Venice: July 1635

Pages 409-426

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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July 1635

July 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
504. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After I had waited five whole weeks for letters from Italy the courier from Antwerp, arriving with his letters in a Dunkirk boat was robbed by a French one a short distance from these shores, (fn. 1) so this week again I have no news of affairs in Italy. This seizure of letters has upset everyone, and to such an extent in Court that they protest vociferously against such procedure on the part of the French and all with one voice endeavour to demonstrate to the king that if he does not make up his mind to make that passage safe by his ships, trade will very soon be interrupted and everything thrown into confusion His Majesty resents the incident warmly and seems quite willing to apply the remedy, but as he has not so far given any orders the merchants set themselves to incite him by appearing before him with a petition to find some way of preventing such mishaps, which hinder their trade, for which it is necessary above all things to assure the safety of the letters. The French ambassadors stirred by such rumours, assert that the letters cannot have been stopped by definite orders, as is stated here, and hold out hopes that they will easily get them recovered. They say that it ought not to appear strange that what is found on an enemy boat should be detained and taken, because the Dunkirkers have done the same with theirs. They advise sending all the couriers with letters on English barques in the future. This would certainly be the safest course, but while they insist here on the point that letters for England which come from a neutral place ought not to be seized by any one, no measures will be taken, and so for many weeks we shall have to remain without the most important news.
The reports of the defeat of the troops of the Cardinal Infant and of his retirement to Malines are persistent. But as there is no confirmation of this from Antwerp, the Spaniards maintain that the news is false. They report that the Cardinal has received great reinforcements from Germany, and put on a bolder face than ever. But those who know their weakness as much as they regret it, seem decidedly cast down, because they recognise that if the news is not absolutely true it may not be long before it is confirmed, so that all their arts to try and supply some assistance from here, with an almost impossible assiduity, amount to a propaganda against the opinions of the French, in pointing out that their power is already elevated too high, and the anxieties which they should reasonably occasion to this kingdom are so great, all uttered so clearly under an appearance of zeal for the service of the crown, that if they had to do with a disposition less inclined to quiet than that of his Majesty, they would certainly be strong enough to induce him to take more violent measures (ma quelli che tanto conoscono le debolezze loro quanto le compatiscono, bene si mostrano sbigottiti, mentre prevedono che se non sono totalmente vere le novelle poco posso tardar a restar verificate almeno, in modo che tutto le loro arti a tentare qui qualche assistenza da questa parte oltre il possibile assiduamente rivolgono li disseminationi contro i pensieri de' Francesi, le rimostranze della loro potenza di gia troppo altamente elevata, le gelosie che con ragione devono apportare a questi Regni sono tanti, e cosi chiaramente sotto apparenza di zelo del servitio della Corona proferiti che quando incontrassero in animo meno di quello della Maestà Sua alla quiete inclinato haverebbero forza al sicuro di condurlo ai piu violenti risolutioni).
The one who came to pay his respects to the king in the name of the Cardinal Infant has not neglected to make before his Majesty and the secretaries of state in particular a very complete representation of the dangerous condition into which matters are drifting in Flanders. He has pointed out that it is of the utmost importance to this crown that they should not make further progress in the occupation of those provinces. That on the ground of reputation, no less than in the interest of trade and of security his Majesty is called upon to prevent any attempt of the French by way of the sea, whose fleet joined with that of the Dutch, is now more powerful than ever at sea, without any impediment, and expects to do great things upon the coast of Flanders, and can certainly do a great deal. The king replied in substance that his goodwill towards the safety of the princes, his friends and neighbours could not be better ; that for this very purpose of securing for all alike a safe passage in these waters he was maintaining at considerable expense a numerous fleet, and that for the same purpose he had decided to reinforce it with several ships, as would be seen before long. Since this first meeting, according to my information, the Spanish minister has not been able to get any thing but absolutely general phrases. He returned on the following day to take leave of his Majesty and having been honoured by the king with a present of some value, he is to set out this morning on his journey back to his prince.
