Venice: October 1612

Pages 429-440

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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October 1612

Oct. 1. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 652. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
His Highness has further letters from England confirming the good disposition of his Majesty towards the match. They confirm his Highness in his resolve to see the matter through, and to assent to the seven hundred thousand crowns of dower, and even to go to a million, should others attempt to outbid him.
Turin, the first of October, 1612.
Oct. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 653. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of Brandenburg is still here and is in frequent conference with the English Ambassador.
Paris, 2nd October, 1612.
Oct. 2. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives. 654. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
“Most Serene Prince, and thrice Illustrious and Excellent Lords, his Majesty's great affection has caused me to return to this City, I will not say sooner than I desired, but sooner than I intended in view of my cure. For hardly had he heard of your Serenity's accession to the headship of the Republic than he sent me orders at once, notwithstanding that he was on his annual Progress, that I was to present the accompanying letters and to offer all suitable congratulations.”
He then proceeds to compliment the Doge on his merits, ability, and handsome presence, a quality highly appreciated by all. He calls Venice the buttress of Italy (spalla d'Italia). The King repeats his friendship and promises his support on all occasions; and at the present moment when there are those who on the plea of religion or for love for peace are “spreading the lion's skin over the fox,” the actual words of the King himself, he promises the devotion of his sons as well. Though the envious go about saying that owing to the distance this alliance can yield but little fruit, basing their observation on the remark of the ancient, “penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos,” this is in truth to talk like an old fellow, for it ignores the facility with which a union can be effected, thanks to our great wooden bridges (ponti di leguo). In six weeks only they sail from London to Venice, and so the Republic may rely on help on all occasions. When all Europe was united against the Republic, England alone kept aloof from the impious league, and, if anything, helped to break it up by threatening to set fire to the houses of those who were trying to kindle a blaze abroad. To prove that all this is not superfluous and even impertinent, there is the fact of his Majesty's displeasure at the Grisons for withdrawing from their alliance with Venice.
The Doge replied in complimentary terms and then caused to be read a resolution of the Senate tendering thanks for the favours shown to the Ambassador Foscarini.
The Ambassador answers, praising Foscarini, especially for having followed the King on Progress to his own expense and inconvenience.
The Doge then said that the Senate had resolved to free Zuane Berton from the sentence of the Proveditori sopra i X Officii.
The Ambassador returned thanks and said he would inform the English Ambassador in Constantinople.
The Ambassador asked that the resolution of the Senate expressing thanks for the treatment of Foscarini might be re-read to him in the Senate Chamber. That was done, the rules of the Republic forbidding copy of any resolution being given to anyone. Some English gentlemen were then introduced to see the Chambers of the Ducal Palace and passed from the Senate Hall to that of the Cabinet to see the Doge sitting with the other Lords.
Oct. 3. Collegio, Secreta. Letters. Venetian Archives. 655. To the Ambassador in England.
You are to present our thanks to the King for favours shown you in the same terms as we have thanked his Ambassador here. Copy of resolution enclosed.
Ayes 19.
Noes 3.
Neutrals 0.
Oct. 5. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 656. To the Ambassador in England.
Besides what we wrote to you in our despatch of the 3rd, we send you, along with this, a copy of what the English Ambassador said to us in Cabinet on the 2nd. You are to thank his Majesty for the offers he has made.
Ayes 112.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 0.
Oct. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 657. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The pain in the side and the fever increased on me and I was obliged to suspend my audience, which, however, I have had to-day. I presented the letters announcing your Serenity's accession. The King told me he had given orders to write to congratulate your Serenity. He then went on to talk of the Uscocks, and blamed those who encouraged that rapacious race. I touched upon the question whether his Majesty would assist your Excellencies. The King paused and looked at me and said, “Yes, by my faith.” He asked how the differences between Mantua and Parma were going, and told me that Mantua had sent him the plans of a certain place and the grounds of her claim. He told me that, in the audience granted yesterday, the Ambassador Extraordinary of Spain had taken his leave without putting forward any sort of business, or saying a word as to the cause of his having stayed on here so long. I could see that the King was suspicious of the Spanish Ambassadors and annoyed at Spanish modes of proceeding.
