Venice: January 1616, 16-31

Pages 107-118

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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January 1616, 16–31

Jan. 16. Inquisitori di Stato. Lettere dagli Ambasciatori in Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 151. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
On my arriving in the city the ambassador Foscarini desired me to take some particulars about the Secretary Muscorno for the information of your Excellencies. I had these taken down by my secretary and enclose them with these presents. When Foscarini left he again urged me to take exact information, especially on what was said by M. de Chenez about the demand on his goods at the instance of the earl of Argyll (Argheil) and that of Master Guazzo, our interpreter, about seeing him go twice to the house of the Spanish ambassador, and what he heard from divers of the queen's household. The book is very famous, but since news has come of the imprisonment of Muscorno, no one will confess to having a copy. Sig. Angelo Nodari told me that it had been already translated into French and English. That it was to be printed at Frankfort and no copy had as yet gone to Spain. Giovanni Maria Lugaro, a gentleman of His Majesty, told me a great deal about it. Doctor Frere has heard it read and told me various things and there are few who do not know something. Accordingly I see no use in procuring lengthy information for your Serenity.
London, the 7th January, 1615. [m.v.] Contemporary copy.
Jan. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives. 152. Antonio Foscarini, late Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I left Calais, and in two days, the first of which I passed at Boulogne, I reached Montreuil after a safe journey. There I took escort to protect me through the forest. I reached Abbeville (Abuile), Poix (Poe) and Lin, where I had to stay at the house of the lady of the place for lack of other suitable accommodation and owing to my bad health. I was in great danger of losing my small property to a company of twenty soldiers on horse, who fortunately respected the Secretary Rizzardi who was there. I afterwards passed through Beauvais (Beoue) and Beaumont (Beoms) to Paris, finding the whole country disturbed by war. Boulogne holds for the king, but the governor is a dependant of the duke of Epernon and would probably change if the duke did. Montreuil is absolutely for His Majesty. Abbeville, a large and populous town, governs itself and inclines to the princes from resentment against the Marquis of Ancre, who wished to make himself master of it; Poix and Lin are open places. Beauvais, a town in no wise inferior to Abbeville, is well fortified at the cost of the inhabitants. Beaumont has a citadel with a garrison paid by the king, as is also the case at Montreuil. Abbeville and Beauvais are well guarded, but by their own inhabitants.
In these parts the princes hold Soissons, Noyon, Chaunay (Scioni), Coucy (Causi) and Corbie, where there is a strong garrison which operates up to Amiens. Both sides ravage, if anything the king's troops are the worse. The lady of Lin told me that Reims had refused the Baron of Tours, the governor sent by the king, saying that they would govern themselves. It is understood that the count of Villeroi and the Marshal Brissac passed from Poitiers to Mothe St. Launay on the 13th to arrange a place with the duke of Sully and M. de Courtenay Bleneau, the deputies of the princes, to settle the present difficulties. Both parties require peace, but it is doubtful whether it will last. They have spoken about an armistice for two months, but there is no certitude. They also speak of satisfying the individual claims of the princes and the dukes of Longueville, Mayenne and Bouillon, with some public reforms and modification of the government. In the king's council after some difference of opinion, the peace party finally prevailed. There are at present more than 70,000 armed men in the field in France, divided into ten corps, and they have devastated a great part of the country, which has suffered more this one year than in three or four of the past wars. The marshal of Boisdauphin and the duke of Guise each commands a corps for the king; the marshal of Ancre also has a good number of troops in the field. On the other side the prince of Condé and the other princes dispose of powerful forces. The duke of Rohan, assisted by the Huguenots and others, is powerful beyond the river. M. de la Force (Fors) has a large following. The duke of Vendome has about 800 horse and seven to eight thousand foot in Britanny and is increasing their numbers, without disclosing his purpose. The duke of Nevers is bringing Swiss into his duchy and into his governorship of Champagne, which is contiguous. The waggons which ordinarily go from here to Lyons do not now dare to proceed; a few go on horse, but most fare badly. I have been doing my utmost to obtain carts for my baggage, with little success. I have at length found some if I will go by way of Chalons and take boat there. I shall decide to-morrow and set out on the following morning, even if I have to leave my baggage behind and reach your Serenity on foot.
