242. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Even after just satisfaction had been accorded to me, as I
wrote, touching the imprisonment of my chaplain, the Secretary
of State has done his utmost to prevent this from being carried
into effect, and to deprive me of the striking honour that was
granted. However, neither his Majesty nor the parliament would
listen to his passionate pleadings and two days ago they gave
me the public audience, the Earl of Warwick fetching me from
the house, with the royal coaches, accompanied by those of the
ministers of the Court and of all the ambassadors. With an
expression of great satisfaction the king expressed to me his
concern at what had happened. He had no share in it. He
hoped I would excuse the incident and that he had not been able
sooner to give me such satisfaction as he impatiently desired to
afford. He poured out a stream of phrases expressing his esteem
for the infinite merit of your Excellencies and of regard for me
personally. He informed me later of his approaching departure
for Scotland. In reply I expressed the most complete gratification
and assured him of the most cordial regard of the Senate.
To day the queen also chose to express her ever growing regard
for your Excellencies by further demonstrations in a public
audience. And so I have terminated this affair amid all the most
honourable signs of mutual satisfaction. The result has proved
so advantageous for upholding the dignity of this office that I
do not regret the incident, which has enabled me to demonstrate
the regard of the whole parliament as well as of his Majesty in
the presence of so many foreign ministers.
Although I am informed on very good authority that his
Majesty is very dissatisfied with the Secretary of State for his
violent procedure in everything and has decided to remove him
from his office, yet I have considered it a wise course to dissimulate
this entirely. To-day I have seized the opportunity of his journey
to Scotland to call upon him, and demonstrations of the utmost
cordiality passed between us. I report this in order to assure your
Excellencies that I will not lightly commit you under any circumstances.
I have fortunately been able to succeed in this
during the long years of my pilgrimage, upholding the dignity
of my prince in the greatest Courts of Europe.
Two days ago the pursuivants of the priests arrested two
English chaplains of the Portuguese ambassador not far from
their dwelling. The ambassador's household and that of the
French ambassador, quickly got news of this, and rescued them
from their hands before they had been taken to prison, amid
The Scottish commissioner, the Earl of Lodon, arrived in this
city on Monday. He brought the ratification of the articles
agreed upon with the parliament here, and subsequently made a
long disquisition upon the perfect disposition of that people for
a good understanding with this crown.
As regards the withdrawal of their troops from England, which
is the most delicate point and the one which the parliament is
most concerned about, he stated that four days after the sums
which have been promised them have been paid in full the Scots
will notify the precise date of their departure, but before this they
will not give any positive assurances about the time.
Parliament is much perturbed at such uncandid behaviour,
and is making serious efforts to plumb the depths of the more
secret objects of these arms, and to do everything in their power
to prevent the king from taking that journey, propounding
numerous difficulties and preferring many requests, not easy to
be granted. Among the most remarkable it asks him to appoint
a Viceroy with full powers, during his absence, to assent to all
the laws which are passed by parliament. His Majesty does
not seem disposed to grant this request, which is considered
a weighty matter because of the important consequences involved,
to which due weight is attached. His Majesty does not seem
disposed to accept it either, while no representations have sufficed
to dissuade him from his first intention of going to that kingdom.
His start is fixed for Monday.
The real intentions for his Majesty are kept wrapped in secrecy,
and even more doubtful are the results of this step, on which
may depend the reestablishment of the royal authority, or the
more solid confirmation of that of the parliament. No one would
venture to form a definite opinion on the subject ; time alone
A certain amount of money was sent to the Scottish army this
week and they never relax in their diligent efforts to provide the
remainder, for the purpose of discovering the ultimate intentions
of the enemy.
Both orally and in writing the Spanish ambassador here has
again made the strongest representations to the king for the grant
of the Irish levies, or at least that the 150,000 crowns disbursed
by him to the officers and soldiers may be returned. He only
received from his Majesty an answer in general terms, about his
perfect friendliness towards the Catholic king, but that he could
not decide anything before hearing the opinion of parliament.
As they do not seem disposed to give this minister a favourable
hearing, it will not be easy for him to recover his money, not to
speak of the loss of reputation for allowing himself to be deceived
by this people, whose real idol is money, and the only one.
Since the return from Holland of M. di More a courier has
reached the Dutch Ambassador Joachimi here charging him to
inform the king and the queen mother that their High Mightinesses
have found out about the promises privately sent to her
Majesty by the Prince of Orange about the safe passage of her
three ministers, for whom a consideration of their existing
relations with France does not permit them to grant a safe
conduct, and they think it necessary to inform their Majesties
frankly, that these promises of the Prince will not avail to prevent
the carrying out of the decisions formulated by those Provinces
or from satisfying the demands of the Most Christian king in
This intimation has made no small impression upon their
Majesties. Not only has the queen mother postponed her
departure for some days but it has stirred the tongues of the more
speculative to promiscuous talk about the degree of confidence
existing between the Dutch and the Prince of Orange.
