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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The period covered by this volume of the “Calendar of State Papers, Venetian,” is the decade 1581 to 1591. The papers calendared exist in the State Archives at the Erari, and in the Marcian Library, at Venice. During the period under consideration, the Republic maintained no Ambassador at the Court of St. James, and our chief sources of information concerning England are the Despatches from Spain, France, and Constantinople. But on January 30th, 1591 (No. 1007), motion was made in the Senate to send a Diplomatic Agent to England ; this motion, though repeated on several occasions, was always thrown out.
The series of documents from which this Calendar is drawn, are the following :—
- Despatches from the Venetian Ambassadors in Spain, France, the Low Countries, Germany, Rome, and Constantinople;
- The Minutes of the Senate;
- News books.
Other series, such as the Necrologies of the Sanitary Office, and the records of the Criminal Courts, have been examined without yielding any results.
The official year began, in Venice, on the 1st of March, and though Venetian Ambassadors at Eoreign Courts did not invariably maintain the Venetian style, where they do so the date of their communications is followed, in this Calendar, by the letters M.V.—More Veneto.
The Venetian Diplomatic Agents have always enjoyed a high reputation for the frequency, fulness, and minuteness of their communications to their Government; and although a large number of curious and interesting details and episodes, which have come under the Editor's eye, could not he properly included in a Calendar which is confined to matters affecting English history, still the reader's attention may perhaps he called to some isolated points of interest before we proceed to deal with the three main topics which are illustrated by the present volume.
The high reputation enjoyed by the Medical School of Padua may, perhaps, account for the frequent and detailed reports upon medical treatment (see “Medical Treatment” in Index) supplied in the Venetian despatches. It seems to imply a particular interest in Medicine on the part of the Venetians when we meet with full accounts of the treatment of Cardinal de Granvelle, of the bleedings and purgings of Philip, of the effect of Bezoar stone upon the Infante, of the progress of Parma's dropsy.
Again (in No. 905) we read of a proposal to patent an invention by which ships shall be able to move “even against the wind,” and the opinion of some experts that the invention is a farce; of others, that it may do in a river, but would be valueless at sea.
Despatches from Constantinople tell us how a scheme was on foot in 1586 (No. 385) for cutting a canal to join the Mediterranean and the Red Sea; they give us the reasons, which were commercial—to destroy the East Indian trade of Spain; the proposed line of the canal—Damietta to Suez, or the Nile to the Red Sea; and the objections and difficulties in the way of each—in the one case the silting of sand, in the other the effect on the River Nile and the city of Cairo.
Nor is Venetian ambassadorial life without its lively episodes which are recorded with more or less humour in the despatches.] Hieronimo Lippomano was Venetian Ambassador at Madrid in 1587. He possessed a picture of his patron, St. Jerome, painted, he says, by Titian, though if this be the picture now in Madrid, it is confidently ascribed to Lotto. This picture Lippomano valued very highly, and kept it in his study. One day he asked the King's favourite, Calavrese, to dine, and the St. Jerome was duly admired by his guest. About this time Philip resolved to present the Republic with a palace in Madrid for the residence of the Venetian Ambassador. The palace, however, was occupied by the Countess d'Ozeda, sister of Count Olivarez, the Spanish Ambassador in Rome, and hence the troubles which Lippomano vivaciously describes as follows:—
“I hope in a few days to take up my lodging in the new palace belonging to your Serenity. I have had to overcome some difficulties and annoyances and to incur various expenses, as is usual in such cases; and, among others, some of the furnishings were stolen and sold on the spot; the Chamberlain, with exquisite courtesy, caused these to be restored to me. But what most disturbed me was that the women servants, pages and attendants of the Countess of Ozeda, sister of Olivarez, Ambassador in Rome, being unwilling to remove themselves from these fine apartments, carried off the doors, locks, cupboards, windows, and some magnificent mirrors, and actually set fire to the house, which ran a great risk of being burned down; and so as the palace was thus rendered almost uninhabitable, I was obliged, for your Serenity's honour and my own convenience, to go to great expense. The Countess, perhaps regretting the action of her dependants, and afraid that if the King came to hear of it he would be angry, has given me to understand that everything shall be restored at once on condition that I paid for all the movables, as is the custom here. This is both honourable and advantageous, for it would take more than one thousand ducats to replace what has been removed, whereas I intend to give the Countess only three hundred. I have been advised to make this present in silver goblets. This expense has come on the top of the others, for I thought I was done of it when I had given a silver-gilt vase to the Sergeant-Major, and other tips to his subordinates; but the King himself has insisted on a douceur, declaring that he had more right to it than anyone else. And as he had heard from Calavrese, his favourite, who is very well known to all those illustrious gentlemen who have resided here, that I possessed a picture of St. Jerome, of great beauty, painted by Titian, he favoured me with the information that if I would send it to him he would accept it willingly, as indeed he has done; for he keeps it in his private chamber, and though her Serenity, the Infanta, begged him for it he will not give it up; I am therefore obliged to look out for another for her Royal Highness and another for the Count of Chinchon, who, as Master of the Household, inducted me into the Palace, and has asked for the present of a picture.”
At the Porte the French Ambassador appears to have made himself a fruitful source of trouble and annoyance, not merely to the English representative, as we shall see when we come to deal with Harborne's mission to the Sultan, but also to the Venetian Bailo with whom he was supposed to co-operate for the expulsion of the English. The following episode which arose upon a question of precedence, serves to illustrate the relations which existed between the Diplomatic Agents of the Christian powers at Constantinople.
“On Palm Sunday the Reverend Father, the Minister of S. Francesco, sent me a note in which he declared that the French Ambassador declined to sit on the ordinary seats in the choir, but demanded a separate chair covered with velvet. Although the minister believed that this request was only intended by the Ambassador to take him out of the crowd of common people, especially at this time of plague, yet, as that might not be so, he had thought it well to inform me : and he added that he had prepared two priedieus exactly alike, one for each of us, to be placed by our servants in front of our chairs.
“That same day, the French Ambassador came to visit me; and after exchanging the usual compliments, I offered to accompany him to church, and inquired where he meant to sit, for if he had resolved not to use the seats of the Padri, but one of his own, I would send my servants and have one brought for myself and placed near his, as was usual. To these remarks, which I made in a very clear voice, he gave no answer, save a most vague one. Accordingly I thought it judicious not to attach a meaning to his action which perhaps did not exist, and refrained from pursuing the subject further; moreover, thinking that his conduct was simply dictated by a regard for his own safety, I did not even report the occurrence to your Serenity, being unwilling to disturb you on so slight a foundation.
“As Easter was approaching, in which the Ambassador of France and the Bailo of Venice are accustomed to assist at High Mass in the church of S. Francesco, I thought it well to take steps for preventing any diminution of the honour due to your Serenity. Accordingly I again sent my servant to the French Ambassador offering him my company to church, on the ground that our houses were so close together, and that such a step would demonstrate our complete union and accord.
