Venice
March 1624, 1-9

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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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225-240

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'Venice: March 1624, 1-9', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 225-240. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88903 Date accessed: 30 August 2014.


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March 1624

March 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
281. To the Ambassador in England.
Your letter informs us of the confidential office performed with you by the king through one of his secretaries in communicating his plans for the relief of the Palatinate and for a good understanding with the ancient friends of his crown. In addition to your prudent reply we desire you, in the way you think best, to thank his Majesty in our name for the friendly communication, which he could not make to any prince more desirous of his prosperity, commending his worthy resolutions for the good of his kin and his realms. You will confine yourself to these generalities, as we can place no reliance upon the steadfastness of the resolutions made in that quarter, and what you said was most able and worthy of all commendation.
You will also express our satisfaction at the nomination of the Cavalier Wake to this embassy, and our confidence in his prudence and discretion. As Wotton, his predecessor, treats you in such cavalier fashion, you need not take the opportunity of calling upon him unless he first pays his respects, as he ought, since you have done your part.
We have previously written about the interception of your despatches. We have not received any this week, although private merchants have had their letters. This will serve for your information, and if you think you can send the public letters more safely under private cover or in some other way, you must take the course which you think best.
We have frequently had consultations and made representations about the trade in raisins at the island of Zante, which you have opportunely brought forward, and we have recently asked for information with which we shall again take the affair in hand and then send further orders.
Ayes, 137.Noes, 0.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
March 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
282. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
While the city was all gathered last Monday for his Majesty's state opening of the parliament, and every preparation made, there came word of the sudden death of the Duke of Richmond, (fn. 1) and soon afterwards of the postponement of the ceremony until Thursday, as they needed a Steward of the Household, an office vacated by his death. The good gentleman expired shortly before his time to rise from bed, without any one being aware of the fact. When he first awoke he complained of some pain in his head, and accordingly some say that he died of apoplexy. He was fifty years of age, the king's cousin, beloved by everyone and remarkably friendly to your Serenity as I have been enabled to judge by manifest indications. This loss is deeply felt by the king, but even more by the prince.
This event happening at such a time is considered by the people a bad omen for the parliament, an opinion with which the Hispanophiles readily agree. He leaves a brother named the Earl of March, and now Duke of Lennox, the hereditary title, that of Richmond being new. The day before his death I was with him and his wife for a good while, when the prince also came up. He may have done this on purpose, the chance being the more precious to me, as he avoids set audiences for reasons which may be known to your Serenity. I then confessed to him my wishes for a happy beginning for the new parliament and a most successful ending, results which were assured under the happy auspices of his singular prudence. He answered by assuring me that everything would go well, and speaking in French all the time he added that they had resolved to have a good understanding with his friends. I remarked that that would prove a mutual advantage just as universal damage arose from friends in name only.
I know that his Highness has written to Prince Maurice expressing his great desire to draw close to the States, and apparently standing with open arms to receive them, and they are urged by all their friends at the Court to send commissioners to open negotiations; but the Dutch delayed a decision, perhaps doubtful of any good result, mistrusting his constancy and fearing they may derive little good from the mission, while exposing their own needs and prejudicing their reputation. On the other hand the king, before altogether breaking with the Spaniards or separating from them, pretends to an understanding with the Dutch so that he may not afterwards be compelled to follow where they lead; and I hear that he has expressed himself strongly about their hardness, saying that he would rather be the slave of the King of Spain than trodden under the foot of that people. But this is one of the certain fruits that the Spaniards gather by their arts, a passion whereby, having once introduced the mistrust which every prince might reasonably have of the king here, it is not possible to restore confidence without guarantees or to ask for guarantees without offence, and thereby creating fresh mistrust, and so the way to a good understanding and union is darkened.
Yesterday the king went to the parliament according to the date last arranged. The Marquis of Hamilton took the place of Steward, and it took place with the usual pomp and ceremony. The barons, viscounts, earls, bishops and other officials of the Court went first, then the prince, all on horseback, and the king came last drawn by six horses seated alone in an open carriage, richly decorated. Everyone was dressed with a pomp becoming such a solemnity. His Majesty entered the parliament hall with this body of cavaliers, who form the upper house, and where the members of the lower house awaited him, and spoke in the presence of all for the space of half an hour. The speech was considered one of substance rather than show and everyone left well satisfied with this sitting. I hope to enclose the essentials of the speech. God grant that as a parliament was deeply desired it may realise the objects of that desire.
