Venice
June 1626, 16-30

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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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445-459

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'Venice: June 1626, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 445-459. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89065 Date accessed: 21 November 2014.


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June 1626

June 16.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
623. To ensure the important duty of the new impost upon currants at Zante and Cephalonia, which is shortly to be put up to auction, and to make sure of its complete payment, some of the past contracts remaining open and others not having been properly kept, the farmers pretending to have lost and trying to conceal their notable gains, so as to obtain subsequent contracts on their own terms:
that the contractor shall find sureties before the magistracy of the Five Savii, who shall obtain information from past rectors and others of their sufficiency.
At the end of the contract the contractor shall pay to the Five Savii what he owes.
Immediately the duty is levied, the contractor and his sureties should be debited in the office of the Five Savii with the total amount of the duty, and also credited with what is paid by reason of the duty in the chambers of Zante and Cephalonia, the rectors being bound to send accounts every three months. All the papers concerning the duty shall be kept in the chamber of Cephalonia, and the Proveditore of Zante will send his accounts thither from time to time.
The present decision shall be sent to the Proveditori of Zante and Cephalonia and to the Five Savii alla Mercantia, to be published and registered where necessary.
Ayes, 115.Noes, 0.Neutral, 15.
Being informed that of the duty of a tenth on currants, farmed out at 5 lire the thousand in Cephalonia, not enough custom is obtained in relation to the quantity of currants grown, and that the customs officials are very extortionate:
that the said custom shall no longer be farmed out, but paid into the chamber in the same manner as the new impost for the West, and every licence granted for taking away currants shall state that the duty has been paid, and the exporters shall pay the duty, thus freeing private persons from vexation.
Ayes, 115.Noes, 0.Neutral, 15.
[Italian.]
June 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
624. To the Ambassador in England.
We have not yet heard of the departure of the ambassador extraordinary from France. Bassompierre refused the task and they have appointed Preaux. The Pope has expressed his willingness to receive the forts but is determined not to demolish them, and they will have to send to Spain again upon this point. We proceed cautiously; the discontent of the Swiss becomes more and more outspoken and with the movements of the forces in the Milanese we hold ourselves ready for all emergencies. The peace is sure to be discussed, and we wish you to show clearly that the republic always recognised its harmfulness and tried hard to prevent it, and they kept all the negotiations secret from us, so we had no share in the matter. You may add that the Spaniards through Anhalt are trying to induce Denmark to come to terms. They have got their ambassador at Genoa to intervene for an adjustment with the Duke of Savoy; they are trying by their intrigues to split up Catholic Rhetia into factions for their own profit. The Austrians have succeeded in quieting their revolted peasants. You will point out the consequences of all this and how the Spaniards are paving the way for their most ambitious designs, which are already clear enough, against those most noble realms.
You will try to gather further particulars, to gain some advantage for the common interests and to cherish as much as possible our mutual affection and confidence.
The like to the Hague.
To England add:
You will try to find out the reason for Wake's long stay at Turin and what they propose for the future.
To both add:
The accounts of the Valtelline show a large sum to be due to the republic, showing how willingly we have hastened to assist the common cause. But for our help the French flag would have been hunted away by the Spaniards long before it was disgraced by this treaty.
Ayes, 116.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
June 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
625. ANDREA ROSSO, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sobl, burgomaster of Bremen, has arrived at Court, sent by the King of Denmark to point out the state of affairs and extract some decision from this quarter upon the promised contribution of money. He has seen the king, for whom he brought letters, and he has negotiated with the duke and the ministers. The replies he has obtained consist in fair words and hopes of good results, but necessity would prevent any realisation. This gentleman has secured that orders shall be sent from here to proceed to France for the same end. His coming seems to have delayed the decision to send the secretary to Denmark, though he was quite ready. Soon after the arrival of this gentleman Nicolas di Mansfelt arrived from France with the confirmation of having obtained 150,000 francs from the Most Christian as payment for two months. I fancy that his coming took place in order to please France, as in order by showing something substantial to be done for the interests of Germany, so as to spur on the king here to do the same, letters were consigned to Nicolas from the Most Christian to the bishop of Mande, recommending to him the protection of Mansfelt's affair and to procure Nicolas's prompt despatch. By means of the bishop, Nicolas has spoken to the king and ministers but could obtain nothing but promises and offers of good will, just as Mansfelt's other gentleman could obtain nothing but money for the Scottish levies, although he had an assignment under the privy seal for 3,000l. sterling upon money more ready. He hopes, however, to obtain the money down soon otherwise he protests the troops will disband. He declares that they are ready and only waiting for transport.
