Venice
May 1624, 22-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1912

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315-328

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'Venice: May 1624, 22-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 315-328. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88910 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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Contents

May 1624

May 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
396. GIOVANNI FRANCESCO TRIVISANO, Venetian Secretary at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Spaniards here are watching nothing else except the declarations of France and England about the restitution of the Palatinate and for the restitution of the Valtelline.
Milan, the 22nd May, 1624.
[Italian.]
May 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
397. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Mansfeld has had the reception here that I indicated. We ambassadors went to meet him and met in a garden near St. Denis. He said he had gone to England in the first place because of orders from France, but also to seek employment and advantages for the league. He detailed the presents and honours he had received in England, the praiseworthy disposition and firm resolution of the Prince of Wales and Buckingham, and the reluctance of the king to move, though he ultimately yielded to the wishes of his son and favourite. He showed a paper from that king expressing esteem for him and a desire to express this to France, and stating that he has granted the count 10,000 foot, 3,000 horse and six guns for the common service and especially for the recovery of the Palatinate, to be employed where that king and the Most Christian may decide. He also showed the copy of another paper in which he binds himself to surrender the first if France will do nothing. He spoke of the difficulties he had had with the king, and the suspicion he had that the paper might be published and cause offence out of season, but the prince and Buckingham prevailed upon him by their arguments. He declared that he could serve both causes. It was a great advantage to have induced England to bear half the expense. Nothing could make the business safer than committing England, which had always held back, as it would bring in all Germany; all the princes would rouse themselves and unite. They could not gain anything better than England, as with that king doubtful France would never take any resolute step, but with him on their side the league would obtain every advantage. The King of Great Britain has granted him 35,000l. sterling a month and the king Palatine promised 15,000l. He proposed to form his force of Swiss, French, Germans and English. For the purposes of the league and England, Alsace would suit as from thence he could help the Grisons, join the Swiss and proceed to Burgundy or the Tyrol. It would also alarm Germany and Bavaria and so help the Palatinate. He said a great deal more, and in particular that he had had a very confidential interview (s'è grandemente ristretto) with the Prince of Wales and Buckingham, that the purpose of that king is not to hunt after the [plate] fleet (dar la caccia alla flotta), a very unsound plan, but they are determined to double the number of the royal ships, and attack the Spanish fleet holding Cadiz, and direct their enterprise against the Spanish dominions, in order to occupy Cadiz, and not abandon it, as had been done before (et tentar impresa nelle Spagnole per tener et non abandonarla come fatto altre volte di Cadice). He said he had an understanding also with Berne.
We told him he must aim at serving the league and not bind himself to the interests of the Palatinate. He must not threaten war on Bavaria because France has a doubtful leaning towards that prince, and seems anxious to avoid open war. The ambassador of Savoy said that his Highness had sent letters to the King of Great Britain and to Wake, to favour his cause.
The count expresses his intention to take his steps immediately; he knows the trend of the decisions. The first step has been to allow him to come freely to this city.
Paris, the 23rd May, 1624.
[Italian.]
May 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
398. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Many couriers from Spain to England have passed through these last days. They are expecting Don Giovanni di Mendoza back. The Earl of Carlisle is expected at Court in a day or two. They expect from him clear decisions and solid grounds for their hopes and for the negotiations with France.
Paris, the 23rd May, 1624.
[Italian.]
May 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
399. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I can only advise your Serenity of unpleasant matters, uncertain in their issue or only certain for harm. I have nothing further for certain about the Spanish ambassadors except that not only has Inoiosa not left, but he is staying on for some days. The true reason remains ambiguous as usual. The prince, Buckingham, the Council, acting in concert with parliament, have all urged strongly upon his Majesty some action against Inoiosa. When he went to take leave of the king, they did not give it absolutely but expressed a wish to see him again. They have searched for precedents in the archives here, and have even studied how far the privileges of ambassadors extend. They have found a book entitled On the Ambassador, written in Spanish, where it is laid down by a decision of Philip III that in serious cases the envoy is subject to the law of the land where he is staying. The Secretary Conway went to tell Inoiosa in the king's name that he could not dismiss him so soon, as every day he found the statement against Buckingham intrinsically bad and devoid of truth, and that in order to exonerate himself he must make public the original authors, and that they would complain to the King of Spain. This office moved the ambassador greatly and aroused his wrath, as he took it practically as an arrest. I have all this from a person whom Conway himself told. They have not sent him his present yet and refused a ship to take him across the sea, with the excuse, however, that there were none. The Council decidedly refused him a, passport. On the other hand the delay in his departure admits of an interpretation propitious to the ambassadors.
