Venice: May 1638

Pages 405-418

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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May 1638

May 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
432. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassadors have informed Buglione of their king's decision to send Sir [Robert] Anstruther to the congress at Hamburg as ambassador extraordinary. Buglione assured them that this would much gratify his Majesty and they would renew their instructions to M. d'Avo to hasten the stipulation of the agreement.
Negotiations are on foot to get the Duchess of Chevreuse to return to the Court. They make her the most advantageous offers, really for the purpose of preventing her from going to England where they are afraid she may perform unfriendly offices. To facilitate her coming the king has recently assigned a yearly pension of 10,000 livres to the Prince of Ghimene her brother. (fn. 1) But many, who profess to see things at a distance, incline to say that the duchess's departure from the kingdom has been concerted with the king, with the object for which the friar (fn. 2) was sent to Spain some time ago, who went to take the relics for the queen : but this notion seems to me too subtle.
Paris, the 4th May, 1638.
May 5.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
433. The gentleman left by the Ambassador Fildin came into the Collegio and said :
I have letters from Piedmont from my lord the ambassador, charging me to inform your Serenity that in conformity with His Majesty's orders and his Excellency's promises he has spoken to the ruler of Savoy in favour of the quiet of Italy and found a disposition to keep all disturbing things at a distance, though much troubled by the nearness of the Spaniards on one side and the threats of France on the other. Her Highness does not see how she can use her own judgment and good intentions, especially with the forces of the King of England so far away. If they were nearer they would give her vigour. The old differences with the republic survive, and she could guide her decisions better if she had their prudent advice and assistance. The ambassador is full of zeal for the public tranquillity and is ready to operate in these matters if your Excellencies think fit. He thinks his desire for the renewal of the old confidence between that house and the republic will please your Serenity.
The doge said, he thanked the ambassador. They recognised his prudence, and could be sure that his offices would be devoted to the public welfare. The Savii would consider the matter and let him know if there was anything. The gentleman said he asked again for a reply to the memorial about the pictures now at the Custom House, and departed.
May 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
434. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
My efforts to find out about the complaints of the Duchess of Savoy against Fildin have unexpectedly led me to the discovery of the attempts made by Count Parella to obtain the royal title for that house when he was last here. A person who enjoys the queen's favour and who is very intimate with Parella, told me in casual conversation, that he had brought very affectionate letters from his mistress to the queen, to interest her with the king about this. To gratify her sister she had had a long talk with his Majesty on the subject, but without result, getting nothing more than his readiness to satisfy that house when he reasonably could. He regretted their attempt to obtain a declaration here, since the Most Christian, who was much more nearly concerned, would not listen to it. He could not take the first step, in a matter that prejudiced powers friendly to him, which others possibly might not follow. He intimated that the utmost he would do would be to imitate France, and they must address themselves there. The Count left after this, with a promise from the queen to unite with the duchess to pass offices with her brother so that his ambassador here might have instructions to give her Highness's agent the title he desires, as if that was achieved the king also would oblige her. He told me the attempt had not succeeded in France. I have sent word of this to the Ambassador at Paris.
When Fildin entered the Vercellese he was received by order of the duchess after the manner of ambassadors extraordinary, so far as the circumstances allowed. He was not satisfied and complained that he had been worse treated than others, talking of a shortage of chairs, tables etc. in the quarters assigned to him. At Turin he complained of this and that he was not received with proper honours at his public audience, the duke not being present, and the duchess not having moved from her baldachino to receive him. He also declared that he would not treat with Count Filippo d'Aiglie, her Highness's favourite. Her agent told the queen here of this, as he only has orders to speak to her. Her Highness accuses the ambassador of impertinence in all his actions, and asks her Majesty to get him recalled as soon as possible. She said she regretted Fildin's indiscretions. He had no negotiations, but only had to offer condolencies and express their good will here to use their good offices for the advantage of that house. (fn. 3)
The accommodation announced with Scotland consists rather in the hope that the king seems inclined to satisfy the people there than in any sign that it will happen very soon. His Majesty has declared that he is content they shall live according to the laws of their own country, and will abolish the book with the liturgy, provided the bishops remain in their jurisdictions either with the ordinary title or as the superiors of the parish ministers and that the rebels ask pardon for their past offences. It is thought this will be hard to obtain, since the Assembly has already declared that if a single article of their demands is refused, all efforts at reconciliation will be vain ; and they claim not to have done wrong, but that their actions are covered by the laws and so they have no need of pardon. They have sent the proposals to Scotland, whence news has lately come that those registered in the union number over 400,000, to which are added the inhabitants of the northern parts of Ireland, who profess the same faith, and are Scots by origin, settled there and only separated by a short stretch of water.
