Venice
February 1618, 16-27

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1909

Pages

144-156

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'Venice: February 1618, 16-27', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 144-156. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88672 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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February 1618

Feb. 16.
Senato.
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
234. To the ambassador at Rome.
On the first inst. Cardinal Klesel, the Ambassador Giustiniano the papal nuncio, the ambassador of Florence, the secretary of Spain, and many ministers and courtiers met at Naistok for the ratification of the treaty. The Vice-Chancellor and Cardinal both expressed their satisfaction at the conclusion of peace, and our ambassador and the nuncio spoke to the same effect. Such is the state of affairs in Germany. But in spite of the good disposition of their Majesties and ourselves, the Duke of Ossuna still continues his preparations both by sea and land He is determined to upset the peace and maintain discord. He manufactures pretexts for arming powerfully and writes to Spain and elsewhere that his Majesty should increase his forces.
The like to the other Courts and to the generals, mutatis mutandis.
Ayes157.
Noes1.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 16.
Senato.
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
235. To the ambassador in England.
Your action with the Lords of the Council in the matter of the ships in having overcome the difficulties, shows your prudence and ability. We thank his Majesty for his notification to the Catholic ambassador in a letter of which we enclose a copy. You will enlarge upon this.
With regard to what his Majesty's ambassador here has exposed to us, we wish you to speak to his Majesty in the same way as we replied to his ambassador, which you will see by the enclosed copy, which aims at securing his help for the good of this province, and at showing our desire for the same end, and to render public the discrepancy between the words and acts of the Spaniards, so that his Majesty may not grow cold. We send you word of Ossuna's proceedings, which you will communicate, with the particulars about the ratification and other things. This is highly important. You will speak to the same effect about very severe prohibitions to ship-masters of the kingdom, to serve Naples, since the Viceroy even compels them by force when they are in his power.
You will earnestly press for the coming of the ships and men with which we charged you.
Ayes150.
Noes0.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 16.
Senato.
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
236. To the King of England.
The readiness with which your Majesty has agreed to permit our Ambassador to obtain ships for our service, and what you have been so good as to notify the Spanish ambassador in this connection, clearly show your devotion to the welfare of this province. We offer our warmest thanks, and we have instructed our Ambassador Contarini to express our deep indebtedness. We wish your Majesty a long and prosperous reign.
Ayes150.
Noes0.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 16.
Secreta,
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
237. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Cabinet and the following read to him.
In your Excellency's recent office two things in particular gratified us, your readiness to grant anything for the general welfare, and the confirmation of his Majesty's kindness. With regard to what your Excellency has reported as proceeding from his Majesty's ambassador in Spain, if we considered the words and not the deeds on that side, the disturbances occasioned by the Spaniards both by land and sea would long since have ceased, when we consider their promises in all the Courts; but the preparations in Naples and Milan contradict these and they have succeeded in delaying ratification by the Emperor and Bohemia until now. However, this took place on the 1st inst. The asseverations of the Spaniards about a universal peace serve to cover their own operations and hinder those of others, but we believe that his Majesty sees through them. We wish to express our thanks to him for so readily granting us ships, and we recognise his prudence in informing the Spanish ambassador about it, adding that if the treaty was not carried out he would have to go further still. We have also directed our Ambassador to thank his Majesty.
What you tell us about Rose corresponds with what our Ambassador Contarini writes, and we thank his Majesty for the orders he has given to Rose and others. However, owing to the insistance of Ossuna, these will not suffice, as he detains ships in his ports under various pretexts, and word has reached us that he has determined to arrest an English ship which happens to have arrived there, although the master petitioned urgently for its release. So it will behove his Majesty to take further steps to secure the fulfilment of his wishes and ours.
With regard to Sir John Vere (il Cavalier Verze) and Captain Stich, recommended by your Excellency; we highly esteem the former and his father, and we will carefully treasure up his offer to use it when an opportunity occurs. About the latter, we heard the news which you gave us, and orders have been issued to prevent any disturbance. We are pleased to hear of the satisfaction of his Majesty and the Court with the Ambassador Contarini, which corresponds with our wishes; and we greatly regret the disastrous fire from which you have suffered, which you have met with so much philosophy. We desire that you may be rewarded by continual prosperity.
Ayes150.
