Venice: September 1642, 16-30

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 26, 1642-1643. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1925.

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'Venice: September 1642, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 26, 1642-1643, (London, 1925), pp. 150-164. British History Online [accessed 21 June 2024].

. "Venice: September 1642, 16-30", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 26, 1642-1643, (London, 1925) 150-164. British History Online, accessed June 21, 2024,

. "Venice: September 1642, 16-30", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 26, 1642-1643, (London, 1925). 150-164. British History Online. Web. 21 June 2024,

September 1642, 16-30

Sept. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
136. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of England having made some remonstrance at the French ambassador there acting as Resident with the parliament (facendo Ressidentia appresso il parlamento), his Majesty has issued orders for him to return immediately.
Paris, the 16th September, 1642.
Sept. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
137. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The audience given by the deputies of the government here to the commissioner of the parliament from London in the chamber which they call the drawing room (di ritirata), was very tumultuous and led to no definite answer. To his remonstrances, which mainly consisted of complaints against the behaviour of the Prince, the deputies merely answered, as if for themselves, that these Provinces cannot reasonably refuse his Majesty either officers or provisions of war, seeing that they have always been in a close alliance with the King of England, in which no mention whatever was made of parliament. Until the king was declared deposed or incapable of wielding the sceptre, they must recognise him as an ally, and finally that they would make a full report upon all his proposals to the General Assembly.
This answer of the deputies which on the surface seems entirely favourable to the king's designs, is considered by the wisest as most hurtful to his Majesty's interests. They consider that in pointing out to the parliament, under a show of zeal, the necessity that attaches these Provinces to the royal side, to the exclusion of parliament, they simultaneously stir up the people against the king and teach them to get rid of him, in order to claim on more solid grounds the introduction of a new alliance with the government here, perpetually excluding the royal family from its pristine influence and from the prerogatives formerly enjoyed so long in peace, whereby they held that kingdom entirely subject and at peace.
The Hollanders, who always want a hand in the most important affairs of state, and seeing themselves excluded from participating in the instances of this commissioner, have demanded from the government a copy of his proposals. The States flatly refused this, making them exceedingly angry. In revenge, they very promptly granted to the commissioner, what had previously been refused by the General Assembly, the arrest of three Dutch ships in the port of Brill, with the baggage of Princes Maurice and Rupert, together with some military provisions intended for England, for the royal camp, under the passport of the Prince of Orange, whom the Hollanders like to thwart, as a maxim of state, from some spark of jealousy at his increasing authority they try to support the parliament, and so their reluctance to gratify the House of Orange becomes the more apparent. (fn. 1)
These happenings might give rise to serious quarrels between the Hollanders and the States General, since the latter are mostly disposed to gratify the Prince. As he is prudent and perceives that such a flame might lead to great destruction in this country, it is thought that he will come to the Hague when he has settled his army in quarters, in order to assuage difficulties by his presence, and bring about harmony by mildness, so that the deliberations of the States may be announced as unanimous, and be accompanied by a definite declaration in favour of the royal cause.
Amid these circumstances the queen does not know to which side to turn, and continues to talk of going soon to York to join her husband. She proposes to make the journey privately quite alone, in order to confer with him and then to return to this country if she does not find some favourable prospect of remaining in that kingdom in honourable safety. Nevertheless, she still hopes for some favourable issue from the instances of the Bishop of Angoulême, her Grand Almoner. He has been toiling in France for three months with the Cardinal to have her received as well as for some vigorous assistance for her house, and there is every appearance that he will continue to stay until the return to Court of a person who is expected shortly with an account of what he has done. Meanwhile the Prince earnestly prays her not to move from the Hague, and the States do the same, although half heartedly.
The queen has been very sorry to hear the news, not thoroughly authenticated, that the parliament has sent a commissioner to the king in France with specious offers of an alliance with that crown, offering to place at the king's disposition some seaport which they hold, as a pledge for the maintenance of their agreement with his Majesty.
