Venice
July 1615, 21-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1907

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529-545

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'Venice: July 1615, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 13: 1613-1615 (1907), pp. 529-545. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=95909 Date accessed: 20 October 2014.


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July 1615, 21–31

July 21. Cl. VII. Cod. MXLIX Bibl. S. Marco, Venice.931. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
While I was closing the preceding M. de Puisieux informs me that he has just received a letter from the Marquis of Rambouillet of the 10th inst. in which he does not say a single word about what passed between him and the ambassador of England, so that he does not believe these difficulties have arisen, or that the Marquis thought little of him and did not think it necessary to refer to the matter. He hinted that this might possibly be one of the duke's usual tricks. He said that the king's ratification would arrive on the 12th, and beyond a doubt it had been presented immediately, as the Marquis wished to return to France as soon as possible.
I believe that a ratification similar to the one already despatched will be handed to the ambassadors of Savoy, so that they may send it to Turin by the courier leaving to-day.
Paris, the 21 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
July 21. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.932. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of France has taken leave of all the ambassadors. He will see the princes to-morrow and expects to leave on Thursday. With regard to the difference with England about the signed declaration he said he had said nothing about it in France, as he is expecting his leave to depart, and thinks he can perform this office better orally, the more so as the ministers were to have sent him information upon this, and they have not yet done so. He seemed sorry for having raised this difficulty, although he said he would speak about it to the queen. With regard to the rumour at court that Marini had incited the ambassador to do this, Marini swore solemnly to me that he knew nothing about it.
Turin, the 21 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
July 21. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Savoia. Venetian Archives.933. Rainer Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has also decided to go, and took leave of His Highness to-day. He afterwards came to bid farewell to me, saying he was going on Thursday, the same day as France. He expects to travel with the wife of the Ambassador Scaglia. He thinks the duke will remain a while at peace, which he considers has given him great prestige. He told me that the duke had said that the prince was to arrange to-day to find money to complete the disbanding of all the superfluous troops.
The benefits of peace are beginning to be appreciated here. The duke gives a feast every day upon some pretext or other. They say he will give a splendid one in the park to-morrow, to which all the ambassadors will be invited. I gave one on Sunday, attended by the duke, the princes, the duke of Saxony and all the ambassadors, as well as Marini, and the agent of England with some French cavaliers and forty ladies. They danced for several hours, when the duke arrived with twenty huntsmen and took the ambassadress and ladies a hunting for an hour in the greatest heat.
Turin, the 21 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
July 22. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives.934. Letter of the Marquis of Rambouillet to the Cardinal Duke of Mantua, enclosed in a despatch of Antonio Antelmi, Venetian Resident at Milan, of 22 July, 1615.
Peace has been made with the duke of Savoy. In conformity with this the Spanish troops are to be withdrawn from San Damiano. The duke of Savoy has promised in writing not to attack the States of your Highness and his differences with you will be submitted to the emperor. He asks that you pardon your rebels, as it is the prayer of the nuncio and of the ambassadors of England and Venice that they be spared in their lives and property, and we hope your Highness will not refuse this request.
[Italian.]
July 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.935. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I wrote that the king's secretary had sent to the ambassador of Savoy the articles of the league between the king here and the United Princes, in order that His Highness might choose whether he should enter it, or unite with His Majesty alone. I added that I would endeavour to obtain a copy. I have succeeded and enclose it. I will give in a few words the contents of these articles, as there is not time enough to translate them. The union is defensive, the princes included are the Elector Palatine, Brandenburg, Christian and William, Marquises of Brandenburg, the duke of Wirtemberg, the Landgrave of Hesse, the Marquis of Baden and the prince of Anhalt. The alliance is understood to be between the king and the realms subject to him, the Electors, princes and towns united with them and their subjects. The king binds himself, in case of need, to come to their defence with 4,000 paid infantry, and they to assist His Majesty whenever he is attacked by land or by sea, with 2,000 paid infantry or with sufficient money to pay them at His Majesty's choice; that the troops of both sides shall be commanded by a captain, with subordinate captains, who will all obey the general of the party succoured who may make use of their services where he thinks fit. That the assistance on either side must be ready to march within three months after the request has been made by the party attacked, and if it is in money it shall be ready within the same time, for three months in advance. That the cost of the levies and of taking them from one country to another shall be borne by the party assisting for a whole year, if need be, and if the war continue longer, provision shall be made by a new article. With regard to the passage by sea, as the princes have no ships, the king will supply them. That in the case when His Majesty and the confederate princes have a defensive alliance with others and have sent them assistance before being requested by one of these contracting parties, in such case the parties shall not be bound to supply more than one half of the stipulated assistance. Similarly if His Majesty or the princes are attacked they shall not only be free from supplying assistance, but may recall what they have previously sent. After three months' notice the Electors, princes and States may not make any alliance with others to the prejudice of this one. His Majesty promises the same on his part. The alliance is to last for six years between the contracting parties, and its renewal shall be discussed a year before its expiry. It is dated at Wesel on 28 March, old style.
