Venice: October 1589

Pages 470-472

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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October 1589

Oct. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 882. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Some Venetian sailors who served on the Armada last year and were carried to Ireland, came to see me. They complain loudly of their treatment, and even had they kept silence their poverty and nakedness would have sufficiently testified to their sufferings, and the absence of their pay. All the same I did not fail to reprove them for talking as they did of this Crown. I advised them to return home, and gave them what money I could.
The King is quite recovered.
Madrid, 3rd October 1589.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 883. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days ago the President of the Royal Council of Flanders arrived at Court He has been sent by the Duke of Parma to treat of very important affairs, among others he is charged with explaining to his Majesty all the particulars of the negotiations with the Queen of England on the subject of peace, and of the accord with Holland and Zealand; it is true that these two subjects are connected and interdependent owing to the Protectorate which the Queen has assumed over the States.
One ship of the Indian fleet has arrived at Seville; it left its consorts at Havana. This ship brings news that no fleet will arrive this year from the islands, and not a vessel has dared to put out from Mexico for fear of the English.
Madrid, 3rd October 1589.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 884. Alberto Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The news of the Duke of Parma's health is far from good. For not only have the Baths not cured the incipient dropsy, but his stomach and legs are continually swelling.
Rome, 8th October] 589.
Oct. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 885. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
For some months now they have had in hand the negotiations for a peace with England; there is a favourable disposition on the one side and on the other. The death of the King of France has rendered the King of Spain and his Ministers still more disposed to this peace, because they know that they will have to turn their attention and their arms to the support of the Catholic party in France. Accordingly, all naval preparations which, a short time ago, were being pressed forward, are now sensibly relaxed. On the other hand the Duke of Parma is ordered to supply to the Duke of Maine as large a number of infantry and cavalry as he can with due regard to the safety of Flanders.
Special precautions are taken for the protection of the King's person; it is forbidden to present supplications to his Majesty, nor may anyone approach him when he is out of doors. The death of the King of France, which shows that no Sovereign however great is now safe, is the cause of those measures.
The necessary preparations for erecting a college of English Jesuits at Valladolid are being made. The King raised many difficulties before giving his consent; but finally permission was granted, provided that no one should be received into the college without having first produced a certificate of the place whence he came, his profession, and his Catholic manner of life.
There is news that thirty ships, not under Drake, but another, have been doing much damage at Florida, and they entertain fears for the fleet.
Madrid, 14th October 1589.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 886. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Mons. de Stafford (Stafort) reached Dieppe with a certain amount of money and munitions from the Queen for the service of the King, who is unable to receive much help by sea, and if any come it must be sent in ships fully armed.
Tours, 16th October 1589.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 887. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The King and his Ministers are not altogether averse from a peace with England, as they desire to accommodate themselves to circumstances; but there is a doubt whether the Queen of England is not playing false, and is really directing her negotiations for peace with a view to cause a relaxation in the Spanish preparations rather than to come to any definite conclusion. Already the rumour runs that she is in close alliance with the Turks, in order to secure the assistance of their fleet next year. Her object will be a fresh attempt on the kingdom of Portugal, so as to prevent the King from taking a part in the affairs of France.
The Queen of England goes along with her illness, and it seems that, although it is dangerous, still it will last longer than was expected. She is very eager in making provision of money and men to help the King of Navarre, who has withdrawn into Dieppe, where she can easily support him from the sea.
The President of the Council of Flanders who was sent there by the Duke of Parma, has been to the Escurial to have an audience of his Majesty; he has not come bach yet Besides the other subjects which I have mentioned, the President is also to treat of the Duke's retirement. The Duke is firmly convinced that he was poisoned, but was saved by the efficacious remedies applied; he now dreads a fresh attempt to poison him, and suspects the Spaniards who are so openly hostile to him. The Spaniards, on the other hand, loudly complain of such a monstrous accusation, and declare that their nation has always been free from such crimes, nor were such weapons ever in use among them.
Madrid, 23rd October 1589.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 24 Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 888. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The fleet that is on its way to Seville, is said to have passed Cape St. Vincent. If this be true, it is excellent news, for the fleet was in danger from the English vessels, which were scouring those seas. There is news from England that Drake has fifty ships ready with which he intends to put to sea; destination unknown.
Madrid, 24th October 1589.
Oct. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 889. Alberto Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The case of England is not the same as that of Navarre, the Pope urges, because the Queen of England is undoubtedly in undisputed possession of her kingdom, whereas Navarre is absolutely debarred from being King of France.
Rome, 28th October 1589.
Oct. 31. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 890. Vincenzo Gradenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
A son of the Viceroy of Ireland has been sent to condole with Cæsar on the death of his father. The order of the Garter has been returned to England.
Prague, 31st October 1589.