Venice: January 1611

Pages 104-112

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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January 1611

1611 Jan. 3. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni. Principi, Venetian Archives 155. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:
Although he had no business, either public or personal, he would not omit an universal custom, that was to wish a happy New Year to the Serene Republic; he protests his devotion and readiness to serve; the policy of a Minister should be the same as the policy of his Master; the King of England desires peace, public quiet, the tranquillity of Italy, happiness and prosperity to the Republic; to these aims the Ambassador will devote himself.
The Doge returned the compliment, and said that history recorded the notable favours bestowed on this State by that Crown.
The Ambassador said he hoped to trouble his Serenity as little as possible. He would sometimes send his secretary, Gregorio (Monti), secretary to the late Ambassador, a Venetian, and therefore all the more willingly received. The Ambassador begged the Doge to lend Gregorio perfect credence. The Doge said he knew and appreciated the Secretary, and would always receive and listen to him as the Ambassador requested.
Jan 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 156. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have letters from Marseilles announcing that Dauncer (Danzer) sailed with the ships appointed for the punishment of the Barbary pirates. He was to cruise off Algiers and prevent the pirates putting out. Besides some small ships he captured a great galleon, and there were hopes of still greater successes had he known how to conduct matters. But he put in towards the fort with a flag of parley (bandiera di riscato) flying and sent his lieutenant on shore to treat. The lieutenant brought back hopes of putting an end to the injuries inflicted on the Marseilles shipping, and Dauncer was induced to land in person, but he was deceived by the Bey of the pirates, made prisoner and has paid by his death for his excessive credulity and the thousands of murders he committed in former times. This news, although not absolutely confirmed, still seeing that it is so full of details and is reported by one who says he was an eye witness, is thought to be true and will seriously affect the trade of Marseilles.
Paris, 6th January, 1611.
Jan 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 157. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Osman Day (?) (Dai), a famous English pirate who had become a Turk, has sent word from Barbary to the Porte that he has armed six bertons with one hundred and fifty blackamoor harquebusseers apiece, and forty pieces of artillery, and has already sent them towards the Gulf of Sethelia and to the waters of Cyprus to meet and fight the ships of the Grand Duke. The Capudan Pasha, on receiving the news, at once sent a note to the Sultan, who was much pleased at Osman's offer and sent him instantly a robe to Tunis and another with a letter to the Commander of the six bertons, to whom leave has been given to enter any port in the Sultan's dominions. I fear great mischief from them, for the sea instead of being protected will be more than ever plundered by them, especially as they are now under the protection of the Sultan.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 8th January, 1610 [M.V.]
Jan 11. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 158. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Your Serenity will have heard ere this that the Turkish Fleet has returned to Constantinople after having engaged an English berton. Six hundred Turks went on board her, but they and the whole crew perished, as the English sank the ship.
An English ship put in here a few days ago. Its supercargo reports that on his departure from Naples there was a rumour that the Grand Signor had beheaded, in Tunis, Carosman, captain of the Janissaries and supporter of Ward, the pirate, who is at present out on a buccaneering expedition off Spain.
Zante, 11th January, 1611.
Jan 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 159. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court has passed these days of Christmastide in festivity and rejoicing. The King wished the Marshal de Laverdin, Ambassador extraordinary of France, to arrive here at this juncture, and accordingly he caused the Marshal to postpone his departure some weeks ago; but now M. de Laverdin, either kept back by business or resolved not to go to dances, as he is still in mourning, did not reach Calais till Monday last and is kept there by the wind. The Master of the Ceremonies has been sent down to the shore to meet him, and forty other gentlemen who speak French are to meet him twenty miles out of London. He will be handsomely entertained and his business quickly despatched, as the King means to be off as soon as possible to finish this year's hunting season at Royston; and nothing but this reception would keep his Majesty in London after this week. On Tuesday the Prince gave his Masque, which was very beautiful throughout, very decorative, but most remarkable for the grace of the Prince's every movement.
