Venice: July 1611

Pages 171-190

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 1611

July 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 266. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The French Ambassador's representations for the liberation of the captain of the French ship and of the courier were so efficacious with the Earl of Salisbury that his Lordship sent the courier to the Embassy with a message to say that he did so to avoid annoyance, although the courier was culpable. The Ambassador was not at all satisfied; he procured the publication of a paper clearing the courier and almost testifying to his innocence, but in phrases of ambiguity. The same day he had audience of the King and remained for a very long time with his Majesty. He insisted on the ambiguous phrases being removed; he received a polite answer, but the phrases remain as they were written. The captain is a prisoner seriously compromised. The Ambassador omitted no points; he cited the case of Lot (?) in France, the case of the Secretary of Don Balthazar Zuñiga in the Marseilles case and others elsewhere. He demonstrated that even if guilty couriers especially could not be meddled with. He produced letters from the Governor of Calais and others in reply to letters sent express by him from England, proving the readiness with which they would have arrested Arabella had she arrived in their district and that they had sent out ships to search all passing vessels. The King gave thanks for this and communicated the news from Germany; he did all he could to send the Ambassador away content. The Queen then sent for him and treated him with great intimacy and honour, so that the Ambassador appears to have been satisfied in a matter that touched him so closely.
The Countess of Shrewsbury was sent to the Tower on Saturday morning; it is said that she is almost absolutely convicted of having supplied money to Arabella, who, it is feared, has an understanding with the Catholics of this Kingdom. All diligence is being used to discover the truth.
The King's Agent in Brussels writes that he begged the Archduke to arrest Seymour and Arabella if they arrived and received for answer that the Archduke would never wrong his Majesty. His Highness sent to Spain in order to guide himself by the instructions he receives from that part. Meantime they continue to examine Arabella in the Tower; and if it does not turn out to be an affair of open conspiracy she will be well treated, though more closely guarded than she was at first, so as to avoid another flight.
London, the first of July, 1611.
July 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 267. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday there arrived here a gentleman from the Count Ruffia, (fn. 1) the late Ambassador of Savoy. He brings letters to the King, the Earl of Salisbury, the Earl of Northampton, the Lord Wotton and Sir Henry Wotton. These were all delivered at once, as was a letter to the Spanish Ambassador. This gentleman has made the journey in seventeen days. He says Count Ruffia is to be back here soon in quality of Ambassador to negotiate for a marriage between this Princess and the Prince of Savoy. The French Ambassador has some instructions to broach the question of a marriage between the Princess of France and the Prince; but he has not done so yet.
Lately the Archduke Albert begged the King, by letter and by a Secretary whom he keeps at this Court, for his support with Brandenburg and the Palatine in the election of the King of the Romans; declaring that with two others whom he has already gained he would be quite sure of the election and would acknowledge the favour shown him by the King. The King, who does not wish to see the Archduke, his neighbour, aggrandised, has replied that before all else it is needful to find out what the other candidates have in view, and he named the King of Denmark, his brother-in-law, and to see how the King of France will move. The King will have an important part in the election as he has absolute authority over Brandenburg, who is deeply obliged to him, and his intercession with the Palatine is omnipotent, as the Palatine aspires to the honour of marrying the Princess. The French Ambassador tells me that he hears from Villeroy that the Assembly at Saumur has resolved on certain demands to be presented to the Queen, but they have not been sent in yet. The Jesuits have preached seditiously in several places, against the Huguenots. It is to be feared that such sermons may make the Huguenot demands more bold. The French Ambassador in his last audience assured the King that a scandalous book printed by an Augustinian Friar, Almoner to the Grand Duchess of Tuscany, in which the King is attacked, has been censured by Parliament. This pleased his Majesty.
London, the first of July, 1611.
July 1. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 268. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
The crew of a ship arrived from Djerbe in Barbary report that from Tunis there are put out six galleys, two with twenty-six banks of oars each and the others of twenty-four, also four great bertons, all fully armed. Ward, the pirate, is on board. Their destination is Calabria or the Adriatic.
Zante, the first of July, 1611.
July 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 269. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I have been to visit the new Ambassador of England (Digby). I paid the suitable compliments and offered him on my part every sign of good will. He told me he had special orders from his Master to treat the representatives of your Serenity with the fullest confidence. He has come here with his wife and a large suite; and appears to be a person of great prudence and ability, who will live sumptuously, for in addition to the thousand crowns a month of salary which his King assigns him, he is very rich and can supply all that is required.
He has had audience of the King and the Duke of Lerma, who received him most courteously and the Duke returned his visit. As yet I do not know that he has touched any negotiations, though some say he is to find out something about the marriage.
Madrid, 2nd July, 1611.
[Italian, the word in italics deciphered.]
