Venice: October 1636

Pages 75-92

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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October 1636

Oct. 1.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
79. The Ambassador of Great Britain came into the Collegio and spoke as follows :
I was much gratified by the last deliberation which your Serenity had read to me, seeing the appreciation of my efforts for trade, which is so much to the advantage of states and subjects, as shown by the mutual relations which have always been encouraged by England. The Collegio has recognised this, and hence the good order has resulted, to the advantage of trade. His majesty, who professes such regard for the interests of the republic will appreciate this.
The doge replied, We have every disposition to increase trade and afford facilities to merchants, following the example of our ancestors. We are very glad that you are satisfied with the deliberation. We shall always be ready to contribute to all that is of mutual advantage for the increase of trade in our islands, and for the good treatment of his Majesty's subjects there and everywhere.
The ambassador said, I am fortunate in receiving so many favours during my service. I had thought of recommending this conduct of the trade to the discretion and good intentions of Henry Hider, a merchant and gentleman by birth, who could thereby act with safety and advantage. He has many rivals and enemies, who stand in the way of his advancement, and he deserves the protection of your Serenity, who might write letters and send orders to your representatives to protect him, as he certainly deserves the public favour.
The doge said, We know Hider as a worthy man who has brought much advantage to our state by his trading. Now that he has taken up the duty of the new impost and for other matters which may be raised by his consuls, he may need the protection of the state, which will certainly be afforded to him and we are especially anxious to gratify you in all circumstances.
Oct. 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
80. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
This week the Council has been exclusively occupied with the Palatine's affairs, owing to the arrival of another courier from the Earl of Arundel. He reports the very scant satisfaction received from the emperor, and the impossibility of doing anything by negotiation, as owing to their private interests the Austrians cannot bring themselves to render England the satisfaction which she claims, although by soothing treatment and fair words they try to make her believe the contrary. The courier was sent back to the earl yesterday with all diligence. From what I gather he takes very highflown commissions to speak in determined fashion, express their deep resentment, and, if appearances do not change, to depart with every indication of their wrath and mischievous intentions here. To assist his negotiations they have told him of the new negotiations for an alliance with France, averring the great inclination of the king to effect it, although in reality they may be thinking of anything rather.
I am told on good authority that the declarations on this subject sent to the Earl of Leicester last week were intended to include the Duke of Lorraine particularly in the specified re-establishment of all the oppressed princes of Germany. They attach great importance to this here and seem to think as much of it as of the Palatinate. But the French, for reasons which they perhaps keep concealed, seem to detest the very mention of the restitution of those states, and make it clearly understood that even if they consent to the alliance on terms more agreeable to the King of Great Britain, it will only be on the understanding that the Duke of Lorraine is excluded from every treaty, as one whom they claim to treat not as a prince of the empire but as a natural subject of that crown. Even if both sides were more inclined to make this alliance than they are, these difficulties, in the common belief, would always prevent it coming to pass, and if they succeed here in their efforts made in conjunction with the King of Denmark and perhaps of Poland also, to bring about the desired composition in Germany, they certainly will not trouble any more about an alliance with France, especially when their present reasons for keeping the Austrians jealous by such proceedings have ceased. But everything must depend upon the result of Arundel's negotiations, as he has charge of these transactions, and until this be known all is vague.
The Secretary of the Ambassador Hasteyn in Spain has arrived here (fn. 1) with some business about the above matter. That is the pretext, but he has really come to obtain money on account of his salary, as he has received nothing since he left here. A few days will show if there is really anything more.
Although the French ambassadors have repeated their requests for Irish levies, they have not been able to get anything beyond fair words. Their serious transactions are confined to this at present, as they have not yet had any order to intervene in the matter of the alliance. This excites the belief that the new move from France on the subject was engineered by them secretly, in the hope of obtaining some advantage over the Spaniards from the noise of it. Such is the most general opinion, and everything goes to confirm the conviction that these treaties will not go beyond words.
They have been discussing the question of sending a competent minister to the congress at Cologne, but nothing has been decided. It is thought that when it has assembled they may send the Earl of Arundel there, not as sent expressly, but on his way back to England. The French are watching this closely because they have always believed that England would not like the general peace. For themselves they are very willing and almost anxious, the Ambassador Sennecterre expressing great pleasure to me that your Excellencies had decided to send an ambassador and thus facilitate the result by your good offices.
They seem to think little more here about the marriage of the Palatine princess to the King of Poland. They consider the question of religion insuperable and imagine that the king's sentiments have changed. Gordon writes that he will set out for Danzig although he has not entirely recovered from his indisposition. The result of his negotiations will be awaited and they will be guided by events. They would also like to see the younger brother married, and for an advantageous match they have in view Mademoiselle d'Orleans, although the Ambassador Leicester does not hold forth much hope. There are those, however, who think it better to obtain one with the emperor's second daughter (fn. 2) on any terms, as it is imagined that he may have devoted some attention to the subject, but both projects seem confronted by too great difficulties.
