Venice: September 1612

Pages 415-429

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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September 1612

Sept. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 621. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
They are awaiting the result of Secretary Lotti's negotiations in England on the subject of the Florentine match. There are not wanting those who declare that the matter is disturbed not so much by Spain as by Savoy. Don Giovanni and the Grand Duke's party, however, affirm that the marriage is not merely in a good way but is absolutely concluded. Monsignore Vulpio is back from Florence. He merely brings assurance of the Grand Duke's regard for the Pope, and his great wish for his Holiness' consent.
Rome, the first of September, 1612.
Sept. 1. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 622. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The longer the news of Lotti's arrival in England is delayed, the more suspicious do their Highnesses grow as to the action of Savoy, who though he cannot prevent the match may still delay it, which would please the Spanish, who, though not overtly hostile, do not like to see their Highnesses leaning on anyone but themselves. After Monsig. Vulpio's return to Rome a message has been sent thanking the Grand Duke for his friendly attitude towards his Holiness and saying that as regards the match they should wait for larger offers from England, and then decide as may best suit the dignity of the Holy See and the Christian commonwealth.
Two English vessels are on the point of leaving Ma'amura. Though they give out that they are going trading, it is generally supposed that they are bent on piracy.
Florence, the first of September, 1612.
Sept. 3. Senato, Secreta, Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 623. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier has arrived from England in only seven days, and what makes it more remarkable is that he really started from a place a whole day's distance from London, where his Majesty now is. Wotton is reported to have shown himself very cold in Savoyard interests. It was necessary to rouse him by the promise of twenty-five thousand crowns, made to him by Gabaleone. The preliminary conditions have come to hand; first, a dower of seven hundred thousand crowns; second, the way of paying this dower; third, that the question of Geneva and Bern be referred to the King.
Turin, 3rd September, 1612.
Sept. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 624. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The marriage contract between Spain and France provides a dower of a million francs, equal to three hundred and thirty-three thousand crowns. The contract was at once sent in copy to England.
Paris, 3rd September, 1612.
Sept. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 625. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador, on his Master's orders, has lately spoken vigorously to the Queen and the Ministers on the subject of the Scottish soldiers of the Guard. He produced letters written by the King's own hand so warmly expressed that finally, in spite of the previous resolution, he has obtained the complete restoration of the soldiers, to the great increase of his Master's prestige. The question of the debt due from France to England is now being actively discussed. The matter is complicated by the fact that it affects the United Provinces, upon whom they seek to saddle the larger part of the debt, though on the other hand they do not wish to see the Dutch too deeply engaged to England, which, apart from this debt, claims other three millions from them.
Paris, 4th September, 1612.
Sept. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 626. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Lesdiguières and de Bouillon have at last been reconciled to the Huguenots, chiefly by the interposition of the English Ambassador. This has roused suspicion.
Paris, 4th September, 1612.
Sept. 7. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 627. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:
I have been unwell for some days and am still rather weak; this has prevented me from attending on your Serenity, a fact which adds to my sorrow. Now, by your leave and on the advice of my doctors, I propose to go for a change of air. I shall not, however, go so far away that I could not return here immediately to receive your commands. My intent is to go to Padua, (fn. 1) to enjoy that city which is much to my taste. I do so all the more readily as his Majesty is far away from London, and until he returns to the city I do not expect any business of moment.
The Doge approves of the choice of Padua, where the air is perfect and the doctors also perfect. If the Ambassador should require aught they will oblige him as representing so friendly a sovreign. The Ambassador takes advantage of the Doge's kindness to beg a favour; it refers to a certain petition presented by a Fra Vicenzo Marino, who is now in the galleys at Rovigno. The petition runs thus:
“Most Illustrious and honoured Prince,
When I left Constantinople there was handed to me a letter addressed to the King of England with a most earnest request that I should hand it to no one except your Lordship; the consigner of this letter added that he would never have trusted such a letter to my hands had it not been for his close friendship for me. I, wishing to serve my friend, have always declined to give the letter to anyone. It is more than a year that this letter is in my hands. True it is that, this April when our galley—upon which I am under sentence of Thomas Glover, late Ambassador at Constantinople, which is a great treachery to myself and to the King—came to Caorle, I sent a letter to your Lordship telling you of this letter addressed to the King. I believe my letter was never delivered. Now that our galley is at Rovigno, where we are to stay some days, I warn your Lordship to send a person you can trust to receive the said letter, otherwise I will not hand it over as I know it contains secrets of high importance. Let the bearer bring this with him for token. Nothing more. I salute your Lordship. The galley I am on board is that of the noble Nicolo Gabriel.
