Venice: June 1615, 11-20

Pages 466-484

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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June 1615, 11–20

June 11. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 847. To the Ambassador at Turin.
On Sunday we received your letters with information of the negotiations between His Highness and his ministers and the ambassadors of the princes with him. The ambassador of Savoy has since been to us and we enclose a copy of his exposition. We send you also a copy of our reply and direct you to speak in conformity with it. If finally the duke and the princes are agreed upon the treaty, we will give our word together with the others, and although we should be glad that besides France, the Pope and England should also agree to this settlement and oppose the duke's, yet if the Pope and England do not agree, though we cannot expect the latter in view of the orders given by the king of Great Britain, and if France approves, you shall do so also, but you must be careful not to be the first in order not to be prematurely involved in the affair, as if it turned out ill it might prove prejudicial, and if the agreement should not be accepted and signed, or if it were changed, we should seem very irresolute in a matter of such great importance.
With regard to the promise to assist His Highness, the more persons who agree on this, the better we shall be pleased, and if France promises first, you may also pledge our word. It should run that if, after the duke has disarmed, the Spaniards fail to carry out their engagements, we together with the crown of France and with the others who consent, will help to defend the duke. You must give this promise to His Highness himself as a matter of compliment without committing it to writing or by any other act. His Highness will understand, as our practices are known, and, that we keep our word, and that we did the same in our dispute with the present Pope. You will thank His Highness for his offer of troops in case of need, and we shall always preserve a grateful memory of his offer.
That the present letters be sent post by courier.
Ayes 170.
Noes 1.
Neutral 20.
June 11. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 848. Giovanni Rizzardo, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
Owing to numerous delays I did not arrive here till the 5th inst. Though I am over forty-seven years, I thank God I have arrived safely. I have been received by the ambassador in the place of Sig. Muscorno. The said Muscorno left his house two months ago, and has not since held any communication with the ambassador. At present I say nothing upon the matter of my instructions, as I will say nothing that is not well authenticated. I have found the whole court and I might even say the city, divided into two parties, one siding with the ambassador and the other with the secretary. I hope, however, to be able soon to discover the truth and communicate it to your Excellencies.
From London, the 11 June, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 11. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 849. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of France was at the Capuchins, whither the nuncio, England and I went and began fresh negotiations. It is necessary to treat France as if he belonged to the other side; as the ministers here have all broken with him it is necessary for one of the ambassadors to go and deal with him, generally the nuncio, so that England may not be left alone. The duke sent the prince, because he himself was in bed with a bad leg. He asked us to tell him what to do as he is being attacked by the Spaniards and French together. He could hold out for a month without help, but not longer. England and I have limited commissions, and we know how dangerous it is to advise princes. We therefore confined ourselves to general terms. We then discussed the powers of the various ambassadors to sign. It was decided that the articles should be drawn up by some one with legal knowledge. The French ambassador was asked to obtain either the signature of the governor or a letter from him. For the rest he said his king had had what was necessary and the articles could be drawn up. The prince was astonished at this, but England said that the French kings are used to giving their ambassadors blank sheets signed. The articles were seen again and approved. The question of the property of vassals alone remained, and it was decided to leave them to mercy. We therefore decided to go to the governor on the following morning, it being then night, the matter being considered settled. The prince seemed very glad and contented.
The Savoyard camp at Varie, the 11 June, 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 12. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 850. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The return of the couriers sent to Spain and Turin to secure an armistice and afterwards to introduce proposals for peace, as I reported, is anxiously awaited. Four days ago the ambassador of Savoy had letters of the Cardinal Prince of the 26th ult. from Turin, and from the agent of His Highness of the 1st inst. from Paris. The first is about some affair of 100,000 crowns which the ambassador negotiated to raise on the duke's jewels, when passing through Paris, the other is about the number of foot and horse which are preparing to march. I have managed to see both and enclose copies. After the sending back of the secretaries to the ambassadors in Spain and at Turin, which I reported, nothing more has been done.
These last days I have had some close conversations with the ambassadors of Spain and Savoy. I impressed upon both of them how beneficial peace would be. The ambassador of Spain told me that if only the duke would consent to disarm first, and offer some phrases of courtesy and apology, he would consider the affair at an end, and his king would give orders to disarm on the following day, and thus His Highness would be the first to promise to disarm and the Catholic king would be the first disarmed. With regard to the emperor, his king might undertake to cause some satisfaction to be given to him in the judgment, or in the appointment of disinterested judges.
When I reported these conditions to the ambassador of Savoy, he willingly fell in with them; accordingly when the ambassador of Spain, at another interview, seemed to think that the affair was in good train, he put in writing what appeared to him to be proper, but as he would not afterwards allow time to negotiate about it, it was torn up, according to what his secretary told me. They will hearken in Spain without any other document. I only report this to leave nothing unsaid.
