Venice: March 1638

Pages 379-391

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


March 1638

March 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
408. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The differences about ships between the French and the English merchants will be adjusted at last with entire satisfaction to the parties.
Paris, the 2nd March, 1638.
March 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
409. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Treasurer of Scotland, after his arrival at Court, had several interviews with the king about the disturbances of that kingdom, which are not yet appeased. He told him of the obstinacy of the people there in refusing to hear of any alteration in the old rites, or accepting the interim of 5 years. The mere thought of changing those which they now practise fills them with horror. Besides the question of conscience, which exercises a very strong influence, they consider the prejudice which would result to the kingdom, which has been governed by its own laws for so many centuries, in civil as well as ecclesiastical affairs, and it would never allow itself to be subordinate to this one, as it would if the churches there received orders for their worship from the Archbishop of Canterbury. They ask that their parliament may be summoned and the new doctrine laid before it. If it approves they will obey without cavil. As a good servant of his Majesty and a good Scot, although he cannot at heart condemn those principles, he protests that he had never declared as much to any one, but had urged them, although uselessly, to obey, as his office obliged him. He begged the king to look benignantly on the interests of his native kingdom, and not reduce it to despair, and ended by praying God to enlighten those who give him such pernicious advice, against his interests and the repose of his subjects. He told a correspondent of mine that he had spoken thus to the king. He added in the deepest confidence that if they want that book to be read they must send an army of 40,000 men to defend the minister who must read it, for all the above reasons. But they have not affected his Majesty who clings pertinaciously to his intent, indeed he has intimated with indignation that he means to punish Edinburgh in an exemplary manner, as the first to show disobedience and afford an example to encourage the others. He said he would remove the Courts of Justice the magistrates and the royal Council to Stirling, which would mean its ruin. All the Scots who serve at Court are very sorry to hear this violence but the king will not listen to better counsel, so further disturbances are expected in those parts.
On the announcement at Court that the Earl of Bokem had gone to France to congratulate the king on the news of the queen's pregnancy, the queen here declared that it was not true, but that the earl had gone on his private affairs with the king's permission, who had given him letters. Your Excellencies will hear from the spot. There are various opinions here. The absence of the Court makes it difficult to check things.
The king remonstrated some days ago with the Ambassador Bellievre about the behaviour of the Ambassador d'Estampes at the Hague to the Prince Palatine, to whom he did not give the title of Elector or even of Highness. Bellievre said this was through inadvertence, as in French they used "Vous" for everyone, and it was used with the Duke of Orleans and even with the king himself. The excuse did not satisfy his Majesty, who said they could find titles if they were not reluctant to use them.
The Ambassador has published more exact details about the Pearl settlement. He says that the sentence of the Admiralty of Paris, confiscating the ship, is commended, but the Most Christian, out of pure favour has declared for its restitution to the owners with 42,000 francs for all other claims for which the English should pay 8000 francs to the masters of the French barques taken and revoke the letters of reprisals. That done the arrest will be removed and trade resumed as before. The English ambassadors report the same conditions, but give the amount as 63,000 francs. The merchants interested are dissatisfied, and swear they know the goods in the ship were sold for more than 80,000 florins. They say the Most Christian has done a great wrong to the King of Great Britain, infringing the articles of the last peace between the two crowns, one of the chief articles being that the kings should not sequestrate the goods of merchants on land or in ships for any quarrels at sea, but only act by letters of reprisals or upon the body of the ships. The king here had better reason to seize the goods of French merchants when the Pearl was taken, but mindful of the articles, he merely granted letters of reprisals, without proceeding to violence. They do not know how they can trust their goods in France after this, as they are sure the French will always act in the same way to the serious disadvantage of this mart.
News has come from Calais that the Dunkirk fleet is ready, numbering forty sail, great and small, to proceed to Spain. They have forbidden every kind of boat to leave the port, so that the news of their equipage may not be published, as they intend to make sail unexpectedly, to avoid meeting the Dutch, who are waiting for them at sea, although some argue that the Spaniards mean to attempt something with that fleet before they get to Spain, as they are to embark three regiments, and therefore it is thought that they will go to Galicia to take away 4000 infantry for Flanders. The despatches from Italy for shipment at Dunkirk are sequestrated there. The last I have from your Serenity is of the 28th January.
