Venice
April 1626,16-28

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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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378-395

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'Venice: April 1626,16-28', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 378-395. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89060 Date accessed: 31 July 2014.


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April 1626

April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
538. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador of Savoy has been to see me, and we had a long conversation. He informed me that Aerssens, the ambassador extraordinary of the States, told him that his masters had intercepted a letter from the Infanta to Spain, saying that the peace between the Most Christian and the Catholic was most opportune, and they must see that the desires of the parliament of France are not carried out, to wit, that the Jesuits shall write and speak the opposite of what they have so far written and spoken against the king here, as it would certainly do great harm to the party of the English Catholics in England, who are much upheld by this doctrine, in the hope of carrying it into execution some day (che sostenuto restano assai da questa dottrina per aspettare un giorno si porga in essecutione). A diabolical notion indeed !
I have written before that the affair of Germany languishes like our own, and the king here certainly will not enter into a league with England. He promises help, but they have cooled in this towards the gentleman of Denmark.
Paris, the 16th April, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
539. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday I saw the prince, who discussed current affairs. He asked me if I had written to your Serenity as desired, and repeated that the English and the others would hold good if they were sure of the same good will in your Excellencies. I told him I had written as they wished, but pointed out the difficulties in the way. In France they said they did not approve of the treaty. Every good was hoped from the English, but this would serve our cause but little, as their being in a world separated from ours rendered all their assistance late, untimely and deceptive. I thought they should continue these offices in France through their common ministers.
Turin, the 16th April, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
540. To the Ambassador in England.
Last week your letters of the 20th March reached us, full of many advices of foreign affairs and what passes at that Court, worthy of our notice. What you can do by your offices to keep united that crown with the crown of France is what the Senate desires, and we direct you to persevere in this, endeavouring to encourage the firm establishment of mutual confidence and a good union, especially in the present state of affairs, as we have frequently written to you.
In addition to what you write about the Persian ambassador, we shall expect to hear more about what has happened, especially as his business and proposals are of moment, so we shall be the more glad of all particulars.
The Ambassador Zorzi has left for the Hague and will very soon arrive there, so you should soon be relieved of your charge by the arrival of your successor, in which you have afforded us entire satisfaction.
Ayes, 120.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
541. To the Ambassador at the Hague and the like, mutatis mutandis, to the Ambassador in England.
We have had no certain news about the peace since we wrote on the 3rd. The republic meantime keeps on its steady course. On every hand we hear that the Most Christian will not sign the treaty without the consent of his allies, and the Marshal of Coure seems to have orders to continue his fortifications. If fresh orders did not reach him he had decided to go against the papal forces as far as Colico. We have sent you this so that you may declare our steadfast resolution not to waver until we obtain the liberty of this province; the Duke of Savoy shows himself equally determined. You will try to find out how this news of the peace was received, the impression made by the report of Popenein's activities and his unsuccessful attempt to surprise Chiavenna. So much will serve you for advice and information.
Ayes, 120.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
542. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My sufferings increase and my secretary is also sick. I cannot write myself, and as I have no one fit to write secret matters the loss to the public service is irreparable. I foresaw that delay might lead to this. I tried to use the pen, but my weakness forbad me, and while the secretary remains in bed I fear that you will have no letters. Meanwhile your Excellencies will receive some minutes of things that have come to my knowledge. I beg you to excuse what is meagre, superfluous or obscure, as they come exactly as I gathered them. I feel sure that for such good reasons I shall be pardoned the silence that will ensue in the future.
London, the 17th April, 1626.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in the
preceding
despatch.
543. On the 4th day of April, 1626.
Parliament still insists upon not contributing to the expenses before being satisfied about grievances.
Of the two persons who spoke ill of his Majesty and the duke, one is absolved by the Lower House, the other, Dr. Turner, has obtained time to explain his meaning better. Nevertheless he speaks against the duke, adducing examples against favourites, being sick and in peril of death. (fn. 1) Parliament takes up again the enquiry into the same affairs with additional charges to examine, saying they are inquiring into causes not about persons, and stating finally that the duke is the causa causarum of all the mischief.
The king is inclined to dissolve parliament. To avoid the odium of this the duke begged on his knees for its continuation. He subsequently petitioned the other way, but cannot get it, as the President of the Duchy of Lancaster and of the Council of State pointed out the impossibility of subsisting unless the king were at one with his people. To soothe parliament and uphold his own authority the king had various letters drawn up. He chose one which he sent to the Speaker. This complains of their irresolution, saying that delay is harmful and equivalent to a refusal. He does not press them in order to dissolve parliament or to interfere with their privileges; but further uncertainty is dangerous and shameful, and once his reasonable demands are satisfied he will still keep them together so long as the season allows, and summon them again at once, to complete what was not done. For the present he will redress all their just grievances which they present in a proper manner without touching his own government or that of the late king; he would consider him the wisest reprover of past errors who, without looking back, would give him advice how to manage the State in the present and provide for the future for the honour and safety of the kingdom.
