Venice
April 1620, 20-30

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1910

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238-245

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'Venice: April 1620, 20-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 238-245. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88755 Date accessed: 20 September 2014.


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Contents

April 1620

April 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
329. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I wrote last March about the offers of the duke to Caesar, and I have no further particulars to add. The duke had a long interview with the agent of England, and subsequently that minister sent his secretary post to his master. Before this he received instructions at Rivoli from the duke himself.
This expedition is certainly about the changed aspect of affairs. It is impossible at present to discover the exact purport, as the master and Court are absent and affairs are scattered. But I will find out, as I think a change in affairs and in the duke's attitude may come to light from this decision.
Turin, the 20th April, 1620.
[Italian.]
April 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
330. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The delights of the marriage with the Spanish princess seem to make continual progress in the king's heart just as the power and address of the Catholic ambassador at this Court seem continually to grow greater. His Majesty has had some conversation on the subject with the Prince of Wales, although in a very broad and general way. It is said that the prince himself has no inclination that way, but the influences surrounding him, prudence, the memory of things past, fear and every other consideration tend towards the satisfaction of his father. Ten Commissioners from the body of the Council are beginning to examine the affair. It is not easy to say whether this will serve to raise difficulties or to smooth the way. The ministers and courtiers have a keen regard for the Spanish pensions and although many naturally detest their name, yet all, equally naturally, love money, the substratum of the affections, and which, moreover, is required in large quantities for the ordinary necessities of this crown (grande sono le mire in ministri et corteggiani alle pensioni de Spagnoli, et sebene molti abhorriscono per natura il loro nome, per natura anco tutti amano il danaro, terrano degli animi il quale in gran summa viene pure medesimamente ricercato dagli ordinarii bisogni della stessa corona).
It is said that Lord Digby will be sent to Spain in a few days, where he has previously acted as ambassador three times. Nevertheless his Majesty told the Ambassador of the States the other day that the negotiations had not proceeded a step further than they were a year or two ago. But the event alone can give the certainty amid so many passionate discussions.
The Catholic ambassador has been before the Council and has tried hard to prevent the departure of Sir [Roger] North towards the West, taking time to demonstrate to his Majesty by strong arguments that the country to which he proposes to go really belongs to his king. Accordingly North has received orders to wait a few days, notwithstanding that divers Lords of the Council itself and some of the leading men have a share in the fitting out of the ship.
The question of the fisheries with the States seems in abeyance and nothing is said about it for the time being. The Ambassador of the States is trying to commute for 60,000l. sterling the sentence pronounced against the Flemish merchants, who up to the present have paid 13,000l. He hopes for success, but he has met with difficulties and very hard rocks of extraordinary rigour.
The money for the King of Bohemia has not yet been collected in this city. It appears that it will not amount to so much as they hoped, as when it came to the push every one held back from paying down his own money. Long peace and prosperity here have introduced in this kingdom an excessive inclination for comforts and pleasures. Men spend and dissipate more than they possess upon their own pleasures, rich clothing and copious tables, which consume the greater part of their gold (havendo introdotto qui la longa pace et la felicità di questo Regno il far gustare supra modo le commodityà et le delitie; si spende et si profonde, più che non si ha, per li proprii piaceri, li ricchi vestiti et le copiose mense, divorando la maggior parte dell'oro).
Burlamachi has written to Nürenberg at the request of the Ambassador Dohna for a remittance of 300 to 400,000 florins to Bohemia. However, all will not be paid out at once, but little by little, as it is collected here, though they chiefly fear that the collection will not nearly reach that amount.
Sir Francis Nedersol has been chosen to go and act as secretary to the Queen of Bohemia, and to reside as his Majesty's agent with the new king. He will also have some commissions for the Princes of the Union. I hear, however, that he will not leave for some days.
The courier who was sent to Germany for the particulars of Viscount Doncaster has returned. We do not know if he brings anything of importance beyond replies to the viscount's proposals and current events and notable circumstances from those parts.
The day before yesterday, when the king was at table, the conversation turned upon the Turks. The king said publicly to the gentlemen present that if the Grand Seigneur moved against Christendom in force, even in favour of his son-in-law, he would use all the forces of these realms to oppose him, and would not stand even at fighting against his own daughter.
Some poor sailors have passed this way who served your Serenity in the fleet upon the Dutch ship that was recently wrecked on the coast of Ireland, with the loss of about thirty men, as your Excellencies will have heard from the Secretary Surian. They say that only one bronze piece of ordnance was recovered.
Sig. Alfonso Antonini of Udine, a servant of your Serenity, has come to this Court out of curiosity from Bohemia where he has worthily served as a volunteer. He has been embraced by the king the princes and the lords here, as a subject of the republic, for his personal qualities and because he has fought for the king's son-in-law. He is returning with all speed to the field of action, to render himself more capable to serve your Excellencies.
I acknowledge the receipt of your Serenity's letters of the 21st and 28th ult.
London, the 24th April, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
331. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It appears that the sending of the Secretary of the English agent was for private affairs, but also to inform his Majesty of the position of all the negotiations taking place with the Spaniards and of the offices said to be performed by Filiberto in Spain. The duke said nothing about this expedition and no reference has since been made to it.
The agent himself has asked for cavalry for Germany, but his Highness pleaded his own needs. It shows that if he does not receive the satisfaction from Spain for marrying the daughters, whose interests he cannot neglect for other reasons, and upon Montferrat also, he will be compelled to disarm and to serve those interests by himself with help from this side. It is impossible to penetrate his particular intentions, as there is the utmost reserve about everything and the most absolute silence.
Turin, the 27th April, 1620.
[Italian.]
April 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
332. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Bunyncausen, who has come on behalf of the Princes of the Union, performed his office with the Duke of Orleans, showing him that the Princes had no intention of harming religion, but simply wished to defend their liberty, for which they asked the help due to them by the terms of their alliance from the King of Great Britain and the States of the Low Countries. He thanked the king for the embassy to Germany, but let it be understood that if the ambassadors proposed that the Palatine should lay down the crown of Bohemia, they would not be listened to.
Paris, the 28th April, 1620.
[Italian.]
April 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
333. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Chancellor and Puisieux have complained to the English ambassador about what occurred in England in the dispute about precedence between the Ambassadors of France and Spain at the prince's recent tournament, making a grievance because France did not receive the pre-eminence absolutely. The ambassador replied that there was no reason for dissatisfaction because his king had given the French ambassador his choice of a place. He added that they could not pretend here that the King of Great Britain should declare so openly whether France or Spain had the precedence, especially as at this Court the Most Christian never listened to any claims of precedence from England. The two ministers had no answer to these arguments. Apparently the trouble is now over, but really the French ambassador ought not to take offence, because they gave him the choice of a place.
The English ambassador told me that the Chancellor and Puisieux had raised this complaint simply in order to find a pretext for breaking off confidential relations with his king, so that they might not communicate to him the instructions given to the ambassadors, who are going to Germany, either because they may turn out to be favourable to the emperor or to prevent the King of England from intervening to settle these affairs, since the French affect to be the sole pacifiers of Germany and refuse to associate with any one else. These ideas are ingenious and probably not far from the truth.
Paris, the 20th April, 1620.
[Italian: the parts in italics deciphered.]
April 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives
334. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
His Excellency said to me, the Spaniards have the most gallant means in the world to deceive everyone. I must tell you in confidence what I hear from England, of which I think you have received no notice as the matter has passed with the utmost secrecy. A person who knows writes to me that in addition to the marriage negotiations, to divert the King of England from helping his son-in-law, the Spanish ambassador has proposed to him a league of the king his master, his Majesty and France, for the purpose of repressing the republics, which otherwise seem inclined to dictate terms to kings, and he had made the same proposal to the Most Christian when passing through that Court. The matter is serious. You should advise your ambassador in London. If he knows, well and good; if not, it may enable him to countermine these offices. But I pray you, said he, to proceed cautiously, as I tell you this in confidence. He went on to say that some remarks let fall recently by the English ambassador agreed perfectly with this, as he had told me that the king his master had been asked to join with the crown of France, ostensibly for the peace of Germany, but probably to turn him away from others. I told him, said his Excellency, that he would tie his own hands and would thus allow the affairs of his son-in-law to fall into confusion, and it was not a good proposal.
The English ambassador told me recently when he called that his king did not think it would be right to refuse to join with France in an embassy, as he understood that the French did not wish the Princes of the Union to come to blows with the other princes, the Catholics or the house of Austria, so that it might not become a religious question. His king would have the same object, but in the meantime he would not forbid individuals to send money to the King of Bohemia, and he thought a considerable sum of money would be collected this summer; the people who had the matter in hand desired to raise enough to maintain 4,000 foot and 2,000 horse. But your Serenity will have heard this and other particulars from the Ambassador Lando.
The Hague, the 20th April, 1620.
[Italian.]
April 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
335. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The States have gladly heard of the facilities which they understand the King of England has granted for the raising of levies and the collection of money for the King of Bohemia, but they are sorry to hear that he remains practically neutral, and they greatly fear that the Spanish ambassador is deceiving him. They also hear how little the Prince of Wales desires to marry a Spanish princess, and rejoice greatly thereat. The news has reached them not through their ambassador but from another person, in whom they have great confidence. But your Excellencies will know all about these things from the Ambassador Lando, and whether it is true that Gondomar has suggested that the king shall interpose for the extension of the truce.
The Hague, the 28th April, 1620.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
336. To the KING OF GREAT BRITAIN.