London, the 5th March, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 8.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
410. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke as follows :
I have informed his Majesty of the Senate's response to my offices, and I am sure he will be pleased at this reception of his intentions. My regret at the necessity which hastens my departure confuses me in expressing my sentiments ; my only consolation is that I shall be able to serve your Serenity everywhere.
I must add my king's gratification at the sentiments of the republic towards general peace. I can assure you that his Majesty will leave no means untried to further it. I have also to express his Majesty's thanks for the kindness and protection your Serenity has always extended to the Palatine house. You are asked to continue this, as it is sure to be grateful to the king. I also rejoice at learning from your reply that no prejudice to public affairs will arise from your differences with the house of Savoy. If this had been so it would have seriously affected the public cause, and the hopes and confidence of princes in the constant care your Serenity takes would have drooped. I will try and see what I can do about these differences to remove the dissatisfaction of your Serenity, by acts of respect which will restore the former intimacy, which was so useful to the cause and helped and honoured that house so much.
In leaving I have to recommend with all my heart the interests of his Majesty's subjects trading in your state and in the islands of the Levant. I hope this may be easy as your Serenity is so disposed to uphold trade, which is the ornament of states and princes. It will suffice if the most just laws of this state are observed and that his Majesty's subjects behave reasonably, and that trade is left open without excessive burdens. I say this because I think the merchant Ider, who has traded so much, with advantage to the customs, in Cephalonia and Zante has practically retired to the Morea, as suspect of contumacy and outlawry, since there is no lack of the envious who plot against the property and interests of those who rise by industry and are fortunate enough to improve their condition. He is a merchant of repute and honour, very well known and esteemed in England. I know that he would never do anything to hurt places from which he derives such advantage. It will be enough if your Serenity accepts this and if he enjoys the advantage of your orders. I also understand that something has happened to a ship which trades to your Serenity's dominions, called the Scipio, but you will see about this from the memorials presented by others. I ask you for justice.
I am now arrived at the term of my consolations, as my first content was to come into your presence and receive your kind welcome, This memory will always remain in my heart. The graciousness extended to my feebleness has laid me under an obligation for life. My weakness has gained some light from the rays of the public benevolence. Past incidents which have separated me from your Serenity's favour have made me lament my unhappy fate, but have never destroyed my confidence in your considerateness. I shall proclaim myself everywhere as your servant. In England and elsewhere I shall always testify to the just principles and generous aims of the republic, the felicity of your state and the mildness of your government. My tongue cannot express his Majesty's appreciation of your sincere friendship and of the treatment you have extended to me in my embassy, but his letter here will do so. This was opened and read in the ambassador's presence.
The doge replied, We welcomed his Majesty's minister on his arrival and we have welcomed you during your charge, as we recognised your merits. So we accompany your departure with all affection and cordiality, consoled by the reflection that you will assist the public cause wherever you are.
We will give you every proof of our affection. God prosper his Majesty and assist your affairs, bringing you every honour. We are glad that you are taking a new employment on leaving here and are sure that you will always have great affairs in hand. We thank you for your cordiality and affection towards the republic, which will always esteem you.
The ambassador replied, The more I advance in your Serenity's favour, the more my mere deserts and talents are abashed. All my life I will try to deserve your favour. His Majesty, as a sign of favour has left it to me to nominate the person to remain here, so that relations may not be interrupted. I have selected a gentleman of birth and great ability ; (fn. 1) I am sure that he will do well though he may not have all the experience necessary. I ask your Serenity to see him and give him credence.
He then introduced the gentleman. The doge said, We are glad that you will remain here, as we hear from the ambassador of your high qualities. We shall always be pleased to see you, and will show our regard in response to his Majesty's.
The gentleman said, I esteem it a great good fortune to be appointed to serve his Majesty with the republic, and I will try to deserve the honour. I will endeavour to maintain the very intimate relations now existing. I will also try not to belie the good opinion the ambassador has of me. The ambassador repeated that he was a gentleman of quality and the best intentions, the doge adding that it is easy for one who is well born to succeed in everything ; both then bowed and departed.
