Venice
November 1616

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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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341-360

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'Venice: November 1616', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 14: 1615-1617 (1908), pp. 341-360. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=95957 Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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November 1616

Nov. 4. Senato, Secrets. Deliberazioni, Costant. Venetian Archives.496. To the Bailo in Constantinople.
We have received your letters of the 3rd and 18th September relating the grave proposals of the Caimecan and Grand Defterdar, which we consider most obnoxious. You will make complaints to the Caimecan and due representations. If we liked to retaliate, as we might easily do, the trade of the Turkish subjects here would suffer greatly. It is better to refrain from such action, and you will endeavour to obtain the restitution of the property retained by reasoning with the Defterdar.
You will also speak to the Caimecan about the bertons of Tunis, which, in spite of the strong orders which you obtained, have, during these last months, been about the island of Cyprus waiting for merchant ships, and which receive in all the places of His Majesty and in that island in particular every commodity of provisions and accommodation for the ships, as you will see by what our Consul Foscarini writes from Aleppo. You will repeat how they inflict damage upon Turkish subjects as well as our own and show what damage they inflict upon the trade and customs of His Majesty, as the action of their ships not only prejudices Turkish subjects and our own, but French, English and Flemings also. You will approach the ambassadors of those powers, to obtain these orders jointly if you think fit, and above all you will make urgent representations to the Pasha of the Sea, when he returns.
Ayes120.
Noes1.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Nov. 4. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costant. Venetian Archives.497. To the Bailo in Constantinople.
You will continue to make representations about the carazo, either jointly with the other ambassadors or separately, as you judge best, as we attach great importance to the matter mentioned by you about the special protection enjoyed by the ambassadors of England and Flanders for their Jewish dragomans, to the prejudice of the common cause. The attempt to impose the carazo has always hitherto been abandoned by good advice, as they have recognised how prejudicial it must be to the good governance of the state and friendly relations with the powers, and that it would compel the merchants to abandon their trade and thus inflict loss upon the commerce and customs of His Majesty.
The dragomans are protected by the capitulations as being the dependants of the prince whom they serve, and they cannot be touched without breaking the capitulations. You will use these and other arguments to the Caimecan.
Ayes120.
Noes1.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Nov. 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.498. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Owing to contrary winds Lord Roos has not yet been able to embark for Spain. He is at Plymouth, whence, I am told, he has written to His Majesty to say that letters have reached him from the Court of the Catholic king with news that if he does not take with him some definite proposals upon the subject of religion his negotiations for marriage will not only prove fruitless, but other matters also will not be well received. In this respect the Spaniards desire that the whole of the princess's household shall be free to exercise the Catholic religion, which will not easily be granted by His Majesty and the Council, as they do not wish the use of the Roman Church to extend outside her chamber, in order that there may be as little confusion as possible and as little of the harm which the English pretend they receive by the introduction of this important irritant.
Throughout the present week the Council has been discussing the affair of the cloth as a matter of the highest importance. They do not know what decision to take which will give satisfaction and repair the damage caused by the prohibition of the Dutch. They have talked of excluding all silk from the kingdom, so that the people themselves may use all the cloth which cannot be sent abroad and thus shut the door against an immense quantity of gold which is continually flowing from this kingdom to various parts of the world, and to Italy in particular. But this provision is not sufficient to heal the mischief and already one hears the outcry of a great many people who have been thrown out of work through the dislocation of the cloth-making trade, and who do not know how they will gain a livelihood.
Two English captains have arrived, recommended by Count Ernest of Nassau for the service of your Excellencies. (fn. 1) Although I have not been able to see them as yet, in spite of all my efforts, I understand that they are here to enlist soldiers, more particularly among those who have served the States in the past, and who have experience of war, from whom good service may be expected. I will especially try to find out what they are doing and upon what conditions they will take the men out of the island, so that this experience may serve for other occasions when your Excellencies may command other levies here. Already a certain captain here has offered to come and serve you upon the same conditions as the levies from Holland will have, presupposing that they will be equally efficient.
As Lord Dingwall is better, I have been to pay him a complimentary visit. I found him still weak from the disease and his mind much perturbed at the outcome of his journey. In one respect he felt himself consoled, namely by the favours and honours which he had received at Venice both from your Excellencies and your representatives, but he was greatly distressed at not having been able to obtain the principal object of his journey to Italy, which was to show himself by deeds a servant of the republic as devoted as any subject, and his offers of service involved no idea of benefiting himself, but were simply for honour. He thought he had not made himself understood and that he had been unfaithfully served by those who accompanied and helped him, not excluding the Ambassador Wotton himself, and he was sorry that at the very beginning of the affair he was stopped from speaking. When he saw how little inclination they had to avail themselves of his offer, he would have explained himself. He said that his offer was much greater than was credited. Not only would he have brought 6,000 foot, but under the same promise of the king his Master he would have bound himself to come with such a fleet to serve your Serenity that you would have remained master of all these seas. He had with him detailed notes of all the necessary expenses, which would have afforded entire satisfaction to your Excellencies. Nevertheless he is still of the same mind in wishing to serve the republic, and he has made it known in all the places he has passed through. In his relations with the king he has sought to remove His Majesty's astonishment at the little value which he saw your Excellencies placed upon his offices and letters, in which he made himself security for what the baron promised, a thing so unusual that no other Englishman or Scotchman has ever obtained such a thing from His Majesty. The baron is resolved that he will serve no other prince in the world except his natural sovereign and your Serenity. After having once offered he will never withdraw, and if in the future he can obtain the favour of your commands and the honour of being employed, he will not only stake his life, but, to show that he is not a soldier of fortune, he will also stake his 24,000 crowns a year what he expects to obtain shortly from the acquisition of a county (fn. 2) and whatever his friends and relations can collect.
