Venice: July 1603

Pages 58-72

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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July 1603

July 1. Original. Despatch, Venetian Archives. 86. Marin Cavalli Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Rosny has reported to the King on his reception in London, and his audience. It is thought that negotiations will take some time, during which there will be a suspension of arms. Taxis will await to see how the land lies, and if the King of England shows a favourable disposition, the Spanish Ambassador here, a person of great experience, will be sent to conclude what Taxis has begun.
While de Rosny was crossing the straits a slight difference arose. The Vice-Admiral of England came to Calais to act as escort; he cast anchor and went to visit M. de Vic, Governor of Calais, and to explain his orders. De Vic thanked the Vice-Admiral, and said this was a great honour for the Ambassador, but that he, too, had prepared an escort, and as M. de Rosny had not yet arrived in Calais he could not say what dispositions he would make. M. de Rosny elected to go on board the English ship, and accepted the favour offered to him. The Vice-Admiral gave orders that his guns should be held ready to fire, in case any of the French ships, flying the French standard, went ahead of the English during the passage. M. de Vic, with the French standard flying, forged ahead, and the Vice-Admiral fired a shot, which passed close by the standard, which was flying at the main. M. de Rosny hearing the shot asked what it meant; they replied that it was against etiquette for any vessel to pass the one which was carrying him. Another version is that the English Vice-Admiral declared that he would not permit any other standard in those seas except his master's, and accordingly M. de Rosny caused the French standard to be lowered.
A similar question arose with the Dutch. The English claimed that, on meeting, the Dutch should strike their flag, to which the Dutch replied that this was an extraordinary claim to be made by one ally upon another. They, however, did dip their flag. When Count d'Aremberg embarked at Dunquerque another difficulty arose, for he at first declined to embark upon any of the three English vessels sent to escort him, because five Dutchmen were cruising about. The English begged the Dutch to retire; they replied that they were on ordinary guard duty, blockading the port, and they accompanied the English to show that the Count would not have been allowed to cross without English authorization. The Dutch and the English are both very strong at sea, and if united no one can resist them.
Paris, the first of July, 1603.
July 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 87. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The report that Piers was coming back to England is true. He sailed into Plymouth by night, on board a ship of about six hundred tons burden, which I imagine to be the “Veniera;” (fn. 1) she has forty pieces of artillery on board. He was at once informed of the royal warrant, which at my instance, had been issued against him and other privateers, and hid himself, and stole away to London, where he is now, going alone at night, endeavouring to arrange his affairs. He declares that he is not without a golden key to open the doors of the great, especially of the High Admiral, who has charge of this business. The High Admiral made an appointment with me the day before yesterday in a certain garden near the Court; but after keeping me waiting for three hours on one excuse or another, he never came at all. The Court is scandalized, but I hope the incident may bé turned to the benefit of my mission. Piers hailed last from Tunis; he made the journey very short of hands; for in Tunis his men deserted to other ships, partly because they were not satisfied with their share of the booty, partly, may be, from fear. On his voyage he fell in with another privateer, named William Cunliffe (?) (Cunelò), who boarded him as a friend, and then partially plundered him of his money. Cunliffe came much more openly to England than Piers. I have had him clapped in prison with irons at his heels and a chain round his waist. This plunder of plunder must of course be restored. I would serve Piers in the same way if I could once get him imprisoned through the help of the spies I keep to shadow him.
In the whole of this business, I, a stranger, ill equipped in every respect, but more especially unprovided by the interested parties with any money for their service, rack my brains as to what I should do. I have read and reread your Serenity's instructions of the 15th of February last. That is explicit, although no letters addressed to the new King have reached me in these three months, and I am almost tempted to believe that matters stand as the English say, and that your Serenity does not desire to approach the new King on the subject of any event which happened in the late Queen's reign. I have not had a word of instruction from the interested parties as a whole, only some private letters, from which I gather that they would have been pleased had I found all the money for these negotiations out of my own pocket. They have not even advanced a penny of the costs, as the illustrious .Nicolò Tron and the parties interested in the “Speranza” will know, for they are the only people who have borne the charges of my mission. All the same I will not neglect to take all possible steps in the case of the “Veniera.” She has already been sequestrated, and I have ordered an inventory to be made.