This is a brief summary of the essential parts of the document of which I enclose a copy.
I have seen the first article of the document which His Majesty's secretary gave to the ambassador of Savoy, who sent it to the duke. It states that it is left to His Highness to decide whether he will enter into the union and alliance with His Majesty and the Princes, or with His Majesty alone. That after a settlement has been arranged with him, the same thing will be proposed to your Serenity.
All this will, I hope, serve as information for your Excellencies, so that you may not be taken unawares if this affair continues to proceed in the same manner.
The couriers arrived from Spain for the king and the Catholic ambassador bring the confirmation of the peace of Italy, and thanks for this to the ambassador of His Majesty and to the king for his interposition. They declare that Spain has agreed to consent to conditions out of respect for the king, which she would not have done for others, and while expressing thanks for the complete sincerity of the king in this negotiation has again affirmed the usual promise to restore the places of Cleves, in more formal terms than ever. This has made a great impression upon the king and possibly upon some others.
London, the 23 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch.936. Copy of the articles of the Union.
Dated at Wesel on 28 March, 1612, old style.
[French.]
July 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.937. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 19th the ambassador of Savoy had by express courier letters from his duke of the 29th ult. and the 9th and 10th inst., with others from the count of Verua of the same dates, and from the Ambassador Carleton of the 10th. With the first was a copy of the articles of agreement, in the first sheet separately the bond of M. de Gueffier and in the others those of the ambassadors of England and of your Serenity. The letter was rather short, but contained everything essential which has taken place up to that day. The letters of the 9th say that the Ambassador Carleton spoke about an alliance with the king here and his allies. He commands him to thank His Majesty and to learn in particular those whom he wishes to include, the conditions and all other details, to carry on the negotiations and send back full and particular information of all. The letters of the 10th contain something of the same kind, adding the amount of money that will be needed for arming; it recalls the promises made by the king and ends by saying that if, by means of those who govern, he can facilitate the affair, he must use every effort. He also commands him to speak in honour of the ambassador Carleton, and urges His Majesty strongly to write forcibly to France about Rambouillet and the ratification. The letters of Verua contain the same things and many others more in detail. The letter of Carleton consists partly of past events partly of compliments.
On the 24th the duke informed his ambassadors in France of the reluctance of the Marquis of Rambouillet to ratify and of the difficulties placed in the way of ratification by Gueffier; the conversation which he had had with the ambassador of England and also with the ambassador of your Excellencies. He said that the binding of so many princes for Savoy was a sort of union against Spain, and commands them to urge the ratification by their Majesties and speak of the somewhat violent and passionate methods of Rambouillet. He sent a copy of the letters sent to France to the ambassador here some days later. That ambassador saw the king's secretary the same day. He began with the indebtedness which the duke acknowledges to this crown, he afterwards enlarged upon the part relating to Rambouillet, and asked that the king should write strongly to their Most Christian Majesties, urging them to ratify. The secretary replied that the ratification of France had already been sent, that the king's ambassador had worked actively for this and obtained it easily, that it was necessary to bind the union between the king and the duke, and advanced some remarks on this head. The ambassador said that he would see His Majesty and asked for an audience yesterday.
I will execute the commands of your Excellencies to thank the king for the letter written to the Grisons in favour of their negotiations there, and of the promises to Savoy if Spain breaks faith, thanking him for his activity on behalf of the peace of Italy. For this I will obtain audience, although the king is some miles away. (fn. 1) I should have done so before, if I had not been very unwell of late. I hope to send word to your Excellencies of the negotiations of the ambassador of Savoy with the king at his first audience with regard to joining in alliance, and of what he writes to his duke.
London, the 23 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
July 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.938. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have letters from Cleves of the 6th inst, with advices that Count John of Nassau had 3,000 thalers at Padelborn, six horses as a gift and quarters for all his troops for three days; that some disturbance had taken place with the peasants, in whose favour certain troops had been sent from Spain, and some from Maurice in favour of the Count; on the morning of the 29th he passed Frankfort with 800 horse and 700 foot, all fine troops.
