389. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The restrained reply given by the English agents to the
Ambassador Salvio at Hamburg, has induced Sweden to send
here a certain Scottish Colonel, who was employed a long time
ago for that party in Germany, for the purpose of making a final
effort to discover what they really mean here about supporting
them. He represents the state of affairs there as very critical.
Galasso is very strong and master of the field in Pomerania ;
Banier and other Swedish commanders, although vigilant, have
withdrawn to their winter quarters. Volgast castle, Usedon
and perhaps by now Anclan have surrendered to the imperial
arms, and if this crown does not decide to render definite assistance
with money or men to support the Swedish troops, in conjunction
with France, that country will be compelled to make terms
with the King of Hungary, while she can still obtain good ones.
It cannot be blamed for doing this after being abandoned by one
who has so great an interest in the cause and it cannot hold out
against the whole empire alone.
The English agents write on the 15th of January that M.
d'Avancurt, sent by the Most Christian to Poland, has appeared
at Hamburg on his way there, though he does not say what for.
He took to M. d'Avo the arrangements made at Paris with the
Dutch deputies for the next campaign, to be communicated to the
Ambassador Salvio so that he may write to Sweden, and to urge
him to hand over the treaty of Vismar. The amount to be paid
is settled and the letters of exchange for it have arrived. Salvio
is now seeking fresh pretexts for delay. He says that one
Smalzius has been sent by Sweden to negotiate the alliance with
this crown also, and so soon as he has arrived they will put the
finishing touches to both affairs. But the delay is only to allow
Salvio to confer with Count Curzio, who has arrived in Mecklenburg,
and hear the proposals of the King of Hungary, and someone
has been sent to that monarch from Sweden to hear it from his
own lips and then take such steps as may be best for that
M. di Vosbergh being advised that fourteen Dunkirk ships
are at sea to take him, proposed to stay here until a force of
Dutch ships arrives to escort him to Holland ; but being persuaded
by M. de Bellievre on the ground that the decisions about
war which he carries may suffer from delay, to consign to him his
despatches in cipher so that he might get a ship from the king
to send them with all speed to the Hague, he decided to embark
unexpectedly upon his own very swift frigate, escorted by only
two Dutch warships, in the hope of crossing the sea in a single
night, with a good wind. M. dell'Estrade embarked with him,
sent by the Most Christian to the Prince of Orange to communicate
his military plans, as he does every year, as a mark of confidence.
The Prince Palatine has sent word to his Majesty that he has
arranged a conference for next month with the officers of the
army of Hesse, to arrange about his taking up the command,
which he says he will do soon after, when he has the means to
maintain himself. He would like to pledge this crown to some
monthly assistance while he has that command, but as he has
always indicated that he wished to do it of his own motion it is
supposed that he does not intend to bind himself to anything.
The queen has sent a remittance of 12,000l. sterling to the
Ambassador Leicester, and they will send 8000l. more in a few
weeks, with orders to get some jewels of the queen mother, which
she had pawned and which were in danger of being lost, out of
the hands of some merchants of Paris or Lyons. (fn. 1)
From Flanders also they write of the league arranging in
Italy with the King of Spain to drive the French out, and that
Prince Tomaso is to be the general. As they know there is no
foundation for this, it does not disturb the ministry here.
The last letters of your Excellencies to reach me are of the 8th
ult. with the very modest exposition of Fildin, due certainly
to orders received from here by virtue of my representations. I
keep on the watch to justify the action of the state,when necessary.
I also find the orders about the reception of the Ambassador
Giustinian repeated, for which I will do my utmost.
London, the 5th February, 1637. [M.V.]
390. To the Secretary in England.
We have received your letters of the 8th ult. A paper has
been presented on behalf of Obson as well as certain claims,
which meet with obstacles and strong opposition. We advise
you of this so that you may not commit yourself further with
this Obson, as if he desires favourable treatment he must
remember to conduct himself properly.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
391. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain
to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty and all the Court proceeded on Monday from the
Pardo to the house of il Buon Retiro in order to do honour to
the Duchess of Chevreuse. When visiting the Count Duke I told
him of Sig. Contarini's prudent offices with Cardinal Richelieu,
reported by me on the 5th December.
