June 1617, 16-30


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'Venice: June 1617, 16-30', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 14: 1615-1617 (1908), pp. 525-539. URL: Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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June 1617, 16–30

June 16. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.797. To the Secretary in England.
We hear of the arrival at Cattaro of the ten galleys of Candia. The nineteen galleys of Naples, with reinforcements are understood to have gone to Meleda. Don Pedro de Leva and Ossuna's son are said to have received the keys of Ragusa and to have been entertained publicly there. They have proclaimed that Turks and Jews may go freely to the kingdom of Naples and they honour the Uscochi. When a Dutch ship with 160 soldiers for our service touched the port it was detained, the men taking refuge in Turkish territory, where they were picked up by our galleys.
Our fleet is at Liesena awaiting reinforcements which should have arrived by now. It is understood that the Viceroy is also sending reinforcements from Naples, Sicily and Genoa.
In Friuli an attack on Bosco di Rubbia failed, though the enemy suffered severely; a raid on our camp from Gradisca was repulsed.
Our galleys from Candia learned that there was some suspicion of plague in the Lazaretto at Zante and that great precautions were being taken. We have chosen two Proveditori of Health to look after our islands and seaboard.
The like to:
The Imperial Court. Milan.
The Hague. Naples.
Rome. Florence.
Spain. Mantua.
France. Zurich.
Savoy. Padavin.
Ayes 148.
Noes 4.
Neutral 3.
June 16. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.798. To the Ambassador with his Imperial Majesty.
Yesterday we learned from Constantinople that the ministers of the Porte are much annoyed at the reception of the Naples fleet at Ragusa and informed His Majesty. Word was at once sent to the Ragusans to abstain from such conduct under severe penalties, and the ministers of Albania, Servia and Dalmatia were ordered to be prepared for any emergencies and not to permit anything prejudicial to the Porte. The Captain of the Sea has been sent out with an enlarged fleet and they have written a friendly letter advising us of these decisions. The Vizier informed our Bailo of everything. We send this for information solely, to be used in case of necessity.
The like to:
London. Milan.
The Hague. Naples.
Rome. Florence.
Spain. Mantua.
France. Zurich.
Savoy. Padavin.
Ayes 148.
Noes 4.
Neutral 3.
June 17. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.799. To the Ambassador at Rome.
Yesterday a frigate arrived from Zara with news that the Spanish fleet had appeared off Liesena. They heard firing and thought there had been fighting in which the Neapolitans lost some ships. The report caused great excitement in the city and some words were spoken against the Spaniards. The Spanish ambassador, fearing for his safety, asked the doge for some special protection, which was at once granted although there was no necessity. This morning he renewed his request in the Cabinet and obtained full satisfaction. We send this for information so that the truth may not be blurred.
The like to:
Germany. Naples.
France. Milan.
Spain. Florence.
England. Mantua.
Savoy. Zurich.
Ayes 163.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
June 18. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.800. Piero Gritti, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary of England has been to inform me that the duke of Lerma had sent for him to complain that his king favours the interests of the duke of Savoy, not only by sending him all kinds of munitions, but by negotiating with the Most Christian King to join together to help the duke against this Crown. He told me that the duke had sent for him solely to talk to him about this, and that he had spoken with great vehemence, asserting that the cause supported by the Catholic King was so just that he would have no fear even if all the world banded together against him.
The Secretary replied defending the action of his king because of the obligation he was under by the treaty of Asti to defend the duke. The duke replied that Savoy was such an unquiet prince, as was well known, that he had no other purpose but to throw the whole world into confusion, and he did not deserve help from the king, who was so prudent and so strongly bound to this crown by blood and friendship. He added that the Venetians were the cause of the continuation of the trouble by fomenting the duke, and they were also responsible for the war with the archduke, since before taking arms the republic was carrying on its practices with Savoy.
The Secretary justified the cause of the duke, saying that he was engaged in a defensive war as he had not been the first to commit acts of offence against the dominions of His Majesty, but had been attacked and ill-used by the king's ministers. He showed the justice of the war waged by your Excellencies against the archduke and how you had been compelled by His Majesty's ministers to draw close to Savoy.
