Venice: April 1639, 16-30

Pages 532-535

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 1639, 16-30

April 16.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
640. To the Ambassador in London.
We enclose copies of our replies to the Ambassador Fildin, especially about Savoy. You will speak in conformity to his Majesty, assuring him of our appreciation of his offer and of the manner in which it was presented by his ambassador. You will send us particulars with reference to his coming back here very soon, of which he assures us.
Ayes, 122. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
641. To the King of Great Britain.
Express appreciation of his Majesty's efforts on behalf of the republic and the general welfare of Christendom, so adequately represented by his ambassador, whose departure is regretted, although this sentiment is mitigated by the hope of his return, and by the certainty that he will express orally the obligations of the republic and its desire to reciprocate with all sincerity. Wishing him every prosperity.
Ayes, 122. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
April 16.
Venetian MSS. Public Record Office.
642. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
In order to assist the congress of Cologne I thought it advisable to visit the ambassador extraordinary of the emperor at this Court. He told me more than once that the emperor put peace before every other consideration. When I praised this, he added, smiling, that with respect to the Palatine the English ambassador offers, if the House of Austria reinstates him, the King of Great Britain will bring about the restitution of Alsace, Burgundy indeed what France holds, a truce or perpetual peace with the Dutch and an offensive and defensive alliance. He remarked that they would need the consent of Cardinal Richelieu in order to effect this. He thought that the English king, in his eagerness to see his nephew reinstated, put forward proposals which lacked an adequate basis.
Madrid, the 16th April, 1639.
April 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
643. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English already seem to suspect the possibility of designs here upon Gravelines and Dunkirk ; so the return of the Ambassador Leicester still remains doubtful. From what I have gathered from the Cardinal it seems that they consider here that the negotiations at Hamburg on the old question of an alliance have completely vanished away.
Paris, the 19th April, 1639.
April 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
644. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty has informed the queen by courier of his safe arrival at York where the people received him with loud acclamations and every sign of devotion. He tells her he has made adequate provision for the defence of the frontiers as well as for the fortresses of Berwick and Carlisle. After Easter he proposes to advance to Newcastle to gather his whole army there and complete his plans for the conduct of the war. The wisest think that as the royal party is now completely suppressed in Scotland, he will proceed with great circumspection and will try rather to temporise, to harass the enemy's supplies, and compel him to obedience, rather than to attack him in his own country and trusting to the uncertain event of a battle, in the hope of reestablishing his authority in that kingdom and securing the defence of this one as well.
His Majesty has had the Lord Treasurer of Scotland arrested at York for having, with great cowardice, yielded Dalghiz to the Scottish forces without making any resistance. They say that the Earl of Sterlin, also a leading minister of that kingdom, has fallen under suspicion, who has hitherto professed to take the king's side, and will experience the same fate.
The ministers are labouring ceaselessly to find some way of meeting the very heavy expenses of these emergencies. There seems no other means than by summoning parliament. They suggest to his Majesty the idea of assembling it at York, only those taking part who are at present with him, and who depend absolutely upon his pleasure, claiming that by this precaution he is sure to secure himself against fresh irritation and to obtain promptly the votes for the needed contributions. All do not approve of this as the best course, and think it likely to produce disturbances in this kingdom as well.
The ministry constantly becomes more suspicious that the revolted people are receiving help from the French. They speak very bitterly against that crown. The king has tactfully intimated to the French ambassador here, who proposed to keep near him, to stay where he is, and if he wants to see his Majesty and asks for audience, it will promptly be appointed for him, on the tacit understanding that he comes back here. (fn. 1)
The old quarrel between the king and the Catholic minister here seems to be put aside. The Duchess of Chevreuse labours hard to restore him to his former confidential relations, and those who favour the Spanish side most not only hope to secure this, with the present feeling against France, but to introduce overtures as well to re-establish a complete understanding between this crown and that one.
By virtue of the offices reported the Admiral has forbidden the merchants here to send their ships to Spain for transporting troops to Flanders, as the Spaniards had arranged.
Mr. German has gone to Court to report the Most Christian's reply about the queen mother. Although they see that very costly stay here will be greatly prolonged, yet the king has written very affectionately to his mother in law, assuring her that he will share his last crown with her, as a sign of his affection and respect.
The negotiations with the Duke of Weimar for the marriage of the Palatine princess remain on foot. The English agent with the Swiss, but recently returned from that country, has gone to the king with letters just received from the duke. The Swiss, through this agent represent their misgivings at seeing the French so near, without the means or the courage, so far, to prevent them from obtaining greater advantages.
London, the 22nd April, 1639.
April 23.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
645. To the Ambassador in London.
After the departure of the Ambassador Fildin his secretary here presented the enclosed paper in a very improper manner, asking that the letters to his king should be written in Latin, as his own are. We replied that we have used the same idiom as is used with the emperor, Poland and other princes who write to us in Latin, and apparently we made him realise how baseless his request was. We inform you in order that you may know the facts, should anything be said on the subject, and that you may send us full information.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
April 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
646. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis Hamilton left here two days ago to return to the Court. He takes to his Majesty 50,000l. realised by the sale of many offices and from those who made a money payment to escape personal service. They have embarked 6000 foot on many ships and proceeded towards Newcastle, where the general muster of the army is ordered for the first of next month, and the presence of all the ministers, a courier having arrived from his Majesty with the command for everyone to go there without delay.
The Scots pushed their forces towards Berwick, but, finding it well provided and the defenders ready to offer a stout resistance, they thought it best to withdraw, without attempting anything. They are now devoting themselves to making more secure the places which hold out for them in their own country. On the other hand they persist in the show of claiming nothing by their violent proceedings beyond the defence of their old privileges. They removed from the castle of Dalghiz the crown and other royal insignia which they had brought with pomp to Edinburgh. There, with the concurrence (communicatione) of all the people, they renewed the oath to preserve them faithfully for his Majesty and his successors and subsequently sent to the king to express again their readiness for a settlement and even to send deputies whenever he chose. These proposals, not being considered entirely sincere, have awakened no response so far in his Majesty's breast.
With the ever growing scarcity of money the queen has got the Catholics of this city to hold fresh meetings to devise a means of obtaining further contributions from those of the whole kingdom. The pope's minister, who is the director of this affair, is trying hard to induce them to make a second payment of 20,000l.
The second brother of the Duke of Lennox is getting ready for the journey to Rome, with hopes of obtaining the Cardinalship. Although a close relation of his Majesty, he has always made open profession of the Catholic faith. (fn. 2) The Countess of Arundel is also thinking of proceeding to that Court, as she aspires to the same honour for a nephew.
Your Excellencies' letters of the 30th ult. reach me this week, with instructions which his Majesty's absence does not permit me to fulfil. I will do it through the Secretary of State, the minister to whom all the ambassadors now address themselves.
London, the 29th April, 1639.


  • 1. See Windebank's letter to Wentworth of the 13th April o.s. in which he roundly calls the ambassador "this spy." Strafford Letters, Vol. ii., page 322.
  • 2. Ludovic Stuart, at this time not twenty years of age. He eventually received the red hat just before his death in 1665. Paul : Scots Peerage, Vol. v., page 359. He crossed in May, to Dieppe, in charge of Capt. John Povey. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1639, pages 94, 273.