In our long conversation together I tried to satisfy him as much as I reasonably could, assuring him of your Serenity's esteem for him and how much you valued his offer, which you would use when an opportunity occurred. I tried to sweeten those things which seemed to me to be most bitter. With the sincerity which I owe to the affairs of your Serenity I may say that I found he had an extraordinary affection for your affairs, of which he speaks in the most honourable and respectful manner. The knight Skinner (Schiner) who accompanied him does just the opposite. He was offended by something or other and has gone about saying everywhere, both on his journey and here in England, every possible evil. On this account the baron has fallen out with him and tries to counteract his influence.
There are fourteen pirate ships outside the strait of Gibraltar which do great harm. They recently plundered four ships coming from Newfoundland. (fn. 3) Inside the strait they say that there are a great many others, from whom, however, the Dutch ships ought to be safe, which are taking the soldiers of the Count of Nassau, owing to their numbers, and because the pirates will not want to tackle them since there is nothing to be gained but death.
The king remains at Royston, 44 miles away, and next week he will come to London, when we shall see what is to be done in the matter of Savoy.
London, the 4th November, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.499. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
I spoke to the duke of the pretensions of the Spaniards and of the desire of your Excellencies for the establishment of peace in this province. He was very glad to hear of the decision of your Serenity to send again to the king of England, because he does not conceal his difficulties from his friends and thinks it will be very useful to stir up that king vigorously, telling him that the smallest declaration of action would produce the most beneficial results; but he seemed to expect little or to get it late.
Chivasso, the 4th November, 1616.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 5. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.500. Letters patent announcing the acceptance of the offer of Prince Francis Julius of Saxony, Hungary and Westphalia to bring 3,000 foot and 3,000 horse to serve the republic within three months, with a request to the friends and orders to the ministers of the republic to afford every facility for the passage of these troops.
Ayes120.
Noes5.
Neutral5.
[Italian.]
Nov. 5. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.501. That the English ambassador be summoned to the Cabinet with the Prince Francis Julius, and the following be read to him: We are much gratified by the prince's offer and beg to thank him, as we highly value his personal merits and greatly esteem his distinguished house.
Ayes120.
Noes5.
Neutral5.
That 50 ducats be spent in refreshments to be offered by the Cabinet to the prince.
[Italian.]
Nov. 5. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.502. To the King of Great Britain.
We have received a fresh confirmation of your Majesty's friendship towards the republic in your recommendation of Prince Francis Julius of Saxony to serve us. We greatly esteem his offer, especially as it comes with such a recommendation, and we return our warmest thanks.
Ayes120.
Noes5.
Neutral5.
[Italian.]
Nov. 7. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.503. The deliberation of the Senate of the 5 November was read to the Prince Francis Julius, duke of Saxony, and the ambassador of England. The latter thanked the doge and said that the duke proposed at first to return home by Augsburg but he subsequently thought it would be better to take the opportunity of going straight to the Grisons to secure the opening of the pass, which he does not think they will refuse to a prince of the Empire. The doge made a courteous reply. The duke, in French, asked the ambassador to speak for him, as although he understood what had been read he would not venture to speak in Italian. After these offices his gentlemen were introduced to pay their respects to his Serenity, and then they took leave and departed.
[Italian.]
Nov. 8. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.504. Ottavio Bon and Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador, when we happened to visit him, told us in confidence that he had made strong representations to the queen about the grant which she is said to have made to Nemours' men to pass into Savoy through Burgundy. He reminded her of the bond she was under to help the duke of Savoy with all her forces and not to do him such manifest harm, which would ultimately prove most prejudicial to this crown and a blow to her reputation. After listening patiently, Her Majesty replied: Do you think I am so destitute of judgment as not to recognize the importance of the preservation of the duke of Savoy to this kingdom? He replied: Madam, I am well aware that your Majesty recognises it, and that is why I am amazed when I see you acting in quite the contrary sense. The queen said: You see I know what I am doing. The ambassador remarked: Perhaps your Majesty has some security that the duke of Savoy will receive no harm. Yes, she said, I tell you what I would not say to anyone else.
Paris, the 8th November, 1616.
[Italian.]
Nov. 9. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costant. Venetian Archives.505. To the Bailo in Constantinople.
We are sorry to hear that the carazo has already been introduced. You will continue negotiations either jointly or separately for its removal. If it is continued, our merchants will be obliged to abandon that mart, or we shall be forced to introduce similar burdens for the Turkish merchants who trade here.
You have dealt with the affair of the archenda levied at Zante entirely to our satisfaction, but we have thought fit to write to Zante for detailed information.
Ayes101.
Noes0.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 9. Senato. Secreta. Deliberazioni, Costant. Venetian Archives.506. To the Proveditore of Zante.
