136. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The King of England having made some remonstrance at the
French ambassador there acting as Resident with the parliament
(facendo Ressidentia appresso il parlamento), his Majesty has
issued orders for him to return immediately.
Paris, the 16th September, 1642.
137. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
The audience given by the deputies of the government here to
the commissioner of the parliament from London in the chamber
which they call the drawing room (di ritirata), was very
tumultuous and led to no definite answer. To his remonstrances,
which mainly consisted of complaints against the behaviour of
the Prince, the deputies merely answered, as if for themselves,
that these Provinces cannot reasonably refuse his Majesty either
officers or provisions of war, seeing that they have always been
in a close alliance with the King of England, in which no mention
whatever was made of parliament. Until the king was declared
deposed or incapable of wielding the sceptre, they must recognise
him as an ally, and finally that they would make a full report
upon all his proposals to the General Assembly.
This answer of the deputies which on the surface seems entirely
favourable to the king's designs, is considered by the wisest as
most hurtful to his Majesty's interests. They consider that in
pointing out to the parliament, under a show of zeal, the necessity
that attaches these Provinces to the royal side, to the exclusion
of parliament, they simultaneously stir up the people against the
king and teach them to get rid of him, in order to claim on more
solid grounds the introduction of a new alliance with the government
here, perpetually excluding the royal family from its
pristine influence and from the prerogatives formerly enjoyed
so long in peace, whereby they held that kingdom entirely
subject and at peace.
The Hollanders, who always want a hand in the most important
affairs of state, and seeing themselves excluded from participating
in the instances of this commissioner, have demanded from the
government a copy of his proposals. The States flatly refused
this, making them exceedingly angry. In revenge, they very
promptly granted to the commissioner, what had previously
been refused by the General Assembly, the arrest of three Dutch
ships in the port of Brill, with the baggage of Princes Maurice
and Rupert, together with some military provisions intended
for England, for the royal camp, under the passport of the Prince
of Orange, whom the Hollanders like to thwart, as a maxim of
state, from some spark of jealousy at his increasing authority
they try to support the parliament, and so their reluctance to
gratify the House of Orange becomes the more apparent. (fn. 1)
These happenings might give rise to serious quarrels between
the Hollanders and the States General, since the latter are mostly
disposed to gratify the Prince. As he is prudent and perceives
that such a flame might lead to great destruction in this country,
it is thought that he will come to the Hague when he has settled
his army in quarters, in order to assuage difficulties by his presence,
and bring about harmony by mildness, so that the deliberations
of the States may be announced as unanimous, and
be accompanied by a definite declaration in favour of the royal
Amid these circumstances the queen does not know to which
side to turn, and continues to talk of going soon to York to join
her husband. She proposes to make the journey privately
quite alone, in order to confer with him and then to return to this
country if she does not find some favourable prospect of remaining
in that kingdom in honourable safety. Nevertheless, she
still hopes for some favourable issue from the instances of the
Bishop of Angoulême, her Grand Almoner. He has been toiling
in France for three months with the Cardinal to have her received
as well as for some vigorous assistance for her house, and there is
every appearance that he will continue to stay until the return
to Court of a person who is expected shortly with an account of
what he has done. Meanwhile the Prince earnestly prays her
not to move from the Hague, and the States do the same, although
The queen has been very sorry to hear the news, not thoroughly
authenticated, that the parliament has sent a commissioner to
the king in France with specious offers of an alliance with that
crown, offering to place at the king's disposition some seaport
which they hold, as a pledge for the maintenance of their agreement
with his Majesty.
Sir [Thomas] Ro, the ambassador who came recently from the
Imperial Court, left here with a present of a gold chain from these
States worth 3000 florins. He went straight to London. At the
queen's instigation he made some effort to prevent the States
giving a reply to the parliament commissioner, but he did it so
frigidly (con tanla fredezza) as to show his strong leaning to
the party opposed to his sovereign. The king's minister here
has betrayed the same disposition and every day he shows
culpable lukewarmness in his master's affairs. Even in the
queen's Court the majority of her confidants, who greet her with
apparent gladness, do not like to hear of successes for the king,
and they nearly all want the parliament to win, although they
profess to feel deeply the misfortunes of his Majesty.