The Count of Ognati went last Sunday to inform the king of the arrival of a person to take charge until the arrival of another ambassador in due course. He said he was a cavalier, and more than a Resident though less than an ambassador. He asked his Majesty's permission that the ship which brought the Duchess of Chevreuse, on which the Marquis of Ceralvo came, the ambassador designate to Cæsar, might take him to Dunkirk, and to order another to be ready for his own voyage to Spain. He obtained this. (fn. 4)
His Majesty has these last days declared null the sequestration made in the name of Captain Stuart of a sum of money belonging to Ognati because of ten boxes of ryals which Ognati brought from Spain. The king has pronounced that the baggage and money of ambassadors enjoy the same privileges as themselves. He has offered Stuart letters of reprisal upon Spanish ships and goods, owing to the action which he has against the Spanish ministers for those ten boxes.
The Duchess of Chevreuse has been received at Court with the greatest honour. They made her sit in the presence of their Majesties, to the resentment of the ladies of the Court, who pretend that she has no more right than they. She brought the queen many curious presents, sent by her sister from Spain, and she has others for the queen mother, to whom she intends to proceed in a few weeks, after which she will come back here for a longer stay. The French and Spanish ambassadors have seen her privately, the first in his private capacity, the other in state and with compliments in his king's name upon her safe arrival.
London, the 7th May, 1638.
May 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
435. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
A brother of the Landgrave of Ermestat has been staying incognito in England for some days. His object is to examine for himself the disposition and intentions of the king in the matter of affording help to his nephews, in order to take back an authentic account of it to the opposite party. If he finds that things are actually going forward, he is to disclose his real rank and then try to dissuade the king from making any promise to his nephews. This having come to the knowledge of the Palatine here rendered him extremely anxious for some time, but letters from the king which reached him yesterday have entirely relieved his mind. These confirm the king's constant determination to afford him real assistance and even some amount of ready money in remittances.
I have your Excellencies' instructions of the 16th ult. with regard to the printing of Grasvinchel's book. I have made an abstract of the essential parts, showing your Excellencies' claims, making a note of all the passages which require alteration. I have given these to Grasvinchel to carry out your Serenity's commands.
The Hague, the 7th May, 1638.
May 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
436. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has claimed a duty of 2 per cent. as consulage for the goods brought from Venice on the ship Tomasini. Our merchants have represented that the captain would have to pay this by the terms of the hiring. He sent to me on the subject, but I declined to intervene.
Another English ship, the Ark, Captain Trenchen, came here for cargo, having called at Zante. When he learned what had happened to the other he sailed away to seek his fortune elsewhere ; not a word being said about hiring for Venice.
The English, by an outlay of 2000 reals have obtained an order to reduce all charges at Cyprus to 3 per cent. in conformity with what they pay by their capitulations in all the markets of this empire, notwithstanding that up to this moment they have paid 5, 6 up to 9 per cent. according to the quality of the goods. Upon this the Basha sent men from here on purpose, pointing out that this innovation would be prejudicial to the Treasury of the Grand Turk, and as a consequence the original order has been withdrawn, in spite of the outlay mentioned above. Now the English are striving hard to have it renewed and offer a further 4000 reals in addition to many other little acts of courtesy. They are in hopes of getting it from the Cateuimaium of the king before he goes far away from this neighbourhood, because the advantage which they will derive from it will really be enormous.
The Vigne of Pera, the 8th May, 1638.
May 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
437. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Although they have not been able to prevent Madame de Chevreuse landing in England, yet they covertly keep up their negotiations to get her to come to France.
Paris, the 11th May, 1638.
