Venice: May 1611, 1-15

Pages 140-148

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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May 1611, 1–15

May 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 214. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
News that the Count of Ruffia is about to leave England to return here for further instructions about the marriage. But it seems that these negotiations are much relaxed, as the Duke gave no encouragement that if the Princess were married she would be allowed to continue in her own religion; and the King has declared that he would not give his daughter to the greatest Monarch in the world unless she were. Ruffia, it seems, has offended the French Ambassador by visiting the Spanish first; he pleads that he returned the visits in the order in which they were made.
Turin, the first of May, 1611.
May 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 215. Marc' Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador-elect to England, to the Doge and Senate.
I left Paris on Saturday week, and late last night I reached this city. To-morrow, by God's grace, I will pass the sea and will continue my journey with all speed in the hope of being able to pay my respects to your Excellencies from London by the first ordinary post, which will leave in six days.
The English Ambassador's visit to Fontainbleau was intended to urge the Queen to discharge the debt which his Master claims against this Crown. He had also to inform the Queen about the negotiations of the Court of Ruffia for a matrimonial alliance with Savoy, to which the King would not lend an ear, as he insisted first on a declaration from the Duke of Savoy that the Princess would be left free in the exercise of her religion. As to the money the Ambassador had a promise from the Queen, but Villeroy declared that a large part would have to be deducted on account of moneys supplied to the united Provinces in accord with Queen Elizabeth. M. de Jacob promised that the Duke of Savoy would lay down his arms entirely if he were assured that he would receive no injury from Spain nor from Berne.
Calais, the first of May, 1611.
May 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 216. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador in his last audience on the 20th assured the Queen in pregnant words straight from his Master's mouth that his Majesty would explain to the Huguenots that they should remain quiet and far removed from any revolution, for not only would he not assist them but if need were he would unite his forces with those of the Queen to chastise them. The Queen was delighted at this communication; in her own and her son's name she professed a great debt to the King. She charged the Ambassador to represent this to his Majesty, on whose friendship and alliance she laid great stress. Her Majesty some days earlier had ordered M. de Vitry to go over to England, and as Sully told me in great confidence, he is, under pretext of the chace in which he is highly skilled, to keep always close to the King, and to note what dealings the Huguenots of this kingdom hold with his Majesty, and to thwart them; insinuating gently other ideas tending to quiet. When the Queen heard the English Ambassador's communication she caused de Vitry to leave at once, and while confirming his previous orders she added instructions to render thanks for this fresh offer.
Paris, 3rd May, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 217. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Vitry, who arrived in London last week, went at once to join the King in the chace at Royston. So far I cannot find that he has conducted any negotiations, nor indeed that he has any commission from the Queen; though the Spanish suspect it. He lodges apart from the Ambassador. The Ambassador is constantly receiving couriers with orders to impart to the King the negotiations of M. de Bareau in Turin and of M. de Jacob in France. The French are desirous of preventing an alliance with Spain or Savoy, and I think they will not find much difficulty.
The King returned on Saturday. He was met by the Princes. Yesterday he held the usual ceremony of the Garter. Besides the Duke of York, the Earl of Arundel and Viscount Rochester were admitted. (fn. 1) Both are very young. Arundel is the premier Earl of England and Rochester is further in the King's graces than any other subject. Two other stalls are vacant; one would go to Prince Maurice if the King were sure that it would gratify him, for on other occasions, in the reign of Elizabeth, the Prince excused himself on the plea of his obligations to the United Provinces, but as a matter of fact he, at that time, wished to avoid arousing the jealousy of the King of France. This sudden admission of Rochester to the ranks of the Garter Knights has made it even clearer to the Court that he is at the height of favour, though the fact was known to those who observed; for the translation of the Bishop of London to the Archbishopric of Canterbury took place at his request and contrary to the wishes of the whole Council, to whom the King used some sharp words, declaring it to be his will in order to oblige one of his servants; and quite recently on Rochester's intercession, he made a present of a house in Scotland, which had been promised to the Queen for the Chancellor of that Kingdom, and this she very much resents. (Questa cosi subita conumeratione del Visconte di. Rochester tra li Cavallieri della Garatiera ha maggiormente fatto palese a tutta la Corte in quanto colmo di favore egli si trovi, il che però non cra nascosto a quelli che più penetrano perchè la collatione dell' Arcivescovato di Cantarberi nel Vescovo di Londra segui par ad instanza sua contra la volontà di tutto il Consiglio con il quale il Rè passò anco parole molte risentite, dichiarando esser la sua volontà per sodisfare ad un suo servitore; et questi ultimi giorni per intercessione dell' istesso sua Maestà ha qui trattata una donatione di una casa in Scotia, promessa alla Serenissima Regina per il Cancelliere di quel Regno, cosa che è stata malissimo sentita da lei.)
