311. To the Ambassador in London.
Letters from his Majesty about the violence done to the despatch
have not yet arrived and we must wait, in order that we
may see what is to be done. In the mean time you must await
further orders. We enclose sheet of advices.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
312. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Scottish Commissioners here have demanded many noteworthy
conditions before permitting the 10,000 men promised
for the defence of Ireland to cross. These were all promptly
granted by the Lower House. First, the leaders and officers are
not to be under the English general who takes part with the
force ; the troops are not to be scattered but kept in one body ;
30,000l. sterling to be paid to the commissioners for the first
pay ; a portion of the goods of the rebels to be assigned to Scotland
for their services.
The majority of the Upper House, suspecting the Scots of
cherishing ambitious designs to take advantage of this emergency
to become masters of that island, have not as yet agreed to all
these requests. They stand fast to the opinion that the Scottish
troops must take orders from the English general like the rest,
and that to rid themselves entirely of all misgivings, the Scots
ought to be supported by an equal number of English troops.
They have held lengthy debates in parliament on these questions
and the despatch of the Scots is suspended until these differences
can be adjusted by mutual consent. Two days ago they ordered
a universal fast and prayers to implore Divine guidance in this
matter, which is considered of consequence.
Meanwhile the rebels have profited by being let alone to
achieve considerable successes. They have attacked and taken
the town of Tridat, (fn. 1) an important position which will also
facilitate the capture of Dublin. On this occasion they slaughtered
600 of the soldiers with barbarous cruelty, took many
prisoners and put the rest of the enemy's force to flight, subsequently
capturing their baggage and munitions, including a
large quantity of arms and money. They are now diligently
prosecuting the siege of Dublin.
The parliament of Ireland, which has been assembled because of
these disturbances, has sent six commissioners to the rebels with
orders to find out what the leaders want and to make proposals
for an accommodation. These envoys were received with every
sign of respect. The commissioners expressed their willingness
to come to terms on condition that the public exercise of the
Catholic faith should be restored in Ireland, as it is practised in
the dominions of other Catholic princes. That is, the religious
wear their habit ; the churches officiate freely ; the bishops and
all other ecclesiastics are restored to their ancient dignities and
property ; that the Calvinists are absolutely banished from Ireland
and only Protestants allowed, with the express obligation
to support at their own cost the ministers whom they consider
necessary for the exercise of their sect. That only Catholic
lords be admitted to the Council in that kingdom, the Protestants
being totally excluded ; that their parliament shall not be dependent
on that of England or the Irish called upon to obey
anyone but the king, their lawful master ; finally that it be
declared that the parliament of England is as much subordinate
to his Majesty as the Irish parliament professes to be.
With this reply the rebels dismissed the commissioners, declaring
that unless all their demands were granted in full they
would not lay down their arms, but will continue boldly in their
course until they have conquered by their invincible sword those
rights which they have not been able to obtain by negotiation.
They handed to the commissioners a scurrilous paper containing
all this, and the commissioners handed it to parliament, which
sent it to the king by a deputy who reached the Court on Monday.
We are waiting to see what effect proposals so free and of such
importance will have on his Majesty and on the parliamentarians.
But everyone agrees that the Lower House will not accept them
because they are aimed at the religion and authority of the
parliament itself in its most essential parts.
Although the Upper House and many of the Lower did not
approve of the remonstrance about the past disorders in the
government, and it was decided not to print it, yet the authors
of this invention have at length succeeded in having this done,
in their anxiety to make it known to the people and the hope of
advantage. The king, on his side, has taken the step of issuing
his reply, vindicating the prudence which guided his past
In order to hasten the succour for Ireland his Majesty went to
parliament last week. (fn. 2) He laid stress on the unhappy condition
of the present times. He said he heard the Lower House was
discussing the question of taking from him the ancient prerogative
of compelling all subjects to serve him in the event of
war. He expressed his indignation at this and that it was unlikely
in any case that he would consent to it, with the intention
perhaps of inducing the members to drop the idea.
Struck by this and full of envy, the Lower House represented
to the Upper that for his Majesty to take note of what is proposed
in parliament before it is fully established, is an attack on their
liberty, asking that House to join with it in pointing out this
indiscretion to the king and asking him to avoid such things in
the future. The king seems now to show more determination than
in the past, and he sent a severe and unpleasing answer, indicating
that he would not tolerate any longer the licence of their behaviour.
Rumours are still about that many ministers ill affected to his
Majesty will be changed. Yesterday was the turn of the Lieutenant
of the Tower, who gave his Majesty serious offence in the
matter of the imprisonment of the Lieutenant of Ireland. (fn. 3) In
fear of losing their offices and other misgivings the parties concerned
are seriously perturbed and protest roundly that they are ready to
take the most extreme measures to avoid the danger with which the
king's anger threatens them. Thus the turn of affairs here remains
more doubtful than ever, and it seems unlikely that a way out will
be found without bloodshed.
Lord Fildinch recently presented a memorial to the king asking
for the money he needs to set out for his embassy to Venice.
The amount comes to 20,000 crowns. But his Majesty is in no
position just now to show such liberality, while at the same time
he is not pleased with Fildinch's conduct, as he has not supported
the king's interests in parliament. I learn on good authority
that he has decided to send in his stead Baron Dandovert, (fn. 4) who
will start, I am assured, as soon as the severe weather is over.
