Venice
November 1617, 3-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1909

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35-44

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'Venice: November 1617, 3-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 35-44. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88664 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


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November 1617

Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta,
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
69. To the ambassador at the Imperial Court and to the other Courts.
A week ago we informed you of the proceedings of the Spanish Ministers and the uncertainty of peace. On Sunday the 29th the Spanish ambassador came into the Cabinet and excused the delay by the pretext of the delay of the couriers and brought us the conclusion of the peace. We showed our readiness to make ratification and agreed with him to a truce, to facilitate matters. He seemed relieved by our reply and said the peace would undoubtedly be executed, and he had authority to arrange a truce. Now the Spaniards have entered our state, robbing and plundering. We complained to the ambassador who only made vain excuses, but we had news that Don Pedro was moving with every sign of open war and that he had interrupted and opened our despatches at a time when the Catholic king professes to be at peace with us. We send this to prove our sincerity and the craft of the Spaniards, the justice of our cause and the necessity for other princes to look after their own and the common interests.
To England, the States, Florence and Mantua add,
You will communicate everything to his Majesty, insisting upon the duplicity practised, and urge him as much as you see to be necessary.
That an office be performed with the English ambassador similar to the one recently performed with France, mutatis mutandis. (fn. 1)
Ayes120.
Noes1.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta,
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
70. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Cabinet and the following be read to him:
Since the last audience of your Excellency, circumstances have arisen which call even more strongly for complete confidence with you. The Governor of Milan has caused his troops to enter our state, where they have plundered and occupied Fara, ravaging other open places, while we, confiding in the peace, never expected any such action, contrary to all laws, human and divine. Actually after the arrival of the news of peace from Spain, the Spanish ministers used the delay for the advantage of their evil designs. A week ago the Catholic ambassador came into the Cabinet to promise in his king's name the restitution of our ships and cargoes, to say that his king had shown his desire for peace and to propose a suspension of arms both here and in Germany, and at his word all hostilities and angry feelings would cease. We had not heard of the ships taken against us, and we replied, readily consenting to the proposal. When this new crisis occurred we sent for the Spanish ambassador. He could only excuse himself by speaking of the usual licence of soldiers and that it had been done without the participation of Don Pedro, but while he was speaking news arrived of the march of the governor towards Lodi with artillery and all the signs of open war. The governor, moreover, contrary to the law of nations, has detained and opened the letters of our resident at Milan. It must be remembered that in France Monteleone assured the Most Christian king and our ambassadors, that he had written to the Spanish ministers in Italy to suspend hostile acts. Yet such acts have occurred and your Excellency will have heard something about them; however, we have thought good to tell you everything that you may consider what is to be done and make such representations to his Majesty that he may come to some decision worthy of his greatness and dignity and necessary for the common interests.
Ayes (fn. 2)
Noes.
Neutral.
[Italian.]
Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
71. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I received a visit lately from Secretary Winwood. He assured me that he was the most obsequious servant of your Serenity, as I understand he really is; that he has corroborated the very sincere love which he knew the king his master bore to the republic, not merely by reason of her own great merits but on the score of mutual interest, which bound him and all his subjects to desire the preservation and grandeur of Venice as ardently as that of England; that his Majesty would have been glad to see me immediately, but as he was in the country and constantly moving from place to place for his hunting, an interview at present would have subjected me to great inconvenience and therefore he wished me to remain here until his return, which will be in a few days.