I hear from the Hague in letters of the 12th that the troops of Brandenburg have taken possession of Altona; in the county of Marck, and in various places of the county of Ravensberg he had set some garrisons. The day for summoning before the emperor the interested parties to decide upon the differences of Cleves has been postponed; the Electress of Brandenburg has sent word to the Elector to follow his own inclinations and to be sure to make no mistake. The Elector. of Cologne has asked for a contribution from the country of Liege, which up to the present has shown a reluctance to grant any. The Elector Palatine and the bishop of Spires are negotiating to arrange with the emperor the differences in the town of Worms. The bishop of Bamberg has taken by force a place called Vilssech. The Elector, together with the princess, has gone to the high Palatinate with more than 900 horse. At Nurenberg he was received with great honour. The king has been much annoyed at hearing of so great an expense without any occasion for it, and has said as much.
The agent of Brunswick at the Hague has brought to the notice of Barnevelt some negotiations being carried on by the Archduke with certain important persons to induce the Hanse towns to remain neutral in the event of trouble, with their forces and others of the empire, but without success, as those engaged in the negotiations immediately met with a repulse in emphatic terms.
In the country of Cleves Bouillon (Buglione) has bought arms for 1,000 horse and 2,000 muskets. The greater part have reached Sedan, where he shows some inclination to raise levies. Here they speak of sending some one to see Bouillon, who would afterwards go on to Grenoble to take part in the assembly held by those of the religion. This is kept very secret, but I hope to send particulars about it to your Excellencies.
The king's ambassador, on the 7th inst., told the States that the promise of the Archduke to restore the places in Cleves, without naming His Majesty and the king of France, will be received as if made to himself, and if he fails to keep it offence will be taken as if the breach of faith had been made to his royal person, as your Excellencies will see by the very words spoken by him at the meeting, of which I enclose a copy with a translation.
Some days ago there arrived here Sig. Tomaso Morosini son of Sig. Francesco, now captain in Candia. After he had voyaged for many years upon the great and small galleys and acquired practice, he has made the journey hither from Candia by sea, in order to render himself more fitted for your service, and as he wishes to join theory to practice, he is studying the reason for the things which he could not understand on the voyage. I hope that he will stay here, and I am much pleased to see his attitude and his desire to serve your Excellencies, who could not have a more willing or devoted servant.
London, the 23 July, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch.939. Addition of the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain to his last proposition of the 3rd July, 1615.
The king of Great Britain by his letters of the 29 June gives me power to assure the States that although the promise is conceived in indefinite terms, according to which His Majesty is engaged to the archduke that the States will agree to his favour and request, His Majesty interprets that promise as made to himself, and if it is not observed he will be no less bound in honour to be avenged than if the archduke had contracted with his royal person.
(Signed) Henry Wotton.
[French.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch.940. Translation of the above.
[Italian.]
July 23. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.941. Giovanni Rizzardo, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitori of State.
Biondi, who had left the city, as I reported, has been sent for by the king and sent, so they say, to Holland, in His Majesty's service. As he was to leave in two days, I endeavoured with as much art as I could muster, to obtain the book from him, saying that I heard it had come into his hands. He denied roundly that he had ever seen it; though he admitted it was said and confessed that scattered rumours credited him with the authorship. He took a solemn oath that this was not true. He added that the matter had come to the queen's ears and she herself had asked him for it and he had given her the same answer. He solemnly assured me that he had never seen it and further added that if he was not obliged to leave so soon he would have done his utmost to find it in order to oblige me, and if he cannot get it before he will do so on his return, which will be in two or three months at most. I used every art to get what I wanted out of him, but could obtain nothing further. Meanwhile I will not fail to go about discrediting the scattered rumours and removing as far as possible the prejudices against our ambassador which were fomented by one whose duty surely pointed the other way. I have only recently removed an offence given to the king's principal secretary by His Excellency in not having gone to visit him when asked, an appointment having been made, and he had waited for him in vain for several hours, as he complained. The ambassador stayed away because the secretary had promised to see the ambassador of Brandenburg, and told him to follow the latter at five o'clock as he had given four o'clock to the other. His Excellency stood out upon the point of ceremony as he did not think he ought to go after the other, and small wonder for various reasons. I took occasion afterwards to call upon the secretary about the matter, with the approbation of His Excellency, and offered excuses which were well received, so that I succeeded in satisfying him. I have thus served your Excellencies as I hope to do in the future. It seems to me that the ambassador has grown sick at heart owing to his long stay in this embassy, and this has caused him to show a certain irritability occasionally.