The Spanish ambassadors have been to audience, although they only had it some days after they asked. Buckingham was not present, perhaps to gratify them, but was hidden and heard what they said. They did not refrain from saying something about him. They soberly repeated their office about the recent edict against the religious in Ireland, representing it as a contravention of the arrangements made in the marriage articles. The king took refuge in his customary excuses, saying that the Viceroy had exceeded his orders, and promising some redress; thus I hear that he renewed in general the promise to do no harm to the Catholics. I had these particulars from one who learned them from the ambassadors themselves.
M. Bonavo, who brought the birds in the name of the Most Christian, has left with the present of a ring worth 900l. sterling, and everyone in his suite received a gold chain. They were all defrayed and every effort was made to send them back highly contented, a sign that they desire that marriage. A friar (fn. 2) was here who brought the first word about it to Buckingham, at the queen mother's suggestion, but I do not know how the Most Christian regards it. There may be some thread of negotiation, but very weak as yet. Buckingham goes about securing his position every day and joins with all the gentlemen of the Court. The proposals of Bavaria are practically set aside.
London, the 1st March.
Postscript.—Your Excellencies shall hear the leading ideas of the king's speech, both fine and good; God grant that deeds may correspond with them, and hope seems to have grown already. A report is circulating that a Spanish ship attacked an English one and was taken by the latter; among the papers they found orders from Spain to fight all English ships. (fn. 3) I have heard this but do not entirely credit it. The ordinary of this week has not come yet.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
283. Substance of the King's Speech. (fn. 4)
His Majesty represented to the parliament that the chief strength of a sovereign consists in the love of his subjects, whom he likens to a wife, the king being the husband, whose duty it is to love and cherish his spouse, avoiding strife and being reconciled and attached to her. He had not failed in his attachment, in proof whereof he had assembled this parliament, as he had always tried to preserve peace in Christendom, and moreover he had consented, although unwillingly, to his only son taking so long a journey, to bring the negotiations to an end, and had ordered Buckingham never to leave him, but to serve him faithfully, as he had done. On their return, for which he thanked God, he learned from them that matters were no further advanced than before, and so contrary to his expectations he had only obtained a sorry success.
The object of the convocation is to hear the opinion of parliament both concerning the marriage and the welfare of his children. Buckingham and one of the secretaries would give full information of all the proceedings. He deprecated delay, but warned them against precipitate judgment. They must not be scrupulous upon the question of their privileges. The apostle says we must not indulge in vain disputation, and they should not go into matters which do not concern the substance of the affair. Above all they must avoid jealousy and mistrust. One thing which the common people had discussed his Majesty could not leave on one side, namely, the interpretation that he had conducted the negotiations without regard for religion. He vowed that he never intended, promised or consented to change the condition of religion or of policy, and that his less rigorous enforcement of the penal statutes had been induced by strong reasons and also for the general welfare, out of consideration for the circumstances of the time, imitating the example of one who rides a horse and knows how to manage him, who does not always use his spurs, but admonishes him with whip and bridle and only spurs him when obliged. He had acted so.
When his Majesty had finished the chancellor said that any words of his would be out of place and they would mock at the stammering utterances of a chancellor after listening to so eloquent a king; it was as though they were invited to hear a man sing in imitation of the nightingale, after hearing the nightingale itself. If he appropriated any of the ideas of the king's speech they might all reasonably repeat the proverb, Annulum aureum laminis ferreis ferruminare. Nothing remained to him but to exhort them to follow ancient customs and the footsteps of their predecessors. His Majesty would appoint a Speaker according to the old custom and he would attend again at that place on Saturday at two o'clock in the afternoon and proceed to business.
[Italian.]
March 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
284. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Lord Ritz (fn. 5) arrived the day before yesterday, having come post, and every one expects to learn definitely the intentions of England from his negotiations. So far he has done nothing but look about; he brings word that the Spanish match is broken off. He laments the report that he has come to press this same marriage, but although he affects to have come for pleasure he apparently intends to stay some days.
Wake is also expected and should start soon by his sovereign's command. Lord Ritz said he would go to Turin and possibly proceed to Venice for some business. Any negotiations for a marriage or other affairs will be in the hands of Ritz at this Court and in those of Bonicio in England, who is already in that country with the present for hunting.
