28. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Commended for paying his respects to the queen of England
on her arrival. He is to observe how this incident affects the
resolutions of those States.
Ayes, 141. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2.
|29. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 7th and 14th ult.
Notice that the affairs of that country become more and more
significant. The absence of the king and his distance from
London will call for still closer observation of what takes place
and the disagreements that arise. Approval of his action and
of his offices with the king. Expect him to continue the same
course with his ability and zeal. He is to thank the Irishman
for his offer of German levies and tell him that the Signory will
bear his offer in mind.
From what he reports it looks as if it might be useful to take
up again the question of the reception of the Venetian ambassadors
on a par with those of other crowned heads. The Senate trusts
to his discretion and leaves it to him to do what he sees fit, in
the assurance that he only move with the utmost reserve when
quite sure of his ground and without committing himself. Enclose
sheet of advices.
Vote of 300 ducats for couriers and the carriage of letters, to
be paid to the ambassador's agent.
Ayes, 141. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2.
30. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The king reached York on Saturday in last week and was
received by the people there with demonstrations of the utmost
joy (con i testimonii d' una perfetta gioia). The mayor of the city,
with a numerous company, went out to meet him and with
every token of dutiful respect assured him of the perfect readiness
(pronta volonta) of all the people there to sacrifice themselves as
well as their fortunes for the preservation of his Majesty. Nevertheless
it remains a question for the future to resolve whether such
protestations of duty mean that they will undergo the trials necessary
for the reestablishment of this prince in his state. Many assert
positively that the Northern parts, having found out the passions of
the parliamentarians and far from satisfied with the new regime on
other accounts, are sighing to see the king restored to his ancient
condition of power, and are disposed to assist the realisation of this
sentiment by the powerful forces of that district. On the other hand,
others consider that these amiable declarations will not carry them
any further than the desire expressed in these first cordial ceremonies
(che questi dichiarationi favorevoli non oltrepassorono il termine
del desiderio di questi primi cordiali officiosita). So it must be
left to time to give a definite answer as to what the results of this
journey will be as also upon what measures his Majesty may decide
to take. Amid the contingencies of this difficult condition which
demand that he must deeply ponder his decisions before announcing
them or carrying them into effect, the resolution to withdraw seems
so far to have been successful, since it has at least slackened the
headlong course whereby parliament aspired to humble him to their
own desires and also from having thrown the projects of the most
ambitious into confusion.
Before arriving at York the king sent a precept to all the
magistrates and judges of the realm to put in force rigorously
against the Catholics the laws established by Queen Elizabeth
and by past parliaments. (fn. 1) The whole object of this is to provide
if possible an apology for his actions and to shake off by this means
the damaging slur which they have attempted to fasten on him, to
wit that secretly in his heart he cherished a leaning to Catholicism
and a wish to encourage the propagation of that religion in this
country. This is the most powerful weapon with which they are
able to hold the interests and the tranquillity of this good king
seriously prejudiced, and accordingly he tries sedulously to shield
himself against it (tutto ad ogetto di render se possibile fia applausibile
le attioni sue et scuoter con questo mezzo quelle dannose
note che si e tentata adossargli di portar cioe secretamente nel
cuore spiriti d' inclinatione al Cattolicismo et di inspirar alla
propagatione di quella religione in questo paese, ch' e l' arma
piu potente da cui restar possono grandemente pregiudicato gl'
interessi et la quieta di questo buono Re et per cio da questa
studia applicatamente di coprirsi).
The orders which I reported as sent by parliament to the
soldiers of the trained bands, to enter the town of Uls without delay
for the reinforcement of the garrison there, have been refused
obedience by those troops and by the magistrate of the place on
the pretext that the order was not signed by his Majesty. This
affords a clear indication of the disposition of the people not to break
away from their allegiance to their legitimate sovereign and it also
leaves room for hope that that important fortress may in any case
be preserved in its loyalty to the king. Owing to the example and
other consequences the incident is considered of great moment and
precisely for this it causes just apprehension to the parliamentarians.
Smitten with consternation by this unpalatable news parliament
has wasted its sittings these last days in mere talk, with few
resolutions, as they do not discern by what path they may most
easily advance with secure steps towards the accomplishment of
their original designs and secure the continuance of control
more firmly in their hands.
