Venice: April 1608

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 11, 1607-1610. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1904.

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'Venice: April 1608', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 11, 1607-1610, (London, 1904) pp. 114-129. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]

April 1608

April 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 214. Antonio Pauluzzi, Venetian Resident in Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Tyrone has been to audience of the most illustrious the Governor. They sent to fetch him at night in one of the Governor's carriages, and Don Francesco, Grand Chamberlain, and many torches. His Excellency received him even as far out as two chambers, and treated him as a grandee (alla grande), accompanying him as far as the stair. I hear that the host who lodges him has orders not to accept a penny from him for all will be paid by the Royal Exchequer. The Earl was a long hour in audience, very secret; we cannot penetrate the subject of discussion. Every day Fuentes sends the Earl one of his carriages and his lacqueys. A relation of the Earl, a Scottchman, Conte Claudio, who is living here in rooms, makes use of them. It is believed that the Earl will leave before an answer comes from Spain.
Milan, 2nd April, 1608.
April 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 215. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
For some days past there has been a rumour at Court that the quarrel between the Serene Republic and the Pope is breaking out again. I have tried to discover the ground for this rumour, but, so far, in vain. May be they insist on the rumour just now because, in the state of Ireland, they desire to impress the belief that the Pope is occupied elsewhere. The Council is aware that his Majesty cannot rely on the loyalty of Ireland if it is fed by external disaffection, and so there is a scheme to plant two colonies there, one of English the other of Scotch, settling them on Crown lands and the estates of fugitives, which are vast. While this scheme, which presents many difficulties, is being matured, they endeavour to hold the Irish by clemency father than by force, and show themselves very indulgent, especially on the point of the Catholic religion. In England, too, for some time past they have shut their eyes to much, and it is growing ever clearer that the King is averse from punishment and persecution, provided that he is not provoked by recollection of past terror, which God prevent. But they whisper that a bull has come from Rome deposing the Archpriest (fn. 1) for the oath he took, and excommunicating all who dare to take it. This bull has not yet come to the King's notice, for the Pope has addressed fresh letters to the man he has appointed to succeed the late Archpriest, instructing him to suspend publication for some days. It is thought that this will breed great wrath in the mind of the King and Council, and beget much mischief to the cause of religion and its professors. Many ecclesiastics here are aware of this, and forsee the great harm that may arise from this violent step.
The news about the Savoy match has revived the idea of marrying this Princess to that Prince. But the age of the Princess will delay it for a long time.
London, 3rd April, 1608.
April 3. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 216. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King had no sooner arrived in the City than the Spanish Ambassador went to audience. He discussed the peace negotiations in Holland and insisted on the difficulties in the way of granting the India navigation, pointing out that the Dutch claim was ill-founded and that England would suffer if it were granted. The King replied in general terms. The Archduke's Ambassador says that every day some new clause is settled by the Commissioners and if the question of religion can not be resolved it will be submitted to the King of France.
To-day after the King had touched for scrofula he, with the Queen and Court, attended the ceremony of Accession Day, which is celebrated by jousts of great pomp and beauty. After Easter he will return to the country to the chase, which was interrupted by the bad weather. Meantime the analysis of the Scotch mine gives a net annual yield of two hundred thousand crowns.
The gentleman destined to go to the Grand Duke for the recovery of the ship captured by his galleys, is getting ready. They say he has orders, if he does not obtain satisfaction, to go on to other maritime Italian States and to negotiate a convention with them, as the English will abandon Leghorn. But this is intended rather to frighten the Grand Duke than to be put into effect.
London, 3rd April, 1608.
April 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 217. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador told me that his Master will conclude a league with the States; and that he did not make it at the same time as France did because their interests were different. His Master has large claims for money, and holds several fortresses as security, whereas the King of France's contribution was balanced by what the States had done for him at his need.
Paris, 8th April, 1608.
