Venice: October 1606

Pages 406-418

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


October 1606

Oct. 2. Consiglio Dieci, Deliberazioni. Secreta, registro Venetian Archives. 587. That Antonio Dotto, of Padua, who was banished by his Council on the 24th March, 1600, be granted a safe conduct for three months at the instance of the Ambassador of the “King of Great Britain,” on condition that he never leaves his house in Padua.
Ayes 17.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 0.
Oct. 2. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 588. The English Ambassador in a “very long and ornate speech” made the following statements :—
He announced that he had informed all Envoys in Venice of Roma, his master's intentions, and had written to many quarters the same information.
He considered that the present difficulties could only be ended in one of four ways:—
Death of Paul V.
Arbitration by foreign Sovereigns.
Open war.
He declared that he was so deep in devotion, love, and well-wishing to the Republic that he ought and desired to be considered a Venetian, a citizen of the State, enjoying the privilege of voting as other Venetians did when they had reached twenty-five years of age.
If in the course of his remarks he touched on matters relating to other Princes he begged for the usual and suitable secrecy.
He did not believe the Republic would or could terminate the crisis by the first course. The damage to her temporal power would be too great. Besides there is the manifesto, printed, published, in the hands of every Sovereign. In short that phrase of Cicero's is applicable, “pacem nolo, quia inutilis quia turpis et quia fieri non potest.” After the publication of the Edict and of Querini's writings he said it would be impossible to yield without loss of esteem.
As to the second point, the death of Paul V., although the Cardinals urge him to troublesome and annoying action, yet it is not to be supposed that, if any one of them succeed him, the quarrel would be continued.
“I must here observe that in conversation with the Catholic Ambassador I told him of the declaration made by the King of Great Britain; he then told me that his master was pledged to support the Holy See by arms not because he desired or loved a war in Italy, but because he feared that in this district a new religion might be introduced, and that he could not bear to see (ma si ben perchè dubitava, che s' introducesse in questa provincia nuova religione il che era quello che le dispiaceva infinitamente et che turbava l'animo suo). To this I replied that I was greatly astonished, for it did not seem to me that in the present controversy there was any question of faith involved, and if this were really the case then I had deceived the King of Great Britain by representing the question as a purely secular and temporal one, which affected all Princes in common for the preservation of that authority, for which, as being the gift of God, they are bound to fight with all their might, and that this was the chief among other reasons which had induced my master to declare himself. I am persuaded that this answer is in accordance with the truth and also with the views of your Serenity. (A questo io risposi di meravigliarmi grandemente perchè non mi pareva in queste contese si tratasse punto alcuno in materia di fede et di religione et che quando questo fosse io havevo ingannato it Re della Gran Bretagna havendole scritto et datole particolar informatione che si tratta di cose mere laicali et temporali nelle quali communemente tutti li Principi sono interessati per non esser privi di quella potestà che ricevuta dal Signor Dio sono obbligati di conservare con ogni spirito, et che questa causa ha mosso principalmente la Maestà del mio Re a dichiarirsi oltre altri rispetti. Et reputo nella risposta essermi conformato col vero et col senso della Serenità Vostra.)
On the third point, arbitration by foreign Sovereigns, that might mean a general Council of many Sovereigns, to whose authority and wisdom the question would be submitted. But I must say that there is not a single Prince, how great so ever he be, nay not excepting my own master, who would be genuinely disinterested; no good result or decision can be looked for from such a solution, and I would never vote for such a proposal which would merely be what schoolmen call a petitio principii, and would surely make confusion worse confounded. But were the question to be submitted to say two arbitrators, I am sure your Serenity would prefer no one to my master, who, although he has remained neutral in appearance, has yet been clever enough to support the States as he has done, and has openly declared himself in your Serenity's favour; so if your Serenity chose him as your arbitrator and the King of Spain as the other, the whole question might be dealt with by their commissioners. In that case I am sure my master will not be defrauded of this honour, which he has so fully deserved.
