Venice: July 1616, 1-15

Pages 242-258

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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July 1616, 1–15

July 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 338. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England to the Doge and Senate.
Seeing that the Secretary Winwood never sent me any word in reply to my last office, I went to see him upon another pretext and asked him if he had made the communication to His Majesty. He told me yes, and His Majesty praises all that your Excellencies are doing in the present affairs and especially the offices of the ambassador Gussoni with the Princes of Germany. With regard to what the duke of Wirtemberg had said about sending ambassadors to the emperor and the archduke, your Excellencies would do well to confer with the princes about it, if you thought that it would be a profitable course to follow. I replied that I did not believe that your Excellencies proposed to ask such a thing of the princes, but that as the duke of Wirtemberg had volunteered this idea, you had thanked him for his goodwill and had wished to inform His Majesty, as the head of the Union, and in order to keep up the usual confidence in giving him all particulars of your affairs. The Secretary simply repeated the same, and I did not say any more, perceiving that His Majesty was disinclined to promote this embassy of himself.
Besides what I have been able to see for myself, the ambassador of Savoy told me that the king and his ministers are somewhat cold in the affairs of your Serenity because they are not entirely satisfied in their minds, by reason of the late negotiations for a league. The day before yesterday Winwood had complained to him that the king had received word from Italy that your Excellencies had sent some money to the duke of Savoy to raise troops and make war on his own account upon the state of Milan, which His Highness refused to do before he had a better understanding with your Excellencies, and they had made an alliance together, but that you would not listen to this. The ambassador Donato had adopted the same line with the agent of England, who had approached him, so that they understood that the ideas of your Serenity were somewhat different from theirs, and that you would readily discharge yourselves of your troubles; but that in spite of all Sir [Henry] Wotton had made new proposals for a league at Venice in order to put this to the test again. The ambassador swore to me that he had none of this information from Piedmont, but he had endeavoured by various representations to remove this shadow from the mind of the secretary. He would do the same with the king if he had the opportunity, as he knew that he would be doing the will of of his master by engaging himself in the service of your Serenity. I thanked him, and said some words about the right intentions of your Excellencies, so that he might turn my remarks to account if he had the opportunity. I shall do the same if anyone speaks to me on the subject.
On Sunday the sons of Barbarigo took leave of the king. He received them very graciously and after Sig. Gio. Francesco had spoken, His Majesty graciously replied. Yesterday they performed the same office with the queen, and they will continue with others, hoping to leave in a few days.
I have received this week your Serenity's letters of the 10th June. I will use the information about events in Friuli and Istria where necessary.
London, the 1st July, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 339. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Tuesday evening letters of the last day of May reached the ambassador of Savoy from Turin. With these he went on the following morning to the Secretary Winwood, telling him in the duke's name that Bethune had come to Italy with commissions considerably colder than the French had given the ministers of His Highness to understand, as upon the principal point of disarming he has come for nothing except to assure the duke that their arms shall not hurt him, and that His Most Christian Majesty was most straitly bound to this. After the usual compliments, the duke had replied that this was unnecessary since His Majesty together with the king of England and the republic, was straitly bound to the treaty of Asti; that he desired no greater bond, especially as he had already been deceived once by the Spaniards under this promise, and he would not wait for a second. What he desired from His Majesty was the total disarmament of the state of Milan and the fulfilment of the treaty of Asti. As Bethune had no more particular instructions upon this, the duke proposed to keep him in Piedmont, under the pretext of wishing the intervention at the conference of the Marshal Lesdiguières. Meanwhile he sent a courier to France to ask their Majesties to send other and fuller instructions to the ambassador. With this in view His Highness agreed to confer with Lesdiguières, although he knew that it would be of little use, as the object of the French was to have him persuaded by the marshal, owing to the confidential relations between them, to agree to accept the promise of the king of France, and allow the Governor of Milan to arm as much as he pleases, which is not his purpose. The duke also complains that Bethune had commissions to tell him that he ought not to increase his forces, and especially to desist from enlisting Frenchmen. It seems to His Highness that these are the very same terms as those of last year, and he does not understand what is the object of the French in agreeing that the Governor of Milan shall be armed while he must live at his discretion. In conclusion the ambassador told the secretary Winwood that they saw what Bethune was doing and what result might be expected from his coming to Italy; that there was no time to lose and his master being in a situation of such peril, his friends ought to do what they can to help him, especially the king here, in conformity with his courteous expressions. He then produced a sheet with some points upon which the duke complained of the Spaniards after the treaty of Asti. So far as I remember they were about a prisoner at Mantua who wished to poison His Highness and the Spaniards do not wish him to be handed over to him; of their practices with the count of Ronigliasco by the marquis of Este in order to alienate the prince of Piedmont from his father; of the imprisonment of the secretary Schiavi at Milan; of an intelligence discovered at Asti of having given money to the Count of Boglio to alienate him from His Highness; of having corrupted and removed Colonel Alardo and by his means contrived other practices in his state, with plots recently discovered against two of his fortresses, and of another circumstance of importance which he will not mention now, but will publish it in time, with the proofs.
