Venice
March 1616, 16-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1908

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151-165

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'Venice: March 1616, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 14: 1615-1617 (1908), pp. 151-165. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=95943 Date accessed: 02 October 2014.


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March 1616, 16–30

March 16. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.214. To the Ambassador in England.
The grand duke of Tuscany and the duke of Mantua have communicated by their representatives here the orders received from the emperor to interpose for an accommodation of our dispute with the archduke Ferdinand. We have thanked them for the offer, feeling sure that they would consider the justice of our cause in wishing to free ourselves from the pest of the Uscochi. We have declared our willingness to accept any reasonable settlement which will provide for our security and honour. We send you this for information, chiefly to make known that if the archduke's intentions are the same as our own all this affair may be easily arranged.
The like to Rome, Germany, France, Spain, Savoy, Milan, Naples, Coire, Zurich.
Ayes167.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
March 17. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.215. To the Secretary Padavin in the Grisons.
We leave it to you to decide whether to pass to the Swiss to treat about levies, and if you can do so without upsetting the arrangements where you now are. The English ambassador, who is coming to reside with us and who has already started, may travel through those parts, and our ambassador Foscarini, while he was residing at that court, told us that he intended to do so, and assured us that he had instructions to assist our interests. Accordingly, when he arrives, you will arrange to see him and receive the fruit of the dispositions and promises of that king.
Ayes161.
Noes3.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
March 18. Senate, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.216. To the Ambassador in England.
Our troops besieging Gradisca have made a breach and prepare for the assault. The enemy seeing this sallied out, but were repulsed, losing fifty men; we lost two. In Istria nothing has happened since the surrender of Antignana. The Proveditore General proposed to attack Zetnin, but has not done so as he heard it was so strongly garrisoned, and that the archduke's forces were gathering in other parts on the frontiers of the province. We have no news this week from Dalmatia. We have chosen a Proveditore for beyond Menzo and we shall choose another for this side. We send you this for information.
The like to the Imperial Court, Rome, France, Spain, Savoy Milan, Naples, Florence, Mantua, the Grisons.
Ayes145.
Noes5.
Neutral20.
[Italian.]
March 18. Senato, Terra. Venetian Archives.217. To the Ambassador in England.
We have previously written asking you to obtain information of the cost of lead and powder, and we are sure that you will use all diligence in this. We now repeat this and add that if you find anyone in England or in Holland, where we understand there are conveniences for this, who will undertake to bring to this city and consign to the Proveditori of the Artillery two hundred thousand of fine powder, brand 6, you will accept it for the price you will agree upon, which should be at 20s. for the light Venetian lira at the rate of exchange, obtaining what advantages you can, and fixing a time limit for the delivery and other particulars. You will advise us and the Proveditori of the Artillery of what you arrange.
Ayes145.
Noes5.
Neutral20.
[Italian.]
March 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.218. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In conformity with what I arranged at Newmarket with the secretary Winwood, His Majesty sent letters to Sir [Henry] Wotton to take to the Elector Palatine for himself and for the whole Union of the princes of Germany, and a commission to treat with them upon the current affairs of your Serenity with the archduke Ferdinand, giving him instructions first to inform them of the depredations committed by the Uscochi for long years, the efforts of your Excellencies to free yourselves from this pest in a peaceful way, and the fact that the justice of your cause has led the Imperial Court to promise a remedy, but that these promises have never been sincerely performed. Secondly, that His Majesty, not only on this account, but by reason of his singular friendship, interest and confidence, desires every success for the affairs of your Serenity, and can receive no greater satisfaction from his friends than to concur with him in acknowledging the same justice and in declaring the same goodwill towards the republic. Finally that it is not in the interests of the states of Germany to allow the princes of the House of Austria to dispose and arrange matters according to their good pleasure, and it may be to their advantage that a demonstration of good-feeling towards your Serenity should oblige you to reciprocate, and will link them more closely together for the common benefit of all parties.
