Venice: February 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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Venice: February 1609', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 11, 1607-1610, (London, 1904) pp. 226-238. British History Online [accessed 19 April 2024]

February 1609

Feb. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 428. Girolamo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Four days ago the Archduke's Confessor (Brizuela) left for Flanders, and two days before that a courier express, with his Majesty's latest resolution about the truce. It is thought that as on the Spanish side they have yielded to all that the States can reasonably demand, truce for ten years will follow. The question reduces itself to the India navigation, and as the States are not to be absolutely excluded it is believed that they will accept the proposals and that, by the interposition of the Kings of France and England, the truce will be concluded.
Madrid, 2nd February, 1608. [m.v.]
Feb. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 429. Ottaviano Bon, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports the presentation of a memorandum calling for the punishment of Turkish officials who shelter pirates.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 5th February, 1608. [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 430. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I am informed this week that the Ambassadors of France and England in Holland have not yet received an answer from the Archdukes as to their journey to Antwerp to conduct negotiations for truce in the name of the States. No one doubts the wishes of their Highnesses on that point, though it is not clear how they can promise the ratification by Spain until the Dominican Friar (Brizuela) returns. The suspension of arms expires in the middle of this month; and unless some adequate instructions arrive from his Catholic Majesty this matter of the truce may meet with obstacles. The Spanish, it is true, do not show any doubt because the affair is well forward and because it is desired and also supported by persons of great weight with the States.
Drafts for three thousand crowns for the payment of the troops have lately been sent to Antwerp. They will serve for the months of January, February, and March. The arrival of this money was most opportune, as various garrisons were on the point of mutiny, and chiefly the garrison of the Castle of Antwerp. The Dunquerque guard has also made an uproar; about twenty-five of them went in the name of the rest to Antwerp. They declared that there was nothing to choose between dying of hunger in Dunquerque or on the gallows elsewhere. Owing to the lack of money the Archdukes, quite recently, were compelled to touch the seventy thousand crowns sent to Antwerp at the disposal of the Spanish Ambassador there. They have now given orders to repay it.
The King is expected back in the City in two or three days. They tell me he has been engaged as much in the study as at the chase; and he has sent frequent couriers to London to the Bishops and other Doctors, for passages of the Scripture and other information. Meantime he has recalled from the printers the book replying to the work of Cardinal Bellarmin's chaplain.
The Prince of Wales, who is now old enough, shows a wish to enter on his estates, from which are derived various emoluments at present enjoyed by some of these great Lords. The Council, however, have pointed out to the King that it would be greatly to his service that the Prince should leave him the revenues for another two years in order to facilitate the payment of Crown debts. The Prince has been persuaded by the Earl of Salisbury, who took him a jewel worth six thousand crowns. The Prince also showed a desire for the guardianship of wards at present held by Lord Salisbury to his incredible benefit and influence; for by law not only is he not bound at any time to render account of income, but after supplying the necessary and suitable aliment all the rest of the income is at his disposal; he also has the right to give both males and females in marriage to whomsoever he pleases. For these reasons the Prince urges that an office of such weight should not lie outside the Royal House. All the same the Earl knows so well how to deal both by argument and, they say, by presents, that he hopes to keep the post.
A short time ago a priest called Don Ascanio Spinola, born in Sicily of a Genoese father, and preacher to the Marquis Spinola last year in Flanders, was arrested. The Earl of Salisbury had news of him before he arrived, with notes of his height and many other indications. He is charged with coming here to plot against the Crown. Brought before the Earl he immediately declared himself a Protestant; but he was not believed, nay, he is held a more desperate villain than ever; for had he come to England to change his religion he would have done so at once and not first secured the friendship and protection of Ambassadors and great personages who are openly Catholic. Of all this the Earl is fully informed.
London, 6th February, 1609.
