Venice: December 1606

Pages 438-451

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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December 1606

Dec. 2. Minutes of the Senate, Deliberazioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 633. That the English Ambassador be informed that we have told Don Francesco de Castro that out of a desire for the peace of the world and of Italy, if the Pope will freely remove his Censure we will remove our protest and hand over the two prisoners to his Most Christian Majesty, who will receive them in the Pope's name, but without prejudice to all our rights of jurisdiction over Ecclesiastics. That on the removal of the Censure we will send an Ambassador to Rome, who must be received as an Ambassador-in-ordinary; he will be instructed to thank the Pontiff for having opened the way to an amicable settlement. The writings in our favour shall be treated as the writings on the other side are treated at Rome. The changeableness of the Papal policy gives us no security that an accommodation will really be reached. We, therefore, continue our preparations.
Ayes 170.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 2.
Dec. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 634. Girolamo Corner, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
I have news that at Sapienza there is a prize brought in by an English berton. This prize I conjecture to be the ship “Rubbi,” which was recently captured by a privateer.
Zante, 3rd December, 1606.
Dec. 6. Minutes of the Senate, Deliberazioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 634A. Instructions to the Ambassador in England. You are to communicate to his Majesty all that is taking place between Don Francesco de Castro and ourselves.
Ayes 142.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 0.
Dec. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 635. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
During these last few days a rumour has been circulating in Court that a settlement between the Pontiff and your Serenity has been reached. The rumour persists, though I cannot find that it rests on anything solider than the news that Don Francesco de Castro and other Envoys (fn. 1) of great Sovereigns have arrived in Venice. The Queen asked me about it the day before yesterday, and so have many other gentlemen about Court. All are anxiously waiting the news that the courier from Antwerp may bring. He is late this week.
In these early days of Parliament the question of the Union is being pressed forward. Joint meetings of the two Houses take place almost daily. The King is so eager to see the desired issue that he employs all his authority and weight to reach it. They have rather better hopes than previously, though the wiser heads consider the proposal as so inherently repugnant to itself that the enormous contradictions can never be resolved.
The question of the Spanish grievances is also under discussion. Everyone is amazed that the Spanish Ambassador has taken no steps since the arrival of the courier, and it is conjectured that the satisfaction offered is not adequate to the English expectations, more especially as the King has been heard to make use of very strong expressions on the subject. It is possible that popular feeling may force on vigorous action; but they will probably wait to see the issue of events in Italy.
The Earl of Northampton, one of the great Lords of this kingdom, a man of letters, member of the Privy Council, has seized the occasion of these differences between your Serenity and the Pontiff to complete a book on the late plot; starting from answers returned by the Jesuit who was condemned (Garnet) he has compiled a treatise hostile to the pretended superiority of Popes over Princes in matters temporal. The work is highly commended by all; by the King in particular. He has ordered it to be translated into French, Latin, and Italian, so that everyone may read it. The fact that the author has been and still is reckoned a Catholic is expected to lend the work a greater authority.
I am unable to report any progress in the matter of the purchase of corn. I have not yet succeeded in obtaining audience of the King; it is always put off on the score of his occupation with Parliament.
London, 7th December, 1606.
Dec. 7. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 636. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
While in the act of sending off my preceding despatch I was summoned to audience by the King. I went at once and renewed my request for leave to export grain, urging that the Earl of Salisbury's objections were met by the fact that the statutory limit of price had not been reached, and by the example of similar exportations which were going on continually, notably that made by the Grand Duke's agents. I expressed my conviction that his Majesty would keep his promise, more especially as this grain was required solely to meet the needs of the Republic, and not, as in so many cases, to be sold again to the States of the Church and the kingdom of Naples.
The King, who had clearly been very fully instructed by the Earl of Salisbury, replied that it was true he had fully intended to grant the request out of a desire to oblige the Republic, but that on learning about the current prices and the danger of riots, he must beg to be excused. This question of grain was one wherein he had only a limited authority; it belonged to the law, the constitution, the Parliament, which ought not to be contravened in a matter of such moment as the people's bread. He could not face the possibility of riots. But what he could not grant at once he might be able to concede a little later.
