Venice: August 1610

Pages 21-30

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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August 1610

Aug. 2. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 27. Marc' Antonio Padavin, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Orders from the General of the Jesuits in Rome to the Rector of the Jesuits here to send, as prisoner under good guard, the Scotch priest Hay (?) (Ayo), who spoke about Henry IV. The demand was made by the French Ambassador (de Breves). The order arrived, however, after the death of the priest from a brief and sudden infirmity attributed to the judgement of God.
Prague, 2nd August, 1610.
Aug. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 28. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
From conversation with the English Ambassador I gather that German affairs interest his master deeply. The Count of Bucquoy is of the same opinion, and we may therefore look for a closer alliance and the inclusion of some other Princes with notable results in the future.
Paris, 3rd August, 1610.
Aug. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 29. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week I went to visit the King at Wanstead, six miles from here, on his Majesty's own orders, because the amount of business he will find to do in London made him desire to anticipate my audience so as to see me more at his leisure.
I congratulated him on his excellent health, and wished him a pleasant Progress, which was going to begin, long life and perdition to those who spread false rumours about his health, rumours which, I observed, were wont to lengthen life, as the proverb has it. The King thanked me and said that such reports were to be taken as a good rather than as a bad omen, and he expressed his satisfaction that the Republic had shown so much interest in the matter.
I then returned thanks for the arrest of the pirate Tomkins and begged that his Majesty would give orders to the Admiralty Court to proceed promptly with the case. The King was pleased that I had observed his spontaneous action in this matter and said that he was out hunting when Tomkins presented a petition begging a favour, but he instantly recalled him to mind, though it was many years since he had any dealings with the man and caused him to be arrested, inspired by his constant desire to please the Republic. The King promised to recommend the case as desired.
I then went on to tell him about the flight of that man Gibbons who, two years ago, stole a cargo of wine belonging to Tizzoni, shipped from Candia to London. I said it was the fault of the jailers, who ought to be held liable to indemnify the owners of the wine, and I begged for their arrest. He said he felt I was right, that he would take information and issue orders; and in fact he has done so, for although the chief jailer, who is of good position, has been let out on bail, an under jailer is actually in prison. Finally, I complained that two of the sureties in the case of the “Reniera and Soderina,” and those the two richest, were allowed to walk about the streets of London. The result of this was that as they felt no inconvenience they took no steps to give due satisfaction, and even went about suggesting that they would escape altogether, now by appealing from a sentence which was absolutely just and had been carefully weighed by his Majesty himself and by his Council, now by appearing before Parliament. I begged that, as they had been imprisoned at great trouble and cost by the interested parties, they should not be allowed out without the consent of the same. I added that some members of Parliament had given me to understand that other expedients would be taken to satisfy the interested parties. I said it made me blush to have to trouble his Majesty so often about the same case, but I was sure I would not find his benevolence exhausted. The King replied “Sure it is a great matter that this case cannot be finished; this is a grave abuse that anyone who can find security should be allowed to walk at large when they please. I will give orders to the Treasurer that they be shut up, and to Sir Julius Cæsar that he find some other way if possible.”
I took the opportunity to inform his Majesty of the favour your Serenity had shown me by electing my successor three months before the proper time. I said that this did not happen out of special regard for my health or my interests, but in order that the election might fall on the illustrious Ambassador Foscarini before he left France, as your Serenity desired to send an Envoy who had already been employed on other important missions. His Majesty expressed satisfaction and showed that he was aware that this was intended for his special honour.
The next day I heard that the debtors for the cargo of the “Soderina” had unexpectedly returned to Parliament, precisely at the moment I was with the King, and had obtained leave to appeal. Accordingly I went to Lord Salisbury, and after telling him what had passed between me and the King I complained of the success of this attempt; I pretended to be assured that it could not be confirmed in the Upper House and far less sanctioned by the King. The Earl of Salisbury gave me a most gracious answer. When the motion came before the Upper House Lord Salisbury opposed it and thus every hope was taken from the petitioners. Yesterday the Admiralty Judge informed me that upon orders received he would give instructions to keep the sureties shut up. As I was taking my leave of Lord Salisbury he stopped me and said that the King had ordered him to prefer a request, which had slipped his Majesty's memory, but which he had much at heart, the wish that your Serenity would take the Prince of Joinville into your service. I assured Lord Salisbury that his Majesty would always find your Serenity ready to meet his wishes, and if sometimes that result were not reached that must be attributed to very grave reasons. I promised to forward the request.
