Venice: January 1617, 1-15

Pages 397-409

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

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January 1617, 1–15

1617. Jan. 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci Savoia. Venetian Archives. 581. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
With regard to what I wrote in my letters of 26 December about the negotiations of Giovanni Francesco Biondi, the agent of His Majesty resident here has given information concerning the decision about the powder and other things, but he says nothing about the embarking or when they may expect the use of them. He has given great hopes of interposing with the Catholic king for peace, magnifying the idea of the king's influence. He also said that if peace is not obtained they will join with the princes of Germany and the States for the preservation of Italy and of His Highness. At the same time he made vehement protests against attacking the state of Milan, pointing out that by this all hopes of peace would be shut out, and they ought to be careful not to irritate the Spaniards to the point of compelling them to continue the war, because His Highness is uncertain whether he can maintain it, and is therefore in grave danger of losing or of yielding to their will. The representations made by the agent were precisely similar to those of Biondi, with the same arguments. It is true that Biondi was not sent by the king, but by the count of Scarnfis, although he has laid stress upon his being a gentleman of His Majesty.
Other offers and hopes are not current here, except that they remember that if the duke sent money to England to enlist troops, he might be permitted to do so, but they do not wish to depart from what France is doing, namely, helping in a permissive way. With regard to the arming of galleys or other provisions the agent had nothing fresh to say when I asked him, except that they are keeping four or five royal ships armed for divers services and needs of the king. Scarnafis also writes to this effect, saying that His Majesty is most reluctant to incur any trouble, though he seems anxious for peace. The point upon which Biondi is now harping is that the duke shall write to the king, trusting to him and giving him authority to make peace. Biondi, trusting in the success of his arguments has even sketched the letter for His Highness to write and has given it to Verua and wanted to read it to me. It is rather a rigmarole of fine phrases than the crux of the matter, which is the disarming of the Spaniards. It begs the king to make peace in whatever way he desires, and speedily, submitting everything to his will and judgment. It will certainly offend the duke.
Turin, the 1st January, 1616 [M.V.].
Jan. 2. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Grisoni. Venetian Archives. 582. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Secretary to the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of the States resident at Heidelberg writes to an important personage here that his masters are much perplexed by the repeated requests of the king of Great Britain that they will remove their troops from the county of Juliers; they cannot understand what object or interest he has in view.
Zurich, the 2 January, 1617.
Jan. 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 583. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king arrived in London on Saturday evening, and being at once reminded of my audience he gave me Sunday after dinner. Accordingly I gathered up all my instructions of the 18th and 25th November and the 2nd and 9th December, and began with the lighter matters so as to have my mind free for the serious ones later on, as at the end of an audience there is always a scarcity of time for small affairs. I congratulated him on his good health, and offered him very good wishes for Christmas and the New Year. I told him your Excellencies were glad to hear of the creation of the prince of Wales and had congratulated the prince by special letters. I then spoke of the arrival of Prince Francis Julius of Saxony, who had been welcomed for his own sake and because of His Majesty's letters, and I read your Serenity's letters in reply to His Majesty. I know His Majesty was pleased, though he made no reply, perhaps in order not to interrupt, but he thanked me by a gracious gesture and by removing his cap. I then told him that the reason why I was so anxious for an audience was the evil state of the affairs of Italy, and though he was doubtless well informed by his ministers, your Serenity wished to communicate the most important facts, as things are at present in such a condition that the Spaniards, who have always tried to have it believed that peace will result, cannot now deny that all negotiations are broken off, and all hope of settlement abandoned. They aspire not only to subdue His Highness but to dominate all Italy, so as to turn their arms later against more distant parts. It would be too tedious to relate all that I said; I followed