Noes0.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 17.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
238. The English ambassador was summoned to the Cabinet and the deliberation of the Senate of yesterday was read to him. He said:
I thank your Serenity for this mark of confidence, the more so because it provides me with an opportunity to send good news about Friuli to my king. I have represented to my master that the reiterated promises of the Spaniards, though they somewhat console your Serenity, do not make you more confident of general peace. However the good success in Friuli excites hope, as the house of Austria derives its motive power from Spain, and though there are many princes there is a tacit uniformity of purpose. Therefore, if peace is made with Germany, it will also be made in other parts, and if some difficulty arises, the sea also continues to heave awhile after a long storm. I hear that Don Pedro has tried to persuade the Duke of Savoy to have a private interview to settle their differences. The blow would be great if he succeeded, as it would separate his Highness from the most Christian and my king, to whom he communicated all his decisions, and from your Serenity also. But the duke saw through the trick. That your Serenity should be pleased at what my king is doing for your satisfaction is a mark of gratitude. He will always be ready to play the part of a good friend and if necessary will even come into the field with an army to relieve the republic.
I have nothing more except to ask your Serenity for some decision upon the ship Milisen, which has served four months beyond its contract. The sailors are all married and are very anxious to go home, and therefore they beg earnestly to be dismissed or for some other decision.
The doge replied: With regard to the ship, in consideration of the necessity, we think your Excellency will recognise that it is good to retain it in view of the necessities of the case. We are delighted at his Majesty's friendship. For the rest we thank your Excellency for your good offices, and we wish to express our great affection and esteem for his Majesty.
The ambassador then took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
239. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Since the English ship Royal Merchant refused to approach this port, and departed towards Messina, it is said, another ship has escaped which his Excellency proposed to arm. If this goes on the port will get a bad name and every one will avoid it. This would severely injure the royal customs and cause great want in the city. His Excellency declares that he detains no one by force, but pays and treats them well, and it cannot be called an arrest with which he gives a public license to ships, but he detains those which he wishes to arm. He hopes that the report of this license, which is only for small ships, may induce larger ones to come, but he is not expected to succeed.
Naples, the 20th February, 1617 [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
240. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to the pirates, I informed one individual of what your Serenity wrote to me. He found the reply good but would have liked some declaration in favour of a league against the pirates, as they had found both France and England well disposed, the kings of those countries only waiting to hear how many ships their High Mightinesses were going to send. M. Barnevelt told me that they would need to apportion pro rata a sum of about 200,000 crowns yearly among the powers interested, for one, two or three years, and the States, as being the most interested, would provide 100,000 crowns, and this was the proper way of getting rid of the pest. They have written to France and England that they will certainly prepare twelve war vessels, and they were only awaiting news from Barbary before sending out this force.
With regard to the information desired by your Serenity about these pirates, they are a mixture of Turks, English, Dutch and other nations, but the majority are Dutch. They have steadily kept on increasing the number of their ships and men. They made a pact with the Dutch pirates to respect the merchantmen of their own country, but this was broken upon some pretext.
With regard to possible dissensions between the English and Dutch ships, no one has spoken to me about it since I wrote to your Serenity. I will make the prudent observations suggested. The Ambassador Contarini has written to tell me what he has done about hiring ships.
I have sent letters of change to the Ambassador Contarini for 20,000 ducats. Calandrini made them for me, and I have sent him letters of exchange for your Serenity, one half to be paid at sight and the other half on the 20th of next month.
I have heard nothing more about the Cavalier Studler, except that he made exorbitant demands when he saw he was in request again. Two posts have passed since I received letters from Pasini.
The Hague, the 20th February, 1618.
[Italian.]
Feb. 22.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
241. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
By my letter of the 25 January your Serenity will be acquainted with the suit preferred by me in the Council for leave to charter a certain number of vessels, with the comments made by the Lords of the Council, with my rejoinders, and finally with the very clear and positive answer they gave me admitting the impossibility of prescribing the mode of defence, and referring themselves to your Serenity, with the conviction that should any agreement take place, you would not be the first to attack the Catholic king. With this understanding I continued to hasten as much as possible the arrangements for obtaining vessels and I now hear that several have come into the Thames, so in a few days I hope to complete the commission given to me.
