Venice: September 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: September 1611', Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 12, 1610-1613, (London, 1905), pp. 201-220. British History Online [accessed 22 June 2024].

. "Venice: September 1611", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 12, 1610-1613, (London, 1905) 201-220. British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024,

. "Venice: September 1611", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 12, 1610-1613, (London, 1905). 201-220. British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024,

September 1611

Sept. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 315. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
This day week the Earl of Salisbury returned to London. I sent to pay my respects and to say I would be glad to call on him. He replied that he did desire to see me. The following day I went, and he, without letting me say a word, began at once to tell me that the King had frequently expressed his great affection for your Excellencies, and that both he and the Prince had been pleased by my visit to Salisbury. He was much gratified to learn from his Ambassador's despatches the nature of your Excellencies' reply in the matter of Seymour. On his return the King will address letters of thanks in his own hand. I asked what news he had of Seymour, and he replied that he was still at Liege, and that he might possibly be pardoned by the King if he made a full and humble submission. The King had not demanded Seymour's surrender from him who governs the place where Seymour is, because his Majesty did not desire to place himself under obligation to any but your Serenity and such friends as he was already bound to.
He added that the Emperor and Mathias, owing to the offices of the Spanish Ambassador, were now in complete accord; that Brandenburg and Neuburg were not prepared to admit the new Duke of Saxony to the “possession” of Cleves; that the Dutch were beginning to disarm, so as to relieve themselves of the expenses of keeping up above thirty thousand men, between horse, foot, and the English companies. They are going to hold a General Assembly at the end of this month, or a little later. On the subject of the marriage of the Infanta of Spain to the Prince of Wales, I gather that Lerma called on the English Ambassador and gave him to understand that only the difficulty of conscience remains, and that they had written to Rome to find some way of escape and to get dispensation.
As soon as the King goes to Windsor I will carry out your Serenity's orders about Seymour.
London, 2nd September, 1611.
Sept 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 316. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday there arrived one of the Danish Councillors. He is lodged at the royal charges. He comes in the quality of Ambassador. To-day he has been to visit Lord Salisbury. Tomorrow he is going to the Queen at Oatlands, near Hampton Court. He will then wait on the King, when he knows where he can surely find his Majesty—that will be soon. He confirms the capture by the King of Sweden of a small town called Christianopolis. A large quantity of money was found in it, as well as munitions of war, stored there by the King of Denmark. It is reported that the Danes have received a check that will compel them to take the offensive, and in a bloody battle the Swedes were routed and retired under cover of night, so that the King of Denmark took possession of the fort that harassed him, and found that its garrison were in want of everything. This Ambassador, who is called Jonas Carisius, (fn. 1) has come to beg for aid, as the King, his Master, finds himself reduced to such a small number of men. The Dutch Ambassadors were in the camp of the King of Denmark shortly before the capture of the fort, and the King would not give them audience till that had taken place.
The Morocco Minister has had a secret audience with the Earl of Salisbury, and has left to return to his Master. He has taken with him some gun founders and a certain amount of metal. He left quite content, and hopes to be sent back again soon.
While waiting the reply of the pirates fortified in Ireland, as to whether they would or would not accept the pardon on the conditions proposed to them, comes news that one of them has fled, taking with him one of the richest of the ships which had recently been captured. The matter is of great moment; but no one knows anything for certain. Pindar, who has lately returned from the Consulate in Syria, tells me that when the King comes back the merchants of London intend to make proposals to him for the punishment of piracy. They will offer to contribute towards the cost, in the hope of crushing the pirates, but Pindar thinks the task difficult. He continues in his belief that the best plan is to take care for the future to send out the merchantmen well escorted; and if that entails diminished profits for the merchants and considerable outlay for the King, just to bear it as the lesser of two evils. He remarked there were difficulties in the way of uniting sovreigns for the suppression of piracy; for some are not displeased that pirates exist and are glad to see certain markets harassed. The number of pirates is great, and there might be diversity of opinion as to who should be declared a pirate—for there are those that are winked at, those who are supported, and worse still, under the cloak of religion, the number of the Grand Turk's subjects is increased and his military discipline maintained, whereas it would have almost disappeared, to the great benefit of Christendom and safety of your Excellencies. Pindar is a person of growing importance and very dear to Lord Salisbury, with whom he has long interviews, in which, as I hear from himself and others, he has advanced various views of the Consul Sagredo, which are highly appreciated by Lord Salisbury. The election to the post of Ambassador at Constantinople will soon take place, and it is thought certain that the choice will fall on Pindar, who, owing to his peculiar devotion to your Excellencies and his understanding with the Consul Sagredo, professes himself almost as much bound to your Serenity's interests as to those of the King himself. (Mi ha detto il Sigr Pinder, ritornato dal consolato di Soria, che al ritorno del Rè pensano i Mercanti di questa Piazza far diverse proposte a sua Maestà per il castigo dei Corsari, offerendosi essi anco di esser a parte della spesa, per abassarli, se si può, ch'egli stima però difficilissimo, et continua nella sua credenza che il vero modo sia remediare all' avvenire con mandar le navi ben accompagnate, et se per qualche tempo faranno i Mercanti guadagno molto minore et sostenirà il Rè qualche spesa, soportarla per manco male. Ha ponderato che nell' unire de' Principi per estirpar Corsari si potrebbe trovar delle difficoltà, perchè ad alcuno non displace, forse, che vi siano, et che resti qualche Piazza, di quando in quando, travagliata; non tacendo che sono molti i Corsari et vi sarebbe per avventura diversità di parere nel dichiarvi quali dovessero intendersi tali, perchè ne sono de tollerati, de spalleggiati, et peggio sotto preiesto di religione, che acresce il numero di quelli che sono sudditi del Gran Signore, et tien viva, jorse a bell' arte, la disciplina militare, ore sarebbe già quasi del tutto estinta con notabil beneficio della Christianità et sicurità particolare delle Sric Vre Eccme. Riesce questo soggetto qui sempre di maggior stima, et caro al Sr. Conte, con il quale si è trovato più volte in lunghi ragionamenti, et, come ho inteso da lui et da altri, ragionando del rimedio de Corsari et per quello che apartiene al comercio di Levante ha ponderato diversi concetti del Sigr Console Sagredo stimati molto da esso Sigr. Conte.
