617. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The royal household, the secretaries of state and the greater
part of the Court set out on Monday on the appointed journey to
York. His Majesty will follow next week. Before he started I
thought fit to convey to him fresh assurances of your esteem and
to wish him every success. The king was very pleased, and, in
return, expressed his affection and esteem for the Senate.
The Scots have made a very sagacious answer to the recent
declarations against them. They protest the uprightness of their
intentions, which are solely guided by the health of their souls
and the preservation of the ancient privileges of the kingdom,
with a firm and unchangeable determination to adhere to their
devotion to his Majesty ; and they declare that this consideration
has obliged them to close their ears to proposals of powerful
assistance liberally made to them by great princes. On the
other hand advices come of their devoting all their energies for
offering a bold front to the royal forces. The Viceroy of Ireland
has sent word by courier that these will be very powerful on
that side, and he promises every success. The county of York
also has sent fresh assurances that the people of those parts will
be ready to assist in that most just enterprise. But though
these reports cause satisfaction, everyone does not take them
as absolutely sincere.
The census of all the French and other foreigners living at
present in this city has been completed. As the number turns
out considerably less than they thought, it has dissipated the
first suspicious rumours. (fn. 1)
The agent of this crown will return to his residence in Switzerland
in a fortnight. His Majesty has knighted him, as a testimony
to his loyal service. (fn. 2) He will take instructions to arrange some
agreement with the Duke of Weimar in the interests of the Palatine
House. But as they cannot invigorate these with prompt
assistance in money, and France may possibly oppose them, hopes
of success are not brilliant.
A person has arrived here from the Hague, who is going to
Brussels under the pretext of private affairs, to try and open
fresh negotiations for a truce between the Spaniards and the
Here they are awaiting with impatience the return of Mr.
German, from France so that they may know definitely the final
intentions of the Most Christian about his mother, who is resolved
not to move from her quarters here unless they allow her to
return to France.
The marriage of the Ambassador Fildin is upset ; the lady
destined for him being given to another, regardless of the former
promise, (fn. 3) so they think he will not pursue his journey to this
Court, but will resume his way to Venice.
I have your Excellencies' letters of the 5th ult.
London, the 1st April, 1639.
618. Giovanni Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in Germany,
to the Doge and Senate.
I now have full particulars of the agreement between Bavaria
and the Palatine. When I took exception to the refusal of
passports to the Palatine this was communicated to Bavaria,
who at once sent commissioners here with full powers. They
opened negotiations with the English Agent Teller for a new
treaty at Brussels. The particulars were arranged because he
said he had orders not to listen to any fresh negotiations otherwise.
All was conducted very secretly and settled exactly as
I reported. Don Annibal Gonzaga (fn. 4) was sent off at once to
Madrid for the Catholic's approval, and Teller was sent to
England with orders to make sure at Brussels that powers have
reached the Infant from Spain for this, so that the king his master
may send his own minister, on his arrival. The Count of Nassau (fn. 5)
was appointed by agreement plenipotentiary of the emperor, and
was to leave Frankfort. The emperor told me without reserve
that the decree excluding the Palatine from Cologne ought not
to prevent the meeting at Brussels.
Vienna, the 2nd April, 1639.
619. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Doctor Grasvinchel has asked me to petition your Serenity
to return his book about Savoy, which was sent to you for revision
two years ago. The States are now urging him to have it printed,
because it contains some things about the government here ;
but he would not do so without the consent of your Excellencies. (fn. 6)
I undertook to present his petition if he would assure me that he
would not print the book that treats of the Adriatic, or that he
would only do so subject to the corrections which I had handed
to him. He gave me his promise about this.
The Hague, the 2nd April, 1639.
620. Last Saturday evening I, Francesco Zonca went to the
English ambassador to read to him, by order of the state what
I was instructed. I went to the house where he lives and being
admitted to his room I told him how your Excellencies had sent
me to read him a paper. He replied very courteously, thanking
the Senate for so much honour, and made me sit while I read it.
After hearing it he thanked your Serenity for the continued
confidence and he would try and thank you in person. He greatly
regretted that the news from Constantinople was not what you
wished. Such as it was he would send it to his king at the
earliest opportunity, sure that he also would be sorry, from
his affection for the republic. He added, I should like a copy
of the paper, to inform his Majesty better, so that he can take
better measures. I told him I only had orders to read it, and he
asked me at least to read it again, so I obliged him, reading slowly
so that he might take it in better. After this he said that was
enough and he would not need a copy. He noted the names of
the Caimecan and Olacco and asked after your Serenity's health.