Four days ago the secretary of the Council brought me the written decree in reply to my demand, but which I was unable to read at the moment as it was in English. On his departure, when I had translated it, I found at the end, as your Excellencies will perceive by the accompanying copy, such stringent conditions, so remote from the promise given me at first, that I immediately proceeded to his Majesty's secretary, and other lords of the Council, and complained of the wide difference between the grant of vessels made to your Serenity by word of mouth and that which had been sent to me in writing. I told them that I fancied neither the king nor anybody in the whole world doubted that the warlike preparations now being effected by the republic were for any other purpose than the defence of her own territory, and at the same time the liberty of Italy, as the Spaniards gave too manifest signs both on shore and afloat that under the mask of an apparent treaty of peace, they were plotting vast designs; and with this conviction it might easily be credited that the republic felt very anxious for quiet and was only induced to arm by great necessity, so that there was no need, when conceding the favour of these ships, for the king to diminish and restrict it by such stringent conditions, that in fact they cancelled all the advantage which might have been anticipated; added to which the captains, for fear of having their ships confiscated and to avoid danger in the event of necessity for giving battle, would seize a pretext for sheering off, by interpreting his Majesty's will to their own taste, affording thus a very bad example, and inciting other vessels to adopt the like policy. I told them, moreover, that it seemed to me monstrous that the vessels of England, contrary to treaty, should be seized by the ministers of Spain, and fraudulently obtained from this country itself to act against a friendly power the obsequious ally of this crown; whereas the republic despite, such earnest and respectful suit, is not permitted to employ them freely for her own safety, and that I was assurredly embarassed at having to represent these details to your Serenity, as a few days ago I had assured you of a promise from the king, who had repeatedly assured my secretary, that unless the disputes in Italy were ended, he would declare himself and add more positive marks of his good-will towards the republic; and yet now in such a trifle, in no wise affecting his interests, but of great importance to thwart the insidious projects now in course against the common weal, these difficulties were raised; nor had I any lack of arguments whereby to prove to them that it was unfitting when the preservation of their friend was at stake and the liberty of Italy, to be so chary of displeasing a power which is regardless of giving offence and is now preparing to do its worst against a nation which is linked to this crown by affection and interest alike.
Although I perceived that everybody approved what I said, admitting the solidity of my arguments, and promising to reconsider the matter with the hope of rendering me more satisfied, the secretary returned saying that for my gratification the Council had again discussed the business and that its members could not comprehend why I was dissatisfied with what had been done, as the intention of his Majesty was that the republic should avail herself of the vessels as freely as she pleased and that the especial conditions had been inserted in the decree merely to give some apparent satisfaction to the Catholic ambassador, who had made a great outcry about this, and that no difficulty would arise about the readiness of the captains to obey orders, as these details would be unknown to them, and that I was at liberty to bind them by any terms I pleased. To this I made answer that for my own part I believed the bias of his Majesty to be such as he represented it, but that others, not well aware of his affection for the republic might, on becoming acquainted with this dccree, doubt the fact. Perceiving my inability to make further progress, I have determined to send forthwith to Theobalds to demand audience of the king for the express purpose of discussing this point. To-morrow I shall get an answer, though as I know how difficult it is for an ambassador to obtain access to his Majesty in the country, and even in London it is not so easy as it should be, since for the most part he sends his Secretary to treat. I am therefore apprehensive of meeting possibly with some impediment, but in the meanwhile I consider it for the service of your Serenity to continue my endeavours to charter vessels on the same untrammeled conditions as those stipulated with the two first and to persevere in my arrangements with the 500 infantry, now almost ready, so soon as the ships are in a state to receive them.
London, the 22nd February, 1617. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
242. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The embassy from the Palatinate has no other object than that of inviting the queen and the prince of Wales to the christening of his second son, and two gentlemen are about to be sent hence to take part in the ceremony on their behalf. Before the ambassador departed I paid him a visit and after we had exchanged assurances of the sincere affection borne by your Serenity towards their Highnesses and vice versa, he told me that he had been extremely glad to hear of the permission given by the king for the state to avail itself of military aid from this country, for the defence of Venice, for which the prince his master was so anxious that he was confident the news would give him great satisfaction, and that he would thank his Majesty for it by letter. He hoped that this beginning might prove the prelude to more efficient measures of yet greater benefit to the common weal, and that if the passage from the territories of the Palatinate were open there would be no want of troops who would willingly serve the republic. I requested him to return many thanks in the name of your Excellencies to his Highness, adding that this fresh confirmation of good-will would prove most agreeable to the republic, adding to its obligations and yet more augmenting the wish ever entertained by the state for the welfare and greatness of that prince.
Although ere now, and from other quarters, your Serenity will have learned the cause of the journey made by the Palatine to the other Electors I will not omit to state what I have received from a good quarter which will serve as a test to prove that I do not fail to communicate whatever I deem worthy of your knowledge.
