Venice
March 1618, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1909

Pages

174-187

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'Venice: March 1618, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 174-187. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88674 Date accessed: 20 October 2014.


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March 1618

March 16
Senato,
Secreta
Deliberazioni
Venetian
Archives.
278. To the ambassador in England.
You have done well in making your representations to the Lords of the Council about the ships. You have secured this advantage, that they have declared themselves with you, that the articles in the document do not bind the owners of the ships to anything, and are a simple statement. Though you have not been able to get more, we have all that we want. We wish you to speak to the owners and parceners and make sure that they will give punctual obedience to our captains, and as they have not been forbidden to do so or threatened with any penalties, there will be no difficulty. We commend your discretion in the matter of the king's ships since the fear of a refusal is much greater than the hope of success. The proposal for the ships to go out together with the Dutch vessels must not delay the departure of either squadron, as the despatch of the reinforcement is the chief thing necessary. For the rest your letters need no further answer except that you will make a friendly reply to the office of the Ambassador of the Palatine, expressing our esteem for that prince.
Ayes144.
Noes2.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Proveditore
delle Armi in
Terra Fermaet
Istria.
Venetian.
Archives.
279. ANTONIO BARBARO, Proveditore General of the Forces, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The camp is in great danger for lack of money. To-day the Dutch troops mutinied. I finally succeeded in quieting them by speaking and paying a part of the 30,000 ducats recently arrived. However, they persisted in their demands saying that 20,000 ducats were due to them for the whole of the current month, and indeed it is quite true. To-morrow I expect that the Swiss and the Grisons will make trouble for the same reason. The foreign troops are the backbone of our forces in these parts so I beg your Excellencies to remove all causes for discontent.
The camp at Fara, the 18th March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Proveditore
delle Armi in
Terra Firma et
Istria.
Venetian
Archives.
251. ANTONIO BARBARO, Proveditore General of the Forces, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the 6th inst. I held a muster of all the forces of this camp; of which I enclose a list.
The Camp at Fara, the 18th March, 1618.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
281. [Extract from the muster rolls.]
Infantry at the fort of la Casetta.
M. Rocler325 Dutch.
Silleri126 "
Ver97 "
Odes114 "
Tine162 "
Grimeni130 "
Stievano114 "
Vimes175 "
Co. Guglielmo149 "
Milander177 "
Rossetti222 "
Bomignon126 "
Captain Zuan, cavalier169 Ultramontanes.
[Italian]
March 18.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
282 The English ambassador came into the Cabinet and spoke as follows:
I beg first to offer my condolences upon the death of the doge. One Angelo Scalion of Verona has besought me to intercede for his release from prison. He offered to communicate some secrets to me and sent me a paper. On reading it and seeing the depraved character of the man I sent my secretary to see him in the prison. The ambassador here sent for the secretary, who confirmed this. The ambassador then said that instead of interceding for the man he would rather see him sent to the galleys for ever. He continued: The Earl of Oxford, Lord Chamberlain of Great Britain, happened during the carnival to be in his gondola with a young courtesan, a thing permissible at such a time, and he did not know the laws. The young woman and his servants have been made prisoners. He is much distressed as he knows that they have done nothing wrong, and he begs for their release. I add my intercession to his.
The ambassador was told that the matter would be considered, and so he took leave.
The tenor of the paper is as follows:
A poison to kill every human creature by the smell, namely with a flower or a pair of gloves or a breath, or to speak of the poison will take effect, and the person will die without fail.
A preservative for the person who uses this poison so that he suffer no harm.
A poison to kill by touch, with a preservative for the user.
A safe invention for killing princes without poison, as they pass on horse or in their carriages, without any danger to the assassin.
A secret to compel love.
A mine to be applied to ships under water to make ships sink, and which may also be applied within fortresses or other places where there is water.
There are other secrets worthy of any prince.
