Venice: July 1610, 1-15

Pages 1-16

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 12, 1610-1613. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1905.

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July 1610, 1–15

July 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
To-morrow in the Church of St. Peter, Fra Fulgentio (fn. 1) will openly abjure; it is thought, moreover, that after abjuration he will be handed to the secular arm, as one who had already abjured though secretly. They say that on him have been found letters patent from the King of England for his passage into that kingdom; also forged letters from his Superiors and other matters which condemn him.
Rome, 3rd July, 1610.
July 5. Collegio. Lettere. Venetian Archives. 2. We Venetian Merchants partners in the gall nutts (Vallonia) and other goods laden in the Morea on board the ship “King David,” Master Giovanni Bolino, which ship was seized by Don Anthony Sherley (Serlei) General of his Catholic Majesty in the Mediterranean—and is now taken into Palermo—are obliged to send our legal Agent and Attorney, Messer Giovanni Bolino, citizen and merchant of this city, in order that he may secure, before the Viceroy of Sicily or other Magistrate, the restitution of our capital and restore it to us.
We petition for letters from the Government supported by letters from the Spanish Ambassador, to whom we will demonstrate the justice of our claim, requesting the Viceroy to order restitution.
Order made to entrust the affair to the Savii Grandi and the Savii di Terraferma (ai Savii dell' un et dell' altra mano).
July 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 3. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The business of Parliament has kept his Majesty's mind much occupied these last few days. He has frequently come to London to deal with the Members and to consult with his Council. His Majesty is rightly anxious about this business both on account of the resolve they display not (fn. 2) to yield him anything without a return in the matter of their demands and also because of the licence of speech which they adopt; and it seems that the ancient curb with which the King's predecessors held them in check is growing slack. Parliament claims an almost absolute superintendence in everything. The King who desires to reach an agreement which shall be satisfactory to all parties has abandoned the persuasions and threats which hitherto have hindered his desire and now endeavours to pacify the minds of the Members. He deals gently with them and offers to satisfy them on many of their demands. It is thought that some of the imposts on certain goods will presently be removed and they will then at once vote some subsidy. Meantime they do not omit to study the source from which so large a sum may be raised.
The intention to summon Parliament in October holds good. They will discuss wardships and purveyance. It has occurred to them to place a tax on beer, which although of a light nature would be sure to yield a large revenue.
The difficulty between the Upper and Lower House will not be so easily settled. The Nobility, in virtue of their privileges, refuse to contribute towards the burdens which will have to be imposed; the Commons declare that the relief will be felt far more by the Nobility than by the Commoners.
The Prince of Brunswick has returned to Germany for the marriage of his sister to the third brother of Saxony. He will stay a few days in the Low Countries. He has been splendidly entertained here, and has received from the King and the Prince, in addition to horses and dogs, jewels to the value of one hundred thousand crowns; some of these are meant for the Duke, his father, for his mother, and his sisters. On the other hand he has left many gifts to persons at this Court. There is still some idea of marrying him to the Princess and that, I take it, was the import of his remark that he hoped to return soon to England. He honoured this house once again with his presence before his departure, and charged me to convey to your Serenity the affection and regard in which he holds the Republic.
In Ireland there are nine pirate vessels which have met there partly to divide their booty, partly to take in provisions. They can lie there quite safely, for there is no force in these waters able to give them battle. In addition to the damage wrought by these robbers, there is the loss at Cape Verd Island of a ship with a very rich cargo of pepper from the East Indies bound for England. Two others have reached Holland in safety.
These merchants have news from Hamburg, Lübeck, and other German towns that trade with England has been suspended and English goods seized. They are in a great commotion, expecting many failures, and also because the greater part of the cloth, which forms the chief wealth of this nation, is distributed through Germany. The cause assigned is the King's declaration in favour of the two “possessioners” in the affair of the Duchy of Cleves, though there are not wanting other disagreements of a commercial nature.
The Prince of Condé arrived in Brussels some days ago. He sent his Secretary, under safe-conduct from the Ambassador, to arrange certain points about his return to France.
The Archdukes have retired to Marimont, their country place, which is a proof that their minds are at rest. Before their departure they appointed an ambassador to this Court, and the King has on his side named a gentleman to that Legation which has been vacant a whole year. I also hear that a successor to the Ambassador Wotton will soon be named; Wotton will be sent to Spain.