The ambassador of the King of Great Britain has made strong representations against the king interesting himself in Bavaria's cause or sending a resident to that prince, but begged his Majesty to remain faithful to his allies, showing that Bavaria must necessarily stand with the house of Austria, but it behoved the good understanding existing between the two kings that his master should be informed of everything.
The Secretary Villeocler brought the ambassador the assurance that his Majesty would take no steps disadvantageous to his friends and allies and he would not send a resident to Bavaria, accordingly the affairs of the two sovereigns are being arranged here to suit England, upon whose negotiations the steps taken will depend.
The French will possibly support Mansfeld in Holland, and in that case may ask your Excellencies to share the expense. In the meantime they do not want him at this Court, and have asked the Dutch to receive him.
Paris, the 1st March, 1624.
[Italian.]
1 March.
Cinque Savii
alla Mercanzia,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
285. The FIVE SAGES of the MERCANZIA to the PODESTA of CHIOGGIA.
Order to keep under safe custody what has been recovered from the vessel Fenice, recently wrecked in these waters, until valuers have been appointed, as Rinaldo Niù, the captain, and Ridolpho Simes, to whom it was consigned, the interested parties, are ready to satisfy the laws in the matter.
Priuli and Valaresso, Savii.
[Italian.]
March 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
286. ALVISE CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king is disgusted that the Ocean fleet always sails so late, and that so much money is wasted, and he means to look into these disorders himself. The French ambassador laughs at Olivares' excuses and attributes his Majesty's action to his schemes. They report, however, that a large number of the galleys of Italy have been ordered to Spain and they have retained many ships of war in Seville and Lisbon. They speak of Don Carlos commanding a large fleet for an attack on Africa. Then again the appointment of Don Pedro di Toledo as chief of the Council is supposed to indicate that the Count no longer means to press the marriage, as Don Pedro always opposed the negotiations to such an extent that he would never visit the Prince of Wales until the king had commanded him more than once. Moreover, the Count sees that the negotiations are all but broken off, as the ambassador extraordinary has taken leave and the ordinary was practically refused permission to follow the king as he wished from what they say.
Nevertheless against these universal reports a person who should know assures me that the negotiations continue and strong representations have been made in France to make them desist from treating to marry the prince to the Most Christian's sister, and that they have practically promised the Spaniards to give it up.
Madrid, the 2nd March, 1624.
[Italian.]
March 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
287. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Activity of Gabor, whom the Palatine of Hungary inclines to favour. The emperor has sent a minister to Bavaria to settle their accounts, proposing to confirm the duke's possession of the Palatinate and consequently confirming the confiscations from the rebels against Austria. Some English gentlemen here tell me that this has made a great impression in England and their king has decided to send ambassadors extraordinary to France, your Serenity and the States, to strengthen the friendships of the crown and arrange a union and some remedy and relief for his son-in-law. They add that the king is smashing the party of Spanish partisans and will henceforward be served by good Englishmen, and in parliament, while begging his Majesty to attack Spain, everyone will be ready to sacrifice his own children and possessions in order to redeem the good name of England, which has suffered so much from their recent conduct.
Florence, the 2nd March, 1624.
[Italian.]
March 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
288. To the Ambassador in England.
We see by your letters of the 2nd ult. that the Capuchin continues his negotiations for an understanding and marriage between the Palatine and Bavaria, and how far he has got with the Court. The proposals have a plausible appearance but, essentially, as you said you feared from the first, their object may merely be to thwart any resolution in that quarter in favour of the Palatine, and the place from which the friar was sent and the impulse which projected him on that journey prove it. We hear from the Ambassador Morosini at the Hague that the Princess Palatine herself augurs ill of these negotiations and from France Pesaro informs us that they are brought forward with the approval of the dismissed ministers. They also have some relation with the negotiations carried on at the Most Christian Court by a friar Magno some months ago, with the king's knowledge, and of which our Secretary Padavin at Vienna informed us that they were merely deceitful proposals on the part of Bavaria to divert men from other ideas. We have told you all this so that you may penetrate further into their motives, and not give them the encouragement of any belief, which might provide them with harmful authority. For the rest, the resolutions of that Court are so subject to variaton that as we cannot rely upon anything final we recognise the necessity of ceasing to interest ourselves there. You adopt a prudent circumspection and you will avail yourself of such opportunities as occur for the public service.
