Venice
March 1628, 21-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1916

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29-41

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'Venice: March 1628, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 21: 1628-1629 (1916), pp. 29-41. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89179 Date accessed: 22 August 2014.


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March 1628

March 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
40. ALVISE CONTARINI, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have to report a rather important step to conceal the fault in the affair of the intercepted letters. His Majesty referred the question of reparation to the Council. I learned by a separate channel that those members who did not know Italian understood little or nothing about the matter, so I had a plain statement drawn up in English, of which I enclose a copy. The president again brought the matter forward in the duke's presence, and as it could no longer remain concealed as he wished, or be settled save by a satisfactory apology, he devised a remedy, by gaining time. He rose and said it was true that some of my letters had been seized. They were found to contain twenty-four sheets of cipher, a translation of which gave the pith of the government policy, represented in a very unfavourable light. It was my correspondence with the French, and in a matter of this sort they must proceed with caution. In short he took upon himself to give an account of the circumstance to your Serenity, through the Ambassador Wake.
It is evident that this mendacious imposture, after the lapse of two months and more, is merely intended to transfer the matter to Venice, and excuse delay on account of the replies, which will not come until he chooses. In short, these details were communicated to me with the greatest secrecy by a member of the Council, although they were all enjoined to keep the strictest silence about it, for the purpose. I believe, of striking me unarmed. The duke did not condescend to any indication, and did not show the letters, as he would have done had they been translated. Many saw through the trick as a means of concealing and dismissing the business.
I do not know whether the duke will really make them write to Venice, or whether he merely invented this to put a spoke in the wheel. However, I shall persevere, until I have your orders, as I cannot give way when everything is at stake. If he should do so, and Wake attempt to extract poison from the flowers, to propitiate this deity, I will not rely merely on my innocence.
I would remark that the incident shows that the cipher is more necessary than ever. With the advices passing through France, Flanders and Germany, one ought rather to conceal their sores here, where they are so curious, that being the part of a friendly power, and I ought rather to be praised for this. But it suffices to have the approval of your Excellencies; I feel sure that they failed to unravel the cipher, in spite of the duke's boast. It is only my duty to intrude into the pith of their policy, and I only wish I could do it more. Besides they kept their affairs secret, and if I exaggerated to their disparagement, there is no malice. I cannot betray my country, and I only wish it were not the truth. I am sorry that I have not more correspondents in France, in order to be better advised, but I have never written to any French ministers except to the Governor of Calais and Moulins, of which I sent copies to your Serenity. I have proceeded so circumspectly that I even refused to put in my packets the open business letters of the merchants, and when on one occasion I found some, I sent them to the duke, which pleased both him and the king. In any case I am not answerable to anyone but your Serenity. If this had been anything but caprice, the king would not have promised satisfaction. If I had followed Coke's advice about not writing, it would have led me into a trap. But, thank God, I know the humours of this place as well as I know my own wish to be exempted from them. If there had been no cause, the king and the Council would not have taken the steps they did, and I ask you to point out this discrepancy to Wake, and send me a copy of the office performed by him, with orders for me to read it to his Majesty, as I am sure the affair will be brought to light. In the first instance the duke violated the privilege of my packets unknown to the king, who apologised for it.
As an epilogue I repeat that it was a rash, unconsidered act, and now the author is brought to light he would fain conceal it under the ruins of my reputation. I trust your Excellencies will not desert me, as the essence of your service is involved, and it would be fatal to free writing, which will always be in peril without a bold front, especially at this Court. I have no fear of falling or losing my way, and the rebound will only serve to bring into relief the straightforwardness of my behaviour, in a charge too heavy for my poor but earnest capacity.
London, the 21st March, 1628.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
41. Protest of Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Lords of the Council.
In consequence of my complaint about the seizure of certain letters, his Majesty has been pleased to command your Excellencies to make such reparation as the outrage deserves. I judge it my duty to give a statement of the case, so that I may touch on some points in the decree sent to me lately against Edward Ingam.
