Venice
January 1615, 26-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1907

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321-330

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'Venice: January 1615, 26-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 13: 1613-1615 (1907), pp. 321-330. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=95895 Date accessed: 24 July 2014.


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January 1615, 26–31

Jan. 27. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni Venetian Archives.598. That the following be read to the Ambassador of England:
The exposition of your Excellency upon the present commotions, so strongly and prudently delivered clearly shows and more than ever the most friendly disposition of the king of Great Britain towards us and how His Majesty, following the example of his predecessors, desires peace and public liberty, especially in this province and serves God and his own glory by removing difficulties between princes and uniting them in concord. We therefore praise his generous resolutions and thank him warmly for his offers, made not in his own interests but out of the greatness of his mind and for the public good. As His Majesty well knows, ever since the beginning of the present troubles, we have desired the preservation of peace, and to this end we have done what we could. We have informed His Majesty of this and besought him to assist our purpose; at the same time we have not neglected to treat with the chief princes of this province, with Spain and elsewhere, some negotiations for an agreement being always on foot. We therefore hope that His Majesty, besides taking the duke into his protection as he has declared that he will, will use his offices and authority with both parties to procure an agreement, which will redound, to his honour and glory. If this prove fruitless it is clear that human counsels are insufficient for the present troubles. His Majesty may rest assured that we shall always keep in view the liberty of this province and our own, as our ancestors have done.
Ayes162.
Noes0.
Neutral13.
[Italian.]
Jan. 27. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.599. To the Ambassdor in England.
You will see by the enclosed copy the exposition recently made in the Cabinet by the ambassador of England. It contains a proposition of great moment and consequence, to which we have given our earnest consideration. We have decided to reply in the form of which we send you a copy, and you will speak to His Majesty in our name to that effect, with the same expressions adopted by us, not enlarging or altering anything, as this is required by the nature of the case, and the present posture of affairs. We are sure that your prudence will show you how to proceed, and for the rest you will await instructions.
Ayes162.
Noes0.
Neutral13.
[Italian.]
Jan. 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.600. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the Count of Scarnafes arrived in this city on his return from England. I have not yet been able to discover the reason why, or what he brings from that court. He was immediately sent to meet Mr. Morton, nephew of Wotton, who, as I wrote, is expected at this court, but has not yet arrived, because he stayed on the way to speak first with the princes of France and afterwards with Lesdiguières. But he is expected to-morrow or Wednesday, and preparations are being made here to receive and entertain him in the name of His Highness. I have taken such measures that I hope to obtain information of every particular.
From Turin, the 27 January, 1614 [M.V.]
[Italian.]
Jan. 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.601. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The count of Verna has called upon me at my house by the duke's order. Among other things he told me that Scarnafes brings good news from England and that the king there desires the peace of Italy, but that it must be in consonance with the honour and safety of the duke, the very words that His Highness whispered into my ear at the banquet, when he told me that a gentleman was coming from the king to procure peace, with ideas and intentions similar to those of the republic, but that he could not say more as the place was not suitable. Verua added that they will have leave to enlist troops in the kingdom, but the king also promised, if the affairs of Italy should not be settled, to give 400,000 crowns to His Highness. That the king would not pay this, because he had no money, but would get the States to pay it and would afterwards reimburse them; that His Highness values this aid in money more than troops, because besides the perils of passing through the Strait and other dangers, many would be dead before they could reach Italy, and for other reasons besides, whereas he who has money can obtain as many soldiers as he desires. That the decision will be taken on the arrival of Morton, but that the duke's needs are pressing and he wants money. He betrayed by other words also that these promises of England are much hedged about, and that he will not get the help so soon as the duke's needs require. I learn, however, from the person who told me the other things which I have written to your Serenity, that Morton not only brings the above orders, but others for the king's ambassador resident at Venice, who, at any sign from the duke, is to come to this court and speak, if necessary, at Milan in favour of His Highness, for peace and disarmament, if it be consonant with the duke's honour and safety; and he is to do all these things in concert with your Serenity and your ambassador resident at that court.
From Turin, the 27 January, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia Venetian Archives.602. Ranier Zen, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
When I was about to enclose my letter the Master of the Ceremonies came to say that His Highness desired to speak with me. I went at once and was very graciously received by the duke. He spoke of the army which he had collected, but complained of the cost, and suggested a loan. He went on to say that he also had hopes from England. The gentleman sent by the king was expected that evening, and he would then know for certain what he might expect, but he understood that the king would defend the liberty of the princes of Italy and would act in conformity with the advice of your Serenity for the common peace and quiet.
In speaking of Flanders he said he understood there was a complete rupture. He said that the Spaniards would soon see that matters in France were not moving so surely as they thought and the affairs of Flanders will proceed in step with those of Italy, and this was the wish of England.
