Venice: February 1638

Pages 364-379

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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February 1638

Feb. 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
389. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The restrained reply given by the English agents to the Ambassador Salvio at Hamburg, has induced Sweden to send here a certain Scottish Colonel, who was employed a long time ago for that party in Germany, for the purpose of making a final effort to discover what they really mean here about supporting them. He represents the state of affairs there as very critical. Galasso is very strong and master of the field in Pomerania ; Banier and other Swedish commanders, although vigilant, have withdrawn to their winter quarters. Volgast castle, Usedon and perhaps by now Anclan have surrendered to the imperial arms, and if this crown does not decide to render definite assistance with money or men to support the Swedish troops, in conjunction with France, that country will be compelled to make terms with the King of Hungary, while she can still obtain good ones. It cannot be blamed for doing this after being abandoned by one who has so great an interest in the cause and it cannot hold out against the whole empire alone.
The English agents write on the 15th of January that M. d'Avancurt, sent by the Most Christian to Poland, has appeared at Hamburg on his way there, though he does not say what for. He took to M. d'Avo the arrangements made at Paris with the Dutch deputies for the next campaign, to be communicated to the Ambassador Salvio so that he may write to Sweden, and to urge him to hand over the treaty of Vismar. The amount to be paid is settled and the letters of exchange for it have arrived. Salvio is now seeking fresh pretexts for delay. He says that one Smalzius has been sent by Sweden to negotiate the alliance with this crown also, and so soon as he has arrived they will put the finishing touches to both affairs. But the delay is only to allow Salvio to confer with Count Curzio, who has arrived in Mecklenburg, and hear the proposals of the King of Hungary, and someone has been sent to that monarch from Sweden to hear it from his own lips and then take such steps as may be best for that kingdom.
M. di Vosbergh being advised that fourteen Dunkirk ships are at sea to take him, proposed to stay here until a force of Dutch ships arrives to escort him to Holland ; but being persuaded by M. de Bellievre on the ground that the decisions about war which he carries may suffer from delay, to consign to him his despatches in cipher so that he might get a ship from the king to send them with all speed to the Hague, he decided to embark unexpectedly upon his own very swift frigate, escorted by only two Dutch warships, in the hope of crossing the sea in a single night, with a good wind. M. dell'Estrade embarked with him, sent by the Most Christian to the Prince of Orange to communicate his military plans, as he does every year, as a mark of confidence.
The Prince Palatine has sent word to his Majesty that he has arranged a conference for next month with the officers of the army of Hesse, to arrange about his taking up the command, which he says he will do soon after, when he has the means to maintain himself. He would like to pledge this crown to some monthly assistance while he has that command, but as he has always indicated that he wished to do it of his own motion it is supposed that he does not intend to bind himself to anything.
The queen has sent a remittance of 12,000l. sterling to the Ambassador Leicester, and they will send 8000l. more in a few weeks, with orders to get some jewels of the queen mother, which she had pawned and which were in danger of being lost, out of the hands of some merchants of Paris or Lyons. (fn. 1)
From Flanders also they write of the league arranging in Italy with the King of Spain to drive the French out, and that Prince Tomaso is to be the general. As they know there is no foundation for this, it does not disturb the ministry here.
The last letters of your Excellencies to reach me are of the 8th ult. with the very modest exposition of Fildin, due certainly to orders received from here by virtue of my representations. I keep on the watch to justify the action of the state,when necessary. I also find the orders about the reception of the Ambassador Giustinian repeated, for which I will do my utmost.
London, the 5th February, 1637. [M.V.]
Feb. 6.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
390. To the Secretary in England.
We have received your letters of the 8th ult. A paper has been presented on behalf of Obson as well as certain claims, which meet with obstacles and strong opposition. We advise you of this so that you may not commit yourself further with this Obson, as if he desires favourable treatment he must remember to conduct himself properly.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
Feb. 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
391. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty and all the Court proceeded on Monday from the Pardo to the house of il Buon Retiro in order to do honour to the Duchess of Chevreuse. When visiting the Count Duke I told him of Sig. Contarini's prudent offices with Cardinal Richelieu, reported by me on the 5th December.
