Venice
September 1626, 2-14

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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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524-537

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'Venice: September 1626, 2-14', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 524-537. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89071 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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September 1626

Sept. 2.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia, Risposte 147. Venetian Archives.
715. With regard to the letter of the Consul Pesaro at Aleppo of the 11th June last, since the claims of the English consul there for consulage on our goods brought in their ships under the English flag, have been referred to England and Constantinople, we are of opinion that your Serenity should write to the consul to act discreetly until the point is settled.
By all the five.
[Italian.]
Sept. 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
716. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have heard nothing of the nuncio negotiating for a league against the Turks. There is some sign that they have urged upon him a league against England, but none that the pope will accede to it. Now, indeed, there are rumours that the Spaniards themselves are treating for an accommodation with England, though I do not find any ground for this, but rather that the king may proceed to Portugal within a month for the despatch of the fleet.
Madrid, the 3rd September, 1626.
[Italian.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
717. To the Ambassador in England.
We have already informed you of our negotiations with the French ambassador. You will inform his Majesty of what has taken place and of the proposals made by M. de Preo and the reply given to him, pointing out how we are acting in the common interest, but so performing the office as not to offend the French if they get to know of it. You will confirm the king in the assurance of our goodwill and increase his affection for the republic. You will refer to the difficulties arising at Rome about the demolition of the forts, and that they are not disarming at Milan, and from the subjects introduced by others you will try to gather their opinions and views.
We are glad that you have at last reached that kingdom. You will have found the quarrels between their Majesties and the French inflamed. It is necessary to keep on good terms with both parties without affecting the understanding with either, and you will seize every favourable opportunity of making peace. We think of no further instructions to give you.
Ayes, 125.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
718. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By the king's command my entry into London was effected with the utmost show of honour for your Serenity, his Majesty maintaining the same style when giving me my first audience. This was appointed for Sunday, the 30th ult. I was taken from my house in the king's coaches, by a number of noblemen, the chief being the Earl of Dorset, Knight of the Garter and a member of the Council, though persons of this rank are not usually employed except to attend ambassadors extraordinary. He conveyed me with considerable retinue to Nonsuch, a distance of twelve miles, where his Majesty was for the sole purpose of receiving me, as on the morrow he went back further into the country for his hunting. Indeed he had already favoured me with a large stag, killed with his own hand. The queen was also in the same place and in fact they chose to receive me together, both in the same room, which was considered an unusual mark of honour and confidence. I first complimented the king, and after presenting my credentials, said that I had been sent to augment the good understanding which had always existed between the republic and this crown, through mutual friendly offices, undimmed by any clouds. It was the more necessary in the interests of the common cause, co-operating with his Majesty's glorious projects for the public liberty, and in support of his name, which he would render glorious. I had undertaken the office the more willingly because I felt sure that the execution of the republic's commands would meet with a ready response here, and I was convinced of the uniformity of interests. I spoke of the constancy of your Excellencies and all you had done for the common cause, referring to my orders always to act in the most confidential manner, hoping that his Majesty and his ministers would do the like by me, as was only fitting. I rejoiced at his Majesty's good health and wished him long and happy years, hoping that I might serve to his entire satisfaction. I referred to the honours I had received and to the familiar confidence always shown me by the Princess Palatine, his sister, with other topics calculated to render me acceptable, for the advantage of my country.
The king received me most graciously and said he had no closer friend than the republic, and assured me I should be welcome and well treated. He wished your affairs as much prosperity as his own, the advantage being mutual. He was convinced of your sincere affection, which he would always reciprocate by friendly deeds. He went on to particulars about myself, communicated to him, he said, by his sister and his ministers, who had been frequently at the Hague. He had the opportunity of embracing the Secretary Rossi, who thought fit to take leave of his Majesty on that occasion, in order to hasten his return home after seven years' useful service.
I then complimented the queen, as instructed, assuring her of your Excellencies' respect for her station here and her own royal family, linked by so many ties to our republic, which desired the advancement and prosperity of the two crowns, and so forth, in the hope of creating a favourable impression with her likewise.
I found her very depressed owing to the late changes in her household and, indeed, I believe that on this account and to restrain her tears, which flow very freely when she converses with persons in the confidence of France, her Majesty thought fit to receive me conjointly with the king. She certainly greeted me with extraordinary courtesy, acknowledging my nephew and all the other gentlemen of my household. She expressed her esteem for your Excellencies, said I was welcome at the Court and she would always have especial regard for my satisfaction, rendering my operations more fruitful in every way.
