Venice: April 1612, 16-31

Pages 331-342

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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April 1612, 16–31

April 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 490. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
An account of the festivities in Paris for the publication of the Franco-Spanish matches. The English Ambassador would not assist either publicly or privately at the solemnities. This has caused much comment. A short time before he had blazed up to the Queen because she had refused the intercession of his Master on behalf of some Scottish soldiers of the Guard who had been dismissed by the Captain and had sought the King's protection. Everyone considers it a monstrous thing that the King's personal body guard should have had the audacity to appeal to another Sovreign, and had it not been for the present juncture of affairs, they would have been severely punished, only they do not wish to add to the King's annoyance. After the festival the Duke de Bouillon leaves for England; he has been delayed for causes which I will explain in my next despatch.
Paris, 17 April, 1612.
April 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 491. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of the States had despatches from his Masters dated the 24th and 28th, signed by Barneveldt. In the first they inform him that they had heard Vorstius in the General Diet, and then decided that he was to be confined for a year in a small town in Holland, and in the meantime to clear himself better from the charges brought against him within three months' time. All this is sent to the Ambassador for his information, not to be communicated to the King except in circumstance that he may consider imperative.
The Danish Ambassador has received orders from his Master to return home after taking sufficient steps for the embarking of the troops, as he has already done, and he is off. It is thought that the King, seeing that he is conjured from many sides to make peace, and knowing that the confederate Princes were about to send an Embassay with that intention, has concluded that his best course is to recall his Ambassador.
I have news from Heidelberg that the Margrave of Anspach and the Prince of Anhault are expected there; that the Duke of Wirtemberg and the Margrave of Baden have proposed an accommodation between Neuburg and Deuxponts with a view to preventing their disagreement from hampering the action of the Protestant Princes during the interregnum. The Palatine is in treaty to settle with the Duke of Saxony as regards the Imperial Chamber of Spyers, which is equally under the protection of both during the Vicariate. The Elector of Saxony has convoked his States at Torgau. The Imperial Cities will hold their Assembly immediately after the Assembly of Frankfort. The Elector of Brandenburg is resolved to come to an accord with Neuburg over all that concerns Juliers; he has made up his mind to treat directly without the intervention of any one. My last letters from the Hague announce the departure of the English Ambassador on the 29th for Düsseldorf, the Ambassadors of the States are going too, and a Diet will immediately be convened at Wesel, a town of Cleves on the German confines, where they will meet Envoys from the Federated Princes. They will stipulate the confederation under the auspices of the King of England, including Denmark and the States. His Majesty desires that the treaty should admit of the offensive; the larger part of the Princes agree, and so will some few who at present seem doubtful. This union will be a great check on the House of Austria, and is very distasteful to the Spanish above all others. On the 30th Prince Maurice left for the General Assembly of the State of Guelders, and to be present at the baptism of the son of Ernest of Nassau at Arnheim, where there will be present Ambassadors from Denmark and Germany and General Cecil in the name of the Prince of Wales. The Count of Schomberg, the Ambassador of the Protestant Princes in Holland, left for Brussels. He did not receive the reply he hoped for from the Archduke. It is confirmed from various quarters of Germany that the Archduke Albert continues his pretensions in the Imperial Election, and that King Mathias' councillors are afraid of him in spite of the Archduke's own declarations and the opposition of Spain. Ambassadors expected in England from the Palatine, the Count of Hanau (Anò), and from the Confederated Princes and Cities. The former will demand the hand of the Princess for the Elector, the latter will report all the resolutions taken at the Diet. There is news that Bouillon has reached Calais; the royal carriages have been sent to meet him, and in a few days he will be here. If the Count of Hanau is still here they will jointly deal with the marriage question; they are brothers-in-law and equally interested in the Palatine, who is born of a sister of their wives. Refuges, the French Ambassador in Holland, has announced that he will speedily return; but it is well known that he is in relations with de Bouillon, and will not leave until he sees how far de Bouillon's mission has given satisfaction to the King.