generally the deliberation which was read to Wotton, enlarging upon how Don Pedro had broken off negotiations by preventing Bethune from coming to Venice, and how the Spaniards, while operating against the duke of Savoy, contrive to lull to sleep his friends who might help him, or keep them occupied elsewhere, notably in the case of the archduke and Venice. Yet your Excellencies are doing what you can and you are sure that His Majesty will not abandon his own dignity and interests, but will declare himself strongly and back his words by deeds befitting his influence and greatness. The king listened patiently, and only interrupted once to praise Bethune, as a good man who had done his duty. A little later, while he kept walking up and down, he said he had foreseen the present course of events for two or three years, and had tried to contrive a remedy to raise a defence against the violence of the Spaniards, so that they would not dare to move or if they did they would encounter adequate opposition. In his opinion this way was to form a league between the republic of Venice, the duke of Savoy, the princes of Germany, the States of Holland, and himself, for the common defence, which had often been proposed by his ambassadors at Venice. He had also spoken to the late ambassador; he had always received courteous answers, but void of any purpose. He sighed and said: Your masters are very prudent, but rather too phlegmatic, that nevertheless, things being so, he had intervened to bring about the treaty of Asti with the aim of universal peace. In it he bound himself to help the duke of Savoy if the Spaniards would not fulfil their obligations, and he was ready to keep his word in helping the duke so far as he could, but it was necessary first to try all means which might lead to a new composition and to endeavour earnestly to discover the intentions of the king of Spain. To this end he sent the Secretary Winwood three days ago to visit the Spanish ambassador, who is sick, and speak of current affairs. He brought back the confirmation of what had been said before, that no prince in the world had more influence with the Catholic king than the king of England, and that being so, he was obliged to wait some days to hear from Spain what Lord Roos had done about Italy with his Catholic Majesty. If that king is not disposed towards peace, and the fulfilment of his obligations, he will willingly give what help he can to the duke of Savoy, from private obligations and for general interests, and he will inform me of what he decides to do by the Secretary Winwood.
With regard to the affairs of your Serenity he did not know what to say as things seemed to move slowly, one month war, and the next a truce.
I told His Majesty that the republic recognised his prudence and his zeal for the common weal when he spoke of a league. His ideas upon this were highly valued at Venice and you had returned thanks. You had not been able to make up your minds upon so grave a question, but this should not prevent him from looking after his own interests by defending the duke of Savoy. The artful speeches of the Spanish ambassador and the other Catholic ministers were only designed to lull princes by the song of peace, in order to win greater advantage in war. I said that the war between the republic and the Archduke Ferdinand went steadily on and there had never been any truce, though the enemy had reported some for their own ends, and they put about other false reports in order to cast doubts on the sincerity of your Serenity, but I was sure that His Majesty had never believed them, but had formed a just idea of the position of the republic; nor would such false rumours produce any effect upon his prudent ministers. The republic felt assured of His Majesty's friendship.
His Majesty replied that your Serenity had reason for this confidence, and he would be a greater friend than any other prince in Christendom, as he had already shown. I said your Serenity preserved a grateful memory of his favours, and then spoke about Friuli. He said he knew that the siege of Gradisca had been raised to facilitate an accommodation; he recognised the craft of the Spaniards and that they deceive the world. He then referred again to his waiting for letters from Spain, and of his willingness to help the duke as much as he could, laying much stress on the word could.
I made mention of the false rumours put about to cast discredit upon the republic, and of what you wrote to me on the 18th November about the news from Turin, because of what Winwood recently said to me before the ambassador of Savoy. I could not venture into further particulars without special instructions, as I might offend both the sovereign and the minister and have to justify myself, but I was glad to say what I could, more particularly in order to discover His Majesty's sentiments towards your Serenity. He seems as well disposed as ever, only displeased at the neglect of his plan for a general league among the powers to the exclusion of the Spanish monarchy.
