249. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 16th ult. If on the
arrival of these presents the king has left for Scotland and the
queen for Bristol you are to leave London and to stay in some
country place, to dwell there with satisfaction to yourself and in
peace of mind, thus avoiding incidents and accidents which may
occur during the absence of the Court. You will stay there
until further order from us, advising us from time to time of the
king's journeys and of the measures he takes, as well as of those
of the queen and of all other particulars worthy of our notice,
with your customary diligence. We enclose a sheet of advices.
Ayes, 113. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
250. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
This week more than one courier has reached the queen with
letters from his Majesty. She is staying at Otlant. All of them
give her an account of the beginnings of the parliament of Scotland,
not without hope of an excellent and advantageous end.
That his Majesty had taken this opportunity by the most lavish
display of affection for his people there to fulfill absolutely the
expectations of everybody, and that with the full consent of all
they have decided to maintain for the service of his Majesty
5000 foot and 1000 horse, paid, to be employed wherever and
against whomsoever may best suit his convenience. Subsequently
they displayed a general readiness to supply promptly such
larger number of troops as the occasion might require. He
reports that in response to this display of affection and for the
purpose of buying back the affection of those who have in the
past shown but scant inclination to serve him, he has distributed
many vacant offices and those among the most important, for
the benefit of those very persons who were the prime movers of
the late revolt, in the confident expectation that such means will
suffice to dispose them to support his interests with all their
might, and to render them dependent upon him, without exception.
The queen shows herself perfectly reassured by such news,
feeling persuaded that it will be enough to encourage those
English also who although at heart supporters of his Majesty's
greatness, have not had the courage to declare themselves hitherto
because of their misgivings ; while on the other hand it will abase
the pride of the most seditious and induce them moreover to try and
secure themselves by acts of penitence and better faith.
But those who judge of the intentions of the Scots more
deliberately are not altogether satisfied in their minds. They
believe the declaration about assisting his Majesty to be insincere,
and suspect that it covers other secret designs which have not
appeared ; or else that if the king wishes to put the matter to the
proof he will encounter such great difficulties as to destroy all the
fruit of his first hopes. They know that the trial of the imprisoned
Earl of Montrose is being proceeded with, for having endeavoured
to promote his Majesty's interests in that kingdom, and that the
Duke of Lenos, the Marquis Hamilton, Douglas and other servants
of the king who refused to sign the Covenant, have not been allowed
to take part in the parliament, before they solemnly bound
themselves to observe everything that that confederation contains.
The king agreed to this in order not to lose the votes of
these dependents of his and at the same time to give unequivocal
proof to the people there of the sincerity of his reconciliation
Then again, the Scottish commissioners, who are still staying
on here, have brought fresh assurances to the parliament that
within the term appointed, namely yesterday, they will withdraw
their troops from their quarters in England. They have asked
permission to pass with their artillery through the town of
Berwick, declaring that it is impossible to take it to Scotland by
the high road. Accordingly this fresh demand has been granted
although it is recognised as very unsafe to allow a foreign army,
admirably disciplined and well provided with artillery to enter
that important fortress. But the desire to avoid giving the
Scots any reason for delaying their departure has led them to
disregard this very proper and important consideration, in the
confident hope of relief from the menace of those forces.
With actions so self contradictory what will actually happen
seems more doubtful than ever. It may well be doubted whether the
king himself and his councillors, who are the architects of this
machine, are able to predict to themselves what form it will take.
However, the decisions taken at the end of the parliament in Scotland
will supply the rule by which things may be judged in the future.
Meanwhile they have published today the agreement made with
that nation. If I have time I will forward a translation, though
it is very long.