The Earl of Salisbury continues ill, and the King, contrary to his wont, is occupied with affairs of State. The Franco-Spanish matches are distasteful to this Crown, to the United Provinces and to the German Federates, and the result is that they are drawing closer together in their Union, with such energy and spirit that it will not serve merely for defence but for offence as well. If peace with Sweden is effected as all Protestants endeavour, the King, if he desires it, will certainly be enrolled among the Confederates.
London, 19th April, 1612.
April 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 492. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament which was to have met at the end of next month, will not be summoned till September or a little sooner, owing to the indisposition of the Earl, without whom the King will decide nothing of moment, and the Resident and Chioli, the Florentine Secretary, have kissed the King's hand. They then saw the Earl of Salisbury and after that they sent despatches to the Grand Duke. As far as I have been able to discover they spoke in general terms, declaring that if nobility of blood, beauty of person, perfection of conduct and vast wealth are qualities sufficient to justify the Prince's marriage, then all of them are to be found in abundance in the second sister of the Grand Duke. They then hinted that the case of the Duke of Savoy and of some others ought to induce the Grand Duke to walk with caution, but if the proposal found favour with his Majesty, his Highness would instantly send an Ambassador, and as to dower the Grand Duke could not find a better investment for some part of that vast sum which he has laid by. For answer they had civil words, and they make large bids for the success of their mission, as I have learned from persons whom they considered useful. These Secretaries have visited me, and the Resident did not conceal from me that he was to leave for Florence about this business and that he hoped to return in a different capacity, in fact he concealed no point in his management of the affair. He was to have left yesterday, Wednesday, at four in the afternoon and to take the post, but despatches arrived from the Grand Duke which caused him to delay, nor will he leave till after to-morrow.
The Prince's Chamberlain, who three days ago honoured this house, told me that that day the Prince had sent out the three ships that were to make sure of the short route to the East Indies; two of them, when they have pushed far enough to be certain of the route, will continue their voyage, and will send back the third, which is expected here in five months' time.
The Chamberlain enlarged on the great hopes that are formed here. He added that three days ago they had received in letters from Spain the assurance that some years ago a ship of Seville discovered the same route, but that the late King Philip, seeing that it was long and also damaging to his interests, kept it concealed; he concluded by saying that if it succeeds, of which there can be no doubt, it would deal a mortal blow to the Spanish. And in sooth of that there is no doubt. The greatness of the gain induces all these merchants to join the Company which will trade in those parts only; for China, Japan, Great Tartary, the larger Java and many other kingdoms and islands are very rich in gold and silver and all manner of spices, and there the cloths and other merchandize of this kingdom will be in high esteem.
In Holland they have no news as yet that their Ambassador has reached Constantinople, though he is near. I have already informed your Excellencies that the mission of this Ambassador was based on a letter from Halil Pasha addressed to Count Maurice and the States; I now enclose this letter in copy and translated, just as it was sent me by the person who usually supplies me with most of the information I send you. The object of this Embassy must be well known to my correspondent, nor will I ever keep back aught that may be of moment to your Serenity. It is to be feared that as the Dutch have begun to trade in almost all parts of the Mediterranean they will absorb all the traffic, as they are content with very moderate gains, their ships are light and do not cost half what English ships cost; owing to their lightness and the skill of their crews, they can sail with half the number of hands, and so though they last a little shorter time still they can offer freights at half the price of an English ship—I do not mention those of any other part, as owing to an infinity of imperfections there can be no sort of comparison, as I have already pointed out and will not now uselessly repeat. (fn. 1) (Si può temere che havendo gia li detti Stati cominciato a negotiare in quasi tutti liluochi del Mediterraneo, siano per tirare tutto il negotio a se, perchè si contentano di pochissimo guadagno, loro vaselli sono leggieri, et non costano la metà che questi d'Inghilterra, per l'agilità loro et perfectione de marinari navigano anco con la metà della gente, onde seben sono di alquanto minor durata passono per questi rispetti nollegiare per la metà meno di questi, che di quelli d'altre parti non parlo perchè non possono compararsi per infinite imperfectioni loro, come ho scritto altre volte, et taccio per non replicare inutilmente lostesso.)