April 8. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 218. The Secretary of the English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
My Master, the Ambassador, deeply feels the death of that young Englishman, and that those who committed the crime should go about vaunting it and hoping to escape by their trickery, though he is consoled by the grace your Serenity has granted him and the English Nation by ordering a new trial, with promise of secrecy to the witnesses. He is somewhat relieved by hearing that the Podestà of Padua has written to your Serenity acknowledging the seriousness of the crime, and that the Procurator has revoked his leave for Brochetta to be defended per patrem, and that these two criminals of low rank will not escape punishment, to the contempt of justice, of the English Nation and of the Ambassador himself, as he once feared. He would be more relieved, however, would your Serenity grant a request which he sent me here to make, and which is this: that you authorize the Podestà of Padua to inflict the punishment that is deserved.
The Doge replied that the re-opening of the case had been ordered to please the Ambassador, and that was the most that could be done. The Procurator had recalled his writ, knowing the intention of the Government. The Ambassador can not receive any further gratification. As to the alleged aggravation of the crime, the Podestà does not report in the sense of the Ambassador's statement. The Podestà is bound to give judgment in accordance with the depositions, and for this he has authority sufficient, or if he thinks he has not and applies for extension of powers the Cabinet will act as it sees fit.
The Secretary insists that the Ambassador's information from the English Nation at Padua is as he stated it, and that the evidence confirms it. Neither the Ambassador nor the Nation will ever ask for anything but justice.
The Doge said that as they had already informed the Ambassador that the Earl of Tyrone was in Milan, so now they would add that he had had a nocturnal interview with Fuentes and been much courted. Fuentes sends his carriages every day for Tyrone's use, and favours him greatly. Though he is lodged at an hostelry, the host has orders to take no money. The Earl will not leave Milan till he has a reply from Spain, and possibly from Rome.
The Secretary returned thanks, and said that two Italian cities, Milan and Ferrara, sheltered two bad Englishmen.
The Doge said they knew nothing of Ferrara nor who the person might be.
The Secretary replied that it was that Sherley, who amuses himself by keeping certain people in this city, for what purpose he could not say.
On the morning of the 26th the Secretary again appeared in the Cabinet, and made the same request about increasing the authority of the Podestà of Padua, and had the same answer from the Doge.
April 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 219. Ottaviano Bon, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
My emissaries sent into the Morea on the business of the ship “Liona” have returned and report that they could do nothing, for when they got to the Morea they found that Balsamo had thrown up the affair; and the corsairs of Modon and Coron refused to restore the plunder. The Agents asked for payment. I said I had promised them nothing except out of the goods recovered. When the Dragoman returns I expect to have to pay a heavy bill. I enclose all the correspondence with Balsamo and Volterra. If these letters are genuine, as I hold, they ought to reimburse me; if forgeries, as they say, I can only appeal to your Serenity. The supercargo of the ship will know the truth.
I hope the rumour that Ward has been drowned is true.
Dr. Valentino, doctor to the Serraglio, who for twenty-seven years has served the Embassy as doctor and in other capacities, as he is constantly in the Serraglios of the Sultan and of the great officers, now begs that his salary of one hundred sequins and four robes which he now draws yearly may be increased, especially as he finds it very difficult to draw his pay as practitioner in the Serraglio.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 9th April, 1608.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 220. Balsamo and Volterra to the Ambassador in Constantinople, begging him to get the Sultan's seal affixed to the enclosed statement of value of the cargo of the “Liona.” Also for an order against Mehmet Chausch Nazir who is the cause of all the mischief to the merchants and of the death of the poor Christians. Also an order against all those in possession of the stolen goods. They state that at Coron there are still goods to the value of sixty thousand sequins. Ask to whom they are to repay the money that the Ambassador expends, at Zante or at Venice. Will gladly refund.
Gastuni, 23rd June, 1607.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 221. Zuanne Balsamo and Niccolò Volterra to the Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople.
Begging the Ambassador to procure for their Agents orders to Halil Effendi, Cadi in Patras; also an order for the Jew Giesua Davicollo who is acting as Dragoman, so as to secure them safety while engaged on the affairs of Balsamo and Volterra, who are acting for the parties interested in the ship “Liona.”
Gastuni, in the Morea, 20th May, 1607.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 222. Balsamo and Volterra to the Ambassador in Constantinople.