They have decided to send two members of the Lower House
and one of the Upper to his Majesty, (fn. 2) with instructions to present
to him a further audacious declaration in which they represent
the inconveniences which grow more and more mischievous, and
the uneasy feelings of his people at his absence from his residence
here. They again beseech him most strongly to return, promising
him, in a wheedling manner (con concetti d' insinuatione) all
the respect that is due to his greatness. To take this paper they
chose Lord Fildin. But he, possibly overtaken by apprehension
that the conditions of the time may be on the change and judging it
the wiser course at present to profess a caution which he has not
displayed in the past, flatly refused the charge. Although they have
confided it to some one else, yet this unexpected coyness of Lord
Fildin does not pass without remark. To some few of the lesser
nobility of York, who have shown themselves in favour of parliament
letters full of friendly sentiments have been written, with
the idea of keeping them well disposed to the parliament side
and by the favour of such courtesies to stay the progress of those
movements which are feared from that quarter.
In order to cast increasing discredit on the actions of this prince,
they have concocted and had printed a letter of the Princess
Palatine in which she reports the scant satisfaction which their
queen receives in Holland, and that momentous disagreements
have arisen also between the Lords States and the Prince of
Orange. But the Dutch ambassador Joachimi being advised
of these disseminations, so injurious to their reputation for
hospitality and to the respect which the States profess for the
Prince of Orange, has made a vigorous remonstrance to the
parliamentarians and made it apparent that the paper is a
baseless fabrication. He succeeded in getting it publicly burned.
Meanwhile with the collapse of the suspicion artificially spread
among the common people that the States and the Prince of
Orange are thinking of assisting the king with men and money,
they have set going this present week other reports that the king
of Denmark has collected a powerful fleet and proposes to despatch
it with all speed to the service of his Majesty. For the purpose
of fostering this false belief among the people and of keeping up
their animosity against the king, parliament has shown the vanity
of this fear by the express despatch of two ships to Denmark
under the pretence of discovering the real truth about this monstrous
The Vice Admiral Peninton has at length returned from
Holland to these ports with the six ships of the fleet which
escorted the queen across to Rotterdam. (fn. 3) Although their
suspicions about his proceedings are completely dissipated, all
the same, in contemplation of parliament, Admiral the earl of
Northumberland has deprived him of the exercise of his charge.
The earl of Warwick proceeds with halting steps in the arming
of his 30 ships. But few mariners care to undertake that service
and they are also short of money to meet the demands of this
very costly decision. The city and the merchants unanimously
refuse to help any more with fresh supplies, so the earl will not
get to sea so soon nor in such strength as he announced.
The rebels in Ireland have valiantly carried by storm the city
of Cork. (fn. 4) As it is washed by the sea and a most capacious harbour
it gives them a great advantage for their supplies and for the
prosecution of other enterprises. They found seven pieces of
bronze artillery with a quantity of other military provisions in
the fortress, and 2500 English, inspired by the valour of their
hearts, who offered a courageous resistance to the enemy's
attack, perished miserably under the assault of their victorious
In the matter of the currants, since the representations made
to Sir Henry Wen and the other members of parliament, nothing
fresh has occurred although the directors of the Levant Company
and the two unfriendly merchants in parliament, namely Samuel
Vassel and the Senator Son have not ceased their efforts to get
the bill draughted and presented to the Lower House, so that
it may subsequently be passed by the other House and receive
the king's consent. I am keeping my eyes open and will do everything
that is possible to prevent a prejudicial decision. May
God crown my efforts with success.
London, the 4th April, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
31. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
They are discussing, but have not made up their minds about
the embassy to England in favour of the interests of the royal
House. Now that with the arrival of the Princess Mary, the
marriage of the young prince is rendered safe, which they seemed
to desire merely for the gratification of the House of Orange, the
States are cooling off and hope declines. Even the Prince, now
he has obtained his intent, seems inclined to imitate them. So
much is this the case, that while he has transmitted sums of
money to the King of England, yet finding himself short, owing
to fresh demands of his Court, and the Dutch grumbling about
an ordinary subvention of 50,000 francs a year, which he wanted
both to relieve him in part of the expense which the coming of
the princess, his daughter in law forces upon him, and because
he is by nature more inclined to gather than to scatter, he is
very reluctant to submit to any inroads upon his capital. Outwardly,
however, he shows every readiness to gratify the queen,
but what is designed in secret is not easy to discover or very
Meanwhile the States complain of the long silence of their
minister at that Court, and on this ground they excuse the delay
in the choice of the ambassador in question.
The Hague, the 7th April, 1642.
32. To the Ambassador in England.
Approval of his operations. Recommendation to watch the
ever increasing divergence between the opinions and commands
of the king and those of parliament and the decisions taken by
the latter in the absence of his Majesty, owing to the reports and
demonstrations that are made to him. But the ambassador is
fully alert to everything and is fulfilling his duties well, so there
is no need to add more. Enclose sheet of advices.