Tra pochi giorni si farà elettione di ambasciatore a Costantinopoli che si crede certo debbi cadere nella persona di esso Pinder, che per la sua particolar devotione verso le Excellenze Vostre et per l' intelligenze che ha passato con esso Sigr Sagredo, professa dover esser quasi altretanto interessato nel servitio delle Serenità Vostra quanto dell' istessa Maestà sua.)
London, 2nd September, 1611.
Sept 3. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 317. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday last there died in this city Don Emmanuell, son of the late Don Antonio of Portugal. He was living in the house of a citizen, and his Highness assigned him eight crowns a day for all his expenses. He wished to be buried in the Church of San Francesco at Fortress of San Miniato, near the tomb of a Cardinal who, they say, belonged to the House of Portugal.
An Englishman named Gifford has arrived at Leghorn on board a most beautiful ship, fully armed and with one hundred and eighty men. He says he has orders from the King of England to engage the English pirates of Ma'amurra. He ordered the English pirates in Leghorn to clear out, but he will not be obeyed nor do they know quite what to think of him.
Florence, 3rd September, 1611.
Sept 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 318. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Polish Ambassador from the King of Hungary complains of the presence of the Prince of Moldavia in the house of the English Ambassador.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 3rd September, 1611.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept 5. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 319. The Secretary to the English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and said:—
The Ambassador, my master, has in the service of his house Signor Giacomo Castelvetro; although he does not live in the house he is bound to the Ambassador's service by written contract. Now it happens that yesterday morning the said Castelvetro was imprisoned by the Inquisition. His Excellency is persuaded that Castelvetro cannot have been recognized as his servant; and has sent me here to inform your Serenity and to beg you to order his release, so that the rumour may not spread to the effect that a servant of his Excellency's household is kept prisoner, and if Castelvetro is really guilty the Ambassador pledges himself to produce the man at a sign from your Serenity. The Doge said: “We regret the accident; but on this point we must hear what the officers of the Inquisition have to say; we will summon them and then take the appropriate steps.” The Secretary made a reverence and retired.
Sept 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 320. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports the breaking up of the Huguenot Assembly at Saumur on the repeated orders of the Queen. Sully charged with inciting to disobedience.
Paris, 7th September, 1611.
Sept 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 321. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The pirates still infest the seas. The English pirates have withdrawn to Ireland and are suing for pardon. They say that the works carried out to block the port of Ma'amurra are not very well done, as the ships have been sunk in the wrong place, and many more will be required, as the mouth of the harbour is far wider than it appeared on the plans.
The English Ambassador, apropos to the French match, told the Imperial Ambassador that he looked for little result from his negotiations, as the French negotiations were too far advanced.
Madrid, 8th September, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept 9. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 322. The Nuncio came to the Cabinet and said that some days ago he had mentioned the case of the apostate Friar; he now repeated the demand that he should be brought to Venice, tried and sent back to the galleys. The Friar was ready to recant and sought absolution; the Nuncio had the absolution ready.
Answer was made that orders had already been sent to the Governor of Candia to arrest the Friar.
