Venice: May 1610, 1-15

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: May 1610, 1-15', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 11, 1607-1610, (London, 1904) pp. 476-484. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

May 1610, 1—15

May 1. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 883. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday, in the evening, I met the Duke in the Park. He was talking eagerly to the Duke of Nemours. The Marchese di Lanz alone was in attendance. The Duke said he would have summoned me, but he thought it prudent not to do so immediately after his return from Brusol. The Duke said he had seen Lesdiguières and that his Most Christian Majesty was fully resolved on war with Spain, and gave an account of his whole interview with the Marshal. He urged the Venetians to attack the Milanese and declared that the fortresses were not as strong as was supposed. Mentioned the proposed League of France, Savoy, England, the States, Denmark, and the German Princes of the Union. The co-operation of the Republic necessary, and Trolliouz (Troglione) would be sent to France with a statement on this point. Recommended care to prevent the Spaniards learning the contents of despatches from Savoy to Venice. Barbarigo thinks that Savoy will not move unless Venice does.
Turin, the first of May, 1610.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 884. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador elect to Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary (Frittima) of the Marchese Spinola, who accompanied the Prince of Condé to Milan, left Genoa the day before yesterday for Flanders.
The Ambassador Vives expresses his disgust at the meeting of the Duke of Savoy and Lesdiguières.
Vulpiano elected Nuncio Extraordinary to Spain and Rivarolla to France.
Genoa, the first of May, 1610.
May 1. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 885. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Orders sent to Marchese Botti, at French Court, that if the Queen's Coronation were delayed he was to remain there all the same.
Florence, the first of May, 1610.
May 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 886. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Some English merchants have arrived on board two English bertons. Among them is a Company that is going to open a house in Trebizond, and another Company going to settle in Persia. One member of this Company has been there before. He is going to buy silk in Persia and send it to Trebizond and from Trebizond here, whence it will be conveyed into Christian parts. That nation is very rich, and so if the English open up the silk trade in those districts the silk trade of Syria, which is Venetian, will be seriously hampered and deranged. (Sono capitati con questi 2 bertoni Inglesi alquanti mercanti della stessa natione tra quali vi è una compagnia che va a metter casa in Trabisonda, et un' altra che s' inivia a ressieder in Persia, nella quale è uno che altre volte è stato in quelle parti, et va per comprar sede et farle passare di Persia in Trabisonda et di Trabisonda qui, per trasferirle poi in Christianitd. Questa natione è molto danarosa, onde astradando gli Inglesi quel negotio per queste parti quello delle sede nella Soria per la natione Venetiana sarà molto impedito et sturbato.)
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 2nd May, 1610.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 887. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador, with whom I was talking two days ago, told me that the Grand Vizir had said to him: “They won't turn out, they won't turn out, those priests, ch?
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 2nd May, 1610.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 3. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 888. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
The captain of an English ship on her way to Alexandria reported that on clearing out of Tunis he saw two ships belonging to Ward the pirate coming in with two prizes—one Venetian and one French, he thought. Ward lives at Tunis, and gives out that he intends soon to come buccaneering in these waters.
Zante, 3rd May, 1610.
May 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 889. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports the audiences granted by the King to the Ambassadors of the States, and the exceptional honours paid them.
Paris, 4th May, 1610.
May 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 890. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince of Wirtemberg went over, on Saturday week, to London, which he reached at the same time as the Ambassadors of the States. On Monday he had audience. In the name of the Diet at Hall he urged the King to send the aid he had promised as soon as possible.
Paris, 4th May, 1610.
May 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 891. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of the Archduke Albert was invited to the Coronation, but, after learning the place that would be assigned him, he let it be understood that he would not attend. This is a triumph for your Excellencies. The King wishes all the Ambassadors to accompany him on the campaign. He is to leave on the 20th.
Paris, 4th May, 1610.
