Venice
August 1625

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1913

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132-151

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'Venice: August 1625', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 132-151. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89043 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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August 1625

Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
192. To the Ambassador in Spain and the like to the other Courts and to the Proveditori General.
Feria's force increases daily. Having recovered practically all the Riviera and captured Gavi, he hopes to throw a bridge across the Po at Pontestura and to go where he likes. The body of his army is marching towards Verua and Sant'la to attack Crescentino. He also has designs on Casale and Monferrat. They have sent the guns and munitions captured at Gavi to Genoa. The forces from the Riviera propose to enter Piedmont. To meet these designs Savoy makes every provision. He has left Prince Thomas at Asti and sent his eldest son to the Riviera. As the Constable is recovering and reinforcements are expected from France, the Spaniards and Genoese may find it difficult to realise their plans. At Constantinople the Imperialists announce the conclusion of peace between Caesar and the Sultan, though they seem determined not to agree to it before the expiration of that of Situan, in about a year, as the Turks mean to have the yearly tribute of 40,000 sequins paid by Caesar for Hungary.
Ayes, 160.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian]
Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
193. MARC' ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Secretary Villocler has returned from England and should have reached Paris yesterday evening. They say that the Marquis Fiat is also about to leave London, and has instructions from that monarch to come about the English ships, which had been sent back, fill them with troops and send them on to the Admiral.
Melun, the 2nd August, 1625.
[Italian]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
194. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Mansfelt stays on here, as no money comes. The French ambassador can get no reply from home on the subject. Nothing comes from England. Burlamacchi's agents here are notified that an application has been made to remit 700,000 florins here. The sum certainly will not meet the debts already incurred by that Crown for Mansfelt and the last four English regiments. The separation of parliament after granting only two subsidies amid these heavy expenses makes one fear a breakdown at the very height of the need. Nevertheless the ambassadors do all they can.
The bad feeling between the Palatine and Mansfelt persists, increased recently by the credit afforded by the former for the payment of the four English regiments serving the States, while the count was refused 30,000 florins.
From Denmark we hear of the return of the Count of Ferens, Mansfelt's envoy, accompanied by Anstruther's secretary, who is going to England to give an account of affairs there and of his master's journey to the Margrave of Brandenburg and the Princes of the Circle to urge them to support Denmark. That king insists upon support from Mansfelt. The English ambassadors, upon the king's credit, forthwith resolved to make provision of 40,000 francs, pledging themselves personally in order to raise the money more easily, and promising to urge the States to supply Mansfelt with troops. Calandrini left yesterday for Amsterdam to procure this sum, with which Mansfelt promises to return to his force, though he grumbles at the slenderness of the provision and knows that the Count of Berg is approaching those parts in force. In spite of all his difficulties the count seems well disposed, though he fears that the state of affairs in France and England will leave him stranded without employment. Accordingly he came to me to express his wish to enter the service of the republic.
The Hague, the 4th August, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
195. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The twenty ships for England have not started; they say it is because of a lack of sailors, but it is also for lack of money. I know this from the Admiral. They will not put English soldiers on board, as the ambassadors wished, the States knowing that in this matter they are in the same situation as the Most Christian. They will man the ships with some 150 to 200 of their own men, reckoning that the Vice-Admiral will be able to land about 1,200. There is a shortage of officers. Some difficulty arose about the patents, which the English wished made for the Palatine's service. They compromised by saying the force was to unite with the English fleet, and nothing more.
The Vice-Admiral thinks he may have command of the whole force, as the English have no one to equal him in his profession. It is certainly for the coast of Spain. He would divide it into four squadrons in order to blockade the whole coast. He remarked that it was too large for other enterprises. He would like to have the assurance of keeping it at least a year, as that was the surest course, especially for falling in with the gold fleet.
Two days ago Michael Veis arrived from England; they say Morton is to return. The negotiations for a league are to take place at that Court by the king's desire. The States order their ambassadors not to conclude, but to send reports from time to time of the proposals, as this step has excited astonishment. However, I gather that both sides accept delay willingly, in order to see what will happen in France, as that will control their decisions. The King of England has so far proceeded very cautiously in his declarations against the Spaniards.
The Hague, the 4th August, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Padova.
Venetian
Archives.
196. GIULIO GIUSTINIAN, Podesta of Padua, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This morning at twelve o'clock the English ambassador left for the Swiss. I sent my coach to take him from his house to the Savonarola gate, where a company of capelletti (fn. 1) waited to take him to Verona. Last Saturday he wished to visit me, my colleague being ill in bed, and expressed his satisfaction, speaking highly of the republic, recalling all the honours and favours he had received and speaking of the king's good-will to this state and declaring his readiness to shed his blood for your Serenity. I expressed our esteem for his king. Yesterday when I returned his visit he asked me to tell your Serenity what he had said.
Padua, the 4th August, 1625.
[Italian]
Aug. 6.
Misc.
Cod. No. 64.
Venetian
Archives.
197. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Mansfelt has dismissed his English; a mere show, to prevent it being said that they deserted. From Brussels they write that much evil is said of him in England and they are very dissatisfied.
Vienna, the 6th August, 1625.
[Italian; copy.]
Aug. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Verona.
Venetian
Archives.