The ambassadors, on the other hand, having received the last declaration of the Most Christian, confirmed by the parliament, with regard to his resolutions against the Court of Spain, have gone to inform his Majesty. They demonstrated vigorously the reasons and the just causes which have compelled the king, their master, to declare himself against the Spaniards and to take the present steps, after putting up for so long with their underhand intrigues and machinations. They especially exerted themselves to induce his Majesty to believe that the aims of the Most Christian in the present war were not directed as might be seen from the manifesto itself, for the purpose of making any conquests for himself, but only to restore the liberty of his ancient allies, who very properly stimulated him to take this course and to put an end, once and for all, if possible, to the effusion of so much blood in the Netherlands and to secure for France that peace and tranquillity which it is the duty of a just prince and loving father to procure for his subjects. Here they begged his Majesty not to regard with suspicion the actions of the Most Christian because of vain rumours spread abroad by prejudiced and slanderous tongues, since he would show by his deeds and at all times that he was more united with this crown in purpose, in interest and in affection than with any other prince of Christendom soever. The communication seemed to please his Majesty greatly. He asked the ambassadors to convey his most cordial thanks to the king, their master, in his name ; he knew full well the upright intentions of his Majesty and from his heart wished him all success and prosperity.
From such a reception the ambassadors are gathering courage, and augur better things from his Majesty's inclinations. It seems enough to them to have found him inclined to thoughts of peace and very averse from committing himself to anything that involved expense. Thus if it proves possible to arrange things so that the fleets shall not meet, as the French seem anxious to procure, the state of affairs will be quite satisfactory. For the rest so far as one can see at present, the suspicions they had conceived of the operations have much diminished, though it will never be possible for the French to prevent the Spaniards from drawing some profit covertly from their advantages here, because their professed supporters are too friendly and interested. Nevertheless they are proceeding much more slowly with the armament of the remainder of the troops which they obtained permission to levy some weeks ago since the Ambassador Seneterre intimated to the king that he was aware of it, indeed it is believed that they may be prevented from completing the levy for this reason.
His Majesty has decided to go on his progress after all, and it will begin soon after the middle of this month. (fn. 2) Owing to her condition, which has caused her much discomfort at this early stage, the queen has decided to pass the rest of the summer quietly at the houses of Greenwich and Westminster.
The king's journey will not be a very long one and he will not go too far away from the sea coast, so that he will always be able to receive news of what happens to the fleet with ease. Before setting out he will return to this city and will stay here two days at least. During that time I will go and wish him a pleasant journey according to the custom.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 19th May. From these I perceive that the letters which should have arrived this week have been plundered.
London, the 4th July, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 7.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
505. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 1st and 6th ult. The more the French and Spaniards renew their efforts at that Court and seek to gain the advantage the one over the other, and the stronger the indications that the king there is leaning to the Spanish side, the more necessary are your efforts to observe, enquire and discover essentials, not only in their actions but in their resolutions also.
That 300 ducats be paid by the Camerlenghi di Commun to the representatives of Angelo Correr, ambassador in England, for his expenses upon couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 117. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
July 10.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
506. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
Approval of his decision to put a stop to the selection of ambassadors by the syndics there to go to England to treat about currants. The question can only be dealt with in conjunction with the people of Zante and demands much consideration. It is undesirable that the community should send any one in a public capacity either to England or elsewhere. To explain this to the syndics and tell them that if they have any representations to make they should do it in writing, when the matter will receive the most careful consideration.
Ayes, 90. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
July 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
507. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Friday after midnight a courier arrived from France in a few hours with letters for the ambassadors from the king and a despatch from the Cardinal. This stated that a few days ago a Dutch ship fell in with the English fleet. The captain had been compelled to go on board the flagship of General Linze in person, and besides questioning him about his own voyage the general tried to find out from him where the French fleet was at that moment. The captain told him that he had no information because he was a merchant and attended to his own affairs, and he only troubled himself about the fleets of others when it was to his personal interest to do so. With this the general had dismissed him, repeating that if he should happen to fall in with the French fleet, he had his orders to let him know, since he, the general, had instructions to meet it and make it lower its flag and these orders he meant to carry out. (fn. 3)
In view of this high handed manner of acting and speaking the ambassadors found instructions in the same despatch to report the incident to the king himself and to ask him if he had really issued such instructions to his admiral, intimating to him that such incidents could not fail to render his Most Christian Majesty highly suspicious. That king therefore desired to know the truth, since he could not persuade himself that the general had instructions to proceed to hostile acts without preceding cause. Without losing a moment the ambassadors did as they were instructed on the following morning. After hearing what they had to say, the king assured them positively that he knew nothing of the incident and that the Earl of Linge's orders contained nothing in excess of what all other English admirals had always had, and they might rest assured that the despatch of the present fleet would effect no alteration. The ambassadors replied, We are persuaded of this, but as we cannot know what the commissions of your Majesty's past generals contained, so it is impossible for us to know what the present ones contain unless you tell us.