The Ragusan merchants have recently despatched two ships with cargoes of kerseys, lead and other goods. They are to go straight to Ragusa and there discharge, going on afterwards with a small remnant to Venice, while the return cargo is being got ready at Ragusa. On kerseys the usual profit is eighteen per cent., including insurance and every other charge, and so I do not understand why Venetian trade with this kingdom which used to be so flourishing and has been so profitable should now be abandoned and quite extinct; out of the many Venetian houses that there used to be in this City not one exists. Those ships that enter the Adriatic touch at the leeward ports which suit their cargo, even those nearest to Venice, they put in if it suits or stand off if it suits, and so the public as well as the private individual is deprived of that commodity which used to be the speciality of your Serenity and your Excellencies. If the new passage to the East Indies be verified as is hoped, it is certain that the English trade with the Mediterranean will be for the most part abandoned, and so if it be not entirely absorbed by the Dutch, it is to be hoped that there will be the Venetian ships to take a part in it to the advantage of the Venetian market. (Nelle carisee il guadagno suol 'esser d'ordinario intorno 18 per cento, comprese sicurtà ed ogn' altra spesa, onde non so vedere perchè il comercio di Venetia con questo Regno, che soleva esser cosi florido, et è state cosi utile, hora resti abbandonato el del tutto estinto; non vi essendo alcuna casa de' Venetiani di tante che vi solevano esser in questa Città. Quelli che passano in Golfo toccano secondo le merci che portano quei porti sottovento che glitorna meglio anco i più contigui a Venetia, ove passano quando gli torna bene astengono quando gli è commodo, cosi il publico come il particolare resta privo di quell' utile che soleva esser proprio della Serenità Vostra et delle Signorie Vostre Eccellentissime; se il nuovo passaggio nell' Indie orientali accerterà come si spera, è certo che il comercio d' Inglesi con il Mediterranco resterà in gran parte abbandonato, onde quando da fiaminghi non resti inticramente intrapreso si potrà sperare ne siano le navi et altri vaselli Venetiani a parte con augmento et utile di quella Piazza.)
The pirates, who at present with thirty ships are infesting the ocean sea-board of Spain and the Straits of Gibraltar, have refused to accept the pardon offered them by the King. They say that in the present state of peace they could not maintain themselves in England; and so they continue to increase in strength and the damage they were doing is great, especially on that route.
The Spanish Ambassador continues in disfavour, and in very slight favour the Ambassador of France. I visited the Spanish Ambassador, who has not left his house for more than a month and who is far from well. He said that to be ill in an ill place is a double ill. He continued in a vehement strain, displaying a discontent which he could not hide, and all his household adopt a like tone. The mass, both of nobles and people, desire war; nor is there any rank of persons which conceals the satisfaction it would feel if leave were given for reprisals on Spain as in the time of the late Queen. More than one person of importance has remarked to me that this Kingdom, thanks to its position, is rich and flourishing in time of war; this they prove by citing examples out of the past, and they declare that things cannot go on as they are, for in a few years the country will be impoverished. These rumours, which are very open, reach the ears of the Spanish Ambassador, who reports them again and again to the King, accompanied by vigorous despatches which give the Council of Spain much to consider.
Every letter I receive from Holland confirms the view that the United Provinces do not desire peace, nay, there are many who are dissatisfied with the truce, and very likely if they received encouragement from some quarter they would make themselves heard; for they are paying the maintenance of twenty-two thousand foot besides the cavalry and the navy, and therefore with a very small increase in their forces they could carry on the war, which Maurice above all others earnestly desires. All this which is quite well known to his Catholic Majesty causes him to desire to convert the truce into a peace, and to remove or at least diminish the ill-humour of the King of England. As far as the States are concerned, as yet every effort has failed and will fail unless he makes up his mind to yield absolutely and entirely. As regards the King of England I don't see what he can propose that would be credited or would give satisfaction.