Owing to the present misunderstandings, the Venetian ambassador at the French Court obtained an order for the republic's despatches to be exempted from the general seizure, and his Majesty here made a like concession to me. I availed myself of this convenience whenever occasion required it, but generally once a fortnight, as your Excellencies know, since you favoured me with a passport from time to time. When the ambassadors of Denmark departed, I consigned a packet to them, supposing it safer on a man-of-war than on a small boat, as many had perished in the storms thenprevalent. But, in order to proceed with perfect sincerity, I accompanied the packet with a passport. When the ambasadors reached Dover the lieutenant there snatched the packet from them by force, in spite of their resistance and deep resentment at this affront, and they sent one of their gentlemen to tell me. At the end of a fortnight this Council favoured me with another passport, and I sent my secretary to Dover, not merely to despatch the letters, but to learn the reason of this violation of the law of nations, of the respect for the most serene republic, and of the word and seal of this Council itself.
The lieutenant was absent when the secretary arrived at Dover, so he addressed himself to the mayor, his deputy, who at first said that the passport was not addressed to him, and then, being puzzled to find an excuse, refused to obey. Finally the lieutenant, being approached by the secretary, ordered the mayor to give the letters free passage, as there happened to be a French boat at Dover which had brought over Colonel Gray, a prisoner.
In spite of all this, when the boat was less than half a mile off, the harbourmaster went out, boarded it, seized the letters, and compelled it to put back. The secretary complained to the mayor, who took a thousand oaths that he knew nothing about it, while the lieutenant's servant, who first brought the fraudulent permit to pass, returned with the stolen letters to his master, a stratagem of war rather than of love, though, after the secretary's remonstrances they were returned and crossed the Channel.
At the same moment a French boat arrived from Calais with another packet of mine, which was similarly seized, and they asked the Dover merchant whom I employed to pay the sailors, not to write to me about it. Both sets of letters were restored to me by the Secretary Coke more than a fortnight afterwards, even those addressed to the doge being opened, as I pointed out to the person who brought them to me. I complained of this to his Majesty, as the republic did not deserve such treatment, and two days after Coke came to tell me on his Majesty's behalf that the seizure took place from suspicion that the French or other enemies a vailed themselves of my name to carry on their correspondence. In reply I vindicated the sincerity of the republic, and said that I should have expected warning of such intention, or at least that the packets would not have been kept so long and my despatches opened. This insinuation troubled me so much that I forgot I was an ambassador and offered to open the packets in the presence of anyone and also to hand over all the letters which had not been sanctioned by the republics' ministers, in which case I should like to see the culprits punished, just as I hoped his Majesty would punish those who invented such slanders. I asked Coke to report accordingly to his Majesty, whilst I would do the like to your lordships. He then added that his Majesty had heard of the opening of the letters with disgust and he would show his displeasure by punishing the culprits. I said I would receive it all as testimony of esteem for the republic, and an earnest of further redress.
I now see that of all the persons concerned the only culprit is considered to be Edward Ingam. According to my information, he was never more than a mere servant, if indeed he is that, of the Lieutenant of Dover; so to dismiss and declare him incapable of holding any place for the future is rather a jest than a punishment. Others tell me he is a person found in order to give some apparent satisfaction. I will not sift this, as for me it suffices that you have found him guilty. In that case I am sure you will punish him as the outrage deserves. Imprisonment is inadequate. The common law prescribes maiming for such offences against individuals, so for violation of letters of state a capital penalty would be slight. If it be objected that the Council is not accustomed to deal in punishments of such sort, I answer that it can command other judges to execute the sentence. You have already declared him guilty so that atonement may be made, and any pardon must depend entirely on the republic.
I point out these things as the duty of my position and due to the state. I always represent matters in such a way as to augment mutual regard, but in such a matter it would be injurious to this kingdom itself to give scant satisfaction, and I cannot waive my just claims without doing notable prejudice to all crowned heads and their ambassadors.
[Italian.]
Enclosed in
the preceding
despatch.
Charles R.
Trusty and well beloved, we salute you:
The lord ambassador of Venice resident here with us, having made a motion to the effect that no messenger employed by him, going or coming with his letters, be stopped, whether in French or English boats, and we having been pleased to gratify him in this matter, our will and pleasure is that all persons employed in this affair, carrying the due certificate from that ambassador, and not conveying other letters than his, be allowed to go and come in boats of any sort, French or English, not stopping the French boats nor molesting the crews on this account, during their necessary sojourn, as often as they shall be employed, and this will serve for your order.
