Venice
June 1618, 16-30

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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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236-251

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'Venice: June 1618, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 15: 1617-1619 (1909), pp. 236-251. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88678 Date accessed: 31 October 2014.


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Contents

June 1618

June 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
405. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
While I was sending off my present despatch this morning your Serenity's letters arrived with the packet for France. I at once sent it to the gentleman who is leaving for England, so that it will reach Paris in a few days.
Turin, the 16th June, 1618.
[Italian.]
June 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
406. ZORZI GIUSTINIAN, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The affairs of Bohemia remain as I last advised. The emperor continues to arm and they say they will soon have collected 8,000 foot and 2,000 horse including those of Friuli; all being levied with his Majesty's money who supplies it very unwillingly with the purpose of re-imbursing himself by what they are hoping from England, the Catholic king and the Grand Duke, upon whom they base their principal hopes. Hitherto the Spanish ambassador has not spent a penny, saying that he cannot do so without orders from his king.
Vienna, the 16th June, 1618. Copy.
[Italian.]
June 16.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
407. The Secretary of the king of Great Britain came into the Cabinet and said:
I have come by the ambassador's orders to hear the reply upon the case of Count Piero. The doge enquired after the ambassador's health and remarked that Piero was detained in prison upon his simple word. This was the utmost that could be done. The ambassador himself had not heard the alleged insults, but the servants of his house affirmed it. If the matter was brought before the Senate without further justification it might not be possible to give his Excellency the satisfaction which we desire. He may rest assured that the republic will proceed justly and sincerely. The matter has been placed in the hands of an avogador and it will be as well to advise those who are to be examined. The secretary was told that the avogador was named Valier, and he might see him on the following morning. He said he would do so, took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
June 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
408. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have seen the duke and congratulated him upon the res toration of Vercelli. He spoke on various subjects. Of the league he did not say a word. He asked me what was to be done with Mansfeld's troops and said he was only awaiting the reply of your Serenity before sending them back and disbanding them. He could not keep them in his own states because he understood that the treaty of Asti forbad this, and the Bernese no longer desired it, as they only wished to afford him satisfaction. He said the same thing to the English agent and to the Count's secretary who is here, namely that after he had spoken to me he would send a courier with the decision as to what was to be done. I did not know what to say to him, except that I had written to your Serenity what he said to me. My orders are four months old and tell me to do what I think best. I do not know if they still hold good and therefore I am awaiting more particular instructions.
Turin, the 18th June, 1618.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 18.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
409. The Secretary of the ambassador of England came into the Cabinet with another person and said:
The ambassador has sent me to present this document to your Serenity and this gentleman, who is his steward. Will you be pleased to hear the request which his Excellency makes? The doge replied: The ambassador may rest assured that we are ready to give him every possible satisfaction. The avogador Valier here is charged to conduct the affair, you can confer with him. After the document was read the Secretary added that his Excellency had sent the steward to explain that even more scandalous expressions had been used, and to ask for a decision.
The doge replied: A prisoner in a dark cell can hardly suffer a worse punishment. This has been done at the ambassador's instance. The wife and children come daily to appeal to us, but we do not hearken. The ambassador shall have satisfaction, but we must act in a regular manner.
The secretary said: The ambassador is not bloodthirsty, but this is a question involving his Majesty's honour and he desires a judgment to correspond.
The doge replied: Our esteem for his Majesty cannot be questioned. This man is of such insignificant account that he is not worth notice. An emperor once on being told that some one spoke ill of him remarked: Let him say what he pleases, no one will believe him. The ambassador should not attach so much importance to the insolence of such people. Salute the ambas- sador, tell him that we love and esteem him and revere his Majesty and we will endeavour to do everything possible to prove our sincerity.
Most Serene Prince.
I protest before God that I have always desired the welfare and honour of the republic and have always sought to maintain and increase the friendly relations with my king. I therefore take the liberty to send my steward who is ready to swear to the opprobrious words used by this Piero against his Majesty and the suspicion of our action at the present crisis. He repeated the slander three times distinctly although warned to take care what he said. I therefore ask for such a sentence as may vindicate the honour of his Majesty and his subjects. If your Serenity refuses I beg you to get your ambassador to inform his Majesty of the affair. I will do the like; up to the present I have held my hand awaiting a decision. If his Majesty is satisfied I also shall rest content. I beg your Serenity to excuse me for not coming in person, but that is impossible after such an affront to my king and the immunity of my house, before any reparation is given.
Your Serenity's most devoted servant,
[Italian.] HENRY WOTTON.
June 18.
Cons de'X.
Parti Secrete.
Venetian
Archives.
