Venice
February 1616, 16-28

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1908

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128-141

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'Venice: February 1616, 16-28', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 14: 1615-1617 (1908), pp. 128-141. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=95941 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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February 1616, 16–28

Feb. 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.178. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week the king was expected to pay one visit to London, but as the pain in his feet increased he did not leave Newmarket, and he is not expected here now before Easter or thereabouts. He is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the negotiations in France, not only in order to see the fruit of his intervention, but for every other interest. An accommodation will be arranged to judge by the news that comes, as both sides are experiencing great difficulties in maintaining their troops, and since a free passage has been granted after the armistice, many have withdrawn to their homes. The first agreement upon this truce has been received with satisfaction in this court, as they consider it contains the principal point of the whole affair, namely to enter into negotiations with the assembly of Nimes, which His Majesty would not recognize as a general assembly, although the heads of the assembly have in their possession letters and documents of the Court, issued previously, in which they were recognized as a general assembly.
M. de Courtenay complains a good deal that the prince of Condé has received no help or protection from any of the friends of the crown of France, saying that he alone was at present engaged in preventing the increase of the Spanish authority in France and in putting a stop to their vast designs to the prejudice of others, and that when matters have been settled in France, we shall soon see what the Spaniards have in their minds. That if the prince of Condé had received any assistance he would certainly have so regulated the king's council as to remove every danger that the Spaniards might govern France, or that they might keep it neutral while they increased their power in other parts. He does not seem greatly contented at the intervention of the king here in the settlement, saying that if the negotiations had not been instituted by him many more in France would have declared themselves in favour of the princes, but seeing an agreement in the course of being arranged they had been unwilling to declare themselves or to separate themselves from His Majesty. At present it did not seem to be difficult to arrange the articles, as it is thought that the princes will be satisfied with anything reasonable. Those of the religion will probably rest content with the observation of their edicts, and there will be no difficulty in the way of accepting the articles for the regulating of disorders and punishing those guilty of the late king's death, though many foresee that difficulties will not be lacking in the way of their execution. The court is exceedingly doubtful whether the withdrawal of the Commandeur de Sillery and the dissatisfaction shown by the Queen Mother towards the duke of Epernon are real or introduced to facilitate the accommodation, because the ambassador Edmondes writes to the king, and the partisans of the prince confirm it, that the Queen Mother is offended with the duke of Epernon because he promised her to do many things to prevent the progress of the princes, and he had not done these because His Majesty had been compelled to enter upon the present negotiations. This might have been avoided if the forces of the prince of Condé had not been kept hidden as well as the discontent of the kingdom. If these had been known beforehand, as they should have been, before rushing into the marriages, a remedy might have been provided.
In addition to this the Commandeur Sillery had induced the king's librarian, his dependent, to make some remarks to His Majesty and the new queen about his being fit to govern by himself and that it was not proper to suffer the authority of his mother. This being reported to the Queen Mother she had expelled the Commandeur Sillery from court and asked him to withdraw to Malta. When the chancellor desired to say something to the queen on his behalf, she interrupted him saying it was not a matter for negotiation as it was not a public but her own private and personal affair.
Those of the household of the French ambassador here, who is a son-in-law of the chancellor, say that the Commandeur Sillery left court voluntarily and of his free will, since as he had no employment there it was not fitting that his presence should cause any disturbance in the peace of that kingdom. This different version makes the other one more likely to be true, and many conjectures have been ventured upon the question.
