528. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers most employed give assurance that his Majesty
has formed generous decisions, greater than the first, for the
support of the Palatine forces, which suffer from lack of money.
As the royal treasure is powerless to support at the same time
both this and the entertainment of the queen mother, it must be
postponed, as contrary to the hopes of those who do not wish
to see her in this kingdom, she has been carried by the winds to
Harwich, sixty miles away, in derision of the great preparations
made at Dover. She landed there with her suite of six hundred
persons, but none of any rank, enjoying the commodities supplied
magnificently by the king, and took to her bed to recover from
the discomforts of the sea, and had recourse to medicine. His
Majesty, who proposes to meet her in great state, twenty five
miles in the country, is waiting to hear of her moving. The
queen, her daughter, on account of her pregnancy, will only go
a few leagues. (fn. 1) She maintains with all her might, in order to
diminish the universal murmuring at such expense, that her
mother will only remain a few days at the expense of her husband,
and that her appanages will promptly be supplied from France
to pay for her stay and all her requirements.
Having lost the chance of the ordinary embassy in France
Fildin is employing every means for a new term with your
Excellencies. He has sent his secretary here with gifts for the
king and other presents for the queen. (fn. 2) His mother, who
occupies the principal post in her Majesty's chamber, warmly
supports the instances of her son. Against these, in his Majesty's
Council are what happened at Venice and the dissatisfaction with
his operations in Savoy, so he only has the royal favour for him.
They decided in the Council to add some earthworks to
strengthen Varvich castle, which is on the Scottish frontier.
This rendered the people there very suspicious. The more there
is done to satisfy them the more bold they grow in neglecting
their duty as obedient subjects. Their lively remonstrances
caused the king to change his mind, his sole preoccupation being
to avoid disturbances, so he prefers to live less safely in this
kingdom rather than supply materials for increasing trouble in
It appears that the Duchess of Chevreuse intends to go to
Brussels rather than go to the Most Christian. In the future she
will provide for her household solely with the 1000 crowns a
month with which the Catholic king provides her. The gentleman
sent from here to the Duke of Lorraine took him an invitation
to proceed thither also, in order to discuss the measures adopted
at this Court to his advantage, while keeping alive those with the
Spaniards, on the point which he is negotiating with the ministers
of France. These intercepted the letters sent to Spain to the
Count of Olivares, and to her deep chagrin they have come into
the hands of Cardinal Richelieu, as she is conducting intrigues
which do not square with the interests of that crown, not to speak
of the suggestions for the marriage of the prince, which I reported.
No further particulars have transpired so far.
A Frenchman of rank has arrived here lately, and it is reported
that the Duke of La Valette has also taken flight and is now at
Plymouth ; (fn. 3) but they know nothing about it at Court as yet.
Since the king's return to town everything was arranged for
my entry and first audience, but the king has notified me through
the Master of the Ceremonies of his desire that they shall be
postponed until his mother in law arrives, so that the principal
lords of the Court and the Master of the Ceremonies himself,
who is with the said queen, being at leisure, the function may take
place with due ceremony. (fn. 4)
London, the 5th November, 1638.
529. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
News has arrived of a defeat inflicted by the Imperialists upon
the army of the Prince Palatine, (fn. 5) and of the capture of Prince
Roberto his brother and of Lord Craven, compensated by the
death of Pietro Gotz. They regret the event here, but hope
that it will serve as a spur to the King of Great Britain to come
out with a more resolute declaration in favour of the public
Poissy, the 5th November, 1638.
530. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
They have no certain news of the Duke of La Vallette, some
think he has gone to England, others to Italy. There is nothing
certain either about the arrival of the queen mother in England.
They say little or nothing about her at Court.
They feel sorry for the misfortunes of the Palatines, but have
no idea of relieving them unless they first see an open and solid
declaration in their favour from the King of Great Britain.
Paris, the 9th November, 1638.
531. To the Ambassador in London.
With regard to the gunpowder upon reflection and if it is not
possible to obtain more favourable terms, we do not think it will be
to our advantage to purchase any, under the circumstances.
