Venice: November 1633

Pages 159-168

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 23, 1632-1636. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.

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November 1633

Nov 4.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
208. To the Ambassador in England.
Your letters of the 30th September were welcome as usual. We note this proposal of the Earl of Arundel that on the conclusion of your embassy the republic should only keep a minor representative there. We direct you to find out if this is merely the earl's private opinion or if the king and Council incline decidedly that way and if he spoke by the royal command. You will also tell us all that you can find out in the matter. You will also advise us if his Majesty's ambassador to Venice is chosen, or if the selection is altered without anyone being appointed in his place; what the leading ministers say on the subject, and whether your insistance on the subject is acceptable or no ; awaiting our orders as to whether you shall continue or no. You will also continue to observe what impressions the Duke of Savoy seeks to promulgate by his book to gain advantages, which must always be evanescent.
Ayes, 100. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
Nov. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
209. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In his satisfaction at the birth of his son, the Duke of York, the king has decided to remain longer in this city on purpose to afford convenience for the general congratulations which every one offers, the Lords of the Court and all the foreign ministers here. In the audience appointed for me at my request I expressed the delight with which your Excellencies would hear the good news, and as there was not time for this I thought it my duty to forestall my instructions, by wishing him every prosperity. The king received this most graciously and in reply uttered these words in the most friendly manner. I know well that the Signory of Venice are pleased. I also preserve my warm friendship for the republic. Be so good as to assure them of this and to thank them. He went on at once to ask me if I had any news of Italy by way of France. I told him that as the route was longer the letters by that way arrived later than by Antwerp, whence the courier for the present week had not yet arrived. The king observed, smiling, Has the pope announced the dispensation for the Duke of Mantua at last. I have heard as much myself, Sire, I replied, and it is only necessary for some formal act to come first for the better establishment of everything. Still smiling the king went on, Two marriages, one to make and the other to unmake supply a lot to talk about. I understood at once that by the last he meant to infer that between Monsieur and the Princess of Lorraine. I replied adroitly, intimating that good arguments might be found to justify making the one and undoing the other.
The king seemed almost to check himself, and soon after, of his own accord he uttered these very words, I do not know what to believe, and was at once silent. From his gesture as he said it I could see well enough that at bottom his Majesty felt no real approval for it. With this the interview terminated, and I went out from the audience, the deputy Brasser entering after me for the same complimentary office.
A certain Marquis Corsini, who professes to be a servant of the queen mother, has come to this Court from Brussels. So far it does not seem to be for any business, although he brought letters from the queen mother. It does not seem, however, that they were letters of credence, but merely to assure him a welcome from the king as her particular servant. He had some private audience and I know that he told the king that the queen mother had informed the Infanta and her Council of Monsieur's marriage with Lorraine.
Bottard, the French secretary who arrived recently, informed his Majesty of the successes of his king in Lorraine and of the reasons which moved the Most Christian to make sure of the intentions of that duke, reducing him to such a state that he will no longer be able to refuse the satisfaction which he owes to France. He is now supplying fuller information to the Lords of the Council here. Meanwhile he has sent a despatch to the Court, and says he will remain until further orders, as it seems he does not know if he is to stay here beyond the space of four or six weeks. He says nothing about the coming of the Ambassador Guron, having merely intimated to some confidant of his that Guron was last engaged at Monbigliard, following the Marshal La Force.
The queen gains health and strength daily. To the astonishment and remark of many she has persuaded the king to agree to her choice of a lady who openly professes the Catholic faith to act as nurse to the baby prince. There was much to say about the oath to be required of her, but in the end the queen overcame everything and induced the king to agree to an ordinary oath of fealty, such as is taken by the other Catholics, including ecclesiastics, who take part in the queen's service.
The last letters from the Senate are of the 29th of September, the subsequent despatches, which should have arrived by now, being delayed. With regard to the announcement in Germany that a passage was granted through the state of the most serene republic to the Spanish forces on their way to the Tyrol and thence to Alsace, I may say that it is known here by everyone and by the ministry in particular, who have spoken about it to me several times, that Feria's passage was through the Valtelline, and the erroneous report in question has never arrived here.
A certain Frenchman who recently came to this realm declares that some master weavers of gold cloth have moved to Lyons from Venice and have introduced their art there as it was never practised before, the work being highly esteemed. He indicates here a more easy way, so he says, and less expensive for the conveyance and purchase of such goods. I have told those who have spoken to me on the subject that the goods might be got up and christened according to his fancy to dispose of them more easily. However that may be I hear from several quarters that he is getting on. The truth will probably reach you from the proper source.
