Venice: July 1637

Pages 234-250

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 24, 1636-1639. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1923.

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July 1637

July 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
252. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman has reached the Princess Palatine from her son with the announcement that the treaties between England and France have been concluded and that ratification will follow at the diet. She has not heard any more and expects the Palatine any day. The Court considers this a trick, and the Princess herself admits that she is not entirely satisfied and she fears that the results will not correspond.
The States are pressing Sig. Grasvinchel for his reply to the English book. He is trying to gain time so that he may be able to wait for the sheets sent to your Serenity.
The Hague, the 2nd July, 1637.
July 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
253. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Rusdorf, the Palatine's first councillor, left yesterday for Holland with the Prince's household and baggage, escorted by four of his Majesty's ships of war. (fn. 1) The rest of the fleet is all ready to accompany the prince himself, who will take the same route on Monday with his brother. Both of them take away liberal presents of jewels and horses made to them by the king and queen and by many of the leading lords here. Besides having all their debts paid, the king has ordered the payment of 3000l. in cash to the Palatine, and that secure assignments be given him for the yearly pension of 12,000l. and that he be defrayed and provided with everything that he requires until he reaches Holland.
The king assured the prince that he would never fail to protect his interests. He urged him not to lose courage but to remember that he was not the first great prince of Christendom to experience rude storms, and with prudence and good counsel he would emerge happily. He added that by the measure of his actions he would be more or less ready to supply help. In short in a long and affectionate discourse he did his utmost to encourage him to procure his own advantage by industry, possibly finding him more tepid than he ought to be about his own interests.
The prince listened attentively to all. He said that not only the king's advice but his wishes would be a law to him always, and thanked him becomingly. He presented him with a new memorial, which contains enquiries what he is to do if he asks the States to enter the alliance with France, and on what terms he is to invite them if his Majesty does not propose to send an ambassador on purpose, who would go on to the Landgrave of Hesse and the Chancellor Oxestern, to make suitable overtures.
Also if the States ask him about his Majesty's decision on the question of the fisheries, what he is to answer, as if this point is not settled to their satisfaction it will be impossible to induce them to take any step in his favour.
Also what answer he shall give the Swedes if they ask help from this quarter in troops and munitions corresponding to what is supplied by the Most Christian and the Dutch.
The Prince begs his Majesty to be pleased to declare openly his will upon all the above particulars and to give him suitable powers to satisfy the just instances of the allies, so that the good results which are intended may begin to flow readily without obstacles.
This paper is to be examined in the Council on Sunday, and the Prince will have his answer before his departure.
With respect to the matter of the Dutch fisheries I find that Northumberland has orders not to molest them, but it is also a fact that he takes with him 400 printed licences to be granted to those who ask for them. The Dutch object to this procedure because they say that when the fishermen meet the fleet, intimidated by what has happened before, they will make no difficulty about receiving the licences, and so, by a tacit violence, they will be compelled to pay, to the irreparable hurt of their rights. If this affair is not sincerely settled it will certainly stand in the way of every other satisfactory arrangement, since the Dutch are determined not to give this time without receiving.
The ministers here continue to announce the alliance with France as concluded, but give no details. This confirms my opinion, especially as I am sure that his Majesty has not signed the articles and it is uncertain whether they have even been signed by the ambassadors and commissioners at Paris, although everyone affirms it.
They declare that in the articles the emperor is only called King of Hungary, which they think is calculated to induce him to grant good terms for the general peace more readily.
Besides his other demands the Danish envoy asks for the payment of the old debts claimed by that crown for the pensions which it paid to the late King James at the time of the war with Cæsar. He also asked for an assurance that his Majesty will not prevent his master from trying to extort by arms the rights which he claims to receive from the Hamburgers. They told him that the debts were ceded to the Princess Palatine in payment of the value of the jewels left by the queen, her grandmother, to be divided between his Majesty and the said princess, his sister ; and as for Hamburg, the king would be better advised to make terms than to incur the embarrassment of war, which cannot fail to injure the common cause. The envoy is to leave tomorrow. He will take word that the fleet is at sea, well equipped, numbering twenty four sail, besides the fifteen reserved for the Palatine, which is the point to which he has devoted most attention.
The Ambassador Ognate has fulfilled my expectations by sending a gentleman to thank me and leaving me nothing to desire. He is still very ill and in bed, which has prevented me from seeing him ; but I have sent often to enquire after him and this has pleased him greatly. If he is better I hope to see him the day after tomorrow.
The Court has been away from the city three weeks, (fn. 2) They propose to go on with the progress, which they intend to make much further away than usual, to escape the dangers of the plague.