The king seemed impatient and told them again that the instructions were as stated and that the kings of France, had never taken exception to the commissions to his generals, and so he saw no reason for any further declaration. They insisted here that if his Majesty refused to express himself further, the king their master would be compelled to believe the words uttered by the general. If these exceeded his orders and his Majesty's wishes they begged him to state his sentiments more openly even if the instructions only contained some quite small point which might possibly interrupt and disturb the good relations which now exist between the two crowns, since his Most Christian Majesty was determined to do everything possible within reason to uproot entirely all occasions for offence.
The king would not add anything further. Scarcely allowing them to make the above remark, he told them that if they wanted to say anything more on the subject he referred them to the Secretary Cuch, when every opportunity would be afforded to give them satisfaction, and so he dismissed them.
To the Secretary Cuch accordingly the ambassadors betook themselves without a moment's delay, very ill pleased with the king's reply. After repeating to the secretary the particulars recorded above, they were unable, in spite of repeated efforts on their part, to get anything out of him except an answer corresponding in every respect to that of the king. From this reserved and curt manner of speaking they took occasion to open out at greater length in stating their case to the secretary. Accordingly they began by telling him that they found no reason sufficient to make them understand why the King of Great Britain should claim priority in these waters over other nations and France in particular, since the English themselves could not advance any, and they were forced to conclude that this was merely a way of forcing a quarrel and rupture with France. In all the treaties of peace that had ever been made between the two crowns, ancient or modern, no mention had ever been made of this point of the sovereignty of the sea, so it was clear that the English claims had only been raised so high with this object. As the matter was so important in itself. Being resolved to avoid all occasions for dispute, and to preserve the rights belonging to both crowns, without a stain on their reputation, since they were determined to examine the affair thoroughly in France without passion, they were commanded to propose the following conditions. Here Senneterre took a paper in his hand, which he had prepared to read to the king if he liad found him in a better frame of mind. But before he began to make known its contents the secretary wished to reply to them.
He spoke to the following effect : that the representations which they had just made to him in the name of the Most Christian could not be considered here as anything but unusual and most extraordinary. Of all the fleets that had sailed from this kingdom in times past the French had never before shown so much suspicion or any desire to have any change made in things which for long centuries had always maintained the same unchangeable form. Putting aside other and more ancient examples he would cite one only for their satisfaction when in the days of Queen Elizabeth very numerous fleets sailed from this kingdom on more than one occasion, with precisely the same commissions as the present general holds, which were published everywhere, and were not concealed even from the French, yet they did not make the slightest sign of being dissatisfied with them or ask for any alteration, such as they seem, so anxious to get at the present time.
To this the ambassadors rejoined that if they had preserved any remembrance of the announcements made in the time of Queen Elizabeth the assurance that these were in conformity would suffice for them, but as no memory of them remained in France they were forced to make their present instances.
They did not see why they should object here as to something novel to the declaration they asked for, if it was merely because it referred to something that they themselves had assented to in times past with respect to the instance cited that the Most Christian had raised no objection in the time of Queen Elizabeth they could only say that the instructions of that time were not likely to contain anything to which they might object. This might be so in the case of the present instructions, when they knew of the contents, and in that case they would rest perfectly satisfied and content. But they could not refrain from pointing out that things at that time were totally different from what they are now, because the Most Christian was not then armed at sea, while the fleet of the queen had no other object than to bring strength and assistance to the King of France against his enemies. So it would have been very stringe for the beneficiary to have quarrelled with his own benefactor. If his Majesty should think fit to put matters on the same basis as they were then, the king their master would be well pleased and asked nothing better, and if his Majesty would decide to send his fleet directly against the enemies of the Crown of France, as Queen Elizabeth openly did in those days, the Most Christian would probably withdraw his own fleet of his own accord, to avoid dispute. But as he was under the necessity of using his own arms, and as in directing them against his enemies he could not avoid encountering that fleet, they did not understand why their request should cause so much offence, since it was clear of itself that the sole object was to avoid scandals and to establish between the two crowns a true union and perfect friendship. With this just and desirable aim they proposed the following articles in the name of the Most Christian, to wit that when the ships of France and England met near the coasts of England or of other lands subject to his Brittanic Majesty, the French should salute first and lower their flags, but if they met near the French coasts, the English should salute first and lower their flag ; if they met in the middle of the sea they should exchange salutes mutually and send the customary signs of friendship, both keeping their flags unchanged, or that a small fleet should be obliged to humble itself to a larger one in the manner indicated above.
They said that the Most Christian thought these reasonable and equitable proposals would suffice to remove every shadow of doubt and to effect a compromise that would be mutually satisfactory. He suggested them with this end in view in the assurance that the king here would not disapprove. If however, he did not find them perfectly acceptable, the Most Christian would be obliged if he would suggest others, which he would be glad to consider and readily accept if they are devised to attain the same end, with equal treatment and station.