Sir [Thomas] Ro, the ambassador who came recently from the Imperial Court, left here with a present of a gold chain from these States worth 3000 florins. He went straight to London. At the queen's instigation he made some effort to prevent the States giving a reply to the parliament commissioner, but he did it so frigidly (con tanla fredezza) as to show his strong leaning to the party opposed to his sovereign. The king's minister here has betrayed the same disposition and every day he shows culpable lukewarmness in his master's affairs. Even in the queen's Court the majority of her confidants, who greet her with apparent gladness, do not like to hear of successes for the king, and they nearly all want the parliament to win, although they profess to feel deeply the misfortunes of his Majesty.
The Hague, the 17th September, 1642.
Sept. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
138. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty is still engaged in augmenting his forces with the utmost energy. They are still weak, according to the reports sent from Notingam ; but the prepotency of the Puritans, who in every imaginable way acclaim obstinately the interests of parliament (che con tutte le prove acclamano ostinamente agli interessi del parlamento), and the fear into which the supporters of the king have been thrown by the violence used by the parliamentary forces against the county of Kent and elsewhere, render those who are well disposed more cautious about declaring themselves ready to assist his cause, just as it is, and damp down the hopes which the generous offers of many counties and the applause with which he was received in every place, had filled his mind and the minds of all those who with true zeal long to see him restored to the position which is due to the greatness of his birth.
From this experience the king observes increasingly the contumacy of his rebellious subjects and what an undertaking it will be to subdue their pride by force (da questo esperimento sempre piu rimarca egli la contumacia de sudditi disubedienti et quale mole sia il domare con la forza l' orgoglio loro). On this account also, while preparing for war he devotes the most earnest attention to arranging these differences, if it be possible, by means of negotiation. With this object he sent to this city on Sunday the Secretary of State Facland, attended by other loyal parliamentarians. He brought further letters from the king to parliament, and instructions to suggest a further consideration of the reply given last week to the proposals reported. The advantageousness of these to the parliament and their complete contradiction of his Majesty's recent threats only serve to make the more conspicuous the present weakness of his forces (queste quanto sono avrantagiose al Parlamento et repugnante alle passate minaccie di Sua Maesta tanto maggiormente fa spiccare di presente la languidezza delle forze sue). He protests in this city that he has never pretended to charge the two Houses of Parliament with rebellion, to unfurl the royal standard to their hurt or to put this kingdom outside his protection either. For the purpose of smoothing away all the difficulties which might delay the conferences for an agreement, he offers to revoke the proclamations against the rebellious parliamentarians, and to withdraw the royal standard on condition that on the same day parliament withdraws all the public declarations against those who have assisted him. He promises, through the medium of this treaty, to concede all the demands which shall be accounted advantageous to the interests of his subjects. He urges parliament to reflect upon the wretched condition of the kingdom of Ireland and the perils of England, and finally he assures them that he has nothing more earnestly at heart than to join with it in a perfect reciprocal understanding.
Convinced by this effusiveness that necessity alone induces the king to make such disadvantageous offers, the parliamentarians received the deputies with the same grave and severe manner adopted with the first, and they obliged Facland, although a member of parliament, to show his commissions at the bar. Subsequently they gave their answer in the form of a resolution. It is at once unfavourable and audacious, to wit : that parliament will never lay down the arms which it has taken up for its own defence, and that of religion, the laws and the public liberties, unless his Majesty will first consent to give up and submit to judicial trial all those who by resolution of parliament are and shall be declared guilty, so that in future times others make take heed of the example and avoid making similar attempts, and in order that the fortunes of the delinquents may provide the means for indemnifying those good citizens who by lending money and by their personal advice and efforts have succoured and stood beside the commonwealth on an occasion of so much consequence. (fn. 2)
Astounded at the audacity of this declaration Facland and the other deputies went back again to the king without delay filled with just apprehension that parliament, puffed up with hopes and brimful of ambitious designs, is not disposed to second with sincerity the king's wishes for an adjustment but that their intentions are solely and obstinately directed to compel his Majesty with shame and hurt to receive at their hands such terms as they may see fit to impose upon him.