Here an unwonted drought continues; and this has made the King change his plan of returning to Royston. He will go deer hunting in his parks along with Vitry, though the season has not commenced. The Prince will retire to his house at Richmond, the King allowing him, as he knows that the Prince does not care for such assiduity in the chase. It was on such an occasion, during this last stay at Royston, that the Prince showed resentment at being reproved by the King; this made the King so angry that he threatened the Prince with his cane, whereupon the Prince put spurs to his horse and rode off, followed by the larger part of the company. Later on he went to the King's chamber to beg pardon at the instance of the Duke of Lennox; he was cheerfully welcomed, and the King only saidYou are no sportsman.” (Per tale occasione sua Altezza mostrò un giorno in quest ultimo viaggio di Roiston disgusto d'essere stato ripreso dal Rè di che sua Maestà si resenti maggiormente, movendole la bachetta incontro, onde il Principe spinse il cavallo, et parti, seguitato dalla maggiore parte della compagnia, poi andato ad iscusarsene nelle stanze della Maestà sua, persuaso dal Duca di Lenos, fu raccolto allegramente et dettole solo voi non sete buon cacciatore.)
The King of Denmark has sent to Holland to ask for six hundred sailors, some ships and a certain number of trained soldiers, on the supposition that the United Provinces were ready to lighten their burden, but the Dutch who desire peace among the Sovreigns and who had sent Envoys expressly to urge it, excused themselves on the plea that the disturbances in Germany will not permit them. It is understood that the King of Denmark would have twenty-thousand men in the field the first day of this month. He is to attempt the recovery of certain places which belonged to his Kingdom, which have been usurped and held for long by Sweden. He also has twenty-three great ships on the sea to compel the vessels which pass through the straits to pay toll and also to prevent the King of Sweden from receiving succour by sea. That sovreign also made preparations; but as the ice lasted the whole month his armament was blocked and rendered useless.
To-morrow the Ambassador Foscarini is to enter the City. Yesterday his Majesty sent his Master of the Ceremonies with the royal carriages to meet him. I shall not fail to secure for him every honour, as in duty bound.
London, 4th May, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 218. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear from an authentic source that the Duke of Savoy remains armed because he has information that the Huguenots are going to move, and as the King would be engaged in repressing them the Duke would have an opportunity to attack Geneva.
There is news from the Hague that the States are in some trouble because the King of England is pressing them for a big debt. (fn. 2) D'Aerssens went to the Queen and endeavoured by various arguments to saddle the debt on her. She replied that it was not for her to pay it, and that the two years from the conclusion of the truce had now expired and she did not intend to keep on foot the two regiments of French troops in the service of the States unless the States paid their debt to England.
Paris, 4th May, 1611.
May 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 219. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Illustrious Foscarini left on the 23rd for England, via Calais. Praises his qualities and the splendour of his way of life. There are gone with him Signor Francesco Cocco, son of the late illustrious Signor Gerolamo, and Signor Pietro Loredan, son of the late illustrious Signor Pietro; gentlemen of the highest ability, who, after passing many months with Foscarini here, have gone to England. There is also gone with his illustrious Lordship Signor Vido Morosini, son of Signor Angelo; he spent his youth in the study of letters and has made marvellous progress; now he is studying courts and the world.
Paris, 4th May, 1611.
May 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 220. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
On news that certain pirates had put out from Algiers to infest the coast by Lisbon two hundred thousand crowns have been sent to Don Luis Fasciardo to enable him to commission a number of galleons to protect trade. Orders have been sent to India that the flotta is not to come unless supported by Fasciardo's squadron.
