Venice
December 1619, 12-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1910

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69-85

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'Venice: December 1619, 12-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 69-85. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88744 Date accessed: 30 September 2014.


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December 1619

Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
132. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday the Secretary Marioni came to call upon me and brought me six packets of letters from your Serenity, the first I have received since leaving Venice, one of the 26th October, two of the 2nd, two of the 8th and one of the 9th November, with advices and instructions. I will use them as instructed and those orders concerning Donato and Marioni shall be executed at the earliest opportunity.
The king is at Newmarket where he will remain until the 1st prox. Thus, although I hope to enter London within three days, I shall not have my first audience, which will be merely complimentary, before his Majesty's return to London. Only then shall I be able to ask for another audience for business, in conformity with your Excellencies' orders. In the meantime I will not neglect to make enquiry upon all the points indicated with the diligence enjoined upon me, in order to send word to the Senate as soon as possible.
I have presented to the Secretary Marioni the letter consigned to me by order of your Serenity before I left Venice. He told me that as soon as I arrive in the city he will hand over to me the few papers that remain and will straightway set out for home as he is directed. By this despatch he will have charge of the news for your Serenity from these parts, and after I reach London I will do my part to the best of my ability.
Gravesend, the 12th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
133. PIERO ANTONIO MARIONI, Venetian Secretary in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
They still persist here in obstinately refusing to admit the coronation of the Prince Palatine. The king himself openly says that he cannot be certain it has taken place, and if it does take place it will cause him the most lively dissatisfaction as he knows well it will be much more a crown of thorns than of jewels, owing to the difficulties to be encountered in retaining it. This opinion, so far as one can see is little to the taste of the magnates of the realm, who are beginning to murmur, perceiving that it is now necessary to come to some decision if the king does not desire the ruin of his son-in-law who will certainly find it most difficult to hold his ground if he does not receive some declaration or help from this quarter. They think that other well disposed princes may be awaiting some declaration and expecting a sign from this side. There is nothing more to be said upon this subject at present; they are simply awaiting the ambassador, who should be on his way hither. Upon his arrival some demonstration ought certainly to take place, which has hitherto been postponed for the usual reasons.
With this present letter terminates the burden which I have borne for seven months. The Ambassador Lando has arrived to take up the charge of affairs at this Court. I have visited his Excellency at Gravesend where he is staying with a very noble and numerous train until his house in London is made ready and the necessary things provided; that will take some three or four days. I have received your Serenity's letters directing me to consign to him all the public documents in my possession and to return home at once. I will obey everything, as soon as his Excellency has arrived in London, without waiting for his first audience of the king, which certainly cannot take place before Christmas as reckoned in this kingdom, at which time alone his Majesty will grant him access. Neither will I heed the very cold weather and the general conditions, so inimical to such a long and difficult journey.
London, the 13th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
134. To the Ambassador in Spain.
The viceroy has suddenly stopped the departure of the galleys which were to go cruising in the East, and has ordered a muster of all the troops for all the galleys. They say that he intends to go to Brindisi in order to proceed to take them to Trieste. He has already detained three Dutch ships and proposes to stop other vessels from the west, and thus shows his continued ill will. They say nothing more about provisions for Germany except some few projects which they have done nothing to carry into effect. Pietro Giuliani has left Naples. They say that he intends to cruise on the Barbary coasts and towards Leghorn. The imprisoned deputies have refused to ask for their release as a favour. It has been asked as a matter of justice, and accorded by his Excellency who saw he had gone too far. Nothing has been heard of the galleys which left with Don Ottavio of Aragon. We send you this for information and use when you see fit.
The like to France, England, The Captain General at Sea, Savoy, Constantinople, Germany, Florence, Milan.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
135. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
You made a prudent answer to what the resident of England said about the affair of the English ambassador at Ponteiba; however we send you all the necessary papers upon the matter for your instruction, so that you may make the truth known and what our ministers did.
We also send you a copy of what the Secretary Marioni writes from England about Donato, to serve you for information.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
136. To the AMBASSADOR LANDO in England.
We have gladly heard of the particulars of your journey. You did quite right in the office which you passed with the English ambassador at the Hague for favouring our affairs with the States. The general instructions about the alliance negotiations were sent to the Secretary Marioni, who has acknowledged their receipt; you will make use of these. At the first private audience you will thank his Majesty in general terms for his demonstrations of friendship towards our republic in the instruction given to his ministers everywhere, for which we are most grateful; you will thank him specially for what his ambassador has done with the States, saying that we wished you specially to thank him in person, although we have also thanked the ambassador direct. We are very grateful, as we expect a favourable issue and we know the great influence enjoyed by his crown and his ministers. We have only decided upon this alliance with the States for our own defence and preservation, with a view to peace and liberty, in which we know that we have his Majesty's approval. You will use all this in order to foster good relations with his Majesty and to maintain his friendship.