London, 19th April, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 493. Halil Pasha to Count Maurice and the States of Holland.
Has received letters from Count Maurice suggesting sending representatives of the Dutch to the Porte.
Ambassador came overland, vià Poland.
Halil promises to support the liberation of slaves in Barbary.
March 20. (fn. 2) Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 494. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marshal de Bouillon is getting ready for his journey to England, consultations as to his instructions take place every day. The English Ambassador in an audience of the Queen said that as conditions had now changed it would be well to make some declaration on the subject of the last confederation stipulated between these two Crowns, and on their joint obligation for the observance of the Flemish truce. In this he used the identical phrases employed by D'Aerssens in order to show that they came from a common source and a community of ideas. He added that the Queen's last act gave the friends of France a just reason for assuring themselves of her attitude. The Queen replied that it was for this precisely that she was sending the Due de Bouillon to England with such instructions as would pacify the King, for whom she professed the highest regard. It is hoped that if de Bouillon can pacify the King, the other Princes who depend on him will keep quiet. The Ambassador told me that Villeroy did all he could to induce him to believe that there was no other bond between France and Spain save that of relationship; all the same he and others hold a different opinion, namely, that there is at least a defensive alliance which includes the Pope and the Grand Duke. The Ambassador of the States fears still worse, and that all Spanish designs are directed against the Dutch. M. de Refuges has written to Villeroy complaining bitterly that he was not informed of the conclusion of the matches, consequently at the very moment that they were being published in France, he, acting on his original instructions, was affirming that they would never take place. Villeroy is anxious at seeing that these matches which were intended to secure quiet are producing quite opposite results, and he wishes to extirpate these suspicions before they take deeper root. Therefore he urges the departure of de Bouillon, whom the Queen is keeping back as she hopes by his means to induce the Princes of the blood to assist at the wedding festivals.
Paris, 20th March, 1612.
March. 20. (fn. 3) Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 495. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Richer's book has finally been censured and condemned by a congregation of Bishops with the assistance of Cardinal du Perron. There was some difficulty about the form of the censure, but that was overcome. Parliament and the Sorbonne protest, but in vain.
Paris, 20th March, 1612.
April 21. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy, Venetian Archives. 496. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
His Highness gave me some news about the festivities in Paris, which had been brought to him by Vibò, Secretary to M. de Jacob.
All the Ambassadors were invited, and to each his place was assigned. Spain on the King's left, very close; the Nuncio on the King's right, but further off. Next to Spain England, and next to England the Flemish Ambassador, then the Dutch Ambassador. On the opposite side the Venetian Ambassador came next to the Nuncio, and then the Savoyard. The Florentine was not given a place along with the other Envoys so as to avoid a struggle about precedence, but he was assigned a place close to the King where he stood on foot. The English Ambassador would not consent to being placed after Spain. He declared that it was perfectly clear and could be demonstrated by documents, that the Kingdom of England had always taken precedence of the Kings of Castile and also of his Catholic Majesty; still less, he declared, could he yield precedence to the Nuncio, who, representing the Pope, was not recognised by England except as Bishop of Rome and Duke of the Romagna. The Queen eventually settled that each should go where he would.
Turin, 21st April, 1612.