He made some complimentary remarks to me about my return
from England, and I came away.
621. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the
Collegio and said :
Your Serenity honoured me by communicating the affairs
of Constantinople through your secretary. This has greatly
obliged me as a sign of confidence I will inform my king earnestly.
I am very sorry that there is fear of a rupture there. I confirm
my king's offer of help, and whatever else he can do. By his
command I must proceed to London on affairs that admit of no
delay. I shall obey unless your Serenity orders the contrary.
I have orders to make the journey in six weeks, going and
returning. I shall leave my household here as a sign and pledge
of my return, and I will give you the greatest proofs of my
devotion. During my stay at Turin I found the duchess most
well disposed towards the republic, and I reported this through
Talma whom I left here. I think she is very inclined to the
adjustment of past differences. I shall try and obtain orders from
my king for this good work. As there are articles I would not
trust them to memory and I have them here in writing.
The senior councillor, Antonio da Canal said the republic
always welcomed his friendly testimony. The Signory would
consider his proposals and send him word.
The ambassador added, I must also commend to your Serenity
his Majesty's subjects living in this city and in the islands,
commended to my protection. Simeas, who was sent as consul
to Zante some months ago, has been sent away, because they say
he was not presented to the Proveditore. His charge is necessary
because dissensions often arise between merchants, and he
should adjust them, saving the authority of your Serenity's
representatives. I ask that he be permitted to return to that
island either as consul or agent, whichever you prefer, to deal
with the affairs of the merchants.
Councillor Canal said they would always be disposed to grant
his Majesty's requests. They would have to enquire into this
particular matter. With this the ambassador took leave and
Carolus dei gratia Mag. Brit. etc. Rex fidei defensor etc.
Ser. Principi ac Dom. Francisco Erizzo, Venetiarum Duci, amico
nostro carissimo, salutem. Quando quidem vir nobilissimus
nobisque perquam dilectus Vice Comes a Fildingh, nuperrime ad
Serenitatem Vestram inclytamque Rempublicam reversus est
ut pristino legati extraordinarii munere fungatur, nunc vero,
ob quadam urgentia negotia confestim ad nos est venturus,
Id Serenitati V. hisce significare nobis visum est, sed cum hic
non sit diu moraturus, idem familiam suam apud vos relinquit,
predictis negotiis peractis quamprimum rediturus, ut mutuam
inter nos amicitiam, sartam, tectam, tueatur, Idcirco ut ei
facultatem veniendi concedere eumque officiis vestris ubi opus
fuerit juvare velitis etiam atque etiam rogamus.
Datum ex Palatio nostro Westmonasteriensi quarto die Februarii
anno gratiae 1638.
Vestrae Serenitatis bonus amicus.
Most Serene Prince :
The King of Great Britain being anxious for the universal
peace of the princes of Italy is bound to apply himself earnestly
to an accommodation between Venice and Savoy. I spoke
about this on my arrival and at my departure for Turin, and now
on my return his Majesty expressly commits it to me. Even if
other ministers have intervened in this matter his Majesty cannot
think that his interposition will be less esteemed, as being more
friendly and less interested. His affection needs no spur and he
is incited by honour to pursue what he began out of affection.
I therefore took up the matter, and I see that the chief points are
as follows :
(1) the Venetian ambassador was obliged to leave Savoy.
(2) the Duke of Savoy took the title of King of Cyprus.
(3) the book printed about that title contained expressions
against the republic.
Her highness has told me that (1) the Venetian ambassadors
in France urged the French to attack Pinerolo,
as a sign of that king's displeasure. (2) that the republic wished
to treat her Highness in an inferior manner to what the crowned
heads do. (3) that the Venetian ambassadors would not give
those of Savoy the title of Excellency, and in Paris they tried
to prevent their obtaining advantages.
I suggest the following settlement : that both sides shall pass
over the fact and reason for the absence of the Venetian
ambassadors from Piedmont, because the princes who gave rise
to this are no longer alive, and let ambassadors return from both,
those of Savoy leaving first for Venice and when they have
entered the state, those of Venice can start for Turin. With
regard to the pretensions of Savoy, let the republic merely say the
Duke of Savoy, or, without writing, treat through ambassadors or
by commissions. On the third head I will speak to the duchess
by agreement with the republic about the relations between
the ambassadors of Venice and those of Savoy. Upon the second
and third heads, essentially the most important, let the republic
rest satisfied that it was merely the act of the author, carried
away by his profession, and not by the duke's order, and the
republic suffers no prejudice from this royal title, as it is used
among other princes without interrupting relations. I promise
to try and obtain a declaration from the duchess that neither
she nor her husband intended those passages in the book which
admit of sinister interpretation. If your Serenity shows the
confidence that my king's affection deserves I hope to show by
results the regard I have for your interests. It is difficult to
apply remedies when the mischief is not known, and I will act
with the greatest secrecy and delicacy as much as your own
ministers could show, and I will do the same for the duchess.