The decision of last week to send three members to the king
has been changed and a new course decided upon, namely to
choose six commissioners, four of the Upper and two of the
Lower Chamber. This has been done. (fn. 1) They are to go to the
king and to ask his leave to take part and treat with the parliament
of Scotland in the capacity of ministers of this parliament,
as the Scots did here. They take instructions to have ratified
the treaty of pacification between the two kingdoms by an act of
that parliament ; to assure them by lavish expressions of the
perfect friendliness of the English ; to come to a thorough understanding
with the Scots ; to dismiss from the minds of that people
every suspicious thought and everything contrary to this declaration ;
to report everything that takes place ; to frustrate by
their offices any deliberations prejudicial to the liberty and quiet
of this kingdom ; and finally to carry out any further commands
that may be given them by the parliament here.
The most remarkable point about these instructions is the tone
of absolute command which they use on this occasion, clearly showing
that this parliament considers itself a despotic master, in no wise
dependent upon their natural prince. Nevertheless this decree with
all the rest touching the despatch of the commissioners, has been
carried through while the majority of the members were away in the
country ; so that it may be called the work of those alone who study
at any cost to preserve authority for themselves and to keep the king
in his present state of subjection.
Deputies have been sent by the Lower Chamber to York, with
instructions to make careful enquiry about the disposition of
those northern peoples, and to urge the Earl of Holland to dismiss
the remainder of those troops, the cavalry in particular, about
whom the parliamentarians cannot dismiss their suspicions. (fn. 2)
Being now persuaded that the Scots will go without resistance,
they do not now show that hesitation about his Majesty's proceedings
which they betrayed these past days.
Serious difficulties are occurring over the collection of the tax
imposed, and what disturbs them most, it does not nearly reach
the amount estimated. To remedy this they have decided to
send commissioners through all the counties, their chief aim being
to obtain a more copious return. This is appropriated to certain
merchants of Amsterdam and others, who by order of the parliament,
undertook to pay the Scots 400,000l. of this money in
instalments in five weeks.
No news has come about the embarcation of the Queen Mother,
and it is still uncertain whether she will proceed to Holland or
Flanders. Her decisions have been as inconstant as the weather
here, in which nothing is ever certain.
The plague keeps increasing in this city. Many districts are
already shut up and 200,000 persons have gone away from here.
All the ambassadors have gone. I shall do the same so soon as
I have secured a dwelling that will hold my household and where
I can discharge my duties with the least difficulty. This obligation
to keep up two houses simultaneously increases the discomfort
and the expense, all being due to my extraordinary sojourn in
this country. I hope your Excellencies will take this into
London, the 6th September, 1641.
Postscript : As I am sealing this a confidant of mine at the
Court informs me that a courier has reached the queen this night
confirming the abandonment by the Scots of their position at
Newcastle, and the withdrawal to their own country ; but that
General Lesle has offered the king his personal services with the
most solemn protestations of loyalty and devotion ; and that these
letters bring other good news. Her Majesty is extremely rejoiced
about it. I have not yet been able to discover the particulars,
because the Court is so far away, but I will do so, and send
word next week of anything worthy of note.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
251. Thadio Vico, Venetian Resident in Germany, to the
Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador presented the enclosed paper to the
Diet, which has started very well. (fn. 3) He objected to the publication
of the exclusion of the Palatine House from the amnesty
as premature, since without a general peace there would be no
amnesty. He asked that the Palatine princes and their dominions
should be included and that the question of the electoral
vote should be referred to special negotiation. He said he
would await their decision. To this paper the emperor replied by
a decree declaring that as the exclusion of the Palatine House
from the amnesty was due to their business being referred to
special negotiations, the general negotiations need not be delayed
on that account, but should rather be promoted and concluded
before the end of the Diet. The English ambassador does not
seem content with this decree and he at once sent a courier to
England to learn his king's decision. It is supposed that he will
have created a bad impression, so that we hear the emperor has
sent the Baron di Traun to counteract it, and to prevent that
crown from taking hostile measures by holding out hopes to it
of the restoration of the Palatine.
Vienna, the 7th September, 1641.
252. Memoriale presentatum Legatis Serenissimi Electoris
Moguntini ab Anglico legato, die Augusti decimo, 1641.
Amnistia eo quo proposita est modo est ex directa consequentia
Domus Electoralis Palatinae exclusio.