By the enclosed copy you will see the trouble in which our Bailo at Constantinople finds himself owing to a certain archenda bought by a merchant named Cariati for an English merchant and sent by our ships to Constantinople. We desire you to take information cautious and secretly and send us full particulars.
Ayes101.
Noes0.
Neutral2.
[Italian.]
Nov. 11. Collegio, Letters. Secrete. Venetian Archives.507. To the Secretary in England.
We enclose a copy of what we have written to the ambassador in Germany with respect to the negotiations of the Cardinal's Ludovitio and M. Bethune, and the news of Friuli. This will serve you for information to use as our service requires with His Majesty and his ministers; and you will maintain a good understanding with the ambassador of Savoy.
[Italian.]
Nov. 12. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.508. To the Ambassador at Turin.
Although the ministers of the duke experience difficulties and delays in obtaining help from England, yet we approve of His Highness persevering. We shall do the same, and if possibly we succeed in obtaining something some day, however little it may be, it will give a great impetus to our affairs.
Ayes130.
Noes1.
Neutral3.
[Italian.]
Nov. 13. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.509. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
The States are suspicious about the departure of Lord Roos, sent to Spain by the king of Great Britain, because they believe that he may carry instructions for the marriage of the second princess to the prince of England. I am assured that Carleton, the king's ambassador here, does not deny this. Prince Maurice, when I went to see him last Thursday, made grave reflections upon these particulars, saying that if this other marriage takes place we shall be hedged about on every side, so that he was the more ready to listen to what your Excellencies commanded me to say to him.
The Hague, the 13th November, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 16. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.510. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
Prince Maurice, whom I saw this morning, repeated the same ideas as he expressed last week touching the general interests and the affairs of the duke of Savoy. He said there are no others at present who have interest in the public affair except the king of Great Britain, but he did not know how that monarch could help when he had not the wherewithal, and if he wants money he must summon parliament. The French had their own troubles to see to; only the princes of the Union could do anything, and he felt sure they would not fail.
Prince Maurice said something more in praise of Sir Thomas Studder, the Englishman. He said he did not know why he had left this service to be captain instead of sergeant-major in the archduke's army. I will await your Serenity's commands about this.
The Hague, the 16th November, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.511. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king came to London on Thursday and on Friday I received your Serenity's letters of the 21st October, commanding me to go at once to audience of His Majesty. I immediately asked for one, and the ambassadors of France, Spain and Savoy did the same on the same day. Saturday was given to France, and Sunday to me, the other two being put off without a fixed time. Accordingly I went to the Court on Sunday at two in the afternoon, the appointed hour. I was kept waiting until six, because His Majesty was in the Council after dinner and was subsequently employed in creating knights of the Bath. (fn. 4) Accordingly I was introduced into his bedchamber at night, when I presented the credential letters of your Serenity. His Majesty began by saying to me, All the world is in arms and you are not doing anything. I replied that if by you he meant the republic I would assure him that it was not only doing what was proper for the preservation of itself and the duke of Savoy, but had almost surpassed itself in the burden it was sustaining. I know that, said the king, but I mean these princes of Italy, our pope, and the duke of Florence; though we must not complain about the pope as I heard the other day that he had published some pardons, in order to quiet disturbances. I said that his Holiness had also sent a cardinal legate to Lombardy and that I knew no particulars about the Italian princes. He then opened and read your Serenity's letters, asking me to tell him what I wanted and permitted me without interruption to expound the whole office, which I tried to perform fully, relating the progress of affairs in Italy, the plans and progress of the Spaniards, the reasons of the duke of Savoy, what your Excellencies were doing and how you hoped that His Majesty would do the like, now that negotiations have ceased; that everything was reduced to force and arms; that it was clear that His Highness had done what could be expected of him in the treaty of Asti, which the Spaniards had not observed. They had entered Piedmont with a large army while on the other hand they were fomenting the archduke Ferdinand with men and money to continue the wars and upset every arrangement for peace. I informed him that in imparting this to His Majesty, your Serenity was observing the usual forms of confidence, and as you were sure he would be most sorry to hear them, he would certainly take some resolution which his prudence would dictate to him under the circumstances. After I had finished I observed that His Majesty was somewhat doubtful in his mind; however, he replied that he knew all these things, that it was true the Spaniards were in the field against the duke of Savoy and he did not wish the duke to fall, but unfortunately he is alone and distant and he cannot do what he would like to. That nothing can be hoped from France, God having permitted such confusion in that kingdom, that the king is sick, the queen has granted a pass to the Spaniards to enter Savoy, and that a strange reply had been given to the ambassador of your Excellencies at Paris upon the affair of the Grisons, all of which indicated that nothing good could be expected from France. Accordingly he repeated to me that he is alone and distant; but he had good news, that there was or would be an armistice in Italy for three weeks, and before this expired he had given orders that another should be arranged from which we might hope for a settling down of all these disturbances. I replied that although the duke of Savoy resisted the Spaniards at the beginning, I did not know how it would be in the long run, as the difference between their forces was so great, and the fact of France being in such a condition ought the more to excite His Majesty to employ his power so that His Highness might not be entirely abandoned and succumb; that as His Majesty is alone in this affair all the glory of bringing it to a happy issue will be his, but the weight would not be entirely borne by him, since he would have the assistance of those powers which were already defending themselves alone, and his great example would induce many other princes to follow, while the distance of England from Italy was not so great that it should be entirely abandoned, or that there should be no means of sending help when necessary. His Majesty allowed me to say what I pleased in reply and then answered, Be sure that I will do what I can, and as he then seemed to wish to retire, I took leave and departed.
