Venice
August 1626, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1913

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510-523

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'Venice: August 1626, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 510-523. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89070 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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August 1626

Aug. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
700. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I can assure your Excellencies of their decision to disarm in Milan. When they have thoroughly adjusted matters there they will transfer all the Neapolitan infantry here to be embarked upon the powerful fleet which they propose to send against England. I have also heard of a regiment of Germans which has volunteered and been eager to go on this service. As they are veteran and well disciplined troops I understand that their offer will be accepted.
Madrid, the 16th August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
701. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Mansfelt has crossed the River Oder and entered Silesia without opposition, taking many places. He has gone to the Wallachian mountains, intending to fortify himself until Gabor comes out and the help from Sweden arrives at the place appointed.
At the Imperial Court they think Mansfelt has come to his decision in concert with Gabor. On the other side we understand that Colonel Pecman is at Segam with 5,000 horse, unable to move until Maradas reaches him, who is making forced marches towards Silesia to join him on the 16th inst. according to his reckoning. 3,000 Wallachians have risen and they are very doubtful about the peasants of Bohemia and Moravia, where all are arming. His Majesty has decided on fresh levies, but the lack of money chills all movement. At Milan they are looking for the German regiments and others also, and in Spain they clamour for money or troops from Flanders. Sweden has taken four towns in Prussia, and the King of Poland has written to Vienna for help. We enclose the latest news from Constantinople. We will give you all particulars of the negotiations of the Ambassador Preo at the earliest opportunity. He is about to take leave to go to the Swiss and Grisons.
The same advices to England also, adding to the Ambassador Contarini;
We have received your letters of the 2nd from Rotterdam this week. We are sorry you have been detained there so long by contrary winds. We hope that these present will find you arrived at that Court, where our interests and current events call for your presence.
Ayes, 122.Noes, 3.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Aug. 20.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
702. To the Ambassador at Rome and the like to the other Courts.
Theodorachi, Prince Gabor's ambassador reached Constantinople on the 3rd ult. He visited all the ambassadors and told them of a congress at the Hague at which many things were resolved to humble the House of Austria, especially the arrangement between his prince and the king of Sweden for operations in Silesia. He had been sent to inform the Porte of this and to obtain the help of the Turks. He found the ambassadors well disposed, especially England. He brought a very different account of Mansfelt's defeat from the imperial one. Internal disturbances at the Porte have interrupted these negotiations, but the ambassador seems likely to prevail, as the Turks mistrust the Spaniards, though they avoid a declaration in favour of Gabor which might force them into war with the emperor while that with Persia continues.
We send you these advices for information and to use where you see it will help our service.
Ayes, 139.Noes, 1.Neutral, 6.
[Italian.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
703. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I arranged my public entry for yesterday, the Master of the Ceremonies having given me to understand that as I was the first ambassador in ordinary accredited by your Serenity to this king they proposed to show me extraordinary honour. Thus, besides the royal barges, which came to the usual place I found at Tower wharf, where we landed, the Lord Chamberlain, (fn. 1) who ranks third after the king, with his Majesty's coaches and others besides, whereas they do not usually go beyond a person bearing the title of baron or viscount. He accompanied me with a number of other noblemen to your Serenity's house here, where they were banqueted and entertained for the evening as usual.
Some day next week my liveries and other things required for the public decorum will be ready, and I have notified the king, who still remains in the country, that after Tuesday, at his perfect convenience, I will receive the honour of my first audience.
Meanwhile I find affairs here in very great confusion. Private passions and interests do not leave the public breathing time. I may say that this kingdom is divided into two. The king, Buckingham and a few individuals, who being near at hand sun themselves in the rays of royal favour; the other party consisting of all the rest of the country. The most experienced think that these two extremes cannot last long without the destruction of one or the other, and they discuss the subject perhaps too freely as one which can have no other result (posso dire che questo regno sia diviso in due, il Re, Bochingen et alcuni pochi, che ricevono calore vicini al sole della gratia da una, et tutto 'I'universale dall'altra, ne possono per opinione di piu pratici mantenersi longamente questi due estremi senza l'eccidio dell'uno o dell'atro, parlandosene forse con troppo libertà, come di cosa che non puo esser diversamente).