The Secretary Cuch, as a further inducement, represents the enemies' forces as rather increased, and the expenses required by the king, to a penny. The demands are considered exorbitant, and they consider that the king has received more money than all the expenses amount to. (fn. 2)
The duke suggested to the Upper House that the lords should undertake by decree to supply the king's needs, with the idea of obtaining contributions from the people without the authority of the Lower House. This was rejected. The Lower House, after examining the grievances, lays the blame on the duke and calls upon him to answer on the 8th April. The duke is absolved from the accusation of protecting the Catholics by voice and not by decree, with the decree that no declaration shall be made except orally. Odium and misconduct are equally against the duke and insuperable, unless the king prefers the duke to his own cause (l'odii e le colpe equalmente gli son contrarie et insuperabili quando il Re non vogli più tosti il Duca che la causa sua).
Two councillors of State have been excluded from parliament, one because not elected regularly, the other from being of the High Commission in which he has not maintained the privileges as a member of the parliament. (fn. 3) They are seeking a pretext against the Secretary Cuch with the same object.
The Earl of Bristol, who was dismissed because of the Spanish business, has petitioned parliament to have his writ of summons to parliament, as a lord and peer of the realm, offering to submit to the judgment of the House. Thus things hang in the balance.
Many messages come from France. The Ambassador Blenville has at last received orders to leave. He has not obeyed, but awaits a reply to his dispatch stating that the promises here have not been fulfilled. However, he lowers his demands. Any satisfaction for his alleged wrongs would serve him as a pretext to ask for audience to return thanks and execute his commissions.
They say here that if he wants audience it will be granted, as an honour to be given to any worthy ambassador. That the satisfaction promised by the Earl of Holland cannot take effect because Blenville meddled in the matter against the king, the State and the duke. The English ambassadors are in disgrace for promising satisfaction to the French ambassador.
Secretary Cuch, to cover their failings here and throw the odium and blame on France, has spoken in parliament of the deceit and shortcomings of the French. At the very first they used the ships contrary to their promises against the Huguenots. Parliament resents this (si fa sensibile). The ambassador shows the contract of hire, which was free without conditions. The ambassador says this is why they accuse him of interfering against the State, the duke and the king. They have begun by releasing a part of the goods arrested. I have indicated the difficulties about the rest.
The arrest of goods and persons at Calais is not verified. The French assert that that port is as open as possible. It is confirmed that an English ship which went there with a convoy brought back three French ships which were staying in the roads.
They promise the carrying out of the peace with the Huguenots. They dispute about the manner of withdrawing the king's forces and destroying the fort which the Huguenots claim.
They have written to France about the arrangement for carrying out the things agreed upon. They are recalling the ambassadors extraordinary, so as mutually to send ordinary ones. One hears of lamentations of the queen mother at the quarrels taking place. These quarrels are not likely to end except with the going of the Ambassador Blainville and all the French, as the English want to be alone, and the duke wishes to dominate the queen as much as he rules the king.
It is said that the duke will send away the deputies of la Rochelle because of statements that they keep themselves free contrary to his interests in these emergencies.
News has come by couriers of the peace of the Valtelline arranged in Spain; it has caused a very great outcry and much injurious comment. They say the friends of Germany will lose heart, Denmark will look to himself; if their forces are not occupied peace with the Spaniards will bring about war with the emperor, or kindle civil war in France, scattering the flames to the hurt of others.
The French ambassador informed me of the manner of Fargis's negotiations. He heard that Fargis was recalled. Apparently they are concealing the agreement so that those concerned may take the less offence.
The same ambassador says that they are reducing their claims in order to mollify the ill feeling here. He has orders to give assurances of the Most Christian's interest in the safety and satisfaction of his friends and that he desires good relations with the King of Great Britain. He is to continue negotiations about the plans for Germany. He has instructions to point out the quarrels between the French clergy and the parliament; the contests between the University and the Jesuits, to persuade them that there is no understanding with the pope.
A gentleman has come from the Duke of Weimar (fn. 4) with orders of the King of Denmark. He tells of the movements and plans of those forces. He asks for a levy of 15,000 foot, pointing out the advantage of pressing the war while the enemy are few and in disorder. Denmark would remain steadfast. He complains of the failure of the Most Christian. He proposes to prevent the enemy from arming, to open the passage of Munster for the sake of levies and contributions, and occupy a position in Hanalt, as Tilly wished to disarm two regiments, so that Denmark might disarm one. He brought a copy of the letters to the Electors and Catholic princes, of the king's declaration that he has no religious objects or wish to harm any prince, but only wants the liberty of the empire. Following this example they propose to publish a manifesto from the king here, prepared many months ago. To prejudice the duke they say that the gentleman presented a letter from the King of Denmark to his Majesty urging him to come to an understanding with his people. They wanted him to represent the requirements himself in parliament, but he said he was a soldier not an orator. They promise every assistance, but all decisions will be postponed until the issue of the parliament.
The Count of S. Mauritio come from the Prince of Piedmont to pay his respects and in response to an offer made by the king in Paris. He left France before the news of the peace with Spain. He declares it is not made; that the peace of the Valtelline has nothing to do with that of Piedmont. They say he continues the request for ships. The real objects require further investigation.
