Venice
March 1625, 17-31

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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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614-623

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'Venice: March 1625, 17-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 614-623. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88932 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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March 1625

March 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
858. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Mansfelt has been at the Hague asking for fresh quarters, but they refused owing to some fear of that force. They gave him 200,000 florins, upon security offered by the English ambassador. The English of the count's force continue to die and desert, and he has written to England for 4,000 men to fill the gaps. It is not thought that they will grant this and he will have an equal number of Germans. He offered his services to the Prince of Orange for the relief of Breda, by means of these very English about whom they were most suspicious, and it is scarcely credited; the event will show. They must speedily decide something about Breda, as it only has provisions for seven or eight weeks.
The Hague, the 17th March, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 17.
Consiglio
di X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
859. In the Council of Ten.
That leave be granted to Lorenzo da Mula son of Domenico to show his house at San Vio to the English ambassador who has requested this through Sanseri, and to negotiate for letting the house through Sanseri, receiving payment through some merchant, according to Mula's petition to this Council.
Ayes, 16.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
March 17.
Consiglio
di X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
860. In the Council of Ten.
That to gratify the English ambassador leave be granted to Baron Lanon, an Irishman, and Sir Robert Caro, a Scottish knight, to take arquebuses to the number of seven in their passage through, and they shall have patents to pass freely with their horses and the said arms.
Ayes, 14.Noes, 2.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.861. Memorial of the English ambassador to the doge asking that Lord Land and Sir Robert Caro, be allowed as other princes have done, with their followers numbering seven, to carry pistols for their defence and have a passport through Venetian territory for themselves and their horses.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Consiglio
di X.
Lettere
Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
862. Letters patent of the doge, in gratification of the English ambassador, granting leave to Baron Lanon, an Irishman, and Sir Robert Caro, a Scottish knight, with others in their company to take up to seven arquebuses with them in their passage, and to pass freely with their horses.
Dated the 18th March, 1625.
Daniel DiedoCouncillors.
Lorenzo Contarini
Antonio Navagier
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
863. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Although an account of the differences about the French marriage negotiations may have already reached your Serenity, I will send full particulars because it is the most important subject at this Court. The letters of the English ambassadors upset the king and prince and offended Buckingham, representing that instead of a free dispensation as promised they proposed a new treaty, that France was backing out of the marriage and thought of coming to an understanding with the pope and of settling the dissensions between the most serene republic and the Duke of Savoy. The ambassadors upheld his Majesty's service, but the Ambassador Effiat obtained everything so easily at this Court that the French thought they could get anything they wanted, feeling sure that they held the fish securely hooked in Buckingham, who could only maintain his fortunes by the help of France, and if they accepted the new conditions the marriage would never be finished. This offended the duke who seemed to take it ill that the French should cast his services in his face in this fashion and that even Englishmen should write so openly to the king. This was the reason why Buckingham seemed to withdraw from the business although it is supposed that secretly he did as much as he could.
The king's wrath at this new turn was very great and he protested with equal warmth that he would not alter the things agreed upon. But the Ambassador Effiat by showing that the Most Christian remained steadfast in his resolution to make the match, that the new difficulties arose from the pope's side, and these must be weighed, accepting the reasonable, and rejecting the harmful and by argument move the pope or break with him, made an impression upon the king, who protested, however, that he would not consent to fresh negotiations, but would make declarations upon the pope's proposals, ten in number, sent to his nuncio in France; whereby he may grant the dispensation if not with the approval of all those conditions, whereof two are new and very important.
One concerns the Most Christian in which his Holiness declares the necessity of asking for this dispensation as a show of respect and because that monarch could not do otherwise, with words very prejudicial to Gallican liberties. Upon this point the king here made no answer, saying that it did not concern him. The other, asking for the free and perpetual exercise of the Catholic religion for his Majesty's subjects, he refused absolutely; but the French ambassador feels sure that this can be got over. The other eight articles correspond with the marriage treaty already arranged, though the phrases are stengthened and made more advantageous for the Catholic faith and the Roman Church. The king answered these article by article, showing how he interpreted the same, though adding words corresponding to his own religion and interests, and with an appendix in his own hand he urges the Most Christian to carry out the treaty now it has gone so far, and renews his own offers.