There remains the third method of arbitration, a general Council, but if I have rightly read my history and the events of 1508, in the reign of King Louis of France, I do not think we are in an identical situation; for then, owing to dissensions among the Cardinals, his Majesty was enabled to summon the Council of Pisa, for there was some opposition to the censures of Pope Julius II. Now, however, as I am informed there is no opposition to the Pope. I believe greater divergence of opinion is necessary before it would be safe to appeal to a Council.
As to the fourth point, war, it may be urged against me that I am proposing a method which is vicious and incompatible with peace, but I would reply, “bella facienda sunt ut in pace vivamus;” and to avoid the greater we should choose the lesser evil, and so I approve of this plan. There are, however, two difficulties, one that the Jesuits are clever enough to turn all to their own advantage, the other that as the Pope is an absolute monarch, all action depends on his will, and I am informed that he has already named the Duke of Parma as his general and has made other preparations, whereas your Serenity moves slowly though certainly with great prudence and maturity of council, and so I fear that Thucydides' exclamation may apply to the Republic when he says, “Happy had Athens been had her wise resolves found rapid execution.” Two lines of action are now possible, to attack at once or to form an alliance. I fear it is too late to attack now, the delay has been excessive and is like a hectic fever, consuming and destroying bit by bit. Should famine or plague supervene just now, which God forbid, the people would declare that this was the result of the excommunication. There remains the project of an alliance with Great Britain, Denmark, the German Princes, Holland, the Swiss and the Grisons; the King of France I name last for reasons to be presently explained. There is no doubt as to the disposition of the others.
It is supposed that the King of France must be of the same opinion because of his interests; for his grandfather was deprived of the kingdom of Navarre by excommunication. The present King at the peace of Vervins reserved his rights, and accordingly he can never admit the power of excommunication to deprive a Sovereign of his States; besides Rome wants money, and that will always come from Spain, not from France, and Spain will, therefore, always prevail over France. I must here inform you that the French complain of Venetian lukewarmness. If the Senate has come to any resolution I pray your Serenity to inform me, and I promise to serve and obey you as though I were what I claim to be, a true Venetian.”
The Doge returned thanks and said that the King of France had the negotiations in hand that nothing positive was reached yet, when there was anything to communicate the Ambassador would be informed.
The Ambassador returned thanks for the safe conduct granted to dal Fumo at his request. This news would raise his credit in Padua, Vicenza and elsewhere, when it was seen that he was stamped as good Venetian coin. He again insisted in favour of Antonio Dotto, and hoped that the opposition of the Dotto family itself might not prevail.
The Doge said the case belonged to the Council of Ten and dwelt on the difficulties in these cases of safe conducts. The Ambassador spoke in favour of the two English officers who wished to enter Venetian service.
He put in a petition in favour of Dotto asking for a safe conduct for two or three months.
Oct. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 589. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I beg your Serenity to pardon me if on this occasion I am briefer than I could wish. I have just returned from Hampton Court and find the courier on the point of departure. I have reported that the question of precedence had reached such a pitch that, in his Majesty's unwillingness to come to any open declaration on the subject, each Ambassador was straining every nerve to wrest some advantage for himself. For example, before the Queen had risen from her couch after confinement, demands for audience poured in from all sides. The Spanish Ambassador obtained audience before the Ambassador of France by employing his usual methods with the Court officials. Everybody thought, and he thought so, too, that this was a distinct victory. I knew that the Archduke's Ambassador was trying the same game by every means in his power, and I set myself to oppose him, and ended by winning this point against him, for to-day the Queen received me before him, to the Ambassador's excessive chagrin, for it is generally held that this may be taken as a final decision on the question between us, all the more so as many great Lords of Council were present at the audience, almost as though this were done by the express instructions of the King. I returned thanks to her Majesty, and I will take care to follow up this advantage.
The Count of Vaudemont reached London to-day. I sent my secretary to Gravesend to wait on him, and to-morrow I will visit him before he leaves for Hampton Court. It is publicly said that he has come here to raise troops for the service of the Republic, a report which gives universal satisfaction. I have received copies of the works of Signor Antonio Querini, setting forth the case for the Republic, and others from the pen of Father Paul are just to hand.
London, 4th October, 1606.