Madrid, the 6th February, 1638.
[Italian.] Copy.
Feb. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
392. Anzolo Correr and Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
With respect to the audience of the Palatine princes the Master of the Ceremonies has informed the English ambassadors that they may have it when they please if they make up their minds not to cover before him, as none of the princes of the blood does so and not even his own brother. This reply has much upset the ambassadors who remark that the Palatine house meets with most distress and disadvantage just where it most hopes for protection.
Paris, the 9th February, 1637. [M.V.]
Feb. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
393. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty is preparing several presents for the Queen of England. These will be taken by the Duchess of Chevreuse, who is leaving the day after to-morrow, after receiving every honour as well as rich gifts from their Majesties.
Madrid, the 10th February, 1638.
[Italian.] Copy.
Feb. 10.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
394. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the Collegio and spoke as follows :
I should fall short of the joy I feel if I delayed any longer to inform you what I have in commission from his Majesty, to show his esteem, as by an express courier I am charged to come here for important matters touching the common interests and the service of this province. Your Serenity has allowed me to serve you with so much honour, advantage and satisfaction to me, and I am bound to desire the prosperity and greatness of the republic. His Majesty directs me to say that he is disposed to interest himself in the events of these parts with great zeal and a strong desire to help, as he knows the agitations from which it has suffered. He offers your Serenity his assistance and sincere union. He could not be more zealous about his own affairs. He will study to help you by offices, interposition and assistance. He hopes for a response from your Serenity in conformity with his greatness and zeal, and he thinks that there will be no difficulty about uniting for such advantages.
He thinks that to avoid dangers it will be advisable to consider what things are likely to increase disturbance, affording support to prevent collapse, and supplying them with advice and assistance. The first and most pressing of these and the one likely to give most trouble is the case of Savoy, where disunion is so rife, and where they aim at increasing the divergence of interests.
His Majesty commands me to commend these to your Serenity's protection. You may have some difference with that state, but where the public cause is concerned private feelings should not prevail, especially now that the opportunity is most favourable to compound it. This is afforded by my king's offer to work through me, the tendency to make friends, the justice and uprightness of your Serenity's principles and aims, my own exceeding obligation to use this means for repaying so many favours. I believe also that the things said in that book (fn. 2) may easily be managed with mutual satisfaction, so I do not see why the differences should continue, which so affect the public welfare of which your Serenity is the support and base.
I told his Majesty of my offices on the death of the Duke of Mantua. He approved and ordered me to repeat them, offering his own help for the preservation of that state.
I should like to finish my speech at this point, in order not to recall the further orders which I have from,my king. To give greater effect to his determination to intervene in the affairs of Italy he directs me to go to Savoy to confer with the duchess and offer support. His Majesty has always had a great interest in that state. I shall go, pleased to obey his Majesty, but sad at losing the honour I have always received here. During my stay I have had great occasion to admire your greatness and most prudent government, and the principles which have brought you so high. Words fail me to say how I leave the most indebted man alive. My service has been too short, but I hope that the glories of your Serenity may last for ever. I shall never tire of publishing my duty, and if ever I have an opportunity of repaying some small portion of my indebtedness your Serenity will have no one more devoted or more constant than I. If some difference has arisen it has not been through my fault, and it has caused me more pain than I could express. I hope in your Serenity's kindness and favour and I shall try to serve you all my life.
The republic has advised his Majesty of its satisfaction with my service. His Majesty directs me to thank you for this.
The doge replied with thanks for his offices and for his Majesty's intention to intervene in the affairs of Italy. They had acted for Mantua and were desirous for its liberty. What was taking place prevented them from doing all that they would like for Savoy. They regretted his departure because they knew him for a sincere minister of high character. They were pleased with his offices and wished his stay had been longer. Wherever he went they would remember his gentle qualities. They knew that what had happened was not due to him but to persons of lower rank, who could not be controlled. His management left nothing to be desired. They wished him all prosperity and the assistance and grace of God. He would be in a position to do good and they would always be ready to do anything for him. The Signory would make him a suitable response.
The ambassador said, I shall depart at the moment I take leave of your Serenity with a gracious reply. I wait for that as the most valid of my concerns, and as a sure means of guidance. Be good enough to give me your opinions on all the matters mentioned, so that I may use your counsel and consider myself most fortunate.
