Venice: September 1615, 16-30

Pages 15-31

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, 16–30

Sept. 17. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 25. Giovanni Rizzardo, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
As the king is still at a distance from this city, (fn. 1) I have not yet been able to find out what was said by His Majesty and by others of the court upon the subject of Moscorno's imprisonment except that I was told that when the king heard the news, it is thought by letters of his ambassador, he uttered the significant words that he had expected as much. Here in London, at the first Sir [William] Smith (Smirt) and other friends of Moscorno went about saying that this was a persecution by the ambassador here, that they would induce the king to send information to Venice and write in favour of the secretary, as they felt sure that he would do so willingly, but nothing more has been heard about it. When the court returns I will make enquiries and forward information to your Excellencies. I will not trouble you with more information without good reason for writing, unless I receive special instructions, especially as Sig. Barbarigo is expected soon to relieve us of our charges, although we have no certain news as yet of his departure from Coire, but simply that he is going to leave and will travel straight through.
London, the 17 September, 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Grisoni. Venetian Archives. 26. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
We have no news here from Juliers except that matters remain as they were. All parties are fortifying and waiting to see what will happen in France and what will be the outcome in Italy. It is further said that in Flanders the Archdukes are filling up the Irish regiments and others. All signs point to a movement on their part where they can promise themselves most advantage.
Zurich, the 17 September, 1615.
Sept. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacoi. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 27. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have seen the marquis of Bonnivet as I wrote that I intended to do. From his conversation and from what I have heard from other sources it seems clear to me that he has urged the king to declare himself in favour of the princes of France, and to do so in resolute and open terms. The reply he brought away was that the king had caused his ambassador to speak freely to his Most Christian Majesty, and that it was necessary to await the reply before doing anything else; that if they consent, good, if not they will decide what to do, but the present is not the time to take any step; that a courier will be here in a few days, and a resolution will be taken. The king added many affectionate expressions and extended the most favourable reception to the marquis, who has impressed it upon the king that the marriages will be completed, that many governors of towns in France are ready to declare themselves for the princes and are only awaiting a declaration from His Majesty, on which a happy result depends. That quickness is necessary above all things; that the princes are already in the field with good forces relying on the things said on behalf of His Majesty by the persons sent by him. But with all this the only reply he could draw from the king was a reiteration that it was necessary to await the reply with patience. Two couriers have since come post to the king from France, and the Marquis has followed them, to prefer his requests. He has received letters from the duke of Longueville, announcing certain brawls which take place daily between the troops of that duke and those of the Marshal of Ancre. The father in law of the Marquis remains at Etaples and that place is now free from any siege. I know on good authority that the governor of Ardres will side with Condé.
The French ambassador has recently been several times in succession to visit the ambassador of Spain. Together with the ambassador of Flanders they have held close and long conferences.
On Sunday some members of the French ambassador's household, whilst he was visiting as I mentioned, joined in a brawl with some of the citizens which ended in a great commotion, persons being injured on every hand, with considerable danger of worse trouble.
The marquis of Bonnivet told me that the duchess of Longueville has sent money to her son. She was left a widow twenty years ago, whilst he was in the nursery, and she saved up a large sum of money, which is now being spent.
There is little fresh about Neuchatel, and while there is a doubt about the reply of your Excellencies he proceeds with the more reserve. I am informed, however, that he is negotiating with other Powers.
A week ago I wrote that the Marquis Spinola had bought the claims of the Count of Maulevrier (Monlevriè) to the duchy of Bouillon. I now confirm this upon more certain grounds, and add that it took place with the knowledge of the Queen of France and the consent of the Catholic king. The Most Christian ambassador, in the course of conversation, remarked to me that it would seem to Bouillon as if the forces of Spinola stood across his path; that possibly Bouillon alone might be punished, against whom he has shown a stronger feeling than against any of the other princes.
They have no certain news here of the marching or of the arrival of Longueville's Swiss. It is understood that Bouillon is waiting to collect troops and that, as they arrive, if he sends them to Condé he will not go far from Sedan or from the custody of his places, as he knows the projects of Spinola.
Some weeks ago Bonnivet wished to go to Poitou to arm 4,000 men and to receive authority with the leaders of the Huguenots to oppose the passage of their Most Christian Majesties. He pressed the king to write and induce them to move and carry this out, but His Majesty hoped at the moment that they would not leave Paris and came to no decision. I have all this from one who knows.
