Venice: December 1611, 1-15

Pages 245-257

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


December 1611, 1–15

Dec. 1. Collegio, Secreta, Esposizioni Principi, Venetian Archives. 380. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
It is many days since I came to pay my respects to your Excellencies. The reason is that I have been out of the city for some time, and after my return I have been waiting an occasion from England to allow me to come and perform this duty. Despatches have reached me, but they bring no other news than that his Majesty is well, and orders to greet your Excellencies in his Majesty's name, and to wish you the same good health as your most good and sure ally. Your Excellencies will learn this from his Majesty's letters which I now present.
“James, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Holland (sic, Ireland), Defender of the Faith, etc., to the Most Serene Prince and Lord Leonardo Donato, by the same Grace Doge of Venice and our dearest friend, Greeting.”
Very grateful for recent proofs of regard for which the King has abundantly thanked the Venetian Ambassador, and doubts not but that he has so reported; still he desires to repeat them himself.
“As for Seymour, we take no account of him, as he is despicable both in goods and person; but we hold the matter of great moment on your account, for from such small indications we learn to know how much we may promise ourselves in affairs of greater moment. As to the other affair of Castelvetro we esteem your action highly and for the same reason; for it is not merely a proof of your good will towards us, but is a sign of your sagacity and prudence; as you were unwilling to submit that which belongs to your supreme authority to the inordinate appetites of those who, under cloak of Religion, desire to rush in where no question of religion exists. For the rest we beg you to be assured that it is far from our habit to desire to protect any one or any cause which might bring scandal to your religion. In all things that may furnish occasion to testify our gratitude we will most willingly return your affection.
Your most affectionate
James, King.”
After the reading of the letter the Ambassador went on, “the King is a great Prince who desires to see words and actions correspond as is the case here, though elsewhere he has not found it so.” On this point the Ambassador will say no more, as he knows that his Serenity is diligently informed of everything by his Ambassador at the English Court, who is beloved by the King and treated with the greatest confidence.
Councillor Ruzzini, the senior and Vice-Doge in his Serenity's absence, replied that he was glad to see the Ambassador and congratulated him on his return.
The Procurator Sagredo, Savio del Consiglio, expressed their pleasure at the King's good health, and their satisfaction that he had been pleased to write. All that had been done and especially in the affair of Castelvetro had been done willingly, and they will always act so in all that may concern his Majesty.
The Ambassador said he always discharged the duties of this office and desired to serve the Republic. He added, that lately there had left Venice a Minister (Pindar) of his Majesty who is going to Constantinople, where he will remain on the King's service. I am aware that this gentleman is well known to many of your Excellencies, and as for various reasons he was unable to pay his respects, he has left me the task of presenting his excuses and his assurances that at the Porte he will not fail to show himself such a person as he knows his Majesty wishes him to be. While here he made provision of certain things to take with him, to employ them as necessity arose, and he wished to take the ordinary steps for exporting the goods, but I would not allow him, for besides that this matter affected the King's interest, I desired to bind him to your Excellencies by securing for him the usual privilege, which I beg you now to concede, and for which I shall be grateful.
The Procurator Sagredo replied that the moment his wish was understood the necessary orders were given; the matter had passed the Cabinet and would to-day come up in the Senate.
The Ambassador returned thanks and took his leave.
Dec. 1. Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives. 381. That to oblige the English Ambassador the under-mentioned goods, which would have paid an export duty of one hundred and seventeen ducats, be allowed to pass out free, to be sent to Constantinople on his Majesty's service.
Coloured damascs yards 633
Coloured satins yards 457
Watered tabinets yards 477
Coloured velvet yards 75
Cloth of gold yards 168
Ayes 177.
Noes 5.
Neutrals 5.
Dec. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 382. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Four of the Council, appointed by the King, were present at the interview which the Savoyard Ambassador had with Lord Salisbury yesterday week; each word of his was written down, and so he was very reserved, and confined himself to the repetition of what he had said to the King the previous morning in fuller and more confidential terms. He wound up by saying that the Duke had sent him to treat with the King and to wind up in few words the negotiations for a match, which were already on foot. Lord Salisbury asked whether he was going to make proposals of marriage other than that of the Prince of Piedmont to the Princess Elizabeth. The Ambassador replied that having reported to his Master that a match between a Princess of Savoy and the Prince of Wales had been absolutely rejected—great Princesses by the law of nature and by common practice were to be asked in marriage, not offered—the Duke had given him a mission to deal only with the proposal for the marriage of the Prince of Savoy, for whom he asked the hand of the Princess.
