147. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The two younger brothers of the Palatine have recently arrived
at Paris, to learn chivalrous exercises in the Academy. (fn. 1) It is
said that Windebank, the secretary of state of the King of Great
Britain will arrive here in a short time, having fled from England
for reasons which your Excellencies will know.
Sciatu, the 1st January, 1641.
148. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The three ambassadors left for England on Tuesday. A special
vessel reported their arrival yesterday morning. The Prince is
very delighted and the people await the issue of their negotiations.
They have already begun to cherish great hopes of a new alliance
with that kingdom and of favourable communications for trade.
The Ambassador Joachimi writes that the king informed parliament
of the marriage amid universal applause and acclamations.
This news intensifies the gladness of the Prince and heaps up the
rejoicing of the common people, who anticipate every good from
The Hague, the 7th January, 1641.
149. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
Windebank. secretary of state of the King of Great Britain,
has arrived in Paris and seen the Ambassador Leicester incognito.
Besides the restitution of the ships taken by the Archbishop of
Bordeaux they have also granted to the ambassador the goods
laden in them, belonging to the English. But there are disputes
at present over the claims of the Marine Office here that the
English had no interest in the goods, and that their name simply
served to cover those of the Spaniards ; and so the dispute has
flared up again.
A deputy of Holland has arrived to report the marriage of the
daughter of the King of Great Britain to the son of the Prince of
Orange. (fn. 2) They will recognise the compliment, but not cordially,
as the ministers here resent the Prince of Orange having concluded
such a great affair without any previous intimation to the king
Sciatu, the 8th January, 1641.
150. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch ambassadors reached Gravesend two days ago in
three ships of war. They have arrived here, and are awaiting the
royal barques and other customary attentions for their state entry
to this city today. When crossing they fell in with five Dunkirk
ships, which after a vigorous combat were obliged as usual to
seek safety in flight, though not without damage to the Dutch,
who lost several soldiers in the fight, while some of the ambassadors'
suite were severely wounded. Meanwhile the Court is
consumed with curiosity to learn what special proposals they bring
besides the complimentary one for the marriage. It is confirmed
that the strongest inducements which prevailed with His Majesty
were those reported in my last. But there is no sign so far that
he is going to attain his end by such means. The commissioners
of Scotland show more clearly than ever that they do not mean
to separate the interests of that kingdom from those of England,
and the English parliamentarians on their side, with the object
of confirming them in this purpose, by demonstrations of confidence,
do nothing without consulting them or without their consent,
so it is thought that every attempt to separate them will prove
vain, and that is the only stroke with which His Majesty aspires
to conquer the hydra of so many troublesome seditions.
After the members of the Lower House had carefully discussed
the way to make a new law for parliament to meet every year
at a definite time, and to take away the king's ancient prerogative
of calling it at his pleasure, they sent up their proposal to the
Upper House, and endeavoured by many arguments to persuade
them that this proposal would be equally useful to the lords.
But a matter involving such important consequences demands
mature reflection, and in their reply the Upper Chamber has not
seemed entirely favourable, fearing lest such an attenuation of
the royal authority and the frequency of parliaments might not
augment licence among the people, with manifest danger that
after shaking off the yoke of the monarchy they might afterwards
apply themselves to abase the nobility also and reduce the government
of this realm to a complete democracy, which is the definite
object at which the most seditious among the Puritans in particular
aim all their efforts. His Majesty, on the other hand, for
his own interests industriously encourages this idea and is exerting
himself actively to prevent the Lower Chamber from realising
this audacious design, which strikes the royal authority in its
most sensitive parts.
They are more active than ever over the reform of religion.
Already with the consent of both Chambers the canons added to
the Anglican liturgy of recent years by the Archbishop of Canterbury
have been condemned and prohibited. New charges having
been accumulated against that prelate by the Scottish commissioners,
parliament has had him arrested to the general satisfaction,
though very distasteful to His Majesty and especially to the
queen, who is full of generous spirit and shows that she feels very
strongly at seeing her husband not only deprived of his most
faithful ministers, but so effectively despised by his own subjects.
For this reason she never ceases to urge him to throw himself into
desperate courses, and it is to be feared that he may at last lose
patience and listen to her, with danger of more serious consequences.