The secretary took note of the articles and said he would show them to the king and tell them his reply later, but personally he did not believe that his Majesty would make any alteration, because he could not make the slightest change without considerable prejudice to himself.
From this manner of speaking the ambassadors understood that the matter could not be brought to a happy conclusion without much time and difficulty. Indeed they foresee that if the French fleet does not mean to be absolutely useless they will have to pass very near to the English and will not be able to avoid violent disturbances as a consequence, and in this way the two crowns will become enemies the one to the other, with the honour and advantage of having brought their machinations to the end which they desired. However the ambassadors are labouring to find some temperate compromise and press earnestly for an answer. But although this has been promised them, in words, it is actually being delayed. This is all that has happened in the matter from its origin up to the present moment.
London, the 11th July, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
508. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The individual More, who was sent to visit the Princess Palatine, because of the bad news about her health, returned from the Hague last week, escorted by the same royal ship which was assigned to him for his voyage out. (fn. 4) He reports that after a long bout of fever, from which she suffered for the space of some months, the princess may now be said to have practically recovered her usual excellent health. He brought letters from her to the king and queen expressing her thanks and affection. Besides these private ones it is said that she has written to the king representing to him, as she has so often done, the great peril to which the states of the Palatinate are manifestly exposed and exhorting him to make up his mind to take suitable measures to support affairs there. It is also stated that More said something orally to his Majesty with regard to the question of the marriage of his niece to the King of Poland which they still believe here to be nearly settled, although the actual facts show little sign of it.
Some days ago the Agent of his Majesty with the Swiss sent word that he had conferred with the Duke of Lorraine at Neoburgh, in accordance with the arrangement made. He reports ports the result in a very long letter. He writes rather like a servant of the duke than as a minister of his Majesty, putting forward his interests, commiserating without end the present condition of that prince, criticising in the sharpest manner as manifestly unjust the behaviour of the Most Christian towards him and pleading for some assistance in deeds, and if this is accorded bearing witness to his good will and friendly disposition. At the end he speaks of the offer made by the duke to use his influence with Cæsar and the Spaniards in favour of the restitution of the Palatinate if his Majesty here will agree to a money payment and to send troops in favour of the Austrian party against the French. Such is the substance of the Resident's letters. All who have considered them without prejudice have perceived very clearly that they are a tissue of Spanish tricks and inventions devised to induce the king here, under the most specious pretexts, to interest himself directly in their affairs against the French. Because while they will have their hands full to protect their dominions and defend themselves from all the misfortunes which threaten them imminently from numerous directions, there is little likelihood of their being able to spare time for the recovery of what pertains to the Prince Palatine from the hands of those who are in possession.
His Majesty has turned these particulars over in his mind more than any one else and recognising these proposals as the same which the Spaniards have caused to be put before him on other occasions, although not so openly, he shows himself sticklish on the point of the electoral vote, the restoration of which is only promised after the death of Bavaria. He says that as the duke has taken another wife. (fn. 5) although he is of a very advanced age, it cannot be certain that he will not have children, and in that case the whole aspect of affairs would be altered, even if there were obligations and promises to the contrary. Accordingly the king does not seem to attach any importance to such overtures and indeed he appears altogether indisposed to listen to them. On the other hand those who have made it their business to support the Spanish party do not neglect to point out to him, with great audacity, that if the advantageous proposals that are now offered are not accepted, it may so happen that things will so turn out that whoever may be in possession of the Palatine's dominions at the end of the war, it may not be an easy matter to recover them for him, so that his Majesty's nephew runs the risk of being excluded for ever from them. With such considerations they mingle their everlasting song that it is necessary to repress the power of France, now that it is in the act of greater ascendancy, because if once they succeed in establishing their power in the way they propose the alarms and troubles which they will occasion to this crown will perhaps be no light matter.
In the midst of these transactions Curtius who on other occasions has conducted the affairs of the Administrator Palatine here, has arrived in Court with letters from that prince. Although I have not been able to discover what they contain I have learned this much that they have immediately put all these other negotiations in suspense. I hope to have an opportunity of seeing Curtius, perhaps to-morrow, and if I learn any definite particulars from him I will report them.
Viscount Schidemore has worked so hard for the modification of his instructions that he has at last succeeded in getting them consigned to him without any mention of Devich. This being done his wife has been to take leave of the queen and he will do the same with the king before his Majesty starts on his progress, and that done will very speedily set out to take up his appointment.