In the audience which the king gave to the Most Christian Ambassador on the preceding day, His Majesty asked him if France desired the duke of Savoy to succumb altogether. The ambassador replied that owing to the respect which he bore for His Majesty he would not make the reply which he had not given some days before the Secretary Winwood in this connection; he would only say that if all those who were bound to help the duke would do what France is doing, the duke would have more reason to fear the teeth of his supporters than the forces of his enemies, since 18,000 French are serving in the armies of Savoy. The king retorted: They are so many enemies for the duke, since they ruin him and waste the country. The ambassador replied that he had not yet heard any complaints about it from the duke, who was perfectly free to dismiss them whenever he wanted to and if he was not well served by them. The king rejoined: But these French are paid by His Highness. The ambassador said this was true, because the state of affairs required it, but all the same, the granting of the men was sufficient.
The reply given by the ambassador to Winwood shortly before, when the secretary told him that France ought not to abandon the duke, was that they had not abandoned the duke, because the men with whom he was defending himself were all French, but England had abandoned him, because not a single English soldier had as yet appeared in Piedmont or Savoy, but the king contented himself with empty words and unfulfilled promises. The secretary replied that this could not be said, because the king of Great Britain had sent money to the duke. The ambassador retorted that in the present dangers they could not take into consideration the beggarly halfpence (quei quattro denari) which the king had given two years ago, of which His Highness did not receive a farthing and from which he obtained no benefits.
The hesitation which I thought I perceived in the king, and his irresolute manner of speaking to me is due to the fact that every day since his return to London His Majesty has laboured in the Council to decide what ought to be done in these disturbances of Italy, and the matter being a difficult one they had not settled anything about it at the time of my audience, but I believe that they made up their minds yesterday evening, as His Majesty has arranged to-day after dinner to give audience to the ambassador of Savoy. I will endeavour to obtain particulars before the courier sets out this evening, and send word to your Excellencies with this dispatch.
London, the 17th November, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra, Venetian Archives.512. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 10th of this month the prince of England came from Richmond to London by the River Thames, being met by a great number of people, this being the opening ceremonial of his coronation. On the morning of the following day they began by creating twenty-six knights of the Bath, all young men of high birth. With this ceremonial, which lasted three days, and it being the beginning of the carnival, the Court was full of joy and festivity. On Monday His Highness received the crown and title of Prince of Wales, and in the evening a banquet was given, but the festivities did not attain to the splendour of those which were celebrated for the dead prince. (fn. 5) The French ambassador has taken it very ill that he was not invited to take part in these ceremonies, as reason and custom require, the more so because he knows that this is due to the influence of the Spanish ambassador at this Court. A quarrel is going on between them, and the Spaniard, seeing that he could not have a place himself, succeeded in obtaining that neither France nor any other minister of a prince should be invited.
They are discussing as a matter already settled that His Majesty will at the earliest opportunity make a journey to Scotland, whither he has never returned since he first came to England. He will try to obtain a large sum of money there, and it is said that he will retain the revenues of the districts near that kingdom, and other provision will be made to have money at that time, the Council discussing the matter both yesterday and the day before.
Prince Vittorio of Savoy writes to the Count of Scarnafigi upon the state of affairs and other matters of Piedmont, urging him to ask for help, at least of munitions, as there is a great scarcity. He adds that if he cannot succeed in obtaining even this much liberality from His Majesty, he must try to buy some with his own money, especially powder and saltpetre, because the necessity is pressing. He also says they have sent an express courier with orders to the count of Moretta to complain to His Most Christian Majesty about the granting of the pass to the men of Nemours, and ask that it may be revoked or that at the least leave may be given to the men of Burgundy to come to Savoy, and to grant His Highness equal liberty to enter Burgundy.
Lord Roos must have left for Spain with these favourable winds, as he has been detained by contrary winds at Plymouth up to the present. As there has been plenty of time to arrange his instructions, they have taken from him all power to treat for a marriage, even instructing him not to answer if they speak to him about it. It is possibly recognised that he is not the man for such an affair, and so His Majesty does not wish him to negotiate about it at the Court of the Catholic king, but if there are to be negotiations they will be carried on here. It appears that the Spanish ambassador desires the same thing for his own interests, so that he may have all the honour, but this conclusion is still very distant, because although those who desire it are very strongly in its favour there are difficulties in the way.
With regard to the particulars for which your Excellencies ask, upon the monthly expense of having three or four armed ships from here for fighting purposes, I beg you to wait for detailed information until next week, as I propose to betake myself to Rochester tomorrow to confer with a noted servant of your Serenity who would be fitter than anyone else to be employed in this service, if your Serenity should give orders for it and if he would undertake the charge.
I have received the public letters of the 8th, 25th and 21st October with advices upon the affairs of your Serenity and Savoy, which will prove very useful to me and will serve to destroy all credit in the false news put about by the Spaniards. While I was closing the present letters two others have arrived from your Serenity of the 28th October, with news of the progress of the archduke, commissions for His Majesty, a reply of Wotton of the 26th October and the answer of the Senate on the 25th. At present I can only send a copy of my letters of the 7th October, which I am sorry to hear did not reach your Serenity, I cannot think why.
