215. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
The magistrates of Flanders, in the name of the inhabitants,
have protested publicly against the coming of the queen mother,
so that Martelli, whom she sent to obtain a passport from the
Infant, is still empty handed.
The gentleman sent by the King of England with complimentary
letters to the prince and House of Orange, arrived here two
days ago. (fn. 1) He brings a very courteous and affectionate message
to the young prince from His Majesty, styling him his son in law.
The Hague, the 1st July, 1641.
216. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty persists in his firm determination to go to Scotland,
He has arranged to start on the 14th inst. and all the preparations
are being hastened for this date. The servants have already
gone and the baggage has been sent by sea. The queen announces
that she will follow her husband as far as Donbi, a pleasure house
of the crown on the way to York. The secret reason for this
journey has not yet transpired. The wisest do not approve of it,
and if it takes place everyone predicts irretrievable and ruinous
results for this royal house. Parliament disapproves entirely of
this move of their Majesties, suspecting that the king cherishes
more extensive designs, namely to go to the army at York,
which seems well disposed towards him, and then to attempt with
those forces to avenge himself for the affronts which he has
received from parliament. They therefore seem determined to
prevent this journey, and are seeking for a way of doing so with
safety. Apparently they propose to intimate to his Majesty
that it is not consonant with the service of the crown for him to
leave this city until all the differences with the Scots are adjusted
and the armies on both sides disbanded.
Profiting by this suspicion the Lower House has again proposed
to the Upper to disband the five regiments, urging that nothing
would serve better to dissipate such suspicions. Accordingly
the Lords have reconsidered the matter and consented, putting
aside all other considerations, and commissioners have been
hurriedly despatched to York to carry it out. Some still fear,
however, in view of the protests made by them, that the officers
will not allow the army to be weakened before their demands have
been settled. Parliament is therefore awaiting the event with
great apprehension, and it may serve as a measure perhaps by
which they may estimate the other deliberations of the king.
The commissioners of parliament have held several conferences
this week with those of Scotland. They announce that everything
is arranged with mutual satisfaction, and two of the delegates
have gone to Scotland for the approval of the agreement.
Thus the sole impediment on this side to completion will be the
payment of the money. They are making every effort to provide
this, and if other expedients fail, they propose to levy a tax on
the whole kingdom, which they expect to raise easily and quickly,
in the hope of obtaining 6 million ducats and they are now
devising how it shall be portioned out, without exciting murmurs.
They are prosecuting with great energy the enquiry into His
Majesty's intrigues against the liberty of the country. Colonel
Goring has been examined afresh, and since his last depositions
orders have been sent to the seaports not to allow anyone to leave
the kingdom. Letters going and coming from Flanders, France
and Holland are seized and brought to parliament. Many have
been opened, but they still show the usual and proper respect for
mine. I am writing this today, but I am not sure of sending it,
though I will do my best to get it across the sea.
Several of the leading gentlemen implicated in these transactions
have been threatened with the extreme penalty. Among
the most prominent are the Earl of Bristol and his son, persons
of high rank and the former with an extensive experience of
affairs. Their Majesties deeply resent the steps being taken,
the queen in particular, and amid the increasing danger she
impatiently sighs for the arrival of the French ambassador, who
has reached Dover and is expected here to-morrow. When
welcoming him I will see that the dignity of your Excellencies is
maintained with respect to the pretensions of the Portuguese
With the approval of parliament the king has appointed the
Marquis of Hertford tutor to the prince. He is of the blood
royal and having been opposed to the principles of the late
government he enjoys universal popularity. The Earl of Newcastle
who previously had this charge, being implicated in these
intrigues against the parliament, has resigned and withdrawn to
the country, in order to escape if he can the evils which menace
London, the 5th July, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
217. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
To satisfy the complaints laid before parliament by the merchants
of the Levant Company about the loss inflicted upon them
by the Barbary pirates, the Lower Chamber has decided to grant
them permission to pursue those pirates everywhere and to go
and blockade the Barbary coasts, and plunder all the ships which
try to trade there. The decision has given entire satisfaction
to the interested parties and now they are engaged in fitting out
twenty well armed ships for the undertaking from which they
are confident of drawing considerable profit both from the booty
and from security of trade. The expedient is considered most
beneficial if it does not suggest to the Porte some fresh action
prejudicial to Christendom and if it is conducted with discretion
and sincerity. But those with most experience fear that the
English captains, ruled by interest alone, may attack the ships
even of friendly powers, as they have done in the past, under the
pretence that they are going to Barbary and are carrying the
goods of pirates. Many unfortunate incidents may thus occur,
which lead the Upper House to reflect upon the matter, and I
consider them worthy of the attention of the Senate.
