Venice
January 1624, 19-29

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1912

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193-205

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'Venice: January 1624, 19-29', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 193-205. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88901 Date accessed: 17 September 2014.


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January 1624

Jan. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
244. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is much news about England. They are expecting an ambassador extraordinary, and there are various opinions about the reasons for his coming. They conjecture overtures for a marriage and the recovery of the Valtelline and the Palatinate jointly, and speak of a defensive and offensive alliance against the house of Austria. Meanwhile the Constable remarks that it would be useful to strengthen our league for the recovery of the Grisons by the power and interests of the King of Great Britain. A courier from Spain to England has passed through to-day and the Spaniards declare that he goes for the taking up again of the negotiations; others speak of a complete rupture and the recall of the Catholic ambassador there. The other Spanish ambassador arrived here on his way back with letters of the ambassador extraordinary for the king here.
Paris, the 19th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
245. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday the Secretary Conovel came to me and after some complimentary phrases he said that he was sent by the king to inform me of the new resolutions, though they were not yet quite mature, and he referred to them at my last audience. The secretary told me that his Majesty had hitherto devoted himself to negotiations about the Palatinate and the marriage in the hope that they would prove sufficient for the universal peace, but he has become aware that the objects of the Spaniards accord ill with his good intentions and make a settlement impossible, as I myself remarked at the audience. Accordingly he had resolved to draw closer to his true friends, among whom he especially counted your Serenity, and he hoped for a good union, taking as an example the league for the Valtelline, for the recovery of the Palatinate and the liberty of Germany, which means the universal quiet. For this end they have decided to send an ambassador to your Serenity, and in the meantime the king wished to communicate his decisions to me, because of his esteem for me and in order that I might co-operate in such a good work.
Such was the substance of what Conovel said to me, though he delivered it with much circumlocution. He did not enter into any particulars about his request and I did not think it advisable to ask for any. I thanked the king for the communication and remarked that as the objects of the king and the Spaniards were different, as he wanted a just and stable peace while they desired absolute monarchy, the resolution to abandon negotiations was both wise and necessary, for in negotiation the Spaniards won a rich triumph to the notable prejudice of his Majesty; while to have a good understanding with good friends would be most advantageous, and your Serenity would do your part, as proved by countless acts. I said that your Serenity would be delighted to see a representative of a sovereign so much esteemed to take the place left vacant by Wotton's departure, and I suggested that the ambassador would be an ordinary one and Wotton himself. He replied that they would probably send soon in the form of an embassy extraordinary, to continue as ordinary and from other indications I gather that the person will be Sir [Isaac] Wake.
In the course of the general conversation that ensued I remarked that the negotiations that had proceeded up to the present time had worked his Majesty a great disadvantage and impressed an opinion not easily eradicated. So long as they kept up the least thread of negotiations with Spain, and so long as the ambassadors who were appointed by both sides expressly for this affair remained at their posts the other powers would always have some misgivings about the permanency of his Majesty's new opinions. He replied that the Ambassador Bristol had undoubtedly been recalled; the forty days laid down for the reply from Spain had already expired, and the last letters received thence were the worst they had ever had and conveyed that they had deprived the Infanta of the title of Princess of Wales, had closed the doors upon all favours to the ambassadors, and in short the affair was in a hopeless position. I replied that the Spaniards might possibly try to profit by harshness, but finding that useless they would return to their usual deceit, and those who were not wary would return into their nets; but he assured me with great vehemence that nothing more would ever be done without the preceding restitution of the Palatinate; he added that breaking off the negotiations with Spain, drawing nearer to their old friends and in particular imparting the decision to me had all been matured by the king in his council in the days that followed the arrival of the letters from Spain. I thought fit to point out that besides breaking off all negotiations with the Spaniards a necessary preliminary to any other step was for the king to make himself thoroughly at one with his own kingdom which depended upon the proceedings of the parliament spoken of; the Spaniards built their hopes more upon the unsatisfactory relations that had hitherto existed between his Majesty and his people than upon their own strength, which when closely examined would prove more imaginary than real; this was the fundamental article, the corner stone of the affair (ci voleva per necessaria premessa a tutto il rimanente, il riunirsi anco del Re col proprio Regno, il che dipendeva dal buon incaminamento et perfettione dell' intimato parlamento, che gli Spagnoli fabricavano le loro speranze più sopra la poco buona intelligentia che Sua Maestà haveva sin hora tenuta con suoi populi, che sopra le proprie forze, le quali chi ben essaminasse sarebbono trovate più d'imaginacione, che di effetto che questo era l'articolo fondamentale, la pietra angolare del negocio).
