Venice
February 1620, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1910

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156-173

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'Venice: February 1620, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 156-173. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88750 Date accessed: 30 July 2014.


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February 1620

Feb. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
223. To the Ambassador in France.
The recall of Ossuna continues to grow more probable, the Cardinal Borgia going in his place, but nothing certain is known. At the instance of Ossuna Naples is sending a delegate to Spain to congratulate the king on his recovery. Owing to the uncertainty of things Don Ottavio of Aragon's departure is postponed, as they are waiting to hear from Court. Ossuna is said to have written to Spain about the provisions for Germany, saying that it will be better to send money than troops to the emperor.
It causes comment that although Ossuna has orders from Spain to disband all the French, he keeps their officers. This is for information and to use where necessary.
The like to:
Spain, England, Savoy, Constantinople, Germany, Milan, Florence.
Ayes, 139.Noes, 2.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni,
Venetian
Archives.
224. To the Ambassador at Rome.
We hear from Constantinople that the Captain of the Sea has been chosen first Vizier. He is taking the opportunity to raise an ancient claim against the republic. We have given the necessary instructions to our Bailo.
Ayes, 139.Noes, 2.Neutral, 2.
The like to:
England, France, Spain, Savoy, Milan, Germany, Florence.
[Italian.]
Feb. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
225. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news about Germany here seems to be given in the interests of the emperor. They say that Gabor will not be crowned King of Hungary; that the King of Bohemia was in great anxiety because he had no declaration from the King of England, his father-in-law, in his favour, while the attitude of the States and of the Princes of Germany depended upon this. They say that the King of England seems reluctant to break with the Spaniards, and on this account he proceeds with great reserve about declaring for powerful assistance for his son-in-law. Others assert that a great army has been already formed by the Princes of the Union in favour of the King of Bohemia, and that the States have openly declared their intention to support him, while the King of England, whether he wants to or no, will be obliged to come to some decision in his favour, because the nobility and the whole kingdom are crying out against the king. They consider that the affairs of Cæsar and of the house of Austria will fluctuate more than ever.
Rome, the 1st February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zara.
Venetian
Archives.
226. ALVISE ZORZI, Proveditore of Zara, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The captain of the English troops left here in command by Colonel Peyton keeps asking me for money, and a new term begins on the 5th inst. On the 14th ult. I forwarded the muster roll of these troops, and I hope you will by now have decided what is necessary to avoid trouble among men apt to riot, especially at any delay in paying them. To provide against this danger, I have borrowed 2,000 ducats from the merchants and have given them to the captain to quiet the troops until their pay arrives. He was quite satisfied. I took the opportunity of taking a muster, and found nothing lacking. They are good troops under excellent discipline and likely to render good service whenever required. I have induced them to adopt the same habits as the Italian troops quartered here. To maintain the present order and discipline your Excellencies should forward the money without delay, as the chest here is exhausted and the inhabitants are of little worth, and some dangerous event might happen to the prejudice of your Serenity.
Zara, the 2nd February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
227. With respect to the request of Colonel Henry Peyton for the expedition of his accounts, that the Ragionati Ducali be instructed to remove the orders to the colonel about his own wages at 200 ducats a month, which have been paid in this city up to the present and also the orders for 23,171 lire for the rest of the payment of the troops, and that the commissioner with the fleet be informed of this decision so that the payment be not made twice.
Ayes, 109.Noes, 0.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costanti-nopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
228. ALMORO NANI, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassadors of England and Flanders have called upon me in person to offer their condolences upon the death of Borisi, who has been put to death here. (fn. 1) The French Ambassador, who has not yet seen the Sultan, sent his secretary, but the Imperial Ambassador has not sent any one, which has somewhat surprised me.
The English Ambassador has now been expected here a long while. They said he had reached Leghorn three months ago, and they fear that his ship has been taken by pirates.
The Vigne of Pera, the 4th February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
229. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have succeeded in getting the States to agree to the removal of the word `enemies' from the third article. The English Ambassador told me yesterday that they simply desired to ratify what I had negotiated with them. I do not know what has been decided with regard to the ordinary ambassador and I agree with Carleton's opinion that it depends upon the individual more than on the fact whether he will be ambassador or resident.
The Hague, the 4th February, 1620.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
230. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Sterchemburg, formerly a Captain of Prince Maurice's guard and now sergeant major of a cavalry regiment of the Princes of the Union, (fn. 2) arrived here recently and is urging them to send help to the princes. They have not yet decided upon this as they wish to know the decision of the King of England, which not only does not come but remains doubtful. Yesterday Prince Maurice told me that he held firm by his original opinion that the king would no nothing of any service, and from what he said I gathered that he is doing his utmost to induce the States not to delay their decision any longer.