The Hague, the 17th September, 1642.
138. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty is still engaged in augmenting his forces with the
utmost energy. They are still weak, according to the reports
sent from Notingam ; but the prepotency of the Puritans, who
in every imaginable way acclaim obstinately the interests of
parliament (che con tutte le prove acclamano ostinamente agli
interessi del parlamento), and the fear into which the supporters
of the king have been thrown by the violence used by the parliamentary
forces against the county of Kent and elsewhere,
render those who are well disposed more cautious about declaring
themselves ready to assist his cause, just as it is, and damp down
the hopes which the generous offers of many counties and the
applause with which he was received in every place, had filled
his mind and the minds of all those who with true zeal long to
see him restored to the position which is due to the greatness of
From this experience the king observes increasingly the
contumacy of his rebellious subjects and what an undertaking
it will be to subdue their pride by force (da questo esperimento
sempre piu rimarca egli la contumacia de sudditi disubedienti et
quale mole sia il domare con la forza l' orgoglio loro). On this
account also, while preparing for war he devotes the most earnest
attention to arranging these differences, if it be possible, by
means of negotiation. With this object he sent to this city on
Sunday the Secretary of State Facland, attended by other loyal
parliamentarians. He brought further letters from the king to
parliament, and instructions to suggest a further consideration
of the reply given last week to the proposals reported. The
advantageousness of these to the parliament and their complete
contradiction of his Majesty's recent threats only serve to make
the more conspicuous the present weakness of his forces (queste
quanto sono avrantagiose al Parlamento et repugnante alle passate
minaccie di Sua Maesta tanto maggiormente fa spiccare di presente
la languidezza delle forze sue). He protests in this city that he
has never pretended to charge the two Houses of Parliament
with rebellion, to unfurl the royal standard to their hurt or to
put this kingdom outside his protection either. For the purpose
of smoothing away all the difficulties which might delay the
conferences for an agreement, he offers to revoke the proclamations
against the rebellious parliamentarians, and to withdraw
the royal standard on condition that on the same day parliament
withdraws all the public declarations against those who have
assisted him. He promises, through the medium of this treaty,
to concede all the demands which shall be accounted advantageous
to the interests of his subjects. He urges parliament to
reflect upon the wretched condition of the kingdom of Ireland
and the perils of England, and finally he assures them that he
has nothing more earnestly at heart than to join with it in a
perfect reciprocal understanding.
Convinced by this effusiveness that necessity alone induces
the king to make such disadvantageous offers, the parliamentarians
received the deputies with the same grave and severe
manner adopted with the first, and they obliged Facland, although
a member of parliament, to show his commissions at
the bar. Subsequently they gave their answer in the form of a
resolution. It is at once unfavourable and audacious, to wit :
that parliament will never lay down the arms which it has taken
up for its own defence, and that of religion, the laws and the
public liberties, unless his Majesty will first consent to give up
and submit to judicial trial all those who by resolution of parliament
are and shall be declared guilty, so that in future times
others make take heed of the example and avoid making similar
attempts, and in order that the fortunes of the delinquents
may provide the means for indemnifying those good citizens who
by lending money and by their personal advice and efforts have
succoured and stood beside the commonwealth on an occasion
of so much consequence. (fn. 2)
Astounded at the audacity of this declaration Facland and
the other deputies went back again to the king without delay
filled with just apprehension that parliament, puffed up with
hopes and brimful of ambitious designs, is not disposed to second
with sincerity the king's wishes for an adjustment but that their
intentions are solely and obstinately directed to compel his
Majesty with shame and hurt to receive at their hands such
terms as they may see fit to impose upon him.