Ayes, 131.Noes, 1.Neutral, 4.
The information contained in the letters of the 7th, which were held back, was also sent.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
137. To the Captain General at Sea.
We have decided to grant you leave to return home. You will hand on your instructions to the Proveditore of the Fleet Ciuran. We only wish to add that the troops of Colonel Peyton shall be landed at Zara. The Italians shall be taken to Corfu, except those now at Zara, who shall remain there. All the troops of Colonel Rocalora must be sent to this city.
Ayes, 127.Noes, 2.Neutral, 21.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
138. VALERIO ANTELMI, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Palatine has received a promise from the King of England of a levy of 8,000 foot and he will also receive powerful assistance from the States.
Vienna, the 14th December, 1619. Copy.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
139. PIETRO VICCO, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The diet continues at Nürenberg. I hear that the princes have taken a firm decision to uphold the new King of Bohemia in his new dominions, to defend the Palatinate and to resist all attempts of the house of Austria against them; and that the English ambassador had already left to inform his master of what had been done and ask him to send the promised help quickly. I also hear that persons sent by the princes to the two towns will soon arrive here with proposals for them to enter the Union and a request to refuse passage to the Spaniards against Bohemia.
Zurich, the 14th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
140. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
At this moment, when the ordinary is about to leave London for Antwerp, two packets of letters reach me from your Serenity. One of the 16th ult. with the news of the week, and the other of the 21st, containing the particulars about Lord Hay (Hehes), the ambassador of his Majesty, on the confines of our State. I am very sorry however not to have had a copy of the letter of the Lieutenant of Udine, which is mentioned, saying that the Castellan of la Chiusa would not allow the ambassador to pass, although he had gone on against the wishes of the keeper at Pontieba. That is the root of the whole affair. In its place I find a few lines saying that the missing letter should be sent in the following week, as it was not ready. As your Serenity well knows, details in such cases are most necessary to the public representatives. However with the information which I possess I will do my best to act in conformity with the wishes of your Serenity.
London, the 15th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
141. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
On the arrival of his Majesty here Don Diego Sarmiento received orders to leave for England, and he set out without a moment's delay. His instructions will follow him, as they have not yet been sent. Although they give out that he goes on purpose to negotiate the marriage with the prince there, for which purpose Lord Digby is also to come here from England, it is certain that this sudden decision has arisen chiefly from their desire to keep the king there in the same friendly disposition not to help the Palatine. That king continues to send protests and asseverations that he has nothing to do with the proceedings of the Palatine and does not wish to have any.
Madrid, the 16th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
142. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The agent of England told me that the difficulties of the Swiss are tending towards a settlement, as they are to be referred to three Cantons. The Bernese complain of the imperious action of the French ambassador there, and are the more pleased with Casati, and had it not been for the Spaniards they would have submitted their differences to him alone. He said a manifesto would soon appear annulling the emperor as King of Bohemia, which would be backed by the princes of Germany. They might choose a king of the Romans who would certainly be a Catholic prince as the Protestants do not desire a religious war. They would nominate Savoy, Bavaria and Lorraine. The duke will have a close friendship with the King of Bohemia, and he exhorted your Excellencies to seize the opportunity of making Istria and Friuli safe.
I answered in general terms, thanking him for his friendliness.
Turin, the 16th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Capitano
General
da Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
143. LORENZO VENIER, Venetian Captain General at Sea, to the DOGE and SENATE.
No sooner had I arrived here to-day than the colonels and captains of the troops and ships, and especially the ultramontanes came to repeat their demands for money. I had forseen this, and by means of a loan contracted in Dalmatia I succeeded in quieting them all, until the arrival of the commissioner who is expected momentarily with provisions from your Serenity.
The galley at Liesena, the 16th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
144. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
M. de Langerach, in his last letters from France, states that they are proposing to send two ambassadors here, presumably to treat about the continuation of the truce. The news has made every one talk and they believe they are really coming to renew the alliance between France and these States. M. du Maurier, however, denied this with some heat. The English ambassador also feels certain that their High Mightinesses would not do anything without his master knowing of it beforehand.
