Venice: June 1611

Pages 160-171

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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June 1611

June 4. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 247. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
From Leghorn they are going to send a vessel to bring the English who are to settle there. The works on the Port progress, but not actively. In September they are to man the Earl of Warwick's new ship.
Florence, 4th June, 1611.
June 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 248. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador (fn. 1) who is coming here as Lieger, has sent on his Majordomo, who announces that the Ambassador is four days off, with his wife and a large train of servants.
Madrid, 6th June, 1611.
June 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 249. Antonio Foscarini and Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On receipt of your Senenity's despatches of the 30th April and 7th May we sought audience, which was at once granted.
Immediately on our arrival at Greenwich we were introduced into a chamber close to the Gallery and his Majesty sent to greet us, and to say that he desired us to enjoy the fruits of his toil and had ordered a deer which he had slain that morning to be sent to our house. We were at once introduced into the presence and I, Correr, said that I held a commission to reassume for a moment the quality of Ambassador resident and to say that as regards the Prince de Joinville your Serenity entertained so high a regard for him, for his brother and his whole house that his offer to enter your service was most acceptable and would be borne in mind when occasion called for it. I did not fail to assure the King that no Prince in the world had greater weight with your Serenity than the King of Great Britain, and to thank him for having always made his requests in a way which showed as much consideration for the Republic as for his kinsman. The King replied, with a pleasant countenance, that he never wished for anything to be preferred to your Serenity's good service; that he loved the Prince de Joinville, who was his near relation, and desired to see him in the pay of the Republic, as he knew she would be well served; he launched out in your praises, and ended by saying that he desired information on the mind of the Senate so that he might reply to the insistence of the Prince. I, Foscarini, replied that the Prince had got what he asked for; his request contained merely an offer of services if occasion arose, and your Excellencies' answer was that they accepted the offer gladly should occasion arise. His Majesty appeared satisfied and told us to repeat our remarks to the Lord Treasurer, so that he might draw up a reply to the Prince.
Availing myself of the King's good disposition I, Correr, begged his Majesty to overlook the disobedience of these priests and to grant me the favour of being allowed to take away with me some of those who are in prison, as had been granted on other occasions to the Ambassadors of France and Spain, though I preferred this request only so far as it did not offend either the pleasure or the service of the King. His Majesty replied kindly that he had no wish to be cruel to the priests, but that they abused his clemency by returning immediately to this kingdom, and that is an insult. He spoke much of his annoyance and of the clemency he displays. Parliament had been forced by their conduct to pass new laws against them, and after that he has refused to set any of them at liberty. I replied that I put myself entirely in his Majesty's hands; all the same clemency was a virtue peculiar to great Kings. His Majesty gave me leave to take two out of those I had named. These persons were all the more delighted as I had not told them I was going to prefer this request.
We visited Lord Salisbury the same evening and spoke about the affair of the Prince de Joinville. His Excellency made enquiries as to how he was to guide himself in his reply to the Prince's letters. To this we replied that the Prince had obtained what he asked for; his offer was in general terms, namely to serve your Excellencies should occasion present itself, while the answer was also in general terms, that when occasion arose his services would be accepted. As Lord Salisbury insisted we took the steps of causing the passage in the Prince's letter to be read; Lord Salisbury agreed that the case was so.
I, Correr, have received the usual present from his Majesty, fourteen great goblets of silver gilt, and from the Queen a diamond; also gifts for my wife and son; really most graciously given. To-day by God's grace I shall set out.
London, 9th June, 1611.