July 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 270. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday I had audience of the King, and after exchange of compliments we passed from one topic to another during the space of nearly an hour. He first of all touched on the Lady Arabella and her flight. He did not hide from me that he had resolved to marry her suitably to her rank; he knew quite well what was right and proper; he hinted that worse might be behind, though he did not seem to attach much importance to it. Then talking of Seymour he said that the Archduke had replied to his request for Seymour's arrest that he would show to his Majesty and to the whole world how much he desired to oblige him, without, however, making any definite promise. The King thinks that by this time the Archduke has made Seymour leave his States; nor is he quite satisfied. He desired me to beg your Excellencies that, if Seymour should arrive in your dominions, he should be arrested till further communication. He showed no doubt but that he would obtain this favour, as he was sure that your Excellencies would never allow your dominions to become the asylum or bridge to shelter, or to give passage to, persons of such a character; that such favours were in common use among Sovereigns, who arrested and extradited bandits for misdeeds which in no way touched the majesty of any Sovereign; he concluded by saying that one who had shown readiness to declare himself an ally in time of danger need not doubt that he would surely receive such a favour as this. I replied that there is no favour so great that it would not be promptly granted by your Excellencies to please his Majesty; the greater it was the more readily would it be embraced. Continuing on this line I endeavoured to assure his Majesty of the readiness of each and all of your Lordships to oblige him, without descending to particulars. The King listened with satisfaction; he showed his conviction that Seymour would go to the State of some other Prince; still he would like this favour as a pledge of friendship. The King is much concerned about this flight, more perhaps than he shows; it is commonly held that Seymour will go either to the States of the Pope or of his Catholic Majesty. He informed me that the Ambassador of Savoy was past Nemours and would soon be here; the Ambassador writes that he is bringing a resolution of all difficulties, and smilingly he told me that on his arrival the Ambassador had said to someone that the Princess might surely change her religion, though he had not dared to say so much to the King, but only that she might so far honour her husband as to go to church with him; to which the King had replied that if it were a question of going to church for the prayers and sermons that might pass, but there was no use in talking about the Mass.
The King then touched on the affairs of France and Germany. As to the Assembly of the Huguenots, they had settled on this form of their demand, which embraced three points: first, the free exercise of their religion; secondly, the administration of pure justice; thirdly, the pledge of their security by the holding of certain places; so that under their Majesties' protection they might continue to live in quiet and security from molestation by their seditious enemies, The King shows benevolence towards France and their Majesties. With that he ended the conversation.
This morning I have been to Lord Salisbury, who spoke to me in great confidence on the same topics, and nearly in the same terms as his Majesty, though rather more reservedly, except on the subject of Seymour, who, he said, was a bastard; and he gave me clear and express evidence in a very few words. He showed that he did not doubt that if Seymour came to your Excellencies' dominions he would be arrested. His Majesty's Ambassador is to request this of your Serenity and Lord Salisbury told me to bring to the notice of your Excellencies the King's desire—this he said with great warmth. I did not fail to assure his Excellency in the same way as I had assured the King, with vigour and emphasis, so that this most important minister, upon whom rests the whole government, also was satisfied.
I see that his Majesty and the Earl are so well disposed towards your Excellencies and, as far as I can see, towards him who serves you, that I venture to hope my humble services approach mediocrity.
London, 7th July, 1611.
July 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 271. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The besieged in Kalmar on the Swedish frontier seeing themselves pressed by the King of Denmark and thinking to hold out better in the citadel, made a sudden sally and inflicted great loss on the Danes, who were taken for the most part unarmed. The sentinel and the guard were slain first; but the sally party could not hold their ground and so retired to the citadel, and the King of Denmark made himself master of the town and slew all who were in it down to the women and children. The King of Sweden is approaching with a powerful army and already some of his companies of horse have had sharp skirmishes with the Danish cavalry, who got the worst of it; so Kalmar has cost the King of Denmark much blood. Here they are glad at the slow progress of Poland in Russia, for this will prevent the Poles from attacking and making acquisitions in Sweden which could hardly resist if assailed from two quarters at once.
The Envoy of the King of Morocco had audience yesterday at Greenwich. I have not had time to find out what his business was; they say commerce. The King has named Carr, one of the Queen's Chamberlains, as Viceroy in Ireland. He is charged to push on the building of a city already begun and the colony to dwell in it.
Lord de la Warr, who was Viceroy in Virginia, has been here unexpectedly; he pleads that while pushing out to discover new lands he was driven here by the winds. It is not known whether this will be accepted.
The son of the Landgrave of Hesse was here the other day; it is said that he too aspires to the hand of the Princess. The Elector Palatine is also expected shortly; so she is woed and desired by many Princes in rivalry.
I am beginning to receive letters from the Hague, but with nothing worthy of your Serenity's notice. Two noted pirates make offers to the King to give up piracy, (fn. 2) and to return to this country if his Majesty would grant them a pardon. A Council has been held on the subject, and a diversity of opinion was manifested; the King declared his conscience would not allow him to grant impunity so easily to such a ruffianly race who had done so much mischief in the ocean and in the Mediterranean, but that he must find out some way more consistent with his honour and his conscience to compel these and all the others as well; on the other hand the majority of the Council approve of accepting the pirates' proposals in the hope that their example would help as an incentive to others, or at least reduce their numbers and make them less capable of resistance.
They have resolved to charge the Viceroy who is going to Ireland to examine the pirates' offer and to report fully to the Council. The King intends to take the opinion of the Ambassadors of France, Spain, and your Excellencies,—Princes, all of them, whom he thinks equally interested, and he wishes to discuss the plan of a joint action for the extirpation of the pirates. As I am not aware of your Excellencies' wishes in the matter I must move very cautiously unless it please you to send me instructions as to your interests and desires in the matter. When in France I had occasion to write several times on a similar topic, but never received any instructions.
The King is putting off his Progress, which will begin in two or three months, and will last little more than a month, that is a third of its usual time. The delay is caused by the recent drought, and the lack of all provisions in this year of penury. Corn, oats, and hay have doubled in prices.