London, the 3rd July, 1637.
July 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
254. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France to the Doge and Senate.
In the negotiations with the English ambassadors the Earl of Leicester has intimated that England will agree to France retaining the duchy of Bar after the peace, as her fief, as well as some places of Lorraine in some sort of way, either as deposit or purchase ; also that the Swedes shall keep Pomerania or some places there. For the rest, everything shall be restored. But these particulars will have to be better established in the diet of Hamburg.
Paris, the 7th July, 1637.
July 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives.
255. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Sunday I called on Ognate, who was still in bed very ill and weak. He was greatly pleased at the attention. He spoke to me in a very contemptuous manner about this Court. He said there was no school in the world where one could learn how to negotiate with the English, and he admitted that he was not capable of understanding their humours. He had proposed conditions here calculated to adjust the Palatine's affairs. They had either not listened or not understood them, and to his great astonishment, held them in so little account that in the very middle of them they had concluded an agreement with the Most Christian. That looked very fine, but it was not feasible, as the French lacked money and the king here was in no state to supply them with it.
He swore to me that his king earnestly desired a general peace and was obliged to your Excellencies for your efforts. He thought that one would be made as France would have to come to it though she did not want to. He asked me if it were true that the Sieur delle Tullerie had remonstrated about the Cavalier Pesaro being sent to Poland. I said I had no information, but his Excellency was excused from going to Cologne. He objected that France had allowed enough time for both missions, but the republic had done well ; he only made the remark to show that the French were not sincere about a universal peace. I made a short reply and the visit ended.
London, the 9th July, 1637.
July 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
256. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday last the Council discussed the Palatine's memorial, and as arranged the answers were given that same evening by the king himself to his nephew, in the following substance :
That it was unnecessary to send an ambassador to the States, the Chancellor Oxistern or to the Landgrave. With the advice of his mother and the Prince of Orange he could make his own arrangements with the first ; and it is beyond a doubt that they are already well disposed and as their interests are deeply concerned that they will embrace the project and send their delegates immediately to ratify the articles of the alliance. The Landgrave had an agent here and his Majesty would see that he had the satisfaction desired. They did not yet know the real intentions of the Swedes and in order to learn them they had sent instructions to their agent at Hamburg to communicate the agreement with France to Oxistern and urge him to send some one to the appointed place with suitable powers. When they know what he intends to do there will be no difficulty, should it be necessary, about sending to him some special individual to concert with him what is to be done. Finally upon the question of the Dutch fisheries, which is the most troublesome one, the king told the prince that he had commanded his agent to assure the Provinces that they shall not be molested by his fleet in any way, so that there was no further occasion for him to discuss the matter. He would tell him for his personal satisfaction that the commander has instructions to treat the Dutch fishermen amicably.
With these replies the prince left on the following day, to wit the 6th inst. with his brother. He sailed for the Hague escorted by the whole of the royal fleet and accompanied by many of the leading lords here. The weather was favourable and it is reckoned that he will have arrived safely by now. (fn. 3)
I have been unable to obtain a copy of the treaty with France owing to the extraordinary secrecy observed, but I trust that the state will have received one from Contarini from Paris. However I have found out on good authority that to bring the auxiliary alliance into active existence the ratification of the allies is necessary, and in accordance with the teachings of experience they are devoting their earnest attention to getting these to meet. The ships which have been prepared for the Palatine and which by the terms of the alliance they are obliged to send out, are still kept close. Although many here make a pretence of desiring the offensive and defensive alliance, to be preceded by an open rupture with the House of Austria it is well known that they are trying their hardest to prevent it coming to pass and they hope that by negotiating with Cæsar during the time that remains for the purpose, they may be able to get out of it as they are very apprehensive about involving themselves in a long war without hope of much profit, and with the certainty of considerable losses in trade, the more so because they have an idea that French vigour will keep declining, as they attach much more importance to the trouble caused by the risings in Guienne than to the successes of the Cardinal della Valletta in Hainault, or those which are not yet certain, of the Duke of Longueville against the Duke of Lorraine.
It is believed that they will find the advance of the latter very formidable and it is thought that they will require great efforts to resist it. In short such divisions in the country are considered here of great consequence, and not less so the difficulties which the Count of Soissons persists in raising over the adjustment of his affairs. Accordingly they have come to the conclusion that the undertaking of France not to make peace without their consent here is of very slight value, since she is incapable by herself of sustaining the war at the necessary pitch any longer. This point will ultimately prolong the effectuation of these treaties, even if they are quite matured by time and circumstance.
