118. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish army of Picardy, that is to say Melzo and Bech
have joined together and are wasting the country about Cales.
They made a feint of investing Esdin but afterwards went away
without attempting anything. It is said that Melzo was expecting
English ships, which were to bring him munitions and money.
But these English ships, most opportunely and greatly to the
satisfaction of this side, have been taken and detained by the
Dutch Admiral, and it is believed that this stroke will have
upset the plans of the enemy.
Paris, the 17th August, 1642.
119. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Palatine Princes Roberto and Maurice have set out for
England. They will cross in a Dutch ship, to evade the activity
of parliament, taking some munitions of war for the king's service.
The Prince of Orange expresses his sympathy with the royal
cause and readily grants leave to those captains of the army here
who ask it to go and serve the royal cause. Upon other occasions
he contributes his best offices with the government to induce
it to make demonstrations calculated to relieve his Majesty's
house from the oppression of parliament and restore it to its
pristine authority on some solid and permanent basis.
The munitions seized as contraband from the English ships
going to Dunkirk are deposited in the magazines of Zeeland until
the matter is cleared up. Five ships of this country were stopped
as reprisals by the fleet of the parliament, off Dover, but were
released soon after by the earl of Warwick, also by order of
parliament, which does not wish to provoke this country under
present circumstances. They recently moored off these shores
with their cargos entire.
The Hague, the 18th August, 1642.
120. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Colonel Gorin, governor of Porsmoud has paid what was due
to his birth by proofs of loyalty to his Majesty and has gone over
openly to the royal party with a declaration that he holds that
fortress for the sole service and at the disposition of his Majesty.
Before making public this intention of his, on the pretence of
securing the town against the contingencies of the present time
with new fortifications, he contrived to persuade the parliament
to pay out to him 30,000l. sterling, to send him a good number of
guns and other munitions, enough to provide it sufficiently with
all necessary requirements at the expense of that party. The
garrison has taken an oath not to recognise any other command
than that of the king, has taken prisoner the soldiers who refused
to bind themselves to such a condition, has expelled those whose
loyalty was considered suspect and introduced other troops,
all favourably disposed to the interests of the king, who has
since sent with all speed 6000l. sterling as a testimony of gratitude
and to supply the pay for the soldiers there.
Through the declaration of this commander his Majesty has
contrived to get possession also of four ships of war. These were
destined for the guard of the coasts about there and were lying
anchored in the port there at the moment, which is the most
capacious and the most convenient in England.
After this fortunate event it is freely said that the city of
Bristol, the castle of Dover and that of Plemoud, which all lie
upon the sea, will follow the same example, and there is some sign
that the inhabitants of the isle of Weicht, which lies opposite
Porsmoud, may follow the same course also.
These new events have filled the minds of the parliamentarians
with just apprehension, as they foresee the weighty consequences
that may accompany them and to remedy present disorders as
well as the inconveniences which time may bring forth in the
future they are devoting the most energetic efforts. To Porsmoud
they have despatched troops of foot and horse, sent orders to the
commanders of the trained bands of that district to give support
to their wishes and to all those on their side to join together and
blockade the fortress without delay before the capture of it is
rendered more difficult by the introduction of other forces and
To the earl of Warwick they have sent orders to proceed in
person to those waters with fourteen ships in addition to the
six, and to prevent any vessel from approaching that port ;
but the fortress is sufficiently provided with victuals and very
strong both by nature and by art. The governor is an individual
who, on every occasion, has given evidence of his spirit, and in
addition to his valour he unites the quality of a perfect discipline.
So in the general opinion, unless the loyalty and steadfastness
of the garrison fail him, the efforts of the parliament to compel
him to surrender will prove vain.
To the isle of Weicht also they are sending a special envoy
with instructions to animate the people there to sustain the power
of the parliament, and they have sent prisoner to the Tower the
earl of Portland who is governor, as being suspected of scant
affection for this side, and entirely dependent on the king.
These last weeks the marquis of Erfort proceeded to the
county of Somerset with patents from his Majesty to take part
in the government to keep the people there steadfast in their
duty of obedience and to counter the operations of the one
selected by parliament. The marquis was welcomed by the major
portion with demonstrations of respect and subsequently his
commands were received with equal readiness. He busied
himself for several days, without opposition, in enlisting troops
and in strengthening their disposition towards the royal service.
