334. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Eight hundred Scots have arrived at Dieppe, levied by
permission of the King of England in that kingdom and destined
for the Duke of Veimar.
Paris, the 3rd November, 1637.
335. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and
spoke as follows :
At my last audience I was well content, observing the aversion
of everyone from anything that might disturb my peace or
control of my household. The secretary brought me a reply to
this effect, so I have every reason to call myself satisfied, without
considering what was done by others. But the behaviour of
the boats was really inexcusable. That is why I asked for
punishment. I do not see how I could come to any other
conclusion, as the Council of Ten have outlawed the man, showing
the utmost severity, without any consideration for the fact that
it was a pure accident. Although I have dismissed the man,
yet he is punished for an offience committed while he was one of
my servants. When the Secretary Vincenti came to me I told
him clearly that it was a pure accident. I should have reason to
punish him as an example and even dismiss him. In a case
where I was so ready to give satisfaction and showed so much
good will, there was no occasion for force or stimulus.
When I left England I had very full authority from his Majesty
to punish and do justice to the members of my household who
committed any fault. I might well have exercised it over this
last event, but I did not choose to. I dismissed the man, with
orders to go to England to report himself and submit to his
Majesty's mercy. The king will have reason to complain of
me for having contravened my powers in so important an instance,
and I should never have done so if I had thought that, in a case
of pure accident, such extreme measures would have been taken.
The Council of Ten has taken more account of a boatman slain
without any intention of hurting him than of the reputation of
my house and my king, even though I protested to the Secretary
Vincenti that the power to punish my servants belonged to me.
The man who accidentally killed King Henry II of France was
not punished with so much severity. I should be sorry if any
bitterness was occasioned on this account. I should have
thought, after my remarks that your Serenity would have washed
your hands of the matter and referred it to the justice of his
Majesty, who is interested in giving every satisfaction to the
republic. You must not wonder if a different treatment is
observed in the future towards your Serenity's embassy in London.
My king does not change his methods or purposes, but he will be
forced to change by the different behaviour of others. In short,
I regret the precedent.
The doge replied, We are glad you are satisfied of the good
intentions of the republic, which will always be the best possible.
We have said before that the tumult was great on the occasion
in question, and the firing of shots, which is forbidden, creates
excitement. We attach importance to such matters, and justice
acts in order to prevent worse disorders. No one can complain
of the activity displayed, as there was no intention of injuring
your house but rather to respect it and increase its reputation.
The boats followed the Avogadore, who had to go to the spot to
make enquiry. The Council of Ten aims at quiet living in the
city. In short what occurred was in no way to prejudice you.
If such a thing happened in England, in a question of right
behaviour and quieting tumults and scandals, we should never
interfere with justice. Justice is done in the place where the
disorder occurs ; if it was done in England the remedy would
come too late. We are sure that his Majesty would extend to us
the same benevolence which he has always received from us.
The ambassador replied, My king seeks every opportunity of
gratifying your Serenity, and he will take it the worse that so
little regard is had for his reputation by comparison with a pure
accident, which did not derive from any evil intent. King James
always had officials of justice with the ambassadors for all
eventualities. The houses of ambassadors enjoy every immunity.
I had power to punish the man, but did not insist upon it, and
for this I am to have the mortification of seeing him punished by
others. It is true he has gone from my house, but he is punished
for a thing done when he was with me. Let your Serenity think
about it. I am satisfied upon one point, that there was no intention
in those acts to offend my house, but I cannot be pleased
about the other ; it concerns the interests of all ambassadors
everywhere, including those of your Serenity.
The doge added, We can only say that justice has acted more
severely because of the nature and consequences of the action
than the deed itself, which deserves punishment, as your lordship
has shown by dismissing the man. We have a regard for your
discretion and prudence and feel sure that you will accept what
has been done.
The ambassador replied, Enough, I feel it very bitterly, and I
do not know how it will be received in England. They are good
and the ambassadors are charged to punish the crimes of their
houses. In any case I will not omit the confidences of my office.