This treaty or interpretation has been sent to France under the king's hand and seal. Don Tegri, a favourite of the duke, took this despatch, so that he might faithfully report the bad understanding between the ambassadors and the royal ministers, to confirm the ambassadors, to whom the duke writes tactfully expressing some resentment. It seems that the king added verbally that they are doing what they can and will do what remains when they have a better opportunity. Some, however, always fear his Majesty's proclivity for drawing things out and for hearing Gondomar first, and then to call a parliament, from which, if they understand that the marriage negotiations are because of religion, he may hope to obtain large sums of money. This is mere speculation.
The French ambassador admitted that he had been deceived about the dispensation. He declares he has represented to the Most Christian that these are the last hopes of change. He supposes that the affair will certainly be concluded as it was engaged with a dispensation free from conditions. The king his master was not at liberty to go back on his promises. The nuncio must either hand over the dispensation or receive the protest that Buckingham will make in that kingdom, and the marriage will take place. He also considers that what has been done here will also satisfy the pope and will not delay the execution, but the words of the pope's articles are so different from the king's interpretation that if the nuncio has express orders he is not likely to hand over the dispensation without fresh negotiations and commands from Rome. The ambassador smooths things over to prevent mistrust and rendering the affair hopeless here, though no sound decision can be made without parliament, and no money can be obtained without one while the duke has heavily pledged his own name for the naval force.
From this particular affair I will pass to the general events of this Court. Gondomar, besides the letter reported, has written to the king, the prince and all the lords of the Council. One might almost consider it a Spanish pass to confound men with suspicion, but not to effect this journey so soon, which depends upon whether the French marriage takes place or no. His creature has declared that he had no special orders to ask for a ship but to hire a merchantman. This was neither refused nor allowed because all the ships, which cannot leave without the admiral's orders, are bound to his Majesty's service, and he has ordained a passport for Gondomar, and it has already been consigned by the Secretary Conway. This will be an advantage to him and give him freedom.
Parliament is postponed by public decree, to the 30th April, old style; other postponements will succeed to give time to effect the marriage, otherwise there might be danger of its being quashed by the fanaticism of the Puritans.
Halberstadt after having embarked and landed his cavalry finally fell in with a good wind, so there is news of his junction with Mansfeld, who finds it difficult to obtain money from this quarter and for lack of it the recruits he desires are not allowed him.
The king has agreed to the Palatine's patent, already sent to him. He has also signed his own manifesto, but delays to issue it in accordance with his nature.
There was a rumour that he had ordered his colonels not to attack Flanders and Brabant with their men, but your Serenity knows the nature of his Majesty's declarations. It is, however, established that he ordered them to stay in Holland in case of need, especially for the sake of Breda, for which purpose he decided to permit the Dutch to make recruits for the old regiment of this nation in their country. But this decision also seems subject to some difficulty. The king has no inclination to act, and continues his desire for the recovery of the Palatinate but not to break with the Spaniards, except when the league makes war openly, when he will do his share.
The agent of the Palatine is advised that the gentleman of Brandenburg may return any day from France with vigorous and proper resolutions from that quarter. But the king has not decided upon greater declarations or rather it seems that he has sent some modification by courier after the gentleman who left for Denmark.
The vessels appointed to serve the Most Christian are nearly ready; it is thought their number will be increased. For the advantage of the Catholics the Scots are praised for having stayed the persecution in that realm by his Majesty's letters, and the orders for the restitution of the money to the Catholics, granted to France as a repayment of the persecution, have been signed by the king, so there only remains the execution of the payment which the Treasurer has to make.
It is said that the Marquis of Hamilton died a Catholic, but with suspicion of poison, and when alive he rather took sides against the marriage articles, probably not on religious grounds but from opposition to the favourite. The office of High Steward will be suppressed, whereby they reckon to save 40,000 crowns a year.
