March 1608


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'Venice: March 1608', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 11: 1607-1610 (1904), pp. 101-114. URL: Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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March 1608

March 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.184. Girolamo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The first day of Lent came news that the Spanish galleys had sunk eight Dutchmen near the Straits. The King and his Ministers are much distressed as they fear this event may interfere with the negotiations for peace. A courier was at once sent to the Archduke instructing him to act so as to obviate any peril to the favourable conclusion of the peace. They begin to fear that such an issue is doubtful, especially as no news has been received, and they suspect that the Dutch will remain firm in their refusal to withdraw from the India navigation, a point which they consider of supreme importance, for if the navigation of those waters is permitted the Spanish will be obliged to sail fully armed.
The Jesuit Fathers are growing richer daily, so much so that the Council of State ordered a return of the increase of their revenues since 1598. It seems that during this period of nine years, in Castile alone, they have bought property representing one hundred and seventy-five thousand crowns of income. This both surprises and annoys, and a decree on the subject is expected.
Madrid, 1st March, 1608.
March 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.185. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Lord Salisbury in the King's name commends the Prince de Joinville to the service of the Republic. He also hints at the rumour of fresh trouble between the Pope and the Republic. The Ambassador replied that he was aware of the rumoured alliance of the Pope, the Emperor, the King of Spain, and the Grand Duke, nominally against the Turk; a rumour confirmed by the large war provisions, especially of great ships at Naples. These preparations warned all Sovereigns to look to their affairs.
London, 6th March, 1608.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.186. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The last letters we have from Holland bring news that in the negotiations for peace many difficulties have arisen over the question of the India navigation and for several days the sittings were suspended. Both sides wished the other to be the first to declare its claims. The position of the States is said to be very strong, especially as regards the East India navigation. They declare that they too have established themselves in those parts and have entered into treaties with native Princes, treaties which ought not to be disturbed. Here, however, it is thought that some compromise will be found, and that they will accept the same conditions as the English who, in their treaty of peace with Spain, agreed that their voyages to those parts should be made at their own risk. Quite recently the Spanish Ambassador here has made representations to the King complaining that his subjects, on the pretext of making discoveries in the Indies, are molesting the trade there, and it is believed that the sole reason for this remonstrance is the desire to renew Spanish pretensions at this conjuncture and, a fortiori, to dissuade the Dutch from pressing their demand.
We are also waiting news about the treaty between his Majesty and the Dutch; but as the negotiations for peace are so far advanced it is thought that this private treaty will not be published till peace is concluded. Meantime many claims for debts due to the Crown and to the English troops in Dutch service are being presented to the States. Now that the pressure of war is over the English indicate that they will no longer permit certain fishery rights in these waters from which the Dutch draw large profit, but this matter will be accommodated in the treaty of alliance.
There is news that the Earl of Tyrone has withdrawn from the territory of the Archduke and is now near Liege. This shows how anxious the Spanish are to remove all suspicion from the King's mind.
In an interview with the Earl of Salisbury, I thanked him for his favourable attitude on the matter of the booty that reaches England.
London, 6th March, 1608.
March 13. Collegio, Lettere. Venetian Archives.187. To the Governor in Zante.
We hear that the English corsair, Ward, besides other damage, has, in the waters of Modon, captured the galleon “Spelegato,” belonging to our faithful subject Giulio Venier, and has taken her into that port. We are glad to learn that you have endeavoured to recover the hull from the Aga of Modon. You are to continue your efforts.
Covered by preceding document.188. Most Serene Prince.
Though the loss I have suffered by the capture of my galleon by corsairs is very great, I hope to recover in part, chiefly owing to the action of the Illustrious, the Governor of Zante, who reports that the hull and some of the fittings will be liberated. I humbly beg your Serenity to instruct the Illustrious gentleman to continue his operations with his usual ability, and as cheaply as possible, and to order the Rector of Canea to lend his protection.
