Venice: January 1609

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: January 1609', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 11, 1607-1610, (London, 1904) pp. 208-226. British History Online [accessed 12 April 2024]

January 1609

Jan. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 398. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I am advised from Flanders that the suspension of arms may be prolonged for six weeks more. Meantime they are waiting the reply to the mission from the Archduke (Brizuela's) to Spain.
The people of Middleburg desire that all vessels going up the river to Antwerp should unlade their cargoes and forward them in Middleburg ships. That would increase the trade of Middleburg, and it has been tried before without result.
The Cordelier (Neyen) has lately arrived in Flanders with news that makes but little for the truce. It seems that the Father no longer enjoys the confidence and prestige he once had with the Spanish; and they have conceived some suspicion of him as he is a native of Flanders.
The French are little pleased with this change on the part of his Catholic Majesty and attribute it to the hopes held out by the English Ambassador in Spain that his master is going to interest himself to secure the truce without the cession of “Sovreignty.” The French think that the Extraordinary Embassy sent to England has to do with this. His Most Christian Majesty will never consent to the alteration of what has, so far, been concluded, and he encourages the States to resist unless they are treated as independent. He promises to assist them and never to abandon them. On the other hand the Archdukes declare that they will not withdraw from the promises of the President Richardot and that they have no doubt but that the Dominican Friar (Brizuela) will bring back the confirmation from Spain.
The Commissioners of Brandenburg, Brunswick, the Palatine, the Landgrave of Hesse, and other German Princes, have left the Hague after having their expenses paid and receiving a present from the States.
I am informed from Amsterdam that one of the Consuls of that city has been making large purchases of saltpetre. That is a sign that if the conditions of the truce are altered in Spain they will embrace war. I have received and forward the clauses to which the six Provinces of Holland are agreed.
The Prince of Orange and Count Maurice have been reconciled to their sister who is married to Don Emmanuel of Portugal (sic). There is, however, some slight difficulty, for Orange wishes to recover from his brother certain properties belonging to his duchy which were given to Maurice by his father while Orange was prisoner in Spain.
London, 2nd January, 1609 (sic).
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 399. Terms of the Truce,
The Archdukes shall acknowledge that the States are free and that there exists no claim of any kind over them.
Truce to begin on first of January next and to last for ten years, by sea, river, land, in Europe, which includes the Mediterranean. For all that is outside this it shall rest with the King of Spain to say, within three months, whether he wishes the truce to hold good there or not. At the expiry of three months if the King has made no declaration, each party shall retain the freedom which he at present has, with full enjoyment of the places at present held. A joint committee to be appointed for the purposes of delimitation. Disagreement of the Commissioners shall not dissolve the Truce. The inhabitants, subjects of either of the parties shall enjoy reciprocal friendship and right to trade. Dutch subjects in Spain and the Archiducal territories shall enjoy the same privileges as those secured to British subjects by the treaty of peace between Great Britain and Spain. They shall be subject to no extraordinary taxation and shall be treated on the most favoured nation basis (ma tratti così come li sudditi . . . delli amici et confederati che saranno li manco caricati). No embargo to be laid on ships, crews or cargoes. This shall not apply to arrest for crime or debt or legitimate contract. At the request of the Dutch a commission shall be appointed to revise the imposts should these prove detrimental to commerce, but failure to agree shall not dissolve the Truce. This commission, if it be possible, shall proceed to the settlement of confiscated property. Unexecuted sentences can not be carried out during the Truce. During the Truce letters of marque shall not be issued except in cases recognised by Imperial Law. Neither ships nor soldiers of either party, to a number sufficient to rouse suspicion, shall stay in any port, harbour or roadstead of either party without permission. Those who have retired to neutral territory shall enjoy the benefit of the Truce. Members of the House of Nassau are not to be pursued for debts contracted by the Prince of Brugis (sic).
These clauses to be ratified in due form by both parties within eight days, by each of the Provinces within a month, and by the King and the Archduke within three months.
Jan. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 400. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Tuesday the King came back from the chase; he will stay on till the first days of February. The next day the King gave audience to the Ambassador-Extraordinary of Spain. He went accompanied by the Spanish and Flemish Liegers. The audience was one of compliments and I am more and more certain that his mission is to return thanks for the King's good offices about the truce, and to secure their continuance after removing the clause about “Sovreignty.” Some excuse will be offered for the phrase in Richardot's instructions that he was to rely more on the French than on the English Commissioners. The Spanish and Flemish deny it point blank. The Ambassador Extraordinary is very ill satisfied and complains that no official has visited him during ten days.
After this M. de Soubise was received. He is here in retreat from France. Every evening, almost, he passes with the Queen, which is reckoned a high honour.
On Wednesday, in the evening, an Ambassador from the Duke of Lorraine arrived. His mission is to condole with the King on the death of the Duke's father, who was a relation of his Majesty, and to confirm the good understanding with this Crown. The Ambassador has brought two beautiful horses for the Prince, who takes great delight in them. He is lodged in a hostelry with a large suite.
The King has resolved to send a new colony to Ireland. It will be established on the confiscated properties of those who took part in the late rising. The colony that was planted upwards of four hundred years ago is all but extinct. Many appointments have already been made, chiefly in the person of officers and other deserving subjects. (fn. 1) The King desires that the colonists should take with them a number of workmen and farm-labourers, in which that island is very deficient. In the meanwhile his Majesty has instructed his Governors in Ireland to consign the properties of those who are owners on the coast and to compensate them fully by properties inland (in tanto sua Maestà ha commandato alli suoi Governatori nel detto Regno, che si faccino consignar li beni di quelli che li possedono alla Marina, dandoli buona ricompensa fra terra (fn. 2) ).