However you will not lose touch with the matter out of consideration
for what may happen later.
Vote of 300 ducats for couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 130. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
That the following be added to the letter for the Ambassador
in London :
We have thought it necessary to inform his Majesty's secretary
here of the arrest of the Bailo. This office will serve by a cordial
friendliness to stimulate his Majesty's sincere propensity to
support this matter on his side, with vigour, by means of his
ambassador at the Porte.
|532. That the Secretary of England be summoned to the
Collegio and that the following be read to him :
As a concession to the pirates the arrest of our Bailo has been
ordered at Constantinople. The Turkish ministers themselves
recognise the outrage, but they have obeyed through fear.
Everything goes to indicate vast designs on the part of the
Turk against Christendom. All the powers and the king of Great
Britain too are equally interested, as his ambassador at the Porte
has shown by his action. We have directed our ambassador in
London to thank his Majesty and we have desired to inform you as
a further expression of our gratitude and of our confidence that
his Majesty will not abandon so important a cause, which involves
the safety of all Christendom.
533. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople,
to the Doge and Senate.
I keep the new English ambassador informed of what is taking
place in the affair, in which his offers and his words could not be better.
But he can do little or nothing until he has entered upon his charge.
The Vigne of Pera, the 13th November, 1638.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
534. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The queen mother entered this city on Wednesday (fn. 6) before a
great crowd, being met by the king in the country. All the
foreign ministers presented their respects on the following day.
France said he did it of himself, as he had no orders from the
Most Christian. He thus made himself safe with his king and
satisfied their Majesties here, while opening a way for treating
with her. From certain indications I feel sure that he has
secret but cautious instructions for this. Her Majesty is visited
every day with the utmost respect by the king and her daughter.
The former frequently talks with her standing and uncovered,
while the latter displays the most filial reverence, 5000l. sterling
have been paid to her for her present needs, with an assignment
of 3000l. a month for her daily familiar needs. The leaders of the
merchants brought her a gilded basin with 1000l. sterling, as a gift.
On the other hand the queen by maintaining the most rigid
hauteur does not afford equal satisfaction. When the royal
Council paid its respects she received it seated and responded in
a few words. She did the same with the ladies and other great
lords of the realm, being always very sparing with her courtesies.
This has caused further murmurs, and increases the desire
to see her out of this country.
His Majesty chose to tell the Palatine's agent with his own lips
his disposition to assist his master with a fresh sum of money to
support his troops. That minister presses for the fulfilment of
the promises, which is not easy with the extraordinary
expenditure. It is as yet uncertain what the amount will be,
but they think 20,000l. of their money, unless the confused
reports here about the defeat of those forces give them cause to
change their minds.
Having completed a year in Savoy Fildin has at last succeeded
about returning to your Excellencies in his original capacity
of ambassador extraordinary. His mother, who alone secured
this for him, hopes that his commissions will be sent to her son
within two weeks. I will inform your Serenity when this happens.
A French ship from New France which arrived here with a rich
cargo, has been arrested by virtue of letters of reprisal granted
to merchants concerned three years ago. The ambassador is
much incensed, as he claims that it is contrary to the articles of
peace between this crown and France. He has remonstrated
strongly to the king, protesting that if it is not released soon they
will seize all English ships now in French waters. (fn. 7)
Negotiations are still proceeding for the return of Chevreuse
to France. They not only agree to give her every satisfaction,
but an abbey for her daughter also if her mother will sign a
confession of her faults, which she has steadfastly denied in the
past, and so far she seems reluctant to embrace the proposal.
However, she does not let the negotiations drop, while she ceaselessly
encourages the correspondence between this House and the
Spanish one. The queen here is preparing to send very rich gifts
to her sister there, all for the purpose of the suggested marriage
between her daughter and the prince there. The wisest see clearly
that this will not go beyond negotiation, and that the Spaniards
will press their advantages under the favour of such vain hopes.