March 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.189. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is so little pleased with the Grand Duke's answer to his Majesty's letters on the subject of restoring the English ships which were attacked and taken into Leghorn by the Grand Duke's vessels, and also with the small regard shown to a special mission which was despatched to Tuscany, that before leaving London he ordered the Council to take the matter into immediate consideration, and to proceed to such steps as would compel the Grand Duke to make restitution, and to abstain from such conduct for the future. After deliberation the Council has remitted the matter to his Majesty owing to the diversity of opinion discovered. Some held that, as the Grand Duke showed himself resolved to pursue his course under pretext of harassing the Turk, it would be necessary to arm English ships in such a way that they could not merely resist but even forestall the attack; others wished, before taking this step, to renew the representations already made and to send an envoy of greater weight. This party is assured by the agent of the Grand Duke that such a step will secure every satisfaction from his Master. The first suggestion finds favour with the nation, which hopes that in this way it may be possible to return to buccaneering, and they are incited not merely by their natural instinct towards it but also by the rumours of Ward's riches. Apropos of Ward, I must report that two days ago the High Admiral told me that he was informed that another famous corsair had joined Ward with the intention of plundering the shipping in Syria. It is possible that the real object of this communication was to procure assent to the pardon of Ward; all the same it may be true.
The representatives of the peasants who rose against enclosures are here, humbly petitioning the King for redress. The matter has been referred to Council.
London, 13th March, 1608.
March 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.190. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The publication of the league between the King and the Dutch is postponed though it is considered certain that it has been concluded in the terms I have already reported. Meantime negotiations for peace are stumbling over the point of the India navigation owing to the determination of one side to claim it and of the other to refuse it. The Archiducal commissioners ask time to write to Spain, declaring that they can not go a point beyond their instructions; the Dutch, in order to demonstrate the impossibility of abandoning that navigation, have proved that they have almost one hundred ships chartered for the East Indies and many for the West. This has the effect of confirming Spinola and the others in their refusal to grant freedom in that trade, as they see that the Dutch trade goes on growing to the great detriment of the Spanish. This delay causes deep suspicion on the part of the Dutch, who can not believe that the Spanish Commissioners have come here and carried matters so far without having sufficient powers to conclude the business. Here in England, however, they expect to hear of a compromise, for though the point is important, they do not believe that the parties are willing to wreck the peace over it.
The Spanish greatly exaggerate the importance of a reverse they have inflicted on some Dutch ships (fn. 1) returning from the East Indies. They say they are now largely compensated for the defeat suffered lest year at the Straits of Gibraltar.
Here they are raising the loan from the City; but, as yet, its appropriation is not known. The naval preparations are not progressing and the fears for Ireland are dying out as the Spanish are abstaining from anything which could feed them.
London, 13th March, 1608.
March 14. Collegio, Lettere. Venetian Archives.191. To the Ambassador in England.
The parties interested in the ship “Reniera and Soderina,” send, as you request, an opinion of the leading jurists in the University of Padua on the right to recovery.
Covered by preceding document.192. Most Serene Prince,
The Illustrious the Ambassador who resides in England on Your behalf has written to us, representatives of the parties interested in the ship “Reniera and Soderina,” urging us to forward as soon as possible an opinion from the leading jurists in Padua. We understand that they agree that the claim should lie under the form of the Imperial Law, and have this opinion signed by Pellegrini, Gallo, Ottillio and Monticulo and beg your Serenity to certify the Ambassador that these gentlemen are Stipendaries in the University of Padua, and to lend your authority to support our claim for recovery.
March 16. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Corfu. Venetian Archives.193. Alvise Basadonna, Nicolo Balbi, Agustin Canal, to the Doge and Senate.
Must report that a corsair (Ward) on board the ship lately known as the “Soderina,” who was cruising in the waters of Sapienza has gone towards Alexandria. He has besides two bertons heavily manned and armed.
Corfu, 16th March, 1608.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 16. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Corfu. Venetian Archives.194. Girolamo Memo, Proveditore and Commander of the Syrian fleet.
Hears that Ward has five vessels besides the “Soderina” which carries seventy guns and has four hundred men on board. Hopes to meet and beat him if the great galleys stay on with the Syrian squadron.
Corfu, 16th March, 1608.
March 17. Collegio, Lettere. Venetian Archives.195. To the Rector at Canea.
Informing him of the fate of Giulio Venier's ship captured by Ward, the Englishman. If she is recovered, the Rector is to do all he can to assist the owner.
March 18. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Corfu. Venetian Archives.196. Agustin Canal, in command of the Fleet, to the Doge and Senate.
Enclosing report of the fate of the “Soderina” and the corsair Ward.