Some believe that if this mission of the ambassador from the court of France is true it is due to a suspicion of the Council there that the English ambassador extraordinary, on his return from the emperor, has instructions to negotiate about the truce; that Carleton will not admit anything but says he is simply paying a complimentary visit here and he knew nothing of anything else, and he will leave immediately. They expect him at the end of this or the beginning of next week.
The Hague, the 17th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
145. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The day before yesterday Sir [Lewis] Lewkenor, master of the ceremonies of his Majesty, came to Gravesend, being sent by the king to meet me and convey me to London with the royal barges and coaches which would serve for my state entry when I chose to use them. I thought it best to accept these proffered honours, so I sent one part of my people in the barges while I went with the rest in the coaches. We all proceeded to the Tower of London, where we met many coaches, as well as on the road, sent to honour the name of the most serene republic or by many of the great lords by the Earl of Arundel in particular and by the Ambassador of Savoy. Thus I entered this city yesterday, accompanied by some Italian merchants, some of them sent by the Secretary Marioni as far as Gravesend, with as much honour as befits your Excellencies.
I must not forget to say that the Archbishop of Spalato sent his carriage and two of his household to meet me. One of these came to welcome me and to say that his master would have come also to show still greater respect to your Serenity and towards myself, but he knew that there were reasons on the other side. With a very few words I said that he knew what was proper. Amid the crowd of other compliments I was able to dismiss them politely.
I must now keep to my house and I cannot receive or pay visits before his Majesty returns from Newmarket and I can have audience; this is necessary out of respect for him, as I understand that he is rather particular upon this point.
I made a modest request to the master of the ceremonies for audience, suggesting that I should like it soon because of my eagerness to see his Majesty and to begin to discharge my office, but that I would wait upon the king's convenience. I did this because I know how much the king hates being importuned and inconvenienced upon such occasions. He replied that he would speak to his Majesty, who would, he was sure, so soon as he heard of my arrival, send some lord or gentleman of position to me. That the king will be in London at the beginning of next month, when he would doubtless grant me audience very readily and a warm welcome. I did not think it well to press very strongly for this first audience as it will be simply complimentary and it must be given in this city and not elsewhere. If I were too insistent I might easily throw away all my chances. For the second audience I will press as strongly as I may since the Senate tells me that the matter is important, and because I wish to fulfil the public requirements.
When we were in the coach the master of the ceremonies, after much conversation, said: Well, Mr. Ambassador, what about poor Sig. Donato. Will he never be released from the troubles and misery in which he is placed? I shrugged my shoulders two or three times, for since he is not one of the leading ministers or a member of the Council I did not want to be too premature, when my audience was far ahead, and because I did not want to cause Donato to stand more on his guard or redouble his defensive preparations, and also because your Serenity instructs me to speak privately to his Majesty and afterwards with the ministers. He told me many things about Donato, how wretched and troubled he seemed and he never thought he would be so severely punished. I remarked that if one did wrong one ought to expect punishment. He told me that Donato had been to my house to see me the other day, and went on to say that he certainly excites pity, as he has a great mind, adorned with fine qualities, and he showed great splendour with much modesty. While he was acting as ambassador his Majesty and everyone else at Court received great satisfaction from him, so that he has excited general compassion, because, when all is said and done, his fault was over money and nothing else.
I replied: Sir, whoever strikes our prince and republic in money matters strikes at the soul and heart. He replied, He had many enemies and then went on to ask me if Sig. Zen was at Venice. I replied that Donato had been condemned even by his own blood relations, that the whole Senate condemned him by a unanimous vote, and when sentence was passed every one of the judges wept with grief, but in matters of such importance they could not pardon anyone, whoever he might be. Lewkenor rejoined, If God punished all according to their deserts, what a wretched world. Pity ought to be exercised more than any other virtue and it is one of the finest qualities in princes. I replied, The republic is most clement and pitiful when necessary, but in such cases pity would be impious not pious, because it would inflict too damaging a blow upon the interests and reputation of your Excellencies, and would encourage others by a bad example. He remarked that Donato came of a great and distinguished house. He understood that his ancestors had been very prudent, great, highly esteemed and virtuous. I answered, That is why he deserved the greater punishment, for having done so much wrong to the honour of his ancestors. If they were alive and were able they would certainly kill him with their own hands. He asked me afterwards if the brother had been despatched yet. I replied, No. He asked me if his mother was alive and if she was molested by the courts of justice. I said she was alive and I thought she was only too much molested by her own grief. This closed the subject and the conversation subsequently turned into other channels.
I shall not fail to make proper representations to this minister, for whatever his station he can do something to facilitate this matter. I understand that at first he spoke and showed himself rather against Donato and loudly condemned his fault, but in the long run every one inclines to what he thinks to be the opinion of his sovereign, at least in appearance, and the authority of the favourites at court guides the wishes of the inferiors at its pleasure.
