Venice: November 1607

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 1607', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 11, 1607-1610, (London, 1904) pp. 53-69. British History Online [accessed 11 April 2024]

November 1607

Nov. 3. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 103. To the Commandant, Governor and Agent in Bergamo.
Secretary Vicentini writes, as you tell us, that the sequins you sent him to pay the garrison of the Valtelline are not worth more than lire 10.14 there, whereas you estimated them at 10.16. You are to make up the difference at once.
Ayes 115.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 2.
Nov. 3. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 104. To the Commander of the Great Galleys.
On the 28th of last September we, while praising your diligence Archives, in rendering the navigation of these waters secure, sent you instructions that if you found that the English galleon arrested off Prodono was a merchantman and not a privateer you were to set her at liberty. We have received no answer, while the English Ambassador, upon orders direct from the King, continues his pressure and the interested parties solicit our Ambassador in England; we now instruct you that, as we are fully persuaded by his Majesty's explicit declaration, the said ship is not a privateer, and we order you to set her free at once and report to us.
That this be communicated to the English Ambassador.
Ayes 114.
Noes 3.
Neutrals 9.
Nov. 5. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 105. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Sherley in command of the Spanish galleys. His commission. Prague, 5th November, 1607.
Nov. 5. Collegio Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives. 106. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
Most serene Prince and your Excellencies. I have come this morning to speak of matters relating to the sea, matters of grave import as principally affecting my Master and this Serene Republic, whose power is chiefly founded on the sea. I do so because it is fitting that any question which might disturb the excellent understanding between these princes may be resolved. My Master has conceived the idea that the Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople is not favourably disposed towards the English there, and—I say it out—seeks to break up English trade in the territory of the Grand Signor. The King therefore desires to be assured of the extent to which he can rely on the action of your Serenity's ministers. This much I am charged to say in general terms. But if I were called upon by his Majesty to give my opinion I would assure him on my conscience that his suspicions can not be well founded. In considering human action it is necessary always to ask “cui bono,” one must enquire what end, what object could the Ambassador have had in view. Perhaps he thought to do a signal service to his country by drawing all the commerce into her hands and driving us to an absolute rupture. But what benefit would the Republic derive from the rupture of trade relations between England and Turkey? God grant I be not a true prophet, but for certain my prophecy will come true, if amicable trade relations are broken off between England and Turkey, and the King should allow numbers of young Englishmen to sail these seas on their own account, piracy would become frequent, to the damage of friend and foe alike, and vast sums would be required for the protection of ships trading between Venice and Constantinople. That, I believe, would be the result. I implore your Serenity so to order events that his Majesty may be freed from his suspicion, and that this admirable good understanding may be maintained on both sides.
I will now pass from general terms to particulars which are not unworthy of consideration. That famous pirate, Ward, so well-known in this port for the damage he has done, is beyond a doubt the greatest scoundrel that ever sailed from England. About him I have two accounts, which are at variance with each other, yet both may be true. Letters from Tunis dated 20th September, old style, the 30th in the Italian style, inform me that he has refitted a Venetian ship (fn. 1) and turned her into a berton, with forty pieces of bronze artillery on the lower, and twenty on the upper deck. He has given his old ship to Captain . . . . and these two and some other four ships form six fighting ships in all. He has heard that certain Italian Princes grant letters of marque and he thinks that it is only reasonable that he too should be allowed to pursue this calling. The other news is that he is endeavouring to return to his Majesty's favour. That seems to be in contradiction with the former news, and yet it is possible that he is preparing for a career of piracy should he fail to obtain pardon. I think his Majesty will do all that is for the public good, but while he may pardon Ward for his crimes he will never free him from the responsibility for the goods he has robbed from private individuals. Ward wants to return home and also to keep his plunder, but the King will never assent to that. But if your Serenity could see a way by which he could, in part, give satisfaction to the gentlemen and citizens who are owners of the booty he has plundered, I do not think the return to the King's favour would be so difficult a matter, and that would be a public benefit.”