The captains and other country gentlemen who with shows of loyalty are at present about the king's person have conceived a suspicion from the despatch of these commissioners, that he has lost heart and has secretly made up his mind to come to terms, no matter at what price, without consideration for their interests. For this reason their first enthusiasm for his Majesty's service has cooled and many, under the influence of this suspicion, were considering how they should provide for their own safety, by a change in their original plans. But his Majesty being warned of this move and fearful of being abandoned, has assured them by public protestations that these efforts of his for peace have no other object than to make increasingly manifest the justice of his cause and to avoid, if possible, shedding the blood of his subjects. That if his proposals are not accepted he will take the field with a joyful spirit, not sparing himself fatigue and exposing himself to every peril, he will discharge the office of captain as well as the duty of a private soldier also, all for the purpose of recovering his rightful prerogatives to secure liberty, for the country and the use of the Protestant religion for the people (per l' espeditione di questi commissarii li capitani et altri gentiluomini di paese che con testimonio di fede assistono di presente alia persona del Re, hanno preso gelosia che perduto egli cuore porti seer eta risolutione di accomodarsi a qualsisia prezzo senza riguardo alle loro interesse. Per cio raffredato il primo ardore verso il servitio di Sua Maesta molti solecitati da questo sospetto si disponevano provedere alla propria salute con consigli differenti dai primi. Ma avertito il Re del motivo et temendo d' essere abandonato ha loro assicurato con pubbliche protestationi che queste diligenze per la pace non hanno altro fine che rendere sempre phi manifesta la ragione del canto suo, ischiavare, se puo, l' effusione del sangue dei sudditi ; che quando non siano acceptate le proposte sue, con allegro animo si mettera alla campagna, non risparmiera fatica et esponendosi a tutti i pericoli esercitera l' offitio di Capitano non meno che di privato soldato ancora tutto in ordine di redimere a se stesso le giuse prerogative, assicurare alla patria la liberta et a sudditi l' uso della religione protestante). Yet it still remains doubtful what course he may decide to take amid the contingencies of so deplorable a condition which threaten the royal house and its supporters with ruin and at the same time unheard of changes in the government of the whole kingdom, and the universal curiosity is sick with the expectation of what will happen.
In the city of Oxford the majority of the inhabitants and all of the scholars have taken up arms in his Majesty's cause. They have further supplied him with money and to secure themselves against attack from the parliament they are trying to set up earthworks as some defence for the city, which is not capable of resisting artillery or of standing a long siege.
Betford the general of the cavalry has raised the siege of Sorborn castle in Dorset with the loss of some men and has afforded an opportunity for the Marquis of Erfort to join the forces with him to those of his Majesty. But these incidents are not sufficient to give a preponderance to either party. Fresh troops join the parliamentary army every day, and attracted by the ready pay they gladly hasten to enrol themselves under its banner. Many companies of horse and foot have started this week on their march towards the county of Warwick, which is conterminous with those of Notingam and Lester, where the king has planted his quarters.
General the earl of Essex is also urged to move but he contrives to delay starting under trumped up pretexts. He is anxious to induce parliament to declare him Grand Constable of England first, and to grant him despotic powers for conducting the war as well as to negotiate and conclude the adjustment with the king, in the way that may seem best to him. The parliamentarians have not as yet consented to make him this grant owing to the important consequences involved. Accordingly the earl does not profess himself completely satisfied, and this disappointment may possibly have a serious effect upon his ambitious heart and lead to the dissemination of a spirit of discord among this party.
In the search of all the houses of the Catholics and Protestants suspected of favouring the king they have collected money and plate to a considerable amount. This, added to the funds provided by the Puritan merchants here, supplies parliament with ample means of meeting all its expenses.
To bridle the people of Oxford they have sent thither Baron Se, in the capacity of lieutenant of that county, with 4000 men, it being presumed that at the arrival of these squadrons the scholars and other friends of the royal cause will have to humble themselves.
In consequence of the overtures made by the Scots for the union of the two Churches of England and Scotland, it was proposed on Monday in the Lower House to do away altogether with the bishops and every other ecclesiastical dignity, and to leave the care of the church of England to the sole direction of the preachers, in accordance with the doctrine of Calvin, and the practice of Holland and of the Huguenots in France. There was a prolonged discussion, and much feeling was aroused, as the Protestants refused to accept the proposal, and others, although Calvinists, did not think the moment propitious for giving them such serious ground of offence, before the stability of parliament is thoroughly established. But no representations, however prudent and vigorous availed to moderate the ardour of the authors of this proposition, and it was finally carried by a majority that in future there shall be no bishops or other prelates in this kingdom.