Some French gentlemen are seeking a patent for a kind of oven and other inventions which consume only half the wood at present used. (fn. 3) I hear they have got their patent in France and are seeking it in Italy and Germany, so as to secure the profits everywhere. Here they employ a great lady of the Court, with the protection of the Prince, to whom they have offered a great sum, said to amount to one hundred thousand crowns. His Majesty is well pleased with the scheme, as it will effect a saving in the forests, which begin to show a failing.
There is another Frenchman here who offers to extract silver from lead, which is abundant in this kingdom. I am told that experiments have yeilded four ounces of silver in one hundred pounds of lead; that the King would draw each week twice as much as he spent, and would make an annual gain of one million of gold. They are waiting to learn the terms of his demands for his secret, which consists of certain drugs. He also declares that he has a secret for minerals, which exist in the territory of your Serenity, from which one could extract half the profit that one would from lead.
I have duly received the information you have been pleased to send me about the episode with Don Inigo di Cardenas. (fn. 4)
London, 7th July, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 4. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The French Ambassador is urging the King to accept three hundred thousand crowns in two years for the entire extinction of the loan made by Queen Elizabeth to the French Crown in its need. The remainder, he claims, was included in the moneys disbursed by Henri IV. to the United Provinces, as he had to fulfil the King of England's obligations towards the States. The ambassador hopes to conduct the matter to a good conclusion and to leave at the beginning of next month, after establishing a good understanding and mutual obligations between these Crowns; about this he will find no difficulty.
I am assured from a sound source that the King has refused to sign the proposals made to him by the Princes of Germany, and that the United Provinces have followed the example. They have expressed approval but declare that, at present, they can give no further proof of their good will than what is shown by their assistance to Cleves.
In the affair of Cleves nothing is more certain than a desire for an accord.
The King and his Council are very suspicious of the designs and leanings of the French Queen. They think she has an absolute horror of heretics, and is more likely to be ready to persecute them than to help them. On this account they watch attentively all the actions of the new Government. If the aid to Cleves were recalled that would confirm the suspicion, and even if it were actually conceded, that would not be enough to remove it, as it might be thought that the Queen felt herself bound by the action of her husband.
The reported death of the King and the rumours from abroad that conspirators were pursuing his life have produced a very bad result here for the Catholics. (fn. 5) They are clearing out of the City; both Parliament and the King rigorously refusing to make any exceptions. The King has warned all Ambassadors not to admit any of his subjects to the Mass, nor to allow English priests to celebrate in their chapels. Such activity is unusual and, as a rule, some of the Ambassadors are allowed to employ English priests, and I am sure that Lord Salisbury is aware of it.
Lewkenor came to tell me in the King's name that Parliament had desired him to use this diligence, and that other persons had been sent for this purpose to other Ambassadors. I know that some have replied, after repeated warnings, that they can not shut the door on those who wish to come in, nor would the dignity of their Embassy permit them to do so. All the same I thought well to assure him that during the hour of Mass I always keep the doors shut and that I would use further diligence to secure that no English came in along with Italians and other foreigners. I begged Lewkenor to assure his Majesty that no one was allowed to celebrate Mass in my chapel except the priest in my service. Later on Lewkenor told me that the King had expressed satisfaction at this answer, and intended to thank me personally before his departure on Progress. To-day he sent me a roe slain by his own hand.
London, 7th July, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 5. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Foscarini announces that the Queen Regent will continue the late King's policy everywhere, including England and Denmark.
Paris, 8th July, 1610.
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 6. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday afternoon, in the Church of St. Peter, Fra Fulgentio abjured. There was present an infinite number of people. The Superiors of all the Orders were summoned to attend. I have learned from those who heard the minutes of the trial read out, that in documents in his own handwriting found in his cell he endeavoured to diminish and abolish Pontifical authority.