The news of Poma's (fn. 3) imprisonment along with his accomplices has caused some talk at Court, all the more so that there is a report from France that they were subsequently released and rewarded with ecclesiastical benefices. I have frequently been asked how your Serenity stands with the Pope, and some have even touched on the question of the friar of San Sebastiano. (fn. 4)
Here they keep their eye chiefly on the Court of Rome, for as a matter of fact in this kingdom there are numbers of the nobility, professed Catholies, and a host of those who are so at heart but will not declare themselves, so as to preserve their estates and the King's favour. In Scotland there are many more, and the late plot keeps his Majesty's attention to the subject.
London, 2nd January, 1609
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 3. Senato, Secreta, Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 401. Roberto Lio, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports that he was told, in confidence, that Spain was urging the Grand Duke to a fresh attempt on Cyprus, promising him twenty galleys paid, and leave to raise three thousand infantry in the Kingdom of Naples. Hopes held out that if he conquered the island they would exchange it and also give him the title he so earnestly desires. Although a dread of displeasing Venice makes him hesitate still desire to die King, to have Porto Ercole and Orbetello and to see the Spanish out of Piombino may bring him to a decision. These suggestions from Spain are held by some to have for object the wearing out of the Grand Duke.
A Frenchman here being asked by his Highness as to the extent of the booty on board the bertons, replied in the well-known phrase that such booty is all gold at sea and all silver in port.
Florence, 3rd January, 1608. [m.v.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 402. Zorzi Giustinian, retiring Venetian Ambassador to England, to the Doge and Senate.
After difficulties due to the weather he arrived in Cologne that day. Leaves at once for Frankfort. The Imperial Commissioners are expected in Cologne to settle an ecclesiastical question. The Protestants claim, as payers of public burdens, freedom in the exercise of their religion. They are suppressed by the Catholics who are numerically superior; and the Pope does all he can to hold Cologne to his allegiance. The Duke of Cleves has no heir and Count Maurice is taking firmer footing there daily. After the Duke's death we may look for trouble here.
Cologne, 4th January, 1608. [m.v.]
Jan. 7. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Milan, Venetian Archives. 403. Francesco Marchesini, Venetian Resident in Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
A Chevalier who professes devotion to Venice but desires to remain anonymous, informed me that there was a great scheme to the fore between the Kings of France and Spain; that was the succession to the throne of England. It seems that after the conquest of the kingdom the crown is to be given to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, cousin of his Most Christian and brother-in-law of his Catholic Majesty. He assured me that the marriage of the sister of the Queen of Spain was arranged on the basis of this scheme. The Pope in his desire to bring back England to her allegiance to the Church has embraced the idea. The friar, brother of Cardinal de Joyeuse, had a great hand in this business, and discussed it with his Holiness when he was in Rome. Cardinal de Joyeuse's present journey to Spain may have to do with the same affair. The Queen of France warmly supports it.
The Cardinal showed me letters, mostly in cipher, confirming this information, though he would not let me see whence they came nor who wrote them; but he told me the Count Fuentes knew very well. I confess to writing with some fear of being held to be sending news miles removed from probability.
Milan, 7th January, 1608. [m.v.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 404. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
From Sunday last on which day they kept Christmas, till now the Court has been entirely taken up with balls and comedies. The Queen is deeply engaged in preparing a Masque of Ladies to wind up with. It will be given to-day week. She is sparing no expense to make it as fine as possible.
The King, on Wednesday morning, gave a banquet to the Ambassador-Extraordinary of Spain (Giron). The Ambassadors in Ordinary were present, having sought invitation. I am informed from a trustworthy source that the day after to-morrow the King intended to invite the Ambassador of France, myself and the Ambassador of Lorraine; we, however, thought it best to tactfully prevent the invitation, so as to debar the Liegers of Spain and the Archduke from attributing the priority of invitation to the more honourable rank of the Embassy-in-Ordinary, instead of to its real cause, the special honour of the Embassy-Extraordinary. The Spanish and Flemish Ambassadors are now manœuvering to be invited to the Masque. They declare it would be a slight to the Embassy-Extraordinary if it is left out. On the other hand the French Ambassador, who was omitted last year, which produced some sharp words from his Most Christian Majesty, now declares that he will withdraw from Court if he is not invited. I have not thought it advisable to appear openly in this matter, because I found a suitable opportunity to bring to the Queen's ears the way in which the Ambassador of the King of Hungary, brother of Archduke Albert, was treated in Spain, that is differently from your Serenity's Ambassador, and thus I have produced an excellent disposition in her Majesty to honour all who depend on the Serene Republic. The Ambassador-Extroardinary of Spain, after the public audience, was received in private. I am assured his mission concerned the truce only.
Seventy thousand crowns have been sent to Flanders at the disposal of the Spanish Ambassador here. It is not six months since he received other hundred and sixty thousand. Almost all this, I am told by those who are in a position to know, after deducting the Ambassador's salary and expenses, will go in large pensions to many of the more important personages of the Court, including some prominent ministers (compreso anco qualche signore principale); a part, perhaps, will go to Holland.
