302. To the Ambassador in England.
The enclosed papers will show the circumstances of an accident
in the Piazza caused by two of the ambassador's servants. (fn. 1) The
arrest was made in order to save them from the fury of the mob
as much as because of the act itself. So far no request for pardon
has been made. This is for information to be used in the public
Ayes, 71. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
|303. That a secretary of this Council be sent to read the
following to the English Ambassador :
The incident that occurred in the piazza of San Marco on the
last days of last month, through the wounds inflicted on a citizen
by one of your lordship's household, although accidental, caused
great disturbance and confusion in a place where great respect is
usually observed and is due. Two persons were arrested by the
officials, in the proper discharge of their duty and we are glad of
it, as it proved fortunate for the delinquents, to temper the rage
of the populace and prevent worse accidents. Tempering justice
by our desire to show respect for his Majesty and esteem for his
minister, we have decided to order their release, being sure of
your displeasure at the event and of your intention that those of
your household shall not commit offences in the future which
deserve punishment, or that those who have received pardon
shall again take refuge under your mantle.
That the two prisoners, servants of the English ambassador,
be set at liberty.
Ayes, 40. Noes, 3. Neutral, 6.
That the present question be postponed :
Ayes : 51.
As that ballot only has two votes more, it is not announced
304. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate. (fn. 2)
The opinion of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the matter
of the Scottish disturbances has finally prevailed, against his own
first intentions, the king having ordered that all the ceremonies
introduced into the church there shall be continued, which means
that the archbishop's precepts and reforms shall be obeyed entire.
The decree has passed the Council and they have ordered its
publication in Scotland. It only remains to await the issue, which
will be interesting, as it seems impossible that the Scots will
sit down under such a rigorous ordinance when they opposed
the last with such loud clamour and such violent action. All
speak about it here just as they feel, whether it be fear or respect,
in no wise concealing their prejudices in a matter of such
importance. The majority seem to think that if the Scots do
not at once break out into serious revolt, it will be because they
are planning something more deliberate, and that the longer the
fire remains hidden the more vigorously it will burn. The matter
certainly involves serious difficulties and if it ends well the king
will have won a great point as the reins will remain free in his
hands to guide the consciences of his subjects in the future as he
pleases. If this happens the pope will find the way made more
smooth for the establishment of the confidential relations with
this crown which he seeks, and consequently the practice of the
Roman faith will be much freer and safer for all, unless by snatching
too violently at results they make matters worse instead
of better. The pope's minister here, with his too fervent zeal,
is continually rousing suspicions which render his actions as
conspicious as they are jealous. His frequent consultations
with the two foreign religious, one French and the other Scotch,
both sent, they say by Cardinal Richelieu, have excited much
remark. If they are about religious matters they are very
conspicuous, and if not, even more so, as persons of that
description cannot fail to be suspect here, where they are naturally
The queen mother has sent M. de Monsigot, her secretary here,
they say to make arrangements for her coming to this kingdom.
Last week he saw the queen, with whom he had very long interviews
in order to make the idea acceptable ; but on going on to
the Court afterwards and having audience of the king he spoke to
him secretly upon quite a different matter. I made efforts
to discover the substance of this and have found out on very
sound authority that it was about an enterprise against France,
to be arranged between that queen, the Cardinal Infant, the Duke of
Orleans and the Count of Soissons, whose dispositions he asserted
he was in full possession of. He asked his Majesty to assist in
this with his naval forces, as a partner, or as chief if he wishes.
The Spaniards would attack by land and the English by sea, and with
the help of the Princes of the Blood in the interior they reckon on
winning considerable successes. They propose that the King
of Great Britain shall have Britanny, Calais, Havre de Grace and
other places formerly possessed by this crown across the water.
After the king had heard the statements of this person three times
patiently, he told him that he must put his projects in writing, so
that they may be properly considered, and to this after some hestitation,
he consented. My informant told me that the king listened to this
out of mere curiosity, considering it chimerical ; he did not believe
that the queen mother any longer had an understanding with those
princes, but it had been made up by this Monsigot and two
individuals, Cogneus and Fabroni, turbulent and desperate men
who influence her wishes. The ministers accordingly pay no
attention whatever to this, but all agree that as soon as he has stated his
chimaeras they will send him about his business without an answer ;
and this is probably what will happen. However, I will see what
takes place and send much information as seems opportune. (fn. 3)
This Monsigot has brought assurances that the Cardinal Infant
has latterly shown every honour and respect to the queen mother,
assuring her that he had nothing to do with what happened
recently, but everyone forms his own opinion about this. (fn. 4)
A report has spread that the Duchess of Chevreuse has fled
from France and taken refuge at this Court, to escape what she
fears may befall her. She has not yet appeared, but if she
comes she will be well treated. The queen in particular, from
what she said to me, bears her a special affection, as she attended
her when she came from France, and the king also, who got to
know her at that time, esteems her very highly.