410. In the Council of Ten.
This Council being informed that unless some extraordinary expedient be found, it will be impossible to expedite the voluminous processes upon the charges for which Antonio Foscarini and Giulio Muscorno have been detained, and a year will soon have passed since they were sent by the Cabinet, and owing to other important matters arising the Council would be continually changing and the processes read over again to the fresh comers, so that the affair threatens to drag on for ever:
That the charges against Antonio Foscarini and Giulio Muscorno be delegated to seven of this Council, comprising the Inquisitors of State, the others being chosen by ballot, who shall meet as frequently and sit as long as possible, under the pledge of secrecy, and who shall decide by a majority what justice requires, and what they decide shall have the same force as a decree of this Council, and only in doubtful questions, which cannot be decided by a majority of two thirds, shall they refer to this Council for a decision.
Ayes14.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
Vincenzo Dandolo, son of Lunardo.Inquisitors.
Benetto da ca Zagrapan.
Francesco Correr, son of Zuanne.
Alvise Contarini, son of Marc Antonio.chosen by ballot.
Carlo Ruzini, son of Domenico.
Matteo Ghirardo.
Antonio da Canal.
[Italian.]
June 19.
Cons, de'X.
Parti Secrete
Venetian
Archives.
411. In the Council of Ten.
That for reasons laid before this Council the decision be suspended which was taken yesterday about choosing seven delegates to try the cases of Antonio Foscarini and Giulio Muscorno.
Ayes15.
Noes0.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
June 20.
Collegio.
Lettere
Principi
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
412. JAMES, king of Great Britain, etc. to ANTONIO PRIULI, doge of Venice.
Quanquam nihil nobis quam ex rumoribus perlatum (neque enim certius quidquam Legatus noster statuere aut perscribere potuit, pro ea prudentia et taciturnitate qua tanti ponderis negotia contrectare soletis) de eo periculo quo tota vestra respublica nuperrime conflictabatur ex tam perdita et paene incredibili conjuratione. Ea tamen affectio in vos nostra est, ea benevolentia, id denique gaudium quod ex tanto scelere patefacto et detecto concepimus ut illud vobis quam maxime potuimus cura et celeritate non potuimus non impertire. Nos quidem ita a natura compositi et comparati sumus ut fraudem omnem, dolumque malum et perfidiam et novarum rerum molitionem summo odio habeamus, et ex animo detestemur. Satisque nobis fuisset ad animos nostros summa latitia perfundendos tam facinorosa molimina et Christiano nomine indigna successibus suis carere, et justo Dei judicio in capita authorum recidere regerique. Cum tamen ejusmodi fortuna reipublicae nobis conjunctissimae acciderit quanque nos omni tempore merito magni fecimus continere nos non potuimus quin non expectato certiore nuntio qui nos tam de ipso scelere quam de Authoribus et reliquis tam immanis et inauditi flagitii sociis consciisque plenius edocere sufficeret nobis ipsa fama ad praesentem congratulationem, Quae quidem si ea celeritate ad vos pervenire posset qua nos optamus cupimusque Litteras nostras Longo certe intervallo praeveniret. Speramus tamen praesentes has satis in tempore affuturas ad significandam jam quasi affectus nostri ambitionem qua certe animus noster gestit Laboratque aliorum Principum Rerumque Publicarum gratulationes antevertere. Qui quidem ut sita vobis et vicina propiores esse possint affectu tamen et studio conjunctiores nullo modo esse possint. Et hanc animi nostri propensionem quam nunc verbis deferimus, persuasum vobis esse volumus nos facto probaturos quandocunque ea occasio inciderit quae operam et manum nostram flagitare possit et exigere.
Dat. e Palatio nostro Westmonasterii, X die Junii A.D. 1618.
JACOBUS R. [autograph].
June 20.
Collegio.
Lettere
Principi.
Inghilterra,
Venetian
Archives.
413. JAMES, king of Great Britain etc. to ANTONIO PRIULI, Doge of Venice.
Quamprimum intelleximus quanto ex periculo Serenissima vestra Respublica emersit, scripsimus vobis extemplo gratulatum Reip. salutem et incolumitatem suam, qua certe nihil nobis antiquius esse potuit nihil jucundius. Nec citius nobis de Electione vestra innotuit in supremum in illa Republica gradum et fastigium quam idem nos affectus impulit vobiscum etiam ea de re congratulari, tam vestro quam reip. nomine. Vestro quidem, quod tam multa de vobis tam prospera tam praeclara audivimus, ut certe putemus, foelicissimum vobis et maxime gloriosum, iis temporibus superesse, quibus Resp. consilio prudentia et authoritate vestra tantopere indigeat. Reip. vero, quod in tam Lubrico et ancipiti rerum suarum statu nominem tam opportunum tam necessarium elegerint. Utrique vestrum fausta omnia et foelicia, ex animo comprecamur, paratissimique erimus omni loco et tempore notum vobis facere quanto affectu studioque Remp, vestram prosequamur.