A courier has reached them from Spain in all diligence, and he had orders, if Inoiosa had left, to turn him back. He certainly comes about the Palatinate. The true particulars are not known but many could guess them. I hear also on good authority that the king has not absolutely broken off the marriage negotiations, and the ambassadors say they are waiting for audience, having fresh business, for which Inoiosa has stayed on some days. If he leaves, which certainty will not be before the end of the parliament, the same courier brings word that Father Maestro must leave with him to proceed to the court of Rome, as I hear. The king has looked out a jewel worth about 3,000l. to give to Inoiosa, and I surmise that in the end he will have his ship. These things which look like contradictions are easily reconciled by those who know that the king is torn between the offices of the Spaniards and the pressure of his son and his party, and is now drawn to one side now to the other, or else by duplicity he aims at apparently feeding the one while actually satisfying the other.
Bristol still remains in his house. The order was given in a letter from Conway stating that it was the king's will he should remain there until he had satisfactorily met certain questions. Meanwhile he is full of confidence and says he is ready to answer. He has asked to see the king under the pretext of having something to tell him from the King of Spain. He told those who informed me that that monarch expressed his readiness to give up the part of the Palatinate he holds in eight days, and he freely maintains that all the past actions of the Spaniards have been sincere and right like his own. I am probably not wide of the mark if I imagine that his ultimate object is to lay upon Buckingham all the blame for breaking off the marriage, but his report about their readiness to give up the Palatinate does not agree with the news of the new fortifications they are making there. Some gentlemen have been to visit Bristol, and his affairs hang in the balance. Although I should have called upon him as an ambassador returned, I have abstained from doing so as he is a semi-prisoner of the king and absolutely hostile to the prince and Buckingham.
Parliament has not yet sentenced the treasurer, but a very severe sentence is hourly expected. He has borne himself with courage all these days, defended himself with ability and enjoyed in great measure the favour of the king, who displayed it, however, with his customary arts and precautions. But to begin at the beginning I see no demonstration against the Spanish ambassadors. If Bristol does not fall, and the treasurer does not perish, Buckingham will be ruined, and with him every help of good will be lost. It they go unpunished his favour with the king has already diminished if not utterly gone, and they will have the skill and opportunity to avenge themselves. With Buckingham ruined the prince will lose his right arm and he will never venture anything again, and after that example no one will join him.
A letter written by Friar Hyacinth recently to the Prince of Portugal, who is staying at the Hague, was shown to me in great confidence, although I was not allowed to take a copy. After thanking him for favour shown to his companion he advanced arguments, expressed with Capuchin simplicity, in favour of an arrangement between the Palatine and Bavaria which his companion had already advocated and it really appears, if there is such a thing as sincerity, that these Capuchins are not considering one whit the interests of the Spaniards, they may even desire to depress them, and they only seek an advantage for the Catholic religion by this composition and by having the Palatine's son as a pledge. The king has seen the letter, although some passages touch him closely, especially one which says that the Palatine thinks his country unfortunate if it depends upon help from England.
London, the 24th May, 1624.
[Italian.]
May 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
400. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Buckingham remains ill of a tertian fever; an unfortunate sickness for public affairs. He was bled three times; but it is not considered dangerous although he has a weak constitution, is anxious in mind and his family suffer from a serious trouble of the head. The common people, as usual, believe him poisoned. The prince is very anxious about his health and sees him frequently. The king has been to visit him once, coming to this city on purpose. He seemed distressed and enquires regularly after his health; but these signs of affection are too fallacious, and the heart of the king in particular is inscrutable. As sympathy of ideas is one of the foundations of affection and favour I imagine that the lack of it in Buckingham must affect his position with the king.
The proclamation against the religious has been published, and I enclose a copy. It was posted up to the sound of trumpets and drums, and a great crowd collected at the Spanish embassy, as a sign of contempt for the ambassadors and not without some danger, while they felt seriously alarmed. It is considered certain that they will dismiss the parliament to-morrow week, and as they give the religious about five weeks' grace to get away it is supposed that the king intended to give an apparent satisfaction to the parliament by the proclamation, and once that is over, do nothing, profiting by the lapse of time.