Feb. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 431. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The captain who offered to capture Ward continues to solicit me. I said that I had informed your Serenity and instructed him as to the limits of my authority, pointing out to him that Sovereigns rarely reward in anticipation. After some further replies he enquired how much I would promise him if he brought Ward a prisoner to Venice or to London, and showed that his claim would be twelve thousand crowns. However, even if I received orders to advance him money I would endeavour to put off doing so, all the more because I have not fathomed his intentions and his basis of action, except that he is in partnership with some merchants to whom he has promised a share of the booty and rewards in order that they may support him with means to carry the design to a close. While I should think any sum well spent if the capture were effected, I should be afraid less all anticipatory payments would be just money thrown away.
In virtue of the recent Proclamation against Pirates a Vice-Admiral has left for the country to make search for goods belonging to buccaneers or bought from them. I thought it well to interest him specially on behalf of the Venetian nation by promising him a portion of all goods recovered on his denunciation. In no other way can one hope that the English will interest themselves on behalf of foreigners against their fellow countrymen, from whom in any case they will receive great gifts.
The ill-feeling against the Grand Duke continues at the Court. I hear that the gentleman (le Sieur) who was sent to recover the ship, reports that words of grave importance passed between his Highness and himself. (fn. 1) Among other things the Grand Duke tore a piece of paper that he held, and, handing one piece to le Sieur, he said “That for your King and this for me.” He then added “Your ships are full of traders, mine of soldiers and arms.” (fn. 2) All the same his Highness sent a present to the gentleman before his departure, but it was refused. The interested parties here are spreading scandalous rumours about the Grand Duke, which must have enraged his Highness, and rendered a favourable issue difficult. The Florentine Resident here gives out that if the booty were claimed by the interested parties as a favour to the King it would very likely be recovered; and he hopes that the affair may end well. All the same he shows his doubts as to the friendship of this Prince, as the Grand Duke is resolved to reconnoitre English ships that his ships may meet.
London, 6th February, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 432. Zorzi Giustinian, retiring Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Nothing of moment to report on his journey. The Archduke Maximilian was not in Innsbruck, nor the Cardinal in Trent. Orders for a levy of troops in Tyrol. Yesterday he reached Primolano (Premelano). Obeying the orders of the Sanitary officers, though it is two months and a half since he left England, has touched no infected place, and he and all his suite are well and their effects have been fumigated more than once, he has, at his personal inconvenience, stayed his journey in homage to the laws; but hopes to be shortly discharged, as the place where he lies is more likely to damage than to assure his health.
Premelano, 6th February, 1608. [m.v.]
Feb. 9. Senato Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 433. Roberto Lio, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Describes minutely the sickness and death of the Grand Duke, which took place on the 7th. Gives result of the autopsy.
Florence, 9th February, 1608. [m.v.]
Feb. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 434. Marco da Molin, Venetian Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports the arrival of an English ship with grain from the Archipelago.
Zante, 10th February, 1609.
Feb. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 435. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Flemish Ambassador in conversation with me said that the King of France was pleased to see the pains the King of England was at to excuse himself about the more advantageous terms of the truce which he proposed to Spain, and remarked that one King ought not to apologise so much to another.
Two weeks ago the King began to show signs of suspicion that Don Pedro might corrupt some one here; he made it clear that he was little pleased at Don Pedro's permanence in France. The King asked the Tuscan Agent what Don Pedro was about here and why he did not go. Don Pedro said that if any one asked him such a question he would reply that he was doing in France what the French Ambassador was doing in Spain.
Paris, 10th February, 1609.
Feb. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 436. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Villeroi told me that if the truce was concluded your Serenity, in order to ensure peace with Spain, ought to ally yourself to France, the States and even England and other confederates of the Dutch, if necessary.
The Nuncio in audience with the King made vigorous representations for the conversion of Sully. He promised to raise the question again, and, although Sully was indisposed, made Villeroi broach the subject.