Following the example of the Secretary of State Windebank,
the Lord Keeper has also sought safety in flight. He crossed the
sea on Monday profiting by his Majesty's favour, who gave him
secret proofs of his regard, and he has not as yet made any
appointment to the office, which is the first and most necessary
of the crown.
Parliament has voted four subsidies to be collected before the
end of next April, on the express condition that they shall be
controlled by their own commissioners, who are charged to employ
the money solely for the monthly payments promised to the Scots
and for the maintenance of the English troops who are quartered
on the frontier. On the other hand they have taken from the
king the use of the revenues of the customs, which are the most
accessible and best which he possesses, so that the cashiers themselves
declare that if these revenues are not returned to his
Majesty or if he is not provided by parliament in some other way,
it will be impossible for him in the future to support the private
expenses of his own Court. Owing to these fresh restrictions they
have withdrawn the monthly assignment to the queen mother, so
that she also is subjected to the most painful stringency.
The Ambassadors of the Catholic have urgently pressed the
king to permit them to raise recruits and fresh levies of Irish
troops. He gave them assurances about the former, but could
offer them no hope of the latter, and although they have the
opportunity to levy the number of soldiers that they require
under the name of recruits, yet they seem put out about the reply.
The ambassadors extraordinary announced that they are leaving
very soon and are expecting instructions from their master by the
next courier to set out. They will feel bitterly that they have
incurred expense to no purpose whatever in this conspicuous
mission, with scant honour for the crown which they represent.
The French secretary informed His Majesty yesterday of the
selection of the Sieur de la Fertbo (fn. 3) to reside at this Court as
ambassador for that Crown. The news pleased His Majesty
greatly and the whole Court shows its gratification.
London, the 11th January, 1641.
151. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France to
the Doge and Senate.
It seems they are thinking of sending an ambassador to England
at last, indeed it is announced that la Ferte Imbo has been nomiated,
to go there as soon as possible.
Sciatu, the 15th January, 1641.
152. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The three ambassadors extraordinary of Holland had their
first public audience of His Majesty yesterday. It was made
notable by the great crowd of people and of the nobility, and also
because the king as an extraordinary demonstration of esteem,
chose to receive them in the Great Hall which is ordinarily used
only for the ambassadors of kings. This shows clearly the power
of goodwill at this Court, a circumstance which makes the claims
of the ambassadors boundless, as your Excellencies shall hear.
M. de Brederot spoke in the name of all. By his birth and from
his close relationship to the Prince of Orange, he is head of the
embassy. His first offices were confined to compliments. It
was left to other private audiences to set forth the precise commissions
of the embassy. The king gave them a most gracious
welcome. Meanwhile they say freely at the palace that in a short
time this crown is to make a new offensive and defensive alliance
with the United Provinces against all alike. Everyone forms
his own judgment about the secret bargains and aims for which the
Dutch have entered into this alliance, in accordance with each
man's private passions and sympathies. Many think that they
do not intend by this alliance to increase the happiness of France ;
others that it will not be pleasant for the Spaniards either. Time
will show the true motives, and very likely, as is customary with
this country, they will not produce the results, in the present
troubled state of Christendom, that many have vainly conceived.
As regards the marriage, the report that it will be with the
king's eldest daughter, Princess Mary, gathers strength. This
only serves to increase the resentment and shame of the Spanish
ambassadors, while the news, which is confirmed, of the revolt
of Portugal, tends to destroy the high opinion of their master
which was held here before. Everyone predicts fresh and more
serious troubles for that crown.
The armistice with the Scots which terminated at the end of
last month, has been extended for another month, with equal
promptitude on both sides. The king works harder than ever
to bring about an accommodation. On this he bases his chief
hopes of supporting his own authority with his subjects. Accordingly
he has consented to all their demands except the payment
of the 1,800,000 ducats, which they persist in claiming as an
indemnity. It is an impossible sum to pay and this excites the
suspicion that under cover of such high demands the Scots purpose
to strengthen their footing in England, and that they will only be
dislodged from their quarters at Newcastle by force. In this
they have the advantage from the experience of their commanders
and the discipline of their soldiers, so that many are doubtful
whether the issue would be favourable.
In parliament they are proceeding with the customary slowness.
