Venice: April 1638

Pages 392-405

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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April 1638

April 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
421. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have been on the look out all this week for authentic news, amid the various rumours, about the manifestoes of the union in Scotland. I have obtained the following particulars from a person who saw the very despatches to the king. I send you these apart. Various proclamations were published in that kingdom by his Majesty's order. The last of these, preceding the general pardon, was to the people of Edinburgh and two other cities, commanding everyone to withdraw to his own house, to obey promptly the royal ordinances both in temporal and ecclesiastical matters, and to abstain from appearing with petitions on the subject before him and his Council. Against these proclamations the people there drew up a protest signed by two lords in the name of all the union. (fn. 1) They had it published where these of the king were and posted up underneath them, for the better understanding of all. It contains a long preamble of the pretended reasons for their meeting, being moved by their duty to God, love of their country and the good of their ill advised king, since certain ordinances have been published in the name of his Majesty contrary to their own consciences and statutes, and they say the preservation of the kingdom does not permit them to obey. They decline any pardon offered which excepts anyone, as no one has erred more than another. All injuries and offences done to any of them for this cause will be esteemed as done to the entire union, and avenged by such means as they consider best. They call God and the world to witness that they are not to blame for those evils which may arise from these measures, and declare that they wish always to be ruled in accordance with the laws by which that kingdom has been governed so happily for so many centuries, when they will promptly return to their duty. I omit other particulars as unessential. In pursuance of these things the union is said to have bought all the arms to be found in the country, and distributed them to the people, inciting them to defend their faith and government against those who wish to disturb them. This has incensed his Majesty to such an extent that he has sent to Ireland for the muster of 8000 of the troops there, it being rumoured that he will send them to Scotland in case of need. Some think that this is only an experiment in order to make those people give way at the apprehension of war in their own country, since the number is not sufficient for such an enterprise. The embarrassments of the crown do not permit it to go there with stronger forces, and the situation and nature of Scotland, all of a ferment, does not promise such results as his Majesty would desire, as a small army would be defeated and a large one is impracticable for the king at present and would perish amid the difficulties of the country.
All sorts of persons here talk freely to this effect, and the members of the government wash their hands of any disaster that may ensue ; they freely express their dissatisfaction, and say that the king has never so much as asked their advice in the Council or out of it, and they cannot give it otherwise. The Archbishop also spreads abroad the same ideas, but as he frequently has long and secret interviews with the king alone, and his violent nature is well known, it is concluded that he supports the king in his resolution. This renders the archbishop generally odious, to such an extent that one hears people regretting that while there was some one venturesome enough to take the life of the Duke of Buckingham, with less cause, there is no one now to do it against this even worse minister, who is leading towards the total subversion of these realms. This has led to the imprisonment of some of the less circumspect, who will assuredly pay dearly for their excessive temerity, although that will only exasperate the people more.
The enterprise against Algiers, having encountered various difficulties, has been abandoned, and as the Ambassador of Morocco had nothing further to do, he took leave of his Majesty on Tuesday, intending to depart in a fortnight, on a ship already selected by the king, which will also serve to carry goods to those parts. (fn. 2)
The Agent of the Prince Palatine went to tell the king of the decision of his Highness to enter Germany with as many men as he can collect, so as to be more welcome. He means to try his fortune before suffering his present trials any longer. He told of the purchase of a place in Westphalia as a place d'armes ; (fn. 3) of the patents for enlisting troops, the preparation of munitions of war, and begged the king for the help so frequently promised, to encourage France and Holland also to follow his example. He says they hold out hopes if something is done here first. The reply was favourable, commending the courageous decision, and promising that he should experience the royal liberality on his entering Germany. It is rumoured at Court that the king means to send him remittances for 200,000 florins at once, with the intention of supplying more, without pledging himself to ordinary monthly assignments. He declares that while he sees the prince engaged in generous enterprises he will assist him as if he was his own son.
