Venice: September 1615, 1-15

Pages 1-15

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 14, 1615-1617. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1908.

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September 1615, 1–15

1615. Sept. 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 1. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The prince of Saxony remains here, somewhat sick but not seriously. He sent for me and I called and delivered what I was instructed to say to him. He thanked me but in few words, as he is not used to indulging in compliments and he was not feeling well. I believe that the duke does not see an opportunity of releasing himself and he does not know how to act. The resident of England told me that the duke had said to him that he was awaiting this reply and he had written a letter to your Serenity. He showed this letter to the resident and asked him if he should send it. The resident advised him not to, but to wait for a general reply in favourable terms; your Serenity had a good memory and would employ him when occasion served, because you had said the same to the Prince Joinville (Gianvelle) who also wished for a command. He desired the English ambassador to present and recommend him, but he had excused himself saying that by command of the king he had to present a baron of the kingdom, (fn. 1) who also offered himself for a command in the service of your Excellencies.
Turin, the 1st September, 1615.
Sept. 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 2. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The count of Verua has been to see me. He spoke indignantly of Fresia. He said that His Highness had remarked that both the French and Spaniards will be against him and he will be left between them, and the king of England, who ought to move under such circumstances, remains motionless and it is not known whether he will do anything. He went on to say to me in the strictest confidence: We understand that he is the one who protects states and counsels peace. This is due to his nature, which is ill fitted for fighting, and to his ministers, who are all corrupted by the Spaniards, who encourage him with hopes of a marriage with a large sum of money as dower, and in short nothing but words can be expected from that quarter, and so His Highness will do well to go circumspectly. The duke had done ill in not allowing his ambassadors to follow the queen. The count advised him to send one now, to serve as a spy as Rambouillet had done here, and to act with either side as each should prosper. Whatever else he did might be under the pretext of paying back the king of England the 50,000 ducats given to his ambassador, so that he should give them to the Princes or send 25,000 to the assembly. The completion of these marriages may lead to the duke being deprived of his state.
Turin, the 1st September, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 2. Cinque Savii Alla Mereantia. Risposte. Venetian Archives. 3. Giacomo Zane, Proveditore General, and Francesco Morosini, Captain of Candia, represent that if Venetian vessels are exempt from the new impost of 6 ducats a cask of wine taken west, any subject of your Serenity may buy foreign ships and make them Venetian, and so evade the custom to the notable loss of the same, as their gain thereby will easily recoup them for the cost of the ship; and they suggest that this exemption should be revoked and that all vessels should pay alike. In reply to the commissions of your Serenity of the 2nd and 23 August last, we reply that as with regard to the new custom of Zante, we advised that raisins laded upon Venetian ships should pay the new custom, so we think the same should be done for the wines of Candia, as in addition to the reasons set forth and besides the preservation of the custom, Venetian trade is low and the number of Venetian ships is diminished, so that those at present in existence cannot nearly do the necessary work on the ports of the Levant, which enriches individuals and swells the customs. We do not think it useful to encourage our ships to trade with the west, because if the few which remain were uselessly employed in carrying wine and other goods of great bulk and very slight value they would deprive the community of the custom and would derive a very uncertain advantage for individuals, as if there were no Venetian vessels left for the ports of Syria, Alexandria and Constantinople, that important trade would be suspended or this market would be obliged to freight foreign ships, with the obvious risk that by adventuring 4 or 500,000 ducats on one vessel, the little capital that remains to us might be carried off to Barbary or to some other place to the loss and shame of the city. We therefore advise that the new custom be paid henceforth indifferently by all.
Carlo Buzini.
Alvise da Ponte.
Giovanni Francesco Sagredo.
Sept. 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra Venetian Archives. 4. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Thank God I am now free from fever, though very weak. I will make good my deficiencies of last week. Five companies of horse of the margrave of Bradenburg and three of foot passed the Rhine towards Mulheim. This has agitated the neighbouring country and there were rumours at Cologne that a body of 4,000 infantry, 600 horse and four pieces of artillery was marching in order to effect some surprise. The magistrates of Cologne have added five companies to the three which they kept during the night for the protection of that town. The Elector hearing that a fort was to be made at Deutz, straightway sent two hundred musketeers and the Spaniards have thrown three hundred men into Syburg to reinforce the garrison there, as they fear that this enterprise may be directed against that place, although the rumour favoured Mulheim (Mulei) to prevent the demolition of the houses there. At Maastricht they are assembling the troops of the Archduke, and in the neighbouring country they are preparing quarters for the soldiers. The States have conceived the suspicion that this is for the siege of Juliers or for some other undertaking. Accordingly they have despatched Count Henry to review and put in trim the troops on that frontier, and will send others as may be thought necessary. I have all this from letters received last week.