May 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 892. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday came a courier from Lesdiguières with an account of the interview with the Duke of Savoy, which took place near Susa. He reports that he received every satisfaction from the Duke. He will send Crequì and Bullion in a few days to give a full account. Villeroy kept the courier hidden in his house up to yesterday evening and I had great difficulty in finding out what I now write. When Crequì arrives I hope to discover all that has been settled. Schauenstein has told the King and Villeroy that Fuentes, besides enlarging the fort he had built, intends to occupy Plante in the Valtelline on the ground that it belongs to the State of Milan.
Paris, 4th May, 1610.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 5. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 893. The French Ambassador assures the Doge that the Prince of Condé is virtually a prisoner in Milan. Certain French who had been to see him on business were refused leave to return.
May 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 894. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday the King left for Royston and New-market, places which, though they are far away and not suited for habitation, are beloved by the King on account of the chase. He will stay there a fortnight. It seems that the chief reason for his departure was to put off negotiations with the Prince of Wirtemberg, who has been urging him to pledge himself to the Princes who sent the Prince as their Envoy. Their intention was to induce the King to proclaim himself as head of their union. The King is not averse, both because he desires to preserve the affection of these Princes and also because of the prestige he would acquire, but, being by nature little inclined to the toils of war, and resenting the intervention of his Most Christian Majesty, he has put off any decision in the hope of hearing soon that the affair of Cleves has been settled by composition and therefore that the need to employ arms has disappeared. The Ambassadors Extraordinary, perhaps to strengthen the King's resolve and to tempt him to allow himself to be nominated King of the Romans (a step his Majesty has never contemplated), do all they can to render odious Spanish acts and artifices. They assert that from Spain and from the Pope come secretly the aids to Leopold; they exaggerate the martial preparations in Germany on his behalf; they say that it was the Archduke Albert who furnished the forces that succoured Bredenberg. They wont listen to anyone who takes a different view. If anyone points out there is no money for Leopold to be seen in Germany and that neither the Pope nor the ministers of his Catholic Majesty show themselves supporters of the Archduke, they dislike to hear this and urge that that is merely a Spanish and Papal trick, and that the Emperor is toiling every hour to put money together. The King, however, knows how weak Leopold is and expects him to yield on the first occasion that terms not absolutely dishonourable are proposed to him or the main body of troops draws near him. Accordingly news is expected eagerly from that quarter, and more especially whether the Archduke Maximilian from Innsbruck has had an interview with the Duke of Neuburg.
The Prince of Wirtemberg desired to be despatched before the King left, so that he might attend the wedding of a sister to a brother of Brandenburg, but he did not succeed. Meantime, however, he is greatly petted and has been banquetted by the King, on which occasion he had precedence of Brunswick on the strength of his being an Ambassador. I am assured the King will summon him to Royston to show him the chase, and for the present he is entertained by the Prince of Wales and the Prince of Brunswick, in tilting at the ring and other chivalrous exercises.
On Monday his Majesty invited all the Ambassadors Extraordinary to the Ceremony of the Garter. Wirtemberg and the three Ambassadors in his company dined with Brunswick and the Duke of York, and took pleasure afterwards in going to see the tables where the King and all the Knights of the Order sat, as also did the French Ambassador and those of the United Provinces, who had dined in another appartment. His Majesty honours all these missions in every possible way. The representatives of Amsterdam and Rotterdam attend to their business, which is to secure permission for their people to fish these waters. They hope to go back completely satisfied.
Edmondes has, at last, been appointed Ambassador in France; he has recently returned from Flanders. He is a person of an excellent intelligence and is always glad to deal with your Serenity's representatives.