“He accepted my offer, but added that his seat would be prepared in a suitable place, and that, as the church was large, I had better cause mine to be prepared wherever it best pleased me, provided always that it was not near his, but separated. My servant showed surprise at this proposal, took his leave, and reported the matter to me. I heard the story with great pain, and resolved at once to send my secretary, whom I instructed in all the replies he was to make, and I especially charged him to say that he had come in order to be more clearly informed of the answer given to my servant who, unaccustomed as he was to such business, must have reported it incorrectly. My secretary performed his task accurately. The Ambassador replied that he could not understand why I should be offended at taking a place separate from him, nor why I insisted on appearing with him, for he was representative of the greatest power in Christendom. My secretary answered that neither I nor my household had ever dreamed of doing anything to diminish the honour of the King, his master; but that he was throwing grave doubts on his professed devotion to the Signory of Venice by endeavouring to deprive me of a place which my predecessors had always held without the slightest complaint or opposition on the part of his, which place consisted in sitting next the Ambassador of France, as was customary at all European Courts. The Ambassador retorted that he did not intend to regulate his conduct by that of his predecessors or of other Ambassadors, but by his own knowledge of what was just and right. He added that he was informed that M. d'Avaux had a separate place in church, and that he intended to follow his example. He asserted that he was the only real Ambassador at the Porte, for your Serenity merely kept a Bailo, whose rank was that of agent, not of Ambassador. - The choir of S. Francesco is like the choir of most Venetian churches and our difficulty is that the French Ambassador wishes to occupy the right-hand side alone, either in the first of the choir stalls or on a velvet chair brought from the Embassy with a stool in front of it, and that I should place myself on the left-hand side in the same way as he on the right, so that between us there should be the distinction of right from left, and also the whole width of the choir, whereas I claim to remain at the same side as he does, be it right or left, and in the seat immediately next to his, as has always happened, the left side of the choir being occupied by secretaries and the merchants who accompany the Ambassadors to church. To avoid a scandal I did not go to S. Francesco on Easter Day. I went to mass with my household at St. Peter's. The French Ambassador caused his seat to be placed right in the centre of the choir, and came to church dressed in cloak and sword, which is an innovation. The Perotes are all in my favour. The Ambassador's assertion about M. d'Avaux is a sheer falsehood; for he always sat, as I explained above, with the Venetian Bailo next to him.”
Some details of commerce, chiefly between England and Venice and England and the Porte, together with a notice of the English warehouses at Patras, may be collected under the heading “Commerce” in the Index. No. 565 contains some curious information as to the heavy bets which were lost in Rome when William Allen was unexpectedly raised to the purple.
But leaving aside such isolated episodes as those above related, we may proceed to indicate the three main lines of English history, which are illustrated in this volume : (1), the relations between England and France on the subject of Elizabeth's marriage with the Duke of Alençon (Anjou) and the death of Mary Queen of Scots ; (2), the full accounts of Drake's operations in the West Indies, at the Azores, and on the Spanish seaboard, which are furnished by the Venetian Ambassadors in Spain, together with the story of the Armada; (3), the fuller and even more important details of Elizabeth's policy at the Porte and of the missions of William Harborne and Edward Barton.
The last volume of the Venetian Calendar left the negotiations for the marriage of Alençon in this position: the Duke's visit to England in August 1579 had led him to believe that the marriage was virtually settled. Elizabeth, by her reception of the Duke and by the presents she bestowed on him, had encouraged this belief ; the Queen-Mother of France, though apparently still hostile to the match, declared that “things had already gone too far with England to allow either party to retire,” though her son, King Henry, believed that the Queen of England “was so artful in all her negotiations” that no reliance could be placed upon her present attitude. Matters had indeed reached a point at which a draft contract of marriage was framed (No. 31). Official opinion, as expressed by Belliévre, was hostile to the match. It would seem that no one really desired this union except Alençon, who nourished ambitious designs on Flanders. But Elizabeth, pursuing her policy of mystification, announced that she “wished she had her froggy swimming once more in the Thames”; and by June 2, 1581, Alençon had set out towards the channel with a view to crossing over into England. He was detained by contrary winds, and in the interval the French Embassy extraordinary which had been sent to Elizabeth returned to Paris. The Ambassadors brought a message from the Queen that she had no intention of supporting Alençon against Spain in the Netherlands, and incidentally M. deLansac, a member of the Embassy, records (No. 32) the very favourable impression which Elizabeth had produced. This cold breath from England seems to have delayed the Duke's departure, and from Picardy he proceeded to Flanders. Again Elizabeth began to encourage her suitor; in August an Ambassador arrived with letters from her to the Duke (No. 40), and she was reported (No. 46) to be supplying him with thirty thousand crowns a month. In November unexpected news reached Paris (No. 53). The Duke with a suite of five gentlemen had set out for Calais, and the Queen was making great preparations to receive him with all honour, and had supplied him one hundred thousand crowns. By November 26th Alençon was in England, and immediately after that date it was rumoured at the French Court that the match was concluded; “on the 22nd of November, in the presence of many nobles, the Queen and Monsieur exchanged rings and kisses; but no one knows what they said” (No. 56), This news is followed, December 14 (No. 60), by the report of a conversation between Elizabeth and Alençon, in which the Queen blows cold again; she points out to the Duke that marriage with her would raise many enemies against him, that “she was old, unfit for childbirth, certain to die in childbed, and that is out of the question.” In spite of this attitude on the part of the Queen, Alençon took occasion to announce once more that the match was arranged; in reply the Queen declared that Parliament must be consulted, and by December 28th, she is reported to have found such opposition to the marriage among her advisers that she “adjourned the whole question to next month” (No. 62). Meantime the Queen-Mother and King Henry learned that Alençon and the Queen of England were passing their days in feast and revelry, “conversing with the greatest possible intimacy and freedom,” reproducing, as Catherine de'Medici said, the romance of Amadis. But by February 12th (No. 68) “there is positive news in Paris that Monsieur has left England. The Queen accompanied him to the seashore and to show grief at his departure wore black.” She gave him an escort of four Peers under the Earl of Leicester, and charged them never to leave him and to bring him safe back to England when he had concluded his business in Flanders, which was to receive the investiture of Brabant.
Alençon did not return to England, and the marriage negotiations lay dormant until, in May 1582, Elizabeth reopened the question (No. 84) with the King of France. But little seems to have come of this step on her part. Alençon was fully occupied with his operations in Flanders, at Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Cambray. That untrustworthy agent, Don Bernardino de Mendoza, declared (No. 200) that when he was dismissed from England in January 1584, Alençon, at the request of Elizabeth, sent a detachment of troops to seize him at Calais. On June 10th Alençon died. In August, Elizabeth sent a gentleman to condole with King Henry upon the loss of his brother, but the King declined to receive him. (No. 235.)
By November 7th, 1586, an agent from Elizabeth had reached Paris. He brought with him the depositions taken during the trial of Babington and his accomplices; and his mission was to prove to King Henry that Mary Queen of Scots deserved to be put to death. Some delay took place before the agent and Elizabeth's Ambassador in ordinary were admitted to audience. That, however, was granted on November 10th, when all the papers were handed to the King. The French Ambassador in London, de l'Aubespine, meantime informed his master of the trial and condemnation of Queen Mary, and was instructed to urge Elizabeth to spare Mary's life. Elizabeth's reply (No. 437) showed so little sign of yielding that M. de Belliévre was despatched on a special mission to England (No. 440) in December 1586. On January 2nd, 1587, Belliévre sent a report from London announcing that Elizabeth had received him favourably, though the popular feeling was running high against him; but when he came to discuss the subject of his mission with the Queen he found her Majesty immovable (No. 445). The publication of the sentence caused Belliévre to seek another audience, in which he received for answer that “unwonted was the crime; unwonted shall be the punishment”; “it is absolutely necessary for Mary to die if Elizabeth is to live.” In spite of this firmness, however, Belliévre writes that he does not absolutely despair of saving the Queen's life. The receipt of this despatch in Paris caused King Henry to send, with all speed, a messenger bearing autograph letters to Elizabeth, entreating her to act leniently. That was on January 5th; and Belliévre on his return to Paris reports, on January 30th, that the Queen of England had relaxed some of the rigours of Mary's prison, without making any promise as to sparing her life. Elizabeth received information from the brother of the English Ambassador in Paris that a plot to murder her was being hatched at the French Embassy in London. Destrapes, one of de l'Aubespine's household, was to be the agent (No. 468). Destrapes was arrested, and the English Ambassador in France received orders to lay the whole affair before King Henry, and to beg him to suspend his judgment till the matter could be unravelled. The result of this communication was that on the 6th of February, an embargo was laid upon all English shipping in France, to which Elizabeth replied in kind. Elizabeth then sent Secretary Wade to the King, with the depositions of the incriminated, and with instructions to demand the recall of de l'Aubespine, whom she characterises as a servant of the League and not of his Majesty. Wade obtained an audience with difficulty, and received no very favourable answer. In England, Elizabeth refused to admit de l'Aubespine to her presence, and warned him that his life was in danger. Henry endeavoured to compel her to receive his representative by sending his answer to Wade's communications not through Wade, but through de l'Aubespine without succeeding, however, in his object; for Elizabeth under colour of protecting the Ambassador's life caused him to be virtually imprisoned in his own house. (No. 475.)
