165. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament has not yet made any reply to His Majesty's last
speech about the marriage of the Princess Mary and the alliance
with the Dutch. But the Upper House, while thanking the king
for the confidence requests him to delay the final conclusion of
the marriage until they have fully examined the proposals and
can report to him what they think will be best for his greatness
and the service of the crown. From this unexpected demand,
the true motives for which have not yet transpired, the Dutch
ambassadors fear that some fresh difficulties may interrupt the
thread of the business, which may suffer some alteration yet,
if it is subject to the changing caprice of this people. Meanwhile
I enclose a copy of the proposals for an alliance given by the
ambassadors and presented by the king to parliament. They
may be of use, although they are only bare proposals, which will
be developed in the negotiations. I will carefully watch every
On Monday parliament sent four members to the king to
petition him to ratify without further delay the law for the
triennial meeting of that body with the provisions reported if the
king failed to summon it himself. (fn. 1) The king, moved by this
action, the effect of which would be to ruin his authority entirely,
became very angry and displayed very little inclination to consent.
He sent back the members with a severe answer, but nothing
definite, though he assured them that he would let them know his
intention within two days. When the members made their
report parliament was seriously moved. Throwing aside all
restraint they loudly threatened the most extreme designs and
decided to suspend all business until they obtain this satisfaction,
unjust as it is and full of temerity.
The king was informed of everything at once, and after he had
carefully considered for many hours the ruinous effects that a
longer resistance would produce, he yielded to necessity and
decided to comply. On the following day he put on the royal
robes and went to parliament where he said : that although he
was aware of the serious prejudice that the confirmation of this
law would constitute for himself and his successors, yet in his
desire to prove his sincere good will he had decided to give
satisfaction to his subjects in this also ; but he could not omit to
point out to them the hurtful consequences of depriving their
own sovereign of credit and all authority. He reminded them that
while they showed zeal for preserving their liberty they should
not neglect to maintain the royal Majesty in its primal vigour,
without which it would be impossible to govern this well founded
monarchy with just proportion. With this he ended his speech
and announced the act of ratification. The members expressed
their humble gratitude, and afterwards, by public order, directed
that bonfires should be lighted that night throughout the city.
This was gladly done amid universal rejoicings, though equally
resented by His Majesty. At present nothing is left to him but
the title and the naked shows of king, and he does not know
how to conceal the passions which naturally torture him.
Encouraged by the ease with which they attained their end
the Lower Chamber decided two days ago to intimate to the king
and queen that they must dismiss all the Catholics from their
service and forbid the Court to four persons who are those most
favoured by His Majesty, against whom it is alleged that last
year, when the king was at York and in need of money, they
tried to raise a contribution of 120,000 crowns from the Catholics
of the country, for His Majesty's service, at the instance of the
Cardinal Richelieu has written personally to the queen in a
confidential manner, persuading her to give up the idea of going
to France intimating that the Most Christian will not approve.
Accordingly she is now talking of going to Ireland, but she does
not hide her strong feeling against the Cardinal, whom she calls
the sole author of this decision.
On Friday in last week the Duke of Vendome saw their Majesties,
who received him privately, though with every indication of
affection and esteem. He tried to show his respect for the queen
with his lips, but Her Majesty drew back and would not permit
this liberty, in the sight of all the Court, with some mortification
to the duke.
Since the adjustment with the Scots of the sum to be paid for
an indemnity, they have renewed their negotiations with the
parliament for a perpetual alliance between the two kingdoms.
They ask for the dismantelling of all the fortifications on the
frontier, those of Berwick in particular, for the greater security
of the peace. Unbiassed persons recognise that these proposals
are intended to keep the king here and the others, for the future,
for ever dependent on their subjects, and they will serve to prolong
their sojourn in England, from whence, even now, there is
no assurance that they will withdraw by the sole means of negotiation.
I have this day received your letters of the 26th January and
the 1st ult.
London, the 1st March, 1641.
166. Proposals made by the Dutch Ambassadors on 22nd
Jan., 1641, with the offer that His Majesty may take the whole
or part, at his pleasure. (fn. 2)
1. Offensive and defensive alliance against the Spaniards and
2. Defensive alliance against all foreign enemies, whether
temporary or permanent.
3. A mutual promise not to assist the enemies of either.
4. An agreement to hold a consultation to find expedients to
secure the Netherlands and England against the forces and
devices of enemies.
[Italian, copied from the English.]
167. Suspension for the year 1641 of the decree of 28th
February last, allowing the exportation of oil from Crete ; after
which the matter must come up for reconsideration.
Ayes, 96. Noes, 6. Neutral, 14.
168. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The most important business dealt with by parliament this
week has turned on the trial of the Lieutenant of Ireland. The
despatch of this, demanded impatiently by the universal voice,
will follow soon, and from it we shall be able to judge of the hopes
for quiet or the fears of greater disturbances in this kingdom.
Meanwhile His Majesty is exerting all his influence to save his
favourite from the threatened ruin. He has created several
lords, with the object of increasing friendly votes in the Upper
Chamber, who are the judges (Ha creato molti Baroni ad oggetto
d'accrescergli voti favorevoli nella Camera Superiore a cui appartiene
il giuditio). To six members of the higher nobility,
leaders of the revolt last year and his most obstinate
persecutors, the king has distributed the highest offices of the
crown, and given them the ensigns of councillors of state, (fn. 3) all
with the sole object of winning them for this occasion, without
a care for the evil example of using honours as a reward for
sedition. Still not satisfied, his Majesty went last Wednesday
unexpectedly to parliament at the moment when the prisoner
was summoned to make his defence, in accordance with the use
of the country. There, to the disgust of the judges, he had a
long secret conversation with the prisoner, and later took the
unprecedented step of assisting at the reading of the process, and
further, when the Lieutenant appeared at the bar, i.e. the place
of the accused, he could not refrain from showing him great
honour, which served to increase hatred and envy.
The Lower Chamber, suspecting that these interventions of
the king will suffice to save the minister, has grown very wroth,
and in conjunction with the city is threatening the most audacious
decisions if this victim is not sacrificed at the altar of the public
satisfaction, though he is possibly innocent. Thus men are
doubtful about the event and fear that if it is not in accordance
with the will of the people the most serious disorders may occur
in the country.
Difficulties are also increasing with the Scottish Commissioners
who complain that the 25,000l. a month, promised to them is not
being paid with the promptitude promised, and intimate that if
the means fail for the further support of the troops quartered
at Newcastle, they will not hesitate to advance further into
England, unless their requirements are promptly met. To these
lamentations they have added an insolent paper, presented to
parliament, in which they ask again for the severe punishment of
the Lieutenant of Ireland, as the original author of the present
movements, and have since had it printed, to win them the
applause of the people, and to excite still further the universal
indignation against the prisoner.
On Saturday there arrived in the port of Plymouth a Portuguese
ambassador, sent by the new king to the United Provinces. He
states that other ships will come soon bringing the one chosen
for this king. (fn. 4)
His Majesty has not yet come to any decision about his reception.
Many ministers, however, hold fast to the inclination to
receive him and advance as their strongest argument that Philip
II received those of Ireland, which rebelled against Queen Elizabeth.
The Spanish ambassador, on his side, makes the strongest
representations to disparage this precedent, pointing out that the
open disputes between the two crowns at that time induced
Spain to receive those ministers.
The Dutch ambassadors had audience of both their Majesties
on Monday, and since then, their suspicions dissipated, they seem
to have no further doubts about the marriage being carried out.
Meanwhile the Upper Chamber has appointed commissioners
about their proposals for an alliance, (fn. 5) and has promised to give
the king their opinion next week, whether they shall advance
to a conclusion or let the matter drop altogether.
The queen mother, being reduced to the last extremity, without
any means of relief, is impatiently awaiting the report of the
gentleman she sent to the Most Christian and Cardinal Richelieu.
She has made up her mind to submit in everything to their
London, the 8th March, 1641.
169. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose a copy of a paper presented in the Collegio by the
Secretary of England about the seizure of goods on a ship, as
contraband. We have sent for information. If you are provoked
on the subject you will answer that the aim of the republic is to
secure that his Majesty's subjects shall be treated with complete
justice and equity.
Ayes, 72. Noes, 5. Neutral, 10.
170. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Although His Majesty in letters in his own hand, warned the
Prince Palatine not to come to this Court just now, he arrived
here unexpectedly two days ago. He declares that he did not
meet the courier sent and announces that the chief reasons for
his journey were the hopes of improving his own interests by his
presence during the meeting of parliament and the negotiations
of the Dutch ambassadors. The king did not conceal his vexation
at the news of his arrival, or the queen either, but upon reflection
they dissimulated their first feelings and received their nephew
with the usual display of affection and esteem. It is thought,
none the less, that they will get rid of him as soon as possible,
because of the danger amid the present agitations of the sojourn
in the kingdom of a prince so near to the succession, the son of a
mother acclaimed by the people, and one for whom they have
always displayed the greatest affection. So far he has transacted
no business with his uncle, and nothing has yet appeared which
might lead him to expect that powerful assistance from the king's
hand or from the liberality of parliament which he may have
The Portuguese ambassador who is going to Holland, has
arrived in this city from Plymouth, and the one for this Court
has reached Flemovo. The former is having translated into
English a manifesto which he wishes to publish. He is trying to
get the grant of a royal ship to take him to Rotterdam, and that
the one who is to stay here shall be received as ambassador of a
crowned head. To induce the merchants to use their influence
with His Majesty he has made them large promises of considerable
advantages, and in particular to exempt from all duties the
goods which the English take to the markets of that country.