Many things are proposed but so far, after mature consideration,
nothing has been decided. There have been long debates in the
Upper House about the annual meeting of parliament. Their
first suspicion that this was to make the authority of the people
pre-eminent, in a prejudicial manner, having disappeared, it seems
that the lords not only agree in this sentence but propose to set
up a new magistrate, who, when parliament was not sitting, would
be specially charged to see that its decrees were carried out. If
this innovation is introduced it will hand over the reins of government
completely to parliament, and nothing will be left to the
king but mere show and an image of royalty stripped of credit
and destitute of all authority.
Disturbances continue in Ireland. In addition to the petition
for the restitution of privileges there and the relief of the people
from many insupportable burdens, they persist in their demand
for liberty of conscience. The Catholics in particular not only
ask with piteous zeal for the public exercise of the Roman Faith,
but supported by the military, who refused to disband, as I
wrote, have riotously entered the Protestant Cathedral Church
of Dublin, where they had a solemn mass celebrated, attended
by a great crowd. This news has stirred the parliament deeply,
and the English Catholics are not without fear that this action
of the Irish, although just, may increase their own loss and danger.
In the continued shortage of money, experienced by the king,
he is unable to allow the queen mother to enjoy any longer the
use of his own liberality. She has therefore decided to dismiss
the residue of her household and to adopt the frugal life of a
private lady, affording a singular example to the world that even
the royal state of the greatest princes is subject to the same
vicissitudes as affect the fortunes of private houses.
London, the 17th Januray, 1641.
153. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
At the public entry of the Dutch ambassadors I sent my coach,
being invited. This took its place at the landing place after the
royal ones. The Master of the Ceremonies alighted before any
one else and thinking only of the advantage of the ambassadors,
he ordered my coachmen to yield place to those of Holland, on
the ground that the day was set apart for their honour. My
master of the horse replied boldly that he was astonished at such
an order, and would not allow the coachmen to move. In the
end the coaches started without change and mine kept its proper
place although the Dutch tried more than once to take it away.
On the following day the ambassadors sent their secretary to
this house to thank me, and to express their desire to maintain
the best relations. I replied suitably and subsequently sent the
secretary Agostini to pay my respects on their arrival.
The day after the Master of the Ceremonies came to me and
tried to excuse his palpable fault by lying pretexts. He said that
the ambassadors had made the claim, for that day, although they
did not deny the right of my coach to the first place in other
public and private functions. Arsem had enjoyed this advantage
in France and wished for it here also. I pointed out the futility
of such claims, and said I would never consent to my coach
taking any place than what was due to the greatness of the prince,
I represented. Finding it useless to try and persuade me he
departed, and he did not invite my coach, as usual, to the audience
of the ambassadors. I have thought fit to report this affair,
which has caused some talk at Court, and I will also send word to
the Ambassador Giustinian at the Hague. The chief author is
Arsem, who has enjoyed your Excellencies' favour, and perhaps
he aspires by this means to open the way to greater advantages
in the future.
London, the 17th January, 1641.
154. Piero Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador, Gieronimo
Trivisan, Bailo and Alvise Contarini, Bailo at Constantinople,
to the Doge and Senate.
Two English ships have arrived here with a very great quantity
of bombasine (baracani) and carcasonnes (carcassoni), (fn. 4) they
are called, which are forbidden and cannot be sold at any price.
One is curious to see what will happen. To take them elsewhere,
without payment of the duty, as the English are at liberty to
do by their capitulations, will mean a considerable loss to the
merchants, and they may not know where to dispose of them.
To unlade them here being prohibited, would be worse. It is
probable that the needs of the merchants and the greed of the
Vizier will find a common ground, and a substantial present may
settle the difficulty, with the hope that other nations may follow
The Vigne of Pera, the 19th January, 1640. [M.V.]
155. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Cardinal told me of the choice of la Ferte Imbo for the
English embassy. Though he will be styled extraordinary, the
Cardinal said he would stay there such time as the king pleased,
just as the ordinary ambassadors do. The representations of
your Serenity had great influence in the decision. I thanked him
for the honour of his confidence. The Cardinal took the opportunity
to speak to me superficially, of the marriage of the second
daughter of the King of Great Britain to the son of the Prince
of Orange, but he went far enough to show me, with the information
I already possessed, that they suspect the marriage has been
made with the consent of the Spaniards, the Prince of Orange
having promised to arrange a secret truce between them and the
Dutch States. Some go further and are persuaded that the
Prince has taken this step with a long view, anticipating that with
the Provinces at peace they are certain to split up on the question
of religion, when he will lead the stronger party and easily reduce
the other, making himself supreme with the help of the English,
with the Spaniards rather favourable than otherwise. This
view will gain still greater credit if the marriage between the
Prince of Spain and the Princess of England is concluded. It is
considered as good as arranged, although the Ambassador
Leicester has announced that they are in negotiation to marry
her to the Margrave of Brandenburg, with an obligation upon him
to take action for the restitution of the Palatinate. The Ambassador
has further told the ministers, perhaps to learn their
views, that the Palatine is negotiating with the King of Denmark,
hoping to win him entirely to the protection of his cause, and in
that case he will receive powerful assistance from the English
parliament. They told him that the King had no other desire
than to see the Palatine restored to his states and dignities, and
when a suitable opportunity presents itself His Majesty will not
be among the last to support him.
Sciatu, the 22nd January, 1641.
156. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
On the day after their state audience the Dutch ambassadors
were again introduced to the presence of His Majesty and the
queen separately. They made the marriage proposals to both
and asked for the first princess, who is nine years of age. The
king answered in courteous but general terms, and he has since
appointed six commissioners to arrange with them the completion
of the business. (fn. 5) This has been done rather for decorum and to
fulfil the formalities customary in such occasions than from the
need to examine the merits of the proposals, since all the conditions
of the marriage have been arranged by mutual consent
between the king and the Prince of Orange. The most remarkable
particulars are still kept under the seal of secrecy, but they
should soon be revealed.
The Spanish ambassadors are trying with all their might to
trouble the carrying out of this affair. They urge that at least
the eldest daughter shall not be given to Orange, but the state
of the times and the unlucky conduct of their master's affairs
deprive their intimations of all credit, and one feels sure they will
make no impression.
The Dutch ambassadors have not neglected to make some
overtures about the alliance, but only in general terms as yet.
It is intimated that the complete settlement of the marriage
is the first thing to deal with, and the question of the alliance
can be considered after. They will find the most favourable
reception here, especially for a defensive one, as the people here
are most eager to see the trade between the two countries solidly
based upon such a union.
They have not yet intervened about the difficulties over an
adjustment between His Majesty and the Scots. Every one is
waiting impatiently to see if they will do so and if results justify
the King's original hopes from the interposition of the United
Provinces and the Prince of Orange, of which unprejudiced persons
are very doubtful, supposing the Scots do not give way in
their demand for an exorbitant sum of money for an indemnity.
The greater part of the session this week in parliament has been
spent in reading the processes drawn up against the Lord Keeper
and the Secretary of State Windebank, who fled. These will
soon be despatched and they will then pass on to that of the
Lieutenant of Ireland for whose relief the king is showing the
greatest activity, though it is not expected to save him.
Upon the important question of the reform of religion the
parliamentarians disagree in their opinions. They follow with
obstinacy such a number of different sects, of Calvin, Brown and
Luther, while others profess themselves Arminians, Socinians,
and Protestants. Every one studies to advance his own sect
by the destruction of the others. For the purpose of uniting
opinion, if it be possible, it is proposed in parliament to convoke
a general synod in the spring, in which not only all the most
accredited English doctors of their false theology will take part,
but to invite from Germany, France and Holland those who are
most esteemed in the errors of these doctrines, so as to form a new
religion, with the approval of both parties. If this proposal is
carried into effect it is thought that the religion will be that of
Calvin, whose task it has been to instruct the peoples to set themselves
at liberty and not to suffer any rule but that of democracy.
For this important consideration and not to risk losing the title
of Head of the Anglican Church, His Majesty is endeavouring to
get the idea of this pernicious assembly given up.
The queen is most anxiously awaiting the arrival of the French
ambassador destined to this Court, hoping that his presence will
bridle the temerity of the parliamentarians, who are trying to
take away from her the advantages which were granted to her in
the marriage treaty and promised to France.
After reducing her household to twenty persons only the queen
mother has this week sold her coaches, horses and plate in order
to supply funds for her daily expenditure. Although this excites
sympathy, yet the parliamentarians show no disposition to help
her with any liberality. This is all that I have to report of the
events of this most tiresome Court.
London, the 25th January, 1641.