Dat. Palatio nostro Westmonasterii Xo die Junii, Anno Domini, 1618.
JACOBUS R. [autograph].
June 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
414. PIERO GRITTI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After my representations to the king and the Cardinal of Lerma, I spoke in conformity to the Confessor and the duke of Infantado. The confessor said it would soon appear that the provisions made by the Viceroy of Naples were not against the republic. He went on to say that the Viceroy had sent to England to obtain some armed galleons, but his Majesty had ordered his ambassador to stop this plan of his, as he is determined not to allow known heretics to go to Italy. The service of Christendom requires us to remain united, and if we must fight, let it be with Turks and Moors.
Public report here says that the Naples fleet will have to come here to put down the pirates.
Madrid, the 20th June, 1618.
[Italian.]
June 20.
Collegio,
Seereta.
Esposizioni
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
415. The Secretary of England came into the Cabinet and said:
His Excellency sends me to say that he has heard from the Avogador Valier of your Serenity's decision about the imprisoned wretch; now that his Majesty's honour is vindicated, his Excellency desires that the prisoner may be released, but he ought to come and ask pardon of his Excellency, after being instructed in the way he must comport himself.
The doge said: We thank the ambassador for his decision and we will give orders so that his request may be met.
The Secretary replied: The ambassador is expecting letters to-day. To-morrow morning he is engaged but he will come later on to kiss your Serenity's hands. The doge remarked that he would always be welcome, at which the Secretary took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
June 21.
Senato,
Seereta
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
416. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The ambassador Wotton has written a long letter to his Majesty, giving him a detailed account of the discovery at Venice of a plot, laid by the ministers of certain great powers and aided by others besides, in the hope of plundering the city, taking the mint and burning the Arsenal, adding however that the Signory, of its extreme prudence, had averted the peril by punishing some and imprisoning a great number. The king had the letter read to him twice and expressed extreme surprise and disgust that any sovereigns should be found capable of giving their assent to deeds so impious and detestable. He expressed his joy at the failure of these insidious machinations, which he discussed at great length with several noblemen who were present, and ordered the secretary to write a congratulatory letter on the subject to your Serenity, and to charge his ambassador to make a verbal announcement in conformity. I am told that his Majesty heard the news with great emotion, as the dangers he has gone through himself cause him to view such treacherous devices with the utmost abhorrence.
The Catholic ambassador has taken leave of their Majesties to return to Spain, and gives out that after arranging his private affairs and recovering his health he will return immediately. In the meantime he leaves his secretary here together with some others of his retinue; but in spite of numerous conferences and negotiations about the marriage of the Prince yet he leaves without conveying any decision; nor, so far as can be ascertained, is there any hope of a speedy settlement, because the farther the affair advances the greater are the difficulties concerning religion as they insist here upon not granting the princess greater facilities for the exercise of her devotions than are enjoyed by the ambassadors in their own houses.
The Spanish ambassador has asked the king for all the Catholic priests now in prison here, the number being very considerable, (fn. 1) and I understand that with a few exceptions they have all been granted him, on condition of their quitting the country. But the majority do not intend to avail themselves of this boon, as by payment of a trifling fee to their gaolers, they can go in and out of prison at their pleasure, officiating privily first in one house and then in another, by which means they maintain themselves and make considerable profits. (Ha dimandato esso ambasciatore al Re tutti li Preti Cattolici che sonno nelle priggioni, trovandosi moltissimi; et intendo essergli stati permessi da alcuni pochi in poi, con conditione che eschino del Regno, ma la maggior parte non intende valersi di questa libertà, mentre può a gusto suo con qualche recognitione alli custodi, entrare et uscire et attender alle loro funtioni hor nell' una hor nell' altra casa secretamente, con che si nutriscono et ne cavano grandissimi proffitti.)
Sir Walter Raleigh has arrived at Plymouth from Ireland with a single ship, the others having left him. His friends are now endeavouring to obtain a free pardon for him from the king, that he may be at liberty to come to court and not go back to the Tower again.
London, the 21st June, 1618.
[Italian.]