To all this discourse secretary Winwood replied somewhat generally, promising to obtain audience of the king for him for next Monday, and that he should receive a reply from His Majesty's lips. He assured him that Lord Hay, who is in France, has been most straitly charged to make strong representations to the Most Christian King, the queen and still more the princes, for the disarmament of the state of Milan, and that nothing will be left undone to secure the peace of Italy.
The ordinary English ambasssador at Paris has written to the king that he has had audience of the Most Christian King and urged him to endeavour to find a way of accommodating the affairs of Savoy, and that the treaty of Asti may be duly carried out, so as not to give rise to any fresh and more serious rupture. His Most Christian Majesty replied that all the world sees what he is doing in this conjunction, that he has sent the ambassador Bethune to Italy and does what he can for the preservation of peace; he did not know what more he could do, and showed that he did not receive the office of the king of England in good part.
All these things will have reached your Excellencies much earlier, but as they are the most recent news at this court, I have thought it right to report them.
London, the 1st July, 1616.
July 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 340. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Since my last despatch the making of the Spanish marriage and the exclusion of the French one are constantly more disseminated among the people and some of the Court, with so many unfounded details, that it would only tire your Excellencies to report them. I wished, however, to investigate the matter and have learned from M. Levino, who wrote the instructions for Lord Hay, a man of affairs, that they certainly contain an article to treat of the marriage with the princess, and that this will be one of the principal affairs which he has to do in France, and whatever they may say the affairs with Spain are not so advanced, and they involve much greater difficulties than those of France, although these have their share, and the rumours to the contrary current in the city are spread by the Catholics, as they easily believe what they want to. The Spanish ambassador disseminates the same, and says that this week he has received the pope's bull for the dispensation of the marriage.
On Sunday they resolved in the Council to have the coronation of the prince, and give him the title of Wales for Michaelmas next, at which time his court will be formed like that of the dead prince. It is also known that owing to his delicate constitution he must wait at least two or three years before he takes a wife, and so there is no hurry, and possibly much time will be spent in continual negotiations.
The same Sunday the king's Attorney General was appointed Lord Chancellor, (fn. 1) the old Lord Chancellor being made President of the Council and an earl, a dignity highly valued by him, as he is an old man, and it will descend to his children.
The king is very angry with the Chief Justice Coke, who is also hated by all the nobility and for some injustice committed by him, especially against Somerset. It is thought he will receive some penalty; they threaten him with a fine, as he has a large capital and 60,000 crowns income. (fn. 2)
The earl and countess of Somerset will not lose their lives, and perhaps they will have some better fortune than to remain for ever in the Tower. Upon their affairs an anonymous letter has reached the king from one who in some sort makes reproach of the excessive greatness and sudden fall of Somerset, adding that it has happened in order to satisfy the earl of Arundel, head of the Catholics, the earl of Pembroke, head of the Puritans, and the earl of Southampton (Sonditon), head of the malcontents.
Sir [Robert] Car, the prince's tutor, has been immediately imprisoned, as they suspected that he was the author, owing to his relationship to Somerset; but on his innocence being at once established, he was set free, and they have sent to Scotland to imprison a Scotchman who is suspected. (fn. 3)
Yesterday morning the king came to London and sat in the Council of the Star Chamber, where he had never been. There he stated publicly how much he desired that justice should be done, saying something about his authority, as he is greatly displeased because at the present time there is a general discussion among the lawyers and the people as to whether the king can do such a thing or no, and in thus discussing his duties to the laws they surpass the due limits of respect. (fn. 4)
Lord Hay has received more money from the king, making a total sum of 60,000 crowns, and 24 crowns a day have been assigned to him. With this he will shortly set out.
In a few days the king and queen will begin their progress through the country. They will continue this until Michaelmas, and the king will leave London a hundred or more miles behind. The other ministers of princes will not follow him, except such ambassadors as are invited for pleasure and those who have to negotiate will be obliged to go and look for him in the kingdom, with such loss of time and other things as your Excellencies may well imagine.