It is all by his Majesty's consent, so that his authority and favour
may renew the relations between the two powers to the advantage
of all Italy.
622. To the Ambassador in London.
We enclose an exposition of the Ambassador Fildin. You will
find out whether he intends to resume his charge with us and if
so when he will come back. You will also let us know if he really
has orders from his Majesty about the affairs of Savoy, if any
overtures have been made to you and what they say in England
about the steps taken here. You will observe all official forms in
your relations with the Duke of La Valette, and avoid committing
yourself, merely expressing the republic's regard for him.
Vote of 300 ducats to be paid to the agents of the Ambassador
Giustinian in London for couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 154. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
623. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king left this city on Wednesday. He parted from the
queen very affectionately. Before starting, to show the Scots
his leaning to peace, he sent the Earl of Rosberi to that kingdom,
to tell them of his moving and his readiness to grant them, with
a general pardon, all that they desire for liberty of conscience.
He also promised to proceed to Edinburgh to take part in the
parliament and pass the concessions to be granted. Wise men
fear that these proposals are not now likely to make any impression
on the proud spirit of that people. They constantly grow more
daring and have surprised the very strong castle of Edinburgh,
driving out the royal garrison by force and installing their own
troops. (fn. 7) Against the Marquis of Ontelet, who openly stands for
the king at Lavardino, they have sent 10,000 foot and 2000 horse
giving just cause for the suspicion that they mean to go yet further,
in a complete alienation from their obedience to his Majesty.
Before the king left the city sent him a present of 4500l., a
meagre help and equally inadequate to present requirements
and the large fortunes of those who offered it. The king would
not accept it, although 25,000l. offered him by the Protestant
clergy when he was about to start, afforded him the utmost
To support the movements of the royal army the admiral has
orders to take the fleet to Newcastle, leaving a squadron of twelve
ships off Dover, under the pretext of defending those waters. But
the chief object is to cause the French some jealousy, to prevent
them from attempts upon Dunkirk, of which suspicion increases
daily, causing much anxiety.
Besides the first levies of Scots reported, the French ambassador
has obtained leave from the king to enlist 2000 foot in this
country also, for his master's service. The patents are distributed
and he is successfully carrying them into effect. It seems that
the Spaniards also may try to obtain the same advantage, after
The queen here has frankly expressed to Bellievre her sentiments
at the difficulties encountered by Mr. German at the French
Court over the matter of the queen mother. She asked him if
they would not allow her to return to France, to try so that help
for her quiet stay in this country might be no longer delayed.
The Earl of Leicester has returned here from France. He has
seen the king, and announces that he will go back to continue
his service in a few weeks. They have not harkened to Roe's
request to return home, thinking that his absence from the
congress there would utterly destroy any hopes of the conclusion
of the league, so long in negotiation there, in vain, affecting the
interests of the Palatine House.
I beg your Serenity to provide me with some money for the
carriage of letters.
London, the 8th April, 1639.
|624. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
Asks for the consideration of the Senate, as he will soon have
completed the fifth year of his service to the state, begun with
the government of Vicenza and Treviso. He had to stay many
months beyond the appointed term at the Spanish embassy.
Asks that this may be allowed to him in his service in England,
where the humidity of the climate causes him all kinds of disorders,
making it urgently necessary for him to recover his health in
London, the 8th April, 1639.
625. The papal nuncio came into the Collegio and said,
among other things.:
Besides what Cardinal Barberino told the ambassador he
writes to me, what he had no time to tell him, that the nuncio
in France had informed the king about the choice of nuncios
extraordinary, and his Majesty expressed his desire for peace
through the mediation of his Holiness. The pope thought
that his Majesty might have drawn some good out of it and
disposed the emperor to something else if he had been able to
facilitate the beginning of negotiations at Cologne. But by the
letters I have from Holland, Flanders and other places I fancy
that things have a very ugly appearance. Count John Louis
of Nassau, who was going to Cologne, now says he is going to
Brussels about the Palatine's affairs. The English Resident at
Vienna was the one who brought back good intentions for his
king in favour of that prince. Some written treaty seems now
to be on foot for an offensive and defensive alliance with the
house of Austria, and for a marriage alliance between a daughter
of England with the son of Bavaria, and of a sister of the Grand
Duke with the Palatine and of the latter's sister with the brother
of the Grand Duke. They also write from Flanders that the
Dutch seem to have some negotiations on foot with the Cardinal
Infant for an accommodation. On the other side we hear that
they are sending money from France to Holland. Perhaps the
idea is to act Turkish fashion, to take the money and do their
worst. The nuncio writes to me that this makes them all on the
alert. The French ambassador told me yesterday that Tullerie
will go to Holland ; something must be on foot. I tell you all
this because your Serenity may find some evidence on the matter
through your admirable ministers. This is a great machination
which requires your abilities to understand it, for the common
service ; and I know how much you desire peace.