On Monday I sent to Windsor for an audience, as I said I would. The king sent word that as he expected to be in London to-day he would see me to-morrow morning.
I have received your Excellencies' letters of the 28th ult. with those for His Majesty, a copy of the expositions of the ambassador of the 13th and 27th and the reply made by the Senate on the 28th with the communications for His Majesty. I will execute these commands in the self-same words as is my habit, sending word of the reply afterwards.
London, the 18 September, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 18. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 28. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The States replied to the Ambassador Wotton that the proposal had already gone to each of the provinces. They pointed out the prejudice which their acceptance would cause, and begged him to beseech His Majesty not to insist any more upon this. They added that they had never hitherto departed from his service or his wishes. They afterwards made him a present of 8,000 florins in a number of silver vessels. So he departed and arrived here the day before yesterday, when he immediately proceeded to the court. The ambassador of the States left on the very day that I wrote my last, as I said he would. During a confidential conversation the ambassador of Brandenburg told me that he saw that everyone will keep what he holds, and that his master, to strengthen himself, will draw as closely as possible to the Hanse towns; that the possession of Juliers is burdensome, and it is proper that it should remain in the hands of the States, in whom his Elector has perfect confidence; that sometimes the Emperor, sometimes the Catholic king and the Archduke Albert insist upon a decision to place the country of Cleves in deposit, and the disturbances of France and the effectuation of the marriages are the reason why they are now pressing forward.
On the 1st inst. the ambassadors of the States left Thesen for Muscovy. At Stettin some persons have arrived to prepare quarters for a Palatine of Poland, sent for the conference. A courier had already arrived from Sweden to learn whether deputies were coming from Poland and other parts for this conference.
The town of Brunswick is still besieged by its duke. The duke of Luneburg, who is allied to the same house, though he is hostile, has taken steps to relieve it. The Hanse towns have sent ambassadors to interpose and settle matters peaceably. The States, to preserve their neutrality, have not consented to the going of Count John Ernest of Nassau, who was sent for by the duke. The principal difficulty consists in two points: the first that the duke wants to have a citadel in the town; the second that he had given various fiefs which belonged to private persons to his councillors, and the latter, as interested parties, strain every nerve to prevent their restitution. From the conversation of the ambassador of Brandenburg I discovered that the Elector wishes this and all other disputes to be settled, and to have all forces joined together upon the Cleves question, which they call the common cause of all the United Princes.
The Marquis Spinola continues to augment his forces towards Maastricht and the frontiers of France.
Nine ships of the Dutch who had gone out in quest of pirates have taken three of them, including a large berton, in the Strait, which had a few persons on board to sail them, all the rest being Turks, whom they cut to pieces. They have written urgently to the Pasha of Tunis and Algiers for the restitution of slaves. Two very rich ships have reached here from the West Indies; this has afforded great consolation to the mart here.
London, the 18 September, 1615.
Sept. 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 29. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have from time to time sent word to your Serenity of the understanding between the Princes of France, the Parliament of Paris and those of the religion in that kingdom, of the conformity in the representations made by them to their Most Christian Majesties, and their resolution to act together. After all this had remained secret and in negotiation it has been made public by the declaration put forth by those of the religion, as your Excellencies will have heard. Yesterday evening the marquis of Bonnivet came here and told me that the king has this news and demonstrated that whatever has been said to His Majesty touching this on behalf of the prince of Condé and the others, is the truth; that it is necessary for France that things should happen in the way required by the king's service and the weal of the country. He declared that God willed the delay of their Most Christian Majesties in passing to effect the marriages by the attack of small-pox of the princess, and he hinted that even failing that hindrance others might have occurred. That the Princes propose to go armed to Paris, and will do so; that the contrivers of the late king's death must be punished, the marriages delayed, and good order introduced into the governance of France by those whom it has pleased God to choose, in raising them as princes and fathers in that kingdom. In speaking of the projects of the Marquis Spinola upon Bouillon he said he knew well that it was understood that Spinola would proceed to besiege Sedan with all the forces of Spain the moment Bouillon went a little way off. He added that if this happens those who govern will speedily repent of having called the Spaniards into France.
