353. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Instead of the union between this crown and England progressing
incidents are occurring and an embittered feeling similar
to that which produced the last war. The Cardinal as I reported
at the time, made a present to Leicester of a ship considered a
lawful prize, taken off La Rochelle. The earl did not accept it,
but wrote to his king who replied that he did not ask for a favour
but justice ; not only for the bare ship, but all her cargo, worth
50,000 of their crowns here. They retorted here that it was not
convenient for his Majesty to produce the money or his subjects
either, since it had all gone into their purses. The ambassador
insisted they should at least punish one who was the cause of
the ship being taken ; but they would do nothing here. Irritated
at this the King of England, at the instance of those interested,
issued letters of reprisals, by which two French ships have
recently been taken. On hearing of this the king's Council issued
an edict closing all the ports and shores of this kingdom against
English ships. The ambassadors went at once to remonstrate,
but were told that they had no cause to but rather his Majesty
who met with acts of hostility when making the greatest demonstrations
of friendship. He also might have issued letters of
reprisals but refrained, to avoid an open rupture. If the English
king was bound to defend his subjects, so was theirs. The least
that could be done was the seizure of merchantmen, which might
lead to a compromise to make enquiry if either party had suffered
injury and adjust their differences in a friendly manner. (fn. 1)
Leicester asserts that he has represented their case here very
strongly in order to soothe them in such a way that he says no
one in England shall have reason to accuse him of having been
won over by France. Owing to this incident and others the
English complain bitterly declaring that owing to the ill treatment
they receive they would rather be made prisoners by the Turks
than by the French.
Paris, the 1st December, 1637.
354. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
When I was talking recently on business with a certain John
Gardenar, an Englishman, master of the ship Golden Fleece,
which is about to leave here with a cargo for Genoa, Leghorn and
Venice, I heard accidentally that he was to touch at the port of
Ragusa also with his ship. By questioning this captain adroitly
I found that he had in his ship 150 bales of kerseys on behalf of
Samuel Vassel and Company, merchants of this mart, (fn. 2) directed
to another Englishman, their agent, who has a house at Ragusa.
Not content with this I pushed my enquiries further and found
out that they send by every ship that lades for Venice a considerable
quantity of these kerseys to that place. In view of the
harm done to the trade of Venice by the growing commerce of
that place, contrary to the ordinances of your Excellencies and
to the rights of your dominion over the Gulf, I thought fit, as
of myself, to approach this merchant Vassel, who was before
this an intimate of mine, to stop him going on with this traffic.
According to my custom I gradually led up to the subject, and
induced him to admit himself that he was sending these 150
bales to Ragusa. I pointed out in a friendly way the risks he
ran, since the goods do not pay the duties owed to your
Excellencies. I expressed my belief that if his ship met with the
fleet in the Gulf, it would get into trouble, as the places are prohibited,
and he may not trade in those ports without paying the
ordinary gabelles. I expressed astonishment at his preferring
to trade with so much risk with a poor and small city like Ragusa,
rather than in safety at Venice, a great place, rich in gold and trade,
where the English receive more privileges, favours, and facilities
than anyone else.
He listened attentively and believed that I had no other object
than friendship. He remarked that he had carried on this trade
for many years, and had never paid duties or suffered any
mishap in the Gulf. The kerseys pay heavy duties at Venice
and there are few opportunities for disposing of them. He had
laded a few bales on the ship for Venice, by way of experiment
and if it proved successful he would continue to send in greater
quantity. His business at Ragusa had once been very profitable
as he enjoyed their distribution in Hungary, whither he sent the
larger part of his goods, but for some time past that republic
had refused him the right to export, and he had to sell them to
the people there, who sent them to the Turkish dominions at
their own profit and this had greatly reduced his gains. His
agent had repeatedly remonstrated with the government there,
but in vain, and as a last remedy he had ordered him to go to
Belgrade in order to obtain some commands from the Turkish
commander there to the Ragusans on this subject, but they had
got wind of this and forbad him to depart under pain of outlawry
and confiscation. He expressed his displeasure at this and he
was trying to find a way for removing all his business from that
In answer to his confidences I thought it opportune to urge
him to transfer it to Venice, where I assured him he would always
meet with satisfaction. He said it was too far for sending the
goods to Hungary, and very costly to introduce them there, and
not much good. I reminded him that Spalato was very suitable.