The Earl of Northumberland has returned to Court, having left
the fleet under the command of the Vice Admiral, (fn. 5) and although
the disarming is not yet settled it is certain that he will not go
back to sea this year. His Majesty complains that now the Dutch
have got their way about the fisheries they seem reluctant to
send their deputies to Hamburg, raising objections which only
serve to show how little inclination they have to interest themselves
in what they previously proposed themselves so eagerly.
The quarrels which are reported from Italy to have broken out
again between the Duke of Savoy and the Duke of Crichi are
considered here an artifice. One of the ministers most in credit
here assured me that in their opinion here it was a trick to cloak
their idleness, which is in reality due to a definite armistice
arranged secretly in that province for some days, which, in the
course of time will be extended so as to become general, and end
finally in a truce for a long period. Since they received a hint
here that this might be settled in Rome they have become much
more attentive and jealous.
The Polish ambassador has asked and obtained a passport from
the king for his journey. He will sail to Holland on a Danish
ship with the first wind and proceed thence by Dutch ships to
Danzig. They have not been able to discover here whether he
was charged with any business by the Dutch. The Spanish
ambassador means to call on him and has tried hard to persuade
me to do the same. I made an ambiguous reply, leaving me free
to do what I think best when I hear how the Court takes his
visit, after he has made it ; as it is already whispered to me
that the king will be offended. In that case I think it better to
take no notice of the ambassador's coming, as he is first in one
place and then in another and practically in hiding, than perform
an action at which his Majesty might take direct umbrage.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 29th
August and the 4th September.
Richmond, the 2nd October, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
305. That the proposed offices with the English ambassador
about the wounding affair in the Piazza be postponed until the
next meeting of this Council.
306. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Duchess of Chevreuse has fled from France disguised as
a man. She reached the kingdom of Aragon in a single post and
sent letters thence to the king, queen and Count Duke, who forthwith
sent some one to fetch her to the Court.
The ministers here seem to wish that the States of Holland
would undertake to contribute their fighting strength to the
forces of France and England in the cause of the Palatine, as they
believe that this would draw the emperor from the neutrality
which he observes towards those Provinces. On the other hand
I hear that the English are treating with the Most Christian for
the restitution of Lorraine in exchange for the Palatinate.
Madrid, the 3rd October, 1637.
307. I, Antonio Antelmi went to read to the English
ambassador the deliberation of the Senate. He said to me in
reply, I am always bound to be expressing my gratitude.
Undoubtedly I much regret that the officials of justice have laid
hands on those of my household, but I regret still more that my
servants should give occasion for it, as I wish to live within the
limits of propriety and reserve. I know that every respect ought
to be shown to the sacred spot near the palace where all the
nobility congregates, but men cannot avoid accidents, especially
the lower orders, who do not enjoy the advantage of foresight.
This favour increases my desire that my people shall occasion no
further trouble. The ambassador admitted the risk run by
his footmen and repeated his thanks. I went away and when I
reached the Palace I sent the two servants to his Excellency's
house in a gondola, accompanied by an esquire of his Serenity. (fn. 6)
308. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassadors have had another interview with
M. di Bullion and it seems they have decided that the congress
shall be held at Hamburg, whither England will send a person of
Paris, the 6th October, 1637.
309. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your despatches of the 18th ult. The delays
over the congress for peace render its results doubtful. Hence
the union between France and England is the more necessary.
It is accordingly desirable to consider deeds rather than words
in the reply given by the Senate to the ambassador when you use
it to renew offices with the king to conciliate his confidence.
The English ambassador subsequently presented a memorial
about the accident in the Piazza and we readily granted the
release of his servants and had the enclosed office read to him.
That 300 ducats be paid to the agents of the Ambassador Correr
for couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
310. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be
summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read
to him :
In the present disturbed state of Christendom his Majesty's
efforts to relieve it are worthy of all praise. The republic has
heard with satisfaction of the league concluded with the Most
Christian and hopes that subsequent events will be propitious.
