Venice: April 1603

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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'Venice: April 1603', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 10, 1603-1607, (London, 1900), pp. 2-16. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

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. "Venice: April 1603", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 10, 1603-1607, (London, 1900). 2-16. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,

April 1603

April 11. Minute of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 5. The commission appointed to deal with the affair of Anthony of the Sherley, at present a prisoner of the Council of Ten, having heard that he is suffering in health, find it consonant with mercy to allow him to attend to his cure in a more ample prison, as he humbly petitions; the petition is supported by the Commissioners themselves.
Motion made that Anthony Sherley with one servant be put in one of the new prisons across the Canal, but on condition that he be allowed to speak to no one, until this Council shall have decided what ought to be done.
April 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 6. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
When the King had the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth, his Aunt (sic), he addressed letters to the Lord Mayor and Council of London informing them that he was ready, if need were, to come at once to receive that which the Justice of God had given him. For the removal of all ground of opposition to the fiat of God, opposition which some might adopted to their own peril and confusion, he declared that he was ready to risk all that he possesses in both kingdoms, aye his very life in defence of his rights, and for the preservation of the religion established in London and in England. This news immediately spread abroad, and relieved the heretics of all doubt, while it levelled the last remnant of hope in the Catholics, and wrought such confusion of sentiment that this very event, which in its nature is the worst of all misfortunes, has. become for many of them a relief. The Archbishop, the Primate, has obtained from the Sheriffs of London the liberation of the Catholics from prison and their release from their pledges, and so everyone goes to his home in the country and commits the future to the divine mercy.
The King has hot written as yet to the Privy Council, which expected to have immediate acknowledgment from his Majesty; they say the reason is that in the proclamation by the Council no mention was made of the fact that the Queen had named his Majesty as her heir on her death bed; the omission was made with a view to enhancing the merits of the Council, and to leave room for anxiety in men's minds. The King, who is fully informed from other sources, resents this fresh news, and orders are awaited daily,
The bearer of the letters to the City of London is a Scot, David More, gentleman of the Chamber to the King. He has already been to visit me in company with the ordinary agent, and in his Majesty's name he said that so great and so ancient is his desire for a close alliance with your Serenity that he anxiously awaits the opportunity to converse with me in order to discover what steps he must take in order to achieve his object both on his own behalf and on behalf of his posterity, and also to give me all that satisfaction as regards my special mission which I have hitherto waited in vain. I replied in cordial terms to the gentleman, and I will do the same to the King as far as my own person is concerned and the special objects of my mission; leaving to your Serenity the issue of such other orders as you may deem advisable.
The agent told me that this unexpected declaration that the King is resolved to maintain the heresy will cut all the Catholic princes to the heart. He regretted that the King found himself instantly compelled to overthrow this column of support, but he said he was certain that the Catholics though deprived of churches and priesthood, would not be persecuted in their private actions.
The action of the Earl of Hertford is attributed by rumour to the French, and his Most Christian Majesty's Ambassador is in serious embarrassment. But the younger is beginning to yield to the elder and the rumour is dying away, for the elder Earl of Hertford, crippled as he is, swears that he will have himself carried to London, and there sign the proclamation himself and pledge his son's hand to the same. Arabella, too, no longer mad, writes, in all humility from her prison, that she desires no other husband, no other state, no other life than that which King James, her cousin and Lord, in his goodness may assign her. And so, as the Crown falls peacefully to his Majesty one hundred thousand ducats have been voted for the cost of his journey, which is to take place in May, and another four hundred thousand at his disposal for his coronation.
Meantime the body of the late Queen by her own orders has neither, been opened; nor, indeed, seen by any living soul save by three of her ladies. It has been taken to Westminster near London, and lies there in the Palace, all hung with mournings. There the Council waits on her continually with the same ceremony, the same 'expenditure, down to her very household and table service, as though she were not wrapped in many a fold of cere-cloth, and hid in such a heap of lead, of coffin, of pall, but was walking as she used to do at this season, about the alleys of her gardens. And so, in accordance with ancient custom will it continue till the King gives orders for her funeral.