Oct. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 590. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio having heard of the declaration of the King of England has dispatched a courier to the Pope. The Venetian Ambassador will take care to spread this news through the Court and cause it to reach the King's ears. If the King of France should make up his mind to support the Republic the Pope would be forced to come to terms. The English Ambassador assures the Venetian that the Republic may count more upon the King of England than on any other Sovereign.
The writings of Signor Antonio Querini, of Don (sic) Paulo, and of the seven Theologians have been reprinted in French, and make the case for the Republic quite clear. They are commended by all. A Theologian of the first rank has offered to write in favour of the Republic.
Paris, 10th October, 1606.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 591. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I had an audience of the King at Hampton Court. I returned thanks for his Majesty's promises of assistance by land and sea should the need for it arise in the course of the present controversy with the Pope, and said that your Serenity left the choice of the moment to publish his offer in his hands. I added that the Pope's recent action had given fresh ground for alarm, and the Republic found herself obliged to take steps to secure her safety. I then expatiated on the fact that the Pope had summoned a congregation of thirteen Cardinals, all ill-affected towards the Republic, and that they, after a long debate, had resolved to proceed against the Republic and to raise a large number of foot and horse and to gather money, to which may possibly be due the unexpected creation of eight new Cardinals, which is said to have recently taken place. All this his Holiness immediately reported to Spain. “These events, Sire, have caused the Senate to lay the situation before your Majesty, and at the same time to place itself in your hands as regards the publication of the offers you have made, for these fresh steps on the part of the Pope seem to indicate that the moment is almost ripe”.
The King listened to me with close attention and emphasised the various points with signs and gestures. After reading your Serenity's letter with every mark of esteem he said, “I call God, the veracious judge of human hearts, to bear witness to the truth that I have undertaken to defend the Republic for no other purpose than for the service of his Divine Majesty, the independence of Princes, and the defence of the Republic. May he who knows my inmost thought punish me if any selfish motive has urged me to this course or if the fact that the quarrel is with the Pope has induced me to this end. I have done it because of that duty I feel to God to defend the rights of Princes whom he has appointed on this earth, because of that duty I feel towards the Republic, which is defending a thoroughly just cause and one that is pleasing to his Divine Majesty. And the more I ponder, as I often do, and study this question the more I assure you do I find myself confirmed and established in her defence, nor is there the shadow of a reason to shake me. I have come to this resolve with that readiness and courage which you observe. I reached it without the aid of my Council, and with the same courage and constancy of spirit I will maintain it. Nothing shall move me or make me draw back; nor will I act like the King of Spain, who by his letter has puffed up the Pope with vanity and led him to this precipice. But I will put my promise into action with all loyalty and intrepidity; so I assure you and so undoubtedly will I act. These new steps of the Pope are of great moment, and I hear that all the new Cardinals are dependants of Spain. Since the Senate leaves publication of my resolves to me, I will consider how it may be best made for the advantage of the Republic. I am having to-morrow, so will you please see the Earl of Salisbury upon the subject; he will discuss it with you. As to approaching my allies I will do so with all earnestness and insistance. Denmark and the German Princes will assuredly reply favourably; as for Spain and the Archduke there is no need to think of them, the one has declared himself, the other is bound to follow him. There is no need to address his Most Christian Majesty, for every reason will induce him to take the part opposed to Spain; in fact he is the person most directly interested in watching the course of all these movements. And if it be urged that he is 'his Most Christian Majesty,' and in virtue of that title is called upon to def end the Church, we must disabuse the objector and point out that this is not a question of the Churchy but the common causa of all Princes for the preservation of their rights and liberties, which are not repugnant to the Church, but rather her safeguard and support at all times. I will accordingly take all steps that may be of service to the common cause; and the Senate will find me disposed to do even more than I promise”.
When the King had done I returned thanks and said that I could not refrain from praising the wisdom with which he pointed out that this was a cause common to all Princes, and that I was sure small and great, foreign and Italian, would follow his lead. I said “Italian,” for I have observed that Savoy and Florence, perhaps with matrimonial objects in view, are paying great court to his Majesty.