The King was pleased that the Spanish Ambassador and I should be present. The Ambassador of the United Provinces was also invited, but perhaps by agreement he feigned displeasure, as he is accustomed to find himself with the Ambassador of his Catholic Majesty, to whom it is unpleasant that by this title of Ambassador other Sovereigns should authenticate the independence of those states. The Queen, next whom I sat, said that on Sunday next she intended to give her Masque, and she hoped the King would invite me to it. She then said some words in English to the Earl of Salisbury, from which I gathered they are not pleased at M. de Laverdin's delay, which looked as though he had not understood the honour done him by the King and the Prince.
His Highness, after naming the officers of his household and signing many excellent orders, (fn. 1) administered the oath to all, and has begun to govern his house apart from his father's. He is delighted to rule; and as he desires that the world should think him prudent and spirited he pays attention to the regulations of his house and is studying an order as to the cut and quality of the dresses of the gentlemen of his household—which runs here to an incredible excess; on the other hand he attends to the disposition of his houses, having already ordered many gardens and fountains and some new buildings. He is paying special attention to the adorning of a most beautiful gallery of very fine pictures ancient and modern, the larger part brought out of Venice. He is also collecting books for a library he has built. (Havendo di già ordinati molti giardini nelle sue Case, fontane et qualche fabrica. Attende spetialmente ad ornare una bellissima galeria di bellissime pitture antiche et moderne la maggior parte cavate di Venetia; et fa raccolta de libri per una libraria fatta da nuovo.)
Affairs of Germany are under negotiation and here they entertain good hopes of peace. The Duke of Saxony has at last obtained possession from the Archdukes of those small places' belonging to Cleves, inside Brabant. This will not hinder the settlement; nay, it should make the other two “possessioners” more ready to admit the Duke to their company.
In Holland M. de Barneveldt (Bernouel) is on the point of death, to the great grief of all those provinces, who will lose a rare genius. He has suggested as his successor a person of weight and excused himself for excluding his own brother, whom he recognises as fit for many things but not for all business as the post requires. This has confirmed the idea of his great integrity and love for his country.
High winds all this week, which have caused much damage. The day before yesterday came news of the loss of two ships.
I have received your Serenity's despatch of the 16th of last month, with an account of Carleton's presentation and Wotton's leave-taking.
London, 14th January, 1611 (sic).
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 160. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio in Paris writes that he learns from letters written from England that there is greater rigour than ever against the Catholics of that kingdom, and that many priests have been put to death. His Holiness is much distressed and has consulted with one or two Cardinals as to the way in which this persecution might be killed or modified. He was told that no remedy could be of greater assistance to this object than to cease to annoy the King as he was annoyed in the past, and to abandon the policy followed by the Jesuits, which experience has shown to produce the worst results, contrary to all expectation.
Rome, 15th January, 1611.
Jan 16. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy, Venetian Archives. 161. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
After Wotton's arrival the Duke has done all he could to flatter him and honour him during the few days of his stay here. He entertained him at his own charges; and on Sunday he invited Wotton to a little fêGte at which his Highness was present. He sent Wotton a masquerade costume, very magnificent, with a jewel in the cap of the value of one thousand crowns. The next day he invited Wotton to dine and at the close he gave several great toasts to the health of his Majesty. He then showed Wotton the gallery and library, and in the evening he took him to see the Princes jousting. On Wednesday the Ambassador being on the point of departure, with the carriages waiting, the Duke sent to detain him and that evening had a very long audience of over three hours. The Duke all along has shown impatience and desire for the Ambassador's arrival. As the Ambassador took a long time over the road after leaving Venice the Duke had all the more opportunity for displaying his anxiety by showing how much he desired his passage through this city. For many days now the Duke has been planning to send the Count of Ruffia as his Ambassador to England, and he is now all the more confirmed in this design. From the moment of his arrival the Ambassador was aware of an extraordinary desire on the part of the Duke to honour him, and from the Count of Ruffia, who was appointed to meet him and to wait on him, he learned about this Embassy to England. However, up to Tuesday, when Wotton came to visit me—as he had his suite with him there was little occasion for private talk—on my giving him the opportunity he took occasion to say that on his oath he had not as yet discovered any particular negotiations in the mind of his Highness but only a desire to establish good relations with his Majesty; and that it might be of service to your Serenity that the Duke should show such tendencies, for it would be a pledge of his goodwill towards the Republic, and a proof that he had made up his mind to stand with his Majesty, with the Republic and with the Crown of France. Wotton told me that he had taken occasion to bear witness