London, the 1st July, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 1. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives 341. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
Angelo Nodari has returned bringing a register of letters written by Sig. Foscarini to the Senate and also the last written by him jointly with Sig. Barbarigo. They run from 28 August to 20 November. He had them from Sir [William] Smith to whom they were lent by the ambassador of Spain. As I could not keep them long, I took down the beginning and ending of all the letters, with their dates, so that your Excellencies may compare them with the originals. For greater clearness I have taken a sheet out of the book from a place where it will not easily be missed, a half of which I send to your Excellencies, keeping the other half here.
I have been reflecting constantly how I could discover the way in which these copies got abroad. I could think of no better plan than to induce Nodari to speak to the ambassador of Spain and give him to understand that he has other letters written to the republic which are in the possession of other Englishmen, and to take the opportunity to ask him how he obtained the first. Nodari did this but all he obtained was that the ambassador said once, I believe that all these letters extant in London have been brought to my house, to induce me to buy them. At another time, on the same occasion, he said that a Frenchman had given them to his interpreter. This shed some light on the matter, as I thought that a certain M. de la Forêt might be in it, who was very intimate in Sig. Foscarini's house. Being French and visiting all the ambassadors, he was the confident and spy of all of them, and went about with documents and news from one to the other, thus earning a little money. He endeavoured by the same art to introduce himself into the house of Sig. Barbarigo. But he, knowing what the man was, did not allow him too much liberty. By means of a friend I have succeeded in getting a few lines in the handwriting of this Frenchman, together with his signature, and on comparing them with the register of letters they seem to me to be in the same hand. I send it on that your Excellencies may make the same comparison. It only remains then to discover by what means he had access to the authentic register of Sig. Foscarini, and if he took the whole at one time, or week by week. But I do not think he can have done this without the assistance of some one of the ambassador's own household. I cannot guess who this might be, but it is my duty to indicate those who had to do with the room where the ambassador slept and kept his papers. They are three, Ascanio who serves Mr. Gray here in England, Lorenzo the courier, who has gone to Venice with Sig. Foscarini, and Ottaviano his valet, who has also gone to Venice with him. The last is the most suspect, as besides being the friend of Forêt he had the keys of the chamber, after seeing the ambassador to bed, and no one entered it before him in the morning, at which time he might commit the crime, perhaps finding the register on the table or having false keys of the safe. However, I know nothing, but I will, if your Excellencies desire it, see what a little money will effect with Forêt, who is a very venal man.
I have promised a reward to Nodari, and I await your Excellencies' instructions. He offers his services to bring information to the ambassadors from time to time of important matters at Court, including the more recondite affairs. As he has access to the houses of the magnates and ambassadors he might really be very useful, but he wants to be officially recognized. I promised him nothing more than to write to your Excellencies.
Sir [William] Smith desires to assure the republic of his devotion, and asks for the 600 crowns lent by him to Sig. Muscorno. He has earnestly requested me to keep this affair secret, as the discovery of it would ruin him. He told me that it was necessary to observe great secrecy, because the ambassador Wotton is going to Venice to do his utmost to penetrate further into the matter.
From London, the 1st July, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 342. The opening and closing words of thirty-two despatches, sent from Antonio Foscarini to the Senate, dated 28 August (two), 4 September (four), 11 September, 12 Sept., 17 Sept. (two), 19 Sept., 24 Sept. (three), 3 Oct. (three), 9 Oct. (three), 1615, and 23 October, 1615.
The opening and closing words of eleven despatches, sent jointly by Antonio Foscarini and Gregorio Barbarigo to the Senate, dated Oct. 16 (two), Oct. 23, Oct. 30 (two), Nov. 7 (two), Nov. 13 (two), Nov. 20 (two). (fn. 5)
July 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 343. Ottavio Bon and Piero Contarini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador here, stimulated by new commissions favour of our affair, and by the friendly feeling which he has always displayed towards the republic, continues to support our requests with Villeroy and others with whom he may happen to speak, and always informs me of everything in confidence. Your Serenity should inform the king of this, that he may know he is well served. He told us that this extraordinary ambassador, who is daily expected at court, would have the same commissions. We will not fail to pass the necessary offices of confidence and thanks with him, so that he may display the greater zeal in the service of your Serenity.
Paris (Praga), the 3rd July, 1616.
July 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 344. Ottavio Bon and Piero Contarini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
From the manner with which these ministers deal with us we can see that they simply wish to gain time by delay. This is what the English ambassador told us, that he discovered from one of them that they hope that the differences between your Serenity and the archduke will be settled in the meantime, and then you will no longer need the pass. If there is no settlement, they propose to intervene.
Paris, the 3rd July, 1616.