The new Queen is named Anne. There are only two sons. The eldest does not reach ten years of age. No one knows if he is to be called King of Scotland or Prince of Wales, according to the usage of the English crown. There is one daughter.
The Dutch fleet on its way back from the Portuguese Indies is lying in a harbour at the extremity of England. It numbers seven ships all richly laden with booty. It brings no news of the English fleet that sailed twenty-three months ago.
London, 12th April, 1603.
Enclosed in Despatch of April 12th from Zante. 7. Olivier Chiavari, Captain of the Frenchman the “Sant' Antonio,” deposed that “Off Goza on St. Thomas's day we fell in with an English ship, which gave us chase and captured us. Our cargo was leather and oil, chiefly the property of the French Ambassador in Constantinople. The Englishman took us into Patras. It was of no use our assuring him that France was an ally of England, nor did it serve to shew him patents from the English Ambassador in Constantinople. On the 12th January we came into Patras, where the Captain of the berton, after conferring with the English there and the shipping authorities, sold all the cargo to the Turks. He only left one hundred and eight hides in bad condition, which he said would do for our freight.
The Captain of the berton was called Thomas Tumnechin (? Tomkins), she was a ship of two hundred tons burthen, with a crew of eighty men.
Enclosed in Despatch of April 12th, from Zante. 8. A certain Benjamin Lock, an English merchant, passenger from London, deposed that he took passage on board the “Ulysses,” Master Nicholas Abrual of London. He was at Patras when the Maltese galleys attacked the Castle, which they captured before sun-rise on a Sunday morning. They immediately afterwards captured the Castle of Lepanto. Both Castles were burned and raised to the ground. On Monday when leaving Patras we were fired on by the galleys and by the forts, and returned the fire.
Enclosed in Despatch of April 12th, from Zante. 9. Piero Albertini of Venice, master and part owner of the berton 'Jesus,” arrived in this port, deposed that he came from Syracuse (Saragosa) with a cargo of sardines; that four months ago he was robbed by an English royal ship (dell' armata della Regina.) Later on, on the 15th of January, he was again robbed by an English ship. The first was a long, rakish looking craft, with two guns on the upper deck in the bows. She had about seventy men on board. They told us she had thirteen oars on each side. The other ship was a large one with twenty guns, and a crew of eighty but without oars.
April 9th, 1603.
April 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 10. Marin Cavalli, Vanetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Scottish Ambassador and the many Scottish resident here are delighted at their King's succession to the crown of England. They are especially thankful that so important an event should have passed off quietly, thanks to the orders issued two days before the Queen's death. The new King cannot be in London before the end of the month, and preparations for his coronation are already on foot.
The States of Holland promise themselves the same assistance from the King as they received from the Queen; for she left to her successor the injunction to maintain friendly relations with his neighbours and to continue the policy she had pursued.
When the King comes to Paris an Ambassador Extraordinary will be sent to England. Speculation as to the person is rife.
Paris, 14th April, 1603.
April 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 11. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The death of the Queen will prevent the forces raised in Scotland and England from passing over to Holland for the present, though the States are doing all they can to obtain leave for them to start. They clearly intend to undertake some operations of moment this year. Count Maurice has a large number of small boats on the Scheldt, and is suspected of a design to cut the dykes and to flood Flanders.
Paris, 14th April, 1603.
April 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 12. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King entered Berwick on the 14th of this month. Berwick is the strongest place the English hold, it lies upon the Tweed and is washed by the waters of the North Sea. The Scottish lost it in the fierce wars with England. By this sudden entry the King has at one and the same time taken possession of England and bridled Scotland. He will stay a few days in Berwick in order to arrange the form of the union of these two crowns. It is said that he is disposed to abandon the titles of England and Scotland, and to call himself King of Great Britain, and like that famous and ancient King Arthur to embrace under one name the whole circuit of one thousand seven hundred miles, which includes the United Kingdom now possessed by his Majesty, in that one island.
