BHO

Venice: April 1618

Pages 187-205

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15, 1617-1619. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1909.

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Citation:

April 1618

April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
300. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to the league, the duke said to me: It is not well to keep it in the balance, especially as I have to think of my own affairs. I am told that the republic has arrived at a settlement both by sea and by land and I rejoice at it. He continued, I consider the league good at all times because it is a medicine to preserve and to divert the French from building upon another and the Spaniards from building upon our disunion, so that if we are united we shall all have peace, but if we are disunited we shall all be consumed. He went on, I have prepared the instructions for the ambassadors of the States and England, so that if the republic sees fit we may all unite for defence. I have always desired this.
Turin, the 2nd April, 1618.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
301. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Studer has now started, so Pasini writes in a letter of last week. He seems very pleased at the service which he believes your Serenity will receive from him. Before many days he should arrive. Pasini has also been enlisting other soldiers of distinction, who should have started by now.
The Hague, the 2nd April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Inquisitori
di Stato.
Busta 445.
Venetian
Archives.
302. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
I have received your Excellencies' letter of the 9th. I can throw no further light on the matter although I have used every possible effort.
The Hague, the 2nd April, 1618.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
303. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the last week an easterly wind has been blowing incessantly, preventing the departure of these vessels, the force of the tides alone not being sufficient to take them out of the Thames although if once at sea this same wind would be fair for them as far as the Strait. Everybody marvels how at this season it can last so long, and a change is hoped for at the full moon. I am assuredly much disturbed that after completing all the arrangements and overcoming so many difficulties this hindrance should arise to the detriment of your Serenity's service, but possibly this delay may afford time, for these English ships to make the voyage in company with those from Holland, and I have already written to the Secretary Surian at the Hague, informing him that the wind alone detains them, so that he may know that in the event of a change they will put to sea immediately and lose no time in continuing their voyage.
The colonel of the 500 infantry importunes me incessantly for money, as the three months pay already disbursed have been given by him to the captains of the vessels for the rations of the soldiers, so I cannot help advancing him something.
Captain Mainwaring, perceiving that the various means employed by him to induce me to place the vessels under his command are of no avail, is now preparing to go out on board this squadron as a private individual with the intention of offering his service to the Captain General at sea. The king has lately knighted him (fn. 1) and he is now endeavouring to obtain letters of favour from his Majesty to your Serenity, having also asked me for a similar recommendation.
I have appointed the Royal Exchange to be flagship, as the largest, and merely during the voyage her captain will have the command of the rest, so that they may sail together, in good order and more safely, and I enclose the copy of the commission whereby I prescribe the course to be followed by him.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 10th ult. together with those addressed by the merchants of Venice to their correspondents here, about giving security for the vessels. These persons came to me and all offered their guarantee very willingly, so I shall have no more trouble on that score; and in conformity with the order of your Excellencies I shall make the shipowners reciprocate this security. I shall not have occasion to avail myself of the credit on Amsterdam.
The instructions forwarded by your Serenity serve for my daily information and according to opportunity I communicate them to the ministers, that they may acquaint his Majesty with the present state of affairs and with the scanty reliance to be placed in Spanish promises, urging the king to the utmost to form resolves worthy of himself and so necessary to the common weal. I am, however, unable to confer often with his Majesty, in person, as he is constantly out of town, and even when he does come to London, his stay there is so short that he does not choose to occupy himself with giving audience to the ambassadors.
London, the 4th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
304. Copy of instructions given by Piero Contarini, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England.
The ship Royal Exchange, commanded by Captain Daniel Bannister, shall be flagship, the captain to command the squadron of seven ships. He will be responsible for them until he reaches the Venetian fleet, when the appointment will cease, and he will obey the Captain General and other public representatives as provided in the contract. Meanwhile he shall, on leaving Gravesend, proceed on his voyage with his convoy and such others as he may fall in with until off Plymouth, without making any port straight to the Gulf of Venice. Should he encounter the fleet before reaching Corfu, he shall present himself to the Captain General or other naval commanders with the letters to be given to him and thenceforward he will be under their command. Should he not find the fleet, he shall go to Corfu and present himself to the Proveditore there with letters. He will receive instructions as to where the fleet may be. As his mission is to defend the republic as speedily as possible he shall make the voyage with all possible dispatch and not give battle to any one unless they attack, in which case he must have before his eyes the honour of his nation and the interests of the sovereign whom he has undertaken to serve.