The fleet is at sea, distributed as announced. Strong in munitions and men the commander proceeded towards the North with the design of disturbing the fishing of the Dutch. They have no news yet of the event, but word has come that the Turkish pirates who raided Ireland, as reported, at the mere report of the Vice Admiral coming against them, departed at once from those shores. If this be really the case the Vice-Admiral will take his squadron to join the commander, as they fear a vigorous resistance from the Dutch fleet.
A gentleman of the Cari family, who had been for a long time under restraint at home by his relations because of a certain melancholy humour, broke out recently into a new and most furious frenzy, and unexpectedly took the post to London, telling some one that he was going to Court to kill the king, not doubting that when he had achieved this he would be master of England. (fn. 3) He was at once followed and seized on the way before his Majesty had word of it. When the queen was informed she was in the greatest agitation for two days, and would not reassure herself of the king's safety before he had gone in person to Oatlands, where she was living apart. He did this the more readily because she is known to be again enceinte with some indisposition and more trouble than she is accustomed to experience, and he was afraid that she might be in some danger.
I have your Serenity's letters of the 5th September with the instructions about my intercourse with the Spanish ambassador. At a time when they had almost given up thinking about his affairs his first public audience has been fixed for the day after tomorrow. The Earl of Dorset will accompany him to this, without there being any preceding public function. In spite of his specious declarations to me, which I wrote about, he has not made me any intimation in the usual way, so that I might send my coach, and I have taken no notice of it. When he has seen the king I will send to pay my respects, if I find he is of the same mind.
I have also received the account of the reception in Venetian territory given to the Cardinal Legate on his way to Cologne. (fn. 4) Meanwhile I must not forget to inform you that Panzani and Coneo have jointly carried this news to the Court, commending and amplifying upon what your Excellencies have done, and announcing that as a result the friendly relations between his Holiness and the republic are completely restored.
Westcourt, the 2nd October, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 2.
Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
81. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
News has come of Arundel's stout reply to the emperor's proposals. The Princess Palatine is greatly relieved, seeing the mask removed ; and she expects a declaration from England which is bound a thousand times over to take up arms if Cæsar does not give satisfaction. The Court here is amazed at Cæsar's speaking so plainly, but they think it due to the necessity of appeasing the jealousy of Bavaria. They feel sure that England does not intend to precipitate matters and that there will still be time to resume the negotiations with their subtleties, when occasion calls for it.
The Hague, the 2nd October, 1636.
Oct. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Rettori. Venetian Archives.
82. To the Proveditore in Terra Ferma.
You will show every confidence with Colonel Duglas, it being the desire of the state that everything shall be done to satisfy him, and you will try to keep him grateful and content.
Ayes, 70. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
Oct. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
83. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
They are apprehensive here of trouble with the Turks, and this may put a stop to their progress in France. The Earl of Arundel has seized the opportunity to renew his instances with the emperor about the Palatine family. He has announced his firm intention to leave at once if he does not receive satisfaction, in which case England would not put up with the affront. Yet the reply seems to have been general as usual. Thus it was noticed that his Excellency left the emperor's chamber with a very red face, and the moment he had descended the stairs and mounted his coach he directed his people to write to Nurenberg to secure quarters. Two days later he sent a courier to the king. It is supposed, to ask permission to leave. As the business touched the emperor closely and the Count of Ognat even more, they informed Arundel that they were writing to his king, offering the portion of the Lower Palatinate held by the Spaniards, and this would not bar the way to further claims. Two letters have been sent to England by the same courier, one from Cæsar, the other from Ognat.
The Earl of Arundel expresses his deep dissatisfaction ; but on the other hand he has had long conferences with Ognat, so that many consider his announcements an artifice, although nothing substantial has been done. Thus when Bavaria left here he told the nuncio positively that he had not given and would not give any satisfaction to England, and nothing would be done in the Diet to his prejudice ; of this he had a promise. The Dutch deputy here was refused an interview with the duke. He fears some agreement which will engage England to help Spain against the States. Arundel has always refused to discuss the subject with him, and has steadily evaded it. This minister told me that he would not visit Arundel again, as he only showed him pictures and galleries, and he saw that the earl was hiding something to the prejudice of the States.
Ratisbon, the 7th October, 1636.
