Appendix: Miscellaneous 1616

Pages 592-600

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


Miscellaneous 1616

1616. Jan. 22. Inquisitori di Stato. Busta 155. Venetian Archives. 905. The Inquisitors of State to Gregorio Barbarigo.
Your Excellency will recognise the importance of the affairs in which we ask for your co-operation. We wish you to obtain information upon many and various heads. You will impose a solemn oath of secrecy upon them and also upon the Secretary Lionello. We feel sure that you will carry out this work with prudence and zeal, without respect of persons. We ask you to obtain the fullest particulars possible upon the charges made against Antonio Foscarini. As you will have to take information from divers persons, we must leave the means of procedure to your prudence. You will proceed with all due circumspection.
Venice, the 22nd January, 1615 [m.v.].
Marco Trevisan. Inquisitors of State.
Francesco Correr.
Hieronimo Corner.
Postscript: Whenever your Excellency cannot impose the oath of truth for various reasons, you will at all events impose that of secrecy.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 906. Articles of Accusation against Antonio Foscarini, with the names of the witnesses to be examined.
1. One morning a gentleman of the queen's chamber named Giovanni Maria Lugaro of Genoa came to dine with the ambassador Foscarini, various persons being present. The ambassador asked Lugaro after the queen. He answered, She is well, thank God. Foscarini continued, Who has commerce with her? Lugaro lowered his eyes and said, The king, I believe. Rubbish, said Foscarini, let us speak the truth among ourselves, and he put an obscene question. Lugaro told him to keep a civil tongue in his head or he might find himself in an awkward situation.
Giovanni Maria Lugaro; Lunardo Michielini; Niccolo Dolfino.
2. In taking leave of the archbishop of Canterbury, Foscarini flung himself on his knees before him and asked for his blessing before he left. When the archbishop refused, Foscarini insisted several times. Finally the archbishop said that he could not do it because they were of different religions. Foscarini replied, I renounce all the other religions in the world, yours is the true one.
Lunardo Michielini.
3. That Foscarini sent his chaplain to be examined by the archbishop of Canterbury about two apostates. These had been converted and were under the archbishop's protection, but having obtained pardon from Rome, possibly through the chaplain, they had fled. The archbishop complained to Foscarini about this, and the ambassador assembled his whole household and threatened them with force if they did not divulge the matter.
Lunardo also.
(4.) That an English religious came in holy week to assist in the offices. On Good Friday the Ambassador Foscarini engaged in a dispute with his chaplain and in the course of it Foscarini took the chaplain's hand forcibly and made it touch the back side of this priest, who is said to have been a Capuchin, and who was extremely scandalized.
Lunardo Michielini.
(5.) He made attempts upon the virtue of a spiritual daughter of this monk, sometimes attending the public comedies and standing among the people on the chance of seeing her.
Lunardo Michielini.
(6.) He had made similar attempts upon two ladies who came to mass, making them drunk.
Angelo degli Angeli.
(8.) Foscarini was dismayed at the king's indignation at his scheming against the life of Muscorno. He feared he would be ruined if the affair were known at Venice. He proposed to sell the plate, and take a ship to the Indies after murdering Muscorno. Michielini tried to dissuade him.
Lunardo Michielini, Niccolo Dolfino.
(9.) He had spoken in indecent and almost violent terms to induce the queen of France to grant him double the usual donation owing to his longer stay at that Court. The affair was referred to the Chancellor and Villeroi, and when they refused he spoke evil of them.
Lunardo Michielini.
(10.) There is a document upon what took place in 1614 in London, with regard to one William Lusmeden, a Scotchman, Foscarini's servant, who was imprisoned for plotting against Muscorno's life. The document is in English, signed by Sir [William] Smith, and dated 25th April, 1614. The knight states what he knows about the matter.
Lunardo also; Sir William Smith.
(13.) Scaramelli, while he was Foscarini's secretary, said that when the ambassador wrote to his Serenity he made it up out of his own head, and he seemed to be introducing characters in a comedy.
Lunardo also.