The subsidy bill will certainly pass and they will try by strict conditions to bind the treasurers proposed to control it, not to employ the money upon anything except the four public needs I reported. But if the king has no iron sword to use against enemies, he has that of authority to sever all obligations.
Carlisle does not leave, although they say his baggage has gone. The true reason is the king's irresolution or rather his resolution not to separate from Spain. The French ambassador laments this tardiness, saying they are all well disposed on that side, and they ought not to let the opportunity slip. I remarked to him that the prudence of France ought to make good the weakness of England, but the wisest recognise the great difficulty of any results from those negotiations either.
Some of the Catholics here have got a Benedictine friar to draw up a petition in their favour to the Most Christian, of which I enclose a copy. The ambassador approved and it may be received in France at this moment. I remarked to the religious who informed me and asked my opinion, by way of friendly counsel, that the safest course for the Catholics would be not to depend upon a foreign sovereign, as such dependence was only useful for a time, but variable owing to the variety of interests and suspect owing to the jealous character of princes and therefore might lead them to the brink of a precipice.
Sir [Isaac] Wake left last Tuesday. He travels through France, going slowly and stopping some days at Turin. He seems full of hope that they will take a proper course here, I do not know whether he is deceived or whether he wishes to deceive. He assured me that he would ask for nothing except on condition that they first did what was necessary here. When he took leave of the prince his Highness charged him in particular to assure your Serenity of his good-will and of his desire to maintain intimate relations. He had some idea of sending a letter and when told that that would be unprecedented, he answered that neither was there another prince of his age, nor a similar state of affairs. I cannot say for certain whether this idea took shape as Wake said nothing to me about it. I know, however, that he excused himself for not having written from Turin to his Highness after the removal of the late Secretary Mora, (fn. 1) whom he could trust, and asked what he should do now. The prince charged him to write, directing the letters to himself adding that others would not presume to look at them and the king would refrain from opening them. I hear on good authority that the prince is raising money from the merchants; the real object does not appear, but perhaps he means to help Mansfelt. His Highness certainly enjoys great esteem, and every one would like to see him with absolute control. I do not doubt but the object or rather the desire of many of the leading men is to take the reins of govern- ment out of the king's hand by degrees, leaving him to his pleasures, and to let the prince have the control of affairs.
The negotiations of the Dutch ambassadors are being reduced to good trim. They will certainly have a succour of 6,000 foot. Everything will be completed by the 7th prox. and they may begin to beat the drum for them. A fight has taken place in the Channel between the Dutch ships and the Dunkirkers, two Spaniards were sunk with the loss of many soldiers, four others retreated to the Downs in English jurisdiction; but they are surrounded by twelve Dutch men of war which abstain from attacking them out of respect for this crown; they will fall by siege if in no other way. The Dutch ambassadors, however, this day made application to the prince about them, moving others to back their claims. They hope to obtain satisfaction and in one way or another feel sure of capturing them all.
London, the 24th May, 1624.
Postscript.—The lord treasurer has at length been condemned to lose all his offices, and declared incapable of holding new ones, to expulsion from parliament and the payment of 50,000l. to his Majesty with imprisonment in the Tower at his pleasure and perpetual banishment to twelve miles from the Court.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
401. Petition of the English Catholics to Louis XIII.
We, the bishop and Catholics of England, petition your Majesty showing that whereas the present parliament, with unheard of violence not only desires the execution of the old ordinances against them but to make new ones, so cruel that their execution will deprive them of their goods, liberty and lives, they have recourse to his Most Christian Majesty, following the example of St. Thomas of Canterbury, who had recourse to King Louis of France when banished by Henry II, and was by his influence restored to his country and see, and also the example of other leading clergy in the time of Queen Elizabeth who having a process at Rome begged King Henry the Great to protect them which he readily did, through his ambassador with Clement VIII bringing a difficult affair to a happy conclusion. The present affair is even more important, being one of right and justice, as one may fear that they mean to strike at the root of the tree and extirpate the Catholic faith with its professors. Our hope for an alliance between our prince and your Majesty's sister invites us to seek protection for those who will always be most devoted to your service; may it please your Majesty, therefore, by the blood of the Redeemer, to consider our afflictions and receive the petition presented on behalf of the most noble and honourable Catholics of this realm by me, their sole bishop who have enjoyed unequalled tranquillity for many years in your famous city of Paris, and am now overtaken in my old age by a dangerous infirmity, begging you to take as a mirror the heroic acts of Louis and of Henry the Great, and in this affair of much greater consequence to give instructions to the Count of Tilliers, your ambassador, as you consider best for the preservation of the Catholic faith and for the prevention of those rigorous decrees devised against our persons and our religion, and thus induce us to daily present the sacrifice of our hearts to your Majesty, to whom we wish all prosperity.