As regards Savoy and the republic's difficulties with that house I do not see such difficulty of adjusting them, as there are no lost towns or claims for territory, which are the things that make agreements difficult. My king's disposition and my zeal may perhaps bring me this honour and satisfaction. A union of means and interest bring about adjustments. At all events I will employ all my powers. His Majesty wishes to follow the example of his predecessors in maintaining the advantage and quiet of princes.
Some months ago I asked for the release of an Englishman from the galleys. I do not know in which galley he is. The favour will be a signal one. His father is one of the physicians of my queen, of good character and ability. Sometimes unhappy men fall into these misadventures. It will gratify his Majesty much if he is released, and it will show me your Serenity's good will because of the merit it will bring me with the queen.
The doge replied that they wished to do everything for his Majesty and himself. It would be as well to leave a memorial, with the name and if possible the galley. That would save time. Meanwhile he might be sure of their affection. With this the ambassador bowed and departed. Soon after the secretary came to the doors of the collegio with the memorial.
The Memorial.
Some years ago Leonard Turnir, son of a physician of the queen of Great Britain (fn. 3) was taken to the galley of Sig. Gradenigo, sold for a small sum and put to the oar. As he was of a civil family, improper for that employment the ambassador signified to the said Sig. that he would take it as a favour if he would release him, offering to pay what was due. While he was awaiting results in conformity with the good intentions expressed, he left and after some time sold him to Sig. Andrea Faliero, a thing that astonished him. The ambassador therefore begs your Serenity to order his release especially as he is not there for any crime. His Majesty will take it as a particular favour.
1637, the 18th September.
By order of the Savii, the Proveditori of the fleet shall take exact information upon the instance of the English ambassador and give their opinion upon oath, sending their reply to the Collegio as soon as possible.
Reply of the Savii.
In response to the instance of the English ambassador for Leonard Turnir, I find in the book of Ser Antonio Gradenigo, captain of the Gulf, among the galeots of liberty, the name of Leonardo da Padova, formerly Tomaso, called English. He was removed from the book on the 15th December 1636, and I think he is the same person described on the 2nd January following in the book of the galley of Ser Andrea Falier, from whom he was bought, I understand for about 200 lire of debt, but as the galley is at present in the Levant, it is impossible to know where he is at present. Dated from the office of the armament, the 22nd September, 1637.
Bartolomeo Corner, Proveditore.
Copies of the entries in the books of the galleys aforesaid.
Feb. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
395. To the Secretary in England.
We enclose a copy of the exposition of the Ambassador Fielding together with our reply, for your information and the encouragement of confidential relations. We have also released the Englishman from the galleys at the ambassador's request (fn. 4) and have voted him a gold chain exceeding the usual value. You will draw attention to these things. You must keep on the watch to see if any fresh appointment of an ambassador is made, as Fielding said nothing about his coming back. No letters from you have arrived this week.
Ayes, 75. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
396. That the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain be summoned to the Collegio and that the following be read to him :
We welcome his Majesty's fresh assurances to our republic in the interests of the peace and quiet of this province. We are always ready to promote these, as we feel sure your lordship will report. We regret your departure greatly. With regard to Savoy, the actions of that House forbid any kind of confidence, though nothing can hinder our zeal for the public peace. We will gladly extend our favour to Turner and have him released at once, to show how ready we are to gratify your lordship and the queen.
That 1,500 crowns of 7 lire each be expended upon a chain to present to Lord Fielding, ambassador of the King of Great Britain, at his departure, out of regard for his high qualities and because of his position as ambassador extraordinary to his Serenity.
That 300 crowns of the same value be expended upon a chain for the secretary, and that 1000 ducats be given from the depository in the Mint to Gariboldo Orese al Pomo Granado, on account of these chains, so that he may make provision of the gold that will be required.