Corfu, on board my galley, 18th March, 1608.
Enclosed in preceding despatch.197. Evidence of Mario Logilletti, of Marseilles. At Marseilles there is a report spread by the men of a vessel which put in there, that about one hundred miles off Cerigo they had fallen in with wreckage that had four men and a boy on it, who said they were Turks, part of the crew of a ship that had gone to the bottom because she was rotten. She was a ship taken by the corsairs from Venetians and manned in Tunis by Turks and English. She had two bertons in her company. (fn. 2)
March 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.198. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In the controversy with the Grand Duke about the capture of the ships the King has resolved, before taking any other steps, to send a gentleman with fresh letters and orders to make strong representations in the King's name, for the restitution of the ships, and to report home. It appears that the King is determined that the ships of this nation shall be respected by the Grand Duke. In conformity with this resolve the Council has spoken in lively terms to the Agent of the Grand Duke; he declares that every satisfaction will be given though that seems very difficult when one considers the reasons why the Grand Duke is so active in his maritime campaigns. This gentleman is to leave at once and so we shall soon know the result of his mission, and if it does not issue in some kind of agreement it may bring change in the navigation of those waters.
The King is away from the City and intends to remain away till Easter. The Queen will go to Theobalds in a few days, there to await him. At Court the sole subject of conversation is the negotiations in Holland. The point about the India navigation remains in suspense on account of the obstinacy shown by one side and the other. While they are waiting replies from Spain and from the Provinces to which the Commissioners have referred, they continue the discussion of other points, among them the question of religion presents many difficulties. Although both the peace and the league with this Crown are considered certain, the latter is not published yet.
A ship has arrived in the port of Bristol. She hails from Tunis and has goods of no small value on board; her cargo is of the same nature as that of the other two ships whose cargoes are sequestrated in this City. In virtue of the orders I have secured she was immediately arrested. The High Admiral thought it advisable to warehouse the goods at Bristol so as to avoid the expense and risk of bringing them on to London. I must say that if the interested parties would only not fail themselves it would be possible to secure a very considerable indemnification out of the goods sequestrated in these three ships, but as they have never sent a single document or instruction, which are absolutely necessary, and which I have repeatedly called for, what good are your Serenity's representations and the readiness and favour displayed here by the Earl of Salisbury and the King—which I am bound to point out to you? The affair is brought to so favourable a point that it can be ruined only by the want of those proofs which ought to be supplied by the interested parties. I must add that, as I am well aware of the bad effects which would follow on an unfavourable judgement and the elan with which the English would embark upon this traffic in conjunction with Ward, I will do all I can to prevent private carelessness from injuring public interests.
London, 20th March, 1608.
March 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.199. Ottaviano Bon, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople to the Doge and Senate.
Your Serenity knows that in September of last year I sent the Dragoman, Simon, with two Capigi to the Morea to recover the goods stolen from the ship “Liona.” I did this at the urgent request of Giovanni Balsamo and Nicolo Volterra, who promised to meet all the charges. The State was to be put to no expense. Dragoman Simon now writes that when he reached the Morea he found neither Balsamo nor Volterra, nor any steps taken. He wrote to Zante to Balsamo and Volterra asking for orders and money, and had for answer that they had abandoned the affair and did not intend to send any money; they also declined to pay the 200 sequins I had spent on the mission. I am so disturbed by this conduct that I venture to ask your Serenity to order the interested parties to instruct their agents Balsamo and Volterra to meet all the charges immediately, otherwise no Ambassador will for the future take any steps to support private individuals.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 22nd March, 1608.
March 24. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.200. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet, and spoke as follows:
“Most Serene Prince, when Ministers resident have little to do it is a proof of two things—quiet times and solid friendship. All Europe is quiet; even the King of Spain desires quiet. He has admitted the absolute independence of the States. All I can say is that in our part of the world, in those cold quarters where the wits are heavy, we can not but be greatly amazed and struck dumb by such a resolve, doubting that the pill, which is already down, may contain some ingredient not duly rectified. Peace is good if honour and prestige be not injured, if the authority and vigour of the State be not shaken. In natural bodies if you touch a nerve, what spasms and convulsions! so in the body politic if you touch the nervous centre, its authority.