The Ambassador Beveren is about to take leave of the king, as he has no further negotiations upon the affairs for which he came. He received permission by his letters last week, and announces that the ordinary Ambassador Joachimi will arrive before long to continue his residence.
They still speak in different ways about the removal of Teller from the imperial Court. Most declare that he has been recalled, but with such reserve that I do not consider it certain. The Resident Ballarino will dispel this uncertainty. These masks over a simple matter of fact arouse the belief that they hide some important interest, unless it be that the ministers here, by being so secret about everything, pretend, as the Spaniards say, to have the power, without hindrance, to regulate the affairs of Christendom according to their own satisfaction.
From Fielding's exposition which reached me in the despatch of the 12th, I see the advantage he has tried to take, in making it appear as if I had urged his Majesty in the Signory's name to send ambassadors to Cæsar and the congress at Cologne, offering the republic's help for the Palatine. I assure your Excellencie that they have not so interpreted my offices here. It is an equivocation of his own, unless in their great desire to be asked they have decided to make use of artifice. If anything more is said to me on the subject, I will avail myself of the instructions sent, and will not go a step beyond the general terms to which I have confined myself in the past.
With regard to the detention of the officials at Fielding's instance, I have informed the ministers, confirming your desire to gratify his Majesty and the ambassador as well. The office pleased them extremely, and I know that his Majesty was very pleased. He is at present not more than ten miles away, (fn. 4) but he has decided after two weeks to go much further off with all the Court, as the plague has begun again, making considerable progress not only in London, but in the neighbouring villages. Owing to my illness and the inroads upon my fortune I shall have to stay behind, and I ask to be forgiven if my despatches are somewhat bare.
London, the 10th July, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 13.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
257. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your despatches of the 18th ult. We have nothing to add about Ognate. You were chosen ambassador to France many months ago. It is desirable that the move of the ambassador from France to Spain, and from Spain to England as well as your own should be made with every due convenience, and you are to be the first to start. You are therefore to be ready to set out at the first opportunity.
That 300 ducats be paid to the agents of Anzolo Correr for couriers and the carriage of letters.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
July 13.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
258. The Senate's decision of the 27th ult. was read to the English Ambassador, who spoke to the following effect :
From what your Serenity says about universal peace I perceive that this is your sole object. I will inform his Majesty, who aims at the most perfect correspondence. It will confirm to him the excellent disposition of the republic.
I am pleased that the offer of my services has been accepted.
I see what the Senate has ordained about our merchants and expect the desired result. That is the case with Obson, whose affair depends on your Serenity's justice, and I need only thank you for what you have imparted to me about the orders in his favour. The republic in this, as in everything else has especial regard to the satisfaction of our nation.
The doge replied, From what has been read your lordship can judge that we aim solely at the universal welfare, and our special object is to maintain and increase the good relations with his Majesty. Obson shall have his cause decided by the Avogador Pesaro, in conformity with equity and justice. You may rest assured that we have at heart the interests of English merchants at Zante and Cephalonia.
The ambassador said he could only thank the doge for the orders, and after some respectful remarks he bowed and went to take a copy of the office read to him. In doing so he remarked, I see that their Excellencies are very disposed to increase the trade by the orders they tell me of. I have performed every good office for this and will continue to do so, and his Serenity should also persevere.
I commended the ambassador's idea, saying it was worthy of his prudence. He replied that he would never fail to establish and increase the good relations with his Majesty and to develop trade, and departed.
Christoforo Surian, Secretary.
July 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
259. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The treaty with England being concluded, both the Most Christian and the King of Great Britain, have sent to invite the Swedes and Dutch to enter the league and to send ministers to Hamburg to take part in the diet. The secretary of the Ambassador Leicester has arrived from England. The earl has not received leave to return home although he desires it greatly.
Paris, the 14th July, 1637.
July 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
260. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince Palatine has arrived escorted by twenty four English ships to Rotterdam. Both he and the English Resident asked the Assembly to send a representative to the diet. The States find it hard to believe that the treaties are absolutely concluded and the Court thinks it is an artifice of the King to send back the Palatine to Holland and to begin to shake him off. The Prince says that he will return to England, but he has brought all his baggage and no one believes it. The Princess Palatine admits that the ratification depends on what the Swedes decide and these States also. But the gentlemen of the Palatine and especially the Englishmen in his service declare that the only decision is to call a diet and that their king does not want a formal rupture, the feeling against France being too strong to allow an alliance.
The Hague, the 16th July, 1637.