June 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
417. To the ambassador in Savoy and the like to the other Courts.
After the arrival of the Commissioner Contarini arrangements were made for the re-establishment of trade in Istria and Friuli, whence we have withdrawn the Dutch and other troops. Disturbances are increasing in Bohemia. The Spanish fleet has left the Gulf but possibly only to return. In Lombardy every one expects peace with the restitution of Vercelli. It is reported that Don Pedro means to keep more troops than are allowed by the treaty, but it remains to be seen what his intentions are. We send this for information.
Ayes143.
Noes2.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
June 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
418. RANIER ZEN, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In speaking of the troops of Mansfeld the duke said that he could not retain them. If the republic wished to retain them it would be a pity for them to be disbanded. For his part he could not pay them and to do so would be contrary to the treaty of Asti. The English agent said that the Count of Mansfeld might possibly keep them, if the Bernese did not want them, on the confines of Germany all ready, with a promise to be here in 15 or 20 days. He was awaiting a definite decision as for his part he could not support the burden.
Turin, the 25th June, 1618.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 26.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni
Principi
Venetian
Archives.
419. The ambassador of England came into the Cabinet and said:
My just cause of absence must excuse me for being the last of the ambassadors to congratulate your Serenity, though my Secretary Gregorio was the first to do so. I felt very keenly the arrest of my steward, as my complicity in the abominable plot against the republic might be suspected. I am the more gratified now that everything has been cleared up. I have written to his Majesty in such a manner that he will certainly thank your Serenity's ambassador. He went on to praise the prudence of the government as superior even to that of the Roman republic, because formerly it was absentium ratio non habebatur, but here it was the contrary. They had remembered the services of his Serenity even in his absence. His accession had caused general satisfaction and he hoped he might long be spared. His accession had been auspiciously marked by the restitution of Vereelli. The ambassador performed this office for himself: afterwards he would perform it for his Majesty, as there had not yet been time for instructions to reach him.
The doge returned thanks. He declared that they had never cherished the smallest suspicion either of the ambassador or of his household. The mischief had been wrought by an in- significant individual. They cherished the utmost affection and esteem for his Majesty, and had a high regard for the ambassador. The ambassador again returned thanks and seemed ready to admit that the mishap of his steward had not proceeded from lack of good will but from good wine. He subsequently introduced an English lord, after which he took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
420. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have received your Serenity's letter and the order to acquaint his Majesty with your election to the dukedom. I demanded audience immediately and am expecting it forthwith, to execute my instructions. In the mean time I offer my congratulations, wishing you many happy years.
The statements of the Catholic ambassador and the representation which your Excellencies have charged the Ambassador Gritti to make in Spain, will serve merely for my own private information and in case of need, I shall avail myself of them in the form prescribed to me. This affair has been much talked of at Court lately and but little to the honour of the Spanish Ambassador at Venice, as here they consider it certain and everybody is convinced that he had a hand in the insidious and detestable machinations.
London, the 28th June, 1618.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
421. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
A gentleman despatched by the duke of Savoy to his Majesty has arrived here in seven days with the news that on the morning of the 15th the Spaniards had restored Vercelli, the garrison and all their troops evacuating that fortress. He proceeded immediately to Greenwich to the king, who evinced extreme satisfaction, expressing hopes that the peace of Italy is now certain. His Majesty is so much the more pleased as he now considers himself released from the obligation of succouring the duke, in accordance with his oft repeated promises.
The king has again imprisoned the countess of Shrewsbury because he wished to elicit certain information in proof that when in the Tower, contrary to what was asserted at the time, no children were born to the lady Arabella, which the countess who was there with her, had promised to vouch for if necessary; yet at this present when called upon for her testimony, she refused to utter a single word, saying that she had vowed to God never to speak on the subject again. (Ha il Re fatto di novo poner in priggione la Contessa di Sirosberi, poiche volendo cavare qualche informatione per giustificare che di Madama Arabella quando era in Torre non nacquero altrimenti figliuoli, come fu disseminato in quel tempo, et che questa Signora, che stava seco promise occorrendo di renderne la certezza con la sua attestatione, hora constituita, non ha voluto pronunciar alcuna parola, dicendo d'haver fatto voto a Dio di non parlare mai piuù di ciò).
Among the pamphlets induced by the religious disputes in Holland a book has appeared containing certain passages whereby the king considers himself offended. So the secretary of the Ambassador Carleton has been sent to the Prince of Orange to complain about this and have this book dealt with and its author punished.