The Hague, the 4th February, 1620.
[Italian.]
Feb. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
231. PIERO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The dispatch has at length been sent to Don Diego Sarmiento to leave for the embassy of England, because they have heard of the arrival in this kingdom of an ambassador from that king. Report and appearances point to this embassy being for the conclusion of the marriage negotiations, but the principal object on this side is to keep the English king's attention engaged, and by dangling the hope of this alliance before him to keep him in the good disposition which he displays towards this crown and so prevent him from sending any help to the Palatine.
Madrid, the 5th Feburary, 1620.
[Italian.]
Feb. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
232. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
While all are thinking about the king's irresolution in refusing in the present serious state of affairs to decide about his son-in-law and daughter, the discussions upon the subject seem to be quieting down, while the apparent interest of the people, the nobles and everybody in the new king, is beginning to cool in spite of his great popularity, as some fear that they may not please his Majesty if they show themselves too zealous. Thus they undoubtedly discuss the subject more in other parts of the world than in this kingdom.
The ambassador Dohna deferred his departure from London until yesterday, in order to go and see the king at Newmarket. He feared he might trouble his Majesty too much by his importunity and he wished the king without relinquishing his special pastime of hunting, to have an opportunity during these last days, of thinking over the arguments of the Bohemians which he had submitted in writing. Yesterday he left, and I hope he will gather the fruit, which if not great and good, certainly ought to be quite ripe.
Dohna favoured us with an abstract in Latin of these arguments which he presented to his Majesty, confuting those of Ferdinand and the house of Austria. I enclose a copy which your Serenity may be glad to see, as it seems to me both curious and important, while it is short and differs from the printed paper issued on the subject.
The news supplied last week that the Spanish ambassador had started for England and had already arrived in Paris (fn. 3) has been confirmed by a French baron who arrived in this kingdom the other day, for his own private affairs, so they say. But letters from France of date posterior to his departure say nothing about it. Accordingly they do not believe it, especially as they say that the Ambassador Gondomar, before coming to England, will have to go to Brussels to pay his respects to their Highnesses or for other purposes. Here one sees no hurry in preparing the house which they say is destined for him to live in, and even that question has not been definitely settled yet.
These letters from France state that the emperor's ambassador has left that Court well content, with a kind of promise, though a very vague one, and which refers rather to effecting a compromise than to giving assistance. Similarly it is thought that fears and suspicions about the Huguenots are increasing continually there.
A report has got abroad that the ecclesiastical princes of Germany are beginning to levy and move troops in support of the emperor, and therefore the States of Holland were preparing to despatch their forces to the frontiers, and that their territory on the confines of Cologne was already being scoured by troops of cavalry. But this is not yet thought to be thoroughly confirmed and they are anxiously awaiting letters from those parts. Nothing has arrived either this week or last from them or from Italy owing to the violent contrary winds which have prevailed.
London, the 6th February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
233. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have tried to obtain information about Sig. Pietro Antonio Marioni with those slender means which can be employed by an ambassador who is not a magistrate of justice, who is new to the Court and in a city like London, which is the size of half a world and where the actions of many persons, not to speak of a single individual or of few, easily escape observation and disappear in the crowd. Since his departure from this kingdom more especially, I have not neglected to touch any cord which I thought might answer me in the matter. But while many are preoccupied and busy, no one, for very good reasons, cares to speak about such subjects without necessity, so your Serenity will not be surprised if I have little light to throw on the question. But the obscurity of these letters might perhaps be very easily illuminated on the arrival of Sig. Marioni at Venice, possibly to the complete satisfaction of your Excellencies, especially as Mons. Gritti is also at Venice and you might hear a great deal from the courier and from Alessandro the valet, imprisoned at Turin, the real root and chief instrument of a great part of this affair.
With regard to any understanding Marioni may have had with Donato after his condemnation and the latter's return to England, I have found nothing beyond what I wrote except a few indications, shadows and suspicions. Thus the day that Donato returned to London a fugitive from Venice to this house, he spoke with Marioni, as the latter wrote to your Excellencies; and for some while Donato had a tête-à-tête conversation with the secretary in his room. When Marioni after this and on the same day went to see the king, he took with him, besides the interpreter and his valet, Donato's own coachman. On his return to London, when he did not come back to this house, he took lodgings in the house of Girolamo Scalio, who both before and after was a dependant and firm friend of Donato. He always maintained relations with Donato's servants and also with Father Alessandro Gatti. After he came back to this house, which he hired for me, after Donato had left it, he kept on some of the old servants, who frequently went to see Donato. Although he afterwards dismissed these servants he subsequently spoke and conversed with some of them frequently, especially with the coachman, a Paduan, and the steward, a Florentine, proposing to engage them for my service. The latter continues to serve Donato, and the former, after being dismissed by me, being well acquainted with the country, took up several employments, and has recently been engaged by Donato. Thus I constantly see the wisdom of my decision not to accept the service of the one and to dismiss the other.