Relatio ad privatum tractatum et si successurus sit tamen
negativae in comitiis Imperialibus constitutioni aequalis ponderis
nullo modo haberi potest.
Si vero non succedat tunc haec amnistia est ejusdem absoluta
exclusio ab Imperio et revera omnes futuros tractatus excludit.
Haec amnistia meliori modo habita excludens conditionaliter
est propugnaculum pretensionibus Ducis Bavariae, omniumque
quarum hac in re interest ad quod semper recurrere possunt et
vigore legis Imperialis sese corroborare.
Tempus publicationis ejusdem mihi suspectum est nullam ejus
necessitatem usque ad comitiorum recessum videndo : Si quidem
ea frui nemo potest usque ad generalem in Germania Pacificationem
et proposito tractatui directe opposita videtur.
Id circo ut usque ad tractatus exitum suspendatur peto eo
fine ut quid quid in eo conclusum fuerit in Imperialibus Comitiis
recipi et confirmari possit quia a privatis tractatibus in negotio
tanti momenti dependere non possumus.
Ut in hac amnistia si jam publicaretur Palatinea familiae
personae ac ditiones comprehendantur et relatio ad tractatum
quo ad dignitatem solum restringatur.
In his talem expecto resolutionem quae simul tractatum et
pacem publicam promovere possit ne adversus earn propter
implicitatem Domus Palatinae exclusionem protestandi occasio
253. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to the
Doge and Senate.
The ordinary ambassador of these Provinces has arrived from
England. He received permission to return during the king's
stay in Scotland.
Another arrival is the Countess of Arundel. Her coming
heralds that of the queen mother, although some insist that she
is still undecided whether she shall sail from Dover for this
country, or whether she shall embark for Flanders and go on to
Cologne by that route.
The Hague, the 9th September, 1641.
254. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
In letters which reached parliament on Monday, General the
Earl of Holland gives them fresh assurances of the withdrawal
of the Scottish army from this kingdom. He declares that before
they went they destroyed the trenches and fortifications added
at Newcastle and elsewhere. That Lesle transported his troops
and guns also across the River Tine in boats, although with the
permission granted he might have taken them comfortably
across the bridge at Berwick. The earl states that these forces
have halted at the frontier and have stationed themselves there
in a body, declaring that when the English have dismissed the
remainder of their troops and the garrison of Berwick, the Scots
will disband also, except 5000 foot and 1000 horse whom they
propose to keep on the plea of serving his Majesty. The true
object of this decision does not yet appear. Everyone forms his
own opinion about it, coloured by his private sympathies and
The people acclaim this happy news with unmixed gladness.
The parliamentarians also have in great measure dismissed their
fears that the presence of the king is calculated to induce that
nation to support the dashing measures which his Majesty is
universally credited with cherishing in his breast, namely of
throwing off the yoke of the new laws, and the continuation of this
parliament in particular, which deprives him of the ornaments
of command and of all reputation.
The queen also and all the Court express the utmost satisfaction
about the glory of those forces. They proclaim it,
contrary to the general opinion, as the most opportune circumstance
for restoring the king to the throne of his ancient authority.
As the grounds for these hopes are not apparent those of most
experience are divided between doubt and mistrust, and it is
only natural that everyone should remark upon an action of
such importance being seized upon as advantageous by both sides.
Speculative persons discuss the matter freely but I will not
weary your Excellencies with a matter which the event alone
can make clear.
The English general has these last days disbanded eight
regiments of infantry and the same number of cavalry. He
reports that he would have dismissed the rest but for the lack
of cash to pay the troops to whom 800,000 ducats are due. He
therefore presses for this provision to be made, and they are very
busy over this since the parliamentarians are most anxious to see
these forces disbanded at the earliest possible moment, not only
for their peace of mind, but for the relief of the public purse,
which has been greatly impoverished by recent expenditure,
As this outlay weighs heavily upon the people, the deliberations and
the continuance of this parliament seem less admirable to them.