The ambassador of Berne, who said many days ago that he had orders to return to France, is now leaving, both by reason of the affairs of his masters, for whom any blow at the interest and reputation of the chancellor would prove of great service, and also because of his favourable disposition towards the party of the princes. He professes that when the prince of Condé has made a settlement of both articles dealing with the punishment of those guilty of the late king's death and the regulation of the disorders in the government, the fortunes of the chancellor will have suffered a severe shock. He has been to call on the French ambassador, who complained that he had come to this realm to treat about the affairs of the princes to the prejudice of the interests of the Most Christian King. The ambassador of Berne complained that the French ambassador has told the king here that the Lords of Berne had deprived him of his charge; and thus there was considerable friction between them. It went so far that the ambassador of Berne said openly that the bad government of the chancellor was the cause of all the disorders of France, and the French ambassador retorted that as His Most Christian Majesty had replied to the proposals of the other in the name of his masters, that was the end of his commission. The French ambassador also complained about the letters written by the Bernese ambassador, who retorted that they had been intercepted contrary to the articles of the perpetual peace with Switzerland.
London, the 19th February, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.179. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The French ambassador transmitted to the ambassador of Savoy a letter of M. de Puisieux, stating that His Most Christian Majesty understood from the letters of his ambassador that the duke of Savoy complained to him, because the new governor of Milan made fresh levies, and the Spaniards made no attempt to restore the places occupied or release the prisoners. That in spite of all these things His Highness must have patience as he would receive every satisfaction, since the intention of the governor of Milan, in spite of appearances, was only to strike a blow at the action of the marquis of Inoiosa, the late governor, so that at the beginning he had ventured to air his own opinions, but he will afterwards do what is proper and His Majesty will see to the execution of the treaty, will write to Spain and will do everything to secure the effecting of what has been arranged.
Here, with regard to the affairs of Italy, not so much concerning the execution of the treaty with Savoy as about the troubles on the frontiers of your Serenity, about the Uscochi, the ministers believe, as I am informed, what the ambassador of Savoy thinks, namely that the Spaniards wish your Excellencies to be occupied by the archduke, so that you may be the more reserved in interesting yourselves in the execution of the treaty with Savoy, or in other schemes of the Spaniards against the liberty of Italy.
Here the opinion is continually growing that there will be war in Flanders very soon, both with respect to Cleves and the other affairs of Germany, as every day discloses greater, not less designs on the part of the Spaniards; and a strong determination on the side of the States.
Quite recently the count of Ceuren, as dependent on the States of Guelders, laid before the council of that province some pretensions of his against the archbishop of Cologne for his district which he held in the country of Munster as bishop of that province. He obtained not only a sentence in his favour for the principal of those districts and for the fruits and interests so many years in arrear, but a good number of foot and horse to carry it into effect. With these he has already taken one place and the other is expected to surrender. This has caused the archbishop great dissatisfaction. The States attach the more importance to this because they wish to acquire the dependence of those lands in that country, as being very valuable to them.
I know that some Dutch merchants on this market are warned by those who can well advise them not to build in any way upon peace in their business, but to keep their goods as much at liberty as possible so that they may receive no harm by any rupture that may take place.
I also hear from Flanders that two ships were about to leave Dunkirk to levy new troops in Spain and that the archduke had made levies of 15,000 foot.
Six large ships, excellently provided with everything necessary, have gone to sea. They are sent by the company of merchants here to the East Indies.
London, the 19th February, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 20. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.180. To the King of Great Britain.
The friendly disposition of your Majesty and the declaration in favour of our republic in the present question with the archduke about the Uscocchi are worthy of your magnanimity and the justice of our cause. For this we return hearty thanks. Our sentiments will be more fully expressed by the ambassador Barbarigo, whom we ask your Majesty to hear graciously in what he has to lay before you.
Ayes167.
Noes2.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 20. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.181. To the Ambassador in England.
We are fully satisfied with your prudence in the matter described in yours of the 29th January and at the favourable reply which you obtained from the king, with a declaration in our favour in the present affair with the archduke. We direct you to request an audience and present the enclosed letter to him, of which we send you a copy, thanking him in a suitable manner. We also send you the enclosed information so that you may be able to answer His Majesty's questions, although the conditions are generally known, and you can add whatever else you think fit.
On the 5th inst. we wrote to the same purpose, directing you to see the king; we now send you a duplicate so that you may use it if the first did not reach you. In that case, in order not to present two letters to His Majesty, you will only give him the one written to-day.