Lord Salisbury went the same day to Theobalds, where the King was. Soon after the Ambassador was sent for and had an hour's audience of the King and more. It would seem that he left the King reasonably content; he supped with the King and the Prince that evening. In his Master's name he presented to the King several vases of rock crystal bound round with gold; his Majesty drank in one of them a health to his Highness and his whole family. Next morning the Ambassador had another audience of the King. It lasted about half-an-hour; he came out from it very thoughtful and soon after he took the road to return to London. This is what my informant, who was on the spot, and as near as he could get, told me. He stayed on a day longer in the hope of finding out something, but was defeated by the King's departure for Royston and the great secrecy with which this business is conducted. On Saturday the French Ambassador sent to tell me that the Queen had said to the Ambassadress that she believed the Ambassador of Savoy had had a final answer from the King, and would shortly leave, and that the Ambassadress was to tell her husband in the Queen's name. The Secretary who brought me this news added that the Savoyard had met with the refusal of the Princess' hand, but that the King declared himself grateful to the Duke, and laid the whole blame on the head of religion where all the difficulty lay. He then went on to talk about the death of the Duke of Orleans. He considered it a great loss for France, for although there still remains the Duke of Anjou, and thanks to his robustness the King may look for a long life, still both are mere children.
On Sunday the Ambassador of Savoy returned my visit. In the course of a long discussion I gathered that in the first audience of the King at Theobalds on Wednesday he excused himself for not having spoken to Lord Salisbury and the Lords of the Council the previous day on the ground that he had express orders from his Master to speak to the King, who was father of his children, and had a right to marry them as he chose. The Duke had sent the Ambassador with the fullest powers, and with orders that if it pleased the King he was to carry through the negotiation with the fewest but most sincere words; that he was not capable of negotiating with the five Commissioners, everyone of whom knew infinitely more than he did, and under the disadvantage of having all his words taken down, while only receiving the briefest answers. He then entered on the subject of his mission, declaring that in all things his Master was ready to obey the King; as regards dower, the Duke made no requests, nor on any other point. The Princess would be served and honoured in Piedmont precisely as was the Infanta and the other Royal Princesses married into the House of Savoy. As to religion, no violence should be done to her; she would live according to her conscience in her own apartment as seemed to her best with absolute freedom. Neither Jesuits, nor others, would not be allowed near her. All that seemed ample, nor did the King during the Ambassador's former visit, appear to desire more. During that first audience he received a most friendly reply and hopes of a favourable issue; but at the second audience kind words only. He has little confidence in these Ministers, though he thinks the King well-disposed. I also found out that the Ambassador thinks that if the King of Spain re-marries it will be with a daughter of Savoy; this is based on what Prince Filiberto writes.
On Saturday a courier arrived from Spain, and on Monday the Spanish Ambassador set out to find the King, who is some miles beyond Royston, (fn. 1) so that it will take him three days to get there. He will be back next week, and I will endeavour to find out his business and also that of Savoy.
London, 2nd December, 1611.