The king has greatly lost popularity, in such wise that the hatred increases against the duke, who since the last dissolution of Parliament, having availed himself of violent means to maintain his supremacy, is necessarily compelled to persevere in this course, without the least deviation. The removal from office of those who spoke against him in parliament, the expulsion from Court of the Earl of Arundel, whose followers, in consequence of this persecution, have their ranks now swollen by a great part of the people in general, and the imprisonment of Bristol are illustrations of this policy. They are, as a matter of fact, afraid of Bristol, as he is a man of spirit and perhaps takes counsel from those who can give it advantageously. They would fain win him by a mixture of hope and fear, as your Serenity will comprehend by the following despatch. So far they have not succeeded, as his pride and credit increase as much as the rigour of the others declines, though it is a bad thing for him to have the king as his enemy, accuser and judge.
The recent betrothal of the duke's infant daughter to Montgomery's eldest son in order to gain the Lord Chamberlain's faction and in fine to gather in the Privy Council all Buckingham's dependants, while excluding or at least not admitting the senior councillors, are all steps which cause a general outcry for remedy and punishment, to obviate which time is uselessly consumed and the most important affairs are consigned to oblivion. To all this must be added the expulsion of the French in the manner reported.
It seems strange that after declaring herself against Spain England should now endeavour in like manner to lose the friendship of France, and although some of the more speculative politicians fancy that these marks of mistrust have in view the facilitation of some agreement with Spain, yet others, on better grounds, think that the duke expects thus to benefit himself by getting rid of the opposition raised by the French to his misgovernment, and in order to win that influence over the queen with the assistance of his wife and other ladies, his dependants, in the same manner as that which he enjoys with the king. In this connection the mission of Carleton is disapproved, as the Most Christian will already have heard of the violent dismissal of the French attendants, before receiving the apologies and information about the necessity of such a step; and although the lower sort at Court say that Carleton himself may be charged to make some arrangement with the Spaniards through the Queen Mother, this is incompatible with the recent attack on her daughter and the French nation.
Little or no thought is had for the affairs of Germany or the Palatine, and indeed it is impossible to attend to them amid so many internal and domestic troubles, among which the intention of the Scots to assemble their Parliament without the king's assistance constitutes one of no small importance.
I understand that the Danish ambassador demands money and urges the maintenance of the league, threatening that if his master does not have satisfaction he will make terms with the emperor; but it is all in vain, nor can he obtain anything but words, as they would fain see him go.
The idea of a good understanding with your Serenity and Savoy about which they breathe something at Court, in addition to what they communicated to the ambassadors extraordinary, tends above all to make it known that the other powers may take vigorous resolutions without France, these devices being merely to gain time and avoid driving their friends to despair.
The delay of the fleet and the moral certainty that it will not exceed fifteen or twenty sail convince the public that it will merely serve as a feeble defence for Ireland and the coast elsewhere, instead of acting offensively as requisite. Your Excellencies may rest assured that on account of these difficulties this Crown will never effect anything for the common weal of Europe without money, which cannot be procured without parliament, and that refuses to contribute unless it obtains the satisfaction claimed, in accordance with ancient custom, the privileges of this kingdom still preserving something in the nature of a republic. Although in every department of the Government the king can do whatever he pleases, yet, with regard to money, he requires the assent of his subjects, with whom, so long as he is agreed, no sovereign in the world can obtain more solid supply. The most convincing proof of this is that former sovereigns when united with the Parliament, disposed not merely of the fortunes of their subjects but of their consciences as well, having thrice made the majority of them change even the religion in which they had been reared and educated.