Ayes, 75. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
Feb. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
397. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ministry have replied to the representations of the Swedish minister that his Majesty is ready to contribute any assistance to the common cause if the alliance with France is established, which is still unsettled owing to the delays caused by the Swedes, who are also delaying the treaty of Vismar under various pretexts, and by such means are advancing the negotiations for peace with the emperor, which is more credited than perhaps it should be and gives rise to the belief that that kingdom can obtain advantageous terms. They regret the misfortune which has recently overtaken their arms and tend to believe that with the approach of milder weather, the enemy will be diverted in several directions and they will resume their former vigour.
The Treasurer of Scotland has arrived. He went to kiss the king's hands and had two long private conferences with him. He brings the protestations of the people there that they are loyal subjects of his Majesty in civil matters, but in ecclesiastical ones they declare that they want no alteration in their old dogmas, unless their error is first pointed out. They offer to dispute against the doctrine of that book and prove that it conforms to the Roman rite, and to show various other irregularities contained in it, against the power of the king, who is head of the Anglican Church. If they are convinced they will accept it, but if not they cannot be compelled to adopt it.
Term began last week, the time when the twelve judges of England proceed to the city to resolve the suits between the people. While it was expected that they would give sentence declaring definitely whether the king can levy contributions for maintaining ships, a fresh delay has arisen, as by law the judges must state their opinion publicly before the sentence follows. Two of them have already done so, declaring that his Majesty has power to exact contributions since the declaration about the necessity rests with him. Two of their colleagues will dispute next week and the rest in the coming terms of Easter and June. It is announced that two of the judges possibly not agreeing with the others and disinclined to pronounce against the king, intend to ask leave to resign and retire to the repose of their own houses. Meanwhile they circulate a report that when the present exaction is collected, the king will not ask for any more in the future, hoping in this way to facilitate the payment, which meets with serious difficulties.
The Count of Scissa, who represents the Duchess of Savoy here, openly declares that the people of Piedmont have decided not to contribute to the continuation of the war. If France wants to go on with it there, she will have to wage it with her own men and money. While their prince was alive his people would have shed the last drop of their blood for him, but there is not so much enthusiasm for the duchess as they do not like the French.
The Secretary of the king's ambassador in Spain arrived recently with despatches asking to be relieved of that charge so that he may cure himself of the stone, which renders him useless. The king has consented and appointed as ambassador Opton, who was formerly agent at that same Court. (fn. 5) They think he will be dubbed knight before he starts, so as to have some title. They have not yet nominated anyone for your Serenity, although the claimants do not cease their efforts. Meanwhile Filden's relations hear with astonishment that the extraordinary sent to him with orders to go to Turin, had not reached him on the 15th ult. and they are afraid that fresh misadventures may happen, causing your Excellencies further annoyance.
Madame de Chevreuse writes that in spite of the kind treatment she receives in Spain she proposes to join the queen mother in Flanders, and first to kiss the hands of their Majesties here. Although they do not want her to come they have sent orders to all the ports so that if she comes she may be suitably entertained.
One of the war ships escorting M. di Vosbergh perished when entering the sea from this river, but the men escaped, with all else therein. The whole Court has heard with satisfaction of the hopes of the pregnancy of the Queen of France. The king has written about it with his own hand to the queen here, who invokes the aid of God by the fasts and frequent prayers she has ordered in her chapel, to realise this boon for her brother and all Christendom. The king has also evinced the greatest content, though everyone must feel it incomplete until there is more certitude.
I have received your Serenity's despatch of the 14th ult. with the sheet of advices enclosed. I will use them with necessary circumspection. They serve greatly to encourage that confidence which assists the service of the state.
London, the 12th February, 1637. [M.V.]
Feb. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
398. Anzolo Correr and Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassadors in France to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here have received well authenticated advices that in addition to the ships of war which the King of Great Britain has destined for the passage to England of the Duchess of Chevreuse, he has sent her remittances of money and made her offers of every facility. This has offended them greatly here, not because they are afraid of the proceedings of that princess in England more than what she does in Spain, but because she has previously interfered to prevent an alliance between that crown and this, and they do not like to see that king so ready to give her assistance and an asylum, especially when he circulated misleading reports that he wished her far away.
Officers have been passed covertly to obtain help for the Prince Palatine from this quarter if he will undertake the command of the Landgrave of Hesse's army. They answered that if England will come out openly on the side of this crown in the war, his nephew will receive everything from this crown that he can desire, otherwise all his hopes are vain.