London, the 18th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Milano.
Venetian
Archives.
146. GIACOMO VENDRAMINO, Venetian Resident at Milan, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I went to congratulate his Excellency on the king's recovery. He thanked me and went on to say that matters were going very badly in Germany. That the King of England, who at first did not seem inclined to do anything for his son-in-law, now declared himself in his favour, considering that the decisions of the assembly at Nürenberg were all prejudicial to the emperor. He seemed by no means inclined to make war, but determined to hold what was occupied and especially Bohemia.
Milan, the 18th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 20.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
147. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Here, at least in appearance, they still pretend not to know anything about the coronation, although it took place some time ago, and his Majesty never tires of saying that he clearly forsees the trials and troubles that crown will involve at this conjuncture. This appearance has been kept up too long and most people seem tired of it. The leading men of the kingdom would like to see some decision taken, not only to prevent that prince from succumbing, but in the hope that with this rise in rank he may more easily raise himself even higher to the station in which they are by no means glad to see Ferdinand placed. Many think that this long procrastination of the king in making any decision arises from his not knowing how to find money, since he has none, and detests the only proper way of obtaining any, namely summoning parliament, although many ministers strongly urge this step. Some wish that a certain sum of the money, which continues to increase daily, arising from a new imposition of the duty on merchandise consigned to and sent by his subjects (fn. 1) (those of foreigners not being reckoned or brought to the Chamber, but kept by a third hand) should be set aside for the purpose of helping the Palatine. These are all rumours and one must await the outcome, when some surprise is not impossible. It may be that they will come to some decision upon the arrival of the Palatine's ambassador here, whom they believe to be already sent from Nürenberg, and so many are anxiously awaiting him, although the majority conclude that his Majesty will always proceed with great reserve owing to his fear of offending the Spaniards, since he is more than ever infatuated in his desire for that marriage. The Spaniards know this perfectly well and accordingly they maintain the pressure and by a corresponding show of aloofness they try to keep him dependent and submissive in this business of his son-in-law (sebene la maggior parte conclude che debba sempre questa Maestà procedere con grande riserva per il dubbio di non disgustare Spagnoli, havendo ella vehementissimo. il desiderio, più di mai di quel matrimonio; il che conosciuto molto chiaramente da essi Spagnoli gli danno in cio martello, et con mostrarsene altretanto lontani procurano di tenerlo pendente et in officio nel detto negotio del genero).
A rumour has got about here that a rivalry and dispute has arisen between Bethlem Gabor and the Palatine, with considerable risk of an appeal to arms. Some think it is a pretext for considering the affairs of the Palatine as hopeless; others that it is in order to be able to send out assistance thither without ostensibly sending it against the Spaniards.
The expected arrival of an ambassador from the Palatine here leads me to consider how I ought to comport myself towards him, as I know what pretensions the ambassadors of that prince have advanced at other times, even when he was lower in rank than now. In this Court he will doubtless enjoy every advantage, owing to the ties of relationship. I submit the matter to your Excellencies and ask for your instructions. In the meantime I shall follow the example of the other ambassadors, especially France, the only ambassador of a crowned head now here.
The Earl of Suffolk the Lord Treasurer has been accused with his wife of robbing the treasury of 40,000l. sterling by defrauding the king's subjects of their pay and receiving money from those who desired a ready payment of their debts. He has recently been condemned by the Star Chamber to pay 30,000l. at the king's good pleasure. He spent eight days in prison and on his release he obtained the remission of 20,000l. of the said 30,000l. and in a little while they think he will be let off altogether, such is the indulgence of the king in these matters. (fn. 2)
A Jesuit, brother to the Earl of Argyle, was imprisoned in the Tower some days ago, where he still is. The reason appears to be that he was the chief instigator and means of the flight of his brother, although some contend that his being a Jesuit is the sole cause.
Sentence was passed the day before yesterday on the Flemish merchants accused of having sent a great quantity of Jacobus across the sea. They are to pay 160,000l. sterling to the Royal Chamber, equivalent to 640,000 crowns. These would suffice for the present needs of the Palatine, but it does not seem likely that they will get much of the money, as many are involved in the sentence and the richest of them would rather go to prison than pay a farthing. (fn. 3)
London, the 20th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Dec. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra,
Venetian
Archives.
148. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Although I have spent the greater part of my time recently at Gravesend, yet I have not neglected to execute the commissions of your Serenity in taking information about Donato and enquiring about Marioni as I was instructed. I will send word of my discoveries in this and in subsequent letters, in which I shall include even trifling things as apparent trifles often throw light on great matters, and in any case they will serve as food to the curiosity of your Excellencies.
As soon as I arrived at Gravesend I found spies everywhere ready to observe my slightest movements and all the proceedings of my household. This appeared even more clearly here in London, where almost every one who used to frequent this house is fully informed upon this matter showing clearly that Donato has tampered with them all in order to offer a strong resistance to anything that I may attempt against him, and hoping perhaps to discover my commissions. At the beginning of his embassy I understand that he arrived at this Court with great reputation owing to the fame of his ancestors and the report of his own qualities. He bore himself gravely with a veil of modesty which greatly pleased the king and his ministers. He endeavoured to conform himself to the habits of the country more than was possible, although at times he did not refrain from openly blaming many things, the Court, the kingdom, the treatment he received, the very ministers and the king himself. This somewhat cooled the warmth of affection shown towards him, in addition to a coolness shown towards him by the house of Savoy and some suspicion which well informed persons seem to have had about him and his proceedings.
He tried to follow the custom of the English lords in dressing his footmen with short mantles and cloaks of velvet, and contrary to the practice of all ambassadors, not only of your Serenity but of all other powers, he dressed his men in this way in these black cloaks with large slashes both back and front, with gold braid and his coat of arms representing a stormy sea, the bird we call a seamew (smergo) and the motto Mediis tranquillus in undis. The Secretary Marioni told me that he had suggested this motto to Donato when the latter spoke to him of putting this coat of arms on the cloaks. Marioni had taken the idea when he was serving Simon Contarini at Rome. Donato welcomed it eagerly as just what he wanted. This happened in the first days of the embassy. Donato had the livery made in this manner and I understand that he still keeps the cloaks, as the lords here always keep them in their wardrobe for their life time, although they give their footmen all their other clothes. Although these liveries were mocked at by the general yet they pleased many of the gentlemen here and especially the leading ones, for it seemed that Donato wished to become a true Englishman, as he adapted his own clothes to the fashion here.
In company he wore very rich garments adorned with gold thus abandoning the practice of the other ambassadors. Thus at the game of roulette which he greatly frequented, he contrived to advance himself in the favour of many, as well as by proposing toasts and drinking deeper than the natives of the country. I am told in particular that soon after his arrival in London, he happened to hear that Biondi, the agent of Savoy was entertaining some friends at supper one evening. Donato, although he was not invited and though they had not particularly good relations together, went to the house to play the part of the dashing cavalier. At the end of the banquet he mounted on the arms of a chair, drinking twelve glasses of wine and remaining firmly on his feet all the time, whereas the others fell down several times and could not control their movements. The toasts were given to the Marquis of Buckingham, the Duke of Savoy, the most serene republic, the king and others. Although these things were not done by English gentlemen or in the company of the leading ministers, many of whom do not care to drink much themselves, yet all were pleased at this tribute to the customs of their country. But this was not sufficient to win him the highest popularity and so he did not cultivate this more than enough. But these were the roots which produced the fruits and results which have so clearly appeared. In addition to this some ministers do not like to see such crimes punished and do not approve of princes inflicting punishment for maladministration or theft of public moneys. That is why, at the present moment, the Earl of Suffolk, the Lord High Treasurer, whose condemnation I reported, is supported and encouraged at this Court.
Donato appeared with great splendour in London. At the beginning he had four pages and seven footmen, but afterwards he dismissed three of the latter, keeping four only. In all he had twenty servants besides Sig. Maria Bragadin, the Secretary and the chaplain. He had two coaches with eight horses for them. He had the most magnificent garments for himself. He had some very fine plate, but not exceeding the value of 8,000 crowns, indeed many say much less. All agree in saying that he had nothing remarkable in the way of furniture for the house. He had twelve fine chairs covered with velvet, a large portière embroidered with gold with a dragon in the middle bearing the Donato arms in its mouth. He kept this always near him. He had other things for the use of the house, silk hangings, carpets, tapestries, mostly provided in Flanders but of no extraordinary quality and in no great quantity. I understand that he only gave dinners three or four times when he was ambassador to gentlemen of the Court and some ladies, but not the greatest; and he did not do much in this way. In the ordinary way he kept a good table and those usually present were Sir [Henry] Mainwaring (il Cavalier Magnaren), one Fedrico Fedrici, a poor bankrupt Venetian, Calandrini, an old man, Burlamachi and such.