The object of the Palatine was to prevent Ferdinand from being elected king of the Romans, it proving most vexatious to every one that as he has children the Empire will henceforth be hereditary and not elective, and therefore he proposed that the spiritual Electors should favour Bavaria, hoping with the aid of his brother, the archbishop of Cologne, to persuade the others also and secure the success of his project with little difficulty.
The news brought from Spain by the Secretary of Digby is at length known and purports that the king of Spain is sending commissioners hither to negotiate the marriage of the prince here at the Court, evincing a great wish for it to take place forthwith. All sensible people and those who investigate more closely the aim of the Spaniards perceive very clearly that this is merely done to protract the negotiations, and benefit their affairs in Italy and Flanders, now that the truce is expiring, and I know that a very leading nobleman pointed out these artifices of the Spaniards to his Majesty and recommended him either to conclude the marriage immediately or to cut the thread of all those long delays, so injurious to his service and which are only induced by the wish to render him an object of suspicion to his friends, and keep him aloof from such resolves as in the actual state of affairs would prove to his own advantage and that of all Christendom.
Gabaleoni is expected here on behalf of the duke of Savoy, having already arrived in France, but it is not supposed that his Highness will derive much profit from the mission, as the ministers here already begin to say that according to the last treaty their king is under no obligation soever and that as the king of France alone is mentioned, it is his business to enforce its execution, complaining of the apathy displayed by the French, and that through Monsieur Lesdiguières, out of consideration for the Spaniards they dissuaded his Highness from sending his son the cardinal to the Court of the Most Christian King.
A certain English corsair, after buccaneering during several years in Barbary with the Turks, amongst whom he had acquired some renown, under one pretext or another brought 150 of them on board a vessel to Ireland, where he gave notice to the Lord Deputy and they were all captured. He is now endeavouring to obtain his own free pardon here.
Sir Walter Raleigh has sent one of his gentlemen to acquaint the king with his arrival at Guiana in the West Indies, and that he hoped soon to penetrate further inland to where there are some gold mines which he discovered of yore, and he is now gone there with the intention of bringing away a very great quantity. (fn. 1) (Ha espedito Ser Vat Rale un gentilhuomo suo con quale da conto al Re del suo arrivo in Guiana nell' Indie Occidentali; et che fra poco tempo sperava di penetrar piu dentro, ove si ritrovano alcune minere d'oro, che altre volte da esso sonno state scoperte, et al presente vi e andato con dissegno di asportarne una grandissima quantita)
London, the 22nd February, 1617 [M.V.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilteria.
Venetian
Archives.
243. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After writing the foregoing I received your Serenity's letters of the 27 January and the 1st inst. On obtaining the audience already requested, I will acquaint his Majesty with what is on-joined concerning the sort of hope that can be entertained of peace in Italy, and how under this mask the Spaniards go lulling all parties, while they themselves are preparing for an attack there in the spring. I will urge him to the utmost to make his royal declaration and such demonstrations as have been repeatedly offered by him to the republic. Should the business which I have to transact give me an opening, I will not fail to ask his Majesty for two of his own ships. With regard to this I must inform your Serenity that immediately I received the order to charter vessels it occurred to me to make this very request of the king. I discussed the matter with the persons whom I consider the best disposed in order that with their aid and advice I might the more easily obtain the desired effect. I spoke about it to Edmonds, who is a member of the Council, to the duke of Lennox (Lemnos) getting one of his near relations to interest himself in the matter by promising him the command of one of those ships, and to the archbishop of Canterbury. Each of them, while promising his support should the matter be discussed in the Council, thought it would be very difficult of attainment and the obstacles insuperable, especially on the score of dignity, which would forbid the king to hire to the republic vessels of his own destined solely for war and the defence of the kingdom, whereas to give them at the king's own charges would subject him to vast expense and to an open declaration of hostility against Spain, to which even your Serenity, though much more concerned, had not yet ventured to resort, as you are keeping an ambassador at the Spanish Court, whilst they keep a representative with you. The archbishop told me more confidentially than the others that he could assure me it was impossible for the king to be better inclined towards the republic than he is, but that under the present circumstances he did not think that his Majesty would proceed to an open declaration against Spain. He said, the king began to negotiate this alliance with Spain, but little to the satisfaction of good Englishmen. It is not known whether he really means to conclude it or merely to obtain a good sum of money from the country for relinquishing it. If in earnest, it is not likely that he would choose to offend the Catholic king so openly at the outset, while on the other hand, if it is only a feint, the artifice would be immediately exposed by his declaring himself the enemy of Spain (Il Re e entrato a trattar quella parentella con Spagna, con poca sodisfattion dei buoni Inglesi: non si sa se con fine reale di concluderla, o per avantaggiarsi col populo per cavarne qualche buona somma di denaro, mentre egli poi non lo effettuasse: se fosse con fine di farlo non v'era apparenza che sul principio egli venisse ad offender cosi palesamente il Catolicio, se per Valtro rispetto egli haverebbe reso vano quel fine che pretende di far credere di voler Pallianza con Spagna, quando dall' altra parte si dechiarisse inimico).