From Turin, the 27 January, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Grisoni. Venetian Archives.603. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary to the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
The greater council has met twice upon the matter of the league. The question of payment has not been settled. The ambassador of France is intriguing against it, but favourable influences are at work on the other side, for instance the duke of Bouillon and the Marquis of Baden. From time to time also there arrive very opportune letters from the ambassador of England, but all this does not suffice to repress the ideas and interests which have fostered difficulties.
The Prince de la Tremouille passed this way last week, while I was at Berne. He expressed his deep appreciation of the honours and favours accorded to him by your Serenity.
From Zurich, the 27 January, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Grisoni. Venetian Archives.604. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador Extraordinary to the Swiss and Grisons, to the Doge and Senate.
There is some idea at Berne that the duke of Savoy is receiving pecuniary assistance from the reformed churches of France. I enclose copy of a letter from M. de Puisieux (Pisiars), secretary of the Most Christian Queen, to the ambassador of France.
From the Hague we hear that Count John of Nassau is staying there on the negotiations for the duke of Savoy. He is awaiting, before beginning, the arrival of the count of Scarnafes, who is coming back from England. Whilst discussions were on foot as to whether the ambassadors of France and England should transfer themselves to Brussels, or at least the ambassador of France alone, to discover whether the Spaniards were willing to accept the articles of the States, the Sieur Sonsbech and the Syndic of Wesel arrived here, bringing the news that Spinola would agree to depart, if the States would consent to promise not to intermeddle in the affairs of Juliers and not to introduce their army into that country, but these proposals are thought to be no more than a pretext to gain time, so that meanwhile his troops might quietly winter in that country.
From Zurich, the 27 January, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch.605. Copy of a letter of M. de Puisieux to the Ambassador of France.
You had heard of the state of affairs in Piedmont. The governor of Milan refuses to treat with the duke of Savoy. This seems strange, as the Spaniards have asked the king to intervene in favour of peace, both there and in the matter of Juliers. This is not because the Spaniards wish to break the peace, since we know that their affairs are in need of quiet. They only do it out of vanity, which will cost them dear. If their armies are not disbanded they will have several princes and powers upon their backs, and their gains will only be a vain show.
From Paris, the 20 December, 1614.
[French.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch.606. Translation of the above letter.
[Italian.]
Jan. 28. Collegio. Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.607. The deliberation of the Senate of yesterday was read to the ambassador of England. He replied: My last exposition was so long and possibly troublesome, that I will not detain you. I am sure that the decision taken by your Serenity will give great satisfaction to His Majesty, as he does not wish to press or to constrain you to take any course other than seems right to your prudence. His Majesty is sure that you will only travel by the safest and most direct route. I will report the whole to him, and if the letters which ought to reach me from England to-day do not give me cause to return here, I will not trouble you again.
He asked permission to hear the writing read in private and to take notes. This was granted and he departed.
[Italian.]
Jan. 28. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Corfu. Venetian Archives.608. Vincenzo Grimani, Proveditore and Captain of Corfu, to the Doge and Senate.
Certain piratical bertons have begun to infest these seas, especially towards Salmastraki (Salino), Fano (Tano) and Merlera (Merlese), and they have recently captured a small ship. As there is not a sufficient number of galleys here to meet them, they will probably be able to do considerable harm to navigation. An English berton which has arrived here from Barbary has heard that in those parts eight large bertons are being fitted out to pass to the Levant. The smallest of them carries 26 pieces of bronze artillery. Also that at Susa also they are arming four other ships to go buccaneering. I do not place any faith in these preparations, but I have enclosed the statement of the master of this ship containing all particulars.
From Corfu, the 28 January, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian.]
1615, 19 January.
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch.609. Captain John Trevusque Verner, of the ship Calderan, arrived here to-day with a cargo of wool, ashes and other things for Venice reports that he heard that eight large bertons were being fitted out in Barbary to go to the Levant, and and four others at Susa, to go buccaneering. They were also arming the ship called il Mondo Piater' taken from the Venetians.
[Italian.]
Jan. 28. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.610. Antonio Maria Vincenti, Venetian Resident at Mantua, to the Doge and Senate.
It is said that the principal aim of the duke of Savoy is to disturb the marriages between Spain and France, and as the issue cannot be long delayed he keeps armed in order the better to effect his plans.
From Mantua, the 28 January, 1614 [m.v.].
[Italian.]
