the
queen say what they wanted. She has instructed her groom
to tell all he knows. The king seems to lay great blame on the
Duchess of Chevreuse, who supplied the queen with her information
in England for preventing the alliance with this crown,
a person of position tells me that the queen has written a letter to the
king of England begging him to give up all thought of any such step.
The Earl of Leicester says that if they wish to make a truce
or peace here, his king will do nothing to prevent them doing
what they please ; but if the Prince Palatine is abandoned there
is no sign that the king of England will restore his nephew to
his dominions single handed. They would like the Most Christian
to ratify the treaty, seeing the difficulties raised by the Dutch
and Swedes about it, representing that with these two crowns
agreed about everything it is not to their credit for others to
have the power to delay the consequences.
Paris, the 1st September, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
284. To the Ambassador Correr in England.
Enclose his commissions for France together with his credentials
to the king there.
Ayes, 138. Noes, 0. Neutral, 32.
285. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince Palatine's agent, fresh from the Court, called upon
me the day before yesterday. He says that all the negotiations of
England with France are worth nothing and that the prince will end by
finding himself without either territory or rank ; the Dutch are slow
to join the league, and the Swedes, overwhelmed by reverses, have
retreated upon Stettin. He then suggested, more openly than on
previous occasions, that your Excellencies should negotiate for the
Palatine with the emperor. The king would approve and the
only doubt was whether your Excellencies would agree. But I
evaded the point, while expressing the republic's wishes for the
welfare of the Palatine House, and so the field still remains virgin
for any answer your Excellencies may think fit to give. In short
it is no longer open to doubt that both the Palatine and the
English themselves have utterly abandoned hope of doing anything
by force, although they pretend the contrary for the sake of appearances.
This may be due to a conviction of their weakness, to the small
inclination of those who ought to help them, to a realisation of the
difficulties after making trial, or to other and more recondite causes, in
short it is certain that they are looking for means to take up the
negotiations with honour, looking for a disinterested prince as
mediator. They wish the republic to accept the office, as it is also
to have a hand in the general peace. The Earl of Arundel gave me
a distant hint of this, saying that as they saw everyone was trying
to settle his own affairs separately, it would not be bad for the Palatine
to do the same, but the chief difficulty was to find a suitable opening,
unless some prince friendly to his house took it up for the common
benefit. I think it my duty to tell all I hear.
With this opportunity I ascertained that Teller is still at the
imperial Court, by the king's command who certainly is very pleased
to learn that he is being well treated by the emperor, although they
try to make people believe that he is only there in a private capacity
for his own pleasure. This has always made the French jealous,
and if they make any private treaty with the Austrians they will
probably seize upon this as their excuse. There are whispers that
the Earl of Northumberland has already left the Downs with all his
fleet, with orders to approach the Dutch fishermen, to compel them by
fear to ask for licenses and to pay the recognition claimed. If this
prove true, as there is some indication, it means that they have taken
advantage of their weakness, it being known that the Dutch have
recently been very roughly handled by the Dunkirkers ; but as this
is not the way to induce the Dutch to take up the proposals made
to them by the Palatine, one must either believe that it will not
be carried out, or else that they have really changed their principles,
and that they only think of negotiating in the manner mentioned.
News comes from Flanders that the Spaniards, rendered
suspicious by the proceedings of the queen mother, that she was
carrying on secret intrigues with France, have caused her house
to be thoroughly searched by the Burgomaster of Brussels as
well as all her papers and those of all the French, using such insults
and threats as to cause her the greatest agitation. The queen
here is sensible of the affront and deeply sympathises with her
mother, possibly imagining things to be much worse than they
really were. She has consequently fallen sick of a fever, with
sluggishness of the stomach and other circumstances, which
make it much worse. The curious speculate whether this event
will lead to the queen mother leaving Flanders, and to the revival
of the negotiations for her coming here. It will not be difficult
if the king does not object, as the queen mother is at present in
a great state of alarm and most anxious to come ; but the king
has always seemed to object strongly and he will stop it, unless he
yields to his wife's prayers, not because he is afraid of offending
the Most Christian by receiving her, as that sovereign might even
wish to see her end her wanderings here, but because he is afraid of
burdening himself with so much expense, and because he fears that she
may bring trouble with her which will upset his present repose.