In the absence of the doge, the senior councillor Antonio da
Canal thanked the nuncio for the communication and said the
Signory would inform him later of what might turn up.
626. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be
sommoned to the Collegio and that the following be read
to him :
In the midst of our trouble about our differences with the
Porte we appreciate most highly the action of the king of Great
Britain in a matter which concerns all Christendom, with his
orders to his own ambassador at Constantinople and his offer to
our ambassador of all that we could desire. We are confident
that your lordship will assure his Majesty of this when you go
back to London, as you propose, as well as of our cordial affection
for that crown and our desire that he may enjoy every prosperity.
We regard the interests of his subjects as being on a par with
those of our own, and we will make enquiries about the case of
Simeas and decide what action is proper to take. We have
already declared our good will towards the duchess of Savoy,
but the steps taken by the house of Savoy to our disadvantage
have afforded an unfortunate response to our advances. Thus
your lordship will see that unless there is a change there is no
opening for a renewal of friendly relations, although we appreciate
his Majesty's efforts in offering his interposition.
Ayes, 128. Noes, 0. Neutral, 5.
627. Giovanni Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in Germany,
to the Doge and Senate.
With regard to the agreement with Bavaria England witholds
her consent until a portion of the Palatine's dominions has been
restored and some agreement made about the succession to the
electoral vote. Yet the whole affair is thoroughly masticated
and there is also a project for a marriage between a daughter of
the king and Bavaria's only son, and an alliance with the House of
Austria. But the news from Paris and London makes one
apprehensive and it may be that Teller has been recalled in order
to remove French suspicions, though I firmly believe that he left
here to set on foot a new treaty at Brussels. The negotiations
certainly took place here and Teller himself informed me that he
has finally settled all the essential points with Bavaria and the
Austrians and that nothing but the ratification of Spain was
required. Thus if England is speaking here in one way, by deeds
and at London and Paris in quite another, by words, I do not
know what I can say on the subject, except that a few weeks
should clear away these fogs from the sky. I will say this much,
however, Teller has spoken here very unreservedly and in
conversation with all his friends he has expressed views and
opinions far removed and utterly divergent from those which issue
from the mouths of all the other English ministers and from the
king himself as well.
Vienna, the 9th April, 1639.
628. The Senate's deliberation of the 9th inst. having been
read to the Ambassador of Great Britain, he spoke as
I shall leave content since I go with such appreciation of his
Majesty's good will to the republic. I will perform the office
your Serenity lays upon me and bring you decisions appropriate
to the circumstances and your desires.
I am glad that you welcome my king's interposition for an
adjustment with Savoy, but if I had some definite resolution
about what the republic wants I could speak with better grounds
and direct my offices to this reconciliation. There are many
apparent reasons for this, which I need not mention. I will only
say that the circumstances call for a voluntary oblivion of minor
matters for the sake of greater ones for the welfare of Italy.
Piedmont has become the scene of tragic events. The idea of a
balance of power agrees with your Serenity's ideas and those of
my king. It does not suit to permit the progress of those forces
which have prospered too much and threaten worse disturbances.
The duchess cannot resist alone, without help from your Serenity,
and has good reason to fear ruin, but by joint action the machinations
of those who try to reduce her will come to naught. I
need not enlarge upon the common interest of Italy to help her.
I profess to have as Venetian a heart as your Serenity ; only the
dress is different. If the book is the chief difficulty, any offensive
remarks will certainly be removed. I will do my utmost to remove
difficulties in anything else that may be suggested by your
Serenity upon this or other points, but so long as you do not
descend to details and I have no definite light upon the intentions
of the state I do not know what more I can do. I have another
letter from my king to present to your Serenity before I go. If
you wish to add anything to what you have had read to me, I will
obey your commands punctually and secretly like one of your
own ministers, but it is necessary to particularise. You must
also consider the condition of the widowed duchess, menaced
as she is, full of affection for the republic and my king, harassed
by her kinsmen and worthy of compassion on every head.
