Venice: January 1604

Pages 126-130

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 10, 1603-1607. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1900.

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January 1604

Jan 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 176. Zacchabia Gabriel and Agustin Canal, Governors in Corfu, to the Doge and Senate.
Report English piracies, and state that, being without galleys, they cannot check them.
Corfu, 1st January, 1604.
Jan. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 177. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Halil Pasha arrives from Cairo, and is made Grand Vizir.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 3rd January, 1604.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 3. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 178. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The doctors disagree as to the cause of the Sultan's death. Some say it was plague, but most that it was apoplexy.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 3rd January, 1603 [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 179. Angelo Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Ten days ago the King had an attack of the gout. He kept his bed in the morning, but rose and went out in a carriage in the evening, this brought on the gout with such violence that he had to go to bed again, and stay there for many days in acute pain and to the great mortification of his natural vivacity.
His Majesty and his ministers are putting it about that the Catholic King and the Archduke were parties to the conspiracy in England. The King of England has ordered his Ambassador to deny this.
Paris, 7th January, 1604.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 180. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary, to the Doge and Senate.
On my way to Antwerp I stopped nearly a whole day at Ostend, where from the top of the platform I could look into the town and see the great defences thrown up by the besieged; defences that make it almost hopeless to expect to capture the place, especially as succours can come in by sea. Spinola's only hope is in a mound they are building at low tide.
Brussels, 7th January, 1603 [m.v.]
Jan. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 181. Nicolo Molin, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Admiralty Judge has informed me that his Majesty sent for him a few days ago and told him that he was to use all diligence for the summary despatch of the piracy cases before him, exhorting him to administer justice, so that none should have cause for complaint, otherwise he would have him hung; he is ordered not merely to restore the stolen property, but to punish the culprits. The judge now informs me that he has two other prisoners besides the six who have been hung; one of these two is William Piers, who plundered the “Veniera.” These men, in the desire to save their lives, have offered a small sum of money, and, says the judge, it now rests with me to say what should be done; as he holds his Majesty's orders to do all that I request in this affair, either to condemn to death or to pardon. He added that, if I pardoned them, I would draw a certain amount of money, which would go to the benefit of the interested parties, but if I insisted on the death penalty I must give up all expectation of compensation, for these people are very poor. I discussed this question with the agent for the interested parties; and we considered the judge's advice sound, and that it was better to consult the pecuniary advantages of the owners, especially as the execution of six culprits seemed sufficient as a warning. The example given by this execution in Southampton has so terrified everybody that a great number of culprits are in hiding, and will not be easily caught, whereas if they hear that, by paying out some money they can square themselves with the law, they are sure to do so. My answer to the judge was that I would wait to see what sum' was offered in composition, for I did not intend to let them off for mere bagatelle. I will take no steps except in concert with the agent of the interested parties.
The Constable of Castile (Ferdinando de Yelasco, Duke of Frias) is in Antwerp; they say he brings very ample powers to conclude a treaty of peace. The place of meeting for the congress on the subject is now to be chosen. The Spanish claim that the King should send his Commissioners out of England to meet the Spanish. Taxis is entrusted with this negotiation. He has orders to reside here for two years, and is, therefore, looking for a house in London,—a sign that the Spanish consider the peace concluded.
Antonio Perez has left Paris for Dieppe, intending to cross over to England. This gives rise to various conjectures.
London, 7th January, 1603 [m.v.]
