Venice
September 1620, 11-20

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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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395-409

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'Venice: September 1620, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16: 1619-1621 (1910), pp. 395-409. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=88767 Date accessed: 25 October 2014.


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September 1620

Sept. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
535. To the Ambassador in England.
The Grisons, together with the Swiss of the two towns, reached the neighbourhood of Bormio and after a long skirmish drove out the troops of the Valtelline rebels and Spaniards from a very strong entrenchment they had constructed, thus rendering themselves masters of the territory of Bormio, the enemy losing heavily, including two Spanish captains. This conquest is important, because it opens the only pass which remained to the Grisons and Swiss to enter the Valtelline, by which also they can go from our territory to their own. Consequently the Grisons must use all diligence to keep it open, so that the valley may eventually be reduced to its pristine condition.
On receiving the news we decided to fully publish our good will towards the general liberty, and directed our Proveditore Paruta to send and recognise the Swiss and Grison band, assuring them of our friendly feeling and encouraging them to devote their efforts to keeping the pass. We also directed him to supply them with men, arms, munitions and provisions sufficient for their needs. We shall continue to follow the main lines of our policy, namely the free restitution of the Valtelline to the Grisons and the confirmation of peace and of the common liberty.
We direct you in particluar to communicate this to his Majesty and the ministers when you find a suitable opportunity, with the considerations necessary in the circumstances, showing that the holding of this pass is at present the leading consideration, as a step to further progress. You will add that the republic will not neglect to play her part, although she cannot bear the burden alone. However, she is doing her utmost to help the Grisons and good results may be expected, although the Spaniards and Leopold constantly increase their forces. We are sorry for the delay in reaching that Court of letters from Turin, seeing that the king is very well disposed in this question, and as he is exchanging good offices with the Duke of Savoy, as we are advised by the Ambassador Pesaro, we are sure that they will produce a good effect upon the king's mind.
The like, mutatis mutandis, to the Ambassador Trivisano at the Hague, saying instead of the last paragraph:
You will inform the States of the aforesaid particulars, saying that the republic is doing her utmost though she cannot bear the burden alone, while the Spaniards and Leopold are constantly augmenting their forces. You will say the like to Prince Maurice in the form of confidence. You will also keep up the usual confidence with the Ambassador Carleton of England, informing him of these events, so that he may be the better disposed to receive them in a proper manner, to interest himself and make suitable representations to his Majesty.
That word be sent to the Secretary Suriano that if the Ambassador Trivisano has not arrived he shall open the present letters and carry out the instructions contained therein.
Ayes, 184.Noes, 4.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Sept. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
536. ANZOLO CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The king left yesterday for Bordeaux with 10,000 foot, eight pieces of artillery and 2,000 horse. He proposes to compel the Huguenots of Bearne to restore the ecclesiastical goods which they hold and to take an equivalent which he offers in exchange. He will not go to la Rochelle in order not to give offence to the Huguenots. He is acting thus by the advice of the Prince of Condé, who hopes in this way to maintain himself in credit. He has incited the king's mind against the Huguenots telling him that they wish to form a republic within the kingdom. Some say, however, that the Prince of Condé, in order not to lay down his arms, is going to the conquest of Navarre. It would be a desirable stroke, but I see no sign of it. The English ambassador has given a fillip to this as in making representations in favour of those of the religion in the name of his king, with respect to these very affairs of Bearn he said to the king, the ministers and the Prince of Condé, that if they wished to go to Bearn with an army they should go not to stay there but to proceed further, wishing to indicate Navarre.
The same English ambassador told me of the mission previously performed by the Prince of Condé to the king his master to negotiate a marriage between madame here and the prince. He said that negotiations were proceeding and certainly the marriage with the Spanish princess would never take place. The ambassador told me all this in the strictest confidence. He imposed the strictest secrecy upon me and also wished me to promise on my word as a gentleman that I would not write about it to your Serenity. It is perfectly clear that these negotiations have been promoted by the Prince of Condé in order that the marriage with Soissons may not take place. I may add that neither the Count nor the Countess of Soissons has been to see the king, pretending to be offended about the marriage, and they are greatly enraged against Condé.