They have arranged a compromise for the audience of the two young princes, his Majesty announcing that he is content they shall enjoy the privilege of the princes of the blood by covering before him when the ambassadors are covered. So they go accompanied by the English ambassadors, they can cover together with them, otherwise not. This dispute seems settled, but there remains another with the queen, who claims that they shall not be allowed to sit, as was done with Duke Bernard, a particular at which the ambassadors have taken extreme offence.
Paris, the 16th February, 1637. [M.V.]
Feb. 17.
Venetian MSS. Public Record Office.
399. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate. (fn. 6)
The relations of this crown with its allies and neighbours can hardly be called good. They are at war with the Spaniards. Most of the Germans have abandoned them and have even become hostile. The English, who ought to unite with them because of the Palatinate, go very slowly and give little hope of a conclusion for any thing good, as instead of suppressing occasions for offence, they have gone to meet them by issuing letters of reprisals against French ships. In addition to this I have heard on good authority that the Cardinal and the Archbishop of Canterbury are not on good terms and do not like each other.
Paris, the 17th February, 1637. [M.V.]
Feb. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
400. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
In addition to the gifts of plate, horses and jewels made by their Majesties to the Duchess of Chevreuse, 5000 dubloons have arrived which have been sent after her. She has left a very great impression of her personality here. They also feel sure that she will perform very useful offices with the crown of England, for the purpose of keeping it in correspondence with the royal house here.
Madrid, the 18th February, 1638.
[Italian.] Copy.
Feb. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
401. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Bellievre has worked hard of late with the ministers to find some settlement of the differences between the two crowns about the ship Pearl and the English ships seized in France. Various proposals have been made, not one without serious difficulties for one side or the other, but all without result. Those concerned cry out to the royal Council. They assert with some freedom that they pay very high imposts for their goods, unbearable contributions, never known before for the maintenance of ships at sea, and in spite of this they suffer as much loss as before, their ships and goods being violated by the French and the Dunkirkers and Dutch as if in contempt of the king's Majesty, and without redress. This outcry has reached the king, and with the approval of the Council he has decided to direct the Earl of Leicester not to conduct any business at the French Court before this is settled. The secretaries of state, by his Majesty's order communicated this to Bellievre, and afterwards sent an extraordinary with these instructions to Paris, whither the ambassador also sent, to forestall the English one.
A Scot Lesli (fn. 7) arrived here recently, who commands an army for Sweden in Germany. He has gone on to Scotland to hasten the departure of the troops the levy of which was permitted a year ago, for those parts, and to take his wife and children to Pomerania, whither he will proceed in due course to fight again. He reports the departure of the imperial troops from that province, driven out by the cold and the lack of everything, though they have left their conquests provided as best they could.
Meanwhile the Swedish minister, dissatisfied with the replies given him, persists with his offices. He says they wrong his superiors in saying that they cause delays in the French alliance, and insists on their sending an ambassador to Hamburg with fuller powers to conduct it and deal with other matters that arise on the same subject. But they do not intend to appoint anyone here before the treaty of Vismar is completed and they are sure that the negotiations with the emperor are broken off.
Devich, the English Agent at Hamburg, writes on the 26th ult. that Galasso was in the neighbourhood, with the intention of wintering in Holstein. The King of Denmark had sent a gentleman to enquire, and he told him he was waiting for orders from the emperor and would act in accordance. He did not understand why that king claims that Holstein, as a member of the empire, should not lodge troops like Saxony and Brandenburg. When the king heard this he wrathfully ordered the inspection and reinforcement of the forts of the duchy, and ordered the troops to the frontier, to resist if Gallasso attempted to enter.
The Ambassador Ognati announces that his king has granted to Cæsar a payment of 200,000 crowns, on condition that he sends to Flanders 18,000 infantry and 7000 cavalry, with which the Cardinal Infant will work wonders. Don Francesco di Mello has arranged this and other matters in Germany, and has gone to Spain to inform the king. This agrees with what the English Agent writes from Brussels that they are not making any extraordinary preparations of troops, as they are expecting them from Germany, but he adds that money is very short, and the amount brought by the fleet to Dunkirk does not reach what report stated.