The captains and other country gentlemen who with shows
of loyalty are at present about the king's person have conceived
a suspicion from the despatch of these commissioners,
that he has lost heart and has secretly made up his mind to come
to terms, no matter at what price, without consideration for
their interests. For this reason their first enthusiasm for his
Majesty's service has cooled and many, under the influence
of this suspicion, were considering how they should provide for
their own safety, by a change in their original plans. But
his Majesty being warned of this move and fearful of being
abandoned, has assured them by public protestations that these
efforts of his for peace have no other object than to make increasingly
manifest the justice of his cause and to avoid, if possible,
shedding the blood of his subjects. That if his proposals are not
accepted he will take the field with a joyful spirit, not sparing
himself fatigue and exposing himself to every peril, he will
discharge the office of captain as well as the duty of a private
soldier also, all for the purpose of recovering his rightful prerogatives
to secure liberty, for the country and the use of the
Protestant religion for the people (per l' espeditione di questi
commissarii li capitani et altri gentiluomini di paese che con
testimonio di fede assistono di presente alia persona del Re, hanno
preso gelosia che perduto egli cuore porti seer eta risolutione di
accomodarsi a qualsisia prezzo senza riguardo alle loro interesse.
Per cio raffredato il primo ardore verso il servitio di Sua Maesta
molti solecitati da questo sospetto si disponevano provedere alla
propria salute con consigli differenti dai primi. Ma avertito il
Re del motivo et temendo d' essere abandonato ha loro assicurato
con pubbliche protestationi che queste diligenze per la pace non
hanno altro fine che rendere sempre phi manifesta la ragione del
canto suo, ischiavare, se puo, l' effusione del sangue dei sudditi ;
che quando non siano acceptate le proposte sue, con allegro animo
si mettera alla campagna, non risparmiera fatica et esponendosi
a tutti i pericoli esercitera l' offitio di Capitano non meno che di
privato soldato ancora tutto in ordine di redimere a se stesso le giuse
prerogative, assicurare alla patria la liberta et a sudditi l' uso della
religione protestante). Yet it still remains doubtful what course
he may decide to take amid the contingencies of so deplorable
a condition which threaten the royal house and its supporters
with ruin and at the same time unheard of changes in the government
of the whole kingdom, and the universal curiosity is sick with the
expectation of what will happen.
In the city of Oxford the majority of the inhabitants and all
of the scholars have taken up arms in his Majesty's cause. They
have further supplied him with money and to secure themselves
against attack from the parliament they are trying to set up
earthworks as some defence for the city, which is not capable of
resisting artillery or of standing a long siege.
Betford the general of the cavalry has raised the siege of
Sorborn castle in Dorset with the loss of some men and has
afforded an opportunity for the Marquis of Erfort to join the
forces with him to those of his Majesty. But these incidents
are not sufficient to give a preponderance to either party. Fresh
troops join the parliamentary army every day, and attracted
by the ready pay they gladly hasten to enrol themselves under
its banner. Many companies of horse and foot have started this
week on their march towards the county of Warwick, which is
conterminous with those of Notingam and Lester, where the
king has planted his quarters.
General the earl of Essex is also urged to move but he contrives
to delay starting under trumped up pretexts. He is anxious
to induce parliament to declare him Grand Constable of England
first, and to grant him despotic powers for conducting the war
as well as to negotiate and conclude the adjustment with the king,
in the way that may seem best to him. The parliamentarians
have not as yet consented to make him this grant owing to the important
consequences involved. Accordingly the earl does not
profess himself completely satisfied, and this disappointment may
possibly have a serious effect upon his ambitious heart and lead to
the dissemination of a spirit of discord among this party.
In the search of all the houses of the Catholics and Protestants
suspected of favouring the king they have collected money and
plate to a considerable amount. This, added to the funds provided
by the Puritan merchants here, supplies parliament with
ample means of meeting all its expenses.
To bridle the people of Oxford they have sent thither Baron
Se, in the capacity of lieutenant of that county, with 4000 men,
it being presumed that at the arrival of these squadrons the
scholars and other friends of the royal cause will have to humble
In consequence of the overtures made by the Scots for the
union of the two Churches of England and Scotland, it was
proposed on Monday in the Lower House to do away altogether
with the bishops and every other ecclesiastical dignity, and to
leave the care of the church of England to the sole direction of
the preachers, in accordance with the doctrine of Calvin, and the
practice of Holland and of the Huguenots in France. There
was a prolonged discussion, and much feeling was aroused, as
the Protestants refused to accept the proposal, and others,
although Calvinists, did not think the moment propitious for
giving them such serious ground of offence, before the stability
of parliament is thoroughly established. But no representations,
however prudent and vigorous availed to moderate the ardour
of the authors of this proposition, and it was finally carried by
a majority that in future there shall be no bishops or other
prelates in this kingdom.