July 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 345. Piero Gritti, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio has been to see me and expressed the sorrow of his Holiness at the continuance of the quarrel between the republic and the Archduke Ferdinand. He also spoke of the difficulty of arranging an accommodation between the Spaniards and the duke of Savoy. The French ambassador told me that the ministers here have asked him to write to his king to ask that M. de Bethune, who is going to Italy to arrange the differences between the Spaniards and the duke of Savoy, should also intervene to settle those between the republic and the archduke.
The secretary of England was most gratified at the communications which I made to him on behalf of your Serenity. He told me that the duke of Lerma desired peace; that the Governor of Milan inclined to a rupture, and never wrote a letter without asking for men and money. He has gone so far that a few days ago he ventured to write to the king, asking him to send money or provide a successor. He told me that the principal ministers seem to esteem the republic, and are rather inclined to favour it, but those who have had governments in Italy, and especially those who have been ambassadors at Venice, are strongly opposed.
Madrid, the 3rd July, 1616.
July 7. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 346. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday morning the ordinary courier brought me two letters from your Serenity, one of the 10th June, relating the prudent action of the ambassador Contarini at Rome, with respect to the Cardinal de' Medici, of which I shall speak with the more advantage, as the affair has increased the reputation of the republic in the face of the world. The same letter contains the deposition of Vincenzo Monte of Fermo, with particulars of the Uscochi, which I shall use for information. The other letter is of the 17th June and contains various expositions of ambassadors, with the replies of the Senate, from which I may gather particulars about the state of affairs with the archduke. Whenever I can succeed in seeing the Secretary Winwood I will communicate everything to him and fulfil the commands of your Excellencies so that His Majesty may receive the information at the earliest moment. I will do the same with M. Caron, ambassador of the States. I hope that in the meantime your Serenity will have received some knowledge of the king's mind from my past dispatches, both from what Winwood has said to me and from what he recently said to the ambassador of Savoy and which I reported last week. There is this much to add, that on Monday the ambassador of Savoy had audience of the king and I tried to learn from him whether His Majesty had spoken of the affairs of the republic. He said, no, although he had tried to introduce a discussion about it. Among other things he said that your Excellencies experienced a difficulty in collecting troops, because you were surrounded by hostile Princes, such as the Austrians, the State of Milan, and that the pope himself and the Grisons, at the instigation of the Spaniards, would not grant any facilities. But His Majesty evaded the subject and began to discuss something else. On another occasion at the same audience the ambassador remarked that His Majesty had at heart the affairs of Italy and was bound to protect the duke, his master, by the promise he had made, and he was under the same obligation towards the republic by reason of his interests, and said how harmful to Italy any misfortune to the republic, which God forfend, would be, and consequently to many of the Princes of Europe. To this the king replied that he had made representations, had written and had issued instructions to his ambassadors, and this was all that he could get out of His Majesty. In the interests of the duke of Savoy, in whose name he had said these things to the king, he had also seen Winwood during the past week, but obtained nothing except the above and general expressions about wishing to do, but wishing first to see the results of the negotiations of Bethune. From all this your Excellencies will easily understand what is taking place, and the great need for the public service that a minister of worth and authority be sent here as soon as possible.
The Spanish ambassador has told some confidant of his that he had letters from the Governor of Milan, informing him among other things that the Spanish army will not remain under his command in future, as it did under Don Juan of Mendoza, but that it was his intention to take two or three places and afterwards to open negotiations, not stating, however, what places he had an eye upon, or to what power they belonged. Sig. Pompilio Cataneo has the same news from another source. He is a man who is here for news and who writes generally to the Grand Duke of Florence, receiving replies, and possibly he obtained it from that quarter.
I hear that some soldiers of the States have taken the field with some pieces of artillery, but they have not done anything. The report about the 4,000 Walloons is dying away, who were said to be for Italy, and no other provision is heard of in those parts.
The king gave orders that the gentleman be sent for who was sent here by the Prince of Saxony to receive his advice about going to serve the republic. He gave him letters of recommendation to your Serenity and praised his design. The gentleman told me that the Prince will go privately to Venice to offer his services.
His Majesty began his progress two days ago. It is true that he will remain for some time in this neighbourhood, and especially at Windsor, 20 miles away, the place to confer the order of the Garter, which His Majesty will give to the three knights last created.
London, the 7th July, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 7. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 347. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
Encloses sheet with the signature of Sir [William] Smith.
From London, the 7th July, 1616.
July 8. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 348. To the Secretary Lionello in England.
Sir Henry Wotton, the new English ambassador, has arrived here and has been in the Cabinet. We enclose a copy of his exposition. We also send you letters for His Majesty with a copy, representing to him our esteem for Sir Henry Wotton, whom we know so well.