June 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 250. Antonio Foscarini and Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassadors in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After a very long drought, the like of which has never been known before in this Kingdom, which threatened a famine and a notable rise in the price of bread, it has pleased God to send a little rain; it was welcomed, but as the season is far advanced the benefit to the country is but slight. The King who had stopped his Progress and dismissed M. de Vitry, as he thought that in such a burnt up land he could not journey with all the Court, save to the great damage of his subjects, has now changed his mind and will set out towards Salisbury. Both he and the Queen are at Greenwich. This week the King has been discussing the way to dissuade the King of Denmark from his design to invade Sweden and to declare open war on its King. The envoys of the King of Denmark are in the Queen's Court along with one of his Gentlemen-of-the-Chamber, who brings a letter, written by the King's own hand in German, and full of the most affectionate expressions. He says first of all that he is with the army, ready for the march, and as he is going in person he sends the Queen his Band for which he will have no use at the wars; then he enlarges on the successes he hopes for by land and sea, and expresses himself with the greatest tenderness towards his sister. He adds that he sends her some jewels to keep for his sake, among them one of splendid diamonds forming a C. and a 4, C. for the first letter of his name, and a 4 because he is the fourth of that name. The day before yesterday the Queen replied in Italian, by her own hand, wishing him all success, declaring she desired nothing more than to see the increase of his glory and his State, as is the case; for between them is such perfect love and so sincere a correspondence that its like has never been seen. The King has letters from Sweden, written from Stockholm, stating that when the King of Sweden heard of the Danish preparations he broke out in violent language, and declared that but for his respect for the King of England he would not have awaited the war in his own country, but would have invaded Denmark with all his might. In Sweden they are arming for the defence.
An hour ago came news that the Ambassador of Morocco had reached this kingdom. He has a small suite, nor do I know his mission. Within two or three days he will be in Court; I shall use due diligence to find out everything. An express has arrived from France; he brings letters for the Ambassador and M. de Vitry, whom, he found, has departed.
For the better service of your Excellencies, I, Foscarini, have renewed my correspondence with all those who, at the Hague or elsewhere, used to write to me while I was Lieger in France. I hope they will continue to do so during the term of my service in England.
London, 9th June, 1611.
June 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 251. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The question of the Flemish (i.e. Dutch) shipping and its covering flag.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 11th June, 1611.
June 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 252. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Vitry came back from England on the 8th. He reports the King's favourable disposition and his resolve not to foment ill humours among the Huguenots.
Paris, 14th June, 1611.
June 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 253. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Late on Thursday the Illustrious Ambassador Correr left London. He chose that hour so that he might embark next morning at Gravesend with a fair tide. But on Friday the wind rose, and he has been forced to wait two days.
Praises Correr and recounts the honours bestowed on him; among others the King, after knighting him, gave him the sword he wore at his side; the tassels were embroidered with pearls; he also, as an extraordinary honour, authorized him to bear the British lion in two quarters of his shield. The Queen, who likes him very much, gave his wife a box containing jewels or pearls; she also gave two jewels to their son Vicenzo, who is beloved by the whole Court. These honours and favours are all of them unusual; nor do I mention the ordinary ones, though the King's fourteen pieces of silver gilt are remarkable both for size and for design, as is a diamond ring the Queen gave him with the portrait of the King and of herself. The Ambassador has not failed to make liberal presents of gold chains to the Master of the Ceremonies and to several others of the Court. The whole amounts to many hundreds of crowns; nor in view of the custom of this Court, which is most lavish, could he have done less to support the reputation of those who serve your Excellencies. There are returning home with his Lordship, after being with him the whole time of his Embassy, his son and his nephew, Pietro Loredan. Also Signor Francesco Cocco, son of Gerolamo, Pietro Loredan, son of Pietro, Guido Moresini, son of Angelo, accompany the Ambassador. Cocco and Loredano were with me in France. Moresini was only a few months with me in France, but made such a good impression that I part from him with reluctance.
London, 15th June, 1611.
June 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 254. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The courier from France, who was here on the morning of the 8th, brought long despatches from Villeroy to the Ambassador. The despatches contain a statement of how the affairs stand and especially about the Huguenot Assembly, about which Villeroy is to send news as soon as he has any. The Ambassador is ordered to observe whether the Huguenots at the Assembly send an agent here; Villeroy has a suspicion that they have already done so; he argues this from the discussion on the proposal which took place between the Huguenot leaders and came to his ears. Villeroy believes that a good effect has been produced by sending money to the States for their troops. It seems he is more afraid of Sully than of anyone else. Bouillon continues to promise his good offices for the Queen, and so does du Plessis, and it is possible that in the disagreement between Sully and Bouillon, du Plessis may take the lead and preside. The Huguenot demands will be those I told you in my despatch from Calais. As all this is sent merely for the instruction and illumination of the Ambassador, he has not yet had audience of the King nor of Lord Salisbury. The letter is dated from Paris and says that Villeroy is to go with the Queen to Fontainebleau. A large part of the above I have from the mouth of the Ambassador himself, who is a friend of long standing. He assures me that as yet no agent of the Huguenots has come to the King. The Ambassador, on the arrival of the first courier, which will be to-day or to-morrow with news of the first sitting of the Assembly, will ask for an audience to report to the King. I will be on the watch, and by God's help your Excellencies shall be informed of all that passes.
