Venice
August 1623, 17-31

Sponsor

Institute of Historical Research

Publication

Author

Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1912

Pages

92-102

Annotate

Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Venice: August 1623, 17-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 92-102. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88893 Date accessed: 27 August 2014.


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

August 1623

Aug. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
113. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ministers here object less to the English marriage than in the past, being sustained by the hope that it will not immediately take effect, and that the consummation will be postponed more than is supposed and possibly the marriage may never be completed. They say so much but do not state their grounds. The nuncio in Spain, by order of his Catholic Majesty, has communicated to the French ambassador the conclusion of the marriage, assuring him that it will not prejudice the good relations between those crowns, and will merely serve for the advantage of the Catholic religion. The Spaniards are anxious to sweeten this bitter pill for the French, who seem to feel this event more acutely than anything else soever which has occurred to their disadvantage (et Spagnoli vogliono fur gustar dolcemente questo amaro disegno alla Francia, la quale ha mostrato di haver più sentimento di questo accidente che di qual si sia altro occorso a loro disavantaggio).
From England an ambassador of his Majesty has arrived who left at the moment of the swearing to the marriage articles. He left his household at that Court with the purpose to return thither. He is here necessarily on his own private affairs, but a person very intimate with him told me that he is to make various relations necessary for the service of the king.
The ambassador honoured me with a visit and was loud in praises of the Most Excellent Valaresso. He maintained that the marriage would not produce evil results and people ought not to make such a fuss about it. This is opposed to the general opinion and it is not clear whether it is more French or more Spanish, as owing to this alliance France ought to rouse herself and draw closer to those who oppose Spain. Some assert that the ambassador is here to treat for a marriage, but with every appearance to the contrary I could not venture to assert so much.
Poissy, the 17th August, 1623.
[Italian.]
Aug. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
114. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The marriage, after being arranged for the 17th inst., is now postponed indefinitely. This variety and uncertainty arises because the prince seems more determined to stay on here during the time that remains for the Infanta, than inclined to leave without her. The king his father has advised this course, indeed his Highness says that he expressly commands it, and under the pretext that being married he will not dare to go back unless he takes his wife with him. The prince also hopes that when the king writes that he will shortly carry into effect the articles, with great advantage to the Catholics, the Spaniards also will move when they see this and shorten the time for giving him his bride. It is thought, however, that the true reason why the prince seems to have decided not to leave is that he suspects and clearly perceives that they are trying to deceive him in witholding the Infanta. The Duke of Buckingham and the Ambassador Digby have assured him of this and dissuaded him from leaving, pointing out to him that in any case his presence in Spain must act as a strong inducement for giving him the Infanta soon, after the celebration of the marriage. It is further said that if the prince persists in his decision to remain, they will change the usual method of procedure, and instead of the Infanta giving her hand Don Carlos will act for his sister, as if she was far away. The ambassador of Germany told me the same, and it is further stated that the Spaniards do not mean ever to commit themselves, but wish to keep the business going without ever bringing it to a conclusion, and in case of need they might offer the prince the emperor's daughter, excusing themselves upon the difficulties which the pope might raise about dispensing the marriage with the Infanta, because the prince although a heretic, might inherit the Crown of Spain as her husband; that consideration did not apply to the emperor's daughter, the empire being elective not hereditary, and as regards the hereditary dominions there were several male heirs who would all come before the female line, while in Spain they only had Don Carlos and the Cardinal prince. The ambassador of Germany discussed all this with me. He attributes to Olivares the pope granting the dispensation so easily without considering the numerous objections, as he had guided the negotiations after his own fashion in conjunction with the nuncio, and had also employed religious to induce the Infanta to consent, and though she was formerly very far from doing so, yet she was firmly impressed that she would acquire great merit with God by marrying the prince, because she would confer such great benefits upon religion, that she had reconciled herself thereto, feeling sure that as the prince was really in love with her, in the course of time she would find it easy to bring him with the whole kingdom to the church.