With the confirmation of the defeat and capture of Giovanni de Wert (fn. 4) and his fellows comes news from Hamburg of the recapture by the Swedes of the castle of Volgast and of Landspergh in Pomerania, with the consignment to M. d'Avo of the treaty of Vismar which has been discussed for so long. The news is welcome at Court, where they desire to see their neighbours busy during their present difficulties in Scotland, so that they may not foment what has become a definite rebellion, and also because they would like the Palatine to begin his military operations in Germany under the happy auspices of success to the party.
The Swedish minister has gone, taking complimentary letters from the king to the queen there, assuring her of his good will to the public cause.
The king has conferred the office of Lord High Admiral of England on the Earl of Northumberland, to hold until the Duke of York, for whom it is destined, is old enough to act. (fn. 5)
The Ambassador Fildin wrote on the 5th ult. of the audience given by your Serenity that same day to the nuncio, and the rumours of an approaching adjustment of the differences between the pope and the republic, the inscriptions in the Vatican and the Bucintoro being restored as before. (fn. 6) He says he postponed his departure in order to visit the French ambassador who has just arrived. (fn. 7)
When I have written thus far the ordinary has arrived from Flanders with your Serenity's despatches of the 12th ult. I note that Fildin has presented some one to act as Agent, and the honours intended for him on his journey as an extraordinary. I will use all this for the state's service. I will also do my best about the reception of the Ambassador Giustinian. I observe that Fildin has made no mention in his expositions of any other ambassador in his place, and although they continue to assure me here that the appointment will be made, yet when I see that they made it for Spain immediately the present one took leave, and not for Venice when five months have passed since they decided to recall Fildin, I do not know what to believe. I will observe carefully what they do and send word.
London, the 2nd April, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
422. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Although the Prince Palatine has intimated that he is collecting troops to enter Germany, they have not arranged to supply him with any assistance, being determined to leave the burden to England.
Paris, the 6th April, 1638.
April 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
423. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is universally considered the sole adviser of the king about the disturbances of Scotland, being alarmed because there is no relaxation in the seditious remarks about him, not even after the arrest of some who spoke with too great liberty, is supposed to have represented to his Majesty the danger in which he stands, and is trying to exonerate himself in the Council from this deeply rooted opinion, as if that spread it might give rise to the mishaps which sometimes happen when a people feels ill will against a minister, and which is already threatened against him.
This opinion is based upon an angry speech made recently by the king in his Council, when he said that he heard with annoyance that the archbishop was scandalously and without reason blamed as the one who upholds him in his resolution in those affairs. He declared that he had never taken the advice of any one soever, but everything happened from his motion alone, and those who thought differently deceived themselves. The tenor of this justification was forthwith made public by the dependants of the archbishop. It only confirms the original opinion, while it does not exonerate the king from some blame, since in affairs of such importance which have gone so far that they cannot be arranged without loss of reputation to the crown, he has deprived himself of the advantage of allowing the blame to fall on this minister, and by thus exonerating himself, restore quiet for himself and his realms. Such is the substance of the talk of the ministers who oppose the archbishop's party, and other leading lords, who in general abhor the archbishop's principles as tending to oppression of the people and the overthrow of the laws of the land.
I hear from a very secret quarter that the queen has made some affectionate overtures to the king about satisfying those people and removing the fear of civil war, with danger to his royal person. He replied tenderly begging her not to alarm herself, and assuring her that when he wishes he can reduce those subjects to obedience as usual. In fact while matters do not take a worse turn with those of the Assembly, it is thought to be so, and if every way but force is tried, the question will ultimately be settled under some pretext that will serve to cover the royal reputation, by the revocation of the things objected to. If this is done no one doubts that Scotland will return to its natural loyalty, in accordance with the published protests.
The Agent of Savoy has recently received letters from his mistress advising him of her desire to satisfy the Most Christian, in any way that will content her people, and charges him to inform this Court. He has been trying to obtain from his Majesty permission to send her a certain quantity of munitions of war, but they have delayed so long to grant it, that with the double duties on them, as on everything else, it will be of no use and he has written to the duchess that it will cost more than buying them elsewhere.
