Venice: July 1641

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 25, 1640-1642. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1924.

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'Venice: July 1641', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 25, 1640-1642, (London, 1924), pp. 170-186. British History Online [accessed 21 June 2024].

. "Venice: July 1641", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 25, 1640-1642, (London, 1924) 170-186. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024,

. "Venice: July 1641", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 25, 1640-1642, (London, 1924). 170-186. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024,

July 1641

July 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
215. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The magistrates of Flanders, in the name of the inhabitants, have protested publicly against the coming of the queen mother, so that Martelli, whom she sent to obtain a passport from the Infant, is still empty handed.
The gentleman sent by the King of England with complimentary letters to the prince and House of Orange, arrived here two days ago. (fn. 1) He brings a very courteous and affectionate message to the young prince from His Majesty, styling him his son in law.
The Hague, the 1st July, 1641.
July 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
216. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty persists in his firm determination to go to Scotland, He has arranged to start on the 14th inst. and all the preparations are being hastened for this date. The servants have already gone and the baggage has been sent by sea. The queen announces that she will follow her husband as far as Donbi, a pleasure house of the crown on the way to York. The secret reason for this journey has not yet transpired. The wisest do not approve of it, and if it takes place everyone predicts irretrievable and ruinous results for this royal house. Parliament disapproves entirely of this move of their Majesties, suspecting that the king cherishes more extensive designs, namely to go to the army at York, which seems well disposed towards him, and then to attempt with those forces to avenge himself for the affronts which he has received from parliament. They therefore seem determined to prevent this journey, and are seeking for a way of doing so with safety. Apparently they propose to intimate to his Majesty that it is not consonant with the service of the crown for him to leave this city until all the differences with the Scots are adjusted and the armies on both sides disbanded.
Profiting by this suspicion the Lower House has again proposed to the Upper to disband the five regiments, urging that nothing would serve better to dissipate such suspicions. Accordingly the Lords have reconsidered the matter and consented, putting aside all other considerations, and commissioners have been hurriedly despatched to York to carry it out. Some still fear, however, in view of the protests made by them, that the officers will not allow the army to be weakened before their demands have been settled. Parliament is therefore awaiting the event with great apprehension, and it may serve as a measure perhaps by which they may estimate the other deliberations of the king.
The commissioners of parliament have held several conferences this week with those of Scotland. They announce that everything is arranged with mutual satisfaction, and two of the delegates have gone to Scotland for the approval of the agreement. Thus the sole impediment on this side to completion will be the payment of the money. They are making every effort to provide this, and if other expedients fail, they propose to levy a tax on the whole kingdom, which they expect to raise easily and quickly, in the hope of obtaining 6 million ducats and they are now devising how it shall be portioned out, without exciting murmurs.
They are prosecuting with great energy the enquiry into His Majesty's intrigues against the liberty of the country. Colonel Goring has been examined afresh, and since his last depositions orders have been sent to the seaports not to allow anyone to leave the kingdom. Letters going and coming from Flanders, France and Holland are seized and brought to parliament. Many have been opened, but they still show the usual and proper respect for mine. I am writing this today, but I am not sure of sending it, though I will do my best to get it across the sea.
Several of the leading gentlemen implicated in these transactions have been threatened with the extreme penalty. Among the most prominent are the Earl of Bristol and his son, persons of high rank and the former with an extensive experience of affairs. Their Majesties deeply resent the steps being taken, the queen in particular, and amid the increasing danger she impatiently sighs for the arrival of the French ambassador, who has reached Dover and is expected here to-morrow. When welcoming him I will see that the dignity of your Excellencies is maintained with respect to the pretensions of the Portuguese Ambassadors.
With the approval of parliament the king has appointed the Marquis of Hertford tutor to the prince. He is of the blood royal and having been opposed to the principles of the late government he enjoys universal popularity. The Earl of Newcastle who previously had this charge, being implicated in these intrigues against the parliament, has resigned and withdrawn to the country, in order to escape if he can the evils which menace him.