Ayes, 144.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
March 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
289. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king's speech has earned the greatest applause; he has exceeded all expectations and perhaps said more than he meant as he spoke as if he were carried away. The day is reputed worthy of being celebrated as an anniversary. After wearying your Excellencies for nearly two years with unpleasant news I can at last report this excellent opening of parliament, which involves all the good that could be hoped in the future. The speech shines the more by contrast with the one delivered to the last parliament, as then they called felony what is now submitted to the free discussion of the present assembly.
Last Friday, the day following the procession, was devoted to quiet. On Saturday the king returned to the parliament and heard one whose office is to report the opinions of the lower house and therefore called its mouth. His speech turned chiefly upon four points; he asked for the maintenance of religion, liberty for the parliament, a declaration that the two last were null, and while he enlarged upon the force required to snatch the Palatinate from the usurpers, he showed a burning zeal and offered all the forces for its recovery. (fn. 6) The Lord Chancellor replied promising satisfaction upon all the points. Monday was spent in confirming the election of some of the members and in giving to all the oath which excludes the pope's sovereignty. As six Catholic lords (fn. 7) would not take this they were excluded, and in order to make more certain of shutting out all the Catholics all will be obliged to take the communion publicly. Tuesday and the following day were devoted to a full narration by the prince and Buckingham of all their dealings with Spain, when they showed the letters exchanged. The prince said very freely, and Buckingham even more so, that the Spaniards had negotiated with cunning and fraud, and their object was the acquisition of the Palatinate. They referred to various slights and offences received in Spain, and spoke strongly against Bristol, so that one does not see how he can return, although his friends continue to say that he will do so. Yesterday and to-day have been spent in bringing these same things before the lower house. So far no decree or bill as they call it has appeared. Such are the proceedings as yet, and nothing to impede progress has appeared, although beginnings are often joyful and almost all the parliaments have begun well; before praising we must wait until evening as it is unsafe to judge a day by the morning.
It seems that the first lightnings will flash against the Catholics upon the argument that they cannot make a good start with anything but religion and the execution of the fundamental laws, which have been violated by the great latitude conceded to the Catholics, who have become too bold and are almost all Spaniards. This is unfortunate but perhaps inevitable, and the unfortunate part is that it agrees well with the desires of the Spaniards, as a persecution of the Catholics makes these more dependent upon them. The parliament seems not only disposed to make war with Spain, but resolved upon it, owing to the desire for something new, natural to the people, their special hatred for the nation, and the hope of growing rich at their expense as in the days of Queen Elizabeth. It is generally believed that there will be no lack of money for the war, there will be a readiness to contribute provided the people are assured that they will not be deceived by the king's tricks, but already many are filled with disgust at seeing matters reduced to a hopeless condition merely through the fault of negotiations which the king formerly praised so highly and now recognised as disastrous. The suspicion will easily rise again that once the king has obtained his wished for contributions he will return to the vomit of those negotiations, and there will not be wanting men who under pretence of the liberty of parliament will supply material for a harmful dissolution, all perilous rocks for this ship, unless the good conduct and caution of the prince and Buckingham keep alive the hopes of good. Many of the gentlemen who intended to keep away, fearing that this parliament would fare like the others, are now arriving every day to take part, induced by the hope of such a good beginning.
Every day of late the prince has been anxiously awaiting the Dutch ambassadors. They came to-day to his infinite satisfaction. They are Aerssens and Joachim; they came almost like private individuals, not mustering more than ten persons in all. A nobleman went to meet them with the royal coaches and boats, and nothing more is ever done. It is thought that they will be defrayed, and they could not possibly arrive at a better time.
Guard, (fn. 8) who was charged to make the levy for the King of Poland, knew so well how to deal with the king that he obtained letters granting absolute freedom to employ the men against any one soever, the original restriction not to use them against Christians being removed; but when a cavalier recently sent here by the King of Sweden heard this he contrived before leaving to get these letters revoked; and so the king continues in his usual vacillation. Anstruther will leave in a few days taking to the King of Denmark 18,000 reichsthalers as the interest on the 100,000l. previously lent. Sir [Isaac] Wake also will certainly start, but not before Easter. The French ambassador spoke to the king and prince in favour of the Catholics, and he told me that he had given them to understand that if that continued they must not hope for a marriage or anything else from France. Mansfelt has sent a gentleman here to recommend himself to his Majesty's favour.
The capture of a Spanish ship by an English one is true, but it took place in the West Indies and the letters of marque found on board were universal against all sailing in those seas, where the Spaniards lay claim to an absolute dominion.