Madrid, the 6th February, 1638.
392. Anzolo Correr and Alvise Contarini, Venetian
Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
With respect to the audience of the Palatine princes the Master
of the Ceremonies has informed the English ambassadors that
they may have it when they please if they make up their minds
not to cover before him, as none of the princes of the blood does
so and not even his own brother. This reply has much upset
the ambassadors who remark that the Palatine house meets
with most distress and disadvantage just where it most hopes
Paris, the 9th February, 1637. [M.V.]
393. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty is preparing several presents for the Queen of
England. These will be taken by the Duchess of Chevreuse,
who is leaving the day after to-morrow, after receiving every
honour as well as rich gifts from their Majesties.
Madrid, the 10th February, 1638.
394. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the
Collegio and spoke as follows :
I should fall short of the joy I feel if I delayed any longer to
inform you what I have in commission from his Majesty, to show
his esteem, as by an express courier I am charged to come here
for important matters touching the common interests and the
service of this province. Your Serenity has allowed me to serve
you with so much honour, advantage and satisfaction to me, and
I am bound to desire the prosperity and greatness of the republic.
His Majesty directs me to say that he is disposed to interest
himself in the events of these parts with great zeal and a strong
desire to help, as he knows the agitations from which it has
suffered. He offers your Serenity his assistance and sincere
union. He could not be more zealous about his own affairs.
He will study to help you by offices, interposition and assistance.
He hopes for a response from your Serenity in conformity with
his greatness and zeal, and he thinks that there will be no difficulty
about uniting for such advantages.
He thinks that to avoid dangers it will be advisable to consider
what things are likely to increase disturbance, affording support
to prevent collapse, and supplying them with advice and
assistance. The first and most pressing of these and the one
likely to give most trouble is the case of Savoy, where disunion
is so rife, and where they aim at increasing the divergence of
His Majesty commands me to commend these to your Serenity's
protection. You may have some difference with that state, but
where the public cause is concerned private feelings should not
prevail, especially now that the opportunity is most favourable
to compound it. This is afforded by my king's offer to work
through me, the tendency to make friends, the justice and
uprightness of your Serenity's principles and aims, my own
exceeding obligation to use this means for repaying so many
favours. I believe also that the things said in that book (fn. 2) may
easily be managed with mutual satisfaction, so I do not see
why the differences should continue, which so affect the public
welfare of which your Serenity is the support and base.
I told his Majesty of my offices on the death of the Duke of
Mantua. He approved and ordered me to repeat them, offering
his own help for the preservation of that state.
I should like to finish my speech at this point, in order not to
recall the further orders which I have from,my king. To give
greater effect to his determination to intervene in the affairs
of Italy he directs me to go to Savoy to confer with the duchess
and offer support. His Majesty has always had a great interest
in that state. I shall go, pleased to obey his Majesty, but sad
at losing the honour I have always received here. During my
stay I have had great occasion to admire your greatness and most
prudent government, and the principles which have brought
you so high. Words fail me to say how I leave the most indebted
man alive. My service has been too short, but I hope that the
glories of your Serenity may last for ever. I shall never tire of
publishing my duty, and if ever I have an opportunity of repaying
some small portion of my indebtedness your Serenity will have
no one more devoted or more constant than I. If some difference
has arisen it has not been through my fault, and it has caused
me more pain than I could express. I hope in your Serenity's
kindness and favour and I shall try to serve you all my life.
The republic has advised his Majesty of its satisfaction with
my service. His Majesty directs me to thank you for this.
The doge replied with thanks for his offices and for his Majesty's
intention to intervene in the affairs of Italy. They had acted
for Mantua and were desirous for its liberty. What was taking
place prevented them from doing all that they would like for
Savoy. They regretted his departure because they knew him
for a sincere minister of high character. They were pleased
with his offices and wished his stay had been longer. Wherever
he went they would remember his gentle qualities. They knew
that what had happened was not due to him but to persons of
lower rank, who could not be controlled. His management left
nothing to be desired. They wished him all prosperity and the
assistance and grace of God. He would be in a position to do
good and they would always be ready to do anything for him.