Since he took leave of the king the Catholic ambassador has seen his Majesty three times. The negotiations for the marriage of the prince still proceed. He departs overwhelmed with honours and satisfaction, the king never wearying of gratifying all his wishes (che non sa stancarsi di compiacerlo di quanto sa desiderare). He has made him a present of jewels and plate to the amount of upwards of 12,000 crowns, has granted him sixty priests who were in prison, including the Jesuit Baldwin, who was under close custody in the Tower on the charge of high treason, having been given up by the United Provinces some years ago. (fn. 2) He has desired several noblemen whose estates are on the road by which the ambassador will travel when going down to the sea, to wait on him and receive him into their houses. At his suggestion moreover the king has issued a very rigorous proclamation against Sir Walter Raleigh and those who made the voyage with him, for having, contrary to orders, attacked the territories of his dear brother, the king of Spain. (fn. 3)
London, the 28th June, 1618.
[Italian.]
June 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Corfu.
Venetian
Archives.
422. DANIEL GRADENIGO, Proveditore and Captain of Corfu, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Seven large vessels sighted three days ago by the guards of this island, arrived yesterday in this port. They prove to be the ones bringing the troops of Colonel Henry Peyton for the service of your Serenity. I heard nothing of their coming except a letter from the Resident at Naples telling me of their embarcation for these parts. However I received them with all friendship, and welcomed the Colonel at the palace this morning. The troops were also landed to stretch themselves. I suggested however that they should be all on board by the evening to be ready to leave, as the Gulf was now clear of hostile armed vessels. I also acceeded to the Colonel's modest request for 600 ducats for the provision of things necessary for his men, and gave him various refreshments and a good peota which he asked for. I then accompanied him to the fleet, giving him letters for the Captain General of the Sea.
Corfu, the 28th June, 1618.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Venetian
Archives.
423. To the ambassador with the king of Great Britain.
You will see from the enclosed copy an account of the unfortunate affair between a certain Piero called Count and the steward of his Majesty's ambassador here. We have tried by every means in our power to satisfy the ambassador and finally have succeeded in doing so, though not without some trouble. In any case, if any one speaks to you about the matter, you will be fully informed and know what to reply, always endeavouring to give assurances of our esteem and friendship for his Majesty.
We receive the news you send us with satisfaction and have cause to praise your ability and diligence
Ayes120.
Noes0.
Neutral0.
[Italian.]
June 29.
Cl. VII.
Cod. MCXXII.
Bibl di S.
Marco.
Venice.
424. ANGLIPOTRIDA.
It is many days, not to say months since by reason of my long illness, I left off writing to your lordships, giving an account of the things observed by me in this kingdom. Now, thank God, that I have recovered my health, I must acquaint you with what I have hitherto forgotten and such fresh matern as has come under my observation. Verily I erred in what I wrote about the real extent of London, as told me carelessly by others; when I went down the river with his Excellency, as I have frequently done for chartering ships of war for the republic, I remarked a series of double suburbs four or six miles in length, so I was perfectly annihilated with surprise, but recovered myself on hearing that all those buildings have been erected within a very short period with the entrails of the Spaniards as disembowelled by the English pirates, who frequently plundered their fleets. Not that I bear hatred towards that unamiable nation, but because it is impossible to wish them well because of their duplicity (osservai una serie di Borghi raddoppiati di quattro over sei miglia di longhezza: onde restai morto per lo stuppore; ma come mi fu detto che tutte quelle fabriche estano construitte in poco spatio di tempo dagli intestini de' Spagnuoli, sventrati dagli Inglesi nel corso del mare, col decimar loro spesso le flotte, ritornai in vita: non già perch' io porti odio a quella inamabile natione, ma perche non posso volergli bene, per la sua doppiezza). We saw what may be called a new arsenal, begun by the India Company and on the same day passed alongside of two immense ships called 'the Sun' and 'the Moon,' which are completely found for the India voyage, with all their hands and munitions. They really looked like two well appointed castles. This year a score of vessels, but little inferior to these have steered the same course. We likewise passed along the banks of the Thames in sight of some relics of the ship of the famous Captain Drake, which looked exactly like the bleached ribs and bare skull of a dead horse. In that ship he sailed round the world, passing through the straits of Magellan, and returned home freighted with much gold and with fragrant spices. Truly such gain and glory sound highly attractive, but when one reflects upon the dangers of the sea the desire vanishes. I merely argue from the trifling inconvenience experienced by me when going with his Excellency to inspect the vessels which have been chartered. It behoved us to go alongside them in very rickety wherries and then mount inconvenient wooden ladders clinging to a rope's end; descending then into the ship's hold and investigating everything; the decks, the number of guns, half culverins or sakers, whether well armed in every respect and well found in sails, and whether the captains, gunners and sailors were able, in such wise that I was quite terrified, whereas his Excellency in the prime of manhood, was indefatigable, going all over the ship quite freely, which would not have been the case with certain others who know not how to walk anywhere without stumbling, unless it be in the Merceria or along the pavement at S. Lio.
