Venice: August 1612

Pages 401-414

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 12, 1610-1613. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1905.

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August 1612

Aug. 2. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 594. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish Ambassadors went on Friday to Theobalds, which they reached late in the evening. On the following morning the Ambassador Extraordinary went hunting with the King, and on Sunday they both dined with him. They were lodged outside the Palace in a very modest house, nor had they other visits from his Majesty. The dinner was in no way sumptuous, in fact it was quite ordinary, consisting of the game the King had taken, namely, a couple of roe-deer. He made them no presents nor showed them any favour. The Lieger did not go to the chase, as he said he was suddenly attacked by a pain in the side; and on Sunday, after dinner, it was the Ambassador Extraordinary alone who had audience, and that a very short one. Perhaps because, as the Ambassador said, the King was not in a good humour, (fn. 1) or having heard from another quarter that proposals would not be acceptable, he did not broach any business, but deferred it to a more favourable occasion. He simply repeated what he had already said about the reciprocal matches and the regard of his Master for this Kingdom. With that, he said he had finished his task; but he begged his Majesty to allow him to stay on some weeks, during which time he would send to Spain a courier who on his return might bring him some commission to introduce other business. In the meantime the great heats will have passed and he will be able to return home more conveniently. The King was amazed at this unusual mode of talking, so far removed from anything he has expected. He hardly returned an answer, only saying a few cold words, and so the Ambassador took his leave and that same evening came back to London along with the Lieger. After they had left, his Majesty consulted with several Lords of the Council. He showed suspicion and little satisfaction at the Ambassador's desire to stay on here without any need after he had, as he himself said, discharged his duty. As to the views of the Ambassador's real motives, a person deep in the King's intimacy caused me to be asked whether I had penetrated the meaning. He went on to say that he suspected the Ambassador was stopping on for no good purpose. It is known that he has, as yet, sent two messengers to Spain. It is certain he has spent, so far, fifty-thousand ducats, most of it in new gold pieces coined in Flanders and called “Alberts.” Information from the Ambassador who was with the Archduke increases this suspicion of the Spaniard's intentions. This personage after telling me this asked me my opinion.
The King began his Progress on Monday. The Council stays on here, as does the Prince and the Queen. Their action will govern mine, as I must keep as near the source of negotiations as possible.
On Monday both Ambassadors of Spain came to visit me after dinner. They stayed nearly an hour in friendly talk. I gathered nothing except that the Ambassador Extraordinary was going to wait here some time longer, as he expected some gentlemen from Flanders and the ordinary and express posts from Spain. After they left me they spent the rest of the afternoon with the Flemish Ambassador. On Monday morning the French Ambassador set out to follow the King and joined his Majesty that evening at a place called St. Albans, twenty-four miles off. He was back again the day before yesterday. I saw him the same day by chance, but he told me nothing of importance. I am assured that the fact that Spinola, Calderon and Zuñiga, stayed some days in Paris has aroused the King's suspicions, and he asked point blank what they had talked about. The French Ambassador passed the question on to Villeroy, who replied that the Spanish had some business in Germany and had talked about that and the matches. I understand that the Ambassador Extraordinary of Spain has four heads to treat of, three refer to the terms of the peace which are not observed, and the fourth is to suggest a match between his Catholic Majesty and the Princess if he sees that there is any inclination towards it; this he has not found and so he deems it inexpedient to touch on any of the other subjects, two of which refer to Virginia, where the English are very active, and the other to the north-west passage, which would be so profitable to this Crown and on which the Prince of Wales lays such stress. The Ambassador has reported all to his Master and waits fresh orders. Many, however, suspect that he intends to scatter pensions, and to endeavour to win over some personages to the Spanish interests.
London, 2nd August, 1612.
Aug. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 595. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is devoting his mind to the pacification of the Kings of Sweden and Denmark. Yesterday, one of the gentlemen sent for that purpose came back here and went straight on to his Majesty. It is said that he brings very good hopes of peace, and it is thought certain that it will be concluded. They will then immediately proceed to draw all the Princes of the Reformed Faith into a Union, and I am told some others may be included. The King is very warm about standing well with the United Provinces, and will drop anything which may modify his relations with them. This is the tenour of the instructions given to his Ambassador. The Dutch Ambassador is leaving after a secret conversation with the King, and he is expected back in six weeks. The suspicion of Spanish action and the French matches incense the King, who is by nature quiet, though easily impressed. Here everybody considers Spanish conduct suspicious, and desires the freedom they enjoyed under Queen Elizabeth. They will make no further indemnity for the carvel that was plundered, but will shelter themselves behind the plea that when the sugar was taken other goods were given in exchange. This is a line they may very easily take in the case of other ships, and it is not unlikely that in this way the blood may grow hot.