No further move has been made as yet in the matter of the
currants, although parliament has appointed commissioners to
discuss the merits of the demand. But I do not think it will be
granted for the reasons given, and for this one in particular,
that in addition to the 72,000 ducats which the crown derives
from their importation, many leading lords of the Court derive
considerable profits, some portions of the duty being assigned to
them, and as these are in parliament they cannot agree to the
prohibition in their own interest. I shall be on the watch to
prevent mischief if I can. I know that it is of little or no use to
speak to the king, unless present conditions change. To do so
publicly in parliament is not the custom for ambassadors. It
would not be seemly and would offend His Majesty. Moreover
they might claim to hear the other side and thus constitute
themselves judges in a matter which depends absolutely on the
decision of your Excellencies. But I will not relax my efforts,
while awaiting definite instructions.
Meanwhile I have had occasion to meet the Earl of Arundel
and Lord Fielding, both parliamentarians of influence, the former
interested in the business from drawing 20,000 crowns from the
duty. The talk turning on the merchants' petition, I spoke at
length, as for myself, of the friendly feeling of your Excellencies
for this nation and especially for those who trade in your states,
and quietly threw discredit on the assertions in the paper. Lord
Fielding, who is acquainted with the matter, agreed entirely with
what I said, and declared that the losses of the traders at Zante
proceed solely from the unscrupulousness of their correspondents
in conjunction with some of your subjects, who damaged the
public revenues of the islands and the interests of the merchants,
their masters, alike. He said he would give correct information
in the Upper House and oppose the petition. The Earl of
Arundel likewise disapproved of the step taken by the merchants,
and both assured me that if the question comes before the Upper
House they will oppose it. I took the opportunity to point out
the harm done some years ago to the revenues of the crown and
his own also by the decree made at the instance of these merchants
that the Company only should be allowed to import and sell
currants in this kingdom, when in the past anyone could bring
them, with great advantage to the people and benefit to the royal
revenues. They agreed and said that if the Venetian merchants
petitioned parliament to be allowed to send them they did not
think there would be any difficulty about granting it, provided
they bound themselves to lade the currants on English ships.
This would bring great profit to your Excellencies' subjects. If
our merchants see fit to follow up this advantage, which they
formerly enjoyed, they will cast discredit on the paper presented
by the Company, while by offering to send the fruit they will
show parliament the insidious pretexts of these merchants. I
have just learned that the demands of the Venetians are certain
of the support of the Grocers' Company, which sells currants in
retail, in the hope that they will be able to purchase to advantage
if the business is in the hands of several.
I report these particulars as they may serve for the improvement
of the public revenues and for the interests of Venetian subjects.
London, the 5th July, 1641.
218. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Although they keep the ports closed I learn that the Spanish
ambassador has obtained leave to send a courier to Flanders.
I seized the opportunity to send the foregoing and to report the
further proceedings of the Lower Chamber. Pursuing steadfastly
their design to uproot entirely the Catholic religion in this
kingdom and to make the government entirely democratic they
have decided that : All English Catholic lords and ladies who
serve their Majesties shall be dismissed the Court ; the queen's
confessor changed ; the Capuchins sent back to Flanders, and
Her Majesty's public chapel destroyed. Catholic lords, who by
privilege are not subject to the rigour of the laws, are forbidden
to live in this city and the king may not grant them permission
without the consent of parliament. If anyone ventures to come
here in the capacity of minister of the pope, he shall be punished
as a traitor. His Majesty is to put off his journey to Scotland.
Parliament is to appoint guards for the queen and princes, eight
members, four of each House to observe closely all Her Majesty's
actions, to prevent suspect persons approaching her and to take
care that her children are instilled with principles in conformity
with public liberty. In the room of the Catholics expelled from
the palace parliament has substituted persons agreeable to itself.