[Italian]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
283. SIMONE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received your Serenity's letters and instructions of the 16th, 17th, 21st and 23rd February. The courier, Benetto Bosis proceeded on his journey to England.
Paris, the 19th March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
284 RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A courier has arrived from Spain to-day with letters from Prince Filiberto. I do not know what they contain, but probably promises to restore everything and hopes or offers of marriage, all in order to separate the duke from your Serenity. I will wait and see whether his Highness says anything to me about it. The English agent told me he had news that the negotiations for the marriage of the same princess to the prince of Wales are almost completely broken off.
Turin, the 19th March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
285. GASPARO SPINELLI, Venetian Secretary at Naples, to the DOGE and SENATE.
There must be about 10,000 foot in this kingdom and by the 20th April his Excellency says that he will have more than 50,000 men available for his designs. He is expecting a number of Walloons from Flanders. From the same parts he is also expecting ships. Hearing the talk about the ships preparing for your Serenity, twelve at Amsterdam and eight in England, although he knows that it is true, he says in his usual contemptuous way, when speaking of the republic "These are Venetian stories, I mean to have forty of those ships in my service." He is bending every effort to this end, and is bringing all his powers to bear upon Prince Maurice and the king of England against your Serenity. He has written letters to the English king and sent many instructions to the Spanish ambassador there. He has also sent the horses I wrote about by an Englishman, who arrived here some days ago for the very purpose of buying horses for that king's stable. His Excellency thereupon offered him this present. There will not be more than six to eight horses and they will go by land through France. He places great hopes upon the efforts of this Henry Gardiner, owing to a relation of his who has great influence with that king. I have sent word of all this to the Ambassador Contarini.
Naples, the 20th March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
286. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The courier charged with the letters of your Serenity of the 2nd reached me towards evening on the 15th and the letters of credit arrive opportunely to facilitate my despatch both of the vessels and troops, which I am hastening to the utmost, aware that this is in accordance with the service and intention of the state, and also for the sake of rendering myself in some respect worthy of the very great honour done to me by the satisfaction which your Excellencies evince at these my due exertions. I have already given orders to begin embarking the troops, who will be distributed according to the quality and size of the ships. The powder and ball for account of your Serenity are ready and they likewise will be put on board forthwith, and together with the ammunition belonging to the ships themselves, will enable each vessel to fire about 1,300 cannon shot. I have allowed the Centurion to ship some 600 pigs of lead as ballast, on condition of their being disposed of to the fleet if required, at the current price, and another of these vessels will in like manner have about 10 tons of tin, also at the disposal of your Serenity in case of need. In choosing these vessels I endeavoured to select the best and most fitted for war services, both with reference to size and build. The ton is understood to represent two butts of Candia, nor are the guns or the other requirements of the vessels comprised in their tonnage.
I am now drawing up the commissions in conformity with the order received from your Serenity, so that they may sail in company, as speedily as possible, and I shall make the best vessel the flag ship and charge the others to tender it obedience to insure their reaching their destination with greater safety and despatch and I trust this will satisfy everybody, for had I chosen to appoint any one else, difficulties would perhaps have been raised. Some other vessels bound to the Levant will also accompany this squadron, being glad to avail themselves of the opportunity for additional security. One of these captains having heard that the Dutch vessels were no longer to be commanded by the Venetian noblemen, immediately instigated the others to urge a similar claim, but after some discussion I quieted them, showing how much more honourable it would be for them, assuring them they would be very well treated by the noblemen appointed to this charge, as will, I trust, assuredly be the case, so as to confer an obligation upon this nation and render it yet more inclined to serve the republic, since from the good-will of the English, coupled with their great hatred of the Spaniards, very profitable results might be anticipated at all times.
The order given me by your Serenity for gunners arrived so late that in this brief interval it will be very difficult for me to engage them, though I have given a commission to use every effort to obtain as many as possible.
