132. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of the reply given to the secretary of England
in response to his office in the Collegio last week, to serve for
your information and to use if provoked, always taking care to
protest the most friendly disposition of the republic towards
English merchants and sailors. Your letters of the 9th ult.
arrived yesterday. We enclose an abstract of advices.
Ayes, 97. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
|133. That the Secretary of England be summoned to the
Collegio and that the following be read to him :
We regret that English captains and sailors have had reason
to complain and by our express instructions the English nation is
to receive the best possible treatment, on an equality with our
own subjects, while we look for due respect and obedience on their
part towards our ministers especially the Sanità, which is of the
very highest importance. Within recent memory this Rugero
Filipis, who is now in question, refused to obey the minister of
the Sanità and actually threatened him with violence, while he
broke seals and took out bales, thus infringing the laws and
regulations of the Sanità.
With reference to the ship of Captain Benjamin Crandeli, we
will give orders for this turn to the Podestà of Malamocco to
have the goods restored that were taken from the chests of the
sailors, although this is contrary to the laws.
That orders be sent to the Podestà of Malamocco to restore to
Captain Benjamin Crandeli all the goods taken by the officers of
Malamocco from the chests of the sailors in his ship.
Ayes, 97. Noes, 1. Neutral, 4.
134. Girolamo Agustino, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After a few days' illness one of the sons of the ambassador has
died of the small pox, and the elder one is in great danger from
the same complaint. In the midst of this affliction his Excellency
has contracted a fever, which keeps him in bed. Accordingly
he has directed me to write of the few events of this week. My
knowledge is also restricted by the necessity of all this household
abstaining from communicating with the Court and with all
others, as this disease is considered here on a par with the plague,
since it attacks every age, two or three times.
The number of the Scottish commissioners has now been made
up to eight by the arrival of the one who fell sick on the way.
All together they have kissed the king's hand, who, under pressure
of necessity, dissimulated his feelings at seeing them appear so
proudly in his presence. He could not, however, so far prevail
over himself as to give them a courteous welcome, with words
calculated to win their affection or at least to moderate their
rancour. Yet he gave orders that the house usually devoted to
the reception of ambassadors extraordinary should be assigned
to them, for the conferences which are to be held. He proposed
himself to take part in them, but when he arrived at the first
meeting he got scant satisfaction, and they declared that they
would not treat with him, but with the appointed commissioners
alone, asserting that this was in their instructions. For this
reason other quarters away from the court have been provided.
Meanwhile it is announced that they will receive every possible
satisfaction from parliament, though it will not hasten the conclusion
of the affair, careless of the expense of 25,000l. a month
if they first see all the affairs of England satisfactorily adjusted
with the support of their arms, summoned by the common voice
for this end. The commissioners say that they bring a sealed box
from Scotland to present in parliament. It is believed to contain
charges and papers against some of the ministers and particularly
against the Archbishop of Canterbury, wishing to have it believed
that they have intercepted letters from him to the pope.
A madman, rather than a zealous Catholic, meeting in the
lobby of parliament a minister who was taking to the Lower
Chamber a note of the Catholics of his parish, gave him two
wounds, from which he is in some danger. (fn. 1) The culprit was
immediately arrested, but he will not pay the penalty with his
life unless the wounded man dies, as the law does not exact this.
All the same this act has caused a great stir among the parliamentarians.
Some of them, to stir the hatred of those who are
less violent against the Catholics, have used the incident as an
indication of some attempt by them against the parliament
assembled, and in this way to urge the formation of a guard of
300 musketeers. But the Upper House, would not lower themselves
to fear or to encourage suspicion in this way. But it is
certain that the imprudent action of this man will greatly increase
the prejudice against the Catholic faith.
The City of London has presented a memorial to parliament in
which they accuse as seducers of the people the Capuchin fathers,
the pope's minister and three of the queen's principal servants.