I think that the ambassador spoke in disgust as he remarked freely to the Infanta that he hoped all would turn out well and that her Highness would not repent of preferring as her husband one who was not only no relation of her house, like the emperor's son, but who professed a different faith. He reported that she blushed and looked sad, answering, I leave the care of everything to the king, my lord and brother. However, this minister does not seem to despair altogether of the affair becoming complicated in some way, especially if the prince goes away alone. He frequently repeats that various members of the Council recognise that the king will gain no advantage from this marriage, as all those who are not interested in its conclusion foresee that the English will not agree to their chief demands, that they shall not trade in the Indies or help the Dutch, and even if they do consent they will not continue to observe the compact.
Madrid, the 18th August, 1623.
[Italian.]
Aug. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
115. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Clari brings word from Spain of the postponement of the nuptials until the Infanta's birthday, the 24th inst., I believe. The announcement of the day provides a good excuse for delaying the promise. He also had orders to provide sumptuous clothes in France for the prince for the future celebrations. But the English ambassador there wisely dissuaded him while the plague is still raging there. Accordingly they have had four made here with all diligence, richly worked, and they went yesterday with this Clari. They have recently paid here the 12,000l. sterling taken by the prince and there was some disagreement as to whether the money should come from the prince's revenues or the king's since he takes such a leading part in the present affairs. It is remarked with no small astonishment that his finest and most precious jewels, practically inseparable from the crown, have already been sent to Spain. It is estimated that their worth amounts to two millions of gold, while Buckingham has also an inestimable quantity of his own. When the ships go all the best things of England will be in Spain, the best ships, the richest jewels, the king's sole favourite and his only son.
Three very rich ships have arrived from the East Indies. (fn. 1) They bring in particular 800 bales of silk. Their known value in goods amounts to some two millions, but it is said there is as much again in jewels kept concealed. The Spanish ambassadors claim that much of the merchandise is booty taken at Ormuz, and other things taken from a Portuguese carrack, and demand the sum of two millions in gold. They offer to produce proofs. Possibly they have bribed some of the sailors, otherwise it would be a long and difficult matter for them. They have applied to the king and an order of sequestration is expected. This is a fortunate circumstance for the Spaniards, as it profits their affairs either for delaying the marriage or as compensation for the dowry; but the business is bound to prove thorny for the king, as the Spaniards must either remain ill content or the merchants be greatly offended. This would provide an additional grievance for his subjects, probably the more felt because the English though cold and indifferent about religion are very keen and quick over money. The Lord Treasurer has gone to take the merchants' part, under colour of the interests of the customs, but his real motive power is money supplied by the merchants. Actually this Eastern business drains the kingdom of gold and does it much harm on that account.
The English merchants, following the example of the Dutch, have made a compact with the ever formidable pirates of Algiers, (fn. 2) and for greater security therein they have chosen a consul to reside at Algiers and have petitioned the king to sign the agreement. But the sending of the consul is deferred, and the Spaniards oppose the king signing, ostensibly for the reason that it does not become the honour and majesty of a king to make a compact with pirates, but really with the object of not remaining their only enemies and in order to upset the advantage of the others.
The Spanish ambassadors have gone to find the king some ninety miles away. (fn. 3) They were invited to the annual celebration two days ago of the escape from the Scottish conspiracy and seized the opportunity to deal with both these affairs. The royal defraying of Inoiosa which ceased for a few days, has begun again, as it seemed improper to deprive him of it while they are still entertaining the prince in Spain. What with the hire of goods and living expenses, it costs quite 130 crowns a day. Upon the pretext of communicating affairs the ordinary Colonna is also lodged with Inoiosa. He receives large remittances of money, I do not know whether for display or from habit, certainly it exceeds private requirements.
I have received the ducal missives of the 21st ult. I understand the Ambassador Wotton has taken leave.
I can only repeat the things I have already written, first that for his private affairs and because his provisions were ill paid he asked leave to return home once, second, the treasurer being close with the money and possibly with deeper reasons, persuaded the king that he might save the 5,000l. sterling which the embassies of Venice and Savoy cost. I reassert, however, that Wotton has asked for leave of his own accord and for his own private needs, to be used sooner or later as it suited him. Probably if he could do anything else he would altogether give up the charge voluntarily, if he could improve his condition, though that may not be easy. It is uncertain whether they will suspend a new mission or annul the ordinary embassy. Certainly the Spaniards will not neglect their ill offices and there are too many ears open here, as I find every day, and for this reason my closest friends do not now venture to come to this house, a deplorable thing and most hurtful to this ministry.