In the course of the last few days I have also seen the Duke of Buckingham, who left me nothing to desire in the matter of confidence and honour, with offers which I shall try to realise, maintaining with him in the meantime such intimacy as may benefit the state. He expressed a singular respect for the republic and entire affection for her ministers, promising to use the favour enjoyed by him to the satisfaction of your Excellencies.
He alone, perhaps more than the king, sustains the burdensome management of the country's foreign and domestic affairs, and the general hatred borne him coupled with the enmity of many of the nobility and the small love felt for him by the queen, render him very apprehensive of losing his influence. But what matters still more is the disordered state of the kingdom. All these untoward circumstances are so important that one cannot easily discern the end of so momentous a matter, and they are a constant source of anxiety to the duke, so I found him very depressed. The assistance of his mother, a woman of good sense, the advice of his most intimate friends, who assemble in his apartment every morning before entering the Court, his own wary policy and the fear of his authority by others, serve in great measure to support his interests.
At our interview he spoke to me about the dismissal of the French attendants and the causes which had induced the king to take this step, being the same as I have already reported. He did not say anything about the affairs of Germany, with which they either cannot or will not occupy themselves. He made some enquiries of me about Préaux, the French ambassador in Venice, but in answering I confined myself to the letters received last week, announcing solely his first audience, those due this week having been stolen, as you will hear.
London, the 4th September, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
719. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At the time when I was at Nonsuch for the audience a gentleman arrived express from the queen mother in France and it was forthwith announced through the Court that in a few days two ambassadors would be here from the Most Christian, namely M. de Bassompierre and the Count of Tillières. General suspense prevailed, as they did not know what reception Carleton met with in France, reports current at Court stating that they have refused him audience and detained his secretary at Calais. But shortly afterwards letters came from Carleton himself announcing his first offices with the king and the queens, though effected with some trouble. He then reported the mission of Bassompierre with whom Tillières was to be joined as ambassador or in some other capacity, as the person who managed both the marriage articles and the whole progress of this affair.
The Council met several times and finally they decided to send to France Mr. Montague, a youth 22 years old, in great favour with the duke, ostensibly to congratulate Monsieur, the king's brother on his recent marriage, (fn. 1) but also to let Tillières know that whether he sets out for this country as ambassador or in any other capacity, he must not come, as the king is determined not to receive any of the persons late in the queen's service. They will not receive him because of past affronts, declaring that he aimed at subverting the kingdom by aiding the projects of the Catholics, or at least of forming a strong party through his connection with the Jesuits, who from excess of zeal, to say no worse, destroy religion itself and the Catholics experience the results in severe persecution.
Another reason for not receiving Tillières is that his thorough acquaintance with these matters, in all of which he was previously employed, would enable him to reply more boldly and freely to the objections and pretexts urged on this side. It remains doubtful, Tillières not being admitted, if Bassompierre will come alone; many persons wanting him, because he is considered a man of good judgment, and I do not think he will find much difficulty in negotiating, provided he show himself neutral about religion, although they declare that the king, the queen mother and the whole Court display great heat at the expulsion of the French attendants.
The want of money continues more than ever, to such an extent that even the king can obtain but a very small quantity. All pensions are suspended nor are any payments made whatever the protection and favour engaged. Owing to this, besides the sale of property reported, they have decided to recoin the gold pieces, reducing their weight, but maintaining their value. If the king had a large sum set aside he would make a considerable profit of ten per cent., but as this must depend upon private individuals, they will want the gain for themselves and in case of need would prefer taking the gold to the mint uncoined. So time is merely lost in their cabals with the certainty of not finding money.
The fleet does not put to sea and in any case will only consist of a very few ships, the coming of the Dutch ones not even being certain. The Earl of Denbigh, the duke's nephew, who was to have been second in command under General Willoughby, has been declared sole chief of that small squadron, the command of another destined to guard these coasts, being reserved for this last, but as yet I can give assurance of nothing but words and projects.
The Commissioners from Hamburg are vigorously urging their despatch. The Government here knows for certain that in that port there are at least twenty ships, freighted with cordage, masts and other naval stores, undoubtedly intended for the Spaniards. Yet despite this there are persons who recommend their being allowed to sail, solely with a view to gain, hoping that when the fleet puts to sea they may all be made prizes. Yet is the ocean wide.