On my entry into this new office I have thought fit to give a compendium of the state of current affairs with due frankness. The following despatch contains such details as I could gather during my visits and at my necessary introductions, while despite the late unseemly conduct of France towards the league, I shall narrowly watch its progress and the arguments of the state in favour of the common cause, and in conversation advocate the union with his Most Christian and with all who seek the general welfare, in order to spoil the game of those who endeavour to gain the upper hand by encouraging dissension and individual strife. The policy I shall adopt only when convinced of its advantage, as conducing to vigorous resolutions on the part of England; but great address is needed owing to the delicacy of the affair by reason of the interests of those at the helm, who in the midst of so many hazardous encounters are very jealous about their own position.
Meanwhile I shall receive more positive commands from your Excellencies for my guidance, although this prolonged absence of the Court delays and perhaps conceals their negotiations and projects or at least prevents conferences, which in this universal fluctuation of affairs would greatly benefit the common weal and that of the republic.
London, the 21st August, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
704. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French attendants who were dismissed the queen's service have at length departed after many attempts to gain time and await orders from their sovereign. This having been decided a few days ago by the Council, they sent a gentleman express to give Carleton notice of the fact and the French did the like by his Most Christian Majesty, through a courier, who was stopped at Dover, his letters being sent back to the Duke of Buckingham, who had them consigned, with their seals unbroken to the Bishop of Mandes, informing him that the seizure effected at Dover was not by order either of the king or Council. The bishop, well aware that this device was arranged to give Carleton time to make his statement before the arrival in France of the remonstrances of the malcontents here, gave the duke to understand this much, adding that the Most Christian would do nothing till he heard from them, and for the rest the duke would have been quite at liberty to open the packets, as they contained all the ill that might be repeated about the government and the ill treatment they had received. Subsequently the French attendants were ordered not to quit Denmark House, the queen's usual dwelling, save for the purpose of leaving the kingdom entirely. To this they replied, insisting in the first place upon the payment of their travelling expenses and salaries, which last they have never received, and demanding reimbursement of money lent to the queen in her greatest straits for food and clothing, speaking with a frank contempt of the poverty of the king and the country. These demands were met first by distributing a few presents to the most deserving among them and secondly by an order for the payment of their expenses, giving them a small sum of money besides. As regards the loans to the queen an assignment was made on the dowry for which England still remains the creditor of France.
This point being settled the French said they would not depart unless expressly commanded, so as to justify themselves to their sovereign on the score of violence. Thereupon, after several consultations the Council decided that the Secretary Conway with some other members of the Council should read an order enjoining the immediate departure of the French from Denmark House, the city of London and the kingdom, force being employed in case of refusal, for which purpose the secretary took the guards with him. Thus was the king's order executed and the French departed immediately, but the Bishop of Mandes chose to be the last and endeavoured to remain behind under the pretence of being a sort of ambassador or agent from the Most Christian, indeed he produced some commission to this effect; but he failed to make it good and shortly afterwards he had to follow the others.
A few days ago the Most Christian sent the bishop a papal brief requesting his Majesty to advocate the interests of the Catholics in England, the king having induced the pope to permit the dispensation for the marriage, but owing to these disputes nothing was done. The accounts given by the French attendants on arriving at the Court of France will be of the worst possible description, and Cardinal Richlieu's nephew, in particular, the Bishop of Mandes, who I understand is a man of ready wit, will confirm the impression, adding to the natural antipathy between the two nations. Here they maintain that the decision was necessary because the French thwarted and censured whatever the English Cabinet did, and impressed the queen and the Most Christian accordingly. They take as a basis the example afforded by the Spaniards and French themselves, who both sent back the attendants of their respective queens shortly after the marriages. Moreover it is rather suspected that France and Spain have an understanding together, this being inferred from the treaty of Farges, whereby the other powers would be compelled to assist should any difference arise about its execution.