The greatest trouble experienced by his Excellency in this negotiation proceeded from having to deal with men who availed themselves of every advantage and were more than inconstant in keeping their word.
The natives are all fond of dwelling in this city or at least very near it, so they would fain be constantly building new houses, abandoning both the country and husbandry, were it not by law prohibited to multiply them. Around the liberties of London there is such a patchwork of suburbs that they look like so many monsters who have been converted after being lured by the goddess Circe, the greater part being inhabited by an inept population of the lowest description. The villages in like manner teem around London, being situated in the midst of meadows and woods and here and there one sees trim pleasure residences belonging to the citizens and merchants and to the gentry, with such delights as flower and fruit gardens and orchards. As yet, however, I have discovered nothing extraordinary in them in the way of simples, either in quality or in quantity, so I very much fear it will be impossible for me to execute my commission for rare seeds.
The neighbouring suburbs and villages are dependent upon other magistrates than the Lord Mayor, who has enough to do in governing the inhabitants of the city and adjoining liberty. A few days ago, when his Majesty knighted the late mayor (fn. 4) , as usual, he praised him greatly for his good government, giving him some hints, however, two of which were really amusing. He said: You will moreover see to two things, that is to say to the great devils and the little devils; by the great ones I mean the carts which in passing along the streets, whether narrow or wide, do not choose to yield or give way as due to the coaches of the gentry, when they meet them. The imps are the apprentices, that is to say shop boys, who on two days of the year, which are fatal for them, namely Shrove Tuesday and the 1st of May, display such unbridled will and are so licentious, that in a body three or four thousand strong they go committing outrages in every direction, but particularly in the suburbs outside the city, killing people and demolishing houses, especially those of correction, which are a sort of prison, beginning the work of destruction with the roof. They also commit many other iniquities which the city train bands are unable to prevent, for like a sudden flash of lightening they change from place to place, and never cease giving annoyance until the day of their furious misrule and impetus comes to a close.
To return to the carts of London, there is such a multitude of them, large and small, that is to say on two wheels and on four, that it would be impossible to estimate them correctly. Those which circulate in the city are for the most part on two broad and high wheels like those of Rome, and serve for the conveyance of sundry articles such as beer, coal, wood etc.; but among them are some very filthy ones, employed solely for cleansing the streets and carrying manure, and it is precisely the drivers of these who are usually the most insolent fellows in the world. The other four-wheeled waggons come up from the country bringing goods and passengers higgledy-piggledy, precisely like Marghera boats, and they are drawn by seven or eight horses in file, one behind the other, with plumes and bells, embroidered cloth coverings, and their stamping in the centre of the deep rut renders travelling on narrow roads in the country so inconvenient that it is impossible to get on with a coach and four. So we, who lately took a distant journey, broke the carriage and harassed the mares cruelly, although they were very fresh and spirited.
In this journey of one hundred and fifty miles, performed by us in six days, we only saw two cities, the one called Oxford and the other Cambridge, whither for study all the youth of the kingdom flock who desire advancement through literature. These universities produce good doctors but bad ministers of heresies. In the first named there are upwards of thirty colleges and a very fine public university with a famous library filled with innumerable and very rare books on all the sciences and in every language, including a folio volume full of Venetian reports, despite the state's injunctions to secrecy (fn. 5) . They are kept in the most regular order and one always sees fifteen or twenty gownsmen studying there most attentively and writing down the fruit of their reading. This public university was founded or at least enlarged by an heretic, a few years ago (fn. 6) , but the old colleges were instituted by pious and religious persons.
In the city of Cambridge there are fewer colleges, but they are larger and possibly much better arranged. In each of these towns the collegians go dressed in long gowns lined with rabbit skin, both in winter and summer. Other students have clerical caps on their heads, that is to say cross ways, while some again have hats. By precept some of them are in the habit of attending the choirs in their churches, for the purpose of singing psalms. In this town we saw, a long way off, a huge building called the king's church, built by Henry VI. We were compelled to go and satisfy our curiosity by minutely examining its structure. It has a single nave and is built of freestone like that of Nanto, with very large windows of equal proportions, filled with stained glass illustrating passages of holy writ, both from the Old and New Testaments, and painted with such art and skill that possibly the colourist far excelled the limner who invented the design. The church is all bare, so that pondering this impiety, my eyes filled with tears when I thought of the destruction of the altars. We ascended a very lofty winding stair of 145 steps, 8 inches deep each, and besides a most extensive view of the country, saw the device of the cove, whose concave is beautifully carved in relief, while its convex, that is to say the part above the cove, is made of the same stone, joined with extraordinary skill, without so much as a single brick. The roof over the cove is of timber, so well fixed and united with wooden pegs, without a single nail, and then coated with very thick lead, that we were quite astounded. They say that those fine thick timbers of the roof, owing to some occult property, prevent spiders or their webs from existing there, though individuals of our party said they saw some.
