September 1626, 16-28


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'Venice: September 1626, 16-28', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 537-555. URL: Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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September 1626

Sept. 16.
731. MARC ANTONIO CORRER and ANZOLO CONTARINI, late Venetian Ambassadors in England, and MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Highness entertained us at a banquet at Rivoli. After the repast we withdrew apart and talked of the affairs of the world. The duke showed some impatience at the quarrels between France and England, which de does not think can be easily accommodated. He clearly showed his bias towards the King of Great Britain, and some astonishment at the weakness and disorder in which he finds himself at present. His greatest anxiety was to show us that the movement against the Genoese did not proceed from him but from the French.
After paying our respects to Madame and the prince, who were glad to discuss some matters touching the English Court, we proceeded to Turin.
The French ambassador called upon us there. He made much of the events in England. We pointed out to him that the more tact and patience France showed, the more would be gained for the religion in England and for the queen's satisfaction. Force would only make it difficult for the king to show favour, and the queen would be happier if she fell in with her husband's wishes. The ambassador could not deny this, indeed he spoke very plainly to us about the way in which the French had behave in that kingdom, and the queen also, by their advice.
The English ambassador also paid his respects to us. He lamented that the disorders of the realm had prevented such honour being shown to us as they would have desired. He called me, Correr, to witness that the kingdom was in a very different condition from what it had been before. He said this would soon be put right, so that the kingdom can help the king, and it will do so very easily. Buckingham, seeing that he stood in the way of this good, was disposed to resign all his appointments, and the king would have him tried by the Star Chamber. Digby the duke's enemy, would also be tried there. If they were condemned, his Majesty will show equal clemency. They will then call a new Parliament, which is certain to be well disposed after all this. He spoke very strongly about the last action of the French and the queen, and tried hard to show that the dismissal of her household was not only just but necessary, as the populace were greatly stirred and without that satisfaction some massacre might easily have occurred. He said that the Most Christian threatened war, but the English were not afraid as justice was on their side. They only regretted that this might hurt the interests of Germany at a time when they might be prospering in many ways, as they have heard here of the rout of three of Tilly's regiments and the junction of some of Gabor's troops with Mansfelt.
He said that his return to Venice depended upon the business of the Margrave of Baden, and remarked that the pope's forces in the Valtelline rendered his journey to Venice very difficult. He thought the allied princes might obtain for him a pass through the state of Milan, as he had come here for the affairs of the league before war broke out between his king and the Spaniards. The duke was disposed to ask for him. We fenced with this, but said that his coming was greatly desired at Venice. For the rest, we thanked him suitably and urged some considerations for rendering the Queen of England happy and contented with we thought would be very easy. He assured us that matters were in very good train and but little was wanted to bring their Majesties into complete accord.
Turin, the 16th September, 1626.
Sept. 18.
732. To the Ambassador in England.
We are exceedingly rejoiced to hear of your arrival after a long and very toilsome journey. We are entirely satisfied with the way in which you have opened your embassy. In time you will have paid your first visits to the ministers and have been able to penetrate deeper into their views on the present state of affairs. In this connection we may add that the French ministers in the valley have betrayed some suspicion of negotiations between that crown and the Spaniards, carried on by Gondomar and favoured by Buckingham. Although they have not brought forward anything definite, yet we forewarn you upon a matter of serious importance.
You will not omit to keep up a confidential communication of matters here. This consists in saying that difficulties exist at Rome about carrying out the treaty, and it seems they have referred the matter to the Marquis of Coure and the Governor of Milan. Coure and Preo have gone to Poschiavo to tell the representatives of the three leagues what they have agreed upon. Meanwhile orders not to disarm have reached Milan from Spain, and the governor is rather increasing his strength. Coure also has brought a new regiment into the valley. We are writing to France to remonstrate. These things move us also to keep our forces together in the valley, supply them with provisions and to keep our weapons ready without any relief from our heavy expenditure.
Ayes, 100.Noes, 2.Neutral, 22.
Sept. 18.
733. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After the despatch of Montagu to France, as reported, to prevent the mission of Tillières, the rumours of Bassompierre's coming seem also to have subsided. Some say this repulse by the king has caused a change of policy and first of all Carleton will return. Others believe that the French are watching the present important crisis, whereby the minister will be guided as to raising or lowering his tone. The only thing certain is that the French are ill looked on by those in authority here, who suspect that the enmity of that nation may accelerate their downfall.
The ten ships commanded by the Earl of Denbigh put to sea ten days ago. They are to cruise off the Scilly Islands, that station being conveniently placed between France, England and Ireland, so that they will easily discover the tactics of the Spaniards, defend the British coasts and bar the passage of the Channel. I understand, however, that they have not yet passed the Isle of Wight, from lack of provisions and naval stores, a proof of the increasing scarcity of money, and consequently of many other things.
The four Hamburg ships, seized as I reported, have had permission to continue their voyage to Spain. The English government, being unable to afford the Danish ambassador any further satisfaction in matters of more importance, has connived at a voluntary deception pretending not to investigate their misdeeds too narrowly; though this causes many comments, as the code which sanctions an enemy's hostilities is unreasonable, and the Most Christian will claim similar free trade with the Spanish realms, his supplies not being military stores but merely provisions, which thus find a market for the surplus produce of France.
