Venice: November 1636

Pages 92-105

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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November 1636

Nov. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
99. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of a letter from the Captain of the Great Galleys about an English ship, for information and so that you may be able to reply if the subject is brought up. We also enclose a request of the English ambassador for the exemption of his wine from duty. We consider this claim unjustified but have directed the magistrates to observe the ordinary use with ambassadors of crowned heads. The secretary has not returned to repeat the demand. This is for information, to be used only if provoked.
Ayes, 108. Noes, 1. Neutral, 6.
Nov. 1.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
100. Request made in the Collegio by the secretary of the English ambassador with a paper asking that the wine for his house should not have to pay duty, stating that his predecessors never had paid any duty. The magistracy of the Revisers and Regulators of the Customs and the Proveditori of the Customs were directed to reply, who replied unfavourably, if he should return to repeat the request, but he did not do so. The paper, reply and what the secretary said are enclosed in the letter written to the English ambassador on the 1st of November, being sent to him in copies for his information.
Nov. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
101. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Leicester returned from England a few days ago, and a courier also came who was sent back at once. The earl goes about saying that they are agreed as to the end but not thoroughly about the means, and he sees it is difficult to make an adjustment between two great crowns like these, because one who is at peace wishes to enjoy it and seems reluctant to take up war. They keep the particulars of the negotiations very secret, but I am assured on the authority of one who professes to know that the principal point of an offensive and defensive alliance is practically settled.
Amiens, the 4th November, 1636.
Nov. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
102. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The long and frequent conferences of Arundel with the king, the emperor and the Count of Ognat convince me that they are making the greatest efforts through the interposition of England for an agreement with the French, which shall comprise the affairs of the Palatinate and of the Duke of Lorraine. In spite of the obstacles it is certain that the emperor and the king will do what they can for an adjustment. The question of the Palatinate seemed to be all undone these last days, but now it is being revived more than ever, but very secretly and the emperor himself is mediator. The cession is suggested of the part of the Lower Palatinate which is held by the Spaniards, on condition that England will help against the Dutch and others ; and that the part held by Bavaria shall also be ceded, shutting out all further claims ; the vote to go to the Palatine if the Bavarian line dies out. But Bavaria remains obdurate and Arundel says he will leave in a few days, as permission has reached him. Outwardly he expresses dissatisfaction with this Court, but it is not really so and the thread of the negotiations always remains in being. Teller will stay here to conduct it and if some opening presents itself for an easy and quick settlement, it is possible that some other ambassador of that crown will come to arrange it.
Ratisbon, the 4th November, 1636.
Nov. 7.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
103. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Nothing of importance has occurred this week, the king being absent, and no replies have come from the Earl of Leicester. The French ambassadors say that the arrangement is approaching a conclusion, though they do not give any particulars. The Palatine has told the Dutch ambassador, with whom he frequently confers, that he hoped very soon to see his affairs prosperously launched ; not by way of a composition with the emperor, from whom he did not believe that anything of a friendly character could ever be obtained, although he is just now making a show of willingness to restore to him that part of his dominions which is held by the Spaniards in the Lower Palatinate, but by means of a good alliance between this crown and the most Christian. The Palatine's secretary, Curtius, confirmed this to me this morning. He assured me that his Majesty considered the matter as settled. However this may be, a few days should decide the question, since the carrying into effect of the things agreed must of necessity be public. Curtius asked me if the letter he gave me for your Serenity had arrived and if there was any answer, as the prince would like to know. I told him the letter had arrived and had gratified your Serenity, who always entertained a high esteem for that House. I said that no answer had reached me but I would let him have it as soon as it did. So he left me and seemed satisfied.
They have not yet received news of the arrival of the Ambassador Joachimi in Holland. They are waiting with impatience to hear how the States will have taken the replies given here about the matter of the fishermen. The fleet, at any rate, will not give them any more trouble this year, as it has almost all withdrawn to the Downs and a great part has come into the River.
Nothing more is said about the affair of the Secretary Windebank, and he claims to have entirely recovered the royal favour. He certainly frequents the Court with great freedom, and both within the Council and without exercises the duties of his office with the same liberty as before.