The ambassadors of Savoy and of the States have been to see me, and M. de Bisseaux, the late ambassador in England, desired to entertain me. I have been obliged to take a passport in order to secure my property and person as much as possible. I thought it right to go and pay my respects to the duke of Anjou, the king's only brother. I did this yesterday, congratulating him on his good health and telling him that your Excellencies desired the prosperity of the king his brother and of the royal house. M. de Breves, his tutor, replied in a suitable and courteous manner and charged me to recommend his service to your Excellencies.
Paris, the 17 January, 1616.
Jan. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 153. Antonio Foscarini, late Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of Savoy in speaking to me of the affairs of Italy said that the Spaniards will not make restitution and at Milan they are increasing their forces; that his duke desiring peace, has disarmed, but all the same he has re-inforced the garrisons of Asti and Vercelli, so that those places may be able to defend themselves from all attempts. He has made urgent representations to their Majesties and the ministers to see that restitution and disarming and the promises of Spain are carried out. They have told him that the promises are explicit, but they have put him off until the king's return to Paris. He pointed out that in the meantime the duke is in peril and incurring expenses; that His Highness desires to preserve his liberty, his state and his honour. He hinted that he hoped your Excellencies would employ your customary good offices and use your influence with Mantua to eradicate all feelings of rancour, and thereby deprive the Spaniards of a pretext for interfering in Italy, that in this Savoy left everything to you. I replied that your Excellencies would undoubtedly use your good offices for peace and would endeavour to foster a good understanding between Savoy and Mantua.
The Dutch ambassador told me that he was instructed to ascertain whether their Majesties and the Ministers proposed to maintain their alliance and good understanding and to wish the prince all prosperity and peace. In speaking of Brunswick he said that the duke had made terms with the town unfavourable to himself, and that the Hanse towns, which comprise sixty-two great and powerful communities, are all allied with the States and bound to defend them; they are bound by the terms of the league to join those princes who are best able to repress the forces of Spain, during the truce.
Paris, the 17 January, 1616.
Jan. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 154. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke sent for me late yesterday evening and I spent three hours with him. He showed me his correspondence with the governor of Milan and a letter of Carlo Perone. After reading them he said: That is the condition I am placed in; the treaty is to be torn up and I am to submit to the Spaniards. They propose to start fresh negotiations when they are armed and I am naked. This is contrary to my honour and my liberty. From France I can expect nothing but crosses and ill offices. England is far off and it is uncertain what will come forth from the mind of a king so tardy, the friend of ease and quiet. Accordingly I turn to the republic and say: If these Signori will maintain what has been promised and established by their hands, let them operate, as they see best, or if they do not see a way, the right thing is to join with me to destroy these traitors, full of every fraud and deceit. If they will use their strength I promise that we shall either win an honourable peace together, or a great state to divide.
Turin, the 17 January, 1616. [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci Savoia. Venetian Archives. 155. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The advices of the court here from France state that their Most Christian Majesties are at Poitiers, in great scarcity of everything, the country being wasted. In spite of all they are negotiating with the duke of Nevers, the English ambassador and the deputies of the new religion, and if these come to naught they hope that Condé's heat will be somewhat assuaged and that their Majesties may return in safety to Paris.
There can be no accommodation without severe prejudice to the kingdom and the royal authority, as the admission of the Huguenots to treat is an admission of the division of religion, in which each part must be equal.
Turin, the 17th January, 1615. [m.v.]
Jan. 18. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 156. Pietro Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The deputies of the king and of the prince should have been at Niort on the 15th to negotiate, but the Governor would not admit the horsemen of the prince so they had to go to Fontenay and they have not met before to-day. The English ambassador has also betaken himself to that meeting continuing to interpose the authority of his king, especially with the Huguenots, to further a satisfactory settlement. Meanwhile the king has decided to leave for Tours, as they cannot put up with the scarcity any longer.
Poitiers, the 18th January, 1616.