His Majesty came to this city yesterday on purpose to take part in the christening of the eldest son of the Earl of Southampton. The ceremony was performed in the earl's house with the most sumptuous pomp. (fn. 6) The ambassadors of France and I were invited. When I kissed his Majesty's hands he asked me with great curiosity how matters were going in Italy just now and if it were true that the French had made some progress in the state of Milan. He said he had heard many rumours on the subject, but he did not credit any, because they did not come from good quarters, and he had heard nothing from his ambassador there for two months. I told him that I also had been two months without letters from those parts so that I could not tell him anything authentic. The king said he was very curious to know, and I promised that if any news of importance reached me I would not fail to let him know. He said he would be much obliged, and our conversation went no further.
The letters which were stopped by the French at sea two weeks ago have been fully restored, but in my despatch I have found nothing but letters from the Hague.
London, the 11th July, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
509. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A person has reached the Bishop of Oleron with news that the English fleet has landed in the Island of Oleron. The bishop immediately went to inform the Cardinal at Rueil. It is not known if the English have done this to make some diversion and acts of hostility or for some necessity. The Residents say they cannot have gone there as enemies and they do not credit the news, as they think it impossible for the fleet to have gone so far in so few days. Confirmation is awaited, but in any case they confide in a fort which is in that Island being supplied for six months.
Paris, the 13th July, 1635.
July 14.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
510. That the English Ambassador be permitted as a favour to export ten cases of crystal glass and nine of pictures, which he is sending to England for the service of his Majesty and of the Earl of Arundel, free of all duty, which would amount to about 40 ducats.
Ayes, 75. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
The vote requires five sixths :
On the 14th July in the Collegio :
Ayes, 19. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
July 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Francia. Venetian Archives.
511. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The news of the descent of the English in the island of Oleron, proved false. It is thought that the reports arose from the arrival of several English and Dutch ships there to lade salt. The ambassador of that king is expected very soon, which makes it likely that there is nothing more to be feared from that quarter.
Paris, the 17th July, 1635.
July 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
512. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The French ambassadors have shown great diligence all these last days to obtain some answer to what they proposed with respect to a decision as to the way the naval forces should behave to each other in case they happened to meet. They have again remonstrated with the king and the Secretary Coke, without obtaining any more open reply. But on another occasion some of the ministers said that they could not bring themselves to believe that his Majesty, without an utter loss of reputation could be induced to yield the tiniest part of the sovereignty he claimed over these waters, as indivisible from his crown ; it would be monstrous and absurd to give up this point, on which he would never yield, even when unarmed, now that he has armed expressly and declaredly to preserve it.
The ambassadors replied that such claims could only be upheld when they were just and reasonable. In this instance they had not been shown the reasons on which the claims were based. The Most Christian might equally well make similar claims, and so they could treat on equal terms and occasions for dispute and strife would be avoided. They were told that a strong point for England was ancient custom. Their sovereignty had never been disputed. The ambassadors would not discuss this but contended that the precedent could not prejudice them since it was a clearly established practice at sea for the weaker party to humble himself to the stronger, and England had enjoyed this privilege in the past from being always the stronger. They did not wish in any wise to alter the ancient custom which called for submission from the weaker party. The ministers would not discuss this as it would mean proceeding from conversation to negotiation, and so the meeting broke up.
The Ambassador Poygni gave me all these particulars this morning. He did not think that the matter could be easily adjusted, as here they insist upon upholding their pretensions unabated, and the Most Christian seems equally determined not to submit to a servile yoke. I asked him if he knew of any previous occasion when these two crowns had equal forces at sea. He said there was no memory of such a thing and he did not think the case had ever arisen, but if they had any precedent here, although it might be prejudicial to France, the Most Christian would not permit it to go on. So it is clear that these important affairs tend more and more to a crisis. Before the negotiations are concluded the French fleet will have to proceed to the defence of the coasts of Normandy, where the losses inflicted by the Dunkirkers are reported to be ever greater, and thus, as an encounter can no longer be avoided, they are in momentary expectation here of the news of some unfortunate incident.