to the great regard in which your Excellencies hold the Duke, and this he had done as in duty bound in the service of your Serenity and for the common good, which requires that the Duke should be heartened and confirmed in his present excellent attitude. He conjectured that when the Duke's Ambassador reached London he would take it as an open sign of understanding if the Garter were bestowed on the Duke as it has been on the King of France, and Wotton thought that his Majesty would be pleased to comply. Wotton did not show any signs of thinking that aught else was in his Highness' mind, nor did he expect a further audience. That audience took place under the special circumstances of a postponement of his departure and indicates some question of moment. While the Abbe Provana was Ambassador for the Duke to your Serenity, by means of Wotton some question of a marriage between the Prince of Savoy and the Princess of England was mooted, but the negotiations for a French match broke it off; now if the Duke were to find opposition in France he might again turn his attention to this project, and this may be the reason for his sending an Embassy to England, and its departure will be hastened or retarded as occasion requires. Meantime the Duke thinks that such marks of regard towards Ministers of his Majesty are of great help to him both because a close connection with the Crown of England would be useful and because, should his hopes of the French match be deluded, he would in a way repair the damage to his reputation caused by the refusal of France if it were seen that he was in treaty with England. Although these ideas may be passing through his Highness' mind I think it difficult to believe that he would communicate them to the English Ambassador, for, as the King of England is still inclined to a French Princess for the Prince of Wales, if the Duke were to show that he thought his own marriage project doubtful the English would be incited to press on theirs. The Duke will, however, be governed by a care not to injure himself with France for a French alliance would suit his policy and guarantee his State better than an alliance with England; though he may have mooted the subject in case of the rupture of his French schemes, as this new negotiation might lead to a matrimonial contract between the Prince of Savoy and the Princess of England.
It has been observed, however, that the Duke made an opportunity for and even urged Wotton to visit the Princesses, and that while he was watching the Prince's jousting he was placed right opposite the Princesses, and on Sunday his Highness being in his sledge, masked, and, as is usual, having the eldest of the Princesses with him, when he came opposite the Ambassador's carriage he stopped the sledge to take of and re-adjust the Princess's mask, which was hurting her, and this gave the Ambassador an opportunity of seeing her in such a condition—warmed by the exercise and by the mask—as would render her more beautiful than she ordinarily appears.
Turin, 16th January, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan 16. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 162. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador paid me a visit on Tuesday, and expressed his determination to serve your Serenity everywhere. On Wednesday I sent my secretary to pay my respects to him on the day of his departure. Wotton kept the secretary and said that he had omitted to say how deeply he felt the courtesy with which he had been treated the whole time of his stay in that city, and especially in the case of one last great favour that he had received. Still he could not help feeling a little hurt at the difference that had been made between himself and M. de Fresnes, though both were Envoys of equal Princes, nay if either should have the preference his Master deserved it for having openly declared himself for the Republic when others were either opposed or stood neutral.
My secretary replied that the favours shown to M. de Fresnes were private and peculiar to himself, as his son had offered to raise a regiment of French. Wotton said he had one with him who would have raised ten thousand English; and that he had only a a nephew and not a son with him was not a fair ground for drawing a distinction. He wished me to be informed of this in order that I might assure your Excellencies that here he laid down any burden of wrong under which he might have left Venice, retaining only the obligations under which he lay.
Turin, 16th January, 1611.
Jan 18. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 163. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Persian Ambassador (fn. 2) who came here a year ago with a proposal from the King of Persia to send all exports out of Persia to Lisbon if Spain would attack Turkey, has not had an answer. He has resolved to depart; he told me privately that he intended to go to England to offer them this advantage. Another Persian Ambassador is expected soon at Court.
Madrid, 18th January, 1610 [M.V.].
Jan 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 164. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Just when it was hoped that the Lady Arabella was about to enjoy the royal clemency, she, in spite of many arguments advanced in defence of her marriage and many humble excuses made to the King, was unanimously by the whole Council ordered to set out, within twenty days, for Durham, thirty miles from the Scottish border, where she was to live in the keeping of the Bishop. It is thought that the King will send her even further, and by putting her out of the kingdom he will secure himself against disaffection settling round her. Her husband is confined to the Tower for life and more closely guarded than heretofore; this has thrown him into extreme affliction; nor are there wanting those who bewail his unhappiness.