We warmly thank his Majesty for your lordship's offices and we
are sure that the king will operate for the welfare of this province,
in which this republic is so deeply interested and for whose
prosperity and liberty she incurs such heavy expenditure. We
are directing our ambassador in England to perform similar
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
311. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Last Saturday the Secretary Monsigot presented to his Majesty
in writing the substance of his charge, begging him for a speedy
reply. His Majesty received it with a smiling face, read it with
great care and told him he would consider it in due course. He
then kept it to himself without communicating with any of the
ministers, and let the whole week pass without speaking about
it, to the distress of the secretary and leaving the Court in
interested suspense about his Majesty's intentions. Some
conclude that this secrecy clearly shows that he thinks something
of it ; others that his silence proceeds from carelessness about it,
which may well be nearer the truth, as keeping silence is not the
way to conclude but to break off negotiations. It is impossible
to find out what the paper really contains before the king speaks
to others, though it is supposed to deal with the proposals against
France already reported.
Meanwhile Monsigot is looking out for a residence in the city,
and as fresh servants of the queen mother arrive every day in
Court, they are very jealously observed, as it is feared that they
are the precursors of her own sudden arrival. They are
exceedingly apprehensive about this although Gerbier always
declares that it will not happen without permission, owing to
the troublesome consequences and the expense, as they do not
count on the Most Christian's promise to contribute her revenues,
once she has arrived safe in port and will not cause him further
anxiety, as they feel sure that he will gladly leave to others the
trouble of supporting her ; and this will always be the insuperable
obstacle to the adjustment of the matter. There is some
indication that the Duchess of Chevreuse may have crossed to
England. In their eagerness for certain news their Majesties
have sent a gentleman to Portsmouth on purpose to find out, a
further sign that she will be greatly honoured if she comes
The Prince Palatine reports that he is with his mother, having
left the camp under Breda on purpose to visit her. He says
little about his interests and here they seem to care about them
less. The hesitation of the Most Christian to sign the alliance
and the difficulties raised by the Dutch about sending deputies
to ratify, pass without remark, the complaints raised by the
ministers here against the Dutch in this matter being merely to
save their face. That and the wish to show constancy in their
resolution for a conclusion are the reasons why they have sent
further orders to the agents in Holland and Hamburg, so that an
English minister may be ready to assist if the conference is held
in either place.
The Court has heard with great satisfaction the confirmation
of the news that some of his Majesty's ships in concert with the
King of Morocco have captured the port and fortress of Salla
with other positions held by the pirates on the Ocean as a magazine
for their booty. The commander writes that they have set at
liberty more than 800 slaves. (fn. 7) He has made a compact with the
King of Morocco for liberty of trade for the English in all those
ports, without any charge, in the future ; a matter from which,
now the Strait will be much safer, they hope for considerable
reputation and advantage here. The rest of the royal fleet is
staying in the Downs and will enter the river one day soon.
The king came to Hampton Court on Friday in last week, where
he ended his progress. On the following day he went some miles
below Greenwich, with the queen and all the Court, and stayed
there three days to take part in the solemn function of launching
and naming a very fine galleon, which has been building for some
time by the most renowned craftsmen of the realm. They say
it is the largest and finest construction ever seen in England. It
will be of 1,800 tons burthen at least, will carry 86 large pieces
of ordnance and when complete will cost the king more than
150000l. sterling. (fn. 8)
The severity of the plague in London and the surrounding
villages has almost entirely ceased, and they hope that the cold
will clear away the remainder. Confiding in this the Court will
transfer itself to the city for all the rest of the winter at the
beginning of next month. Meanwhile I have begun to arrange
with the Master of the Ceremonies for the audience for my leave
taking, for which I am pressing, and I hope it will take place the
day after tomorrow.
The ducal missives of the 11th September reached me this week.
Richmond, the 9th October, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
312. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish ambassador has at last paid a ceremonious call
on the Polish with his coaches, on an appointed day when he
happened to be in London, so that the ceremony might be the
more conspicuous. The king arrived that same day at Hampton
Court, and when he heard of it he seemed to resent it deeply
expressing forcibly his displeasure at the act and the manner of
it, and complaining that others should publicly honour to his
face those whom he had publicly ignored in their capacity. The
ambassador excused himself saying that the Pole could not divest
himself of his character as ambassador and as such he was obliged
in the interests of his master to render him every sort of honour.
This did not satisfy his Majesty, who pretends that the ambassador
embraced the opportunity of offending him on purpose, as it
is neither obligatory nor customary to visit ambassadors before
they are received and honoured by the state as such.