Last Monday the Dunkirk fleet sailed, with a wind so little favourable that it had to enter a port of these islands 100 miles away, to await better weather. The Admiral sent an express to a merchant of this mart with letters of credit to raise 10,000 crowns, to provide food and other necessaries for the fleet. He reports that the admiral has sealed orders, with strict instructions from the Cardinal Infant not to open them until he has left the Channel, and then to carry them out as speedily as the time permits.
Letters arrived recently from Madame de Chevreuse relating that she had received orders from the Catholic delaying her embarcation for a few days until the arrival of Don Martino d'Aspi, so that she can take advantage of the ship provided for her. The Spanish ambassador here is impatiently awaiting her arrival, as he is tired of his stay here and eager to return home. He urges the Admiralty judges to despatch the cause between the Genoese and Stuart about the ten chests of ryals.
This week also I have made public the favours shown to Fildin, of which he has written to the ministers here, with the news of his departure from Venice. Everyone lauds the generosity, greatness and friendliness of the republic, and this incites many to wish to succeed him. They think nothing about it yet, although one still hears that it will happen soon.
They have given Opton, ambassador elect to the Catholic, his instructions, and he will start in a few days. He proposes to land at Corunna by the 1st of May, by which time his predecessor has orders to be there, to return by the same ship.
I conversed recently with a merchant interested in the Spallato affair, suggested by Obson heretofore. I told him, as instructed, that he could inform your Serenity through Obson of what he had to suggest, and I could not tell him any more. But as he intimated that a proposal came to him from Venice to make his market at Segna in Istria, from which to send his goods to Hungary, and that he thought of doing so if he could not get Spallato, I have thought it necessary to send this hint to your Serenity.
The last to reach me from your Excellencies are of the 19th of March, with which I find the usual advices, which help greatly to increase that correspondence which goes to facilitate the public service.
London, the 9th April, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
424. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Difficulties raised by the English ambassador about allowing the English ship Tomasin, Captain Thomas Acher, to go to Venice under the Venetian flag. At Venice the Captain promised to hire the ship as Venetian, but here, through fear, he has had to make himself thoroughly English. The English ambassador sent his secretary to me to learn what I proposed to do.
I told him, nothing more than usual. The secretary did not admit that such hiring was usual. He said the ambassador had express orders from the king to take his consulage from all English ships and not allow them to fly any but the English flag, to avoid setting an injurious precedent, as the French, Ragusans, Jews and all others who use English ships submit to the English laws and chancery.
After he had gone I looked in the chancery and found that the last English ship hired direct for Venice from here was the London, when Sig. Veniero was Bailo, showing that for ten years foreign ships have not traded for Venice. I sent this precedent to the English ambassador. He admitted the point but said that the ship London was sent by him. I suggested that he should let the ship go and have the matter settled at our Court afterwards. But he would not give way an inch, and so I have had to give instructions that the ship shall not be laded. Those concerned have protested to the Captain, who excused his action on the grounds of the commands of the ambassador. (fn. 8)
The Vigne of Pera, the 13th April, 1638.
April 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
425. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
A disgraceful disturbance took place last week near the Court, which greatly moved the king and ministry. The officers of justice arrested a certain Scottish gentleman of the household of the Marquis of Hamilton, a close relation of his Majesty, and opposite his very house, because he had not troubled to pay a fine for a crime committed by him. He drew his sword and killed one of the officers, injuring others, but being overcome by the crowd he was seized just when all the Scots of the Marquis's household and others of the same nation were hastening to help him with arms in their hands. When the officers saw the danger they withdrew with their prisoner into a house, securing the door. The Scots tried on the one side to force it, and on the other they ran furiously to the royal palace and brought thence a long ladder. They placed this against the house, open it and entered, releasing the prisoner, without any regard for the crime, the place or the royal magistrates, who arrived calling out that the king's peace must be observed. The officers of justice have laid the case before the Council, making the worst of the circumstances, so that they have directed rigorous proceedings to be taken, not only against the delinquents, but against those in the neighbourhood also for not stopping the scandal. Many have already been sent to prison from the household of the Marquis and others. But the principal with some of his more guilty companions, has escaped to Scotland. (fn. 9)
This disgraceful incident happened only a few days before the return to Court of the Scottish Treasurer with other lords and bishops of that kingdom, who, so far as I can gather, bring word that the rebellion keeps growing worse, and it has only increased his Majesty's wrath against that nation. This makes men believe that the more guilty prisoners will receive an exemplary punishment. I will send a more detailed account in my next of what these lords bring, as I have not yet had an opportunity to find out.
