Venice: July 1617, 1-15

Pages 539-545

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 1617, 1–15

July 1. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives. 816. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday morning I saw the Secretary Winwood and informed him of your Serenity's orders to me to go to the king in Scotland and for what purpose. I begged him to advance the affair by his letters, as I knew how valuable his advice was and how well affected he was to the common cause. He tried to persuade me not to undertake the journey, because the king was overwhelmed with affairs there and would receive the office more readily by letter. He offered to send them himself by post, supporting their contents to the utmost of his powers. I told him that the commands of your Serenity were so express that I had no liberty to change them and I assured him that in a matter of such great importance His Majesty would be graciously pleased to hear the office from my mouth, especially as it came from a power in such confidential relations with him and so much attached to him.
With regard to the merits of the affair he told me that he had no doubt but His Majesty's reply would display a readiness to satisfy the republic and to declare in favour of her cause, but he thought he would like to do it in conjunction with the king of France. I replied that such a form of union meant delay and that would be very prejudicial; and besides the Most Christian King had already declared himself not only by words and by letters to the Spaniards, but by deeds also, in sending powerful help to the duke of Savoy. He replied, So much the better, for then the union will be the more easily arranged.
This morning he said the same thing to Biondi, the agent of Savoy, and that most certainly his Majesty will join in this declaration, with France, the Princes of Germany and the States of Holland; but all the same he had written and recommended the affair, as I have learned from other quarters, besides what he says himself, for although he sometimes speaks sharply, yet he is naturally strongly anti-Spanish in his sympathies and from him more than from any other minister at this Court we expect good offices with the king (perchè se ben egli talvolta parla assai aspro nondimeno è di affetto contrariissimo a' Spaguoli, et da lui più che da cadaun' altro ministro in questa Corte potiamo attender buoni officii appresso il Re).
Yesterday I had audience of the prince at Richmond. After the preliminaries about the confidence and affection of your Excellencies towards him, I told him of the above affair. He listened with curiosity, and after thanking me and speaking in friendly terms he said that he felt sure that I should find the king his father quite ready to satisfy the most just desires of the republic, and therefore I should proceed joyfully. He wished me a good journey and I am about to begin it to-day after sealing this letter. I hope it may prove a fortunate one, and I will certainly use every effort to make it so.
London, the 1st July, 1617.
July 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 817. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke has been very glad to hear that your Serenity has already sent orders to stop the mutual negotiations for peace in Spain, and that the powers of the Ambassador Gritti have been withdrawn.
Sant, the 3rd July, 1617.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 3. Cons, di X. Criminale. Venetian Archives. 818. That the despatches written by Antonio Foscarini when ambassador in France and England be given to him at his request, for the sake of finding certain paragraphs in them containing facts mentioned by him in his examinations. They shall be shown to him in the presence of the Committee for the case or of their secretary at least, in order to insert in his defence the paragraphs quoted by him.
Ayes 13.
Noes 1.
Neutral 0.
Sig. Marco Loredan expelled.
July 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives. 819. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has received news of an encounter between the fleet of your Serenity and that of Naples, in which the latter lost two galleys sunk and two taken; that the news reached Venice on the 16th ult.; that there had been great rejoicings in the city, and the Spanish ambassador had withdrawn to his house for fear of what might happen to him. He has published these particulars and everyone is asking me if the news is true. I pray God that it may be confirmed.
The same Ambassador Carleton has heard in letters substantially all that I received in your letters of the 16th ult. about the orders issued by the Turk to his ministers by sea and land and of what they have said to your ministers, and also that His Majesty has written to me upon the matter. I thanked him for the communication and in return told him of your Serenity's commands that you hoped you had sufficient forces to defend yourselves without making use of the Turk. This ambassador is advised frequently and well of the evils which are taking place there.
The lords here are very suspicious of the proceedings of the king of Denmark. They hear that he has gone to Scotland and know not what to think, as they know quite well that he is no friend to the States and they are greatly afraid lest he contaminate the king of Great Britain. They also suspect that his negotiations at the Imperial Court are directed against their alliance with the Hanse towns.
The Hague, the 4th July, 1617.
July 5. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Venetian Archives 820. To the Secretary Lionello.
We send you the copy of an office which the Ambassador Donato writes was performed with His Highness there by the agent of England and of our reply to him. This will serve you for information and to answer if you are spoken to on the matter. It may be that the agent has spoken without royal warrant, because the Ambassador Wotton has not breathed a syllable on the subject, and when we communicated this matter to him he replied in general and courteous terms without descending to details about the office of the agent, which causes us not to speak expressly but to direct you to make use of this information when opportunity serves.
Ayes 149.
Noes 0.
Neutral 1.
July 5. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 821. To the Ambassador with His Highness of Savoy.
The king of Great Britain has been informed of the breaking off of the negotiations for peace in Spain and the subsequent events, and although the office was somewhat delayed in order not to interrupt the assistance which that king was preparing for Savoy, yet we acted opportunely and with the knowledge of the duke, and we never abandoned our confidence with the king, but informed his ambassador of the steps taken in Spain and sent the Secretary Lionello to Scotland to ask the king to use his influence to help Italy, so that the complaint made by the English agent to His Highness cannot, we think, refer to us but to His Highness, who knew quite well what he ought to answer. You may gently insinuate this to the duke himself, adding that we are instructing our secretary to renew the same offices, in order to conciliate the king as much as possible; that the Catholic king, instead of being a mediator, is acting as an enemy. To bind ourselves not to treat without the knowledge of England if the Most Christian king intervened, would be a premature declaration and cannot be done now for a thousand reasons as His Highness will recognise, and you will explain this to him only when an opportunity presents itself. You will not discuss this with the agent of England, but will avoid the subject, thanking him for the good intentions of His Majesty and his own friendly offices. In particular you will acquaint both the agent and His Highness that on the return of His Majesty from Scotland he will find an ambassador from us at Court to treat upon present affairs. The death of the Ambassador Barbarigo and nothing else caused delay in this.