London, the 4th November, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
210. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The Palatinate is in great danger. The Chancellor Oxensterna has given some instructions to the gentleman, who came here lately, on his way to England, urging the king to do something not only for the Palatinate, but for the common cause. He used to be secretary to the Ambassador Ven, and resided at Frankfort as agent of that king. (fn. 1)
The Hague, the 7th November, 1633.
Nov. 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
211. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Mr. Gorin has arrived from England to inform the king of the delivery of the queen, his sister ; and they recently sent from here to those parts Bottard, secretary of the ordinary embassy, until M. di Guron goes, who is designated as ambassador in ordinary.
Paris, the 8th November, 1633.
Nov. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
212. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have had the good fortune not only to discover the substance of the offices upon which this French minister who arrived recently is engaged, but even to see the very sheet of his instructions. The reason for his mission although they wanted to make it appear as a mere measure of confidence to impart the operations in Lorraine and the Most Christian's disapproval of Monsieur's marriage, is really intended to do more, as it seems that while the French, by justifying the necessity of the operations against the duke wish to keep the king here favourably impressed, they are also trying to induce him to do something for the common cause ; that it is no longer the time to give way to further delays ; that France makes advances to England and even shows her the way in which she will be received. In addition to these offices Bottard is expressly charged to oppose all that the Spaniards may try to obtain here to their advantage, and he is particularly under obligation to work with all his might to prevent if possible the levies for Spain in Ireland. He has already begun his representations about this to the lords here privately, but they answer with reserve, and while in general they seem well disposed to gratify the Most Christian, yet they do not enter into particulars such as would allow Bottard to promise himself the fruit which he desires. Meanwhile he does not neglect the most insistent offices to such an extent that at his last meeting at Court the Lord Treasurer asked him if he had specific orders from France upon this matter of the levies for Spain in Ireland, whereupon he thought fit to read him on the spot the substance of the passage on the subject. By this it seems he has produced a greater impression than by his urgent offices, and he therefore hopes, at least to some extent that he will be able to prevent such ample liberty for similar levies in this kingdom for the service of the Spaniards.
With the withdrawal to their own quarters of the Spanish and Dutch armies the ministers here are advised from Brussels that they consider they have achieved a great deal at that Court by rendering vain the proposed operations of the enemy. But on the other hand it is known that the French, by inducing the Dutch to take the field, have prevented any succour from that quarter for Lorraine, which the Lords here are assured would have been sent in conformity with instructions from Spain to the Infanta, if they had been able to do so without too manifest danger to Flanders.
Nicolaldi spreads reports of the successful progress of Feria's plans in Germany. He says he is advised from Antwerp of the relief of Brisach and of a defeat of Brandenburg's troops. As they consider both items of great importance, so they withold their full credit at Court here until they receive further and more authentic information from a less prejudicial source, because they have no letters from Germany this week.
The king, followed by the Court, is ready to start any day for Windsor, the place appointed for the ceremony of confirming those chosen for the order of the Garter, among whom the Earls of d'Embi and Murton have been recently numbered. (fn. 2) On the completion of that function they say that his Majesty will return to this city, in order not to be too far away from the queen. She keeps improving in health and is recovering from the trials of her delivery.
The Archbishop of Canterbury will have the honour which he desires of christening the Duke of York, a ceremony which will take place in the early days of next month. He will be held at the font by substitutes, who will act in the names of the Princess, his Majesty's sister, the eldest Prince Palatine and the Prince of Orange, to whom letters have already been sent asking them to be godparents.
The change of Mayor was celebrated with costly show and a numerous attendance in the usual way, he being the one who acts as a very important magistrate in this city. I took part by invitation, as ambassador of the most serene republic, at the head of the procession, the Dutch minister and the Lords of the royal Council taking their places behind mine.
The Senate's letters of the 6th of October reached me in a torn packet which had suffered from robbery in the Bassano district. Those of the 13th arrived soon after.
London, the 11th November, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov 16.
Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives.
213. That in response to the request of Colonel Duglis, made through the Proveditore General in Terra Firma to our Savio alla Scrittura for leave to return to Holland for six months on important affairs of his, he has permission to go to his native land for four months only, to begin from the day he leaves our state, during which time he shall receive half his present pay, and if he is recalled within the period, he must return forthwith.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 8. Neutral, 5.