From Berwick he made the first use of his royal authority by issuing orders about his coming to London, about the funeral of the late Queen, about the defences of the Kingdom and the succours to be sent to the States of Holland, Zealand, Brabant. As to the new Government he has issued authority to the old Council in terms which have roused comment, for they distinctly state “during the royal pleasure” and “till the King's coming to London.” The troops raised during the illness of the late Queen have passed over to Flushing. They were kept embarked at the mouth of the harbour, and they do not exceed even if they reach the number of two thousand. Statesmen here declare that nothing can be argued as to war or peace with Spain from this despatch of troops, nor as far as they are concerned will they admit that, whatever peace there may be, can the States be allowed to fall under the yoke of Spain or be driven to accept French protection. They affirm that as soon as the King has been crowned, consecrated and anointed as are the Kings of France and of the Romans—a ceremony peculiar to these three crowns—then a general Congress will be held in London to settle the question of peace or war. The King is absolutely determined never to abandon his claim to a certain territory across the water. And although the French Ambassador is careful to enunciate the doctrine that in the friendly relations of France and England lies the safety of both Kingdoms, nevertheless, the recollection of assistance given by the late Queen, especially in sums of money larger than is generally supposed, of the peace which his Most Christian Majesty made with Spain purely in his own interests, the knowledge that France has always had secret relations with Scotland as well as with Spain, and that recently, in return for supporting the King's claims to the Succession, the French Ambassador preferred certain demands that the King should leave a son behind as King of Scotland, and should cease to bear the title of King of France, all these induce in the minds of Statesmen that wavering attitude which marks a serious crisis.
London, 17th April, 1603.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 13. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
On the subject of the plunder of Consul da Mosto's ship I have taken the necessary steps and obtained orders for Barbary as well, as I learned that the English pirate had gone in that direction; but communications with that part of the Sultan's dominions are very rare. I have also obtained orders to the Sanjak of Santa Maura to betake himself to the waters of Valona and Durazzo. Meantime the Sanjak of Elbassan has been here to dine with me; we concerted measures and he has given me his solemn oath that he will extirpate these thieves. As to the two thousand sequins to be given to the Capudan Pasha I will see that he receives them with a proper form of words.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 18th April, 1603.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered,]
April 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 14. Maffio Michiel, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
I have gathered from the depositions of the master of a Venetian berton, recently from Coron, that a Venetian marciliana laden with wood belonging to your Serenity, had been captured by privateers and carried into Modon to sell the booty. The Turks there imprisoned the Captain and two others, on the ground that they had looted a Venetian vessel. I have thought it my duty to beg the Turkish officials to retain these English as prisoners until the stolen goods are recovered, and also to punish them in accordance with the terms of our treaty and in obedience to orders recently received from the Porte. I have written in this sense to the Cadi of Modon and to the Sanjak of the Morea.
It is quite certain that the best way of stopping these villains is to insure that they are denied shelter in Turkish ports.
Zante, 18th April, 1603. Old style.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 15. We arrived, last night from Coron with a cargo of oil. We were driven by a gale into shelter at Sapienza. While lying there on Friday last, the 15th of this month, an English berton sailed in. I do not know her name. Her captain was a tall handsome young man, but I do not know his name. He had with him a Venetian marciliana, with a cargo of wood, bound for Candia. He tried to sell the wood to the Turks at Modon, but when they learned that all this was Venetian goods they declined to buy anything that belonged to Venetians, though they said they would have purchased had it been Spanish goods. The Turks then arrested the Captain, the pilot and two others, and when we left they had not come back. The English prisoners are said to be guarded by six Christians and ten Turks. The berton has thirty-six men on board between sailors and soldiers. The marciliana had either six or nine persons on board. The berton was in ballast and came from Tunis. On our way back we sighted other suspicious sail.