Fra Fulgentio was not aware that he was to make this abjuration till two hours before they took him into St. Peter's; he believed that he was to be absolved upon some salutary penance or something of little more importance; accordingly when, in the reading of the trial he heard himself styled “relapsed” and when the sentence of the Holy Office was published by which he was to be degraded and handed to the secular arm, he changed entirely and swooned away from the excessive fear which fell upon him. He was taken from St. Peter's to his degradation; and although it is customary to grant to those about to die for such crimes one or two days' grace, and the execution of the sentence was actually announced for Tuesday, nevertheless on Monday morning, very early, in the Campo di Fiore, he was hung by the neck from a stake, at which he was afterwards burned. At his death he showed great compunction of penitence, declaring aloud that he desired to die in the bosom of the Holy Roman Apostolic Church, repeating the word “Roman” several times, to the mighty edification of the bystanders. The tragedy that has befallen this unhappy man has given occasion to much discussion as to past events, and also because from this quarter he was enticed to leave Venice and was even assured of the protection and favour of his Holiness; and all the more so that, without that first abjuration which he was forced to make secretly on his arrival and merely as a form which would not deprive him of any rights, it would have been impossible to declare him “relapsed” and consequently they could not have put him to death. All the same those who heard the trial declare that he justly forfeited the protection of his Holiness and that it was impossible for them not to execute sentence on his person, for he affirmed positively that St. Peter was not the head of the Apostles, that the Pope was not St. Peter's successor, that he had no authority to create Bishops, that the Council of Trent was not general, that the Pope was a heretic, that friars and priests might marry, that it was not obligatory to consecrate the Sacrament in the Roman fashion; moreover he was in understanding with a heretic Prince in Germany and was minded to retire there in order to write and to live freely; that he had written letters to the King of England and had received in his cell a heretic English pilgrim, to whom he had said that he would like to go to England and by whom he was assured that the King would make much of him; and other such things.
Rome, 10th July, 1610.
July 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 7. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On Tuesday, the Ambassador of the Count Palatine had letters from his Master saying that in Heidelberg (Ahidemberg) there had been arrested the Jesuit who was head of the conspiracy against the King of England. His name is Charles Baldwin, and the Palatine is ready to send him to England on a sign from his Majesty. This news has caused fresh condemnation here of the Jesuits' teaching, and chiefly on the point of regicide. Voices have been raised so high, so manifold and unanimous, that they were hardly more so at the time of the King's death. Parliament continues to proceed against various Jesuit books. They defend themselves as best they can, but that will not be enough. Cotton has published a little book by him which has produced an effect the reverse of what he intended.
Paris, 11th July, 1610.
July 13. Collegio, Secreta. Lettere. Venetian Archives. 8. To the Viceroy of Sicily.
Letters of recommendation on behalf of the Agent for the owners in the case of the ship “King David,” send by Sherley into Palermo.
Ayes 20.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 0.
July 13. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi, Venetian Archives. 9. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:
“I am come this morning to re-open the question of the ship `Corsaletta'; but first I must congratulate those gentlemen who in the recent change of office have entered this august assembly. I am particularly pleased, for among them are some who are fully informed upon this subject, and others who know how much his Majesty has it at heart. I rejoice at their presence, which is my gain.
As I have to-day to speak about this matter for the last time, will your Serenity bear with me if I briefly rehearse the arguments thereon?
I claim the restitution of this ship in the same condition as when she was seized by your Serenity's galleys. This is our demand pure and simple, and we base it on two grounds, one is strict justice, the other the resolution of the Senate.
As to the first ground, that of justice, we say that the seizure was unjust, and we prove it in two ways; first the seizure took place in waters that do not belong to the Republic; although she claims to be mistress of the whole Mediterranean, still, as a matter of fact, the area is much more restricted; my Master is supreme only in those waters immediately around his islands and harbours. This is the fundamental argument. The second is that the master of the ship declares and proves that he conformed to the convention, that is to say he struck his foretop-gallant and was ready to send his ship's boat. Having fulfilled his obligations the arrest is unwarranted, and should anyone urge that there was contraband on board the answer is that neither on this account should the ship have been seized, for she took in her cargo at Turkish ports, in the territory of the Grand Signor, goods brought there by your Serenity's own subjects. I have some knowledge of the law of contraband. It says that goods laden at Zante are contraband; these goods were not laden at Zante but in the ports and territory of the Grand Signor, therefore it is not contraband.