He answered that what I said was perfectly true and the judgment excellent. He thanked me and said he would report everything to his Majesty. All my remarks were made with this end in view, and without being sure or despairing of what your Excellencies desire, I aimed them first at breaking off the negotiations with Spain and at securing a good disposition within the kingdom, recognising the importance of both these points for the service of your Serenity. This is the substance of what passed between us.
The resolutions about a parliament and this embassy are two hopeful steps of great importance, and if this Court could move freely and unhampered by a will divided between the two passions of love and pleasure and fear it would be easy to draw one's conclusions, but the difficulty of changing one's nature and the frequent deceptions here make me pause and lead me to expect the ill even though appearances are promising. I fear that the infirmity here is like a sore which ought to be cut, but rather than suffer this they keep putting it off, in order to live even if painfully. On the other hand there are persons who desire the knife; such in the general opinion are the prince and Buckingham, but the question is whether they can bind the sick man so that he will suffer the knife. That is the crux of the whole matter, as to break off the negotiations with Spain and to part them are results which must necessarily follow a recognition of the malady, which even the blind cannot deny, but I do not think it will be easy for them to decide to break, arm and make war, and the king may claim to have as equal allies for the conquest of the Palatinate those who are not equally interested, and if he has to bear the greater part of the burden, I do not know if his back will be equal to the task, as his inclination certainly will not. During recent years in Germany he has spent his energies in embassies and money contributions, the former beside the point and the latter inadequate. His Majesty loves a middle course; he does not desire enemies, from his hatred of war, or close friends so that he may not suffer trouble on their account. Accordingly I fear all resolutions proceeding from him will prove halting and inadequate, and in that case it might possibly be better not to stir up evil humours, rather than do so without resolving them.
London, the 19th January, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
246. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king made the same proposal to the Dutch ambassador as he did to me, but with this difference, that he did not send any one on purpose, claiming that the States ought to speak first; and the ambassador has written to the Prince of Orange. They have approached the French ambassador in the same way as myself, and in addition they have said something to him about a marriage, asking him for an alliance for the recovery of the Palatinate, or at least to remain neutral. I have discovered this although the ambassador only told me generalities. Accordingly I also played the same game. Such is the present state of affairs, and one cannot deny that there is a change for the better and that the negotiations have become impossible so far as one can see. The prince certainly has the best disposition and Buckingham is deeply interested in persevering.
The only doubt rests with the king, as I have always written. If the force of necessity does not move him he will become restive and if once he sees the right course it must count for a lucid interval. As regards his instability or rather his stability in evil, I need only mention that the usual verses written for the masque containing some rather free remarks against the Spaniards, they were altered by his command, and while in others this might be the result of prudence, in him it is nothing but the fear of offending the Spaniards; but what is of more consequence, I have seen a letter written from Brussels stating that the English agent there has orders from the king to endeavour to smoothe matters done contrary to the taste of the Spaniards since the king intended the negotiations to proceed, as he had proposals to make which would prove acceptable; the same letter further states that the Spaniards are most anxious to take up the negotiations again, without considering their reputation. I have seen this letter, but I am not quite sure whether it is quite straightforward. I am also assured that the king, in despite of the whole Council, wished to write to Vaston, the ordinary ambassador in Spain, to express his sorrow to the king there at the unsatisfactory reply received, but to say that if they will make it less harsh he is resolved to continue the negotiations for the marriage, which he desired above all other things. It is true that the prince countermanded and diverted this order, urging the ambassador to abandon such an improper office. There are also signs of differences between Buckingham and the Chamberlain, encouraged possibly by the king's artifice, and if this continues the consequences may be important. Thus every true hope rests upon the prince. On him depends a complete breach with the Spaniards and good results from the parliament, which otherwise would excite alarm.
