Venice: November 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: November 1609', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 11, 1607-1610, (London, 1904) pp. 376-391. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

November 1609

Nov. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 688. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Venetian Consul, Sagredo, has his orders to transfer himself from Alexandretta to Tripoli along with the French and English Consuls.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 1st November, 1609.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 689. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Hopes to be able to get rid of the Jesuits. They are not much frequented. The French are few and in part heretics, the English shun the Jesuits, the Venetians wont go near them. Draper (Draperis), Dragoman to the English Ambassador, has signed the reinvestiture of S. Pietro in the Dominicans for another twelve years. The French Ambassador offered Draper three hundred sequins if he would invest the Jesuits.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 1st November, 1609.
Italian; deciphered.
Nov. 3. Consiglio de'Dieci, Parti Communi. Venetian Archives. 690. That the Jewels of the Sanctuary and the Armoury of this Council be shown to an English Baron who is passing through this city.
Ayes 15.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
Nov. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 691. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador-Extraordinary to England, to the Doge and Senate.
No sooner had I your Serenity's orders for England than I set out after a day or two for preparation. I arrived at Verona yesterday evening; and to-day I continued my journey towards Desenzano, in company with Captain Vuco Cruta and sixteen of his men (capelletti (fn. 1) ) which I took as escort in order to pass safely to Brescia through this perilous country infested by dangerous characters. It happened that, about twenty-two o'clock, at an inn called Sermione, between Peschiera and Desenzano, one of the four men of the escort who had been sent on ahead with my luggage, saw a young man rush into the tavern and come out again with a harquebuss, which he fired. The escort came up and killed the young man. Meantime I had met a peasant or a fisherman who complained that some of his nets had been damaged by certain scoundrels (farinelli) who had come in a boat over the lake. He told me they had gone to the tavern. This information made me press on with the Captain and his men. I caused a diligent search to be made in the tavern and we arrested a companion of the man who had been killed, and a young woman who was found shut up in one of the rooms. She belonged to Verona and was the wife of the prisoner whose name is Gerolamo Zaccaria. Other three of the band took refuge in the house of a certain Alberghin di Alberghini of Salò. Two of these were arrested by the soldiers whom I sent there at once. They also arrested the fisherman in whose boat they had come across the lake, though he attempted to defend himself with a harquebuss he had. The others also were armed with long harquebusses and pistols. All these, along with the host who was held to be an accomplice, shall be taken to Brescia. Though the scene of the occurrence is in Veronese territory I think it best to do so as I cannot safely dispense with my escort, especially as there was a rumour that they were expecting other companions. A decision can be reached when the prisoners are at Brescia.
Desenzano, 4th November, 1609.
Nov. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 692. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Saxon Ambassador has had two audiences at Fontainbleau. He stated his Master's views as to the Emperor's sole right to judge in the matter of Cleves, and begged the King not to support Brandenburg and Neuburg. The King replied that the Emperor, as a party, could not be judge, nor could he himself fail his allies. In the second audience the Ambassador announced the arrival of the Count Mansfeldt as Ambassador from Saxony, with orders to proceed subsequently to Great Britain and the States. The King pointed out that the sole object of the Austrian attempt to place Leopold in possession of Cleves was to secure the Empire for their own house.
The Ambassadors of Brandenburg and Neuburg have been to take their leave before starting for England. The Saxon Ambassador is going there too. (fn. 2)
Paris, 4th November, 1609.
Nov. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 693. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King has told the Archduke Albert that he will consider any movement of troops to assist Leopold as a casus belli.
The King of Spain complains that while the Sovereigns of France and England receive Embassies from all the parties interested, not even his nearest relations send one to him.
I am told by one who is most intimate with his Majesty that his design is to unite Brandenburg and Neuburg and then to bring in the Kings of England and Denmark.
The Ambassador of Brandenburg, who has gone to England, writes that the King is ready to support with arms the cause of the two Princes, and complains that his Most Christian Majesty does not frankly consult with him on the situation. This remark having reached the ears of the King will, it is thought, induce him to send M. de la Boderie sooner than he intended.
A large part of the Moors have already willingly crossed over from Spain to Africa. There is a diversity of opinion among the Council as to whether they should insist on the departure of the rest, for that would leave large tracts of country deserted.