He said he had thought of that and had written to his agent for
information, but the port was not adapted for large ships. I
said the ships could anchor at Liesena, whence they could find a
way to take the goods to Spalato, which was only thirty miles
away, and it would be easy to dispose of them because it was
frequented by so many Turks, who trade there in addition to the
inhabitants of all Dalmatia, and the requirements of the fleet.
He listened to that and told me he would speak to his partners.
After telling them of his conversation with me, he came to me on
the following day and announced that if your Serenity would
grant him some special privilege he would promise to transfer
his business from Ragusa to Spalato. I told him that he should
receive the most just and courteous treatment ; his business
would be much more profitable and safe. I invited him to put
his proposals in writing and I would send them to your Serenity,
in the assurance that if they were reasonable they would be
embraced. He promised to do this and came back this morning
on purpose to see me. He gave me the enclosed paper, but not
signed, saying that it was only for my information and he would
send a like one by the present ordinary to the merchant Obson,
who represents him at Venice, with orders to go before your
Excellencies with them. I read the contents and intimated
that I did not think there would be any difficulty over the first
articles, which seemed modest but the last would certainly
meet with great opposition, and I asked him to remove it and if
he wanted the matter settled with despatch he should ask for
something that could be granted easily without the necessity
for writing to and fro for fresh orders. I again pointed out the
great advantages from changing from the one mart to the other,
but that he was not going the best way to secure them. He
adduced some considerations which I omit, as being unnecessary,
and finally stated that he could not arrange the matter alone,
but he would speak about it to the others and they would send
more explicit instructions to Obson. He asked me to beg your
Excellencies to keep the matter secret in the meantime, so that
he might not suffer some injury from the Ragusans, if it came
to their knowledge. I promised this courteously and he went
Having found out these particulars I have thought it my duty
to send word about it immediately, so that if Obson appears
your Excellencies may have full information. I will continue
my inducements when I see them necessary, and will send word
from time to time.
London, the 4th December, 1637.
355. The Petitioner and his Partners, who alone export to
Ragusa cloth and other goods of England, which has gone on for
many years, offer to divert this trade to Spalato, whereby they will
not only take away the present trade of the Ragusans with the
Turks in these goods, but will greatly damage the trade of the
Ragusans with Ancona, where they send at present hides, wool,
wax and other goods which they obtain from the Turkish
dominions through the trade in question. The petitioner therefore
desires the following conditions :
That the petitioner or his deputy may be admitted as consuls
of his nation at Liesina and Spalato. That in matters in dispute
between his countrymen and those of any other nation, they
may receive the most prompt and summary justice that can be
permitted. That all the goods landed at Liesina and Spalato
or sent thence into the Turkish dominions, as well as those taken
away shall be free of all duties for export or import for twenty
years next following, after which time he will pay all the duties
that the other merchants pay in the said places.
356. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The publication here of the new orders for the raising of money
for the fleet has excited in some respects the lamentations of the
people, and the resolution of some of the magnates, to such an
extent that a lord and another gentleman, (fn. 3) under the aegis of
the laws, which permit subjects to call the king himself into judgment,
even in matters concerning his sovereign rights, if they are
not confirmed by parliament, have taken the liberty of appealing
to the Courts of Justice against the sentence pronounced two
years ago by all the judges of England, declaring that his Majesty
can lawfully levy contributions from his subjects for naval
emergencies, even without recourse to Parliament.
These are at present contending before a part of the same
judges against the royal Attorney General upon the merits of
this sentence, pronounced, as they say, without hearing one side,
merely upon information laid by the king alone, in a matter
never practised in the past and immediately contrary to the
fundamental and sacred ordinances of the realm. Everyone
wonders at the king's goodness in allowing the public discussion
of an affair of such a nature, and it will settle the question of the
others, who alone in all England make a similar declaration.
They defend themselves modestly saying that as the sentence in
question has been delivered against them, they intend to inform
the king better, and if they are wrong they will pay without
further objection, and if they show they are right, they hope his
Majesty will revoke those orders.
In the mean time they do not interrupt the collection of the
money, which goes on without further disturbance.
The business of the ambassador of Morocco at this Court,
besides some matters of trade, extends to proposals of a union
between that king and England against the Spaniards. He offers
to attack some place which they hold in Barbary, contiguous to his
kingdom, (fn. 4) if the king here will declare himself with him, help him
with a few ships and unite with his states, so as only to act in concert.