Given at our Court of Theobalds, the 3rd March, 1627, the third year of our reign.
To our well beloved and faithful Sir John Hippisley, Lieutenant of Dover Castle; to the mayor, searchers and all other officials of the port of Dover and to all the admirals, vice-admirals and others, our subjects who command at sea, and to all whom it may concern.
[Italian; copy, translated from the English.]
March 21.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
42. The French ambassador came into the Collegio and said among other things:
His Majesty has always shown himself well disposed to the common cause. He would be willing to rest content with the glory he has won by his victory over the English if they will accept what is reasonable and not risk further losses. Several ships prepared by them to succour La Rochelle have perished and their nearest allies are feeling the mischief of their persistence. The king would offer no obstacle to interposition, that of the republic in particular.
With respect to the allusion to the French and Spanish fleets, the king's victory was due, after God, to his own arm alone. The fleet of the Catholic only appeared when everything was over, and when news subsequently arrived of the coming of fresh ships from England, Don Federigo di Toledo hurriedly went off. This showed the nature of the appearance of the Spaniards, he could not call it succour. For the future his Majesty would rely solely upon his own power for the completion of the undertaking.
In reply the doge said that they rejoiced at his Majesty's successes and desired him every increase of greatness. For this reason they would gladly see him reconciled with England, and their ambassadors would take advantage of every opening.
[Italian.]
March 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
43. To the Ambassador in France.
You have acted with the necessary vigour in your negotiations with the king and Arbo about a reconciliation with England, and by insistence you have obtained an opening. You will encourage this in every possible way. The affairs of Italy will give a great impulse to this. We send you the reply of Avaux and our offices. You will impart them to the king and ministers, and if his Majesty is not at Paris you will go to him at the camp. You will point out to him how the Spaniards profit by the disunion between the crowns. The question of who is to ask for peace first might be arranged by the mediators, so that it could be done simultaneously. You can suggest this and obtain their consent. You will advise the Ambassador Contarini of the reply, to see if this initial difficulty can be removed. The most thorny point is about the inclusion or exclusion of the Rochellese. You will watch events, so that if that enterprise proves impossible or lengthy and if the king seems tired of it, you may insist the more strongly in your persuasions, so that his Majesty, of his good nature and zeal for Christendom, may be disposed to pardon his subjects and thus confer the greatest boon on the public safety and tranquillity, and make his kingdom as formidable as it was under his father Henry the Great.
You will inform the Ambassador Contarini of everything that occurs that may throw light and assist the affair, but always with the precaution of the cipher. You will send your reply with special diligence.
Ayes, 166.Noes, 2.Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
March 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
44. To the Ambassador in England.
We enclose copies of what Zorzi obtained from the Most Christian, of our replies to him and to Holland and of Wake's last exposition. The affairs of France, Italy and Flanders and the great progress of Spain and the victories of Austria should urge the kings of France and England to peace and reunion. The French will not consent to another power interposing between the Most Christian and his subjects. They also think that as the English attacked them, England should be the first to speak of reconciliation and peace. Discussion and offices seem to be reduced to these two points. It is not denied that the English king was not interested in the last agreement with the Rochellese. There are many things in treaties which prove difficult to carry out, and if they are rigorously insisted upon, the general purpose is generally not realised. It is only natural that every prince should desire to be master in his own house. A bad example might even injure his Majesty's own realms. Amid so many accidents the emperor and Spain continue to progress both by land and sea, and increase the loss and subjection of the Palatine, the hurt of Denmark and the peril of Holland. His Majesty should consider that under these circumstances the wisest and safest course is to give up his differences with France. We believe that the King of France will welcome, not avoid, a peace with England, and welcome it with so great a king, as the bonds of relationship and those of mutual interests urge him to do.
We have already written several times upon the subject, and you have acted as required. Whenever you have audiences and meetings with the king and ministers you will employ all your powers to advance the negotiations for peace, with remarks adapted to the occasion, for the benefit of the common service.