These considerations dissuaded me from making any demand, to avoid a well nigh certain refusal, but now I receive this commission from your Serenity I will not fail to execute it, should an opportunity offer.
With regard to obtaining the East India galleons, that is practically hopeless, for the king would certainly not lay hands on them, as they are now ready to put to sea, well found with every necessary for that long voyage and freighted with merchandise and a great amount of specie. To divert this from its destined channel would cause great discontent to the whole of that Company.
The two vessels of 500 butts each, already hired by me, are getting ready, but even if I should be unable to obtain others it is no longer in my power to cancel the agreement already formally entered into, but I will endeavour to send them on their voyage with those from Holland. I will write to the Secretary Surian in conformity with my instructions, to supply the deficiency experienced here, by means of the abundance of bottoms procurable over there, but at the same time I hope very soon to announce the engagement of some other English vessels of a tonnage exceeding 600 butts, for which I am in close treaty, the high terms demanded alone preventing me from coming to a conclusion.
On the arrival of that Englishman, Henry Gardiner, who has been sent from Naples by the duke of Ossuna, I will endeavour through the ministers and the king himself to thwart any projects that he may entertain and will give your Serenity special notice of everything.
After a lapse of 22 days the courier whom I sent to the Secretary at the Hague is returned, bringing me letters of credit for 4,444l. 10s. with which I shall hasten the provision already begun to the utmost.
London, the 22nd February, 1617 [M. V]
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
244. Translation of the decree of the Privy Council.
At Whitehall, the 14th January, 1617 [o.s.]
The ambassador of Venice from suspicion entertained by the republic of some hostile invasion or assault by certain enemies of the state, having solicited his Majesty as one of the chiefest and staunchest friends of the Signory, to be content that for her aid and just defence, should she have occasion to employ them, she be conceded liberty and licence to transport eight or ten ships well found with men and ammunition, to be procured in this kingdom with her own money, to render her defence more valid; his Majesty having referred the said ambassador to the Council, notifying at the same time his gracious inclination to give him satisfaction should the lords of the Council not find any reason to the contrary, according to letters from his Majesty dated _, thereupon the ambassador had audience of the Council this day, when he preferred the same suit as was made by him previously to his Majesty, and the said Lords concur in the gracious disposition of his Majesty to assist him in the manner desired by the republic, according to the intention of his Majesty, which is that the aid derived hence shall be employed solely for their own defence and not otherwise to offend or attack any Christian power or state at amity with his Majesty.
[Italian.]
Feb. 23.
Senato
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
245. To the ambassador at Rome, and the like to the other Courts and the Generals.
The ratification of the treaty was celebrated by a most sumptuous banquet. Ferdinand seemed ill impressed with the action of our captains in Friuli, and therefore we withdrew Struder's orders to march, and two days later Ferdinand wrote to Cæsar confessing that his doubts were removed.
From the Resident Spinelli we hear of further troops collected by the Viceroy and continual preparation for war. That a large English ship full of naval stores and arms came in sight of that port, but refused to approach, not trusting Ossuna's word. He sent out four galleys to take it by force, but the ship drew out to sea and they did not venture to approach it. This has damped the duke's hopes of obtaining what he wanted from England, so he proceeded to select six of the ships in the port and armed them, those at Brindisi being in bad condition.
Spanish reports of peace continue very strong, but Ossuna shows letters, which he declares are from leading ministers, approving of his action and urging him on, promising him the king's favour and ships from Spain, though they need them badly against the pirates; in short, it is clear that the Spaniards wish to upset the treaty arranged between Ferdinand and the republic.