Dec. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 383. Antonio Foscarini. Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week there arrived from Holland several posts together; they had been delayed by the wind. The Dutch have sent an Embassy to Constantinople to negotiate the liberation of Dutch slaves and to open up trade in Turkish territory. They hope to obtain the same privileges as are enjoyed by other Princes; also to establish Consulates at Aleppo, Cairo, and the other ports belonging to the Turk. The Dutch Ambassador resident here has informed Lord Salisbury of all this. He said that as the Dutch had on other occasions negotiated for the liberation of slaves through the French Ambassador and sometimes through the English, always without result, they were driven to come to this resolve. He added that as the United Provinces, after the conclusion of the truce, were no longer able to enjoy those advantages over Spain which were theirs at first, and as they desired to preserve intact the number of their ships and seamen, it was necessary for them to open trade in the Levant and the Mediterranean, besides the Indies and the Ocean. The English merchants who trade with Turkey are very much disturbed; they foresee the decline of the London market; it will not be surprising, therefore, if the Ambassador Pindar raises opposition at Constantinople; he is paid by the Company, as were all his predecessors. The Dutch have eight vessels ready, and almost fully laden, for Constantinople and other places belonging to the Grand Signor. Here they are very anxious to keep the trade of the country flourishing, especially on the point of exports; an order will shortly be issued providing that on imported goods so much shall be deducted in other goods and only twenty-five per cent. in money. (Qui si pensa molto al tener florido il comertio di questo Regno et particolarmente a quello che guarda l'estratione, et si publicheranno tosto edite perchè dalla mercantia che viene portata qui si cari altra mercantia et solo 25 per cento in denari.) Next week four ships will sail in consort for Constantinople, two of them, so the Secretary of the Ambassador Pindar informs me, carry the value of a million of gold; that is to say, four hundred thousand in tin and the remainder in cloth and kerseys. The other two vessels have cargoes of the value of forty and fifty thousand crowns apiece. With these vessels the Secretary of Pindar will also sail. He has begged me for letters of recommendation to the Governor of Zante, where he has much money due to him. In this I promptly gratified him, thinking it to be to your Excellencies' service, as he will easily have occasion to be of use, for in the case of Pindar's illness this person would act as Ambassador and will always be of weight with him. He is going out with the full intention of succeeding to the post, otherwise he would not have left the Prince's service.
During the last few months the Dutch have begun to send a large quantity of spices and other merchandise from the Levant into Germany; this is a serious blow to Marseilles and also to London, but less so. The merchants of the India Company expect to make great gains by the discovery of the new route that goes into the China Sea (mar del Cathaio), near Japan; the climate is a temperate one and suitable for the placing of large quantities of cloth and kerseys—that cannot be said of Java and Sumatra, where they have hitherto traded, for there the climate is extremely hot, and the natives only use the lightest and cheapest stuffs, made in the country; this means less gains, while the voyage, the cost, and the risk are greater.
They continue to study the change in the nominal value of gold; making it equivalent to the value in France and Flanders; but they fear if gold is enhanced silver will leave the country, as merchants would make large gains. They, therefore, are planning to regulate both gold and silver.
It is generally thought that in a very short time the trade of the United Provinces with all parts of the world will multiply, for the Dutch are content with moderate gains and are richly supplied with excellent seamen, ships, money, everything which used to be the specialties of Venice when her trade was flourishing. The leading merchants here point out to me that the trade of Venice has gradually declined because the Venetians have almost voluntarily abandoned navigation in great part, investing their money in estates; and so the number of ships has fallen off and the skill of her sailors likewise; while here and elsewhere they have acquired knowledge and experience. Then the peace of France and England and the truce of the United Provinces have dealt the last blow. As matters now stand there is not either in England or in Holland a berton so small that she could not out-fight the biggest Venetian, and weather a storm with greater surety. The original cost here, also, is far lower than in Venice. They also attack the build of Venetian craft, which they say is ill-suited to face either the sea or the pirates. They declare that twenty English sailors would show more fight than forty Venetians. They conclude by saying that all these disorders might be remedied in time. The Venetians have to make a voyage of far shorter length than the English, and through a sea that is less infested by pirates, who usually lie between Corsica, Sardinian