Sir Henry Wotton has been to see me and told me he had received such orders, and to tell me that he was to introduce these matters in the way that would be most gratifying to your Serenity. He has instructions from the Court to insist chiefly upon the point of the benefit to the Union of mutual expressions of esteem, the more so with the republic because at other times the princes of the Union have had an agent at Venice, and he proposes to persuade them to do this again, as the present time is much more propitious than the past to have a good understanding, and the Union will be much more solid, more regulated and greater by having ministers to negotiate its affairs.
I thanked them both for His Majesty and himself, and told him such news as I thought most necessary, expressing the esteem of your Excellencies for the Elector Palatine and all the princes of the Union, and how gladly you would welcome their agents and ministers at any time. I shall see Sir Henry Wotton again before his departure, and I shall again make all the representations which will best serve your Excellencies.
I have been to visit the queen, who sent for me, and listened readily to the narration I made to her of these affairs. I did this of set purpose, because the Spanish ambassador, who visits her very often and does everything to make himself agreeable to Her Majesty, supplies her with information which is much more in conformity with his own tastes than with the truth. He has already complained to Her Majesty and some of the chief persons of this Court that your Excellencies have occupied various places of the archduke Ferdinand, and where they have no knowledge of the matter he enlarges more fully and finds it easier to persuade them to accept his version of the case. However, I have acquainted Her Majesty with the justice of the cause of your Serenity and with your ordinary disposition towards peace, but that the necessities of self-defence force you to attempt to put an end to this plague and to the barbarous proceedings of the Uscochi, and to ask for the fulfilment of the promises so often made, to root out this evil. I added other particulars which I thought suitable, saying that your Serenity desired nothing better than that all the princes should be well informed of this affair, but especially those who are known to be so well affected as Her Majesty and her brother the king of Denmark, as you were certain that they would recognise the justice of your cause.
Her Majesty received my representations graciously, especially as regards the king of Denmark, and she thanked me warmly in his name for the confidence shown by your Serenity, repeating several times that she would do everything in her power for the service of the republic. She thought it was perfectly in the right and it was folly in the archduke not to fulfil his promises. She was certain that the king would continue in his usual friendly disposition towards the republic and possibly he might prove a means of settling all these things. As I could not get rid of the idea that the ambassador of Spain might touch upon a similar question, in order to place the position of the archduke in a favourable light, I told the queen that the friendship of His Majesty increased daily and so much the more increased the indebtness of your Excellencies, and it was certain that the king would leave nothing undone in the interests of the common peace and a favourable settlement of the affairs of your Excellencies. These were so clearly arranged that it was unnecessary to speak at length upon them, as there was only one thing to do, namely that the archduke should fulfil his promises, and root out the evil. This was the whole affair in a nutshell. It was important that the archduke should carry out his promises, as your Serenity would no longer be satisfied with fresh promises but very reasonably required that the previous ones should be effected. Her Majesty replied that your Serenity was perfectly right and was acting with great prudence. She felt sure if the archduke was not mad, he would settle matters, doing what your Excellencies desired.
London, the 19 March, 1616.
[Italian.]
March 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives219. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of Savoy had audience of the king at Newmarket and told him that the duke had little hope of seeing the treaty of Asti executed as he desired; that the governor of Milan had 14,000 foot and was expecting more from Florence, Lucca and Spain; that if the Spaniards contemplated fresh attacks upon His Highness or asked him for a free passage he would have to think of his defence. He therefore begged His Majesty, in conformity with the excellent disposition which he has always shown, and for the general good, to be warned of this danger and to inform His Highness what assistance he would promise to guarantee his states.
The king listened to the ambassador with every sign of friendliness, entered upon a general discourse about their various affairs, and referred the full decision upon the proposals made to the reply which he would cause the secretary Winwood to give. The secretary afterwards fully confirmed the perfectly friendly disposition of His Majesty towards the duke of Savoy; that he would act in such a manner as to secure the complete effectuation of the treaty of Asti, which the king of Spain desired to be observed, by what his ministers wrote from the Spanish court; that he does not believe that the governor of Milan will demand a free passage at this moment or make any other attempt upon His Highness. He rather believed that he had collected his forces in order to afford some support to the archduke Ferdinand in his dispute with your Serenity. If they demanded the passage or entered in any other way into the State of His Highness, His Majesty would assist the duke and secure help from the other princes his friends, such as the States, the princes of Germany and any others with whom he had influence. That he had given instructions to Sir [Henry] Wotton to pass through Piedmont on his way to Venice, and thence to Milan and Mantua, and to endeavour in every way to obtain satisfaction for His Highness.
