Venice: September 1614, 16-30

Pages 189-204

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 13, 1613-1615. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1907.

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September 1614, 16–30

Sept. 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 391. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
They proceed here with the greatest respect for the susceptibilities of the Spaniards and will not take the smallest step which might prove displeasing to them. For this reason they have proceeded coldly in the affairs of Flanders, the Ambassador Reffage having left only ten days ago to negotiate in those parts, although the Ambassador Wotton, sent by the king of England, has been waiting for him at the Hague for such a long time, in order that they might treat together for the accommodation of those difficulties. Therefore words of serious import escape the lips of the English ambassador here, while the representative of the States complains that by delaying this mission they have kept the Dutch in suspense, and allowed the Spaniards to advance their affairs, as they have done.
From Paris, the 16 September, 1614.
Sept. 18. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 392. The Ambassador of England came into the Cabinet and said:
Your Serenity has already heard of the intention of my master to remove me from this charge and to send me to perform a similar office with the free states of the Low Countries, commanding me to change my residence from one republic, the most ancient and perfect that has ever existed, to a new and growing one modelled upon it, and from a wide, free and tranquil sea to a narrow and stormy one, where there is danger from neighbouring forces. My sole consolation is that I shall be nearer my king, and better able to execute his wishes than is possible so far away as this, though I have always received the utmost kindness and consideration from your Excellencies.
There are some public affairs to treat of. I need not occupy much time upon the first, as the letters of His Majesty will spare me the trouble. They are as follows:
Serenissime Princeps
Cum ad nos constanti fama perlatum sit (quod litteræ legati nostri, quas nudius tertius accepimus, plenissime confirmarunt) Rempublicam vestram firmum amicitiæ fœdus cum Berensi et Tigurina civitatibus recens contraxisse, eo magis serio putavimus nostrum fore, gratulari huic tam fœlici et fructuoso operi, quod majores variis ex partibus obortar fuerunt difficultates quæ negotium illud ad dedecus et damnum vestrum impedire et tentaverunt, et sperarunt. Hoc nuntio nihil nobis potint esse aut gratius, aut jucundius, vestræ enim Republicæ omnem et accessionem gloriæ, et incrementum roboris quotidie optamus. Ad utrumque augendum operam nostram, et diligentiam pollicemur, quibus quo liberius Respublica vestra utitur, eo non solum ministri nostri, quibus illud, ubicumque sint, in mandatis est datum, sed etiam et nos met ipsi alacriores erimus ad procurandum et promovendum honorem et dignitatem vestræ Respublicæ, Cui omnia fausta et fœlicia precamur.
Datæ ex Palatio nostro Roismond vicesimo octavo die Julii, 1614.
Jacobus Rex.
Serenissimo Venetæ Respublicæ Duci Domino Marco Antonio Memmo, charissimo amico nostro.
The ambassador then said, these letters were written to your Serenity upon some advices which reached His Majesty upon the alliance in negotiation between the republic and the cities of Zurich and Berne, by a devoted servant of your Serenity and a great intimate of my own, who was in Switzerland. I have kept up a correspondence with him and have received a letter from him of which I will leave a copy for you to read. I shall be returning through the Swiss country on my way home, and shall be pleased to do all that I can to serve the republic, and perhaps the work of a minister backed by the authority of a great and friendly monarch will not be fruitless, and possibly that people may resolve to act for the common weal rather than in the interests of those who desire to harm others, nisi Deus unus obsit. If your Serenity thinks that I can serve you in this, I will do so readily, as I know that in serving the republic I shall at the same time be serving His Majesty.