I replied that the Republic had not the smallest intention of asking anything which could produce a riot. Such a prospect, however, was quite out of the question in a kingdom so wisely governed as was his Majesty's. I assured him that I would use such caution that the operation would attract no attention; finally, I undertook not to exceed the statutory limit of price. The favour asked, therefore, reduced itself to this, leave to a foreigner to export; nor was this even necessary, for by “foreigner” was meant private individuals, not Sovereigns. The King, after a slight hesitation, replied that my case and that of the Grand Duke were not the same; indeed my case had arisen as a consequence of action taken in the Grand Duke's case. As to buying at the statutory price, it was quite possible that in some places it might not have been exceeded, whereas in others it was greatly exceeded; the mean over the whole kingdom must be struck. I replied that in the districts where I had made my purchases it was natural to suppose that the prices would be high, owing to their proximity to the sea, a fact which drew purchasers to those parts. If then the price in those districts had not exceeded the statutory limit it was natural to suppose that it would be far below it elsewhere. It is difficult to see what more the inhabitants of those districts want, as all the business and the gains are in their hands; they sell the grain, their ships transport it, payment is made to them.
Finally, the King begged to be excused if he was now obliged to withhold permission, which he might perhaps, later on, be able to grant. He declared that he would never concede to others what he refused to the Republic. I begged him at least to allow the small amount I had already bought to be exported, as owing to his absence I had been unable to have an audience earlier, and I based my request upon the intention he had manifested and the example of others, and dwelt on the grave interests involved. The King rose from his seat and said that about that it was necessary to consult the Earl of Salisbury to see how it could be done; and with that he took his departure.
It is clear that the Earl of Salisbury is the hindering cause, and as long as he remains of his present opinion I see little hope of success. If your Excellencies are pressed it would be as well to make provision elsewhere, and as for the money advanced it will be easy to remit the amount that is over from the purchase already made, and to make a little profit on it. I shall see the Earl of Salisbury again on the matter of the leave to export the grain that is already bought. As the whole matter lies with him I will endeavour to find out some other way by which your Serenity may be served, for this is a country in which you can obtain in one way what could not be obtained in another (essendo questo un paese nel quale spesso s' ottienne per una via quello che non si può fare per l'altra). I think it possible that the King will make his excuses through his Ambassador resident in Venice, and I am of humble opinion that it would be as well to approach him on the matter, as that may possibly hasten on the time when, as the King says, he may be able to grant leave, an expression which I interpret as meaning when Parliament is dissolved.
London, 7th December, 1606.
Dec. 7. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 637. The English Ambassador was invited to attend the Cabinet to hear the resolution of the Senate, dated December 2nd.
The Doge said he was glad to hear that the Ambassador found pleasure in duck-shooting, and that if the Ambassador went out again in colder weather he would find it still more amusing on account of the vast quantity of birds, but that he must clothe himself warmly.
The Ambassador replied that he had been greatly delighted with the double pleasure of killing and eating. This time he had only been out to learn how to stand it; if the cold came back he would with pleasure stand still more. He added that it seemed to him a pretty sport to kill on the wing, a custom they had not yet introduced into England (et aggionse parerli bella cosa lo ammazzar li ucelli in aria, usanza a lui molto nuova, perchè non è stata ancora portata in Inghilterra).
The resolution of the Senate was then read.
The Ambassador returned thanks for the information given, and asked what Don Francesco de Castro had proposed.
The Doge says that no definite proposals have been made. The Ambassador then replies that the matter standing so he will visit Don Francesco that very day and will know how to behave like a good Venetian.
Dec. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 638. Francesco Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador is pressing on the marriage of the Prince with the Infanta. It seems he is encouraged to hope that it may be concluded. But among other demands the Spanish insist that his Highness must come to Spain to fetch his wife. The Ambassador is indignant. But he is afraid of a match with the Dauphin, which the Grand Duke is said to be advocating. The French Ambassador laughs at these hopes which the English nourish. The Infanta is so far from marriageable age that even were a settlement made it could easily be broken.