Rovigno, 9th July.”
Addressed to the Illustrious Lord the Ambassador of England, Venice.
The Ambassador went on to say that in matters of State he was little inclined to trust Friars, nor was he wont to lend an ear to persons in the galleys. “This man is both a Friar and in the galleys, and your Serenity may imagine how much confidence I place in him. But since it is possible that he may have letters of great importance for my Sovereign I must not fail in my duty to secure all I can for his Majesty's service. It is true this fellow says I am to send a person of confidence and to find a sure way of conveying the letter, and I think there is no person more in my Master's confidence or better able to provide the safe means than your Serenity. I therefore beg you to accept this mission for his Majesty's service and to give such orders to your representatives as may seem necessary for placing the letter in my hands. In his Majesty's name I promise every kind of recognition.”
The Doge replied that the request was a small one compared with what they were ready to do to please his Majesty. The necessary orders would be given.
The Ambassador went on to say that he would prefer another request on behalf of his Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople about the deposit made in the office of the Proveditori alli X Officii, (fn. 2) as he thought the matter had been drawn out longer than usual.
The Doge said they would hasten the presentation of the report on the case.
The Ambassador gives some news which he has from Holland and Flanders. In Flanders they are making unwonted provision of men and money. He thinks this means some intended movement on the part of Spain in Italy, and of this he has confirmation from Palermo and Sicily. Troops are being mustered in Milan. He had thought it his duty to make this communication and begs for confirmation if the Doge possess it, as the interests of both countries are the same.
The Doge said he had heard of movements of troops due to the quarrel between Parma and Mantua.
Sept. 7. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 628. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I had audience of the Prince the day I wrote to you. After exchange of compliments he went on to speak of the death of the Doge Donato. He asked who would succeed him and whether the election would take place soon. The conversation then turned on voyages, the chace and other subjects of slight moment. In the evening I received a present and was conducted by the Duke of Lennox and the Earl of Rutland to my apartment, where, late in the evening, the King sent to congratulate me on the election of your Serenity, of which he had just received news from his Ambassador in Venice. Next morning, having already taken my leave of the King and the Prince, I set out, but shortly afterwards came orders and an invitation from the King that I should turn back; and so, escorted by persons of quality, I was taken, at the dinner hour, to the chamber where were his Majesty and his Highness, and presently we sat down to table. The banquet that day was more sumptuous than all the others. The King said that your ambassador must certainly be present, and enlarged in your praises. The King said that Prince Peretti was in London and enquired as to his qualities. He told me that the Prince of Modena had spoken very well of your Serenity both in France and in Germany, and that the expenses of his entertainment here had been very well invested.
I accompanied the King to his chamber and then took my leave, and also of the Prince and set out for London, where I found despatches from your Excellencies enclosing letters for the King which I will present next week at Windsor.
I have thought it advisable to visit Prince Peretti on his own account and out of regard for his connections. I asked him to dine on Friday, and, though I only know him by name, I invited him to lodge here. He saw the Queen and the Princess, and then left for France.
London, 7th September, 1612.
Sept. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 629. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch have signed a treaty with the Hanseatic Towns; they are to furnish fourteen thousand infantry, two thousand four hundred horse and fifty ships of war. The alliance is to last eight years, at which date the truce with Spain terminates. It is a defensive alliance against all hostile action. The cost to be borne equally by both parties. The fortifications of Mühlheim are advancing rapidly towards completion, notwithstanding the Imperial orders to the contrary.
The Dutch have been making a diligent muster of arms to see how many troops are actually in their service. The King will draw closer to the States.