Sept 9. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 323. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
It is many days now that I have not sought audience, for it seems to me that without a reason I should not do so, and that to come merely for the purpose of making speeches or retailing gossip is a windy vanity. But to-day I am here for a real reason, and a reason by no means desired on my part. On Tuesday last the officers of the Inquisition arrested one of my servants, called Giacomo Castelvetro, who teaches Italian to my household. As soon as I heard of this I sent my Secretary to your Serenity to report the fact and to beg you as a favour to order his liberation, as he is a member of my household, and in conformity with the good understanding between this Republic and my Sovreign I received through my Secretary a courteous and gracious reply, and all these days I have been waiting to see the result. I thought of subordinating my desire in a matter that touches me so closely to your Serenity's convenience; but the danger to his life Castelvetro runs and the urgency of applying a remedy have compelled me to postpone no longer; for the fact is that Castelvetro is not only an old but also a sick and feeble man, and even in repose and comfort does not promise more than a couple of years of life, and your Serenity may rest assured that in prison, with his mind agitated, he will not live two weeks. I am bound to interest myself in the matter, which affects the life of one of my servants, who has done nothing amiss so far as I am aware, and which touches the honour of my house, the liberty which all enjoy in this most noble city, and the satisfaction of the King my Master, who is so closely bound in love to this Republic. As for Castelvetro, if he stays in prison he will certainly die, and that soon. I am attached to him, for although of different religion he renders me the service of instructing my household in the Italian tongue. Although he was not lodged in my house, on account of my large suite and small accommodation, I had given him a certificate in writing by which all might know that he was in my service. I have only four Italians in my service, my Secretary (Gregorio Monti), Castelvetro and the two gondoliers; all four sleep out of the house; others have asked to be taken into my service on a similar certificate, but I have always refused. I cannot see what cause for scandal Castelvetro himself can have given, for I have always known him for a discreet person. Nay, frequently when he has found himself in the Embassy at our usual hour of prayer to the living God and His glorious Son, Jesus Christ the Crucified, Castelvetro always retired; moreover, I cannot understand how fasting on the vigils of feast days can be compatible with finding oneself in the prisons of the Inquisition. But beyond the peculiar interests of Castelvetro, the honour of the Embassy is concerned; it is evident that his offence cannot be of great moment, for the order for his arrest was issued in January, and eight months have passed before it was put in execution; and they waited until Castelvetro had been made one of my servants, so it is clear that the intention was to offend the dignity of my Master's Envoy. Further still, the reputation of Venice for freedom is affected, a reputation which is world-wide and has secured for the place the title of microcosmos rather than city; so much so that some thirty Englishmen who were in Siena, and of whom one was arrested, immediately left Siena and came to Venice on the strength of her fame as a free city. Some of the English who are in Padua, and who are on the point of returning home, have asked me about this affair, and may perhaps carry to his Majesty a report that the Venetian freedom does not exist, and that the house of his Ambassador is neither respected nor held in any account. Yet my household has always paid the highest respect to the law and never given the smallest ground for scandal. I trust that consideration will also be shown for his Majesty's satisfaction; all the same he cannot fail to feel annoyed that one of the household of his Ambassador has not only been arrested by, but even tried before, the representative of another power, his open enemy, whereas he has always caused the dependents of your Serenity's Ambassadors to be respected, and has even, to gratify them, ordered the release of criminals already condemned. I therefore humbly beseech you in a matter that affects a poor old man, the honour of my house, the fair name of this city, my own liberty and the satisfaction of the King my Master, to set Castelvetro at liberty, and I promise myself this from your known benignity.
The Doge replied that the Ambassador was always welcome whenever he chose to seek audience. As to Castelvetro, they had not yet had time to take full information, owing to the procession of the two last mornings and the pains in his legs, which had prevented him from coming to the Cabinet. It would be taken as soon as possible, so as to enable them to make a proper reply. The Ambassador may rest assured of the regard in which he is held. The Ambassador's Secretary, in begging for Castelvetro's liberation, had promised that if he had done anything amiss the Ambassador would hold him at the disposal of the Magistrates.
The Ambassador said that he was bound to protect his suite, but he could never cover delinquents. If there was aught amiss he would not protect Castelvetro, he would not keep him in his house, nor would he send him to England; he would be the first to say “let him be punished”; let them send him out of the city; and so he would act not only in this man's case but in the case of all others of his household who should do aught amiss.
The Doge promised to deal with the affair as soon as possible; the matter must be brought before the Senate.
Sept 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 324. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The rumour, which has been going about for some days, that the Spanish have captured the port of Ma'amurra (Mamola), in Africa, came from the house of the Spanish Ambassador. He paid me a visit three days ago, and told me that the fleet of his Master had sunk three ships at the mouth of that port, and as the pirates could no longer use it, and as El Arisch was in the hands of his Catholic Majesty, it is to be hoped that the corsairs' nest is destroyed. He added that he understood that the Grand Duke was offering free quarters at Leghorn to these people and tempting them by promises of good treatment. This, he said, looking hard at me, and implying that he thought this might produce a bad effect and increase the number of the pirates. I listened and applauded his wisdom. I enquired if the Ma'amura were entirely captured; he said he had no details, but it must be so; the entry can easily be blocked by two forts; he explained the nature of the place, which he had visited on other occasions. He went on to tell me that the King of Morocco had sent one of his men to Constantinople to ask for money and men; and he expressed a doubt whether the King was absolutely master, as he was in continual alarm about Abdullah.
The Ambassador then proceeded to blame the conduct of the Dutch, who, while negotiating for a perpetual peace, continued to fit out armed vessels to be sent to the Filippines to avenge alleged injuries. The King of Spain will be forced to take up arms again. What I hear from the Hague is that they have fitted out two great vessels and ten smaller ones, which are to go to the Indies and to punish the Spanish for injuries inflicted on Dutch subjects and on their ally the King of Ternate, now that Rodenberg's mission to Spain has failed.
I understand that the Assembly of the States was dissolved owing to the illness of Barneveldt and the schemes of Count Maurice, who desired to cut off the negotiations for a perpetual peace.
Two of the ships that went to Florida came back four days ago. They report a prosperous voyage but hostility from the Indians, and declare that larger forces are needed to plant a colony. They intend to despatch more vessels with men and arms. The merchants of the East India Company have placed on the stocks (hanno posto a barco) four great galleons with a view to sending them to the Indies. They will take in cargoes of spices at Sumatra and Java.
The Persian Ambassador is staying a few miles off waiting the King's return, when he has sure hopes of being received in audience.
Last week the Queen finished her Progress at Oatlands, where the Ambassadors sent to visit her. The Prince is at a palace (fn. 2) near Oxford, recently given to him by the King. On Tuesday or Wednesday the King will be at Windsor.
