Venice
March 1626, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1913

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355-370

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'Venice: March 1626, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 355-370. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89058 Date accessed: 28 July 2014.


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March 1626

March 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
503. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two ships have already reached England with the spoils of Porto Rico. They do not exceed 150,000 florins as the best part was deposited in the fortress. Other ships which reached England from the East were arrested at the instance of merchants because of the Amboyna affair, but the Duke of Buckingham had them released at the request of the Dutch ambassador, giving orders that no more ships should be arrested for that cause during the 18 months appointed for the settlement of that affair.
We hear of the departure of the Dutch ships from the English fleet, the Vice Admiral having orders to remain on the coast of Flanders to watch the Dunkirkers.
The Hague, the 16th March, 1626.
[Italian.]
March 16.
Cinque Savii
Alla
Mercanzia,
Resposte 147.
Venetian
Archives.
504. In reply to the petition of Ralph Simes, after taking the information from officials and merchants, who report that indigo and brazil wood (guirine) come from the Indies and used to be brought to this city by way of Syria, but now go straight to Amsterdam and are afterwards brought here, where a great quantity of indigo is used for dyeing, while a quantity goes to the mainland and Upper Germany to the advantage of your Serenity's customs, passing to Hungary, and we are also informed that goods which come to this city from the West, England, Amsterdam do not pay cottimo of any kind but only the 10 per cent. as goods from the West, yet we think that at the present time it will not be advisable to increase the 10 per cent. duty as it is only too manifest that the goods which used to come to this city now go elsewhere, and we think it may be to the public advantage in the future for this sort of merchandise to come to this city without a heavier tax, as it is being taken free from all duty to Leghorn and Genoa, and this city not only remains without, to the detriment of the customs, but it is also transported from Leghorn and Genoa to Lombardy and the subject towns. Accordingly in view of present conditions we think that the transport of such goods to this city should not be impeded but rendered easy.
Filippo BonSavii alla Mercanzia.
Andrea Contarini
Z. Basadonna
Nicolo Erizzo
Z. da Mula
[Italian.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
505. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The gentleman of Denmark having remonstrated strongly about the delay in despatching him, has obtained his despatch and provision for a month upon the money of the jewels, and a promise for the rest from the subsidies granted by parliament; but after this the duke begged him to stay his departure, hoping in a few days to give him better satisfaction. In the meantime they want to see how parliament is going, make sure of the decision of France and know precisely how much money they can count on from Holland from the jewels. From the latest news it seems that the merchants will only advance 200,000 crowns, a very small sum, and as they say only upon the small jewels. Mansfelt's gentleman will also leave, but only with letters of encouragement.
They still propose to send to the Hague about the arrangements with Gabor and why he is hoping for the time when the ratification with Denmark becomes due (et perche va sperando il tempo del termine alla ratificatione con Danimarca). But in the confusion of the affairs being dealt with here and the doubt about the outcome of parliament, they do not know what to decide or to promise.
When writing to the King of Sweden about the King of Poland's requests, they propose to invite him and the Elector of Brandenburg to enter the league, recognising the harm done by the dispute there. But the idea seems belated, and the suspicious think these offices are intended to divert the complaints of parliament. I will carefully observe what happens.
A courier has arrived from the King of France confirming the peace of that kingdom; the English goods will be released, the ships will return and the Most Christian has decided on expeditions abroad; there will be no quarrel between the two kings because of the quarrel of the ambassador. This news will be confirmed by the Marquis of Rames, the ambassador himself and the bishop. Here the French goods are not yet released, although it is announced that his Majesty will order prompt restitution. As the bases for such difficult affairs are not easily arranged, the Court is waiting to have the truth verified, inferring that it is all put about in the interests of the duke with parliament, where matters advance or become more involved.
They have decided to examine into the origin of the second arrest of the French ship, (fn. 1) upon which so many enquiries have been made, and finally after many had made it appear that such was the king's will, someone (fn. 2) has accused the duke, who has been asked expressly to render account to the Lower House either verbally or in writing or by proxy. He tried to escape by invoking the jurisdiction of the Upper House, and make a division between the two houses, but this did not succeed, as the lords agreed that he should answer, leaving the manner to him, although he wished to make his reply with the advise of the House; accordingly he said that the king wished it so. This proceeding is disliked and causes searching of heart among those who have asserted that his Majesty's intentions were different, indeed against hurting his friends. Such efforts have been made against the duke that if the parliament continues it is unlikely he will come off scatheless (questo termine displace et fa inquirere, quelli che hanno assicurato le intenzioni di S. Mta. essere state diversi anzi contrarie alli danni degli amici e tanto s'e cercato contro il Duca che continuandosi il Parlamento difficilmente si salvera incolpevole).