He said nothing to him about the peace negotiations and the secretary told me that this confirmed the idea, which he had expressed in his last letters to his king, namely, that he had come to the opinion that these negotiations for peace had simply been introduced in order to separate your Excellencies from the duke of Savoy, and His Majesty wrote back that if the republic and Savoy remain united, they will either continue the war with great glory for both or will obtain an honourable and safe peace.
I thanked the secretary for the communication and for the prudent offices with the duke to uphold the interests of your Excellencies, and our colloquy ended.
Madrid, the 18th June, 1617.
June 18. Senato, Secreta, Dispacci, Svizzeri. Venetian Archives.801. Pietro Vico, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke of Savoy has replied to the Bernese approving almost entirely of the league. The deputies have met to decide upon the matter at once. His Highness asks as a favour that the soldiers may be sent to him immediately.
Zurich, the 18th June, 1617.
June 19. Senato, Terra, Venetian Archives.802. That a pension of 12 ducats a month be awarded to the Secretary Giovanni Rizzardo in recognition of his faithful service for thirty years both at home and abroad, and especially at the courts of Germany and England.
Ayes 152.
Noes 11.
Neutral 14.
On the 27th April in the Cabinet:
Ayes 15.
Noes 0.
Neutral 1.
June 19. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.803. Piero Gritti, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday morning the duke of Lerma sent for me to meet the nuncio and the French ambassador. He spoke about Savoy, asserting that the king would stand by the treaty of Asti. He added, I do not believe that the duke will withdraw from this, because if he does all the princes who took part in that treaty will be logically bound to side against him. He declared that the differences of the republic with the archduke should be settled at the same time by carrying out the treaty of Vienna and repressing the Uscocchi. He said that they offered just and reasonable terms which could not be refused by well-disposed persons, and if they were not accepted it would appear clearly that the republic and the duke of Savoy were responsible for the war. He had agreed to these conditions owing to the repeated instances made to him in the name of His Holiness, the Most Christian King and the king of England and by his desire to see peace established in Christendom and the heretics expelled who have been introduced into Italy upon this occasion.
The nuncio and France both spoke in favour of peace; I concurred in the same sense. We discussed the question at some length. At the end the duke of Lerma declared that his king would not suffer the smallest alteration in the terms of the treaty of Asti. With this the conference ended, after lasting more than three hours.
Madrid, the 19th June, 1617.
June 20. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.804. Ottaviano Bon and Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. Langerach, the ambassador of the States, went yesterday to inform the Marquis of Lanz of the decision of his masters to help the duke of Savoy with 20,000 florins to 50,000 the month. The Marquis had already heard this from M. de Monthou, who wrote that he would soon be leaving the Hague to go and procure the help of the Protestant princes, and with the example of the States he promised himself an easy success. The Marquis also hopes to receive yet greater help from England, as the ambassador of the king there had told him that he had well authenticated news from London that the Spanish party in the Council had been deposed and annihilated, and that good Englishmen had gained the upper hand. He also believes that the dissatisfaction which now exists between that king and the Archduke Albert may become greater. The marquis has related all this to the duke by the Count Camello, who is leaving post for Turin.
Paris, the 20th July, 1617.
June 20. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.805. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
Sir [Thomas] Stodder has always been well disposed to make the journey, but he has always been prevented by want of money and by his imprisonment. I hear that the English agent recently approached the archdukes to obtain satisfaction for some injurious words spoken against him. Now that I have received your Serenity's orders about Stodder I have sent word to Pasini to make him an offer and give him money to help him to take the journey, but to proceed cautiously. I have written to Pasini again to-day to tell him to try and make things safe and to make sure that he will come to Venice.
The Hague, the 20th June, 1617.