At length some passionate supporters of parliament, filled with
rebellious thoughts, being themselves determined not to leave
him in his former quiet, compelled him by their insolent actions
to wrath and to order the capture of one of the authors of seditious
movements. This execution redoubled the rage and licence of
the rebels to such an extent that they seized their arms and without
care for the consequences, attacked the marquis' forces.
But these showed great spirit and repelled them beaten and in
disorder so that they were compelled to seek safety in flight.
But this being by no means enough, they assembled together
once more in much larger numbers. Being informed that the
marquis with those of the king's party were in the city of Vels,
a short distance from where the first encounter took place they
advanced upon it and encamped. (fn. 1) This has obliged the royalists
to keep inside that place in order not to commit themselves to
the proof of a battle upon disadvantageous conditions, and as
the outcome of this contest is not yet known, more certain accounts
are expected very soon and are awaited with eager expectation.
The loyal servants of his Majesty are apprehensive about
the encounter. From such proofs they note the obstinate
animosity of the common people here, who are strict followers
of the dogmas of Calvin, detest monarchy and eagerly seize the
opportunity, which they consider favourable, to shake off the
yoke, in the belief that they will obtain further advantages,
and to deserve well of God and their country too.
On the other hand the majority of the gentlemen and all the
middle nobility of the kingdom follow the royal fortunes and
vie with each other to serve under the royal standard.
In the county of Warwick the earl of Northampton is upholding
the king's cause with a firm hand. With a force of only 400
soldiers he has repulsed and thrown into disorder 1500 men under
Baron Bruch who tried to prevent the exercise of his command.
He has now invested the castle of Bambari in the same county,
inhabited by Puritans, which displayed its contumacy to the
Other counties also are resounding with offers and divisions
which promise that very soon we shall see the whole kingdom
full of arms and of encounters as well. Parliament at this
moment is assembling five regiments of infantry and 1500 cavalry,
although it puts about reports of much greater numbers. It
has caused some companies to march about the country in various
parts where it considered this advisable with the object of encouraging
its partisans and of depressing so far as possible the
royalists. It is busily engaged upon the collection of other
troops. It has not agreed to the proposal to suspend the session
for 15 days. It calls with immediate urgency for fresh supplies
of money from this city and it has caused to be brought back
27,000l. sterling which it had sent to be put on ship and taken
across to Ireland. The defence of that country is no longer
pressing and apparently it is completely abandoned. If the
people there realise the extent of their advantage from the time
and the favourable circumstances it will be easy for them to
render themselves masters of the country and to prepare a
vigorous resistance to preserve the possession for a long time.
To these provisions, which all tend to the destruction of the royal
throne and its followers, under the influence of the most violent
counsels parliament has added another decree which opens the way
to the greatest disorders. It has given permission by proclamation
to any official, constable or other private person to collect men,
to arm and to attack those whom they know to be followers of
the king's commands and who do not co-operate in the designs
of the parliament, which has left it perfectly open to any one to
vent their private grudges under this pretext. This takes away at
once all security for property and for life also from the best conducted
citizens who are left exposed to the capricious authority of soldiers
and to other insolences. Even now many houses in the country
and in this city have been visited, sacked and destroyed all together,
and murmuring and outcries are heard in every direction.
To deliberate upon the most proper methods with which the
king may deal with the wielding of his forces he has appointed
a council of twenty-five lords, by whose prudent opinion he has
arranged to regulate all his movements.
The first attempt against the town of Uls having proved
unsuccessful the king is proceeding with less ardour in the siege.
Perhaps he considers it useless to make any sort of experiment
to reduce that place to submission by force.
They send word from York that the king's army is in process
of uniting, that it will consist of 6000 horse and 14,000 infantry,
all paid, besides other troops which will join it from the provinces.
That of Wales with others is getting ready to serve and from
Kent they hope for assistance of importance. But it is necessary
to wait and learn from the proof whether these reports and hopes
will be realised in deeds. In the mean time there seems no longer
any room for doubt that arms and not negotiation must be the sole
arbiter in these civil disputes.