The Upper House, recognising the peril and loss that this
decision might entail, has also withheld its consent. Out of
this internal dissensions have arisen with indications that they
may spread. This would tend to remedy the present infirmities
of the royal house in the most salutary way possible. To establish
the justice of his procedure and to make more known the passion
and interest which guide that of parliament, his Majesty has published,
another manifesto. In this he demonstrates the designs
of the seditious, their conspiracies against the state, religion,
his own person and posterity, and intimates that he has treated
with foreign princes for assistance in case of need. This paper
is very long and remarkable. It shows the aims of the rebels
as well as other important secrets, and I am having it translated
to send to your Excellencies.
London, the 18th September, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
139. To the Secretary Agostini in London.
Order to proceed to the Hague to act as Resident there as
soon as the Ambassador Contarini arrives, after taking leave in
the usual way, as permission has been granted to Giovanni Zon
to return home, after a service of three years at the Hague.
Ayes, 126. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
140. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The commissions and powers which he is to have being finally
settled, General the earl of Essex has unexpectedly made up his
mind to set out. I understand that this will take place to-day
but owing to the lack of time I have not been able as yet to
discover the exact particulars of the authority and instructions
which he bears, but your Excellencies shall be punctually informed
by the next courier.
News has just arrived that Colonel Gorin, governor of Porsmoud,
having lost heart about holding the fortress any longer,
has handed it over to the parliamentary commanders, on condition
that he shall be allowed to go free to France. (fn. 3) More
certain confirmation of this event is awaited, and with the other
things it means further injury to his Majesty's cause.
The French ambassador has returned from Court greatly
fatigued and extremely disgusted. The king would not give
him any opening to interpose for an accommodation, and recognising
the uselessness of further efforts to restore himself in his
Majesty's favour, he presented his letters of recall and took leave.
The king treated him with much dignity. He charged him to
tell the Most Christian and Cardinal Richelieu of his calamitous
situation. He spoke so piteously as to draw tears from the eyes
of those who heard him.
Now it is certain that this minister, so acceptable to parliament,
is to return to France, the Lower House has confirmed
by resolution the decision to oblige the Capuchins to go. But
the Upper House did not approve of this step and at the instance
of the ambassador has given them leave to remain until the queen
comes back to live here.
To give force to the ordinance of parliament reported touching
the prohibition to import currants, the directors of the Levant
Company have on their own account prohibited any merchants
from bringing them under pain of losing the liberty of trading
and the prerogatives which they enjoy as interested in that Company.
They have taken this action in order to secure obedience
to the ordinance, which, in virtue of the laws, cannot take effect
unless it is approved by his Majesty. The person who gave me
this information is interested in the business and he resents
the prohibition accordingly. He tells me further that Obson
and the other correspondents of the merchants over there report
that your Excellencies were inclined to abolish the small duty,
but that my letters with the information that the king had not
ratified the bill prevented you from acting upon this intention,
and they advise the directors to press for it to be put in force
holding out certain hopes to them that this pressure will persuade
your Excellencies to concede to terms they desire.
I have received the state's commands of the 2nd ult. to take
leave of the king and proceed to the Imperial Court. I will do
so when I am able, but I can only go to the king with a passport
or trumpet of the parliament, as the French ambassador did.
I have spoken to Sir Balthasar Gerbier about taking leave. He
assured me that he hoped his Majesty, persuaded by the desire
for his personal quiet, will soon give way and give parliament
every satisfaction and will come back to live here within a
fortnight. He advised me to wait that length of time and to
take leave in this city, with greater honour, and with less expense
and danger. He asked me if I had letters of recall for his Majesty
as their absence would look like a slight, especially at this time.
I reassured him on this point and said that the Most Illustrious
Contarini would be sent as soon as possible to keep up the connection.
I will use the letters sent to me by your Excellencies
of the 23rd August.
London, the 19th September, 1642.
141. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
An Agent of the parliament of England is expected here. It
is believed that he will be received, though not in the capacity
of Agent, but ostensibly or even actually to treat with him in
particular about arranging some adjustment between the king
and the parliament. They have written from here to his
Majesty's ambassador in England that if he finds any opening
for such an adjustment he is to stay, otherwise he is to come home.