June 26. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Savoia. Venetian Archives.806. Antonio Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The agent of the king of Great Britain has made representations to the duke which your Serenity shall hear. He spoke with much liberty owing to the consideration he has won by concluding the alliance with the Bernese, which is the work of his hands, and because of his thorough knowledge of the business. He complained that he had not been acquainted with events which were taking place, with the decisions taken and the news, as was fitting with the ministers of a king who was interested in these troubles, for the munitions of war already given, for the representations made everywhere, even to sending a special ambassador to Spain, and in every possible way in which good-will could be shown. He pointed out the prejudice which this silence involved, there being no ambassador of His Highness with His Majesty. He emphasized his complaint by saying that it was impossible to pass a greater slight than to refer the negotiations to Spain, as they were doing, without ever informing his king about it. He had first heard of it from the Spaniards themselves, since the duke of Lerma, on seeing the letters of authority, at once sent for the agent of England resident at that court, and told him of it, in order to sow discord and coldness in the friendship. He added that he felt this more strongly because he had never opened his mouth to the king about it, and the Secretary Winwood had written to him with great displeasure that His Majesty and all other unbiassed persons could see that the negotiations would prove a snare and place Italy in the need of help from that kingdom. The fact that the war was defensive rendered it expensive and destructive and brought the republic to the last extremity, as it has inflicted many calamities and miseries upon these states, and if it continues thus some irreparable disaster will occur to the general detriment of liberty. Long, expensive and purely defensive wars mean nothing but the ruin of states, the scandal of the people and a decline in vigour and in the very knowlege of well-being. He knew that if any proper decision should be taken his king would declare himself and appear where his powerful help was most required, as he had the means of doing and as his subjects would like to see done. He reminded His Highness that he had readily informed His Majesty of the conclusion of peace, the need for war and the necessities and dangers involved. Let him appoint an ambassador who should be in London on the king's return from Scotland, about the end of August, to arrange with the republic about help, and to join this friendship without losing time so as to benefit by its results. He promised that they would be most effective. It would be most easy to create a diversion at sea by attacking the kingdom of Portugal and the port of Lisbon; to fight the fleet and compel Spain to maintain a large fleet outside the Strait. They would be unable to assist the states of Italy and would be exhausting their money, as if once England declared war against Spain it would last for many years; it would not be like the great undertakings of the French, of which they tire in a few months, and he knew that the Spaniards dreaded a declaration from England more than one from France. He offered to go post to the king to serve the common cause. If they wished for help from His Majesty two things were necessary, the first to proceed no further with the negotiations in Spain without his taking a part; the second, to enter upon no fresh negotiations without doing the same. He knew for certain that his king would not move a step before he heard from Spain that the letters of authority were withdrawn and the negotiations entirely broken off there.
The duke informed me of all this, and begged me to report it to your Serenity, so that you might consider the advantages of the friendship and decide together how to strengthen it and to turn it to advantage. He said he had told the agent that he would readily send an ambassador and do whatever was calculated to move His Majesty to declare himself and help Italy in her need.
The agent himself told me everything and seemed of the most friendly disposition. He urged the great advantages and the security that your Excellencies would derive from union with his king, adding that he considered it necessary that there should be an ambassador in London as a sign of respect and confidence, as he knew that the court remarked upon it, and the queen in particular complained about so much delay. When the count of Scarnafis took leave of her she said that it seemed strange that Italy should be involved in serious war and yet take no account of the kingdom which could do so much, and he told this to the duke, who was displeased.
I believe that His Highness will at once send Scarnafis back. He is a man of good ability with a great knowledge of affairs. I have urged him to do so, assuring him that your Serenity will leave nothing undone and that you have already sent the Secretary Lionello to Scotland.
Turin, the 21st June, 1617.
June 22. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.807. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
It is about a week ago that a member of the household of the ambassador Wotton who resides at Venice, passed towards this island by way of France and without touching England sailed to Scotland. (fn. 1) He was sent by the ambassador to His Majesty in all diligence. When embarking at Calais he sent three letters to London, for the archbishop of Canterbury, for the secretary Winwood and for a certain man who has charge of the ambassador's affairs here. To the two first Wotton gives a clear account of the reasons for the mission, to the third he writes generally that it is for a greater affair than a minister of His Majesty has ever handled and therefore he must be circumspect in what he hears said about it and the news of what is going to take place. This agent, with little discretion, firstly allowed Lord Wotton, the ambassador's brother, to see the letter, and afterwards many others, so that all are consumed by curiosity. News immediately spread through the city of the despatch of the courier for very serious affairs, and because no one can find out anything some of the leading men have come to me, thinking that I should know more than the others. While every one was forming an opinion for himself upon the subject, I remained in a state of great anxiety, fearing some mischance such as any prince is liable to in time of war, and therefore the more eager to investigate the truth.