But to drop speculation and come to business.” Delivers a message from the King expressing regret at Ambassador Giustinian's recall, satisfaction with all the Venetian Ministers who have been at his court since the renewal of the ancient friendship between the two countries, and a promise that he will always treat Venetian Ambassadors not only as sons of St. Mark but also of St. George.
Ambassador Giustinian has dealt in Council with the question of the goods brought from Tunis to England. The Council has resolved to take the matter into its own hands, though it is not of great moment. I am sure the affair is in a favourable condition, and a happy termination may be looked for.
The Doge after replying to the earlier points, declared that as for the goods “plundered at sea” and taken to England, so far from the point being of little moment, the Venetian Government considered it highly important; by the interruption of trade the treasury is affected through the customs, without mentioning the large capital which is engaged. This state of affairs comes about through the action of Princes who, unlike his Majesty, are not willing to suppress piracy. The Doge is glad that the Council has assumed the case to itself, and begs the Ambassador to represent his great desire for a favourable conclusion. This is all the more likely because the interested parties, Venetian subjects, have supported their case by documents and opinions which have recently been sent to England. The Ambassador is invited to support the claim, and to press upon his Majesty the desirability of suppressing piracy. “We take this occasion to inform your Excellency, if you have not heard it from other quarters, that we have news from Marseilles that the Venetian ship 'Soderina,' which was fitted out as a privateer by Ward, appeared off the Island of Crete, where she was sunk with her crew, including, it is supposed, Ward himself, for he left the ship in the height of the storm in a small boat with very little freeboard. This news is brought by some Turks who escaped from the wreck on a raft and landed at Marseilles.”
The Ambassador replied, saying: “Would to God the news were true. This would be a fitting punishment. I have heard the same news from the master of an English ship bound from Toulon to Leghorn. He wrote me the news. If it be true this may free the seas; but my Master, for all that he desires to do so, hardly can, as the privateers have fled the kingdom and are far away.” The Ambassador then begged the Doge's attention to another affair of piracy. He promises to be brief, but must relate the affair from the beginning to avoid misconceptions. “Unless steps are taken one of the richest vessels that ever came into an Italian port may be lost. At Scanderun in Syria (Alexandretta) were lying two ships, one English, called, after her owners, the “William and Thomas,” the other Venetian, called the “Giustiniana.” The “Giustiniana,” hearing that there were pirates in those waters, had orders under the seal of St. Mark from the Venetian consul in Aleppo that she was not to sail except in company with the Englishman, as the vessel of a friendly power. They were to go to Cyprus, and thence the Englishman was to make for Constantinople with a great number of passengers, and the “Giustiniana” to come back to Venice. They set sail, and off Cyprus they fell in with three Florentine bertons. These attacked the two ships. The English admit that they received help from the Venetian, and that having fallen away to lee, right on to one of these bertons, the Venetians, as a last effort of friendship, hove them a cable to tow them out of reach of the enemy. This did not succeed, and the Venetian, having a fair wind, sailed away, followed by two bertons, to whom she struck as to friendly ships, and was allowed to go on her voyage, only the supercargo was taken to Leghorn, as was also the English ship, with a cargo worth, as I understand, 500,000 crowns. From that time to this, though we have used all diligence to prove that the said ship is not a privateer—as is evident, for what has a privateer to do with passengers and a rich cargo—the Florentines insist that both ships had agreed to go buccaneering and base this statement on the consular letter. I beg your Serenity to examine the master of the “Giustiniana,” and then to instruct your Resident in Florence to testify the truth to the Grand Duke; and if you would do the same to the Tuscan Resident here I would take it as a double favour.” After the Savii had confirmed the account given by the Ambassador, the Doge said the master of the “Giustiniana” would be questioned, and suitable steps taken.
The Ambassador then touched on the death of the young English gentleman at Padua; and presented the thanks of Dr. Julius Cæsar, the young man's father. The Doge supposes that, as no news has been received from Padua, the case is following its natural course.