This morning he told me that he knows the king's inmost plans, that His Majesty is determined to secure peace in France upon condition that those involved in the late king's death are punished, that the marriages with Spain are postponed, and that the Council shall be composed of the principal magnates of the realm, who will govern for the greatest advantage of France and to the exclusion of the convenience of Spain. For the better effectuation of this His Majesty proposes to send a special ambassador to France, and he will do so if events require it. Touching the death of the late king, I sent all particulars to your Excellencies in my letters at various times.
His Majesty arrived at dusk yesterday evening, and the same night he sent to confirm the audience arranged for this morning. I shall be going shortly; meanwhile I take advantage of a courier, who is setting out at this moment on another mission.
London, the 19 September, 1615.
Sept. 23. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Milano. Venetian Archives. 30. Antonio Antelmi, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
After the news came of the departure of their Most Christian Majesties, the Governor sent a person secretly to take observations about the journey and the opinions about the marriage. This person returned yesterday evening. He brings word that the requests of the Assembly of Grenoble consisted principally in asking that the Huguenots might be reinstated in the position they enjoyed under the late king, but as some of them had been corrupted by the queen, they submitted everything to the pleasure of their Majesties. The gentleman sent to them by Condé and the other Princes had promised the assembly assistance in obtaining their requests. The Princes themselves have been advised from England to abstain from making disturbances, and they have considerably cooled from their first ardour.
Milan, the 23 September, 1615.
Sept. 24. Consigliode'X Parti Criminali. Venetian Archives. 31. Proposed that in order to prove the imputation made by Giulio Muscorno against Antonio Foscarini of having written advices to the Signory which were not true but capricious inventions of his own, our Inquisitors of State be authorised to give Muscorno the means (ever in the presence at least of their secretary) of seeing the despatches written by Foscarini during the time that Muscorno served him as Secretary in England, taking such notes and memoranda of them as may be necessary. These extracts shall remain with the officers of the Inquisitors of State that they may be read to this Council, to be used by them as they see fit. The said Inquisitors shall also endeavour to obtain possession of the ambassador's papers.
Immediately upon the arrest of Foscarini the Inquisitors shall have brought before them all the attendants who may have accompanied him from England, detaining them apart from one another until they have been examined concerning the charges contained in the process.
Moreover, to the decree of this Council dated 13 August last, it be added that immediately upon the arrival of Foscarini in this city, our Inquisitors do examine and arrest him before his appearance in our College.
Ayes 15.
Noes 0.
Neutral 1.
After the vote was taken the Doge swore all who were present to the most complete silence.
Sept. 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 32. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador designate to England, to the Doge and Senate.
Since I wrote from Cologne I have continued my journey and have been to the Hague with the letters for the States-General and Count Maurice. They expressed their great esteem for your Excellencies and I made a suitable reply. They do not believe that the Spaniards intend to carry out the treaty of Santen and accordingly they mean to keep the places which they hold, especially Juliers, Emmerich and Rees, just as the Spaniards hold Wesel, though they are suffering rather severely from the plague there at present.
The affairs of France occupy their attention above all others, and they are daily expecting to see more clearly whither events are tending. Yet they are eagerly awaiting the decision to be taken by the king of Great Britain, from whom they hear the marquis of Bonnivet, sent to His Majesty by the Princes, receives great satisfaction and they value very highly the representations made by His Majesty in France up to the present. Yet they believe that His Majesty's strong leanings to peace will prevent him from committing himself entirely to the party of the Princes. Here at all events no decision has been taken in the matter, because, although on the one hand they dislike the marriages and are more alarmed than anyone else at the alliance of the crown of France with the Spaniards; on the other hand they would not willingly offend the queen, who has continued to support them and maintains two French regiments, and they do not desire any breaking away from the league which they contracted with King Henry IV. They have therefore abstained from allowing their ambassador to join with the ambassador of England for the prorogation of the marriages as they were incited to do; but they have contented themselves with very moderate action in everything, and before coming to any decision they wish to see what is decided and done by the king of Great Britain and what course will be followed by the two parties in France and how strongly they will be supported. They are also writing to see what decision the Spaniards will take with regard to the complete execution of the settlement made in Italy with the duke of Savoy, as they understand that the Catholic king has not ratified it, and from their experience of other operations of the Spaniards in the states of Cleves, they believe that the fulfilment of these terms will also be suspended. Some of their chief men told me that they had not taken a more decided line in the case of the duke of Savoy, as they did not feel sure that His Highness would not come to an agreement, leaving their men and their reputation gravely compromised in Italy; but they had carefully observed the proceedings of your Excellencies, as they felt sure that with your prudence and your knowledge of the affairs of Italy you would take the proper course, and they proposed to follow this.
