Venice
April 1645

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1926

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178-184

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'Venice: April 1645', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 27: 1643-1647 (1926), pp. 178-184. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89605 Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


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April 1645

April 12.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.
205. The Resident of England came into the Collegio after he had sent to say in what capacity he came, showing his patents and a copy of the letter he brought, and asked how he would be received, the Collegio replying that he would be like the other residents. He spoke as follows :
The business on which my king sends me requires me to come here without regard for punctilio, although the manner in which I am sent calls for some greater honour. His Majesty, knowing what is due to your Serenity has graciously sent me to inform you that the troubles of that kingdom oblige him to continue the war to assuage humours and make himself recognised as sovereign king, just and good towards his subjects, to uphold his royal dignity and his great party. He remembers that in a letter written by your Serenity, I think on the 13th June, 1643, you seemed sorry for his troubles and expressed reasonable approval of the great causes which moved him to procure obedience and exhibit his power. (fn. 1) For this reason he replied gratefully with special appreciation of the friendly expressions of the republic. This letter with many others was intercepted by the rebels, so that I, who was here, could not carry out his Majesty's commands, nor could your Serenity hear his obligations and desires. Since my journey to England it is easy to make good this chance omission. With the disturbances worse than ever his Majesty has decided to send me to your Serenity with the letters which I present, so that I may afterwards speak upon my instructions.
The doge replied, We have always deeply regretted the accidents which perturb his Majesty and desired that he might find relief, as a good and just prince whom we hope that God may assist. We wish him all good fortune and prosperity. The Signory have heard the letters, but our own expenditure, the past and present disturbances, that everyone sees, do not allow us to go beyond good wishes. With this the Resident, saying that he would await the answer to the letters, made his bow and went out.
[Italian.]
Filza. 206. Carolus D.G. Magnae Britanniae, etc. Rex, F.D. Serenissimo Principi D. Francisco Erizzo, Venetiarum Duci etc.
Serenissime Princeps etc. Declarationis illius benigne inclyti Senatus vestri intuitu quam elapso jam anno hue transmisit egregius vir fidelis dilectus noster harum exhibitor Dns. Gilbertus Talbot, eques auratus et Camerae nostrae privatae generosus (donee pacatiori harum rerum statu aliquem eminentioris conditionis eo designare valeamus) ut ablegatum nostrum ad V. Serenitatem ser. que rempublicam amandamus qui decenter exprimat quam grata nobis fuerit memorata declaratio, sensum vestrum indignitatum quas pertulimus, et promptitudinem ad vos verae amicitiae actus proferendum, qui nobis auxilio esse possint, luculenter attestans. Nostra tunc temporis conditio (quamvis praesenti expeditior) satis quadrare cum illa tempestiva oblata ope videbatur. Eamque gratissime acceptando, mandata eo ducentia, illico transmitti Talboto curavimus, saltem ut condignam tantae benevolentiae aestimationem merito profiteremur. Quae tamen cum reliquis hujus infandae perduellionis effectibus statim intercepta didicimus. Adeo non levissimus est dolor quod intercursus liber necessariusque tam litterarum quam alias a perduellibus obstruatur, ut excusare ejusmodi jacturas saepius coacti fuerimus, ne quod illorum debetur sceleri, incuriae nostrorum temere imputetur. Verum ex eodem ablegato nostro fusius tam ista quam alia sibi commissa vestra Serenitas faventer audiet ; simul et quam miraculo proxime Dei summa Majestas aestate elapsa, personam nostram regiam tutata fuerit, et in occidiis Regni hujus nostri partibus exercitui nostro benedixerit victoria rebusque variis locis contra perduelles feliciter gestis ; diversa sed ad septentrionem fortuna ubi irrumpentibus Scotis et sic amborum Regnorum perduellibus conjunctis, copiae nostrae profligatae, castella, urbesque