The Palatine's agent told me that he had put into the hands of the Bishop of Mande the note of ideas (breveto di pensieri) which he obtained some months ago from the Most Christian. He added that he had pointed out confidentially to the bishop that it would serve the interests of his master, both in order not to arouse mistrust of himself in England, and so that he might be able to serve France with greater liberty, without being observed, and also owing to the jealousy of the king here, who seemed anxious for it and now is very pleased at the renunciation which ensued (ma di haver cio esseguito per gelosia di questo Re che se ne mostro desideroso et hor per la seguita renoncia resta molto contento).
The hopes of the Court to obtain the remainder of the queen's dowry seem to be founded upon the news that the Marquis of Fiat may be chosen Intendant of Finances. They have great confidence in him and expect to obtain great advantages through his offices. They have not yet made the despatch to those parts that was reported, but in order to terminate the differences between the two crowns over the arrests they have assigned the cargo of a Dunkirk ship laden with cloth to satisfy the French merchants for their goods which had been sold.
The Dutch ambassador here has received word from the Prince of Orange about the preparations of the Spaniards who have more than 40,000 infantry ready, Spaniards and Italians, with some design against Ireland, but they have changed their plans and decided to attack England, though no part is mentioned. The fleet, for whose equipment many sailors have left Dunkirk for Spain, will be commanded by Don Pietro di Toledo, and Spinola will command the landing. The Earl of Argyle, a Scot, induces the Infanta to believe that Scotland is disposed to revolt and that on the appearance of the fleet many lords will rise in favour of the Spanish cause. These particulars were communicated by the ambassador to the king at a special audience by the prince's order. He reported that it produced a good effect. His Majesty thanked the ambassador for the news, to which he devoted some attention as did many of the lords of the Council, though without coming to any decision. But the parliamentarians laugh at it and do not believe it, imagining that this is a trick in concert with the Dutch to make them decide upon a prompt contribution.
Parliament assembled on the appointed day. The king seeing the Upper House resolved to do nothing unless the Earl of Arundel returned and perhaps expecting to quiet the Lords, had them informed that most important reasons moved him to keep the earl away, which he would explain when parliament was dissolved. In the meantime he begged them to attend to the business begun. The lords seemed more and more determined in their resolution and sent word to the king that they wished to know the earl's faults while they were assembled, to that they might if necessary punish them as they deserved, but if they were matters of no substance they again petitioned his Majesty for his release.
The king, hearing of the firmness of parliament took time to answer their requests until yesterday. Meanwhile he ordered that the house should stand adjourned, as was done. While they were awaiting his Majesty's answer the earl received a command to return to London, as he did, with permission to enter parliament. He has already done this but has not returned to Court.
Everyone was watching in the parliament to see what would happen between the duke and Arundel, who sat next each other, but they merely exchanged a simple salutation, although some declare that some complimentary phrases passed.
That same morning Bristol sent a petition to the House asking that he might be heard promptly for weighty reasons. They at once directed that he should come, but in the meantime the duke presented very lengthy replies to the charges against him, which were read without any comment at the time. The lords afterwards had Bristol brought in. He said he observed the hour was very late and the House about to rise. He therefore begged them to meet again so that he might be heard. They appointed after dinner for this. The earl entered and made a very long speech about the nature of the charges against him. He asked for a declaration from the House whether these charges amounted to treason or not, as his life and honour were at stake, and to exonerate himself he would have to disclose many secret and most important matters, and therefore he ought to speak to the king and ask leave. But the matter remains in this state without further decision.