News has just arrived that the Dutch ships have attacked and roughly handled the Dunkirker, as she became separated from the two English ships escorting her on leaving Scotland. They add, but I know not with how much truth, that here in the Downs the Dutch have since suffered much damage from the English. (fn. 4) I will send better authenticated news in my next.
The worst news comes from Brunswick; God grant it be not so true as we fear. (fn. 5)
London, the 10th August, 1623.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
116. GIROLAMO SORANZO, extraordinary, and RANIER ZEN, ordinary, Venetian Ambassadors at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spanish ambassadors here announce the final conclusion of the marriage between the Prince of England and the Infanta with advantage for the Catholic religion, and with what the Congregation of Cardinals appointed for the affair proposed. Before the marriage is consummated they wish to see the things agreed upon carried into effect, especially as concerns the Catholic faith, and to this end the prince has returned to England, whither the Infanta will follow him within eight months.
This has excited much comment and if matters are as the ambassadors represent, it is thought that they wanted to get the prince out of Spain, and as regards the arrangement and effectuation of the marriage, perhaps nothing more will be done, as it is said that the Infanta has a greater aversion from it than ever, and she may become the wife of Cæsar's first born, and so England will have consumed much gold, risked his only son and exposed himself to contempt and delusion. It is thought that the king there is so utterly without feeling and so fearful of the Spaniards that he will swallow everything and will allow himself to be guided more than ever by their astuteness and sagacity. Others, however, assert that the marriage will undoubtedly take place, and that the Spaniards will not want to give such a great affront to the King of Great Britain; with the risk that he may join with the Dutch to inflict great loss upon them, especially if the present promises are not fulfilled.
Rome, the 19th August, 1623.
[Italian.]
Aug. 19.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
117. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier arrived yesterday from Spain with the news that the marriage with the Prince of England was fully arranged and agreed upon on the 17th ult., after the return of the secretary sent by that prince to his father.
Vienna, the 19th August, 1623.
[Italian; copy.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
118. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose a letter written to the king Palatine from his agents at Paris, showing how little he can expect from that quarter.
The Hague, the 21st August, 1623.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
119. Copy of letter from Gueretiro and Borstal to the King of Bohemia, from Paris, the 27th July, 1623.
We have continued our efforts, but failed to obtain any reply such as your Majesty desires. After much difficulty one of us contrived to see M. de Pisiers. He protested that their behaviour to the Duke of Bavaria was in no wise intended to prejudice your Majesty but merely accepting the present state of affairs. He reiterated his usual complaints about the behaviour of the King of Great Britain and the other parties interested in the preservation of your Majesty. He assured us that France would willingly contribute both offices and action only she was restrained by seeing the feebleness and lack of vigour of those who were much more deeply concerned, and if they would not help themselves it was not likely that those far off would defend them more zealously. They ought to have a better understanding among themselves and show more decision and then they might be sure that their friends would help them. He told us that he could give us little hope. They seem anxious enough here for the success of the Protestant cause in Germany, though they cannot help for lack of means and from fear of committing themselves to a doubtful venture, as they see difficulties on every side, and there is the additional obstacle of the English negotiations, and they do not think it likely that they could overcome so many obstacles simultaneously.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
120. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The unfortunate defeat of Brunswick (fn. 6) is too true. Hardly had he come out when he was beaten, without a struggle, but I must not enlarge, though I feel the blow severely. One reason for the blow was the deceitful report in Lower Saxony that there were no longer any difficulties for the Palatine, all being agreed to establish peace in the empire except Brunswick, so the princes there hastened to secure themselves so as not to be the only enemies of the emperor. One effect of the defeat will probably be to delay the marriage of the Infanta.