London, 11th October, 1606.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 592. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I saw the Earl of Salisbury and repeated to him my conversation with the King. He assured me that I might rely on all his Majesty had said to me. The Earl was summoned to the King in the middle of my audience, and said the conversation must be continued on another occasion.
The Count of Vaudemont is generally supposed to be here to raise troops for the Republic. I waited on him at Hampton Court, where he has always been with the King. They left yesterday for a hunting party. From one of his suite I have extracted the fact that the Baron Magliana is a secret Chamberlain of the Pope, and it is possible that he has some instructions on the question of religion. The Count has been received in great style. His suite exceeds that of this King of Denmark.
The conference between the Scottish Ministers and English Bishops has begun. Its object is the unification of rites, but the Scotch display violent opposition and refuse to attend the sermons which the King has ordered. This augurs ill for the question of union between the kingdoms, which is to be raised in the coming Parliament; for without union of Churches union of kingdoms is thought impossible.
London, 11th October, 1606.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 14. Minutes of the Senate, Roma. Venetian Archives. 593. To the Ambassador in England.
Enclosing copies of communications made by the Ambassador of France to the Tuscan Secretary. You are to ask for audience and to say to his Majesty that although negotiations for an accord are in the hands of his Most Christian Majesty, still the attitude of the Pontiff leaves us doubtful of a favourable issue, and so we count upon his Majesty, if occasion require it, to give effect to his promises. We intend to send an Ambassador Extraordinary to express our thanks.
Ayes 115.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 7.
Oct. 16. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma, Venetian Archives. 594. The English Ambassador asks to be told whether Don Francesco de Castro is really coming, and if so what is his mission. It seems to him that the Sovereign who undertakes to negotiate for an accord ought to be a neutral, but the King of Spain has declared himself a partisan by the publication of his letter. He says he is informed from Milan that the Duke of Savoy is endeavouring to be appointed general against the Venetians.
The Doge replied that the arrival of Don Francesco had been announced, but not the date nor nature of his mission. He added that some persons believed that the letter of the King of Spain had been enlarged and altered by the Spanish ministers in Italy.
The Ambassador replied that he hoped Don Francesco was not sent merely to lull them to sleep.
He returned thanks for the concession made to Antonio Dotto.
The Ambassador announced his journey into the country for four or five days, and said he left his agent, Gregorio Monte, behind him.
Oct. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 595. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I received your Serenity's dispatches of the 22nd ult., instructing me to buy ten thousand stara (fn. 1) of wheat of good quality, well seasoned, at the current price, and to dispatch it in sound ships as fast as possible. I at once set to work to fulfill your orders. I encountered two difficulties, one about the price, which, as I have already informed the Savii alla Biave, is rising; the second as to the quality of the corn; there is great risk of the new crop being damaged at sea during the first few months after it is cut, and so it is necessary to buy last year's corn, of which I hear there is a very small stock, owing to the large exportations caused by the dearth in many parts of the world, which is also responsible for the rise in price. It is true that in the districts remote from London I am told I shall find grain in sufficient quantity and at a reasonable price. I have written for accurate information about this. I will from time to time report to the Savii alla Biave the current prices of corn, of freight, the quality of the ships, and all other useful information, and I will forward the sample and the test (scandaglio). (fn. 2) I must inform you that for this exportation I shall require the royal warrant, which I shall take care to obtain so as to avoid the troubles that overtook the Grand Duke's agents in a similar affair, who neglected to take this step at the right moment, and in consequence had to keep their ships for a great many days lying laden in the ports before they could get leave for them to sail, owing to the violent opposition of some members of Council.
I must add that it will be more advantageous to send the money for this purchase from Venice than to raise it here; for the exchange between London and Venice is at least six per cent higher than between Venice and London (perchè il cambio da qui a Venetia è con danno almeno di sei per cento di più che non è da Venetia in quà). It is true that it will be necessary to make the bills payable at sight, whereas the usual course is to make them payable at three months. But should it be necessary, in order to profit by the season for the voyages from London to Venice, I will raise the money here, so that the corn may have as short a time as possible on the sea.
London, 19th October, 1606.