The second part of my office is at the instance of the ministers of princes who have asked me to draw the attention of the king and of your Serenity to the harm done to this province by the evil machinations of the Spaniards, which may freely be described as hidden but as very public. With great skill, not to speak of duplicity, they include everything in their vast designs, so that they aim at the hegemony not only of this province but of all Europe. I am sure that it is not necessary for me to press these considerations, either upon my king or upon the republic. The prince, who is now suffering, proposes to disarm, but he wishes to do so with safety and honour. This is only just and reasonable, and if the other side does not accept it would be wise to exhort him to remain armed lest he be subjected, when it would be too late to have recourse, auxilio et defensoribus, as help from a distance would not arrive in time. This prince certainly deserves the favour of your Serenity from every point of view, but especially because he has not, like the other princes of the province, followed the triumphal car of the common enemy, but has maintained his power and authority undiminished throughout, resisting their pretensions. I will not offer any advice, as I need only act in accordance with the intentions of my master, which coincide with those of the republic, namely to maintain peace and security in this province.
The subjects of your Serenity complain that they have never received in my house the privileges granted to other ministers of princes here, but I prefer to come and ask pardon of your Serenity for the faults of your subjects rather than do anything contrary to the laws of the republic. Some years ago the Baron Francesco Furieti of Bergamo and his brother were banished for an accident which happened in an affair of honour. I know that this is a matter which pertains to the Council of Ten, to whom I am indebted for the invitation to the Lido to see the shooting (tiro della frezza). (fn. 1) I ask as a great favour for the release of these two youths, who deserve pardon on account of their age. They have already satisfied the demands of the law.
The doge replied, regretting the departure of the ambassador, and assuring him that whatever was possible would be done for the banished men, but these releases pertain to the Council of Ten and are very difficult.
The ambassador returned thanks and requested permission to visit the Trevisan and Friuli, which he had never seen, and also asked permission to see the important fortress of Palma.
After the doge had spoken some formal sentences, the ambassador replied and then took leave.
Sept. 18. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 393. To the Ambassador in England.
The ambassador of His Majesty has informed us of his approaching departure to execute a similar commission in the Low Countries. After he had read the king's letter, of which we enclose a copy, he offered on his way to Holland to pass through Switzerland and to use every effort, in the name of His Majesty, in favour of the conclusion of the league between the republic and those states, while he further spoke of the affairs of Italy as you will see by the enclosed copy of his exposition.
We instruct you to obtain audience of His Majesty, and assure him of our constant readiness to reciprocate his friendship, thanking him for the courtesy shown in the orders to his ambassador to assist the negotiations for the league with the Swiss. You will add that the ambassador has worthily discharged his mission to the republic, and that we shall welcome as ever all other representatives sent by him. With regard to the affairs of this province we inform you that the recent negotiations of the Nuncio Savelli, sent by the pope to Milan, have not succeeded according to expectation, both parties have invaded, on the 7th and 8th inst. occupying territory and committing various damage. We have done everything for the peace and safety of this province. But now we understand from the last advices that by the efforts of the papal nuncio the armies have withdrawn to their own states and remain watching each other. The difficulty in all the negotiations is to find a means for the duke of Savoy to disarm with honour and safety from the royal armies, and on the other hand to give a security to the governor in the duke's writing that after he has laid down his arms Savoy will not arm again and attack Mantua. It is impossible to feel any certainty in such a state of affairs, as matters change hourly. However we have had the enclosed deliberation of the Senate read to the ambassador of Spain and the Senator of the Duke of Savoy, as we have decided to accept the word of both parties to keep the promises which they have made, as they have requested us to do, provided the pope and the emperor do the like, so that by following the example of the greater princes who have interested themselves in this affair we hope to observe the ancient practice of the republic. This is for your own information, to make use of as your prudence dictates.
Ayes 166.
Noes 6.
Neutral 26.
Sept. 18. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 394. With regard to the arming of bands and the payment of these and their officers, we think it good to take into consideration the practices of others and of France in particular. The arms are not expressed in any capitulation, and this is wise seeing that they change with time and with changes in the manner of fighting, and arrangements can be made with the captains who are chosen. Payment should approximate as nearly as possible to the sum established with the Grisons, and if that cannot be arranged, it should be regulated by the payments of France and Spain, adopting the more advantageous if there is not much difference between them. Should the difference be great, it must be notified, and in any case all payments must be made in accordance with values here. As powder is a new thing, the agreement with the Grisons should be closely followed.