The ambassador replied that His Majesty should be the more anxious for the disarmament of Milan and the execution of the treaty of Asti, because in addition to the duke of Savoy, your Serenity also was involved. To this the secretary replied that His Majesty had at heart the interests of your Serenity, and the duke and he wished to employ his forces for both. He wished to say that their forces were intended to cause some annoyance to your Excellencies, whom His Majesty would not fail to warn to make every proper provision, and if it were only on account of the archduke Ferdinand they would not at present think of taking them out of Italy or of securing a passage through the state of His Highness. However, for the benefit of all, Sir [Henry] Wotton would endeavour to obtain a complete disarmament, and His Majesty desires to see this affair settled very shortly, I know that in France also His Majesty has given express orders to his ambassador to keep in mind the execution of the treaty of Asti in the accommodation of the princes.
The ambassador of Savoy, besides the special office which he had to perform also referred to some words which had been said about the marriage of the prince to the Infanta of Spain. To this His Majesty replied that some proposals for a marriage had been made to him from Spain, but he had replied that some negotiations had already been begun with France and he could not listen to any other proposals before those negotiations were completed. If those came to nothing he would be ready to listen to any other proposals. He afterwards assured the same ambassador that this was what had taken place with Spain, but before things were quite settled in France he would have no close negotiations either with France or with Spain, but when they were settled he would think of preparing what was opportune and in any case, before deciding he would first inform and consult the States and his other allies. M. de Courtenay has stated that in France they have a secret promise in the marriage concluded not to marry the second princess of France to the prince here. The prospect of a marriage with Spain has been much discussed here, especially in the queen's court and in the city among the Catholics who hope for great benefits and the advancement of religion. The Spaniards are glad at the circulation of these rumours and hopes, as by preserving the friendship of some they may become more popular in the country and increase their authority at Court.
London, the 19th March, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 19. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.220. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
As I wrote in my last despatch, M. de Courtenay went to find the king at Newmarket when he had audience of His Majesty. He represented the state of the negotiations of the prince of Condé for an arrangement with their Most Christian Majesties, and showed a letter of the prince of the 21st ult. from Loudun, in which he first expresses his great indebtedness to His Majesty, and goes on to say that the negotiations had been prorogued for some days in order to await two deputies of the Huguenots, without whom he would not begin anything; that together they formed an assembly more numerous and more important than had ever been seen in France. M. de Candale and M. de Chatillon, had recently arrived there and the duke of Vendome would come in a couple of days, his baggage having already arrived. His declaration, although somewhat late, had greatly increased the reputation of his party; he had 10,000 men, who crossed a river in order to unite with the other forces of the prince; they had boats and every convenience. A herald had come in the king's name to intimate that he ought to dismiss his troops and not proceed further, but he replied that he was the servant of His Most Christian Majesty, and had assembled them for no other purpose than to serve His Majesty under the command of the prince of Condé, and he could not give a reply before consulting him. He distinctly states that all under him are perfectly united and determined to listen to nothing but the general good, as everyone knows that if affairs generally are in a favourable state his own condition will be better in his own particular station. With regard to other particulars he refers to what M. de Courtenay will have heard from his own brother. After M. de Courtenay had shown this letter to the king, he made two proposals, one that if an agreement was not or could not be made, he should declare what help he was willing to afford the princes. The second, that if an agreement was made the princes would of necessity be separated and their troops dispersed. As the prince of Condé, who has hitherto borne a heavy burden for the general good to countervail the machinations of Spain, after the conclusion of the treaty ought not, as a good subject to continue to have intelligence and negotiations with foreigners, then if the king's person and the authority of the government remain in the hands of persons who wish to advance the interests of Spain, they may twist things to their mind. That they may not do so the princes of France will be obliged to put an army in the field, but the princes united with the crown of France and His Majesty in particular owing to his greatness and influence, as free princes who may secure their own interests without rendering account of their actions to to anyone, ought to have a good understanding with each other and offer a united opposition to the Spanish attempts and see that France does not return to a government conducted for the benefit of Spanish interests. When once good order has been established in French affairs none of the other powers need fear the greatness of the Spaniards any more than in the time of Henry IV, but when the opposition of France is removed or perverted in favour of their interests, everyone is obliged to watch over his own affairs with much greater danger and difficulty than would be the case otherwise if care were taken in securing the good governance of France.