Meanwhile Buckingham's mother and other ladies his dependents have been sworn in to the household offices of the queen, who is in fact, waited on in great state, with more decorum and punctuality. I fancy that she is beginning to appreciate the change, especially as Buckingham's mother and some of the other ladies are Catholics, and also because she has been allowed to retain her nurse, two fathers of the Oratory, one of whom is a Scot, and the musicians.
Mansfelt's gentleman has left for Scotland to embark the troops engaged by him, which will not be in great numbers, Burlamacchi being ordered not to contribute for the whole regiment, as required by the colonel, but merely to distribute so much per head to all the men actually on ship board.
The gentleman from the Ambassador Wake, Smith by name, who was to have been sent to his master with orders for him to proceed to Venice, has been detained by the duke, a report circulating through the Court that an ambassador extraordinary would be appointed instead of him, perhaps the duke himself. But of this I see no likelihood, especially as the Chamberlain told me yesterday that he had seen this gentleman of Wake, who expected orders to start at any moment.
The king's chamberlain, Pembroke, has been raised to the post of Steward, the office of chamberlain being conferred on his brother, the Earl of Montgomery, whose son, as already reported, was lately affianced to Buckingham's daughter.
But little is said about the fleet. They are daily expecting eight ships from Holland to join the others, said to number some forty now at Portsmouth by the king's order, together with the last ten fitting out at Rochester; but this squadron sadly lacks provisions, and although the Chamberlain Willoughby, who came to meet me on my entry and is to be its admiral, expects to put to sea in a few days, the public do not think this will prove so easy. I must not forget to add that in conversation with him I elicited, although the fleet is a small one, his intention of making some attempt in foreign parts. He further told me that if they had galleys they would certainly make the attempt, as there are many opportunities in the Mediterranean. Despite this I think that if the Spaniards are preparing the force as they profess, England may rest content if her fleet can secure these coasts and those of Ireland.
Bristol keeps gaining more and more liberty, as besides allowing him to receive visits from his wife they have also let him come out from the Tower, though he must return every evening. In the meantime there is no lack of attempts to reconcile him with the duke, though without success so far. He has a good head though it may be corrupted by those who encourage these dissensions for their own advantage, and because when the new parliament meets it will behove him to give an account after so openly declaring his intention to accuse Buckingham.
With these same arguments touching the Parliament and fear on its assembling, the Lord Mayor of London, having been requested by the king to maintain fifteen men-of-war at the expense of the city, by virtue of a private order of his Majesty, goes about making apologies for non compliance. In this connection I may state that the more the king and government keep devising means whereby to dispense with parliament, the more do they restrict or rather lose, in my opinion, their own authority (et a questo proposito devo dire, che quanto più il Re et il Governo van ritrovando mezi per disobligarsi dai Parlamenti, tanto parmi che restringono, per non dir, perdino, della loro auttorità).
The two ships destined for the blockade of Hamburg, in lieu of two others now joined with three Dutchmen, have not yet sailed, the commander insisting upon having large men of war and not the small vessels selected.
I have received your Serenity's missives of the 11th and 16th July and will use them for my guidance as directed, and the same purpose will be served by the numerous papers I have received from the Secretary Rossi.
London, the 21st August, 1626.
[Italian: the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
705. SIMONE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Four days ago Mons. de Teli, (fn. 2) a leading French cavalier of the queen's household, arrived from England, and went forthwith to the king to inform him that the King of Great Britain had decided to dismiss all the French, men and women, from the queen's household, as well as all the Jesuits. I am told that the reason for this is that one day when the queen was passing the way where criminals are usually executed in London, some one told her that ten years before a Jesuit named Garnet, who had been involved in a conspiracy against the late King James, had suffered cruel torture and death on that spot. (fn. 3) This friar is considered by his fellows as a martyr and a saint, and that view being impressed upon the queen, she stopped near the spot and prayed there so openly that the people noticed it and were scandalised. The matter spread throughout all London and reached the king's ears. He was wonderfully angered and forth-with ordered the dismissal of all the Jesuits and all the French of the queen's household. The King of England has also sent another gentleman to the Ambassador Carleton here, to inform him of what has happened. These Jesuits stir up trouble and their audacious determination to sanctify their actions and their people has caused this disturbance, which may lead to others.