In the absence of the doge Sig. Antonio da Canal said there
was nothing to add to what the Senate had had read. His
Majesty's offers about the Turks were worthy of his generosity
and prudence and appreciated by the republic. They heard what
he said about Savoy and if there was anything else they would
let him know. They valued his Majesty's interposition highly.
With respect to Simeas the ambassador asked that if he was
not admitted as consul he might be as agent and simple factor.
The case was so clear that no information was needed. It was a
question of increasing trade through him. He would have
thought the opportunity one not to be lost. He had memorials
with the complaints of other merchants ; he asked the doge to
take them and decide. Canal replied that they would examine
the memorials and see what could be done for Simeas, always
with the desire to please his lordship. With this the ambassador
bowed and went into the other room to take a copy of the office.
629. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
After taking Edinburgh castle, as reported, the Scots have
continued their successful progress, and forced the Marquis of
Ontele to seek safety in flight. They have taken Aberdeen without
a struggle as well as other important places, notably Dalghiz
and Donbarten, the first of consequence as the depository of
the crown and royal insignia, as well as of a quantity of munitions
and arms, which were sent there last month for distribution
among those who have so far supported the royalist side. As
the latter faces Ireland, it increases the difficulty of entering
Scotland from that quarter. These circumstances cause the
greater apprehension since the audacity of the enemy increases
daily, and it looks as if they meant to attempt the very important
place of Berwick as well. The king has sent the Earl of Essex
thither with all speed, with 3000 men, and the Marquis of
Hamilton is sent back here to hasten the march of the troops,
which arrive daily from the neighbouring provinces, to increase
the army with new levies. They are thus busy recruiting in
this city, amid universal murmurs, everyone, without distinction,
being obliged to remain under the royal colours. Many ships
are all ready round the coast to embark troops and take them by
water to Yorkshire, to join the main body. His Majesty adheres
to his original plan to put 40,000 men into the field. This will
obviously be exceedingly difficult in the great scarcity of money
and the shortage of food stuffs.
Amid all these advantageous circumstances the Scots publish
that if the king is disposed to grant them the maintenance of
their old privileges, and come to Scotland unarmed with only
his household, he will be received with the greatest respect,
and find proofs of loyalty and perfect obedience among his
subjects. If these proposals are sincere it is thought that his
Majesty will be compelled by necessity to accept them in the
Before leaving here the king, as a testimony of his affection
for his wife has decreed under his own seal, that in the event
of his death the queen shall have 40,000l. a year as super dower,
more than was customary with other widowed queens. He
also directed the Royal Council that during his absence they
should wait upon her Majesty every week and inform her of all
that takes place in the government of the country.
The continued preparations of the French in Normandy in
particular have aroused fresh misgivings in the ministers here
that France may take advantage of the troubles here to attack
the neighbouring islands of Jersey and Guernsey, and they have
accordingly sent troops to guard them against any sudden
The Earl of Leicester has postponed his return to France
under the pretext of going to the king for fresh and more precise
instructions. The French ambassador here adroitly urges his
departure, so that that Court may not remain without an English
ambassador, causing remark.
The Catholic is trying through his minister here to get his troops
transported from Spain to Flanders on English merchantmen,
for the purpose of exempting them from the danger of hostile
fleets, which scour the waters of Dunkirk. The French and Dutch
ambassadors oppose this strongly, and represent to ministers
that their masters will be justified by necessity in fighting those
ships, even though they carry the colours of this crown.
Colonel Douglas has come again to express his readiness to
return to Venice when required. His original leave being
expired, he asks leave to remain here a little longer.
Your Excellencies' letters of the 17th ult. have just reached me.
London, the 15th April, 1639.
630. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
They talk of the Archbishop of Bordeaux's fleet having some
designs on Gravelines. He might indeed land 8000 infantry
but that would not suffice to attack Gravelines or Dunkirk without
Dutch help, which there is nothing to indicate so far. Those
who fix their eyes on Gravelines and Dunkirk seem to consider
that facilities for this are greater than in the past, as the King of
Great Britain, being busy with Scotland, will not be able to
prevent them so easily.
Paris, the 12th April, 1639.
631. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be
summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read
to him :
We repeat our obligations to his Majesty in respect to the
offers made by your lordship, whose action in the matter we
greatly appreciate. Past events prevent us from doing more
than we have done to express our friendly sentiments to the
Duchess of Savoy, although we are extremely obliged to his
Majesty for his offers, which we appreciate highly.