The Elector Palatine is expected here and everything is being prepared for his reception, The Spanish Ambassador Extraordinary continues here on the plea that he is waiting for a courier he sent into Spain. This delay renders the King and the Government always more suspicious. The want of confidence between the King and Spain is growing towards diffidence. The whole kingdom desires war and the right of reprisals as under the late Queen, and if things go on like this in time they may come to open discord, then little affairs of arms, and then war, although the King naturally loves peace.
London, 7th September, 1612.
Sept. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. Expulsis Papalistis. 630. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The orders given in Lancaster (fn. 3) were executed and many foreigners were expelled from the county, and arms taken away from some supporters of the Jesuits and stored in a place belonging to the King. Ten or twelve of them were arrested, some of whom have already reached London, and the others will be here soon. The Earl of Derby, Governor in those parts, has not carried out his orders with the rigour desired, still he has done enough. A few days ago two Jesuits were arrested while leaving the house of the Spanish Ambassador Extraordinary a little before day-break. On the first were found some notes and a paper on which were jotted certain memoranda which cannot be quite made out, all the same it was clearly stated that his Catholic Majesty had sent one hundred thousand crowns to his Ambassador; the other has written to one of the Fathers in the Ambassador's household a letter asking him to give two hundred crowns to the bearer, and begging him to greet the secretary and other members of the staff. This letter fell into the hands of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and he drew three important conclusions from it; one, certainty of familiar relations between the Jesuit and the Embassy; two, proof that there is abundance of money on which the Jesuit can draw; third, and most important, the handwriting of this letter is the same as that of the memoranda found on the first Jesuit. They hope to arrest two others and by, their means to dispel the alarm of a conspiracy against the life of the King and the Prince which is largely the work of Jesuits. (fn. 4)
London, 7th September, 1612.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 631. Christoforo Valier, Venetian Ambassador IN Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch Ambassador (L'Ambasciatore di Fiandra) here resident, after a long period of study and toil, has signed and established the Capitulations between his Masters and the Porte. (fn. 5) Imperial orders have accordingly been issued to all places and ports that Dutch Consuls are to be admitted and Dutch vessels well treated in the Turkish harbours when they arrive with goods and merchandize. The Ambassador encountered the greatest opposition from the French Envoy, who went the length of offering ten thousand sequins to upset the negotiations. And although the English Ambassador was displeased at seeing the successful issue of the affair, at first he took no steps; however, when he saw it far advanced he endeavoured to join with France, and on his side also offered to spend a similar sum for that same purpose. The French Ambassador knowing from the efforts he had already made that there was no hope of succeeding in this design, as the affair was on the very point of conclusion, refused to take any further part in the business and told the English Ambassador that he was too late. The Dutch Ambassador in face of the opposition he incurred, had recourse to presents and great donations, by means of which alone has he been able to succeed. He ran short of money and was forced to take from the Jews on credit many lengths of silk and woollens at ruinous prices, to meet his needs. As yet I have not been able to get a copy of these Capitulations, for they were drawn up and are kept by a secretary to the Divan who has always shown himself hostile to this Embassy. In a few days I hope to secure them by another channel. In substance, however, it is agreed that the Dutch shall pay five per cent. customs duty as do the French; he was not able to obtain the English tariff, which is three per cent. only on all goods and merchandize (convengono però in sostanza, che Fiaminghi siano tenuti pagar al Rè cinque per cento di Datio come pagano anco Francesi, non havendo potuto ottenere le condizioni d' Inglesi che sono di pagare tre di tutte le robbe et mercantie che da essi saranno portate et contrattate in questo paese). But what is of more importance and which remains agreed upon outside the Capitulations, is the offer and promise which the Ambassador made in his Masters' names, that whenever required they would furnish a large number of armed vessels with mariners and soldiers and munitions in abundance. And one of these past days the Ambassador, finding himself in audience with the Lieutenant Grand Vizir, succeeded in causing all present to be dismissed, leaving only the Dragoman and two of the Pasha's most intimate friends; he then proceeded to discuss at length the interests of the various Princes of Christendom, and finally bringing out a map, he expatiated with much detail upon several sites, pointing out to the Lieutenant the ease with which the Ottoman power could invade and attack Italy. The basis of his plan and of his discourse was that the Turk should prepare a powerful fleet, while the Dutch should put together two hundred ships, which he now offered to his Majesty for this purpose, and these could touch at Barbary