The Swiss have the privilege of being judged by their officers, paid by him who levies them, but it is necessary to declare that in cases of high treason and very grave offences the general or his representatives shall be the judges, but the officers shall judge simple offences against military regulations.
Ayes 151.
Noes 11.
Neutral 21.
Sept. 18. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 395. To the King of England.
Thanks for the offer of help to further the league with the Swiss, as expressed by his ambassador.
Ayes 166.
Noes 6.
Neutral 26.
Sept. 18. Consiglio X. Lettere di Ambasciatori. Venetian Archives. 396. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Council of Ten.
Recommends the application for leave to return of Muscorno, who has served through the entire course of his embassy. He wants to return home to see his father, his wife and daughter. The request is quite genuine. The service shall not suffer through his absence.
From London, the 18 September, 1614.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 397. Certificate of John Frear, Catholic Physician of the College, London (Medico Catholico del Collegio di Londra) that he has attended several times in the course of two years Sig. Giulio Muscorno, Secretary of the Venetian Ambassador for a somewhat dangerous catarrh, which has caused fever and other complications, so that he cannot remain in this damp climate without great danger of apoplexy and death, to which he has frequently been near.
London, the 15 September, 1614.
Sept. 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 398. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday after dinner the ambassador of France had audience of the king at Windsor. He spoke of the arms of Italy and much more of those of Flanders and the confines of Germany, enlarging upon the details and endeavouring to increase the heat of His Majesty. As regards Germany, the king told him of the letter to the States upon the garrisoning of Wesel and of declaring war for that cause, speaking about assisting them. He said he had received the reply that they have already given instructions to Maurice. He complained that he had not received such frequent letters from his ambassador in those parts as he could have wished. He asked what France would do; and spoke of sending some small assistance now. The ambassador replied that his king pays two regiments of French, who are now with Maurice and they spoke of doing more. He did not praise the idea of sending some small assistance, saying that it ought to be in proportion to the power of the king of Great Britain. After a long discussion about the designs of the Spaniards, the progress of their arms, and how they might be controlled, it was decided that the ambassador should send immediately to France with all particulars. He did this as soon as he reached this city.
On Monday the king sent the Secretary of State to the ambassadors of Spain and Flanders complaining that after he had interposed to accommodate the differences of Juliers, the army had been suddenly sent to Aix la Chapelle, contrary to the promise given, and afterwards to other towns, taking possession of places and using every violence. The ambassadors after a close consultation of considerable duration sent couriers by post. To-day the Lords of the Council have met upon these affairs which are of great weight. To-day the king should be within four miles and perhaps actually in London.
After Spinola had taken Aix la Chapelle, on the 25th, as I wrote, and left three companies of Germans there, he proceeded to Düren, which surrendered on the 27th. There he left two companies of the same nation. On the 29th he garrisoned three places, including Berchem. He then proceeded towards Dusseldorf, and two days later he reached Neuburg with 3,500 infantry and 500 horse. He then dismantled Mulheim. On this as of all the rest there are repeated advices, and so there are about the siege of Wesel, which is said to have surrendered after some resistance, some being killed and many more wounded, Maurice not being in time to relieve it. Spinola's plans are now to take possession of the district of the March, Berchem, and besides Wesel to take Emden, and some other places, in order to confine the States and make himself felt in Germany. Maurice is advancing and increasing his forces as much as he can. The Protestant princes, especially those of the Union, being taken unawares, are arming and will unite their forces.
London, the 19 September, 1614.
Postscript.—Since I wrote I have been told that to-day there have been seen many vessels in the form of a fleet, on the coasts of this kingdom, and drawing towards the Low Countries. This, with the other things which are taking place, affords material for discussion.
Sept. 19. Senato Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 399. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king told the ambassador of France that the duke of Savoy ought to be assisted, and he would do it. He enlarged upon the same ideas which he imparted to me, and upon some others to the same purpose. That same ambassador, who confirmed all this, also told me that his Majesty is granting leave to all who wish to go and serve his Highness. There will be no small number, as several had already decided to go at their own expense. That if the fighting proceeds in Flanders, as it does, he will also allow vessels to be armed to harry the Spaniards. This would form a powerful diversion. In speaking of the mission sent by the queen of France upon the divisions of Italy, he asserted that if the governor of Milan did not disarm at the same time as Savoy, the duke would have the assistance of that crown. He repeated this to me twice.