I have informed your Excellencies from time to time upon all the particulars committed to me in my letters sent by every ordinary despatch leaving here. I have spared no pains and have been deterred by no risks in the difficulties which I have encountered, when the truth of the matter demanded it. I have written nothing which I have not verified by the testimony of more than one person. It has always been my aim to please your Excellencies and to serve God and the republic, so far as my poor abilities allow in such important affairs. If I have failed I beg you at least to credit my good will, which could not be greater. If your Excellencies desire anything further I shall be proud to have the opportunity of executing your commands, although my ill fortune or possibly my failings give me no hope of any satisfaction beyond my own conscience, as after serving for twenty-seven years in matters of no less importance, I find myself in the same condition of fortune as when I began. This is perhaps unprecedented, or rather a solitary instance of ill fortune. All the same, I shall continue to serve with the same readiness so long as life lasts.
London, the 23 July, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Grisoni. Venetian Archives.942. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary to the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate..
The men of Zurich have sent me the enclosed letter which I forward with one from the Bernese to the English ambassador, which I send on to be delivered to him, as he is said to be returning to your Excellencies.
Sant, the 23 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch.943. Letter from the Zurichers to the Ambassador Barbarigo.
Request to send on the enclosed letter from the Bernese to the English Ambassador Carleton, so that he may have it soon.
Monday the 10 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
July 24. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives.944. To the Ambassador in Rome.
The ambassador Barbarigo after negotiating with Zurich and Berne, proceeded to the Grisons. Now that the towns have withdrawn their ambassadors from that country in order to facilitate the opening of the pass, as they are bound to do, our ambassador has leave to continue his journey to the embassy of England, to which he was previously appointed. [ .] We have done this because in the present quiet of Italy other troops are not necessary. We send this for information, and you will only reply to direct questions in such manner as your prudence may dictate.
The like to the following:
The ambassador at the Imperial Court.
The residents in Florence, Milan and Naples mutatis mutandis.
The ambassador in Savoy, adding: but as in these affairs of Savoy we have cause to complain of this action of the ministers and dependents of France, and others too, we leave it to your prudence whether to keep silence or to make discreet mention of if when opportunity serves.
The ambassador in France, adding: We wish you to thank the prince of Condé, the duke of Mayenne, the duke of Bouillon and especially the duke of Nevers for their good offices and express our regret that the ministers and dependents of France have not responded to our friendly feeling as we expected.
The ambassador in England, adding between the brackets: He is coming to succeed you and to gratify your most just desire to return home after wanderings of so many years; and at the end, you will thank His Majesty for his share in this, for which we are most indebted to him; you will express our continued esteem for him, our regret at seeing the ill conduct of certain ministers and dependents of other princes, and our desire to prove our friendship by deeds.
Ayes142.
Noes2.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
July 24. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives.945. To the Ambassador Barbarigo.
You have received orders from us to continue your journey direct to England. On the way, you will pass through Zurich, and will express our satisfaction at the conclusion of the league and for their support in the matter of the Grisons with other matters. After this you will continue your journey without any further delay for negotiations or anything else.
We have thought good to renew your credentials for England and other princes on the way. We enclose these so that you may use them instead of those given you two years ago.
Ayes112.
Noes2.
Neutral45.
On the same day in the Cabinet.
Ayes17.
Noes0.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
July 25. Collegio, Secreta. Lettere. Venetian Archives.946. To the Queen of Great Britain.
Letters of credence for Gregorio Barbarigo, who is coming as ambassador in place of Antonio Foscarini, who has leave to return home.
Ayes21.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
July 25. Collegio, Secreta. Lettere. Venetian Archives.947. To the Ambassador Foscarini in England.
Two years ago Gregorio Barbarigo was sent by us to succeed you. He has been engaged meanwhile on a mission to the Swiss and Grisons, which has proved a difficult, lengthy and important embassy. You will, however, be pleased to hear that yesterday we sent directing him to continue his journey to the English court. On his arrival you will perform together the necessary offices with their Majesties, the prince and others. That done, you will consign the documents to him and give him all necessary information. You may then return home, with the assurance that you have given satisfaction by your diligence and ability in the long course of this embassy.