Sir Edward Cuch is sent away from the Court, the pretext adopted being plausible and he does not seem displeased (fn. 1) ; the people have not taken it well, but possibly no harm will result. To dismiss him would be too unpopular. I have heard something, though I do not believe it, about the risk of the king's deposition by parliament and of Buckingham's fall. Some think that Bristol will refuse to return. He has some friends but many powerful enemies; it is thought that he will come well furnished with his answer, accordingly the king would perhaps prefer that he should refuse to come, in order to cast all the blame upon his contumacy.
Sir [Henry] Wotton has spoken of your Serenity with his natural variableness, sometimes in praise at others not. So far he has not consented to receive me, under the excuse that he wishes to call here first, and he says he has not yet performed his necessary visits. The masque is delayed. I had word from the Chamberlain that I was to be invited with some of the other ambassadors, as I pointed out that my exclusion with the Spanish ambassadors would practically amount to a sentence in their favour in our dispute about titles. They had almost decided to invite the Spanish ambassadors this year, it being their turn, in the course of the usual alternation, but France protested that he desired his place, otherwise his country would not be friendly, and so everything remains in suspense and no one knows what will happen.
The king has been somewhat indisposed these last days, although he proposes to leave next week for Newmarket. The friar says that the negotiations of Bavaria are proceeding well, and he has sweetened his proposals considerably. He told me that they would decide here to send some gentlemen with him, as a more complete recognition of the business. A leading minister hinted to me some doubt about their sincerity; for the rest there would be a remedy for everything.
I am sending these presents by the ordinary, but with instructions to accelerate the rest of the journey from Antwerp if possible.
I did not think it necessary to send an express messenger, the matter not being sufficiently important, while it would cost a great deal and create some stir, especially just now when the Spaniards are watching very closely.
I enclose the duplicate of last week.
London, the 19th January, 1624.
Postscript.—I have just heard that the French ambassador has despatched his own secretary to France. There can be no other reason except the negotiations I have referred to above, and perhaps they are pushing in particular the proposal for the marriage with Madame.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
247. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Request to pay the bearer 25 ducats for his diligence.
London, the 19th January, 1624.
[Italian.]
Jan. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
248. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday an extraordinary arrived from Spain bringing word of the death of the little Infanta. The same courier reported that eight days before his departure from Spain orders had arrived from England suspending the powers for the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the Infanta, and the day before, other orders taking them away altogether. They said that they were directing their negotiations to marry the prince to a daughter of the king of Denmark.
Rome, the 20th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 20.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
249. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Upon seeing a copy of the Ambassador Valaresso's letter about the opening of some negotiations for a treaty between Bavaria and the Palatine, I have tried to find out if they knew anything about it at this Court; I find that they have heard nothing whatever. I imagined that perhaps Father Hyacinth was at the bottom of this. A dependant of his told me in confidence that the present pope, at the beginning of his pontificate, charged Father Hyacinth to stay in these parts to help the emperor. He chose Brussels, and the pope wrote to him to try and secretly upset the Spanish marriage, from fear that England would not carry out his promises about religion, and also to upset the marriage of the Palatine's son with the emperor's second daughter, also because of religion, and because England has no authority over his son-in-law, and after the declaration that he does not wish to send the Palatine's son to be educated at any Court, from which the pope augurs ill of the intentions of both father and son-in-law in the matter of religion. In this Father Hyacinth acts very secretly, as he has intelligence in England where he causes offices to be performed.