April 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives 16. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The succession to the throne of England took place quite quietly, without any of those difficulties and obstacles which many had foreseen. The Queen's great prudence contributed to this result. Foreigners to the number of five hundred were shipped over to Holland, and a like number of Catholics were imprisoned and only liberated after the proclamation of the new King. The King himself proceeded with great judgement both in his relation towards the Queen and in his efforts to obtain the support or the neutrality of foreign princes. With this object in view he negotiated with the Pope through the medium of some private persons, and when exhorted to be converted he replied that for the present he could not. The Pope, besides supplying the King with a certain amount of money, always kept a secret agent at the Scottish Court. The King had understandings with the King of Spain and the King of France, but nothing was more useful to him than his relations with the English Council.
The Queen before dying named the King of Scotland as her successor, and said she had not done so before because of the danger to her life, which would at once be menaced by those who desired to disturb the peace of England. She exhorted her Council to be loyal to the King and the King to continue her policy. She called Cecil to her and gave him a casket which he was to consign to the King's own hands. The casket contained papers, one of them being a memorial on the methods of governing well. She has left a vast quantity of jewels and hangings for her palaces, and a good sum of money. At Easter a million of gold came in and had not been touched. There are hopes that the King may become Catholic. Peace with Spain will probably follow. It is said that the King wishes to call himself King of Britain. If he allies himself with Spain he will prejudice France, if with France he will injure Spain.
Paris, 20th April, 1603.
April 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 17. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Rosny has been nominated Ambassador Extraordinary in England. The King has selected him because he is a Huguenot and therefore the King of England will treat with him the more freely.
The King of England is very prudent, able in negotiation, capable of dissimulating his feelings. He is said to be personally timid and averse from war. Before leaving Scotland he pacified various feuds between his nobles.
Paris, 20th April, 1603.
April 21. Minute of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 18. Despatch to Secretary Scaramelli in England.
We had heard that the Queen died on the third of this month, and that the King of Scotland has succeeded. We wait your despatches before instructing you.
This goes viâ Antwerp, the easiest and surest route.
Ayes 146.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 3.
April 21. Minute of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 19. Having heard that Anthony Sherley is brother to the buccaneer, Thomas Sherley, the commission now sitting on Anthony Sherley are to examine on this point, and to find out whether he has any share in his brother's plunderings, and to report to the Senate.
Ayes 120.
Noes 4.
Neutrals 19.
April 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 20. Maffio Michiel, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
The fate of the “Balbiana” compels me to trouble your Serenity with further despatches. She was captured by a berton from Rochelle, manned by French, Dutch and English.
Zante, 22nd April, 1603. Old style.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 21. Deposition of Simon Giustinian, supercargo of the ship “San Giovanni Battista,” came from Zea and Athens with a mixed cargo for Venice. While at Zea two Spanish ships came into port. They lay alongside and stole some of our belongings. We came on to Athens and took in the rest of our cargo and sailed for Zante. But on last Saturday evening, the 20th, when off Modon we sighted four English bertons. Three of them were towing a prize into Modon. The four came up to us. The Captain is called John Piers. He boarded us with twenty-five of his crew. He ordered the master to make sail, then he locked us all up in a cabin and took command of the ship. After a day they began to plunder us. The English said they were sixty on board the berton, but one of our men who was aboard reckons them at forty.
April 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 22. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
It is now some days ago that Secretary Cecil spoke to me about some corn which was brought to Zante as far back as 1597. He begged me to petition your Serenity to give orders that it should be paid to a certain Geoffrey (Giafferie) Luter, an English merchant in Venice, who holds the powers of attorney and all necessary instructions in the matter. Cecil said that it was desirable that the parties who are complaining should be satisfied so as to avoid complications.