The Judges are in great controversy with the Bishops over a question of jurisdiction. They are anxious at seeing the King supporting the Bishops, as they take it for a sign that he wishes to withdraw himself as much as possible from the operation of the law.
There have been many convictions for selling beer without a licence. The Council have written to the Governors of the border counties to proceed in the same way. The answer came back that the Council has no authority to issue such orders which belongs to Parliament alone. The King and Council are indignant and think of summoning them to appear for chastisement, but as they fear to irritate the people who are inclined to revolt, they have taken no steps as yet.
London, 9th January, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 10. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 405. Roberto Lio, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Everything points to the Grand Duke's resolve to listen to the Spanish and to attempt Cyprus. He consults no longer with his Ministers, only with Fra Pietro Calavrese and the lower ranks of his household.
Florence, 10th January, 1608. [m.v.]
Jan. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 406. Girolamo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I informed you of the arrival of the Archduke's Confessor (Brizuela). He has been negotiating with the Council of State and chiefly with the Cardinal of Toledo, to whom the King referred him. All through the negotiations the Confessor insisted on the necessity for the Truce—dwelling on the difficulties in which Flanders finds itself. But as some of the islands are tenaciously resolved not to accept a truce except on the conditions of freedom of religion and freedom of the India Navigation, they do not see here how they are to consent to terms so prejudicial to the honour of God and to their own particular interests. The conferences, in the King's presence, are very frequent, but, as yet, fruitless. They fear that the Archduke is already committed; and they talk of an Armada and have summoned, from Lisbon, Don Luis Fasciardo, who is in command of the fleet, to advise on the means. They have commissioned Don Anthony Sherley, an Englishman, to go to Sicily and to fit out fifteen ships. They also wish to commission the Genoese to raise a like number in the kingdom of Naples, but find no response.
Off the coast of Valencia a ship and her two consorts have been captured. They were laden with corn and had one hundred and sixty passengers. A natural son of the Viceroy of Sicily (fn. 5) is among the prisoners. The corsair withdrew to Algiers.
Madrid, 13th January, 1608. [m.v.]
Jan. 13. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 407. The Ambassador of England came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
“The day before yesterday was New-Year's Day, old style, which I willingly maintain, for it seems to me that the further things depart from their original principles the worse they become. I am therefore still in time to wish your Serenity and your Excellencies a Happy New Year with health, good cheer and perfect content. For the Republic I desire health and may God preserve her in her ancient splendour, her ancient freedom, her ancient jurisdiction, for that is the true health of Empires.”
He then went on at length to recommend the case of Antonio Dotto and begged earnestly for a rehearing; all the more earnest that he saw, as he said, in the petition of Dotto an intention to live quietly for the future.
The Doge replied to the Ambassador's good wishes. In the matter of rehearing Dotto's case he repeated the difficulties previously explained to the Ambassador. The case is very lengthy and would take several days to read through, a very serious matter in the pressure of public affairs. He promises however to bring the question before the Council of Ten, but cannot guarantee the result. These cases of rehearing require five sixths of the votes, so that if more than two are opposed there is nothing for it but to bow to the law, which cannot possibly be altered.
The Ambassador professed admiration for the law; but insisted as a special favour to himself.
He now touched on a disagreeable matter. A year and a half ago the English ship “Corsaletta” was captured. It has now been restored but in a very bad state, with most of its cargo missing and what is not missing ruined. The owners apply for indemnification; the Ambassador, on orders from his Majesty, supports the claim. The owners are leading London merchants. The Ambassador presents a letter from the King:
“James, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. to the Most Serene Prince and Lord Leonardo Donato, by like grace Doge of Venice, our dearest friend, greeting.
“In the month of May of last year a ship, called in English the 'Cortley,' was captured and taken to Candia. By the intercession of our Ambassador, your Sublimity gave orders to restore the ship and cargo, and part of it was restored. The merchants, however, complain that a part has not been restored, another part is seriously damaged owing to the long sequestration, and the ship herself has suffered great damage by being stripped of almost all her tackle. If this be really so the complainants have good cause, and their plea must commend itself to the Serene Republic no less than to Us. We are sure that your Equity, Justice and the love you bear Us will induce you to take the case to heart. And this we beg you to do and wish your Sublimity health and happiness.
“Given at our Palace of Westminster, 25th November, 1608.
“James, Rex.”
Addressed to “The Most Serene Prince and Lord Lunardo Donato, by the Grace of God Doge, and to the Most Excellent Senate of the Republic of Venice.”
In reply the Doge recalled the issue of the orders for restitution and the answer that the orders had been executed. He could not recall details, as many months had passed. The documents would be examined. Orders given to the Secretary to do so. The Ambassador will be informed.
The Ambassador said that the English merchant, Henry Previs, in whose favour he had spoken at his last audience, declares that the goldsmith, Lorenzo Pencini, continues to harass him on account of the two pearls which Pencini's son sent from Constantinople to his father under cover to Previs, and which were intercepted by the Bailo; it is as clear as daylight that the said Henry never had the pearls, as is proved by the letter of the said Bailo to his brother in Venice. Henry is at daily charges, and this hectic fever is consuming him so that he cannot endure it. As the Bailo is expected shortly in Venice, his Serenity is now begged to order the suspension of the affair until he shall arrive, so that he may confirm what he wrote about the pearls. That confirmation would satisfy the law as to the truth of the case and would restore to the poor young man his honour.