As the king continues to remain in the country and is still in bed from the gout in his leg (fn. 1) I am unable to have such frequent audiences as I could wish, and in accordance with the commands of your Serenity, though I do not fail to communicate with him through the ministers and to let him know what is passing; and from the constant commissions given me to communicate everything to him he is already well acquainted with the projects of Ossuna, and I have caused it to be circulated amongst the merchants, that under various pretexts that duke is artfully seeking to avail himself of English vessels, and I am already assured that none will go to Naples willingly, knowing that such is the wish of the king, and also on their own private accounts, and the last courier for Italy conveyed a number of letters with instructions to this effect.
Nothing more has been said to me beyond what I notified about the league against the pirates. Here they are awaiting some decision from Spain, and leave in case of bad weather or other necessity to enter the ports of the Catholic king with their fleet. If spoken to on the subject I shall shape my replies according to the hints given me by your Serenity. The other day my Secretary saw Sir [Thomas] Lake, who told him he hoped for certain your Excellencies would obtain peace, in which case you might employ these vessels against the corsairs.
I have endeavoured to obtain most precise information concerning Captain Mainwaring, who offered his services to the republic, and in like manner as I find that for nautical experience and sea fights, and for a multitude of daring feats performed afloat when he was a pirate, he is in high repute, being considered resolute and valorous and perfectly suited to that profession, understanding the management of firstrates better perhaps than anyone. But the name of corsair, by its lack of respectability, creates a doubt whether he would receive the necessary obedience from the other captains. Moreover, besides the small reliance to be placed in any man of that profession, I understand that he has no possessions of any value, though it is supposed he may have some ready money hidden, for fear of its being claimed by the owners of his prizes. Only a few days ago the Spanish Ambassador sued him on this just account for 80,000 ducats. He is a gentleman of the bedchamber to the king, and since he obtained his pardon (fn. 2) is in favour at court. On this very day his Majesty sent me a very earnest message in his recommendation, as he only wants to be employed and to have the means of exerting himself on the terms most agreeable to your Excellencie.
As the advices forwarded to me by your Serenity confirm the news already received here about the escape from Naples of the ship Royal Merchant, for the avoidance of impressment, I immediately began negotiations with the owners for chartering it, and until now expected to succeed, but their demands are so exorbitant that I dare not go such lengths. The vessel was to proceed from Naples to Leghorn, there to tranship that part of her cargo which had been destined for the former city; then to unload caviare at Corfu and cross to Zante to take in currants for England, so perhaps were your Serenity to have an offer made on the spot to the captain, who owns a fourth share in the vessel, he might prove more reasonable, especially were he to meet with other bottoms at Corfu, for the conveyance of the cargo which he is bound to deliver in England.
I experienced great readiness on the part of the merchants, who took the bills drawn by me on your Serenity, and I have this week received 4,300 ducats from Messrs. Vandeput, the drafts for which will go to Venice by this present courier.
London, the 21st March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
287. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Two gentlemen have arrived here from the king of Denmark, one of whom bears the title of ambassador, and is commissioned to endeavour to obtain an order from his Majesty enjoining all the English whalers bound to Greenland, which derive immense profits from the oil, to acknowledge the Danish supremacy in those seas, by paying a certain tax; an affair which will experience difficulties of its own, in like manner as it is in great measure the cause of the actual disputes between Denmark and the States of Holland, who have always refused to make this acknowledgement. The companion of the ambassador, so far as I can understand, is seeking for merchants to take shares in four ships which the king of Denmark proposes to send on a trading voyage to the East Indies.
A ship has been sent to bring home the Ambassador Digby, who is coming with a commissioner of the Catholic king to negotiate the marriage, as I wrote heretofore. (fn. 3)
The French ambassador was to have seen the king again before his departure, and as this delay was induced by his Majesty himself a belief prevailed that some modification would have been desired to dissuade him from quitting the court; but as in the meanwhile the usual present was sent to his dwelling, he seems to regret this conclusive step, being aware how well pleased a good part of the ministers are, who incline towards Spain, that there should be no ambassador of the Most Christian king here.