But let us leave this first head of our case and come to the second: the resolution of the Senate. Your Serenity will remember that the first time I came here to demand restitution of the ship, the Most Excellent Senate was pleased to direct that the ship should to be restored precisely in the condition in which she was when seized. Those orders remaining unfulfilled, and we know why, your Serenity, at my instance, repeated the orders which reached the illustrious Signor Sagredo, then Governor in Crete. In the interval between the first and the second orders the ship and the goods had undergone such deterioration that the Agent of the interested parties, who had gone to Crete for this very purpose, refused to receive them. A claim was made for indemnification for the ship and its cargo in order that the resolution of the Senate might take effect, and the ship be restored as it was when seized, which was not its condition on the arrival of the second order. Had the first order been handed to the petitioners there would be nothing to say; the question would be closed, as the mistake would have been theirs. But the order was not handed to them. Your Serenity despatched it by another channel and it was not executed. On these grounds it is reasonable that as your Serenity conceded the restitution of the ship and cargo in the state they were in when seized, and both having deteriorated in the interval between the two orders, it is reasonable, I say, that your concession should be carried into effect by indemnification for loss. Nor should attention be paid to what is alleged here, nor yet to what is urged on our side; set aside both sets of assertions; enquire again, and the truth will be discovered. For the parties here assert what makes for their case, and our side may possibly do the same; it is a law that persons will defend themselves and support their own interests. I await from your Serenity the reply I am to send to England.”
The Doge answered: “My Lord Ambassador, as we have several times discussed the case of this ship, and as the Senate has given a reply two or three times to your demands, we thought the business was concluded, and that there was nothing more to be said; but since your Lordship has chosen to re-open the question in the terms just now employed, these gentlemen will take the matter in hand again, and in conjunction with the Senate will make such reply as is suitable. We must, however, remark that, as to the ship having been rightly or wrongly seized, the captain of our galleys who has in charge the protection of those waters, which are swarming with pirates, could not do less than carry out his orders and follow the rules of his naval profession which it was his duty to obey. As to the question whether the ship had conformed to the convention or not we refer to the report of our officers; and if there has been here some error—though we fail to see any—there is ground for excuse; for after the fact, which is certain, the ship was taken to Crete, and we did all that was right. At your Lordship's instance and to please his Majesty we issued orders for restitution, and it is to be believed that our letters were handed to the interested parties, who, it is to be supposed, would send them by the quickest and safest channel. But the parties did not present them. Your Lordship then came to ask us for fresh orders, and we immediately issued them. The moment they reached the Governor-General Sagredo he was ready to carry them out, but the Agent of the parties, as has been pointed out already to your Lordship, to whom Sagredo's letters were read, refused to receive consignment of the ship and the goods on the ground that some part was in bad condition. He was advised to call a Council of XII. (fn. 6) to decide the question, but this he declined to do, and so the blame does not lie with our officers, but with the Agent. This being so and the damage being due to the lapse of time between the first order, which the owners did not present, and the second, there is no ground for imputing any neglect to our servants. It would have been better had the episode never occurred, but as it has occurred, we could not do more than to restore the goods as they are, for it is obviously impossible for us to cause the damaged ship and goods to return to their pristine condition. This much we desired to rehearse to your Lordship. These gentlemen will, in conjunction with the Senate, take up the matter again and reply as is suitable.”
The Ambassador said: “From what your Serenity has justly observed to me I gather that you consider the question closed. I too wish it were ended and that I never had had to touch again upon a subject that was disagreeable; but, so help me God, never a despatch reaches me without express orders from my Master to deal closely with your Serenity on the matter because of the incessant complaints and insistence of the owners, whom his Majesty can not abandon. I, as his Majesty's Envoy, must obey, and I ought to be excused by your Serenity.”
The Ambassador went on to thank his Serenity for the appointment of Foscarini to the Embassy in England. “I rejoice greatly, for I well know that when the news of the Chevalier Giustinian's appointment to France reached the Court there was some bitterness felt by Lord Salisbury and other Ministers owing to the ancient rivalry between the two Crowns. I never failed to insist, in my despatches, that the Senate, which always acts with the greatest deliberation, would find a way to remove any little jealousy roused by the appointment of Giustinian. I am therefore consoled that the Illustrious Sig. Foscarini has been named to Great Britain. He is a gentleman of great parts, and I am informed by the Ambassador of Great Britain at the Court of France that Foscarini has always maintained friendly relations with him. Foscarini has shown on a recent occasion that he would not shrink from risking his life for his country, (fn. 7) and I may say that the more Venetian he is the more pleasant and acceptable will he be to our Court; though I must add that his Majesty will part from the Ambassador Correr with great regret, both on account of his excellent qualities and of the singular sincerity which he has displayed in recent events, and I am charged by Lord Salisbury to attest this in his Majesty's name to your Serenity.”