This is all that I have to relate this week of events worthy the
notice of the state. I will pass on to thank your Excellencies for
the liberality with which you have appointed me to a new and
distinguished office. I feel unable to express adequately my
gratitude for this munificence.
London, the 16th August, 1641.
243. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
The English resident has presented a memorial in the name of
his king, requesting the government here to permit the queen
mother to pass privately through this state with her Court.
Their High Mightinesses made a most effusive reply, so they
expect the queen at any moment. It is arranged that she shall
proceed with all speed to Gorcum without seeing the Hague, and
continue her journey by the Meuse to Cologne, where the emperor
has directed the magistrates to receive her with all the honour
becoming her rank.
The Hague, the 19th August, 1641.
244. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament has made the most strenuous efforts to prevent
the king from taking the journey to Scotland, but all in vain, as
your Excellencies shall hear in the succession of events which I
will report in detail, as I think it necessary to give the fullest
particulars about the difficult situation in which this poor prince
now finds himself, in which it is necessary for him either to recover
his former extensive authority or to sink completely under the domination
of his subjects, with some danger, if he does not succeed in the
first, of even more pernicious consequences.
On Saturday in last week, the king went to parliament and
after a full expression of his perfect intentions towards his people
he confirmed as unchangeable his decision to set out on Monday
for Scotland, in conformity with the promise given to the people
of that country with the consent of parliament here. The
members of parliament heard this decision with much fear and
perturbation, and subsequently they spent that night and the
day following in unbroken and perilous discussions as to the best
means of preventing this journey.
The Lower Chamber, which is composed of persons of little
experience in government, made many violent proposals to the
Upper. To obtain their intent they suggested a demonstration to
parliament by 20,000 working men, who should boldly protest by
their shouts that the king must not go. Or they should give him
guards to secure his person, while some even went so far as to suggest
depricing him of the crown and giving it to the prince or the Palatine,
or else to set up a democratic government. But the Upper Chamber,
with more prudence, boldly rejected these inequitable suggestions,
so little in accord with their own interests.
Accordingly it was finally decided with the approval of both
Chambers, that parliament in a mass should go to the king and
beseech him to postpone his journey for a fortnight, so that by
the payment of the sums stipulated with the Scots there should
be an opportunity of rendering it obligatory on those forces to
retire to their own country. In addition to this it was decided to
send eight deputies to the Scottish commissioners charged to
induce them to bear with patience this short postponement of his
The king was fully informed about these decisions and the
late debates and secretly sent word of everything to the Scottish
commissioners, begging them to stand fast to their original
demands. While thanking his Majesty for the confidence they
sent back word that they would not allow themselves to be
persuaded, that they would make their loyalty conspicuous and
their determination to sacrifice their lives for the reestablishment
of their prince in his original authority. Thus when parliament
went to the king and the deputies to the commissioners, his
Majesty replied that he could not postpone his journey any
longer, being constrained by important affairs and by a public
promise given to the people there. However, in order to prove
his good will towards the English he was willing to wait one day
longer in order that it might be possible, in that interval, to deal
with those affairs which parliament considered most pressing.
The reply of the commissioners to the deputies was in the same
terms. Having failed to stay the king by these means, the
members of parliament resumed their deliberations for finding
some way of compelling him to do as they wished. They decided
to petition him to come to parliament on the morning of the
following Monday, under the pretence of clearing up some matters
of consequence. When he went he found at the entrance 400 of
the citizens here, assembled by some of the more factious members,
with the design of intimidating him. When the king appeared,
these citizens set up a loud shout begging him not to go. Dissimulating
his feelings at such a liberty, his Majesty told them
that it was highly gratifying to him that his English subjects
desired his presence as much as the Scottish ones did. In this
suave manner he rid himself of these folk and proceeded with
hasty step into the House of Parliament. There they brought
fresh pressure to induce him to remain in this city four days longer,
but he refused definitely and soon left the members without
hope of attaining their end.