Oct. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
84. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador extraordinary of England has sent his secretary (fn. 5) to that country ; he states that it is about his private affairs, but one may conclude that he has received some reply to his negotiations, which he is trying to keep hidden. He offers excuses that his king cannot easily declare himself against the Austrians, they must be content here with what is proposed and take what they can. He lets it be generally understood that they must not press so much for this declaration, but allow a little time, because he hopes they will obtain their intent. He will pledge his honour and his life that the king of Great Britain will do something great, but they must not rush the matter and it is necessary to remove all shadows and jealousies. Here, however, one of the ministers has intimated that without an open declaration from England there is no appearance that his Majesty will commit himself any further.
They have proposed to the Polish ambassador, who is leaving soon, either Mlle. de Bourbon, daughter of the Prince of Conde, or the Princess Maria, daughter of the Duke of Mantua as a wife for his king. His Majesty and the ministers incline more to the latter than the former. The ambassador says that his king will soon decide on one of these marriages as that with the Palatine Princess is broken off.
Paris, the 7th October, 1636.
Oct. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya, Venetian Archives.
85. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Joachimi reports that the king will not argue about the sovereignty of the sea, but he expresses his friendly disposition to the Provinces. The English Resident argues that the protection of England is worth more than the tax levied on the fishermen. Since these letters were received the States have announced their intention to increase the fleet, but no steps have been taken and they are acting with great deliberation in the matter. Joachimi reports that they have hopes of an alliance with France and these States, which would divert these Provinces from negotiations for a truce.
The Hague, the 9th October, 1636.
Oct. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
86. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
As arranged beforehand, the Spanish ambassador, accompanied by the Earl of Dorset went to have his first public audience at Oatlands of both their Majesties, who received him graciously in the same room. In terms of pure compliment he expressed how much his king valued the friendship of and good relations with this crown, and the particular merits of the present monarch. He spoke in Spanish, employing as interpreter an English Jesuit who usually lives in the house of the Resident Nicolaldi, and very well known at Court. It displeased the king that he should bring to his face to such a public function one who by the laws of the realm is declared a rebel against the crown, and he intimated his sentiments somewhat strongly. The ambassador said nothing further about having another private audience, although his Majesty informed him by a third party that he intended to stay all this week at Oatlands so as to cause him less inconvenience if he wished to set forth any part of his commissions. This hanging back, in addition to the prolonged incognito and the scandal of the Jesuit will have not only utterly discredited this minister but will serve to increase the bitterness against the House of Austria because of the Palatinate, which increases daily. They feel perfectly sure that in Spain as in Germany the Austrians merely aim at diverting England by compliments from those vigorous resolutions which they recognise she ought to take against them.
I received no official intimation either about his entry, which I only heard of three days beforehand, or of the audience. When I asked the Master of the Ceremonies for the reason he told me that when he was arranging with the ambassador about the number of coaches to accompany him, he asked him expressly and repeatedly if he wished mine to be invited, and he made no answer. Knowing that our relations had only been sketched out he had not wished to take any steps on his own account which might have equally offended us both. I remonstrated with him for not having informed me of this in time. He apologised on the same grounds and because of the distance, assuring me that he had not found the ambassador at all anxious that I should be informed of his affairs.
In order to escape from this ambiguous position I sent my secretary on the morning of Monday last, the day after the audience at Oatlands to the ambassador's house at Chelsea to inform him how anxious I was to show him respect and how much I regretted not being informed of his entry and first audience so that I might have paid the usual compliments. Before hearing the secretary Ognate insisted on his covering and taking a seat. He then said, you may tell the ambassador that I fully appreciate his courtesy. I need no further evidence that the negligence of the one who arranged such functions, the practice which has now passed into oblivion and the present disturbance of the plague are the things which have prevented me from enjoying the effects before. I thank the ambassador with all my heart. Assure him of my full response and ask him not to put himself out to come and see me, as in times of so much distress good relations can be maintained even without visits. When the secretary, who always called me, "Excellency," told him that I intended to visit him, he repeated that he was eager above all things for friendly relations with the ministers of your Serenity and with me in particular, but he asked me not to trouble to come and see him, as at such times confidential relations could be maintained even at a distance. Thus the interview ended, at which he never called the republic "most serene" or me "Excellency," and as he showed so little desire to see me I infer that there is no indication, from his past behaviour of the resumption of these relations with him.
I am unable to decide whether this is his fault or due to a revocation of orders. I can see clearly that if he has the orders which your Excellencies heard had been given to him in Spain, he thinks very little of them, since on the one hand he allures by specious promises, while he draws back on the other. It is incredible that he will make objection because I did not send to meet him at his entry, because in addition to his refusing to answer Finet, it was impossible, after he had been here incognito for three months, for any one more than thirty leagues away to know or divine when the humour seized him to appear in public ; and even if I had known it would not have been decorous to go without an invitation from the proper quarter. In the mean time, if the secretary's visit is acknowledged I mean to let him know through Finet that I hoped to meet with a better response, in order to hear what excuses he will make, and so that he may see that if he expected to deceive he is himself deceived.