Nov. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
214. Pietro Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Dissatisfaction with the Vicar Patriarchal. The Perotti think of driving him out, even by appealing to the Caimecan. Pointed out objections to this and instructed dragomans to prevent it. Tried to induce vicar to resign voluntarily, and this he did to the general satisfaction. But there is danger to these poor people involving the loss of their churches and other misfortunes as well if the Ambassador Marchievile does not bridle his tongue. The English ambassador called some days ago and declared positively that if his Excellency repeated his speech only once he was quite determined to have recourse to the Caimecan and tell him that some speeches were being made ad pompam for the glory of the King of France, with these words. Rex noster. The English ambassador claims that the same terms may be used for his king who is no less friendly to this crown, as his dragomans, after the Sultan, recognise no other for their king than England. This will certainly lead to the greatest trouble and inconvenience. In spite of every effort and pointing out that this would hurt others without any conceivable advantage to him, I could not dissuade him.
The Vigne of Pera, the 18th November, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 18.
Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
215. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The more I have conversed with the ministers here the less have I been able to find in any one of them opinions agreeing with those expressed by the Earl Marshal to Biondi with respect to the embassy. Accordingly I have insisted the more in representing that they should put an end to procrastination in this matter of mutual correspondence and appointing an ordinary ambassador to your Serenity, remarking that it is an advantage at any time to make this relationship apparent to the world, but especially in the present circumstances, for the sake of the public cause and the decorum of both states, as well as the interests of this crown. I said all that I could and through the effect of my offices I almost believe that they are near breaking the ice of this long delayed mission, since I really seem to have aroused the king and the ministers here to a more diligent and proper consideration of the matter. I have already heard from a sure source that the matter was recently taken up again in the Council, and the proposal was again carried that they should send some one to the ordinary legation at Venice at the earliest opportunity. They are already discussing the acceptance of the excuses or objections of the one chosen for the post a long time ago. They are now purposing to select another person in his place, and from what I hear on good authority, they are on the point of announcing the nomination of a son of Lepinton, a man of respectable and highly respected condition. Such is the position to which I have succeeded in bringing the matter so far, although I have encountered some other opposition, due, as I have discovered, to some private interests of the Agent Rolandson. (fn. 3)
The queen has completely recovered her health at the end of three weeks from her delivery. In accordance with the custom of the Court she received requests for audiences for the offering of congratulations from all the foreign ministers. She at once announced that she would be pleased to see them all and sent word to the Master of the Ceremonies that the Venetian Ambassador should come first. I went on Sunday last, and on that day they did not allow any one else to be introduced except the Dutch minister. I offered my congratulations in suitable terms, rejoicing that Heaven had conferred this Blessing upon her in this fresh pledge for the succession. The queen received the office graciously, answered me in a friendly manner and courteously thanked the republic.
The Spanish Resident, after receiving from Brussels in letters from the Infanta an account which they believe here to be much exaggerated, of the operations of Volestain in Silesia and of Feria in Alsace, went to a special audience of the king. He gave him a very long account of the particulars mentioned, rejoicing over the event which may turn to the advantage of the Imperialists. The office did not please his Majesty, who indeed received it very ill, and in the opinion of the ministers it was too audacious and too much affected by amplification. As a matter of fact I have an idea that they fear more harmful successes here with prejudicial consequences to the afflicted country of the Palatinate. They are expecting shortly a person sent express by the Administrator there, who is to come to this Court. He will bring much information as well as the usual instances for some assistance, for which one sees little or no preparation in this quarter so far.
They propose to send word to France and Savoy of the birth of the Duke of York, but they have not yet quite decided how this shall be done, whether by sending persons there on purpose or merely by sending letters.
Botard never ceases opposing with all his might the sinister offices and exaggerated disseminations of Nicolaldi. He publishes at Court the generous resolutions of the king, his master, both for the support of the princes and Swedes in Germany, and also in collecting a most powerful army in time to begin operations in the spring, to number from 40,000 to 50,000 combatants.
The letters from Italy of the 21st ult. have arrived, but none have reached me during the present week from the Senate.
London, the 18th November, 1633.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Aleppo. Venetian Archives.
216. Pietro Gritti, Venetian Consul at Aleppo, to the Doge and Senate.
Our merchants here have laded 136 bales of pistachio nuts, 52 of textiles, six of drugs and other goods, 194 in all and 123 sacks of potash on the English ship Hercules which left here on the 15th inst. for England, touching at Zante ; this lading is of double advantage to our merchants, who would have had to wait much longer if they had had to wait for the return of the unfortunate Cicala.
Aleppo, the 19th November, 1633.
Nov. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
217. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The English resident has received orders by a special messenger from England, to invite to the christening of the Duke of York, the Princess Palatine, the Prince of Orange and Prince Charles. He has also performed a special office with the States upon the birth of that prince. On behalf of the Princess Palatine a leading lady of that kingdom is to act, (fn. 4) for the Prince of Orange, the Earl of Arundel and for the Prince Palatine, the Lord Treasurer Weston.