The Doge replied that he thought the business had fallen to the ground of itself, for the Bailo's brother, summoned to the College, had brought the actual letter written by his Lordship about the pearls, which established precisely what the Ambassador had stated. Copy of this letter had been given to the Procurator Priuli in order that he, being fully informed that the pearls still exist and never came into Pervis' hands, should dismiss the case, as was just. The Doge added that possibly the question of costs in the suit was the cause of the continuing difference between the parties, as probably each party claimed costs from the other. “It is clear that both are right, the goldsmith because he claimed the pearls on the strength of information given by his son and expected them to be consigned by Previs, and Previs in affirming that he never received them.”
The Ambassador said that the difference was not about the costs but because the goldsmith kept on demanding the pearls from Pervis, although he knows quite well that Pervis never had them. “I beg your Serenity to order the Procurator to suspend the suit till the Bailo arrives.”
The Doge promised to speak again to the Procurator, and ordered the Secretary to summon him to the Cabinet.
The Ambassador returned thanks, and then went on to say, “I have now to make an unusual communication. About a month and a half ago I received advance letters from the Earl of Salisbury informing me that a great personage, (fn. 6) a friend of his, was coming to Venice, and requesting me to present him to your Serenity. This gentleman has arrived; he came with me to the Palace and is outside the door, waiting to kiss your Serenity's and their Excellencies' robes. To inform you who the gentleman is I will say that he is a youth but little over sixteen, son of Lord Harrington (Arenton), a gentleman of the highest quality in our country, and of great weight on account of the vast barony which he holds in England, where it is not the custom for the sons to bear their father's title during his life-time. The sister of this young gentleman, the Countess of Bedford (fn. 7) (Belfort) is the Queen's favourite maid-of-honour; and the Princess, her Majesty's only daughter, is brought up at the house of Lord Harrington, father of the youth, whose mother (fn. 8) is governess (aia) to the Princess. Add to this that it is thought certain that the young man will marry Lord Salisbury's only daughter, and being the right eye of the Prince of Wales, the world holds that he will one day govern the Kingdom. I wish to say that his personal merits fall not short of all the rest that I have enumerated; he is learned in philosophy, has Latin and Greek to perfection, is handsome, well made as any man could be, at least among us. The better to serve his Sovereign he desires some knowledge of the world, and at great pains he has obtained leave to be abroad a year. He has been in Tuscany, and has seen Florence and Siena. I must add this story to show your Serenity how prudent he is. When the Prince, with tears in his eyes, took him to the King to ask leave of absence, his Majesty said to him “What hast thou done, John,”—that is his name,—“that thou art so master of the Prince's favour—tell me what art hast thou used? Not flattery, that belongeth not to thy age,” to which he replied “Holy Majesty, not with flattery, which I know not how to use, have I won his Highness's love, but by truth, of which as your Majesty's true son, his Highness, is the lover.” (Et voglio dire alla Serenità Vostra che egli non merita meno per le particolari condicioni sue di quello che faccia per tutti gli altri rispeti che ho considerati et espressi alla Serenità Vostra; perchè ha intelligentia dell a Filosofia, possiede le lingue latina et greca perfettamente, e di bell aspetto et ben disposto della persona quanto alcun' altro—parlando però dei nostri; et desiderando per servir meglio il suo Principe prender un poco di prattica del mondo, ha ottenuto con gran fatica licentia di poter star un' anno fuori del Regno. E stato in Toscana et ha veduto Fiorenza et Siena. Et voglio aggionger questo alla Serenità Vostra perchè possa conoscere il suo buon guidicio; condacendolo il Principe con molte lacrime a pigliar licentia da Sua Maestà le disse il Re, “come hai fatto Giovanni,” che cosi è nominato, “a farti tanto padrone della, gratia del Principe? dimmi che arte hai tu usato? Non gia quella del' adulare, perche ciò non comporta la tua poca età.” A questo egli rispose “Sacra Maestà, io non mi ho procurato l' amore di Sua Altezza con l' adulatione, che non la so usare, ma bene con la verità della quale S.A. come vero figliolo della Maesà Vostra è amatrice.”)
Your Serenity may judge of the love he bears towards this Serene Republic from the fact that out of the year he has to travel abroad he intends to spend five months in this city. He has taken a house in San Polo, as I could not receive him in my house which is too small, and he has seven gentlemen with him at his charges. By the Prince's orders he was accompanied as far as the confines of Germany by ten other gentlemen, who brought him the Prince's portrait to keep ever near him.” And the Ambassador showed his Serenity and all the Cabinet a little oval portrait which he declared was the true likeness of the Prince of Wales.
Then the said Baron, along with two other gentlemen were very kindly received by his Serenity, who declared himself delighted with the account of his parts and of the favour he deservedly enjoyed with the Prince of Wales. The Doge made many friendly offers. The Ambassador was all the time standing, the more to honour the said Baron, who replied in terms of great respect. They then took leave.
Jan. 14. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Milan. Venetian Archives. 408. Francesco Marchesini, Venetian Resident in Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
News that Simon Danese (Danziker), a Fleming, captured the ship “Bellina” from Palermo to Spain, off Majorca, with many passengers, among them the son of the Viceroy of Majorca, (fn. 9) and a natural son of the Viceroy of Sicily (fn. 10).