After the private audience granted to the French Ambassadors his Majesty appointed four Commissioners, the Admiral, the Secretary of State, Mountjoy, and Kinloss, who have held a long conference in M. de Rosny's lodgings with the French alone, and another at which the Ambassadors of the States were present. It seems that representations and offers will be made to his Majesty, who has declared that he considers that the question of war or peace depends upon his own supreme will and not upon the Parliament. He will, accordingly, hear the Ambassadors of their Highnesses and of Spain, who are now in Brussels, before announcing his decision. Cecil and Kinloss have been to sound Count d'Aremberg on the subject of his mission. He says it is purely complimentary, but if they wish to bring other topics on the tapis he will, when he is out of bed, give every satisfaction to his Majesty.
The French Ambassadors on Sunday last dined with the King in state. His Majesty made a vast display of plate, and on his person a wealth of jewels.
At the lower table, laid for the French, sat some four hundred persons. M. de Rosny has taken his leave to return to France. He is in high hopes about the success of his mission. Sir Anthony Standen will be accredited to your Serenity.
London, 3rd July, 1603.
July 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 88. Maffio Michiel, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
I informed your Serenity that I had in my hands an English Captain and a sailor, who had been sent over here by the Sanjak of the Morea. The Sanjak is continually asking for their restitution. Up to the present I have put him off with civil answers. Lately he has written angrily, with a threat at the end of his letter. I have answered that as this pirate has plundered not only the Athenian ship but one belonging to your Serenity as well, I cannot let him go without express orders from home. I am afraid that the Sanjak may force me to surrender the Englishman by arresting some of our many subjects who may be in the Morea on business. To avoid this I have given orders that no frigates or boats are to go over there without my permission; but the loss to trade is very severe, and as almost all the necessaries of life come from that part it will be hard to maintain the position. I humbly beg for instructions. I am informed, through news sent to Francesco Heriedi, that the French Ambassador (fn. 2) in Constantinople has bought a berton, and placed two of his sons, all his suite, and one hundred French soldiers, who had revolted against the Emperor in Hungary, on board, and given them express orders to treat all English bertons as enemies. This ship fell in with an Englishman, named the “Salamander,” in the Gulf of Milo, on the 13th of June. They engaged for four hours, and after killing many of the English, they took the ship, but spared the lives of the Captain and four others. They sailed away with the Englishman as prize. She is full of valuable merchandize, and of money as well.
On the second of this month Bellegno, Commander of the galley slaves, brought into this port an English berton, captured by him off Strivali; the ship would not salute, so he opened fire. The ship had a cargo from Alexandria, belonging to Turks, Moors, Jews, Greeks and English, and I am leaving it all unladed in the Lazaretto. (fn. 3)
Zante, 4th July, 1603. O. S.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 89. Letter from the Sanjak of Morea..
After compliments: I sent you an English pirate captured here; you were to examine him and send him back, but you have not. Now on receipt of this, without more delay or raising any new point, you will send him over here. You have no authority to keep him so long a prisoner. And so without any further excuse, and with all speed, you are to send him to Gastuni, and consign him to our lieutenant. The end of this affair will be far from good, do you know. Blessing be on him who obeys God. The humble Mehmet, Sanjak of Morea.
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 90. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Commissioners pointed out to the French Ambassadors that it was not convenient for the King of England to go to war merely in order that the King of France might live in peace. In answer to this the French Envoys declared that they would call the Envoys of the States to witness that his Majesty of France had never really abandoned them, nay, that even after the peace of Vervins he had continued to administer help to them in large sums of money, and that last year in particular France had furnished four hundred thousand pounds of powder and money to the amount of one hundred thousand crowns. The Envoys of the States declare that they will not listen to any proposals for peace, and they have already told his Majesty that when they want it they can get it without his aid. The French Envoys declare that their master will never abandon the States, and they propose a defensive alliance between France, England, and Holland, which shall keep on foot eighteen thousand infantry, six thousand foot, and a number of ships.
To this explicit proposal the English Commissioners, after conferring with the whole Privy Council for two days, replied upon the third of this month, declining the alliance for the present; but they said that if France proposed an offensive as well as defensive alliance, the King would reconsider the question in spite of his present inclination to peace, and that in the meantime he pledged himself to help the States in case of imminent danger, and he abandoned his proposed conference with the Envoys of Spain and Flanders.
