Venice
January 1625, 22-31

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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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559-571

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'Venice: January 1625, 22-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 559-571. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88928 Date accessed: 02 September 2014.


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January 1625

Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
771. To the Ambassador in Spain and the like to the other Courts and to the Proveditori General.
Owing to the difficulties in which we are involved we have been obliged to engage captains, and several months ago we embraced the offer of Count Henry Matthias della Torre, who has now entered our service. We have declared him Lieutenant General of our Proveditore in Terra Ferma. He belongs to a French family, and previously served the Emperor Rudolph in Hungary. He has much experience in the business and we do not believe that his appointment will cause any adverse comment. However, owing to some objections made at Rome about our employing captains of a different religion, you can say, though only in case of provocation, that in our state the command-in-chief belongs to one of the nobles of our Senate, to whom all the other commanders are subordinate; though in the case of free princes the control of their forces for their defence is their own concern and has nothing to do with others.
Ayes, 144.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
Jan. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
772. That a notary of the Chancery be sent this evening to read the following, mutatis mutandis, to the ambassadors of England and the States:
Bormio surrendered on the 18th inst.; the garrison will leave the valley under escort. This capture cuts off the Austrians and prevents their easy correspondence with the Spaniards. We have communicated the news to you immediately, because we know that you rejoice at these events.
Ayes, 116.Noes, 5.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
773. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Madame's departure is stayed by the delay of the dispensation, to the disgust of the English, who ill support the waiting, and of Madame herself who wanted to go as soon as possible to enjoy the rule of two most noble realms and the fruits of matrimony. The ambassadors complain that the first article of the treaty has been violated, whereby the Most Christian promises to obtain the dispensation within three months. They have decided to prefer a request that they shall be told how long they must wait before they may take their Mistress to their country, and what will happen supposing the pope, out of caprice, refuses the dispensation or delays it a long while. The reasons for this request are based upon current affairs and one may fear that very likely the pope, offended with France about the Valtelline, may drag this affair on.
Yesterday evening the Secretary Vilocler arrived, reporting the high satisfaction of the English king. He received a quantity of favours and presents from that most liberal sovereign, of whom he speaks in the most laudatory terms.
A Capuchin friar is here, sent three days ago by Bavaria, and they expect an agent from the duke. They are concerned entirely with Mansfelt's movements. I know they have promised the friar here that Mansfelt shall not touch the duke's hereditary dominions or those of his brother, the archbishop. (fn. 1)
Paris, the 23rd January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
774. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This is the metropolis of inconstancy, where chance rules. They have now altered a decision taken long since and repeatedly confirmed. The Lords of the Council do not want Mansfelt to land at Calais or to give him a passage through France. They plead the preparations made in Artois, but really they do not want such a large force of English in their borders, especially at Calais and Boulogne, and with such a large number of Huguenots their country might be in danger. They have therefore sent to ask the Prince of Orange to let these troops go to the channel of Berghen op Zoom.
As your Serenity has contributed nothing to Mansfelt's force I could not openly oppose this decision, but I pointed out to the English ambassadors that it was an infringement of the promises made to them, and against their obvious interests, as if Mansfelt went that way it would take him a very long time to reach the Palatinate after much toil and peril. The ambassadors, who understand the business thoroughly well, promised not to yield an inch and that they would insist upon the promises.
Paris, the 23rd January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
775. To the Ambassador in England, and the like to the Hague and Savoy.
The last letters of the 8th from France tell us of some trouble with the Huguenots. This news is most important as the progress of such poison will delay all good which may be expected from the crown for the common cause. The Spaniards, who habitually obtain their ends by such advantages rather than by force, have given a well-timed push to this stone. As remedies may be applied more successfully at the beginning of a disease than after it has grown worse, we direct you to communicate the news to the ministers, whom you think best, urging them to divert this evil through their influence at that Court, especially through MM. de Rohan and Soubise, as every reason of state calls upon the Most Christian monarchy to keep its strength intact for its own and for the general advantage. Our Ambassador Moresini has made similar representations and will continue to do so, and we hope that the States and Savoy will do the like, for certainly no occasion demands it more.