The Secretary Coke expressed his Majesty's sentiments strongly
to me and assured me that I had greatly obliged him by abstaining
from this superfluous function. I told him that I always measured
my actions by his Majesty's satisfaction, and on this occasion
I had acted to please him. He assured me that the king would
take my sincerity in excellent part, as that was all that was
necessary to satisfy him ; but if I wished he would speak to his
Majesty so that he might know what was required of ministers
of the republic upon this occasion. I left it to him to do what he
thought best, being resolved not to give offence and wishing
them to know it. This morning he came by his Majesty's
particular command to express his high appreciation of my
respect for his wishes, and saying that he would express his
thanks the first time he had occasion to see me. Accordingly
I am pledged to let the compliments with this ambassador drop.
There is nothing to oblige me to them, as he has no fixed abode
and the time of his stay here is uncertain, depending on the wind.
So I think I have done right in respecting his Majesty's wishes,
expressed by one of his leading ministers ; if not, I beg you to
forgive me, as well as all my other failings.
Richmond, the 9th October, 1637.
313. The English Ambassador was summoned to the Collegio
and the decision of the Council of Eight of this date was read
to him, he said :
I will report to his Majesty what your Serenity has set forth.
The king will especially welcome your prudent opinions. Without
a doubt he will work for the service of Christendom in all occasions
and for the greater advantage of this republic.
In fulfilment of my duty I decided to send to the Princess of
Mantua to perform offices in his Majesty's name upon the duke's
death. (fn. 9) In the midst of her tears she seemed to find her chief
consolation in confidential relations, and she greatly desired
your Serenity's paternal protection. My king would rejoice to
see the republic act thus for the advantage of Italy and the profit
of her own dominions. I may add that Count Martinengo
showed the utmost courtesy to my secretary. This increases
my obligations. I greatly regretted the incident about my
servants in the Piazza of S. Marco. I know the respect due to
the place and I rejoice to show it to all the nobility. The officers,
in doing their duty, obviated the greatest dangers, taking them
in order to punish them, and your Serenity has shown your
kindness in their release, for which I thank you.
The doge said they were always glad to show their esteem for
his lordship. The incident was really perilous ; they were sure
he regretted it, and would prevent a recurrence. They had
performed offices with the princess of Mantua becoming their
friendship with that house, as well as with the new duke. Count
Martinengo had acted as the republic would have wished. The
Senate's reply covered everything else.
The ambassador replied, The case of Mantua demands your
Serenity's consideration, and the protection of that prince and
the preservation of the duchy, in the interests of Italy and of this
republic in particular. The doge said their friendship for the
house of Mantua was patent and they would continue the most
sincere demonstrations. The ambassador commended this,
bowed and departed. After he had finished writing the reply
he said that he had been greatly favoured therein. His secretary
had brought word from Mantua of the death of the bishop. It
happened at a bad time because he was a good servant of the house
and would have been useful for the duke's education. There
was not time to know it any other way, as his secretary had come
post. He had not told his Serenity, but he believed the news
to be true, (fn. 10) and he asked me to report it to the Savii.
Valerio Antelmi, Secretary.
314. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
I paid my respects to the Cardinal at Sciaron the day before
yesterday. I tactfully enquired if the treaty with England was
progressing. It pleases the English, he replied, to see all the
Christian powers fighting and they would like to commit them
to supporting the Palatines while they themselves do nothing.
We are always thinking of making the negotiations reasonable,
and not in words. The Spaniards and English have their
finesses, but if we do not think a thing is right we let our allies
know. We have shown them several times by our ambassadors
that if they wish to do anything they must enter the dance and
take a hand. They will not hear of this. We all agreed, the
Swedes and Dutch also, to send to Hamburg, and now it seems
they propose the Hague. It is true that it is forbidden to do
anything against the empire at the former city, but so far no one
has been expelled. Denmark, the Landgrave of Hesse and
possibly Luneburg would go there, at Denmark's invitation ;
and when the citizens saw that something great was being done
for Germany, they would be delighted. We wish we were mistaken
about the English doing anything good. The Earl of
Leicester, who is here, has the most excellent intentions, but there
are so many at that Court who take pleasure in nothing but
making delay and creating obstacles, so that we cannot say what
we may promise ourselves. He said a great deal also about
Germany and Italy.
Paris, the 13th October, 1637.
315. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has made known his master's dissatisfaction
with the young Count of Ognat, saying that his
offices are not calculated to bring matters to a happy conclusion.
He stated afterwards that he hoped the negotiations would be
brought to this Court with expectation of success. Here they
persist in their determination to send to England another
individual, and it is thought that this will be Don Christofforo
di Benavides, who was formerly ambassador, to your Serenity.
Madrid, the 10th October, 1637.