As regards your Serenity's commands of the 20th ult. I can only add that I will try to impress your intentions and the considerations of the Ambassador Wake, who by his letters here constantly expresses his obligations to the republic, increasing the good understanding with this crown, which ought to have the praise it deserves. With respect to his idea of going to the Swiss, I may say that he combines prudence with this spirit and he seeks opportunities to do something agreeable and to work in concert. When he left this Court he had general commissions to go to the Swiss, if he could be useful and serve the interests of the Grisons with the consent of the parties interested. The ministers of this king have general instructions enabling them to take any steps which may concern his Majesty's service, for which they afterwards render account and are either approved or punished. Wake always encouraged the princes and upheld his sovereign's reputation. However, he has no definite instructions in this matter although I know that he asked permission to make this journey in his last despatch.
Upon this the Secretary Conway told me when he called, they will immediately make up their minds. You will learn the result from the ambassador; I am too far from the Court to know before the first despatch.
London, the 21st March, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
864. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Wake has already advised his Majesty of your Serenity's intention about the prisoner. I have had no time to learn the comments made at Court thereupon. I arranged to see the king, getting out of bed for the purpose of asking an audience, but it is postponed owing to his being ill of a tertian fever. When he has recovered I will punctually execute the state's commands. The Court here was most gratified at my vindication, and no one desired such rascality to go unpunished. I thought it in the interests of the state to shut the door against similar machinations, the memory of the punishment of the innocent being too scandalous and lamentable. (fn. 1) To remit the affair to the king here would have been equivalent to letting the criminal go unpunished, as he would only give him a slight touch of the cat-o'-nine-tails (le code di volpe) and would not employ the reasonable sword of justice. To discover the origin of this machination might throw light upon the womb that gave it birth. I was at such a disadvantage that but for the compassion of God and the clear judgment of his Majesty, with the purity of my behaviour and the importunity of my demands, I might have been struck down without defence. Reasons of state have guided me, and with a clear conscience I can state that I have no enemies, either public or private, than those who do not love the liberty of the most serene republic. Your Excellencies will recognise that I could not report the matter earlier; moreover there was nothing to be done beyond bringing the facts to light and obtaining justice. There is no doubt about the prisoner remaining in confinement here to await your Serenity's commands. If there had been more to report, I would have reported it. I shall never tire in my service and rejoice in your Serenity's appreciation of my sincerity.
London, the 21st March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 21.
Inquisitori di
Stati.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
865. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
Returns thanks for what has been done in his case. His zeal in prosecuting the matter has won him much glory at the English Court.
London, the 21st March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
866. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador, and ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Bailo at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I, Contarini, made my public entry in the usual way, attended by the officials and representatives from the ambassadors of France and Flanders, but not of England, owing to the dispute for precedence with France. I invited all the ambassadors to dine, but only England and the States came, and we have exchanged visits. We went together to see the Caimecam. He told us he was glad to see things were going well. The three friends of this crown were united with the republic against Spain, to wit, France, England and Flanders.
The Vigne of Pera, the 23rd March, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
867. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The negotiations about the English marriage have taken a bad turn these last days. The English ambassadors were so thoroughly disgusted with the ministers here that they would not listen to any of their proposals or arguments. They even announced that the marriage negotiations were broken off because of the ministers here and there was no longer any room for accommodation. However, the gentleman sent by the Prince of Wales and Buckingham arrived, who moderated their wrath somewhat and opened the way to fresh negotiations. The cardinal recently spoke to me about this with passion and Schomberg also. They tried to persuade me that the fault was on the side of the English. They gave me their reasons, and even asked me to interpose as arbiter. I thanked them and said they could not easily find anyone more devoted to both monarchs but the matter was beyond my powers, though I would do my utmost to bring about peace and concord.
I spoke to the ambassadors on two successive days and hope that my efforts were not in vain, as they had a conference with the ministers yesterday lasting from 3 to 8 in the evening, and I am told that they parted quite satisfied with one another.