M. de Laverdin after waiting eleven days in Calais and putting to sea four times, crossed over yesterday, but with so much difficulty that one of his escort and part of her crew are held for lost. He had to land on the beach (fn. 3) and he has sent up for carriages and other necessaries. This delay will likely be the greatest expense of his Embassy, for here he will have all that he needs for himself and his suite, which is said to be very numerous. Two days ago the king went to Hampton Court to spend this time in sport; he will not fail to return to receive and dismiss the Marshal and will then proceed to Royston. While he was here the King paid personal attention to the more important business. He held a further confrontation of Father Baldwin the Jesuit with another Jesuit who is in the Tower; but I hear that nothing was extracted. All hopes of bringing parliament to a satisfactory decision failing, it has been dissolved outright. This step, which is unusual, as Parliament is usually prorogued, and the rumour that the King intends to issue privy seals for the amount of one million six hundred thousand crowns, give rise to some talk. This loan once obtained his Majesty will summon a new Parliament; care being taken that those hostile to him shall not be re-elected. He will all the more readily obtain subsidies to pay back the loan, in that everyone will have an interest in voting it, and all the money will pass into the hands of the nobility. Some cry out that it is not well to exclude those who have forgotten their personal interests in the service of their country; others are unwilling that his Majesty should achieve by indirect ways what was refused him by Parliament. All the same, as these demands for a loan have been made before and as his Majesty completely repaid his debt, a thing Queen Elizabeth did not do, he will find a readiness in his subjects. If he gains the Parliamentary leaders he will secure a return of a majority of members that suit his taste.
In Flanders some officers are raising troops for Germany. All the same, those who manage affairs here think that an accord will be reached. The Queen's Masque is put off to the Feast of the Purification; either because the stage machinery is not in order or because their Majesties thought it well to let the Marshal depart first. Letters from Italy received the day before yesterday; we learn about the health of the Viscount Cranborne, (fn. 4) about which were spread unquieting rumours that kept the Court very anxious, and caused the Lord Treasurer, his father, to ask me for some information and to doubt that something was being held back. But his courage never deserted him a moment.
London, 21st January, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan 22. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 165. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The English and their vessels are expected in Leghorn.
Florence, 22nd January, 1611.
Jan 22. Minutes of the Senate. Constantinople. Venetian Archives. 166. To the Bailo in Constantinople.
Though convinced that the Governor of Zante will have informed you about the vessel belonging to the pirate Ward (Vuart) which went on shore on the shoals of Clarentza, and of the shelter given to the crew by the Bey of the Morea, still we send copies of his letters and charge you to make serious complaint against the Bey, who shelters pirates in spite of orders from the Porte.
Ayes 137.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 1.
Jan 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 167. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
When the King of Denmark heard the proposal made in the name of the Diet at Hall, he declared that he would join the Union, but as to being head of it, for fear of offending the King of England, he said that such a title and such authority belong to that Crown.
Paris, January 23, 1611.
Jan 29. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 168. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
One of the English Captains, who was expected, has arrived at Leghorn with much money. He left two ships at Naples and one at Civita Vecchia. They will also arrive. The Captain in the meantime has made himself at home in Leghorn, having married a wife.
Florence, 29th January, 1611.
Jan 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 169. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador, lately in Venice, when passing through Savoy had an audience with the Duke on the subject of the marriage of the King's daughter to the Duke's son; the Spanish would assent in order to hinder the French match.
Rome, 29th January, 1611.
Jan 30. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 170. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
To-morrow the Count of Ruffia is to leave for England; he will pass through Paris. He is to observe how matters stand and to regulate his negotiations in England accordingly. He is to explain the true nature of the agreement between Spain and Savoy about which the Spanish are spreading lies.
Turin, 30th January, 1611.


  • 1. See Birch, “Life of Henry, Prince of Wales, London, 1760, Ap. IX.”
  • 2. Sir Robert Sherley
  • 3. He landed at Lewes.
  • 4. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1610, Dec. 14, 18, 21, 28, containing Dr. Matthew Lister's reports on Cranborne's health in Padua.