Paris, 4th November, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 694. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
There has been a long discussion on the subject of M. de Jacob's memorandum and the question of assisting the Duke of Savoy in Italy. Sully and Lesdiguieres were anxious to declare war at once for fear that Savoy might change his mind and embrace the Spanish side. The others were of a contrary opinion. Beaulieu (Boleò) has been sent to arrange the marriage of the Princess of France and the Prince of Savoy. As to the other headings of the memorandum—pledges to declare war on Spain, nature of aid, the inducement of other powers to declare war—Beaulieu is to say that when the Ambassadors of the States arrive at the French Court the King will concert action; the Republic will be invited to enter an offensive alliance, and a speedy reply is desired; the Grisons are pledged. As to aid, the King will supply it abundantly. He has warned the Protestant Princess to come to a resolve; the King of England is more than ever inclined. While measures are maturing provision can be made for war, and his Highness (Savoy) should pay most attention to this as the party most exposed to danger. All acquisitions in Italy to be divided among the Italian Princes who take a part in the war. The French seek no territory.
Paris, 4th November, 1609.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 695. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Cannot find out who wrote the letter from Geneva which M. de Champigny presented to the Cabinet. Will continue to enquire.
The Ambassador of the Grand Duke is here on his way back from England.
Paris, 4th December, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 5. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 696. The Secretary of the English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and said:—
The Ambassador has charged me to execute an order that he would gladly have fulfilled in person, had he not thought it better that I who have conducted the business from the first should carry it out now, while he awaits a more serious occasion to come to you himself. He returns thanks that your Excellencies should have so readily complied with my original request for the arrest of that man Piero Scordili of Zante and to pass such a severe sentence upon him. But seeing that he desired this demonstration more out of regard for the general honour of Ambassadors than from any personal inclination, now that he has received satisfaction on the point that concerns others he desires to gratify himself. He has been informed of the miserable poverty of the prisoner and still more of his family who without his aid cannot gain their living. He fears that their tears may reach to heaven and weigh upon his conscience. He forgives the man and cancels from his mind all memory of injury, and begs your Serenity to pardon the prisoner, for he has no desire to deprive the State of good servants as he learns that this man is.
The Doge praises the Ambassador's clemency, promises to give attention to his request, but points out the difficulties.
The Secretary then referred to the affair of Antonio Dotto.
The Doge said that the subject had been before the Council of Ten but had not passed; it would be raised again.
Nov. 8. Collegio, Lettere Secrete. Venetian Archives. 697. To the Rectors of Padua.
Orders to receive and honour duly the Ambassador of the United Provinces (Vandermyle), and to spend fifty ducats on entertaining him.
Nov. 11. Collegio, Lettere. Venetian Archives. 698. Petition of Giacomo di Collalto to the Doge that Contarini, Ambassador-Extraordinary to England, be instructed while passing through France, to support Collalto's claim to recover his debt from the French Crown.
Nov. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 699. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador-Extraordinary to England, to the Doge and Senate.
The courier who took the last despatch has been robbed. Has been forced to keep his escort owing to the dangerous condition of the country. Assassinations take place daily.
Milan, 11th November, 1609.
Nov. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 700. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King came back to London, accompanied by the Prince, on Monday; and on Tuesday they were followed by the Princesses and the Duke of York. The King has a touch of the gout in one foot, but he would not miss going to chapel yesterday for All Saints, though he had to be helped when walking.
The four Ambassadors of Brandenburg and Neuburg, though they arrived some days ago, have not seen the King before to-day. This shows that their business is not pressing. They were received in audience in the presence of the whole Court. Their business was confined to simple thanks for his Majesty's offers. The King has this matter at heart, partly on account of his relationship with Brandenburg but much more on religious grounds. If the affair ends in arms the King will give material aid.
The merchants of the Levant Company have resolved to send out four sound and well-found ships on that voyage, but all the same, after choosing the ships they cannot make up their minds. The King is much interested and has offered help either with one of the Royal ships or with twenty thousand crowns down. After discharging cargo they are to cruise about for a bit after pirates, then to return and take in their homeward bound cargo. Their departure may be hastened by the news brought by a ship with a cargo of currants from Zante, that Danziker has captured and taken into Marseilles a number of ships, among them two Englishmen, one of them called the “Constant” (Consente) hailing from Venice. The same ship brought news that Ward has fourteen ships, and is on the point of going to Ireland where he will find both friends and shelter.
The war in Muscovy has completely ruined trade in those parts, so that of the twelve or more ships that used to arrive here from there hardly three have arrived, and those with light cargoes. In Holland twenty-three ships have come back from that voyage absolutely empty but for a little wood. However, as the defeat of the Poles is considered certain it is conjectured that the internal dissensions of the Muscovites will cease and trade be restored.