Divers of the younger lords here are preparing to accompany the Prince Palatine to Germany. He writes that he will go so soon as his troops are ready. They are making all speed in order not to lose the good season, but it is thought he will not move before the French and Dutch armies have come out, so that his enterprises may prove the more successful with the enemy's attention diverted. The king promises to help him according to the measure of his actions. Everyone commends his generous resolution, and they feel sure that the sum to be sent him will exceed what was written.
The Earl of Northumberland was recently installed as Lord High Admiral with great pomp. He thanked the king publicly for reposing this great confidence in him, and promised to do his best to deserve it.
The Dunkirk fleet left these ports supplied with wine and other victuals to the value of 10,000 crowns received here. Nothing further has been heard of it since, although the accounts given by the one who came to take the money, and the fact that their ships were provided with ladders, petards and other implements of war, have left them impatient with curiosity to hear about the direction of the Spaniards' plans.
Colonel Lesle went to take leave of his Majesty and started post for Scotland, where he has a ship ready for taking his household and some of the troops to Pomerania, for the service of Sweden. The Agent of Savoy announces the renewal of the alliance between the Most Christian and his mistress, but as we hear no confirmation from France yet, it is thought that his assertions contain no more truth that there was in what he said about Breme, which he declared was fully supplied for four months. (fn. 10)
Talbot, left by Fildin as Agent at Venice, is beginning to show himself a pupil of his master. In his first letter he writes of a raid by the Uscocks into the Turkish dominions at the suggestion of the emperor, with the object of being employed at the Porte for the adjustment of the differences which may arise against your Excellencies because of damage received by the Turks, and by conferring this benefit, to oblige the most serene republic to unite with the House of Austria to drive the French from Italy. Some of the Court asked me about this, referring to the character of the Uscocks, and in satisfying them I found out the origin. (fn. 11)
I gather that Schidemore, the ordinary ambassador in France, has asked leave to return home, and as Fildin aspires to succeed, his mother is working hard for it. (fn. 12) But nothing has been decided as yet, nor about one to your Serenity.
The ship Prospero has arrived from Candia with 500 butts of muscat. The fact of its arriving after winter makes them send the greater part of it to Hamburg, where there is always a good market. Meanwhile two ships of this city are preparing to go to that kingdom, in time for the new muscats in order to profit by the advantages offered by the decree of the 14th November last.
The ordinary from Italy has arrived without letters from your Excellencies this week.
London, the 16th April, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives
426. Alvise Contarini and Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassadors in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador in ordinary has taken leave of his Majesty and will leave for home in a few days, before the arrival of his successor.
Madrid, the 17th April, 1638.
[Italian.] Copy.