In Germany they are greatly disturbed at the action of the duke of Brunswick against the town, upon which negotiations are proceeding. The town has sent an agent to the Hague to ask for help or to arrange an accommodation, and owing to the resistance offered and the alliance with the Hanse towns it is thought that neither will abandon the town. The king of Denmark says hitherto that he will help an accommodation, but they fear that he will side rather with the duke, owing to his close relationship, and because he still cherishes his ancient plans with regard to Lubeck, to whom he has intimated that if they have not accepted his pretensions by next February, he will declare war afresh. These intentions of the king of Denmark cause grave disquietude to the States, chiefly because of their shipping in the north and in Muscovy, whither they have sent two ambassadors to arrange an accommodation between the Grand Duke and the king of Sweden and to establish some other particulars relating to trade.
News has arrived that of five ships which were expected from the East Indies, laden with spices and other precious merchandise, three were wrecked last March at the island of Mauritius, two being entirely lost, and the cargo of one recovered. The loss will amount to more than two millions of gold to the Company of the Indies at Amsterdam, so that it is a very serious matter.
The Turkish Chiaus who was in Holland has been sent back with renewed requests for the release of the Dutch slaves, as you will see by the enclosed letter.
If the wind permits I hope to embark to-morrow to set sail for England, to serve the king there, two years after my departure for that service.
Flushing, 24th September, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 33. The States General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries to Mehemet Pasha.
We take the opportunity of the return of Abraham Abenthamo, dragoman of Cornelius Haga, our ambassador at Constantinople, to request the release of our subjects, detained as slaves, in accordance with the terms of the capitulations granted by the Sultan. We beg your Excellency to use your authority and credit in the matter.
Dated at the Hague on 20 September, 1615.
A similar letter was written to Gsalit Pasha, admiral and Captain General of the sea.
Sept. 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 34. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In audience of the king on the very morning that I wrote my last, I thanked His Majesty in the name of your Excellencies for the offices performed in the Grisons, expressing our obligations to him and your disgust at the opposition offered by the ministers of other princes. His Majesty listened attentively and seemed pleased. He asked me curiously how the matter had taken place and if the league with the Cantons of Berne and Zurich was already completed as I had said before. He asked me to give him the particulars about the opposition of the other princes, saying: All the other princes opposed, only the king of Great Britain was for your Masters, eyeing me closely the while. I replied that that was precisely the case and increased the indebtedness of your Excellencies. As His Majesty went on to speak eagerly about this, I gathered four things from his discourse, his satisfaction at the praise and thanks given him by your Serenity; his displeasure at the ill offices of other princes and of France in particular; his desire to see the matter taken up again and his determination to offer the most active assistance with the hope of a happy issue by virtue of these and other offices. He went on to say that his ambassador had proposed a defensive league with himself and other princes. I thanked His Majesty for his friendship and favours, adding that I believed that the perfect understanding between His Majesty and the republic would alone suffice without any other thing, and I went on to express the identical ideas which your Excellencies commanded me, using the same words, enlarging somewhat where I thought fit.
The king heard me with some change of expression and some amount of feeling. He seemed inclined to speak, while I was striving to make the reply palatable to him. Then after reflecting awhile, as if he was struggling with his feelings and was moved by the warmth of my expressions, after I had ceased, he stood still and turning to me said: You know well why I am moved. It seems that Spain will not keep the treaty with Savoy, and you know what I and your masters have promised. There also seems to be something in Flanders and in Germany. I hoped, by the splendour of this union, which would be an accomplished fact if they had thought fit, to have bridled certain intentions, and thus secured universal peace and tranquillity, especially in Italy, which seems the most threatened (Voltato a me disse voi sapete bene perche io m'son mosso; pare che Spagna non vogli mantenere l'accordato con Savoia, et io et vostri Signori habbiamo promesso quello che sapete; pare anco, che in Fiandra et in Germania vi sia qualche cosa; io desideravo, che con il lustro di quella unione, che si sarebbe fatta, come essi havessero stimato meglio, si havesse posto freno a certi pensieri, et assicurato cosi la quiete et tranquilità universale, et in particolare dell' Italia, che pare più minaciata). I closed the conversation as best I could, saying that your Excellencies knew the sincerity of his exertions for the general peace and of Italy in particular; you would always be mindful of it and anxious to show your gratitude. I went on to kiss his hand for the most kind letter which he was pleased to send to me by the Marquis of Bonnivet, adding that I had clearly presented to your Excellencies what the Marquis had said to me with respect to the district of Neufchatel; that your Excellencies would be duly grateful to His Majesty for this thoughtful care on your behalf.