Ayes18.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
July 25. Collegio, Lettere. Secreta. Venetian Archives.948. To the Archduke Albert.
Gregorio Barbarigo, on his way to act as ambassador with the king of Great Britain, is expressly charged to visit [your Highness] and to renew the memory of our affection, and to show our desire to prove it by deeds.
The like to the following :—
The Duke of Lorraine.
The Archbishop of Cologne.
The Archbishop of Mayence.
The Archbishop of Treves.
The Prince of Anhalt.
The Marquis of Anspach.
The Landgrave of Hesse.
Count Maurice.
The Count Palatine
The Marquis of Baden
The letter to the Marquis of Baden contains in addition thanks for favours already received on the negotiations with Switzerland.
Ayes21.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
July 25. Collegio, Lettere. Secreta. Venetian Archives.949. To the King of Great Britain.
We have granted leave to return home to Antonio Foscarini, our ambassador with your Majesty. In his place we are sending Gregorio Barbarigo. We beg you to receive the latter and give him full credence.
Ayes21.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
July 25. Collegio, Lettere. Secreta. Venetian Archives.950. To the Prince of Wales.
Letters of credence for Gregorio Barbarigo, who is sent to take the place of the Ambassador Antonio Foscarini, who has leave to return home.
Ayes21.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
July 25. Cl. VII. Cod. MXLIX. Bibl. di S. Marco, Venice.951. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The fact that no letters have come from Turin either for their Majesties or the ministers of His Highness gives rise to the belief that the difficulties there are settled. Nevertheless the Savoyards continue to raise money on some jewels sent here by the duke.
Their Majesties have informed me that they propose to leave on the 3rd prox. and will be glad if I will accompany them. All the other ambassadors have also been invited and have at once sent off to their princes to supply them with the expenses for the journey. Their Majesties will go to Bordeaux, where the duke of Guise will arrange for the betrothal of the prince of Spain to the king's sister, and they will send from there to the duke of Lerma to complete the same ceremony with the Infanta of Spain; so that both the betrothed may be brought to the frontiers a short distance from Bayonne, and the exchange of the princesses will follow. Although there is little hope of the prince of Condè accompanying them, M. de Villeroi has been sent a third time to ask him to come. The princes have met at a place three days distant from here, in order to decide what they shall do.
Those of the religion are assembled at Grenoble; it is understood that they have not made up their minds what to do, and although they would like to offer some opposition to the marriages, they will delay a little before they make it known.
A reply has at length been given to the representations made by the English ambassador in this particular. Instructions have been given to M. Desmaretz (de Marè), who has already set out to reside as ordinary ambassador at that court, to speak in conformity to the king, thanking him for his kindly interest in the affairs of this kingdom and for representing what he thought would be for its interest, but saying that matters had gone so far, a promise had been made to the Catholic king, that it was impossible to delay the effectuation of the marriages any longer, especially as at the recent meeting of the States General all three orders had united to ask that they might be effected as soon as possible; they feel sure that His Majesty will benefit by this alliance, if only in the advantage of his ancient friends.
Paris, the 25 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
July 25. Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.952. To the Proveditor at Zante.
Notification of severe punishment against those who in any way molest Dimitri Rucani, the fermor of the new custom imposed in that island and in Cephalonia upon raisins, which custom has been fraudulently avoided in various ways by the secret exportation of those raisins from the said islands.
Ayes100.
Noes3.
Neutral3.
The like to the Proveditor of Cephalonia.
[Italian.]
July 26. Senato. Secreta. Dispacoi, Savoia. Venetian Archives.953. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
When I was speaking with the nuncio the other day he complained of the duke and still move of his ministers for having sent to his ambassador at Rome a copy of the articles containing England and not the pope. This had been published and shown to everybody at Rome, making it appear that His Holiness has not had the smallest share in these negotiations. The ministers explained that it was an inadvertence. The duke was not satisfied with the part taken by the pope, thinking him too Spanish.
Turin, the 26 July, 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 26. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.954. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke of Saxony came to invite me to the feast of which I wrote, at which were present His Highness, the princes, the ambassador of England, the ambassadress and various ladies. His Highness had three tables set out in different places, in shaded spots near fountains, with hidden music. The duke introduced each course with some fresh invention and the whole affair passed off splendidly. It took place at Mille Fonti, three miles from Turin. At the end the duke proposed that all, including the ladies, should return to the city on horseback. On the way the duke left the ambassadress and accompanied me almost the whole of the journey. In the course of the conversation he told me of the desire of the duke of Saxony to serve your Serenity.