April 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
427. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Treasurer of Scotland with other lords, all high officials, has come post to London, in order not to fall into high treason, with the ever growing rebellion in that country, and to make the last efforts to extinguish the fire which is consuming their native land. They say that the people demand the revocation of the last innovations as well as all those since the reform of their religion, including certain acts which the late King James, five years before he died, tried to get the parliament there to approve, under a promise that they should not be observed, as being contrary to that reform. The Assembly has already drawn up what it states agrees with the laws of the realm as sworn to by his Majesty at his coronation. They have given a copy to every parish minister with orders to go from house to house to get everyone to sign it and swear on the gospels to maintain it against any one who wishes to prevent its observance, with instructions for those who cannot write to meet in the churches and promise in the presence of God to live in union with the others for the preservation of their liberty and consciences. They pronounce anyone who refuses the oath or contravenes it an infamous enemy of his country. More than 60,000 people had signed at the time of their departure, and they were proceeding busily. As his Majesty's servants, in order to avoid being compelled to sign with the others, they had decided to come here. They say the kingdom is now being governed with its own laws, and the Assembly carries them out. They propose to expel the bishops as enemies of their country, distribute their revenues to the curates of the parishes and relieve these of the cost of maintaining the ministers. In civil and criminal causes they delegate judges for the single cause, who decide it, according to the laws, without any charge to the parties. They have abolished the gabelles, taxes, imposts, councils, magistrates and every other mark of the royal authority. Everyone contributes willingly to what is required for the public weal, without any approach to disorder or any sign of growing tired at the novelty. They represent to the king the necessity of finding some means of satisfying a people most obstinate in the preservation of its laws and the security of their country, begging him not to let things go to extremes, and to believe that the more stable their conferences remain the more difficult it will be to provide remedies afterwards.
All these considerations avail nothing to move the king from his original intentions. Everyone observes with astonishment how slowly they move to deal with a case of such importance, with manifest danger of losing that kingdom : the common opinion being that if the Scots decide to choose another king, as they claim to have just and legitimate cause for doing, the whole power of England would never suffice to subdue them.
The Ambassador of Morocco recently had a special audience to take leave of his Majesty, who received him graciously and wished him a good journey. He asked for an additional ship of war as an escort, being afraid of falling into the hands of the pirates of Algiers, who, he hears, are doing much damage in those parts, and he obtained it. (fn. 13) The king gave him various cloths, worth some 4000 crowns and a chain worth 500 to his English companion. The merchant's who trade in Africa are preparing another very rich one, to keep his master in a good humour, as he has renewed the articles for trade in cloth between this kingdom and his own, which existed in the time of Queen Elizabeth and was interrupted by the rebellion of the pirates of Sale, who have recently been subdued with the help of English ships. They hope to obtain many favours from this ambassador and great profit from the trade.
The king wrote to the Palatine and his mother to confirm his promise about assistance, not only with money, but with artillery, munitions of war and other things required for his enterprise. He has already selected the guns which he proposes to send, has ordained the quality and quantity of the munitions and directed the remittances to be prepared for 20,000l. sterling. He has given leave to any of his subjects to go and serve among the soldiers, and expresses his particular satisfaction that the prince seems determined to avenge his injuries.
He has selected as ambassador extraordinary to Hamburg the Scot Anstruther sometime ambassador to the late emperor. The Dutch have chosen their agent with the King of Denmark. (fn. 14) He wishes the establishment of the alliance with France to encourage his nephew's party. Anstruther is strongly opposed. They say freely that he is not the man for that affair and they would like to see Sir [Thomas] Roe employed, who is much more able and better affected to the Palatine House.
They are collecting the taxes for the fleet with a slowness most irritating to his Majesty, and the amounts collected by the sheriffs seem very feeble. They do not wish to proceed to extreme severity in order not to increase the material for dissatisfaction among the English as well. The amount received so far is not sufficient for the maintenance of the fleet which they purpose to send to sea.
Your Serenity's despatch of the 20th ult. reaches me by way of Zurich, about the exposition of the nuncio, of which Fildin has already written. Some of the lords here friendly to the republic complimented me on this reconciliation at a time when I was in the dark about it, and I could only answer in general terms, saying that everyone knew you had always shown your your filial obedience towards His Holiness. If I am provoked again I shall be able to speak more definitely.
I am deeply grateful at the leave given me to return home when the Ambassador Giustinian has arrived and I have done what is necessary for his entry. The public satisfaction with my labours lightens my regret for my loss of health and substance in the course of ten years' service, and when I have recovered my health I will again devote myself to the service of your Serenity and your Excellencies.