All the mistrusted councillors of the king are to be removed from
their appointments and forbidden to enter the Court. The
captains of ships chosen by His Majesty are to be removed. A
definite number of members are to be selected from both Houses
to take part in the government of the country when parliament
is not sitting, and that body will no longer be dissolved but will
be permanent. Finally that the Lieutenants of Counties favourable
to the king will be changed and all shall be bound to keep
the troops of the trained bands ready for all emergencies and take
oath to this republic. The very word is used in the bill, which
contains other particulars, all of which strike the royal prerogatives
to the quick and even oblige their royal persons not to move
without the consent of his subjects.
The Lower House sent up this bill to the Upper yesterday, to
be passed, but owing to its importance they have taken time to
consider it and reply. This morning the bill has been brought
forward as a proposal with no special indication that they mean
to accept it. His Majesty patiently listened to it all and reserved
his remarks for another time.
The queen displays the deepest affliction at these audacious
moves foreseeing that unless there is some change in the king's
favour, he will soon lose his liberty as well as his crown. The queen
mother has received an intimation that she must leave the
kingdom within eight days. She does not know where to go as
no answer has yet arrived to her request to Holland for passports
or to the second request to the Cardinal Infant, so she is in great
Following upon all this the Lower Chamber, incensed that Count
Rossetti, the pope's minister to the queen, has not yet left the
Court as promised, and is even engaged in propagating the
Catholic Faith, decided two days ago to take severe steps against
him, and to insult in his person the Roman Religion, his master
and the queen. Accordingly he was summoned yesterday to
parliament. Alarmed at the prospect of serious injury he immediately
had recourse to this House, begging me for advice
and protection. In consideration of the unhappy state of the
time, while reminding him of what I considered most suitable, I
have acted with reserve in his interest, first making sure that my
offices would be respected, and I have so far succeeded as to save
him from hurt, to the entire satisfaction of the king and queen
and of the Catholics, and even of the parliamentarians most ill
disposed to this cause. Without the shame of appearing in
parliament he will be able, to please me, to leave this city honourably
on Monday and will be taken across to Dunkirk in a royal
ship. (fn. 2) I hope that my action will meet with your approval.
It shows the esteem in which your Excellencies are held and the
zeal of your ministers.
London, the 6th July, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
219. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
A person sent by the King of England is trying to obtain a
passport from their High Mightinesses for the queen mother to
cross and have asylum in this country for a while. They do not
incline to this here and the States are doing everything to prevent
it, but the prince, who is under obligations to the queen and
interested in satisfying the king of England, because of his son,
represents the affront to the Most Christian if they refuse to
receive her, and thus open the way to Sedan, where she would have
to retire if the States will not have her.
The Hague, the 8th July, 1641.
220. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
M. de la Fertembo, the French Ambassador, made his public
entry into this city on Saturday in last week. His arrival brings
unspeakable consolation to their Majesties, in the hope, possibly
ill founded, that his presence may slacken the violent career of
parliament. That same evening he saw the queen privately,
and on the following day had his public audience with the usual
ceremony, which did not go beyond the mere formalities. That
over he was again introduced to the queen's apartments, where
they conferred in secret for quite four hours on end, the king being
present. He afterwards sent his gentleman to the French
Court, without the particulars of such a hurried despatch becoming
known but with the more definite information of the present
state of affairs and with the queen's earnest solicitation, it is
believed to be something for her relief. Parliament is not without
its own suspicions of these secret negotiations and everyone is
watching with interest to see if the ambassador will take up the
cause of this house with vigour and what the result of his offices
will be. I shall be careful to keep you informed of matters of so
much consequence. Meanwhile this minister in his capacity as
ambassador, has seen the queen mother, affording her the most
public testimony of the affection of the Most Christian and the
especial regard of Cardinal Richelieu as well. It is reported that
this is in order to divert her from conspiring with the confederate
princes at Sedan. Meanwhile parliament has been informed of
the reason for her continued stay at this Court, and she does not
think of moving until the replies come which are impatiently
awaited from Flanders and Holland.