The Marchese Spinola and Don Rodrigo Calderon met at Cologne with Don Baldassare de Zuñiga and had a long conference. Their business is thought to refer to Don Pedro de Zuñiga, who is here. It is known that they also discussed the Election of the King of the Romans, and then Don Baldassare returned to his post of Ambassador at the Imperial Court, while Spinola and Calderon went to Brussels, where they have arrived. They at once saw the Archduke, who is very anxious to secure his own Election; that will take place next year, and meantime it will be made clear whether the Empress is enceinte or not.
I have endeavoured to find out whether the proposed marriage between the Prince and the second sister of the Grand Duke is going ahead, and I have discovered that Ciorli in spite of the negotiations, and in spite of his gifts, finds coldness towards the scheme, especially since Lord Salisbury's death, and so Lotti when he returns will find the Grand Duke's prospects worse than when he departed. Sir Henry Wotton is expected hourly. It is known that he has embarked at Flushing. He came through Germany and stayed at Cologne. On his arrival we shall learn the upshot of his negotiations in Savoy. The Agent of the Duke of Savoy (Pergamo) is waiting on here without negotiating.
I have received your Serenity's letters of the 6th of last month, approving of my having lodged the second son of the Duke of Modena. I enclose a letter from him and my answer, both merely letters of politeness.
London, 2nd August, 1612.
Enclosed in preceding dispatch 596. Letter from Antonio Foscarini to the Prince of Modena.
London, 5th July, 1612.
597. Letter from Luigi d'Este to Antonio Foscarini.
Dover, 28th June, 1612.
Aug. 3. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 598. To the Ambassador in France.
The Grisons have come to the decision to denounce their treaty with us on its expiry at the end of ten years. You are to thank any agent of the Evangelical Cities that may come to Paris.
Ayes 66. Second vote Ayes 54.
Noes 15. Noes 9.
Neutrals 70. Neutrals 86.
Not carried.
Aug. 3. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 599. To the Presidents of the Three Leagues.
Mollinari has conveyed to us your Lordship's letters, informing us of your recent decision, of which we take note.
Ayes 143.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 3.
Aug. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 600. Tommaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Giovanni de' Medici ill in bed with fever caused by erysipelas in a leg. He leaves the house only incognito and to negotiate about the English match. This is drawing to a conclusion, as the Cardinal of St. Cecilia is giving way. They are anxiously waiting the news which will be brought back by Lotti, who has been sent again to England.
Rome, 4th August, 1612.
Aug. 4. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 601. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Mons. Vulpio had instructions and orders from his Holiness to remain here till there was news of Lotti's arrival in London; but, as an express has arrived from Ciorli the Secretary in England, with letters giving an account of the excellent disposition of the King, and of the large presents Ciorli is making in order to bring about the match, and as the Grand Duke has immediately informed his ambassador in Rome and Don Giovanni de' Medici so that they might lay the whole situation before his Holiness, the Pope has now sent orders to Mons. Vulpio to take his leave after placing the negotiations in the best possible position. Vulpio accordingly took his leave two days ago, and is now making farewell visits to the Ministers.
Florence, 4th August, 1612.
Aug. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 602. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador, after reporting the upshot of the affair of the Scottish Guard, has received other orders on the matter. The French Ambassador in England writes that he is in hopes of satisfying the King. He reports that the Spanish Ambassador Extraordinary was not well received, and that the King will end by being a better friend to France than to Spain. This has given fresh grounds for talking of the marriage of the second Princess of France to the Prince, in spite of the belief that the negotiations with Florence are far advanced.
Paris, 7th August, 1612.
Aug. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 603. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
As I gather that your Excellencies are inclined to gratify the second son of Modena by granting him a pension, and as you charge me to write to you on the subject, I must tell you that I have urged him to make his father promise to allow you to raise troops for the protection of your State. I enclose his letter which you can forward.