The Signory would make him a suitable response.
The ambassador said, I shall depart at the moment I take leave
of your Serenity with a gracious reply. I wait for that as the
most valid of my concerns, and as a sure means of guidance.
Be good enough to give me your opinions on all the matters
mentioned, so that I may use your counsel and consider myself
As regards Savoy and the republic's difficulties with that house
I do not see such difficulty of adjusting them, as there are no lost
towns or claims for territory, which are the things that make
agreements difficult. My king's disposition and my zeal may
perhaps bring me this honour and satisfaction. A union of means
and interest bring about adjustments. At all events I will
employ all my powers. His Majesty wishes to follow the example
of his predecessors in maintaining the advantage and quiet
Some months ago I asked for the release of an Englishman
from the galleys. I do not know in which galley he is. The
favour will be a signal one. His father is one of the physicians
of my queen, of good character and ability. Sometimes unhappy
men fall into these misadventures. It will gratify his Majesty
much if he is released, and it will show me your Serenity's good
will because of the merit it will bring me with the queen.
The doge replied that they wished to do everything for his
Majesty and himself. It would be as well to leave a memorial,
with the name and if possible the galley. That would save time.
Meanwhile he might be sure of their affection. With this the
ambassador bowed and departed. Soon after the secretary
came to the doors of the collegio with the memorial.
Some years ago Leonard Turnir, son of a physician of the
queen of Great Britain (fn. 3) was taken to the galley of Sig. Gradenigo,
sold for a small sum and put to the oar. As he was of a civil
family, improper for that employment the ambassador signified
to the said Sig. that he would take it as a favour if he would
release him, offering to pay what was due. While he was awaiting
results in conformity with the good intentions expressed, he left
and after some time sold him to Sig. Andrea Faliero, a thing that
astonished him. The ambassador therefore begs your Serenity
to order his release especially as he is not there for any crime.
His Majesty will take it as a particular favour.
|1637, the 18th September.
By order of the Savii, the Proveditori of the fleet shall take
exact information upon the instance of the English ambassador
and give their opinion upon oath, sending their reply to the
Collegio as soon as possible.
|Reply of the Savii.
In response to the instance of the English ambassador for
Leonard Turnir, I find in the book of Ser Antonio Gradenigo,
captain of the Gulf, among the galeots of liberty, the name of
Leonardo da Padova, formerly Tomaso, called English. He was
removed from the book on the 15th December 1636, and I think
he is the same person described on the 2nd January following
in the book of the galley of Ser Andrea Falier, from whom he was
bought, I understand for about 200 lire of debt, but as the galley
is at present in the Levant, it is impossible to know where he is
at present. Dated from the office of the armament, the 22nd
Bartolomeo Corner, Proveditore.
Copies of the entries in the books of the galleys aforesaid.
395. To the Secretary in England.
We enclose a copy of the exposition of the Ambassador
Fielding together with our reply, for your information and the
encouragement of confidential relations. We have also released
the Englishman from the galleys at the ambassador's request (fn. 4)
and have voted him a gold chain exceeding the usual value.
You will draw attention to these things. You must keep on
the watch to see if any fresh appointment of an ambassador is
made, as Fielding said nothing about his coming back. No letters
from you have arrived this week.
Ayes, 75. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
|396. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be
summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read
to him :
We welcome his Majesty's fresh assurances to our republic
in the interests of the peace and quiet of this province. We are
always ready to promote these, as we feel sure your lordship will
report. We regret your departure greatly. With regard to
Savoy, the actions of that House forbid any kind of confidence,
though nothing can hinder our zeal for the public peace. We will
gladly extend our favour to Turner and have him released
at once, to show how ready we are to gratify your lordship and
That 1,500 crowns of 7 lire each be expended upon a chain
to present to Lord Fielding, ambassador of the King of Great
Britain, at his departure, out of regard for his high qualities and
because of his position as ambassador extraordinary to his
That 300 crowns of the same value be expended upon a chain
for the secretary, and that 1000 ducats be given from the
depository in the Mint to Gariboldo Orese al Pomo Granado, on
account of these chains, so that he may make provision of the
gold that will be required.