The king has notified all the ambassadors that he does not wish to trouble them to follow him to Bordeaux.
Poitiers, the 11th September, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
537. To the Ambassador in Spain.
About the fourth hour of the 10th inst. one Prospero Colonna left the house of some kinsmen in Canaregio to return to his own, a short distance away, with his wife and other ladies. On arriving near the bridge of San Gios they met three persons of the house of the Spanish ambassador, who had been passing before his house some evenings before. They threatened to kill him with pistols, telling his wife to go away as they had nothing to do with her. At Colonna's cries several persons gathered to his assistance, and told the others to hold, but they came even nearer, firing eight shots, whereby two of those with Colonna were wounded, one mortally. On hearing this, the people arose and followed the three authors of the commotion, and though they continued to fire, they were overtaken and wounded with cold steel, one being killed. On the following morning the ambassador sent his secretary to ask the Council of Ten to enquire into the matter and cause justice to be done. He was told that one of the Avogadori di Commun had already been sent to take particulars, after which justice would undoubtedly be done, and from the information the particulars recorded above were found to be true. Of this we thought it necessary to inform the said ambassador, saying how sorry we were at what had happened, and that we would give every satisfaction, while we felt sure that he would also be grieved at the action of his people in the affair, without which it would not have happened, and that he should take the opportunity to keep his people within proper bounds and so remove the occasion for similar accidents in the future.
We have sent this for information so that if any one speaks to you on the subject, or if you hear the facts misrepresented, you may use it for the benefit of our service.
The like to:
Rome, France, England, Savoy, Germany, Florence, Milan, Naples, The Hague.
Ayes, 178.Noes, 0.Neutral 10.
[Italian.]
Sept. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
538. ZUANE PESARO, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Letters of credence have come for the Resident of England here declaring him resident for the King Palatine at this Court. Hitherto he has treated those affairs as dependent upon the affairs of his father-in-law, but now he will act as the special servant of his Majesty.
Turin, the 15th September, 1620.
[Italian.]
Sept. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
539. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I spoke in the assembly about the affair of the Grisons on Saturday morning. I also told the Ambassador Carleton of what had taken place there, as a confidential communication. He seemed very pleased and at my request promised to urge his king to make a strong declaration; he said he would do so that very day, and would also recommend the affair to their High Mightinesses here.
The English ambassador told me that he had written to the king yesterday on the subject. He had related the facts without entering upon further considerations, but he would make the representations that the matter required in this next despatch by way of Middelburg. But if the States remain so perplexed and irresolute I fear that monarch, in conformity with his nature, will only too readily follow their example.
One of the leading men here remarked to me, This Carleton quite understands the affairs of Germany and what ought to be done there, for Bohemia and also for the Swiss and Grisons, but he does not understand his king so well, who persists stubbornly in not declaring himself for his son-in-law. I rejoined that as the States understood the King of England better they ought to be able to come to some good resolution for the common welfare.
The Hague, the 15th September, 1620.
[Italian.]
Sept. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
540. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Giovanni Battista Pasini arrived here yesterday to speak about the pirates. He said that they could not promise for three or four to go to Venice, and they want an absolute indemnity, and the Viscount de Lormes said the same by letter. The benefit promised to trade is certain and the advantages for your Serenity are not despicable. The patents for a grant of a pension to Pasini have reached me. When I told him he shed tears of joy.
The Hague, the 15th September 1620.
[Italian.]
Sept. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
541. CHRISTOFFORO SURIAN, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Last Wednesday Prince Henry set out from camp with 36 companies of cavalry and the 2,400 English of Vere. At Juliers he should pick up 350 musketeers, veterans from the garrison, giving him about 3,000 foot. For the convenience of these he has 200 waggons in which they take it in turns to ride. It is not known whether these waggons will cross the Moselle, by which they are to enter the Palatinate, according to accounts.
The Englishman Morgan, who went on to hearten the Princes, was also to tell them to be ready to send to meet Prince Henry with from 2 to 3,000 horse. They do not say when he will return, but he will probably wait to see how matters are going, will encourage the Princes to prevent Spinola from crossing, and return when summoned home.