The count of Scarnafes had audience of the king at Windsor on Monday morning. He was received in his Majesty's bedchamber. The king kept him more than an hour, after which he executed the commissions of his master with others. He had returned by yesterday evening. He sent at once to tell me that he had found his Majesty very well disposed, and had obtained every satisfaction and promises. To-day he is to see the Chamberlain, and will give me special information of his affair, and I will report it to your Excellencies.
London, the 19 September, 1614.
Sept. 19. Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives. 400. To the Lieutenant of Udine.
Order to receive the ambassador of England, who is about to leave and wishes to see the part of Friuli, at the palace of Udine, with all honour, with permission to spend up to 100 ducats, as it is desired that the minister of so great a king, the friend of the republic, be treated with every consideration.
The like to the Proveditore General at Palma.
Ayes 166.
Noes 6.
Neutral 2.
Sept. 21. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 401. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received the letters of your Serenity of the 14th and 16th ult. informing me of the intention of the duke of Savoy to send an ambassador and other documents pertaining to that affair. As I have not yet heard anything said about the action of the ambassador of England or of the mission, I shall be warned and able to act as I am instructed.
From Madrid, the 21 September, 1614.
Sept. 21. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 402. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
There has recently arrived here the gentleman sent by the king of England with the present sent from those parts to the king here. He remained here until the day before yesterday, when he went to the Escurial to make the presentation. It consists of twelve palfreys, with velvet trappings ornamented with gold, dogs for hunting lions, bears and stags, arquebuses and sables and cross-bows, all inlaid and decorated with gold, and their furniture of the same work. He also offered the respect of the king, queen, prince and princess.
Advices from Flanders speak of the progress of the Marquis Spinola made in the name of the emperor, and some here say that those affairs may yet be accommodated by the offices of the Christian king and the king of England if only the Dutch will evacuate Cleves.
From Madrid, the 21 September, 1614.
Sept. 22. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 403. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week came news that the Savoyards had broken into the Milanese. It is thought strange here that the duke should be the first to attack. It appears that the emperor will be slow to publish the ban against him, and the Spaniards are not anxious for fear lest the French and Bernese should take their share.
The Spaniards are more than ever anxious for the quiet of Italy owing to the affairs of Flanders.
Spinola continues to progress and has taken other places, notably Wesel, and afterwards dismantled Mulheim. They say that his plan is, by acquiring these places, to press Juliers more closely this winter. The emperor pretends that these places are acquired in his name and not in that of Neuburg to whom he has never granted the investiture, but Spinola has hitherto acted in the name of Neuburg, from whose favour he expects greater advantages.
The States have not moved hitherto, perhaps because they are afraid of breaking the truce, perhaps because as they hold Juliers, they think little of this progress. The emperor has written to them that if they will evacuate Juliers, he will cause Spinola to do the same with the places which he has occupied, and that the differences between the pretenders and those states should be submitted to him and to some other prince. It appears that this proposal comes from the king of England, who hopes to become an arbitrator in this affair in conjunction with the emperor. The queen of France has also interposed and the ministers here believe that a settlement may yet be arranged.
From Linz, the 22 September, 1614. Copy.
Sept. 23. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 404. The Ambassador of the Most Christian king came into the Cabinet and said [among other things]:
The Estates are to meet in Paris. M. de Refuge has been sent as Ambassador to Holland to find some means of settling the differences of Juliers, so much desired by the Archduke Albert and by the States themselves. It is proposed to place Juliers in the hands of a third party in trust, and success is hoped for because the king of England agrees and seems to consider the proposal a good one.