Ayes, 128. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
632. Giovanni Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in Germany,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary Walderode, an Aulic Councillor, has just been
to tell me that after the emperor had arranged the treaty of
Brussels about the Palatine's affairs, solely to please the king of
Great Britain, news reached him of the efforts of the English
ambassadors at Paris to obtain permission for the Palatine
family to go to Cologne. Until the emperor had a more definite
knowledge of that king's intentions he must postpone any
decision on the subject. I believe this step is partly due to the
desire of the Austrians to unravel the knot of the varied proceedings
of England in these transactions, but it is also due to the
successes in Piedmont. (fn. 8)
Vienna, the 13th April, 1639.
633. The Senate's deliberation of the 13th inst. having been
read to the Ambassador of Great Britain, he said :
My request for audience yesterday was about this same business
of Savoy, and I was glad to be sent for because I thought I
should obtain further light, upon which I could proceed with the
adjustment of difficulties. In this new office I must first thank
you for the appreciation of my king's interposition. He is
moved by pure affection and the desire to see the old confidence
restored between the republic and Savoy. From Prince Vittorio
Amedeo I have frequently heard declarations of the best feelings
towards you. These sentiments certainly remain and the past
accidents occurred more through the mistakes of ministers or the
fault of ill intentioned persons than from the princes. I wish your
Serenity's friendship for the duchess could be transmitted to the
House of Savoy, and that there was no occasion to separate these
two points, but unite them. The present state of Piedmont
requires this, the part of Italy upon which it is necessary to keep
the eyes fixed to keep away changes. However, if your Serenity
does not feel inclined to go any further in the matter at present,
be so good at least to advise your ambassador in London of
the offices I have performed and the replies given, so that he may
inform his Majesty in the same way as I do, and on my return to
Turin, if there is an opening, do something good, if I know the
intentions of the state. I shall also speak of the republic's
appreciation of his offers about the Turks, and I can assure him
that your Serenity will show this. I must add that as I am leaving
for London I must first present other letters from my king.
After the letters had been read, the ambassador said, I will do
precisely what the letters contain. I ask your Serenity to give
me a reply to present to the king's own hand, and I will wait for
it. Sig. Talber will fill my place ; I ask you to receive him favourably,
it will be a testimony to your satisfaction with what he had
done hitherto. I am sorry the doge is absent, as I should have
liked to take leave of him. I must recommend to your Serenity
the interests of merchants, whose consolation and relief will
lead to better relations with yours. Sig. Pelegrini Count of
Pelgia, his Majesty's consul general in Italy will need the protection
of the state. I ask you to give this and also to allow
Simeas to return to Zante. This also will benefit trade. I leave
another memorial for this.
In the absence of the doge Councillor Canal replied that the
republic would do all it could for the merchants ; they were
anxious to gratify Simeas. They wished the ambassador a
good journey. They would gladly receive Sig. Talber. If there
was anything more, the Signory would let him know. After
some words of ceremony the ambassador asked that Sig. Talber
might be introduced, and he presented himself in the Collegio.
The ambassador took leave and went into the other room to
make a copy of the office.
634. Memorial of Henry Hider to the Ambassador of Great
I thank God at hearing you are going to Venice, as in my sufferings
through the powerful persecution of my ill wishers and of the
English nation I have no hope of justice except through your
intercession, so powerful are the forces that seek to destroy me.
I came to the islands of Zante and Cephalonia some years
ago to carry on my affairs. I have always set the public interests
before my own, to render myself worthy of his Serenity's favour.
The public representatives know how readily I have helped them
with my money at various emergencies due to delay of the public
revenues. Others have not done so, not even subjects. I
also increased trade in those parts, with incredible advantage
to the state and provided the islands with corn and other things
in time of famine, all proving my devotion to the republic.