The nuncio recently spoke to Ecchemberg by the pope's orders about the marriage with the Palatine, against it. That minister replied, We know that king. We shall give him promise for promise. He told me he did not know anything for certain about an accommodation between Bavaria and the Palatine, but if there was any negotiation it would be managed by that prince through Mayence or France, and Naiburgh might also have something in hand.
The best informed here feel sure that the marriage with England will not take place, in order to avoid a composition with the Palatine, to whom they do not wish to restore anything, although the emperor has remarked in this connection that he believes firmly that the Spaniards have always acted sincerely.
Vienna, the 20th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian; copy.]
Jan. 20.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
250. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sir [Robert] Eliati, an Englishman, well known to your Excellencies, who went to Edemburgh to receive his money, has received an assignment from hence of 1,000 thalers a year. He will proceed thence to Brussels to offer to burn all the Dutch ships, and he will offer to do the same with those of the King of Sweden. (fn. 2)
Vienna, the 20th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian; copy.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
251. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I need not write to your Excellencies of the parliament, announced for the 12th in London, of the release of the Earl of Oxford, of the decision to recall the Ambassador Digby from Spain; I need only report the satisfaction of the Queen of Bohemia, and how her hopes are revived by this news, which she has received from England as authentic.
The Hague, the 23rd January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
252. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is reported that Bavaria desires the creation of a new elector to facilitate a settlement with the Palatine, but the report does not obtain much credence. I find that these negotiations have some connection with those of England. The papal nuncio assured me that the French advised Bavaria to stand firm and not to yield; that Bavaria will hold out so long as he can, but if forced he will make terms with the Spaniards. He told me that the pope would do his utmost to enable Bavaria to maintain his present state. I dexterously induced him to say that Father Hyacinth, the Capuchin, is a very honest man who thinks of breaking off the Spanish marriage with England out of zeal for the Catholic faith; he remarked to me that there might be a more advantageous marriage, but I cannot be sure that he meant Madame. He lamented the Most Christian consenting to stand sponsor for the Palatine's son as it made many Catholics suspicious. The strong course would be to support Bavaria; the Protestant princes, the Palatine, Baden, Hesse etc. are lost.
They no longer expect the ambassador extraordinary from England, but in a few days they expect Lord Ritz, a young and leading nobleman who was honoured by the king at Fontainebleau last year and promised his Majesty to return. It is said that he comes to keep his promise, but some business may lie beneath. (fn. 3) The reports of the breaking off of the Spanish marriage are not so sure, and the Spaniards say that the necessary course will be to come to terms with the favourite. The negotiations about Madame are obscure in detail, though the desires are most clear. I find that the Savoyard ambassador, in case an alliance with Madame proved impossible, would like France to favour one of his Infantas for that marriage. France would desire a friendly prince and the question of religion and the fear of strengthening the English claims to this kingdom present no small difficulties.
Paris, the 26th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
253. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The embassy of your Serenity, being finally severed from Wotton, will certainly be conferred upon Sir [Isaac] Wake. He comes of a good family, is well versed in affairs, especially those of Italy, owing to his long residence at Turin; he is considered well disposed towards the general welfare and always professes a particular reverence for your Serenity. He enjoys the good opinion of the Court and derives great advantage from his recent connection with the Secretary Conowel. His instructions have been decided upon and drawn up, but not yet signed. He has orders to be prepared to leave at almost any moment, but he will not start before negotiations with the Spaniards are completely broken off. I think that a simultaneous move will be made, he going to Venice, Anstruther to Denmark, Goring to Holland, and the Captain of the Guard to France. He will have instructions when passing through Savoy to inform the duke of the new resolutions for the purpose of tightening the bonds of union with him, and I think he will have a similar office to perform with the Swiss.