Jan. 21. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 157. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In conformity with what I reported in my last despatch, I had audience of the king on Thursday evening last week, when I presented the letters of your Serenity and spoke in conformity, offering this as a sign of confidence in His Majesty on the part of the republic, which had instructed me to give the information; I expressed all this in what I considered suitable terms. The king received the letters and listened to my remarks with every sign of satisfaction. He spoke of your Excellencies in terms warmly affectionate and honourable and said he had heard of the distinguished qualities of your Serenity. After this speech I asked His Majesty what he thought of the affairs of Italy owing to the arrival of the new Governor of Milan. He began to tell me that after his arrival in that state, instead of dismissing the troops which remained and completing the execution of the treaty made with the duke of Savoy, he not only kept the old troops on foot but levied new ones, and in everything and through everything he has shown his disinclination to carry out the treaty. His Majesty had learned about these projects of the Spaniards from his ambassador in Spain before they had been so extensively manifested in Italy, by the operations of Don Pedro of Toledo. This man would never have been sent as Governor to Milan if they really cherished the good intentions which they profess, as he is a person most admirably suited to destroy what has been arranged and not to complete what still remains to be done. That as princes generally have a knowledge of persons in responsible positions in the states of others, he knew this man very well for a pretentious, impertinent and turbulent fellow. He used this particular word with intent, to indicate a disquiet mind (che come sogliono i Prencipi haver cognitione delle persone di carico nelli altrui stati, conosceva benissimo la persona sua, ch'era un pretendente, un' impertinente, et un bruglione, (fn. 1) usando questo particular vocabolo con efficacia, per esprimere un' ingegno inquieto). He afterwards went on to say that if resistance is not offered he will want to embroil the world. For his own part, although he was some distance away from the affairs of that province, yet simply out of regard for the common peace and solely for the good of Christendom he had given those orders which he hoped would serve to obtain the execution of the agreement, and that those who are interested like your Excellencies ought to give him advice of all this, so that you might, from a nearer point of view and having greater interests, make representations to the Governor of Milan and do whatever else might tend to the carrying out of the treaty. I thanked His Majesty both for his confidence to your Excellencies and for his good intentions in the cause of peace and the peace of Italy in particular, saying that I would inform your Excellencies of what he said.
The king still suffers somewhat from the pain in his foot. He intended leaving London on Monday, but owing to the cold, which has been excessive and has increased the pain, he put it off, first to Tuesday and then to yesterday and finally to Monday next, even if then; and he is greatly distressed by the pain.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 26th ult. concerning the positions occupied by your troops in the archduke's country on the borders of the Lisonzo. I will use this information as you direct, as here they are more content to learn about the operations of your Excellencies than of the works of others, and thus they speak more of the present actions than of the past burning.
The archduke Maximilian has left Brussels and has gone to take part in a diet with the archbishop of Cologne, to be held at Bonn.
M. de Courtenay has had audience of the king, but has obtained no resolution from him, except to repeat the instructions to the ambassador Edmondes to make urgent representations to their Most Christian Majesties to satisfy the princes and pacify the kingdom. No news has arrived of the progress of the rival forces. The partisans of the princes deny that the duke of Guise has cut in pieces any German troops of the princes, news printed at Paris. They say that in Normandy M. de St. Denis de Mailloc has routed four companies of infantry sent by the cardinal archbishop of Rheims to the duke of Guise, his brother, to the camp of their Majesties, but what they are most anxious to know here is whether it is true that the king is going to Paris.
I have received a copy of the articles arranged between the princes and the Huguenots, and enclose a copy.
London, the 21 January, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 158. Articles arranged between the prince and the deputies of the General Assembly at Nimes, after the latter had protested that they would never depart from their obedience to the king, whom they recognize as their sovereign lord, and from the public peace, to which end they beg the prince to direct all his efforts.
To this end the princes and deputies promise to unite their efforts:
To preserve the king's life and enquire into the late king's death.
To prevent the accepting of the Council of Trent as being prejudicial to the rights of the Crown, the liberty of the Gallican Church and the edicts of pacification.
To join in common action to prevent any harm arising from the completion of the alliance with Spain.
To secure the establishment of a good council for His Majesty and of good order in public affairs in conformity with the remonstrance of the parliament depriving of power those who are guilty of the disorders in the State, indicated by that remonstrance.
To provide that the Huguenots shall enjoy all that has been previously granted to them, both by the edict of Nantes and by other declarations, and that all these be verified in parliament and in other courts of the kingdom; but chiefly that they may enjoy what was requested by their deputies in the said assembly in August and September last.
In addition to this to do justice upon the other articles which deal with complaints upon the interpretation and evasion of the edict and to decide definitely upon the number of the ancient councillors of State.
To provide for the establishment of the Huguenots, and that they be not deprived of their goods, offices or pensions by reason of their religion or of the present action.
To promise not to abandon each other or to lay down arms before the aforesaid matters are settled.
