Venice: July 1610, 16-31

Pages 16-21

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, 16–31

July 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 19. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Arrival of the Count of Bucquoy, Ambassador Extraordinary of the Archduke Albert.
Paris, 17th July, 1610.
July 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 20. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Pope complains to the French Ambassador of the treatment of Morana (? Mariana) because of his book (fn. 1) in which he maintains that in certain cases it is lawful for subjects to slay their Sovreign. The Ambassador's answer quiets his Holiness. The General of the Jesuits attempts to exculpate the Society—to the French Ambassador—by promising that Jesuits will neither speak nor write about the the person of Sovreigns. The Spanish were displeased at this step and told the Jesuits that the King of Spain was at present engaged in expelling the Moriscoes, but that when he had done he would turn his attention to expelling the Jesuits.
Rome, 17th July, 1610.
July 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 21. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince of Condé declared that he had important considerations to bring forward. A Council was summoned. The Queen was present. The Prince advocated peace during the King's minority and urged that the affair of Cleves should be accommodated, which could be done by saving the Imperial prestige and yet securing the advantage of the “possessioners.” If war broke out it would be very long, nor would it end with the acquisition of Juliers. Persisting, they would kindle a great, a lengthy, and a neighbouring war. He proposed to recall the succours. Many of the Council approved; others remained silent and it seemed that the Prince's opinion would prevail, when Sully and Bouillon broke in with strong arguments in opposition. The weakness of Austria and Spain, they said, gave an opportunity for rendering illustrious the first action of the Queen. Such combination of Allies—the “Possessioners,” the Protestants, England, Denmark, the United Provinces—would prove too powerful for Spain.
The Ambassador visited the Prince of Condé, who told him that he had passed through Venetian territory and was aware that the French Ambassador at Venice had sought to secure his arrest, that the Government had refused but had said that the Ambassador might try on his own account. This Foscarini denied.
Paris, 21st July, 1610.
July 27. Consiglio de' Dieci. Parti Secrete. Venetian Archives. 22. That to please the English Ambassador the rule as to a unanimous vote in a plenary sitting (siano levate le strettezze di tutte le ballotte di questo Consiglio) be suspended in the case of Gasparo Cumano, condemned to prison by the sentence just read, in order that the commutation of that sentence, as sought by the said Ambassador, may be voted on a majority of four-fifths only.
Ayes 4. Ayes 3.
Noes 4. Noes 5. Defeated.
Neutral 1. Neutral 1.
July 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 23. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On the occasion of the recent proclamation against Catholics, the Spanish Ambassador has made representations to the Earl of Salisbury that it is not to his Majesty's interests to drive these people to despair. Lord Salisbury took time to reply, and soon after, when the Archbishop of Canterbury was complaining to the King that his most intimate Councillors never came to Communion, which is here called the Supper, his Excellency entered on the subject and made vigorous representations in favour of a milder treatment of the Catholics. That will be of great help. Lord Salisbury then told the Ambassador that he would be informed of what had passed with the King, and begged that this might serve for an answer, meaning to hint that the Spanish have excellent means for knowing what takes place in the Councils of the King.
The Ambassador of Wirtemberg arrived last week, and as I learn he bears with him the conclusion of a defensive league signed by the King, in which he binds himself to help the Protestant Princes of the Union with a third more men than they are bound to furnish to him should he need them.
I also hear that the States of the United Provinces will not enter on any special new capitulations; they will abide by the old, which have been very loosely observed. It causes great displeasure that the Queen of France has refused to confirm the convention agreed to by her husband of glorious memory. They complain of the coldness and hesitation in the despatch of succours to Cleves, and detest the divisions in the Council. A general and reciprocal League between France, England, the Protestant Princes and the United Provinces is eagerly desired. This has been much discussed here, but I cannot see that at present the negotiations have any vigour; and may be nothing more will be said on the subject unless the events of the war cause a change.
I understand that the agreement arranged by the Ambassador of France with his Majesty will be signed on the arrival of an Ambassador Extraordinary, after Lord Wotton has discharged his mission to the new King. They are then to produce demonstration in virtue of which the United Provinces may be compelled to the restitution of the money which, the French affirm, was paid to them in the name of the English Crown, and for money lent to the Duke of Sully when he was Ambassador Extraordinary at this Court. On the other hand the Dutch insist that they have no obligation to repay.
London, 28th July, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 24. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The troops of the English and Dutch, destined for Cleves, were reviewed to the number of twelve thousand infantry and three thousand horse, upon the 14th inst., a league from the Dutch frontier between Emmerich and Arnhem. Besides Count Henry of Nassau there was with the army Count Maurice as well, invited by the Prince of Anhault, who offers him a command and the highest rank and honours. In the midst of arms they are vigorously treating for peace, which is desired by all but the soldiers.
About the proposal to deposit Juliers in the hands of a neutral till the final judgement has been pronounced, the German Princes and the States of the United Provinces find a difficulty in naming the depositary—they wish him to be neither Catholic nor French—and also in appointing a Court which they desire to be of great weight. They suspect that these proposals are intended to lay to sleep and render vain the parade of arms. As all claims to the States of Cleves and Juliers have to be weighed, they are less resolute in coming to an accord. But it is hoped that by the intervention of France and Great Britain a way will be found to conduct the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.
These last few days remittances have been sent to Holland to complete the three months' pay of the English troops.
That part of lower Germany is all full of arms. The cities are in great alarm and many of them keep their gates closed a large part of the day. The open country is unsafe because of the soldiery who lie in ambush; at every ford are guards. All these facts ought to tend to bring about an accord.