Bagshot, the 10th October, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
87. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Another courier reached the Court this week from the Earl of Arundel with despatches dated the 14th ult. So far as can be discovered they are full of regret and give no hope of a good result. They also intimate some notable offence recently received from the emperor, which they do not want to become known here. The earl adds that unless the courier whom he is expecting brings orders to the contrary he proposes to take leave entirely, and to come home to England without further delay. They have not decided to send him any further response from here, indeed they believe that the resolution with which they have already written to him will suffice to confirm him in his present frame of mind, a thing which the ministers here, in the end, make a show of desiring.
Meanwhile they are thinking more than ever about the alliance with France, but with advantage and without being obliged to spend, a very essential point in these days. The French observe and resist this, as they see how present circumstances are making it necessary for England to unite with them.
With respect to including the Duke of Lorraine among the oppressed princes of Germany, now they see that the French will not listen to it, while they anticipate some idea in that quarter to grant the restitution of Lorraine by a special treaty, to avoid being forced to it by a general peace, the English now intimate that they will treat without raising this point, and that they are ready to negotiate a defensive and offensive alliance about the Palatinate alone. But the French mean otherwise and declare that they want an alliance not confined to terms which suit England only, but general and embracing the interests of both crowns against the House of Austria, with the obligation that neither side shall make peace before the Palatine is completely reinstated, promising further to give him the title of elector and to obtain for him the electoral vote.
Both the ambassadors here speak this way, although they profess not to be informed, as the matter no longer rests in their hands but in those of the Earl of Leicester. They cannot deny that Lorraine may be restored by a special treaty. They justify it saying that when peace is made the places there, now deposited in the hands of the Most Christian, may be restored by him without further dispute. The interests of the queen mother likewise may be determined by a special agreement. They mutter things which go to show the propensity of the French to make peace. When divulged at this Court these cause trouble and it becomes ever more manifest that such a peace would not please them. A little space should suffice to make clear to what end all this topsy turvy state of affairs is tending, and so the effect of this alliance, should it ever take place, ought very speedily to become public property, and sooner than I can send word of it to your Excellencies, as the whole of the transactions have taken place in France without the ambassadors here having any hand in it, as I have remarked before.
When these ambassadors recently informed his Majesty of the sailing of their king's fleet for the Mediterranean, they told him that when passing through the Strait they fell in with three Turkish pirates. They captured these and released fifty English whom they found on board, providing them with money and a passage to return to England. They certainly enlarged somewhat, using the incident as evidence of their king's good will. His Majesty replied that he had already heard the news and rejoiced at it, because it will prove to the world that the King of France is the enemy and not the abettor, as many have believed, of those people, who harass the repose of Christendom with their barbarities.
Some boxes of reals, which must be worth about a million francs, arrived at Dover two days ago, to be transported to Flanders, and have been seized at once by his Majesty's order. People feel sure that he will pay the debts he claims therewith, as he would have done so with the others if they had not been taken away by trickery. The Ambassador Ognat has not spoken about the matter yet and the Court is curious to see the result.
With respect to the glass monopoly of Sir [Robert] Mansfelt, I note the state's wish to allow time for proving the value of his offers about importing Murano crystals here. I shall keep a look out to see what come, but as my efforts may not avail to prevent me being defrauded by the interested parties, I ask your Excellencies to direct the masters of furnaces to provide you at such time as you think fit with definite information as to what work is sent or sold for this realm, so that you may have solid grounds for forming an opinion on the subject.
The Persian merchant still remains here waiting for an opportunity for his passage. They have never been able to find Richard Gatwood, who behaved so abominably to me over his money. Everyone declares that he has gone to Venice. If he is there, he will be in the power of your Excellencies, whereas he has been able to escape the punishment that was designed for him here.
The Senate's decision of the 10th August to the advantage of the English merchants trading at Zante and Cephalonia has reached me in the public despatches of the 12th September. I will use it to show how eager you are to give satisfaction to his Majesty and for the benefit of the state's service.
Bagshot, the 10th October, 1636.
Oct. 12.
Senato Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
88. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday I had occasion to see his Eminence. Among other things he spoke in the usual way about the treaties with England, showing little hope. He spoke highly of the Earl of Leicester, as an accomplished nobleman and well intentioned.
Amiens, the 12th October, 1636.
Oct. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Zante. Venetian Archives.
89. Stefano Capello, Venetian Proveditore at Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Describes the damage done by the earthquake on the last day of the past month.
Zante, the 5th October, 1636, old style.