The day before yesterday the ambassador sent to tell me that he will call to-morrow or the following evening. These last days, while he was passing through the city, his carriage horses were stopped by the popular insolence. Those who were accompanying him on foot seized their weapons and wounded an Englishman, and this increased the tumult to such an extent that one of the gates of the city was closed. A gentleman and a servant were detained, but were released on the evening of the following day and subsequently returned to the ambassador's house in other clothes.
The ambassador of Savoy, owing to the delay in the arrival of the couriers and the news he has received of disturbances in Piedmont, has asked audience of the king to press for some assistance in money. His Majesty has given him Saturday. Meanwhile he has been to see the earl of Somerset and asked him to favour the duke's interests, as he has promised to do, saying that he will see the results.
London, the 12 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 851. Letter from the Cardinal Prince from Turin to the Ambassador of Savoy.
Acknowledges receipt of letter upon the matter of the jewels. It appears to be proceeding satisfactorily.
Turin, the 14 May, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 852. Letter from the Cardinal Prince of Savoy to the Agent of His Highness at Paris.
Has received his letters. The courier is long on the road, but there appears to be no news, except that Don Giovanni continues to bombard with his artillery, but with no results except to draw a fire in reply. The prince has passed this way on the road to His Highness. They have taken there the brother of the duke of Pastrana, slightly wounded, and among the prisoners is the prince of Morocco.
From Turin, the 26 May, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 853. Letter of the Agent of the Duke of Savoy to the Ambassador of His Highness.
This is the third by which I am sending the musters to your Excellency. Apparently things are not proceeding to our disadvantage, as I understand the ambassador of His Majesty here writes and reports. You will hear also that the troops who were to join His Highness have already set out and been paid. The day after to-morrow the count of Moret and the Senator Pescina will arrive here, and I shall retire as soon as possible to the country. I am assured on good authority of the return of the duke of Roncas to our court. When I have more certain information I will forward it.
Paris, the 1 June, 1615.
M. de Mayenne (d'Humena), 6,000 foot, 2,000 will pass this week, horse 1,000.
M. de Fleury 2,000 foot, 1,000 will pass this week, horse 100.
M. de Montagni, 500 horse, the majority will pass immediately.
M. de Tiange 500 horse, all will pass. These will be in Savoy on the 10th inst.
M. de Camlac 200 ”
M. de Montent 300 ”
M. de Corsor 300 ”
M. de St. George for M. de Chateauneuf (Sciateonuf) 300 horse
M. de Pisaulz, 1,000 infantry, who will pass this week.
Total: 9,000 foot, 3,200 horse.
Cesare Frecia.
June 12. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 854. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday the 7th inst. the Lords of the Council sent to ask me to be at Greenwich at nine on the following morning. I presented myself and found the king's secretary and Sir Julius Caesar awaiting me. They entered upon a conversation, the chiefs of the Levant company being also present. The secretary began, holding a paper in his hand, with the principal points he had to tell me, namely, that the last proclamation is based upon preceding decrees and cannot be called an innovation; that it was necessary to take this action, that it is aimed against the Dutch alone, who by managing their shipping at a less expense have begun to introduce a great part of the things which are consumed in this kingdom, to the notable detriment of the native merchants and of the shipping; that it was necessary to remedy this; that your Excellencies also have often made similar decrees, and there are no grounds for complaint this time, because salus populi suprema lex; that it is forbidden to take raisins straight here from Zante and Cephalonia; that at Constantinople and all the places of the Levant, when ships are laded for Venice, the English are compelled to lade those of others and to leave their own which are better armed and cost them less; that from Zante, Cephalonia and Candia English and other foreign ships cannot lade for Venice. He dilated on many other similar things. I answered that with regard to the complaint, I would reply and give satisfaction before leaving, but that the principal point consists in revoking the proclamation; that this ought to be done without delay; that every day vessels are laded on one hand and the other and they would find themselves compelled to a revocation or else to a complete interruption of trade; that I ask for nothing more except that the merchandise of subjects of your Excellencies might come under the same conditions and with the same freedom as those of the king's subjects; that it was good to move reciprocally together, and so I again asked for the revocation of the proclamation. I pointed out that I was asking for the common good and not less for the advantage of this kingdom than for that of your Excellencies; that the inability to bring raisins from Zante and Cephalonia straight to this realm unless they were first taken to Venice and landed there, was an ancient practice and by no means observed; that it had been done in the time of the late queen, but afterwards, as a sign of friendship for the king, it had been allowed to fall into desuetude. That with regard to the point of lading at Consigli and other places upon Venetian ships for Venice, that was only reasonable and they could do the same when it was a question of lading their own things for London; that it is fitting that the carriage of the produce of the state of your Excellencies, from one part of it to another, must be done by your subjects, and if they had done the same thing here, forbidding foreign ships to take the produce of Scotland or Ireland to England, I should have raised no objection; that it is needless to say that these regulations amount to a general prohibition; that it was therefore necessary to come for the revocation of the decree, this is the trunk of the tree, all the other things introduced by them are branches and leaves which may be arranged and regulated without injury as well as to the advantage of the essential point; that with regard to the treatment of subjects, I would only say one thing, that whereas formerly there was a great number of Venetian merchants in this realm, now there is only one (fn. 1); while on the other hand at Venice, Zante and Cephalonia there are many English houses open which is a manifest sign of the good treatment they receive. I enlarged upon these and other points, insisting strongly upon the revocation of the proclamation, replying to the arguments advanced by those lords and also to those advanced by the chiefs of the merchant company. I protested that to wish to prohibit the subjects of your Excellencies from bringing here the things produced in their own country was highly unreasonable and little in accord with the friendship which brought with it an equivalent return. In short, I said so much that on the same day the Flemish ship was allowed to discharge its cargo of raisins. They departed from their original strictness, agreeing that in the future the subjects of your Serenity might lade upon their own or English ships all the produce of your Serenity's State. When I still pressed strongly for the revocation of the proclamation, they were brought to say that they would take everything to the king and bring a reply as soon as possible. I gently pointed out to the chiefs of the company the disadvantages of their attempt, and how much it might tend to their prejudice. And in this way I managed to get the affair in good trim.