198. The RECTORS of VERONA to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English Ambassador Wake arrived here yesterday evening and continued his journey early this morning. As we only have half a company of mounted capelletti who are engaged in constant skirmishing, we arranged with the Proveditore General in Terra Ferma that the company of capelletti which brought him from Padua should go on with him to Brescia, where the Rectors would arrange for the rest. Shortly after his arrival the ambassador sent to pay his respects to us and we responded in a suitable manner.
Verona, the 6th August, 1625.
[Italian]
Aug. 7.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
199. That the name of Anzolo Contarini be substituted for that of Francesco Erizzo in the decision of this Council of the 2nd June last, Contarini having been chosen to go as ambassador extraordinary to England instead of Erizzo, who remains as Proveditore General in Terra Ferma. The ballot to be taken again with this alteration.
Ayes, 120.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian]
Aug. 8.
Cons. di X.
Parti Comuni. Venetian
Archives.
200. In the Council of Ten.
That in conformity with the decision of this Council of the 5th June, 1613, 50 ducats be paid as a gift to Hieronimo Quarto, notary extraordinary of the ducal chancery, who is to serve as coadjutor to Marc Antonio Correr and Angelo Contarini, ambassadors to the king of Great Britain, to put himself in order.
Ayes, 15.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian]
Aug. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
201. To the Ambassador in Spain and the like to the other Courts and to the Proveditori General.
Feria's move turns out to have been against Asti, but after sitting before it for five days he withdrew to Anone and Fobino in the State of Milan, pretending he only meant to help the Genoese by keeping Savoy occupied. The Spaniards say they will enter Piedmont by another way. They excite anxiety in every direction; there being various opinions about their intentions. Peace is arranged in France. The king says he has been ill served in Italy but he will see that things are managed better in future. In Spain they wish to have it believed that the Catholic has nothing to do with the negotiations in France, and speak of Gondomar's recall. We have this evening arranged for fresh reinforcements for the Valtelline, at the request of the French ambassador and the Marquis of Coure.
This will serve you for information.
Ayes, 149.Noes, 2.Neutral, 16.
[Italian]
Aug. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Brescia.
Venetian
Archives.
202. ANTONIO DAPONTE, Podesta, and ANDREA DA LEZE, Captain of Brescia, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days ago Sir [Isaac] Wake, the English ambassador, arrived here and stayed until this morning at the della Torre inn, owing to one of his gentlemen being sick. On hearing of this we sent him two of the leading physicians of the town. We showed every courtesy to the ambassador and sent him some refreshments which we had by us, for which he returned hearty thanks. At his request we provided him with a mounted escort to Bergamo, in which direction he set off this morning.
Brescia, the 9th August, 1625.
[Italian]
Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
203. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Count of Mansfelt stays on here, as money matters take a long time. Yesterday a long conference took place in the Palatine's house, attended by the French and English ambassadors as well as the Prince of Orange. I understand they discussed giving the count Dutch troops. There would be difficulties about the payment and inducing the officers to undertake this new service. It was suggested that the States should pay, the English ambassadors undertaking to reimburse them. Everyone helps the affair as much as possible. In a few days Calandrini will have ready the 70,000 florins raised upon the credit of the English ambassadors with the utmost difficulty.
Morton has not left yet, though he will do so with the first favourable wind, an English ship having come to fetch him. The king wishes the negotiations for an alliance to take place at his court, and has detained the Dutch ambassadors for this purpose. Morton takes with him the 2,000 English who arrived a while ago, whom the Dutch do not wish to exchange for an equal number of veterans. In the interval they have been trained to the use of war here. They will proceed to Plymouth, having boats and provisions for ten days. Morton takes a certain amount of weapons with him for these and other troops. Morton has not said much, upon the plea of language. He does not leave a good impression.
An English gentleman named Spens is returning from Sweden, where he left the king preparing to move upon Riga.
The Hague, the 11th August, 1625.
[Italian]
Aug. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
204. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At all the chief coast stations of the kingdom they have built strong forts, and they now say that Spain is safe from invasion and no one can do them any harm. A rumour got abroad that the English fleet had sailed, but no confirmation has come. The fleet for new Spain, numbering 25 large ships, left Cadiz twenty days ago, escorted by eight royal galleons and six Flemish ones who accompanied them to the Canaries and then returned and joined the others in Portugal.
Madrid, the 11th August, 1625.
[Italian]
Aug. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
205. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Your letters of the 28th send us word of the retirement of the army of their High Mightinesses as well as the Prince of Orange, a step highly prejudicial to the common cause which we regret greatly. We have to take into consideration that with the removal of this check upon the Spaniards in those parts the danger to this province is augmented. We would point out that whereas we maintain powerful forces in our own states, on the frontiers and in the Valtelline for the common service at excessive cost and inconvenience, we consider it fitting that the States should continue to do the same, especially as we provide funds for the purpose. We desire you to advance these considerations in whole or in part with other matters which your prudence may suggest, but only in the event of the ministers of France and England speaking for the purpose of encouraging their High Mightinesses to continue the war for their own and the general advantage, for which we willingly devote our contributions.
Ayes, 129.Noes, 2.Neutral, 5.
