Venice: October 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: October 1611', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 12, 1610-1613, (London, 1905) pp. 221-230. British History Online [accessed 24 April 2024]

October 1611

Oct. 1. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Roma. Venetian Archives. 343. The Nuncio came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
Cardinal Borghese writes to me that the Pope is much distressed that he has not been able to speak to the Ambassador Cavalli on a subject of great importance, owing to the Ambassador's illness, which I hear is serious. His Holiness desires me in his name to represent to you what he would more gladly have said directly to the Ambassador so as to make clearer his feelings in the matter. That Castelvetro, from Modena, who has been released, was examined on former occasions by the Inquisition and abjured all his heresies of which he was convicted—and they were the worst that could be, Calvinistic and that of a bad kind. Recently this fellow was named by a Luchese, also prisoner of the Inquisition, and on this account the order for his arrest was issued and executed. It seems a strange thing to the Pope to hear that he has been set free, seeing that he is “relapsed,” and of such a bad character, just one of those who in all countries are usually condemned and punished instead of protected and allowed to go with impunity. His Holiness recalls to your Serenity and to all these excellent gentlemen your ancient piety and religion; the danger of allowing such seed to be scattered among the people your subjects; the ruin and subversion of States which a similar contagion has brought about in every country where it has insinuated itself, of which there are numerous instances ancient and modern; His Holiness, in discharge of his office and to relieve your Serenity and all these gentlemen, has thought fit to call your attention to the case, for there is nothing so subject to censure as this, nothing so abhorred and detested by the Censors. He promises himself much from your piety, and is assured that you will give the matter the consideration it deserves and the account which is its due.
The Doge replied that they always felt sorry when such cases arose, “for we are not wont to meddle with the business of the Inquisition; we leave the matter to whom it concerns and we favour and protect them to the best of our power, as our ancestors always did. We pay special attention to all that contributes to maintaining the purity of the Catholic religion. That person was arrested and then it was found that he was under the protection of the English Ambassador and sui juris. We took into consideration that we were dealing with the Ambassador of a great Prince who was friendly to us, and bearing in mind how his Majesty had treated our Ambassador in London when he gave shelter and protection to Catholic priests, whom his Majesty has not only exempted from the penalties they had incurred but has graciously set at liberty—we came to the conclusion that we were bound to reciprocate his humane action; nor could we see a better way of doing so than that which we have adopted by liberating Castelvetro as a servant of the Ambassador. But as a remedy for the scandal we have enjoined on him to leave our States as soon as possible, and that he has done, thus freeing the City and the Dominion from the presence of such a person, and thus reserving to our Ambassadors the method of assisting Catholics in England. We regret that we could not come to any other resolve; we should have been glad to do so had we been able; but even in this our good will is evident in that we adopted the least prejudicial course that was open to us. That person is already so far off that it would take a month's journey to reach him. As to the Luchese, we know nothing of what is happening about him. You, who have been here so long, know that nothing is wanting here as far as we are concerned; that this matter is warmly commended to all; and you will be able to lay before his Holiness our just reasons and honest considerations and our regret at not being able to come to any other decision as that person belonged to the English Ambassador, who is very prudent in his conduct.”
The Nuncio replied that he had written to his Holiness and had suggested these reasons now advanced by his Serenity, but it would seem that the Pope would not admit them; he does not think that it is an equal case to save a Catholic and to liberate a “relapsed,” a heretic of the worst dye who, in short, believed in nothing. “I, however, will fulfil the injunction your Serenity lays on me, and to say the truth in the four years that I have been here, I confess that I have received much help and support from the representatives of the Serene Dominion. That man, however, was a bad fellow; I have his abjuration made some years back, and one sees that he believed nothing; further, when the Assessors granted a warrant he did not belong to the Ambassador's household, though he frequented it; and the police were instructed not to arrest him in the house nor near the house of the Ambassador. I must obey his Holiness' orders in a matter of such moment.”
The Doge replied that they gave all due weight to the paternal admonitions of his Holiness. Castelvetro frequented the English Embassy to teach Italian, of which language he had made profession in England itself, where he had taught the King's Majesty. To avoid all scandal Castelvetro has left the State. The English Ambassador has behaved most prudently. His Holiness may rest assured that everything will be attended to and all disorders avoided. The Nuncio said he would write.