The Ambassador Roe writes from Frankfort of his progress
towards Ratisbon. He informs the king that he was robbed on
the way by soldiers. He has seen the Elector of Cologne and
other Princes of Germany and gathers from these conferences
that the Duke of Bavaria will not object to the restoration of that
part of the Lower Palatinate which he now holds, if this crown
responds by paying him some money which he claims ; if the
Palatine entirely renounces his claim to the electoral vote and to
the Upper Palatinate. That the Spaniards will agree to the
restoration of the rest on condition that the most important
fortresses shall remain in their hands as security for the passage of
their troops, and if England will help the Catholic in the recovery
of Portugal. Such proposals will not be accepted here, being
incompatible with their feelings and powers alike, so that if the
ambassador does not meet with better proposals at the Diet the
hopes of the Palatine House will be buried deeper than ever.
Your Excellencies will probably have more solid information
from the spot.
There has been little new this week in parliament. The time
has been spent in long conferences between the two Houses upon
the last bill. The Lower urges its acceptance on the Lords,
though this has not yet been given, nor has the king confirmed
it. The Commons have taken a novel step in having the bill
printed, in order to enlist the approval of the people. This
innovation causes just concern to the Upper House, but no one
has the courage to resist the violence of the Lower, so that everything
turns out well for them, with serious prejudice to the prerogatives
of the Lords. The imposition of the tax has been
published, partitioned out as shown by the attached sheet. If
the exaction does not excite a universal outcry it is expected
confidently to realise six million ducats and more.
In consequence of the representations reported the king has
postponed his journey to Scotland until August, and has sent
the news by courier to Edinburgh, so that the meeting of parliament
there may be put off. But it is the general opinion that
the English will not permit His Majesty to go there, suspecting
that the Scots, after receiving full satisfaction, may unite their
interests once more with those of His Majesty, and that his presence
will further dispose them to assist him to regain his original
authority in England. Many important considerations would
combine towards such a decision, and this in particular, that
while the king remains subject to parliament and under the duress
of the new laws, he cannot dispose of appointments or reward
his subjects in any way, so that the Scots will lose the advantage
of the numerous offices which they enjoy here, and all hope of
further profit, such as was liberally dispensed to them by this
king in the past and by his father also. The most prudent men
are alive to these considerations, and if they are skilfully manipulated
in such a way as to set in motion fresh changes advantageous
to his Majesty it is easy to see that great consequences may
Cottington, a minister of great credit and one of those most
in His Majesty's confidence has been attacked in parliament
because when the Provinces of Flanders subject to Spain, through
the mouth of the Count of Ariscot, the Count of Egmont and
others, offered in 1633 to place themselves under this crown, he
not only dissuaded the king from accepting the proposal but
revealed the transaction to the Spanish ministers. In an admirable
defence, he has proved his innocence, but the hate occasioned
by His Majesty's open regard weakens his arguments and makes
his ruin the more certain.
London, the 12th July, 1641.
221. Copy of an order made in the Treasury on Friday the
18th June, in which everyone is taxed according to his state for
the use of the king. (fn. 3)
222. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
The envoy sent by the King of England to obtain a passport
from the States for the queen mother to pass through this country,
returned here yesterday from the army. He brings recommendations
and favours from the prince, and tomorrow he will lay his
requests before the Assembly. The interests of the House of
Orange and the obligations which the prince professes to the
queen, together with the question of Sedan, combine to persuade
the States to answer favourably.
The Hague, the 15th July, 1641.
223. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament has this week carried three decisions of much
importance to the government of these states. Although they
are most disadvantageous to the king's interests and authority,
he has approved them, with the usual object of doing what his
subjects wish and to remove pretexts for fresh disturbances.
The first is the abolition of the Star Chamber, a Council introduced
by decree of past parliaments, composed of several ministers
chosen by the king with authority to determine arbitrarily the
most important civil and criminal causes, from which the king
and his predecessors have raised, by means of fines, 250,000
crowns a year, and the advantage of keeping in check the ambition
of subjects of the highest rank. Secondly they have removed
the High Commission, a magistracy of bishops and other ecclesiastics,
who on the model of the Inquisition of Spain, have had the
chief direction of the Church here and of all matters connected
therewith, especially to prevent the introduction of new sects,
with which this kingdom is very fruitful. It will be more so in the
future, as without this tribunal the way to licence will stand wide
open and to those pernicious consequences which usually follow
in states where the exercise of religion is left to the ignorant
comprehension of the common people. Thirdly the Council of
State has been deprived of all authority and the councillors
strictly limited to the discharge of their offices. This now amounts
to no more than suggesting to His Majesty the best means of conducting
himself towards foreign princes, and for the carrying
out of the old and new laws of the realm. Of late, on the other
hand, they have freely dealt with the most weighty affairs of
state, which, with the help of envy, made them appear like petty
princes rather than private ministers. Many show themselves
deeply affected by the diminution of these advantages, but since
there is no remedy they must patiently accommodate themselves
to the times, which are so entirely contrary to their interests.