Oct. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
90. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court has been full this week of violent clamour and denunciation against the House of Austria, due chiefly to the scant satisfaction received from the emperor in the negotiations of the Earl of Arundel. Very frequent consultations have been held since his last letters, and it is supposed that orders have been sent him to come away without taking leave of the emperor. The noise, however, will be greater than the results, as it is unquestionable that even if the necessity for his leaving had been more urgent, secret orders would have reached him not to leave Germany, but to stop at Frankfort on the plea of indisposition, in order to see what effect this move will produce, and seize such advantage as circumstances may supply. There was some question of making him halt at Cologne, on the pretext of sickness, to superintend the general pacification, but as he had no ambassadorial credentials and so would not have been admitted to the congress, independently of the difficulties he must have encountered in treating with the Cardinal Legate, they gave up this plan and he will remain at Frankfort or some where else.
To smoothe matters the Imperial minister Radolti presented the king yesterday with a letter from the emperor, expressing his readiness to bring the affairs of the Palatine to completion. It appears that his Majesty received both the office and the letter with scant gratification. Many of the Court believe that they were written in England, as no couriers have reached either him or the Spanish ambassador who could have brought it in such a short time.
There is talk of raising troops and augmenting the fleet by 50 sail, but neither can be carried out for lack of funds. With the same object they announce that the negotiations for an alliance with the Most Christian are nearly completed, indeed practically settled, they declare, seizing the occasion of the arrival in Court of the Earl of Leicester's secretary, (fn. 6) who was really despatched by him last week for this affair. What he brought that is really substantial is not allowed to transpire, but it is quite certain that it does not yet include the needed conclusion, indeed it brings some augmentation of difficult and painful disputes.
The French ambassadors press for permission to raise levies in Ireland and receive fair promises, but nothing is done. They say that if the agreement between the two crowns is established, all these realms will be open to them to raise as many men as they wish.
The Earl of Northumberland is returning to these waters, having avoided an encounter with the Dutch fishermen, because, seeing that they were assisted by a number of well armed ships, he would not take the risk. He is to come in person to Court to give his Majesty an oral account of the matter and receive new commissions for the future. This withdrawal has displeased everybody, as they would have liked him to attempt the encounter, but the advanced season may not have permitted fresh enterprises.
The Ambassador Ognati has not chosen to perform any office for the release of the money seized, because he avoids meeting in private conference not only his Majesty but any of his ministers, and he has seen very few of rank as yet, while he has never yet asked a special audience for anything else. The king certainly does not like it, and I know he has complained bitterly. The Prince Palatine also is much hurt by his proceedings, because he has not only discontinued those signs of respect which Nicolaldi began, but has not even performed any complimentary office with him. He has not called on me or in any way acknowledge the compliment I paid him twelve days ago. I have not been able to see the Master of the Ceremonies since. When I have the opportunity I shall tell him what a difference there is between the offers he made me in the ambassador's name and his behaviour, so that he may find out the reason for it and inform me, as he assures me he will do with sincerity.
Two young sons of the Landgrave of Hesse, who arrived in this realm from Holland a few days ago, went yesterday to kiss their Majesties hands. They were received with special honours and also received presents by the king's command. (fn. 7)
The Secretary Zonca, though in indifferent health, will lose no time in taking the cipher to the Ambassador Michiel in Holland.
Windsor, the 17th October, 1636.
Oct. 20.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Ceffalonia. Venetian Archives.
91. Andrea Malipiero, Venetian Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the Doge and Senate.
Destruction caused by the earthquake. Scarcely a house left standing. The currants on which the unhappy inhabitants might have depended to some extent for relief are spoiled by the rain under the ruined store houses, and at present nothing can be got for them. So all the inhabitants are reduced to extreme misery and are certain to die of hunger, as no corn at all is left, of any sort.
Cephalonia, the 10th October, 1636, old style.
Oct. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
92. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet of sixteen ships has been off these coasts and exacted the toll from the fishermen under threats of force. There is a great outcry here against Admiral Dorp for not carrying out his instructions. The States sent for the Prince to come at once to the Hague. The excitement has been very great in the whole government. Many talk of an appeal to arms, as matters have gone too far. But no decision has been taken and they will wait for the report of Joachimi and the advice of the Prince, who is trying to soothe them because of the existing circumstances. The people of Holland in particular insist that they must not delay any longer to conclude the truces, in order to break openly with England. They would like to make overtures for this purpose and resume the negotiations.
The Spaniards will find these Provinces more disposed to peace than the French, owing to their differences with the French and the dispute with England about the sovereignty of the sea. By encouraging these the Spaniards can force the Dutch to accept what terms they please. The Austrians profit greatly by a situation which relieves them of the fear of trouble on the score of the Palatinate. Arundel reports his refusal to re-open negotiations. Beveren reports that the Prince Palatine is very happy as he feels sure that the king will support him with all his power. An alliance with these Provinces is suggested if they will admit the English sovereignty of the sea.
Two Dutch ships have rescued an English one chased by pirates.