His Majesty approved, and said that I knew his readiness, and that he had spoken to me at other times about the matter of the Swiss and the importance of the affair. I thanked him again.
In speaking of the Marquis he told me little; upon the affairs of France he said that the princess had taken the small-pox; that those of the religion are moving in a body and have an understanding with the princes, who are drawing near to Paris with 12,000 combatants, that it was impossible to be certain whether there would be war or peace in France. He believed that in the face of these disorders and against the whole kingdom the queen would not persist in carrying out their marriages so hurriedly, but in any case he could not be sure, that she is extremely Spanish and that was the reason why France, to her great detriment, was being governed in accordance with the wishes of Spain. He spoke of the death of the late king, showing the liveliest feeling and compassion; he said that those of the religion and the princes very reasonably wish to see the authors of his death punished, and desire to become the accusers. He expressed his displeasure and surprise that difficulties were raised upon this. He uttered expressions uncomplimentary to the Queen, saying that he was amazed at such callousness in a wife towards her husband. He showed himself well informed about the authors of the death, and told me clearly that he could also make disclosures; that on one count and another he thought of sending an extraordinary ambassador to France when the time came, and he seemed to attach great importance to this. He ended the discourse by saying that it was impossible as yet to judge whether there would be peace or war; that he would make up his mind in accordance with the trend of events (et prenderà risolutione conforme alla piega che prenderanno i negotii). I bowed and took leave.
I must not omit to inform your Excellencies that a week on Tuesday the king received at Windsor from his ambassador the reply made by your Excellencies to his proposals. He immediately gave him leave to return to receive the necessary instructions and to pass immediately to the States, whither he is destined.
London, the 24 September, 1615.
I enclose the letter written by those of the religion of France to the Most Christian King, with a translation. I know you will have received it before, but you will not object to have confirmation from more quarters than one.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 35. Letter of those of the Religion assembled at Grenoble.
Sire, as we were about to inform you of the second communication which we have received from Mons. le Prince to join with him in making a declaration to your Majesty to remedy the disorders of the State and avoid the evils which will arise from the precipitation of your marriage, we learned that you had started on the journey with the queen. This has caused us grief and amazement, and we hasten the despatch of M. de Brison, by whom you will be informed of the sentiments of this assembly upon this matter. We cannot conceal from your Majesty our grief at this resolution taken against the advice of the Princes of the Blood, the principal officers of the Crown, and the majority of your subjects. Not only as persons of the religion, and therefore particularly interested, but as true Frenchmen and loyal subjects we beg to humbly repeat our supplications to reform the disorders of the state. The remark upon the precipitation of the marriages affects the ancient allies of your crown and fills with grief the greatest and soundest section of your subjects, who desire to enjoy peace and tranquillity in your kingdom. Sire, the same text which enjoins fidelity and obedience upon subjects requires kings to show a paternal affection towards them, as we feel the former engraved on our hearts, we hope your Majesty will cherish the latter feelings for us, and that you will imitate that great king, your father.
At Grenoble, the 24 August, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 36. Translation of the above.
Sept. 24 Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra Venetian Archives. 37. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador Wotton arrived here and went immediately to the Court, as I reported. He presented to the king very copious letters from the States in which they relate past events to His Majesty at great length, the present condition of affairs, the designs of the Spaniards and the certitude that neither Wesel nor any of the other places will be restored; they speak in praise of the ambassador who has given a report to His Majesty in much the same terms; he mentioned the artifices adopted by the Spaniards in negotiating; that after the treaty of Santen orders had come from Spain to the archduke not to make restitution; His Highness sought for pretexts to drag out the affair; that in case of evacuation the promises were to be made not to the kings but by the States to the archduke and by the archduke to the States, and they found a score of other devices. He did his utmost to disabuse the king of the idea that the Spaniards would make restitution. I will secure a copy of the letter if possible, and will send it on by the next ordinary if I succeed, together with a translation. His Majesty asked the ambassador various questions, and finally confirmed him as ambassador to your Excellencies, to which charge he was already destined as I reported. He was directed to leave within two months. He has been to see me and seemed disgusted at the Spanish style of negotiating, telling me some of the things which I have written. He ended by saying that these differences must of necessity result eventually in war; that the States on their part would be ready to make restitution, but Spain would never do so; that the king will finally be compelled to break; that in Holland they fear that the continual and forcible representations of Spain to France will lead to the withdrawal of the French regiments which are maintained there by the money of that crown. He afterwards went on to tell me that the king had confirmed the favour of sending him again to serve your Serenity; he welcomed this greatly, and expressed a most lively eagerness for the task, asking me to represent all this to your Excellencies in the best possible manner. I returned his visit without gathering anything further from his conversation beyond what I have written, and that the king may well give him some commission for the duke of Saxony on his way out, and possibly one for France. He will leave within two months.