London, 8th August, 1612.
[Italian, deciphered.]
Aug. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 604. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear from various quarters that the points of Zuñiga's mission were four. To urge the King to withdraw the Virginia colony, as it is a contravention of the clauses of the Peace; to desist from manning ships for the north-west passage, in accordance with his royal word; as there is a clause by which the King is obliged, within a given period now long passed, to do what “accords with his honour” as regards the places which he holds in the United Provinces, it will be necessary to come to some resolution; to propose a marriage between his Catholic Majesty and the Princess. The Spanish are anxious at seeing the English establishing themselves more and more in Virginia, not because they value that country, in which there is no great abundance, nor mines of gold or of silver, nor any great wealth, but because if the English stay there with their ships and sail those seas they can easily stop and plunder the flotta. The north-west passage also gives them the greatest anxiety, for it would be a fatal blow, they would lose the trade of those parts which would be transferred here. On the subject of the places which the King holds in Holland the request is intended, they suspect, to cause bad blood between the Dutch and the English. The marriage proposals are intended to flatter the King, to please the Catholics, and further, if the King of Spain is to marry, he could find no better match, as the Princess is eligible for the succession to these realms if her two brothers died childless; besides which she is very beautiful, of the noblest blood, gentle manners, speaking several languages and of singular goodness. Whether these really are the four points of his instructions I cannot possibly say, for as yet he has not introduced them, but as common report has it so I bring them to the notice of your Excellencies.
The Ambassador stays on here and is very unpopular. A few days ago a more than ordinary unpleasantness took place at his residence and roused the neighbourhood. Had it not been for the intervention of the constable and officers, worse would have happened. (fn. 2)
Three days ago Sir Henry Wotton was here, on his return from his Embassy in Savoy. To-morrow he will be with the King. He declined visits till he had seen the King. I hear he brings particulars about the meeting between Spinola, Calderon and Zuñiga at Cologne; and at Düsseldorf he met Ernest, brother of Brandenburg. The Emperor has prepared an order forbidding the works at Mühlheim, but showed some hesitation about publishing it; he asked who would enforce it if it were disobeyed. The King of Spain, through Don Baldassare de Zuñiga, is in treaty for the purchase of the Saxony claim to Cleves and Juliers, and the affair may already be concluded. There are rumours of greater affairs. The Marchese Spinola is putting together as many troops as he can.
Deputies of the Hanseatic Towns are at the Hague; their Mission is to form an alliance with the Dutch.
Three days ago an Ambassador (fn. 3) from the Palatine was here, and after resting two hours only, he went on to join the King. Probably he comes about the affair of Cleves and the Imperial injunction to stop the works at Mühlheim, which may easily kindle a great fire in the North, as the House of Austria is taking one side and all the Confederates the other. The Dutch Ambassadors have left. Yesterday they were at Gravesend, detained by head winds. Viscount Lisle, (fn. 4) Governor of Flushing, has gone to his command on express orders of the King. It seems that the Protestant Princes are suspicious of the Emperor; we shall know in a few days whether they lean to Spain or to the Imperial Princes. Don Juan de Silva, Viceroy of the Philippines, when restoring the King of Ternate, seized some Dutch vessels. This may lead to a breach and will certainly cause ill feeling. Two great ships have arrived from the Indies at Amsterdam; their cargo is worth upwards of a million and a half of gold. Prince Maurice, following Spinola, has mustered all his troops. The rumours of war are great. King Sidan of Morocco, who has made himself master of all that country, has received a check from Muley Abdullah, and has been forced to retire. The Dutch have important agreements with King Sidan, which must now, for the present, vanish. The French Ambassador has had a long audience of the King on the subject of Flanders and Holland. He has informed his Majesty that the Queen has restored the Scottish Guard and dismissed Nerestan, who refused to serve on those conditions; and all to please his Majesty. The French Ambassador has not visited the Spanish Ambassador as yet; and I hear that the Duke of Mayenne on entering Spain found little satisfaction. His people came to blows with the people of a certain town and the Spanish got the worst of it. For all the French Ambassador can do, he has not succeeded in changing the King's view as to the present attitude of France under the government of Villeroy and the Chancellor.
London, 9th August, 1612.