It is said, indeed that the king's proctor must produce the proofs of his charges against Bristol, who will have to do the like in reply, and both sides will have to take the oath for the enquiry into the truth. It is believed that this cause will remain indefinite until the duke's is brought to the same stage, as the lords want both to proceed together. Meanwhile to secure expedition in both, the House has chosen commissioners, of whom the Earl of Arundel is one.
Though the Upper House was adjourned, the Lower continued to meet, always pursuing its enquiries against the Duke of Buckingham. I am told that he is accused of having in past years granted leave for the export of iron guns from the realm and selling them to foreign countries. They are collecting information about this.
The Bishop of London returned from Cambridge with the duke as Chancellor of the University, at the king's request, who recommended him with his own letters. As his Majesty also made him President of the Council of War, he foresaw the remonstrances of Parliament on the subject and sent a message to the Lower House to inform them of the charges conferred upon the duke as pertaining to his royal prerogative and therefore out of their province.
The House replied that they had never intended to touch his Majesty's prerogative in the slightest degree, but only to preserve their privileges, in virtue of which they would have condemned the duke, but as he made a monopoly of the appointments of the realm, to its notable prejudice and in contempt of them, they claimed that this affected the privileges of their House, and proposed to take knowledge of the case so that these might not suffer. They are doing so against one of the members for the county of York, (fn. 1) a dependent of the duke, who recently wrote a letter to that county showing that they had met for about fourteen months without any results, and in order to persecute one man they let everything else go to ruin. If he is found guilty they propose to punish him at least by imprisonment in the Tower.
Thither the House sent another of their members, who, speaking too boldly of the liberty of the subject said that if the subject lost this the king could not keep his crown on his head, but as he humbled himself by a petition to the House, he was released after two days. (fn. 2)
Time is consumed over these affairs in order not to come to any decision about the promised supplies, and some contend that the stubbornness of the Lower House in this is supported by the Upper, which does not venture to declare itself because of considerations touching the king and the Court, but that both are determined, at all costs, to have the duke out of the government.
This morning arrived your Serenity's instructions of the 22nd ult. for the ambassadors extraordinary. In their absence I avail myself of them for the service of the state. I expect their excellencies any day, and meanwhile seeing the usual slowness of the Court, I am labouring to carry out my promises to the Ambassador Pesaro about their lodging, reception and entertainment.
London, the 19th June, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
626. ALVISE CONTARINI and ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassadors in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Here they are momentarily expecting from England the Secretary Dickenson, sent by the king there to the King of Denmark with a million florins. Your Serenity will know how much truth there is in this. He has commissions for the Prince of Orange which I, Zorzi, will try to discover.
M. de Carlenton, the English ambassador at this Court will not leave the kingdom so soon, as for Buckingham's sake he has been made a lord and raised to the Upper House, and with Buckingham's case dragging on he will not return to his charge until that is settled one way or the other.
By letters which arrived from England yesterday their High Mightinesses are urged to hasten on the arming of the fifteen ships, which are their fifth of the joint fleet with England. This will number 75 ships in all and will shortly sail as they are only waiting for the fleet of the Indies, which should reach the Strait in a few weeks with the silver plate for two years.
The Hague, the 22nd June, 1626.
[Italian.]
June 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
627. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
We have from Germany the confirmation of the idea of the Spaniards to give the Infanta the Lower Palatinate as dowry; this idea is encouraged by the Palatine's humiliation to the emperor through Wurtemberg's means, and very probably the English also have persuaded him thus to sue for reinstatement, as their original zeal has greatly cooled. Here everything is delayed until the arrival of the ambassadors sent by the Most Christian to the republic and Savoy; the pope will not make any declaration before and they may have to send again to Spain. Accordingly we cannot relax our vigilance.
We send for your information only what we have from Constantinople, and the truce with Spain, of which we desire you to make use as opportunity serves.