As we suffered various considerable extortions from the
customers of the new impost, I decided, when in Venice in 1636
to take up that duty, with an advantage to the state of 40,000
ducats, at a time when subjects refused it. I nominated Marc
Antonio Boldu as conductor, being an islander, and because I
had known his father in law Pietro dall' Aquila, fiscal advocate
of the chamber of Zante. As the duty on the first harvest
showed a great advance Aquila conspired with his son in law to
get a hand in this, under the guise of friendship to me, but he
worked more by craft, threats and violence against me and
the English, unmindful of benefits received from me, and
compelled me to renounce all my rights to him, giving me his
relations and dependants as caratadori, passing over those who
had already signed. He also compelled me to take refuge in
Turkish territory to trade, abandoning my most important
interests, so as not to risk my life. I pass over the maltreatment
of many of our nation, especially the consul William Bordet
because he appealed to justice. Not content with this Aquila
had me entered unjustly as debtor for a large sum of money to
the chambers of Zante and Cephalonia. This was easy from his
position as fiscal advocate. To win favour with the rulers and
under a most false charge of smuggling he has had me banished
from the Venetian state by the Proveditore of Cephalonia, on
the complaint of Boldu and his own testimony and that of his
close relations. He has done this in order to keep me away from
the state so that he may have greater facilities for smuggling
and of administering the said duty to suit himself. This is shown
by his compelling many merchants to pay him various sums,
which were deposited in the public chambers, in default of the
duty in my charge. This unjust process and the sentence
of banishment were rightly quashed by the Council of Forty,
civil vecchio thus recognising my innocence.
Some of these things were represented to his Serenity by the English
resident, and in consequence, on the 2nd October, 1638 the
Senate ordered the Proveditori here to revise the accounts about
the debt I was charged with and hear what I had to say. They
also ordered the Proveditore of Zante to draw up a process against
Aquila, Boldu and their followers. Accordingly I passed from
the Morea to Zante, where I acted as consul and general merchant
for the nation, an office conferred upon me to my great advantage
and reputation. With the help of the Proveditore and the
ministers my accounts were inspected and I remained creditor
for 1261 ryals 19 aspri, besides my just claims against the
customers, as I believe the Proveditore has reported.
When I was about to proceed to Cephalonia to do the like in
the chamber there, Aquila, knowing my intention, conspired
with the Chancellor Capretta, his close friend, owing to their
mutual affairs, and without waiting for me to come, had the
alleged debt confirmed against me, without giving me any chance
of stating my case. They sent the accounts to Venice in my
absence in order to blacken my reputation.
I now beg your Excellency to intercede with his Serenity for
me upon the following particulars :
(1) that the process against Aquila, Boldu etc. may be made
according to the forms of the Senate, because Aquila's influence
is so great here that no one would dare to bear witness against
him if the witnesses are examined in the usual public way, as
he would have them killed, as has happened to many. In this
way we poor foreigners shall get some relief.
(2) That some naval commander who is sailing soon may have
power to review my accounts and the charges made against me
in the chamber of Cephalonia so that I may state my case, and
if I fail I will pay readily the sum which I legitimately owe.
(3) That the particulars laid before the Five Savii for Trade
by Don Biasio Vondani against Aquila and Boldu about the new
impost on currants, farmed by me, receive their finishing touches,
especially as this concerns the public interests.
I hope through your Excellency's protection to move the doge
to relieve the English nation, which is so badly used by these
persecutors, so that after so many afflictions I may enjoy a
quiet life and taste the fruits of justice, and attend to my affairs
with more spirit.
|635. Memorial of Henry Hider to the Ambassador of Great
Some days ago I sent your Excellency a memorial upon the
persecutions suffered from Aquila, his son Zuane, his son in law
Boldu and their followers, without referring to the insupportable
injuries to which our countrymen have had to submit, owing to
their arrogant influence in those islands.
I now add that on the 7th July and the 2nd October last the
Senate directed the Proveditore of Zante to form a process upon
the complaints of our nation and of myself in particular, against
those persons, first sending them all to Corfu, and have them
detained there until the process was drawn up, so that justice
might pursue its course and take knowledge of their misdeeds,
and that during their absence from Zante and Cephalonia the
witnesses might tell the truth without fear. Accordingly the
Proveditore sent to tell those men not to leave Cephalonia,
where they then were, until further order from him, yet they went
about as before, in contempt of justice. No Englishman has
cared to take upon himself to lay any complaint, for fear of his
life, and because the process was not committed with the forms of
secrecy ; so they thought it better to suffer wrong.
I came from the Morea to Zante, as the state desired, to arrange
the accounts of the chambers of Zante and Cephalonia, because of
the alleged debt. But at Cephalonia they would not wait for me,
as I have stated. I also came to lay my complaint before the
Proveditore of Zante, giving him a note of various witnesses.
Some of these have not told the entire truth, from fear of their
lives, and some will not be examined for the same cause, as
Aquila's relations threaten them.