But the duke proposed another way, pointing out to parliament the internal and external needs of the crown, adducing the preparations of the Spaniards, calling the Catholic a tyrant who aspires to universal monarchy, the powerful fleet he is preparing in Spain against these realms, that which Spinola is gathering at Dunkirk, besides the ships and boats to approach the shore. Upon external affairs he gave an account of the alliance with the Dutch, Denmark and Gabor, pointing out the readiness of that prince to take the field in two months with 40,000 foot and the hopes to have 100,000 soon, the advantages that Denmark has over Tilly, but the danger that without help the full stress may fall on the Dutch, and consequently they are preparing forty ships for their defence, to whom the Dutch will add twenty. To oppose the designs of the Spaniards they are equipping this fleet and ask for money to defray the expenses, urging the parliament to prompt despatch because the loss of a day might affect a whole year. The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke to the same effect and the Earl of Pembroke also, at length, in the Upper House in the presence of the members of the Lower. The latter appreciated the requirements and did not need any spur, but they understood that these proposals were made to divert them from the business they had in hand. When that is done they will attend to the service of the kingdom of their own accord without instructions from others.
The duke spoke afterwards of the peace of France and the intention of the Most Christian to restore the ships. The English merchants also have announced that peace in the House and in the church of St. Paul's, where they hold many meetings. He further related how the Dunkirkers had landed in Suffolk, burned a village and carried away the goods and ships of the people there. But parliament, being informed that this news was false, gave little credit to the news from France, and I am told that the king and the duke are in some perplexity because the members of parliament are determined to have an account of the employment of the money already contributed and to regulate it. The motto of parliament is not to strike the duke openly but to seek out things ill done and covertly make him culpable, so that the Lower House may demand a trial by the Upper, as they have no authority to punish, and in this way the duke must either fall or be broken without provision of the parliament. If they can see matters settled and ordered they are not averse to supplying what is required at home and abroad. They state that they must not charge the country without the certainty of profit, as they have been deceived so often, lamenting the superfluous expense of quite 100,000l. by the duke on two embassies.
Some think that as the king has left parliament free so far he will continue to allow it to arrange everything, but the duke on the other hand has advised against a precipitate rupture, showing the harm done by the last; time will show.
The Council of War summoned to render account of the expenses incurred seems to have answered in general terms, saying they are not bound to be more explicit, but parliament objects and requires an exact reply, and if any resist, they talk of making an example by imprisoning them in the Tower. All this affair has been managed by Conway and Grandison, a dependant of the duke.
Amid these affairs the Catholics are not forgotten, but they have read a list in parliament of all those suspected of the Catholic faith, for themselves or for some close Catholic relation, so that their houses may be searched to convict them. They have sent pursuivants from this city through all the counties against the Catholics already convicted, so that the executions against their goods may be more thorough and with less consideration.
The earl of Arundel has married his eldest son, Lord Maltravers to the daughter of the late Duke of Lennox, the marriage taking place secretly to his Majesty's great displeasure. The earl told him after the event, saying his son had acted without informing him. His Majesty expressed his displeasure and ordered him to leave the Court. On the following morning he sent a cavalier with a note ordering the earl to go to the Tower, whither he was taken by four of his Majesty's guards. The king afterwards ordered the Countess of Arundel, to withdraw to the house of her mother-in-law, the Duchess of Lennox, mother of the bride, to go to a residence of her's fifteen miles from here, the bride and bridegroom to remain with the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Duchess of Richmond to keep to her own house. This last lady belongs to the house of Arundel and contrived this marriage, promising to make her niece her heiress, hence all this trouble. The king justifies his wrath because of the secrecy used, and because the earl, though cognisant of the affair, did not inform him about it at the proper time, but the real reason is that the duke aspired to have the girl for his own niece, although he wished the transaction to be straightforward, and the king wanted to marry her to the Earl of Argyle's son, as a tie upon that Scottish chief. But the most unfortunate circumstance for Arundel is the enmity of the duke, against whom he has expressed himself very openly and forcibly in parliament. That body is incensed on this account and speaks of demanding his release, as they have the privilege of claiming any prisoner for the good of the realm, but a refusal would break up the parliament and involve worse consequences for the earl.