London, 9th September, 1611.
Sept 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 325. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Six days ago Lord Salisbury had letters from the English Ambassador in Spain, and the following day he told the Ambassador of the Dutch that the match between France and Spain was definitely concluded. Salisbury sent to congratulate the French Ambassador, who confirmed the negotiation and the near approach of the alliance, but said it was not yet absolutely concluded. The French Ambassador discusses the question of the match. The marriage of the Princess to the Palatine is talked of, while the Savoyard match is almost dead. The Duke of Neuburg is expected from day to day. He is coming to set out his claims against the Duke of Deuxponts in the administration of the Palatinate. An ambassador is expected from Saxony to announce the succession and possibly to negotiate about the election of the King of the Romans. The Councillor-Ambassador of Denmark (Carisius) has gone to the Queen. The King of Denmark has quite other ideas than those of peace. The Cha'ush (fn. 3) has brought a letter from the Grand Turk to the King.
London, 9th September, 1611.
Sept 10. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 326. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Gifford, the Englishman about whom I wrote, turns out to be a villainous pirate; his papers are forgeries. He had put into Leghorn to spy the sailing of other vessels and then to put out and attack them.
Florence, 10th September, 1611.
Sept 10. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 327. Seeing that Giacomo Castelvetro, one of the English Ambassador's household, has been arrested by the Inquisition, and at the moment was not recognised as such because he was not living in the Embassy; and whereas it is proper, in respect of the regard which is universally shown to the houses and suites of ambassadors, and also in obedience to the ordinary law of nations, that, now that Castelvetro is recognised as one of the said Ambassador's suite, he should be set at liberty:
Motion is made that the Three Assessors to the Holy Office shall remove Castelvetro from our prison and convey him to the Embassy as being one of the Ambassador's suite;
Further, that a secretary of this Council shall this evening give notice to the Ambassador of this resolution, and shall add that as this has been done especially to please the Ambassador, we trust to his great prudence to cause the said Castelvetro to leave our City and State as soon as possible, and not to return without our leave;
Further, that when the Ambassador comes to the Cabinet his Serenity shall, with his wonted prudence, while praising the Ambassador's circumspection in this matter, inform him that it is the intention of both the King and of the Republic that his Lordship should walk warily in this direction, so as to avoid the occurrence of the inconveniences which may arise about this subject.
Ayes 108.
Noes 13.
Neutrals 41.
Sept 10. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 328. To the Ambassador in Rome.
A few days ago Giacomo Castelvetro was arrested by the Inquisition. After the event the Secretary of the English Ambassador, not the Ambassador himself, came to claim his liberation, assuring us that Castelvetro was a dependent and servant at the Embassy, as you will see from the copy of the minutes of his audience. We therefore came to the resolution which we enclose. We think it well that you should be fully informed, so that should any reference be made to the subject you can make your answers conform to our resolutions. We were all the more induced to take this step seeing that our Ambassadors in England have done much for the Catholic religion, and have received many favours from his Majesty in this matter, securing the liberation of various persons and particularly priests, even though condemned and sentenced. We intend also to help the Catholic religion by insisting that Castelvetro shall not remain in the City or the State.
That the above be communicated to the Three Assessors in case they should be spoken to on the matter.
Ayes 108.
Noes 13.
Neutrals 41.
Sept 11. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 329. I, Secretary Zon, went to the house of the English Ambassador to carry out the public orders. I found that his Excellency had gone out for a walk, though the hour was late. Such, his domestics informed me, is his usual custom after supper every day to go and take a little air. They went at once to look for him, and his Excellency returned and received me with every sign of courtesy. I said that I had come to his Excellency on the orders of your Serenity to tell him that, as a special favour to him, the Senate had resolved to release Castelvetro from prison, as requested, and the man would presently be brought to the Embassy, as a further proof of the constant desire to gratify the Ambassador in all things, as he would himself learn from your Serenity's lips. I added that it was the intention of the Republic that Castelvetro should—for those reasons which his Excellency would easily understand—at once leave the City and the State, not to return without express permission.
The Ambassador paid close attention, and with a joyful countenance he said that he returned humble thanks to your Serenity for the favour, which he was aware was very great in view of the regulations and stringent orders of the Government in certain cases. As to telling Castelvetro to leave, his Excellency said that he would at once recall the patent of protection, and he thought that would be enough to make Castelvetro understand that he could no longer stay safely in Venice. Thereupon I, perceiving that he had not understood or did not wish to understand this point, repeated more clearly the resolution of the Government, that his Excellency should cause Castelvetro to leave the City and the State and that he should not return without express permission.
His Excellency promptly replied that he could not be a judge in this matter. Judgement he left to your Serenity, with whom he would act in accord. He pointed out that he neither could nor ought to do this in less than three or four days. I said nothing further than to insist on what was the Government's resolve. After exchanging some compliments, and in spite of my protests, he accompanied me to the land entrance and I took my leave.
Sept 12. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 330. The Secretary of the English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
Returns the Ambassador's thanks for the promptitude with which Castelvetro's affair has been settled. These thanks he will repeat in person on the first occasion. The Ambassador will cause Castelvetro to leave both the City and the State as soon as he is ready for the journey.