London, the 5th July, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
217. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
To satisfy the complaints laid before parliament by the merchants of the Levant Company about the loss inflicted upon them by the Barbary pirates, the Lower Chamber has decided to grant them permission to pursue those pirates everywhere and to go and blockade the Barbary coasts, and plunder all the ships which try to trade there. The decision has given entire satisfaction to the interested parties and now they are engaged in fitting out twenty well armed ships for the undertaking from which they are confident of drawing considerable profit both from the booty and from security of trade. The expedient is considered most beneficial if it does not suggest to the Porte some fresh action prejudicial to Christendom and if it is conducted with discretion and sincerity. But those with most experience fear that the English captains, ruled by interest alone, may attack the ships even of friendly powers, as they have done in the past, under the pretence that they are going to Barbary and are carrying the goods of pirates. Many unfortunate incidents may thus occur, which lead the Upper House to reflect upon the matter, and I consider them worthy of the attention of the Senate.
No further move has been made as yet in the matter of the currants, although parliament has appointed commissioners to discuss the merits of the demand. But I do not think it will be granted for the reasons given, and for this one in particular, that in addition to the 72,000 ducats which the crown derives from their importation, many leading lords of the Court derive considerable profits, some portions of the duty being assigned to them, and as these are in parliament they cannot agree to the prohibition in their own interest. I shall be on the watch to prevent mischief if I can. I know that it is of little or no use to speak to the king, unless present conditions change. To do so publicly in parliament is not the custom for ambassadors. It would not be seemly and would offend His Majesty. Moreover they might claim to hear the other side and thus constitute themselves judges in a matter which depends absolutely on the decision of your Excellencies. But I will not relax my efforts, while awaiting definite instructions.
Meanwhile I have had occasion to meet the Earl of Arundel and Lord Fielding, both parliamentarians of influence, the former interested in the business from drawing 20,000 crowns from the duty. The talk turning on the merchants' petition, I spoke at length, as for myself, of the friendly feeling of your Excellencies for this nation and especially for those who trade in your states, and quietly threw discredit on the assertions in the paper. Lord Fielding, who is acquainted with the matter, agreed entirely with what I said, and declared that the losses of the traders at Zante proceed solely from the unscrupulousness of their correspondents in conjunction with some of your subjects, who damaged the public revenues of the islands and the interests of the merchants, their masters, alike. He said he would give correct information in the Upper House and oppose the petition. The Earl of Arundel likewise disapproved of the step taken by the merchants, and both assured me that if the question comes before the Upper House they will oppose it. I took the opportunity to point out the harm done some years ago to the revenues of the crown and his own also by the decree made at the instance of these merchants that the Company only should be allowed to import and sell currants in this kingdom, when in the past anyone could bring them, with great advantage to the people and benefit to the royal revenues. They agreed and said that if the Venetian merchants petitioned parliament to be allowed to send them they did not think there would be any difficulty about granting it, provided they bound themselves to lade the currants on English ships. This would bring great profit to your Excellencies' subjects. If our merchants see fit to follow up this advantage, which they formerly enjoyed, they will cast discredit on the paper presented by the Company, while by offering to send the fruit they will show parliament the insidious pretexts of these merchants. I have just learned that the demands of the Venetians are certain of the support of the Grocers' Company, which sells currants in retail, in the hope that they will be able to purchase to advantage if the business is in the hands of several.
I report these particulars as they may serve for the improvement of the public revenues and for the interests of Venetian subjects.
London, the 5th July, 1641.
July 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
218. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Although they keep the ports closed I learn that the Spanish ambassador has obtained leave to send a courier to Flanders. I seized the opportunity to send the foregoing and to report the further proceedings of the Lower Chamber. Pursuing steadfastly their design to uproot entirely the Catholic religion in this kingdom and to make the government entirely democratic they have decided that : All English Catholic lords and ladies who serve their Majesties shall be dismissed the Court ; the queen's confessor changed ; the Capuchins sent back to Flanders, and Her Majesty's public chapel destroyed. Catholic lords, who by privilege are not subject to the rigour of the laws, are forbidden to live in this city and the king may not grant them permission without the consent of parliament. If anyone ventures to come here in the capacity of minister of the pope, he shall be punished as a traitor. His Majesty is to put off his journey to Scotland. Parliament is to appoint guards for the queen and princes, eight members, four of each House to observe closely all Her Majesty's actions, to prevent suspect persons approaching her and to take care that her children are instilled with principles in conformity with public liberty. In the room of the Catholics expelled from the palace parliament has substituted persons agreeable to itself. All the mistrusted councillors of the king are to be removed from their appointments and forbidden to enter the Court. The captains of ships chosen by His Majesty are to be removed. A definite number of members are to be selected from both Houses to take part in the government of the country when parliament is not sitting, and that body will no longer be dissolved but will be permanent. Finally that the Lieutenants of Counties favourable to the king will be changed and all shall be bound to keep the troops of the trained bands ready for all emergencies and take oath to this republic. The very word is used in the bill, which contains other particulars, all of which strike the royal prerogatives to the quick and even oblige their royal persons not to move without the consent of his subjects.
