661. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Arundel has advanced to the Tweed with 12,000
combatants. He is two miles from the enemy, and as they
number 15,000 foot and 3000 horse he has decided not to proceed
further before reinforcements reach him. These are being got
ready with the utmost haste everywhere, and several couriers
have reached the magistrates of this city from the king with
resolute orders to supply 6000 foot without delay. They have
begun to assemble them and very soon they will be sent off to
Meanwhile the Scots have intimated while they have not so
far gone beyond a desire for the preservation of the privileges
of their country, yet, if this intention to trouble them by arms is
persisted in, they will make the first attack upon England, in
order to assist their defence by this diversion. These words
cause apprehension among those who have most credit and
influence with the king, and give them the cue to point out how
dangerous spirited measures are in existing circumstances, and
how beneficial will be the adoption of a persevering clemency
towards that people, whose success is impatiently desired by
everyone, since all hold fast the hope that this example will
facilitate the satisfaction which the English claim also.
M. di Pree, a Scottish captain of experience and reputation,
has reached the Court from Flanders, sent by Count Piccolmini
at the order of the Cardinal Infant to offer his Majesty 4000
German horse. He asserts positively contrary to the belief of
the wisest, that they will be ready to cross the sea whenever it
pleases. The king expressed his gratitude but did not accept
the offer, well knowing the trickery and pernicious designs behind
this courtesy ; as in addition to the scarcity of money, which
makes fulfilment impossible, the exceeding jealousy of the
people here does not allow him to entertain the idea of introducing
foreign troops into the country.
With great industry the Treasurer has sent to the army
30,000l. received from the merchants, advanced upon the
revenues of the crown, which are now pledged up to the end of
1644. They are constantly enquiring into the means to obtain
fresh contributions from the wealthy by blandishments (con
soave mano) and they have applied again to the leading officials
of the crown, asking for speedy and very considerable payments.
The Catholics also, urged by the papal minister here, hold lengthy
meetings to arrange for giving active assistance in the present
emergencies. The Catholic minister has continued his negotiations
with the secretary of state, seeing him very frequently
at night, and with great secrecy. (fn. 1) I find that nothing has yet
been arranged, however, as they are waiting for the opinion of
the Court about his proposals. Many couriers have gone thither
and the queen herself has sent Mr. German with all speed. When
he comes back it will be less difficult to find out the particulars
of these transactions.
The Prince of Denmark arrived in this city last week ; after
seeing the queen he went off hurriedly to the king. On the arrival
of a gentleman expected from France the Duchess of Chevreuse
announces that she will set out for that country ; but her frequent
conferences with the Catholic minister here afford material for
observation and comment.
They do not speak so confidently of the return of Fildin to
the Venetian embassy as before, indeed his mother is making
every effort to get him a post at the palace. If this succeeds
it will be some time before they decide to send another minister
to your Excellencies. The Count of Egmont has again offered
his services, saying that he desires nothing so much as to testify
to the ancient devotion of his house to your Serenity. I made
a formal reply.
Your Excellencies' letters which reach me this week are of the
7th and 12th ult.
London, the 3rd June, 1639.
662. With regard to the memorial presented by the English
Ambassador on behalf of Henry Hyde, the matter has been settled
by your Serenity, and the process is being drawn up. Accordingly
it is not seemly to transfer it to another hand, especially
as Aquila and Boldu may not stay in Zante and Cephalonia,
so that they cannot prejudice the process. We also think that
the matter can be more easily settled by your Serenity.
Dated at the office, the 4th June, 1639.
663. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The present week has passed without anything remarkable
happening about here. The king has joined the army, which has
not moved from the Tweed, and has been living in tents for several
days. The enemy, securely entrenched in his original positions,
makes no move. There is talk of fresh overtures for a composition,
but the wisest do not think this will be easy. Many of the
most trusted ministers tell his Majesty that the sole means of
touching the people and destroying the machinations of the
most obstinate seditious is to go unarmed to Scotland and be
present at the parliament there, which is prolonged for some days
more. So far the king does not seem disposed to adopt this
advice, as being unsafe as well as unworthy of his dignity. The
Marquis of Hamilton remains at his islands, and the fleet, abandoning
its original plans is cruising about the waters there preventing
all ships from entering the river and approaching that coast.
When some Scotch ship approached bringing several officers
from Holland to serve in the war, it detained it and made the
Meanwhile all the property belonging to Scots in this kingdom
has been seized and sold, though on the express condition to
deposit the price to be restored to those of the owners who
voluntarily return to their allegiance and repent their past errors.