To the Hague and England add:
We hear this week of the surrender of Bormio and forthwith we communicated the news to his Majesty's ambassador here. We enclose the particulars. The Spaniards keep bringing reinforcements. We direct you to impart the whole in continuation of our confidence.
To England alone add:
We rejoice to see your abilities engaged upon the present affairs touching the Palatinate and the negotiations with France, feeling sure that with the help of the information from this end you will sustain your service full well.
Ayes, 86.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
776. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I enclose a copy of his Majesty's declaration of the manner in which he intends the Count of Mansfeld to use his forces as regards the dominions of the Catholic king and the Infanta. Upon this subject Captain Bernardino Rota tells me that a lady named Scialon from Flanders, a relation of the count, has sent a person to beg him not to harm her houses or those of her relations, urging him not to continue the war but to make an honourable accommodation with the Infanta. He adds that the count returned a courteous answer and seized the opportunity to ask free passage through her Highness's states, promising to keep the best order to prevent harm to the country, provided the soldiers are supplied with bread, beer and food, and also promising to keep as near France as possible, but that Flanders and Artois must prepare a good present for him personally. Rota said further that he thought there were other matters.
I have reported this, but whether it is proper or reasonable to ask for a passage before being in a condition to use it, to announce this by commission received from the king here, whether it is immature or advantageous for the purpose of putting others off the scent, others must judge. But the count cannot leave his forces or lead them without pulling a thousand strings; moreover his affairs are ill disposed for despatch. It is quite clear that he wants to go to Holland and the French desire it. The king here laments his delay in leaving and the change of plan. In the first movement of his wrath he protested he wished him either to leave at once or he would take the soldiers from him, but being appeased by the efforts of the French ambassador and Buckingham, who always interferes for the best, he sent to France to enquire and to give orders for this despatch.
The Ambassador Fiat told me that when they are able to join the French troops to the rest of the force the king here will agree to the count going to Holland. But there are two difficulties in the way of this one, that it is almost impossible to take the French horses across the sea, and the French have no ships, and here they have not so far thought of providing any, as their object is to look after their own interests and they want to commit the French crown more and more. Buckingham told me they would be indifferent here if Mansfeld landed first in France and afterwards with his united forces of French and English proceeded by land whither he thought best. He told me also that the idea of bringing his king to declarations was a will-o'-the-wisp and impossible. He is doing everything to involve him but without the others nothing will be accomplished. The king will operate covertly and not otherwise. Let France, who is withdrawing from this passage, give orders to Mansfeld to invade openly the dominions of the King of Spain and the Infanta.
I confined myself to listening and observing. I remarked that time was being lost and Mansfeld was consuming money. This kingdom suffered the loss and the best courses may be to employ force and perform the common service jointly. The open engagement of the French would be useful and the loss of Breda harmful. In this case we must make the best of circumstances. But Buckingham said he was dissatisfied because Mansfeld ought to declare his intentions at the outset, when everything would be arranged; to change the king's cards was not a proper game to play, and difficulties were always multiplied in this way.
Mansfeld is in difficulties because the last payments made to him in advance were for him to provide arms and munitions, and now apparently he has no money for the transport; thus after having argued the ease of everything, it turns out difficult if not impossible.
Money is very short here and even to provide the monthly payments the councillors have to give their personal security to the merchants, as there is no public credit; and Mansfeld never has any money because no remittances ever come from Savoy or from your Serenity, and it is believed that the portion of France is not such as he has tried to create the impression. The king here has more than fulfilled his promises and does not know the shortcomings of the rest; that would suffice to ruin all. The answers from France will show what turn this important affair will take.
Buckingham spoke to me about the Valtelline, always with the fear that all was over. He asked me if the constable would cross the Alps or no if he attacks Milan or Genoa, which would strike a mortal blow at the Spaniards, that will amount to a rupture, He said he heard that Savoy had made similar proposals in Holland to the request made here for ships for that design. He did not seem to approve of carrying on the same negotiations in different places. After this he introduced the Secretary Conovel with whom we spoke about Soubise.