Their preparations are increasing here. They want Peninton to sail from Plymouth with forty ships, to go to France also if the ships hired and lent do not come and to maintain the lordship of these seas. They are building twenty small ships of light draught to approach any shore, as the royal ships cannot get in close everywhere. The Spanish forces are much less feared owing to the floods of Seville. (fn. 5)
At Dunkirk they are constantly making preparations, and the Dunkirkers take quantities of English ships. They get sailors from all parts, owing to their name for paying well and the booty. About 500 have deserted from the royal ships, being paid with difficulty.
Cecil accuses his colonels and they accuse him. They propose to make a scapegoat of Captain Loud, a dependent of the duke, through whose interest they expect that the examination will blow over without anyone being blamed. They say that the fleet acquired some 200,000l. sterling of booty on its voyage.
A small ship left Plymouth with 56 men. In Galicia it sacked a village, carrying off two guns and the spoils of a church, driving off the people in confusion.
The merchants expect to maintain the trade of this mart, as they have houses at Hamburg and in France to send and transport their capital through those parts.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in the
preceding
despatch.
544. On the 11th April, 1626.
The French ambassador has finally been reconciled with the king, contrary to the orders from France; he claimed satisfaction before leaving. To get rid of him and show that they had no quarrel with France, they showed less harshness here. The Council ordered the arrest of the one who had the ambassador's secretary imprisoned. They imprisoned the pursuivant who insulted his house. (fn. 6) The ambassador asked for audience, and the king said he would be welcome and might go to the queen when he liked. He had practically a public audience with every sign of honour. He put aside past complaints and offered thanks for present favours. He thus enjoys his original liberty and is defrayed by the king's order. His Majesty expressed resentment about the peace of the Valtelline. He declared that it was not established, although it might be. He said the king here was not concerned, not being one of the allies. The king wisely answered that he was interested in the public cause and in the reputation of the Most Christian and the breach of faith that might be laid to his charge.
The ambassador treats about helping Germany, more with money than in any other way. The negotiations will not terminate soon, as they are to secure the advantages which France claims for the Catholics here and for the acquisition of la Rochelle.
Here they seem anxious for the world to know that the failure is not on their side; that France is not acting helpfully. But perhaps this idea comes too late. Althought their mutual hate is deeply rooted they seem to be renewing a conformity of interests more out of consideration for the duke's interests than the public welfare.
The duke and the French desire the dissolution of parliament, the former for his own safety, the French in the hope of profiting in their private designs through the necessities of this kingdom as if the kingdom is at enmity with the Spaniards and the king on bad terms with his subjects, they will have to lean upon France and keep with her. The English ambassadors expressed some intention in favour of the Catholics, but difficult of execution here. They are proceeding as best they may to restore the goods. They honour the queen and make much of her ladies. The duke again proposes to cross to that kingdom, though the French ambassador does not encourage him.
The English ambassadors are expected; they make the king believe that they are leaving contented. The Court and other advices declare that they are most dissatisfied.
The French ambassador told me that the Prince of Piedmont wanted to be surety for all the proposals of the English, a thing which gave great offence to the ministers in France.
The bishop of Mande has arrived; he has the soul of the secrets and proceedings in hand. In the interests of Soubise the Most Christian permitted his agent to write to him that the money granted him for the peace is ready, but the ship St. John must be given up first.
Parliament remains unyielding and things are very uncertain. The Lower House made a respectful reply to the king's letter, professing their loyalty, and said they would willingly contribute three subsidies and three fifteenths, amounting to two million ducats, but they first wanted satisfaction for their grievances, otherwise they would not pass the bill without which the subsidies cannot be collected. They continue to agitate against the duke.
In the Upper House the duke made an apology for himself, for the condition of the ships and the lordship of the sea. The Lower House called upon him to answer many charges. He asked what he should do, alleging the privileges of the Upper House and spoke contemptuously of being obliged to answer to the Lower. The Lords took up the case to some extent in his favour, being jealous of the Lower House claiming authority over him. The duke, instead of answering the Commons, stirs up the king through his partisans, saying that the subsidies are inadequate and the conditions are against his honour, showing how the duke is persecuted and the members are exceeding their privileges to the prejudice of the royal prerogative. The king sent a message to the Lower House brusquely ordering them not to meet for two days, and that the members should cease to discuss everything, and the two chambers should meet at Whitehall, when he would address them.
The king spoke on the same day that the duke should have answered parliament. (fn. 7) His speech was considered threatening. He mentioned the cause of the meeting; thanked the Upper House for their care for Christendom and for urging the others to the like. He prayed God that parliament might have a happy issue for the weal of Christendom, but if not it would not be their fault. He said he could not thank the Commons, but would point out their errors. Their actions were totally alien from the parliament. He would not despair, but that they would mend with a knowledge of their errors and at the instance of the Lord Keeper, so that parliament might close happily, otherwise harm would result. The Lord Keeper spoke at greater length; he pointed out that parliament had offended the king, threatened not to allow the session to continue, as they were met not to arrange but to contradict, they aimed not at the duke but against the king's government and that of the late king. The duke had acted by the order of the two monarchs. He referred to the transactions of parliament and all its dealings with the king with various heads considered contrary to parliamentary usage, and in an offensive manner. He grew milder at the end, supposing that the majority were good subjects and would take steps to satisfy the king and the honour of the nation.