The Hague, the 15th September, 1620.
[Italian.]
Sept. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
542. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I set forth to the Secretary Naunton what your Excellencies commanded me in your letters of the 21st ult. upon the necessity of the Grisons to withdraw and abandon Sondrio, owing to the constant supply of troops, munitions, money and everything else by the Spaniards to the rebels. Thus the rebels remain in complete possession of the valley, having also occupied Nova and the ridge of Chiavenna, with an attempt to take that place also. I referred to the preparations of the Swiss of Berne and Zurich, the plans in opposition of the other Catholics of the same nation and the artifices and disseminations of discord in order to kindle still further the conflagration of war in those parts, which was very near an outbreak. I added that your Excellencies had not failed and would not, to play your part, by encouraging and helping the Grisons and Swiss in events of such great moment. Once more I urged upon him the gravity of the case, and how necessary it was that the great power and influence of his Majesty should be brought to bear without delay to preserve the general liberty, which ought to concern all the powers. I begged the secretary not only to impart all this to the king in a suitable and impressive manner, but to suggest to him how necessary it is that, without too much inconvenience he should favour me with an audience and receive from his own lips those replies and resolutions which are hoped and expected from the zeal he always cherishes for the universal weal and for the peace of Italy and from his desire to see justice prevail in everything and from his inveterate and profound experience.
He answered that he would fully respond to my request, knowing the need to be great and urgent, and he would give me his Majesty's reply in the fullest detail. He afterwards told me that all the ministers of his Majesty, even from the Hague, wrote to him upon the importance and the consequences of these events, which the king fully recognised and made many suitable considerations for them for the affairs of Germany and Bohemia also, and indeed for Italy notwithstanding the fact that he is on the other side of the mountains. From Turin Wake in particular advised what I had represented, adding that the Lords of Berne and Zurich had recommended themselves to him, begging for the help and protection of his Majesty for religion and liberty in the interests of the whole world; that for his own part he had not failed to perform good offices, encouraging them and exhorting them to defend the Grisons. But he desired and asked for some larger royal commissions, so that he might the more readily earn the favour and satisfaction of his master and be able to act more freely. Perhaps this may incite his Majesty to do more than he has hitherto.
The secretary told me afterwards in the course of conversation that the Ambassador Pesaro had made very full representations to the duke upon these subjects, that his Highness seemed most strongly moved by these proceedings, and he hopes to see results corresponding to his words. However, he feared that he cherished some fresh designs upon Geneva, while the Governor of Milan had left no stone unturned to draw him over to his side, chiefly upon the point of religion, hinting that now is the moment to carry out his ancient plans and he would help him. After saying many things about the differences between the King of France and his Highness, and other things with which I should only weary your Excellencies since you will have heard them from the proper source, he told me that the Ambassador Pesaro had made very friendly representations to the Agent Wake to induce him to write home as he did, to beg his Majesty in the name of your Serenity to reflect upon the importance of the freedom of the Grisons, the Swiss, Italy and of the whole world in the present state of affairs, and to meet these necessities with decision worthy of his great power and prudence, declaring himself in favour of the Grisons and liberty, of the opening of that important pass and especially of the most serene republic if the Spaniards should attempt anything as a diversion, as it seems that they cherish designs against your Serenity. If any reply is given to this, I will try to get it and send word.
I also spoke very strongly about the same affairs to the Secretary Calvert, who arrived here from the Court the day before yesterday, as the Court is now beginning to draw near to these parts. I did my utmost to move him in a cause which touches your Excellencies so nearly. He told me that his Majesty had grown somewhat cold in the matter owing to the latest news received from which they derive hopes of a favourable issue. He suggested this might be the moment to kindle him again. But from what I have been able to gather from every one here and from my observations and a thousand and one considerations, I fear that the most that can be expected at this moment is diplomatic representations, and the permission to enlist troops in this kingdom. And this will be thought no small thing as they are doing but little more for the king's own children.
