262. Niccolo Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Irish troops have not yet appeared which are anxiously
awaited at Corunna. It is stated that at the time of their embarcation
some difficulty arose in England, but that being overcome,
they should not tarry.
Madrid, the 1st October, 1641.
263. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Since parliament rose nothing remarkable has happened here.
The point that gives most cause for consideration is the motives
that have led to the conflicting resolutions of the Upper and Lower
Chambers about the liturgy of this Church. In some places in
the country and in those parishes of this city where the Puritans
prevail, the resolution of the Lower House has been gladly
adopted ; but elsewhere they have refused to receive it and the
people protest roundly that they will stand fast to the ancient
observance without any alteration, as the Upper House directs.
Thus the schism between the Puritans and the Protestants
becomes more and more evident, a point worthy of deep consideration.
With the return of the members to the country the original
approval of their deliberations is on the wane. Many have gone
back to their constituencies complaining that everything in the
parliament has been guided by the sole arbitrament of a few
individuals, who boldly seized the reins of the government and
prevented others from stating their own opinions for the common
benefit on the matters dealt with, and that this time there has not
been that freedom of speech which is proper and which has always
been the rule in the past.
These reports have aroused a strong feeling in many and it is
freely stated that when parliament meets again in November
the first action it will take will be a protestation that everyone,
without having to give a reason, may propose and register that
which he considers best for the general welfare. If this takes
place it will be necessary for the hotter spirits to proceed with more
reserve, and it will encourage those who are inclined to favour the
king's side, but who have not dared to do so from fear for themselves.
It therefore looks as if, through time and divisions, that the royalist
party may increase its numbers and subsequently produce something
for the service of the king, as one would expect from the prudence of
his offices and those of his ministers, although, if the truth must be
told, more caution would be desirable in some of them and more
sincerity in others.
All the English troops which were at York have been disbanded.
They have not been able to give full payment to the commanders
and officers, but have given them sureties for payment within a
definite period. These, however, are retained on half pay,
although the real object is not known. Whatever it may be it
will probably fall through, as all the others have done.
General the earl of Holland promises to be in this city on
Monday to give an account to the commissioners of parliament
of what has happened. The soldiers of the garrisons of Berwick
and Carlisle are ready to embark when the ships arrive which
have been sent for them, and the orders have been issued for the
complete demolition of the new fortifications at the earliest
Meanwhile the remnant of the Scottish army, reduced to
5000 foot and 1000 horse, remains stationed on the frontier.
They state that when the garrisons of the fortresses mentioned
have gone out that army will be disbanded with all speed. Thus
with both parties laying aside their arms, and with his Majesty
persuaded that by virtue of the satisfaction given to the Scots
they will not in future give their assistance to further escapades
of the English, it looks as if the king has given up all idea of using
force and arms and that he will try by means of negotiation and
by the fear of his resentment to subdue the temerity of the most
obstinate, and in this way endeavour if it be possible, to rid himself
once for all from the annoyance of this parliament. Time will show.
No one would venture without imprudence on a prediction under
so inconstant a sky, where their principles and resolutions are
changed every day.
The declaration of the Scots in favour of the Palatine has been
printed and I enclose a copy for those of your Excellencies who
care to see it. You will observe the caution and the generalities
in which this resolution is couched. This, in addition to the
knowledge of their powerlessness to proceed to action indicate
their disinclination to go any further, and their only object, as
I have reported before, is to make this paper strike fear, instead
of taking the vigorous steps that are necessary. All the same the
Palatine is treating with officers for levies and announces that if
he does not receive satisfaction from the Austrians within the
month of April, the Scots will give him 10,000 infantry and he
will then proceed to Germany with a powerful army. But few
believe this, since it is known that he lacks money, not to speak
of strength, good counsel and ability.
In satisfaction of his Majesty's request a decree has been passed
in Scotland for restoring to the Catholics of that country their
country and goods, with permission to live quietly in the future.
This event has greatly consoled those of England, who hope that
the example may facilitate the like advantage for themselves.