The ambassador of Persia has been to return my visit. I perceive that his chief object is to effect a union between that sovereign and the king here in order to drive the Portuguese completely out of the East Indies. They seemed inclined here to treat this as a matter of commerce but he answered that he would take it as an affair of state. They have appointed five Lords of the Council to discuss what concerns silk, to which I referred on my visit. He told me at length that they had already negotiated with your Serenity to make an agreement about that silk, taken to Constantinople or Aleppo, although objections to this were Turkish bad faith and their almost constant enmity with the Persian, and so he reminded them that they might take it by sea to Persia; among all the powers your Serenity would have facilities for taking it, partly with gold and partly with other merchandise, among which your cloth was particularly esteemed. Their silk amounted to some three millions a year and when taken to Italy was worth ten. His king reckoned by this arrangement to sell it at a reasonable price, as by diverting it from passing through the state of the Turks he would deprive them of a million of gold in duties and of the charges for carriage as far as the Mediterranean, and they would save the expenses of such a long journey; and it would be as easy for that king to retain a portion for the works of the country and only let the part of your Serenity be exported.
I lent a willing ear to all his discourse, and for the rest I merely pointed out to him the difficulties of navigation and the need of a fleet to secure it, remarking that it would be necessary first of all to drive away the Portuguese. I confined myself to these objections, though I might have raised many others. Your Excellencies must not marvel that this proposal was not made to the English themselves, as they have no convenient exchange for merchandise here, and there they set no high value upon English cloth, while they can only obtain a very limited quantity of gold from these parts. I know that no great weight can be attached to the proposal, but I considered it my duty to report it.
I enclose copies of speeches made in the parliament for those of your Excellencies who may be curious to see them.
London, the 8th March, 1624.
Postscript.—The Spanish ambassadors have just returned from audience of the king in which they remonstrated strongly because Buckingham in his relation to the parliament spoke very injuriously about their king, and in some sort they demanded his punishment with his life. The ordinary of this week has not yet arrived.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
290. Announcement made by the Speaker to the King. (fn. 9)
Most gracious sovereign, your loyal Commons in conformity with their ancient privileges and your Majesty's gracious commands have chosen a Speaker and from among the lofty cedars of their Lebanon their choice has fallen upon a humble shrub in myself, who am unequal to sustaining the weight of this office. Accordingly I asked to be excused, not from any desire to avoid public charges but from a knowledge of my own insufficiency. They would not grant me this and therefore I appeal to your Majesty to cause another and a better choice to be made.
Reply of the Lord Keeper.
Mr. Speaker, his Majesty notes in you what Gorgias noted in Plato, quod in oratoribus eridendis se monstrabat esse oratorem. So in your appeal, descendendo ascendis, your own self abasement has raised you in the opinion of all, by excusing yourself you show that you ought not to be excused. His Majesty not only approves but commends the choice of the Commons, and according to the usual style of parliament le Roy le voet, exivit verbum ex ore Regis.
Rejoinder of the Speaker.
As I cannot take back an olive branch as a sign of my peace and liberty, I have learned in the better school that obedience is better than sacrifice and will simply say Da Domine quod jubes et jube quod vis. But I hope your Majesty will support me in my defects. Your Majesty is a hereditary prince descended from both roses and who has united both kingdoms. At your first entry you performed miracles amid the fears excited by the death of the late queen, as the poet says, Mira cano sol occubuit nox nulla secuta est. There was a David in Hebron, not an Ishbosheth, to disturb your happy entry. The ambassadors of your people expressed their joy. This was not a sudden outbreak but a constant blessing for the continuance of the true religion against the malice of those who wished to ruin everything at one blow; but they were caught in their own snares. I recall these things because it is grateful to remember favours, non est dignus dandis qui non agit gratias datis. I remember past statutes and note two in particular, one in the 32nd Henry VIII, called Parliamentum Doctum, owing to the numerous good laws for the establishment of possessions, the other of 39 Elizabeth, called Parliamentum Pium by a bishop, because thereby persons were empowered to build hospitals without licence or papers called mortmagne in English and ad quod damnum, with other charitable laws. I also recall many gracious offers and other good provisions in the last two sessions. Your Majesty has now put forth your sceptre and caused all jealousy and distraction to cease, and that the memory of the former parliament be buried.