Paris, the 23rd September, 1642.
142. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
English affairs afford abundant material for discussion to
the wise. The parliament commissioner has not made any further
proposals beyond his remonstrances about granting arms to
the king, and the government has not yet given him any reply.
They have only discussed what they shall say to satisfy the
parliament without hurting the king. We hear already that it
will be merely complimentary and to gain time and please the
Prince of Orange the Signory have implied that the person is
not of sufficient rank to conduct matter of such importance.
On the other hand, the Hollanders, wishing to justify their
concession about the seizure of the two ships for York, have
stated positively that their Province has decided, for the good
of the state, to maintain neutrality and that they do not wish to
irritate parliament by permitting the export of munitions to his
Majesty. Even if it has been done in the past that is no reason
for continuing, and it is better to get rid of the abuse. Accordingly
they have issued orders for the prompt unlading of the
arms and their restitution to those concerned, without the payment
of duty, as is usual in such cases. The General Assembly
wished to protest against this insistence of the Hollanders,
but seeing disputes multiply and grow warm, they had at
length to give way and fall in with the views of the Hollanders.
They also oppose the extraordinary embassy, suspended recently
at the queen's request. They say roundly that as the mission
has been forbidden for the present merely to please her Majesty,
they would now like the question discussed whether it is advisable
to send it or if it would not be wiser to wait for some better
Still further to show their aversion to the king's cause, they
have thwarted the passage of 200 English soldiers, who were
leaving here with the tacit permission of the Prince of Orange
and had embarked on this coast for the royal camp, with letters
of one Germen, first esquire of the queen. His action has been
represented to the government in a very prejudicial manner
and the Hollanders insist on his punishment, without any consideration
for her Majesty, exaggerating, with scant respect, the
operations of her ministers, and protesting against them at every
opportunity. But the States, to avoid punishing so vigorously,
pass the matter over and have resolved to let it go, in order to
allow the soldiers to cross clandestinely towards York in small
boats, secretly taking the provisions of war which were seized,
in order to supply the very urgent needs there.
Meanwhile the Prince is deeply disgusted at the behaviour of
the Hollanders in their partiality to the parliament and lack of
respect for him. As he recognises the difficulty of overcoming
these obstacles and obtaining a declaration in favour of the queen,
it is thought that he will change his plans and remain in the field
as long as possible, in order to avoid exposing himself to the
ignominy of a repulse, and incur more trouble without advantage.
As the Dutch fleet is occupied before Dunkirk in preventing
the enemy's ships from coming out, and as the Signory wish to
satisfy the queen with the convoy of ten ships she has asked for,
to be prepared on purpose, three deputies of the Assembly General
waited on her Majesty the day before yesterday to find out
precisely when she proposed to depart, so that they might be
ready to her order. Her Majesty replied that she would leave
in three weeks if the ships were ready. They informed her that
they would be ready for the day of her departure, without fail.
Some of the Hollanders, to make a display of their lack of respect
for her Majesty, said that ten ships were too many for her and
that she ought to rest content with two without causing the
country more expense. Such remarks and difficulties thwart
the queen's hopes and spoil her plans, give rise to bitterness and
even go to discredit the opinion of the influence hitherto enjoyed
by the Prince of Orange. The Princess Mary, in speaking recently
with the Princess of Orange, her mother in law, of the interests
of her House, and complaining to her of the suspicion shown by
frequently sending spies to her apartments, gave way to a
passion of anger against her, clearly expressing her contempt,
hatred and dissatisfaction, affording an unhappy augury for
the marriage of the prince's son (che presagiscono infausti fini
ol matrimonio del proprio figliuolo).
The Hague, the 24th September, 1642.