Oct. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 344. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Polish Ambassador left the day before yesterday; I hear that he asked the Grand Vizir for the person of Prince Stephan, who continues to reside in the house of the English Ambassador, and even offered a large sum of money. He did not succeed. The King of Poland resents Stephan's pretensions to the Principality of Moldavia, which the King has bestowed upon Constantine, who now enjoys it, but who lives in perpetual suspicion, danger, and expense on account of this other man's claims.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 1st October, 1611.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 2. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 345. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The engagement of the Duke of Nemours has deferred the departure of Count Ruffia (fn. 1) for England. He is on the point of leaving, and he told me that he intended to send off part of his suite on Friday. He declares he has good hopes of concluding his business of the marriage of the Princess of England with the Prince of Piedmont; the only point to be settled was that of religion. The French at the English Court were supporting the match with the Count Palatine.
Turin, 2nd October, 1611.
Oct. 2. Senato, Secreta, Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 346. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Father Cesena, Commissary of the Capuchins, has been here some days on a mission from the Pope to induce the Duke to abandon the English match.
Turin, 2nd October, 1611.
Oct. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 347. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A daughter was born to the English Ambassador last month. She was baptized on the 25th, and the King and Queen were invited; the one sent the Duke of Bouillon, the other the Princess of Orange, who were present in their Majesties' names, and gave two jewels to the child.
M. de Vitry has not left yet for England. He is secretly trying to raise troops to take with him into Denmark. He finds great difficulty, as the French are unwilling to take themselves to that Kingdom, where they would encounter such inconveniences, especially in winter.
The Marquis of Guadaleste has arrived in Brussels as Ambassador from the Emperor.
Paris, October 5th, 1611.
Oct. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 348. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have been severely colded for four days now, which keeps me in bed. The day before yesterday Lord Salisbury's Secretary came to tell me that the King would be glad to see me and that I was to choose the day. I returned thanks and said I would receive the favour when I was better. To-day Sir Lewis Lewkenor came to me from the King to say that his Majesty awaited me on Saturday at Hampton Court if my health permitted, if not, on Tuesday. Yesterday the French Ambassador had audience, and returned to London without seeing Lord Salisbury. On Monday a resident Ambassador from the Archduke Albert arrived. He was met by the Spanish Ambassador's coaches and the Master of the Ceremonies. He is seeking audience. The Council has been sitting lately at Hampton Court to discuss home and foreign affairs. I have received the papers relating to Giacomo Castelvetro. I shall use them in framing my replies to the King or to any who may mention the matter, and this may very likely happen at my audience. I must not conceal from your Excellencies that in this Embassy there has always been an Englishman as interpreter, a Catholic, who has regularly attended the church without anyone hindering him. The same goes on in the French and Spanish Embassies, to his Majesty's entire satisfaction. I have thought it my duty to bring this to your Serenity's notice; fuller information can be obtained from the Illustrious Correr.
London, 6th October, 1611.
Oct. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 349. Domenico Domenici, Secretary to the Venetian Embassy in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Announces the death of the Ambassador, Marin Cavalli, which took place the preceding night.
Rome, 7th October, 1611.
Oct. 9. Collegio, Lettere di Rè e Regine. Venetian Archives. 350. James by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, to the Most Serene Prince and Lord, Leonardo Donato, by like Grace, Doge of Venice, our dearest friend, greeting.
Returning thanks for what the Republic had done in the matter of Seymour; he does not make much account of him (contemp-tabiles enim et res et persona sunt).
Returning thanks for what was done in the case of Castelvetro, for which he is very grateful. He rejoices that the Republic will not prostitute the supreme authority which is inherent in her Empire to the lust of those who under the cloak of religion seek to intrude in matters that have nothing to do with religion (dum jus supremum quod ad Imperium vestrum attinet nolitis prostituere libidini illorum qui sub religionis umbra in id quod minime est religionis invadunt).
From our Palace of Westminster, 9th October, 1611.
Jacobus, R.
Oct. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 351. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I am forwarding my accounts for postage and couriers during the time of my Embassy in France.
London, 14th October, 1611.
Oct. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 352. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Friday evening the Archduke's Ambassador was told that his audience was fixed for Sunday. As I knew the ancient claims to precedence and thinking that these might still be advanced, I, in spite of my indisposition, at once informed Sir Lewis Lewkenor that I would be ready next morning to wait on his Majesty. I accordingly followed the French Ambassador at Court, where I was received most graciously by the King, who advanced three steps and taking me by the hand, with a cheerful countenance, led me to a window; I assured him that the Republic desired to prove what it had so often affirmed by its representatives, that it was devoted to his Majesty, and it seized the opportunity of the affair of Seymour, and had issued orders that if he entered Venetian territory he was to be arrested. The King, without allowing me to proceed further, said that in truth the words and the deeds of their Excellencies did match, a thing that cannot be said of other Kings and Princes. He would reply in kind and recognized that he was both esteemed and loved by your Excellencies.