On March 2nd a courier arrived in Paris from England. He brought instructions to Wade and the Ambassador in ordinary, to tell King Henry that the execution of Mary had taken place (No. 477). Henry refused to admit them to his presence, and they were forced to deliver their message to Belliévre and the Secretary Bruslart, to whom they also handed a letter from Elizabeth, in which she threw the blame for the execution on Davison. L'Aubespine made a long report upon the execution of the sentence, (No. 484) furnishing details, the source of which he does not indicate. All relations between the Crowns of France and England were now suspended (No. 500). Wade was informed that he would not receive a passport till Destrapes was set at liberty; and the English, on the other hand, refused to release Destrapes till the prisoner Morgan was handed over to them. Matters dragged on in this state till the month of May (No. 517) when Elizabeth set Destrapes at liberty. On his arrival in Paris (No. 527) Wade obtained his passport, took his leave and returned home.
The decade 1581 to 1591 is precisely the period of the great Spanish attack upon England; of the bucaneering captains; of the rise of British sea power. It is natural, therefore, that the despatches contained in this volume should offer much that is of interest from the point of view of naval operations. The fullest information comes from Spain, but there is a considerable amount to be gathered from the Venetian Ambassador in France, while the Bailo at the Porte is copious on the subject of the preparation for a great Turkish armament during the years 1590 and 1591. The story of the Armada has recently been told from the Spanish point of view, and the reports of Lippomano, preserved in this volume, only serve to increase the impression of inefficiency and dilatoriness on the part of Philip and his ministers which is created by Mr. Froude's essays. It is interesting to note that neither the Venetian Ambassador in Spain nor the Papal Nuncio, nor indeed the Pope himself, felt any confidence in the success of the Armada; only Philip and his immediate Councillors, not his sea captains, were convinced that victory must be theirs. The despatches from Rome (Nos. 728, 734) give us two interesting and, I believe, important documents; one is an extract from a letter written by the Duke of Parma, describing what took place on the 6th, 7th, and 8th August, as Medina Sidonia sailed up the channel; the other is a report on the operations off Calais during those same days. This information is supplemented by (No. 746), a letter written by some one on board the Armada, dated from Scalloway (Vacallaos) Bay, and by an account of the sufferings of the Spanish on the Irish coast.
On the subject of Drake's operations in the West Indies and on the coast of Spain and Portugal, the Spanish despatches give useful, and to some extent, new information. We have the advantage of possessing the reports of eye-witnesses to his most important actions at Corunna, at Cadiz, at Lisbon and Cascaes, in the Indies and Azores, where he liked to lie in wait for the galleons from Peru.
One of the most powerful weapons in the hands of Philip's enemies, whether they were French or English, Catherine de' Medici, or Queen Elizabeth, was Don Antonio of Portugal, the Grand Prior of Crato, natural son of Lewis son of King Emmanuel, and claimant of the Portuguese throne. Many of Drake's operations on the Spanish and Portuguese seaboard were directed, nominally at least, to creating a movement in Don Antonio's favour. On October, 25th, 1585, Don Antonio was to have sailed for Spain on board Drake's fleet of 44 ships, with 10,000 infantry, and 500 horse (No. 289) though Elizabeth's orders detained him at the last moment. By the middle of October, Drake had reached Galicia where he landed and harried the country round Bayona, whose Governor reports to Santa Cruz upon this attack. Leaving the coast of Spain, Drake made for the Canaries, pushed westward to San Domingo, took the town and exacted a ransom; seized New Carthage and in fact seems to “have found no hindrance to the development and the execution of his designs.” (No. 304.) Meantime Santa Cruz was reporting to the King upon all the possibilities which lay before Drake, and suggesting the proper method of meeting the danger. (No. 305.) He points out that if Don Antonio should attempt to land in Portugal far larger armaments must be made, and concludes thus: “It is necessary, for your Majesty's service, that all this should be carried out as rapidly as possible.” But Philip's ill-health, coupled with his determination to attend to every detail of execution himself, rendered anything like rapidity of action impossible at the Spanish court. What Drake had done at Teneriffe, the Canaries, Cape Verd, on his way west, is fully detailed in the deposition of Alvaro Rocha (No. 308), master of a ship which was seized by the English in those waters, and in the report printed in Number 321. His conduct in the West Indies is shown even on the evidence of a Spaniard (No. 337) to have been humane towards the native population, who “all love him and throw their houses open to every Englishman.” By the summer of 1586, Drake was back in England once more; his booty is reported as being enormous, and the honours bestowed upon him very great. He had thoroughly alarmed the Spanish, whose finances depended so largely upon the revenue of the West Indies; and (No. 393) we find Santa Cruz drawing up for his Majesty's inspection an elaborate list of the men and ships that would be required to make an attack on England.
In the spring of 1587, Drake was once more off the Spanish coast; on April 29th, about five in the afternoon, he sailed into the harbour of Cadiz and a full account of what he did there will be found in No. 513. His fleet consisted of about forty-two sail, that is to say, five great ships of five hundred tons each, two galleasses of two hundred tons, extremely beautiful, six ships of one hundred tons, thirteen frigates of sixty tons, and the rest light vessels. Don Pedro d'Acugna was lying in the port with seven galleys and one galleon. He opened fire on the enemy, and thus the engagement began. Drake replied with his artillery, which had a longer range than the Spanish; and so terror-stricken was the population that when crowding into the castle for safety, twenty-five persons were suffocated. The Governor, Don Juan de Vega, sent to Xeres and to the Duke of Medina Sidonia for help, and the Duke arrived, during the night, with three thousand men.
The English either captured or destroyed a large amount of provisions intended for the Armada, and they proposed to carry off one large Biscayan of seven hundred tons, but found her too heavy, and were obliged to sink her. The Spanish captured an English frigate, of whose crew only five were found surviving when she was taken.
Drake was unable to effect a landing, and so the Spanish loss in men amounted to fifty only; but early on the morning of the 30th all the Spanish shipping was in a blaze, and by midday the English endeavoured to beat out of the harbour in the teeth of a west wind; they did not succeed, and it was only by midnight that the wind served and they made the open.
Leaving Cadiz, Drake threatened Lisbon (No. 521), but failed to enter the harbour as the wind dropped. The following numbers down to 534 are chiefly occupied with accounts of his movements on the Spanish and Portuguese coasts. After a plundering expedition to the Azores, he was back again in Plymouth by the 9th of July. One result of his expedition is noted by the Ambassador in Paris, namely, that sugar is so cheap in London “that what costs five reals in Prance is sold for half a real there.”