He has intimated that if this crown embraces the cause of the
Portuguese and is prepared to give them vigorous assistance, the
new king will assign to them in compensation rich states in the
Indies, and will offer a marriage between his eldest son (fn. 6) and the
king's second daughter. Interested parties, dazzled by these
specious promises and by the hope of more, have repeatedly
petitioned His Majesty to admit the ambassador, pointing out
how advantageous such a step would be. But so far they have
only obtained ambigious replies, and the final decision is as yet
uncertain. The Spanish ambassador though he does not cease
to employ every effort to prevent harm to the king, his master,
is afraid none the less that the powerful stimulus of interest will
prevail against his offices.
This minister has sent one of his gentlemen to me to inform me
of his arrival in this city and to communicate the state of affairs
in that kingdom, and perhaps to note some declaration to his
advantage. Everyone is acting with caution and thinking it
necessary to show some reserve I excused myself from admitting
him, as I was still keeping my bed, which was true. I thus
avoided the encounter, and shall do so until I receive precise
The king has shown extreme irritation and so have the majority
of the parliamentarians at the seditious paper published by the
Scottish commissioners (fn. 7) as likely to encourage licence among
the people and with which they have dared to lay down the law
and interfere with the government of this monarchy. Many
discussions have been held upon this important circumstance,
and they finally decided that His Majesty should seriously
admonish the Commissioners, as he has done. They on their
side excused their temerity with false reasons and offered to
prove their sincerity by a new declaration, which will also be
Meanwhile this unheard of proceeding has aroused alarm in the
minds of many of the parliamentarians that under the specious
name of the public liberty the Scots are cherishing more ambitious
designs. Accordingly the prolonged sojourn of their troops in
the country excites no little uneasiness, and they seem inclined
to withdraw the monthly assignment of 25,000l. promised. If
these very natural suspicions gain ground, as His Majesty tries
his hardest that they shall, there may be some hope yet that time
will supply a favourable opportunity to enable him to restore
his authority to some extent and to regain credit with his subjects.
Owing to the distraction of these new differences with the
Scots parliament has not been able to apply itself to the case of
the Lieutenant of Ireland, and has not imparted to the king its
opinion upon the proposed alliance with the Dutch either, so
both these affairs remain as before, without any alteration whatever.
Within a few weeks they are expecting here the Prince of
Orange, the bridegroom, and the house of the Earl of Arundel is
being prepared to receive him. (fn. 8)
The Spanish Ambassador Cardinas has requested His Majesty
to permit the troops in Ireland to pass to the service of the king,
his master. He received a very general reply and they have not
held out any definite hope so far of complying. However he had
a long conference this week with the secretary of state, and has
since sent a courier to Spain with all speed, the object of which
has not transpired though it is thought to be on this business.
If he succeeds in getting what he asks the Catholic will secure
the prompt advantage of a body of 10,000 infantry.
London, the 15th March, 1641.
171. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose the sheet of advices. We have received your
letters of the 22nd ult. With respect to the new ambassador of
Portugal you will follow the example of the French ambassador
or that of the ambassadors of other crowned heads in the matter
Ayes, 77. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
172. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Eng-England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of Portugal, who is going to Holland, profiting
by the offices of the ministers of the States here and by the
pressure of the merchants has at last obtained the grant of a
royal ship to take him to Rotterdam. (fn. 9) He set out on Saturday
for the coast, in great state. He disbursed some money here to
several French individuals who stand idle here, so that they
should proceed with all speed to Lisbon, to serve as officers in the
companies of the new king, his master, who is reported to be in
more need of captains of credit and experience then of anything
else. This minister is taking great value in jewels and spices to
Holland to be devoted to the purchase of forty ships of war, to
be sent with all speed to Portugal.
The one destined for this Court reached Salisbury, fifty miles
away, when his Majesty sent word to him not to proceed until
they had decided here what reception they should give him. He
obeyed directly, and has sent a secretary here to solicit a final
decision, which he hopes will be favourable. Meanwhile the
Spanish ambassador in a new audience has protested strongly to
the king that if they admit this minister he will leave the Court
without delay, and the correspondence between this crown and
the Catholic will be broken off. They do not seem to attach
much importance to such threats here, indeed the ambassador
has been asked, through the secretary of state, to put down in
writing the reasons why the Portuguese should not be heard, and
they told him further that in 1400, when the Duke of Lancaster
usurped the kingdom of Richard II, his nephew, the ambassadors
of the former were received in Spain without question, and so
recently were those of Bavaria as Elector, to the disparagement of
the declarations and interests of this crown. These representations
indicate their leaning here to accept the Portuguese, and
the Catholic ambassador has made no further reply, perceiving
that insistence would be useless.