Since my arrival in this Kingdom the Plague has not been violent, and is far below the average; there are only nine parishes in London affected by it. Worse is expected; may it not please God so.
London, 7th July, 1611.
July 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 272. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of France, who came to visit me two hours ago, has letters from M. de Champigny, dated the 29th and sent by courier express, who made the journey via Brussels in eight days. The Ambassador has brief despatches in cipher from Brussels. He did not tell me the cause of this, but added that Champigny warns him that within four days he will receive despatches from Rome. I did not show any curiosity nor have I had time to find out by other channels anything to report to your Excellencies, as the Ambassador has only just left me. I believe your Excellencies will hear from other sources far sooner. The Ambassador told me that there was some not quite good understanding between the Pope and your Serenity about Ceneda. He recalled the late King's attitude, and dwelt on the desirability of a good understanding between France, England, your Serenity, and other Princes who are guided by the same aims and interests. He did not hesitate to say that those who are but little friendly to your Excellencies are also enemies of France, and would be glad to disturb the peace of both States; on this point he dwelt at length. I replied readily but with a little more reserve, declaring that your Excellencies' sole policy was the maintenance of universal peace and the preservation of your State and prestige. That the Republic was mindful of all that the late King had done for the peace of Italy, and was well assured that, had occasion required it, he would have come with all his forces to the aid of your Serenity. That the Republic held the same assurance about the Queen, for whom it nourished a lively, sincere, and reverent affection. As to a good understanding with England, every one knew it could not be better, which the Ambassador confirmed, and said that the connection with the States also had a good beginning.
He went on to tell me that M. de Boissise had brought the demands addressed by the Huguenots to the Queen, so that there is every prospect of the Assembly dispersing quietly.
I endeavour to maintain relations of confidence between myself and the French and Spanish Ambassadors. We are quite on an equal footing both as regards titles, which in the case of Spain is “Most Illustrious,” as in the matter of attending and receiving. After my audience the Secretaries of France and of the Archduke, who were at Court, accompanied me to my carriage with the same ceremony as they would have used to the Ambassadors of their own Sovereigns. True it is that the King's favours help your Excellencies and him who serves you.
London, 7th July, 1611.
July 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 273. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days ago the English Ambassador came to see me. After some remarks of no moment he went on to say that to him it seemed that the Capudan Pasha was not so desirous to see the Dutch Ambassadors here as he was; the alliance between the Porte and the Dutch would be injurious to everybody, and he is resolved on the arrival of the new French Ambassador (Sanci) to unite with him in advising the Sultan to adhere to his old friends instead of making new ones. (fn. 3) A similar representation had been made before this, when there was a question of receiving a Spanish Ambassador.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 9th July, 1611.
[Italian, deciphered.]
July 9. Senato Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 274. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Three of the English captains who were to come to reside in Leghorn have arrived. They were first of all re-blessed at Pisa, as they now make profession of Catholicism. They have brought no ships with them; they have left them at Ma'amura, where the others are. The Earl of Warwick will try to make them come here, but it is doubtful whether they will leave that place where they have freedom to prey on friends and foes alike, nor do they desire to share their booty with the Grand Duke. The scheme, however, is not desperate; and if they come it is to be feared that under the flag of the Grand Duke they will do much more mischief than has happened in the past. Meantime in Leghorn all work on ships is at a standstill, nor are there any preparations for privateering.
Florence, 9th July, 1611.
July 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 275. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador had audience of the Queen, and in his Master's name gave an account of the capture of Arabella; he dwelt unfavourably on the details of the flight. He then went on to speak of the Huguenot Assembly, and congratulated himself that everything had passed off quietly, as his Majesty's efforts intended. He added other remarks to induce her Majesty not to be too punctilious but to yield the Huguenots some reasonable satisfaction. The Queen replied that she would do her duty by her son and her Kingdom, and would take the opinion of the Princes and Ministers.
Paris, 13th July, 1611.
July 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 276. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Envoy from Morocco at the audience he had of the King presented letters from his Master, whom he styles Emperor. He raised the question of closer commercial relations and showed a strong desire on the part of his Sovereign to draw close to England, from which he thinks he can receive many benefits, as he does from the United Provinces. The Envoy said his Master had a strong army and was expecting gunners from Holland; he intended to push forward with a firm foot. The King returned the compliments and said that as to commerce it was a matter to be dealt with, and in the interests of the merchants it would be needful to hear their views; the Kingdom was open to all, and especially to friends, both for import and export. The Envoy closed his audience by making the present of horses and other things. The letters from the King of Morocco convey his fixed resolve to be on good terms with the King of Engand for the mutual development of commerce. He just touches on his army, and refers all else to the bearer. The Spanish Ambassador, with whom I have recently conversed, told me that he had letters from Spain dated the 25th of last month with news that the King of Morocco had mobilized his forces—with the intent, it was thought, to attack El Arisch and Oran; the Ambassador pointed out that those places could be succoured in twenty-four hours quite easily, and are well provisioned. He did not deny that some weeks ago gun-founders and gunners had arrived from the States, but he did not attach much importance to this.