I therefore desire that mercy and truth may meet and justice and peace kiss each other, so that the world may say Ecce quam bonum et quam jucundum Regem et populum convenire in unum, and then for the perfecting of this work the worthy writs against monopolies, informers and regraters (nasconditore), may become law, together with a free pardon, after the fashion of the late queen, so that this parliament may be called felix, doctum et pium, for the good of your subjects without diminishing your revenues or derogating from your prerogatives, which in your Majesty's hands is a gold sceptre, but in the hands of others is a rod of iron. I need not speak in praise of the fundamental and common laws, veritas temporis filia. Hereditary monarchies are the best rule. Parliament is the best way to supply your Majesty's necessities, and leads to the loyalty of your subjects. The other way, by benevolences, they do not approve. Your subjects enjoy a free gospel, and your Majesty can be sure of their loyalty. Other securities are like the shield of Ajax more of a burden than a defence. They desire good laws for the establishment of religion to be confirmed, and that the generation of locusts, those Jesuits and seminary priests who used to lie hidden in holes and corners and are now coming out, may be carried away to the sea as by a strong east wind, by the execution of these laws. Queen Elizabeth lived and died in peace. The pope cursed but God blessed her, and with God as your friend, your Majesty will find safety in the ark of true religion, preserving you until in the fullness of years you find a peaceful haven in heaven. Then our prince will take up the sceptre you leave him. In due time may God restore the afflicted princess, her husband and their issue to the inheritance now usurped by their enemies. As Cato used to say, Hoc sentio, et Carthago destruenda so I say Hoc sentio et Palatenatus recuperanda; we should be the more confident of this because it served us as a sanctuary when religion was persecuted here. When the Lacedaemonians were asked why their city had no walls they answered that Concord formed their walls. Your Majesty is sole and complete sovereign under God; the ocean forms the outer bulwark of your monarchy which is fortified within with walls of bronze to wit, the bond of true religion. Happy the city of which it can be said like Jerusalem that it is united in itself. Neither is your rule confined to the limits of this kingdom, but extends to Ireland, where your Majesty's care has extinguished the disturbers of peace, and where measures have recently been taken for the establishment of religion and reforming the courts of justice by excluding those who disturbed the peace. I myself have seen that you have endowed churches from your own possessions, to the honour of yourself and all your successors. I wish our words to be few, true and weighty. However, we humbly beg your Majesty to grant us our ancient privileges so that we may proceed speedily to business, and our persons, goods and servants may be free from imprisonment, and so that we may speak freely, not doubting that we shall confine ourselves within the true limits of our duty. We humbly beg that your Majesty will grant an opportune time of access, and put a favourable interpretation upon all our actions. Finally, I protest that everything I have said proceeds from entire loyalty, and I therefore hope it will be graciously received and pardoned.
Enclosure.291. Speech of the Lord Keeper.
Mr. Speaker. His Majesty has heard your speech with equal patience and approval. It is a pity to cast down a fabric that cannot be restored in its pristine state. I observe these divisions in your speech; you say something of yourself, something of the acts of parliament, which are of two kinds, some fighting for life others already dead, that is some accepted and others rejected; something about common laws in general, something about the ordinary supply of princes, something of benevolences, something about true religion, something about recovering the lost from our enemies, something about keeping our own, and something about reforms in Ireland. There were four leading points, privileges, not being arrested, freedom to speak in your house and a good interpretation of all when you have done. I will reply point by point on his Majesty's behalf.
Firstly, his Majesty has not only extended the sceptre of Ahasuerus but has said Quae est petitio tua? dabetur tibi and has granted all your requests, and I can assure you of his special favour.
Secondly, we cannot deny God's blessing upon the king, in his peaceful accession and his miraculous preservation, with our joyful hopes for the future. All these ibunt in sœcula sœculorum.
Thirdly, as regards the acts of 30 Henry VIII and 39 Elizabeth, and the statutes of grace proposed in the last session which his Majesty wished to make Parliamentum gratiosum, and the pardon which may make this parliament munificum, his Majesty will take a course which will preserve the one and give life to the other, so that you may act as a good midwife at the birth.
Fourthly, as regards the last abortive session, quam animus meminisse horret, I have never read anything so extravagant as the article of the new creed, credo ecclesiam Romanam Catholicam. Parliaments naturally generate something. God and the king are opposed to nullity. The first parliament consisted of three persons who consulted together and said Faciamus hominem. God is a creator not a destroyer. Every consultation is for some good. Others may praise ancient laws. You have hitherto preserved the best laws, in my opinion lex oblivionis is the best. Let these abortive attempts be drowned in the River Lethe. I will remind you of a story of Cicero taken from Thucidides. The Thebans erected a bronze trophy to commemorate a victory over the Spartans, but when it was represented that this trophy perpetuated the memory of their disputes, they unanimously decided to destroy it in order not to leave any memorial of disputes between Greeks. I leave the application to you.