The negotiations for the restoration of the places remain as I reported; there is no sign of agreement. I am assured that Wotton, who has been ambassador for a long while in Holland expressly for this, will be here in a few days and the ambassador of the States is going home. He has been to-day to bid me farewell and he will sail on Monday.
I have letters from the Hague and I hear from the ambassador of Brandenburg that on the 24th ult. the ambassador Wotton was present at the assembly of the States. He said he was going to depart and take leave. He complained that the proposition of His Majesty about signing the document with the archduke for the restitution of the places had been sent to each of the provinces, that is to say that it was shelved. He foretold trouble and added that His Majesty will be offended. He began formally saying that he was commissioned by his king to protest, though in a friendly way, and continued in the manner I have indicated. There has not been time to learn the reply; it will be easy to find out. The ambassador is certain to be here next week, as I have said.
At Brussels they have learned with great displeasure of the surprises effected by Brandenburg and the States, which I reported. No other movement is reported, however, except the gathering of the troops at Maastricht, which I wrote of, which has possibly arisen from this.
The States have sent three ambassadors to arrange the differences between Sweden and Muscovy. There was some idea that they should go through the country of Brandenburg, to perform an office with the Elector touching Juliers and Cleves. The Prince desired this and offered to send an envoy of his own, It has since been decided that they shall go by sea, and they are all ready to set sail.
London, the 4th September, 1616.
Sept. 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 5. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The gentleman who, as I wrote a week ago, had been sent to the king by the Prince of Conde, has informed His Majesty of the prince's supporters. They are Bouillon, Mayenne, Longueville, Saint Paul, Tingry and Nevers, although the last does not declare himself. Moreover the duke of Guise begins to incline towards this side. With respect to places they have Sedan, Coucy (Causi), Soissons, Corbie, Calais and four others, the governors of which have not yet declared themselves. In addition there are all the places of surety held by those of the religion in France, who are with them to a man. To prove this he showed His Majesty that their remonstrances to the king are precisely the same as their own demands. He also showed him the offers made to them by those of the religion. He asked advice of His Majesty, said that he was sure, in case of need, of his assistance, and if they are forced they will have recourse to him. Meanwhile he asked him to write energetically to his ambassadors to induce those of the religion to engage with the States of Holland and the Princes of Germany, his allies, to render mutual assistance and to make repeated and strenuous offices with their Most Christian Majesties, declaring his position.
The king praised the efforts to do what was possible to prevent the marriages, remove disorder and introduce a better government in France. He promised to send new instructions, which he has done, and to perform all the offices together, this also he has done. Accordingly this gentleman has recrossed the sea well content, with letters of the king in reply to the Princes.
The marquis of Bonnivet was here on his way back from seeing the king, and came immediately to see me, bringing Boislorée (Buiolore) with him. From his lips I gathered a great part of the matters I am writing and the confirmation of what I wrote last week. He impressed upon me the importance of the marriages, and if they take place the ruler of France will not be Louis, who is a child, but Philip and the Council of Spain. He pointed out with what ease the Spaniards will be able to compass their designs everywhere, and he enlarged upon the prejudice which all the friends of France will suffer. He said that the king is well aware of this, and is acting judiciously, the united Princes of Germany are doing so likewise, and the States will follow suit. He said that it should affect your Excellencies also, pointing out that you ought to lend a hand for the sake of your own interests. I confined myself rigidly to general terms, using courteous phrases whenever I had an opportunity, and thereby I gained time and avoided giving offence or committing myself.