On Monday, the following day, I went to see Winwood in his apartments at the Court. He said he was the devoted servant of your Serenity from his earliest years when he studied at Padua, and he always preserved the warmest esteem for the republic which he would evince at every opportunity. He would at present advise the king in the interests of Italy, and he expressed himself to me personally in a more friendly way than ever before. Possibly he felt he had gone too far on the previous occasion, and wished to salve the wound. I went to tell him what I had said to the king and that His Majesty had referred me to him in case the reply from Spain should not be good. He said that His Majesty had told him all about it. He assured me that if Lord Roos did not report that the king of Spain would give orders to the governor of Milan to make a settlement with the duke, His Majesty will not fail in his obligations. The only mischief was that they learned from Italy that the composition arranged by the Cardinal and Bethune was useless, because the duke would not accept unless the republic was included. This point did not concern the treaty of Asti, and so His Majesty was not bound to uphold it, but nevertheless he would do what was proper. I should see what was arranged between His Majesty and the count of Scarnafis, who was to have audience that day.
Seeing myself passed from one to the other, as had happened before, I had to make the best of matters, but I made him see that what he said about the composition was entirely false, since the principal point upon which they could not agree was disarming Milan, which Don Pedro would not hear of. But even if it had been as he said, the inclusion of the republic was not separate from the treaty of Asti, but was required by it, and the duke was bound to insist upon it in his own interests as well as out of gratitude, while His Majesty should desire it in the general interests. He confessed that this was true. Thus I am constantly confirmed in my belief that the greater part of the things which they say were simply introduced in order to excuse their coldness, as they cannot find any real arguments. The conditions cause me such mortification and distress that if your Excellencies would allow, I would rather be in any part of the world than here.
London, the 5th January, 1616. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 5. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 583A. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The last days of last week the ambassador of Savoy had letters from the duke with new instructions to see His Majesty and urge him to the observance of his promise. His Highness confines himself to asking for some amount of money, as he does not require men. I have seen the letter and some particulars written by Crotti, the duke's first secretary. Both highly praise the republic, the duke saying that the Venetians are supplying great sums of money, while Crotti adds that your Excellencies are playing the Orlando. The letters express great hopes not only of defence against the Spaniards, but of attacking Milan, if His Majesty does not fail in his obligations or if he will at least say sincerely that he will not act.
With these commissions and other older ones the ambassador had audience a day after me. The ambassador pressed His Majesty hard, touched on his obligation and his reputation. To the duke's request for help the king replied that he did not know what help he could give, because he had no money, but he would give him men and ships. The ambassador said that His Majesty should have thought of this at the time that he promised help in the treaty of Asti. Three or four times after he had said that the duke should hold fast by that treaty and he would help him. The king replied that it was true, but he had acted in the hope of peace and that there would not be fresh ruptures. The king remarked that he understood that Venice was doing well and he was glad of it. The republic is doing miracles, replied the ambassador, but that is not sufficient, as she has so many other occasions for spending that she must soon pause, and besides, His Majesty ought not to neglect his obligations because others are fulfilling theirs; but it should serve as an example to stimulate him. The king replied that some princes are rich in money like the king of Spain, some in jewels, some in ships and men. He had no money and could not possibly do what Venice is doing. The ambassador replied: Your Majesty is a powerful monarch in every respect, and recognised as such, and this would raise you higher. But the king interrupted, remarking: Do not say so, for with all my forces and my three kingdoms together I could not do what the republic is doing; but I will give the duke what help I can; and he then spoke of the news expected from Lord Roos from Spain, in the same way as he had referred to me about it. He confessed his obligation to help the duke, and when the ambassador added that the states of Holland were ready to do something if he set the example, His Majesty replied that it was true and they were quite right. The Palatine also wrote begging him to help the duke. His Majesty also spoke to him about a league, regretting that it had not been made, as there would not then have been so much trouble. He said he thought that your Excellencies would now accept his advice and enter the league, especially as he understood that your ambassador in Spain had received very bad replies upon his affairs. The ambassador said that if His Majesty would give him leave he would show him how to induce the Venetians to accept the league, namely, by showing himself an exact and punctual observer of his promises, ready to help Savoy, and zealous for the common service, but if he continued his present way, the prudence of the Senate would never allow them to enter this bond with him. The king replied that this was a strange argument, and with answer and reply they finally came to this, that the ambassador asked the king, if he had no ready money, to make some assignment upon his revenues and he would find merchants to make the payment in advance. The king promised to carefully consider everything which he could do for His Highness and would send for the ambassador in ten or twelve days and tell him the decision. It may be that they expect the news from Spain within this time, and this may easily be of such nature as to give them an excuse for further postponement.