Conovel remarked that the king's ambassadors wrote that as the Rochellese were besieged by land by the fort of St. Louis, they propose to overwhelm them by a fresh attack on the sea side, whence they derive their sustenance, and they were suspicious at seeing a fleet in France at the feet of the constable, with continued ill-treatment. Soubise, under the pretext of not receiving the satisfaction stipulated, had established himself in the islands of Re and Oleron, which are the defences of la Rochelle. The ambassadors had spoken on the subject to his Most Christian Majesty, who declared that this accident would not change his mind towards those who would be his good subjects, and he would stand by the stipulations, and continue to carry out the good resolutions for the common welfare. Conway spoke with a Puritan's spleen (con livore di puritano). The duke suavely remarked that the suspicions of the constable were unreasonable and that Soubise had acted unfortunately (ha preso un contratempo).
The French ambassador informed me of these events with some differences, saying that the brother Rohan and the churches of France disapprove of the action, and I know that he spoke strongly to his Majesty against Soubise, obtaining the most gracious reply that this was a bad action, and though Soubise is a kinsman he will get no help here, indeed they were ready to supply ships to punish him and if necessary to take la Rochelle. Some persons in England are apprehensive lest this circumstance make the Most Christian turn his attention to that quarter and change his plans. I have extenuated nothing in a matter of such importance
The French ambassador is labouring for the fulfilment of the advantages for the Catholics, saying that this labour is a hydra which constantly produces new heads of difficulty. He has won many advantages, but the fulfilment is only due upon Madame's arrival. I fancy that everything has been referred to the replies of France upon the negotiations of Villeocler, as the duke himself told me that his departure was postponed until that time, as he will only leave when everything is ready for absolute fulfilment. He seemed to suspect that some difficulties remained about the dispensation. The French make declarations easily, here they are studiously reserved.
Besides the gentleman from Sweden, there is another authorised person from Brandenburg (fn. 2) with a declaration that the Margrave will not recognise Bavaria as elector. I have not succeeded in discovering full particulars of the rest, but it concerns a union or re-union of the Protestants in Germany: without this king, however, there is little hope and there is not much hope of a decision from his Majesty.
The Count of Verrua has announced his coming hither as ambassador for his Highness. This is considered a premature office, since he merely comes to offer congratulations about the marriage.
They proposed to form a circulating bank like the one at Venice; the king intending to pay his debts thereby, but as he would only give a paper credit without revenue, the project fell through.
London, the 24th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
777. The declaration about Mansfeld's orders is signed by Conway and dated at Whitehall, the 29th December. It alludes to a proclamation issued on the 24th under the great and the privy seals concerning the means for recovering the Palatinate, and another of the 6th November, 1624, and now explains further that after demanding passage through the dominions of Spain and the archduchess, if refused, he is to force it.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
778. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Sunday the prince gave a splendid masque, with much machinery and most beautiful scenery. (fn. 3) They danced for four hours after midnight. His Majesty was present and enjoyed it greatly. I was invited together with the French ambassador. The resident of Spain and Flanders were present, and it is believed that many jests against the Spaniards were omitted on their account. In this connection there is a widespread rumour that Gondomar is coming back, and the report grows stronger steadily either from its truth or by artifice.
The king entertained us in conversation all that night with the utmost graciousness, speaking above all in praise of the Duke of Buckingham with affection. Occasionally he praised the prince, saying that he was worthy of a beautiful bride, and apparently he desires to see Madame here as soon as possible (II Re ci trattenne con somma benignità tutta quella notte in varii discorsi, sopra tutto nelle laudi e negli amori del Sig. Duca di Bochingam. All' occasione lodava il Sig. Prencipe, facendolo degno di una bella sposa, con apparenza di desiderio di veder presente quanto prima Madama).
I informed his Majesty of the condition of the Valtelline, telling him the facts. This made him thoughtful, but I had presented the matter in a way calculated to make him doubtful, because if I showed it to be easy it would merely confirm him in doing nothing from fear of being left alone, while to point out difficulties would only render him more and more cautious about moving. However, I acted for the advantage of the affairs and of the arms of the republic.
Your Serenity's commands of the 26th ult. have reached me. I greatly regret the tearing of the despatches, and that the scanty produce of this barren soil arrives too late.