The Ambassador returns thanks for information about Master Paulo. Gives notice of the death of Princess Mary which took place on the 22nd, after violent paroxysms and an illness of a month's duration. The other news is the flight of the Earl of Tyrone which the Ambassador considers himself bound to represent in its true light, as communicated to him by the Earl of Salisbury. On the 3rd of September the Earl of Tyrone, his wife, his son the Earl of (Lungane) two other sons and the Earl of . . . . . fled from Ireland towards Spain. Tyrone gave out that he was going to England to prosecute his suit about certain possessions he held off the Crown or off Parliament; his son gave out that he was coming to England to contract a marriage with a daughter of Baron Arden, a Scotchman. Lord Salisbury says that nothing is known of the reasons for this flight beyond conjecture. The King had already been warned from a sure quarter that Tyrone was planning a rising in Ireland, and an invitation to the Spanish. The King took no steps but waited for more light. The Earl probably fled owing to his guilty conscience when he received an intimation to come to Court about his suit. The King takes this event for a great success; for all the gentlemen of Ireland rose and declared they would fly to arms in defence of his Majesty now that they are free of the Earl, who played the tyrant in those provinces. The Earl and most of those with him have reached the Court of the Archduke.
The Doge replied: He would never have expected a complaint about the Ambassador in Constantinople, who is a wise and prudent Senator. His Majesty's suspicions are the work of enemies. The Doge gives an absolute denial to the statement that the Ambassador ever took any steps to disturb the peaceful movement of commerce.
As to Ward, who captured the “Soderina” and transformed her into a berton, he will meet with a warm reception if he comes into these waters. As to the question of assisting him to return to the King's favour the Senate will reply.
Condoles on the death of the Princess Mary.
The Ambassador assures the Doge that he is convinced that the King's suspicions about the Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople are the work of enemies and recalls the fact that a Venetian ship helped an Englishman when attacked by a berton of the Grand Duke.
No news yet about the “Corsaletta.”
Nov. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 107. Francesco Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday an edict was issued suspending payment and assigning a million of gold a year, that is six hundred thousand crowns, for the interest on twelve millions, four hundred to be applied to the extinction of the debt (e fosse assignato un million d'oro all' anno, cioè scicento milla scudi.)
Madrid, 8th November, 1607.
Nov. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 108. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The rapidity with which they are putting together the supplies of money about which I have already sent your Serenity some account, prove the importance they attach to the events that have led them to take this step. For besides the assignment of certain important dues and customs belonging to the Crown, the King has been obliged to give more than ten per cent, for the loan, which is above the ordinary rate in this kingdom (convienne al Re sentire per essa maggior interesse di dieci per cento, che è più di quello che suol esser ordinario di questo regno.) besides an obligation to repay the capital within two years. And they have willingly accepted these harsh terms, not merely under the pressure of necessity but also in the hope of raising even a larger sum upon the strength of these promises. They say this money will be employed chiefly in refitting the Royal ships and for other naval preparations. A calculation as to the naval forces made on this occasion shows that should need arise they could not now send to sea anything like the fleet of the late Queen; for the peace with Spain has relaxed, not only in the navy but also in the mercantile marine, that inclination for the sea which was born of the great gains they made in the war. And those who do not like the peace make this an excuse to exaggerate in Council the injury and damage caused by the peace. They enlarge upon the topic in every way in order to awake the desire to upset the peace. On the other hand reply is made by those of greater weight which shows that they intend to maintain the peace, though I am told on good authority that this is merely a ruse to gain time till their prepartions are ready, and that in fact they are seriously disturbed by events in Ireland, and are more than ever confirmed in their suspicion that this is one of those usual monsters born in Spain, bred in Flanders and then sent over sea to upset the quiet of this Kingdom. Meantime, as nothing new takes place in Flanders to prove the truth of their conjecture, it seems that no opinion can be formed except that no decision to break the peace will be reached unless they are driven to it in self defence.
London, 8th November, 1607.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 109. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The refusal of a petition, presented by the French Ambassador on behalf of the people of Dieppe, for amplification of fishing privileges in these waters, a petition which they seemed inclined to grant, is taken by the Ambassador as a certain sign of their displeasure at the favour extended, with the King's sanction, to the Earl of Tyrone when he reached France, all the more so that not only was the amplification refused him but the original privilege was called in doubt in spite of the assertion that it was both ancient and uninterrupted, and granted as a special favour to the King of France for the service of whose household the fishery was carried on. Although this is an affair which in its own nature would raise difficulties, all the same it has been attributed by the Ambassador to English displeasure. He intends to mention the subject as soon as the King comes to London, and if he sees his opportunity he will enter on the topic of the Earl of Tyrone in order to justify the action of his Master. That is a course which prudent men consider highly necessary in order to disperse these clouds before they gather and threaten the good understanding between these great sovereigns.
The day before yesterday the Queen arrived in London. She stayed only one day and left to-day for Theobald's to join the King.
Although the plague is decreasing and it is the ancient custom of England that All Saints should be kept in the city with the King and Knights of the Garter and all the Court present, still his Majesty does not propose to come here, though the Council is here and very busy with affairs.