On the unlucky day of that incident I sent my secretary with
some advices, which I believe were received. I now hear that
the treaty between the Swedes and the King of Hungary is
practically broken off, as the cause of Brandenburgh has intervened
to take upon himself and his country the losses those arms inflict,
so the Swedes did not want to take it up, especially as their enemies
are the stronger, the army of Galasso having joined that of
Saxony, the two armies numbering 18,000 men, and that of the
Swedes exceeding 16,000. A man has reached Vienna from
France confirming the agreement of the Swedes with that king,
so things are going badly for that part of Germany. This is
important news worthy of consideration, and I report it as a sign
of confidence by royal command.
The doge replied welcoming the confidence. Some of the
things he reported they did not know and they would always gladly
receive his advices. The ambassador said he would always be
glad to do anything that would give pleasure to his Serenity
and then bowed and departed.
336. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Persuaded by the Prince of Orange and advised by his mother
the Prince Palatine writes to the king that he has decided to
take up the command of the dead landgrave's army. He asks
for help in men, money and advice, declaring that he will not
depart from his Majesty's commands one jot in this his first
important experience. The king and ministers are pleased at
the decision, because they wish that force to be maintained in
strength, and because the prince has done this without previously
consulting his Majesty, they think they are freed from the
obligation to supply considerable help, hoping that the Most
Christian and the Dutch will do so abundantly, as it is to their
interest that those troops should not be lost, and should be
commanded by a man of high lineage, with a following and
They have replied that his Majesty will always rejoice to hear
that his spirit corresponds to his high birth, may he prove a
good warrior, and according to that the king's affection will
increase towards him, without specifying anything in particular.
It is believed, however that some other safe assignment will
be added to the pension of 1000l. sterling a month which he
enjoys, his Majesty having intimated so much to some one, but
they have not yet come to any definite decision.
Meanwhile we hear that the army, of its own accord, has
sworn fealty to the son of the dead landgrave, although only nine
years of age, (fn. 1) and to Milander, who is confirmed as lieutenant
general, with absolute command. But many already pretend
to merit that position and try to obtain it by saying that the
Palatine should have some one in it who is his particular servant,
dependent on his house, or on this crown at least. The king,
however, thinks that no other arrangement should be made at
present, because he esteems Milander and knows that no change
can be made without risking the disbanding of the troops, and
everyone considers he is right.
Full powers have been sent to the Agent at Hamburg to
accept and promise the ratification of the alliances agreed upon
in France, if the other allies concur, leaving other powers free to
enter, as originally arranged. But they see clearly that few
are likely to do so, except the Swedes and the Dutch, as even
Denmark is uncertain. If the Swedes ask the Agent for definite
help he is to assure them of his Majesty's good will but not to
commit himself further. It is true that the Court here acclaims
the Swedish successes against Galasso and his Majesty has
rejoiced especially to hear of French reinforcements of 6,000
men for Duke Bernard and of the capture of Danvilliers by the
Marshal Chatillon. (fn. 2)
The Court is ready to go into deep mourning for the Duke of
Savoy, but has not done so because the Agent has not imparted
the news, declaring that it has not reached him. It is, however,
further confirmed by letters from France and Flanders stating
that Prince Tomaso, although only convalescent, rode off at
once to see the Cardinal Infant at Antwerp, with whom he had
a long conference. He was about to start for Milan, but was
obliged to wait for money from Spain. Gerbier writes to this
effect this week.
Scottish affairs are still in the greatest confusion. The people
have repeatedly declared orally and in writing that they will not
obey the king's ordinances in the matter of the ceremonies and
liturgies recently introduced. They offer to dispute the points
in controversy, and submit to the decision of a disinterested judgment.
If this is refused they protest that they would go to mass
at once rather than obey and conform to the present rites of
England. The Archbishop is much piqued, considering his
doctrine and authority attacked. He says he will risk everything
rather than yield a jot. On the other hand everyone cries out
against him, accusing him of an unquiet spirit and caprices prejudicial
to the state. He does not mind this and has obtained that
resolute orders shall be sent to the Scots to obey without question.
This has been done and they are waiting with interest to see what
effect they will produce. In the opinion of the wisest this must
be perilous, because they say that conscience in matters pertaining
to divine worship admits of no master but God himself. The
Spaniards rejoice at these disputes, hoping that there will be
much trouble and disturbance, and the Ambassador Ognate
supplies all the incitement he can. This arouses unspeakable
resentment in the king, who is more annoyed at his intentions
than the results, from which he sees that little mischief can arise.
