Venice: February 1615, 1-15

Pages 330-348

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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February 1615, 1–15

Feb. 1. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 619. The Ambassadors of Savoy came into the Cabinet and Count Scaglia said:
Every precaution against possible dangers will be taken. The duke has many princes in France who favour him. The king of Great Britain and his confederates will do the like, but he expects his chief support from the favours of your Serenity as the friend of peace and public liberty, in obtaining peace or defending his dominions, as if you decide to assist him it will work wonders on this important occasion.
Feb. 2. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 620. Ranier Zen Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
His Highness has secretly sent to France Doctor Carlo Canal. He carries instructions upon the affairs of Montferrat, but I have not been able to discover more. Another person will be sent to England, possibly, they think, Gabaleone, who has been there before, because he is putting things in order to set out, but some of his house say that he is going to Switzerland. In short His Highness is preparing for war and for his own defence.
From Turin, the 2 February, 1614 [M.V.].
Feb. 3. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizoni Principi. Venetian Archives. 621. The Ambassador of England came into the Cabinet and said:
I have lately spoken at some length with your Serenity upon the affairs of Italy and have received your prudent reply in favour of procuring the end of these differences with the same intention as the king my master. I have nothing to add except the hope that these hostile movements may be terminated in favour of peace. They have not constituted a war of open hostilities but have rather kept the princes interested in a state of suspense. The opportunity now seems favourable to do something for peace. It is understood that the duke of Mantua has asked permission from Spain to have in his hands the marquis of Calusso, a prisoner of the governor of Milan. The duke of Savoy fears that the intention is to commit some act against the prisoner. I know that the Ambassador Zeno has written and the ambassadors of Savoy resident here have spoken to the same effect asking your Serenity to unite with His Highness in favour of the marquis. This change of place certainly has an evil appearance. The marquis is a subject of the duke of Savoy, by whom he is much esteemed, being a son of his great friend the count of Verua. If they propose to bridle the duke of Savoy in this way, it will have the contrary effect. Therefore during the present negotiations it is important that your Serenity should see that the public peace is not disturbed, either by securing that the marquis be not sent to Mantua, or if he is sent, that he be well treated, or better still, that he be handed over to this republic to be kept until the disputes are settled.
In the absence of the Doge, Councillor Vincenzo Dandolo replied. At the first instance of the duke we wrote to the duke of Mantua and directed our resident there to do his utmost that the marquis should be well treated there. We have also instructed the ambassador Zeno not to neglect to inform His Highness and the count of Verua.
The ambassador expressed his thanks and went on to ask for the release of the two Bergamesque youths which he had requested five months before.
Dandolo replied that they were eager to oblige him, but were hampered by the strictness of the laws. New instances would be made to the Council of Ten.
With that the ambassador took leave.
Feb. 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 622. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The eldest son of the Landgrave of Hesse has arrived here to congratulate the king on attaining his majority. Instructions followed him to treat on behalf of the Protestant Princes of Germany, upon the affairs of that province and of Flanders. Prince Maurice has notified his captains and soldiers to be in readiness, because he has decided to take the field on the first of next month if their difficulties are not settled. The Catholic ambassador assures their Majesties that an accommodation will be reached, and he says the same to the ministers of England.
From Paris, the 3 February, 1615.
Feb. 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 623. Ranier Zen Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Mr. Albert Morton, sent as ordinary resident of the king at this court, has arrived. He has had two audiences of the duke and today he came to call upon me. He said much about the affection and esteem of his master for your Serenity, to which I replied in suitable terms. He told me that he had instructions to work in favour of the peace and quiet of Italy, in consonance with the safety and honour of the duke, acting in concert with the minister of your Serenity. That he had been previously destined for this residence, but had obtained leave from the king to present himself to the duke here and afterwards return to his house upon certain of his affairs. He did this last year and has now returned upon the occasion of these negotiations. If they are finished soon he has the same leave to return. When I asked him whether the ambassador from Venice would come to this court, he did not deny it but even said that it might be so, and that his Majesty might desire to have two ministers at this court to give greater weight to the affair. I asked him further whether the ambassador, when he comes, will also negotiate with the governor of Milan upon peace, and will think it advisable to confer with both sides. He replied that he might so speak, but that he had no authority to use the king's name with the governor. With regard to the troops of Lord Rich (Rig), he said this will not be done and his Majesty thinks it better to treat of peace first and to be well informed upon the state of these affairs and who are opposed to peace, and that his instructions are simply to act as the other ministers have done for this accommodation. He seems to me to be moving much more coldly in these offers to protect the duke than the ministers here have represented, although the count of Verua spoke to me about it with some little reserve, as I wrote.