The Ambassador, finally, reports an unexpected incident. Two trunks, one belonging to the Ambassador's Chaplain, (fn. 3) who started from England eight months ago, and one to the Ambassador, containing clothes and some English and Latin books, reached Venice by ship quite recently. The Ambassador, thinking that the period of quarantine had expired, sent to the lazzaretto to recover them, but the Prior (sic) of that place replied that an order from the Inquisition was needed before they could be handed over. This disturbed the Ambassador considerably, who declared that he did not recognise the word “Inquisition.” “It is three years and a half that I have been here as Ambassador, and in my study of the constitution I found that there are three Inquisitors of State, a most weighty office, to which I make my submission, and if I have rendered my house suspect of aught amiss I renounce my privilege as Ambassador; but that I know what a “Papal Inquisitor” means!—why I declare I don't even know the etymology of the word. I therefore beg your Serenity to give orders that my trunks be restored to me whenever they are free of quarantine.” The Doge replied that the sanitary officers were carrying out their orders, and clearly did not know that they did not apply to the Ambassador. Orders issued that the trunks are to be consigned to the Ambassador.
March 26. Collegio, Lettere. Venetian Archives.201. Passport for Mar Antonio Correr, Ambassador elect to the King of Great Britain.
March 27. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives.202. To the Secretary in Florence.
The English Ambassador here resident has made representations about the English berton, Master Borazzo, which was taken into Leghorn by the bertons of the Grand Duke. We desire to know the details of this affair. Our own ship, the “Giustiniana,” has also suffered from the Tuscan bertons. The English ship and the “Giustiniana” kept each other company for safety. The Englishman was a genuine merchant sailing from Alexandretta to Constantinople, flying the King's flag. She had not the smallest appearance of a privateer. You are to see the Grand Duke and give him our assurances of the above statement.
That the English Ambassador be informed of the step we have taken.
March 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.203. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish have known how to turn to account the King's suspicions aroused by events in Ireland, and they very ably magnify the sincerity of their friendship with this Crown. His Catholic Majesty's refusal to admit the Earl of Tyrone and the fact that he shows himself hostile to any idea of disturbing the peace of these kingdoms has greatly quieted the King's mind, and it is obvious that he is acting so as to remove from the Spanish all cause of complaint that their kindly attitude is not reciprocated. The Dutch attribute to this sole cause the delay in concluding the league with them. The English Commissioners have again declared that his Majesty will not be bound for more than a single year after the violation of the terms of peace by Spain. The States consider that the King has little wish to mix himself up in their affairs, but they have instructed their agent here to get some definite statement from the King in order that they may formulate the terms of agreement and bring it to a conclusion, more on account of the prestige it will give them in the negotiations for peace than for any other reason. In my second despatch I enclose a statement of how the peace negotiations stand, based on information from those parts. I must add that a pamphlet has been published here setting forth the rights of the States to the India navigation, which the Spanish now claim to prohibit; on the pretext of some phrases reflecting on his Master, the Spanish Ambassador has obtained an order of the Council suppressing it. This order was the more easily obtained owing to the reasons above mentioned, and because various indications go to show that the Council is instructed to spare no pains nor expense to avoid any appearance of support for the Dutch claims from being offered in this quarter. It seems that matters are going smoothly, so far; the more knowing think that the cunning policy of Spain in the present crisis of Irish affairs, though quite well understood, is ignored by the King until such time as the movements of the Earl of Tyrone shall show who his real supporters are. The Earl is said to be on his way to Rome. His Majesty is waiting to see whether Rome will reply to his book on the Oath of Allegiance now that public letters of the Archpriest (Blackwell) to Cardinal Bellarmin take the same side, though with certain modifications.
London, 27th March, 1608.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives.204. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the peace negotiations in Holland had been suspended for some time owing to the difficulties about the point of the India navigation so that some even thought the Congress dissolved, the Spanish Commissioners have at last proposed that the sittings should be renewed in order to deal with the remaining points, leaving the question of navigation to the last. They propose that both sides should formulate their claims in writing, and to this the Dutch have agreed, under the conditions imposed by their articles. I enclose a copy. Although these claims raise questions which may prolong the discussion, still common opinion holds that the greatest difficulty will be about the India navigation, a point which may possibly remain undecided in spite of the conclusion of the peace. Here they are pleased at anything which can hinder the conclusion of the peace, and they would be sorry to learn that it had been reached by the concession of free navigation, not so much because they themselves have failed to secure this point from Spain, as because they fear that the growing power and commerce of the Dutch by sea will eventually seriously damage the trade of England. The Spanish understand the situation quite well, and avail themselves of it to dissuade the English from any step which might encourage the Dutch to insist. But upon this point, though both parties are very resolute, it is thought that with the answer that is expected from Spain will also come the settlement of the question.