Last week when I went to kiss the queen's hands I also visited
Lady Denbigh. She thanked me for the treatment received by
her son, and said that if embassies were perpetual she would
fain render that of Venice hereditary in her family but that as
Fielding's three years had nearly expired she wished to procure
for him a mission to France, and the queen, considering him
suitable for that post might speak about it to the king. I therefore
infer that Fielding will be recalled and be replaced by a
person of equal rank.
Your Serenity's letters of the 30th ult. just received report the
representations of Lord Fielding about the treaty with France.
The general terms in which he expressed himself agree precisely
with the talk of the ministers here, from whom it certainly is
never possible to extract any formula in writing or even to hear
them speak a sound word on the subject. They always evade
telling the true state of affairs by using ambiguous phrases.
Richmond, the 4th September, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
286. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
To the offices of the Ambassador Leicester, who wants the king
to sign the treaty before the Swedes and Dutch have assented,
they reply here that there is no indication that they can do so
without their allies. They have become very suspicious that
England does not mean to do anything and is procrastinating
deliberately. Leicester, on the other hand, labours to persuade
them that his king will make suitable declarations in due time.
He represents that it would not be decent for his king to espouse
the quarrels of others while France might want to keep Lorraine
and the other places of Alsace for herself ; that before beginning
overt war it is necessary to adjust the pretensions of the parties
at Hamburg or the Hague, and then they will see that the King
of England will break with the Spaniards, not with thirty ships
but with sixty and more and will also supply his nephew with
troops to form an army in Germany and go and recover his own.
The Queen Mother has written to inform the king of her ill
treatment at Brussels and to ask his permission to go to England,
as the king there will not receive her without their assent here.
It appears they have intimated to her that if she goes to that
kingdom, they will pay her the allowance she used to have a
long time ago, when in France.
Paris, the 8th September, 1637.
287. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Three days ago the Ambassador Ognate came here to ask my
advice. He said he came from Coruna on board a royal ship,
whose captain had also taken charge of ten cases of reals belonging
to a Genoese merchant named Giovanni Nicolo de Franchi. As
Franchi had not paid duty the Catholic desired Ognate to seize
them. He did so, giving security to the English commander.
Franchi came to England and brought an action against the
captain, which he won, and in virtue of the security which the
captain apparently made over to him, he seized Ognate's property,
money and his merchants and the merchandise shipped by him
for his king in Spain.
Ognate declared that this was a violation of the privileges of
ambassadors, as they pretended to adjudicate here upon something
that happened in a port of Spain, in which no Spanish subject
was concerned. I expressed my regret and the opinion that
when the king had heard what he had to say he would be sure to
give him satisfaction. When he pressed for advice I told him
that he could do far more than I. He spoke very strongly
and even told me that he had advised them in Spain to take away
all the privileges of the English ambassador. He said he would
wait for orders from his king.
The arguments brought against him here are that as the money
was on a ship of the King of Great Britain it ought to be as safe
as if it was in his own chamber, and the captain could not allow
it to be sequestrated by any one soever. As the money had not
remained in Spain, but had actually been unladed in England as
belonging to a foreigner, and consigned to a servant of his Majesty,
he was obliged to have it restored, as he could not judge a question
of contraband which took place outside his kingdom, or allow
others to lay hands by justice or by authority upon what was
actually in England. Such is the actual state of the affair.
The money is here and the ambassador has received it. If, as
he says, he has left something else as an equivalent for it in
Spain, that does not concern them here, so they think he will
have to accept the inevitable, as the king is determined that the
Genoese shall not suffer, and the captain has protection in too
high a quarter to be subject to the pain of making payment.
After this Ognate began of his own accord to speak of the truces,
which, he says, are in negotiation between the House of Austria
and the Most Christian and his allies. He said he knew that the
disposition of the French to conclude them went far beyond
the common benefit and in particular that of the princes who
were shut out from the possession of their territories, who would
have to languish in wretchedness so long as the truces lasted.
He mentioned particularly the Dukes of Lorraine and Mantua.