[Italian]
Aug. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
206. To the Ambassador in Spain and the like to the other Courts and to the Proveditori General.
The Governor of Milan keeps the Duke of Savoy busy, compelling him to move hither and thither to oppose his plans. The Spaniards ravage his states and Monferrat, not sparing churches. Feria after taking some small places has gone to besiege Verua. The town is well garrisoned and Savoy has moved to relieve it. Great mortality in Feria's army. We hear of the move of the Danish army towards Brunswick and that Tilly has divided his forces between Ravensburg and Lip. These movements will probably engage all the attention of the Imperialists. We send this for information.
Ayes, 102.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian]
Aug. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
207. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Dutch have finally decided to grant Mansfelt the troops which they proposed to disband at the end of next month. The Engish promise to pay them, but if the money is not forthcoming their promise alone has not much credit, and I fear the troops will prefer to disband rather than accept that service without greater security. Everyone labours to maintain that force, in which all the hopes of Germany are bound up.
The present negotiations for a composition are an insidious attempt to ruin these provinces. The people clamour for a truce and the government leans that way. The prince either cannot or will not resist. No better course appears than a sound alliance with England; but no formal proposals have yet arrived.
Mansfelt left yesterday to review his troops. He took 40,000 florins paid by England. He proposes to return in a few days to learn the decision of the officers.
The withdrawal of the King of Denmark towards Bremen was true. We learn that they lack many things, the soldiers desert and there is little hope of great success. Anstruther does not find the princes of that circle much inclined to come out openly, but rather to remain neutral. If Mansfelt's force does not bring support they fear grave disasters in Germany.
I hear that the Dukes of Lorraine and Wirtemberg have approached the emperor to allow the Palatine to treat for the restitution of his states. The emperor has sent his permission to the Palatine himself, but upon condition of perpetual submission. The Palatine cannot accept this and has written to the King of Great Britain. I fancy, however, that their hopes from arms are vanishing.
The English Ambassador Morton is in Zeeland, the wind not proving favourable to cross. The States gave him a small chain worth 600 crowns, no more. In taking leave he apologised for his return on account of his nomination as commissioner to treat with the Dutch ambassadors.
The Hague, the 18th August, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
208. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They suffer great anxiety here from not being able to learn the objective of the English fleet. They would prefer it to sail, supposing it does not break up, in order to know whither it will go and what enterprises it will attempt, because with this uncertainty they have to keep on the alert in many parts.
Madrid, the 20th August, 1625.
[Italian]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
209. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received your Serenity's despatches of the 5th, 10th, 18th, 19th and 25th, all since I left London. I have fulfilled your commands so far as my journeys and separation from the Court have allowed.
His Majesty, after wandering to various places, took the queen to Woodstock, a royal dwelling eight miles from here, not to stay there but to regulate the affairs of the parliament and proceed to a more retired spot, as the plague springs up everywhere and especially follows the Court, the mischief having penetrated to this place and the very quarter near the king's dwelling. I will relate my interviews with the duke and Conway, as I am reserving my offices with their Majesties for a season more convenient to themselves.
I spoke to the secretary first of the journey to the Swiss of the ambassador in order to praise the prudence and ability of this minister so closely connected with him. I spoke of the satisfaction with which your Excellencies heard of the confidential communications of his Majesty. I referred to the efforts of the republic and urged the prompt employment of the fleet here, the support of the forces of Germany and of Mansfelt and encouragement to Denmark, as war in Germany was the sole means of counterpoising the Spaniards.
The secretary told me that his king rejoiced at the confirmation of the republic's affection; Wake had fully reported the good intentions of your Serenity. He told me he had always believed in the necessity of employing force in Germany; his Majesty would do his part; they must drive Spain from the Indies; news came from France of a declaration of war at Melun, this should be the cord to string the bow of the Spanish marksmen, but France wants to fold her hands and let others work while she looks on.
I always try to dissipate the impression that the French mean to come to terms. I argue the credit that a movement of the King of Great Britain will bring; they should set the example. I also spoke about Constantinople.
The secretary told me that the negotiations between the Spaniards and the Turks were important and his advices agreed with what I said. He had been so busy that he had not deciphered many of the despatches from the Porte, but they would order their ambassador to support the ambassador and bailo of the republic. He said no more on the subject, as he had not seen the letters, and an excess of affairs, surpassing the capacity of one man, prevents him from knowing most of the things that happen.
I urged the employment of a part of their ships to forward the plans of the Duke of Savoy, but they are disinclined to this and do not wish to add outside expenses to those which they already incur. The secretary told me there was no way, but if France would make a union his Majesty was most ready to employ his forces near Genoa or anywhere else for the common service. If the Duke of Savoy wants men and ships and is ready to pay for them, the secretary practically assured me he could have them. The Savoyards wanted thirty ships; the king here would co-operate in conjunction with the French, or by a declaration of war upon Milan. The Earl of Carlisle told me that the French had rather thwarted the plan out of jealousy about bringing this fleet to those waters because of the Huguenots, and some consideration for the pope might also influence the Council of France.