To the Spanish Embassy, which has been vacant many months, no one is nominated as yet; on this account and on account of the present negotiations the Spanish Ambassador, who is daily expecting his successor, is in a very bad humour, for it seems to him that the friendships which he has fostered in every way at this Court have proved of little service to his master (parendogli che le amicitie che ha nutrite in questa Corte per ogni via possible hanno poco giovato alservitio del suo Rè). There is no further talk of sending an ambassador to Flanders; nor have the Archdukes shown any inclination to send a new ambassador here after the recall of the late envoy. The King uses all these Extraordinary Missions and preparations for war to induce Parliament to supply him with money. To this end orders were issued to overhaul and commission the Royal ships, which, to the great disgust of some people, were not kept as ships of that kind should be.
Parliament has granted to his Majesty an annual income of four hundred thousand ducats in return for the abolition of Wardship, (fn. 1) the other prerogatives are to remain. There was great opposition to this owing to the dread that from these remains of prerogatives the old law might at some future date be called unto life again. The question of Purveyance is still under debate, and so are some other grievances, for the abolition of which a large sum will be voted to his Majesty. Before his departure the King asked the City to advance him four hundred thousand crowns on the security of the subsidies. The “Marigold,” which, as I wrote, was reported taken by pirates, is now, on fresh advices, reported to have defended herself gallantly and to have gone on her way. There is also news that the three ships that sailed last winter to the Levant engaged with pirates. One that was to touch at Ragusa after having fought for long with three ships out of Tunis at last escaped into Syracuse in a very bad way. The other two fell in with other pirates, and gave chase, but they escaped. Some Venetian merchants and sailors, captured by Sir Francis Verney (Vernem) some months ago and taken as slaves to Barbary, having obtained their liberty and returned there, report that Verney lost two or three of his ships within a few days; he is accordingly in great poverty and deeply in debt to the Turks. He was born in England, of good blood, and therefore many people are grieved at his making so vile a resolve.
London, 6th May, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 895. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The rumour that the Prince of Condé is coming to Rome grows stronger. The French Ambassador (Breves) endeavours to prevent his being received with honours. The Pope has discovered through the familiars of the Prince that he repents his action and that when he is alone with his intimates he weeps bitterly. As Fuentes has refused to allow him to go to Spain he is in alarm as to what may befall him.
Rome, 8th May, 1610.
May 8. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 896. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Leave granted to the Marchese Botti to go from France to England to see the country. It seems, however, that the presence of the plague has caused him to change his mind.
Florence, 8th May, 1610.
May 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 897. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Although I have been confined to the house for many days with an indisposition of the stomach and the head I have not ceased to labour to discover the business of these Ambassadors-Extraordinary who have, each one separately, had interviews with the Council this week. They have been kept here longer than they desired, for the King has delayed his return.
It is very likely that the old capitulations between Elizabeth and his Most Christian Majesty will be renewed; and probably the only difficulty is the question about the money due from the Crown of France to the Crown of England.
In answer to the demand made by the Prince of Wirtemberg and the two ambassadors from the Count Palatine and the Duke of Wirtemberg that the King should join the Protestant Union and adhere to the Articles of the Diet of Hall, nothing has as yet been settled. It is thought that it does not comport with his Majesty's dignity that he should adhere to resolutions taken without the intervention of an agent direct from him. All the same the ambassadors appear to have good hopes of this. The Envoy of Neuburg, besides soliciting the despatch of succours, has also asked for money, but here he meets with insuperable difficulties. The Dutch Ambassadors continue their negotiations about the fishery, and also display great interest in the troubles of Cleves and consequently in the negotiations that are going on at this Court. The Earl of Salisbury has news that the Archduke Albert has granted passage through his territory for the Swiss troops that are to march from France into Cleves, as was always expected, for his Highness is desirous of keeping the peace. (fn. 2)
All troops are ordered to gather in Luxembourg by the end of this month, and on the 15th the Marchese Spinola and other officers are to go there; for which purpose their tents have been got ready. Archduke Albert has sent his cavalry to support the Walloon troops of Archduke Leopold, who while quartered in Liege roused the hatred of the populace, which made great slaughter of them with sword and halter and besieged the rest in an abbey. Further news does not confirm the despatch of the cavalry, and very probably the Archduke Albert did not like to engage his troops, as the people of Liege were supported by the troops of the United Provinces. It is thought that the auxiliaries which are in Holland will march towards Düsseldorf on the 20th. All the same I know that the bills for twenty-thousand ducats drawn on the Hague for the first pay of the troops do not mature before the 21st. The “possessioners” are urging that these auxiliaries should march before the Archduke Leopold grows stronger. The King will not allow the English and Scottish troops to acknowledge any other leader than his own general before the Prince of Anhault joins them. The French troops are under the orders of Count Henry of Nassau and so are the Dutch. The King has made no provision of waggons, boats, etc., and the Dutch on promise of repayment have undertaken the supply. Money is very tight in the city, and the aldermen who undertook to find 400,000 ducats for the King's service at the ordinary rate of ten per cent., have not been able to put it together yet.