London, the 4 September, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 6. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke of Longueville owns the district of Neuchâtel in the canton of Berne. From this, besides other advantages, he can draw whenever necessary three to four thousand Swiss, who are bound to serve him where and against whom he wishes, for four months without any wages. He can also have a greater number by paying them. The marquis of Bonnivet, when giving me the enclosed letter of His Majesty, said that the duke would willingly hire this district to your Serenity for two or three thousand crowns and would at the same time bind his possessions elsewhere. I listened to him in my most courteous manner and promised to lay everything before your Excellencies. Afterwards, in the course of the conversation, I remarked that it might possibly be more advantageous for the duke to sell it right out to your Excellencies. He said that he would write about it. It seems that if this district comes into the hands of your Excellencies you would never be without a good number of Swiss soldiers, who could at any rate come through by twos and threes, you would have the advantage of the ancient and established confederation which that country enjoys with Berne and the other Cantons without any fear or danger that it might be broken or disturbed, and by possessing an estate among the Swiss you would acquire authority with that nation. On all these accounts you could not perhaps employ 400,000 crowns more or less to better advantage. This might be the cost, and if you spent two or three hundred thousand, as the duke is poor, it is probable that he would find it easier to take them from others than to give them back. I mention this as a humble expression of what occurs to me.
As soon as I have acquired a little strength I will go to the king and execute the commands of your Excellencies, contained in your letters of the 24 July. I should have done this before if I had been well. I will send you word of what His Majesty says to me, and I will also inform you if the marquis says anything about a free sale or otherwise by the duke, by the next ordinary. A person who is intimate with the duke and also with the marquis told me that he is negotiating about this with others, without entering into further particulars. I write this as I hear it.
London, the 4 September, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 7. Letter of King James to the Ambassador Foscarini.
Recommendation of the marquis of Bonnivet, with request to listen favourably to the cause which he will set forth. This will give great satisfaction to the king and he hopes that it will not be displeasing to the doge or to the republic.
Dated at Lulworth, the 13 August, 1615.
Sept. 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 8. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear on good authority that the person sent by the king to France has been detained. His Majesty has displayed great resentment at this. He has sent to summon the marquis of Bonnivet, who set out post.
A courier has arrived in haste from Spain for the ambassador. He brings word of the decision to change the Governor of Milan and of the dissatisfaction with which they regard the agreement and peace with Savoy. On the road he fell in with their Most Christian Majesties and reports that at this moment they are near Bordeaux. In my present condition I have been unable to discover the cause of his mission.
The Spanish ambassador has returned to the city; he had been away a good many days with the ambassador of Flanders.
The remark thrown out by the king's secretary to the resident of Florence with regard to the marriages with Spain has induced the Grand Duke to direct his resident to call upon the ambassador and to keep up a good understanding with him. If His Highness should decide to pay dower in ready money and to a much larger amount than is customary, it would possibly be no great wonder if Savoy should give ear and consent.
The ambassador of Savoy with your Excellencies has written to this ambassador in praise of your Excellencies. He speaks of the debt which the duke owes to you for your promise of assistance if the Spaniards should break their word, and calls it unexampled.
The French ambassador has recently been to call upon me, as have all the other ambassadors, with a great show of friendship and esteem. In speaking of the marriages which are in negotiation here, he said clearly that he will not speak of them unless he is provoked to do so, and in reply.
We hear that at Amiens the people have been deprived of their arms, and a certain number of troops have been posted on the frontiers of Flanders, which are said to be of several nationalities.
At the numerous opportunities which have recently presented themselves I have indulged in fitting praise of the Illustrious Barbarigo, whose arrival, whenever it may take place, will be prepared for by a universal sentiment in his favour.
London, the 4th September, 1615.
Sept. 4. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 9. Giovanni Rizzardo, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
By the ordinary of yesterday the news arrived here of the arrest of Sig. Moscorno and was immediately made public. How it was received at the King's court I have not been able to learn, as His Majesty and the Queen are still in progress. (fn. 2) Various discussions take place about it here, but as they know that action was taken by the Signory, they feel that owing to the gravity of the matter the reasons cannot yet be learned. I have heard nothing in this connection worthy of the notice of your Excellencies except that the Chaplain Moravio and Sig. Nicolo Dolfino in speaking upon the subject have come to tell me that Moscorno had several times uttered the threat that if the ambassador would not let him alone he would have his head chopped off (se il Sig. Amb. non mi lasciera stare li faro batter via la testa). When I asked them if he had ever said or hinted at the grounds of this attitude of his, if there could be anything in the ambassador which deserved this or anything like it, I could obtain nothing from them except that at other times Moscorno had said that he could prove more than forty different things written by the ambassador to the republic to be contrary to the truth. All this, which these gentlemen told me, they also said to Sig. Tomaso Morosini, son of the Most Illustrious Sig. Francesco, who was here. I obtained it from them in confidence, under pretext of curiosity, but I could get no more out of them with all my efforts. I was told by the said Moravio, in speaking upon the same subject, that Sig. Nicolo Dolfino made a promise to Moscorno touching the matters and disputes between him and the ambassador owing to the great pressure brought to bear upon him by Moscorno, to whom he was under an obligation, so that he possibly had not the use of his free and unbiassed judgment at the time, as is frequently the case here by the custom of the country. Dolfino afterwards repented of having given his word, and begged the Secretary to release him, but the latter said he would have him quartered, and afterwards swore he would do so. Moravio said that he also had made a promise, but his was straightforward and of small importance, although now he sees the designs of Moscorno he would not have made it if he had known.