From Turin, the 3 February, 1614 [M.V.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi. Savoia. Venetian Archives. 624. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
After I had closed my packet at three o'clock at night, the count of Verua sent for me in great haste, saying that he had things of great importance to communicate. Among other matters he told me in great confidence that the king of England has instructed his ambassador resident with your Serenity to come to this court when the duke sends for him, and His Highness has sent this evening so that he may come as soon as possible. The letters of the king are cery clear and express that he will assist the duke and procure peace and disarmament with honour and safety for His Highness, acting throughout in concert with the republic and her ambassador at this court. He begged your Serenity to induce the English Ambassador to stop at Milan on his way hither and to use the name of his king and the authority of the republic to persuade him to disarmament, with security for the safety of His Highness, and that in any case it may be freely said that neither his king nor the republic will allow the duke to succumb; and that would produce an excellent effect.
In conclusion he said that he heard that the queen of France was soon going to Bayonne to carry out the marriages, and that for this purpose they were increasing the army.
From Turin, the 3 February, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 4. Consiglio X, Parti. Secrete. Venetian Archives. 625. That to gratify the ambassador of the king of Great Britain in part, a safe-conduct be granted to Baron Francesco Furietti and Tragian his brother, banished, that the two years left undetermined on 26 November last, be reduced to eighteen months.
Ayes 8. Second vote 8.
Noes 1. 0.
Neutral 0. 0.
The affair remains undetermined.
Feb. 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Grisoni. Venetian Archives. 626. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary to the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
Next week the Bernese are to send their deputies to S. Mauritio to confer with those of the duke of Savoy. While I was at Berne one of their people told me that they would take into their consideration that the king of Spain would aggrandise himself by the destruction of the duke of Savoy, with whom they had entered into negotiations because they were assured of the good understanding which existed between the princes of France, the king of Great Britain, the States of Holland, the united princes of Germany and, they hear also, your Serenity.
War in Germany is considered certain because the Ecclesiastical league is continually increasing its troops. Even in Cleves, although they are said to be awaiting at Brussels the decision of the Catholic king upon the agreement of Santen, the States believe that it is simply to gain time, and in order that preparations may be made for the inevitable war.
The king and queen of France, in reply to the letters from their ambassadors reporting the agreement of Santen, have written that if the Spaniards do not observe it, it will be proper to keep an eye upon their actions, as those who desire war and disturbance.
From Zurich, the 5 February, 1653.
Feb. 6. Senato, Seoreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra Venetian Archives. 627. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 30th ult. the Catholic ambassador received a courier from Spain, and on the following morning he sent his interpreter to the Lords of the Council to inform them that his king had given orders for the restitution of Wesel and of all the other places occupied. With regard to the question of signing, in dispute between Spinola and Maurice, he has referred it to the archduke and Spinola. But he does not say when the restitution is to take place, upon what conditions, or into whose hands, so that I have well understood from what was said by the king's secretary and the lords of the Council, that they place no reliance upon it. The king's ambassador writes from Madrid that orders for restitution have been given, but he also gives no particulars with regard to the time, manner, or person. He adds, moreover, that provisions of three millions have been made for Flanders and Italy, and at the same time they have made levies of forty ensigns of infantry; that the Spaniards let it be understood that they mean to punish the duke of Savoy for the conspiracies made in the time of the late king of France and now; they go so far as to charge him with having tried to move the Turk.
The secretary of that ambassador has arrived and went immediately to the king who is sixty miles away.
From France the ambassador writes that the same things are said about the restitution, but also without any particulars, so that they consider it all as fictive disseminations of Spain, put abroad in order to gain time, lull to sleep, and afterwards to move suddenly and make acquisitions, as they did in the cases of Aix-la-Chapelle, Wesel and many other places.
The reply of the archduke to the king's letter is awaited and to the articles drawn up by His Majesty, the declaration of the Catholic king with regard to the manner and time and into whose hands Wesel is to be put; that with regard to restitution they have always said that it would never be effected. The return of the courier sent eighteen days ago to Spain is also expected, with the decision for war or peace. I have had all this from the lips of the king's secretary, who told me of the constant resolution of His Majesty to assist the princes. He added that he would instantly communicate to me the replies from Spain and Flanders, and I will not fail to use all diligence.
I have special information from Brussels, from a good source, that the letters from Spain to the archduke and to Spinola are in reply to others of His Highness written to the Catholic king on the 16 December, in which he speaks contemptuously to the disadvantage of the Marquis of Guadaleste and Don Ignatio di Borgia for some letters previously written by them which were little to the taste of His Highness. His Majesty says that as the archduke and Spinola are on the spot he is content to leave to them the decision with regard to the formula to be signed by Spinola and Maurice, and as for the restitution of Wesel in particular, it is to be upon the conditions which I reported, namely, that he may have it again at will and that it shall not be placed in the hands of the princes. I had the confirmation of this last point from the ambassador of His Highness.