There has been a good deal of talk about the mission of Priuli to Spain and Giustinian to France. To many it seems that the present state of affairs has induced your Excellencies to appoint such distinguished persons. The Queen said to me that your Excellencies were bestowing a great honour on his Most Christian Majesty. Her Majesty is in retreat at Greenwich; she is extremely fond of the air of that place, and will stay there till the King's return, which will be about twenty-five days hence. The Prince of Brunswick told me that he intended to go to Italy next summer, and that he particularly desired to see Venice, but at a later interview he did not seem to be so certain, though it is said that the reason why his governor was sent off post haste to the Duke, his father, was to obtain leave. Many, however, think that he has gone for another purpose, especially about a marriage with this Princess.
London, 12th May, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 898. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
An hour ago the King was wounded in the rue S. Denis; he had two wounds dealt by a man of large stature, who was immediately arrested. We do not know the nature of the wounds. Some say they are grave and mortal, others that they are slight. The Louvre is closed and strictly guarded. All Paris is in arms; everywhere there are signs of intense grief. The Dukes of Guise and Epernon and all the nobility mounted horse at once. Parliament and Council are at the Louvre. This in all haste, as a courier is said to be leaving for Rome.
Paris, 14th May, 1610, at 24 of the clock. After writing the above I hear that the King's wounds are serious and mortal. God grant him health.
May 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 899. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
This very minute I have heard of the King's death. M. de Ghel has been sent to the army. President Jeannin and M. de Bullion, (Boleò) who have examined the wretch, declare that he is a lacquey of the Prince of Condé. The Parliament has declared by arrét the Queen as Regent. To-morrow the Dauphin will be proclaimed.
Paris, the night of the 14th May, 1610.
May 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 900. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Paris quiet. M. de Bonóil has visited the Ambassador in the name of the new King and of the Queen. The murderer comes from Angoulème. On him were found some stanzas to prepare one who is about to die by the hand of justice to meet his fate with patience. He has as yet named no accomplices. He says he was moved to the deed by inspiration. I am not sure of the information I sent last night.
Paris, 15th May, 1610.
May 15. Senato. Secreta. Communicate Venetian Archives. 901. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Chiefs of the Ten.
A certain Paulo Raguseo, dragoman to the English Ambassador, came to see me. He appears to be a simple and good person. He told me that in conversation some time ago with the Grand Chancellor he was told that the Turks had their eye on Crete, being fully aware that those who hold Crete command the sea. I doubt whether they really nourish such a design, but I report it.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 15th May, 1610.
May 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 902. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Abbé d' Aumale (Umala) has returned from Milan. He reports that Condé repents his action and would gladly escape from the Spaniards to put himself in His Holiness' hands. He is threatened by the Spaniards.
Rome, 15th May, 1610.


  • 1. The Commons offered the King £100,000 a year. Salisbury, in the King's name, told them that his Majesty would not accept even £200,000.
  • 2. The Archduke did not dare to put Spinola's troops in the field for fear of a mutiny for arrears of pay. Gardiner II. 98.