Fifthly, his Majesty will not confirm any plan which is not justifiable by the common laws.
Sixthly, about supplies, they gratify both the king and his subjects, as they come from the heart of the people and are taken to the treasury by their own hands. A benevolence is only an anchor and help in time of need, because parliaments are large bodies and move slowly.
The king was opposed to this way and would never have taken it unless forced by external pressure and strong representations at home. That benevolence was for the king's daughter, an example of greatness and a mirror of patience, so that no one can say it was not well employed.
Seventhly, his Majesty thanks you for your care for religion. Your house was anciently a chapel and may be styled non domus sed templum, the men there are so many ecclesiastics. His Majesty gives ample assurance that he esteems nothing so highly as this inestimable jewel of religion. Any scandals have been received not given. Like Alfonso, the great King of Aragon, he would desire all his subjects to be kings, and then they would be satisfied. He has never refrained from executing any laws except out of respect for a greater law, salus reipublicae, all others are finis sub fine. Our observation of laws is not for the sake of the laws themselves but for the state. All the laws are still in force; they are not for the abasement but for the propagation of the true religion, What knowest thou O man if the faithless wife may not be saved by her faithful husband. You have heard the comparison of his Majesty to a skilful horseman, used by Zachariah as a simile for God. Kings are like horsemen; the state is the horse, the laws the bridle, which must be held in a strong hand, not always tight, but somewhat remittit fertur equus, non amittet habenas, nevertheless, if Hagar becomes proud and insolent the slave and her son are driven forth. His Majesty's determination is that the son of the slave shall never inherit with the son of the free woman. He has given us, his royal chaplains, leave to remind him of this. God always has care of kings and kings can never have too much care of Him.
His Majesty also thanks you for your sentiments about the usurpation of the princess's dominions and the expulsion of his children from his inheritance. A good cause makes a good soldier, attollit vires militis causa. It is not impossible to recover the Palatinate. Meanwhile, you will do well in quoting Cato Carthago evertenda cum Palatinatu deglutinanda. We must recover it from those enemies who took it by force and fraud. The king knows, we know and would that all the people knew the care he has devoted to this question, Patrias deprehendere curas.
In the next place you will observe well the wooden walls of this kingdom, namely, the fleet, which is the special care of his Majesty, and like the sculptor who adorned the temple of Diana, although others bore the cost yet he had opportunities for putting his name in various places, so it cannot be denied that that noble lord has devoted seven years to study and has now become master in that art and can carve his name upon his labours, although with a proper difference from his master.
Lastly, about the reform of Ireland, as Pliny said of Trajan, that his care did not extend to Italy alone so that his Majesty has not shed his rays upon these realms alone but upon others also, illuminating them by his good laws, and although that kingdom brings little profit to the crown, yet it adds greatly to its glory.
And now, Mr. Speaker, his Majesty freely concedes to you without prejudice or diminution all the privileges and liberties granted to any of your predecessors. I will only add the saying of Valerius Maximus, Quid Cato sine libertate, quid Libertas sine Catone. What is Wisdom without Liberty to display it or Liberty without Wisdom to use it?
[Italian.]
March 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
292. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Secretary Conovel has dismissed the Capuchin (fn. 10) in his king's name, while expressing an inclination towards a reasonable composition, but it would be too serious to place in the hands of others the boy who is the basis and foundation of this realm. After this the Capuchin went to take leave of the prince, who said the same as Conovel, adding opportunely that the princes of Germany would consider well before they drew near to the house of Austria, hinting that Bavaria ought to stand aside and not draw on himself the perils of others in the war they are perhaps planning here against that house. The friar is quite satisfied with the prince's attitude, but he noticed that they would be glad to prevent him going to the king again, while he on his part desired to take leave of him. He seemed to leave unwillingly and would have been glad of the continuation of the negotiations here.
I could have wished they had known the art here of keeping the negotiations hanging on, so as to complete their preparations and render Bavaria more suspect to the Spaniards, or even to win him over entirely and separate him from them. On the other hand I try to keep alive the Capuchin's hopes of a composition, and point out to him that for many reasons Bavaria should remain neutral and await events. The prince assured him that they would never undertake a war of religion, and promised him again to treat the Catholics here well. On the other hand the Capuchin assured him that the pope would enjoin all modesty and obedience upon the Catholics. He repeated to me in a long discourse that without the hope of making the son a Catholic, they could not in conscience agree to the restitution of the Palatine even with the pope's consent, as no Catholic power could possibly come to his assistance. The French ambassador laments the rejection of this proposal and believes that the English can do nothing effective without making an agreement with Bavaria.