He is a man of most noble birth and character, has great influence
in parliament and is son of the Earl of Baxsier, a great lord and
a councillor of state. The king has not yet informed me of this
decision, although the baron himself has been to see me ostensibly
on a private visit, though he did not say that he was selected to
go to Venice.
Captain John Furd, an Englishman, has been here about an
invention for managing galleys with only half the usual number of
rowers, yet with the same speed and safety. He is willing to
impart the secret to your Excellencies on condition that he
receives the reward he asks, and that the Senate is satisfied. I
enclose a copy of his paper. He offers to send someone to
Venice without cost to the state to demonstrate his invention.
No letters from Italy have reached this Court for two weeks.
The constant bad weather, which has wrecked a great number of
ships, has prevented the couriers from crossing the sea. It is
feared that the barques taking the letters to Antwerp for Venice
have been wrecked.
London, the 3rd January, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
313. 1641, the 31st Dec., in London.
Captain John Ford, an English gentleman has an easy and
inexpensive devise for making galleys of all kinds go as quickly
and as well with half the rowers usual, without hurt to the galleys.
He begs your Excellency to offer this for him to the republic.
He undertakes to make a demonstration at his own cost. If he
is successful and the devise is adopted he is to receive 10,000l.
sterling. He hopes that if he secures the same result with a
quarter of the rowers his reward will be greater.
314. Thadio Vico, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the
Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador is losing patience and declares, as
usual, that he will leave soon. He says he perceives that their
intention is to deal with this question apart. The Palatine will
not be able in this way to obtain what is justly his due. Their
object is to drag things out so that in the end the treaty will be
detached from the general conference and abandoned by everybody.
Nevertheless proper measures will be taken to secure
that this cause shall be decided either by a universal congress or
by arms. He lets it be freely understood that as regards the
Spaniards, England will not yield an inch of territory, and as
regards Bavaria, if they hearken to proposals for some suitable
arrangement, by reason of the Lower Palatinate, yet they will not,
on that account, allow the electoral dignity to go after his death.
Vienna, the 4th January, 1642. [M.V.]
315. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
Cogneus is here on behalf of the Queen Mother. He has some
secret matter in hand, of more importance than appears on the
surface. The idea gains ground that under the pretence of
negotiating with the House of Orange the establishment of the
marriage with England, he is engaged in instituting himself
into the confidence of the Princes here in order to discover what
are their real feelings with regard to the Cardinal de Richelieu
The ordinary ambassador has left for England furnished with
good instructions to answer any proposals for an alliance between
England and these States.
The Hague, the 6th January, 1642.
316. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
Order to exact the fines decreed by the laws for excessive
plantations of currants. If the fines are not paid he is to have
the currants uprooted.
Ayes, 139. Noes, 0. Neutral, 13.
317. To the Ambassador in London.
We appreciate highly the king's action in the matter of the
intercepted letters. You will express this to him in a suitable
office. With regard to the despatch of the Sieur de Visden to
our republic, we suppose that the decree is issued for its opportune
execution, since you do not write to us to the contrary, and the
letters sent by express by his Majesty have not reached us yet.
We wish to have information about the condition of Henry
Hider and what consideration he enjoys, if he has any partisans
and favours in England, if he is the chief or agent of the Company
of merchants or has any other charge, with such other particulars
of note as may serve to enlighten us about him personally.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 0. Neutral, 5.
318. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The removal of the Lieutenant of the Tower has increased the
misgivings about his Majesty's intentions in the minds of those who
have hitherto conspired against his authority and have given rise to
fresh warnings to the people ivhose licentiousness unsettles the public
and private quiet.
The very day that the new officer was introduced to the Tower,
the Lower House, moved by interested parties, represented the
person appointed to the Upper as an unquiet ambitious man,
condemned aforetime to the extreme penalty for his misdeeds, (fn. 5)
and in the interests of safety and for the general satisfaction
everyone should stir himself to prevent the charge of this great
city being left at the mercy of one not to be trusted. They asked
the peers to unite with them in making these representations to
the king and beseeching him to select someone else agreeable to
The Lords replied that as the disposal of offices was solely a
royal prerogative they could not interfere with his appointments.
Deprived of their hope of conspiring together for the same objects,
at which they were exceedingly incensed, the most fanatical threw
off all bounds and burst forth into a strong invective not only against
this choice, but against the Upper House as well, declaring roundly
that they would tell the people that the Lords were plotting against
their liberty and persuading them to take arms to defend it. With
this the conference was broken off. The report of this dispute spread
immediately to the city and the suspicions that the appointment of
the lieutenant covered sinister designs was also circulated, and the
apprentices or shop boys of London, were deliberately stirred up
by such reports. These with the connivance of their masters,
Puritans for the most part, provided themselves with arms and
proceeded on Monday in great numbers to the Houses of parliament,
where, in any case, they show themselves every day. There
with loud cries, they demanded the removal of the new lieutenant,
whom they described as a Papist, threatening the most extreme
measures if this was not granted. His Majesty, being informed
of this, decided to change the lieutenant, in the hope of appeasing
the riot. But the apprentices having achieved their first intent
so easily and persuaded that a like success would attend the rest
of their incautious desires, instead of returning home, increased
in numbers more and more, and made fresh and more important
demands. These were : the removal of the bishops and the
exclusion from parliament of the Catholic lords, and they threatened
not to cease their tumult until these demands were fulfilled.