The king took up the strain, speaking of the pressure upon the late king and himself to break the treaties. He interfered for two reasons, the opportunity and because he was surrounded by the entire body of the parliament. When the duke was among them in the highest favour then they persecuted him. This affected the rule of his father and himself. As things were as they desired and he was absolutely committed they ought to support him. They must not be deceived, this was not the parliamentary way or the way to deal with a king. The member Couch said it was better to be destroyed by foreign enemies than to destroy themselves in their own country. He thought it was more honourable for a king to be attacked and all but destroyed by a foreign enemy than to be defied in his house and without. He reminded them that they were in his hands, to summon and retain. He would keep them or not according to results. He urged them to correct their errors, consider the ruined state of Christendom and not to render the case hopeless.
The members heard all this with the utmost disgust, and instead of yielding to the king's desires prepared to abandon the parliament. Because of this the duke united the two houses in the king's name, declared, to soothe them, that his Majesty did not intend to use violence or touch their privileges or dismiss them, but would continue affairs at their pleasure. He mixes defence with all he does; instead of defending himself well, he provides the members with material for fresh charges. He contradicted himself about Spain and France. He took credit that when he could have brought the Infanta to the king's bed, on finding that the Spaniards meant to change his Majesty's religion, he stopped it and broke off the negotiations. He accused the Earl of Bristol of having tempted the king to change his faith, showing letters of the king himself to prove this. The duke tries to divert all the odium from himself to the earl. He said they had good relations with France, though some desired the contrary.
The disgust at the duke's shifts and his interpretation of the king's views has only made the members firmer. They debate how they shall declare themselves to the king, but are obstinate in their pretensions against the duke.
Members have been appointed to enquire into Mansfelt's engagement; they have already examined some of his colonels. (fn. 8) The colonels of the fleet have presented a paper to the Council upon the shortcomings of their general, and there are disputes and cross questions between them.
The Prince of Piedmont's gentleman waits on here. They say he promises the continuation of the war in Italy in order to get ships. His affairs are secret; they have often tried to arouse suspicion from that quarter without any foundation.
Other affairs are undetermined. The Scottish lords have established a Council of War for Scotland, at which the king has assisted. The cadet Duke of Holstein (fn. 9) is here incognito. The king seems to take no notice of his cousin. He is going round the world; he has returned here from France to go to Scotland, and then elsewhere after the king's public entry. On the 6th they celebrated the king's accession.
[Italian.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
545. On the 17th April, 1626.
The gentlemen of Denmark resent the delay of the decisions. They protest that with the peace of Italy, the obstinacy of parliament, the force prepared by the Austrians against them, his king may come to terms. They promise him a favourable despatch every day, but without money promises are vain. The King of Denmark has written to the Palatine expressing amazement at their irresolution here and at not having received a reply. He has sent a gentleman to the Hague ratifying the two leagues with the king here and the States. The Palatine points out the harm done by not fulfilling the compact. Here they are preparing the ratification to send as soon as possible.
The King of Denmark urges provision for Gabor, as well as negotiation with Venice. The ministers here say there is no hope of getting anything from here.
There is much news about the armies and Germany, all arranged by the Palatine's agent.
The damage done by the Dunkirkers is insupportable. It is reckoned they have taken 120 English ships, many concerned with the coal and fishing industries. Owing to this there is as scarcity of many things and the people in the country are always afraid of being attacked.
The Secretary Conovel brought this matter before the Upper House, representing the need for a remedy, urging the lords themselves to contribute for the purpose and advise what steps they should take to impose taxes, a proposal that was ill received and condemned. The duke had to put another interpretation upon the proposal. The Upper House rejected the matter with disgust. The Lower House considers itself injured because such matters always originate with the Commons and not with the Lords. The members show displeasure at the duke's offices in the king's name, because he has humiliated himself at the wrong moment, because he upsets the king's mind, and all is artifice and contradiction.
They discuss a great deal and will not answer the duke's offices. They reply to his Majesty protesting their loyalty and desire to uphold their privileges; everything has been done according to parliamentary usage; their proceedings against the duke are not against his Majesty's government; there are countless precedents. Turner did not speak as his Majesty was informed; he may have erred towards the House; they have not been able to examine him because of his Majesty's repeated messages, and they confirm the execution of the declaration already made to his Majesty.
Matters being brought to this pass are deferred for eight days for the holidays, and parliament is adjourned to the 23rd, but will not debate these matters until after the 27th from fear lest the duke may obtain some advantage in the interval through delay in the members returning. The House has voted a fine against those who are not present in time. (fn. 10)
They have again brought forward the cause of the release of the Earl of Arundel, with the same results as before, owing to the opposition of the duke supported by the courtiers and bishops, who consider themselves dependants of the king.