His Majesty heard all this argument and commended the care of the prince of Condé for the good goverance of affairs. He said he hoped that an accommodation was sure, and he would not abandon its honest execution and their safety after he had secured it. The princes, his allies, would do the same and would exert themselves in the same interests, desiring the same general well-being as His Majesty.
M. de Courtenay said that his brother wrote to him that they were not altogether satisfied that the expulsion of the suspect persons from court would be done sincerely and while the Chancellor remains near their Majesties he is quite capable of gathering together his scattered flock once more. Some say that the Chancellor intends to have himself made a cardinal, in order to retire with dignity, but others say it would simply be in order to increase his authority and dignity in dealing with affairs. The partisans of the princes say that 15,000 men have died on the king's side, so that they are greatly distressed.
London, the 19th March, 1616.
[Italian.]
March 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.221. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In conformity with the instructions of your Serenity, I have not failed to procure what information I could about the troops which may be levied from these kingdoms. With regard to the pay, there may be but little difference, whether they are natives of Ireland, Scotland or England. The States among many other excellent institutions, have a perfect economy of war; they only give their soldiers about 32 reals a month, reckoning a month at forty-two days, but with the admirable provision that they give various advantages in the matter of provisions and clothing, which depend upon the condition of the neighbouring country and upon the certainty of engaging them for a long while. They also keep them in good health by maintaining a uniform diet, comprising an abundance of flesh and the use of beer, and by the facilities they give for exchanging and returning.
The duke of Savoy, during his last difficulties, negotiated for levying 4,000 foot here, under four colonels and one general for them all. The payment with which the levy was negotiated amounted to about three gold crowns of France, but what chiefly deterred His Highness from making this levy was the heavy initial expense for buying arms and clothing for them, the hire of vessels and a profusion of victuals. The voyage to Venice is considered much longer and much more difficult, since it is necessary to coast round Sicily, and especially in summer, when owing to the calm seas, high ships are sometimes exposed to the attacks of galleys. This danger causes a great expense in order to arm the vessels sufficiently for defence, and because, owing to the length of the voyage, it is necessary to find something more than benches for the soldiers in the ships, who would fall ill owing to the close and uncomfortable quarters. Their sufferings might render them unserviceable for a long time after their arrival. I will endeavour to obtain more exact information by questioning various people.
I have received word from Amsterdam that powder is very dear there at present, as it would be 46 of the florins of that country the hundred, making 112 lire and answering to 108 Venetian, that is 18 ducats 9 grossi for the Venetian hundred. The saltpetre was worth 49 florins, answering to 19 ducats 14 grossi the hundred pounds by Venetian weight, and there might be about 6 per cent. to pay for export duty; but when a quantity of saltpetre arrives, made by distilling the sea water, as is the usual way, the price will become reasonable. The secretary may have more particular information, but in any case, if the prices are so high, provision might be made here in England.
Rope is worth 8 florins the hundred, that is 3 ducats 5 grossi. Lead, upon which your Excellencies instructed me to obtain information in your last letters, might be worth about 50 ducats the fother here at present, answering to some 2,000 Venetian lire. It is generally about 7 ducats here for the extraction, besides minor expenses.
London, the 21st March, 1616.
[Italian.]
March 23. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.222. To the Ambassador in England.
Our troops remain before Gradisca, and are preparing to capture the place. The enemy made a sudden sortie at dawn the other day to the number of 600, and succeeded in inflicting some damage. In Dalmatia our General has captured Mosselenizze, not far from Fiume, after two days' bombardment.