The Persian ambassador, after many days, has obtained a public and very stately audience, as he offered his Majesty an apology for the incident and it is arranged that the pretended English ambassador shall go to Persia with a gentleman, he having offered to do so. The negotiations of the Persian will be referred by the king's authority to commissioners, merchants of the East Indies.
According to the usual custom of monarchs to issue special money for their own coronation, some have appeared this week with his Majesty's device, an armed hand holding a naked sword and the motto Donec pax sedata in terris.
Letters from Italy have not reached me this week, and this fact with my indisposition has prevented me from treating with the lords here; but the Ambassador Contarini has sent me the duplicates of the 28th November and 13th February together with full advices of French affairs. I will keep him fully informed of affairs here.
London, the 19th March, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
506. To the Ambassador in England.
The ecclesiastical troops have left Ferrara for Milan. Feria is sending 7,000 foot to join them and is providing guns and other munitions. It is said the papal troops are going to the Valley, while the Spaniards move against our state. The Genoese have agreed to pay Spain 52,000 crowns a month to maintain 7,000 men, while they keep an equal number. Feria has from 22 to 24,000 men in the state of Milan. Papal troops are also on Venetian frontier of Polesina, and open talk of invasion. We are making every preparation for defence. We send this for information to impart as our service requires.
The like to the Hague, France and Savoy.
Ayes, 113.Noes, 4.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
507. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador has come to this city to see the queen, which he has done with his Majesty's permission, who continues to grant it on the supposition that he has letters and business. A courier and a gentleman from the Most Christian have reached him and your Excellencies will be glad to know the true state of affairs between the two crowns. The peace is ratified by the Rochellese; the Most Christian sends a copy of the ratification to his ambassador, telling him that the rumour circulated by the English that he promised the demolition of the fort is false and he has not altered the conditions published. The Most Christian has released the English goods on the promise of the ambassadors that all the French goods shall be released within three weeks and the satisfaction desired by the Most Christian afforded, otherwise he will take back the goods as a surety for those of his own subjects. Thus it does not seem that the English will be at liberty to take their goods out of France, as the English ships are not returning here directly as announced, as under pretext of arranging whether they shall be taken back by Frenchmen or Englishmen and to give time to the Most Christian to pay the necessary hire, they say it is not reasonable to release the ships without payment and want a security and the fulfilment of the promises given here. The gentleman of the Most Christian has come to tell the ambassador to see the manner of his satisfaction, with which the Bishop of Mande will afterwards leave France, and the English believe that he has come to inform himself of the truth of the events so that the Most Christian may judge against the ambassador. The latter told me that the English ambassadors when they first complained to the Most Christian of his operations declared against Blenvile and not against his Majesty's ambassador. The king replied that he could not separate the man from his office. He was sorry his ambassador had behaved badly, but he must hear his own account of the matter. He betrayed some feeling at their treatment, which drew from the ambassadors a confession of wrongful accusation, but everything will be put right by public demonstration to show the world that they do not wish to give offence to France. This satisfied the Most Christian, who directed his ambassador to await the fulfilment, and not to leave the kingdom before, but remain till further order. The king's courier was sent for the fulfilment of the promises, and the ambassador has no inkling as yet of what may follow. But the duke has sent his gentleman to France for a reason unknown to me, but always in order to plaster over the transactions in which he becomes more and more involved. He has procured the release of the English goods in France by many promises, to show parliament, which did not approve of the arrest, that it took place merely by the order of the Ambassador Blenvile through an understanding with the first president of Rouen. This is true, but it was afterwards ratified by the king himself. This affair weighs upon the duke, especially as parliament presses him harder, profiting by a leaning in favour of the French. The House has ordered the duke's lieutenant (fn. 3) to ask pardon for having spoken ill of France by saying that the arrests were just reprisals. The duke is much preoccupied because if parliament continues he is in danger, and if it is broken up for this cause it will offend France, leave the king unprovided and the nation somewhat inclined towards the French. But the members of parliament go further and are much disgusted at the king's action, as he first told them that he desired no advantage against his friends, but now he says that he himself ordered the arrest of the French ship. Accordingly they have decided, since the king allows himself to turn about, that they must provide him with a good council. It is hard to know what importance to attach to these circumstances. I hear on good authority that the king intends to send a message of importance to parliament to-day, to learn their resolutions and repress their excessive zeal. We shall soon hear the result of this.