On his departure from London for Venice, after he had taken leave of the king, he made a complimentary visit to the Marquis of Buckingham at Royston. I understand he told him that he was going to Venice to clear himself of some calumnies which his enemies had fabricated against him in his absence a thing that frequently befel eminent men in the republic and as might easily happen to any one, whatever his rank. He asked for his Excellency's protection and help in any event. The marquis obtained for him letters from his Majesty to the republic. He also went to the Secretary Copletis from whom he received the letter. I have not heard that he went to others.
Before he left here he sold to the Ambassador of Savoy his second coach with four horses for 100l. sterling, equivalent to 400 crowns. I do not find that he sold anything else.
When he left for Venice he took with him Sig. Bragadino, his secretary, one Francesco a Piedmontese and a valet who is now in prison in Savoy, a man who has a lot of money for one of his condition, who commonly wears gold chains round his neck and who, every one says, is a very clever rogue. Finally he took one John, a German and a Lutheran who had been with him as a page in Turin, and who had risen to be a butler. This man was killed in Augsburg on the journey. The news was reported by the Ambassador Wotton, and those of his household at Venice, who also reported that he had been assassinated so that he should not say more than Donato wanted at Venice. To disprove this report Donato said that he had stolen 100 dubloons and therefore he had handed him over to justice.
This is all that I have been able to learn of Donato's proceedings before his departure for Venice and on his journey thither. I will send further particulars in my next.
London, the 20th December, 1620.
[Italian.]
Dec. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
149. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
When Donato returned to this kingdom from Venice he met the courier at Calais who was sent to the Secretary Marioni with the news of his condemnation and the public commands. The courier told him everything and asked if he was going to England. When Donato replied in the affirmative the courier suggested that they should cross together when the weather was fair. Accordingly they went to the same inn and ultimately crossed the sea together. They took the same post in England and reached Southwark in the suburbs of London, which is the last inn and post house. Donato sent Alessandro with the courier with the letter which the Secretary Marioni now sends to your Serenity. It was delivered to Marioni before he saw the courier who remained in the courtyard undoing his trunk. Shortly afterwards he came upstairs and handed in the public packet. When the Secretary had read it he sent to hire a coach to take him to the king at Greenwich to execute his instructions. Meanwhile Alessandro had a coach prepared for Donato at the inn already mentioned. I may here mention that this inn is two miles from the house, so that much time was necessarily lost. Donato also could not certainly reach the house at a step, though all with whom I have spoken say that he got there immediately; but they also say, without perceiving the contradiction, that the coach went to pick him up at the inn and that he went with it. Every one agrees that when Marioni came back from the Court he did not return to that house until Donato had left it and after an inventory of the goods had been taken and seals affixed. He then went to live in the house of one Girolamo Scalio, an Italian, who has rooms to let, who had been master of the house of the Savoyard ambassador.
After Donato's arrival in London he went to the house of the Earl of Arundel. There he learned from Vercellini, who is now there or at Padua with the earl's sons, that Buckingham and the Lord Chamberlain were in the same house. He made humble supplication to them, telling them that his disgrace was pure persecution and asking for their protection. His speech moved them to compassion and they became his chief supporters out of sympathy. The Archbishop of Canterbury adopted the same attitude and so did practically every one else, as he humiliated himself before all, going on his knees, one may say.
I have not heard that he has won over any of the great ministers in other ways, though it is very probable, since they are birds with large maws (non essendo questi ucelli di poco cibo). I have simply learned that he sent them presents of sugar, wax, crystals, mirrors, Piacentine cheese and similar articles of Venice, very acceptable in this country, but I understand that he made them gifts of money and clothes as well as gratuities to various servants in the houses of the ministers to get them to make communications which he desired should reach their ears in this way. He has sent such presents to Buckingham, to the archbishop a crystal worth about 50 crowns, to the Earl of Arundel, to the Secretary Naunton, to the Earl of Oxford, to Sir [Lewis] Lewkenor and to Lady Rutini, (fn. 4) formerly in high favour and influence with the queen. These gifts were taken by the servant Alessandro, who received numerous fine presents from them, and especially from the Earl of Arundel, for while he says that his people do not receive money, he had a diamond worth 25 or 30 crowns.
After the goods had been sealed, Donato sent a supplication to the Court. Marioni gave this paper which I enclose with a translation. It was taken to Court by Father Alessandro Gatti, by Sir [Henry] Mainwaring, who served as interpreter with Buckingham and the Lord Chamberlain, and by Alessandro.