The Upper House, recognising the peril and loss that this decision might entail, has also withheld its consent. Out of this internal dissensions have arisen with indications that they may spread. This would tend to remedy the present infirmities of the royal house in the most salutary way possible. To establish the justice of his procedure and to make more known the passion and interest which guide that of parliament, his Majesty has published, another manifesto. In this he demonstrates the designs of the seditious, their conspiracies against the state, religion, his own person and posterity, and intimates that he has treated with foreign princes for assistance in case of need. This paper is very long and remarkable. It shows the aims of the rebels as well as other important secrets, and I am having it translated to send to your Excellencies.
London, the 18th September, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian. Archives.
139. To the Secretary Agostini in London.
Order to proceed to the Hague to act as Resident there as soon as the Ambassador Contarini arrives, after taking leave in the usual way, as permission has been granted to Giovanni Zon to return home, after a service of three years at the Hague.
Ayes, 126. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
Sept. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
140. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The commissions and powers which he is to have being finally settled, General the earl of Essex has unexpectedly made up his mind to set out. I understand that this will take place to-day but owing to the lack of time I have not been able as yet to discover the exact particulars of the authority and instructions which he bears, but your Excellencies shall be punctually informed by the next courier.
News has just arrived that Colonel Gorin, governor of Porsmoud, having lost heart about holding the fortress any longer, has handed it over to the parliamentary commanders, on condition that he shall be allowed to go free to France. (fn. 3) More certain confirmation of this event is awaited, and with the other things it means further injury to his Majesty's cause.
The French ambassador has returned from Court greatly fatigued and extremely disgusted. The king would not give him any opening to interpose for an accommodation, and recognising the uselessness of further efforts to restore himself in his Majesty's favour, he presented his letters of recall and took leave. The king treated him with much dignity. He charged him to tell the Most Christian and Cardinal Richelieu of his calamitous situation. He spoke so piteously as to draw tears from the eyes of those who heard him.
Now it is certain that this minister, so acceptable to parliament, is to return to France, the Lower House has confirmed by resolution the decision to oblige the Capuchins to go. But the Upper House did not approve of this step and at the instance of the ambassador has given them leave to remain until the queen comes back to live here.
To give force to the ordinance of parliament reported touching the prohibition to import currants, the directors of the Levant Company have on their own account prohibited any merchants from bringing them under pain of losing the liberty of trading and the prerogatives which they enjoy as interested in that Company. They have taken this action in order to secure obedience to the ordinance, which, in virtue of the laws, cannot take effect unless it is approved by his Majesty. The person who gave me this information is interested in the business and he resents the prohibition accordingly. He tells me further that Obson and the other correspondents of the merchants over there report that your Excellencies were inclined to abolish the small duty, but that my letters with the information that the king had not ratified the bill prevented you from acting upon this intention, and they advise the directors to press for it to be put in force holding out certain hopes to them that this pressure will persuade your Excellencies to concede to terms they desire.
I have received the state's commands of the 2nd ult. to take leave of the king and proceed to the Imperial Court. I will do so when I am able, but I can only go to the king with a passport or trumpet of the parliament, as the French ambassador did. I have spoken to Sir Balthasar Gerbier about taking leave. He assured me that he hoped his Majesty, persuaded by the desire for his personal quiet, will soon give way and give parliament every satisfaction and will come back to live here within a fortnight. He advised me to wait that length of time and to take leave in this city, with greater honour, and with less expense and danger. He asked me if I had letters of recall for his Majesty as their absence would look like a slight, especially at this time. I reassured him on this point and said that the Most Illustrious Contarini would be sent as soon as possible to keep up the connection. I will use the letters sent to me by your Excellencies of the 23rd August.
London, the 19th September, 1642.
Sept. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
141. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
An Agent of the parliament of England is expected here. It is believed that he will be received, though not in the capacity of Agent, but ostensibly or even actually to treat with him in particular about arranging some adjustment between the king and the parliament. They have written from here to his Majesty's ambassador in England that if he finds any opening for such an adjustment he is to stay, otherwise he is to come home.
Paris, the 23rd September, 1642.