Your Majesty's most humble servant.
D.B.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
402. Proclamation against Jesuits, Seminary priests and other Religious, who are to leave the Realm. (fn. 2)
His Majesty being informed by the Lords and Commons now assembled in parliament of the danger from the multitude of Jesuits, Seminary priests and others who hold orders under the see of Rome, through their audacity in perverting his Majesty's subjects from the established religion and from their obedience to his Majesty, has judged it expedient to proclaim that all Jesuits, Seminary priests and all those holding orders under the see of Rome now resident in this kingdom, shall withdraw from the realm before the 14th June next to cross to foreign parts where wind and weather serve never to return, and all those who remain after that date will be subject to the utmost rigour of the law.
Dated at Greenwich, the 6th May, 1624.
[Italian; four pages.]
May 25.
Misc.
Cod. No. 62.
Venetian
Archives.
403. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier has come from Brussels with the news that the Prince of England and Mansfelt are at the Hague to arrange with the Palatine and the Prince of Orange about the levies of troops and the manner of waging war. Here they manifest no alarm because the Most Christian is not concerned, but by the advice of Spain they are contemplating overtures for an accommodation with the Palatine, chiefly in order to lull England to sleep, in the assurance that if they offer to treat he will absolutely relinquish every idea of war.
Vienna, the 25th May, 1624.
[Italian; copy.]
May 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
404. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters of the 25th inst. from Aleppo have reached the English ambassador this week with news that five bertons of Tunis under Ali, a renegade of Ferara and Mustapha, Sanson's successor, after burning two Venetian ships in the port of Saline in Cyprus, proceeded to Alexandretta where they inflicted damage to the amount of 50,000 thalers belonging to French, English and Flemish subjects. I went to the Caimicam Giorgi and made a strong complaint about the excesses of the pirates. He assured me that the ministers at Saline should be soundly punished. The fault lay with those who introduced these pirate bertons at Tunis and Algiers, who were English, French and Flemings. They taught the people of Barbary, who before that time had not known what bertons were. He said he would give this matter his chief attention.
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th May, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
405. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters of the 27th ult. have reached me from the Consul Ciuran at Aleppo, with an account of the raid of the pirates, which I have described, and of the behaviour of the Emirs there, who pay no attention to the royal commands and threaten to exactper cent. on goods exported. He says that he and all the other consuls will send a joint note to the Porte on these subjects, so that we ambassadors may make joint representations. I have previously complained about the exactions of the Emirs. Joint action by the ambassadors is rendered difficult by the quarrel for precedence between France and England. However, I managed to contrive a way, satisfactory to both ambassadors, so that all four of us signed an arz complaining to the Vizier of the excesses of the Emirs against our merchants and asking him to make a talchis to the king for their relief. Yet we have so far found it difficult to move the Vizier owing to their great need for money. Accordingly, in order to avoid the violence of the Emirs we suspended the sale of merchandise for a few days, so that they might be warned by their own loss and desist. With the same object the English ambassador has ordered two of his ships which are on the way with a quantity of goods, to stop at Port Dolfino, in order to bring pressure to bear upon the Emirs. Yet owing to the pressing need it is very difficult to defend oneself against them not only in the other places, but here as well.
The English ambassador has been to thank me for the care shown over a letter of his king at Venice and at Cattaro. It came in a large tin box with the public letters. He said that his Majesty would also thank the Ambassador Valaresso. I fancy this letter deals with this very question of the excesses of the Emirs against his merchants.