The King and Court are expected in the City in two days to keep the Accession day with the usual festivities. We shall then learn something more about the mine in Scotland; the Council having refused to proceed further with the assay until the King could be present. The Scotch exaggerate its value, the English, out of jealousy, minimise it.
London, 27th March, 1608.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch.205. The chief points which shall be successively proposed by the Seigneurs and States General of the United Provinces of the Low Country, in continuation of negotiations for peace, without prejudice of any sort to what may be subsequently set forth.
Clause 24 relates to possible confederation with the King of Great Britain.
Propositions advanced by the Commissioners of their Highnesses in the Conference of the 7th March, 1608.
Clause 5 relates to the privilege to be granted to the English nation.
March 28. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.206. The Resident for Florence was invited to the Cabinet and the resolution of the Senate was read to him. The Doge set forth the case of the ships “Giustiniana” and the English ship and gave assurance that they were sailing together for protection and were genuine merchantmen.
The Resident promised to forward this communication, but he added that from the inquiry instituted at Florence it appeared that the captain of the English ship, on meeting the Grand Duke's galley, had proposed to seize her, keep the ship, make a present of the crew to the Turk and divide the effects, and had got ready to put his proposal into action, the Venetian ship supporting him under compulsion as she was the weaker. The Florentine galley was only rescued by the arrival of supports. The officers of the “Giustiniana” had confessed this to him at a meeting held in the Calle della Securtà. The Resident had often discussed with the Illustrious Bernardo Giustinan how the Venetian ships were to make themselves known to the ships of the Grand Duke, for unless some signal were agreed upon these incidents would constantly recur. They had settled that Venetian ships meeting Tuscan were to make a smoke at bow and stern. The Resident said that he had informed the English Ambassador of what had come out at the inquiry at Florence, and the Ambassador was astounded.
The Doge replied that he did not know what might have come out at the Florence inquiry, but the Master and Supercargo of the “Giustiniana” were in Venice, had been examined and had deponed as he had stated above. Besides it was impossible to believe that either the English ship or the Venetian had ever dreamed of attacking the Grand Duke's ship.
March 28. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.207. The report of Moderante Scaramelli, Notary Extraordinary of the Ducal Chancery, showing how he informed the English Ambassador of the correspondence with Florence and the Florentine Resident on the subject of the ships.
The Ambassador said that the accusation brought against Captain Robert Brazzo was “infamous, if one may apply such a term to the actions of Princes.” He means to report home that very evening.
March 28. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives.208. The Nuncio remarks that he has already made complaint about the harmful discourses which take place in the house of the English Ambassador, at which many Venetians are present. He now, on orders from Rome, renews the complaint. He had taken pains to find out what was actually going on, and he did discover that political discussions were held there.
The Doge replied that on the occasion of the last complaint inquiry proved it to have been groundless. They will order a fresh inquiry. As far as the Government was informed the Ambassador behaved most prudently. He had told the Government that he had not even a chaplain in the house. The Nuncio said that the chaplain had left or been recalled, ill, but had now come back. The Doge replied that it might be so, but they had no information about it. The Nuncio again repeated that political discussions took place in the English Ambassador's house, and were attended by some Venetians, though he could not say who they were. The Doge replied that inquiry should be made, but he did not believe the report. If no Venetians went it was not for the Government to examine further what the Ambassador might do inside the walls of his house. If any persons did frequent the Embassy it might be that they went there not to hear sermons but to discuss literature; the Ambassador being a man of letters.
March 29. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.209. Report by Moderante Scaramelli that he had informed the English Ambassador that the Earl of Tyrone had reached Milan.
March 29. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Padua. Venetian Archives.210. The New Podestà of Padua, Tomaso Contarini, Conte del Zaffo, rehearses the case of Julius Cæsar.
