Venice: August 1611

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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'Venice: August 1611', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 12, 1610-1613, ed. Horatio F Brown( London, 1905), British History Online [accessed 13 July 2024].

'Venice: August 1611', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 12, 1610-1613. Edited by Horatio F Brown( London, 1905), British History Online, accessed July 13, 2024,

"Venice: August 1611". Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 12, 1610-1613. Ed. Horatio F Brown(London, 1905), , British History Online. Web. 13 July 2024.

August 1611

Aug 4. Original Dispatch, Venetian Archives. 295. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
News from the Hague that at the General Assembly of the States they are giving their attention to three points; to bring about peace between Sweden and Denmark; to hear the proposals of the Protestant Princes of Germany; to study the way to increase their commerce. As to the first, they have determined to appoint Ambassadors to both Kings. These Embassies will receive support by letter and in every other way from England. As to the second, the death of the Duke of Saxony has partly altered and partly suspended all proposals. It seems that the Duke John George regards the Prince of Anhault with much favour, will follow his advice, will draw towards Brandenburg, and cast a gracious eye on the diet of Hall. As regards commerce various plans for the ocean and Mediterranean have been brought forward, but nothing decided yet; it is probable, however, that as they have a large number of ships they will undertake something of moment.
The King of Denmark's defeat is confirmed. He has lost one thousand men. It took place near Kalmar while he was attacking a fort on the sea. It was not, however, a pitch-battle, nor was the whole army involved. The Swedes also suffered, but far less. Both armies are close together and both are led by their kings.
The Ambassador of Brandenburg had audience at Windsor; it was brief and dealt with little else than compliments. He has not returned yet. Perhaps at a second audience he will open his negotiations.
The Prince Landgrave has been with his Majesty, who kept him to dine with him and took him to the chase. He came back two days ago and sent to ask at what hour I could receive him; I sent at once to pay my respects, as I would have done sooner only I desired to see some sign of regard paid to your Excellencies' Embassy as had been done to France and Spain. He told me he had special orders from his father to visit your Serenity's Ambassador.
The French Ambassador told me that after eight days he had received three couriers from M. de Villeroy telling him that almost all the points put forward by the Huguenot Assembly had been granted by the Queen. The Ambassador did not conceal from me that they demanded the confirmation of the Edict of Nantes, but they eventually were satisfied with modifications in it. The Huguenot deputies are to continue for life; so they will elect six, from whom the Queen will choose two. In the passages in public documents, where they are described as of the “pretended” reformed religion, they demand the cancelling of the word “pretended” which has been introduced by their enemies with a seditious and scandalous intent. As regards the cautionary towns they have received some satisfaction. The Deputies sent again to the Queen to beg her to grant the few points they demand; if she consents the Assembly will separate and all will end peacefully. If she does not the Assembly may make a difficulty about dissolving.
London, 4th August, 1611.
Aug 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Arcives. 296. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have tried to discover the contents of the despatches from Spain, but have only succeeded partially. The English Ambassador in audience with the King of Spain made a long discourse on the question of a marriage between the first Infanta and the Prince of Wales. The person who told me this says that it is most unusual for the King to grant a long audience, and he thinks this looks like a beginning in earnest.
On the 29th a courier arrived from the Grand Duke to his Secretary (Lotto), who at once went to Windsor, where he was well received by the Queen. He also saw the King, but merely kissed his hand. He then went to Richmond and saw the Prince. He has brought a casket with a portrait of the Grand Duke's sisters, and especially of the second, whose beauty the Secretary had commended already to the Queen.
The French Ambassador informs me that the Grand Duke is offering one of his sisters to the Prince of Savoy, and that negotiations are opened. Most of his news comes from M. de Villeroy, to whom the Ambassador is closely bound.
The Agent of the Duke of Mantua has been to Hampton Court and presented his letters. He was answered by the Queen. He will get the King's answer in a day or two from the Treasurer; since his return he lodges with me.
The Earl of Northumberland is still closely guarded in the Tower. He has out of his own mouth confessed some points of importance as regards the Gunpowder Plot. His trial will go on and the sentence is put off till the King's return.
The heads of the interested parties have begged a pardon for the pirates; their petition has already been answered; but as the pirates have put together eleven ships, and have recently made great plunder, there is a doubt whether they will accept the pardon on the conditions on which it has been obtained. If they do not, seeing that there are a number of very rich ships making now for London from various quarters which cannot escape the ambuscades, this market will receive a severe shock, nor will the royal ships which they may send out be sufficient, for they cannot be in all places at once. (fn. 1)
The King will have started on his Progress yesterday towards Salisbury; nor will he go further. The Prince does not attend his Majesty, so as to lessen the burden on the country.