He declares that this diversion will be of great benefit to the public
cause, but that if they think it too far off and will supply him with
ships to transport 40,000 combatants, who are all ready, he will
take them over to Spain and penetrate into the heart of the kingdom.
Here they seem pleased at such proposals, but they do not seem
disposed to embrace them.
The Prince Palatine writes of the offices passed with him by the
French ambassador recently arrived at the Hague. (fn. 5) He says
the ambassador urged him, in the name of his king, to take up
boldly the command of the army of Hesse. He assured him that
the Most Christian would not fail with that assistance which he
has hitherto afforded with so much advantage to the public cause,
for the maintenance of that army. He seems to desire to be
entirely directed in the matter by the indications which the king
here will give, whose advice he asks with great insistence. But
here they do not change the principles already stated.
The Ambassador Bellievre made his public entry yesterday,
with the usual honours. The Master of the Ceremonies went with
the royal barques to Greenwich to fetch him as far as the Tower
of London. There the Earl of Notingen was awaiting him, who
received him in his Majesty's name. In the royal coach followed
by many others of the Court he was conducted with his numerous
company to the usual dwelling destined for the ambassadors
extraordinary where he is entertained at the king's expense until
the day after tomorrow which is appointed for his first audience.
Joachimi, the Dutch ambassador, after an absence of fifteen
months, has also returned to his residence. He has not yet seen
the king on account of a catarrh, which has incommoded his
Majesty for some days.
Tomorrow, from what I gather, the despatch for the
Ambassador Fildin will start by express, which charges him to
proceed to Turin to pay his respects. Meanwhile they speak
ambiguously about his return to your Serenity. I will not lose
sight of the matter and will send the necessary information. By
the king's order they are also sending him remittances for 15,000
crowns, partly for debts due to him and the rest a present for his
Last Wednesday, in the queen's chapel, they held a special
service which she attended for the late Duke of Savoy.
Enclosed I am sending a letter of the king in reply to the one
of your Serenity, presented by the Ambassador Corraro when
he entered this embassy. It was only given me after his
London, the 4th December, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
357. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
A very strong and pertinacious wind has prevented the two
ships assigned by his Majesty to secure my sea passage from
leaving the Downs for this port. This is the seventh day that I
have waited and the ever increasing gales and the time of year
leave me little hope that I shall get away soon. This delay is
most annoying as besides the heavy expense, which is incidental
to all seaports, the air here does not suit my constitution, already
tried by the climate of the country. I have already had two
turns of fever and although they have been slight and intermittent,
it causes me some apprehension.
A report is current here that all English ships going to French
ports will be detained. The causes given for this are divers and
vague, but whether the report be true or false the sailors here
seem to attach importance to it, for their own sakes, and will not
agree to cross unless they are assured of very considerable gain.
I have had to apply to the magistrates to obtain two barques to
carry my horses and baggage, a thing which makes me believe
that some hitch may have occurred. I will make enquiry and
advise your Excellencies if there be anything worthy of your
The Marquis San Pareilli is just now passing this way, sent by
the Duchess of Savoy to inform their Majesties of her husband's
death. (fn. 6) He leaves a report behind him that he has other and more
serious business. If that be so the Secretary Zonca will give you
all information thereupon. I am recommending these presents
to him as the couriers cannot cross the sea from here.
La Rey, the 5th December, 1637.
358. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and
spoke as follows :
Before he was seated the doge said, We are very glad to see
you recovered and looking fairly well. We all deeply regretted
to hear of your illness, and we pray that God may preserve you
and restore you to perfect health, as you are much beloved by
The Ambassador said, I thank your Serenity. I cannot say
whether my sorrow was greater at being unable to come to your
Serenity or my joy at the honour of a secretary being sent to
enquire after my health. I have come to thank you for this,
as I can never repay such honour. I only desire life and health
in order to serve the republic. I do not know if the invitation
sent to me was to inform me upon the matter of which I last
spoke, so I am here merely to express my obligations, but I am
ready to obey in any case, and if you tell me anything I will
report it to England, in order to remove anything that may
disturb our relations.
The doge replied, Our relations with his Majesty will never be
disturbed, as they are based on ancient affection and esteem.
The Senate has decided something upon the matter of which you
spoke, which shall be read.