Further that Marioni kept up relations with the merchants who were in close communication with Donato, especially with Gradi, the Ragusan, to whose house, a short distance from where Donato lives, the coachman said he had taken him several times. But I never heard any one say he had seen him speak to Donato, and I never found that he met him in the house of that or any of the other merchants.
The coachman told me that he had taken him sometimes to the house of the Ambassador of Savoy who then lived outside the city, almost always in the morning; he felt sure it was to hear mass, and on those occasions he had twice seen Donato come out of that house, but he had never seen him speak to his master or observed them going together.
I have met with some other suspicious circumstances, but hitherto so shadowy that I will not venture to lay them before your Excellencies.
With respect to the courier sent to Sig. Marioni with the news of the sentence passed against Donato, and with orders to make sure of all his property, and whether he executed his instructions without delay, I have not been able to discover, except that Alessandro the valet and the courier arrived together at this house. The latter remained below to undo the valise. Alessandro went up and first gave Marioni a letter from Donato, and after he had read it the courier handed him the public packet. When Marioni had read this he ordered Donato's steward to go and hire a coach for him. While waiting he dined and before the coach came Donato arrived in his own coach. A considerable interval of time necessarily elapsed between the receipt of the letters and the arrival of Donato, since Alessandro took the coach to fetch him after he had taken the letter to Marioni, to a distant place in the suburbs, over two miles away. All this happened before a coach for hire was found, but that requires time, especially in this city which is so large that time is lost in fetching one. Moreover, servants often are not quick even when told to be, and possibly the steward was not, and now he is actually serving Donato.
Upon the last point, whether Marioni punctually executed his instructions in speaking with the king, I learn from many directions that he spoke very shame facedly and timidly to the king and said very little to his Majesty or the Ministers. But it is not possible to say whether he mutilated or altered his instructions, as no one remembers the exact words, but they simply remember the general drift of the demand. I need say nothing about the letter which he read to his Majesty, for which your Excellencies reproved him, as it seems superfluous after what he wrote to the Senate. I have some indication that he and Donato confronted each other before the Council, and the one spoke boldly in his defence while the other hardly dared to open his mouth. I am told that this happened in the month of August, at the time when your Excellencies demanded the person of Donato from his Majesty. I asked Marioni about it before he left, but he denied it absolutely. I have not been able to clear this up in spite of all my efforts, because many will not speak, others do not remember things which do not concern them and so long ago, while others again can know nothing.
I interrogated Marioni in the form of conversation upon various other points, especially on the point of the courier. Why he did not ask him when he embarked, when he crossed the sea and at what time he reached Dover; when he mounted horse, when he reached Gravesend, what time he set out for London, how long he took on the journey, and so forth. He said he had never put such questions and admitted that he had done wrong.
I have heard that Donato, before he sent his servant Alessandro to London with the courier, went to the Court, which was then at Greenwich and spoke with Buckingham and with other ministers, I heard with the king also, but not as absolutely certain. It is more difficult to discover the truth in this country and about this affair than any one at a distance could believe, as many are naturally suspicious and take alarm at the slightest question, especially where there is any question of prejudice to another, so that for the most part they take refuge in silence and pretend to know nothing. But it is very probable that this happened, as Greenwich is situated between Gravesend and London, and one must needs pass it, even when going by water. Thus it is most probable that Donato on reaching Gravesend learned that the king was at Greenwich and went there to effect his purpose, as he would desire nothing more strongly than to see his Majesty and the ministers, to help him. If this is true, Donato made his representations to the king or at all events to the ministers, before Marioni received the public letters, so that negligence cannot be imputed to Marioni for not having forestalled Donato. I seem to find strong confirmation of the fact that Donato spoke then to the king in the letter written by the Secretary Calvert to Gregorio and presented by him in the College, where he says that on the 25th June, old style, Donato presented himself to his Majesty, and afterwards, his Majesty being at Greenwich, four miles from London, the secretary of Venice came to see him there. It is not known whether Donato went again to the king in those first days. After he reached London and had spoken with Marioni and the latter went to the king, Donato visited the Earl of Arundel and conferred with him, with Buckingham and the Lord Chamberlain, but this does not necessarily mean that he had not spoken with them previously at Greenwich, as I find that those noblemen were at Greenwich early in the morning and came to London later, returning to the king the same day. Donato perhaps told them what he had learned from Marioni and about his approach to the king, begging for their protection, and as the king was so near London he went back to see him before Marioni had his audience.