The order given by your Majesty to your ambassador at the Porte to continue to favour our interests affords a fresh testimony of your perfect disposition in the present state of affairs at Constantinople. We wish to express our warmest gratitude for this action, which greatly increases our obligations. Our republic will always have the highest esteem for your Majesty.
Ayes, 136.Noes, 2.Neutral, 17.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
337. To the SECRETARY SURIAN at the Hague.
So far no claims have been presented to us about the ship Santa Giustina, and we are waiting to hear before coming to any decision.
We direct you to thank the States for the instructions sent to their ambassador at Constantinople to favour our affairs. The King of Great Britain sent similar instructions to his ambassador at the Porte. We send you a copy of the letter to use where you see it will most benefit our service, not to form a model for others, as we know that you will give this due consideration.
We direct you to see if there are any soldiers of valour and repute in your parts who would come to serve his Serenity, sending us full particulars of all that you consider worthy of our notice.
Ayes, 146.Noes, 4.Neutral, 7.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
338. To the Ambassador with the King of Great Britain.
You have shown great prudence in your behaviour at the coming of the Spanish ambassador, in your reply to Father Maestro his agent, worthily sustaining the reputation of the republic in so important a matter. From what we decided in the occasion of Rome you will understand our wish to treat with Spain in precisely the same manner as with France. Your behaviour when you meet Count Gondomar we leave to your prudence, as everything cannot be foreseen and provided for. Your aim must be to sustain the dignity of the republic, as we feel sure you will, continuing as you have begun.
We have received your letters of the 14th inst. with news of your audience of the king and information about current affairs at Court. We are completely satisfied and specially approve your behaviour towards the ambassador of the King of Bohemia. We have seen the most friendly letter written by his Majesty to his ambassador in favour of our interests, with the declaration of his perfect good-will. We are writing ourselves to thank him. You will present the letters with such remarks as you may judge suitable and opportune.
Ayes, 136.Noes, 2.Neutral, 17.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Lettere.
Venetian
Archives.
339. To the SECRETARY SURIAN at the Hague.
You will see from the enclosed copy what Pasini proposes in this letter of the 27th inst. We direct you to procure information about the quality of the persons, the ships, the goods, what likelihood there is of their abiding by their decision, who are the persons negotiating, and upon what grounds, in short, all the particulars that you can collect. We think you will find the means to do this either where you are or at Brussels. If necessary, you might even enter into negotiations, as the men seem to require a speedy decision. We shall await your reply.
Ayes, 19.Noes, 0.Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Covered
by the
preceding
paper.
340. GIOVANNI BATTISTA PASINI to the DOGE and SENATE.
A cavalier is here at Brussels with full powers to negotiate a matter of some importance. He has already made his proposals to our prince, but without arranging anything, and in the interests of your Serenity I have used every device to prevent him from doing so, and have obtained his promise to wait a month from the date of these presents, which he signed in the presence of Pietro Falgher, Venetian citizen, and Sig. Paulo Franceschi, aFlorentine, and if your Excellencies decide to accept this opportunity I beg you will send orders to Sig. Christofforo Suriano at the Hague.
The affair is this: twenty-four pirate ships, who in the course of some years have cruised in the seas of Africa, Spain and the Indies and in the Red Sea, and have amassed wealth amounting to five or six million crowns in money, jewels and plate, wish to give up their dangerous trade and put themselves under the protection of a faithful prince upon the following conditions. The captains offer to give the prince who receives them a million ducats of 6 lire 4 soldi each, paid down, and a free gift of the twenty-four ships with their armament, ordnance, and munitions, in fact, everything except any merchandise which they may have on board. The ships contain 300 pieces of bronze cannon and no small number of iron pieces, muskets and other things pertaining to war. The men number about 3,000, mostly French and English, some Dutch and 600 negroes, all baptized, not a single Mahommedan. They promise to live like any other subjects of the republic, and submit to all the necessary obligations. If your Serenity will grant them a guarantee the Cavalier promises to take the ships when he may be commanded and land the men, ten or twenty at a time, some in one place, some in another, as your Serenity may desire. They will live in the Catholic faith, the majority being Roman Catholics. Their distribution in the various places will rest with your Serenity. Some, indeed, though few in number, would like to go to a trading place in order to sell the goods they have to the best advantage. When they land they will hand over their arms and munitions and go to the places assigned to them, taking the oath of fealty. If occasion arises they promise to devote their lives for the republic. They may be trusted, as everyone's goods will be in the public hands, so to speak, while many will marry and have children, love for whom will keep them faithful. The republic, in addition to the advantage of the money paid down, the ships, ordnance and munitions, will deserve praise for taking these people from their trade and for rescuing so many lost souls. The Cavalier demands that the republic, as a reward, shall pay him ten per cent. of the money paid down, which is only reasonable.
1620, the 27th April.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Proveditoro
della Armata
Venetian
Archives.
341. ANTONIO CIURAN, Proveditore of the Fleet, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In conformity with your Serenity's orders I have decided to write to the Proveditore Zorzi at Zara, asking him to have the troops of Colonel Peyton in order so that they may be ready to embark and strengthen the two galleys which recently passed from Curzola to Liesina, which greatly need them, and the troops can return to garrison when the present necessity has passed.
The galley at sea off the promontory, the 30th April, 1620.
[Italian.]