On the last day of last month there came letters from the Palatine and the other princes of Germany; they write that the war will begin in the spring with Frankfort; that now the count of Bucquoi has 12,000 combatants with him and is increasing his forces daily. War in Germany is considered beyond a doubt so soon as the season permits. In speaking of Frankfort the ambassador of the archduke told me that that town and the fortress will be reduced to obedience to the emperor.
The ambassador of Brandenburg is on the way and is expected hourly. Up to yesterday morning no news had arrived of his leaving Holland. He afterwards received letters sent post.
Edmondes (fn. 1) has gone and so is one of the clerks of the council at the Hague to concert a method of uniting the ships of this realm for the East Indies with those of the States. What the gentleman sent to the king by his ambassador in Spain, has related to His Majesty I hope to discover and report to your Excellencies.
London, the 6 February, 1615.
Feb. 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 628. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge Senate.
The Count of Scarnafes and the king's agent stopped five days in Paris. They carried on close negotiations with the prince of Condé, the duke of Bouillon and the deputies for the churches of the religion. They agreed upon the succour of 6,000 infantry, which I reported, and still greater assistance. The due of Mayenne (Umena) promised to go in person; and they afterwards continued their journey, the count being very delighted.
Some days ago His Majesty sent to the duke a gentleman with the resolution of the united princes to succour him; and that of the churches of the religion in France, as both have notified His Majesty of their steadfast resolution to help him with the assistance promised and by the States; he tells him of the readiness of Lesdiguières, Rohan Bouillon and the prince of Conde, and assures him of his own protection. He tells him what is taking place with regard to breaking of the marriages between France and Spain. He counsels and exhorts him to do what he can on his side, and asks for his opinion whether it would be good to allow those of the religion to try to break them off by force. He tells him that in Germany everything is marching towards war, and it will be a great relief to His Highness if the Spaniards mean to have war. The agent is instructed, so soon as he has spoken to the duke, to send to His Majesty, and it is considered certain that it will be the gentleman of Rich. I have taken good measures to be informed of his arrival in order to discover what he may bring. The king's secretary promised also to give me information about this and of the state of affairs, and he asserted that the king will help the duke.
London, the 6 February, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacei. Savoia. Venetian Archives. 629. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
After I had written my first letter Father Isidore sent for me today. He told me among other things that in the present troubled state of affairs the best course open to His Highness was to arm, and he is doing so, but that it is a difficult task to stand alone against such forces. He therefore begs your Serenity, before the English ambassador leaves for this court, to concert with him a method for the defence of the common liberty, to first advise the duke of what it is necessary to do, and then help him as much as they are able as the king of England is doing. That this house will never forget the king's favours, who like a father is so anxious to secure the liberty of this province. He asked that your Serenity should speak with the ambassador of England, as he is always ready to do what you ask. In conclusion he said that Wotton, the agent of England, a little while ago, also wrote to the ambassador at Venice to the same purpose, and that His Highness had written to his ambassadors to be advised and counselled by your Serenity in this most important conjuncture. He said that if your Serenity would arm it would produce a most salutary effect as the Spaniards would see that the princes of Italy had their eyes open.
From Turin, the 6 February, 1614 [m.v.].
Feb. 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Costant. Venetian Archives. 630. Cristoforo Valier, Venetian Ambassador in Constaninople, to the Doge and Senate.
The work on the galleys at the Arsenal proceeds extremely slowly. The Captain of the Sea is more busily engaged upon the completion of the Sultan's gardens of Bisistas and Carabali, though he seems anxious to hare as many galleys as possible to put to sea with this year. But the inclinations of the Grand Vizier do not harmonise with this, owing to the shortness of money, so that it is not likely that there will be any extraordinary fleet in the coming year, the more so as they are now fitting out ten galleys to go with twenty brigantines to the Black Sea next March to guard against pirates.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 6 February, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 7. Senato, Seoreta. Dispacoi, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 631. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Requests his recall owing to his sufferings (patimenti). In former years he suffered from severe colds, especially in winter. This year his indisposition has been perpetual, though this has not prevented him from doing his duty, as he has always placed the interests of the State before his own health and life. The excessive expenditure, proportioned more to the grandeur of the republic than to his own means, incurred during the last ten years (the outlay of these last years proving necessarily greater than that of all the others) have made such inroads upon his fortune that he must feel it for ever. Were his means equal to his will he would, though entering on the eleventh year of incessant service, continue to serve them without uttering a complaint or asking for any reward.
London, the 7 February, 1615.
Feb. 7. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Germania. Venetian Archives. 632. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
In the empire suspicion and confusion are continually on the increase. The Ecclesiastics are arming, and the United Princes will meet at Nurenberg in a few days to do the same. Fearing that the armies of Italy may be turned against them they have written to the Swiss not to open the pass, but now, owing to the decision of Spain, the affairs of Italy are settling down and cause less anxiety. They accuse the king of Denmark, out of hatred at the confederation made between the Dutch and the Hanseatic towns, of having persuaded England to temporise in the matters of Juliers, and to this the progress of the Spaniards is due and the danger to Germany from their arms.