Repeating requests for orders against the holders of stolen goods. Complaints of Biffi (the Consul) for having accepted 500 dollars from Greeks to overlook their purchases of stolen goods. He is on the road to ruin; overwhelmed with debts. Waiting orders that the English Consul here may be tried by the Mufetis (sic) for he has had as much as 20,000 dollars worth of goods.
Patras, 22nd July, 1607.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 223. Power to Balsamo and Volterra to act for the owners of the “Liona.”
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 224. Letters patent from the Doge for the recovery of the cargo of the “Liona.”
In the Ducal Palace, 7th February, 1606 [m.v.].
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 225. Instructions to Balsamo and Volterra from the owners of the cargo of the “Liona.”
Venice, 10th February, 1606 [m.v.].
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 226. Balsamo and Volterra to Odoardo da Gagliano, asking him to support the requests they have already made to the Ambassador.
Gastuni, 23rd June, 1607.
April 9. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Milan. Venetian Archives. 227. Antonio Pauluzzi, Venetian Resident in Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
The Cardinal Archbishop last week received in long and secret audience his Excellency the Governor. I found out from an intimate of the Cardinal that Fuentes had asked him what the Earl of Tyrone was doing here and what was said of it; the Cardinal immediately begged his Excellency to drop the subject, but presently Fuentes added that in Spain they made no account of Tyrone, as he was old. On the other hand I am told that Tyrone was in hopes that the King of Spain would confer on him a Marquisate in the Kingdom of Sicily, and put him in command of thirty-six ships, to go cruising to the damage of the King's enemies. Tyrone, along with his wife and son, has again been to Fuentes. He was as well received as on the former occasion; and it may be that the Spanish intend to make use of this commander who, I hear, is valorous, especially on the sea, to carry out some scheme of theirs; especially should the peace in Flanders fall through as is expected, because Spinola has left the Hague, as his brother-in-law the Prince di Lando tells me. However Fuentes gives out that he takes little account of Tyrone and will not supply him with money, and so the Earl is selling his horses and pawning his plate.
Milan, 9th April, 1608.
April 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 228. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King left the City to-day. He will be away in the country till the feast of St. George, when he will return for the ceremony of the Chapter of the Garter. They have resolved to put into commission a few ships which will cruise in the seas between England and Scotland. The reason for this is that there is a rumour that those Scots, who on account of their rustic ferocity are known as the wild men (selvaggi, “wood-kerns”), are in accord with the Irish, and these ships are to stop them if they try to cross over.
A brother-in-law of Tyrone's has been sent to the Tower. He came over from Flanders. They are raising money. Though the Spanish do all they can to eradicate any suspicions the King may entertain about their relations to Irish affairs they can not completely succeed, though in appearance he shows himself content. The Agent for the States also saw the King and Lord Salisbury. He explained that his Masters could not accept the league upon such a narrow term of time as the Royal Commissioners proposed, for such a condition would diminish, not increase, the prospects of peace. This difficulty was removed by the King's promise to send orders to his Commissioners to conclude the alliance on the same terms of duration as it had been concluded with France. So we may soon expect to hear that it is concluded. On the subject of the peace the Commissioners have agreed about the India navigation in this way; the States shall be free to trade for nine years in the Indies in all places which are not actually in possession of the King of Spain; two years before the expiry of the nine years both parties shall send their Commissioners to Brussels to deal with the question. There are one or two other less essential clauses. They have sent at once to Spain for the ratification.
I was asked at Court if it were true that the differences with the Pope were active again. I returned a suitable answer, and endeavoured to find out the basis of this rumour, but discovered nothing except that in Holland the firm resolve of the King of Spain to conclude a peace was attributed to his intention to unite his forces with those of the Pope against the Republic.