July 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
261. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassadors extraordinary of France and Holland both demanded audience to take leave for last Sunday, but the Sieur de Seneterre alone availed himself of it the other pleading sudden indisposition. It is supposed that he did this because the sudden and simultaneous departure of these two was criticised as taking place at the very moment when the negotiations with their masters were becoming active in England, that Beveren was unwilling to offend the king and preferred to inform the States first, especially as Joachimi might arrive in the mean time. The Earl of Arundel and some other ministers tell me that the king resents the withdrawal of Senneterre, who, however, has received handsome presents, seeing that there are two English ambassadors at the French Court and an affair so important as the alliance should not be confided to a mere secretary. However the Ambassador left with every satisfaction in respect of his treatment and presents, as he told me yesterday when he called, and we exchanged compliments.
They have held long consultations and finally decided to set up a new Company to trade in the West Indies and acquire possessions, after the manner of the Dutch, with whom they are treating, to act in concert. The Dutch seem quite willing, but doubt whether the English will be prepared to get together the amount of capital required, and they would prefer to make some alliance with England first. Thus in this as in the common affairs, one sees the disputes about the fisheries removed by some legal paper not by words, as the Dutch know full well that the English persist in their intentions and pretend that the connivance which they offer this year does not prejudice them. The fishermen, intimidated by their encounter with the fleet, have come of their own accord to obtain licences, a point the Dutch fear as much as they detest it, because they see that it may become customary, and then it will be difficult if not impossible to abolish it.
The ill feeling is increased by a fresh incident which happened recently in sight of Portland. Five Dunkirk ships encountered four Dutch men of war there, and engaged in a long fight, but when the Dutch were gaining the advantage and almost sure of victory, a squadron of the king came out and separated them. This incident has aroused a great outcry and certainly it will not help the matters at present in negotiation.
As a counterblast to the treaty with France the Spaniards have had published the oath of fealty taken to them by the people of the Lower Palatinate, of which I enclose a copy.
They are persuaded here that the Hamburgers will permit the conference of the allies, and so they have sent instructions to the English agent, as they do not think it advisable to send any one on purpose, because the finishing touches are to be put at Paris.
They watch with interest for the news from Italy. They deeply regret the last received about the loss of Nizza and other places in the Monferrat, just as they rejoice at the French successes in Hainault and the county of Burgundy, although report makes the former much greater than the latter. In short at present this nation seems entirely on the side of France ; I must leave others to decide if the heart corresponds. I know that some of the ministers here took umbrage rather at seeing me opening relations with the Spanish ambassador amid these circumstances, but I have entirely dispelled their jealousy. That ambassador is still confined to his bed. He sent one of his gentlemen to thank me for the visit with every courtesy that could be desired.
The city has been greatly excited this week over a sentence against three persons who had written against the reforms introduced into the church by the Archbishop of Canterbury, bitterly libelling him personally as well as the king. The first is an ecclesiastic, the second a physician and the third a lawyer, a well chosen triumvirate. They publicly cut off the ears of all three, condemned them to perpetual imprisonment and forbad them the use of the pen for ever. (fn. 5) They defended against the Archbishop the party of the Puritans, that being the name derisively given to those who claim purity and dissociate themselves from the rites of the Protestants. This has now increased enormously, and being encouraged by persons of rank, they take all sorts of liberties and pretend to lay down the law to the government altogether. The king, seeing this poison spreading, tries to keep it far from his heart and to pull out its roots, but the more he tries to extirpate them the stronger they become. They do not care about their goods or esteem their lives when efforts are made to moderate their doctrines, or rather their ignorance. When the sentence in question was being executed, one could see even women and children collecting the blood of the victims, exalting their punishment and ignominy with tears and cries to the most exalted martyrdom. In short this pest may be the one which will ultimately disturb the repose of this kingdom. The Spaniards devote all their attention to it, to turn it to advantage in proportion as their differences with the crown increase. The Bishop of Lincoln is at present in disgrace for the same cause. I will send word of what happens, as I consider events of this sort well worthy of attention.
No letters have arrived from Italy this week. It is reported that the courier met with an accident at sea.
London, the 17th July, 1637.
Enclosure. 262. Copy of the oath taken by the people of the Lower Palatinate to the King of Spain.
July 18.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
263. To the Ambassador in England.
Enclose the exposition of the Ambassador Fielding for information. Acknowledge his letters of the 25th ult. Commend his skill and prudence in the affair of Ognate. Will await further particulars with curiosity.
Ayes, 106. Noes, 1. Neutral 2.