May 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
438. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Four other judges have delivered their opinion this week upon whether the king can lawfully levy contributions by his own authority. Two of them, with confident freedom, prove that only in the cases mentioned by the laws the king can command all the ships, all the men and all their property, informing parliament afterwards and obtaining its approval, but it cannot be done apart from those cases without upsetting the laws. No necessity is now disclosed so urgent as to move his Majesty to change the ancient principles of the country or prevent the summoning of parliament, which, moreover, he is obliged to summon at least once every three years to provide for the needs of the state, as his predecessors did even more frequently and with success. For three years, without any visible cause, they have continued to levy taxes contrary to the ordinances of the realm, creating discontent among the people and without the assembling of parliament, which has always been received as the true legislator of this monarchy.
They deliver a long encomium of the royal virtues, mentioning as chief this of permitting the present case to be disputed, a clear argument of a desire to conform to the laws. They confute the precedents quoted by the Attorney General and the judges who pronounced before them, characterising them as tyrannical acts which his Majesty is far from wishing to imitate, while others were done with just cause, being communicated and approved in the succeeding parliaments. They say that the judges are the king's councillors in legal matters, as those of state are for the political government, and if there is any disorder, the fault lies with the councillors and not with the king, who is most just. They urge their colleagues to declare their opinions with the same liberty, in the certainty that they will do a thing pleasing to God, the king and the country. (fn. 5)
This action has been received with great applause by the whole auditory, but it has not moved the other two judges from their opinion ; the one arguing from the king's goodness and the useful employment of the money in the service of the country, intimates that it ought to be permitted sometimes and declares himself neutral in this case, while the other, though very feebly, decides for the king, who has five votes for him so far. Four others will give their opinion in next June term. The sentence will certainly go for the king, although only barely, as two other judges are expected to argue against.
Anstruther has asked to be relieved of his appointment as ambassador extraordinary to Hamburg to conclude the alliance, being aware of the poor opinion held of his ability for it, and he has obtained this. The king at once nominated Sir [Thomas] Roe, who was already selected for the post in the universal opinion. He is hurrying in order to start in the shortest possible time. He desired this post on his own account and for the interests of the Palatine house, to which he is greatly devoted. He promises to go with all speed and that he will not prove useless to his Highness. To help the prince's affairs his Majesty has already paid out the 20,000l. sterling, equal to 100,000 ducats, which were remitted last week to Holland. Following this up he has ordered 8 guns and other munitions to be sent to Meppen in Westphalia, the place d'armes designate, convenient as being near the sea. Lord Craven, son of a very rich merchant ennobled a few years ago, will be the Palatine's best friend in these emergencies, as he has been a devoted servant of the house for a long time. He went to Holland with his Highness, and from then until now he has withdrawn from here some 400,000 crowns in cash to devote to these affairs, and he still has a revenue of over 40,000 a year left him here.
Madame de Chevreuse stays on here, treated most royally by their Majesties 40l. sterling a day are assigned for her table, 200l. a month for her petty expenses, while the queen supplies what she requires for dressing, costing the king about 10,000 crowns a month. But it is thought this liberality will not last long. Her departure for Flanders is postponed, as she likes her stay here too much. It is not likely to change unless the principles of the Court do. She has renewed her old acquaintances and is making new ones ; all the lords pay her court and she passes the time merrily. She artfully threw out some project of a marriage between the Princess Mary, their Majesties' eldest daughter, a child of seven, and the prince of Spain, and apparently they consider it. But this is believed to be the usual incantation of the Spaniards to lull this crown to sleep, since it is now inclined to do them hurt, not having been able to obtain anything for the Palatine by way of negotiation.
On being assured of the pregnancy of the Queen of France the queen here at once sent a gentleman of hers on purpose to offer congratulations. He started three days ago. (fn. 6) The Earl of Leicester had orders to pass suitable offices with both their Majesties on behalf of the king and queen. The report persists that Schidemore has been confirmed as ordinary ambassador at that Court for three years, so Fildin has little hope of succeeding him before he returns to England, as he wished. We do not hear of any nomination for your Serenity.
The indisposition of the newly arrived Spanish minister has delayed Ognati's leave taking. He regrets this as he has long been tired of this Court where he will leave no better satisfaction than he has received. The king recently sent the Secretaries of State to inform him of the removal of the sequestration on his goods and money but to add that he cannot deny justice to the Genoese against Stuart nor to Stuart against the Catholic ministers and he would grant Stuart letters of reprisal against Spanish ships and goods if he was not satisfied reasonably. The ambassador replied that he would not make any further instance for the release of the sequestration ; if the king believed it to be unlawful he ought to annul it himself. He spoke very haughtily about the letters of reprisal and angrily said to the Secretaries, Tell the king that this is a lie. Scandalised at this the secretaries accuse the ambassador of indiscretion and arrogance.