(14.) Foscarini's chaplain was asked at Easter by the physician Frier, the younger, to come and celebrate the sacrament in his house. The chaplain said that he might come to the ambassador's chapel. Sir [Thomas] Lake (Lacon) said God forbid, if we go we shall be accused by Foscarini to the archbishop, as has been done with others.'
Lake is a Catholic, whose house is next to Foscarini's.
Dr. Frier the younger.
(17.) Foscarini on returning from Scotland opened a packet of letters from the king, addressed to the Prince of York.
Antonio Padoan.
(18.) Foscarini used to say that he sent what stuff he pleased to those Pantaloons. (fn. 1)
Pietro, a French servant of Sig. Muscorno.
(19.) When the strength of the republic was praised he likened it to a little drunken ape masquerading as a fierce lion.
Lunardo Michielini; Niccolo Dolfino.
(20.) Foscarini once when on a visit to the king said that he wished to go as Bailo to Constantinople to amass some 70 and 80,000 ducats and afterwards have two generalships.
Lunardo and Niccolo.
(21.) Foscarini had been heard to say that the king of England had the highest opinion of him, but a very poor one of the republic.
The same.
(28.) The one who supplied Foscarini with bread came with some of the king's guard to demonstrate at the ambassador's gates.
Dr. Frier the younger; Antonio the coachman.
(30.) Muscorno said that a poor man of Putney (Potné) whom he had introduced to supply Foscarini with beer, had had recourse to the king, because he could not get his money.
Sig. Fiorio, servant of the queen.
(32.) Foscarini had kept an English Protestant as porter, named Pietro, as a spy upon the Catholics.
Dr. Frier the younger; Hieronimo Solditz Vercellini.
(33.) Foscarini threw himself on his knees before the king at Greenwich when he went to take leave of the Palatine and the Princess.
Lunardo Michielini; Finet, Master of the Ceremonies.
(34.) He had given equivocal nicknames to the king, queen and palatine.
(36.) That for a month he went to dig mushrooms and had walked alone through London.
(38.) He despised the ambassadors and ministers of princes, cultivating their enmity; he had begun an intrigue with the wife of the ambassador of Flanders.
The ambassadors of Spain, Flanders and Holland; Lunardo Michielini; Niccolo Dolfino.
(39.) He had had indiscreet relations with the queen of England when he went to see her before his journey to Scotland.
(40.) He never went to audience at the appointed time, but one or two hours late.
Lunardo and Niccolo.
(42.) When an agent of the king of Denmark was dining with him, Foscarini told him among other indecent expressions to eat and not to stand stuttering there. He had behaved with extraordinary rudeness to a tutor of Prince Charles, who was at table with him.
Agent of Denmark; Walter the tutor; Lunardo.
(44.) Foscarini had gone through the most crowded part of London in a carriage with eight or ten horses, and a buffoon at his side; he played a guitar and made him sing with a loud voice.
(45.) Foscarini once when away hunting with the king, complained because Prince Henry would not hear him, owing to some impertinences. His Highness invited him to supper but would not allow him to sit with him, making him go to a public table.
Lunardo; Caratto, servant of Viscount Rochester.
(46.) Once on a visit to the queen he used disrespectful words about procreation.
Lunardo Michielini; Giovanni Francesco Biondi.
(47.) The letters written by his Serenity upon the occasion of the death of the prince were not presented to the queen and prince because Foscarini could not have audience of them.
(48.) That Foscarini proposed to the king to go to Scotland to adore the place where His Most Divine Majesty was born, as others go to Christ's birthplace, and the king seemed well content.
(49.) In important matters Foscarini trusted the decision to chance. He did this for the Scotch journey.
(52.) Foscarini said at table that the Spanish ambassador had poisoned a Spanish lady and commissioned Michielini to go and spread this about the city.
(53.) He had recourse to the archbishop of Canterbury to help to appease the king, who was enraged at the plot against Muscorno. He also went to him for advice and invited him to his house.
Lunardo; Odoardo, the interpreter; Antonio the coachman.
(54.) The king sent Mr. Morton to Foscarini to speak about this plot against Muscorno. He replied accusing Muscorno of the worst vices of treason, and of plotting with the Spanish ambassador against the king's life.
