Venice: June 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.

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'Venice: June 1610, 1-15', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 11, 1607-1610, (London, 1904) pp. 498-506. British History Online [accessed 20 April 2024]

June 1610, 1—15

June 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 926. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A long and detailed account of the assassination of the King. The pulse was still fluttering when the Louvre was reached, but ceased within seven minutes. A description of the execution of Ravailac.
Paris, 1st June, 1610.
June 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 927. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The mother of the Prince of Condé has petitioned to be allowed to recall her son. The Queen replied that she could not prevent it, but that there was no reason why she should look upon him kindly, seeing he had spoken as every body knows. The Princess last week sent one of her gentlemen post to Milan. The Marquise de Verneuile has enquired whether she could remain safely in France; the Queen replied “Yes,” as everything the late King had loved would be held in esteem.
The English Secretary told me that the moment the King heard of the death of his Most Christian Majesty he sent a courier to the Hague with orders that his troops were to march towards Cleves, offering to augment his aid and exhorting the States to support the Princes. That there was a bond in writing between the two Kings binding each to help the son of the other in case of the death of either. The King of England told the French Ambassador that, as the case has now occurred, he was ready to abide by his pledge.
Paris, 2nd June, 1610.
June 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 928. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
There was a difference on the subject of precedence between the Ambassador of the Archduke and the Ambassador of the States. They admitted to audience the Secretary of the English Embassy first so as to mix up the order.
The Secretary said that his Master would not confine himself to verbal laments. He would send succours and go himself in person, as was settled by mutual accord with the deceased Sovereign. He received a gracious reply, and it is thought that the relations between these Crowns will be drawn still closer.
Paris, 2nd June, 1610.
June 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 929. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
At the moment of the King's death Lesdiguières had nine thousand men raised and a good force of cavalry. I am told by a person of authority that eight thousand infantry under Lesdiguières will be kept on foot for the safety and satisfaction of the Duke of Savoy. It is certain that the King and the Duke had come to an understanding. His Most Christian Majesty promised in writing that, when the Archduke Albert had granted passage, restored the Princess, ceased to help Leopold, yielded all along the line and given up all idea of attack, he, being unable to harry Spain by means of England and Denmark, would push forward himself with all his forces into Italy to drive the Spanish not only out of Milan but out of the peninsula and to divide their possessions among the Italian Princes who stood with him. This I know from a person of reliability and M. de Trolliouz could not deny it.
Paris, 2nd June, 1610.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 930. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Thursday the French Ambassador presented himself to his Majesty for the first time on orders from the new King Louis XIII., and proferred the same friendship that his father bore and the closest bonds of interest and alliance. The Ambassador then gave details as to the change of Sovereign. The day following he had another audience, a person having meantime arrived from France. At this audience he confirmed, on behalf of the new Government, all that had been agreed to in the reign of Henry IV., and especially that the succours for Cleves to the amount of eight thousand infantry and two thousand horse will not be retarded.
The fact that the Archduke Albert has conceded free passage and victual for the troops confirms these Princes in the belief that his Catholic Majesty does not intend to take any part in this war; a point on which, hitherto, they could never convince themselves. The King is more than ever anxious for a favourable issue to the affair of Cleves, for, apart from other considerations, being now pledged to assist the “possessioners” he holds that his reputation would be seriously affected if the world should think that he was incapable of supporting them and that the whole issue of that war depended on the protection of the King of France; he therefore omits nothing that can help them. The Prince of Wirtemberg has been despatched; his Majesty has adhered to the Diet of Hall to which the Ambassadors of the States have also given their assent. His Excellency will leave to-morrow for the Hague to receive the ratification.
The Ambassador appointed to reside in France (fn. 1) has been despatched in haste. The Ambassador of Wirtemberg has gone with him. He goes to the Hague, but will return here to report viva voce to the King. Orders have been sent to Holland that the English troops are to move at once towards Cleves in company with the Dutch troops. Twenty thousand ducats are to be sent over as the second pay. There is an universal desire that the business should be finished without effusion of blood, and the news that the Archduke Leopold has demanded safe conduct to leave Juliers is joyfully welcomed. The King displays a growing affection towards France as it becomes evident that her rivalry and power are waning and that, on account of the tender age of the new King, she will require support rather than restraint. He omits no marks of regard, and this morning has ordered the Court to go into full mourning. Don Alonso de Velasco, the Spanish Ambassador, was in mourning when he went to audience of the Queen the day before yesterday, so was the Prince of Wirtemberg when taking leave. As I am ordered to wait on the Queen at Greenwich I will not fail to follow their example. The French here have heard from Venice about the refusal of the passes in Tyrol and are the more persuaded of your Serenity's attachment to their interests. They have spoken to me on the subject and have not failed to confirm this view.