The King's Letter. (fn. 2)
Carolus, Dei Gratia Mag. Brit. Rex, fidei defensor, etc. Serenissimo Principi ac Dom. Francisco Erizzo, Venetiarum Duci, amico nostro carrissimo, salutem. Nobilissimum nobisque perquam dilectum nostrum vicecomitem a Fielding, postquam Legati nostri munere vobiscum aliquot annis est defunctus, Jam ad alia negotia a vobis revocandum ducentes Idem Vestrae Serenitati hisce amice significare rursusque asserere voluimus. Nihil nos quod aut ad amicitiam quae inter nos, notrosque utrinque subditos intercedit sartam, tectam servandum aut ad constantem nostrum in V. Serenitatem Inclytamque Rempublicam testandum affectum, vobisque gratissima officia, veri nostri amoris argumenta, omni occasione praestandum facere poterit unquam praetermissuros. Id quidem dicto nostro legato vobis valedicenti pluribus relinquemus exponendum. Itaque jam vos rogamus ut ei facultatem redeundi facere velitis.
Datam ex Aedibus nostris Regiis Westmonasteriensibus vigesimo octavo die Novembris, anno gratie 1637 regni vero nostri XIII.
Vestrae Serenitati bonus amicus.
Carolus Rex.
March 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
411. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassadors declare that the Ambassador Salvio has received powers to ratify at Hamburg the negotiations for an alliance between this crown and theirs ; that the Dutch are advertised and they are only waiting for their deputies to open the conference. They seem certain that the matter will be settled in a few days.
Paris, the 9th March, 1638.
March 11.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
412. I, Giulio Girardo, went to the house of the English ambassador. I did not find him as he had gone out for recreation. I waited until half past five when he landed. I went to meet him to present your Serenity's letter. He asked me to come up with him, and I followed him to his apartments. I presented the letter to him in response to the one presented in his king's name. They wished him a happy journey and every prosperity. He thanked me heartily and said he would always remember the numerous favours he had received from the republic. He asked you to excuse him if he had not done all he should in his legation, and to recognise his good will and his esteem for the republic, he would show his respect for it everywhere, more by deeds than by words, and so I left. Two gentlemen accompanied me, from whom I tried to find out when his Excellency would be leaving and by what route. They said he would go Sunday or Monday towards Padua and Vicenza, on his way to Mantua, where the safest part of his journey would end.
March 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
413. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Ognati has recently been to audience of the king with letters of complaint from the Catholic, because at the instance of the captain of the English ship which brought him from Spain to England, certain moneys and other goods belonging to the ambassador were sequestrated to the hands of merchants. The fact is that when the ambassador was about to embark at Corunna he received information in an underhand manner that ten chests of ryals were laded on the ship without the necessary licence by one Giovanni Nicolo Franco, a Genoese living at Madrid, to be consigned to his correspondents here. By arrangement with the captain, who belongs to the house of Stuart and claims kinship with the king, (fn. 3) he obtained an order from the magistrate directing the captain to consign these chests to the ministers of the Catholic, as contraband and confiscated to his Majesty. In virtue of this the captain got the ambassador to undertake to relieve him of any trouble which might arise on this account, and allowed himself to be persuaded to hand over the chests to him. When the news reached the principal he hastened to this city, and when he arrived he had the captain arrested, that being the first step in a suit here. The cause came on and the Genoese showed his licence. The captain pleaded that being in the king's ship, he had obeyed the orders of Spain, and asked if he was bound in justice to restore the money and expenses. That is precisely what happened, and accordingly Stuart went forthwith to Ognati with a copy of the sentence and asked for the relief which he had promised. He says he was told that the money had been sent to Flanders, as pertaining to the Catholic ; the obligation was made as by a minister and executor of the royal orders ; he must go to Spain and they would right him, and so forth. On hearing this the captain applied to justice for the sequestration into the hands of a certain merchant of 1500l. sterling, due to the ambassador, with some other goods he was sending to Spain, worth an additional 100l. sterling. He obtained this easily, and to suspend the action against the security he appealed against the sentence. Such was the state of affairs when the ambassador went to audience. He presented the letters referred to, complained of the violation of the law of nations, said that the money sequestrated belonged to his king, and urged his Majesty to refer the cause to Spain where it originated.