To have complete interchange of views, for which purpose the deputies shall take part in the councils of the prince, and his deputies shall be present at the assembly, which shall not otherwise be able to discuss or decide anything.
The armed forces and the disposition of the money and the other affairs of the said churches shall be administered solely by the said assembly, but the forces shall be under the commission of the prince.
The assembly shall appoint the ministers of the towns and districts held by the Huguenots.
Provision shall be made for the safety of churches in the provinces where they have no retreat, and which may be exposed to danger by reason of the present treaty; they shall be provided with the first places acquired in those provinces which are suitable as a refuge.
There shall be no alteration made in the places held by those of the religion.
The Huguenots may withdraw to the places held by the princes, and shall have free exercise of their religion during the present troubles as freely as they enjoy it elsewhere.
In the towns held by the princes in which those who hold to the reformed religion and this treaty have taken refuge, and who have been expelled and their goods forfeited, provision shall be made for such refugees sufficient to live upon.
Dated at the camp of St. Sensay, the 27 September, 1615. (fn. 2)
Jan. 23. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Venetian Archives. 159. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
Last week we answered count Scaglia upon the proposals of the duke and directed you to speak to His Highness to the same purpose. If he continues to press the matter we direct you to inform him that our only wish is to preserve our state in liberty; that owing to our differences with the archduke we are arming, and he can soon collect considerable forces, so that we do not think it likely that he will be attacked by the Spaniards, who have withdrawn their forces from his frontiers and directed them towards ours. Thus to negotiate a league or to pass to other acts while negotiations are proceeding with the governor would arouse great suspicion and break off all negotiations, to the great prejudice of himself and us, and would offend the powers who are interested in these affairs, such as Rome, France and England, as it is not likely that they will fail in what they have promised, and it would not be right to alienate them by proceedings which would give them a reasonable pretext to do so, while compelling the Spaniards to arm and unite with others. We therefore feel sure that His Highness will continue his negotiations with Milan as well as with Rome, France and England, while we shall not neglect such offices as we may deem helpful to his wishes, so that no one may be able to say that the public peace has been disturbed by us and our operations. His Highness may rest assured that when need arises we shall not fail to do what is possible to help him.
Ayes 155.
Noes 1.
Neutral 8.
Jan. 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costant. Venetian Archives. 160. Almoro Nani, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 18th instant the Galleon Dafin arrived. It was accompanied from Zante as far as Scios by some Flemish bertons. They met no pirates on their voyage but they report that these bertons have previously engaged with three others of Barbary, though they did not tell me where. In this connection I must not omit to inform your Serenity that the captains of Flemish and English bertons confess that at the present time it is no longer possible to voyage alone as they used owing to the increase in the number of the bertons of Barbary.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 23 January, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 161. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the last day of last month upon the disturbances upon the archducal frontiers. I asked for an audience at once and obtained it yesterday evening. I exactly carried out my instructions, informing His Majesty concisely of the state of affairs and of the justice of the cause of your Serenity, while assuring him of the respect and esteem of your Excellencies. His Majesty listened to me most attentively and replied with expressions full of the warmest friendship towards the republic. I assure your Excellencies that my pen fails me to adequately describe the vigour and roundness of His Majesty's remarks. He spoke first upon what I had said to him about the perfect understanding which had always existed between the republic and this crown, and said that in particular the friendship and esteem between your Serenity and His Majesty had been especially great. It had increased and received expression in the declaration made by him for your Serenity in the controversy with Rome. This friendship had since been consolidated on both sides, and His Majesty would show himself an inconstant prince if he did not maintain the same feelings, especially as he has had so many opportunities of seeing the goodwill of your Serenity towards him. That if, instead of responding to their sentiments, he had shown himself averse from what had been shown in the past, he would stand convicted of inconstancy and ingratitude. He went on to tell me that there was no state in Christendom, and especially no Roman Catholic state, where some writing displeasing to him had not appeared, except the state of your Serenity, which had always looked carefully after this, and had never admitted into your state any person known to be displeasing to him, or any rebel against him, and you had readily imprisoned and sent to him others, when he desired it, and when his safety required it. You had not allowed those doctrines to take root in your dominions, as they had done for some time in France, which are so prejudicial and perilous to the lives of kings, and in everything else you have always displayed a singular disposition to oblige His Majesty, so that there is no state to which he is more indebted and for which he feels more friendship. He will always be the same towards your Serenity, that what he has declared he would do upon other occasions, he will declare upon this. He wishes to see your Serenity free from all difficulties and enjoying complete tranquillity, but if this may not be, he will be delighted to have an opportunity of showing his good feeling, as he values your Serenity more highly than any power in the world. He was sorry to be so far away, and that the difficulties thrown in the way by the French had not permitted the completion of the matter with the Grisons as they might have been of great service to your Serenity, but that in any case whatever he could give, whether it were advice or assistance, would be rendered with a hearty good will. At the present time he thought it would be well for your Serenity to describe the state of the affair and define your position; if this was written down, he himself would be better informed, and he would discuss it with the Spanish ambassador or anyone to whom he might speak.
