Venice: February 1614

Pages 87-94

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 1614

Feb. 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 181. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In the audience which I had at Theobalds on the day following my last the king said that he had to thank me for two things, for Vincenzo Gaetano, who has arrived, and for the thanks of your Excellencies for his offers, which he will always be ready to carry into effect. He went on to tell me briefly of the offers made by his ambassador and the reply of your Serenity as regards Gaetano.
I replied with thanks for his offers of help against the Turks, using the very words of my instructions. I said he would confer a great honour in publishing his resolution by means of his representatives in every place, thus showing his concern for the safety of the republic, whose representatives will always be ready to publish to every one the greatest respect for His Majesty. That he will also be able to perform the offices necessary with the princes and states leagued with him to confirm the mutual understanding. I assured the king that he would always find the republic grateful and ready to meet his advances.
I added that as Barbarigo had found a favourable disposition in the Grisons, he was stopping there, to remove false impressions, to show the friendship of your Serenity for that nation and your desire for its continuance, and I said that you would greatly value any favour and the good offices of His Majesty.
The king replied that he would cause his ministers to publish everywhere that he was interested and a party in all this which concerns the safety and service of your Serenity, and their words will show the understanding and union which exist, and so will cause others to think, will remove dangers, dissipate ill humours and make for the peace of Italy and of the republic. He would use his influence with the king of Denmark, the princes and States to work to the same end, and he had already begun.
That his ambassador has written to tell them of the king's wish to assist the negotiations of Barbarigo, as he understands the importance of this affair and how pressing it is. He blamed France in very strong words for having acted contrary to her promise to continue the union of your Serenity with the Grisons if it was not to her prejudice. He said that the French like to interpret words to suit themselves (che vogliono Francesi interpretare le parole a lor modo), that Pasquale declared he had a commission, but he wished to do otherwise, because the king is a minor and he wants to render a good account at another time. That he has spoken of this matter in virtue of secret instructions, otherwise he would not have dared to refer to it and still less to work in conformity with it.
That twice already in the Council when the question of assisting Mantua was being discussed the Most Christian Queen had assented, but had then added that it was a bad time to offend Spain, all which things the king expressed with emotion and great vehemence.
When he spoke of the Grisons, I took the opportunity to ask him to tell me by what means he was certain to lay them under an obligation. He replied that they are supported by the Swiss, by whose means he thinks he can carry it.
I thanked His Majesty and took leave.
Two days after my return to this city I caught a violent cold accompanied by congestion, so that I have been kept awake for many nights. To-day I am better and am trying to find out the news.
London, the 1 February, 1613 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 182. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king of Denmark has met personally with the dukes of Saxony, Brandenburg, Alsace, Brunswick and Luneburg at Berlin, where they have set up a confederacy between themselves. The States, besides receiving into the league all the Hanseatic cities, have also included others of Germany, and Brunswick in particular.
Denmark has sent here the Sieur de Saint Cler to inform the king about certain disputes with Lubeck, to ask his advice and put the matter entirely to his arbitrament. Denmark proposes to stand more closely with the other princes, who wish to bind him also to the States and cities confederate with them. The king wishes the same, and the disposition of the affair is entirely placed in his hands. One of these days he will send a special agent to Denmark for this purpose, and the united princes will do the same. A remedy will easily be found for the two or three little points raised by that king, which will allow him to enter the confederacy with dignity.
It has been proposed to the king of Sweden that he marry a sister or daughter of one of the princes of the union, leaving him to choose which. Things could not be going better than they are.
The declaration made by Hungary that she does not desire foreign troops for her defence, affords a pretext to the princes of the union not to pay contributions and relieves them of the fear of having a powerful army near at hand, dependent on the House of Austria alone. With the money they expect to supply those munitions which the Hungarians are willing to receive.
The count of Schomberg, after he left here, found letters on the way from the Elector Palatine announcing the safe delivery of the princess of a boy. He returned at once, and his Majesty heard the news from him on the very day on which I had audience. Signs of rejoicing appeared everywhere. The count has represented to His Majesty that this child may be called his second son, there being only the prince, so that the king has promised to give the boy a title in this realm, such as duke of York or some other, so that he will have a position here in any event, and in future the Elector will have an ambassador here, so Schomberg told me.
The Parliament, which has been put off until now, will be assembled, and to-day the king is to decide. He spoke about it at length the day before yesterday and it is thought necessary to convoke it.
The authority of His Majesty cannot be greater than it is in Germany and with all the others, the king, princes and States, of which I have spoken. Four of the great Cantons, and especially Berne, now desire union with the princes. The same count gave me this information and expressed a confident hope that in a few months Zurich would agree, although France still continued to oppose.