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th May, 1624.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
406. PIETRO VICO, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Every day of late the royal chamber has been in negotiation to buy two English ships, very fine and well armed, but they have not been able to agree about the price, and some Genoese merchants have hired them for Sicily. They will go to lade corn for Genoa. The captains will be glad to get out of this port owing to the rumour abroad here that the relations between the King of Great Britain and the Catholic are strained, and they fear some unfortunate incidents.
Naples, the 28th May, 1624.
[Italian.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
407. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Mansfelt has left St. Denis for Gran Bosco. Before his departure he desired to see me and the Ambassador of Savoy. He spoke of the advantage of engaging England and the danger of losing this opportunity. He said that the same plans that might please France would serve England also, as they could only attend to the Palatinate by a diversion. He told me in particular that matters in England are in good train; but if France will not enter nothing can be done with her, but in such case England would willingly join with your Serenity, and if you sent to Denmark it would move that king to good resolutions and to enter our league.
They have held various meetings here and consider Mansfeld's proposals good, but they do not consent to interest themselves with England. They fear that Mansfeld has interested that king but not convinced him, and this opinion is strengthened by seeing that the English ministers have no commissions to treat, while they are still waiting to hear about the Earl of Carlisle, whom they hoped would have already crossed the sea. It also seems unworthy to the king to have refused the English alliance almost openly and then let it come about in an underhand way through Mansfeld, and it is not right that England should use France to forward her own plans unless France is certain to receive advantages for herself. They recognise the advantage of making sure of enmity between the English and Spaniards, but at the same time they would like to make sure of the marriage and of certain advantages which they claim, and if England keeps silence they do not consider it reasonable to speak. Yet I find that if the English will open negotiations they will get an alliance, though not in name, because of the engagements of France with the league.
The Duke of Angouleme told me that the king was resolved upon peace, but above all upon the fulfilment of the league to the satisfaction of her allies. Mansfeld's proposals please them but cannot be taken up while England keeps silence. The count should send to England to ask for stronger assurances, and induce the English to do more without binding the French.
Bacq a Choysi, the 31st May, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
408. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
News has come that Wake is at Paris on his way to Italy. Bacq a Choysi, the 31st May, 1624.
[Italian.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
409. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Dutch ambassadors have finally settled their business with the royal commissioners and arranged the articles of a defensive league, the king himself putting aside the restricted idea of succour but also the larger one of an offensive alliance. His Majesty is to help them at once with 10,000 paid foot, while the Dutch are to supply 4,000 for the needs of England. The league will last during his Majesty's good pleasure and the 6,000 foot will cost some 60,000l. and 70,000l. sterling a year. Four colonels will command them, three being named, to wit, the Earl of Oxford, the Earl of Essex and the Earl of Southampton's son. They expect Lord Willoughby will be the fourth, though this is not yet decided. They will not have a special general or be separated from the Dutch order and discipline. The troops will be made up of new but picked men, the colonels being the leading men of the realm and because of the number of younger sons of noble families anxious for distinction in the war. The articles lack nothing but the king's signature, which is promised and expected any moment. This obtained one may call this the first and unique result of the long wished-for decisions.
Other matters either depended upon this or were by nature indifferent and subject to various interpretations. The making of the league is something real and unmarked. The more effectively the king sides with the Dutch the more he must separate from the Spaniards and the succour, which means a great deal in itself to the Dutch, involves important consequences as leading to further resolutions and inflicting a serious blow upon the Spaniards. Some marvel that the king, knowing that he must inevitably offend them by the present defensive league, has not gone further, affording them a trifle more offence but giving himself much greater advantage by making it offensive at once, although the difference rigthly considered is more nominal than real. Moreover as the king is not moving of his own accord but by compulsion, he goes slowly. Others who cannot feel so sure of the king's intentions including, I understand, some Hispanophiles, think the league will only last a little while, that the troops will do little good owing to their inexperience or the king will delay affixing his signature to the articles, so that once parliament is dissolved he may remain free not to do it, or take advantage of some accident which may happen at any moment.