With matters in this position, and everyone discussing the
affair according to his personal prejudices, the mayor of this
city appeared in parliament accompanied by the aldermen, that
is to say the leaders of the people, and said that as it seemed
proved that the Scots were aiming at their private advantage,
and under the pretence of defending the public liberty were
cherishing secret designs against it, they recommended the
expedient of stopping on the way the 500,000 ducats sent to the
Scots last week, on account of the sums due to them. The Lower
Chamber adopted this suggestion, but the Upper refused to agree
to it, for fear of exciting the wrath of those forces and affording
them a pretext for pushing further into this country.
Meanwhile while the king was busy about his journey for the
coming day, parliament requested him to appoint one or more
commissioners with full powers to confirm all the acts passed in
his absence and to grant a pardon to the members of parliament
for everything that may be said or done to the prejudice of the
royal authority. The king promised courteously to make the
appointment and to grant the pardon as well, but on condition
of leaving the deputies a limited and specific authority in matters
which he would designate, and the pardon to include not only
the members, but everybody alike, with the aim of including
his fugitive ministers and the queen's servants as well. And so
without delay the king nominated seven deputies and issued a
decree for the pardon, with the limitations indicated ; but as
these did not satisfy the parliamentarians, they refused to recognise
the former or to accept the latter. But the king, encouraged
by the presence of the Scottish commissioners, did not seem to trouble
about their sentiments. As he was unconcernedly proceeding with
the carrying out of his original decision, parliament decided to send
to him a third time, the Earl of Linse, Lord High Chamberlain
of the Realm, and the Earl of Warwick, to persuade him not to
go. But the king, irritated by such pertinacity, told them that
he meant to go, whatever happened and he would give those who
laid hands on his horse's bridle cause to regret it. Accordingly
he took the post coaches on Tuesday at noon, and set out, leaving
the members of parliament much incensed and greatly perturbed.
He took with him the Palatine and some Scottish lords, but would
not allow any English ones to follow him, and this has added
enormously to the suspicion and ill feeling.
The Scottish commissioners have intimated quite frankly that
their country will employ all its strength to restore the king to his
pristine authority ; that on his appearance in Scotland all their
civil differences will cease and that they will all serve their natural
prince together on this momentous occasion. If their actions
correspond with these very tall declarations there can be no doubt
but that the king will recover the former ornaments of his government
and will make himself quite absolute ; but if these fulsome offers
are not realised in fact, those who are most competent foretell the
utter ruin of the royal house. A few days should show what turn
these events will take.
The Irish deputies also, by order of their parliament, have
offered his Majesty 15,000 men, and it is known that they are
ready to embark the moment the order is received. The king
has issued orders to the officers of these troops who are staying
here, to proceed with all speed to their quarters. The event
must show what will ensue.
Meantime parliament is much perturbed and greatly afraid, not the
least those who have made themselves known as disaffected to the
king's service. Under the pretence of following the Court they have
sent individuals in their confidence to observe and report his Majesty's
proceedings as well as those of the Scots, so that they may be able
to take subsequently the course that seems most expedient.
Before the king left he appointed the Earl of Bristol his first
gentleman of the Bedchamber, (fn. 1) and delivered to his son the
patents to proceed in the capacity of ambassador in ordinary to
the Most Christian Court. This is all an affront to the parliament,
to whom these lords are anathema, as I have written before.
His Majesty has granted other favours to some other persons
who have shown themselves well affected towards him and has
promised more on his return.
London, the 23rd August, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
245. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The queen mother left this city yesterday. She will travel by
short stages as far as the Downs, and will then be escorted across
the sea by ten ships of the fleet and will land at Dunkirk, to proceed
to Brussels. When she was about to start she received the
passports she asked from the Cardinal Infant. It is said that
after the death of the Count of Soissons and the accommodation
of the Duke of Buglione with the Most Christian, the Spaniards
make capital of her Majesty's name in order to strengthen the
declining party of malcontents against France, and to forward
their interests in this way. The king has made her a present of
10,000l. sterling and has promised that if she stays at Cologne
he will supply the means for her support. The queen, her daughter,
will accompany her for two days and will then withdraw to
a country house. It is not yet known whether she will remain in
this neighbourhood, or if she will go nearer her husband. Everything
is very uncertain.
After numerous representations the Spanish ambassador here
has at last obtained permission for a levy of 4000 Irish, in lieu of
the 8000 which were granted. Following this example the
French ambassador has obtained the same advantage, and both
are busy arranging for these troops to cross over as soon as
possible, the first to Spain, and the others to Normandy.