The King of Morocco has sent an ambassador here, (fn. 3) since the
sending of the slaves, to return thanks for the help in recovering
Salle and to establish solid relations with this state. He brings
four very fine horses as a present to his Majesty, and half a dozen
exquisite falcons, a gift that pleases him more than anything
could, birds and horses for hunting being for him ministers for
his chief pleasures. They say preparations are being made to
receive this envoy with great honour, the merchants in particular
being most eager to surround him with stateliness and render him
every kind of courtesy.
The Polish ambassador still sighs for his reception, which is
promised him every day but never granted. The Earl of Arundel
works hard in the hope of obtaining consolation for him at last,
but although they make resolutions easily at this Court, they all
In the ducal missives of the 8th ult. I note the Senate's reply
to the English ambassador's communication about the alliance
with France, with instructions to speak to his Majesty in conformity.
I did this at my last audience of his Majesty and I will
do the same with the ministers. I hope to be able to start on
my journey at the end of next week.
London, the 6th November, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
337. That the English Ambassador be summoned to the
Collegio and that the following be read to him :
While we are well content with the satisfaction which your
lordship has expressed, since there was not the smallest intention
by the necessary demonstrations of justice in this last incident
to prejudice your honour and person, yet we could not hear without
astonishment the remark made in your last exposition, that
it would be necessary to admit in this city for cases that arose
other judges and tribunals than those of the independent justice
of our republic. The practice everywhere and with all princes
shows how novel this idea is, which has never been suggested
or practised by others. Upon this occasion the Council of Ten,
acting as a sovereign tribunal of justice, fulfilled its duties in an
entirely right and proper manner, and we are sure that his Majesty
will recognise this, for the zeal which the republic has always
shown for the welfare and honour of his crown. We have
complete confidence moreover that our ambassadors and
ministers everywhere will avoid all occasions of creating disturbances,
and it would never enter their heads to attempt
anything which might wound the jealous and delicate jurisdiction
of princes in any way.
Ayes, 103. Noes, 2. Neutral, 10.
338. To the Ambassador in England.
The office decided upon for the Ambassador Fielding has not
yet been read to him because he has fallen seriously ill, though he
is now somewhat better. (fn. 4) We note, at your leave taking, his
Majesty's concern about current affairs, and his charging you to
write about them. We cannot pass this in silence and the
Secretary Zonca will therefore take an early opportunity to
express our gratitude and appreciation for the confidence shown
and assure him that we shall always be ready to cooperate for
a universal peace and for the peace of Italy in particular.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
339. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Resident of Savoy has at last received word of the death
of his master. He has imparted the information to the king and
queen, presenting letters from the widowed duchess imploring
their help. The king expressed his apprehension of the very
serious nature of the event. He assured the resident of his readiness
to procure every satisfaction for his sister in law and every
good for her children. He ordered the deepest mourning at
Court, which was immediately assumed by everyone.
All sorts of opinions are expressed on the subject, the manner
and circumstances of the affair suggesting the most sinister
conjectures. However it may have happened there is no doubt
that the king is extremely sorry about it, and he utterly reprobates
the reports which the Spaniards are trying to pass current, to the
prejudice of the duke's posterity. He declared that as the cause
was one which the sword alone could decide ; so every upright
prince ought to draw the sword in its defence, and the king of
France should consider his generous championship of the cause
as being among the most sacred and glorious of his actions. (fn. 5)
(Certo e che comunque seguito che sia, il Re lo compatisce in extremo,
che disapprova totalmente gli divulgationi che van accreditando
i Spanuoli in pregiudicio della posterita, dechiaritosi esser causa
che come non admette altra giudicatura che quella della spada cosi
ogni Principe giusto esser obligato adoperarla in sua difesa ed il
Re di Francia dovera annoverar l'opere sue di maggior pieta e di
maggior gloria la cura generosa che se ne prende). These words,
uttered with fervour, though they may not be followed by deeds,
nevertheless express his Majesty's sentiments, as he has always
been affectionately disposed towards that house.
He has instructed a gentleman of his chamber, who may
leave at any moment, to convey his condolences to the duchess,
and the queen has sent another, but they have no commissions
besides the compliment, unless it is kept extraordinarily secret.
