October 1626, 11-19


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'Venice: October 1626, 11-19', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 19: 1625-1626 (1913), pp. 572-581. URL: Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


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October 1626

Oct. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.
766. MARC ANTONIO MOROSINI, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador who was here left the day before yesterday for Veniçe. He will go by way of the Swiss and Grisons, so he will not arrive so soon. He proposes to make some office on the way with the Evangelical Cantons in the interests of his master. He will not gain any advantage there; the French ministers will see to that.
Turin, the 11th October, 1626.
Oct. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
767. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Prince of Orange has again sent to learn what provision they propose to make here to replace the English troops, as by the removal of so powerful a force they incur great risks, especially as the enemy are constantly receiving reinforcements. Meanwhile the English troops are awaiting their marching orders from England, for Denmark, it is supposed.
Many vessels of the Spanish fleet have entered the Sound where they captured sixteen ships laden with wheat from Norway and two Dutch men-of-war which were escorting them.
The Hague, the 12th October, 1626.
Oct. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
768. LUNARDO MORO, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The imperial ambassador has been summoned to Germany; he says he does not know why. He told some, however, that Echemberg wished to instruct him about the affairs of the empire. Three reasons occur to me: his leaving before the queen may be in order to avoid the expenses; the second, which is generally embraced here, is that they want to consult him in Germany about the queen's household, her reception and dowry so that Cæsar may agree to the 500,000 crowns, as they deny that they meant to give more to England. The third reason, which I consider the principal one, is the position of affairs in Germany and the desire or necessity of arriving at some sound decision, either to make a composition there or to arrange some bold step in conjunction with the crown. I am the more inclined to believe this because he admitted to me that he was to go to Brussels and to Bavaria. I believe that Cæsar wishes to know exactly what they think here about peace or war, and what he may expect from them.
Up to the present they would be glad here to see Cæsar come to terms with Denmark in order to render the Palatinate business easier and more especially to smooth the way to a settlement with England also, at which they most certainly aim, in spite of their boasting, unless some great good fortune makes them change their minds. As Gondomar undoubtedly had made some overtures, they will think out some other way of taking up the matter, because, although Olivares does not incline to this friendship, he would like to see the crown at peace and unembarrassed, and they will make him agree to everything.
Madrid, the 12th October, 1626.
Oct. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
769. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Marshal Bassompierre had his first public audience on Sunday last at Hampton Court, as reported. He was attended by the Earl of Carlisle with the king's coaches, and a few others. In one and the same chamber he saw the king and queen to whom he presented letters from the Most Christian and the queen mother. All the chief ladies of the Court had been commanded to wait on the queen. Madame de la Tremouille, who was present, told me that her Majesty greatly objected to appearing in public from fear of shedding tears in the presence of the whole Court and of the Frenchmen. The marshal confined himself purely to compliments, postponing the execution of his commissions until the next audience. The king and Court were gratified by this mild address, which was almost too humble, and more becoming a courtier than an ambassador, the marshal having adopted it designedly.
The gentlemen of his retinue, by no means a small one, were surprised at the queen's mean and very ordinary apparel, attributing it to discontent. On departing, the ambassador was followed by the duke with whom he had time to exchange compliments and present letters to him from the queen mother, Shortly afterwards, before mounting his coach, he was joined by the Secretary Conway, who by the king's order told him he would not have another audience till he sent back to France Father Sancy, late confessor to the queen, of whom I have written before. The ambassador thought this strange, but dissembled his surprise, answering mildly that his Majesty had evinced no mark of displeasure against this priest, whose disgrace was merely a report; if he had been aware of the king's will in the matter before coming to England, he would have respected it, but as Sancy was his own chaplain he could not send him away without going with him. He promised, however, that Sancy should never quit the house or interfere in anything foreign to his ministry. They negotiated on the subject for several days, and I believe that at length the ambassador is to have audience on condition that if the king asks for Sancy's return to France as a favour he will concede it.
