94. To the Ambassador in England.
Commendation of his efforts. Nothing to add in the way of
instructions except to continue his meritorious procedure.
Acknowledge his letters of the 20th and 27th June. Enclose
sheets of advices for two weeks. He has recognised the importance
of the offices of the French ambassador, and it is necessary
to keep a close watch on them. Have received information
that Ro is returning home, there being nothing to detain him.
Vote of 300 ducats for couriers and the carriage of letters ;
to be paid to the ambassador's agents.
Ayes, 108. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
95. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
While the well disposed parliamentarians were labouring to
lead those less friendly towards an unfettered respect for his
Majesty, with the idea of resuming afterwards the thread of
negotiations for an accommodation, a fresh declaration of the
king arrived on Saturday which has interrupted the course of
that beneficent work. This paper states that the late decisions
of parliament touching the control of the troops are the result
of interested passion, founded upon violence and utterly repugnant
to the laws of the crown. He protests that he will
never permit them to be carried out, and that he is equally
disposed to ensure for himself those rights for which he has so
far sighed in vain, against the authors of such seditious plans, as
well as against the disobedience of the governor of Uls. He
commands all under the threat of severe punishment, not to
obey such decrees, and finally he charges the parish clergy to
publish it on the following day making it known to everyone,
which has been promptly done.
Parliament, on its side, heard this news with great indignation,
and it has cut short the propagating work of those who desired
to see the termination of these conflicts without greater disturbances.
Carried away by furious indignation parliament has
caused the arrest of the ministers who were only doing their
duty in fulfilling the commands of his Majesty. They have
also issued another manifesto, in answer to the king's, full of
audacity and contradicting his Majesty's assertions.
In addition to this, with malignant invention, they have
forged and had published a letter of Pope Gregory XIII to the
king, with his reply, in order to create the impression that they
were written at the time when the king went to Spain for the
final conclusion of the marriage with the Infanta, (fn. 1) all with the
object of confirming the hatred of the disaffected towards his
royal person, and at the same time to justify their present license
by the pretext of religion. The promoters of this being now so
deeply committed, seem to have given up all hope of an accommodation,
[maintaining] a prudent reserve by means of dissimulation,
and his Majesty's efforts are now directed to trying
to reduce them by force.
With this object he is busy increasing his forces. He has
distributed patents for the levy of 2000 horse. As I reported,
private gentlemen and members of parliament who have openly
declared themselves followers of the king's party, have offered
to maintain these.
He has given the command of this cavalry to the Prince of
Wales. This body, divided into four regiments, will be reinforced
when necessary from many quarters, at York, to offer a willing
and loyal service.
To sound by a more searching proof the disposition of the
people of York, he gave orders that yesterday all should assemble
at the place where they met last week to the end that he might
inform them of his own intentions and by a renewal of his gracious
offices inspire them to second his designs and at the same time
afford him an assurance of powerful assistance in the present
emergency. The partisans of his Majesty hope that he will
obtain results of consequence from this assembly, but others
are of a different opinion. Amid all these uncertainties we
languish here in eager anticipation of more precise news about
an event of so much importance.
The county of Cornwall, which is prolific in the most warlike
men of the kingdom (che e fecondo degli uomini piu bellicosi del
Regno) has sent its deputy on a special mission on purpose to
petition his Majesty not to allow further progress towards their
end of the unlawful attempts of those who aim at the destruction
of the Protestant religion, of the laws and at the diminution of
the royal authority. They offer for his service to devote their
lives with their entire fortunes for the attainment of so righteous
an end. As a similar disposition makes itself loudly heard in
other counties those with most experience agree in the opinion
that unless this feeling which discloses itself in the country,
so favourable to his Majesty's interests, is diverted by some
fresh accident, it will not prove difficult for him to collect in
a short period a corps d' armée strong enough to humble
the pride of those who, taking counsel of despair have no wish
to come to terms however evident the prejudice may be (et
altamente risuonando in altre Provincie le medesime partiali
inclinationi concorre l' opinione dei piu prattici che quando da
nuovo accidente non sia condotta questa dispositione favorevole che
si scuopre nel paese agli interessi di Sua Maesta, difficile non sia
per riuscirle di unire in brevi periodi un corpo d' esercito valevole
ad humiliar l' orgoglio di quelli che consigliati dalla disperatione
non curano d' accordarsi a qualsisia ben che evidente pregiudicio).
However, the only certainty resides in the results as amid such
great irregularities there is no room for a sound judgment.