With matters touching the fleet in this state, it was proposed again in the royal Council to decide and carry out at the same time the despatch of the 20,000 men for the protection of the seaports, as had already been arranged, so my informant told me, who is in a position to know. He added that the discussions on the subject were very long, with divided opinions. Some were of opinion that under the circumstances such a step was a matter of necessity, arguing that as the fleet might easily come into conflict with the French ships, and as the results of battles were always subject to the chances of fortune, it was not possible to leave the ports destitute of defence. Others who have shown a deeper acquaintance with the whole matter, pointed out very correctly that for requirements of that character an order to the people of the country would suffice, so that they should be prepared for their own defence on any emergency, without putting the crown to the burden of so much expense. If they decided to raise these troops and oblige the country to maintain them, as had been discussed before, they considered that such a step would be exceedingly perilous in the present state of affairs, because the whole people ardently desired to see parliament summoned, and if by the means proposed it was called upon to bear arms, that might easily give the impulse to some troublesome rising, with manifest danger of seeing it greatly extended in a short time, with scant hope of being able to extinguish it very easily. These considerations made a great impression on the Council, and the more they thought about it the more they were impressed with the consequences, in sort that as the matter is left undecided on this subject, it is expected that they will let it drop altogether for the moment (perche alcuni essendo di parer che tal risolutione in simile congiontura fosse consigliata della necessita portorono per ragione che come potendo facilmente Varmata marittima con le navi di Francia a cimento d' armi devenir per ogni accidente che occorrere potesse i fini delle battaglie sempre alla dispositione della fortuna, non si possa i porti del mare lasciar sprovedute di difesa. Altri che nel piu recondito dell' affare hanno mostrato di penetrar, rimostrorono fondatamente per rispetto di tal natura basta un buon ordine ai genti del Paese per che alla propria difesa in ogni occasione si trovino allestite, senza mettere la corona in barazo di tanta spesa e che volendosi fare provedere dei genti al Paese sono obligationi di mantener li com era, altre volti caduto in consulta stimavano il partito nello stato presente delle cose granaissimamente pericoloso perche il popolo universalmente ardente di desiderio di vedere convocato un parlamento, quando per tal mezzo venisse necessitato a portar Varmi potrebbe facilmente con li medesimi dare il moto a qualsivoglia sollevatione con pericolo evidente di vederla in breve grandemente dilatata e con poca speranza di poterla cosi facilmente sopir. Queste considerationi grandemente negli animi del Consiglio valsero per penetrar e quanto piu vi applicarono la riflessione tanto le trovano di consequenza maggiore, in modo che si come il negotio resto in quel punto sospeso, cosi si crede si rilasciera per hora afatto la propositione cadere).
The letters of the Administrator brought by Curtius to his Majesty contain requests for assistance for the requirements of the Palatinate, in which he seriously represents the affairs of the king's nephew as becoming more perilous than ever. That France has not supplied him with the assistance that met the need, so that if he receives no other support he will inevitably fall very soon into a condition worse than the first. But as for some time past the interests of that prince appear to find more compassion and good will at this Court than effective action for his relief, so although they have heard this news with bitter regret, and even more over the particulars contained in the letters from France about the capture of Spires by the Imperialists, and the peril of Mainz, Worms and Hachen from the same, yet they do not devote their attention to it, so that they may keep far from them the dangers and ruin of others, and at present the only thing of which they seem to think is the fleet, and the question of the progress which the French may make in the Netherlands, about whom their jealousy and apprehension steadily increase, possibly more than there is occasion for. But no news has come this week, as the courier from Antwerp has not yet arrived.
They are much impressed at Court and make various comments on the news of the entry of the Austrians into the Valtelline through the Tyrol (fn. 7) and on the renewed rising in Guienne. The majority having no good will towards the interests of the Most Christian, seem to believe that the behaviour of Rohan's troops has so embittered the people of those parts that they would rather incur any risks than see themselves in the hands of the French. If this were so, the ill treatment which they are ex-experiencing at the outset from the imperialists will very soon make them change their minds. On the second point they say roundly that other provinces also will follow the example of Bordeaux and of the rest of Guienne, since the people of France can no longer support the burden of so many and repeated taxes. By this way of talking they relieve the violence of their feelings which are certainly in an extreme state of exasperation against the French everywhere. But unless some incident occurs at sea the poison will do no more harm than intensify the affliction and mortification of those who utter such things.
Only this week, a month after he kissed the king's hands, has the Resident of Savoy called upon the French ambassadors. He apologised for the delay on the ground of the disorder in which the affairs of his house still are. But as he has always showed himself freely at Court and in every other public place, the ambassadors are not altogether pleased about his tardiness. With regard to the declarations to be made by his master, he says the exact opposite to what the French ambassadors gave out. He states openly that the duke means to remain neutral, when they have asserted otherwise.