The Tuscan match makes little progress. Savoy continues to show the greatest regard for the English Crown; making large offers and having sent ample powers. In Germany there is no possible bride for the Prince save a Princess of Brandenburg, to whom he shows little inclination. A German match would not gain him anything, as all the German Princes are allied to him or to the Queen by blood.
London, 5th October, 1612.
Oct. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 658. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King told me that the Secretary Lotti, excusing the Grand Duke for having spoken to the Pope about the marriage, declared that if the King would receive the Grand Duke under his protection the marriage would be carried out against the wishes of the Pope. The King let me see that he thinks the Grand Duke may come to some secret understanding with the Pope.
He told me in strict confidence that he had full information in writing of all that took place at each meeting of the Cardinals upon the subject of the match. The report said that from lions they had grown to be lambs.
I am assured from a sound source that Lotti, endeavouring to excuse his Master and himself, denied that they had ever written to Rome to say that any promise had ever fallen from the lips of the King; but on the other hand the King has had a copy of such a statement which was made in Consistory, extracted from the minutes of the proceedings. I gathered from the King's remarks that if the marriage took place his Majesty hopes to add the Duke to the number of his allies; as to the copy of what took place in the Consistory, he assured me he actually had it, but did not say how he came by it.
London, 5th October, 1612.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 659. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch preparations for thirty ships of war are going on, and the States have determined to add two thousand infantry in addition to the same number in the pay of the Company.
Don Emmanuel of Portugal who, on the advice of the States, accepted the pension offered by the King of Spain, as he has not yet received it, sent a sharp message to the Archduke; and if this does not produce the desired effect either he or at least his brother will embark on board the Company's fleet, feeling sure that he will meet with a friendly attitude among those Portuguese who are in charge of that part of the East Indies that used to be in the possession of their King.
The “possessioners” have fortified and garrisoned Mühlheim. They are determined to defend it and the States will assist them and so will the other confederates. They have not yet had a reply from the Emperor, and in the meantime Brandenburg, in particular, prepares for every eventuality as does Neuburg, but with less alacrity. The Ambassador (Le Sieur) whom the King is sending to the Emperor, has taken his leave and by this time may even have left. He is charged to see many of the German Princes and the Elector of Saxony in particular, whom he is, in the King's name, to invite to peaceful counsels. Le Sieur has only a small suite, so as to be able to move about the more freely as occasion requires.
The French Ambassador tells me that in Germany, there is a large party in favour of war against the Turk, and in the Diet the proposal will be brought forward; but no resolution will be taken, which would be unpleasing to France. He thought it undesirable that as long as the Turk was quiet, the Emperor under the shelter of Spain should amass troops which he might turn to his own purposes in Germany or against anyone else that it suited him.
London, 5th October, 1612.
Oct. 6. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 660. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Their Highnesses are watching with a jealous eye the negotiations of Savoy for an English match.
Florence, 6th October, 1612.
Oct. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 661. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I forward accounts for couriers and postage during the time of my journey from Paris and my residence here, eighteen months in all.
London, 15th October, 1612.
Oct. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 662. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Protestant Princes, suspicious of the alliance between France and Spain, are drawing closer together. The Queen is trying to reassure them. She is greatly disturbed at the close understanding between the English and the Dutch; she tried underhand, but without result, to prevent Prince Maurice from receiving the Garter; nor does she like the marriage of the Palatine to the Princess, and still less the marriage of the Infanta of Savoy to the Prince. She thinks that all these tend to render England head of that party which in the late King's lifetime depended entirely on France.
Paris, 15th October, 1612.
Oct. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 663. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
To the few favours and many annoyances the Ambassador Extraordinary of Spain has received in England, this must be added—that a few days ago at the Custom-house a case with his name on it was opened, (fn. 1) the books and other contents ill-treated and the case refused to him when he sent for it. This has so exasperated him that he has had recourse to the Earl of Northampton by letter, at the close of which he says in terms of agitation that he will report all to Spain and threatens Spanish resentment. The Earl sent the letter on to the King, who took no notice of it, remarking that this was an affair of the Custom-house officers, in which he could not interfere. Nevertheless the day following he sent a stag to the Ambassador, who may receive some other satisfaction, as it seems that right and courtesy both require.