Milan, 14th January, 1608. [m.v.]
Jan. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 409. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Monday week the English Ambassador received an autograph letter from his Master to the King of France. He asked for audience and presented the letter. In it the King of England endeavours to free himself from the charge of having made to the King of Spain proposals for a truce other than those agreed on by common accord in Flanders. He says that either his Ambassador in Spain must have mistaken his instructions—which he cannot believe—or else the Spanish have interpreted them in a sense not intended. In short the King of England assures the King of France that he will never sever himself from his Most Christian Majesty's prudent views.
The English Ambassador's representations were conceived in that sense. He added that Don Fermando Giron's reception had not come up to his expectations, and that the English Ambassador has received orders to conform himself to President Jeannin's proposals. His Majesty seemed satisfied and appeared to believe that it was a ruse of Spain to spread dissensions.
The Ambassador then went on to speak of a certain book which had recently appeared in England, containing passages hostile or contemptuous towards France, for which reason the French Ambassador in England had demanded the suppression of the book and the punishment of the author. I enclose the more distasteful passages.
The Ambassador then presented a son of the Earl of Salisbury and some other English gentlemen to kiss his Majesty's hand.
Don Pedro declares that the King, his Master, has never changed his attitude, nor did he ever at any time say that he was willing to abandon, under any form whatever, “Sovreignty”; and no one can complain if he refuses now; if the Ambassadors of the two Kings and of the other Powers have made proposals with that as a condition they have done so to suit their own interests; if the Archdukes promised it they ought to have waited, and the King was not to blame for that.
The latest letters from Spain are of the 26th and 27th. The Archduke's Confessor (Brizuela) has arrived at that court, has laid before the King the Archduke's desire to conclude a truce, and has added that he had it from his Highness in confession that if the King would not make up his mind to the truce the Archduke would conclude it of himself, on any terms (et in fine aggionto haver havuto dall' A. S. in confessione che quando S. M. Cattolica non si rissolvi alla tregua Ella la accorderà da se sola con li Stati a ogni conditione). The King referred the Confessor to the Duke of Lerma, who told him he would have to wait two or three weeks for an answer as the matter was too serious and difficult to be dealt with in a shorter time.
Paris, 14th January, 1609.
Enclosed in precedding Despatch 410. Idæa, sive de Jacobi Magne Britaniæ etc. Regis, virtutibus et ornamentis enaratio.
Auctore Thoma Rosa Scoto Britanno, Londini, 1608.
Extractum ex eodem libro Pag. 15, et, 16. Gallia prope annum Christi cccl excusso Hesperie freno cui prius mancipata fuit, in Regnum sublata est, Principe Varamundo, a quo ad Moravos delatum, inde ad Carolum Magnum et Pipini familiam, denique ad Capeti gentem, postremo ad Burboniam domum migravit. Sed diuturno tempore cum aliæ permultæ ipsius Provinciæ, tum tota Aquitania Anglis obtemperaverunt; et nunc quamquam solito ferocior Gallia petulanti nisu, ut impatiens sessoris equus evagari conetur et longe Illustrissimo Britaniæ etc., Regi Jacobo terrarum sideri, officia submissionis et fidei, arrogantiam turgens deneget, propediem tamen futurum confido ut manus vinctas et victas humilis et tractabilis exporrigat.
Erat in Immargine.
Gallia justo Regi inmorrigera mox sententia mutavit et ad saniorem mentem redibit.
Jan. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 411. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On Wednesday on my return from Mass I found one of his Majesty's gentlemen waiting me. He dined with me and, before and after dinner, he dwelt on the desirability of my approaching the English Ambassador here and your Serenity's Ambassador in England to impress on the King of England that, now that he sees the artifices of Spain, he should act in concert with France and support the States. He pointed out that your Excellencies are interested in the continuation of the war, which would secure the peace of Italy. I replied that were I sure that this was his most Christian Majesty's desire I would comply, but in any case I was in duty bound to inform your Serenity first and to await your instructions. At this answer he remained silent.
Paris, 14th January, 1609.
Jan. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 412. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In obedience to instructions from your Serenity, dated the 13th of last month, I had audience to-day and presented your Serenity's especial thanks for his Majesty's interposition in the affair of the cargo of the “Reniera and Soderina.” The King expressed his satisfaction, and declared his detestation of piracy. The Ambassador dwelt on the great damage every nation suffered from this plague and recommended the matter to his Majesty.
Your Serenity will have understood how large is the quantity of smuggled currants that come into this Kingdom from Zante or Clarentza, where the people of the islands convey the currants by night in their boats. By the next courier I will endeavour to supply a list of the ships that bring them, along with the cargoes and place of lading.
London, 15th January, 1609.
Jan. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 413. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Archdukes have given their word to the States that they will exhibit powers, under his Catholic Majesty's sign-manual, sufficient to enable them to conclude the truce upon the terms proposed. On this the States have resolved to meet at Breda to negotiate with the Commissioners in Antwerp, half a day's journey away. They will insist on further explanations on the points of “Sovreignty” and India Navigation. They will ask, also, for a longer term of truce. All these are points so thoroughly ventilated, that they may quite possibly reach an accord. Nothing, however, will be concluded until the return of the Dominican Friar (Brizuela) from Spain; they hope he will arrive in time and with the necessary instructions.
There has been such a gale this week that many ships have been in peril with loss of cargo and crew.