The earl of Comberland has been selected for the command
of the infantry. Although he has not had the benefit of the
requisite military experience yet he unites in his person the
advantages of a great fortune, distinguished birth and a considerable
following in the northern parts, a consideration of the
greatest consequence in the present circumstances.
In the counties of Lancaster and Lester the lieutenants selected
by the king are taking steps to consolidate their hold upon the
government there, and owing to the size of the district, which
is thickly populated, this is a matter of great consequence.
The earl of Stanford, on the other hand, from having attempted
in the town of Lester to alienate the people from their loyalty
to the king, and from having taken to one of his country houses (fn. 2)
the munitions of war which were kept in that town for ordinary
requirements, has become subject to his Majesty's displeasure,
who on this account has had him proclaimed guilty of treason.
This has aroused the indignation of the parliamentarians of his
party, and in order to provide a counterpoise to this procedure
they pretend to proclaim as traitors those who by virtue of the
laws and of the king's commands oppose the execution of the
decrees of parliament.
His Majesty is making the most strenuous efforts to bring the
naval forces under his control, but so far there is no apparent
hope to promise him easy success in this design. To this end
he sent these last days to the Downs Sir John Peninton, who
for long held the office of Vice Admiral and directed orders to
the earl of Warwick to hand over the command to him. But
the earl paid scant respect to his Majesty's commands, and
backed up by the liberal promises of parliament he refused to
obey. To make quite sure of the goodwill of the captains of
ships he changed five who manifested a disposition to put themselves
under the command of Peninton. It is stated, all the
same, that the latter will put to sea with three royal ships (fn. 3) ...
Holland and others belonging to merchants which are in the
northern ports, to make an attempt subsequently, with a stronger
hand (con mano piu forte) to persuade the captains of the fleet
to take sides with the king.
Meanwhile a ship sent by the queen to his Majesty has arrived
in the waters of Uls from Holland, after having experienced
a furious storm. It has brought cannons, gunpowder, arms,
saddles and other munitions of war. When it approached these
shores it was attacked by ships of the fleet which were waiting
to seize it ; but the captain, full of zeal for the royal service,
avoided the snares of the hostile ships and courageously ran
his ship on to the shore on to the sands there. Although this
involved injury to the ship and detriment to the gunpowder,
yet he pushed so far on to the land that he shook off the danger
from the efforts of the fleet and afforded his Majesty the opportunity
to recover all the munitions.
This captain reports that the Palatine Princes Rupert and
Maurice embarked on another ship to cross over to this side,
but were driven back by contrary winds, (fn. 4) but they will very
soon appear in these waters. Accordingly they are expected at
York although when the promise of an accommodation seemed
about to dawn they were commanded to postpone their embarcation
until further order. On receiving word of the arrival of
these munitions the king proceeded to the neighbourhood of
Uls, attended by a thousand horsemen and 1500 men on foot,
ostensibly to provide a safe conduct for the munitions. But the
governor, who watches his Majesty's proceedings with the utmost
vigilance, suspecting that this sudden move was made with the
secret intention of investing the fortress, sent a courier here with
the most urgent demands for succour to be sent with all despatch,
in men and money, capable of offering a strenuous resistance to
any impression that the king might possibly attempt. A report
of such consequence was heard with apprehension and they
decided to embark 500 men of the new levies, to be transported
to that place without delay, since the parliamentarians here are
convinced that his Majesty is devoting all his attention to the
capture of that town, and consequently they are possessed with
impatience, waiting for more authentic reports of what may
Since the Marquis of Amilton expressed to his Majesty, by
public testimony, the fullest protestations of loyal service and
offered to maintain at his own cost 60 horse, he has suddenly
announced his dissatisfaction with his Majesty, on the pretence
that the king did not agree to the prompt payment of certain
money which the marquis claimed. This nobleman has given
way to his irritation and proceeded to Scotland. The king is
annoyed. Speculative persons suspect that he cherishes in his
heart irrevocable designs to secure for himself an estate beyond that
of a private individual and he may be going a begging to facilitate
his other ancient and more secret proposals (non senza gelosia nei
speculativi che conservando egli nel cuore irrevocabili disegni di
procurarsi fortuna piu che privata habbia a mendicare d' agevolarsi
altre vecchie piu secrete proponimenti suoi). However he has
withdrawn to a pleasure house of his near Edinburgh, (fn. 5) and it
does not appear that he has so far instituted any movement
to the prejudice of this royal house.