Philip, as we have seen, had already for long been collecting at Seville, at Lisbon, at Corunna, a vast fleet, and abundant supplies of biscuits, wine, salt, meat, cheese, some of which Drake had destroyed at Corunna and at Cadiz. These preparations were so large that the Venetian Ambassador felt sure they were intended for offence, not for defence merely, though Philip's habit of secrecy prevented any real knowledge as to the destination of the fleet from leaking out. Pope Sixtus, it was known, did all he could to spur Philip on to attack England, but on the other hand, Cardinal de Granvelle and Parma, in Philip's name, were vainly endeavouring to arrive at some terms of accord with Elizabeth.
Philip at last made up his mind that the Armada should sail in the autumn of 1587, By September 4th, we hear (No. 578) that “the Armada is ready, and the men forbidden to go ashore on pain of death,” though it was probable death to stay on board, so bad were the rations, and so violent the epidemic. “If the Marquis of Santa Cruz arrives within eight or ten days, they say that beyond all doubt he will sail with one hundred and thirty ships for Flanders and England.” But Santa Cruz was out to protect the rich Indiamen, and his return was delayed by bad weather. He did not reach Lisbon till October. Still the King, with the obstinacy of a weak nature, insisted that the fleet, despite the lateness of the season, should sail, and Santa Cruz (No. 585) promised to be ready by the 20th of October, and raised no objections on the score of the season, “for he knew that the King was resolved upon action, and could not bear to be contradicted or thwarted.” But though Santa Cruz did not at once object to sailing, nay even promised to do so, facts themselves began to render the departure of the Armada an impossibility. The troops were not ready; mules for the artillery could not be found ; the ships which had recently acted as escort to the Indiamen were discovered to be unseaworthy. The Marquis sent an expert to explain the situation; the King refused to listen to him. Courier after courier left the Escurial for Lisbon with orders to sail. The Marquis replies that by St. Martin's Day, November 11th, he will have forty ships ready. Anger on the part of the King, and bitter complaints from Don Juan d'Idiaquez (No. 592), that his master has spent such vast sums only to find an inefficient navy and a disobedient officer. Santa Cruz retorts that he “cannot work miracles.” Philip thinks he can; and orders prayers and the exposition of the Host. The Admiral despatches Don Pedro Enriquez to court to clear his reputation, and to assure the King that six hundred men are at work day and night on the damaged ships; that he will sail on the 25th of November, though he humbly points out the great danger to the whole Armada from the stormy nature of the Atlantic Ocean, from the tides and currents of the Channel, from the fact that in England during the winter there are little more than six hours of daylight, and up to two o'clock the sky is usually covered by a dense mist; if the wind is from the south—that is favourable to the Armada—the atmosphere will be obscured for the whole day; if the sky is clear the “wind will be in our teeth”; but, above all, he urges the danger from “certain airs which are deadly to foreigners.” The Marquis goes on to recommend delay till March of next year, but concludes an impressive letter by declaring that “If after all, your Majesty should insist on my sailing, be assured that you will not have either officer or private who will risk his life with greater alacrity, courage, and ardour.”(No. 595.)
A private letter from Lisbon (No. 603) fully confirms the Marquis's defence: “The fleet is in want of sailors, the hospitals are full of soldiers,” “the ships require more repair than was expected.” The King took the advice of the Prior, Don Ernando, and others, and at last, and very unwillingly, consented to allow the Marquis to have his own way. This produced a relaxation of the work in Lisbon. A review of the troops was to be held, but between desertion, death, and sickness it appeared that fresh levies would be required. (No. 609.) The sickness was indeed very serious, and it was about to deal the King a cruel blow. By February 13th, 1588, news reached Madrid that Santa Cruz had died of the spotted fever. The person in whose arms he expired (No. 629) declared that he frequently sighed, and complained that the attacks made upon him at court were sending him to his grave; and adds in a spirit of prophecy that “it is indeed a death to be deeply lamented for many reasons, and perhaps as time goes on the loss will be seen to be even greater than it looks.”
It is impossible not to feel some compassion for Philip; within a year he had lost one of his ablest advisers, Cardinal de Granvelle, his most intimate servant, Santoias, his one capable agent at the Porte, Marigliani, and his most experienced admiral, Santa Cruz. Philip very promptly endeavoured to repair this last misfortune by appointing the Duke of Medina Sidonia to the vacant command three days after the receipt of the news that the admiral was dead. The Duke's high rank made this appointment almost a necessity. He was the only nobleman under whom the other officers would serve; “he has excellent qualities,” the Ambassador reports, “and is greatly beloved. He is not only prudent and brave, but of an extreme goodness and benignity. Only one might desire in him a wider experience of the sea.”
The Armada sailed, and the story of its career and fate has been so often told that we need not rehearse it here. Confirmatory evidence as to its movements in the Channel, before Calais, and in the German Ocean will be found in numbers 680, 681, 687, 765, 706, 707, 713, 714, 728, 733, 734, 745, 746, 749, 750, 761, 765. Drake's superiority in seamanship, the handiness of his vessels, the greater range of their guns, are well illustrated in these despatches; while the terrible letter from Scalloway Bay (No. 786) gives perhaps the best account we possess of all that happened after the flight from the fìreships on the night of the 7th and 8th of August. The Armada dribbled slowly back to Spain, the battered galleons put in to Corunna, to Santander, to the ports of Galicia and Biscay ; their storm-tossed officers and crews reached land only to die of sickness in very many cases. And the last of the ill-starred fleet had not yet reached Spain, when in December (No. 788) news arrived that Drake had sailed from England. It was doubtful at first what his destination might be, the Azores or the Portuguese coast. Whichever it should prove to be Philip was quite unprepared, and “those who were competent to judge declared that if Drake were to go to the Azores he would not only ruin the whole of the India traffic, but could easily make himself master of the islands.” The rumour of Drake's departure was premature, and the delay lulled Spanish preparations and precautions to sleep. But suddenly, on the 4th May 1589 (No. 830), the famous captain appeared off Corunna. With him was Don Antonio, and the whole expedition was designed in conjunction with the Portuguese partizans of the Prior of Crato, to produce a rising in Lisbon which would expel the Spanish and place Don Antonio on the throne. Drake held the naval command and Colonel Norris was in charge of the troops, both acting nominally under Don Antonio.
The fortifications of Corunna were very weak, and Drake may have believed that the city would easily fall into his hands, the Spaniards themselves certainly thought so, but the courage of the Governor, the Marquis of Seralva, saved the place. Drake easily made himself master of the suburbs and ravaged the country round Corunna, but he could not penetrate into the city itself. (No. 839.) On the 18th he abandoned the attempt.