On Tuesday His Majesty went to parliament to give his assent
to these laws. After having complied with the wishes of his
people in this, he suggested in an appropriate but humble speech
to the members that as he had done all they asked he might have
some sign of return from his subjects. He said : that among the
most pressing affairs that which concerned him most was the
restoration of the Palatines to their dominions, as he loved those
princes as his sons. He represented the deplorable state of that
house, and the slight hope of getting any justice from the Austrians
through the embassy sent. He asked them earnestly to give
vigorous assistance to this cause, pointing out that from blood
relationship and for the sake of honour they must not be abandoned
by England. He asserted finally that the King of Denmark
will contribute the most solid help for the relief of those princes.
The king had a favourable hearing and they subsequently
appointed commissioners to examine how best to promote the
interests of that house. I find, however, that the general feeling
is not in favour of incurring additional responsibilities before
the repose of this kingdom is placed upon solid foundations, so
that the utmost the Palatine can hope at present will be the
publication of a manifesto in the form written, that if the House
of Austria delays any longer to give up the Palatinate, England
will employ all her forces to restore that house to the possession
of its dominions. This threat, unaccompanied by more vigorous
action will make no impression on their hard hearts. The
French ambassador brings instructions to stir them to generous
decisions, and to promise the cooperation of his country but this
certainly will not suffice to thaw the coolness of the parliamentarians.
Parliament has granted the king 10,000l. to make a present to
the queen mother on her departure. She is impatiently sighing
for the return of the gentleman sent to Holland, with the passports
asked for. She will then go to Cologne to live in absolute quiet,
unless other circumstances cause her to change her mind.
The queen announces herself as quite determined to cross the
sea with her mother, under the pretext of going to Spa to drink
the waters. The king has informed the Council of this decision,
stating that she will take the opportunity to hand over her
daughter, the bride of the young prince of Orange. But it is not
thought that parliament will permit this journey, from fear that
the queen, justly incensed at what has happened, may be cherishing
designs prejudicial to the liberty of this state.
It seems that the original suspicions of France are dying away.
So far the French ambassador has not interested himself in civil
affairs here. He lets it be understood, nevertheless, that he will
support to the utmost the interests of the queen. He may do
so with prudence and tact, which would certainly be best adapted
to the circumstances. He has obtained permission to raise fresh
levies of this nation, and is now busily engaged in issuing the
patents and money to colonels, so that these levies may be
filled up as soon as possible, as large credits reached him last week
from the Most Christian Court.
Three Scottish commissioners, in addition to the two (oltre li
doi), have proceeded to that country, to inform the government,
it is said, of their negotiations and to ask for their approval.
Parliament here, on the other hand, is still suspicious of some
secret intentions in that quarter, and the insistence for the king
to go to Edinburgh in the middle of next month, serves to increase
this feeling greatly.
Meanwhile General the Earl of Holland has been sent to the
army at York with money and instructions to employ every effort
to secure the disbanding of the five regiments, who are most
suspect, and to induce the Scots to disband an equal number, or
else to leave their quarters at Newcastle and withdraw thirty
miles towards the Scottish border. They are awaiting the event
with anxiety as from it they will be able to judge what hope there
is of quiet or what fear of future disturbances in this kingdom.
Harassed by constant persecutions the Catholics have taken
the course of petitioning parliament, imploring clemency and the
relaxation of the severity of the laws against the true religion.
The Upper House received it with apparent favour and if it does
not encounter difficulties in the Lower, as is feared, the Catholics
will begin to hope for some improvement in their miserable state.
The Spanish ambassador, on the occasion of a visit, asked me
with great curiosity when I was going to the Imperial Court. I
told him my past hesitation was due to the severity of the weather
and the illness of my sons, one of whom had died ; and I could not
think of starting now because my wife was near her delivery.
He admitted the force of this, and assured me of the cordial
relations that I should have with all the ministers of His Catholic
Majesty at that Court.
London, the 19th July, 1641.
224. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received this week your letters of the 28th ult. full
of the serious events at that Court. The affair of the merchants
demands mature consideration. Their phraseology and their
objects are disclosed and show that they aim exclusively at their
own gain. You will express yourself freely on the subject and
with great prudence. The proper course will be to discredit
these pernicious notions if you see that they mean to persist in
them, trying to remove the bad impressions created and to stop
their frivolous suggestions. If you think it advisable you will
intimate that it is the intention of the republic that English
merchants shall be well treated in this city, in the islands of
Zante and Cephalonia and in every part of our dominions, that
they shall not be subject to extortion and that they shall always
receive impartial justice. The orders of the republic are directed
absolutely to this principal object.
With regard to the imposition of duties and charges, that is an
attribute of sovereignity of every prince in his own state. All
kings and princes do it without any subject having the right to
object. The decision of such things is general for the most part
and to the advantage of the prince who imposes it, who cannot
make any alteration without suffering prejudice himself.
The duties and charges of which they complain were imposed
a great many years ago, and the English themselves have voluntarily
submitted to them. They have been satisfied since they
have confined the trade in currants to themselves alone, which
they have carried away to England. On the other hand they
made it difficult for our ships to do the same, and share with them
the transport of currants to those ports, although the late King
James made a decree to the contrary. Thus when the trade
began the currants were brought from the islands of the Levant
to this city and English ships came here to lade them and carry
them away beyond the Strait to England and other parts. Afterwards
for the greater convenience and advantage of the English
merchants, who voluntarily submitted to the charges, the concession
was made to them, in consideration of these payments,
that they might lade directly in the islands.
Such are the facts of the case. While there is no reason why
we should alter our decrees in this matter, on the other hand they
may rest assured that they will meet with the most friendly
reception in every possible way that is just and right. You
will try to sap the credit of these men by propagation of this kind,
and also endeavour to remove bad impressions.
With respect to the consul or chief of the English merchants
and the complaint that he has been expelled from our state, he
brought this treatment on himself by his own acts, and by his
method of trading, which was prejudicial to the interests of our
republic. (fn. 4) The decision in this matter was approved by the
English merchants themselves, who knew the facts. You must
keep a watch on the movements of the merchants and also try
to discover from what other source they might be able to provide
themselves with currants there, and anything further which it
may be useful for us to know. We will also write to our representatives
at Zante and Cephalonia directing them to avoid all
occasions for complaint, and to see that the English merchants
are favoured and well treated. We have done this frequently,
as you can bear witness.
Ayes, 102. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
225. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the
Doge and Senate.
The ambassadors of England and the Palatine do not seem to
have opened negotiations yet, as both of them wish to await the
arrival of the Danish minister, who is said to have left Hamburg
to take up his duties. Everyone is curious to see what these
ambassadors will effect for the service of that prince, since it is
believed that the Duke of Bavaria recently promised to give all
the help in his power for the recovery of Alsace, and to cooperate
with all his forces to expel the Swedes, so as to keep the Palatinate
and the Electoral vote for his posterity.
Vienna, the 20th July, 1641.
226. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
The envoy sent by the King of England was recently despatched
by the Assembly to complete arrangements for passports for
the queen mother. His mission will not prove agreeable, because
although it includes a courteous invitation to the queen to come
and settle for some time in the state, it involves the exclusion of
the three inseparables from that princess, Monsigot, Conius and
Fabroni. Their High Mightinesses indeed promise to receive
them, but do not bind themselves to refuse should the Most
Christian demand their arrest.
They answered in general terms the overtures made by the
King of England for some assistance for the Palatine, expressing
the utmost good will. The government does not display the
slightest inclination for that affair, and the prince, disgusted at the
ill offices it has rendered him on the occasion of the marriage of
his own son, also shows very little inclination for the interests
of that House.
The Hague, the 22nd July, 1641.
227. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose the Senate's letter of the 20th inst. directed to you.
We have now received your letters of the 5th and 6th inst. and
note with approval what you said to the Earl of Arundel and Lord
Fildin. You will take opportunity to keep these noblemen well
disposed to serve us. We enclose a copy of the instructions
sent to the Rectors of Zante and Cephalonia in favour of the
English merchants. With respect to the arming against pirates
we shall wait to see what happens. We cannot but feel extremely
gratified about what has occurred with Count Roseti, in rescuing
him out of imminent peril, since this is what is required of the
zeal and piety of the republic for the service of the Roman
Catholic faith. From what you write matters are in such a
state that circumspection in action and in the formal offices must
be the true method. Your prudence will shine the brighter
in the incidents that may occur. You must be particularly
careful that nothing happens that can commit us in any way,
more especially in the relations of that crown.