Given in London, the 4th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
305. SIMONE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The queen of England has sent a present of half a dozen geldings (cavalli di campagna) to his Majesty. They are very poor and poorly caparisoned. She also sent him thirty brace of dogs. (fn. 2)
Paris, the 5th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
306. To the ambassador with the king of Great Britain.
You have done well in the nomination of Sir [Henry] Peyton as colonel, of which you tell us in your letter of the 14th ult. We are pleased with the diligence you have shown in despatching the ships and troops, of which we are expecting full information, as we know you will leave nothing undone. You should send us an authentic copy of the agreements, signed by the parties, as we have nothing more than the minutes. If the ships have not left upon the arrival of these presents, you will order them to steer, not to this city but to Corfu, and there receive orders from our fleet which they shall join. We have written to this effect to our Proveditore General at Sea and our Rectors there.
Ayes 135.
Noes 2.
Neutral 4.
[Italian.]
April 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
307. To the Secretary Surian at the Hague.
If the English ships hired for our service arrive by any chance in Dutch waters, you will direct them to sail to Corfu and not to this city, to join our fleet.
Ayes 135.
Noes 2.
Neutral 4.
[Italian.]
April 6.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
308. NICCOLO DONATO, doge of Venice, to the POPE.
Notification of his election as doge, to succeed Giovanni Bembo, deceased.
The like to:
The Emperor.
The king of France.
The king of Spain.
The king of Great Britain.
The king of Poland.
The king of Bohemia.
The duke of Savoy.
The Grand Duke of Tuscany.
The Archdukes of Maximilian and Albert.
The republic of Genoa.
The States.
Count Maurice.
The governor of Milan.
The dukes of Mantua, Modena, Parma and Urbino.
The Electors of the Empire.
The duke of Lorraine.
The duke of Wirtemberg.
[Latin.]
April 7.
Collegio,
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
309. To the ambassador at Rome.
Enclose letter announcing the election of the doge, to be presented to his Holiness with a proper accompanying office.
The like, mutatis mutandis to the following ambassadors and secretaries etc.
The Emperor, France, Spain, Poland, England, Bohemia, Savoy, Florence, the archdukes Maximilian and Albert, the republic of Genoa, the States, Count Maurice, the governor of Milan. The dukes of Mantua, Modena, Parma and Urbino, the electors of the Empire, the duke of Lorraine, the duke of Wirtemberg.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
310. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The troops of Mansfeld are staying partly near Geneva, partly in the Valais and some are remaining in the states of the Bernese under the pretext of passing through, moving so slowly that they would take a month over the journey, so that they may be ready for any emergency. For this cause the duke has caused the English agent here to write that he has great influence over them, and he has got me to write to tell Vico to shut his eyes to their slow movements, sending letters to the Count to be presented in case of need, since up to the present his ambassador has already obtained from the Bernese their late meeting and the idea and form of disarmament which was desired by the French ambassadors, for which they asked the co-operation of the English agent.
Turin, the 9th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Proveditore
delle Arme
in Terra
Ferma et
Istria.
Venetian
Archives.
311. ANTONIO BARBARO, Proveditore of the Forces, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to the duel between Vere and Milander, I have to report that I have a letter in Vere's own hand confessing that he provoked the encounter, as well as the admission in writing that he asked for grace. This, without further evidence, proves clearly enough that he was the author of the fight and broke his word and the paper he signed. My own opinion is that he should be tried summarily without further formality, after the military fashion pertaining in time of war. Nevertheless I submit everything to your judgment and will do what I am ordered. As Milander has ingeniously contrived to get out of Palma, I will find out where he is and send him back, keeping him in some honourable confinement. I will write to the lieutenant of Udine about Vere, to put him in the castle upon some pretext and shut him up until further order.
The camp at Farra, the 9th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Consiglio de'X.
Criminale.
Venetian
Archives.
312. In the Council of Ten.
Giulio Muscorno, a prisoner, having asked permission to send his wife to recover from the English ambassador here a gold chain and some rings which were given to him on his departure from London by the king of Great Britain and others, and which were consigned to Lord Wotton in that city so that they might be sent hither more safely by Sir [Henry] Wotton, his brother, the present ambassador, it is convenient that the said articles should be kept in a safe place until further decision:
That our Inquisitors of State permit the said Giulio Muscorno to direct his wife and whomsoever else he pleases, to recover from the English ambassador the said jewels etc. confided to Lord Wotton, to be deposited in the Mint, and they shall not be disposed of until further order from the Council; and for this purpose Muscorno may have the receipt given him for the said articles by Lord Wotton at Greenwich on the 1st June, 1615 and presented by him to the Inquisitors of State, to be restored by him after the consignment has been made.
Ayes 14.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
Councillor Giovanni Battista Foscarini expelled.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Consiglio de'X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
313. In the Council of Ten.
That to faciliate the progress of the trials of Antonio Foscarini and Giulio Muscorno, the Inquisitors do read that part of the process which has already been read here to those who were not present at the first reading and to those who shall enter in place of the councillors who are to retire, so that all may have the requisite information.