The courier and the valet Alessandro alone could tell all the circumstances. They reached London in the middle of a summer day, having left Gravesend early that morning, taking two hours to come. They said they had left Donato at Gravesend because he was fatigued. If he had been or had come by boat he would have arrived much later than they. But the truth is that they came together as far as the post house in the suburbs and they passed through Greenwich. Although the king was hunting in the country Donato might have seen him in the morning before he left or have followed him, and posibly Donato reached Greenwich before that morning; but there is no record of the day or hour of the arrival of the courier and Alessandro at Gravesend or in any other place, so far as I can discover.
I can write no more for which I have good evidence, though I have worked hard in spite of my very strong distaste for such matters.
London, the 6th February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
234. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Sunday Donato went to hear mass at the French Ambassador's house. Thus, praise God, my hopes are realised, much to the anger of those who cherished other anticipations, so I understand.
I guessed the other day, and I have subsequently been assured that the French Ambassador passed some office with the ministers here in favour of Donato, for whom both he and his wife have a remarkable friendship, although he had been degraded when they arrived here. I understand that he was first introduced to their house by Girolamo Scalio where he narrated his misfortunes and excited great compassion. I also suspect that Gaballeoni, the Ambassador of Savoy, although he cared little for Donato in the past, is now more inclined to be friendly than otherwise, and helps him where he can, offering excuses for him. Probably Gradi the Ragusan, Donato's intimate who frequents the ambassador's house, has brought about this change.
The ambassador, in complimentary terms, though very coldly expressed, at the very beginning of my efforts, told me that the Duke of Savoy offered his help if he could be of service. I thanked him and have always displayed confidence in my speech, but really I have been very reserved.
London, the 6th February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
235. GIROLAMO, LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
After I had sent my despatches of yesterday your Serenity's letters of the 4th and 11th January reached me, which should have come last week, with the particulars from Turin about Donato, which differ considerably from what I supposed, especially where it says that the king contemplated punishing him and had given orders to look for him, not knowing where he was, because he has always stayed in the same place, where he still remains. However, I need not go into this again.
I have been recently advised with great secrecy from one who ought to know, but in whom, for various reasons, I do not repose full confidence, that the king has finally decided to promise the Ambassador Dohna for his son-in-law 50,000l. sterling down, equivalent to about 200,000 ducats for his present needs. Dohna cannot receive this offer from his Majesty before to-day or to-morrow, as he has not had time to reach Newmarket. I shall not be able to tell your Excellencies the truth before next week.
Lord Digby has been to see me to-day. He was formerly Ambassador in Spain and is very well informed upon the affairs of that Court. He told me that he had letters thence so recently as the 25th saying that the Catholic king had finally ordered the Duke of Ossuna to return to Spain without delay and had ordered Cardinal Borgia to go straight from Rome to Naples until the new Viceroy arrives, who is a Portuguese of the blood royal, but he did not remember his name.
I find I have in my service here a son of Sig. Camillo Sembenini, apothecary at Santa Maria Mater Domini at Venice. His father has sent him a letter of Father Alessandro Gatti, directed to one Giovanni Domenico Arigoni, given to me as a page by the Secretary Marioni, and whom I dismissed. The son, suspecting something, brought the letter to me, saying that he did not wish to be involved in any disreputable affair. He also gave me his father's letter. I send both originals, having kept copies. Camillo says nothing except that Gatti asked him to recommend Arigoni.
London, the 7th February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
236. ALESSANDRO GATTI to SIG. GIO. DOMENICO ARRIGONI.
Reached Venice after a toilsome journey. Troubled by a cousin who would give him no peace. Wishes to be remembered to Marioni, whom he defended with drawn sword. Various other remembrances. Try to find out under what name the Archbishop of Spalato sends his letters to Venice and to whom he sends, and also under what name they write to him from Venice. Wishes to know for his own particular interests. Might learn from Baldisera di Mestre who frequents the archbishop's house, by promising removal of exile.
Venice, the 9th January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
CAMILLO SEMBENINI to his son ORTENSIO SEMBENINI.
Father Gatti wishes the enclosed letter to be delivered to Sig. Arrigoni.
Venice, the 10th January, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
237. To the Ambassador at Rome.
The French Ambassador resident here has told us of his master's decision to interpose for the settlement of the troubles in Germany, and asked for the assistance of our republic, as you will see by the enclosed copy of his exposition. We send you a copy of our reply. We send you this for information and to act as you may see that our service requires, giving us information of anything that happens in this connection.
The like to:
Spain, England, Constantinople, Savoy, Germany, Milan, Florence, Naples.