From Vienna, the 7 February, 1614 [m.v.]. Copy.
Feb. 7. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Firenze. Venetian Archives. 633. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marquis of Urfé has been here who was sent to Italy by the princes of France. He was lodged and entertained at the Grand Duke's charges. He only stayed one day before leaving for Rome. Before his departure I happened to meet him. After speaking of Savoy he went on to talk of France. He said that it would never be at peace if the reciprocal royal marriages were effected; that the party of the Huguenots was great, and they have intelligence with England, the States and many princes of Germany.
From Florence, the 7 February, 1614 [m.v.].
Feb. 8. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 634. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
There are reports here that the negotiations for the marriage of the second French princess to the prince of England are entirely broken off. They further say that there are now secret negotiations to give him the second Infanta here. As there has been a great meeting of some of the principal theologians of these realms in the house of the Cardinal of Toledo, many say that it was in order to discuss how it might be arranged, having regard to the difference in religion. The English ambassador here has not neglected to speak to me about it in a long conversation. He said it was quite true that such reports were being disseminated, that some of his confidents here had begged him to tell them if it were true that the matter was so far advanced and that some persons at the palace had congratulated him. He added that the reports were really fictitious, as the Spaniards upon all occasions are masters in the arts of deceit and so they are employing such devices; that Don Diego Sermiento, their ambassador, with whom he had occasion to speak, was doing the same in London. He assured me on his honour that there were no such negotiations; that at another time they had talked of giving the princess, who is now to he queen of France, to the dead prince, but they made so many stipulations with regard to liberty of conscience and other things, that they thought no more about it; that he could not deny that an alliance between his prince with the Infanta of Spain would be high and honourable, but that difficulties would always arise in the settlement; that if such negotiations had been set on foot, they would pass through his hands, as the king would employ his ambassador at this court. He said that he heard from England that the French ambassador, resident at that court, had obtained leave to go to France and to return very soon, in order to negotiate upon that marriage, so that he did not see how it could be said that the negotiations had been broken off. These last days the same ambassador has received a courier from England, with instructions from his king to secure the assent of His Majesty and the ministers here to the agreement upon the affairs of Cleves. He told me that he hoped it would be arranged because since his return to court he had spoken with the ministers about it. They assured him that the king desires peace, that orders have been issued to smooth away all difficulties, and that an accommodation is to be arranged; that by the courier sent recently by him to his king he had given full information of the favourable disposition which he had found here, and he was sure that if the first courier had arrived in time this other one would not have been sent; that in order to obey the reiterated orders which he received he had again spoken with the king here, and had audience the day before yesterday: meanwhile he continues to negotiate with the members of the Council of State, asking that matters may be settled without further delay. They expect that this will be in the way I wrote of, with the addition of the article added by the marquis Spinola, the Dutch retaining a free passage through the State of Cleves, it being understood that in case of need they may pass through armed to the assistance of the Protestant princes, their friends and allies.
From Madrid, the 8 February, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 9. Consiglio di X, Parti Seorete. Venetian Archives. 635. That the proposal to grant a safe-conduct to Baron Francesco Furietti and Trogian his brother, be restricted to Francesco alone, to last for two years.
Ayes 8. Second vote 8.
Noes 1. 0.
Neutral 0. 0.
The matter remains undetermined.
Feb. 10. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 636. The Ambassador of England came into the Cabinet and presented the following letter from the king, his master:
Jacobus, Dei gratia, etc. Serenissimo Principi D. Marco Antonio Memmo Venete Republice Duci, amico nostro charissimo salutem. Serenissime Princeps, amice charissime. Cum nobis sit necessario utendum opera et ministeria viri non minus fidelis, quam in rebus gerendis exercitati, in decidendis et componendis illis dissidiis, que inter Serenissimum Principem, affinem nostrum Ducem Sabaudie et Gubernatorem Mediolani nobis infeliciter orta sunt, neminem habemus, cui istam provinciam libentius censuimus commendandam, quam Dudleio Carlotono legato nostro, qui cum tot per annos apud vestram Rempublicam resederit, quis status sit, et que conditio rerum que nunc in Italia geruntur, optime debet intelligere. Petimus ergo ut munus istud, quod ei imposuimus vestra bona cum venia subeat, et si vestris consiliis præceptisque instructus, iter istud possit suscipere, Serenitas Vester illud faciet, quod erit nobis quam gratissimum, et si nostra nos non fallat opinio quam saluberimum vestræ Reipublicæ.
Jacobus Rex.
Datum apud Neomarket V die Decembris, 1614.