Oct. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 596. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King and the Count of Vaudemont have been away hunting over a large tract of country far from London. They are both expected at Hampton Court to-day, and as soon as the Count has taken his leave the King will return to the chase. The Earl of Salisbury also has been away all this time, and this may explain why I have as yet received no invitation to meet him, as was promised me by the King. I have shown no anxiety as yet, but when I go to him for leave about the corn I will note what he says.
The Count of Vaudemont has decided not to come to London before leaving on account of the plague, which is on the increase in this city. He sent one of his suite to inform me of his resolve and to excuse himself if he could not keep his promise. I sent my secretary to Hampton Court to return the compliment. The Count has been treated with extraordinary honour by the King.
The French Ambassador here has letters from the French Ambassadors at Rome and Venice, declaring that an accommodation between the Pope and the Republic grows ever more and more difficult and that they almost abandon those hopes which they entertained at first.
At Plymouth two Jesuits, who landed there from Spain, have been put to death. It is supposed that the orders were issued here in consequence of the determination to root that Society out of this kingdom. Other religious Orders are not treated with such severity.
The plague is on the increase; all the Ambassadors are leaving. I will move presently.
London, 19th October, 1606.
Oct. 24. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 597. The offer made by those gallant English officers, Captain Nicholas Pinner and Averio York, to enter our service, an offer presented by the Ambassador of the King of Great Britain and supported by ample and honourable certificates of their valour and military knowledge, is so pleasing to us that it may well move the Senate to some demonstration of the value we attach to the Ambassador's report and to the favourable attitude of these officers and of their nation towards us.
Be it ordered that a golden collar of the value of one hundred and fifty ducats be presented to each of these officers; and that the said Englishmen be invited to appear before the Cabinet, when the Doge will express to them our esteem, and will assure them that we intend to employ them should circumstances call for it.
Ayes 104.
Noes 3.
Neutrals 3.
Ballotted in the Cabinet the same day.
Ayes 21.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 1.
Oct. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 598. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Seeing that the price of grain is going up daily in this kingdom, and the stock of that kind which is suitable for a sea voyage is decreasing, I have judged it expedient to lose no time, and I have begun to purchase. The only advantage we can possibly look for is in speed. The price has gone up so much since my letter of the 16th of August to the Corn Commissioners that I have been in doubt about executing my orders. I have, however, begun buying; and have opened the business with the purchase of five hundred quarters of excellent wheat from the county of Kent, where the best is grown, and the best able to stand the sea. This grain was already bespoke by the agents of the Grand Duke many days ago, but as they are away seeing to the dispatch of the ships with the grain they have already bought, I had an opportunity to secure this and perhaps at a favourable price, owing to the necessity its owner was in to sell it. It will cost placed on board thirty shillings and sixpence of this money, that is seven ducats three piccoli the quarter, (fn. 3) calculating the exchange at four and fourpence the ducat, which is the current exchange between Venice and London just now. Each quarter equals three stara and a third, Venetian measurement; and so its price placed on board is about thirteen lire the stara. But if the money was sent from Venice at the rate of four and ninepence the ducat, which is the current exchange, the grain would cost about a lire less per stara. I am in treaty for a good ship, but as her capacity is of seven hundred quarters I shall be obliged to buy the other two hundred in the same county and of the same quality, so that it may all be put on board together. As yet I have very little prospect of being able to do this, so low is the stock of Kentish wheat. (Costa condotto in Nave soldi trenta et denari sei di questa moneta, che fanno ducati sette piccoli tre al quartiero, computando il cambio a ragion di soldi quattro denari quattro di questa moneta per ducato, come corre al presente da qui a Venetia; et ogni quartiero corrisponde a stara tre et un terzo di Venetia, sicche vienne a valere condotto in Nave lire tredici in circa al staro; ma rimettendo il danaro di Venetia in qua, a soldi quattro danari