The Ambassador of the Duke of Lorraine has left to-day for Nancy. He received nineteen pieces of silver gilt plate.
As the Ambassadors of Spain and the Archdukes continued to insist on being invited to the Masque the Court has announced that their Majesty's wish the French Ambassador and myself to be present. We were informed of this by many of those who have the King's ear. I hear that his Majesty was anxious to dismiss the Ambassador-Extraordinary and told the Queen so, who was quite willing; but the Ambassador neither asks to take leave nor shows any signs of going, and so his Majesty has put off the Masque, which ought to have been given to-morrow, to the 12th of February, the Feast of the Purification. The King will leave on Tuesday for Royston and there the Ambassador will go to take his leave.
London, 15th January, 1609.
Jan. 17. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 414. Roberto Lio, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Virginio Orsini remarked to me that the capture of the son of the Viceroy of Sicily and of Sandoval by the bertons from Tunis might induce his Catholic Majesty to clear out that robbers' nest. Florence, 17th January, 1608. [m.v.]
Jan. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 415. Girolamo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Archduke's Confessor (Brizuela) continues his negotiations. In the names of the Archduke and the Infanta he prefers a request for the Kingdom of Portugal in exchange for Flanders. They urge the great cost and the small hopes of peace. They are inclined to gratify the Archdukes. Reports the case of the Duke of Maçeda and his brother, condemned to death for assault on the police, but pardoned by the King.
The Corsair who plundered the corn-ship is a Fleming named Simon Danza, (fn. 11) he is manned by Dutch, English, and Turks. He has stripped the son of the Viceroy of the three hundred thousand crowns his father was sending to Spain.
Madrid, 18th January, 1608. [m.v.]
Jan. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 416. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
On December 28th, the ship “Gaiana” arrived. Off Milo she encountered a storm and was driven into Suda, in Crete. She sprang her main mast. She brought some chairs (careghe), public property, in very bad state. The captain told me that of the two English dogs he was bringing for me, one had slipped his leash and bitten the other, who was the bigger and though chained up held the assailant down till he had torn his throat, nor could the crew separate them.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 21st January, 1608. [m.v.]
Jan. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 417. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
A few days ago an English gentleman came to see me. He told me in strict confidence that he had the intention and the means to capture the pirate Ward, in whose company he says he was, in command of ships, before Ward took to piracy. For this purpose he asked me to help him with three thousand ducats, and he hoped the Spanish Ambassador would advance him another three. He said he would embark his own modest capital and with his Majesty's help he would set out on the enterprise. I replied that if I had some light on the grounds of his scheme I would bring it to your Serenity's notice. I praised his intention and assured him that if he succeeded he would reap great glory and adequate recompense from your Serenity and others. He said that there was no time to wait for an answer from Venice; that he must begin at once to get ready; this he could not do out of his own estate; the Earl of Northampton, one of the greatest persons in the kingdom, would go surety for him. I concluded to see the Earl on the subject. I did this in order to find out how much faith can be given to this plan, and also, should the plan prove feasible, in order that the Earl might convince the man that I had no authority to promise anything and at the same time to encourage him to take all necessary steps to carry out so laudable a design. I sent to the Earl but found he was out of town. Meantime the gentleman came back again to-day. I again said I must see the Earl, but promised to lay the matter before your Serenity.
From November to now six ships have come from Zante with currants; as many again from Clarentza, where the people of Zante take the currants by night. Only one has come from Venice, and one from Patras. Your Excellencies will see the state of the case from the enclosed note which gives the names of the ships and their masters, the amount of their cargoes, and the place of lading.
London, 22nd January, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 418. A note of the ships laden with currants, arrived in England from November to all December.
From Venice:
“Good Hope” of London, master James Burgis. In casks and sacks Megliara (fn. 12) 255
From Zante:
“Grace” of London, master Launcelot Russel 188
“Susan,” master Richard Staunton 400
“Merchant Venture,” master Benjamin Joseph 420
“Elephant of Bristol,” master Richard Cotton 170
“Elephant,” master Richard Cotton 180
“Falcon,” master Rowland Caitmore 160
From Clarentza:
“Galant Anne,” master William Corne 270
“Amethyst” of London, master John Ball 175
“Violet,” master Servas Froclet 262
“Good God,” master Richard Cornish 89
“Royal Exchange,” master George Clarge 549
“Benediction” of Plymouth, master Gilbert Angel of Peraza 112
From Patras:
“Resistance,” master Samuel Stach 284
Venetian gross (fn. 13) measure total. 3532
Jan. 22. Minutes of the Senate, Rome. Venetian Archives. 419. To the Ambassador at the Imperial Court.
We have certain information that the Patriarch of this City has endeavoured to persuade our Theological Advisers and others who supported us, to destroy the papers which were drawn up in defence of our rights during the recent troubles; that he has taken other steps highly prejudicial to the service of the country; that he has attacked the honour and dignity of the Republic. We, along with the Senate, have administered a sharp and very severe reprimand.
This is for your private information alone, unless you should hear the subject raised.
We also inform you that, motu proprio, we have raised the salaries of the Theologians and others who wrote in our defence.
The like to the Ambassadors in France, Spain, England and Savoy, and to the Secretaries Resident in Florence, Milan and Naples.
Ayes 151.
Noes 8.
Neutrals 14.