Later they forced their way into Westminster Church and tried
to demolish the altar, the organs and the royal tombs as well,
and not satisfied with this some even proceeded to the royal
palace, where with fresh shouts they made the same demands
and committed other insolences elsewhere.
The king, on his part, ordered them by proclamation, to go
home, under most severe penalties. Later on he summoned to
the palace and to parliament the soldiers of the trained bands
to prevent worse disorders, but as these troops are for the most
part the masters of these very apprentices, the latter do not fear
punishment from them and constantly devise further mischief.
Many colonels and officers who served recently at York offered
their services to his Majesty, who accepted and thanked them
warmly. They are present at the palace, and two days ago a
slight encounter took place between them and the apprentices.
But they are dealing cautiously with these last to avoid provoking
more dangerous disturbances. The most prudent members of
parliament regret these riots deeply fearing that the disorder
may produce considerable derangement, but those who place
their hopes of self preservation in trouble approve and secretly
foment the movement to keep it alive. Thus amid these different
passions no one would venture to foretell the outcome.
Meanwhile in the Lower House they are diligently seeking how
they may best lead into the utmost danger those ministers who
are most in his Majesty's confidence and suspected of opposing the
other party. Of these the Earl of Bristol and his son are the most
threatened, and we expect to hear of some severe measures very soon.
The king's reply to the remonstrance of the Lower House has
been printed, but does not find that credit among the people that
the justice of his cause and the need demand. I am preparing
a translation of both these papers to send to your
The king has shown some resentment recently against the Earl
of Newport because he heard that at a banquet, while his Majesty
was in Scotland, and the conversation turning upon secret orders of
parliament that he should be carefully guarded, the earl intimated that
this was of no consequence, but it was necessary to secure the persons
of the prince and the queen. Newport has tried to put himself right
with his Majesty by protesting volubly that he never made use of so
hardy an expression, but as the king would not accept his excuses,
the earl had recourse to parliament. That body, by means of commissioners,
has requested his Majesty to make known the individual
who accused Newport. The king replied that he would make known
in writing what he considered proper, and it is believed that as many
of those who support the party opposed to the king are interested in
this affair, the incident may have unfortunate consequences.
Twelve bishops were sent to prison yesterday by parliament
to the Tower for having with much freedom protested in writing
the nullity of the acts touching their ancient rights, concerning
their presence and vote in parliament. (fn. 6) This event has greatly
perturbed his Majesty because of the loss of these votes which
were always favourable to his interests, and also because the incautious
way in which these prelates have spoken increases the general
hatred against them, with danger of more pernicious consequences
to the whole hierarchy.
The despatch of the 10,000 Scots to Ireland is still held up by
disagreements, the Scots demanding in addition to the conditions
reported that two fortresses be assigned to them in the country
for a retreat and security. This only serves to increase the
suspicion of ambitious designs on the part of that nation and
obliges them to proceed with caution.
Meanwhile they spare no efforts in this city to forward the levy
of 10,000 English for that defence ; but the aversion of the people
to go there makes progress slow and affords further opportunity
to the Irish to push on with their successes and establish their
party. No decision has been taken yet upon the proposals
reported, as the new crises here have left no room for attention
to other matters.
His Majesty has made strong representations to the Imperial
Resident here for the satisfactory termination of the affair of the
Palatine, cutting short all further delays. He protested that if
they put off a final decision he will recall the Ambassador Ro and
cut short the negotiations altogether. He obliged the minister
to send a courier to his master with this declaration.
The bad weather having ceased the courier of Antwerp has
arrived, and I have received your Excellencies' letters of the
30th November with your instructions about the currant trade.
My representations have stayed the haste of those who were
interested in prohibition, and they now say nothing about it, so
I hope the matter will entirely fall through. They only considered
their own interests without caring about harm done to the interests
of princes or to the comfort of the subjects of both parties.
In any case if a fresh move is made I shall not fail to do my
duty ; and I know that the customs officials here are ready to do
their share, which is important.
London, the 10th January, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
319. Thadio Vico, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the
Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador met all the electoral deputies this
week. I understand that he spoke very strongly, so much so
that most of them were in considerable perplexity and particularly
on the question of the electoral dignity. He pointed out to the
deputy of Bavaria, in the presence of all the others that even if
his sovereign embraced some arrangement about the alternative
vote, that vote must in any case go to the Palatine after the death
of Bavaria, otherwise it would not be an alternative vote but
a continuation of possession. To this the Bavarian ambassador
made no reply.
Vienna, the 11th January, 1642. [M.V.]
320. The Secretary of the King of Great Britain came into
the Collegio and said :
My king has heard with deep regret the incident of the intercepted
letters and naturally wishes to show his feelings, express
his regard for the republic and give satisfaction immediately he
arrived in London. Owing to the fault of the couriers and the
difficulties of the road the letters have only just reached me, and
I have had to defer this office until their arrival. He then presented
the letters which were read.
The doge replied, His Majesty's prudence and regard have
atoned for the outrage to the despatches of our ambassador,
which was to be condemned on every account and was worthy of
correction and punishment. A reply will be sent to his Majesty's
letters, and we always rejoice in his most upright intentions,
to which we sincerely respond.
The Resident then said : An action of great indignity has
occured at my house. A door was broken open by the sbirri and
their captain and one of my servants roughly used. This is
contrary to the intention of the republic for the treatment of
foreign ministers. I therefore ask that those guilty of such
audacity may be punished.