London, the 14th May, 1638.
May 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
439. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassadors say that not Anstruther but Sir [Thomas] Roe will be sent to Hamburg. The news does not please them here because the change is bound to involve delay.
Paris, the 16th May, 1638.
May 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
440. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The replies have come from Scotland about the adjustment of their affairs to what was sent there. As was clearly foreseen it was not acceptable to the people there. After having deliberated upon every means with the Council of Scotland, the king has decided to send thither the Marquis of Hamilton with all that Council, in the hope that an accommodation conducted by so many persons of influence of the same nation who are friendly to his Majesty, may produce the result they aim at. The introductions they bear may be more easily imagined than ascertained. They are all sworn not to communicate them to anyone soever until they are actually presented. The most common opinion is that if they find the Scots unwilling to yield to the king they have power to satisfy them with a due regard to covering the royal dignity as much as possible and bringing them back to their former obedience. There is general astonishment at the king's confidence in the marquis, as the parliaments of Scotland have already declared him the heir to that kingdom after the line of this king, and it is not thought prudent to let him appear there in the present disturbances with power to appease them, on the ground that if he is as malicious as he is subtle, he might turn his arts to his own advantage, as the material is all there ; he would find the people disposed to second him, foreign princes to uphold him and the moment inopportune for the king to stop him, because he has not the love of the people or the magnates, all being most dissatisfied with the present government ; so they think his Majesty might find it difficult to defend even the rest of his dominions. Such is the talk among the great, and many would be glad to see it, to have something in hand in case of royal disaster (per haver qualche si tratta in caso della regia disgratia), without risking the uncertain passage of this sea, forbidden to those who have not the king's leave. (fn. 7)
Another messenger from the Duchess of Savoy reached her Resident here last Monday. He reports that Fildin has had two audiences since the first complimentary one. In one he told her Highness that if the Most Christian and the Catholic decided to give her the royal title he did not think England would refuse it. In the other he said that if she remained neutral that would agree with his king's aims. He has exceeded his commissions which charge him to abstain from any negotiations, but confine himself to compliments and the expressions of the king's desire to use his offices for the interests of that house. His Majesty is incensed and has sent an express to Turin recalling him and ordering him to return straight to Court. It is thought he will receive some correction, or that this will at least terminate his career. (fn. 8) They are now better able to appreciate the patience of your Excellencies with his numerous faults. I have sent the particulars to the Ambassador Corraro.
Sir [Thomas] Roe is to start for Hamburg today, with letters of credence to the King of Denmark, with whom he will treat, to get him to help the Palatine, in imitation of them here, and for all the Princes of Germany, with whom he will treat in case of need. He had a long and secret interview with the king, when he went to kiss hands, and he takes powers to grant some assistance to the Swedes, as he understands that if they are not satisfied with what is done for the Palatine and offered for the common benefit in the articles with France, they may prevent the conclusion of the treaty. Finally, to satisfy the Dutch, he has powers to promise that they shall not be molested in their fisheries by the royal ships if they ask for it. In fact they want to establish this alliance, for which purpose they have dismissed Anstruther and given the office to this much more active person, who takes it up with great zeal, in the hope of obtaining advantages for the Palatine House. Everything conspires to help that prince to seek every means of avenging his wrongs or perishing nobly. His Highness and Prince Rupert have written to this effect recently, to the king, who greatly commends their high spirit, and says that when he sees the results he will increase his liberality, and help them as if they were his own sons.
His Majesty has nominated the captains of thirty three ships which will put to sea this year, twenty five of his own, including eight swift and well armed Pinnaces (Tartane), and eight large merchantmen equipped for war. (fn. 9) This is a very powerful fleet from the quality of the ships, abundantly supplied with everything required. Two of them are destined to coast off Ireland, the others will be employed where they are wanted.