As to the affair of Sir Anthony Sherley I have discovered with certainty that among his other schemes is one to hand over to the Spanish a sea port in Marocco. He goes about insisting on the ease with which it could be done, but as the plan requires the expenditure of money it is not so readily embraced, partly because the Crown is in want of ready money and partly because they do not trust Sherley completely.
Madrid, 9th December, 1606.
Dec. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 639. Girolamo Corner, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
My messenger sent to get news of the ship “Rubbi” returned yesterday and reports that he found no traces of the ship, only the people of Modon declare that they witnessed a fight at sea between two ships, which separated as evening fell. This leads one to the conclusion that the privateer was either Maltese or Spanish, for if she had been English she would have taken shelter in one of the Turkish ports. My agent further reports that at Sapienza there is an English berton, commanded by a Captain Antonio, and another at Coron, the name of whose Captain he could not find out.
Zante, 10th December, 1606.
Dec. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 640. Ottaviano Bon, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday, the 9th inst., the Grand Vizir, Dervisch, was called to the Serraglio and made to enter by a secret door. The Sultan burst out at him in a fury and ordered him to be slain. He was surrounded, but defended himself, and the Sultan cried out, “Finish him,” whereupon with sticks and swords they sent his soul to Lucifer, as he deserved.
Hassan Pasha, husband of the Sultan's aunt, has been made Lieutenant Grand Vizir; and Murad Pasha, General in Hungary, is Grand Vizir.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 11th December, 1606.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 13. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 641. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet, and the resolution of December 11th was read to him.
The Ambassador said, “Before proceeding to deal with current affairs I will, with your Serenity's good leave, produce a book in order to refute it in the places where I am mentioned.” He then drew from his pocket a book bound in cardboard and said:
“First and foremost I ask leave to reply to this presumptuous writer. He is a certain Father Paulo Cominuoli, of Perugia, a Jesuit, as the title informs us. But I have studied the book not only with attention, but with avidity, for this is the first work bearing the name of a Jesuit that I have read on this subject. I affirm and will prove that it is the work of Possevino, masked as Don Paulo, in accordance with a common habit of his to publish under pseudonyms. I find I am named at page 75, where he honours me by placing me first among the many reasons for which your Serenity has been excommunicated, the admission of heretics to your State. I am also the subject matter of the fifth heading, where he says that the English Ambassador publicly in his own house causes Calvinism to be preached.
I reply that this charge is contradictory in itself, for if in his own house then not publicly, if publicly then not in his own house.
The author says that many Venetian gentlemen attend these sermons. Well,” said the Ambassador smiling, “let that pass; I will only remark that this is 'spargere voces et prœoccupare animos,' and would recall the saying of the old Cardinal of Lorraine, that a three days' lie is as mischievous as a three months' lie. How can it be true that sermons are preached in my house when it is three months that I am without a chaplain. (fn. 2) This is gross ignorance on the part of the author, and I must say that if the Jesuits are thus badly informed when they are only as far off as Perugia, how are we to believe what they report of Japan, Germany, Poland, Muscovy, and other distant parts? Nor need I point out that the Pope has not excommunicated either the King of Spain nor the Archdukes for receiving Ambassadors from my master. I will only say that I am under the protection of a mighty Prince, absolute, independent, who knows no superior; resolute in himself, of high courage and power, who has no need to beg the Pontiff's leave for any act he may choose to do. This masquerading author has the impudence to pretend that your Serenity is excommunicated for having dealt with my master through me; well then I intend to prove out of this very fifth chapter of his that it is Paul V. who is excommunicated, for I will prove that Paul V. himself has dealt with your Serenity through me.