From the Earl of Dorset, who offered troops to your Serenity in Lando's time and who took me to audience, I gathered in the conversation during the long journey, that the king's distress is at its height, more from the necessity of having recourse to some violent remedy against his subjects, so the earl said, than from any other cause. He added that at any rate there was no fear of insurrection in this kingdom as it contained no fortresses, neither could foreign powers foment revolution from lack of large navies. He continued that war must be maintained with the property of the subject, all being bound to contribute when it is just, and if in the last Parliament the people had agreed to the promised contributions they would have paid much less than the king will eventually compel them to disburse (esser le afflittioni del Re arrivate al colmo più per le nescessità di venir a qualche rimedio violente contro i suoi populi, diceva egli, che per altro, non ad ogni modo temersi in questo Regno di sollevationi, perche ne vi erano Piazze, ne altri Principi havean modo di fomentarle, per il bisogno di grosse armate navali doversi mantener la guerra con le sostanze dei sudditi; che tutti sono obligati quando ella è giusta, et se nel passato parlamento assentivano i populi alle contributioni promesse haveriano pagato molto meno di quello a che finalmente saran necessitati dal Re). If such ideas pertain among all the Councillors they are most pernicious, nor will the king assuredly get money save through Parliament; neither may he without Parliament expect any thing but peace, provided that the Spaniards, should they get free in other quarters, be inclined thereto.
With regard to foreign affairs Lord Dorset told me that France deceived everybody, she was entangled in her own cares; her policy towards this country was insincere, and she sought to give satisfaction to the Spaniards, while the Most Christian was constantly complaining of the seizure of his ships, although they were bound for Spain with provisions and other munitions. He blamed Denmark for not having acted hitherto and for remaining idle in the midst of so many diversions made by the United Provinces, Sweden, Mansfelt and the peasants of Austria, which are all armies in the field, operating for one and the same end, to her advantage. As regards past contributions they cannot deny the debt and say they will acquit it, but for the future insist on their allies being satisfied with some slight maritime diversion in which case they contend they are no longer bound to contribute money.
With the States of Holland the quarrel continues about the repulse given by the Council of State to the English ambassador, and they announce their intention of removing the four regiments on the termination of the treaty, which expires on the 4th November next, the king being resolved rather to keep a body of well disciplined troops in this kingdom, to avail himself of them should his projects require it. To this must be added the irritation caused by the Amboyna affair, and as the period assigned for the promised acts of reparation expires in a few weeks the discussion will be renewed and with great sharpness as it interests very many individuals. Here they insist upon it that dissension exists among the States in religious matters, an idea which I thought it right to contradict on the strength of my recent experience, and I think this will take effect.
Of the affairs of Italy he said nothing particular to me, as there is certainly no peg whereon to hang the pretext. He merely asked what your Excellencies would do about the Valtelline. I replied that your previous action proved your sincere devotion to the common welfare.
From these premises something was elicited about the peace. He told me that Gondomar remained in favour of it, Olivares holding the contrary opinion, so they are not on good terms together. He added that the king was averse from it but to do so much was really impossible for him. He expatiated upon the cost of the fleet, the contributions to Denmark, Mansfelt and the United Provinces would indeed be no trifle if they are as represented. We shall limit ourselves, said he, thus leisurely to a naval war, until we see ourselves in company. Whereupon I observed that this backwardness would more probably serve as a pretext and occasion for the others to withdraw.
I have not spared your Excellencies any of these opinions as they come from a man of consideration, who has a seat in the Council and depends entirely on Buckingham, who may be said to father all these maxims, which are well adapted to his personal views but not to those of the state.
Wake's gentleman has left for Venice nor has anything more transpired about his despatch, it being merely conjectured that the ambassador will reach Venice before him.
I have received visits lately from the ambassadors of Holland and Denmark, who treated me with honour becoming your Serenity. The latter in particular discoursed with me on general subjects, but with the opportunity afforded at Court for seeing the Secretary Rossi and my own secretary, he made some enquiries of them about the time of the arrival of the advices from Italy, adding that he also was expecting those of his king in a fortnight or so, concerning the business negotiated with their Excellenices the delegates extraordinary, hinting that Rossi should delay his departure, in order to convey the whole more surely to your Excellencies. I shall not consent to this without instructions and will rather parry every attack to save you additional anxiety and trouble. I the more regret being in the dark, the last post having been intercepted, the postmaster at Antwerp writing that the courier was robbed near Trent and that the state packet was much torn, though the merchants received their letters intact, as I ascertained. It is clear that they wished to know what the French ambassador did at Venice and your Excellencies' projects. Previously a sharp reproof from the Collegio to Tassis, the postmaster at Venice, set this affair to rights, and a repetition of this might prove expedient.