Parliament is still sitting in Scotland. It will end within two
weeks and this is awaited with curiosity. They speak of the
king's return to this city as uncertain. Many believe that he
will keep at a distance until he has made experiment whether it be
possible for him to subdue the tenacity of the most seditious by
negotiation or by other means. Meanwhile in order to secure the
interest of General Lesle for his service he has given him the title
of Marquis (fn. 4) and that officer expresses the most favourable
The six commissioners sent from parliament here to that of
Scotland, on reaching Berwick decided to send word of their
commissions to his Majesty before they proceeded any further.
He, recognising the consequences of this mission, roundly refused
them permission to act or treat as public persons with the Scots,
promising that he himself will obtain the ratification in that
parliament of all the articles arranged between the two nations.
The deputies have informed parliament of the reply. Although
it has perturbed them greatly they have not yet decided upon
any other course of action and it is believed that they will let
the matter drop.
Meantime but few members attend the debates. Those of
the Upper Chamber are reduced to twelve, and in the Lower, out
of 500 only 80 put in an appearance. All the rest have absented
themselves, owing to the plague or to other reasons. It is
stated that in a few days they will pass a resolution to postpone
the new session for six weeks. In that time the king will have an
opportunity for taking such steps as circumstances may suggest
to be most advantageous to him.
To obtain fresh declarations in favour of his interests the
Palatine has made a strong appeal for help to the parliament of
Scotland also. The king supported it by his cordial recommendation
and procured the appointment of the Duke of Lenos
and the Marquis of Hamilton, with instructions to enquire into
the matter, and subsequently to propose to parliament what they
consider most feasible and useful for the Palatine House, towards
which the Scots study to display the most friendly disposition.
But this will not be very helpful unless it is followed up by deeds
in conformity, and that will not be easy in the present crisis
of these kingdoms.
After further debate it was decided in parliament on Saturday
to advise the king to suspend the levies of troops granted to
France and Spain, and not to permit any in the future. In
virtue of this decision they forbad the use of the licences granted
to the ambassadors. The Catholic ambassador resents this
change more than the Most Christian one. The ambassadors of
Portugal, on the other hand, approve and express great satisfaction.
They declare that this decision will render vain all the
efforts of the Spaniards in the offensive which they are preparing
against the Duke of Braganza, their master, for whose hurt were
destined the 4000 Irish who were to proceed to Spain.
On the same day parliament chose commissioners for all the
counties with orders to visit the houses of Catholics and disarm
them completely. This has been done with the aim, more
particularly, of keeping the people steadfast in their support of
the parliamentarians, and of keeping up the hatred against those
who profess the true faith, rather than from any well grounded
suspicion against the Catholics.
Several despatches of the Ambassador Ro have arrived, but
nothing has transpired as to their contents, since they were all
sent unopened to the king in Scotland ; so that I cannot report
anything about his negotiations. I hope you will excuse this
deficiency, which arises from the king and all the ministers being
On Saturday the French ambassador returned from the country
to this city on private affairs. On the following day a dangerous
disturbance took place at his house, due to the violence of the
people. They detest all foreigners exceedingly, but the French
in particular, and will not let them be safe even in their own
dwellings. On this occasion the household as well as the house of
the ambassador suffered. When parliament heard of the incident
they sent six members to express their regret, promising every
satisfaction and the punishment of the culprits. Ten of them
have been arrested. (fn. 5) I report this to show the licence of the
people here. However my house has enjoyed perfect quiet up
to the present, and I hope it will continue to do so. I do everything
in my power to this end for the interest of the state and
my own private advantage.
The plague is increasing and what is more important it has
this week devastated many houses of great importance (ha questa
settimana sacheggiate molte case ben principali). I am still here
because I am unable to get elsewhere, owing to the difficulty of
finding a residence in the country, which are eagerly sought
after by everybody.