The Ambassador Ognati on hearing of the king's intention to grant letters of reprisals to Captain Stuart for the matter of the ten boxes of ryals, has requested his Majesty to depute commissioners, to review his case against Stuart to report and pronounce sentence in his Majesty's presence. The king obliged him, appointing two Lords of the Council and the two Secretaries of State. The matter was brought before them yesterday, and their decision is expected next Monday. Meanwhile they have arranged his last public audience Cardines having recovered, whom he will present to his Majesty by order of his king.
Sir [Arthur] Opton started for the coast yesterday, where the royal ship awaits him to take him to Spain, and fetch back his predecessor Astny.
Finding it much more advantageous to send the money for the Palatine to Holland by specie than by letters of exchange, they have put it on one of the king's ships, which is to leave today. (fn. 10) The brother of the Landgrave of Darmstadt will go by it. He has made himself known and kissed the king's hand. He has conducted no business at this Court, having come merely out of curiosity to see the country, as he says he will in Holland also.
London, the 22nd May, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
441. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
I was speaking recently with Dr. Grasvinchel about the matter of the book, committed to me by your Serenity. I led up to the point with all delicacy and tried gently to dissuade him from printing this book. He said he would gladly consent if it had not been composed by order of the States. I then urged him to remove the passages which concern your Serenity's dominion over the sea. He said that was an integral part of the book which he could not cancel without ruining his own reputation and depriving the book of all credit. I therefore thought it necessary to impress him thoroughly with all the notes and passages contained in the papers sent me by your Serenity. In this I achieved complete success, as the devotion this individual professes to the most serene republic prevailed over his objections and repugnance, so that he will recast his arguments in conformity with those papers. I further induced him to promise that the book should not issue from the press before he had shown me the passages so corrected. When I have it I will send it to your Serenity and await your further orders.
The Hague, the 21st May, 1638.
May 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives
442. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
As in England they made Madame de Chevreuse sit before the queen, the Ambassador Bellievre asked the same honour for his wife, saying it was not proper that one who although a princess was a vassal of the King of France should be seated while the ambassadress stood ; but he could not carry his point. He has informed his Majesty, who, in retaliation, has directed that the English ambassadress shall no longer be allowed to sit in the queen's presence, as she used. She happened to be near St. Germain on her way to the Court when she received the news, and turned back very ill pleased. This will offend them greatly in England, although it is just, being based on the claim that in such ceremonies both sides should act alike.
Compiegne, the 23rd May, 1638.
May 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Zante. Venetian Archives.
443. Francesco Marcello, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Sunday the 6th inst. the English consul received seven wounds in the house of one Maria, late the wife of an Englishman, a woman of evil life. She lured him into an ambush, where he was attacked with knives and sticks and left for dead. The woman has been arrested with her servant. Evidence has been taken pointing to the delinquents. The enclosed paper has been received from the English nation.
Zante, the 13th May, 1638, old style.
Enclosure. 444. Presented by John Brumel and William Tindel, Englishmen, with many others of their nation, in the name of William Bordet, their consul. (fn. 11)
Statement of the circumstances attending the wounding of the consul, with a complaint of the ill treatment of the English, shown by the murder of Andrew Weston, by the wounding of Captain Hacar of the ship Tomasina by the murder of English sailors by the customs officials and by the wounding and robbery of Henry Hider when he was leaving his ship. Petition for the punishment of the malefactors, as if the English merchants cannot have security in their persons and property they will be obliged to abandon the trade.
Dated at Zante, the 10th May, 1638, old style.
[Italian.] Copy.
May 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
445. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador designate to England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have come here from the rigours of Spain. The Count of Gramont, governor of the province, has shown me great honour. He has been to tell me not to proceed without obtaining a strong guard from the prince of Condé, as the country is full of rascals. I regret the increase of expense this involves. The governor assured me he had orders to invade Biscay by Navarre. A great quantity of grain has been sent here for the invading army. The Prince of Condé and the Duke of la Valette have gone to review the army, which is to assemble on the 8th prox. at Gordon in Gascony. The Spaniards are taking measures of defence. They are equipping ships, with the idea of attempting a diversion in the waters of La Rochelle. The governor has left for Bearn today, where he will hold the estates, in order to raise money for these affairs.
Bayonne, the 26th May, 1638.