Paris, 10th February, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 437. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Pedro has received orders to return to Spain. He had audience, confined to generalities; said he would seek his Majesty's presence once again “with his travelling boots on.” Will leave at the close of this week.
The day before yesterday two couriers passed through, one for England, about whose despatches nothing is known, the other for Flanders. He brings authority to the Archduke to conclude the truce in his Catholic Majesty's name, who four or five days later intended to send the Confessor (Brizuela) with the powers in writing. The King, who had letters by the same courier, says that his Catholic Majesty and Lerma have taken this step in opposition to the Council.
At present the King is, in appearance at least, well affected towards the King of England. He showers favours on the English Ambassador, and wishes to make the Spanish think that he is on excellent terms with the King of England, who, on his side, does all he can to remove any suspicion that in Spain or anywhere else has he suggested a truce upon other terms than those agreed upon in common.
On the 3rd the Archduke's Commissioners went to Antwerp and the French and English joined them on the 4th.
Paris, 10th February, 1609.
Feb. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 438. Marco da Molin, Venetian Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
On the sixth the Flemish berton “The Hope” arrived; she left Cyprus forty-six days ago. Her master brought news that six days before sailing a berton captured the “Moresina,” six miles off the Saltpans in that island. This was supposed to be the pirate Danziker. The commander of the great galleys has hung eight pirates. (fn. 3)
Zante, 12th February, 1609.
Feb. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 439. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Archdukes, after detaining, for some days, the courier sent to them by the Ambassadors of France and England on the matter of the truce, have sent him back. As far as I can gather their answer is not altogether in the sense that was desired. Nevertheless they set out for Antwerp, where they arrived some days ago, as has also the Marchese Spinola. By this time the Archiducal Commissioners must be there, as they were expected day by day. Every body is awaiting the issue of the affair, though there is no certain news of the return of the Confessor (Brizuela), nor any instructions from his Catholic Majesty on the matter.
Don Ferdinando Giron, Ambassador-Extraordinary of Spain and Flanders, went to Theobalds, ten miles off, on Tuesday, to take his leave of the King. The day following he left London for Flanders. Thursday was appointed for the Queen's Masque. The Ambassador, seeing that the King was determined to invite to witness the dance, the French Ambassador who was omitted last year and had orders from his Master that if that happened again he was to leave the Court at once, now undertook to support the pretensions of the Flemish Ambassador-in-ordinary, who also had been omitted last year. Don Ferdinando was at such pains in the matter that, thanks to the means he can dispose of at this Court, he succeeded in obtaining a partial satisfaction. When the King came to London on Wednesday, Council sat, and an invitation was issued to the French Ambassador only, to the general surprise as it was universally understood that I too was to be invited. I was informed at once, and though the time was very short and I did not expect to be able to upset a decision already taken, yet in order to show that I did not consent and with a view to the future, I went to the Earl of Salisbury and lodged a vigorous protest against giving fresh opening to the pretensions of the Flemish Ambassador which had neither apparent nor solid foundations, not for the quality of the State, not for free authority over it, not for antiquity of dominion and still less for the assent of all other Sovereigns. I dwelt on this as far as seemed necessary. I pointed out that this difficulty existed at no other Court, not even at the Court of the Emperor, brother of the Archduke, nor yet at the Court of his Catholic Majesty, brother of the Archduchess. I adduced the precedent of the Ambassador of King Mathias at the Spanish Court, who is treated in a way quite different from your Serenity's Ambassador. I therefore concluded that, so far from imagining that the English Court would be the only one to admit such unfounded pretensions, I was justified, in view of the affection which his Majesty bears to the Republic, in expecting that if all others should put her claims in doubt he at all events would support them. I added that what pained me most was to see that the modest demeanour of your Serenity's representatives in the use of means and representations, should be an injury to their case, for certain it is that the King was not of this mind at first; for he had often declared that your Serenity's Ambassador ought to be invited with the Ambassador of France; I had been told that this had often been stated by the royal lips; nay, I had a memorandum of the Court dated the 24th December describing other honours the King was pleased to confer on me. I did not think it wise to send a copy lest something might leak out as to the person who gave it me, which would rob me of great assistance in the discharge of this office. The Earl replied that his Majesty never conceived that this could bring any prejudice to the Republic. The French Ambassador was invited alone as a special mark of regard; his Majesty designed still greater honours for me. No one had a right to claim invitation to another's house. The question of the Flemish Ambassador had nothing to do with this case. The King could not make himself a judge of the claims of the Archduke; although if asked Salisbury himself might express an opinion that they are groundless, and the King too might possibly say the same. I replied that the decision did arise from the demands of the Flemish Ambassador; that this Court gave no other occasion for rivalry for precedence except these entertainments; when one Ambassador is invited some regard should be paid to the others. If the King would only settle this claim he would remove all difficulty and would be doing something worthy of his great justice and the supreme authority he has in this Kingdom. After the exchange of certain other remarks I begged Lord Salisbury to convey to the King my lively representations, and thus I took my leave. I shall do all I can to further the cause, and meantime I will await your Serenity's instructions.