Paris, the 21st August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 22.
Collegio, Lettere. Venetian Archives.
706. To the Rectors of Verona.
Order to procure from the Duke of Mantua two passports for the Ambassadors Marc Antonio Correr and Anzolo Contarini, returning from England, which will be necessary for them on their journey from Turin by the Po.
Ayes, 22.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
707. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My private letters from England of the 15th inst. tell me of considerable changes in the royal household. That with the exception of Madame de Vandolet, two priests, the musicians, the cook and two pages, the king, with the intervention of the Bishop of Mandè, has dismissed all the other French cavaliers and ladies who came with the queen. He has tried to sooth her for their departure by extraordinary liberality, and to render the medicine less bitter by golden vessels.
Colonel Lord Willoughby is about to take command of the fleet instead of Buckingham, who does not think it will be to his advantage to go far from the king's ear.
A marriage has been arranged between Buckingham's daughter and the son of the Earl of Montgomery, brother of the Earl of Pembroke, Lord Chamberlain of England. (fn. 4) This will not only put an end to the mortal enmity between the two houses, but will firmly establish the duke's greatness. Pembroke will be raised to the rank of Steward of the royal household, while Montgomery will succeed him as Chamberlain.
The Hague, the 24th August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 25.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
708. Whereas it is necessary to provide against foreign ships unloading all their goods at other marts and neglecting this one and others of the republic and then going empty to the islands of the republic, particularly Zante and Cephalonia, to lade currants and other goods which they cannot obtain elsewhere; that whereas the laws provided, what has somewhat dropped out of use, that foreign ships who did not bring to this city at least two thirds of their load, should not have leave to lade here or in any part of our Gulf for the West or elsewhere, we renew the said prohibition adding that the rectors of those islands for the next four years shall forbid under severe penalties any foreign vessel to lade currants for the west unless they have a signed guarantee from the magistracy of the Five Savii that their ships brought their entire cargo to this city or else they can lade at Zante and Cephalonia but must pay 15 instead of 10 per thousand for the new impost. A separate account should be kept of the extra 5 per thousand and the Five Savii shall give the necessary orders thereupon. Ships bringing salt fish and other goods from the West to sell in the said islands, if they really take all their cargo to sell there, need not bring their cargo to this city first and need only pay the ordinary custom of 10 ducats per thousand. The Proveditori of the Islands shall be fined 500 ducats for each ship if they do not bring guarantees of having executed the above commands, on their return home. The rectors shall prevent smuggling and secret understandings between the inhabitants and merchants by proclamation and in other ways.
Ayes, 69.Noes, 1.Neutral, 21.
We desire the trade in currants to be free, as it has been hitherto, without derogation to the laws on the subject.
Ayes, 44.
[Italian.]
Aug. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
709. To the Ambassador at Rome, and the like to the other Courts.
We imagine that the news of an attempt made by a Piedmontese against Angelo Badoaro, will be spread abroad. We enclose a copy of our information for your enlightenment. When the subject is mentioned you will behave so as to show that the republic attaches little importance to persons of such character, though it is no marvel if some are tempted by the large sums placed on their heads, or if the depravity of their lives leads them into dangers. You will advise us of what happens.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 3.Neutral, 11.
The like to:
Germany, France, Spain, England, the Hague, the Valtelline, Milan, Naples, Florence, Zurich.
[Italian.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
710. To the Ambassador CONTARINI in England.
We hope that these present will find you in England, after overcoming the difficulties of the bad weather which has detained you so long at Rotterdam, as your last letters of the 2nd inst. relate. We recognise your zeal and you will have further opportunities of showing it at that Court. We enclose particulars of the negotiations of MM. Preo and Castelnovo, ambassadors extraordinary of the Most Christian. They have now left for the Swiss and Grisons. We have also sent a copy to the Court of Spain.