Considering that Lisbon was the real object of this expedition, the delay at Corunna was a serious mistake; it allowed the Cardinal Archduke, the Governor of Lisbon, to take measures for the defence of the city, and more important still, to imprison and suppress the most notable adherents to the cause of Don Antonio. It is highly probable that if Drake had struck straight at Lisbon, his expedition would have been a success instead of a failure. After wasting fourteen days before Corunna, Drake set sail. He found some difficulty in clearing Cape Pinisterre, and it was only on the 26th May that he reached Peniche. There he landed about fourteen thousand men (No. 841) who set out at once towards Lisbon, while Drake and his fleet continued by sea to Cascaes at the mouth of the Tagus, where he cast anchor, without attempting to force an entry between the two forts. The English troops under Don Antonio and Colonel Norris, meantime, had advanced rapidly upon Lisbon without staying to plunder. The reception of Don Antonio by the populace was enthusiastic, and hopes were entertained that Lisbon would rise as soon as the English appeared under its walls. The Portuguese troops in the garrison were certainly favourable to the Prior. They refused to march when ordered out on a sortie by their commander, Count Fuentes. Money too and provisions in abundance found their way into the English camp, together with a certain number of Portuguese gentry. But the vigour of the Cardinal Archduke, and the severity of his repressive measures held the people of Lisbon in order. On the 2nd June (No. 844) Don Antonio and Norris reached the suburbs in the evening. Don Antonio was lodged with the Duke d'Avero. The next day the city was invested and skirmishes took place with no advantage to the attacking party. Troops meanwhile were coming up fast, and the Cardinal's conduct inspired his few Castillian regiments with exceptional courage. Drake still lay idle at Cascaes; no rising of the populace occurred. In short, the blow had missed its effect.
Don Antonio and the English withdrew to Cascaes, where the troops were cantoned. The Spanish did not attempt to molest them on their march towards the sea, but by the 14th of June the position was clearly so hopeless, and the Archduke's forces growing so much stronger every clay, that the English embarked with all their guns and munitions, leaving behind them the unfortunate Portuguese who had joined their enterprise, and abandoned the ill-starred undertaking. It was the end of all Don Antonio's hopes to recover the kingdom of Portugal, and the beginning of Drake's disgrace, for on his return to England Elizabeth showed her displeasure, and open recriminations passed between Drake and Norris, who laid the blame upon the shoulders of the sea captain because he had failed to bring his fleet up to the walls of Lisbon. (No. 875.)
That Philip did not at once abandon the idea of a second expedition against England is made quite clear by the despatches from Madrid. He had ordered the prayers for the Armada to cease, but he began to issue instructions for the collection of fresh stores and the construction of a new Armada. Don Alonzo de Bazan, Santa Cruz's brother, was appointed to the real command, though Sidonia's feelings were spared by allowing him to retain the supreme title. But Philip had lost his best officers, Recalde, Oquendo, and Moncada, who were dead; and Don Pedro de Valdez who was a prisoner in London. His exchequer was running dry; the West India fleets did not sail home; he was obliged to borrow money from the Fuggers and the Spinolas. Moreover, the affairs of France, the progress of Navarre, and the weakness of the League kept him anxious; he had lost the sympathy and support of the Pope who openly and mordently criticised his conduct of the last campaign, and showed such signs of favouring Navarre that he was even accused of heretical leanings, and the Cardinal Santa Severina actually declared that if he were made Pope he would exhume and burn the body of Sixtus.
Marigliani was dead and Ferrari was quite unable to outmanœuvre Barton, the English Ambassador at the Porte; no truce with the Turk was concluded and the Sultan was preparing a vast fleet whose destination was expected to be Italy. Parma was suffering from dropsy and could not or would not conduct an active campaign in Flanders and France. Circumstances were too strong for Philip, and the rumours of a second Armada and a fresh attack on England dwindled slowly away.
The third, and perhaps the most important of the main topics illustrated by this volume of the Calendar is the relations between Queen Elizabeth and the Sultan Murad; relations which were partly political,—intended to secure the support of the Sultan against Spain as a counterpoise in the Mediterranean, partly commercial,—directed to the establishment of the British flag in Levant, and the freedom of British shipping from that servitude to the French flag which the French nation claimed in virtue of treaties stipulated between Francis and the Sultan Suliman.
This important subject has been studied and illustrated by few writers; first by Von Hammer, who is very brief and is based upon the Imperial Ambassadors; Von Hammer is followed by Zinkeisen, who again is followed by Dyer; that is one line of study. The second line, and by far the more fruitful, is that which draws its material from the Venetian archives. That line has been examined and illustrated by my learned friend Dr. Moritz Brosch and by my predecessor the late Mr. Rawdon Brown, among whose papers, now in the Record Office, is an interesting treatise on “The Entente Cordiale; William Harborne; Elizabethan Diplomacy at Constantinople,” which carries the subject down to March 1585, but no further. When compiling this volume, I have found, read, and calendared all the papers relating to this subject, and have had access to Harborne's own despatches, now in the Record Office; and while availing myself of Mr. Brown as well as of my predecessors, I shall endeavour to tell the story in my own words, referring to the present collection of documents.
The earliest notice of the Turkey Company in England is the discussion of that project by Lord Burghley, in 1579. The result of this discussion was that in February of 1580, an English ship, sailing under the Erench flag, arrived at Schios. Its supercargo, William Harborne, carried a permit from the High Admiral (Capudan) of Sultan Murad III. Harborne's object was two-fold; he wished to sell his cargo of cloth and he was also charged with a diplomatic mission. This latter fact, when it became known, arrayed against him the French Ambassador, M. de Germigny, and the Venetian agent, Carrazza, who was acting as chargé d'affaires for the Republic until the new Bailo could arrive.
In spite of this opposition Harborne succeeded in obtaining an ample patent of liberty for the English flag and English commerce throughout the Sultan's dominions, dated 13th May 1580. M. de Germigny's influence proved sufficient, however, to cause this patent to be cancelled about six weeks after it had been signed; and in a letter addressed to Henry III. of France, Murad declares that he will treat with England only through the medium of that King. The revocation was kept secret till November 1580; but when the news reached Venice (No. 2) the Senate ordered their Bailo to do all that in him lay to thwart any English efforts to reopen the question.
Harborne, meanwhile, had returned to England, where he informed Lord Burghley of his early success and subsequent check, but showed a determination not to renounce his designs. He set sail once more for Constantinople. Everything conspired to render his position there extremely difficult, if not untenable. Mustapha, with whom he had negotiated the former treaty, was dead ; Sinan the Grand Vizir was furiously insulting to all Christians; and to make matters worse, the captain of the ship on which Harborne sailed, piratically seized two galleons manned by Turkish subjects and in Turkish waters. These crews escaped and their complaints at Constantinople alienated the valuable support of the Capudan Uluge or Occhiali. Harborne, finding that he could do nothing towards the rehabilitation of the cancelled patent, devoted his great skill and perseverance towards the formation of a party favourable to English interests, and was so far successful that he secured the support of Mehemet, who was married to Murad's favourite sister. This accomplished, Harborne returned to England, and on November 15th, 1582, he obtained from Elizabeth credentials dated from Windsor, addressed to the Sultan and to Mehemet Pasha. (Nos. 132, 133.) Thus fully accredited, Harborne sailed once more for Constantinople. The principal object of his mission was still commercial, but he was now also to act as full English Ambassador at the Porte; and no doubt Elizabeth and her ministers were even thus early aware that the threat of a Turkish descent upon Spanish possessions in the Mediterranean would prove a powerful weapon in case Philip should ever try to` open hostilities with England. At all events, Harborne's conduct on his arrival in Constantinople seems to have been intended to mark clearly the wide difference between the Catholic powers and the Protestant Sovereign, his mistress. That arrival is reported by Giovanni Francesco Moresini, under dates April 5th and April 19th, 1583 (Nos. 126, 130) in the following terms :—
“In my preceding despatch, I announced the arrival of an English ship at the Seven Towers, on board of which was an Ambassador from the Queen of England, sent to reside at this Porte. He was detained some days at the Seven Towers, owing to the hostile representations of the French Ambassador. But, finally, the Magnificent Pasha gave orders to the captain of the sea to send two galleys to tow the vessel into harbour, and to Siavus and Capigi Pashas to go and meet the Ambassador at his landing, and to conduct him to the house which had been hired for him, as is the custom on the entry of your Serenity's Bailo. Accordingly, on Good Friday, the said ship entered the port, towed by the two galleys, at the hour when the Christians were celebrating the Divine office in their churches, by singing melodies suitable to the Passion of the Cross. Suddenly, when the vessel was off Serraglio Point, a great noise of artillery was heard, accompanied by a continual music of trumpets and drums, and other signs of rejoicing, to the great grief and pain of these poor Christians who are here, when they saw that on such a day, and at such an hour, people who call themselves Christians act in a way so contrary to the usage of the Church, and to the dishonour of so solemn a function. People were so greatly shocked that when the Ambassador went from his ship to his house, he was escorted by no Christians, only by the Turks above mentioned; and as he passed through the streets of Pera not a Christian raised his hat; and even the Turks, in contempt, called him a Lutheran, and show that they are far from pleased to see him; all the more so as. according to custom, the Ambassador provided on that very day a sumptuous feast of meats, to which hardly the Turks would come, as even they abhorred in a Christian such an insult to his religion. That evening, on board ship, they had fireworks, salvoes of artillery, and music, with great uproar. But they nearly paid the penalty of their sin, for one of the rockets fell back into the ship, close to the powder magazine, and set the ship on fire, and it was only with great difficulty that the flames were mastered. I thought it advisable to send my secretary to call on the said Ambassador and to offer him my services, begging him to make use of all I have in my house, in sign of the good friendship which your Serenity has for the Queen. I begged to be pardoned if I did not visit him in person, as the custom of the Porte was that no Ambassador should receive visits till he had kissed hands with the Sultan; and I assured him that, as soon as etiquette would permit me, I would not fail to wait on him. The Ambassador showed great satisfaction at this message; and two days later he sent one of his suite to thank me, assuring me he would report my friendliness to the Queen.