The Archdukes are at a pleasure house (fn. 3) a long way from Brussels. They have not yet published the tariff for transit through their States.
When the Marquis Spinola was at Dunquerque he paid special attention to the question of the cost of excavating the harbour. The Archdukes now threaten to carry out the scheme in order to draw trade there if the Zealanders insist on taxing transit for Antwerp.
I have returned thanks for the offer to place John Gibbons in your Serenity's hands.
London, 12th November, 1609.
Nov. 12. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 701. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
I come to fulfill an express command of his Majesty. He is convinced that the friendship with this Republic is solid and constant, and the love eternal and immortal. He has now two further proofs of this: one is the fact that his book has been received as an irrevocable pledge of affection and a permanent witness to his participation in the late troubles of this Republic and the defence of temporal jurisdiction; the other that you have promptly prohibited that infamous and detestable book called “Pruritanus.” On these grounds I am charged to return thanks, nor satisfied with that his Majesty has sent the following letter. (fn. 4)
Jacobus Dei gratia Magnæ Britanniæ, Franciæ et Hiberniæ Rex fidei defensor, etc. Serenissimo Principi ac Domino Leonardo Donato eadem gratia Venetiarum Duci amico nostro charissimo salutem. Quam multa studii et benevolentiæ erga nos dederitis indicia in iis rebus de quibus vel per litteras mutuo inter nos vel per legatorum utruisque nostrum mutuasque negotiorum relationes egerimus diligenter a nobis est observatum; atque ea quidem tanti a nobis fuint quanti amoris officia a Principe tam illustri et Repub: omnium præstantissima in nos profecta merito convenit æstimari. Sed (ut ingenue profitiamur) nihil est nobis gratius aut iucunduis, quam quod librum nostrum nuper ad vos missum ita acceperitis, ut tum in accipiendi modo magnus honos nobis tributus sit, tunc de nostro consilio ac proposito libri illius ad vos mittendi, verissime a vobis sit iudicatum. Nam, cum apertissime constaret vestræ Reip. dignitatem ab eodem esse violatam, qui consimili iniuria nos affecerat; haud alia in re magis benevolentiam erga nos nostram constare posse existimavimus quam in illius causæ defensione quæ non solum iustam sed etiam communem nobiscum iuris vestri cæterorumque Principum propugnationem continueret. Quod quidem ut revera nostrum erat institutum ita vos recte sincereque intellexisse facile perspeximus ex iis litteris quas legatus vester nobis reddidit hac ipsa de re conscriptas; in quibus non solum externa elucent indicia vestri affectus, sed etiam in eo quo usi estis procedendi modo eiusmodi sinceritas quæ vivam perfectissimæ vestræ amicitiæ imaginem in animo nostro imprimit. Huc accedit aliud studii vestri animique vere benevole indicium quod attinet ad libellum quendam nequitiæ plenissimum (qui nuper est editus et Pruritanus inscribebatur.) Qua in re tum prendendi modus a vobis servatus tum mandata quæ Legato vestro dedistis egregie testantur, quanti nostra cura et ratio a vobis sit habita. Utque nobis pergratum erat istius libelli notitiam a vobis accepisse, ita non possumus non profiteri legatum vestrum in eodem negotio (perinde atque in aliis omnibus) ita se gessisse, ut facile constat illum non modo vestram ergo nos propensissimam voluntatem exploratissimam habere, sed eandem tum diligenter et studiose exequi, ut illius studio admodum nobis satisfiat et de eiusdem delectu gratiæ nobis habendæ sint. Cætera quæ ad nos pertinebunt (ne longiores has litteras faciamus) legatis utriusque nostrum (ut res postulabant et occasio fecit) plenius referenda et tractanda relinquimus. Vobisque et serenissimæ Reip: perpetuam felicitatem exoptamus. Datum, Regia nostra Hamptoniæ Die 6 Mensis Octobris Ano D. 1609.
Celsitudinis vestræ amicus
Jacobus R.