They are waiting to see whether the President Richardot will really go to Holland. If he goes they think that the difficulties about the ratification will be overcome; if not, they doubt whether the Audientiary (Verreiken) and the Franciscan (Neyen) will effect anything. The bad weather of this week has stopped any news from Antwerp.
London, 8th November, 1607.
Nov. 10. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. 110. That the English Ambassador be invited to attend in the Cabinet to hear what follows:—
Expressing surprise at the Ambassador's complaint that the Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople had taken a hostile attitude towards English commerce. The Ambassador is begged to assure the King that nothing of the sort could possibly have been done by the Ambassador, who is well aware of the intention of the Republic in this respect. That this declaration should disabuse his Majesty's mind on this point. The erroneous idea is the result of false information. The Senate will instruct the Ambassador Giustinian to make the same representations in England.
As the Ambassador has mentioned the pirate Ward (Guart) the only reply is that the Republic trusts his Majesty to grant no pardon until those who have suffered are fully indemnified.
Return thanks for information about the death of the King's daughter, and about the flight of the Earl of Tyrone.
The government has given orders for the release of the “Corsaletta” with her cargo, in spite of the many circumstances going to prove that the said ship was a privateer. But they accept the King's word on the matter, although they think the King has not been fully informed that she attempted to escape search, that she fought, that on board were found bales of cotton, wool and leather of various marks, and some of the leather loose, that the captain contradicted himself on many essential points. Moreover there is proof positive that she is a privateer from the evidence of a French captain, who put into Canea while the case was being tried; he identified the captain of the “Corsaletta,” and deposed that last Lent, while sailing in company with other ships of Ragusa, they met the “Corsaletta,” who took to flight and was pursued and overtaken. The captain of the “Corsaletta” then sent a bombardier on board, pretending that he was the commander. The trick was found out and the captain compelled to come aboard in person. He did all he could to prevent a visit to his ship, but two or three men did visit her and saw there bales of Venetian cloth undone, and preserves—goods that come from Venice. The English captain threatened the Frenchman for denouncing him. The government is sure that had his Majesty known this he would never have made his request. They inform the Ambassador that ships frequently sail from England with a small cargo of goods; this they barter, but they do not neglect any opportunity for plundering, and are at one and the same time merchants and privateers, “and so our unfortunate traders are deceived and robbed.”
Orders that this and the English Ambassador's reply be sent to Ambassador Giustinian in England.
That the passage referring to the Ambassador in Constantinople be sent to him.
Ayes 121.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 10.
Nov. 12. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives. 111. In reply to the communication of the Senate, dated the 10th inst., the English Ambassador spoke as follows:—
The Ambassador returns thanks for communication. Declares that he has always laboured to maintain the good relations between England and the Republic. Wishes that an epitaph upon husband and wife that he once saw in Rome might apply to them, “They lived together for years, months, days and hours without a quarrel.” “But seeing that even in private families, where the numbers are so small, jealousy and suspicion will sometimes take root, it is no wonder if the same should spring up between Princes, when we think of size and extent of their dominions. It is better to speak out one's grievances than to keep them concealed. I am not deep in statecraft, yet have I observed that some Princes hide their grievances, instruct their representatives to ignore them, and watch the moment to take advantage. Others, when they have a grievance, instruct their agents to complain, to speak out; this is the more noble and more Christian course, and I would add, the best way to effect a matrimony. I trust, however, that these present grievances may be as the hills and valleys which do not destroy the rotundity of this earth. As for myself I would—in the words of Vitruvius—that the breasts of all the envoys resident here were pierced with windows that you might see how loyal mine is. I am loathe to touch on particulars. I have the word of your Serenity and the testimony of the Senate to the qualities of your Ambassador in Constantinople. I believe them, but I am an Agent and must do what I am called on to do. I do so against my will. Enough, I have not touched on any definite particular.
As to Ward I am not sure that he has actually applied to the King. It may be all a court intrigue. I believe that his Majesty would pardon in all that lies with him; but it is beyond his power to condone offences committed against a foreign Prince. In England there are laws, nor is the royal authority so absolute that private rights do not exist. The King cannot grant life, and it has sometimes happened that men have been condemned to death, pardoned by the King and yet the confederates have pursued them and they have had to die.
As to the ship “Corsaletta” I assure you on the united testimony of the merchants that that ship left England without the smallest intention of committing piracy. There is nothing against the ship except the rudeness of the captain. As to the evidence of the Frenchman I venture to say that it is suspect, invidious and hostile, as often is the case with those who trade upon the sea. In this respect we must, however, acknowledge the friendliness of your Serenity who, without attaching weight to certain points, has given orders for the release of the ship. I have pointed out to his Majesty the good will displayed throughout by the Republic.”