To bring the story of events up to date, our troops, which were stationed at Meriana near the Lisonzo have removed to Fara a short way off, to reconnoitre and hold it, if they found it suitable and prevent the enemy from establishing themselves there, whence they might harass our troops. However our captains decided to abandon it, in order not to divide our forces. These faced the enemy on the banks of the river Lisonzo, when they withdrew to their quarters. In. Dalmatia the Uscocchi continue to plunder vessels and animals, but they escape with all speed to their nests. Nothing of moment has happened recently, but forces are being increased on both sides. The negotiations at the Imperial court are troubled, new difficulties being raised by the archduke's party, who instead of consenting to an armistice, which was put in good train by the imperial ministers, simply think of breaking off the negotiations, Echemberg having been sent by the archduke to the court for that purpose.
We have sent the secretary Padavino to the Grisons and the Swiss to obtain infantry from those parts for the present emergencies, and some companies have already arrived in our State, as we are doing everything to make ourselves safe.
In the negotiations of Savoy with Milan, although it is given out that they are to procure an accommodation, yet the Spaniards think that the duke will not consent before the agreement between them has been carried out, as is fitting, by the complete disarmament of the Spaniards in the State of Milan.
We send this for your information so that you may impart it confidentially to His Majesty
That the present be sent to England by express courier.
Ayes167.
Noes2.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 20. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costant. Venetian Archives182. Almoro Nani, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
By letters recently arrived from Zante to the English merchants here we hear that many armed bertons have left Tunis in Barbary to go buccaneering, the greater part of which have passed the strait of Gibraltar, and that those which had gone west had taken a large English ship, very rich, which was going from England on a voyage to Cartagena. This news reached Zante at a time when there were five English ships there, while two others were expected from Venice so that Sig. Garvai, (fn. 1) the principal English merchant here, is asking that his ship called the Royal Exchange may be sent off to Zante so that it may be in time to join another, in which he is also interested, called the Royal Defence, as it is considered certain that these with the other ships of that nation will proceed to England in consequence.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 20th February, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 21. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Savoia. Venetian Archives.183. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The letter which Don Pedro will receive from the duke to send to Spain states that His Highness was compelled by necessity to arm, and asks for the king's favour. The duke showed me the letter to read, and laughed when I came to the latter part. He said he was willing to satisfy them, but they are mistaken if they expect him to worship them as he only worshipped God. From France he learned that their Majesties were very displeased at the proceedings of Spain, and their agent here has orders to go to Milan, and to insist upon the execution of the treaty. The Marshal Lesdiguieres writes offering to come with 8,000 foot and 1,500 horse. The king of England displays the same spirit; his agent has instructions to go to Milan and make the strongest representations. If the republic means to keep her promise, she likewise must do something for me. Your Excellency ought to write home and induce the Signory to direct their resident at Milan to unite with the ministers of France and England in inducing the governor to disarm and observe the treaty. I told His Highness that I feared the offices of the republic at this time would do no good, and might even be suspect. The duke waxed wroth at this, and summoning Verua and Crotti, told them that I was excusing the republic from helping him. This was out of fear of the Spaniards. He attached more importance to the promise of Venice than to that of the others, because he knew that little could be hoped for from France, and England is far off and uncertain. He continued in this strain until at length I promised to write and ask your Serenity to instruct your resident at Milan to unite with the agents of France and England in favour of disarming and the execution of the treaty.
Turin, the 21st February, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 22. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.184. Pietro Vico, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Some days ago a secretary arrived here from the king of England bringing letters from that king to his ambassador recalling him to that court. He has already taken leave of the king and will set out in a few days. The secretary has instructions to remain here and carry on negotiations for his master. He has presented his credentials. There are various rumours about this departure, those current at the ambassador's house give out that he has received some office at that Court as a favour; but your Excellencies will have the truth from a better source.
