Venice
March 1624, 11-20

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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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240-248

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'Venice: March 1624, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 240-248. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88904 Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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March 1624

March 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
296. MARC' ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The negotiations of the Capuchin friar in London about Bavaria and the Palatine have fallen through, as your Serenity will have heard. The queen here showed me letters from her agent saying that the friar always insisted upon having the little prince educated in Bavaria or by some other Catholic prince. The King of England therefore dismissed him saying that he knew no prince in Europe better fitted than himself to educate his children in affairs, and that it would prove the best way to get his own son poisoned by the Spaniards by means of the Jesuits, who would like to see the little prince become the heir to all these realms if he were brought up in their principles and entirely dependent upon them. The friar accordingly came away empty handed.
This princess seems well content with the resolution of the parliament, and every day she tells me some news from England affecting her interests, but as they are matters of no great consequence I do not report them, though I enclose a copy of the speech made by the King of Great Britain at the opening of the parliament.
The Hague, the 11th March, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.297. Speech of the king to his parliament, the 29th February, 1623, old style.
[French; four pages.]
13 March.
Cinque Savii
alla Mercanzia,
Lettere. Venetian
Archives.
298. The FIVE SAGES of the MERCANZIA to the PODESTA of CHIOGGIA.
We notified Rinaldo Niù, captain, and Philip Risop of London, scrivener, of the ship Fenice, and Rudolph Simes to be present within three days to see the seals removed from the bag in which the money found in the said captain's possession on the 4th January last was placed and the contents examined, but we had no reply except from Battista Catanes, the captain's representative, which we forward to you in order that you may complete the affair.
[Italian.]
March 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
299. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As I advised a week ago, the Spanish ambassadors had audience of his Majesty and in Buckingham's presence complained of his having slandered their king in his relation to parliament the day before. Among many other bitter things they solemnly stated that if any Spanish grandees had similarly attacked the honour of the King of Great Britain, their heads would have paid the penalty. The king answered this sinister office with the usual generalities, neither excusing nor blaming Buckingham, but referring the matter to parliament, as he had not been present at the relation. Buckingham said something to excuse himself, maintaining that he spoke without saying anything offensive against that king, but merely telling the truth as a good servant of his sovereign. Accordingly the demand of the ambassadors was brought before both houses of parliament, where they unanimously, without exception, declared the duke innocent, and declared not only that he had committed no excess, but deserved commendation as a good patriot and a loyal minister of the king, and that the house should devise some manner of compensating the duke for such an injury. Certainly everyone marvels at so imprudent an action, so inappropriate on every consideration, as in fact Buckingham never said anything against the King of Spain, in short it only damages the Spaniards themselves while benefiting Buckingham, who by this action is established strongly under the protection of parliament and no other way could have served his interests better. I am assured that the ambassadors became aware of their mistake and afterwards repented bitterly. Rumour states that they asked for his head, but it was only in the indirect way I mentioned. I enclose a copy of Buckingham's relation.
On Sunday last all the members of the lower house took the communion, that is their false sacrament. The prince was present at all the parliamentary sessions of this week with the greatest diligence, and increasing his reputation every moment. Both chambers have agreed on the course to follow, namely, that they must abandon all dealings with Spain both upon the marriage and the Palatinate. The reasons for this were discussed and are now being elaborated, and perhaps they will issue a public manifesto. Some of the members attempted to send this resolution to the king, who is now at Theobalds, to obtain his ratification, but he has not yet allowed this, upon the pretext that he is not very well. If it is only a pretext it may be only the result of his natural slowness, or because he is awaiting the arrival of Father Maestro, who is momentarily expected from Spain with fresh proposals, although every one marvels at the incongruity of sending a friar as ambassador for the present affairs and times. Certainly the king will be practically forced to approve of the decision of the parliament now that matters have gone so far, so that even if he wished to draw back it would no longer be in his power to do so, although on the other hand I foresee and remind them when I have an opportunity that if they let the Spaniards gain a few days it will mean the gain of a whole year for them.