The Ministers of Savoy have offered his Majesty free arbitration in the case of the Bernese and their claim to Vaud, supposing the match takes place; also in case of the Genevese. This offer pleases the King, though others who are ill-affected to the Duke declare that the King should keep his eye on this Savoyard Ambassador called Gabaleone or “Trick the Lion,” for the lion is the cognisance of England.
The Palatine will not be here before the 14th of next month. The affairs of Germany, the death of the Count of Hanau, and the sojourn of the Spanish Ambassador here are the causes of this delay. He has been assigned an apartment in each of the Royal Palaces besides being given the Palace of the Earl of Essex, which is perhaps the richest and largest in the town. They are preparing jousts and tourneys to keep Christmas in state; at Easter and not earlier it is thought that the betrothal will take place.
Captain Eston (fn. 2) (Excen), a famous pirate, who haughtily refused the pardon offered by his Majesty, declaring that he would not bow to the orders of one King when he himself was, in a way, a King as well, has sailed with ten great warships to Newfoundland where there are usually to be found a large number of fishing craft. He has taken every fifth man and also a fifth of the provisions, which were abundant, and with these he has sailed towards the East Indies with intent to lie in wait for the Spanish flotta. This is reported by one of these ships on board of which were a large number of hands who wished to change their career, and so slew the remainder, and, aided by the wind and parted by the storm, sought shelter in here last week. (Il Capitan Excen, corsaro di gran nome et che ricusò il perdono di sua Maestà con parole altere, dicendo non valor egli ceder al commandamento d'un Rè mentre era in certo modo Rè egli stesso, è passato con dieci gran navi de guerra verso Terra nuova ore sono d'ordinario vasselli in gran numero che pescano; ha lor lerato d'ogni cinque huomini uno et anco il quinto delle vittovaglie che son state molte, et continua il suo progresso verso le Indie orientali con risolutione di insidiar le flotte di Spagna. Così riferisce uno di dette nari, che havendo buon numero di gente desiderosa di cangiar vita, con morte degl'altri, aiutata dal venta separata per fortuna dall'altre ricoverò qui la settimana passata.)
The Ambassador Extraordinary of Spain ought to be leaving soon, though he puts off from day to day. It is quite certain that he was charged to make the proposals and requests which I reported, but was prevented by the King, who cut short the audience. The knowledge that he would only meet with a rebuff induced him to send to Spain for further orders, and these are now arrived, to the effect that he is to conclude his mission in silence. The Lieger has ceased to demand the restitution of the plundered ships; his last attempt, about the carvel, proving vain. They do not intend to deprive those who have suffered at the hands of Spain of the means of making reprisals; they will find grounds for excusing such action. The ill humour on both sides is growing.
London, 15th October, 1612.
Oct. 15. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 664. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Giovanni de' Medici is said to have come back from Rome with an unsatisfactory answer from the Pope about his consent to the Anglo-Florentine marriage. The proposal, however, is still on foot. The Grand Duke has assured the Pope that he would always postpone any aggrandisement of his House to the pleasure of his Holiness. I understand that the Grand Duke is seeking to break off this negotiation on the plea of the Pope's opposition, in order to please Spain, which will not consent to an alliance between Tuscany and England no more than between Savoy and England.
Madrid, 15th October, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 665. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
As to what Don Pedro de Zuñiga reports from England, that they have sent two hundred and eighty thousand crowns to Virginia, and mean to send two thousand men to build another fort upon a river, and that if the English get a footing there they will open a port on the sea whence pirates can infest the India navigation, the Council of State has met and resolved to send a commission expressly to Virginia to take plans and to consult with the Spanish resident there as to the best way to expel the English, who, Don Pedro says, will offer a stout resistance.
Madrid, 15th October, 1612.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 18. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 666. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador in England reports that certain captains have joined Don Robert Sherley and fitted out four great ships to sail to Persia, nominally, but really to go buccaneering. They have accordingly resolved to send warning to the Indies.
Madrid, 18th October, 1612.