The agent of the King of Morocco is in London. It is not thought that he has the quality of an Ambassador. His suite is small. He brings horses and falcons as a present from his Master. The French Ambassador has sent to pay him a visit nor will I fail in this act of courtesy, but before he sees the King. He lives very modestly and retired, and has with him a certain person who was his Majesty's Consul and some merchants who speak the language and are appointed by his Majesty to help him. He has been many days away from Morocco. His Master he left in the field with a great army and in good understanding with the Viceroy of Algiers, by whose help he hopes for successes against the King of Spain.
The day before yesterday Seymour, who was chosen by the Lady Arabella as her husband against the King's wishes and who was therefore imprisoned in the Tower, made his escape; Lady Arabella also is fled. Though destined to live in custody of the Bishop of Durham, near the Scottish border, by the King's clemency she was permitted to stay on hard by London. (fn. 2) The King only knew of it yesterday morning. Council was summoned immediately and proclamations were issued and printed the same day. I enclose them with a translation. The proclamation declares that for grave offences both were prisoners; that by the help of evil persons—some of whom are named—they had found means to fly with the intent to seek another country. Then follow the prohibition to shelter and the order to denounce and arrest them. Couriers were sent out in all directions, and especially to France, as there is some idea that they embarked not far from here. To-day, in the afternoon, the King, who was at Greenwich, returned to London. The King and Council have spent the whole day in close consultation. It is thought for certain that the flight took place by the advice and help of some personage of weight; and it is held that Lady Arabella, who hitherto has professed the Puritan religion, may very easily become a Catholic along with her husband, in the hope of finding protection more easily.
The King in Council has published a new order obliging Catholics and Puritans alike to take the oath of allegiance which was published last year. Both Parliament and Council thought this the sole way to preserve the King's life.
London, 15th June, 1611.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 255. By the King.
Whereas wee are given to understand that the Lady Arbella and William Seymour, second sonne to the Lord Beauchampe, being for divers great and hainous offences committed the one to Our Towre of London, and the other to a speciall guard, have found the meanes by the wicked practices of divers lewd persons, as namely Markham, Crompton, Rodney, and others to breake prison, and escape on Munday, the third of June, with intent to transport themselves into forreine parts; Wee doe hereby straightly charge and command all persons whatsoever, upon their allegeance, and duetie, not onely to forbeare to receive, harbour or assist them in their passages anyway, as they will answere it at their perils, but upon the like charge and paine to use the best meanes they can for their apprehension, and keeping in safe custodie, which we will take as an acceptable service.
Given at Our Mannour at Greenewich the fourth day of June, in the ninth yeere of our Reigne of Great Britaine, France and Ireland.
God Saue the King.
Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Maiestie. Anno. Dom. 1611.
June 17. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 256. The Ambassador of England has made reiterated and urgent request that the rabbit-skins the property of the English merchant, Henry Parvis, now in the hands of the Export Customs Officers, should be freely restored to him on payment of the customs dues; it is desirable to oblige this Minister, who has shown himself well-intentioned and also because of the kindly treatment our subjects receive in England; be it moved that out of particular favour to the English Ambassador the Export Customs Officers shall be ordered to restore to Henry Parves the sequestrated rabbit-skins on the payment of the usual dues, and a hundred ducats to be appropriated as the said officers may think fit; and that the English Ambassador be informed.
Ayes 119. Ayes 125.
Noes 16. Noes 14.
Neutrals 22. Neutrals 22.
As no resolution was reached, and after some remarks by Sig. Alvise Zorzi, Savio of the week, the motion was put again with this rider: “That fifty ducats be given to the Custom House Officers to be divided as they think fit among the officials who carried out the order, as an encouragement to them to attend to their duty.”
Ayes 132.
Noes 14.
Neutrals 15.
June 18. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 257. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Persian Ambassador, Sherley, after staying on here seventeen months without ever being able to get full satisfaction, made up his mind, eight days ago, to leave for England; where, he told me some time ago, he has the idea of resting, if they do not, here, come to the conclusion that he desires in regard to the trade from Persia.