The other day the queen sent one of her gentlemen to France to the king with a present of six horses and thirty couple of hounds, in return for some plants and flower bulbs received from him; and this week there took their departure the bearers of the proxies for the princes who are to represent the queen and prince of Wales at the christening of the Count Palatine's son, to whom both of them are sending a present of plate to the value of 4,000 crowns.
London, the 21st March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 22.
Senata,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
288. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bernardo Bosis, the courier, has permission to return at his leisure, with 25 Spanish doubloons for his journey back to Venice, where he will receive the additional sum usually given.
London, the 22nd March, 1618.
[Italian]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
enetian
Archives.
289. To the ambassador in England.
What you report about your last audience of his Majesty, agrees with what we expected from his feeling for the republic, his desire for the welfare of his province and his prudence. We direct you to thank him warmly in our name, and if that is not possible, one of the ministers. You will say that we have tried to show how warmly we reciprocate his Majesty's sentiments and that our interests are common; that the orders and declaration made on behalf of his Majesty that the captains of the ships must render full obedience to our commands gives us what we want and satisfies the republic. Your office with the Lords of the Council has been opportune about the news arrived from elsewhere and the detention of English ships at Naples, so that the king may take a strong decision to which you will incite him as much as possible. For the rest we commend your diligence in completing the contract for the five ships. We need them at the earliest possible opportunity, and we know that you will not waste any time.
We enclose a copy of news from Zurich relating an attempt to embroil our republic with the Prince Palatine and others, and although our relations are cordial they must not receive any such prejudice. You will perform such office with the Palatine's ambassador as shall seem to disabuse him completely and confirm our friendly relations.
Ayes129.
Noes0.
Neutral3.
[Italian]
March 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
290 RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They have heard here of the two squadrons of well armed ships with separate admirals that your Serenity is fetching from Holland and England. In this connection his Highness remarked to me that your Serenity will do well not to let them go to lie in your ports where a thousand disputes and pretensions may arise, but to give them orders first to join your fleet and thus united they will be able to inflict the maximum of damage upon the enemy. They will have numerous opportunities of harassing the kingdom of Naples and especially of depriving it of provisions, and the two squadrons would spread terror in Naples, bring the fleet out of the Gulf and perhaps drive the nonsense out of Ossuna's head. We could say that such action was a caprice of the captains of the squadron. That would be a very apposite reply to their own methods, when they say that their king desires peace and only his ministers make the war.
I must remind your Serenity that I consider the league with the Bernese and Zurichers of great importance. Their custom is only to make leagues for the defence of States. After refusing to promise in the treaty, they afterwards agreed to a separate document in which they promise to go against whomsoever his Highness directs. The English agent gave me these particulars. He managed the whole of this affair.
Turin, the 23rd March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
291. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The secretary of war has complained strongly to the resident of England because his king has granted leave to your Excellencies to arm eight galleons in that kingdom. The resident replied that since the republic had no war with the Catholic king, his Majesty could not imagine himself to be offended by this permission, and his king would be ready to grant the same to this crown.
I hear that seven Dutch ships, very well armed, have arrived in the port of Cartagena. They are scouring the seas there in search of the Barbary pirates.
Madrid, the 24th March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 24.
Cons de' X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
292. That a secretary of the Council leave a copy of the letters of our ambassador with the king of Great Britain of the 2nd inst. about the conversation with him as to whether that king's ambassador resident at Venice is in the pay of the Spaniards, to be read to the Savii of the Cabinet, after enjoining due secrecy, for their information, and afterwards to the Senate, if they see fit.