I have already reported my offices about the marriage, the prince broaching the subject of a general league and Buckingham telling me his plans to move the king against the Spaniards, and the need for a closer union with France. I hope my conduct towards him and the French ambassador has met with your Serenity's approval. I will send duplicates of my last despatch by France. Last week I sent by merchants; I will continue this course to avoid robbery. I propose to send all despatches by France, as I learn that they stop letters in Flanders and obtain copies and decipher them. This will greatly increase the expense. Some arrangement might be made with the Ambassador Morosini. The Most Christian ambassador here will write to his master of the posts on the subject.
My catarrh has grown worse and now there is some fever. I hope it may not be very bad.
London, the 24th January, 1624. [M.V.]
Postscript: The merchants Lumaga of Lyons and Paris have sent the enclosed note for the expenses of couriers. I have verified the account and I beg your Serenity to have it paid.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
779. 1624, the 4th June. Courier from Lyons to Turin. 150 lire.
1624, the 4th June. Courier to his Excellency at the Court. 180 lire. French money.
[Italian.]
Jan. 25.
Misc.
Cod. No. 63.
Venetian
Archives.
780. MARC' ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I spoke to the Prince of Ecchemborgh about the papers detained. He went on to refer to the declaration of France for the Palatine. History showed what the French were worth, He knew Mansfelt and the cowardly troops he had obtained from England. The moment the Most Christian moved they would attack France.
Vienna, the 25th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; copy.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
781. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In reply to the orders of the States that the English colonels must fill up their greatly thinned ranks or pay will be made according to the musters, the Earls of Oxford and Essex have replied that their ranks are reduced not by desertion or death but chiefly by sickness. They do not want this decision about payment to be pressed, but I do not think the States will change their decision.
They are making preparations for a really numerous fleet; but I think the desire to do better disturbs what is necessary as since the Dunkirk vessels got to sea, many small ships with passengers of France and England have been stopped and taken.
The Hague, the 27th January, 1625.
[Italian.]
Jan. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
782. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has not received any instructions about Mansfelt although he wrote for directions. Meanwhile the French ambassador has spoken on behalf of both crowns. His last letters from England of the 11th speak of some modification in Mansfelt's instructions, that he must ask for a passage and force one if refused. I think the ambassador imparted this to deprecate the blame constantly showered upon his sovereign in current affairs.
The Hague, the 27th January, 1625.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
783. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier has reached the Ambassadors of Savoy recalling Prince Thomas as well as the Count of Verua, postponing his embassy to England to another time. The prince says he will leave on Monday.
Paris, the 30th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
784. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Dutch have finally yielded the point about Mansfelt's landing, contrary to all expectation. Necessity and fear have done this, as Breda is too important to them. They have made a mistake, negotiation might have done much; the English are interested, and it is unlikely that after such heavy expenses the count would be allowed to waste his time in England.
They have written to the Duke of Buckingham that he may come whenever he pleases to pay his respects to the bride and celebrate the nuptials for his master, and that he will always be welcome.
Paris, the 30th January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
785. That the following, mutatis mutandis, be sent to the ambassadors in England and at the Hague.
The Constable left Grenoble on the 19th for Piedmont and the Duke of Savoy awaited him, to act together, the Marquis of Coure also offering help. The forces of the league are now thinking of attacking Chiavenna; it looks at present as if the Spaniards would not offer resistance. We have the best confirmation of the steadfastness of the Most Christian. He urges on Lesdiguiéres and Coure and has further ordered the Duke of Guise to put to sea with the fleet.
That the advices be sent to the other Courts and that the following be added to England:
We direct you to use the above news in conversation, insisting especially upon the Spanish naval preparations, the idea of arming sixty-three vessels, expressed by Buckingham and all the other generous thoughts which are entertained there.
Ayes, 136.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Jan. 31.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
786. To the Lieutenant of Udine.
Order to send to the Captain of Padua the Company of John Thomas, a Scot, although he has only enlisted 90 foot in about three months, while he undertook to obtain 200 Ultramontanes, with all the particulars. The captain may leave an officer behind to fill up the numbers and you will afford him every assistance.
[Italian.]
Jan. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
787. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My catarrh becomes more and more troublesome and the fever has lasted eight days.