Jan. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 420. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
No further news from Flanders; every one is waiting the return of the Dominican Friar (Brizuela) and the meeting of the Commissioners. The truce is looked upon as a certainty.
The Ambassador-Extraordinary stays on here; he says he will not leave till he has received letters from Spain. He will not go to the King at Royston as he announced, for his Majesty did not seem to like the idea.
I understand that before the King left the Ambassador touched on the subject of a match between the English Princess and Savoy, but nothing to build on. It is thought that he is staying on to compel the King to invite him to her Majesty's Masque, which in consequence of this may be put off again. All the same the Queen holds daily rehearsals and trials of the machinery. Meantime the Spanish Ambassador-in-ordinary makes vigorous efforts to be invited; he puts in motion all his supporters and uses the Embassy-Extraordinary as a pretext.
I hear that the reply (fn. 14) to the Chaplain of Cardinal Bellarmin's work is now quite ready. In the preface the King warns all Princes to note the great authority of the Pontiff, and declares that the first book which appeared under another name was his also. From this it results that there are many points scattered about the book which may move the Pope to some step, especially as recently intercepted letters from Rome show that his Holiness has touched on the question as to whether he ought to excommunicate or depose his Majesty, declaring him heretic, and absolving his subjects from the Oath of Allegiance, and bestowing his territory on occupiers and so on. They have come to the conclusion that as the King belongs to another Faith they cannot ex communicate.
The French Ambassador has twice urged the King not to reply in person, and he has received a kind of assent; the King said to him that there would not be wanting others to do so. I hear that the Council is of opinion that it would be more dignified to reply by another hand; but up to the present a contrary resolve is held (essendosi spetialmente inteso per lettere di Roma intercettate questi giorni passati che S. Santità haveva tenuto qualche proposito sopra questa materia, se si dovesse escommunicare, overo abdicare, con dichiarive heretica la Maestà sua, assolver li sudditi dal giuramento, conceder li stati ad occupanti et simili, et concludano che essendo di diversa religione non si dovesse escommunicare. Il Signor Ambasciator di Francia ha doi rolte passato offitio con il Rè perche non rispondesse egli medesimo, et ne haveva haveva qualche intentione, dicendogli S. Maestà che non sariano mancati degli altri che lo haveriano fatto. Intendo che anco li Signori del consiglio sentivano che fosse maggior reputatione dal scriver per mano di altri. Tuttavia sino a qui è resoluta nel contrario).
They continue to consider the augmentation of revenue, and have put a new impost on the exportation of tin. The rise is from fourteen to sixteen crowns on the cantaro. (fn. 15)
London, 22nd January, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 421. Zorzi Giustinian, retiring Venetian Ambassador to England, to the Doge and Senate.
Arrived yesterday. Leaves to-morrow for Trent. Did not find the Elector Archbishop when passing through Mainz.
Augsburg, 23rd January, 1608. [m.v.]
Jan. 23. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 422. Girolamo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Preparations for Flanders being pushed on; they are going to raise sixteen thousand men under eight captains. They are aware they have delayed too long, for the States are in excellent order and the Archduke in a very bad way. Yesterday a courier was despatched to England to thank the King for his good offices and to endeavour to persuade him that it is against his interest that the Dutch should enjoy the India navigation, which would greatly increase their maritime importance.
Madrid, 23rd January, 1608. [m.v.]
Jan. 28. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Milan. Venetian Archives. 423. Francesco Marchesini, Venetian Resident in Milan, to the Doge and Senate.
Has nothing to add to his letter of the 7th about England. Milan, 28th January, 1608. [m.v.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 424. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Foscarini reports that, on the spread of a rumour that the Grand Duke of Tuscany's ships had made a rich prize of slaves and a large part of the Cairo treasure chest (casna del Cairo) on its way to Constantinople, M. de Varenne had renewed his demand for leave to send out privateers. The Ambassador had audience of the King and pointed out among other things that this would prejudice the negotiations to be opened with the Turk for the recovery of Cyprus, on payment of a lump sum and an annual tribute.
The King then touched on affairs in Flanders. Complained of the King of England; called him a fraudulent trickster (ingannatore fraudolente) from his birth. He told a lot of tales of the King's laches, and did all he could to give the Ambassador a bad impression of the King of England.
Paris, 28th January, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 425. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
This day week the Ambassador of England had audience of the King and did all he could to assure his Majesty. He said it was Don Pedro, and not the English Ambassador, who had started the idea of a simple truce for twenty years. The King of France professed himself relieved of all doubt.
Paris, 28th January, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 426. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last Sunday M. de Caron, Resident at this Court for the States, came to visit me, and informed me that all his Masters had come to the resolution to accept the truce for ten years if the commission from Spain is sent in the terms I have already reported. He added that the States desired that the negotiations should be carried on by the Ambassadors of France and England, who are to go to Antwerp for that purpose while the States will send their Deputies to Bergenop-Zoom, which is more convenient than Breda, to which they at first inclined. They are pushing on the conclusion of the truce, as they do not desire a prolongation of the armistice beyond the middle of February.
I thanked M. de Caron for this mark of confidence, which was fully deserved by your Serenity, who always sympathised with the prosperous progress of the States.
I hear that three days ago a vessel arrived with despatches for de Caron, who went straight to Lord Salisbury, probably to obtain instructions for the English commissioners to go to Antwerp, and, in conjunction with the French Commissioners, to carry out the negotiations.