Ayes15.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
293. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
With regard to the league I will punctually execute the orders of your Serenity when his Highness returns. The duke considers it settled, and will be annoyed at this delay since I believe that he wished to have the league signed before the restoring of the fortresses, so that it might not serve the Spaniards as a pretext for not restoring Vercelli. The English agent, who spoke to me upon the matter, said the greatest offers come to him from Spain, but he wished to manifest the affection which he feels for your Serenity and the memory of past favours, the prince being of the same opinion since he perceives that the trend of his affairs is towards peace and of those of your Serenity towards war. He also said that they propose to send Monthou (Montu) to the States, giving him instructions in conformity with the advice of your Serenity, and that nothing else would incline the Spaniards towards uuiversal peace than this union.
Turin, the 26th March, 1618.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
294. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador Contarini has not asked me for anything to help in getting ready the eight ships agreed upon in London, except the sum of 20,000 ducats, for which the letters of exchange will have already reached your Serenity. If he asks for anything else I will give him all the assistance in my power, both in money and in letters of exchange. I discovered that Ser Nichesti, a merchant of this town, had orders to pay or give credit in London to the ambassador Contarini, but he was not told how or when but was referred to previous letters which he said he had never received.
The English ambassador highly appreciates the confidence I show him in communicating the news received from your Serenity. He promised to thank his Majesty, as I desired. He said he would do everything to serve the republic in the future as he had done in the past. I made a courteous reply to his expressions of friendship, and will continue to maintain the confidential relations with him that you direct.
Amsterdam, the 27th March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
295. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England to the DOGE and SENATE.
I had hoped by this post to acquaint your Serenity with the departure of these vessels and God knows how grieved I am not to see them off, and how diligently I labour with unceasing anxiety for their immediate departure; but the necessity for repairing and careening them, and the immense supply of food required for so many mouths during a whole year, and which we had to procure in Lent, so that for this purpose alone it was necessary to get more than 400 oxen up from the country in order to salt them, besides other victualling stores, was a work of much time. At this present all these things are done and ready and part of the vessels after having been inspected by me with the troops on board are now twenty miles away, waiting for the others which in like manner will not long delay their departure so that they may all make the voyage together.
I have done my utmost to get the expert gunners fitted for the service of the fleet, as enjoined me by your Serenity, but although I found some who would have suited, their demands, especially those of the master-gunners, were so exorbitant, that I would make no agreement. The masters asked 48 crowns per month and three months pay in advance, and the others 25 so I trust your Serenity will approve of my dispensing with them.
The ship Royal Merchant which made its escape from Naples and was supposed by the owners here to have gone to Leghorn, is now, according to advices received by them, unloading at the Faro of Messina, no violence having been offered it by the Viceroy there, who, on the contrary, promised all courtesy.
Fifteen English vessels have arrived from Spain, to the great joy of this mart as it had been supposed that they were certainly seized for the service of the Catholic king, and the merchants here had already made very loud complaints on this account to his Majesty's Council.
When I was on the point of visiting the Danish ambassador, he anticipated me, saying he had been commanded to do so by the queen, who in like manner desired him to further the interests of the republic, not only here but also with the king her brother. He observed to me that grain, vessels and soldiers were procurable from Denmark in as short a time as from Holland, the passage from one country to the other being easily effected by sea in two days. I thanked him warmly for his extreme courtesy, expatiating on the obligation under which your Excellencies thus found yourselves to the queen, who, by so ample a demonstration of her affection had vouchsafed to testify the good-will she bore the state, and I said that I should go in person to return her my most humble thanks, assuring him at the same time that the distance between the two territories limited the intercourse between the republic and the king of Denmark, yet my masters entertained a vast esteem for a sovereign of such great merit and endowments, and that on his return he might safely represent this to his Majesty. I fancy this demonstration proceeded from a visit paid by me a few days ago to the queen, when after representing the present state of affairs in Italy I besought her to exercise her influence in favour of the republic. This she certainly seemed most ready to do, offering her aid, such as it was though she confessed to having very little power with the king and the Lords of the Council, who she was well aware were influenced by the pensions from Spain; and not approving of these alliances with the Catholic king she now shows herself utterly opposed, and well nigh hostile to the Spanish faction (se bene confesso poter pochissimo con Re, et con gli Signori del Consiglio, quali pensa per la maggior parte hauer già guadagnati dalle pensioni di Spagna, et non approvando lei queste allianze col Catolico se ne mostra hora in tutto contraria et quasi inimica a quel partito).