Afterwards Vandeput, to whom both ships were destined, has been sent several times to see me, seeming to attach great importance to what they have granted hitherto, contrary to the tenour of the proclamation, of which I enclose a copy with a translation. He spoke at length of the ease and advantage with which Venetian ships might be built for this voyage to take there raisins and musk, and take a quantity of rushes straight for Spalato, whence it would be disseminated in the country of the Turks, damaging the commerce of Ragusa. He gave me special information about this and said in passing that he will write to those with whom he has relations. I will not cease to do everything possible as is my duty.
I must not omit to say that a Flemish ship arrived here some time ago, laden with wine by the French, long before the proclamation. The secretary of France has laboured long for its release, but has only just obtained it. For this my example in the case of the subjects of your Serenity has afforded him notable assistance, and he succeeded at a time when he had almost given up hope. Some of the Flemish ships have also appeared, laden with cotton, and they go hither and thither along the coast unlading from one vessel into another, without coming to any decision, although they were laded many months ago.
London, the 12 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 855. A proclamation prohibiting the bringing in of any commodities traded from the Levant into this kingdom, as well by subjects as strangers, not free of that company; also conteyning a publication of certaine statutes, for the restraint of all His Majesties subjects from shipping any commodities in strangers bottomes, either into this kingdome or out of the same.
Given at Whitehall on the 17 April, 1615. (fn. 2)
[English; printed.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 856. Translation of the above.
June 12. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 857. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of the States has arranged with the king that his masters will remove from the document the words which refer to the Most Christian King and the king of Great Britain upon condition that the archduke removes those which refer to the emperor, and saving the imperial dignity, and that he promise in writing not to attack the friendly princes, and that the treaty of Santen shall remain in full force. His Majesty has written to the archduke to this effect, and as His Highness cannot do less than reply upon not attacking the princes and the treaty of Santen, they think that they will compel him to promise in letters, that is to say in writing, what he has frequently caused to be said.
Three days ago a courier arrived, sent by the Ambassador Wotton from the Hague. I have it from the lips of one of the Lords of the Council that the States have urged the ambassador to induce His Majesty to insist either that the places occupied by His Highness shall be immediately restored, when they will do the same, or to come to a decision. In one or two days a person will arrive from this ambassador, who will bring full particulars about the intentions of the States.
Sir [Robert] Anstruther has returned from Denmark. He has informed the king, on the two occasions that he has seen him, of the successful issue of his negotiations.
At this point I hear of the arrival in London of the person sent by Wotton. He brings little or no hope that the restitution of the places will be made.
News come from Ireland that the parliament of that kingdom at present assembled, has spoken of granting the king 200,000 crowns, with great hope that it will be done. This would please His Majesty exceedingly, because during the thirteen years that he has occupied this throne and throughout the reign of the late queen no grant of any kind was ever made. (fn. 3)
I have frequently represented to your Serenity and your Excellencies my afflictions in my health and property. I now add they are constantly becoming more intolerable so that my forces fail in spite of my desire to serve, though I am still ready to spend the little life and property that remain to me in your service.
London, the 12 June, 1615.
June 13. Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives. 858. The Ambassador Antonio Foscarini has now been four years with the king of Great Britain after a long service as ambassador in France. This has been caused by the stay of the ambassador Barbarigo with the Grisons and Swiss upon most important affairs. As the said Foscarini has been obliged to incur heavy expenses to maintain the dignity of that embassy, the greater because he has remained two years beyond the statutory period, it is just that he should receive some alleviation, and we therefore decree the payment of him of 1,500 ducats as a donation for this time only.
Ayes 143.
Noes 9.
Neutrals 0.
June 13. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 859. To the Ambassador at Rome.