By the same ordinary His Excellency has received news and letters from the Ambassador Barbarigo, and the Secretary Lionello, who will arrive here in about five or six days. The ambassador should leave here about the end of October, at least, as the Queen will not come to this city until Michaelmas.
London, the 4 September, 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 10. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador designate to England, to the Doge and Senate.
After I finally took leave of the Swiss, I continued my journey towards England and reached this city yesterday evening. In passing through Basel I did not fail to express the esteem of your Excellencies for that city. They were evidently pleased and said they would miss no opportunity of displaying their friendship. The margrave of Baden, having heard of my journey through his country, sent his carriages and some of his principal gentlemen to meet me at Zurlach, and showed me every honour. He asked me about the Grisons and the league with the two cities. I replied that I hoped that time would show the Grisons the sincere intentions of your Serenity and that nothing would act more beneficially towards the settling of disputes and removing difficulties than the resolve of the heads of the two cities to declare a free passage by virtue of their league. I thanked him for his good offices with the two cities; he told me that he had been informed of everything and would always do what he could in the service of your Serenity. He went on to say that the Princes of Germany and himself in particular will always be most ready to act together in the service of the republic when occasion requires, and he had no more heartfelt desire than to bring up his sons so that they may serve your Serenity. I thanked him in fitting terms.
The Elector Palatine has been going through the upper Palatinate these last six weeks, and only two days before my arrival he had returned to Heidelberg with the princess. He sent instructions to his governors on the Rhine to advise him of my passage, and he sent for me from Mannheim, where a very strong fortress is being built to defend the country. He received me with every honour, and with the princess enquired after the ministers of the republic, asking whether the Ambassador Foscarini would take this route on his return. They asked me to send the enclosed letters to your Serenity. From what I could gather they are much irritated at the opposition offered to your Serenity in the matter of the Grisons, especially by France. Some of the chief ministers told me that these same French have given out that all the trouble has arisen from your Serenity, and they said that the Spaniards also prevented a settlement both on account of the affairs of Germany and of those of Italy.
In the neighbourhood of the Rhine I met no other princes, as the Elector of Mayence was at Havenberg, where he resides for a great part of the year, and the Elector of Cologne was away hunting, quite four or five days off.
Cologne, the 6 September, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 11. Letter of the Princess Elizabeth to the Doge.
Acknowledgment of the letters presented by the Ambassador Barbarigo, who worthily discharged his office, with an assurance of friendship.
Heidelberg, the 20 August, 1615.
Enclosed the preceding Despatch. 12. Letter of Frederick, Elector Palatine, to the King.
Notification of audience given to the Ambassador Barbarigo and the reception of his letters of credence. Assurance that he will carry out all that he has promised to the ambassador.
Heidelderg, the 20 August, 1615.
Sept. 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra, Venetian Archives. 13. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador designate for England, to the Doge and Senate.
In my passage through some of the principal parts of Germany I have had little opportunity to observe anything fresh in the country. All are anxious to see what is going to happen in France, as the Spaniards are freed from their preoccupations in Italy, and what line the prince of Condé will take. Wherever I have passed the people could not bestow sufficient praise upon the troops led by Count John of Nassau for the service of the duke of Savoy, which were taken from the flower of both armies of Flanders, and were disbanded after the treaty. If they were still together it is considered certain that they would have gone to Flanders. It is said that Count John is to enter the service of the prince of Condé and the other Princes of France, and they are reported from various sources to be collecting troops.
Yesterday the Count of Witgenstein (Vitestein) passed incognito through this city. He has orders from them to raise 600 horse and that done to at once raise 600 others, and I hear he has already enlisted several, giving them 30 thalers hire per horse. I do not know whence he obtained the money, but have been told that the princes have some provision and that 400,000 crowns have been sent to Sedan.