He then went on to speak of Castelvetro; he told me that Castelvetro had served his Majesty four or five years in Scotland for the Italian tongue; he was very intimate and was well liked, and so the King felt obliged for this other favour which his Ambassador had reported as it deserved. He had to return thanks both for Seymour's case and for this man's and would do it in good ink. Meanwhile he charged me to express his obligation. He then told me, with considerable indignation, that Seymour was to be seen openly at Paris. He mentioned the proposed marriage of the Infanta, and declared that this Ambassador and his predecessors had always spoken as if the King of Spain desired to give her to the Prince of Wales. Nay, they had even shown a letter from the Duke of Lerma ordering the Ambassador to make the proposal in the King's name, and thereupon the King wrote to Salisbury telling him to instruct the English Ambassador to raise the question. The King spoke with warmth. As regards the French alliance he said that the French Ambassador two months ago had told him that he had orders to suggest the match; but while negotiations with Spain were pending it did not seem proper to negotiate with France; later on the French Princess was designed for Spain. As to the Huguenot Assembly it had dissolved on the representations of the Duke de Bouillon, as was reasonable, out of regard for the Queen. The concessions are not of great weight. The permission to have Huguenot teachers in the suburbs of the City is limited to teaching grammar and writing, nor may the pupils exceed ten in number. With this and like discourse his Majesty kept me for long. I did not omit to dwell upon the favourable disposition of your Excellencies and I insisted as far as was reasonable on the importance of Castelvetro's case.
I then had an interview with Lord Salisbury and recounted the matter of my audience with the King. Lord Salisbury said that his Majesty had to thank your Excellencies in the case of Castelvetro; and charged me to say that the King would return the favour. On Saturday morning Lewkenor came to fetch me, and accompany me to Hampton Court and back to London. I received marks of special favour. The question of Shirley's audience came up. He claims to be admitted as Ambassador of the King of Persia. After many difficulties the Earl allowed him to have audience and agreed that he should go as he chose, though at first the Persian dress was vetoed. Lewkenor did all he could to help Shirley, who is a relation. On my return to London my cold became worse. With warmth and little food I hope to recover, by God's grace, such health as He permits me.
London, 14th October, 1611.
[Italian; the parts in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 353. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I will continue from my preceding despatch, with such brevity as my poor health permits me.
The French Ambassador in his audience touched on the dissolution of the Diet, the amount of money due from the King of France to the King of England—a point which is urgent—the muster of the Scotch and the money to be paid them. He also said something about marriages and sundry small difficulties which, as usually, arise between neighbouring Sovereigns. The King discussed the marriages between France and Spain, and the Ambassador replied that he knew nothing for certain, but as there was equality of age and rank between the children of those two Crowns, such alliances might be credited. As soon as his Secretary returns he will have positive news on that and other points. The audience was a long one, and the King was suitably satisfied. The Secretary arrived on Saturday. He brings news that the Prince of Condè was expected at Court daily; that in Brittany the Duke of Retz had come to arms with the son of the Marshal de Brisac on a question of precedence at the meeting of the Estates which is being held in that Province. Both these gentlemen had a following of upwards of one thousand five hundred men. As it is a private quarrel the Queen does not choose to intervene, but will let them punish themselves. The Duke of Bouillon has gone to Sedan, where he awaits the Duchess of Rohan to be Godmother to his child. Differences are not wanting between the Duke of Guise and the Constable. The reply about payment is that the Queen will cause to be instantly handed to the King one hundred thousand ducats. She has already found the way and the merchants who will make the payment. As for the Scottish Guards they will be paid their arrears since the death of the King, and hopes are held out that they will soon receive the earlier arrears. As for the question of marriage, they keep silence and try to cover it up; the match with Spain, however, is recognised as concluded. On the separation of the Diet of Rothenburg explanations were sent to the French Court. They hope to be able to defend themselves against any attack from the House of Austria; if there is any sign of a good understanding between the two Crowns they will be cautious in revealing their designs. The Archduke Albert has designated the Count of Sora to the Hungarian Court, and has sent him to Vienna with rich gifts and a secret commission. The Marquis of Lancester (sic) has arrived in Brussels in the quality of Spanish Ambassador, a post he has already filled. The Archduke will send the Count of Bucquoi to Spain. M. de Peckius, appointed Superintendent General, will not now go to Holland. The general meeting of the States is now sitting at the Hague.