Among several fresh appointments to the Council of State his
Majesty has nominated the ambassador recently returned from
Constantinople. (fn. 2) He professes himself a devoted admirer of
your Excellencies, and exalts to the skies the Bailo Contarini, as
deserving well of all Christendom. This praise repeated here
tends to raise the estimation of Sig. Vincenzo, appointed to serve
Fresh disturbances have occurred at the house of the ambassadors
of Portugal, because of the great crowd of Catholics who
frequent their chapel, and because they keep several English
chaplains. However, the king and parliament have taken steps
to ensure that the house shall be better respected in the future,
as is only right.
I have received your Excellencies' letters of the 2nd inst. and
in accordance with my instructions I yesterday again assured
Lord Fildin of the state's appreciation of his continued offices in
the interests of your Serenity and those of the allied princes. He
replied with the utmost modesty. I must not forget to report
that Fildin and the Secretary at Venice are devising some way
of approaching the Senate about a fresh treaty in favour of the
English merchants trading at Zante and Cephalonia. They
express the intention of prevailing by their representations to
bring about an alteration in the ancient laws of the state, more
particularly with respect to relieving Englishmen of the obligation
to appear before the magistrates of Venice in case of litigation.
These ministers hope subsequently to obtain considerable advantage
for themselves from the interested parties, in return for
their offices. I have received notice of these particulars from
a person well affected to your Serenity, and have thought proper
to report it. At the same time I have not failed to notify the
chief of the merchants here who trade to the islands of your
Excellencies, of the new and positive orders sent to the Rectors
there to treat them well and to remove every just occasion for
complaint, more especially about the long detention of their
ships and the compulsion to buy currants of bad quality. They
have expressed entire satisfaction with this, and I do not think
there is any fear now that they will go on with their original
demands. These would not be taken up, and even if they were,
which I consider improbable, the result would be a considerable
falling off in the revenues of this crown and in those of individuals
as well, causing an outcry among the people. I put forward
these considerations to serve their purpose, and I lose no opportunity
of advancing any argument which seems most likely to
prevent from taking a prejudicial decision.
Fildin asked me, when an opportunity occurred, to confirm to
their Majesties the satisfaction of your Excellencies at his employment,
and to ask that means may be supplied to him for proceeding
to Venice without further delay. I promised to do my best ;
but I shall proceed with caution and decorum, avoiding committing
myself to anything acting merely by way of suggestion,
and then only if I find a suitable opening, the object being that
this crown may not postpone any longer its proper correspondence
by sending an ambassador to your Excellencies.
While I am writing this a gentleman has come to this house
from the Secretary of State, who is absent, and handed me the
attached letter from the king for your Serenity, asking me to
forward it. His Majesty also has given me to understand that
the sons of the Earl of Corch (fn. 3) are going to Venice merely out of
curiosity. He asked that I should let them have letters to some
of the Rectors on the frontiers and to some of the noblemen at
Venice so that they might have facilities for observing what is
most curious and remarkable in our country. I promised to
forward the king's letter, presuming that it contains nothing
prejudicial, for I have not been able to see a copy, as I should
have done, owing to the secretary being away. I have also
supplied letters of introduction for these gentlemen to the Rectors
of Brescia, and to Sig. Bortolamio Gradenigo, Girolamo Mocenigo
and Lorenzo Delfino at Venice.
London, the 23rd August, 1641.
246. Charles, King of Great Britain etc. to Francisco Erizzo,
Doge of Venice.
Request to receive Paolo de' Medici as one of the soldiers of
the republic, as an act of friendship to himself.
Dated at Westminster, 30th July, 1641.
[Signed :] Carolus Rex.
247. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
The queen mother has not arrived yet. We hear that she is
staying outside London, in poor health. Their High Mightinesses
have directed that she shall be courteously treated on her passage,
but without ceremonies. They hope in this way to satisfy the
French ambassador, who is trying to remove every excuse that
would enable the queen to make a stay in this state, such as
indisposition, so as to stop where she is least wanted.
The Hague, the 26th August, 1641.
248. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After travelling with all speed for five days his Majesty reached
the city of Edinburgh on Saturday in last week. The people of
that capital met him with demonstrations of applause. We are
now waiting with impatience to hear what real sentiments his
presence will arouse among them, and whether the lavish promises
of the commissioners will prove sincere and will result in corresponding
deeds, since many feel doubtful about it, more particularly
because of the lack of union among that people, a defect that
cannot fail to be most injurious to the king's fortunes on this
On his way the king saw the remains of the English army and
passed through the middle of that of the Scots ; where he was
received and entertained by General Lesle with every sign of
the utmost respect. It is said that to attach him the more the
king promised to give him the rank of an earl of England, with
other rich advantages.