Sept. 23. Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives. 405. Whereas several books and other works, printed in foreign parts, are frequently brought to this city, and are re-printed, and sold without revision by our deputy, such books being prejudicial to the Catholic religion and to the liberty and authority of princes, it is resolved that no one shall sell or otherwise dispense books or other works printed outside our dominion unless they are previously revised by the deputy and licensed by the Reformers of the University of Padua, who have power to punish by outlawry, the galleys or other penalties below the pain of death, all those who infringe this ordinance.
Ayes 126.
Noes 1.
Neutral 17.
Sept. 23. Collegio, Secreta. Lettere. Venetian Archives. 406. To the Rectors of Padua.
Owing to the disorders which arise from the new institutions of colleges and confraternities without licence, we direct you, by authority of the Senate, not to permit any colleges, confraternities or other secular assemblies to be established without the licence of the Senate, and if any one desires to establish one, you shall give notice thereof and await the permission.
Sept. 24. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 407. To the Ambassador Barbarigo.
We hope you will follow the same methods in dealing with the Grisons as you have employed with Zurich and Berne, and we hope that it will not be difficult to do so. If you meet with difficulties upon any of the heads, you will advise us and we will take such steps as we deem necessary. In the matter of payments and pensions we wish to follow the example of other princes and of France in particular.
That a copy be sent to the said ambassador of a part of the exposition of the Marquis of Urfé and of the ambassador of England with regard to the Swiss and Grisons.
That the same be done with the ambassadors in France and England.
Ayes 130.
Noes 10.
Neutral 12.
Sept. 26. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 408. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
A few hours after I despatched my last, the count of Scarnafes came to see me. He told me of the audience which he had of the king on Monday week, when he gave his Majesty particulars of all that had passed with the governor of Milan and of the disposition of his duke in disarming if he disarmed himself, and of his resolve to remain armed and to defend his position if it should be attacked by force. He said that nothing was more dear to him than liberty and he would maintain it. The Spaniards must evacuate Montferrat and differences would be settled in a reasonable manner. He enlarged upon this, begging the king for counsel and aid in the name of his Highness. His Majesty heard him attentively, approved of the statements and opinions of the duke and promised to support and assist him. He said that he had told me that he would do so as well as the ambassador of France. The count kissed his hands and begged him to persuade your Serenity not to allow the liberty of Italy to be violated, but to assist him. He afterwards suggested a league with the princes and of a sort to most please his Majesty. He named firstly your Serenities, then the States, the princes of Germany and others. The king promised to use every good office with your Excellencies to draw together the union. He wished him to speak more definitely made him repeat it and asked him to put it in writing, showing in all things a decided inclination to gratify the duke.
The count, seeing the king's disposition, begged him to assist his Highness with 4,000 infantry, and he came away with good hope of a favourable reply.
The king began to speak of the affairs of Flanders, of the taking of Wesel. He expressed his opinions with emphasis and considerable emotion. He said that on that very day he had written to the States, and to Sweden and Denmark. From the first of the last two he expected little, because they were in difficulties with the Muscovites, but from the second he had considerable hopes, in spite of the disputes with the Dutch, because his last words on leaving were that he would always desire to follow the king's prudent advice, and would give his hand upon it. He spoke of the princes of Germany calling them cold, irresolute, and finally said that he had done everything to stir them up. He desired that the count's proposals should be put in writing both with regard to a confederation and as to what the duke would do if it came to an open breach everywhere. He spoke of what might be hoped from France, of the intentions of the queen and Villeroi and those of the princes, and whence the duke might expect assistance. The king offered advice upon all this, and translated into English what the count gave him in writing, and the latter, in accordance with the instructions of his duke, negotiated with some member of the Council. The evening of the same day in which he came to see me, namely Friday, he received the command of his Majesty to visit him early in the morning. He was there the whole day. As regards the 4,000 infantry the king said that he was disposed to satisfy the duke, upon condition that for the present they should serve in the garrisons and for defence alone. That if the Spaniards did not restore Wesel and every other place occupied by them, war would break out, and in that case his Majesty would declare himself openly and would allow the duke to employ them as he pleased. He drew attention to this fact that he had increased his promises in proportion to the need and he solemnly promised that he would do what the duke desired. The king said that the duke had received splendid offers from Lesdiguières, from the other princes of France, from the Valais, and that those of Geneva have consented that the Marquis of Lans shall raise 400 horse for the service of his Highness.