143. It being necessary to provide means for Vicenzo Contarini,
ambassador elect to England, to equip himself according
to his election on the 20th July, 1640, that the Camerlenghi
di Comun of money and of the Signoria supply him with 1,200
gold ducats for his salary, for three months in advance, at 300
ducats the month ;
for horse trappings, coverings and chests, 300 ducats of lire 6,
soldi 4 [and 1000 ducats in gold, according to the decision of the
21st July, 1561] for all expenses, except couriers and the carriage
of letters, 160 crowns of lire 7 for four months, in accordance
with the decision of the 28th July, 1619 ;
for the secretary, as a gift, for his outfit, 100 ducats ; for two
couriers who accompany him, 20 ducats each ;
for the salary and expenses of the chaplain and interpreter, for
four months, for the chaplain at the rate of 186 ducats a year,
and for the interpreter at the rate of 100 ducats ;
a further assignment of 100 ducats a year for the chaplain,
in accordance with the decision of the 18th October, 1623 ;
300 ducats for couriers and the carriage of letters, for which
he shall render account.
Ayes, 152. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
1642, on the 26th September in the Pregadi.
Another ballot was taken because the paragraph between
brackets was omitted by error.
Ayes, 118. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
144. To the Ambassador in England.
Your prudent conduct is fully approved, as you have always
kept yourself free from the passions and the innovations of the
parliament, with a due regard for the dignity of the house and
for the position you hold. The Secretary Agostini should be
equally careful during his sojourn so to conduct himself as not
to afford the slightest occasion or pretext for trouble. You
are to take with you the documents which have passed under
your embassy and any others there may be, in order to avoid any
unpleasant happenings, as we observe that searches are made
even in the houses of the foreign ministers. For the rest, as
you have removed the first and greatest hindrance to the free
course of currants in that kingdom, so we feel sure that you will
meet and deal with any fresh attempts made by the members
of the Levant Company for setting a limit to the prohibition,
in order to make it easier to do what is fitting for the service of
The usual sheet of advices is enclosed.
Ayes, 118. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
145. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The departure of General the earl of Essex took place on
Friday in the present week. He was accompanied by the trained
bands a short distance out of London and by a numerous concourse
of people which amid the emergencies of the present
time gathers together and applauds with enthusiastic interest
everything likely to render the greatness of parliament at once
conspicuous and durable (il quale fra l' emergenze di questo tempo
accorre et applaude con appassionato, curiosita a tutto quello che
render puo non meno conspicua che sussistente la grandezza del
By two days of forced marching the earl advanced to Nortampton,
50 miles from here ; without pushing on any further
he stayed his progress there and appointed that town as the
rendezvous of the Parliamentary forces. All the new troops
are being marched with all speed to join him. Sixty pieces of
field artillery have been started on the road and they are despatching
in that direction every other kind of military stores
with great activity and in large quantities. According to general
assertion the army now comprises 15,000 effective infantry,
3,500 horse and 1,200 dragoons. I have been told by a person
of intelligence who has seen a portion of these troops that the
men are of good appearance and well clad (bene coperta) and the
cavalry is admirably mounted, but they are utterly lacking in
discipline and without leaders experienced in the management of
war. Thus everything remains enveloped in disorder and confusion,
and it seems very evident that these forces will not give
proofs of great spirit. Indeed many captains of companies let
it be freely understood that they will not engage in battle against
the king, their lawful sovereign. Essex has not succeeded in
persuading parliament to honour him with the rank of Constable
of England, as he ambitiously desired. Neither has he induced
them to give him absolute powers to introduce and conclude articles
of accommodation with the king. For this reason he does not
cherish at heart that perfect satisfaction which is perhaps what is
most desirable to inspire him to uphold this party strenuously,
although outwardly he expresses sentiments of sincere enthusiasm
for their cause. He bears instructions to draw near to his Majesty
with the whole army under the plausible pretext of presenting
a humble petition of parliament, in which the king is requested
to return to his residence here without delay, to embrace their
salutary counsels and to promise that the councillors and other
alleged offenders who have assisted him on this occasion shall
be handed over for trial and subsequently judged according to
the laws of the crown.
Nevertheless, many are of opinion that although they cause the
report of their having given such specious instructions to the
general, he does not intend to advance to carry them out, or to
expose his raw troops, numerous though they are, to the hazards
of battle, but that the aims of the general and of his partisans
are all directed to keep at a short distance from this city, to keep
the people steadfast in devotion to themselves through the stimulus of
these forces and of fear, to enjoy to the utmost their present authority,
and to leave it to time to consume his Majesty's money and patience
and then compel him to yield to all the demands of parliament.