The late Treasurer Cranfield, who was impeached by the king when Prince of Wales and by Buckingham, was deprived of his post by the Parliament, fined 50,000l. and sent to prison. At present, by favour of those who brought him to this evil pass, he has obtained permission to appear at Court. No one can understand how a man so deeply injured should render assistance, unless it be the ability displayed by him on other occasions for finding money in need, all maxims and everything else giving way to that talent.
The decree about the coinage has been cancelled after much discussion. The decision will greatly benefit the king and country, but it confirms the weakness of the government, it being unreasonable first to pass decrees and then to discuss their fitness.
Smith, Wake's gentleman, who was despatched as reported, conveyed certain orders concerning the proposals made heretofore by the Margrave of Baden, who offered to make a diversion in Alsace, provided he had a monthly subsidy of 60,000 crowns, one third provided by England and two thirds by France. The matter was undecided for a long while, but now they seem anxious to revive it, your Serenity and Savoy paying the French shares, as they do not apparently take to the project, and the margrave himself quitted the Court some months ago in disgust.
All these are subterfuges of the English government which seeks to set on foot fresh and vague projects from inability to carry out the safer ones, such as those of Denmark, and all to conceal the defect of poverty.
Concerning the peace I am assured that the Scot has returned and his operations at Brussels are known to me. It appears that besides the two conditions of throwing over the Dutch and mitigating the penal statutes against the Catholics they now include the release of the Earl of Bristol, who is much in Gondomar's confidence.
It is true that besides the assurance given by the king to the Dutch ambassador, one Spens, a gentlemen resident here for the King of Sweden, remonstrated with his Majesty who assured him personally that he was not aware of anything of the kind and had no such bias. The duke however said that many offers had been made, but the king would never accept any terms prejudicial to his safety and honour and the interests of his friends; so it is suspected that there may be some negotiation on foot, as yet concealed even from his Majesty himself, to whom it will subsequently be revealed when brought to such a pass as to be capable of receiving his assent, precisely in the way that the treaty of Fargis in Spain is supposed to have been arranged.
The Palatine has written letters to the king, which I have seen, causing a statement to the like effect to be made by his agent, announcing the arrival at the Hague some weeks ago of il Quas, (fn. 1) a gentleman accredited by Gabor with a request from his master to be admitted into the last league stipulated between Denmark, the United Provinces, and England, on condition of being always included in any peace or true made with the Spaniards, with other terms. He adds that with regard to the 10,000 rix dollars, the King of Denmark has already supplied a part, and touching the residue he requested the King of England not to miss this opportunity, which would enable him at small cost to adjust all the affairs of Germany; alluding besides to our own private interests and to the numerous armed bands now in the Imperial dominions.
The king answered the Palatine's agent by first of all hinting at his own poverty and then said that he did not place much trust in Gabor. The agent retorted that there could be no question of faith, as Gabor did not ask for any money until after the invasion of the Imperial territories, so the king might with perfect safety order payment to be made to merchants in Venice, Constantinople or elsewhere, after performances of the promises made by him. The king knew not what to say to this, and rid himself of the audience in great haste, as for most part he abhors all arduous business, and his last word was that he would give orders to his secretaries, who as yet have made no reply whatever.
I find that this Quas will proceed into the country, having credentials from Gabor for the king and Buckingham, and the Palatine's agent has already obtained an order for payment of his expenses, together with those of the Danish ambassador, but with no better result than that person obtained, for in fact the English government can do nothing, even if inclined to act, as I believe they are. With this opportunity an opening was made with regard to the English ambassador at Constantinople, as our Bailo suggested, so that orders might be given him about the present important events, as I thought it desirable that the omission should reach the ears of the English government through the other foreign ministers here, without exposing my name. I found them all very well disposed, and will keep urging the matter, though they make no answer to this or to anything else, all channels being closed if their courts require money for the attainment of the common weal. This fact indeed is so notorious that many persons abstain from discussing it with the duke, who knows that all the mischief proceeds from his private interests, and so the topic is unspeakably odious to them and he often refuses to broach it, all which add to the internal wrath thus generated in him.
I understand, however, from another quarter that Gabor will persevere in his movements, either with the money of the princes or without, he having lately stipulated an offensive and defensive league with the King of Sweden. I also fancy that this was one of the conditions of his marriage with Brandenburg's sister, as but for some hidden motive it would have been unreasonable for Gabor to undertake a war with only one monthly subsidy of 20,000 crowns, which goes but a little way in a large army, besides which, it risks territory and repute. This money, however, would have the effect of giving him an advantage over the enemy because of the encouragement to his friends and those forces, to the profit of the public cause, but during the present state of affairs he really cannot be seconded from this quarter.
The King of Sweden likewise would have the support of the league, and the government explains the difficulties to his minister though without driving him to despair, urging him to persevere especially now when he has not only arranged the neutrality with Denmark but received from the capital itself two large Polish vessels which were in the harbour there, laden with military stores and provisions, which is considered practically a tacit declaration of the greatest importance in favour of that king.
The Earl of Arundel has been deprived of his apartments at the court, and thus all hope of speedy return to favour is at an end, since he must remain at a distance of five miles from the court.