The doge replied : We have no definite information ; this is
the first we have heard. It is quite likely that it was necessary
for the law to take the necessary steps ; however, we will make
enquiry, always with the desire to gratify and honour those who
serve his Majesty.
321. To the Ambassador in England.
His Majesty's letters about the despatches were handed in at
the Collegio by the secretary with the office, of which a copy is
enclosed. We forward our reply which you will present to his
Majesty at a special audience, assuring him of the republic's
appreciation and esteem for his prudence.
The secretary has complained of the ill treatment of an alleged
servant of his by an officer of the law. This is not in accordance
with the facts and if he takes any steps in the matter by writing
you will be able to bear witness to the respect which is always
shown to the houses and persons of ambassadors and ministers
of princes. If, however, away from their houses, contrary to
the decrees of the Council of Ten to the grave prejudice of the
peace of the city any one should be allowed, under the cloak of
the authority of others, to introduce festivities and through them
provide many occasions for improprieties, it is equally necessary
to repress the temerity of our subjects and restrain them within
the bounds of moderation and obedience. You will speak
precisely to this effect and not otherwise.
Advices of the Palatine's affairs in Germany.
Ayes, 129. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
322. To the King of Great Britain.
Our republic has always held a high opinion of the prudence
and virtue of your Majesty, whose singular merits rightly call
for the utmost esteem and regard, which are consolidated in our
hearts upon the most stable foundations. From past letters of
our ambassador and from recent ones of your Majesty, presented
by your Secretary, we observe the most just concern and indignation
you feel with regard to the excess committed in the
matter of the despatches, a thing abhorrent on every ground,
which wounds the rights of princes in their most sensitive parts,
when they were intercepted and violated. There is no doubt
that the vigour of your Majesty's declaration will act as a set
off to the enormity of the offence, while the promptitude with
which you have afforded satisfaction diminishes in us the great
resentment which we felt, but serves to increase even more our
appreciation of your remonstrances, in the assurance that we
shall see results to correspond. We shall readily listen to Lord
Fildin, and your Majesty may be certain of the desire of the
republic to see increasing glories realised by your person for a
long while, and this we heartily wish you with God's blessing.
Ayes. 129. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
323. Gio. Giustinian Venetain Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Changes continue to take place at this Court and fresh incidents
are constantly occuring, more and more important, with increasing
danger to the royal house. After the riot of the apprentices his
Majesty decided to form a corps de garde at the palace composed of
the trained bands here and also to keep near him those officers who
volunteered their services. The Lower House observing this
new step with renewed misgivings, sent fifty commissioners to
the king to represent to him that owing to the most serious
dangers which menaced the members they besought him to
grant them a guard of citizens commanded by the Earl of Essex.
The king replied in general and complimentary terms, which
did not, however, satisfy the parliamentarians. These, anxious
to make known to the people their misgivings about the perils
they imagined, made a fresh move, ostensibly for their security,
and assembled a body of their members in the Guildhall here who
are charged to make enquiry into the most important matters
and then propose them to parliament. These persons, supplied
with arms, proceeded publicly to the destined place giving everyone
the impression that there was a plot against the liberty of parliament.
By this device they redeemed their credit generally and won back the
affection of the ignorant people. Shut up there in long secret discussions
cussions they persuaded themselves that the king's action and his
resentment were due to the advice of the queen. Accordingly they
decided to accuse her in parliament of conspiring against the public
liberty and of secret intelligence in the rebellion in Ireland. When
their Majesties learned this the king decided to put aside all dissimulation
and to denounce to the Upper House as guilty of high
treason five members of the Lower Chamber and one of the Upper,
of the most powerful and most factious individuals. He did
this through the Attorney General, who produced the article of
accusation, a copy of which I enclose. The king afterwards
sent a herald to the Lower House with the same declaration, and
with the demand that the alleged traitors should be handed over
to him at once as prisoners. At the same time he sent other persons
to their residences with orders to seal their papers, as they did.
Stirred to an extraordinary degree by this unexpected step of
his Majesty parliament sent commissioners to him with orders
to inform him that the accused were safe and that parliament
constituted itself a surety for their persons. The king did not
accept the offer and issued fresh orders to the deputies to obey
his commands. They took time until the next day for their reply.
Meanwhile both Chambers met together. The Lower complained
sharply that his Majesty by sealing up papers of its
members had interfered with the privileges of parliament. It
pointed out the need for resisting this attempt, which it characterised
as violent and unprecedented. They ordered the seals
to be broken and those who had carried out his Majesty's orders
to be taken into custody. Not satisfied with this the Lower
House denounced the accusation against these members as an
infamous libel and an unlawful blow designed to put upon the
Upper House the burden of approving it all, thus casting shame on
his Majesty's commands (et non giuste colpe a dissegno di portare
all 'Allta il decreto per l' approvatione tutto in onta dei commandamenti
della Maesta Sua).