They spoke of the manner to break off the marriages between France and Spain and the king told him what had been written to the ambassador of France, and showed particular satisfaction at his method of treating. The Count returned on Saturday evening, and called on me on the following morning.
London, the 26 September, 1614.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 26. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 409. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday morning the ambassador of the States had audience, and after dinner the Lieger of the Archduke. The king assured the first that he will not fail to help, and that he would be leagued with his masters and treated of several particulars.
The ambassador of Flanders presented letters from His Highness to His Majesty in reply, with office in conformity. He said that the Dutch were the first to take up arms, taking possession of Juliers and throwing 35 companies into it, without the knowledge of His Majesty or of the King of France. Afterwards they had negotiated, giving only words in reply, and continuing to occupy that place, as they do now. That if His Highness had sent forward his forces and made himself felt, he was right because he could not do otherwise, and no one could reasonably complain about him for it. That he has done nothing to break the truce or the peace, but is disposed to quiet, and if the States desire war, he does not think of it.
The king considerably resented this form of office and answered with words full of emotion. He complained that while an accommodation was being arranged between the Catholic ambassador and his own with regard to Juliers, they had had recourse to force with so many acts of subtlety. The ambassador of Spain had afterwards said in excuse that his taking up of arms originated with the emperor, but now he says the opposite. Throughout the king appeared excited and determined to support the States. The ambassador proposed various plans for agreement and left, openly complaining that when the States first took up arms the king excused them, and now that the archduke under pressure has done the like, His Majesty resents it, and is short with him. He said the same after he left to the person who accompanied him.
London, the 26 September, 1614.
Sept. 26. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 410. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Monday night the king sent word that he wished me to be next day at Wanstead, a place six miles from here, and so I went there. He informed me of the office lately passed with him by the Count of Scarnafes, which I have described to your Serenity. He afterwards referred to the violence of the Spaniards, saying that as the duke of Savoy is a free prince, it is not reasonable that he should be compelled, but persuaded. He adduced many reasons, adding that he must not be allowed to fall, and for his part he would assist him, as he begs your Excellencies to do. He charged me to report this in the best possible manner.
He afterwards spoke of the state of the times, of the attempts of the Spaniards in several places, and that these things led every one to take heed and to make sure of his own things. He advised your Serenity to come to a good understanding with the duke and to reconcile him if possible with Mantua, and to join in the alliance which Savoy offers, together with the Swiss and Grisons, making use of those of Grano by means of the Valais as well as of his own state; so that all being joined together would form a union with the princes of Italy for the defence and general profit of all, speaking the same language and all children of your Serenity to whom it belongs to form such a union. That Savoy both desires and urges it and Parma would incline to it and Mantua ought to desire it for her own safety and defence. He said, in conclusion, that with regard to his confederacy, he will always be ready with all his friends. He referred to the request made by Savoy for 4,000 infantry, displaying an inclination to grant it, but for defence alone. In speaking of the fighting in Flanders he said that the Chancellor of Neuburg said something about an accommodation, but he did not know with what end. As for Juliers, it might be dismantled or put into the hands of two companies, one of subjects of his Majesty and the other of French. But as for the places occupied by Spinola, he means them all to be restored, otherwise he will certainly make war. He said that they think of putting the troops in garrison, to keep the negotiations on foot for two or three months, so that in the spring they may be the first in the field, which was of great importance, but he will not allow it because he will be so quick, and, with his fleet, as powerful as they are. He had already given orders that all the ships of war should be made ready and he will give orders for others also at an early opportunity, so that it would be well known in a few days. That on that very day he expected the return of the courier sent by the ambassador of the States, and two or three days later the one from France. He added that he has already promised the United Provinces to make war and directed me to report all this to your Excellencies.
He also spoke to me about the proposal for a means to break off the marriages with Spain and that all France is of the same opinion with the exception of the queen and Villeroi.