The queen continues in affliction as usual, more especially as she is watched by the argus eyes of those in whom she has little confidence. When the king sleeps abroad, as he continues to do, the Marchioness of Hamilton, the duke's niece, sleeps constantly in her chamber, nor does she ever quit the queen's presence, unless her place be taken by the duke's mother, wife or sister, who wait on her Majesty alternately.
No letters have arrived from Venice this week.
London, the 18th September, 1626.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
734. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have passed the office with the English ambassador, as instructed, about the galley from Zante to Istria, for his return. He thanks your Serenity warmly and will inform his Majesty about it. Owing to the death of his successor (fn. 2) in England he will have to postpone his departure until February, although the king has given him leave. He asks for the same favour at that time.
The Bosnians here have caused him great annoyance over the compensation for their cloths, stolen from the caravana of Spalato. Seeing that they could not obtain them, they have left with my letters to the Proveditore General Pisani and the Count of Trau, so that if they are recovered they may be restored.
The Vigne of Pera, the 21st September, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
735. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Your Serenity will have heard about the negotiations with Gabor from my preceding letters. We have tried to disabuse the Caimecan about the exaggerations put abroad by the emperor's resident about Mansfelt's defeat. The Pasha of Buda has received definite orders to assist Gabor against the emperor. The Caimecan, however, told Gabor's agent that their ill success in Babylon did not allow them to declare open war on the emperor, but the Pasha of Buda had orders to keep armed on the frontiers, and this would afford great help to the forces of the princes. The agent pressed for something more definite, and the Caimecan finally gave him a paper confirming the orders to the Pasha, and stating that the Sultan approved of Gabor's alliances with the united princes of Germany.
The agent communicated these things to the French ambassador separately and then to the English and Dutch ambassadors and me, jointly. England urged the agent not to insist upon the Turks attacking the emperor, because in the present state of their affairs they cannot do it, and it would do the united princes more harm than good because of the scandal it would cause in Germany and Christendom. He had no commissions from his king to stir up the Turks against them or the Tartars against the Poles, especially as there is no need for this as the latter are so harassed on various sides that there is no fear of their attacking the prince or helping the emperor. For the rest this ambassador displays every readiness to support the other demands of the prince, with the Caimecan or others, but pointed out, as regards the fifth article for referring peace negotiations to the prince and the Pasha of Buda that he must add no peace can be made without including the united princes. The agent consented and the Dutch ambassador concurred.
I shall watch the proceedings of the French ambassador, as he has been very cool since the peace in Italy, and believes that Gabor has no intention of carrying into effect his negotiations here. He added to me that the King of England is unable to support Denmark who will have to yield everything in Germany to Cœsar. On the other hand the English ambassador told me that he had letters from his king stating that they must not hope for any help in Germany form the Most Christian.
The imperial resident, since the selection of Mortesa as Pasha of Buda, and before the news arrived from Babylon, has been very active, giving them to understand many things in order to thwart the demands of Gabor, such as the despatch of an ambassador from Cœsar to the Porte to ratify the peace, that Mansfelt has been turned back from Silesia, that Gabor has withdrawn his troops and changed his mind, and so forth. The English ambassador and the prince's agent have informed the Caimecan that it is all false.
I beg your Serenity to advise me of the negotiations of M. de Preaux. The ambassadors of England and the States and everyone else who knows, speaks of the proceedings of the French in that affair, as the case deserves.
The Vigne of Pera, the 21st September, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
736. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King of England, from anger, powerlessness or some other cause which has not transpired, is taking away from the camp here, 6,000 of the English and Scottish foot, who have been fighting in it at his expense for a long while. Thus the forces of these States, exhausted in themselves and lacking help from outside, are reduced to a lamentable condition.
The Hague, the 21st September, 1626.
Sept. 21.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.
737. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ladies and cavaliers expelled from England have arrived in Paris. The English ambassador here declares that his king will never allow them to go back, and from France they write that the king is determined to see the marriage treaty carried out. The duke considers the matter a very difficult one to adjust; possibly he desires it, but the French ambassador told me in confidence that his king will not prove obstinate, and he would rather yield upon some points than come to blows and Bassompierre will proceed with gentleness and dexterity, though with more restrictions than was at first announced.
The English ambassador showed us a letter from Constantinople of the 11th ult. in which after a light account of recent events and the violence of the Turkish ministers, it states that they have decided in the great Council to help Gabor, and the English ambassador at Constantinople had letters for the Pasha of Buda and all the commissions for Gabor, to be handed to his minister, who lay sick in that city.
Turin, the 21st September, 1626.
Sept. 22.
Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives.
738. That the silver given by the King of Great Britain to Giovanni Pesaro on his departure from that Court, after a service of almost eight years in successive embassies, there, in France and Savoy, where he showed great ability amid the most important events, be left to him as a token of appreciation and esteem.
Ayes, 128.Noes, 5.Neutral, 5.
On the same day in the Collegio.
Ayes, 21.Noes, 1.Neutral, 1.
Sept. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
739. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In talking with the Secretary Arbo, I seized an opportunity to recommend a settlement of their quarrel with England. He replied at some length, pointing out the serious affront given to his king, and they would see what Bassompierre could effect. They had made that alliance for the common service, but the English had treated his Majesty so badly that he was very ill pleased. Observing this unhappy turn, I merely referred to matters which I thought would bring back a good disposition showing that matters were going so well for the Spaniards in Germany that prudence forbad making things easier for them. He replied that Germany was going to destruction.