After the first step of breaking off the negotiations, the second must follow of necessity, namely, the steps to be taken for the recovery of the Palatinate, whether by immediate war or by diversion, and all this will of necessity proceed without obstacles. His Majesty has caused some dissatisfaction in the lower house because he wished practically to prescribe the limits of their liberties, forbidding them to make a too rigorous examination of his ministers, although he gave them free course in case any had received bribes and violated justice. It is thought that these provisoes are made with special regard to the Lord Keeper and the Lord Treasurer, ministers who were formerly greatly hated and guilty in the general opinion.
The six Catholic peers have re-entered parliament, as they have changed their minds and taken the oath which they previously refused. It is not known whether the change was due to their consciences or from the absolution of their confessors. There is much thunder against the Catholics and lightning is feared. They are making enquiries as to how many there may be in the kingdom, and are hunting for some suspected of sedition, whom they have not yet found.
Orders have been issued for a review of the royal ships and that merchantmen must not leave without licence, and they have stopped five destined for the East Indies. They are making an inquest of all arms whether in public or in private places. They are announcing that all those who have suffered any harm from the Spaniards must notify it to a certain magistrate, and the merchants here have written to their agents in Spain to wind up their affairs as soon as possible. They have sent letters to the King of Denmark, the Duke of Saxony and the Margrave of Brandenburg, urging them to hold fast for a little while longer, as after the parliament has taken some decisive steps Anstruther will leave for them immediately with proposals helpful for the general and for them.
London, the 15th March, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
300. Statement of the Duke of Buckingham. (fn. 1)
The king sent letters from Hampton Court to the Earl of Bristol, communicating this affair, dated the 3rd October, 1622, which were read openly by the Secretary Calvert. After this Porter was sent by the King of Spain with several commissions and this in particular, not to remain ten days before compelling them to give some definite reply. Porter, who was a creature of the Count of Olivares, who brought him up, not receiving any reply from Bristol, went himself to Olivares, who expressed surprise, saying he knew nothing about it, and he became so disgusted with his creature that when Buckingham went to Madrid Olivares told him that he hated the very ground Porter stood on. The prince, to put an end once for all to any more delay obtained leave from the king to go to Spain. Buckingham mentions the delay in permitting the prince to visit his lady, the unbecoming mode in which the interview was effected etc.
[Italian; 12 pages.]
March 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
301. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Dutch ambassadors arrived as reported and were better received than any other ministers of those States ever were before. I sent my coach to meet them and went privately to visit them the day after their arrival. Two days after this they had public audience of the king. He welcomed them graciously, protested his eternal friendship and said they were united by triple interests, in the nearness of state and in religion. On the following day they went to the prince from whom they received every testimony of affection and esteem. They also saw Buckingham, who went to their embassy on the preceding evening with great friendliness, without staying to make a formal call, at the very moment when they were at supper. After these three offices they called upon me, nothing else having intervened, and presented me with a letter from the States, of which I enclose a copy. They assured me of their great indebtedness to your Serenity for your prompt and opportune assistance, and told me they would do as much for your Excellencies. I replied suitably, pointing out the remarkable friendship of your Serenity in agreeing to a league which inevitably cast upon you the burden of being the first to find funds, an argument of the most sincere affection. They have not yet begun their negotiations; they will consist in accommodating themselves to the king's slightest wish. It is thought that they will conclude an offensive league and that they will begin with the sea forces, they being easier and also more ready. The French ambassador has only called upon Joachim, owing to the ancient quarrel of the French crown with Aerssens, although even before the latter's arrival I renewed my representations to France, as it would advantage the public service for this quarrel to be ended once for all, but it proved useless. The Spanish ambassadors remonstrate about the unusual cordiality shown to the Dutch. The Spaniards are practically confined to their embassy from the fear instilled into them that it would be dangerous for them to show themselves to the people in their present mood, as indeed it would.
Sir [Isaac] Wake was made a gentleman of the king's privy chamber which is a mark of honour highly esteemed. I have abstained of late from going to his Majesty in order not to give greater umbrage to the Spaniards, because I did not think it necessary in the present disposition of affairs, and to keep out of the way of any importunate demands. The captain sent by Mansfelt has been to see me, doing so, he said, by special command of his master. He remarked that he had come to ask his Majesty for some ships on which he could take Mansfelt in safety to Italy. He asked my advice about this, as instructed, and because he found the aspect of affairs here considerably changed since he started. I merely pointed out to him the opposition his request might encounter, although I doubt whether he told me the full extent of his commissions, and because I believe that the public service requires that Mansfelt shall not leave Germany, away from which he might be a fish out of his element. I thought fit to make some allusion to the advantages he would himself enjoy by remaining in that province, where he had acquired so much experience and repute. The captain also told me something of a passport which Mansfelt had sent to ask for in France, although he knew it was unsafe to use it. He talked to me at length on some important particulars about the disputes between Brunswick and Mansfelt, the last defeat of the former and the present disarmament of the latter, which would be worth reporting only you will have them from the proper quarter.