Ayes 15.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
Councillor Giovanni Battista Foscarini expelled.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Consiglio de'X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
314. The Council of Ten to the Rectors of Padua.
Since the arrival of your letter of the 24th ult. about the injuries inflicted upon D. Robert Gaifardo an Englishman in his own house, the ambassador of England has urged the Council of Ten both verbally and in writing, to discover the guilty persons. We therefore, in the interests of justice and to satisfy the ambassador, direct you to continue the process promising secrecy to the witnesses and impunity where necessary except to the ringleader, and to despatch the case, punishing the guilty, whether present or absent, with banishment, imprisonment, the galleys, confiscation etc. as you consider just. You will observe the decisions of the Council with regard to confiscation, especially that of April 1611, and you will send a copy of the sentence you inflict.
Ayes 13.
Noes 0.
Neutral 2.
[Italian.]
April 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Constantino-poli,
Venetian
Archives.
315. ALMORO NANI, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They are working slowly at the Arsenal to the no small irritation of the Captain of the sea. The fleet will not exceed fifty galleys However new bertons have arrived from Barbary and Scios and others are expected. It is probable that the Pasha, seeing that he will be short of galleys will give leave to the bertons to act as pirates. These bertons formed part af a squadron of forty eight, which went to the Canaries and wrought great destruction carrying off over 1,700 slaves. Returning through the Strait of Gibraltar they sacked the island of Euizza and intended to do the like at Majorca, only time did not allow. Accordingly they steered towards Sardinia where they fell in with a large English ship laden with rich merchandise and passengers. They captured this and took it to Algiers.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 10th April, 1618.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
316. SIMONE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The resident of England told me that he had heard from Brussels that the Infanta was suffering from a very serious fever. They had let blood five times and no improvement had ensued. He added, if she should die there might be some change in affairs there, notwithstanding the declarations which they have made.
He told me besides that he had also heard from Brussels that the Alagante sent by the duke of Ossuna had arrived there to levy the 2,000 foot. At Malines he had caused 17 guns to be mounted, so that they might be embarked for Naples with the soldiers. This minister also remarked to me how little care they show here for the affairs of the republic in the Gulf, provided that the affair of Savoy is adjusted.
Paris, the 10th April, 1618.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
317. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The weather has changed repeatedly during the last few days and there have been several gales of wind, but none favourable for the departure of these vessels, four of which, despite every effort made with the aid of the tide and tow-boats, are utterly unable to beat up a certain bend in this river, and this once weathered, they might put to sea easily. I can make no further effort beyond that of praying the Almighty to grant them a speedy departure and a good and safe voyage. For the rest, they are furnished with every necessity, the fresh difficulties which arose having been at length overcome. The ship-owners were not satisfied with the assurance of the king's Secretary, nor yet with being told in the Council chamber whither they were summoned, that his Majesty allowed them to enter the service of the republic. They insisted at any rate upon having the licence in writing. This was considered undesirable, as represented by me to the king and arranged with the Lords of the Council, lest the interpretation given by the captains to the written word might somewhat prejudice the service of your Serenity; but the affair was at length settled by calling them again before the Council and repeating verbally that such was the will of his Majesty. This satisfied them, and they are bound to obey according to the letter of their agreements, without any exception as to the manner, and should they fail recourse can always be had to the owners who are the chief merchants of this mart, they themselves having promised and signed the deeds.
Secretary Lake informs me that the Ambassador Wotton writes to him of having a long while ago recommended to your Serenity one Captain Bell, presenting letters from his Majesty in his favour, but that nothing had hitherto been decided about him, wherefore his Majesty desired him to speak to me on the subject that I might write to your Excellencies, as he himself proposed doing a second time, being extremely anxious for this individual to attain his object.
No intelligence has as yet been received of the departure from Spain of the Ambassador Digby, though he could not long delay setting out. He continues to write that the king and the ministers are assuredly bent on peace in Italy, not having the means of carrying on war, from the very great scarcity of money, and their repeated orders are transmitted to the governors there to carry it into effect.
Although the Prince Palatine has been twice to the duke of Bavaria, urging him to join his own endeavours to those of the other Imperial Electors to obtain for himself the crown of the king of the Romans on such good grounds as afforded by the warm support promised him, especially by his brother the archbishop of Cologne, who has shown himself most anxious to obtain that rank for him, yet he has not been able to induce him to declare himself as the duke considers the opposition of the Spaniards insuperable, and thus the princes of Germany have lost all hope and no longer know how to prevent the king of Bohemia from succeeding to the Empire.
The ambassador from Denmark has departed without accomplishing the object of his mission which was replete with difficulties, concerning as it did, maritime jurisdiction and the freedom of the fishery. Before his departure I requested him to acquaint his king with the esteem felt for him by the republic, not only by reason of his close connection with this crown but also on account of his individual merits and royal endowments.
I have received 6,000 ducats from Messrs. Burlamachi and Vandeput for which I drew bills and your Serenity will be pleased to give orders for their payment.