Paris, the 22nd September, 1626.
Sept. 22.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
740. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have been to see Lord Carleton, the English ambassador; he said he was hopeful about his business, as time and skill ripen all bitterness. He had received two couriers from his king at a short interval, telling him that the queen's displeasure had passed and she was reconciled with her husband. Besides other persons to serve her he had appointed half a dozen English Catholic priests of the highest excellence in learning and conduct. The ambassador had tried to have audience of their Majesties on their return to St. Germain, but had not succeeded as the king was constantly moving about, and the queen mother and the ministers were all in different places. He said they had made strong complaints to him about breaking the agreement whereby the Most Christian's sister had gone to England. He told those who spoke thus that the breaking of agreements was not a crime that counted for much in France at present, and it was not necessary to go back to ancient times or turn over Latin or Greek histories, as there was quite recent example.
He went on to say, Certain fathers of the Oratory, a new order they say, of our own day, very like the Jesuits in their dress and behaviour, were at our queen's side. What objects they had, I know not, but they had so much influence over the queen that when they told her: To-day is such a saint, to-morrow is the feast of such a saint, your Majesty has the rope, girdle or pacienza (fn. 3) of such a blessed one, you must not let the king approach; she believed it all, and conversation with her husband was made difficult. He highly disapproved of the procedure and of the way in which they got her to kneel where traitorous friars had been slain, and said: They want to separate me from my wife. Accordingly his Majesty suddenly decided to drive all the French away from the queen's household and London, and to replace them by an English household.
I have heard from a respectable authority that the pope and the Spaniards intended to encourage disputes by the instrumentality of these religious, to pave the way for troubling the kingdom of England, seeing it is not so settled at the present time as one could wish.
A gentleman of Montagu was recently sent by the King of England to object to the Count of Tillières accompanying Bassompierre. (fn. 4) In spite of this Montagu himself came to pay his respects to Monsieur and his bride. The king refused to receive him and ordered him to leave the Court in two days and the kingdom afterwards.
Apparently Bassompierre will not leave so soon as he told me. They probably anticipate some difficulties in England. In all my conversations with Carleton I urge that the best course in the present state of affairs is to act together and to forget these quarrels. The King of Great Britain had married to have a successor, as was only reasonable, but children came from love and not from anger. I told him I had spoken on the subject to the French ministers; he seemed pleased and thanked me.
Paris, the 22nd September, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
741. MARC ANTONIO PADAVIN, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They feel sure here that Denmark will come to terms despite help from the Dutch. He will not get any from England, because of their own necessities, or from France, because of the suspicions of many there and also because of the new quarrel with the King of England, as they believe here that the Most Christian will not tolerate this last step taken against the queen, in driving away all her French attendants, as they consider the action very offensive and that the queen mother will resent it deeply.
Vienna, the 23rd September, 1626.
[Italian; copy.]
Sept. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
742. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Montagu who was despatched to France as reported, to prevent Tillières from coming, returned four days ago. He states that he was not admitted either by the king or the king's brother, having indeed received a command not to approach the Court. He brought a copy of this command back with him. He declares that the king had been already apprised of his journey and commissions, which last he was therefore unable to execute, to wit, congratulate Monsieur on his marriage, that being the special object of his embassy. The cause may have been really such, but as he went out of his way to confer with the disgraced Duchess of Chevreuse he did not arrive in good odour. This confirms what I wrote some weeks ago and is further borne out by the following facts.
Before crossing the Channel, Montagu, under pretence of stormy weather, remained some days at Calais, and meanwhile gave preparatory notice to the duke, who before Montagu's return, sent a gentleman named Clark (fn. 5) to France with very great secrecy, lest the strict watch kept by the French at their seaports should lead to his arrest. He is a man of good intelligence, on the high road to the Residency of Turin and much in favour with the duke. Some persons said that he took letters of recall for Carleton, who has earnestly asked for them through one of his gentlemen, sent express because audience is denied him and for much other maltreatment. Possibly Clark had this commission; the king and Council having already determined that Carleton was to come home, should audience or any other of his demands be denied him, but it is certain that Clark got safe into Lorraine, where they say the Duchess of Chevreuse is, he having orders to find her and offer the assistance of this government for her distresses, and possibly money to keep that faction on foot, securing England against France in these disputes by encouraging civil strife there. Clark may also possibly proceed to Piedmont, to perform similar offices with those who have already betaken themselves thither, but with a view to obtain for them the support of the Duke of Savoy, rather than from the possibility of any great promises made by England being carried into effect. I have these particulars on excellent authority although the affair is conducted with extreme secrecy, as befits its importance.
Meanwhile, nothing is said about M. de Bassompierre, it being certain that neither he nor any other French envoy will be well received by those at the helm here, from fear lest he prove the instrument of their downfall. To comfort the queen, who is unhappy as usual, they let it be understood that he may be expected hourly, and a word of truth to the contrary is accounted sacrilege. His Majesty pretends to congratulate himself on Montagu's repulse, having been warned that it was beneficial rather than mischievous, not so much on account of the public as for his own private service, as he was placed more disadvantageously than any one else in this matter.