In the town of Newcastle, in the mean time, they are having
new fortifications added of earthworks for the purpose of rendering
it capable of offering a prolonged resistance to any kind of
attack from hostile forces.
No reply has yet reached me from the Secretary of State at
York touching the affair of the currants. I am informed in
the mean time that the king has not as yet given his consent to
the document which contains this decree.
London, the 18th July, 1642.
Postscript : Since finishing the above I have heard that in
the discussions in parliament this evening they have once more
considered the means for establishing a perfect composition with
his Majesty. The feelings of most of them were in favour of
such a project and it was also decided by a majority of votes to
hand over to him the fortress of Uls, a point upon which he lays
most stress. An account of this decision was given to the Lower
House, but they have not as yet agreed to take it up. Accordingly
the execution of this decision still wavers amid uncertainties.
If it should be approved by both Houses it might serve as an
effective means for facilitating the adjustment. Speculative
persons estimate from this accommodating spirit in the nobility
the apprehension which the forces and the credit which his
Majesty now possesses with his people occasion to men of right
sentiments (da questa prontezza della nobilta rimarcano in tanto
li speculativi la apprehension che porgono agli uomini di bene
sentimento le forze et il credito che hora possede la Maesta Sua
appresso i sudditi).
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
96. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledge his letters of the 4th inst. Approval of his
efforts to prevent the bill about the importation of currants.
Although it is general it strikes a severe blow against the interests
of the state's subjects of the islands of Zante and Cephalonia. As
he is well informed upon what can be represented to the state's
advantage and has made use of it with success upon other occasions,
feel confident that even now he will be able to prevent the
mischief of the publication or approbation, if not in the Lower
at least in the Upper House, or if not there at any rate by the
king under present circumstances now that, according to his
reports, his Majesty seems to be resuming his power and authority,
and displays his customary good will towards the republic, with
the assistance and works of the ambassador destined to the
Signory, as it is noted that he has helped not only in the affair
of the currants but also in settling about the reception of the
republic's ambassadors in a manner befitting its dignity. Upon
this last point he is to take an opportunity when it presents
itself, without committing himself to any extent, obtaining the
desired result by using tact and as if of his own motion. This
will be considered a useful service worthy of his efforts and zeal.
His reports upon both matters will be looked for as well as full
particulars upon the way in which the French ambassador is
negotiating, and if it is by instruction or of his own motion.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 2. Neutral, 7.
97. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Court has been busied during the present week with
constant movement from place to place, as the king considered
it advisable to visit the principal places in the county of York
and also to betake himself to those of Lincoln and the other
northern parts in order to satisfy himself at closer quarters about
the disposition of his people towards him, to arouse their enthusiasm
by the honour of his presence, to promote his own
service and at the same time to tone down the animosity of a
few individuals who regardless of their duty, attach themselves
to the Puritan party and fail to co-operate for the advancement
of his royal fortunes. This evening they will all be back again
at York, and it is said that later on the king means to go to other
counties of the country with the same object.
With the provision of arms and munitions which reached him
from Holland the king also received a considerable sum of ready
money. These military supplies have been withdrawn to a safe
place and his Majesty has subsequently issued a manifesto in
which he declares that as he has not been able so far to persuade
the parliament to give ear to his solicitation, though so thoroughly
justified, touching the punishment of the governor of Uls and
the handing over of the fortress, impelled by consideration of the
respect due to him he has made up his mind to assert his rights
by force and he incites the people in the most loving terms, to
assist him in this effort.
He has also sent a courteous letter to the parliament to the
same effect, together with a further effort, before an appeal is
made to arms, to induce them to agree to hand over that town.
He gives them a time limit for their reply up to the end of to-day
and promises in exchange to embrace with the utmost readiness
those means which may be considered most opportune for the
establishment of a happy concord in the kingdom. (fn. 6)
After all this the king advanced to within six miles of the
fortress of Uls. As a start towards harassing the place, though
without laying siege, he took possession of the water dykes, that
is to say of some erections by means of which he can, whenever
he pleases, admit the water into the marshes in which the town
is buried, and in a few hours flood 3 miles of country about it.
Upon the highway he has erected a redoubt of earthwork. There
he has established 5 small pieces of artillery. (fn. 7) He has this
actively guarded by numerous armed bands and prevents the
entry of any food stuffs. As the town is not well supplied, he
hopes, supposing it is not speedily relieved from the sea, to compel
it to surrender, even without effusion of blood, and to submit
to his will within a short time.