Aug. 11. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 605. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
After Mons. Vulpio had taken his leave, the Grand Duke sent to him, asking him, through Cav. Vinta, to suspend his departure, and to allow Father Castelficardo to go, as he has done; he will now be in Rome along with the Grand Duchess's confessor. They are to employ their knowledge of the situation and their learning to find out some accommodation which will permit the issue of a dispensation for the match. The Pope's delay is very displeasing to his Highness, because representations may in the meantime be made to hinder the conclusion of the match. On the plea of the illness of one of the Secretaries, Mons. Vulpio stayed on, but after the arrival in Rome of Father Castelficardo, the Pope sent him fresh orders to return immediately, as he did, not thinking that it became his dignity to keep Mons. Vulpio longer in Florence when the Grand Duke had refused to abandon the idea of a match. He has accordingly again taken his leave and is about to go.
Florence, 11th August, 1612.
Aug. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 606. Tommaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
While I was waiting an audience I talked to his Holiness's Chamberlain, who told me that the affair of the English and Tuscan match must soon come to a conclusion now. Don Giovanni is on the point of departure. On Monday there was a meeting of the Cardinals appointed to consider the matter; all were present except Sta. Cecilia, whether by orders or voluntarily I know not. The result is not known as yet.
Rome, 11th August, 1612.
Aug. 12. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 607. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke has received despatches from Pergamo, his agent in England, saying that Wotton had not arrived. The marriage with the Florentine does not appear so certain as some think. The Duke, however, is convinced that it is, and is much put out.
Turin, August 12th, 1612.
Aug. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 608. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News that Don Pedro de Zuñiga has arrived in England. They are waiting to see what effect he produces as regards the French matches and by his orders to dissuade the King from his operations in the West Indies, where he is making great strides since the acquisition of Virginia. It is thought that Zuñiga will receive small satisfaction on this point.
Madrid, 13th August, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 14. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 609. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Palatine's Ambassador has passed several days with the King. He then visited the Queen and the Prince, and has presented very rich gifts to the Princess. His business over, he will leave to-morrow morning. He has discussed certain points about the marriage and confirmed the coming of the Elector.
The Duke of Saxony draws always closer to the Austrians. He complains of not being included in the late confederation and hints that he must find aid where he can There is a rumour, which comes from the Spanish Embassy, that he intends to become a Catholic.
Next week the Lieger of Spain will send his sons, his women and the larger part of his household over to Flanders. He will stay on here for some time along with the Ambassador Extraordinary, who is waiting the return of the courier from Spain. There is a rumour that the King of Spain will lend to the Dutch the money necessary to recover Flushing from the hands of the English.
Wotton still stays near the King. He has made a report very favourable to the Duke. He praises the beauty and qualities of the Infanta Maria, and lauds the Duke as a Prince of ideas up-to-date and suited to the service of this Crown. It seems that the King and others lend an ear and the Queen is inclined that way. Apparently de Bouillon did propose the second Princess of France for the Prince with the promise of a considerable dower, some to be paid down now, but the King intends to make the Prince marry sooner than that.
London, 14th August, 1612.
Aug. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 610. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador to the Archduke Albert some months ago reported something to the King which gave him an inkling of some plot against his life. Accordingly, having learned that there were many Jesuits in the county of Lincoln and stores of arms, he ordered the Lieutenant to take all needful precautions to prevent the danger. I am told that the League between the Pope, Spain, Emperor, France and Florence is settled and Saxony will enter. The rumour comes from the Spanish Embassy, while France vigorously denies it.
London, 14th August, 1612.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 18. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 611. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
On Sunday last Mons. Vulpio left. He was highly honoured. The Grand Duke professes devotion to the Pope and hopes that his Holiness will find a way to sanction the match which, from the King of England's promises, may lead to some advantage for the Catholic Religion in that kingdom. The Grand Duke has sent to inform Lotti of all this and has given orders that he is to send back the Secretary Ciorli with as definite an agreement as he can secure.
Florence, 18th August, 1612.