The French professed themselves quite satisfied, but could not reply definitely to the proposal. M. de Rosny is to lay it before the King on his return to France, but he is quite sure his master will not enter on an offensive alliance, which would expose him to attack from Spain, Savoy, and Flanders, and necessitate the armament of Languedoc, Provençe, Dauphiny, Burgundy, Picardy. His master, he said, must pay attention to his finances, and a war in Flanders means not less than fifty thousand men. He added that at the bottom of his heart the King of France really nourished such designs, but out of regard for the Pope he was obliged to conceal them till events took a decided turn. If he had not been assured of this he would never have undertaken a mission which' compelled him to abandon his numerous pressing affairs merely to come here to trick a sovereign, for whom he felt so profound a respect, and to whom he was bound by ties of gratitude for favours done to his brother in Scotland. He said that the Ambassadors could not accept the offensive alliance on the spot, and asked for two months to consult with their master in France, But, as the needs of the States were pressing, owing to Spinola's new levies, which would be in Flanders by the month of August, it was imperatively necessary to come to some resolution on that subject, and in his Majesty's name he offered three hundred thousand crowns for this year, on condition that the King of England contributed- six thousand English and Scottish troops armed and paid for one year. After much discussion it was arranged that the King of England should allow the States to raise two or three hundred men in England and Scotland, on the plea that they are to complete the fifty companies of English and thirteen of Scottish, who are across the water, and that the King of France is to disburse one hundred thousand crowns on account of his debt to the Crown of England, to be lent to the States. Meantime the King of England is to hear what the Spanish and Flemish Ambassadors have to say, and then he will publish his final decision. This is considered a very important result, in view of the desperate condition in which the States found themselves, and with it M. ae Rosny retires. He has received about four thousand crowns' worth of jewels from the King. The English ministers, however, are convinced that the King of France will not come to any decision, neither in two months nor yet in two years, and will do his best to delay any conclusion, so that in the end he may select that course which suits him best, unless he sees that the King of Spain is arming to threaten France. The King of England certainly desires peace.
The day before yesterday Count d'Aremberg went to Court to open his negotiations; he has asked for two audiences before the arrival of the Spanish Ambassador, who is waiting in Brussels for instructions from Spain. He says he trusts to find better faith in the heretic King of England than in the Catholic King of France, for he himself, as one of the signatories of the Peace of Vervins, saw with his own eyes the King of France laying one hand on the Crucifix, the other on the Gospels, in the Church of Nôtre Dame, and swearing to keep the peace and give no aid to the enemies of their Highnesses. The Treasurer, speaking to me of various subjects, declared that the French were very cunning, and that one must be cautious in giving them credence. He was glad to learn that M. de Rosny had declared himself satisfied, but d'Aremberg will be still more so.
London, 10th July, 1603.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 91. Giovanni Carlo Scarmelli, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Rosny, before leaving England, warmly recommended the English Catholics to the King's favour; he said that although a Huguenot himself he did so with all his heart in obedience to orders from his master, who was moved by the Pope in this matter. The King replied that he would never hurt a Catholic (il Rè rispose che a Catholici egli non farà mai dispiacere). All the same, the biannual payment of the recusancy fines falling due, the Catholics have been compelled to pay them, although they confidently hoped to be exempt. These fines yield a considerable revenue. The Catholics are in despair, and look for no amelioration of their lot.
I must inform your Serenity that Robert Crichton, Baron Sanquhar, the same person as his Majesty once recommended to your Serenity, and who is very intimate with the King, and still more with the Queen as being a Catholic, told me in the strictest confidence that he himself had an interview with the Pope at Ferrara, (fn. 4) and had promised in the King's name that if he succeeded to the throne of England he would permit liberty of conscience, and would restore to their country and their possessions all who had been persecuted for being Catholics, but that he would not go a step further for two reasons, the second of which is, perhaps, the more weighty, first because he would never, in the interests of peace, permit two religions in his kingdoms, and second because he would never admit allegiance to the Pope in the free kingdoms to which he had succeeded.
M. de Rosny spoke very frankly to me ; and endeavoured to make me believe that he has obtained all he can possibly desire, though he admits that he must consult his master. He urged that the true policy for your Serenity, in order to maintain the peace in Italy, was to stand in with France and England, and support them.
The Ambassadors of the States in conversation with me declared that although they never dreamed of expecting help from the Re-public, as they were well aware of her difficult position, still they wished to point out that unless they had carried on their war with Spain during these last thirty years Europe would be in a very different position to-day. They begged me to assure your Serenity of the high esteem in which our Statesmen are held, and to declare that should the Republic ever wish to hire a squadron of their fleet to assist her against the Turks, they would take a decision quite unlooked for by your Serenity. I replied in general terms, and meantime asked them to give a favourable issue to the affair of the Venetian vessel, owned by Sig. Marco Venier and Agostin dal Ponte, which had been captured by a Dutch privateer. They told me that six hours after the news of the Queen's death reached Holland they despatched a ship to offer to King James, in case of need, eighty men-of-war paid for six months, and fifteen thousand men contra quoscunque. They think that the King desires peace with Spain chiefly to avoid involving Scotland in war; but that he will most certainly continue to support them.