I have your Excellencies' letters of the 17th and 23rd ult. I
recognise the prudence of your commands. I hope you will have
observed my cautious procedure, in which I have upheld the
dignity of my office while retaining the regard of the princes here
as well as the favour of the parliamentarians.
London, the 13th September, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
255. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Although the Scots have disbanded the major portion of their
army yet the parliamentarians here are not without apprehension
about his Majesty's intentions and those of that nation as well.
Reports circulate here that the Scots and the common people
especially, display the greatest attachment to the king, while on
his side he leaves nothing undone to cultivate this popularity.
This news has caused great alarm to those who vigorously opposed
the king's interests in parliament, and this week the leaders of the
party, who are the earls of Essex, Warwick and Newport and some
others have held long conferences in the house of the earl of Northumberland.
The particulars of these discussions have not transpired,
but all agree that they have turned upon the best means of
resisting any attempt which the king might make on his return.
Nothing certain is known about this, and matters remain in the
balance as before, with uncertainty as to the end and the means which
his Majesty will choose to free himself from the parliament lasting
for ever, which is the point that just offends the teeth of his prerogative.
At the Court they seem remarkably pleased and the queen
displays her gladness more than any one else, though so far no one
knows the reason for it.
Meanwhile, with his Majesty's permission, the parliament of
Scotland has sent Baron Metland to the English general, the
Earl of Holland, requiring him to delay no longer in the disbanding
of his troops, removing the garrisons of Carlisle and Berwick
and dismantling the new fortifications added to those important
places. The earl gave a firm promise that by the 28th inst.
everything should be done, and to this end they are busy collecting
the money to pay the troops, who refuse to leave the colours
without this just satisfaction.
The demands for fresh payments have been repeated in this
city and in all the provinces, but the people, fatigued by the
multiplicity of so many extraordinary taxes, do not show that
promptitude that the occasion demands, and parliament is losing
the great credit which it enjoyed universally, since it appears that
instead of relief it has brought expenses and discomfort to the people
(et il parlamento decade appresso l' universale del primo gran
credito, parendo che in vece di sollevo ha prodotto spese et incommodi
On the other hand parliament, anxious to maintain its popularity,
does its utmost to advertise the results of its deliberations.
Last Monday by order they caused bonfires to be lighted in this
city and throughout the country and a public fast to be observed,
as a token of rejoicing at the departure of the Scottish army from
Orders have been sent to the General, earl of Holland to send
here the troops with all the provisions and munitions of war
which are in Carlisle and Berwick ; and they have hurriedly sent
off a number of ships to those parts to transport them. The
real object of this sudden decision has not yet appeared, and it
causes much remark.
Although many of the members are still absent, yet in the
session on Monday it was proposed in parliament to alter the
liturgy established in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and commissioners
have been chosen for the purpose of recommending
the method of the reform. This will certainly give rise to serious
controversy and very great difficulties, with some danger of serious
disturbance. Those who profess the Protestant faith let it be freely
understood that they will rather embrace the Catholic religion, which
is odious to them, than change a jot in the ancient use or to introduce
the rigorous observance of the dogmas of Calvin, which the Puritans
are trying to introduce as the most efficacious means of preventing
the people from tolerating the monarchy any longer.
Something was said in parliament again these last days about
adjourning for six weeks. But the fresh suspicions aroused against
the king and the absence of those who incline to give pause to
their deliberations, have prevented the subject from coming to a
head. It will be raised again today and if carried it would be of
great advantage to the interests of the king.
Following the example of the prohibition of levies to France
and Spain, it has been decided in Scotland also not to allow them
to any prince before they hear what turn the negotiations of the
Ambassador Ro on behalf of the Palatine House have taken.
A declaration has been made that the Scots also will assist that
cause with all the forces of that kingdom. But this pronouncement
will not assist those princes very much, as present urgencies
require it to be translated into action, whereas the sole aim is to
intimidate the Austrians, with little desire and less power to do
anything at the moment.