The ambassador then said this letter clearly shows His Majesty's intention to employ my weak services in the affairs of Savoy, to find some means of securing peace for the province. The chief difficulty at present seems to be rather in words than in substance, since one wishes to command and the other is willing to obey, but so that obedience may be rendered to reason and not to empire. It is therefore necessary to see that while one of the parties suffers no loss of reputation the interests and security of the other may not be prejudiced and that there may be no danger of war, of which the issues are uncertain and dangerous. The king wishes my action in the matter to be straightforward and governed by your Serenity, whose prudence will be of the greatest service. But the nature of the case demands that the deliberation and reply must not delay my departure. Therefore if a commission cannot be given to me here, owing to the shortness of the time, the Ambassador Zen may be instructed to co-operate with me in this affair. In truth I am determined to act with the sword in my hand because we have to deal with those who will do all they can, conscious of the superiority of their forces. But arbitrary will, when not founded on reason, may be restrained in the prosecution of its designs by the prospect of opposition. My master will do his utmost to show his good intentions for the liberty of this province, and it is certain that this republic will act with its customary prudence, as it is clear that when neighbouring princes are armed, it is wise to arm one's own state also and to send troops to the frontiers to guard against possible disasters. I need only add that when one side increases its armaments, the other is bound to yield or to make a shameful peace. I will inform your Serenity of the results.
In the absence of the doge Sig. Vincenzo Dandolo replied formally, and the ambassador again asked for instructions to regulate his proceedings, after which he took leave.
Feb. 10. Senato, Seoreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 637. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Notification of despatches sent with enclosures, one of these containing the letter of the duke of Savoy to his ambassador instructing him to see the English ambassador before he leaves Venice and show him everything to facilitate his negotiations with your Serenity and the governor of Milan. This evening His Highness has sent an account of these particulars to England and to other princes.
From Turin, the 10 February, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 11. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 638. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
His Highness again asks your Serenity to speak to the English ambassador so that in the future they may speak freely and in concert to the governor of Milan, and that the united action of the two powers may cause the Spaniards to reflect.
From Turin, the 11 February, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 13. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 639. To the Ambassador with the King of Great Britain.
The king's ambassador recently came into the Cabinet and presented His Majesty's letters, speaking in conformity with them, as you will see by the enclosed copy. He left for Turin before a reply could be given. Meanwhile we have answered His Majesty's letters by the enclosed, which we direct you to present, speaking to the same effect, praising his resolution to act in this affair and to employ his great authority upon it. We hope that he will use his efforts with both sides to procure an end to this troublesome and dangerous affair, which now seems to be reduced rather to a question of an appearance of respect for the Catholic king as a superior prince than to essential points. You will assure His Majesty that our ambassador will do his utmost to further an accommodation, as we have no other wish in these present troubles, as the Ambassador Carleton well knows. It is of the highest importance for the general welfare, not only of the interested princes and this province, but of all Christendom, as His Majesty must see what grave consequences a rupture of this Kind must involve. You will thank him for his interest in the affairs of Italy and of ourselves, which we shall have in grateful remembrance, assuring them that we shall not omit to consider our own safety and the liberty of this province. We have instructed our ambassador at Turin to tell His Majesty's ambassador how highly we value his offices and to assure him of our favourable disposition. This will serve you for information of what has taken place in this matter.
Ayes 172.
Noes 2.
Neutral 3.
Feb. 13. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 640. To the King of Great Britain.
We were delighted to learn your Majesty's decision to send the Ambassador Carleton to Turin, as we know that his offices aided by such great authority will assist the adjustment of peace. We thank your Majesty for the confidence which you thus place in us, and we hope that this noble action, exercised by so prudent a minister, will result in the manner that all right-minded men desire. As we have no other desire than the welfare of Christendom, which is peace, we pray God that these results may accrue. Our own efforts will be directed to the same end, as they have been from the first. Our ambassador will inform your Majesty more fully how much we value your offices.
Ayes 172.
Noes 2.
Neutral 3.
Feb. 13. Senato, Seoreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 641. That the following be read to the Ambassadors of Savoy:
We hope that the war in Milan will terminate in a manner satisfactory to His Highness and with the public peace. We are nevertheless glad to see that His Highness does not despair of peace and if the question reduces itself to satisfying the Catholic king with some show of obedience and respect, we hope, if this be not opposed to what is seemly, that some accommodation may be found, with the help of the interposition of so many princes, and of the king of Great Britain, who is now moving with such warmth, especially as the Catholic ambassador with us seems to think that there is some hope if His Majesty be so approached. By those means which His Majesty may esteem most fitting the negotiations of England may be facilitated, and, please God, an agreement may be arrived at. Circumstances will show what is expedient in the matter of disarming; we think His Highness is the best judge of what is prudent in this respect. We shall use all our efforts to this end, while we shall not overlook what we think to be necessary for the maintenance of the liberty of this province.
Ayes 172.
Noes 2.
Neutral 3.