Sig. Albert Morton; Lunardo Michielini.
(55.) He asked pardon of the king in the case of Muscorno; he did so three times, but was not listened to.
Sir [Henry] Wotton told this to Muscorno.
Sir Henry Wotton; Sir Albert Morton.
(56.) He endeavoured by means of Lord Hay to obtain from the king an expression of satisfaction with his embassy; but his lordship excused himself.
Lord Hay; M. Mayerne, His Majesty's physician.
(57.) The king had said jestingly that the Venetian ambassador wished to make him believe that Muscorno was contriving a plot against his life with the Spanish ambassador.
Sir Albert Morton.
(58.) When asked by the Spanish ambassador to make representations in favour of some monks, he had done the opposite, advising His Majesty to extirpate them, as they are all rebels and plotters against his life. This is reported by Sig. Annibal Vacari, merchant in London.
Annibal Vacari.
(59.) The king asked the Spanish ambassador what was Foscarini's religion. He asked the same question of M. de Mayerne and Lord Wotton.
M. Mayerne; Lord Wotton.
(60.) The Spanish ambassador said that he ought to visit the ambassador of Venice, but he wished first to know whether the slanders he uttered against the pope, the emperor, and his king were by order of Venice or his own caprice.
Odoardo the interpreter; Lunardo Michielini; Niccolo Dolfino.
(63.) Foscarini said he did not believe in the consecration of the host.
(65.) He said the king was a swine-herd.
Angelo Nodari; Niccolo Dolfino.
(68.) He used indecent and disrespectful language on his visit to the king of Denmark.
Lunardo and Niccolo.
(72.) He caused his household to live on a small quantity of wine and sold the licence which the king gave him to bring 30 tuns of wine. From this he made about 270 ducats a year.
Lunardo; Dolfino; Casella.
(73.) Annibal Vacari, merchant, heard it said at Court by persons of repute that the ambassador of Venice was acting for the duke of Savoy.
Annibal Vacari.
(78.) Foscarini kept the cipher and other public documents without any care, leaving them on the table or at the window for days together, where anyone might see them.
Lunardo and Niccolo.
(79.) In visiting the beautiful garden of the earl of Exeter (Ester) he said you princes have Paradise in this world, it will be good if you have it in the next. For my part I am contented with it here, as I do not know whether the other exists.
(80.) He had behaved with the utmost indecency to two Catholic ladies of noble birth, one named Isabella Fosch.
Isabella Fosch; Lunardo; Angelo Nodari; . . . . Bernardini an Italian merchant.
(81.) He had appropriated to himself the emoluments of his interpreter in England.
Lunardo; Master Guazzo.
(82.) The dispute with Muscorno and its causes.
M. Francisque de la Carré, a Frenchman.
Inquisitori di Stato. Busta 155. Venetian Archives. 907. Articles of Defence of Antonio Foscarini, extracts of articles for the interrogatories.
4. Frequented mass throughout stay in England. His church open to every one.
5. Sir [William] Lake sent his wife and daughters to the church of Sig. Foscarini. The knight himself went there sometimes [deciphered].
6. Sir [William] Lake and his wife at various times sent to Foscarini's house their offices and other devotional things, to take care of them, when they were afraid that the house might be searched [deciphered].
9. The two women who came to the mass and stayed to dinner were Protestants and loose women.
10. Muscorno published at court that they were Catholics and had been assaulted.
13. Foscarini lived continently throughout the five years of his stay in England.
14. It was usual in England for ladies to come and dine with Foscarini. They did the like in the time of his predecessor.
The liberty of the country permits this.
16. Owing to the ill-treatment of the Ambassador Gussoni by the duke of Savoy, Foscarini forbad Michielini to go to the house of the ministers of Savoy.
17. During the whole period of the duke's ill behaviour Foscarini would not receive visits from his ministers or visit them.
20. William Lumesden the Scotchman was a buffoon, a man of no intellect. His buffoneries served to entertain the whole household. Foscarini called him Milor Dottor.'