Sept. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
142. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
English affairs afford abundant material for discussion to the wise. The parliament commissioner has not made any further proposals beyond his remonstrances about granting arms to the king, and the government has not yet given him any reply. They have only discussed what they shall say to satisfy the parliament without hurting the king. We hear already that it will be merely complimentary and to gain time and please the Prince of Orange the Signory have implied that the person is not of sufficient rank to conduct matter of such importance.
On the other hand, the Hollanders, wishing to justify their concession about the seizure of the two ships for York, have stated positively that their Province has decided, for the good of the state, to maintain neutrality and that they do not wish to irritate parliament by permitting the export of munitions to his Majesty. Even if it has been done in the past that is no reason for continuing, and it is better to get rid of the abuse. Accordingly they have issued orders for the prompt unlading of the arms and their restitution to those concerned, without the payment of duty, as is usual in such cases. The General Assembly wished to protest against this insistence of the Hollanders, but seeing disputes multiply and grow warm, they had at length to give way and fall in with the views of the Hollanders. They also oppose the extraordinary embassy, suspended recently at the queen's request. They say roundly that as the mission has been forbidden for the present merely to please her Majesty, they would now like the question discussed whether it is advisable to send it or if it would not be wiser to wait for some better opportunity.
Still further to show their aversion to the king's cause, they have thwarted the passage of 200 English soldiers, who were leaving here with the tacit permission of the Prince of Orange and had embarked on this coast for the royal camp, with letters of one Germen, first esquire of the queen. His action has been represented to the government in a very prejudicial manner and the Hollanders insist on his punishment, without any consideration for her Majesty, exaggerating, with scant respect, the operations of her ministers, and protesting against them at every opportunity. But the States, to avoid punishing so vigorously, pass the matter over and have resolved to let it go, in order to allow the soldiers to cross clandestinely towards York in small boats, secretly taking the provisions of war which were seized, in order to supply the very urgent needs there.
Meanwhile the Prince is deeply disgusted at the behaviour of the Hollanders in their partiality to the parliament and lack of respect for him. As he recognises the difficulty of overcoming these obstacles and obtaining a declaration in favour of the queen, it is thought that he will change his plans and remain in the field as long as possible, in order to avoid exposing himself to the ignominy of a repulse, and incur more trouble without advantage.
As the Dutch fleet is occupied before Dunkirk in preventing the enemy's ships from coming out, and as the Signory wish to satisfy the queen with the convoy of ten ships she has asked for, to be prepared on purpose, three deputies of the Assembly General waited on her Majesty the day before yesterday to find out precisely when she proposed to depart, so that they might be ready to her order. Her Majesty replied that she would leave in three weeks if the ships were ready. They informed her that they would be ready for the day of her departure, without fail. Some of the Hollanders, to make a display of their lack of respect for her Majesty, said that ten ships were too many for her and that she ought to rest content with two without causing the country more expense. Such remarks and difficulties thwart the queen's hopes and spoil her plans, give rise to bitterness and even go to discredit the opinion of the influence hitherto enjoyed by the Prince of Orange. The Princess Mary, in speaking recently with the Princess of Orange, her mother in law, of the interests of her House, and complaining to her of the suspicion shown by frequently sending spies to her apartments, gave way to a passion of anger against her, clearly expressing her contempt, hatred and dissatisfaction, affording an unhappy augury for the marriage of the prince's son (che presagiscono infausti fini ol matrimonio del proprio figliuolo).
The Hague, the 24th September, 1642.
Sept. 26.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
143. It being necessary to provide means for Vicenzo Contarini, ambassador elect to England, to equip himself according to his election on the 20th July, 1640, that the Camerlenghi di Comun of money and of the Signoria supply him with 1,200 gold ducats for his salary, for three months in advance, at 300 ducats the month ;
for horse trappings, coverings and chests, 300 ducats of lire 6, soldi 4 [and 1000 ducats in gold, according to the decision of the 21st July, 1561] for all expenses, except couriers and the carriage of letters, 160 crowns of lire 7 for four months, in accordance with the decision of the 28th July, 1619 ;
for the secretary, as a gift, for his outfit, 100 ducats ; for two couriers who accompany him, 20 ducats each ;
for the salary and expenses of the chaplain and interpreter, for four months, for the chaplain at the rate of 186 ducats a year, and for the interpreter at the rate of 100 ducats ;
a further assignment of 100 ducats a year for the chaplain, in accordance with the decision of the 18th October, 1623 ;
300 ducats for couriers and the carriage of letters, for which he shall render account.