The Lower House sent up this bill to the Upper yesterday, to be passed, but owing to its importance they have taken time to consider it and reply. This morning the bill has been brought forward as a proposal with no special indication that they mean to accept it. His Majesty patiently listened to it all and reserved his remarks for another time.
The queen displays the deepest affliction at these audacious moves foreseeing that unless there is some change in the king's favour, he will soon lose his liberty as well as his crown. The queen mother has received an intimation that she must leave the kingdom within eight days. She does not know where to go as no answer has yet arrived to her request to Holland for passports or to the second request to the Cardinal Infant, so she is in great perplexity.
Following upon all this the Lower Chamber, incensed that Count Rossetti, the pope's minister to the queen, has not yet left the Court as promised, and is even engaged in propagating the Catholic Faith, decided two days ago to take severe steps against him, and to insult in his person the Roman Religion, his master and the queen. Accordingly he was summoned yesterday to parliament. Alarmed at the prospect of serious injury he immediately had recourse to this House, begging me for advice and protection. In consideration of the unhappy state of the time, while reminding him of what I considered most suitable, I have acted with reserve in his interest, first making sure that my offices would be respected, and I have so far succeeded as to save him from hurt, to the entire satisfaction of the king and queen and of the Catholics, and even of the parliamentarians most ill disposed to this cause. Without the shame of appearing in parliament he will be able, to please me, to leave this city honourably on Monday and will be taken across to Dunkirk in a royal ship. (fn. 2) I hope that my action will meet with your approval. It shows the esteem in which your Excellencies are held and the zeal of your ministers.
London, the 6th July, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
219. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
A person sent by the King of England is trying to obtain a passport from their High Mightinesses for the queen mother to cross and have asylum in this country for a while. They do not incline to this here and the States are doing everything to prevent it, but the prince, who is under obligations to the queen and interested in satisfying the king of England, because of his son, represents the affront to the Most Christian if they refuse to receive her, and thus open the way to Sedan, where she would have to retire if the States will not have her.
The Hague, the 8th July, 1641.
July 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
220. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de la Fertembo, the French Ambassador, made his public entry into this city on Saturday in last week. His arrival brings unspeakable consolation to their Majesties, in the hope, possibly ill founded, that his presence may slacken the violent career of parliament. That same evening he saw the queen privately, and on the following day had his public audience with the usual ceremony, which did not go beyond the mere formalities. That over he was again introduced to the queen's apartments, where they conferred in secret for quite four hours on end, the king being present. He afterwards sent his gentleman to the French Court, without the particulars of such a hurried despatch becoming known but with the more definite information of the present state of affairs and with the queen's earnest solicitation, it is believed to be something for her relief. Parliament is not without its own suspicions of these secret negotiations and everyone is watching with interest to see if the ambassador will take up the cause of this house with vigour and what the result of his offices will be. I shall be careful to keep you informed of matters of so much consequence. Meanwhile this minister in his capacity as ambassador, has seen the queen mother, affording her the most public testimony of the affection of the Most Christian and the especial regard of Cardinal Richelieu as well. It is reported that this is in order to divert her from conspiring with the confederate princes at Sedan. Meanwhile parliament has been informed of the reason for her continued stay at this Court, and she does not think of moving until the replies come which are impatiently awaited from Flanders and Holland.