The authority of the accuser no less than the plausibility of the
accusation make one fear that they will proceed in the matter.
But the eagerness with which the parliamentarians are at present
applying themselves to obtain a capital sentence against the
Lieutenant of Ireland, holds all other business in suspense. Two
days ago he was taken from his prison to the Tower, for greater
security, by order of the Upper Chamber, before which the Lower
brings its accusations. Those of Ireland are kept back, as they
are expecting matter of importance thence, with the imprisonment
of two of his councillors, since he enjoyed 180,000l. sterling
a year in that kingdom for his private profit. Thus being well
aware that the greatest harm might come to him from thence
he himself had the ports of that kingdom closed, and no one could
leave it without the permission of his viceregents. When the
king heard of it, in order to forestall parliament and win its favour,
he restored the liberty to all by public proclamation.
The Bishop of Lincoln, who was condemned to the Tower
with the loss of all his dignities and revenues, because he wrote
against the liturgy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, disapproving
of all the ceremonies in the Anglican Church, and reducing it to
Puritanism, has been solemnly released amid great approbation.
And so time is spent in vindicating private spite rather than in a
profitable economy, all idea of state policy being put aside.
London, the 7th December, 1640.
135. The Senate's decision of the 7th inst. having been read
to the Secretary of England, he said, in substance :
English nation and merchants are under special obligations to
your Serenity who loves them as your own subjects. The captains
and sailors of English ships came to me to complain of ill treatment
and extortion, and I was bound to make the representations
contained in the paper which I presented. But if any of them has
committed a transgression he deserves the severe punishment
due, though I feel sure that your Serenity will take into consideration
the fact that he has fallen into some error.
The doge replied : You know the special regard of the republic
for your country. The Senate has decided what you have heard
on the evidence obtained and the demands of the law. They have
also decreed the restitution of the goods taken by the officials of
Malamocco in that ship, without taking into consideration the
question that they might be smuggled. This has all been done
with the express desire to gratify the sailors and your nation.
The secretary made his bow, took leave and went out without
asking for another copy of the decision.
136. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Cardinal has sent to inform the English ambassador that the
ships taken by the Archbishop of Bordeaux, in the Mediterranean,
will be restored ; but he is not satisfied with this and claims their
cargoes as well, after deducting what belonged to Spaniards ;
a difficult business which will involve many disputes.
Sciatu, the 11th December, 1640.
137. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Scottish deputies continue their negotiations for an
accommodation and have produced in writing the articles which
they claim to have granted which concern deeply the interests
of the king. They ask in the first place that he will confirm all
the decrees of the last parliament, revoking those which were
made to please the late King James his father. To permit the
expulsion of the bishops. The exile of the Catholics with the
confiscation of all their goods. In the future they are to be
allowed to summon parliament every three years or whenever
it is found opportune, without asking fresh leave of His Majesty,
as has been the practice in the past. For their own security the
castle of Edinburgh is to remain in their custody with all the
others of that kingdom. The fortifications recently added to the
frontier towns of Berwick and Carlisle are to be completely
dismantled. The Scots pretended guilty are to be handed over
to them, to be punished in conformity with the laws of that crown,
and as compensation for their losses 50,000l. a year for 15 years
are to be assigned to them out of the royal revenues, with the
payment afterwards of 4,800,000 ducats, one half down and
the other within a term of two months, an impossible sum which
indicates that the enemy has no sincere wish for peace.
The king reflected deeply upon these proposals, with reference
rather to the troubled state of the time than to their importance.