The Spaniards use all their arts to encourage the old suspicion
that the French and Dutch are fomenting the rebels. The
Cardinal Infant has this week sent to the Court a Jesuit father to
represent to his Majesty the decision of those princes to afford
their vigorous assistance, and offering to join the Dunkirk
fleet with his and jointly thwart all attempts. The king is
well aware that by these proposals the Cardinal only aims at
obtaining protection for Dunkirk, threatened by the French
fleet, which cruises in the Channel unchecked, eighty sail strong.
He decided not to accept the offer and sent back the religious
to his master with only a ceremonious answer. Yet he does not
give up his inclination to thwart with caution the enterprise of
the French, which is considered most mischievous to the safety
and repose of this kingdom.
The Earl of Leicester has orders not to delay any longer his
return to the Most Christian Court, and his departure is fixed for
Saturday. His instructions differ in no way from the original
ones, though I find that he is charged very secretly to temporise
in his transactions rather than work to secure a conclusion,
although with the purpose not to cut the thread of negotiation
The Duke of La Vallette speaks of his troubles with more
passion than prudence, announcing his intention to adopt the
most hazardous courses in order to show by his animosity the
innocence of his actions, and there are not wanting those who
encourage him by possibly ill founded promises, to attempt some
The French minister here has lost all hope about the Scottish
levies. He has been deceived by many and finds no one willing
to take up the charge honestly during the disturbances in that
London, the 10th June, 1639.
664. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident informed the Assembly in the States,
by royal command, that the Scots have been declared rebels.
By virtue of the friendly relations with his Majesty he asked
them to forbid their merchants to trade with the Scots, and to
uproot their mart which is planted at Rotterdam. Their High
Mightinesses heard this demand with no good will and with
little intention of paying any heed to it, since it means cutting
the throat of a well established trade which brings a considerable
benefit to the people here for the disposal of their cloth. They
replied that in order to give due consideration to the proposal
they must take time to discuss it.
At the moment they are devising some excuse or colour to
justify their refusal and so to evade the request. They believe
that the king has been moved to prefer this in order to sound the
disposition of these Provinces over the affair of these Scots, and
to forestall any disposition on their part to afford them assistance
covertly. The king is very uneasy about this, not only because
of the way in which the Scots in their acts, have followed the
principles of the government here, but also by reason of the tacit
connivance shown here in past months over the transport of
arms to that kingdom.
The Hague, the 10th June, 1639.
665. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
Several couriers from the king have reached the queen lately
and all bring hopes of an approaching agreement with the Scots.
They show the most perfect readiness for it, and having obtained
a safe conduct they have sent a deputy to his Majesty to express
their sincere desire for an adjustment, and with powers to develop
the terms. After he had held several conferences with the
ministers, they gave him the king's proposals in writing and
allowed twelve days to hear the precise intentions of his superiors.
Meanwhile the armies on both sides remain idle in their quarters,
and the Scots have been ordered by the king to keep twelve
miles from Berwick. They have confirmed this command by
an edict of their own, to give some proof of their obedience.
All show the greatest exultation at the reports of these hopes,
which are designedly spread everywhere from the palace. But
those who weigh the real value of these things, without prejudice,
consider the enemy's proposals merely a device to gain time, and
to give them the means to withdraw from the campaign without
spoiling the harvest of the present year. The future will soon
show what is the truth.
Several ships have sailed from Dunkirk which, in addition to
capturing some French barques have detained other vessels
which were taking horses from Holland to Scotland. This
circumstance affords further confirmation of the inclination of
the Dutch to give a cautious support to the revolt, and increases
their ill feeling here.
In order to remove the suspicions of the French minister here
that this crown is once more treating with the Austrians for an
adjustment of the affairs of the Palatine House, the king has
directed the Secretary of State to make him some explanation,
pointing out that the last overtures were started by the Cardinal
Infant, and were not taken up here ; his Majesty holds steadfastly
to his original principle, not to budge from the agreement made
with France on the subject. But the ambassador is well informed
and knows that their actions do not coincide with these statements
altogether. He is by no means satisfied and tries to obtain more
open declarations that will pledge his Majesty to break off utterly
all negotiations with the House of Austria. It is not easy to
achieve this ; as their increasing desire, encouraged by the
Spaniards, to marry the princess here to the Prince of Spain, and
their fixed determination not to bind themselves to the arbitrament
of France alone, do not allow them to let drop absolutely
the means of negotiating with the Catholic.
The ship London has reached these shores from Smyrna, having
made a good passage with favourable winds. The captain
assures the ministers that he heard there that the Persian arms
had won a glorious victory over those of the Grand Turk. This
news has given just satisfaction and they sent it to the king.
I have tried to obtain more absolute assurance of the truth of
this but have failed to get any satisfactory confirmation.