We understand the mischief that the members of the Levant
Company are trying to do solely for their own interests. We do
not believe that they will succeed because the general welfare
is concerned. In any case our offices have been and will be
greatly governed by emergencies, to prevent innovation and to
support that trade and the interrupted sale of our currants,
with all generosity, doing our best to discredit their ill-founded
assertions while every facility will be afforded by our representatives
to the English, and the best of treatment, within the
obligation to pay the duties on the goods. We therefore feel
sure that with your dexterity you will induce the customers to
oppose all mischievous efforts and prevent any such bill passing
in the Upper House. You will also speak to Fildin again when
an opportunity occurs, repeating the strongest arguments because
of the interests and advantage of both states, owing to the
revenues which his Majesty derives from the trade, from the
disposal of cloth and other English goods in our State and the
other various considerations which you have advanced very
wisely. You will not forget moreover to point out that the
currants of the Morea are of a different sort, inferior and not
popular in that country, being of a different colour and flavour.
Ayes, 104. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
33. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The deputies recently sent to York with the fresh effort to
induce his Majesty to come back towards London and to satisfy
parliament in the other respects reported, have returned to-day.
Although they have not yet made their report about the answers
they have brought back, yet we hear that these are not in conformity
with the desire of the parliamentarians. Their account
is awaited with eager impatience to learn what they have discovered
about the most secret designs of the king, and equally
about the great readiness with which the people of the North
embrace his cause. This circumstance now assumes the greatest
importance in the eyes of the authors of these movements.
Mistrustful of their power to maintain themselves for any length
of time, they take the utmost pains to prevent everything that
might prejudice the projects of their own party. His Majesty
on the other side spares no pains to parry with equal industry
their elaborate schemes.
Meanwhile, in conformity with his promise he has sent to
parliament his answer to the free and haughty remonstrance
which they had presented to him at Niumarchet. This answer
has been printed and published and it has caused a feeling of
perfect satisfaction throughout the country, while some have
called down blessings on his Majesty's goodness (pubblicata alle
stampe ha riempite gli animi dell' universale di perfetta soddisfattione,
et rimanate voci di beneditione alla bonta della Maesta
Sua ugualmente). In this paper the king points out the baselessness
of the suspicions which the parliamentarians display.
He defends the innocence of his past actions. He brings to
light the falseness of the matters designedly introduced in order
to alienate from him the affection of his subjects, more particularly
that he entertained the idea of changing the religion and
subduing the liberty of the country. He protests his unchangeable
constancy in maintaining the one and preserving the other
in its ancient vigour at the price of his own blood. He points
out that by consenting to many prejudicial deliberations, he
did not hesitate to sacrifice the most important prerogatives of
his royal authority and of his successors as well to please parliament.
He asserts that considerations of safety and reputation
alone keep him away from this city. He concludes with such
loving expressions towards his subjects that he has excited
feelings of genuine tenderness in the hardest hearts and has made
many others realise that most of the demands and deliberations
of parliament are directed by private interest and not by a
genuine zeal for the public welfare. (fn. 5) Since the effect of this is
to diminish the credit which this Senate here has enjoyed in the
past, it also tends to fortify the evidence that time will bring an
advantage to the fortunes of this prince, which the means hitherto
employed have failed to gather for him.
To all the officials of the Court and to the knights of the Garter,
his Majesty has sent orders to proceed with all despatch to join
his person. Among these are numbered many who have audaciously
opposed his interests. These have not considered it
either safe or advantageous to go thither. For the purpose of
cloaking their disobedience under a specious show as well as of
escaping the danger of losing their appointments as well as these
honours, they have been moved to obtain a decree that forbids everyone,
without distinction, to absent himself from the debates of parliament.
To provide an even better colour to their caution they
have renewed an invitation to return to their residence here to
all the other members of parliament who are absent. Their
numbers are not inconsiderable, the majority having preferred
to withdraw to their country houses rather than to mix themselves
up in the troubles of these disordered events, with peril to themselves
and to their fortunes. In spite of this many lords and twenty
members of the Lower House, excellently disposed towards the
interests of his Majesty, caring nothing for this last order, have
proceeded to York to offer him their devoted service. Men are
now watching closely to see whether the king will deprive those
who do not appear of their appointments, as many foretell, and
those concerned are themselves not free from misgivings. If this
happens it may be feared that the instinct to preserve what one
holds may exasperate their disaffection.