“The day after my visit to the Pasha, the French Ambassador had an audience of him also, on the subject of this English Ambassador; he raised a vigorous opposition, and left a protest in writing, the substance of which was that if the Englishman is received here as Ambassador, and if English ships are allowed to sail these waters under any other flag than that of France, his Sovereign will consider himself absolved from the alliance, as this is a point expressly mentioned in his treaty with the Sultan, If, in addition to this representation, some presents were added, the English would most certainly be dismissed. But the French Ambassador has no authority to spend money for this purpose; and, on the other hand, the English make very large promises, so it is unlikely that the Pasha will care to risk the prospect of presents. It is true that some think that he will accept the English presents, and then raise some pretext for dismissing them, in order to oblige the French Ambassador.”
The arrival of Harborne flying the English flag constituted an acknowledgment of England by the Porte, and as M. de Germigny insisted, a breach of previous treaties with France. But Harborne's ability and determination overcame the French opposition. On May 3rd (No. 131) he kissed hands and presented the gifts which Elizabeth had sent to the Sultan. The ceremonial, the suite, and the banquet were identical with those in use on the reception of an Ambassador from France.
At this point we incidentally get a curious and vivid glimpse into the working of a diplomatist's life in Constantinople. (Appendix No. 1.) As Harborne had now kissed hands the Venetian Ambassador was in duty bound to call on the recognised representative of England. Moresini accordingly set out with all his suite. His dragoman, Pasquale, was sent on ahead, on horseback, to announce his master's coming. Harborne, however, begged to be excused on the ground that his house was all in disorder. This message reached Moresini when he was half way between his own and Harborne's house; and being unwilling to return home he sent Pasquale to explain that it mattered little as to the state of the house, for it was natural when one had only just arrived that things should not be in order at once : he desired merely to pay a formal visit, that was all. Harborne, however, insisted, and Moresini was obliged to give way. But no sooner had he reached home, than Harborne sent three gentlemen, accompanied by a dragoman, to offer profuse apologies. The dragoman was the Venetian Consul at Palermo, a certain Giacomo de Merzè, whom Harborne, to the great disgust of Moresini, had enticed into his service by a salary of fourteen thousand aspers and four suits a year. When asked to abondon de Merzè, Harborne replied that he could not do without him, as de Merzè was skilled in the Italian, Turkish, and Greek tongues, though he promised to wait till a formal release should arrive from Venice.
The result of Harborne's reception by the Sultan was the renewal of the cancelled treaty; violent protests from de Germigny and repeated instructions from Venice that the English are to be opposed at all points. Significant too is the fact that immediately after this triumph of English diplomacy, on June 14th (No. 143) an agent arrived from Don Antonio of Portugal. His mission was to sound the Turks as to the possibility of a joint attack on Spain. The Venetian Ambassador informed his Government that negotiations had gone so far between Harborne and the Porte that it was doubtful whether he would be able to carry out his instructions, upon which the Republic authorised him to use “the method usual with the Turk,” to the extent of fifteen thousand sequins, but only after favours received. Neither Moresini, however, nor de Germigny was able to effect anything against Harborne. To the Erench Ambassador's violence (No. 176), the Grand Vizir replied that the Porte stood open to all, “that there was no occasion for such a row”; that the Ambassador had better apply direct to the Sultan,—a sure sign that he would get no answer. De Germigny actually did present a note to the Sultan in the public street; but on one pretext or another all reply was deferred, and by December 27th the first fruits of the new treaty were visible in the arrival of an English merchant ship at Constantinople (Nos. 185, 191). It saluted the Sultan with guns and trumpets as he was passing in his caique, but the master was advised not to repeat that compliment, as the Sultan was afraid of a stray shot.
The year 1581 opened with vigorous concerted action on the part of Venice and France against the new English Ambassador, but no progress was made. Each move of de Germigny's, each visit to the Grand Vizir, was countered by Harborne, who now (No. 192) began to point out that an English alliance was of the greatest value to the Turk, as it was Elizabeth alone who held France and Spain in check. On March 6th, the Venetian Ambassador writes to his Government that the situation is all but desperate. (No. 202.) The Grand Vizir had indeed made a pretence of attempting to satisfy French demand; he exhorted Harborne to abandon the point of the flag; but the Englishman replied that “they would lose their lives rather than yield.”
It is evident that de Germigny was not the sort of man to conduct this delicate negotiation; the Grand Vizir complained to Moresini that “the French Ambassador was a terrible man, and when things did not go as he wished he flew into a passion”; his master, the King of France, had neglected, on the occasion of the circumcision of the Sultan's heir, to make an adequate present to the Grand Turk, and de Germigny (No. 208) was not authorised to spend money in bribes; indeed, he once made an attempt to induce Moresini to do that necessary business on his behalf. It seems clear that Harborne's position was growing stronger and stronger. The reason is probably to be found in the judicious use of presents coupled with the real desire of the Turks to maintain friendly relations with a power which was avowedly hostile to the Catholic sovereigns in the Mediterranean. (No. 216.) However, that may he, on April 23rd, 1584, the Grand Vizir frankly told de Germigny that it was all labour lost to expect that the Sultan would expel the English Ambassador.