This ship brings a heavy cargo of currants, taken from the
Turkish states. The use of this was introduced into that country
a few months ago, and those interested in the Levant Company
hope to make very considerable profits therefrom, to the detriment
of those of Zante. (fn. 2) There is no more to record, and I deeply
regret that the barrenness of the soil does not permit a minister
to gather fruits fit to assuage the just curiosity of your Excellencies.
I have your letters of the 20th and 27th ult.
London, the 17th June, 1639.
666. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Admiral of these Provinces recently boarded an English
ship coming from Spain, on which they found troops or money for
the Spaniards. The King of England remonstrated and sent 7
men of war to the Admiral, asking by what authority he had made
The Hague, the 17th June, 1639.
667. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
Two weeks ago an extraordinary courier from England reached
their ambassador here. He at once saw the king and the Count.
It transpires that he had business of importance. So far as one
can gather he promised the alliance of his king with the House
of Austria on condition of obtaining help against the Scots.
He stated, however that it was not proved that France had any
hand in those disturbances as the Most Christian had cleared
himself very satisfactorily. He urges the marriage alliance
between the prince here and his king's daughter, declaring that
in that case they will see more than ever the results of the alliance
that he offers. The Count, as usual, was profuse in his expressions
and promises, but it is not clear how they can be fulfilled.
Madrid, the 18th June, 1639.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
668. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
To appease the king of England with respect to the trade with
the Scots, which their High Mightinesses are reluctant to stop,
they propose to take in hand the affairs of the Indies, thus
returning to a subject which has lain dormant for a long time
and to revive it with the object of satisfying the English by way
of justice. The people of Amsterdam do not agree to this project
and protest that they will not abide by any judgment except
that of the directors of their Company.
The Hague, the 23rd June, 1639.
669. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The conditions proposed by the king did not satisfy the Scots,
and they sent back their deputy a second time to his Majesty
with the terms which they demand. In these they persist that
his Majesty shall confirm in their entirety the things carried in
their Assembly ; that the fortresses of the kingdom shall all
remain in the power of some of the confederates, and that the
king shall undertake to withdraw all his troops from the frontier
immediately. On the other hand the Scots are to keep all their
troops until the final execution of the treaty. These most
arrogant demands aroused his Majesty's just wrath and he dismissed
the minister without an answer. He would not delay
any longer making some trial of force and he has sent to Scotland
the Earl of Holland, commander of the cavalry, and Colonel
Axele, with 3000 foot, 1000 horse and ten guns, with orders to
attack Scels. They approached this without opposition and took
up a position on a hill two miles off ; but finding the place well
garrisoned and ready for a bold defence, with General Leslie
quartered no distance away with the bulk of the army, they
thought it advisable to retire with all speed, and in some disorder,
with serious danger as the enemy followed closely. Their
strength and courage constantly increase and they advanced to
within sight of the royal force, and planted their quarters there,
without respect. They are well entrenched and closely observe
the king's movements. He is hurriedly trying to increase his
army with new troops.
They have sent urgent orders to Ireland for the prompt raising
of 10,000 more infantry, and have directed the county of Lancaster
to supply 6000, they propose to add the latter to the army
and to send the former to Carlisle under the command of Henry
Bruce, an officer of repute, to make a simultaneous attack from
that side as well.
Amid all these disturbances and preparations neither side has
given up negotiation. When I saw the queen yesterday for the
customary complimentary office, she told me she had received a
letter from the king that day which left an opening for hope
that the Scots might abandon their exorbitant demands and allow
his Majesty to listen to an accord. She expressed her desire for
this and her passionate wish to see these differences terminated
without worse humours. The royal revenues are incapable of
coping with them any longer. The daily increasing want of
money with the impossibility of fresh provision causes the
ministers the gravest anxiety. They all openly advocate, with
a view to the interest and reputation of the crown, that it is
advisable not to delay an adjustment.
The Ambassador Fildin returned here from the Court two days
ago. He has lost his hopes of an honourable post near the king
and of the marriage to which he aspired, and so he thinks of
returning to his embassy very soon. (fn. 3)
The Duchess of Chevreuse still delays her return to France,
and contrary to her assurances they say she inclines to go to
Flanders rather than elsewhere. She negotiates constantly
with the Catholic minister here, causing the attention and suspicions
of the French one. He has persevered with his offices
to put a stop to the invitation of the Spaniards to treat separately
with this crown about the Palatinate. Here, while they profess
to France that they have no inclination to take up negotiation
with the Austrians again, they do not altogether quench the hopes
that they will embrace the proposals which may be offered to
them. So this old affair remains in a fluctuating position,
which is just what the House of Austria aims at.
London, the 24th June, 1639.