449. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After the installation of the prince in the Order of the Garter
their Majesties have returned to London, and will go on to Greenwich
on Monday. The prince, under the charge of the Earl of
Newcastle, his tutor, will go with his brother to Richmond as
A courier from Scotland reached the Court at Windsor with news
that on hearing of the nomination of persons to arrange a composition
between the king and that people, the members of the union intimated
that they could not rely upon the royal promise for the abolition of
the liturgy book unless it was suppressed by decree of parliament,
and the maintenance of their privileges was confirmed and it was
arranged that parliament should meet at least once every three years
to put right the affairs of the state, and if the king did not summon it,
the nobility should. They say that the union will meet at Edinburgh
on the 16th inst. to hear the terms for an accommodation, reply to
the articles and do what the service of the country requires. These
points, which get further away from their first protests, founded upon
the laws, which covered them from the stain of rebellion, render their
aims more odious now. Yet they maintain an exemplary concord,
everyone living virtuously and soberly, without scandal or anything
to prejudice their resolutions. The French ambassador cannot bring
himself to believe that the Catholic does not encourage this movement,
and the Spanish ministers openly say that the Most Christian and
the Dutch have a hand in it, and possibly both are right as it is
commonly believed at Court that all these powers contribute what
they can to turn the disunion of these realms to their own advantage.
The king realises though late, the mistake he made in letting that
sedition go so far. He tries every means to appease it and meets
with more difficulties than he expected. To leave those people no
vestige for believing that he is nearly a Roman Catholic, which is the
point on which they lay stress, he has intimated to the papal minister
that to facilitate that accommodation it is necessary for him to
leave England. Accordingly he is ill humouredly getting ready to
cross the sea, and they do not think that any one will be received in
his place. This step has displeased the queen, but the king told her
that it was required by the present state of affairs, to avoid greater
scandal among his subjects. It is expected that the one resident
at Rome for the queen will also be recalled.
Today begins St. John's term, when the remaining four judges
are to give their opinion, (fn. 1) after which sentence will be pronounced
according to the majority, as to whether the king can impose
taxes legally for the fleet without the approval of parliament.
Meanwhile every difficulty is experienced in raising the money.
The sheriffs write that they find no one who offers to buy goods
distrained on those who refuse, all being agreed on this subject.
The Admiral Northumberland is recovering painfully from his
most serious illness. He proposes to put to sea with the fleet
at the end of the present month, practically everything being in
readiness. Meanwhile the Dutch fleet has appeared off Dunkirk.
The French is expected to join it, and people believe that they
propose to attack the place. As it would not suit this kingdom
for it to fall into the hands of either power, they say openly that
the king will prevent it with his fleet, and that the Vice Admiral
Pennington has already received orders to take his ships to the
coast of Flanders to observe those fleets. If this prove true it
may lead to disputes about the dominion of the sea, claimed
by this crown and not admitted by France.
The Countess of Levestein, a lady of the Princess Palatine, (fn. 2)
has arrived from Holland on her private affairs. She kissed the
king's hand and gave him letters from her mistress, representing
the determination of her son, even after the loss of Meppen,
to enter Germany, and his hopes of getting another place d'armes
or recovering that one. The Countess asserted the same, and
begged his Majesty to increase his assistance, holding out hopes
of better fortune when the prince is in Germany, sword in hand.
She received fair words and they think she will see deeds also, as
the king inclines to show liberality according to the high spirit of
his Highness. Meanwhile the 20,000l. sterling now on ship for
transport to Rotterdam, are detained in the river by contrary
The Count of Ognati, after receiving a present of 2000 ounces
of silver gilt in the king's name, and four most noble hackneys,
has departed for Spain on a royal ship. (fn. 3) I paid him the proper
compliments and wished him a pleasant journey. I went to see
Cardines, who professed his devotion to your Serenity and a desire
to continue good relations. He received me with every courtesy
and said he had instructions to encourage the best relations with
the ministers of the republic. In memory of the courtesies he
had received at Venice he would give proof of this to the
Ambassador Giustinian when he arrived.
My confidant has just brought me word that he has heard that
the king confirmed Lord Fildin as ambassador to your Serenity
at Windsor. The post leaves in a few hours and gives me no
time to verify this. I find it difficult to believe from the poor
opinion they have of him at Court and his recall from Turin.
By next despatch I may know more.