A rather troublesome incident occurred the day before yesterday in the house of the Ambassador Senneterre. An English priest, accused of going to the houses of Catholics and saying mass every day by persons who had seen him celebrate, was immediately arrested on being recognised. When he was being taken before the judges they happened to pass near the said ambassador's house. The priest seized the opportunity to escape and sped to that house for refuge. But those who had him in charge, being as daring as he was determined, followed him right into the house and took him away by force, while the ambassador's household, who were dining, either did not hear or did not trouble about the disturbance. Senneterre declares that his king's reputation is seriously injured by such violence, and has demanded reparation. Although they have promised this more promptly than they have performed hitherto, there is no doubt but he will obtain the release of the priest, and the punishment of the others as well, if he wishes.
Six despatches have just reached me all together, by the Antwerp courier, after I had been eight weeks without. Among them are those of the Senate of the 11th of May and the 1st, 8th and 15th June.
London, the 18th July, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
513. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Princess Palatine has sent to her brother the King of England the articles of the adjustment with Saxony, (fn. 8) begging him to consider the wretched state of her house. All depends upon the reply. If it is favourable and adequate to the need, she says it will mean life, but if not, death, as she has become hateful to herself, recognising that she is only a shadow of her past greatness and felicity (fatta di gia odiosa a se stessa conoscendo non esser che un ritratto spirante della sua passata grandezza e felicita).
The Hague, the 26th July, 1635.
July 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives
514. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I went to see the king last Sunday at Theobalds. His Majesty explained to me that he had fitted out the fleet, as mentioned by Fielding to the Signory, with the object of securing to all indifferently safe transit through these waters and preserve the respect due to himself. He hoped that all would accept this and that it would not arouse jealousy in any one, especially as he was sure that the effects of his good intentions would become more and more clear.
The king was at Theobalds intending to start on a progress. On the following day he came to this city with the queen. They only stayed to dine and went on to Oatlands. The queen will stay there some weeks and his Majesty, after next Sunday, will continue the journey he has begun. This absence of the Court will not only interrupt the course of the more important affairs but will make it more difficult to obtain authentic news.
I have been informed in the strictest confidence that at a long conference with the new Resident of Savoy the king told him that he would like to see the differences between the most serene republic and the duke ended, and that he would willingly interpose for that purpose. The Resident said that he thought such interposition would certainly be successful. His master was favourably disposed and desired good relations with all the Italian powers. The king had spoken more fully on the subject on another occasion and said that he would speak to me. The king was most disposed to undertake this interposition for the welfare of Italy. If the matter was kept in suspense it was due to the French, who had not acted sincerely, perhaps because they aspired to be the arbiters of Italy.
I have been trying to get further information about this. I find that the conversation between the resident and his Majesty was substantially as above, but the former reported it too favourably for himself, as it was he and not the king who started the subject and indeed practically asked him to intervene. At my audience of the king on Monday he never said a word on the subject, and so I think, if he means to broach it, he will do so before he returns to this city. In the mean time I beg your Excellencies to instruct me what I am to say if the king or any of the ministers makes any overtures on this matter. My informant told me that the Resident was extraordinarily anxious to have the chance of a hand in this affair, and very ambitious to bring it to a conclusion, indeed he said it was the chief reason for his being sent to this Court.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 23rd and 29th June.
London, the 27th July, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
515. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday Curtius came to see me, who was sent here by the Administrator to agitate the interests of the Palatinate After an exchange of compliments he told me he had come here, backed by letters from the Administrator, to make a supreme effort (gli ultimi sforzi) with this crown for him, to obtain some assistance in support of the Prince Palatine. He had presented the letters to his Majesty and made the representations of his instructions both before him and before the leading ministers here. He had exerted himself to demonstrate that if his Majesty does not undertake the protection of those affairs with resolution they will very speedily be reduced to their original state of suffering ; because if the Administrator does not seek from France the help which is necessary for him he cannot by himself by any means resist the impetuous attacks of the enemy in the future. Curtius says they told him that the king loved his nephew and had his interest at heart as much as his own, and that he was always thinking about the best means of supporting him, and so with these and like fair words they drag the matter out, with the deliberate intention, so far as one can see, of deciding nothing. Curtius has sent an account of his proceedings with all speed to the Administrator, whose reply he will await. In the mean time, although he is aware that it is labour thrown away, he does not cease to press his demands. He assures me that matters there are indeed going from bad to worse every day, the fortresses being destitute of the most necessary things. They still hold Heidelberg castle, but the Administrator has abandoned Frankenthal and gone to Sedan. In the general opinion at Court not a step will be taken to succour them. Perhaps they think that whenever they wish to repair the fall of that prince they will always have the resource ready of opening negotiations with Spain, but this is not approved as a good plan.