The Doge replied that this had been done to gratify the Ambassador, and that it would be as well that he should cause Castelvetro to leave at once to avoid running into fresh trouble now that he was deprived of the patent and the protection of the Ambassador; and Castelvetro had better take care on his journey not to pass through States where he might receive injury. The Ambassador can easily understand that he should exercise caution in granting patents of protection to persons not residing in his house, so as to avoid occurrences little pleasing either to him or to the Republic. The Doge understood that although Castelvetro was in the Ambassador's service he also went to give lessons in other houses; and it would be as well to avoid all cause for rumours in this matter of religion. The Secretary is to greet the Ambassador and assure him of the regard in which he is held.
Sept 13. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 331. All the Members of the Holy Office appeared in the Cabinet and spoke as follows:
After the despatch of our ordinary business this morning the Nuncio said there was a rumour that, on the orders of the Senate, Castelvetro had been taken out of prison. As such rumours frequently proved baseless he asked to be told how matters really stood. We, in accordance with the resolution of the Senate, told him the English Ambassador having declared this man to be his servant it was impossible to do less than to release him; but Castelvetro was under orders to leave the City and the State. The Senate had been induced to come to this resolution all the more readily in that his Majesty the King of England had set at liberty Catholics on the prayer of the Venetian Ambassador, even though they were not members of his suite, aye, and even priests, condemned and sentenced. The Senate believed that its action would be of use to the Catholic religion in those parts. We added that we considered it necessary in conformity to the resolution of the Senate. The Nuncio said he regretted the event, for at Rome they would resent it and discuss it. He had made no report to Rome about it because he did not believe it was true; he only reported that the English Ambassador had had audience on the subject. As to Castelvetro being in the service of the Ambassador, the Nuncio was aware that he frequented the house occasionally, but the attestation of service was given after the arrest. The Patriarch said that if Castelvetro was to leave the City all would be well; the Inquisitor also repeated this remark. We declared that not only would Castelvetro leave the City but also the State. Both the Patriarch and the Inquisitor said that all would be well; the Nuncio repeated that the episode would be displeasing at Rome.
Sept 15. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 332. To the Ambassador in England.
Giacomo Castelvetro was arrested by the Inquisition some days ago. After the event there came to us first the Secretary of the English Ambassador and then the Ambassador himself, assuring us that this man was a member of the Ambassador's household and making strong representations for his liberation, as you will see from the enclosed copy. We, who omit no opportunity to show our good will towards his Majesty, and our liking for the Ambassador as his Envoy, took the resolution of which we enclose a copy. For your information we enclose copies of all that passed, so that should his Majesty or other persons speak to you on the point you may answer in that sense and form that you may think desirable for the demonstration of our sincere regard for his Majesty.
Ayes 158.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 2.
Sept 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 333. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Sancy, the French Ambassador, arrived here two days ago.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 15th September, 1611.
Sept 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 334. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Gives a full account of the negotiations in Spain for the marriage of the Prince of Wales. The despatch of July 23rd from Spain contained the proposals placed before his Catholic Majesty by the Ambassador. The King of Spain had a long conversation with the Ambassador and showed that he liked the idea, and so did the Duke of Lerma, who pointed out that no other difficulty remained but that of religion, and said that they would write to Rome to find a means of settling it, and for a dispensation. Thereupon orders were at once sent to the Ambassador to say that the Infanta would have free exercise of the Catholic religion here in her rooms in the Palace both for herself and her suite. This the Ambassador did and waited a reply concluding the match; the Duke told him that everything was satisfactory and it only remained to know which Infanta the Ambassador was referring to. The Ambassador said “the eldest”; whereupon the Duke drew back and said that the eldest Infanta was already destined for the King of France, that he was sorry negotiations had gone so far, but there were other princesses born of the same father and mother as charming and as beloved as the eldest, about whom they might treat. The Ambassador, on this, despatched the Secretary, whom the Ambassador Cornwallis had left at the Spanish Court. All this I had from the lips of Lord Salisbury, who showed great resentment at this answer, and said that everyone knew it was ridiculous to talk of marriage with the other Princesses, who were little girls of five or six, while the Prince was eighteen, nor was there time to wait for them. I know from another source that at the same time that the Duke made this answer to the Ambassador he communicated it to the Secretary of the Spanish Ambassador here and ordered him to set out at once, so as to be here when the answer arrived, but he could not make such diligence as to be here in eleven days, and duly arrived on Saturday late. On Monday he came to see me, nor did he deny what I have written. On Saturday the French Ambassador had a long interview with Lord Salisbury; he availed himself of the events in Spain, touching on those points in a way he thought agreeable to the Earl. He then said that their most Christian Majesties were sending a large sum of money to pay the Scottish guard and to make some other presents. He went on to touch on the question of marriage. This I know for certain, though the Ambassador denies it; finally he mentioned the Huguenot Assembly. Savoy was spoken of, and he said that a Savoyard Ambassador would arrive, but Lord Salisbury did not believe it. On Sunday the Spanish Ambassador (fn. 4) had an interview of four hours with Lord Salisbury, and used every art he possessed to excuse his Master and himself. First he said that for two years he and his predecessor, Don Pedro Zuñiga, had endeavoured to induce them to open negotiations in Spain from this quarter; this had been so long delayed that it came too late; the Queen of France, in the uncertain state of her affairs, had pushed forward the match between the King, her son, and the Infanta. The King his Master could not withstand so honourable a wish. He added that the King of Spain could not have shown greater regard for the King of England than he has done by keeping the English Ambassador with him in so long a conversation quite out of the ordinary. There were other princesses for the Prince to marry, and so the three greatest monarchs of the world would be strictly bound together by ties of blood. He went on to praise England, the King, and him who governs the country. Lord Salisbury did not conceal his feelings, and declared that in discussing the question he had always intended the eldest Princess; the others were not of a suitable age; that being in treaty with this Crown Spain should not have opened negotiations with another; and if they had found it to their advantage to conclude a marriage with another power the Ambassador should have told them frankly, and not kept urging them, as he had done, to make an offer and so to meet with a refusal. In a few days the King himself would be here and would give the answer that his dignity required. I am told the King resents the Spanish reply, and so, I suppose, does the Queen.