The young Englishman frequented the fencing school of Bartolomeo Tagliaferro. Fencing, on the 16th of January last, with Antonio Brochetta, it seems that the Englishman hit and defeated Brochetta. He laid aside his arms, but Brochetta challenged him again. To satisfy him the Englishman resumed his arms. Brochetta in violation of the rules and usage of the fence hit right and left and wounded Cæsar on the left hand, who then threw his dagger at Brochetta but did not touch him. On hearing the Englishman's complaints Tagliaferro, who was in a neighbouring room, came out and on learning the facts told the Englishman never to come to his school again. Cæsar went away and found a doctor of his nation who with great difficulty staunched the blood. Next morning Cæsar left his house early armed with sword and pistol, and went to the Scuola del Bò (fn. 4) where he met Brochetta coming out of Tagliaferro's house with sword and targe. Cæsar aimed at him and fired but missed. As he was trying to draw his sword he fell. Brochetta was on him and thrust his sword into him. He rose made two paces and fell dead. Against Tagliaferro there is nothing except that when the Englishman fell he cried out “Give it him.”
Two witnesses swear that the pistol went off under the Englishman's cloak, and they prove it by producing the cloak which has two holes on its left side with marks of burning round them. This is in contradiction with other evidence that the Englishman pointed the pistol at Brochetta and fired. It seems that there is nothing for it but a new trial.
Meantime Brochetta has obtained an order from the Procurator, Trivisan, providing that, on pleading to the indictment, he may claim defence per patrem. The English Nation is greatly opposed. I have written to the Illustrious Trivisan and trust your Serenity will secure the recall of the permission, in order to oblige the English Ambassador and Nation.
Padua, 29th March, 1608.
March 30. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Corfu. Venetian Archives.211. Alvise Basadonna and Nicolo Bragadin, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports the capture of two bertons by Mark Antonio Badoer in command of the great galleys off Sapienza.
Corfu, 30th March, 1608.
Enclosed in preceding despatch.212. Evidence of a Sailor in the fleet of Marc' Antonio Gradenigo.
The two bertons were captured off Sapienza. The crew tried to blow up the bigger. Heard that the “Soderina” had gone to the bottom. Her captain was a famous man.
March 26. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Milan. Venetian Archives.213. Antonio Pauluzzi, Venetian Resident in Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday evening the Earl of Tyrone, his wife and family reached Milan, to the number of about . . . . . persons (fn. 5) all well mounted and well armed even with wheel harquebusses and pistols, to the great surprise of every one, for his Excellency had refused passage to such weapons to other great personages and Ambassadors of great Princes. The Earl went to the Hostelry of the “Three Kings.” Next morning I went to Sant Agnese to see the Confessor of the Nuns; he is a prudent Englishman, my old friend. I communicated to him your Serenity's instructions as regards Tyrone, and begged him to inform the Earl that in view of the perfect amity which existed between the Republic and the King of England, it was your Serenity's desire that the Earl should neither enter nor pass through your dominions, and if that took place your Excellencies would resent it. The Confessor promised to fulfill this commission in the gentle manner I desired. I was to send him some one of my household to whom he would report the Earl's reply. This I did. The Reverend Father executed his commission with the necessary prudence and reports that the Earl was grateful for the warning and thanked me, promising not to take that road eventually, but he did not know when he would leave Milan.
On the other hand I have heard that the Count of Fuentes has sent Don Francesco his Grand Chamberlain to visit the Earl, and to give him refreshments and comfits, and to assure the Earl, with expressions of regard and of great respect, that the Count was ready at his service. The Earl had come through Switzerland, had lost a horse laden with money in the snow and left two of his suite behind to recover it. The Archduke Albert supplied him with money, and he has ample letters-patent from his Catholic Majesty ordering his agents to supply all that he needs. It is added that before leaving Ireland, which he did on an understanding with his Majesty, the King had told him to abandon all his property and to come at once, for money would not be wanting to him nor honourable entertainment, and confirmed these promises by these letters-patent. The Earl intends to go to Rome and thence to Spain; and it is supposed that he will wait here until instructions from his Catholic Majesty shall arrive. All this was told to a secret agent of mine by the Earl's chaplain, who speaks Spanish admirably. My agent reported to me at once.
Milan, 26th March, 1608.


1 See Cal. S. P. Dom., March 3, 1608. Rowland White to Sir Thos. Lake, “Spanish gallies have taken six or seven ships of the States, and spoiled or killed the men.”
2 See the report on Ward's proceedings June 23rd below.
3 Dr. Bedell.
4 That is the University Buildings.
5 Cal. S.P. Ireland, 1606–1608, p. 651. Wotton reports to the King that Tyrone arrived with about 40 men.