Last Sunday the king knighted Opton, recently appointed ambassador to Spain. They are now working at his instructions, and he will leave about Easter. The hopes of the Ambassador Astenay are dashed that his secretary would succeed him as agent, though he sent here for this purpose with recommendations in his favour. They say that the Earl of Leicester will also be recalled, and they are already saying at Court that as they do not know if France intends to conclude the alliance or no it does not accord with the king's dignity to keep an ambasasdor extraordinary any longer, as there is still the ordinary. The truth is that all affairs depend on the extraordinary, who has greater friends at Court, and the other expresses his resentment to some of the ministers, who spread these reports.
The queen gave a masque last Tuesday, at which she herself danced with fourteen of the most beautiful Court ladies, affording the king and all the nobility of London, who were present, a most pleasant entertainment. It was noteworthy above all others presented for a long time past for the richness of the dresses and the subtlety of the inventions.
The merchant Vassel, who proposed to divert his trade from Ragusa to Spallato has informed me of the Collegio's reply to Obson. He said he could only promise what was in his control. I told him that as your Excellencies did not approve of his requests except on those conditions I had nothing to add. He replied that if your Serenity would bind him to possible things he would do them, but he could not venture to promise what is not in his power. He seems very sorry at being unable to obtain such a favour and I fancy he is writing again to Obson to alter the paper and appear again before your Serenity.
London, the 19th February, 1637. [M.V.]
Feb. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
402. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Palatine regards as all but dead his hopes of making any move of consequence, as he sees no prospect of receiving from England the assistance that would be necessary. Thus, although he has tried to stir the states of Hesse to do something in his favour and to go and command their armies, yet any enterprise would prove beyond the attenuated strength of his forces.
The Hague, the 19th February, 1638.
Feb. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
403. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The negotiations for an alliance with the King of Great Britain remain fluctuating us usual. Here they profess to have done all that they ought and that the English do not mean to come to the point ; that they are taken up with the enjoyment of their present tranquillity and care little for foreign affairs. The French, on the other hand, announce their entire readiness to enter the conference whenever the others do so, but they say that the Swedes make difficulties unless the ratification of the treaty of Vismar is obtained first. But the Cardinal in talking to me stated emphatically that at present England might be called the country where they talk of everything and conclude nothing. For three years the ambassadors have grown old in disputes on this subject, and things are in a worse position than ever. The English seem not to care whether the conference is fixed at the Hague or at Hamburg making a display of their indifference being resolved in their hearts not to come to the point, their object being to preserve their own ease. But they may find they are mistaken, the wheel of fortune is always turning, and they may experience an unlucky turn such as they are now enjoying to see others experience.
Of the fleet ordered in Britanny it seems that the English are very jealous, not that they are afraid of its being used against them, but because they know the French persist in their old resolution not to recognise them as sovereign at sea.
The question of the seizure of ships is still in dispute with equal suffering and loss to the parties, trade being completely interrupted. The ambassadors assert, however, that matters have been brought to a promising stage and that an adjustment will soon follow.
Paris, the 23rd February, 1637. [M.V.]
Feb. 23.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
404. The deliberation of this Council of the 13th inst. having been read to the English ambassador, he spoke as follows :
I cannot help rejoicing greatly at seeing your Serenity's satisfaction with my king's disposition, and that hearts and hands are so united for the common interests of Christendom. I can again promise all union, all industry every effort on behalf of his Majesty, who is issuing his orders for that purpose. His ministers will strive to fulfil his principles, and I especially, now I see how much credit I enjoy with your Serenity. It is one of the greatest confusions of my weakness that I cannot by any action or demonstration render myself equal to any of the honours I have received in this office. As I cannot express myself I shall so act as to show to others, wherever I go, what is in my heart towards your Serenity.
His Majesty well knows the reasons for your differences with the Duke of Savoy. He has ordered me to be an instrument, in going there, to obtain every satisfaction and advantage for your Serenity, as well as to labour for the peace. I know that this is a great responsibility and a great honour, and I am sure I have not deserved it, though I have it much at heart. I might in this affair ask for some further indication of your Serenity's feelings, but I will wait until I get to Turin, to hear what is decided here to that end, and if you tell me, I will say what I think, and I shall be able to help more easily and to serve. I can assure your Serenity that I shall have no happier moment than when I do something that pleases the republic and in public affairs I shall try, with the credit of my king's interposition, to prove myself useful.