Ayes, 125. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
228. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After great exertions the Prince Palatine has at last succeeded
in pledging parliament to favour his interests, by a written
declaration. This was published two days ago, and I enclose a
copy. To add to its effect His Majesty will have it approved
by the Scots also. Meanwhile he has expressed his thanks to
the parliamentarians for their readiness to help his nephews. It
is not believed, however, that this manifesto will suffice to induce
the Austrians to give way, as they well know that the present
state of England and the universal disinclination to undertake
new burdens will prevent any results corresponding to the outspoken
protestations of this paper. Consequently it will give
little or no help to the Ambassador Roe in his negotiations at
the Imperial Court, which is the sole object of this weaponless
threat, of the empty artifice of which every one speaks with
disparagement. What causes more apprehension to the Spanish
ambassador is the fear that it may serve as a pretext to the
parliament to withdraw the licence granted for the levies from
Ireland, which are slowly proceeding, although he is hurrying the
completion with large payments to the officers.
The decision still holds that the king will go to Scotland in the
middle of next month, at which time the sessions of the parliament
there will be resumed. With His Majesty's presence the satisfaction
of the people there will be complete. Parliament here
is still uneasy on this account and it seems that all His Majesty's
hopes of changing his fortunes are centered on this journey.
It is not easy to judge whether he will succeed, as the Scots are
proceeding very cautiously and betray no indication of the secret
intentions which they cherish in their hearts.
The Palatine will follow the Court to promote his own interests
by his presence among the people there, and His Majesty will be
glad to take him with him, possibly in order to relieve his mind
of the suspicions which the presence of a prince so near to the
succession quite naturally excite.
The queen is also busy preparing for her journey to Holland.
Her baggage will start on Monday, and she says that she herself
will go the week after. She says that she will take the princess
with her to hand her over to her husband, and she tries to make
it believed that she is moved to seek change of air for the sake of
her health. But the real object is to withdraw from this kingdom
until circumstances have changed so that she can return to her
former greatness and to the service of more acceptable servants.
This is the most important point, and perhaps if it is not obtained
she may decide not to visit these shores again, but to end her days
quietly in Holland. She will take a valuable quantity of jewels
and plate, with the idea of selling them and investing the proceeds
to procure a revenue sufficient to support her household. But few
believe that parliament will allow this desperate plan to be carried
out, and everyone is curious to see the result. Her Majesty
informed me of her decision, telling me in confidence that she
does not wish to be here while the king is in Scotland, to escape
the indiscreet passions of the parliamentarians and the danger of
unpleasant incidents to her royal person. She said she was
prepared to obey the king, but not 400 of his subjects, as this
did not befit her spirit or her birth. She had offered the parliamentarians
to go to Dombi for the time, a pleasure house of the
crown, but they had only agreed on the hardest terms, namely
to appoint guards for her and servants of their own colour whom
she did not trust. Having been warned by the French ambassador
to dissuade her if she broached the matter to me, I answered
politely that I had such confidence in Her Majesty's prudence
that I was sure she would do what was best for herself and the
king, and would follow the wise advice of the French ambassador,
who was necessarily deeply interested in her fortunes. The queen
seemed pleased and said she would do so, but she meant to go in
any case. The French ambassador has thanked me warmly for
what I said, and asked me to do so again if necessary, but I shall
go cautiously in the matter and shall say nothing unless provoked,
as I imagine that to be the wish of the Senate.
General the Earl of Holland has sent the Earl of Newport to
the parliament from York. He reports that he has disbanded
two English regiments without opposition, and has no doubt about
the rest although they seem disposed not to separate except with
the entire approval of His Majesty, and are even quite willing to
serve without pay. He says that the Scots seem perfectly
willing to leave England when the articles of the treaty have been
fulfilled, but they will not consent to reduce their forces or to
withdraw further back as they wish here, and so he decided to
arrange with them for a fresh extension of the truce for a fortnight.