Considering my load of commissions from your Excellencies, I should have greatly liked to present myself to his Majesty, to make known to him the truth of what is passing in Italy, and of the proceedings of the Spaniards, who, while the articles for the general peace are agreed to in France, are endeavouring to make the republic suspend hostilities and at the same time are marching troops to their confines and are also reported to be sending a very large fleet to the Gulf to her detriment. However, I considered myself bound to abide by the wishes of his Majesty, though I did not omit to tell the Secretary, through whose hands these matters pass and who will give especial account of them to the king, the state of affairs at present in detail; how the Spaniards are proceeding; how many proposals they make and how utterly their actions are at variance with them, in such wise that they have filled the world with suspicion and dread lest they aim at anything rather than that quiet which they profess universally to desire, and therefore I said it behoved everyone to keep very much on the watch and attentive to these proceedings which must needs render us very suspicious. His Majesty, of his great prudence, would not fail to consider how much it concerns his own greatness and that of his kingdom, that his friends in Italy should remain free, and in a state, should necessity arise, to give him succour and assistance, adding such other arguments as are afforded to me by the very prudent commands contained in my instructions.
The Secretary answered me that by letters from his agent at Turin the king was fully informed of affairs there and had heard with great indignation that the Spaniards were not acting as fairly as they ought and that it will always be better and safer to attend rather to what they are doing with their hands, than to listen to what their tongues utter. He then began to tell me that until a good and firm alliance be made to check the ambition of these Spaniards, who aspire to the absolute monarchy of the world, one or other of the powers will always be harassed by them. That his king was quite disposed to join such a league as were the Dutch and the princes of Germany. I rejoined that this also might prove efficacious, but that meanwhile those who are in danger cannot brook delay; that the republic is advancing her own forces and power not merely for self defence, but also in aid of the duke of Savoy, whom she has very actively assisted; that in short to maintain oneself for a long period against so great a power was replete with immense difficulties, not to say impossibilities, wherefore all those who entertain suspicion of the proceedings and projects of the Spaniards, ought to administer their remedies and aid in that quarter where the need predominates. Upon this Winwood talked of the goodwill of the king, adding that it could not be better and repeating his former opinions he expatiated upon them at great length. After a lengthy interview he took leave. This is as much as I was able to elicit from the leading minister, who after all would scarcely have expressed other sentiments than those of his master.
London, the 3rd November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
72. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters have reached the court from Spain announcing that the king there has approved the articles of peace ratified in France. The Spanish ambassador here has in like manner received a courier with the same news. He also brings him 10,000 crowns, a small supply compared with the immense sums constantly distributed here, in order to secure friends and adherents. I sent my secretary to that ambassador to return the usual complimentary visit which he paid me by deputy on my arrival at the court, as he himself was slightly indisposed, and he read him a letter just received from his king, whereby he was informed that the difficulties between the republic of Venice and the king of Bohemia were at an end as well as those between the dukes of Savoy and Mantua, and that the plenipotentiaries had signed the peace, as he would perceive by the copies of the clauses. He therefore desired him to acquaint his Majesty with this, and he moreover wrote to him about the order forwarded to his ministers in Italy desiring them to replace matters on their former footing without any innovation. The ambassador further said that the king had embraced Prince Philibert and made him a number of presents, and that he was of opinion that Don Pietro and the duke of Ossuna would shortly be removed from their governments. God grant that this news be confirmed by the entire execution of the agreements.
There are also letters from the Ambassador Digby (Dighibbi) in which he states that his proposals of marriage have been well received and that his first reply purported that if he was come for the purpose of forwarding the negotiation and bringing it to a conclusion he was welcome, promising him on their part likewise to try and settle everything speedily; but that otherwise it would be better not to speak about it, and as the ambassador declared that he was come to Spain especially on this account it is hoped his negotiations will succeed.
The king is annoyed to hear that Sir Walter Raleigh has landed at the Canaries, being afraid that the Spaniards will resent it. He has shown his displeasure with those who counselled him to allow Sir Walter to put to sea, as he suspected his intentions even at the time, although on his departure Raleigh promised to act differently.
With regard to the news from Naples concerning the dispatch hitherwards of Alexander Rose, I have already given orders that he shall be watched on his arrival, and when he does appear, I shall exert myself strenuously to thwart his projects, which will, I trust, be easy, by reason of the good disposition of his Majesty to prevent such detriment as the disaffected might seek to cause the republic through England.