Madame de la Tremouille has comported herself admirably in this affair, and with the intimacy I formed with her at the Hague I have not failed to encourage her in this, laying before her the evil consequencies which might result from these quarrels, for which the only remedy would be the queen herself, were she not under the influence of youthful passion. The mediation of this lady is excellent and I make the utmost use of it, thinking thus to meet the wishes of your Excellencies without compromising your name, as I have no instructions; but I regret to say she is departing very soon, dissatisfied at having failed to get her daughter a post about the queen, in whose household they have lately included the Earl of Holland's wife, and thus gradually they place the ladies most in the duke's confidence and favour.
As regards Bassompierre I fancy there is now some doubt of their lodging him at the royal expense, as according to the last Pragmatica of France, Carleton after his first audience had to betake himself to private lodgings. They would therefore like to treat Bassompierre in the same way, but the Earl of Carlisle and some others who have been in France maintain that the ordinary custom ought not to be changed under existing circumstances, especially with regard to the Most Christian and a minister who may be the cause either of much good or much harm. In short, either on this account or for the reasons given above, nothing certain is known about his coming, which would, however be very opportune for it is generally reported here that the Bishop of Mandes is going to Rome to acquaint the pope with these events and take his advice, interesting him perhaps also in the opinion of certain politicians, more speculative than the rest, that the Spaniards by means of this circumstance, may facilitate some negotiation for a Catholic league, about which there is a whisper, the object being to proclaim as heretics all those who do not join it, perhaps with a special aim against the republic and the Duke of Savoy.
London, the 25th September, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
743. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Whilst the very important affair of the French attendants is occupying the Council and public attention, intelligence arrived here this week of no less consequence, namely the rout of the King of Denmark, (fn. 6) which only reached this Court four days ago. Although represented to the detriment of Denmark or the enemy, according to party feeling, at any rate it is a defeat, and if it were not we must represent it as such to stimulate the English government. The Danish ambassador has heard nothing from his master, but on the strength of the private letters he decided to speak strongly to the king, laying before him, besides the general injury, that which reverts to the king personally as augmented by his breach of promise, with similar comments. He had audience in London, whither his Majesty betook himself immediately on receipt of the news. The king attended the Council in person during four consecutive hours, and although he returned to his hunting in the afternoon he at any rate displayed an unusual ardour by remaining so long at the Council board. He told the ambassador that he would render his uncle every assistance, even at the risk of his own Crown, and hazarding his life, such being his precise words, as communicated by the ambassador. The king added, almost with tears, that he was in distress for his personal wants and household necessaries. The ambassador dropped a hint about the four English regiments now in Holland, whose term of service expires next November, but the king would give no promise, limiting himself to the assurance that he had commanded a speedy decision one way or the other.
The Council has sat twice a day on this question, some of the ministers inclining to give these four regiments, especially as the Dutch ambassador consents, but as their pay is three months' in arrear, they will not choose to march without money, and they will perhaps require reinforcing, as at present they do not muster 3,000 strong, because of their pay being kept back. Others of the ministry incline to send these regiments now in England, but money would also be required both for them and their sea passage, while the troops here are not so well disciplined. A third party would fain hasten to despatch money, which is the stumbling block in each of these three projects. They therefore seek to obtain a loan of 100,000l. sterling from the City of London, repayment being secured on the property of the duke and of all the other leading men of the government now in favour; but their estates are so deeply mortgaged on their own account that the City may possibly refuse the security, and even if they should accept it the new Parliament would remonstrate, and it must inevitably meet eventually or everything will go to ruin. Should the ministry experience difficulty they apparently contemplate raising a forced loan, though I cannot believe this, as popular dissatisfaction has reached such a pitch both in the minds of men and in their language that it only remains to come to blows (al qual bisognera finalmente ridursi, o che tutto rovini, se il partito incontrera difficolta, parmi vi sia opinione di voler constringere con la forza a questa contributtione, che pero non posso creder essendo i disgusti del popolo cosi avanzati, et nell'animo et nell'discorso, che non resta che di menar le mani). At any rate the Danish ambassador awaits a speedy decision, and having discovered unaccustomed warmth in the king and his ministers in consequence of this reverse, he seeks to strike the iron while it is hot, before it cools, and becomes hard as heretofore.
The Danish ambassador also spoke to the king about giving support to Gabor, rendering it manifest that unless he march speedily Mansfelt's army will inevitably be destroyed, especially now when the King of Denmark can only look after himself; though to me the ambassador remarked in confidence, that 6,000 peasants who mustered lately for the defence of the kingdom, might easily join the remains of the army in two days, an opinion which he did not choose to proclaim lest it delay succour.
The king made no answer to the demand in favour of Gabor, and when told that Denmark consented to pay one third and contribute territory, provided England would do the like, his Majesty constantly pleaded his own necessities, which in truth could not be greater, and he has small thought for that useful and important diversion which alone might give breathing time to Germany, now in such a state of affliction and weakness and well nigh ruined.
This week replies have come from almost all the counties of England and Scotland about the benevolences demanded by the king. All offer their lives, property and money without any restriction as to time or other proviso, if the king will arrange with the parliament, according to custom, lest they infringe their own rights by breaking the Statutes of the Realm. Some other counties made a show of offering something, but it was so slight that one might rather call it delusory.