In speaking of the Grisons and Swiss, the French ambassador told me that with regard to the desire of your Serenity to first obtain the consent of France, the only difficulty was in the means, asserting that the declared friendship of his king would procure success. I pointed out that the renewal of the union with the republic would harm no one and it would enable that nation to be more constant to its friends. He listened attentively and promised to lay various reasons before M. de Villeroi for his consideration. As regards the Swiss he clearly said that France did not wish them to make alliance with the princes, and the pass in the country of the Grisons should suffice for your Serenity.
London, the 1st February, 1613 [m.v.].
Feb. 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi, Francia. Venetian Archives. 183. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Du Mayne (Umena) and Vendome have departed, but it is not known whether they have yet joined the discontented princes. But it is suspected that they have done so, and that Lesdiguiètres (Aldigiera) and Bouillon are also of the number. This increases the suspicion that they have an understanding with the Huguenots, and so greater difficulties are feared than at first seemed likely. However, the ministers do not relax their efforts. The other day the queen sent to the Prince of Conde, pressing him to return to court and promising every satisfaction.
They have again taken in hand the marriage of the little eight-year old princess with the prince of England, hoping thereby to assuage the dissatisfaction of the Huguenots, and energetic negotiations are carried on with the ambassador of that crown resident here. To give more colour to these negotiations, they have urged the ambassador to go to England that he may the better handle the affair and take with him the proposals which they make. He is ready to set out at any moment.
Meanwhile they are postponing the Spanish business, and do not even speak of making the journey before September, unless fresh difficulties arise.
Those of the religion have urged the queen to call together their assembly. No reply has yet been given, but they only postpone the matter, not thinking it wise to ignore it, otherwise they might meet without permission.
Couriers have arrived here from the Palatine to his friends and confidents announcing the birth of a son.
From Paris, the 4 February, 1614.
Feb. 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Francia. Venetian Archives. 184. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week some Turks from the Porte left here. It is said that they dealt with nothing here but the release of the slaves, but it is understood that they are going to Flanders to seek the help of the States against the emperor, and that they will proceed to England for the same purpose.
From Paris, the 4 February, 1614.
Feb. 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 185. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Gaetano has been examined several times and has constantly affirmed the same thing. He says that the Viceroy of Naples with the concurrence of his ambassador in Rome has incited and sent four men to attempt the king's life, and of these Gaetano is one. He speaks with great clearness and with intrepid countenance and gives many details. The ambassador with your Serenity writes that three men with the countersigns indicated by this man have passed from Livorno and Siena without stopping, saying that they were going towards Venice. This gives countenance to what the man says, and throws more light upon the matter. He is being well treated. Necessary instructions have been given for the detention of those men if they arrive in this kingdom.
The Sieur de St. Cler says that the king of Denmark has finally established the agreement between Brandenburg and Saxony. The duke of Brunswick will be henceforward comprised in the union of princes. He is negotiating an agreement with the city which remains free. He is not the lord but the protector. He cannot impose any taxes, but he levies toll on all the things that pass into it through his jurisdiction. This is slight and fixed so that it cannot be changed.
The king's ambassador in Spain will be here in a month or a little more, to return soon afterwards to his charge.
Good arrangements have been made for the quiet of Ireland, of which they were doubtful. A Parliament will be held there in May to determine the things left unsettled in the past.
London, the 5 February, 1613.
Feb. 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives. 186. Andrea Surian, Venetian Secretary in Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
At Nice the duke of Savoy has brought about the marriage of a lady of that city of considerable wealth with Peter Eston, formerly an English pirate, but who has declared himself a Catholic, and has been created a Marquis by His Highness.
From Milan, the 5 February, 1614.
Feb. 10. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Germania. Venetian Archives. 187. Girolamo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Colovitz went of his own accord to the Archduke Ferdinand at Noistal, to justify his actions. The archduke had him arrested and thrown into the castle, after taking all the documents found upon him. They discovered that he had received 60,000 florins from the Protestant princes. The heretics are very indignant.
From Veltz, the 10 February, 1613 [m.v.]. Copy.
Feb. 13. Senato, Secreta. Dispacei. Costant. Venetian Archives. 188. Cristoforo Valier, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Cadi of Pera has returned from Adrianople. He went on purpose to take the money received from the carazo to the Grand Vizier. As he is keeping very quiet, it looks as if he has received no encouragement, and we hope that the Pasha has given information concerning the arguments of the ambassadors, and that no more such novelties will be introduced.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 13 February, 1613 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 13. Senato, Secreta. Dispacei, Francia. Venetian Archives. 189. Francesco Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A man has arrived here with letters from the king of Persia, dated the 4th August, offering to continue the war against the Turks if the Christians will keep their promises, protesting that he would like to come to an agreement with them, it being such a long time since Christendom took up arms against the common enemy. I know that this Persian will be urged to stick to the Turk and will be induced to hope that the pope, the emperor, this king and other princes of Christendom will also take up arms.