I will inform the queen of the favour accorded to that man so readily and graciously. I know she will be very pleased and will show it upon occasion with the king and in other ways. I also thank your Serenity, taking it as a fresh testimony of the favour which I do not deserve.
The doge said that the republic was anxious to please his Majesty ; they were at one with him in their love of peace and desire for it. They could add nothing to what the Senate had said about Savoy. They valued the ambassador highly and would always show how much they esteemed his merits.
The ambassador said, The happiest part of my leave taking is the kindness I have experienced from your Serenity. Before I go I shall come to render fresh thanks. I have some commissions from his Majesty for offices for the relief of others and his subjects. When I leave here, I shall go, by command to the Princess of Mantua, for some office, and then go on to the Duchess of Savoy. If your Serenity has any commands for those parts, I will obey them and wherever I go I shall show myself the devoted servant of the republic. The doge said that they would always meet his Majesty's desires. The ambassador then bowed and went out, passing into the other hall to take a copy of the office read to him.
Feb. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives.
405. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday in last week two other judges pronounced on the question of the contributions for the fleet, deciding that his Majesty could order them by virtue of the laws, but they adduced such feeble reasons, mixing them dexterously with those of the people, as to show that they pronounced for his Majesty more for authority than for justice. The libels and pasquinades circulated through the city and country and what persons of every condition say with the utmost freedom, is not easy to describe ; but what counts for more is the reluctance to pay. No person of quality will pay voluntarily, and the exaction proceeds so slowly that the king decided to summon the sheriffs of the Counties before the Council and reprimand them sharply for their negligence. They told him frankly that it was impossible to induce any person of account to pay amicably by persuasion or threats. When solicited in the king's name they say it is contrary to the institutions of the realm, and that one day they will have to render account for it. They show their cattle and other possessions from which their assessments may be levied by law ; they will not hinder it, but they will leave the memory to those who come after, to exonerate them. This shows the king what the permission to have the cause publicly discussed has led to, as the people have learned their privileges better and they make more difficulty about satisfying him. Many of the ministry protest, and his Majesty has unexpectedly decided, uninfluenced by the Council, who have heard it with astonishment, that it shall not give its opinion unless asked. They see the difficulties which may arise, but as he who commands wishes it, they must obey.
They talk of the fleet sailing in greater strength than last year. They are working busily at its preparation. The Earl of Northumberland will command and they are beginning to draw up fresh commissions for him.
The operations of the Ambassador of Morocco, who suggested to the Court that his king should help against Algiers, and the damage that their ships here and in Ireland receive from those pirates, who recently took into that port among thirteen ships of various nations, a rich English one with 24 guns, (fn. 8) of which news has recently arrived, has induced the king to go twice to the Council in person to devise means for a vigorous attempt, encouraged by the success at the fortress of Sale, which has so pleased the King of Morocco. Accordingly they propose to send thither in the spring a squadron of well armed ships, in the hope that with the forces supplied by the king, success may not prove difficult. It would be a remarkable relief to human intercourse. It is not yet decided if they will make the attempt, but the enterprise is universally applauded.
I went again yesterday to salute the Spanish ambassador, who received me very courteously. After the first compliments he asked me anxiously what news I had from Italy. I told him I only heard rumours of great preparations for war in Piedmont. He said the French wanted the chief places of the duchess, who was in no position to refuse. When I objected that they had nothing to bear that out here, he insisted it was as true as the gospel and told me to write it to the republic. He continued, I also fancy they are intriguing for the Mantuan, but I am not so sure of this as of the other. He said Prince Tomaso will not go to Italy just now, as the Cardinal, his brother has come to an agreement with his sister in law about his appanages, but nothing was said about his other claims. Saiavedra will not go at once to Mantua, as he wrote to Flanders that his negotiations would be premature. We afterwards conversed familiarly about the reports about the Cardinal Infant marrying the young Queen of Sweden. He said religion would be no impediment, because to be a king a man would become a devil, not only a Protestant, but the relations between the House of Austria and that kingdom were not so good as to induce him to make himself king there. He said he was daily expecting an ordinary with orders for him to go to Spain. He declared that the king could not send another ambassador here before he had conferred with him. The Ambassador Fildin writes on the 29th ult. of the arrival of the extraordinary with the instructions to go to Turin. He says he will set out within a fortnight, leaving your Excellencies pleased with his operations and of the most friendly disposition to his Majesty. They have sent to him to offer his condolences in passing to the Princess of Mantua, on the death of the duke, her father in law.