I have not given up persisting about the incident of the funeral. They have excused themselves on the ground of travelling about and being unable to decide since they heard from Wake; but the duke, the chamberlain and the secretary have promised me satisfaction. I gathered that they wished to have Wake's reply to the office at Venice; it appears that he was not informed until long after the event. The secretary told me that Wake had done his part for the satisfaction of your Serenity. The reasons for delay are their natural tardiness, doing nothing unless absolutely forced and through importunity, and the incessant journeys of the king, which made them abandon affairs; but the entanglements (broglierie) of this Court, and the quarrels between the duke and parliament cause quite as much distraction. Moreover, the duke is guilty, to his own annoyance, of the plot of the French, and dares not do much against Lewkenor for that reason. The Lord Chamberlain, a man of good intention, is influenced by being related to the Master of the Ceremonies, and also by his desire that matters shall not go smoothly, so that the duke, whose fortune is threatened, may have the blame of the mismanagement. But everyone has assured me of his Majesty's goodwill and his desire to satisfy your Serenity. Delay, however, will reduce the honour of any demonstration.
Oxford, the 21st August, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
210. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The affairs of this Court and the decisions of the king depend upon what parliament decides. It has met in this city since the 1/11 of this month. Owing to the importance of the business, I have devoted a special letter to it.
Meanwhile the fleet cannot start for lack of money and because the ships are still scattered, the complementary levies are not made, they are arranging for the purchase of horses to draw the guns, and they have not settled their plans. However, some inkling of this must soon appear and cannot fail to be useful, if the opportunity does not slip away. Meanwhile they keep an eye on the operations of others.
News has come from Denmark by express that the king there has his army towards Minden, facing Tilly, who shows more confidence than they like. They complain that the other interested princes do not contribute money, and he has only received payment from the King of Great Britain while the promised diversions of Mansfelt, France and Sweden have not taken place. Some infer that Denmark is only seeking his own interests, but he urges the support of Mansfelt and suggests that Manfelt shall make his levies in Denmark and place himself under his shadow, upon condition that the money for the levies shall go to his Majesty's hands, and with the army united the king and Mansfelt shall carry out two plans, and then the payments shall go to Mansfelt, who is said to agree to these terms. Mansfelt has recently urged his interests, pointing out the great danger of delay, asking for four months' pay and offering to levy 4,000 Scots or an equal number in Holland. They have postponed the matter until after the sailing of the fleet. With the lack of money and indifferent management things drag on for ever.
Mansfelt has complained about the supreme authority given to the Palatine over his forces, and that Alberstat is not acting in harmony or with obedience. To these two causes and the lack of money he attributes the ruin of his force.
The Palatine constantly draws attention to the state of Germany and the emperor's designs. He reports levies in the empire, especially of 23,000 foot in the circle of Swabia, ostensibly to help Genoa and Milan; the raising of this force in the country where they mean to hold the diet indicates the nature of its decisions; the emperor means to quarter these troops in the imperial towns, depriving them of their neutrality and forcing them to side with him.
The Duke of Deuxponts is reported in great perplexity through some levies of horse made by Colonel Graz, which are devouring his country, and because the Duke of Angoulême offers him help, which he is equally afraid of refusing or accepting, because he does not wish to lose the help and yet he does not want to introduce the French into the empire, as he does not altogether trust France. However, the Palatine takes advantage, urging the King of Denmark to march into High Germany for the purpose of counterbalancing the emperor's forces raised to control the diet. As Mansfelt cannot be ready, Denmark asks the Most Christian to send the forces of Champagne and Metz to the empire; but here they do not expect much result from these requests.
The Palatine further represents that if Denmark does not carry out his plans and there is no counterpoise in the empire, all the forces will fall upon France and Venice, and the diet will have the effect the emperor desires, enabling him to establish his authority, introduce Bavaria as elector, confirm the imperial ban, prevent the interposition of the Kings of France, England and Denmark, subject the Palatine to its judgment, under a pretext of accommodation, though he would accept reasonable conditions. He informs the three kings of the negotiations effected through the Duke of Wirtemberg, urging them to interpose with arms in their hands against the usurpers of his dominions, Cœsar, the Catholic King, the Infanta, Bavaria, the Electors of Mayence and Treves and Leopold.
Such are the current affairs, which Gondomar conducts from the other side. He has sent his creature, Taier, here from Flanders with letters to the king and ministers. He has negotiated with the latter, but I have not learned particulars. He probably brings promises of the restitution of the Palatinate and claims that the king shall not give so much help to the Dutch. Nowadays these proposals will produce no results, the leading ministers having assured me so much.
This mission has revived the idea of sending an agent to the Catholic Court, but it has not been acted upon; the members of parliament regard it as a device to induce them to hasten on supply in the fear that they may resume the understanding with Spain.
Rumours increase of a fuller declaration of the Most Christian with Spain, in order that the French may favour the expeditions from this quarter by such an announcement, or that the ministers here wish to strengthen the plans with parliament, and excuse the dealings held with that crown.
The ships destined for the Most Christian proceeded to Dieppe, a useless expense. They now propose to let the French have them unmanned; this might succeed with a proper security for the payment. They rejoice greatly that the Dutch engaged against Soubise have contrived to suffer loss and will have to serve Soubise himself in part.
The town of Frankendal has sent letters of condolence to his Majesty on the late king's death, with congratulations upon his accession and marriage, and asks to be received into his protection. The Dutch ambassadors here remained away from the Court and have transacted no business. Morton is expected back again and the ambassadors will come here.