On these grounds he did not think that the matter could be carried
through. He enlarged upon this, saying that it was not to the
interest of the House of Austria, while she was victorious, to
make a peace unless it was universal. He heard from Germany
that there was no sign of the congress of Cologne meeting soon
owing to the difficulties raised by France. He asked me if the
Venetian ambassadors had set out yet for the Imperial Court.
I told him I thought they had even arrived in Germany. By this
and much more the ambassador has taken pains to show me
that he desires to encourage confidential relations, and I have
responded, but within modest proportions.
Richmond, the 10th September, 1637.
288. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident has seen the commissioners appointed
to meet him and read them the articles agreed upon with France.
It seems that the States refuse to speak about it as being something
ridiculous and not worth consideration. It has certainly confirmed
their idea that there is no real agreement, and that the
only object is to gain time. They particularly notice that the
French have said nothing to them about this alliance. No
deliberation has been held and some think a reply unnecessary ;
but they will wait for the States of Holland. Everyone says that
under existing circumstances and in their present exhaustion
these Provinces ought not to start fresh troubles as they have
not the strength to direct them.
The Hague, the 10th September, 1637.
289. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
When the news of the queen mother's misadventures at
Brussels reached the king, and of the whisper that she might ask
permission to come here, he forthwith sent a courier to his
Resident Gerbier to put a stop to any such idea at once, offering,
if she wishes, one or two ships of war to take her to Spain or
Italy, to be promptly supplied, as although he knows he will
offend his wife, he is determined not to admit her, and not even
to let her cross to this realm.
This decision is concealed from the queen as yet, and will not
be disclosed to her in all its rigour, so as not to trouble her, seeing
that her great affection for her mother transports her to violent
passion which prejudices her health. Her fever of last week has
left her extremely weak. They will let her know gently, by
degrees, and that will be the end of the matter, so far as these
parts are concerned.
Il Rey, secretary of state of the King of Poland (fn. 2) arrived here
recently with special commissions as ambassador extraordinary
at this Court. He has remained so far in a village without
making himself known, as he may not have thought it advisable
to do this before the king's wishes about his reception were
known. This course was not ill advised, because his Majesty
freely told a gentleman whom he sent to Court to notify his arrival
and to obtain some orders for his reception, that he had better
return by the way he came, as he would not receive or see him
on any account. The ambassador does not seem dashed by the
refusal, but hopes to find means for being introduced. He
has already outlined some business with the Earl of Arundel and
another of the leading ministers, for this effect. His Majesty's
action was induced by the knowledge that this person came to
inform him of the marriage between the Polish king and the
emperor's sister, and out of shame, one may say, at the negotiations
conducted with him for his niece, he cannot with dignity
receive to his face such news as the king's letters contain. The
Polish ambassador who last treated of this affair offended him by
making unreasonable proposals more in the form of protests
than negotiation. So it is better to let things go on as they are
than to give new cause for trouble to those who are already
irritated by past events.
There are various opinions about the consequences of this affair.
The Spaniards enjoy the business beyond measure, as it seems just
their game that quarrels with this crown should accumulate, since
it may all be set down to their advantage. They do everything
to increase the quarrels with Denmark and the Dutch, especially
in disputes about maritime questions. I have gathered something
to bear this out from Ognate's own lips, who recently told
me that he had worked hard to get the fleet sent against the
Dutch fishermen, and had obtained as good as a definite promise ;
but if they did so it would be to keep him quiet. Three ships
which were sent recently against the fishermen, perhaps to satisfy
him, have not attempted to do anything, and it is not thought
that they will, since present circumstances do not allow it, but
induce them rather to caress the United Provinces, both to avoid
forcing them to come to terms with the Spaniards, and to get
them to favour the interests of the Palatine.
They keep working slowly at these negotiations, relying more
on their hopes than making sure of advancing them successfully.