Ayes135.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
That to England there be added:
The ship mentioned above had merchandise of Rose. Owing to the orders of his Majesty and the vigour of the master Ossuna's attempt proved vain. Others should be warned by this example. You will not fail to keep this in their minds, while you will thank the king and ministers and beg them to insist upon severe threats, as the occasion seems to require.
Ayes135.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
Feb. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
246. To the Proveditor General of the Sea.
We have written to you to allow the ship Allasca to depart from our service; we now direct you to do so on condition that it does not go to Ragusa, Apulia or any other place of the kingdom of Naples, and shall give security to the Cinque Savii alla Mercantia for this, upon which you will at once allow it to go. You will try to induce some of the crew to remain in our service, promising them good treatment and every satisfaction, and you will let us know what you do in the matter.
That the English ambassador be summoned to the Cabinet, or his Secretary, and the present decision communicated to him in such manner as the Cabinet may decide, in reply to the numerous requests which he has made on this subject.
That the Cinque Savii alla Mercantia be ordered to receive the security that the ship will not go to Ragusa etc. and there-upon inform the Proveditore General of the sea, so that he may execute the instructions given to him.
Ayes97.
Noes4.
Neutral4.
[Italian.]
Feb. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
247. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
We hear that Ossuna has experienced a severe mortification from some English ships, which have taken themselves off. He is now sending men, disguised as merchants, along the whole coast, to Genoa, Livorno, Civita Vecchia and their surroundings where Dutch and English ships may be, suitable for war service, and is trying to hire them, so that they may go to Apulia to lade grain. His idea is to detain those which go there, and I think that the Ambassador Contarini in England should obtain a general order from the king there to all vessels of the kingdom not to touch at the kingdom of Naples or Sicily upon any pretext, or in the name of any merchant; and the same orders should be issued by the States. I would advise our resident at Florence and the Consul Albano at Genoa and spread the report at Civita Vecchia, so that no Dutch or English ships should trust themselves to go to Naples for trading, as unquestionably they will all be stopped and ill treated by the Viceroy.
Rome, the 24th February, 1617. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
248. SIMON CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They say here that the Duke of Medina, a noble of great eminence with the Catholic king, is going as ambassador of Spain to England upon the affair of the marriage. They do not like that alliance here and complain that they did not conduct their negotiations better here when they had a similar opportunity.
Paris, the 26th February, 1618.
[Italian.]
Feb. 27.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
249. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Viceroy has sent off Henry Gardiner to England, to try under some pretext, to obtain good ships and perform some office with the king there against your Serenity by means of a relation of Gardiner's whom he asserts to be of great authority with his Majesty, to whom he also takes letters. (fn. 2)
Naples, the 27th February, 1617. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
250. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day I left here for Amsterdam, Pasini followed to tell me that he had finally induced the Cavalier Studler to start. Studler himself has written to say that he will leave on the 7th or 8th of next month. I drew up the contract for him, adding the words, if his services proved satisfactory to your Serenity. His term is not to begin before his arrival at the feet of your Serenity, when the 200 ducats will be deducted which Pasini gave him for the journey. His wages are 100 ducats a month as previously arranged. Pasini is leaving to-day to hasten his departure and I have paid him the expenses of the journey.
The Hague, the 27th February, 1618.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The gentleman was Capt. Peter Alley. Cal S. P. Dom. 1611–1618., pp. 520, 521
2 The following letter of Alexander Rose, preserved at the Public Record Office, throws some light on Ossuna's relations with Rose and Gardiner, and his attempts to obtain ships from England:—
Right honourable:
His Majesty's letter you gave me for the duke of Ossuna I delivered. I expected it had been in favour, but seems it was to curb him for staying any his Majesty's shipping. He took it in so evil part that he was in extreme rage for a day after. What was therein I know not, but I for bringing it was much checked and quite out of that favour I had before; therefore I beseech your honour do me the favour to procure me a letter from his Majesty to the vice king in my behalf recommendatory, whereby I may recover that favour which before I had and not lose by obeying your commands. The vice king hath here yesterday sent away for England one Henry Gardiner, who was or is servant to Mr. Richard Fishborne and John Browne, merchants in London, who hath undertaken to bring hither to Naples a certain number of ships and munitions to go in service against the Venetians. It is kept very private; the duke hath given him a felucca to carry him to Marseilles and 500 ducats for the charges through France, besides what in private is not yet known. This I assure your honour on my life. I humbly take leave and commit your honour to God's protection.
Your honour's to command, Alexander Rose.
Naples, the 27th February, 1618.
State Papers, Foreign, Naples and Sicily.