The Doge replied that the communication of the Senate had been read to the Ambassador to prove to him that the Officers of the Republic did not act without good reason.
Nov. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 112. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King did not desire that the ancient custom of celebrating All Saints with great ceremony should be abandoned because of his absence, and so the day after the Queen joined him, he and the Queen and the Court came to London. He would have left again the day after had not the colic kept him.
The moment he arrived I asked for audience in order to fulfil my instructions about the anchorage tax. I had subsequently received orders to inform him of the attempted assassination of Father Paulo. I will confine myself within the lines laid down by your Serenity. As to the opinions current in this Court about this monstrous event, I must report that one and all openly assert that it can have no other origin than the Court of Rome. As they abhor such wickedness so they extoll the justice and piety of the Republic in protecting men of merit and those who deserve well of their country. They say that the wider this iniquitous affair is known the greater will grow the scandal. Nor will pulpit and theatre fail to refer to it, as is the custom in this country, to the damage of the Catholic Faith, as your Excellencies will understand better than I can explain.
The news that a galleon of the Grand Duke has made a rich prize of Turks and Turkish goods that were being conveyed on board an English ship from Alexandria to Constantinople, has caused great resentment in the minds of the King and his Council. They are incited thereto by the merchants of the Levant Company, who fear lest the Turks should make this an excuse for reprisals against English capital. As the ship surrendered on condition that her freight was paid and the vessel left free and the English untouched, the Turks suspect some understanding. Lord Salisbury spoke very strongly to the agent of the Grand Duke, insisting that he should set at liberty this and another ship which his bertons had captured on a similar excuse. They say they are determined that the Grand Duke must cease from giving the Turks an opportunity of disturbing commerce with England, either by his plundering English vessels or using English sailors.
As the Spanish have undermined the influence of Richardot by throwing doubts on his loyalty in these negotiations with the Dutch, it remains to be seen whether they will accept the promises of the King of Spain that the accord shall be ratified in the same terms as the Archduke agreed to.
London, 15th November, 1607.
Nov. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 113. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
As I concluded my preceding despatch I was summoned to audience of the King, who in the press of Ambassadors, all insisting on audience, has been pleased to admit your Serenity's first of all.
Expulsis Papistis. After congratulations on his health I laid before him your Serenity's observations on the anchorage tax, and I asked for a reciprocal relief for Venetian subjects in England. I can assure your Serenity that his Majesty was extremely pleased with this favour granted especially to satisfy him.
I then proceeded to give him a succinct account of the affair of Father Paul, confining myself within those general limits laid down for me by your Serenity. The King returned thanks and said that he had heard of the event from his Ambassador and had also received notice of the proclamation issued against the delinquents. He praised the Republic for the protection she extended to her servants and expressed detestation for the monstrous deed, especially as the attempt was made upon the person of one whose learning and virtue he held in such esteem. He added that it was easy to see who were the authors of this wickedness, for Master Paul was exposed to persecution from no other quarter than from the Romans; but God by the miraculous preservation of his life from the snares of his enemies had passed judgement on the truth of his teaching; that as the Pope claimed that it belonged to him to punish Ecclesiastics, it remained to be seen how he would deal with the priest who had been guilty of such a monstrous misdeed (lui aggionse esser facil cosa di comprendere quali fossero stati li auttori di questa sceleratezza, non havendo Mastro Paulo altra persecutione che quella di Romani, ma che Dio colla miracolosa preservatione della sua vita dalle insidie de suoi nemici haveva dato la sentenza sopra la verità della sua dottrina; che pretendendo il Papa, che tocchi a lui di castigar li Ecclesiastici si sta qua vedere come procederà contro quel prete colpevole di un cosi enorme misfatto). The King showed great disgust and said to me “Would to God the miscreants would take it into their heads to come to England. I promise you you would not have to ask them at my hands, for I myself would send them to you prisoners to your own house. I would not treat the Republic as his Most Christian Majesty treats me by favouring the flight of the Earl of Tyrone through his kingdom, and for no other reason than to please the Pope. In truth I know not how I can be assured of the amity of Princes who do not, even in temporal matters, choose to be independent.” I desired to divert his Majesty from these recriminations against the King of France and so I asked him where the Earl of Tyrone now was, he replied that he was in Flanders with the intention, as he understood, of going to Rome.