This most unpleasant news, which arrived here on Monday,
made an extraordinary stir in parliament. They issued a public
declaration that the king had begun the war. After mature
deliberation they decided to employ all their might to rescue
the fortress as well as the governor from the perils which menace
them so closely and which their own disobedience may possibly
suggest to be equally imminent for themselves (dopo matura
consultatione deliberato ancora d' impiegar tutto il potere per
scuotere a la piazza non meno che a quel governatore quelli pericoli
che gli soprastanno bene vicini, et che gli pronosticano per avventura
la disubedienza sua ugualmente). Twelve ships have been sent
to those waters with all speed. They carry munitions and
troops and to the satisfaction of the Puritan party they have
chosen as general of the forces the earl of Essex (fn. 8) the commander
who enjoys most credit among the malcontents, who with open
obstinacy has consistently opposed the royal interests, regardless
of his duty.
They have sent other commissioners to the provinces with
instructions to make repeated applications urging the people
to support the course followed by parliament (i progressi del
parlamento) and orders to afford assistance to one another
mutually when the emergency calls for it.
The colonels and captains destined for the defence of Ireland
have received orders to suspend their march to the place of
embarcation until further order, as they propose to employ
those troops to resist the designs of his Majesty, in case of need.
But the major portion of these men let it be freely understood
that they will not consent to bear arms against the king, their
Besides the decision about the first levies reported they have
resolved by public decree to enlist 10,000 infantry in addition
and they are making the most desperate efforts (si preme con
uso della piu esquisita diligenza) to collect a force of cavalry.
But the lack of money and the reluctance which manifests itself
in most of the people to take service in forces meant to fight
against his Majesty, hinders the carrying of these plans into
effect, and affords an object lesson of the difficulty of assembling
a body of troops capable of attaining proficiency, as they vainly
imagined in the past (et fa conoscere in prova che mal agevole
riuscira d' ammassare corpo di militie atto a progressi, che vanamente
si sono presupposti per l' adietro). Although the parliamentarians
are aware of this state of affairs, yet they take
great pains to hide it and are most careful to keep up appearances,
since they are not able by the soundness of their operations to
keep up the reputation of their party, which, amid the civil
discords, is always accustomed to make use of ... (fn. 9) support.
As the mayor of this city persisted with praiseworthy steadfastness
in his determination to obey the king's commands, they
have ultimately made up their minds to put him on his trial,
and two days ago he was sent a prisoner to the Tower. This
act is a violation of the privileges of the city in their noblest
form, and it has stirred the resentment of the most substantial
citizens. In their grief at an event of such importance they
assert roundly that never in its history has London patiently
borne so conspicuous an injury. As a consequence no efforts of
the parliament have sufficed so far to induce the aldermen to
discharge the functions of the office in his stead. This is a very
weighty matter and every one anticipates that this measure will
not be allowed to pass without some considerable disturbance.
However the merchants who profess Puritanism acclaim this
incident with thunders of applause and endeavour by the predominance
of their party to compel those who show their anger
to keep the peace.
From the county of Eriford has issued a printed declaration
strongly in favour of the king's interests, and open disapproval
of the present procedure of parliament, and with ... (fn. 9) that the
county will not hesitate to devote the best of its substance to
provide a remedy for those disorders which amid the ambitions
of a few individuals have deprived the king of his lawful prerogatives
and England of the splendour of her ancient greatness.
Parliament on its side has condemned these documents as
seditious, forbidden their publication under severe penalties and
subsequently had them burned by the common hangman in the
most conspicuous places, to the shame of well meaning persons.
With so many fresh things constantly cropping up those
parliamentarians who direct everything to their own gratification,
with arbitrary hand are not without serious apprehensions and
suspicion that the more moderate members, weary of remaining on
in subjection to their desires, may abandon the debates and in that
way dissolve the body of the parliament for lack of members. So
they have issued a decree that if only ten of the Lower and five
of the Upper House the Chambers may meet, their decisions
shall have as much validity as if they were matured with the
assistance of the majority. This at once discounts and damped
the murmuring of those who do not rule their actions by considerations
of private passion.