captae. Qua rerum vicissitudine perspecta et (prout civilibus bellis assolet) tam prosperis, quam adversis, bonos ubique subditos atteri atque ad extrema reduci cernentes studuimus usque (vero Patris Patriae affectu) etiam multum inclinando, media universa disquirere ad amicabilem tot cladium compositionem serio statuentes nullis non honoratis et possibilibus modis ad tam beatum finem conducentibus provocare. Quum tamen ejusmodi sint propositiones nuper huc Londino advectae, aliaeque concurrentes circumstantiae ut praevidere optatum nequaquam possimus exitum, quem pro confirmanda Regnorum nostrorum tranquillitate optaverimus cuique procurandae nihil omnino ex parte nostra desiderari potuit ad continuandos cogimur (sed quam illibenter conscientiam testem advocamus) necessarios belli apparatus. Et ea propter ad veterum amicorum et confoederatorum operam accurrere. Prae reliquis vero (gratissimo animo revolventes eximii amoris vestri indicia) Vestrae Serenitatis fiduciam plenariam implorare eidem ablegato nostro in ea quam ex mandato nostro speciali exhibiturus est Propositione pro mutua argenti summa nobis quamprimum commodanda ; in qua postmodum exsolvenda, ac interim securanda amplissimas ipsi dedimus instructiones. Praeterea Vestram Serenitatem certam esse cupimus si nobis hac in re gratificata fuerit ; non solum hanc nos juste rependere velle gratiam, quae singulariter nos tam facti merito quam temporis ratione obligatura est ; verum ultra antecessorum nostrorum quorumvis exempla adniti ad omnes generis optima officia praestandum, quae Vestrae Serenitati ser. que reipublicae accepta conducibilia esse possint. Ceterum V. Ser. et ser. Repub. salutaria quaevis a D.O.M. animitus precamur.
Datae Oxonii quinto die Januarii MDXLIV stilo loci.
(Signed) Vestrae Serenitatis bonus Amicus Carolus R.
Per mandatum Regis, Edw. Nicholas.
Memorial.
207. Asks how he shall be treated, as considers that what has been ordained by the Collegio is prejudicial to the honour of his king and inferior to the rank granted to him. So pleased to be received by his Serenity that would be content personally with any kind of treatment, but where his king's honour is concerned hopes the doge will not do him wrong. Considers he can reasonably claim more than the resident of any small prince of Italy. There are examples everywhere and in this republic of how the gentlemen of other kings have been received. Hopes that some honourable place will be granted to him in the Collegio where he may expound the affairs of his king.
Gilbert Talbot to the Doge.
If the more serious affairs of the republic permit, I ask your Serenity that without further loss of time I may present to your Serenity the letters and proposals of the king, my master, seeing that by his Majesty's order I must be back in England by next month.
[Italian.]
On the 8th April, 1645.
208. This being read in the Collegio it was decided to send him word that as differing from the first time when he was here merely in the character of secretary of the embassy, that when he came into the Collegio he did not cover, that now he shall receive the honour of covering before his Serenity, standing at the foot of the tribunal. The bearer of the memorial was told this.
Letters of credence from Charles, King of Great Britain etc. to Francisco Erizzo, Doge of Venice, in favour of Sir Gilbert Talbot, gentleman of the Privy Chamber, sent as Agent (ablegatum) to the republic.
[Latin.]
To the Doge.
Mr. Talbot desires to know what place will be given him in the Collegio as he has to treat with your Serenity on behalf of the King of Great Britain, being qualified as he is by his Majesty in the letters of credence and in the passport. He cannot send the letter because it touches the business which he has orders to explain to your Serenity.
[Italian.]
April 19.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.
209. The Resident of England came into the Collegio and spoke as follows :
The holy festival has prevented me from coming to set forth my commission. I ought really to describe all the events of the last campaign, but I am sure your Serenity will have received all the particulars from your ministers. I will only say that in response to his Majesty's invitation about peace the rebels have made such exorbitant demands for the abandonment of all his servants, his religion and his crown that his Majesty was obliged to break off. The Resident then spoke in conformity with the memorial.