May 27.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
446. Gieronimo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
It is reported that a great sum of money has reached England on account of the Spaniards, to be taken in safety to Dunkirk. This cannot fail to supply a strong argument to the disadvantage of the Palatine, whose hopes of vigorous assistance from his uncle have declined greatly owing to acts of this kind in favour of the Spaniards, which are constantly taking place.
The Hague, the 27th May, 1638.
May 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
447. Francesco Zonca, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Monday the Ambassador Ognati took leave of their Majesties, treated outwardly in the most honourable manner. The Earl of Annibi, of the King's Council and of the Order of the Garter, as is customary with ambassadors extraordinary with the title of cavaliers, went with the royal coaches and gentlemen of the Court, to fetch him to the palace, where the king and queen awaited him surrounded by a great company of lords and ladies. After handing in his credentials and the usual compliments he presented Don Alonso di Cardines as Resident until another ambassador comes. The Duchess of Chevreuse acted as interpreter for the compliments which Cardines paid to the queen in Spanish in the name of her sister in Spain. It was observed with astonishment that Ognati covered before the queen, when no other ambassador does so. Although it is admitted that he has the right to cover in the presence of the king, and much more in that of his wife, yet what in others would be considered inadvertence is ascribed to pure malice in him, as he has always tried to make himself disagreeable (piccare) in everything.
The commissioners appointed to settle the cause between Ognati and Captain Stuart have decided that as Stuart had no caution in writing from the ambassador but only by word of mouth, which is not probable, Ognati's goods ought to be free from the sequestration. But many believe that this has been arranged by the persons in question to the prejudice of the Genoese, the ten boxes being divided among them. Stuart now undertakes to prove that he was compelled by violence to hand them over to the ambassador, or they would not have allowed him to leave the port of Corunna. When he has made this good he hopes to rid himself of the molestation of the Genoese, who remarks that the king's ships cannot suffer violence in the ports of Spain, and if they refuse him justice here he will find it at Genoa upon the goods of the English.
Tomorrow the entire Court will leave for Windsor, with all the leading lords of the city, to take part in the solemn ceremony of the installation of Prince Charles in the Order of the Garter. They will return next week and withdraw to Greenwich the week after, where they will stay until the 26th of July, the date fixed for beginning the usual annual progress.
Tomorrow also the Marquis Hamilton will start for Scotland. He has been detained by the illness of his wife, sister of the Ambassador Fildin, who died three days ago. (fn. 12) The other lords have all set out for that kingdom, and when he has arrived they will begin their negotiations. Uncertain and interesting as the issue is, many believe that it will not prove what the king expects, since it is impossible to get it out of the heads of some that the designs of the Scots go deeper than they have disclosed, and that when they have obtained the satisfaction they now ask, they will produce higher demands with the object of compelling his Majesty to use force against them, and so have a better pretext for proceeding to the utmost lengths against him. The real objects will very soon appear, as they will be obliged to disclose themselves when the deputies propose the maintenance of the laws and the abolition of the book of the liturgy.
With Hamilton far away from Court I shall find it difficult to perform the offices with which I am charged about the entry of the Ambassador Giustinian, after I had got him to undertake to protect the interests of your Excellencies with the king ; but I have other intimates and by my offices I hope to obtain what you desire.
There is a secretary here of the Count of Oldenburgh, a prince of the Empire in the circle of Westphalia, sent by his master to the king to intercede for neutrality from the Prince Palatine, and promising to refuse facilities to the imperial arms also. (fn. 13) He declares that the King of Denmark, the next heir to those dominions, because the Count has no son, has sent some troops to those parts for their defence, and if he gets this neutrality, the king also will respect it. They speak him fair and have sent his expositions after the Ambassador Roe, who left for Hamburg last week.
Nothing more is said about the Duchess of Chevreuse going to Flanders. She is beginning to make trouble at Court, trying to convert the Earl of Holland to the Roman faith and win him for the Spanish party. To please the queen who is the principal instrument of this good work, he pretends not to be averse from it, and the Spanish ministers here, through this Chevreuse, who can do anything with him, hope to have him on their side, and it is believed that they are surreptitiously offering him a pension from the Catholic.
They have heard with great sorrow of the capture by the Imperialists of Meppen, bought recently by the Palatine. (fn. 14) They fear he will take it as a bad omen, lose courage and abandon his enterprise. They urge him to prosecute his designs. They know here that the Elector of Mayence has written to the emperor that if no means is found of arranging the differences between the Bavarian and Palatine houses they can never hope for peace in Germany, and that when the Palatine's army takes the field it will throw those parts into confusion.