The Dutch Ambassadors before leaving presented to the Prince some very finished paintings (diligentissime pitture) on canvas. They were painted on purpose to adorn one wall of his gallery. They also left some fine horses to be given to certain gentlemen. They will have had a bad passage, for there has been a most disagreeable wind for the last four or five days.
The King's ill humour with Parliament still continues. He has this week addressed to them some vigorous remarks complaining that his message, sent through the Speaker, was not read; he threatens them if they continue to treat of royal prerogative, but promises to take into consideration any representations that may be made to him about the abolition of certain imposts levied by him. It seems, however, that Parliament insists that this shall be done of right, not of grace. Meantime all other business sleeps.
Letters from Flanders and the report of some travellers inform us that eighteen persons have conspired against the lives of the Kings of England and Denmark. At this present conjuncture this causes anxiety. The King has sent a warning to Denmark, and every effort is being made to get to the bottom of the matter. Some persons, especially a woman, have been arrested, but as yet there is no sign that there is any foundation for the rumour. These rumours are highly prejudicial to the Catholics, against whom even the King employed strong language yesterday in Parliament. For some time back they have been proceeding with great rigour in the arrest of priests and the prisons are full, a thing that has not happened hitherto. They are studying how to assure themselves of the Catholics' intentions. The King is mightily disturbed by an answer to his book. This has been printed in Tuscany (Tuscia) they say by order of a Scotch Jesuit; but the author of the book, though named, is either a fictitious or an unknown person. He writes with great licence, and the book is full of insults and libels on the King and Queen Elizabeth. It threatens the King with death. He is most anxious to discover the author. The book is written in most beautiful Latin and seems to be the work of a man of great erudition. I hear the King thinks of causing another book to be written on this subject.
London, 2nd June, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 931. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
By the middle of August will have concluded two years of service. The journey took him eight weeks. He had no sooner arrived in this extremely damp climate than he contracted a catarrh. This and the natural weakness of his stomach keeps him in continual anxiety for his health. The death of his father-in-law is a great blow; the whole care of his household in Venice being reposed on him. Begs for the appointment of his successor.
London, 2nd June, 1610.
June 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 932. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish in order to shake off the charge of guilt in this death of the King of France, which they fear will be brought against them by the world at large, endeavour to make it believed that the crime lies at the door of the Prince of Condé, the Huguenots and the malcontents. They are giving all their attention to the expulsion of the Moriscoes. Many of the leading gentlemen are ill-pleased at this action owing to the convenience the Moors were to them in their agriculture.
A Frenchman, in disguise, has arrived here. I suspected he might be an emissary from the Prince of Condé. I took pains to find out, and at last through a Spanish page this gentleman has with him I have discovered that he is the Prince's first gentleman. On the news of the King's death he was, with Fuentes' consent, dispatched to Spain in company with a Spanish captain. I gather that he has come to offer, on the Prince's behalf, to cause a rising in Languedoc, and to arrange about the Prince's journey to Spain.
Barcelona, 3rd June, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 5. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 933. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the supercargo of an English ship hailing from Chios reported that the Bey of Rhodes with thirteen galleys had returned from Alexandria. On his way he had sunk a galley belonging to the Grand Duke.
Zante, 5th June, 1610.
June 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 934. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Baron Dohna has arrived from Düsseldorf to urge the despatch of succour to the “Possessioners.” He left on the 27th of last month, and reached Paris on the 2nd. Next day Edmondes, the English Ambassador, arrived. He left London on the 27th of last month. Vandermyle left the Hague on the 2nd, and got here yesterday.
Paris, 7th June, 1610.
June 7. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 935. To the Ambassador in Spain.
Enclosing copy of Foscarini's despatch from France, with an account of the incident which took place between him and Don Inigo de Cardenas.
The same to England.
Ayes 180.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 3.
June 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 936. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King and Queen and all the Court came back to London from Greenwich together. That rarely happens. The Tower saluted during several hours.