Ayes, 75. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
397. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The ministry have replied to the representations of the Swedish
minister that his Majesty is ready to contribute any assistance
to the common cause if the alliance with France is established,
which is still unsettled owing to the delays caused by the Swedes,
who are also delaying the treaty of Vismar under various pretexts,
and by such means are advancing the negotiations for peace with
the emperor, which is more credited than perhaps it should be
and gives rise to the belief that that kingdom can obtain advantageous
terms. They regret the misfortune which has recently
overtaken their arms and tend to believe that with the approach
of milder weather, the enemy will be diverted in several directions
and they will resume their former vigour.
The Treasurer of Scotland has arrived. He went to kiss the
king's hands and had two long private conferences with him.
He brings the protestations of the people there that they are
loyal subjects of his Majesty in civil matters, but in ecclesiastical
ones they declare that they want no alteration in their old
dogmas, unless their error is first pointed out. They offer to
dispute against the doctrine of that book and prove that it
conforms to the Roman rite, and to show various other
irregularities contained in it, against the power of the king, who
is head of the Anglican Church. If they are convinced they will
accept it, but if not they cannot be compelled to adopt it.
Term began last week, the time when the twelve judges of
England proceed to the city to resolve the suits between the people.
While it was expected that they would give sentence declaring
definitely whether the king can levy contributions for maintaining
ships, a fresh delay has arisen, as by law the judges must state
their opinion publicly before the sentence follows. Two of them
have already done so, declaring that his Majesty has power
to exact contributions since the declaration about the necessity
rests with him. Two of their colleagues will dispute next week
and the rest in the coming terms of Easter and June. It is
announced that two of the judges possibly not agreeing with the
others and disinclined to pronounce against the king, intend to
ask leave to resign and retire to the repose of their own houses.
Meanwhile they circulate a report that when the present exaction
is collected, the king will not ask for any more in the future,
hoping in this way to facilitate the payment, which meets with
The Count of Scissa, who represents the Duchess of Savoy
here, openly declares that the people of Piedmont have decided
not to contribute to the continuation of the war. If France
wants to go on with it there, she will have to wage it with her
own men and money. While their prince was alive his people
would have shed the last drop of their blood for him, but there
is not so much enthusiasm for the duchess as they do not like the
The Secretary of the king's ambassador in Spain arrived recently
with despatches asking to be relieved of that charge so that he
may cure himself of the stone, which renders him useless. The
king has consented and appointed as ambassador Opton, who was
formerly agent at that same Court. (fn. 5) They think he will be
dubbed knight before he starts, so as to have some title. They
have not yet nominated anyone for your Serenity, although
the claimants do not cease their efforts. Meanwhile Filden's
relations hear with astonishment that the extraordinary sent to
him with orders to go to Turin, had not reached him on the 15th
ult. and they are afraid that fresh misadventures may happen,
causing your Excellencies further annoyance.
Madame de Chevreuse writes that in spite of the kind treatment
she receives in Spain she proposes to join the queen mother in
Flanders, and first to kiss the hands of their Majesties here.
Although they do not want her to come they have sent orders to
all the ports so that if she comes she may be suitably entertained.
One of the war ships escorting M. di Vosbergh perished when
entering the sea from this river, but the men escaped, with all
else therein. The whole Court has heard with satisfaction of
the hopes of the pregnancy of the Queen of France. The king
has written about it with his own hand to the queen here, who
invokes the aid of God by the fasts and frequent prayers she
has ordered in her chapel, to realise this boon for her brother
and all Christendom. The king has also evinced the greatest
content, though everyone must feel it incomplete until there is
I have received your Serenity's despatch of the 14th ult.
with the sheet of advices enclosed. I will use them with necessary
circumspection. They serve greatly to encourage that confidence
which assists the service of the state.