and make the final provisions; the Dutch would then, at a given date, join the Turks, and make a concerted descent on Civita Vecchia, where they could easily land. He was at great pains to point out that all these places are open and incapable of offering any considerable resistance to an inundation. The Ambassador developed other most pernicious suggestions, but they could only be imperfectly overheard by those who stood some way off; this, however, was caught; he said the Grand Signor need not fear the Spanish fleet, for his Masters and their allies would attend to that. The Lieutenant paid close attention and seemed to approve. Then followed a series of questions and answers carried on in a low voice, and finally the Pasha said that this was not the moment to embark on such an enterprise, but that in two or three years the time would arrive. I was able to obtain this report of this secret interview as I have in my interests some of the Pasha's most intimate servants. I cannot, however, be sure whether all this was said on the orders of the Ambassador's Masters, or whether he thought in this way to assist his object of securing his Capitulations.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 7th September, 1612.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 632. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Giovanni de' Medici took leave of the Pope on Monday. Next morning he went to lodge at Bracciano, and on Wednesday he proceeded towards Florence. No one knows precisely what answer he takes as regards the English match. Most think that if not actually concluded it is all but so, unless the offices of Spain and Savoy upset it or cause it to be deferred.
Rome, 8th September, 1612.
Sept. 8. Senato, Secreta, Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 633. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
News from Lotti is still delayed. There has been nothing from him since he reached Lyons on the eleventh of last month; he cannot press on because of the great heat and because he is not quite well.
The Grand Duke's Confessor is back from Rome and says the Pope lets it be known that he is well-disposed towards the English match, provided the King of England will take his royal oath to allow the Princess the free exercise of her religion on the conditions demanded.
Florence, 8th September, 1612.
Sept. 10. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 634. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The courier from England was sent back again after only a night's rest, with the Duke's answer. He will pay the dower, though heavy, in order to conclude the business and to cut out Florence. He hopes Spain will help.
Turin, 10th September, 1612.
Sept. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 635. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The heads of the Dutch Company trading to the East Indies have been for some days at the Hague and have sought leave to levy the import on all goods sent to those parts. They say they intend to fit out a large number of ships of war against Spain, to serve in the Indies as well. They declare that in face of recent events they do not intend to observe the terms of the truce. The answer of the States-General was very reserved, for the sum in question is a large one, and was intended for military purposes. The heads of the Company were, however, graciously received and they were encouraged on other points. They left the Hague with the full intention of arming thirty ships this year and as many next; and with these and other forces that are already there they will make war on Spain. The points they have obtained are two; the Company cannot be called on to refund capital for eleven years to come, nor during the said period shall they be bound to present a balance sheet or general account. It is thought that this ought to produce remarkable results and greatly facilitate the preparations.
The King has appointed an Ambassador (fn. 6) to the Emperor to reside for some time. He is to kiss hands in a few days and to leave at once. His mission beyond congratulations on succession will be to urge the cause of Brandenburg and Neuburg as regards the fortifications of Mühlheim. He is to use entreaty and prayers, as the King desires that all should pass off quietly; but if he finds the Emperor firm in his resolve to employ force, he is to say that his Majesty is bound by confederation to assist the “possessioners,” and will do so. The Spanish Ambassador in ordinary told me that in France they would have liked the marriage of second children, but that all negotiations were broken off over certain difficulties. He complained that the French Ministers had not made vigorous representations to the States to come to peace with Spain and the Archduke, as they had promised to do.
Three days ago Lotti, the Florentine Secretary, was here. Yesterday he went to the King. He has returned in quality of agent and with a large increase of salary.
But for my ill-health, fever and pain in the side every time I breathe, I would have sought audience of the King ere this. I will discharge my duty as soon as I am well again.
London, 14th September, 1612.
Sept. 14. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. 636. To the Commander Gabriel.
The Ambassador of the King of England has petitioned us that by means of letters which we enclose to serve as guide, certain other letters in the hand of Fra Vicenzo Marino who is on board your galley, should be recovered. You are instructed to recover these letters from the said Friar and to send them to us with a full report, so that we may meet the Ambassador's request as may seem best to us.