After the first audience he came to see me and I perceive more and more not only his favourable disposition to this union but his determination to succeed so as not to mar the good management of the other matters, and what is of even more consequence, invalidate the full power and commissions authorising him to regulate himself in one way rather than in the other as shall seem best to him, though without reciprocity from this side, he can promise himself nothing certain, nor can I vouch for the disposition of the English government. He told me in confidence that Father Sancy had been given him by the queen mother, and out of obedience to her he could not refuse, though he foresaw some mischief would ensue, and that the English would like to revenge themselves upon Sancy for the rejection of Montagu's mission to France. I urged him, as at first, to negotiate the matter securely bearing in mind the very great importance of the common weal, the glory of his own name and the estimate of his ability, which will be confirmed when all the powers see him intent on the pith of the business, regardless of appearances.
In the course of conversation with the Duke of Buckingham I also spoke to the same effect, as of my own accord, having had to see him twice in one day, as the following letter will show. I laid before him the political considerations, pointing out that a rupture with France would compel England to trust to some other party, thus involving the total ruin of Germany, the hopeless despair of the Palatine, his wife and his descendants, besides dispiriting all the friends of the common weal, and so forth. He answered most confidentially, expressing pleasure at my office. He told me that the king was ill disposed to the French for their misbehaviour over the articles of the marriage treaty, compelling him to modify their punctual fulfilment. He added that relief might be afforded to the Palatine by negotiation; that the French were making great naval preparations and said they would join the pope and the Spaniards against England; while they had the worst possible opinion of him personally. At this point, with extreme confidence, which I endeavour to cultivate, he drew from his pocket the very letter written to him by the queen mother in favour of Bassompierre. At the beginning she complains of the duke, saying that for her daughter's happiness she relied more on him, because of the promises he had so often made, than on the marriage contract. Now he had broken faith with her by expelling the French attendants, by rendering the queen unhappy and by reports current of his unfriendly feeling towards France; such being practically the very words of the letter. In conclusion she added that she did not distrust him, assuring him that by helping M. de Bassompierre in his business he would greatly oblige both the king and herself. These are strong expressions on the part of a queen, and for this reason I believe he showed me the letter as an additional proof of the influence he exercises over individuals.
I did not care to say much in reply, because of keeping strictly neutral, as instructed. But I did say that the unfavourable impressions of France about himself could not be better removed before the world than by his seeking good results from the present negotiations, so that the facts themselves might give the lie to malicious reports. He would thus render his name glorious and preserve the character he enjoyed universally at the king's accession, by urging his Majesty to generous resolves, befitting his service, repute and lineage.
From what I observed I may say I left him very undecided, it being reported that Carleton has left France well satisfied after receiving a handsome present. The French may have been warned of this minister's unfavourable ideas and thus endeavoured to keep him on the good side, the Ambassador Contarini having also contributed his good offices. M. de Bassompierre also incessantly extolled his Excellency's ability, which has so greatly benefited the common cause, his remarks to Carleton on the matter proving most efficacious.
Be this as it may, the resolve was an excellent one, and has perhaps already profited the Most Christian, as Clerk, the gentleman sent by Buckingham to the Duchess of Chevreuse as reported, after conferring with the Duke of Chevreuse in Paris, went back to England by Carleton's advice, without proceeding further. I understand that he was also induced to act thus because he did not find the French princes so well disposed as expected, either owing to the present weakness of England or in consequence of the reports still current in France that a general amnesty has been conceded to all concerned in the conspiracy. In London also they say less about the negotiations with Soubise. Madame de la Tremouille, after being presented by the king with a diamond worth 1,000l. sterling, is leaving to-day on her return to France, orders having issued to pay her expenses till she embarks.
I really think that Bassompierre's coming has to some extent dispersed the lowering clouds. He acts with great address, with one eye fixed on the storms raised by the political atmosphere in France, on the doubtful decisions about the Valtelline, and with the other he scrutinizes the dealings of the English government either with the Spaniards or the disaffected French. I find that this is one of the chief commands given him, to enable them to adjust the affairs of France after mature consideration.
In the meantime fresh causes for dissatisfaction arise. The duke's brother in law, the Earl of Denbigh, having put to sea, with his squadron of ten ships, as reported, seized three French merchantmen, worth 100,000 crowns, bound from the coast of Spain to Rouen. (fn. 1) Some of the sailors who escaped complained to Bassompierre, who may have discussed the matter with the duke, but actually he dissembles the circumstance lest it retard the fair progress of the more important matter; thus showing his goodwill and ambition to overcome all difficulties.