London, 10th April, 1608.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 229. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received your Serenity's despatch of the 14th March, enclosing the opinion of the leading Jurists of Padua as to the recovery of the goods plundered and brought here. I am bound to say that the interested parties have delayed so long to send in this opinion and have sent it naked of all those other vouchers which were required for the establishment of the facts, that the Council has revoked the order for sequestration, as they thought it unreasonable and unjust to keep these merchants out of possession of their goods upon a mere suspicion. This morning Council informed me of their intention. I, foreseeing the total ruin of the whole affair, raised strong opposition. After a long and bitter discussion which was forced upon me, I succeeded in obtaining this concession that for two months more the goods shall remain sequestrated so that there may be time to complete the proofs. I protest, Most Serene Prince, that in no other affair with which I have had to deal have I been forced to such toil as in this blessed business of recovery, for in truth these merchants hold it strange that on a mere suspicion, as they say, they should be kept out of their possessions when they offer to give ample security for the value of the goods. The members of the Government maintain that this is an innovation, contrary to the law, a very bad precedent; and hence arise the long disputes and altercations I am forced to have with them; in the conduct of these I am obliged to proceed with the greatest coolness and circumspection, so as not to lose what has been gained. Your Excellencies may imagine the difficulties and opposition which abound in this affair owing to the quantity of the goods, which is so great as to affect many of the leading merchants of this city, and that at a time when the raising of a loan is causing the King to pass through their hands, as the Earl of Salisbury points out to me. I fancy that the English Ambassador there may speak to you of the matter, if so I should wish him to be assured that the heat I am displaying in the interests of private individuals and of the public alike, is the result of orders from you. I only regret that this heat is not nourished by the interested parties with the necessary information and proofs, for here as we are dealing with national interests everything is against us. Were it not for the support of the King and the Earl of Salisbury, who, however, is obliged to move cautiously, the warmth I am displaying in this matter would be worth little enough. I have thought it right, in view of the shortness of the time, to lay these observations before your Serenity, and I must add that I have, in the face of infinite opposition, maintained the sequestration because if the goods were discharged our position would be too seriously damaged. During these two months I will attend to the few proofs that can be gathered here, for during all this time no sort of light has been furnished from Venice. At Court this morning I found a rumour that Ward and his ship had been wrecked and lost. Some say the rumour was set about on purpose by the merchants interested in the goods at this moment of my meeting the Council.
London, 10th April, 1608.
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
April 11. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 230. The Nuncio came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
“I am informed that the English Ambassador has caused to be sent to Venice two cases of books which must refer to his Sect, and they can easily be passed through many hands to the danger of our Faith. Your Serenity is probably aware of this. These books can only be sent here for distribution; they will be read by people who will be befogged in them (s'imbuiscono in essi), will search for the truth and will not find it, and so be tripped up. As far as one or two volumes went, which were for his private reading, we did not mind, but two cases!—what can he want with all that? They must be intended for circulation. Your Serenity will appreciate the danger, for when the people forsake the true law of God they also withdraw from allegiance to their lawful Sovereigns.”
The Doge replied that it was not for them to pry into the boxes or the business of the English Ambassador. The Government knew nothing about the two cases of books: but they saw that the English Ambassador lives most retired and is eminently modest and circumspect in all his doings, never giving cause for the slightest scandal; if he did so he would at once be warned; but the Nuncio knows quite well that Ambassadors must be respected, otherwise there would be a violation of the jus gentium. The Government has never heard that these books are circulated, and had they been so it would have heard, for it does not keep its eyes shut in matters affecting religion.
The Nuncio returns to the charge and says that two cases of books are extra usum. In the Nuncio's opinion the Ambassador does all he can to increase and spread his Sect. He did not know for a fact that the books had been circulated, but he knew they had been in the hands of the binders.
The Doge replied that the Nuncio need have no fear, for although there had always been many heretics in Venice and the Venetian dominions, no evil results had ever arisen; “nay, though there are many Germans always both here and in Padua, yet when they marry the women of our cities and beget children these children remain Catholics.”
The Nuncio said that when he was certain that the books were being circulated he would come again.
April 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 231. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
His Holiness spoke to me about the political lectures which were given in the house of the English Ambassador by a Minister in his service. This man had been away for a good while, but has returned. Venetians attend these lessons and this is a serious evil, for the English have no other object than to seduce the Catholics. I said that if it were true that any one went to these lessons it could be explained that he did so, not for any bad purpose, but from love of learning. The Pope said they were bad heretical lessons. Even if they are strictly political, when handled by such persons they can not help passing into heresy. The Nuncio has raised the question and also about some cases of books.
Rome, 12th April, 1608.