London, the 4th September, 1626.
I have just received the ducal missives of the 14th informing me of the Danish ambassadors' negotiations with the delegates. This comes most opportunely, although with regard to diverting the mission of a person to Venice I fear it is not in time, as they write me from Hamburg in date of the 8th August, that they have already decided to send an agent. However, I will obey if necessary.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 4.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
720. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The dismissal by the King of England of the queen's attendants has deeply moved his Majesty. He has recently chosen the Marshal Bassompierre to go as ambassador extraordinary to that king. I am told that his instructions are limited to three points. First, the restitution of the French attendants to their original positions and better treatment of the queen; second, if the English will not take them again, to demand that the queen be sent back here; thirdly, if the English do not satisfy that queen as required, to declare war on them. These points involve the greatest difficulties and may easily be carried out on both sides, but perhaps the medicine of time may heal the mischief, at least temporarily. This would serve the general welfare as well as that of the two kings.
I have heard that after the selection of Bassompierre for this embassy he had a long interview with the Spanish ambassador here.
Paris, the 4th September, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
721. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Account of the defeat of the King of Denmark by Tilly at Luter, four leagues from Valfenpitel. (fn. 2) Among the slain was an Englishman, Colonel Glatton, a veteran soldier, with two other colonels.
Vienna, the 5th September, 1626.
[Italian; copy.]
Sept. 5.
Collegio, Secreta. Lettere, Re d'Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
722. CAROLUS D.G. Mag. Brit. etc. Rex. etc. Sermo principi domino JOHANNI CORNELIO, Duci Venetiarum, Salutem.
Serenissime Princeps.
Quorum prudentia spectataeque virtutes verbis vix exprimi atque minime quam Serenti Reique publicae Vestrae jamdudum fuere, clariores fieri queunt, ab eisdem vestris legatis dignissimis Marco Antonio Corraro et Angelo Contareno equitibus auratis, vestras lubenter accepimus litteras. Hac quae nos de vestro in nos animo certiores reddentes haud exigua nos affecere lætitiâ: et e contra quam sincero Serenemum plectamur Remp. Vam. pectore quam vere nostram cum eadem sartam tectamque cupiamus amicitiam, atque quam promptus paratasque pro commune libertate et rebus publicis tuendis et stabiliendis mentemque manusque habeamus. Id scilicet vris. meritissimis legatis, eorumdem integritate omnino confisi, pluribus referendum relinquimus, A.DEO OPT. MAX. Serti Vrae, Serae que Reipub. felicia faustaque omnia precantes.
Dabantur a regia nostra Nonsuchia septo. Calend Septemb. Anni a partu salutifero MDCXXVI.
Ser. Vrae Amicus charissimus
CAROLUS R.
Sept. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
723. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Three very important reasons are given in England for the dismissal of the French; that they encouraged mistrust between the two crowns and quarrels between the queen and king; that by the interference of many Jesuits, the Bishop of Mande as chief, and the Marquis of Blacaimville had formed a faction diametrically opposed to the royal wishes and the service of the whole kingdom, and they had persuaded the queen to make a pilgrimage outside London where she knelt before the place of execution and prayed for the souls of criminals, condemned for other crimes than religion.
The Hague, the 7th September, 1626.
[Italian.]
Sept. 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
724. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Their anxieties about a fleet from England and the other allies increase. They say that the king there at first intended to give leave to all his subjects to fit out privateers against the Spaniards, but now he is wanting them all in a formal fleet. Here they are accordingly hastening their preparations. In Seville, besides additional fortifications and munitions at Cadiz, they are equipping twenty-one galleons under three commanders, and they expect fifteen more from Naples and Sicily. They are also making provision at Lisbon. They wish to defend these realms and also to send to meet the fleet, although it has an escort of twenty-four armed galleons. They say it will bring eighteen millions in gold, plate and goods, and it is thought they have orders to follow a different route from the ordinary.