Feb. 13. Senato, Seoreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 642. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
We enclose copies of the exposition of the duke's ambassadors with our reply. With regard to the loan of money, you have already heard our decision. You will see by the enclosed exposition what the ambassador of England resident here has just proposed. We should have made a friendly reply if his sudden departure had not prevented us from doing so. You will call upon him on his arrival and tell him why we omitted this office, adding that we have answered His Majesty's letter and directed our ambassador to present the reply, thanking His Majesty, praising his decision and hoping for the best results from his action. If the ambassador works contrary to the things negotiated by the Nuncio Savelli and M. Rambouillet or makes new proposals and asks you to interest yourself in them, or if he begins to speak about defence, a league, a union or any such things, in such case you will speak in general friendly terms and say that you have no authority to treat of affairs of such importance without our express commission, sending word to us and awaiting instructions; but maintaining confidence with that ambassador by reciprocal compliments, such as are customary between the ministers of two powers in such confidential relations as we have with his king.
We send you a memorial on behalf of Zuan Molin to recover some goods; you will recommend this case to His Highness and present a copy of the memorial.
That the memorial be sent to the house of the ambassadors of Savoy and that they be asked to recommend it to His Highness.
Also that the ambassador of England be summoned to the Cabinet, if he is here, and that it be read to him substantially as above (et letto a lui nella sopradetta sostanza).
Ayes 174.
Noes 0.
Neutral 4.
Feb. 13. Senato, Seoreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives. 643. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The secretary of the king's ambassador in Spain has seen the king, but I have, nevertheless, been able to discover a great part of what he imparted. This is, that the ambassador had spoken to the Catholic king and to the duke of Lerma upon the affairs of Cleves. The duke told him that chiefly in order to please His Majesty the Catholic king had given instructions for the restitution of Wesel with all the other places occupied, and that he had referred the article to be signed by Spinola and Maurice to the archduke and Spinola; that if Maurice will not sign it, another way will be found, and in any event the accord will be effected which was arranged by the ambassadors; he insisted that Savoy had at other times conspired against Spain, and had now even attempted to move the Turk against her and to join with him; that His Majesty as a just prince ought to refrain from supporting the duke of Savoy, and allow him to be punished, as he is resolved shall be done; he conculded by assuring him that everything occupied would be restored upon condition that he ask pardon in terms of the most humble respect, confess what he holds of the king, and that he can take it away at any moment; but it is necessary to punish him once as a matter of duty so that he may be kept quiet and in obedience for ever. This much has been imparted to me by a person who is able to know. He also told me that on this account the king will not fail the duke to whom he has pledged his word, but that he has and will perform good offices for peace, possibly advising His Highness to a reconciliation in the matter if he can obtain one with honour and safety, that is the utmost, and of this he expressed a doubt. The same secretary added that the duke of Lerma was considerably aggrieved by the great expense in which the duke has involved the Catholic king in Italy, that the ambassador had made a good office in favour of the duke, but with little result. He told the king of the favours received by the ambassador at Lisbon, where he was entertained every day by the Viceroy, all his journey being at the king's expense; that he had seen great preparations for a fleet in various places; that he had particularly asked the duke of Lerma for the reason. He replied that it was partly for the East and West Indies, partly for Morocco and other events, and finally that it was necessary for them to be prepared. He also said something with regard to the merchants. He brings letters of the 14th and has made a good journey.
The Spanish ambassador has sent his interpreter to the king to inform him about the restitution of Wesel and the article disputed between Spinola and Maurice; and has returned. The ambassador of the Archduke also went for the same purpose. He returned late yesterday and straightway had a long interview with the Spanish ambassador. So far as I have been able to gather, when that ambassador had left the audience, the king excitedly swore three or four times by the living God that he could place no trust in him with other words to the same effect (quello che ho io potuto penetrar è, die partita esso ambasciatore dall' audienza, il Re concitato ha detto giurando tre ò quatto volte per I Ho vivente non hi' bisogna prestarli fede, con qualch' altra parola simile). The king has ordered the treasurer to make a provision of money and told him to issue instructions for the arming of twelve royal ships.
London, the 13 February, 1615.
Feb. 13. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 644. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The same secretary from Spain fell in with the Commandeur de Sillery, who was going post to Madrid. The king's ambassador in France writes that the Commandeur's instructions are to congratulate the Infanta on the king's behalf on attaining her majority, and to say that he is preparing to come and meet her; that now he is of age, in fulfilment of his promise, he sends some jewels, which the Commandeur presented. Afterwards he will salute the prince on behalf of the princess, and when he has kissed the king's hands he will concert with the duke of Lerma all things required for the passage of the princess in a few months for her marriage. He will perform offices for the restitution of Wesel and the other places, and that the agreement arranged by the nuntio and Rambouillet may be carried out; upon this he will insist strongly, but in such a manner as not to give offence.
The king is daily expecting important letters from those of the religion in France and others united with them with the intention of preventing the effectuation of the marriages as much as they can.