With regard to the Ambassador Barbarigo you will tell His Majesty that our sorrow at his loss is increased by the knowledge of His Majesty's grief. You will say that Antonio Donato, ambassador in Savoy, has already been chosen to take his pláce.
We have your three letters of the 16th ult. We praise your prudence, especially in reply to the Secretary Winwood, about the league and other matters. You will employ the same course if the matter is broached again. Nothing important has happened in Friuli. But in Istria the Proveditore General Barbaro makes progress daily and raids the enemy's country. In the State of Milan the Spaniards never cease arming. They are expecting levies from Germany and are raising troops in Naples, also for Milan. They are asking for levies of horse and foot from the Princes of Italy and have given orders to obtain men in the Grisons and Switzerland, under the pretext of employing them against the Turks. We are doing everything for our necessary defence while the Spaniards and the archduke are so inclined for war, while we are making proposals for a suspension of arms at the Imperial Court and elsewhere, without any hope of success.
We have made new provision for the duke of Savoy beside the French troops and the money, by a further grant of money, in order to cement the union of the republic with the friendly powers. No good results appear as yet from the negotiations of M. de Bethune; but none can be expected, as he only proposed to disarm the duke of Savoy while leaving the Spaniards armed. The duke, however, is determined not to disarm on any account unless the Spaniards do so completely. Bethune will leave for Milan without knowing what to do and with no hope of doing anything useful.
Ayes 129.
Noes 1.
Neutral 1.
July 8. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 349. To the King of Great Britain.
Your Majesty's singular friendship for the republic receives fresh confirmation by the appointment of Sir Henry Wotton, who is well known and valued by us. We especially thank your Majesty for your feeling remarks upon the death of the Ambassador Barbarigo and for your favour towards his sons. We have chosen Antonio Donato to take his place. Meanwhile we beg you to receive the officers of Giovanni Battista Lionello in our name.
Ayes 129.
Noes 1.
Neutral 1.
This letter was sent in Latin by order of the Senate.
July 8. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Venetian Archives. 350. To the Ambassador in England.
The letters of the Proveditore General Barbaro inform us that his men have wasted the country of San Piero di Selve and a part of Zemino, inflicting some loss, and carrying off some booty. Our troops have also ravaged the Valle di Servola. There is nothing of moment from Friuli. The enemy have occupied the port of Fara, abandoned by us.
There have been some disputes between the Italians and Albanians in our army, but they were easily appeased. Six or eight men were killed and Antonio Trevisan, brother of the Proveditore of Candia.
This is for information and to use as you see fit.
The like to Rome, France, Spain, Savoy, Milan, Naples, Florence, Mantua, Zurich, the Hague.
Ayes 160.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
July 9. Collegio Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives 351. Sir Henry Wotton, Ambassador of England, came into the Cabinet and said:
I have a command of His Majesty to execute, but I will wait two or three days, as I am in domestic trouble. One of my gentlemen, who was very dear to me, has died, and three others of my house are sick. I have come now to perform two duties, to thank your Serenity for having chosen an admirably qualified person to treat with Lord Dingwall (Dinquel), who is very unassuming and modest in his outward bearing, but who may be called the first soldier of England. He is very popular with both English and Scots, and is accustomed to lead English, Scotch and Irish troops. Some statements current in the Piazza annoy me, that the English are distant. We now have 500 soldiers in the island . . . . last acquired towards the East Indies. We have three colonies in Virginia, and 400 to 500 infantry are maintained in the Moluccas. These places may be called distant, yet they are reached. But Venice cannot be called distant, as we border the republic by sea as the king of Spain does by land. I need say no more about the baron, as he knows his own business quite well. I need only add that the king will confirm what he agrees to.
I have another office to perform, which is of such great delicacy, that I blush to speak of it. When the Ambassador Foscarini left, whom I find here imprisoned, I know not for what cause (a fact that will grieve His Majesty, who loved him and considered him a good servant of the republic), the Secretary Rizzardo was allowed to go without receiving the smallest present. I may say that this happened by a pure oversight, and is entirely contrary to the character of His Majesty, who thought that he would stay on with the Ambassador Barbarigo, as he had not long since arrived. Finding that he had gone, His Majesty commanded me to make good this omission in favour of a servant of the republic, who always comported himself well at the court. I sent for the Secretary as soon as I arrived here, but he refused to receive anything, because, being a minister here, he was not allowed to. I ask your Serenity for leave to offer this small sign, the usual token of His Majesty's satisfaction.
The doge replied regretting the ambassador's domestic troubles. The Savio della Scrittura had been appointed to treat with Lord Dingwall. As regards the Ambassador Foscarini, they do not remember the particulars.