Madrid, the 8th September, 1626.
[Italian.]
Sept. 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia, Venetian Archives.
725. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador Carleton went to see his Majesty at Nantes; but he had scarcely begun to set forth his commissions and to ask for the fulfilment of the marriage treaty, than the Most Christian asked him to say no more and not speak of a treaty which the King of England had violated in so many parts. Accordingly the English ambassador remains idle.
They have chosen two ambassadors extraordinary, Bassompierre and Tillières to go to England and show the king the wrong done to France and the natural resentment of the Most Christian. They say that Buckingham, to curry favour with the people, who are fiercely stirred against the French, is posing as the keen defender of this cause, which is made one of religion, and being declared such by the interests of the Jesuits it may lead to much worse consequences than the beginning seemed to portend.
Turin, the 9th September, 1626.
[Italian.]
Sept. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
726. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
After various consultations between the leading ministers at the Porte about the proposals of Gabor's ambassador, they decided to give orders to the Pasha of Buda and Gabor himself but in such sort that they should appear to be intended for defence only, and that the prince should have leave to join with the confederate princes, to whom the Sultan is writing. They direct the Pasha to keep a force on the emperor's frontiers and they have ordered the Pasha of Bosnia to help him.
The Sultan asks the princes to send ambassadors to the Porte, promising in that case to include them in any treaty of peace made by him, and Gabor's ambassador hopes that this will delay the confirmation of the treaty made with the emperor.
We send you this for information.
Ayes, 104.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
The like to the ambassador in England.
[Italian.]
Sept. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
727. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Three couriers have arrived from France within a few hours of each other, two from Carleton, the other from M. de la Fontaine, a gentleman of the queen mother. They announce in general terms the increasing embarrassments of that kingdom as well as the nomination of Condé, the absence of Soissons, Longueville and others, besides those already beheaded and dead, with some other news. As regards the ambassadors they hope that Tillières will not come and say that the king has ordered Bassompierre not to hurry, though the English declare that this is due to his wish to appear with a numerous and more honourable retinue. Meanwhile by the king's order, one of the chief palaces is being prepared in which to lodge and board him, although in the matter of meeting him they will draw in somewhat, because of Carleton's treatment in France. (fn. 3) The despatch of so many couriers does not fail to produce the usual speculations at Court. It is still reported that there may be some treaty of agreement for the purpose named. Others declare that the disturbances in that kingdom are fomented not only to make France need England but to secure England against any resolve induced by French impetuosity in consequence of the queen's grievances, an opinion, I hear, entertained by some of the leading members of this government.
In the next place with regard to the peace a certain Scot returned from Brussels last Saturday, who made overtures to that effect on Gondomar's authority before his departure, that count being very anxious for it, whilst others oppose, perhaps to please Olivares, who is said to share their opinions. In spite of this they have whispered to the Scot that if King Charles will give up protecting the Dutch and relent from persecuting the Catholics, they might easily listen to peace but both conditions are so iniquitous as scarcely to admit repetition. The last in particular is an attempt to obtain by fear of war what the French are unable to accomplish through the marriage, and thus further their ends through the English Catholic party. I cannot believe that such negotiations are on foot and that the king after declaring war will sue for peace without having done anything soever. Yet, as your Excellencies will have understood, private interest has a great share in the government. The Dutch ambassador, whom I saw yesterday, returning his visit, told me he had broached the subject to his Majesty, who promised him on the word of a king not to negotiate such a matter or think of it without informing his friends, as it would be contrary to his word and repute, and to popular opinion. The ambassador further told me that he believed the king sincere as it agreed with the sentiment of the country, and from conversation with some of the ministers he gathered that any such proposal, even if brought forward by the duke, would be sharply disputed. I shall keep on the watch for whatever may happen in the certainty that the Spaniards will keep one eye on English affairs and the other on German ones, so as to direct both for their own advantage. Meanwhile I give the necessary warning of these particulars to our ambassadors in France and Spain as a light whereby to see to the bottom.
The despatch of the fleet is being hastened; the admiral, Willoughby, is to leave to-day for Portsmouth where the ships are being fitted out. The Earl of Denbigh will command a squadron of ten sail, possibly putting to sea first, with orders to keep off these coasts and at the mouth of the Channel, between the Scilly Islands and Normandy, to watch in particular the movements of the Spaniards, who lately arrived in Biscay with upwards of forty ships, which although ill found and short of hands, cause suspicion by their vicinity.