The duke sent a gentleman to the French ambassador at Greenwich to tell him that he had represented to the king the impropriety of the event about his house and the matter is referred to the Council to which he should send someone to represent his interests. This did not please the ambassador at all and he refused.
It is rumoured that they will deprive the earl of Arundel of the office of Marshal, and the bride and bridegroom are considered by the archbishop as excommunicate for having celebrated their nuptials in Lent without regard for the Church.
I conclude with a communication made me by the French ambassador that he has orders to treat with me in a manner befitting his own dignity and the honour of the republic.
London, the 20th March, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
508. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French ambassador complains of the announcement that the pope has declared openly against France, to show parliament the necessity for France to remain inseparable from England. The ambassador derides this belief and neither denies nor confirms the existence of negotiations with the Spaniards. He says that if they can have security and render fruitless the attempts of the Spaniards to acquire the Valtelline, it would be a great gain, seeing their bad relations with England and the lack of security or the possibility of working together. One must reflect that the French took up arms with the pope's consent, and he did not declare himself for the Spaniards out of consideration for the French. I think I have found out that those who foster the quarrels between the two kings are trying to compel the Most Christian on a point of honour to draw the sword against the king here. The malicious show that they have no other object but to establish the Catholic religion by a force (un' Armata) whereas it can only be done by treaty. May God favour the faith and crush pernicious designs.
London, the 20th March, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
509. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The oracle has spoken at last. This day, Wednesday, I promised myself a second audience of Schomberg. When I went to him one hour after midday he sent to say that the king had just summoned him and the chancellor also. I found him later in his coach waiting for me. He beckoned to me and said he wished to see me. I asked him to give me a time to-morrow as it was late. He repeated his request, so I was sure there was something new, nor was I wrong, Accordingly I went to the house and in the courtyard I found the English Ambassador Carleton awaiting me. Schomberg arrived and after an exchange of compliments the English ambassador discreetly departed.
He said the king had sent him to tell me that Fargis had committed a worse offence than his first, and had signed the treaty of peace. The king was very angry with him.
Paris, the 20th March, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci, Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
510. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Persian ambassador made his state entry two days ago.
The prince received him with great honour. I am much afraid he has come for the sale of silk, much of which is for his king. His behaviour keeps the court constantly diverted.
Some goods of the new English Ambassador Chelegre have arrived here and he should follow in a few weeks. He may be hastened by the business of the jewels. They have come to a violent decision about these, to consign them to private individuals and receive the money for them in instalments. This does not exceed 300,000 florins so far. The risk is great, the honour small. Henry Vanderput has recently failed at Amsterdam for 150,000 florins.
The Hague, the 23rd March, 1626.
[Italian.]
March 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
511. To the Ambassador in England.
Four of your letters have reached us recently, three of the 20th and one of the 27th ult., with news about the ship Faith and Aleppo. We are satisfied with your offices with the Secretaries Conway and Cuch. You will get what you can with your customary dexterity and prudence.
We know that you have been prudent and circumspect over the quarrels between the king and queen and the French ambassador. We feel sure that the king, guided by the wise counsels of his ministers will adjust matters, but we wish you to intervene wherever your offices can assist a mutual understanding between the two crowns, and you will always do so when asked showing that the republic aims at peace and concord and the union of these two princes, which is so necessary at the present time, as both are called upon to arrest those encroachments which menace the public cause and have only selfish objects. We shall observe what is done and the real designs of his Majesty.
We learn the departure of the Duke of Savoy's gentleman from that Court and from what you write we conjecture that his Majesty will not send his ships to the Mediterranean, though we shall be glad for you to make sure of this.
Ayes, 184.Noes, 0.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Collegio,
Notatorio.
Venetian
Archives.