I replied in general terms and undertook to make representations on the subject when furnished with fuller information than his Lordship had given me by word of mouth. Cecil has now sent me a memorandum in English, presented to him, and in courteous language he invites me to beg your Serenity to order the statement to be made in Venice to the representative of the parties interested. I enclose a translation, and no doubt the illustrious gentlemen, through whose hands this business will pass, which as you see is a question of plunder, will be able to return such an answer as will satisfy the Council if not the parties interested. I must add that the Treasurer, who is a relation of the owner of the ship, the “ Royal Merchant,” which is taking out the goods I have recovered, has asked me to beg your Serenity to remit a fine which was inflicted on the Captain George King (Chinch), an Englishman, for having laded raisins at Zante last year just at the beginning of the prohibition. Two sons of the Treasurer, gentlemen of importance, have made a similar request. Thus solicited I have given a letter to Captain King, which will serve at least as a letter of introduction when he reaches Venice. He will offer his excuses and recite his services in having on several occasions furnished the island of Zante with corn when there was a famine, and will receive from your Serenity the grace he may have merited, more especially for having at this period of interregnum, when everything was full of alarm, taken his ship with the recovered goods upon it safely down the river to the sea and saved the merchandise from various dangers.
I hear on all sides that the King is a man of letters and of business, fond of the chase and of riding, sometimes indulging in play. These qualities attract men to him, and render him acceptable to the aristocracy. Besides English he speaks Latin and French perfectly, and understands Italian quite well. His Majesty has ordered the funeral of the Queen to take place without waiting his arrival, and they say he wishes to see her neither alive nor dead, for he can never expel from his memory the fact that his mother was put to death at the hands of the public executioner, with great disgrace and cruelty, an indignity to a crowned head that has no parallel in history except the cases of Corradin, decapitated in Naples by Charles the Eighth of France, though he was not a King only a pretender, the two adulterous Queens of Henry VIII. of England, Anne Boleyn and Catharine Howard, and Jane, who rebelled against Mary of England. Elizabeth's portrait is being hidden everywhere, and Mary Stuart's shown instead with declaration that she suffered for no other cause than for her religion. The Earl of Southampton, who was lying in the Tower of London under sentence of death for complicity in Essex's affair, and also Baron (Sir) Henry Neville, who was one time Ambassador in France, have been released, and it is said that the King wishes Lady Arabella to appear as the sole Princess of the blood at Elizabeth's funeral, which is being arranged for the second week in May. Lord Kinloss (fn. 1) (Chinlos) arrived last week; he is a Scot, of the King's Council, and more intimate with the King than anyone else in Scotland. He carried orders that he was to be admitted of the Privy Council, and he at once took possession to the disgust of the Lords, who pretended that no one but Englishmen should hold honours and office in England. Lord Kinloss is Abbot (Commendator) of a rich benefice in Scotland, (fn. 2) conceded to him by the King, and allowed by his Majesty's religion, which is not, as was said, Calvinist, but Protestant, as may be gathered from a book published by his Majesty in the English tongue, and sent to press here within an hour of the Queen's death. (fn. 3) In this book he drew up regulations for the guidance of his eldest son Prince Henry, and incidentally warned him to beware of the proud Bishops of the Papacy, and calls the Puritans a very plague. For all that, everyone who comes here from Scotland affirms that the religion of this country will not be changed, except that the recusant Catholics who have agreed to pay to the Crown a large sum every month in lieu of attendance at heretical services, may perhaps be relieved of that payment and freed from persecution for their religious acts in private. If that takes place then in the next Parliament the Catholics will attempt nothing further than the revocation of that law of Elizabeth, which makes it the capital crime of lœsa Majestas for any Englishman in any part of the world to enter Latin orders. As all this reaches me with some positiveness I must not fail to report it to your Serenity.
I paid a visit to this new Scottish Councillor, and he repeated to me what Hudson (?) (Uzzon), the King's Envoy in Ordinary, had told me, and also More, the King's Chamberlain, and added that a packet of letters addressed to your Serenity had already been made up and a gentleman appointed to convey them to me and to open some secret negotiations with me, when news of the Queen's illness reached Scotland, and soon after the news of her death.
I endeavoured to discover the contents of these letters, and Lord Kinloss replied to me that it had occurred to the King that as an Agent of the Republic was in England it would be desirable to find out what sort of sentiments the Republic held towards him, but now that both tide and wind had been in his favour circumstances were altered and there was no more need to touch on that subject. It only remained for me to show the way to the effectuation of that good understanding which his Majesty desires to establish with the Republic.