The Earl of Holland is admitted to the Council, to the disgust of parliament, which abhors those who are leagued with the favourite. The Duchess of Chevreuse is leaving, laden with presents, after the king had honoured her by standing as godfather to her daughter. The Court will proceed elsewhere and I shall follow, bearing the insupportable weight and danger, though it cannot last long.
Oxford, the 21st August, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
211. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
For the complete understanding of the parliamentary affairs I must state that in London they granted two free subsidies, without conditions but with the understanding that they should serve for urgent needs until the houses met again, probably after Michaelmas. In this belief many members absented themselves. But the duke, when dismissing parliament, asked them in the king's name to declare that they would maintain the expenses of the war, a proposal they could not consider accepted without the general consent of all the peers and deputies of the realm. This served as an occasion to reassemble parliament directly in this city, a meeting which has aroused dissatisfaction, being considered unseasonable owing to the plague and the harvest and the excessive inconvenience to the members, and men spoke very freely against the government, whereupon they talked again of adjourning parliament until after Michaelmas. But the Lower House is incensed, and convinced that the duke means to tire them out by moving them from place to place in order to get this declaration that they will bear the expenses. They have declared that it is not consonant with their honour to separate without knowing the reasons and the urgency for which they were called together.
Accordingly, by a new plan, and with a show of great fear, the Lord Keeper and Weston went to parliament and spoke of his Majesty's care for their health in removing them from London, matters were urgent, but his Majesty left it to their judgment whether they should continue to sit or adjourn. The members thought it necessary to hear the reasons why they were assembled and his Majesty's needs. The king went in person to the hall prepared for the purpose; he spoke of the reasons for which he had convoked parliament; how his honour was engaged and the state pledged and interested; the things begun must not be checked; his Majesty could do nothing without their assistance. He would rather half the fleet perished at sea than abandon the preparations already made without doing anything. He referred everything to the consideration of parliament and to what the Secretary Conway and Sir John Coke (Kook) would say more fully on his behalf.
These two represented how the late king had taken up the business, which his Majesty had pushed forward; the charges and expenses he had to bear; his need for prompt assistance to enable the fleet to sail. As the principal arguments they stated that the princes of Germany had offered a league; France had made peace with his subjects and declared war on the Spaniards and Milan; the King of Denmark had taken his army to Minden; great preparations were being made in Flanders and they heard of designs upon Ireland. They said that the loss of Mansfelt's men must be attributed to God's will; but all the same his force had served a purpose in keeping up the war in Italy, hindering the meeting of the diet and the confirmation of the translation of the Palatinate.
After the members had discussed these statements they seemed disposed to give every assistance; but they asked for the execution of the laws, that the money should be well administered, not as in the past, and that the government should not be in the hands of one man alone. In short, all their animosity was directed against the Papists and the duke, against whom they spoke and harangued both directly and indirectly under pretext of the necessity of bringing order into the state and the council.
One who boldly ventured to defend the duke openly was silenced, and to keep his place in parliament had to ask pardon of the assembly on his knees. (fn. 2) They objected that the king, at the very time when he promised every regard for religion upon the petition of parliament, pardoned a Jesuit at the instance of the French ambassador, as well as some priests. They threaten the Secretary Conway because he granted some letters in favour of a Catholic lady.
They clamour about the expense incurred; the command of the fleet; the troops employed fruitlessly; the government being in the hands of young men; that the Admiralty is not directed by a person of experience, and through the failure of this everything goes wrong. They marvel that the fleet has not sailed; if they wait until the subsidies have matured they will need a year; other means are necessary for its despatch, and they declare it is superfluous for them to declare they will maintain the expenses if they find themselves naturally engaged with their lives and fortunes in the interests of his Majesty.
They discussed requesting the king's leave to examine and enquire into the state of affairs and to advise him of a better way to manage things; and also to ask him to declare who is his enemy, so that they may advise the best means of injuring him. It is said that they will add other points.
The king deliberated in his council about the reply to the petition of parliament, which contains many extreme things against the Papists. They all agreed in advising the king to satisfy parliament in everything. The Lord Keeper stood apart, protesting that he was a good Protestant, but they must consider that the king had pledged his word of honour about the Catholics over the marriage. The duke and Carlisle, who managed the affair, said there was nothing in that to prevent, and so the Lord Keeper came round to the general opinion. With this decision the king sent the duke to parliament, with various expedients (con diversi maneggi), which I shall discover for my next despatch.
It is said that some wish to contribute two new subsidies at once; but others desire the usual deliberations and if possible the fall of the duke, for if the king does not support him well, he is in danger of destruction or abasement. These people encourage themselves with the belief that the queen and the Queen of Bohemia are not sorry.
Such are the transactions which govern this State.
Oxford, the 21st August, 1625.
[Italian.]
Aug. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
212. To the Ambassador in England.
We hardly think so precise a minister as the Ambassador Wake has always shown himself would have failed to report the strong representations made about the Master of the Ceremonies, especially as he seems to dislike the man and reprove his error. Before he left for the Swiss and Turin we repeated our requests on the subject, proving our wish for a prompt decision. Perhaps the ministers are only making excuses. However, we will write to Zurich and Savoy to discover the truth. You will continue to act, and we think that Buckingham, who does not care for the Master of the Ceremonies and is better disposed than others, will fulfil his promises. You will assure him that it will increase our esteem.