At the Court of Rome the question of handing over the forts remains in the balance; the pope proceeds with great reserve, due possibly more to the intervention of the Spaniards than to himself. It is upon this point in particular that the negotiations of the ambassadors of France and Spain with Cardinal Megalotti turn. You will use this for information.
Ayes, 82.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.
711. To the Secretary in Germany.
You will tell the ministers of the operations of Count Francesco della Torre against Andrea Piavese, pointing out the importance of the affair. You will declare that the republic has always desired peace and works for it, as does the Duke of Savoy, a truce being arranged between him and the governor of Milan. The Duke of Guise has already left Leghorn and should by now have reached Marseilles. Mansfelt and Weimar have left Silesia and 16,000 foot of Wallenstein are marching that way. General Fux was to cross the Elbe and march to Luneburg. We also hear that Denmark has sent ambassadors to Saxony to treat for an accommodation with Cæsar. We await Cæsar's orders about the release of those of Grado. We send you a copy of what we have written to Spain about the negotiations of M. de Prèo, which will serve for your information.
That the same letter be sent to the other courts for the same information.
Ayes, 82.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
712. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I reported having notified the king that I would have my first audience at his convenience. Without abandoning his field sports his Majesty sent me word that he would come to a place nearer to London, where the queen would also be, in order not to subject me to the unnecessary toil of a long journey. This was his courteous pretext, but really, being in the house of a private gentleman, with a very small retinue and distant hence a good forty miles, he did not wish to receive me in that fashion. Accordingly the audience is deferred until the day after to-morrow.
After the departure of the French servants, the Bishop of Mandes being still at Rochester, a courier reached him from the French Court, with letters for the King, Queen, and Buckingham, which were immediately forwarded to them. It is said that owing to Count Tillières' account of the grievances here, although the French attendants had not then been dismissed, the Most Christian accredited the bishop as ambassador. The King of England did not approve of this, indeed he considered that all the late evil impressions proceeded from him. The bishop was therefore compelled to take the same road as the others, who all crossed the channel together last Saturday, the vessels which landed them at Calais having already returned. The whole Court is intent on the result of this business, the general wish being, on the one hand not to have the French as open enemies, while on the other they still place but a slight value on their friendship merely from the conviction that France pays little attention to her promises and is for the most part deceitful.
The extreme formality and outward decorum with which the queen is now waited on by the English ladies, so contrary to French custom and familiarity, begins to weary her Majesty, who leads a very discontented life, as she is not allowed either to speak or to write save in their presence (mentre ne di parlare ne di scrivere gli è permesso senza la loro assistenza). This led to several angry discussions between her and the king, especially because Mademoiselle de la Tremouille, lately married to Lord Derby's son, has been unable to obtain office in the Court, on the pretence of her being too young, but really because she is French. Nevertheless, her mother, who is very astute and receives many honours in England, such as board and lodging at the king's cost, keeps intriguing to obtain this distinction for her daughter, and even has hopes of success.
The Earl of Rutland, Buckingham's father-in-law, who was appointed Chamberlain to the queen, has practically declined the post, which is apparently conferred on Buckingham's dependent, the Earl of Dorset, who openly declared himself in his favour in the last Parliament.
The Dutch ambassador has carried his point with regard to obtaining some small supply of money to pay the English troops in his masters' service, Burlamacchi having received both the order and the funds. With this opportunity the ambassador spoke to the duke both about the fleet putting to sea and the many provisions in arrear, especially meat. He was told that everything should be ready soon, and they would tell him the exact day, while the shortage in meat should be made good with fish. All these are doubtless measures of necessity, but of little use. The English reckon on having some forty ships ready to put to sea besides twenty Dutchmen, although the ambassador declares that according to the terms of the League his masters will furnish but one fourth of the entire fleet. Meanwhile General Willoughby has certainly sent his baggage to the fleet and yesterday many of its captains were seen, having come for money, without which they will not depart. I do not know they can be satisfied, owing to this universal penury, while on the other hand the advanced season forbids delay. About fifty other ships will remain to guard these coasts, the City of London having already been persuaded to equip twenty. The king, indeed, is bound to provide for the ordinary defence of these coasts by virtue of an agreement with the city which allows him for the purpose 120,000l. yearly derived from duties, but in an extraordinary case of declared war and with this pretext he obtained from the city the approval of this extorted assistance.