In the mean time while the resolutions of the two sides are
lost amid uncertainties and every one studies to advance his own
condition, some gentlemen and others of great influence in the
county of Kent, which is one of the largest and most powerful
in the realm, ill pleased with the present government and equally
anxious not to allow any more scope for the introduction of
innovations, have resolved on the step of drawing up a paper,
to be presented to parliament, in which they ask that no decrees
shall be carried into execution unless they first have the king's
assent in conformity with the laws ; that no innovation be
made in the liturgy of the Church. That the order of bishops be
maintained. That the fundamental laws of the crown shall not
be diminished. That the kingdom shall not arm without the
king's consent. That trade having fallen off, means may be
devised for reorganising it and to restore to the people those
benefits which they have so freely enjoyed in the past. The
other demands of importance are all aimed at thwarting the
designs of the parliamentarians, who now have control, and who
are contumacious, in the king's favour.
This paper being all ready they seized the opportunity afforded
at the present time of the tour of the London judges through the
counties to try criminals, to have it read in the presence of a
great concourse of people. Obtaining their consent they also
got it signed by a large number of gentlemen with the intention
of sending it afterwards by a commissioner or by some other
means to the parliament. In the mean time they consigned a
copy to one of the judges with an injunction to give it to the earl
of Bristol in order that he may show it to his Majesty.
On the other hand parliament, being advised of this unexpected
and important movement and alarmed lest such a step, based as
it is upon the laws, might be imitated by several counties and
make a wide breach in the hearts of the people, caused the judge (fn. 6)
to be arrested and imprisoned without delay and Bristol also,
the former for having brought and the latter for having accepted
the paper. They have sent orders to the leading contrivers of
this affair to come here and supply particulars of what happened.
They propose to punish them severely. The object of all this
is to frighten them and prevent the paper being presented and by
an example of severe repression to prevent others in the future
from entertaining any idea of opposing the principles of the present
government. Nevertheless, many parliamentarians of moderate
views, filled with sincere zeal for the public good, have strenuously
opposed this deliberation in lengthy offices, arguing that they ought
not to put obstacles in the way of so just a demand when they
have hearkened to other counties making petitions which merited
censure rather than acceptation. But the overbearing influence
of the contrary party has refused to admit these arguments, valid as
they are, and they are proceeding with great ardour to prevent this
effort from making further progress. If it does spread it may
serve as a very effective instrument for restoring the king to his
former powers, and give back to England with tranquility, the ornaments
of its ancient greatness. Whether these individuals mean
to offer any resistance to the indignation of parliament and persist
in their original intention is not a matter for human prudence to
decide and I must refer myself to the issue, the passions of this
country being subject to such sudden changes.
Vice Admiral Peninton refuses to resign his charge in response
to the orders of Admiral the earl of Northumberland. He
claims not to give up the execution of his duties until he is removed
by the king, who having the greatest regard for this
commander, declares that he means to support him. On the
other hand, the earl of Warwick, who was chosen in his place,
continues the equipment of his ships to put to sea as soon as
possible with the fleet, and he seems to attach scant importance
to the resistance of the other.
Baron Dandovert came to this house one day recently and
informed me by order of his Majesty that he had commissions
for the embassy at Venice. He said he had instructions to
offer excuses for the incident of the opening of the letters and to
satisfy your Excellencies. I made a suitable reply. Subsequently,
two days ago, he sent his secretary on purpose to
inform me that within a few days he will be starting for those
parts. Owing to the pain which still tortures me, I have been
unable to return his visit. I will endeavour to do so to-morrow
and at the same time to gather further particulars about his going.
London, the 11th April, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
34. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
The Dunkirkers scour the seas. They have strong forces
and meet with scant opposition from this quarter. They seize
English ships and only recognise as friends those which have
passports signed by the king.
It appears that the queen of England is trying to make use
of a portion of her jewels in order to transmit ready money to
her husband. The report is considered a device, in order to lead
to some offer, and that is why it does not serve to bring about
anything adequate. They move with great deliberation in the
matter of the embassy extraordinary and in all other demonstrations
which are concerned with the interests of that house.
Her Majesty says she will leave the Hague immediately after
Easter, and go about the country to see the chief towns. Breda
will be the last one visited, and after staying some days there,
it is thought that the queen will proceed to Flanders, in order
to await there the issue of her misfortunes.
The Hague, the 14th April, 1642.
35. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The replies received from the king by the commissioners
returned from York were read in parliament on Saturday. These
make more apparent than ever his steadfast intention to continue
the line of conduct he has adopted, namely not to come back to
this city unless the satisfaction he requires is decorously conceded
to him, and not to give permission for arming the kingdom.
This is the point upon which parliament seems to insist more
than on any other at present. The replies have multiplied the
mistrust and bitterness felt by the ill disposed while on the other
hand they have confirmed the disposition of the king's partisans
to keep closely united to his party and to offer a vigorous opposition
to the ambitious designs of the others.
