Venice: April 1607

Pages 486-493

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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April 1607

April. 4. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 715. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and said:—
Congratulations on the accommodation. Every Ambassador is claiming that he has had a share in effecting this peace. The Ambassador claims that after the Senate the King of Great Britain has been the chief agent. Though such a just cause must have many secret partisans the King of Great Britain alone will have the glory of having declared himself openly. Protests that his master is quite satisfied. “Your Serenity, it now remains for me, who have, through your grace, been a spectator, in this beautiful theatre, of the beginning, the progress, and conclusion of this great affair, conducted with such gravity, prudence, vigilance, magnanimity, it remains, I say, for me to be a witness, though with untaught voice, to the world, and may be to posterity, how glorious has been this action. And I am sure that your Serenity, having passed the height of the storm, will not make shipwreck of any portion of your liberty now that you are in port. Meantime I am glad to note that notwithstanding these hopes of honourable peace, preparations for war are going forward; and this reminds me of an Irish proverb which is commonly in the mouth of all that savage people, 'while treating with your foe double-bar the door.' “
The Doge returned thanks. He said the Cardinal was to have left Venice for Rome on the 2nd of this month, and will be back again in eight or ten days armed with authority to remove the censures. The Doge acknowledges that the advantages gained by the Republic are due in large part to the King's declaration.
The Ambassador renews his petition, at least for the Vicentine gentleman, if he has gone too far in pleading for Augustin Carpan. Doge repeats that such liberations are difficult to obtain.
April. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 716. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
There is a rumour in Court that a truce for six months has been concluded between the Archduke and the States. This causes some surprise here, as it has been effected without informing his Majesty. The Earl of Salisbury sent for the Agent of the States to learn the truth, and that person later on informed me that his masters had dismissed the first Envoys of the Archduke with the answer that unless they were recognised as independent and unless the name of the King of Spain appeared in the treaty they would not negotiate, believing that such demands would break off all negotiations, but that the Archduke presently sent back, accepting them upon permission from the King of Spain. The agent said that as yet he had had no information that his masters had concluded the treaty, and that he had informed Salisbury that he might be assured no step hostile to the friendship at present existing with his Majesty would be taken.
I seemed to gather that the Dutch would accept the truce, with a view to a peace that would secure their freedom and their religion, and also to rouse both England and France to more active support. The States unless supported cannot stand alone, more especially as Count Maurice has announced that unless he has six thousand more men than he had last year he will be unable to make head against the enemy; moreover, a serious and painful malady from which he is suffering renders him more desirous of peace than of toil. I asked the agent what would become of the fleet in case of a truce; he replied that he thought the truce would affect the military operations only.
The Spaniards are spreading a report that they have driven the Dutch out of an island in the East Indies, called Terranata, but seeing that they add a number of improbable details the rumour is not credited.
On the third was celebrated the joust in honour of the King's accession to the throne. It was more magnificent than usual, as they employed the preparations made in honour of the King of Denmark, which his hurried departure rendered useless. No Ambassadors were invited.
London, 5th April, 1607.
April. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 717. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received despatches informing me of the arrival of the Duke of Savoy and of the negotiations of the Cardinal de Joyeuse and Don Francesco de Castro. The King and his ministers display an extraordinary interest in the matter, especially as they have information that through the Cardinal's good offices matters are taking a pacific turn. His Majesty is daily growing more anxious about this truce in Flanders. He has openly complained to some of his Council that he fears that Spanish gold has corrupted some to prevent the Dutch being helped as they ought to have been by England. I am told that the King regrets not having followed the counsels of the King of France, whose conduct ought to be less suspected than that of Spain.