The like to Rome, Germany, Spain, Savoy, Milan, Florence, Mantua, Naples, Grisons.
Ayes162.
Noes1.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
March 23. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.223. To the Ambassador in England.
Don Andrea Manriquez has arrived in this city, sent by the governor of Milan. He has been in the Cabinet, and expressed the pain he felt that the dispute with the archduke had been carried so far. He asked that a more easy road for negotiations might be found, pointing out the danger of the affair in the present state of things in Italy. We replied, as you will see by the enclosed copy, and we direct you to inform His Majesty as a sign of confidence.
Ayes162.
Noes1.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
March 23. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.224. To the Ambassador in England.
The affair of the duke of Savoy with the governor of Milan has come to a rupture, because, although His Excellency, on arriving in Italy, was all courtesy and promises, he has abstained from executing the treaty of Asti, and has raised so many difficulties that they have not been able to come to any arrangement. The duke desired by means of President Gives to discover his true intentions, upon which the governor declared that he would not carry out the treaty unless the duke entirely submitted to the favour of His Majesty, asked pardon for past offences, and left his fortresses as they were in the time of Philip II. In fine, he wished to convey that he was no longer a free prince, but absolutely dependent upon their will. This proceeding seemed hard to His Highness, as it must to everyone, and he has begun to arm again to defend his liberty and honour from such violence. We are certain that His Highness will inform His Majesty, who will be greatly displeased, because it was chiefly upon confidence in the promise of himself and of the king of France that the duke consented to the treaty and laid down his arms. At the same time we instruct you to communicate this to him as a sign of confidence and esteem, as we are sure he will recognise the serious nature of the affair, and will make the strongest representations to France and Spain that the treaty may be carried out, and that the disarmament may be effected, which is the crux of the whole matter. The maintainance of these troops on our confines not only causes the duke uneasiness, but also foments the plans of the archduke's subjects who promise themselves help from that quarter. We on our part will accept any reasonable settlement, provided we are freed from the pest of the Uscochi; but so long as they are supported by the archduke, we are compelled to reply with hostilities. We beg His Majesty to weigh all these matters and to consider the welfare and safety of this province. As we are attacked by the archduke, and exceedingly suspicious of the Spaniards, we are forced to defend our State and incur heavy expenses, so that we are the more in need of his help and a declaration in favour of our cause such as he has given at other times. We are certain that this would produce the best effect, will be worthy of his glory and of great service to Christendom, as it would assist not only the duke and ourselves, but all to whom any disaster in Istria would be prejudicial, and who might suffer from Spanish designs elsewhere. If His Majesty and the princes of Germany will interest themselves as they see fit they will confer a great benefit and do much for the general peace and tranquillity. You must speak to His Majesty substantially in this manner, so that he may come to some decision upon the affairs of His Highness and ourselves. You will also speak about this to the ambassador of the States, omitting the request for help.
The secretary Padavin is in the country of the Grisons and has already sent a certain number of infantry from those parts, not by public licence but with tacit permission. He has endeavoured to do the same in Berne and Zurich, but so far we have not much hope there. If the ambassador of Berne arrives, whom His Majesty urged to assist us, and if the ambassador Wotton uses his efforts to the same purpose, as we understand he is to, we may prove successful.
We do not repeat our instructions of 26 February and 11 March last to show confidence to the count Palatine, Denmark and others, and to take information about troops, munitions, etc., because we are certain that you will execute them punctually.
Ayes162.
Noes1.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
March 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.225. Pietro Vico, Venetian Secretary in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador left recently with a few followers. He embarked at San Sebastian, where a ship was awaiting him. (fn. 1) The rest of his household remains here with his wife, who will stay on until the middle of next month.
Madrid, the 24th March, 1616.
[Italian.]
March 24. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.226. To the Ambassador in England.