Flattered by vain hopes, also, of being able to separate the Scots
from the English. He told them that if they desist from troubling
his servants the Marquis Hamilton and the Treasurer, he will not
be averse from granting what they ask, except the handing over
of the fortresses, the destruction of the fortifications and the
payment of the four millions. The deputies, on their part, while
holding out hopes that as regards the Marquis and Treasurer
they will leave nothing for His Majesty to desire, stand firm upon
all the other demands, asking in addition that the agreement
shall be ratified afterwards by the parliament of England. This
point, owing to the serious consequences involved, the king is
trying every means to evade. Thus the success of the negotiations
is involved in inextricable difficulties and even if a conclusion is
reached it can only be with grave hurt and loss of prestige to
Meanwhile from the things so far granted to the rebels the
Catholics are very apprehensive, and all the bishops of this
country are equally alarmed, lest this example may serve as a
stimulus to England to demand the same and greater advantages.
If this occurs, as everyone predicts, the most conspicuous ensigns
of the monarchy will be extinguished in this kingdom also.
After parliament had sent to York 50,000l. for the payment of
the army they sent members to ask His Majesty to dismiss from
his forces all the Catholic officers and soldiers. He promptly
consented to this and instead of the imprisoned Lieutenant of
Ireland he has sent the Earl of Essex to command, an individual
greatly beloved by the Puritans. The king has done it all with
the idea of conciliating the affection of that party, but so far with
little or no success, all his actions being interpreted as the result
of necessity rather than of sincere inclination.
Nothing essential has yet been established by the parliamentarians
and they have employed all this week in examining the
state of religion, with the new rites introduced into the Anglican
liturgy by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Accusation and outcry
against him come in from every quarter. Three leading men
of the Puritans, who were severely punished two years ago for
having written and preached against the book sent by him to
Scotland, (fn. 2) have had their grievances presented in parliament and
have asked permission to come here to prosecute their accusations.
They came on Saturday, accompanied by 3000 horse and
met by a hundred coaches and a countless number of the common
people, not without grave scandal to rightminded men and
increased peril to the archbishop.
Parliament has even notified the queen that she must dismiss
the numerous English Catholics in her service. Her Majesty,
justly incensed at such an audacious demand, has replied, that
if she is obliged to deprive herself of the Catholics she will dismiss
the Protestants also, and provide herself elsewhere with people
of her faith. This is all I have to report this week, my body being
tortured by a fever and my heart by the fatal events which have
not yet ceased in this House.
London, the 14th December, 1640.
138. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
On Wednesday the 12th inst. the Prince of Orange informed the
States General that he had concluded a marriage alliance between
the daughter of the king of England and his only son William.
The States applauded this vociferously and all the Provinces
united in offering their congratulations. But these demonstrations
are all for show and no one believes that their heart is in
them. They perceive only too well the consequences that will
be involved by the alliance of the House of Orange with a crown
and a country that is so near. The king's daughter is only
5 or 6 years of age, and it is his second, according to the report
here ; while the Prince's son is fourteen. The Queen Mother was
the first to make the overtures and to set this affair in motion.
She brought the proposals here with her. The matter came
afterwards into the hands of a certain Hemfelit, a person of base
origin, who cherished and matured the design with the ministers
of the king of England with the help of the gold of the Prince of
Orange. The Princess Palatine has not had any share in the
affair. The marriage was all concluded as long ago as last
August, but kept secret until the present time by arrangement
between both parties and for common reasons. The king of
England imparted the news to the Princess Palatine last August
in a letter to be sent to her, but the letter has been kept back
until the other day. The princess is much displeased at such
evidence of want of confidence.
The articles that are made known provide that an embassy
shall be sent in the Prince's name to ask for the king's daughter.
The Prince has already selected two of his cognates, and the
choice of the States is expected soon. In March next the prince's
son is to go to England to fetch his wife, who will be educated here
until she is of marriageable age, in a separate house of the Prince
of Orange. Nothing is said about the dowry, but if his son dies
the Prince of Orange is bound to grant 100,000 florins a year to
the widowed princess.
The arrangement of this marriage is not only entirely unexpected,
but one may also say somewhat unseasonable, seeing
the tender age of the parties, and it excites all sorts of comments.
Everyone expresses his personal opinions and all presuppose
secret arrangements, according to the nature of such an affair.