The Senate's deliberation of the 7th ult. was then read. The
ambassador said I am glad to have heard the Senate's intention,
I will report it in the best light. The same thing may happen to
your Serenity's own ambassadors. I spoke for all, not for myself
alone. I ask permission to take a copy.
The doge replied, Our ambassadors will do their utmost to
avoid any cause of offence, as we are sure you do, but those who
have a large household cannot always control them. We
appreciate and sympathise with your feelings. We should wish
to render you entirely satisfied. The office shall be read two
or three times and you can have a copy if you wish. For the
rest you may be sure of our affection and esteem.
The ambassador said that many times during his illness his
duty had struggled with his weakness to come and pay his
respects. He then bowed and departed. He went into the other
hall and took a copy, and said to me, the secretary, In such a way
and with such an office the affair will soon be finished. He regretted
the event, but in a numerous household it was impossible
to keep all under the master's firm control, and ambassadors
are subject to such incidents.
359. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and
spoke as follows :
I hoped in your last answer to find something that would at
least satisfy my honour and my king's, but the more I consider
it the less do I find that it meets my request, indeed it imputes
blame to me, and says I introduce ideas that no one has ever
employed. That would be contrary to my character and
condition, so I cannot have been rightly understood or my
remarks have been interpreted in a way I did not intend them.
I do not wish to infringe the jurisdiction of the republic but to
preserve some of my king's. It cuts me to the heart that while
I am seeking to foster the good relations desirable between princes,
my good will is not merely unrecognised, but things are imputed
to me which I never had in my mind, as I know how delicate a
matter the jurisdiction of princes is. I thought it right to protest
against the outlawry of one who was sentenced for a crime
committed when in my service. That has not been answered,
and I ask your Serenity to consider my request and give me an
answer. I think all princes respect the immunity of ambassadors.
I believe that incidents have occurred in England and the same
respect has been shown to your Serenity's ambassadors as to
those of the greatest crowns. I know that my king will contend
that I ought not to be worse treated than every one else, and he
will use the precedent for acting in another way. I have known
your Serenity's ambassadors in England, France and Holland,
I have admired their conduct, but they have not escaped scatheless
from the strokes of fortune. The master cannot prevent
every disturbance, but a distinction ought to be made for those
which are accidental. In choosing ambassadors his Majesty
selects the best. I figure as such in England, and try to justify
that confidence, but fortune, not good will prevents me from
standing on an equality with the others, as I am treated as no
other has been, by exacting justice and showing an excessive
severity, which his Majesty will never approve. So I ask for
some other reply which will satisfy him better and which will
relieve my mind of this burden.
The doge answered, We do not think that his Majesty will
object when he knows how we have proceeded in this affair.
The Senate indeed had some apprehension on hearing that you
claimed to punish those of your household who committed crimes
in the city. That is why we said the idea was new, as it had
never been advanced here. We have every regard for you, but
as it is not in your power to keep your people under control,
they must be subject to justice to prevent scandal. We know
that in England very rigorous proceedings have been taken
against the house of our ambassadors for less serious matters,
and when they desired pardon they appealed to the king. We
profess every respect for him, but we must uphold the liberty
and decency of our country and justice. These Signors have
heard your statement, and if you wish they will give an answer.
We can only remark that if any disturbance arises among your
servants in the house the disposition rests with you, but if the
scandal occurs in the public street, we might say in the Piazza
involving death, justice must do its part and not be left to others,
to satisfy the people, for the general quiet and for our service.
The ambassador replied, God forbid that I ever intended to
offend your Serenity's jurisdiction. I never claimed this but
only to uphold the rights of state with all my power. I have
merely spoken of the excessive severity and punishment shown
to one of my household for what is generally recognised as a pure
accident, and I asked for moderation and a remedy, with another
reply, to guide me in my report, so that the circumstances may
not be aggravated, by circumstances of offence to my person and
the greatness of my king, as they went to such extremes without
information and without knowledge of the cause. I can do no
more than draw attention to this with deep regret.
The doge said, These Signors have understood ; be appeased
and rest assured of our esteem. Everything was done in order.
The process was drawn up, examinations taken, the body identified
and all the usual legal forms observed. The firing and death
of the man were proved. The accused offered no defence or
excuse. He was judged according to the laws. Justice has not
to find out whether the case is a pure accident, unless it is informed.