Madrid, 18th June, 1611.
June 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 258. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In the Council which was sitting under the King's presidency when I sent my last despatch it was resolved to arrest Lady Shrewsbury as suspect of having helped Lady Arabella in her flight and Seymour too. The arrest took place the next morning and Lady Shrewsbury was at once examined; certain heads of interrogation were drawn up by the Council and she was ordered to reply at once. Lord Salisbury also informed the French Ambassador by word of mouth that the King desired him to send couriers to Calais and other places in France along the coast, so that if Lady Arabella and Seymour should touch there they might be arrested. The French Ambassador at once complied. The same day after all the necessary orders had been issued, arrests made both of the guard at the Tower and of others, they began an enquiry. His Majesty, after taking all possible steps, returned to Greenwich. Lord Salisbury had an express from Dover with news that Lady Arabella had been captured along with the ship she was in by a frigate of the guard a league away from Calais. Lord Salisbury went at once to the King, and the news was most welcome at Court, and especially to the Council; for as the King and Lady Arabella are descended from two sisters of Henry VIII., although she descends from the younger and is moreover a woman, it was highly displeasing to see a lady of the royal blood, so closely allied to his Majesty, and who, after his Majesty's children, is beyond doubt the nearest to the Crown and the succession, betaking herself to foreign countries, and thus possibly to offer an opportunity to some ill - affected Sovreign to act unfriendly or, may be, worse. It is added that as Seymour also claims kin, though distantly, with the Crown by their marriage they fused their interests, and by declaring themselves Catholics they hoped to find protection. It was rumoured that they were to go first to Rome for certain, and then to Spain; but now all has vanished. She will remain in London more closely guarded. She was brought there on Sunday evening. His Majesty's clemency will not allow of a severer treatment, unless some worse fault is found in her; for all may be attributed to her great love for the person she had chosen to be her husband.
The ship in which she escaped was very small, quite unarmed, and commanded by a Frenchman, and what is more important, there was on board a courier from the French Ambassador, with a packet of despatches for his most Christian Majesty. The crew was all French. Arabella embarked on Monday evening with three gentlemen and a maid of honour. The ship dropped down to the mouth of the river, where she had to stop for some hour or so on account of the wind. Seymour, who was in another vessel not far off, sent to visit her. The weather changed, Lady Arabella's ship resumed her voyage towards Calais, and when she was more than half way across one of the royal ships of the Guard, which two hours earlier had received orders to search all shipping, ordered her to strike her sail and haul to; the royal ship proceeded to compel obedience by firing, but finding this useless she despatched her frigate and as the sea was calm and the wind had dropped, about a league off Calais she came up with Lady Arabella's ship and instantly seized her without meeting the smallest resistance from her crew. Lady Arabella seeing herself lost, gave a good quantity of gold and other things she had with her to various persons, but chiefly to the captain. The ship was taken back to the Thames, and the courier and the captain were strictly examined. The despatches were returned to the French Ambassador, but without their covers, by the hands of the courier himself. At his first examination he was asked for the despatches and what he had done with them, also why, as he had been sent off four days earlier, he had delayed his journey and how he came to embark in that ship. The day before yesterday in the morning the French Ambassador sent to tell me some of these details; he added that the captain of the ship and the courier were both landed on the bank of the river by the King's people, and had come on to London voluntarily. The courier had handed him the letters. The Council then wished to arrest and examine the courier and the captain. The Ambassador declared that they were in no way guilty; that Arabella came on board unknown; and he asked me if I did not think that, even supposing them to have been aware, jurisdiction to punish lay rather with him and his Master than with the law of England and his Britannic Majesty. The Secretary, who told me all this, added that the Ambassador had been to complain to Lord Salisbury, and he intended to complain to the King, of whom he had demanded audience with the intention of making serious representations. The audience was named for to-day, and to-morrow the Ambassador will call on me and consult me, and he now desired to have my advice as to the form of discourse he should address to the King. I replied to the Secretary that I was highly honoured, but that it would be impossible to add anything to the resolution taken by so able a gentleman; and I passed on to other topics.