You spoke prudently to him upon the affairs of this province, pointing out our constant expenses. We direct you to continue this and to show what is being done. You will tell him of Mansfelt's suggestion to come and serve us, and how we told him that he was better employed where he is.
We have your full and accurate advices about Germany and the proceedings of the Swedish ambassadors. We shall await further particulars. We note that your discomfort and expenses are increased by the progress of the plague in those parts, and we have charged Zorzi, the ambassador designate to the Hague, to hasten his journey so that Contarini, your successor, may start at once to relieve you, so that you may enjoy quiet after such long and laborious services.
That the part concerning Mansfelt be sent to the Ambassador Moresini in France for information.
That the part about the Master of the Ceremonies be sent to the Ambassador Priuli and the Secretary Cavazza so that on the arrival of the Ambassador Wake they may inform him, expressing our confidence in his preciseness, and to discover the truth and send us word.
Ayes, 113.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 22.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
213. To the Ambassador Priuli and the like to the Secretary Cavazza.
From what we write to the ambassador in England you will see the slight done to him at the late king's funeral. We remonstrated with the Ambassador Wake so that he should pass it on to his Majesty, but the ministers there declare that they have heard nothing from him about it. When Wake arrives you will express to him our confidence in his exactitude and prudence and try to discover the truth of the matter, and what answer he has received, sending us word.
[Italian.]
Aug. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
214. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The gentlemen returned from England say that the king there has quarrelled with the new queen about a certain Madame San Giorgio. (fn. 3) Apparently discords and disputes have arisen between the two nations from the marriage instead of true friendship. There are no French ambassadors in London or English in France, and in these perilous times they are losing the fruits which the world hoped to reap from this alliance through vanity and lightness.
I have spoken to the ministers here about the English fleet and the good it may do for the common cause. They recognise the importance of the matter but cannot make up their minds, especially with Richelieu sick and absent from affairs.
Fontainebleau, the 22nd August, 1625.
[Italian; the words in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
215. To the Ambassador in Rome and the like to the other Courts and to the Proveditori General.
Feria remains under Verua. Savoy tries to relieve it, and got in a large convoy. On the 18th the Spaniards were worsted near the place with considerable loss. Mortality continues in their army. Leopold is secretly collecting a force to surprise the Grisons. The Most Christian is very angry with Lesdiguières for the loss of Gavi; he promises that his army shall enter the Milanese. He has ordered Lesdiguières, Crichi and others to fill up their companies, and he proposes to send large reinforcements to Italy. The cardinal legate has announced his departure. His people threaten the allies. We send this for information.
Ayes, 72.Noes, 0.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
Aug. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
216. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
Mansfelt has returned. He paid his troops with the 70,000 florins from England and the 20,000 crowns from France, though it was all paid through the complacence of the merchants alone, as the drafts have never come. His force does not exceed 600 horse and 2,500 foot. He keeps pressing for money. The officers of the Dutch troops utterly refuse to serve him. The promises of England do not satisfy them and the French ambassador is not inclined to pledge himself.
The neutrality of Goch is not yet decided on the part of the States. The provinces of Guelderland, Overyssel and Groningen sent secretly to inform the French and English ambassadors and myself that they would not consent to this serious prejudice and urged us to make representations to the more powerful provinces. We consulted together and decided to do this except that we would speak to the Prince of Orange, in order to avoid arousing dissension among the provinces. The English ambassador, having a seat in the Council of State, went first to ask the opinion of his Excellency, but he will not interfere and so the issue remains very doubtful.
A violent storm has prevented the Dunkirk ships from sailing as well as the fleet for England, which is quite ready. It has also kept Morton in Zeeland with the English troops.
The Hague, the 25th August, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
217. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Parliament is dissolved without recall, the interests of the duke's safety having prevailed over the needs of the Crown and public affairs. Since my last despatch Buckingham announced in parliament in his Majesty's name that the king agreed to their petition without any exception or limitation, assuring them that his Majesty had not entered into any secret engagements in favour of the Catholics. He apologised for parliament being summoned at the moment, and postponed declaring who was the enemy until they furnished the money. He defended the late king and his Majesty for not declaring war against Spain, because they were not ready; but nothing had been lost or neglected for their plans. The fleet was prepared. He added twelve points by way of interrogation with his answers about the transactions and deliberations made.
Upon these proposals two opinions arose, one to help the king with some subsidy; the other to examine the duke's conditions and actions before contributing. Various speeches were made on these points, with charges of maladministration and the loss and dishonour from the sale of offices for more than 240,000l. sterling. They proceeded to a sort of examination of the Vice Admiral of the fleet, (fn. 4) if the council of war knew of the preparations and plans. He boldly accused the duke, in effect. The Earl of Arundel and the Chamberlain when asked if they had been informed of the matter in the council of state said, No, but with reserve, as the communication might have been made in their absence. The members spoke of the necessity for correcting abuses in the state, as it was always in their power to enquire and to punish those who take sole possession of the king's will. They condemned the authority of a single individual and said that matters should be done by council. They would willingly supply the money provided the spoiling (consumatione) of the people does not serve private ends and the increase of irregularities.