With regard to Aix la Chapelle, Mulheim, Frankfort and other affairs of Germany, there seems little likelihood of anything but war, because Spain, under the name of the Emperor, desires that Frankfort shall be placed in his obedience and at his disposition, and seems to aspire to greater things and to begin by fighting. On the other hand all the United Princes intend that Aix la Chapelle shall be restored to its pristine state before Spinola reduced it to its present condition, and that no innovations be made in the Empire. Warlike preparations are proceeding everywhere. It is discovered that the Catholic king and the archduke wish to assure themselves against any succour being sent by the States to the United Princes, who would run great danger if isolated. The ambassador of the archduke told me that Maurice cannot pass to Frankfort to succour it; that if two forts are made by Rheinburg on this side of the Rhine, the archduke will be planted between them and Germany, which he emphasised by extending one hand and laying the other across it.
The ambassador of Brandenburg (fn. 2) has arrived and brings the commissions which I reported; he will soon go to the king. The ambassador of Holland has already seen him. This latter ambassador told me that nothing is said about the time of the restitution of Wesel. That the ambassador in Spain has written that the restitution will be made in such wise that the Spaniards can occupy it again in three days whenever they wish; that the abandonment by the States of Juliers and the other places is of great importance to Spain, because it is the road to Germany; that arms will not be laid down, but are being increased, and the Spaniards being superior in force, cherish higher aspirations than Cleves; that other important controversial points still remain; that his masters are in a position to defend themselves well and they will not fail their friends. He said all this as if war had been already decided upon and declared in those parts.
In speaking of the ships which are being prepared by the States for the West Indies, he seemed to attach great importance to the proposals to join forces with England in the East. He said that certain things are being done jointly, that fourteen or fifteen vessels are being built of from 2,000 to 2,500 tons each, and they will be remarkable for their size, their crews and the munitions which they carry. That they are to go from here to Mogador and Sumatra, and are already under sail.
I do not know whether any reply has yet arrived from the archduke to the letter and article sent to him by the king. I will endeavour to discover and inform your Excellencies. It is certain that the courier sent to Spain has not yet returned. The king's secretary left two days ago, having been sent for by His Majesty. The arrival of the courier from Piedmont is expected daily.
London, the 13 February, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 14 Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 645. To the Ambassador in England.
In the present circumstances, for the preservation of our states, we have decided to enlist 3,000 Italian infantry, some companies of cuirassiers and to make other provisions. This is simply for information, so that if anything is said about it you may always affirm the rectitude of our intentions, and that we are only looking to our own safety in the interests of peace and good government. The like to the Imperial Court.
The Swiss.
Ayes 156.
Noes 4.
Neutral 2.
Feb. 14. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 646. To the Ambassador at Rome.
The hope of peace in this province becomes continually more remote. We ask you to go to the pope, tell him that we foresee grave perils, and moved by desire for peace we beg him to use his efforts to avert the coming calamity. The hopes of peace are diminished because the Catholic king will not agree to the terms arranged at Turin, and warlike preparations are being actively carried forward, with rumours of open war. The Spaniards will not consent to an agreement and are resolved to punish the duke of Savoy, and this cannot take place without causing great disturbances in the province. It is therefore the part of the pope, in the interest of religion, to do whatever he can in the cause of peace.
Ayes 138.
Noes 2.
Neutral 3.
Feb. 14. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 647. To the Ambassador in Spain.
The affairs of Savoy grow continually worse, the Spaniards being determined to humiliate the duke. Savoy is ready to give verbal satisfaction but will do nothing inconsistent with his honour. The ambassador of England left here recently for Turin, to do everything in the king's name for an accommodation, and to find some means of arranging an honourable peace satisfactory to the parties. We have instructed the Ambassador Zen to co-operate with him. We are doing everything for peace and have written the enclosed letter to the king of Spain, which you will present. You will also speak in conformity with the ministers, assuring them that our sole motive is a desire for peace.
Ayes 137.
Noes 2.
Neutral 3.
Feb. 14. Senato, Terra Venetian Archives. 648. To the Rectors of Vicenza.
Order to receive the ambassador of England, who will pass through that city on his way to Turin. whither he is being sent by his king, with the greatest honour, in order to show our observance towards that king and our regard for his minister. Afford him refreshments and accommodation for from thirty to forty persons, and keep an account of the cost.
The like to Verona, Bressa, Bergamo, Crema.
Feb. 14. Senato, Terra Venetian Archives. 649. To the Proveditore General in Terra Firma.
Notification that orders have been given as in the enclosed copies to entertain the ambassador of England, who is on his way to Turin.
Ayes 158.
Noes 1.
Neutral 1.