Ayes, 151.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
238. To the Ambassador in France.
The recall of the Duke of Ossuna is confirmed. Cardinal Borgia will succeed him. Ossuna says that he has asked for leave for six months. Don Ottavio of Aragon has not yet left; one of his galleys is damaged. There is no sign either of military or naval provisions at Naples. The person sent from Naples is not to do anything except congratulate the king on his recovery.
The like to:
Spain, England, Savoy, Constantinople, Germany, Milan, Florence.
Ayes, 151.Noes, 0.Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
239. ALMORO NANI, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I was summoned to audience of the Grand Vizier last Saturday, the 8th inst. There the Turkish merchants presented the claims which they pretended to have against your Serenity for their lost ships. I said I should need time to communicate with your Serenity and receive a reply. The Pasha said that this was unnecessary, as the merchants had been played with for three years. He went on to threaten reprisals if I did not pay. Turning to the Chiaus Bassi who was present, he said I give you the charge of recovering this money and to see that these merchants are satisfied in the course of this week. Turning to me he said: If the merchants give you longer time, I agree, but that is my order. I went to the chamber of the Chiaus to confer with the merchants, where with much difficulty I persuaded them to wait until the following day, to come and treat at this house. I then went to see Mahamut, who was most astonished at such violence, but could suggest no remedy. I asked him to go to the Pasha and gave him power to offer 7,000 sequins if he would grant me four months to write to Venice and receive the reply. I then went on to the Ambassadors of France, England and Flanders, begging them to use their influence and that of their masters in this affair. They gave me some help and will ask that I may have time to write to your Serenity and receive a reply, and to see that in any event I am not arrested in the house of the Chiaus Bassi, which is what will happen, I feel sure, or if they cannot obtain this, that I may have the house as a prison.
The Vigne of Pera, the 11th February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 11
Senato
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
240. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The question about the removal of the word enemies from the third article was communicated by the deputies to the English Ambassador but not to the French.
I will speak as instructed by your Serenity about according the title of king to the Palatine.. The agent of that prince who was sent here recently tried to obtain a copy of the articles of the alliance between your Serenity and these Provinces. This was refused on the ground that they had not yet been ratified, but he was told the particulars by some one and also by the English Ambassador, who informed me about it.
The Hague, the 11th February, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
241. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States are still awaiting the decision of the King of Great Britain, but owing to the delay and the urgency of Prince Maurice to lose no more time, they seem inclined to act. They have also decided to send money to the Princes of the Union in accordance with the terms of their alliance with them.
The English Ambassador has sent word of these decisions to the king, by his nephew. He told me that he had written, accompanying the information with words calculated to move his Majesty to delay no longer in coming to a decision necessary in the present state of affairs, saying that his son-in-law found himself on a dangerous coast, and that the sacred anchor of his Majesty could alone save him from destruction. Meanwhile the ambassador attributes the absence of news from England to the contrary winds. He welcomes this excuse, as he can only speak modestly of his king's intentions and whenever he can he changes the subject.
The States are very sorry to hear that they are expecting the Spanish Ambassador in England. They foresee that he will serve to withdraw the king and get him to lose time in discussions and negotiations, the usual methods of the Spaniards to prevent anything being done.
Their Excellencies do not know whether to rejoice or base great hopes on the decision they hear has been taken in England to arm twenty war ships against the pirates. The report alarmed the Spaniards for they feared that the king might attempt something against the King of Spain in conjunction with these Provinces.
The Hague, the 11th February, 1620.
[Italian.]
Feb. 12.
Senato
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
242. ALMORO NANI, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Yesterday Mahamut went to see the Pasha and spoke to him of my affair, asking that I might have four months grace. The Pasha said he would not grant a minute. The Sultan had ordered payment. He knew a way to make me pay. I fear that he proposes to make reprisals upon our merchants and then set them against me.
This morning the Ambassadors of France, England and Flanders went to see the Pasha. They represented that the violence he meditated against my person was an injury to the common cause. The Pasha told them that they had no concern in the matter. Their countries were far away and they had no reason for interfering in a question that lay between the Sultan and your Serenity. They answered that the friendship of their masters with your Serenity obliged them to protect a just cause and they simply asked him to grant me time to write and receive a reply. This could not be refused; because as sentence had been given in favour of the Turkish merchants, I could not accept it without the consent of my masters. The Pasha raised great difficulties and made the most of his own losses, with his usual insolence. When the ambassadors repeated their instances he agreed to grant seventy days, adding this condition, that if the reply did not arrive within that time I should sign a paper binding myself to make the payment, and in any case he would make an arz to the king and await the command of his Majesty, the ambassadors remaining jointly pledges for my person.