Some little money is collected from the courtiers and others who are compelled by Privy Seals to supply loans or benevolences, which are by no means adequate to the present manifold necessities as the whole city and country reject them. In consequence of this, by order of the Council, they have put up for sale certain parks, forests and other Crown property, now held in fee for a trifling due. This measure is also considered useless as but few persons will admit the possession of money for fear of some surprise, nor would the sale of Crown property be valid without the approval of Parliament. In short, your Excellencies may rest assured that things here must change; they cannot possibly continue long in their present state, nor can they come to an end save through peace or Parliament.
The re-assembling of the body is apparently whispered about Court, just as it is clamoured for without reserve throughout town and country. But the truth is, the king either does not perceive the confusion or will not acknowledge it, to gratify the Duke, by whom the credulous vulgar maintain that his Majesty has been bewitched; nor will the duke permit the meeting, preferring to risk everything rather than stand such a trial, and the mass of charges against him will be the greater on account of the devices contrived for the destruction of the fundamental laws of the realm.
Peace is also discussed, people perceiving on the one hand the duke's obstinacy and on the other the impossibility of continuing the war without Parliament. It seems that overtures made at Brussels through the Queen Mother at the suggestion of the English Catholics, who are very ill treated, before the recent dismissal of the French attendants, were rejected absolutely. This makes the English apprehend a coalition of several powers, and that the political war will become one of religion. Hence I conjecture, not without grounds, that Carleton has orders to give ear, if invited to do so, and apparently there is some hope that Gondomar, who is recalled to Spain as reported from Brussels, may make some secret overtures for peace on his way through France, as he has everywhere freely expressed his great desire for this because of the affection he professes for the English. I will send this news to his Excellency Contarini and keep on the alert for all news that reaches this island, though it is always very rancid as sent back invariably from the hunting grounds, where the Court and Council are gathered with the king, who is very exhausted.
Last Sunday the ambassador from Denmark had a private audience of his Majesty and spoke very haughtily saying that his master pledged himself at the suggestion of the King of England, who now renounced his promises and good faith, the freedom of Germany, her oppressed princes and his own kindred, dilating so much on these topics and on the necessities of the Danish king, on the remonstrances made to him by his subjects, especially the nobility, and insisting so vehemently on some pecuniary supply that his Majesty seems to have withdrawn in disgust, not knowing what apology to make for the omission and being equally unable to make it good. Meanwhile I am informed on good authority that to make partial amends, I suppose to the Danish ambassador, the ministry gave him to understand that they have a promise from your Serenity and the Duke of Savoy to make a joint diversion, or if unable to manage this advantageously, to give assistance with money in those parts or elsewhere in Germany, in such wise as to benefit the interests of Denmark. They tell me besides that all this was put in writing here and sent to the King of Denmark, which I very much regret, as should this device get abroad, your Excellencies would receive a double injury, your friends reproaching you for failing in what was practically promised, while those who do not love the republic would accuse her of distrust. I am well aware that these are pretexts with the object of anticipating advantage for their cause, and projects to be made use of in case of need; the same may be said of Wake's paper sent to me on the 31st ult., which reached me this week. Wake's gentleman Smith has not yet departed but expects his despatch any day.
The Danish ambassador talks of paying me a visit immediately after my first audience. Should he or any others speak to me on the subject I shall adroitly represent the labours of the republic for the common cause at such cost, which still continues. I will not pledge the republic to anything unless commanded. Should anything be taken amiss I will try and put things right, though only when provoked, turning the conversation as much as possible for I know it can serve no good end, whichever side the Signory may take, and meanwhile I shall receive more positive orders from your Excellencies.