The Signory will consider the matter of the Secretary Rizzardo.
After the ambassador had made a reverence, he departed.
July 9. Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives. 352. That in conformity with the wishes of the king of Great Britain, expressed by his ambassador, Giovanni Rizzardo, formerly secretary at that court, shall have leave to receive the usual gift. The Cabinet shall make this known to the ambassador.
Ayes 150.
Noes 0.
Neutral 3.
In the Cabinet: Ayes 20.
Noes 1.
Neutral 1.
July 12. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagua. Venetian Archives. 353. Pietro Gritti, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The secretary of England informed me that a very important minister, a member of the Council of State, had told him that they had heard from me about the claims of your Serenity and thought them quite just and reasonable, but the decision rested absolutely with the king who inclined more to one side than the other. The minister added that the affair of Venice was so bound up with and dependent upon that of Savoy that the one could not be settled without the other.
Madrid, the 12th July, 1616.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 13. Consiglio di X. Parti. Secrete. Venetian Archives. 354. That to obtain information how letters written by an ambassador of the republic to the Senate came into the hands of the ambassador of an alien Prince resident with another great Prince, to whom our said ambassador is accredited, the Inquisitors of State may promise to pay up to 500 ducats at one payment only to the person who has undertaken to show the letters, if he keeps his word in the matter. The money to be paid by the Chamberlain of this Council.
Ayes 13.
Noes 0.
Neutral 1.
July 14. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 355. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
With the departure of His Majesty from London, the Secretary Winwood has been so taken up with continual journeys that for four days since my last despatch I was not able to see him to fulfil the commands of your Serenity's letters of the 17th June. On the fifth day arrived the other letters of your Excellencies of the 22nd and 23rd, with instructions to tell His Majesty of the election of the Ambassador Donato for this charge. I thought good to go and find the king, and tell him everything. Accordingly, I despatched the interpreter to Oatlands, 17 miles from London, where His Majesty was, as I knew he would not like any minister of a prince to go to find him without leave, and acquaint him with my desire to kiss his hands. His Majesty sent word that he was moving to Windsor on the following day, where he would spend the whole of Monday, when he would be so occupied that he would have no time, but on Tuesday he would return to London, and would then send for me. I had to be satisfied with this reply, and I am awaiting the appointed day. I believe that the ambassador of Savoy will have to do the same, as a courier reached him yesterday from Piedmont, who came in six days, and he sent to ask for an audience, though with little hope of obtaining it before the king's return to London; he will stop there four or five days, and then the progress will begin.
The principal cause for the sending of this courier from Savoy is the duke's suspicion that M. de Bethune has written to France advising His Most Christian Majesty to approach the king of England, so that both together may request His Highness not to arm, not to be suspicious of the State of Milan, but to live secure under their promise that the Spaniards will never attack him. For this reason His Highness directs his ambassador resident here to beg His Majesty to pay no attention to these offices of the French, and not to decide to make such a demand, but conformably to his great courage and the authority of his power, to insist upon the carrying out of the treaty of Asti, that this alone is the true remedy for pacifying Italy and removing the suspicions of the Princes of that province.
I do not know whether such proposals have actually been made to the king on the part of the French, as it is many days since the Most Christian Ambassador has been to audience, and although there is some suspicion of an individual, a brother of the Bishop of Paris, who recently came from France and spent some time in audience of His Majesty, yet as the ambassador did not go, it is not credible that he dealt with anything of moment.
Besides this the duke tells the king of all the negotiations with Lesdiguières and Bethune up to the present. He says that they advised him to arm, so that he might not trust the Spaniards, especially as they are increasing their forces so greatly and are collecting on his frontiers. I will try and obtain particulars of the king's reply to this office, and send word.
On Monday the king sent for M. Caron, the Dutch ambassador, and made strong representations to him to induce his masters to decide what he and the Most Christian King so much desire upon the restitution of Cleves and removing their names from the treaty of Santen. The ambassador replied with the reasons given before why his masters could not take this decision, and added that he begged His Majesty to excuse him, that he could not write any more about this to Holland as he was perfectly certain that it would be useless and would displease his masters. With this he departed, leaving the king very angry.
I have tried to learn whether His Majesty said anything to him about the affairs of Italy, either upon the interests of your Serenity or of the duke of Savoy, and I am assured that he did not.
Some damage by French and Spanish pirates being daily reported in the seas of Scotland they are putting in order three royal ships, and sending them to those parts to remedy the evil by exterminating those men.