The Queen arrives to-dav at Windsor, (fn. 5) with two hundred and fifty carriages, and upwards of five thousand horses, her retinue having grown greatly on her journey. She has been received by the King and Court with every mark of honour. The Prince comes with her. They will all stay at Windsor till the 3rd of August (N.S.), and then will make their solemn entrv into London, lodging in the Tower on the 4th. On the 5th the Coronation takes place. There have been frequent discussions as to anticipating or postponing the date on account of the plague; the dread of plague need not delay the arrival of the Ambassadors, for the Court always lies at an uninfected place.
For the Coronation six superb arches have been erected. I am informed from a good source that the Envoys of their Highnesses will dispute precedence with your Serenity's Ambassadors, and I am assured that something of the same sort may happen shortly at Rome.
On leaving Edinburgh, the Queen generously distributed among the ladies who remained behind, all her jewels, dresses, hangings of her rooms, everything she had, without exception, and declared, with tears in her eyes, that if she had had more she would have given it; and, indeed, for a Queen it was not very much. She was the daughter of Frederick II. King of Denmark and of Sophia, daughter of Ulric Duke of Mecklen burgh, and she had no other dower than the word of her brother, King Christian, and some of the German Princes, her relations, among them Saxony, her brother-in-law, that they would lend their aid when the question of succession to the throne of England arose. In the late Queen's wardrobe she will find six thousand dresses, and though she declared that she would never wear cast clothes, still it was found that art could not devise anything more costly and gorgeous, and so the Court dressmakers are at work altering these old robes, for nothing new could surpass them. It is matter of comment that M. de Rosny did not delay his departure for two days, in which case he could have paid his respects in person to the Queen. He sent a gentleman of his suite to do so in his master's name. It is also remarked that during his sojourn here of seventeen days neither he nor the lieger visited Count d'Aremberg, notwithstanding the indubitable malady which was wasting him.
An Envoy is leaving for the Imperial Court and for Germany to announce the King's succession. Sir Anthony Standen will leave in three days for Venice, viâ Lorraine. He was a partisan of Mary Queen of Scots in his youth, and was forced to leave the kingdom' during the troubles. He had only a letter from the Queen to the Grand Duke Francis, who received him kindly, and placed him in service of his second wife. When they died he no longer enjoyed the favour of the new Grand Duke, merely because he had been in that service. He left, and eventually ingratiated himself so thoroughly with the late Queen that he was allowed to follow Essex to Ireland, to purge himself of his errors.
The Levant Company is finally dissolved. As that company alone and at its sole charges maintained the English Ambassador in Constantinople, the Crown contributing nothing but credentials, it may very well happen that the Ambassador will retire, in view of the difficulty of collecting his salary from private purses, all the more so because the King has given out that he desires peace with Christian sovereigns, and, therefore, cannot remain in alliance with the Turk. I, therefore, once more humbly submit to your Serenity that not only may we consider trade in England open to Venetian subjects, but that this is a favourable occasion for attempting to draw all the English Levant trade to Venice: for your Serenity can always bar almost entirely the trade with Ragusa and Ancona whenever you care to enforce the laws of 1543 and 1602, which forbid ships to lade in Venice unless they have landed two-thirds of their cargo in the city, and if they have discharged at any port in your Gulf (i.e., the Adriatic). I need not say that I do my best to foster here so good and profitable an idea.
London, 10th July, 1603.
Dead of plague, seventy-two in thirty parishes.
July 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 92. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador asks the Capudan Pasha to punish the English pirates and their abettors. The Capudan gives a dissertation on the difference between the Turkish and the Venetian galleys.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 12th July, 1603.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 93. Marin Cacalli and Anzolo Badoer, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Rosny is back from England, and is with the King. He is expected daily in Paris. On the subject of his mission I hear this for certain, that the King of England has not come to any decision, beyond showing a favourable attitude. He wishes to hear first what his Catholic Majesty has to say.
In London a book with detestable doctrines adverse to the Church of Rome has been published; ten years ago it appeared in Scotland. Another book called “Basilicon,” the work of the King himself, is to be seen. It is addressed to his eldest son, and is written in English. It has been translated into French by some who wished to publish it here. The English Ambassador vetoed this until he had his master's pleasure on the subject. The King replied that he was content that it should appear, but without any additions. It is sure to appear, for the heretics desire to have it.