22. Rinaldo Perondini on Easter morning followed Foscarini in the garden and began to speak of an easy way of killing his enemy. Foscarini said he had never entertained any such idea. That in an island like England they were all like prisoners. This Rinaldo had made false depositions at the instigation of Muscorno.
24. Muscorno visited the Scotchman in prison and gave instructions to give him food for which he would pay.
He then went to the recorder of London, the court and the king, publishing his slanders abroad.
32. On the Scotch journey Muscorno opened a packet and took out the letters from Venice, which he handed to the ambassador. He then tried to induce Michielini to swear that Foscarini had opened it.
38. Foscarini guarded public documents with all diligence.
42. At Belvoir (fn. 2) Foscarini had a most favourable audience of Prince Henry. On the following morning His Highness had desired his company with that of Lennox and other great lords. He treated Foscarini with great kindness. He invited him to drink to the health of his lady (di una sua dama), directing his glass to be filled.
43. Of the friendship of Prince Henry for Foscarini and the favours which he granted him. Foscarini had frequently deplored with his chamberlain the great loss suffered by the republic and all of them by his death.
44. At the death of Prince Henry, Foscarini and his servants put on mourning. This was not done by any other ambassador.
55. When Foscarini was hunting with the king of England he dined twice with His Majesty, once at Abthorpe and the other at the palace of the earl of Exeter (Hesiter). (fn. 3) A large quantity of birds and other choice food was prepared for Foscarini, of which the king did not eat, and the king wished Foscarini to eat with him as a token of honour.
57. The prince was not present on any of the days when Foscarini dined with the king, when hunting.
58. The greater part of the time that Foscarini was in England he kept ten or eleven horses; eight being coach horses. He sold two while waiting for the Ambassador Barbarigo. He constantly kept a table for eight or ten gentlemen and had a numerous household. He frequently gave banquets to the principal lords of the Courts of the king and queen. At the time of the marriage of the princess he bought a special velvet livery, which no other ambassador did. All persons of quality were always welcome at his house.
74. The Secretary Muscorno introduced Ottavio Robbazzi into Foscarini's house as his servant.
77. Foscarini granted permission to a Spanish woman, a Catholic, (fn. 4) to make a gateway by which she might enter his garden and attend mass whenever she pleased. There was always a friendship between Foscarini and the Spanish woman. Not a harsh word was uttered till the day of her death [deciphered].
80. That when Foscarini came from the Spanish ambassador he ordered Odoardo the interpreter to go to the earl of Somerset, but first to learn from the archbishop of Canterbury whether they had decided in the Council to send some Catholic priests to a country place a long way from London, or if it was decided that they should not go. If it was decided that they should go, to do no more, because it would be useless, and if they were to remain they ought not to say anything as it would be superfluous. But if the affair was left undecided they ought to do something tactfully and beg the earl of Somerset to say something about it to the king.
81. That Foscarini during the negotiations to send certain imprisoned Catholic priests out of London to a distant province, did not go to audience of the king until many days after the priests had been sent. That the interpreter be asked if he was sent by Foscarini three or four days before those priests were sent out of London.
87. Foscarini allowed Sir [William] Lake to make a gateway to come to his church.
He granted permission to the Spanish woman to make another.
He granted the same privilege to the ladies who afterwards went to the Spanish woman's house and to her brothers, until the day of his departure.
The privilege of entering and leaving secretly by this door was granted to his other neighbours and to whoever wished it.
Various persons were pleased to come and bring their children to receive the holy water of baptism, and subsequently they were entertained at the house and received other attentions for many days.
That upon one occasion the ordinance of baptism was observed, when Odoardo the interpreter and others were baptised, including some persons of quality and the daughter of the principal Master of the Ceremonies.
That every courtesy and charity were shown to the Catholics who came, especially at the time of the celebrations [deciphered].
92. Foscarini only went three or four times to the play.
93. The ambassador of the archduke and his wife sometimes went to the play.
96. That Foscarini on his voyage to Scotland forgot the cipher at an inn.
97. Foscarini was very particular about appearing in good time at audience.
102. The licences granted by the king to bring wine from abroad without paying the custom are not used by any ambassador to bring it for themselves, but all use it and turn it to their profit as best they may.