The ambassadors extraordinary have not returned from France. They have consulted with the duke about their account. They seem satisfied outwardly about the peace of France, the ships going away from la Rochelle, that the treaty of peace is ratified by parliament and the approaching return of the English ships, while France is concerned about the interests of Germany. The real truth seems the exact opposite.
They have announced prompt restitution of the goods of French merchants, who declare on oath that they have no goods for Spanish subjects, to facilitate the satisfaction or to shut out many Flemings, naturalised Frenchmen, living at Calais.
Twenty ships of Bordeaux have arrived, laden with wine, which left before the arrest of the English goods there. Three English ships have come from Spain with goods, allowed to depart with a scanty pledge and a slight recognition to the ministers. They think the Spaniards want to make things easy in the interests of trade.
The Palatine's agent has received a note from the Most Christian for a pension of 500 crowns a year. Lord Carleton has begun to act as the king's vice-chamberlain. The French ambassador is preparing to leave and is transacting no business. The Persian ambassador has taken leave of his Majesty.
Cardinal Spada has sent someone with a brief of his Holiness for the queen praising her and enjoining constancy in her faith and to favour the Catholics. They say he is taking information about the state of the Catholics and measures for their relief. (fn. 11) The queen has formed a small monastery in her house, where she performs spiritual exercises with her ladies and has withdrawn there altogether, behaving like a nun.
[Italian.]
April 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
546. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I will follow out your Serenity's instructions about the rights of consulage claimed by the ambassadors and consuls of England and the States. The English ambassador, after referring the matter to the Ambassador Vaccher, has not raised the subject again, except to ask if I had any instructions, when he could write to the ambassador and arrange with him. I told him I had none. The Dutch ambassador has never said a word to me, and as I have no advices from the Consul de Pesaro since the arrival of the two Flemish ships at Alexandretta. I fancy he has encountered no further difficulties. However, I suspect that the King of England has ordered his ambassador here to sustain the matter at the Porte. I will keep on the alert to prevent mischief. I hope devoutly that the occasion may not arise, as if the two ambassadors decided to contend jointly at the expense of their merchants, and I was compelled to avail myself of the permission to spend up to 500 sequins, I do not know how I could get the money, owing to the extreme difficulty in obtaining from our merchants what I need for the expenses of the embassy.
I have availed myself of the advices from the Imperial Court in the matter of the Spanish negotiations for a truce. Seeing that Monte Albano does not leave and the imperial resident grows more active, we four ambassadors have considered a proposal of the English ambassador to procure its total rescission at the cost of a vestment presented to Ganez Adi, late Cadeleschier of Greece, if the matter is brought up again. The ambassadors are very eager and ready to bear the cost.
The Vigne of Pera, the 19th April, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
547. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
As it is impossible to raise money upon the English jewels, I think they will be sent back, leaving them creditors here for a large sum, for which the last subsidies granted by parliament certainly will not suffice.
The Duke of Weimar arrived here two days ago. He will leave to-morrow. He came to learn about the arrangements of France, and recalled the obligation of England for the money and assistance promised, but above all to learn what the States were doing.
They said he came to concert some plan, but I do not think it. (fn. 12) He only treated with the prince. In any case he can only have received a general reply, as the English must concur in their plans.
The Hague, the 20th April, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
548. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
We have this evening granted the Ambassador Pesaro leave to return home. We send you word of this so that you may hasten to leave for the English Court after paying the necessary compliments, as your successor has already started.
Ayes, 78.Noes, 2.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
549. To the Ambassador in England.
As your sickness gets no better but rather grows worse, we have decided to release you. We therefore give you leave to come home, with the assurance that we thoroughly appreciate your good service. You will therefore take leave of his Majesty, letting him know that you are going because the climate does not suit your health, and that the Ambassador Contarini is coming to take your place, and is only waiting for his successor, and that the Secretary Rossi will serve until he appears. You will present Rossi to him, as our minister. You will also go to see the queen, the ambassadors and other gentlemen whom you think proper, especially those who may help our interests. You will make all necessary arrangements, more particularly for our ambassadors extraordinary, who are about to start.
We have assigned 130 crowns a month to Rossi for the time that he remains with his Majesty, 120 being what is usually given to secretaries and 10 for extraordinary expenses, not including couriers and the carriage of letters, for which he will render a separate account.
We enclose letters of credence to the king and queen for your leave taking.
That 130 crowns a month be assigned to Andrea Rossi for the time that he resides at the English Court in our name, and he shall also have 100 ducats as a gift to put himself in order.
Ayes, 127.Noes, 10.Neutral, 14.
On the 23rd April in the Collegio:
Ayes, 19.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
550. That by the authority of this Council, Sig. Giovanni Battista Gatinonio, chief of the ordinanze of Cividal di Friuli, shall have leave to go and serve Angelo Contarini on his journey as ambassador extraordinary to England, owing to his experience of travel in Germany and knowledge of the language.