Having evinced dissatisfaction at being unable to see the queen in private, he has been gratified, her Majesty having come to London the day before yesterday without the king, to wish the Duchess de la Tremouille goodbye, and with his permission she had a long interview with M. de Bassompierre, upon the express condition however that she should neither speak nor write to Father Sancy nor negotiate with him; and so it fell out, the ambassador rather encouraging her to comply with the king's wishes, for it seems, as I have frequently said, that through her favour he may the more easily succeed in this business.
From these promises and from its being said that since the good treatment received from Carleton in France, they propose to board and lodge Bassompierre and the Court apparently begins to hope for some good result, though I dare not vouch for it, though it would certainly be very opportune, and consequently the good offices used and exertions made to this effect produce much fruit.
London, the 16th October, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
770. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The supply of money proceeds slowly. The subscription for the five subsidies continues, encountering many difficulties and apparently, according to general opinion, a bad result is anticipated. Of those who refused payment but few have been imprisoned, though many are threatened with compulsory service, either on board the fleet or in the army destined for Denmark, being told that as the king entered into these quarrels at their suggestion, they must help him to carry them through, either with their money or their lives. For the rest, there is some little renewal of fiefs, an increase of rent of property held of the crown and other consequences of necessity, which will afford no succour save in the course of time, and the immediate need remains unremedied. On this account everything is protracted, but little being said about helping Denmark, the first ardent expressions in her favour having cooled. The fitting out of the fleet also remains in arrear, indeed I understand that the twenty ships promised by the City of London are not ready owing to disputes between the citizens and the duke, both parties laying claim to the appointment of the captains and officers, to have them under their control, and the duke suspects that if the city made the appointments they would limit their services to the defence of the British coast, as agreed. The city, on the other hand, owing to what is generally said about the duke, dreads their being employed against France, in aid of the Huguenots if necessary, or to plunder friendly vessels, as to tell the truth, is the case daily, the Dutch ambassador being constantly occupied with this matter, twelve merchantmen belonging to subjects of the United Provinces having been seized by the English. The goods are unloaded under pretence of their being damaged by remaining on board. The award about them being lawful booty or no is protracted and the charges to the crown officials are exorbitant, to the very great detriment of the parties concerned, the negotiations between the two countries and their trade, mutual animosity being also generated.
Gabor's ambassador is urging the government to despatch his business, but in vain, prolixity throughout reigning paramount at this Court. He proposes admission to the league and to be included in any treaties made with the Austrians; to receive 20,000 rix dollars monthly besides the 10,000 freely promised by the King of Denmark and 10,000 in addition from the United Provinces provided England disburse a like sum, thus making up the 40,000 he has frequently demanded, as he counts three months in advance. He requires them to send an embassy to the Porte so that at any rate his master may receive assistance from that quarter. With regard to the 10,000 German foot which is demanded in Silesia or Moravia, he now contents himself with Mansfelt's descent, and for the rest promises to wage very brisk war on the emperor.
The Swedish minister Spens wrote lately to his master demonstrating the advantage of carrying the war into Germany, rather than of continuing it against the Poles, persuading him that in this way he might be more easily received into the League and obtain assistance from it, and that a victory in the empire would secure him even against the Poles, which would not be the case were he to worst them in battle, in short urging him to do the utmost possible for the benefit of the present emergencies.
The Lord Chancellor of Scotland has arrived and held a long conference with the king alone, the particulars of which have not yet transpired, but it is certain that his Majesty wishes to know the intentions of his people there, to postpone the meeting of their parliament, and perhaps by detaining this personage, whose presence is necessary for its assembly, gain him and his followers and thus put off the convocation in that kingdom.