London, the 11th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
318. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
This morning I met Marini in church and gathered some important particulars. I guessed almost exactly right in what I wrote about the document prepared by the French ambassadors. They, however, did not wish it to be published and it was said that the duke kept silent on the subject. The English agent said this, but I always believed the contrary.
Turin, the 12 April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 12.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
319. The ambassador of Great Britain came into the Cabinet and said:
I heard of the election of your Serenity last Thursday. (fn. 3) I have now come to offer my congratulations. I have sent word to his Majesty and I am sure that he will direct me to repeat this office. The doge returned thanks and expressed his esteem for his Majesty.
[Italian.]
April 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
320. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to Ossuna, I hear from Brussels that the levy of 2,000 Walloons has already been ordered, and from Naples that his first efforts will be directed to stop the armed ships which are coming to your Serenity from Holland and England.
Vienna, the 14th April, 1618. Copy.
[Italian.]
April 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
321. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The galleons are badly needed here to prevent the operations of the numerous pirates and in order not to leave the coasts of Spain a prey not only to them but to the Dutch ships, which I reported to have entered the Mediterranean in considerable force.
Madrid, the 14th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Udine.
Venetian
Archives.
322. ZUANNE BASADONNA, Venetian Lieutenant in Udine, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday, in conformity with the orders of the most Illustrious Barbaro I sent for Sir John Vere and confined him in the castle, where he will be guarded with the utmost care. He complained loudly saying that it was a hard and unexpected reward for the services which he had rendered and for the zeal shown by the whole English nation, that he should receive a public prison. He said that if your Serenity would not grant him the post which he thinks he deserves, you might at least give him leave to return to Count Maurice, his leader for twenty years. He is visited by captains of his own nation who seem much offended, and God grant that there be not some serious outbreak among the nations. I am bound to add that about ten days ago Colonel Roccalaura came to this town to see Vere and try to obtain a promise from him to submit his differences to him, as Milander had done. As Vere seemed somewhat reluctant, I resolved to bring to bear the influence which I have tried to secure with all these troops and finally succeeded in inducing him to submit his dispute with Milander to M. de Roccalaura. At this the Colonel left in a very happy frame of mind, promising to return with Milander and to dine with Vere in this house. I have thought proper to report this so that you may decide what is to be done. A decision should be taken as speedily as possible in order to obviate grave complications, since the earl of Oxford, a near kinsman of Vere, came to this town incognito last Carnival to fight as Vere's champion against any one who should take the part of Milander.
Udine, the 16th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
323. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received your Serenity's letter of the 7th inst. with instructions about the union. I am hourly awaiting the pleasure of his Highness, when I will go to him at Ivrea to carry out your command. I would not go without writing, because he might return. No other minister of a prince has yet left, although the English agent is waiting to hear his Highness's pleasure, in order to carry out the commands of his king. I expect the reply to-day and am ready to leave to-morrow.
Turin, the 17th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 18.
Bibl. S. Marco.
Venice
Cl. VII.
Cod. MCXX.
324. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sir Henry Mainwaring, of whom I have already sent an account to your Serenity, is so bent on serving the republic, that as there is no opportunity for him to fill any post on board the squadron now bound to the Gulf, he has determined to embark with it in a private capacity, to offer himself in person to the Captain General, confident that with the good proof he can render of his experience and with the warm letters given him by the king for your Excellencies, he will be enabled to obtain the honour so earnestly desired by him of serving the state. I also must back his suit by these presents, both on account of my knowledge of his devoted will and valour as also by reason of the recommendation intimated to me by a very leading nobleman on behalf of his Majesty and yet more in the hope that his exertions may prove to the entire satisfaction of your Serenity.
From London, 18th April, 1618. (fn. 4)
[Italian.]
April 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
325. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
So soon as the wind changed and became fair the ships weighed anchor and were yesterday to reach Gravesend and perhaps even leave it, without making any port until they reach the Gulf. To-morrow I shall send to that place to know for certain and to charge them, should they not have sailed, to do so forthwith. I chose again to inspect them, one by one, and found them singularly well armed and provided with the requisites for war and also with provisions and every other necessary, their entire crews being the best possible; very determined, anxious both for the voyage and to prove their prowess, so I trust they will do your Serentiy good service in like manner as I pray God to grant them a safe and speedy voyage. Next post I will forward the account of what has been spent on this expedition.
The Lords of the Council, at the instigation of the United Provinces are constantly thinking of arming vessels against the corsairs and discussing the matter; but all decision is impeded by the scarcity of funds. The other day there returned hither a certain individual who had been into Barbary to survey the fortress of Algiers, with the idea that by depriving the corsairs of that refuge the end would be in great measure obtained. He reports that it would be easy to surprise the fortress and also to burn a number of ships, but this same want of money does not permit them to go on with any project. They even thought of availing themselves of the vessels now going for the service of your Serenity on their return, but when that time arrives there will be no lack of the same difficulties.