Paris, the 23rd March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
868. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hope that at length, after various fluctuations the marriage with England will hear the end desired, and that the enemies of this crown and of the welfare of Christendom in general will have opposed in vain. Their last expedient was to send a courier with all speed to Rome to induce his Holiness to approve of the king here signing the articles and promising the observance of those which recently came from Rome with the dispensation, and that the English king and the Prince of Wales should not sign any more but merely be bound to observe what they had signed. The ambassadors always contended for this and the ministers have agreed, as the business was too important and the Queen Mother urged on the matter with too much eagerness. They gave the nuncio to understand that they were awaiting his Holiness's reply for the final completion of the affair, asserting that they would not conclude anything without this permission. On the other hand they promised the ambassadors and drew up a fresh paper signed by all the ministers binding themselves to carry out the agreement without taking any notice of the reply which might come from Rome to the contrary. In conformity with this they sent to Buckingham to come as soon as possible to celebrate the nuptials in the name of his master and to receive the bride.
These last days a difference arose between the two queens over this marriage, the Queen Mother suspecting that the Queen Regnant was using her influence to keep the English ambassadors ill disposed, and to break off the marriage, in the hope that that of her sister might be managed afterwards. However, this happened most secretly and no word of it escaped beyond the Cabinet, as both ladies behaved very discreetly in the midst of these suspicions and slight differences.
Paris, the 25th March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 28.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
869. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Majesty's tertaian fever continues but as the last attack diminished the mischief the physicians consider that he will soon be completely recovered. His impatience and irregularities do him more harm than the sickness. This still prevents me from obtaining audience. However, I have informed the duke through the Secretary Murton of your Serenity's wishes about Carlo Caimo. They replied that they only desired to please you, and they would even strain the laws on my account. Accordingly I need say no more on the subject and only present the letters and pass the offices with the king when an opportunity occurs.
Montague has returned from France with great satisfaction over here as he reports a sure hope in the conclusion and effectuation of the marriage. His Majesty's interpretations of the articles advanced by the pope were sent to the English ambassadors with orders not to consign them to the Most Christian king unless they had an absolute promise of effecting the marriage by them even if the pope objected. They assert that there was a warm dispute over this between the ambassadors and the ministers and among the ministers themselves, but finally all difficulties were overcome as his Most Christian Majesty promised to go forward with the business in any event and to effect the marriage if within an interval of some days, which means an express to Rome, his Holiness does not consent. The belief in this marriage has never stood so high as at present; the duke is making haste and it is said that he may leave in a few days. But meanwhile Gori does not return, and as the king is sick there is no certainty of a decision.
Some unhappy accidents are always happening in the persecution of the Catholics. Those of the county of York have complained bitterly of the measures from which they have recently suffered. The French ambassador has tried to remedy matters but has met with opposition, and there is a fear that free worship may not be authorised in any form; however, he maintained the contrary and obtained royal letters under the seal with orders to the Archbishop of York to stop the persecution. This ambassador always works hard for the benefit of the Catholics, but they never cease making representations to the contrary at Rome to the despair of those who wish them well.
The ships for the service of the Most Christian king are being hurried on to be hired for four months, though the price has not been actually settled or the ships chosen, because those granted did not satisfy the ambassador.
Gondomar's creature has left with the passport already reported. They say he takes back the replies of the king, the prince and the duke, and the Hispanophile Master of the Ceremonies professes to have orders to prepare quarters for him.
The fleet preparing here is the most serious weight on the Spaniard's minds, and their first object may be to stop it. The delay in the execution of the marriage makes any generous use of it difficult and checks hopes.
A gentleman of the Count of Mansfelt has come to ask for men and money. He makes his requests with the Palatine's agent at the Court, but the shortness of money and the king's illness do not allow any decision. He handed me letters from the general which I enclose with the answer.
The change in the king's orders, to help Breda and not to engage themselves otherwise is confirmed. His intentions are as doubtful as his resolutions, but if France hastens on the agreements and their fulfilment, it may easily work for the common service.
Brandenburg's gentleman arrived back from France content with that Court, but he has not entire confidence in this one. He is sick and has not been able to see ministers or treat with them. It is his business to arrange a way for negotiating his plans.
The king spoke wrathfully against the Jesuit who administered extreme unction to the Marquis of Hamilton and against the physician who assisted there, but was soon mollified, and with these appearances they keep both sides going.