Nothing positive is heard about the negotiations with Spain; everybody believes the duke to incline that way, but that the Spaniards are not of his mind, perceiving that for their interests affairs here are not as well managed as possible. They have declared enemies whom they can justifiably attack with the certainty of receiving no hurt. They perceive the distress of Great Britain and the misunderstandings between the king and his subjects, are aware of the projected rupture with France and of the assistance destined for the Huguenots, all very advantageous circumstances for Spain, which does not neglect them. Bassompierre, who got some scent of this, speaks freely about it to the duke, saying that if the interests of this kingdom, his king's sister, the king himself and the princes his dependents and kinsfolk require peace with Spain, he offered the aid of his king and France to obtain it on honourable terms, thus seeking to remove the opinion that all the powers rejoice at seeing Great Britain involved in the war for their individual relief. All the same a servant is here of Vanmal, sometime agent at this Court for the Infanta. His proceedings are narrowly watched but as yet without much suspicion of his being charged with important negotiations. (fn. 2)
London, the 16th October, 1626.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
771. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two days ago news arrived that some Dutch vessels had put into Dartmouth with two prizes taken by them near the Strait of Gibraltar, bound direct from Lisbon to Venice, with sugar and other merchandise. The agents here of Bencio and Bonfadini, conjecturing that they might belong to Venetian subjects, from the circumstances and time of their lading at Lisbon, requested me to effect their embargo until the truth could be ascertained. In virtue of my general commissions I helped them willingly. The duke granted me the embargo, though after some difficulty raised by the one least concerned, and the merchants sent an express to prevent the ships leaving harbour, if possible.
I must mention that the duke raised a difficulty about granting the embargo because the late arrangement with the Dutch in their alliance, declaring that ships bringing in prizes cannot be seized in harbour under any pretext, and shall be equally free to go and come, the decision about the legality of the prizes pertaining to the power to whom the privateers belong. Accordingly the duke before ordering the arrest, which he promised, sent his secretary to inform the Dutch ambassador, who absolutely denied that it could be made, being contrary to the treaty. Astounded at this I returned to the duke and besought him to grant the embargo arguing that the property of Venetian subjects could not possibly be lawful booty, and I was bound to protect it and indeed had special instructions to that effect. The articles arranged with the Dutch were no concern of mine, but I could not suffer risks to Venetian traders, whose property was safe in this kingdom and ought not to be exposed to risk from the Dunkirk raiders and other accidents, and even if the ships reached Holland safely the parties would have their expenses doubled. This was a matter of state, not of private individuals and I expected the treatment deserved from the advantages enjoyed at Venice by both English and Flemings. In fine by such representations I obtained the embargo and had it sent straight to Dartmouth.
Subsequently I spoke similarly to the Dutch ambassador, with a gentle remonstrance about his raising a difficulty in so just a case. He said he could not agree to the embargo without orders because of the precedent, but justice would be done. I retorted that the plunderer, aware of the good understanding with Venice might easily make for Denmark, Hamburg or elsewhere, to effect a sale, with double cost to the parties concerned, as they might have no agents there and risked losing all their capital, and as I could secure it here without risk I felt sure even his masters would not object. I did not tell him I had obtained the order, but should it come to his knowledge I suspect he will make a great stir with the duke to have the embargo cancelled, the Dutch being very jealous about maritime jurisdiction. If on the return of the messenger from Dartmouth I find that the interests of Venetian subjects are concerned, I shall uphold them, but if not the embargo I have obtained will serve as a precedent. If it should transpire that the Venetian subjects are concerned and that they have good friends in Holland, I know for certain that they would be more easily despatched there, whereas here I understand that the extortion and tyranny practised by the ministers of the crown are intolerable. In this case it would be necessary to have the guarantee of the Dutch ambassador for the value of the capital for all sea risks, against seizure by the Dunkirkers against damage to the goods from the double voyage and for the safe arrival of the ships in Holland. I believe, however, that even this would prove detrimental to the public, as it applies a sort of assent to the seizures, although when the vessels are in the hands of the English or Dutch, either here or in Holland, sentence must be passed judicially, declaring the prizes legal or illegal, the latter certainly being the case with regard to Venetian subjects, provided they can prove their ownership, as both the duke and the ambassador admitted, the present difficulty being merely one of method.
This fresh trouble arises from regard for the recent agreements, upon which I await instructions, especially if they should eventually decide to abide by what has been stipulated without looking further, as may easily happen by reason of the profit derivable by both parties. In the meantime I have sent these particulars, and wherever the security and increase of Venetian trade are concerned I will spare no efforts, as I know that therein consist the greatness and wealth of nations, and such has been the policy of your Excellencies at all times.
London, the 16th October, 1626.
Oct. 16.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
772. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king was at Versailles some days ago, but he will not stay long, as he has to take counsel about the grievances which the deputies of la Rochelle have laid before him about the hostile behaviour of M. de Toras, governor of the islands, who fired upon divers English ships which had gone to that port and had also illtreated the townsmen; the king and his ministers consider the matter serious, and they meet constantly in order to find some way to satisfy the Rochellese.