We hear in the letters of the ambassador Zen of the 14th inst. that the negotiations of M. de Rambouillet are proceeding with some hope of success. His Highness met the ambassadors a mile from Asti, told them the state of affairs and asked for their opinion. Our representative expressed our desire for peace, and no doubt he produced a good impression on the other ministers who will report to their masters the sincerity of our motives. In the subsequent negotiations of M. de Rambouillet with the duke we hear that two documents were signed, one containing the duke's consent to disarm first, not to attack Mantua and to submit the disputed points to the Emperor. He added that the question of disarming must come from the Most Christian Queen alone, an addition caused by a letter from M. Lesdiguieres advising a delay of three or four days for the courier. The second document is signed by M. de Rambouillet alone and simply states that the first will be void if England and ourselves do not concur in the arrangement, as His Highness declared that he attached great importance to our promising to assist him together with France in case the Spaniards should attack him after he had disarmed. With these documents M. de Rambouillet set out to the governor's camp. Hostilities were suspended for that day and it is expected that there will be an armistice from day to day during the negotiations. We have instructed the ambassador Zen to give our word to assist His Highness together with France if the Spaniards attack him after he has disarmed, provided that France and the other princes concur in the arrangement. We have forbidden him to be the first to concur or promise, and to promise verbally and not in writing. If the pope or Cardinal Borghese speak to you about these matters you will say that our ambassador assures the duke that he may look for every satisfaction in a matter in which the two greatest kings of Christendom are engaged. You will confine yourself within these limits, and if anything is said about a promise to protect you can easily say that you are not so advised. We add for your information only that the duke has not asked the pope for protection in writing out of respect for him, but he has appealed verbally to the nuncio and asked him to write but he does not appear to attach much importance to this. England apparently has authority to promise protection from what the ambassador Carleton has said to our ministers, but more will appear on the day.
The like to Spain and France.
Ayes 250.
Noes 0.
Neutral 1.
June 13. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costant. Venetian Archives. 860. Almoro Nani, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The French ambassador in the time of Nasuf secured the removal of the tax of 2 per cent. which had been levied for some years upon ryals or thalers brought by French ships to Aleppo, but it was never possible to obtain anything since this income was assigned to the king's daughter, promised to the said Nasuf. At his death the king took possession. The French ambassador after many representations obtained orders in favour of the merchants. There were some difficulties about the payment to be made for this and they have recently been increased by the arrival at Aleppo of a Capigi sent by the Emir to re-establish this tax. This he did, without the ambassador knowing about it till after it was done. I hear on good authority that the merchants of Aleppo threaten to withdraw the duty of 2 per cent. which they pay him upon the whole affair, which he farms for 16,000 thalers a year, and they will make an even greater disturbance when they hear that the expense incurred hitherto to remove the tax has been thrown away. This withdrawal would also damage England and Flanders, the latter more than the former, and the interests of the republic will not be affected, as Venetian ships carry little coin.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 13 June, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 13. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives. 861. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The count of Verua writes to the abbot his son that Lesdiguières wishes the duke to enter a league with all the heretical princes of Germany, with England and the others. His Highness does not incline to this, and stands resolutely upon his defence. This abbot went to see the pope at Frascati on Wednesday and stayed there all the week.
Rome, the 13 June, 1615.
June 16. Cl. VII. Cod. MXLIX. Bibl. S. Marco, Venice. 862. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have been to Her Majesty to carry out my last instructions with regard to the Savoy affairs. I said that I hoped the duke would be induced by his friends to incline towards peace. I executed the like commissions with the ministers. They assured me that France was interested in the preservation of the duke; that if His Highness had taken the good advice they had given him, he would now be out of danger. If he had disarmed, the Spaniards would certainly have done the same. The Spanish ministers had refused to bind themselves to the duke saying that it was not consonant with the dignity of their king to treat him as an equal. The duke delayed taking a decision, saying that he wished first to take the advice of his friends, namely England, Holland, the princes of Germany and your Serenity. They said they were sure that if the duke took the prudent advice of your Serenity he would decide for peace.
Paris, the 16 June, 1615.
June 16. Cl. VII. Cod. MXLIX. Bibl. S. Marco, Venice. 863. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day the secretary of the English Ambassador who is at Turin, left here, sent by the king to be resident in that town. I am sending these by him to the Ambassador Zen.
Paris, the 16 June, 1615.
June 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 864. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
After receiving the instructions of your Serenity I went to see His Highness. We spoke about the agreement, and he said it would be well for me to see the other ambassadors, the count of Verua and Mons. Isidore to arrange about the preambule and the signing. I told him there had been some difficulty between England and nuncio over signing. He said that the signature of the republic would have weight. I reminded him of the ancient practice of your Serenity to give simply a verbal promise and asked him to be content with this.
On the following morning we met to decide some disputes, because the nuncio wishes to sign first and England is unwilling, not recognising him as the ambassador of a prince. I have been persuading the nuncio not to sign telling him that to do so as a witness is unworthy of princes, to approve the articles is to interest himself in them, and he has no authority. However the matter is still undecided.
The camp of Savoy outside Asti, the 16 June, 1615.