I have been to see the agent of the king of Denmark, who is an English cavalier of the court. I informed him of the present state of affairs in Italy, and assured him of the esteem of your Serenity for his master, and how the advance of the Spaniards in that province prejudiced all free princes. He promised to send to His Majesty by the first ship, and said he knew he would devote great attention to a matter so important, as he was naturally inclined to look to his own preservation.
I would have performed the same office with the agent of the Elector Palatine, but he was nearly dead. However, if he pulls through, I will fulfil my commands.
The Spanish ambassador also has been severely ill and very near to death, and even now he is not quite out of danger.
The queen is somewhat ailing, especially in one leg, which has given her great pain for some years, and she has trouble in obtaining relief.
With the arrival of the Ambassador Edmondes from France they have conceived the idea at Court of dissuading His Majesty from going to Scotland, as they think that the state of affairs in Italy and France demands his presence in England and not in a distant kingdom. They speak freely of this, but with little effect hitherto, as His Majesty has decided to start on the 25th March, earlier than originally arranged. Nevertheless Edmondes persists in saying that before then events will have occurred in France, which will compel His Majesty to change his mind. He thinks that war will soon break out between the princes and His Most Christian Majesty, but many others are not so confident, not because of any lack of disposition, but because the party of the princes seems very weak, being without a chief, without money, disunited and not trusting each other; but if the house of Guise should join them, it would make a considerable difference.
The king has sent jewels secretly over sea for 400,000 crowns to obtain money for the journey to Scotland, and the ambassador of Savoy cherishes some hope that if the journey is given up he may obtain some of this money to help the duke.
London, the 5th January, 1616. [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 5. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 584. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary Winwood told me on Monday that he had to perform an office with me in the name of His Majesty for the archbishop of Spalatro, who having left Italy to come to serve the king, had been very ill-treated in the Grisons by two ministers of the republic, as they induced his little nephew and a boy, whom he was taking to England, to abandon him; so that he had to come on here with a single English servant. When he reached the Hague he had been worse treated by another secretary of your Serenity, which had greatly displeased His Majesty. He had come because he wished this to be known at Venice that you might be aware of the little consideration shown to the archbishop. I replied that I had no information about the archbishop, of his coming here or what happened to him on the way, but I seemed to have heard that when he was passing the Grisons with a nephew, who was related to one of your Serenity's secretaries there, the nephew was exhorted by him to return home, as he did not think the journey would be good for him, especially at that season. I knew that the secretaries in the Grisons and at the Hague were so prudent that they would not have overstepped the limits of discretion with the archbishop, and I did not believe that they had any commission from the republic, but if anything had been said by the ministers of the republic to the archbishop which he did not like I begged His Majesty to believe that he was not concerned, as the archbishop was not considered as his servant at the time, but as a subject of the republic. There would have been no cause for complaint, even if he had been forcibly prevented from leaving his house, and His Excellency knew what is done in England when they find that anyone wishes to leave the island with such notions as those with which the archbishop left Italy. Your Serenity had the greatest respect for all who depended on the king of Great Britain, but in this case I did not think that anything had been done to prejudice this. Winwood could say nothing in reply, except to ask me to write about it to Venice. I believe that the archbishop has contrived this to avenge himself on the secretaries, so that your Excellencies may form a bad idea of them, because they have, possibly with some zeal, prevented this bad man from leading those poor children with him over the precipice.
He was at church with His Majesty the other day, which is taken as an absolute declaration of Protestantism. He is also publishing some of his manifestos, which I have not been able to see. I shall studiously avoid meeting or speaking with him, and I beg for instructions what to do if I am spoken to about him.
London, the 5th January, 1616. [M.V.]
Jan. 6. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 585. To the Secretary Lionello in England.