The Ambassador of the States (fn. 4) had audience this day week. He had a two-fold mission, first about the debt of one million one hundred and twenty thousand crowns which his Masters owe to this Crown as a third of the money supplied them at their need by the late King of France. The Ambassador requested that his Majesty should remit the half of this debt and receive the rest in instalments after the satisfaction of all their other debts, which they are paying off at the rate of one hundred and sixty thousand crowns a year. The second point was that Dutch war vessels should be allowed to enter the Irish harbours where the pirates find shelter and to make them prisoners, deal severely with and punish them. (fn. 5) As to the money the Ambassador hopes by an immediate payment of two hundred and fifty thousand crowns to receive a quittance in full. As to the pirates he had a favourable answer from the King, but not quite conclusive. The question was discussed in Council and the Ambassador who was with the Earl of Salisbury the day before yesterday received full permission, so that Dutch ships may in future chastise pirates in all ports of the Kingdom of Ireland, both following them up in the act of flying or going on purpose to attack them in the harbours except such as are fortified, inside which of course the pirates cannot find shelter. This shows that the idea of the King and Council is to extirpate the pirates by force rather than in any other way, and it is thought a matter of moment that his Majesty should oblige the States in so important an affair.
Last week Pindar, late Consul in Syria, was here. He has brought very minute information as to the trade with England, which is now greatly shrunk, voluntarily, for it is found more paying to bring spices and other things from India by sea than to go to Syria to buy them at that great price which is necessitated by the cost of transport to Syria partly by sea and partly by land, an important point; besides that the ocean is less infested than the Mediterranean and so goods arrive more safely; here the India voyage is already familiar. Pindar has had interviews with some members of the Council; he shows himself most thoroughly informed, and it is thought that he will be asked to put in writing what he is now saying viva voce. He has been to see me and told me that the trade of Marseilles was most flourishing; that the French Vice-Consul had gained in a few years upwards of a hundred thousand crowns in fees. He told me that all the mischief in Venetian trade arose from sending out the ships ill manned, ill commanded, so that, as experience shows, they easily sink or are plundered by every little pirate, for they do not fight. He dwelt at length on this. He pointed out the advantages of the port of Venice, where a profit can be made both going and coming, which cannot be said of Marseilles. There, owing to lack of merchandize, they send money. When I remarked that with money you traded faster, he said that Venetian cloth and silk were money; they had a fixed price and sold at once as the Turks require good stuff like that, and the same quality is produced year after year, nor does it ever vary, a thing that can not be said of other stuffs which are now better, now worse, both in quantity and in quality, and therefore have no fixed prices nor repute, and so one loses time in disposing of them. He dwelt on the point that Marseilles now supplies almost all Germany with Levant goods, as Venice used to do. He pointed out that the voyage to Marseilles was both longer and more dangerous than the voyage to Venice, which is within hands' reach.
As to extirpating the pirates, he declares that he holds it an almost impossible task. He pointed out the indifference with which they lose their ships, as for example last year, when it was thought they had been reduced to straits. He thinks the only way is to send the ships well manned and well guarded, so that they need not fear the pirates, who, if they were left a year or two without booty, would be forced to give up buccaneering. Pindar has informed the King of the good terms he is on with the Illustrious Consul Sagredo, whose praises are sung throughout the Court; Pindar says his qualities render him worthy of a much higher place where he could more usefully serve his country. Pindar told me that the French Consul had by letter authorized Sagredo to arrest and punish the French Vice-Consul, who then humbled himself; his Illustrious Lordship consented to two honourable accommodations as regards the cloth. The affair is now quite quiet.
London, 14th July, 1611.
July 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 277. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Friday the Queen had letters from the King of Denmark, her brother, with news that after taking the town of Kalmar he had also taken the castle at the third assault. He says he has now planted his foot in Sweden and made himself master of an important harbour, where he had burned eleven of the King of Sweden's ships. He shows that he considers the acquisition important and hopes for further success. The Queen is much pleased. The day before she had sent letters written by her own hand to her brother, complaining that news came through other channels and that the King rarely sent information of his progress.
The delay in the arrival of the Ambassador of Savoy breeds a suspicion that the Duke is not going on well. On the other hand the Princess is being eagerly sought for the Elector Palatine. The Landgrave of Hesse had an audience of the King on Sunday and of the Queen yesterday. He was well received. We don't know yet whether he touched on marriage or confined himself to compliments. The Spanish Ambassador has not seen the King for many days, nor does it seem that the match with the Infanta is progressing. This is displeasing here; nor has the French Ambassador made his proposals. He is waiting anxiously to see if the Spanish proposals move ahead.
Lady Arabella and the Countess of Shrewsbury are both strictly confined to the Tower. Their examination continues with a view of probing the affair to the bottom. It seems, from what is rumoured, that it has far-reaching roots.
The French Ambassador had despatches three days ago and assures me all is quiet in France. As the Huguenots' demands are reasonable they will easily meet with a gracious reply, although the Queen does not desire to depart from the attitude of the late King, but merely to confirm it. This will not suffice, however, in times of such suspicion as is sown broadcast by those who wish ill to France. But this will not happen, for the Queen and her advisers are full of prudence and good will.
Paris, 14th July, 1611.