The Vigne of Pera, the 12th February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
243. To the Ambassador with the King of Great Britain.
We were only waiting to hear his Majesty's decision about Donato, which reaches us with your last. We are satisfied as we have found all we could expect. We direct you to ask for an audience of his Majesty and tell him that we consider his action as a sign of his good-will towards the republic. We feel sure that as every day discloses more of the gravity of the crime, his Majesty will be ready to do more if need be. You will thank his Majesty and tell him that we consider his action a great favour. If you hear of any plan to make some request to us in favour of Donato, you will do your utmost with the ministers to prevent it, as being an office that is sure to fail. You made a sensible reply to the secretary when he wished to draw a parallel. We have nothing further to add except that we are entirely satisfied with your proceedings in this matter.
With regard to what is said about our disarming and a free passage through the Gulf being open to the Neapolitans, you will make it known that the republic has not entirely disarmed, nor has she such a small force at sea, but it would be possible to increase it in a moment. At the present juncture it is prudent of the republic to relieve herself of such heavy expenses, which seem superfluous at present.
We send for your information a copy of the complimentary office passed with the Palatine, King of Bohemia, upon the birth of his last son.
Ayes, 141.Noes, 0.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
Feb. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
244. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The news given to me last week that the king had decided to promise 50,000l. sterling to the Ambassador Dohna for his son-in-law, although I did not readily credit it and although it was subsequently spread widely in the city, proves to be absolutely false and has totally died away. No sign of any promise, declaration or decision has yet appeared, and the ministers themselves and the leading men of the Council admit, with much astonishment, that they do not know what his Majesty will decide. The Ambassador Dohna is at Newmarket doing his very utmost, but they keep putting him off and procrastinating.
Two opinions-circulate freely in the general conversation and among the leading men, one that the new king wields very powerful forces, while his enemies are in disorder and ill provided so that there is no need at present for any assistance from this quarter. The other that the Catholic king will not move openly in favour of the emperor if the king here does not move. They even go so far as to say that he will recall the 6,000 foot already sent from Milan to Germany. So they think it best for the king to make no ostensible movement, in order not to set Spain in motion and other powers of the world, and to secure that the war be confined to Bohemia and Germany without involving others or becoming a war of religion.
They publish here that the emperor is very weak and owing to his need of money he has coined all the silver vessels left by the Emperor Matthias; that for fear he has left Vienna and returned to Gratz with the few possessions he could take with him. That at Epiphany, Gabor had himself crowned King of Hungary and a league has been concluded between him and the new King of Bohemia. They say further that various troops gathered by the ecclesiastical princes and others in favour of the emperor beyond the Rhine, have encountered obstruction in Franconia and elsewhere from the forces of the United Princes. That in particular Frankfort refused a passage to the men of Mainz, while Augsburg begins to incline to the side of the Protestant Princes of Germany, a matter of great importance, and they say that it recently raised levies both of foot and horse.
They say that in some parts of Germany the Jesuits have issued copper medals showing the emperor conquering his adversaries.
They write from Antwerp that one Father Scribano, a Jesuit, in his sermons, has urged the merchants and others of that city to show how religious they are and how devoted to their sovereign, and then he went through the city, accompanied by some of his disciples, passing from house to house and repeating what he said in the pulpit. In this way he has induced some to subscribe for four or six soldiers to be sent to help his Imperial Majesty, and they think he will thus get some thousands of soldiers. They are to take the sign of the cross and will go readily to that service, their pay being secured for a year, the merchants of the mart there undertaking so much.
A rumour has reached here, though not well authenticated, of the death of the Elector of Brandenburg, that Bucquoi had died before and that a marriage has been arranged between a sister of the new King of Bohemia and the reigning Duke of Saxony of the Weimar line, when they met together for the christening of the new-born prince. It is said that they also invited Bethlen Gabor and the Elector of Saxony.
Here also we have a great wedding, between the Marquis of Buckingham, the Lord High Admiral, and the daughter of the Earl of Rutland, of great wealth, but no ceremony has yet taken place, though doubtless on the return of the king and the marquis in some twenty days, they will celebrate many solemnities befitting the uninterrupted good fortune of the marquis. (fn. 4)
Letters came from France yesterday bringing word that the king there solemnly swore in church to the English Ambassador to the perpetual alliance and friendship already established by the queen mother, with the condition that it should be ratified when the Most Christian attained to manhood. The English Ambassador swore to the same on behalf of his sovereign.
A few days ago letters from the Duke of Nevers reached Sir [Thomas] Edmonds, who served for a long while in France as ambassador asking for his assistance in obtaining from this kingdom some pieces of iron ordnance and a certain quantity of lead, to be used on ships by his new order of knights (fn. 5) against the Turks, the common enemy; but the king would not give his consent.
