Venice
April 1625

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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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623-628

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'Venice: April 1625', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 18: 1623-1625 (1912), pp. 623-628. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88933 Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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April 1625

April 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
875. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king's malady continues, one may say it gets worse as his Majesty increases the mischief, especially by his excess in drinking, and increases the strength of the attacks, the last two having been very severe. His Majesty's condition deprives me of the opportunity of seeing him, and I cannot easily negotiate with the others owing to the same obstacle and my own infirmities.
Business has not been altogether neglected at Court these last days. In the interest of Mansfelt they have sent to Holland to persuade the Dutch to pay 40,000l. for two months, which his Majesty offers to repay, giving any security they desire. The shortness of money in that country renders a resolution doubtful, but the necessity of maintaining that force for their own requirements and owing to the impossibility of proceeding against the enemies forces may possibly make them decide upon the provision. The count's gentleman is waiting for the answer, and then they will arrange with him and fix his departure. He does not ask for a press for the levies, as he is expecting fresh orders, and information about the general's position.
They have begged the king to grant leave to his colonels and captains to succour Breda, but as he is satisfied with maintaining the force it is impossible to move him to infringe his tacit promise to the Spaniards and his first declarations. They have written to Mansfelt to act on his own account, and they will approve the things done, and try to induce the Princess Palatine to incite the colonels, taking the blame on herself. But this is not considered possible, as she will not disobey her father, and the English will not readily disobey their own king. It is also highly prejudicial that the substituted captains have orders practically affecting the general, and Mansfelt has written to remonstrate pointing out the consequences.
They have sent the gentleman of Brandenburg about the affairs of Germany, after he had copious negotiations with the prince and obtained suitable answers. He left with letters from his Highness answering his letters of credit and offering excuses for his Majesty not having negotiated or written owing to his sickness. The gentleman obtained from France ample promises of assistance for the princes of Germany with a good sum of money but in secret ways without a full declaration. Here he obtained a promise of help adequate to the need and was referred for advice to Denmark and Sweden. The king suggested that Denmark should not rush into a declaration of war against the House of Austria until all the interested parties were agreed, and not to contribute a third of the expense as asked, but less. What they propose to do is that Mansfelt and his force shall be maintained to occupy the armies of the Austrians and the Catholic League; to make a confederation and decide who shall have the control and direction of the forces, the Kings of England, Denmark and Sweden always taking the leading place, and to appoint the Hague as the meeting place. They have hinted to me that they will get your Serenity to participate and ask you to contribute.
The prince has not failed to incite the gentleman and encourage the princes, who are afraid to declare themselves openly; but it is not because of this that he has left without misgivings about weakness or the inclinations here, when one thinks of past failures and the very great scarcity of money.
Besides the departure of this gentleman they have sent to Sweden Spens, the one who came from that Court some months ago. But as he is a Scot and a confidential servant of his Majesty, they have given him the title of ambassador, with commissions to confirm the friendship between the two kings, as from this good understanding should result the favourable effects which they desire. They have given the same instructions to the ambassador in Denmark and equal communications to both.
The prince was in this city three days ago for pleasure, to play tennis, but he held the Council, about the way to raise money, it is thought, because the marriage and the war require a large provision. He should have gone to Rochester to review the ships, but was prevented and recalled owing to his Majesty becoming worse. However, the fleet is well forward because they have provided all the provisions necessary for eight months, and in a few days the ships, soldiers and sailors can assemble. Eight ships are granted by the French, besides the royal vessel, upon the conditions I have previously reported.
The duke shows signs of his approaching departure as he is already beginning to send on horses and baggage, but without Goring coming, without the reply from Rome and without the king being well, his start does not seem likely.
The French ambassador keeps busy in the supposition that what they expect from the pope may be finished by the cardinal nephew whose journey causes alarm towards hastening a conclusion here to the advantage of the Catholics, with the protest that it is necessary to forestall his offices and make the marriage safe. But here they are not very disturbed and consider that uniting the king with his own subjects and obtaining a decision from a favourable parliament affords the best security and will alarm others. Nevertheless they are beginning to arrange for a fresh postponement of the parliament, at the instance of the Catholics through the French, as they know what they have to fear from it but without it and without Madame coming decisions will be postponed indefinitely.
The Treasurer has ordered repayment to the Catholics by degrees. They are not satisfied and desire a general order for the restitution of their goods also, which would amount to a declaration against the laws, such as the king cannot make, nor is the Ambassador Fiat inclined to go to this extreme.
A report is current of the success of the Nansau fleet in the Indies, which is received according to the various sympathies at this Court. Some rejoice at the humiliation of the Spaniards, others are sorry at the Dutch undertaking these things which they would like the king here to have. They hear that Gondomar has not left yet and the hesitation about what he shall do.
