101. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The commissioners sent to the king with the proposals for an
agreement arrived at Beverley, a large village six miles from the
fortress of Uls on Friday in the present week. There they
found the Court and on the following day they had audience
of his Majesty, to whom, with signs of humbleness they set
forth their demands. The most remarkable of these are, in
brief, that his Majesty shall agree to suspend all his military
preparations, take away the forces which he has pushed forward
towards Uls, relieve the town of Newcastle, Timolt and other
places from the garrisons which he has introduced, dismiss his
armed guards, withdraw as illegal the patents which he has
recently distributed for the command of the militia in the country,
allow those against whom offences are alleged, to be put upon
their trial in the courts. Parliament is to be the sole judge of
all the past actions of its members ; that he shall consent to
draw near to his residence in London without more ado and
lend a favourable ear to the advice of parliament as well as to
its other demands. They promise for their part to devote all
their energies to the defence of religion and his Majesty's honour,
to the carrying out of the laws and to the public liberty ; to
prevent disorders, punish the authors of seditious writings ; to
go no further in the provision of arms ; that the fortress of Uls
shall be restored to its original state, and that honourable means
shall be found for the control of the trained bands and for the
security of his Majesty as well.
The king received the deputies with a very stern aspect (con
sembiante molto grave) and informed them in reply that as the
importance of the proposals called for mature consideration he
would have them examined in due season and subsequently
announce precisely what he intended to do. He warned them
that if the fortress of Uls was not speedily placed at his disposition
any sort of negotiation for an accommodation would be futile.
He required that this reasonable condition must precede any
treaty. The deputies have sent word here of this much by
couriers. They also report that his Majesty enjoys the advantage
of the attachment of all the northern country, and being supplied
with powerful forces it will be an easy matter to make his dispositions
for the capture of that most important town. Accordingly
they suggest that it may be advisable to facilitate an accommodation
by giving up the place and to continue in this course
with equal sincerity of mind until the completion of this notable
transaction. Subsequently they request directions as to the
manner in which they should conduct themselves to meet such
pressing and determined demands (per supplir ad istanze si
pressante et risolute).
Yesterday there was a long discussion upon the tenor of these
letters and they disputed over a suitable reply. The well disposed
proposed to send orders to the commissioners calculated
to afford satisfaction to his Majesty. Those who are moved
exclusively by considerations of their own personal greatness
and whose every action is devised for the purpose of prolonging
these differences, vigorously opposed this, and finally carried
the point that the decision should be referred to the secret committee.
This means to a body of deputies who were chosen at
the beginning of the parliament for the task of maturing at private
meetings the affairs of greater moment. (fn. 1) As the party of the
malcontents is supreme among these it may be feared that the
decision they arrive at will not help much the realisation of the
desires of those who impatiently sigh to see England restored to
a state of perfect tranquillity. By men of a prudent disposition
these overtures for an accommodation are not characterised as sincere.
Such men consider that all this simulated inclination towards
concord is intended to impress on the people that it is not the proceedings
of parliament but the ambitious spirit of the king to command
autocratically a people grown old under the laws which gives
the impulse to the persistence of the differences, and by this insidious
means they hope to prevent the subsequent spread of the enthusiasm
in his favour which becomes more and more apparent in the hearts
of all disinterested persons. On this account there is eager
expectation with respect to what his Majesty will say in answer
to the proposals as well as to what decision the deputies here
will arrive at since the answer to these two points will afford the
most trustworthy guide for forming an opinion upon the end of
these disordered proceedings.
The visitation which his Majesty is carrying out in the northern
counties appears to be most successful. In every place that he
has visited so far he has been received by the whole of the nobility,
the people flocking to meet him in crowds, and his entry has been
accompanied by loud acclamations and blessings. In every
place his people have brought him fresh homage of loyalty and
protestations that they will not recognise any orders save those
of his Majesty. They offered him their fortunes and their
services in his cause. The town of Niuarch in particular and
Lincoln also have bound themselves by spontaneous promises
to maintain under present conditions at their own expense,
some companies of cavalry, and the county of Lincoln has since
had a document presented to parliament in which they declare
that if it does not speedily conclude a perfect agreement with his
Majesty, they are ready to expose themselves to the most perilous
experiences in support of the rights of the king, their lord. If
the results correspond with these spontaneous and conspicuous
demonstrations it is possible to hope for a happy issue to the
most righteous intentions of his Majesty. But whoever knows
the people here, so subject as they are to change, cannot count
upon them until the proof puts these liberal offers to the test.
Further the universities of Cambridge and Oxford, which as
the resort of scholars, and from the authority of the lawyers
and the wealth of their schools are of weight, with testimony of
their loyalty have openly taken his Majesty's side, and sent
him as a gift 20,000l. sterling from each, with offers to sink the
remainder of their goods and joyfully to sacrifice life itself, all
in the interest of his Majesty.