512. In the Collegio, with the authority of the Senate in execution of the decision of the 4th and 19th December last upon the claim of Ralph Simes and his advocates to be free from the payment of Cottimo of Damascus for indigo and brazil wood (guerini) come from England, the matter was brought into the Ducal Chancery, where both sides were heard, the Procurators of Cottimo of Damascus declaring that for several reasons Simes ought to have the permission, it was decided that white should be for giving him exemption, green for refusal, and red neutral.
First vote: White, 7.Green, 3.Red, 8.
Second vote: White, 9.Green, 3.Red, 8.Pending.
On the 26th of April it was again submitted to the Collegio and carried for white.
White, 11.Green, 5.Red, 2.
[Italian.]
March 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
513. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The gentleman of the Most Christian left after having conferred with the ambassador and seen the queen, who approved and confirmed the ambassador's account from what I hear. News has come from Calais that the goods have been again arrested and some English even made prisoners, with no certainty as to the reason, although they blame the orders of the French ambassador here. However, they show no resentment here, in order not to arouse parliament, as everything is laid to previous faults and the non fulfilment here of the last promises.
A merchant arrived from France declares that the king removed his hands from the English goods, but parliament had not let them go. The satisfaction promised by the English ambassadors is not fulfilled here or the restoration of the goods. They encounter insuperable difficulties because the ready money has been expended, preventing prompt restitution. Part of the goods has been sold at a very low price and some robbed, and the ship particularly in question (fn. 4) has been much damaged and its tackle stolen. They declare they will give satisfaction through the merchants, which might be acceptable in their present difficulties, and in France, as they would be sorry to prepare honours for the ambassador. Possibly the despatch of the duke's gentleman, which took place with the king's consent was for these emergencies, and therefore it seems strange that the Most Christian's gentleman did not treat with his Majesty.
I have observed two additional points in the negotiations in France. One that the English ambassadors there propose the renewal of the alliance of 1610 between the two crowns, chiefly because the conditions about the goods of the people on either side may be better confirmed, and the league will expire a year after the death of the late king. The other, is that the Most Christian claims that his ambassador shall be present at court to identify the goods of his subjects. In addition to these there is important news from la Rochelle where the people complain that the peace is not carried out on the Most Christian's side, that the Marshal de Tamines continues hostilities, they have been prevented from getting in food, the English ships do not leave, 12 ships have arrived from the port of St. Malo, a fort to hold 4,000 men is being built on the islands. The deputies of la Rochelle have made these representations and were told that they would send to France to get the peace carried out or his Majesty's ambassadors would take leave of the Most Christian. The matter will be dealt with by the Council and they are putting off the despatch to that court to await more certain news from the king's ambassadors.
The Rochellese had news of the disapproval of the articles here a day after the ratification. This aroused a great tumult and the deputies of the religion had to save themselves by flight. According to the same reports the French have delayed to act because uncertain of their intentions here. By such double faced action things are upset and the plans of the Spaniards made easy. Rochelle has no food and cannot subsist without provisions from this kingdom.
Here they are trying to maintain their credit with both parties. If the devices I have written of do not succeed it will be through good luck, not good management.
I am perfectly ready to interpose my offices, but the present events of State which concern the king and ministers so deeply, restrain me and so I am a friendly looker on. Internal affairs cause the external ones to be almost forgotten. The gentleman from Denmark and Mansfelt is put off and prevented from leaving. The need for not allowing their despatch increases because in Holland they cannot find the smallest sum of money, and the duke excuses the breach of his promises to the king by saying that the Arminians have prevented the payment.
The Count of Mansfelt does not abandon his interests, because the Palatine in his name asks for large sums of money, which is very inopportune just now. If he cannot be supported he says he will serve as general under the King of Denmark, but he is of the opinion of that king in thinking the employment of two separate armies better. They cannot supply the money and remark that the count did not move as he promised and represented his forces as greater than they were.
Rumours multiply of naval provisions in Flanders and that Gondomar is the director of the Council, an argument that they expect to profit by his special knowledge of this country. They tell parliament that there are forty ships for its defence, but it is said they have only ordered the admiral to coast.