I have visited the Count of Scarnafes, as was fitting, discussing in confidence various things which he knew before and which he himself had told me.
London, the 26 September, 1614.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 26. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 411. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Tuesday twenty-three vessels armed at all points will set out from the States towards the East Indies, to join others against Spain. It is reported that owing to the movement of the troops of the archduke, the States have in three days fitted out forty vessels, which has caused a great sensation here. The capture of Wesel by the Marquis Spinola is of great moment, because it was a strong place, a town of considerable importance, and formerly the residence of Brandenburg. The Marquis has turned toward Emden, but Count Maurice, with a largely augmented force, has taken the same road. He captured Emmerich in two days and Rees afterwards, both places on the Rhine. He has also thrown 1,000 soldiers into Emden, and though his army may be numerically inferior to that of Spinola, it consists almost entirely of veteran troops, bold and accustomed to fighting under his command. The Count of Bucquoi when passing through Germany with troops to join Spinola, reached the dominions of the Elector Palatine. He asked for a passage for his soldiers, promising to pay for all that might be required by his troops, without doing any harm. He was refused, and with contemptuous words he treated the Elector like a boy, took the road by force, and broke through those who opposed him, killing some. The king has heard this in letters from the elector, who, I am told, also asks for assistance. It has displeased his Majesty greatly, although he does not show it.
It is reported that the Spanish fleet returned from Manilla is in Portugal, and is leaving for Coruña (Crugne) in Galicia. This arouses some suspicion here. However the king has told me that it is not so numerous as is reported, and he clearly attached little importance to the affair. The royal ships are being fitted and prepared as his Majesty told me, and many here being inclined for war the king spoke to me about it, showing his satisfaction and adding that this gives and will give matter for reflection to Spain.
London, the 26 September, 1614.
Sept. 26. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 412. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Pedro of Toledo told me that Savoy wanted to beggar the poor duke of Mantua and take from him 20 to 25 places in Montferrat. The king would never permit this. He also wanted the daughter, but she would only prove a stone of offence with him. He must stand where he was born and will have to disarm. He can do so under the word of the republic, the pope, the emperor, France or England, but disarmament cannot be abandoned, not a soldier must be left to him.
From Madrid, the 26 September, 1614.
[Italian.; deciphered.]
Sept. 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenzo Venetian Archives. 413. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Ambassador in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from Brussels of the 13th inst. state that the Marquis Spinola has dismantled Mulheim, and had then taken and garrisoned Wesel. Count Maurice has captured Emmerich. The United Provinces seem inclined to place Juliers in neutral hands. The ambassador of England in Holland has written to the archduke Albert begging him to suspend hostilities on his side, and the ambassador of France, resident with His Highness, has done the same. The reply made to both was that he would not hinder the progress of his forces before he heard whether the United Provinces had taken the above decision, and negotiations were on foot.
From Florence, the 27 September, 1614.
Sept. 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 414. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis Spinola has made no further progress, but is distributing his forces for the purpose of pressing Juliers. Maurice, who is inferior in foot but superior in horse, has taken Emmerich, and the armies are very close together, but apparently without intending to fight, as they both pretend that they have not broken the truce.
The Princes of the Union have taken alarm at the presence of such a powerful army of the king of Spain in the empire, and the Palatine, as head of the others, has sent an ambassador, who will be introduced to-day. He is to point out what evils may arise from these beginnings, and to request the emperor not to permit the Spaniards to set foot in the states of the empire under the shadow of his authority.
The marquis of Brandenburg has written to the same effect, and there is no doubt that if matters go further the Union will arm and the Catholic league likewise.
From Linz, the 29th September, 1614. Copy.
Sept. 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 415. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of France has been to the Escurial. He asked the king to order the Archduke Albert to withdraw his troops from Cleves, assuring him in the name of his sovereign that the Dutch would evacuate Juliers, and that an arrangement might be made to put the place into the hands of the Prince of Orange as a neutral, whereby a settlement might be more easily effected, if the troubles of Italy do not affect the negotiations.