London, 12th April, 1607.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 718. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is entirely occupied with the question of the Union. He came back to London, and finding that the obstinacy of the Lower Chamber made the difficulties greater every day he resolved to attend an extraordinary sitting of both Houses, where he made a very warm address, which was his last effort to reach his aim. Failing this they say he will dissolve Parliament and summon another in York, which, being incommodious, will make the Houses despatch their business the quicker. At present they are waiting to see what effect this speech of the King will have. The King has even said in private that since the malignity of certain individuals is endeavouring to hinder so great a public benefit he will be forced to carry it through by his own absolute authority; this is considered a motive more powerful than all the others to induce his subjects to an ultimate assent to his will.
At another sitting of Parliament the question of reprisals on Spain was discussed, and matters went so far that, when it was pointed out that this might lead to a war, a large sum of money was immediately promised to his Majesty in the common name. All the same no resolution has been taken in this matter, and seeing that news has been received that the ship which was seized at Messina (the “Trial”) has been released, though only on payment of a certain sum, it is possible that the heat of these resolves will cool down.
The Scots continue to write to the King, complaining of the contempt which the English show them, and they beg the King to desist altogether from his plans, as on account of this attitude of the English they can never assent to the Union. This causes great anxiety to his Majesty, all the more so as report says that the Scotch are urged on by the French.
London, 12th April, 1607.
April. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 719. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Receipt of your Serenity's despatch of the 19th March I immediately sought audience of his Majesty, which, contrary to the custom of this Court, was granted me for that same day. I thanked the King for his resolution to assist the Republic. The King confirmed his determination to support the Republic, and said, “I have written to my Ambassador in Venice that upon this subject of a League he is to reply to the Ambassador of his Most Christian Majesty that I would be ready to embrace all such proposals as tend towards the common defence. But my Ambassador informs me that the French Ambassador has not stood firm by his first proposal, and says that his master is bent upon making an accommodation. I desire, therefore, that the Venetian Government should know who are its true and loyal friends upon whom it may count in all circumstances” I saw that these words referred to the irresolution of the King of France, and I did not wish to leave him with the impression that the Republic was abandoned by his Most Christian Majesty nor did I wish to minimize the merit which the King very naturally attributed to himself; and so I said that I was sure that when the time came his Majesty's resolutions would be imitated by others. This seemed to please his Majesty.
I then went on to explain the present state of the negotiations of the Cardinal de Joyeuse and of Don Francesco de Castro and the deliberations on the point. The King highly praised the resolve not to send an Ambassador before the censures were raised and not to re-admit the Jesuits. As to the efficacy of the laws while friendly negotiations were proceeding at Rome he asked if they were to be suspended. I said “No,” that they were on the contrary reaffirmed, for the reply of the Republic that “in the use of its laws it would never depart from the ancient piety and religion of the state and its ancestors” contained an affirmation that the laws would be used. The King praised the wisdom of this reply. When I told him that although the Cardinal had left for Rome the Republic continued to make preparations. “Quite right,” he replied, “that is the way to facilitate negotiations.” He asked if the Duke of Savoy had reached Venice. I said he was expected, and the Marquis of Castiglione, the other Imperial Ambassador, was already there.
London, 19th April, 1607.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 720. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The French Ambassador has received an extraordinary express from his master, with news that the accommodation has been effected; this news reached the King from the Grand Duke by express. It is possible, now that the affair is settled with the Pope, that France may think of renewing negotiations here for an alliance.
The King would not believe in the terms of the truce between the Archduke and the States until the agent showed him the letter of his masters. The King then remarked in public that as the States were now admitted to be independent by the Archdukes and by the Spanish he could show himself more openly in their support, and could treat their agent as an Ambassador.
I include a note of the terms of the truce, to which the agent adds two other clauses; the treaty is to be ratified by Spain within three months, and is to apply to land operations only. Neither the Ambassador of Spain nor of the Archdukes have given any intimation of this as yet to anyone, and it seems that the Spanish Ambassador blames the Archdukes for having made such disadvantageous terms.