I believe that the King of Sweden requests permission to raise two regiments in Great Britain, and I fancy it will not be refused him.
Nothing more is said about the fleet. These recent disasters which require a more speedy remedy will distract attention from that branch of the service, although the entire offensive and defensive operations of Great Britain must depend upon her naval forces.
The missing ducal missives arrived four days after the ordinary in good condition. I have the information about the negotiations of Preaux as well as the commands upon Angelo Badoaro, (fn. 7) about whose affair little or nothing is said here, nor has anyone mentioned the subject to me; at any rate I will fulfil your lordship's intention.
London, the 25th September, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 25.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
744. The Five Savii alla Mercantia, the Receivers and Registrars of the Customs and other magistrates for the execution of the decision of this Council of the 25th July last, having made regulations to facilitate the bringing of goods to this mart, and it being necessary to regulate the article dealing with salt fish, upon which Flemish and English merchants have been heard in the Collegio:
That the decisions of the aforesaid magistrates be confirmed and have effect for the next four years, although the decision of the 25th July does not speak of salt fish, and be registered in the ducal chancery.
The matter of salt fish shall be regulated as follows: that for two years the Flemish and English merchants shall be released from their present obligation to leave in this city one half of the salt fish which they bring from the West, and when this is unladed they may deal with any one soever and they or the buyers may take it away upon the payment of the usual customs; but with this declaration that no one shall venture to buy the smallest quantity of the salt fish before it is unladed and taken to the magazines or houses of this city, upon pain or confiscation and five years of the galleys for salt fish mongers or members of their art.
Upon the arrival of their ships the merchants shall supply a note of the quantity and quality of the salt fish they have brought, and the purchaser and agents shall be under the same obligation. The Procurators alla Giustitia Vecchia, to whom these notes are given, if they see that the taking away of the salt fish may prejudice the convenience of this city, shall have power to order the buyers to leave a certain quantity, so that this city may always be well provided.
Ayes, 137.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
The Five Savii alla Mercantia consider the import duty of 13 ducats and the export duty of 6 ducats on every 400 pounds of pepper is too high, so that foreign merchants and even native ones never come to get it here, causing the export duty in 1624 to amount only to 1,440 ducats, and in 1625 to 300 ducats, and they have decided that the duty shall only be 3 ducats.
Ayes, 5.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
Similarly, cloves pay 8 ducats 6 import duty and 4 ducats 8 export duty on every 100 pounds, and bark (fuste) and small hats pay 3 ducats 14 import and 3 ducats export, and the duty only realised 816 ducats from 1624 until the end of July, 1626, and only a very small quantity was exported, they have decided that cloves, bark and small hats brought to this country from England and the Netherlands shall only pay half the said import duty, and the said spices shall only pay half the export duty also.
Ayes, 6.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
Nutmeg pays 5 ducats 12 a 100 pounds for import duty and 2 ducats 2 for export and the mace or flour of the nuts pay 11 ducats 10 per 100 pounds import and 5 ducats 12 export, the duty only realising 40 ducats from 1624 to the end of July last, and practically none is exported owing to the excessive duty. They have decided that the nuts and mace coming to this city from England and the Netherlands shall only pay half the import duty, and what is taken out shall pay half the export.
Ayes, 7.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
Cinnamon and scavezzoni (fn. 8) which pay 3 ducats 4 import duty and 2 ducats 12 and 1 ducat 15 respectively for export duty, and from 1624 to the end of July 1626 the imported cinnamon has only brought 148 ducats duty, and in 1624, 390 ducats export, and in 1625 only 92 ducats 12, that the cinnamon and scavezzoni brought from England and the Netherlands shall only pay half the import duty, and what is taken out shall pay half the export.
Ayes, 6.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
Indigo brought to this city from England and the Netherlands, estimated at 55 ducats the hundred, pays 6 ducats 5 import duty and only a small quantity has come of late years, and although this year by accident a ship destined for Leghorn, which could not discharge at that port, brought 234 barrels here, giving a duty of 4589 ducats 18, yet in order to induce those nations to come straight to this city, their lordships have decided that the import duty shall be reduced to 4 ducats.
Ayes, 6.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
The powder of sugar called brazil wood (verzin) pays 6 ducats 5 per thousand import duty and 3 ducats 12 export; it is recommended that the export duty be halved.
Ayes, 6.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
Lead brought by land, valued at 16 ducats the thousand, pays 1 ducat 20, and that brought by sea from the West, valued at 28 ducats the thousand, pays 3 ducats 22, the latter duty from 1624 to the 29th July, 1626, only realised 3,150 ducats, and by land the duty was 1882 ducats; to benefit the city and divert lead from Leghorn, whither a great quantity is taken, they decide that the duty shall be 1 ducat 20 the thousand by sea as well as by land.
Ayes, 6.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
As regards tallow brought from the West, upon which the duty in 1625 and in 1626 up to the 6th May only realised 534 lire 16 or 80 ducats, that the import duty be halved to 2 ducats 20, to encourage its importation from England and the Netherlands.
Ayes, 7.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
That no alteration be made as regards verzin.