We returned to the inn to rest and refect at the supper hour, when lo and behold, in his Excellency's chamber found one of the young collegians in his doctor's gown, but who was bestially drunk and began paying compliments to his Excellency as if he had known him in the Thracian Bosphorous or the Crimea, saying he was an ambidexter, willing to dispute on all sciences against all comers. Neither the interpreter nor the landlord could get him downstairs, so his Excellency, to be rid of him, motioned to him to come and dispute with me. I put a doubt into his head, not to say on the floor, and he by reason of his soddenness did not answer me a single word aptly, though he frequently made himself heard by means of the exhalations and fumes which issued from his cellar. He at length turned towards his Excellency, exerting himself to frame a dialogue in very excellent Latin, inserting therein some extremely fine paradoxes. Although his Excellency answered him much better than I could, he nevertheless turned to me at every fourth word, punching my breast with his fist as hard as he could and shouting, Expone, Expone. He struck me once on the tips of the fingers, so that I was compelled to forsake this sodden doctor. On the following morning he appeared to pay his respects and ask pardon of his Excellency for the excess of the preceding evening.
On our return from these places, at every second or third mile we came across various villages, which, to say the truth, were only middling; but the country is so beautiful and extensive that I wished it elsewhere; the views in the plain being bounded by hills and woods, while from the elevations we saw interminable prospects, reaching as far as the keenest eye could distinguish, and then melting into the most liquid azure and becoming part of the sky.
The farmers here plough with four or six horses, harnessed two abreast. They manure their fields extensively, and in many places this is highly necessary. The water courses are so well distributed by nature over the soil that I doubt whether even the veins in the human frame display fairer proportions. The climate of this island, is, however, so cold that on the 8th or 10th June the wheat was not yet in ear, although the rye seemed nearly ripe. It is no wonder that the estates are unable to produce wine, for they are not warmed by the rays of Phœbus, who is perhaps wrath with Bacchus as wont to make an ill use of his favour and courtesy. By this I mean that the English would commit excesses with the use of the grape, just as they are unrestrained in their use of tobacco. They even sow peas habitually in the fields, to grow wild, as we do vetches, without giving them the support of sticks. They thrive very well, so that every morning in a single market place there are thirty cart-loads of them fresh, for sale.
We got to the top of a sand-hill, all covered with the most delicate grass, which was being nibbled by an infinity of rabbits, who on hearing the noise of the carriage, scampered into their burrows. On our way back from Cambridge we went to see a palace lately built by the Lord Treasurer, and which is certainly grand and majestic. It is divided into two quadrangles and towards the entry is very low, so as, in the guise of a theatre to give a greater prospect to the rest of the fabric. It stands very nobly with a variety of angles and towers, their handsome cupolas covered with lead, like all the rest of the palace, whose roof formed a terrace walk. The chimnies are built like columns, in pairs, the smoke escaping thus doubly. It has handsome halls with a double set of chambers and three galleries, the largest of which is more than 200 feet in length and from 28 to 30 feet broad, with many recesses and bays. The site is surrounded by water and by sundry hills and is very beautiful, harmonising perfectly with so admirable a structure. Above all it is richly ornamented with the most sumptuous furniture, embroidered in silk and gold. In short it is a place which will scorn to remain in the hands of a person whom one may almost style a private individual and will very speedily lay claim to pass to the Crown, so that the master may sing with the ancient poet, Sic vos non vobis etc. (fn. 7)
We saw Theobalds, a place of the king, built well nigh in the aforesaid style, but far inferior, with a large stag and deer park. His Majesty frequently resides there, merely to hunt, being excessively fond of that agreeable exercise. In the gardens, besides the regular avenues formed by trees of various kinds one sees nothing else of remarkable beauty, save an escutcheon on the ground, bearing the emblems of his Majesty's four kingdoms, represented by an odoriferous grass and by some scarlet flowers, distributed and arranged remarkably well.
On another occasion, through the opportunity afforded by his Excellency going to visit the queen at a place called Greenwich, on the river, four miles from London, we saw the fabled tower of Oriana on the top of a high hill there. The palace is very large, big enough indeed to accommodate the whole court, but it is not very well arranged, having originally been a monastery. We did not observe anything remarkable there, except a large and handsome aviary with a quantity of birds, covered with lead and surrounded by a balustrade. It has tall windows of copper network in front and at the sides and above the roof itself, with a handsome fountain rising from the ground. It is situated at the end of some flower beds, not very far from the palace, and purposely, so that the song of these numerous warblers may be heard there.