Ayes, 152. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
1642, on the 26th September in the Pregadi.
Another ballot was taken because the paragraph between brackets was omitted by error.
Ayes, 118. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
Sept. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
144. To the Ambassador in England.
Your prudent conduct is fully approved, as you have always kept yourself free from the passions and the innovations of the parliament, with a due regard for the dignity of the house and for the position you hold. The Secretary Agostini should be equally careful during his sojourn so to conduct himself as not to afford the slightest occasion or pretext for trouble. You are to take with you the documents which have passed under your embassy and any others there may be, in order to avoid any unpleasant happenings, as we observe that searches are made even in the houses of the foreign ministers. For the rest, as you have removed the first and greatest hindrance to the free course of currants in that kingdom, so we feel sure that you will meet and deal with any fresh attempts made by the members of the Levant Company for setting a limit to the prohibition, in order to make it easier to do what is fitting for the service of the state.
The usual sheet of advices is enclosed.
Ayes, 118. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
Sept. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacei, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
145. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The departure of General the earl of Essex took place on Friday in the present week. He was accompanied by the trained bands a short distance out of London and by a numerous concourse of people which amid the emergencies of the present time gathers together and applauds with enthusiastic interest everything likely to render the greatness of parliament at once conspicuous and durable (il quale fra l' emergenze di questo tempo accorre et applaude con appassionato, curiosita a tutto quello che render puo non meno conspicua che sussistente la grandezza del parlamento).
By two days of forced marching the earl advanced to Nortampton, 50 miles from here ; without pushing on any further he stayed his progress there and appointed that town as the rendezvous of the Parliamentary forces. All the new troops are being marched with all speed to join him. Sixty pieces of field artillery have been started on the road and they are despatching in that direction every other kind of military stores with great activity and in large quantities. According to general assertion the army now comprises 15,000 effective infantry, 3,500 horse and 1,200 dragoons. I have been told by a person of intelligence who has seen a portion of these troops that the men are of good appearance and well clad (bene coperta) and the cavalry is admirably mounted, but they are utterly lacking in discipline and without leaders experienced in the management of war. Thus everything remains enveloped in disorder and confusion, and it seems very evident that these forces will not give proofs of great spirit. Indeed many captains of companies let it be freely understood that they will not engage in battle against the king, their lawful sovereign. Essex has not succeeded in persuading parliament to honour him with the rank of Constable of England, as he ambitiously desired. Neither has he induced them to give him absolute powers to introduce and conclude articles of accommodation with the king. For this reason he does not cherish at heart that perfect satisfaction which is perhaps what is most desirable to inspire him to uphold this party strenuously, although outwardly he expresses sentiments of sincere enthusiasm for their cause. He bears instructions to draw near to his Majesty with the whole army under the plausible pretext of presenting a humble petition of parliament, in which the king is requested to return to his residence here without delay, to embrace their salutary counsels and to promise that the councillors and other alleged offenders who have assisted him on this occasion shall be handed over for trial and subsequently judged according to the laws of the crown.
Nevertheless, many are of opinion that although they cause the report of their having given such specious instructions to the general, he does not intend to advance to carry them out, or to expose his raw troops, numerous though they are, to the hazards of battle, but that the aims of the general and of his partisans are all directed to keep at a short distance from this city, to keep the people steadfast in devotion to themselves through the stimulus of these forces and of fear, to enjoy to the utmost their present authority, and to leave it to time to consume his Majesty's money and patience and then compel him to yield to all the demands of parliament.