The king took the office ill. He told Ognati that the persons and houses of ambassadors were privileged, but their goods outside the house were subject to the civil law. He marvelled that while a foreigner demanded justice from him against a subject of his, he should claim that it could not be obtained except in their own tribunals. They do right to all without distinction as well here as in Spain, the demand was unexampled and a slight upon his royal justice. Perceiving from this that he would not obtain what he asked the ambassador reduced his demands, asking that the cause might be referred to the commissioners of the Admiralty, who are seven lords of the royal council, with orders to make a careful enquiry and pronounce sentence after consulting his Majesty. They gratified him in this.
The Ambassador Bellievre has also seen the king to tell him the nature of the adjustment about the Pearl. He also said something about the alliance and seconded the offices of the Swedish minister about sending an ambassador to Hamburg with full powers to conclude, as those given to the agents do not suffice. He intimated that they gathered in France that a minister of his Majesty is in constant negotiation with the King of Hungary, and that such things cannot fail to generate jealousy in his king and the allies, at a time when they are trying to establish a solid alliance against that quarter.
The king replied that these were only pretexts for delaying the result. He kept no minister at the Court of the King of Hungary, and indeed he had sent word to a secretary left by the Earl of Arundel with the late emperor, that if he negotiated, not only concluded any business in his name, he would have him hanged. Thus, he remarked, whenever any report is designedly circulated to the contrary of what I tell you, I protest that it will be false.
All these particulars are supplied me by a person whom I have tested, and who is in a position to know, from his relations with one of the leading ministers. With respect to the secretary mentioned by the king, I think he can be none other than Teler. Although he is not ostensibly a royal minister, and they never send him letters for audiences of the present emperor, whom they will not recognise as such, yet with his Majesty's connivance he has letters from some of the Lords of the Council commanding him to stay at that Court and with the goodwill of that government, always with the design of sending him instructions to conduct negotiations whenever any opening is made. He is paid from the king's purse, he writes to Court, they write to him and he exercises every function of a minister of the state, although they will not admit that he is one.
The gentleman sent by the Earl of Holland with the ship that went to Spain to bring the Duchess of Chevreuse here, (fn. 4) reports the indecision of that lady about coming. In any case they have prepared noble and well furnished quarters for her at Court, where she will be entertained out of regard for her husband's relationship to the king. It is whispered that his Majesty sent her money for the journey. I find no confirmation of this, but I know that it is only on the score of reputation that they have not declined to have her here, as neither the king nor the ministers want her, with the exception of the Earl of Holland who became her devoted servant when he went to France to bring the present queen here.
Some days ago a certain English Colonel arrived here, who is in the service of the Catholic in Flanders. He wants to obtain permission to enlist 500 to 600 soldiers to fill up his regiment, and he has gone to Court for this. (fn. 5) The French ambassador, who still remains with the king at Newmarket, has been warned of this, and is expected to oppose it, so that the Colonel may be sent about his business.
Pennington, Vice Admiral of the Fleet, who has been at sea all this winter with six ships, writes that he saw the Spanish fleet come out of Dunkirk, consisting of twenty five good ships of war and fifteen smaller vessels, but when they arrived near Calais, with a very faint wind, which only enabled them to progress slowly, they turned back towards Dunkirk, to wait for more favourable weather. Anyhow that circumstance prevents letters from Italy crossing to this island.
Your Serenity's despatch of the 6th ult. reaches me by way of Zurich, with instructions not to commit myself to the merchants in the matter of Obson's offer. I have nothing to add to what I wrote on this subject.
London, the 12th March, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 16.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
414. To the Proveditore of Zante.
The Inquisitor Capello informs us in his letters of the 22nd January and 18th February of the loss occasioned to the Chamber through collusion between the customers of the new impost and the English merchants. You are to put a stop to this, but the interests of the state require that the ships and merchants who trade at that island should have the best of treatment, for trade, the recovery of debts and the payment of duties, in order to increase the revenues of the Chamber.
Ayes, 87. Noes, 1. Neutral, 24.
415. The Savii for the orders pronounce :
Trade has greatly declined in every part of the dominions of the republic and it seems that common opinion attributes decline to the payment of the duties, while the merchants, and the English in particular, ask for certain facilities for setting up trade again in our island of Zante and to abandon the traffic which they have carried on hitherto in the country of the Grand Turk. The ill effects which have been experienced from the augmentation of the duties, which has caused a diminution of the revenues persuade us of the prudence of this suggested course as a means of providing a remedy and preventing so harmful an abuse.