The Ambassador Roe writes from Frankfort of his progress towards Ratisbon. He informs the king that he was robbed on the way by soldiers. He has seen the Elector of Cologne and other Princes of Germany and gathers from these conferences that the Duke of Bavaria will not object to the restoration of that part of the Lower Palatinate which he now holds, if this crown responds by paying him some money which he claims ; if the Palatine entirely renounces his claim to the electoral vote and to the Upper Palatinate. That the Spaniards will agree to the restoration of the rest on condition that the most important fortresses shall remain in their hands as security for the passage of their troops, and if England will help the Catholic in the recovery of Portugal. Such proposals will not be accepted here, being incompatible with their feelings and powers alike, so that if the ambassador does not meet with better proposals at the Diet the hopes of the Palatine House will be buried deeper than ever. Your Excellencies will probably have more solid information from the spot.
There has been little new this week in parliament. The time has been spent in long conferences between the two Houses upon the last bill. The Lower urges its acceptance on the Lords, though this has not yet been given, nor has the king confirmed it. The Commons have taken a novel step in having the bill printed, in order to enlist the approval of the people. This innovation causes just concern to the Upper House, but no one has the courage to resist the violence of the Lower, so that everything turns out well for them, with serious prejudice to the prerogatives of the Lords. The imposition of the tax has been published, partitioned out as shown by the attached sheet. If the exaction does not excite a universal outcry it is expected confidently to realise six million ducats and more.
In consequence of the representations reported the king has postponed his journey to Scotland until August, and has sent the news by courier to Edinburgh, so that the meeting of parliament there may be put off. But it is the general opinion that the English will not permit His Majesty to go there, suspecting that the Scots, after receiving full satisfaction, may unite their interests once more with those of His Majesty, and that his presence will further dispose them to assist him to regain his original authority in England. Many important considerations would combine towards such a decision, and this in particular, that while the king remains subject to parliament and under the duress of the new laws, he cannot dispose of appointments or reward his subjects in any way, so that the Scots will lose the advantage of the numerous offices which they enjoy here, and all hope of further profit, such as was liberally dispensed to them by this king in the past and by his father also. The most prudent men are alive to these considerations, and if they are skilfully manipulated in such a way as to set in motion fresh changes advantageous to his Majesty it is easy to see that great consequences may result.
Cottington, a minister of great credit and one of those most in His Majesty's confidence has been attacked in parliament because when the Provinces of Flanders subject to Spain, through the mouth of the Count of Ariscot, the Count of Egmont and others, offered in 1633 to place themselves under this crown, he not only dissuaded the king from accepting the proposal but revealed the transaction to the Spanish ministers. In an admirable defence, he has proved his innocence, but the hate occasioned by His Majesty's open regard weakens his arguments and makes his ruin the more certain.
London, the 12th July, 1641.
221. Copy of an order made in the Treasury on Friday the 18th June, in which everyone is taxed according to his state for the use of the king. (fn. 3)
July 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
222. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The envoy sent by the King of England to obtain a passport from the States for the queen mother to pass through this country, returned here yesterday from the army. He brings recommendations and favours from the prince, and tomorrow he will lay his requests before the Assembly. The interests of the House of Orange and the obligations which the prince professes to the queen, together with the question of Sedan, combine to persuade the States to answer favourably.
The Hague, the 15th July, 1641.
July 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
223. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament has this week carried three decisions of much importance to the government of these states. Although they are most disadvantageous to the king's interests and authority, he has approved them, with the usual object of doing what his subjects wish and to remove pretexts for fresh disturbances. The first is the abolition of the Star Chamber, a Council introduced by decree of past parliaments, composed of several ministers chosen by the king with authority to determine arbitrarily the most important civil and criminal causes, from which the king and his predecessors have raised, by means of fines, 250,000 crowns a year, and the advantage of keeping in check the ambition of subjects of the highest rank. Secondly they have removed the High Commission, a magistracy of bishops and other ecclesiastics, who on the model of the Inquisition of Spain, have had the chief direction of the Church here and of all matters connected therewith, especially to prevent the introduction of new sects, with which this kingdom is very fruitful. It will be more so in the future, as without this tribunal the way to licence will stand wide open and to those pernicious consequences which usually follow in states where the exercise of religion is left to the ignorant comprehension of the common people. Thirdly the Council of State has been deprived of all authority and the councillors strictly limited to the discharge of their offices. This now amounts to no more than suggesting to His Majesty the best means of conducting himself towards foreign princes, and for the carrying out of the old and new laws of the realm. Of late, on the other hand, they have freely dealt with the most weighty affairs of state, which, with the help of envy, made them appear like petty princes rather than private ministers. Many show themselves deeply affected by the diminution of these advantages, but since there is no remedy they must patiently accommodate themselves to the times, which are so entirely contrary to their interests.