It may be news to your Serenity, but it is none the less true that the Bishop of Jerace, who preceded Monsignore Offreddo as Nuncio here, sent his confessor to me one morning to say in the most courteous terms that he understood that I bore myself well and discreetly; in short the message was most polite and friendly. Next day I returned the compliment by one of my secretaries. All this was the work of Possevino, whom I used to visit at the Jesuits' College and who thought me one of his lambs. He told the Nuncio that he had the entree of the English Embassy, and persuaded him to send his chaplain to pay me this compliment.
A little later a despatch arrived from Rome, with orders from the Pope to open up a certain negotiation with me through Father Possevino. He sent to say that on the Pope's orders he had business to transact with me, and asked for an interview at my house. I sent back an answer that much as I loved and esteemed him personally I could not, for various reasons, admit him, a Jesuit, to my house. But I was not such a boor as to refuse to listen to him, and as I was in the habit of visiting the Church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo to study certain pictures, and intended to be there that same afternoon, he might join me there. That he did, and our conversation lasted about an hour. On parting I told him that I did not give him leave to report any part of our conversation to the Nuncio; this I did because I know how the Jesuits represent everything in their own light, and I thought that he would make capital with the Pope out of our talk. I told him I myself would write fully to the Nuncio, which I did, and as I have kept a copy I should like to read it to your Serenity.”
Letter from the English Ambassador to the Nuncio :—
That Father Antonio Possevino told the Ambassador in the Pope's name how highly his Holiness admired and esteemed his Majesty, as he would prove on every occasion, salva la religione Cattolica.
The Ambassador assured the Pope that his Majesty had an equal admiration and esteem for his Holiness, and would show it on every occasion, salva la religione Cattolica.
Then followed compliments on the visits exchanged between the Nuncio and the Ambassador.
After reading the letter the Ambassador said that he supposed the Pope had taken this step in order to win over the King of England in this crisis. The step was taken at the time when the plot was being hatched in England. The Jesuits were at the bottom of the plot. And the Ambassador here entered on a long indictment of the Society. “I sent the above letter to the Nuncio by my chaplain, and ordered him to tell the Nuncio precisely who he was. The Nuncio took the letter with his own hand, though the chaplain is for him a rock of offence. And thus by tacit consent the Pope has dealt with my master through me.
“I will now proceed to more serious matters, and will report my visit to Don Francesco de Castro, so that your Serenity may see that I carried myself as a true Venetian.
“After compliments, which were very long, I, who cannot bear saying 'your Excellency's servant' over and over again, began to broach the real subject. I told him of the general belief that the King of Spain desired peace and would secure it, and that my master had made declarations favourable to the Republic.
“Don Francesco asked if they were made out of opposition to his master because he had declared for the Pope?
“I replied that it was in the interests of Princes that my master had made his declaration.
“Don Francesco said that his master was ready to lose a city or two and to shed his blood for so just a cause as the Pope's.
“I must here say something very important; let your Serenity calculate how many men my master needs to defend his kingdom, and then count on all the rest. Be assured of the sincerity of my master; the proof is that the whole idea is his own, and that of his own accord he approached the King of Denmark, and if he has not sounded the German Princes yet that is merely because he did not think the time was ripe, but now that affairs stand as they do and moving on these lines I must have lost my wits if we do not hit it off.
“I must add that the English Ambassador in France writes to ask if it is true that our master has declared himself; and it may seem strange to you that a person of such importance should not be aware of this; but I must say that the great prudence of the Earl of Salisbury prevents him from making unnecessary communications.”
The Doge replied that they had seen and read the book by Don Paulo Cominicoli (sic), but were not aware that it was really by Possevino, who was known for a seditious and scandalous subject wherever he went. The Republic in this controversy would not fail to remain true to its ancient religion just as the King of England remained true to his.
Returns thanks for the renewed assurance that the King of England is ready to assist the Republic with all his forces, a resolution which shows his Majesty's large and generous and truly Christian mind. It is not impossible that some arrangement may be reached between the Republic and the Pope, but should war be declared Venice will rely chiefly on the assistance promised by the King of England.