The Spaniards here vow and assert universally that the affairs of Italy are entirely settled and that the naval preparations now going forward at Naples are against the Turk and the corsairs, hinting moreover that the matter has been arranged with the republic. With the help of the information received from your Excellencies, I will endeavour to impress every one here, especially the ministers, with the real state of affairs, and the operations of the ministers of the Catholic king who do in no way fulfil the agreements, and that their evil projects aim solely at disturbing the quiet of Italy with a view to exercising supremacy there, being perfectly convinced that the great powers although deeply interested in this matter, will not interfere.
Since his fruitless attempt to prevent my chartering these vessels by making a similar demand on behalf of Spain, the Catholic ambassador has ceased to busy himself or prefer any suit at all on the subject to his Majesty.
An English vessel lately arrived here announced having fallen in with a Spanish ship at the Canaries which gave information that Sir Walter Raleigh had seized three small forts garrisoned by the Spaniards near Guiana in the West Indies to make sure of not being molested on his return, in case after getting further up the country he obtain the mines which he pretends exist there and concerning this further details are awaited on better authority.
As the ambassador of the Prince Palatine had already left London, I was unable to make the announcement enjoined me by your Excellencies, but I will not allow any opportunity to escape of delivering the message through others, so as to remove any idea of distrust and impress them with the really good disposition of your Excellencies towards that Prince.
London, the 19th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 20.
Consiglio
de'X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
326. In the Council of Ten.
That leave be granted to Sig. Carlo Ruzini to receive at his house the ambassadors of England and Savoy, who have asked to see his studio.
Ayes 15.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
[Italian.]
April 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
327. To the ambassador at the Imperial Court.
Zemino has been restored. The commissioners met near Fiume for the carrying out of the peace. Matters are in good train in Lombardy also. The duke of Savoy has restored the places and released the prisoners of war, and Don Pedro is about to restore the places which he holds, leaving Vercelli to the last. From all this it appears that the republic and the duke of Savoy have not failed in any of their obligations.
This is for information.
The like to the other Courts and to the Generals.
Ayes 163.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
[Italian.]
April 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma
Venetian
Archives.
328. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At the end of my audience yesterday the pope said: We hear that there are many heretics among your troops notably at Vicenza, who live licentiously, with grave danger of infecting the others. It is a delicate matter, although we are certain of the zeal of the republic for religion. The territory of Vicenza borders on Germany, where there has been trouble before and if the poison spreads it will be difficult to provide a remedy. I replied that I would report to your Serenity what his Holiness said. I assured him that the troops caused no scandal whatsoever in the matter of religion. Your Excellencies were very watchful. Some months ago a Dutchman had been hanged before the whole army for having caused scandal in a church. If there were scandalous men among these particular troops they would be punished severely. The republic would keep them all well in hand and see that they did not prejudice religion. We consider it certain, then said the pope, that to please us, the orders to the Rectors will be renewed to see that these troops live in such a way as to cause no scandal.
Rome, the 21st April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives
329. SIMONE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The lord of Valanzé has left for Holland with letters from the king asking for two galleons to help the duke of Guise, captain of the fleet against the pirates, one of 600 measures for the duke and one of 400 for his lieutenant. They are also asked not to send out their own ships till late, so that they may join those of his Majesty. The ambassador of the States told me that here they would like the duke of Guise to command the Dutch ships also, but his masters wished to choose their own admiral. He also told me that the duke of Guise had suggested to the Spanish ambassador that the fleets of the Catholic and Christian kings should unite. This incensed the duke of Monteleone who replied: That means with the Dutch too. The forces of my king would rather join the Turk. It is not to be thought of.
Paris, the 21st April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
330. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday I received news from Amsterdam that the ships had all gone to Texel and were hurrying provisions and munitions on board. Next week I hope that they will all be at sea.
While I was getting ready to go to Rotterdam after sending off my despatches of last week a messenger reached me from their high mightinesses asking me to go and review the officers and sailors of the three ships which are at that place. I went on Wednesday and stayed until Thursday evening, giving the in- structions which I thought most necessary and adding others so that the three ships should go to Plymouth or some other place in England and there await those coming from Texel and accompany them. I believe that the ships hired by the Ambassador Contarini are by now ready since his Excellency wrote to me many days ago that they were only awaiting a favourable wind to start. They cannot come to these waters, because that would be turning back. I will do my utmost to convey to the admiral of that fleet the commands of your Serenity, as I would prefer the two squadrons to go together owing to the pirates. Captain Quast wrote that he had seen seventy large pirate ships, all well armed; and that merchant ships must not go singly but travel together or they will certainly be plundered.