The King is still in some anxiety about his safety. No one is allowed to approach him with petitions, nor are foreigners admitted to the galleries. Last Saturday Salisbury was informed by an armourer that he had manufactured some small daggers suitable for concealment in the sleeve of a jacket and that he had orders for more. When the King heard this he suspected that they might be intended for some evil purpose against himself and great diligence was used to come by knowledge of the person who ordered them. Several people have been examined by the Council on the matter and orders given that no unknown person be permitted inside the courtyard of the Palace. Finally, however, they were convinced that the daggers were in the hands of loyal servants of the King.
The Queen has to-day dismissed a Lady of the Bed-chamber. As yet we do not know the cause, unless it be that she was wont to carry a stiletto in her pocket. She was gently reproved for this on other occasions.
To-day the Prince has retired to his palace at Richmond, ten miles away. To-morrow he will make his public entry into London by water. He will be met by the Merchants, the Magistrates, and the Guilds. On Monday, in Parliament, they will create him Prince of Wales and give him possession of the Principality. The city will be for several days en fète with jousts, for which they have gone to excessive expense, as is the habit of this nation, which, not even in its sports, thinks fit to use things that merely make a show but employs things of solid value (per le quali son state fatte spese excessive, come è proprio di questa natione che ne anco nelle occasioni di gioco trova buono il valersi di cose di apparenza, ma in effetto di molto valore). On this occasion there will be created twenty-four knights of a very ancient order called the Bath, to which additions are made only at coronations. Among these new Knights are several Earls and Barons, and the others are all leading gentlemen. The Prince, who wishes this solemnity to prove as magnificent and pompous as possible, has paid special attention to this, and has cancelled the names of many who were down on the list, because they were not to his taste.
Business in Parliament has taken a better turn. The King has been at pains, in long and eloquent discourses, to appease the mind of the Commons' representatives. He has permitted them to consider the extent of royal prerogative provided they handle the matter with respect, and has intimated that some of the impositions, levied without authority of Parliament, shall be removed. This has led them to discuss once more the question of voting a large revenue for the Crown, and subsidies sufficient to extinguish the debt; all this in return for Wardship, Purveyance and other burdens that Parliament desires to see abolished.
One of his Majesty's speeches has been printed. I have ordered a translation to be made and will send it with the next courier.
On Thursday I went to audience of the Queen. She received me surrounded by a large number of her Ladies, Lord Salisbury, many other Earls and great gentlemen of the Court, all in deep mourning. As we sat and talked she showed her extreme regret for the murder of his Most Christian Majesty, and said that the King was greatly disturbed. The Court is to remain in mourning all Whitsuntide.
Don Pedro de Zuñiga, the late Spanish Ambassador here, has left for Flanders. Over and above the ordinary present he received some special grace from the King; and the Queen in particular has given signs of great benevolence.
I have received your Serenity's despatches of the 15th and 21st of last month. I will carry out my orders and report.
London, 9th June, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 937. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
No sooner did the King and the representatives of the interested Sovereigns perceive that the King of Spain is unwilling to embark on war than they became more suspicious than ever. The cause of this sudden change is the long stay of Archduke Leopold in Flanders, the increase of Archduke Albert's forces, the death of the King of France and the belief that France will not, for the present, embroil itself in war with Spain. It is thought that the Archduke has hopes of adding Cleves to Flanders and words to that effect have been uttered by the Ambassadors themselves. Peace and an accommodation are more than ever desired, but desired in absolute favour of Brandenburg and Neuburg; Leopold holds very little just now, his whole forces are concentrated in Juliers. Orders were accordingly issued last week that the Dutch troops should advance, more with a view to effecting arrangement with arms in their hands than to come to blows. They hold that their mere prestige will be sufficient without any danger to those who help them or any ruin to the territory of those who succour. I am assured from a good quarter that the King will not allow his troops to be employed unless the other Princes, who are bound to support, also show themselves. The French troops can easily pass, though it is thought here that the King's death may encourage the Archduke to resist. There is some talk that if they are needed they can be embarked at Calais and landed in Holland; but this would be very costly and would cause great delay, the distance being four times as great.
The Prince of Wirtemberg and the two Ambassadors of the Count Palatine and Neuburg have left. At the Hague they will await the Ambassador of Wirtemberg, who has gone to France about the business of Cleves.