The like to England.
Ayes, 115.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
June 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
628. ANDREA ROSSO, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have discovered on good authority that Sobl, who recently came from Denmark, informed the king of the overtures made to his master by France about engaging himself in the interests of Germany if England decides to operate for the benefit of the same affairs both by land and sea. I think his Majesty expressed to this minister his constant affection for his uncle and the maintenance of his interests, but that owing to internal embarrassments he could not give effect to his good will. However, he begged him to wait some days as he hoped shortly to take a step so that the minister might leave with a good resolution.
Sobl told me that the offers of France to his master are of great consequence, without entering into particulars, but that their execution depended upon the course adopted by England. Although they attach little importance to the words of the French when their actions do not correspond, which happens rarely with that nation, yet in order not to fail themselves and because there is no reason why they should not avail themselves of offers at an opportune time, they must listen to them. Some who are acquainted with these affairs believe that the French overtures to Denmark have no other object than induce them to act here on the strength of the shows made by the Most Christian, who in the end will do nothing. I fancy that whereas M. Sobl does not build at all upon France he makes much capital of the promises of the king here, and believes they will soon be carried into effect.
The Duke of Weimar's colonel, who is doing nothing at this Court, the time having passed for the carrying out of his proposals, has been recalled, so he is about to take leave of his Majesty. Nicolas di Mansfelt has asked to be despatched with simple letters for the Count, while others look after his affairs. Although these have been drawn up, he is detained by his Majesty's order in the hope of a better despatch. The other gentleman of the Count, who has not yet obtained the money for transporting the Scottish levies, said that as the Colonel could no longer support the heavy expense for maintaining them, he begged his Majesty, if they could not decide promptly here about their passage, to allow him to turn his attention to some other employment, wherefor the gentleman is pressing his utmost for money.
The complaints of the French about the ill treatment of the Catholics continue. They take from them not only the things forbidden by the laws but all their moveables and to get them back they have to pay a good sum of money. The French declare that they have been deceived by the English in this, as in the marriage articles many advantages were conceded to the Catholics which have never been fulfilled, indeed since the queen's arrival the persecution has been renewed more bitterly, to such an extent as to have become unbearable. The Most Christian having received promises from this country and having represented at Rome and elsewhere that he had really gained something for the Catholic faith, could not do less than resent this treatment and press for a remedy, otherwise they protest they will treat those of the religion in France in the same way.
The agent of the Palatine was asked by the Bishop of Mande to represent to the ministers the impropriety of this state of affairs. I fancy he makes it appear that the Most Christian is pledged to their maintenance, that the English, of their own accord, by the marriage articles, promised advantages to the Catholics who previously were at the king's disposition and mercy; that if the agreement is not carried out there is danger that the Huguenots may lose their privileges in France and quarrels will arise between the two crowns with the danger of a rupture following. But he could not gain anything.
I am assured by one who should know that the Ambassador Wake has sent an express to his Majesty from Turin pointing out the favourable disposition of his Highness towards the public weal, who promises not to accept the peace even if it is concluded by the French, but to operate effectively, provided he receives help from this quarter, for which there seems to be some inclination here. Shortly after this express I am assured that the Secretary Baroccio arrived in the name of his Highness, and conferred secretly at night with the duke, not letting himself be seen at Court as Buckingham did not wish his coming to be known. I cannot venture to affirm this, but I will try to ascertain the truth.
The Count of Hortemburgh, a leading German nobleman has come from Italy. He has seen his Majesty. He goes about to see the country and will afterwards proceed to the wars of Germany.
London, the 26th June, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
629. ANDREA ROSSO, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
While the Lower House was pursuing its investigations against the Duke of Buckingham, and in response to a request had consigned to the lords Buckingham's replies to the charges, so that they might see, examine and object to them, the king wrote them a letter ordering them to come to some decision about the subsidies within the limits of the present week, otherwise he would be compelled to take further steps.