Such is the opinion of those with most experience, and the result will show if they have judged rightly. His Majesty for his part, leaving his station at Notingam proceeded on Monday to the district of d' Arbi, (fn. 4) both to visit the country round and to hold a muster of some of his troops which are quartered there. They send word from the Court that when he has fulfilled these duties, he will proceed to the city of Chester, which is situated on the frontier of the province of Wales, lies on the sea, and is the easiest place of embarcation for crossing to Ireland, all of them conditions which afford matter for discussion and observation. It does not yet appear absolutely certain whether this unexpected move of his Majesty is intended to afford a stimulus and opportunity to the Welsh to hesitate no longer about joining his forces with numerous companies, or if he intends to take up his abode in that district because of the advantageous position and the abundance of the country, which is entirely devoted to his service, and avoid the first attacks of Essex, also waiting for time to perform to his advantage those offices which the rebels are trying to turn to their own profit.
Before leaving Notingam the king took away the arms of many of the inhabitants of that county and of the town of Lester as well, who are strenuous professors of Calvinism, and whom he suspected of being likely to support the interests of the other side, owing to their unchangeable bias.
All letters agree that the royal army is composed of 3000 cavalry, for the most part of the nobility, all well equipped and admirably armed, with 1000 dragoons. Of the infantry no one speaks with sufficient certainty to allow a positive estimate of their numbers. Some write that they do not amount to more than 6000 to 7000 men, while others give larger numbers, and consequently more substantial information about this important fact is most eagerly desired.
Meanwhile Baron Strange has set out from the county of Lancaster with a following of 3000 men on foot and 300 horse, intended to increase the strength of his Majesty's army. News comes that on the way he surprised the town of Mancester, and chastised the disobedience of the people there by forcing them to pay him 2000l. sterling down for the support of his troops ; that he has made it quite safe under royalist control, and leaving 300 men to guard it, pursues his way with all speed to unite with the rest of his Majesty's forces. This event is very bitterly felt by the citizens here, and particularly the innovation, which has never before been practised in England, of compelling a rebellious district to pay contributions. They cast the blame of such an injurious innovation upon Prince Rupert, In their rancorous excitement the parliamentarians freely threaten that in the future they will never permit this crown to employ its forces against the Austrians for the restitution of that House, but that it will be abandoned to the misery of its present necessities.
These last days a short distance from Sorborne castle a fresh encounter has taken place between the squadrons of the Marquis of Arford and those of the earl of Betford, general of the cavalry. The latter, overwhelmed by blows and by shame were obliged to yield to the valour of the royalists and to withdraw in great disorder to a place of safety. (fn. 5) Nevertheless, the general, excessively mortified at this result and anxious to make good the injury and at the same time repair his own reputation, is labouring to get together other forces for the purpose of attacking that castle with more system and with greater power. Jnside is the Marquis, who under the burden of his years carries a vigorous heart filled with a generous determination to promote the most righteous cause of the royal house here, in default of which he is the heir presumptive of the crown of England.
Since the despatch of Baron Se to the city of Oxford with instructions to reduce the inhabitants and the scholars of the University there to obedience to parliament they have sent in that direction four pieces of artillery and other warlike stores. Dumbfoundered by this news and their hopes of preparing a vigorous resistance to the assaults of the parliamentary forces destroyed, the royalists have abandoned the defence of the city, with a cowardly flight, showing that the practise of the pen, whereby in the past they have upheld the king's rights, is incompatible with that of the sword in their case.
Another ship sent by the queen from Holland has arrived in the waters of Newcastle. It has brought the king a thousand sets of horse armour, 3500 muskets and other munitions. His Majesty has given order that it shall all be conveyed to Notingam without delay. A quantity of arms has reached the parliament from Holland, and so the Dutch help both parties, and have the double advantage of enriching themselves and impoverishing this nation, increasing their own reputation with this people amid their civil disputes.
Amid so many activities which are all concerned with the conduct of war his Majesty does not cease to display more and more clearly his laudable desire for peace. Two days ago, by one of his gentlemen, he sent another letter to parliament in which he holds out fresh inducements to persuade them to enter into conversations for an agreement. (fn. 6) But when this had been read they returned the same answer that was given to the others, that parliament cannot recede from the propositions reported, because his Majesty has not yet taken down his standard or withdrawn his proclamations against the parliamentarians ; and when this has been done and he has disbanded his forces, returned to his residence here and accepted the faithful counsels of parliament, he will meet with such proofs of loyalty from the parliamentarians as will make him recognise that the safety, honour and greatness of his Majesty consist solely in the love of his people and the prudent opinions of that Senate.