The Hague, the 23rd April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
331. POLO TRIVISAN, Proveditore of Zante, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses account brought by the captain of an English ship and the master of a French saetta which arrived in this port yesterday.
Zante, the 23rd April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 21st.
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
332. Interrogation of Matthew Clark captain of the English ship Susannah of London. Came from Naples and had no cargo but a few butts of woad and hoops for this place. Going to Constantinople. Were eleven days short of that place. The duke of Ossuna has armed at Naples sixteen galleys and four galleons, three of which are large Flemish ships bought by him. These ships are ready to start for Barcelona, so they say, and it is reported they have sent for the fleet now at Brindisi to be at Naples on the 15th May. It is not known where they are going; publicly they state that these preparations are not made against Venice. They are excellently armed and provided with sailors and soldiers of various nations. We hear also that twelve English ships and fourteen Dutch, all well armed, are to go against the bertons of Tunis. We further hear by letters to Naples that sixteen ships are to leave Holland for Venice well supplied with men and provisions. We have no other news.
Examination of the French master.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
333. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When I bade farewell to the English ambassador, who left the other day, he told me that by his king's command he had spoken to his Majesty's confessor about the affairs of your Excellencies, expressing his extreme desire that they should terminate in a manner satisfactory to the republic. The confessor said that his Majesty was determined to maintain the peace with the republic as sincerely as he keeps it with the king of England. Your Excellencies were arming in England, Holland and France. His king did not complain of this and was not alarmed, because peace with the republic had been confirmed by a new arrangement, but at the same time your Excellencies had no cause to complain if they fit out six ships at Naples. I thanked him for his representations and pointed out the just reasons of the republic for making provision when the duke of Ossuna was not only preparing actively for war, but announcing that it was to be against your Excellencies, and that this was the feeling of the chief ministers of his Majesty. The ambassador approved highly of the decision of your Excellencies to be ready to defend yourselves in any event. He said that from his experience of this nation, from the long wars which the English have had with them and from his lengthy residence at this Court, he thought that the safest way to obtain peace from the Spaniards was not to leave anything undone in being prepared to maintain the war (non lasciare cosa intentata per accingersi a sostenere la guerra).
Madrid, the 24th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
334. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The English ambassador has been very reserved with me and with others in speaking about the affair of the marriage. At his departure, however, he seemed satisfied with the result of his negotiations. The resident in speaking to me about it said it would take ten years to finish and now they will carry on negotiations at Rome to obtain the pope's consent. It is said at court that while the matter is being discussed at Rome his Majesty will send commissioners to England to treat with the king. But while in this way he seems anxious to show great honour to that sovereign, there are some who believe that he has made the proposal to prolong the negotiations, and while amusing the English with this hope to divert them from coming to any decision which might be prejudicial to this crown, and because even if the negotiations should be broken off, the king of Great Britain would be less offended, since the negotiations had taken place in his house.
Madrid, the 24th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
335. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have been taking careful information lately of the place where your Serenity's grand galleon may be, as they propose to burn it if they can. Some tell me that if it is possible they will collect the whole of this fleet and station themselves at the mouth of the Gulf to meet the ships coming from Holland and England, to prevent the passage eastwards, and perhaps according to what the Ragusans say, to make a sudden attack upon the Venetian fleet lying at Curzola before they increase their forces. I have therefore sent this news to the most Excellent Veniero.
Naples, the 24th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Cons. de'X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
336. In the Council of Ten.
That the copy of the advices presented by Captain Jacques Pierre and Nicolo Renaldi about the designs of the Spaniards, and which Captain Jacques Pierre says that he is about to send to his Most Christian Majesty, if it please his Serenity, by Nicolo Renaldo, be sent to the Savii of our Cabinet, after enjoining due secrecy.
Ayes 13.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
On the 25th it was brought to the Savii and left in their hands by the Secretary.
[Italian.]
Senato,
Secreta.
Communicationi dal
Cons. de' X.
Venetian
Archives.
337. Copy of advices and articles which Captain Jacques Pierre is sending to the King of France by Nicolo Rinaldi, secretary of the said king's chamber, about the designs of the King of Spain or his ministers in the East and elsewhere.
These particulars have come to my knowledge while I was serving the duke of Ossuna. He told me that the king of Spain knew the plans of the King of France quite well, but the latter did not know his. I therefore tried to discover these plans, and finding them too prejudicial to the Most Christian King, I left the duke and entered the service of Venice.
When Cardinal Zapata came to Naples about the end of March 1617, he had frequent conferences with the duke of Ossuna. Several Greeks took part in the negotiations, with whom I contracted a great intimacy, so that they believed I should share in their designs. They told me all the secrets which existed between the duke and the cardinal. I learned that the duke had intelligence with all manner of people in Constantinople and elsewhere in the East, including many renegades, to whom he made lavish promises. They proposed to seize Constantinople, Salonika and Scios simultaneously, when Macedonia and the Morea were expected to revolt. The duke was to provide seventy nine galleys at Naples and other places, with twenty six others from Genoa, the pope, Malta and Tuscany. The fleet was to attack Constantinople and Salonika simultaneously.