The steward of the Ambassador Barbarigo has arrived here to provide a house and other necessaries to furnish it. The arrival of the goods is expected, and meanwhile the ambassador is waiting to receive word at the Hague, where he is extraordinarily favoured by Maurice and the States, as his merits deserve.
Sig. Tomaso Moresini has come here with the sole desire to render himself more fit to serve his country, as I reported. He will return with me to my great satisfaction owing to his character and diligence. He has already picked up many things which will be useful to him and aid him in navigation and the profession which he intends to adopt.
London, the 24 September, 1615.
Sept. 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 38. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Monday the Ambassador of Savoy had audience of the king at (Vrino), a place six miles from here. His Majesty informed him of the proposal for a league made by his ambassador to your Excellencies, and the reply given, in which he displayed some feeling; he ended by saying that he had not failed and enlarged upon the details. The ambassador told him that the proposal might have been made in better terms, that a league would have been very acceptable to his duke, but as he had the word of your Serenity to protect him should the Spaniards break their word, that was almost an equivalent. His Highness wished for nothing but peace and the effectuation of the things arranged. The king made no reply to this. The ambassador went on to inform His Majesty that the places are not given up nor are the other points agreed upon being carried out; that in Spain on the 8th and 11th ult. the Council deliberated upon not ratifying the agreement, except in the first three points. He begged His Majesty to first make energetic representations to Spain and France, without losing time, so that if they are not successful he may give the necessary instructions in order that the duke may not be abandoned. He spoke of making a magazine of arms and munitions of war at Villafranca; he said he had spoken about it with the ambassador of the States, who at his departure had promised to speak to his masters. He expressed a desire for peace with a determination, should it prove necessary, to defend himself with arms. This closed the discourse.
The king replied that some days before he had sent double orders to his ambassador in Spain to make representations to the king there in order that the terms arranged might be carried out in their entirety, directing him straitly that if they replied saying that Mantua was the cause, laying the blame on the duke, he should give them to understand that the duke certainly would not dare so much by himself, and there must be connivance and encouragement on that side; that he would again make strong representations to France, and would do everything for the quiet of the duke and of Italy. If this proved of no avail he would turn to other remedies; meanwhile he assured His Highness of complete protection for his just intentions. He praised the taking from Holland of a quantity of arms and munitions of war; he said that it was reasonable that the States should oblige the duke by sending them and be willing to receive the money at his convenience. He promised to assist in this work. The ambassador kissed His Majesty's hands and asked him what he thought of the affairs of France and what he intended to do, because the duke was to such an extent the servant of His Majesty that he would be ruled by his wishes. The king said: The princess has an attack of the smallpox, those of the religion have decided to move in a body together with the princes to prevent the marriages, secure the regulation of the Government and the punishment of those guilty of the late king's death, that la Fère was occupied and held for the prince of Condé, but yet he could not feel sure either of war or of peace in France. He was expecting news daily, according to which he would take a decision and would send for the ambassador to inform him about it. With that the ambassador took leave.