I have imparted to the sons of Barbarigo what your Excellencies commanded me to tell them. It has greatly encouraged them, and they desire humbly to return thanks. They will leave London in four days, after first paying their respects to their Majesties, the Prince, the ambassadors and the magnates. At their departure they will enjoy every possible facility, such being the king's will and command. They will take the route through France as directed, and they have so arranged their affairs that they hope, with God's help, to reach their native land after a pleasant journey.
London, the 14th July, 1616.
July 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 356. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I am much gratified that your Excellencies have expressed your satisfaction with what I have done hitherto, and with the honour conferred by the command to continue to serve until the arrival of the Most Excellent Donato. I assure you that I will use every diligence in the service. I also thank you for the provision of money which shall be employed in your service. I have certainly suffered great inconvenience in moving my house in England, as I have been forced to buy everything, especially as I have been serving seven years out of Venice with continual travelling and at various courts, so that I have exhausted myself and my poor house, which is now in a sad state owing to the death of my mother, the loss of property and many other accidents in my absence. For the same reason of absence I have not been able to share with others of the chancery in those charges which have been dispensed and God knows if I shall ever be able to aspire to have a more worthy opportunity of serving your Excellencies. For the same reasons I have been obliged to abandon the office of decipherer to the Council of Ten, with a salary of 10 ducats a month. Two years ago I begged you for an increase of salary, but I have not been able to obtain it; however, I beg you to grant me a yearly assignment of money from the Magistracy of the Razon Nuove; but in any case I shall continue to serve with devotion without any regard for myself.
London, the 14th July, 1616.
July 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 357. Giovanni Francesco Barbarigo, to the Doge and Senate.
Returns thanks for the grant of 2,000 crowns.
London, the 14th July, 1616.
July 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 358. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador Barbarigo paid for letters from Antwerp, London, and other places before his death. I have also used the 150 ducats assigned to me to pay for couriers and letters. I will keep a separate account of this and send it to your Excellencies.
London, the 14th July, 1616.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 359. Money paid for letters after the death of the Ambassador Gregorio Barbarigo.
£ s. d.
15 June. Letter from the Hague 0 1 0
19 June. Letter of France 0 0 8
12 July. For three months' account to Sig. Quester, postmaster of London 11 10 3
For six months' account to Sig. Zolanz, postmaster of Antwerp 38 18 0
Cash to the carriers of letters, who come every week to take them 0 10 0
50 19 11
£50 19s. 11d. equal 207 ducats at the present rate of exchange.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 360. Account of the Postmaster Quester.
£ s. d.
17 April. Letter of Antwerp 0 10 0
21 April. Letter of Holland 0 8 0
24 April. Letter of Antwerp 0 16 0
26 April. Letter of Paris 0 4 0
1 May Letter of Antwerp 0 19 6
1 May Letter of Paris 0 4 6
1 May Letter of Paris 0 1 6
1 May Letter of Antwerp 0 8 6
15 May Letter of Paris 0 2 6
16 May Letter of Antwerp 0 2 6
18 May For sending a large packet after the post by way of Zeeland 1 0 0
21 May Letter of Paris 0 1 6
23 May Letter of Antwerp 0 17 3
29 May Letter of Paris 0 4 6
30 May Letter of Antwerp 0 8 6
5 June. Letter of Paris 0 0 9
5 June. Letter of Antwerp 0 19 6
12 June. Letter of Paris 0 4 0
13 June. Letter of Antwerp 0 14 0
14 June. Letter of Holland 0 0 6
18 June. Letter of Paris 0 4 6
19 June. Letter of Antwerp 0 10 6
25 June. Letter of Paris 0 3 6
26 June. Letter of Antwerp 1 5 3
11 10 3
Account rendered by Matthew de Quester, postmaster of London, with form of receipt signed by him.
Enclosed in the preceding Desptach. 361. Account of Antwerp to the Ambassador Gregorio Barbarigo.
s. d.