If it be so the accused should come to make his defence, saying
that he took the pistols to be unloaded, he did not know they were
loaded and so forth, which might have modified the sentence at
the time. After this he can ask for grace, the demands of justice
being satisfied, and princes are not so precise over pardon as in
justice. We repeat our affection for you, but your good qualities
cannot control accidents or excesses.
The ambassador said, May death or any accident overtake me
rather than I should claim anything contrary to the jurisdiction
and greatness of the republic. I only desire a categorical answer
and satisfaction about the punishment of a man who belonged
to my household, and that you have at heart the reputation of
me and my king. I will await a fresh reply about that, and so
with a bow he departed.
360. To the Secretary in England.
The Ambassador Fielding, having recovered from his indisposition,
asked for a reply to his office about the pistol. That
being read to him, he appeared satisfied ; but he came again
yesterday with the enclosed office. We replied as you will see.
This will enable you to represent the sincere conduct of the
republic, and to show our friendly respect for his Majesty.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
361. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be
summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him :
Justice has not been able to change its path for reasons made
known to your lordship. Good government requires the
observance of the laws. For the rest your lordship has seen
enough from past experience to know that although we are
restrained within the limits of justice yet we have always been
ready to extend favours to you as a measure of our esteem for
you personally and of our regard for his Majesty.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
362. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
A letter reached the Court unexpectedly these last days from
the Elector of Brandenburg, with a book in German directed to
the king. The letter contains a humble supplication from his
Highness for the king to interpose his offices with the crown of
Sweden, so that he may allow him the possession of Pomerania
by right of succession after the death of the last duke, as his
lawful due. (fn. 7) As an inducement for his Majesty to oblige him
the more readily, he recites the things he has done, out of regard
for England, in favour of the Palatine house, and asks for
sympathy, if, under stress of urgent necessity he has changed
those principles and adapted himself to the nature of the times,
so that he also might not perish with that house. In the book,
among many papers, there is one of the kingdom of Sweden to
the following effect, that the late king, moved by zeal for the
public welfare had proposed while avenging his own injuries on
the House of Austria, to relieve his allies, the princes of Germany,
from the bondage in which they were held. For this purpose he
had crossed the sea, and successfully driven the enemy from
Pomerania. Soon after he made an alliance with the elector
in question, who swore to the observance of the articles. He had
followed the king's flag while fortune favoured it, but with a
change of fortune he also changed his good resolutions, and turned
his forces against those who had previously given him liberty,
perjuring himself and affording a memorable example of ingratitude,
and by this felony he had become incapable of the
right of succession which it was admitted belonged to him. In
spite of two well founded titles which would justify that kingdom
in incorporating those states they declared that as further evidence
that they were not ambitious for dominion but merely for the
public weal, he had carried his arms into Germany, so that with a
general peace he would promptly restore what pertains to him,
provided he is indemnified, as is just, for the expenses incurred
in the conquest and maintenance.
So far the king has not decided upon his reply, and as there is
no one to press for it, he is not expected to devote much attention
to the matter, especially as his Highness does not enjoy his
Majesty's good will on account of the harm done to the Palatine
by his declarations in the peace of Prague and in the diet of
Ratisbon for perpetual exclusion from the electoral dignity.
They are going forward with the controversy raised by the two
subjects upon the question of the royal power to levy money
for the maintenance of the fleet. The nature of the cause draws
a large crowd of the people, who observe the arguments advanced
by the lawyers and freely form their own judgments. The points
for the two subjects are various and steadily supported upon the
basis of the laws. Those of the king are based upon a decree of the
parliament declaring that he may levy contributions from the people
in case of urgent necessity of war, when it is not in the interests of
the kingdom to declare the cause, and not otherwise. There are still
many replies to make and the result is awaited with impatience.
The Earl of Arfort had the task of conducting the French
Ambassador Bellievre to his public audience last Sunday. The
Ambassador at first made some objection because the Earl was
not of the order of the Garter, but on being informed that one of
that Order is only sent to those ambassadors who have the title
of cavalier, he was satisfied. Besides the usual honours they
lined the streets through which he was to pass with citizen
soldiers an innovation which future ambassadors will claim for
themselves. I went, as the servant of your Excellencies, to kiss
his hands and pay my respects in order to conciliate his confidence,
so as to use it for the public service.