Jan. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 182. Nicolo Molin, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The English keep their Christmas according to the old style, on the 4th of January, a Sunday. The King took the opportunity to invite to a banquet those Ambassadors who had not as yet banquetted with him; to avoid the question of precedence between Savoy and Florence he invited Spain and Savoy on Monday, and Tuscany and Poland on Tuesday. Sir Lewis Lewkenor conveyed the invitations. But when Florence heard that Savoy was invited for Monday he complained of the injury done to his master, vowed that the Grand Duke would never yield a position he had acquired at the Imperial Court, and declared that, if Savoy had precedence, he would refuse the invitation. Sir Lewis did not deny a single assertion of Montecuccoli, but, in great confusion, he said he would report all to the King. His Majesty admitted the arguments of Florence, and in spite of some of his Council, who wished to stand firm, be sent Sir Lewis to recall the invitation to Savoy, and to tell him that he would receive an invitation later on. The Ambassador, who knew what had taken place, expressed profound astonishment that his Majesty should have taken such a step, though of course there was nothing he might not do in his own house, and he talked of withdrawing from Court, but finally determined to consult Spain. After some conversation they agreed that each should write a letter to the King. The Spanish letter was presented by Juan Battista Taxis, relation of the Ambassador, Savoy's letter by the Ambassador's son. When the King had read them he said, “Tell the Ambassador, your father, to keep calm, and to submit to what we can do for him, as we have no desire to offend a single Italian Prince, least of all the Grand Duke, who is a great friend of ours,” and with that he turned his back and went into another chamber without giving them time to reply. Sir Lewis Lewkenor was told to warn the Ambassador of Savoy on no account to come to the banquet on Monday, as he seemed from his letter to be minded to do. So on Monday Spain alone was present, and on Tuesday Poland alone. The King announces that the others will be invited a day or two before they leave.
London, 8th January, 1603 [m.v.].
Jan. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 183. Anzolo Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Father Cotton, the Jesuit, his Majesty's favourite preacher, was stabbed the other night when passing through the streets in his carriage. He was struck in the neck by a man dressed as a lacquey, who repeated the blow, but missed him. The first wound is not mortal. The King has given orders that the Father shall be attended by the Court doctor, and fed from the palace.
Paris, 21st January, 1604.
Jan. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 184. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary, to the Doge and Senate.
Two members of the States were deputed to reply to my representations. They said that it was universally known that Spain claimed to treat as hostile all ships trading south of the Tropic of Cancer; therefore, all Spanish ships or Spanish allies' ships captured by any other European nation beyond that line are fair prize When the “Veniera” and the “Ponte” were captured by the Dutch they were beyond the Tropic of Cancer, sailing with a Spanish warrant and under a Spanish Captain, Edward Lopez, a Portuguese. They were, therefore, fair prize, and no claim for damages could lie.
The Hague, 27th January, 1604.
Jan. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 185. Nicolo Molin, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
All these last days have been devoted to fetes, banquets, jousts, as is usual in England from St. Stephen's to Twelfth night.
The French Ambassador, in his master's name, has presented the King with nine magnificent riding-horses, and has summoned from France a riding-master, a fencing-master, and a dancing-master.
The courier from Florence has arrived. The Grand Duke approves the action of his Ambassador (Montecuccoli). He says that it has always been the etiquette for the last-arrived Ambassador to receive not to pay the first visit. Montecuccoli is now making his visits of congè. The Ambassador of Savoy left last Wednesday. He was invited to banquet the day before.
London, 28th January, 1603 [m.v.].
Jan. 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 186. Nicolo Molin, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Constable of Castile (Duke of Frias) was not well received at first by the Archduke Albert, as he was suspected of intending to undertake the direction of the war; but, on his declaring that the negotiations for peace with England was his real commission, he was highly honoured. They say he is bringing vast promises of money for the ministers and of a million of gold for the King himself, which he is to repay only when it suits him. This and the great inclination there is for peace leave no doubt but that it will be concluded. All the same the English are fitting out fleets for the Portuguese Indies, a thing that the Spanish hate.
The Spanish Ambassador has approached the King on the subject of the place of congress, and has suggested that, as the Constable is old, the weather bad, and the journey troublesome, the King should send his Envoys to some neutral territory, suggesting Emden. The King replied, with warmth, that it was not he who was seeking peace, and if the Spanish wanted anything let them come for it.
The Proclamation summoning Parliament was published yesterday. It exhorts all constituencies to return members who are neither superstitious, that is suspect Catholics, nor turbulent, that is Puritans. The date is not fixed, as the plague has shown signs of increasing again, owing to the carelessness with which the bedding and clothes of persons who died of the disease, are being used by the living.
London, 29th January, 1603 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]