It is supposed that those who fled with Arabella will pay the penalty with their lives. From the examinations held so far they have discovered the details of the way she took to escape from the place where she was under custody, ten miles away from London. It was very simple, for she was in charge of a gentleman who, one may say, served for nothing other than for form's sake (fn. 3); she feigned illness for many days previously, and was seen by no one but the doctor appointed her and who attended her ordinarily; he on the plea of the illness of a relation with whom there was an understanding, brought her here to London to his house, leaving the maid who usually served her meals, which were given as a present to the Hall Porter the evening Arabella escaped. She dressed herself like a man and left the house by some gardens, mounted a horse and in little more than an hour, it is said, she rode the thirteen miles and reached the landing place. She has now been through the ordinary examination to find out whether she had an understanding with any foreign Prince and all other details. As to Seymour, so far as we know, he landed at Ostend. He escaped from the Tower by the help of his barber, who bandaged a leg, put on a false beard and otherwise disguising himself, and came to the Tower and asked for the barber, that was for himself. He was told the barber was there. He went in and Seymour disguised himself in the barber's clothes and both went out together; nor did the guards raise any difficulty as they took him for the man who had just gone in; nor did they say anything to the barber, for he was accustomed to go in and out almost daily. Here they are closely watching the kind of reception Seymour will meet with in Flanders from the Archduke, and what road he will take, whether he will change his religion and above all whether he will find any one to protect him, and whether he had entered into an understanding with any Prince before he left the Kingdom. (fn. 4)
London, 23rd June, 1611.
June 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 259. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The French Ambassador has letters of the 9th and 10th from Villeroy, in which he tells him that the Huguenot Assembly at Saumur has resolved on its demands. The Ambassador is not expressly instructed to seek audience. In his audience of to-day, if occasion offers, he may touch on the subject; if not he will confine himself to his complaints about the two persons I wrote about.
The Envoy from Morocco has not had audience yet; he is lodged and boarded at the charges of the merchants. The King's employments prevent his being received. The Tuscan Secretary (Lotto) too, who is charged to present distilled waters and other gifts, has had his reception put off, and only obtained it to-day on condition that he went without ceremony.
Letters from the King of Denmark from his Camp. He says he is besieging Kalmar and is pressing Helsberg; one looks towards the land, the other towards the sea. Rumour places his forces at twenty thousand men and sixty ships. There is also fresh news that the King of Sweden has put together a large body of troops and is by this time certainly strong in the field. The fortresses besieged by Denmark are very well provisioned and fit to make a lively defence. The more vigorous they see this war to grow the more eagerly they study the way to bring about peace. The question will be discussed next week. Meanwhile the Danish Envoy stays on here.
London, 23rd June, 1611.
June 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 260. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I enclose the proclamation about the oath of allegiance and add a translation. In brief the contents are these. It first sets forth that the oath established by Parliament in the third year of the King's reign was framed to discover how the King's subjects were affected as regards their fidelity. It was considered to be so necessary that Parliament, in the seventh year of this reign, petitioned that it should be administered not only to those who were suspect but to all persons of what condition soever, as a test of that loyalty which is due to their natural and legitimate Sovereign. The Proclamation goes on to say that this zeal on the part of Parliament for the security and preservation of these realms and of his Majesty, deserves to be supported and the oath administered as petitioned. Then follow strict orders to the members of the Privy Council, to Archbishops, Bishops, Justices and all whom it may concern, to administer the oath to all classes of people, and especially to those to whom by the law of the third year of this reign, it ought to be administered, and to proceed against the recalcitrant. All Saints Day is named as the limit within which his Majesty is to be certified of the places, names, abodes, and condition of those who decline to take the oath. He does not conceal from himself that, although for the love he bears his subjects he hopes there will be found none to refuse, if there should be any who has so estranged his heart from the King, his gracious Sovereign, as to have given it in whole or part to a foreign Prince, to the derogation of this Crown, then justice and severity are his due as favour and kindness are due to his loyal and worthy subjects. But seeing that such an alienation of sentiment is the precursor of still graver defects and draws nearer to the supreme offence against his Majesty, he retains the whole direction, authority, and disposition of this case in his own hands along with all confiscations depending thereon. He has named persons of position as Commissioners to gather information on all topics of importance in this case. The Proclamation concludes by saying that in order to avoid inconvenience and to arrive at greater certainty of the truth, two Justices, in place of one, will be appointed to administer the oath.