Lord Annandale who was sent to Scotland, as I reported, has returned. I find that the Scots will grant the king some brief delay, but for the rest they are determined to assemble the Parliament, being of opinion that it does not in the least prejudice the king, despite his absence, as even in the late reign it assembled thus twenty-two times, and the only other tender point is that his late Majesty was crowned and his present Majesty is not.
Two English ships were captured lately by the Dunkirkers. Mansfelt's levies are embarking, and as he is said to have renounced the sea they might serve in the Danish force in lieu of those who were drafted out of that army for him.
London, the 28th August, 1626.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
713. MARC ANTONIO CORRER and ANZOLO CONTARINI, late Venetian Ambassadors Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We arrived here yesterday on our return journey and found a courier from the Ambassador Contarini with orders to stay our secretary Suriano, to await instructions and to go to Holland. He obeyed readily, but it will greatly disorder his private affairs. He hopes it will be for a short time. He will travel with all diligence.
We hear nothing of moment at this place which your Excellencies will not have heard. All the troops that have passed the Alps cry out against the French. We shall hasten to complete our journey, but the number of conveyances will lead to some delay.
Lyons, the 31st August, 1626.
[Italian.]
Aug. 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
714. ZORZI ZORZI., Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Being invited one day of late by the Queen of Bohemia, I went to receive the honour of serving her at some country ceremony not far from here. I had the opportunity of telling her that a rumour was current at the Hague of a marriage between the prince her son and the heiress of her kinsman the Duke of Bavaria. If this were true I congratulated her warmly, as it would not only put an end to disputes but open the way to consolation and joy, and I could desire nothing better.
The queen thanked me and answered with royal openness, that the negotiations were true, but they had begun in deceit and ended in talk and vanity. The king, her father, who was more credulous than he should have been, when he had least cause, was amused by this perfume in the last days of his life, by the government of Brussels. They concocted these devices in order to keep the king occupied by the hope of this match, and preserve the Spaniards in the possession of the Palatinate. The Duke of Bavaria had not even any knowledge of it, let alone desire for it. At the present time this business is so much disregarded among men that it is hardly remembered or thought of (gradi il mio afetto la Regina et mi ringratio, et a questo particolare con Regia ingenuità cosi mi rispose. Che fu vero questo negotio, ma che principiato da inganni termino in discorsi e vanita. Che il Re, suo padre, il quale dove manco era tenuto credeva più del dovere, ne gl'ultimi giorni della sua vita fu trattenuto con questo profumo dalla consulta di Brusselles, la quale per occupar il Re nella speranza di queste nozze, et conservar i Spagnuoli nel possesso del Palatinato formò queste girandole; che il Duca di Baviera non ve ne hebbe pur cognitione non che volonta, et che questo trattato adesso, e cosi fuori dell' opinione degl' huomini, che a pena ha moto nella memoria et negl' animi).
At this point she stopped, and smilingly asked me "Mr. Ambassador, do you know the great favour I have received from Brussels this week?" An individual, she mentioned a Portuguese, has come on purpose to salute me on behalf of the nuncio. Now are not things happily accommodated (hor le cose non sono ben accommodate?). This serves as an argument for what may be believed about the particulars I wrote of last week.
The Hague, the 31st August, 1626.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 i.e. Robert Bertie, Lord Willoughby of Eresby, the Lord High Chamberlain, who took Contarini to the Venetian embassy in Charterhouse Street. Finett: Philoxenis, page 184.
2 He must mean Tillières, who left England at the beginning of the month. See Rosso's despatch of the 7th August, at page 500 above.
3 Tyburn, visited by the queen on the 6th July. Henry Garnet, Provincial of the Jesuits, suffered there on the 3rd May, 1606, for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot.
4 See note at page 500 above.