The king has sent the Earl of Bukom, a Scottish favourite of his Majesty, to congratulate the Most Christian on the pregnancy of his queen. He is to express the satisfaction felt here at this boon to Christendom, and the sincere affection of this crown for that kingdom.
His Majesty set out the day before yesterday for Newmarket, to spend three weeks in hunting. The greater part of the Council has gone with him, to assist in what may turn up, so this Court is very short of news. The queen remains here, so as not to go away from her Lenten devotions.
An extraordinary arrived from France this morning brings word of the settlement of the affair of the ship Pearl, which is restored by the French to its owners, with 40,000 florins for the goods and other things in dispute, and that trade is restored to its former condition. The news is very welcome to the merchants here, who suffered greatly by its interruption. But those interested in the ship are not content, protesting that they suffer very sensible disadvantage.
I have received your Serenity's despatches of the 28th ult. with the enclosed packet of advices.
London, the 26th February, 1637. [M.V.]
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
406. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Asks to be excused serving the Ambassador Corraro as secretary, in France, after this present residence, as his health has broken down. Corraro has consented. Has suffered for some months from severe catarrh, which has affected his right arm. His hand requires rest, but that is impossible at present. Has frequent attacks of fever, but will do his duty so long as he has breath. Lazari is fulfilling the duties of secretary to Corraro admirably. Asks leave to return home after the Ambassador Giustinian arrives, in consideration of having served three secretaryships with ordinary ambassadors, and acted twice as resident, and because of the state of his health.
London, the 26th February, 1638.
Feb. 27.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
407. Lord Fielding having been sent three years ago as ambassador extraordinary to his Serenity, it is desirable that some demonstration and present should be made at his departure.
That up to 300 ducats be expended for this in refreshments in one or more places through which he will pass, in such manner as our Collegio shall see fit, after it is known what route he will follow.
Ayes, 149. Noes, 4. Neutral, 7.


  • 1. Salvetti, writing on the 29th January states that the value of the jewels was mentioned by Sir Richard Wynne, the queen's treasurer. Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 27962H. It is most likely that Maurice Wynne, whom Pennington was ordered (on Feb. 10) to bring back from Dieppe on the Providence with a charge of great value, was bringing these jewels with him, Cal, S,P, Dom. 1637-8, page 244.
  • 2. Presumably the treatise whereby Savoy claimed the island of Cyprus and the royal title. See the preceding volume of this Calendar, page 264 and note.
  • 3. Probably son of Samuel Turner, physician of Anne, queen of James I, Col. S.P. Dom. 1619-23, page 66.
  • 4. On the contrary a letter from Talbot to Fielding of 4 Nov. 1639 states that this man whom he calls "Turner's son in law" had not even then been released. Hist. MSS. Gomm. Denbigh MSS. part V. page 68.
  • 5. Richard Fanshawe, Aston's secretary, reached London on the 1/2 4/4 January bringing the ambassador's letters of the 28th December. Coke to Aston, the 8 Feb. o.s. S.P. For. Spain. Hopton was knighted on Candlemas day, the 2½ Feb., Garrad to Wentworth, the 7th Feb. Strafford Letters, Vol. ii., page 148. His appointment was announced in Court on the preceding Saturday, the 6th Feb. n.s. Salvetti's despatch of the 12th Feb. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962H.
  • 6. This despatch is not to be found among the files at Venice, although it is entered in the ambassador's letter book preserved at the Public Record Office.
  • 7. Alexander Leslie.
  • 8. Possibly the Mary of London, referred to in a petition of the 31st May. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1637-8, page 477.