The merchant Vassell sent to Obson at Venice by the preceding
despatch, the articles for presentation to your Serenity about
trading at Spalatro, as arranged between us. I afterwards found
occasion to see him, and he confessed to me under his breath
that he had directed his agent to alter the third article if he cannot
get it as it stands. So far as I can gather from what he says, he
has conceived such great hopes of profit from my remarks,
that I hope he will fulfil his promise for any slight privilege
that he may obtain from your Serenity, and for this Obson has
full powers. I have also made careful enquiry to find out if
any other merchants here are trading with that mart, and I
find that Peter Richaut, who trades on this mart, frequently
sends a great quantity of kerseys to Ragusa, not for himself but
on commission from many of the inhabitants here and some
Anconese as well, who send them on from Ragusa to Ancona.
I have not thought it advisable to make any overtures to him,
because my representations would be beside the point, since he
has no interest beyond his gain from his commissions ; but I
thought it my duty to report the matter.
The Ambassador Corraro was detained fourteen days at the
seaport of Lary by contrary winds, from crossing to France.
The trials of the journey, the inconvenience of the place, the very
bad air there in the present season, and his annoyance at the
irreparable loss of time have thrown him into a slight fever,
though with his over great zeal for the public service, he writes
that this will not delay him a moment in continuing his journey,
which he will do at the first sign of a favourable wind. He
sent me the enclosed for your Serenity, and yesterday I heard
from him, in letters of the 9th inst. that the bad weather and the
fever still continue.
London, the 11th December, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
363. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After I had written the preceding letter your Excellencies'
despatches of the 7th, 13th and 20th ult. reached me together.
I found there the exposition of the Ambassador Fildin, and what
you decided to tell him. After carefully studying the reasons of
the state and the instructions sent, I went hastily to the Court.
There I found that he had not altered the substance of the office
performed with your Serenity, but leaving out some examples
contained in it he represented succinctly to the Secretary Cuch
the remonstrance made because they did not leave to him the
punishment of the man condemned for firing the pistol since he
had intimated that he had powers for this from the king. With
this information I thought it best to see this secretary. He
received me cordially and after I had set forth the case of our
state, he said, I hope you will not have occasion to make much
complaint about this. I will keep a hand on it and see that it is
properly arranged. I said I did not wish to make any complaint,
but only to inform his Majesty and the ministers of the very good
reasons for refusing the unreasonable demands of the ambassador.
It is not necessary for you to speak to the king about this, he
said, I will tell him and he will rest content. He asked me mildly,
by way of excusing the ambassador, if your Serenity would refuse
to allow him to punish his servants for faults committed in his
own house. I told him this was not our case. Free states
allowed no tribunals for justice except their own, and no
ambassadors had ever made such a demand anywhere else. I
thought, however, though it was only my opinion, that out of the
state's regard for his Majesty they would permit slight correction
for faults committed by his servants in his own house, but in
serious criminal cases it would never do to think of such a thing.
I reminded him that the Ambassador Corraro had shown more
prudence, when some of his servants were pursued by the
populace two years ago up to the very embassy. When one of
his servants had killed an Englishman in self defence, his
Excellency did not pretend to punish him, but when applying
for pardon for the others, he always excluded this culprit. On
hearing this Cuch admitted that the demand was unjust. The
ambassador had misinterpreted the powers given him by the
king. He was a young man with little experience of his profession,
and he would soon be leaving. At this, with the idea of
finding out if he has orders to return to Venice I said he would always
be welcome to your Serenity, and he had had various occasions
to perceive the state's desire to satisfy him, even by changing
the laws, and he would always find the same after his return from
Turin, but so many incidents, one after the other, with aggravated
circumstances and such unjustifiable demands could not fail to
make fresh trouble. Cuch said he was very sorry ; the king
knew the desire of the republic to satisfy him, he would write to
the ambassador, and he did not yet know, that is precisely what
he said, if he would return to reside at Venice. Finding matters
thus, and having a little time to write these few lines before the
departure of the ordinary, I have thought fit to do so, and if no
further occasion arises, I shall abstain from troubling his Majesty
expressly. I shall keep my ears open, and if I think it necessary
I will go to him, and I will also find an opportunity to express
to him the gratitude and esteem of your Serenity for the confidence
and the readiness shown by him in his zeal for the interests
of Italy, especially your own.
I will also carry out the instructions in the ducal missives of the
20th about renewing overtures for English ships to trade in
Crete, and I will speak as of myself with various merchants here
with whom I am intimate, about sending ships there, with the
benefit offered them by the Senate's decision of the 14th of
November, and I will send your Serenity some information
in my next despatch.