When the king was informed of these insubordinate and disrespectful
actions, he came out of his chamber immediately and
proceeding to the guard room said in a loud voice, My most loyal
subjects and soldiers, follow me (vassali e soldati miei piu fedeli
seguitatemi). Thus, accompanied by 500 men he descended the
stairs of the palace. Finding the coach of a private individual
at the gates he entered it and had himself driven to Westminster
followed on foot by the persons described. He proceeded to the
Lower Chamber and there forbidding any to enter at peril of
their lives, he went in alone, and looking keenly round he noticed
that the accused were not there according to his expectation. He
then said that a very serious incident had forced him to betaken
himself to that place, and this was that having accused five of
their members of high treason he desired them to be handed over
to him at once, and he looked for obedience in this. But no
answer was given and he went out with the same following,
leaving parliament greatly inflamed.
Arrived back at the palace again the king commanded the
heralds to try every means to take these men, but without
result. On the following day he went to the Guildhall, where
he was received in state by the magistrates in the presence of a
great crowd of people. He said he had gone there to put an end
to a false report, maliciously spread abroad, that he thought of
changing the religion. He asserted his determination to maintain
the one professed by Queen Elizabeth, established by decree of
parliament and strictly observed by the late King James, his
father. He declared that he would steadily maintain the privileges
of the people and of parliament. He afterwards proceeded
to dine at the house of one of the sheriffs. (fn. 7) On the way many
cries were heard loudly demanding liberty of parliament. This
made an impression on his Majesty and it affords just grounds for
apprehension to those who sincerely desire the good of the royal house
and the quiet of this kingdom.
Meanwhile parliament assembled, and the Lower House
informed the Upper of the attempt made by the king on the
preceding day, asking it to unite in order to obtain reparation
for the alleged violence. With the assent of both Houses the
session of parliament was suspended for five days, and they
decided that in the interval the conferences begun by the commissioners
should be held in the Guildhall. These commissioners
threaten to proceed to strong measures detrimental to his Majesty's
interests and wise men are apprehensive that we shall soon see here
unheard of happenings, as the parliamentarians as well as the bulk
of the people are working themselves up to defend the liberty and
prerogatives of parliament which they pronounce to be assailed by
the attempts reported (li quali protestano di passare a vigorose risolutioni
contro il servitio di Sua Maesta e restano giustamente adombrati
li piu prudenti che habbian ben tosto a qui vedersi mustruosi successi
grandemente caldi facendosi conoscere li parlamentarii non meno
che la maggior parte del popolo al sostenimento della liberta e prerogative
del Parlamento i quali pubblicano violentati da' scritli
The king, on the other hand, shows great spirit. He has
strengthened the garrison in the Tower and had the guns mounted,
but as he is destitute of money, and perhaps of wise and loyal
advice, the end of this thorny incident remains doubtful. It may
easily make a great breach in the greatness of these princes and in the
happiness of the whole kingdom as well.
In this city they are keeping constant guard. The lowest of
the people are provided with arms and the London shops have
been shut up for the better part of three days. All the trained
bands stand to arms. Today the commissioners of the Lower
House have issued an order forbidding anyone under severe
penalties from attempting the arrest of any member of parliament
soever, which means protecting those accused by his Majesty. Thus
disobedience and disrespect become ever more and more manifest as
a consequence of more audacious decisions.
The French ambassador has renewed his efforts for an accommodation.
The queen in particular has refused, as she does not consider
his offices sincere. A person at Court, moved by his zeal, has
urged me to intervene, but while expressing the sincere desire
of your Excellencies and my own for the highest good of their
Majesties and their people I let the matter drop, as I did not think
it proper to meddle in a difficult affair where success was unlikely.
London, the 17th January, 1641.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
324. Articles of High Treason and other disorders against
Baron Kimbolton, Mr. Benzil Holis, Sir Arthur Aslerig, Mr. John
Pim, Mr. John Ambdem, Mr. William Strode.
Seven Articles. (fn. 8)
[Italian, from the English.]
325. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
I have your Excellencies' letters of the 12th, 20th and 27th ult.
this week. I have reported the king's feeling about the opened
packets and his desire to give redress. He expressed his sentiments
spontaneously last week, when I paid my respects for the new year.
He assured me he would soon be sending his ambassador to
Venice with special letters and instructions apologising for the
incident, and he hoped this would suffice to satisfy your Excellencies.
I learn, however, that the ambassador will not leave
before they see the turn of present events. It should be possible
to form a judgment about this inside a month. God grant that
it be in favour of these princes and of Christianity as well. Among
those accused of treason by his Majesty are the two who opened my
letters. (fn. 9) If his Majesty cannot bring them to justice still less will
he be able to punish them for the outrage done to me.
The information sent about Obson's affair will serve to guide
my action. Two days ago I had here the two members of parliament
interested hi the 3300 ducats sequestrated by Benicelli,
and who demanded letters of marque against Venetian subjects. (fn. 10)
They asked me to have their case delegated to a special corps of
judges. I told them that as the justice of all the republic's courts
was unimpeachable, they might rest assured that if right was on
their side judgment would be in their favour. I said that Obson's
account was biassed, possibly in order to delay payment of his
debts. I advised them to direct their energies against him and
to give up trying for things that are never done. They seemed
convinced, and assured me they had letters from the king to your
Serenity about this affair, in which his Majesty certainly takes
As regards the Palatinate all efforts are now directed to obtain
from the Austrians by negotiation all that is possible for the benefit
of the Palatine family. But since little or nothing is to be expected
of Bavaria or of the Spaniards, so there is no indication that if the
negotiations of the Ambassador Rho prove fruitless any vigorous
decisions will be taken in this quarter. The confused and changing
state of affairs at home and in Ireland, the lack of money and the
numerous debts contracted over past events do not allow them to
think of sending armies elsewhere, or even to think of making alliances
with other princes against one power or another in order to
obtain the restitution of the Palatinate. Some of the merchants
trading to the Indies have proposed, as I wrote, to arm a squadron
of ships at the cost of individual merchants, to make expeditions
in those parts against the dominions of the Catholic king. But
this idea has encountered serious difficulties and there is not
likely to be any decision on the subject soon. This is all I have
to report about the intentions and powers of this crown in the
present scurvy and rotten state of affairs.