I replied in general terms, with cordial attestations of the satisfaction with which your Serenity had received information of his Majesty's excellent disposition towards the Republic. I then passed on opportunely to touch on the subject of my mission, and I said I hoped his Majesty would conclude my business, and would treat directly as from Prince to Prince, relieving me of any further dealings with Commissioners, who are both judges and parties in the cause. To which he replied, “ The King knows what you want, and as it will still take some time before you can approach him here in London on such a subject which requires information and attention, I should advise you to suspend your present negotiations here, which are partly of a private nature, and to go to meet the King at some place upon his route, where I, who must presently go back to him, would already have preceded you and could make an appointment; in this way, even if your credentials have not yet arrived, his Majesty will be very glad to receive your public and private congratulations, and will speak with you.” I made as though I were highly pleased with this offer, and tendered my thanks. I did not, however, conclude the appointment, not because I did not wish to do all that I considered opportune for the service of your Serenity, but because as the affair of the “ Speranza,” about which chiefly I was sent from Venice, is now completely closed, and I do not see where to apply myself in these unexpected circumstances, in which expenses are excessively increased.
London, 24th April, 1603.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 23. Petition of Edward Lilly, Nivel Daives, Salamon Gravener, Edward Newman, and others to the Privy Council.
Hugh Whitbrook and his consorts in June, 1597, captured on the coast of Sicily two ships, one had a cargo of grain and belonged to Messina, the other a cargo of wood and belonged to Trapani. They took out of them several copper cauldrons and other goods, and let them go on their way. At Zante the Proveditore Cornaro compelled us to sell the corn, as there was a great dearth in the island, at forty-seven gazzette the measure, though at the moment it was worth sixty. We were badly handled and beaten, and the corn taken from us without payment; also the bill of lading and letters. The Governor and the Commander-in-Chief of the fleet were in accord over this action. The loss amounts to two thousand sterling and upwards, as will be proved, that is about eight thousand ducats.
We petition for the sequestration of Venetian goods to that amount, or that his Majesty should write to Venice on our behalf.
Report as to what actually took place.
Hugh Whitbrook and others agreed to make a voyage from London to Leghorn on board a ship named the “Thomas.” Arriving at Leghorn on the 8th of April, 1597, they discharged their goods and left on the 14th of May for Zante and Alexandria to pick up a cargo. While coasting along Sicily they captured two ships, one hailing from Messina with a cargo of grain, the other from Trapani with a cargo of wood. Out of this ship they took eleven parcels of copper weighing three thousand five hundred pounds, and one box of white wax candles and torches to the weight of six hundred pounds. After that they let the ship with the cargo of wood go free. On board the other they put some sailors. She was of one hundred tons burden, and had a cargo of one thousand five hundred measures of corn.
On the 4th of June they reached Zante with the intention of taking on board a part of their cargo. Hugh Whitbrook, who was the merchant, went on shore to the Castle. The Governor asked him where he came from, he answered that he came from Leghorn, and that on the way he had captured booty. The Governor gave him a cordial welcome, and declared he was pleased at their arrival, as there was a great dearth of corn. The following day, a Sunday, the Governor sent for Whitbrook and others; and from the ship's books and the evidence of four witnesses being assured that the booty was fair prize, captured outside the Gulf, (fn. 4) still he would not let them go with their booty, owing to the great scarcity of grain. By fair words and promises Whitbrook was constrained to part with the grain at forty-seven gazzettas (a Venetian coin) the measure, ready money. They, under this compulsion, began to unlaid a part of their grain, and while that was going on six Venetian galleys arrived in port. The Spanish Consul there resident went to complain to the Commander of the galleys, who at once sent for Whitbrook and others of his company, and examined them separately; but finding no just ground for objection he dismissed them all, though he kept back their letters and bills of lading. The following day the Commander of the galleys consulted with the Governor and with the Captain of the Castle, and determined to strip them of their booty, and did so. To facilitate their design the Commander of the galleys sent for Whitbrook and some of the principal officers on the pretext of offering them a banquet, but he detained them as prisoners, while he sent some of his soldiers on board the “Thomas,” and took all the booty and some of the corn which was on board for the use of the ship's crew besides, by which act of cruelty the said ship “Thomas” was in great straits. Besides they broke open and carried off various other articles, and although Whitbrook complained he met with no redress. When they demanded a certificate setting forth the treatment they had received, this was refused, and they were referred to Venice. The value of this stolen property is at least two thousand pounds.