The members of parliament took time for their reply and after having consulted together continually they decided to represent to the king their readiness to vote supplies, that the duke with his artifices was the reason for delay in carrying this into effect, they begged his Majesty to aim at the preservation of his dominions and to so many things that wait for his succour and not to allow so many souls to perish for the sake of the Duke of Buckingham, as the duke by his constant presence at the king's side did not permit him to learn the true state of affairs; to beseech his Majesty therefore to separate himself from the duke to remove the occasion for so many disorders and to encourage them to contribute as his Majesty desires, otherwise protesting that if anyone dares to advise his Majesty of any means of obtaining money from parliament, they will consider him a disturber of the public quiet, a traitor, and to be punished as such.
They appointed a deputation of some of the leading men of the House to ask audience of the king and make these remonstrances to him, but his Majesty guessing at what they meant, sent word that he would let them know his decision on the following day.
Yesterday parliament met at the usual place and Upper House entered upon the business of the Earl of Bristol to take up that of the duke afterwards, for which, they say, he ought to be put into confinement, according to the laws. The Lord Keeper rose to his feet and said he had a commission from his Majesty under the great seal of England, according to the use, to dissolve the parliament. A general murmur sounded through the house at this unexpected step, and they begged the Lord Keeper not to record the commission until fresh order from his Majesty. They immediately deputed the Earls of Pembroke, Carlisle and Holland, and the President to go to the king and beg him to have regard to his service and his friends, and point out to him the disorders and inconveniences which may arise from dissolving the parliament. His Majesty was in the Park, and they performed their office with him in the name of the entire House of Lords, but could not move him from his fixed purpose. Accordingly they returned to the parliament and reported the king's determination. The House of Commons was thereupon summoned and the Lord Keeper read the commission, that for many reasons known to his Majesty he thought fit to dissolve the parliament. This happened forthwith two hours before midday yesterday morning.
I think the Lower House, before separating, had drawn up a list of the remonstrances to be made to the king, with leave for every one to have a copy, but the king, possibly fearing that if this were scattered through the country it might prejudice the service of his realms, directed the clerk of the parliament, under most severe penalties, not to give a copy to anyone soever. As he had already distributed two to as many members whom he named, they were compelled yesterday evening to hand them over to the Secretary Conway, by the king's order.
Everyone is astonished at this unexpected step of the king. Wise men think he has acted too precipitately, and they foretell disturbances in the kingdom and discredit abroad, with the total ruin of everything, especially the affairs of Germany, since without a parliament they do not know where to turn to find money. They hope to obtain the rest of the dowry from France, but that will avail little owing to the most urgent needs of the king, who has declared himself the enemy of the Spaniards and is pledged by his promises to Denmark, the States and Mansfelt. The partisans of the duke outwardly display the joy they feel, as they believe and say that by this dissolution the king has resolved to repress the hardihood and arrogance of his subjects, as his Majesty means to rule as a king and not to be ruled. They call for punishment against those who have spoken loudly against Buckingham and display great animosity against Bristol. The earl is considered innocent in the universal opinion, just as the duke is considered guilty because he would not face the charges against him, although he said he would make manifest the straightforwardness of his operations, but has had parliament dissolved. This has led to the diminution of the affections of this people towards his Majesty, and he has aroused their detestation the more. Owing to this it is surmised that Buckingham is postponing but not escaping his fall, and the crash will only be the greater (il che ha causato la diminutione di afetto di questi populi verso Sua Maestà, et egli si e concertato maggiormente il loro odio, per il quale si argomenta che in fine sia Bochingem per differir ma non fuggir la sua caduta, che sara con maggior sua rovina).
The Most Excellent ambassadors extraordinary, owing to the contrary wind, have not yet arrived. This has allowed me, though with no little trouble, to overcome the difficulties raised by the ministers, in arranging the matters entrusted to me by Cavalier Pesaro, and now a most noble house of one of the leading noblemen is ready for them to live in, (fn. 3) and everything else prepared for their entry.
London, the 26th June, 1626.
