Synopsis of Preface

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Institute of Historical Research

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Rawdon Brown (editor)

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1864

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1-4

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'Synopsis of Preface', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 1: 1202-1509 (1864), pp. I-IV. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=94075 Date accessed: 31 July 2014.


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Synopsis of Preface.

Description of the Venetian archives, p. v.; their contents, p. v.; and extent, p. vi. The Marcian Library, p. vi.; the Correr Museum, p. vii.; also contain State Papers. Design of the present work, p. vii.

First formation of their national archives, p. viii.; earliest existing State Papers; the handwriting of the MSS.; punctuality of dating, p. ix; state of preservation; probable date of the decree for forming the archive. First decrees relating to it that now exist, and their dales, p. x. Increased care of the State Papers. The journals of the different councils change in character with the successive developments of the constitution. The Grand Council, the supreme power in the State, p. xi.; in early days, exercised the sole legislative authority, the Doge and the Minor Council the executive; subsequently the Grand Council delegated much of its power to the Senate; the Minor Council expanded into the “College.” The records of the Minor Council are few, p. xii. The Grand Council continued to register its proceedings to the last nature of its entries. Journals of the Senate multiply fast, p. xiii.; they are arranged under several heads; their titles and contents. The Council of Ten, instituted in 1310, p. xiv.; gradually engrosses the chief control of the State, p. xv. Inquisition of State definitively established in 1539. Papers of these two bodies very numerous and interesting. First mention of Council of Ten in connection with England. First despatch addressed to the Inquisitors of State that relates to England, p. xvi. The decrees relating to archives for the most part proceed from whichever Council at the time takes the lead in the State. No decrees of the other Councils exist relating to the papers of Council of Ten. That body supreme to register or to suppress. Proof of its general care to preserve historical documents. Remarkable instance of suppression. Care in registering and in calendaring very great. Manner in which calendaring was executed by secretaries of the Republic, p. xvii.

Secretaries appointed to take care of archives, p. xvii. Rules to prevent intrusion of unauthorized persons. Patrician historians in connection with archives. Diarists, p. xviii:—the first, Marin Sanuto, self-constiuted; detailed account of his great work, p. xix.; his ultimate employment by the government, p. xx. Annalists and their works, p. xxi.

Notwithstanding all this care, the records much thinned by casualties, p. xxi. First fire did little damage. 2d fire, very destructive, p. xxii.; losses in consequence, p. xxiv. Gaps in the diplomatic correspondence. 3d fire, not less destructive, p. xxiv; French invasion, p. xxvi; Fall of the Republic, xxvii.; new constitution. Subsequent confusion and unauthorized pilfering. Surrender of 500 MSS. by treaty. Pillage of the archives, p. xxviii. Cession of Venice to Austria by treaty of Campo Formio, p. xxix. Removal of certain MSS. to St. Mark's Library. Disputes between the French and Austrian governments with respect to the Venetian MSS, p. xxx. Removal of some of the MSS., Marin Sanuto's Diaries included, to Vienna. Treaty of Presburg; cession of Venice to France. Renewed disputes between the two governments respecting the MSS. Final restitution in 1815, p. xxxi. Copy of Marin Sanuto's Diaries now in the Marcian Library.

Decree for collecting all archives and muniments at the Frari in 1817, p. xxxi. Labour of arrangement and classification, p. xxxii.; the latter described by the Abbate Cadorin, but planned by the director Chiodo.

Chiodo's division into four compartments, according to the subject matter. The infinite network of subordinate divisions an useful study for the historian of Venice, p. xxxiii. Difficulty of rejecting any of the papers from a perusal of their titles only. Instances of miscellaneous information to be found under the least promising heads. The first of Chiodo's four leading divisions, which is headed Political, engrosses the English reader's interest, p. xxxiv. Some account of the classification of those materials which are most likely to be of use to the historian promised in a preliminary table. No general catalogue exists of the State Papers. In the meantime, popular account of the principal sources of information, and mode of using them given in text. The ancient divisions of the papers in the chanceries into secret and ostensible, p. xxxv. The archives of the Council of Ten embrace every subject. Discovery of the correspondence of E. Courtenay, Earl of Devon, p. xxxvi. Their State trials important to the historian; for example, investigation into attempted murder of P. Sarpi by a bravo, who turns out to be a Scotchman, p. xxxvii.

The most fertile source of historical information the diplomatic papers; but the intelligence respecting one country often to be found in the diplomatic papers professedly relating to another. Instances of this, p. xxxviii. Language of the diplomatic papers, p. xl.

The diplomatic papers may be classed under six heads, p. xli.; account of each; the despatches to whom addressed, p. xlii. Except in one set of despatches from England cipher rarely used. The Reports, their origin; their nature; their value; their frequent publication in violation of the law; account of several of these publications, pp. xlii.–xlv. Despatches also got abroad, p. xlvi., though with less frequency. Carte the first English historian who made use of them. Rymer praised by the last Venetian historiographer for his employment of original documents.

Sir H. Ellis's statement that no complete list of English diplomatic agents accredited to any European State has been made out, p. xlvii. Possibility of supplying the deficiency as far as Venice is concerned. List of the authorities in archives from which the information has been obtained, and mode of using them, p. xlvii–xlix. Lists of the ambassadors on both sides, and also of consuls and of the captains of the Flanders galleys, promised in preliminary tables, p. xlix.