The doge replied, These Signors will understand. But we regret that present circumstances owing to past expenditure and that which we now have to incur because of the action of the Turks deprive us of the means of exercising our good will towards his Majesty. We are sure you recognise that it is out of our power to dispose of money outside our own needs at a time when all princes are short of gold and needy. We wish that we could meet all demands and especially satisfy his Majesty.
The Resident remarked, When I left England and received his Majesty's commissions, the news of these incidents with the Turks had not arrived, which would have shown him how inimical they were to his plans. It is to be hoped that the ill will and preparations of the Turks are not against the republic. We may also feel confident that the republic in her greatness will find a way to supply his Majesty's needs, for since he will be able with such help to deliver himself from the rebels, it will be more easy for him to co-operate for the common service of Christendom.
The Memorial.
With the rebels growing more insolent than ever, his Majesty, for lack of money and other military necessities is forced to apply to the princes, his allies and friends. Invited by the ancient alliance between his predecessors and the republic and the friendship which your Serenity has always professed for him, he implores you for a loan of a million ducats, of which he would be glad to receive 250,000 with all possible promptitude, and the rest at the convenience of the republic.
As a security and for the repayment within a specified time together with suitable interest your Serenity will be pleased to draw up an instrument in whatever form you please, and I will ratify it in the king's name, until it can be signed by his Majesty and the Prince of Wales, and sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm. His Majesty will consent that all the goods of his subjects within or without the dominion, shall be liable until the debt is fully paid, the most usual style in such contracts. His Majesty desires above all that the first advances may be made with the utmost speed, so that they may arrive opportunely for setting his army in the field. Such is the importance of this succour that the king and all his successors will be for ever bound to the most serene republic for supplying this money as the sole means for establishing his crown on his head (come l'unico mezo per potersi stabilire la corona in testa).
[Italian.]
April 22.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
210. That the Resident of England be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him :
We greatly value every mark of his Majesty's confidence, which we entirely reciprocate. We regret that the trouble and expenditure to which we are notoriously subjected at the moment owing to the movements of the Turk, which touches us more nearly than anything else, owing to the length of our borders, as well as our former anxieties and expenditure, prevent us from doing what we should wish. We feel sure that his Majesty will be satisfied with this explanation, and rest convinced of our goodwill and wishes for his every prosperity. You will be pleased to represent this to him, transmitting our letters in reply, which we are having consigned to you.
Ayes, 122. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
211. To the King of Great Britain.
Sir Gilbert Talbot has returned and has delivered your Majesty's letters which are very grateful to us as proving your affection and confidence, which the republic reciprocates. He delivered his commissions orally and we were glad to hear him. Your Majesty knows our disposition as proved on every occasion, and we will only refer to our statement made to your Resident, while wishing you all possible prosperity.
Ayes, 122. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.
212. The decision of this Council of the 22nd inst. having been read to the Resident of England, he said :
I am sorry not only for the unrighteous trouble caused to your Serenity by the Turk but for the inefficacy of my requests. I beg you to allow me to take a copy of this office, because I shall come later for other affairs which I have instructions to negotiate. With this he made his bow and went out.
[Italian.]
April 27.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.
213. The Resident of England came into the Collegio and spoke as follows :
I have received the copy of the Senate's deliberation and also the letter to the king, my master. I should have already set out on my return to the Court if new letters of the king had not reached me by the courier of Lyons in reply to what I sent with the news of the present activity of the Turks. His Majesty is much distressed at the event and sees plainly that it will not be possible to receive that ample assistance from the republic which he felt confident of obtaining under other conditions. He has therefore directed me to adapt myself to the circumstances and to make some new proposal. I have done so on this sheet. He then handed it in and it was read in the Collegio.