The story of the Dunkirk ship was also true; it parted from its English convoy and the Dutch shot away its mainmast, killed ten men, including the captain and wounded twelve others. The convoy came up and took it into the Downs, where the Captain named Best, finding a Dutch ship at anchor away from the others fired upon it, killing some sailors. The reasons for this step cause much comment, though without knowledge. Some say he did so in return for the damage done to the Spanish fleet, others because the Dutch had appeared where armed ships are forbidden to go, or because he was flying his flag in English waters. The Lords of the Council regret this and know not what apology to make for Best. I have tried to prevent greater harm by my offices. It is to be hoped he will be punished, but the Spaniards will make the most of it. It is well known that these accidents are due to Spansh intrigues, for the purpose of embroiling the two nations.
The royal fleet is at Portsmouth. Instead of making for Corunna it will go to Santander, four or five days sufficing for the passage. This port is preferred as nearer to Madrid and to England, and from the soundings made the prince's command there is sufficient depth to take them, although I understand that the entrance being very narrow, there is great opportunity for fraud, shutting in such powerful ships for ever by wilfully placing some impediment which might be made to look fortuitous. This consideration may easily lead the ships to abstain from going in, as they can ride at anchor outside.
They declare that the prince will certainly leave Spain on the 7th September, and men are ready preparing themselves to see him return alone. They think that the ceremony of betrothal will inevitably involve the marriage, because as regards the consummation they contend that the king charged the prince, and he promised that he would not on any account do it in Spain because of the consequences which would indeed be very important, but it is to be feared that a young man and a lover would find it very difficult to abstain, especially if the Spaniards employed the attractions of the Infanta herself, with their usual arts.
I am assured that the Ambassador Inoiosa warmly urged his Majesty to make an offensive and defensive alliance, arguing its necessity to balance that between France, your Serenity and Savoy. The king excused himself upon various pretexts, and one may easily see from his nature that he will not embrace any plan other than pacific, whether for love or hate, unless compelled, and that rarely happens where the determination is settled.
The business of the ships from the Indies is rather improving for the merchants. The French ambassador has left on his private affairs, but is expected to return soon.
At a recent banquet, when Iniosa proposed the health of the prince and princess the king replied that he accepted it willingly on condition of their speedy coming to England.
I enclose copies of letters of the emperor and a letter about convoking a diet at Frankfort
London, the 25th August, 1623.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
121. Copy of letter of the EMPEROR to the ELECTOR of BRANDENBURG.
We have shown our desire for peace by the negotiations at Brussels, in giving the Infanta full powers to arrange a truce with the King of England, sending ambassadors for the purpose to England and Brussels. Among other things that treaty provided that a diet should be held at Frankfort within four months to arrange a stable peace. We have fixed it for the 16th August and ask you to send an ambassador with full powers to take part in the negotiations.
Prague, the 10th of May, 1623.
In the same form to Bavaria, giving him the title of elector and to the Electors of Mayence, Treves, Cologne and Saxony.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.122. The ELECTOR of BRANDENBURG to the EMPEROR.
Will not fail to send to the diet, although it seems very strange for foreign powers to take part. Asks for an intimation of the points to be discussed to help him draw up instructions.
The 16th June, 1623.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.123. The ELECTOR of MAYENCE to the ELECTOR of BRANDENBURG.
Asks what Brandenburg will do about the truce and the diet. From Aschaffenburg, the 28th May, 1623.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.124. The reply of BRANDENBURG to MAYENCE of the 3rd June.
The interference of foreign powers is unexampled and detrimental to the empire. To send ambassadors will prejudice them unless they know the principal questions to be dealt with; must therefore ask the emperor for this.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.125. The ELECTOR of MAYENCE to the ELECTOR of BRANDENBURG, the 3rd July.
In reply to objection about foreign princes meddling, the emperor gave the Infanta power to treat with the King of England as the nearest relation of the Palatine. Considers the Infanta one of the principal members of the circle of Lower Burgundy, and a truce cannot conveniently be negotiated between the parties who have arms in their hands, where England and Burgundy are not the least, while the emperor keeps the affair in his own hands and has therefore summoned the diet. The emperor's laudable object is to secure a stable peace. The forces of Brunswick and Mansfeld constitute a menace to the empire. Hopes to persuade Brunswick to accept the truce and help to chase Mansfeld from the confines of the empire.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.126. The ELECTOR of SAXONY to the EMPEROR.
Learns of truce arranged between the Infanta and the King of England. Would like to send ambassadors to the diet as desired but wants to know what points the negotiations will turn on
From Annaberg, the 6th May, 1623.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.127. The ELECTOR of MAYENCE to the EMPEROR.
Rejoices that the Treaty of Brussels has produced such good results, and only hope that the coming diet may secure the objects that the emperor desires. Will not fail to send ambassadors with full instructions.