London, 5th August, 1610.
Aug. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 30. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Recent letters from General Cecil inform Lord Salisbury that the troops of his Majesty and of the United Provinces found themselves one day's march from Juliers, awaiting the decision of the Princes in Düsseldorf. They had called upon Rochembourg, Governor of Juliers, to surrender, or they would lay siege. The Governor took eight days in which to send an answer. During this time he awaited the arrival of succour under Colonel Franceschi, who with the troops of the Archduke was cantoned on the frontiers. In this way they spin out the time in the hope of settling the matter by negotiations. With the same intent it is thought that the Spanish are spreading reports of armed intervention by them, in the hope, on the one hand, that dread of their arms may render an agreement more simple, or on the other that the threat of their intervention may encourage Saxony to interfere vigorously.
On Sunday morning the Swedish Ambassador, accompanied by a Doctor assessor, had audience of the King in the Private Gallery. This audience had been delayed, as his Majesty only returned to London last Saturday. The Doctor made a Latin oration touching only on general topics and giving thanks for permission to raise troops. They then dined with the King and Prince. As far as I can gather the mission has asked for the King's interposition on some disputed boundaries between Sweden and Denmark, and about the pay of the English troops. The King dismissed them graciously. The agreement between King and Parliament that they are to give his Majesty eight hundred thousand ducats a year in lieu of certain prerogatives grows ever more and more popular both with the general public and with his Majesty. He has renounced not only Wardship and Purveyance, which in truth were incredible burdens upon this kingdom, but also many other sources whence he was able to gratify his servants. All these were points persistently demanded by Parliament in order to enable them to arrive at the amount to be assigned to . . . . ., besides this they will impose a special burden upon all property at present subject to the law of Wardship, and further they will propose some new taxation. The clergy too have voted to his Majesty, for this one time, thirty per cent. on all their revenues, and with this concession they will prevent the King from giving his assent to the law against pluralities.
On Monday the King met Parliament to prorogue it till the middle of October. There was a general vote of thanks to his Majesty for the love he showed for his people and the care he took for the common weal. The King replied briefly expressing his thanks for the subsidy and the annual income of eight hundred thousand ducats voted him.
The day before yesterday, the King and Queen began their usual Progress. It will last six weeks. With them went the Prince, who besides taking his seat in Council, on his assumption of his Principality, desires also to handle some of the more important affairs, and he deals with them so strictly that he easily surmounts many difficulties, for everyone is afraid of falling into disgrace with him. I am told that in the recent disagreement in Parliament he produced the results by correcting and damping the ardour of various persons. (Con loro è andato il Principe, il quale si come doppo la sua assuntione al Principato entra ordinariamente nel Consiglio di Stato, così ha gusto anco di maneggiar alcun negotio de' più importanti, et li tratta con rigor, tale che supera facilmente molte difficoltà, temendo ogn' uno d'incontrar la sua disgratia; venendomi affermato, che nelle passate discordie del Parliamento habbia fatto buonissimi effetti corregendo et rafredando l'ardire di molti.)
Baldwin, the Jesuit, who was arrested by the Count Palatine, to please his Majesty, is to be examined and tortured in the Palatinate. The King has sent a person on purpose to assist, and he takes with him various interrogatories (fn. 1) framed with a view to revealing the points that interest his Majesty.
Dudley Carleton has been named Ambassador to Venice (fn. 2) in place of Sir Henry Wotton, who after his many years' service at that post has repeatedly asked leave to go home. Carleton is a gentleman of intelligence in affairs and of most excellent manners (buonissimo trattamento), and, as I hear, he has promised Lord Wotton to set out, along with his wife, within a month; he will not, therefore, wait the King's return, but will go to find him on his Progress, to take his leave, and he will then be knighted. This week I have been suffering from a slight attack of fever, brought on by the cold when I went to audience of the King. I am still in bed, though, thank God, free of fever. This has given me the opportunity to purge, of which I had great need.