They would fortify both the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus against the enemy's ships, and would establish a depot at Constantinople to arm 50,000 men. They would keep the bulk of their fleet at Antivari, where they would have 30,000 men of the country well armed. They would send captains to take command, including the duke of Nocera. The nobility of Macedonia do not wish to have anything to do with the king of Spain, as they have heard how ill he treats his subjects in Naples and Sicily. I may add that the earl of Warwick, an Englishman, who is with the Grand Duke of Tuscany, made a proposal to the king of Spain to ruin England and the Flemings, telling him how it might be done by means of some vessels which he calls galeasses. (fn. 5) He drew up an elaborate plan for this for the king of Spain, representing all the forces of the king of England and the manner in which the English fight, and he showed those of the king of Spain. He added that the great fleet prepared by King Philip II. and the heavy expense incurred had been useless because the Catholic king with forty of these galeasses would beat the forces of the king of England and become master of the sea, and he should go and establish himself in a port in England, which he would mention, in order, subsequently, to make himself master of England. Of these galeasses I sent a description on the 12th September 1617 to the duke of Nevers, and these things have come to my knowledge through my having seen a model in the hands of the late Grand Duke Ferdinand, and by a conversation which I had with him about them when I was in his service, at which the earl of Warwick was also present. At that time he was also testing the guns, which I mentioned in my said letter, with the help of another English gentleman named Captain Robert Allyau, who came from Spain and from the Court of the emperor and the archduke, accompanied by another English gentleman, whose name I do not remember. These two arrived in Naples at the beginning of March, 1617, bringing the model which the king of Spain sent to the duke of Ossuna, and which they showed to me. I recognised it as being the same which I had previously seen in Florence, as I have already mentioned.
Rather before this time the English Captain Allyau and his companion had been in Rome, where they remained some time in treaty with his Holiness, proposing to take Tunis and la Goletta and make a fort at Port Farina and fortify the Goletta. His Holiness could easily do this with two of these galleasses and four of the galleys which the earl of Warwick proposed to have made, and which are described in my letter of the 12th September. In this way they would be able to ruin Barbary and stop the pirates, who capture so many Christians. They made this proposal to his Holiness with the favour of many cardinals and of the Chevalier Vendome, who was in Rome at the time. The pope replied that the affair was nothing to him. On hearing of this Don Francesco de Castro, then the Spanish ambassador, immediately sent this Robert Allyau to his king, to tell him how little the pope cared for the preservation of Christendom, but thought of nothing except the enrichment of his nephews and the building of palaces. He said many other insulting things of the pope which I will not repeat out of respect. These things were repeated by Robert Allyau on his return from this journey in my presence, to Mighel Vaiz, a Portuguese, a creature of Don Francesco de Castro. He also said that he had to take all the memorials and papers which he had from Don Francesco to the duke of Ossuna. He did so and the duke promised that matters should be put right before two years had passed.
After this a Milanese named Captain Visconti proposed a plan to the duke of Ossuna to burn the Arsenal of Venice, taking four hundred men and ten well armed barques. Upon this proposal the duke at once sent to consult me, giving me orders to construct the barques. I represented that there were no men to man them and suggested that I should go to find some. However, instead of doing so, I passed through Rome to Venice, to serve the republic.
I perceived from their plans that the Spaniards meant to make themselves masters of the whole world. After reducing the East, they would attack not only this republic, but the whole of Italy, and that accomplished they could the more easily do what they pleased with the rest of Christendom.
Jacques Pierre [autograph.]
Venice, the 24th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
338. ALMORO NANI, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters from the consul at Scios inform me that two other bertons of Barbary have arrived there, making eleven in all. I believe that four of their ships, destined for Smyrna, will get intelligence at Zante, where an English ship from here will have recently arrived, and it will take the news of the bertons at Scios, which will serve as a warning to our ships.
A Chiaus has been appointed to take letters to France and England announcing the accession of the Sultan Osman. The ambassador of Flanders wished that he should take similar letters to his masters. The matter has not yet been decided, but it leans more towards no than yes.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 26th April, 1618.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
339. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ships left Gravesend on the 20th with a very fair northerly wind which is yet blowing most prosperously for their voyage. It having come to my knowledge that one of them had remained behind, and choosing to know the reason, I discovered that the vessel had been seized by certain creditors for provisions and repairs. I sent immediately for the owner and his security, to compel him to perform his contract, but being aware that it would prove a tedious business and prejudicial to the interests of your Serenity, as part of a company of soldiers must have remained on shore whilst the other vessels would have advanced too far for this one to overtake them, I determined, as the least detrimental course, to give him on account of hire, as much money as would entirely free his vessel, and this I believe to be now thoroughly effected so that I am expecting news to this effect as also of the departure of the vessel, which being a very good sailer will assuredly catch the others.