nove, come s' intende che vienne al presente, monterebbe in circa una lira per staro meno. Sto medesimamente in trattatione per un bono et sicuro Vascello per la condotta di essi, ma essendo di portata di settecento quartieri convienne comprare li altri duecento in quella medesima provincia et dell' istessa qualità perche possi andar insieine con gli altri in un istesso loco a caricarli.) As far as I have gone at present I have offered three pound five shillings of this money per ton, payable in Venice, for freight, at the rate of the exchange between Venice and London, which would amount to thirteen ducats, fourteen grossi and a half, and each ton is sixteen stara and two-thirds Venetian measure, so that the freight at this reckoning would amount to five lire one soldo and six piccoli per staro. It is true the owner has not agreed yet, declaring that for the same price he is offered a cargo for Otranto, though the hopes I hold out to him of finding a return cargo ready in Venice induces him to consider my proposal. (Sin hora gli ho offerto di nolo lire tre soldi cinque di questa moneta per tonello da essergli pagati a Venetia come il cambio da Venetia in quà, che sono ducati tredeci grossi quattordeci e mezo; et ogni tonello fa stara sedeci et doi terzi di Venetia; si che il nolo a questo computo venirebbe a montare lire cinque soldi uno piccoli sei per staro. E ben vero che sin hora non vuole contentarsi, perche aff erma che per egual pretio puo esser noleggiato con grani per Otranto, sebene la speranza che gli ho fatto dare, che in Venetia troverà pronta occasione di carico per il ritorno lo fa pensare a questo partito.) I hope he will he laden within twenty days, and I will send him off on his journey in God's name and with the instructions I have received from your Serenity. I will continue to give my attention to the purchase of further consignments and will report.
In all this business I am proceeding with the greatest care that it should not leak out that I am buying for Venice, for the merest rumour of such a thing would send up the price, as happened in the case of the purchases for the Grand Duke, and there are reports of consignments for Naples and the Pontifical States, which are said to pay much better than Venice. I employ reliable agents and never appear myself. I am in hopes that I can get this first consignment off without applying for the Royal warrant, which I will do only if obliged to.
I enclose a full statement for the Corn Commissioners, from which it appears that, all paid, the grain will cost at Venice nineteen lire, two soldi, three piccoli the staro, whereas if the money were remitted from Venice here it would cost seventeen lire, eighteen soldi, nine piccoli. If the money has not been forwarded from Venice by the time the payment falls due I will raise it here. It is the custom here in purchasing grain to pay down a certain amount before the grain is shipped. I will only consent to this upon sufficient guarantees; indeed, if I can, I will avoid it altogether, though everyone here is obliged to do it.
London, 26th October, 1606,
Oct 26. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 599. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Count of Vaudemont left the King on the 18th of this month. He was very pleased with the honours bestowed on him. He received a jewel worth ten thousand crowns, and in return he presented the King with two beautiful horses richly caparisoned, and another he gave to the Prince.
While the Count was here a gentleman of the House of Bradenburg arrived; he is a relation of the Queen.
In the absence of the King and the distraction of the Court all business, even Scottish Ecclesiastical business, cools down.
I am sending some copies of the writings in defence of the Republic to the Chancellor of Scotland, my friend (Seaton).
The Earl of Salisbury is at Hampton Court, where the death of one of the servants has caused great alarm about the plague. At first the Queen, who is thought to be pregnant, intended to move, but hearing that there was suspicion of the plague in other places, she determined to stay on till the King, who is away hunting, should come back. As the Spanish Ambassador makes no move about his servant, who was arrested and is still a prisoner on suspicion of complicity in the plot, it is thought that he is either waiting the King's return or that he has orders to do nothing, and thus to compel the Ministers, when they discover his innocence, to free him of their own accord and to apologize to the Ambassador for the wrong done him.
London, 26th October, 1606.
Oct. 26. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 600. the English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
“Serene Prince, if I did not come here once a week the world might think that my master was growing lukewarm in this controversy between the Republic and the Pope. I have come here to-day to communicate certain information which I have by letter.”