It seems quite apparent that the Prince intends to erect the
greatness of his House upon the foundations of the royal blood,
whereby it may rise to greater heights. In the opinion of many,
however, this marriage alliance is likely to excite jealousy in the
powers, suspicion in the States and is in itself premature and
The Hague, the 15th December, 1640.
139. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and
said in substance :
At the instance of my king your Serenity was pleased to extend
the leave of Colonel Douglas in England for another six months
and also that he should receive his pay for that period and for
the past. His Majesty has instructed me to express his warmest
thanks for this act of generosity and promises the most perfect
correspondence. I have now to add that although the Colonel
has had the order for receiving payment of his salary due, it
still lacks effect, the Depositario at the Mint stating that he had
not the money to fulfil the order. Meanwhile the Colonel's wife
and family are suffering and are in most urgent need. I therefore
beseech your Serenity to order this payment which has been
awaited so long.
The doge replied : We are glad to meet his Majesty's requests,
for whom we shall always show our sincere friendship. Order
will be given for the payment of the money. The Cashier of
the Collegio added that he himself would tell the Depositario to
pay. The secretary seemed satisfied and after saying that
Douglas's poor wife and family were worthy of compassion, he
made his bow and went out.
140. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Although His Majesty has not relaxed his efforts to dispose the
commissioners of Scotland to embrace the accommodation upon
the conditions offered to them he has not hitherto succeeded in
moving them from their original opinions. They assert steadily
that they will never consent to any composition unless the articles
given in writing are accepted in their entirety, and they will not
dislodge from their quarters in England before all that is agreed
has been punctually fulfilled. As the conclusion of the treaty is
constantly delayed by these differences, they have mutually
agreed to extend the armistice for another month, as it was nearing
Meanwhile the Scottish Commissioners have proposed in
parliament to unite the two crowns by a perpetual alliance, on
the express condition that if one of the two kingdoms enters upon
war with any prince soever the other shall be obliged to support
it with all its forces. In order to justify the hardihood of such
a proposal the commissioners are trying to make out that such a
union was greatly desired and promoted by the late King James,
for the common benefit, but that the keen rivalry which then
existed between the two nations, and other respects, prevented
its success. But His Majesty has not been convinced by this
example, which both in motives and in terms was very different,
has frowned upon the proposal and is trying with all his might
to make it fall through, since it is known that the aim is to keep
the king here in perpetual subjection, and may possibly cover
even more far reaching designs, as is suspected, since fresh rebel
reinforcements reach the army every day, without need.
The sessions of parliament continue without intermission,
though they are proceeding with their deliberations very slowly
so as to keep them a long time on foot. Their attention at
present is devoted to the book of the past actions of the ministers
of the Court, more than to anything else. The four judges who
declared in judgment that the royal authority extended to laying
any charge or impost so ever upon the people, have been called
upon to defend themselves as violators of the laws of the realm
and traitors to their country, and among them is the Lord Keeper,
who is the first minister of the Crown.
The Secretary Windebank, after a thorough examination of his
conscience, and certain that in the present state of affairs the
protection of His Majesty was not sufficient to get him out of
danger, has fled from the country, preferring to experience the
rigours of justice from a distance rather than to implore in vain
the clemency of his judges as a prisoner. To tell the truth these
judges are guided by no other reason than an immoderate passion
to remove from the king all his most confidential ministers.
This flight took place with his Majesty's express consent, and the
minister took letters in the queen's own hand. So far the king
has not wished to dispose of his office, and seems disinclined to do
so in the future, possibly with the intention, when parliament is
over, of recalling him to favour if the state of affairs permits.
Meanwhile the Spanish ambassadors are much concerned at
the loss of this minister, who was the one who vigorously supported
the interests of their master at this Court more than any
one else. That party is now completely overthrown.