We have thought it well to send you a copy of the exposition of the marquis Manriquez so that you may the better understand the reply and represent it to His Majesty. There is no progress in the negotiations, because a reply is awaited from Florence and Mantua. We believe that Echemberg, the archduke's minister, is troubling the negotiations, as he has done hitherto. Facts at any rate show that they desire a rupture, as they are sending Colonel Marada to levy five companies of cuirassiers, and Colonel Stuard will soon have 3,000 foot. The archduke Maximilian had sent orders to Colonel Pethen to raise a regiment of infantry and to the Cavalier Tump to enlist 500 horse, so that everything points to war. But the most serious matter is the money provided by the Catholic ambassador, as we are advised that he supplied 150,000 crowns for these purposes. They thought that by such means they would secure advantages in the negotiations for the succession of Ferdinand to the estates of the emperor. You will make use of this as you see fit.
Ayes170.
Noes3.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
March 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.227. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After sending off my last despatch I received your Serenity's letters of the 26th ult. with instructions about current affairs with the archduke Ferdinand. I imparted my commissions to the secretary Winwood, who came to visit me soon after, to notify the king of what had taken place and to ask for an audience of His Majesty. He told me that the king would arrive in London to-morrow and therefore it would be better to wait here. As I desired to send the secretary to Holland as soon as possible I spoke about this and got him to promise to acquaint His Majesty upon this point. He told me he would do this very speedily and therefore the mission of the secretary to the States need not be delayed in any way; but if he waited a little while the ambassador Carleton would have arrived at the Hague; he also added a new letter for him, which I know for certain contained instructions from His Majesty.
M. Caron, ambassador of the States also gave me a letter for M. de Barnevelt. With these and with the instructions of your Excellencies and the letters for the States and count Maurice, together with such information as I thought opportune, I sent off the secretary immediately. He left on Monday evening, and I do not doubt that he will diligently fulfil his mission. After his departure I received word that next week the greater part of the deputies of the States will be present in their provinces not to return and meet together before next May; however, I hope that all this will not prejudice the offices of your Serenity. I also gave instructions to the secretary that in addition to the full publication and exposition of affairs to prince Maurice and M. de Barnevelt he should observe the disposition of their minds because, owing to their great authority in the government scarcely any important decision can be taken before it has been turned over in their minds, and everything upon which they have decided is very easily carried with the rest. I also sent to M. de Vandermiller, (fn. 2) who was ambassador with your Serenity, to do what he could to second these offices and to supply such information as he might think fit. I hope that by the influence of this person the office will be favourably received, as he is very friendly towards the affairs of your Serenity I have also given the secretary instructions to obtain information about the supply of men desired by your Serenity, and to go to Amsterdam in order to do so more exactly, since the reports which I receive from there say that prices are very high especially for troops and there are rather considerable difficulties in the way of transporting them by sea.
London, the 25th March, 1616.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.228. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador of France has been to see me and has shown me the paragraph of a letter written to him from the court in which he is advised that their Most Christian Majesties, seeing the fire that is being kindled on the frontiers of your Serenity with the archduke Ferdinand, which may easily become a great conflagration to the prejudice of the public peace of Christendon if a remedy be not applied, have given orders to their ambassadors and ministers, out of their regard for the common good, to use every effort to obtain an accommodation of these differences. After thanking the ambassador I told him that your Serenity would be especially grateful for these offices as their Most Christian Majesties were ever solicitious for the general welfare and this office in particular would be especially grateful owing to the confidence shown by them which would produce a great effect, especially with the princes of the House of Austria. The republic had displayed great patience in bearing so long with this pest of the Uscochi and had only been driven to take up arms in pure self defence. The efforts of the French crown would go a long way to secure the fulfilment of the promises which alone would produce a permanent settlement. I added that your Serenity would look for the most satisfactory results from the intervention, and if they did not succeed, their Majesties would have the more reason to recognise the complete justice of the cause of the republic. I told him in particular that your Serenity had no intention of occupying the possessions of others, and those of the archduke least of all, and that you would immediately withdraw your troops once you were assured of the fulfilment of the promises, but before obtaining this it was not reasonable to abandon any advantage in your own defence. The ambassador replied that their Most Christian Majesties recognised that nothing but reasonable things ought to be desired among friends, and they would never advise your Serenity to withdraw from a position for the defence of your states. He went on to represent that nothing would tend more to maintain the balance of human affairs than a settlement of affairs in France, which would serve the interests of his friends elsewhere; he had said the same thing recently to the secretary Winwood, who had called upon him, because the secretary complained that their Christian Majesties did not act more energetically in inducing the Catholic King to carry out the treaty of Asti. He pointed out to him that they could not complain because their Majesties did not procure the security of their neighbours, while on their side they were favouring those who disturbed the kingdom and by thus keeping them preoccupied, deprived them of the opportunity of doing more.