I have shown the decision of the Senate of the 1st August last about the export from Venice of the oils of Apulia for this kingdom, forwarded to me by the Proveditori for Oil, to more than one of the merchants here, who are accustomed to deal in that commodity. I have urged them strongly to take up the matter, pointing out the very great advantage that they will receive particularly in the exemption from the duty. Some of them seemed ready to make the experiment, and although they raise objections about the long quarantine which their ships have to make in Venetian ports for reasons of public health, yet once they have begun the trade I hope that they will give it an excellent start, especially as the last decisions in their favour in the matter of the currants seem to have increased their inclination to carry on every kind of trade with the Venetian state.
I have received the state despatch of the 10th ult. I do not know what to say about the attitude of the Spanish ministers. The ambassador here shows no sign of responding to my office. The day before yesterday he intimated to a confidant of mine that to go any further he needed instructions from Spain. I do not think him sincere, even if the orders from the Catholic arrive. Nicolaldi has never been to see me, though his quality as Resident does not require him to be so punctilious. In the mean time I will maintain the dignity of the state.
Windsor, the 7th November, 1636.
104. Anzolo Correr, Venetian ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Begs that his successor may be chosen to give him breathing space and enable him to serve the state better, as the time prescribed by the laws for service in that embassy has now passed.
Windsor, the 7th November, 1636.
Nov. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
105. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Before the despatch of the last courier the Ambassador Leicester sent another to England. He has received a reply that the courier will very speedily be sent back with a favourable answer, so they consider the matter as good as settled here. I hear that among the other articles there is one that the war shall be continued not only until the Prince Palatine is restored to his' dominions and electoral dignity, but until the other princes of Germany have returned to the peaceful possession of their states. England is to abandon the Duke of Lorraine and in exchange France will give up Bavaria. Four weeks after the treaty has been concluded and ratified they will invite your Serenity to enter the confederation.
Paris, the 11th November, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
106. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Joachimi has made his report about the fisheries to the Assembly, on the lines already indicated. The English claim that the fishermen pay willingly to have the protection, but their admiral protests that the English threatened force if the contribution was not paid. This question touches the feelings of the whole ministry here in their most sensitive part, and they protest unanimously with all their might that they will not pass over the injury. The prince says the same though he states that present circumstances oblige the Provinces to proceed with deliberation. Meanwhile the fishing season is over for this year.
The Prince Palatine gives his mother great hopes that the king will declare himself. He also reports the activities of Ognat who, we hear independently, is bribing the ministers, so the Princess is torn between hopes and fears.
The Hague, the 13th November, 1636.
Nov. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
107. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Results have shown in the end that the ministers here did not announce such specious particulars about the projected alliance with France without some secret artful purpose ; because, as they themselves can hardly deny, they hoped thereby to compel the Spanish ambassador to make a counter move and explain the most secret part of his instructions, if he had any for the adjustment of the affairs of the Palatine ; but since they have discovered that he either has no orders, or will not make them known, on the arrival of another courier from the Earl of Leicester, with more moderate proposals and more advantageous for them here, after his Majesty had first made some alterations, they sent back orders to him and gave him power to conclude.
The principal articles in the later form are known, although not to an absolute certainty. The King of Great Britain will promise to maintain his fleet to defend and secure the ports of the Most Christian on the Ocean. With the same he will prevent food, munitions of war, money and soldiers from entering any port of the King of Spain. He will not permit the Catholic to make any levies in his realms during the present war, but will grant one to the Most Christian of 6000 infantry, and will cause it to be reinforced with recruits from time to time as required. On the other side it shall be declared that France is bound never to make peace unless the emperor and the King of Spain have restored to the Prince Palatine full possession of all his dominions, or unless they consent here to some other just arrangement. There is a more secret article about the electoral dignity and the French ministers giving the Prince the title of Elector in the meantime ; but as I have only succeeded with great difficulty in finding out what I know, so I have not been able to learn the rest, as no one will speak freely from fear that the aspect of affairs may still change. Thus I have noticed the French ambassadors so reserved that one might almost say they suspected me, especially as upon other occasions M. de Poygne has always been accustomed to make me a most confidential communication with every courtesy.