I have drawn for 8,000 ducats and the bills will be presented by Sig. Peter Vandeputt. I request your Serenity to give orders for their payment.
London, the 28th March, 1618.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Proveditore
delle Armi in
Terra Firma
et Istria.
Venetian
Archives.
296. ANTONIO BARBARO, Venetian Proveditore of the Forces, to the DOGE and SENATE.
These last months a dispute broke out between Sir John Vere, lieutenant colonel of the Dutch and Peter Nolligapell called Milander, sergeant major of the same terzo. General Barbarigo, to prevent further trouble, sent Vere to Udine and Milander to Palma, taking upon himself the settlement of the dispute, which both referred to him. He has recently sent me the agreement accepted by both, with orders to get them to sign it. I sent for Milander who signed the paper as soon as he had seen and read it. Vere did the same and nothing was lacking except the reconciliation. While it was arranged that they should confer together here, Vere, who was the offending party in the quarrel, notwithstanding that he had signed the document and was in confinement, left Udine and on reaching the country of Palma, sent for Milander, who was obeying orders, to let him know that he had come to settle their dispute. Milander did not refuse, but left the fortress with one servant, without making any other sign. He went out to meet Vere, they unsheathed their weapons and began to fight. At the first assault Vere asked for courtesy. At the second he was wounded in the dagger hand; Milander on seeing that he could not use it, threw down his own dagger so as not to have a superiority. At the third assault Vere was again wounded in the same hand, and asked courtesy a third time. Milander granted it on condition that Vere should confess in writing that he had asked for it. He complied at once in a peasant's house. After that they made peace, Vere retiring to Udine and Milander to Palma. In this case I consider the public honour has been offended, as his Excellency Barbarigo took the whole question upon himself. Vere deserves severe punishment as the author of the duel in defiance of his oath and signature and of the confinement imposed upon him. In my opinion he should be sent to you in order that you may decide what justice and the public honour require.
The camp at Farra, the 28th March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Udine.
Venetian
Archives.
297. ZUANNE BASADONNA, Venetian Lieutenant of Udine, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Nothing of moment has happened here except that some months ago General Barbarigo ordered Sir John Vere, vice colonel of the company of the late Count Ernest of Nassau, not to leave this town without his permission, because he had quarrelled with Milander, sergeant major of that company, a partisan of Count John of Nassau, and they had challenged each other to a duel. After Vere had been here some weeks I was asked by the General Barbarigo to get him to submit his differences to his Excellency to which Milander had agreed. I suceeeed in inducing him to consent to this. He appointed the earl of Oxford his representative and sent him the powers. The earl gave it to his Excellency who declared that their differences were over and they should love and honour each other and within three months he would give his opinion upon the matter. This decision did not seem to satisfy either of them and neither appeared to accept it. At length, last Friday, the 23rd, Milander sent a message to Vere here in Udine telling him that he would expect him on the following day in the country between Palma and this city with a boy only, and they would settle their quarrel by the sword. Vere replied that if he knew the place he would willingly go to meet him. On the following day a boy returned to Vere's house and told him to follow him and he would take him to the place where Milander was. Vere went immediately with a youth to a place called Cortello, four miles off. There he met Milander and dismounted from his horse. Having exchanged some words in a loud voice at some distance apart, they sent their boys to each other to see if they had pistols in their doublets. They removed their doublets and shoes and began to fight in their shirts with sword and dagger. After half an hour's combat Milander received two wounds, one in the right shoulder and the other in the left side. Vere received two slight hurts, one in the left hand and the other in the left arm. On hearing the noise a gentleman ran up and separated them. They put on their doublets and embraced. They went off together to a mill, obtained water and food, and at an inn they took wine together, and thus after exhausting their anger they have become friends.