The Doge replied that he was glad that the appointment of Foscarini was approved. When the Republic appointed an Ambassador, however, no attention ought to be paid to that Ambassador's name, quality or multiplicity of service, but solely to his character as representing the State. The Ambassador's mantle and robe, once conferred, gave the rank. An election has no other significance than the appointment of an Ambassador. His Serenity proceeded to explain the method of an election. It was true, he added, that sometimes the State had compassion on those who had served for long, sometimes it would elect a person who desired office, sometimes it elected a person because no other was available at the moment. In no case was any discrimination of importance between Crown and Crown intended.
The Ambassador said he was glad to have this information. He had made his remarks merely because he knew that the matter was not rightly understood at the Court of England, where the Election of Giustinian was considered to imply a certain superiority in the Court of France. For it was known that the Republic distributes its offices by rank, and is not wont to send an Ambassador who has been with one King to the Court of another. He now considered that by the appointment of Foscarini to England the Senate desired to declare the equality of the Crowns.
The Ambassador then recalled to mind his petition for the commutation of sentence on a poor prisoner. (fn. 8) The Doge said the petition had not been taken into consideration as yet, for the law required the attendance of all the members of the Council of Ten, that is seventeen, and that all seventeen should vote unanimously, a very rare event, even in the case of matters affecting the nobility itself. But the petition would be considered in due course, as there was a desire to give the Ambassador every satisfaction.
July 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 10. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Hears from Brussels that the Marchese Spinola has gone to Maastricht and will remain on the frontier to sow suspicions, but he will not put his army in the field, partly because he is far inferior in numbers, partly because he is unwilling to risk his troops which are the backbone of the Archdukes' and even of the Spanish forces; the King of Spain has no other veterans. Further, as pay is due to the troops they might easily mutiny if placed in the field.
The English Ambassador (fn. 9) told me that the Marchese Botti (fn. 10) had discussed at length the possibility of settling the question of Cleves by an agreement. To this the Ambassador replied insisting on the claims of the “possessioners” in such a way that the Marchese was struck dumb, and the Ambassador added that the “possessioners” would be supported by arms, and if it were necessary his Master would send not four or five thousand men but eight or ten thousand, and the whole force would be raised proportionately. The Marchese said not another word, but merely asked the Ambassador whether he had said all this to the Austrian Agents. The Ambassador replied that he had nothing to do with them nor was he bound to render account to them; that he had only spoken because the Marchese had invited him and so given him an opening.
Hears that Lesdiguières has raised the number of his officers so as to be ready at a moment's notice to raise the number of his troops.
Paris, 14th July, 1610.
July 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 11. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Imperial Edict, in virtue of which the goods and the credit of the English in Hamburg and Lübeck were sequestrated, was issued in the days of Queen Mary, because her Majesty had revoked various privileges enjoyed by the Hanseatic cities of Germany in return for services rendered to the Crown. The Queen did not desire foreigners to enjoy privileges over her own subjects. This Edict was suspended on the request of Elizabeth, and negotiations, which still remain unsettled, were then opened. In the meantime the English who were nearly excluded from trade with Germany (which was considered of great moment on account of the distribution of their cloth) are now absolute masters and have absorbed the whole trade. All the same no one here doubts that the reason for putting the Edict in force is the aid given to the “possessioners” in Cleves against the interest of the Emperor, so the Lords of Council openly declare. The capital engaged amounts to eight hundred thousand crowns. Heavier loss is expected in other towns, for the same orders were sent to Stade, though not obeyed by the citizens.
The King has sent Le Sieur, who two years ago was Ambassador in Tuscany, to the Hanseatic cities to enquire into the particulars of the case and then to proceed to Prague to procure the recall of these orders; further, he has sequestrated certain German goods here, has put all the papers and books under seal, and has manned two men-of-war which he intends to employ, along with three others, to harass the German shipping as it sails West. If Le Sieur fails at the Imperial Court, they intend to proceed to more hostile acts with the help of the King of Denmark, who, thanks to his geographical position, can easily block trade between the Hanseatic towns, and who, on account of his claims on Lübeck, will gladly embrace the opportunity to co-operate with his Majesty against that city. This resolve will not be of any service to Germany, which is the object aimed at, as your Serenity will gather from subsequent letters.