Such is the opinion of those with most experience, and the
result will show if they have judged rightly. His Majesty for his
part, leaving his station at Notingam proceeded on Monday
to the district of d' Arbi, (fn. 4) both to visit the country round and
to hold a muster of some of his troops which are quartered there.
They send word from the Court that when he has fulfilled these
duties, he will proceed to the city of Chester, which is situated
on the frontier of the province of Wales, lies on the sea, and is
the easiest place of embarcation for crossing to Ireland, all of
them conditions which afford matter for discussion and observation.
It does not yet appear absolutely certain whether this
unexpected move of his Majesty is intended to afford a stimulus
and opportunity to the Welsh to hesitate no longer about joining
his forces with numerous companies, or if he intends to take up
his abode in that district because of the advantageous position
and the abundance of the country, which is entirely devoted to
his service, and avoid the first attacks of Essex, also waiting for
time to perform to his advantage those offices which the rebels
are trying to turn to their own profit.
Before leaving Notingam the king took away the arms of many
of the inhabitants of that county and of the town of Lester as
well, who are strenuous professors of Calvinism, and whom he
suspected of being likely to support the interests of the other side,
owing to their unchangeable bias.
All letters agree that the royal army is composed of 3000
cavalry, for the most part of the nobility, all well equipped and
admirably armed, with 1000 dragoons. Of the infantry no one
speaks with sufficient certainty to allow a positive estimate of
their numbers. Some write that they do not amount to more
than 6000 to 7000 men, while others give larger numbers, and
consequently more substantial information about this important
fact is most eagerly desired.
Meanwhile Baron Strange has set out from the county of
Lancaster with a following of 3000 men on foot and 300 horse,
intended to increase the strength of his Majesty's army. News
comes that on the way he surprised the town of Mancester, and
chastised the disobedience of the people there by forcing them
to pay him 2000l. sterling down for the support of his troops ;
that he has made it quite safe under royalist control, and leaving
300 men to guard it, pursues his way with all speed to unite with
the rest of his Majesty's forces. This event is very bitterly
felt by the citizens here, and particularly the innovation, which
has never before been practised in England, of compelling a
rebellious district to pay contributions. They cast the blame of
such an injurious innovation upon Prince Rupert, In their
rancorous excitement the parliamentarians freely threaten that
in the future they will never permit this crown to employ its forces
against the Austrians for the restitution of that House, but that it
will be abandoned to the misery of its present necessities.
These last days a short distance from Sorborne castle a fresh
encounter has taken place between the squadrons of the Marquis
of Arford and those of the earl of Betford, general of the cavalry.
The latter, overwhelmed by blows and by shame were obliged
to yield to the valour of the royalists and to withdraw in great
disorder to a place of safety. (fn. 5) Nevertheless, the general, excessively
mortified at this result and anxious to make good the
injury and at the same time repair his own reputation, is labouring
to get together other forces for the purpose of attacking that
castle with more system and with greater power. Jnside is the
Marquis, who under the burden of his years carries a vigorous
heart filled with a generous determination to promote the most
righteous cause of the royal house here, in default of which he is
the heir presumptive of the crown of England.
Since the despatch of Baron Se to the city of Oxford with
instructions to reduce the inhabitants and the scholars of the
University there to obedience to parliament they have sent in
that direction four pieces of artillery and other warlike stores.
Dumbfoundered by this news and their hopes of preparing a vigorous
resistance to the assaults of the parliamentary forces destroyed,
the royalists have abandoned the defence of the city,
with a cowardly flight, showing that the practise of the pen,
whereby in the past they have upheld the king's rights, is incompatible
with that of the sword in their case.
Another ship sent by the queen from Holland has arrived in
the waters of Newcastle. It has brought the king a thousand
sets of horse armour, 3500 muskets and other munitions. His
Majesty has given order that it shall all be conveyed to Notingam
without delay. A quantity of arms has reached the parliament
from Holland, and so the Dutch help both parties, and have the
double advantage of enriching themselves and impoverishing
this nation, increasing their own reputation with this people
amid their civil disputes.