and the Straits; if Venetian ships are often plundered it is because they won't fight, and if they meet with buccaneers they surrender, whereas others resist. If they chose at Venice they might make ships of a build which experience has approved; that all the advantages of the other nations the Venetians too might enjoy, as they are the fruit of industry, but Venice's geographical position is hers and hers only. (Si tiene communamente che in poco tempo debbi multiplicare il negotio degli Stati con tutte le parti del Mondo perchè si contentano di poco guadagno, abbondano di ottima marinarezza, di buonissimi raselli, di denaro, et di tutte quelle conditioni che sollevano esser proprie di Venetia mentre era il comercio in maggiore fiare, che mi dicono questi principali mercanti esser andato a poco a poco declinando per haversi quasi voluntariamente in molte parti abbandonata la navigatione, impiegando il denaro in fondi, et cosi è andato a scemando il numero de vaselli et la peritia de marinari, mentre qui el altrove si è andato prendendo cognitione et esperienza; che poi la pace di Francia, di questo Regno et la tregua dei Stati hanno dato l'ultimo crollo. Che nel stato presente non vi è qui o in Ollanda così piccolo bertone che non superasse ogni gran nave di Venetia combattendo, et non fosse più sicuro in ogni fortuna di mare; che all'incontro costa meno in queste parti di prima compreda un gran galeone che non fa a Venezia una nave meno che mediocre. Oppongono alla forma delle nari, che essi chiamano di taglio inoportuno per resister alli mari et a Corsari. Affermano che faci maggior fatione vinti marinari di queste parti che non fanno quaranta di quelli. Concludono che a tutti questi disordeni potrebbe la Vostra Serenità remediare con un poco di tempo. Considerando che i vaselli Venetian non hano da fare la terza parte del camino che questi fanno, che passano per mari meno infestati da corsari, che insidiano d'ordinario principalenente la Sardegna et Corsica fino al Stretto; et se vengono depredati molti vaselli delle Eccellenze Vostre nasce perchè non combattono, et quando incontrano in corsari restano loro preda, il che non può dirsi degli altri che fanno resistenza. Che volendo si potrebbe a Venetia fabricar vaselli di quella forma che mostra l'esperienza esser migliore; che tutti li vantaggii che godono al presente le altre nationi possono goder anco i Venetiani perchè sono effetti d'industria, ma che quello di Venetia quanto alla vicinanza è suo solo et proprio.)
London, 2nd December, 1611.
After writing I hear that there are letters from Denmark of the 11th of November addressed to the Danish Agent. The news is that the King maintains himself as master of the country, but owing to the heavy rains he can not undertake any enterprise. Brederanz has returned to Copenhagen from camp and brings news that the Swedish ships still keep the sea, so the King of Denmark will not recall his as he intended to do for the winter. The writer says that he supposes much news has been brought by a Danish gentleman, who, however, has not yet arrived. There is a letter for the Queen, who is at Greenwich, whither the Danish Agent will go to-day to kiss her hand. The King of Sweden has recovered the island of Ötland; this news is now certain.
Dec. 3. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 384. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
They have sent a painter from here to Leghorn to paint the Earl of Warwick's ship, and they are going to victual her.
An English ship has put into Leghorn, commanded by one of the Captains they were expecting. He declares that others are not far behind. It is not known yet whether they will fly the Duke's flag or not.
Reports of English and Turkish ships about.
Florence, 3rd December, 1611.
Dec. 4. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 385. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
Confirmation of rumour that the Duke at his interview with Lesdiguières did not meet with the satisfaction he desired. He sees that all this is meant merely to feed his hopes without committing France to any new obligations. Consequently he has sent instructions to Ruffia in England to press on with the negotiations for a marriage.
M. de Leonis, (fn. 2) who is appointed French Ambassador to your Serenity, arrived here on Tuesday evening.
An English galleon, which was lying at Villafranca, has been allowed to depart. The expedition of the Marchese d'Orfè has been put off for want of money.
Turin, 4th December, 1611.
Dec. 5. Consiglio de' Dieci, Parti Secrete. Venetian Archives. 386. To the Ambassador in Constantinople.
Paul Pindar, sent by the English Merchants with letters from his Majesty to Constantinople, having recently reached this city has had an interview with our beloved noble Giovanni Basadonna, as you will gather from the enclosed copy of the report made by Basadonna to the Chiefs of this Council, on whose authority we now send you the said copy for your sole and simple instruction, in order that on the arrival of the said Pindar at the Porte you may keep a watchful eye upon him and note his actions, not only on all the points mentioned in the said report but on all else that may seem to you worth our knowing, and you will send us a distinct and full account as you may deem expedient for our service.
Ayes 16.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 0.