Madrid, the 22 February, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 22. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.185. To the Ambassador in England.
The affair of the Uscocchi in the imperial court has grown steadily worse since the arrival of the Echemberg, the archduke Ferdinand's minister. He first opposed the articles for an armistice and raised other difficulties. The Ministers declared that they would go no further unless we promised the restitution of places. Our ambassador pointed out that it was not reasonable that we should restore places which concern our defence and safety, while they promised nothing on their side and raised every conceivable difficulty. Although we are aware that Echemberg simply means to break off all negotiations, yet our intentions are the same as they have always been. We are only holding these places for defence, yet we have instructed our ambassador at the imperial court that, if a promise is given in writing to root out the Uscocchi evil and it is executed within two months, we will immediately make restitution. We have told him to ask the nuncio and the ambassador of Tuscany to act as mediators in the matter.
We direct you to communicate this to His Majesty as a sign of confidence, so that our loyal purposes may be known, our only objects being defence and security.
We judge this office to be the more necessary because we understand that His Imperial Majesty has written letters to various princes, in which he says that he has taken arms for defence and to recover what we hold of the possessions of the house of Austria, while he says nothing on the head of the Uscocchi.
The like to Savoy, France, Spain, Milan, Florence, Mantua, Padavin and Naples.
Ayes175.
Noes2.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Feb. 26. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.186. To the Ambassador in England.
In the last from Germany we are advised that a courier has been sent with letters of the emperor to the princes of Italy, declaring that he will defend the possessions of the house of Austria by force. He is to pass by the Grisons, to whom they are writing the same thing, as well as to the Swiss, asking them not to send troops to the republic. He takes a similar letter to the governor of Milan, telling him to have his men ready. The archduke Ferdinand has arrived at court where the archduke Maximilian already was, who is said to have advised a breach
Nothing of importance has happened. In Dalmatia the Uscocchi, favoured by the season, have made some booty, but we have captured a barque. In Istria our troops have plundered the archduke's cattle and destroyed two villages. Things point more to a rupture than to peace, so that the friendly declaration of His Majesty will be still more grateful to us. We direct you to inform the king confidentially that we have decided to hasten on the mission of Vincenzo Gussoni as ordinary ambassador to the Most Christian King, by way of Germany, with a special mission on the way to the count Palatine. You will add that to perform a like office with the States General of the United Provinces we have decided to send Giovanni Battista Lionello to the Hague, and if the king expresses a wish to add anything we shall be delighted at the favour. You will inform the ambassador of the States of the mission of Lionello to whom you will give full instructions, sending letters of credence as soon as possible. When he has fulfilled this charge he is to return to you unless some particular occasion requires his presence there. We will provide the money for the necessary expense. Besides his mission he must take note carefully of all plans and provisions made there; inform himself of the provision of powder, rope and other munitions of war with particulars of the price and carriage. He shall also ascertain, with tact, what number of infantry can be obtained from those provinces, with particulars of wages, the expense, the question of transport by land and sea and whether there be any captain experienced in warfare for our service, advising us of everything that may be worthy of our notice.
As we are in need of lead you will hold yourself ready to obtain some. We will advise you in the next letters of the ordinary prices and our wishes in the matter.
Ayes169.
Noes2.
Neutral5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 26. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.187. To the States.
Letters of credence for Giovanni Battista Lionello, who is being sent to them from England.
Ayes169.
Noes2.
Neutral5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 26. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.188. To Count Maurice.
The like.
Ayes169.
Noes2.
Neutral5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 27. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.189. To the Ambassador at Turin.
We received your letters of the 21st on Wednesday the 24th. Two points require an answer. The first is the office which His Highness desires our resident to perform at Milan in conjunction with the agents of France and England; the second is the proposals of the marquis of Urfé on behalf of the prince of Condé and the duke of Mayenne. Upon the first you will inform His Highness that throughout the course of the negotiations at Asti we showed our desire to obtain for him a safe and honourable peace, and we shall do the same now by requesting the governor to disarm and execute that treaty, directing the performance of joint offices with his Excellency with the ministers of France and England. We praise the purposes of the duke and will help him as much as we can, while we expect a return on his side. For your information we enclose the letter we are sending to Milan.