The King then went on to say that at the request of his subjects, the Levant merchants, he had instructed his Ambassador at Venice to beg that the convention be not abused, for this caused such a loss of time that the duration of the voyage was greatly prolonged. I know that these remarks were caused by the arrest of that ship (the “Corsaletta”) by the great galleys and I took the opportunity to speak out clearly. I gave the King a full account of the event and proved the right, nay the necessity, of the public officials to act as they had done. I dwelt on the moderation of the Senate which, in spite of the patent infringement of instructions and the fact that there was contraband on board, had given orders that if the ship were really a merchantman and not a privateer she was to be set at liberty. I said that when I explained the facts to the interested parties here they recognised the benignity of the Republic and returned thanks; they admitted that it was all the fault of master of the ship, and that they would be well content to recover the ship at the price of his punishment. It would, therefore, I said, be desirable that his Majesty should impress upon his subjects the need for a strict observance of the rules laid down, otherwise every day might bring some fresh disorder. I assured him that the sole object of your Excellencies was to free the sea trade from the depredations and damages inflicted by privateers, an object to which a just and upright Republic with such wide sea dominion as ours, was especially bound.
London, 15th November, 1607.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 114. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to Doge and Senate.
After my audience of the King, I asked the Earl of Salisbury to receive me. He was in the same chamber and begging his Majesty's leave for a while he gave me his company. I informed him about the release of the English from the anchorage tax; and I touched on the question of the “Corsaletta,” in order that both he and the King might be forewarned to resist any attempt which the merchants might be inclined to make in order to shake off their obligations under the convention. Lord Salisbury showed the same satisfaction as the King about the anchorage tax. He then touched on the affair of Master Paul, but I remained on such general ground that I was soon done with it. He then went on to talk about Captain Ward's petition for pardon. He told me that he had been assured that the Republic had already assented to this pardon, but that he would never believe it until he heard the fact from me. I feigned to be extremely annoyed at this information and said “And pray who are these persons who have such confidence in themselves as to presume to assert that the Republic ever consented to such an injustice as this and” of such evil example to the present generation and to posterity. They have not said this after an interview with me, for I know I gave them such a lesson as taught them how they were deceiving themselves if they thought they could find the most Excellent Senate so facile in the matter. And though under the cloak of pity and religion this plea is advanced, yet this Ward practices piracy in such a fashion that clemency would become injustice if extended to him. And in truth I am amazed at the audacity of those who have ventured to approach you on this subject, when they know how well informed you are of his Majesty's wishes. I am sorry I did not know of this a little earlier for I would have made grave representations to his Majesty. But enough that I speak thus to you, for I imagine you will gather from my words how far the Republic is from assenting to this or to any other similar kind of pardon. Some days ago,” I continued, “an English merchant spoke to me of the offer made by Ward to recoup the interested parties; I assure your Lordship that I have not even had the courage to write to the Senate on the subject, so out of place did the proposal appear. I wrote, however, to a personal friend of mine whom I know to have been interested in the ship 'Soderina,' which, with a cargo worth five hundred thousand crowns, was plundered by Ward. I only did this by way of information, for I know that the interested parties, for all that they are esteemed by the government, even if fully compensated by the pirate, would be quite unable to obtain his pardon from his Serenity. You may imagine then that the Republic will never consent to Ward's pardon. Nay, I am sure that thanks to the provision that is being made to clear the seas of this pest, Ward too will easily be wiped out.” When the Earl saw I was so hot in the matter he assured me on his word of honour that he would never assent to Ward's pardon here without the consent of your Excellencies, whose forgiveness I crave if I have described at length my representations on this subject, for I think I perceive that Ward's attempt may be based upon something more than appears on the surface; for this buccaneer has become extremely rich, thanks to his plunder, and may be he relies on the power of gold to overcome here all opposition, and that is why I thought it as well to cut away such ground of hope by my reply to Lord Salisbury.
I then entered on the subject of the “Corsaletta” and endeavoured to extract from the Earl something more than I got from his Majesty. He declared that England would never seek ought that could disturb the convention or thwart the excellent object which your Serenity had in view. He said he would take the opportunity to mention the subject to the high Admiral when he informed him of the removal of the anchorage tax.
On taking my leave the Earl informed me that the ratification had arrived from Spain in a form that fully satisfied the Dutch and that the peace would now follow without delay; but he was afraid they were going too fast.
As I was closing my despatch the Earl of Salisbury sent me a copy of the ratification, which I enclose.
London, 15th November, 1607.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 115. Ratification of the truce between Flanders and the States.
Signed “fraÿ Juan Ne¨ en Commisso general. Vereyken.”