Scottish affairs are agitated by fresh disturbances. A preacher
who tried surreptitiously to introduce the Arminian faith there
has been furiously hunted away by the people. The Marquis
of Hamilton angrily pointed out that punishment belonged to
the king and no other. They, on the other hand, contend for
the complete freedom of the liturgy permitted to them, and they
went so far as to tell the marquis that they will make any one who
tries to do anything against this determination pay for it with his
life. These proud remarks cause great apprehension to the most
experienced ministers here, as they fear that even worse troubles
will mature in the synod and parliament which have been granted.
The Duke of la Vallette landed in Cornwall and has provided
himself with quarters in this city. I made my public entry on
Monday, being met by Viscount Dangarvan, one of the first
noblemen of the realm and the son of an earl, his Majesty sending
the royal barges and coaches, with a numerous company of
the gentlemen of the Court. His Majesty has appointed my
audience for Sunday, and selected the Earl of Huntingdon to
accompany me. By an adroit suggestion, without committing
myself, I have secured that the queen's coach shall be sent to me
also for the ceremony ; a great distinction, as it it has not been
at the audience of my predecessors. I will see that the rest
is carried out with proper decorum. I must add that I have
observed that they make no difference between the ambassadors
extraordinary of your Serenity and those of other crowns. If
in the future it proves impracticable to get past errors amended
by sending an earl for the entry, the Senate can easily avoid the
disadvantage by giving the next envoy the title of ambassador
extraordinary, as the Most Christian and Catholic crowns often
do at this Court, and the king here does the same ; and once
they have practised sending earls to the Venetian ministers
they may easily go on doing the same with the ordinary
London, the 19th November, 1638.
535. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
I saw the king on Sunday, being taken by the Earl of Huntingdon,
accompanied by the royal coaches and other ministers. I
expressed your satisfaction at his good health and the prosperity
of his house, your esteem for him and desire for the continuance
of uninterrupted relations. I said I hoped I should give him
satisfaction. With a radiant face the king said he desired the
most cordial relations, which my predecessors had always
cultivated. He expressed himself very graciously about me.
He graciously received my brother Geronimo, who accompanied
me on this long journey.
I presented your Excellencies' letters to the queen and
performed the offices commanded to which she responded with
expressions of regard for the Senate. The royal children are in
the country. I will pay my respects when they return ; while
today I shall perform suitable offices with the queen mother.
The king's sister and Prince Palatine have confirmed by an
express the disaster to their arms. This fresh proof of how fortune
has abandoned that unhappy house in its legitimate plans has
filled his Majesty with grief. He is thinking of how to recover
the second brother, Rupert, a prisoner of the enemy, and of
introducing negotiations at Brussels, which can be continued
at the imperial Court. The Princess Palatine presses with greater
urgency for fresh help, and asks the king to maintain a force of
4000 foot for her son. The king does not consent to this but
promises the selfsame succour to the cause as the Most Christian
will supply. The French ambassador, however, has pointed
out that his master's interest is very different from that of this
crown, with its ties of kin and its promises of the most vigorous
succour. He intimated adroitly that if hope of this is entirely
excluded, France will be more ready to enter the temple of peace,
leaving out the interests of the Palatine house. These remarks
have made no impression so far, his Majesty clinging the more
steadfastly to his original declarations the more the growing
uncertainty of affairs in Scotland calls for the utmost reserve.
He is assembling a certain number of men in Yorkshire and elsewhere,
to provide for emergencies, in order to reduce those
audacious subjects by force in the end, if he cannot do so by
La Vallette has petitioned the king for an asylum and
protection through the Duchess of Chevreuse. The king heard
him willingly, but after the matter had been more thoroughly examined
in the Council, he changed his mind, and intimated to the
duke by a courier, that he did not know the reasons which had
led the duke, the governor of a province and a general, to leave
France, and the laws of a good friend and neighbour did not permit
him to receive him. If they adhere to this the duke will
have to go elsewhere.