The Spanish ambassador, who is staying near the Court, is
doing his utmost for the removal of the prohibition against the
passage of the Irish to Spain. He has sent letters to his Majesty
of the king, his master, promising that the interests of the Palatine
family shall not be opposed from his side in the Diet of Ratisbon,
and that he will even make strong representations in their favour ;
but right minded men attach little faith to this.
The French ambassador also has repeated in writing his request
that the English levies granted may not be stopped. So far he
has met with no success, except on the condition that the Most
Christian shall bind himself by a written declaration, to be
represented at the Diet of Ratisbon, that he will never agree to
any treaty of peace which does not include the restoration of the
Palatine House. But the French ambassador will not listen to
any such proposal. He declares that if England is disposed to
make an alliance with France for the interests of his nephews,
and to pledge himself likewise to break with the House of Austria,
the king, his master, will give powerful assistance to the Palatine
in men and money, sufficient to procure better fortune.
As the pope does not seem disposed to promote M. di Montegu
to the Cardinalate, as recommended by the queen here, her
Majesty has made another nomination, the French Bishop of
Angolem, Mons. di Peron, a man of great rank and ability.
Many ships from Spain have arrived this week and have brought
rich provision of silver, destined for the requirements of Flanders.
Urged by fresh invitations from the Prince of Orange the Queen
Mother seized the opportunity of a favourable wind and crossed
on Saturday to Holland. She had waited several days at Dover
for some specific declaration from the Cardinal Infant that the
passports granted would suffice for the safety of her servants,
who seemed to be excepted in them. They say she will stay some
days at a house of the Prince of Orange to make up her mind
what she will do next. I hope tomorrow to get away from the
perils of this city and to betake myself to a safe place near the
other ambassadors and the Court too.
London, the 20th September, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
256. To the Ambassador in England.
We have received your letters of the 23rd ult. We note that
matters are growing worse in the kingdom. We trust that you
will escape the plague. We approve of your replies about Zante
and Cephalonia, and you will repeat the same things wherever
there is occasion to do so. You will observe the proceedings of
those who are concerned and prevent anything that is likely to
prejudice the interests of the state. We enclose a sheet of
Ayes, 113. Noes, 2. Neutral, 7.
257. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
The queen mother arrived in Zeeland three days ago and the
earl of Arundel with her. She proceeded to Dort and was met
there by the Prince of Orange. She left for Gorcum the day
before yesterday and will rest a few days there before going
straight to Cologne. The States received her with but little
ceremony and are making only mediocre demonstrations.
The Hague, the 23rd September, 1641.
258. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
While impatiently waiting for the owner who rented me a
house in the country, to make way and allow me to take my
household away from the trials of this city, your Excellencies'
letters of the 6th inst. reached me, directing me to do this very
thing, and to remain until further order. I will obey as soon as
I can, and I will also abstain from visiting the queen at Otland,
as the other ambassadors do, or from going there or to any place
near for the usual complimentary offices, without express instructions.
Meanwhile, to avoid hostile comment I will feign
to be indisposed in body, as I am seriously in mind, over an affair
in which I have no share but trouble and mortification. May
the issue result in general applause.
I will now relate the result of the affair of the chaplain. His
arrest was due solely to the preacher, who imprisoned many
others ; and that he was not immediately released was due to the
prejudice of the Secretary of State against the Catholics, who did
not at the time obey the orders given. The king and parliament
publicly expressed their dissatisfaction at this, and many members
came to this house to assure me of this and that there was no
foreign minister whom they would wish to respect more, telling
me freely that they had more sympathy with the republic than
with monarchies. I replied suitably.
After matters were arranged as reported, before I was to have
my public audience of the king, the earl of Warwick came to
this house by order of the king and parliament, who was to conduct
me later to the palace. He expressed regret at the imprisonment
of the priest, promised me every honourable means
of redress and handed me the warrant under the great seal
cancelling the sentence against the priest, setting him at liberty
and charging the Recorder and Sheriffs (chievini) of London to
publish this in the presence of the judges who had condemned
him, and that the Sheriffs should then conduct him to this house.