I had a turn of good fortune, as the affair was imparted by one of the only two who knew anything about it in England to a third person, and I subsequently contrived to hear from him under a pledge of great secrecy what I now write to your Serenity. The ambassador Wotton writes that some two months ago a letter reached him from Milan under an assumed name, which offered to inform him of a most important affair that was being negotiated to the prejudice of the king of England, if he would send his secretary to Milan, who on arriving incognito should ask for such a person, through whose means they would meet, and he must not fail to send him because the affair was of great importance. The ambassador decided to send his secretary with another of his household. When they reached Milan they enquired for the person, found him, and were taken by him to the College of Jesuits, where they conferred with the rector of the College. He said that he was the one who had written the letter to the ambassador, and although he was a Catholic yet he was a man, and evil deeds grieved him, and therefore when he knew that negotiations were on foot which placed the life of the king here in manifest danger, he wished to accompany the secretary to England to discover it, but that he would not be in a condition to start before three days and therefore he begged him to wait that time in Milan, without letting anyone suspect his presence. The secretary did this and when he returned at the end of the three days the rector told him that he could not leave before another ten days and therefore he begged him to wait and to change his inn frequently so as not to excite suspicion or to be taken as a ragabond. The secretary promised to do so, but suspecting from this manner of proceeding that the Jesuit was scheming some evil against him, he returned to Venice without seeing him again. Some days later a letter reached the ambassador from the same Jesuit, complaining of the impatience shown by the secretary, and in order not to give him further cause for suspicion, he begged him to send him to Basel with enough money to travel to England, and he should find him there and they would go together to His Majesty to disclose to him what concerned him so nearly. The secretary started again on his journey, and on arriving at Basel he found the rector of the Jesuits there. He sent word of this to the ambassador, who at once sent off a courier to England in all haste, to acquaint the king with the matter up to that point, and that he would learn the rest from the Jesuit who was travelling towards him with the secretary with all speed. This is the substance of the mission. (fn. 2) The others should arrive afterwards, I do not know whether they have arrived yet. I hope that I shall be able to go on and discover everything that is to be known about this. It certainly seems to me that in one way or another it should be a matter of some importance, as the person who is playing the principal part does not seem to be of the light kind who would decide upon taking such a step without good grounds. However, the fact that this mission sent by Wotton has been proclaimed as one of extraordinary importance cannot fail to injure the king, because the persons interested, supposing that they know their own intentions, may easily imagine that the affair touches them, and they will look out for themselves and for whatever else may help them. I do not doubt but His Majesty will give ear to the matter because it seems to be very well grounded, and the experience of past perils renders him very liable to fear new ones. It may therefore happen that he will leave Scotland sooner than he intended, the more so because upon some other occasion a report got about that he was to leave a month earlier. Moreover he has almost made up his mind not to attempt those innovations among the Scotch for which he undertook the journey, as he recognizes that they would not prove agreeable to the people, and although the parliament is convoked which was spoken of from the beginning, I understand that they will do little else there than exchange compliments between His Majesty and his subjects.