The parliamentarians here fume at declarations of this sort
and to prevent any measures for sending even larger contributions
they have sent for the leading ministers of those academies to
come here, with the idea of punishing and making a severe
example of the authors of these acts. (fn. 2) So deeds which in other
days have earned praise and universal applause are now considered
worthy of punishment.
Meanwhile the governor of Uls, without losing heart, is preparing
to resist his Majesty's assaults. In a sortie from the
fortress, followed by the garrison, he captured three pieces of
artillery, which were being brought by the royalists from Lincoln
on barques to a commanding position for a furious bombardment
of the town. In this affair they also took prisoner some soldiers
and cavalry who were accompanying that artillery. A report
is being circulated that the twelve ships sent to those waters
last week have by the fire of their guns completely destroyed
the earthwork redoubt which his Majesty had constructed.
Confirmation of this is awaited with impatience.
In this city they do not relax their efforts for the completion
of the levies of horse and foot reported. Every day they hold
reviews and make demonstrations for the purpose of magnifying
their warlike preparations, and by the trick of these shows to
keep the common people of London more and more determined
against the king. The rebels have based all their hopes upon the
unreasoning opinions of these folk, but it is a support which may
perchance prove insufficiently strong for so great a superstructure
(nelle appassionate inclinationi di cui hanno li seditiosi collocate
tutte le speranze sue, appoggio nondimeno che puo riuscir per
avventura poco forte a macchina si grande).
To the earl of Betfort they have given the command of the
cavalry, which up to the present does not exceed 700 horse ;
and the earl of Essex has been granted such despotic authority
over the troops that it amounts to an infringement of the ancient
customs of the country, and in past times no other commander,
however great his credit, has ever received the like.
No further proceedings have been taken against the mayor
but neither have they been able to persuade anyone to undertake
his office ; the violence shown has given umbrage to all and no
one cares to expose his property and himself as well to the hazards
of fortune. The mayor remains in the Tower and there he has
chosen to continue the functions of his ministry, announcing
that he will never separate himself from obedience to the royal
Nine noblemen of the Upper House who, contrary to the prohibition,
were the first to abandon the sittings and betake themselves
to York, have been deprived by resolution of the exercise
of the vote during the period of the present parliament. (fn. 3) These
lords however claim that they owe no obedience to this decision
and that the authority of parliament does not extend so far as
to prevent noblemen from assisting the king, their natural lord.
On the other hand the London Courts have recently punished
with ignominious penalties two ministers who spoke licentiously
from their pulpits, with scant respect for his Majesty's person
By means of the Imperial Resident here the Count of Traumestorf
sent me a complimentary message two days ago. I
The Cavalier Anton Boldu has arrived at this house from the
Catholic Court and wishes to see this Court also.
The reply to my letter has come at last from the Secretary
of State Fachland. I enclose a translation from which your
Excellencies will observe that his Majesty is not disposed to
consent to any decree which may prejudice the interests of the
Senate, unless he is driven to it by necessity for the composition
of these differences, and up to the present moment he has not
chosen to approve of the bill. If he should come near this city
I will represent to him the mischief this measure may cause
and do all in my power to keep him firm and prevent him from
consenting to the bill. Meanwhile I am advised by a person of
good understanding, greatly devoted to your Excellencies, that
a leading merchant and a member of parliament, has pushed this
affair in his personal interest with Obson, as well as to help the
trade with the Ragusans, where he has a large business. (fn. 4) He
feels persuaded that with the cessation of the trade in currants
the English ships devoted to the Levant voyage will no longer
put in at the ports of your Excellencies in the future but will all
betake themselves to Ragusa and take thither the cloth and
other goods which this nation is accustomed to distribute in the
Turkish dominions, with advantage to the Ragusans and personal
gain for himself.
London, the 1st August, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
102. Viscount Falkland, Secretary of State to Giovanni
Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador.
But for sickness would have answered his letter sooner. Has
shown the letter to his Majesty who expressed his entire satisfaction
therewith and declared most positively that he would
never give his consent to anything that might seem disadvantageous
to the most serene republic unless he was forced to do
so for the greater good of his kingdom and by the necessity of
his affairs. His Majesty is assured of the good will of the republic
and would not willingly do anything that might incommode
it. If his health had permitted him to follow the king he would
have answered in greater detail.
York, the 15/25 July, 1642.
[Italian, from the French.]
103. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and
spoke in conformity with the memorial which he left.
The doge replied : We do not know what has happened in
this affair. The magistrate will certainly have rendered justice.
If the servant was not guilty on one count he will have been on
another. We will see what can be done. He asked the man's
nationality and the secretary said he was a subject of the republic
and had committed no wrong in the Beccaria. The doge replied
that he would be punished as a subject. With this the secretary
made his bow and went out.