London, the 17th January, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
326. To the Ambassador in London.
We wrote to you last week about the complaint of the secretary
of England at the treatment of an alleged servant of his, when he
was amusing himself at a certain mercenary ball which really
deserves to be called a vicious resort of scandalous men. We
have made a careful enquiry into the matter and find that this is
really the case, because the house where these dissolute proceedings
went on is a long way from the usual dwelling of the
secretary. We have thought fit to add these particulars so that
in case of provocation you may be in a position to state the truth,
and render everyone certain of the desire of the state to see the
ministers resident here content.
We enclose a memorial presented by the secretary for the
release of a merchant and the restoration of a bale of silk detained
at Curzola. We have ordered an enquiry to be made, and we
shall always afford his Majesty's subjects all justice and consideration,
as you may testify if the subject is raised by ministers
We hear with satisfaction about the memorandum offering
you to send to sea any kind of galley with one half the crew that
is at present customary ; but it will be necessary to have a
thorough understanding about the price and to adjust the amount,
to the public satisfaction, upon suitable terms, when it is made
clear that we shall enjoy the benefits which he promises. In the
mean time you will assure the one who offers of our gracious
Advices of the progress of the Palatine's cause at Vienna.
Ayes, 127. Noes, 2. Neutral, 5.
327. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty has made the most strenuous efforts to get the
members accused of treason into his hands, or to drive them to
flight, but without success and with serious prejudice to his own
interests. Incensed at the action taken by the commissioners
of parliament forbidding any one to touch the persons or goods of
members of parliament, his Majesty on Friday caused a herald
to proclaim at the gates of the palace and elsewhere that the six
members were guilty of high treason, and those who received
them into their houses, afforded them assistance or other encouragement
were liable to the same penalty, and promising
their goods to any who should hand them over to his forces, alive
or dead. He afterwards sent orders to the magistrate of London
to make the same announcement in the city ; but he excused
himself from obeying, declaring it contrary to the laws of the
realm as well as to the liberty of the subject. He expressed
regret that his Majesty was still pursuing the accused, and with
this declaration assured them of the protection of the city.
These on the other hand, caring nothing for the thunders of his
Majesty's justice, proceeded on the following day publicly to the
Guildhall, supported by numerous squadrons of the trained bands
and favoured by universal acclamations, to continue the usual
conferences with the other commissioners. There they devoted
themselves energetically to confirming the favour of the people
towards themselves and the parliament. Continuing their
intrigues against the king's service they gave currency to numerous
false reports, viz. that he proposed to enter the city armed, to
sack it ; that a short distance from here armed bands of Catholics,
stood ready to contribute to the success of this design. By such
fears they have kept the city in great agitation and have rendered
the name of their prince hateful to the last degree.
They next urged the magistrate of London to point out boldly
to the king the dissatisfaction of his subjects with his present
actions, and to beg him to dismiss from his heart his unjustified
wrath against the accused, asserting that they are his loyal
subjects and greatly beloved by the generality. His Majesty
replied in a simple and gracious manner, and later by the enclosed
paper, very affectionate towards his people, but not honourable
to one so great and a sovereign prince.
Meanwhile in order to render more evident the power of parliament
the commissioners are devoting the most skilful efforts so
that when the session is reopened on Tuesday there may be a
numerous gathering of country people as well as of citizens to
assist and acclaim the defence of parliament. To this end they
sent letters to the neighbouring counties relating what had happened
and asking them to send a certain number of troops on
that day. They made known their intentions also to the heads
of the guilds and to all others, ostensibly for the sake of upholding
the privileges of parliament. Incited by this the simple minded
folk vied with one another in offering their services. The commissioners
being thus assured of having at their disposal a body
of 20,000 persons, comprising countrymen, citizens and sailors,
announced that they would proceed with that following to the
Houses of Parliament to discuss and decide upon that day the
most vigorous measures to frustrate utterly the efforts of his
Majesty, which they roundly characterise as unjust and contrary
The king, hearing of these preparations, and possibly fearing
some enormity such as fanatical tongues are discussing freely at the
moment, decided to withdraw to Hampton Court, and to take with
him the queen, the princes, the princesses and the Palatine also,
in order to avoid the perils which the disturbance might bring as
well as the shame of being spectators of a licence which strikes to the
quick the dignity of his name and the greatness of his royal
Before he left he commanded all the councillors to follow him,
insisting most strongly upon the presence of the Earls of Holland
and Essex, leaders of the Puritan party and reputed the prime
authors of these seditious movements. These, after examination
of their consciences, told his Majesty that they did not consider his
withdrawal either honourable or useful, but rather injurious to his
interests, and they could not obey him on this occasion. They urged
him strongly to remain in the city and rather devote himself to
satisfying his subjects than to take any rash steps. But the king
paid no attention to the representations of ministers whom he does
not trust and proceeded without delay to carry into effect his
original determination. Dismissing the new guards of the
trained bands and accompanied by a few of the nobles devoted
to him he set out on Monday evening for Hampton Court. He
arrived there so unexpectedly that the princes were obliged to
the inconvenience of sleeping in the same bed with their Majesties
(nel letto stesso appresso le Maesta lore). From there he published
the enclosed manifesto in justification of his actions. (fn. 11)
On the following day, in accordance with orders, all the troops
in London were under arms and disposed about the city under
their officers, while the streets were barred with great chains,
and the most dangerous ones with pieces of artillery as well.