Amid so many activities which are all concerned with the
conduct of war his Majesty does not cease to display more and
more clearly his laudable desire for peace. Two days ago, by
one of his gentlemen, he sent another letter to parliament in
which he holds out fresh inducements to persuade them to enter
into conversations for an agreement. (fn. 6) But when this had been
read they returned the same answer that was given to the others,
that parliament cannot recede from the propositions reported,
because his Majesty has not yet taken down his standard or
withdrawn his proclamations against the parliamentarians ;
and when this has been done and he has disbanded his forces,
returned to his residence here and accepted the faithful counsels
of parliament, he will meet with such proofs of loyalty from the
parliamentarians as will make him recognise that the safety,
honour and greatness of his Majesty consist solely in the love
of his people and the prudent opinions of that Senate.
From the harshness of this declaration every one takes notice
that the malcontents do not cherish in their hearts any idea of
peace, but all their energies conspire together to push forward
boldly until they have completed the course of their original vast
designs, and in the continuation of the. troubles to increase their own
comfort and their private fortunes as well as to preserve for a long
while the high degree of their present authority, under which the
royal house is groaning, while men of moderate views, justice and
the ancient felicity of this crown all suffer oppression equally.
After long discussions and many disputes about the resolution
of the Lower House to remove the order of bishops from the
Anglican Church during this week also, the determined opinion
of the Calvinists has at last prevailed over that of the Protestants.
Thus the resolution has been passed, even by the Lords, to the
total ruin of the Protestant Church and a corresponding resentment
among all its adherents. As these have not yet learned
the new politics practised by the party of sedition, to rule consciences
by the sole measure of interest and ambition, they make every place
resound with their lamentations, in vain.
They have sent an account of this much to the government in
Scotland by a gentleman, as a testimony of esteem and to afford
an ever more striking testimony of the steadfast intention of
the parliament here to second the principles and the plans of
that nation. They leave nothing undone in their efforts to keep
the Scots firm on their side and to prevent them from embracing
the cause of the king, as many of the nobles and others in Scotland
betray an inclination to do.
London, the 26th September, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|146. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The directors of the Levant Company, who are on the point of
sending some ships to Constantinople to take cloth and other
merchandise, are beginning, so I understand, to find out in
practice the very great injury which the order prohibiting the
importation of currants into this kingdom will inflict upon the
merchants, and they do not know with what cargo they can
lade the ships on the return journey, whereas, after they had
taken their cloth to that mart they used to proceed to Zante and
load up with currants. On this account they are postponing
sending the ships on that voyage with the object of finding some
expedient so that they may not return empty to England. I
have taken this opportunity to make fresh representations
through a third party, showing that this measure is incompatible
with the progress of the Levant trade.
The ambassador of the Most Christian here, having discharged
himself of all the functions of the Court, set out two days ago
for the coast, and he will proceed to France on a ship granted
him by parliament.
Seeing that the king's return to this capital may be delayed I
have asked him to appoint a time and place for my last offices. I
hope that this may be next week. It will prove very costly as I
must travel 150 leagues from here with a numerous suite as well as
the Master of the Ceremonies and others who must accompany me.
London, the 26th September, 1642.
147. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen of England, having before her eyes the miserable
condition of the king, her husband, and the utter subversion of
that kingdom, and foreseeing that her stay in Holland is bound
to prove distasteful to the States owing to the natural leaning
they have in favour of parliament, and prejudicial to the Prince
of Orange because of the obligation to support the royal party,
on the score of relationship, has had representations made to
the Cardinal by means of an agent of hers and of the bishop of
Angoulême showing the hard straits in which she finds herself,
and expressive of so much submission and piety as to wring the
Cardinal's heart and draw tears from his eyes. Accordingly
he has himself written a letter to the king strongly urging him
to give permission to the queen, his sister, to come and take
refuge in this country. It is said that the king has given his
consent to this. Accordingly it rests with the queen herself to
decide whether she will come and whether she will choose Monceo
for her residence or the Luxemburg here in Paris.
The agent of the parliament has not yet arrived here and they
are waiting with curiosity to learn what the one in Holland has
negotiated with the States.
In Flanders it seems that there are signs of incipient mutiny
among the troops of the army there for lack of money, to supply
which the ships were sent from England to Don Melzo which
were seized by the Dutch.
Paris, the 30th September, 1642.