Parliament, which was to have assembled in a few days, is prorogued to November next, partly not to burden the City in the existing dearth, partly because, although the winter is very cold, the plague is felt; it carries off about sixty a week, which causes alarm for the summer.
I have received your Serenity's despatches of the 22nd of last month on the subject of the Patriarch for my instruction if necessary.
London, 13th February, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 14. Senato Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 440. Roberto Lio, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Grand Duke's body was taken to San Lorenzo, where he had begun to build a chapel which will take more than half a million of gold to finish.
Florence, 14th February, 1608. [m.v.]
Feb. 14. Senato Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 441. Roberto Lio, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Enclosing full report of a trial for theft committed at the Legation. Florence, 14th February, 1608. [m.v.]
Feb. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 442. Girolamo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports a rumour that Don Pedro de Toledo when in Paris had discussed a league between the Pope, the King of France, the King of Spain and the Grand Duke against England; the Grand Duke to be made King of England. The rumour comes from Italy, but is rejected by those who understand.
Madrid, 15 February, 1608. [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 443. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In continuation of my last despatch about the action of the Ambassadors of Spain in favour of the Archduke's Ambassador, I am informed by a person of great weight that when he had lost all hope of being invited to the Queen's Masque he directed all his efforts to preventing an invitation from being sent to me, declaring that he desired to take with him on his return to Flanders, in the course of a few days, this proof of his Majesty's regard for his Masters.
His Majesty, after devoting two days only to affairs, returned to his usual hunting at Royston. I did not think it advisable, in such scanty time, to ask for audience, fearing if I did so that it might be put off till his return, as he does not like to be troubled with unpleasant topics. Meantime, as I did not wish to give the impression that this matter did not affect me closely, I took the opportunity of an interview with the Duke of Lennox, High Admiral of Scotland, relation and Councillor of the King and always near his person, about the punishment of John Gibbons and his accomplices who had taken Tizzoni's wine into Scotland, to explain to him, as a personage of high importance at Court, the injury to the Most Serene Republic which is caused by throwing a doubt upon her precedence over the Most Serene Archdukes. I begged him, should the occasion offer, to advise his Majesty to come to a decision in accordance with the universal usage of other Courts and with right reason. The Duke thanked me for this confidence and he too told me that the King had taken this step the more to honour the Ambassador of France, and that when he comes back from Royston he will show me such favours that I will be entirely satisfied. I have heard the same from other quarters and I have endeavoured and am endeavouring to impress upon them that any demonstration must be directed to the solution of this question of precedence. When the Duke returns I will speak to him again in order to gather further particulars, which his hurried departure prevented me from obtaining. The Queen let it be understood that she would be pleased if I came incognito to the Masque, and Lady Arabella invited my suite and offered them a place apart. But, while expressing thanks for the honour, I pleaded the inconvenience of the night and the distance to be traversed. The Queen let me know that she regretted that I had not been invited and pleaded that as the King paid the bill he desired to be the host. She says she is resolved to trouble herself no more with Masques, and that she would rather have had your Serenity's Ambassador invited than the representative of any other Prince. I returned humble thanks, and said I was sure of her Majesty's