London, 15th September, 1611.
Sept 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 335. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish Ambassador received a courier four days ago. He brought orders that the Ambassador was to put himself in communication with the Spanish Ambassador in Prague, who had orders to support Mathias, since it was impossible to extract from his Imperial Majesty a single promise or word that was kept or that produced effect. On the arrival of the Saxon Ambassador and of the Duke of Neuburg, who is annoyed at the Emperor on account of the sentence in favour of Deuxponts about the administration of the Palatinate, the affairs of Germany will be discussed as far as they concern the election of the King of the Romans, the matter of Cleves, the Federates and such points. They desire to discover some accommodation of the quarrel between Denmark and Sweden, which is growing more and more inflamed.
About the pirates who supplicated pardon there is no news save that they have left Ireland. It is not known whether they intend to go elsewhere or, as is most likely, whether, after a short time at sea, they will return to Ireland; they give as the reason for this conduct the delay in receiving the pardon and the arming of the royal galleons, perhaps, with a view to chastising them more easily as they would be caught unprepared. The merchants who are interested have determined to fit out one ship to help in the search for the pirates, who are waiting the pardon, a copy of which will be sent along with this ship. The rumours that are flying about that the pirates may be invited and tempted to Leghorn by promises of safety have induced the merchants to beg the King to write on the subject to the Grand Duke of Tuscany; this he did ten days ago requesting the Grand Duke to arrest the pirates, if they came to Leghorn, and to seize ten vessels which they had stolen from his Majesty's subjects.
The Queen is at Oatlands, where the King will join her on Saturday. On Sunday they will go to Hampton Court, where the Prince is, and on Monday they will all move to Theobalds, where his Majesty will receive all the Ambassadors. Those of France, Denmark and Persia have letters to present from their Sovereigns; the Cha'ush desires an answer to the letter from the Grand Signor; the Ambassador of the United Provinces has business to transact and the Spanish Ambassador will, perhaps, repeat what he recently said to Lord Salisbury. I will be received among the first and will carry out my instructions. The King is much pleased by your Serenity's readiness in the affair of Seymour. He will say so through his Ambassador and also by autograph letter.
London, 15th September, 1611.
Sept 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 336. Zorzi Guistinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A few days ago du Plessis Morny printed at Saumur a book called “The Progress of Papal Iniquity.” (fn. 5) This came to the Nuncio's ears, and he made representations to the Ministers and to the Queen for the suppression of the book. This was done, and the order was published by the Civil Lieutenant-Governor. But after what happened in Rome about the house of the Cardinal de Joyeuse, (fn. 6) which has caused great offence here, Parliament, in revenge, re-called the order, and the book is now sold publicly. What is worse is that this scandalous book is dedicated to His Most Christian Majesty and to the King of Great Britain in two separate dedications. This greatly disturbs the Nuncio, who leaves no stone unturned to secure the renewal of the prohibition; but he will find great difficulty now that Parliament has the matter in hand.
M. de Vitry is returning to England ostensibly for sport, but really to arrange for embarking ten thousand troops who are going to serve the King of Denmark.
Paris, 21st September, 1611.
Sept 23. Consiglio de'Dieci, Parti Communi. Venetian Archives. 337. That the jewels of the Sanctuary and the armoury of the Ten be shown to certain English gentlemen, as requested by the English Ambassador.
Ayes 16.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 0.
Sept 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 338. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Large numbers of pirates have put out in the Mediterranean and the Ocean; and off Finisterre they captured a ship hailing from Hamburg and another bound for London, the value being one hundred and fifty thousand ducats. This causes alarm on account of the East Indian ships.
Madrid, 24th September, 1611.
Sept 27. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 339. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
He has come to return thanks in his Majesty's name for the promptness with which the Republic has acted in the matter of Seymour, so as to secure his arrest should he come to Venetian territory. Whenever he heard of the orders issued by the Government he sent a person of importance to convey his thanks to the Venetian Ambassador; and now as a fuller proof of his satisfaction he has ordered his Ambassador in Venice to tender his thanks to his Serenity.
The Doge expressed their satisfaction at having gratified his Majesty. They heard that Seymour was in Flanders and was likely t stay there in the hope of obtaining a pardon.