Nov. 17. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 116. Don Inigo de Cardenas petitions the Cabinet on the subject of his disagreement with Sig. Hieronimo Giustinian, about the terms of contract of lease for the house the Ambassador occupied at San Moise on the Grand Canal. The point is as to the Ambassador's right to sublet, at the close of his mission, to the Ambassador his successor. The Ambassador pleads that the lex loci cannot apply to Ambassadors who are under the jus gentium. The local statutes provided that an owner could always recover his house for his own use, any contract notwithstanding. The rent was 500 crowns (of 7 lire each) a year.-
Nov. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 117. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
When the Pope received the news that the Archpriest (Blackwell) whom his Holiness kept in England as head of the Catholics, had not only taken the oath of allegiance (fn. 2) in prison, but had issued open letters urging other Catholics to follow his example, he published another brief addressed to the Catholics of the Kingdom, whereby he reaffirmed the previous brief and condemned and abhored the said oath. His Holiness reaffirms his will in this matter and strictly forbids Catholics to take the oath. Although it is thought here that the Pope has made this new prohibition so as not to allow approbation of his representative to be argued from his own silence, still as the matter is such a delicate one, dealing with the question of loyalty in his subjects, the King displays considerable anxiety and argues from these repeated demonstrations that the Pope is ill-disposed towards him personally and is hostile to the quiet of the Kingdom, all the more so as the movement in Ireland gives him an obvious explanation. About that matter they are using extraordinary vigilance. They are looking to their preparations and carefully watching the movements of Tyrone. Since his arrival in Flanders little has been heard of him save that he lives very retired and quietly.
The Prince of Moldavia has left. He takes with him letters of recommendation from the King both to assist him to recover a debt from the Marquis of Brandenburg, and to support his claim to be restored to his State. Before he left he professed great devotion to your Serenity.
The merchants interested in that ship that was captured by the Grand Duke, have not only sent him the King's letters but have also despatched an agent expressly to explain his Majesty's resentment and in his name to demand restitution, persisting in the declaration that in order to obviate the dangers which now threaten English trade in the dominions of the Turk, the Grand Duke must no longer make use of the maritime resources of this nation.
On the 15th the King kept the anniversary of his preservation from the Powder Plot with great solemnity, first in Chapel and then at table, where he dined in public with the Queen and the Prince. I understand that in talking of the plot he mentioned the attempted assassination of Master Paul and praised the prudence and justice of the Senate.
The States of Holland after the arrival of the ratification from Spain have demanded six weeks in order to fix upon the place and the persons where and by whom the negotiations are to be conducted. They will use the time to consult the King of England and other friendly powers. It is thought the upshot will be either peace or a long truce.
London, 21st November, 1607.
Nov. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 118. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty told me that he had heard from the President Jeannin that the States were not satisfied with the ratification because it was not sealed with the great seal but with the small seal, because it is written in Spanish not in Latin or French, because the King has again signed it “I, the King,” and because the truce is to be confirmed only on the ratification of a peace or of a long truce. Paris, 21st November, 1607.
Nov. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 119. News that the English in the East, by favour of the Indians, have captured an island called Verino, which, besides possessing a rich mine of gold, commands an excellent harbour formed by the mouth of a great river.
Nov. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 120. Francesco Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador complains that the Earl of Tyrone should have been so well received by the Archduke. He had for answer that he would not be received here.
Madrid, 24th November, 1607.
Nov. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 121. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The other Ambassadors here resident have had audience one after another. I hear that the King complained to the Ambassadors of France and of Flanders that their Sovereigns had shown favour to the Earl of Tyrone. The French Ambassador defended his Master on the ground that, as he believed the Earl had left Britain solely on the grounds of religion, he could not refuse him free passage through his kingdom after assuring himself that the Earl did not intend to stop in it. This defence, which was put forward in an excellent conciliatory tone, seems to have cleared his Majesty's mind and convinced him that the King of France had no other intention. The Ambassador of the Archduke also employed the plea of religion, but I am told that the King did not admit it, declaring that it was not valid; for he was aware that other rebels had been not only permitted to enter Flanders but were actually supported there; and so he was not surprised that the Earl, who had not fled on account of his religion, in which he enjoyed full liberty, but because of most serious crimes of State, should also be welcomed. The Ambassador only replied that it was absolutely certain had his Master known this he would have acted differently. He declares that the Earl will not stay in Flanders but will presently go to Rome; though it is thought here that he will make for Spain first; and if that takes place it will greatly add to their suspicion of his movements and their preparations for the security of Ireland.