April 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 497. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After the death of the Emperor and while the King of Denmark, governed by the ideas I have explained, was preparing to make peace with Sweden, there came letters from the King of Sweden saying that if the King of Denmark would restore Kalmar and pay an indemnity for the damage inflicted he would find the road open to a sincere and lasting friendship. This letter greatly incensed the King of Denmark, who sent the bearer back without a reply. The King of Sweden meanwhile pushed forward towards Denmark with his entire force of twelve thousand foot and two thousand four hundred horse and, on the return of his messenger, taking silence for a sign of hostility, he ordered Duke John, his brother-in-law, to invade Norway with half the army, while he with the remainder entered the Province of Blenkenside, which belongs to Denmark, where he inflicted great damage. The news was brought at once to Copenhagen, whence the King instantly despatched the Lord of Ransò with three thousand men and six hundred horse against the King of Sweden, and with a like force he himself set out to meet Duke John. The Lord of Ransò by forced marches approached the enemy and was already in advance with the cavalry when he learned from some prisoners whom he had captured that the King of Sweden was encamped on the river Are, in a neighbouring village and had no suspicion of the enemy's approach. The Lord of Ransò held a council there and then on horseback; some advised waiting for the infantry and then advancing cautiously; but he, grasping the advantage it would give to attack the enemy unarmed and in disorder, and considering that the infantry could not be long in coming up as it was only a mile behind, pushed forward and at three in the afternoon, dividing his force into three squadrons, he first of all slew the sentinels and the few troops on guard and attacked the main body, unarmed and in confusion, and wrought a great slaughter. The King of Sweden was in a church, dicing with his generals of foot and horse, when the news was brought him that the Danes were at hand, and soon after, that blood had begun to flow; he had no time to arm but sprang to horse and between two of his generals he rushed back to restore such order as he could; he repulsed the Lord of Ransò who had already penetrated to the royal tents, and so the Swedes gradually recovered their formation; but then the Danish infantry fully armed, in perfect order and quite fresh, arrived on the scene and the Swedes could not hold out for long; nay, having lost all hope and vigour they took to flight, leaving one thousand six hundred dead and many prisoners, among whom the general of the foot and the general of the horse. The larger part took to the river which was frozen over, but the ice, unable to bear such a weight of men and horses, broke in several places so that almost everyone went in. The King's horse, with pistols and sword—recognized by the royal arms engraved on them—were found in the river. The most sinister conjectures as to the King's fate are in circulation; he is supposed to be drowned, though nothing certain is known. Some say he fell in the battle, others think he saved himself by swimming, but that is not likely in the midst of so many massive lumps of ice with which the river was covered. The royal tents and all their contents along with nineteen standards of infantry and some of cavalry remained in the hands of the Lord Ransò. (fn. 4) News of this victory was sent to the King of Denmark, who had pushed on to a fortress called Golberi, where he had secret intelligences, which, however, failed him. He then pressed on with the cavalry to Vanburgh. When Duke John heard this, though at first he had shown fear in spite of his superior numbers, he now advanced with foot, horse and artillery, and barred the passage for the King, who was advised by his staff to retire and not to risk himself at such a disadvantage, as he seemed disposed to do. At this juncture Duke John came up and boldly surrounded the Danish horse who, after a brief resistance, took to flight, and only a few more than a hundred escaped aided by the fog and the approach of night. The King of Denmark, who, in the advance, was at the head of his troops, was in the rear during the retreat, and was with difficulty saved. He was followed for a long way by three men; one of them had a better horse than the King's, and came close up, whereupon, as the only remedy, he took a little pistol he had and fired, unseating his pursuer, either dead or wounded; the other two pulled up seeing that the King on his very swift charger kept drawing further and further away. The King also ran a grave risk in leaping a hedge where his horse slipped and came down on his knees, but at last all dangers were overcome, and the King came back to his own people in a place of safety.
On Friday, the 20th, a Scottish gentleman, belonging to the King's Privy Chamber, was here, and he brought all the above particulars, and the King of Sweden's letter to the King of Denmark is also here in the King's hands. On Monday one of the Danish Royal guard was here with letters to the Danish Ambassador, but they did not come in time, as the Ambassador had already left with six ships, while ten others are ready on the coasts, and on these are embarked the larger part of the troops; the rest are in process of embarcation and of payment by the King of Denmark's Agent. He himself gave me this information, which has been confirmed by a person in the Queen's confidence.
London, 27th April, 1612.