April 12. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 232. The Secretary to the English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
“The Ambassador has ordered me to present his thanks for the information it has pleased you to give him about those Irish gipsies (cingari Irlandesi) who are in Milan; and begs if you have any further news that you will communicate it in due course. In return he sends this copy of the terms of peace between Spain, the Archdukes and the United Provinces. He begs you to receive it in good part should you have already heard it from another quarter.”
The Doge promised to communicate any news from Milan, and returned thanks for the paper.
The Secretary suggests that the retirement of the Count of Miranda from the Presidency of the Council of Spain, seeing how important a subject he is, may probably mean a change of policy; for he may have foreseen great events approaching and have desired to withdraw. The Doge said that they had heard of the retirement of the Count of Miranda, but not that it was to be attributed to the cause suggested. He thanked the Ambassador for this mark of regard.
April 12. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. To the Captain of the Syria Squadron. In answer to his of the 16th of last month. He is to keep in company of the great galleys, and to seek an opportunity of engaging the corsairs.
Ayes 47. Ayes 34.
Noes 70. Noes 112. Lost.
Neutrals 41. Neutrals 32.
April 12. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. To the Commander of the Great Galleys. Orders to sail in company with Captain Memmo to Cape Salamon; to send on the ships for Alexandria under escort of Captain Canal, and along with Memmo to take the others into Alexandretta; to cruise between Cyprus and Syria till they are reladen and to bring them back to Corfu. While cruising to use every occasion to engage the corsairs; to take care of his sailors' health.
Ayes 47. Ayes 34.
Noes 70. Noes 112. Lost.
Neutrals 41. Neutrals 32.
April 13. Inquisitori di Stato. Busta 201, p. 10. Venetian Archives. Catalogue of documents placed in the Great Chest.
Report on Anthony Sherley, Englishman, and Chevalier Pagliarini, of Ancona.
April 16. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Milan. Venetian Archives. 233. Antonio Pauluzzi, Venetian Resident in Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
On Friday last the Earl of Tyrone and all his family left Milan. He is going to Rome, via Parma; I am told that his Excellency has supplied him with six thousand ducats for the journey, and has paid his bill at the hostelry, although a very important Knight of Calatrava has tried to convince me that Tyrone received nothing whatever from Fuentes, but that the Pope had sent him twenty-five thousand crowns.
Milan, 16th April, 1608.
April 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 234. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the King's departure from the City nothing of moment has happened except a negotiation between the Agent for the States on the subject of their debt to the King. The King claims to be repaid on the cessation of the war, the Dutch ask for prolongation of time. They have finally agreed that the obligation to pay shall begin two years after the signing of the peace. The King is content to receive only one hundred thousand crowns a year until the extinction of the capital sum, the amount of which is to be liquidated by common accord. But as the restoration of the cautionary towns depends on this the affair will not be settled without much difficulty. Although by this convention all the clauses of the treaty of alliance are now arranged, that treaty will not be published before the proclamation of peace with Spain, for his Majesty is unwilling to take any step which might cause suspicion or annoyance to the King of Spain, all the less so that with his consent to the India navigation the peace will be concluded.
The Spanish Ambassador continues to receive extraordinary remittances from Antwerp; it is supposed that they are sent by the King in order that the Ambassador may be provided to secure all that depends upon the English as regards the peace in Flanders. I am told that he has orders to buy a certain number of vessels in this kingdom. In view of the renewal of the prohibition I do not see how he is to carry out his orders. Others say that the money that arrives is on account for the Marchese Spinola, who, on the conclusion of peace, is going to pay a visit to England; and already some preparations are being made in the Ambassador's house.
Two Dutch ships with pepper and spices have arrived from the Indies; and two English ships have sailed for those parts, as this nation now shows itself more than ever resolved to follow up that trade in order to maintain the same freedom which the Dutch have acquired.
London, 17th April, 1608.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 235. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
It is said that the Earl of Tyrone has been received in Milan by the Count Fuentes and will soon go to Spain. The English Ambassador has said enough to let me see what displeasure this will cause to his Master. He dwelt on the ingratitude of Tyrone, who being outlawed by the late Queen for felony was restored by his Majesty to his country and his possessions.
Paris, 22nd April, 1608.