The king has decided to provide the Prince Palatine with money
by degrees in accordance with circumstances, not by a monthly
assignment, as was said. This is in order to avoid any formal
obligation which might involve him directly or indirectly in the
war of Germany, and to be able to withdraw entirely from all
expense whenever they wish. Many of the leading lords here
offer large contributions in support of the Palatine, but if they
accomplish as much as was done about the ships, he will not benefit
The Agent at Hamburg writes that the Swedish delegates
are on their way to the congress, but nothing has been heard of
the Danes or Dutch. This annoys the king and serves to
intensify greatly the ill feeling against the Dutch in particular.
Since they were the first to suggest the taking up of these
negotiations it seems extraordinary that they should now lag
among the last when matters are in good train to secure the final
settlement. If they do not abandon their present indifference
we already hear serious threats against their fisheries for the
coming year. The ministers here repent of the recent connivance
which the Dutch appear to have valued so little and without
gratitude. Meanwhile Bosuel is to supply fresh stimulus, to speak
high and resolutely and even to make protests, if necessary.
The new French ambassador, after the most manifest peril of
death in a furious gale for four days at sea, is expected at Court
in two or three days ; but they do not expect that he will bring
the articles of the alliance signed, as the English ambassadors in
France make no mention of the subject.
They have given a final refusal to the Polish ambassador, and
so he has taken a ship and will proceed by it to Holland. He
considers he has many occasions for offence, besides not being
The Countess of Newport has suddenly declared herself a
Catholic and taken part at mass publicly with the queen several
times. The king and her husband are bitterly displeased. The
pope's agent is accused of having persuaded her. The sharpest
things are said against him. Those who suffer at seeing him here
seize the opportunity to criticise all his other proceedings and
try to get him removed from the Court. By this stroke he has
certainly lost much of his Majesty's favour, and if the king were
not unwilling to offend the queen, he might possibly take some
resentful measure against him. The ministers here say, however,
that if he continues to make similar achievements his stay in
England will not last long. If it is to be brought to obedience
to the Roman pontiff let them dispute with bishops and convince
the divines, not try to profit by the simplicity of women, over
whose weak minds the last impressions are always the strongest.
The Senate's last letters of the 15th October mention the release
of the English ship at Fielding's request. I made this known
at Court, especially to the ambassador's relations, whom I also
told about his servants who were arrested. As he had not written
about either the news was most acceptable, especially to the
Countess of Denbigh, who said she could not speak highly enough
of your generosity towards her son.
I am ready to start on my journey and expect to do so before
the next despatch, as I only want some passports for France.
Yesterday his Majesty gave me the usual weight of silver gilt,
such as your Serenity's ministers have always received. I hope
your Excellencies will allow me to keep it. I shall consider it
a favour to advance my poor fortunes, to help me uphold your
service with decorum.
London, the 13th November, 1637.
340. To the Duke and Captains in Crete.
Order to publish the decision of the Senate enclosed for the
encouragement of the trade with Western ships and charge
to see that foreign ships do not suffer extortion from the officials
of the Sanita, and that the magistrates do not meddle any more
with the estimates and goods of these same ships, so that trade
may be free and flourishing.
That a copy of the above letter and deliberation be sent to
the Proveditore General in Crete to see that this decision is
carried into effect.
Ayes, 128. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
341. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of the decision taken for the purpose of
renewing the trade of England and Flemish ships with Crete.
It is hoped that the remission of the duties will prove a great
inducement. You will try to persuade merchants to make the
voyage, and to import and export goods with these new advantages.
We shall wait to hear what you do and shall note the results.
The like to the Ambassador at the Hague.
Ayes, 128. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
342. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in
Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
With regard to the dispute with the Palatine family, although
they see here that the steps taken by that prince are not likely
to cause them much anxiety, on account of their feebleness, and
although they do not think that England will pledge herself
deeply in a manner which is likely to give excessive advantages
to France, yet they also recognise that the adjustment of these
difficulties would be the real way to discourage the enemies of
the House of Austria and might possibly lead to a durable
adjustment. Accordingly in pursuit of this aim they give
credence to Teller and continue to treat with him. But that
individual, having been deluded so many times in the past
negotiations, no longer listens to their cajoleries. This may be
in order not to arouse the jealousy of the king, his master, from
whom he has received no letters for several months, or because
he knows well enough that there is no reason to expect favourable
Vienna, the 14th November, 1637.
343. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis of Mirabel has been charged to receive the Duchess
of Chevreuse to whom they have assigned the Duke of Alva's
Madrid, the 14th November, 1637.
344. To the Ambassador in England.
After causing the office about the incident of the man who
fired a pistol to be read to the Ambassador Fielding, and after
his reply to the secretary in which he seemed satisfied, he has
been to the Collegio to make the enclosed exposition. As his
pretensions seemed extravagant to us, we do not know if he is
moved by his fiery nature, his youth or his lack of experience,
or whether he is fomented by others, who hope to fish in troubled
The banishment of the culprit by the Council of Ten was just
and reasonable, because the firing of the pistol, the death of the
man, the popular commotion and their apprehension of disturbances
which are always arising from the ambassador's house,
and the likelihood of some tumult, call for prudent handling and
prompt measures. His statement that he expects to punish his
own, that he has authority to do so in this city by order of his
king, and the like, is not good hearing for a free and independent
prince and it cannot be made good. In England our representatives
have always behaved with every regard, but in any case
the republic would never claim anything but the satisfaction
due to the immunity of the embassy and the honour of the
ambassador. That is the practice everywhere, and such
pretensions have never been advanced by any one soever. There
have been many instances of exemplary justice against the servants
of ministers. Nowhere is the privilege of ambassadors more
fully respected than here, so that everyone ought to be satisfied,
especially where, as in this last case, repeated declarations
have been made that there is not the slightest idea of offending
his house in what has been done, in addition to what has recently
been done for his satisfaction. From all this you will have
abundant material for showing the king and ministers, if provoked,
that the state has acted rightly. When these things are rightly
understood we do not doubt but that they will discountenance
these last pretensions of the ambassador, just as they will approve
of the punishment of crimes of the worst character, especially
as the ambassador himself recognised the gravity of the case.
As a further sign of respect for the ambassador the culprit was
not named in the proclamation as his servant, as you will have
observed, although the ambassador contradicts himself and tries
to make matters worse by making out that the man was punished,
although dismissed, for something done by him while he was his
If you are still in England we shall be glad that the matter
is in your hands, but if you have gone, the Secretary Zonca will
represent our proper conduct in this matter, in order to prevent
any mischief from the members of the ambassador's family.
Ayes, 103. Noes, 2. Neutral, 10.
345. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After I had informed the Court of the favours granted to the
Ambassador Fielding in the release of his servants and in the
matter of the English sailor who infringed the sanitary regulations,
he has himself reported the second, without mentioning the first,
expatiating on the honours lavished upon him by your
Excellencies. Moved by these representations the king sent
the Secretary Vindebanch to me yesterday on purpose to say that
he had heard from the ambassador at Venice that the republic
had released an English captain who had been condemned to
five years' imprisonment, and to express his thanks for the
I made a suitable reply and explained the importance attached
to sanitary matters at Venice. I also alluded to the release of
the servants, who had mortally wounded without cause a poor
man in the very Piazza of San Marco, a place venerated and
respected by all. But the secretary said that his Majesty had
not yet received any information about this from Lord Fielding,
and so he was not directed to speak about it. I also took the
opportunity to assure him of your Serenity's desire to cherish the
best relations with his Majesty. We then talked of other things.
The Secretary spoke to me of Italy, France and Germany.
Of the first he said they were waiting here to see the effect of the
death of the Dukes of Savoy and Mantua. Of the second that
the king and his good servants rejoiced to hear of the successes
there, and of the last that they feared the Swedes would finally
succumb to their misfortunes. The king would regret this,
though it was difficult to prevent. In order to induce him to
speak more freely I remarked, as if from myself, that the armies
serving in Germany were foreigners and subsisted for the most
part by the favour of Fortune rather than on any solid basis of
strength, and therefore called for the assistance of powerful and
friendly princes and of those in particular who can supply it
without inconvenience. He took this up promptly, saying that
the king, my master, may be counted among these. He certainly
will not fail to do his share. He is liberal now, without any
obligation to be so, in granting to the Swedes abundant levies of
troops from his realms, and he will be so in other matters when
the occasion is more mature and appropriate. If the French
were as eager over this as the English are ready to go and meet
them, the world would not have occasion to stand waiting or the
rest of us to remain in suspense. By these and similar touches he
wished to convey to me that they are anxious and eager here for
the establishment of the alliance, and that its effectuation is
only delayed through the fault of the allies. These opinions
are common to all the ministers, but the particular emergencies
of the kingdom make one doubt whether their real sentiments
correspond with their words.