The Ambassador Earl of Leicester returned to France last week
to take leave of the Most Christian. To replace him the king
has chosen the eldest son of the Earl of Bristol, a man who
combines high birth with remarkable prudence and unequalled
ability. But he has made himself unpopular in the Lower
Chamber by a speech of great eloquence in favour of His Majesty.
In revenge the Lower Chamber has declared him incapable of that
embassy or of any other charge that may be granted to him. It
has prohibited his speeches, which have just been published and
ordered that they shall be publicly burned by the common
hangman. The king, and the Upper House too, resent this
unjust decree, which offends the rights of the public, and one is
waiting to see what steps they will take upon a matter of so much
The departure of the queen mother is still subject to uncertainty.
The United Provinces have warned Fabroni to do all in
his power to prevent her coming, telling him frankly that neither
he nor any other minister of Her Majesty would be safe if France
demanded them, so that in their own interest they are bound to
try some other way for their mistress. The French ambassador
has offered her in the name of his king a yearly assignment of
100,000 crowns, payable where she pleases, on condition that she
dismisses the ministers distasteful to the king her son. She will
not listen to this proposal and is determined to stand by her
most favoured servants at no matter what inconvenience.
Parliament has passed a law to permit anyone to bring crystal
glass to this country in future. The directors of the Levant
Company, since my conversation with the Earl of Arundel and
Lord Fielding, being warned by them of the unsuitability of their
demands about forbidding the importation of currants, have now
abandoned them and are even afraid that I in the interests of
your Serenity, may try and get permission for all to bring them,
without distinction, which would be a considerable public benefit.
Thus if it was considered desirable that the Venetian merchants
should join with those of the Grocers Company here to petition
parliament, and the demand was supported by your minister,
it would have a most favourable reception.
London, the 26th July, 1641.
229. Manifesto of His Majesty upon the cause of the
Palatine. (fn. 5)
[Italian, translated from the English, 12 pages.]
230. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the
Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador has had his first complimentary
audience and the Sieur di Velevelt, the Danish ambassador is
expected to have his shortly, so negotiations about the Palatine
should begin very soon. The Danish minister is to act as mediator
and the chief hopes are centered in him. They say he has orders
not to remain more than two months and if nothing for the
benefit of the Palatine is settled in that time he is to return at
once and to protest that the strength of England will be employed
to restore that prince whatever happens. The Duke of Lorraine
told me yesterday that the emperor, the Spaniards and Bavaria
had already agreed to give up the Lower Palatinate and the
electoral vote after the extinction of the direct line of Bavaria,
that Duke keeping the Upper Palatinate. The duke said he
thought the Ambassador Roe would agree to this although at
first he seemed to object, especially as he knows with the present
conflagrations in England that country is in no condition to make
any considerable move in the service of the Palatine.
Vienna, the 27th July, 1641.
231. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and
said in substance :
A paper recently came into my hands drawn up by the English
merchants trading at Zante and Cephalonia, complaining of the
rigour shown in exacting the payment of the duties for taking
away currants, declaring that if this continues it will be more
advantageous for them if parliament, to whom they should have
recourse, forbad the trade in currants entirely. I examined the
paper carefully and wrote my opinion to the ambassador, my
master, pointing out how unpleasant the proceeding suggested
by the merchants, and how unworthy, if they acted thus towards
a friendly prince the ally of our king, when the interests of the
nation and of the interested merchants themselves would be
better served by proceeding in a gentle and suave manner, and
urged him to consider the matter and prevent the Upper House
taking up these improper representations of the merchants.
The ambassador has replied approving my views, and that he
will make every effort to prevent the representations of the
merchants being taken up, promising to continue his best
offices, so that it may be dealt with by the ambassador himself
after his return here or by me if I have instructions in the matter,
for the maintenance of the good relations between his Majesty
and the republic.
The doge replied : We also have heard of the good and prudent
offices performed by the Ambassador Fildin, and appreciate his
friendliness to our republic, and we look for a continuation of the
same offices for the common good. The state also is gratified
by the good offices performed by you in the present affair. With
this the secretary made his bow and retired.
232. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
Hoping to find advantage in absence from England the queen
of that country circulates a report about her coming to Utrecht.
It was said that, under the pretext of treating her ailments with
the waters of Spa, she meant to seek quiet in this state, and seek
shelter for herself and her daughter from the tempest of the
The Hague, the 29th July, 1641.