Ayes, 130.Noes, 4.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
551. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
God was pleased to free my secretary from his fever yesterday, and I have begun to employ him to-day, though I am still sick.
Parliament met again yesterday. They did not begin on any thing of moment. In their last remonstrances to his Majesty they said they were the supreme Council of the realm, summoned to give sincere advice to the king and to bring to his ears what others might not or would not dare. The kings had always summoned parliament for advice upon affairs without announcing any other object.
The duke has approached many members with various proposals and inducements to help his cause. The event will show with what success. For the same purpose he wants the king to convoke the Upper House to discuss requirements and make a division between the houses. But the lords refused by common consent, as unable to do so when parliament was convoked.
The duke's chief design, which in this agrees with the king's interests, is to destroy the authority of parliament and impose taxes at pleasure. But this is against the fundamental laws and privileges of the realm and has not proved practicable hitherto.
The duke proposes to introduce twenty extra lords into the Upper House, some sons of earls, some absent persons, using their votes by proxy, to strengthen his own party, as he fears he may at last have both houses against him. They protested at the treatment of the Earl of Arundel, and again demand his release. To prevent this they have removed the earl from the Tower and ordered him to remain in his mother's house, where his wife and the married children will be; shutting him out from the Council of State and ordering him to give up his vote in parliament. It is uncertain whether this will satisfy the lords, who wish him free in his house.
In other ways the duke harms himself, insisting upon the recall of the ambassador at the Porte, against the instances of parliament and the wishes of the Levant merchants, in order to send a creature of his there. The merchants protest that they will not pay his expenses or confide their interests to a person so incapable and untrustworthy. (fn. 13)
The differences between Cecil and his colonels do not help him, as the duke favours Cecil, openly offending the colonels. Such is the state of the private affairs of the realm which depend upon whether the parliament or king will yield.
The French ambassador still thinks of leaving, but delays his departure, possibly wishing to see the outcome of the parliament and claim some credit, or for other undisclosed reasons. He secretly tries to bring about a rupture. He came to see me and confided many particulars, true or not, at least worthy of report. He said the compliments exchanged with him here were only a pretence. He confessed that the king's ambassadors had left the French Court ill satisfied.
As regards the agreement about Madame's household, nothing has been settled, but if they do not make any change here France will not advance further claims, because some day the king will be obliged to establish and assign to the queen the dominion due to her.
The peace with the Huguenots will be carried out, but they cannot allow the revictualling of la Rochelle or give up work on the forts. The ships which have caused so much trouble should leave on the 15th inst. France has asked for the accounts in order to make prompt payment. It is uncertain whether this is a trick to delay the return of the ships. He said that the sequestrated goods would not leave France before the restitution of the French goods in England, where they are doing what they can, though it is difficult to give back what does not exist. He spoke further of the difficulty of renewing the defensive league between the two kings, as the Most Christian wished to alter the article about shipping, by adding that ships under the flags of the two crowns should be mutually free, to put a stop to reprisals. He thought the patents would soon come, but did not say they would contain this. He told me that the English promised to satisfy France about the Catholics on the expiry of parliament. They have always promised this, but it is difficult to carry out. The ambassador said nothing of his own behaviour or the way in which the English have treated him. He acted on the assurance that they were only making a demonstration here and did not wish a rupture. He told the duke himself that he had meddled in parliament in three things, first to oppose Cuch's slanders against France, claiming a public audience to show the truth and vituperate him; second that the duke had similar ideas circulated secretly, and he also had informed the parliamentarians with the same artifices; thirdly when they falsely stated that France had broken the treaty about the ships he produced the treaty to show the exact compact made with the King of Great Britain.
I gathered from him with tact that he thought the king had promised to agree to the Valtelline treaty of peace, but he had not ratified it, giving various reasons for this peace; by which I gathered he thought it reasonable. The Prince of Piedmont was angry at first but was mollified after seeing the terms. It was the same with your Serenity's ambassador, who will nevertheless continue to urge the support of Denmark and Mansfelt, persuading me that France had spent many millions and had renewed the treaty with the States to their great advantage, as they have converted their loan into a gift. In Germany they are ready to establish some agreements. The Most Christian will agree to the effects, but the English continue their demand for an offensive and defensive league. He remarked to me that Carleton told him it was impossible they should refuse a good league for the sake of four Catholics; he replied it was possible they might not be able to agree well together for four Huguenots. I induced the ambassador to say that to take la Rochelle they might lend the king here some millions.
The English want to renew the league of Germany upon the basis arranged by Henry II and Henry IV of France, though experience has shown them how France fails. She seems inclined to do something, but her real plan is to make her payments appear larger and to continue to treat with Mansfelt and Denmark. One who should know says here that she is already interested in some sort with the Margrave of Baden.
The English ambassadors, returned from France, claim in appearance to have brought back satisfaction, that the ships claimed are near and the peace of France was necessary to the Huguenots, and their deputies asked for those terms.
They do not conceal however that la Rochelle needs revictualling.
The duke's object is to make it appear to the king and parliament that he has not managed things badly, seeing that the inclinations and foundations of his preservation consist in the enmity of the Spaniards and the preservation of the Catholics.