When this letter had been read his Serenity replied “My Lord Ambassador, in the space of five years during which you have been resident here you have frequently brought us grateful messages from his Majesty, more especially the public declaration he made that he would assist us in our late troubles; we received it as an ample pledge of the love and good will of a great and puissant sovereign towards us. But your communication of to-day, if it does not surpass, at least equals that, for we see that his Majesty accepts what we have done in the spirit in which we have always acted. And recalling to mind, as your Lordship also doubtless can, the substance of his letter when he sent the book, namely that he had no intention to judge the religion of any man but only to set forth the rights which are inherent in Princes for the maintainance of their Governments, we have always held that opinion of his Majesty which was justified by his singular prudence. We are greatly obliged that his Majesty has been pleased to express himself through your Lordship and also by letter.
“As regards the book “Pruritanus,” we are obliged to his Majesty for accepting as much the little we have done though we did it with all the will to do much. Our rule is never to permit in our dominions libels on Princes or their States. We shall report to the Senate and if there be anything to say these excellent gentlemen will give you notice.”
The Ambassador returned thanks and said he would report all to his Majesty. The Ambassador then left the subject and went on to say that he must again be importunate on behalf of the rehearing of Antonio Dotto's case. Hitherto he had insisted in recommending Dotto because of his merits and on express orders from his Majesty; now, however, he urged his suit on behalf of himself, for he had received a letter from Dotto, written from Florence, in which the writer mentions a rumour that the English Ambassador was in disgrace. This he cannot believe, in spite of some slight ruffles. In all his dealings with the Ambassador-Extraordinary, Contarini, he has given him recommendations at the English Court. He begs for a clear demonstration that the rumour is false.
The Doge replied that attention would be paid to the Ambassador's request; that such graces required a very large majority; two hostile votes could throw it out. The voting is secret, nor is it possible to force anyone's conscience. The grace, however, will be moved again and the result communicated. Meantime the Ambassador may rest assured that this difficulty is no sign of diminished regard. That the Ambassador Correr had been ordered to praise the Ambassador to the King. The Ambassador returned thanks and retired.
Nov. 14. Minutes of the Senate, Rome. Venetian Archives. 702. To Ambassador Contarini, Elect to England.
The day before yesterday, by the hands of the English Ambassador, we received letters from his Majesty in which he assures us of the continuation of his love and of his satisfaction with what we have done with regard to the “Apologia” and the book called “Pruritanus.” He declares he is quite content with the Ambassador Correr.
By these representations your mission is greatly changed in character, and so your representations must also change. We therefore charge you to say that from his Majesty's letter and by the mouth of his Ambassador we are persuaded that his Majesty recognises our goodwill throughout these affairs. We are highly pleased to see that our sincere and excellent disposition towards him is not only not called in doubt but remains absolutely intact. We have therefore every reason to commend his singular prudence in matters of government. That although your mission may now appear superfluous it will serve to thank his Majesty for the continuance of his affection and to assure him that we shall always retain a grateful memory of the same. You will communicate these orders to the Ambassador Correr.
Ayes 143.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 4.
Nov. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 703. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Cardinal Bellarmin has sent to press his reply to the King of England's book. He has sent me a copy and one to each of the Cardinals and Ambassadors.
Rome, 14th November, 1609.
Nov. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 704. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople to the Doge and Senate.
Announces the death of Morat Rais at Cyprus of fever. “He passed to a worse life” after a month's illness. His “infamous corpse” is buried at Rhodes. Your Serenity has an enemy the less and such an enemy. The Turks are distressed for the loss of so famous a soldier.
The capture of a galleot off Paxos has raised an outcry against the Republic. The Mufti complained to the English Ambassador, declaring that there were on board presents for the Sultan and the Court and also some Cadis. The Ambassador defended the action of the Republic.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 14th November, 1609.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 705. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
A few weeks ago two English vessels left this port. They had been here for some time. They came with merchandize from England and went to some ports about here to pick up a return cargo. When they came back to Constantinople suspicion was aroused and all of a sudden, without saying a word to the Ambassador, the ministers sent the Subaggi (fn. 5) of Constantinople to search them on the supposition that they were pirates. The Ambassador went to complain to the Grand Vizir and some sharp words passed. Later on he sent his dragoman to make a request to the Grand Vizir but he would not listen and drove the dragoman out before him, crying aloud “I don't choose that English vessels should go here and there over the sea just as they like. If they are bound for Constantinople let them come here straight, if for Cairo let them go straight to Cairo, and when they said for England see that they go there straight and not cruising about,” and with that he sent the dragoman away very red in the face.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 15th November, 1609.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 706. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
In audience with the Grand Vizir, the Ambassador urged him to come to a resolution about the expulsion of the Jesuits. To show their aggressive character he points to the disorder they have brought about in Constantinople among other Friars, by attempting to occupy their old monasteries; in France it was the Jesuits who armed one of their pupils to stab the King though the blow did not fall full; in England they placed a mine beneath the Parliament House; at Venice they had wrought disorder, and aimed at embroiling the Republic with the Grand Signor. The support of the French Ambassador keeps the affair hanging on.
