89. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty remains at Oatlands with the majority of the
ministers. Their most anxious concern is to facilitate the success
of the decision to introduce copper money into this kingdom.
But the difficulties in the way, which constantly increase, retard
the execution. In addition to the keen remonstrances of the
merchants this city has expressed in a very open manner its own
dissatisfaction and the disorder that this decree will produce.
If it is put in force it will certainly affect the trade of this mart,
and for this reason every one is waiting with curiosity to see what
will happen. Those who are best informed believe that the king
will be compelled to change his mind, or, if he persists, he will run
the risk of not being obeyed, with consequent loss of reputation.
Among the troops quartered at Berwick disorder has spread
to such an extent that a regiment has mutinied, the soldiers
hanging a lieutenant, denouncing him as an open professor of the
Catholic and an enemy of the Protestant religion. Abandoning
their colours they have since withdrawn to their homes, openly
announcing that they will not fight against the Scots. Desertion
is so frequent in the other companies that the royal army, instead
of increasing grows notably less. Such news, sent by Colonel
Axel, (fn. 1) has naturally disturbed His Majesty as it serves to confirm
still more the old idea that little or no advantage is to be derived
from the exertions and money expended in gathering English
troops, which are absolutely against his Majesty's designs.
To repair this misfortune orders have been sent to General
Chin at Hamburg, to raise with all speed a levy of two regiments
of Danish cavalry. For this purpose the Treasurer is charged
to send drafts for 50,000l. of their money to that officer. But as
they cannot find any merchant willing to make the letters, and
have no money ready in the Treasury, it is believed that this idea
also will come to naught, for lack of credit, a result which generally
dogs the proposals of this Court. (fn. 2)
The Earl of Northumberland, General of the Forces, has
received strict and urgent orders to join the army under his
command. But being perfectly aware of the unwillingness of
the soldiers to serve and of the lack of money to pay them, he
postpones his start, expecting that the lateness of the season may
force the king to give up the idea of attacking Scotland this year,
and consequently release him from the obligation of acting.
Meanwhile the Scots have published a book full of shameful
accusations against the Archbishop of Canterbury and the
Lieutenant of Ireland, with the object of increasing the universal
unpopularity of these two leading ministers. (fn. 3)
The Ambassadors of the Catholic keep themselves carefully
advised about these events. Having taken the measure of the
troubled state of this crown, incapable of any movement soever
abroad, they proceed deliberately in their transactions. Although
after the arrival of the last couriers from Spain they had some
conference with the commissioners, I find that their offices were
not aimed at making any change in the proposals advanced, but
merely to keep them from dropping, so as to keep alive the jealousies
of the Dutch and allow room to increase them when circumstances
seem more favourable. A councillor of great authority has
absolutely assured me of this in confidence adding that the king
professes himself profoundly dissatisfied with the proceedings of
these ministers, and clearly perceives that the study of the
Spaniards is to encourage him by flimsy promises in disputes with
his people and in disagreements with neighbouring princes.
The new prince was christened privately on Tuesday at Oatlands
by the name of Henry. The prince, the Duke of York and
the princess held him at the font. Owing to religious considerations
the queen mother would not be present. She is ill pleased
at the reduction of her monthly assignment, as reported. On
Wednesday she went to Nansuich, a pleasure house of the crown
twenty miles from here, to stay there some months, away from the
noise of London and from the need of greater expense.
As a testimony of satisfaction with the services rendered to the
crown in many embassies His Majesty has declared the Ambassador
Roe who recently returned from Hamburg, a member of the
Council of State. I have visited him and after he had expressed
his devoted respect for your Excellencies, he launched out in the
highest encomiums of the Cavalier Grimani, who by his ability
has done so much at the imperial Court for the interests of the
Palatine House, of which he said he had assured the king. It
was his able efforts and not those of others that they had to thank
for the declaration made by the emperor in favour of those princes.