The Spanish knew that the time demanded by the States of Holland in which to arrange for the negotiations about peace was required chiefly to allow them to consult with the King of England and other friendly powers, and as a fact their Ambassador here is engaged in endeavours to dispose his Majesty's mind favourably towards the conclusion of peace. He is again suggesting his Majesty's interposition and, as far as one can discover under the great secresy in which the affair is wrapped, it seems that the English are more disposed to accept the proposal than they were some time hack, for they see that the truce is almost certain and think it advisable that the King should appear as the chief instrument in it; although, as the Spaniards have now been compelled to admit the point of independence against which they tried every possible means, it is thought that if they keep silence now on this point it is more with a view to engaging the King on their side than with any intention to really grant it.
As the time approaches for the conference to meet it is rumoured that the place chosen is the Hague and that the Commissioners will be eight on each side, on condition, however, that those of the Archduke shall all be Flemish. The principal points will be the question of religion and of free navigation to both the Indies, which it is supposed that Spain will grant. The third point is considered more difficult, for it includes the departure of all Spanish from the Low Countries; without this it seems that no sure peace can be established, though it will be very difficult to obtain it and all the more so as it now appears that the Flemish subjects of the King of Spain are themselves secretly working towards that end in conjunction with the Dutch.
London, 28th November, 1607.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 122. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ciaus has left England at last. He has been here four months. He is extremely displeased with his reception and publicly declared on his departure that he would do all the damage he could at the Porte. His disgust is due to nothing else than to the fact that he was disappointed in the amount of gain which he promised himself that he would carry away from England; for after so long a sojourn in which has done nothing but try to extract a present from the Levant Company and from the King, he has received nothing from either one or the other. His Majesty, in this matter, acted on the advice of his late Ambassador (fn. 3) at Constantinople who has just arrived. He minimized the importance of the Ciaus and pointed out that if presents were given to this one it would only tempt others of his rank to come here too. These same arguments convinced the merchants, already inclined to adopt that course in their own interests, for they had been at great charges to entertain the Ciaus and had no hope of being indemnified by the King, who is growing more cautious in his expenditure than he used to be. They have been forced to send the Ciaus back to Constantinople in a ship at their own charges and they held out expectations that he would receive a donation from the English Ambassador there. During the course of this affair I have observed that the Levant Merchants do not attach much importance to their traffic with the Turk and that it would not be difficult to divert them from it altogether. They have allowed themselves to be influenced in no way by this Ciaus and they themselves declare that so small are their profits that they are inclined to abandon it. And so if through the ill offices of this emissary any considerable burden were laid on their business out there, it is very likely that they would entirely give up that trade.
The King in disgust at the Puritan sect has left London to spend some days in the country. The sect is spreading, and not only in Scotland do they oppose the introduction of the Anglican Ecclesiastical policy, which is generally accepted by the Scottish nobility, but here too they frequently oppose the will of the King. It has therefore been necessary to punish one of their principal abettors who sought the release of certain Puritan ministers from prison, and so to cut off all hope that this can ever be obtained. The King will be all the more content to devote himself to the chase, as a son of M. de Vitri—a great sportsman—has arrived from France to condole on the death of the little Princess.
I have received your Serenity's despatches enclosing the proclamation for the protection of Master Paul. The praise of the Republic is universal here. A proclamation against the Earl of Tyrone has just been issued. As it contains several important points I will enclose it if it can be translated in time, especially as it has been issued by the King to show his allies how he desires them to proceed towards the Earl.
London, 28th November, 1607.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 123. BY THE KING.