I have frequently asked for the release of a servant arrested
by order of the Magistracy of the Beccaria, until I feared to be
importunate with my numerous memorials. But while I was
expecting to hear of your Serenity's grace behold a most severe
sentence was fulminated, of the galleys or 5 years of the cells
and 400 lire and more costs. This seems the more strange as
for the two months that he was kept in the cells no other accusation
was made than that he was of the house of the English
ambassador. But when the keeper asked that the matter might
be cleared up, for fear that he might die in that confinement,
he was charged with some sort of smuggling. Eight witnesses
were sworn in his defence and all pronounced him guiltless of
the things of which he was accused. In good justice nothing
was to be expected but his release and reparation, instead of
which this sentence has been pronounced. I therefore come to
point out the violence shown to this servant and to ask that so
great an affront may not be given to my king and that I may not
have such just cause to complain to his Majesty to whom I
should not wish to report anything but friendly relations with
104. To the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma.
In consideration of the weakness of the company commanded
by the lieutenant of Colonel Douglas, the cost of the officers,
amounting to 160 ducats a month as well as the contumacy of
Douglas himself, he is to dissolve the company and distribute
the men among the old Oltramontane companies.
Ayes, 147. Noes, 5. Neutral, 12.
105. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
Their High Mightinesses contemplated the sending of an
embassy extraordinary to France on the death of the queen
mother, (fn. 5) but did not decide upon it. The day before yesterday,
after some dispute with the States of Holland, who like to thwart
the Prince when they can, because he seems bent on going on
with the war, they have arranged to confer the two principal
appointments in the Army, those of Marshal and General of
the Artillery, on the Prince's brothers in law, Brederode and the
Count of Solmes, respectively.
The Hague, the 4th August, 1642.
106. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and
spoke as follows : I should have waited for your Serenity's
reply about my servant, but I am constrained to come as I hear
that orders have been given for him to be sent to the galley
Pasqualiga, which is about to leave, or put in a foist, as there
were no chains. I ask your Serenity to order that he be not sent
so that I may be able to obtain the favour of his release.
The doge replied : He is a bad man ; a smuggler who always
associated with bandits. He does not merit protection, the
more because he is not a servant of the house but a subject
here, and a rascal. If the king knew he certainly would not
approve of offices for men of this sort. The secretary replied :
The law is irritated against him and so he must suffer extreme
severity. This is not a matter of state. When your Serenity's
chaplain was arrested in England it was a matter of more importance,
and yet he received favour. The doge replied, the
chaplain was a respected religious and it is permitted to keep
him. In other occasions we will try to gratify you ; in this it
cannot be thought of, since the excesses are too great. With
this the secretary made his bow and departed.
107. Nicolo Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to
the Doge and Senate.
Since the rising of the Irish the English ambassador here has
frequently complained to the king and the ministers about their
receiving from Spain and also from the other states of the Catholic
provision of gunpowder, muskets and other military stores.
Although he has always received favourable answers it seems
that the results have not followed in accordance since the English
ships have stopped some Irish ones which from Flanders in
particular were carrying muskets and gunpowder, and it is
asserted that the same ships have on several occasions provided
themselves with arms in the ports of Spain as well. This has
led to a renewal of his remonstrances by the English ambassador.
He has represented with emphasis that in England this circumstance
may be considered in a different light from what it
is here and they will conclude that this traffic could not be
continued by Spanish subjects without a tacit permission from
the royal ministers here. As it is directly contrary to the articles
of peace between the two crowns it might give rise to some
regrettable incident. Now this last week there happened to
be two ships in Cadiz, one English and the other Irish. While
the sailors of the latter were hearing mass on a feast day, twelve
English sailors climbed into the Irish ship and overpowering
six who were on guard in it, they weighed anchor and made
sail towards England. The governor of Cadiz has manifested
the deepest resentment at such an act of violence, but as the
guilty parties have got away they cannot find a way to console
the Irish. The English who remain are protected by the ambassador,
on the ground that as they had no part in the deed
they cannot share in the punishment. It is not known whether
the ship in question had laded arms. More consideration is given
to the papers which it might have and which might give the ambassador
reasonable grounds for doubting whether the revolt of the
Irish is not fomented by the Spaniards.
Madrid, the 6th August, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
108. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledge his letters and enclose the usual sheet of advices.
The secretary of the Ambassador Fildin has been in the Collegio
to make the complaint which he will see from the enclosed copy,
about an alleged servant of his who was arrested and condemned.
They did not choose to give him any other answer than the very
prudent one of the doge, as the affair itself does not merit it
or the manner in which it was presented, or the quality of the
crime, or the character of the accused, who is a smuggler of ill
report. If spoken to about the matter he is to uphold the action
taken by the magistrates, and if he hears anything said he is to
do the same, at the same time insisting on the desire of the
Signory to do anything in reason for foreign ministers, particularly
for those of his Majesty.