The day before yesterday, when I went to see the prince dance, Buckingham came and whispered in my ear that in Conovel's embassy they had sent me their heart. I thanked him for his great share in procuring the general welfare, which would lay your Excellencies under special obligations. Later on, when the prince afforded me an opportunity for a short colloquy, I made some remarks appropriate to the place and the time, thanking him warmly for the communication sent to me, and the singular prudence with which he acted for his own service and that of his friends. Both the prince and the duke are observing the king's action, and at the present moment one may say that he needs watching as closely as the Spaniards themselves, as he is as willing to be deceived as they are to deceive him. They therefore watch him with great jealousy, and as though he were in a state of siege they keep away from him those whom they consider suspect.
The Spanish ambassadors are trying every means to obtain an audience of the king alone, but as they did not succeed in obtaining this they went recently to one at which the prince and Buckingham were present. They had received fresh letters from Spain, which they presented, the harshness of the preceding days being laid aside; I know this for certain. They made liberal promises of a speedy restitution of the Palatinate and even of assistance against Bavaria, with a great show of wanting the marriage; they represented that the Infanta had been much cast down by the troubling of the affair. All these things pleased the king greatly, but they have not yet decided upon the answer they will give. The ambassadors recommended to the king the Earl of Ormonde, a leading Irish nobleman, possibly as a covert threat, by drawing attention to their great influence in that kingdom. They gave the prince a letter from their king, addressing him as brother, no longer as brother-in-law. All this despatch had left Spain before the letters of recall reached Bristol. I hear some rumours among the Spaniards about revived negotiations, and that Inoiosa has fresh orders to stay his departure for which he was preparing, though they may have been a blind; but whenever the good cavalier goes he will leave behind a considerable part of himself, through a serious loss recently incurred in an amorous strife.
The parliament has apparently been postponed for six days. The elections are taking place. The king is trying his utmost to secure the return of his creatures; many aspire to election with no ordinary ambition. One of the three whom I reported the king detested, named Sans, has been elected by a county, (fn. 4) and thus the seeds of dissension are possibly being sown. Sir [Edward] Cuc has left for Ireland under the specious pretext of ordering many things in that kingdom, which certainly needs it greatly; there are few soldiers but many malcontents, the naturalised colony is corrupted, the Spanish name loved and revered; in short, the disorders there have gone so far that to ignore them might prove dangerous and to correct them impossible; so that island will always prove a great mote in the eye of these princes.
Twenty-two falcons and gerfalcons have arrived, sent as a present to his Majesty from the Most Christian with the necessary trappings richly decorated. A leading huntsman brought them. (fn. 5) The ambassador here presented them, and the whole affair delighted the king exceedingly. Compliments sometimes prove an opening for negotiations. I have heard of certain messages, and there have been various expeditions. Besides the secretary going to France, a leading gentleman of the queen-mother came here in haste, remaining only three days and then returning immediately. I know that the said queen is very anxious for this marriage. For the rest, from what I gather, there is as yet nothing beyond a mutual inclination to open negotiations. The Duke of Lennox in discussing the subject with me in a general fashion, seemed much afraid of civil war in France, and for my part I do not think that a war with the Huguenots and a marriage with England would agree well together. The ambassador here says little on the subject, remarking that his king is well disposed, but the question comes very unexpectedly, as they considered the marriage with Spain as concluded. The ambassador confessed to me that by commission of the Most Christian he had done some offices in favour of Bavaria's business, which the Capucin had charge of, although he said that he had not found them sufficiently ready to listen, yet he praises the business and considers it the best that could be desired. I perceive reasons for both ambiguity and sincerity, but I recognise that the best course would be to open negotiations without neglecting the necessary preparation. I cannot help wondering at this business having gone on so long without some scent of it reaching the Spaniards, though I do not find that it has. I cannot believe this possible, and it makes me suspicious. The Capucin openly decries them. He says that the marriage between the Palatine's son and the emperor's daughter was proposed by them with the object of making a settlement to the total exclusion of Bavaria, and if he cannot settle with the English, necessity alone will bring him to do so with the Spaniards. He says that if the pope suspects he will withdraw from the business, that the English do not recognise the advantages offered to them, and if they want war they will find it a hot one, in fine he sometimes threatens, sometimes promises, and I do not know whether he acts through fear or in order to excite fear.