April 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 24. Maffio Michiel, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate
I enclose letters from the master of the marciliana, laden with wood for Candia, and recently captured by the English.
Zante, 28th April, 1603. Old style.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 25. I was attacked by three English bertons, who took whatever pleased them; sails, artillery, cables, anchors. They took us into Modon and tried to sell the remainder of the cargo and the ship. When the Aga found out that the goods belonged to your Serenity he sent Battista Giustinian to Sapienza, where he induced the Englishman, his brother, and two other English to come ashore. They were instantly arrested, and told that unless they brought the marciliana to Modon they would be put in irons and sent to Zante.
Signed Antonio, son of Hieronimo, of Venice.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 26. Letter from Giovanni Battista Giustinian.
Four days ago an English berton put into Sapienza. Her master is called Buer, a young man of twenty-five or twenty-six, and very rich. He brought a prize, the marciliana “Mema et Costantina,” captured off Strivale. The people of Modon refused to purchase, on the ground that the goods belonged to your Serenity. I tempted the Captain, his brother, and two others ashore, and they were immediately arrested and ordered to bring the marciliana under the guns of the Castle or they would be clapped into irons and sent to Zante. The Captain obeyed, on condition that as soon as the ship was brought in he and his people might go free.
Modon, 28th April, 1603.
April 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 27. Maffio Michiel, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
I was informed by the Chioggian, Battista Corsari, that on board an English ship lying in harbour were two of the buccaneers who had plundered his ship. I sent for the master of the Englishman on pretext of giving him letters to take to England. When he came to the Castle I demanded the men, and told him I had nothing against him, though I myself am firmly convinced that there is not a sailor of that nation but is a pirate. He obeyed my orders and consigned the men. They are in prison and have readily confessed the deed. They plead that their Captain took them in, I shall proceed to try them.
Zante, 29th April, 1603. Old stylo.
April 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 28. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I waited on the Archbishop of Glasgow, Ambassador here for the King of Scotland, and on the Ambassador of England.
The King left behind him in Scotland his eldest son, so that the Scottish might not be altogether deprived of the Blood Royal. One hundred thousand pounds sterling were sent from England for his journey; but the King said he would keep them for other purposes. All vessels landing people near the Straits of Dover are searched. The Archduke had destined Don Gaston, Spinola as his Envoy to England, and given orders that English shipping shall not be molested.
M. de Rosny has not left yet. He is waiting till the return of Baron du Tour (de Thou), the King's Ambassador in Scotland. The Nuncio does not like de Rosny's appointment.
Paris, 29th April, 1603.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 29. Maffio Michiel, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports on Mondino's mission to the Sanjaks of the Morea and of Santa Maura to secure the execution of the orders obtained from the Porte upon the subject of privateers, and to deal with the case of the “Veniera” and of the frigate captured by the pirate Delali. Encloses Mondino's report to him. Reports that a frigate bearing his despatches home was fired upon by an English berton three days ago, when off Cephalonia, but escaped by using oars.
Zante, 30th April, 1603. Old style.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 30. Letter to Francesco Di Heriedi from Lambriano Pazzo.
Does not think that the six galleys which are going to Modon will find the English there. Went to Patras and told the English Consuls that they were all in league together. In company with two English and two Cavasses went to Modon; found the ships had sailed. The Captain is a prisoner and is being sent to the Sanjak.
Gastuni, April 27, 1603.


  • 1. Edward Bruce, afterwards Master of 'the Rolls.
  • 2. Kinloss Abbey.
  • 3. The Basilikon Doron.
  • 4. i.e., the Adriatic.