Simultaneously with the display of these warlike preparations
amid such important fluctuations, the Upper House, although
consisting at present of only fourteen members, perceiving that
if these differences continue for long it will involve irreparable
misfortunes which threaten the nobility, has resumed with
energy its pressure on the Commons to embrace the proposals
for an accommodation, which it resolved on Friday, as I wrote,
to present to the king. After lengthy debates the opinion of
the more prudent prevailed over the obstinacy of the seditious ;
the proposals were accepted and with the consent of both Houses
commissioners were chosen to take them to his Majesty. (fn. 10) They
are conceived in terms respectful and humble towards his Majesty,
they offer to deliver into his hands promptly the fortress of Uls
and to settle the command of the militia of the country in the
manner to which on previous occasions he expressed his readiness
to consent, but with the reservation of certain conditions which
it is to be feared his Majesty may not easily approve.
The deputies set out yesterday with all speed. I hear on
trustworthy authority that other secret instructions have been
given them to meet the remainder of the king's demands, to the
extent that they find it to be necessary to arrive at a perfect
accord. The particulars of these instructions have not yet
transpired and the effect that these new offices may produce is
awaited with the most impatient curiosity. From this experiment
it should be possible to find out which of the two parties
sincerely desires the adjustment.
The Upper House has selected the earl of Holland as the
bearer of these offices. In the past he has been a fierce persecutor
of the king's interests, although his devoted servant of old.
Now he has eagerly sought for this employment and at the same
time he tries every way by acts of penitence to regain for himself
the favour of his master and to recover the appointments, of
great value, which the king took from him a few days ago.
As insufficient attention is paid to the despatch of succour to
Ireland in proportion to the need, the rebels there are gaining
considerable advantage. They have attacked the town of
Emerich, the chief one in the kingdom after Dublin, which opens
the way for them to make themselves absolute masters of the
Province of Mamonia, which is of the greatest consideration.
With the capture of this town they have taken possession of a
quantity of munitions, of arms and of 80 guns, which were kept
in the magazines there. (fn. 11) Here the loss is felt deeply and the
consequences are foreseen. But amid so many disorders no
room is left for making good and it behoves them to suffer the
injury, not without signs that with the passage of time they will
experience even more serious blows, when Ireland in its entirety
is firmly possessed by the people there and is at their disposition.
The Ambassador Ro in private letters written from Vienna
to his confidential friends who are members of the Upper and
Lower Houses of parliament respectively, and which have since
been read publicly in parliament, has very amply defended the
prudence of his transactions at the Imperial Court. At the
same time he expresses very roundly and with great resentment
the very natural feeling he cherishes in his heart against the
assertions of the French ambassador here. (fn. 12) The moves of that
minister in the face of so unexpected an incident are awaited
with attention and with curiosity also.
London, the 25th July, 1642.
Postscript : News comes at this moment that two ships from
Holland appeared off Uls, sent by the queen with munitions to
his Majesty. Falling in with the ships of the fleet they had to
surrender, with disadvantage to his Majesty's designs. (fn. 13)
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|98. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The king is keeping to himself the new decree on the customs
and the importation of currants without yet giving his consent.
I am informed that he has been acquainted by the Secretary of
State Facland, to whom I wrote on the subject, with my remonstrances,
but up to the present I have no reply from that minister.
I am afraid that the delay proceeds from his Majesty's desire
to obtain first more detailed information upon the affair. I
regret that being so far away I am deprived of the means to
make him realise, by my offices, the mischief that may be done,
and the illicit motives of the interested parties.
Meanwhile the Ambassador Dandovert has written me the
enclosed letter, holding out hopes of complete satisfaction. He
asks me to press for his departure. Undoubtedly the king is
thoroughly desirous for him to reach your Excellencies at the
earliest possible moment, and the delay is due to nothing else
than the shortage of money in his treasury at the present time,
a consideration that also prevents the despatch of an ambassador
to France, where his Majesty is so manifestly concerned to have a
minister under the existing circumstances to spy out in safety (per
ispiare con sicureza) the disposition of that Court towards his
rebellious subjects here.
London, the 25th July, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
99. Lord Andover to Giovanni Giustinian.
Acknowledges Giustinian's reply and promises to solicit his
Majesty on the subject of his letter. Hopes to obtain satisfaction,
the king being at the moment absent in counties which
are entirely loyal. His strength is increasing day by day.
York, the 19th July, 1642.
Signed Charles de Howard.
Postscript : Asks the ambassador to solicit his Majesty about
his departure, whenever it may be convenient to do so.
[Italian, from the French.]
|100. Giovanni Giustinian to Lord Andover.
Thanks him for his efforts and begs him to continue.
London, the 22nd July, 1642.