The pretences about France are in order to dispel the idea that they stand in the way of things here, but chiefly to behave according to what happens in parliament, as if it breaks up without providing money, necessity may compel them to dissimulate offences and take the best they can. But if the king is strengthened by money from his subjects, France will have to yield. Here they even insinuate to the French ambassador the offence that the most serene republic and the Duke of Savoy may have taken at the treaty of peace. Because of this the gentleman of the Prince of Piedmont (fn. 14) has prolonged his negotiations. They have made a great show, giving him extraordinary presents, while the duke and other lords of the Council have called upon him jointly and severally. His object, apparently, is to press constantly for ships; but here they do not give up hope that the duke may make war even if France does not wish it, and there is always some understanding on foot against France herself. He was about to leave, but I hear he will await the return and the reply of a gentleman of Wake sent to Piedmont. (fn. 15) That gentleman told me that the favours shown to the Piedmontese here are only in return for the presents Wake has received from his Highness.
Wake has actually complained of the neglect of advices from the Court, and he has been many months without information, so some think this mission is to supply him with information. Wake has also represented that the levy of Bernese for the Duke of Savoy has been hindered by the action of Bassompierre, and expresses surprise at his work for the allies being spoiled in this way. He tells his Majesty, if he desires it he feels sure he can set up again what Bassompierre has pulled down.
News comes from Holland of the need for paying the regiments maintained by the king here. The ambassador importunes for it, but the provision depends upon Parliament, like everything else. The ambassador who should be leaving (fn. 16) for those provinces has been delayed by some difficulties about his entering the Council of State, as the ambassadors of this Crown have done in the past. The States argue the consequences of the appearance and that France may claim the same. The concession was due to the treaty of 1585 and because of the places this crown held, but that obligation vanished with their recovery. They are vexed here at the change being made at this moment when his Majesty has interested himself more deeply for that country than his predecessors. The Dutch ambassador seems practically indifferent on the subject.
I have written to your Serenity of the ratification of the league with Denmark and the States, which the king has confirmed in every particular. But the King of Denmark in his ratification has excepted three articles, which are secret, to be discussed with the king here. From what I can learn they concern the general hostility to the House of Austria, about not attacking the emperor in his hereditary dominions and some conditions claimed in the interests of the Palatinate. I find they are suspicious here about this event, and it is thought that the king will not go with his army to Bohemia or the recovered provinces, unless under another name, and perhaps by that alone of the Count of Mansfelt. The gentleman of the Duke of Weimar asserts the contrary and says that monarch will march anywhere with the king's consent without reserve.
The king's agent has arrived who was kept in Spain. (fn. 17) He left after the attempt on Cadiz, and yet he received a present.
The office of Lord Great Chamberlain of the Realm, as parliament would not settle the dispute between the earl of Oxford and Lord Willoughby, was submitted to the Judges, but as they were divided, some favouring the male line of the house of Oxford and some the female, the king decided, awarding the staff to Lord Willoughby, thus giving the female line the preference, contrary to the custom. The duke was interested because he is going to marry the chamberlain's son to one of his kinswomen.
Bacon is dead, Lord Chancellor of the realm: a man of the highest ability and most erudite. (fn. 18)
Your Serenity's instructions which have reached me and have not been acknowledged are of the 20th and 27th ult.
London, the 24th April, 1626.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
552. To the QUEEN of ENGLAND.
The Ambassador Pesaro instructed to go to her and take leave, expressing the esteem of the republic for her person. The same sentiments will very shortly be expressed by the Ambassador Contarini, who is coming from the Hague to reside as ordinary ambassador.
Ayes, 20.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
April 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
553. To the Ambassador in England.
The offices you report as having performed with his Majesty and the ministers in your letters of the 13th March, were in conformity with our wishes. To keep them well disposed to the union with France, to profit by the union with the allied princes and to maintain in vigour the inclination shown to the public cause and the common welfare, is what we desire, and we feel sure that you will seize every opportunity, with your prudence and ability.
Your letters relate many curious things and we are sending to Constantinople for comparison, what you gathered from the king, the duke and Cuch about Gabor. If they speak again, but not otherwise, about contributing 30,000 ducats to that prince, in conformity with the proposition of the Secretary Conway, we direct you to speak precisely as you have done, as the Senate commends your prudence in this affair, and you will conduct your offices so as not to hinder good results.
We were glad to hear that your house is respected and that no trouble has occurred. We are sure that this proceeds from the orderliness and tact which you display. You will do well to behave with a prudent reserve, because that will benefit the public reputation, your own peace of mind, and the cause of the Catholics themselves.
You may inform Secretary Conway that we have written forthwith to Zante about the memorial he gave you and charged the rector there to have the matter at heart and see that the request is satisfied so far as possible.
Your conduct about the cargo of the ship Faith has given us satisfaction, and we are pleased that you have done so well. You may express yourself to this effect when you have an opportunity, even with the king himself, and you will continue to protect the interests of our merchants.