Oct. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 667. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received at the same time two sets of despatches dated the 15th and the 21st of last month. The first contain information about the Uscocks; the second contain the resolution of the Senate to thank the English Ambassador for the favours shown me by the liberation of Zuan Berton on the Ambassador's request.
The Savoy ministers have been to Hampton Court, whither the King summoned the Council twice to deliberate on the reply to be given them. Finally Wotton moved that before proceeding any further the Duke must grant three points; first, not to attempt anything against Geneva; second, that he should state the dower; third, that he should formulate the Infanta's claims as regards religion. Gabaleone having retired for a bit and minutely examined his instructions, replied that as to Geneva he was ready to promise that the King would receive every satisfaction from the Duke; the dower would be that which the King might name; as for religion the Princess claimed nothing more than private service for herself and her suite in her own rooms. Yesterday the final resolution was taken. I have not yet found out what it is, but in five or six days the envoys are to leave, and they are now making their adieus to the Ministers. I understand that the King felt bound, as head of the Protestant faith, to mention Geneva, but he has no intention of interfering with the Duke's rights. As regards the dower there was, according to Wotton, some mention by the Duke of five hundred thousand crowns. As to religion they will take care that the coming of the Infanta shall cause no alteration in that respect; the object is to prevent the Duke from withdrawing should Spain, with a view to upsetting this match, ask the hand of the Infanta for himself. Lotti went to Hampton Court the same day that this answer was given to the Envoys of Savoy, and Ciorli, who left many days ago with letters from the King, Queen and Prince in answer to the Grand Duke's letters, will soon be at Florence.
The King has recent letters from the Elector Palatine in which he confirms his arrival on the 14th of next month, and may-be sooner. The reason for his delay, beyond the reasons I have already given, is that he thinks as an Elector he ought to inform the Emperor of his departure from Germany, and of his betrothal. The Duke of Deuxponts, the administrator, performed this task, and Cesar, who has been persuaded by Spinola that this marriage may bring about great prejudice to the House of Austria, has shown surprise and has delayed his answer. Whatever happens, the match will come off. It was not a duty but merely a courtesy of the Elector to inform his Cesarean Majesty. The King has issued orders for the Palatine's reception along the route; and close to London he will be met by the Court, the nobility and, on the King's special orders to the Mayor, by five hundred of the richest citizens of London. The moment he touches the island the King, who is at Royston, will be informed, and will post to London so as to be here before him. The Palatine has sent various jewels in a present to the Prince, especially a ring with a diamond worth thirty thousand crowns; in return he has received one of greater value and other presents as well.
London, 20th October, 1612.
Oct. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 668. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish Ambassadors came to visit me; the Extraordinary took his leave saying he must stay here one night and that he wished he could leave at once. He received thirty pieces of silver gilt in a present from his Majesty, worth about four thousand crowns. I returned his visit, expecting to find him on the point of departure, but he is still here.
The English Ambassador to the Emperor (Le Sieur) has left. He has a special mission to visit the Landgrave of Hesse. He is to find out the Emperor's intentions, and, if need be, new orders will be sent him. An Ambassador from the Elector of Brandenburg is expected here about the affairs of Cleves. He will discuss not merely defence and war, if necessary, but also the way in which it shall be waged. He is at present in France, where he has urged the Queen to assist his Master against the Landgrave. His first answer pleased him little. The Queen pointed out to him that the state of affairs is not as it was in past years. The Ambassador here said the same thing, meaning the minority of his Master; but the forces of this Kingdom and of the other Confederates will be more than sufficient to counterbalance any attack by the House of Austria. Groti, the Archduke's Secretary, who came with the Spanish Ambassador, said that the second Imperial ban had been issued and that Spinola had been charged with its execution. If that be so it means nothing else than war. The French Ambassador is waiting hourly the arrival of news as to Rohan's reply to the royal orders touching the disturbances in Rochelle and S. Jean d'Angely.
The day before yesterday the Corporation of London had a conference about planting of a certain portion of North Ireland at present inhabited by savage men. Two pirate ships have been taken. The Ambassador who is returning from Constantinople (Glover) writes from Patras, giving an account to the Turkey merchants of what he had done on their behalf.
London, 20th October, 1612.