I understand that the Spanish Ambassador complains loudly that your Serenity has occupied a great part of the country of the archduke Ferdinand and says that this in particular prevents His Majesty from disarming the state of Milan and interrupts the peace in Italy which His Majesty had bought recently by so great an outlay of money. I will not fail to say what is proper upon occasion, and with His Majesty in particular I will do what I can. But these representations of the Spaniards receive little attention here and only afford me a more favourable opportunity of effectively setting forth the justice of your Serenity's cause.
London, the 25 March, 1616.
[Italian.]
March 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.229. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday evening a courier arrived from the duke of Savoy. He had first been to Tours to the duke's ambassador with the Most Christian King. He has brought both there and here information of the negotiations of the Senator Zoello in the name of His Highness with the governor of Milan, of the form they took and of the artifices of the Spaniards to postpone the execution of the treaty of Asti. His Highness tries to show how unsafe is his position and what slight hopes he retains of seeing the execution of the treaty. The ambassador of Savoy spoke to the secretary Winwood, who showed him the terms of the petition of the princes of France who ask for the execution of the treaty as promised by His Most Christian Majesty, and assured him of the favourable disposition of that king. He said that it was not credible that the Spaniards would harm the duke without granting any of the points which His Highness desired. With all this the ambassador sent back the courier in great haste with the duplicates of his last letters upon his audience of His Majesty at Newmarket.
From Flanders news continues to arrive of the extensive armaments made by the archduke Albert, I am told that he is collecting provisions and artillery and 2,000 horse. He is endeavouring to obtain a number of sailors, because in making sail and other marine exercises they are used to hauling ropes together and this will prove useful in the manipulation of artillery.
The States also are not neglecting their affairs; they have sent twelve companies of foot to Juliers and are making various other provisions.
The marriage of count Henry of Nassau to the daughter of the Landgrave of Hesse is confirmed, with the news, among the other conditions, that the Landgrave gives him as dower some of his pretensions upon the bishopric of Paderborn; now held by the elector of Cologne. They are considered important owing to their closeness to the states of Cleves and especially to the country of Ravensberg, where recently they placed their garrisons; readily seizing the opportunity to take possession of those situations by which they are able the better to secure the land which they hold, and disturb their adversaries. I understand that the place of Borchello formerly held by the elector of Cologne and now recovered by them in the name of the count of Styrum (Stiren Geldrese) is extremely convenient.
The prince of Brandenburg, who is staying at Cleves, is to pass towards the Palatinate with five cornets of picked cavalry, and will proceed afterwards to the court of his father, the margrave of Brandenburg. His Majesty has chosen lord Hay to go as ambassador to congratulate his Most Christian Majesty on his marriage.
With regard to the other affairs of France they are daily expecting a decision upon the negotiations. Upon this M. de Courtenay told me that he hears the king is making a great provision of men and money, but nevertheless the prince is by far the stronger, and if he did not believe that both parties would be compelled to make peace by their necessities, he would be very doubtful about it. He told me of the eighth article of the proposals brought forward, providing that justice shall be done to his house in declaring it to be of the blood royal; that it is due to the king and the country that those who really belong to the royal house should be recognized. He told me that in the assembly of the princes, when they were considering the articles to be proposed, this one obtained general assent, that the king of Great Britain had fully approved of it and had written about it to his ambassador to see that it is carried out, without M. de Courtenay ever asking him to do anything except that the secretary Winwood had reported the commission to him which it has pleased His Majesty to give. He said he thought your Serenity would be gratified to hear of this, seeing the good disposition of the princes of the blood of France towards you, and especially Mons. the prince. For himself, after the glory which belongs to him as one of the blood royal of France, he boasts most of all of the hereditary claims, which he shares with your Excellencies, to the empire of Constantinople. He spoke to me very specially upon the articles about preserving all the ancient alliances and bonds of the crown of France, among whom the princes include your Serenity. He added that if matters turn out well in France, all the friends and allies of that crown will be able to rest at peace with much less anxiety.