Ayes 126.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 0.
Sept. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 637. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The other day the Florentine Ambassador told me that the English match will take place as desired by the Grand Duke. The bride, however, will not set out very soon, as they have promised the Pope to press the religious question as far as possible. Others, among them the French Ambassador, do not consider the matter so certain; they think the Florentines have announced it in order to show their weight with the Pope.
Rome, 15th September, 1612.
Sept. 15. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 638. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Madame's Confessor back from Rome. Well received. Explains his action to induce the Pope to consent to the English match. The Pope desires to satisfy the Grand Duke, but also wishes guarantees from England. Lotti has been informed of all this. On the 27th of last month Lotti was in Paris; on the 30th he was to embark.
Florence, 15th September, 1612.
Enclosed in despatch of the 15th Sept. 639. A discourse on the dispensation sought from the Pope, for the marriage of the second Princess of Tuscany to the Prince of England.
The general opinion in the Vatican is that the Pope will not and cannot grant this dispensation.
Sept. 16. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 640. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
That Genoese musician (fn. 7) of whom I have written on other occasions has arrived from England. His Highness employed him to give him news from England. He came via Holland, and it is said that on behalf of his Highness he offered the port of Villafranca for Dutch shipping. The Dutch are disposed to accept the offer.
Turin, 16th September, 1612.
Sept. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 641. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of Brandenburg as soon as he has had his answer is to go on to England, where in his Master's name he will negotiate about the peace in Sweden. There is news from the Hague that the King of Sweden has routed the King of Denmark and slain three thousand foot, and the rest of his army is in danger, being surrounded in a difficult country.
Paris, 18th September, 1612.
Sept. 20. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 642. That when the English Ambassador comes to the Cabinet the following be said to him:—
That having taken special information about the affair of Zuane Berton whom your Lordship commended to us, he being condemned by the Proveditori sopra i X Officii, we find it clear that the said Berton has deserved his punishment on account of the frequent frauds he has committed on the Customs; nevertheless, as a mark of our esteem, we have ordered that the said Berton shall be released from his sentence, feeling quite sure that your Lordship with your usual prudence will admonish him as he deserves, for a warning to others of his nation to abstain from similar acts, which as they are breaches of our law, must, we know, be opposed to his Majesty's intention.
Further, that the Zuane Berton be released from the sentence passed upon him.
Ayes 162.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 12.
Sept. 21. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 643. That the English Ambassador be invited to the Cabinet to hear what follows:—
My Lord Ambassador, over and above the other favours which his Majesty has shown in the past to our Republic, we are now informed by our Ambassador Foscarini of the many further honours he has bestowed on the Ambassador during the recent Progress, which honours have been accompanied by words of cordial and sincere regard towards us; we have therefore resolved to beg your Lordship to represent our gratitude to his Majesty.
That a copy of this resolution be sent to our Ambassador, that he may make similar representations to his Majesty.
Ayes 127.
Noes 5.
Neutrals 18.
Sept. 21. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 644. To the Ambassador in England.
Acknowledges receipt of despatch of the 19th August. Praises the Ambassador's conduct. States that the English Ambassador resident in Venice will be thanked the moment he returns. He is now out of town. Sends a copy of the resolution in favour of Berton, taken to please the Ambassador.
Ayes 127.
Noes 5.
Neutrals 18.
Sept. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 645. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador in ordinary of Spain told me that the Pope had absolutely refused to the Grand Duke a dispensation for the marriage of his sister to the Prince of Wales. This he told me he had from the Pope's own lips, meaning that his Holiness had said so to the Spanish Ambassador in Rome. The French Ambassador gave me particulars. He said Don Giovanni asked for the papal assent, speaking as though the affair were concluded, and when the Pope refused it he said that he did not know whether it was possible to go back now that the marriage negotiations were so far advanced; whereupon the Pope, in great agitation, broke out into burning words, declaring that he would never permit it, that he could not and would not, that he would do all that in him lay to upset it—and continued in this flaming style. The Grand Duke sent off post haste to the Queen of France begging her to intervene with her authority in an affair which affected the exaltation of her house. The Queen replied that she was not aware that the marriage was so far advanced, almost as though she complained of not having been informed, and at the same time doubting whether the affair really stood so; and concluded that in a matter of this sort she would rather keep silence so as not to displease the Pope. The Grand Duke then renewed his request to the Pope, declaring that the affair was not so far advanced as had been said at first. But the Pope returned the same answer as before in strong terms. While matters were in this position the Grand Duke sent Secretary Lotti to England; it is still uncertain whether he brought apologies or spoke to his Majesty in other terms. We shall know when the Court or the Council arrive. What I have gathered from the Secretary and from others I will report in another despatch.