I thanked His Majesty in the warmest possible manner, endeavouring most carefully to express the esteem of your Excellencies and your grateful memory. I enlarged upon the willingness with which your Serenity would seize opportunities to gratify His Majesty, and that his authority and greatness were not limited by distance. I took the opportunity to insist here upon what I consider the essential part of the position of your Serenity and of the past occurrences, the better to impress them upon his memory. He replied that he was well acquainted with the facts and with the position of your Serenity; he knew the Uscocchi to be public robbers; it should rather be considered a disgrace to a prince to afford an asylum to such men than to expect to be asked by others not to admit them into his state. He remembered very well that his ambassador had written to him before, and my predecessor here had spoken to him about the affair of the galley Venier. With regard to the document in particular he knew the great importance of informing the world of one's own actions, and he himself and everyone else would be able to speak with fuller information from such a document than from conversation merely.
He had that morning received letters from his agent with the duke of Savoy, from whom he learned among other things that His Highness had advised your Serenity in this conjuncture, that if it were necessary for you to begin a war, he would create a diversion on his side; he would attack and would provide you with experienced soldiers. His Majesty considered all this excellent advice, to be taken together with his own. He used these ideas throughout the interview. I lost no opportunity of thanking him or of fixing in his mind the more essential parts of the affair.
London, the 29 January, 1616.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 162. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Having fulfilled the office committed to me by your Serenity with the king, as I reported in my last, I subsequently executed the commands of your Excellencies with the ambassador of the States and the agent of the count Palatine, who are at the court here, making use of the information which I had received according to the rank of the person and as I thought the intentions of your Serenity to be. Before speaking with the king I made myself completely master of the contents of the letters of the 27th November, the 4th, 14th and 26th of December and of these last, adding such observations and arguments as my own knowledge supplied upon the long series of years that these insults and depredations of the Uscochi have endured. I have not, however, received any letters of the 30 October last. At the present time there is no lack of opportunity to make use of all this, as both the court and the city are full of talk about it. I will bear myself towards the ambassador of France as your Excellencies direct.
I have not been to see the Spanish ambassador since my arrival at this court, seeing that he did not come to visit me when I arrived here as all the others did, and as is usually done. After some days he deftly contrived to make known to Sig. Foscarini by means of his chaplain that he had always conceived a particular esteem for the person and quality of His Excellency, but it was not fitting that he should deal with me in the same manner as he had done with him, but that there should be some difference of title; at the same time he was very courteous over it all. The Illustrious Foscarini did everything that he could to dissuade him from making these pretensions and by acquainting him that as I was the ambassador of the same power with the same rank, it was not at all proper that I should act differently from my other predecessors; and from what I myself had done elsewhere, where I had also been ambassador in the service of your Serenity, and where I had enjoyed not only every confidence but the closest friendship with the ambassadors of His Catholic Majesty without any difference of treatment and as they have always dealt with all the ambassadors, especially here in England. The Illustrious Foscarini before his departure went to call upon the Spanish ambassador to take leave and took that opportunity to urge him to maintain such relations with me as are fitting with a minister of your Serenity, without speaking of other respects so much observed by His Catholic Majesty. The Spanish ambassador replied, however, that he had instructions from his king not to deal with the ambassadors of your Serenity, except under a title less than what he receives, calling those Most Illustrious who call him Excellency; that for the Most Illustrious Foscarini he had always entertained a high regard for his special merits, and at that particular moment, when he was laying down his charge as ambassador, he wished to show him every honour. The Most Illustrious Foscarini replied that in himself he had no merit except in being the ambassador of your Serenity, and as the Spanish ambassador had called the person so nominated His Excellency, he had replied with similar courtesy. The ambassador replied that he had used the word Excellency because that had been applied to him and not to others, but he used it only for Sig. Foscarini, but not in the quality of ambassador. He then began to tell Sig. Foscarini that he had previously announced that he refrained from returning his visit on this account. After Sig. Foscarini's departure I kept on the look out for any opportunity that might occur for preserving the dignity of your Excellencies and which would not entirely break off all relations with the Spanish ambassador, but as nothing new has occurred, I have thought it right to send a complete account to your Serenity, asking you to excuse the time spent on this tedious matter amidst so many other important affairs. These things are not much in themselves, but in the consequences, as it is not seemly in the relations between the ministers of princes to yield the smallest point of ceremonial; as a diminution of prestige may lead to the advance of other pretensions.