July 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 278. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the despatch of the last ordinary post, there has been continual talk at Court about some difference between your Serenity and the Pope over Ceneda. (fn. 6) On the one hand they say excommunication has been launched against those who appeal to your Excellencies, on the other that an order has been issued threatening with death any Venetian who recognises a temporal Superior other than your Serenity, his lawful and only Sovereign. On Sunday I was asked by a person of quality what news I had on the subject, adding that his Majesty had spoken about it. I replied that I knew nothing about it. Seeing that this rumour was gaining ground I thought it best to say to Lord Salisbury that at first I had paid no attention to it, but that I now wished to assure him that I had no news about the matter, and that the moment I had any worthy of his notice, I would at once communicate it. His Lordship was pleased; said he had from Venice some confirmation of the rumour; thought it would all “end in a literary warfare,” to use his very words. The Ambassador of the States has also touched on the subject to me. He assures me that his Masters would willingly embrace the opportunity to show to your Excellencies and the whole world how readily they would unite their forces in so just a cause. He expatiated on the subject, and did not omit to point out how much his Masters could do, as they have in one single place one hundred and fifty ships all ready, and had no lack of men to man them.
London, 14th July, 1611.
July 20. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 279. Deposition of Christofole Guilolcei, an English gentleman who had arrived on board the “White Lion.” He had left Constantinople three months ago and was bound for Venice on his way home.
Zante, 20th July, 1611.
July 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 280. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Friday I had audience of the Queen and found her surrounded by almost all the chief ladies of the Court, and many of the nobility. After the preliminary compliments she made me be seated and began to talk of the affairs of France. She questioned me as to the habits and tastes of the French Queen and Princesses, looking at some of her own ladies all the while. I embarked on their praises, which I saw pleased her Majesty. After some pleasant talk she went on to say that the Princess, her daughter, had but just left her. She hinted at the delay of the Ambassador of Savoy, who should have been here already by what the gentleman of his suite had said. As to the Spanish match for the Prince she just touched on it and then avoided it; letting me understand, however, that she thought there was nothing else to be done, though the matter was still far off. As to the Elector Palatine he was pressing his suit for the Princess, and her marriage to some one of her suitors was, probably, both easier and nearer than that of the Prince. It is easy to see that her Majesty inclines to the Spanish Infante, of whom she thinks very well. She made particular enquiries about the French Princesses, their habits, their beauty, etcetera. I was enthusiastic. Her Majesty reflected, but said nothing. She went on to speak of her sons, and of the Duke of York whom she especially praised. We talked for nearly an hour; I then rose; the Queen said I should come sometimes as she would be glad to see me and I would be received in private. I took my leave. I wished the King a good journey, as their Majesties are on the point of departure for Hampton Court where they will stay ten or twelve days, and then begin their Progress, which will, for the reasons given, last only twenty or twenty-five days.
I shall beg audience of the Prince and Princess before they leave for Hampton Court to follow their Majesties with but a small suite. The King bade me be of good cheer till his return and to make use of his barges, as he had given orders to the Admiral that they were all at my disposal and not merely one or two as is usual with other Ambassadors. The King has news that Seymour is in Liege, which is on the confines of Flanders, Germany and France. He thinks he can't stay long in Liege but will surely make for Spain or Italy and the States of the Pope, or of his Catholic Majesty should he despair of pardon here, where he has already written. He well knows, as do all persons, the clemency of his Majesty, who is always happy when he can help or pardon.
London, 21st July, 1611.
July 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 281. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I had letters the day before yesterday from Brussels. The Archduke is going to send M. de Peckius (Pechus), who was his Lieger in France, and M. de Maase (Masio), both personages of quality, to the Hague, where the States are holding a General Assembly. They go as Envoys, and are charged to settle some points that are still under controversy, as is said. But your Excellencies will gather that the mission has deeper roots, and is sent by express orders from Spain. Their object is to convert the twelve years' truce into a perpetual peace on conditions very favourable to the States, and thus to conclude all to the satisfaction of each party. If they find a readiness to this arrangement the Admiral of Aragon and the Marchese Spinola will be sent at once with full powers. This important news has made the French Ambassador very anxious, and he uses all means in his power to penetrate the motives of the Spanish Council, which are as yet unknown, though the information is absolutely correct, as I know from a sure source that his Majesty has letters from Brussels and from Spain in the same sense. Yesterday I had a long conversation with the Ambassador of the States, who did not conceal from me the fact that he had despatches from Barneveldt with like information. The Ambassador did not seem pleased at the news; he suspected that there might be some deception underneath, and hopes the States will not entirely lend an ear. He told me that the States do not get much benefit from the truce, as they continue to pay the same troops as before and are deprived of many advantages they enjoyed from a freer navigation.
I have despatches from the Hague reporting various proposals made by Ambassadors and Agents of the German Princes in favour of the confederates of Hall. A satisfactory issue is expected, as the States lent a gracious ear.
The Ambassador of the States also told me that wherever he goes the Illustrious Correr receives unwonted honours and presents.
Some charges against the Earl of Northumberland have appeared, and if they are proved he will be in a bad way. (fn. 7) The Earl of Shrewsbury has supplicated the King on behalf of his wife, who is still a prisoner, but in vain; nay, he received a very sharp answer.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is added to the Council, to its small satisfaction and on the King's absolute command.
As I was closing this despatch came news that the pirates have plundered two ships, in one of which was much of the Illustrious Correr's belongings. I hear that the said pirates, who were eight altogether, had just previously fought four ships from Danzig and had captured three, two of them laden with muscat.
London, 21st July, 1611.
July 24. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante, Venetian Archives. 282. Francesco Donado, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Report on the attempts to liberate Zuanne Pasqualigo and companions, now slaves in Patras. The negotiations were carried on by Edward Coulston, who lives and trades there and is highly respected. He was once Vice-Consul. To oblige Donado he undertook the task and agreed to disburse the hundred and twenty thousand aspers demanded as ransom. This will avoid the risk of sending such a large sum of public money. The affair was not entrusted to the Venetian Consul Biffi, as he is unpopular.