After the reading the doge said, The republic learns with sorrow and much concern the ills of Christendom, but we are now so much preoccupied with the danger from the Turk that no means or room remains to do what we should wish and what we have always done. This happens at a time when we are much straitened owing to the late troubles of the Polesina, so that we are unable to supply his Majesty's requirements in money in any way soever. Though deeds are lacking we feel the utmost good will and wish his Majesty every prosperity in all his undertakings.
The Resident added, His Majesty would not wish to receive help to the hurt of the republic. But a declaration of your Serenity would serve his interests greatly and give him an advantage against the rebels, though this would not be manifest unless it were accompanied by some moderate pecuniary assistance in some way that would not damage the interests of your Serenity.
The doge repeated their perfect good will which would remain, and so the resident made his bow and went out.
The Memorial.
My king was much gratified at the steadfast friendship of your Serenity and since the reports made to him of the imminent perils which threatened the republic and the failure of my requests he is the more distressed in that he can neither give nor receive assistance. His Majesty is in very great difficulties, but he would not purchase his own safety at the risk of the republic. It is right that everyone should first look to his own affairs, but frequently help to others is also help to onesself. Your Serenity is no less benevolent towards the princes, your friends, than prudent in the management of your own interests. The insurrection of subjects is always dangerous when it goes unpunished and in this war his Majesty is not defending his own interest more than what is common to all princes. The republic gave help to Henry IV. of France in a like occasion and in addition to the glory in all Europe from such an heroic act, won the eternal esteem and regard of that great king. Your Serenity has the means to support a prince not less distressed and who will not be less grateful, and I venture to say that no means is more adapted to compose the differences between the other Christian princes and to bridle the insolence of the barbarians than the re-establishment of the king my master in his just authority and reputation. If circumstances do not permit you to strip yourselves of all your money I beg you at least to grant a considerable portion of it, which, if it is promptly advanced, will afford the greatest relief to his Majesty's affairs, and will, I hope, do no harm to those of the republic. The credit of this state is an inexhaustible treasure, and with an exceptional rate of interest, which his Majesty is ready to pay, the Mint will overflow with money. If the security offered is not considered sufficient, his Majesty will ratify any instrument that your Serenity in your prudence may present to him. The reputation of such assistance will be of as much value to his Majesty as the assistance itself, as when the rebels see him supported by the powerful arm of this republic they will consider him invincible, and will be the more ready to accept terms of accommodation, to which they are entirely averse at present. In this way your Serenity, with little or no discomfort, can put my king in possession of the tranquillity you wish him and win the glory of having supported the shaking fortunes of a great king, putting his Majesty and all his descendants under an obligation to employ all the forces of their dominions in the service of the most serene republic.
[Italian.]
April 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
214. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress at Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
The affairs of England are certainly moving in the direction of a rupture. The ambassadors of Holland who went last year for the peace have got back again to-day, re infecta. There is talk of an alliance between the king of Spain, England and Denmark, which does not alarm anybody, since all the allies have so much to do in their own houses, that they certainly cannot hasten to the relief of others. The Catholics of Ireland have made great progress, in expectation of succour from the pope, with the coming of the nuncio Rinuccini, who undoubtedly brings with him some business in France, where he has orders to stay in passing.
Munster, the 28th April, 1645.
[Italian.]
April 29.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
215. That the Resident of England be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him.
We wish, as in our last reply, to express our desire for his Majesty's prosperity, our friendly disposition being the same as it will remain for ever. You can vouch for this on your return, explaining our burdens and liabilities, past and present, so that he may be convinced of our good will and satisfied.
That 300 ducats be expended on a gold chain to be presented to Sir Gilbert Talbot sent by the king of Great Britain to perform offices with us, and who is going back, in the name of the state after he has taken leave.
Ayes, 126. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Apparently alluding to the Senate's resolution of the 12th June, communicated to Talbot on the following day. See the preceding Vol. of this Calendar, pages 283, 285. There is no record of any letter from this doge to the King of this date.


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