benevolence, nor could I doubt the King's and so I attributed the accident to my own peculiar ill luck, not to blame my good friends the Ambassadors. All the same I hoped that, as the King was surpassed by none in benevolence towards the Republic, he would not be the only one to entertain a doubt in this matter of precedence to the injury of your Excellencies. If your Serenity were to order me to speak upon the subject in your name it could not fail to be of service. It seems to me that now is the time to drive home the nail, for the King is anxious to preserve the good-will of all Princes and he will not like to leave your Serenity unsatisfied, especially as he knows you have right on your side. I also believe that the Earl of Salisbury's remarks to the French Ambassador when both were at the Masque will be of some use. Lord Salisbury regretted that I was displeased, to which the Ambassador replied that I had every reason to be so especially as every one had said I was to be asked and, more, as the Master of the Ceremonies had assured me of it.
London, 20th February, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 444. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier from Spain reached the Archdukes in Antwerp on the 29th last month. He brings news that the Confessor (Brizuela) was to start with the King's consent that the States be styled free Princes, but only while the truce is in force. It is said that he raises difficulties as to the Indian navigation. It is thought that the Dutch will not accept either of these conditions. The general opinion is that there must be secret conditions which are to be openly produced after trying these, or else that the King will end by granting more ample satisfaction. The truth of this will soon be seen.
The Lord Chancellor has sent to press a declaration set forth in a little volume, (fn. 4) making the Scottish post nati eligible for privileges in England; it appears that the Common-Law Judges do not approve. The King, however, who supports the Scottish to the jealousy of the English, is determined to uphold it.
The colonization of Ireland goes on. The conditions for the assignment of land have appeared in print. (fn. 5) Amongst them are the erection of Calvinistic Colleges, Schools, and Churches, which will be greatly abhorred by the Irish who are Catholics; nay, it would seem that owing to this question of religion they are more inclined to Spain than to their lawful Sovereign (al loro Principe naturale). If these conditions are translated in time I will send them to your Serenity in this despatch, if not you shall have them by next week's post.
The Court has lately been in a buzz over a challenge sent by Viscount Haddington to the Duke of Lennox about some words exchanged between them at Royston. The King was informed and stopped the duel; he also quieted the Council which wanted to proceed against Haddington, as it was never heard of that a Councillor of the King should receive a challenge to a duel. This gentleman has his Majesty's complete favour because while page to the King he slew two brothers who had enticed the King to their house with a view to killing him.
The number of those dead of the Plague this week is increased by half, in spite of the fact that we are now in the height of the winter-cold. Every one is trying to get a house in the country, as they fear a great scourge in this city when the heat begins. I shall do the same, though I shall have to keep a good guard here, as the theives have already warned me, for they got into the garden, broke a window in the chapel and stole all the fittings in it. But they did not escape the wrath of God, for two of them, who were trying to sell the silver, are now in prison.
London, 20th February, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics is deciphered.]
Feb. 21. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 445. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Only the day before yesterday I went to visit the French Ambassador. He told me of what had passed between himself and the Pope on the subject of differences with the Republic; one was that prohibited books, including Bibles with Calvin's notes, had reached the English Ambassador in Venice.
Rome, 21st February, 1608. [m.v.]