You will thank M. Bethune for the offices performed in France and elsewhere, and you will state that nothing will afford greater help than a strong and friendly declaration of His Most Christian Majesty upon the preservation of this province and of ourselves, informing him that negotiations are on foot for a general disarmament both by land and sea.
Ayes 149.
Noes 0.
Neutral 1.
July 5. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 822. To the Secretary in England.
The Spaniards are artfully endeavouring to obscure the ends of their present action. This moves us to make some reflections upon the principal points. We entered upon the negotiations with entire sincerity and a desire to relieve Italy of her troubles, and with no other aims except the preservation of our own and the common liberty. We agreed to go to the Court of Spain with the duke of Savoy in order to leave every opening for peace, while that king preserved some pretence of neutrality in spite of help afforded to the Archduke Ferdinand. But the Spaniards have lagged far behind their promises, by proposals to expel only twelve Uscocchi and so forth; while they endeavoured to separate our matter from that of Savoy. They will not listen to negotiations for disarmament, which is the essential point in both affairs. At the very time when the negotiations were proceeding they were giving orders to press Vercelli and to enter our Gulf to fight our fleet and make open war on us. Moreover, the Catholic king reserved to himself the liberty to accept or no even if we embraced his proposals. All this proves that he is after nothing good, and that the other powers must guard the general interests. You will insist strongly upon these points at every opportunity, so that their impostures may not pass current. If they were simply thinking of their prestige, as they pretend, it would not be necessary for them to do anything prejudicial to the liberty of this province. But the Spaniards hope to advance their designs by the continuance of disturbances here. This requires ripe reflection, and they should be met vigorously.
The like to:
Rome. France. the Emperor.
Savoy. Mantua. Milan.
Naples. Florence. the Swiss.
The Hague.
The General of the Forces.
The General in Terra Ferma.
Ayes 112.
Noes 0.
Neutral 1.
July 10. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 823. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
An ambassador has arrived from Mantua to congratulate the new king of Bohemia, and others have arrived from other princes of that province but hitherto not one from the princes of the Union. Indeed they write that the Palatine, by the advice of those princes, proposes to go to England to see his father-in-law to negotiate for preventing that event.
Prague, the 15th July, 1617. Copy.
[Italian; the part in italics has been deciphered.]
July 11. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives. 824. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Secretary in the Nether-lands, to the Doge and Senate.
Pasini has written that Sir [Thomas] Stodder is ready to set out to your Serenity. Accordingly he has given orders for the payment of the 200 ducats and to take a receipt, so that the money may be deducted from the first month of his pay.
The Hague, the 11th July, 1617.
July 14. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 825. To the Secretary in England.
Some unimportant skirmishes have taken place between the archducal forces and ours in Friuli. On the 12th the enemy crossed the Lisonzo to attack, but they withdrew after a short action.
Our fleet is at Liesena, where it has received reinforcements and nine galleys more are expected.
It should leave soon to find the Spanish fleet, of which there is no news except that it will move after the arrival of fresh ships from Sicily.
Letters of the 14th ult. from Constantinople inform us of the departure of the Turkish fleet from that port, numbering 37 galleys, and 2 maonas and 3 other galleys should follow them soon. The Captain of the Sea is in command, and he will join with the galleys of the guard, numbering about thirty. This is for information.
The like to:
The Imperial Court. The Hague.
Rome. Milan.
Spain. Naples.
France. Florence.
Savoy. Zurich.
Constantinople. Mantua.
Ayes 133.
Noes 0.
Neutral 7.
July 14. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives. 826. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 5th and 8th inst. With regard to the negotiations of the agent of England with His Highness, which the agent himself told me of, I will avail myself of every opportunity of obtaining confirmation and fresh light, but there are no fresh opportunities at present, because the Agent is at Turin; but when I see him I will persevere in keeping him well informed and in a good humour, because that is a useful way of dealing with ministers who have a large share in guiding the disposition of their princes. I will not speak to His Highness unless I am provoked to do so or about sending an ambassador to England; this will certainly happen before long, and the person may possibly be the Senator Montu, who is now with the States.
Bisonzo, the 14th July, 1617.
July 15. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives. 827. Piero Gritti, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
They are now negotiating for the marriage of the Infanta Diana to a son of the Archduke Ferdinand. I had word of this from more than one quarter and a friend of mine reported having seen a letter of Cardinal Dienistain making mention of it. The negotiations are taking place between the duke of Lerma and the imperial ambassador. At the same time they are keeping alive the negotiations begun with England, so much so that some say that the new negotiations with the Archduke Ferdinand have been instituted artificially in order to rouse the jealousy of the king of Great Britain and so induce him to agree more readily to the conditions which are proposed for the carrying out of the marriage. A few days ago the duke spoke about it to the English secretary here. The latter showed His Excellency what great benefit this crown would receive from such an alliance, while nothing but harm could come to the kingdom thereby. The duke praised his speech and asked him to put it in writing, as he wished to use those arguments in the Council.
Madrid, the 15th July, 1617.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]