The succour destined for Cleves is at the frontier of that State and will be followed up by Count Maurice. This is a proof that they will not enter the State in any hurry, otherwise we should have heard of the force being under the command of the Prince of Anhault.
At Düsseldorf the Ambassadors and Commissioners of the United Princes are assembling to discuss the demands formulated at the Convention of Prague, and about the interests of the pretenders in Cleves and Juliers; also as to the general claim to possession put forward by Brandenburg, Neuburg and Saxony and the private property of Deuxponts, Nevers and Bouillon; points that, even after absolute possession has been determined, will present many difficulties.
The Dukes of Wirtemberg and Holstein and the Margrave of Baden, who were chosen at the Diet of Hall as arbiters, are firm in refusing to act unless the Kings of France and England and the Princes of the Union pledge their forces to support the finding of the arbiters, supposing any one of the parties should refuse obedience. All these Princes are more disposed to an agreement than to war, and this accounts for the slowness with which the succours advance. All the same, from what I hear from a sound quarter, they will hardly allow Juliers to remain in the hands of a neutral during the suspension of arms unless the Court, which is to settle claims, is appointed to their liking.
Besides the first pay which was given to the four thousand English foot on the 25th of May no other money has been sent for that purpose. The forty days which the pay covered expired on the 5th inst., and I hear they are thinking of a fresh remittance.
Lord Wotton, (fn. 11) brother of the Lieger to your Serenity, has been appointed Ambassador to France to congratulate the King and Queen on the succession to the Crown. On the part of England nothing that could redound to the honour and contentment of France is omitted, as both its peace and the continuance of a good understanding are equally desired.
The massing of troops in the Duchy of Milan causes some talk at Court. It would be deeply regretted if any misfortune should happen to the Duke of Savoy; not that it is thought that Spain is very eager to be embroiled in war, nor that, in any circumstances, would his Highness be abandoned by the Queen of France; and the English Ambassadors are instructed to make representations on this point in favour of the Duke.
Many French gentlemen are arriving in Brussels to accompany the Prince and Princess of Condé on their return to France. The Prince of Orange will go with them, and the Archdukes intend to give them a little fete before they go, as they have made peace and settled some points of no slight difference between them.
The King has heard from Venice that news of his death was received with universal sorrow by the whole city. He has shown great satisfaction at this information.
Parliament having conceived a hope of conducting to an end the abolition of wardship and other impositions, shows itself more temperate in speech and more disposed to oblige his Majesty. All the same it desires a still further reduction of the new imposts on merchandise, and a declaration that for the future no innovations shall be made in this matter without the consent of Parliament. Parliament would be much more ready to satisfy his Majesty were it not checked by the lavishness he displays towards the Scottish nation, of which public and loud complaints are raised. And yet quite recently of a sum of four hundred thousand ducats which he borrowed from the merchants, at the usual rate of ten per cent. he gave eighty thousand to Robert Carr in return for certain property which was taken from him to create a Barony for the Duke of York. (fn. 12) (Si mostverebbono questi Signori molto più pronti a compiacer la Maestà se non venissero vitardati dalla liberalità che usa con la natione Scocese, di che fanno publiche et grandissime lamentationi, et pure ultimamente della summa di 400m ducati trovati da questi mercanti con il solito interesse di Xci per cento le donò 80m al Sr. Robert Car in ricompensa di alcuni beni che godeva, levattgli per formar una baronia per il Duca di Jorc.)
One of the prisoners indebted for ten thousand ducats to the parties interested in the “Reniera e Soderina” has appealed to the Lord Chief Justice (il Gran Giustitiario) to be enlarged upon certain fictitious pleas. I was warned in time and rendered his effort vain. Then all three prisoners petitioned Parliament, complaining that they were refused leave to appeal from the judgement entered against them. They hope that Parliament will ignore the royal Proclamation which requires the satisfaction in full of the damages given in cases of piracy, before leave to appeal can be granted, for Parliament claims that the creation of new laws belongs to itself alone. On the one hand I showed that I had no cause for alarm, as the King had frequently put in his word in this matter and so has the Council; on the other hand I have not neglected to make secret and efficacious representations to friends of this house who have weight in Parliament and have explained to those who can assist us the nature of our case. I am endeavouring to interest the Lords of the Council, who assure me absolutely that they will not permit any change although, judging from my experience on other occasions, I can not sleep securely on this point.