As regards the affair of the currants, rejoice that the king is
not consenting to the parliament's bill, and the ambassador
must try to prevent this.
Ayes, 98. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
109. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After the king had communicated to his Council the proposals
of parliament reported he fulfilled his promise about a reply in
a long document which was handed to the deputies and subsequently
printed and published by his Majesty's express command,
although the commissioners besought him not to do so, at any
rate that portion which concerns the parliament.
The reply consists of a repetition of his constant zeal for the
maintenance of the Protestant religion, for the preservation of
the public peace and for everything that he considered likely
to promote the welfare of his subjects. He points out that
parliament has not seconded with uniform sincerity these excellent
intentions of his. He refers to the injuries received in the past
and their present unbridled decisions. He asserts that it appears
to him that his arms have no other object than his own defence
and that of the laws and of liberty. He replies at length with
solid arguments to all the demands and subsequently offers to
consent to an accommodation upon conditions ; that the fortress
of Uls shall be restored to him without reservation with the arms
removed from the magazine there ; that the control of the naval
forces shall be placed in the hands of those whom he has appointed
and that the command of the militia of the kingdom shall be
restored to his Majesty's authority, in the manner always practised
in the past. That the military forces shall be disbanded
and all the other provisions of arms made by the parliament
suspended ; he requires that parliament shall be transferred from
London to some suitable place, as well as secure. For his part
he offers a general pardon to all the inhabitants of Uls and even
to the governor ; to lay down his arms ; to take part in the sessions
of parliament ; to preserve unimpaired its prerogatives and to
maintain it in the state of its original dignity. He allows eight
days for an answer to these proposals, and if they are not accepted
he expresses such confidence in the people that it will be easy for
him to pursue the realisation of his most righteous purposes. (fn. 6)
With such a reply the commissioners took leave of his Majesty
and they have returned here. They gave a full report of it all
in parliament on Monday, asserting that the king being under
influence of ill affected persons, there is no room for hope that
he will relax the severity of these demands. Reasonable as these
are they are qualified by the interested parties as injurious and
designed to ruin those who have ventured to oppose his Majesty's
Impressed by so unpleasing a report the parliamentarians
have taken counsel not to give way to the king's pleasure except
under necessity, and to inform him of this by courier. This
was done two days ago, and thus the course of the negotiations
for an agreement has been interrupted and the interests of the
parties exposed to the arbitrament of force. Here they are
examining the means whereby they may be able to carry on
the war successfully for a long time.
General the earl of Essex has received orders to enlist the
largest number of men he can and to have amassed speedily
a corps d' armée, strong enough to counterpoise or perhaps to
forestall any action taken by his Majesty and those who take
With the same object they have passed new resolutions deciding
to employ for these emergencies the money and other provisions
destined for the succour of Ireland, and to make use of
5000 men already enlisted to proceed to defend that country.
They are using all their arts to induce the commanders to abandon
that service and to take up the other, for which the majority
of them show little inclination up to the present.
From the Council of this city, in which the Puritan party is
predominant, they have obtained a promise to maintain 5000
infantry at the public cost, and the apprentices or shop boys,
also offer to serve, on condition that they are granted many
exemptions as a reward. Although these are contrary to the
laws and the service of the city, this has been freely granted,
all their efforts being now directed to increasing their forces, no
matter what the price, so that they may be able to march at the
earliest moment where they may be expected to render best
Those of most experience, however, do not think it will be easy
to induce the citizens to carry out the fulsome offers of the Council.
They do not expect that the party will be able, in a brief period, to
put into the field an army powerful enough for their great designs
or for what they have published, in accordance with the expectations
of the parliamentarians, the authors of designs ruinous alike to
the state and the individual. Many soldiers let it be freely known
that although they are at present receiving pay from the parliament
they will join the king's party later. This shows clearly
that too much dependence must not be placed on the fidelity of these
people and that it will not be wise to put them to the proof.
Three pieces of artillery and other provision of arms have been
sent to the city of Warwick, in order to keep the people there
steadfast through fear of the strength and purpose of parliament.
They have made a sudden choice of commissioners for Scotland,
one of whom has already started and the others will leave very
soon. They take instructions to inform the Council there of the
agitations of this kingdom, confirm the constant intention here
to maintain a close union with the Scots, and always to work
together for the same ends. They will take part in an ecclesiastical
assembly to be held there this month, with some hope that
if the opinions of those who eagerly desire to see the dogmas of
Calvin established in England prevail in that assembly, which
means the subjugation of the royal authority, decisions will follow
in favour of the efforts of parliament here and of the rebellious
subjects. The Earl of Arghil, author of the late revolt, director
of the government there and a close confederate of the Marquis
Hamilton, has also gone to that Assembly, and for this reason
there is greater misgiving about transactions prejudicial to his
Majesty. The event is awaited with curiosity, and has aroused
the attention of all prudent men, owing to the important consequences
In fulfilment of his Majesty's reported decision to visit all
the counties he has proceeded this week to Lincestria where of
late the earl of Stanford has been endeavouring to alienate the
people from his royal service, as I wrote. There also he was
received with every token of rejoicing and his arrival was acclaimed
with demonstrations of the utmost satisfaction. The
trained bands there promptly placed themselves under his commands.