The Spanish ambassador here is showing a letter of the Duke of Feria in which he writes that in the first disturbances of the Grisons he assisted the Catholics, but that since then he has done nothing further, as he has no orders from his Catholic Majesty.
London, the 17th September, 1620.
[Italian.]
Sept. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
543. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The Ambassador of Bohemia has left the Court with scant satisfaction. His requests for a larger declaration and greater help in the name of the king his master and of the United Princes, have been listened to with impatience and treated even worse. The king told him Nil dictum quod non dictum prius, and subsequently when the ambassador received no further reply and showed some importunity to have one, the king gave orders to Calvert to answer him in a letter, recapitulating from the beginning all his negotiations and all that his Majesty has done to the present moment for his son-in-law and the princes. This was carried out very sharply, and accordingly the ambassador in a few well weighed words has expressed his resentment also very sharply. (fn. 1) This has not pleased the king at all, who is beginning with open expressions to show his dissatisfaction with that minister. At the same time there is no limit to the number of diabolic inventions to throw him into disgrace and discredit, in order to deprive him of the credit and affection not only of his Majesty but of the people and nobles also, more particularly the imputation that he is about to make himself the leader of a great party with far reaching objects. Accordingly at the present moment he needs more to defend himself than to help others, and to this end he must devote all his thoughts, which previously were engaged in the interests of his master. From this it arises that although he feels very strongly about the affairs of the Grisons, in which I have endeavoured to encourage him, believing myself thereby to be serving your Excellencies, he has no opportunity of devoting much attention thereto, believing the minor matter of greater moment, and there being no chance of attending to everything. However, I hope that some kind of success will be produced by the office performed by your Excellencies with the Agent of Bohemia.
The king now lets it be understood that the marriage is arranged and expresses his displeasure with those who show any signs of not believing it. The ministers who do not want it say, his Majesty says it is arranged just as those who desire it say: We believe it is arranged, and on this side nothing remains to be done indicating that it now depends absolutely upon the Spaniards, and that nothing is lacking save the pope's dispensation. The generality, however, including the most prudent cannot believe it and consider it farther off than ever, not only from realisation but even from being arranged. (1l Re hora si lascia intendere che il matrimonio è concluso e mostra dispiacere di quelli che danno segno di non crederlo. Quelli ministri che non lo vorrebbono dicono Sua Maestà dice ch'è fatto, come quelli che lo gustano; noi crediamo che sia fatto, e per questa parte nulla vi resta, accennando, che hora dependa assolutamente da Spagnoli, et che altro non manchi che la dispensa del Pontefice; l'universale tuttavia con li più prudenti non puo crederlo, e lo stima più che mai lontano, non solo dall efettuatione ma dalla conclusione anchora.)
The secretary of the Spanish ambassador does not return and Lord Digby does not start, and so it seems that they no longer discuss the time either of the return of the former or of the departure of the latter. By the fame of this marriage, about which the Archduke Leopold recently questioned the Ambassador Wotton with great curiosity, the Count of Gondomar keeps increasing the number of his followers, no less by threats than by hopes, and also carrying his point by bribes. It often happens that power induces a lack of moderation. Thus four days ago when he went to call upon the Secretary Naunton, as a mark of distinction and in order to recommend to him the interests of certain individuals, subjects of the Archduke, he began, out of all reason, to make complaint against him, breaking out angrily into threats and loud words in a manner ill becoming a minister of long experience, desiring in short to obtain by rigour and sharpness what he could not get by milder methods. The secretary, who behaved throughout with great calm, wrote to the king about it, and it is incredible that he will take it well, especially as it took place in his own royal palace. (Et come avviene che dalla potenza facilmente resta prodotta la poca moderanza, quattro giorni fa andato alla visita del Secretario Nanton, sotto specie di honore et di raccomandargli gli interessi di certi particolari sudditi del Arciduca, entrò fuori di ragione a dolersi di lui, e proruppe con isdegno poco decente a Ministro d'invecchiata esperienza in minaccie et in parole altissime, volendo in somma ciò che non può ottenere con le dolcezze havere con il rigore e con le asprezze; onde il Secretario sempre portatosi con molta flemma, ne ha scritto al Re, che non è credibile possa ciò intender bene, seguito massime nel proprio palazzo reggio.)