Ayes, 162.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
March 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
45. To the Ambassador at the Hague.
Amid the troubles of Italy and Holland and the prospect of greater enterprises on the part of Spain, and the successes of the Austrians in Germany, nothing is more desirable than peace between France and England. The replies of the Most Christian to the offices of our Ambassador Zorzi were not so far off what is desirable that we may not hope for some relief from trouble. The Secretary Arbo also spoke calmly on the subject. France will not consent to any other power interfering between the Crown and its subjects, and they want England to take the first steps towards reconciliation. The offices of the States have always been warmly and successfully applied, and you will urge them to continue to advocate an adjustment which is so helpful and necessary in the present state of affairs to the parties chiefly concerned and their friends. We shall not desist from the most energetic representations everywhere and may God favour our good intentions. Every one should act vigorously for the support of their own and the general safety and liberty.
Ayes, 162.Noes, 0.Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
March 24.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Esposizioni,
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
46. The French ambassador was summoned to the Collegio and the deliberation of the Senate of the 23rd was read to him. He spoke as follows:
I believe that your Serenity's offices will relieve if they do not heal the present troubles ... I will forward to his Majesty the most prudent considerations contained in the Senate's deliberation.
In the Hall of the Pregadi the ambassador took notes of the office with a minuteness unusual with him. He remarked that the Ambassador Zorzi had suggested to the king a reconciliation, leaving out the Huguenots, adding that without this he did not see how anything could be expected, as the king was too much committed to the enterprise of La Rochelle.
[Italian.]
March 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Svizzeri.
Venetian
Archives.
47. GIROLAMO CAVAZZA, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the DOGE and SENATE.
It is confirmed from every side that in the diet held at Lubeck the Hanse towns, in consideration of the great interests of their citizens, trade and credits in Holland, Denmark, Sweden and England, have decided not to supply succour to Caesar against Denmark. Wallenstein has decided to press them hard, as all attempts against that Crown will prove fruitless if they cannot do anything at sea.
Zurich, the 25th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Savoia.
Venetian
Archives.
48. FRANCESCO CORNER, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The French here declare that La Rochelle is completely shut in. They are only afraid that the March winds may break the mole, but that 24 ships are ready to regain what is lost. Nevertheless, they hope that the king will give ear to the negotiations for peace with England, and some are on foot, but all depends upon La Rochelle. So soon as that is taken the king will make peace, and so France will have all her forces to help her friends.
Turin, the 26th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
49. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
My secretary has returned from Amsterdam and reports that the merchants have made no change this year about the trade with Leghorn, but continue as they have done for thirty years, sending the ordinary fleet there with two ships for Venice. In conversation with the merchants he learned that they would like to have the same freedom at Venice for exporting as for importing their goods; as it often happens that the goods do not find so good a sale as they would like, and they think it strange that they should not be able to take them away, because they often suffer loss, having to sell at a low price.
The secretary also reports that they have an eye on the port of Villafranca, to which, in particular, the English incline and it might happen, from their connection with the merchants here, for trade and for safety that the fleets of both nations would unite for that mart.
The Hague, the 27th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Signori
Stati.
Venetian
Archives.
50. GIOVANNI SORANZO, Venetian Ambassador in the Netherlands, to the DOGE and SENATE.
Owing to the repeated offices of the French ambassador for a passport Carleton decided to make a remonstrance here. He stated that if they allowed France the free export of munitions of war, his king would have to look to it that no vessels of the kind should leave these ports, because the Most Christian had no other enemy than his master, and so all the provisions must be against him, and it was not reasonable that this state should supply means for attacking a friend and ally. But as the same arguments apply to the provisions which the English wish to make, he has forestalled the objection by saying that besides France his king is at war with Spain, the enemy of this state, and so they ought not to be so strict, because it is all for the common service.
In spite of this the French ambassador told me that he hoped to obtain the passport, and I conjecture that they are thinking here of allowing both crowns facilities for taking munitions, so far as it does not prejudice their own needs. This will be the only way to rid themselves of so many disputes, if they can manage it. I fancy they will find it difficult, owing to the ticklish nature of the business, and because the people incline much more to England, on the score of religion. I say this because the people cry out about not succouring La Rochelle, and Carleton himself told me recently that by not helping the Huguenots the States are tacitly supplying the means to subjugate them, and once that is done we shall see they will affect the name of Catholic as much as the Spaniards themselves.