Use of such lists, p. l. Instance of this use. Rise of diplomacy, p. li. Early receptions of ambassadors. Reception of an English lady by the College on business. Rules of the Signory respecting their ambassadors, p. lii. First Ambassador from England, and his message, p. liii. The last English Ambassador, and his last official communication. Venetian Ambassadors in England. The first appointment of resident agents, p. liv. By degrees the series became continuous. Interrupted by Henry VIII.'s schism; restored in reign of Edward VI. and Mary, p. lv. No diplomatic agent sent to Elizabeth; her anxiety to renew diplomatic intercourse with the Signory; arrival of a secretary just six weeks before her death, p. lvi.

Rise of the Consular system, p. lvi. Nature of the Consul's office in the first instance. Commencement of English Consulate at Venice, p. lvii. Disputes on the subject. Difficulties respecting the Consulate in consequence of the revolution. Succession of Consuls, p. lviii. Venetian Consuls in England, p. lix. Venetian Consuls in London wholly discontinued after the war with Candia, p. lx. Declension of the trade between the countries inferred from the insignificance to which the consulship in London had sunk. The last mention of Consuls connected with the currant trade; the importance attached to that trade.

Account of the Flanders galleys, p. lxi. They form the first connecting link between the two countries; their first voyage. Various rules and regulations respecting the galleys, their captains, officers, and crews, p. lxii.–lxiv. Their course, p. lxiv. Trade with certain English ports and Flanders. Imports from the Mediterranean and from the East, p. lxv. Sale of Bibles prohibited by the Romish Inquisition, p. lxvi. English exports. Vigilant supervision of the Senate, p. lxvii. The Admiral's commission and responsibility. Turbulence of the times, p. lxviii. Piracy. Quarrels at Southampton. Admiral Capello's visit to Henry VII., p. lxix. Voyage of Flanders galleys suspended by the league of Cambrai, p. lxx. Finally discontinued in 1532, p. lxx.

Great facilities for studying history in Venetian archives, p. lxxi. Early Venetian charts.

In such a close connection as exists between all nations of Europe difficult to define what relates to any given country, p. lxxii. Rule proposed for the author's guidance:—To notice nothing which does not professedly refer to Great Britain or her subjects; to notice everything that does, p. lxxiii. Its application exemplified. Very first entry relating to England, p. lxxiv.

The materials or the present work aptly divided into those which precede and those which follow the establishment of continuous diplomatic relations, p. lxxv. Some account of both proposed.

Prediplomatic notices meagre, relating chiefly to trade and to individuals. But at that time there was the trade of war, p. lxxv. Condottieri, p. lxxvi. Sir John Hawkwood; his relations with the Signory, p. lxxvii.; his comrades, p. lxxviii.; researches in other archives to get their letters, and the result, p. lxxvi. Letters relating to English Freebands found in the library at Cividale del Friuli. Ill success in looking for documents at Verona and at Padua, p. lxxix. Success at Milan, p. lxxx. Early connection of the Visconti with the Royal family of England. Letters of the legate Coppini, p lxxx.; written in sympathetic ink, p. lxxxi.

Bolingbroke (Henry IV.)'s visit to Venice in his way to the Holy Land, p. lxxxi. His rival Norfolk's visit, p. lxxxii. Norfolk's monumental ormemorial tablet, p. lxxxiii. Bolingbroke assisted in his warfare against the Turks, p. lxxxiv. Various entries relating to these events in the journals of the Senate, p. lxxxv. Registers relating to English sovereigns, p. lxxxvi. Wolsey's treaty with Ferrara, p. lxxxvi. Forty letters of English sovereigns, p. lxxxvii. The first described. Letters from Henry VII. to the Pope and the Regent of Milan, p. lxxxviii. A letter from Dereham to the leaders of the Council of Pisa in Henry IV.'s name, p. lxxxviii.

Passage to the diplomatic period, p. lxxxix. Abundance of materials, p. lxxxix.; impossibility of preserving always the exact chronological order without the help of a catalogue; necessity of comparing one document with another. Example. Too much must not be expected, p. xc.; the solution of the great historical puzzles, of rare occurrence, p. xc. Examples of the contents of the Venetian MSS., p. xc. First intimation of the intention to divorce Queen Catherine, p. xci. Early visit of Cromwell to the Low Countries, p. xcii.; the Admirable Crichton, p. xcii. The Venetian dispatches resemble contemporary memoirs, p. xciii.; their uses illustrated, p. xciii.–xcvi. Character of the diplomatic correspondence, p. xcvi. Specimens, p. xcvi. Quirini's letter, describing the stay of Philip and Joanna in England, p. xcvi.; its bearing on the assertion that constraint was put upon them, p. xcviii. Contarini's letter, giving the entry of Wolsey into Bruges, p. xcix; Scaramelli's letters, giving an account of his interview with Queen Elizabeth, and her death, p. c.

Period embraced by the present volume, p. c.–civ.

Smmary of the preliminary tables, p. cv. Conclusion, cvi.



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