The Agent Bosuel writes from the Hague that he can obtain no
categorical reply upon the Palatine's proposals, which he has
repeated. The States object on the question of the fisheries
saying clearly that they will not enter upon any business with this
crown before this question of the fishermen is settled to their
mutual satisfaction. If they persist in this, it will ultimately
With regard to the French alliance which I announced by his
Majesty's command, the more I investigate, the more objections
I find. The French now say that it is no good stipulating the
treaties if the King of Great Britain is determined not to declare
war against the House of Austria, and they practically intimate
in spite of the promises they have from England to the contrary,
they are sure, if they can peacefully settle the Palatine's interests
with the Austrians, they will abandon every other thought. Their
mistrust offends the king extremely. He says his words are
simple and sincere ; the French have no reason to doubt him and
if they pretend to, their sole object is to gain time to carry on
their own secret agreements with the Austrians. Amid this
mutual recrimination the matter remains unsettled. The Palatine
suffers and the House of Austria and the Duke of Bavaria enjoy
the results. But some hope that matters will all be put straight
with the arrival here of M. de Bellievre, who is expected from
France within a month, as they think he will bring the articles
Meanwhile they keep their eyes fixed on Swedish affairs, as
they certainly desire to see them as strong as possible. They
rejoiced to hear of their strong recovery after the retirement to
Stettin, and that a part of their forces is about to invade Silesia,
while the other is strong enough to confront the imperialists.
Although the latter declare themselves 40,000 combatants strong
it is hoped they will soon have to divide their troops in many
corps, for lack of provisions.
His Majesty's fleet under the Earl of Northumberland proceeded
northwards last week, with the purpose of scouring the
coasts to the very ends of England. When it returns they
think it will enter the river and that the ships will be dismantled
for this year.
The disturbances in Scotland about religion have calmed
down in great measure, as they do not think it expedient to
proceed severely against the prime movers. They say however,
that the archbishop does not mean to pardon them, but that he
is waiting for an opportunity to punish them without a fuss,
hoping that with the leaders extinguished or crushed (estinti
o mortificati) the others will have to yield to his ordinances, a
difficult and possibly dangerous business where men are so bitterly
inflamed against these new institutions of his.
M. di Perone, Bishop of Angouleme has returned from France,
whither he went for his consecration. The Catholics are much
rejoiced at his coming, and especially the pope's agent, who
through him is accustomed to overcome many difficulties for
the service of the church which he could not do alone. People
speak in various ways about the death of Prince Tomaso,
announced last week. The Spaniards attribute it to accident,
the French to design. Here they do not seem sorry, as they
never thought much of that prince.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 7th
Richmond, the 11th September, 1637.
290. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and
spoke to the following effect :
Through the intercepting of the letters of last week I have
suffered great inconvenience. Owing to the absence of news
I have not been able to come to your Serenity with anything.
The news of this week is not satisfactory to the common interests.
The Duke of Vaimar is practically besieged by Gio. de Vert in
an island this side the Rhine. While Vert was trying to stop his
passage he captured a number of the duke's men. The duke can
hardly maintain his position. He offered battle twice to Vert, with
his customary courage, but Vert thought it better to wait for the
Duke of Lorraine and General Mersi, who are expected at
I hear that the Prince of Orange keeps pushing forward his
trenches under Breda, and he is already near the outskirts. The
Spaniards realise the impossibility of relieving the place or of
hurting the prince. The Cardinal Infant has decided to abandon
it and turn his attention elsewhere. I hear that he has taken
Venlo and is going on to Rurmonda. (fn. 3) The Duke of Candales
continues to progress. Since Landresi he has taken another
place near it, (fn. 4) but perceived that he could not hold it unless he
had Valentiana, and so he proposed to besiege it. In Italy the
Spaniards show as much weakness as the allied princes, so there
is the appearance of an armistice, although none has been
arranged. I may add that I hear from Rome that the pope is
very angry with the Spaniards because they seemed pleased at
his death, although it is not near. As a sign of his wrath he
decided to form an army to be used according to circumstances.
When the Spanish ambassador at Rome heard this he sent
immediately to tell the Viceroy of Naples, so that he might
make the necessary provisions. I thought it my duty to tell you
this. I regret deeply that the province of Italy cannot enjoy
the peace for which it yearns, and my king, who loves this republic
greatly, will be most sorry for this. He regrets the disturbances
of Italy and would rather see fighting elsewhere. He will not
fail to show his good will to the republic.
The doge said, We are very glad of your advices. We have
heard some from other quarters, but you have told us some
particulars of moment. We rejoice greatly at his Majesty's
friendship for us and we shall respond with our affectionate
esteem. We thank you for your kind expressions and we
commend his Majesty's zeal for the public welfare and the common
The ambassador replied, I am much gratified that your Serenity
appreciates what I have said. I shall always try to show myself
a good servant of this republic. With this he bowed, took leave
and went out.
291. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary
in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
With respect to the movements of England Cæsar has been
informed that the ardour of the young Count of Ognat has upset
all transactions, and Teller declares that this is so. All the same
he goes about fostering confidential relations with the ministers
here. It is not yet known whether this is by order of the king his
master, or if he is merely following his own private inclination.
This much is certain that he has been observed, with great
astonishment, to be negotiating at length with Count Slich, and
in the midst of all the existing ill feeling he is well received and
Vienna, the 12th September, 1637.
292. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Although the Duke of Chevreuse obtained from the Cardinal
that his wife should not be molested, yet she has suddenly left
a place near Tours, dressed as a man, with only two servants, (fn. 5)
and proceeded towards La Rochelle, it is supposed to embark
for England. This has led them again to wish to investigate
her transactions with the queen, as they fear that the duchess
is more bent than ever on upsetting the alliance between England
and this crown ; in other respects her flight is of little moment.
The Swedish ambassador says that although that crown
might send plenipotentiaries to Cologne at the instance of
mediators, yet they abstain for three reasons, one of which is
that the English have invited them to send deputies to Hamburg
or the Hague to arrange matters for the peace and have them all
ready before going to that congress.
Paris, the 15th September, 1637.
293. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident presses for a reply to his proposals, but
the States remain undecided. The French secretary suggests
sending Cracou (fn. 6) to Hamburg. They feel sure that England is
both unwilling and unable to make war, because they cannot
trust France. They know the state of England's purse and the
differences which she has with France and these Provinces.
The Hague, the 17th September, 1637.
294. To the King of Great Britain.
Notification of the appointment of Giovanni Giustinian as
ambassador, to succeed Anzolo Correr, who is appointed to the
embassy in France, with request to give him credence.
Ayes, 92. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
295. To the Queen of Great Britain.
Ayes, 92. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
296. To the Secretary Zonca in England.
Notification of the coming of Giovanni Giustinian as ambassador,
with instructions to hand over to him all public papers and the
cipher, and to give him all needful information. He is then to
follow the Ambassador Correr to France.
Ayes, 92. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
297. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
So soon as the king heard of the queen's illness he came to her
without loss of time. Finding her at Oatlands in excellent
health, although greatly distressed on her mother's account, he
left her to go on with his hunting, after staying two days. During
that time I went to Court to offer congratulations on the queen's
recovery, and to return thanks for the confidential communication
of the French alliance. Among other things the king said that
he placed the republic first among the powers with whom he was
on friendly relations and therefore thought it right to communicate
his most important interests among which he considered those
of his nephew the chief. He trusted his negotiations with
France would produce the desired result, and the application
of the Venetian republic and of the King of Great Britain would
suffice in the end to do away with the storms which at present
agitate Christendom and bring it peace. But violent evils
required violent remedies, and there will be nothing astonishing
if she passes through them to become whole.
I made a suitable reply commending his Majesty's prudence
and watchfulness. The republic would do all in its power to
secure repose for Christendom. At this his Majesty poured out
abundant protestations of his friendship for your Excellencies
and your sincere desire for the public peace. In my response
I endeavoured by suavity to induce him to say something
particular about the alliance with France, and in this way
I have obtained confirmation of what I have written before
that the alliance will be called auxiliary at first, and become
offensive and defensive later, when the intimations have been
made to the emperor. For the first the king here will only
contribute the fifteen ships, and for the other his entire fleet.
As these agree precisely with what I discovered, I feel sure
that the others must be equally true about granting levies and
about France not making terms with Austria without their
approval here ; but only time can show if they take effect.
When I was about to take leave the king approached and
asked in a very low voice what I heard about negotiations for
truces or armistices which the papal nuncios had gone to Paris
and Vienna to propose. He understood that the French not
only listened to them but had practically pledged themselves to
conclude them if the King of Hungary, so they still call the
emperor here, had not upset it all by wishing to exclude the
Protestant princes of the empire. This method of procedure
seemed to him very rude, and very unlike his own candour.