The mayor of the town, with acts of great humbleness,
made him offers in the public name and for the rest gave the
most conspicuous proofs of duty and loyalty. Some few, however,
servants of Stanford, and Puritans by profession, entering
furtively into the house where he caused the arms and munitions
of that province to be guarded, tried to prevent their being
taken away from that place. But after a brief resistance, with
salutary repentance, they submitted to the commands of his
Majesty, who subsequently granted them a full pardon, affording
thereby a praiseworthy example of clemency.
To-day his Majesty is to return again to Beverley with the
intention of pressing the siege of Uls, which is still blockaded,
nor has any confirmation come of the news that the ships of the
fleet have destroyed the fortifications raised by the royalists,
as announced by parliament. 3000 infantry guard the redoubt
and the water dykes but we do not hear that the king is yet
provided with forces sufficient to make sure of a successful and
speedy issue to this undertaking by force of arms. It is considered
of moment on the score of reputation rather than for the acquisition
itself, although the town is one of the strongest and
occupies a situation convenient for receiving succour from abroad.
To the inhabitants of the town and even to the governor his
Majesty has published a proclamation offering to obliterate their
past disobedience if within the term of eight days he will deliver
the town to his disposal. There is a rumour that the commander,
apprehending the perils that time may bring, is engaged in close
negotiations for restoring himself to the king's favour and fully
authenticated news of this should arrive very shortly.
The resentment of the king against the French ambassador here
is in no wise assuaged. His Majesty declared roundly that if
that minister is not recalled by the Most Christian, he himself will
adopt such measures as he may judge to be most expedient. The
ambassador, on the other hand, possibly recognising that he has
gone too far in his confidential relations and dealings with the
disaffected parliamentarians, justifies his actions and protests
that his only object was to perform a service to this most serene house.
Twelve small ships slipped anchor from the Downs this week,
laden with rich cargoes intended for Dunkirk. Under convoy
of a ship of the fleet they proceeded successfully to within a
short distance of their destination. But there they fell in with
Admiral Tromp who with a good number of ships keeps the
approaches closed. He stopped them going further, and on
the ground that they were taking money to the Spaniards,
against the provisions of the treaty of alliance with this crown,
he seized them all and sent them into Zeeland. On hearing
this Vice Admiral the earl of Warwick stopped five Dutch ships
which happened to be in the ports here, on their voyage out to
the Levant. (fn. 7) When parliament received the news they judged
it expedient, in order to avoid complications in the present
difficult circumstances, to order them to be released without
further delay. This has been done and now they are trying by
means of negotiation to recover from Tromp as much as possible
of the capital of the English. The merchants here are annoyed
at the incident, because of the loss and quite as much on account
of the consequences to the trade of this city from establishing
such a precedent. The ambassador of the Catholic does everything
in his power to foment the dissatisfaction of the parties
concerned in view of the prejudice which Flanders will suffer
from the difficulty of trading with this country, and because it
is stated that considerable sums of money were on board these
ships on the account of Spanish shareholders. He protests
that the frigates of Dunkirk, putting aside the respect which
they have hitherto shown to the flag of England, will in future
take steps to seize the ships which go to Holland as well, even if
escorted by ships of the Navy.
Various opinions are ventilated as to the motives which have
supplied the impulse for such measures. It is stated that these
last days the ships of the fleet have fought with a Dutch ship in
the northern waters which was taking munitions to the king,
by a secret arrangement with the Prince of Orange, and this is
what induced Tromp to act as he did. Meanwhile the parliamentarians
here are not without suspicion of the intentions of
Orange and they are keeping their eyes wide open to watch his
proceedings. For this and other reasons which have not yet
transpired, they stopped yesterday all the letters which arrived
from Flanders. Mine were treated with the respect that is their
London, the 8th August, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|110. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The bill I wrote of touching the customs has not yet received
his Majesty's consent, and consequently the prohibition of the
importation of currants has not either. Parliament, on the
other hand, which for lack of the king's consent cannot collect
the duties in the usual way or meet the expenses of the naval
force, proposes to cause it to be put into force without the royal
pleasure. In such case the directors of the Levant Company
may possibly claim that the provisions about currants shall
also be enforced. I will keep on the watch and try to prevent
this. Two days ago I happened to meet one of the most influential
members of the Lower House who, prompted by the offices of those
interested in that trade, has in the past supported their demands in
parliament. I seized a favourable opportunity to turn the conversation
and made him recognise the inconveniences of this bill
and the illicit ends of the merchants. Accordingly he changed his
mind and assured me positively that if the king refuses his consent
and affords an opportunity for the affair to be discussed afresh he
will do his best to prevent these efforts from going any further.