If the agreements are stipulated as above it is claimed that the affairs of the Palatine will be benefited with slight inconvenience to England, and with almost the certainty of an excellent accomodation, a matter to which they devoted their chief attention here, since they recognise that present circumstances do not permit them to undertake great things, the treasury being very exhausted, and it is most difficult to replenish it except by parliament. Although the French may not be much strengthened by the arrangement, yet it yields them three important advantages, it prevents the transport of money and troops to Flanders, which generally go there on English ships or protected by them ; they can rest satisfied that this crown will not make an alliance with the Spaniards, and it will be a great convenience for them to take troops from these realms, over which they have always encountered the most serious difficulties in the past, even if the guarding of the ports and the stopping of the ships taking munitions etc. from Spain to Flanders are not carried out by his Majesty's fleet with the punctuality required by the articles, because unless it is commanded by the Palatine himself there is no serious indication that others will take the superiority which they claim at sea so much to heart as to take action to prevent its realisation (perche se non fosse dal medesimo Palatino condotta, non v'e gran apparenza che altri ne possino prendere a cuore tanto il pensiero et la superiorita che si pretende mantenere sopra il mare dovendo apportare molte cause di diversione per trascurarne gli effetti). The treaty is to be concluded in France, since their final decisions on the subject have been taken here and they are only waiting for the stipulations. I have sent the information to the Ambassador Contarini.
In consequence of this all idea of sending any one to the congress at Cologne has vanished utterly. They would not wish to say anything about the Prince Palatine taking the field if he himself did not keep the matter alive by his repeated instances to have a force to himself. They give him every consolation in words, but before they come to the achievement of his desires more than one difficulty will have to be overcome.
Panzani, having obtained permission from the pope to return to Rome, came to see me the day before yesterday. He expressed especial devotion to your Excellencies and I made a suitable response. He leaves the direction of his principal operations in the hands of Mr. George Coneo, his successor, who is a Scot and a secular. He will have freer entry everywhere and with less observation. He will continue to try and obtain a position of ever greater favour for the Catholic faith, always covered by the authority of the queen who really seems to devote herself with enthusiasm to this matter. He has never performed any office of confidence with me, and I am consequently perplexed about it, because he deals with the other ambassadors with complete freedom. I have tried through my informant to find out if he by chance had any instructions from Rome not to keep up correspondence with me, but he has never consented to express himself clearly. But I fancy that his actions speak sufficiently of themselves to give this credit.
I have got a gentleman of my household to ask Sir [John] Finet if he had found out any thing about what I had said to him upon the behaviour of the Ambassador Ognat to me. He replied that he had not discovered any more than he had reported to me, but that he should see him on the following day and would send me word of what he got out of him. Accordingly, after two days he sent me the enclosed letter, which I forward to your Serenity as I received it, so that you may consider the contents. You will observe that he wants to introduce a new fashion in the compliments customarily exchanged between foreign ministers, claiming, perhaps as a mark of the difference which he has already said he wished to make between his king and the republic, that he is not bound to respond to the office which I performed with him through the secretary, and as for the title which he gave me, he pretends that he does not remember. These are traits which very vividly show his unfriendly disposition in this affair, and how he aims, if he can, at gaining some advantage over your Serenity's ministers, in which he will certainly find himself mistaken.
Zonca has got back from Holland after leaving the cipher with the Ambassador Michiel.
Windsor, the 14th November, 1636.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure. 108. Letter to the Ambassador from Sir John Finet.
In fulfilment of my duty and your service I was at the Spanish ambassador's the other day, and asked him, as tactfully as possible, the question your gentleman gave me touching his intention to return the visit you made him by your secretary, and to give you the proper title, which your secretary noticed he only gave you by third person. He replied briefly that he remembered nothing about the title, and he did not think it the duty of the last comer to return by his servant the visit which the first comer had made by his. For the rest he was your servant etc. In a word I scarcely find him disposed to correspond with your Excellency yet. What time may produce is uncertain.
Chiswick, the 31st October, old style, 1636.
Signed : Jean Finet.