On the following morning I went to see him, having already asked for an audience. But the ambassadress called him, and so, saying he would see me to-morrow, the duke accompanied her to the house of the English ambassador. Both had already taken leave of him that day. The ambassador remained four days longer because he had an attack of his old trouble the gravel. This has decided him not to go by boat and he will travel by land by the usual road through Milan.
A courier reached this ambassador yesterday bringing the ratification of the peace. He was further instructed to say that the king promised active assistance to the duke as well as defence in case the Spaniards break their word. The ambassador immediately imparted this to His Highness. The duke and the princesses have given presents to him and subsequently to the ambassadress, so that he leaves in high favour with His Highness.
Turin, the 28 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
July 30. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.955. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday the ambassador of Savoy had audience and executed the duke's commands, thanking the king for the proposals made by the Ambassador Carleton for an alliance with himself and others in a confederation, and to say that in return for this and other favours he will always be ready to spend his life, his state and his children; that moreover His Highness desired to know what was the nature of the conditions of such a confederation. The king replied that in order to render the duke safe he is ready to do everything, and replies were also given with regard to the conditions. The king finally said that the alliance must be defensive and it would be as well to include the United Princes; that assistance should be regulated in accordance with the forces of each, and every one ought to send in case of need. The ambassador added that the duke will be ready to follow His Majesty's wishes upon condition that your Excellencies are first informed and invited to enter upon a league with His Majesty and the duke alone, in whichever way you might think most to your advantage. The king replied that this should be done and the ambassador requested that in the meantime a person should be sent to set the treaty on foot, and thus the king despatched the secretary. Yesterday morning they had their first meeting; the ambassador was asked what was to be done. He replied that it was to hear His Majesty's commands. The secretary said that he ought to state the wishes of His Highness, and so after exchanging question and answer the ambassador announced that the instructions which he had from the duke were to discover what the king commands with regard to the confederation of which the Ambassador Carleton spoke, and to inform His Highness about it. They finally arranged to propose to the king's ambassador that the duke should enter, that His Majesty should speak to me, and that letters should be written to the ambassador and to your Excellencies, while an account of all this should be given to the duke. The ambassador did not think that it would be advantageous to the duke to join with the United Princes, as he believes that a serious war is hanging over them and he has written to that effect to His Highness by the person sent post on the 15th inst. and who was reported to have reached Turin six days ago. He would consider an alliance with the king advantageous because the forces of these three united kingdoms, being surrounded by the ocean where His Majesty is considerably more powerful than any one who could think of attacking him, make it certain that he can remain at peace at his pleasure, and that the conclusion of a defensive alliance will bring the duke reputation and safety (con il Re sarebbe utile perche le forze di questi tre Regni uniti, l'esser circondati dall Occano, e sopra esso assai più potente Sua Maestà che chi potesse pensar di offenderla, s'assicura che a piacer suo habbi a continuar' in pace; che il concluder unione a diffesa possa apportar al Duca suo riputatione et sicurtà).These are the opinions which he has forwarded to His Highness to whom he has pointed out that in case of need all the allies of this Crown can easily be moved by the authority which the king has with them.
London, the 30 July, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.956. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
This morning the king gave me audience. I first thanked him for the letter written to the Grisons in favour of the interests of your Serenity; then for his successful efforts for the peace of Italy. I added that your Excellencies had decided to engage your word to the duke in case Spain should break faith, in order to please His Majesty. I added that I rejoiced at the glory which he had acquired by the great part which he had in bringing about peace. The king replied that he had been very glad to write to the Grisons and it was not his first effort in those parts. He said that in Piedmont the French ambassador had joined himself to the Nuncio, and his Lieger to the ambassador of your Serenity. He said this with pleasure and seemed delighted at the praise bestowed upon him for having brought about peace. He went on to say that the duke desired to join with him and with your Excellencies in a defensive alliance. This is to your advantage, as if you were bound to defend him if the Spaniards broke their word and wished to attack him, His Highness would be the only one to enter the union without binding himself to more. They will obtain reciprocal concessions from the duke so that he may also incline to join himself with the United Princes. Your Excellencies were interested in not allowing them to grow fat in a country so near as Germany, and, even if these arms were turned against you, he could be of assistance and send help so that a union with them would be helpful.