In addition to the operations of this minister fresh letters from the Princess Palatine have reached the king brought by a gentleman (fn. 9) express, imploring his compassion in the humblest manner. She points out that the conclusion of the peace between Saxony and Cæsar has taken place to the perpetual exclusion of the interests of her children, and has for ever dashed all her hopes of being established again in her own dominions unless his Majesty, by kindly and vigorous assistance, resolves to supply that vigour which, of themselves they utterly lack. They discussed the matter at considerable length in the Council on Tuesday last. Some suggested that, considering how little the Austrians care about his nephews, the king might hand over a naval squadron to the Prince Palatine, which could go to the neighbourhood of Dunkirk against the ships of Spain, thus supporting the Most Christian and diverting ruin from his own states without England making any open declaration. They did not consider this proposal seriously because they did not think that they could touch this cord until they have first adjusted the difference with France about the sovereignty of the sea, and besides the majority lean a very different way. Accordingly, without going any further, they adjourned the meeting to the following Sunday, at Oatlands.
Gordon, the English agent accredited to Poland, arrived unexpectedly last week with letters of credence from the king there, and had audience of His Majesty on Sunday. He presented the letters which return thanks for the mediation of England for the peace with Sweden, for which he expresses his readiness. As a testimony of this he is ready to leave the whole matter in his Majesty's hands. He also refers to the marriage with the Palatine princess. They say that it is absolutely settled and that there are no further difficulties ; but I do not think that they talk of it so freely and confidently as they would if they were quite so certain. His Majesty heard Gordon graciously and expressed his sincere desire for the tranquillity and welfare of that crown and how glad he would be to hear of the conclusion of the marriage.
Gordon states that Silesia has refused to be included in the peace made by Saxony. They have made overtures to Poland and hope that the king there will defend them. Poland is likely to accept gladly, because of his claims to the country, if the news be true. The Hispanophiles here accordingly throw doubt upon it, as they see what a blow it would be to their party.
Gerbier writes from Brussels that the Prince of Orange has raised the siege of Louvain, (fn. 10) from necessity and retired to Arescot, which he has also been obliged to abandon to the enemy with all the rest of the country occupied. The people there are now as bold as before they were timid. Several reports confirm that Frankfort has sent deputies to the King of Hungary proposing a settlement, the vanguard of that king, under Coloredo, being only six leagues from the town. All these reports, which are received by the generality with extraordinary satisfaction, serve to confirm the opinion which was held of the coming here of the Queen Mother and of Princess Margaret of Lorraine, because unless they are actually driven by necessity his Majesty is certainly not pleased to see them so near.
The Ambassador Scudamore has taken leave of their Majesties and is preparing to cross the sea ; he is only waiting for one of the royal ships to be detached for him. He exchanged final visits with the French ambassadors and told them that he expected to be in France by the middle of next week. But as they see the delay in assigning a royal ship for him, they doubt that his departure has been secretly postponed until something has been settled about this affair of the sea. (fn. 11) As they are unable to obtain a positive reply on the subject they have sent to France for further instructions. Before they receive new orders they will make no further efforts, hoping that in the mean time nothing untoward will happen, seeing that the royal ships are apparently drawing ever nearer to these shores.
London, the 27th July, 1635.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. The Ketch with the mails was stopped and rifled by a shallop of Calais on the 16/26 June. Cal. S. P, Dom. 1635, pages 127, 143, 147.
  • 2. According to the Roe the progress was to begin on 1/11 July. On the 6/16 July the king and queen went to Theobalds. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1635, pages 138, 256.
  • 3. The French statement of this case and Lindsay's reply are among the Domestic State Papers. See Cal. S. P. Dom. 1635. pages 156, 260.
  • 4. Henry Murray of the bedchamber. The ship was the Pleiades. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1635. page 109.
  • 5. Maximilian, duke of Bavaria, married Maria Anna, daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand II. on 10th July, 1635, when he was 62 years of age.
  • 6. Charles, the son and heir, born at Southampton House Holborn, on the 6th June and baptised there on the 30th, O.S. G.E.C. Complete Peerage.
  • 7. The imperialist troops under Fernamond drove the troops of the Grisons Bund out of Bormio on the 13th June.
  • 8. The peace of Prague between the Emperor and the Elector of Saxony, signed on 30 May and ratified 15 June ; the article referred to declared the Electoral dignity and lands of Frederick V., Elector Palatine, were forfeited.
  • 9. Mr. Rulis. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1635, pages 138, 241, 288.
  • 10. On 4 July. The siege was opened on the 24th June and the investment only lasted ten days.
  • 11. The order to have ships ready for him was already issued, on 16 July, old style. He went in the Leopard. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1635, pages 278, 334.