104. Foscarini did not understand a word of English.
106. If Muscorno never did anything but make mischief, turning Foscarini's house upside down. If during the whole time of his stay in England he kept Foscarini in a constant state of disquiet.
126. If Muscorno began to make comedies of Foscarini in the Exchange, with lords and ladies, with the ministers of princes and finally at the court of their Majesties and the prince.
128. If Muscorno made friends with all the enemies of Foscarini, including one Pietro Arlensi, a knight of Malta, familiar in the chamber of the queen's chief chamberlain, and by such means endeavoured to influence the queen against Foscarini.
129. If a few days before Muscorno left London he was not in the gallery with the queen, playing and singing and making buffooneries against Foscarini; if the chamberlain left the gallery in disgust and if the queen showed signs of anger.
131. If Muscorno wrote a book entitled: Detti e fatti di Antonio Foscarini. If he went about talking of it and saying that it ought to be printed and such things.
133. If Muscorno sought every way to raise up the enemies against Foscarini by his lies.
134. If Muscorno was the cause that the Resident of the grand duke did not visit Foscarini.
138. If Muscorno did not frequently go to Protestant churches, and take part in the offices according to the Anglican rite with the Protestant ministers in the presence of all the people.
139. If Muscorno schemed with Sir Henry Cheney (il Cavalier Cinliè) to ask the king for the grant of a house and lands, because the said knight and the earl of Argyll promised him 600 crowns to have it. (fn. 5)
152. If Muscorno was imprisoned for debt in London. If those who imprisoned him were persons of the Exchange. If Sir William Smith paid for him set him free.
158. Of the ill offices of Muscorno with Lord Hay and his wife; depriving the republic of the benefit of the services of that lord.
161. If Foscarini said that Muscorno, by means of M. de Mayerne, the king's physician, and his sister, procured presents and letters from the queen.
169. That Muscorno negotiated with the ministers of the king and the ministers of other princes without ever informing Foscarini or telling him anything about it.
1617. 908. Extracts from Examinations.
On April 18 in London. Odoardo Guatz, the interpreter, was examined. The knight Lake and his wife at various times sent their articles of devotion to Foscarini's house for safety.
Foscarini did not throw himself on his knees before the archbishop of Canterbury. Had never heard them speak of religion together at any of the numerous visits paid. The archbishop himself told him that Foscarini had never spoken to him upon religion.
78. The Spanish woman was imprisoned, he did not know why, and was released at the instance of the Spanish ambassador. She was at least two years with Foscarini before being imprisoned. The king was never ill-disposed towards her, and her imprisonment must have been due to some enemy. After her release she remained in the house of the Spanish ambassador until her death. Thinks she was imprisoned upon suspicion of keeping a monastery in her house.
Believes that all the ambassadors who have come to England have gone to the play more or less.
The Ambassador Giustinian went with the French ambassador and his wife to a play called Pericles,' which cost Giustinian more than 20 crowns. He also took the Secretary of Florence.
99. The king was only once kept waiting by Foscarini, and that was deponent's fault.
Had heard that Muscorno had been at St. Paul's Church and had sung there.
Lady Hay was set against the ambassador by Muscorno, this was because Lord and Lady Hay were too friendly with him.
April 23 in London. Examination of Lunardo Michellini.
The story about kneeling to the archbishop an invention of Muscorno. The secretary went to court and told all his friends that Foscarini spoke ill of them. He spoke thus to the sons of the treasurer, from whom these things passed to the ears of Somerset, Sir William Smith, whom he had made his enemy without any cause, Lord Burleigh, and that other knight (fn. 6) who went to Venice with Lord Dingwall.
The last day of April, in London. Examination of Federigo Federighi.
Muscorno had no money for his journey and asked Foscarini for some. The latter promised to let him have it at the current exchange. He did not obtain it, and said, Heaven help me from the Jew tricks of Foscarini. He afterwards obtained the money from Sir William Smith as a loan.
May 13 in London. Re-examination of Antonio Padoan, the coachman.