June 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 865. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
New letters have come from the English ambassador by express courier sent by Scarnafes, confirming the orders already given but in more express terms. They say the duke must disarm first, but the Spaniards must do so also, or, if they wish to use the word, withdraw, taking their army out of Europe, suggesting that it may go against the Turks. He must promise not to attack Mantua and submit the disputes to the Imperial chamber a general restitution of all places taken must be made, nothing said about damages and rebels pardoned. If the duke does not accept this he will be abandoned by the king, whereas if the Spaniards do not agree His Majesty will declare war against them in favour of His Highness whom he will not abandon. Scarnafes has written these instructions to the duke and the secretary, who left with him, confirms it to the ambassador, writing that he himself will bring the king's despatches. The ambassador will wait two or three days for him and the secretary will stay as resident in this court in place of Mr. Albert Morton, who left four days ago owing to indisposition. The ambassador told me that he would not tell the count of Verua the last words about protection against the Spaniards, so that the duke might not fasten upon them and raise difficulties in the way of the peace, now so near.
He has been to see the French ambassador and urged him to obtain from the governor letters entirely satisfactory to the duke. He told me confidentially that the ambassador had asked him to write and also to send to Mantua upon the question of the rebels. He promised to do so but asked for a letter saying that the Spaniards will disarm as soon as the duke has done so. The ambassador promised this but on condition that it should not be shown to the duke nor have any place in the negotiations.
The other evening when I was with England, the French ambassador asked me the same thing, but I did not wish to be involved with Mantua and made an equivocal reply. Both the French and English ambassadors pressed me to do this, but I excused myself as not being concerned.
The differences between Berne and His Highness have been referred to the king of Great Britain by agreement, so that it is thought they will soon be settled.
There are a large number of deserters from both armies; both sides wish for peace, and the Spaniards want it most, according to accounts.
The camp of Savoy outside Asti, the 17 June, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 866. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The articles of the peace have been arranged. With regard to signing, one document will be signed by the duke, the French and the other ambassadors who have authority to sign. It will be given to the French ambassador who will leave it in the hands of the nuncio, receiving his promise not to give it to any one else. Owing to differences between the nuncio and England there will be two similar documents, one for France, England and Venice and the other for France the pope and Venice. At first they wanted to have France and the pope in one and England and myself in the other. This would never do, and as I knew that England did not wish to be alone and as the duke was anxious to satisfy him, I suggested that there should be two documents similar in every respect. Finally the matter was settled at 10 o'clock at night and the document was taken to His Highness to sign. After this we supped in campaign waggons, the nuncio and France in one and England and I in another. Before leaving the prince whispered in my ear, but loud enough for England to hear, The republic does wrong in not signing because she loses the glory of the peace of Italy. We are content with your service, but you should make representations to his Serenity. England afterwards told me that your Serenity is certainly making a great mistake, he begged me to write to your Excellencies urging you to sign if the other princes do so; and not let it appear that distant princes alone control war and peace in this province. I enclose the declaration which England is prepared to sign. It is doubtful whether the nuncio will sign or no. I beg you to send me immediate instructions what I am to do.
The Savoyard camp outside Asti, the 17 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 867. Declaration of England.
I, Dudley Carleton, ambassador extraordinary, in view of the promise made by the Marquis of Rambouillet, ambassador of France and confirmed by letters of the governor of Milan, that after the disarming of His Highness, the governor will so dispose his force that he will not demand passage for any troops through the state of His Highness, accept the agreement and promise in the name of my king that if the Spaniards, contrary to their word, directly or indirectly attack the person or dominions of His Highness, His Majesty will afford every assistance in conjunction with the king of France.
June 18. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 868. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
No news has reached here of the couriers sent to Spain and Turin to procure an armistice and peace. On Saturday the king sent a present of a deer to the ambassador of Savoy, asking him to come on Monday to dine and to the chase when he would also give him audience. He was accordingly fetched from his house on Monday morning by a Scotch knight, and at the palace at Whitehall he entered a coach of the king. The hunt lasted from nine until midday. After he had dined with His Majesty and with the prince, the king gave him audience, and he spoke of the peril and needs of his master, reminded the king of the promises confirmed so repeatedly to render assistance with 400,000 crowns and urged the king very strongly.
His Majesty replied that in a very few days they will hear of the return of the couriers, and the agent from Turin (fn. 4) is expected at any moment; that before the arrival of these it is impossible to know the true condition of the duke, for whom he will procure a good and safe peace, and he hopes that there is an armistice at this moment; that if His Highness obtains peace all will be well, otherwise he will not fail to defend and assist him with all his power.
The ambassador replied with other arguments, basing them upon necessity and His Majesty's promise. The king added that he would send his secretary to him, two days later, and he did so on Wednesday evening. There was a long interview between the ambassador and the secretary. The outcome was that the king must see the return of the couriers or at least the arrival of the agent before he could take a resolution conformable to the necessity but owing to the pressure of the ambassador he will do something before with a payment of money. I understand that afterwards they spoke about paying 100,000 crowns through a merchant called Bara, and others joined with him, the payment to be made where it best suits the duke at the end of next month. What I can affirm to your Excellencies is that some weeks ago 17,000l. of this money were ready for the purpose, amounting to about 70,000 crowns of our money. I fancy that they think of using the 100,000 crowns paid at Paris for the payment of the troops for the months of June and July, and they require the other 100,000 crowns for August and September if the war continues, and thus make up the portion which constitutes the king's share.