Feb. 14. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 650. The deliberation of the Senate of yesterday was read to the ambassador of England. He replied:
I am going on such a worthy cause that I promise myself success, as although the armaments are formidable, yet a certain equilibrium has hitherto been preserved between peace and war and my small grain may turn the beam, especially if the ministers assembled there are also working for peace. I know of what assistance the ambassador of your Serenity at Turin may be for this and I will work with him as much as possible. My master will be much gratified that you approve of his plans and that you have instructed your ambassador to further them. May God prosper my mission. I shall leave this evening, if you will permit me.
In the absence of the Doge the senior councillor, Vincenzo Dandolo, replied that the ambassador had all their good wishes and they hoped that his master, through him, would have the glory of settling the present difficulties. The Ambassador Zen will show him the most complete confidence.
The ambassador then said: The report which Sig. Foscarini will make to His Majesty will give him great satisfaction. The ambassador, being a great friend, has frequently written to me, and also recently when he was the only one of the foreign ministers present at some entertainment, an honour which he greatly appreciated. Your Serenity once showed me that the elections in the Great Council were made partly by true election and partly by chance. The results always seem to me to be good, both in the superior and in the inferior orders. The secretary, Sig. Giulio Muscorno, is loved not only by the king but by all the court. (fn. 3)
Dandolo expressed his pleasure, saying that they desired all their ministers to give satisfaction, especially to His Majesty.
The ambassador then recommended the household that he would leave behind any affairs which might arise for which the secretary Gregorio will appear. He said that he left only one thing incomplete, which was in the hands of the Council of Ten. As he would have to pass through Bergamo it would give him double satisfaction to receive this favour.
Dandolo replied that they were willing, but the strictness of the laws created a difficulty. The favour would be more easily obtained if somewhat less were asked for. They would discuss the question with the Council of Ten and do what they could. With that the ambassador departed.
Feb. 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacei, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 651. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
By express instructions, arrived with his last letters, the English ambassador had to use his efforts for accommodation of the affairs of Savoy. He spoke about them to the king and the ministers here. He stated that although his king did not intend to meddle with these affairs, but wished to maintain the good understanding with this crown, yet he was exceedingly anxious to see his very dear friend the duke of Savoy at peace and reconciled with His Majesty, who was so nearly related to him. He therefore begged earnestly that the general peace might not be interrupted in that quarter. They replied that His Majesty was pleased at being thus approached, and that he would always be delighted to gratify that king, but that in order to perfectly establish peace in that province it was necessary that the duke of Savoy should disarm. It is not understood here that the king of England has made any other declaration in favour of the duke, but that he will simply permit his subjects to go and serve him. They write from England that an English gentleman who had previously been in Piedmont and was a favourite with His Highness has enlisted 4,000 infantry to go and serve him; (fn. 4) and that a corsair of the same nation had entered the Mediterranean with six ships and will very readily serve the duke against the Spaniards; (fn. 5) contenting himself simply by having a safe place of repair in the port of Villafranca. These corsairs were very pleased with the treatment accorded by the duke to the other pirate who went to serve him, (fn. 6) and they have been in need of a safe place of repair since Ma'mura was taken from them, and because they are not so well treated at Livorno.
From Madrid, the 14 February, 1614.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 652. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier arrived here on the 24th ult. announcing the mission of the Commandeur from France. The ambassador immediately went to see the duke of Lerma, informing him that it was on account of the king's majority and to present a collar of diamonds to the queen, to serve as a demonstration of the settlement of the marriages, and that he will treat of the manner of sending the betrothed, and that he has also come to persuade the king to come to an accommodation in Flanders.
The sending of the Commandeur seems to have stirred the French to greater activity, as great preparations are being made.
From Madrid, the 14 February, 1614.
Feb. 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives. 653. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
A new book in quarto, three fingers thick, has been published, called Novissimus homo,' which says many things against the pope and the present government in addition to those already set forth in Novus homo,' which appeared two years ago. It is not known where it is printed, though many think and say that it was written in Venice and published there, there being as usual no lack of kindred spirits. The pope is very much upset about it; he has instructed Cardinal Bellarmine to write a reply. He told another cardinal that he had received this commission, and that the book contained many things which could not be denied.
From Rome, the 14 February, 1615.


  • 1. Clement Edmondes, not to be confounded with Sir Thomas Edmondes, the English ambassador in France. See Cal. State Papers. Domestic, 1611–8, p. 269.
  • 2. The Chevalier Christopher Sticke.
  • 3. Carleton writes to Winwood on 3 February, 1615, o.s. I do Muscorno all the good offices I can.' State Papers, Foreign, Venice.
  • 4. Robert Rich.
  • 5. Probably Walsingham, referred to in a letter of Sir John Digby to Winwood, written from Lisbon on 26 November, 1614, o.s. The English pirates, of whom one Walsingham is chief, have lately taken many ships upon the coast; they have six good ships in company, and it is here said that they have taken about 500,000 crowns within these six weeks.' State Papers, Foreign, Spain. See No. 448 at
  • 6. Probably Peter Eston.