The two ships expected have reached his Majesty from Holland.
They bring munitions, arms, money, and many English captains,
who have fought a long time in the armies of the Prince
of Orange. It is expected that the Palatine Princes Rupert
and Maurice may anchor at any moment in the ports of the north.
At Dunkirk it is said that a certain number of English soldiers
is ready to embark. These, after having served under the flag
of the Lords States, obtained their discharge and are crossing
the sea to take service in the armies of his Majesty.
There is some rumour of a secret intelligence of the Prince of
Orange in this mission, and that he has accommodated the queen of
England with sums of ready money on condition that the Prince
of Wales shall subsequently marry Orange's daughter. This
project has been ventilated on previous occasions, but it may meet
The misgivings about the Scots are vanishing from the king's
mind. These last days they have caused a declaration to be
published, which they have had printed, in which they protest
their readiness to obey and serve his Majesty and to defend his
rights at all costs. On the other hand the Puritans here are trying
to deprive this protestation of all credit, characterising it as a mere
compliment rather than a resolute determination to advance the king's
service and consequently for the effects of this deliberation as well
as for the issue of so many movements it is necessary to await the
The French ambassador is proceeding to York. He says it
is for the purpose of offering to the king fresh testimony of his
service and if this proves acceptable, he asserts that he will continue
his sojourn about the king, but if not he will take leave and take
passage back to France with all his household. Reports issue from
his house that he may be recalled in consequence of the complaints
made by his Majesty, and also because his conduct in the exercise
of this embassy has not met with the approval of the Most Christian,
as he has conducted his affairs with the zeal of a good cavalier it
may be, rather than with the circumspection of a cautious or sagacious
The late order of parliament reported for putting in force the
bill for the reform of the duties payable, although without his
Majesty's consent, rather holds out inducements for its execution,
than enjoins this under penalties, and consequently the article
attached about currants is less likely to be acted upon as yet
(invita piu tosto con vantaggi che constringa sotto rigore all' essecutione
et per cio meno puo havere fin hora luogo quello delle uve
passe ingionto). Meanwhile the declaration of the king that he
will not consent to the bill in respect of what is right and my
reasonable representations have proved so effectual that the
merchants who are not interested in the moves of the ill disposed
ones, convinced that his Majesty will not change his mind, have
given fresh orders at Zante for the purchase this year of a quantity
of that fruit and have also hired the ship Golden Fleece to lade
them. This example of which I have not failed to make the
most may stimulate others of the Company to send similar
commissions and I hope that there will be a collapse of the
efforts of those who, caring nothing for putting the public to
inconvenience, are moved by their personal passions to try and
upset that trade.
London, the 22nd August, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
121. To the Ambassador in England.
Approval of his conduct and of his reply to the Imperial
Resident's office in the name of Traumestorf. As regards the
currants he is to try and discredit the efforts of the other side,
and to back up the king's inclination to refuse his consent to the
parliament bill, while showing appreciation of what his Majesty
has already done. The affair merits all his application, both
from the prejudicial consequences which he indicates and because
of the diversion of trade in the Levant to transfer it to the Ragusans.
Enclose the usual sheet of advices.
Ayes 126. Noes 0. Neutral, 2.
122. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English have been very attentive to see whether Don
Melzo will make some stroke at Cales, and they have shown
themselves off these shores, sailing along the coast, under another
pretext, to wit of the English ships recently taken by the Admiral
of Holland and of some injuries inflicted on their fishermen.
But actually their intention is to have an eye on any fresh move
that might take place owing to the nearness of the Spanish army
Paris, the 26th August, 1642.
123. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Palatine Princes Maurice and Rupert, before casting off
from here, had news of the seizure of a ship which was taking
their baggage and horses towards York, a thing done by Warwick's
Sir [Thomas] Roe, the English Ambassador, has arrived from
the Imperial Court. He went there, without success, about the
Palatine's affairs. The States welcomed him with the usual
formalities. He is now drawing up his report, and will proceed
in a few days to his master's Court. Meanwhile he will consult
with the Prince about the interests of the king and try to obtain
some definite declaration in favour of his Majesty. During
this time the queen continues to send provisions of war to the
royal camp, and ceaselessly points out to the Prince her need
of obtaining covertly some powerful assistance for her husband.