Draper is very slow; but promises never to admit the Jesuits.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 15th November, 1609.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 16. Collegio, Lettere Secrete. Venetian Archives. 707. To Ambassador Correr in England.
Enclosing copy of the King of England's letter, in which among other points the Ambassador is praised.
Nov. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 708. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador in Holland (Winwood) has gone to Düsseldorf to support the Princes (Brandenburg and Neuburg), to whom he promises every assistance. The King and the States have promised to help them with all their might, but they wish them first to summons a diet of their confederates in which each shall declare the nature of the aid they intend to give, and then to send a formal invitation to the King, the States, Denmark and England. The diet is summoned for the 25th at Hall. This will be followed by a more general one at Heidelberg. Bongars left on Thursday to visit Brandenburg and to attend the diet on the 25th. After the diet, M. de la Bodrie, in England, will raise the question of a league. Sig. Alvise Valaresso, son of Sig. Zaccharia, and Pietro Loredan, son of the late Pietro, have been here some days. The first is thinking of going to England along with the Ambassador Contarini. Both were with the Ambassador Morosini in Lorraine. They have gained experience in other Embassies and are full of prudence, modesty and excellent intentions.
Paris, 17th November, 1609.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 709. Henry IV. to the Markgrave of Brandenburg and the Palatine of Neuburg.
Count Philip and Count Frederick of Solms have presented letters. Sends encouragement.
Fontainbleau, 19th Oct., 1609.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 710. Henry IV. to the Palatine of Neuburg.
Badoero has presented letters. Promises aid.
Fontainbleau, 19th October, 1609.
Nov. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 711. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
At an interview Villeroy said to me, “M. de Champigny in Venice has raised the question of a League and has had for answer that the proposal would be laid before the Senate, but has not heard anything further.” With that he stopped and looked at me, waiting for me to speak. I replied that such was the procedure of our Government.
Paris, 17th November, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 712. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Announces the presence of Hadji Ibrahim, Mutaferika, sent to solicit protection for Moriscoes flying from Spain to Turkey. The Turk wishes to establish for this purpose a Consulate at Marseilles. The Spanish Ambassador knows all and will oppose.
Simon Danziker, after hanging on the rear of the Flotta, and capturing a very rich galleon, has taken refuge in Marseilles, with four great ships very well armed. He was welcomed by the Duke of Guise. (fn. 6) Danziker made the Duke a present of some Turks, who were at once sent to the galleys. Ibrahim will complain of this.
The Moors of Valençia have continued to pass over to Oran in Africa, chiefly aboard English vessels.
The Spanish have sent orders to their Ambassador that he is to protest and to endeavour to recover the galleon captured by Danziker.
The Ambassador of the States told me that the King of Spain had several times had an understanding with those in El Arisch. Some of the disbanded sailors of the United Provinces arranged the matter with the Viceroy of Naples; but when the States got wind of this they gave information in the proper quarter and the King of Spain's hopes vanished. After Muley Abdul's victory Count Maurice made proposals to the King of France as to the way in which he might become possessed of El Arisch. An agent sent there got into trouble on his way back through Spain.
Paris, 17th November, 1609.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 713. Letter from the King of Marocco to the States.
Acknowledges the receipt of a letter from the States brought by Captain Welfart Hermansen and Samuel Pallache.
Is sending back, along with Hermansen, his own Ambassador, the Alcade Amon ben Bikeir.
The King asks leave to raise men and ships in Holland.
The States in return for protection in the towns, villages and ports of Marocco grant like privilege in their towns, villages, ports.
The Hague, 27th October, 1609.
Nov. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 714. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of the Duke of Saxony, who has come here after his journey to France, has had a brief audience in the presence of the Queen and the Princes. I hear that he has not found the King so ready in the interests of his Master, nor obtained the reception he thought due to his rank and the nature of the relations between the two Princes, who are both married to daughters of the King of Denmark. From his own lips I gather that he does not expect much. The King holds that the movement of the Duke is caused by a desire to please the Emperor and to thwart Brandenburg and Neuburg, rather than by any intent to further his own interests. Moreover his Majesty is not entirely pleased at the reception given to the gentleman who took his book to Saxony. On the other hand the Ambassadors of Brandenburg and Neuburg cannot help feeling suspicious about this Embassy, which to some extent must cool the King towards their interests.