I made a suitable reply to the expressions of this minister who at
present enjoys great credit at Court.
This is all that I have to report. I have to acknowledge your
letters of the 12th ult. which reached me today.
London, the 3rd August, 1640.
90. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch Admiral has recently distinguished himself against
the Barbary pirates. Some fifteen of their ships had fought with
four English and almost reduced them to surrender. They had
taken about 140 prisoners when the Admiral came up. He sank
some of the pirates and scattered the others setting the English
free. The reason why the pirates pushed so far into these waters
is thought to be because of a grudge they have against the king
of England for the hurt inflicted on them by the English fleet two
years ago. (fn. 4)
The Hague, the 4th August, 1640.
91. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
With entire liberty to go where he pleases the Palatine has at
last taken leave and has already left Paris. They considered it
more opportune to get out of this affair with satisfaction to him
and the King of Great Britain than to detain him any longer
without any profit to the public cause.
Amiens, the 5th August, 1640.
92. To the Ambassador in England.
The English Resident has spoken here about the delay in the
return of the Ambassador Fildin, in conformity with his Majesty's
office with you through his secretary. We enclose a copy of the
letter we have decided to send and you will present this with a
suitable office. With regard to his Majesty's request that we
should incite the French to send an ambassador you may assure
him that we shall do all in our power and will instruct our Ambassador
Corraro to take advantage of any opening.
You spoke prudently about the proposed detention of William
Burdet. (fn. 5) If anything further is said you will reply to the same
effect, pointing out to those concerned that such arrests are not
practicable, but if there is anything punishable our republic will
inflict the proper punishment when the matter is brought before
them. Enclose advices of Italy. Your last letters are of the
Ayes, 75. Noes, 1. Neutral, 5.
|93. To the king of Great Britain.
We rejoice at the approaching return of the Ambassador Fildin,
we shall welcome him when he comes in the interests of the maintenance
of cordial relations between your Majesty and our republic.
To this same end we have chosen a new ambassador in the place
of Giovanni Giustinian, in the person of Vicenzo Contarini. We
wish your Majesty most happy years and every prosperity.
Ayes, 75. Noes, 1. Neutral, 5.
94. To the Ambassador at the Most Christian Court.
Our Ambassador in England having ascertained that an ambassador
from the Most Christian would be very welcome at that
Court, we desire you to speak about it to the Cardinal, who will
reflect upon the advantage of preserving good relations and confidences
with that crown through an ambassador, especially now
that there are three at that Court from the Catholic. Our zeal
and desire for the public welfare and for the service of the Most
Christian crown have alone moved us to perform this office.
Ayes, 87. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
95. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman of the Baron di Lodon, the Scottish commissioner
released from the Tower who proceeded to that country, as I reported,
has gone suddenly to the Court, showing every readiness to
take up the thread of the old negotiations for an accommodation.
He took the king an exact account of the transactions of his
master, and a very hardy paper from the people there, in which
they declare their readiness to humble themselves to His Majesty's
obedience if all the things claimed by them are fully conceded by
a special decree of the parliament of England.
On the other hand the governor of Berwick sends word by
courier that serious differences have recently broken out between
the Covenanters and disorders have multiplied in that kingdom
to such an extent as to promise division among those who rule
and consequently the hope of considerable advantage to His
Majesty. The king has not yet made up his mind about this last
demand of the rebels, which is regarded as more seditious than
any. At Oatlands they are eagerly discussing whether they shall
embrace peace upon such monstrous conditions or pursue the
method of force and await those opportunities which time
generally supplies in the midst of civil strife. However, the need
of money and the many other considerable difficulties involved
in the proposed plans make it likely that they will not wait upon
opportunity and will agree to purchase an agreement at any
price. This has become the more necessary because the licence
of the troops is constantly on the increase through their not being
paid, so much so that there is an outcry from the people in all
directions, and the county of York, adjacent to Scotland and
more powerful than the others, has represented very sharply that
if resolute steps are not taken to put down the disorder, they will
take it upon themselves, threatening to rise and join the other
rebels. If this should happen it is to be feared that many others
would follow the example.
