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1621. May. He fails in an attack upon the town.



fifty English vessels which had been taken in the past six years; but though he was ready to remonstrate, he was not prepared to fight. Supplies promised from England had not reached him ; sickness was raging in his fleet, and he sailed away, leaving the town untouched. For five months, he did little or nothing. It was not till May 21 that he re-appeared at Algiers. Three days afterwards, the wind at nightfall blew towards the shore, and he launched his fire-ships against the pirate shipping. For a moment success seemed to be within reach. In no less than seven places the flames was seen shooting up amongst the rigging; but the English vessels which were to have supported the fire-ships had been ill-supplied with ammunition, and in a few minutes they had got rid of all their powder. The Algerines were not slow to profit by the opportunity. Hurrying back to the mole, they drove off their assailants, and with the timely assistance of a shower of rain, succeeded in extinguishing the flames.

Not a breath of air was stirring, and, before the wind rose, the harbour was rendered inaccessible by a boom thrown across its mouth. The failure was complete, and there was nothing left for Mansell to do but to sail away to Alicant.1

Recall of part of the fleet.

On his return to harbour he found orders to send back four of his ships to England. To this number he added four others, which had become unserviceable. Twelve only remained in the Mediterranean.2

It does not appear on what grounds the four vessels were recalled; but it was not long before a resolution of a more

The blockade of the Flemish ports.

important character was taken. The outbreak of hostilities between Spain and Holland had been accompanied by a renewal of the dispute about the blockade of the Flemish ports. The Dutch claimed the right of excluding all commerce from the enemy's harbours. James,

1 Mansell's account of his proceedings, Dec. 1620, S. P. Barbary States. Mansell to Buckingham, Jan. 13, 1621, Harl. MSS. 1581, fol. 70. Mansell to the Commissioners for the Expedition, Jan. 16. Mansell to Calvert, Jan. 17, S. P. Barbary States. Mansell to Calvert, March 15, S. P. Spain. Mansell to Buckingham, June 9, Cabala, 297. 2 Algiers Voyage, S. P. Dom. cxxii. 106.


on the other hand, declared that they were not justified in stopping anything under a neutral flag but contraband of war. To this assertion the Prince of Orange refused to listen for an instant. "These countries," he said one day to Carleton, "will sooner cast themselves into the hands of the King of Spain, than permit the trade of any nation to enter the ports of Flanders."

Even if James's claim had been far better than it was, it would have been unwise to have insisted upon it in the existing state of his relations with the Continent. With James such considerations were of little weight. Before July was over, the remainder of Mansell's fleet was recalled to maintain the supremacy of the English flag in the Narrow Seas.1

July. the fleet recalled.

In the course which he was now taking, James reBuckingham hostile to the ceived every encouragement from Buckingham. Again, Dutch. as in the previous summer, the Lord Admiral saw in an injury done to an English ship a personal insult to himself.

Caron looked upon this state of things with sorrow, for he knew the value of the English alliance to his country, and though he could not recommend the opening of the Flemish ports, he was aware that the long delay in sending the promised commissioners to treat on the East India business was bringing to Buckingham a support which would otherwise have failed him. "I have seen the time," he wrote, "when the friends of Spain were held here as open enemies; but the King's sub-. jects are now so irritated by these East Indian disputes, that they take part against us." Yet there was no lack of hostility to Spain. James, he went on to say, thought himself as certain of the restoration of the Palatinate as if he held it in his own hand. Gondomar was growing in credit every day, and Buckingham was entirely devoted to him. A few days ago, the favourite had accompanied the Spaniard to his house in a litter. As they passed through the streets, no man took off his hat, and not a few muttered a wish that they might both be hanged.2

Chamberlain to Carleton, July 28, S. P. Dom. cxxii. 46. Calvert to Carleton, Aug 11, S. P. Holland.


2 Caron to the States-General, July Add. MSS. 17,677 K. fol.

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It was not without reason that Caron spoke of the growth of Gondomar's credit. It was at his request that the decision September. had been taken to recall the fleet. In September,

Destination of Mansell's fleet.

however, he intimated that his master would prefer a different arrangement, and that he wished twelve ships to remain in the Mediterranean, whilst twelve others were employed against the Dutch. What may have been the motives of the King of Spain we do not know; but we do know that James made no objection to changing his plans at the bidding of a foreign ambassador, that he bore down all opposition in the Council, and that, but for the sudden arrival of Mansell in the Downs, in obedience to previous orders, Gondomar's plan would have been carried out to the letter.2

Mandeville's enforced

The opposition in the Council had been headed by the Lord Treasurer. Mandeville may have been a bad financier, but he was a good Protestant, and he had a deeply rooted aversion to the Spanish alliance. It was now resignation. intimated to him that he must resign his office. If he gave way without difficulty, his fall would be softened. The post of Lord President of the Council, long disused, should be revived in his favour, though, as Gondomar remarked, no one knew what its duties were. At the same time, the 20,000l. which he had given to the King for his appointment would be acknowledged as a debt, for which Buckingham was ready to become security. Mandeville was unable to struggle against the pressure put on him, and accepted the terms without difficulty. "My lord," said Bacon, when next they met, "they have made me an example, and you a president." The jest was made more tolerable by the spelling of the day, than it could possibly be considered now.3

1 Philip IV. to Ciriza,

May 27
June 6

Gondomar to Philip IV., July 1, Si

mancas MSS. 2518, fol. 49; 2602, fol. 39.