All the twenty ships have passed out of the River Thames and are assembled in the Downs under sail. However they keep postponing their departure. The general has not yet obtained his final leave from his Majesty. Two days ago one of the leading ministers said to me: It is true that they wrote letters to Constantinople and the Pasha of Algiers; but I feel sure that the king does not yet know what is to be done.
News has arrived that the soldiers of Vere with almost the whole of the Dutch cavalry and 2,000 musketeers in waggons, have moved towards the Palatinate with Prince Henry of Nassau. Another minister told me that in case of need they will proceed to Bohemia also. They are volunteers and can go where they please. This is good to hear. But Spinola, having crossed the Rhine again, seems to have the Palatinate as his chief objective, and because of his recrossing and because his troops do not number more than 18 to 19,000 foot and 3 to 4,000 horse, they hope here that he will easily be beaten, although the total effective force aforesaid is not so despicable.
They have received a good account here from the Secretary Gregorio of the friendly relations exchanged between the fleet of your Serenity and that of the Turks. (fn. 2)
Sig. Giovanni Battista Pasini has returned to the Hague to receive from the Secretary Suriano a clear decision as to what is to be done about the pirates. As I have no orders from your Excellencies I have thought it my duty not to meddle in the matter further, although the Secretary Suriano has strongly urged me to do so, both in assisting the affair and in providing Pasini and the Viscount de Lormes with every facility and with instructions. The delay has shown that nothing can be accomplished or obtained without money.
The Viscount has remained here, awaiting the decision or the return of Pasini. He has recently received news of the pirates, which he says is well founded, that they are at present in the Strait in the port of Sus, twenty leagues above the Goletta, to stay there a long while. In that strong position they hope to be able to defend themselves against any fleet whatsoever. This makes it certain that they will be found there. Moreover they will find there every convenience to their heart's content and for many months. The Viscount has offered to me, if your Excellencies consent, to proceed to Venice, and after completing the necessary negotiations there to go and find the pirates. He says he could make the voyage in a few days, and more conveniently by that route. I have sent word of all this to the Secretary Suriano.
London, the 17th September, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 17.
Cinque Savii
alla Mercanzia.
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
544. Whereas Prospero Colombo has shown that foreign ships do not pay the vacanza de'Nobili, for themselves or the merchandise laden therein, and thus enjoy an advantage over Venetian ships, we think your Serenity should impose this charge upon foreign ships for the advantage of yourself and of Venetian ships, which merchants lade so unwillingly at the present time that they sometimes remain six months in this city, to the grave detriment of the owners. We would also recommend the said Prospero for this charge, as he knows all the particulars.
Tomaso Moresini.
Domenico Molin.
Alvise Basadonna.
Francesco Corner.
[Italian.]
Sept. 17.
Inquisitori di
Stato.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
545. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS OF STATE.
Your Excellencies' letters of the 7th and 12th ult. reached me at the same time last week. I maintain my diligence upon the points indicated in mine of the 16th July. I hope soon to obtain full particulars.
On the 7th February I wrote to the Senate that I had in my service a son of Sembenini, collector at S. Maria Mater Domini in our city. His father sent him a letter of Monsig. Alessandro Gatti for one Gio. Domenico Arrigoni, whom he recommended as a page, but I did not want him, I forward copies of the letters, having sent the originals to Venice at the time. As the words in Gatti's letter Vorrei che v'ingegnaste seemed important I determined to make use of them. Accordingly I got Zon my secretary to make a copy of the whole letter in a writing very like Gatti's and got the collector's son to hand it to Arrigoni, hoping to deceive him and obtain a reply. The youth suspected nothing and replied, but once only. I have his letter and send a copy. The words li servicii anchora, etc., concern the same matter.