It is superflous to inform your Serenity of what the French ambassador here told me about their plan to give the Huguenot leaders various appointments about the king, the expedition of Montmartin to settle with Soubise, the humble remonstrance of the Rochellese against Fort St. Louis. I need only mention what he confided to me about the cardinal legate, that his mission is to damp down the movements of Italy, and he heard that he proposed to upset the understanding between France and England, urging them to send their forces against the heretics, making a fast union between the two crowns for the public peace and the advancement of the Catholic faith. The ambassador spoke to me with deep feeling in the fear that his glorious negotiations at this Court may be interrupted.
London, the 4th April, 1625.
Postscript.—The king's last attack was very serious and accompanied by fainting. His disquiet and perturbation of mind increase the mischief, and he is in a whirl of a thousand fears. The doctors fear the worst with his disorders and irregularities and amid these accidents To form an opinion they are waiting for the attack of this next night. Last night his bowels acted, which relieved him and allowed him to sleep a little.
[Italian.]
April 4.
Inquisitori di
Stato.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
876. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS OF STATE.
The letters of your Excellencies of the 7th ult. inform me of the remission of the affair of Filippis to the Savii. I will await your orders and in the meantime I humbly return thanks.
London, the 4th April, 1625.
[Italian.]
April 4.
Cons. di X.
Lettere di
Ambasciatori.
Venetian
Archives.
877. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the CHIEFS of the COUNCIL OF TEN.
Will see that his secretary punctually executes the orders about ciphers, contained in their orders of the 3rd ult.
London, the 4th April, 1625.
[Italian.]
April 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
878. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The question of the Huguenots grows steadily worse, and they greatly fear civil war. The Rochellese insist upon the rasing of the fort and Soubise supports them. The Marquis de la Force acts with great mildness, as he wishes to avoid this evil. The English ambassadors do the same; the Savoyard ambassador and I are both active, but I fear that our efforts will prove vain. I think, however, that the Rochellese would accept a promise from the king to the ambassadors of England, Savoy and your Serenity to rase the fort within a few months. But the ministers here do not want foreign intervention, that of the English least of all, because of religion, their claims, and reasons of state.
Soubise has thirty ships at sea and the Rochellese have sixteen, all armed, including six large and very strong ones. They offer all these for this Majesty's service against the Spaniards, if the business with them is settled and they receive the satisfaction they desire. It was also proposed, to save the king's face, that Madame his sister, should ask as a favour from his Majesty, on behalf of those of the same religion as the prince, her husband, the demolition of that fort, or that Buckingham should ask for it on his arrival, in the prince's name. In short they labour to find a remedy by all ways and means, while some point out to each other the dangers of civil war and speak of the wounds, so fresh still, of the last troubles.
Buckingham is expected here at the end of this present month, and his Majesty's officials have been ordered to be at Calais on the 15th inst. to receive and entertain him.
The English ambassador, who is returning home from Spain has passed this way. He speaks in a very favourable manner for the Spaniards and the Earl of Carlisle told me that the Spaniards themselves had persuaded him to ask leave to return, to use him in England in favour of their interests, but he had spoken to him in such fashion that he hoped he would not dare to open his mouth to such effect, as in confidence and speaking as a friend he foretold his ruin and extinction if he spoke in favour of the Spaniards.
Paris, the 4th April, 1625.
[Italian.]
April 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
879. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
King James I died to-day near the twelfth hour, after having been ill about twenty days. It began with an intermittent tertian fever, augmented by his irregularities, his fits of temper (dalle colere), and his lack of care of himself. He did not know his disease, which grew worse and became very serious three days ago, when he had an apoplectic fit, which affected his chin, loosening his jawbone and enlarging his tongue, and finally a violent dysentry carried him off, the very bed exuding the excrement (rilasciando il letto medesimo della bile).
He enjoyed life for fifty-nine years, for fifty-eight of which he was King of Scotland, and for twenty-four he governed the whole of Great Britain. He spent his days in study, in peace and in hunting. He distributed his treasures with great liberality, his servants, attendants, and the Scots having drained and impoverished the crown, partly through his natural leaning that way and partly from his fear of those ardent spirits. He died fully conscious and of his own accord made a public examination of his conscience, confessing the errors of his life in the presence of many, protesting that he died in the Protestant faith and receiving the sacrament from the Bishop of Lincoln, the Lord Keeper, together with those present.
The Duke of Buckingham refused to receive the sacrament at that time, owing to internal pains, and when his Majesty asked him the reason he disclosed that some valet de chambre had announced that the duke and his mother in applying some medicaments had taken not the medicine but the poison. At this the king became angry and had the valet imprisoned. He still remains in custody by the prince's order as they suspect him of malice because he was a dependant of Somerset, the former favourite.
Amid these events no disturbance has happened, yet guards are placed at all the gates and at the head of all the streets of this city, and they are awaiting the customary proclamation of the death and of the new king. From him they hope for constancy in resolution, and they think his resolutions will be generous and adapted to the needs of the present time. When the king grew worse the duke's journey to France was postponed, and his death will involve other consequences. Amid these great changes I will do my part in the service of your Excellencies and to create a good impression of the republic in the young king. But I languish in my sickness and every moment I expect to receive the Senate's permission to return home as this climate destroys me.
London, the 6th April, 1625.
Postscript.—The bearer will be Francesco Iseppi, who has always served your Serenity with fidelity and diligence. He was paid for the journey out and you will pay him the journey home.
[Italian.]


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