After careful enquiry into the disadvantages that might follow
the introduction of copper money, and hearing the determined
statements of the merchants that they will not take it, the execution
of the order has been postponed. With the ever pressing
need of money the king has taken the step of asking this city, for
the third time, for a loan of 200,000l. promising, in order to make
the way easier, that it shall not be used for warlike purposes, but
to establish a beneficial peace in this kingdom. All the same the
Council met and by a unanimous vote answered frankly that they
could not satisfy the demands of His Majesty, as the grant of
money ought to depend on the judgment of parliament alone and
not on this city only and a small member of that body. From
these last experiences all hopes of obtaining succour without a
fresh convocation of parliament, which is universally longed for,
have fallen to the ground.
The first public appearance of Cardinas, the ordinary ambassador
designate of the Catholic at this Court, took place on Friday
with the usual formalities. Audience was arranged for him at
Hampton Court for last Sunday, but the plague having appeared
there, which is also spreading in this city, the function has been
postponed to another day. (fn. 6) His Majesty and all the ministers
show particular resentment at the appointment of this individual,
on the ground of reputation as well as the scant satisfaction he
gave in his earlier capacity as Agent. Everyone says openly
that the decision of the Spaniards to employ this minister, who
does not possess the regard or the standing at Court shows clearly
how little they mean to carry through the negotiations begun
with this crown. On the other hand the ambassadors extraordinary,
with the intention of dismissing this harmful idea from
the minds of ministers, do not forget to allure them with fresh
proposals. I have been told by a well informed person that they
hold out the intention to restore a part of the Palatinate, and to
procure the marriage of the emperor's daughter (fn. 7) to the prince here.
These reports, however grateful to the ears of His Majesty betray
the arts and objects attached to them and do not obtain complete
credence with those who know most. All the same, the ambassadors
sent a courier to Spain on Thursday. They announce that
he is to go on to the Imperial Court and they try to persuade that
the sole desire of the Catholic is to bring about the most perfect
correspondence between the two crowns in a brief space.
The secretary of France paid his respects to the king and queen
on Monday on the birth of the new prince. He informed them,
by instruction that some one will come very soon, sent expressly
for this office. This gave the greatest satisfaction to their
Majesties who are desperately anxious that the Most Christian
shall not delay any longer the sending of an ambassador. Windebank
the Secretary of State spoke to me about this recently and
so did the Ambassador Roe, one of the most consulted of the
Council. He came to this house and designedly turning the
conversation he assured me that this crown will make no agreement
with the Spaniards, but that if France will make sound and
definite proposals for an alliance in favour of the Palatine House
His Majesty will embrace them. He urged me, as from himself,
to make some cautious move in France about this. Without
binding myself I commended His Majesty's prudence and thanked
the minister for the confidence. On the other hand I cannot feel
sure that these reports are true and their anxiety for the coming
of a French ambassador convinces me that the object is to render
the Spaniards jealous and make them more eager about the
negotiations, as from several quarters one not only hears the old
complaints that the rebels of Scotland find the greatest encouragement
from France, but there is also the very serious apprehension
felt in Court at the fall of Arras, (fn. 8) and the fear that the Most
Christian may easily take possession of St. Omer and then of
Dunkirk. They will undoubtedly do their utmost here to
prevent the capture of the latter, and this is discussed among the
ministers with the greatest freedom.
If the Diet of Ratisbon proceeds to definite action His Majesty
contemplates sending an ambassador there and will do so with the
concurrence of France and Sweden. He has informed them of his
purpose and expects to adopt the same precautions which are
approved by those crowns with regard to the imperial title.
Sir [William] Hamilton has at length arrived from Rome. He
has acted for a long while as the Queen's Agent to the pope. He
brought her Majesty a pyx of coral as a present from Cardinal
London, the 17th August, 1640.
96. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
They write from Languedoc that the Spaniards have embarked
1500 men from Roussillon on twenty galleys for the state of
Milan. It will be the business of the Archbishop of Bordeaux to
prevent them landing. The Cardinal is annoyed at the news
received recently that he allowed them to land 3000 men at
Finale without opposition. The Genoese declare that they have
taken some foreign ships, mostly laden on behalf of themselves
and the English, and the news is not well received at the Court
Amiens, the 19th August, 1640.
97. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The deputies of the Companies do not seem inclined to take up
the proposals of the English Resident, and they have found out
that his object was to obtain money for his king. The Companies
have consented to the States General entering into a conference
with the English Resident in their name.
Before coming back here the Palatine has asked for the permission
of England. That obtained he will probably return to
his former quiet life in this state.
The Hague, the 19th August, 1640.
98. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and
That the seal of his king had been forged by a seal maker, who
said he had been asked by him to have it made, at the instance of
the king's resident. Since there were no ministers of his Majesty
here besides himself, who had not ordered it, he asked for the
arrest of the sealmaker, so that the matter may be cleared up,
and he offered to go with the Capitano grande. The affair was
committed by the Collegio to the Avogador Querini.
99. That the Secretary of England be called into the Collegio
and informed by the doge of the result of the process taken at his
request in the matter of the seal made with the device of England,
adding that no fault being found in the sealmaker or in John
Obson, both have been dismissed, and the seal shall be restored
to Obson after it has been shown to the Secretary. (fn. 9)
Ayes, 135. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
100. The Secretary of England being informed by the doge
of the Senate's decision about the seal, said that his king
had never given leave or licence to any one to use his seal,
which was the one shown to him ; they did not find either
in ancient or modern history that any one had been able to
use it, although men had been beheaded for such things. He
asked for the arrest of Obson as an accomplice, that the seal
might be given to him as well as Hider's letters directing that it
should be made.
The doge said that his request would be considered. Obson
had been dismissed as they did not find him guilty.
101. To the King of Great Britain.
Notification of the appointment of Giovanni Giustinian to be
ambassador at the Imperial Court. This is done in the interest
of universal peace and the Senate feels sure that his Majesty will
approve. Only a short interval will elapse between the departure
of the present ambassador and the arrival of Vicenzo
Contarini, his successor. The king is requested to give credence
to the Secretary Agustini, who will act in the interval.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
|102. To the Ambassador in England.
To prepare to set out to his new appointment. To inform his
Majesty and hand him the enclosed letter announcing the choice
of Vicenzo Contarini as ambassador, and asking him to receive
the Secretary Agustini in the interval. You will perform such
offices as you think fit with the queen, the ministers and the
foreign representatives, and then set out for the coast to take
advantage of the season for the journey to Vienna, whither your
commissions and credentials will be sent. We will provide the
Secretary Agustini with the customary assignments.
That 430 ducats of good money of lire 4 grossi 4 be granted as
a donation to the Secretary Agustini, for the equipment and
maintenance of himself at the English Court after the departure
of the Ambassador Giovanni Giustinian.
That 340 ducats be granted to him for two months' salary, to
begin from the day of the Ambassador Giustinian's departure
That 20 crowns be paid to him for extraordinary expenses,
except couriers and the carriage of letters, for which 150 ducats
For the chaplain and interpreter allowance will be made in his
accounts at the regulation rates of payment for those officers.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
|103. To the Ambassador in England.