The same day that I had audience of the King a gentleman, arrived from Denmark, brought news that the King of Denmark was pressing Halmstad [Armstadt], and that the King of Sweden was fifteen miles off with his army, and was acting with great cruelty even to his own troops. Whether this be true or only said to stir hate I do not know. The Cha'ush is seeking to be dismissed, and the Spanish Ambassador is waiting audience.
London, 14th October, 1611.
Oct. 17. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 354. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Clarette, Secretary to the Count of Visca, Savoyard Ambassador at Rome, arrived here in haste, having made the journey in five days. As far as I can gather his mission is a very secret one, referring to the proposed marriage between the Prince of Piedmont and the Princess of England, to which his Holiness is opposed on the score of religion. To this the Duke had replied that his Holiness ought to like the match as giving a chance to spread the faith in England. The Commissary Cesena reported this answer to Rome, and the Pope made vigorous representations to Visca, who has sent his Secretary post haste.
Turin, 17th October, 1611.
Oct. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 355. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day following my audience the Archduke's Ambassador waited on the King, accompanied by Lord Rossi (?) in one of the royal carriages. He found the King attended by the Prince and a suitable number of titled personages. He made a few remarks and had a very brief reply; he stood silent for a short time, then kissed the Prince's hand, and took his leave of the King. He went to Court with a very moderate following. He appears to desire to be on friendly relations with me. I have not been able to visit him yet because of my cold.
On last Tuesday week Sherley had audience of the King. He was conducted by the Baron Rossi and went in English dress. Three paces from the dais he made submission, sinking on his knees and imploring his Majesty's pardon if he, while still his Majesty's subject, had ventured to accept that office, for he had done so on the express orders of the King of Persia. The King listened graciously and signed to Sherley to rise and approach. Sherley presented his credentials, and begged his Majesty to cause them to be interpreted so that he might fully grasp the nature of his authority in order to proceed to develop the subject of his Mission, about which he would not speak until his Majesty was fully informed of the powers and authority conferred upon him by the King of Persia. The King was pleased at this manner of proceeding, and presently caused Sherley to be covered and dismissed him, praising his prudence, eloquence and modesty after he had retired. So in a few days he will explain his proposals, which, as far as I understand, are two; one is commercial, the other relates to a union of arms against the Turk; but we shall know better after the letters have been interpreted what he is about to propose and what answer he will receive.
If Sherley is visited by the other Ambassadors I will not fail to do the same; I will be guided by their action.
To-day the King was here; he stayed half the day and then went on to Royston, where he will stay for three or four weeks for his usual sport. He gave audience to the Spanish Ambassador, an hour before leaving. The subject was the Spanish answer to the demand of the Infanta's hand for the Prince of Wales. The King listened severely, and the Ambassador of France and an intimate of the Earl of Salisbury both told me that the Ambassador told his Majesty that when he urged his Majesty to ask for the Infanta's hand he was acting on orders from the King, his Master, and from the Duke of Lerma, and he would prove it by producing his instructions. He announced that he was about to ask leave to retire. This way of presenting the matter, so different from the line pursued with Lord Salisbury, has caused comment, and it is said that the Ambassador is acting on his own initiative without waiting instructions from Spain. The King continues in great displeasure, so do the Queen and the Prince, and there is no one who dares to say a word about the second Infanta. They have also some feeling against France for having concluded the match without giving information here. On the other hand the French Ambassador makes an able defence to the King and to the Council, with whom he had an interview this day week. He urged that it was true that it was right to inform friends and allies—that they had been and still were in close treaty with Spain but nothing was concluded, and when it was France would not fail to give notice; all the same there remains a little—I know not what—which, however, is of small moment and the Ambassador expects it to disappear in twenty days or a m nth.