London, the 23rd April, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
428. Alvise Contarini and Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassadors in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
When we returned the visit of Don Francesco di Melo he spoke very earnestly about the peace. Among other things he remarked to me, Giustinian, that they were negotiating with England about the Palatinate, and as this was in the direction of peace I might assist the business at that Court. I evaded this with a few words, without giving him any handle.
Madrid, the 24th April, 1638.
[Italian.] Copy.
April 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
429. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassadors represent the levies of the Palatine as great and their king's assistance as very vigorous while many individual English gentlemen are going to Holland as volunteers to offer their services. They would like to do something for him here, but will find it difficult to get them to move unless they really see what the King of Great Britain means to do. Amid these circumstances they contemplate with regret the disturbances in Scotland, fearing that the encouragement they receive from the Spaniards may make them worse and lead to some tragic end.
Paris the 27th April, 1638.
April 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
430. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The merchants of the Levant Company, seeing the need for their own interests of maintaining a consul at Zante and Cephalonia, have deputed one of their number, who will start in a fortnight by ship for Leghorn, going thence to Venice, whence he will sail for those islands. (fn. 15) He will present to your Serenity a letter from the king, and a paper from the Company about the grievances from which they say they suffer in those islands, and asking for relief, with orders to the English Agent to support his instances. The Governor of the Company, whom I know intimately, came to see me the day before yesterday accompanied by the consul and other merchants, to communicate this resolution and ask me to inform your Serenity. I thanked him and promised to do so assuring him that the consul would be welcome, and would receive every just assistance, as the state directed that these merchants and their ships should receive good treatment.
They stayed a long time talking to me of their trade with Venice, and complained that they did not enjoy the same advantages as at Leghorn. They said that if it was allowed all their trade would be transferred to Venice because of the greater convenience for sending their goods to Germany, which was a long way off the Grand Duke's dominions. They said it was incredible what advantage his Highness derived from such a little port, through the freedom granted there, in spite of its disadvantages. All the goods which they export from here to Italy do not suffice to pay for the silk and gold cloth which they bring here from thence, and they have to add more than 200,000 crowns in letters of exchange a year. All this might go to Venice, with advantage to the state, the people and the merchants.
I said I could not believe that your Excellencies had not taken these things into consideration, as you know all the particulars, and perhaps there are some objections which we do not see. The governor said they asked for nothing but what would benefit the republic. He persuaded me to inform your Serenity of what they had said and express their desire to frequent your markets rather than those of any other power in Italy, if they could do so with equal advantage, because merchants, as well as princes, seek their own advantage. They said they were fitting out some ships for Candia, but actually they do not dispose of much of that wine here, and every year they have to send to Hamburg to get rid of what is left on their hands.
The person who told me he had a quantity of cloth for the Morea, as I wrote on the 29th of January, was among these merchants, and asked if I had received an answer. Until then he said he would delay sending, as he would unlade at Zante if he could obtain the terms in his letter, otherwise he would send it to Patras. I said I was expecting to hear and would let him know at once. The others also seemed anxious to obtain this advantage saying they were unwilling to risk valuable goods in the Turkish dominions even with light duties, but they are as high as those of the islands, which leave them no profit. I said they might expect every reasonable concession from your Excellencies with a due regard for the advantage of the state. They then spoke of the charges upon currants, which they say cost them last year 85 per cent. beyond the prime cost. They say the consul will speak of this to your Serenity. I remarked that they recoup themselves abundantly here, as they raise the price in proportion. I knew they sold them wholesale to the shopkeepers at over 6½ ducats of good money for every 100 pounds of Venetian weight, and at about 14 shillings of the money current here per pound of 16 ounces.
London, the 30th April, 1638.
431. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king, having weighed the considerations put before him by the lords who recently arrived from Scotland about the revolt there, has at length decided, in spite of the lamentations of some bishops who have fled from there, but to the universal satisfaction of the ministry here, to satisfy those people and put a stop to those decisions which threatened the royal interests. The means of adjustment are not yet announced, except hazily. This makes many believe that the royal dignity is somewhat compromised, and obliges me to defer a fuller account to my next.