With more moderate counsels they seemed disposed to favour the payment of a subsidy or two-fifteenths out of gratification and respect for his Majesty and so that he might not lay to their charge the public disorder and the failure of the fleet to sail. But the duke, urged on by his supporters and by fear for himself, immediately induced the king, almost with precipitation, to dissolve, without deliberation or contribution of any kind, although parliament, suspecting this decision, sent a deputation to offer his Majesty a good disposition to make provision provided they had security in some time for a remedy of the irregularities.
It is said that the king was influenced by his intention to maintain his honour and authority supreme; that the duke promised to furnish the cost of the fleet in some other way as well as the other requirements, thinking of calling a fresh parliament, composed of more favourable elements, from whom he can obtain the necessary provision and attain his desires.
The Earl of Dorset, a friend of the duke and not mistrustful of the Spaniards, contributed largely to decide the king. If through lack of money they gave up their plans here and differences arose in consequence between the king and his subjects, who are ill affected and even worse in speech (che male sentono e peggio parlano), the Spaniards would make no small gain. Moreover, the duke, in securing himself, has run into greater danger, in the general opinion, because the king cannot maintain himself without convoking the estates, who, after this rebuff, are not likely to fall in with his Majesty's wishes without a previous enquiry against the duke. The favourite thought he had saved himself by the concessions granted against the Catholics, but that belief failing him he rushed to the precipice of greater violence.
The king summoned his council to Woodstock to inform them of his determination to dissolve parliament, but to ask their advice about the way of doing it. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Keeper ventured some observations upon the prejudice to the Crown, the kingdom and all Christendom, but no one offered any steady opposition to the firm determination of the king. His Majesty said he desired it for many reasons. He did not wish his servants to be molested; all deliberations were made by his command and consent, notably convoking parliament; he exculpated the Duke of Buckingham; complained that parliament had wished to touch his own sovereignty; his condition would be too miserable if he could not command and be obeyed; he would employ one or many or nobody in his councils.
The duke on his knees thanked his Majesty for publishing his innocence; he begged that parliament might go on, so that this might not be laid to his charge; he would gladly defend himself against all opposition, as his conscience was clear. The king graciously raised him; assured him he was well served, other reasons than his interests led to this decision, the prolixity of a few bad ones (la lunghezza di pochi cattivi) of the parliament and the increase of the plague imposed the necessity. On the following day parliament was dismissed by the king's order in a couple of lines.
This is the most sacred prerogative of the king, who destroys with ease all the pre-eminence of such an influential and royal Council. (E questo e il piu arcano potere delle Re che con facilita distrugge ogni prehemmenza di cosi auttorevoli e Reggio Consiglio.) One must observe, however, that the dissolution of this parliament brings discredit, as, upon the basis of the provisions it would supply, they were to maintain Denmark and Mansfelt, arrange with the States and make war at sea. All the same they make a show of going forward with their designs. I do everything I can to encourage their resolutions.
Oxford, the 26th August, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
218. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As the dissolution of parliament, which seems to have destroyed all hopes of effective action in this quarter or at least postponed them, I thought it best to confer with the Secretary Conway. I expressed to him my appreciation of the king's prudence, of the confirmation of the duke's authority and his Majesty's favour. I said they ought now to fortify their decisions, demonstrate the power and authority of the king and dismay their opponents by the generous conduct of useful plans, winning the confidence of the people by measures calculated to render the fleet victorious at sea, while keeping Mansfelt strong, and granting what the common cause and the recovery of the Palatinate require. I referred tactfully to the king's interests, the declarations made and the promises given and the ties of blood, the state and religion.
The secretary said my advice was a voice from Heaven, and they must act thus. The resolutions will be carried out without delay and the fleet will sail forthwith. I said that was the best way to establish the king's glory and the duke's authority and his own, the union being indissoluble.
On Sunday, an unusual day as being a festival, the council met at Woodstock. It is said they discussed the question of fitting out the fleet to start immediately, and putting Colonel Cecil in command; that ten royal ships should be sent out with equal speed to keep clear the straits of Dover, which really is armed against the Dunkirkers, and to pay 40,000l. sterling to Mansfelt, which they have promised to his messenger at Court. One must wait to see precisely how they will pay this money and with what plans the fleet will sail, owing to the great expense. There are various ways of finding money, but the interruption of trade owing to the plague makes it more difficult. However, as the king has pledged his honour and it is the duke's interest to satisfy his Majesty's inclination, they will make great efforts to overcome the difficulties and carry out at least half of their plans, if not all.
The agent of Spain has been to Court and negotiated with the king and ministers to second the negotiations of Tallier, Gondomar's creature. From what I gather he expressed the count's desire to come here, restrained by his unpopularity with the people, which might only involve him in danger without benefiting affairs. But the Catholic King offers to restore what he has occupied and to make representations to the other possessors, assuring them of Cæsar's good intentions, but to carry them into effect it is necessary to enter into negotiations, for which his Majesty limits the time for treating and restoring, so far as may reasonably suffice for the affair. But the agent exhorted his Majesty against concluding a closer alliance with the Dutch, because that would mean breaking off all hopes and friendly feeling, to the loss of all Christendom. This is considered the chief reason for these offices, from having seen Morton at the Hague, the Dutch ambassadors at this Court, and heard the rumours of a junction of fleets and of a defensive and offensive alliance; I do not know what his Majesty answered, but the secretary told me that he spoke as a great king, putting a flea in their ears (con ponergli il pulice all'orecchio).