Eight days ago a order was issued for the suppression of pirates and their abettors. There is a clause at the end ordering all English ships to pursue and engage the pirate Ward as the man who above all others has inflicted heavy damage on Christians, and more especially on Venetians, close allies of this Crown. The representations I made on your Serenity's orders to his Majesty touching the affair of the “Soderina” may have called forth this decree.
From the Earl of Northampton I have not been able to gather anything certain about the captain who offered to capture Ward. He or his companions press me daily and so I try to persuade them to abandon any claim to anticipatory reward and to be satisfied with a remuneration after the execution of the design; as yet he holds out, asserting that he has not private fortune enough for so great an enterprise. I will await your Serenity's orders and will meantime encourage the captain to come back again to me.
After the return of the gentleman (fn. 16) who was sent to Florence about the recovery of the English ships which, two years ago, were captured by the Grand Duke's galleons, the whole Court has shown great resentment against his Highness. There is a suggestion put forward by the Ministers not merely to prohibit English ships from touching at Tuscan ports but to prohibit importations from Tuscany. Some are even desirous of dismissing the Florentine Secretary, Resident here; and his Majesty may possibly take other hostile steps. Already orders have been issued forbidding the departure of any ship for those parts. Should this temper continue your Serenity will be informed from time to time.
Yesterday I paid a complimentary visit to the Queen and the conversation fell upon the question of the wealth of the Turkish prizes captured by the ships of the Grand Duke. Her Majesty said, “I wish it had been the Venetians who had taken them.” I saw that this remark was prompted as much by good will towards the Serene Republic as by enmity towards the Florentines.
London, 29th January, 1608. [m.v.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 427. By the King.
A Proclamation against Pirates. (fn. 17)
Complaints, both from his own subjects and from others, as to depredations committed by evil-disposed persons accustomed and used to plunder and rapine, have reached the King. His Majesty is obliged to renew his manifestation of his hatred for the guilty.
The corruption of suborned officials, who live inland and at the ports, is the cause of the continuance of these crimes. For the maintenance of Justice he publishes the following articles and ordinances under pain of the following penalties.
Death and confiscation for any act of piracy. All officers to arrest immediately and imprison without bail, any pirate who may touch at any port of the Kingdom, and to report the arrest to the Admiralty Court.
No subject is to aid, abet, or deal with pirates.
All Admiralty cases to be dealt with summarily. No appeal to lie.
Restitution of ships only on warrant from Admiralty Court.
Every three months the deputies shall make a return to the Admiralty of all ships fit for war which have cleared out or entered port, under pain of a fine of †40.
Ships are to be examined before being allowed to sail so as to discover whether they are armed or not. On the slightest suspicion ships and crews to be seized. Such ships not to be allowed to sail without caution money to twice the value of the ship. Imprisonment for officials who allow ships of that kind to sail.
Ward has been specially active inside Gibraltar. His booty is dispersed and prodigally wasted by his abettors, to the damage of Venetians. All officers, justices, sheriffs, bailiffs, constables, are to do their utmost to discover and arrest the pirates. Ward and his companions are sheltered and supported at Tunis and Algiers; no English ship is to sell, bargain or exchange with them guns, powder, cordage or other material of war, under pain of being held accomplices. The same applies to any British subject resident in those parts.
London, 8th January, 1608.


  • 1. That is to men known as “servitors.” See Hallam, “Constit. Hist.” Cap. XVIII. The colonists were composed of English, Scottish, Natives and Servitors.
  • 2. This may refer to Sir Arthur Chichester's declaration that “the King was graciously pleased to settle every man in a competent freehold,” Cal. S.P. Ireland, 1608–1610, p. lxxxvi. but I find nothing about owners on the shores.
  • 3. Ridolf Poma, would be assassin of Fra Paolo Sarpi.
  • 4. Expelled from Venice by the Council of Ten on political grounds.
  • 5. Viliena.
  • 6. Sir John Harington. See Cal. S.P. Ireland, 1606–1608, p. 656. Wotton to Salisbury. “The Lord St. John's is here still, lying sick of the small-pocks, and hither is come Sir John Harrington from Siena by the State of Urbin, having refrained from the Roman journey, though he was thither enticed by the letters of Sir Anthony Standen.”
  • 7. Lucy, Countess of Bedford.
  • 8. Lucy Sidney.
  • 9. Sandoval. See infra, No. 414.
  • 10. Viliena.
  • 11. Capt. Dansiker of Flushing. See Cal. S.P. Ireland, 1608–1610, p. 279, where the following names of the leading pirates in Tunis are given, John Ward, John Kerson of Embden, Edward Bisshopp, Anthony Jhonson, William Graves, Samson Denball, Toby Glanfield, Harris and Dansker.
  • 12. Migliaro = Megliara = 1,000lbs. = 476 kilos. Vedi Martini, “Manuale di Metrologia.”
  • 13. Peso grosso was in use for the larger sort of goods, such as , wools, cotton, currants, oil, etc.; Peso sottile for drugs, coffee, sugar, rice, etc.
  • 14. The “Apology” for the Oath of Allegiance.
  • 15. The cantaro of Florence was fifty chilogrammes.
  • 16. Stephen le Sieur, Cal. S.P. Dom. 1609, Jan. 3. Birch, “Court and Times of James I., vol. 1, p. 85.” “Le Seur is returned from Florence, re infecta.”
  • 17. Proc. Book, p. 188.