Ayes, 7.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
That the duty on Spanish wool, mostly brought overland from Genoa, be reduced to one half.
Ayes, 7.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
The above arrangements shall hold from 25 July last for four years only.
Agostin MichielSavii alla Mercantia.
Andrea Contarini
Antonio Donado
Andrea Dolfin
Lunardo Emo
Federigo DandoloRevisors and Registrars of the Customs.
Zuane Lando
Antonio Longo
The Five Savii alla Mercantia propose that a note of the salt fish that reaches this city from the West shall be sent to the office of the Giustitia Vecchia; that the English merchants who bring it may freely sell it to anyone they please, giving a note of the quantity sold and the price to the same office, the vendor and purchaser both taking oath upon this, and both shall be free to take it away to any place they please; that half the duty shall be levied upon the salt fish taken out of the State by sea in the usual sealed casks; the Procurators alla Giustitia Vecchia shall see to the execution of this.
The Procurators alla Giustitia Vecchia propose that a note of the salt fish brought to the city be handed to them; the owners may trade with any sort of person to sell their goods, provided they do not belong to the art of the salt fish mongers, in the presence of the chief of that art, who must attend the day after he is notified upon pain of 100 ducats; the vendor, purchaser assessor and the said chief must give a note of the sale to the said office upon oath; the vendors shall have no other charge, but the purchaser must give half the salt fish at the same price to the said art, and may take away the rest. That the said Procurators may have power to grant leave for the export of salt fish, even beyond the ordinary limitation; that half of the duty be levied of the salt fish taken out of the State by sea; that the execution of these orders shall be entrusted to such magistrates as the Senate shall provide.
A white bossolo for the proposal of the Five Savii, a green for that of the Giustitia Vecchia and red for neutral.
White, 4.Green, 6.Red, 0.
Agostin Michiel, etc., Savii alla Mercantia.
Ferigo Dandolo, etc., Revisors and Registrars of the Customs.
Marco Loredan and Alvise Bragadin, Procuratori alla Giustitia Vecchia.
Sept. 25.
Senato, Mar, filza. Venetian Archives.
745. After the discussion in the Collegio, we, Marco Loredan, Alvise Bragadin and Paulo Basadonna, Procurators alla Giustitia Vecchia, have made more than one attempt to arrange a compromise with the Flemish merchants. We agreed to many of their proposals but they afterwards withdrew, finding matters to their prejudice. We also sent for the heads of the salt fish mongers and heard their objections to the requests of the Flemings. After due consideration we think it might be advisable to release the Flemings for the next two years from having to leave half their salt fish in this city, giving them leave to bargain with whom they please and that the purchasers may take their goods away from the city upon payment of the usual duties, with a declaration that no one will buy the smallest quantity before it has been unladed from the ships and taken to magazines or houses in this city, upon pain of forfeiture and the galleys; the merchants upon the arrival of their ships must give a note to the Giustitia Vecchia of the quality and quantity of their salt fish and also of their sales, the latter with the assistance of the chief of the salt fish mongers; the purchaser, assessor and bailiff shall supply a like note.
1626, the 26th September.
It is proposed to release salt fish from the obligation to give it to the art of salt fish mongers.
The Flemings say that when they bring a ship with salt fish, they have lost control of it, as they cannot sell to others than the art and others cannot buy. Some difficulty arises even if they wish to give away a barrel of herrings. If the art does not pay for their goods which it buys, these remain on their hands and they have a difficulty in disposing of them. Though they may take away one half, that is of no use to them for two reasons, the heavy export duty and because foreigners have an advantage over them outside the State, as they have not to pay heavy export duties, as here. The shopkeepers have no relations with them as they have with the salt fish mongers, who can get this other half at what price they please. Advantages of allowing them to sell to whom they please: a great quantity of fish will come; there will be abundance in Venice; and those who wish to negotiate for outside will do it. The salt fish mongers oppose this, saying it will not serve the city owing (1) to poverty and the service of the numerous families, (2) it will prejudice the art which supplies 28 galeot slaves to the State, and the large population which lives by this profession; the art of salt fish was formerly free, every one bought and sold as he pleased, but there was no knowledge in this city of fish from the West; but from 155- the Five Savii regulated the arts; in exchange for their liberties they had to supply 20 galleot slaves; this was before the Flemings began to come to these parts. They think no trade should take place in salt fish without their chief being present. The result of their demands would be that no one could buy except the salt fish mongers, and they have no agents in the dominion. To the objection that giving free trade will deprive the city of all salt fish, we reply that the consumption on the mainland is not so great as at Venice; probably what is wanted will be kept here and only the rest transported. It is necessary to grant the facilities for these fish to the Flemings in order to bring trade here and divert it from other places; so many provisions have been made for the benefit of these nations, a bridge of gold has built for them; if we wish to compel ships to bring cargoes to Venice when they come for currants, we must supply them with a market, we must relieve them from extortion and constant litigation.