London, 14th July, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 12. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
At the moment that the news of the sequestration of English merchandize in the cities of the Empire reached London the Ambassador of Wirtemberg also arrived on his return from Paris. The King has shown great readiness to subscribe the capitulations of Hall. Hitherto he has declined to bind himself by them, either because he wished to wait and see what happened in France, or because he placed little reliance on the forces of Germany, or to show that he had not changed his mind on the death of the King of France, to whose aggrandizement the confederation appeared to be directed quite as much as to the preservation of the Protestant Princes. I hear that on his Majesty's arrival in London the signing will take place. The United Provinces will do the like for they have long desired and toiled for such a Union. They are sure that they will have to go to war again with Spain as soon as the Spanish, either through a recovery of power or on a suitable opportunity, shall think they can bring them again under their dominion.
The negotiations of the French Ambassador are concluded. The King agrees to accept in full satisfaction of the debt due from the French Crown, two hundred thousand crowns in two years, and that the States of the United Provinces should call themselves debtors for the rest. Thus the capitulations of the reigns of Elizabeth and Edward VI. will be renewed. There is still, however, some slight difficulty with the States of Holland, who are unwilling to submit to this payment, as they assert that they received the money unconditionally. But this business too is proceeding satisfactorily and will soon be concluded.
Yesterday, news came from Germany that in the Rhine Palatinate a Jesuit called Baldwin (fn. 13) (Bodwino) had been arrested on his way to Italy. His Majesty has long desired to have him in his hands as one of the Gunpowder Plot Conspirators. His Majesty had frequently demanded him from the Archdukes. The King desires to learn from Baldwin certain details upon which he has not full information, why two of the leaders preferred to die fighting rather than yield themselves living into the hands of justice.
This news has been sent post haste to his Majesty, who certainly will think it the best he could receive.
The imprisoned Priests will this week be shipped across to France and banished, except a Capuchin and a Jesuit who are in the Tower on charge of plotting against the State.
London, 14th July, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 13. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have paid various accounts for letters as per receipts enclosed; £20 17s. 6d. to be deducted for payments made by Contarini when Ambassador Extraordinary at this Court. To meet these bills I have drawn on Calendrini and Burlamachi for £89 17s. 4d., equal to 368 ducats, 18 grossi. Will your Serenity be pleased to refund the same to the Magnificents Carlo, Leone and Alfonso Strozzi in the terms of letters of mine now in their hands?
I think it advisable that your Serenity should give orders to pay the post from Venice to Antwerp, which would relieve me of a great weight. Here on my side I am not remiss in the public service, as I have made a new contract with the Postmaster with a gain of a real for every ounce.
I would observe that from the time I left your Serenity, no sum of money has ever been voted to me in anticipation to meet your Serenity's out-goings.
London, 14th July, 1610.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 14. 1609, 8th February, London.
Due by the Illustrious and Most Excellent M. Antonio Corraro, Ambassador of Venice, for letters sent from Venice to London and vice-versa from 1st November, 1608, up to to-day, number 2172 £261 8s.
for letters from Venice to Antwerp, namely the mail of the 13th, 19th and 20th February and the 5th March £3 15s.
for various letters from Holland, Flanders and elsewhere paid by us up to date £8 1s. 8d.
for despatches to order of Corraro, 28th November, 1608, and 2nd May, 1609 £1 9s.
£274 13s. 8d.
I, Comin Cominlioli on behalf of Fedrigo Fedrighi, my uncle, have received from Giacomo Varnicoli, Majordomo of the Venetian Ambassador, £74 13s. 8d., which with the £200 previously received make payment in full of the above account for all money disbursed for postage up to date on the order of his Illustrious Lordship £274 13s. 8d.
Comin Cominlioli.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 15. I Mathieu de Quester, Postmaster in London to the King of Great Britain, acknowledge the receipt, from the Venetian Ambassador per his Majordomo, of thirty pounds and twopence sterling, and that for the postage of packets and letters addressed to the said Ambassador and coming from Antwerp, up to this date 4th July, O.S.
London; received the above £30 0s. 2d.
Mathieu de Quester.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 16. 4th July, 1610.
Received from the Ambassador of Venice for postage six pounds one shilling sterling per Messrs. Calendrini and Burlamachi, £6 1s.
for Christian Bor.