The Ambassador Joachimi, who has been staying several months in these Provinces on his private affairs, has left for England, where he is charged to urge that king strongly to help Germany. The Ambassador Langarach has received similar instructions for France.
The Hague, the 21st November, 1633.
Nov. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.
218. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
As the usual courier has not reached St. Gall from Strasburg it is not possible to write with much certitude about German affairs. They say that England, Spain and Denmark are negotiating a league against the Swedish party, believing in this way that they will touch France also, of whom the first two, in particular, are very jealous.
Zurich, the 24th November, 1633.
Nov. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
219. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
They have finally come to a satisfactory decision about the ordinary ambassador to the most serene republic, deciding against the one already chosen a long time ago and selecting another qualified person, namely Thomas Cari, son of the Earl of Lepinton, announced by his Majesty two days ago. Cari is a man of real repute for his character and very noble birth.
In addition to his qualifications he holds a high place in his Majesty's favour, being of the same age. The king has loved him from early childhood and has always kept him at his side in long and intimate service. His intimates say that he intends to get away from here as soon as possible, in order to set out the more speedily to that legation. They add that this very day, by the ordinary of Antwerp they are sending letters from him to the Agent Rolandson, so that in the interval he may set to work and make provision and prepare a house. Cuch, the secretary of state, has similarly received orders to prepare the usual instructions for him. Yet there are some who believe, not without a show of reason, that to avoid the inconvenience of travelling in the depth of the winter, his departure may be postponed until the early spring. Thus the affair is brought to this happy pass, and I have not spared my efforts.
One Baronis, sent express from Savoy has arrived in the city this week. He brings with him a jewelled sword to the value, I am told of from 5000 to 6000 crowns, as a present in the duke's name to Lord Weston, son of the Lord Treasurer, who, on his recent embassy to France and Italy, left that Court without the usual present. His Highness has desired to make this good by a special messenger. If the individual is charged with other commissions, no one has yet been able to discover them, since he certainly has not so far had or asked for any audience at the palace, indeed he circulates a report that he has no letters either from the duke for the king or from the duchess for the queen, her sister. However this may be, if he brings any proposals or other secret commissions either with his Majesty or with the ministers he certainly will not be able to keep it so secret that something does not come out and that some information and particulars are not discovered.
Botard is postponing his return to France, whence it seems fresh commissions are to reach him, which may, perchance, keep him at this Court until the arrival of the Ambassador Guron or some one else. The king, attended by the Knights of the Garter in the habit of the Order, has chosen to take part personally in all the functions and ceremonies performed at the same time for two funerals together, in memory of the King of Sweden and of the Palatine.
Four magnificent Dutch ships, two of which were carrying strong reinforcements of soldiers and plentiful provision of munitions to Fernambuco, have perished during these last days in a furious gale in this part of the Ocean near the coasts of Flanders and Calais, some being broken and some sunken. A few, who succeeded in escaping somehow, were taken prisoners by the Dunkirkers, who came out to plunder what remained of that rich and unhappy shipwreck.
This week also this kingdom is without advices or letters from France, Germany or Italy, the passage of all the couriers being prevented by the extraordinary nature and persistence of the winds and by the changeable and wretched weather. The latest despatches from your Serenity are those which reached me last week.
London, the 25th November, 1633.
Nov. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
220. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
Dingli, secretary of the Princess Palatine arrived here from England some days ago. He came to see me and showed that little or no help could be expected from that quarter. He said there never would be any lack of goodwill, and with respect to the princess's hopes for next spring, according to what she herself has several times remarked to me, he repeated the idea that there would be no lack of goodwill. With respect to the threat of the Spaniards in Luxemburg to enter the Palatinate, he asserted that they had renounced their claims to that country, but he did not know what decisions they might take.
The Hague, the 28th November, 1633.
Nov. 28.
Consiglio di X. Parti Comuni. Venetian Archives.
221. That the jewels of the sanctuary and the halls of arms of this Council be shown to an English cavalier and to others of his company.
Ayes, 17. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.


  • 1. William Curtius.
  • 2. Henry Danvers, Earl of Danby was elected and installed on 7 Nov., and William Douglas, Earl of Morlon was elected on that day. Beltz : Memorials of the Order of the Garter, page 188.
  • 3. Sir Richard Spenser had been nominated to go as ambassador to Venice in July, 1628. Vol. XXI. of this Calendar, page 185. The new nominee was Thomas Carey, son of Robert Carey, baron Leppington and first earl of Monmouth.
  • 4. Mary, Marchioness of Hamilton acted as deputy for the Queen of Bohemia at the christening on 24 Nov. O.S. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1633, 4, page 297.