Udine, the 29th March, 1618.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
298. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The original difficulties still persist in Possonia. The Hungarians claim to elect the Palatine before the king, and the emperor claims the opposite. Meanwhile a considerable number of the Archducal men who came with the Hungarians to the Diet, recently attempted to sack the fair there. However they were driven off, with loss on both sides, by Stodder's soldiers, who are acting as the king's bodyguard.
Vienna, the last day of March, 1618. Copy.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Riposte
Venetian
Archives.
299. In reply to the petition of the Flemish merchants domiciled here for permission to trade in the Levant, it is advisable to grant them the privilege upon the following conditions:
For all transactions in the Levant they must first send their capital here, and they are forbidden to send to the Levant silk cloth or foreign wool prohibited by the laws.
They must send their capital to the Levant in Venetian ships, and only in foreign ones if there are no Venetian ships to be had.
They must be subject to the Venetian Bailo and consuls and pay customs, dues etc. like Venetian citizens.
They shall be clear of the duty of 6 per cent., like all others who may trade in the Levant, but all tscida and all land revenue they must pay as they pay at present for foreigners.
They must have no intelligence with the professors of the arts of wool or of silk, but may simply buy the cloth from them either for ready money or credit.
They are forbidden to chaffer in this city over the silk which they bring from the Levant, but they are bound to send it over the Alps, paying the export duty. The exemptions from the silk duty for what goes north shall only apply to silk brought from the Levant in the name of Venetian citizens, in which the Flemings have had no share.
We have arrived at this conclusion from many considerations, which are briefly as follows:
The decline of our trade we believe to be largely due to the many millions we have lost of recent years through the operations of pirates and various misfortunes, but chiefly to the introduction of many nations and especially Flemings to trade in the Levant, who go to Marseilles, Amsterdam and elsewhere. We can only endeavour to try and take away trade from these other marts, and there is no way but that of rival attractions. Our city is safer of approach by sea than these places, and is a convenient centre for distribution by land through High and Low Germany, and it is also a mart of exchange. We believe that this has moved them to ask the present favour of us after trying other places, and so we may hope that instead of trading at the other places they will come and trade here. The more business they do, the more the customs will benefit.
If their business grows more ships will travel together and they will be safer from pirates.
We hope that this concession will cause a greater consumption of Venetian cloth in the Levant and a diminished consumption of foreign.
In the Levant we are unable to lay any prohibitions upon them, because they have their own consul, and so it is necessary they should be under our consuls.
It has been formerly suggested that we should grant free trade to all indifferently, but we believe this would do more harm than good, as that would increase the number of purchasers, and consequently the prices.
Owing to the introduction of Flemings and other foreigners into the Levant and the opening of other marts, there is no need for goods to come to this city, and many nations now share the benefit.
If it were in the power of your Serenity to put a stop to the trade of Flemings and foreigners in the Levant, no doubt that would be the best and surest way; but it is impossible.
Experience will show what is best and we suggest that the concession be made for four or five years.
Costantin Garzoni.
Francesco Valier.
Alvise Dolfin.
Orsato Giustinian.
Objection of Alvise da Ponte, one of the Savii, to the above decision and advising the rejection of the petition, because if it is granted all the trade, the shipping and the defence of their state will rest in the hands of the Flemings and other foreign nations. It is the Levant trade which has built up and enriched Venice, and it has always been the policy of the government that the state should have her own sailors and ships.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 On Feb. 25, old style, James was at Theobalds. On 16th March, old style, Chamberlain reports that he was beginning to go abroad again. Nichols Progresses of James I.., iii., pages 468, 470
2 In June 1617.
3 Commission of Nottingham to Capt. Lowe dated Feb. 18 o.s. to take the Dreadnaught and Seven Stars and go to St. Andreas or elsewhere to fetch Digby from Spain. Cal. S. P. Dom 1611–1618, p. 522.