If this is obtained it will serve for the greater glory of God and for
the benefit of those concerned, but it will not bring that additional
advantage to the king's position that might be imagined. For
with the efforts of the Catholics to enhance his authority it
follows as a matter of course that when he announces himself
in favour of Catholicism they trust in his greatness for their
personal safety ; but when this stimulus ceases and they recognise
that the substance of their fortunes depends upon parliament,
their interest in spreading the royal authority will decline, and
it may be doubted whether they will not become of the same mind as
the rest and conspire to keep it subject to the observance of the laws
and with a limited command.
The plague has increased somewhat this week again. I am still
in this city owing to the slowness of the person who has let me
his house in the country. He promises to let me have it now
one day now another.
Of the time of his Majesty's return to this country they still
speak with uncertainty. It is believed that he will come within
a month, but it is not known whether the plague may not oblige
him to go to Cambridge, to spend some time there. I report this
so that your Excellencies may favour me with your commands,
when his Majesty returns to England, whether I also am to go
where the Court and the ambassadors are. Meanwhile, until
clearer instructions arrive I shall stay in the country as directed ;
and if the king comes back earlier to this neighbourhood, which
I think unlikely, I shall feign that considerations of health and
the approaching delivery of the ambassadress keep me there.
London, the 4th October, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
264. Act of the Parliament of Scotland upon the Manifesto
in favour of the Palatine made by the English Parliament,
presented by his Majesty, promising their assistance to forward
the king's designs if he does not receive satisfaction through the
Read, noted and passed in parliament the 28th September,
1641. (fn. 1)
265. Thadio Vico, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the
Doge and Senate.
In reply to the Danish Ambassador about the release of Prince
Rupert, the emperor said that he might go anywhere in the
hereditary dominions but not beyond their limits until the cause
of his House was decided. But the reply did not satisfy the
Vienna, the 12th October, 1641.
266. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
They are discussing the sending of an embassy extraordinary
to England, where the States are invited to arrange an offensive
and defensive alliance, favourable at once to the interests of the
Palatine and to the marriage of the young Prince of Orange.
This should be finally concluded with the arrival of the Princess
Mary at the Hague at the return of the ambassadors extraordinary,
if the alliance is concluded as proposed.
The Hague, the 14th October, 1641.
267. To the Ambassador in London.
We approve of your action about the chaplain and of your
taking a house in the country, as reported in your letters of the
27th ult. When the king or the queen returns you will pay your
respects to their Majesties, following the style adopted by the
other ambassadors. You will not omit any office that will serve
for the advantage or decorum of the state, but with such circumspection
and avoidance of observation as may seem to you best
fitted for the existing circumstances. You will, however, keep
up confidential relations with the ministers as usual.
Ayes, 73. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
268. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
While it was thought that the king's return to England must
be very soon, M. di More appeared at Otland two days ago,
being sent by his Majesty to the queen, and brought her the
report that owing to the extra time taken in completing business
in the parliament there the king is obliged to extend his stay in
Scotland for another month. This gentleman states that some
difference about the appointment of the Lord Chancellor has
supplied the strongest motive for inducing the king to remain
there, and he is devoting all his efforts to securing the selection
of an individual favourable to himself, since, in order to remove
occasions for fresh changes his Majesty has at length agreed to
listen to the request of the people there touching the distribution
of appointments in the kingdom. He has granted them the
privilege of presenting three candidates for each vacant office in
the future, from whom he is bound to select one, and in no other
way. This is a remarkable diminution of his despotic authority
while it also deprives him of the most fruitful means of keeping his
subjects obedient to himself. He loses this most useful dependence of
the officials on the crown, with the certainty that in the end they will
be relieved from his service while those who have stood out for
loyalty and obedience will be subject to the censure of rigorous
examination and will hazard their own safety.
The English acclaim this important decision, being persuaded
that this event will suffice to enable them to obtain soon the same
advantage, and so sedition, instead of being punished, will be rewarded
in the two kingdoms. This example will afford a very
salutary warning to easy going princes not to allow changes in their
government to avoid exposing themselves to such prejudicial contingencies.