Two letters have reached me to-day from the Secretary Nicolas,
of which I enclose a translation. One is by order of his Majesty
and the other from himself with respect to the complaints of
Mr. Talbot out there, who in the capacity of a private person
attends to the affairs of his Majesty at Venice. I replied to the
letter in general terms. I will try cautiously to deal with the other
matters so that with discretion his Majesty's wishes may be met,
while carefully avoiding to commit the state in any way, as I did
not think it for the service of your Excellencies openly to refuse the
use of such a small courtesy to so great a prince, who professes the
utmost esteem for the Senate, and who in this affair of the currants
declares that he will not consent to anything that might prove disadvantageous
to the interests of your Serenity.
London, the 8th August, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
111. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador, to the
Secretary of State Nicolas.
Acknowledges his two letters, received through Francesco
Burlamacchi, of the 5th and 6th inst. Will do his utmost to
obey his Majesty's commands and notes what is said about
Talbot. Knows nothing of the latter, but can assure him that
the republic always shows the utmost regard for the foreign
ministers, particularly the representatives of his Majesty.
London, the 8th August, 1642.
|112. The Secretary of State Nicolas to Giovanni Giustinian.
I have received a letter from Mr. Talbot, minister of public
affairs of his Majesty at Venice, by which he advises me that the
police officials of the most serene republic have put in prison a
member of the household of the English ambassador. He has
been unable to obtain the release of the man or any statement of
the charges laid against him, in spite of all his efforts. I make
this representation in the hope that you will employ your good
offices to remove this cause of offence and that nothing may be
done in the future to prejudice the privilege of ministers.
York, the 25th June, 1642, O.S.
[Italian, from the French.]
|113. The same to the same.
The king asks leave to use the ambassador's cover for some
letters which he wishes to send to Holland and requests his
Excellency to send some trustworthy person by the post to fetch
York, the 26th July, 1642, O.S.
[Italian, from the French.]
114. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
Ten ships which left England with provisions for the Dunkirkers
have been seized off Zeeland by the Vice Admiral here on
the ground of contraband, and an English ship which escorted
them has been sent to strengthen the Dutch forces off Dunkirk.
The English Resident here is labouring for the recovery of a
royal despatch sent to him, but intercepted on this coast with
letters for the queen by the very sailors who came with the person
who brought them. They sent special commissioners to the
spot, to meet the Resident, but with all his efforts he has not
been able to obtain the satisfaction which he claims.
Sir [Thomas] Roe, the English Ambassador returning from the
Imperial Court, has arrived within a short distance of Cologne,
without any results from his negotiations.
The Hague, the 11th August, 1642.
115. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After the failure of the attempt of parliament to induce his
Majesty to grant them the satisfaction they claimed, the members
are now trying to preserve the greatness of their present fortunes
amid the public disturbances. To facilitate this they published
two days ago a new manifesto, in which, in a licentious and
seditious manner, they call to mind the disorders of the past
government, the avarice of the ministers who persuaded his
Majesty to burden his subjects with unlawful impositions and
the king's ambition to rule them absolutely by means of propagating
Catholicism in the kingdom. They point out that they
have successfully resisted these attempts by resolute action and
protest that only zeal for the preservation of religion and the
public liberty has supplied a just reason for the appeal to arms.
They appeal to the people to second their projects with vigour.
They announce that they have chosen the earl of Essex to command
the army and finally protest that they are prepared to
sacrifice with him their fortunes and life itself in so just a cause,
which is common to all. Thereupon, without any compunction,
they declare war against the king and all those who embrace
his party. (fn. 8)
Orders have been sent again to the Provinces warning them
all not to permit the lieutenants chosen by the king for the
command of the trained bands to exercise their functions, and
to prevent them from taking possession of the munitions and
arms which are in the country, promising efficient protection
and liberal rewards to those who support this design and offer
a courageous resistence to the royalists, while threatening with
severe punishment those who attempt to do otherwise.
4000 apprentices attracted by the advantageous terms and
by the offers of high pay have taken service under the standard
of the parliament, many others are disposed to do the same,
and they hope in a short time to have a considerable number of
this sort of folk. They are for the most part of tender age,
entirely without discipline and unaccustomed to hardship or
the handling of weapons. On this account it is not reasonable
to expect great proofs of valour or of loyalty from their services,
although one can feel sure that they are ordinarily ready for
innovation and liable to frequent changes.
The earl of Essex is attending diligently to the enlistment of
cavalry. Many of the parliamentarians who are committed have
undertaken to collect regiments and they contemplate adjourning
the sittings of parliament for some days for the purpose of
sending those who belong to this party into the country so that
they may the more easily carry their offers into effect.