You will tell the marquis of Urfé that he will be welcome here and thank the duke of Mayenne for his offers.
Ayes123.
Noes1.
Neutral5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 27. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.190. To the Secretary at Milan.
In the negotiations between the duke of Savoy and the governor of Milan the principal point seems to consist in disarming and carrying out the treaty of Asti. The duke is working hard for this and has addressed himself to the courts of France and England. We understand that the agents of those crowns have orders to induce the governor to disarm and execute the treaty. The duke asks that you will join your representations to theirs; we direct you to do so, but not in the manner of a protest or in a way displeasing to his Excellency. You will give him the enclosed letter or not as you may see fit and as you discover if it will please the duke, whom we are especially anxious to gratify on this occasion. It is possible that the governor will declare that we are taking these steps more on our own account than on that of the duke, and it would be necessary for him to arm even if he were not armed already. In such case you will maintain the same moderation and tell him that we know of the desire of His Catholic Majesty for peace, that the cause of our arming is well known, and we preserve the greatest respect for His Majesty, with similar courteous expressions, to display our upright intentions, especially in the matter of the Uscocchi.
Ayes123.
Noes1.
Neutral5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 27. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.191. To the Governor of Milan.
We have so high opinion of the prudence of your Excellency that we have thought good to beg you to put the final touches to this affair, which will redound to the glory of His Catholic Majesty and the praise of your Excellency.
Ayes123.
Noes1.
Neutral5.
[Italian.]
Feb. 28. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.192. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday I received your Serenity's letters of the 5th inst. with information and instructions upon the archducal matters. As the king was at Newmarket I sent at once to the Lord Chamberlain to obtain an audience, when I will present the letters sent me and fulfil my office with spirit and diligence. I will also take information about the munitions of war which your Excellencies may obtain from these parts, and the cost, as well as about the number of men who may be obtained. There are two regiments of English serving the States, and one of Irish, commanded by a son of the Earl of Tyrone in the service of the archduke in Flanders. I will obtain information about them and the treatment which they receive. They have always displayed great valour. This people is certainly not afraid of death, but they are much more afraid of any discomfort, and as they are great feeders and irregular in their lives they are very subject to disease (si sono dimostrati sempre pieni di valore, et certo questa natione non ha havuto paura della morte, ben piú tosto riesce maggior impaurita d'ogni incommoditá et per esser di gran cibo et senza regola nel viver molto soggetta all infirmitá). Sir [Henry] Wotton, in speaking to me lately about the excellent disposition of the king towards the republic, said that His Majesty would grant permission very readily, and if your Serenity has any need of men or ships, you will find every convenience here. If your Excellencies propose to give me any instructions in this matter I will use all diligence to execute them in the best manner possible, so that I may send as many men as you wish from this island or the places surrounding it.
I promised myself great service from M. Cornelius de Vimes, whom I left at Coire on my departure, as he is equally well versed in the warfare and the affairs of that country, and in travel and seafaring. His devotion to your Serenity will make him very useful in the question of soldiers, as that is his proper sphere, in which he has most experience.
I will also give information upon current affairs to the ambassador of the States and to the other ministers of princes resident here, as I know this is the intention of your Serenity. I will use the news about the proposal for a league made by the duke of Savoy to your Serenity, and your reply for information only.