De Germigny's attacks on Harborne, though fruitless at the Porte, seem to have affected the English Ambassador's social status to some extent. He was compelled to complain to the Grand Vizir that the “other Ambassadors went about saying that he was a merchant and not entitled to the rank of Ambassador;” and the protest was made in sufficiently haughty terms, for Harborne declared “that he was a great noble, greater than any other here, and even if that were not so, they had no right to consider his private position, but only the magnificence of the Queen, his mistress.” The Pasha replied coldly that it should be enough for Harborne if the Sultan recognised him as an Ambassador. De Germigny's position, however, was no longer compatible with the honour of France, and Henry had already determined to replace him by de Lancome (Jacques de Savary). Harborne himself writes to Sir Erancis Walsingham under date 28th March 1584: (Record Office State Papers, Turkey I.), “there comes in lieu of Dugermignie for Ambassador, a gentleman out of Poictou who formerly had the like honour at Rome, and is not de robe longue. We cannot yet understand his name.”
So far Harborne had been successful. But in the shifting internal policy of the Porte, in the ceaseless intrigues of the Serraglio, there was always a danger that the patrons upon whom foreign agents relied for support might be suddenly removed. Hitherto, Harborne's ability had secured for him two very powerful protectors, Siavus Pasha, Grand Vizir, from December 1582, and the Secretary to the Sultan the learned Seadeddin. In July of 1584 Siavus was suddenly deposed, and Osman, who had lately returned from the Persian war, was created Grand Vizir in his place. Harborne, writing to Walsingham on September 1, shows his alarm in these words, “We pray that our suits and demands with Osmond may have no worse success than with him who never denied us anything,” (State Papers Record Office, Turkey, I.). De Germigny was not likely to miss such an opportunity for damaging Harborne; by August 8th he had paid a visit of congratulation to the new Vizir, and presented him with a handsome clock (No. 237), at the same time he demanded that the English Ambassador should be expelled. Osman replied that the whole question was new to him, but that he would go into it and do all he could to favour France. De Germigny also urged the Venetian Ambassador to prefer a similar request, which Moresini, in obedience to instructions, readily promised to do. But by August the orders to withdraw had reached de Germigny, and he kissed hands, at the end of that month receiving the usual gifts of cloth of gold, silver plate, and thirty thousand aspers for the journey. (No. 241.) The Turks intended to withhold the banquet which had been customary on the departure of an Ambassador, but de Germigny caused it to be known that if they did so he would leave without kissing the Sultan's hand. On September 10th de Germigny quitted Constantinople. A secretary remained behind in charge of French affairs.
This was a great victory for Harborne and the English. His position was now secured, and on the arrival of Lorenzo Bernardo to replace Moresini as Venetian representative, he received full recognition as English Ambassador. (No. 291.) We find (No. 315) that his mission was gradually assuming a more purely diplomatic and less commercial character. The cause is twofold, Turkish waters were so insecure that English merchants were unwilling to risk their goods; and Spain was beginning to show such a threatening front towards England that Elizabeth found herself obliged to do all that in her lay to strengthen her Turkish alliance. In the pursuit of this policy Harborne met with strong opposition on the part of the Capudan Pasha, who declared that he could not abide the English Ambassador nor the whole race, and added: “they are a bad lot these Lutherans.” (No. 318, 324.) This hostility, whether it was the result of bribes or of conviction, took the form of insults to Harborne in March 1586. The English Ambassador having occasion to speak to the Capudan was intentionally kept waiting, whereupon he left in a rage and sent a secretary to complain. The Capudan, bursting with scorn, drove the secretary from his presence with scurrilous abuse, making use of these actual words: “Just look at this fellow who wishes to stand on an equality with France and Venice.” (No. 325.) These strained relations could not last and Harborne was not quite the man to submit tamely. An opportunity for revenge soon presented itself. Drake had made some gifts to the Capudan which the latter intended to return in kind. He sent to the English Ambassador to inquire Drake's style and title. Harborne saw that this communication was to be conducted with Drake, not through himself but through the captain of an English ship lying at Constantinople. He ordered the Englishman to leave at once, whereupon the Capudan flew into a violent fury, so much so that Harborne declared to the Grand Vizir that he went in fear. The climax was reached in June 1586 (No. 368), when Harborne had an audience of the Grand Vizir. The Capudan was present. High words passed and the Lord High Admiral and the Ambassador came to blows to the great disgust of the Grand Vizir who with difficulty succeeded in quieting them.
Fresh difficulties were in store for Harborne. By the 28th of March the new French Ambassador had arrived; the Venetian Ambassador reports him as appearing to be a courteous and humane person, but he soon had reason to rectify that judgment when M. de Lancome caused him all that mortification as to his seat in the Church of St. Francesco at Pera, which has been recorded above. Nor was it long before Harborne received a similar proof of de Lancome's courtesy. (No. 336.) The day after the French Ambassador's entry the English Ambassador sent his secretary and some of his suite to make the usual complimentary greetings. The secretary began “My master the Ambassador —” when the Frenchman broke in, saying, “Ambassador! Why, he is a merchant, your master; Ambassador! I know only one Ambassador at the Porte, and that is myself. Out of this at once, and tell your master that he had better mind his trade and not usurp titles like these, or I'll have him drummed out of the place.” The secretary, greatly disturbed, left without a word, and when he reported this to his Ambassador, Harborne exclaimed, “I think that he won't be quite strong enough to do that,” and with that he went straight off to an audience with the Grand Vizir. De Lancome, in fact, was no more a match for Harborne than de Germigny had been. At his first audience his remarks were cut short, and at a sign from the Grand Vizir he was conducted to the door without any answer to his three formal requests, one of which included the expulsion of the English Ambassador. At the Porte everything seems to have gone wrong with de Lancome from the very first; his wine was seized by the custom house officers and sold at auction; a dragoman of the Embassy was thrashed in the Ambassador's presence; all redress was refused; his position was rapidly becoming as untenable as that of de Germigny. Whether we are to see the hand of Harborne in all this is doubtful; at all events Harborne was a friend of the Grand Vizir, and the Vizir was the foe to de Lancome. He continued to live at Constantinople, presenting from time to time petitions and complaints to which no attention was paid. Harborne meanwhile was proving the strength of the English position by the way in which he prevented the Spanish agents, Marigliani and Ferrari, from obtaining a renewal of the truce. The English had every reason to dread such an issue, for it was of great value to them that Philip should he kept in a state of alarm lest a Turkish descent might be made on Calabria or even Catalonia. (No. 493, 576, 577.) This hostile attitude towards Catholic powers and this obvious ascendancy at the Porte led to an accusation being launched against Harborne from Rome; he was charged with encouraging the Turk to assault the States of Italian Princes. Harborne in a letter to the Venetian Ambassador, Moro, repudiates the charge as a calumny. (No. 655.) But Harborne's mission was drawing to a close. In July 1588 he kissed the Sultan's hand and took his leave. On August 13th he set out in company with the Polish Ambassador, leaving a secretary behind him with the title of agent. (No. 711.)
The Record Office contains among the State Papers, Turkey, a fragment endorsed December 1588. “An extract of the effect of Mr. Harborne's journey from Constantinople.” In this document [Harborne states that he left Constantinople on the 3rd August, and this is the date accepted by Mr. Pears in his learned paper, “The Spanish Armada and the Ottoman Porte” (English Historical Review, July 1893); but the Venetian despatch is quite positive, is written on the spot and on the day named.