However he kept his eyes wide enough open to prevent him
suffering for his sincerity. I told him I had heard some talk on
the subject, but I did not believe that the Most Christian, who had
always shown so much devotion to the public interests and
the Palatine's, would show any lack of sincerity in this important
particular. I then changed the subject, as having discovered his
real sentiments I thought it better not to go on.
The king said he had heard something about my going away
soon ; he was sorry for it, but he supposed it was not immediate.
I told him it depended on the state instructions, otherwise I
should wish to remain a long while to serve him. After similar
courtesies and honours, which made me blush, I thanked him
and took my leave.
From the substance and manner of the king's talk I gathered
that he thinks little and hopes less of the alliance with France ;
that the fear of being deceived, which is deeply impressed on his
heart, daily renders him more tepid in pressing it forward, and he
rather turns the other way in seeking openings for reviving
negotiations with the Austrians. I guess from other quarters
that if he could find a way which saved his face, to enter upon
a conference with them he would trouble but little if the negotiations
for an armistice went forward, but not those for a general
peace, as they consider the quiet of their neighbours, especially
of the Spaniards and Dutch in the Netherlands, is harmful to
the interests of these realms, just as their own secure repose
consists in the troubles of these neighbours and is of inestimable
value to them.
Richmond, the 18th September, 1637.
298. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The affair of the Polish ambassador has been the chief subject
of negotiation at Court these last days. After the king's refusal, (fn. 7)
he tried to get an introduction through all the ministers, one
may say. To the Earl of Arundel he wrote letters, presented
pictures and tried every other way in the hope that he would
take up his interests, but all in vain, his Majesty being absolutely
determined not to see him, and Arundel and the ministers have
not ventured to speak ; so he will have to put up with this
mortification and go away with nothing done. Meanwhile he
has published the chief reason why he came, namely to inform
his Majesty of the accidents which legitimately upset the marriage
with the Palatine princess, to express the constant friendship
of that crown, especially towards the Palatine House and a
desire to assist it always. These announcements have only
excited his Majesty's wrath and given him an opportunity to
make known his grievance, by publicly showing the letters of
the King of Poland, in which he repeatedly asks for his consent to
marry his niece, with assurances that besides his own resolute
intention he had the universal approbation of the states of the
realm. To aggravate this, after he had consented, and when he
was expecting the results to follow, they sent instead an
ambassador to protest that the princess must become a Catholic
before starting for Poland and go publicly to mass, a way of
negotiating that he had never heard of between great kings.
It was thoroughly impressed on his memory so that he might
respond with equal measure when the time came. These are
the exact views expressed by his Majesty since when he has hated
to hear a word said on the subject, and so it has ended. The
court, the nobles and persons of every kind generally approve of
the king's decision. This is a new and striking proof of the deep
affection of the people here for their master's sister and her progeny.
New and serious accusations have even been raised against
the Agent Gordon in Poland, who has had a hand in these affairs.
Many tax him with being bribed by Cæsar, and having gone over
to his side, working against the interests of the Palatines in this
marriage and thwarting his Majesty's orders. He will have to
come in person to clear himself of these charges, and letters
recalling him to England have already been sent.
The disputes with Ognate are not yet settled. His money
is still sequestrated. He makes vigorous complaints to all the
ministers, but he has never cared to speak to the king, possibly
in order not to lose, through an unqualified refusal, his right to
prosecute his cause. But his position is unfortunate anyway,
as they have no idea of restoring what was taken from him but
rather intend to compel him to pay the remainder.
The Resident Nicolaldi is also very offended. In the end he
openly refused his present and left the Court. The rank he
claimed has caused the trouble and it may have been the reason
why he never thought fit to come and see me.
Northumberland has finished his coasting and is now in the
Downs awaiting further commands from the king and apparently
impatient at being kept idle. It is thought that he will receive
orders to bring the ships into the river, as it is beginning to be
cold, the winds are high and worse than usual this year, and it
seems necessary to disarm them. After all the Dutch will
have enjoyed their fishing in peace. The pressure of the
Spaniards did not suffice to make them resolve to do anything
against them, as they thought more of the interests of the
Palatine, under present circumstances, than of anything else.