The Capuchin is going to the Hague with the intention of speaking to the Palatine. The king sent word to him that he has thought of a solution of the difficulty about the son, and for the rest seemed inclined to negotiate.
I received the ducal missives of the 14th February last week, but of the ordinary packet of the 23rd, which should have come this week, only a few letters have reached me with the news sent from Antwerp by the master of the posts, Roleans, that the courier had been robbed and the letters scattered, without giving any particulars about time or place. In my opinion he is much of a Spaniard, and the delay of my last despatches has been due to his negligence or malice. This final loss has much distressed me because by my reckoning those letters should bring me the reply to my letters about my last audience of the king and the embassy of Conoval, and I ask that the duplicates may be sent to me by way of France, while I shall do the same. These ill offices constitute a great impediment to business, and I do not know why these blows have fallen so frequently.
London, the 15th March, 1624.
Postscript.—To-day after dinner twelve deputies of the upper house and twenty-four of the lower went to the king with the resolution reported in my last.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
302. Letter of the STATES GENERAL of the NETHERLANDS to the AMBASSADOR VALARESSO.
As the interests of the two republics are united in the negotiations taking place at the English Court upon the subjects apparently produced by the prince's return from Spain, and as we know your affection, we have ordered the Sieurs of Sommelsdych and Joachim, our ambassadors sent to second and facilitate any generous steps taken by his Majesty, to salute your Excellency on our behalf and ask for the help of your experience and counsel.
The Hague, the 9th February, 1624.
[French.]
March 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
303. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sillery's last despatch to Puisieulx brings a practically absolute inclination to yield the pass to the Spaniards and to evacuate Italy. I am told that the negotiations with England outweigh everything else, and every means will be tried to break them off. I think the chief basis will be the proposal of another marriage. However, the ministers seem on the alert for every trick and will not be easily deceived. I will try to learn the secret.
The dealings with England progress. Lord Ritz has already sent twice to his king and is beginning to negotiate with his Majesty and the ministers. He told me that affairs at home were taking a good turn, and the King of Denmark had offered to devote everything to the common cause if the King of Great Britain would take decisive action with him. He seems steadily to lean towards a junction of the two kingdoms, and to feel sincerely towards France.
Bonicio has returned from England and they propose to send thither at once Cheton, one of his Majesty's Scottish guards, (fn. 2) who has good relations there, and a knowledge of current affairs and the marriage, as well as to spy and keep an eye upon the French ambassador, as there is scant confidence between him and the Queen Mother. The King of England has already been assured from here of their excellent disposition to strengthen friendly relations and to marry Madame, but declaring that they wish to make the marriage before treating for a league or making war, for they cannot sell the princess as the price of tumult. It is much that France does not aim at Spanish subtlety, and it is also known that mistrust of the Spaniards and occasions of offence increase daily. Once the marriage is made they will do what is necessary for the common service.
The English here are somewhat mistrustful, saying they perceive the French want to lead others into war while keeping at peace themselves. They want therefore to unite the Palatinate and the Valtelline into one common cause, owing to the fear that if the French receive satisfaction they will be left to fight alone. We shall know better in a few days. Here they will try their hardest to arrange the marriage.
They are ready to help the Dutch, thinking that the more they do so the more readily the King of Great Britain will consent to an understanding with France, as they know he likes to take the side of the strongest.