Endorsed : A monseigneur Angelo Coraro, Ambr. pour la Serenissme Republique de Venise pres sa Matie. à Charter House ou la part ou il sera.
Nov. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
109. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Arundel set out for home unexpectedly, very early this morning, after having a long audience of the emperor yesterday evening. Amid various reports nothing certain can be ascertained except that nothing has been settled in the matters about which he treated.
Ratisbon, the 19th November, 1636.
Nov. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya Venetian Archives.
110. Francesco Michiel, Venetian Ambassador at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Resident, seeing the lengths to which the affair of the fisheries has gone, has informed the government that although his king will not discuss the question of the sovereignty of the sea, yet he desires to do what is pleasing to the States, and if they considered that the tax is too heavy he will be pleased to appoint commissioners to adjust the matter. He received a sharp reply ; but he told them that if they would gratify his king in this matter they would receive complete satisfaction. The Prince told him with a smile that he felt absolutely certain that whenever these Provinces might chance to arrange a truce England would alter her plans. There seems to be no middle term. The point is not the amount of the contribution, but the liberty claimed by the Provinces. They are absolutely opposed to the sovereignty claimed by the king. Thus it is certain they will contemplate a war, as fierce as it will be difficult, in order to settle the matter.
The Hague, the 20th November, 1636.
Nov. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Archives. Venetian.
111. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers are exclusively occupied in providing funds for the fleet in the event of the agreement with France obliging England to scour the narrow seas even in the winter, for although no ratification has been received from the Earl of Leicester the matter is expected to have the desired end so that nothing requisite may be found wanting. Yet the difficulties in collecting the ordinary imposts become constantly greater, excuses of not being able or not being obliged being offered in defence. Moreover as it seems that only the counties adjacent to the sea are bound to contribute for the guarding thereof, the others claim that they went beyond their duty in the voluntary payment to which they have submitted in the last two years, and when it is a question of employing the ships in the service of foreign princes they declare that they cannot be compelled to make any payment, and if the king wishes to make war or assist his friends he must of necessity have recourse to parliament, from which every one of his predecessors always received abundant supplies of all the money that they needed for the maintenance or service of the state. Thus those whose only study is to find opportunities for reopening the doors of parliament which they grieve to see closed so long because they cannot exercise their authority over the innovations which they do not like, encourage to the utmost the reluctance of the people, and make the noise of their complaints reach the king's ears even more loudly than is really the case, all in order to force him to a decision which they know it is hopeless to expect he will ever take of his own accord. But his Majesty's intentions are very different, and if the service and reputation of the crown, the sole stimulus which has led him to the present resolution, are not sufficient to justify the contributions which he demands, he intends to break down all obstruction, by the example of the past and the exercise of his royal authority, and make the way clear, not only for this but for future occasions, to obtain all the assistance which he may need for the requirements of the state. To this effect very strong orders have been issued to all the officials of the realm to compel all, without distinction, to make payment of the portions which they owe, and to chastise those who will not do so, or who go about proclaiming their objections with improper opinions. By this means and by the recent increase of the customs they hope very quickly to collect a considerable sum of money, so that they can immediately begin to use it, even if the need becomes pressing.
The ministers are now paying much greater attention than usual to the events of foreign Courts. They are awaiting the issue of events at Corbie (fn. 1) and of the affairs of Picardy with some anxiety. They certainly do not want to hear of any further successes of the Spaniards in that quarter. The diet of Ratisbon is not expected to end very soon, and doubts are entertained whether the election of a King of the Romans will result satisfactorily. Many rejoice as this is considered favourable for the negotiations of England, as she may probably obtain better terms.