He afterwards spent a long time with the king's secretary upon the same matters and with the same result. The day before yesterday he received letters from Turin with urgent orders to prefer the same request to the king which I write of. The count of Verua writes to him at length of various things done by Mantua contrary to the treaty; that the marquis of Caluzo and the others are not set at liberty. With regard to Oneglia he said they were not willing to make restitution; the duke was very angry about it, and prepared to go there and take it by force. He sent immediately to the king's secretary to ask for an appointment and to tell him he must see His Majesty again. He was told that he would be expected at the same hour, as the secretary was leaving early on the following morning. He went, set forth everything clearly, and showed various points of his letters. He was told that instructions had already been sent to Spain, whence they had heard on the preceding day that the ambassador had repeated his representations for the complete ratification of the treaty; that he had not been able to make an impression; that he would keep on and did not despair of a favourable issue. With regard to an audience of the king, he was told that for two days the king had given leave to almost the whole court; he might send to-morrow and have one easily whenever he wished. That he would be back here to-morrow morning and would immediately go to the ambassadors of France and Spain to speak to them in the names of His Majesty as was fitting, that if these representations did not succeed in bringing about the ratification of the treaty, a means would be found to do so by force.
Yesterday he saw the French ambassador, whom he begged to write and make representations. He said he had already done so and would do so again. He declared that the duke is right; that the failure of Mantua or of Spain would constitute a public breach of faith, with similar opinions.
I have all this from the ambassador of Savoy himself, with confirmation from one other source which is well informed. The ambassador has made similar representations to me on behalf of the duke. As I know how justly your Excellencies have the peace of Italy at heart, I will not fail to direct my efforts to that end, both with the ambassador of France and the Spanish ambassador. May God grant that every flame of war may be kept far away from our province.
London, the 24 September, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 24. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 39. Giovanni Rizzardo, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
I have recently received the letters written to me by your Excellencies on the 3 July, which were sent back to Antwerp, owing to a mistake of the merchant who was to deliver them, and have since come on here; this has made them so late in reaching my hands. I see that I have at least fallen in with the orders and desires of your Excellencies by sending frequent and detailed information. With regard to the departure hence of Sig. Moscorno, since the king's arrival in London, I have succeeded in learning something about that individual through the questions and conversation about his imprisonment, but nothing beyond what I have written except confused remarks and matters coloured by the prejudices of the speaker, and I do not think it worth while to trouble your Excellencies by relating them. There remains the task of obtaining and sending the book. In this connection, in speaking of Moscorno, some say that he may be detained until the book is discovered. Sig. Giovanni Maria Lugaro, the queen's valet, a Genoese, says that he has seen the book, that the queen herself had it, and perhaps he will find it again. In speaking of the authorship he added that they said that Lotti, the late resident of Florence, had a hand in it. If I can obtain it, I will forward it at once, if not, I will leave orders for it to be sent on to me after my departure. This may possibly be the easier course.
We shall not leave here before the end of October, or possibly November, by what the Ambassador says, although Sig. Barbarigo has arrived at the Hague, about 200 miles away. But coming from there by sea he could not be settled at the embassy under ten or perhaps fifteen days, and afterwards it will be necessary to wait upon the king, who will go and stay away some days upon the chase before returning to stay in London, while the queen is under treatment and will not be free for the whole of next month or a little earlier.
With regard to the league with Savoy I have nothing further to add, the negotiations having been cut short by the refusal of the republic to the king here. This has removed all grounds for discussion. I am persuaded that the ambassador was inclined to this rather because he was honestly of opinion that it would be advantageous to the republic than in order to please Savoy or their ambassador, who was anxious for it, as I wrote.
London, the 24 September, 1615.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Grisoni. Venetian Archives. 40. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from Nürenburg of the 15th state that the Princes in France propose to capture certain places to secure themselves; meanwhile they have sent a special person to the king of England. On the other hand the archduke Albert has sent one to the duke of Bouillon to urge the princes not to go any further.
Zurich, the 24 September, 1615.
Sept. 26. Collegio. Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 41. The Ambassador of England came into the Cabinet and said:—
I am pleased to come to enjoy this honour, because my duties here will soon cease, as the occasion which detained me has passed. The duke of Mantua, who seemed unwilling to agree and dissatisfied with the provisions of the treaty has been prevailed upon by your Serenity to desist from taking action, and this completes the affair. It is true that the duke of Savoy is threatened by the governor of Milan while that army remains on foot, and he has asked me to move my king and beg your Serenity to see that the capitulations are carried out. The duke wrote this some days ago, but this morning I have letters from Milan assuring me that Spain has decided to disarm, and so every ground of suspicion will cease.
