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
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.
206. Carolus D.G. Magnae Britanniae, etc. Rex, F.D.
Serenissimo Principi D. Francisco Erizzo, Venetiarum Duci
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.
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
|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.
|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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.