The queen has obtained from the States 700 pieces of armour and 800 muskets to arm her troops, it is not known to what end. The States are more interested in her party than in that of the Princes. Neither the latter nor the Princes of Germany make any public display of their intentions. Meanwhile all things are being closely watched and the effectuation of the marriages causes ever greater dissatisfaction. The justification and protest published by the prince of Condé has been considered full of high resolution, and the decision of the clergy of France to accept the Council of Trent is much commented upon. The agent of the States in this city told me that in France those of the religion have been rendered highly suspicious by these marriages and at the closing of the assembly they sent their deputies to their Majesties. When they found that they had left Paris they followed the court, but it is thought they will be heard later. They are to make serious requests, which will be but little to the queen's taste. They will ask their Majesties to establish as a fundamental law of the kingdom the doctrine of the supremacy of the king in temporal matters, and with regard to the attempts upon the life of His Majesty, in accordance with the cahiers presented by the third Estate, to regulate disorders according to the remonstrances of the parliament, and to give satisfaction to the instances of the prince of Condé. They will ask that some place of security on this side of the Loire may be given to them and a declaration made that they are not considered to be heretics, as the king at his consecration swore to exterminate the heretics, and that enquiry be made concerning the death of the late king and the guilty punished.
There is some proposal about introducing Spanish troops into France with the coming of the new queen. It is said that His Catholic Majesty has made some provision for this in Spain, and also that some have been introduced into Amiens from Flanders.
News has reached Holland that in Portugal the king had arrested eighty ships for his service and that forty of them were Dutch.
The United princes of Germany and the States are greatly displeased that the duke of Brunswick should subdue the city of Brunswick, in accordance with his ancient pretensions. He presses it hard, but it is thought he will have great difficulty in taking it owing to its alliance with the Hanse towns. As things are, if some means of accommodation be not found, great harm must come to Germany. It is hoped that some prince will find a way of avoiding this beginning of a conflagration, especially the King of Great Britain and the States.
I hear that Sir [Henry] Wotton has recently left the Hague and returned to England, not perceiving any present hope of carrying into effect the treaty of Santen. All parties continue to fortify their position and there are no further hostilities. The marquis of Spinola recently inspected all the fortresses. The Spaniards say that they will willingly withdraw their troops from the country of Cleves, but they wish the States to do the same, not only in execution of the treaty of Santen but out of obedience to the Imperial commands, which the States will in no wise recognize.
Cologne, the 6 September, 1615.
Sept. 8. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 14. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The day after my last despatch the duke sent for me and said he was expecting news from France, and, though it had not arrived, he still wished to speak with me. He felt sure that if the Princes were not assisted they would fail. England ought to move, but he did not know what they would do. The 50,000 ducats received from that king and given to Mayenne will have served for that purpose, as that had done but little good for him. He believed that about 30,000 ducats in addition would reach the Princes from that source, but it was a small sum when compared with the emergency, and only served for a begining.
Turin, the 8th September, 1615.
Sept. 11. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 15. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have begun to leave the house. I returned the visit of the various ambassadors and have also taken pains to discover what is taking place. Besides what I have written to your Excellencies touching the affairs of France, which has all been confirmed as true, I have learned that the king was informed that he would be constituted arbiter and asked to deal with the princes so that they should make no surprise or attempt, promising that their Most Christian Majesties would do nothing against them. After the demolition of the castle of Hardelot (Argolot) and other breaches of the promise given to him, the king showed his displeasure. The person whom he sent and who was detained is a cousin of the earl of Pembroke, and the detention took place at Boulogne. (fn. 3) His second letter was written four days after the first. The first relates that they began to strip him of his doublet and continued down to his feet; that they found nothing except the letter packet of His Majesty for the ambassador, and his passport. That they had taken both from him, saying that they wished to make sure that the passport was good, and that he has sent the letters in duplicate. The second relates that he still remains a prisoner. Assuredly His Majesty will instruct his ambassador to go to their Majesties and pass those resolute and energetic offices which I reported. I do not know if the letters containing such orders have been intercepted and I do not believe it, as almost at the very time of the departure of the person detained another person was sent by way of Etaples, who is believed to have arrived safely. (fn. 4) The castle of Etaples, according to the last advices, remained faithful to the marquis, and his father-in-law had entered it with a good force. The marquis of Bonnivet remains with the king and Boislorée remains here awaiting a person from the princes, whom he is expecting hourly, with whom he will immediately proceed to His Majesty. I have it from his own lips that the duke of Longueville is doing everything to find money and has already got together 100,000 crowns; that he is sending 4,000 Swiss, his subjects of the district of Neuchâtel, to join the forces of the princes. He remarked that their passage cannot be prevented, as they pass through the country of the Palatine into the district of Sedan, where Bouillon is supreme. He exaggerated the forces with which he says that Bouillon has taken the field, with those of the other princes. I wrote on the 9th ult. that on the 3rd the prince of Condé had given divers commissions to make some levies of infantry and cavalry. Now one has reached my hands and I enclose a copy, so that your Excellencies may see the form and the reasons which he advances as the grounds of his action, and the reply given on the 25th to the proposals made by those of the religion at Amboise to their Most Christian Majesties. Your Excellencies will have heard everything from the Ambassador Contarini.