There is a person sent by the duke at the Palatine's court. With him is the secretary left at Turin by the ambassador Wotton. (fn. 5) They are negotiating about the alliance and that a payment of money may follow from those parts if need be.
Yesterday the Spanish ambassador had audience, and to-day the king's secretary is to see him. He showed His Majesty a letter from the governor of Milan and said the factions are not of so much importance as has been represented and things have not happened as reported. In such a short time I have not been able to gather more, but a week to-day I hope to send all particulars.
The ambassador of Holland has instructions in letters of the 5th inst. to exhort the king to actively assist the duke of Savoy, and to promise that they will do in this matter whatever it may please His Majesty to command.
I hear in letters from the Hague that they consider it certain that the disputes in Italy will soon be settled; that for this reason the confederates have sent the prince of Anhalt to the archduke Maximilian to beg him to prevent the passage of troops, which might be sent from Italy to disturb the peace of Germany.
London, the 18 June, 1615.
June 18. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 869. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of Brandenburg recently had audience of the king. He asked for permission to leave, saying that he had wasted many months here, that His Majesty had several times promised to compel the Spaniards to restore the places, and had fixed a date, but many weeks had passed and no results appeared; if His Majesty was going to take no other resolution he was determined to return to his master, to whom he would be less useless when near than he is here, where he can get nothing.
The king would not grant him leave, but said that he had sent to the Archduke the conditions agreed upon, which had seemed good to his ambassador, that within a little while a final reply ought to arrive, and he ought not, by returning a few days earlier, to render his service of several months useless. The ambassador replied, but as the king finally made a solemn promise and even grew angry, he became more content and said he would obey.
The person sent by the Ambassador Wotton brings word that prince Maurice, in a conference held on the 27th ult., had made known to the States divers particulars about the levies made by the archduke of Walloons and other troops. He exhorted them not to allow themselves to be forestalled as in the past year. He brings word of the universal inclination for fighting, and the request that His Majesty shall now make a stand; that the ambassador of the States in France writes that his Most Christian Majesty has recalled Préaux from Brussels, perceiving clearly that no restitution will be made by Spain and the archduke; that the emperor, stirred up by the Spaniards, intends next August to sit in judgment upon the question of Cleves and has given instructions for the summoning of the interested parties. I hear that there is confirmation of this, and that the Elector of Brandenburg has been summoned in person.
The Ambassador of the States has letters from his masters of the 5th inst. and others from Barnevelt. They direct him to tell the king that in order to please His Majesty they have several times changed the wording of the deed of agreement, that to please him again they are also willing to accept the removal of the words referring to the Most Christian King and the king of Great Britain, upon condition that the archduke shall also remove those which speak of the emperor; they tell him to remind His Majesty that thirty years ago the emperor aspired to put Cleves in deposit; that this was a project of the late emperor, and the archduke's phrase covers deceit and malice tending to this end; that His Majesty had exerted himself to the utmost in order that the places might be given up simultaneously; that the States are certain that Spain is procrastinating in order that they may reduce Savoy to obedience, with the determination to fall afterwards with all their forces upon Germany, against which their principal designs are directed; that they will always have superior forces and more veteran troops, and therefore he begs the king earnestly to take a resolution whilst he can do so with advantage. He has an audience fixed for to-day; it is already foreseen that the Spaniards will not restore the places; they give fair words in order to gain time until August, when the emperor intends to give a thorough judgment upon all the differences of Cleves, and for the execution of the sentence he will call upon the forces of Spain; meanwhile they mean to fortify more strongly the places occupied, and Wesel in particular, where they have collected a great quantity of provisions. The States, on the other hand, expect to do the same, and have already provided for the strong defence of Cleves and Emmerich, while they have also increased the garrison of Juliers, provided all necessaries and put all the neighbouring country under contribution.
London, the 18 June, 1615.