The other squadron commanded by the admiral, will number fifteen or twenty sail and be joined by the Dutch, who are off Dunkirk, according to the ambassador, the entire force remaining in these waters for defence, and especially to interrupt the Hamburg ships, whose strength and numbers constantly increase. It is suspected that the Biscayans think of securing the passage for them, by reason of their need of similar supplies. These novelties have given a vigorous impulse to the naval movements, which are facilitated by funds of all sorts, even with the money promised to the Dutch ambassador for the payment of the English troops. For this same purpose they have pressed 600 of the London boatmen, it being whispered that 400 more will be taken to reinforce the fleet, everybody refusing the service, because it is ill managed, badly paid and still less acknowledged. Orders have also been given for the ten regiments in the king's pay, numbering 5,000 foot in all, who have hitherto been garrisoned in the midland counties, to proceed to Kent, Hampshire and other parts facing the French and Flemish coasts, where they feel more apprehension than elsewhere.
The want of money has reached such a pitch that this week they sold 15,000l. worth of silver vessels belonging to the crown, which were worth much more by reason of their very ancient and admirable workmanship. The new Parliament will make this a ground of complaint against the government, which may not alienate crown property. Buckingham, on the other hand, is endeavouring to sell a certain quantity of pearls, for the purpose, as he says, of assisting the king, nor as yet can one ascertain whether this is artifice or necessity.
The order for the new coinage, which meets with many impediments, as I reported, is now under discussion with a view to repeal, the chief motive being that the sailors have refused the gold of inferior weight at its former value, on the plea that they cannot spend it a broad except at a loss. The members of the Council took the opinion of a great number of the merchants, who anticipate loss rather than profit, because if the king's revenue is paid in this money he will lose if he wishes to make remittances or spend it out of the country.
Among the many Lubeck ships from Spain one has been detained towards the Sound, with a quantity of pieces of eight in the midst of its cargo of salt.
Four other small Hamburg ships were brought hither into the Thames, when on their way to Spain. The Danish ambassador maintains that they were captured off the king's coasts and what they carried was not contraband. I fancy however that he will not obtain satisfaction, and I even suspect the right is not all on his side. He makes it appear that he is anxious to go, says his king has been betrayed, would fain persuade him to come to terms, declares that his safety is held in no account, and the English have not the means to keep their promises even if they wish to do so. I saw him this week when he spoke to the same effect, as I told the secretaries, expressing hopes of some diversion on the part of your Serenity and Savoy. I find again that the English have practically given a promise, a person who saw the letter written by the Danish ambassador to his king told me so. In the course of the conversation I seized an opportunity to deprecate sending a minister or other person to Venice, as instructed. He strongly urged on me supporting Gabor saying he believed that hitherto the king had obtained but 30,000 rix dollars as a loan from the Dutch on account of the contributions payable to him under the league, that he may send them in that direction. Anstruther, the English ambassador in Denmark has also written very earnestly lest the breach of promises render affairs there desperate. He remarks that a small sum might be employed with vast profit at the present crisis, owing to the joint successes of Sweden, Mansfelt and others in Germany, and above all because of the king's inclination for aggressive war, whereas here they always suspected that he thought solely of defence. Anstruther also considers it very important to support Gabor in whose favour the Bailo Giustinian urges me to obtain letters from the English ministry to their ambassador at Constantinople, who complained bitterly of not having received any letters for many months and perhaps asked him to perform this office. In my conversations I will have the matter at heart as I know the good will of that minister and how earnestly he labours for the common good. The ducal missives of the 8th August, received this week, with news from Constantinople, will give me an opportunity to broach the subject without affectation. I cannot, however, speak with proper warmth, so I doubt whether your Excellencies will limit yourselves to good offices in that affair. I mention this because Sir Thomas Roe is not much in the duke's confidence, indeed the duke is doing his utmost to give the appointment there to one of his own dependants. But the whole body of merchants with whom the nomination rests, oppose the change, saying they require a person familiar with trade rather than with the Court, and meanwhile they are perfectly satisfied with Roe.