The English merchants, foreseeing the great peril to which
their goods will be exposed if the king comes to open war with
the parliament, are trying to secure their capital by frequent
remittances and very large sums in cash, which they transmit
secretly to this country.
The Prince Palatine arrived unexpectedly this morning from
England. It is not yet known what induced him to take this
sudden step, or how long he will stay in this country.
The Hague, the 27th August, 1642.
Postscript : I hear that the Prince Palatine has come to take
back the queen to England. Some say it is in order to escape
the embarrassments of imminent war and to leave his brothers
free to devote themselves to that affair without other preoccupation.
I hope to send more precise information in my next.
124. To the Ambassador in England.
To take advantage of the season and prepare to leave as soon
as possible for Vienna. To take leave of his Majesty in a suitable
manner telling him that he has terminated his ministry and that
he has instructions to proceed to Germany ; but that an ambassador
has been chosen to succeed him who will arrive at the
earliest possible moment, to maintain the cordial relations of
the past, and that meanwhile the Secretary Agostini will take
take charge and do what is necessary.
The ambassador is to present the secretary to his Majesty
and leave him furnished with the necessary instructions. More
especially he must be fully informed upon the affair of the currants
and of the importance of preventing any sort of prejudiced
or hostile bill (contrario decreto).
The ambassador will take the shortest and safest route to his
destination. His instructions are enclosed together with his
letters of credence. The secretary's treatment is to be the same
as was decided by decree of the Senate of the 24th August,
1640, when it was decided to send Giustinian to Vienna.
Acknowledge his letters of the 8th inst. Commend his reply
to the letters of the Secretary of State. The Signory's information
concerning the man arrested and punished by the magistracy
contro Biastemmia is utterly different from what the
secretary states. The Senate has supplied the ambassador
with full particulars with which he will be able to satisfy the
secretary. Enclose the usual sheet of advices.
That the noble Vicenzo Contarini, ambassador elect to England,
be summoned to the Collegio and that he be instructed
to set about making his preparations for that embassy.
Ayes, 140. Noes, 4. Neutral, 11.
|125. To the Secretary at the Hague.
We have word from England of some affair resulting in the
mutual seizure of English and Dutch ships in those waters and
in the very ports, to the prejudice and interruption of trade.
He is to watch closely the sequence of events in this matter and
to advise the Senate thereof with his usual diligence.
Ayes, 140. Noes, 4. Neutral, 11.
126. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the failure of all his Majesty's attempts to bring back
the dissident parliamentarians to the path of duty, he has decided
out of consideration for his own safety, to appeal to the sword.
He has announced by proclamation that on Monday the 1st of
next month he will proceed to the town of Nottingham, 100
miles from here, and there display the royal standard, that is
to say the sign by which English monarchs in the past have been
accustomed to summon their subjects to their defence in case of
need. He states in his declaration that certain persons, moved
by ambition to command, stirred by hate for his person and
government, have united forces and are marching against him.
To justify this unlawful step they use falsely the royal name,
and pretend to be acting for his service and that of the parliament.
Under such artful titles they have broken the public
peace and exposed the kingdom to a ruinous civil war. He
announces his determination to suppress these rebels swiftly,
before they increase their strength and following. He invokes
the help of God Almighty and that of his people also. He
invites all true Protestants, specially those who live more than
30 miles from this city, to supply him with men, money and arms
and bring them speedily to his camp. He enlarges upon the
justice of his cause, which he protests is bound up with that
of religion, the public liberty and the privileges of parliament.
His Majesty declares war on them also and the eyes of the universe
are now fixed on the result of such a momentous step.
The king has strictly forbidden all Catholics to serve in his
army for the purpose of dissipating the hateful hints which are
designedly made against him, namely that he was conspiring
with the Catholics and was cherishing secret designs in his heart
to rule his people absolutely with the help of their forces.