On Tuesday His Majesty went to parliament to give his assent to these laws. After having complied with the wishes of his people in this, he suggested in an appropriate but humble speech to the members that as he had done all they asked he might have some sign of return from his subjects. He said : that among the most pressing affairs that which concerned him most was the restoration of the Palatines to their dominions, as he loved those princes as his sons. He represented the deplorable state of that house, and the slight hope of getting any justice from the Austrians through the embassy sent. He asked them earnestly to give vigorous assistance to this cause, pointing out that from blood relationship and for the sake of honour they must not be abandoned by England. He asserted finally that the King of Denmark will contribute the most solid help for the relief of those princes.
The king had a favourable hearing and they subsequently appointed commissioners to examine how best to promote the interests of that house. I find, however, that the general feeling is not in favour of incurring additional responsibilities before the repose of this kingdom is placed upon solid foundations, so that the utmost the Palatine can hope at present will be the publication of a manifesto in the form written, that if the House of Austria delays any longer to give up the Palatinate, England will employ all her forces to restore that house to the possession of its dominions. This threat, unaccompanied by more vigorous action will make no impression on their hard hearts. The French ambassador brings instructions to stir them to generous decisions, and to promise the cooperation of his country but this certainly will not suffice to thaw the coolness of the parliamentarians.
Parliament has granted the king 10,000l. to make a present to the queen mother on her departure. She is impatiently sighing for the return of the gentleman sent to Holland, with the passports asked for. She will then go to Cologne to live in absolute quiet, unless other circumstances cause her to change her mind.
The queen announces herself as quite determined to cross the sea with her mother, under the pretext of going to Spa to drink the waters. The king has informed the Council of this decision, stating that she will take the opportunity to hand over her daughter, the bride of the young prince of Orange. But it is not thought that parliament will permit this journey, from fear that the queen, justly incensed at what has happened, may be cherishing designs prejudicial to the liberty of this state.
It seems that the original suspicions of France are dying away. So far the French ambassador has not interested himself in civil affairs here. He lets it be understood, nevertheless, that he will support to the utmost the interests of the queen. He may do so with prudence and tact, which would certainly be best adapted to the circumstances. He has obtained permission to raise fresh levies of this nation, and is now busily engaged in issuing the patents and money to colonels, so that these levies may be filled up as soon as possible, as large credits reached him last week from the Most Christian Court.
Three Scottish commissioners, in addition to the two (oltre li doi), have proceeded to that country, to inform the government, it is said, of their negotiations and to ask for their approval. Parliament here, on the other hand, is still suspicious of some secret intentions in that quarter, and the insistence for the king to go to Edinburgh in the middle of next month, serves to increase this feeling greatly.
Meanwhile General the Earl of Holland has been sent to the army at York with money and instructions to employ every effort to secure the disbanding of the five regiments, who are most suspect, and to induce the Scots to disband an equal number, or else to leave their quarters at Newcastle and withdraw thirty miles towards the Scottish border. They are awaiting the event with anxiety as from it they will be able to judge what hope there is of quiet or what fear of future disturbances in this kingdom.
Harassed by constant persecutions the Catholics have taken the course of petitioning parliament, imploring clemency and the relaxation of the severity of the laws against the true religion. The Upper House received it with apparent favour and if it does not encounter difficulties in the Lower, as is feared, the Catholics will begin to hope for some improvement in their miserable state.
The Spanish ambassador, on the occasion of a visit, asked me with great curiosity when I was going to the Imperial Court. I told him my past hesitation was due to the severity of the weather and the illness of my sons, one of whom had died ; and I could not think of starting now because my wife was near her delivery. He admitted the force of this, and assured me of the cordial relations that I should have with all the ministers of His Catholic Majesty at that Court.
London, the 19th July, 1641.