The progress of the House of Austria especially in the neighbourhood of this Kingdom can in no way please his Majesty, and a still deeper suspicion is aroused by the fact that there is an effort to pledge the King of Spain to advice and assistance, to say nothing of the help which the Ecclesiastical Electors seem inclined to give to the Emperor. The fact, too, that his Cæsarean Majesty has refused audience to Barclay, who was charged to present him with the King's book, increases the resentment against him. For the same reason his Majesty is but little pleased with the House of Bavaria, as on the other hand he is extremely delighted with the King of Hungary and the Duke of Savoy on account of the reception they gave to the same envoy, for although they refused the book at least they accepted the letters. Their Majesties and the Princes have received ten horses, some clocks and other presents from the Emperor, which, however, do not render them better disposed.
The States of the United Provinces, on being invited to send their Ambassadors to Düsseldorf in the Duchy of Cleves, have shown little inclination to do so. They say they will send them when the other Protestant Princes send theirs.
The Archduke Leopold has had an interview with the Archduke Albert recently at a country place where the Archdukes are at present residing. (fn. 7) The meeting was held very secretly but leaked out, not without rousing suspicion in the Princes who are interested.
In the Duchy of Cleves skirmishes are frequently taking place, and troops are being massed on all sides.
They have recently decided to send out four ships belonging to the Levant Company, accompanied by a man-of-war. They are thinking of sending three others well armed against the corsairs, who have recently been joined by a certain Francis Verney (fn. 8) (Vernem), an Englishman of very noble blood who has gone through a fortune of four thousand crowns a year. The pirates are very troublesome and they have recently seized a cargo of wine of Frontignac in Provençe on its way here for the King's use. It is the wine he likes best. His Majesty is troubled with pain in a foot. The doctors say it is gout, but do not dare to tell him so as he does not like to hear it. This has kept him here longer than he intended. It is said that he means to leave on Monday next for Royston. The Prince goes with him. They will not come back till Christmas.
The plague has again broken out at Court and has carried off two pastry-cooks, to the great alarm of everyone. On this account the Queen is thinking of going to Hampton Court. But as the number of deaths has fallen this week she will not change her plans unless some further misfortune occurs.
There is a rumour that two of the prominent ladies about Court have embraced the Catholic Faith. This causes much talk. I have this about one of them, that she dissuaded some gentlemen from going to hear the first sermon of a Sicilian, of Genoese blood, who calls himself Spinola. (fn. 9) This fellow, who is an apostate, has committed a thousand other crimes, and finally finding himself unsafe, he retired here, hoping to get much out of the Catholics. Failing in this, and being forced to live in taverns, he was arrested. There he bethought to change his habit. He has now been presented to a church which is destined for use by Italians, (fn. 10) although there are only two of our province who live in that religion.
The Lords of the Council have apologised to me because, owing to their prolonged absence from the city, they have been unable to wind up the affair about the goods plundered from the ship “Soderina.” They say they are waiting their colleague, Herbert, who cannot delay long and then they will come to consult with me on certain objections which they find in the way of meeting our wishes.
I think they incline to cut down the damages on the evidence of two witnesses who declare that much of the cargo was bought before the “Soderina” reached Tunis, though they don't specify the quantity. I have taken care to be well posted in our case in order to meet objections. I have not thought it prudent to press on, for Herbert has always shown himself on our side.
The Admiralty Judge has summoned the case in his Court for Monday next. He has always shown himself little favourable to our cause. Still I can not see how justice can pronounce a sentence against us. I think he is waiting to see what will happen in the other suit. But he cannot delay much longer, as I hear the King, of his own accord, has enquired whether the case is settled.
London, 19th November, 1609.
Nov. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 715. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador has, by the mouth of the Earl of Salisbury, informed his Majesty of the appointment of an Ambassador-Extraordinary as a compliment to his Majesty, and the choice of one of the greatest subjects the Republic has. The King is very busy and not quite well. Has not been able to discover definitely whether the mission of this Embassy-Extraordinary is welcome or not, but takes it that it is.
London, 19th November, 1609.