The reason why the above-named Pindar was sent to Constantinople he declared to be for the removal of the English Ambassador and his despatch home as a prisoner on the charge of being, at the suggestion of Anthony Sherley, more a minister of Spain than of England. (fn. 3)
(Il Sr Paolo Pinder espedito da' Mercanti Inglesi con lettere di quella Maestà a Costantinopoli, essendo ultimamente capitato in questa Città, ha tenuto col diletto nobile nostro Giovanni Basadonna ragionamento in conformità di quanto intenderete dalla copia dell' esposizione fatta in scrittura dal detto nobile nostro davanti 'l Tribunal de' i Capi del Conso di x col quale siamo venuti in resolutione di mandarvi la sudetta copia per sola et semplice vostra instruttione, affinche gionto che sia esso Pinder alla Porta possiate star occulati et osserrar le sue attioni concernenti non sole le cose contenute nella suddetta scrittura mo ogn' altra che vi paresse degna dell' intelligenza nostra per darcene distinto et particolar' ariso secondo che guidicarete espediente per servitio nostra.
—/— 16 — 0 — 0
La causa della espeditione del Pinder sopradetto a Costantinopoli disse esser per rimover dal carico l'Ambasciatore d'Inghilterra, et mandarlo prigione per essersi a suggestione di Antonio Scierle fatto più ministro di Spagna che d'Inghilterra.)
Dec. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 387. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The people of Denmark already begin to doubt the proceedings of their King and to understand that he is aspiring to make the Kingdom elective. (fn. 4) Dr. Jonah (Carisuis), who was here some months ago, is expected shortly. The support promised by his Majesty will consist of six, not of four, thousand infantry under the command of an English and a Scotch Baron.
In Holland they have settled the way in which they will raise the money to meet their debt to this Crown. They have reduced their forces by four thousand men, and may perhaps reduce by another four, so that their army will consist of twenty-two thousand men about.
The Prince of Wirtemberg is expected daily. He is coming about the question of the confederation between the King and the Princes of the Union of Hall, and may be to say a word about the Princess for the Elector Palatine.
Sherley is in receipt of some crowns a day from the King. He has opened his negotiations with the Earl of Salisbury, first as to sending arms against the Turk; this is not listened to; second about sending ships into the Persian Gulf to open up commerce. He promises large quantities of silk, but here they find that it is not of a sufficiently good quality, which is the reason why these suggestions have not taken root in Spain, Florence and elsewhere. However, as this is a matter that affects merchants, Salisbury has concluded nothing, and the question will remain open for a while.
The value of gold has been raised ten per cent, (fn. 5) and the export of silver forbidden under severe penalties. The benefit of this enhancement will go to the holders of gold, and in the future will bring some profit to the Treasury and to the King.
To-day the four Bertons about which I wrote were to sail for Constantinople, as they will have done if the wind serves.
A ship arrived yesterday from Danzig with news that the King of Sweden is dead—news confirmed from other quarters. His body has been taken to Stockholm. There are great dissensions as to the succession; it is claimed by a son of the King and by the King of Poland's younger brother, named John, who possesses an entire Province, with the title of Duke, and has many supporters. If the news of this death be true—and I send it as I hear it—it will be of great consequence, for the King of Poland will not let the occasion slip, and the King of Denmark with an army on the frontiers and a fleet at sea could easily make great strides.
The Envoy of Brunswick has presented letters to the King from his Master; so too has the Envoy of Neuburg; the one about the City of Brunswick, the other about his disputes with Deuxponts, against whom Neuburg is exasperated on many scores, nor can he endure that Deuxponts should appear at the Electoral Diet with a vote that is prejudicial to Neuburg's interests.
The Countess of Shrewsbury is just as she was. There is no word spoken about the Earl of Northumberland, and so his case, which was already desperate, seems to be improved, thanks entirely to his Majesty's mercy.
M. de Vitry is dead, (fn. 6) many miles away from here and close to the King, who is much distressed, and desired that the body should be taken into the Church and Royal Chapel, accompanied by all the Earls, the Duke of Lennox and other great personages of the realm at Court. That took place this morning. He will lie in the Chapel Royal for three days, and will then be escorted by ships to France. On entering the church the body was met by sixty Ministers and upwards. All this is told me by the French Ambassador, who added that he had not omitted first to have mass celebrated for him and the office sung, for de Vitry died as he had always lived, a Catholic, and as a Knight of the Saint Esprit he was bound by oath and rules. I have also heard that before his death that gentleman burned several letters and papers. He was sent by the Queen of France on the pretext of helping the King at the chase, but it is thought he had some mission which he did not fulfil.