London, the 3rd November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 5.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
73. The ambassador of England was summoned to the Cabinet and the deliberation of the Senate, similar to the one read to France, was read to him, he said:
I am obliged by this confidence. The particulars are of great importance. I informed his Majesty by the courier of the day before yesterday of what the Senate informed me last week. I will do the like with these at the first opportunity, and I can assure your Serenity that you will find the king a good friend especially at this crisis if matters go further, though I hardly think they will. Your Serenity will recall the king's goodwill in his instructions sent from Scotland, which I read. I have observed that so long as the duke of Savoy remained with war in his house he suffered severely. Necessity proved a good councillor; he entered the Milanese and improved his position, and would have done even better had he persevered. It is impossible to understand the hostile action of the governor of Milan under the cloak of his word and the peace. But it is easy thus to threaten the confines, another matter to advance. I console myself that your Serenity disposes of sufficient forces to prevent the enemy from making any progress until the spring, when I feel sure that things will turn out well.
The doge replied thanking the ambassador. The ministers of the republic would not fail to do the utmost that could be done in such an unexpected crisis with other distractions in Friuli and at sea. They had confidence in the king.
The ambassador asked that some decision should be made with regard to the earl of Oxford, Captain Bel and Mr. Vere, and then took leave.
[Italian.]
Nov. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
74. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Religious matters remain in the same condition here, and are even more embroiled than before. The four provinces of Guelders, Friesland and Gröningen have sent fresh deputies, who jointly suggested a synod, in conformity with what the king of Great Britain proposed in his letter. Carleton, his ambassador, recently made strong representations to this effect, which were afterwards printed, and he is especially endeavouring to get them to find a means of bringing peace to these provinces. The French ambassador did the like in the Assembly on Friday, in the name of his king. (fn. 3) There is some hope but the obstinacy of their opinions leaves room for doubt. M. Barnevelt, though repeatedly sent for, has not yet returned, but it was reported yesterday that he would be here to-day.
The Hague, the 6th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
75. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
An English ship has been forcibly detained and armed, in spite of the outcry of its owner. No particulars are known.
Naples, the 7th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
76. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There is a rumour here that the Englishman Rose, who was sent by his Excellency to England, as I reported, will certainly send hither five or six good galleons under colour of the fish trade, to be stopped and armed. I am also told that his Excellency is to have from the religious of Malta a very fine galleon built at Amsterdam.
Naples, the 7th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 8.
Cons. de' X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
77. That the chamberlain of this Council be instructed to give 100 ducats as a donation to Giovanni Battista Lionello, secretary to Contarini, extraordinary ambassador in England, in accordance with the decision of the said Council.
Ayes15.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
78. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the last advices from Spain announcing that the king there had ratified the articles stipulated in France, everybody here considers peace in Italy certain, imagining that both parties have by this time laid down their arms. I, who have not received any further notice from your Serenity upon the subject except that sent me on the 13th ult., do not fail to observe to those who discuss the topic with me, that until we witness the entire execution of all that was settled, there can be no certainty of this, and indeed, as the Viceroy of Naples is understood to be arming a number of men of war, there are good reasons to fear the contrary.
In consequence of the information sent me by your Excellencies I have used every endeavour to ascertain whether the Alexander Rose, who left Naples under pretence of supplying it with stockfish, but in reality for the purpose of taking vessels to the Viceroy for him to arm them in the spring against the republic, has arrived here. I find that he has been in London for some days, making contracts for salted fish and saying he has farmed the duties of the duke of Ossuna, whom he praises to the skies, quoting many acts of courtesy and much good treatment received from him. He is also endeavouring to charter vessels, but as the Lords of the Council have perhaps some suspicion of his projects they do not choose to allow him to take vessels away from the island unless he gives sufficient security for their being employed solely for commerce. Immediately after I have seen the king, as I shall do to-morrow, for he came to the city yesterday, and after I have paid the first compliments, I mean to request a second audience, when I shall represent this circumstance and will make more earnest suit that this man be prevented from leaving with vessels. I shall also deal of the same busines with the Lords of the Council, omitting nothing that I may deem necessary to thwart his evil intention.