The Hague, the 23rd October, 1636.
Oct. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
93. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After a whole week's discussion in the royal Council about the Palatine's interests, Leicester's secretary has been sent back to Paris charged to establish, not a general offensive and defensive alliance, as projected, but a special agreement, whereby the French arms shall receive considerable assistance to continue the war. But it will not amount to an open declaration of war from this quarter on the House of Austria, as they consider that they must on no account come to an open rupture with it. The king considers the matter as good as settled since nothing but the approval of the Most Christian is required for establishing it. Now that the difficulties about the Duke of Lorraine are removed, which alone stood in the way upon other occasions, he hopes and indeed feels certain that this approval will be given promptly. The conditions of the treaty are still kept secret, and more so by the French ambassadors than by the ministers here. One of the latter, in conversation, even intimated to me in a superficial fashion that if the agreement is accepted not only the English fleet but a certain number of troops, to be paid by the king here, will be at the service of France until the end of the war. France will have liberty to raise levies throughout Great Britain, for which she will pay herself, and similarly she will be able to dispose of ships and sailors to her satisfaction upon paying for their services. England will also give a certain amount of ammunition to France, and the King of France will have liberty to take as much as he pleases, at his own cost. On her side France is to espouse the cause of the Palatine wholeheartedly, until some equitable arrangement is reached. No peace is to be made without the assent of Great Britain. Meanwhile the ambassadors of France in London and elsewhere are to concede the title of elector. I have been informed from another quarter that at the present moment they are devoting more attention than ever to this point. They foresee from the procedure of the Ambassador Ognat that the Spaniards do not intend to follow along the road that Nicolaldi started. In this matter I will copy the example of the French ambassadors.
There remains yet another point to decide upon which there are various opinions. This is whether the command of the troops which they are bound to contribute in fulfilment of the treaty, as well as of those troops which the Most Christian might grant for the same purpose, should be confided to the Palatine personally. They are debating this point while the prince, in the most venturesome spirit, not only asks for this but that they shall recognise here that by this means his name may render more considerable and more valid the rights of his Majesty, since his armies will be placed under the command of his nephew who is the party interested, to whom help cannot be refused. On the other hand it is pointed out that if they mean to uphold the dignity of the prince in this way it will not be proper to let him take the field without an independent and considerable command. The troops to be contributed from here will not suffice and it is not possible to depend greatly on those to be assigned in France. Accordingly it would be more appropriate for these forces to be led by French commanders than that the person of the Palatine should be committed without the direction of a formal army, and without the means to perform of himself operations befitting his dignity and courage, to signalise his name and win that prestige in the eyes of the world that would be abundantly helpful and opportune for the interests of his House. The decision of this question will have to be made here, as the French show no sign of captiousness on the subject. This is utterly at variance with the policy hitherto pursued by England. The ablest politicians consider this step a necessity, owing to which, seeing the progress that the general peace may make, they see themselves compelled, beyond repair, either to make up their minds to give up the Palatine's interests altogether, or to uphold them by some way that seems best. Thus on the one hand an open breach with the House of Austria is considered not only dangerous but difficult to keep up for long without the help of parliament, of which they will not hear a word, while on the other hand they know that to trust the promises of the Austrians means voluntarily to go on for ever and to perdition, they thought it best to adopt this third course, as from either of two events considerable advantage may arise ; because if peace ensues, it cannot, by the terms of this treaty, be other than advantageous for the Palatine, while if it is not, the same reasons hold as before, because nothing will be lost, and they will continue to enjoy the advantages of sea trade which the war between France and Spain at present brings them.
Probably to counterbalance all this the Spanish ambassador has at last asked for an audience, which will be appointed for him the day after tomorrow. The Court awaits the issue with curiosity, because they believe that he has been roused to ask for it more by these necessities than to set forth any other substantial commission.
He has never shown any sign of appreciation of the office I performed with him. This is so contrary to the usual custom in all Courts, that it confirms my idea that he only wanted to entice me to take some step that would give him an advantage in his claims. I spoke somewhat sharply about it to Sir John Finet, who before the event told me that the ambassador had expressed pleasure at my sending to visit him and stated that he meant to respond. To this Finet answered : I tell you with all sincerity he is not a man from whom much can be expected. I am sorry from the bottom of my heart that I meddled in the matter. I have been a devoted servant of the republic for many years and should be sorry to be an instrument of offence to it. But this man with his impassibility and subtlety might deceive anyone. He promises liberally and performs only what he considers to his advantage. His Majesty is by no means pleased with him and the Prince Palatine already dislikes him exceedingly. I assured Finet how much I appreciated his good intentions and ask him to keep me advised of what happened. This he promised to do. It is therefore clear that the ample offers of this minister were only a flash which vanished almost as soon as seen ; and he will refuse to move a step unless stringent orders reach him from Spain. I will wait for what time may bring.