Paris, the 16th October, 1626.
Oct. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
773. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I had an interview with the Captain Pasha about the affairs of Pervis. He urged me to make an accommodation. I said that the best way to secure this was for his lordship to refrain from countenancing his extravagant claims. He promised to do this, but I must not be so firm either. As it was very late, I took leave. Before we met he had asked the English ambassador to advise me to make this accommodation. That ambassador did so, when I told him all the particulars so that he might support our cause in his reply. He told me that Pervis made the same request of him, and offered to show him accounts of the loss he had suffered. He replied it was not a case of accounts, but of courtesy and a friendly settlement. I discussed generalities with the ambassador without disclosing the authority I have to divert his interposition.
The Vigne of Pera, the 18th October, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
774. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The imperial resident has made remonstrances to the Caimecan about a raid of the Pasha of Buda into imperial territory because of money robbed by the emperor's troops. The Caimecan said the Pasha had acted contrary to orders, and sent a letter reproving him. The Caimecan is afraid of war with the emperor at the present time, and is cool about the investiture of Gabor's wife. The prince's agent appealed to the ambassadors for help about this. France went to the Caimecan himself and said he found him very cold, and said it was contrary to the Sultan's interests to grant it to a foreign woman. England went to the Cadileschier of Greece and told me the exact contrary that they had decided upon the investiture in the consulta the day before and Hibrain Aga Capigi Pasha was to take the insignia. I cannot decide where the truth may lay, but I do not believe the Cadileschier would have lied to the English ambassador.
The Vigne of Pera, the 18th October, 1626.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.
775. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the late disaster, (fn. 3) the cavalry has drawn nearer to the infantry. The Council of State has been very busy of late, as much for internal as for foreign affairs. They do not see what they can do this year. They complain in general that the English are so blind that they do not even look after their own advantage; they let good chances slip, incur fruitless expenses and have allowed the Spaniards to bring home the plate fleets as they please.
There was a report that a considerable fleet with 4,000 infantry had left Spain with the idea of proceeding to Ireland. (fn. 4) We now hear that these have been recalled, though no one knows the reason. It arouses the suspicion of some negotiations set on foot by interested parties. Those who think this say it between their teeth, as they consider that at the present time secret counsels aim more at private advantage than at the general good.
They are very anxious about the King of Denmark; they desire his preservation and do not want to see him abandoned. They feel very strongly at seeing themselves alone, and not hearing of any movement on the part of England, after the signing of such a solemn alliance.
They have sent three expresses to England with strongly worded instructions to their ambassador to beg, insist and do all that he can to incline that monarch to agree to the 4,000 English, who are to be disbanded, going to Denmark. This is the chief business which kept the Council of State occupied all last week.
The Elector of Mayence has passed to a better life. His most likely successor is the dean there or the provost of Bamberg or Wilzberg, a thorough Austrian and a creature of the Jesuits. The Princes Palatine would prefer the Bishop of Worms, as they know him for an able and upright man. (fn. 5)
The Hague, the 19th October, 1626.


1 The Harry François, St. Francis, and Notre Dame of Rouen. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1625–6, page 434.
2 Rusdorf writing from London on the 30th September, n.s. says, "Il y a depuis quelques jours en cachette ici un homme appartenant au Sieur Van Male, qui fut Agent de la part de l'Archiduchesse Infante en cette Cour. Cet homme la a ete plusieurs fois vu avec le Duc; toutes les circonstances et tous les arguments donnent que le Duc cherche tres serieusement et tres passionnement a faire la paix avec Espagne." Memoires, vol. i, page 743.
3 A successful raid made by Count Henry of Berg. He was entrenched between Geldern and Rheinberg, to cover the works being carried out by Spinola to make a canal between the Rhine and the Meuse. He took the Dutch horse by surprise and captured the Count of Stirum, Baron Potlitz and about forty men, with 200 horses. Le Clerc: Histoire des Provinces Unies, vol. ii, pages 108, 109.
4 See Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1625–32, page 148.
5 John Schweikard von Kronenberg, Archbishop of Mayence, died on the 17th September. He was succeeded by George Frederick von Greiffenklau, the Bishop of Worms, on the 21st October. Gams: Series Episcoporum.