Sir [John] Bennet, who is in Flanders for His Majesty, writes in his last letters that he can obtain nothing from His Highness in satisfaction of His Majesty, and therefore he was preparing to leave bringing with him the ordinary English agent in residence there, as he had instructions from the king to do if he saw that the matter was hopeless. I am told by a person of the highest rank that when His Majesty gave the commission to Bennet he did it with the idea, when Bennet got back, of dismissing all the ministers of Spain and the archdukes, and breaking off friendly relations with them, because they protect and encourage those who attack him so fiercely; however strong resolutions are so difficult here that I do not know whether the deeds will correspond with the ideas (mi vien detto da personaggio grandissimo che quando Sua Maestà diede questa commissione al Benet lo fece con concetto, arrivato, ch' egli sia di qua, di licenziare tutti li ministri di Spagna et delli Archiduchi et romper con essi loro la buona intelligenza, poiche protteqgono ct spaleggiano quclli che cosi vivamente lo offendano, pure sono cosi difficili qui le rissolutioni rive che non so se le opere corresponderanno alli comcetti). It may indeed happen that the Spaniards, confiding in the pacific nature of His Majesty will so multiply occasions of offence, that they may at length meet with what they did not fear at first. Besides this affair of Flanders they may easily be concerned in this future affair of the Jesuit, and, in addition, there is news among the merchants that the ship Diamond has been detained at Naples, and at Messina la Latea, both very fine and rich English ships, in which many merchants of this mart are interested, including the joint owners and others of my acquaintance. They have been to see me, the more so because it is said that this has happened because the ships were destined for Venice. While they were debating what steps they should take, their inclination leaning most to employ the good offices of the Spanish ambassador, I thought it a good service to tactfully persuade them to have recourse to the Council of State and state their complaints there. This they have as good as decided to do unless by the next ordinary they hear of their release, and if by the next ordinary they do not hear of their release, I hope that their petitions will be well received by the archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary Winwood as a very proper pretext for putting aside the negotiations for the marriage with Spain, for which the queen is at present less inclined, because Sir [John] Digby (Ghibe), who is negotiating for it, has recently fallen from favour, while the Secretary Winwood, who opposes it, has re-entered into grace.
With regard to the remaining affairs of the world, they are completely enveloped in silence at the Court, we only hear that news is coming from Spain about peace and from Italy about war
I have received your Excellencies' letters of the 2nd June with the news from those parts, and the one of the 20th May acquainting me with the favour of the Senate, which surpasses all my deserts. Instead of thanks which I cannot worthily express, I pray that God may relieve the republic from her present troubles with such glory as has always belonged to her in even more difficult situations.
London, the 22nd June, 1617.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 23. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives.808. To the Secretary in England.
The Spanish fleet was observed on the 12th, 3 miles outside Liesena ; our fleet could not go out to meet them owing to contrary winds. Shots were exchanged, however, and apparently they suffered some damage. They are supposed to have returned towards Brindisi to await reinforcements from Naples and Sicily. We hope that in the meantime the galleys from Candia and the other ships sent from here will join our forces put them in a position to fight successfully.
In the absence of our fleet the Uscocchi have raided Caorle and Pesaro. Three other barques of Uscocchi have used the port of Novi, near Arcona, without hindrance from the ecclesiastical ministers, as a starting point for their raids.
Nothing of moment has happened on land. Our forces are camped beyond the Lisonzo and are keeping the enemy busy with the defence of Bosco di Rubia, while pressing Gradisca.
The like to:
the Imperial Court. Milan.
the Hague. Naples.
Rome. Florence.
France. Mantua.
Spain. Zurich.
Savoy. Constantinople.
The Proveditore General of the Forces.
The Proveditore beyond the Menzo.
Ayes 127.
Noes 2.
Neutral 0.
June 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.809. Almoro Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I have endeavoured to discredit the Ragusan envoys with the governing powers here, but I have not gone too far, because I do not think it would be to the service of the republic to excite the Turks against them. I understand that these Ragusans have been to call upon the English ambassador, and I believe that they will do the same with Flanders, and they possibly hope that they will return the visit, following the example of France. I do not intend to do so unless I am ordered, as the ambassadors of your Serenity are not accustomed to visit them.
Seffer Aga has arrived here, the customs officer of Alexandretta. Though of small account himself he assumes great consequence through the favour of the Chislar Agasi, and has thrown the whole affair of Aleppo into confusion, as he cherishes a special spite against the Venetians. He requires our ships to pay 150 piastres where they only used to pay 14, and to pay the custom of money, a thing never done before. I fear that it will be difficult to dispute the matter, as he is supported by the powerful arm of the Chislar Agasi, and because the French, English, and Flemings have agreed to pay the custom on money, and also because he has informed the Chislar Agasi that our ships bring 90,000 piastres and more, almost all in the name of Frenchmen, to whom they are consigned to escape the custom, whereas our ships carry no more than 25 to 30,000 ducats in money and the rest in woollen cloth and silk, while the other nations bring nothing but money. The sale to us of woollen and silk cloth is very slight, so that the little money brought gives life to the affair. One half of this custom, which is 4 per cent, is appropriated to the king's privy purse; the other half is paid to the customs officer at Aleppo, and when the ambassadors of all the other nations approached the king through the Pasha asking that they might be allowed to escape it, the king rebuked the Grand Vizier, saying that he ought not to prevent the increase of his revenues.