Some days ago the enclosed sheet reached me. It is one of those, translated specially into Latin, with which the Archbishop of Spalato trades to obtain favour and recognition from his Majesty, the prince and other notables, but this being circulated is not among the most noteworthy, as news of greater weight comes from his house, which is not written. It shows, however, that the author is intelligent and of no ordinary experience. The heading speaks of news from Italy, but the text clearly refers to Venice. Every one says so and they claim to have whole paragraphs of letters taken from the secret archives. The Spaniards in particular publish this abroad and I believe that they intend to strike some blow at the republic, wherefore great circumspection is necessary to avoid falling into error.
I have discovered that the archbishop's letters come enclosed in the packets of the merchants to one Gio. et Samuel delle Fortezze, as in the enclosed note, which is, I am assured, in the hand of one of those merchants. The letters are sent to Venice under the name of Daniel Nys. I hear that letters have not reached the archbishop from Italy for many weeks, except a packet through Sig. Filippo Burlamacchi; from Venice, Geneva or elsewhere. I think it will be a good thing to keep a sharp look out upon the letters to and from him. I am also told that news as heretofore has not issued from the archbishop's house for many days. It is true that the king is in progress, all the nobles and gentlemen are scattered in their country seats until Michaelmas, as is customary here every year, and the archbishop also is away, so perhaps he has not cared to be so frequently advised at a time when he can make no good use of the news. I am also told that he does not receive weighty letters from Venice every week, but only when there is anything of importance.
There is a circumstance which leads me to hope for further particulars. A certain Don Celso Galarato, formerly a Tolentine, who afterwards came here owing to the persecution of his enemies, turned Protestant and entered the archbishop's service as steward. Some months since he fell out with him and has left the house. He proposes to return to Italy and submit to his superiors. This man in speaking to Sig. Gio. Battista Pasini, sent here on affairs from the Hague, told him that the archbishop was advised of our most secret and important affairs, and he knew the source of this information, although the archbishop did not think he knew. Pasini tried to obtain further particulars, but he would tell no more though he promised to give full particulars at Brussels or anywhere else across the water, and things that would amaze him. The promise was solemnly made several times and Pasini hopes that it will be fulfilled. He therefore decided, with my advice, to procure a safe conduct for the man through the nuncio at Brussels. I have received a packet for this Don Celso, which contains nothing but the negotiations for his return to Venice and the certainty of pardon. He is mistrustful, but I have done my best to reassure him.
London, the 17th September, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 17.
Inquisitori di
Stato.
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
546. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS of STATE.
I am most sorry at the information which your Excellencies give me about the apothecary who shows the sign of St. Bernard in the district of Santa Maria Mater Domini, mentioned in my preceding letter, as I know how necessary it is to walk circumspectly at a time when there are so many plots against the republic and especially at this Court where the Spanish ministers are constantly setting traps. I brought Sembenini here at his request and to gratify his father, to whom I was under some obligation. He seems so stupid that I should not credit him with sense enough to do good or harm, indeed I have not known what to do with him, as he spoils every task given to him, so I could only employ him in his capacity of apothecary and in drawing blood. He associates chiefly with women and with some glass-workers of Murano. He is very familiar with the rascally man of Mestre named in Monsig. Gatti's letter. That fellow frequents the houses of the Spanish ambassador and the Agent of Flanders and every place, like almost all the Italians here. He can probably obtain information about all the domestic events here as Sembenini cannot keep anything in. But such things might be said by coachmen and footmen, as an ambassador with thirty persons and more in his house cannot conceal public actions, and I can find out the like at pleasure about any member of the diplomatic corps and any distinguished personage. There is no harm in such public matters becoming known, but secret affairs I conduct so quietly that my secretary alone sees them. I keep my study locked with triple keys and take all other precautions.
I have opened some of Sembenini's letters and some sent to him, but they contain nothing of moment. I will have his room searched and if there is anything in the least degree suspicious I will send word. He does not seem capable of any tricks as he writes badly and with difficulty. I will try and send him back to Venice as he is more trouble than use to me, but I cannot dismiss him at a moment's notice without giving a good reason.
London, the 17th September, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 17.
Inquisitori di
Stati,
Busta 442.
Venetian
Archives.