The Archdukes are diligently fortifying Rheinberg. A large number of sappers are employed. Flemish troops are disposed along the frontiers. All the same it is not thought that they intend to mix themselves up in this affair, though the Spaniards do not omit to create suspicion by the publication of rumours with a view to assisting the Emperor in the settlement.
The display of arms in the Milanese has stirred the curiosity of the Court, especially as the Spanish talk of fifty-six thousand men, thanks to the assistance and the offers of Parma, Modena, and Urbino. But there is no one here who believes that there is any other intent than to compel the Duke of Savoy to draw to their side and to frighten him so much that he will never dream of any attempt against the state of Milan, and this the Spanish Ambassador has confirmed with his own lips. Such a resolution of the Duke would be very distasteful here, but they pretend to believe that the Princes of Italy will not fail to support the designs and, if need be, the fortunes of his Highness, and it seems that they cannot abandon the French party without injury to their reputation.
Le Sieur left last week in a royal pinnace for Lübeck and Hamburg to gather exact information about the changes that have taken place in respect to commerce. He is to go straight on to the Imperial Court. Later news shows that the steps taken were not so rigorous as reported. The greatest evil was the suspension of credits. Here, however, they maintain the sequestration of all the merchandise and papers, though they do not amount to very much.
A few days ago Lady Arabella concluded her marriage with the second son of the son of the Earl of Hertford (con il secondo genito del figliolo del Conte di Arfort.), in spite of the King's injunction to abstain. Both were summoned before the Council. The young man who was brought in first denied the fact; she, however, freely confessed it and excused the denial of her husband on the score of fear. She endeavoured to demonstrate that neither by laws Divine nor by human laws could she be prevented. But the King took offence and committed her to the custody of a gentleman who lives a short way out of the City, and her husband was sent to the Tower. (fn. 2) A law forbidding under pain of lœsa Majestas and rebellion, the descendants of blood-royal to intermarry without leave, is a serious injury to her case. This law was passed to meet the case of the Earl of Hertford, grandfather of the youth, whose father was secretly born in the Tower; and for this reason they say Lady Arabella has been separated from her husband; rumour says she will not be so easily set free. If she were with child she would, perhaps, have a greater advantage, as the hope of hindering the succession would cease (se si scoprisse gravida haverebbe forse maggior vantagio cessando la speranza d'impedir la successione).
To-day an Ambassador from King Charles of Sweden arrived at Court. As yet we do not know his business; some say it is to offer the daughter of the King to the Prince. That will not be so easy to arrange.
The impositions abolished by the King are a tax on taverns which brought in a great revenue, and another on coal, amounting to about four Venetian soldi the sack. (fn. 3) He further promises that the tax on sweet wines, among these are included the muscat of Crete, shall be withdrawn on the death of the Admiral, who at present enjoys it. He has submitted to the Judges another tax on woollen cloth payable to the measurers and apprizers (fn. 4); this tax was conceded to the Duke of Lennox, and farmed out by him for twenty-four thousand ducats a year. On the other hand there has been conceded to his Majesty a subsidy and a fifteenth, which means between five and six hundred thousand ducats. It was intended to adjourn Parliament to-morrow till the month of October, but yesterday it was prolonged for three days more in the hope of reaching an accord on the question of wardships and other grievances, for the redress of which I hear that eight hundred thousand ducats a year have been promised in perpetuity. Hardly anything remains except to find the means of raising this money. And if in this brief space of time it is possible to induce Parliament to grant the King two or three other subsidies it is thought that his Majesty will adjourn Parliament to a very distant date, as he does not desire to have this torment during the winter.
It has been resolved that Bishops and other Ecclesiastics cannot enjoy more than one benefice at a time; this to increase their number and their efficiency, and because it is displeasing that they should be very rich.
I was informed by the solicitors of the imprisoned debtors for damages in the case of the “Reniera and Soderina,” that their petition for leave to appeal was to be heard before Parliament on Friday, and that I was to send someone to explain the claims of the Venetian merchants. I expressed surprise, and refused to allow anyone to appear. I took adequate means to prevent the question being raised.
London, 28th July, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 25. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The graciousness it has pleased your Serenity to show me by electing my successor three months before the time, renders me doubly obliged both for the advantage to my house and health, and because I take it as a proof of continued benevolence towards me.
On this occasion I must recall to your Serenity that my predecessors were wont to spend 150 crowns on a present to the Master of the Ceremonies and something else to the Courtiers, from whom they had received useful services. If you will authorize me to expend between 250 and 300 crowns, they will serve to leave this Court well disposed to you, and be especially useful to my successor; while it would open the way for me to discover what is taking place at present in these most important secret negotiations; for Envoys are frequently told what suits the teller rather than what fits the truth. This custom of receiving presents is very common here, not only in the case of Ministers, but of private gentlemen as well, and could not be abandoned without open hostility on the part of those accustomed to receive them, all the more so that the other Ambassadors here are lavish in this respect. I must add that I have employed on this service a much larger sum of my own money without entering it in the accounts.
London, 28th July, 1610.
July 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 26. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports that a French ship with slaves on board was fired at by an English berton.
Zante, last day of July, 1610.


  • 1. “De rege et regis institutione, libri tres.” Toledo, 1599. It was burned by order of the Parliament of Paris, 8th June. 1610.
  • 2. See Nichol's op. cit. II, 363, “the lady a close prisoner at Sir Thomas Parry's house at Lambeth.”
  • 3. See Cal. S.P. Dom. “[July 7.] Petition of the House of Commons to the King for redress of grievances, viz.: impositions upon merchandize and sea-coal . . . tax upon ale houses”; also “Sept 4. Warrant dormant for letters to Sir William Ryder, Sir John Trevor and others, Farmers of the imposition on sea-coals, to cease to levy 12d. per chaldron on coals transported from Sunderland and Blyth.”
  • 4. That is the exactions on “sealing drapery.”