A good many days ago a Spanish priest arrived here with the intent to become a protestant. The Spanish Ambassador Extraordinary tempted him to the Embassy and he has not been seen since, nor has anything been heard of him. It is believed that they have either killed him or sent him secretly to Spain or Flanders. The Archbishop of Canterbury received last week orders from the King to demand his surrender by the Ambassador, with vigorous threats in case of refusal. The Archbishop did send, but I have not yet found out what answer he received, as the matter is kept very secret and my health is far from good. The continued sojourn of the Ambassador gives rise to great and lively suspicion and every day he gives or receives offence. (Già buoni giorni fù qui un prete Spagnolo per farsi della religione. L'Ambasciatore straordinario di Spagna, che ne hebbe aviso, fece con maniera che andò una mattina in casa sua nè più si è veduto o . . . . saputo nova di lui; credesi lo habbia fatto morri o mandato segretamente in Spagna o Fiandra. L'Arcivescovo di Canturberi hebbe l'altra settimana ordine dal Rè di domandarlo all'Ambasciatore, con alternative gagliarde; Ha l'Arcivescovo mandato; ma quale sia stata la risposta, non ho anco potuto (restando il negotio segretissimo) nella poca salute in che mi trovo, accrtare; essendo grandissimo et gagliardo il sospetto che dà la dimora di esso Ambasciatore, il quale dà e riceve tutti li giorni disgusti.) He says he wishes to leave and hopes to do so soon, but everything depends upon the reply which he is expecting from his Master. He will leave with a very unfavourable disposition towards this kingdom.
London, 21st September, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 646. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
From the remarks of Lotti, and of others who may know, the hopes of the Tuscan match grow ever fainter. Lotti says the decision now lies with the King, as he knows what the Grand Duke can do and is willing to do. I know from a sure source that Lotti is in disgrace with the King and with General Cecil, who manages the affair. They reproach him for having represented at Rome and elsewhere that the match is concluded, which it never was. The Spanish Ambassador told me that the English expected the Princess to come without the right to the Catholic service and with a large sum of money. As to the former, the Grand Duke will take care of that, and as to the money, he wishes for a year's time in which to pay a part. As regards money I must inform your Excellencies that when Prince Peretti was here, he told me that the Grand Duke's capital did not exceed two or three millions, while the Ambassador Extraordinary of Spain thinks it is less.
The proposals of the Duke of Savoy are more acceptable and the affair proceeds better. The Prince leans that way because of the beauty of the Infanta, her youth and the spirited ideas of the Duke which resemble those of the Prince, and the ancient blood of the race. The Queen greatly desires this match now that she has lost all hope of a Spanish Infanta. The King is favourably disposed to the Duke on account of the respect shown by the demand of the Princess' hand for the Prince of Piedmont, and as he was unable to gratify the Duke in this respect, he is the more disposed to do so in others. The Duke's method is agreeable and is reckoned generous. He says the dower shall be whatever pleases the King who, he knows, will only ask what is possible and right. When Wotton and the Duke's Secretary first broached the subject couriers were sent to his Highness representing the King's good disposition. The couriers returned at once, and yesterday Wotton, the Secretary and a certain Gabaleone (fn. 8) went to Court. Gabaleone has been sent here on pretext of offering free port at Villa-franca, so that English ships should put in there rather than at Genoa; but the real object of his mission is the match.
I have received the news about the boldness of the Uscocks. I have used diligence to secure officers for your Excellencies' troops. Many have shown readiness. I shall await more particular orders, as to whether your Excellencies desire officers of repute or only ordinary soldiers. To-day I have sent to Lewkenor to ask for audience.