The king has had these fresh declarations of his also printed
and published. Being full of plausible and loving sentiments
towards his people while at the same time expressing his inevitable
determination to defend the rights of his sovereignty at
all costs, they are eagerly received by the unprejudiced with
acclamations, likely to bear fruit, and have at the same time
raised his Majesty's reputation for prudence and spirit among
the generality, which during these last months seemed to have
disappeared utterly from the heart of his subjects (che per esser
ripieni di concetti plausibili et affetuosi verso sudditi non meno
che espressive la necessaria risolutione di diffender a tutti i prezzi
i dritti della propria realita, sono abbraciati dagli desinteressati
con affetti d' una fruttuosa acclamatione, et hanno rilevato ugualmente
appresso l' universale quel grido di prudenza et di generosita al
nome di Sua Maesta che li mesi addietro pareva totalmente caduto
dal cuore dei vassali).
At York we hear that the king is personally very popular and
that the whole of that northern district is openly favourable and
shows itself eager to support the royal fortunes. This circumstance
gives rise to the hope that with the dissipation of the last
remains of the suspicion designedly inculcated, about changes in
religion and schemes against the liberty of the country, which have
up to the present cast a shadow over the consciences of the more simple
minded, the king may regain, before very long the use of an absolute
authority, or at least that amount of power limited by the laws which
his predecessors have enjoyed. Owing to these weighty considerations
the minds of those who now have control are tossed by natural perplexity.
Feeling uncertain whether they can for long maintain
their present position without the backing of force and arms, they
have issued fresh orders providing that the arming of the country
shall be delayed no longer, even although the royal consent may not
be obtained. They have also released the precept to all the lieutenants
of the counties, recently appointed, to take up the exercise of their
functions. Those who conspire in the troubles and whose sole
thought is for the security of their own fortunes have at once displayed
their allegiance by a prompt obedience to these orders. Others,
however, have roundly refused to accept the charge and many who
secretly cherish sentiments favourable to the king's interests but
do not think it wise to declare themselves openly as yet, have adroitly
excused themselves on the plea that as this deliberation has not been
signed by his Majesty as required by the laws, it may not meet with
absolute obedience from the officers and soldiers of the trained bands
which are under their orders, and consequently it will not be possible
to have these orders carried out. Accordingly with this important
move checked by such serious obstacles, men of sound judgment
prognosticate that it will come to nought and consequently that all
the other measures of the same kind which may be undertaken by
parliament will suffer the same fate.
By a letter written on purpose and under the great seal to be
communicated to parliament and printed his Majesty takes
strong exception to the election of the earl of Warwick as Vice
Admiral, claiming that this is his prerogative alone. He desires
that Sir [John] Peninton shall continue to hold the post, as an
officer of recognised loyalty, of tried ability and from whom the
crown has received notable services.
On the other side, after hearing this refusal with angry feelings,
parliament, has confirmed the original appointment by a small
majority at the end of prolonged discussions (ha dopo lunghe
dispute confirmato di pochi voti la prima nominatione). Many of
the Upper House have protested vigorously against it, arguing
that it cannot be done without the king's consent. In spite of
this Warwick, putting aside all thought of the peril that time may
bring to his fortunes, has readily accepted the appointment, but
there is no certainty as yet if Peninton is disposed to give up his
post so cheaply, or if the captains of the ships will put themselves
under the command of this new chief, who has no royal patents.
Many assert that both Peninton and the captains will stand fast
by their determination not to depart from the supreme command
of his Majesty, and that by this specious pretext they will try
to retain possession of their posts.
Orders have been sent to the governor of Uls to forward to
the Tower of London some portion of the munitions of war which
are in the magazines there, with the object of depriving the king
of the opportunity of using them if under the pressure of necessity
he should resolve to appeal to arms in order to put a bridle upon
the licence of the present time. But the person in charge of the
munitions, disdaining the orders of the governor, who shows
himself a dependant of the parliament, has so far refused his
consent to their removal without orders from his Majesty. From
this it is clear that parliament does not find that willingness to
carry out its orders that was looked for, and further incidents are
expected to offer even more certain evidence to confirm this
The affair of the county of Kent remains in its original position,
and it is not yet known whether they will desist or persevere in
their deliberation to present the paper reported. They have
had it printed, to the annoyance of the parliamentarians.
Meanwhile we hear that Somerset and other counties, following
its example, are contemplating making the same petition. To
prevent this happening, since it might greatly enfeeble the
machinations of parliament while promoting the interests of his
Majesty to the height of their originial greatness, severe orders
have been sent to the authors of these movements to make their
appearance before parliament without delay to justify their
actions, as if they hoped at least to defer if not to extinguish completely
the first sparks of this fire which threatens to break out in
so many quarters.