Ayes, 140.Noes, 3.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
April 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
554. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Prince of Orange is much incensed at the delay of the French and English officers. There is only a single French colonel here and not one English officer, although they are needed while the Count of Bergh is in the field.
The Duke of Weimar has returned to the King of Denmark. He reminded the Palatine and his wife of the English help, which is delayed, as I have written so often.
Winsem, sent by the King of Denmark to France, passed this way on his return. He brought letters of exchange for 50,000 crowns, the promise of a greater sum and to place a force on the frontiers of Germany if England would do the same in Flanders or elsewhere, as bound by the last league. (fn. 19)
He offers to return for the ratification of the alliance when the English ambassador is here.
The Hague, the 27th April, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
555. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Nothing whatever is said here about the battle of Ormuz (fn. 20) ; possibly because the Dutch and English were worsted.
The Palatine told me he was much troubled because his agent in England had received a patent for a yearly pension of 1,500 florins from the Ambassador Blenville; he feared the English might take offence. I have informed the Ambassador Pesaro.
[Italian.]
April 28.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
556. To the SECRETARY ROSSI in England.
While granting leave to Giovanni Pesaro to leave his embassy and return home for the sake of his health, we direct you to stay on at that Court as our minister until the arrival of our Ambassador Contarini, who will succeed to the embassy. You will hand over to him all the public papers left with you at Pesaro's departure, and those subsequently sent to you, while giving him all necessary information. You will then return home in the assurance of our approbation.
By virtue of a decision of the Senate of the 23rd April, 1626.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The unnamed member was Clement Coke. Dr. Samuel Turner, member for Shaftesbury, had brought forward six queries, constituting an attack on Buckingham. He was given time to collect himself, but being alarmed at the notice taken of his motion, he wrote to the Speaker that he was very sick, and if he should go to his grave before the debate came on he hoped they would clear him as an honest Englishman. Foster: Sir John Eliot, vol. i, pages 498, 499.
2 The text of the king's letter, written on the 20th March o.s., and the particulars of Coke's statement are in Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 22474.
3 The election of Sir Thomas Edmondes for Oxford University was voided on the 17th March, for irregularity. The other member appears to be Thomas Williams, jun., member for Newport, co. Cornwall, which was voided on the same day, though there is nothing to indicate his connection with the High Commission Court. Journal of the House of Commons, vol. i, page 837.
4 Lieutenant-Colonel Streiff. There is a letter from the Palatine to Charles of the 14th March, recommending him. State Papers, Foreign, Germany (States). He arrved on the 26th March, n.s. Rusdorf: Memoires, vol. i, page 685.
5 The Guadalquivir overflowed its banks on the 24th January and flooded three-quarters of the town. This was followed by a violent tempest on the 25th, and it was reckoned that damage was done to the extent of 400,000 livres. Mercure Francais, ed. Richer, vol. xi, page 7.
6 John Griffin and John Gray, pursuivants of the High Commission Court were imprisoned in the Gatehouse. The mayor and officials of Faversham, who had arrested the ambassador's secretary, M. Marande, were ordered to appear before the Council to receive punishment. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1625–6, pages 254, 292.
7 The 29th of March, old style.
8 The Journals give the names of the members of this committee, which was appointed on the 22nd March, o. s. Journal, House of Commons, vol. i, page 840.
9 Duke Adolphus, younger brother of Duke Frederick III of Holstein Gottorp
10 The entry in the Journal runs "The Debate concerning the punishment of those absent this day upon the call of the House, to be respited till Monday after the access; and the House to be then called and such as be then absent to pay such fine as the House shall then impose." Journal, House of Commons, vol. i, page 844.
11 Qui si trova il Sig. Federigo Tantucci da Siena, stato mandato qui alla Regina dal Sig. Card. Spada, con un breve da Sua Santita, credesi con giubileo. Salvetti, letter of the 17th April. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 27962d.
12 The Duke of Weymar came privately hither a week since and proposed to the States that they should lend their cavalry to the King of Denmark for two months ... but he was answered it was no ways to be embraced by the States, they knew not what need they might have of their horses themselves. ... With this answer he departed back to the King of Denmark on Monday last." Carleton's despatch of the 15/25 April. State Papers, Foreign, Holland.
13 Sir Thomas Phillips. See note to No. 514 at page 367 above.
14 The Count of St. Maurice. Rusdorf: Memoirs, vol. i, page 690. Negotiations de Blainville, Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 30,650.
15 Anthony Hales. He arrived at Turin on the 25th March with a packet from Conway dated the 27th February. Wake's despatch of the 3rd April, 1626, new style. State Papers, Foreign, Savoy.
16 Sir Robert Killigrew.
17 Peter Wyche.
18 He died on the 9/19th April.
19 Laurence Vinsing. He passed through the Hague on his way out, at the beginning of the year. He arrived back on Tuesday, the 21st April, and went away early the next morning. He brought "poor contentment, namely a subsidy of 500,000 francs par mois and three months advance thereof." Carleton's despatches of the 2nd February and 25th April. State Papers, Foreign, Holland.
20 See Pesaro's despatch of the 1st May, at page 398 below.