When the levy is completed Essex announces that he will
march with the bulk of his force into the counties which have
declared for the king, in the persuasion that with these arms in
support he will bring them back to their allegiance to parliament.
But all do not think that this idea will be easy to realise and the
issue must be decided by the event itself.
Some suspicion being conceived that Colonel Gorin, governor
of Porsmond is drawing over to the king's side and may deliver
that fortress into his hands, has induced them to send hurriedly
in that direction two members of parliament and the earl of
Bedford, commander of the cavalry, accompanied by 500 horse
with instructions to prevent any change and to make quite sure
that the fortress, which is of consequence, is kept safely under
the control of parliament.
Orders have been sent to the earl of Warwick to despatch six
ships to those waters and to cause the approaches to be diligently
guarded and to prevent succour reaching the fortress until the
government is settled once more and the suspicions removed.
Following the example of the mayor of London many other
towns insist firmly upon obeying the commands of his Majesty.
Filled with wrath at this, parliament has caused five of them to
be seized and imprisoned, (fn. 9) arousing the indignation of men of
good sense, who freely condemn such audacious essays and state
openly how gladly they would embrace a favourable opportunity
to shake off the incubus of such continual violence which has
never before been practised under this sky, where the laws and
the magistrates have always enjoyed the utmost respect (con
risentimento degli uomini di buon senso li quali liberamente
dolendosi di si arditi tentativi palesano prontezza d' abbracciare
volontieri le occasioni valevoli a scuotere la molestia di si continuate
violenze giammai pratticate sotto questo cielo dove le leggi et li
magistrati hanno sempre goduto tutto il rispetto).
The king, for his part, has gone back to York and there he
does not forget the offices which are most likely to advance the
condition of his fortunes. He has distributed other patents to
a number of gentlemen and captains to enlist troops. His
partisans announce that inside the present month he will be
provided with forces strong enough for defence as well as for
humbling the pride of the rebels. He is expecting fresh provisions
of arms from Holland. At present he has at his disposal
30 pieces of artillery and enough money to keep up the war for
The county of Lincoln has sent the king fresh protestations
of devotion and Kent, which is of great consideration, has sent
him deputies offering to pour out their possessions and their
lives in his service. If the results correspond with these liberal
promises and if the courage of the new soldiers nerves them to
stand the test of battle those who have most experience predict
a successful issue for his Majesty's cause. But as he has not
entirely shaken himself free from the contingencies which are
accustomed to produce civil discords, men of prudence still
reserve their judgment (et se da si larghe promesse appararano
effetti conforme et che il cuore de' soldati nuovi dia loro luogo di
cimentarsi alla battaglia presagiscono li piu prattici felice successo
alla causa sua, la quale tuttavia non trovandosi intieramente sciolta
dalle contingenze che produrre sogliono le discordie civili tiene gli
animi delli prudenti dentro giusta sospensione ancora).
Two other parliamentarians, members of the Upper House,
have gone away to the king these last days. The Lower House,
of 500 members does not at present number more than 80, the
others for the most part having abandoned the sittings and have
withdrawn to their own houses, grieving to see that through the
unbridled ambition of a few individuals many are exposed to the
peril of death, not to speak of the ruin of the state.
In the county of Warwick the earl of Nortampton, who
commands there for the king, has stopped the guns which parliament
sent to that town in the past week, as I wrote. He is
preparing a vigorous opposition to Baron Bruch who is the lieutenant
chosen by parliament, to deprive him of his control of
the government there.
The siege of Uls goes its way, but with incidents which render
the issue very uncertain. The troops sent by ships to its relief
by parliament have arrived safely. The governor with the
advantage of this force has made another sortie, burning some
barrels of gunpowder and a quantity of grenades, which were
under a weak guard of royalists. Encouraged by this that
commander maintains his defence bravely and does not suffer
himself to be in the least impressed by the specious offers made
him by his Majesty of pardon and reward if he will deliver up
The intentions of the Scots remain entirely uncertain. 10,000
men stand ready in that country, but their purpose is not known
or even to which side they may turn. His Majesty professes to
fear nothing from that people, and here, on the contrary, they
are confident of important assistance from that quarter. So with
all this uncertainty, the decision which that people may ultimately
take is of great interest and importance. In view of
the terms of the last agreement it may be said that they are now
quite free from dependence on the king (li quali in riguardo alle
conditioni del passato accordo puo dirsi che hora siano separati
dalla dipendenza del Re).
Meanwhile there has arrived in this city from York the Sieur
di More, confidential servant of his Majesty. The fact that he
immediately engaged in secret conferences with the rebellious
parliamentarians here has given rise to much discussion. Some
believe that he has brought fresh overtures for an accommodation,
which remain undisclosed for the time being ; but the partisans of
his Majesty consider this individual, who is a Scot, of doubtful
fidelity to his interests at bottom, and so they keep a very attentive
ear for his proceedings, suspecting that under cover of zeal he may
be concocting some device prejudicial to his master as well as to
the whole of the royal party.