In the city of York sumptuous preparations are being made to
celebrate the function of the Garter, which will take place next
month. The king has commanded that his second son, the Duke
of York shall proceed thither with the purpose, so they say, of
instituting him in that Order and subsequently appoint him Lord
High Admiral, and in that way take away the honour of this
appointment from the earl of Northumberland, who has betrayed
sentiments utterly contrary to his Majesty's service.
It is reported that the king will take this opportunity to confer
the valued insignia of this Order upon other leading nobles,
who have shown themselves loyal to him, and that the garter will
also be sent to the Palatine Prince Rupert, who is staying with
his mother in Holland.
After strenuous efforts the Most Christian ambassador here
has succeeded in obtaining permission for the transport to France
of the Scottish levies that were granted to him. Eight hundred
soldiers have crossed the sea this week and he is busy hastening
the passage of the rest. This excites the resentment and the
blushes of the Catholic ambassador, who was so grossly deceived
over the levy of Ireland.
Ships arrived in these waters from Dublin bring news that
the Irish rebels, assisted by the favour of the populace and by
other stratagems have captured the town of Waterford, without
bloodshed, a place capable of a long and vigorous resistance both
from its situation and by art. This increases their hopes of
keeping up that rebellion.
I have duly returned the visit to Baron Dandovert. He
confirmed to me his intention to set out very soon for those parts.
He was only waiting for the commissioners of the Treasury to
pay him the money for the journey. He showed me the king's
commands for this to be done. But in these times of excessive
scarcity it will not be so easy to perform although some one of
position informs me that the queen has certainly sent his Majesty
considerable sums of ready money from Holland, raised from her
own jewels. If this should be confirmed it will greatly facilitate
the successful conduct of his designs.
London, the 18th April, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
36. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to
the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of these States writes from England in his
last that he has sounded the feelings of the Parliament men about
accepting the interposition of this government to open overtures
for an adjustment with his Majesty, and they let him understand
clearly that they do not desire foreign mediators to meddle for
the present in their affairs. They would rather have the mediation
of the queen herself, since they are disposed on their side
to take reasonable steps calculated to give his Majesty entire
satisfaction and nothing is wanting save her consent for starting
negotiations for a sincere composition.
This report from the minister serves to justify the excuses of
the States for their tardiness and proves very welcome. The
selection of the embassy extraordinary, which was left in an
unsettled state, has been buried in oblivion since the arrival of
The queen is displeased at the announcement and declares that
she has no knowledge of any kind about it, while she is always
suspicious of the extreme ill will of her disaffected subjects. The
States let it pass and say no more, but she treats as pure inventions
their reports spread since the arrival of the dispatch in question,
as a means of evading the sending of an ambassador and to
escape the instances which have been made to them, perhaps
The King of Denmark has withdrawn all the troops he had in
the neighbourhood of Hamburg. As he has a large number of
warships ready and well armed they continue to think here that
he may employ most of them for the service of the King of
The Dunkirkers have captured five ships of this state and two
English ones, all laden with rich merchandise.
The Hague, the 21st April, 1642.
37. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to
the Doge and Senate.
The other day the Princess Palatine, through the English
resident, suggested to me that one of the princes, her sons,
should serve your Excellencies. The Resident came to this
embassy on the 16th inst. and expressed himself to the following
effect. The Palatine House had always professed the greatest
regard for the most serene republic, and knew that your Serenity
was most friendly. The Princess wished to show her sense of
obligation by putting her own son at the disposition of your
Excellencies. He added that the king, his master, would always
be especially gratified by any honours shown to his nephew.
He said he had orders to make this proposal in the names of his
Majesty and his sister conjointly.
I responded cordially and promised to inform your Excellencies
at once. Yesterday I went, according to custom to the Palatine
Court, with Easter greetings. After thanking me, the Princess
repeated the offer, in the same terms used by the Resident.
She only added, that when her fourth son was alive, he was much
honoured with the title of son of the republic, and she hoped
that her second would enjoy the paternal favour of your Excellencies.
She had a large family, and had long desired to see
some of them in employment, if their age and the circumstances
of her House had permitted it earlier.
In response to this office, expressed with the utmost cordiality,
I expressed the gratification of your Excellencies and my readiness
to serve her, and thus I left her content, without pledging myself
to anything. The name of this prince is Roberto, the second
son, aged about twenty five years. (fn. 7) He is tall and of agreeable
appearance (dii gran Statura e d'aspetti civile). He was served
in the wars here with a good reputation and is highly esteemed ;
even the Prince of Orange considers him a soldier of great courage.