London, the 25th March, 1616.
[Italian.]
March 26. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.230. To the Ambassador at Turin.
(We have sent to France and England and we hope that our letters will produce satisfactory results. Letters from London of the 12th inst. relate the excellent disposition of His Majesty, to act in favour of the duke of Savoy, and we have instructed our ambassador to speak warmly to him on the subject.) The governor of Milan listened attentively to the representations made by our secretary thereupon the negotiations of the marquis Manriquez, and seemed to receive the office kindly. He said that he desired a peaceful ending to the affair. He seemed to fully recognise the justice of our cause and how important to us and to Christendom is the provocation of the Uscochi against the Turks and the introduction into Italy of men of a contrary religion. He said that in conformity with the orders of the Emperor he had written to the dukes of Tuscany and Mantua to send to this city to start negotiations and he has done everything to stop the siege of Gradisca. At the same time we have letters from our ambassador at Rome telling us of the friendly exhortations of the pope for peace, for which his Holiness is willing even to shed his own blood. We have therefore, in order to show our sincere desire for peace, instructed our Proveditore General in Terra Firma to suspend the bombardment of Gradisca for some days, so as to remove this hindrance to negotiations and to prove our good intentions to all. We direct you to impart this to His Highness as a sign of confidence.
The like, except the part between brackets, to France, England, Naples, Florence, Mantua, the Grisons, the Ambassador Gussoni.
The like to Germany, but simply for information.
[Italian.]
March 28. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.231. To the Ambassador in England.
The republic recognises the importance of the union of spirits and of the balance of the arms of both parties. We continue to increase our forces everywhere and we are firmly resolved to maintain the interests of the duke of Savoy as if they were our own. We have heard with especial satisfaction of the release of the marquis of Caluso from prison. The Proveditore General in Dalmatia advises us that he has taken the strong place of Berse Zargai. This will secure the whole coast as far as Albona and Franona.
Ayes172.
Noes1.
Neutral2.
The line to Turin, Rome, France, the Ambassador Gussoni, Spain, the Ambassador Gritti, Naples, Florence, Mantua, the Grisons.
[Italian.]
March 28. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.232. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
I saw the duke on Friday. He spoke of possible assistance from France. Time was everything. He might enlist Bernese and Zurichers but the republic should do so also. Help from England would take too long, and there was danger of failure. He said, I will tell you in confidence that my ambassador writes he is of opinion that there are two things to which the king of England will never bring himself, to summon parliament, which alone can supply him with the necessary funds and to make war on the Spaniards, as he now hears of negotiations for an alliance with them, and marriages (et voglio dirle in confidenza che il mio Ambr. mi serive che giudica che a due cose non si condurra mai il Re d'Inghilterra á decretar i parlamenti, che sono quelli che possono darle modo di spendere, et a far la guerra á Spagnoli, anzi hora ascolta trattatione d'unirsi con loro et matrimonii).
Turin, the 28th March, 1616
[Italian.]
March 29. Inquisitori di Stato. Busta 155. Venetian Archives.233. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
On the 16th inst. I met Sir [Henry] Wotton. We spoke about the ambassador Foscarini. We got upon the reported intention of the ambassador to kill Muscorno. Wotton said that the king had spoken to him upon the matter. Foscarini had spoken earnestly in his own defence, but had never asked for pardon. He said the king had only interfered because he was sorry to see disputes between the servants of the republic.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Digby started on March 5 from Madrid. State Papers, Foreign, Spain, Cottington to Winwood, 13 March, 1616.
2 Cornelius de Vandermyle.