Feb. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 446. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador complains that Don Pedro di Toledo refused to treat him as an ambassador of a crowned head. Had he yielded others would have followed Don Pedro's example and the Republic would have lost or injured her prestige as an equal of Kings. Among private individuals titles are a superfluity, but among Princes and representatives thereof they have an essential foundation. The Spanish themselves are fully aware of this. “On the night of the last of January the Nuncio, Don Pedro and I were invited to a ballet which the Queen danced at the Palace of Queen Marguerite, and there Don Pedro and I exchanged some, slight words about titles (fn. 6), but matter of no moment which soon passed over, Don Pedro sending his secretary to visit me and I mine to visit him, Don Pedro styling me the Ambassador of Venice, and I him the Ambassador of Spain. So much in reply to your Serenity's question addressed to me on the 29th of last month. I would have reported had I thought it of moment, but Don Pedro has quarrelled over the same point with the Duke of Mantua, with the English Ambassador and with Sully and Villeroi, with the Princes of the blood, with the Ambassador of Savoy. Warned by so many examples the Ambassadors of the Palatine, Wirtemburg, and the Protestant Princes have not visited him at all.
On the 17th Don Pedro took final leave. The King gave him a diamond.”
Yesterday the Confessor (Brizuela) passed through Paris. He saw the King and assured him that he brought such powers as justified him in expecting a satisfactory conclusion. The Confessor lodges with the Flemish Ambassador and I have discovered that he said he brought with him authority to the Archduke to treat in the King's name, but under certain reserves; if these were distasteful to the States, his Majesty allowed the Archduke to treat on his own and on his account. Yesterday the Archduke's Ambassador sent a courier to his Highness announcing the arrival of the Confessor, and a few hours later the Confessor himself started on his journey.
Yesterday the English Ambassador had audience of his Majesty and informed him that Don Fernando Giron has left London, and that he had not touched on any subject of importance. The Ambassador called attention to the honours paid to the French Ambassador on the occasion of the Queen's Masque, where the Ambassador was present as likewise at the banquet.
Paris, 24th February, 1609.
Feb. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 447. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I have learned from a very safe quarter that the English Ambassador here has offered to the Grand Vizir to bring a considerable number of galleons from England to reinforce the projected Turkish Armada, which is to fight the enemies of this Empire; on condition, however, that the booty that these vessels may capture shall remain the property of the English and that wherever they may go inside the Turkish Empire English subjects may mix freely with the Turks. The Ambassador promises to write at once to England on the matter, and to have an answer immediately. On this account the Pasha, in his desire to please the Ambassador, has, at his request, set free about fifty Vlachs, who some days back were condemned and arrested in Divan while supporting the cause of their pretended Prince. His cause is in a bad way betwixt disgrace and danger. Many of his followers are in the Tower. (fn. 7)
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 24th February, 1609.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 448. Zorzi Giustinian, Retiring Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports the way in which he stopped the proceedings of the Captain of the fort, Covolo, on the frontier from making encroachments under the name of repairs.
Premelano, 25th February, 1608. [m.v.]
Feb. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 449. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After some pressure from the Marchese Spinola and other Commissioners of the Archduke to induce the States to accept the position of independent Princes for the duration of the truce only, the point was settled as the States desired, on condition, however, that all the other points are settled so as to allow the truce to come into effect. On the clause about the India navigation the Archduke's Commissioners urge that it should not be explicitly granted, but only in general terms, that the Dutch may trade in all places belonging to his Majesty, as was done in the treaties with France and England. The Ambassadors of those powers, who are acting for the Dutch, propose, on the contrary, that the free navigation should be specifically stated and a promise in writing given that the powers who trade with the Dutch are not to be molested. But matters are so far advanced that this difficulty would not upset the negotiations. The French especially are boasting that their Sovereign is the arbiter of peace and war.