On the pretext of clearing up better the crimes of the Lieutenant
of Ireland the Lower Chamber, by decree of all the parliament,
has directed the Councillors of State to appear at the tribunal of
that Chamber to answer all that shall be asked of them, releasing
them from the original oath of secrecy to His Majesty and compelling
them to publish all the past deliberations. Such a thing
has never before been done by parliament, and thereby they have
now laid the sickle to the most noble part of the royal sovereignty.
After a brief sickness, Anne, the third princess has passed
away, to the intense grief of their Majesties. (fn. 3) I will offer my
condolences in the usual way, if my own illness permits.
The Turkish Chiaus took leave of the king last Wednesday.
He received a present, according to custom, from the Levant
Company, and will proceed to Holland with the first favourable
London, the 21st December, 1640.
141. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After I had sent my last a personage arrived from the Court to
inform me that a courier had just come from Holland with the
conclusion of the marriage between the second princess here and
the eldest son of the Prince of Orange, and that the bridegroom
will soon proceed to this Court, accompanied by three ambassadors
of the United Provinces who are said to be already appointed.
The conditions of the marriage are as yet wrapped in secrecy, the
affair having been conducted with great circumspection by the
Princess Palatine, His Majesty's sister and by Mr. Enflit, without
any minister participating. I learn that the completion of this
business comes most unexpectedly to the Spanish Ambassadors,
and as I wrote some time back, their Majesties seemed in no way
inclined to it. Parliament also is not without its own suspicions,
as the real motives which have led the king to this important
decision are unknown. It is one that may easily lead to great
consequences in the present state of the affairs of this kingdom,
and to all Christendom as well. I will keep on the alert to report
all particulars. So far you will have received better information
from the Ambassador Giustiniano at the Hague, where the treaty
London, the 22nd December, 1640.
142. Anzolo Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome,
to the Doge and Senate.
Cardinal Barberino took occasion to beg me very earnestly
to beseech your Serenity to charge your ambassador in London,
during the serious disturbances there, to look after the interests
of the Catholic Faith, and also to take under his protection
Rosetti, the papal minister in those parts. If I am instructed to
give some reply to the Cardinal upon this, it will serve as evidence
that I have done what he asked.
Rome, the 22nd Dec. 1640.
143. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
Deputies of the Assembly of the States General came on Monday
to inform me of the marriage concluded with England. On
Thursday they chose three ambassadors to go to England on the
subject. They will be sent by the common commissions of the
Prince and the States. The partisans of the Prince carried this
difficult point in the Assembly against some opposition. The
ambassadors are, a cognate of the Prince named Brederode, a
deputy of the States named Harsem, recently ambassador extraordinary
to England, and that Hemuclit who arranged the marriage.
They have instructions to have the alliance rearranged with
the eldest daughter, who is about nine years of age, as the king
has not yet said whether it is to be the first or the second daughter.
The Prince is urging the departure of these ambassadors and the
States will give their help to add splendour to the embassy.
The Hague, the 24th December, 1640.
144. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Amid the universal applause with which the marriage of the
princess has been received every one is curious to discover the
more special reasons which prompted the conclusion. All agree
in thinking that the king's chief object was to deprive the Scots
by this means of the support of the United Provinces, and himself
to use their authority and the credit of the Prince of Orange with
that people to dispose them to accept an honourable composition
and to withdraw their army from this country without further
delay. When the English no longer have the strong incitement
of these forces it will be easier for His Majesty to restrain the
English parliament within the limits of moderation, and so
revive his falling authority. Time will show how far these very
difficult designs will succeed, and we shall also learn the marriage
articles, which are still kept very secret.
Meanwhile they are impatiently awaiting the ambassadors from
Holland, for whom the king has quarters prepared. It is freely
stated that in addition to the demand for the princess they will
bring proposals for a new alliance between this crown and the
States, with the view of rendering this king more considerable
among neighbouring princes, and the United Provinces better
able, with such support, to rely on themselves and boldly to take
such courses for the prosecution of the war or negotiations for an
accommodation, as the conditions of the time and the vacillating
fortunes of the Austrians make them consider most opportune.