London, the 12th February, 1637. [M.V.]
398. Anzolo Correr and Alvise Contarini, Venetian
Ambassadors in France to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here have received well authenticated advices
that in addition to the ships of war which the King of Great
Britain has destined for the passage to England of the Duchess
of Chevreuse, he has sent her remittances of money and made
her offers of every facility. This has offended them greatly
here, not because they are afraid of the proceedings of that
princess in England more than what she does in Spain, but
because she has previously interfered to prevent an alliance
between that crown and this, and they do not like to see that
king so ready to give her assistance and an asylum, especially
when he circulated misleading reports that he wished her far
Officers have been passed covertly to obtain help for the
Prince Palatine from this quarter if he will undertake the
command of the Landgrave of Hesse's army. They answered
that if England will come out openly on the side of this crown
in the war, his nephew will receive everything from this crown
that he can desire, otherwise all his hopes are vain.
They have arranged a compromise for the audience of the
two young princes, his Majesty announcing that he is content
they shall enjoy the privilege of the princes of the blood by
covering before him when the ambassadors are covered. So
they go accompanied by the English ambassadors, they can
cover together with them, otherwise not. This dispute seems
settled, but there remains another with the queen, who claims
that they shall not be allowed to sit, as was done with Duke
Bernard, a particular at which the ambassadors have taken
Paris, the 16th February, 1637. [M.V.]
399. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate. (fn. 6)
The relations of this crown with its allies and neighbours can
hardly be called good. They are at war with the Spaniards.
Most of the Germans have abandoned them and have even become
hostile. The English, who ought to unite with them because
of the Palatinate, go very slowly and give little hope of a
conclusion for any thing good, as instead of suppressing occasions
for offence, they have gone to meet them by issuing letters of
reprisals against French ships. In addition to this I have heard
on good authority that the Cardinal and the Archbishop of
Canterbury are not on good terms and do not like each other.
Paris, the 17th February, 1637. [M.V.]
400. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
In addition to the gifts of plate, horses and jewels made by
their Majesties to the Duchess of Chevreuse, 5000 dubloons have
arrived which have been sent after her. She has left a very great
impression of her personality here. They also feel sure that she
will perform very useful offices with the crown of England, for
the purpose of keeping it in correspondence with the royal house
Madrid, the 18th February, 1638.
401. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Bellievre has worked hard of late with the
ministers to find some settlement of the differences between the
two crowns about the ship Pearl and the English ships seized
in France. Various proposals have been made, not one without
serious difficulties for one side or the other, but all without result.
Those concerned cry out to the royal Council. They assert with
some freedom that they pay very high imposts for their goods,
unbearable contributions, never known before for the maintenance
of ships at sea, and in spite of this they suffer as much loss as
before, their ships and goods being violated by the French and
the Dunkirkers and Dutch as if in contempt of the king's Majesty,
and without redress. This outcry has reached the king, and
with the approval of the Council he has decided to direct the
Earl of Leicester not to conduct any business at the French
Court before this is settled. The secretaries of state, by his
Majesty's order communicated this to Bellievre, and afterwards
sent an extraordinary with these instructions to Paris, whither
the ambassador also sent, to forestall the English one.
A Scot Lesli (fn. 7) arrived here recently, who commands an army for
Sweden in Germany. He has gone on to Scotland to hasten
the departure of the troops the levy of which was permitted a
year ago, for those parts, and to take his wife and children to
Pomerania, whither he will proceed in due course to fight again.
He reports the departure of the imperial troops from that
province, driven out by the cold and the lack of everything,
though they have left their conquests provided as best they could.
Meanwhile the Swedish minister, dissatisfied with the replies
given him, persists with his offices. He says they wrong his
superiors in saying that they cause delays in the French alliance,
and insists on their sending an ambassador to Hamburg with
fuller powers to conduct it and deal with other matters that
arise on the same subject. But they do not intend to appoint
anyone here before the treaty of Vismar is completed and they
are sure that the negotiations with the emperor are broken off.