Let it be decided that goods of every description brought by foreign ships to Zante shall pay 6 per cent., except goods from Venice, which pay 4 per cent. only, careful note being taken of the nature of the goods and whence they come.
That information of this decision be sent to the ambassadors in France, England and Holland, so that they may make use of it upon occasion, as if on their own responsibility, in such way that the merchants shall come to have a proper knowledge of it.
Ayes, 37.
March 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
416. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Soon after the interview of the Treasurer of Scotland with his Majesty about the disturbances in that country, which are worse than ever, he left post with other royal edicts, designed to cause disunion among the people there, inducing one section to render due obedience, and thus make it easier to use force against the rest. The edicts contain a general pardon to all for past things, excepting for those of Edinburgh and two other towns, which used violence against their bishops when carrying out the royal commands, but on condition that they abstain in the future from all private conventicles. They declare that all those who take part in any sort of assembly are ipso facto guilty of high treason in the first degree. A person of quality of that nation told me that the Scottish nobility had assembled at Edinburgh and neighbouring places to the number of 10,000. They had chosen 4 deputies to preside over their common affairs, and distributed arms to those capable of bearing them, and that the danger of a general rebellion become ever more menacing, which will not be appeased without the ruin of that kingdom by force of arms. He said this was a very difficult question for the king in the present state of affairs, when he is not loved by his subjects or by the few whom he employs. His Majesty was badly advised. He does not conciliate the magnates, and renders both them and the people desperate by subverting the laws of the realm, altering the ancient rites of the Church, and burdening every one with very heavy impositions, in ways never before practised. These, he remarked, were deep seated reasons for estranging the people from their prince, whose love was a treasure only recognised in extreme necessity. If they propose to raise a force to take to Scotland, not strong in numbers, contrary to the legal ways of obtaining one, and with the people discontented they will meet with excessive obstacles. It is reckoned that three fifths of England belong to the Calvinist sect, which is the same as the Scots', against whom they will not want to draw the sword, their own salvation depending on the preservation of the others. The English also speak to the same effect, their views clearly showing the general dissatisfaction with the present government, and their rejoicing at such disturbances, through which they argue that the king will have to yield in the end to the obstinacy of the Scots. They hope by this example to improve the condition of England likewise. At Court, however, they try as much as possible to suppress such bad news. They only let it be understood that the affair admits of easy accommodation, since those people are not being molested ; but when the Scots are asked, they shrug their shoulders, expressing their apprehension for their country. Meanwhile the king is devoting every effort to collecting money and increasing the revenues of the crown, which he has doubled from what they used to be fifteen years ago. The contributions for the fleet are being made annual.
To every foreigner willing to pay 25 crowns they grant permission to practise any trade in London. To the old duty of 20 crowns the butt (about 4 bigonzi) of wine, they have recently added 10 crowns more, and it is reckoned that 100,000 butts are brought to England every year from France, Spain and elsewhere. Silk cloth pays 20 per cent., currants 15 crowns the thousand, and all the rest in proportion. This causes an incredible scarcity of everything and a universal outcry among the inhabitants, who are not accustomed to pay anything but the ordinary subsidies voted by parliament. Whenever that body comes into force again it will revoke all these impositions as contrary to its ancient institutions.
Behind the Spanish fleet there sailed out the other barques detained there, and so the couriers of Antwerp made their passage across, bringing here four despatches from the province of Italy.
This fleet still remains in that port, whence some of its ships go out cruising in the Channel and prey upon such Dutch vessels as they fall in with. It is not easy to see what their object may be. It seems unlikely that they mean to go straight to Spain.
I have received the state's letters of the 13th and 26th ult. with Fildin's exposition on taking leave, the increased present to him, and the release of Turner from the galley, which I will make use of. Whatever he may say, his operations at Turin will not go beyond compliments as yet, since this crown has no business with her Highness, the king's remarks about contributing towards the quiet of Italy being nothing but expressions of good will. His Majesty's object at present is confined to pacifying disturbances at home and making himself sovereign, dependent on no authority but his own. If he succeeds it will be the boldest enterprise that any of his predecessors ever achieved and in the common opinion he has gone a great way towards it, if this Scottish affair, which may arouse England also, does not upset it, as people here freely remark.