April 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 236. Girolamo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
With the East India Fleet the Persian Ambassador who was here has gone to his home. The King gave him two chains of gold worth a thousand crowns each and paid all his expenses to Lisbon, where eight thousand crowns will be given him for his journey and the same amount is to be spent on presents for his Sovereign. Couriers have arrived from Flanders urging the King to grant the free navigation of the Indies; the Ministers are in doubt how to act, and it is thought that it will be refused as too prejudicial to his Majesty.
Madrid, 22nd April, 1608.
April 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 237. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Papal brief of excommunication begins to breed those ill effects for the Catholics which were very clearly foreseen. Two days ago a Benedictine monk (fn. 2) was put to death by order of the magistrates. Although he had rendered himself liable to the capital sentence by breaking the decree of outlawry and remaining in the Kingdom, still it was generally thought that his life would have been spared by the usual exercise of the royal clemency had it not been for this new brief, which caused the oath of allegiance to be presented to the monk, and compelled his Majesty to allow the law to take its course on a point which he considers so essential to the quiet of his Kingdom and his own safety. The results of the brief will not stop there; it will breed still wider injury to the Catholics, for it has aroused an open division and schism among them. The Archpriest (Blackwell) and another priest, also a prisoner, both of them men of proved learning and virtue, have taken the oath and maintain that all may do so without injury to the Catholic Faith. The minds of all Catholics are perplexed, and they earnestly desire that the Pontif should be truly informed of the terrible consequences which the prohibition of the oath must entail; there being no doubt that the real way to support the Catholic Faith in this Kingdom is to proceed in such a manner that Catholics shall not fall under suspicion of those machinations against which the oath is directed.
As to the projected marriage of the King's eldest daughter to a Prince of Savoy I must report what I had from her Majesty herself under seal of secrecy, which I am sure your Excellencies will respect, namely that the Duke had already raised the question and was going to push it further, and that they would lend an ear to the proposal.
London, 23rd April, 1608.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 238. The Terms of the Clause about the Navigation and Trade of the Indies.
For nine years from the conclusion of the peace the Dutch shall be free to trade in the Indies in all places except those which on the date of the cessation of hostilities shall be in possession of his Majesty.
Two years before the expiry of the nine years Commissioners shall be sent by both parties to Brussels to arrange the further attitude.
Within three years of the date of this present both parties shall have supplied a list of all places they hold.
April 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 239. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is expected in a few days for the usual ceremony of the Chapter of the Garter, which is held on St. George's Day. The Landgrave of Hesse and the Earl of Dunbar are both pressing to be admitted to the Order, the first as a great German Prince, the other as the most intimate of the King among his Scottish subjects. His Majesty proceeds with the reserve befitting the greatness of the rank, and, as yet, I do not hear that he has made any promise to gratify the applicants.
The assent of the King of Spain to the clause about the navigation of the Indies is continually looked for and the publication of the alliance with the Dutch and steps as regards Ireland are suspended until the issue of the negotiation is known. They will then take into consideration the attitude of Spain towards them; and they have instructed the English Ambassador to remain at the Spanish Court, though at first they talked of recalling him. They are keeping their eye more than ever on the movements of Tyrone after his journey towards Rome, and the Papal breves are interpreted as a sign of a very unfavourable disposition on the part of the Pope.
The project of a visit by the Marchese Spinola is cooling down, for when the Ambassador put it about it found little favour in the City or the Court. This is caused by a belief that he was aware of the Powder Plot, for it was designed by a man who had served under him, and it was thought that the chief cause of his coming was to clear himself. He is very ill satisfied in Holland and complains that he finds he has to negotiate on points he considered settled.
London, 23rd April, 1608.
April 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 240. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Papal brief on the oath of allegiance, and the last words of the monk (Jarves) who was executed, have caused such annoyance that were it not for the caution they are obliged to use on account of Irish affairs, the Catholics would certainly have to fear some new trouble. Although the King has always shown a disposition averse to persecution these events alarm him greatly, and render him anxious about the quiet of his Kingdoms and his personal safety. On this account they are using an extraordinary diligence to find out the Pope's intentions and to obtain information as to the person he has appointed Archpriest. As all Catholics are to be guided by his advice they think it very necessary to know the nature and condition of the man, to watch his movements and penetrate his designs; but as the Pope has used great caution in this matter we do not know if the discovery will take place yet. In Scotland, too, it seems that the discontent of the Puritan ministers is re-awakened; as their sole object is to extend their own authority they greatly disturb the quiet of that Kingdom and the mind of the King. On this account he sometimes causes a rumour to run that he intends to apply a remedy in person; but as he is obliged, for many other reasons, to remain here, it is not probable that he will readily resolve to put his threat in execution.