London, the 18th November, 1637.
346. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The excessive honours accorded to the Moroccan Ambassador,
to the general amazement, both at his entry and audience, have
induced me to observe carefully their aims, and I think it my duty
to send an exact report. Besides a numerous escort of aldermen
and merchants, on horseback, he was accompanied at both
functions by an earl, at the king's express command, (fn. 6) with all
the circumstances of coaches and other things used with the
extraordinary ambassadors of kings and with the ordinary
ambassadors of France and Spain, and not usual with others
except those of your Serenity.
I have observed a custom practised for many years to the
prejudice of your ordinary ambassadors, who are accompanied
at their entrance by a baron and to their audience by an earl only,
thus making a difference between them and those of France and
Spain, who are always accompanied by a earl to both. I think
this ought not to be allowed to continue. As you have enjoyed
for centuries at all other Courts a position equal to that of the
other kings, I certainly think that so great a difference in a
conspicuous ceremony is much noticed, a baron being two ranks
below an earl, with the viscount in between. That an ambassador
extraordinary of Morocco should have privileges above the
ordinary of your Serenity cannot fail to be prejudicial to your
prerogatives, and gives a hold to those who wish to be equal with
you. The Dutch at their entry have a welcome equal to that of
the Signory, and now at Beveren's leave-taking they have gained
the right to mount the steps of the dais, so they will clearly
have occasion in everything else to claim equality with your
Serenity's ministers, when hitherto they have been content to
be treated with a difference at this Court in the title and other
things. The present occasion, which has excited general talk and
induced the curious to make more minute calculations about the
degrees of honour shown to foreign ministers at such ceremonies,
seems to call for your Excellencies to assert your rights, as it is
not possible that they can pretend to treat your ambassadors
with less respect than those of a barbarous prince, with whom they
have not and can never have any great interest. I am sure it
would be easy because it is right, because his Majesty seems
disposed that way of his own accord, for when I first came he had
me received by Lord Grandison, a viscount when the others
were always received by a baron.
If I could have been sure of your approval I would have introduced
the subject before leaving, but I could not help expressing
my opinion to you so that between my departure and the arrival
of Giustinian you may give such orders to Zonca as you see fit.
Tomorrow, please God, I shall begin my journey, leaving the
Secretary Zonca to despatch these presents.
London, the 19th November, 1637.
347. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
When I was sealing my last letter with the intention of starting
my journey today, your letters of the 22nd reached me with the
account of the shot fired at San Moise by a servant of the
Ambassador Fielding, an event apparently aggravated by many
circumstances, which it seems from the ambassador's exposition
may afford material for fresh trouble. I have therefore thought
it my duty to stop to carry out my instructions, and find out his
Majesty's sentiments and the feeling at Court. I immediately
took steps to find out how the ambassador represents the event,
and I see that he makes it appear purely accidental. He complains
greatly of his house being surrounded on the land side by more
than fifty sbirri, and on the water side by more than one barque
armed with muskets and falconets, an unheard of thing, contrary
to the law of nations and the privileges inseparable from the
house of a public minister. He says he has remonstrated to your
Serenity and expects an answer from the Senate which will repair
the affront. He says the one who fired the pistol was a lackey,
and when taking it with another to be repaired and playing
with it, without knowing it was loaded, it went off and unhappily
wounded a person whom he did not know. He says he at once
deprived the man of his livery, had him severely beaten and
dismissed him from the house. The letter is still in the hands of
the Marquis of Hamilton and the Secretary Coke to whom he
directed them, and will not be communicated to the king before
tomorrow, the day on which he returns from the chase. The
marquis speaks as is his wont, in favour of his brother in law,
saying that they are making too much fuss about an accident,
and insists strongly on the lack of respect to the ambassador's
house. I shall announce the true facts in such a way that they
shall reach his Majesty, and then I will send full particulars.
If the decision stands that the ambassador goes to Turin to
offer condolences to the widowed duchess, it is whispered that he
may be commanded to come home without returning to Venice,
as these numerous misadventures to him at Venice cause great
bitterness in general at Court, and there are rivals who talk
about them much to his disadvantage.