They are now putting the Proclamation into effect and administering the oath. There are not wanting those who show themselves unwilling; they discuss the nature of the oath, especially the Catholics. Certain persons have asked to be admitted to this house for a few hours and so to avoid the danger and escape from the storm, as they put it; I replied that I was at present occupied, and my silence has served for an answer; and so without giving offence I have saved myself. I will employ the like circumspection in the future; and I trust in God to do His service as well as that of your Serenity—which are identical—by giving complete satisfaction to the King and drawing closer together the bonds of affection and perfect understanding.
I have taken information as to what were the points of the oath. They are, to recognise the King, to serve him faithfully, to attempt nothing against his person or his Kingdom; to reveal conspiracy, to denounce conspirators, to hold for sure that the King is the legitimate owner of his Kingdoms, which were given to him by God, nor has anyone the right to deprive him of them nor to release his subjects from their allegiance. There is a declaration that the oath is taken sincerely without mental reservation or modification.
London, 24th June, 1611.
Enclosed in preceding dispatch. 261. A proclamation whereby it is commanded that the Oath of Allegiance be administered according to the laws. (fn. 5)
Whitehall, 31st May, 1611.
June 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 262. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
His Holiness has been informed that the King of England has complained to the Ambassadors resident at his Court that they admit a large number of persons to Mass in their houses; the Ambassadors have replied that as the Embassies are open it is impossible for them to prevent any one from coming in. If his Majesty desired to put an end to this he could, they say, place guards in the neighbourhood.
Rome, 25th June, 1611.
June 25. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence, Venetian Archives. 263. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Earl of Warwick is here. That ship of his has been launched, and turns out to be good for nothing. It is likely to leak. He has just come from Genoa, to which he will return in September to join Carlo Doria. He has brought back presents of money and chains of great width. I understand that Carlo Doria is in close treaty with him to tempt him to enter the service of Spain for the purpose of building galleasses. The Grand Duke also displays regard for him, so I do not know what he will do. He professes regard for your Excellencies, and says he left Venice of necessity. He never passes through Florence without coming to see me.
Florence, 25th June, 1611.
June 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 264. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 19th came a courier to the English Ambassador with news of the flight of Arabella and her husband. He has instructions to urge the Queen to arrest them if they come to France. The Ambassador went straight to Fontainebleau, made the request and received a gracious reply, but nothing positive.
Paris, 29th June, 1611.
June 30. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 265. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
“I am come to return thanks for the favour you have shown me in the case of that English merchant whom I commended to you. If I am come late the reason is that I was in the country when the news reached me. I am all the more obliged as I know the greatness of the favour. For myself I have not deserved it—the merchant cannot claim it as his merit, for his enemies have placed him in a suspicious light; it must therefore be attributed to the regard you desire to show for my Master, and as a proof of the continued good will towards him. As to the merchant I must say that he and all others of our nation have always striven and always will strive to be obedient; and so I cannot endure to hear one of them publicly called a defrauder, unless I see some definite judgement to that effect from some of your Courts, which has not happened as yet. The favour is a great one for the merchant, for after being condemned if he had had to appeal it would have been both long and costly, but in this way he is relieved. I beg pardon again for my delay in rendering thanks.”
The Doge replied that there was no need for the Ambassador to have left the pleasure of the country, especially at this season, in order to thank us for that small favour shown to the merchant out of regard for the Ambassador. There had been a little delay in this affair as the Cabinet had studied how to oblige the Ambassador and at the same time to retain the law intact. After discussion the Cabinet moved the Senate, who willingly embraced the opportunity of showing their regard for his Majesty and of obliging the Ambassador. There are some who are suspect of defrauding the Customs, but the English do not enjoy that reputation.


  • 1. Sir John Digby. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 8 Ap. 1611.
  • 2. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611, June 4.
  • 3. Sir James Crofts, as Salisbury writes to Trumbull; Coniers, as Moore writes to Winwood. See Winwood. Mem. III. 279.
  • 4. See an article on “Lady Arabella Stuart” in “The Edinburgh Review,” Oct. 1896, and “The Athenæum,” Sept. 11th, 1897.
  • 5. See Cal. S. P. Dom. under date.