While the affairs of Germany are subject to such great fluctuations and now the Swedes have gained so great an advantage over the Imperialists and Saxons, they do not seem so anxious for a general peace in the empire as they have been in the past, but rather desire a universal settlement whereby, always without the necessity for constant expense, the interests of the Palatine may be adjusted. I have good grounds for saying this, and his Majesty's own words bear it out, as he told me that they desired this union and a happy issue to the congress at Cologne for the repose of Christendom. I seized the opportunity to commend his intentions and thought fit to tell him of the decision of your Excellencies to send thither the Cavalier Pesari. I noticed that his Majesty was very pleased and he expressed his appreciation of the interposition of the republic in so grave a matter, as her intentions and operations, so he said, had always shown her most anxious for the quiet of Christendom. He said he was glad a minister of such great merit was to be employed, and from what he knew of him he was sure the greatest advantages might be anticipated for the public weal. (fn. 2)
Although things have undergone such a great change, there still seems to be a wish to send an English minister of eminence to Cologne, as they think it would be detrimental to their reputation for such important negotiations to be conducted without the presence of a representative of the King of Great Britain, although there are so many difficulties in the way that it is thought it will fall through in the end.
Meanwhile the Earl of Arundel continues to display his deep dissatisfaction in most numerous despatches, but he never says he has left the Court, although the free permission to do so has certainly reached him. So far as the scant satisfaction he has received from Cæsar is concerned, they would like him gone, but on the other hand, with respect to the advantage for the negotiations with France, they are glad of his staying and they will not send him further instructions until that affair is settled.
Rossi late Secretary to the Ambassador Michiel has left here for Venice this morning to submit himself to the judgment of the Council of Ten.
The state despatches of the 25th ult. have just arrived by the ordinary of Antwerp. I am unable to understand how my letters have gone astray.
Hampton, the 21st November, 1636.
Nov. 21.
Consiglio di X, Lettere di Ambasciatori Venetian Archives.
112. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Council of Ten.
Immediately I received the decision of the Council of Ten against Giovanni Battista Rosso, notary extraordinary of the chancery, of the 16th October last, I instructed him to present himself a prisoner, within the space of two months, to answer upon that decision.
Hampton, the 21st November, 1636.
Enclosure. 113. Copy of Sentence pronounced by the Council of Ten on the 16th October against Giovanni Battista Rosso, that he present himself to prison, to answer the charge of abandoning his post as secretary to the Ambassador Michiel at the Hague and proceeding to England, taking the cipher with him, and of uttering indecent expressions against the ambassador and his duties.
Nov. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
114. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The two couriers sent by the ambassadors have arrived from England. They have already made their final propositions to Bullion and are waiting for the reply for the conclusion of the treaty. It is not thought that they will delay long before giving this now the Cardinal has arrived, as they were only waiting for him to put the final touches to the affair. I have in addition that France will be obliged to keep up a certain number of troops for the service of Germany and England to keep a certain number of ships at sea until the end of the war. An agent of that crown who has remained here (fn. 3) will take the treaty to England to be signed, as there are certain matters to adjust concerning navigation, the other essential points being settled.
Paris, the 25th November, 1636.
Nov. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
115. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The sudden departure of the Earl of Arundel has given rise to much discussion. What is certain is that he had long and secret conference as reported, with the emperor, the king and the Count of Ognat. The last in spite of his indisposition, received him several times. All of them showed an exceptional desire to settle the difficulty. His Majesty went so far as to suggest the cession of Heidelberg, Frankenthal and other places. Commendatore Griffoni, minister of the Grand Duke, took part in the conferences, to help further a reconciliation between Lorraine and France and with the hope of a marriage between the Palatine and the Grand Duke's sister. The bishop and the other commissioners went to the house of the Earl of Arundel by the emperor's command to offer these concessions, on three conditions : (1) to grant troops or money to the Spaniards, as they may please, or at least an alliance against those who disturb the peace of the empire ; thus seeking help against the Swedes. (2) The Palatine family to renounce all claims against the Duke of Bavaria. (3) The Palatine family to abandon all thought of the electoral vote while the Bavarian line lasts. When Arundel heard this last point I understand that he was greatly stirred and rose in great wrath from his seat saying that this was not the way to an agreement but to a rupture.