London, the 17th November, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 17. Inquisitori di Stato. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.513. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Inquisitors of State.
I have spoken to Nodari with regard to the service to the ambassador Donato, and he promises devoted service. I have informed Sir [William] Smith of the good hope that he will recover his debt. He has appointed as his proctor Henry Parvis, an English merchant living at Venice, who has orders to keep the proxy to himself, without knowing any particulars, and only to show it when requested by Sig. Muscorno or others in his name. He has done this for greater secrecy, so that Parvis may not know anything up to the point of receiving the money. He hopes your Excellencies will be pleased to summon Parvis, a merchant very well known in Venice, who will come to receive the money. He offers to serve you with the rest of his property and with life itself.
From London, the 17th November, 1616.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costant. Venetian Archives.514. Almoro Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
We have constantly been thinking what we could do about the carazo to get matters restored to their former state. I have several times approached the ambassadors of France, England and Flanders to make representations in common, but they have not responded as I could have wished, particularly the English ambassador, for the reasons which I gave before, and because he has been much upset over this affair of the archenda and by another demand made by the Caimecan. As one of the ambassadors abstained, we could not treat in the name of all, and, if we had treated it was not fair that he should share in the benefits without taking any of the trouble. I have, therefore, been acting alone. I approached the Pasha and finally I obtained an Imperial seal confirming the capitulations. When the other ambassadors hear of if they will be sorry that they have not joined in.
The trouble of the English ambassador at which I hinted above is even worse than the affair of the archenda. He was summoned by the Pasha to answer a suit brought by some Granatini, who demanded two of their ships which had been captured by some English vessels, taken to Livorno and sold with the merchandise and slaves found in them. The ambassador replied that he knew nothing about it and he was not responsible for the crimes of malefactors. The Pasha said that he was bound to answer because he represents the king of England here, and those men are his subjects. The ambassador replied: They are robbers who have been buccaneering in the parts of Barbary for some fifteen years, and if the king could catch them he would have them all hanged. That of recent years the pirates of Algiers have taken five of their ships, and as the Pasha is not bound to answer for that the ambassador cannot be called upon to repair this damage. The Pasha, rejoined: Then you have taken our ships because we took yours. We recognize our obligation while you justify your subjects. We will restore all the property and punish the guilty, but you must do the same. He added that the capitulations with his king provided that if any harm was inflicted by ships on either side, reparation should be made. The Cadeleschier of Anatolia, wishing to modify the rigour of the Pasha, said that if the capitulations contained this, the ambassador should write to his king asking him to give orders to render satisfaction. But the Pasha grew heated and would not allow the others to utter a word, until finally the cause was adjourned to another day. It is still uncertain whether the Pasha will persist and the ambassador be compelled to give compensation, amounting to several thousand ducats, or if the Pasha will consent to receive something. They are fortunate indeed who escape from the claws of this harpy.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 17th November, 1616.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 17. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Candia. Proveditori. Venetian Archives.515. Piero Bodnumier, Proveditore of Candia, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters of your Serenity of the 7th and 18 October announce the arrival of the berton Parvis. I have told the Procurator of Canea to embark a certain number of soldiers of Capt. Theodoro Paleologo upon that ship if he thinks fit.
Canea, the 17th November, 1616.
[Italian.]
Nov. 18. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.516. To the Secretary Surian at the Hague.
Order to thank Count John Ernest. He is to engage the two Frenchmen who have leave to come with the Count. Of those who have been offered for service by Pasini, who is at Brussels, the English Catholic named Thomas Studer may be engaged, his recommendations being so good, particularly from Count Maurice; he will receive the title of colonel which he asks for. His salary will be paid monthly, on the best terms obtainable. Incite him to come with all speed and provide him with everything necessary for the journey.
Ayes130.
Noes5.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 18. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.517. To the Secretary Lionello in England.
The affairs in Italy continue to grow worse. The Spaniards are steadily advancing into Piedmont, and have taken Quinto, Gattinara and other places. The duke is greatly distressed and needs speedy and powerful assistance. We direct you to represent the true state of affairs to the king and his ministers, the imminence of the peril and the need for help, as if the duke succumbs, as he needs must if not assisted, everyone will see how much the affairs of Italy will be prejudiced and what evil consequences will follow for all the great powers. The Spaniards make war not only with their armies, but by preventing assistance from coming. They foment the archduke's subjects to make war on us, with assistance in men and money, and so far as they can they prevent the republic from providing for her own defence, dissuade the archduke from making peace and do everything to separate our interests from those of the duke of Savoy. They will not listen to any negotiations for a settlement and reject all proposals that they shall promise not to attack the republic. There is no hope of a settlement except by assisting the duke without delay.
We have accepted the offer of Prince Francis Julius, duke of Saxony, to serve the republic with 3,000 foot and 300 horse from Germany, but there is a difficulty about opening the pass. He has asked for 3,000 crowns to employ among the Grisons to facilitate this, and although past experience with those people does not make us hopeful of success, yet we have paid the sum, and have directed our secretary with the Grisons to maintain a good understanding with the prince. We send this for information and so that you may be able to speak fittingly when addressed upon the subject.