In speaking of the duke he referred to the affair as if it was smooth and easy, but when I spoke of the princes he seemed uncertain. He asked me if I thought that your Excellencies would enter, saying that he did not wish to make a proposal which would be refused. I confined myself to saying that I had written what he had commanded and given the same reasons, doing my part as best I could. While I was speaking the king said that he could not know. Seeing that the king was undecided and thinking it well to gain time I said that it was an easy matter, that in three or four days letters would reach me from your Excellencies commanding me to thank him for the conclusion of the peace, and he might in any case command me and he might postpone for those few days the expression of his wishes to me. He replied that with regard to writing now or waiting a few days he left it to me to do what I thought best, hinting that he might have spoken more opportunely and copiously to me. I asked him if he had written about this to your Serenity and had instructed his ambassador to speak. He replied that he had not written but he had thought of doing so; he had already given the instructions to his ambassador, who will be executing them. Thus the audience terminated without His Majesty speaking to me of the affairs of Flanders, France or Germany. Even in what I have written he showed considerable reserve.
London, the 30 July, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.957. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The person destined by the king to go to France has received 720 crowns for three months in advance and has set out.I have seen his instructions in the original. In them the king says that his service required a person to send to those princes, and he had been chosen as one known for his experience, ability and prudence. That he instructed him to go to Sedan and present his credentials to the duke of Bouillon, saying that he had come to serve him and obey his commands. He is commanded not to depart from his instructions, which state that if Bouillon advises him, as he will, to go to the prince of Condè and others, he must obey, and afterwards proceed straight to Grenoble to be present at the general assembly held by those of the religion. That with regard to the duke and the princes, when he is with them he must make more use of his ears than of his mouth. At the same time he is to state boldly that His Majesty is the friend of peace and opposed to revolt, that as God had created him a monarch and absolute prince, the disobedience of subjects cannot please him; that to remedy the disorders in the government of France it would be better for them to have recourse first to remonstrances and petitions, and if these proved unsuccessful and they continued in their resolution to incorporate France with Spain and maltreat the parliaments, then he would render them every assistance and succour according to the necessity or whatever seemed advisable at the moment. That he should inform the Assembly that as His Majesty is head of the religion, God knows that nothing is dearer to him than it, and whenever that is concerned he will always be ready to stake his kingdoms and his life, but that in other matters they ought to proceed without precipitancy refraining from rebellion, that arma ecclesiae sunt preces et lacrimce and they ought to serve and obey, that it is the church militant and not triumphant, and he exhorts them to have recourse first to remonstrances and petitions and if these do not succeed he will not fail to defend the right cause. If he finds them irresolute or lukewarm he is to promise them protection, and he is to send constant reports of what he sees and does. He is to tell the Duke of Bouillon that the king has notified Prince Maurice that he should send three companies of English to Sedan. (Che consigliando Buglione, come fara, di passar al Principe di Condè et altri esequisca, et poi, se ne vada dritto a Grenoble per assistere all' Assemblea Generale, che vi tengono quelli della religione, che quanto a quel Duca et ai Principi con chi si trovera debba servirsi piu delle orecchie che della bocca che dica nondimedo arditamente, che Sua Maestaè amica di quiete et contrario alle solevationi che havendolo Dio fatto nascere monarca e Principe assoluto non le deve piacere la disobbedienza de' sogetti che per remediare a disordini nel governo di Francia conviene che recorreno prima alle remostranze et supplicatione et quando queste non giovino e che si vogli continuare nei disordini a incorporare la francia nella Spagna, et mal trattare li parliamenti, in tal caso gli soministrerà ogni assistenza et soccorso secondo il bisogno aquello che ariserano all'hora, che all' Assemblea doverrà far sapere che essendo Sua Maesta capo della Religione, sa Dio che niuna cosa li è più a cuore, che essa, el chè ove si trattera di ciò sarà pronto per impiegare i Regni et la vita, ma che per altro si deve proceder con consideratione, scostandosi dagli amutinamenti che arma ecclesiæ sunt preces et lacrimæ, che deve servire et obbedire, che è chiesa militante e non trionfante, esorta a recorrer prima alle remonstranze et suplicationi, che non giovando non manchera alla diffesa di giusta causa, che trovandoli irressoluti o deboli di calore et animo, promettendoli protettione et quanto andera vedendo et negotiando arisi diligentemente; che al Duca di Buglion dica che ha fatto intendere al Principe Mauritio che lasci passare tre compagnie de Inglesi a Sedan.)