Aug. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 612. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The morning of the day on which I sent my last despatch I took the road towards the Court, as I knew from the experience of last year that I should please his Majesty if I went to congratulate him on the anniversary of the day when his life was miraculously saved, a day kept as a holy day in this kingdom. I set out regardless of my pocket or my comfort, as I held this to be for your Excellencies' service to penetrate certain points as I have succeeded in doing, and also to cultivate the good understanding there is between his Majesty and your Excellencies. I made haste on the road, and when about thirty miles off, I sent on a messenger, who, through the Baron d'Ade (? Hay), presented my wishes for many happy returns of the day, and said that I would present them in person the day following in your Excellencies' name. The Baron discharged the task early next morning and the King expressed pleasure that I was so near, and as a proof he insisted that I should dine with him, and sent one of the royal carriages at once to meet me, with two of his gentlemen. The person I had sent ahead came back post, and I had to cover thirty miles that morning without drawing rein. I found his Majesty waiting me and he embraced me with a cheerful countenance and made a great show of affection. I replied in terms which seemed to me becoming, and I represented to him the genuine regard felt for him by your Excellencies and added such terms of praise as please him. When we had taken our seats at table his Majesty was pleased to drink, with hat in hand, to the health of him who serves you. The conversation turned on many subjects and I will presently report it. In the same room a little way off the Duke of Lennox dined at another table, along with many of the nobility. After dinner, which took a long time and was very merry, I passed a short while with his Majesty, who then withdrew, and I at the proper moment demanded audience to take my leave. I was told I must stay on as his Majesty desired my company again in the evening at supper, and this took place with such honours as your Excellencies could not desire more. Lord Hay, on his Majesty's express orders, stayed with me and accompanied me about all that day, as did General Cecil. I waited on his Majesty close to his bedchamber, and then with a profound reverence I was about to take my leave when his Majesty said, “Good night; be happy till to-morrow morning, when we shall meet again.” I was then taken in two of the royal carriages and attended by the same gentlemen who had met me to another Palace hard by. Next morning the King passing by called for me and received me close to himself in the carriage. After twelve miles' drive we came to a palace of the Earl of Exeter called Apthorp, where I dined with his Majesty and had conversation with him both before and after. Knowing that some of my horses, especially the carriage horses, were in a very bad way, and indeed some of them died from the forced journey I had to make to be in time to serve his Majesty and your Excellencies, he insisted that the next day I should use one of the only two carriages he has for his own service. I took my leave of the King, and the Earl of Exeter on his Majesty's command took me to see another palace (fn. 5) which is certainly the most beautiful of this kingdom. There I was entertained that evening and the next day I was brought in the royal carriage to Belvoir (Beover) at the hour appointed by the Prince for my audience, to which I am just about to go, and I will duly report. Each time that I have had the honour to eat with his Majesty the meal has been sumptuous; the first day in particular in the morning in a splendid apartment; that same evening, though night had fallen, we supped in a delicious garden; on both occasions there was a concert of voices and instruments. His Majesty's conversation turned on his resolve to maintain his alliance with your Excellencies. He expressed sorrow for the death of his Serenity, whose heroic qualities he extolled in those terms and with that warmth which he can employ when he pleases. He asked me who would succeed, and I replied that whoever succeeded would always remain a true friend. This was said aloud, and aloud the King replied that the interests of both powers were the same. These remarks were approved by the nobility and gentry, who, to a large number, stood around the King and filled the place. He then went on to speak of Scotland and the bad condition in which that kingdom was, owing to its having been for long without rain. He added that owing to the drowth the tops of many mountains were on fire, a sight that had never been seen heretofore. The Elector Palatine will be here in a month; he added that this match is not pleasing to the Spanish. He showed that he was annoyed at the prolonged stay of the Spanish Ambassador Extraordinary. He expressed a doubt about Cleves. The Palatine's Ambassador is bringing confirmation of all that was established by his Ambassadors and by de Bouillon about the match, that his Majesty may impose what terms he likes, and the Palatine is only waiting his Majesty's command to come here, as everything is ready. The Envoy will return with a full confirmation of the match and a decisive answer about Cleves and Juliers, which is so important a point for all the Confederate Princes.