The usual suspicion about the affairs of Ireland continues to reign, though, in order to avoid the appearance of doubting the word of the Spanish and the assurances they daily receive from them, they force themselves to hide their suspicions. But they continue their preparations, and the money that is being raised is devoted to that object. Nor can they conceal their regret at having allowed the negotiations for the truce in Flanders to proceed so far, especially as they know that the most efficient means for preventing it lay in their hands. As to the conclusion of the negotiations, though there is no positive news, it is thought that it depends on the resolution Spain will take as to the navigation of the Indies.
The Lord Treasurer died yesterday of a sudden stroke of apoplexy (fn. 3) while dealing with an affair of his own in Council. It is thought that his Majesty will confer this great post on the Earl of Salisbury, unless he should think it injurious to his service to remove the Earl from the affairs of State and of the world which lie now upon his shoulders alone.
London, 30th April, 1608.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 30. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 241. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
Returns thanks for the information about the Irish gipsies (cingari Irlandesi) who are wandering about from State to State and from city to city seeking support and favour under the pretext of being persecuted for the faith and for conscience sake, the cloak of every scamp now-a-days. Has represented to the King how loyal the Doge has been, as also that on his first representations about these traitors the Doge and Senate instantly gave orders at the frontiers that they should find no shelter in this Dominion. Has also borne witness to the Doge's readiness to give public evidence in the suit pending between the English and the officers of the Grand Duke of Tuscany about the English ship captured in company with the ship “Giustiniana.” “These are acts which feed the blood (sanguifici) so to speak, and, just as the doctors tell us that certain vegetables and food make good spirits and good blood, so acts like these between Prince and Prince.” He regrets to be forced to introduce a subject of complaint in the midst of these thanks, but the English ship “Corsaletta,” whose release was ordered some time back, is still detained in Canea, and the master and some of the crew are still in prison. “The interested parties have sent a man here on purpose to inform me, and with orders to hire a ship to go to Canea to take the cargo to England, for the “Corsaletta” is so damaged and ruined by lying in harbour that she is hardly fit for service. Your Serenity sees what interests are concerned beyond the sufferings of the men, and I beg you of your justice and grace to issue new orders in the terms of a memorandum I now present.”
In view of the trouble that may arise when English ships meet Venetian galleys the Ambassador thinks it desirable to come to some new regulations on the subject. The old regulations about letting fly the fore-topsail and sending the ship's boat were established in order to distinguish between buccaneers and genuine merchants. The King does not regret having made these regulations, although English sailors cry out that not even for the King of France's ships do they do so much nor for the vessels of any other Sovereign in the world. But as time has shown that certain inconveniences arise from these regulations the Ambassador is commissioned to explain them to the Doge and Senate. They will appear, and indeed are, matters of small moment; still it is well to bear in mind Aristotle's maxim that one should avoid trifling differences if one desires to keep one's property intact. He has therefore drawn up a memorandum, for brevity and clearness, and he now presents it.
Considerations on the casual meeting of English ships with great galleys or ordinary guardships of the Most Serene Republic of Venice.
The orders issued by his Majesty in the above circumstances are two:
1st, to vail the fore-topsail.
2nd, to send the ships boat with some one sufficiently in authority to declare the nature of the ship.
The commanders of the great galleys and of the ordinary guardships refused to be satisfied unless the master of the ship himself comes on board in person. This is contrary to the accord, to equity, to the usage of the sea.
The great galleys after the first salute continue to fire while the boat is being launched, to the great danger of the ship.