The Ambassador replied that he saw that his Serenity was well informed about English matters, thanks, no doubt, to his Ambassador, about whom he has received orders from his Majesty to express the satisfaction felt at the Ambassador's manner of dealing with affairs. His Majesty treated the Ambassador not as the Envoy of the Republic, but as one of his own most intimate and important Councillors. “I must mention a particular imparted to me by his Majesty himself. When he was out of London about seventy miles, and was celebrating the anniversary of his escape from a conspiracy, the Ambassador set out to visit him, and when he was thirty miles off he sent his secretary to announce his arrival so as not to take the Court by surprise. He is therefore in high favour, as indeed were all the other Envoys of Venice. And this I can affirm, as I was present at most of their audiences; and so I cannot but admire the wealth of distinguished personages in this most prudent and well-ordered Government.” He especially praises Correr.
The Doge in reply said that as the present Ambassador, Foscarini, had been some time at the Court of France his Majesty may find pleasure in discussing with him the affairs of that country.
The Ambassador tenders thanks for the favour shown in allowing him to visit some of the tribunals of the Republic, and especially the Quarantia Criminale. He praises the eloquence of the Procurator (Avogador) Basadonna, who in the course of his address paid a compliment to the English nation.
The Doge explains the nature of the Venetian Law Courts, and says the Ambassador may go there whenever he likes.
The Ambassador announces that he is going out of Venice for change of air. He had been in the Trevisano in the spring; he now desires to go to the Padovano, which had given him so much pleasure on his way to Venice.
Sept 27. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 340. After the English Ambassador had finished his remarks, recorded in the ordinary minutes, he went on to say:—
He returns thanks for the liberation of Castelvetro, which he recognises as a great favour. When the Senate's resolution that Castelvetro must leave the City and the State was communicated to him he had no answer ready, because he did not know what Castelvetro might determine to do. But after talking with him and finding him ready to obey, the Ambassador sent his Secretary to return thanks and to assure the Doge that Castelvetro would depart, and that the orders of the Government would be fully carried out. And so they have been, for it is about fourteen days now since Castelvetro set out for France. He departed openly, acknowledging his obligation and praising the Republic. The Ambassador assures the Doge of his readiness to listen to the prudent advice about persons not residing in his house, and promises to act with all caution, nor will he abuse the continued favours showered upon him.
The Doge replied that Castelvetro had acted wisely in withdawing and in taking the route he had adopted, for otherwise, had he stayed on in Venice or its neighbourhood, he ran the risk of falling into trouble, because, as the Ambassador was aware, the Pope and his Ministers dealt very actively with these matters of religion; as indeed His Majesty does in his own case; and that was why he had ventured to make those observations to the Ambassador.
Sept 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 341. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The French Ambassador in the audience which he had last Saturday of the Earl of Salisbury told him that the Queen of France had caused Parliament to confirm the treaty between the two Crowns and desired that the same should be done here. He had a courteous answer, but it was pointed out that there were difficulties, and that the King must be consulted, as a final answer could come from no one but from him. The Spanish Ambassador in his audience, talking of the marriage of his Most Christian Majesty with the Infanta, declared that there had never been any difficulty except over the question of the Infanta's succession in case her brothers died. The difficulty was surmounted by a decree and an agreement barring her succession. He went on to say that as the succession was barred there was no longer any difference between the sisters, and suggested a contract of marriage between the second Infanta and the Prince; Salisbury replied that they might treat of second with second, that is of the Duke of York's marriage with the second Infanta; this he said with heat and scorn. The Ambassador made no reply to this, and at the end of the conversation, while the Earl pressed him home he remained quite humble and apologetic and hesitating. Both the Ambassador of France and the Ambassador of Spain have urgently sought audience. The French Ambassador, who employed the Duke of Lennox to obtain his request, has four letters on urgent matters to present; the Spanish Ambassador has to carry out his instructions in regard to the reply about the marriage of the first Infanta. To both the King sent answer that he wished to go on with the chase. The truth is he is angry and wishes to consult on the answer he will return. On this point there were meetings yesterday and the day before at Theobalds. The Earl of Salisbury returned here to-day, but I have not had time to find out what resolution they have reached. I gather that with France too they will go slowly. A gentleman in Lord Salisbury's confidence said to me that in Spain they find chicanery and in France indecision. The friendship of the United Provinces is sure and lasting.
Lord Salisbury advised the Ambassador of France, when presenting to the King his request that the treaty should be confirmed by Parliament, to bring with him some definite proposals on other points that might please his Majesty. Accordingly the Ambassador sent off his Secretary post haste to obtain from the Queen definite orders to proceed with the marriage negotiations and for money to pay the Scottish bodyguard; the Duke of Lennox spoke clearly on the point and the men refused to muster till promise of payment in full had been given. There is also a question about the Huguenot Assembly and about a book written by du Plessis Mornay, dedicated to the King of England which they talked of censuring, a step that would offend his Majesty.
On Thursday evening the Earl of Salisbury had an express from France. He brought news that the Huguenot Assembly had separated on the express desire and command of the Queen. Many Ministers were strongly opposed to this step, and when the royal concessions were opened they were found to be far more restricted than those which had been promised, and this produced profound discontent; and one hears lively expressions made use of such as to cause anxiety. I believe the French Ambassador has made representations to his Excellency, and this may in a large measure explain the despatch of the Secretary in such haste. The Spanish Ambassador informed me that the negotiations for a marriage between the Prince of Spain and the Princess of France are far advanced, and as the marriage of the King of France with the Infanta is concluded there can be no doubt that the other will also be effected. Touching on the point of the exclusion of the Infanta from succession, he confirmed the fact and added that should a Spanish Princess be married here the same condition would be imposed. As to the remarks of Lord Salisbury about a match with the Duke of York, the Ambassador said that this was mere talk, for the daughters of his Master wed Crowns only, and not second-born sons. He pointed out that the Queen of Spain was a third daughter, she had two elder sisters, and this proved that where there was no question of succession no distinction was to be drawn between the first and the second Infanta; there are only two or three years between them, and, if the Prince were to be married at twenty-five he would then be both vigorous and still young.