July 18.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
264. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke to the following effect :
I recently offered to impart advices which might prove helpful to you and to the common service. I think that I ought not to postpone this office because I have something which I consider essential. I will not speak of what is passing in the Milanese or in the Valtelline and Grisons, as that is under your eyes. It will serve to help you towards general peace. I need not speak of the news which comes from your ministers, and only say that all that is taking place is of great importance and I am much excited.
I have very recent letters from Germany, and numerous reports corroborate. This much is certain, that the vanguard of the Duke of Waimar of 2500 men has entered Alsace, and it is thought that the duke has followed with the rest of his army, since his commissioner has gone to the Swiss diet, hoping to obtain from them among other things a free passage through their country in order to cross the Rhine. This will be difficult, because the Imperialist forces are gathering to prevent it. If the Duke of Lorraine is not too hard pressed, he is inclined to lay siege to Montbelliard, with the reinforcements of Giovanni de Vert, which were to reach him after the capture of Hermestain. They were expecting Piccolomini and his forces at Brussels. The Cardinal Infant sent for him to come at the earliest opportunity. Although they said the Count of Soissons would join the Cardinal, his loyalty and honour prevent him from meddling. Yet the Cardinal has tried hard, using as intermediary President Rosa, the leading minister of Flanders, who accordingly strongly opposed the treaty without greater advantages. However the Cardinal showed a letter from the King of Spain absolutely ordering him to take advantage of the opportunity and neglect no means of obliging him, so it was hoped that this would give a great impetus to the accord between them.
The governor of Landreci gave sanguine promises about the defence of that place, besieged by the French ; but they are doubtful about the issue. They will feel the loss the more, since by taking it they opened the way to the very gates of Brussels.
The Dutch are only waiting for a million from the French before taking the field, by arrangement, with 260 companies of foot and five cornets of horses. The Swedish Resident recently left the Hague, very satisfied with his negotiations. He obtained promises and assurances, so that on every hand we see great preparations which afford material for prudent reflection.
In the midst of these unhappy reports about war I have some pleasant news for your Serenity, confirming my king's friendship for you, as he approved the accommodation made and was highly pleased with my account. He has charged me to assure you of his constant and sincere friendship. He has written a letter with his own hand expressing his desire to maintain this friendship.
The doge thanked the ambassador for the advices. They had heard of some, but he had given them other matter which required reflection. They rejoiced at his Majesty's friendship and hoped that these cordial relations might flourish for ever.
The ambassador made some further complimentary remarks, hoping that he might be able to serve his king and the republic simultaneously, for the preservation of their friendship and confidential relations. He then took leave and departed.
July 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
265. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Swedish ambassador reports that his country will be unlikely to send deputies to Cologne unless they see how things go at Hamburg, as the administrators of the crown have decided not to give up Pomerania. The Ambassador Leicester is confident they will be able to draw the King of Denmark into the league, especially about the Palatinate, and it seems that monarch intimated to M. d'Avo that he meant to do something solid for the Palatine house. But some attach little credit to these reports.
Paris, the 21st July, 1637.
July 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
266. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Palatine's Agent came to see me yesterday to tell me of the prince's journey. He said he was commanded to maintain most cordial relations with the ministers of your Serenity, for which I thanked him. He went on to express the satisfaction felt by the Palatine House at seeing cordial relations opened between the Spanish ministers and those of your Serenity, as from this they might hope for fresh negotiations and other advantages. I perceived his object and answered with general compliments. He then spoke of the advantage of the affair being in the hands of a neutral prince friendly to the general tranquillity. The Palatine did not expect much from the alliance with France, the House of Austria being too strong while France was feeble, the Swedes were ruined and the Dutch tired, and all of them together unequal to replace the Palatine by arms, or to maintain him even if they could. So the way of negotiation was necessary and could not be in better hands than those of the ministers of the most serene republic. He had addressed me before saying anything to his Majesty in order to hear what I thought.
From his open and determined manner I concluded that this came from a higher quarter, which chose this way in order to avoid committing itself at the first move. Perceiving numerous difficulties I confined myself to generalities, expressing the esteem of your Excellencies for the Palatine House. I said I should personally be proud to serve it, but I had to proceed to France. He replied that for such an important matter it would be worth while to prolong my stay here. He begged me to think it over and he would give me further particulars ; and so he took leave.