London, 5th August, 1610.
Aug. 6. Minutes of the Senate, Mar. Venetian Archives. 31. The causes of the decline of commerce are two; one, the danger of pirates; two, the disadvantage at which our merchants are placed owing to their inability to make their contracts in the Levant in ready money, with the result that foreigners carry off the best of the goods;
Be it decreed that the Captain of the great galleys shall use all diligence to render the seas secure; for this purpose he shall form two squadrons, one to cruise in the waters of Zante, the Morea, Cerigo and Crete, the other from Cape Salamon, in Crete, towards Cyprus and Syria; fittings for these squadrons are to be sent to Candia and Canea;
Merchants shall be allowed to introduce and keep in the Mint until such time as they require them for the Levant, Spanish reals, dollars of good mints, and of Germany, but they may not give them currency in Venetian territory. Within fifteen days the Cinque Savii alla Mercantia shall present a report on the steps necessary for securing the navigation.
Ayes, 89.
Aug. 16. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 32. Marc' Antonio Padavin, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Le Sieur has arrived from England. I visited him at once. He said that after his audience he might have something to communicate to me, as his mission was not wholly concerned with the question of the Hanseatic towns, though that is what they say here. The Aulic Council finds that the Edict was published by three Ministers in conjunction, with a view to making money out of safe conducts, but they have resolved that until Le Sieur has had audience the Edict shall remain in force. He will not be admitted to audience so quickly.
Prague, 16th August, 1610.
Aug. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 33. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Mufti, speaking with the English Ambassador, said that they were aware that the Venetians were powerful at sea, but that they would attack them by Canissa and, if need be, send two hundred and even five hundred thousand men. The English Ambassador, who is much a friend to the Venetian, made suitable observations.
Dalle Vigne de Pera, 18th September, 1610.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 34. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Swedish Ambassadors are still here waiting their dismissal. Besides the request that the King should intervene to arrange certain differences of great importance between Denmark and Sweden, the Ambassadors have also complained that his Majesty has favoured Poland by allowing much war material (apprestamenti attinenti alla guerra) to go to Riga. At the same time they have proposed a league with this Crown and mooted the subject of a marriage between the Princess and the Prince of Sweden, whose qualities they exalt and who, they say, was sworn in by the people as heir to the throne after the Embassy left Sweden. Towards these last two points of marriage and of league there is no smallest inclination here; for the King thinks that he would thus involve himself in the continual difficulties between Sweden and Poland, while he could not promise himself any adequate assistance in return, and, moreover, he holds King Charles of small account as he is not considered the legitimate holder of the Swedish Crown. On the two previous points the King will lend his aid, both because he does not wish to see Poland aggrandized, and because he considers it to his prestige to appear as mediator, and almost as arbiter between these two Princes (perchè stima esser interesse della sua riputatione il mostrarsi mediatore e quasi arbitro tra questi Principi).
The Swedish Ambassadors came to visit me and after compliments they begged me to recall to your Serenity the request, advanced some three years ago, by means of Signor Giovanni Battista Brisilese, for reciprocal trade between Venice and Sweden, to establish which the King of Sweden offers many privileges to Venetian merchants. They pointed out that from Sweden Venetians could readily obtain copper, iron, timber for ship building. I replied with all courtesy; begged to be excused, as my indisposition had prevented me from seeing them sooner, and promised to forward their remarks.
Their Majesties continue their Progress. On Sunday last the Lords of the Council joined the King sixty miles from London to keep the anniversary of the Gowrie plot. (fn. 3)
Valerio the courier has brought letters from the Grand Duke of Tuscany to their Majesties and to the Prince to announce the birth of a son. The King gave the messenger a handsome present. I am assured that an Ambassador will be sent to Florence to return Malaspina's and Salviati's missions and to discuss the claims about the ships, but it has been delayed so long that I doubt it.