The Proveditore of Zante wished to proceed in a new form, in
accordance with the Senate's orders, and sent to the Proveditore
of Cephalonia so that he might have those persons sent to Corfu,
within three days. Nothing was done, however, as the orders
were not intimated, and the public will was contemned. This
is due to the close friendship between Aquila and Capretta, chancellor
of Cephalonia for those affairs which pass between them,
well known to all, so that Aquila may be called the absolute
arbiter in those islands. Thus Aquila and Boldu remain at
Cephalonia, administering the duty of the new impost which was
tyranically taken out of my hands, to suit themselves, committing
various serious faults to the detriment of the state and of myself.
I now ask your Excellency to represent these particulars to the
doge so that severe orders may be sent to the Proveditori of
Zante and Cephalonia to send those men to Corfu, and at the
same time direct the Proveditore of Zante to perfect the process
with the rite and secrecy, so that the many misdeeds of those
men may be brought to light, and the process sent to his Serenity
to judge the cause. I am sure that justice will give the punishment
deserved, for the relief of myself and our poor nation, who
deserve so much from his Serenity. Once we are free from these
toils we can attend to increasing the trade of these islands, as I
have always tried to do. If this is not done, the people here will
never feel the force of justice and will proceed from one crime
to another, when they get off scot free.
|636. Laurence Ider, an English gentleman and merchant at
Venice has previously set forth to your Excellency the calumnies
made against him by the late Ridolfo Simes, the loss he has
suffered by his presentation for nineteen months, the proved
falseness of the witnesses examined against him, and the unjust
penalty which the Avogador Pisani made him pay for
the acts of Vicenzo Constantini, notary of the Avogadoria,
very well known by the inquisitors of that time, because they
promised him restitution, as the most excellent Pisani knows, who
is even now in the same office, and also begged you to set it all
forth in the Collegio, so that he might be reinstated and return
home after nineteen years. He is tired of litigating for nine years
and his father constantly writes to him to come home. He again
asks your lordship to remind his Serenity of his notable ruin,
because he cannot persuade himself that with your favour and
his own just reasons he will not recover what he has unduly paid.
In addition to this, amid all these persecutions he has been unable
to recover many of his debts. He therefore again begs your
Excellency to perform a final office, so that his claims, debts and
causes may be delegated to four or five members of the Senate,
or to those tribunals which his Serenity may consider best
adapted, for his speedy despatch without appeal, so that they may
decide summarily, and he may once more have his own again,
which he brought here for the benefit of this city.
|637. Thomas Simeas, chosen general factor by the English
merchants at Zante, having heard that his Serenity intends to take
information about his affair wishes to show your Excellency what
prejudice a long delay may do him, as he was only employed to
put straight the disorders which the English factors made in the
trade at Zante.
He never did anything here contrary to cordial relations
between his Majesty and the republic about the liberty of trade.
His Majesty had given satisfaction to the Ambassador who went
to England in all he could desire for the republic about his
Before his arrival at Zante there was no gentleman who had
currants in his power, but they were all bought by monopolists,
Greeks or Jews, and this was the cause of his trouble as it will
be the ruin of the people there.
The peasants rejoiced greatly at his coming to Zante, because
he paid them cash for their currants, while the Jews only paid
a quarter or a third in cash and the rest in goods, in order to
impoverish the poor people more. Only 2¾ millions of currants
were produced at Zante in that year, and of this before his arrival
the Jews had intercepted 2 millions and the Greeks the rest.
Before his departure he bought in the two islands 5 millions of
currants but as his appointment was suddenly revoked and he
has been constantly absent, the purchase remains incompleted,
to the notable loss of his Majesty's subjects.
He begs your Excellency to intervene for his return to Zante,
so that he may attend better to the affairs of his principals, as he
has no intention to prejudice the subjects of the republic, or at
least to allow him to return to put a stop to the loss hitherto
incurred, and what more may happen through his absence from
|638. I, Francesco Marcello, Proveditore of Zante, formerly
gave orders that Pietro Aquila should not leave Cephalonia or
permit his son Giovanni or Marc Antonio Boldu, his son in law to
do so. We now, in obedience to repeated commissions from the
Senate of the 2nd October last order the same Aquila, his son and
Boldu to leave the island of Cephalonia within three days and
go to Corfu, which they shall not leave until further order from
us, upon the most severe penalties to their persons and goods.
The Chancellor Pretorio by order.
Zante, the 1st March, 1639.
|639. From the enclosed your lordship will gather the public
intent. I had told Aquila and the others not to leave here until
further order. Since then the orders have come that they are
to go to Corfu. I send this order, asking you to see that it is carried
out, sending word as soon as it is done, so that what is proper may
be decided, in order to uphold the respect due to justice.
Francesco Marcello, Proveditore.
Zante, the 1st March, 1639.