This Carleton is taking leave, although he will not depart before Carlisle arrives. I cannot find that that earl has any business to transact here. Carleton told me he would go by Brussels, but his direct route would be through Lorraine. He will also go to Venice after a long while, which he is very anxious to see. Nothing further passed, despite all my efforts. I think this voyage of curiosity, on the pretext of affairs, is to escape from parliament, and for the same reason Carleton does not like being recalled. He is a prudent man, who knows the abuses and disorders and that to follow is a necessity for those who wish to hold any reputable post nowadays. He fears the danger of the duke and therefore is not sure of his own position. I observe his perplexity, because he does not speak with frankness either of peace or war. He seems to think that the next two or three months will be spent in fruitless negotiations.
There is a rumour here that the Queen of England is enceinte; Carleton himself said the first word about it to me, though I have had other hints.
Bad news comes from Stadem, as General Morgan writes that he is reduced to such straits that they are eating horse flesh. Accordingly, they foretell the imminent fall of that important place, which will be a notable success for the imperial arms.
The Hague, the 27th March, 1628.
[Italian.]
March 30.
Consiglio di X.
Parti Comuni.
Venetian
Archives.
51. That the process drawn upon the complaint made by the ambassador of Great Britain against Pasqualin Alberti, (fn. 1) for theft made upon cases of silk cloth which Lawrence Hidde, English merchant, was sending to those parts, which goods came into other hands and have been consigned to this Hidde, who has received full satisfaction, as he has acknowledged before the chiefs of this Council, be referred to the Lords of Night at the Criminal, so that they may take such steps as they see fit against the said Alberti.
Ayes, 18.Noes, 2.Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Venetian
Archives.
52. To the Ambassador in England.
The continuation of the quarrels between France and England becomes more and more hurtful to the public cause and the welfare of Christendom. We enclose the expositions of Senator Ro from Milan. You will see how they cover violence under a show of reasonableness. What we are writing to the Hague will show you that the republic realises the need of saving that province and labours to that effect. By now you should have received satisfaction about the letters. In that case it will be most necessary for you to have a special audience of the king to urge upon him the pressing need for remedies at the present time in the critical position of the public cause, awaking his Majesty to the consideration of the great advance in the power of the House of Austria in Germany, France and Italy. The crowns of the emperor and Spain are united not only by blood but by interest, objects, correspondence and arms. One sees how much union helps them and other kings should cultivate theirs. Emulation, necessity, the danger of loss should combine to urge upon his Majesty a composition with France. The point of protecting the Rochellese is the one that involves difficulties, and the chief object must be to smoothe away this while things are so upside down. The Spanish forces have made attacks on England at times when Germany was more free, the emperor less confident of Poland, more uneasy about the Turkish frontier and the dominion of Spain in Italy less consolidated, so the greater powers in their prudence must consider their own dangers, not only those of their neighbours, and try and counterbalance these forces by friendly union. You will prudently advance these considerations to the king, expressing our affection and esteem and our desire to see two such great kings reunited, who should rejoice to attend to their own and the common service. From our letters to Holland you will see the orders for commanders and levies. You will do the same, sending us the most detailed advices so that we may be able to decide what is necessary.
Ayes, 169.Noes, 0.Neutral, 8.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Terra.
Venetian
Archives.
53. Whereas Captain John Thomas, a Scot, offers to levy a company of 200 Ultramontanes to serve under him, and he is experienced, brave and trustworthy, having served previously in the Valtelline with a company which was disbanded; that he be charged to make a company of 200 Ultramontanes, who are not at present in our service or deserters therefrom, to be assembled at Verona upon the usual terms. That a month's pay be given him for levying the troops, to be paid to him as they arrive and are enrolled, and he is bound to present the whole number at a single muster.
Ayes, 152.Noes, 8.Neutral, 22.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
54. ZORZI ZORZI, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
I have various indications that a treaty of peace is going forward between France and England, managed by base and private persons, not yet known. I cannot make sure of this, however, or discover the origin, as it is still obscure and in confusion, although for several days past I have been making observations. It is said that the English promise to abandon La Rochelle and the party of the reformers. If that was arranged and the point settled I do not think an agreement would be difficult. I have some suspicion that the person may be Borbonoys, who took Montagu a few months ago. Although a senator of the king he is really a Lorrainer and anxious to regain the favour of his natural prince. They declare he has gone to England, not only to induce them to agree to the conditions upon which France is willing to release Montagu, but to perform this greater service to the cause, and to prop himself by both sides in order to reestablish his threatened fortunes. But all this is mere talk in the air, which wise men discount. I only need to report my certainty that upon such conditions they would readily embrace peace with England here, and would at the same time give the Duke of Lorraine every satisfaction.