The four ships of Dunkirk which took refuge in the Downs remain surrounded by the Dutch ships, who do not admit the reasons adduced, as they violated the freedom and by robbing Dutch ships in the Thames deprived themselves of the benefits of that freedom. The king has protested that they must leave the ships alone, as by the Jus Gentium they must be respected as if they were in his own chamber, the Downs and ports here being styled the king's chamber in the English fashion. Nevertheless, a conflict is feared at any moment, owing to the nearness of the ships, the ardour of the captains and possibly provocation on the part of the Spaniards, with the object of rousing the king's wrath against the Dutch. Certainly if the Spaniards lose these four ships in addition to the two others, very little will remain to them in these waters. However, the Dutch ambassadors have sent orders to their captains to abstain from attack owing to the harm it would do to their negotiations, though they fear that the letters may not arrive in time, and even doubt whether the letters may not have been delayed by some accident to the courier, so even I feel some anxiety.
The merchants Burlamachi have obtained leave from the king to take the iron ordnance from those Dunkirk ships, which are duly recognised to belong to them; as those which they sent to Holland and the Spaniards took.
I hear something of Scotland following the example of England and paying a Scotch regiment to help the Dutch, making the Earl of Morton colonel, a leading nobleman there. Officers and soldiers are gathering from every quarter of the realm in their desire to engage in this service. The character of the colonels has a great effect upon the enlisting, and I gather that the prince desires the Earl of Southampton himself to have the colonelship otherwise he may give it to others. They feel sure that the drum will be beaten next week.
London, the last day of May, 1624.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
410. ALVISE VALARESSO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The twelve royal ships and the thirty merchantmen will be ready soon, and they even hope and expect to equip a hundred. Buckingham, by a generous and much admired act, has devoted his portion of the booty from Ormuz to provisioning the royal ships, to prevent delay, although he will obtain repayment in another way. His sickness stands not a little in the way of expedition, though he is much better. The king visited him a second time, expelled a Catholic physician, who attended him among the others, and forbad all foreign visitors. This gave rise to a report that he had been in a delirium and this certainly was the case for a time. His wrath against the Spaniards never slackens, or his jealousy of the king's favour, and the blow struck at him may be styled the last attempt of the Spanish forces.
Some barrels of powder and gunshot, found in the custom house directed to Spaniards have been detained. I am assured that they have remitted 20,000l. sterling to France for a month's service as arranged with Mansfelt.
The Earl of Middlesex, late the Lord Treasurer, is now in the Tower. No one knows exactly how the king took the sentence, but he accommodated himself thereto in the end, and took away his staff, but not till three days later. Every one considers the sentence very mild. Before it was pronounced the prince spoke in the treasurer's favour in the king's name, and to show that he had no feeling against him. This helped in reducing his fine to 50,000l. when the parliament wanted 80,000l. but for the exaction of the amount they have decreed, with perhaps unprecedented severity, that all his goods shall be sold without exception, a circumstance that will make it more difficult for the king to remit the penalty. In addition to this advantage the king will have numerous offices to bestow, and all these things will console him for the treasurer's fall.
They have as yet decided nothing about Bristol. He boldly asks to be tried by parliament, either because he knows that he cannot be heard there, for reasons concerning the king, or from a desire to denounce Buckingham. But if his affairs do not die in oblivion he will certainly be called before the Council. It is thought that they can convict him of some distinct crimes without endangering Buckingham or involving the king. From what a Councillor told me the charges against him may be already drawn up. The prince is certainly his declared enemy. The Spanish ambassadors have called upon him, I think more than once.
The question of Inoiosa staying on is not yet very clear. He says he is remaining for fresh business, entrusted to him from Spain by the last courier. The Councillors here say that the king detained him until they had decided what steps to take against him. This is certain, he had gone so far in his preparations for departure that besides having all his baggage ready he had issued an announcement asking all those who had claims against him to come and present them, as he was leaving, a new thing for England. Grisli who recently returned from Spain, goes about saying that the Infanta is quite melancholy and almost love-sick for the prince.
Carlisle left for France at length last Tuesday. As usual he takes a suite of over a hundred persons. He had 8,000l. from the king and obtained as much again from pledges upon his own goods. These circumstances probably did more to detain him than anything else, although when he visited me he said he had not wished to depart before things were more settled, and before the Spanish imbroglio was out of the way, to use his own words. He takes ample commissions and some hope well of his business, building especially upon the queen-mother's inclination for the marriage.