“I departed from Constantinople,” says Harborne, “with thirty persons of my suite and family, the 3rd August passing through the country of Thracia, Romania, the great Wallachia, and Moldavia, where, arriving the 4th of September, I was, according to the Grand Signor's commandment, very courteously entertained by Peeter (?) his positive prince, a Greek in profession ; whence I proceeded into Poland where the High Chancellor sent for me the 27th of that month, and after most honourable entertainment, imparted to me in secret manner the late, past, and present occurrences of that kingdom, and also wrote unto her Majesty. I hasted unto Melvin where, the 12th of October, I was welcomed by the Senate of the city, whom I find to be devoted to her Majesty, and whose letters, likewise, unto the same were presented me. At Danswich the 27th of that month, I was courteously received by one of the Burrough masters, accompanied by two others of the Senate and a Civil doctor, their Secretary. After going through the land of Pomer, I rested one day at Statyn, where, the Duke being absent, nothing ensued. At Postacke I passed through the city without demur, and at Westmore received like friendly greeting as in other places; but at Lubicke, as I came late and departed early in the morning, I was not visited. At Hambrough the 19th of November, and at Stoade the 9th of December, in like manner I was saluted by a Burrough master and the Secretary, and in all places they presented me with sundry sorts of their best wine and fresh fish, every of them with a long discourse, congratulating, in the names of their whole Senate, her Majesty on her victory over the Spaniards and my safe return, concluding with offer of their ready service to her future desposing, yet the Danswikers, after my departure, caused the merchants to pay custom for the goods they brought with them in my company, which no other, either infidels or Christians on the way, ever demanded, and I was informed by sundry nation there resident, that most of the Hance towns on the, especially Danswiche, Lubicke, and Hambrough have laden and for Spain, great provision of corn, cables, ropes, powder, shot, saltpetre, harquebuses, armour, iron, lead, copper, and all other munitions serving for the war. Whereupon I gather, their feigned courtesy proceeded rather from fear than of any good affection to her Majesty's service (Meluin and Stoade only excepted), which of their duty for their commodity I very well affected.”
Edward Barton succeeded Harborne at Constantinople and arrived there about August 15th, 1588, at least, his first despatch from the Porte bears that date, and is published in Mr. Pears' article, quoted above. He remained at the Porte till his death at the age of thirty-five, which took place on January 1st, 1597. He is buried at Halki, one of the Princes' islands. The inscription on his tomb was published by Sir William White, late Ambassador to the Porte, in No. 25 of the English Historical Review. Barton was chiefly occupied in thwarting Spanish negotiations for a truce (No. 908) and in an attempt to cause the Turkish fleet to make a descent upon Apulia, Calabria, and Catalonia, for which purpose he believed that he had secured from the King of Navarre a promise of the port of Toulon, and hoped to make use of Don Antonio. His difficulties were not so great as those of Harborne, for he had not to create, but inherited, a position at the Porte. To use the contemporary words of Mr. Falent, addressed to Mr. Bacon, “the vent was open and thoroughly cleared,” while the death of Henry III. and the accession of Henry IV to the throne of France deprived de Lancome of much of his authority.
Edward Barton seems to have been no less able than his predecessor. On the 1st November 1589 Ferrari Philip's agent, reached Constantinople. His mission was to secure the renewal of the truce with the Sultan and he at once opened negotiations with Orembey, the dragoman. But Philip's piety prevented him from sending a fully accredited representative to the infidel Turk, and Ferrari's only letters were signed by Marigliani, not by the King. (No. 891.) The Turks who were flattered by the presence of Ambassadors from the Christian powers were insulted by such a mission, and Sinan Pasha, the Grand Vizir, made Ferrari understand this at their first interview. Meanwhile, Barton, who as yet only bore the title of agent, though accredited by the Queen, on learning the news of Ferrari's arrival, went straight to Seadeddin, the Sultan's Secretary, and then to the Grand Vizir, and by November 25th we see the results of his operations in Moro's report (No. 896) that in spite of Ferrari's presents to Sinan, an answer was to be deferred till the Capudan returned, and Moro adds “I believe this to be a device of the English agent in order to gain time to upset Ferrari's negotiations.” In this Barton proved successful, and. on January 6th, 1590 (No. 908), Ferrari was suddenly dismissed, without any answer to Marigliani's letter.
By May of the same year (No. 931) the interests of Navarre at the Porte were being protected by England, and de Lancome complains that the Sultan had addressed a letter to Henry as King of France, whereas he was not yet on the throne, to which the Grand Vizir replied that he had the news from England, from Venice, and Ragusa. These advances of Sultan Murad towards Henry IV. were undoubtedly suggested by Barton, and their object was to secure the port of Toulon for the use of the Turkish fleet in the case of an attack upon Spain. Towards achieving this object the English agent was devoting all his ability, and he found support in Sinan Pasha, though a strong party at the Porte, headed by the Capudan, was desirous of attacking Malta or Crete rather than Spain. Venetian interests in Crete naturally caused the Republic to desire the success of the Grand Vizir's party, and consequently to support the English agent who was the moving spirit of threats against Spain. Philip was so alarmed at the position in Constantinople that he was obliged to consider the fortification of Palermo. (No. 1,002.)
Although Sinan was willing to co-operate with England against Spain, he had no intention of undertaking operations outside Gibraltar. He told Moro that “the Queen of England is asking us for two hundred galleys, for which she will pay, and with these she proposes to attack the King of Spain. But we have nothing to do in those parts. The Queen should send her fleet here and then, something might be done.” (No. 943.)
That Elizabeth was powerful at the Porte is proved by the success of her interference to prevent a Turkish invasion of Poland, on the ground that Poland furnished her with munitions of war. In a letter addressed to Elizabeth Murad accepted the Queen's intercession and promised help against Spain. (No. 947.) Barton, in the interests of Henry IV., was continually working towards the expulsion of de Lancome, so as to leave the way open for an Ambassador from the King of France. He made himself the intermediary through whom Henry's letters were presented to the Sultan in July 1590 (No. 950), and he went so far as to demand the arrest of the French Ambassador. (No. 956.) He succeeded in his main endeavour; on July 30th a Chavass was sent to de Lancome to inform him of his dismissal; and when de Lancome sought an interview of Sinan the dismissal was confirmed by the Grand Vizir in these words, “neither your King nor mine desires that you should be Ambassador any more.” And so the decade which began by de Germigny's attempt to expel Harborne ended in Barton's expulsion of de Lancome. Perhaps with a view to strengthening Barton's position, perhaps as a reward for his late successes, Elizabeth bestowed the full title of Ambassador upon her representatives. The Queen of England is reported (No. 994) to be steadily pursuing her policy of securing a Turkish descent on Spain. In January 1591 Barton presented a formal, though vigorously worded demand for Turkish assistance, and the comments of the Venetian Bailo, Lippomano, in his covering despatch show how ready the Grand Vizir was to lend her his aid; the Agà of the Janizaries declared that most of the hostile movement on the part of Turkey could be traced to the instigations of the Queen of England. (No. 994.) Murad's III. reply, enclosed in Lippomano's despatch of January 14th, reads as though the Sultan were really in earnest and intended full co-operation with Elizabeth and Henry. His anxiety to have a son of Don Antonio on board his fleet points to Spain as the real object of attack. The Grand Vizir writing to Don Antonio (No. 1,023) declares that it is one of the Sultan's objects “to restore you to your thorne”; and in February Lippomano reports that all the ministers in complete accord declare that the destination of the Turkish armament is Spain. That unanimity was only apparent, however ; as we have already noted there was a strong party headed by the Capudan Pasha, who wished to thwart Sinan Pasha, and to pursuade Murad to attack Crete. Intrigues for the overthrow of the Grand Vizir succeeded. Barton's vigorous diplomacy was checked. The preparations for the armament grew less and less active, and the joint Turkish, English, and French attack on Spain remained an unfulfilled project.
Ca'Torresella, Venice, Horatio F. Brown,
23 February 1895.
P.S.—The appearance of this volume has been considerably delayed by the fact that a large part of the manuscript was destroyed by fire, and had to be rewritten.