London, the 28th February, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian. the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 28. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.193. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear that His Majesty has received letters from Mr. Edmondes, his ambassador with His Most Christian Majesty, upon the affair of the Commandeur Sillery, that he endeavoured to remove the Queen Mother from the government, that the duke of Epernon, the President Bullion (Buglion), Father Cotton (Pere Gotton) and some others were of the same opinion as he, that they used to further their plan the confessor brought by the new queen from Spain, and other particulars. The Queen Mother was informed of this plot by a chamberlain of the king, whom they had induced to use his position with His Majesty to incite him with the idea of taking the government into his own hands, and not to allow himself to be ruled any longer by his mother. When the queen learned this she became very angry and sent for the ambassador Edmondes. She told him all these circumstances and said that she now knew the most prudent counsels which the king of Great Britain had given to her, and though she repented late for not having accepted them, yet it was not so late that she might not still provide for many things. She begged him to thank the king for all the kind warnings which he had given her in the past and which she begged him to continue in the future, as she wished to maintain every confidence and would govern herself by His Majesty's advice. That with regard to Edmondes himself, those with whom she was now better acquainted had always endeavoured to give her a bad opinion both of his person and his actions, but now she knew him to be a truly worthy man, whom she esteemed, and she begged him to negotiate freely with her in all things. She used many other expressions to testify to her esteem for the king and Edmondes and to show she had changed her opinion
The same ambassador writes that the queen has written to the duke of Bouillon a letter full of similar ideas, that she has always known him for a true Frenchman, that she has always recognized the prudence of his actions, she begs him to advise and assist her; that in everything she desires to be ruled by his advice. He states that Her Majesty is to confer with the prince of Condé, that she had written to Don Pedro of Toledo to carry out the treaty with the duke of Savoy as the crown of France could not any longer suffer that treaty to remain void, in which French dignity and authority were so much involved. The same ambassador reported that after these things M. Lesdiguières would be very ready to succour the duke of Savoy if he received any offence from the state of Milan. He added that the ambassador of His Highness had communicated to him that the duke, his master, had helped the princes with 100,000 crowns in this their need. But this is hard to believe, seeing the present state of affairs, and the expenses of His Highness; possibly it was said in order to incite the king here to some similar action, or if not this altogether, possibly His Highness has rendered some such help. I know that when Biondi saw His Highness in the name of his king, the duke in speaking of the affairs of the princes said that owing to his past expenses he was not able to do anything of importance, as even if he could afford a sum of 50,000 crowns, it would not have sufficed for the needs of the princes, though it would be a great matter for him. The minds and expectations of all are chiefly turned towards these affairs of France, but they are also anxious to know what will happen in Flanders in the spring, what Don Pedro of Toledo will do in the state of Milan, and how the affairs of your Serenity will proceed. It is thought that owing to the natural balancing of affairs in this world, the affairs of one part must necessarily provide a counterpoise to the other, practically everything depending upon the interests of Spain.
As two chests of silver of the ambassador Foscarini have been detained at Dunkirk by the customs officers, I have sent for the agent of the archduke here to tell him that those officials, not being sure to whom those cases belonged, had detained them for the custom, and I asked him to write to Brussels, or wherever else he might think best, to obtain their release, using such courteous phrases as I judged suitable.