Postscript.—I hear that his Majesty has already begun to punish the opponents of the Duke of Buckingham, having put the Earl of Bristol in the Tower and ordered the Earl of Arundel to return with his wife and married children to his mother, in a country house of hers, twenty miles from here.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in the
preceding
despatch.
629A. Copy of a letter written by the king to the Speaker of the Lower House ordering them to grant supplies within the week or he will be compelled to take other steps.
Dated at Whitehall, the 9th June, 1626. (fn. 4)
[Italian.]
June 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
630. MARC ANTONIO CORRER and ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassadors Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the 15th inst. we left the Hague to take advantage of a favourable wind; but it changed and detained us in Rotterdam until the day before yesterday. The magistrate there and the Admiralty provided us with quarters and everything else we required. The Prince of Orange lent us two ships to take us to two ships of war, whch were ready for us. On Wednesday, St. John's day, learning that the wind would serve, we immediately embarked. But the weather became very changeable. We waited a night and then had a very quiet crossing in rather more than 24 hours. We have sent from here to the Secretary Rossi, so that he may arrange everything for our entry. We shall wait at Gravesend until we hear from him. When we reach London we will inform your Serenity of what takes place. As this is the usual day for the courier to Italy, we take advantage of it to send our salutations. We need say nothing about the state of affairs of the Netherlands, though we notice that the States have the command of part of the sea.
From ship board in the mouth of the Thames, the 26th June, 1626.
[Italian.]
June 26.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Risposte 147.
Venetian
Archives.
631. We have entered into the question about forbidding foreign vessels to take in goods at the Levant islands unless they have brought their entire cargo to Venice, it being adduced that this might affect the new impost on currants and muscat and prejudice our subjects in those islands, after weighing the various considerations, seeing that the Flemings do not need our Cretan wines, and the vessels which go there take salt fish, western cloth, hoops and staves, that the westerners have only come of late and we could do without them, we reply that the object was to divert trade from Leghorn and elsewhere and compel the ships to come to Venice, and we feel sure that there will be no difficulty about the wine. And whereas the Most Excellent Bondumier reports that ships arrive with salt fish, hoops and staves, all goods necessary for Crete, and exchange them for wine we think that western ships which come laden with salt fish and go on to Castela Mar to fill up with hoops and staves, to take to Crete should not be under this obligation.
In respect of Zante we find that those islands are tyrannised over by merchants and farmers and also suffer from the very low price of currants, which has reached 12 to 14 reals the thousand instead of 40 and is unlikely to go lower, we consider that the Most Illustrious Sagredo has answered all objections, and the Flemish and English merchants themselves admit the necessity of having the currants and the power to send the ships home laden with oil, rice, the crops of Apulia etc., though we do not think that all doubts are settled about the obligation of foreign ships to bring their cargoes to Venice, we would allow that those ships which do not wish to bring their cargoes to Venice may unlade them at Zante and Cephalonia, but they must pay as much of the new impost or half as much again as they pay at present, as your Serenity may think best, as we know their need of having the fruit, and one way or another they would have to take it even were the restrictions greater.
In the matter of salt fish we consider that the existing laws make sufficient provision, though we think the business is too much in the hands of the salt fish mongers.
With respect to allowing the Flemish and English to export oil, in order to encourage their ships to bring their cargoes to Venice and take away oil, it would certainly tend to increase trade here, as it is a great advantage for merchants and ship masters to bring a cargo and depart with one. You will see from the reply of the Proveditore upon oil how the free export of oil has led to the import of oil into this city to the public benefit.
The objection about the free export of rice being likely to occasion a scarcity of that commodity is answered by the case of the oil. If we let western ships lade that commodity in this city to take elsewhere it is certain that all the rice of the state and from abroad would collect here and where the goods are there will the merchants gather. The Flemings ask for free export not because they desire a diminution of the duties but to remove certain difficulties and expenses which delay them in despatching their ships. If any scarcity should arise your Serenity could easily put the matter right.
Agostin Michiel Savii alla Mercanzia.
Andrea Contarini
Antonio Donati
Piero Foscari
Andrea Dolfin
[Italian.]