The most important affairs here concern Mansfelt, France and England contending about his passage. The English argue the solemn promises of France to allow him to go to Calais; this led to the decision about joining the forces of the two crowns; only feeble forces and peasants will oppose the passage; it will serve Breda better for being further off, and to send Mansfelt to the Netherlands will give the States the advantage without any hope of profit for the others.
The French admit the first promises but declare they were withdrawn by consent in the presence of Villeocler; to land Mansfelt in France would be sending him to butchery, the Flemish frontiers being fortified from Dunkirk to Cambrai, the rest being defended by the troops of Tilly, Bergh and Cordova. The time passes amid these discussions. Forty ships have arrived from Holland with about 3,000 men for the general. They have moored in the Downs, safe from storms. Mansfelt puts his men in the ships every day, to prevent desertion and the extraordinary mischief done by these disobedient and ill disciplined men, and still more to satisfy his Majesty by a show of obedience and of leaving. He also has received arms and some money, but his needs still cry out. He wants to go to the States as otherwise he cannot obtain sufficient equipment for war, and the last answer has come from France that they do not want him to cross to that kingdom.
They have sent to Newmarket, where the king now is, for the final decisions, which will be difficult, as they will have trouble in uniting the French troops to the rest of the force. It is said that the troops have lost more than 3,000 men in this sojourn, and they have ordered fresh presses to fill up the numbers. To facilitate their transport the Council has decided to arrest all the ships of Hamburg proceeding to Spain, with the idea of inconveniencing the Spanish force, for which they take commodities, and let Mansfelt have the advantage of them upon payment, all resolutions which heat the blood.
The count wanted power to arrest some ships of Emden in order to obtain the restitution of his guns and munitions, but they did not allow it.
Many expresses have arrived from France of late. The Ambassador Fiat had spoken to the king about Soubise, but he has received orders from the Most Christian to inform the king that some of his subjects of the religion have revolted by land and by sea, and very soon he hopes to bring them to their senses, and this will not make him change his good resolutions either at home or abroad, with instructions to ask for six ships of some 400 tons burthen provided with men and munitions. This will not be refused, though the French may only require the advantage of the declaration. By other letters the ambassador has orders to state that his Majesty inclined to an accomodation, but having discovered fresh designs against Nantes and Blavet, in the port of which the rebels had taken various ships as well as in the port of St. Louis belonging to the Duke of Nevers, he had resolved to punish the culprits.
News has come from France of the arrival of Villeocler and of satisfaction with his negotiations, leaving the Duke of Buckingham free to proceed to that Court when he pleases. But as they do not assert that the dispensation is absolutely in the hands of the Most Christian the duke has not fixed his departure, and awaits the return of a gentleman sent thither for other matters to learn the true state of affairs, so that in the meantime they may arrange the powers for the duties which he has to perform, and that he may not abandon too entirely the place of his favour. They are glad to know that the French seem fully determined to arrange a defensive and offensive league. I wished to make sure upon this very important subject, and whether the rise of the present disturbances in France stimulates this resolution, whether they really propose to carry it out, or if it is considered a matter of chance.
They have sent two missions to France from these parts, one of Sir [George] Gori with the Garter for Carlisle, the French ambassador here having overcome the difficulty of his private interests. The other of Sir [Thomas] Cheri, with another present of jewels for Madame, possibly because the first were not considered sufficient. They consist of a thread of 120 large pearls in a chain, a cross of diamonds of only two pieces with a very large pendant, a diamond of incomparable size and worth, and two diamond earrings of a single piece in the shape of pears, all crown jewels of the highest value. (fn. 4)
In this delay of the marriage there are various opinions about holding parliament and various sentiments, but the event depends upon whether Madame comes soon or late. They certainly want the marriage first, but delay deprives them of the means of obtaining money, and money will not easily be obtained unless they act in conformity with the wishes of the parliamentarians. Many councils have been held with Buckingham present, upon the steps to be taken, the bias being always against the Spanish party.
The Secretary of State, Calvert, to avoid a greater storm has saved himself by yielding up his post to Sir [Albert] Morton, from whom he received 10,000 crowns as a douceur. (fn. 5) They talk of selling up the goods of the deposed Treasurer if he does not soon pay his fine of 50,000l. sterling, and they whisper about some fresh proceedings against Bristol. They have decided to recall the ambassador resident in Spain, who has lost his credit through having desired or rather favoured the return of Gondomar. He would have been changed already but they say that the agent is sick who was to succeed him. (fn. 6) Possibly the king may be going slowly towards such steps.