The Ambassador Opton has left for Spain and the Morocco one for his country. The latter takes a coach embroidered with hold and six magnificent horses, a present from his Majesty to the king there in return for the four Barbary horses presented when he came here. The Ambassador Schidamore is confirmed in France as he desires and no one is yet nominated for your Serenity, although at the recall of the Ambassador Fildin they said they would nominate another in his place.
London, the 28th May, 1638.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
448. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
They employ their usual arts to lull England to sleep. The ambassador of that king is on the point of departing. The Count Duke has sent for him three times and left him a paper to hand to his sovereign, supposed to be full of good hope that in the peace negotiations at Cologne he will obtain complete satisfaction with the restitution of the Palatinate, declaring that the ministers cannot do this earlier, as it is necessary to pass through Flanders in the absence of a way through Lorraine. The same ambassador says that even if his king assists his nephew, it will not amount to much, and he encourages the belief that his king is rather disposed to unite with this crown than with the French. It seems that the Count of Ognat writes to much the same effect from England.
Madrid, the 29th May, 1638.
[Italian.] Copy.


  • 1. Louis de Rohan, prince de Guemené.
  • 2. Probably Friar Basili. See No. 271 at page 249 above.
  • 3. Fielding in his first despatch from Turin of the 14/24 April declares that there was an intrigue to drive him away, particularly among the French because he had advised the duchess against an alliance with France. S.P. For. Savoy. Salvetti writing on the same date says that the agents of Savoy were instructed to ask the queen to have Fielding recalled. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962H.
  • 4. i.e. Sunday the 2nd May n.s. The chargé d'affaires was Don Alonso de Cardenas, and the ship Bonaventura brought the duchess. Don Gaspar de Braccamonte had been appointed earlier in the year to go as ambassador in ordinary to England. Aston to Coke, 10 Feb., 1638. S.P. For. Spain. The Nonsuch, Captain John Mennes, was detailed to take Oñate to Spain. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1637-8, pages 428, 456.
  • 5. The second four to give judgment were Sir Thomas Trevor, baron of the exchequer, Sir George Croke and Sir William Jones, justices of the King's Bench and Sir Richard Hutton, justice of the Court of Common Pleas. Croke and Hutton decided for Hampden. State Trials, Vol. iii., pages 1126-1201.
  • 6. M. Tartereau, presented by Leicester to the king on Sunday the 30th May. Scudamore to Coke, 4th June, S.P. For. France, Vol. 105. Bellievre to Richelieu, 23 Sept. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
  • 7. A reference to the proclamation of the 1st May o.s. to restrain the transport of passengers and provisions to New England without licence. Rymer : Fœdera Vol. xx., page 223.
  • 8. If Fielding was recalled the order must have been revoked immediately as Windebank, writing on the 17/27 May tells him that though the French were displeased at the proposal for neutrality the king had been appeased. Fielding was to tell the duchess of Savoy that the suggestion of neutrality was only a private advice of his own, without commission from the king. He adds that it is decided that Fielding shall return to Venice. Hist. MSS. Comm., 6th Report, page 284.
  • 9. For the constitution of this fleet see Life and Works of Sir H. Mainwaring, (Navy Records Society), Vol. i. page 262 ; it contains the names of 24 vessels only.
  • 10. From Boswell's despatch of the 10th June it appears that this money was taken by Sir Richard Cave. S.P. For. Holland.
  • 11. William Burdet was not actually consul but had received some authority from Fielding to act in that capacity. By a minute of the Levant Co. on the 1st May he was allowed to receive certain fees as consulage, but it is stipulated that he was to have "no authority more than he derives from Mr. Simonds upon occasion." Levant Co. Court Book. S.P. For. Archives, Vol. 149.
  • 12. According to the funeral certificate Mary Marchioness of Hamilton died on the 10th May, o.s. and was buried in Westminster Abbey two days later. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1637-8, page 431.
  • 13. The letter of Anthony Gunther, duke of Oldenburg, dated the 12th February, is preserved (S.P. For. Germany, States), but the name of the envoy is not stated.
  • 14. Taken by surprise on the 19th May.