The Count of Verdembergh told me the particulars. He said he was sure from the reports of Radolti from England that it was not the desire of that crown that the matter should be dealt with with so much warmth. That was entirely due to the excessive devotion of the Earl of Arundel to the Princess Palatine. In this way the meeting broke up and on the following day his Excellency, having decided to go, he asked for audience of the emperor and king for his final leave taking. The former was indisposed and asked Arundel to wait a little. The ambassador consented and went to audience on Tuesday evening, leaving on the following morning. He halted at Nurenberg where Colonel Lessel (fn. 4) went to present him with a diamond worth 2000 crowns, and to resume negotiations. But so far we do not hear of his receiving any reply, except that the king, his master, had not given him power to conclude the matter in a form of that character ; but it might be possible to propose some easy mode of setting up the Duke of Lorraine again, if he received the satisfaction he desired in other respects. He would report everything, and with Teller remaining at this Court in the capacity of Resident, the business will not be abandoned and Teller will await the orders which will be sent to him from home. The earl expressed his intention to confer with the Princess Palatine and hear her views, reporting afterwards to his king.
The ministers here, though they do not express themselves openly, fear a rupture. The Spaniards maintain the contrary, especially Father Chiroga (fn. 5) and the Count of Ognat. They assured the emperor that with the disagreement between parliament and the king the English will not commit themselves to open war or to money contributions, and still less to loss of trade with Spain, to uphold princes who have no interests and connections with that kingdom. They assert that the very worst they have to fear is secret help and encouragement to the French and the Swedes against the emperor, with money and troops, and the Queen Mother may encourage this. So far they do not know what to decide and they will wait with curiosity to hear what steps that Court will take. Their fears are fed by reports spread by Arundel that the King of England is taking steps to increase his forces, and the French party and the Dutch minister as well encourage the belief in an alliance between France, Sweden and Holland against the Catholic which will be concluded so soon as the news of this rupture has arrived.
Ratisbon, the 25th November, 1636.
Nov. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
116. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Arundel writes that he is remaining at the Imperial Court, being detained by the pressure and specious promises of the King of Hungary. He says the ministers there seem much more disposed than usual to give every possible satisfaction to England for a final adjustment of the Palatine's affairs. He says they offer the whole of that portion of the Lower Palatinate at present occupied by the Spaniards, and that they will find suitable means for satisfying Bavaria for restoring the part which he holds, such as giving him another part of the states to hold in exchange for life. The Council discusses this and desires Arundel not to leave Vienna for the moment, but to urge the instant performance of these promises, and to pass over in silence the claims to the electoral vote, if he sees that after Bavaria's death they cannot without great difficulty arrange for it to return to the Palatine House. It is pretended that once this most essential point has been determined, it may be possible if the subject is not referred to, to proceed subsequently with the rest under more favourable conditions in accordance with the nature of the terms and circumstances.
There is no doubt but that the offers of the Austrians are merely the result of exceeding sagacity, to prevent the establishment of the agreement with France, as the grievances of the Duke of Bavaria against that crown are too well known as well as his resolute declaration that he will not, for such an accomodation, consent to any terms soever. But here they think it no bad thing to keep up these pretences, because the detention of the earl in Germany serves as an incitement to the French to conclude the agreement more speedily, while by keeping the negotiations with the Austrians warm they are always at liberty to conclude, even if the treaties with the Most Christian are arranged. The reason for the anxiety to close with France is said not to proceed from care for the Palatine, but their principal object is to make them approve of the coasts and ports of France being guarded by their fleet, so that without opposition from their forces they may continue more freely to exercise the authority over the sea which they claim, and establish a precedent for use in the future for the better establishment of that claim not only against the crown of France, but to put a stop to their disputes with the Dutch, who, they think, would submit more readily to the contributions for the fisheries when they undertake a more open arbitrament over these waters. These are not the views of idle persons but come from the lips of those who speak seriously and with the best authority. Facts also bear it out, as the terms of the articles clearly show that they do not aim at binding themselves to anything but this essential point.
Nevertheless the Palatine seeks to take the field with an independent force, although the difficulties are great. The affair has been frequently discussed in the Council with great secrecy. It has been suggested that the king shall give him an independent force of 10,000 men, to effect a junction with those of the Landgrave of Hesse or of Duke Bernard, to render him independent of the French. The Ambassador Sennecterre, in talking of this told me that provided the troops crossed the sea they would be well pleased in France and would not raise objections about such insignificant matters.
He regrets that such affairs which are difficult and lengthy in negotiation, are more often than not painful and difficult in fulfilment, and to tell the truth there is no sign at present of their approaching fulfilment.