July 20.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
224. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received this week your letters of the 28th ult. full of the serious events at that Court. The affair of the merchants demands mature consideration. Their phraseology and their objects are disclosed and show that they aim exclusively at their own gain. You will express yourself freely on the subject and with great prudence. The proper course will be to discredit these pernicious notions if you see that they mean to persist in them, trying to remove the bad impressions created and to stop their frivolous suggestions. If you think it advisable you will intimate that it is the intention of the republic that English merchants shall be well treated in this city, in the islands of Zante and Cephalonia and in every part of our dominions, that they shall not be subject to extortion and that they shall always receive impartial justice. The orders of the republic are directed absolutely to this principal object.
With regard to the imposition of duties and charges, that is an attribute of sovereignity of every prince in his own state. All kings and princes do it without any subject having the right to object. The decision of such things is general for the most part and to the advantage of the prince who imposes it, who cannot make any alteration without suffering prejudice himself. The duties and charges of which they complain were imposed a great many years ago, and the English themselves have voluntarily submitted to them. They have been satisfied since they have confined the trade in currants to themselves alone, which they have carried away to England. On the other hand they made it difficult for our ships to do the same, and share with them the transport of currants to those ports, although the late King James made a decree to the contrary. Thus when the trade began the currants were brought from the islands of the Levant to this city and English ships came here to lade them and carry them away beyond the Strait to England and other parts. Afterwards for the greater convenience and advantage of the English merchants, who voluntarily submitted to the charges, the concession was made to them, in consideration of these payments, that they might lade directly in the islands.
Such are the facts of the case. While there is no reason why we should alter our decrees in this matter, on the other hand they may rest assured that they will meet with the most friendly reception in every possible way that is just and right. You will try to sap the credit of these men by propagation of this kind, and also endeavour to remove bad impressions.
With respect to the consul or chief of the English merchants and the complaint that he has been expelled from our state, he brought this treatment on himself by his own acts, and by his method of trading, which was prejudicial to the interests of our republic. (fn. 4) The decision in this matter was approved by the English merchants themselves, who knew the facts. You must keep a watch on the movements of the merchants and also try to discover from what other source they might be able to provide themselves with currants there, and anything further which it may be useful for us to know. We will also write to our representatives at Zante and Cephalonia directing them to avoid all occasions for complaint, and to see that the English merchants are favoured and well treated. We have done this frequently, as you can bear witness.
Ayes, 102. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
July 20.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian. Archives.
225. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassadors of England and the Palatine do not seem to have opened negotiations yet, as both of them wish to await the arrival of the Danish minister, who is said to have left Hamburg to take up his duties. Everyone is curious to see what these ambassadors will effect for the service of that prince, since it is believed that the Duke of Bavaria recently promised to give all the help in his power for the recovery of Alsace, and to cooperate with all his forces to expel the Swedes, so as to keep the Palatinate and the Electoral vote for his posterity.
Vienna, the 20th July, 1641.
July 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian. Archives.
226. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The envoy sent by the King of England was recently despatched by the Assembly to complete arrangements for passports for the queen mother. His mission will not prove agreeable, because although it includes a courteous invitation to the queen to come and settle for some time in the state, it involves the exclusion of the three inseparables from that princess, Monsigot, Conius and Fabroni. Their High Mightinesses indeed promise to receive them, but do not bind themselves to refuse should the Most Christian demand their arrest.
They answered in general terms the overtures made by the King of England for some assistance for the Palatine, expressing the utmost good will. The government does not display the slightest inclination for that affair, and the prince, disgusted at the ill offices it has rendered him on the occasion of the marriage of his own son, also shows very little inclination for the interests of that House.
The Hague, the 22nd July, 1641.
July 26.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian. Archives.
227. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose the Senate's letter of the 20th inst. directed to you. We have now received your letters of the 5th and 6th inst. and note with approval what you said to the Earl of Arundel and Lord Fildin. You will take opportunity to keep these noblemen well disposed to serve us. We enclose a copy of the instructions sent to the Rectors of Zante and Cephalonia in favour of the English merchants. With respect to the arming against pirates we shall wait to see what happens. We cannot but feel extremely gratified about what has occurred with Count Roseti, in rescuing him out of imminent peril, since this is what is required of the zeal and piety of the republic for the service of the Roman Catholic faith. From what you write matters are in such a state that circumspection in action and in the formal offices must be the true method. Your prudence will shine the brighter in the incidents that may occur. You must be particularly careful that nothing happens that can commit us in any way, more especially in the relations of that crown.
Ayes, 125. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
July 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian. Archives.
228. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After great exertions the Prince Palatine has at last succeeded in pledging parliament to favour his interests, by a written declaration. This was published two days ago, and I enclose a copy. To add to its effect His Majesty will have it approved by the Scots also. Meanwhile he has expressed his thanks to the parliamentarians for their readiness to help his nephews. It is not believed, however, that this manifesto will suffice to induce the Austrians to give way, as they well know that the present state of England and the universal disinclination to undertake new burdens will prevent any results corresponding to the outspoken protestations of this paper. Consequently it will give little or no help to the Ambassador Roe in his negotiations at the Imperial Court, which is the sole object of this weaponless threat, of the empty artifice of which every one speaks with disparagement. What causes more apprehension to the Spanish ambassador is the fear that it may serve as a pretext to the parliament to withdraw the licence granted for the levies from Ireland, which are slowly proceeding, although he is hurrying the completion with large payments to the officers.
The decision still holds that the king will go to Scotland in the middle of next month, at which time the sessions of the parliament there will be resumed. With His Majesty's presence the satisfaction of the people there will be complete. Parliament here is still uneasy on this account and it seems that all His Majesty's hopes of changing his fortunes are centered on this journey. It is not easy to judge whether he will succeed, as the Scots are proceeding very cautiously and betray no indication of the secret intentions which they cherish in their hearts.
The Palatine will follow the Court to promote his own interests by his presence among the people there, and His Majesty will be glad to take him with him, possibly in order to relieve his mind of the suspicions which the presence of a prince so near to the succession quite naturally excite.
The queen is also busy preparing for her journey to Holland. Her baggage will start on Monday, and she says that she herself will go the week after. She says that she will take the princess with her to hand her over to her husband, and she tries to make it believed that she is moved to seek change of air for the sake of her health. But the real object is to withdraw from this kingdom until circumstances have changed so that she can return to her former greatness and to the service of more acceptable servants. This is the most important point, and perhaps if it is not obtained she may decide not to visit these shores again, but to end her days quietly in Holland. She will take a valuable quantity of jewels and plate, with the idea of selling them and investing the proceeds to procure a revenue sufficient to support her household. But few believe that parliament will allow this desperate plan to be carried out, and everyone is curious to see the result. Her Majesty informed me of her decision, telling me in confidence that she does not wish to be here while the king is in Scotland, to escape the indiscreet passions of the parliamentarians and the danger of unpleasant incidents to her royal person. She said she was prepared to obey the king, but not 400 of his subjects, as this did not befit her spirit or her birth. She had offered the parliamentarians to go to Dombi for the time, a pleasure house of the crown, but they had only agreed on the hardest terms, namely to appoint guards for her and servants of their own colour whom she did not trust. Having been warned by the French ambassador to dissuade her if she broached the matter to me, I answered politely that I had such confidence in Her Majesty's prudence that I was sure she would do what was best for herself and the king, and would follow the wise advice of the French ambassador, who was necessarily deeply interested in her fortunes. The queen seemed pleased and said she would do so, but she meant to go in any case. The French ambassador has thanked me warmly for what I said, and asked me to do so again if necessary, but I shall go cautiously in the matter and shall say nothing unless provoked, as I imagine that to be the wish of the Senate.
General the Earl of Holland has sent the Earl of Newport to the parliament from York. He reports that he has disbanded two English regiments without opposition, and has no doubt about the rest although they seem disposed not to separate except with the entire approval of His Majesty, and are even quite willing to serve without pay. He says that the Scots seem perfectly willing to leave England when the articles of the treaty have been fulfilled, but they will not consent to reduce their forces or to withdraw further back as they wish here, and so he decided to arrange with them for a fresh extension of the truce for a fortnight.
The Ambassador Earl of Leicester returned to France last week to take leave of the Most Christian. To replace him the king has chosen the eldest son of the Earl of Bristol, a man who combines high birth with remarkable prudence and unequalled ability. But he has made himself unpopular in the Lower Chamber by a speech of great eloquence in favour of His Majesty. In revenge the Lower Chamber has declared him incapable of that embassy or of any other charge that may be granted to him. It has prohibited his speeches, which have just been published and ordered that they shall be publicly burned by the common hangman. The king, and the Upper House too, resent this unjust decree, which offends the rights of the public, and one is waiting to see what steps they will take upon a matter of so much concern.