We also send you the copy of our advice which we have in recent letters from Turin. You will try to discover whether it is true, and if it be, you will do what is necessary.
You will congratulate the prince upon the title of Wales which has been conferred upon him, as well as His Majesty. We enclose a letter upon this.
Ayes120.
Noes5.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 18. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.518. To the Prince of Wales in England.
Congratulations upon the assumption of the title of Wales.
Ayes130.
Noes5.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.519. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke has great hopes of levies from the Bernese. The insolence of the French is very great. He sees the necessity of finding some counterpoise for them. He said that he had nothing but reports of irresolution from England, and although the United Princes are very willing, they have no money.
Ivrea, the 19th November, 1616.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 20. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.520. Piero Gritti, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The trial of the Marquis of Inoiosa has ended with his acquittal. I have seen him since, and he expressed his conviction of the proper sentiments of the republic. The feeling is not shared by all the ministers in Italy, as I hear that evil reports are continually being sent to His Majesty. The secretary of England told me he had seen a letter written to the king by Don Alonso Pimentello, in which he says sooner or later the duke will recognise how much he has been deceived by his Venetian friends.
Madrid, the 20th November, 1616.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.521. Christopher Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador, whom I saw the day before yesterday, began to speak about current affairs and said that the best remedy would be to provide some counterpoise to Spain. This could only be managed by a diversion, which only the princes of Germany could provide, or else by the intervention of the king of Great Britain, his master, who has common interests with these states. He had spoken with some of the leading men upon the affairs of the republic and the duke of Savoy and he found that now they are living at peace they are not anxious for a rupture. One of the principal men in the government had said to him in particular that if they were assured that your Serenity would continue the war, and that there would be a common peace and a common settlement, they might possibly be moved to create a diversion.
This is the same idea that I heard at Anspach. Of the duke of Savoy, the ambassador said that His Majesty was most anxious to do everything possible to help him.
The Hague, the 20th November, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 20. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.522. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
The archbishop of Spalato, Mons. Antonio de Dominis, has arrived here in the secular habit. He called upon the English ambassador, in whose house, I am told, he has been received, to stay there until he can proceed to England, whither he is going. So far as I can discover he comes from the Court of Rome in order to excuse himself from the obligation which possibly seems too burdensome to him at his advanced age, of continuing to be a reputable person for the rest of his life.
The Hague, the 20th November, 1616.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.523. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In the audience which the count of Scarnafigi had of the king on the 17th inst. His Majesty excused himself for not having sent for him before, saying it was because he had been so busy and because he wished to have something definite to say to him. He said they had had continued councils as to whether they should help the duke of Savoy and he himself had proposed the question, giving many reasons, in particular that the friendship of his house with that of Savoy was nothing new, but had begun long since, there being old relations between them, and that duke Emanuel Filiberto, father of the present duke, had been his godfather. The matter had gone so well that he had reason to be very satisfied, seeing all his councillors agreed from the first to the last, as they had fallen in with his views that His Majesty ought to assist that prince. That point being settled, they discussed the manner, the time and the amount. With regard to the manner they decided that they could do nothing except with money, men, and munitions. As for time, it ought to be immediately, and the amount to be according as the accidents of the world might require. In accordance with these resolutions His Majesty decided to summon the ambassador and inform him of everything, adding that he could not supply him with any money at present, because he had none; he even went so far as to say that he could not find any money to save his life. He had any number of men and could supply as many as are required; munitions also he has and has given orders that a good quantity shall be immediately consigned to the ambassador, which may supply the needs of His Highness for a while. He also told him that I had been in the name of your Serenity to inform him of the state of affairs in Italy and to urge him to help the duke, an office which had pleased him, he said, seeing that it was different from anything else done by the republic in past years in the matter of Montferrat. He confessed that he had told me in reply that he was alone and distant, but he would do everything that he could, as in fact he is doing now by giving these munitions, and making representations in Spain. He also proposed to write of the princes of the Union in Germany and to the States, urging them to defend the common cause and assist His Highness, because in so doing they will be defending their own interests and the matter will prove easier. The ambassador kissed his hands for the grant of munitions and repeated the need of His Highness for money, paid troops and ships, as although there was no fighting in the winter, yet they were compelled to pay the troops. He drew attention to the reputation His Majesty would acquire by sending men and ships to help in Italy. The king replied that he had every desire to help the duke in every way, but at the moment he should have the munitions, and for the rest he should speak to Winwood afterwards.
On the following morning the ambassador went to Winwood and brought with him a document in which he asked not only for munitions but money for paid troops and His Majesty's war ships. To this the secretary told him that he should have the munitions at once, though he would not say how much; but it was useless to speak of money because there was none, though he hoped that before long His Majesty's purse would be richer than it is at present. With regard to men, there was little advantage to be obtained in this way owing to the distance and the great expense of taking them. With respect to the king's ships, it would be difficult to induce the Council to agree to it, and even if they wished to send them, it would be very difficult to have them ready by next spring.