From Aschaffenburg, the 28th May, 1623.
[Italian.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
128. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Cottington has got back from England, whither the prince sent him with the final form of the capitulations. He has brought the king's consent and signature, reporting that all the king's vassals have also agreed. They seem to rejoice here at such news, especially as Cottington declares that they will daily see fresh advantages for the Catholics. The Spanish ambassadors report the same, relating many particulars to prove the excellent intentions of the king and that he would never break his promises. Since the return of his secretary the prince has himself spoken to the king, communicating to him what he heard from his father, especially expressing his exceeding desire that the prince should leave as soon as possible and also hinting that if he took the Infanta it would hasten the completion of everything. With careful tact and calculated submission he tried to move the king to consent to the completion of the business by the customary marriage and enjoyment of the bride. The king merely expressed formally his pleasure at what the prince told him, but said nothing more except that he hoped his Highness would receive every satisfaction. He never uttered a syllable to show whether he would like him to stay or to leave, although the Prince repeated that he was doubtful about what he ought to do, as it would grieve him greatly to leave the Infanta, while his father would not approve, and on the other hand he feared some mischance might befall his father, when he remained so long away from him.
The behaviour of the king in answering the prince was observed and announced as an indication that he was most anxious for him to go, and further that the marriage will not take place so soon, as nothing whatever was said about it, although the prince is known to desire it strongly. It is thought that he is quite determined to postpone his journey to London until they give him the Infanta, and although they speak in various ways on the subject at times, they are arranging matters to promote an early marriage.
Men say that the Spaniards are inclined to use the delay for their secret purposes and they would like the negotiations ultimately to fall through, and as being chiefly the work of Olivares it will not be confirmed. It is thought that they can easily draw back, especially as things have moved too fast; the more so, if the prince should remain obstinate about dividing the entire issue and not leaving alone (et inoltre mentre il Prencipe stassi pertinace dividere l'intiero esito et non andarsene solo).
Buckingham has again quarrelled with the count because the king here does not accept the offers made to him by the King of Great Britain. The duke reproaches them for not proceeding with sincerity. He is more furiously enraged because the prince was not allowed to take his usual place at the Comedy near the Infanta, because the queen was not with her that evening and when the prince himself arrived he was annoyed at the same thing as he had to listen to the Comedy from a window with jalousies, and could only enjoy a sight of his beloved with difficulty. Buckingham professes to have arranged to depart in a few days without his Highness, but it is not believed that he will do so, and they also say that he has lost the favour of the king his master owing to what the prince has reported against him; and his Highness has frequently slighted him (qual spesso l'ha mortifficato). All the rest of the English here are highly disgusted and show it, complaining of their entertainment and their food.
Although the marriage is postponed, yet they have celebrated the festivities of bull fights and cane tourneys, an enormous quantity of properties and liveries being displayed. The king entered with the prince and Don Carlos, attended by the majority of the grandees and principal lords. We ambassadors were all invited and given new places near the Prince of England.
Madrid, the 28th August, 1623.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
129. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King of England has sent a gentleman with a present of six horses and a pack of dogs to his Majesty, a gift which has been well received. His Ambassador has given assurances of his master's good-will, declaring that his Majesty has no other object than peace and will never cherish designs against any one soever. This looks like an indication that the King of England is rather disturbed by the departure of the Count of Tillieres, ambassador of his Most Christian Majesty, and wants to persuade others that the marriage will not change his attitude towards his old friends, and especially towards this Crown.
Poissy, the 31st August, 1623.

Footnotes

1 The London, Jonas, and Lion, which arrived in the Downs on the 18/28 July. —Cal. S.P. East Indies, 1622–4, page 123.
2 The negotiations were carried on by Sir Thomas Roe at Constantinople with ten commissioners sent from Algiers and two from Tunis. He gives an account of this matter in his letters dated the 25th Jan., and the 4th April.—Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, pages 117–9, 139–41.
3 James was at Salisbury. The anniversary of the Gowrie conspiracy was the 5/15 August.
4 Best's account of this is preserved.—S.P. Dom., Vol. cl, no. 18.
5 Tilly defeated Christian of Brunswick at the battle of Stadtlohn, in the diocese of Munster, on the 6th August.
6 At Stadtlohn.