Above all things I admired the very complimentary and remarkable manner in which her Majesty treated his Excellency, for during two hours she kept him in very gracious and courteous converse in her gallery, making him moreover hear a concert of various instruments, besides the excellent voices of the French musicians, there being a quantity at this court of well nigh every sort and nation.
His Excellency continues to visit a number of mansions with fruit and flower gardens, orchards, parks and chaces, belonging to divers earls and marquises. All have something remarkable, although not so very conspicuous as to defy imitation or even improvement by some persons, except however in the quantity and extent of the parks, which are usual here, not only on the estates of the grandees, but even on those of private gentlemen. Scattered about in various places there are as many as seven hundred, each having a circuit of from four to six miles or more. They are rarely surrounded by a wall, but for the most part have palings, enclosing so many stags and deer that it is a beautiful sight to see them grazing in herds of fifty at spots about these parks. There are also many wild ones about the country, though there is a prohibition against hunting them issued by the king himself. In sandy districts the rabbits swarm owing to the facility of burrowing in such light soil and because the proprietors do not deem it worth cultivating. Some persons surround their country houses with a dwarf wall a foot high or rather more, with apertures here and there, filling the enclosure with common sand heaped in a mound and this they cover with good mould to raise grass, that it may furnish food for these little creatures.
We lately inspected a country seat, the buildings of which are ancient, but the situation is very deserving and beautiful. For this reason it was recently purchased by the Seraph of England, the Marquis of Buckingham. It stands in such a lovely forest that he will assuredly be tempted to spend a round sum of money in restoration. (fn. 8) His Majesty vouchsafed yesterday to go and see it, partaking with the Marquis of a most sumptuous dinner served in an extremely well-devised artificial wood, which was planted like a palace, having its hall and presence chamber, bed-room, drawing-room, cabinet and so forth, formed by drawing the hangings from one tree to another. His Majesty was so pleased that he means to celebrate his birthday there, when he will bear the expense (et tanto s'è compiaccuta la Maestà Sua che ha desegnato di celebrar ivi il giorno della sua Natività, facendo essa la spesa). (fn. 9) To-day he will return the banquet to his well-beloved Marquis.
London, the 29th June, 1618.
[Italian.]
June 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
425. To the resident at Naples.
With regard to the Dutchman Filiberto you should know that he was made a knight and given a command under the republic. We hope to derive advantages from his apparent fidelity and his influence with his countrymen. He left our state for Naples not only without our leave, but without our knowledge, and apparently without cause. We send this for information to show that we are not satisfied with his proceedings, and you must have nothing to do with him, as any action taken by you might be interpreted in a sinister manner.
Ayes151.
Noes7.
Neutral12.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The Cal. S. P. Dom 1611–18 at p. 543 contains the entry under date June 5, o.s. 'list of priests confined in various prisons in England, all of whom the king has consented to deliver to the Spanish ambasador to go abroad. Total number seventy-four.
2 Report stated that James had given in on all the points raised in connection with the Spanish marriage, except the education of the children. Birch, Court and Times of James I., ii, p. 76. William Baldwin had been in the Tower since 1610 on the charge of complicity in the Gunpowder Plot.
3 See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1611–1618, p. 544, No. 98.
4 Sir George Bowles. See note to page 59 above.
5 He might have found two volumes of Venetian reports in the Bodleian. See note to pages 285, 286 in the preceding volume of this Calendar.
6 Busino alludes to the Bodleian, which he here calls a university in itself. The library founded by Sir Thomas Bodley, a strong Protestant, who had lived in exile at Geneva as a boy with his parents during the reign of Queen Mary. was opened on 8 November, 1603. The east wing was completed in 1612.—Dic. Nat. Biog.
7 Audley End in the parish of Saffron Walden, Essex, built by the earl of Suffolk between 1603 and 1616 at a cost of 190,000l. The gallery mentioned was 226 feet long, 32 feet wide and 24 feet high. This gallery, with the whole of the first court and a part of the second, was pulled down by Henry earl of Suffolk and Bendon in 1750. See Morant, Hist, of Essex, ii, page 550; Neale, Views of Seats vol. i.
8 Wanstead House in Essex, which escheated to the crown on the death of Charles Blount, earl of Devon in 1606. Buckingham sold it in 1619 to Sir Henry Mildmay. Wright Hist. of Essex, ii, page 503.
9 Mr, Rawdon Brown's transcript at the Public Record Office reads sposa, a very different matter, but there is no doubt about the proper reading.