The troops of the two Princes, Brandenburg and Neuburg, along with English and Dutch auxiliaries are under Juliers. The enterprise is conducted by Count Maurice. On the 10th of this month they were drawn so close up to that side of the city which is not fortified, but protected by the castle, that voices from the camp could be heard in the castle. Of three ravelins they had captured the largest, a loss attributed to the carelessness of the Governor. On their approach two powder waggons were fired and killed several gentlemen, jeopardizing Count Maurice himself. The French were far off. The besieged fired on enemy; one of the shots killed General Cecil's horse under him, while a musket shot grazed the skin of M. de Bethune's head. It is generally thought that the place cannot hold out long, and so the Spaniards themselves say. All the same it is well fortified and garrisoned by seasoned troops, who have had time to provision the city. If their spirits were kept up by those Princes to whom they look for reward and assistance, they might hold out yet a while.
The capture of the place is eagerly desired here. They are pleased that the Archduke Albert's proposal to the Queen of France, to put M. de Bassompierre into Juliers until judgement was issued, arrived too late; and they think that the capture of the place will end the war. All the same the cities of Aix-la-Chapelle and Cologne are in terror and alarm lest, in the case of a success, the victorious army should march on them; they are fortifying and arming. Cologne is virtually besieged, for no grain is allowed to enter. It has been asked to supply the French army gratis, to allow the reformed religion in one of its Churches, and to pay down fifty thousand ducats in ready money. But it refused to comply with these last two demands, though it promised to furnish the French camp out of its own funds. Cologne has enrolled three thousand foot and five hundred horse, in addition to the two thousand foot already raised, and has called out eight thousand of its unmarried citizens fit for service.
The Spanish troops at the frontiers gave no signs of moving. The Dutch suspected that, in order to create a diversion, they might attack Culem, a place at present in possession of the Dutch, which once belonged to the Duchy of Cleves, and not included in the truce.
The Archdukes are diligently fortifying Rheinberg; the place is important as a menace to the Dutch in Friesland and to the Germans in Cleves.
Lord Wotton, Ambassador designate to France, intends to discharge his mission before the King's Coronation, at which he could not, on account of his creed, be present. His Excellency will take with him the terms of the alliance between these two Crowns, to be sworn to by his Most Christian Majesty. The terms are the same as those which existed between King Charles and Queen Elizabeth.
The negotiations about the debt to the English Crown meet with some difficulty on account of the amount assigned to the United Provinces, who continue to resist repayment. On this point the French Ambassador sent his secretary to Paris some days ago, and he is expected back with the answer; this is all that delays Lord Wotton's mission; he is ready to set out.
The Government have seized fifty thousand ducats in coin which were being smuggled into Flanders. No one has claimed them for fear of the fine, which amounts to the same sum, to be paid into the Treasury.
Dudley Carleton, Ambassador designate to your Serenity, has been to see me. He said he was glad to go on this mission because of the excellent understanding between the two nations. Experience shows him to be no less competent than he was represented to be. Your Serenity will find him full of admirable qualities. To-morrow he will go to the Court, which is sixty miles away, and he assures me that in four weeks' time he will set out via France. (fn. 4)
Chevalier Ludovic Petrucci, who has been in your Serenity's service as sergeant at Spinalonga, has arrived. From a talk with him I gathered that he had come here partly because of the Inquisition—I understand that he was four years and a half prisoner of the Holy office in Padua—and partly because enemies in Germany rendered his life insecure. He has always called himself soldier and servant of your Serenity. He comes newly from service with Neuburg. He now says he wishes to print a manifesto touching certain misfortunes that befell him in Prague, and a song composed in answer to another song in Venetian dialect, in which he defends the Republic in the matter of the late differences with the Pope. He says his enemies take occasion from this song to persecute him. Finally he begged me to forward letters to the Nuncio, the Florentine Ambassador and other persons at the Imperial Court. I said that it was not my business to receive and forward letters addressed to Envoys of other Princes, and forbade him to print any songs or anything else touching the Serene Republic, or to name in any way whatsoever persons who govern the Republic or represent it; nor for his own purposes to use the name of the Republic, and this he promised. I seem to divine in him a restless spirit, full of extravagant ideas. He professes himself an ardent Catholic; but I know not what need might bring him to.