Your Excellencies' commands of the 4th and 7th March will guide my conduct, but as regards the Porte they have sent me a hint, and that is the reason for my silence, but I will try earnestly to discover everything to inform your Serenity and avert so prejudicial a business.
This is all I have been able to gather in the midst of my sickness which will not cease in this climate.
London, the 28th March, 1625.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
870. Copy of Letter from the COUNT OF MANSFELT to the AMBASSADOR PESARO.
Has arrived at Gertrudembergh, the rendezvous appointed by the States, with a part of the infantry, the rest with the French cavalry may come any moment. Asks for the payment of the Venetian portion and that he may have his patent as soon as possible. Will send information from time to time.
Rotterdam, the 10th March, 1625.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
871. Copy of Letter from the AMBASSADOR PESARO to the COUNT OF MANSFELT.
The republic will always try to satisfy him and will punctually fulfil her promises, but the time is not yet ripe, as provided by the article. Thought the patent had already arrived. Hopes to serve him more efficaciously at Venice within a short time, representing his zeal for the public service.
London, the 28th March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
872. To the Ambassador in Spain and the like to the other Courts and the Proveditori General.
Nothing important has happened in the Valtelline of late. Deserters from Riva tell of great scarcity and work at fortifying. The Spaniards only burned three houses at Bianze. Coure says Bethune reports the pope neutral and indifferent; he would like to see the Spaniards out of Riva. The German infantry at Colico sent from Milan number 3,000. The General of the Cavalry has been sent to Tortona to help the Genoese; Feria has sent other help. The state of Milan has 27,000 foot in all at present. They asked a loan from the Genoese who granted 400,000 crowns; but from Genoa they report 200,000. Milan has offered 150,000 ducats. The Constable of France in marching to Genoa touched the Milanese but did no harm. Ovada and Novi surrendered to him on terms. We hear of the surrender of Gavi and the repulse of a Neapolitan regiment going from Vado to the Milanese, by the French. The Duke of Savoy reached Aqui in Montferrat on the 18th and put a garrison there, and he occupied and garrisoned Spino. Our Ambassador Priuli after telling the Duke of Savoy and the constable that the republic had nothing to do with the Genoese affair, went straight to Asti, where he has orders to stay. A rumour of some idea to build a bridge over the Po near the Ferrarese is unfounded. We send this for your information.
Ayes, 85.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
873. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
An English gentleman named St. Leger (Senleger) has recently arrived. (fn. 2) He is supposed to have come about the Amboyna affair to induce the States to afford greater satisfaction to the king than they have already offered. Although everything passes with the utmost secrecy I find that he also comes to ask the States to pay Mansfelt the money assigned to him by England until parliament meets. He thinks this will prove not difficult but impossible, as well as the execution of his other orders.
The Hague, the 31st March, 1625.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
874. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I wrote last July of the mission of the Ambassador Alstruder. He is now here on his way back to England. I have called upon him and he told me in confidence that the King of Denmark is paying 10,000 foot and 1,000 horse. The Elector of Brandenbury, the Duke of Brunswick, the Bishop of Magdeburg, the Landgrave of Hesse, the Hanse towns and others will do the same, but covertly, to gather a force of 10,000 combattants for the relief of Germany. The King of Denmark will take the field in person and has arranged with the King of Sweden that these levies shall be made under the pretext of quarrels between them. In this union the King of England is bound for 6,000 foot or enough money to pay them, and the ambassador is going to England for this purpose, having promised to return by the beginning of May with the men or drafts for payment. I understand, however, that St. Leger asks that the 6,000 men assigned to the States by the last agreement may serve this purpose. They will certainly not grant this in the present state of Breda. The ambassador told me that the force would raise Hesse against Tilly and then proceed to the Palatinate. He has negotiated with the States and taken letters from them to the King of Denmark urging him to send a resident here and to contribute to their needs.
The Hague, the 31st March, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 A reference presumably to the fate of Antonio Foscarini. See the preceding volume of this Calendar.
2 Sir William St. Leger. See letters of Buckingham and Conway to Carleton of the 4th March, old style. State Papers, Foreign, Holland.