The day before yesterday the Spanish ambassador sent to tell me that the agent of Flanders had told him that I had sent to ask for the release of this silver of the ambassador Foscarini; so that he, who desired nothing better than to have an opportunity to serve me, had sent to see if I thought fit that he should write or send an express person to Flanders, asking me to tell him what I thought. That it would all be done quickly, and I should soon be obliged. He accompanied this with the most courteous expressions and repeated his request that I would say what I thought and that everything should be fully done. I thanked him warmly and replied in fitting terms that if he would do me the favour to write I was sure that it would be all sufficient, as I knew the authority of his letters and the respect which His Highness has for him. I afterwards sent my secretary to thank him and to express the esteem of your Serenity for His Catholic Majesty. He expressed pleasure at this courtesy and detained the secretary awhile to talk with him. He made him sit down and entered upon many courteous expressions. He threw out the observation that the ambassadors of Spain here seek to get away quickly, but at Venice they stay willingly; that Don Francesco di Vera wished to return to die in that city, after having spent a long time there before; that Don Rodrigo Calderon, a very great personage, had chosen that embassy, although he had not gone there, and that the relations between His Catholic Majesty and your Serenity being so good he had always been anxious to do me a service, even though there had been some difficulty about ceremonies. He used other expressions indicative of his goodwill to which the secretary replied in the same style, saying that my greatest difficulty was to find sufficient occasions in which to do him a service. After all this the ambassador began to speak about the affairs of the Uscochi and asked the secretary what news I had. He replied that he had heard nothing except that the forces of the archduke were increasing daily on the frontiers of your Serenity. The ambassador replied that it was necessary that these matters should be settled at all costs, that it was not right to afford protection to those who wish to disquiet the State of another prince, but that this evil example took its origin from those princes who had assisted the rising of the Dutch against His Catholic Majesty; that these were not matters of courtesy but that the affair of the Uscochi would certainly be arranged, because the Spanish ambassador resident at the Imperial Court wrote to him that the Emperor had very good relations with the ambassador of your Serenity, but that the archduke raised some difficulty owing to the damage received by him. However a settlement was necessary and it would certainly be made. To all this the secretary replied in a fitting manner about the damage suffered by your Serenity and the outrageous action of the Uscochi and the archduke's subjects both in the past and much more in the present.
The Viceroy of Ireland has been recalled to London by reason of the trial of the earl of Somerset, and the arrival of the ambassador, who is returning from Spain, is expected daily.
M. de Courtenay came to mass at the house here this morning. I have noted his remarks about present events in France. He told me that the queen has sent to Milan to obtain the execution of the treaty with Savoy, and he repeated several times, these are great matters. Whether the deeds will bear any relation to the words remains to be seen as in France they have now gathered together all the intellect of Italy, Spain and France; that the marshal of Ancre has fallen sick of mortification, is in disgrace with everybody and suffered a thousand griefs; he said that he wished to show himself a servant of the prince of Condé. When the prince has obtained all he wants, all differences will vanish in smoke together with the evils which have been so much advertised, but we must wait and see.
London, the 28th February, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian.]
Feb. 28. Inquisitori di Stato. Lettere degli Ambasciatori. Venetian Archives.194. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
Acknowledges letters of 22 January. Has collected information as instructed. Will do what he can to get the book, but Foscarini himself tried unsuccessfully to obtain a copy.
London, the 28th February, 1615. [m.v.] Contemporary copy.
[Italian.]
Feb. 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.195. Antonio Foscarini, late Ambassador in England, and Antonio Donato, Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier of the duke of Savoy conducted me, Foscarini, to His Highness at Rivoli, who received me with extraordinary favour. On reaching Turin I received a present of fruit and confections from the duke and went yesterday to kiss hands. He again received me with extraordinary favour. We talked about my journey, of the state of affairs in France, of the good health of the king of Great Britain, at which His Highness expressed the liveliest satisfaction. He spoke for more than one hour about the difficulties of your Serenity, saying that he understood that they were increasing. The duke then said: As Sig. Foscarini is here with information of the state of this world and in particular of those parts from which we have the greatest hope of assistance, I think it well to state my position so that he may report my words to the republic. I perceive that the Spaniards mean to swallow everything. They now hope to give a severe shock to the Signory without themselves moving, as the columns of the Venetian dominion can alone offer resistance to the Spaniards. I offer to levy troops in France and in my own State to serve the republic, and by merely standing armed peace will be secured to all Italy. If the republic will bear the cost I will run all the risks. The republic is shut out on almost every side from receiving foreign help. English assistance by sea with ships and men would arrive too late, and I know that every English or French foot-soldier costs 30 crowns before he is in actual service, and these nations eat and consume a great deal.
We listened attentively to the duke's generous proposal, worthy of his warlike spirit, and promised to report it to the republic. The duke replied that his own idea was to drive the Spaniards out of Italy; that accomplished, he should be content.
Turin, the last day of February, 1615. [m.v.]
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Garway or Garraway.