The ambassador then said: I think it right to report what a German, who serves the governor, has written to me from Milan, and taking up a leaf he read, the Florentines, Lucchese, Urbinates and other foreigners will be dismissed. Two-thirds of the Lombards will follow their example and the Neapolitans will be reduced to a third. The troops of Spain, Naples, and Sicily will also be reduced and the remainder will go into garrison and to their other customary posts. Of the cavalry only six ordinary companies will remain.
The Councillor Mocenigo thanked the ambassador for this as did the Procurator Priuli, who declared that they had not received these particulars from elsewhere.
The ambassador expressed his gratification at the manner in which his office had been received, adding that the Spaniards seemed to have no reason to raise new commotions and difficulties. He then made reverence and departed.
Sept. 26. Cl. VII. Cod. MLIX. Bibl. di S. Marco, Venice. 42. Piero Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Inquistors of State.
Will do utmost to procure the book entitled Detti et Fatti di Antonio Foscarini, Ambr di Venetia.' It is said in Court that the book was printed several months ago, and that Biondi had written it, but I have not heard this from any one who has seen it. The Signori Troni, when they came from England, said that they spoke openly about it in the court there. Sig. Geremia Ghisi, who has also come from there, said that he had made every effort to obtain it, without success. The papal nuncio, who has frequently mentioned it to me, says that he has received letters from London stating that they began to print it at London, but were stopped, and the original was suppressed. It has certainly not appeared in France, as he had not been able to secure a copy in spite of all his efforts.
From Tours, Sept. 26, 1615.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 43. Examination of persons who may be questioned.
Sig. Luca Tron blamed Foscarini for irreverence at mass, having made a fart at the elevation of the Host. He had often taken pen in hand to write to Venice of the grave excesses of Foscarini, but had been dissuaded by his son.
The papal nuncio informed Contarini in Paris that the pope is well informed of the character of your ambassador in London. The nuncio, the ambassador of England, many of the princes and Joinville (Gianvelle) had called him fou, and spent a day in relating the pranks committed by Foscarini. The nuncio often accused him of indecency.
The English ambassador said that when he had first arrived he had been treated with great confidence, but subsequently, after they had seen his freakishness (il suo cervello) they had been much more reserved with him.
The Nuncio said that if Henry IV. had lived he had resolved to ruin Foscarini, being very badly impressed by him.
Contarini told Muscorno that he had heard from Foscarini that the Duke of Mayenne had left France to go and serve the duke of Savoy, and that the king of England had sent money to Mayenne for this purpose, which was most false. Is it true that at the ball of the king of England he was ? Luca and Angelo Tron were not present.
One day at table when the mystery of the Trinity was being discussed, Foscarini derisively took up three rolls of bread and said: I do not think that any one could persuade me that these three loaves are only one. Sig. Tron said other things about Foscarini's lack of religion, of the scandal he gave to the Catholics, of the little decorum with which he supported his charge and that he frequently said he was tired of divining for his country. They thought he invented most of the things which he wrote, as all persons of quality avoided his house and he had difficulty in getting admitted to visit them.
Sept. 26. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 44. Pietro Vico, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The galleys of Prince Filiberto issued from the port of Barcelona to give chase to certain pirates. As they did not find them, they returned at night.
Two days ago, in the night, an alcalde proceeded to the house of the English ambassador with a large armed following, and within the gates made prisoner one who had withdrawn there. He, calling for assistance, was heard and the whole household sallied forth, delivered the man and wounded the alcalde himself and six or eight of his company. On the following morning the President of Castile held a council upon this event. They decided to go that night with a larger force and enter all the rooms contiguous to the ambassador's house and remove all who had taken refuge and others who offered resistance to justice. When His Excellency heard this he gave orders for the supply of many arquebuses and other arms to prevent all attempts made against his liberty and jurisdiction. Accordingly when the alcaldes arrived and saw what provision had been made they thought it better to return without doing anything rather than cause a scandal which might have grave consequences. The ambassador has sent to Lerma to inform the king of all this and complain that the house is besieged by those ministers. It is expected that the President will receive orders to treat the ambassadors with becoming respect.
Madrid, the 26 September, 1615.
Sept. 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 45. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the duke gave a grand banquet in my honour. I had a conversation with him afterwards on the same day. He said that the Huguenots will certainly take action. The king of England had sent a gentleman to treat with them. This was one Biondi, a subject of your Serenity who had turned Protestant, and who is now at Chambéry and he is expected to come on here to see the duke.
Turin, the 29 September, 1615.


  • 1. At Windsor.