We enclose a copy of the office performed by Biondi with the duke of Savoy, upon which we have received letters from our Ambassador Donato. You will use this for information and do what you can to discover the truth about the orders with which he was sent, and you will also see the office performed by His Majesty's agent. With regard to the king's journey to Scotland, you will guide yourself by the example of other ministers, whether you go or stay, and by what you know will best please His Majesty. If you desire to go you may be assured that we will see to the matter of expense.
Ayes 118.
Noes 0.
Neutral 2.
Jan. 6. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 586. To the Secretary in England.
Our last letters from Turin are of the 1st inst. Ice and snow are impeding operations. The Spaniards have fortified themselves in Gattinara and have strongly garrisoned Torre di Crevacuor. M. Lesdiguieres has stopped at Chaumont. He has excused himself to the duke on account of the season and the troubled state of France.
The duke replied, pointing out the importance of the prosperity of Savoy to Dauphiné.
There is nothing to report from Friuli.
The like to the Imperial Court, the Hague, Rome, Spain, France, Constantinople, Milan, Naples, Florence, Zurich, Coire.
Ayes 152.
Noes 1.
Neutral 2.
Jan. 7. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives. 587. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador, who came to see me recently, said that there was an English knight, Gatz, (fn. 1) a man of courage and of long experience in these countries, who was much employed by his king in Ireland. He has seen a good deal, is over fifty, and he thought he would bring your Serenity a regiment of infantry from England. For his lieutenant he would take a member of the house of Herbert, who is staying at Usden, captain of a company of the States. Gatz is in the same town. For sergeant major he would take a knight now in England, who knows the trade of war. If I liked he would write to Gatz and Herbert to learn their terms. He added that he felt sure that they would demand the same conditions as Count John Ernest, with respect to the gift for the levies, the ships and the monthly payment of the men. As he entered into such details I judged that he knew a good deal about the intentions of these individuals, and I have, therefore, thought fit to write earlier to your Serenity.
I must not forget to mention the offer of another young Englishman, of a good family. His father is Thomas Heale, living at Fliet in Devonshire. He told me that he trades every year at Venice for the sum of over 100,000l. sterling. He is willing to levy 300 foot, whom he offers to bring, and for these, the hire of ships, and provisions, he wishes half the money to be paid to his father when they have left the shores of England. He has no experience of war, but he seems to have courage and ambition to succeed. He told me that he would bring all experienced officers, veterans in the campaigns of this country. He first offered to bring an entire regiment, if he might have the title of Colonel, but I could not think of this with a youth of about twenty-five. If, however, your Serenity desires him to levy a regiment of 1,000 to 1,200 foot, I beg you to let me know, as I do not doubt but he would consent, owing to his ambition for the title.
The Hague, the 17th January, 1616.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 588. Offer of Samuel Heale, English Gentleman.
To raise in England and take to Venice 300 good and tried soldiers, if I may have the command of them.
If the republic desires me to levy one or two companies more, I will do so if I may have the title of lieutenant-colonel with the pay belonging thereto. All this for 2,100 ducats of lire 6 soldi 4 for each 300 foot.
Payment for levy, transport, ships and provisions at 2 ducats a head, half to be paid in England and half to my father as soon as the vessels have left England.
Pay shall begin on the day the soldiers muster in England, it being understood that they shall be embarked at once. If a soldier die thereafter, payment shall be made until the second muster, which will be held after landing.
I undertake to serve for at least a year after the first muster.
If the republic then decides to dismiss the company, each man shall have a month's pay to return home.
I bind myself to obey all the public representatives, and I promise to serve faithfully.
Samuel Heales.
Dated at the Hague on the 7th January, 1617.
Jan. 10. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 588A.. Ottavio Bon and Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
They think of sending an extraordinary ambassador to Spain, and as they fear that the departure of the ordinary ambassador of England, although it is said he will return, is owing to dissatisfaction; they also think of sending a mission to that king, under the pretext of returning thanks for the congratulations brought by Lord Hay, but it would also be to inform the king of the state of the realm and the reasons for the imprisonment of Condé, to keep him well disposed towards the crown and prevent him from siding with the malcontent princes.
