49. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from Antwerp relate that an English ship is expected
there bringing two million florins from San Lucar for the use of
the Cardinal Prince and the Flemish merchants. (fn. 1) But they
believe there that the English have treacherously taken the ship
with the money to Barbary, and accordingly the Antwerp merchants
are offering their shares at a loss of 80 per cent. Amsterdam
feels the blow as well, since both towns have many interests
in common, both collectively and individually.
The Hague, the 2nd April, 1640.
50. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
Prince Casimir has left for Brussels with the Ambassador of
Poland. The Prince Palatine is lodged in the quarters where
Prince Casimir stayed, royally entertained at the king's cost.
The conditions under which he came out of the Bois de Vincennes
are that he will not leave France without the king's consent,
having meanwhile signed a paper in which he declares that in
passing incognito through this kingdom he had no intention
prejudicial to the king's service, but was going to the army of
the Duke of Weimar with no other end than to advance their
interests here. They are now waiting to see how the news of
this event will be received by the king of Great Britain, in order,
if possible, to suggest overtures for arranging with him some way
of putting in order the distresses of this afflicted house. The
Prince seems resolved to follow the advice and support the
decisions of the king and cardinal here.
Paris, the 3rd April, 1640.
51. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Although the king and ministers did not seem pleased about
the release of the Prince Palatine, yet the foreign ministers have
offered their compliments, and I thought it advisable to add the
same, with some circumspection, as your Excellencies have
always used your influence in favour of that House. The king
seemed highly pleased by the office. He intimated that he did
not fully understand all the conditions upon which his nephew
had come out of the Bois de Vincennes, and he expressed his
especial gratification at the offices performed on his behalf by
the ministers of the Senate.
The negotiations for a composition with the Scots go on as
before without any better hope of progress. Finding that the
way to a perfect adjustment becomes ever more difficult, they are
perfecting their military preparations with great energy, as well
as taking all other steps necessary to render vain any attempt to
use force on the king's part, if he tries to subdue them on the
interruption of negotiations. They recently attempted to increase
some earthworks in the fortifications of Edinburgh, but
the governor, with loyalty to the king and a corresponding
detestation for the people, threatened to fire his guns at the city
if they continued, thus upsetting their plans. This has pleased
his Majesty the more because it increases his confidence that the
castle can be depended upon to afford useful support to his
forces, and that it is also valuable for humbling the overweening
pride of the people there.
They talk of the despatch of an ambassador extraordinary
from the King of Denmark to this court. It is supposed that his
mission will be to inform his Majesty of the alliance against the
Dutch said to have been arranged between the Spaniards and
that crown, to make tempting proposals and invite him to join
them for the same objects. The Ambassador Joachimi, fearful
lest these overtures may find his Majesty a willing listener,
exerts his skill to avert serious trouble from his masters, although
the present internal disturbances should in my opinion suffice to
relieve them for the time being of all apprehension.
The Earl of Leicester, owing to many slights which he reports
having received at the French Court, presses hard for permission
to return to England as soon as possible. As the king inclines
to grant this, the Ambassador Fildinch is working hard to secure
the appointment to that post. If he succeeds his nomination to
Venice will fall through, and as the ministers here consider it
unnecessary to keep an ordinary ambassador there, it may
easily happen that no one will be appointed to take his place, as
past experience has shown, especially now that the expenses of
the crown are multiplied, and they are trying hard to cut down
those which are least profitable.
The disastrous news is confirmed that the English ship Rebecca
has fallen into the hands of Turkish pirates together with a
Hamburgher. They were sailing from Cadiz for English ports
with a cargo of 1,800,000 ducats in money with their property.
The merchants of this mart feel the blow severely, especially
owing to the well founded apprehension that on the strength of
this booty the pirates may scour the waters of the Ocean more
vigorously in the future, and completely cut off the trade of this
nation, which brings such great profits to the public revenues and
to private purses.
The Marquis of Vellada, having heard from the Catholic
minister here of the resentment felt at the Palace at his long delay
in coming to this Court, has put all other considerations on one
side and sailed on Monday from Dunkirk. Being favoured by
the wind he put in at Dover yesterday.
London, the 6th April, 1640.
52. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
They are affording the Palatine all the honours that were done
to Prince Casimir. The Earl of Leicester intimates that the
King of Great Britain does not entirely approve of the form of
his release, and holds out very little hope of entering into any
negotiations about his interests while he remains in this conditional
Suresnes, the 10th April, 1640.
53. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis of Vellada, ambassador extraordinary of the
Catholic, made his public entry into this city two days ago, with
great pomp. To-day a courier arrived from Farmoud (fn. 2) with the
unexpected news that the Marquis Virgilio Malvezzi has arrived
at that port from Spain, also in the capacity of Spanish minister
to this crown. Here they are utterly in the dark as to the objects
of this sudden mission, and everyone, especially his Majesty, is
full of impatient curiosity to learn the particular instructions of
this second ambassador extraordinary. It has excited the more
remark since it comes at the very time when Vellada was expected,
and because of the intimacy of this gentleman with the Count
Duke. Meanwhile they will send to meet him to-morrow, in the
usual way, and he will soon be here. It is not yet known whether
Vellada will see the king before Malvezzi arrives in this city.
With the Marquis of Vellada the Marquis Villa crossed from
Flanders for this Court, being sent in the capacity of gentleman
by the Duke of Lorraine. He had private audience of his Majesty
without loss of time, and from what I hear he merely asked for
recruits for the English and Irish regiments among the duke's
forces. If he brings other affairs, as some think, they will come
out so soon as the Catholic ambassadors begin operations.
The ambassador of Prince Tomaso has long secret conferences
with Vellada and states that he has commissions from his master
to co-operate for Spanish interests at this Court. I will keep my
eye on them all and send full reports.
The activity in pushing forward warlike preparations here and
the orders for troops to advance to the frontier have so increased
the exasperation of the Scots, that, laying aside every other
consideration, they have not only resumed work on the fortification
of Edinburgh, but have sent the Earl of Argyle hurriedly
with several companies of soldiers to the neighbouring islands
in order to force the inhabitants to take their side, as they have
done, inflicting the extreme penalty on some who remained loyal
to his Majesty and tried to withstand the earl. Having subdued
the islands he is now scouring the waters there with numerous
vessels, devoting his activities to the defence of several positions
on the coast, with the design of keeping off his Majesty's fleet,
if he decides to send it there, as announced.
The king was much incensed at the news of these liberties and
sent an express to the warden of Edinburgh to fire his guns on the
people if he cannot otherwise prevent them going on with the
work. If this happens it will bring to the ground the negotiations
carried on here with the commissioners, so far without result,
and will involve this crown in the disagreeable necessity of a
most troublesome civil war.
However, the Irish parliament has opened auspiciously. It
unanimously voted four subsidies to the king, amounting to
200,000l. of their money here, and the Lieutenant reports the
willingness of the people there to give all they possess in order
that the crown may recover its authority in Scotland. On the
other hand the parliamentarians in England, resolute in upholding
the cause of the rebels, let it be clearly understood that they
will not consent to any contribution for this purpose. Accordingly
his Majesty's hopes of obtaining any good from the meeting of
parliament grow less and less while those of the Scots grow
brighter for throwing off the yoke of their natural obedience to
London, the 13th April, 1640.
54. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador has tried every way but in vain, to
obtain the release of thirty English slaves, taken in England itself,
who were on board three bertons of Algiers which arrived here recently.
The masters of the bertons have been in the Divan and the first
Vizier condemned the excess as contrary to the capitulations, warning
them not to repeat it in the future, but in the meantime they
have kept their slaves. (fn. 3)
The Vigne of Pera, the 14th April, 1640.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
55. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Troops from Ireland reach the Cardinal Infant almost regularly
and in good numbers. It would seem that England has agreed
to their coming over although the king of England is proceeding
more and more energetically with his military preparations,
and he is so short of leaders of experience to command his forces
that he is trying to draw away as many as he can from this country
attracting them with the most tempting inducements (attirandoli
con ingordissimi allettamenti). He has made an offer of an exchange
to these States, to take eighty veteran soldiers, selecting
one from each company, and although from the ranks to give
them commissions as captains, while he would send to this state
in the place of these 80,200 or more soldiers from his kingdom.
This proposal has been referred to the prince for decision.
The Hague, the 14th April, 1640.
56. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
Windebank has left, partially satisfied about the release of
the Palatine. He declared that his king did not agree to the
manner of it and will not treat at all for the good of his nephew
until he enjoys a liberty free from all conditions. They talk at
Court, but I know not on what grounds, of sending the Palatine
to England accompanied by the Duke of Scevrosa, and that the
journey may serve also to bring back his duchess to France, as
under present circumstances they cannot see her remain at that
Court without suspicion.
Suresnes, the 17th April, 1640.
57. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Without waiting for the arrival here of the Ambassador Malvezzi
the Marquis Vellada had his first public audience of their
Majesties on Wednesday all the leading lords and ladies of the
Court being present as well as a large crowd of people. His
first offices did not go beyond the usual terms and from the
future private audiences we shall discover the particulars of his
proposals, on which I shall keep a sharp look out. Meanwhile
Vellada does not seem entirely satisfied with the way in which
he has been lodged by the king's order, and he seems inclined to
shorten in every way his stay here, perhaps being persuaded that
the civil disturbances of the kingdom make the success of his
master's plans very difficult, while the hopes of progressing with
the marriage between the princess here and Spain die down in
the ministers here, who suspect that the Spaniards are not sincere
in the matter.
The Marquis Villa also has seen the king again. After informing
him of his master's interests he wanted to give the king the
manifesto published by the duke on the invalidity of his marriage ;
but the king roundly refused to take it, and the queen also, both
declaring that they were more closely related to the duchess
than to the duke, and so they could not fall in with his aims in
this matter. They have given him no reply about the recruits
so far, and the Marquis does not press the subject, as he lacks
the necessary remittances to meet the cost of the levy.
The Scottish commissioners stay on in this city, but since their
last conference with the king they have done nothing upon their
very difficult business. As no further news has come from Scotland
this week they are impatient at Court to hear from the warden
at Edinburgh if he has succeeded in preventing the rebels
from completing the fortifications they began. Meanwhile all
their energies are devoted to increasing the army and in sending
troops to the frontier with all speed, especially cavalry. In
Ireland 8000 men are ready, who have undertaken to raise the
people there, at their own cost, to invade Scotland from that
quarter when his Majesty gives the signal.
The scarcity of grain in Holland owing to the prohibition of
trade with Denmark has compelled the States to apply to the
king to permit the merchants of Amsterdam to export some
quantity from this kingdom for the needs of those Provinces.
This was readily granted, to the disgust of the Spaniards, who
tried to prevent the Dutch government from obtaining this
To the great satisfaction of the Catholic ministers here five
ships arrived in these ports from Cadiz last Monday, bringing
500 chests of money, destined for the campaign in Flanders.
I have to-day received your Excellencies' letters of the 23rd
ult. As instructed I will make every effort to find out who is
the English captain who bought from pirates at Modone goods
from the ship of San Giovanni di Patino, so as to have him
punished, but I shall want some more information.
London, the 20th April, 1640.
58. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament was opened in state on Monday. His Majesty
went to open it, accompanied by the leading lords and officers
of the crown. He gave a significant account to the members of
the continued disobedience of the Scots and the need of bringing
them to their duty by force. He asked for prompt contributions
for this most just cause, giving his royal promise to grant them
every possible satisfaction in September. He did not wish them
to deal with any affairs at present, as the question of getting the
army into the field was too urgent. To throw into relief the
guilt of the rebels and at the same time induce the members to
grant what he asked, the king opened an intercepted letter from
the Scots to the Most Christian, sent by a gentleman, now a
prisoner here, to beg for help. After having this read with
great emphasis, he made the most of it by his comments, which
the Lord Keeper enlarged upon in a long speech. This concluded
the first acts of the session. So far they have done nothing
further, as they have devoted themselves these last days to the
cognisance of the powers of each and to the choice of the ministers
who serve as go between for the king and parliament. No one
believes that parliament is disposed to give satisfaction before
receiving it, while it is suspected that now all the humours of this
great body are stirred up and united it will not be easy for his
Majesty to rid himself of this assembly without making important
concessions to the people, with scant hope of obtaining adequate
assistance for his present serious requirements from their
Two days before parliament met his Majesty had the Scottish
commissioners arrested and all their papers taken away, under
the pretext that the continuation of their negotiations was a
sham, with the secret design of temporising and concluding
nothing, but chiefly because one of them was a signatory of the
letter to the King of France. This one is in the Tower, more
strictly guarded than the others, to be subjected to a severe
examination, and it is freely said that the king means to have
him condemned to the extreme penalty for his grave crime.
This has entirely broken off the negotiations, and in this matter
everything tends to a conflict. (fn. 4)
The Scots on their side show no lack of watchfulness and
activity to oppose a vigorous resistance to the first assault.
They have perfected the fortifications of Edinburgh, without
seeming afraid any more of attack from the castle. They have
sent forward their troops to the frontier, which are understood to
be both numerous and perfectly disciplined, under leaders of reputation
and experience. So much cannot be said of the king's
army, composed entirely of new soldiers with officers more
skilful in showing their discipline and service at Court than in
The Ambassador Malvezzi has arrived in this city incognito.
He is lodged in Vellada's house and they have orders from Spain
to live together. He is now engaged in preparing for his appearance.