The Secretary of His Majesty's ambassador came into the
Collegio last week with special letters from the king, asking for
the imprisonment of that William Burdet of whom you write to
us. We enclose copies of the exposition and letters for your
The same secretary, also asked for the imprisonment of the
maker of a seal with the arms of the king, as you will see from the
copy. We immediately ordered a careful inquiry to be made,
examining both the maker and Opson who ordered it. From
this it appeared that the seal was ordered by Henry Hider,
English Consul in the Morea. As nothing further had been done
and there was no ulterior object, both were dismissed. For
your particular enlightenment we send you copies of the evidence
taken, of the decision in the matter, of the secretary's reply and
of his new request, so that you may know the truth and particularly
that the evidence showed there was no guilt, but that
it was done at the instance of the English consul. For your
private information we send you a wax impression of the seal,
showing the royal arms on one side of a silver column and those
of Hider on the other. The seal itself has not been sent to Hider,
and it will not be.
Your letters of the 27th ult. inform us of the queen's delivery of
a son. You will repeat in our name the office of congratulation
with their Majesties and express our gladness at the further
establishment of that crown with another son.
We enclose advices from Milan and elsewhere for your information.
We have your letters of the 28th and 30th ult.
Ayes, 82. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
104. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and
said in substance :
I would not be importunate in a matter considered of minor
importance, although it is of moment. I ask for a copy of the
process about the seal made for Mr. Obson, the letter of Henry
Hide which he presented and the seal itself, to send to England
The doge said that they considered the affair terminated.
They found no fault in Obson, so he had been dismissed. He
thought the seal had also been delivered to him, so there was
The secretary repeated his request for a copy of the process.
When the doge repeated that the affair was terminated and that
what Obson had done was by order of Hider, who as consul had
power to have the seal made for his use, the Secretary said that
he had no authority or commission from the king to use his seal,
because Hider is only a servant of the English merchants and can
do nothing except by order of the ambassador at Constantinople.
Accordingly he asked for a copy of the process and for Hider's
letter to Obson, and that in the meantime the seal made should
at least be sequestrated.
The doge told him that the Savii would consider his request.
He then asked that a reply might be made to the letter written
by the king, made his bow and went out.
105. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
While they were debating what course to take upon the proposals
of the Scots, reported recently, that people, encouraged
alike by the weakness of His Majesty and by the friendliness to
their cause openly shown by the people of England, have decided
to enter the kingdom with powerful forces, in the well founded
hope that the incitement thus afforded may stimulate the impatience
felt and bring about an open declaration, very much
to their own advantage.
In order to give this far reaching design a good start and to
justify the step, they recently sent the Sig. di Ladian suddenly
to the county of Northumberland, with 300 horse, with instructions
to publish and to circulate a manifesto, in which they set
forth the innovations introduced by the king in religion, the
attempts to put down the ancient liberty of the realm and all
the things that have happened up to the present, concluding that
as their trade had been interrupted, and their ships and goods
taken away they could wait no longer to seek a remedy for such
calamities, and they could find no better way than to march into
England. They protest that in doing this they intend no hurt
to anyone except the common enemies, the bishops, all the
Catholics, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Viceroy of
Ireland being definitely mentioned. They add that their efforts
will be directed to an attempt to put an end to such prolonged
disturbances by means of a parliament in England. They
promise that they will not leave that country until the decrees of
that body are carried out, the evil councillors punished and those
of their own nation who had a hand in these plots delivered into
their hands to be punished in accordance with the laws of Scotland.
They ask the English to persevere in their prudent determination
to refuse the subsidies asked in order to make war on
them and to support the most just objects of this expedition,
which is destined solely for the support of the religion and liberty
of both kingdoms.
The Earl was received courteously by the people of the county
and the manifesto with acclamation. Although this has been
prohibited, it circulates throughout the kingdom and does great
harm. Having learned the success of this first move and without
further delay the Scots, after leaving 8000 infantry to guard the
frontiers, crossed the River Tweed on Saturday with a force of
20,000 men commanded by General Leslie, with 50 small pieces
of artillery and a sufficiency of munitions of war and food. At a
short distance from the river they have begun to build a fort, to
ensure their retreat in any event. That done they announce that
they will enter England and proceed with the proposed plans.