They are thinking here of sending out twenty armed ships, six royal and the rest belonging to individual merchants, and orders have recently been issued for them to be made ready, with the report that they were to go against pirates, joining a like number sent by the King of Spain, as they proposed last year, They say that the Ambassador Gondomar is also bringing instructions with him upon this subject. But it is impossible to believe that such fleets could ever work together, that their commanders would ever be united or that they would trust each other, seeing how opposite are the natures of these two nations and how opposed are the interests of the two kings, so that disputes would inevitably arise in the present state of affairs throughout the world. Accordingly every one believes that these ships will leave the kingdom with other objects than joining the Spaniards. It is thought that the report of their being armed will greatly enhance the king's reputation at the moment, by disproving any idea that his Majesty hates the very thought of armament, and will act as a sop to the people here, who are aroused by the reports of fighting in Bohemia and do not want to stand idly by, with a show of taking part, and that in a way to which they are naturally bent, as they always show themselves more clever and capable at sea than on land.
News has recently arrived from the Indies of a great fight between the English and the Dutch, in which the latter had the victory, many English being slain. The Dutch captured two ships and sacked some warehouses on the shore which were full of merchandise. The damage is said here to amount to half a million of gold, although they try to conceal or diminish it so far as possible. They digest their spleen as well as they can with the consideration that the news of the agreement between the two nations cannot yet have arrived in those parts.
The other day fifty-two merchants, in addition to those already punished, mostly Flemings, were summoned on the charge of having withdrawn gold money from this kingdom. The excitement is very great on this mart, and it will certainly inflict a severe blow upon trade. They display the utmost rigour in this matter, the offices of the Ambassador of the States here with the king proving unavailing, except in the case of two deserving merchants, who enjoy the king's favour, namely, Burlamacchi and Quester the master of the posts of this city. Thus recently some families of merchants have left the realm and many more would imitate their example if they could, but the way is rigorously shut and barred against them.
London, the 14th February, 1619 [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
245. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, with whom I conversed yesterday for a good while, told me several things in the course of conversation. Firstly, he had heard that the Princes of the Union propose to send a solemn embassy to his Majesty, but have not yet named the ambassador; the States also are about to send commissioners about the affairs of Bohemia and to arouse his Majesty. The archbishop could not dissimulate his dissatisfaction at the king's lethargy.
He seemed uncertain about the coming of the Ambassador Gondomar from Spain, saying that it had so often been announced, with the usual Spanish trickery, and then nothing happened. He knew for certain that if it lay with the ambassador himself whether he should return to this kingdom or no, he certainly would not return, knowing full well all he had done to the prejudice of his Majesty. His apparently free and easy ways of proceeding certainly pleases the king, but in essence they are deep and insidious. Moreover, after his departure the king had authentic and well supported information of his evil behaviour, more especially that he was at the bottom of the flight from Scotland of the Earl of Argyle (Hagh), under various though quite vain hopes that he would be well treated, honoured and pensioned in Flanders by the archduke and the Catholic king and raised to great and important positions. He knows that on his arrival his Majesty intends to express his sentiments very freely to him both for this and for two other reasons which he did not mention to me.
The archbishop went on to complain of the Spanish ministers here, especially the agent of the archduke (fn. 6) , calling him the most false and pestiferous minister that had ever been seen, full of inventions, whose only intention was to spread abroad advices and opinions totally at variance with the truth, most pernicious to the people here and disadvantageous to the sovereign. He said that he received his instructions from Flanders and there must be some great matter with the archduke.
He remarked that he heard from Spain that Calderon may even now be put to death either secretly or publicly. Some attempt at poisoning him having been discovered, he had been placed in a remarkably constructed prison with grilles all round, almost like a cage so that he could not make the slightest movement without being seen by numerous warders who surrounded him constantly. He hinted at unbounded excesses which were imputed to him. Many letters had been found which passed between Lerma and him, written in an impenetrable cipher which should contain the cream of villany. The Duke of Uceda had declined greatly, so the Duke of Ossuna had been recalled to Spain, as I wrote to your Serenity last week.
He related how Prince Filiberto, after leaving Havana, had suggested to the Duke of Savoy, his father, three marriages in the name of the Catholic King; the widow of Mantua to the emperor; his second daughter to the emperor's eldest son, and the third daughter to the Catholic King himself. The duke asked if he had these offers and proposals in writing; when the prince said he had only received them verbally, the duke clinched the matter by saying: I am older than you, and I know the Spaniards and their tricks to my cost.
I do not say much on this subject or on any of the others, because your Excellencies will doubtless have received full particulars from the proper sources long since.