The departure of the queen mother is still subject to uncertainty. The United Provinces have warned Fabroni to do all in his power to prevent her coming, telling him frankly that neither he nor any other minister of Her Majesty would be safe if France demanded them, so that in their own interest they are bound to try some other way for their mistress. The French ambassador has offered her in the name of his king a yearly assignment of 100,000 crowns, payable where she pleases, on condition that she dismisses the ministers distasteful to the king her son. She will not listen to this proposal and is determined to stand by her most favoured servants at no matter what inconvenience.
Parliament has passed a law to permit anyone to bring crystal glass to this country in future. The directors of the Levant Company, since my conversation with the Earl of Arundel and Lord Fielding, being warned by them of the unsuitability of their demands about forbidding the importation of currants, have now abandoned them and are even afraid that I in the interests of your Serenity, may try and get permission for all to bring them, without distinction, which would be a considerable public benefit. Thus if it was considered desirable that the Venetian merchants should join with those of the Grocers Company here to petition parliament, and the demand was supported by your minister, it would have a most favourable reception.
London, the 26th July, 1641.
Enclosure. 229. Manifesto of His Majesty upon the cause of the Palatine. (fn. 5)
[Italian, translated from the English, 12 pages.]
July 27.
Senato Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
230. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador has had his first complimentary audience and the Sieur di Velevelt, the Danish ambassador is expected to have his shortly, so negotiations about the Palatine should begin very soon. The Danish minister is to act as mediator and the chief hopes are centered in him. They say he has orders not to remain more than two months and if nothing for the benefit of the Palatine is settled in that time he is to return at once and to protest that the strength of England will be employed to restore that prince whatever happens. The Duke of Lorraine told me yesterday that the emperor, the Spaniards and Bavaria had already agreed to give up the Lower Palatinate and the electoral vote after the extinction of the direct line of Bavaria, that Duke keeping the Upper Palatinate. The duke said he thought the Ambassador Roe would agree to this although at first he seemed to object, especially as he knows with the present conflagrations in England that country is in no condition to make any considerable move in the service of the Palatine.
Vienna, the 27th July, 1641.
July 29.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
231. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and said in substance :
A paper recently came into my hands drawn up by the English merchants trading at Zante and Cephalonia, complaining of the rigour shown in exacting the payment of the duties for taking away currants, declaring that if this continues it will be more advantageous for them if parliament, to whom they should have recourse, forbad the trade in currants entirely. I examined the paper carefully and wrote my opinion to the ambassador, my master, pointing out how unpleasant the proceeding suggested by the merchants, and how unworthy, if they acted thus towards a friendly prince the ally of our king, when the interests of the nation and of the interested merchants themselves would be better served by proceeding in a gentle and suave manner, and urged him to consider the matter and prevent the Upper House taking up these improper representations of the merchants. The ambassador has replied approving my views, and that he will make every effort to prevent the representations of the merchants being taken up, promising to continue his best offices, so that it may be dealt with by the ambassador himself after his return here or by me if I have instructions in the matter, for the maintenance of the good relations between his Majesty and the republic.
The doge replied : We also have heard of the good and prudent offices performed by the Ambassador Fildin, and appreciate his friendliness to our republic, and we look for a continuation of the same offices for the common good. The state also is gratified by the good offices performed by you in the present affair. With this the secretary made his bow and retired.
July 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Haya. Venetian Archives.
232. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Hoping to find advantage in absence from England the queen of that country circulates a report about her coming to Utrecht. It was said that, under the pretext of treating her ailments with the waters of Spa, she meant to seek quiet in this state, and seek shelter for herself and her daughter from the tempest of the parliament there.
The Hague, the 29th July, 1641.


  • 1. William Murray. See No. 210, page 167 above, and note.
  • 2. See Cal. S. P. Dom., 1641-3, page 27 ; Salvetti on 12th July, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 279621.
  • 3. The particulars are printed in Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. II, page 179, and in Steele's Proclamations, Vol. I, page 266, No. 1860.
  • 4. Thomas Symonds. See the preceding Vol. of this Calendar, pages 462, 474.
  • 5. The Manifesto is printed in the Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. IV, pages 300, 301, on the 5th July.