I think that the Ambassador Tilliers will be excluded, at least from the essentials of the affair. Thus if I am deprived of a leading source of information I must be excused if I have not exact knowledge. I know that the king said yesterday that the Prince of Condé was going to return to Court. If this be true it may have evil consequences, especially as regards this marriage, owing to his connection with the Count of Soissons through his present interests, the count having spoken in a very outspoken and imprudent manner about Madame, as I understand.
The Earl of Gordon, a Scot, has obtained from the King of France the command of a company of men at arms which formerly belonged to the Duke of Richmond. The present Duke of Lennox, the earl's uncle, who claimed the post as brother of the late duke, seems very upset about it. To reconcile these the prince may try and have it given to the Palatine's third son. This company of Scots is the first of France and used to be held by the second son of the King of Scotland. The prince had it when Duke of York, and it brings in 8,000 crowns del sole.
Anstruther is leaving but has resolved not to start before he sees the league with the Dutch signed; without this, as he rightly says, he would go to no purpose.
So far the proclamation does not seem to have excited much terror among the religious, an evidence of their hope that it will not be enforced. Parliament is somewhat offended at its not being done in its name. Parliament has petitioned the king through Conovel and Cottington to prorogue it for three weeks for the better completion of the things begun. This request did not greatly please the king. He says that parliament has neglected public affairs and only devotes itself to ruining individuals and indeed they have prepared the stage for the tragedy of the Lord Keeper also, but this is put aside for the moment, although the king has granted a prorogation for a week.
I have received the ducal missives of the 2nd inst. The few days remaining for the parliament leave me no hope of doing anything effective about the raisins, and this makes me cautious in dealing with the king, as a decree of parliament would be the soul of every resolution. However, after mature consideration, I will take the most fitting course. I think it will be necessary for me to go to the king, as I have not been for a long time, and take the opportunity to thank him for filling up the embassy at Venice and offer congratulations upon the league with the Dutch.
I enclose a copy of Father Hyacinth's letter, which I could not send before. I hear, however, that the Spaniards seem very suspicious about that affair, but they cannot credit it.
London, the last day of May, 1624.
[Italian.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
411. Letter of Father Hyacinth to the Prince of Portugal. (fn. 3)
My dear companion Father Alessandro (fn. 4) , returning from England and Holland, whither I sent him recently to arrange something for the pacification of Christendom, so that we may cease our internal discords, and unite against the common enemy the Turk, whose evil case seems to summon us to that undertaking, told me so much about the zeal, discretion and friendliness of your Excellency, that I cannot avoid thanking you. I have no interests in this world and only labour for the honour of God and the defence of the faith. I do not desire the destruction of the Palatine house, but its restoration, always provided that it does not prejudice Christendom. The best way would be for the Palatine and all his house to embrace the true faith, or that at least the father should allow his children to be educated by a Catholic prince in the empire, in the assurance that no violence will be done to their conscience. By this means the present troubles might be assuaged. God has provided an instrument in the Duke of Bavaria. Without this means of the children we cannot accept any form of treaty. Those who advise otherwise have their own interests at heart. The French fury of this English parliament will not help the Palatine, and instead of reinstating him they will seek their profit at sea, in the Indies or on the Spanish coasts. If England makes war will the German princes restore him? They will certainly resist. How long will England's power last? After two or three years they will not fail the Prince Palatine. It needs more than England's strength to penetrate to the heart of Germany, and if they did, how would it help the Palatine? The English and Dutch will have their hands full at home; I know Germany will, and now Gabor is humbled and the Turk occupied, the Protestant princes will not play cat's-paw for the Palatine. I have wondered at the objections raised, but it is the devil who resists because he rejoices in the divisions of Christendom. The King of Great Britain may not consent from fear of incurring odium, but I believe he will rejoice if the Palatine and his wife decide for themselves. If God should call these children to the Throne of England, would their education among Catholics harm them? I think only a foolish man would believe this. This is the only way; other means are slow, uncertain, and dangerous. Use your influence with the Palatine and induce him to decide quickly, as war may change the aspect of affairs. I have sent our Francesco Rota to Rome.
Brussels, the 23rd April, 1624.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Thomas Murray.
2 Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 239.
3 Carleton encloses a copy of this letter in his despatch to Conway, dated the 23rd April, 1624, st. vet. State Papers, Foreign, Holland.
4 Usually known as Francesco della Rota, and so named at the end of this letter; but Rusdorf says his real name was Alessandro d'Alix. See note at page 162 above.