The Queen of Sweden, after arranging the agreement with the French, for the war in Germany, has sent an Agent, here to see what actual help they give the Palatine, and to urge them to assist her troops. (fn. 16) He has seen the king and presented letters from his mistress, containing her generous resolutions for the common cause, and inviting his Majesty to help, not only for his nephew, but to support that party, from whom the allies promise themselves remarkable advantages. For this purpose she has sent the Chancellor Oxistern to Germany with powerful reinforcements. The king received him very graciously, applauding the great hearted decision of her Majesty. He said he would not fail to assist his nephew and the public cause most amply. He enlarged adroitly on the succour destined for the Palatine and the good will to increase it, in proportion to the need and his courage.
The Duchess of Chevreuse has at last arrived. At the first news the queen sent her coaches to the coast, with some one to pay her respects and bring the duchess to London. The king also sent to welcome her and say that she would be treated French fashion, easily and without ceremony. She is lodged at the Court in very noble quarters prepared for her long ago. (fn. 17) On the road she was entertained at the king's expense. The Marquis of Ceralvo, chief steward of the Cardinal Infant, came on the same ship, with 120 boxes of ryals. He will proceed with them to Dunkirk. Don Alfonso de Cardines will stay here as Resident for the Catholic and allow the Count of Ognati to depart.
An extraordinary sent by the Duchess of Savoy to her Resident here, reports Fildin's arrival at that Court, and makes some complaint of his negotiations ordering him to remonstrate to the king. He has said something about it to the queen, who, at the instance of the Marquis of Hamilton, has induced the Resident to postpone telling the king or any one else before Fildin's despatches arrive. I have not been able to find out the particulars, but I will keep on the alert.
His Majesty has nominated four gentlemen of the household of Prince Charles, his eldest son, who, at the end of next month when he will enter his ninth year, will be installed in the Order of the Garter, and they wish him to hold his Court apart. They have made him the assignments necessary for his maintenance until he comes into possession of the province of Wales, which belongs to the Prince of England as Dauphiné does to France's firstborn. (fn. 18)
A brother of the Landgrave of Darmstadt is found to be living here incognito. (fn. 19) Some at the Court say he has come to observe the nature of the assistance for the Palatine, and the progress of the alliance with the Most Christian, and if these are of consequence, to make proposals for adjusting the interests of that prince and thwarting the conclusion. Meanwhile he enjoys here the generosity of the widow of the Landgrave of Hesse. The Palatine writes that she has certainly renounced the proposals made to her for peace with the emperor and is following the principles of her late husband.
They are now working at Anstruther's commissions, appointed ambassador extraordinary at Hamburg. They propose he shall leave soon to see this alliance through, as the king seems more and more eager to see it established. If a minister of this crown is required at the congress of Cologne they propose to send Sir Thomas Roe, who is well versed in all the affairs of Germany.
They are postponing Opton's departure for Spain so that they may first hear what the Duchess of Chevreuse brings in the name of that king, and the Resident who came with her, to add to his commissions what they consider best for the interests of this crown. The Ambassador of Morocco has also delayed his departure longer than he intended, much to his regret, owing to the fault of the merchants here, who have not got the things ready yet which they want the ships to take, by which he returns to those parts, in order to renew their trade there.
London, the 30th April, 1638.


  • 1. This appears to refer to the Covenant issued in answer to the king's proclamation of the 19th February. A letter bearing upon this was addressed to the king by the Lords Traquair and Roxburgh on the 5th March. Rushworth : Hist. Collections, Vol. ii., pages 731-744.
  • 2. Tuesday would be the 31st March. Salvetti writing on the same day says that the ambassador took leave on Saturday, i.e. March 28th. Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 27962H. Thomas Smith, writing to Pennington on the 21st March o.s. said he took leave "yesterday." Cal. S.P. Dom. 1637-8, page 321. The ship selected was the Convertive, Capt. George Carteret. Id. page 356 ; Cal. S. P. Dom. 1638-9, page 69.