London, 21st September, 1612.
Sept. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 647. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A rumour has been spread that Don Pedro de Zuñiga had received little satisfaction in England during his negotiations about Virginia, a part of the West Indies occupied by an English Company which settled there some years ago and has now grown considerably and built a fort, with the intent to open trade with England. In reply to his request that the English should arrest the progress of the Company, so as to avoid a collision, as his Majesty could not allow them to advance to the prejudice of his own interests, the English answered that they could not fail to support the Company. I endeavoured to find out the truth during a visit I paid to the English Ambassador, who treats me with great confidence. The Ambassador said that he was not aware that Don Pedro had touched on the question of Virginia. I seemed to gather that the English were not a little alarmed at the union of France and Spain and would do what was possible to avoid a rupture. I understand that the King will not support the Company openly, as he counts more on the profits to be derived from the new route to the Indies than on that which will accrue from Virginia. As to the Florentine match for the Prince, the Ambassador spoke dubiously. Ridolfi, the Emperor's Ambassador, has announced the election. The Infante Don Alonso is dead. As the male descent is now reduced to three there is talk of the King marrying again. The country leans to a Princess of Savoy.
Madrid, 22nd September, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 22. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 648. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
They are awaiting news of Lotti's arrival in England, so that they may learn the decision of the King as regards the match.
At Leghorn four English vessels laden with various goods, chiefly grain, have arrived. One is on the point of leaving for Lisbon and one for Alicante.
Florence, 22nd September, 1612.
Sept. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 649. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Pedro di Zuñiga has received his orders to retire from England. Although they continue to declare that there are strained relations over Virginia and Florida, still it is expected that all will pass off quietly.
Madrid, 22nd September, 1612.
Sept. 23. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 650. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
There arrrived here last week an English Baron of importance. He was made much of by his Highness, as it is understood that he is a Gentleman of the Chamber to the Prince of Wales and high in his favour. This gentleman gives out that he is travelling for his pleasure, to see Italy; all the same it is thought that he has been sent to make sure, secretly, of the beauty of the Infanta Maria, who is destined as wife to the Prince. This view is confirmed, as he says he is going straight to Florence, which is interpreted as a mission to inspect that Princess also. He had an opportunity to see this Princess one day she was going out in her carriage—on purpose perhaps. They are in great hopes that this match will take place, though they find the dower heavy and the settlement difficult. I am assured from a good source that Count Francesco Martinengo has a commission to treat on this subject with the Governor of Milan, to induce him to approach the King of Spain with a view to his assisting the Infanta by paying part of the dower.
Turin, 23rd September, 1612.
Sept. 29. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 651. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The length of these negotiations for the marriage of the second Princess and the English Prince keeps the minds of their Highnesses anxious.
Florence, 29th September, 1612.


  • 1. See Birch. Court and Times of James I. 1195, Aug. 12. “I am now on the point of taking a house at Padua, both for the benefit of that air and opportunity of exercise.”
  • 2. An office established in 1404 for the revision of the accounts of all Government offices that received revenue.
  • 3. Decipher reads “dell ocastria” but cipher reads “g56 g41 g11 m11 n18 g10” = Lancastria.
  • 4. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–1618, pp. 146, 147, 148. The Earl of Northampton writing to Rochester defends himself against accusations of sheltering Jesuits. Archbishop Abbot details the grounds on which he arrested a man calling himself John de Horneck on suspicion of being the Jesuit Abraham Vlaming, against whom Trumbull had laid informations, “a desperate fellow, and founder of an Order of Knighthood called the Order of Martyrdom.” There was alarm lest ill-intentioned persons should come over in the train of the Palatine. Ibid. 152.
  • 5. See Dumont, Corps Diplomatique, Tom. v. part 2, p. 205.
  • 6. See Cal. S.P. Dom. Sept. 11, “Sir Stephen le Sieur going as Ambassador to the new Emperor.”
  • 7. Gioan Marco.
  • 8. Gabaleone, a Banker, employed by the Duke as agent in these affairs. See Birch, Life of Prince Henry, p. 311, and Cal. S.P. Dom., 1611–1618, p. 157.