4000 horse from the country entered London together. The
sailors scattered over the river in a considerable number of
barques provided with artillery and other firearms, appeared in
obedience to parliament. The apprentices, gathered in great
numbers, also satisfied expectations, and all carried upon banners,
pikes and sticks a printed paper protesting that at any price they
would preserve inviolable the laws of the realm, the liberties of
the country and the observance of the Protestant religion. They
accompanied the members to the Houses at Westminster, acclaiming
their entry by firing guns and muskets and the greatest
applause for those of the six accused by the king in particular.
These people remained standing there until the sitting dissolved.
In it a resolution was passed by both Chambers that parliament
should meet in future in the city and not in the usual place, the
idea being to please the citizens and to be able to take in safety
those decisions which may best secure those ambitious ends which
is the object of all these disturbances.
The Earl of Essex was chosen to inform the king of this resolution
considered one of great moment, and to persuade him to
assent to it, but when he went on Wednesday to Hampton
Court he could not obtain his Majesty's consent.
Meanwhile the king being advised of what had happened and
perhaps not considering himself sufficiently safe at Hampton
Court, which is an open place, proceeded yesterday with all the
royal house to Windsor, 30 miles away, leaving some doubt about
his intentions and whether he means to take a longer journey.
On the other hand parliament, bitterly incensed at the refusal to
agree to their meeting in the city and impelled by other suspicions
about his Majesty's intentions, is contriving to take steps utterly
subversive of the whole royal house unless the king will agree to
accept promptly those laws which they see fit to impose upon him.
The members on his side have not the heart to declare themselves
owing to the preponderance of the opposite party.
They have sent strict orders to all the governors of the fortresses
on the coast not to carry out any commands whatever of his
Majesty unless they are countersigned by parliament, so that in
addition to the loss of his authority the king is despoiled by such
precautions of the most certain means of preparing a strong resistance
against the violence which anger and interest suggest.
There has been some talk among men with most experience that
by taking arms without his Majesty's permission this city has
failed in its obedience and loyalty and consequently has forfeited
its ancient privileges. This has caused the citizens great alarm,
and to protect themselves against misfortunes which a change of
time might produce they have published a justification of their
behaviour as being intended solely to prevent disorder which was
threatened by the general suspicion about the attitude of the
Catholics, and to preserve both the religion and the liberty of the
The French ambassador set out for Windsor yesterday with the
intention of making a fresh attempt to bring about an agreement
between the king and his subjects. But those who know how little
credit he enjoys at the palace and the suspicion that these misfortunes
are encouraged by France, cannot believe that his interposition can
be either useful or sincere.
The Imperial minister here has recently announced to his
Majesty the disposition of the Spaniards and Bavaria towards the
restitution of the Lower Palatinate, on condition that nothing
is said about returning the Upper, and that they shall receive a
just satisfaction in exchange. He asked his Majesty to send
instructions to the Ambassador Ro to offer the recompense which
the good will of those princes to give satisfaction to this crown
deserves. The office pleased the king who said he had sent instructions
to his ambassador which he hoped would lead to mutual
satisfaction and service. But those who observe the state of affairs
in this country cannot persuade themselves that it is possible to work
anything from this side to the disadvantage of the Austrians, so they
hold fast to their first opinion that nothing for the benefit of the
Palatine House will be gained by the present negotiations.
London, the 24th January, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
328. Declaration of his Majesty to all his loving subjects,
published with the advice of his Privy Council. (fn. 12)
[Italian ; from the English ; 19 pages.]
|329. Reply of his Majesty to the Petition of the Mayor and
Aldermen of London. (fn. 13)
[Italian, 3 pages.]
330. That the Secretary of England be summoned to the
Collegio and that the following be read to him :
The benignant disposition which our republic preserves unchangingly
towards his Majesty's subjects has induced us to
direct our representative at Curzola to transmit to the magistracy
of the super duties the bale of silk which Triminam, master of the
ship "Gatta" asserts has been detained from him. Since the
action taken by that Count may have been due to his merely
carrying out the laws in the exaction of the usual duties, we shall
wait for more certain information about the particulars which
will be contained in his letters. We shall then be able to make
our decision, moved by our desire to do whatever is possible to
gratify the ministers of his Majesty. In the mean time we have
wished to give you this information about the orders given.
Ayes, 122. Noes, 1. Neutral, 10.
331. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty remains at Windsor and it is as yet uncertain
whether he will return to this city or go further off, the differences
with parliament being as sharp as ever. Only 200 men comprising
officers and others are with him and there is no sign of any favourable
inclination in Wales, the county of York or elsewhere to assist
in upholding his royal fortunes, as he may have imagined. Accordingly
his hopes are dwindling of being able to restrain by force the
pride of the most seditious parliamentarians, whilst their courage
increases to advance boldly to the accomplishment of their ambitious
The French ambassador has been twice to Court and has freely
offered his services to put an end to suspicion and dissatisfaction.