June 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
632. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the matters of the ratification of the peace with the emperor arranged with the Pasha of Buda, the affair of Gabor and this matter of a truce with the Spaniards the English ambassador has always acted with great zeal, and he marvels greatly that he has had no letters from his king for a long while. Being a strong partisan of the Palatine, he told me in confidence that in order to induce his king to pay his portion of the money for Gabor's moving he had represented that he could get it here from merchants upon terms that would not inconvenience his Majesty, but even benefit him. I think he meant opening some trade between Transsylvania and England. I will try to find out the plan arranged between the Persians, English and Dutch for the silk trade in treaty through the ambassadors of that king who have arrived in London and prevent it if I can, and also see if I can benefit our merchants by bringing silk through the country of the Emir of Saida Baruta.
An express messenger has reached the English ambassador with letters from the English in Persia who are defending Ormuz against the Spaniards, begging for help, protesting that if it is delayed they cannot hold out longer as the Persians offer little resistance. The ambassador has sent the news to his king and the company of merchants, pressing the request to the utmost.
The Vigne of Pera, the 27th June, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
633. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I hear from Paris that the Ambassador Scaglia has again sent Baroccio to England, so probably very important negotiations are on foot, and the hopes of this House are now largely based on the protection of that crown, from which they possibly expect money and a fleet. Possibly also that king has a hand in the disturbances in France and that clock is moving with more than one wheel. I know that Monsr, is very fond of his sister and the Earl of Carlisle offered him his special service. When I was in France I saw more than one letter, on simple offices indeed, but very affectionate and familiar.
I have discovered that the Count of San Mauritio who recently returned hither from London has filled the duke with hopes and has increased his desire to see the French troops out of his dominions. It has been whispered to me that an unknown personage has bound himself to maintain a force of 12,000 foot and 2,000 horse in Italy against the Spaniards if your Serenity, the King of England and the duke undertake to form a fund and maintain it for two years. My informant claimed to tell me a great secret unknown to the duke or the English minister, but he let slip that he was sure that king would contribute his share and his Highness would approve of the project.
Turin, the 27th June, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
634. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador designate to England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After fulfilling your Serenity's commands, paying the usual compliments and imparting the necessary information to his Excellency Zorzi, I betook myself to the city to await a fair wind and continue my feeble services to the state. I contrived to despatch all my domestic affairs within six days from the date of my last audience. My departure elicited indications of much honour and respect for your Serenity. The Palatine came to see me and asked me to further his interests at the Court of Great Britain where he had charged his agent to keep up the best possible understanding with me. The Prince of Orange insisted on accompanying me with the chief noblemen of the Court and a number of coaches, as far as Ryswick, while his Excellency Zorzi came further to Delft. Your Excellencies may expect much good service from him. Their High Mightinesses and the whole Court have already conceived a high opinion of him.
The day before my departure I was presented with a gold chain, brought by two deputies of the assembly in the name of the Provinces. I lay this at your Serenity's feet, while humbly asking leave to take the gift. Nothing can whet my zeal, already so great, but I may mention the considerable drain on my private revenues.
My secretary, Messer Gerolamo Agustini also received another chain. The remark about expenses also applies to him as he has been very generous in the interests of the state. He also asks leave to keep the chain, as a sign of appreciation for his services, in which he has afforded me the utmost satisfaction.
On reaching this city I found that their Excellencies Corraro and Contarini left it two days ago; and they are supposed to be now off the coast of England. I shall follow at the first opportunity and may possibly profit from their experience before they leave.
Rotterdam, the 28th June, 1626.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
635. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Four days ago Rosegran, a gentleman of Denmark, passed through the town incognito without stopping, being sent in all diligence by his master to the King of England. No one knows the reason so every one forms his own judgment; most think it is for money.
The garrison of Linghen the other day took for a spy another gentleman of the same king who was going to France and England. They arrested him with many goods and papers.