Zante, 24th July, 1611.
July 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 283. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday, the 23rd, the King had letters from Spain sent by his Ambassador to Brussels, whence his Majesty's agent re-posted them on the 21st. The Ambassador gives an account of his arrival at the Court and of his first interview with Lerma and another important minister on the subject of the marriage of the Infanta to the Prince. At the audience I had yesterday with the Queen at Hampton Court I gathered confirmation of this.
There are letters from the Count of Ruffia dated from Turin and addressed to the Spanish Ambassador, to some gentlemen of the Court and to a gentleman of the Queen. Some of these I have seen. Ruffia says that his Highness is about to send him here, but he does not specify the day and his arrival is thought to be doubtful.
The French Ambassador, who is interested in these negotiations for marriage, tells me that in France the question of the Savoy match has been re-opened, and that the Duke has made some fresh proposals; but here they say the invitation came from France.
News from Brussels. On the 21st the Envoys of the Archduke had not yet set out for the Hague. It seems that they desired some rumour of their mission to precede them so that they might the more easily discover the disposition of the States towards a perpetual peace with Spain and the Archduke. The same letters bring news of the death of the Duke of Saxony, whom John George will succeed. On the fifth, in the City of Aix (Exes), an Imperial City, the Catholics and Huguenots had a violent quarrel; the Huguenots got the best of it and ill-used the Catholics, especially the Jesuits. Things of a similar nature took place at Mainz, too. Two days ago the Queen had letters from the King of Denmark. The contents are an absolute secret, as she has communicated them to no one; this makes people think the news can not be good. There is a rumour that the King has been wounded in the arm by a harquebus, and has received a blow from the King of Sweden, but this does not come from a sure source. Some of the points claimed by the Huguenots are still unsettled. The Queen would not grant her assent. All the same things are tending towards quiet.
London, 26th July, 1611.
July 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 284. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Two Ambassadors, one from Brandenburg the other from Neuburg, are here. They arrived almost contemporaneously, but their aims are different. Neither has had audience nor do they seem to be in any hurry. As far as I can find out the Ambassador of Brandenburg brings the Imperial investiture of Cleves, and Neuburg will have the same immediately, and he will deal with the Electoral Diet and the election of the King of the Romans, also with the affairs of Germany. The Ambassador of Neuburg comes to explain to his Majesty his Master's claims and to point out what he hoped for from the accord between Brandenburg and Saxony. Only the death of Saxony will prevent him going further, and unless he has some other mission his Embassy will resolve itself into mere compliments.
The Archduke Albert, while apparently assisting his brother Mathias in the election of King of the Romans, is secretly pushing his own candidature; it is little more than two weeks since he sent over here to beg the King's interest with the three Protestant Electors. His Majesty's answer was that at present we must attend to the issue of the Diet, and that it was premature to speak of aught else. This both the French Ambassadors have from different quarters. Leopold stands well with Spain, who will support him for the Empire with intent to marry him to the eldest Infanta; but as yet they are waiting the right moment. It is thought that in the midst of so many pretenders the election of the King of the Romans may produce confusion and war.
All the lords of the Council have been here for the impeachment of the Earl of Northumberland on the charge of lœsa Majestas, participation in the Gunpowder Plot and perhaps in other conspiracies. It is rumoured that he will lose his life and his estates will be confiscated. Indeed I hear that last night he was put to death in the Tower, though I cannot affirm this, as yesterday I spent in waiting on the Queen by her command at Hampton Court and to-day in writing. The other prisoners are strictly guarded, and they are pushing forward their examination, to their great terror.
There is here a gentleman of the Duke of Mantua with letters to the King and Queen announcing the birth of a son. He visited me. I thought it my duty to admit him and to invite him to this house; as I held it for your Excellencies' service that agents from Italian Princes should seek protection from your Serenity's Ambassador, although there are resident here Ambassadors from France and Spain. He will be back here in a day or two, and will then go to Flanders to the Archduke and the Infanta, and thence to Lorraine. The pirates who plundered the ships, about which I wrote, have set the crews at liberty. They announced that if they obtained the King's pardon as besought by two of their leaders they would restore the ships and their cargoes, which are valued at one hundred and fifty thousand crowns. The interested parties accordingly support the petition for pardon.
I must not keep silence as to the favours shown me yesterday by the Queen in an audience she gave me of her own accord. It lasted three hours; and she caused me to hear her music from a very private gallery, where she was, now on foot, now seated. She talked most graciously to me; and all this to honour your Excellencies, to whom she bade me convey the expression of her great good will to serve you. “Serve” was the word she used, and I have never heard it from royal lips. I returned thanks in the best way I could.
The Queen talked mostly about her mother, her brother, the greatness of her house, her debt to God for so many favours, of her desire to go to Hamburg to see her mother if she would consent to come to that city to meet her and give her her benediction. She spoke of her sorrow for the death of the Duke of Saxony, for whom she would go into mourning if the King would allow her, but of that she was doubtful.