I will only add that the archbishop also raised the topic of Donato, expressing the hope that your Serenity would rest satisfied with the decision taken, though he seemed to hint that possibly something more might be obtained in the course of time. But for the moment he is certainly somewhat upset and dashed, finding all the hopes that he cherished about Donato vanished and his designs shattered, which he used to have more than all the other ministers. Donato attended mass last Sunday at the house of the French Ambassador. The day before yesterday he went seven miles from London to see a house at a place called Putney (Potne) on the river, intending to take it on hire to live in, near another of Burlamacchi and Calandrini, the merchants. But as yet he has not begun to send any things there and stays on in London, the prescribed term of one month not having yet expired.
The archbishop concluded our conversation by asking very affectionately after the Cavalier Foscarini, praising and commending him highly, as do many of the gentlemen here. I hear his name and worth extolled every day.
London, the 14th February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
246. To the Ambassador in Savoy.
As you have received full information of what has happened in the English court about Antonio Donato, we think fit to send you the latest particulars. Moved by the representations of our Ambassador Lando his Majesty has forbidden Donato to frequent the Court henceforward or approach within a mile of it, and ordered him to leave London within a month and never come within five miles of that town. We have ordered our ambassador to thank the king for this sign of his good will, and say that we are sure that he will be ready to do even more when he realizes the full gravity of the case. After this he will not approach the matter again. But as some of the leading ministers may intercede for Donato we have ordered Lando to prevent such action as far as possible. We send this for information.
Ayes, 123.Noes, 5.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
Feb. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
247. To the Ambassador in Spain.
The nomination of Cardinal Borgia as governor of Naples has met with general approval, though Ossuna is much upset. Don Ottavio of Aragon has gone to plead his cause. We now have some hope of restitution though Ossuna will do what harm he can. Orders have been sent to recall the six galleys which set out for the East. Ossuna's mission to Constantinople appears to be for more purposes than the question of slaves.
The like to:
France, England, Savoy, Constantinople, Milan, Florence.
Ayes, 123.Noes, 5.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
Feb. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
248. ALMORO NANI, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The interposition of the Ambassadors of France, England and Flanders in my favour has served to check the vehemence of the Pasha against me, but does not entirely ensure me against the violence which they are preparing. However, it was a happy thought of mine to get the ambassadors to use their influence in this extraordinary affair, as the very morning that they all went to the Pasha, a Chiaus came to this house who told me, by order of the Pasha, that I must pay the merchants, otherwise the Chiaus Bassi would come to fetch me a prisoner to his house, as he certainly would have done. The intervention of the ambassadors prevented the affair from going further.
The following day, however, the merchants being dissatisfied with the time granted by the Pasha, they tried to summon me again before him so that he might retract or order me to give them complete satisfaction within that time; as for the pledge given by the ambassadors for my person, that was invalid, and while I remained in my house with my usual comforts I should never trouble to pay them. All this has naturally made me anxious.
The Vigne of Pera, the 15th February, 1619. [M.V.]
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Borisi, dragoman of the Venetian embassy, strangled by order of the Vizier Ali, who had a grudge against the Venetians for two pirate ships of his taken by the republic's galleys.
2 Carleton calls him Stawtenbrooke, a captain of horse under the Marquis of Anspach. Despatch of the 27th Jan., 1619, old style. State Papers, Foreign. Holland, and Stockingburgh later on. Carleton Letters, page 439.
3 Gondomar did not reach Paris till Saturday the 29th February. See despatch of Anzolo Contarini of the 3rd March, 1620, below.
4 The marriage of Buckingham to Lady Catherine Manners did not take place until the 16th May, 1620, and was then celebrated very privately. Gardiner: Hist. of, Eng. iii. p. 357. But the nuptials were announced as early as March 11/21. Camden: Annals (apud Kennet: Hist. of Eng. ii. p. 653).
5 In July 1618 the pope became protector of an order of knights called the order of the Blessed Virgin, under the rule of St. Francis of Assisi, founded five years previously by three brothers, Italians of Spello, with the special object of repressing the audacity of the Turks in the Mediterranean. One of the brothers, J. B. Petrignan, came to France in 1618, where, in conjunction with the Duke of Nevers and the Count of Althaun, he introduced the order under the title of Order of Knighthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the protection of the Virgin, St. Michael and St. Francis. Its objects were the honour of God and the defence and deliverance of all Christians oppressed by infidels and the amplification and concord of the Christian republics. Mercure Français of Richer, V. pp. 225–232. M. Mariejol, however, without quoting his authority, says that Nevers founded his new international military order, the Christian Knights, to fight the infidels, in September, 1617. Lavisse, Hist. de France, vol. vi, pt. 2, page 209.
6 Van Male.