Through the help of a sailor Vice Admiral the earl of Warwick
has intercepted despatches of his Majesty sent by a gentleman
to the queen in Holland, and has sent them to the parliament.
Without any consideration these were opened by the Lower House,
when letters from many leading lords were found attached. (fn. 10)
These gentlemen supply the queen with news of the state of
affairs here, with hopes of a speedy and glorious end. They
advise her to stay on there until the fortress of Uls is brought
back into subjection to his Majesty. In the king's letters they
were not able to read much, as the greater part was in cipher.
It is noted that he recommends her to send him speedily a quantity
of provisions and he also persuades her to bear their separation
with patience, and not to return to England too soon. If she
is determined to come he appoints a place for her to land, but as
this is in cipher they have not been able to find out where it is.
Being informed by the tenor of these letters that her Majesty
is weary of her prolonged stay in Holland, the parliamentarians
think of inviting her to return upon honourable conditions, and
subsequently to make use of her to obtain from the king those
advantages to which their ambition aspires, to the detriment of the
royal throne. But those who have staked their fortunes and their
possessions in the king's service, have seen through the designs of
the malcontents and have emphatically represented to the king the
consequences that might result from the queen's speedy return.
They have intimated to him that if this takes place before these
differences are ended or if things chance to turn in favour of the
uncontrolled appetites of the rebels, they will be compelled to withdraw
and leave in the hands of fortune his Majesty's greatness and
security as well (Quelli all' incontro che in servitio di Sua Maestà
hanno esposto le fortune et gli haveri, penetrati le intentioni di
malcontenti hanno distintamente rappresentato al Re le conseguenze
che partorirebbe il celere ritorno della Regina ; gli
hanno accennato che seguendo prima che siano terminate queste
differenze o per avventura piegando alli disordinati appetiti
delli inobedienti saranno costretti di ritirarsi et lasciare in mano
della fortuna la greandezza et sicurezza di Sua Maestà ugualmente).
On this account they are watching the proceedings of
More with the closest attention suspecting that he is trying to push
forward this business which is reputed by all to be utterly destructive
to the interests of the royal house.
The Agent Brundio sends from Paris that he has conveyed the
complaints reported to the Most Christian king against the behaviour
of the French ambassador here. He asserts that in return he received
a very courteous reply with an express declaration from that king
that he had never at any time directed that minister to have recourse
to the parliament. The ambassador, on the other hand, defends
his actions and protests that all the offices which he performed with
the parliamentarians were devoted to the customary terms of private
confidence, as ministers of the king and not as directors of the government.
He has letters of his master for his Majesty which tell him
about his domestic affairs, with his brother and others. He thinks
of presenting these himself, taking the opportunity to defend his
action and to offer his Majesty all the most sincere proofs of his
devotion. He now proceeds with greater reserve and seizes every
occasion to render himself agreeable to the princes here.
By letters written at Frankfort the Ambassador Ro has sent
word of the progress of his journey and it is believed that at
this moment he will have arrived in Holland. He reports that
Caesar, anxious to make a show to Germany of his perfect good
will towards the Palatine House, has sent him a decree by courier
that on the 10th of January he will be ready to resume the
negotiations if England is disposed to enter upon fresh discussions.
The minister asserts however that the emperor has done this
merely as a matter of compliment so that the blame may not
fall upon him for having cut short the thread of these important
transactions. Here they see through the trick and the harshness
of the Austrians over restoring his dominions to the Palatine.
Certainly no other ambassador will be sent from this quarter, but
they will wait for time to afford circumstances to the advantage of
that house, which for the time being they cannot expect to be at hand.
Although his Majesty has not given his consent to the bill
dealing with the reforms in the payment of the customs, to which
is joined, as I have written, the article prohibiting the importation
of currants, parliament gave orders yesterday for the collection
of the duties in the manner prescribed by that last decision.
Whether the commissioners of the customs or the merchants
will obey and whether this last order covers the matter of the
currants I cannot as yet ascertain. I will try to obtain more
precise information and send word next week.
London, the 15th August, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
116. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Inquisitors of State.
Sends further passage from a letter of the Florentine Resident at
Venice to this minister here, which he noticed in the present week.
London, the 15th August, 1642.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
117. Copy of Passage from letters of the Florentine Resident
at Venice of the 25th July, 1642.
The Procurator Zeno made a strong speech in the Pregadi on
Saturday against the authors of trouble in Italy, not so much for
the damage done as because of calling down the censure of foreigners.
The Signory have therefore decided to urge their Secretary at Rome
to encourage every effort for an adjustment, before the fire spreads.
The Collegio has also induced Cardinal Cornaro to write privately
to Rome to the same effect.
[Italian ; deciphered.]