After the arrival of the Minister of Morocco a very rich vessel has come from that kingdom. There is a report that the ships sent by the States for the service of the King of Morocco have arrived. The King very likely knows of the intention of the Spanish to seize the port of Ma'amura on the ocean. It cannot be pleasing to any who have an interest there to see the King of Spain plant a foot in Africa, and thus to hold in his absolute power the passage and Strait that join the ocean and the Mediterranean. But the great preparations of the King of Morocco will perhaps induce others to look rather to the preservation of what they have than to acquisitions elsewhere.
London, 28th July, 1611.
July 28. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. 285. To the Ambassador in England.
Approval of what he said in his audience of the King on the 7th inst. As his Majesty made an urgent request that Seymour, who fled from England on account of the Lady Arabella, should be arrested if he entered our states; we, desiring to show our regard for the King, have promptly given the necessary orders and a description of Seymour, as furnished by his Majesty's Ambassador, so that if he should arrive he may be arrested. You are to inform his Majesty of this and report to us.
Further, that the Cabinet issue such orders as are needed to give effect to the above resolution, and inform the English Ambassador.
Ayes 144.
Noes 4.
Neutrals 10.
July 29. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 286. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and after taking his seat the Doge spoke as follows:
Your Lordship has come opportunely, for we were on the point of sending to summon you. We have despatches from our Ambassador in England, in which he reports that at an audience granted by the King, his Majesty spoke of Lady Arabella and of Seymour, who has fled from Court. He showed a desire to have Seymour in his hands, as he has secured Arabella; he therefore begged that if Seymour should arrive in our dominions he might be arrested. Desiring to satisfy his Majesty as far as in us lies, we at once, in accord with the Senate, resolved to oblige him, and to issue the necessary orders along with the description of Seymour that may be furnished to us by your Lordship, so that if he reaches our dominions he may be arrested. Our Ambassador informs us that you were to prefer a like request in his Majesty's name; but, in order to prove our readiness, we thought it well not to wait, and also not to lose time in issuing the orders on receipt from you of information as to where he is and what he is like. We have informed you of this so that you may report to his Majesty.
The Ambassador said: “It is true, most Serene Prince, that I have orders from his Majesty to make a similar request; but seeing that I have been forestalled by your kindness I must apply myself not to requests but to thanks.” He renders thanks and will report to his Majesty, who will certainly appreciate the kindness. He will endeavour to find out about the moves of Seymour and will at once inform the Doge. His Majesty desires to have this man in his hands not because he is of any moment, for he is poor, the offspring of an irregular marriage and a bastard, but because he has had the audacity to seduce the King's cousin, whom the King intended to marry according to her rank. Seymour is a pauper and it is hard to say where he can find asylum owing to his Majesty's friendly relation with all Sovreigns. He will have to go about disguised. The Ambassador will keep a look-out and inform the Doge.
The Doge said it would be as well to furnish some particulars as to this person's face, height and build, so as to be on their guard.
The Ambassador then said that the great heat had prevented him from coming to render thanks for favours granted. He has suffered much.
The Doge said the heat had been excessive and all had suffered. He was glad the Ambassador had recovered and had such a good colour. If it ever happened that a request by the Ambassador was not granted that must be attributed to the strictness of the law, not to lack of goodwill.
The Ambassador added, “It only remains for me to say that although your Serenity has granted a pass for the goods belonging to Lord Salisbury's nephew so that they can be exported free of charge, the Custom House officer insists on being heard in opposition. I do not beg you not to listen to him; I only beg that you will do so as soon as possible, for a ship leaves for England in ten days: if that is missed we must wait four months.”
The Doge said they would send for the Customs officer and settle the matter as soon as possible.
July 29. Collegio, Letters, Secrete, Venetian Archives. 287. To the Ambassador in England.
Sending a copy of the audience with the English Ambassador (in the matter of Seymour).
Ayes 21.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 0.
July 30. Collegio, Lettere, Secrete, Venetian Archives. 288. To the Rectors of Padua.
To be read privately.
We have, along with the Senate, resolved, in order to gratify the King of England, that should the Englishman Seymour enter our dominions he is to be arrested as a fugitive and kept in custody till further orders. If in the meantime we receive any special information as to where he is, as to his height and appearance, which may be of service to you in this affair, we will not fail to let you know.
Also to Vicenza, Bergamo, Brescia, Crema, Treviso, Salò, Chioggia, and Rovigo.
July 30. Collegio, Lettere, Secrete, Venetian Archives. 289. To the Rectors of Verona.
To be read privately.
Having resolved, in order to gratify the King of England, that should the Englishman Seymour, a fugitive, enter our dominions, he shall be arrested, you are to order the captain of the Chiusa (fn. 8) and any other you think right, that they are to use all diligence to find out whether Seymour arrives from that quarter, and if he does to arrest and send him into Verona, where you will keep him under strict guard and inform us.
If we have any further information as to his whereabouts, height, appearance, we will inform you.
The same to Padua, Bergamo, Crema, Brescia, Treviso, Salò, Vicenza, Udine.
Ayes 21.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 1.
July 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 290. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Pedro di Toledo has gone with his ships to San Lucar in order to be near to the port of Ma'amura, whose entrance he intends to block by sinking ships filled with stones bound together by mortar, in order to prevent the place from serving as an harbour for pirates.
The three galleons of the fleet which came from Lisbon and joined company to cruise off the coast were attacked by a great English ship that was buccaneering. She took these for merchantmen, but they engaged so vigorously that the English were driven to despair and fired the ships as is their custom; and all perished.
Madrid, 30th July, 1611.