Paris, 15th July, 1603.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 15. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. 94. To the Secretary in England.
On the affair of the “Veniera” the Senate is well satisfied. Instructions to take all possible steps against the estate of William Piers; and to see that if he lands he is arrested.
Ayes 107.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 8.
July 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 95. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Tyrone has returned to his Majesty the sixty thousand crowns sent to him to support the Catholic faith and foment his rebellion. He is now reconciled to the King of England, who has granted liberty of conscience.
Valladolid, 17th July, 1603.
July 17. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 96. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
That scoundrel William Piers, who captured the “Veniera,” has been arrested at last, while flying from London back to Plymouth. On his arrival here he was brought to my house like a murderer with a mob at his heels. He is under twenty-live years of age, squarely built, and bold-looking. He told me so many lies by way of excuse, that each one of them seems worse than his original misdeed. He makes a show of having no fear of death, but I don't believe him. I have had him put in a prison that he merits, loaded with all the irons and chains that he can carry, for so runs the warrant which was granted to me. Time and torture will make him speak and declare something which will allow the interested parties to recover some damages for loss, which must here be clearly established. Meantime the Signori Venier will get back their ship in sound condition, as I am assured, and your Serenity will receive satisfaction, thanks to the honour in; which your name is held in these distant parts, as is demonstrated by the issue of this affair, which rouses universal wonder. I am leaving for Court, so that the King himself may confirm what has been done, and put a stop to all the subterfuges which have hitherto been adopted in similar cases. I will take the opportunity to kiss the Queen's hand and the Prince's, and to present in suitable terms your Serenity's compliments.
The King has issued an order by which all prizes of Spanish ships made after a month from the Queen's death are declared illegal. (fn. 6) This is considered a striking proof that the King wishes for peace with Spain. On the principle that who desires peace should arm for war, the King will commission ten ships and two pinnaces in addition to those already commissioned.
An English nobleman, named Anthony Copley, has been charged with treason. He has lived for long in Spain, and along with other Catholics, is accused of plotting a tumult with intent to kill the King. Many arrests have been made upon this charge. As the information was laid by a Frenchman, who put in intercepted letters, but subsequently died of poison as was suspected, it is thought possible that the whole affair may have been got up by the French.
Count d'Aremberg, in an audience, has warmly urged the conclusion of peace with Spain, and the Spanish Ambassador is awaited, in order to draw out a declaration on his Majesty's part. The Ambassadors of the States have left. Standen has left, and must now be in France. The Ambassadors of Brunswick and Lorraine have arrived, and, on account of the plague, they passed straight on to Court at Windsor, where the crowd is so great and the dearth so excessive that the King will be forced to move.
London, 17th July, 1603.
July 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 97. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary; in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Hardly had I reached this village, which is two short miles from Windsor, where the Court lay, than I was informed that the King intended to move to Oatlands (Otlan), and that 1 must have patience about the audience I had demanded, until he had reached Hampton Court (Antoncurt) at the end of this week. I informed the Council that the object of my audience was the affairs of the pirate Piers, who is in prison. They sent me the judge, who was with me almost all yesterday. After giving him the necessary information he made various orders for the trial of the criminal and the inclusion of certain English, who had bought goods from him in the Levant, knowing them to be stolen. The judge promised to push on the trial, and I will inform the interested parties of the issue, so as not to weary your Serenity. I must, however, tell you that Piers has become a prey to despair and the dread of death, and has taken to a most dissolute lite in prison, where he lies in chains. He spends four ducats a day on his food and on the sweetened wine which he always drinks.
The Coronation will take place at the appointed time, but in very private form. The King will cross the Thames from Lambeth to Westminster, and will return the same way without touching London. The arches and trophies will be used on the occasion of his solemn opening of Parliament in October, if the plague stops.
The King has arranged that the Government of Scotland shall be entrusted to a Council of twenty in all respects on a level with the English Council. Several Scots are leaving very well satisfied with the posts, the salaries, the precedence, guards, honours. This is a device of the English Council, which does not want the Scottish as colleagues. The delay in the arrival of the Spanish Ambassador gives rise to conjectures that he will bring with him extravagant demands on the subject of peace, as the Spanish are growing bold in face of the King's pacific inclination. He made his entry into the Tower of London without a sword at his side, on purpose, and now declares that as he came to his kingdom in peace he will preserve it in peace for himself and his subjects. Count d'Aremberg himself told me that in audience of the King his Majesty asked if the Spanish Ambassador was coming, and upon d'Aremberg replying “Yes, for certain,” the King said with disdain, “Then his delay must be due to his weight.”