London, the 4th June, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
450. That by the authority of this Council the agents of the
ambassador Fielding, who recently left this city, be permitted
to lade 24 chests containing marble heads, in an English ship,
without impediment ; such being the will of the state.
Ayes, 80. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
451. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
After receiving a rich and honourable present, the English
ambassador has at length set out for Corunna. The ministers
here express themselves as very satisfied with his behaviour, and
it seems that he was considered worthy of confidence. They hope
the same of the ambassador who is coming as he acted as Resident
here for a long time.
Madrid, the 5th June, 1638.
452. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
When the Most Christian sent the Ambassador Bellievre
here he gave him orders to obtain for his wife a place to sit in the
queen's presence, such as is allowed to the English ambassador's
wife in France. When he reached London and had seen all the
ladies standing and knew the misadventures which had befallen
the Ambassador Fontane for the same cause, he wisely decided
to let it alone. But when Madame de Chevreuse arrived and
seated herself before their Majesties, he thought fit to communicate
the commissions in question to the queen, and the reasons why he
left them unfulfilled for so long, but now when he saw others
seated in her presence he could not allow France to suffer this
prejudice any longer without blame, and French ambassadors
ought to have the same privilege here as the English enjoy in
The queen took this in good part and told him she regretted
she could not satisfy him and his wife, although she and the king
liked them better than any other ambassador who had ever been
here. The concession would create envy and revolt among the
ladies of the Court. What was impracticable here could be
done in France, where all the princessses and duchesses sit,
especially as her only daughter does not enjoy the privilege.
They allowed Chevreuse to sit as a foreign princess and of kin
to the king. The ambassador said he acted by order of his king
and not from ambition, and suggested arranging some compromise.
The queen could not think of any, unless Madame de
Chevreuse, who was very courteous, agreed not to sit when his
wife was at Court, but that must depend on her discretion and
she could not promise it. If your Majesty does not promise it,
he replied, I cannot risk allowing my wife at Court. I will send
word to France and do what I am ordered, but I fear they will
take away the privilege from the English ambassadress. This
happened, as your Serenity will have heard. When the news
arrived the king resented it deeply and told the ambassador that
they ought not to have taken such a step without first warning
him. Bellievre replied that he had openly intimated it to the
queen ; he deeply regretted it and begged the king to believe
that it was not by his advice. Nothing further has been done,
but they say that the English ambassador will be recalled, having
finished his charge.
The news of Fildin's confirmation was a mistake of my
informant, as he was ordered to stay not at Venice but at Turin
until further order. It is thought that influence will ultimately
get him the French embassy, which he desires so much, although
incompetent. There seems no other reason for the suspension
of the other orders, if it be not to make him succeed Schidemore
if he is recalled because of the above incident, because of his wife,
which will not affect Fildin, as being unmarried. It is a fact that
the one who took his letters of recall also had letters for the
duchess, in which the king disapproved of all that Fildin had
negotiated with her, except his offices of condolence.
Cardines obtained the export last week of many thousands of
powder and lead for Flanders, of which they write thence that
they have not sufficient provision for the present campaign.
But they have to buy it of the king for 60,000 crowns, double the
price ordinarily current. It is laded on merchantmen, to be
escorted by the king's ships to Dunkirk. The French and Dutch
ambassadors remonstrated, but in vain. (fn. 4) They know that
the interest and share of the Spaniards in the government here obscure
reason and prevent the reflection that these weapons are against
the nephew whom they profess they wish to help.
M. d'Avo writes from Hamburg that 10,000 soldiers were to be
embarked in Sweden for Germany at the end of last month, with
munitions of war, and that Banier was to take the field on the
10th inst. Gallasso was still in the neighbourhood with diminishing
force and reputation, having no design on Bremen, as was
supposed. Salvio had offered to the Prince Palatine the leadership
of the troops the Swedes have under General Ching in
Westphalia, and the fortresses they hold for his army, on condition
he does not use them for his particular interest, but only for the
public cause. The English Agents write to the same effect, and
Countess Levestein, in the name of the Princess Palatine, insists
on fresh demonstrations of the royal protection, to invite the
French to second them. But they are in no such hurry here to
double their liberality, especially as there are very few who
approve of England breaking with the house of Austria for the
Palatine's cause or provoking it by helping against it, pointing
out that if the Spaniards attacked this kingdom, stripped of all
means of defence, they would inflict great harm on this crown.
The Court left for Greenwich on Monday, and the Lords of
the Council who remained here will mostly go there the day after
tomorrow, and then proceed to their country houses until the
king returns to town.