London, 9th December, 1611.
Dec. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 388. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days after the Spanish Ambassador left London for the Court a courier arrived from Spain; he had made the journey in eleven days. He pushed on and caught up the Ambassador on Thursday evening. On Friday the King caused the Ambassador, who had just arrived, to be waited on. He took him out to the chase along with the Prince and gave him a hare, and that was all. He had a very long conversation with his Majesty in a private chamber, and then set out on his return here. He arrived on Monday evening quite content, as far as one could see. On Tuesday another courier arrived express from Spain, and the day before yesterday the Ambassador had a long interview with the Earl of Salisbury and other Lords of the Council. The subject of their conversation is not known as yet, except that he asseverates that full satisfaction and damages will be given in the case of some ships and merchandize belonging to subjects of this Crown and of great value. All the same, he must have dealt with matters of greater moment. What all these couriers-express may mean we do not know as yet, but it is conjectured that they have to do with the vigorous and indignant representations made by the English Ambassador in Spain about the answer given to the demand for the Infanta's hand for the Prince of Wales in execution of the promise given. I am told that the Ambassador of Spain thought himself lucky to have had to deal with the King apart from the Council. I trust with time and diligence to arrive at the whole story. During the first days that the Ambassador of Savoy was here his suspicions were aroused by the rumours of a possible marriage between the Princess Elizabeth and the King of Spain, and he begged the Spanish Ambassador to tell him the truth, for if this were the case he would withdraw, and if his Catholic Majesty should take from the Prince of Piedmont the chances of this match, it was to be hoped that he would find the Prince another bride not less well-born. The answer was that the King was still young and might quite well take another wife, but it would never be any other than a daughter of Savoy, of that he might be sure. The words which the French Ambassadress reported to her husband as having been said by the Queen were spread abroad by many and came to the Queen's ears; she showed annoyance and declared she had never used them.
London, 9th December, 1611.
Dec. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 389. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Savoyard Ambassador after the despatch of my last has not had an audience of the King nor an interview with the Earl of Salisbury. I know that the reasons adduced by the Ambassador to persuade the King on behalf of the Princess to come to some kind of compromise about the free exercise and the preaching of the Protestant doctrine in Turin have alienated the minds of many, and are producing results quite the reverse of what was intended. The difficulties which are keeping in suspense the mind of the King and of his advisers are that the King desires the free exercise of her religion for the Princess and her Court in the widest sense, and from this he will not move, pleading both his prestige and his conscience; the objections which the Pope might raise to the validity of the match, which might give an opportunity to France or Spain to bring forward Prince Filiberto or some younger brother in their own interests; and this Kingdom being so far off the King might not be in time to remedy the mischief. As the Princess is heir to this Crown in the case of the death of her two brothers, the Prince would have to live here according to the Anglican rite, and a promise and declaration on this point is required. In his audience at Theobalds, when these objections were raised, the Ambassador suggested that two Potentates might be chosen to find out a remedy; that the Duke would obey promptly, and he urged that in this way they could act most securely and justly. His Majesty replied courteously and seemed inclined to agree in part. The Spanish Ambassador in his audience of this day week mentioned the matter to the King, who showed esteem for the Duke. The Savoyard Ambassador had audience of the Queen yesterday; he asked Lord Salisbury for an audience of the King and was told that his Majesty would be here next week and that he had better delay his return, as I believe he will do. Meantime he has sent a gentleman to his Highness; he did not employ the ordinary post, which was not going by Turin. The confidence between the Ambassadors of Savoy and Spain may perhaps indicate the confidence between their Masters.