Since parliament separated the commissioners appointed have
not rung out any changes. They are devoting themselves at
present to putting in order the matters which are to be dealt
with when the session is resumed, in twenty days' time. Meanwhile
in London during the present week bills have appeared posted
in public places boldly attacking those members of parliament who
took the leading part in the past acts, accusing them of being the
authors of seditious deliberations, traitors to the king, the kingdom
and the nobility and of having conspired with the Scots to the hurt
of the people here. It threatens that if they are not expelled from
parliament all those who profess the true Protestant religion are
determined to take their life, as the enemies of God and of the public
weal. In the country and in the county of York in particular
other libels similar to these are circulating, and a universal dissatisfaction
with the efforts of the parliament is openly expressed.
Accordingly it seems likely that when they reassemble they will
proceed with more moderation and that their deliberations will be
guided by the concurrence of all and not by the passions of a few only.
Lengthy despatches from the Ambassador Ro have reached
the king. He gives a clear account of what has happened in the
Diet touching the amnesty ; of the proposals made to him about
the interests of the Palatine House and of the emperor's request
that he would follow him to Vienna together with the other
ambassadors. Your Excellencies will have heard all this from
the proper quarter. This minister reports that the Swedes have
secretly made him offers that if England will agree to send a
powerful force to Germany in the service of the Palatine family,
they will be ready to make an alliance with her and to strengthen
the forces there with 10,000 foot, so that in the end they may
procure the most just relief of those princes, acting jointly.
They have replied to the ambassador approving of all that he has
done in these negotiations, directing him to continue his dealings
in the matter of the adjustment and to go wherever it may please
his Imperial Majesty.
Meanwhile the Sig. dall' Isola Borgognone, the person who was
sent to the Count of Suisson some months ago, reached London
on Friday in the character of gentleman sent by Caesar to the
king here. (fn. 2) He remains incognito for the time being and has
sent word to the king of his arrival, asking whether it is his
Majesty's pleasure that he shall wait for him here, or if he shall
proceed with all speed to Scotland to fulfil the first offices of his
charge. This gentleman declares that he enjoys the most complete
confidence of the favourite, the Count of Tramestorf, and
that he brings the secret for facilitating the success of the negotiations
in favour of the Palatine House. I gather, however,
that his instructions do not go beyond an assurance of the
emperor's willingness to afford satisfaction to his Majesty and
do good to that House, with the object of sounding the real
intentions of England, and if need be, to put a stop, by the
finesse of such insinuations, to those generous decisions which
the manifestoes published by these parliaments may have led
them to expect there is some intention of putting into action.
But those who have true information about the condition of this
crown and of the disinclination of the people to commit themselves
to fresh expenditure do not believe that the published protests
will be supported by deeds, or that the English will send, as they
announce, a squadron of well armed ships to the West Indies to
injure the Catholic king if they do not this time receive the
satisfaction which they claim from the Austrians.
The parliamentary commissioners held some discussion about
this project of an expedition to the Indies, with the idea of laying
the proposal before parliament as a whole later on, but those with
most experience did not consider that it could easily be done,
owing to the insuperable difficulties involved. The ambassadors
of France and Portugal encourage the idea among the members
of parliament with all their might and the French one promises
that his master will second the efforts from this quarter with a
useful diversion in Germany.
The earl of Arundel has written from Holland informing
parliament of the progress of the queen mother's journey, and
that he accompanied her as instructed. He promises to return
soon to this kingdom, and intimates that he will take the road
through Brussels, merely to satisfy his curiosity. I report this
to show that private and not public reasons have induced this
leading minister to visit that Court.
The merchants of this mart are greatly perturbed by the
wreck in English waters of a ship which was bringing from Spain
to these shores a cargo of 300,000l. sterling in silver, as well as
spices and goods worth quite as much. (fn. 3)
As announced, the judges who sentenced my English chaplain
published the annulment of the sentence on the day after the
Michaelmas celebrations, and so his release has been made known
in the most honourable and conspicuous manner.
This is all I have to report from this solitary apartment. I
hope that the state will consider my necessity for keeping two
establishments, especially now it has pleased God to increase
my posterity and give your Serenity another devoted servant.
Barvel, the 18th October, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
269. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
The embassy extraordinary to England remains in suspense.