Subsequently the king's secretary ordered him to go, not to Sedan but to a place near Amiens called Caucè where he will find Bouillon, Longuerille and other magnates assembled. The superscription of the letter to Bouillon is in French and runs Mon cousin le Duc de Bouillon, Mareschal de France. With these instructions he will leave to-day or to-morrow.
London, the 30 July, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 30. Cl. VII. Cod. MXLIX. Bibl. S. Marco, Venice.958. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A reply has appeared under the name of the king of England to the harangue made by the Cardinal du Perron at the meeting of the States General; it is little to the taste of those of the Government.
Paris, the 30 July, 1615.
[Italian.]
July 31. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.959. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The general assembly of the States has separated in disorder for the present with the resolution to meet again on the 1st prox. With regard to the affairs of Cleves they resolved to wait and see whether the emperor really means the sequestration of the country of Cleves, as they firmly believe that he does; in order to resist every attempt at violence they have given power and instructions to Maurice to send all the cavalry to the frontiers, as well as the militia of Friesland and Guelders: At the instance of the ambassador of this king presented in the ordinary assembly on the 3rd inst., of which I enclose a copy with a translation, and at the declaration made by the same person on the 7th in the general diet that His Majesty will receive the promise as if it were made to himself, and if it is broken he will be avenged, of which I sent a copy a week ago, they have decided to answer that they will do what he wishes, but they first point out to him that if the imperial sequestration follows the restitution of the places on both sides, all the country of Cleves will remain in the hands of Cæsar, which is as good as saying of Spain, that it would therefore be better to postpone a little and afterwards they will not fail to do what His Majesty desires and will fulfil the promise as he wishes.
The Spaniards and the archduke are strengthening themselves upon this. They declare that they are ready and lay all the blame upon the States. Thus they raise two important difficulties in the way of restitution. One is that of the Dutch who do not wish the withdrawal of the words, that the king has promised to the archduke, and their ambassador has told His Majesty that they will be removed. The other is that if this is settled it is very well known that Spain wishes the promise to be made to the archduke and not in vague terms. Those who know best think that these differences must finally result in war and the least evil for some time will be that both Spain and the States should keep what they possess.
It seems that the king of Denmark has again taken up his original dispute with Lubeck. Upon this not only the other Hanseatic towns, but the confederate provinces also are making formal protests.
A week to-day the ambassador of the States had audience. He stated the wish of his masters in the general assembly to gratify His Majesty by removing from the promise the words that they make it directly to the king, and leave it concise and indefinite, but that it is necessary first to see the decision of the Emperor with regard to sequestration. He enlarged upon this. He afterwards referred to the affair of the king of Denmark and Lubeck, in which His Majesty will act strongly. The ambassador of the States told me that if he is not successful, his masters will take another resolution.
Each of the confederate Princes of Germany is keeping a certain armed force in his own country, but of little or no consideration. They are those for the common defence, notwithstanding all the resolutions taken in the past Diets.
London, the 31st July, 1615.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch.960. The Ambassador of the king of Great Britain at audience with MM. the States General, the 3 July, 1615. He had come to say but little and hoped to spare the occasion to say more. His Majesty, who had worked sincerely for his friends, was astonished and vexed that they had already wasted seven months in correcting three or four syllables. He had therefore taken it upon himself to assure the Archdukes that the States would accept the promise in indefinite terms; that is to say that it should be made by both parties without any mention of the Emperor or of the kings. This point being settled, His Majesty wishes to see the treaty of Zanten carried out forthwith, which the Archdukes cannot refuse without unmasking their insincerity. In that case it would be necessary to take other measures, and the Ambassador begs the States in the name of his master to decide without loss of time, so that the whole may be carried out as soon as possible. In conclusion the ambassador presented to the States an explanatory declaration in the form of a missive which His Majesty had thought good to obtain from the Archdukes out of consideration for the Princes of Germany and his other friends.
Signed: Henry Wotton.
[French.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch.961. Translation of the above.
[Italian.]
July 31. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.962. Giovanni Rizzardo, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
I send here the duplicates of my last, as I have been accustomed to do with all the others. I have to add that the person sent to France, of whom the ambassador speaks in the public despatches, is the Biondi reputed author of the book, of whom I wrote previously that it was reported that he was going to Holland. I must not omit to state that His Excellency continues to send the advices which are communicated to him by the ambassadors of Savoy and Brandenburg, whom he does not fail to visit every week while they return his calls. He keeps up his close intercourse with Savoy, even more than ever. I send all this in the execution of my instructions.
London, the 31 July, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 At Theobalds, about 14 miles distant.