The prince has interposed and reconciled Buckingham and the Chamberlain. The king in spite of his poor health insisted upon going to Newmarket, whither the prince and Buckingham have also proceeded. They write of great preparations in Spain against the Dutch, decided upon by the special advice of the Cardinal della Cueva. The English ambassador at Constantinople writes of the great wrong done to their merchants by the exaction of certain duties, and says that the diplomatic representatives of the powers there decided to present a joint arz against the Emir, but the French ambassador subsequently withdrew upon the question of precedence, for which he blames him severely. (fn. 6)
One Mataoza of Zante who is here has told me of the low price of raisins and the consequent ruin of those islanders. I know what loss they suffer through being compelled to sell these to the English, without being able to take or send them away. I know the loss your Serenity suffers, and perhaps the meeting of parliament and the improvement of other affairs may provide an opportunity for attempting to remove these difficulties which are so unjust, but it will be difficult and I will not stir without express order from your Excellencies.
I hope that my last letters arrived some days before the ordinary, as I sent them express.
London, the 26th January, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 27.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
254. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are very much disturbed here, fearing that since the return of the Prince of Wales from Spain the marriage may be upset through Buckingham's efforts. They are advised from Brussels of rumours of negotiations between the Kings of England and Denmark, the Dutch and some other powers for an alliance against the emperor in defence of the Palatine. If this were true it would give them plenty to think about both here and in Spain, and would foment Gabor and others. Accordingly they are in a very perplexed state of mind until they have more authentic news.
Vienna, the 27th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian; copy.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
255. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
From an Englishman here I learn that they expect the Duke of Guise in England on the pretext of visiting the king as a relation, but to treat for the marriage of the prince to France. With the English king's present shortness of money, France's offer of two millions of gold is considered something considerable. England has spent more than a million of gold to have the Spanish princess in embassies, in large donations, in journeys of ministers and of the prince himself. The English in general are very suspicious of this marriage, and my Englishman tells me that the Infanta would find her entry into England and her stay there unsafe.
Florence, the 27th January, 1623 M.V.
[Italian.]
Jan. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
256. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 5th inst. with the copy of what Valaresso writes about the negotiations of that individual in London for a settlement between the Duke of Bavaria and the Prince Palatine. You will have seen what I wrote on the 15th inst., and since then the prince has shown me two very long letters which his agent in London writes upon these particulars. They exactly correspond with what Valaresso writes, to whom the agent states he has communicated the entire affair, asking for his advice. It appears by these letters that the said individual has so contrived as to create a firm belief in the sincerity of Bavaria, the pope, the Nuncio of Brussels and himself, giving every one a good impression of himself and his master. The French ambassador believes him, your Serenity's does not mistrust him, and the prince's agent himself writes in such a way as to show that he places in him absolute confidence.
One must confess that the arguments and circumstances are most plausible and evident. However, as the Senate asks for my opinion, I am bound to say frankly that I fear a serpent may be hidden among the flowers, and I think this is a piece of the usual Spanish trickery and duplicity. Various reasons convince me of this, but chiefly the knowledge that the negotiator is a Capuchin friar, who left Brussels with letters and secret instructions from the nuncio; and at Brussels Cardinal Bedmar, well known to your Excellencies, exercises supreme authority and the nuncio participates all affairs with him, and secures all his commissions from him. Accordingly I can hardly imagine that these negotiations are unknown to the Spaniards or hope that they are sincere.