The state despatches received this week are of the 20th ult.
I will use the enclosed sheet of advices for your service.
London, the 11th June, 1638.
Postcript : I have just heard that the Master of the Ceremonies
intimated yesterday by the king's order to the Ambassador
Bellievre, that as they have taken away the seat from the
English ambassador's wife at Paris, he and his wife must abstain
in the future from entering the queen's coaches.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
453. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The ship from England so impatiently awaited by the Count
Palatine has at length arrived these last days. He is greatly
comforted by receiving with it the sum of about 300,000 florins
in ready money as well as munitions of war, to wit, ten pieces of
field artillery, 10,000 pounds of powder, several officers all
well furnished and the equipment of the guns aforesaid. The
Palatine has gone to confer with the Prince.
The Hague, the 12th June, 1638.
454. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
Difficulties of Chatillon at siege of St. Omer. The Cardinal
Infant unable to resist attacks from so many quarters without
reinforcements Chatillon sent to the Cardinal a Scottish
Jesuit taken by M. di Hallier in a fort he had entered to take a
letter to the Spaniards, thinking they were there. (fn. 5) The letter
contained hopes of speedy relief for the defenders. He is an
intelligent man, well informed of the interests of the enemy and
they hope to get important information out of him.
Paris, the 15th June, 1638.
455. The Agent of Great Britain came into the Collegio and
Last week I had your Serenity's permission to lade twenty
cases on an English ship for the ambassador who left here, I
could not profit by this favour because the ship left unexpectedly.
There is now another ready to sail, and I ask for a like order to
the master, named Gio. Roetston, with the addition of 16 more
chests of pictures, with the ambassador's arms on them. He
will be greatly indebted to your Excellencies for this fresh mark
of your readiness to oblige him.
456. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
News about Scotland becomes ever more unpleasant. The Marquis
of Hamilton writes that he received letters from the Assembly on
the road advising him not to go any further unless he brought powers
to convoke their parliament as without this any other proposals
would be in vain. He says he gathers that they have decided to inform
him when he enters the kingdom that he must make his proposals
in public only, to which he will have a speedy reply, and everyone
will be forbidden to treat with him privately. In spite of this he
had gone on to fulfil the king's orders. He prays God to grant him
good fortune corresponding to his goodwill, to serve his Majesty
with success. But actually he undertook this task very unwillingly,
knowing the tenacity of that people in their resolutions, the slight
hope of success in saving the royal dignity, and perhaps with
suspicion of his own complicity, as being of the same country,
religion and possibly opinions. They await news of his negotiations
with impatience. Everyone believes they will be useless as he
does not take the king's consent to summon parliament.
Last week a courier extraordinary reached the Resident of
Savoy from his mistress with news that the Governor of Milan
had laid siege to Vercelli, and letters for his Majesty conveying
the same information. The letter expresses apprehension
of the hostile forces and determination to resist, assisted by the
Most Christian, whom, she says, the Spaniards have compelled
to sign the treaty by their hostile acts, when he inclined to remain
indifferent, if he had been left in peace. She prays his Majesty
to permit Fildin to continue in residence there for some time,
apologising for his errors. The king answered kindly,
sympathising with her troubles and willingly satisfying her
about Fildin. (fn. 6)
I hear that Fildin's mother and the Marquis of Hamilton have
petitioned for his confirmation at Turin, and some weeks ago
induced the queen to ask the duchess to agree to it, and that is
why she asked his Majesty. The mother wishes to detain her son
until she provides him with some office of profit at Court, since his
fortune is small and he could not keep up his position here. Meanwhile
I gather from my talk with the ministers that while an
ambassador is there they will not appoint another to your Serenity.
Madame de Chevreuse continues her operations at Court for
a marriage between the Prince of Spain and the Princess Maria.
The idea pleases them greatly here and to make herself necessary
she does not fail to keep it up, even making them believe that she
has powers to arrange it. The general opinion is that so long as
the princess does not profess the Roman faith it will never come
to anything, even though it is sketched. They say openly that
the example of the king, when he went to Spain to marry the
present empress after long and tedious negotiations is enough
to show that the House of Austria does not desire to contract
a marriage with the English, although only two brothers stand
between the princess and the inheritance of her father's realms.