I must not omit to say that in the course of this journey, which covers more than a hundred miles from London, I have seen the most beautiful, rich and populous country that one could wish to behold. This confirms my opinion of the power of this Sovereign, for last year I saw almost as large a tract in the other direction and that too very rich. (Non devo tacere all' Ecc. V.V. che nel progresso di questo camino, che è hormai di cento e più miglia da Londra, ho veduto il più bello, ricco et habitato paese che si possa desiderare; da che mi vado confermando della gran potenza di questa Maestà havendo l'anno passato vedutone quasi altretanto dall' altra parte del Regno tutto richissimo.) Everywhere that the King lodged there have been found truly royal apartments; and as the nobility and gentry flocked in from the neighbouring country, the Court has been crowded and much fuller than it is in London. His Majesty's charges are borne by the owners of the houses where he lodges; their splendour, both on account of the number of servants and of the table with its decorations and its plate, off which every one eats, surpass all belief. The sumptuous food and the abundance of comfits which they consume is amazing; nor could the greatest monarch in the world, inside his own royal palace, shine with greater pomp. I was astonished; and the cost far exceeds that of the Court when in London or neighbouring palaces. I have found rooms prepared for me and my suite here, on the King's orders, and a couple of his own servants, who look after all the supplies. This palace is built like a great castle and stands on lofty ground called Belvedere; it is surrounded by great walls abounding in courtyards, halls and galleries and an infinite number of chambers, capable of housing the more distinguished part of two Courts as large as these of the King and of the Prince, which number upwards of one thousand mouths. (è questo Palazzo in forma d'un gran Castello in sito emminente, detto Belvedere, circondato di gran muraglie, richissimo di cortili, salle, gallerie et una infinità di stanze capaci per ricevere la parte più florida di due Corti così grande come sono quelle del Rè et Principe, che sono di mille et più boche.) The tables for persons of quality number four and hold about two hundred. The Earl, its master, who has just come into it, lives like a sovereign. I have not failed to scatter largess, wherever I went, with a liberal hand, as becomes a representative of your Excellencies; so that they infinitely supersede the ordinary expenses of a journey staying at inns.
Belvoir, in Lincolnshire, 19th August, 1612.
Aug. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 613. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Sir Henry Wotton, returned from his Embassy to Savoy, has made vigorous proposals in the name of his Highness—offering his third daughter for the Prince. He promises as a dower five hundred thousand crowns, to be paid by Piedmont and Savoy, who will be willing to do so in such a cause. He adds offers of absolute dependence on this Crown, and on no other King. Wotton has laboured for long to impress the King favourably towards the Duke, and to secure a good answer. Both on the part of Florence and of Savoy there are few claims put forward on behalf of the Catholic religion. Both King and Queen think it desirable to marry the Prince as soon as possible, as his Highness has begun to show a leaning to a certain lady of the Court. The question of a confederation has been broached as well. Report that your Excellencies' alliance with the Grisons has been broken off through the action of the French and the use of Spanish gold. He also told me that in Spain ill-will has been bred because some French have killed a Spanish person of importance.
The King desires to re-establish the bishops in Scotland, and to rebuild the ruined churches, also to make that Puritan religion conform to this Protestant religion, which is much nearer the true Catholic faith. The Duke of Lennox, who enjoyed the revenues of the See of St. Andrews, has resigned them into the hands of the King, and the other great nobles will follow his example. The English Parliament will certainly meet in the course of a couple of months. The King will issue the summonses only a few days before the date of convocation, as he hopes in this way the more easily to obtain what he desires.
Belvoir, in Lincolnshire, 19th August, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 614. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King told me in strict confidence that he had arrested two Jesuits in the house of the Spanish Ambassador. (fn. 6) He thinks that they are agents from the Order to offer to the Ambassador the services of the Jesuits, who are numerous in this kingdom, should he ever require them. The King thinks that this prolonged stay of the Ambassador Extraordinary, when there is no business for him to do, is directed to bad aims. There are two points where there is a doubt, first lest there should be a rising in Ireland, second lest there should be some attempt against his own person; this last point he dwelt on to me in very clear language. I implored his Majesty to be on his guard. He lamented the miserable state of this century, wherein on the plea of charity they sought to make away with sovereigns. The Council has ordered a watch on all those who, by day or night, enter or leave the Spanish Ambassador's house, and so they hope to take sufficient precautions for the safety of the King, who, for the rest, neither cares nor fears. The two Jesuits have been tried, and the orders issued by the Archbishop must by this time have been put in execution.
The Earl of Exeter and his son General Cecil told me that the Grand Duke, in offering his second sister for the Prince, had acted without consulting the Pope, and is now meeting with opposition.
Belvoir, in Lincolnshire, 19th August, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 19. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 615. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
News from France that there are negotiations for the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the second French Princess. This news is confirmed from England; while we hear that the King of Spain is offering the second Infanta.