Various ships passing from the Canaries to Hamburg are allowed to go undisturbed, and a Hamburg ship received a passport, after having sold many goods, to lade merchandise of this mart for Lisbon, under the pretext of recovering English goods. One supposes that they aspire to facilitate the business, especially as the king, has treated of a way to connive. They have farmed out the customs with some loss, but with a promise to maintain the trade, in which the advantage of the crown indeed consists and the convenience of the people, who maintain themselves by trade alone besides what they take from themselves and recognised openly that they grant to Hamburgers, Dutch or French; but it is in their interest to avoid any arrest at Hamburg where the English have a very rich stock of wool and cloth.
There has been a fresh difficulty about the ship Faith. A minister of the Admiralty sent on purpose, told me that all the goods of Venetians would be promptly released, but as they had found many goods of Portuguese living at Venice, I must go to the courts of law. I thanked him for the promise, but as regards applying to the courts of law, this was a matter between prince and prince, and the ship and all the capital ought to be free. I hope your Excellencies will tell me what steps to take. The advices are delayed and I do not know all that is taking place. I have no reply to my copious letters and only have the information about Constantinople and Gabor in the letter of the 21st February.
General Cecil was presented to the king the other day. His Majesty received him graciously and questioned him, the examination being continued by the Council, possibly by this show to prevent parliament knowing. They say that he maintains on good grounds that he did his duty. I fancy that he had secret instructions and that Denbi, the duke's brother-in-law, failed to carry out the general's order to burn the ships, upon which the glory and perhaps the success of the enterprise depended.
The earl of Arundel has been examined by the commissioners deputed by his Majesty about the fact of the marriage. Although his answers do not inculpate him, they have not satisfied the king, and further misfortunes are predicted for him.
London, the 27th March, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
514. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The outcome of the parliament has a connection with public affairs, because upon the means which the king may obtain depends the continuation of his plans or the necessity to depend upon necessity itself and upon the rule that he may introduce into the government of his own authority. I have always said that the two things were inter-dependent, and I think the continuation more advantageous, as the proceedings of this parliament ever become of greater consequence. The king supports the duke with determination, while the hatred against the duke becomes more outspoken with the plan to separate him from his Majesty and deprive him of his absolute power. When the members go into matters, the moment there is danger of touching the duke his Majesty either takes the matter upon himself, as executed by his orders, or stops the discussion by proposing fresh affairs. I have already written of the king's proposed embassy to obtain a prompt decision about the provision for his needs, on the grounds of imminent peril and various expenses, pointing out all the charges he has, asking for despatch and when it will be ready. After discussion they proposed to offer to his Majesty to reserve internal affairs and to take upon themselves the costs of the war both at home and abroad, upon condition that his Majesty grants them justice, listens to their just grievances and allows them to establish matters on a sound foundation with the certainty of good results and with this end to allow them to meet from time to time until everything is so well established that they will be sure of its continuation.
In discussing these replies there has been much free speech against the government, especially by two members (fn. 5) of greater audacity and freedom. Of these a Dr. Turner, a man of very humble birth, a physician by profession, pointed out in a long speech that there was one very wide spread evil upon which all the disorder depends. He brought forward seven very important points to be examined against the duke; they are:
(1) Whether through the admiral's bad government the king has not lost his royalty and the honour of being lord of the narrow seas, that is those between England, France and Flanders, as his predecessors were.
(2) Whether owing to the extraordinary gifts made by the late king to the admiral and his relations from the possessions of the crown and of other kinds, the royal revenues are not much diminished.
(3) Whether he has diverted the money of the subsidies to private uses, different from the provision in the grant.
(4) His mother and father-in-law being recusants, whether he has not supported and honoured and attached himself to that party.
(5) Whether the employment of himself and his relations who are incompetent for their posts, while increasing the charges of the state, has not occasioned the aforesaid evils.
(6) Whether the common weal has not suffered greatly from his sale of honours, offices, justice and ecclesiastical dignities.
(7) Whether the fleet did not incur disaster through the lack of things necessary, from an ill conceived plan or because he did not command in person when he was the general.
This open attack has warned the duke of his peril and greatly perturbed his Majesty. In order to put a stop to it the king sent another message to parliament complaining that the two deputies mentioned had spoken ill of himself and of the duke's person; they must be punished, else he would use his royal authority. He said in honour of the duke, that he would not sacrifice the least of his servants, let alone the duke who is so near his person, so high in rank and so well deserving. This mission only made the members more incensed as they cannot abandon their privileges without the loss of their liberties. It makes the issue of this parliament doubtful, but perhaps before I close these presents some private decisions will be carried out. In the meantime I will add other particulars.