547. GIROLAMO LANDO, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the INQUISITORS OF STATE.
Lazari left here on the 8th July and returned to France. He is a knight of the order of St. Michael. He has been about to various places as ambassador of the new religion of Knights of the Christian Warfare. (fn. 3) He meddles in the affairs of princes and frequents the houses of ambassadors. When he arrived here his proceedings did not please me and as the Cavalier Badoer was then expected, I kept my spies about him. I only once heard of his going to the Spanish ambassador, but he was continually with France and Savoy, with whom he dealt in extraordinary confidence. The two make a perpetual triumvirate with the Spanish ambassador, who is very suspect to the whole court (perpetuo già molto sospetto alla corte tutta). He dealt with all manner of persons, and after running all through the city with a show of pressing business he betook himself to the lowest resorts, showing that he thought simply of pleasures. He said he had come merely from curiosity to see this kingdom, but he has seen little except London, and he seemed more anxious to hear than to see. He brought many letters of recommendation from great lords in France. This paved the way for him. He also brought letters from Prince Joinville for the king, and this induced his Majesty to speak to me about the prince serving the republic, as I wrote on the 16th May. He said he had only come to stay eight or ten days and he stayed about three months on various pretexts. He finally left London two days before Donato, and went alone to Gravesend, when Donato joined him and stayed two days with some women and merchants. He went on to Dover and crossed the sea alone, Donato crossing a day later from the same place to Calais. It is clear they were acting in concert and Lazari said, Donato wished me to go with him, but I would not join with him here; if he wishes I will join him in France. He often went to see Donato and stayed a long while. He seemed well informed about the interests of Badoer. He seemed very anxious to hear what he could of this house. I tried to get Sig. Gio. Battista Pasini to discover what he came to do in this kingdom. He told Pasini that he proposed to go to Brussels directly out of curiosity, as he was very anxious to see Belmar, the Spanish ambassador, whom he had known at Venice. I have discovered nothing more at present, except that he writes letters to the French Ambassador and to a subject of his Majesty who is a very active spy of the Spaniards, in the pay of the pope, I understand.
London, the 17th September, 1620.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
548. To the Ambassador in England.
In addition to what we wrote last about the affairs of the Valtelline we have to add that after our orders have been sent for affording assistance to the Grisons and Swiss at Bormio to help them to maintain that important post, they advanced without awaiting our forces, towards Tirano, where they engaged the Spaniards, with severe losses on both sides. Thereupon the Swiss and Grisons abandoned Bormio which they might easily have held with our assistance, and have entirely withdrawn, leaving the country absolutely in the hands of the Spaniards, to the grave prejudice of the common liberty.
We send you these particulars to be communicated, in his Majesty's absence to the ministers left behind in charge so that they may let him know as soon as possible. You will lay stress upon the gravity of the affair, the true reasons for the withdrawal of the Swiss and Grisons from that important post not being known, although it is to the grave prejudice of the common liberty. We wish to do everything in our power, and were even sending assistance. You will add that the question is the more worth his Majesty's attention, because we may hope that so great and generous a prince will increase his glory by exercising his prudence, authority and power on this occasion to stop the run of these dangers, which are like to result in the complete loss of the Valtelline under the false pretext of religion.
That the following be written to the Ambassador Trivisano at the Hague:
In representing these events to the States you will point out their gravity. The reasons for the remarkable action of the Grisons and Swiss are not known. But the republic has urged the Swiss to recover the lost position offering them assistance, and we have sent a special mission thither. You will pass the same offices with Prince Maurice, or send the news to him if he is away. You will do the like with the Ambassador Carleton, to interest him the more and incite him to all good offices with his Majesty.
Ayes, 42.Noes, 5.Neutral, 112.
Second vote. Ayes, 30. Noes, 3. Neutral, 124. Pending.
The above letters were again proposed with the addition of the following paragraph:
That the Savii be bound to come to this Council on the first day that they meet, to offer their opinion about the choice of an ambassador extraordinary to the Most Christian King, so that what is judged expedient may be decided in the matter.
Ayes, 52.Noes, 13.Neutral, 92.
Second vote. Ayes, 46. Noes, 12. Neutral, 94. Pending.