Oct. 21. Senato, Secreta, Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 669. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The English match has not been discussed much lately save for the remark made by the captain of Castle Delfino that the Prince would marry none but the second Princess of France. The Nuncio endeavours to persuade his Highness against the match.
Turin, 21st October, 1612.
Oct. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 670. Cristoforo Valier, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Grand Vizir has given express orders that all letters going out by sea are to be stopped and opened. He wishes to find out what reports all the Ambassadors are making. Purely business letters will be forwarded. The Ambassador has informed the Ambassadors of France and England, and will take concerted action along with them.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 25th October, 1612.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 671. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Gabaleone went to the Earl of Northampton to receive the final answer committed by the King to the Earl, the Earl of Worcester and to the Chamberlain, who seeing that the answer implied the whole matter, begged the King to associate with them the Chancellor, the Duke of Lennox and other members of the Council. The King replied that as he would have to be in London himself this week to meet the Elector Palatine, the question might stand over till he arrived. Gabaleone was informed of this; he had already taken leave and was only waiting the answer to the point about the dower, as the other two are so to say settled. The ambassadors, two in number, who are to come from the Duke will give the ultimate touches, confirming all that has been promised by Gabaleone and stipulating the contract. Lotti has caused General Cecil to make larger offers, hinting that the two hundred thousand crowns which were to have been paid within a year would be paid at once, but the King stayed their mouths by declaring that he would abide by what he had promised, that is to send an Envoy expressly to Florence to learn the Duke's will and to declare his own.
The Elector of Brandenburg's Ambassador is here. Yesterday, late, news came express that the Palatine had embarked at Flushing. He is hourly expected at Dover. The Spanish Ambassador has left at last, four days ago. He has effected nothing but to create and to receive a very bad impression. It is quite certain that he will do all the ill offices he can in Spain. Neither the King nor the nobles mind that, and the people welcome it as they desire war. The Spanish Lieger confirms what Groti said about the second Imperial ban. I have recently had a long talk with a member of the Council, and I cannot do better than report his very words. The Spanish Ambassador had a threefold mission; one, that should he find the marriage of the Princess and the Palatine not concluded, he was to say that it was the custom of Spain not to mention marriage till a year after the death of the Queen, but that at the expiry of that period the King would certainly send an envoy to ask for the Princess' hand. Second, if he found that the Virginia Colony was not going ahead well, he was to beg that it might be abandoned entirely; third, to watch closely the negotiations of Savoy and to report. As he did find the marriage concluded and the colony advancing vigorously he reported home and waited fresh orders. As to Savoy, having understood that only the question of the dower remained in doubt, he is going to leave to-morrow. It is concluded that Spain really has a hand in this marriage business.
The Earl of Northampton, who is Lord Treasurer in petto, does almost all the business in the King's absence. I seeing his growing power went to call on him to assure him of your Excellencies' good will towards the King. He protested that he was ever ready to serve the Republic. He declared that I was in such high favour with the King that he did not know what he could do for me. He then told me that at Padua was his nephew, the Earl of Arundel, (fn. 3) who, very likely, will stay there the winter to take the waters, and every favour your Excellencies may show him will be an obligation upon Northampton himself and will be pleasing to the King. He told me that as regards the marriages the paper was still white, nor had the King given his word to any one as yet. As to the Earl of Arundel I will not say anything to your Excellencies save that he is the premier earl of this kingdom, in which there are no Dukes save the King's sons, the Duke of Lennox being a Scot; nor Marquises save Winchester, who does not come to Court. Arundel will be, through his wife, a daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury, heir to sixty thousand crowns a year; he is nephew of Northampton, who has no children and is very powerful in the government. Your Excellencies' prudence will know how to oblige him greatly at a small cost, and every favour shown to Arundel will be well employed.
The English Ambassador resident in Venice has caused me to be entertained by his relations in a very worthy way. (fn. 4) I will return the compliment in a suitable fashion, and it often falls to act thus to him who is not at all in favour.
London, 26th October, 1612.