The institution of a payment of 150 reals per ship for anchorage was introduced for the purpose of bringing back the traffic to Alexandretta, and because they wished to build a fort there, but nevertheless they have never collected this custom entire from the other nations, and we have never been willing to pay it. The fort is not being built, and so there is no reason for imposing this charge.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 27th June, 1617.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.810. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
I communicated the recent news to the English ambassador, as instructed, asking him to make suitable representations to His Majesty at a fitting moment, referring to his honour being involved in the treaty of Asti. He spoke in terms of great respect of your Serenity, thanked me, and said your Serenity was justified in displaying such confidence in him, as he was devoted to the republic and would serve it; that I had made my office at an opportune moment, because he had the means of sending it to the king as on the following day Colonel Brogue (Broch) (fn. 3) was leaving for Scotland, so that if the Secretary Lionello had not already arrived there the letter he sent would put the matter in good trim for him. Even if the secretary arrived first he felt sure his letter would bear good fruit and still further confirm the favourable disposition of his king towards the republic.
He has written and yesterday at three in the afternoon the colonel left for Edinburgh, where he hoped to arrive in four days. I thanked the ambassador and I will maintain the same confidential relations with him as hitherto.
The Hague, the 27th June, 1617.
June 27. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Signori Stati. Venetian Archives.811. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands, to the Doge and Senate.
The President of Guelders is away from the Hague. He should return to-morrow or the following day. I will sound him about the proposal for a league, as your Serenity directs. I find the opinion that if they make an alliance with your Serenity and the duke of Savoy they would also have to include the Princes of Germany and, as I wrote last week, there was also some talk of the king of Great Britain and the evangelical Swiss. When I have had an opportunity of discussing the subject with anybody I have pointed out that this multiplication would either occasion confusion in negotiation or long delay in deciding, while the nature of the affairs and present disturbances do not admit of delay, but demand immediate action and speedy decision.
I sounded M. Barnevelt upon this particular. He said it was necessary to think it over and to find some means to promote the general welfare, to have a good understanding and a kind of league (con qualche unione), but that mature deliberation was required. To this I said that the republic was waiting to hear what might be arranged and I could assure His Excellency that he would meet with every response from your Serenity.
He replied that time is needed to think it over, and then immediately began upon something else, but this is the first time he has gone so far. When I saw prince Maurice he assured me that the project would be welcomed and he thought that something would be said soon.
From what the English ambassador said to me I fancy that they would like here to have the credit of having clearly made the proposal in public, but in my humble opinion, it will be necessary to make fairly certain that the proposal will be embraced. The English ambassador told me that they were well disposed here, and even anxious, but their irresolution formed an obstacle; it arose from the form of their government, and possibly private jealousy, and the religious disputes did not allow everything to appear at once. But he could assure me, what I have also been able to observe from the general disposition, that they are not restrained by fear of the Spaniards, and when they have an opportunity they will act. He also declared that the league must be made with the concurrence of the other princes and republics. He said it was usual for those who were not in difficulties to wait for those who were to move, and possibly they are waiting here. For his part he thought the way easy, and as regards the republic he recalled the exposition which he had made in the Cabinet for a league with his king and the princes of Germany and their States, to which only a general reply was given. The present moment seemed opportune to him for renewing the idea, and he felt sure that his king was of the same mind as when he gave instructions for that communication to be made. So far as I remember this was practically in conformity with the office performed by the Ambassador Wotton on the 1st August, while Carleton's office was performed on his return to Venice from Piedmont.
The ambassador further told me that His Majesty would not be prevented by anything, although it is said that he has given orders to his ambassador who has gone to the Court of Spain to listen to what is proposed about marriages, because these are ceremonies and not essentials, and His Majesty will aim far more at the public good than at what may disturb it, and this would not prevent him from pursuing his idea, namely not to suffer the progress of the Spaniard or lose his good friends.
The Hague, the 27 June, 1617.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 25. Cons, di X. Parti Secrete. Venetian Archives.812. That a Secretary of this Council communicate the following information to the Savii of our Cabinet and to the Senate, after enjoining secrecy.