He was taken prisoner by the Imperialists in 1638 at the defeat
of Mepen, when he had command of the cavalry in the army of
the Palatine, his brother. He desires the same post of general
from your Excellencies, such as was formerly held by the Duke of
Candale, or some other honourable employment, suitable to his
The Hague, the 22nd April, 1642.
38. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The earl of Newport reached this city from York on Monday.
He brought parliament a long paper from the king, in which
after expressing his great regret at the rebellion in Ireland and
for the false reports circulated touching religion in that country,
which he says touch his honour to the quick and multiply mistrust
among his subjects, he states seriously that he has decided
to proceed with all speed to Ireland, in order to punish the rebels
and restore peace to that land, while dissipating the suspicions
that at present surround it. He asserts that bearing in his heart
as he does the most sincere and urgent stimulus to propagate the
Protestant religion, he will never allow to the people there the
exercise of the Roman faith. He asks earnestly for assistance
on this occasion, namely to supply him with the means to maintain
2000 foot and 200 horse, whom he proposes to take with him to
guard his person. He adds however that if the undertaking
of this expense is found too heavy for his subjects, he is prepared,
with the consent of parliament, to sell his own lands, parks and
other things, to supply subsistence for these troops. He hopes
that these together with the other English and Scots will suffice
to reduce the rebels in a brief space to their original obedience
and facilitate for him the glory of this undertaking, for which he
promises exquisite application and true sincerity. He declares
that in his absence he will provide for the government of this
kingdom in the way he considers best adapted for the public
tranquillity and safety and in conclusion he urges parliament
to hasten on the completion of the levies destined for those
operations. (fn. 8)
The parliamentarians are alarmed at this unexpected move
and shaken by fresh apprehension since they suspect that under
the pretext of this journey are hidden other secret objects of
greater consequence to their prejudice. In lengthy debates
they have discussed what reply it behoves them to give to such
proposals. But although the majority are of one mind upon the
question of refusing the assistance demanded and of endeavouring
at all costs to prevent the carrying out of this new plan, yet they
have not as yet come to any definite decision. This is expected
to come to-day but not to be in favour of his Majesty's projects.
The most statesmanlike among them cannot be persuaded that
amid the contingencies of these times his Majesty will persist in
his intention to leave the kingdom of England, the chief and most
powerful part of his dominions. They believe that this present
declaration of his against the rebels is intended to show with increasing
clearness the falsity of the opinions designedly inculcated in the
past that he contributed to this rising, and in this way to acquire
greater credit with the Protestants. This does not square with the
ends of the contrary party, which is ever intent on rendering all the
actions of his Majesty suspect to the generality, on the score of
religion and on that of the public liberty as well, which are still
the strongest influences upon which they seek to make sure of securing
their own interests.
The king has sent another paper to the Attorney General to
be read to parliament in which he offers to give his consent to
the decree for arming the kingdom and also to approve of the
nomination of the lieutenants but under certain conditions,
many reservations and other limitations, (fn. 9) which while securing
his royal rights entirely deprive parliament of the authority to
dispose of the control of these forces without his permission.
Accordingly it remains doubtful for the present whether this
offer will be accepted, as on previous occasions it did not meet
with the approval of those who have the direction of affairs.
Meanwhile his Majesty, cherishing a natural resentment in his
heart against those who have opposed the continuance of his greatness,
has unexpectedly taken the office of Great Chamberlain from the
earl of Essex, that of the lieutenancy of Ireland from the earl of
Lester, and from the earl of Holland all the very rich appointments
which he enjoyed in the palace, on the ground that they did
not betake themselves to York in conformity with his orders for the
exercise of their functions. (fn. 10) As other courtiers are threatened with
the same misadventure the general uneasiness is increased with
signs of desperate resolutions. Those who have been struck first are
the most accredited leaders of the Puritan party and the authors
of the present troubles. They have surrendered their appointments
and given parliament a passionate account of what has happened.
This has lead to a resolution that the king by despoiling of their
offices those lords who in their devotion to the service of their country
refused to give up their attendance at this Senate, has infringed the
privileges of parliament, and they have decided to send deputies to
remonstrate roundly with his Majesty upon the impropriety of this
proceeding and to make a great effort to get him to retract. It does
not seem reasonable to expect that this will be an easy task, yet in this
country, which is so subject to change, it is necessary to wait to see
the results before one can form a sound opinion.
In addition to all this the Lower House has issued an order
forbidding anyone soever, under pain of being declared an enemy
of the state, to dare to accept any of the appointments rendered
vacant by this accident. So with disputes multiplying between
the two parties it may well be doubted whether they will long continue
to restrain themselves within the modest limits of offices with the
results of the tongue and the pen.