The prince proposes to send his own son there, but cannot quite
make up his mind, because he wants first to have the absolute
certainty that his bride will come back with him. As this remains
uncertain, it does not become his dignity to expose himself to
the ignominy of a repulse. Moreover the States do not view this
mission with a friendly eye, and display scant inclination for an
alliance with England embracing the interests of the Palatine
and including those of the House of Orange, as proposed.
The Hague, the 22nd October, 1641.
270. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
By a person in my confidence whom I have charged to keep
me advised of events in London, I heard on Monday that John
Obson, the Englishman out there, who is engaged in a considerable
suit with a certain Bonicelli, a Greek subject of your Serenity, has
written to the merchants here who are interested in the dispute,
among whom is an alderman, of influence in these licentious
times, (fn. 4) that Bonicelli through favour is hindering the course of
justice and he had thereby suffered most grievous hurt. The
magistrates there had recently confiscated valuable property without
hope of redress and his very safety was in jeopardy through the
influence of the opposite party. The letters of his Majesty to
your Serenity had borne no fruit, and he asks that vigorous measures
may be taken to recompense them for their losses. That
the merchants, seriously agitated by such news, have gone to the
directors of the Levant Company and drawn up a petition to the
commissioners of parliament asking them to give them letters of
marque against the ships and goods of your Excellencies. That
on the Exchange they indulge publicly in scandalous charges
throwing discredit among merchants on the stainless justice of
the most serene republic and the trade in your dominions.
I made enquiry about these things without delay and find
they are quite true. I considered it advisable to send the Secretary
Agustini to London with instructions to go as usual to the
Exchange, where the merchants gather, and there, without
affectation or committing the state in any way to take suitable
opportunity to unmask the falsity of such ideas and if possible
to assure those interested of the unimpeachable justice which is
rigidly practised in your Excellencies' dominions to everyone
and particularly to his Majesty's subjects, who are treated as your
own. Accordingly he went there and was at once informed by
the secretary of the Levant Company and by some others of
those concerned about the news they had from those parts.
They confirmed frankly their intention to ask for letters of
marque for the compensation they claim and even showed him
the very memorial which they intend to present. The secretary,
fulfilling his instructions with prudence maintained with vigour
that there could be no doubt about the upright justice of the
magistrates. This was shown to all without respect of persons
and there was no room for influence of any kind. The English
nation was liked and protected by the Senate. He suggested
tactfully that Obson's report might cover private ends for his
own advantage and to their detriment. In this way he calmed the
merchants to some extent, but they have not entirely given up
the idea of presenting the petition to parliament.
I will keep on the watch to prevent any harmful decision, and
will support if necessary the most just decrees of the state's
tribunals. I have sent this information in order that your Excellencies
may give me precise instructions how I must proceed
if they persist in their intention, and to uphold here the renown
of Venetian justice against the detractions of this headstrong
race which respects nothing but its own interests. However, I
do not think it likely that parliament will listen to such unjust
demands, because everyone knows that at Venice justice is
adminstered to all alike and with expedition.
Barvel, the 25th October, 1641.
271. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
All the efforts of the king have not sufficed to induce the
parliament of Scotland to accept the individuals proposed by
him for the offices of Chancellor and Treasurer of that kingdom. (fn. 5)
They have insisted obstinately that the choice must fall on the
earl of Arghil and baron Lodon who were the first architects
and principal leaders of the recent revolt, although they have
since submitted to his Majesty and apparently profess the most
All the officials of the kingdom have received orders to resign
their offices to the parliament, to receive them back at its pleasure,
the object being to deprive the most faithful servants of his
Majesty and to benefit those who have audaciously engaged in
promoting seditious designs.
The Court resents these events, the queen particularly, as they
destroy her first hopes of using the Scottish arm to tame the licence
of the English here, who are seeking to establish their own fortunes
upon his Majesty's weakness.
Parliament has promised the earl of Montrose and the others
accused of having conspired against the privileges and liberty
of that kingdom that if they will confess their faults with acts
of penitence, their trial shall be submitted to his Majesty's
discretion ; but so far they have not accepted the offer, maintaining
their complete innocence and the merit of having behaved as
obedient subjects and in a manner befitting their birth.