The ministers have intimated, however, that the Dutch must
not take the present connivance as a precedent, as courtesy does
not make laws, and it must not prejudice their just rights in any
With the news that arrived last week of his Holiness's recovery
there comes a report of the promotion of new cardinals. Among
these should be George Coneo, a Scot, who acts as the pope's
agent here. The Court is full of this rumour and it quickly
reached the king's ears. Many observed with interest that he
seemed pleased. It is thought that the pope has caused this
report to reach here with design, in order to see how the king would
take the nomination of a subject as Cardinal, considering it
important for religion to create him, but not enough if it means
offending the king, and consequently his subjects. Now it is
certain that his Majesty will not be offended, every one concludes
that the pope will renew the honour in this nation, in order to
sweeten past bitterness by public affection, and also, if there is
a person of authority at Rome experienced in the humours of
this country, he may serve as a base for upholding the relations
which have been begun, for which purpose Coneo is considered
most suitable. Such are the bases upon which the Catholics
here found their chief hopes of liberty. On the other hand the
Protestants are extremely bitter about it, and already they fear
that the new regulations made by the Archbishop of Canterbury
in the church are means whereby it is intended to lead them
insensibly to Catholicism.
I have received the state's despatches of the 14th ult. directing
me to answer the Palatine's agent in general terms. It will be
observed that I have already acted as instructed.
I have to thank your Excellencies for permission to conclude
my service in England. Accordingly so soon as the king returns
to this neighbourhood, which should be in two or three weeks at
most, I will seek an opportunity for taking leave and for presenting
Zonca, with whom I will leave all that is necessary for serving
the state, and the money, as commanded.
Richmond, the 18th September, 1637.
299. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Various couriers were sent to the ports of Britanny to prevent
the Duchess of Chevreuse from leaving the realm, but she travelled
fast and before they came up she took a small boat and proceeded
to the island of Zerze, belonging to the king of England, to whom
it is felt certain she will go, in order to do her best to upset the
union between the two crowns. She decided to flee because she
guessed that the King's Council had decided to shut her up in a
castle of Guienne because of her intrigues against his Majesty's
Paris, the 22nd September, 1637.
300. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
When the Polish Ambassador found that all his attempts to
be received at Court were vain, he changed his mildness into
rigour and his instances into threats. He protested through his
secretary that the King of Poland would show himself very sensible
of this affront, and would have cause to obtain redress. There
were 40,000 Scots scattered about Poland, and it would not be
a bad thing to expel them. He did not think it would be unjust,
since they thought it expedient here that the correspondence
between the two crowns should be interrupted, treating the
ambassador of a friendly king worse than is customary with those
of enemies. But these ideas make no impression on the ministers
here, who treat them with contempt. They say if the Scots
are expelled from Poland they will take refuge in Sweden, and
perhaps the Poles may not come off best. That it has become
quite clear that the King of Poland never intended to marry the
Palatine princess, but only to obtain from this crown by artful
negotiation assistance in men and ships against Sweden. This
stroke failed, but it has shown how far his falseness was from the
sincerity with which they always dealt with him here. Thus
they exchange biting accusations, increasing the bitter feeling,
so that there seems little chance that the matter can be
accommodated, or that these two princes can soon be reconciled
Religious affairs in Scotland are still troubled, the people being
more incensed than ever against the new institutions. The
king, fearing some fresh disorder from this, seems to incline
to milder ways to pacify them. But the Archbishop of Canterbury,
on whose advice alone his Majesty decides in these matters,
pertinaciously upholds his regulations and will not listen to
anything different ; so that with the Scots urging the settlement
of the matter, if the archbishop has his way, a general rising may
be feared, with the danger of its spreading to this kingdom, where
the people, no less than the Scots seem greedy for an opportunity
to extricate themselves from the yoke to which they are being
subjected insensibly, little by little. A report has got abroad
that the pope's resident has had a hand in this, and that he has
encouraged the efforts of the archbishop, hoping either that the people
will yield to his ordinances, which approach nearly those of the
Roman Church, or by opposing them they will bring about a civil
war between the Protestants, with considerable advantage to the
Catholic party, to whom the archbishop would have to approach
more and more nearly in order to suppress the other. Such are the
suspicions that the Puritans have about him, not without reason.