One Coke, son of the member of Parliament who had to vacate his seat, the king compelling him to take the office of sheriff, has been confined to his house. He had been elected for Norfolk in his father's stead, exceeding him in his violent language against the present government, and as he still persists in his freedom of speech it has procured this mortification for him. (fn. 4)
The king was here for a day and returned to the country the next morning. To-morrow he is expected again and will then go to Greenwich with the queen for whose service they are in quest of four ladies to wait on her at mass and other Catholic ceremonies. One of them will certainly be Buckingham's mother and the other three appointments are being canvassed by the Jesuits for devotees of their own.
The Scots when on the point of assembling their Parliament, separated for a while at the king's suit, much to his advantage owing to the importance of matters under discussion.
Andrea Rossi left this morning to return to Venice. He served his country well here and I have profited much by his communications. I beg you to cause money to be voted for me for couriers and carriage of letters, as I have none left for the purpose.
London, the 11th September, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
728. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The queen regnant arrived here five days ago. The queen mother will go to Lemur, not far away. The king is going to St. Germain. The cardinal nuncio returned here at the end of last week, and hardly had he descended from his coach than the Spanish ambassador went and had a long interview with him. The English ambassador, Carleton, has also returned from the court. I will continue our friendly and confidential relations. I have called on Marshal Bassompierre, because he is friendly with me and because mutual confidence requires it. The Count of Tillières was selected to accompany him on his embassy, but when the King of England heard of this he let it be known that Tillières would not be welcome, as he was one of those dismissed and being interested it does not behove him to meddle with the matter. It is not known yet whether they will appoint anyone else or whether Bassompierre will go alone, as is expected. I understand that the mission is to represent to the King of England the very grave perturbation which the dismissal of the French attendants had caused his Majesty here. When I tried to gather something more from the Marshal about his commissions, he told me that he was merely to ask the king to allow the French attendants to return to their posts. The reply would give him his cue; if it was No, he would return to France at once, if Yes, he would treat about the manner, and if the king desired the numbers reduced, as there were more than two hundred persons, for whom they laid twelve tables at London, the king here would agree to reduce their numbers to thirty, provided these included persons acceptable to the queen, as if the household did not please the king there, the king here would provide his sister with others. If the King of England would not agree to this and held fast to his decision, the Most Christian would seek vengeance for the affront, on the ground that England had broken all the articles agreed upon.
In reply I urged the accommodation of the affair, though it was somewhat difficult, but it would prove quite easy in his Excellency's experienced hands. The Marshal said he would do his best, and asked me to perform friendly offices with Lord Carleton, and for the help of the Ambassador Contarini in England. Bossompierre told me that the Spanish ambassador had called upon him and told him he did not wish to speak of his embassy to England, as he might not be believed, since he could not say much good of those affairs owing to the interests of his king, and so they discussed other matters.
Paris, the 11th September, 1626.
[Italian.]
Sept. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
729. To the Consul in Aleppo.
By deliberation of the Senate, the Five Savii alla Mercantia must see that the owners of foreign ships hired by our subjects or the merchants concerned therein shall find security that our said subjects are not forced to pay any dues except our own in the Turkish dominions. If the consuls of other nations cite you before the Turkish courts you will never consent to the judgment, but protest that the foreign merchant concerned must bear all the expenses and loss, as we are determined to avoid the Cadi's court and to treat only through the Grand Vizier.
Ayes, 114.Noes, 8.Neutral, 14.
[Italian.]
Sept. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
730. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
From Hamburg we hear that the English ships which were near Friburgh have withdrawn to the mouth of the river. The ships of that town and other places, which were destined for Spain, had decided to sail together and gain the sea, by love or by force; the magistrates of the town, on hearing this, intervened and directed that what was usual should be observed, and as these ships, for the most part, have French goods, they will all pass without molestation.
From England we hear that fresh quarrels keep arising between the king and the Lower House. One thing which has influenced men more than anything else is an attempt by Buckingham to replace by force in the office of treasurer one who had been deposed by the public and indefeasible authority of the magistracy. (fn. 5)
The Hague, the 14th September, 1626.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 To Maria de Bourbon, daughter and heiress of the Duke of Montpensier, on the 6th August.
2 The battle of Lutter, 10 miles north of Goslar, fought on the 27th August.
3 The house was in Leadenhall St., but Bassompierre paid his own expenses. Finett: Philoxenis, page 188. Birch: Court and Times of Charles I, vol. i, pages 151, 152.
4 Clement Coke.
5 This must refer to Lionel Cranfield, Earl of Middlesex. See Contarini's despatch of the 18th Sept., at page 539 below.