I find that Gatti has devoted himself to Donato's service all the time that he has been in England, especially when the goods were sealed. He engaged himself actively on Donato's behalf with the ministers and in other ways, and with Alessandro took the leading part in removing many valuables from the house on the night that the goods were sealed. The goods were housed partly in the residence of Lord Nort, near by, partly in that of Burlamachi the merchant, partly in the house of one Steffano Gradi a Ragusan and partly with Madame Leys, also hard by. After the unsealing, the other goods were taken away in carts and some sold in the house. Those taken away were removed to the rooms where Donato is now living. I understand that the Earl of Arundel bought the chapel furniture comprising four candlesticks, a silver cross, a chalice, a holy water stoup and such like. I understand that the earl obtained some of the other goods also at third hand, especially the silver, which he bought from a goldsmith to whom it was sold by Burlamacchi. Madam Rutein bought other plate as well as the first coach and horses for 120l. sterling, equivalent to 400 crowns, for which Donato is still creditor for 15l. or 20l. But the greater part of the silver came into the hands of Burlamacchi, who claimed it as a pledge for debts, giving out that he had lent money to keep up the household while Donato was away in Venice; but it is very difficult to discover the truth of this matter. It is thought that up to the present he has sold goods and silver to the value of over 5,000 crowns, but the truth is not easily ascertained. Girolamo Scalio bought table linen, sheets, many kitchen things, bed coverings and so forth, while various other things were sold so soon as the seals were taken from the house. Calandrini and Gatti bought, but the things passed subsequently into other hands.
I must now continue to fulfil the remaining instructions. I must confess that I am greatly indebted to the Secretary Marioni who has shown the greatest friendliness and diligence in his preparations for me. I asked him to provide many things against my arrival. He got kitchen utensils, tables, chairs, benches, Bulgarian chairs and such things which I find belonged to Donato. Marioni excused himself by saying that he had bought them from Gatti to whom Donato had given them to discharge a debt of 200 ducats. I do not believe he thought he was doing wrong. I also asked him to provide me with a cook, a coachman and a steward. He subsequently brought me a page, and the interpreter a cook. I found that the cook and coachman served Donato when he was ambassador and the page was with Gatti and that the steward was even then serving Donato. I felt very doubtful and finally decided not to have the last before entering London. I thought it best to engage the others until my arrival in London in order not to create too much disturbance by dismissing all at once, and also in order to gather information from them. Now I am dismissing them one by one, having soon found good and not fictitious reasons. Only two remain who served Donato, one is a porter, who seems a simple fellow and who only sees to people coming and going. The other is the interpreter called Odoardo Guazzo, who has served all the ambassadors, knows his duties and is necessary not only for the language but to give much other information. I do not know anyone here who could take his place. I certainly have heard that he had money not long since from Donato and that he is much devoted to him; he confessed his attachment to me. However I thought I might gather a good deal from him, as he is a poor creature and such men feed everywhere. I will try to keep the bridle upon him.
With regard to Marioni himself, I find that he is beloved by all those who frequent this house. Everyone says that he has done everything possible against Donato. If he has erred he has done so by treating things too coldly and timidly, with the inexperience of his age. Perhaps after his departure some will speak with more freedom than before. He told me that he would go to-morrow to take leave of his Majesty at Newmarket. When the Court returns to this city, which will not be before the time I wrote of, I shall be able to leave my house and move about with freedom, and I will then use all diligence to throw more light on the subject of Donato and Marioni.
London, the 20th December, 1619.
[Italian.]
Enclosed
in the
preceding
despatch.
150. To the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
Petition of Antonio Donato, showing that while ambassador in Savoy his accounts were examined comprising a payment of 1 ½ millions of gold bestowed by the republic upon the duke. They considered that the merchants engaged had made excessive gains and himself also. They charged him with having kept back 50,000 ducats. He obtained leave to return to Venice to defend himself, and did so successfully in the Senate. But in the course of three days Renier Zeno arrived, an enemy of his family, and proceeded against him on the confession of a merchant. They resolved to imprison him, and acting on the advice of friends, he decided to flee. What he had done had really benefited the republic, as he had removed the place of exchange from Lyons to Turin. For this he had been deprived of country, honour, fortune and all quietness, and therefore he throws himself upon the king's compassion. The right of asylum had been regularly recognised in England. He asks for the release of his goods as he is in some debt and is now a poor and miserable man. The king's decision is necessary to him without delay, as he has nothing wherewith to live, and his servants cannot depart unless their wages are paid, which must be raised by the sale of his poor household stuff.
[English.]