Vellada has not seen the king since his public audience ;
neither does he receive visits, possibly intending to do this with
Malvezzi. Both have long and frequent conferences with the
Duchess of Chevreuse. On behalf of the Count Duke Malvezzi
brought her a present of the portraits of the prince and little
infanta of Spain, in a costly setting of diamonds.
With regard to the marriages I observe that the Spaniards
contend that the suggestions made hitherto must not count for
anything, but that definite proposals must be made from this
quarter, since they do not wish to be the first to make overtures.
On the strength of this business the ambassadors have instructions
to urge upon this crown the declarations and alliance reported.
The Chevreuse displays great industry and ardour to induce their
Majesties here to take this initial step, and to nominate an ambassador
extraordinary to the Catholic to make a ceremonious proposal
of the marriages. But if her husband the Duke of Chevreuse
should come to this Court, as reports state, she would not dare
to wait for him, but proposes to cross to Brussels before his arrival,
and so the Spaniards would lose this powerful support for their
negotiations. These meet with opposition from those who are
attached at once to the public cause and to France. The Dutch
move cautiously to enlighten the king and queen, more particularly
upon the arts with which the Austrians study to part this
crown from its old friends for the purpose of obliging it subsequently
to second the vast ambitious designs of the Spanish
These two ministers also keep up a close correspondence with
the French malcontents living here ; everything goes to show that they
are conducting intrigues against that Crown. The Duke of Soubise,
who usually spends all his time in the country, came unexpectedly
to London on the arrival of the ambassadors, and he also negotiates
frequently with them, very secretly. They have not forgotten to
make adroit suggestions to the queen mother, to induce her to make
trouble, showing her that this is the only real way to facilitate her
return to that country. From what I gather she rejected all advances,
possibly because her years make her reluctant to court more trouble.
Moreover, Fabroni, who completely controls her Majesty, does not
listen to such blandishments, and for this reason he has become
suspect of having a secret understanding with Cardinal Richelieu.
I will keep my eye on these proceedings and report all that I learn.
London, the 27th April, 1640.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|59. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
I duly sent my coach to the public entry of the Marquis of
Vellada to this city as well as to his first audience. Among those
in the cortege was the coach of Don Alonso de Cardenas, the
Catholic Resident, who kept away on that day. When the
start came his coachmen took my station after the royal coaches,
Vellada not having one of his own, and tried to seize it by force.
From a window of the ambassador's dwelling Don Alonso ordered
his men to withdraw. They pretended not to hear and continued
their efforts to take the first place, but my men offered a stout
resistance and kept their rightful place. On the way back from
the palace the Spanish coachmen, more determined than ever, or
by definite orders from Cardenas, who does his utmost to have
the treatment of an ambassador, although only a Resident, took
advantage of a small street to get ahead, and supported by some
of Don Alonso's household, nothing could make them give way.
In this way my coach had to go to Vellada's house. When I
heard of this monstrous affair, which had happened in sight of
all the Court, I thought the best course would be to correct the
Resident's coachmen, and make them responsible for the mistake,
though their master might be an accomplice, as many are disposed
to believe. But with three Catholic ministers here, all with
numerous households, I considered that this might expose me
to worse scandals. So I sent the secretary Agostini to complain
to Don Alonso of the conduct of his coachmen, asking him to deal
with them as was due to the minister of a prince so friendly to
his Catholic Majesty. The Resident expressed his sorrow and
admitted the mistake, but added that on that day the coach
might be called not his but the marquis's, though he promised
satisfaction. The secretary objected that as the men did not
wear Vellada's livery they could not be called his, and they
deserved punishment. The Resident admitted this and said that
after consulting Vellada he would ask me to suggest some satisfaction.
He sent his secretary on Friday to repeat his offer, but
asked me to confine myself to one thing. I laid the blame on
the coachmen who deserved public punishment. This had been
done in the similar instance with the Prince of Echembergh,
imperial ambassador extraordinary at Rome, and with others.
The secretary intimated that his master would render this satisfaction ;
but after six days he came back to tell me that the
ambassadors and resident had enquired into the matter and
examined the coachmen, and they could not reprove them
because the violence was on the side of my men not of theirs,
as if my coach had claimed a position that did not belong to it.
I replied mildly and let the matter drop, pretending to attach
slight importance to the incident. As everyone talks about it
at Court, condemning the imprudence of that minister, I have
thought it my duty to report it, and I am sending a copy of this
letter to the Ambassador Contarini in Spain.
London, the 27th April, 1640.