Parliament, for its part, continues to devote great energy to
providing for the requirements of the war and it bestows the
utmost attention in particular upon increasing the number of
its troops. It causes a report to be circulated that it will have
22,000 infantry and 4000 horse, and that within the space of
two weeks the earl of Essex will march to where the king is,
with the bulk of them, to secure the evil councillors whom his
Majesty keeps about him. This is a well worn pretext, behind
which they disclose these movements of their forces (titolo vecchio
et sotto cui si scuoprino questi movimenti d' armi).
In the villages contiguous to this city they have provided
quarters for soldiery. These with their constant licentiousness
and robberies, play havoc at the same time with the public
peace and with private security, amid a universal feeling of
resentment. With respect to the condition of his Majesty's
forces the letters from York confirm that they consist of 6000
cavalry, all of the most flourishing nobility, and 20,000 men on
foot. They will have leaders of experience and courage ; but
here many believe that the numbers of the infantry will be
greatly inferior, as they are persuaded that with the major
portion of the common people obstinate adherents of Puritanism
they will tend to back parliament's claims rather than those of
his Majesty (ma qui molti credono che il numero dell' infanteria
sara minore assai persuadendosi che la maggiore portione della
minuta gente professando ostinatamente il Puritanismo sia per
contribuire alla grandezza del parlamento piu tosto che a quella
di Sua Maesta) ; and so it is necessary to wait for experience to
supply more certain knowledge of particulars of such importance.
At the end of three days the earl of Northampton reduced the
town of Bamberi to submission to the king, and he has since
proceeded to the siege of Waruich, which is in the same province
and belongs to Baron Bruch, one of the most seditious of the
parliamentarians. But there he has met with a stout resistance
from that commander and so far all his efforts to capture it have
proved fruitless. Upon the receipt of this report they sent from
here men, guns and twenty cart loads of munitions to the relief
of that little place, and it is presumed that on the arrival of this
reinforcement Nortampton will be obliged to withdraw, leaving
that town as well as the people of the place firm in their adhesion
to this side.
Two companies of horse were sent two days ago to search the
country house of the earl of Dorset, who is with the king. There
they arrested and imprisoned the custodian, taking away all
the arms and other private stores which were found there, under
the pretext that they were destined for his Majesty's service, (fn. 2)
and at present there is no place where anything is safe from the
violence and rapine of the soldiery. Thus in the county of
Buckingham the partisans of parliament took prisoner and
brought here yesterday to the Tower the earl of Barchsier,
father of Viscount Dandovert, ambassador elect to your Serenity,
merely upon the suspicion that with secret designs he was forwarding
the interests of his Majesty (che egli con secreta intentione
favorisce gli interessi di Sua Maesta).
General the earl of Betford is drawing near to Porsmoud with
500 horse and they circulate a report that he has occupied all
the approaches to that fortress without meeting with any opposition,
and that he has since captured the bridge and a redoubt
which defended it. (fn. 3) He is now engaged in preventing the entry
of provisions by land, while the ships of the fleet keep the sea
approaches closed, and they hold out hopes that in a few days
the commander there will be compelled by necessity to deliver
the fortress into the hands of parliament. The parliamentarians
make the most of this prosperous news for the purpose of encouraging
the people about here, but better authenticated
information is awaited, as men of good judgment cannot persuade
themselves that a well trained and trusted commander like
Colonel Gorin would, at the expense of his reputation, allow the
enemy to push forward to such an extent with such scanty
forces unless perchance he has changed his mind and is once
more estranged from his Majesty, as this people is wont to do
frequently, among whom the most dependable quality is the absence
of faith (non potendosi persuadere gl' uomini sensati che il Colonel
Gorin, capo ben disciplinato et di credito, habbia a spese della
propria riputatione lasciato avanzare tant' oltre l' inimico con si
poche forze quando per avventura mutato parere non si sia di nuovo
alienato da Sua Maesta, come ben spesso far suole questa natione,
fra cui la piu sicura fede e il mancar di fede).
Before declaring war his Majesty proclaimed the earl of Essex
and all his followers rebels, with offer of a free pardon to one and
the other if within the space of six days they would lay down
their arms and come over to his side. Parliament was marvellously
stirred by this declaration and riposted with another
public decree of the most licentious and audacious description.