Before the English Ambassadors left the Hague, Count Maurice used some expressions of resentment against the King. He has now written a humble excuse. The letter was taken to Royston, forty-two miles away, by the agent for the States. (fn. 8)
Here they are busy with the despatch of a ship to the Indies. She is to sail in a month's time. She will have eight hundred persons on board, many oxen and ponies and other things needful for developing a district near Florida, which was discovered by the English under Queen Elizabeth. They found it uninhabited and determined to occupy it and the Queen gave it the name of Virginia. (fn. 9) A few years ago in the reign of the present King another ship with a like number of people and cattle was sent out. The Spanish Ambassador has complained to the King more than once; his Majesty pleads that the undertaking is a private one, and that he cannot interfere. All the same I hear that not only are many great personages in the scheme—Lord Salisbury sending a number of stallions and other animals on his own account—but the Prince has put some money in it, so that he may, some day, when he comes to the Crown, have a claim over the Colony. They are fortifying themselves against possible attacks from the Spanish or their dependents who inhabit territory not more than ten days' journey away. The King has charged some of the great gentlemen to superintend all that may be necessary to assist the enterprise.
The French too are sending six ships to the Indies. It seems that every nation has its eye on those parts with a view to enriching itself and breaking the absolute possession of Spain.
I send a translation of the conditions for the plantation in Ireland.
The captain who offered to capture Ward has been here to ask if I have anything to say to him. I replied that there had not been time to get an answer from your Serenity.
London, 27th February, 1609.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. A collection of such orders and conditions as are to be observed by the undertakers upon the distribution and plantation (investitura) of the escheated lands in Ulster. (fn. 10)


  • 1. See Cal. S.P. Dom., Jan. 23, 1609. Chamberlain to Carleton. “Threatened quarrel with the Duke of Florence.”
  • 2. Roberto Lio, Venetian Resident in Florence, reports none of this.
  • 3. See Pepwell's report. Cal. S.P. Ireland, 1608–1610, p. 279.
  • 4. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1603–1610, p. 438. Speech of Ellesmere in Exchequer Chamber Printed in 1609; with preface assigning the reasons for its being printed. See too, Cal. S.P. Dom., Aug. 13, 1608. “Licence for 10 years to Sir William Moorhouse to print reports of the case of Rob. Calvin (i.e. Robert Colvill) and Richard Smith concerning the question of the post nati.” Gardiner, 1, 355, Note 2.
  • 5. The report of the commission, Dec. 20, 1608. See Cal. S.P. Ireland; also Jan. 28, 1609. Printed at length in the Carew Calendar, pp. 37–9.
  • 6. See Birch, op. cit. I. p. 88. Chamberlain to Carleton. “Don Pedro di Toledo is returned to Spain not greatly satisfied . . and for a parting blow these foul words betwixt him and the Venetian Ambassador at a ball at Queen Margaret's, when the French King took such pleasure that he could not forbear to say, “Cette farce vaut mieux que la Comodie.”
  • 7. See Hurmuzaki. Documente. Vol. IV., par. II., p. 302.
  • 8. See Cal. S.P. Dom., Feb. 11, 1609. A lodging prepared for Caron at Royston.
  • 9. Birch. op. cit. 1, p. 87. “News here is is none at all, but that John Donne seeks to be Secretary at Virginia.”
  • 10. See Cal. S.P. Ireland, 1608–1610, No. 248, p. 139. Based on the “Project” of Dec. 20, 1608. The Italian document contains (1) General conditions in four clauses. (2) Conditions for Scotch and English settlers; in fifteen clauses. (3) Conditions for “Servitors,” in ten classes. (4) Conditions for “Natives” in six clauses. (5) General proposals to be notified to each kind of “undertaker,” in five clauses. The English and Scotch settlers are to pay £5 6s. 8d. for every 1,000 acres; that is at the rate of 6s. 8d. per 60 acres. The Servitors are to pay £8 for every 1,000 acres; that is at the rate of 10s. for every 60 acres if let to Irish, but only at the rate of 6s. 8d. if let to Scotch or English. The “Natives” are to pay £10 13s. 4d. for every 1,000 acres; that is 13s. 10d. for every 60 acres.