I sent to wait upon the Earl of Salisbury a few days after his return from attending the King. I will myself call at a fitting moment.
The Spanish Ambassador, before leaving London for change of air, called on me, though he is in delicate health; and yesterday his son called while I was out, so there are friendly relations. The French Ambassador is getting ready, and in five or six days he will go to Salisbury to salute the King on the 15th, a day on which his Majesty's life was miraculously saved, for which reason he appreciates all signs of rejoicing. It has been customary in past years, I hear, to fulfil this duty by sending a secretary; but if the French Ambassador goes and the Spanish also, I will do the same, without any regard to my small fortune, which certainly has no need of further expenses on a journey of fourteen or fifteen days, which will cost much on all accounts. Meantime I will report what takes place in these few days, and if I leave before the ordinary post from Venice, I will have the despatches forwarded so that my service to your Excellencies shall in no way be curtailed.
London, 4th August, 1611.
Aug 6. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 297. Francesco Donado, Governor of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Announces the liberation of Zuanne Pasqualigo.
Zante, 6th August, 1611.
Aug 8. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 298. Zuanne Pasqualigo to the Doge.
Gives an account of his captivity and liberation.
Zante, 8th August, 1611.
Aug 10. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 299. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of Savoy, on orders from his Master, told the English Ambassador that a fresh Embassy would be sent to England and begged for the Ambassador's good offices.
Paris, 10th August, 1611.
Aug 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 300. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Deputies of the Assembly at Saumur are not satisfied with the prolongation for five years of their tenure of the cautionary towns; they wished for ten years. The English Ambassador cannot blame them, though he maintains all he said to the Queen and the ministers about his Master's resolve for the quiet of France.
The Queen regrets that M. de Plessis, President of the Assembly, should have published a book against the spiritual authority of the apostolic see, and dedicated the Latin translation to the King of England and the French to the King of France, her son; but she is counselled to dissimulate.
Paris, 10 August, 1611.
Aug 11. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 301. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
At nine o'clock on Saturday morning I was at Richmond, at the hour appointed by the Prince, of whom I had sought audience the day before. I had sought the same of the Princess, who lives at Kew, and she granted it to me after ten o'clock on the same morning. I found the Prince with the Duke of York, the Landgrave of Hesse, the Ambassador of Brandenburg, one of the Counts of Nassau, and a great number of lords and knights. His Highness dismounted, and I said that I had orders from your Excellencies to visit him occasionally in your name to assure him of your continued esteem. He replied briefly and graciously; said he considered it an honour to be visited in a place some miles away from the city; then taking me by the hand he said he must have me to dinner, and so a message was sent to the Princess to postpone my audience till after dinner first of all, and then till another day, as the Prince insisted that I should spend the whole of that day with him at the chase and in listening to his music, making clear in a thousand ways the regard he has for the Serene Republic. The remainder of the morning was spent by the Prince in tilting at the ring and in his manege, in which he made a fine show. The Landgrave and four or six other leading gentlemen ran a lance or two and served the Prince, who then waited for me at the foot of the stairs and engaged me in conversation for nearly an hour. He talked first of the various breeds of horses in different countries, and the different ways of breaking them, their suitability for war; he greatly extolled the barbs, of which for the most part he makes use. He remarked that in Italy we could have Turkish horses, of which he had heard that the best came from Macedonia; and this he said in such a way that I understood he would like to have some. He then went on to talk of Venetian maritime power and still more her land power. He greatly praised the Fort of Palma, declaring it to be the finest in the world as far as the art of fortification goes; he did not conceal the fact that he had the plan. He asked how many men were in it ordinarily, and how many it would require to defend it in time of war. He showed himself remarkably well informed as to the forces of your Excellencies. At dinner he praised your Excellencies. At his Highness' table no one had a seat except myself and the Landgrave all the rest to the number of twenty or twenty-five sat at the second table. The Duke of York dined alone at his usual hour, as the Prince's dinner was very late. After dinner the Prince took me by the hand and made me listen to his music in various kinds of concert, and treated me with such honour and benignity that I cannot repeat it. At last when it seemed the right time, his Highness the Landgrave and I went in a carriage to the hunting ground. The chase lasted late. His Highness refused to be attended as far as Richmond, but sent the Landgrave and myself back to London.