A most severe decree was issued last Sunday by the royal
Council against all Englishmen who profess the Roman religion,
threatening with the severest penalties all those who are accused
of continuing to practise it, and those especially who are found
frequenting the chapels of the ambassadors or even that of the
queen herself. (fn. 7) This severity is entirely due to the conversion of
the Countess of Newport, whose relations, being members of the
Council, have promoted it. But the decree has not yet been
published, and as it has been printed more than four days, many
believe that they will not let it be published until it has been
modified, at least to some extent. The pope's agent is exceedingly
afflicted about it, knowing that his excess of zeal has been in
great measure the cause of this proceeding.
The Polish ambassador left for the Hague as I wrote, deeply
offended and displeased beyond words. I imagine he has some
business in those Provinces and letters and commissions for the
Princess Palatine also. But people think that she will not give
him a better reception than he met with in England, and possibly
the king has intimated to her that such is his desire.
The Ambassador Bellievre has arrived in the city but remains
incognito as yet, as he lacks a part of his baggage which went
astray on a small boat during his sea passage. He refuses visits
both public and private so I do not think, I shall have an opportunity
of seeing him, though I will try to. My approaching
departure dispenses me from ordinary formalities and I shall
try to introduce myself for a private and confidential office.
London, the 20th November, 1637.
348. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Before the Prince of Condé left the English ambassadors
here received orders to give the title of Highness to him and to
the Count and Countess of Soissons ; but before doing so they
asked his Majesty's consent. He told them he should take it as
a sign of their king's friendliness to his house and begged them
to do so, especially with the Prince.
The Ambassador Leicester says that with the two crowns
agreed the King of England may grow tired of treating any
longer with the Swedes and Dutch, who blame each other for
the delay in accepting the alliance. But this may be an artifice,
as they will do nothing here except jointly with their allies and
they assert that they will continue the war without England.
Yet Leicester maintains that they will never have a good
peace except in the way that his king proposes.
Paris, the 24th November, 1637.
349. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
When the king returned from hunting, the Marquis of Hamilton
and the Secretary Coke together told him what Fielding had
written about the accident of the pistol, representing it very
moderately. His Majesty considered the case an extraordinary
one, seemed to regret it deeply and much more when he heard
that the poor man had lost his life. Fielding gave a full account
of this, and made some complaint because the reply to his offices
was so long delayed, but said he hoped that he would soon have
a favourable one.
These hopes have soothed the Marquis, who was the only one
to make a fuss, and have satisfied the king as well as all the
ministers, so that although some of them, and the Secretary
Windebank in particular, intimated that your Excellencies should
take some steps against the officials who approached the embassy,
he is satisfied with the reply decided on, and there is no doubt
the affair will end with complete satisfaction here. The sentence
against the culprit is admitted by all to be most just, and even
the Marquis of Hamilton, although at first he blustered more than
any one else, wishes the matter settled quietly, as he knows that
the constant discussion of these troublesome matters does no good
to his brother in law.
I have confirmation of this from many quarters, and he himself,
in letting me have a passport for my journey, with which his office
is concerned, sent to tell me that all Fielding's relations, and he
more than any, were deeply indebted to the republic, as nothing
could equal the kindness they had shown to the ambassador.
He asked me to beg you to command your ministers who might
reside here in the future, to apply to him in any emergency in the
assurance that they would always find him ready to do everything
in his power to serve them. I made a courteous reply, assuring
him that you should be told and would appreciate the offer.
Fielding's commissions for the Duchess of Savoy have been
drawn up and consigned to the said marquis, who will transmit
them one of these days by express. (fn. 8) They will give him letters
for your Serenity about the reason for his going and general
thanks for the constant favours received during his embassy.
I am assured that the letters will contain nothing about his return,
because opinions still differ on the subject. I believe that he will
return, because although the majority advise his recall, and many
who want to succeed him for their own interests are trying to
bring it about, yet his relations, who at present enjoy every sign
of the royal favour, wish otherwise and will easily succeed in
having him kept on, until he himself asks differently, as it is his
interest not to give it up before he is certain of some other
employment to satisfy him.