When the English fly their national flag the Venetian galleys usually take it for the ensign of battle, although it is only run up as a mark of distinction. The ship's boats of an English merchantman are usually full of cargo and it is impossible to launch them under an hour and a half, and all that time the Venetian galleys continue to fire. The great galleys being armed with guns of long range and making use of oars are able to fire on the English ships from such a distance as renders it impossible for them to see for certain whether the English are really preparing to launch their boat or no.
After this memorandum was read the Doge replied that the information about the Earl of Tyrone was given out of regard for his Majesty. The evidence of the Republic as regards the English ship captured by the Grand Duke was given for a like reason in the hope that it would be useful. The Grand Duke, however, declares that his case is nearly ready for publication, and will prove the justice of his contention.
As to the “Corsaletta” the Ambassador may rest assured that what has been decreed will be executed. They have no information that any of the crew of the “Corsaletta” have been put on board the great galleys. The Government is ready to assist the Agent who has come out to take the cargo back to England.
As to the English Ambassador's observations on the meeting of English and Venetian ships, they appear sound. Every effort will be made to avoid difficulties. It is true that the ship's boat is frequently hampered and can not be so readily launched. There would be no objection to be raised were it not that many ships have a double character; they sail as merchants and become pirates.
The Ambassador said that the King was about to send an Agent to the Grand Duke on purpose to complain about the English ship that was captured, and the chief evidence for the English case will be that of the Venetian Government.
As to the “Corsaletta” the Ambassador asks that the Agent who is here for the recovery of the goods may be armed with a copy of the second instructions issued by the Doge, namely, that everything was to be freely restored.
As regards the Earl of Tyrone, the King cares nothing for open acts of hostility on the part of other Sovereigns, but he dreads secret machinations. “If Fuentes wishes to have a hand in schemes against my Master it rests with him to consider whether he can so act without damage to the interests of his own King; but if he does this secretly it would damage my reputation that I who am so close should know nothing about it. I therefore replied to a request that he advanced to me by saying that he had better not meddle with the affairs of the Earl of Tyrone, for I knew well that although the Earl was living at a hostelry he would not have to pay the bill, and that Fuentes lent him carriages every day and visited him. (fn. 4) I beg your Serenity to order your representatives to keep an eye on Tyrone, and to inform you of his movements.”
To this request the Doge replied in general terms.
The Ambassador said “I have just heard something from home, and though I have no orders to communicate it I can't help telling tales out of school for this once. Captain Nicholas Pinner, who was so well received here, went back to England with letters from me to the Prince (Henry). The Prince took him apart and talked to him privately for half an hour; asking questions about Venice and praising the Republic. I am sure this will please you.”
The Doge declared himself consoled; he had already heard on all hands the nature of these two “excellent and gracious creatures” (prestantissime et gratiosissime creature). Sends his thanks and salutations.
The Ambassador listened with a joyful countenance and then said that an English gentleman (fn. 5) was preparing an edition of the works of St. John Chrysostom; he has sent people to collate and to copy, in various places, for example in the Bibliotcea Palatina in Germany and at Vienna. The Ambassador, by the grace of the Senate, had seen the Library of St. Mark, and there he noticed remarkable examples of the works of the Saint. It may well be that the English copies are defective in some points. He begs leave for a specially appointed person to copy in the Library.
The Doge promises all possible assistance.
The Ambassador concluded by saying that as he was coming to audience he had received letters from the Lord High Admiral recommending Captain John King, the very head of his profession; begs for the renewal of King's safe-conduct.
The Doge asked him to leave a note of King's name.


  • 1. See Cal. S.P. Dom., Jan. 22, 1608. “Pope Paul V. to George Birkett. Nominates him to the Archpresbitership of England, of which George Blackwell is deprived.”
  • 2. See Cal. S.P. Dom. Ap. 1608. “George Jarves, priest, suffered for God and his truth at London, XIth of April, 1608.” Jarvis came from Berwick. He was suspected of having some share in Gunpowder Plot and was arrested and examined in March, 1606.
  • 3. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 23rd April, 1608. Warrant to Julius Cæsar to issue money and dispatch business belonging to the office of the late Lord Treasurer, Dorset.
  • 4. See Wotton to Salisbury. Cal. S.P. Ireland. Ap. 25, 1608.
  • 5. Sir Henry Savile, Provost of Eton.