I continue to make greater friendship with the Chamberlain and others whom I judge to have the confidence of his Highness. I am told by those who know him that his aims are very lofty.
On Monday I waited on the Princess and spent half an hour in agreeable conversation.
London, 11th August, 1611.
Aug 11. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 302. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
My letters from Zealand inform me that the Commissioners of the Archduke to the General Assembly of the States have passed through; and letters from the Hague announce that they have arrived there, and been immediately received in audience. The Admiral of Holland and the two other Ambassadors have left for Denmark to use every effort to secure peace between Denmark and Sweden. They are the bearers of urgent letters from the King of England; he says that if Denmark shows a disposition towards peace he will, by sending a special mission, demonstrate his desire for quiet in that quarter.
Six days ago an Englishman, Thomas Shirley, came here; he brings letters from the King of Persia and calls himself the Persian Ambassador. The King does not like this and makes a difficulty about receiving him as such, on the grounds that he is an English subject, and, what is more important, an outlaw; all the same it is thought that he will soon be admitted to his Majesty's presence.
The Envoy from Morocco is dealing on some commercial points with the Company of Merchants called the Barbary Merchants.
The Ambassador of Brandenburg has received a golden chain as a gift from the King and he returns to his Master; I do not know if he had any other mission than the one I wrote of, and that he has dealt with very briefly, owing to change which the succession of John George in Saxony may bring about. The Ambassador of Neuburg will also leave shortly.
The pirates who, as I wrote, were banded together to the number of eleven ships have captured several others and are grown very strong, and now number seventeen, as is reported by a ship from Guinea. She was attacked by them, but thanks to a favourable wind she escaped. We hear that these pirates are to go to the Mediterranean, and if they do it can not fail to cause great injury to the merchants. We do not know whether they are going to accept the pardon on the conditions on which it was obtained for them by the interested parties. As the King is displeased at the great plunder they have recently made off these islands, he is manning seven royal ships to chastise them. The King bears the cost, which will not, however, be very heavy, as the King pays only a quarter of the ordinary salaries, and all provisions are purchased at the lowest prices, being taken on compulsion from those who rent Crown lands; the hands receive sums on account, the full payment is made only on discharge, which is a great convenience and saving; and so one sees that in the hands of this King ever so little money is worth more than a great deal in the hands of others. On board the seven ships will be three thousand picked men. The ships of other sovereigns are manned by sailors and armed by soldiers raw to the sea, and no use for some little time; but his Majesty's ships carry soldier-sailors, all ready to fight, and all able to work the ships, who can face the storms of the sea and the attack of the foe with valour.
The Landgrave is to leave soon. To-day he will visit me. The King has given him many jewels, and the Prince has honoured him highly; he has been presented to the Princess as one of her suitors. (fn. 2)
The Prince, the Duke of York and other leading gentlemen will join the King on Monday. There are to be fireworks by way of rejoicing for the King's safety, of which that day is the anniversary. I too will set out in that direction. I am told that the Spanish Ambassador will be present if the French Ambassador is not. As I am on good terms with both and claim equality it matters not to me with which I find myself.
At this very moment I hear that a Cha'ush has arrived with letters from the Grand Turk. He will go to Salisbury. This is all I have of interest to report to your Serenity in this absence of the King, the Court, and the chief Ministers.
London, 11th August, 1611.
Postscript.—The Landgrave came to visit me and we exchanged compliments. To-day the Prince made him a present of four beautiful horses and some dogs, and the King gave him a jewel of beautiful and costly diamonds. The Landgrave tells me he has news that Smolensk is in the hands of Poland, who is coming to an accord with Sweden, all the difficulty turning on one single point. The Landgrave discussed the question whether the advance of Poland was for the good of Christendom in the face of the Turk. Talking of the new Duke of Saxony he said he would agree with Brandenburg far better than the late Duke. It was the Landgrave himself who persuaded Brandenburg to accept the Duke of Saxony as a joint “possessioner” in Cleves. The schemes of Poland are probably vast and will meet with no resistance from Muscovy; if Poland and Sweden came to terms the King of Denmark would be in a bad way.
Aug 11. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 303. Francesco Donado, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports the liberation of Zuanne Pasqualigo and reports that Sig. Edward Coulston had made some small presents.
Zante, 11th August, 1611.
Aug 14. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 304. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Count Ruffia has not left yet for England, and indeed the idea of this mission seems to be growing cold.