In a very long paper the Prince Palatine has represented in
parliament the unhappy state of his affairs, and asked for powerful
assistance to restore the fortunes of his house to its original
state in the present opportunities. They have given him no
answer so far, and there seems no disposition that indicates that
parliament will undertake the protection of that house.
He tried to break the thread of the marriage of the princess to
Orange, actually asking for her for himself, but his offices met with
no response. The Dutch ambassadors, having discovered his
designs, hastily took action to have the treaty signed without
further delay. This was done on Monday and as a public testimony
of the final completion and the success of the negotiations
they had bonfires lighted that night.
With regard to the written proposals for an alliance the parliamentarians
declare freely that they will not agree to an offensive
one, so there is no change in the opinion reported that only a
defensive treaty will be signed with those Provinces.
Some rumour comes from the Court that the Palatine will soon
be going to Patisbon, and the English Agent Gerbier at Brussels
has requested the Cardinal Infant to grant him a passport to
travel through the states of the Catholic.
After many disputes in parliament about the question of the
bishops the Lower House has resolved that the order shall
remain in the Anglican Church but on condition that they shall
not have a seat in parliament in future, and may not be employed
in any temporal public office whatever. They are thus entirely
shut out from the government of the country, with considerable
loss to the royal party, which always had the vigorous support of
the 28 bishops.
Although suspicion of the ambitious designs of the Scots has
not ceased, the truce has been prolonged for another month, and
they have intimated to the Commissioners of that country that
in the mean time they should set forth all their claims. But the
deputies have drawn up 28 articles, more audacious than the
first. These aim at abolishing the king's authority altogether,
and at introducing themselves into the governance of England,
so they give warning how little the Scots incline to accept a just
agreement in a friendly way, or to give up the country occupied.
Among the most remarkable things demanded are : that the
boundaries of the kingdom of Scotland be drawn as they were
anciently ; that the English shall embrace the religion practised
in Scotland, which is Calvin's, abandoning the Protestant ; that
the principal lords of that kingdom shall be employed in the
king's household, and in those of the queen and prince ; that only
those of the reformed faith be admitted to the service of their
Majesties and his Highness ; that one kingdom cannot attack the
other without express decree of parliament, and that neither of
the two kingdoms be allowed to undertake a foreign war without
the consent of the other. Finally that commissioners be appointed
by the parliaments of England and Scotland, to see that the
articles agreed upon are observed when parliament is not
sitting, and to punish for lese majesté those who disobey. This
would constitute a tribunal which would always represent the
majesty and authority of parliament, to the total exclusion of
that of the king. Nothing has yet been decided about these
audacious proposals, and everyone is curious to see what the
reply will be.
A severe decree has come out against the priests of this kingdom,
obliging them to leave these states within a month. The Count
of Egmont has had a letter published here written by him to the
Deputies of Flanders, and urging them to seize their liberty and
offers himself to serve them. I enclose a copy of the letter. (fn. 10)
They speak here with great freedom about the return of the
queen mother to France, and His Majesty in particular seems
anxious that this shall happen as soon as possible.
London, the 29th March, 1641.
|173. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Since writing my last I hear that they had a long discussion at
the palace today about the reception of the Portuguese ambassador,
and finally decided to receive him, and treat him on the same
footing as the ambassadors of crowned heads, announcing that
they do so in consideration of the rights of the House of Braganza
over that kingdom and that this prince was called to the crown
amid the universal acclamations of the people. They sent him
the news this evening and next week he will make his public
state entry. The young Prince of Orange is also expected soon,
and they say that to make quite sure of the marriage the ceremony
will be performed in church on the 7th of May. The dowry of
40,000 crowns the Prince of Orange has bound himself to invest
in funds in this kingdom, adding another 120,000, the whole to
be assigned as super dowry for the bride. The Dutch ambassadors
are pressing strongly to induce his Majesty to permit the princess
to go to Holland on the prince's return, but so far the king does
not seem inclined to consent, persisting in his original opinion
that his daughter should not leave the Court before she has
completed her twelfth year. None the less these ministers hope
that the persuasions of the prince will induce his father in law to
grant this satisfaction. The event will show.
London, the 29th March, 1641.