Once in Cheapside, when the ambassador was going to audience, the way was blocked by about 20 carts. The ambassador ordered me to drive on at the risk of breaking my neck. He was always very punctual at all audiences of the king, queen, and prince. He also went after the Court at Theobalds and elsewhere. Probably no ambassador in England made longer journeys after the king, who accordingly favoured him greatly. One year, when His Majesty was in progress, the ambassador was lodged near the king's rooms for two or three nights; and every day he went to the hunt in the king's coach. This was at Newark. At another time near the same place, the king gave him quarters at a palace called Burleigh, three miles off, and sent to fetch him for the hunt every morning, and sometimes to dine. One morning the king in person came to fetch him. The greatest favour shown was when the ambassador was going to Scotland, and the queen sent for him to come to her at Wells. Then it was that Muscorno began to speak ill of him.
1615. Oct. 22. Inquisitori di Stato. Busta 155. Venetian Archives 909. Examinations for Sig. Giulio Muscorno.
Matthio Bonhomo, examined in the presence of the ambassador Barbarigo, said:
Had seen Muscorno twice singing in St. Paul's church in the company of the ministers. The church was full. It happened last year after Whitsuntide. Muscorno made copies of the public letters.
Nov. 1. A man named Josef said Muscorno had been once or twice to the house of the ambassador of Flanders to speak to some one.
Affidavit of Thomas Collins, citizen and notary of London, that he petitioned the king to obtain the first fruits and issues of Collingthon and Hastinges in co. Sussex for Henry lord of Cheney, now deceased, which petition he delivered into the hands of the Secretary of the Venetian ambassador, with whom he remained awaiting the arrival of the interpreter; after he came it was read and appeared conformable to the secretary's wishes and the agreement made between him and the earl of Argyll. He sent me two shillings for my labour. Dated at London on 20 September, 1615. [Latin.]
Nov. 10. M. Francis de Verton, lord of la Forêt, a French gentleman, examined before the Ambassador Barbarigo.
Muscorno had agreed with the earl of Argyll to receive from him 150l. sterling for the fruits of the first year of the land of Collingthon and Hastins in Sussex, pertaining to the king by the death of Henry lord of Cheney. The earl promised him the 150l. if he should ask it of the king and obtain it and then renounce it in his favour. Muscorno got a notary to draw up the petition to present to the king. Deponent complained because he had been promised this and told Foscarini. Does not know if Muscorno presented the petition; he got nothing. Deponent obtained it as a gift from the king.
Dec. 8. Doctor John Freier, examined before the ambassador Barbarigo:
Had heard Muscorno read the book about Foscarini in the Dolphin Inn. The book was in Italian and written in a continuous narration. Had not read it. Muscorno read extracts. He would not read one part, because he said it touched matters of state.
Inquisitori di Stato. Busta 155. Venetian Archives. 910. Articles for Interrogation with respect to Giulio Muscorno.
6. That Muscorno had a discussion with the earl of Argyll upon the interests of Sig. Niccolo Dolfino. The memorial sent to Muscorno by the earl was drawn up by the earl in the interests of Dolfino and did not name Muscorno. Dolfino went to the earl a few days later and thanked him.
12. That the Spanish ambassador visited Foscarini on Good Friday, 1614; and both visited the holy sepulchre together, in the house of the ambassador of Flanders, and a few days after they began to visit each other.
44. The names of Venetian merchants in London [in margin, enquire of] Vanderput, Malaparte Ricaut, the principal merchants in London.
58. If Muscorno was ever introduced to the king by Lord Wotton.
62. That Lady Hay was not a lady of the court, did not serve the queen and rarely visited her.
83. That Muscorno never had audience of the king introduced by the Earl of Somerset, except on St. Mark's day when the earl introduced him to kiss hands.
87, 88, 89. Muscorno never used indecent expressions about Foscarini; and never influenced the queen through Lady Hay against him.
90. When compelled by Viscount Fenton to take the first place at supper after Sig. Luca Tron, he protested that he only did so because he was forced.
104. In speaking to Madam Burle of Sig. Nicolo Dolfin he said every Venetian noble might call himself prince.
128. Ottavio Robazzi, Foscarini's servant, had married a Protestant and had several children.
184. Luca Tron understood that Foscarini had presented a crown or a necklace to the queen, which to his great grief was restored after some weeks by Madam Gray.