Turin, 14th August, 1611.
Aug 17. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 305. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Pedro di Toledo succeeded in closing the entrance to the harbour of Ma'amura, in spite of the Moors. He sank eight ships in the mouth of the harbour. There are some who thought it would have been better policy to have seized and fortified that port; it seems that Don Pedro himself leaned to that view. I hear that the Dutch design to seize Gibraltar. The Council of War are discussing its fortification.
Madrid, 17th August, 1611.
Aug 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 306. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Although the English Ambassador declares very positively that he has no orders to negotiate a marriage between these Princes, yet he has let it be understood by the Duke of Lerma that if his Majesty had an idea to bind himself in relationship with England, the King would lend a willing ear. All the same it is thought that the English are raising the topic more with a view to disturbing the negotiations with France than for any other purpose.
Madrid, 17th August, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 307. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The dragoman, Brutti, has returned from Chios, having brought five Venetians and one Englishman, who was a gunner on board the “Bonera,” all slaves; the Capudan Pasha took these from Gioffer the Genoese, and wants to keep the gunner, promising to hand him over to me on his return. All the captains of the fleet opposed the restitution of the slaves.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 20th August, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug 20. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 308. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
From Leghorn we hear that some Flemish pirates have captured two galleons belonging to the English captains at Leghorn; they were coming from Ma'amura, where the others are.
Florence, 20th August, 1611.
Aug 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 309. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Envoy of the Duke of Mantua has left. He told me, when visiting me, that very likely his Master in the spring of next year, would go to France and England and return by way of Flanders.
As I wrote to your Excellencies, I left for Salisbury on the 12th; I arrived on the 15th about midday, having travelled far that morning. I was met fifteen miles out by the royal carriages. Lodgings were assigned me and a gentleman was there to receive me. Then came the Viscount Cranborne with many royal carriages, on the King's express orders to conduct me to audience. I found his Majesty at the entrance to the chamber, surrounded by many great nobles. I presented compliments, and wished the King many more prosperous and happy returns of the day. The King embraced me closely, and said the Republic who had the first place in his affections did well to recognise the occasion. Then he took me by the hand and gaily led the way to the table, which was already spread with viands; the dinner lasted little less than two hours. The King uncovered and, standing up, drank to the prosperity of your Excellencies, of whom he spoke in gracious terms. He then invited me to drink to the health of the Viscount Haddington, who on that day had saved his life miraculously. The topics of conversation at dinner were various; I will mention only the more essential. First, about France, there were some signs not quite satisfactory, for the Queen had ordered the Huguenot Assembly to separate before it had received an answer to its demands; the Assembly replied by citing decrees and constitutions of the Kingdom which permit Assemblies to continue united until full reply has been returned; and so the royal order remained inefficacious. He added that the protection extended to the Duke of Sully by the Assembly was distasteful to the Queen, but the Deputies had cited precedents. The Marshal de Bouillon is ill; and the decree of Parliament against Bellarmin's book has finally taken effect. After dinner the King asked me if I had heard that the King of Spain had offered his forces to the Queen of France for employment against the Huguenots. He dwelt on the ill effects such an offer must produce upon the Assembly, as it has been published in various places. He told me he had no news of the Ambassador of Savoy, nor could he understand why the Ambassador had sent one of his suite here with letters; anyway the King declared that he cared little one way or another, and added that the French Ambassador, who did not like this negotiation, asserted that the Savoyard would not arrive. All this the King said briefly while the room was full of people. In the same way and place the Earl of Salisbury said much the same to me.
The Prince gave me to understand that he would be glad if I would pass the rest of the day with him and in the evening sup with him, which I did. The day following I set out to return to London, which I reached on the third day.
Lord Salisbury is expected back to-day, and next week the Queen will be at Hampton Court, and almost at the same time the King will be at Windsor.
London, 25th August, 1611.
Aug 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 310. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The French Ambassador informed me that the Queen has consented to demands of the Assembly, one may say absolutely, so there is no possible ground for doubt, and all is breathing peace and tranquillity.
My letters from the Hague tell me that a perpetual peace has been proposed, not to the General Assembly, but privately to Barneveldt and d'Aerssens. Count Maurice opposes, and the States show little inclination. The French Ambassador tells me that the Spaniards, seeing the difficulty, are inclined to send to France and to England to beg that special Commissioners may be sent to support the negotiations for peace, as was done in the case of the truce.
The Cha'ush went to Court some days ago; I have not had time to find out what he brings.