The Chevreuse finds herself sorely tried. Richelieu and her
husband urge her to return to France. Not only does her own
feeling persuade her against this, but the queen regnant of France
has let her know with the utmost secrecy that the Cardinal's proposals
or promises are all specious, and a trick to draw her into his net, as a
further cause of annoyance to the queen herself. A gentleman is
expected here and when he comes these negotiations will be
cut short or she will decide upon the journey. The letters
written to the Duke of Lorraine and intercepted told him of the
proposals made here in the name of the Catholic, that if this crown
obliged France to restore Lorraine, he would immediately have
the entire Palatinate handed over, offers which have proved
difficult to carry into effect when previously proposed.
London, the 26th November, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
536. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
Only two letters of your Serenity of the 16th ult. reach me from
France this week. I have expressed to his Majesty, as instructed,
at a special audience, the pleasure of the Senate at the way the
English minister at Constantinople has upheld the common
cause in the matter of the Barbary corsairs, in which I said all
Christian princes were equally interested, and his Majesty in
particular, who showed such praiseworthy zeal for the suppression
of this pest of all the nations.
The king said his ambassador had instructions to maintain
a good understanding with the ministers of Christian princes,
and support all their interests, notably those of your Excellencies,
for whom he has the greatest affection. In addition to the general
instructions he will add special ones to support the good cause
to the ambassador newly sent to the Porte. He seemed desirous
of knowing the precise state of the matter at present, as although
this crown certainly has treaties of peace with the Turk, and ought
not to break, yet they can rule their plans according to circumstances.
As I did not know for certain, I got out of it by speaking
of the deeds of arms of your Serenity, so spirited and profitable
for all Christendom.
I went on to tell him of the outrageous behaviour of his consul
at Zante, which had obliged your Excellencies to expel him from
the island. I omitted nothing that was calculated to impress
him with the necessity for this step. He approved of the action
and said he had no knowledge of the matter as yet. He condemned
the minister for failing in his duty by neglecting to apply
to your Excellencies for his own despatches and to your representative.
The Secretaries confirmed his remarks.
The king also repeated his satisfaction with the Secretary
Zonca, who has his foot in the stirrup to return home, according
to the leave granted to him. I repeat my request that some
one to take his place may be sent as speedily as possible, if this
has not yet been done.
London, the 26th November, 1638.
537. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The reinforcements of English troops who were to have joined
the Palatine on reaching the Weser found no captains to whom to
report themselves or from whom to receive instructions. They
were ready to take service anywhere, but found no one willing to
have them. This incident only serves to intensify the deplorable
condition of the relics of that force.
The Hague, the 27th November, 1638.
538. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
Since the news of the arrival of the Duke of La Valletta in England
nothing further has come. They think he will proceed to
Holland, where his wife proposes to join him. They are not very
pleased here at the courteous welcome received by the queen
mother in England. They profess to have an absolute assurance
that in spite of the sympathies she expresses in agreement with
the Spaniards, she left Flanders on purpose to make trouble
against this kingdom everywhere.
St. Germain, the 30th November, 1638.
539. Giacomo Donado, Venetian Proveditore in Cephalonia,
to the Doge and Senate.
The trade in currants is the principal foundation by which the
revenues of your Serenity are maintained. Where the purchase
of these is advantageous to the merchants it is correspondingly
prejudicial to the people, and obviously harmful to the public
interests. Last year the currants were disposed of at only 20
reals the thousand, a decline of 5 to 6 reals from the preceding
year. What is a much more serious matter, a million and a
half of the old crop remained unsold, since the merchants have
not yet taken them away, according to custom, and it is doubtful
whether they will not have to be thrown away, to the great loss
of the revenue. This year the price will be much lower. According
to current report the currants will not fetch more than 15 to
16 reals the thousand, and there is a fear that the price may drop
still lower, since a large quantity will still remain unsold, according
to the estimate made by the English merchants. The cause of
all this is the multiplicity of plantations of currants in the island,
which increase every year in numbers, rendering it more and
more difficult to dispose of the crop.
Simons has not yet appeared here. I will keep an eye on his
proceedings. The disadvantage of having only one purchaser is
clearly shown by the drop in prices.
Cephalonia, the 20th November, 1638, old style.