July 39. Senato Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 291. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Grand Duke's galleys are back in Leghorn; they report having seen no armed vessels except the English lying at Ma'amura.
Florence, 30th July, 1611.
July 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 292. Marc' Antonio Correr, retiring Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On my departure from London, I crossed the sea to Flushing, as I found that passage both shorter and less troublesome than that by Calais. I have been everywhere received by the Magistrates, and when they had notice I have been met and lodged. At Breda I found the Prince of Orange and his brothers Prince Maurice and Count Henry, and their brother-in-law Don Antonio of Portugal. They invited me to dinner, and sent me their illegitimate brother Justin, Governor of Breda, with whom I had the pleasure of going round the town. It is one of the strongest places on those frontiers. At the Castle I found the Prince, his brother and brother-in-law awaiting me. They met me almost at the door. After long talk, compliments and discourses, they themselves showed me over the fortifications one by one.
Prince Maurice desires war for the sake of keeping the Provinces united. He says he is sure the King of France regretted having persuaded them to make peace.
On my departure I was accompanied as far as St. Gertrudenberg by the Baron of Cassel, General of Artillery, and Governor of that place, who pressed me to sup with him that evening. That same night there appeared five boats belonging to Prince Maurice sent by him to accompany me to Dortrecht. At the Hague I was nobly lodged and paid my respects to the Estates. I was assured of the esteem in which they held your Serenity. In the Free Cities I was also highly honoured, and at Munich the Duke sent his chamberlain to offer me his services, and to ask if I wished to see his Highness. I replied that my secretary had already had orders to go immediately after dinner to ask an audience; which he did, begging that it might be granted at once so as to allow me to proceed on my journey the next day. His Highness sent the Baron de Terring instantly with carriages to say that he would see me after Vespers, and meantime they prepared rooms to lodge me. The Duke met me in the antechamber, and we went into another room, where he caused me to be seated and covered before he would allow me to speak. He discoursed at length. He would not allow me to depart, but kept me three days and took me out stag-hunting. He dislikes King Mathias' decision, and thinks the quarrel between the two brothers is hurtful to the Catholics of Germany. He says the continuation of the war against the Turk would have been a good thing, for in his present weakness there might have been some success. He asked for news about Persia, and when I told him about the Turkish army that had last year penetrated into that kingdom, he remarked that it was no such remarkable achievement considering that the whole Turkish force was employed. He enquired about the naval strength of the Republic, and remarked that now was the time for her to do something if she found support in other Sovreigns. I replied that the Republic always did her duty by keeping so many garrisons on the frontiers, and by maintaining galleys, not only in the Adriatic, but in most of the waters of Greece. Venice was always ready to spend herself in the service of Christendom; and was more exposed to attack than other powers. The Duke then spoke about Savoy and Aix-la-Chapelle. All three days that I was in Munich I had the attendance of Baron de Terring, the use of the ducal carriages and of the Swiss guard, the gentlemen and pages of the Court. In Bavaria I heard there was plague in Tyrol. The Duke had placed Innsbruck in quarantine, though on better information he re-opened trade. All the same I avoided that city. Arrived at Brixen I learned that Trent was closed against all who come from or go to Venetian territory, in retaliation for having placed Trent in quarantine. Permission was refused to an Augsburg merchant. I will take information.
Brixen, 31st July, 1611.
July 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 293. Marc' Antonio Correr, retiring Venetian Ambassador to England, to the Doge and Senate.
News about Posen, and the Protestant rising in Aix-la-Chapelle. The Governor driven out of the Town Hall and the Jesuits attacked. Quarrel between the Duke of Bavaria and the Archbishop of Salzburg over duty on salt.
King Mathias desired to marry the Princess Magdalen, sister of the Duke of Bavaria; she wants to marry the Archduke Leopold and her brother also desired it, as he considered the King impotent. Mathias is now treating for one of the daughters of Archduke Ferdinand of Innsbruck, and the Princess Magdalen, the match with Leopold having fallen through, regrets her lost opportunity.
Brixen, 31st July, 1611.
July 31. Senato Secreta Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives.. 294. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke intends to send the Count of Ruffia back to England. Ruffia's Secretary has already gone there. They desire to carry on and keep alive negotiations in England. If in these negotiations the marriage of the Princess Maria to the Prince of Wales could be brought about that would give complete satisfaction to his Highness; but the marriage of the Prince of Piedmont to the English Princess he would rather use as a means for advancing his cause with France.
Turin, the last day of July, 1611.


  • 1. The Count of Cartignana.
  • 2. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–1618, p. 55. “Examination of John Collever and others who have been taken, concerning the number and strength of the pirate fleet. They have in all 40 ships and 2,000 men; their place of rendezvous is at Marmora (Ma'amura) in Barbary.” Winwood, Mem. III. 286. “Easton the pirate, with some of his companions, offer to surrender themselves and their goods, upon condition of pardon.”
  • 3. See Winwood, Mem. III. p. 284.
  • 4. Sir Noel de Caron.
  • 5. See Winwood, Mem. III. p. 285.
  • 6. See Winwood, Mem III. pp. 277, 283.
  • 7. Tim. Elkes, servant to the Earl, had accused his master of some participation in the Gunpowder Plot. The matter is explained by Salisbury to Winwood. Mem. III. p. 287. See also Cal. S.P. Dom.
  • 8. The gorge of the Adige near Rivoli.