London, 19th April, 1607.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 21. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 720A. That a notary of the Ducal Chancery be sent to inform the English Ambassador that to-day the Cardinal de Joyeuse removed the censures, and that particulars will be communicated on Monday in the Cabinet, where the following shall be read to him:—
It has pleased God to terminate our quarrel with the Pope. It was agreed with the Cardinal and with Don Francesco de Castro that the Cardinal should remove the censures in the Cabinet. We in return withdrew our protest. The prisoners were given to the Pontiff to please the King of France, without prejudice to our right to judge ecclesiastics. The Orders may return to our dominions, all except the Jesuits; and after the removal of the censures we will elect an ambassador to Rome.
We communicate this to you as a sign of our regard for the King, your master, who, we are persuaded, was a principal cause of this result by his generous, heroic and spontaneous declaration, in our favour. We profess eternal gratitude. We beg you communicate this to his Majesty, and we have instructed our Ambassador Giustinian to do the same. We beg to express our saisfaction with yourself.
That Ambassador Giustinian be instructed in the above sense.
Ayes 141.
Noes 3.
Neutrals 2.
April 24. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 720B. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and apologised for his absence yesterday; he had wished to present some Englishmen who had arrived in Venice with warm recommendations from the Earl of Salisbury, who is cousin germane to one of them. They had not had time to prepare suitable clothes, as they had nothing with them but their travelling habits, and the Ambassador had been obliged to make this delay. He now begged leave to introduce them that they might kiss his Serenity's hand.
The Doge replied that the Ambassador was quite at liberty to take his own time. What was to be communicated was the details of the accord with the Pope, and that could wait a day more or less. That the gentlemen might be introduced either before or after the communication, as the Ambassador thought best.
The Ambassador said they had better be introduced later on, and meantime they could visit the halls of the palace.
The resolution of the Senate, dated the 21st inst., was then read, and the Ambassador replied in a very low voice.
He thanked the Senate for this mark of confidence. He congratulated the Doge on his successful steering of the State through these troubles, which will render this year memorable for all time.
He congratulated the nobility on its courage and intrepidity, and was forced to say that the other Princes and States of Italy had let slip a whole year with their hands in their belts in a shameful indifference.
As for himself he professed complete satisfaction and a conviction that the entire honour and prestige of the Republic had been preserved. He will report all to his Majesty, and is sure he will be content.
He is glad that, on the conclusion of the accord, the Republic has taken under its protection those who have written in favour of the State, and has liberally rewarded them. “I am all the gladder because the enemies of the Republic have told his Majesty that the chief clause in the accord provided that your Serenity should give up to the Pontiff, Father Paul, and those who have written in your favour. On hearing this I informed his Majesty that the reverse was the case. I could not believe that the Republic, which had refused to give up Marco Sciarra to Sixtus V., would give to Paul V. those who had written in defence of so just a cause.” He returns thanks for the pardon granted to the gentleman of Vicenza on his request. If these and other favours have been sown on thin and arid soil they will never bring forth thorns of ill offices; the Ambassador will always do all that in him lies for the service of the Republic.
After an exchange of compliments the Ambassador said that while he was in the country he had received the following:—
” Rome, 30th March.
On Sunday at four o'clock of the night peace was concluded with the Venetians on these terms:—
First, the decrees issued by Venice shall not be annulled; but the crowns of France and Spain pledge themselves to see that never at any time shall they be put in execution.
The imprisoned clerics shall be given to the Pope.
The writings that have appeared are declared heretical; and the Republic pledges itself, if the Inquisition cites or the Pope claims the writers, to do all it can to assist in their arrest.
The Jesuits are to remain in the territory of the Republic, but not in the city. The King of France guarantees their restoration within a year.
The Republic promises to observe the Interdict for three days before the Cardinal de Joyeuse arrives with the brief of absolution, and shall then send an Ambassador to render obedience.”
After a few more compliments three English gentlemen were introduced and most courteously received by the Doge, who declared that when he saw one of that nation it was the same as seeing one of his own.
The Ambassador replied in their name, as they did not know Italian.
April. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 721. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Agent of the States came to give me information about the truce. Their object was either to arrive at a definite peace by means of the truce, or, if that failed, to incite England and France to more vigorous assistance. I think, however, that peace is their main object; they think that they have laid the foundation-stone of that by the acknowledgment of their independence, though they are rather suspicious that when the Italian question is settled the Spanish may begin to raise the point again. After the death of the Infanta without offspring they hope to draw the other provinces to side with them. As to the causes which determined the States to accept the treaty, he told me very frankly that they were, the advantageous nature of the terms and the irresolution of the Kings of England and France in coming to their aid.
The agent told me that the King was greatly disturbed when he heard of the truce, and declared he would never believe it till it was published; he said it was impossible that the Spanish and the Archdukes should ever have consented to such terms. But when he was at last convinced he complained that the States had concluded the treaty without informing him, nay, had even kept it secret. He said that Spain had begun to find out the true way to subjugate them. Lord Salisbury holds similar views. It seems that Salisbury had also hinted that if the war ceases the States ought to repay their debt, which amounts to two millions of gold. The King dislikes this truce because the continuance of war protected him from the Spanish, and because he desired to be mediator of a peace which would have shown how closely allied he was to Spain; and it is even possible that things standing as they do he may set himself now to negotiate a peace; indeed I seem to have gathered some inkling of such an intention from the agent of the States.
The instructions to the French Ambassador here were chiefly concerned with this question of the truce, and intended to discover the mind of the King on peace or war.
The rumour of the capture of the island of Terranata in the East Indies is contradicted.
London, 25th April, 1607.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 722. Terms of the treaty between the Archdukes and the Dutch.
The Archduke agrees to treat with the Low Countries as free provinces, over which their Highness have no claim.
Each party to keep what they hold.
The Dutch to have time to deliberate. Absolute suspension of all military operations eight days after publication of the present.
The decision to be made known before the first of September.
Done in Brussels, 13th March, 1607.
Uvrienduen (Vereyken ?).
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 723. Acceptance by the Dutch.
The States, as free States over which the Archdukes have no pretensions, accept the foregoing declaration.
Done in Brussels and the Hague, the 10th April, 1607.
April. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 724. Ottaviano Bon, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The ill-feeling between the French and English Ambassadors (de Salignac and Glover) is on the increase. The French Ambassador refusing to sit down under the affront has now enlightened the Sultan and his ministers about the way in which he has been supplanted. He has obtained the renewal of his capitulations with the most ample confirmation of his right to the covering flag for all strangers, and a declaration annulling what the English Ambassador has recently obtained and withdrawing the capitulation recently granted him; and this because the English Ambassador, in spite of the insistence and gentle request of the Grand Vizir, always refused to present the original of his capitulations. (Et questo per non haver mai voluto esso Signor Ambasciatore d' Inghilterra, per istanza et modesta forza che gli habbi fatto il Bassà, presentar l' auttentica capitulatione sua); and as the French Ambassador has no intention of stopping there, but intends to have the English Ambassador proclaimed as without authority and unable to protect even his fellow countrymen, I fear the civil question may soon become a criminal one, for the minds of both these gentlemen are violently excited. I do all that I can to smooth matters down. I must inform you that the Grand Vizir asked me to tell him what was the legal position of foreigners without a representative. I declined to answer, as I did not wish to mix myself in this business; but when the Vizir pressed me to tell him the truth, as a favour to himself, I was forced to say that foreigners were covered by the flag of France. This has somewhat displeased the English Ambassador. I have justified my conduct to him, pointing out that I had only told the Vizir what was notorious and admitted even by the Ambassador himself.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 27th April, 1607.
April. 27. Minutes of the Senate, Roma. Venetian Archives. 725. That the following letter be sent to the King of Great Britain.
Giving him information about the accord arrived at with the Pope. Thanking him for his good offices.
Proposing to send an Ambassador Extraordinary.
Ayes 62.
Noes 61.
Amendment to omit clause about an Ambassador Extraordinary.
Ayes 82. Ayes 95.
Noes 2. Noes 14.
Neutrals 24. Carried.