He then informs the Cabinet that the Pope intends to employ Tarquinio Capizzuca, a Roman, who has served in France as commander of his horse and marshal of the camp. The Governor of Milan informed the said Capizzuca that in serving the Pope he was serving the King of Spain, and that by his Majesty's orders the governor was to pay Capizzuca his entire salary and to furnish him with money for his journey. He reports the presence of a priest, an agent of Cardinal Montalto in Crema. Says he has verbal information that an English Captain in the service of the Pope was to leave Rome shortly for the Veneto; this man is in close relation with the Jesuits; the Ambassador describes him as the most venturesome spirit, of evil intentions, of broken fortunes, and capable of any enterprise, for he has had a hand in every plot against the King. He begs that this man may be arrested and sent in irons to Venice, which would be the most grateful offering to the King. This Captain has lived long in France, has the manners and dress of a Frenchman, but can easily be recognised by the description now handed in.
Another thing the Ambassador had forgotten to report, namely, that a young Englishman had come to Venice to act as a spy; but had received a hint to go and had gone.
The Ambassador made a representation in favour of the English merchant, who had obtained a sentence against the Five Savii alla Mercanzia and had not yet been paid.
As to the two English officers the Doge said that being unable at present to come to any decision the government had resolved to make them a gift to be taken as a pledge for their future services if required. The two officers were then introduced and presented to the Doge.
601. Description of the English officer referred to above :—
His name is Eliot. He dresses like a Frenchman and speaks French very fluently, also Spanish. Very short and thick set. Black hair and beard. Beard short and round, cut in the French fashion; whiskers thick. A strong voice, almost bass; sparkling black eyes; quick step.
Oct. 27. Minutes of the Senate, Roma. Venetian Archives. 602. Motion made to authorize the Collegio to take all steps rendered necessary for the arrest of the suspected person whose arrival is announced by the English Ambassador.
Ayes 118.
Noes 4.
Neutrals 7.
Oct. 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 603. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Chevalier Verdelli, who went with the Count de Vaudemont to England, is dangerously ill.
Paris, 29th October, 1606.
Oct, 30. Consiglio Dieci, Deliberazioni Secreta. Venetian Archives. 604. That the petition of the English Ambassador presented this morning to the Tribunal of the Chiefs of the Ten be forwarded to the Savii of the Collegio for consultation and deliberation in the Senate.
That the Chiefs of the Ten inform the Ambassador to-morrow morning that the matter belongs to the Senate, to which he is referred.
Ayes 10.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 5.
Oct. 30. Covered by preceding document. 605. The Secretary of the English Ambassador appeared this morning before the Tribunal of the Chiefs of the Ten, and said, “My master, the Ambassador, makes reverence to your Lord- ships; if on other occasions he has asked your favour he does so now in a really serious matter. His Excellency (Sua Eccellenza) wishes your Lordships to arrest and commit to a close prison an English Captain, fully described in the note whch I now hand in. As soon as the arrest has been effected his Excellency will go to the Cabinet to deal with the matter. He further begs that all papers belonging to the Englishman may be seized, and more especially a letter written to the illustrious Don Francesco de Castro, who is expected here. Although this letter is not written by a person of importance, nay rather of very little importance, still the Ambassador is exceedingly anxious to possess it.”
The Secretary presented the note. The Council, after considering their reply, caused him to be introduced again and said that the matter was of serious importance, and that it would receive their attention. That he was to return to-morrow morning for the decision. The Secretary added that his master desired to remain unknown in this business which affected both the service of the Republic and his own safety. With that he made reverence and departed.
Covered by preceding document. 606. Captain William Turner, (fn. 4) Englishman, living in the house of . . . . . . . .
A man of medium stature, dressed in the Erench fashion, with a French hat, black embroidered with silver, the bands round the hat also embroidered with silver. A cloak of grey cloth, lined with velvet of nearly the same colour. Doublet of olive-green English fustian. Hose of French cut. The heels (?), the turnover and laces of his boots red (le poste le calcette et cordelle delle scarpe rosse).


  • 1. Stara = staio, 83,317,200 litres. Martini, op.cit.
  • 2. Scandaglio the Customs test to verify the specification Rezasco Dizionario, s, v.
  • 3. Quarter = 8 bushels = 290,789,240 litres, Stara or staro = 2 mezzeni = 83,317,200 litres.,
  • 4. A spy in the employment of the English Government. In April of this year he was at Calais keeping watch on priests and Jesuits. Cf. Cal. S.P. Dom., pp. 303, 304, 308, 309.