April 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 498. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Three days ago the King had letters from his Ambassador in Paris. As I desired to know their contents, the day before yesterday I paid a visit to a leading personage, whom I found but just come back from Court and with some letters in his hand which he had read to the King. He assured me that the news from France is that after the Duke of Rohan returned in discontent to the country he has had the opportunity to elect another Mayor of Justice. The Queen had to employ threats and even moved four companies of infantry and cannon to besiege Rohan. Extensive movement among the Protestant party. Bouillon is employed by the Queen to procure the return of Soissons and Condé, both of whom refused to be present at the rejoicings for the Franco-Spanish marriages, nor would they sign the contracts. The fétes were most splendid and costly; all those who are seeking pensions or governorships placed themselves at her Majesty's service; but generally in Paris and elsewhere these marriages do not meet with approval. The French Ambassador who came to visit me on Monday told me that the English Ambassador in France writes very long despatches, and complains that their contents are known in London; he is very suspicious about the matches with Spain. The Spanish Ambassador who came to see me on Tuesday, dwelt on the importance of some of the events that are taking place in France. On the arrival of part of de Bouillon's suite at Calais with his carriages, an agent of Lewkenor sent to warn him and to say that the Marshal was expected in a few hours; accordingly Lewkenor, whom it suits to be out for a long time, announced that de Bouillon himself was at Calais, and caused the ships to be sent there while he himself went down to Dover with the royal carriages. De Bouillon will be lodged and fed everywhere, and in London they are preparing the Palace of the Great Chamberlain. De Bouillon is anxiously awaited in order to see what his orders are. The Count of Hanau (Anò), uncle of the Count Palatine, who, as I informed you, was sent here, has arrived along with de Plessen. The King caused them to be met by Lord de Walden (Gualden). They are lodged and fed in the house that was retained for the Ambassador of Savoy.
I have several letters from the Hague. The business of the French Ambassador was not settled at the General Assembly. It is referred to the next meeting of the States. Count Maurice must be back at the Hague. The Archduke Albert goes on massing troops in a manner that does not suit one who endeavours to maintain the truce. On the Dutch side they are doing the same. The States have issued a proclamation affecting priests and friars who enter Holland; if it is copied and translated in time I will send it.
The Margrave of Anspach was at Heidelberg, where he may have negotiations affecting the Imperial election. As to Archduke Albert although the Spanish have promised that he shall succeed Mathias yet he will not keep quiet and aspires to election as King of the Romans, a point which the Spaniards do not wish to concede and cannot deal with just now. The Protestants are growing very strong. The Elector of Cologne will certainly not have a vote, and so if Saxony joins with the others of his creed this would be a heavy blow to the Austrian party. It is known that the Pope has written to the Duke of Bavaria exhorting him to keep united with the house of Austria at the election. Brandenburg is in secret treaty with Neuburg for an accommodation, and this will certainly be soon effected. Spain offers Saxony every help in the affair of Cleves; they assure him that the forces in Flanders and the help Mathias can give are at his disposition. The Hungarians are insisting on complete liberty of conscience; this and the threat of Turkish arms keep Mathias always in anxiety and compel him to look to himself.