Jan. 30. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.611. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
It is now clear that the articles drawn up by the king to be signed by Spinola and Maurice will not be accepted, and that not one of the things proposed in the letter written to the Archduke will produce any effect. The Spanish ambassador, in speaking to me about the last part of these articles, which provides that in case of difficulty this king and the king of France shall be the judges, said that the emperor and his king ought to be the ones and added that the king here had told him that if the king of Spain wished to be the judge, he will be the first. All this he told me laughingly; that Spinola has no authority to sign by himself, and he is so wise and well advised that he needs no control or reminders that he is there for something else than to sign documents presented to him by Maurice; that the Archduke will reply to the letter sent by the king here; that he also desires peace, which is a good thing, and other words, without going further. As for His Highness sending the articles to Spain, there is no appearance of it, and it does not occur to him even to negotiate about them, showing that he attaches no importance to them. He told me that his king has made provision of one and a half millions of gold for Flanders and Germany, that the Dutch began it, by taking possession of Juliers, so that the war will be a just one on the side of Spain and it will be necessary to support the dignity and claims of the emperor. That in Spain they make little or no account of the sixty ships which the States are preparing to send to the West Indies, that his king is going to arm at sea with great forces and fill all the part of the Ocean with ships. He showed me a paragraph of a letter written to the Duke of Lerma and said that he was going to send it that very night with others. The letter begins: Your Excellency will have seen by the letters written to His Majesty, and from some other words which I saw I understood that he spoke of the events at the king's palace, with regard to the ambassador of Holland. The paragraph runs: that the money given here does no good and would be better employed in arming galleons, he told me he was unwilling that in the future money should be sent to give pensions and make gifts. He has confided to me at other times the amount spent by his king here since the accession of the present sovereign, so large that it passes belief (che il denaro donato qui Ron giora et sarà meglio impiegato in armar galeoni, mi disse non roler che nell 'avvenire le sian inviati denari per dar pensioni, me far donativi, et havendomi altre rolte conferito quello, che ha il suo Re speso qui doppo l'assontione di questo alla Corrona; è somma si grande che eceede ogni credere). He told me that on the 8th or 13th prox. he will learn the entire resolution and orders of the Catholic king.
The ambassador of the archduke expressed the same ideas; he told me that the articles of the king involve more difficulties than all the rest, that His Majesty wishes to make sovereigns of Spinola and Maurice, that he does not speak of the States, and they would never consent to such articles; that the king, in his desire for peace, should have drawn up these articles was rather a testimony of his goodwill than of much thought devoted to the matter; that to accept the agreement afterwards without anything else does not pertain either to Spinola or to Maurice, because they have no part in it, but yet it is proper for Maurice to sign what Spinola desires, and all other proposals would be vain; that on the 16th the archduke had not yet received the articles from the king's agent nor the letter either, to which he will reply in complimentary terms; that as for Wesel, which is an Imperial town, it is not the affair of others to meddle, and if there was a disposition to place it in the hands of the emperor, the other point might be settled, but if not, the archduke and the Catholic king will hold Wesel and all the other places occupied, which number quite sixty; that Juliers is besieged and already as good as in the hands of His Highness; that now the Catholic king is providing 100,000 crowns a month more than usual to pay the troops and the country will give a million a year. He also ended by saying that on the 8th or 10th prox. the entire resolution will be known.
The king has written and sent the articles to his ambassador with the States to see if an agreement can be made, of which little hope remains with the greater number.
Sir James More was here from Holland six days ago. He brings word that the States are sending an ambassador to the king, and the Elector of Brandenburg is sending another, to concert with regard to the war, and as time presses, to learn the will of His Majesty in the matter of succours.
The king is advised by his agent at Brussels and in conformity from Holland that Neuburg is negotiating in Spain to renounce in favour of that king his possessions and pretensions in Cleves and Juliers.
The princes and towns assembled at Nurenberg have informed His Majesty that they can collect a force of 20,000, both infantry and cavalry.
Here the royal ships are being fitted out as I advised. They are provided with biscuits and all things necessary, and meanwhile the final reply of the Catholic king is awaited and the arrival of the ambassadors, to negotiate and effect yet greater things.
London, the 30 January, 1615.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 30. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra Venetian Archives612. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Huguenots of France are so much opposed to the effectuation of the marriages with Spain, that they go so far as to think and speak of resisting by force. They hare notified this to the king here, asking him that it may please him to assist them with his forces. The person sent by them has seen the king several times, who has replied in the most favourable terms. These have been transmitted immediately without omitting one. It would afford the greatest satisfaction to the king to see the effectuation of these marriages troubled, but he cannot decide to do it by arms. There are letters from the Count of Bonnivet; he writes to the same person telling him that he is going to the Duke of Longuerville to stay two or three days only, he will then go on to Paris where he will confer with Bouillon and Rohan and tell them by word of mouth of his negotiations here with the king, and word for word what His Majesty said with regard to breaking off the marriages.