General the Earl of Holland has informed parliament of the
passage of his Majesty and of the way in which Lesle received
him. He reports that the Scots, under the plea of honouring the
king, have greatly increased their forces, His letters express the
scant confidence he feels in the sincerity of that commander or
in the affection of the people of the North for the parliament,
and he urges them to prevent by prudent council those evils
which he believes to be threatening this kingdom.
These letters have stirred fresh suspicion in the hearts of the
parliamentarians, in those of the Lower Chamber in particular.
They have recently held frequent consultations as to the best
means of preventing any move by the Scots, and also of keeping
in check the people of England, so that they may not support
the king, if, with those forees at his back, he should decide to
throw off the yoke to which the new laws have subjected him,
and to take vengeance on their authors.
With this end in view they proposed to send deputies to the
parliament of Scotland with instructions to prevent any prejudicial
decision, and to observe carefully the proceedings of the
king. But after a long discussion the idea fell through, owing
chiefly to the opposition of the Lord Keeper, who protested
boldly that the authority of parliament did not extend to the
sending of persons with public commissions to foreign princes or
parliaments without the express permission of the king.
This first suggestion being thus abandoned they decided to
send three deputies to his Majesty, two of the Lower Chamber and
one of the Upper, (fn. 4) on the specious pretext of asking leave for
the deputation indicated, but in order that these three may perform
that office in secret, and they are to perform privately that which it is
proposed to send to the parliament of Scotland. Many members of
parliament of the highest reputation have been sent through the
counties of the realm to propagate among the people ideas favourable
to the parliament but inimical to the king's service and to the intentions
of the Scots as well. They are hastening the despatch of
Colonel Gorin to the fortress of Posmoud, of which he is governor,
to go without further delay, and they will give him 20,000 crowns
for the completion of the new fortifications there. In the Tower
of London here they have augmented the garrison of citizens,
and for greater safety and to cause less inconvenience this is
changed every evening. They have given the charge of it to the
Earl of Newport with instructions to provide it with everything
The members of Parliament have also held numerous conferences
with the Scottish commissioners, with the object of
giving them the most complete satisfaction. Although the
commissioners try to have it believed that when the leaders of
their government have received the money down together with
security for the remainder, their forces will leave Newcastle
before the 5th of next month, this is not entirely credited. They
consider it a device for the purpose of making sure of the outlay
and to prevent them here from hastening to provide a valid
resistance. Amid so much suspicion and mistrust it is impossible
to foresee the course of events, subject as they are to so many
contingencies. Only time can decide.
Meanwhile the parliament of the Upper Chamber has assembled
to the number of 34 only. All the rest have gone away to enjoy
the pleasures of the country, with the good excuse of the plague
or of domestic cares. Possibly they feel a prudent desire not to
mix themselves in the uncertainty of these difficult affairs, tossed
about by such different interests and passions. At present the
Lower Chamber does everything, or rather those who profess themselves
interested in the past deliberations, and who have offended
the princes here more than anyone else, cloaking their private cupidity
under the mantle of zeal for the public welfare.
Being anxious to uphold its credit with the Puritans the Lower
Chamber has again brought forward the proposal to exclude the
bishops of this false Church, but they have not been able to
settle anything because of the resistance of the Upper House,
and the absence of the king, whose consent is necessary.
Since his Majesty's departure the Superior of the Capuchins
who serve the queen, has been arrested. The Lower House
together with the remains of the Upper have seized this opportunity
and decreed two days ago that these religious must leave
the kingdom, hoping by such a decision to win the applause of
the people. But the French ambassador, having early information
about all this, has obtained the release of the prisoner by
his vigorous representations, and has also stopped for the moment
the execution of the decree, as being contrary to the marriage
articles arranged with that crown.
The queen is much annoyed at this event as well as at the steps
taken. She announces that she will not stay any longer in this
kingdom if circumstances do not change. She repeats her
determination to proceed to Holland, declaring that she has been
invited to stay there by their High Mightinesses and by the
Prince of Orange, with the most courteous offers.
Fresh difficulties have arisen about the transport to Spain of
the Irish troops granted to the ambassador, and the result of that
business seems more uncertain than ever. It clearly shows how
little trust can be placed in the promises of this government, and
the difficulties which surround the successful conduct of affairs
in this country.
With the increase of the heat, which is remarkable, the plague
is making great strides and everyone is making haste to leave
London. This house is surrounded by three neighbours which
are attacked by the disease, and I am not unnaturally perturbed
by this fresh misfortune, among those with which it has pleased
God to visit me. I am sending word of the progress of the plague
here to the Sopra Proveditori and to the Proveditori alla Sanità,
so that they may take steps to safeguard the public health.
London, the 30th August, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]