London, 27th April, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 499. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary Chioli brings letters from the Grand Duke and the Dowager Grand Duchess which he has presented to the King, the Queen, and the Earl of Salisbury, being introduced by Secretary Lotti. The letters to the Prince contain only large offers and expressions calculated to win his benevolence, and they will serve as credentials for both Secretaries. The letters to the Queen contain a little more; in them mention is made of some distant connection between the King of Denmark and the House of Lorraine, to which the Dowager Grand Duchess belongs, and also with the House of Austria, to which the reigning Grand Duchess belongs, and reference is made to other ladies married into the House of Medici; and thus the topic of matrimony is brought to the fore. The letters to the King are still more diffuse; they explicitly state in terms of the greatest reverence the desire to give the second sister of the Grand Duke as wife to the Prince of Wales, along with a very large dower, and for further details refer to the statements of the two Secretaries. What was in Lord Salisbury's letters I do not know for certain and must not conjecture; it is certain that the contents are kept a profound secret by Lord Salisbury himself. The Secretaries have made rich presents of jewels, to some favourites of the Prince; also to the Queen's ladies, and have promised to one who is powerful in the Council and with the King, a very large sum of money if the match comes off. Both Chioli and Lotti spoke to the King and to Lord Salisbury in the terms I reported this day week. Their answer was largely favourable, and the King promised to reply to the essential point in the Grand Duke's letter. Lotti was, accordingly, to have left on Holy Thursday by the post; but while waiting for the King's answer to the Grand Duke, some evil offices were made to his Majesty, who received an anonymous letter telling him that one of his Council, who was named, intended to sell the Prince. This has brought about delay, confusion, and irritation. The King showed the letter to the Councillor, declaring that he held it for a malicious calumny and strove to console him. At length Lotti received the King's letter and left the day before yesterday by post for Florence. The Grand Duke's letters which Lotti received on Holy Tuesday came very opportunely and contributed to the successful issue of the royal letter. There is some hope that an ambassador may be sent who, under some excuse of visiting other places, should reach Florence. I know that this has been urged on the King by pointing out that the Grand Duke has three times sent embassies to this Court and that they have never been returned, although Tuscany is in no way inferior to Savoy, where Sir Henry Wotton at present is. If the mission is ever sent two or three months at least must elapse. The Queen hates this match; she cannot endure to hear it spoken of and does all she can to alienate the mind of the Prince, who is in fact opposed to it, nor does he conceal it but says so openly to those who have his confidence. The considerations that weigh with the King and Council are the scarcity of fit matches and the great dower that is offered; if it were not for that they would not hear it mentioned for a moment.
Last week the new order of Baronets, who are two hundred in number but who will be filled up to their complement, complained to the King that the sons of Barons take precedence. Three whole days were consumed in the endeavour to satisfy them, as the point is important, and naturally so; for the future all the sons of Baronets are to be considered knights, both now and in the future; and every Baronet will bear on his shield a bloody heart which is one of the charges in the arms of that Province in Ireland for the restoration of which each of them has paid four thousand crowns. Barons' sons keeps their precedence. (La settimana passata il novo ordine di Cavalieri detti Baronetti; che sono ducento è saranno poi empito il numero, si son doluti al Rè perchè vogli la Maestà che li figlioli di Baroni li precedino; si son consumati tre giorni intieri in trovar modo di darle sodisfattione, premendo ciò molto, et con ragione; così nell' avrenire tutti i figlioli de Baronetti s'intenderanno Cavalieri, tanto al presente quanto in tutte la posterità, et ogni Baronetto porterà nell' armi un cor vermiglio ch'è parte dell'arme di quella Provincia in Irlanda per ristorar la quale hanno cadauno di essi pagato m/4 Sdt, et ai figlioli de Baroni resta la precedenza.)
London, 27th April, 1612.
April 28. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 500. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
His Highness will not take any steps till the arrival of Wotton, who can not be long now in coming, as we had news of him in Paris many days ago, where the twelve “light ambling geldings” (fn. 5) and the jewelled sword, worth thirty thousand crowns, which the King is sending as a present, have already arrived.
Turin, 28th April, 1612.


  • 1. On this point see Corbett, op. cit. Vol. 1.
  • 2. That is the date given, but the despatches come in the month of April.
  • 3. This is the battle of Wildsjö.
  • 4. Chinee See Nichols, Progresses of James I., Vol. II., p. 438.
  • 5. See Cal. S.P. Dom., Ap. 23. “The Count of Hainault here, on a marriage treaty between the Princess and the Count Palatine,” Bishop King to Carleton. But the person called “Anò” is the Count of Hanau. See Winwood, Mem. III. 357, Winwood to Trumbull. “The Count of Hannaw is now on the way towards England, assisted with two Councillors of the Palatinate, de Plessen and Dauthenes.”