From all this it seems clear that their hopes from this new alliance are very feeble and that they find themselves in an almost desperate plight and compelled to go about everywhere begging for assistance. Thus events themselves are bearing out what I wrote to your Excellencies, that the only steps taken here have been forced upon them, and abhorring the very name not to speak of the practice of war they are ready to do anything rather than become involved in it and to avoid being obliged to carry the affairs of the Palatine to the congress at Cologne. They believe that they will be at a disadvantage there, but more than this they would rather that it never took place, because although they affect to desire peace in Christendom passionately, it is certain that in their own interests they desire the continuation of the war with equal fervour, as for political reasons it is recognised to be to their advantage, since by means of it they are rendering themselves sole masters of the trade, and in the troubles of their neighbours consists the true security of their repose. I may leave your Excellencies to consider the effect of these circumstances in the conduct of the enterprise suggested to me, together with the peculiar difficulties of that most thorny affair, not to speak of what the French might think about it. I will await your commands for dealing with further advances from the Resident or from the ministers.
London, the 22nd July, 1637.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
267. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
By letters dated the 15th inst. the Palatine acquainted his Majesty with his arrival in Holland and how he had begun his negotiations, making overtures in the Assembly for a new alliance and asking them to send deputies to Hamburg to arrange matters with the other allies. He had not yet received a reply and he feared that it would not be favourable, as the States objected that the articles arranged with France had not been communicated to them at the outset and that he had said nothing about the fisheries. The prince thinks that it will be difficult to induce the Dutch to join a defensive and offensive alliance against the House of Austria without assuring them of some considerable advantage, as it is not in their interest to break the neutrality with the empire, a point upon which they have never wavered in past negotiations with the king.
To avoid incitement from this quarter, as they say, but really to save their reputation, the Ambassador Beveren has again received orders to return to Holland, and so, laying aside the considerations reported, he has arranged to take leave on Sunday. He leaves the affair of the fisheries in the usual position and the English would not put their concessions in writing and the Dutch are not satisfied with a tacit connivance, which would leave them always subject to fear and doubt.
The particular affairs of this kingdom continue subject to the most serious agitations, as the people have been greatly moved and exasperated by the recent condemnation of the Bishop of Lincoln. He had written about matters of religion, opposing the forms introduced by the Archbishop of Canterbury, cloaking his rancour under the veil of piety. He is to pay the penalty by a fine of 10,000l. sterling, by suspension from his charge and by imprisonment in the Tower during the king's pleasure, or, as many insist, so long as the archbishop lives. (fn. 6) This and the examples of last week ought to subdue the insolence of that scandalous party ; but it seems that the more they seek to abase it the more vigorous it arises, auguring ill for the outcome, and prudent people who know the danger are not a little afraid of it. At the end of next week the king will begin his journey. As it is long and very inconvenient, the queen has decided not to follow him, but will stay near by in places least affected by the plague. (fn. 7)
Before his Majesty's departure the Spanish resident also will take his leave, as he has to proceed to Flanders to the service of the Cardinal Infant.
I have the ducal missives of the 20th June this week with instructions about the efforts of ministers here to establish trade at Ancona. Before this I have intimated how much your Excellencies would regret any unfortunate incident, as your officers have very strict orders to uphold your undoubted jurisdiction. I find that this has made a considerable impression, the proposal has been considerably damped and there is little indication that they will do any more in the matter. If the idea is revived I will speak more plainly, disclosing the hollowness of the affair so clearly that the merchants themselves shall recognise it.
The Ambassador Ognate called on me the day before yesterday. He spoke of the Palatine and seemed very anxious to arrange that matter, if they desire either justice or favour, either course being indifferent to the emperor, so he says. Yet he does not propose to make new overtures to the king, saying that he has gone far enough for his side.
London, the 24th July, 1637.
July 27.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives. Filza.
268. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the Collegio and spoke to the following effect : (fn. 8)
In my last audience I informed your Serenity of his Majesty's upright desire for peace. I now come to confirm it and to inform you of the conclusion of a treaty between his Majesty and the Most Christian to show his intimacy with the republic. The treaty concerns the interests of his Majesty and the princes Palatine, his nephews, and it may be called a new treaty, because it cements the friendship between the two crowns. That friendship is likely to bring forth results such as his Majesty desires for the service of those princes. He feels sure that your Serenity agrees in wishing their welfare, and that he could do nothing better for the general cause. At the same time he must consider his own interests, in the present state of affairs, which requires him to act thus. He sees that he can hope for nothing by any other way, owing to the obstinacy of the Austrians, with whom neither offices nor promises avail. They also seem reluctant to grant passports to the princes and imperial towns, without which the French are determined not to agree to the congress at Cologne, which is not yet fixed. His Majesty feels sure that your Serenity will consider this treaty opportune and calculated to do what is necessary to overcome obstacles, where the claims of the Spaniards are such that it seems unlikely they will be overcome, to give what is justly demanded for his nephews. As nothing can be expected from Cologne, the arrangement between the two kings may prove a powerful means to obtain what would otherwise be difficult, and my king expects that everything will turn out satisfactorily to your Serenity.