The Prince was here the day before yesterday. He is almost always with the Earl of Salisbury. He aspires to the post of Lord High Admiral, and has managed so cleverly with the King that he has got his word for it, in spite of the fact that the King designed to make the Duke of York Admiral. A gentleman in the confidence of the Prince told me that in the time of the late Queen the post of Admiral was worth one hundred and fifty thousand crowns a year, thanks to the troubles with Spain and the patents granted to corsairs to harry the coast of Spain and the Spanish fleets. In time of war it is undoubtedly the greatest post in this kingdom. The Prince with his diligence and authority will regulate many abuses which the present Admiral, who is decrepit, can hardly do. He then went on to praise the Prince as every one does, extolling his prudence, his seriousness, his magnanimity, his perfection of mind and body which promised the best results. Yesterday his Highness was presented with some horses sent by the Duke of Lorraine, and a few days before he had had some from the Duke of Radziwill; he has had some and expects others from his uncle, the King of Denmark. He is very fond of horses and manages them to a marvel.
The Danish Ambassador (Charisius), by means of the Queen, has seen the King in private at Hampton Court several times. He has been successful and has conciliated his Majesty. The Queen worked to this end. He is leaving highly honoured and with a present. The Dutch Ambassador told me that the Envoys to Denmark are on their way back. I write no more as I am without my Dutch letters this week; they are delayed by the wind.
London, 21st October, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 356. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Among the others who put to sea to discover the short route to the East Indies (fn. 2) seven years ago a certain Captain Thompson, an Englishman, under the protection and with a vessel of the Dutch, attempted the passage for two years, but in vain. He continued the enterprise later under the auspices of some merchants of London, known as the India Company, with no better fortune. But at last two years ago he set sail with provisions for a couple of years; the first winter he halted in the heart of the cold so as to avoid the danger of ice floes in uninhabited places; he then passed north-west (tramontana maestra) of the continent of the West Indies, towards the Chinese Sea (mar del Cathaio) and the East Indies. He returned by the same route and the vessel under his command put into Plymouth, a town in these isles, two hundred miles west of London. His surviving crew numbered twelve out of the twenty-five that sailed. They have been examined by the Prince, and have brought back drawings of the places which they passed, and have given a very good account of all they saw. The ship in which they made this journey is a small berton of about one hundred and fifty tons. Having put into port for water and meat the master was wounded by an Indian with a dart and died. They report that in the most northerly parts of their route they encountered great quantities of ice, which at first sight caused them more terror than hindrance to their subsequent progress. After narrow and frozen seas they sailed into open water and a climate as warm as Spain. They penetrated this sea several times in order to be there at the right season, and so they have fuller knowledge and observation of it. In the future they hope to make the journey there and back easily in eight months, whereas up to now it has taken little less than two years. The King will forbid any to trade by this route save those at whose charges it was discovered; and they are to share in the profits in proportion to their contributions towards the expenses. As these merchants are both many and rich they propose to bring large quantities of drugs and other Eastern merchandize, and to supply most of Europe, which they think they can do very cheaply. I have had conversations about this with men who are thoroughly versed in the matter and are not interested parties. They point out that the royal prohibition to use the route will not apply to the Dutch or other nations; and so unless there are upon the route some narrows which the English could fortify and thus block the passage for foreign vessels, others may take to the same route, which cannot be kept secret for long, and so all Western Europe on the Atlantic sea-board will share in the profits.
I will pay attention to finding out something more and what opinion the leading merchants hold and all that takes place.
I have thought it my duty to send your Excellencies a full account of a matter of such importance, and one which, as it is believed, may easily alter the aspect of commerce.
London, 22nd October, 1611.
Oct. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 357. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After eighteen days in the house with cold and fever the day before yesterday I went out. The Spanish Ambassador at an interview which he had with the Council the day before his audience of the King explicitly stated that all that had been done to induce them to demand the Infanta's hand had been done on the express orders of the King. He had always intended the eldest Infanta and his instructions referred distinctly to her; if the Duke of Lerma and the King spoke differently afterwards he was not to blame. Out of respect he could not deny what they said, all the same he had his instructions in writing. All his remarks were carefully written down, and he was told he would have audience of the King, to whom he could repeat these declarations. He says he wishes to retire as soon as possible. These representations have inflamed the mind of his Majesty against the King of Spain, and he has sent orders to his Ambassador in Spain to make the most vigorous protest possible, showing out of the mouth of the Spanish Ambassador that the proceeding is a trick. My informant is a person of great importance and deep in affairs. The action of the Spanish Ambassador was determined by his certainty that in the Council held at Theobalds they had resolved that if he gave any other kind of reply they would hand him his passports and would recall their Ambassador from Spain. In Spain they will maintain that they always talked of the second Infanta, and never gave any orders except about her. The Spanish Ambassador here will be dismissed and the English Ambassador in Spain recalled; and had the King been of a different temper worse might have happened.