London, 9th December, 1611.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 390. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador made his excuses to me for having delayed to communicate to me the substance of his negotiations with the King on the question of marriage. He said he had omitted to do so not on account of any diffidence but because it became those who were treating of serious matters to maintain silence and then to communicate to friends, at the right moment, what had taken place. He then told me that for some time past the Spanish by means of their Ambassadors had given the King of England to understand that if he would show a disposition to unite the Princess of England to the Prince of Spain they would give their attention to the proposal. His Majesty on this invitation had chosen as his Ambassador my informant, to come to Spain to treat this matter and immediately on his arrival he set to work, speaking to the King and to the Duke of Lerma, from whom he received most courteous replies, and hopes were held out that the match might be concluded. While, however, he was endeavouring to reach that end he was continually held in suspense. Then came orders from his Master to make a pressing representation to come to a decision and to issue from uncertainty. The Duke of Lerma gave him to understand that his Majesty was very anxious to come to terms and to unite himself with England on account of the esteem in which he held so great a sovreign, but as he was also being urged very pressingly by the Queen of France and the Pope to embrace an alliance with the French Crown he could not do less than attend to this, though there was no need to disturb the negotiations with England, for in Spain there were other sons and daughters with whom a marriage relationship might be concluded on that side as well in order the better to establish a perfect understanding, towards which the King would willingly contribute. After that reply the Ambassador took no further steps, as he seemed to discover here very little inclination to the match.
He then went on to point out how important was this union between France and Spain, and how it behoved all the great Powers to prevent its effectuation in their own interests; for it was certain that if the Spanish could secure peace for ten years they would grow formidable for the world at large, to the serious prejudice of those who inwardly bore them little good will. Furthermore, this matrimonial alliance would imply as a consequence a defensive and offensive alliance, which could not fail to be injurious to other States, as the Queen of France shows herself very much in favour of the designs of Spain. He assured me that he thought it very difficult to upset at present the concert for this union; all the same the King, his Master, would not fail to make representations to certain Princes in his confidence with a view to delaying the negotiations, and he hopes for some satisfactory result, which he would confide to me in further detail on the return of one of his suite from England. Anyhow his Sovreign had no reason to fear, for the forces of his Kingdoms were such as to enable him to defend himself against any one who attempted to injure him; all the more so as he was now endeavouring to protect himself from any conceivable disturbance by allying himself with the Protestant Princes of Germany, whose Ambassadors were already on their way to England for that purpose, besides the union and alliance which his Majesty had with the States of Flanders (sic, that is the Dutch).
I warmly thanked the Ambassador for his courteous communication, which I thought was my due as Minister of the Serene Republic, which professes so singular a regard for his Master.
The Ambassador then said he did not know what steps the Duke of Savoy was going to take on the action of his Majesty in expelling his Ambassadors from his Court; this was a step usually adopted only in case of declaration of war. The Duke was a hot tempered Prince, and readily embarked on enterprises. The King however was inclined to this alliance, which he was negotiating by means of an Ambassador.
The French alliance is generally considered settled. At first it was managed by the Florentine Ambassadors. It is now generally stated that the Princess will renounce all her claims on this Kingdom in case of the failure of the male line, as she is to marry the King of France, whose elder sister is to marry the Prince.
I deal very intimately with the English Ambassador, and where your Excellencies' interests are concerned he shows a very lively good will, declaring that he is so instructed by his Sovreign. I know that he corresponds with the English Ambassador in Venice. As he has spoken so freely with me it is necessary great secrecy should be used in Venice, lest I should lose the fruit of his confidence if anything leaked out.
Madrid, 10th December, 1611.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 391. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen proposed to Savoy first a Florentine and then a Mantuan match; the Duke showed no satisfaction; he took time for his reply, and said he must consult his son and wait the return of his Ambassador from England. Villeroy, replying to the complaints of the English Ambassador, said that he should wait until he was told that the Spanish match had actually been concluded.
Paris, 14th December, 1611.


  • 1. At Newmarket.
  • 2. ? Leon Bruslart.
  • 3. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1611–1618, p. 168: “Sir Thomas Glover comes to town and holds his head as high as though there were no charge against him.” p. 170: Sir Thom. Glover is confident of escaping blame, p. 175: Sir Thos. Glover has cleared himself of all charges. On Oct. 13, 1614, he was granted the office of Collector of Fines in Ecclesiastical causes, for life.
  • 4. Foscarini must mean “hereditary.”
  • 5.
  • 6. He was at Royston. On Nov. 16th he was ill, but Dr. Mayerne did not think it serious. On the 20th his life was despaired of. On the 22nd the King expresses his satisfaction at the arrangements made to embalm and despatch de Vitry's body. On Dec. 17th Thomas Mills reports that he attended de Vitry's corpse to Dover “fearing the clamorousness of his creditors. He never came to England with enough money for his expenses.”