The doge replied, We fully recognise his Majesty's good intentions toward the common service and peace. We thank you for the communication of the treaty. We had heard something about it, but we are glad to hear it from you. We feel sure it will conduce greatly to peace. We have always worked for this and will continue to cooperate. We are sure the alliance will help the princes Palatine, for whom we have always desired what is their due.
The ambassador continued, Your Serenity will have heard that the Prince Palatine and his brother were going to Holland, as the States General were to be informed of the treaty, and to obtain assistance from them. They are grateful for the favours received by their father and themselves from your Serenity, of which my king preserves a lively memory.
The doge thanked the ambassador for the communication. His Majesty might be sure that they desired the welfare of those princes. The ambassador said, I thought it my duty to communicate this particular as I know that his Majesty wishes the republic to be satisfied. The doge repeated his thanks.
The ambassador then said, I thank your Serenity for the courtesy with which you received the advices I last brought. I only regret that they were not so recent as I could have wished, but as the information seemed important I thought it right to communicate it. My last letters say that the Duke of Lorraine was so badly beaten that he left more than a thousand men on the field (fn. 9) and he had to withdraw to Bisenzone, as he could not be safe elsewhere. The news caused some dissatisfaction in Flanders, and they blamed President Rossa for being too tardy with the negotiations, so that the blow could not be remedied. I thought it essential to add this. If anything more comes I will impart it.
The doge said, We are glad of your advices, although they agree in part with what we hear from elsewhere. We esteem them because they come from you. We thank you and we shall always appreciate them. With this the ambassador bowed, took leave and departed.
July 30.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
269. That the English Ambassador be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him :
His Majesty is operating most prudently and in conformity with his most just intent towards the public weal. We have learned with pleasure what you have told us about his alliance with the Most Christian. Our wishes correspond with his Majesty's desires and we wish him every success, hoping that it will all lead to that universal peace towards which our republic is always ready to contribute its good offices. We thank his Majesty for the confidence shown and your lordship for the advices, which we value highly.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 4. Neutral, 1.
270. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of the exposition of the English ambassador about the treaty between his king and the Most Christian. He gives no particulars, which corresponds with the reserve shown on the subject in England. We have received some particulars of the matter from France. We are sure that you will send us the articles and the opinions of the Court. With the Palatine Princes gone the operations of the king and his ministers will disclose themselves, when they no longer have the impulse of the presence of those princes and you will see what direction their resolutions take. We enclose a copy of our answer to the ambassador, in which we confined ourselves to generalities, corresponding with his office.
We have learned with peculiar satisfaction of the visit of the Spanish ambassador and that you had his response without difficulty and the title of "Excellency." You have done very well in the management of this delicate affair.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 4. Neutral, 1.
July 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
271. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The furious storms which have raged at sea all this week have left this kingdom utterly in the dark about foreign affairs. The king is very upset because he has had no news of his fleet since the Palatine arrived in Holland, and because he cannot hear what that prince has done with the States, his last despatches being filled with confusion rather than hope.
The Ambassador Beveren took leave last Sunday without saying a word about the fisheries. This causes them more anxiety, as it looks as if the Dutch, neglecting to compound their more important interests with this crown, had begun to think of other expedients, which would be more distasteful here. Yet his Majesty received the ambassador very graciously, assured him of his steadfast devotion to the common cause, told him that he eagerly desired to hear good news of the Prince of Orange, and begged him to urge his masters to make up their minds as soon as possible upon the subjects which his nephew is now proposing. But even this show of friendliness did not satisfy the ambassador, who would have liked to take something more solid to Holland about present affairs, and the fisheries in particular, upon which he may have hoped they would say something to him.
It is indeed with astonishment that one observes they wish with the one hand to keep the Dutch checked and in subjection at sea, while on the other they pretend to dispose of their arms and affections as if they had no wills independent of this crown, yet all the time the Dutch show themselves so courageous and strong in their determination not only to assert their rights, but in declaring that they will not give without receiving.
This departure of Beveren under existing circumstances alarms the Council, who perceive that the good result of the treaty with France depends on the Dutch, as they believe the party of the Swedes not far from ruin, if not there. The Spanish ambassador publishes as much already, and advices from Germany bear it out, so the king here no longer fixes his gaze in that direction, but looks to the fortune of the Dutch as the orient of his designs.