The Ambassador said that he had forgotten to mention that when talking with Don Francesco he had remarked that the Papal authority had on one occasion been banished from Spain. Don Francesco and also the Ambassador-in-Ordinary denied this and said that they would admit it only if proved out of an authentic, juridic, and Catholic authority. The Ambassador went home and found the passage in de Thou's history, chapter 1, page 32. “Cæsar ut injuriam sibi a Clemente illatam ulciseretur nominis Pontificii authoritatem per omnem Hispaniam abolet exemplo ab Hispanis ipsis posteritati relicto posse ecclesiasticam disciplinam citra nominis Pontificii authoritatem ad tempus conservari.”
The Doge remarked how clever and learned the Ambassador was.
Then Wotton proceeded to say that a certain Scotchman, a Captain who had served in the wars in Hungary, had told him that if peace was concluded between the Emperor and the Sultan it would be a great gain for the cause of Venice, for all lower Hungary would be ready to furnish men. This Scot is anxious to be taken into the service of the Republic. This is the third officer that the Ambassador has presented to the Doge.
The Doge said if the Ambassador would mention the gentleman's name it would be added to the list of volunteers.
The Ambassador returned thanks for the safe conduct granted to Antonio Dotto. He had hoped to perform that duty along with Signor Antonio, but as that gentleman is ordered to remain in his house the Ambassador acts alone in begging the government to insist on reconciliation in the Dotto family.
Dec. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 642. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England. to the Doge and Senate.
I have obtained leave to export the grain already purchased. The Earl of Salisbury sent to say that I shall have the warrant in two days. The grain shall be shipped and dispatched next week, and all papers referring to it I will send viâ Antwerp. I am in some hopes that I may later on obtain leave for the rest, when the price is lower.
As everybody is busy at present in Parliament there is little else to write about. The question of the Union, the main question, is more than ever involved in the usual difficulties. The longer they deal with it the less clear becomes the road to a solution. Indeed the negotiations are more likely to divide than to unite the minds of these two peoples; both are hostile and also tenacious of their own; seeking to gain rather than to give.
They have heard with disgust that Count Maurice, though superior to Spinola in forces, withdrew from the succour of Grœnlo, declining battle.
The translation of works upholding the case of the Republic is being carried on. More especially the work of Sig. Antonio Querini is admired and praised by the King. Lord Northampton admits that all the praise bestowed upon his work is due to that book alone. They are preparing what they call an interlinear reply to the work of Baronius. I am told there will be something from the King's pen included in it.
Expulsis Papalistis. I have received your Serenity's despatches of the 17th of November, enclosing the English Ambassador's communication and the reply of the Senate; and truth to say I am not much surprised at the information contained in them; for I am now confirmed in my suspicion that in view of the possible completion of an accord with the Pontiff, they have determined to stand aside for the present and to watch events. I see that they are now saying they were besought to grant that (fn. 3) which in reality they offered by the mouth of the English Ambassador, and which I myself replaced entirely at his Majesty's pleasure. It was he who brought up the question of a league of Princes. Would to God I had to deal with no other here than with this excellent King, a model of frankness and sincerity. But let them use what artifices they like I assure your Serenity they shall not make me budge an inch from my instructions.
London, 14th December, 1606.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
1606. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 643. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The rumour of an accommodation between the Republic and the Pope continues, but I have not heard that either the King or the Earl of Salisbury have said anything on the matter. It is true that both are absolutely occupied just now with Parliamentary business and have little time to think of anything else, and as long as Parliament is sitting I shall hardly have an opportunity of speaking with them.
It is said that some addition will be made to the laws against the Catholics because of information received that the Pope, being aware that the English Catholics, advised by certain Ecclesiastics, will take the oath of Supremacy in order to avoid confiscation, has sent strict injunctions that under no circumstances can such dissimulation be tolerated. This has caused great discontent among the Catholics, who find themselves obliged to forfeit their estates in perpetuity. And a few days ago notices were found posted in the public streets, threatening the present Government for the prosecutions it inflicted. This has greatly disturbed his Majesty, though there are some who believe that the whole thing is an invention of those who desire while Parliament is sitting to embitter men's minds and secure still severer legislation against the Catholics (se bene da alcuni si crede che siano tutte inventioni de quelli che vorebbono con l'occasione del presence parlamento trovar materia di esacerbare gli animi et di far nascere qualche altra severa ressolutione contra di loro).