June 18. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 870. Giovanni Rizzardo, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
I will begin the execution of the instructions given to me to show that I am acting with every diligence. I shall not collect everything at a single turn, because matters cannot be seen so quickly, but I shall keep picking up something here and something there, and then verifying them. I have thought right to begin with the negotiations of the ambassador with the ministers here upon merchandise brought in foreign vessels to England, as reported in the public documents. I have secured information upon the manner of conducting public affairs and find that the king has given audience to the ambassador upon matters of every description. If the business is not finished, it is his custom to refer it to the secretary or the council, according to the importance of the things, and they are discussed subsequently with those, as the king does not much like being bothered (non gustando molto il re caricarso). When the ambassador wishes to deal with His Majesty, he obtains audience readily once or several times. The other ambassadors of the great powers are treated similarly, and the representative of the republic is at no disadvantage as compared with them for so far as I have been able to find out, the ambassador enjoys a position in the esteem of the ministers and magnates of the realm such as befits the dignity of the republic. In his dealings with His Majesty and the court I think that he is treated with becoming respect and maintains the position of ambassador with dignity. I must not omit to state, however, what I have heard from the lips of the ambassador himself, that for the last two years the king has not invited him to go hunting or had him to dine upon such occasions, as I understand he did at first with every sign of friendship and graciousness, as is frequently done with the other ambassadors. I have not been able to discover the cause of this, except that once they were out hunting together and had to pass the night away. On the morrow the king went in person to call the ambassador. He found him in bed and had to wait a good space while he was dressing. But seeing the graciousness of the king it is not likely that this would give rise to such evil results. It is more probable that the disputes between the ambassador and the Secretary Moscorno, which are very well known to His Majesty and to everybody, have not assisted the reputation of the ambassador with the king, as their actions are conspicuous and readily known, and many people are delighted to have an opportunity for talking. Some think, moreover, that His Majesty was displeased at some of the things contained in a memorial presented by the ambassador against the secretary, as I shall inform your Excellencies elsewhere. Moscorno, recommended by his skill in playing and singing, contracted a close friendship with many ladies of the court, and in particular with the wife of Lord Hay, worth 30,000 crowns a year and more, the principal favourite of the queen, who has died recently. They say that she always backed the secretary to the disparagement of the ambassador, whose actions she blamed. Thus by means of the queen and of the ladies who favoured him the secretary was always able to represent his affairs at court in a favourable light, while the ambassador had no defence. He is one who remains quietly at home for the most part and he has no one capable of counteracting the secretary, so that he has easily lost the reputation which he previously enjoyed. So far as I can find he has no friendships among the leading magnates, who might stand by him, except the Archbishop of Canterbury and the earls of Somerset and Suffolk, who are among the most important. It is said indeed that he is unpopular, and this is attributed to the favour for Moscorno and the efforts made in his behalf. Matters are in such a condition that the friend of the one must needs be the enemy of the other. As a rule the secretary of the ambassador of the republic is well received in England, so far as I can find out, and readily obtains introductions to the magnates. I will use my position at the court to increase the reputation of the ambassador as much as possible, as I believe that will best serve the interests of the republic.
London, the 18 June, 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Answered on 24 July.
June 18. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 871. Giovanni Rizzardo, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
The first and principal causes of the quarrel between the Ambassador Foscarini and the Secretary Moscorno are not known. They are thought to be fundamental and secret between them. The open causes are said to be the following. Some months after his arrival at this court the secretary asked the ambassador to write letters in his favour. As His Excellency did not think fit to grant this in the manner desired, the secretary, in dudgeon, began gradually to neglect his duties as governor of the entire household, from which cause disputes began to arise from every direction. After this there occurred the incident of the Scotchman, which I will recount as it is publicly told here, at the risk of being tedious. This Scotchman was a special servant of the ambassador. One day when he was conversing with the ambassador about the secretary they say that he chanced to speak ill of him; taxing him with rices and declaring that he had seen shameful things with his own eyes. This being reported by a page of the ambassador, who was present, led Moscorno to send for the servant at a time when he was with His Excellency. When the man appeared in the secretary's room, he was beaten with a stick and received a slight wound in the arm. He soon recorered of this and went about saying that he would murder the secretary. As he was considered feeble-minded no one paid any attention to this. It seems, however, that he had been incited to this by the ambassador, by words, which the latter declares were spoken in jest. Muscorno on the other hand took them seriously, especially as he found that the Scotchman had ordered an armourer to make him two daggers, telling him openly that he wanted them in order to kill the Secretary of Venice. Accordingly Muscorno had him thrown into prison and instituted a process against the ambassador. The affair was so successfully manipulated by Lady Hay with the ministers and the queen that the king desired to be informed about it. But when the ambassador brought a memorial to His Majesty, asking him to proceed against the secretary, whom he charged with immorality, relationship with the Spaniards, and scheming against the king's life, the king treated it lightly, as he did not think that this dispute between the ambassador and the secretary should go any further. He caused the prisoner to be released, and ordered that nothing more should be done. The Scotchman went away and nothing more has been heard of him. The whole affair is quite public, and now it is said that the ambassador wanted to murder the secretary. In spite of every effort I have been able to discover nothing further except that Muscorno went about endeavouriny to get others to believe his story; others, who side with the ambassador, say that it is not likely, if he had such intentions, that he would have employed such a scatter-brained individual for the task as then say the man is known to be.