Devich, the English Agent at Hamburg, writes on the 26th
ult. that Galasso was in the neighbourhood, with the intention
of wintering in Holstein. The King of Denmark had sent a
gentleman to enquire, and he told him he was waiting for orders
from the emperor and would act in accordance. He did not
understand why that king claims that Holstein, as a member of
the empire, should not lodge troops like Saxony and Brandenburg.
When the king heard this he wrathfully ordered the inspection
and reinforcement of the forts of the duchy, and ordered the
troops to the frontier, to resist if Gallasso attempted to enter.
The Ambassador Ognati announces that his king has granted
to Cæsar a payment of 200,000 crowns, on condition that he sends
to Flanders 18,000 infantry and 7000 cavalry, with which the
Cardinal Infant will work wonders. Don Francesco di Mello
has arranged this and other matters in Germany, and has gone
to Spain to inform the king. This agrees with what the English
Agent writes from Brussels that they are not making any extraordinary
preparations of troops, as they are expecting them from
Germany, but he adds that money is very short, and the amount
brought by the fleet to Dunkirk does not reach what report
Last Sunday the king knighted Opton, recently appointed
ambassador to Spain. They are now working at his instructions,
and he will leave about Easter. The hopes of the Ambassador
Astenay are dashed that his secretary would succeed him as
agent, though he sent here for this purpose with recommendations
in his favour. They say that the Earl of Leicester will also be
recalled, and they are already saying at Court that as they do not
know if France intends to conclude the alliance or no it does not
accord with the king's dignity to keep an ambasasdor extraordinary
any longer, as there is still the ordinary. The truth
is that all affairs depend on the extraordinary, who has greater
friends at Court, and the other expresses his resentment to some
of the ministers, who spread these reports.
The queen gave a masque last Tuesday, at which she herself
danced with fourteen of the most beautiful Court ladies, affording
the king and all the nobility of London, who were present, a
most pleasant entertainment. It was noteworthy above all
others presented for a long time past for the richness of the
dresses and the subtlety of the inventions.
The merchant Vassel, who proposed to divert his trade from
Ragusa to Spallato has informed me of the Collegio's reply to
Obson. He said he could only promise what was in his control.
I told him that as your Excellencies did not approve of his
requests except on those conditions I had nothing to add. He
replied that if your Serenity would bind him to possible things
he would do them, but he could not venture to promise what is
not in his power. He seems very sorry at being unable to obtain
such a favour and I fancy he is writing again to Obson to alter
the paper and appear again before your Serenity.
London, the 19th February, 1637. [M.V.]
402. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Palatine regards as all but dead his hopes of making
any move of consequence, as he sees no prospect of receiving
from England the assistance that would be necessary. Thus,
although he has tried to stir the states of Hesse to do something
in his favour and to go and command their armies, yet any
enterprise would prove beyond the attenuated strength of
The Hague, the 19th February, 1638.
403. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The negotiations for an alliance with the King of Great Britain
remain fluctuating us usual. Here they profess to have done
all that they ought and that the English do not mean to come to
the point ; that they are taken up with the enjoyment of their
present tranquillity and care little for foreign affairs. The
French, on the other hand, announce their entire readiness to enter
the conference whenever the others do so, but they say that the
Swedes make difficulties unless the ratification of the treaty of
Vismar is obtained first. But the Cardinal in talking to me stated
emphatically that at present England might be called the country
where they talk of everything and conclude nothing. For
three years the ambassadors have grown old in disputes on this
subject, and things are in a worse position than ever. The
English seem not to care whether the conference is fixed at
the Hague or at Hamburg making a display of their indifference
being resolved in their hearts not to come to the point, their
object being to preserve their own ease. But they may find
they are mistaken, the wheel of fortune is always turning, and
they may experience an unlucky turn such as they are now
enjoying to see others experience.
Of the fleet ordered in Britanny it seems that the English are
very jealous, not that they are afraid of its being used against
them, but because they know the French persist in their old
resolution not to recognise them as sovereign at sea.
The question of the seizure of ships is still in dispute with equal
suffering and loss to the parties, trade being completely interrupted.