There is news from Zeeland that three very rich ships of the seven which left three years ago under Admiral Ermit for the East Indies, have cast anchor at Plymouth. The others, left behind with the dead admiral will come shortly.
Their lordships of the Assembly of State here remain determined that neither Carleton nor any other English ambassadors shall enter their assembly as in the past, as they think it too servile to let others govern them after they have entirely discharged their debt to the English crown, while the cautionary towns are restored, so that crown has no further claims against them. However, the English, without entering into the merits of the case, circulate a report that not only will they withdraw their ambassador, but will cease to pay the infantry regiments whom they have maintained for so long for the benefit of the States and the common cause against the House of Austria and the Crown of Spain in particular.
From England, through the Earl of Derby (d'Arbi) who came to fetch the daughter of the Duchess of Tremouille, his bride, (fn. 5) we hear of the persistent attacks of the Lower House upon the Duke of Buckingham, offering the king subsidies if he consents, but refusing any money if he does not. His Majesty has sent a letter to parliament threatening to dissolve them if they do not settle their business in a week.
News has just arrived from Wolfenbuttel of the death of Duke Christian of Brunswick. It has excited no common grief at this Court, especially in the Queen of Bohemia, whose distress is excessive and unexampled (eccessivo et senza paragone), as that generous prince called himself her cavalier, an irreconcilable enemy of the Spaniards and offered to risk his state and his life to replace that most noble princess in the Palatinate.
The Hague, the 29th June, 1626.
[Italian.]
June 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
636. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A merchant and valet de chambre of the duke, who once went to Paris to arrange a matter of some millions with the ministers there, spoke to me recently of a plan to maintain 12,000 foot and 2,000 horse in Italy, to the hurt of the Spaniards. Although he did not seem to me a man of sufficient quality for such an affair, yet owing to the uncertainty of his Highness here, I thought it best to listen to him. After some promises of secrecy he told me that they proposed to buy the castle of Resana, between Monferrat, Vercelli and Milan, and had already practically arranged the price with the Count. They would gradually send troops there and fortify the place. The Spaniards would try to stop this and attack the troops as they passed. This would afford them the pretext to have recourse to the duke's protection, and they would fight openly against the Spaniards in the state of Milan. The force could be composed of 4,000 Germans, 4,000 Swiss and 4,000 Piedmontese, with the cavalry mixed of all nations except the French. The duke could supply them with provisions for payment. They only wanted to know the opinion of the most serene republic, as the English king, despite his innumer- able expenses had decided to contribute something to this plan, though the princes named were not bound to anything before they saw the number of soldiers indicated collected and the fight begun. He suggested your Serenity might supply 20,000 sequins a month.
I told him I should not dare to write anything to your Serenity before the duke spoke to me. He promised that the duke would speak, and seemed pleased at my remarks. I feel sure therefore that the whole plan originated with the duke. If he speaks to me I shall confine myself to generalities. When I asked this man if he was sure of the promises of the English, he told me that the English had a large share in the affair and would contribute more than the others, as they were also to send a number of ships to these shores. I tried to find out the exact number, but he evaded answering me and even tried to withdraw that he had said, for he evidently thought I knew about the matter.
All these things and what I sent in the last despatch confirm the understanding between this house and the crown of England, as well as the dissatisfaction of both with France.
Turin, the 30th June, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Sir John Savile. The letter was written from London on the 27th February. It was examined by the House on the 8th June, o.s. Camb. Univ. Lib. MS. Dd. 12.20–2.
2 Mr. More. The words given by the diarist are "We were born free and might be free if the king will keep his kingdom." Camb. Univ. Lib. MS. Dd. 12.20–2. He was sent to the Tower on the 3rd and released on the 7th June, o.s. Commons' Journals, vol. i, pages 866, 867.
3 The house of William, Lord Petre, in Aldersgate Street. Finett: Philoxenis, page 178.
4 Calendar S.P. Dom., 1625, 6, page 351.
5 It was James, Lord Strange, eldest son of the Earl of Derby, who married Charlotte, daughter of the Duchess of La Tremouille.