The king is drawing near and as, by God's grace, I am gaining strength, I hope to have audience in three or four days and execute the commands of your Excellencies. I understand that Bonnivet has written to the duke of Longueville of what he said to the king and me touching the district of Neuchatel. I shall see him easily at the court, and if he says anything I will report it.
The ambassador of France told me that the marshal de Boisdauphin will cut off the retreat of the princes, that the Marquis Spinola is at the frontiers with a large body of troops. He showed that he attached importance to this. My advisers inform me that there are 8,000 and they go on increasing, although the ambassador says it is otherwise, and that he has it from the ambassador of Flanders.
From London, 11th September, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 16. Manifesto of Henry of Bourbon, Prince of Conde.
After patiently awaiting the reform of the present disorders and having finally penetrated the pernicious designs of the Marshal of Ancre, the Chancellor, the Commandeur Sillery, Bullion and Dolé, and seeing that many, by their advice, have raised troops in several parts of this realm under the king's authority, which can only prejudice the service of His Majesty and the public weal, we are almost compelled to repel the injuries inflicted by them on the king by a natural and necessary defence, being without any arms and with our ordinary train, which we judge necessary to our rank in France. We trust in your loyalty, valour and experience in arms. By the advice of several princes, officials of the Crown, we give you commission to raise a company of fifty men at arms, carefully chosen and expert, to be commanded by you, to be brought to an appointed place. We give you power to appoint a lieutenant or ensign to this company.
Dated at Coucy, the 3rd August, 1615.
Henry de Bourbon.
Countersigned: Bonnet.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 17. Translation of the above.
Sept. 12. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 18. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of the States, who was to have left on Monday, took a slight fever, and has delayed until to-day. The Ambassador Wotton has not yet arrived; he is expected hourly, and will go to the king at once. So they say nothing more about the restitution of the places. Every one expects that those occupied will be well garrisoned, and it is clear that the reply of the Provinces to the proposals sent to each of them will be long. Count Henry has put the frontiers in good order, and has returned to the Hague. In the muster of cavalry they found rather less than 4,000 horse, partly cuirassiers and partly carabineers, besides a number of nags to carry forage for the cuirassiers.
The king has directed his agent at Danzig who is now here to set out for Stettin to see what is done in the assembly at that place for the differences between Poland and Sweden. His Majesty has also sent a deputy for the differences between Sweden and Muscovy. He has already been that way and will go before the ambassador of the States.
I hear by way of Holland that a great battle has taken place between the Tartars and the Muscovites. The latter were routed and their duke was in great peril of his life.
A number of slaves from Tunis have arrived in Holland, brought by one Giacomo Belloagio, to whom, besides paying his expenses, the States have given a chain of gold.
The city of Brunswick is so hard pressed by the duke, all outlets being closed, that it will fall by famine if it is not relieved by the confederate Hanse towns. The duke is greatly helped by being closely related to the elector of Brandenburg, who is very intimate with the States.
A person who says he has it from the mouth of the interpreter of the ambassador of Spain informs me that the Marquis Spinola had bought from the Count Maulevrier (Monlevrier) his claims upon the duchy of Bouillon. I do not state this as a fact, but simply what I hear.
A short while ago the Marquis de Bonnivet arrived in London on his return from the king. He ought to bring some resolution. To-day I shall return his visit and try to find out as much as I can, and report by the present ordinary, if there is time, otherwise it will be by the first of next week.
The king will be at Hampton Court on Monday and he will not leave London and the neighbouring palaces for some time, owing to important affairs.