The Persian Ambassador, who is here about the introduction of the silk trade from Persia on condition that the King of Spain makes war on the Turk, has received favourable notice; as the Spanish are much inclined to this business. The King has sent to his Agents in Genoa, France and Marseilles to have information as to the amount of silk that reaches those places and the dues it pays, but as to war with the Turk he declares he must first apply to the Pope in order that, as head of Christendom, he may move other Princes, and especially the Signory of Venice, to join. The Ambassador has had a gift of three thousand crowns and will leave for Rome in eight days.
Madrid, 7th May, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
May 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives,. 221. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A gentleman called Rodenberg has arrived from Holland, to complain of the capture of four Dutch ships by the Spanish off the coast of Guinea. He at once called on me to explain his mission. They claim damages and hope to get them, as Rodenberg brings letters from the Archduke exhorting his Majesty to consent, as the Dutch are in the right. He has orders if refused to announce that the Dutch will take to reprisals and to give notice at once in France and in England.
Madrid, 7th May, 1611.
May 10. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 222. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Takes advantage of English ships bound for Venice to send despatch.
Zante, 10th May, 1611.
May 11. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 223. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Regrets he has no funds available for the assistance of Zuane Pasqualigo; but has written to Patras to Sig. Edward Colston, an English merchant of great importance, who has a house in Zante, begging him to write to others to do all they can for Pasqualigo's liberation.
Zante, 11th May, 1611.
May 12. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 224. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports again that he has written to Edward Colston, English Vice-Consul in Patras.
Zante, 12th May, 1611.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 225. Letter to the English Vice-Consul in Patras.
Explaining the case of Zuane Pasqualigo and other slaves, liberated but re-arrested. Begs the Consul to use his authority to secure their freedom; if he does so his action will be praised to the King of England.
Zante, 9th May, 1611.
May 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 226. Marc' Antonio Correr and Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Wednesday, the 4th of May, Sir Lewis Lewkenor, Master of the Ceremonies, on the King's orders came to meet me, Foscarini, with three royal coaches, but about a day's journey out of London he was seized with a grave and sudden sickness, which still keeps him in bed and in peril of his life; he sent a gentleman of his suite to act for him. Five miles out of London I was met by Vincenzo Correr and Pietro Loredan, son and nephew of the Ambassador, along with other English and Italian gentlemen on horseback. I was captivated no less by their noble and exquisite manners than by the honour; for sure Courts are a useful school for youths. Soon after I met his Illustrious Lordship with all the Italian nation and many other gentlemen, in upwards of twenty coaches, among them two belonging to the French Ambassador, conveying his nephews, secretary and other gentlemen. This was an unwonted honour, nor did he fail in many other offices, being followed the next morning by the Spanish Ambassador. The same day, while Sir Henry Wotton, late Ambassador to your Serenity, was visiting me in the King's name, the Lord Chamberlain sent to say that as his Majesty desired to see us, if it were convenient audience would be granted on Sunday, and an hour after dinner Viscount Cranborne would come to fetch us, in the Royal coaches, to Greenwich. We returned thanks for the double honour of granting us audience so soon and of sending so important a personage and so high in his Majesty's favour, but remarked that I, Foscarini, having arrived so recently would not be able to appear in a suitable manner. Wotton said that the rapidity of this audience was intended solely for our convenience and not to cause us any difficulty; he insisted that it should be deferred till Sunday week and ventured to explain this to the Lord Chamberlain. Thanks to the diligence of the Ambassador Correr I have received all honour due to your Serenity's Representative, and I trust that an Embassy begun in such style cannot fail to procede happily. Sir Henry Wotton in the course of our conversation showed himself very well disposed towards your Serenity though he displayed some feeling that he had not received a like present to M. de Fresnes, declaring that it was possible to have shown to his nephew the same honour which was shown to the son of M. de Fresnes, as both had dealt with the same affairs. Wotton seemed anxious that this should reach your Serenity's ears, and especially charged me, Correr, with this. I replied that on this matter I could speak with authority, as I was a member of the Cabinet and among those who voted for the motion regarding the son of M. de Fresnes. I explained the binding nature of our laws and the Senate's unwillingness to admit innovations, and I pointed out the difference between a son and a nephew. I assured him that when I left Venice your Serenity and each of your Excellencies entertained a singular regard for his Lordship, while he displayed great zeal in uniting the two Powers in the closest bonds; I hoped he would not allow himself to be disturbed by the memory of an event which had happened out of pure necessity of the constitution. He, however, replied that he was convinced that resentment in the Cabinet was the cause. I, Foscarini, did not omit other arguments, and we both were at pains to pacify this personage as one who is beloved by the King and who alone is instructed in the affairs of your Serenity and can therefore serve at all times as an instrument to further your interests, and in particular we communicated the instructions sent to me, Correr, to rely fully on his remarkable qualities and ability.