The pirates being strengthened by their new plunder have retired to Ireland and fortified themselves there with the consent of the Viceroy until they shall learn the King's decision as to the pardon which they besought, and which was obtained by the leading merchants. They are anxiously waiting to hear whether the pirates have accepted. It is a point that is of great moment to this market.
There are several despatches from Sweden, announcing that the Danes have been surrounded and compelled to abandon the siege of the fort near Kalmar. In their retreat they encountered the mass of the Swedish Army, and suffered severely. Other letters say that the King of Sweden has retired to Stockholm, the capital, leaving the command to his son and son-in-law; they have attacked and taken a small town, in which they found the Danish military chest. We expect details, but the facts are so. The Ambassadors of the States are far on their road, and it is thought they may find it more easy now to bring about an accord.
To-day have arrived letters from the Captain (fn. 3) who, in the King's name, conveyed the pardon to the pirates who are banded together in Ireland. The pirates have readily agreed to surrender the first ship they took on this expedition, which is a Ragusan with a cargo of four hundred thousand crowns, and another Spaniard; the interested parties to be free to order that the said ships return to London or continue their journey. Other ships are also claimed and if they are not surrendered the pardon lapses.
The Envoy from Morocco will soon take his leave, as will the Ambassadors of Brandenburg and Neuburg. The Morocco Envoy will take some gun founders and he leaves very well satisfied.
The King of Spain by means of gifts hopes to secure election as King of the Romans. Here there is sure news that the Protestant Electors in particular will not hear it mentioned.
There is a report that the Spanish have seized the port of Ma'amura (Mamola) with a view to fortifying it and so to command the Straits.
London, 25th August, 1611.
Aug 27. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 311. The Nuncio came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
Some months ago a Fra Vicenzo of Madalona, of the Minorities of San Francesco in Pera, apostasized and became a Calvinist. As far as I understand, the Baillo sent him on board the galleys to Candia. They have heard of this in Rome and now instruct me to beg that this friar be brought from Candia and put on his trial by the Inquisition with the intervention of the Assessors. If he continues in his apostasy, he will be punished as he deserves; if he purge himself he will be sent back to the galleys.
The Doge replied that he did not clearly recall the case, but if his memory served him the friar was in the English Ambassador's house and lived as his dependant; as such he was consigned by the English Ambassador to the Baillo, it is necessary to wait and see upon what conditions. Any way the friar must be a villain. After consulting the despatches, a reply would be given on another occasion.
The Nuncio said that though the friar lived in the English Embassy he was a native of Madalona; and he handed in a memorandum.
Aug 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 312. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
After Don Pedro di Toledo had blocked the mouth of the Port of Ma'amura, he put out to cruise. He fell in with two great ships, pirates, well armed; and attacked with only three galleys. After fighting for a while at a distance, he closed and boarded, compelling one, which was Turkish, to surrender; while the English, who manned the other, being wont to seek a voluntary death rather than yield, blew up their ship when they saw resistance useless. The pirates in the English Channel have captured two very rich vessels from London, one bound for Syria, the other for Spain. The booty is put at 1,500,000 crowns' value.
Madrid, 28th August, 1611.
Aug 28. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante, Venetian Archives. 313. Francesco Donado, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
States that Edward Coulston, for the liberation of Zuanne Pasqualigo, disbursed in journeys and presents, twenty sequins.
Zante, 28th August, 1611.
Aug 30. Minutes of the Senate, Constantinople. Venetian Archives. 314. Instructions to Christoforo Valier, Ambassador Elect to Constantinople.
You are aware of the damage wrought by pirates, chiefly owing to the fact that they are admitted and protected by the Turkish officers at Durazzo, Valona and Castelnuovo, who share the booty; you are to protest that such conduct contravenes the treaty of peace. English pirates also find shelter at Modon, at Tunis and at Biserta.
Ayes 131.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 4.


  • 1. See Cal. S.P. Dom., July 17, Nottingham to Salisbury. The pardon comes too late. Deprecates sending out a small force, as it can only yield dishonour. See also Winwood, Mem. III. 286. On July 5, Sir Ferdinando Gorges reports the capture of certain merchantmen of London by English pirates of Scilly.
  • 2. See Cal. S.P. Dom., July 15, 1611. “The Landgrave of Hesse has been to woo Lady Elizabeth.”
  • 3. Captain Roger Myddleton; see Cal. S.P. Ireland, Aug. 23, 1611, Myddleton to Salisbury