It is feared that the majority of the English will conspire with
them. The universal applause which has greeted this audacious
action and the commodities which are readily supplied them by
the country folk serve to confirm this suspicion.
On the arrival of this evil news, which reached the Court on
Sunday, His Majesty seemed extraordinarily perturbed. The
Council met and after a long sitting it was decided that without
loss of time His Majesty should proceed to York. He did so
yesterday, accompanied only by the Duke of Lennox, the Marquis
Hamilton, and the Earls of Holland and Pembroke. He directed
the remaining courtiers and ministers not to move until further
To reinforce the army, which is notably reduced by desertion
and other disorders, vigorous orders have been sent to all the
counties to cause the troops of the trained bands, who are bound by
the ancient laws of the realm to assist the king when he is in the
field, to march with all speed to that spot.
Food and munitions of war have been laded with great energy
on the ships in the river which are destined to go to the fleet, with
strict orders to the captains to weigh as soon as possible and
proceed to Scottish waters, in order to create a diversion by sea,
and thus assist the king's operations against the rebels. But
there is little appearance that these will be easily reduced, as
they enjoy the advantage of numbers, of experienced leaders, and
most of all in the friendliness of the king's own troops towards
them. Accordingly the best informed consider that instead of
committing himself to a hazardous battle, which they talk of at
the palace, His Majesty will rather seek an accommodation on any
terms, even if he cannot avoid summoning a new parliament in
this kingdom as demanded.
The Lieutenant of Ireland has been declared general in default
of the Earl of Northumberland, who pleads that he cannot at
present join the army, under the mendacious pretext of sickness.
The Lieutenant and the Archbishop have loyally promised the
king money, jewels and their own plate for this most serious
emergency. The extreme scarcity of money greatly augments
the difficulties and His Majesty had to leave with no more than
19,000l. lent by individual merchants. He has suspended the
stipends of all the officials of the crown and to save expense has
cut down his own table.
Following the example of the county of York, Berkshire and
many others have sent deputies to the king charged to petition
for the removal of the burdens recently imposed without the
grant of parliament, implying freely that if they are not heard
they will not hesitate to obtain relief for themselves. The
deputies were sent back to their homes with courteous promises
only, but in the present crisis it will be difficult to keep them
quiet without actually giving them the satisfaction which they
Accompanied by the Ambassadors extraordinary of the
Catholic, Cardinas had his first public audience last week. It was
purely complimentary, His Majesty replying briefly and gravely,
thus confirming, in the eyes of all the Court, his scant satisfaction
at the appointment of this individual, for whom he professes a
particular aversion, as I wrote.
The negotiations of the ambassadors extraordinary proceed
with their usual slowness, and although, contrary to their
original assertion, they declare that they will stay in this kingdom
next winter, there is not the least glimmer so far of any hope of
their advancing to the conclusion of the proposed alliance.
I saw the queen at Oatlands on Sunday for formal compliments,
and while I was there the king arrived and I was able to inform
him of the choice of Sig. Vincenzo Contarini for this embassy.
I spoke to his Majesty of his great worth, and remarked that I
believed that Mr. Fielding would soon be going back to Venice,
to keep up the due correspondence. With great friendliness the
king replied that he had satisfied Fielding with respect to the
provisions for which he asked, and he would start very soon, as
he himself goes about saying. The Secretary of State Windebank
confirmed this, but I understand all the same that he is still
desirous of an employment at Court and will not move before all
hope has disappeared. This cannot be soon, and success will
not be easy.
Owing to the king's absence I have not been able to present the
letter sent by your Excellencies. In order to observe the formalities
of courtesy I will inform the Secretary Windebank, who
has remained here in charge of affairs, and will have it by me for
his Majesty's return.
London, the 31st August, 1640.
|106. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Acknowledges receipt of their letters of the 10th ult. by the
courier of Antwerp with the news of his appointment to a more
important post. Promises his best services at the Imperial Court.
London, the 31st August, 1640.