The king, with a small suite, is to proceed to Theobalds, with the intention of passing next week at Newmarket to enjoy the pleasures of the chase. The Council will be held here, where some of the principal ministers are staying. I also intend to stay until his Majesty returns and decides to take some other route, unless the plague in London chance to diminish ; but there is very little sign of this, as more than two thousand persons are dying per week at present.
Zonca left for Holland on Saturday in last week. As the wind was favourable I hope that he has arrived by now.
I have received this week the state despatches of the 26th ult. with the office read to the Ambassador Fildin about the merchants trading at the islands of Zante and Cephalonia.
Windsor, the 24th October, 1636.
Oct. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
94. To the Ambassador in England.
The ordinary brought none of your letters, only duplicates. We hear from Vienna that the Spanish Ambassador Ognat has procured for the Cardinal of Savoy the protection of Germany, which was sustained by the late Cardinal Diatrestain. Their object is to detach the House of Savoy from France as much as possible. We shall wait to hear from you what they say about it in England.
Ayes, 91. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
Oct. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
95. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Because of the instructions sent to me on the 27th ult. I thought it best to see the Cardinal. After speaking of other matters I referred to the treaties with England. He said that M. de Bullion was negotiating with the Ambassador Leicester, and if there was anything essential he would have sent to him. I remarked that the Ambassador Corraro was advised that the ambassador had received instructions to introduce the question of restoring Lorraine into the treaties. He replied, They spoke some time ago about when we should restore it. We shall do so freely, but not by treaties. By doing little the English want us to do much. At this point he commended the good intentions of the Ambassador Leicester and remarked that there were many Hispanophiles in England.
Amiens, the 26th October, 1636.
96. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Capuchin, Father Joseph, has never returned to Court, but is staying at Paris to negotiate with the ambassador extraordinary of England. Various messengers have passed to and fro between there and this city to the Cardinal, and I find that although they keep this business very secret, they are agreed upon the principal point of a defensive and offensive league between the two crowns against the House of Austria until the Prince Palatine is restored to his dominions and electoral dignity, that France has demanded money of the English to continue the war, and the Swedes, Dutch and other powers will be invited to enter this confederation. Nothing more is said about the restoration of Lorraine, but some articles still remain which are not yet quite decided, and for them the ambassador has sent to England.
Amiens, the 26th October, 1636.
Oct. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
97. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The States announce that they do not desire an alliance with England but they want a truce as they are tired of war. This is all artifice, to set off against the king's announcement of the alliance with France, and in the hope of inducing England to change her cards and desire an alliance with them. This is what they really want, as a blockade of Flanders would compel the Spaniards to come to terms. Yet there are some, in the Assembly of Holland in particular, who would agree to a truce tomorrow, without considering the advantages to be derived from union with England.
The Princess Palatine told me about Arundel's recall. She seems to believe firmly that the king will declare himself and she expressed the hope that he will make a protest in the name of the Prince Palatine, declaring the election of the king of the Romans invalid if the prince is not admitted to the Diet with power to elect.
The Hague, the 30th October, 1636.
Oct. 31.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
98. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court here is intent on what France may resolve with respect to what was agreed here about the establishment of the treaty with that crown. If this step does not come first, since it must be the principle they do not think of making any further decision, for or against, in the matter of the Prince Palatine taking the field. They are only awaiting the reply to be sent by the Earl of Leicester. The French ambassadors here will not utter a syllable about the details of the project, and behave as if they knew nothing about it. The ministers here also seem reluctant to confirm what they divulged on the subject last week. Thus doubts are entertained as to whether the king intends to pay any English contingent until the end of the war, and the ministers here seem reluctant to confirm what they stated last week. They declare themselves very ill pleased with the choice offered in France to the Ambasador Zavaschi for the marriage of his king, either of the daughter of the Prince of Conde or of the Princess Maria of Mantua, saying that it was the secret intrigues of the French which prevented the marriage of the Palatine princess. Despite this bitter event, which is felt the more because of its intrinsic importance, permission has been given this week to several captains sent here by the Chancellor Oxestern to raise recruits in Scotland and Ireland, whereas in the past they have scarcely listened to their requests. A general census has been ordered in the realm of all persons capable of bearing arms, and when that is finished, as it will be in a few days, his Majesty has ordered the lists to be brought to him at once They do not often show so much activity and so it makes men believe that they have some considerable designs in mind.