[Italian.]
Sept. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
549. To the Secretary Surian at the Hague.
Such is our esteem for the Ambassador Carleton of England and our desire to satisfy him, not only as minister of his Majesty but also for his own sake, that we find no difficulty in meeting his wishes in the matter of Lieutenant Colonel Veer, who by this intercession will thus enjoy the fruit of his desires. You will inform him of this, assuring him that whenever we have an opportunity of showing him our goodwill we shall seize it. If the ambassador Trivisano has departed when you receive the enclosed letters, you will open them and execute the orders contained therein.
Ayes, 42.Noes, 5.Neutral, 112.
Second vote. Ayes, 30. Noes, 3. Neutral, 124. Pending.
The above letters were again proposed with the additional paragraph.
Ayes, 52.Noes, 13.Neutral, 92.
Second vote. Ayes, 46. Noes, 12. Neutral 94. Pending.
On the 19th inst. the aforesaid letters were proposed without the additional paragraph.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 19.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetia
Archives.
550. To the Ambassador in England.
Repeat the information that the Swiss and Grisons have abandoned the post of Bormio without their reasons being known. The news to be communicated to the king's ministers to be imparted to his Majesty.
As from the reply of the French ministers to our Ambassador Contarini it is clear that they consider the republic responsible for the present disturbances, we are much grieved to hear such a wrong view is taken of us, conscious as we are of the rectitude of our motives, and in order to prove our sincerity and our esteem for his Most Christian Majesty, we propose to send an ambassador extraordinary to him. This is for information and to tell to the ministers.
The like, mutatis mutandis, to the Ambassador Trivisano at the Hague, with instructions to give the information to the States and Prince Maurice, and also to the Ambassador Carleton of England, to induce him to perform good offices with his king.
The like, mutatis mutandis, to the resident in Florence.
The following paragraph to Spain, Germany, Milan and Naples:
We wish these particulars to serve you for information, to use as we instructed you in previous despatches.
Ayes, 117.Noes, 1.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Roma.
Venetian
Archives.
551. GIROLAMO SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the audience of yesterday his Holiness spoke to me about heretical preachers who might have arrived in the state of Venice. He complained to me that your Serenity, with all your zeal for religion, should give credit to mere disseminators of schism. I assured him that the Senate had instructed the inquisitors to make diligent enquiry, and if they found anything improper to punish the authors severely. The pope said he had been informed that certain bibles vitiated with heresy had reached Venice. He begged me to write home to see that they should be suppressed. I promised to write and told him that we had two inquisitors charged to watch over the interests of religion. I promised that none of these bibles should be circulated, at which he seemed pleased.
Rome, the 19th September, 1620.
[Italian.]
Sept. 20.
Misc
Cod. No. 46.
Venetian
Archives.
552. HIERONIMO TRIVISAN, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
In the camp of the Prince of Orange last night the English quarter took fire and the lodgments of three companies were burned with the loss of all their arms and the death of a gentleman officer. (fn. 4) The fire was started by a soldier who was taking tobacco, and if there had been a little wind all the rest might have perished the quarters being thatched with very dry straw.
Nimuegen, the 20th September, 1620.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The Bohemian Ambassador Achatius von Dohna, drew up a paper containing the king's objections and his replies, dated 10th September, 1620. This is preserved at the Public Record Office, State Papers, Foreign. Germany, (States).
2 The Turks sent a fleet of sixty galleys into the Adriatic where they landed and captured Manfredonia. Previous to this they had encountered the Venetian fleet under Antonio Barbaro off Corfu, and courtesies were exchanged. The Venetian historian Nani says that since the fall of Osuna, the republic's fleet had been reduced to little more than its normal strength and it was in no condition to offer resistance to the Turks. Historia della Republica Veneta, i., pages 231, 232.
3 See note at page 169 above.
4 R. Lytton in a letter to Carleton from Wesel dated the 22nd September, says that this fire "fell so sore on my Captains' quarters and three others that it carried all before it; one man perished in it, being asleep; other losses were not much." State Papers, Foreign. Holland.