With matters in this satisfactory condition I consider myself
at liberty to proceed to France, in the assurance that if anything
else turns up the Secretary Zonca will admirably uphold the
dignity and interest of the state, as he has before in so many
occasions of more difficulty.
Although the absence of his baggage compels the Ambassador
Bellievre to keep incognito, I have succeeded in having a confidential
meeting with him when the usual compliments were
exchanged. He is a minister of remarkable abilities, as your
Excellencies know. The whole Court greets his arrival with
acclamation, and if occasion serves him he may achieve very
considerable advantages for the public cause. He repeatedly
professed his obligations to your Excellencies, and promises to
cultivate the best relations with your ministers. He asked me
to assure you of this and that you may count on him as your
devoted servant. I tried to respond suitably to this, and I
am glad that the slight prolongation of my stay here has served
to open such good relations with this new minister.
The ducal missives of the 30th ult. have reached me this week.
London, the 26th November, 1637.
350. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After nine years continual labour as secretary with your
Serenity's ambassadors in Holland and here, with a heavy drain
on my poor substance and a loss of health, which makes me need
rest more than further movement, I bow myself to the commands
of your Serenity, with more courage than aptitude, to act for
the second time as your minister here until the arrival of the
Ambassador Giustinian. I hope that my devoted service will
meet with your approval. I will follow in the footsteps of the
ambassadors and the instructions they have left me.
After punctually fulfilling the offices of courtesy, by the
exchange of visits with the king and ministers here,the ambassador
set off yesterday for the coast, on his way to France, leaving the
Court highly edified by his high qualities. These in addition
to the liberality of his gifts, freely distributed where requisite,
a thing which renders the representatives of your Serenity
conspicuous above all other foreign ministers, have deservedly
won him universal goodwill.
A certain English merchant (fn. 9) living in this city, in whom the
king has great confidence, is nominated in conjunction with the
commissions of the Ambassador of Morocco. He is at present
negotiating with the Signor Cuch, with whom he had a long
conference yesterday. It is supposed that it is about mercantile
trade, but I will find out more about it, and inform your Excellencies
from time to time.
New royal orders have appeared for the exaction of money to
be used for the preparation and maintenance of the naval force,
which they say will sail next year in greater numbers than ever.
The total will amount to some 600,000 crowns. Although the
people are becoming accustomed to bear it, yet one hears some
outcry, the more so as it is freely stated that the fleet in question
serves no purpose except to compel the Dutch fishermen to
recognise their sovereignty over the sea, and as they have
announced that they will not admit it, it may in time cause
inconveniences to this kingdom.
The last letters to reach the Court from Holland report that
the Prince Palatine is not inclined to proceed to the command
of the army of Hesse until the spring, making as his excuse the
lack of food and forage, which does not admit campaigning in
those parts. But it would seem that the Prince has better
fortune than courage, and they do not venture to urge him on
here for reasons already given.
I send herewith the despatches left me by the ambassador for
London, the 27th November, 1637.
351. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Vice Admiral of the Sea is taking his station at present off
England, with the frank determination to engage the fleet,
and throwing in all his forces lavishly, to commit himself to the
arbitrament of Fortune no matter what the consequences may be.
He is undoubtedly a most valiant warrior and among the most
seasoned in war of their school. (fn. 10) It seems that an ardent desire
burns ever more brightly in the bosom of the people here to hear
he has been successful.
The Hague, the 28th November, 1637.
352. Carolus Dei Gratia Magnae Britanniæ etc. Rex
Serenissimo Principi Domino Francisco Erizzo Venetiarum Duci
etc. Salutem. Serenissime Princeps :
Nobilem vestrum legatum Angelum Corrarum a nobis discedentem
grato nostræ benevolentiae testimonio merito persequimur,
ut virum ob virtutem suam et prudentiam nostro aeque
ac vestro favore dignissimum. Sicut enim negocia commissa
fideliter exsequens vestrum honorem bonumque summæ sibi
curæ esse. Ita etiam aequum erga Nos affectum et cultum
commonstrare semper voluit. Ceterum Vestram Serenitatem
diutissime valere Remque publicam usque prosperrime florere
vovemus. Dat. ex nostro palatio Westmonasterii XIIX. Nov.
anno Christi MDXXXVII., regnique nostri XIII.
Vestrae Serenitatis bonus consanguineus.
[Signed] ; Carolus R.