The archbishop of Spalatro, on his way to England, issued a manifesto in Holland, in which he not only denies the pope but expresses other depraved sentiments, much to the delight of the heretics here, who have had it translated into French.
Paris, the 10th January, 1617.
Jan. 13. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 589. To the Secretary in England.
We have received this morning letters from Turin of the 3rd to the 10th inst. M. Lesdiguières has arrived at Turin, and has been greatly honoured by the duke's orders. The duke proposes to go there from Vercelli to confer with him. His Highness's army is about Masserano, waiting to strike some blow. The duke proposed to raid the Novarese, but the Spaniards got wind of it and prevented him. They are acting solely on the defensive.
The like to the Imperial Court, the Hague, Rome, Spain, France, Constantinople, Naples, Florence, Mantua, Padavin, Dolce.
Ayes 162.
Noes 0.
Neutral 2.
Jan. 13. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives. 590. Ottavio Bon and Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Baron de la Tour has not yet set out for England, as they wish first to hear what representations have been made to the king there by his ambassador Edmondes, who left here recently.
Paris, the 13th January, 1617.
Jan. 13. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Roma. Venetian Archives. 591. The Papal Nuncio came into the Cabinet and said:
He asked for an order to prohibit certain books, to the number of six or seven. With regard to that of the archbishop of Spalato, it has already been dealt with, and if anything further happens he will have recourse to His Serenity. He had not seen the others, but they had been censured in Rome and were printed in Germany, so that it was certain to be all right.
He added that the archbishop of Spalato had arrived in England and had written a letter stating that all were flocking to him as to an oracle. This was an index of his great vanity.
Sig. Giacomo Cornaro replied that what was fitting had been done with regard to the archbishop's manifesto. If more was necessary, it should be done. With regard to the other books named it was not known whether their contents were matter for consideration, but nothing could be published without licence, and this applied to the whole state.
Jan. 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costant. Venetian Archives. 592. Almoro Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week I went with the ambassadors of France and Flanders to the house of the English ambassador to try and concert some action upon the matter of the carazo. We finally agreed that each of us should go separately to the Caimecan to make the necessary representations, saying that news of the carazo had reached our princes, who were greatly displeased, and they had directed us to offer a vigorous opposition. We thought it best not to speak upon the point after so long a silence without some previous consultation, and we wished to leave room for possible instructions to threaten to leave. We doubted if we should succeed with the Caimecan, and the French ambassador and I proposed, after we had tried every other means, to give him 1,000 sequins. The English ambassador opposed this with arguments rather specious than practical. For all we said he would not give way, and we felt sure that he would not share the expense. The ambassador of Flanders seemed inclined to our way, but I think the example of England may make him difficult. However, it was finally settled that the ambassador of France should see the Pasha first, England second, Flanders third, and I last. The danger is that if our merchants die without heirs their property goes to the treasury. All the ambassadors are aware of this, but they have not been able to decide anything before orders come from their princes, for which the English ambassador in particular has sent his secretary to the Court.
Accordingly the French ambassador went to the Caimecan and stayed so short a time that many thought he had not had audience. However, he told me he had spoken fully to the Pasha. The ambassador of England, who is naturally very free, expressed doubts owing to the shortness of the interview, and I must confess that I am of the same mind.
The English ambassador started on the following day to make his representations. But when he was crossing the canal he saw the boat with wine for his house being taken from Galata to Constantinople, to stop him and compel him to give something in order to have leave to unload it. This made the ambassador so angry that he returned home and sent to tell me that he would not go to audience, because he could not refrain from loud complaints to the Pasha about this matter and it would not have been dignified to speak of the other business afterwards. He would go another time, but he wished to free himself from this intrigue. The wine of the other ambassadors has been treated in the same way.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 14th January, 1616. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives. 593. Giovanni Francesco Trivisan, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Sig. Francesco dal Monte has been to tell me of his departure for Rome. He said he had instructions from His Highness to make strong representations to the pope about the present peril of Italy and the evil proceedings of the Spaniards in this province. He would tell His Holiness that Italy is now become the receptacle of heretics and of all the sects, since your Serenity calls upon all your friends and confederates, bringing in Grisons, English and Dutch for your defence; Savoy employs Bernese and French of Languedoc and Dauphiné, for the most part Lutherans, and the Spaniards have Swiss, Germans and Burgundians, so that Italy is infested with such people and with various religions, to the prejudice of the Apostolic See.