Nov. 23. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 716. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and said:—
I come to discharge several offices. First I congratulate your Serenity on the arrival of an Ambassador from the States General of the United Provinces. (fn. 11) It is not for me to interfere in the affairs of others, but I consider it as a mark of esteem that a nation so distant should come to seek your friendship. And yet it is not distant. Poland and Hungary are distant, but England and the Low Countries are close at hand, for they can as easily reach each other by the sea (fn. 12) as they join one another in love. I will take an example to illustrate my meaning. I have read in the ancient histories of Venice that the earliest founders of the city discovered, scattered about here, small islands on which they resolved to raise a fair town. To do so they undertook to unite the islands by bridges and then by gondolas. The city grew and finally they bridged the Grand Canal and Venice came to her present splendour. So England and the Low Countries are separated, the gondolas are the ships, the Grand Canal and the small Canals are the Ocean and the Mediterranean, by the help of ships our relations can be made more intimate, and that easily, thanks to the rapidity of navigation now-a-days. Commerce may be further developed. It is natural to suppose that your Serenity should be friendly with the States. You are most intimately connected with the King of England, who is an ally of the States, and on the principle amicus amici est amicus meus it follows that you must be friends of the States. Most Serene Prince, this is a gallant race, sincere, loyal, honourable, and of considerable power. I must tell you something worth hearing. When the Earl of Essex went on the Cadiz expedition the Dutch offered to join forces and were accepted. They sent the flag ship the “Captain” of four hundred tons along with others. Later on the Queen wished to draw the bonds closer and the Earl of Essex showed her the clauses of an agreement by which the Dutch pledged themselves to furnish, in a month's time, four hundred armed ships of the same build as the “Captain.” That is a remarkable fact. I am aware that this Republic is mistress of the Mediterranean, but in the Ocean I am persuaded that the States are one of the strongest powers. Union can easily be effected. That is why I offer congratulations and I believe my remarks will be kindly received.
My second subject was due some days ago. That young gentleman Harrington, who was here for some months and on his departure took letters to the Ambassador Cavalli at the Cæsarean Court, charges me to say that he presented the letters, was received, entertained and waited on, in fact met with every imaginable courtesy, for which he returns thanks. He hopes to meet the Ambassador Contarini and to cross the sea with him. Harrington has been recalled by the Prince, who is very fond of him.
Finally, I wish to say that the Greek, (Scordili) captain of a galley, who is now in prison, moves my compassion and weighs on my conscience. I had to complain of his incivility, and I did so out of regard for my position as a minister, not out of personal feeling. I have seen the rapidity with which proceedings were taken against him, and I return thanks. I now beg your Serenity and your Excellencies to exercise your elemency, and not merely to set him free but to restore him to his post. I attribute his fault not to the nature of the man but to the effects of wine which he had drunk that day.
The Doge returned thanks for the congratulations on the arrival of an Ambassador from the States. The Republic is pleased that the States, after doing reverence to the Kings of England and of France, should have held her in mind, and should have desired, as a newly-fledged Sovreign (novelli Signori), to show this mark of regard. The Republic is well informed as to the forces of the States, and in the last few years it has proved the ease of the journey, for ships have arrived from those parts in forty and fifty days, a voyage which used to take many months. If occasion requires it will be quite easy to co-operate. The Ambassador will be treated with every mark of regard. Expresses satisfaction at the thanks of Harrington (Artien). “He is a person of high worth and ability. We seem to see him now before us as he was that day when he showed us the beautiful portrait of the Prince and told us that he was fairer within than without. We do not wonder that the Prince loves him; he deserves it.” As to the Greek, praises the Ambassador's kind heart. To alter the sentence requires the regular majority of votes. The Senate will deliberate. His poverty, his family, and his ability in his service will be taken into consideration. The Ambassador returned thanks and then submitted a plea for Dotto, who is dwelling, honourably treated, in Florence, where the Grand Duke has offered him an important post. The Ambassador put in a memorandum, which will be sent to the Chiefs of the Ten.
Nov. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 717. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Bellin, (fn. 13) who was Ambassador here and then in England, has reached Düsseldorf, and has explained his action at this Court and in England.
The Count Solz passed through Paris six days ago on his way to Spain to report the interview between Leopold and Albert.
Paris, 24th November, 1609.
Nov. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 718. Girolamo Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A long despatch describing the sufferings of the Moriscoes on the Barbary coast.
Madrid, 25th November, 1609.
Nov. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 719. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King left for Royston on Saturday. He caused me to be informed that he had left strict orders for the despatch of the two suits arising out of the plunder of the ship “Reniera e Soderina.” The result has been evident, for on Tuesday the Judge of the Admiralty pronounced sentence in favour of the Venetians.