2 Gondomar to Philip IV., Sept.

12, 20

22, 30'

Simancas MSS. 2602, fol. 66,

67. Order in Council, Sept. 15, S. P. Dom. cxxii. 126.

3 Locke to Carleton, Sept. 29, S. P. Dom. cxxii. 152. Gondomar to

Sept. 28 Philip IV., Oct. 8' Works, vii. 181.

Simancas MSS. 2602, fol. 77; Bacon's Apophthegms;


surer, and


Almost as a matter of course, the white staff was

Lord Trea- placed in Cranfield's hands. A few weeks later the Chancellorship of the Exchequer, vacant by the resignation of Greville, who had recently been raised to the peerage as Lord Brooke,1 was committed to Sir Richard Weston.2

of the Exchequer.

As far as the administration of the finances was concerned, it was a happy change. If anyone living could restore order and economy it was Cranfield. But the manner of his appointment was of evil augury. The nation was thinking far more of its religious sympathies with the German Protestants than of its commercial rivalry with the Dutch, and it was well known that, though Cranfield cared a great deal about the prosperity of trade, he cared very little about the ruin of the Protestant Churches on the Continent.

Buckingham eager for war with the Dutch.

In the meanwhile Buckingham was hounding on the King to an open declaration of war against the Dutch. Nor was he less inclined to speak evil of Frederick. Sharp tongues had been busy at the Hague, and it was rumoured that, at the little court of the exiles, Buckingham had been spoken of as a Papist and a traitor. In revenge he placed in Gondomar's hands the letters which Frederick and Elizabeth had written to the King, and assured the pleased ambassador that not a penny should be sent from England for the defence of the Palatinate.3

Such was the direction in which James, carried away as usual by the feeling which happened to be uppermost for the Digby in moment, had been tending during Digby's absence. England. Yet, when the news reached him of the danger of the Lower Palatinate, he roused himself to unwonted activity. He not only promised to repay the money which had been advanced by Digby to the Heidelberg Council, but he engaged to add another 10,000l. On October 31 Digby himself returned to tell his story. James was moved at least to momen1 Jan. 29, Pat. 18 Jac. I., Part 2. 2 Nov. 13, Pat. 19 Jac. I., Part I. 8 Gondomar to Philip IV., Sept. 28 Simancas MSS. 2602, fol. 72. Digby to the Council of the Palatinate, Oct. 24, S. P. Germany.

Oct. 8 9




tary indignation. The next day the Privy Council was summoned to listen to the narrative, and James wrote to the Emperor and the King of Spain to demand redress. The cry for immediate action was loud. On November 3 Parliament a proclamation appeared, summoning Parliament, which had lately been adjourned once more by the King's orders, to meet on the 20th of the same month.2

Nov. 3.


This time there was to be no hesitation. Steps were taken which should have been taken at least ten months before. Money was borrowed, and the promised 10,000/. swelled into 30,000l., which were immediately 3 despatched to Frederick at the Hague.

Terms offered by James.

More was to follow as soon as supplies had been voted by the Commons. Frederick was again urged to put himself at the head of his troops in the Palatinate. At the same time James wrote to the Emperor, renewing his original demand for the restitution of the lands and dignities of which his son-in-law had been deprived, and engaging that he would relinquish the crown of Bohemia, and, after making such full submission as might be consistent with his honour, would renounce any confederacy by which the peace of the Empire might be endangered. A copy of this letter was sent to Frederick, in order that he might signify, in writing, his consent to negotiate on the proposed terms. If he did so, he was told, James would put forth his whole strength in his behalf.4


For a few days Digby was the most popular man in England. There may have been some who wondered enthusiasm. why all this had not been done long ago, but such thoughts were drowned in the general enthusiasm. At last,


1 Gondomar to the Infanta Isabe la, Nov., Simancas MSS. 2602, fol. 80. Locke to Carleton, Nov. 3, S. P. Dom. cxxiii. 84; Salvetti's News-Letter, Nov. 18°


2 Proclamation, Nov. 3, S. P. Dom. clxxxvii. 98*.

3 The King to Carleton, Nov. 12, S. P. Holland.

4 Calvert to Carleton, Nov. 5, 10, S. P. Holland. The King to Ferdinand II., Nov. 2, Cabala, 239. The King to Philip IV., Nov.




Madrid Palace Library. The King to Frederick, Nov. 2 Add. MSS. 12,485, fol. 99b.

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