But their Majesties believe him in complete sympathy with the
opposite party and that France for her own ends wishes to encourage
these troubles. Accordingly they limited their reply to generalities
and gave the minister no opening to institute negotiations as he
Joachimi also, the Dutch ambassador, who arrived here last
week hastened by those who sincerely desire to see these disputes
settled without disturbance, went to Windsor two days ago with
the intention of doing all in his power towards this laudable
object, but finding the king indisposed to submit his civil interests
to arbitrament, Joachimi returned unsuccessful and ill pleased.
The majority of the Upper House and the less prejudiced
merchants of the mart sigh earnestly for a mutually satisfactory
agreement, as they rightly foresee that if the Lower House succeeds
in beating down the royal authority, it will afterwards proceed to
reduce the prerogatives of the nobility as well and will take complete
command of the government. Those again who in their own losses
experience the diminution of trade wish to see quiet restored so
that commerce may pick up and that they may enjoy their
On the other hand the members of the Lower House who are the chief
architects of this machine, encourage disturbance with all their
might, in the assurance of raising their own estate upon the ruins
of the sovereign's authority. Thus they insist upon the punishment
of many of the most faithful of their Majesties' servants, on the
ground that they have given advice contrary to the public liberty,
and that the government of this monarchy should be re-established by
To this end they have introduced a project in parliament, for
the remedy of past disorders and those which may be feared in
the future to request the king to grant to England the same
advantages which he recently conceded to the Scots viz., changing
the councillors, appointing others subject to the approval and
selection of parliament and so divest himself of an ancient right
enjoyed by all his predecessors of distributing offices, leaving them
at the disposal of parliament ; and finally to remove bishops from
sitting in parliament, with other important demands. If these
are granted his Majesty will have nothing but the title of king
left, and will be stripped of credit as well as of authority.
Meanwhile parliament does not relax in the necessary energy
to secure for itself the devotion of the fortresses most to be feared
(pin gelose). To Ult, a place of consequence, the magazine of a
quantity of munitions and arms, they have sent a trustworthy
person to take charge. (fn. 14) When the king heard of this he also sent
orders and patents to the Earl of Newcastle to throw himself hurriedly
into that town to secure its obedience to the king. This
nobleman arrived at the same time as the parliament's emissary.
When the magistrate of the town noticed such different orders, he
would not admit either, but sent an account of everything here
asking for more precise instructions. (fn. 15) They sent back an order
reiterating the demand to admit the parliament's envoy and
directed the Earl of Newcastle to appear here to give information
about the incident. It has served to increase the perturbation of
the parliamentary hotheads and affords fresh cause for suspecting
that his Majesty contemplates further action not calculated for the
preservation of the peace. The king also is naturally much perturbed
by the incident, which he considers highly prejudicial to his
authority, and torn between the circumstances of the time and the most
malignant strokes of Fortune, he has written the enclosed letter to
parliament, full of friendliness and goodwill but also betraying his
own weakness and the fears which compass him about.
By resolution they have declared traitors to parliament Mr.
Digby, ambassador designate to France and Colonel Lansfort,
accused of having assembled troops and incited the people to serve
his Majesty. The latter was arrested by countrymen and is in
prison. Against Digby they have issued orders to all the counties
for his apprehension. They accuse him in addition of having
warned the queen that some of the Lower House intended to take
proceedings against her ; that he persuaded his Majesty to accuse
the six members of treason and to leave London. They have also
sent two members to the queen to ask her to declare who gave her
this information that they thought of accusing her of conspiring
against the state, so that the authors of such reports may be
punished, which they study to represent as false and remote
from the intention of parliament. (fn. 16)
More than one courier has arrived this week from Ireland. All
confirm that the 1300 English sent recently have arrived safely in
that kingdom. They declare that these have entered Dublin,
and the rebels having lost hope, through this relief, of taking the
place have raised the siege, with some loss. Numerous barques
from France laden with corn have reached the ports there and
have supplied sufficient provision for Dublin, which for lack of
them was on the point of surrendering to the enemy.
After much persuasion the city here has at last agreed to grant
parliament a loan of 120,000l. sterling to be devoted to Ireland.
As the difficulties have been overcome the 10,000 Scots are being
despatched and with the levies of this nation, which are being
pushed forward it is hoped that the rebels will not be able to hold
out any longer against such powerful forces. General Conouel,
who is to command the English, has set out. He took officers
with him and a quantity of provisions and munitions of
There is some suspicion that the Dunkirk ships which frequent
the ports here ostensibly on their own affairs, are lading other
provisions to take to the rebels in Ireland. This has moved them
to grant permission to the Dutch General Tromp to search
Dunkirk ships even in the English ports and remove any supplies
which exceed the requirements of their voyage. This will lead
to serious disorders, not to speak of the slight to the reputation of
this crown and of the ports.
Two days ago two priests were condemned to the extreme
penalty and the execution took place today, to the extreme regret
of not only the Catholics but the Protestants as well, who, unlike
the Puritans, abhor shedding the blood of such innocent victims. (fn. 17)
London, the 31st January, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
332. Letter of his Majesty written 30—20 January to the
two Houses of Parliament. (fn. 18)
[Italian ; translated from the English ; 3 pages.]