Information from a safe and certain source states that the Ambassador of England, who it is understood has not called on the Spanish ambassador for a year, last Monday, the 26th inst., upon the pretext of going to his villa and remaining there for some days, went to visit the Spanish ambassador, and the two remained closeted alone together for an hour and a half, a fact which was noted by the English ambassador's own people, as previously he did not seem to be on good terms with the ambassador of Spain.
An individual, who is well informed, further states that the mob about the house of the Spanish ambassador during the past days seemed very strange to him, and therefore he has been to say to another ambassador of a great prince that the same kind of thing might happen to the ambassador of France or of England or to any other ambassador, and it would be necessary to obtain some redress.
That the Spanish ambassador has received letters from the duke of Mantua offering to send men to his house to protect his life, inviting him, in case of danger, to proceed to Mantua, and that the ambassador has accepted the proposal.
That to the Spaniards the report of the recent riot seemed strange because the ambassador and his familiars were constantly writing to Spain, Naples and Milan that the people of Venice were ill-affected towards the republic, while these disturbances testified to their loyalty, so that they are much mortified at being exposed as liars. (fn. 4)
Ayes 16.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
The communications was made and a copy was left in the hands of the Secretary Dominici. It was communicated to the Senate on the 29th. (fn. 4)
July 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.813. Ottaviano Bon and Vincenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
We immediately sent the despatch to England, which you sent us for Lionello by the English ambassador. The one for Spain we have sent off by express courier.
Paris, the 29th June, 1617.
June 29. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.814. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Jesuit of whom I wrote last week has arrived in London accompanied by one of the household of the Ambassador Wotton, but not his secretary as was believed. He has brought with him a young Englishman, one of those who are being educated in the college of Milan, by giving him to understand that his coming to this island was with the object of advancing the Catholic religion and he wished to employ him in this work, but in reality he made use of this pretext in order that his journey to these parts should not excite suspicion in Italy. Immediately on his arrival here he desired that the young collegian should separate himself from him, telling him that though his presence with him up to that time had been of assistance, it might injure him in the future, and accordingly the young man has been established in some apartments, where he enjoys every comfort except social intercourse, as he does not see and cannot be seen by anyone. The Jesuit follows the same course, because when the archbishop and the Secretary Winwood pressed him to disclose the reason for his coming, he frankly refused to do so to any one except the king himself, and therefore word has been sent to His Majesty to await his decision. Meanwhile the Jesuit is kept most secretly in the queen's most private apartments at Greenwich (Granuig), and when once they offered to allow him to go out in a carriage, accompanied by a guard, to take the air, he refused to accept; indeed he seems quite content about the circumspection shown to keep the present affair quite secret and heighten its importance. (fn. 5)
The queen has gone to Oatlands to remain there for the whole summer, and the prince to Richmond. In ten days the Secretary Winwood is to go to Scotland, and the archbishop also is leaving; all the other nobles and gentlemen are leaving London, as is usual at this time of the year, and on Wednesday the French ambassador is leaving to cross the sea, as he has received permission from the Most Christian king to return home for six weeks.
The Ambassador Bennet has returned from Flanders with great discontent, as I have already written, and the English agent has also been recalled and is expected quite soon.
The explanation of the king of Denmark putting to sea with three ships and a pinnace is said to be in order to revisit some islands of his dominion, as he is accustomed to do every two years.
On Wednesday I received your Serenity's letters of the 9th June with the news of that week. Yesterday the other letters of the 9th reached me through France, with credentials for His Majesty and a copy of the letter of the duke of Ossuna to the Catholic king, and in conformity with your commands I have put myself in readiness at once to go to His Majesty in Scotland with all speed, and I hope to leave the day after to-morrow, as there is nothing else to detain me except the audience of the prince which he arranged for me tomorrow at Richmond, eight miles away. To-morrow also I hope to see the Secretary Winwood, who is out of the city, but his servants told me he was returning this evening.
I will diligently observe all the points contained in the letters, and I will explain to His Majesty when I see him with all the energy and ardour of which I am capable, and as regards the results which may be expected, my temerity in seeking him out may have some effect. I will report what His Majesty replies, and there is no doubt that if he will allow himself to be guided by what is reasonable and by his own interests he will not only make a full declaration but will also proceed to further action.