In this they declare the king's paper to be scandalous, the work
of unfaithful councillors. They threaten with severe penalties
those who drew it up ; protest that they will defend and sustain
Essex with the fortunes and lives of all the parliamentarians,
and subsequently make the offer that if the king is ready to disband
all the forces which he has collected, to allow the councillors
reputed guilty to be punished, to submit absolutely to the opinions
of parliament, they will take steps to elevate the greatness of
his Majesty and of his posterity to a level with that of the most
powerful princes in the world. These last offers, extensive as they
are, everyone recognises to be merely a trick devised to conceal under
vague insinuations the ambition and self interest which govern
their present action.
After prolonged disputes they have deprived the mayor of this
city of his office and condemned him to imprisonment until
further order from the parliament. They have put in his place
another individual, a Professed Puritan, an inexorable persecutor
of the royal greatness. (fn. 4) These sentiments rather than his own
true interest have persuaded him to accept the office and expose
himself to the chances which the humours of the present time may
bring forth. The change is exceedingly distasteful to the Protestant
citizens, but as the other party has the upper hand they must needs
store up their just resentment in their hearts in prudent silence
and wait for some opportunity favourable enough to make them sure
of vengeance for the injuries of which they are sensible (Molesta
assai gionge a borghesi protestanti questa novita, ma prevalendo il
partito contrario convengono con prudente silentio conservar dentro
il cuore le loro giuste acerbita, et attendere quelle occasione che valere
possono a procurarsi con sicura mosso la vendetta delle pretese
News comes that in the northern waters the fleet has engaged
some Dutch ships which were bringing munitions to the king,
and one has been sunk. It is feared that the Palatine Princes
Rupert and Maurice were on board with other cavaliers, and
better authenticated information is impatiently awaited.
It is confirmed that out of consideration for the resentment of his
Majesty, reported, the Most Christian has recalled his ambassador
here. Nevertheless that minister has not yet taken leave of the king,
but sensitive over this command and in the interests of his reputation
he has sent his gentleman to France for the purpose of obtaining
approval for his action and at the same time to delay the instructions
for his removal. To facilitate these results he has contrived to get
the parliamentarians, leaders of the Puritan party and his friends,
to give him a promise that if Don Francesco Melo advances to the
attack of the fortress of Cales, they will send the fleet to the defence
of the place and to resist any attempt made by the Spaniards. The
ambassador has sent word of this to the king, his master, in the
assurance that such an important declaration will serve to make
him realise the advantages which the interests of France will derive
from the continued sojourn of this minister in England.
The Prince Palatine has proceeded from York to Oatlands,
but the real motives from this unexpected move have not yet
transpired. It is said that he has gone away ill pleased with the
king because his Majesty did not admit him to a place of confidence
in his counsels and further because he did not select him for such
employment in the present business of war as he may perchance
have considered his due. By this time he will have arrived at
the Hague and your Excellencies will have further information
from the Secretary Zon.
Meanwhile the idea that is getting abroad that the relations between
the Prince and his Majesty are strained places the former at
an increasing disadvantage in his dealings with the Austrians.
The Catholic ambassador and the imperial resident here assert
that the emperor's decree for fresh negotiations at Genoa upon the
affairs of that house will not be carried into effect, intimating, as I
have written before, that it was issued merely as a matter of courtesy
and in order to display to the king here as well as to Germany the
sincere desire of Caesar for the well being of these sovereigns and
for the quiet of that province.
When I returned the visit of the Spanish ambassador two days
ago, he asked me when I was going to Vienna. I replied
cautiously that the upset here had delayed my departure, and
that I did not know when I could leave this Court. He lowered
his voice and said : The emperor and the king, my master, have
demonstrated their perfect good will towards the Palatine
House. On our side everything possible has been done to procure
satisfaction, but the interests of the other parties concerned and
the present state of England have prevented the good intentions
of the king, my master, from being carried into effect, and I do
not believe there will be any more negotiations upon this affair
for a long while. As I made no reply to this he began to talk to
me about the present moves of the pope against the duke of Parma.
London, the 29th August, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]