The earl of Warwick, having received the patents of parliament
and caring nothing for the veto of the king, set out three days ago
for the sea ports to take up the command of the fleet. They are
waiting with the most anxious impatience to learn whether he
has met with the prompt obedience which he claims from the
captains of the ships and their crews. If this should prove to be
the case and he puts to sea in strength in these waters the Spaniards
cannot be altogether easy about the proceedings of this
commander, who makes no secret of his hostility to the interests
of the Catholic king, whose forces surprised an island in the
Indies in which the earl was concerned and inflicted other very
serious losses there. (fn. 11) To recoup himself for these injuries, the
earl formerly asked for letters of marque against the ships and
goods of the Spaniards. Accordingly, now that he has this
opportunity many fear that he may do his utmost to injure them
and possibly give rise to fresh disturbance.
The petition of the county of Kent which was given to the
printers last week, has been burned with contumely by the hand
of the common hangman. This has caused right minded men
to murmur and has roused the resentment of the people of that
county in particular. It is still uncertain however whether
they intend to persevere with their laudable purpose, and there
is much curious speculation as to what will happen on the day
appointed when they have threatened to appear with a numerous
concourse of people in this city to demand boldly of parliament
the satisfaction which they claim. On the other hand the people
of Yorkshire have presented other petitions to the king and parliament
in which they express the desire for the preservation
without diminution of the royal prerogatives on the one hand
and of the privileges of parliament on the other, and make some
suggestion to act as mediators for a composition. These were
received with expressions of the utmost pleasure by both parties,
although men of sound judgment do not consider this move to be
of advantage to the king's interests (vanno insinuando di rendersi
mediatori per una compositione, et hanno riportati dalle parti voci
di perfetto gradimento, ancorche non sia giudicato dagli uomini di
buon senso vantaggioso agli interessi del Re questo motivo).
In conformity with what I wrote the little duke of York set
out on Monday to go and join the king for the Garter celebrations
which will take place next week. But only a few knights will
attend, many being unwilling to disobey parliament, and others,
not considering themselves safe, have thought it wise to keep
London, the 25th April, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
39. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to
the Doge and Senate.
After repeated deliberations about the embassy extraordinary
to England, the States have at last decided to nominate two of
the leading men of their Assembly, Gasper Vosbergh, father of
the one already selected to reside with your Serenity, and the
other the first deputy and one of the most noble of the Province
of Utrecht. (fn. 12) The Prince has contributed much to reconcile
differences upon this decision. Although it has been taken by
the unanimous decision of the States General, yet as those of
Holland do not entirely approve, it will not be carried into effect
very promptly. It may indeed happen that the entire course
of the embassy will be confined to this nomination, because it is
not easy for the Prince to attempt to move without the consent
of the Hollanders, and even if his influence smoothed away all
obstacles, the embassy could not be despatched very soon, since
it is necessary to await first a fresh discussion among those
deputies. They must assemble and make a more detailed enquiry
into the matter and then report to their principals, to obtain the
approval of the towns and small villages, without whose consent
the decision cannot be carried through.
Meanwhile they claim here to have satisfied the queen entirely
by this first demonstration. The Prince, as being partly interested,
cannot, as he would like, press the matter on without
compromising his credit as a good director. He suffers not a
little from this opposition and apologises for it to her Majesty.
It distresses him to see his authority too much restrained in
this matter, and as his health keeps growing worse, it is feared
that with the multiplicity of his anxieties and his age, the occurrence
of some other unlucky circumstance might shorten his
days, when he is most necessary to the establishment of his
They expect from England, a matter which greatly preoccupies
the Prince of Orange, a substitute for the king there, to take the
investiture of a property sufficient to produce a yearly revenue of
200,000 florins, promised as counter dowry to the Princess Mary,
before they come to stipulate the marriage contract. She is to be
put into immediate possession of this, with the consent of the
States. They pledged themselves in the marriage treaty possibly
more than they wished. They will have to consent to this investiture
being secured upon lands or some other jurisdiction. These
may certainly pertain to the House of Orange, but the maintenance
of the act must be solemnly ratified in the name of all the
Provinces. It is expected that infinite opposition will be encountered
over this affair, since it is claimed that the ambassadors
who were sent by the Prince and the government in common,
went far beyond their commissions in this matter, and that therefore
the state ought not to be bound to approve of all the terms
of an agreement which contains things that are prejudicial.
The people of most intelligence argue in this fashion, but the
issue alone will show where the truth lies. That will soon be
a matter of common knowledge, as the States of Holland are to
move to the Hague next Thursday for this purpose.
The Hague, the 28th April, 1642.