Dec. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
151. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have further particulars about Donato's case. When he left this house he hired four rooms which Sig. Biondi formerly inhabited before he became the agent of Savoy, in the house of a citizen of London. At first, for a month, he went to dinner and supper to the house of one Girolamo Scalio, whom I have already mentioned, where Sig. Marioni had lived until then. The evening after he went to sleep at his house in the same rooms. He pays 10l. sterling a year, equivalent to 40 crowns. He kept three servants, Alessandro, who is now in prison, the steward who wished to serve me, who is called Alessandro, a Florentine and an English footman of the religion called Giù. For this man Donato made a livery a short while ago, of variegated cloth. Alessandro is at Turin. When he was sent off Donato gave out that he had sent him to Spain, but when the news of his imprisonment arrived Donato was covered with confusion.
Many have dealings with him, especially merchants, and Burlamacchi and Calandrini more than all. Fedrico Fedrici, the Venetian, is his special spy and so is Steffano Gradi, a Ragusan merchant, who often walks about with him. All his old servants frequently go to see him, bringing him information, and consume his money, clothes and goods, as with them he is very liberal. Sir [Henry] Mainwaring was his intimate friend, but now he is estranged, as he had borrowed 50 Jacobus from Donato, equivalent to about 184 crowns, which Donato could not well refuse him, and Donato asked for repayment at the time when he was receiving the money from his property sold.
He lives reasonably but commits no excesses in his house. He has clothing for a long time without changing what he had when ambassador. At Court he wears a sword, which he did not do then and has simply cut down slightly his spurs to be more in the fashion of the country. He now seems to be launching out more and more, and even in the city he wears a gold doublet and a coloured coat. He frequents but few places, chiefly the houses of Burlamacchi and the Ragusan. He frequently plays at the game of roulette, and I hear that a few days ago he introduced the game of dicing into his house.
He goes freely about the streets and to the Exchange in particular, almost always with the Ragusan and Fedrici attended by the steward and footman. Many still give him the title of Excellency. He sometimes goes to mass in the house of France, sometimes in that of Savoy and was also at the house of the Spanish agent, though I have not heard of his going recently. One morning he conferred with this agent for more than two hours in the garden before the mass. At present he generally goes to the house of France. He generally takes a coach when he goes to see the king and on his excursions for pleasure. I am told that he places himself in a humble attitude in some place where his Majesty is to pass and endeavours to move him to compassion. He sometimes goes to Court to press his claims and in order to create the impression that he is greatly esteemed and loved there, to keep up his standing as much as possible.
Since the arrival in this kingdom of the Ambassador Wotton, who has given useful information to his Majesty and the Court here, they say that the good opinion held of him has been somewhat diminished. The things written to your Serenity by Sig. Marioni upon these points are true so far as I can discover. I will not repeat them. If I chance at any time to hear anything further or different, which is well founded, I will not neglect to send word of it to your Excellencies. Meanwhile I may add that I hear he went to the king when Monsignor Gatti presented to his Majesty his work on hunting, for which they say that Gatti received 50 Jacobus, equivalent to 184 crowns, but it is thought either that he did not get so much or else that a great portion was taken by those who had orders to pay him. In addition I hear that he took with him to Venice many gifts made to him at his departure by ladies and cavaliers and in particular by the wife of the Earl of Arundel who gave him 20 Jacobus (about 74 crowns). I may add that the other day Donato told Sir [Lewis] Lewkenor that he lived in great peril, as he felt certain that they were plotting against his life. In his house he remarked several times that he should never lack 500 or 600 ducats a year so long as he lived. He receives letters from Venice with every despatch, and I understand that he intends to issue a manifesto in his justification, but he wishes to wait until his brother is despatched.
London, the 20th December, 1619.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Apparently the impost of two per cent, on exports and imports for two years, mentioned by Chamberlain in a letter to Carleton of the 13/23 Feb., 1619. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1619–23, page 13.
2 Suffolk and his wife were released in ten days according to Naunton. The fine was entirely remitted with the exception of 7,000l. by July 1620, and of that sum only 3,397l. are accounted for at the exchequer. Gardiner: Hist. of Eng., iii, pages 210, 211.
3 In the State Papers. Domestic, vol. exi, Nos. 66, 67, there are lists of the merchants strangers convicted in the Star Chamber on the 8th Dec., 1619, old style. No. 66 is a tabulated list containing eighteen names of merchants fined various sums from 20,000l. to 2,000l., the total amounting to 140,000l. not 160,000l. as stated by Lando.
4 Probably Barbara, Lady Ruthven, who succeeded Jane, Countess of Roxburgh, as the Queen's chief lady in May, 1617. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–8, pages 464, 465.