From Madrid, the 13 February, 1613 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 15. Senato, Secreta. Dispacei, Roma. Venetian Archives. 190. Tomaso Contarini. Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
I have seen the ambassador of France, who informed me among other things that with regard to the reports that the marriages between France and Spain will not take place unless the affairs of Montferrat and Navarre are settled, that the Spaniards declare that this concerns Spain but little, because they had made a bargain to their own disadvantage, since the infanta of Spain might inherit the kingdom, while the princess of France could not.
From Rome, the 15 February, 1614.
Feb. 15. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives. 191. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
From Malta I learn that the Grand Master has sent to all the knights of the Order who are out of Italy, to return as soon as possible to the island for its defence against the Turks. The same will be done in a few days for those who reside in his province.
From Rome, the 15 February, 1614.
Feb. 15. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives. 192. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
An English ship has lately been shipwrecked at Val di Verni, twenty miles from Livorno, laden with herrings, lead, tin and fish. It was going to Civita Vecchia, and the crew were saved with great difficulty.
From Florence, 15 February, 1613.
Feb. 18. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci Francia. Venetian Archives. 193. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has gone with the propositions for, and some say with the settlement of the marriage of, the little princess to the English prince. He has left in haste and so will probably return soon. It is now asserted that the marriage with Spain will not take place, unless this alliance is effected also.
From Paris, the 18 February, 1614.
Feb. 22. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 194. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Monday the 10th inst. the king's ambassador in France was in this realm. He came post and went straight to the king. He brought the wishes of the Most Christian queen and all the particulars of the negotiations for the marriage of the second princess to the prince, as I wrote that he would do. The king has nominated twelve chief lords of the Council to conduct the negotiations, which will be concluded in a few weeks.
The ambassador of Spain secretly troubles matters as much as he can, and in two words I will inform your Serenity of the essentials which I have partly touched upon in other letters. That ambassador has approached the queen about the second Infanta. She, in thanking the king for his gift of Greenwich palace to her, added a reference to the ambassador's proposals. The king directed her to inform him that if he wished to speak of this, he should do so through the ordinary channels, and so it fell out. The queen and the ambassador several times asked the king for an audience, but in vain. The king afterwards informed the ambassador of France of everything.
The ambassador of Spain is now inactive without making other proposals, awaiting the issue of the negotiations with France. He says that his king will be content with the same conditions as those proposed by the Most Christian, and as he is willing to give four times as much dower, he believes that he will be heard. Thus a competition is being waged between the two crowns, although with different ends.
A Chiaus from the Porte, sent with letters from the Grand Turk and the first Vizier to the States and Maurice, has been detained in Brabant and thrown into prison in Antwerp castle. The letters have been taken from him, opened and sent to Spain. All those who were with him in Brussels have also been sent, and are strictly confined. The States have written very strongly to the archduke, but the resolution for release must come from Spain. By letters of the 10th I hear that this mission from the Porte was concerned solely with two points, commerce and the release of slaves.
On the 6th the count of Schomberg was at the Hague (Hae). He had audience the same day, and on the next a banquet was given in his honour, after which he continued his journey in haste.
On the 10th May the ambassadors of the United Provinces will be at Heidelburg to hold at the font the son of the Elector Palatine. Count Maurice, or Henry at least, will also be present. For the same event the king will send the duke of Lennox or will get the Prince of Anhalt to take his place. All the nobility of the Palatine house and the nobility of Franconia will be there.
The duke of Neuburg has been conferring with the prince of Bavaria at Cologne, until the 7th. After Brandenberg had been contented he went with him to Dusseldorf, and proposes to proceed to the Hague to treat with the States.
The United Provinces have sent Langerach to France as ordinary ambassador, and while he is making ready, their ordinary ambassador, Vandermile, is leaving.
London, the 22 February, 1613.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 28. Consiglio X. Roma. Venetian Archives. 195. That Fra Fedel, a Capuchin friar, be summoned before the heads of the Council, and severely rebuked for the words spoken by him in preaching in the church of SS. Apostoli, in relating what happened to an English nobleman and two of his daughters, mentioning the late Queen Elizabeth, and be admonished to refrain from speaking of princes in future.
And that the secretary of the ambassador of the king of Great Britain be summoned before the tribunal and informed of what has been done to the friar.
That the Savii of the Cabinet be informed of this.
Ayes 9.
Noes 5.
Neutral 2.