From the harshness of this declaration every one takes notice that the malcontents do not cherish in their hearts any idea of peace, but all their energies conspire together to push forward boldly until they have completed the course of their original vast designs, and in the continuation of the. troubles to increase their own comfort and their private fortunes as well as to preserve for a long while the high degree of their present authority, under which the royal house is groaning, while men of moderate views, justice and the ancient felicity of this crown all suffer oppression equally.
After long discussions and many disputes about the resolution of the Lower House to remove the order of bishops from the Anglican Church during this week also, the determined opinion of the Calvinists has at last prevailed over that of the Protestants. Thus the resolution has been passed, even by the Lords, to the total ruin of the Protestant Church and a corresponding resentment among all its adherents. As these have not yet learned the new politics practised by the party of sedition, to rule consciences by the sole measure of interest and ambition, they make every place resound with their lamentations, in vain.
They have sent an account of this much to the government in Scotland by a gentleman, as a testimony of esteem and to afford an ever more striking testimony of the steadfast intention of the parliament here to second the principles and the plans of that nation. They leave nothing undone in their efforts to keep the Scots firm on their side and to prevent them from embracing the cause of the king, as many of the nobles and others in Scotland betray an inclination to do.
London, the 26th September, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
146. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The directors of the Levant Company, who are on the point of sending some ships to Constantinople to take cloth and other merchandise, are beginning, so I understand, to find out in practice the very great injury which the order prohibiting the importation of currants into this kingdom will inflict upon the merchants, and they do not know with what cargo they can lade the ships on the return journey, whereas, after they had taken their cloth to that mart they used to proceed to Zante and load up with currants. On this account they are postponing sending the ships on that voyage with the object of finding some expedient so that they may not return empty to England. I have taken this opportunity to make fresh representations through a third party, showing that this measure is incompatible with the progress of the Levant trade.
The ambassador of the Most Christian here, having discharged himself of all the functions of the Court, set out two days ago for the coast, and he will proceed to France on a ship granted him by parliament.
Seeing that the king's return to this capital may be delayed I have asked him to appoint a time and place for my last offices. I hope that this may be next week. It will prove very costly as I must travel 150 leagues from here with a numerous suite as well as the Master of the Ceremonies and others who must accompany me.
London, the 26th September, 1642.
Sept. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
147. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen of England, having before her eyes the miserable condition of the king, her husband, and the utter subversion of that kingdom, and foreseeing that her stay in Holland is bound to prove distasteful to the States owing to the natural leaning they have in favour of parliament, and prejudicial to the Prince of Orange because of the obligation to support the royal party, on the score of relationship, has had representations made to the Cardinal by means of an agent of hers and of the bishop of Angoulême showing the hard straits in which she finds herself, and expressive of so much submission and piety as to wring the Cardinal's heart and draw tears from his eyes. Accordingly he has himself written a letter to the king strongly urging him to give permission to the queen, his sister, to come and take refuge in this country. It is said that the king has given his consent to this. Accordingly it rests with the queen herself to decide whether she will come and whether she will choose Monceo for her residence or the Luxemburg here in Paris.
The agent of the parliament has not yet arrived here and they are waiting with curiosity to learn what the one in Holland has negotiated with the States.
In Flanders it seems that there are signs of incipient mutiny among the troops of the army there for lack of money, to supply which the ships were sent from England to Don Melzo which were seized by the Dutch.
Paris, the 30th September, 1642.


  • 1. Of the ships stopped two were for parliament and one for the king. Grocn van Prinsterer : Archives de la Maison d' Orange Nassau, 2nd Series, Vol. IV, pages 69, 71.
  • 2. See Clarendon : Hist. of the Rebellion, Vol. III, page 14.
  • 3. Capitulated on the 7—17th September.
  • 4. The king left Nottingham for Derby on Tuesday, the 23rd Sept. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1641—3, page 389.
  • 5. Skirmishes took place at Sherborne on the 2nd and 3rd August, o.s., and after the latter one the parliament forces were seized with panic, so that the siege was raised on the 6th. Bayley : Civil War in Dorset, pages 49—51. The marquis of Hertford was 54 years of age at this date.
  • 6. Letter of the 11th Sept., o.s. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. V, page 350.