From Madrid, the 29th September, 1614.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 416. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis Spinola entered Wesel on the 5th, Prince Maurice arriving too late to succour it. However, he has established himself near at hand and is ready to give battle. A Spanish garrison has been placed in Wesel, which they have begun to fortify. The proximity of the two armies has opened occasions for negotiation. There has been talk of an armistice for some months, in which the time has proved the only difficulty.
The ambassadors of France and England, who are there have interposed and procured a suspension of hostilities in order that the negotiations for an agreement may be the more easily carried out. The Marquis Spinola asks for six months at least, intending in the meantime, it appears, to take possession of Frankfort and execute the imperial ban against those who have rioted there; the States, on the other hand only desire a truce so that it may be possible to see what good results can be expected from the interposition of these two crowns. They say frankly that if the Spaniards will not consent to submit the questions in dispute absolutely to the kings of France and England they cannot remain in the truce, which will also be broken, they declare, if an attack is made upon Juliers, as they perceive that place can only be retained by a diversion and by subduing some place of the archduke, and they have already made protest to his Majesty here. The ambassador of England had a long interview with the queen three days ago upon these affairs and also with her ministers. He begged her with considerable vehemence in the name of his king not to hurry the duke of Savoy to lay down his arms, and not to take away or hinder the assistance which the duke of Savoy receives from French troops, in order not to leave that prince absolutely at the mercy of the forces of the Catholic king, but above all because if the Spaniards are not bound to maintain that army in Italy, they will at once send it to Flanders, to the detriment of the States, and as the latter are friendly to this crown to which their preservation is of the greatest importance, the matter is of the highest moment. He added that the king his master was much offended at the manner in which they had assisted the Spaniards. They had sent an ambassador to the Hague to interpose in the troubles there, and he, owing to the instructions given to him, not to allow any innovations, kept the States in suspense, for they did not think of moving as they trusted in him, and so gave the Marquis the opportunity of making fresh acquisitions. And yet her Majesty ought to declare her will, for she was not less interested. His master had made up his mind not to abandon his friends and to afford them assistance in the best way that he could.
The queen replied that the principal object of the efforts to induce the Duke of Savoy to disarm, was to induce the Spaniards to do the same, but in such a way that they should not carry their arms elsewhere, this was specially insisted upon. With respect to Flanders she told him that if the Spaniards did not consent to what was reasonable, that crown would unite with his Majesty to secure the well-being and safety of its confederates, and would do so with all its forces. But it was first necessary to see how the negotiations would end, conducted by ministers sent specially. With this reply the ambassador made his expedition to England.
An ambassador has arrived here from Brandenburg to negotiate upon the same affairs.
While these things are taking place in Flanders I hear that the Catholic king has sent a fleet of seventy sail, (fn. 2) full of good troops, to the frontiers of East Friesland, to occupy Emden, as being an imperial city, important as a sea-port and on account of its riches. Its capture by Spain would be of great prejudice to Holland which would be prevented from obtaining any help from Germany. They are therefore arming at sea, and declare that they will also molest the fleet which is coming from the Indies.
I hear that upon all these things the Protestant princes of Germany are going to assemble in order to come to some decision.
From Paris, the 30 September, 1614.
Sept. 30. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 417. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. Gueffier, resident of his Majesty at Turin, incited by the Duke of Savoy, has come here to relate how the duke is defending himself as best he can against the oppression of the Spaniards and asking his Majesty not to take away his chief support, the French in his service. Last week M. de Crequi was sent to Lesdiguières with orders to absolutely put a stop to the passage of troops to serve Savoy. However, since the arrival of this Gueffier and the support given by the English ambassador, it is very doubtful whether that order will be executed owing to the danger in which the duke's states are.
From Paris, the 30 September, 1614.


  • 1. See No. 374 at page 180 above.
  • 2. Rev. Thomas Lorking speaks of three score sail, Birch, Court of James I., i. p. 347; Edmonds, on the other hand, in a letter to Winwood, only refers to 26 Spanish ships with 12 smaller vessels. State Papers, Foreign, France, Sept. 18 o.s., 1614.