After this last book, printed in Prussia (Pruscia), came into the King's hands, and after the death of the King of France, his Majesty is so furious against the Catholics that, contrary to his habit, he is considering how to abase and annihilate them if possible in this Kingdom. He has had several conferences with Members of Parliament on this matter and displayed such heat that people marvel to see him so intent upon this point while he is embarked on other most important affairs, which are straining the devotion of his subjects to his royal person. He has found no backwardness in meeting his views and various plans have been discussed; some of them have been rejected as too rigorous, such as, for example, the instant execution of all condemned priests and the trial of all imprisoned priests. In the mean time I hear that all Catholics will be ordered to clear out of London and to live not nearer than ten miles from it. They are to be debarred from enjoying or exercising any office in this Kingdom. They are to be forbidden to send their children to be educated abroad, especially in Catholic Colleges. All these are provisions passed in Queen Elizabeth's day. They are thinking, too, of framing a more stringent oath. I understand, however, that those at present at Court will not be molested.
Quite recently the Spanish Ambassador has been permitted to release from prison and take with him out of the Kingdom six priests, most of them of his own choice, though he was greatly distressed that one or two were refused him, among whom is a Jesuit, they say.
London, 9th June, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 938. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman of the suite of the Princess of Condé has just informed me that an hour ago the Princess had letters from the Prince announcing his return. He will go round by Flanders to bring his wife with him.
Paris, 10th June, 1610.
June 12. Minutes of the Senate, Roma. Venetian Archives. 939. To the Ambassador in Rome announcing that Condé left Milan on the 8th, probably for Flanders. The governor gave him money.
June 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 240. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
There has been talk of a squadron of westerling bertons, commanded by Sherley, which had effected a landing at Braccio di Maino to build a fort. That was an old design of the Spanish. While the work was in progress the commander became suspicious of the good faith of the inhabitants and suddenly sailed away without doing anything. I do not gather that the Capudan Pasha either knows or makes aught of this rumour. The English Ambassador came to see me recently, and told me all about what had befallen between him and Murat the general. He tells me there was a great battle of words, each giving the other the lie. The Grand Vizir attacked the birth and the character of the Ambassador, and he feared they might come to blows, especially as the Pasha had declared he would have him beheaded. The Ambassador, however, held firm in what we had agreed upon, and said that even though he were sure to die our names would be written in history. The General wound up by saying that he would write to the Ambassador's Master and have him removed. The Ambassador said that nothing would please him better. He is rather proud that this encounter has not unseated him. I congratulated him. He has recovered the box of dollars and other things taken out of the ship. The Pasha caused to be burned before his tent a keg of tobacco, a certain herb which comes as medicine from England, and which has formerly been used here, but is now prohibited. He also caused to be broken up with picks—by way of insult—certain silver pipes which are used for drinking the vapour of that herb fece abbruggiar il Bassa innanzi il suo Padiglione una botte di tabaco, cert' herba che viene d' Inghilterra per medicina solita altre volte usarsi qui ancora, ma prohibita al presente; vi fece anco rompere con picchi come per dispetto molte cannccie d' argento che servivano all'uso di ber il vapore di quel' herba). The good that will arise out of the whole affair is that the English will not go to Trebizond, the Pasha having forbidden it, nor yet to Persia, which would have caused a diversion of our trade in silk at Alleppo and Tripoli.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 13th June, 1610.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 941. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Villeroy said that there were two subjects that might disturb the peace, one was the Prince of Condé, and that was settled, for he had returned to his allegiance; the other was Cleves.
The Secretary of the English Embassy said that when the Prince of Wales (Gales) heard of the death of the King he remarked that one of his chief projects, which he never communicated to any one, was now destroyed; for he had resolved to serve under his Most Christian Majesty whenever he marched on Cleves.
Most cordial answers have been sent to England.
Paris, 15th June, 1610.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch, 942. Letters from the Prince of Condé to his Mother.
Dated Milan, the last of May.
June 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 943. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassadors of the States and of the Protestant Princes have worked so hard that on Saturday it was resolved to despatch succour and yesterday the Marshal de Chastre was named to the command.
Paris, 15th June, 1610.
June 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 944. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports the Sorbonne's unanimous condemnation of the Jesuit doctrine on regicide and the burning of Mariana's book and himself in effigy. This happened five days ago. The book was drawn through Paris in a cart that is used to take certain kinds of criminals to the death. This has greatly mortified the Jesuits, and they have lost much.
Paris, 15th June, 1610.


  • 1. Edmondes, who took Sir George Carew's place.