Paris, the 31st March, 1628.
[talian.]
March 31.
Cinque Savii
alla
Mercanzia.
Risposte.
Venetian
Archives.
55. Your Serenity directs us to report about the ships going to Leghorn and what we think should be done. We think it very difficult to divert ships and goods from going to a convenient place with natural advantages, and if such places concede privileges and other advantages, it is impossible, as trade always flows where the merchants find the best market for their goods. Leghorn enjoys both these advantages, as it is conveniently situated for ships coming to Italy from England, Flanders and the West and the privileges granted there could not be greater, as every one can lade goods there without paying any duties, store them in magazines and remove them at pleasure to take where they wish.
It is clear that the bulk of the cloth goes to the Levant, where it finds a ready market in the Turkish dominions. An additional advantage is that as soon as the ships arrive they find purchasers competing for their entire cargoes, who pay them ready money, which is a very great inducement; and the goods are then transmitted by barges to Naples, Sicily, Apulia, and even Lombardy, to the prejudice of your Serenity.
On the other hand the ships which come here have a longer and more difficult voyage, they pay the anchorage and import duties on their goods, and if they want to take them elsewhere, they must also pay export duty, while they are forbidden to take them to the Levantine ports, which are reserved for Venetian and Levantine merchants only. They cannot sell their goods so readily, and the masters find great difficulty in hiring out their ships.
This disparity shows the impossibility of diverting trade from Leghorn. But the concessions made by your Serenity in 1626 have benefited your Serenity, as a much greater quantity of salt fish has come than before, and the reduced duties have brought an increase of a fourth to the revenue.
We consider it necessary to continue the abatement of half the export duty on salt fish, and that it should be extended to what is exported by land, encouraging the merchants to bring it. The captains rarely bring that alone, but other goods as well, to the benefit of the import duties.
It would also be advantageous for the retail sale of the salt fish to be regulated.
The decision relieving foreign ships from obtaining special permission at their departure has been a relief to merchants, but it would give a great impulse to foreigners if every one could hire foreign ships at pleasure. The prohibition to hire such ships has done very great harm, and our merchants try by various pretexts to use them still, either because they consider their capital more safe in them or because they get greater advantages. Your Serenity is continually harassed with petitions for permission to hire foreigners.
We therefore recommend that every one shall be allowed to lade goods on ships as he pleases, but that goods laded on Venetian ships shall pay one-fifth less duty and those laded on foreign ships shall pay two-fifths more than at present. This will bring a considerable increase of revenue, encourage the building of ships and foreign ships will come more readily, when they can be hired. But those ships must still bring their entire cargoes to this city if they wish to be permitted to lade, and they shall find security that consulage on the goods shall not be paid to any but your Serenity's representatives. There should also be greater facilities for merchants for getting their cases out of the office of export, which now takes a very long time, and the duty is often less burdensome than the time thus lost. We recommend that the system be simplified, and that one sole payment be made. To avoid loss to the revenue, 2 per cent should be added to the export duty up to 30 ducats, 1½ up to 50 and 1 above that amount.
Care must be taken at the same time not to prejudice the Levant trade while encouraging that of the West. In earlier times it was the chief foundation of this mart, which supplied all Germany with spices, now supplied by the English and Flemings and even sent through the warehouses of this city, while the English and Flemings also supply spices, indigo, &c., to Italy through Leghorn and other marts, where they pay less duty and therefore can sell for less than ours do. Accordingly we cannot compete with the foreigners. Whereas large caravans used to come to the Levant marts, they have now ceased to find ready sale and sell their goods on the coast to the English and Flemings, who have found an easy route to the East Indies. If regulations were made here that Venetian merchants should have the advantage over foreigners that the State has always desired, the Venetians at least would not be under heavier burdens than the westerners and might compete better, and this would be better than selling at home and a great advantage to the state.
Z. CapelloSavii.
Iseppo Ciuran
Andrea Dolfin
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Made by Wake on the 12th February. See No. 744 at page 591, in the preceding volume of this Calendar.