A gentleman has arrived from the King of Denmark, and I hear that the English have made some agreement with the pirates of Algiers. (fn. 7) If I am well enough I will find out the particulars; my will to serve will never fail even if my strength does.
Upon the negotiations of the gentlemen of Sweden and Brandenburg, the Secretary Conovel told me that the Princes of Germany are very well disposed, and a good understanding between Sweden and Denmark is helpful, but the princes can do nothing by themselves and need the King of Denmark with Sweden. I have heard on very good authority that the king has informed the Most Christian of this union with whom he will join it, but not otherwise, as apparently he wants to keep step with that monarch. The Agent of the Palatine says that the Princes of Germany want to know the object of Mansfelt's force in order to guide their own movements. The manifesto desired by the Count will serve this purpose. I think it will be granted but not published as yet.
London, the 31st January, 1624. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 31.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
788. The English Ambassador came into the Collegio and spoke as follows:
I must first thank your Serenity for the good news about Bormio and the other advices, which I used in my despatch of last week to the king. Their Majesties of Bohemia also thank you warmly for assisting at the christening of their son. They will send a gentleman on purpose, but they asked me to perform this office immediately. I can assure that they will specially remember this favour. I will now give your Serenity some news.
He then took out various letters and began to read one from the Hague of the 6th January to the following effect: Breda suffers from two scourges, the plague and famine, but is not troubled by the enemy's cannon. The enemy also is suffering hunger, but is not troubled by the Dutch; only Rosen has attacked their quarters with a troop of horse, but he found them ready and could not do much. Meantime they are trying to divert the River March in order to flood the Spanish camp. From Mansfelt in France we hear that he has instructions from the King of England not to attack the dominions of the Infanta or of the Catholic.
Here the ambassador stopped reading and said, I must make a comment and, firstly, I have no advice from our court of this news, which is considerably spread abroad, so it is probably unfounded. If there be anything in it probably what happened was that the Spanish agent may have asked his Majesty whether he meant to break with his king, but his Majesty replied that he would never be the first to come to a rupture, as it would be too unseemly to pass from marriage negotiations to a war, and his Majesty did not want to make the world think that he was moved to attack Spain from rancour at not having obtained the Infanta. His present steps were to recover the dominions of his children. This decision rested upon such just foundations that he did not expect armed opposition from any one, least of all from the Catholic, who makes such professions of rectitude. If his Majesty did not meet with resistance he would not go out of his way to find it. Possibly some such office of my king has been interpreted as above, and what follows in this letter proves my idea, because they tell me that the Spaniards mistrust Mansfeld and are preparing 30,000 foot and 4,000 horse against him. An intercepted letter from the Cardinal della Cueva to Spinola calls Mansfeld el mas moderno traidor de su Maiestad, i el mas valiente inquietador de sur reignos. The letter is addressed to the Marquis Spinola, of his Majesty's Council of State and Captain General in the Palatinate, proving the evil intent of the Spaniards.
The ambassador then took up another letter from Brussels on the 18th, and read as follows: We hear of the progress of the league in the Valtelline. The Cardinal della Cueva goes about saying that the King of Spain has lost nothing in those affairs, as he had no interest except in the welfare of Christian souls there and to free them from heresy, and his Majesty had handed the charge over to the pope, and so he had nothing but a little money at stake, which did not affect the greatness of the Catholic. Breda is closely invested, but the besiegers suffer as much as the besieged, as of 30,000 foot sent thither they have no more than 10,000, and very short of provisions, so they are hastening on a convoy of 6,000 carts.
The ambassador continued: My last letters from Grenoble of the 26th tell me that the Constable should be at Turin to-day, leaving his wife behind, to the disgust of the Duke of Savoy, who sent Ravagliasco to urge M. de Rohan to come to Italy. They felt sure he was guiltless of any co-operation with Soubise, but in any case he would put himself right with the king by this merit and prove his sincerity as some suspicion was aroused by his recently making the towns of his governorship contribute 20,000 crowns. Condé, Vendome, the Marshal de Vitry and Buonmarcie are not free from suspicion over these movements in France.