A Proclamation touching the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell. (fn. 4)
Seeing it is common and natural in all persons of what condition soever, to speak and judge variably of all new and sudden accidents, and that the flight of the Earles of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, with some other of their fellowes out of the North parts of our Realme of Ireland, may haply prove a subject of like discourse: Wee have thought it not amisse to deliver some such matter in publique, as may better cleare mens judgements concerning the same; not in respect of any worth or value in these mens persons, being base and rude in their original; but to take away all such inconveniences as may blemish the reputation of that friendship which ought to be mutually observed between us and other Princes. For although it is not unlikely, that the report of their Titles and dignities, may draw from Princes and States some such courtesies at their first coming abroad, as are incident to men of extraordinary ranke and qualitie: Yet when wee have taken the best meanes wee can to lay them open in every condition, Wee shall then expect from our friends and neighbours all such just and noble Proceedings, as stand with the rules of Honour and friendship, and from our Subjects at home and abroad, that duety and obedience (in their carriage toward them) which they owe to us by unseparable bonds and obligations of Nature and Loyaltie, whereof we intend to take streight accompt. For which purpose we do hereby declare that these persons above mentioned, had not their creations or possessions in regard of any lineall or lawfull descent from Ancestors of Blood or Vertue, but were onely preferred by the late Queene our sister of famous memory, and by ourselves for some reasons of State before others, who for their quality and birth (in those Provinces where they dwell) might better have challenged those Honours which were conferred upon them. Secondly we do professe, That it is both knowen to us and our Counsell here, and to our Deputie and State there, and so shall it appeare to the World (as cleare as the Sunne) by evident proofes, That the onely ground and motive of this high contempt in these mens departure, hath bene the private knowledge and terrour of their owne guiltinesse: Whereof because we heare that they doe seeks to take away and infaime by divulging that they have withdrawn themselves for matter of Religion (a cloake that serves too much in these dayes to cover many evill intentions) adding also thereunto some other vaine pretexts of receiving injusticie, when their rights and claimes have come in question betweene them and us, or any of our subjects and them, wee thinke it not impertinent to say somewhat thereof.
And therefore, though we judge it needlesse to seeke for many arguments to confirme whatsoever shall be said of these mens corruption and falshood, (whose hainous offences remaine so fresh in memorie since they declared themselves so very monsters in nature, as they did not only withdraw themselves from their personall obedience to their Sovreigne, but were content to sell over their Native Countrey to those that stood at that time in highest termes of hostilitie with the two Crownes of England and Ireland) yet to make the absurditie and ingratitude of the allegations above mentioned, so much the more cleare to all men of equall judgment, we do hereby professe in the word of a King, that there was never so much as any shadowe of molestation, nor purpose of proceeding in any degree against them for matter concerning Religion: Such being their condition and profession, to thinke murder no fault, manage of no use, nor any man worthy to bee esteemed valiant that did not glorie in Rapine and Oppression, as we should have thought it an unreasonable thing to trouble them for any different point in Religion, before any man could perceive by their conversation that they made truely conscience of any Religion. So do we also for the second part of their excuse affirme, that (notwithstanding all they can claime, must be acknowledged to proceed from meere grace upon their submission after their greater and unnatural Treasons) there hath never come any question concerning their Rights or Possessions, wherein we have not bene more inclinable to doe them favour, than to any of their Competitours, except in those cases wherein wee have plainely discerned that their onely end was to have made themselves by degrees more able than now they are to resist all lawfull authoritie (when they should returne to their vomit againe) by usurping a power over other good subjects of ours, that dwell among them better borne than they, and utterly disclaiming from any dependencie upon them.
Having now delivered this much concerning these mens estates and their proceedings, wee will onely end with this conclusion, That they shall not be able to denie, whenever they should dare to present themselves before the Seate of Justice, that they have (before their running out of our Kingdom) not onely entered into combination for stirring sedition and intestine Rebellion, but have directed divers instruments, as well Priests as others, to make offer to forreine States and Princes (if they had beene as ready to receive them) of their readinesse and resolution to adhere to them whensoever they should seeke to invade that Kingdom, wherein amongst other things, this is not to be forgotten, that under the condition of being made free from English government, they resolved also to comprehend the utter extirpation of all those subjects that are nowe remayning alive within that Kingdome formerly descended from the English race. In which practices and propositions, followed and fomented by Priestes and Jesuites (of whose function in these times the practise and perswasion of subjects to rebell against their Soueraignes, is one speciale and essentiall part and portion) as they have found no such incouragement as they expected and have boasted of: so we doe assure our selves, that when this declaration shall bee seene and duely weighed with all due circumstances, it will bee of force sufficient to disperse and to discredit all such untrueths, as these contemptible creatures so full of infedelity and ingratitude, shall disgorge against Us, and our just and moderate proceeding, and shall procure unto them no better usage then they would wish should be afforded to any such packe of Rebels borne their Subjects, and bound unto them in so many and so great, obligations.
Given at our Palace of Westminster the fifteenth day of November, in the fifth yeere of our reigne of Great Britaine, France and Ireland.
God Save the King.
Imprinted at London by Robert Barker,
Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majestie.
Anno Dom. 1607.


  • 1. That is “Soderina.”
  • 2. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1603–1610, p. 370. Bellarmin to Blackwell, reproaching him for having taken the oath of allegiance.
  • 3. Henry Lello.
  • 4. As this proclamation is not Calendared in the Domestic Series, I give it here in extenso. An abstract of it is given in the Calendar of Irish State Papers by Russell & Pendergast.