Turin, 19th August, 1612.
Aug. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 616. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
After the news of the Pope's refusal to grant the Grand Duke's request for leave to marry his second sister to the Prince of Wales, the Nuncio has had orders to inform the Queen so that in case she entertains the idea of giving the second Princess to the Prince of Wales, she may know the Pope's mind on the matter. The same warning will be given in Spain and at every Catholic Court. The Queen has so far shown that she did not think the Tuscan negotiations were so far advanced. But we are advised from England that the King may prefer a Tuscany match to an alliance with either Crown from a dread lest the Prince if allied with either might become too bold and lose the respect due to his Father.
Paris, 21st August, 1612.
Aug. 23. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. 617. To the Ambassador in France.
We have been informed by our representatives in Istria and Dalmatia that the Uscocks have been very troublesome in disturbing the navigation of the Gulf, on the ground of a forged document bearing the seals of San Marco, and declaring that we were allied with them against the Turk. There have been brushes between the Uscocks and our officers. One of our governors was taken prisoner to Segna. The Archduke Ferdinand has sent the Governor of Fiume to complain about our orders issued for the vindication of the national honour.
The same to England, Savoy, Constantinople, Milan and Florence.
Ayes 78. Second vote Ayes 71.
Noes 3. Noes 4.
Neutrals 82. Neutrals 90.
Put to vote suppressing the information to Constantinople.
Ayes 143. Noes 1. Neutrals 9.
Aug. 25. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 618. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Their Highnesses know the injury done to the negotiations for a match with England by the delay on the Pope's part. His Holiness says he wishes to assure himself of the King's promises, so that the Catholic religion may not be exposed to still further injury in that kingdom by being made ridiculous in the eyes of the world. He, therefore, says he must wait to hear what more Lotti reports; and we do not know that he has arrived yet in London. The Grand Duke has sent two messengers by different roads to urge him to take care that the Duke of Savoy does not now begin to press his offer of the Princess Maria for the Prince.
Florence, 25th August, 1612.
Aug. 26. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 619. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The terms of the treaty between France and Spain. No word of a defensive alliance, so as not to alarm other sovereigns, but I do not doubt that under the term “good understanding” or some other phrase the obligation to mutual defence is implied. I am not surprised that this should be denied, for it does not suit France to rouse suspicion in the Huguenots nor to shake the confidence of the King of England, the United Provinces and the Federate Princes of Germany.
There is news of the difficulty the Pope raises in the way of the Anglo-Tuscan match, but the Tuscan Ambassador says he still has hopes. M. de Pisiurs declared that if the King of England did assent to this match he would certainly grant liberty of conscience.
Madrid, 26th August, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 27. Consiglio de' Dieci. Parti Communi. Venetian Archives. 620. That the jewels of the Sanctuary and the Armoury of the Council of Ten be shown to certain English gentlemen.
Ayes 14.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 1.


  • 1. See Gardiner 1 op. cit. 11, 152. Note 1. The King had a bad toothache.
  • 2. See Birch, Court and Times of James I. 1. 191. “But to show that he is unwelcome, as he was riding in his carrosse with his six mules over Holborn Bridge the other day, with his great lethagador about his neck, and coming upon his elbow, at the side of the carrosse comes a fellow by him on horseback, and whether de quet-apens or otherwise, I cannot tell, but he snatches the Ambassador's hat off his head, which had a rich jewel in it, and rides away with it up the street as fast as he could, the people going on and laughing at it. The fellow was not lighted on again. But I am sorry they had so just an advantage against us to say we are barbarous in our City of London.”
  • 3. Count Schomberg. See Birch, op. cit., I. 189.
  • 4. Birch, op. cit., 1. 193. “The Lord Lisle is gone over to Flushing, richer by £1,000 land a year by her (Countess of Rutland's) death.”
  • 5. Probably Burleigh.
  • 6. See Cal. S.P. Dom., Aug. 3. Abbot to the King. Zuñiga has removed to the house of the Lieger. Alonzo de Velasco, in the Barbican, that he may more freely transact his secret business. One of the Jesuits arrested was Blackman, confessor of the English colleges at Rome and Valladolid. Two other Jesuits, Blount and Pelham, were sought for. Jones the actual Superior, and Holtby the late Superior, were then in London. Blackman was kept a close prisoner in the Gatehouse.