London, the 11th December, 1637.
364. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to
the Doge and Senate.
The wind keeps becoming more violent and contrary, preventing
vessels of every king from leaving this port for France. Already
three of the ordinary messengers from London, who take the
merchants' packets to Rouen and Paris, are stranded here sighing
for an opportunity to cross. I am now quite ill. This is my
thirteenth day here, and I am deeply distressed in mind also,
as I am in the dark about everything, quite useless to your
Serenity, my only hope of release in that inconstant fortune which
absolutely controls such matters.
The report is confirmed that all English ships continue to be
seized in the ports of France, in indemnification, they say, for
a French ship recently plundered by the English. As the matter
is under negotiation it is to be hoped that an adjustment will
soon follow, allowing free passage to the English ships, without
which France loses the convenience of trade, as with this war she
is obliged to make use of ships of this nation entirely.
A large squadron of Dunkirkers was sighted yesterday not far
off these coasts chasing three Dutch ships, but as the sea was
rough it is believed they will have had to separate and give up the
chase. At the same time a large Hamburg ship laden with
800 casks of wine from Spain and many cases of sugar, being
overtaken by the same storm, has been wrecked at the mouth
of the port here, the greater part of the sailors perishing miserably,
besides the loss of the goods.
The moment the wind becomes favourable, although my health
requires other wise, I will seize the opportunity to cross, as the
loss of time is most irritating and injurious even if it was not
accompanied by heavy expense and countless other disagreeable
La Rey, the 11th December, 1637.
365. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Duchess of Chevreuse entered last Sunday. The whole
Court met and escorted her. The Count Duke visited her in
the country. His Majesty has shown her the highest honours
here. He and the queen accompanied her with every ceremony,
on the following day. She has received the 6,000 crowns sent
to her and the assignment of 1000 a month. She announces
that she will leave very soon. The queen will not feel at all sorry.
She has fallen ill since this lady, who is a beauty, came to the
Madrid, the 12th December, 1637.
366. The Senate's deliberation of yesterday being read to the
English Ambassador, he said :
I am glad of the reply, because when it is reported in England
it will be seen if the satisfaction is considered sufficient. I
thought that the servants of an ambassador's household should
be immune and punished for offences by the justice of princes
whom they represent, as is observed everywhere. I am sorry
that I was wrong. I would rather have seen this decision practised
on others. I have no stronger desire than to please and do
nothing to diminish good relations. That is the interest of all
ambassadors who are now prejudiced by my cause. That
increases my feeling, because for the rest the honour shown me
in the reply is excessive. I know that I do not deserve it. I
preserve in my heart your Serenity's kindness towards me.
The doge replied, Everyone who knows the government
of the republic will understand that you may be satisfied with what
is done. We are sure that his Majesty, when informed sincerely
of the facts, as you are sure to do, will be perfectly satisfied of
our good will. You are dear to us for your goodness and quality.
You have no fault to be passed over. Justice takes upon itself
the things that happen. A city where the prince is and the
seat of liberty, must show the people proper justice.
The ambassador answered, Your Serenity does me too much
honour. I will endeavour to report the matter to his Majesty
with moderation, but I cannot hide that something has been
taken from the prerogatives of my house, and from the right of
punishing my own man. I know that it was not done for offence
or injury or lack of respect to his Majesty. I will report as mildly
as possible, as I wish to avoid all occasions of offence, and I will
make good any bad occurrences with my blood.
The doge said he had every reason to perform a good office, as
he was beloved and esteemed. He bowed and went out. In
taking a copy of the office he stopped several times and remarked
to me, the secretary, that he was much honoured and obliged.
His insistence arose from the publicity of the matter. Had it
not been so public, with the boats and armed men about his
house and so forth, he would have suffered it all and rather have
come and asked pardon for the man, although it is not usual for
ambassadors to ask pardon where they claim that justice has gone
too far. He would have wished to have gone to the Collegio at
once, without waiting for the embassy of the Secretary Vincenti,
although he spoke quite mildly, and in fine he did not wish it to
be said that the excellent relations between the King of England
and this republic had been adversely affected through him.
367. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
They hope that every thing will be arranged with England,
touching their differences, as a gentlemen is expected with
despatches to their ambassadors here for this purpose.
Paris, the 15th December, 1637.