Despatches from Spain bring news that the Duke of Lerma had promised complete satisfaction in regard to certain vessels, in the most positive manner, but minds here are so ill-disposed that no credence is given, and so a secretary of the Earl of Salisbury, who came to visit me to-day, told me plainly.
The marriage between the Prince of Wales and the Princess of France is being actively negotiated and they say it is virtually settled. This is confirmed by the English Ambassador in France. The Spanish Ambassador here expresses astonishment that it should be discussed while negotiations are on foot with Spain.
London, 30th September, 1611.
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 342. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have letters from the Hague of the 3rd and the 10th. They state that M. de Rodenberg has had very kind words from the Duke of Lerma and the certain hope of indemnification for the damage done at the Island of Ternate. Rodenberg adds that as the Duke is now aware that the United Provinces are resolved to send armed vessels to the East Indies to avenge injuries and to make reprisals upon Spanish shipping, he expects a fulfilment of these promises, as there is an obvious desire to keep the peace. All the same the Dutch continue to fit out their twelve ships which will take the sea in two months' time, the right season for that voyage. They will make themselves felt if, before the expiry of that time, indemnification has not been made by the King of Spain. In Amsterdam they are fitting out eighteen men-of-war, which will put out on the tenth of next month under the command of the Admiral of Zealand. Their mission will be to fight the pirates, and their first voyage will be towards Ireland, where they will attack the buccaneers in the very ports; they will then sweep these seas and cruise down the coast of Portugal and through the Straits to Barbary. As regards the rumour that the Grand Duke has invited the pirates to Leghorn, offering them safety, the Secretary of his Highness (fn. 7) told me that even if the rumour were true, the invitation must have been given before these last depredations took place, and if the Corsairs came to Leghorn with their booty he could easily have compelled them to disgorge it, but now that the interested parties believe so badly and speak so ill of his Highness, he, as a good servant, can do nothing. He thinks that the Grand Duke, desiring to increase his naval power, will employ such people as these, who are skilled in naval matters; but as to giving security to plundered goods and an invitation to bring them freely to Leghorn, he does not believe it.
Last week a ship was here which had fallen in, off Portugal, with some of the pirates to whom the pardon had been sent. They took the cargo but let the ship go without further damage. After leaving Ireland they acquired two great ships, and are augmenting their forces. The armed vessel belonging to the merchants set out with the copy of the pardon (fn. 8) to follow up the traces of the pirates in the hopes of inducing them to restore the plunder. This is not likely to happen, but if it did and the pirates disbanded, it is thought that their leaders settling down in their homes in England would easily furnish others with the means to continue the business and would have a share in the plunder. It is therefore thought that the affair is of the greatest importance and full of difficulties. It seems that they found great hopes on the Dutch ships which will certainly put out in a few days.
The King of Denmark is pushing forward; he has occupied a small island of high strategic importance. His Ambassador extols the capture of Kalmar as a very great commercial city, capital of Gothland. The King of Denmark desires the support of the King of England, his brother-in-law, chiefly to show the world that his Majesty approves of the war as just, whereas it is to be feared that he thinks the very reverse. The arrival of the Danish Envoy (Charisius) is expected to produce good results. But the King of Denmark, though he has made progress and shed much blood, and is utterly averse to an accommodation, will finally, owing to the pressure brought to bear upon him, be compelled to content himself with the reputation he has achieved. The Dutch Ambassadors have already made proposals for an accord, but have met with a refusal.
The Confederates of Hall, who were met in Rothenburg, signed a very close agreement and then separated. They have, it seems, an object beyond their mere safety, but I do not know what it may be.
The Ambassador of France told me to-day that on the royal orders reaching the Huguenot Assembly, some obeyed, others withdrew into the Castle along with du Plessis-Morny, Sully and others, and stayed there for three days; and then elected six deputies. High words have passed between the Duke of Rohan and another great personage of the Assembly.
To-morrow the King will be at Hampton Court. I will demand an audience, which I have delayed till now on the advice of the Earl of Salisbury.
London, 30th September, 1611.


  • 1. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1611–1618. “The King would prefer Dr. Jonas not coming to Court till he reaches Farnham or Oatlands.”
  • 2. Woodstock. See Birch, “Life of Prince Henry,” p. 331.
  • 3. See Cal. S. P. Dom., Oct. 13. “Warrant to pay £30 each to two chiauses or messengers from the Turkish Court.”
  • 4. The Lieger, Don Alonzo de Velasco.
  • 5. The book was entitled “Mysterium iniquitatis.” French 1611, Latin 1612. See Reusch, “Der Index der Verbotenen Bucher,” II 67.
  • 6. See Archivio di Stato, Venice. Despatches from Rome, 6th Aug., 1611. The police had arrested the Cardinal's servants, who had helped to rescue a prisoner.
  • 7. Lotto.
  • 8. Mr. Povie was the bearer. See Cal. S.P. Ireland, 1611, Sept. 6.