Oct. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 672. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After a successful advance into Sweden without meeting any obstacles, near the capital, Stockholm, the King of Denmark found the King of Sweden encamped in a strong position near a river. Finding it impossible to bring on an engagement, and pressed by lack of food, harassed by skirmishes and alarmed at the damage the Swedish fleet was doing in Denmark, the King retired to Copenhagen, intending to strengthen his fleet. There are three Ambassadors with each of these Kings, sent by the Dutch and the Princes of the Union, besides the agent of the King of England. Negotiations for peace are on foot and arms are almost entirely suspended. In this campaign Denmark conquered almost all Gothland, but it returned to its obedience on the approach of the King of Sweden. The King of England declares that he will not encourage the war by sending succours, but will do all he can for peace. The conditions are that Sweden should cede Calmar, Golberi and some other places. All this is highly important for the affairs of Germany.
This country is paying six hundred thousand crowns for the Princess' dower and the arrival of the Palatine. The writs are out and the money will soon be in the King's hands. I have just heard of the arrival of the Elector Palatine at Dover. The Duke of Lennox and other nobles have left in haste to receive him.
The Prince will stay two days at Gravesend. The King will be here to-morrow or the next morning. He will at once grant audience to the Ambassador of Brandenburg, who is here with a large suite. He will also give the reply to Gabaleone. The Elector will be received in great state; and I will duly report all to your Excellencies. The arrival of the Palatine with so large a following, the fetes which are being prepared, the expenditure in dresses and liveries, have attracted an extraordinary number of people to London and caused a great rise in the price of everything—food, dress, and keep of horses. In this crowd and general rejoicing, when the Court, the Ambassadors and all persons of quality are preparing to appear, I must do the same in order to maintain your Excellencies' dignity; I must put my household in new liveries, and I must get more horses, as I lost three when with his Majesty on Progress, besides some clothes for myself. Moreover there are the expenses for banquets and other entertainments incidental to such rejoicings. All this is very troublesome and causes me anxiety on account of my private fortune, which has been diminished by such expenses during the course of the eight years I have been on your service; nor can I nor ought I to speak of this to others, nor look for any help save from your Serenity and your Excellencies, my Sovreign and my Masters.
London, 26th October, 1612.
Oct. 26. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 673. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Extraordinary of Spain in taking leave of the King asked for pardon for twelve priests who are lying in prison. He received a polite reply. The King saw the list and excluded five, all Jesuits, mostly convicted of felony and some in the Tower. The first was Baldwin, the companion of Garnet, head of the Powder Plot, who was sent here two years ago by the late Elector Palatine, a deed which greatly pleased his Majesty. The Ambassador used strong language at this refusal and declared that he did not care for the release of the others, who were common folk, for whom he had not sought this grace. He did all he could to obtain some of the five, but every effort proved vain, and so he left in the worst of humours. The Archbishop of Canterbury told me this; he is the first of the Councillors and is the personage whom I do not name in the enclosed. He told me that the Ambassador's fourth commission was a sinister one and that on his arrival numerous seditious Jesuits resorted to him, and he negotiated secretly with them on express orders of his Master. His departure was greatly to be desired. At this point came the King's order for the release of seven of the priests. The Archbishop signed it. It seems that the Ambassador had left an hour before, without waiting the upshot.
I gather about the Savoy match that if it is found that Spain has a hand in it, it will vanish.
London, 26th October, 1612.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 27. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 674. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
As the Anglo-Savoyard match advances their Highnesses raise their offers of dower; it will reach a million of gold.
Florence, 27th October, 1612.


  • 1. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1612, 29th Sept.
  • 2. See Cal. S.P. Dom., Feb. 6, 1612, “grant to Peter Eston, William Harvey, etc., of pardon for piracy.” Nov. 26, 1612. “The grant to Peter Eston and his men, pirates of pardon on condition of their returning the ship “Concord” and the goods taken in it, and the “Bonaventure.” Renewed because former pardon never reached Eston, he being near Newfoundland.”
  • 3. See Birch, Court and Times of James I., i. 210. Carleton to Chamberlain. Venice, Nov. 20th. “My Lord of Arundel is set forward toward England, through France, well amended for his health by the means of his physic at Padua.”
  • 4. See Birch, op. cit. i. 187. Sir Walter Cope had invited Foscarini to his house in Kensington and to kill a buck in Hyde Park.