The king, on the other hand, is no less suspicious of what he may be
plotting with the Catholics and the Jesuits, and although he hides
his fears from the queen, and the Court does the same, to please her,
I know on very good authority that they observe the actions of this
minister very carefully, and more since a certain foreign friar has
reached him with letters the source of which they do not know,
although many believe that they come from Cardinal Richelieu or
the Ambassador Ognate, the majority believing that he also has a part
in the concert, and indeed the manner in which he behaves and
speaks gives great colour to this, as I have observed in his talk with
me that he has frequently shown not a little passion in this.
Ognate himself assured me the day before yesterday, and he
goes about stating the same thing publicly, that he has the most
authentic information from his Court that they will not listen in
Spain to the negotiations for an armistice proposed there by the
nuncio, because they consider it too disadvantageous for themselves
under existing circumstances. The ministers here have
noted these opinions and it has given them food for much thought.
The alliance with France is now only mentioned under the
breath, so the likelihood of its being established is very far off.
The recent instances of the earl of Leicester for the signing of the
articles were more to satisfy the world than for anything more solid.
Fielding's last letters have filled his Majesty and the ministers
with the greatest suspicions. He states that there is an intrigue
on foot to take the congress for a general peace to Rome. (fn. 8) The
more stress is laid upon this because it is borne out over the
truce negotiations that the Spanish nuncio asked that ministers
should be sent to Rome with suitable powers from which they
argue that the pope intended to get all present affairs under his
roof. This is the more important because a universal peace is
generally detested on account of the consequences, and if it were
established at Rome they believe that it could not fail to be full
of things prejudicial both to the Palatine and to England.
A person of standing asked me if I had any inkling of what your
Excellencies thought about it. I replied that I was quite in the
dark, but I did not think that a conference could be arranged
at Rome because so many Protestant princes were concerned.
I saw that this opinion pleased him.
The Swedish levies continue with rapidity and will be much
more numerous than were granted there being no one to see
that the captains do not levy more than their patents mention.
This connivance greatly displeases the Spaniards, but not so
much as the transport does the French, which they continue
without interruption, of money from Spain to Flanders upon
English ships. Only last week a royal galleon escorted a
considerable sum to Dunkirk.
The news of the death of Prince Tomaso, reported as certain
by his Majesty's resident at Brussels, proves a mistake, it is only
true that his very serious illness is dangerous, from which the
resident says he has not entirely recovered. The resident
continues to report the intention of the queen mother to come to
this Court, in spite of his offices to prevent her. Here they
remain determined not to have her, but if she comes suddenly,
as is believed, they cannot refuse to receive her ; though it will
certainly cause the king unspeakable annoyance, and for that
reason she may not be much respected. Her servants, who are
here in great numbers already, announce her coming as certain,
and declare that it has already been arranged about in France.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 20th
ult. with instructions about taking leave. The function cannot
take place for another three weeks as the Court is away.
Richmond, the 25th September, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in Italics deciphered.]
301. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and
I have previously told you of the alliance between my king and
the Most Christian. Its object was to succour the oppressed
princes of Germany and the Palatine in particular. The two
kings have now arranged by a new treaty to invite the King of
Denmark, the crown of Sweden, the Dutch, and the Protestant
princes of Germany to meet at a convenient place to arrange what
is required for the common service and the public tranquillity,
to decide upon arrangements according to circumstances and to
make an offensive and defensive league. The two kings will
communicate what is decided to the King of Hungary, and if it
is not received, what is decided at the congress will be carried out
by the allies. His Majesty orders me to communicate what is
happening to your Serenity, at a time when things are much
disturbed in these parts by the events of the Valtelline, and those
of Sabioneta Mirandola and Mantua, by the Duke's death. (fn. 9)
My king will be glad to hear the prudent opinions of your Serenity
and to do anything which may redound to the service of Italy
and of the republic in particular. He orders me to say this. (fn. 10)
The doge expressed his thanks. The republic would cooperate
with all zeal sure of his Majesty's affection for the welfare of this
province. The Signory would deliberate upon his exposition
and let him know. The ambassador expressed his thanks and
said he would report everything to his king. He added I must
also thank your Serenity for despatching the case of the merchant,
which shows your kind desire to favour me. The doge said, Your
lordship is greatly loved for your merits, and we are glad to please
you. The ambassador promised only to make just requests and
he would always remember the favours shown to him. He then
took leave and went out.