The Council of War, after much pressure from parliament at their slowness, produced a note as a final reply, though very confused, signed by them all, saying that if a statement of expenditure is desired they will show the items, but his Majesty has ordered them not to render account of the details, and being sworn to the king's service they must obey their oath and the bond of secrecy. They express regret at not being able to satisfy parliament, which considers itself played with and agitates for greater certainty about the payments.
The Lords of the Upper House are devoting their attention (si reser-vano) likewise to the imprisonment of the Earl of Arundel. When they began a debate to claim his release, the Lord Keeper appeared in the character of a messenger from the king, stating that the earl's imprisonment was not for parliamentary reasons but for others, affecting his Majesty. Notwithstanding this the commissioners of the privileges of the kingdom and parliament have been directed to examine thoroughly the arguments and precedents, for a more mature decision. This ended in a dispute and a division in the House. The duke said they ought not to ask it of the king. He obtained the majority and the lords exclaim that they have lost their liberty, as any pretext will serve the king to get rid of a lord who opposes in parliament.
The merchants of the Levant Company have had recourse to parliament for support to secure that the ambassador now at the Porte be not recalled, owing to his merits and services. They bear the cost and do not want to send Sir [Thomas] Fiips, (fn. 6) who is incompetent for the post. This wounds the duke who is forcing the change for his own private feelings and interests.
The merchants of the French company have complained again, because nothing is done for their losses. Parliament considers it has been deceived throughout and makes a great outcry. It is uncertain, however, whether they will succeed in their plans, which consist in keeping united as much as possible, and in meeting frequently to rid themselves of grievances. The duke is the sole fount and cause of these. They wish to arrange their plans and provide for their expenses, first securing the defence of the kingdom and then attending to the wars abroad. The king only wants to save the duke, to have enough money promptly, an opportunity to dissolve them soon and to summon parliament as little as possible.
They propose to form a company by which with the authority of parliament and royal privileges they can attack the King of Spain with a fleet, to share expenses and the booty among the members who form it. The matter is taken up warmly but is not settled.
Upon the king's demands for money, parliament has sent a deputation to his Majesty accompanied by a large number of members to protest their loyal and faithful intentions, offering to contribute as much as has ever been granted, but in a parliamentary way, begging his Majesty to grant justice for their grievances. The phrase, " parliamentary way," means free grants according to their disposition and to have some knowledge of the way it is employed. The king seemed to appreciate their feeling, urged on the provisions, as delay is dangerous, and expressed his desire that they should not meddle with private affairs, speaking of the duke or of any of his servants, declaring that he would reject everything which they brought forward against the duke.
London, the 27th March, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
515. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier passed this way yesterday from Genoa for Naples. They think he goes to ask for troops as the Genoese are again afraid of being attacked by the Duke of Savoy. They say there was an English or Flemish ship laden with troops at Naples and Genoa, against the wishes of the master. He pretended that the ship was leaking and in danger, thus inducing the soldiers to land. He then set sail and escaped with all the munitions and arms, leaving all the soldiers in some place in the kingdom.
Rome, the 28th March, 1626.
[Italian.]
March 29.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
516. To the Captain of Padua.
Send him Captain Christopher Peyton, who has been brought from the fortress of Palma, together with the muster roll of his company of ultramontanes, forwarded by the Proveditore General. To call over the muster, as the said captain is bound to render account to his Serenity for the pay for the current month received for the soldiers that are missing. The roll will show what Payton owes, which shall be debited to him.
[Italian.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
517. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I called on the English ambassadors and told them what Schomberg had informed me. I said I anticipated that the ministers here would try hard to induce them not to take it ill that the king should make peace with the Spaniards in Italy, as he would be the stronger for the war in Germany; as I had always kept our affairs united with theirs, I begged them to do the same because they might be sure that if we are treated badly here, German affairs will not go well either.