London, 19th August, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 21 Original Despatch, Venetian Archives 35. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Pope complains to the French Ambassador of the defensive alliance between France and England; the Ambassador said that nothing had been done except to confirm what has been settled with the late King.
Rome, 21st August, 1610.
Aug. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 36. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Baron My Lord Wotton is expected here in a few days as Ambassador Extraordinary; he will be lodged at the Royal charges.
Paris, 24th August, 1610.
Aug. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 37. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
As I am well aware of the importance of the French Vice-Consul in Syria, who has dealt so ill with your Serenity's subjects, and recognising the troubles that might arise if he continued in his post, I have done all I could to effect his removal. I have obtained an order for the recall of the Vice-Consul and instructions for the Consul himself to take over the place. I have also obtained instructions to the Consul to punish the Vice-Consul and to restore the bales of cloth. I have also secured instructions to the Consul to act in conjunction with the Venetian Consul and merchants, always provided that the English Consul stands in with them along with all his merchants. I put in this proviso about the English Consul as I am well aware of the importance your Serenity attaches to joint action among all three Consuls. As I hold that the King of England's express orders are necessary, I have secured the assistance of M. de la Boderie. In all this I have succeeded, and to-day I have received Villeroy's solemn promise given me at Conflans. To-morrow I will write to Correr. I have endeavoured to interest the French Consul and to persuade him to act with the Consul Sagredo.
I have been considering the grave inconveniences which arise from the depredations of the pirates, owing to which the trade of Venice has shrunk so seriously; the dues have fallen off and so many of your Excellencies have suffered. I have touched on the subject with several of the Ministers, and especially with Villeroy and the Duke of Guise, Governor of Provence, with whom I am on good terms, and after pointing out the large number of ships which the Republic keeps afloat in order to put down the piracy, I suggested that the French should assume a part in the work and should prevent the Barbary pirates from taking the sea. I think I have convinced Guise, who will persuade the Merchants of Marseilles to take a share in the cost of arming six or eight great galleons.
Paris, 25 August, 1610.
Aug. 28. Collegio, Lettere, Venetian Archives. 38. To the Captain Nani at Malamocco.
Approving of what he had done in the matter of searching the English berton found in the Valle di Buora behind Rovigno, (fn. 5) and ordering him to consign the prisoners to the bearer.
Ayes 22.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 1.
Aug. 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 39. Girolamo Soranzo and Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassadors in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Announces the arrival in Lisbon of an Ambassador from Persia; he comes with two hundred bales of silk which are sent by way of experiment to see whether it is better to send the silk via Portugal or by the old route through the Levant. One of the chief incentives to the change was a desire to deprive the Turk of his customs dues. Silk pays three heavy duties in Turkish territory, and only one here.
Madrid, 29th August, 1610.
Aug. 30. Collegio, Lettere, Venetian Archives. 40. To the Captain Nani at Malamocco.
Having discovered that the crew taken out of the English vessel which you found at Rovigno are honest men, we have set them free to return to their ship and to go about their business. You are to restore to them their boat and tackle, and if you meet them again you are to leave them alone.
Ayes 16.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 0.


  • 1. Winwood (see Mem. III. 210) on the other hand writes to Salisbury that he is sending Baldwin home along with interrogatories supplied by Boisisse on behalf of France.
  • 2. See Cal. S.P. Dom. Aug., 1610. Instructions given by Sir Henry Saville to Sir Dudley Carleton in reference to purchase of books and collation of MSS. relating to S. Chrysostom at Paris and in Italy.
  • 3. See Cal. S.P. Dom. “The 5th of August has passed with mirth and an excellent sermon from the Bishop of Ely at Holdenby; his text was `Touch not mine anointed.'” Nichols op. cit. II. 364.
  • 4. See Nichols, op. cit. II. 364. Carleton was knighted at this audience.
  • 5. In Istria.