The other day I was discussing some news from Italy with the Secretary Winwood, especially the violence shown by the Spaniards in suppressing the liberties of that province, attacking at the same time with such forces and so many arts the most serene republic and His Highness of Savoy. Those powers would exert themselves to the utmost in their defence, but it seemed that this would not suffice, as the Spaniards called to their assistance a great part of the world dependent upon them. Winwood asked me if I were not sure now that the Spaniards were enemies and that they were waging a very bitter war by this crafty method of wearing us out, and whether the republic still persisted in her reluctance to have an understanding with her friends, who sought nothing more than to have a way of helping her by means of a confederation (collegatione) without which it was impossible to hope for anything satisfactory. As I made no reply, he kept on speaking about this league, showing, as he has freely said so many times before, that without it there is no possibility of coming to any substantial decision. I shall now have an opportunity of speaking with him more freely, and I pray God that I may not find any more of these notions either in him or in His Majesty.
I hope to cover the 300 miles in five or at most six days, and despatch the business quickly, and although I might say something of the affairs of His Majesty in Scotland at this moment, I will await the better information which I shall obtain then, to give your Excellencies a fuller account, so that if my letters do not reach you for two or three weeks, you will know the reason.
London, the 29th June, 1617.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 30. Senato, Secreta. De iberazioni, Venetian Archives.815. To the Secretary in England.
Since our last news we have heard nothing further of the Spanish fleet, except that it went to Manfredonia and then proceeded to Brindisi. The galleys of Candia joined our forces, and the Greek infantry which they brought will be divided among the rest of the fleet. Our other ships are nearly ready to sail.
In Friuli the continual deluge prevents any movement. Our troops engaged in a skirmish with the archducal forces at the villa di Merna on the River Vipao, with loss on both sides. They made an unsuccessful raid from Gradisca, while we made a successful incursion from the sea towards Buccari.
The like to:
the Imperial Court. Milan.
the Hague. Naples.
Rome. Florence.
France. Mantua.
Spain. Zurich.
Savoy. Constantinople.
The Proveditore General in Terra ferma.
Ayes 184.
Noes 1.
Neutral 2.


1 Mr. Morton passed this way on Monday last from Heidelberg to find the king in Scotland, which errand he hath picked out of a letter from Fabritio [Wotton]. wherein he advertiseth some matter of danger to the king's person, and withal hath sent a certain Jesuit of Milan into England as the discoverer, whereof at Heidelberg they have reason to inquire after the news. Carleton to Chamberlain, June 3, 1617 o.s., Birch, Court and Times of James I, ii, p. 14.
2 Wotton's description of these circumstances is contained in his letter to the Lords of the Privy Council, dated 30 May, 1617 o.s. State Papers. Foreign. Venice. He sent to Milan his secretary, Richard Seamer, who there met the Provost of San Fedele. The secretary returned for advice, because he only had instructions to deal with a Polish knight. Wotton sent to Rome for particulars and learned that the Jesuit who had seen his secretary was the provost of San Fedele and named Tomaso Cerronio. Wotton sent Seamer to Basel on the last day of May accompanied by Arthur Terringham. In a dispatch to Winwood of the same date Wotton gives the name of the courier he sent on as Daniel de Montafilass. The journey of Morton to Scotland, mentioned in the preceding note, must have been taken independently.
3 See Carleton's letter of 16/26 June, 1617. State Papers. Foreign. Holland.
4 The Copy is preserved in Senato, Secreta, Comunicazioni dal Cons, de' X. Vol VIII.
5 Winwood. however, does not seem to have been impressed. Writing to Carleton on Aug. 9, 1617, Chamberlain says, 'Touching Fabritio's[Wotton's] precious advertisement, I knew no more when I wrote you that I had seen the man; only finding our good friend [Winwood], methought more sparing than he usually is, when I inquired of him, I urged a little the more; whereupon he gave me this answer—“I cannot precisely say what it may come to; but, as far as I can gather, never trust my judgment if it prove any matter of worth.” So that I doubt this legatus peregre missus will make good his mentiendi causa.' Birch, Court and Times of James I., ii, p. 26.