  • 3. Meppen.
  • 4. At Rheinfelden on the 3rd March by Bernard of Saxe Weimar.
  • 5. The appointment was announced by the king in Council at Whitehall on Sunday the 18/28 March. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1637-8, page 321.
  • 6. The dispatch is preserved. Of the Bucintoro Fielding writes "The Venetians shall restore in their new Bucintoro ... what was written in the old, viz. Munificentia Pontificale which did infer that the republic had the dominion of the Gulf granted them by the pope, which in their last Bucintoro was left out and in its place was written sanguine nostro et cruore." S.P. For. Venice.
  • 7. Claude de Mallier, seigneur du Houssay.
  • 8. For the case of the London (? Elizabeth and Margaret) see Vol. XXI. of this Calendar, page 346. The incident occurred in October, 1628. The Court Book of the Levant Company, under date 28 June, 1638 has an entry recording the receipt of a letter from Wyche of the 27th April reporting how he had prevented the Thomasine from acting as a Venetian ship, with a resolution that the masters of ships which took foreign colours should be fined 1000 ducats. S.P. For. Archives, Vol. 149. The ship is probably identical with the Thomasine of 400 tons and 26 guns, Captain William Hacker, mentioned in the Cal. S.P. Dom. 1634-5, page 221.
  • 9. The incident took place on Saturday the 3rd April n.s. and not "last week." The Scottish gentleman was named Carr. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1637-8, pages 333, 334. Strafford Letters, Vol. ii., page 165.
  • 10. Bremo on the Po in the Milanese besieged by Leganes on the 12th March and surrendered soon after the death of Crequy there, on the 17th.
  • 11. Among the state papers the first despatch of Talbot after Fielding's departure for Turin is dated 27th March, and contains none of the above particulars.
  • 12. On the 15th March o.s. Windebank wrote to Fielding that it seemed likely the embassy in France would become vacant "within some reasonable time perhaps before your lordship's at Turin will be ended" and if so that place might not be disagreeable to him. Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Report, page 283.
  • 13. The Expedition pinnace Captain Slingsby was detailed to accompany the Convertive. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1637-8, page 356.
  • 14. Cracouw, Boswell to Wentworth, the 3rd May, 1638. Strafford Letters, Vol. ii., page 163.
  • 15. At a meeting of the Company on the 10th March o.s. it was resolved to appoint Thomas Symonds and Henry Hyde to deal with the currant trade, and on the 2nd May a letter was sent to the merchants of Bristol trading to the Levant notifying them of the appointment of Symonds to be consul at Zante and to be the sole buyer of all the currants of those islands. Levant Company Court Book and Letter Book, S.P. For. Archives, Vols. 111, 149.
  • 16. "Il est arrivé depuis deux jours en cette ville un Allemand nommé Blondi, qui vient de la part de la Reine de Suéde pour residir ici." Bellievre to Bouthillier, the 22nd April. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts. This was Michael de Blom who acted as Agent for Sweden early in 1635. See the preceding Vol. of this Calendar, pages 332, 333.
  • 17. The duchess who came in the Bonaventure, landed at Portsmouth on Saturday the 24th April, n s. Walter Montague was sent to her by the queen on Sunday and Lord Goring on Monday. On the 29th the king sent the earl of Holland to conduct her to the Court. Salvetti on the 30th April. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962H. Lodgings were prepared for her in the Gardens of Whitehall. Strafford Letters, Vol. ii., page 148.
  • 18. Charles was born on the 29th May, 1630, o.s. His household was more considerable than the text indicates. The earl of Newcastle was made groom of the stole and sole gentleman of the bedchamber and in addition there were four grooms of the bedchamber, two ushers and four gentlemen of the privy chamber. Strafford Letters, Vol. ii., page 165.
  • 19. Probably John, brother of George II., landgrave of Hesse Darmstad.