I told your Excellencies that they talked of assembling the parliament. His Majesty spoke about it in the Council, and those who did not want it proposed to lay an imposition for one turn upon all houses built from a certain time onwards. Afterwards they issued the printed notice which I enclose with a translation. I should have done so long since but for my indisposition.
Some malcontents have risen in Scotland in one of the Hebrides and in a neighbouring part of that kingdom. They have for chief a man called James Major. The king has sent the earl of Argyll with orders to punish the chiefs and reduce them to order. They are for the most part savages, ill-provided with arms, and they cannot hope for help on any side. Two ships and a pinnace have been given to the earl to facilitate his task. They are not numerous and he will easily reduce them to order by using the people of his own state only; such being the orders which he takes with him.
The Parliament of Ireland has separated with the resolve to make a gift to the king, as I wrote that they proposed to do. This is the first time that realm has made a grant, so it is the more grateful to His Majesty.
The queen remains at the baths, a hundred miles from here, (fn. 5) and she will stay for some weeks longer. The prince has made his progress to all the king's palaces. His health improves continually and he is becoming robust, to the intense satisfaction of their Majesties and of all these realms. Now that I am in health I will pay my respects to His Highness after seeing the king.
From London, the 12 September, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 19. Proclamation prohibiting the erection of private buildings in and around London.
Given at Theobalds, the 16 July in the 13th year of the reign. (fn. 6) [English; printed document, 2 pp.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 20. Translation of the above.
Sept. 12. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives. 21. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The French ambassador has been to see me. He told me that he expected that the royal marriages would be celebrated on the day of Our Lady, the Princes were still opposed, and the Palatine of the Rhine wished to enter France with 8,000 foot, as advised by the king of England and requested by the duke of Bouillon, his uncle. The Huguenots of France have hitherto remained quiet and only say that they desire to serve His Majesty. He also told me that possibly owing to the intentions of the Palatine and the king of England, who has hindered their marriages to the utmost, the ambassador of that king had not yet decided to accompany their Majesties to Bayonne. He dwelt somewhat upon this point, saying that the English are the mortal enemies of France, and that kingdom possessed a considerable population. I said I did not understand how there could possibly be war when negotiations are proceeding for the marriage of the second sister of his Most Christian Majesty to the prince of England, and are at an advanced stage. He said that was true, but nevertheless the danger he had spoken of was still there.
I understand that in these disorders of France the governor of Calais has written to Montigny his brother to direct his attentions to a part where he may find the master of a sea-port favourably disposed, that if the English have any intention of transporting troops to France, they may easily do so, by the help of such a person. I have also heard that three places in France have refused the royal garrison, one of these is La Fère, a very important place in Picardy.
They discuss these affairs of France here eagerly. Some say that if the Palatine means to enter France armed the Huguenots will never oppose him, in spite of their telling the king that they will be his good vassals.
Rome, the 12 September, 1615.
Sept. 15. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 22. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Sends copies of letter of Condé to Lesdiguières, the articles of the assembly, the letters of the assembly, to the queen and king of France and a letter of the King of Great Britain to the duke of Bouillon. They came in French, but have been translated.
Turin, the 15 September, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 23. Cousin,
We send you this gentleman, of proved fidelity, to receive your commands and to communicate what we have charged him with. We ask you to place complete confidence in him.
Your affectionate cousin,
Dated at Theobalds on 16 August, 1615.
Sept. 15. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Napoli. Venetian Archives. 24. Gasparo Spinelli, Venetian Resident at Naples, to the Doge and Senate.
At the present moment there are six French galleys with the flagship at Procida in addition to four already there. They arrived yesterday evening on their return from Barbary, where they gave chase to two galeots of those pirates. These escaped, but they captured an English berton and a French ship which were going buccaneering. They will continue their voyage to Marseilles at the earliest opportunity.
Naples, the 15 September, 1615.


  • 1. Probably Richard Preston, lord Dingwall.
  • 2. James was in Northamptonshire. He reached Windsor on 7 September, o.s. See Nichols. Progresses of James I., iii., pp. 98, 99.
  • 3. Mr. Henry Herbert. His release was demanded by James. See State Papers, Foreign, France, Vol. 63, 25 Aug. 1615.
  • 4. Giovanni Francesco Biondi.
  • 5. At Bath.
  • 6. See Cal. of State Papers, Domestic. 1611–18, p. 295.