The amount in this suit is three thousand three hundred ducats, from which has to be deducted two-hundred-and-forty ducats, the value of some indigo bought by the English at Algiers, where the “Soderina” never touched.
The Judge said in public that he had the King's orders not to delay sentence any longer, and in this way he hoped to excuse himself to the English, towards whom he has always shown very great regard.
On the arrival of Secretary Herbert I will press for the conclusion of the other suit, which involves sixteen thousand ducats, the present suit will have helped this other. I will then exact the money, especially, by pressing the three prisoners in favour of whom no reservation was made in the sentence which was published at the time of the Ambassador Giustinian. Certain it is that this troublesome business has advanced step by step thanks to the King's authority alone, for I have never been able to secure a single other support in an affair so unfavourable to foreigners.
His Majesty has hastened his departure from London not only because the pain in his foot has ceased but urged by the death of two young gentlemen, greatly beloved by the whole Court, who fought on the most trivial question of play. One was an Englishman, brother of the sister-in-law of the English Ambassador in Venice, the other a Scot of the same family as his Majesty. This affair is important not merely for the loss of two brave youths but also because the smallest thing stirs the emotions of these two nations whom the King is studying to unite. He therefore thought it prudent by departing at once to remove from London the Scots who usually follow the Court.
The Chancellor of Scotland has had long conferences with his Majesty on the subject of the Union. He has been sent back to Scotland to endeavour to remove the difficulties. The Scotch are very unwilling to accept English law or to unite with this Kingdom.
The Chancellor visited me and professed great regard. I gathered from him that his Majesty is waiting an answer to his offer to consign John Gibbons to your Serenity. He assured me his Majesty was very warm on the subject.
The rumour of M. de la Boderie's return, as Ambassador-Extraordinary, continues. I hear from a good quarter that under pretext of the affairs of Cleves he will negotiate a marriage. Their Majesties don't seem to pay much attention. All the same they show some displeasure at the negotiations between France and Savoy. The despatch of an Ambassador from England to France has been suspended, for his Most Christian Majesty has not named his Lieger yet.
London, 26th November, 1609.
Nov. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 720. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
News from the Hague and from Cleves.
London, 26th November, 1609.
Nov. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 721. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Pope declares that he is informed that the English Ambassador in Venice is there to do all the mischief he can to the Catholic Faith.
Rome, 28th November, 1609.
Nov. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 722. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Curia made some remarks on the negotiations between France and Savoy and the coincidence of Contarini's Embassy to England.
Rome, 28th November, 1609.
Nov. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 723. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Church of Sta. Maria will continue to be served by Franciscans. Draper has promised to keep them there provided they send good brothers, and has pledged himself to the English Ambassador never to let Jesuits in.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 28th November, 1609.
[Italian; deciphered.]


  • 1. Troops raised by the Republic in the Levant. Guglielmotti Vocab. Marit e Mil, gives “capelletto” as equivalent to “stradioto.”
  • 2. Cal. S.P. Dom. Jan. 23, 1610. “Arrival of the Servants of the French and Saxon Ambassadors.”
  • 3. Marimont. See Winwood. III., 93.
  • 4. In the register of the Esposizioni the letter is translated into Italian; the original in Latin is to be found in Collegio, Secreta, Lettere di Rè e Regine d' Inghilterra,
  • 5. Alberi, Relazioni Venete. Tom III., p. xxiv. “Subasci = Podestà.”
  • 6. See Winwood. Memorials. III. 15, 39, 91. “Dauncer, his own ship is said to be manned with at least 1,000 men.” Creswell, the Jesuit, tried by means of Cornelius Petersen to draw Dauncer to serve the King of Spain at sea under Anthony Sherley.
  • 7. Marimont. See Winwood. Memorials. III. 93.
  • 8. Sir Francis Verney. See Winwood. Memorials. III. 91.
  • 9. Ascanio Spinola. See English Historical Review. X. 245.
  • 10. The Chapel of Mercers' Hall. Ibid.
  • 11. Vandermyle.
  • 12. A theory common among politicians of that date. See Christoph von Dohna's notes of Paolo Sarpi's conversations, Moriz Ritter. Die Union und Heinrich IV. München 1874. p. 87. “Chi puo venire per mare non é lontano.”
  • 13. Christian von Bellin. See Moriz Ritter. Die Union und Heinrich IV. 278. Bellin received his instructions for France on June 9, 1609.