A courier arrived recently from Spain brings word that the French friar (fn. 10) was on the point of leaving that Court without having settled anything substantial in his negotiations. The matter has excited much attention here and they have heard the news with particular satisfaction, as it is utterly impossible by any means to uproot entirely from the minds of the ministry here the suspicion of a secret intelligence between the Courts of France and Spain for an armistice or a truce.
The Resident Nicolaldi took leave of their Majesties on Tuesday, and yesterday the Court was almost entirely disbanded, the king, with a small company starting on his progress, from which he will not return before the end of September. The queen meanwhile will stay partly at Oatlands and partly here at Richmond. I have also come here, so as not to be totally cut off from intercourse and so that I may have access to their Majesties if necessary, without suspicion of bringing the plague, which is raging in London. I shall try to do what little I can for the service of the state, in the hope of being released from this expensive embassy, and that on the return of the king, at least, if there is no previous opportunity, I may have permission to take leave and proceed to my new post in France, where I shall have greater opportunity, if not more ability to show my devotion.
The state despatches of the 27th ult. with the exposition of the Ambassador Fielding and the Senate's reply reached me last Saturday.
Richmond, the 30th July, 1637.
July 31.
Collegio. Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
272. The English Ambassador was summoned to the Collegio and the Senate's deliberation of yesterday was read to him ; he spoke to the following effect :
I am much gratified that your Serenity appreciates what I said about my king's desire for general peace. He has no other object in all that he does although he must also consider the interests of the princes Palatine. His alliance with France cannot fail to produce the good desired. I am sure he will be glad to hear that the republic approves of the treaty. He will always show his confidence and I shall take the greatest delight in fostering this intimacy. I thank you for the reception of the advices which I have communicated, and I hope they will always help the republic and the cause of general peace.
The doge said that his offices could not be other than acceptable, because of his manner of presenting them. They were sure he would represent to the king their sincere devotion to the interests of the princes Palatine, and they prayed God that all would turn out to their advantage, as they believed it would, from the alliance with the Most Christian.
The ambassador thanked the doge and said he would try and show himself a good servant of his Serenity. With this he took leave and went to take a note of the office read to him. When leaving he said that he could assert that although the alliance with France was for the benefit of the princes Palatine, it would also help towards the general peace that being, his Majesty's intention. If news arrived worthy of his Serenity, he would send it ; and so he departed.


  • 1. From a letter of Capt. Edward Popham to Northumberland it would appear that the escort consisted of the Fifth Whelp, of the royal navy, and the "Pleiades" and "Industry," merchantmen in the royal service. The Whelp sprung a leak and sank off the coast of Holland, with 17 of her crew. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1637, page 283.
  • 2. The Court spent the latter part of June at Greenwich. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1637, pages 162, 193, 215, 228.
  • 3. The earl of Arundel accompanied the brothers as far as the coast. The two princes sailed in the "St. George," They reached the Hague on the 11th July n.s. accompanied by the earls of Northampton and Warwick and the lords Grandison and Craven. Salvetti on the 14th July. Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 27962H. Boswell to Fielding 12/33 June Hist, MSS. Comm. 7th Report, page 221. Cal. S. P. Dom., 1637, page 307.
  • 4. The king was at Havering in the middle of July. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1637, page 287.
  • 5. Henry Burton, John Bastwick, and William Prynne. The sentence was carried out on the 30th June, o.s.
  • 6. The case was heard in the Star Chamber on the 16th June o.s., Williams had written a book entitled "The Holy Table, Name and Thing," in reply to "A Coal from the Altar" by Laud's chaplain Heylin. Gardiner : Hist. of Eng. Vol. VIII., page 253.
  • 7. The king was at Oatlands on the 26th July n.s., and does not seem to have gone further. On the 13th August he and the queen were present at the marriage of Lennox at Lambeth, after which they both returned to Oatlands. The king was away hunting in the New Forest from the 24th August to the 7th September, by which time he was back at Oatlands again. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1637, pages 313, 355, 370-372, 387, 389.
  • 8. This exposition is taken from the filza as it is not entered in the Register.
  • 9. At Ray sur Saone at the beginning of July, by Weimar.
  • 10. He is referred to in a despatch of Scudamore of the 6th March n.s. "Here is one Basili of the order of the Minimes who hath lately been sent hither from Anjou and is upon his journey for Spain where he hath lived many years and is well known to the Conde d'Olivares. The pretence of his journey is to perform of some religious vow ; but it is conceived,he goes furnished with instructions to treat a peace. S. P. For. France, Vol. 103."