Carleton replied, first thanking me warmly for the continued confidence shown. He told me that in recent conferences with the ministers they had settled the points of the detained ships and the arrested capital, according to their desire, and then requested the despatch of the gentleman of Denmark with due satisfaction. The ministers told them that the king proposed to help that monarch. Here I asked if it were true that they would pay him 300,000 ducats. He said this was not stated, but it ought to be more. However, a beginning would suffice. When the ministers told them they wished to say nothing of their negotiation they replied that they would speak of it more at their convenience, but they had heard of a peace being signed with Spain about Italy with great regret as it would mean the loss of a great part of their help. It was the work of Spanish sagacity. Gondomar had only too often told the King of England that he need not arm for the Palatinate as his king would get it restored peacefully. The king replied that he would keep to his plans. While he was in Holland they tried the same trick of a truce or peace. All these things should be a warning to them. They should not leave their friends in doubt, but pursue the war in Italy and work everywhere for the common advantage. If they failed Venice they would afterwards fail England also. They would continue to treat in the same manner and serve the most serene republic. Carleton further told me it was true that they had sent to them frequently a bishop, who was going to England and others saying: What does it matter to you if peace ensues in Italy; you will have better conditions in Germany. But, said he, we know full well that they were sent for the purpose of spying (per esplorar a pista). I thanked them and begged them to persevere, as I had always done in favour of their affairs.
Paris, the 29th March, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
518. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After Schomberg I had audience of the king. Among other things his Majesty remarked with a smile that the King of England was again preparing a large fleet, his face showing that he did not believe it or how little importance he attached to the matter.
Paris, the 29th March, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
519. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
No letters or advices arrive from England or France. The men do not appear from France and England to fill up the companies, but even if they did no decision could be made because of associating with the English as the league requires, and because they want to hear the decision of France.
The Persian ambassador has had his first audience. On the following day he had private audience of the prince, presenting carpets and silk cloth worked with gold. His credentials and commissions have not yet been properly translated, owing to some difference between the interpreters, but I fancy they concern trade chiefly.
The Hague, the 30th March, 1626.
[Italian.]
March 30.
Consiglio
di. X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
520. In the Council of Ten.
That leave be given to Gasparo Lippamano son of Toma, to show his house opposite San Baseggio on the Zattere to the English ambassador, who wishes to hire it, but he must not be in the house with the ambassador.
Ayes, 17.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
521. To the AMBASSADOR CONTARINI at the Hague.
Our confidence in appointing you ambassador to the States has been fully justified, and your increased merit renders you worthy, as the Senate has decided, to go as ordinary ambassador to the King of Great Britain. You will go to that Court to relieve Giovanni Pesaro, and Zorzi Zorzi will take your present place. You will give him all necessary information and present him to the States as your successor. When you have paid the usual compliments you will proceed to England to take up your change, and we will send you our instructions thither.
Ayes, 107.Noes, 1.Neutral 3.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
522. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After various sicknesses throughout the entire course of the embassy, induced by the wretched climate, I have taken to my bed half dead with various disorders. The doctors here vary in applying remedies, and in the hope of my recovery, but they say that I am more likely to be well in another clime and if I can rest. As I can do no good here I cannot believe that I may not easily obtain release from my misery. I am sorry that I cannot conclude my services more gloriously. I inform your Serenity in the interests of the public service, as I can neither treat nor write. My secretary also has the fever and the usual trouble with his eyes. I am sending this through France so that it may go quickly. I do not petition; being deprived of what the state granted me through private interests has brought me to the edge of the grave. A confirmation or renewal may possibly save me. I have laboured hard for seven years in the embassies of France, Spain, Turin and the Grisons, and I am more afflicted than others. If is fifteen months since my successor was chosen; a year has gone since I failed by a few votes to obtain permission to return. The affairs of my house call for me. I merely ask for compassion for my inability to obey the commands of the state.
London, the 31st March, 1626.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The St. Peter of Havre.
2 Sir John Eliot.
3 Apparently he means Sir John Hippisley, Lieutenant of Dover.
4 The St. Peter of Havre.
5 The other was Clement Coke.
6 The Merchants of the Levant Company objected to Sir Thomas Phillips as unknown to them, and altogether inexperienced and unfit to manage that great business. They desired that Roe should remain on for a year longer or that they might have free choice of a fit person to succeed him. They petitioned both the Privy Council and the House of Commons, but the king still insisted. So far as Phillips was concerned the point was settled by his death. Epstein: Early Hist. of Levant Co., pages 81–4, Cal. S.P. Dom., Add. 1625–49, page 73.