The Protestant Princes assembled at the Diet of Rothenburg have resolved to invite the King to enter their confederation; they have sent him the articles of the Union and have written fully and submissively. His Majesty is showing greater warmth than usual, and this morning a courier has been despatched with letters for most of the Princes assembled for the New Diet. This Conference is intended to check the further aggrandisement of the House of Austria, especially in Germany.
The Dutch Ambassador has had audience. His Majesty did not conceal from him that the Spanish Ambassador actually made the statement which I reported regarding the marriage of the Infanta. The business of the Dutch Ambassador related to the payment due from the States to the English Crown. He mentioned the subject of the twelve Dutch ships which had taken the sea against the pirates, and touched on the matter of a certain lecturer at Leyden. (fn. 3) He spoke about German affairs. As to the money it will be paid in full. As to the squadron against the pirates it has proved very costly and it would yield better fruit if they would proceed to punish those who in Ireland give support to the corsairs. As to the appointment of the lecturer who has written a book condemned by his Majesty and ordered to be burned, the Ambassador said something in his defence but added that his Masters desired to satisfy his Majesty. As to the affairs of Germany the General Assembly of the States would be guided by his Majesty's advice. The King informed the Ambassador that in the matter of Cleves he had told Neuburg that he desired the new Duke of Saxony to be admitted as a “possessioner,” just as the late Duke had been. His Majesty intends to assist Wirtemberg in some differences he has with the Archduke Albert. If the King enters the federation of Rothenburg so will the Dutch. The Queen of France still keeps up the foot and horse. The Princess of Conde is at Brussels, very well received.
London, 28th October, 1611.
Oct. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 358. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
In the last audience the French Ambassador had with the King His Majesty spoke with much agitation, vigorously attacking M. de Villeroy as a friend of Spain and but little affected towards this Crown.
It seems that it is not altogether pleasing here that the Duke of York should continue to receive a pension from the King of France. This pension used to be paid to Prince Henry in Scotland, but on the King's accession to the throne of England is was transferred to the Duke of York. The Ambassador has done all he can, but without much result. The muster and the pay for one year have been suspended, and the King will not allow them to take it unless the whole be paid; that would mean a very considerable sum. The Commissioner and the paymasters, however, are still here.
I returned the Spanish Ambassador's visit. He dwelt on the death of the Queen, on the loss it inflicted, on the inconvenience of children born of various mothers, though the King, who is young, would not live long without a wife. Some good might arise all the same, as it might bring about a closer union with some great Sovereign. He then went on to talk of the affair of Sassello, which he said would easily be accommodated. I enclose a copy of a paper containing information on the subject furnished by the Constable, that your Excellencies may see how he reports matters. He spoke of the Spanish fleet which had put out from Sicily and of the Ragusans who are so closely bound to his Majesty. As to the answer given in Spain to the offer of marriage he said they were wrong here to suppose that he had spoken of his own accord, for never would he alter a word except on express orders. He did not conceal from me that when Parliament met in Spring some motion might be made to please the majority, who certainly do not love quiet.
The French Ambassador has this morning received a courier, who made the journey in three days. To-morrow he will see Lord Salisbury. The day the courier left the Prince of Condè arrived at Court, which had gone into mourning again for the Queen of Spain.
London, 28th October, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 30. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 359. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Confirming the news of the Pope's vehement opposition to the English match.
Turin, 30th October, 1611.


  • 1. Count of Cartignana. See Gardiner, “History of England,” Vol. II., p. 137.
  • 2. See Birch “Court and Times of James I.” 1–139 “There is a little treatise of the North-West passage written by Sir Dudley Digges; but I may say, beatus qui intelligit, especially the first period, which is but a bad beginning to stumble at the threshold . . . But he is wonderfully possessed with the opinion, and hopes of that passage.”—Chamberlain to Carleton. See also Cal. S.P. Dom., Dec. 4, 1611. “Sir Dudley Diggs busy with the discovery of the North-West passage.” The Company of Discoverers of the North-West Passage received a grant of Incorporation July 26, 1612. Prince Henry was named supreme Protector.
  • 3. Vorstius. In August the King had invited Sir Noel Caron, the Dutch Ambassador, to co-operate with Sir Ralph Winwood in preventing Vorstius' appointment to the Chair of Divinity in Leyden.