The ambassadors assert, however, that matters have
been brought to a promising stage and that an adjustment will
Paris, the 23rd February, 1637. [M.V.]
404. The deliberation of this Council of the 13th inst. having
been read to the English ambassador, he spoke as follows :
I cannot help rejoicing greatly at seeing your Serenity's
satisfaction with my king's disposition, and that hearts and
hands are so united for the common interests of Christendom.
I can again promise all union, all industry every effort on behalf
of his Majesty, who is issuing his orders for that purpose. His
ministers will strive to fulfil his principles, and I especially, now
I see how much credit I enjoy with your Serenity. It is one
of the greatest confusions of my weakness that I cannot by any
action or demonstration render myself equal to any of the honours
I have received in this office. As I cannot express myself I shall
so act as to show to others, wherever I go, what is in my heart
towards your Serenity.
His Majesty well knows the reasons for your differences with
the Duke of Savoy. He has ordered me to be an instrument,
in going there, to obtain every satisfaction and advantage for
your Serenity, as well as to labour for the peace. I know that
this is a great responsibility and a great honour, and I am sure
I have not deserved it, though I have it much at heart. I might
in this affair ask for some further indication of your Serenity's
feelings, but I will wait until I get to Turin, to hear what is
decided here to that end, and if you tell me, I will say what I
think, and I shall be able to help more easily and to serve. I
can assure your Serenity that I shall have no happier moment
than when I do something that pleases the republic and in public
affairs I shall try, with the credit of my king's interposition, to
prove myself useful.
I will inform the queen of the favour accorded to that man so
readily and graciously. I know she will be very pleased and will
show it upon occasion with the king and in other ways. I also
thank your Serenity, taking it as a fresh testimony of the favour
which I do not deserve.
The doge said that the republic was anxious to please his
Majesty ; they were at one with him in their love of peace and
desire for it. They could add nothing to what the Senate had
said about Savoy. They valued the ambassador highly and
would always show how much they esteemed his merits.
The ambassador said, The happiest part of my leave taking
is the kindness I have experienced from your Serenity. Before
I go I shall come to render fresh thanks. I have some commissions
from his Majesty for offices for the relief of others and his subjects.
When I leave here, I shall go, by command to the Princess of
Mantua, for some office, and then go on to the Duchess of Savoy.
If your Serenity has any commands for those parts, I will obey
them and wherever I go I shall show myself the devoted servant
of the republic. The doge said that they would always meet his
Majesty's desires. The ambassador then bowed and went out,
passing into the other hall to take a copy of the office read to
405. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday in last week two other judges pronounced on the
question of the contributions for the fleet, deciding that his
Majesty could order them by virtue of the laws, but they adduced
such feeble reasons, mixing them dexterously with those of the people,
as to show that they pronounced for his Majesty more for authority
than for justice. The libels and pasquinades circulated through the
city and country and what persons of every condition say with the
utmost freedom, is not easy to describe ; but what counts for more
is the reluctance to pay. No person of quality will pay voluntarily,
and the exaction proceeds so slowly that the king decided to summon
the sheriffs of the Counties before the Council and reprimand them
sharply for their negligence. They told him frankly that it was
impossible to induce any person of account to pay amicably by
persuasion or threats. When solicited in the king's name they say
it is contrary to the institutions of the realm, and that one day they
will have to render account for it. They show their cattle and
other possessions from which their assessments may be levied by
law ; they will not hinder it, but they will leave the memory to those
who come after, to exonerate them. This shows the king what the
permission to have the cause publicly discussed has led to, as the
people have learned their privileges better and they make more
difficulty about satisfying him. Many of the ministry protest,
and his Majesty has unexpectedly decided, uninfluenced by the
Council, who have heard it with astonishment, that it shall not
give its opinion unless asked. They see the difficulties which may
arise, but as he who commands wishes it, they must obey.
They talk of the fleet sailing in greater strength than last year.
They are working busily at its preparation. The Earl of Northumberland
will command and they are beginning to draw up
fresh commissions for him.