The agent of the Palatine has approached the king to induce the Most Christian to move the forces he keeps in the Metz district towards Germany, in the interests of the Palatinate, and to co-operate in the designs of Denmark. The king replied that he desired the welfare of his uncle and brother-in-law and he would consider how to induce the Most Christian to take this step.
In addition he promised his protection to the town of Frankendal, but without definite action such words will not help the inhabitants there in the least.
The ships for the French have finally been granted unmanned. It is said that they will be promptly employed at sea against La Rochelle. They seem to have repented about it here already, but they cannot draw back.
The disputes with the queen continue, because there is no establishment in the household and because a declaration has come from France that they cannot break the treaty by conceding that the duke's mother and mother-in-law shall have offices about the queen as being Catholics, and the decision of such affairs is referred to the arrival of the ambassador who is to come from that Court.
The Count of Tillières has represented to his Majesty the prejudice granted to the parliament against the Catholics, and the offence that the Most Christian will take at this breach of his Majesty's word and the shock it will cause to all the Catholic powers friendly to this Crown. The king pointed out the necessity of satisfying his people but promised that when parliament was dissolved he would use his powers; he would not break his word and would show all moderation. The duke had similar assurances made at the Most Christian Court.
Deputies of La Rochelle have been here without their business transpiring. It is said they wish to keep his Majesty well disposed towards them and obtain security for peace with the Most Christian, but that they are on the road to Holland.
In the parts towards Cornwall, in a district near the fleet, thirty Turkish pirate ships appeared, plundered the country, carried off a large number of slaves, did immeasurable damage and committed cruelties causing such terror that seven large districts have sent their outcry to the Court, an unheard of event. (fn. 5)
The Dutch ambassadors have been summoned to Southampton, a coast town 60 miles from here. The council has been ordered to proceed to that place. The king has left for Beaulieu; the queen will leave for Netley. I also shall leave for Southampton to-morrow, flying from the plague and following the Court. The expense and inconvenience grow more and more unbearable.
The mortality at London is lamentable. Since my departure from that city about 20,000 persons have perished in a few weeks, and the plague keeps growing worse.
Satisfaction has been promised me in the matter of the funeral, and they have excused the delay by the private occupations of the Court. I do not accept the excuse, but these people think of nothing but their own concerns, even if the world turns upside down.
Oxford, the 26th August, 1625.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
219. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Caimecan still refuses to admit the gentleman from Naples, but he does not send him away, as we ambassadors have asked. But the Spaniards make liberal promises, the ministers here are venal and the Caimecan himself always leans to the safest way. I tell everything to the other ambassadors, as I perceive they are very anxious about the business.
Achindi, the 27th August, 1625.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
220. To the Ambassador in Spain and the like to the other Courts and the Proveditori General.
Miron is forming another company of Swiss under Colonel Steiner, to be sent with others to reinforce Coure in the Valtelline. The Catholic Cantons opposed this. Other French forces will also go. Popnain is fortifying himself near Riva and Nova, a confession of weakness, owing to sickness among his men. Feria is in difficulties at Verua, where he continues the siege. Owing to Denmark the German levies have gone to help Tilly. Feria keeps pressing for more troops. We send this for information.
Ayes, 107.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
221. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I find that the Huguenot business is turning out ill. The lower classes at La Rochelle are making a disturbance and preventing the better sort from carrying out their intentions, calling them traitors for their pains. If the ambassadors of the allied princes would give their word the Rochellese might submit, but they would take this course with reluctance here. They approach the English covertly and the Savoyard ambassador has served as go-between to induce that king to write to La Rochelle and persuade the people.
We hear that the King of Denmark will not move unless Mansfelt will help him. The Dutch promise him troops and in England they are making fresh levies for him, and they say he will so have 12,000 to 15,000 foot and 2,000 horse.
M. de Blenville (fn. 6) is selected as ambassador extraordinary to England. He will have instructions to treat especially about the fleet and to urge its departure. They have heard here that parliament was dissolved in England without granting the money asked for. Savoy and I keep insisting upon the disadvantages of no French ministers being in England or English ones here. They have asked me to write to Buckingham and the Earl of Carlisle to urge the employment of the fleet according to the first proposals of Farugeard and have authorised the Savoyard ambassador to deal with the same matter and use their name, the first time they have ever done this. I declined saying that the Ambassador Pesaro had instructions about this.
Fontainebleau, the 31st August, 1625.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 "Certain soldiers serving on horseback with steel caps, called with us skull men or black skulls."—Florio: Italian Dictionary.
2 Edward Clarke.
3 Jeanne de Harlay, Marquise de St. Georges, lady in waiting on Henrietta, who had been governess to her and her sister, Christina. Charles would not allow her to ride in the royal coach though the queen requested it.
4 Sir Robert Mansell.
5 Within ten days the pirates captured 27 ships and 200 prisoners. Looe alone lost 80 sailors. In Mount's Bay the Turks raided a church, carrying off about sixty men, women and children. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1625–6, pages 83, 89.
6 Jean de Varinières, Marquis of Blainville. His instructions and credentials are dated the 3rd September, 1625. Pub. Record Office. Paris Transcripts.