Paris, the 15th March, 1624.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
304. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The other day the Grand Vizier sent for the ambassadors of France and Flanders to ask for a loan from their Aleppo merchants to the pasha there. They took the opportunity to complain about the capture of two of their ships by Barbary pirates, France threatening that his sovereign would send a powerful fleet against them. The Vizier replied that the Sultan did not wish the subjects of his present friends to be molested and remarked it was not seemly to talk about fleets. Ultimately he promised to give orders for the recovery of the ships. The ambassadors returned home and sent their secretaries to England and me, telling us what had happened, and asking if we would help them. We both promised readily to do so, for the sake of doing something against the pirates; but we felt that simple orders would produce no effect, and we ought to insist upon something more, especially upon the execution of the ministers, as now all the ports of this empire receive pirates, share their booty and provide them with the means of disposing of it, and without such help they could not remain long at sea. The exemplary punishment of some ministers would stop this. We concluded, however, that it would be best to make strong representations jointly, as we could not trust the Captain Pasha.
I think that France and Flanders recognised the force of our reasoning, as they took no further steps about obtaining the orders, and if we can join to ask the king for such orders to the Captain Pasha, that would provide the best remedy. The English ambassador told me that when he happened to see the Vizier he had spoken to him on the subject, and he seemed to agree. The Captain Pasha has summoned pirate bertons from Barbary to join his fleet, and six have already reached the Archipelago, three near Sapienza and eight more are expected, whose purpose cannot be doubted.
The Vigne of Pera, the 16th March, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 16.
Misc.
Cod. No. 63.
Venetian
Archives.
305. MARC' ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The rumours of a league between France, England and other powers persist, with the addition that very soon the Most Christian and the King of Great Britain will make representations here for the reinstatement of the Palatine in his dominions, although we have heard nothing about it. They say, however, that France is changing all her ambassadors abroad.
The Spaniards, to make a show of doing something to keep England in the lethargy in which she has been hitherto, are pretending here to insist upon an imperial diet to decide these differences in the empire, as if everyone did not know that this could do no good, since Saxony, Brunswick and the other Protestant princes would not go, to avoid recognising Bavaria as elector, who would not go either if he were not confirmed in what he has obtained from the emperor. If the emperor should die at the present moment we should see great disturbances in the whole empire. To induce Bavaria to restore Mannheim and Heidelburg to the Palatine, the Spaniards offer, if the duke will give sureties for this, to give up Frankenthal first, though with the usual provision of keeping their garrison there. They hope in this way to afford great satisfaction to England and afterwards to find some compensation, but it is unlikely that Bavaria will agree so easily to relinquish those fortresses.
Vienna, the 16th March, 1624.
[Italian; copy.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
306. MARC' ANTONIO MORESINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Conversation at Court turns mostly upon what steps may be expected from the parliament in England. The queen's letters relate the complaints made by the Spanish ambassadors to the king against Buckingham, for having aspersed the Catholic king and his government in parliament. The partisans of the Palatine here have also heard of the new oath imposed upon the members of the upper house by the prince, after having taken it himself, and that Lords Windsor, Morlsi, Vauss and Montague withdrew from the parliament, to avoid taking it, as all four are Catholics and lean to the Spaniards, from what they say.
The Hague, the 18th March, 1624.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
307. SIG. ALVISE CONTARINI, destined as Ambassador to the States, reports a conversation with the Dutch Ambassador.
The ambassador spoke to me of the mission of Aerssens and Joachim to England. He said that the prince grew more and more averse from the marriage with the Infanta, and the Spaniards fearing that the king might fall in with his son's ideas promised the restitution of the Palatinate fortresses within six months with a declaration to join with England to compel Bavaria if he will not consent. The king did not seem disinclined for this, to the great advantage of the Spaniards. But the prince had not changed his mind for this and so he tried to please the parliament from which they hope for great good. He added: I may tell you in confidence that this mission was not without the prince's foreknowledge and approval. They will leave with all speed and reach London before parliament assembles. My masters neither claim nor expect help from that part in the present emergencies, especially in money. It will suffice if the king does not unite with the Spaniards, and their own money will serve to obtain men in any numbers without trouble. He praised Aerssens and Joachim, especially the latter, who was his colleague in an embassy to that kingdom, telling me that their offices would merely consist in supporting the prince, which would be a great gain. In order that this mission might not arouse ill feeling in France, as has happened before, they propose to send a similar one thither, not without the hope of profiting by this change of ministers.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 169.
2 Presumably Sir John Seton, who had been a captain in the king's regiment of Scottish Guards since 1614. Francisque-Michel: Les Eccossais en France, vol. ii, page 298.