The affairs of Scotland, too, are causing the King no small anxiety. It seems that he is far from satisfied with the conduct of certain ministers, both ecclesiastical and secular, and intends to go there as soon as possible in the expectation that his presence will restore to order the actual confusion, and that his authority will at the same time remove the difficulties in the way of the Union, which he so ardently desires.
The remaining ships destined for the voyage to the West Indies are being got ready, as the English are resolved to keep alive, as far as they can, their trading claims in those waters. This alarms the Spanish, who are aware that the Dutch are fitting out a new armada, and they dread lest it should effect a junction with the English, which would constitute a serious menace to their dominion. The Spanish Ambassador, who had already foreseen this danger and had on previous occasions made vigorous efforts to avert it, now keeps silence, both on this and on those other points on which the English claim satisfaction in virtue of complaints lodged. Everyone is waiting to see the upshot of the matter.
At last I have obtained the warrant to export grain. But the officials put such difficulties in my way that I was obliged to get the warrant signed twice over by the King's own hand. I think all this is done to exaggerate the favour conceded. This is not due to the King himself, from whom, if left alone, I would have obtained all that was asked. To-morrow, please God, I shall begin lading the grain.
London, 21st December, 1606.
1606. Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 644. Copy of a letter presented by the English Ambassador in Venice to the Cabinet on January 18th, 1606-7. Addressed—
To the illustrious Lord, my honoured master, Sir Henry Wotton, Ambassador-in-Ordinary of his Majesty of England to the Republic of Venice.
Our old friendship and acquaintance will, I think, render it agreeable to you to have news of me from this Canton, and that for a reason which will presently appear.
It is a year now since it pleased the Lord to call to himself my beloved wife. She left me a son, who is now nine years of age. My good friends some months later urged me to marry the young daughter of an illustrious family in this city. Her father has always filled honourable offices in his native state and served with honour and profit as Colonel under his Most Christian Majesty.
I now find myself in a very great credit here and related to all the leading families in Bern, Freiburg, and Neuchâtel.
The troubles of the Venetian Republic caused by the Papal Interdict have suggested to me that if my influence in this Canton could be of any service to the Republic in keeping these people favourable and ready to assist if occasion requires, it might not be amiss to offer it through your Lordship, who, I am sure, has the public weal and especially that of the Republic much at heart no less than I myself.
I know there will be difficulties in the way, the result of insufficient information as to the true nature and aims of these people, and to clear them up would require a personal interview. But to give you briefly some idea I will say that you must distinguish between Swiss and Swiss, between Canton and Canton, and the city folk are very different from the villagers. The latter, besides being short of men and also very unreliable, require much gold to move them; the former can be secured at less expense and with greater security. Nor is there any necessity to make a formal league which always gives rise to observation and suspicion; there are other ways of drawing profit without so much ceremony and on the quiet, about which, should it be desired, I would give information to you by word of mouth to whom soever and wherever might be agreed on.
I have thought right to lay this before you. Your Lordship will proceed as seems best to your wisdom. I might have employed my Graubünden friends, but for reasons to be explained by word of mouth I have refrained.
Bern, 24th November, 1606. O.S.
Your Lordship's most affectionate servant,
Paolo Lentolo.
Dec. 22. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 645. The English Ambassador presents the compliments of the season; and ventures to enquire the substance of Don Francesco's last audience. The Doge replied that Don Francesco had endeavoured to persuade the government to suspend the decrees of the Senate. The government had declined to do so. There were no new proposals made. The Ambassador said that “English ships are lying idle in the Thames, the dauntless English blood is boiling to rush to the defence of this great cause; all are impatient of these long negotiations.”