Three terrifying criminal sentences have been pronounced
this week in the Star Chamber against three persons who dared
to invent calumnies against the king, the Lord Keeper and one
of the judges who pronounced for the people in the ship money
case. The first, a Catholic, for retorting to a Protestant, who
called him a Papist, that so was the queen and the king also at
heart, was condemned to pay 10,000l. sterling, for the king's use,
to have his ears cut and his tongue pierced. Another for having
accused the Lord Keeper of many extorsions was fined 12,000l.
sterling and to have his nose slit, and the third, who is a chaplain
of the Lord Treasurer, for having furiously called one of the judges
a traitor to the king, when he was sitting on the Bench with the
others, was sentenced to pay 5000l. sterling and to go with a
label on his head describing his fault before the magistrates, to
recall what he said, and to ask pardon of the judge. (fn. 7)
The Spanish minister being pressed by the Cardinal Infant to
despatch the munitions of war bought of the king, has had them
laded on some of the small ships here and they left the day before
yesterday. When they came out of the river the Vice Admiral
Pennington met them with four royal ships, to escort them to
Dunkirk, as arranged with the king, to avoid danger from the
Dutch. (fn. 8)
Some reports state that the French fleet has sailed from La
Rochelle for Flanders, intending to join the Dutch. They add
that to avoid any dispute with England about the dominion of
the sea the French are flying the flag of Holland, and so as
Dutch ships will render those signs of respect to the English
which they would not as French.
Tomorrow the only two judges left to declare their opinion (fn. 9)
will pronounce upon the levy of money for the fleet, and the
sentence will then be delivered. It is believed they will pronounce
for the people. The king connives at it now he sees so large a
part of them have argued against him ; but the issue is awaited
with great interest.
London, the 18th June, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
457. To the Proveditore of Zante.
To use all diligence to discover and deal with the persons guilty
of wounding the English consul and in redressing the other
grievances complained of by the English nation. The Senate
will wait to hear from him what action he takes.
Ayes, 146. Noes, 3. Neutral. 9.
458. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassadors have not yet made any complaint
about taking away the prerogative of the ambassadress of being
seated in the queen's presence, although we hear they have
made a great fuss about it in England. They are actively
treating here for the return of Madame de Chevreuse to France,
promising her many safeguards, but her relations do not consider
Paris, the 22nd June, 1638.
459. The Secretary of England, came into the Collegio and
About two months ago I came to inform your Serenity of the
resolution of the Duchess of Savoy to remain neutral in the
present fluctuations. Now, seeing that the Spaniards are
attacking her without cause, and besieging her towns, the
Ambassador Feldin directs me to inform you that her Highness
has signed the league with France for the defence of her state,
and to preserve the position left to her by the late duke. She
had the more cause to take this step because she declares that the
Spaniards broke their word to her and betrayed and deceived
her. I state this on the ambassador's behalf and as a proof that
his Majesty is using every means to forward a true and honourable
peace in this province.
The doge said they welcomed the communication as a fresh
testimony of the ambassador's affection. They would always
respond and he could thank the ambassador in their name. The
secretary mentioned the matter of sending certain pictures to
England, bowed and went out.
460. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The judges have finished their task about the question of
taxes for the fleet with the pronouncement of the last two. They
have decided for the king openly, saying that when the judges
advised his Majesty three years ago that he could do it legally,
the matter was discussed among the chief men of the royal
Council, forming the executive, naming specifically the keepers of
the great and privy seals. These two opinions with the other
five carry it against the four for the people and the one neutral,
so sentence is given for his Majesty irrevocable until the next
parliament meets, as the malcontents freely say. Henceforward
the money will be exacted with severity against the disobedient.
We hear that they have risen in one county and maltreated
an official when he was distraining on those who refused to pay.
A courier extraordinary has arrived from the Marquis of
Hamilton from Scotland with letters for the king. He read them
without communicating them to any one soever, and shortly
after he was closeted alone with the Archbishop of Canterbury
in a room at Greenwich. He wrote the answer with his own hand
and sent it back with all speed. It is impossible to discover the
contents of the letter, but his Majesty was observed to change
countenance and the archbishop equally, and as they came out
looking very grave men conclude that the news was not pleasing. (fn. 10)
From private letters we hear that the people would not allow
the marquis to enter Edinburgh, but made him lodge at a place
called Dalchif, four leagues away. On examining his credentials
there they found some defects, and so he had to send to the king
to have this remedied, the hearing of his proposals being postponed
until the courier returned. Private persons also state that the
Assembly has given the title of notables to those whom they have
deputed as heads of the government, and understanding that the
marquis is bringing powers to grant them satisfaction, they
intimate that they wish the king to come in person to Scotland
to convoke parliament, which cannot be summoned by commission.