With matters in this state his Majesty has left the Council here and a great part of his household to go to Newmarket, and on the first day of this week he proceeded to Theobalds. There for the first time he received the Spanish ambassador in private audience. His very diffuse office was all directed to persuade the king to prolong the Earl of Arundel's stay at the imperial Court. He apologised for the causes of offence of which the earl complained, by the difficulty of the present times, without entering into particulars, and he blamed the earl's too hot temper, in his reception and interpretation of the replies of the emperor and his ministers, which had always been full of respect and full of good will. He said the earl had allowed himself to be carried away rather towards the way of destruction than that of moderation and duty. He advanced many arguments, and with transparent artifice made it appear that the House of Austria was entirely disposed to satisfy this crown. Yet he could not hide the reasons which had induced him to perform this office, although he tried not to betray that he knew anything of the negotiations which are on foot with France.
The king replied in general terms and so soberly as to show the little value he attached to the office, as after such a long time they expected to hear something more lively and sincere, and proposals with some solid substance. In spite of all this it is believed, though not known for certain, that the instructions to the Earl of Arundel will be confirmed only to go away from the Court, but not to leave Germany, to wait and see what turn the present negotiations with France take, and then he will have more solid ground for arranging the rest.
The sympathies of the ministers here on the question of the diet of Ratisbon are evidently at variance. The majority of them, who cannot conceal their personal predilection for the success of the House of Austria, have noted with sorrow the protests of the Elector of Treves and the reluctance of others to take part personally.
The Earl of Northumberland arrived at Court the day before yesterday, leaving his fleet distributed along the most convenient places of the coast. He reported to his Majesty that he had fallen in with some other Dutch fishing boats and made them contribute almost a tenth part of their catch, as well as to take from him a licence to continue their fishing, in writing. This is worth more for the establishment of the jurisdiction which they claim, and therefore has given the more satisfaction to the general. It has also won credit and reputation for Northumberland himself, since it was reported that in alarm at the preparations of the Dutch he had avoided trying conclusions with them ; but it is also true that these boats were not convoyed by the Dutch fleet but were accompanied by two armed vessels only when he happened to fall in with them. His commissions having been carried out, he has retired to one of his country houses, to wait for his Majesty to renew them. Many think, however, that with the season so far advanced if no greater emergencies arise, the Vice Admiral will remain in charge of the whole fleet, as if there is need he may be chosen to command it, as a person of riper experience.
Now that time has consumed almost all the contributions that were raised with so much trouble for this fleet, they will have to think of a new way of providing for it, if they want to keep it at sea any longer. The orders already issued for the collection of the new imposts encounter insuperable obstacles in their execution. For this purpose they propose to augment the impositions upon all merchandise which enters or leaves the realm, but even if these bring in the large revenue that they hope, they will not be sufficient or soon enough to be devoted to this purpose. It is decreed that every horse which in future is taken from the realm shall pay a duty of 5l. sterling to the king, besides the usual charge to obtain the licence. They say this is rather to prevent the measures taken by the French to take over a considerable number to France, than for any profit that may be obtained.
The sons of the Landgrave of Hesse have more than once received various refreshments in his Majesty's name. They have now gone away from the Court and it is thought that they will soon leave the kingdom. The ministers of the pope here proceed with great deliberation in their secret transactions. They have not yet been able to obtain any permission for the bishop. They keep near the queen both living in the same house, and at present they merely keep up frequent intercourse with her confessor. Coneo has more than once visited the ambassadors of France and Spain here, but he has not yet appeared at my house. I really cannot ascertain the cause of this behaviour of his because Panzani always kept up the most open correspondence with me.
I have the state despatches of the 3rd inst. with the thanks of the English ambassador and Signor Giustinian's despatch about the orders sent to the Court of Ognat. So far as that individual is concerned, his actions do not correspond with his professions and he has never thanked me for the compliment I paid him. The French ambassadors seem to await the issue of this affair with great curiosity. They were very pleased to learn from me that the first move came from the Spanish ministers. Sir John Finet has not said anything further to me and I have not thought it worth while to remind him.
I will carry out the orders of the Council of Ten about Rossi, who is still here.
Windsor, the 31st October, 1636.


  • 1. Richard Fanshawe.
  • 2. Cecilia Renata.
  • 3. Rochester Carr, brother of Sir Robert Carr of Lincolnshire, a gentleman of the bedchamber. Court and Times of Charles I., Vol. II., page 250.
  • 4. The legate was Cardinal Ginetti. See Nani : Hist, de la Republica Veneta, page 312.
  • 5. James Battyer.
  • 6. James Battyer.
  • 7. Christian and Ernest, brothers, not sons, of William V., landgrave of Hesse Cassel, aged respectively 14 and 13. The landgrave sent them over to live in England for some time and to study at Oxford. Hubner : Genealogische Tabellen No. 209. Cal. S.P. Dom 1636-7, page 115 ; Court and Times of Charles I., Vol. II., page 256 ; Clarke : Life and Times of Anthony Wood, Vol. IV., page 56.