All this week the ambassador has been pressing the secretary to tell him what quantity of munitions he is going to give, and to ask that they may be sent, but hitherto he has not been able to get either the one or the other. It therefore appears that all this fine show of words and promises amounts to no more than the usual thing, that is nothing at all or very little, as it is understood that the powder and lead are old and of so insignificant a quantity that it is not worth considering, if what is whispered be true. But what is worse they will not grant to His Highness the benefit which is valued most, namely, the advantage he would have derived from making known to the world that he was being helped by the king of Great Britain, as yesterday morning the Secretary Winwood told the ambassador freely that His Majesty did not wish the grant of these munitions to be known, as he had so many differences with the Spaniards that he did not wish to prejudice them, and he would make arrangements with the merchants Burlamachi and Calandrini, through whom he would pretend to buy, while they would pretend to sell, but all the same they should obtain them from the king. All this seemed exceedingly strange to the ambassador, and in view of this proposed manner of dealing he did not know what course to follow. However, he decided to send a special person to the duke in three or four days, to inform him of all this affair, since it can be related better orally, and that it is of no further use to hope for anything. His Highness must give up all hope of receiving help from this quarter, but as he has nowhere else where he can look for support, he had better seek out some honourable way of coming to terms with the Catholic king.
The resident of Florence went to audience of the king the other day for some affair of small moment. His Majesty asked him what his duke was doing, and if he proposed to resist or assist the subjection of Italy to the Spaniards, adding that he wished to be called Grand Duke and was becoming a grand slave, and that he ought to write and tell him so in the king's name.
Last week His Majesty also had a long conversation with the Spanish ambassador about the affairs of Italy. He complained of the manner in which the Catholic king treated the duke of Savoy, and by displaying a disposition to help him induced the ambassador to throw all the blame upon the duke. He accused him of three things, of having broken the treaty of Asti by not having disarmed in time, of refusing to submit his differences with Mantua to the emperor, and of continuing to harass Mantua. To the first the king replied that if one gentleman promises to another the payment of a debt within ten days, and if, owing to inability, he pays him two days later, he ought not to be blamed; similarly, if the duke, owing to a lack of money for paying his soldiers, could not dismiss them until some days after, this was not a sufficient reason for blaming him. To the second he said that the term emperor might be interpreted in two ways, either as the person of Matthias or the Imperial Chamber; that he would never have advised the duke to submit the affair to Matthias, because he was a partisan, not a judge, but to the Imperial Chamber, and he was sure that the duke would have done this as he had promised him he would. For the third His Majesty had never observed that Savoy had attacked Mantua after the treaty of Asti, except when compelled to do so in his own defence, for which the attempts of the Spaniards upon Montferrat gave him cause, rendering it necessary for His Highness to do something in Montferrat, but he had always claimed to have acted under compulsion.
The ambassador then remarked that His Catholic Majesty had committed all the affairs of Italy to Don Pedro of Toledo, who was certainly a man after his own heart. He knew well that there was not in the world any emperor, king, or prince who could do more with the king of Spain to bring back peace to Italy, than the king of Great Britain, whose offices will always be highly esteemed by the Catholic king. He enlarged upon this considerably, in order to enfeeble the king's resolution and lull him to sleep.
His Majesty has also spoken to the ambassador of the States upon the affairs of Italy. I do not know exactly what passed between them, but I do know that he tried to stir up the States not to abandon the duke of Savoy, but to consider that the common interests are largely involved in his private cause. So far as I hear the States would not raise difficulties in the way of doing anything if the king would first set an example by definite action. I also hear that the States are much exercised at the present condition of the world, as appears by what they have written to the king of Denmark, as your Excellencies have heard from elsewhere.
London, the 24th November, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.524. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Owing to the continued occupations of the king and because I had audience five days before, I have not found it so easy to go to him again to fulfil the instructions contained in the letters of the 28th ult. upon the disturbances in the Grisons; and the more so because His Majesty was about to leave. In fact he left London on Monday and withdrew to Newmarket, a hunting place, where he will remain until Christmas. I therefore thought it better to go to Winwood and inform him of what had taken place, begging him to advise the king. He at once promised to do so when he went to the Council. I have received no other reply from him, except that they had already heard these particulars and that all the mischief came from France, confining himself to the usual generalities for the rest.
The other day I went to Rochester to obtain detailed information about war ships, but I did not find the individual whom I wanted there, as he had gone to Spain with Lord Roos. I therefore had to address myself elsewhere, and I have received very varying information, but as some more is to come, I hope it will please your Excellencies better to have the whole in a single letter eight days hence, than to have a fragmentary and imperfect part now.
By reason of the dispute about cloth between England and the Low Countries, they are expecting some Dutch commissioners here, who are to negotiate about it. They will try and obtain the regulation of some other things affecting commerce at the same time, in particular some new regulations of this kingdom which are highly prejudicial to the trade of all the other nations. The French ambassador also complained about these, and had audience of His Majesty and saw the Royal Council about them the other day.
It is understood that at the island of St. Vincent there are some twenty ships of Algiers, which are awaiting the Spanish fleet to attack it. If they succeed it will be a matter of great moment in the present state of affairs, since there is a great scarcity of money both in Spain and in Flanders, and for some while they have been supporting themselves by the hope of this fleet. The Spaniards say that His Catholic Majesty's share in it will amount to 6 millions, but it is not believed that it will even come to half that.
The Spanish ambassador here has received from Lord Roos 16,000 crowns to be re-paid in Spain, not so much for the ordinary use of his house, as he does not require so great a sum, but to continue his usual bribery, with which he augments his credit and helps his negotiations.