Secretary Winwood, whose conversation I reported in my last, has departed this life after a few days' illness. (fn. 4) His loss is much regretted by his Majesty, who was fond of him as proved by many rewards, so that in four years, during which he held the post of Secretary of State, he has added 200,000 crowns to his patrimony. I lament his death extremely, and from all quarters I hear how partial and well affected he was to the republic of which he always spoke with great honour. He was among the few members of the council of State who upheld the cause of the duke of Savoy. He was always the first to maintain most strenuously that of necessity and for the service of this crown, the king ought to succour him nobly and royally. He constantly urged his Majesty to interest himself in the affairs of Italy, especially in such as might prevent the Spaniards from advancing and rendering themselves more powerful. At this present he strongly opposed the negotiations for the alliance with the Catholic king and invariably showed himself hostile to all the partisans of Spain. (Questo fra quei pochi del consiglio che portavano gli interessi del Sig. Duca di Savoia ha sempre il primo, et con ogni spirito sostenuto, che per obligatione et servicio di questa Corona dovesse il Re soccorrerlo con degni et regii aiuti, eccitando del continuo la Maestà Sua ad interressarsi nelle cose d'Italia, et in quelle in particolare, che potessero impedire a'Spagnuoli i fini di avanzarsi et rendersi piu potenti, hora opponeva alla gagliarda le trattationi di parentadi col Catco. et sempre se'è mostrato contrario a tutti quelli che dependevano da quella parte.)
An ambassador has arrived from the Grand Duke of Muscovy for the affairs of the merchants and he likewise is awaiting audience of his Majesty.
London, the 10th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Nov. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
79. To the ambassador at the Imperial Court.
We send you the ratification of peace.
Authentic news received to-day states that the governor of Milan has withdrawn all his forces, leaving our state completely free. His first movements were easy as he took us unawares and only attacked open places, but afterwards he met with stubborn resistance, and this and our correct attitude have facilitated the affair, so that if the terms are honestly carried out by the Spanish ministers, peace will be secure. Everything is ready for the carrying out of the treaty.
The like to
Milan.Scaramelli.
Naples.Constantinople for information.
Zurich.
The like to Florence and Mantua, adding
We wish you to communicate this to his Highness as a sign of our usual confidence.
The like to France, England, the Hague, adding,
We wish you to communicate this to his Majesty as a sign of our usual confidence, but add that the operations should be such as to confirm the truth, otherwise there would be no security for the sincerity of the Spanish ministers.
Ayes136.
Noes1.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Cons. de' X,
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
80. That the jewels of the Sanctuary and the armoury of this Council be shown to some English gentlemen, who are now passing through this city.
Ayes17.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
81. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
From conversations with Sig. Magnus of Zeeland and Prince Maurice I find that they think that if your Serenity wishes to make an alliance here, you should do so secretly, as the king of England had told their high mightinesses by his ambassador that he would be glad to hear of such a league and if France could be included he would like it well. This would avoid the jealousies which now seem to rule among the princes that the States wish to ally with and assist everybody, as if they would defend themselves alone and defend against any one whomsoever. The king of England and the princes of Germany cherished this idea, and the king of Denmark had said it in so many words, and yet others seemed to have the suspicion. I replied that I knew your Serenity to be well disposed towards a good understanding with these States, but the rest must depend upon your prudence.
The Hague, the 13th November, 1617.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 13.
Inquisitori
di Stato
Busta 445.
Venetian
Archives.
82. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
On my return to the Hague I did my utmost to discover the name of the Frenchman who wrote to the English ambassador. I could get nothing from the ambassador himself, but from his secretary Trono I discovered that he can be no other than a M. Assalinau (fn. 5) who has lived for a long while at Venice, a man of some age. He is in constant correspondence with the ambassador as a friend and frequents the houses of the French ambassador and Mr. Wotton. So far as I can gather he obtains his information from the French ambassador. The ambassador directs his letters to M. Assalinau, doctor and physician of the Most Christian king, and they go under cover of the merchant Daniel His, so your Excellencies can do what your prudence may suggest, though it will be best not to let it appear that information came from him, in order not to lose the intimacy of the English ambassador, which is helpful to the republic.
The Frenchman wrote of the suspicions of Don Giovanni de' Medici, but your Excellencies know that the report is common here and has been spread by soldiers returned from the camp, that Don Giovanni is disloyal to the republic and dependent upon the house of Austria.
The Hague, the 13th November, 1617.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Prov. Gen.
delle Armi.
Venetian
Archives.
83. PIERO BARBARIGO, Venetian Proveditore General of the Forces in Terra Ferma and Istria, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Encloses muster roll of the forces, recently made. As compared with the month of September, the Dutch troops show a decrease of 350 men, and the Swiss about 700. All the new soldiers are creditors for two payments and he needs money urgently. If it does not come soon he fears some rising will take place among the troops.
The Camp at Farali, the 14th November, 1617.
[Italian.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
84. Extracts from the muster roll.
Dutch troops: sound 1400; sick 412; total 1812.
Dutch troops in the field:
M. Rocca Laura294 men.
Lieutenant Colonel Stevano77 "
Capt. Thine127 "
Capt. Vimes156 "
Capt. Odes121 "
Capt. Siler112 "
Capt. Ver62 "
Capt. Guglielmo131 "
Capt. Milander121 "
Capt. Boamigon120 "
Capt. Grimeni
Post of the Dutch:
Of the company of M. de Roccalaura16
" " Capt. Thine12
" " Capt. Grimeni16
" " Capt. Zedus6
" " Steven12
" " Vimes7
" " M. de Holem12
" " M. Melander11
" " M. Guglielmo10
" " M. Seglier9
" " Ver10
" " Bamegnon13
Gunners2
Arrived in camp after the muster march on 6 October, to the 8th November.
Dutch, 186—all sent to the camp by the rectors.
[Italian.]
Nov. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
85. OTTAVIANO BON, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king left for St. Germains on Saturday and yesterday he proceeded to Rouen. The council and all the court will follow him thither, as well as the ambassadors, but these are few in number because England has departed, Spain is with the queen and we have taken leave. It is said that the king will not return before the new year.
Paris, the 15th November, 1617.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The French ambassador was to be summoned before the Cabinet by decision of the Senate taken on 2 November, informed of the above particulars, and asked to represent everything to his Majesty, as they were sure that he would not allow the republic to be deluded after she had confided her interests into his hands. Senato, Secreta, Deliberazioni, Nov. 2, 1617.
2 The figures of this ballot are wanting.
3 The states general met on Nov. 2 when the subject of a national synod was proposed. Grotius spoke against the motion. Du Maurier's audience took place on Friday the 3rd Nov. Letters from and to Sir Dudley Carleton, pages 194, 195.
4 Winwood died on 7 Nov. after only nine days' illness. The course of this is described in a letter of Chamberlain to Carleton dated 31 Oct. old style. Birch, Court and Times of James I, vol. ii. pages 44, 45. His death was laid at the door of Mayerne, the king's physician, whose treatment was much criticised. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–18, p. 492.
5 Pietro Asselinio, of whom there is a warm eulogy in the anonymous life of Fra Paolo Sarpi. His father was a physician of Orleans, who brought the boy up in his own profession. At an early age he came to Italy to avoid the civil wars, and being bewitched by the beauties of Venice he took up his abode there. Vi essercita la professione di medico piu come amico con gl'amici che per altro interesse, et ove e stato solo con cure ch'hanno havuto del miracoloso; se con altri non mostra il suo talento, perche é per natura alienissimo dal contendere e dal far ostentatione, Vita di Padre Paolo, Leyden, 1646, page 45.