Additional articles for Muscorno in his defence.
94. That Muscorno took exact information about acqueducts from the most skilled person in London, for bringing pure water to Venice. In this he was assisted by Sir William Smith, who acted as interpreter.
1617. 911. Examination of Witnesses.
April 10. M. Giles Vandeput, a Flemish merchant, said that the only Venetian merchant he knew of in London was Federici. Milorini is a Ragusan and Gradi also.
May 22. M. Ricaut stated that there were no Venetian merchants in London and almost all the affairs of Venetians in this country are in the hands of Flemings.
May 28. Sir William Smith testified that Muscorno had taken information [about acqueducts] in the public interest. He was more popular than any other minister. Lord Wotton, the earl of Mar, Lord Hay (Es) and other Lords of the Council would say the same.
June 7. The Baroness Windsor said in conversation that she had never heard Muscorno use words disrespectful to Foscarini, though he had frequently defended his reputation.
June 19. The Countess of Arundel said in conversation that she had never heard Muscorno speak ill of Foscarini or of the republic.
1616. Feb. 22. Inquisitori di Stato. Busta 155. Venetian Archives. 912. Examinations for Antonio Foscarini.
Angelo Nodaro of Padua was called and examined in the presence of the Ambassador Barbarigo.
He said Muscorno came to him one day laughing and saying The swine-herd, the swine-herd.' When he asked what he meant by this Muscorno said Don't you know, the Palatine is the swineherd, that is what the ambassador calls him.' Foscarini used to give such names to every one.
He confirmed some details of the story of the two ladies mentioned in article 80. One was Mistress Fosch, the other was, he thought, a daughter of Sir [Lewis] Lewknor.
Odardo Guaz, interpreter of the Venetian ambassador, was examined as above. Foscarini had recourse to the Bishop (sic) of Canterbury for assistance upon the affair of plotting the death of Muscorno. Thinks he went to justify himself for having wished to kill the Secretary. He had no other friend among the Lords of the Council than the said bishop. He usually visited the bishop every two or three months, but upon this matter he went two or three times a week, and took no one with him but deponent. Foscarini went two or three times to the Temple to consult a lawyer who spoke Italian upon this matter. No lawyer had come to the house but Sig. Martini, sent by the king to interrogate the household.
With regard to the two ladies, one was Mistress Fosch, the other Dorothea Hastings. He did not recall the presence of the daughter of Sir [Lewis] Lewknor.
Lunardo Michelini was examined in the presence of the Ambassador Barbarigo. He denied the story about Foscarini and the archbishop. Foscarini had not been more than twice to see the archbishop without him.
Upon the matter of the apostates, the archbishop had sent to Foscarini to complain that his chaplain meddled with outside affairs; this was upon the occasion of his converting the two apostates. Thereupon the ambassador directed the chaplain to go and give satisfaction to the bishop, advising him to speak respectfully. When the archbishop complained that these apostates had taken refuge in Foscarini's house, the ambassador asked the priest and others if this were true. Lorenzo Peroe said he did not know. Foscarini cried out Rascal, tell me the truth or I will strangle you.'
Had never heard Scaramelli say that the ambassador made up his despatches out of his own head, but had heard it said that His Excellency did all his things at haphazard.
Asked about opening the king's letters to the duke of York he said that the ambassador on returning from Scotland met a person with a packet of letters for York addressed to a minister there called the resident. The ambassador and secretary, moved by curiosity to see if their letters were inside, opened the packet a little with their nails. Foscarini found his letters, and took them out of the packet. The letters came from Venice for the ambassador. They had been sent by the major domo to York, but the people there, not knowing the ambassador, had sent them back to London. On hearing this the major domo had sent them in the said packet.