Another cause of quarrel took place shortly afterwards owing to an affront passed by the secretary upon a Venetian merchant named Federico Federici, a man about fifty-four years of age, who frequented the house. Owing to some words spoken by him which the secretary considered offensive to himself, he daubed his face with a piece of paper full of filthy stuff, struck him on the back of his head and kicked him on another part of his body, in the ambassador's house, in the presence of many. This led several merchants to visit the ambassador on the following day to complain of the insult. He in great disgust and anger spoke loudly about it jor several days with great feeling. Since then they have been greatly inflamed against each other, the ambassador complaining not only that he was ill served by the secretary, but that he speaks and works against his reputation. The latter declared that he was ill treated by the ambassador and believed he had designs upon his life, and went about publicly declaring that right was on his side. At length he left the house last March, as the result of a quarrel with Gioranni Battista Casella, a Genoese, the steward, with whom he had previously had disputes. On one occasion he laid his hand on his weapon, when the secretary went to the ambassador and told him that he ought to restrain the insolence of the steward, as he could not put up with it any longer. His Excellency told him that he could do nothing then as he was tired, and the secretary might go and do what he pleased. The latter at once left the house and went to an inn, leaving the cypher with the ambassador and had nothing further to do either with His Excellency or with the embassy; however, he did not keep silence hut went about proclaiming the reasons for his departure.
I have gathered these particulars from various people, but chiefly from Father Gironimo Moravio, the ambassador's chaplain, I believe a discreet and sincere man of good life, who usually celebrates mass in this house, from Sig. Niccolo Dolfino, who is here, and who, although a dependant of the ambassador, is also a friend of Moscorno, and from a Frenchman named M. Francis de la Forét.
Since my departure from Venice I have been constantly attentive to the interests of your Excellencies, and have gathered many things from Sig. Luca Tron and Angelo his son, and from one Bernardin Casoli, who had been in the household of this ambassador and who were almost all at Paris with the Ambassador Contarini, and also from a man called Ottavio Profumiero, who had been a servant in this house, with whom I chanced to converse. By comparing the things said by these various people I have unearthed the truth.
London, the 18 June, 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Answered on 24 July.
June 19. Senato, Deliberazioni, Secreta. Venetian Archives. 871A. To the Ambassador in England.
Divers merchants have come to our Cabinet and stated that an edict has been made or renewed forbidding all manner of persons, including even Englishmen who do not belong to the company of merchants trading in the seas of the Levant, from taking to that kingdom raisins, cotton, Cretan wines, gall-nuts and other things under all the penalties contained in the edict. They complain of this as being very prejudicial to their interests and to trade. As we have received no other information about this and are very anxious to obtain it, we send you a copy of this edict, which was left by the merchants, and direct you to use every effort to discover the truth of the matter, whether the edict is newly published, if it is old or new, what are its aims, what are the interests of the Crown and the merchants, what hopes there are for its revocation and all other particulars, sending word in your letters, which we shall await before taking any measures for the protection of our subjects.
We have only to add that you must thank His Majesty at a suitable opportunity for writing to the Grisons in favour of our negotiations there, assuring him that we value his interposition very highly, and that we shall always respond fully to his kindly offices.
Ayes 153.
Noes 0.
Neutral 4.
June 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 872. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king has frequently urged the States to make protests to France upon the disorders which the completion of the marriages with Spain will bring, and to insist in every way that they must be postponed. They have instructed their ambassador in letters of the 5th inst. to represent to His Majesty that they may possibly be delayed of themselves, that so delicate an office might cause irritation and possibly hasten on the execution, but that they have nevertheless instructed their ambassador to keep a good understanding with the ambassadors of His Majesty and to do everything that may with reason be accomplished to procure delay. As I wrote in my preceding letter, the ambassador of the States will see the king to-day, and your Excellencies shall be advised of the reply made to him in a week.
To repress the audacity of the pirates and put an end to the damage which they inflict, the States have sent twelve ships of war to the Barbary coasts to fight and extirpate them if possible. They have also written strongly to the Pashas of Tunis and Algiers for the liberation of slaves, their subjects. I enclose a translation of the letter.
The prince of Orange has arrived at the Hague, where he met his brother count Henry.
I hear at this moment that the Spaniards are increasing their forces in the direction of Cleves; and towards the months of July and August they will make greater efforts. Their adversaries also are preparing their resistance.
London, the 19 June, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 873. Letters of the States to the Pashas of Tunis and Algiers.
The States General of the United Provinces, being in friendly relations with the Sultan, represent to your Excellencies, that whereas we have recovered the important city of Sluys from the king of Spain, with the galleys there containing several hundreds of slaves, chiefly subjects of the Sultan, and we liberated them all and sent them back at our expense, hoping thereby that our subjects would be treated with equal favour, and whereas, contrary to our hopes, divers subjects of our nation have been made prisoners at Tunis and Algiers and are still detained there in considerable numbers, perhaps owing to some error, wherefore we have sent two ships of war to make representations, we beg you to release these prisoners and permit them to return home on their ships. We shall be very grateful for this favour.
From the Hague, the 14 May, 1615.


  • 1. Federico Federici, see No. 871, at page 482.
  • 2. See Calendar of State Papers, Domestic. 1611–1618, p. 283.
  • 3. The subsidy was granted on April 24. Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1615–25. p. 49. It was expected to amount to 30,000l. Ibid., p. 86.
  • 4. Albert Morton.
  • 5. William Parkhurst. who was sent to Germany in May.