It is certain that the Spanish ambassador having told the queen of France that Villeroi thought of delaying the marriages, she became greatly excited and spoke very strongly to him, advancing her wishes as a reason. The Spaniards say that they wish to know something of the mind of France, and to obtain some advantage from those marriages, the rumour of which, they assert, has kept that kingdom at peace. They aspire to procure the abandonment of the States of Holland and the Princes of Germany and that France may at least remain neutral. The ambassador of Spain told me this very frankly. The Most Christian Queen, who is most anxious for the effectuation of these marriages, so far as she can, will grant whatever they desire, at least in secret; and this is what the king's ambassador writes to him.
The ambassador of France has taken leave of His Majesty, who had a long conversation with him upon these marriages, which he condemned, especially at this time, and he is using every art to break them off or at least to postpone them. He went so far as to protest that the effectuation of them at the present time might cause disturbances and revolution in that kingdom; that to precipitate the matter, when the marriages could not be consummated, and when Spain is arming strongly and threatening war at several points, would give rise to suspicion both at home and abroad. The ambassador replied that as he was leaving he would report the matter in France and use the best offices. I know, however, that the king places no reliance upon this, and in speaking to the ambassador he said that he had been very careful to avoid expressions which might prove offensive to the Queen. The ambassador left four days ago and is at Dover. With regard to the differences between the French of Canada and the English of Virginia, and also in the matter of ships he has obtained some satisfaction, but upon the whole he has obtained little on either head, and even so the matter is very loosely arranged.
The Spanish ambassador had audience of the king on the day following mine. He spoke at length upon the difficulties which led him to absent himself from the masque. He showed some letters written by his predecessor to Spain. He afterwards spoke of the affairs of Cleves, but as I have given the essentials of this in my preceding despatch, I need only say that he said that the reply of Spain would arrive in a few days.
The earl of Somerset is preparing dogs and horses to send as a gift to the duke of Savoy. Meanwhile letters from those parts are expected daily. I understand that the secretary left at Turin by the agent, and sent here by His Highness, has gone on to Wotton in Holland after fulfilling his commissions with the king.
London, the 30 January, 1615.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 31. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.613. To the Duke of Mantua.
We have been asked to request you to deal with the marquis of Calusio, who has been placed in your hands, so that no harm may come to him. We are sure that you will do so until the present troubles are over.
Ayes130
Noes0.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Jan. 31. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.614. To the Secretary in Mantua.
Enclose copy of a memorial sent by the ambassador Zen in favour of the marquis of Calusio. You will present the enclosed letter to the duke, when you hear that the marquis has arrived, and we send you a copy of the letter so that you may be well informed.
Ayes130
Noes0.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Jan. 31. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.615. To the Ambassasor with the Duke of Savoy.
On hearing of the desire of His Highness that we should recommend the marquis of Calusio to the duke of Mantua in case he should fall into his hands, we have sent letters to this effect, as you will see by the enclosed copies, sent for your information. You will take the first opportunity to inform His Highness that we shall always be ready to gratify him in matters concerning the public peace. You will inform the count of Verua of what we have done in this matter.
Ayes130
Noes0.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Jan. 31. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.616. To the Ambassador at Rome.
On receipt of these presents you must lose no time in going to interview the pope, asking him to apply the most efficacious remedies to hinder the progress of the present perils; laying stress upon the danger of delay and the approach of the season; if the work which the common weal requires be not accomplished, grave disorders may occur which it will not be easy to remedy. You must assure him that we shall do our part in the interests of peace.
We have to inform you that the ambassador of England has been into the Cabinet, and after a long harangue upon what his kings have done in the past for the liberty of this province, the importance of the preservation of the duke of Savoy and the firm resolution of his king not to allow the duke to succumb, he asked us to give a reply as soon as possible to a proposal to work in concert with His Majesty and his friends to assuage the principal disturbances of Europe, either by a safe and honourable peace to save Savoy from oppression, or else, if the Spaniards will not listen to reason, to assist that prince in his just defence. We send a copy of our reply. We have told you this simply for information, so that you will say nothing about it to anyone and even if anyone asks you about it, you must say that you know of no such office, but that you are sure that the republic has no other end in view but the peace and liberty of Italy.
Ayes134
Noes4.
Neutral14.
[Italian.]
Jan. 31. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives.617. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
I had audience of the pope yesterday, and spoke of the affairs of Italy. He said that he hoped the articles of peace would soon be agreed upon. I said that it was most essential as it is understood that the duke of Savoy has received assurances from all the heretical princes, a matter worthy of reflection. He said that the Spaniards were only fighting for honour, not for territory. I replied that the duke had been despoiled of his possessions on the shore towards Nice.
From Rome, the 31 January, 1615.
[Italian.]
Jan. 31. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.618. Dominico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Grand Duke is informed that the king of England promises aid to Saroy as well as the States, who have asked His Highness for the port of Villafranca as a place of safety and repair for their ships in those waters.
From Florence, the last day of January, 1614 [M.V.].
[Italian; deciphered.]