London, the 8th March, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
293. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Duke of Bavaria through his dependants here says that he will not treat, adding that according to the marriage of England he will have to be either Spanish or French.
The union they propose to make in Germany under the protection of this crown, by joining the Lutherans and Catholics together is the very course which has ruined Germany and profited the emperor, a clear index that their only desire is to interest this crown against the Palatine, that is to say against England.
The proposal to marry Madame to the Infant Carlos is confirmed, and they have said something about the Infanta of Spain and the king's brother, but they will not listen to this on any account.
Lord Ritz stands between proposing and listening. Those who want to upset this union raise the point of the Spanish match, which the Catholic ambassador asserts is arranged, and they must not lose one kinsman in gaining another or make a match and bind themselves to a war for the Palatinate. Ritz asserts that he is not here to deceive and, once his king is assured they will treat and of success, he will send two ambassadors, of whom he will be one. The ministers here have assured him of a favourable disposition, and accordingly he has sent to England for orders from his king, as I do not believe that he has brought much in the way of instructions.
Paris, the 8th March, 1624.
[Italian.]
March 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
294. To the Ambassador in France.
The emperor has nominated a Grison to reside at the French Court, ostensibly as a response but really in order to upset the marriage negotiations with England which may take place. In England a Capuchin (fn. 11) shows great activity in advancing negotiations between Bavaria and the Palatine, with the object of diverting that king from other resolutions, which you will understand. This will serve for information.
Ayes, 127.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
March 9.
Misc.
Cod. No. 63.
Venetian
Archives.
295. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News has come from Cologne that negotiations are on foot to bring into the league with France the Kings of England, Sweden and Denmark and the Hanse Towns, as a direct menace to the house of Austria. This has caused them great umbrage here, and they proposed to send to Saxony M. de Rech to find out what is taking place, but decided not to as he could not arrive in time for the assembly to be held in that province, the result of which they await with some anxiety.
Vienna, the 9th March, 1624.
[Italian; copy.]

Footnotes

1 He died suddenly of apoplexy on the morning of Monday, the 26th February new style. Birch: Court and Times of James I, vol ii, page 449.
2 A Cordelier named Gray. For his negotiations see Memoires inédits du Comte Leveneur de Tillières, ed. Hippeau, pages 52–6.
3 Salvietti in his newsletter of the 8th March says that an English ship from Virginia made the capture. They found that the Spaniard had orders to fight all the English he met, to take the ships and throw the crews into the sea. This was communicated by Buckingham to parliament. Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 27962c.
4 See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 166. Journals of the House of Lords, vol. iii, page 209.
5 With respect to the speculations aroused by Rich's mission, there is an interesting letter of the Ambassador Herbert to Prince Charles, dated the 2nd March, 1623, o.s. He writes: "I take the boldness to advertise your Highness that it is very ordinarily said here that the business of my lord of Kensington is to demand Mademoiselle de Montpensier in marriage for your Highness. I am also, out of the same respect, to tell your Highness that Madame Henrietta, the king's sister, who heretofore did not only hearken most willingly to those her servants who on any occasion did nominate your Highness, but did speak as favourably of our religion as could be expected in one of her bringing up, hath now, since this bruit, so changed her style, that though she hath said nothing manifestly opposite to the former language she held, yet hath she uttered some such little passions, that the Queen, her mother, hath thought fit to command her not to declare herself any way." State Papers, Foreign, France, vol. 72.
6 The Speaker was Sir Thomas Crew. His reply to the king's speech is in S.P. Dom., CLIX, no. 66.
7 The names of four of these, Windsor, Morley, Vaux and Montague, are given in the despatch of Moresini, no. 306 at page 247 below. In the Journal of the House of Lords, however, these four are entered as attending for every day of the parliament up to the date of this despatch.
8 Sir Robert Stuart is apparently meant. See Rusdorf: Memoires, vol. i, page 274; and page 111 above.
9 For these four speeches, see S.P. Dom., CLIX, nos. 64, 65, 66, 67.
10 Don Francisco della Rota.
11 Don Francisco della Rota.