As the judges only meet four times a year by law parliament has
made a special act for holding the sessions immediately, so that
the cancelling may be as public as the sentence. These particulars
are at the end of the warrant which I enclose so that your
Excellencies may see that the prisoner has been released without
any conditions whatever and with every circumstance of honour.
I thanked the earl and at once sent the warrant to the Recorder
and Sheriffs. After reading it carefully they said they would
obey promptly. The prisoner should be set free, the sentence
annulled, they would summon the meeting for the announcement
and they would bring me the priest as directed. As the judges
were away in the country on their circuit, according to their
custom, they would send after them to return without delay to
fulfill the commands of his Majesty and parliament. So they sent
a courier, who brought back word that the judges were ready to
return, but if they came at once they would interrupt the course
of justice in the country, causing discontent among the people
and personal loss to themselves as they derive great profit from
this exercise (con grave discapito delle loro borse, molto proffitando
in quest' esercitio). Accordingly they begged the Recorder and
Sheriffs to ask that these Sessions may be postponed until the
ordinary term of Michaelmas and not to inflict such serious
inconvenience and loss upon them in a matter of no consequence,
as it was only a ceremony for the greater security of the priest,
who would suffer no hurt from this brief delay. So they begged
me to support this delay, and thus oblige not only themselves
and the judges, but also many accused persons, who had been
arrested since the last sessions, including some priests. If these
extraordinary sessions were made these would all be condemned
to death, and there would be no time to relieve them. My
priest would be free all the same. He would live at this house
and could go about anywhere in safety. The publication was
only a matter of regard. They told me that I was not a minister
to cut short the lives of so many men for a satisfaction of no
consequence or to suffer my name to be tainted with such lack
of charity. Moreover if the act was performed at the ordinary
sessions it would be the more conspicuous owing to the crowd
Feeling the force of these arguments and reflecting that if the
judges wished to postpone their return they could do so under
other pretexts, I decided to oblige them, and so this public act
will undoubtedly take place on the day after Michaelmas.
In the meantime the priest has been released, and is now
celebrating mass publicly in this house. (fn. 6) As I do not know the
intentions of your Excellencies I will keep him until your instructions
arrive, so that you may be assured that the restitution
has been free and entirely unconditional.
I send these particulars to remove all doubts and to show that
if the incident was unavoidable and due perhaps to my ill fortune
alone the remedy has been complete, and no hurt has been done
to the dignity of my office. As it has rather increased its credit
I hope that your Excellencies will be satisfied.
Some members of the households of the Ambassadors of Spain
and Portugal have also been arrested, and although they have
taken steps to obtain satisfaction, not only have they failed to
get it, but they have had great trouble in obtaining the release
of their servants. This shows that these accidents have not
happened to me only, but to others as well.
London, the 27th September, 1641.
259. Carolus D.G. etc. omnibus ad quos etc. Cum ad
sessionem tenutam per civitatem London apud justice Hall in
le Olde Bayly in parochia Sancti Sepulchri in Warda de Faringdon
extra London predictam die Mercurii scilicet vicesimo primo
die Julii anno Regni nostro decimo septimo coram Edmundo
Wright milite, Major : civitatis nostrae London, Edwardo Bromfeilde,
milite, Thoma Gardiner armigero, Recordatore Civitatis
predictae et aliis sociis suis Justiciariis nostris etc. ad inquirendas
etc. de quibuscunque proditionibus etc. ac ad eadem proditiones
et alia premissa audienda et terminanda etc. presentatum fuit
quod Cutbertus Clopton nuper de London clericus alias dictus
Cutbertus Greene, reciting the sentence passed against him to be
executed at Tyburn and the king's free pardon granted to him with
provision that he shall not be molested again for the alleged offence.
Letters patent dated at Westminster on the 28th July in the
17th year of the reign. (fn. 7)
[per ipsum Regem.
[Latin ; copy ; 3 pages.]
260. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After many disputes the perils of the plague have at last
persuaded the most daring of the parliamentarians to agree to
some pause in the sitting of parliament. On Friday in last week
they decided unanimously to prorogue it until the first days of
November next, on the supposition that with the cold weather
approaching this sickness will be abating, which has given such
just cause for everyone to leave their dwellings here.
Meanwhile they have constituted a magistracy of forty members
that is ten of the Upper Chamber and thirty of the Lower who
are to represent the majesty of parliament, with authority to
accept petitions, treat with the Scots as required, provide the
fortresses and the soldiers with food and munitions of war, and
to convoke the whole parliament in case of need.
The Court has learned with great satisfaction of this decision
to give up their debates for the time, as it is considered more
likely to help the king to win over by promises and in other ways
those members who have been most prominent in attacking his
interests, and at the same time to show the people that the violent
measures which have been taken in the past have been inspired rather
by personal passion than by regard for the welfare of the realm.
Such ideas are now circulating among many in the country and if
they should get a firmer hold they might cause inconvenience to those
who have given rein to licence under the pretext of zeal for the public
Prudent men and those well affected to his Majesty's service by
no means like this innovation of setting up a tribunal for maintaining
parliamentary authority always in vigour, as they consider that
it contains the seed of hurtful consequences in the future and that
it comprises a secret intention to approach the Dutch form of government,
for which the people here show far too much inclination.
On the same day the Lower Chamber passed a resolution,
which has been printed and published, commanding the ministers
of the churches and all and sundry not to observe with the old
punctuality the liturgy established in the time of Queen Elizabeth,
forbidding them in particular to kneel in church at the name of
Jesus, from the sign and use of the cross, from removing the
tables or altars from the walls to the middle of the church, and
to use them only for the communion ; besides the ceremonies
of the vestments of ministers and other matters, all contrary to
the decisions of the Upper House, debated these last months and
recently published. This causes considerable remark and throws
a flood of light on the disagreement between the intentions of the
nobility and those of the Lower House. If this is cultivated by the
king by devious means as occasion serves, it may afford him an
opportunity for destroying this hydra of such troublesome sedition
through its own discords, since it is a matter of serious importance
and capable of development.
From Scotland his Majesty reports to the queen that the
parliament is progressing and seems likely to serve him well.
The earl of Arghil has submitted himself humbly, a noble with a
great following in that country. At the birth of these disturbances
he took the field with 15,000 men to resist his Majesty's
intentions. He now promises the most loyal and ready service.
General Lesle also continues the like protestations. In sign of
his appreciation of this the king says that he has afforded the
general many tokens of regard, and in particular that he has
taken him with him in his coach through the city of Edinburgh
amid the loud acclamations of the people who, in token of their
gladness have lighted bonfires and made other demonstrations
for this reason alone.
Private letters confirm all this, but they add that the Scots,
not content with all that the king has granted them ask that he
shall not in future distribute the offices of that crown to any
individual before the kingdom has supplied his Majesty with
information about the abilities and merits of the persons to whom
he proposes to give them. This demand is certainly an indication
that even in the midst of all these official signs of affection
they do not lose hold of the intention of encroaching more and
more upon the royal authority. I am advised that his Majesty
is disposed to gratify them even over such an important request,
with the sole object of securing the affections of that nation,
and so to deprive the English of the hope of enjoying their
efficacious assistance any longer.
The Dutch fleet destined for the service of the new king of
Portugal has been held up by contrary winds and has put in to
the ports here. After taking fresh provisions they will proceed
to the coasts of that kingdom as soon as the weather becomes
London, the 27th September, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
261. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
The earl of Arundel has come here to the Hague. He announces
that he will return to England after he has settled his
three sons, (fn. 8) whom he has with him for the study of languages at
the University of Utrecht. His wife is still accompanying the
queen mother on her journey. The day before yesterday her
Majesty embarked at Gorcum to proceed on her journey to
Cologne. It is uncertain as yet whether she will make a long
The Hague, the 30th September, 1641.