We would represent that to deprive merchants of their freedom means driving them from the city. The removal of the import duty on Spanish wool has stopped its going to Genoa while it comes to Venice in quantities; and it will be the same with salt fish. The heavy duties imposed upon goods brought from the west have diminished the revenues therefrom, so that a change in the duty involves no loss. It is necessary to relieve them from the constant litigation, which interrupts their business and wastes their resources, so that even if sentences against them are revoked they still lose. At the present time we ought to show every favour to these nations; all the goods which come from the Levant are in their hands, the spices of India, indigo, Persian textiles, everything. They take their ships where they enjoy advantages; they go first with salt fish and afterwards with the rest of their goods; a difficulty in selling the former will prevent them bringing the latter.
Sept. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
746. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Gondomar has already spent three months on his journey home. He has been in Spain several days, but does not come to Court. I do not know the reasons for this slow progress, but if the rumours about his negotiating peace with England are true, he would be delayed by sending messengers and awaiting replies. Possibly he will not arrive here before the king has gone to the Escurial, at the beginning of next month. Some aver that this business is so far advanced that England has already selected the ambassador for this Court. I can hardly believe this. It is certain that Gondomar has not lingered in Flanders out of caprice and he is just the man for such negotiations. On the other hand their anxiety about the English fleet is as keen as ever. In Seville a thousand men are employed in repairing the galleons which are to meet the fleet. It is also said that the Marquis of Santa Croce is to go to the Strait with all the galleys of Naples and Sicily, to be ready for every eventuality. There is also a rumour of a great fleet against England next year; but these things do not come to a head, as the more the Spaniards arm, the more they negotiate.
Madrid, the 25th September, 1626.
Sept. 27.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia. Capitolare, vol. viii. Venetian Archives.
747. As regards salt fish from the West it is resolved that for the next two years English and Flemish merchants shall be relieved of their present obligation to leave one half of their fish in this city, but when it is unladed, they may trade with it as they please, and they or the buyers may take it away on payment of the usual duties, by land, and half the duty by sea in the usual stamped casks, according to the regulations of the Rason Vecchie, upon this condition, that no one shall venture to buy any such fish before it has been unladed and taken to the magazines or houses of this city, upon pain of loss of the goods and of exclusion from their art, if they are salt fish mongers, with five years of the galleys. The English and Flemish merchants on the arrival of their ships shall supply to the Giustitia Vecchia a note of the quantity and quality of the salt fish they have brought. It shall be within the power of the Proveditori of the Giustitia Vecchia, if they see that the export of salt fish will hurt the city, to order the buyers to leave a quantity as they shall designate, so that the city may always be well provided.
The execution of this order shall rest with the said Proveditori, who will decide all disputes that may arise.
Sept. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
748. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear from England that Lord Willoughby has sailed with twenty men of war, which are to be joined on the Flanders coasts by ten of the States'. They say they will attack the coasts of Spain, but many believe that they will not attempt more than defence.
An express from the King of Denmark with letters for the King of England passed this way yesterday without stopping a moment.
The Hague, the 28th September, 1626.
Sept. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.
749. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Lord Montagu, a confidant of Buckingham, arrived in Paris with despatches and commissions to treat with the Most Christian. When he asked for audience he was told to leave Paris and the queen at once. A valet of the king's chamber brought this while Montagu was with Carleton. Both were amazed, and Carleton asked the valet if he had the order from his Majesty's own lips and also in writing. After asking if Montagu had letters and commissions from his king to treat with the Most Christian, he showed the order in writing and accordingly Montagu departed. Carleton asked for audience to take leave and Bassompierre has put off his departure to avoid receiving a like affront on his arrival.
The affair of the Ambassador Scaglia has at last been settled according to his own letters to the duke. Cardinal Richelieu told him that the king never wished him to leave. This is the Cardinal's usual procedure; but here they accept the excuses and pretend to believe him. I am persuaded that the affairs of England have greatly helped the ambassador, as he has great credit and influence with Buckingham and the King of Great Britain himself, and the French ministers hope by this means to obtain reasonable satisfaction from that quarter and to settle the present disputes, as they did before, when I was in France.
Turin, the 28th September, 1626.


1 Matthias Quad de Wickerode. His credentials are dated the 18th April. He came about the state of Germany, with powers to conclude treaties. State Papers, Foreign, Germany (Empire).
2 Sir Thomas Phillips. See page 367 above.
3 Un certo abito di religiosi, che pende uzualmente davanti e di dietro, senza maniche e aperto lateralmente. Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca.
4 Edward Clarke.
5 Edward Clarke, Groom of the Bedchamber.
6 At Lutter, ten miles N.W. of Gosler, on the 27th August.
7 Angelo Badoer, outlawed by decree of the 21st April, 1612, for the betrayal of State secrets. He took refuge in France, but as Venice believed him to be constantly working against her interests, the Inquisitors of State directed the republic's ambassadors at Paris and Turin to try and have him put out of the way. Badoer got wind of this and left Paris secretly on the 27th of July. Taberna, an unfrocked priest and assassin, hired by Morosini, the republic's ambassador in Savoy, discovered him at Maçon and there made an unsuccessful attempt to murder him. The would be murderer was caught and hanged at Lyons. The complicity of the republic could not be entirely concealed and the affair created no little scandal. See Fulin: Alcuni Studi nell' Archivio degli Inquisitori di Stato.
8 Roba scavezza, scavezzone: rottami, polvere, stacciature ed altri avanzi di materie fragili come le cannelle, la china etc. Boerio: Dizionario del Dialetto Veneziano.