I hear nothing of any other ambassador in Fildin's place, but the return of the king and Court to the city, which is to be tomorrow, will make it easier for me to learn their plans. The persons mentioned still press their claims to succeed him, but as they have gone outside the lords for the ambassador to Spain, their hopes for that of your Serenity are dashed, for they see that if another is nominated he will be of the same quality, to the exclusion of themselves. I will keep on the watch about this, and also about the reception of the Ambassador Giustinian, when I hear of his approaching Paris, by which he advises me he will travel. I will do my utmost to carry out my instructions, and the further commissions about the duties on the cloth sent by the merchants here to Zante.
News has arrived here of the successes of Weimar beyond the Rhine. (fn. 6) The French party here have heard it with great satisfaction.
London, the 19th March, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
417. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Cardinal has remonstrated strongly with the English ambassadors because a great sum of money has been convoyed to Flanders these last days by the ships of their king. (fn. 7) He pointed out to them that it was not possible to believe that the King of Great Britain was as eager as he said to support the war against the Austrians, when he acts as an instrument to render them strong.
A courier from England recently passed this way, and took passports to go to Spain. There is a suspicion about this despatch as they cannot imagine the motive.
Paris, the 23rd March, 1638.
March 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
418. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king returned to London on Saturday in last week, being met by divers lords and by the queen, who eagerly expected him. His Majesty enjoys perfect bodily health, although he is much distressed in mind about Scotland. Fresh and more authentic news has arrived of the union between the nobility and the people and of the acts, in the form of protests against the royal proclamations recently issued by the Treasurer there. At present they only speak under their breath about the contents of these protests, but I will send particulars in my next despatch.
I paid a complimentary visit to the Marquis of Hamilton, congratulating him on his return in good health to London, so as to secure his help, when the time comes, to get an earl to meet the Ambassador Giustinian. I told him of the favours shown to Fildin, and he said his brother in law had sent a full account to the king, who was highly pleased. He expressed his obligations, and said he should like to have an opportunity of showing his goodwill. I thanked him suitably, and promised that I should apply for his protection in case of need. I asked if the king had selected another ambassador in place of Fildin. He replied that the person was not yet chosen, but the king would certainly appoint somebody soon, though he thought he would not have the high rank of Fildin, seeing that the one chosen for Spain was only a knight. I replied with compliments and after some further observations, took my leave. I spoke to the same effect to the Secretary Cuch, who answered in the same sense on every point.
The resident of the Grand Duke at Venice writes to his colleague here of Fildin's departure and the talk there about no other ambassador being sent in his stead. He begs him to write what are their intentions here. The Resident here replied he was told that they will certainly choose another, but until that is done he could not affirm it, after what has happened before. He believes, however, that this is an indiscretion of Fildin himself, communicated in confidence to that Resident.
Fildin's observations to your Serenity about the accommodation with the House of Savoy were his own idea, as the king has given him no charge about it. knowing him incapable of such serious business. I have the assurance of the one who wrote his instructions. (fn. 8)
Hope of the alliance with France is again rising, as the Swedish minister affirms that commissions have reached the Ambassador Salvio at Hamburg, to consign the treaty of Vismar to d'Avo. He maintains that the transactions with the emperor are in consequence at an end, and urges them here to send an ambassador extraordinary to arrange those things which have to be stipulated there with France and the allies. The Ambassador Bellievre speaks to the same effect, and backs the representations of the Swedish minister. But here they answer that the king's agents have sufficient powers to treat and when it comes to the signing they will send an ambassador extraordinary for the purpose. Meanwhile the Ambassador suggests that to accelerate matters, without increasing the expense, they might send the Earl of Leicester who is quite competent in every respect. His Majesty makes objection, saying that Avo has not the same rank as Leicester, and although the French reply that the rank of the individual does not affect that of the ambassador, they do not shake the king's opinion.
They have recently sent an extraordinary to Spain to the Ambassador Astney, to tell him of the choice of his successor, and that he will leave here immediately after Easter. He is charged to prepare to leave that Court in time to profit by the same ship that brings his successor to Corunna, to return to England.