July 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 17. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of the United Provinces tells the Venetian Ambassador that the States would send a lieger to Venice as they have done to France and to England, provided they knew it would be acceptable. He pointed out that no alliance could be more sound, appropriate and advantageous, as the forces of both powers could always effect conjunction by sea, as they were respectively the most powerful in the ocean and in the Mediterranean, while their distance from each other excluded jealousy, suspicion or strained relations. (Non mi ha tacciuto che niuna amicitia può esser più sincera, propria o utile, che della V. Serenità et li Signori Stati, che possono con il mezo del mare congionger sempre le loro forze, essendo le più potenti nell' oceano et Mediterraneo, et per la lontananza de paesi non possono nascer gelosia, sospetti, dar o ricever disgusti.)
The Venetian Ambassador gave an evasive answer.
Paris, 15th July, 1610.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 18. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador came to see me yesterday and mentioned the case of the Jesuit (Baldwin) arrested at Heidelberg. He dwelt on his bad qualities, declaring that he had had a hand in all the plots against the King his Master. That while he was Ambassador at the Archduke's Court he caused Baldwin to be banished, and the Jesuit is now plotting some wickedness.
Has heard from a sure source that there have fallen into the hands of the said English Ambassador a packet of letters written by an Englishman in the Spanish Ambassador's house and addressed to a Lord suspected before this. (Ho saputa per via sicura che è capitato in mano dello stesso Ambasciatore d'Inghilterra un piego di lettere di uno Inglese che si trova in casa dello Ambasciatore di Spagna scritte ad un Milor altre volte sospetto.)
Paris, 15th July, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. Fra Fulgenzio Manfredi, one of Sarpi's colleagues in the defence of the Republic in her struggle with the Curia, not to be confounded with Fra Fulgenzio Micanzi, Sirpi's biographer.
  • 2. Decipher reads “far ” but cipher reads “g 26” = “not.”
  • 3. See Cal. S.P. Dom., July 27, 28, 1610. “Touching a patent of invention granted in favour of Henry Wright, a poor man, who had a promise of a patent for furnaces.” “License to Sir Wm. Slingsby, And. Palmer, Edwd. Wolverston. and Rob. Clayton, to make furnaces, bell-metal, etc., with sea and grit coal instead of wood and charcoal, for 21 years.”
  • 4. See Cal. S.P. Ven. May 18, 1610.
  • 5. See Cal. S.P. Dom. June 2, 1610. Proclamation for due execution of all former laws against recusants, and for banishing Priests and Jesuits.
  • 6. See Rezasco, Dizionario del linguggio Italiano storico ed Amministrativo. Firenze, 1881, s.v. “Dodici.” “Council of Twelve, a body of merchants which every Venetian Consul or Bailey at a sea port was bound to consult on matters relating to the Consulate.”
  • 7. See Cal. S.P Ven. May 18, 1610.
  • 8. Cumano. See Cal. S.P. Ven. May 19, 1610.
  • 9. Sir Thomas Edmondes. The rent of his house in Paris was £50. Cal. S.P. Dom., 13 Aug., 1610.
  • 10. The Florentine Agent.
  • 11. See Nichols, “Progresses of King James the First,” II. 363.
  • 12. See Nichols, op. cit. II. 416. Note.
  • 13. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1603–1610, pp. 631, 634, 637, 640. Sir Ralph Winwood informed Salisbury of Baldwin's capture at Heidelburg. He advised that Baldwin be handed to Sir John Burlacy and Capt. Dewhurst for conveyance to the Tower, and that the King should thank the Elector Palatine and the Prince of Anhault. In September of this year, Capt. Turner advises Salisbury from Paris that the Nuncio had consulted him as to decoying some young English noble to the States of the Church, where he might be held as a hostage for Baldwin. On Oct. 8th, Burlacy and Dewhurst held a warrant for £120 for conveying Baldwin to London. See also Winwood Memorials III. 211, 212, 407. Baldwin attempting to reach Augsburg, passed himself off as Alessandro Prawn. He was detected and denounced by the hostler, who saw him reading letters from Lady Lovell in the stable. In 1612 there was a proposal to exchange Baldwin for “poor Mr. Mole, the Lord Rosse's tutor that hath been so long in the Inquisition at Rome.”