Every day I receive offers from some English or Scottish subject to come and serve the republic with a number of men. I thank them for their goodwill, and while refraining from giving them any hope, I contrive to encourage them in their purpose, since need may arise for the employment of some of them, and we may be able to use them in some way.
London, the 24th November, 1616.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives.525. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On 14th July last I sent an account of the expenses for carrying letters begun before the death of the ambassador and paid by his sons before their departure. I have not yet heard that the order has been removed, and I beg your Excellencies to see that this is done in conformity with the said account.
London, the 24th November, 1616.
[Italian.]
Nov. 25. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.526. To the Secretary in England.
The last reply of the governor to the duke of Savoy proposed evacuation by the Spaniards, and a mutual restitution of places without any other security for his Highness or the republic from the Spanish arms except the word of the pope and of the Most Christian king, as they refuse to dismiss a single soldier and declare that the ministers of Milan will never consent to this. This shows that they desire sovereignty over all; His Highness declares he would rather perish than disarm, since his neighbours have powerful armies. He desires war or disarmament conformable to the treaty of Asti. The Cardinal has withdrawn to Pavia and M. Bethune to Turin, awaiting instructions. By what the Secretary Vincenti writes Bethune desires to come to Venice to arrange a settlement between us and the archduke, but he desired to be accompanied by the Spanish ministers, without whom he did not anticipate any success. But the Spaniards do not desire peace, though they profess to. We send this for information. We hear that the duke of Nemours is reconciled with Prince Vittorio, who is bringing forces into Piedmont. Frequent skirmishes take place between our forces and those of the archduke.
The like to the Imperial Court, Rome, France, Spain, Turin, Florence, Milan, the Hague, Zurich, Padavin, Mantua, Naples, Constantinople.
Ayes159.
Noes1.
Neutral1.
[Italian.]
Nov. 25. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.527. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke told me that he was going to send a gentleman to England immediately with a letter in his own hand, describing the state of affairs, the absence of any reasonable hope of peace, the pride and obstinacy of the Spaniards in crushing Italy with their powerful forces, and the grave dangers run by the friends and servants of His Majesty of remaining under the stroke of the unjust designs of most arrogant ministers. He will beg for help, show the most urgent need for it, and will not forget the obligations and promise made by His Majesty. The bearer will leave immediately.
The duke also told me that he had decided to send a solemn embassy to France, an ambassador to the States and another to the Princes of Germany; but as all this will involve great expense I do not think he will undertake so many things. However, it is settled as regards England and France, and from these he expects great things.
Turin, the 25th November, 1616.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 28. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.528. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
The archbishop of Spalato left for London on Friday. He did not sleep in the house of the English ambassador, though he spent almost all his time there. Prince Maurice wished to have him to dinner. Almost everyone was curious to know the truth about his coming to these parts. From one of his manifestoes they do not think it certain that he has changed his religion. He had this printed at Heidelberg and I enclose a copy, though your Excellencies will probably have seen it. He has also had it reprinted here, so as to have it ready to distribute when he reaches England.
On the Monday following his arrival he called upon me in the English ambassador's carriage. I thought it better not to refuse to see him. He told me that his duty as a subject of your Serenity had led him to come, and he had told you the cause of his departure. He showed great disgust with the pope and wished me to understand that he had not changed his religion. He had decided to seek the protection of the king of England to save his life. I said that I could not approve of his decision in thus leaving his natural protectors. He answered in general terms. I will do the same when anything is said about him, and I will await instructions.
The Hague, the 28th November, 1616.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.529. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke said to me that it was hopeless to expect reason from the Spaniards except by offering a strong opposition. It was necessary to draw closer the bonds with the princes of Germany, the States, and the king of England. The Spaniards treat us worse than they treated the people of Flanders, when they were their subjects. It will be a good thing to follow their example, as they defended themselves with the support of France and England, and by the steady support of those crowns the Dutch obtained peace, with so much honour and glory, and the firm determination to keep it for ever.
Turin, the 29th November, 1616.
[Italian; deciphered.]

Footnotes

1 Probably Sir John Vere and Capt. Woodowes, who afterwards accompanied the Dutch troops who went to Venice under the Count of Nassau.
2 He probably referred to the Butler estates, which he hoped to obtain by virtue of his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Butler, earl of Ossory and Ormonde. The earl died in 1614, but settled nearly all his lands on the earl male, who refused to part with them, and was sent to the Fleet for his refusal. G.E.C., Complete Peerage, iii., p. 128.
3 Cf. the news letter of Lord Carew to Sir Thomas Roe for October. Seven English fishing ships were interrupted between Newfoundland and Italy by thirty Turkish frigates, and taken or sunk. Cal. State Papers, Domestic 1611–8, page 426.
4 Twenty-six knights, all of noble families, were created. Their names are given in Nichols, Progresses of James I., iii., pp. 219–222.
5 The prince's creation was performed on Monday at Whitehall with all sole unity within doors, for the sharpness of the weather and the prince's craziness did not permit any public show. Chamberlain to Carleton Nov. 9, 1616, o.s. Birch Court of James I., i. 634. An account of the ceremonies observed is given in Nichols' Progresses of James I., iii., pp. 195–223.