Some officers have left for Scotland to raise troops for the States. The commander of the whole force, which will number three thousand men, is to be Baron Buccleugh (Blach). Twelve Dutch ships are out to harry the Spaniards. They are fine ships, well manned and found. The King has ordered a levy of two thousand seamen in Kent to complete the armament of the ten ships and two pinnaces, about which I have already written.
The Ambassador of Wirtemberg has reached Dover. The Ambassador of Brunswick, as the Envoy of a relative, is lodged at the King's charges, a favour shown to no other Ambassador; indeed, after having given M. de Rosny board and lodging, the Council resolved for the future to supply lodging only.
Father Creichton, a Jesuit, a man over seventy years of age, well known as a literary celebrity in Rome and elsewhere, who left Scotland as a lad, and has lived since in various Jesuit Colleges, was at Calais (fn. 7) a few days ago, and intended to come over in guise of a Scottish gentleman to confer with the King. He is thought to be acting upon the Pope's orders. The Ambassador of Lorraine is to put in a recommendation of the Catholics, similar to that presented by M. de Rosny. The Pope, it seems, will make use of all the Catholic Princes, to obtain at least the fulfilment of the promise made by his Majesty four years ago, that he would permit freedom of conscience. The King himself, though continuing a Protestant, would certainly be indifferent as to the question of religion did he not fear that this would breed discord among his people. The Queen is most obedient to her husband, and goes with him to the heretical services, but all the same she endeavours to place in office as many Catholic nobles as possible, and as the King is extremely attached to her she succeeds in all she attempts.
Egham, 23rd July, 1603.
July 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 98. Anzolo Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Rosny declares everywhere that he was not only highly honoured in England but that he has secured the fullest satisfaction in his mission, having obtained more than he hoped for. These actual statements he repeated to me when I went to visit him. He enters, however, on no particulars, and at Court they think that these declarations are made more for his glory than for any solid foundation they may have. The extraordinary secrecy, which surrounds all this business, made me the more anxious to penetrate it. The decision of the King of England is considered of great importance, as your Serenity will understand. I managed to obtain from a person of the highest rank an account of what the King of France himself had told him; but the communication was made in the very strictest confidence, and if it leaked out your Serenity would lose the services which I am endeavouring to secure among persons of high position.
The matter stands thus: The King of France sent to offer his friendship to the King of England; he invited him to make war on Spain, and promised every assistance in men and money, either secretly or openly, and in his own person; or by means of an offensive and defensive league, or in any way the King of England might prefer. He pointed out how threatening Spain was, especially if she conquered. Holland; on this ground both sovereigns must support the States. M. de Rosny was received with extraordinary honour. It. was greatly remarkea that the Ambassador of the Archduke, who was already in England, was not received till the King had granted an audience to de Rosny. The King made answer that he desired the amity of France, and recognised fully the French King as true and legitimate sovereign, abandoning the English claim to the Crown of France; that he would be his ally in everything, as he knew well how important it was to check the progress of Spanish power; that as he had only just come to the throne he could not embark on war at once, more especially as he found no money in the treasury, though rumour said otherwise; that he would give all possible aid to the States. As M. de Rosny had full powers to conclude any treaty which might seem good to him, after various negotiations they came to these terms :—
The King of France to contribute four, and the King of England two hundred thousand crowns a year secretly to the States, paying at the rate of fifty thousand a month.
The King of England will allow the younger brother of Count Maurice to raise three thousand troops in his kingdoms.
Thus both Crowns will continue secret war on Spain till it suits one side or the other to declare it openly. This state of things cannot last long.
The King of England handed to the King of France in a present the title of King of France. He resented the Archduke addressing him as “Our good friend”.
When de Rosny arrived in London, the Council asked for the repayment of the money due to the late Queen, but the King, to show his authority, forbade them to mention the subject. It was agreed, however, that within three months Commissioners of either party should be appointed to liquidate these accounts. With this M. de Rosny took his leave, taking with him five thousand crowns worth of presents in plate and jewels.
The King of France is quite satisfied.
Paris, 25th July, 1603.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 99. Anzolo Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Sir Anthony Standen has arrived at Court. He is on his way to Lorraine, Florence, and Venice. He dined with me.
The Archduke has gone to Ostend to see a machine that a Roman engineer has made to bombard the town. All his hopes are reposed therein. (fn. 8)
Paris, 25th July, 1603.