The Doge replied expressing their appreciation of his offices, as they recognised his prudence, friendship and sincerity. This is due to this Republic, because of their affection for his sovereign. Yesterday evening they decided to read him a communication about the events here and would have sent for him this morning if he had not anticipated them by asking for this audience. The deliberation of the Senate was then read to the ambassador, who thanked his Serenity for the favour and the advices, assuring him that he would use them for the common advantage. He then took leave and departed.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Ferdinand of Bavaria, Archbishop of Cologne.
2 His name was Bellin.
3 "II giorno de'tre Re l'Altezza Sua fara il suo balletto, et sara il medesimo che si dovea fare l'anno passato." It was postponed to Sunday the 19th, because James had not recovered from the gout. Salvietti. news letters of the 10th and 17th January. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962c. The masque, Ben Jonson's, The Fortunate Isles and their Union, was practically the same as the one by the same author, Neptune's Triumph, which had been put off in the preceding year. The scenery, music and much of the poetry were identical, with a different introduction. Nichols: Progresses of James I, vol. iv, pages 948 1011–26.
4 Sir George Goring and Thomas Carey. From a letter of Lord Holland, preserved among the State Papers, Foreign, Holland, the value of the jewels taken by Carey amounted to 3 to 400,000 crowns. Carey was a groom of the Bedchamber to Charles, and son of Robert Carey, Lord Leppington.
5 Salvietti, in his newsletter of the 6th February, gives a fuller account of this transaction. "II Signor Cavalier Calvert, primo Segretario et Consigliero di Stato, credendosi doppo la rottura de' trattati che si haveva con Spagna, che per comandamento di Sua Maesti haveva lui solo maneggiato, d'essere eclipsato nell opinione del Signor Principe et Signor Duca et di non essere più impiegato con quella confidenza che solevano, recorse pochi giorni sono dal Signor Duca di Buchingam per fargli intendere la sua risolutione, la quale era che vedendo di non potere godere della buona grazia dell' Eccelenza Sua nella medesima forma che godeva avanti della sua andata in Spagna, era rissoluto di ritirarsi dalla Corte et de mettere in sua mano, come di presente faceva, la sua carica, perche ne disponesse ovonque li piacesse con molte altre parole tutte piene di valore et magnanimità, soggiugenendoli di più, come dicono, che essendo rissoluto per l'avvenire di vivere et morire Cattolicamente, conosceva di non poterlo fare nel servizio dove era senza gelosia dello stato et pericolo del Parlamento. Il Signor Duca ancorche non amasso questo Cavaliere, ne nessuno altro che ha hauto le mani nel parentado di Spagna, con tutto cio vedendo un atto cosi honorato gli rispose che non poteva negare che non gli fusse stato da non so che tempo in qua nemico, ma che hora vedendo la franchezza et nobilità d'animo, col rispetto che gli haveva mostrato, l'abbraciava per amico per mostrargliene gli effetti sempre che no havesse occasione con assicuratione de più che opererebbe con Sua Maestà gli fusse confirmato le suoi pensioni, et di più dato honorevole ricompensa per la sua carica de Segretario." Brit. Mus. Add. MSS. 27962c. Salvietti gives the amount of the douceur as 20,000 crowns. Ibid letters of the 28th February. Morton seems to have paid Calvert 6,000l. in two instalments. Birch: Court and Times of James I, vol. ii, page 498. Calvert had talked of resigning as early as the preceding April. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1623–5, page 208.
6 There is an autograph note in a letter from Buckingham to Aston of the 16th January, old style, to the following effect: "I must need tell you. Watt, that it was much wondered at here by all that you should use diligences for the coming hither of Gondomar, since he was the instrument to abuse my master, the prince and the state, and if now by your means the king should be fetched on again upon a new treaty, the blame would light upon you, the state having once advised him from trusting that people, who have neither done nor never will do other than cosen him. My care of you makes me write thus freely." State Papers, Foreign, Spain. The secretary who succeeded Aston was Henry Atye.
7 See Roe's letter to James of the 5/15 February. Negotiations of Sir Thomas Roe, page 346.