24 Feb. On the journey to Scotland, Foscarini said he had spent a great deal in the public service. If he had been able to go to Constantinople he would have done so willingly, as even if he did not gain anything he would not lose. On the same journey he said that the king of England had a high opinion of the greatness of the republic and during the conversation he said that he thought His Majesty had a good opinion of him. The ambassador had to dismiss his Catholic porter named Swan. He was obliged to take in his place a Protestant named Peter. This man one day uttered some words against the king at an inn, which seemed to show that he had knowledge that the king was to be assassinated. When the man returned Foscarini had him imprisoned. When the secretary of the Council came to ask for him, they could not find him, he had escaped it is thought by the connivance of the ambassador.
When Foscarini went to take leave of the Palatine and Princess at Greenwich he had audience in the gallery; in making a low reverence the ambassador touched the ground with one knee.
Had never heard of misconduct with the queen. When Foscarini visited her at Wells, he touched the sleeve of her dress and praised its beauty. The queen was in no wise offended, as the ambassador remained an hour with her watching the bull baiting.
Asked if Foscarini had mounted on a table with a beaker in his hand to drink the king's health, without slippers, said no, but it was in accordance with the custom of the country and he had seen him mount a chair but in his slippers. He had done this once at dinner with Sir [Lewis] Lewknor and some friends.
The ambassador dined once at Windsor (Veder) castle and afterwards took leave of the king, proposing to return to London, after visiting the prince at Newark. I remained at the court to thank Lord Hay for certain favours. He sent me to fetch back the ambassador, as the prince would be there that evening and the king wished the ambassador to celebrate the festivities of the following day with him. When the ambassador returned it was night. The king was supping in one room and the prince in the other. Accordingly the duke of Lennox sent to fetch the ambassador to sup with him. On the following morning he dined at the prince's table. The king's table was opposite. At the prince's were those who had supped with the ambassador on the preceding evening. The ambassador was not offended.
The ambassador had no difficulty in obtaining audience of the prince. With the queen he had the same difficulties as the rest; once he was six or eight months without seeing her, as she was away in progress and at the baths.
Only knows that when the ambassador was dining with the king, His Majesty drank to his pleasant journey to Scotland. They had probably talked it over before. Lord Hay, the earl of Salisbury, a bishop and others were present.
Never heard any indecent expressions used by the ambassador on his visit to the king of Denmark. He acted with that king as he has done with the kings of France and England, except that he did not kiss his hand.
Feb. 27. Giovanni Francesco Biondi of Liesena was examined in the presence of the Ambassador Barbarigo. The scandalous reports about Foscarini's relations with the queen came from Muscorno.
March 14. Antonio di Michiel examined as above. On return from Scotland we met the king's courier with letters to the Viceroy of Scotland. Did not see the ambassador open it. When they met the courier they asked where he was going. He said he was carrying letters, including some for the ambassador. He was sent for and gave up the packet. It was about a day's journey from York.
March 20. M. Francis de la Forêt, a French gentleman, examined before His Excellency. There was no open quarrel between Foscarini and Muscorno before the latter struck the ambassador's chamberlain. Previously Muscorno had schemed against the ambassador behind his back. Afterwards Muscorno got the chamberlain to tell the king's officers that Foscarini wished to kill him. The chamberlain went to tell this story to the recorder of London. He afterwards asked Foscarini to pardon him for this falsehood. Muscorno went about spreading slanders against the ambassador.
May 10. Antonio di Michiel, examined, said he had heard the origin of the dispute between Foscarini and Muscorno was that the latter asked a favour which the ambassador first promised but afterwards refused. Muscorno spread untruths about Foscarini. He went to court with Sir [William] Smith and Lady Hay, and spoke ill of him.


  • 1. Pantaloon, the Venetian character in Italian comedy, represented as a lean, foolish old man, wearing spectacles, pantaloons and slippers. The nickname is supposed to be derived from San Pantaleone, formerly a favourite saint of the Venetians. Oxford English Dict.
  • 2. Foscarini's visit to Belvoir is recounted in Vol. XII. of this Calendar, pp. 409–411.
  • 3. Burleigh.
  • 4. Doubtless, from the particulars given below, this Spanish woman was no other than Donna Luisa de Carvajal. See Gardiner, Hist. of Eng. ii. pp. 221–223.
  • 5. See at pages 601, 602 below.
  • 6. Skinner. See page 344 above.