July 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalibus. 100. Anzolo Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
From the source to which I have already referred I learn that in conversation with M. de Rosny the King of England remarked that he knew that neither Spain nor France could endure the Papal claims to jurisdiction, and that he would never submit to have any master in his kingdoms but himself. He chid de Rosny for using the title of Holiness when speaking of the Pope. The King's learning renders his conversion, hopeless, for he will not easily admit that anyone can teach him.
Paris, 25th July, 1603.
[Italian; deciphered]
July 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 101. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Immediately after Anthony Copley's proclamation as a rebel he was arrested, and soon after his arrest, in the hope of saving himself, he betrayed a plot of twelve gentlemen to kill the King and some of the Council. Of these twelve eight, besides Copley, are taken, and three proclaimed under the severest penalties. Two of these conspirators (fn. 9) are priests, of a kind; for being sent by the late Queen to Rome as spies they there took orders so that they might serve her better. These eight are for the present imprisoned in different houses. They propose to try them by a Parliamentary Commission. Some have already confessed. The causes of the conspiracy are two, one that these persons, having always been of the King's party, expected large rewards, instead of which the King has never regarded them with a favourable eye, indeed, some of them have been deprived of offices which they held; the other is that both nobles and people thought that the advent of the new King would mean the downfall of certain hated members of the Council, instead of which those persons have managed so cleverly that they are in greater authority than ever. For they soon perceived that the Scottish members of the Council were in need of money, and intended, as their main object, to get it, and so they gave them free scope for this purpose, on condition that they closed their eyes and left the weightier affairs to the English.
It is impossible to deny that these English statesmen have, so to speak, bewitched the King; he is lost in bliss and so entirely in their hands that, whereas the late Queen knew them and put up with them as a necessity but always kept her eye on their actions, the new King, on the contrary, seems to have almost forgotten that he is a King except in his kingly pursuit of stags, to which he is quite foolishly devoted, and leaves them with such absolute authority that beyond a doubt they are far more powerful than ever they were before (nè si può negare che questi Signori Inglesi non habbiano si può dire incantato it Rè perchè egli perdutosi nella felicità si è posto tanto nell' arbitrio di essi che dove la morta Regina conoscendoli et sopportandoli per necessità soleva almeno havere loro l'occhio alle mani, questo Rè quasi scordatosi d'esser Rè per altro che per esercitar regalmente la caccia di Cervi in che è perditissimo in eccesso, li lascia con tanto assoluto dominio che senza dubio sono hora maggiori che siano stati mai). And yet they belong to that party which only a short time ago was living in terror like threatened men because their hands were stained with the blood of his Majesty's mother.
This conspiracy had for its scope to secure freedom of conscience, and it has some reference to Lady Arabella, reputed a Catholic. Most of the conspirators belong to her faction. All the same her name has not been mentioned yet, and she is living retired in the country in her old dwelling.
The King is very anxious, and there is an universal belief that this is not the end of the danger, and that other evil, humours are abroad. There are reports of collisions between Scottish and English
on the border, for it seems that these two nations, filled with a native hostility to one another, will never be able to pull together. The Catholics have petitioned for the repeal of the recusancy fines; his Majesty replied, “Let them see to it, that they be loyal, and I will not fail to satisfy them.” The King is convinced so far that neither Spain nor the Archduke have had any hand in this conspiracy. D'Aremberg offered to give the King hostages for the innocence of his master.
The King told the Ambassador that the Scottish troops, raised for the service of the States, would not be allowed to cross the water, and that Baron Buccleuqh (Bluch) will not carry out his expedition.
The names of the imprisoned conspirators are Thomas Grey (Grai) and Henry Cobham, barons; Walter Raleigh (Vaten Ralie), Arthur (Artur Gorgeartur Selvago),
(Artur Scoghmorton), knights; George Brooke, brother of Lord Cobham; and the proclaimed are Griffin Markham, knight, and two priests called Watson and Clarke (Clarch).
Sunbury, 30th July, 1603.
[Italian; deciphered]
July 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 102. Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court moved from Windsor, and their Majesties accompanied the Prince and Princess to Oatlands (Otlans), where the Princes are to live. The Court and Council then passed on to Hampton Court, which is far larger than the other seven palaces belonging to the Crown; all eight of them lie on the banks of the Thames. They say that Hampton Court has one thousand eight hundred inhabitable rooms, or at least all of them with doors that lock. The furnishings of the Royal apartments are the richest that the Crown .possesses. Each of the eight palaces has its own furniture, which is never taken to furnish another.