London, the 29 January, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 163. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The latest news from France relates the election of the deputies and of the deputation of Niort to negotiate an agreement with the princes. This has given rise to the opinion here that an accommodation is certain to take place, although the advices of the great confusion now prevalent in every part of France do not give grounds for the belief that it will be brought to a condition of settled tranquillity so easily, and some of the partisans of the princes here think still that there will be difficulties in making a settlement, and even if the princes do not succeed in obtaining the terms which they demand, at any rate it will not be to their disadvantage to postpone negotiations until the time for campaigning. The French ambassador has recently received a letter of the 9th inst. from the Poitiers, written for the king by M. de Puisieux (Piseurs), the Secretary of State. It relates the risk run by the Princes of being caught by the duke of Guise at St. Menzan, that three companies of horse of the princes have been routed and cut to pieces and six regiments of infantry taken. That not a single one escaped, except a few, by swimming; and that the princes are only saving themselves from total defeat by continually retiring and by never remaining for long in the same place. This letter, which has been published with some printed documents, has caused great excitement in the minds of all, until the truth is learned about these events; this is far from being in accord with these publications, and in order to avoid encounters the troops on both sides have withdrawn, as your Excellencies will have learned from elsewhere.
The king has learned with great satisfaction that his ambassador in France has laboured with great energy to arrange for negotiations for an agreement, and that the queen mother in particular had appreciated it and had expressed her obligation to His Majesty, thanking him very cordially by means of the ambassador resident here for having intervened in these negotiations, although at first it was very distasteful to Her Most Christian Majesty, and the ambassador here, in particular, complained loudly because the king here was endeavouring to bring them to negotiate with the princes saying that it was not fitting, but that they, as subjects, must submit themselves to the favour of their lord. I understand that upon this occasion, in order the more to please the king here, they have again begun to negotiate upon the marriage of Madame, the second sister of His Most Christian Majesty and that prince. M. de Courtenay, who is here for the princes, would have wished the king to do something more in favour of their party, as His Majesty really admits the justice of their complaints especially upon the point of their not actively endeavouring to find those guilty of the late king's death. This seems to have weight with His Majesty, owing to the evil example, which may have ill effects not only in France but everywhere else. I have been told that His Majesty excused himself to the duke of Bouillon for not having done more up to the present, but he hoped to bring matters into a good state by arranging an agreement, but if this did not succeed His Majesty after obtaining in the meantime a greater supply of money from the parliament, might be able to provide them with greater assistance. At present they say very little about when parliament will meet, the king gave orders for it when at Newmarket, but when he reached London he said no more about it. To-day he meant to leave in any case, but although his feet are somewhat better they are not quite well, and yesterday he gave me audience while sitting on his bed. The king's wish to leave London is not only to be attributed to his ordinary fondness for the country, through which he never makes a long stay in the city, but much more because he does not wish to be here during the progress of the trial of the earl of Somerset and his adherents. This very day the earl and his wife have been pronounced guilty of the death of Overbury by the twelve, who in accordance with the customs of England, decide the question of fact.
They expect soon to begin a trial of far greater importance, namely the question of interests in the affairs of Spain, but it is not expected that anything definite will be decided before the arrival of the ambassador Digby (Dighni).
London, the 29 January, 1615. [m.v.]
Jan. 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 164. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses account of his expenses, as he has spent the sum of 150 ducats which he received on leaving Venice.
London, the 29 January, 1615. [m.v.]
[The account is wanting.]


  • 1. Probably James spoke in French and used the word brouillon. Bruglione is not recognised as an Italian word by the Accademia della Crusca.
  • 2. A copy of these articles in French is preserved at the Public Record Office, State Papers, Foreign, France, Vol. 64