To each of the ships I consigned a letter to the Captain General at Sea, enclosing their agreement and a note of the moneys consigned to them as also of the ammunition; and I moreover did the like by Colonel Peyton with regard to his men. In conformity with the instructions of your Serenity, I addressed them to the rectors of Corfu, with orders to steer such a course from thence as shall be enjoined.
Four English ships have been seized at Barcelona for the purpose of making them convey troops into Italy and although the owners complained greatly yet from the difficulty of remedying the matter it behoved them to submit.
Biondi, the resident here for Savoy, has lately represented to the king that under frivolous pretences the Spaniards go delaying the surrender of Vercelli and consequently the execution of the peace so often and so positively promised to his Majesty, wherefore, in the name of his Highness, he requests the king not to abandon him, and should the Spaniards continue to protract the restitution, he urges his Majesty to concede him that aid and favour which he has so repeatedly promised. The king sent him word in reply, that he knew what he was bound to by the treaty of Asti, and how much his honour was concerned, since after so many promises from the Spaniards he found himself deluded and deceived. Therefore, should the necessity arise, he confirmed his former assurances, and would by no means desert him; but his Highness can entertain but small hope of assistance from this quarter, as however well inclined the king might be to aid him, his penury augments daily and all the current expenses of the court require funds. Carleton the ambassador in Holland, after repeated demands made in vain for his ordinary salary, has at length obtained leave to return home for a while. Wotton likewise has for some time been writing from Venice for money, and if unable to obtain it, he also will have to withdraw in like manner. So now that Digby has left Madrid his Majesty will only have one ambassador abroad, at Constantinople, who is maintained by the merchants.
By a courier who arrived here from Spain in twelve days, the Catholic ambassador has received leave from his king to return, on the arrival here of Digby, nor is there any news of the departure of the commissioners to negotiate the marriage.
London, the 26th April, 1618.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
340. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I am going to Amsterdam and Texel to see about ships for your Serenity and possibly I shall find a better disposition than exists at present. It consoles one, however, that your Serenity will at least have the reinforcement of ships from England, and these will follow later, by God's grace.
News has arrived here of a fight between six ships of this country and eighteen sail of the enemy in the Indies. Their ships there have also fallen foul of the English who claim to trade in the Moluccas. They took two ships, one after the other. (fn. 6) They are waiting to hear what the English will say, feeling sure that they will take it ill. In addition to this there are the disputes between the two nations about the herring and the whale fisheries. All this goes to show the ill feeling of the English and possibly their desire to reconsider the friendship existing between the crown of Great Britain and these provinces. The English ambassador here, having let his wife return to London four weeks ago has heard that the king has given him leave to return home for a few months to see to his private affairs. When I saw him the day before yesterday he told me that he was going to consult his own native doctors about his health, as he suffered a great deal from the gravel. I am not sure that this may not be a pretext to get away possibly owing to the offence he received in the book written against him, about which only open demonstrations have been made.
The Hague, the last day of April, 1618.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

  • 1. On March 20/80.
  • 2. See no. 287 at page 179 above. William Becher, writing to Naunton on 23 March, 1617, old style, says "the present of the Queen's Majesty sent to the king of horses and dogs was expected by him before their arrival with extraordinary impatience and received with the like demonstration of satisfaction." State Papers, Foreign. France. Vol. 68.
  • 3. Niccolo Donato, elected to succeed Giovanni Bembo on April 5th.
  • 4. This despatch is not found in the files of despatches at the Archives.
  • 5. The earl of Warwick here is Robert Dudley, son (reputed natural) of the earl of Leicester, Elizabeth's favourite. Mr. Temple Leader makes no reference to any such treasonable proposals in his monograph upon Dudley. The statement seems to rest solely upon the authority of Jacques Pierre, and Ranke probably quotes from this memorial when he writes, "In Toscana wollte er (i.e. Jacques Pierre) erfabren haben, dass man die Seemacht von England und Holland durch eine neue Art von Schiffen zu vernichten denke, von denen er ein Modell vorzeigte." Zur Venezianischen Geschichte. Die Verschwörung gegen Venedig, page 192.
  • 6. The dispute arose out of the occupation of the islands of Polaroon and Rosengin by the English. The Dutch attacked the former with three ships, but on finding the defences too strong they retired. Soon after, in January, 1617, they seized the English Company's ship, Swan, and in March following the Dutch obtained the Defence by bribing the crew. Bruce, Annals of the East India Company, i. page 199. Journal of Nathaniel Courthorp, in Purchas, His Pilgrimes, Maclehose, 1905, v. pages, 86–90.