The operations of the Ambassador of Morocco, who suggested
to the Court that his king should help against Algiers, and the
damage that their ships here and in Ireland receive from those
pirates, who recently took into that port among thirteen ships of
various nations, a rich English one with 24 guns, (fn. 8) of which news
has recently arrived, has induced the king to go twice to the
Council in person to devise means for a vigorous attempt,
encouraged by the success at the fortress of Sale, which has so
pleased the King of Morocco. Accordingly they propose to send
thither in the spring a squadron of well armed ships, in the hope
that with the forces supplied by the king, success may not prove
difficult. It would be a remarkable relief to human intercourse.
It is not yet decided if they will make the attempt, but the
enterprise is universally applauded.
I went again yesterday to salute the Spanish ambassador,
who received me very courteously. After the first compliments
he asked me anxiously what news I had from Italy. I told him
I only heard rumours of great preparations for war in Piedmont.
He said the French wanted the chief places of the duchess, who
was in no position to refuse. When I objected that they had
nothing to bear that out here, he insisted it was as true as the
gospel and told me to write it to the republic. He continued, I
also fancy they are intriguing for the Mantuan, but I am not so
sure of this as of the other. He said Prince Tomaso will not go
to Italy just now, as the Cardinal, his brother has come to an
agreement with his sister in law about his appanages, but nothing
was said about his other claims. Saiavedra will not go at once
to Mantua, as he wrote to Flanders that his negotiations would be
premature. We afterwards conversed familiarly about the
reports about the Cardinal Infant marrying the young Queen of
Sweden. He said religion would be no impediment, because
to be a king a man would become a devil, not only a Protestant,
but the relations between the House of Austria and that kingdom
were not so good as to induce him to make himself king there.
He said he was daily expecting an ordinary with orders for him
to go to Spain. He declared that the king could not send
another ambassador here before he had conferred with him.
The Ambassador Fildin writes on the 29th ult. of the arrival of
the extraordinary with the instructions to go to Turin. He says
he will set out within a fortnight, leaving your Excellencies
pleased with his operations and of the most friendly disposition
to his Majesty. They have sent to him to offer his condolences
in passing to the Princess of Mantua, on the death of the duke,
her father in law.
The king has sent the Earl of Bukom, a Scottish favourite of
his Majesty, to congratulate the Most Christian on the pregnancy
of his queen. He is to express the satisfaction felt here at this
boon to Christendom, and the sincere affection of this crown for
His Majesty set out the day before yesterday for Newmarket,
to spend three weeks in hunting. The greater part of the Council
has gone with him, to assist in what may turn up, so this Court
is very short of news. The queen remains here, so as not to go
away from her Lenten devotions.
An extraordinary arrived from France this morning brings
word of the settlement of the affair of the ship Pearl, which is
restored by the French to its owners, with 40,000 florins for the
goods and other things in dispute, and that trade is restored to
its former condition. The news is very welcome to the merchants
here, who suffered greatly by its interruption. But those
interested in the ship are not content, protesting that they
suffer very sensible disadvantage.
I have received your Serenity's despatches of the 28th ult.
with the enclosed packet of advices.
London, the 26th February, 1637. [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|406. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Asks to be excused serving the Ambassador Corraro as
secretary, in France, after this present residence, as his health
has broken down. Corraro has consented. Has suffered for
some months from severe catarrh, which has affected his right
arm. His hand requires rest, but that is impossible at present.
Has frequent attacks of fever, but will do his duty so long as he
has breath. Lazari is fulfilling the duties of secretary to Corraro
admirably. Asks leave to return home after the Ambassador
Giustinian arrives, in consideration of having served three
secretaryships with ordinary ambassadors, and acted twice as
resident, and because of the state of his health.
London, the 26th February, 1638.
407. Lord Fielding having been sent three years ago as
ambassador extraordinary to his Serenity, it is desirable that
some demonstration and present should be made at his departure.
That up to 300 ducats be expended for this in refreshments
in one or more places through which he will pass, in such manner
as our Collegio shall see fit, after it is known what route he will
Ayes, 149. Noes, 4. Neutral, 7.