They add that this individual has no letters from Bavaria and no authority whatsoever from that duke, that he only speaks in generalities, and when he comes to particulars merely gives them verbally as coming from himself, and without binding himself to anything; in fact, he only endeavours to discover the intentions and inclinations of others with remarkable skill, while concealing his own objects.
The Prince Palatine here, who has the most excellent intentions, wavers between trusting these negotiations and not doing so. The show of things, the report of his agent in London, and what exercises more influence, the usual and natural condition of believing readily what one wishes, make him hope. On the other hand, he has experienced so much deceit and fraud, has never found his enemies sincere and is so accustomed to bad luck and misfortune that he can hardly bring himself to believe in good. His wife, who is high spirited and endowed with remarkable prudence and worth, does not believe in it at all. She told me frankly that this agent is not a man of great breeding, and as he was born in the High Palatinate near the states of Bavaria, it is no marvel if he leans in that direction. The Spaniards, she says, possibly with Bavaria's knowledge, will have moved the nuncio to send this friar to London to open new negotiations and postpone all resolutions indefinitely. The Spaniards are now well known in England and exposed as tricksters and liars, and therefore they sent another individual to negotiate under the cloak of Bavaria, with some show of plausibility to delude every one and keep the King of England, her father, fixed in his lethargy and lulled to sleep with hopes more than ever. She could not believe that a friar sent by the nuncio resident at Brussels would deceive the Spaniards in order to serve the interests of a prince of a different religion and consequently an enemy. Such are the views of the queen here, and accordingly they have written to the agent in London to listen but not to agree to anything, as your Excellencies will have heard from the most Excellent Valaresso.
The Hague, the 29th January, 1623 [M.V.].
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 He was appointed a commissioner to investigate the state of Ireland.
2 When at Brussels Elliot attempted to make his peace with his sovereign. "Two other things ... I have to propose to your Grace ... One is an offer made by Sir Robert Elliot, an ancient, experienced sea captain ... who cannot but be better known to his Majesty and your Grace than to me in a late and short acquaintance. This man hath in his custody 8 or 9 patterns of several sort of shipping, invented at Florence by Sir Robert Dudley, who there built one of them (he saith) that wrought admirable effects, and none but they two in the world do know the secret and ways necessarily required to frame those vessels. They (he affirmed) are so necessary and useful to his Majesty as they will give great increase and renown to his navy royal, terrify his enemies, consume the pirates, and work miracles. And if they should be put into the hand of the King of Spain, would both waste his fleets and returns, to and from the Indies ... and make him absolute master of the Ocean. The conditions he requireth for a recompense are that he may be made rcctus in Curia by a general and free pardon, and all his trespasses thereby wiped out. To have your Grace's patronage and some honourable office or employment under your lordship for his maintenance, suitable to his rank, with liberty of his conscience, being of the Romish Religion, and a competent Ayuda de costa to bear his charges when he shall come into England. He alleges that merely his love and duty to his Majesty and natural country, have moved him to make the first tender of his service to his Majesty ... If it be not accepted he hopes there will be no fresh cause to blame him if necessity of getting his bread enforce him to seek maintenance among other princes." Trumbull to Buckingham, from Brussels, the 3rd May, 1624, old style.—State Papers, Foreign, Flanders, vol. 17.
3 My lord of Kensington is daily expected here. It was the voice of all the town a fortnight since that he was coming extraordinary ambassador, although he comes but as a private person only, what instructions soever he may have besides. His men and horses have been at St. Denis above these ten days. Herbert to Conway, the 30th Jan., 1623, st. Ang.—State Papers, Foreign, France, vol. 72.
4 Sir Edwin Sandys was elected for Kent with Sir Nicholas Tufton, Sir Dudley Digges being defeated.
5 He was a French baron. Salvietti, in his letter of the 26th January, gives his name, M. de Bonneveau. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962c.
6 This seems to refer to Roe's despatch of the 1st November, 1623, o.s. Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, page 188.