Florence, the 14th January, 1616. [M.V.]
Jan. 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives. 594. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
Your Excellencies will have heard what the Spanish ambassador at Paris said with respect to the English ambassador's remark upon the emperor's offer for the carrying out of the treaty of Zanten. They consider it here either a sign of ambition or else as being expressly intended to acquaint the king and queen that His Catholic Majesty does not wish this affair to pass into the control of England, but of France. The Ambassador Carleton told me that envy and ambition are struggling in the breast of the ambassador, because the negotiations were not entrusted to him, and possibly the idea came from the Council of Spain for affairs of state. The matter is proceeding silently; and nothing more will be done, so the Resident of Bradenburg tells me, before replies arrive from the Elector, the Palatine and the duke of Neuburg.
The. Hague, the 14th January, 1617.
Jan. 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives. 595. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has obtained an interview for me with Colonel Gates. On hearing from the ambassador he came from Usden to make his offer and state his terms, which I enclose. The ambassador assures me that he has had very wide experience, and he suggested that you should ask for further information from the Ambassador Wotton.
The Hague, the 14th January, 1617.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 596. Sir Thomas Gates, subject to the permission of his superiors, offers to serve Venice with 1,500 foot to be enlisted in England, all subjects of His Majesty.
The levies to be upon the same conditions as those of Count John Ernest, namely 14 florins a head after the levy, and 150 ducats of lire 6 soldi 4 for the pay of the soldiers for each 150 per month, beginning from the muster made at embarking. They shall not be levied before the ships are ready with all provisions.
For the provision of ships, 6,000 Dutch florins for every 200, making 45,000 florins, 25,000 to be paid at London and 20,000 on arriving at Venice.
Asks for a loan to arm the men well, to be deducted from the payment.
He will obey the public representatives and serve by sea or land as commanded.
Leaves his own salary and that of the other chief officers to your Serenity.
Asks the republic to direct their representations to assist him where necessary.
At the Hague, the 13th January, 1617.
This knight is 54 years of age. He has borne arms for 38 years in the service of the States, and has been captain for 27 years. He was employed by the king of Great Britain as Colonel in Ireland, 17 years ago. He travelled with Sir Francis Drake to the taking of Cartagena and San Domenico, with the command of a company, and had the same charge in the expeditions of Portugal and Rouen in France. He accompanied the Earl of Essex on his expedition to the Terceira Islands and Cadiz in Spain, and his company has always been kept for him with the States, and he has it now at Huseden.
Jan. 14. Consiglio di X. Lettere. Venetian Archives. 597. To the Rectors of Verona.
The ambassador of Great Britain has presented us with a memorial in favour of some merchants named Orelli. If these merchants come to you, or others in their name, to ask for the recovery of their goods, you will do what you know to be opportune in the present state of affairs in order to retain the goodwill of that ambassador to our republic.
598. Memorial of the Ambassador Wotton.
On 9th September last a certain robbery of some cartloads of goods took place near Verna, the assassins carrying off some bales of silk and other things. Among these was a bale of very fine silk of Vicenza, sent by the heirs of Gio. Battista Pestalozzi and Cristoforo Giambello, on account of Felice Orelli and Co. of Zurich The subjects of Vicenza and Verona found some slight indications that this affair might have been committed by persons living in those places, and therefore asked the Podesta of Verona that the case might be referred to the Council of Ten, so that they might give full authority to the Rectors to proceed against the guilty.
The Orelli beg that this may be done and that the Rectors be instructed to use every diligence to punish the delinquents and restore the goods or the value thereof.


  • 1. Sir Thomas Gates.