Seeing that their demands become ever more impertinent
there are few who believe in the adjustment of those affairs, but that
now that nation is enjoying its freedom it means to throw off the
royal yoke definitely, in the assurance that the king cannot compel
them by force, owing to the well known weakness of his realms and
possibly to confidence in foreign help.
The Dutch ambassador went recently to audience of the king
and told him he had heard that 1200 barrels of gunpowder had
been laded on English ships to take to Dunkirk. As the servant
of his Majesty he was obliged to tell him that if they fell in with
the Dutch ships blockading that port, he feared they would be
seized and serious trouble would arise. The king replied that
it was true he had sold some powder, but as it was embarked
it no longer belonged to him. (fn. 11) But it is known that he undertook
to have it escorted to the port in question at his own risk, and the dates
bear this out as the ships under Pennington were all ready and he
took them safely over. On his return he wrote that he had found off
Dunkirk divers Dutch ships and 4 large French ones which all saluted
the royal standards, but says nothing about the French flying the
The ambassador also remonstrated about the recent issue of
letters of reprisal in spite of his Majesty's promise to suspend
them, when they were granted some time ago against the Dutch
for taking an English ship which was taking provisions to the
Catholic's dominions. The king replied that his masters had
never settled their differences with the merchants interested
and as these had frequently appeared with petitions before his
Council he could not refuse them justice. (fn. 12)
A French gentlemen has arrived back from Turin. He was
sent by the queen with condolences to the duchess on the death of
her husband. He reports the virile constancy of that lady in
her afflictions, and her declaration that she depends utterly
on the wishes of the Most Christian. Count Scisa, her Resident
here, publishes the bad state of her affairs. Vercelli will certainly
be lost being insufficiently supplied, while the French are not
strong enough to succour it. He fears that if the Cardinal of
Savoy himself goes to Piedmont he may, under present circumstances
do the duchess more harm than the Spanish army, as he
is as popular there as the French are hated.
The Count of Egmont, one of the foremost lords of Flanders,
has recently arrived here. (fn. 13) He fled thence six years ago, fearing
imprisonment by order of the Catholic for complicity with
Count Henry di Bergh and others, who absented themselves
then. He is related to the king and asks for his Majesty's
interposition with the States of Holland for the restitution of
much country which he claims to belong to him, as he declares
that he has never borne arms against those States.
London, the 25th June, 1638.
[Italian : the part in italics deciphered.]
461. That at the request of the English gentleman left here
by the Ambassador Fielding, the pictures left by the ambassador
be freely released without payment of the duty, their value being
assessed at 100 crowns, on which the duty would be 7 crowns.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 6. Neutral, 6. It requires 5/6ths.
1638, on the 5th May in the Collegio :
Ayes, 19. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1. It requires 5/6ths.
462. That by the authority of this Council the Agents of
the Ambassador Fielding be permitted to lade on an English
ship, without hindrance, twenty cases of pictures, countersigned
with the ambassador's arms, in addition to the twenty-four cases
of marbles, as granted on the 5th inst.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 6. Neutral, 6.
On the same day in the Collegio :
Ayes, 19. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
463. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador designate
to England, to the Doge and Senate.
After a long journey through this troubled kingdom, full of
perils, with the march of so many troops towards Spain, I have
at least reached this city. After making the necessary arrangements
and providing for the safety of the journey, I shall proceed
to England at the earliest opportunity.
Paris, the 29th June, 1638.
464. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here are indignant at the King of England selling
munitions of war to the Spaniards, especially as they are to be
used in Flanders against the French, an action which shows
how little that king cares for any agreement with them here.
The negotiations for an adjustment with Madame de Chevreuse
are progressing. She has received money from her husband.
They laugh at Court at Bellievre and his wife being forbidden
to enter the royal coaches, and that will not make them give
back to the English ambassadress the privilege she had, even after
the Chevreuse has gone. The Ambassador Leicester, in his king's
name, made overtures yesterday to Madame de Rohan for a
marriage between her daughter and the Prince Palatine. The
duchess does not object to the match, though she prefers one
with Duke Bernard of Weimar. There is little appearance of
the king approving of either, and he has intimated that she shall
wed the Duke of Nemours, a youth not yet sixteen.
Paris, the 29th June, 1638.