Not even last week's despatches from the Earl of Leicester contained any ratification of the French alliance, and those of this week have not yet arrived. His Majesty has remarked publicly that he has done all he could on his side ; his ambassadors are not waiting for any further commissions from him, and they have sufficient powers to conclude. He will not be to blame if the delay causes harm to the common cause, but it will all be due to the over subtle circumspection of the French.
The Ambassador Contarini informs me that among the articles is one to invite your Excellencies to join within four weeks of the ratification. I know there was a clause by which the allies of each crown were to be informed and might even be included, but I cannot find anything about the republic in particular. The difference probably arises because the article to include the colleagues was only left among the other articles from consideration for the French, as the English ministers made difficulties about accepting it, and intimated, indeed, that the king would like the treaty to remain simply between the two crowns. The Dutch ambassador confirmed this to me yesterday and said that his masters would be ill pleased at having only four weeks to decide, as it was known that matters of great moment could not be decided by the Provinces in a short time.
He asked me earnestly if your Excellencies had sent your ambassador to Cologne, or if he would go soon. I said I had no news of his starting, and thought it would be decided by a perfect accord between those who were principals in the assembly. He remarked that the States had not yet decided to send a delegate, and if they do not declare their intention to take part as a member there they certainly will not send. He then began to lament the scant respect which they show here for his masters, especially the violence shown to the fishermen. He assured me that the Spaniards urge them more than ever to make a particular agreement. I seized the opportunity to urge him not to abandon his intention of restoring cordial relations between this crown and his masters, which would bring him glory and a reputation that would never fade. He assured me that he was most anxious to achieve this and he appreciated my confidence. I consider him a most well disposed minister, and he only needs better fortune to show the fruits of his diligent zeal.
The Austrian ministers here and notably the Spanish ambassador, to the amazement of the whole Court, are not moved a whit by these close negotiations with the Most Christian, but continue in their usual retirement and affect to despise them. His majesty takes this very ill and it makes him desire a speedy conclusion the more eagerly. The Ambassador Ognat does not take advantage either of the opportunity to foment the quarrel with the Dutch, and he has never once asked for audience since the first occasion when he saw his Majesty in private.
I am in the same position towards him as before. He has not made a sign of any intention to reopen relations with the ministers of your Excellencies.
Dolce left for Holland more than a fortnight ago to serve the Ambassador Michiel. I have just heard from him that though he embarked on a Dutch man of war he has not yet had a favourable wind.
Hampton, the 28th November, 1636.
Nov. 29.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
117. With regard to the request of Angelo Correr that a successor may be chosen and as he has to go to the French Court :
Resolved that an ambassador to the king of Great Britain be chosen in his place, to serve, under the penalties prescribed in the case of refusal, with the usual instructions.
He shall have for his expenses 300 ducats in gold a month, for which he need render no account.
For horses, trappings and coffers, 300 ducats of lire 6, soldi 4 each, and a donation of 1000 ducats in gold.
For all expenses, except those for couriers and letters, 100 crowns a month of lire 7.
To the secretary for his equipment, 100 ducats and to two couriers, accompanying the ambassador, 20 ducats each.
For the salary and table expenses of the chaplain and interpreter, 186 ducats a year and 100 ducats a year respectively.
For the interpreter an addition of 100 ducats yearly.
Ayes, 130. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1.


  • 1. Taken by the Spaniards on the 15th August. The king in person went to recover it, on the 2nd October, and it surrendered to the Count of Soissons on the 14th November. Bazin : Hist. de France sous Louis XIII., Vol. III., pp. 218-221.
  • 2. Zuane Pesaro, chosen to represent Venice at the congress at Cologne, had been ambassador in England from Sept. 1624 to June 1626. Nani : Hist. Veneta p. 312 ; Vols. XVIII., XIX. of this Calendar.
  • 3. Réné Augier.
  • 4. Colonel Walter Leslie. Arundel to Coke 13/23 Nov. S.P. For. Germany, Empire, Vol. 10.
  • 5. Diego de Quiroga, a Capuchin friar, confessor of the Queen of Hungary.