1 Jan. From London 36 8
1 Jan. For Dover of Sig. Foscarini 5 0
2 Jan. For Italy 32 2
2 Jan. For Foscarini for Italy 4 8
5 Jan. Of Venice 23 4
8 Jan. Of London 20 10
9 Jan. For Italy 19 8
12 Jan. From Italy 12 6
15 Jan. From London 30 0
16 Jan. For Italy 28 4
16 Jan. For Prague 0 10
20 Jan. From Italy 13 4
28 Jan. From Italy 17 2
28 Jan. From Germany 0 10
29 Jan. From London 33 4
30 Jan. For Italy 31 8
3 Feb. From Italy 13 0
5 Feb. From London 18 0
6 Feb. For Italy 17 2
10 Feb. From Venice 20 0
16 Feb. From London 21 8
17 Feb. From Venice 28 4
20 Feb. For Italy 20 10
24 Feb. From Venice 10 6
24 Feb. From Germany 0 10
25 Feb. From Spain 1 8
28 Feb. From London 39 2
2 March. From Italy 13 6
4 March. From London 28 4
5 March. For Italy 67 6
9 March. From Italy 55 6
9 March. From Germany 0 10
16 March. From Italy 22 8
22 March. From Italy 13 4
25 March. From London 21 4
26 March. For Italy 20 6
29 March. From Italy 27 6
1 April. From London 12 2
2 April. For Italy 11 8
5 April. From Italy 12 8
8 April. From London 18 4
9 April. For Italy of the Secretary sent to the Hague 21 8
12 April. From Italy 30 10
12 April. From Germany 0 10
16 April. For Italy of his Secretary from the Hague 9 2
20 April. From Italy 15 0
23 April. For Italy from the Hague 11 4
26 April. From Italy 23 10
26 April. From Germany 0 10
29 April. From London 12 2
30 April. For Italy, including a packet from his Secretary sent from Dort in Holland 18 10
3 May. From Italy 29 8
10 May. From Italy 12 6
10 May. From Germany 0 10
13 May. From London 27 6
14 May. For Italy 26 8
17 May. From Italy 33 10
19 May. From London 24 8
21 May. For Italy 23 10
24 May. From Italy 26 0
24 May. From Germany 0 10
26 May. From London 4 2
28 May. For Italy 3 10
31 May. From Italy 12 6
3 June. From Zeeland 2 6
4 June. For Italy 31 4
6 June. From Spain 1 4
7 June. From Italy 18 4
By way of Germany and Mantua 7 10
10 June. From London 20 6
11 June. For Italy 19 8
14 June. From Italy 21 8
1,321 10
Total 66l. 1s. 10d., gross (di grosse) 38l. 18s.
July 14. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 362. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
In accordance with instructions in your letters of the 22nd, I have in my custody all the minutes, letters and documents which passed between your Magistracy and the Ambassador Barbarigo, and I will guard them with the most scrupulous secrecy.
From London, the 14th July, 1616.
July 15. Inquisitori di Stato. Lettere agli Ambasciatori d' Inghilterra. Venetian Archives 363. The Inquisitors of State to Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England.
With regard to the letters written by Foscarini and the Ambassador Barbarigo said to be in the hands of the ambassador of Spain and of Sir [William] Smith, it will be well to have copies, which Angelo dei Nodari has promised to bring. But it is more important to learn who gave them to Smith, and how those in the hands of the ambassador of Spain, and bought by him at a great price, were obtained. For this all diligence will be necessary. We give you power to promise that Smith shall be paid by Muscorno if the debt can be clearly proved, and that Angelo shall be rewarded if the letters can be obtained and also the further particulars. We leave the amount of the reward to your prudence, but you must not exceed the sum of 400 ducats. We shall await your letters which must be in cipher for greater security.


  • 1. Francis Bacon. Lionello, however, is mistaken. These appointments were discussed, but not made. Ellesmere refused to part with the seals. The Sunday referred to appears to be June 19th. not June 26th as might be supposed, as on the former date Bacon was actually sworn of the Privy Council (Birch: Court and Times of James I., i. p. 412); he did not become Chancellor until 1618. Ellesmere was created Viscount Brackley on Nov. 6, 1616 (Cal. State Papers, Domestic, 1611–8. p. 402), but did not rise higher in the peerage, though an earldom was offered to him on his deathbed.
  • 2. The charges against Coke are given in State Papers Domestic 1611–8, page 376, but there is not a word said about Somerset, but Chamberlain in writing to Carleton says some say he dived too deeply into secrets in the late business. Ibid. p. 379.
  • 3. Sir Robert Kerr, near about the prince, and Gibbe of the bedchamber, were examined last week about conveying away and burning of papers and letters, and were restrained to Sir James Fullerton . . . but I hear Sir Robert Kerr hath found means to be enlarged whatsoever becomes of Gibbe. Chamberlain to Carleton, 30 April, 1616. Birch, Court and Times of James I, i. p. 400.
  • 4. The speech is printed in King James's works. See Gardiner, Hist. of England, iii. pp. 20–22.
  • 5. Of the letters referred to those in the first paragraph are contained in the preceding volume of this Calendar, pp. 570–3, and at pp. 3–6, 10–2, 16–9, 22–7, 31–4, 37–9, 50 above, and those in the second paragraph at pp. 43–5, 48–50, 51–3, 57–9, 60–2, 64–6 above.