At Hampton Court his Majesty appointed my audience for yesterday afternoon, but in the morning he sent over to this village, where I am lying, in sight of the Court, to say that he could not receive me till to-day. I was introduced into the presence in the midst of a babel of voices, discussing the plot. I presented your Serenity's letters, which serve as credentials, and told his Majesty that I was to stay here till the Ambassadors arrived. I congratulated him on the protection which God bestows upon his person, hinting at but not expatiating on details.
The King replied in such terms as the French language sanctions, calling me “honest man,” and saying that he knew he could trust what I said, for all other Princes were seeking his friendship for their own purposes except the Republic. He desired that you should not at present be informed about this conspiracy. I then proceeded to touch upon the affair of William Piers. I explained that he had taken and pillaged a Venetian ship, worth upwards of one hundred thousand crowns; and added that Piers was now a prisoner. I asked that his Majesty should be pleased to confirm that operation, and to give me assurances that Piers would not on any pretext be set free, and that he would give orders to proceed summarily against the culprit and others who were partners in his crime.
The King listened to me graciously, as he always does, although his temper is impatient, and took a memorandum I had prepared upon the subject. He replied that he would gladly gratify a sovereign whom he so highly esteemed. He then asked if the Ambassadors were coming, and what road they were taking. On my replying that they had not started yet, because the heat in Italy was so great, that it was impossible to travel till it grew cooler, the King said, “Neither heat nor plague matter to men of worth.” He asked if they would be here by August, as, after his Coronation, he intended to appoint his liegers everywhere. The Duke of Lennox was present all the time; I had already told him the contents of my memorandum; seeing that the King was talking with a loud voice and about no secret, he approached and said, “Sire, I will take the memorial and attend to it in Council. Your Majesty will remember how often in Scotland we spoke about the assurances of regard towards your Majesty, which the Ambassador Cavalli conveyed from the Republic. Signor Cavalli has a merit and also a demerit in your Majesty's regard, the merit is the great affection he always showed to all your Majesty's servants; the demerit, that he was the first Ambassador to visit the Bishop (of Glasgow), your Majesty's Ambassador in France, to congratulate him on your succession; the Nuncio and the rest of the Court followed his example, and the joy of the event killed the Bishop.” The King smiled, and the Duke went on, “Sire, I pledged myself to send to this good gentleman the portraits of yourself, the Queen, and the Princes, but I could not keep my promise for lack of artists in Scotland; now, however, I will not fail to send them by your Majesty's resident.” The King then went on talking cheerfully, till the Grand Chamberlain came to say the Queen was waiting me. The King asked me about the Sherleys, and what had become of Thomas, who was in Turkey. I replied that I did not know, but that as far as Anthony was concerned I knew that he was free to come home if he chose, for your Serenity had dismissed him from your states, with orders never to return. The King said, “If they have done anything amiss I do not wish to say a word for them, but if Anthony has not conspired against the State of Venice I wish him to be able to come home as a gentleman.” I had no further information nor instructions, and so the matter dropped.
I then passed into the Queen's apartments. It would be tedious to describe her splendour. She was surrounded by a court of ladies, and rose with a bow. I mounted the steps and kissed her hand. She remained standing, all grace and fairness, of a fine height, and moderately fine presence. I was told to speak in French, as she did not know a word of Italian. After compliments I said that no other Prince had a higher esteem for her Majesty than the Republic, for many reasons too long to relate. At that she laughed, fancying that I alluded to her being a Catholic, and returned thanks. After a brief reply I again kissed her hand and took my leave.
Sunbury, 30th July, 1603.


  • 1. Alias the “Fox.” Cal. S. P. Ven. S. V. Piers.
  • 2. De. Breves. Cf. Cal. S. P. Ven. S. V.
  • 3. This ship was probably the “Angel;” Master, Thomas Gardiner.
  • 4. On the negotiations between Scotland the Pope, see Gardiner, I. 80, 81.
  • 5. Cal. S. P. Dom., July 4, 1603. Dudley Carleton to John Chamberlain.
  • 6.
  • 7. Cal. S. P. Dom., June 25, 1603.
  • 8. Cf. Motley, “United Netherlands.” IV. 171. Pompey Targone, inventor of the floating battery, and' the movable battery on wheels. Neither would work.
  • 9. William Watson and William Clerke. Cal. S.P. Dom., July 16. 1603. Gardiner, Op cit. 1. 109, where the name is spelled Clarke.