London, 12th May, 1611.
May 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 227. Marc' Antonio Correr and Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After many consultations on the lack of money, and after various memorandums and offers presented by the merchants, the Lords of the Council finally resolved to create a new order of two hundred Knights, to be called Baronets. Each of them will be bound to pay for the space of three years at the rate of four ducats a day from year to year, prepaid, under the name of hire of thirty foot on service in Ireland, and for the plantation of the Province of Ulster; this will bring in about eight hundred and seventy thousand ducats. The title will descend to the eldest son, and the Baronets will have precedence over all other Knights except those of the Garter, and some who are knighted in the army in recognition of some noble action. They must prove nobility for three generations, and have an income of four thousand ducats a year, or two thirds of that sum and expectation of inheriting the other third on the extinction of one life, as your Excellencies will more fully understand from the enclosed statutes.
This last condition causes many to withdraw so as not to be obliged to declare their means, which might increase their burdens in paying the subsidies; on the other hand the Lords of the Council are of opinion that this is an excellent way to increase the revenue from the subsidy. As yet they have about forty down on the list. These are persons who have been begged to join rather than spontaneous offerers. It is expected that they will have to use pressure if they wish to fill up the number.
It has already been resolved to suppress all the tables which the King kept at Court for certain gentlemen and officers, and they hope thereby to save eighty-eight thousand ducats a year. There will remain the expenses of the royal kitchen, which include the compensation in money, to the amount of 215 thousand ducats, to be given to those who had board. This arrangement will not be of any relief to the districts held to purveyance for the royal household, as part had already compounded and part is pledged to supply a specified quantity of stuff. The King in order to avoid the ceremony and expense of sending the Duke of York to Windsor to take possession of his Garter—the order being founded at Windsor—has determined to move there next week and to pass Whitsuntide there. This determination gives great satisfaction to the other new Knights, Arundel and Rochester, who will thus save many thousand crowns over horses and liveries.
Lady Arabella ought to have left for Durham by this time, as the last concession of a month's delay, made to her at the instance of the Chancellor of Scotland, has now expired. All the same she is said to be in a state of very poor health and with a mind most impatient of this trouble, and it would not be surprising if her departure were put off for a few days more.
The Palatine of Neuburg writes that he will be in this Kingdom next June. From other sources we hear that the Duke de Bouillon is not pleased that the negotiations for a match between the Princess of England and the Elector Palatine should pass out of his hands. It is not certain, however, that Neuburg will broach the subject. If the King really settles on the Count Palatine, who is quite young, the business would be delayed for many months and perhaps years.
In Denmark preparations for war proceed; nor does it seem that the letters from his Majesty and the Deputies of the United Provinces have done any good. (fn. 3) They have begun to draw part of the damages for the plunder of the “Soderina” and to remit it to Venice.
London, 12th May, 1611.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 228. The order and method of the new dignity and nobility to be created between Barons and Knights.
May 14. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 229. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Works at Leghorn harbour are, it seems, not going to succeed.
Florence, 14th May, 1611.
May 15. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy, Venetian Archives. 230. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
On Tuesday Count de Ruffia came back from England, full of honours; but as to his mission there seems to be no hope of further progress.
Turin, 15th May, 1611.


  • 1. See S.P. Dom. May 1. Warrants for stuff for installation of the Duke of York, the Earl of Arundel and Viscount Rochester as Knights of the Garter.
  • 2. See Winwood, Mem. III. 274. Salisbury's instructions to Winwood.
  • 3. See Winwood, Mem. III., 272. James had already urged Denmark to come to terms. His agent was Dr. Jonas Charisius.