The Ambassador Ognati is advised that Don Martino d'Aspi, sometime secretary of the Cardinal Infant, is destined as Resident here until the arrival of Don Gasparo Braccamonte, the ambassador designate, who will leave Spain more at his ease, when the other has arrived. That they have ordered this Resident to leave with Madame de Chevreuse, taking the ship which is to bring her here. Ognati expects him soon, and that he himself will start immediately for Madrid. He says he has orders to leave his baggage here, but one sees this is a device of his, to avoid the risk of sequestration at the suit of Stuart, for the reasons described.
The Spanish fleet remains at Dunkirk, detained by contrary winds, and compelled to replace the provisions for the troops on board. They have put these on shore, to have better air, until the first signs of improved weather.
One Silvestro Travi, a Muranese, arrived here this week on his way to Venice, with a companion, the one a maker and the other a polisher of mirrors. They are both fugitives from Antwerp, where they say they were taken by fraud to introduce the art. Sir [Robert] Mansfelt, who has the monopoly of the manufacture of all manner of glass in this kingdom, heard of their arrival through other Muranese who work here, and finding that they were quite penniless he tried by specious promises to induce them to enter his service, as they have no master mirror makers in this kingdom. When this came to my knowledge I thought it my duty to prevent them from consenting, and to try and get them away from here, without their discovering my purpose. To this end I made suitable observations, furnished them with money for their journey, and got them to set out at once for home, giving them letters of recommendation to the Ambassador Corraro in France.
Yet there remains here one Gasparo Brunovo, called "Tre Corone," a Muranese, who offers to make crystal glass equal to the Venetian, to make all kinds of vessels and other objects in every colour, large mirrors and all other crystal work made there. He also undertakes to teach the art to the English. I have tried to perusade him also to return to his native land, pointing out the wrong he is doing, in wanting to introduce these things ; but a year ago he made a contract for seven years with the knight in question, and cannot leave here, where he is enticed by earnings of 20 ducats a week. I try to deprive his offers of credit, representing covertly to his master that he will get him to throw away a large sum of money in instruments and other things to no purpose, and that he will not achieve what he has promised. I have succeeded so far that he only employs him for ordinary drinking glasses, to his great dissatisfaction, and does not believe him about the rest.
I have thought it my duty to report all this. The state despatches of the 5th inst. have reached me.
London, the 26th March, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 27.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
419. To the Secretary Zonca in England.
Permission to return home immediately the Ambassador Giustinian has arrived, and after he has handed the public papers to the ambassador and given him all necessary information.
Ayes, 90. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
March 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
420. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassadors have assured the ministers here that the agents of their king at Hamburg have ample powers and orders to ratify the agreement with the allies, and that a large naval force will soon be ready in England. To remove the suspicions about the courier who took passports for Spain last week they say he takes nothing beyond commissions to the Ambassador Hasteyn to leave that Court and to be at Coruñia by the 1st of May, where the ships which will have brought his successor will be ready to take him back to England.
Paris, the 30th March.


  • 1. Gilbert Talbot.
  • 2. There is a draft of this letter among the state papers. S.P. For. Venice, Vol. 40.
  • 3. Captain Walter Stewart, commander of the Victory which brought Oñate from Spain.
  • 4. M. Scandaret, a gentleman of the queen. He went in the Bonaventure. Cal. S. P. Dom. 1637-8, pages 7, 13, 15, 28.
  • 5. Apparently this colonel was Henry Gage, of whom there is an exculpatory letter on the subject addressed to Windebank on the 6th March. S.P. For. Flanders, but it would seem from this letter that Gage did not himself go to England but employed an agent, one Captain Barker.
  • 6. At the end of January Bernard attacked and speedily captured the Austrian forest towns of Säckingen, Laufenburg and Waldshut on the Upper Rhine.
  • 7. In a letter of the 20th Feb. o.s. Pennington says he has been over with a convoy near Dunkirk. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1637-8, page 270.
  • 8. This is not correct, Fielding's instructions of 15 Nov. 1637 o.s. direct him to recommend the cause of Savoy to the Senate. S.P. For. Venice, Vol. 40.