These are the opinions most current among the ministers of the
greatest credit, and so I have thought fit to report them, although
they are hardly practicable.
I learn from a person of great authority that although the
marriage is announced for the second princess, it will really be
with the first, formerly destined for the Catholic Prince. This
particular is studiously kept secret, in order not to increase the
annoyance of the Spanish Ambassadors, who consider themselves
deeply affronted at the conclusion of this affair under their eyes,
as it were to their shame.
Since the announcement of this marriage they have changed
their tone at the palace, and whereas before the king spoke with
hesitation and reserve, he now shows more vigour and lets it be
understood that he will not permit parliament to punish his
servants. Also, whereas the queen recently told the pope's
minister, that with the multiplication of trouble in every direction
it was no longer possible to insist on his stay in this kingdom and
he had better go as soon as possible, the order has now been
revoked, and fresh hopes held out of keeping him in his post.
This also goes to show that there is nothing more constant under
this sky than inconstancy.
Following the example of the Scots this city, by two aldermen,
accompanied by 5000 men, presented a petition to parliament on
Saturday signed by 20,000 persons containing seditious demands
for the removal of the bishops from the realm, the exile of the
Catholics, the confiscation of their goods and the complete prohibition
of the ancient ceremonies decreed by parliamentary laws
in the Anglican liturgy (et prohibite intieramente le vecchie ceremonie
statuite per leggi Parlamentarie nella Liturgia Anglicana.) Nothing
has yet been decided in this matter, upon which many other
towns have done the same. The king is trying to prevent
a declaration to the prejudice of the bishops upon whose place
in parliament depends in great measure the maintenance of the
Thirteen delegates have arrived here unexpectedly from Ireland,
sent from that kingdom to petition His Majesty to give them
liberty of conscience, abolish all impositions introduced without
grant by parliament there, and to grant them many other advantages,
to which they have aspired in vain in the past. The
king is detaining the delegates with hopes of satisfaction, but
although he forbad them to apply to parliament, they have not
obeyed. This has caused no little apprehension.
The Commissioner who is at present assisting in the government
of that kingdom (fn. 4) has sent a courier with the news that the
10,000 foot and 1000 horse, assembled these last months by His
Majesty's order to be sent to Scotland, now refuse to disband,
after the need for them has passed, as they wish first to hear what
satisfaction their delegates will bring back from the king. So it
is to be feared that if they do not promptly grant some satisfaction
to that people, a fresh fire will break out in Ireland also,
no less difficult to quench than the others.
I have to acknowledge your Excellencies' letters of the 7th inst.
and will make use of the information sent.
London, the 28th December, 1640.
145. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador at the
Hague, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassadors will start in a few days for England. Besides
commissions for the marriage they have instructions to do all in
their power to arrange a settlement between the king and the
Scots. They are to intervene in this business in the name of
the state if a promising opening presents itself ; but if they find
that the Scots are obstinate, as many anticipate, they are openly
to express their readiness to afford assistance to the king. As a
matter of fact such assistance has not been decided by the Provinces,
but the ambassadors will use it as a matter of courtesy
and simply to smoothe the negotiation of the treaty. The
essence of their instructions is to offer the king of England a new
alliance, defensive and offensive against the Spaniards, which is
expected to be mutually satisfactory, and which ought to be
seconded by favouring circumstances on the side of England and
by the unanimous feeling of the people here, who have desired
this alliance for many years.
The Hague, the 29th December, 1640.
146. From the Relation of Giovanni Nani, Venetian Ambassador
at Rome, 1638-40.
With the Queen of England the pope exchanges ministers,
with offices and gifts of courtesy, and it is conceded that that
sovereign shall nominate Cardinals on a par with the other kings.