By law they have prohibited in Scotland under pain of idolatry
(sotto penna d'idolatria,) all paintings or sculpture representing the
Majesty of God in any form soever. Those in the churches or
elsewhere they have had destroyed, amid the remonstrances of
many in whose hearts some sparks of piety still exist.
By a courier who arrived two days ago the king has informed
the queen that by the 8th of next month he will be in this kingdom.
It is not yet known where he will stay, because of the plague,
which troubles London and the country alike.
The French ambassador is bringing forward fresh incitements
to induce the parliamentary commissioners not to temporise any
longer with the House of Austria, and to seek generously by force
of arms to obtain those rights for the Palatine House for which
England has so far sighed in vain. He offers that if this crown
decides to attack Flanders vigorously, the most Christian will
readily allow English troops to land at Calais, on condition that
they arrive 600 at a time, and he will assign them a convenient
place near the frontier as a place d' amies, with all the provision
that is necessary. He further offers that the moment they move
here, the French will push a powerful army into the Palatinate,
and promises that all the fortresses which they recover shall be
handed over to the Palatine himself.
The commissioners replied in general terms of appreciation ;
that when parliament assembles again they will make known
these proposals, so that what is considered most expedient may
be determined thereafter. But those of most experience and the
French ambassador himself do not believe that this will make any
impression, since they well know that the people are utterly
disinclined to undertake new burdens or to lose the advantage
of trade with the Spanish dominions, while the parliamentarians
are careful not to augment the present good fortune of France.
As arranged when the Dutch ambassadors extraordinary
departed, and as I reported some months ago, they are expecting
soon a new embassy from those Provinces and the young Prince
of Orange as well, for the purpose of taking steps towards the
conclusion of an alliance which those ministers are now putting
on the carpet. There are various opinions about the real objects
of the Dutch in pressing for a new alliance with this crown.
Many persons of good sense are of opinion that, dissatisfied with
the alliance with France and tired of remaining under the weight
of such heavy expenditure, they are seeking eagerly for the support
of their friendship here, so that they may thereafter apply themselves
boldly to the expedient of laying down their arms decorously and
with security against the Spaniards ; or if this cannot be successfully
managed, to pursue the war more vigorously and not be tied to such
complete dependence on the Most Christian.
The earl of Lester has arrived from his embassy in France, and
the earl of Arundel from his in Holland. The latter left his wife
at Cologne, intending to proceed to Italy to live in Padua to avoid
the persecution from which the Catholics now suffer. Her
Excellency is of this persuasion, although she has not been
convicted by the magistrates.
The queen having learned of the delivery of the ambassadress,
sent her confessor and a leading lady to intimate to me that as
this was the first Venetian noble to be born in England she would
like to act as godmother, and asked me to appoint a day when
she might come and honour this house with her presence. Although
I recognise that this was a tribute to the greatness of your
Excellencies, yet I was doubtful of your approval, so I contrived
to evade the dilemma by replying that saying that I had had the
boy christened at birth, from fear that he might not live. I
report this in case the English secretary makes some reference
to the subject at Venice.
Barvel, the 25th October, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
272. To the Ambassador in London.
Approval of what he has done.
Ayes, 103. Noes, 3. Neutral, 1.
The Savii for instructions wish the following to be added to the
It is needful that you should proceed to the emperor in Germany,
as your presence is required at the Diet of Ratisbon. In the
existing state of affairs in England, where the accident to the
chaplain and the case of the French ambassador show the danger
to your house and person amid the barbarity of an excited populace
who, in their ambition to abase the royal authority, care
little for the privileges of the law of nations, and with the king and
Court away, you have no opportunity for the exercise of your
talents and are left idle. Moreover there has been no English
ambassador at Venice for a long time, and it is uncertain whether
one will be chosen owing to the present state of affairs, so it is not
in accordance with the interest or dignity of the state to keep up
the embassy there. You will therefore take leave of their Majesties,
expressing the cordial regard of the republic and all desire
for their prosperity, informing the king of the decision that the
Ambassador Contarini shall leave soon for England, and telling
him that you have orders to start for Germany, and that in the
mean time you will leave the secretary to receive his instructions
and to do what may be necessary. You will perform the same
office with the queen and ministers, and that done you will return
home without delay.