The Doge replied that he was aware that the English had the ships and the men, but she ought not to move till the Pope moved.
The Ambassador says he has a charming present to make, in the person of an English Captain.
Dec. 22. Senato, Secreta, Deliberazioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 646. That the English Ambassador be informed of our reply to Don Francesco, declining to adhere to his proposal that we should suspend the resolutions of the Senate for three months.
Ayes 116.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 12.
Dec. 23. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 647. Francesco Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador complains that the Spanish translation of the recent laws passed in England against Catholics, has been falsified. He has obtained no satisfaction as yet, though he has demanded its suppression. The Jesuits translated and printed this version with the additions and alterations, which your Excellencies will recognise on comparing the Spanish and Italian versions enclosed.
Madrid, 23rd December, 1606.
Dec. 24. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 648. The English Ambassador complains to the Secretary Zaccaria Rosso of a report in the town that the King of England is not as warm as he was at the beginning.
He hoped that the Republic would stand firm and would find the coming year either peaceful or glorious.
Dec. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 649. Ottaviano Bon, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Venetian Ambassador explains to Lieutenant Grand Vizir that the reason for the quarrel between Venice and the Pope is the determination of the Republic not to break with the Grand Turk. France has intervened and England declared itself for the Republic.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 27th December, 1606.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 650. The Same to the Same.
The new English Ambassador (Glover), who is coming to take the place of the present resident, has reached the Dardanelles and will soon be here.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 27th December, 1606.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 27. Senato, Secreta, Deliberazioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 651. That the English Ambassador be informed that despatches from Milan announce the arrival of orders from Spain the Count de Fuentes that he is to assist the Pope with arms; and that Fuentes has already issued orders for raising troops in Italy and Switzerland.
Ayes 179.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 2.
Dec. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 652. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Acknowledges receipt of despatches containing a summary of the state of affairs between the Republic and the Pope. This will be useful in talking to the King and the Earl of Salisbury; especially as they are impressed by the idea that an accommodation has been reached. The King is pressing forward the publication of that book about which I have already written.
Parliament will be adjourned in a few days to meet in March. There is little prospect of the Union being carried. The King will come here for the adjournment, and then after a few days dedicated to the wedding of a Scotch Baron, (fn. 4) a favourite of his, he will leave for the country.
English and Dutch intentions as to the West Indies navigation cause the Spanish to stand on the alert. News has been brought by a vessel from those parts that all the inhabitants of the places exposed to landing and an invasion have been compelled to retire into the fortified towns, the villages have been burned, and the land laid waste, so as to dearth the enemy of provisions. This caused great ill-feeling and a sort of revolution. The act will encourage the Dutch to push forward those great preparations that they are said to be making with a view to this expedition.
The dearth of money in Flanders still continues. It is said that Spinola will be obliged to go to Spain to arrange matters, or at least to avoid being present if a mutiny takes place. He had agreed with the mutineers to give them Dist for security and to pay them twenty thousand ducats a month, but he finds he cannot meet this engagement nor the other necessary demands of the soldiery.
London, 28th December, 1606.
Dec. 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 653. Francesco Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier has reached the English Ambassador in thirteen days from London. The Ambassador tells me the orders contained refer to commercial matters; his own despatch about the false translation not having reached England yet. I am told, however, that he has received orders not to take a high handy as they are determined to maintain the peace.
Madrid, 31st December, 1606.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. The Duc de Vitry, Envoy of Henri IV.
  • 2. The Rev. Nathaniel Fletcher, son of Dr. Richard Fletcher, Bishop of London, was chaplain to Sir Henry Wotton in Venice; he returned to England about the end of September. Mr. Bedell did not succeed Fletcher till 1607. See “Life of Bishop Bedell,” Camden Society, p. 102.
  • 3. i.e., the public declaration of English support,
  • 4. John Ramsay, Viscount Hadington, married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert, Earl of Sussex. James was grateful to Ramsay for having helped him to escape from the Gowrie conspiracy. See Birch 'Court and Times of James,” I., p. 72.