Venice: March 1613

Pages 498-516

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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March 1613

March 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 775. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
For many days we have heard nothing in this City but the noise of a crowd, salvoes of artillery, blare of trumpets, nor seen aught but a crush of nobles and gorgeous dresses and all the signs of rejoicing. On Sunday the marriage was celebrated at last after three days of water frolicks and the same by land, both as sumptuous as could be. As Ambassadors were to be invited as witnesses to the marriage there was much ado; but as the Spanish Ambassador was ill, the French Ambassador had no difficulty in taking the lead, nor was it difficult to exclude the Dutch on the lack of competence. The Archduke's Ambassador did all he could to prevent the presence of your Excellencies' Envoy; he wrote two letters to the King, and entered protests couched in intemperate language, but nought availed him. And so by the grace of God your Excellencies were invited and honoured, in the person of him who serves you, at the wedding, at the breakfast, at the banquet, at the masque, at the festivities of the succeeding day, and always when there were other Ambassadors present. Moreover, the King, in the presence of these other Ambassadors, made use of the most flattering expressions as regards your Excellencies, for he employed the expression “King.” I will report all further on, along with the kindly expressions adopted by the other Ambassadors while his Majesty was speaking thus and using warm language in condemnation of the Archduke, disapproving the remarks and the conduct of his Ambassador.
On Sunday morning at Court I was conducted to the presence-chamber, and thence, by Lord Burleigh, to a chamber partly at one side and partly above the chapel-royal, where the Ambassador presently arrived, and the French Ambassador passed along with the ladies into a neighbouring chamber. The Ambassador of the States was also there. The King arrived an hour later, along with the Queen, the Palatine, the Princess and the Prince, and mounted a lofty platform reached by two flights of steps, one looking towards the entrance, the other towards the altar, all covered with cloth of gold and silver. The King and Queen took their seats on two great thrones covered with cloth of gold. Near the King stood the Earl of Arundel with the sword. Then came the Palatine and the Prince of Great Britain; on the other side next to the Queen, came the Princess, all three sitting on low stools. At the entrance to the chapel on the right hand side, in the stalls for the clergy of the chapel, were the Countesses, and opposite them the Earls. The rest of the space was occupied by a great number of ladies and gentlemen of title, so gorgeously dressed that the imagination could hardly grasp the spectacle. The King's cloak, breeches and jacket were all sewn with diamonds, a rope and jewel of diamonds also in his hat, of inestimable value. The Queen had in her hair a great number of pear-shaped pearls, the largest and most beautiful there are in the world; and there were diamonds all over her person, so that she was ablaze. The Princess was in gold and silver. Her hair was down; she wore a crown on her head, studied with jewels and pearls; she had a necklace of diamonds round her neck. Eight daughters of Earls, dressed in gold and silver, held up on either side her train, which likewise was sewn with jewels of inestimable value; and the same for the Palatine and the Prince. They began then to chaunt the prayers and the Psalms, and a Bishop preached for half an hour, in praise of the Royal family, the wedding, offspring. The Archbishop took the marriage service, in which the Palatine and the Princess promised to take each other for rich or for poor, well or ill, gave them the ring, joined them together and sealed the ceremony with the benediction. They then resumed their seats and some hymns were sung by a chorus of beautiful voices, as was all the rest of the office. The King gave the sign to move; accordingly the French Ambassador and myself who were in the chamber I have described, leaning on a great cushion of gold brocade and looking out of the window, passed into a great chamber, especially made for this wedding, accompanied by the Master of the Ceremonies. Here was prepared a great table and the hangings of the Hall represented the defeat of the Spanish in '88, which may be was a miracle as is expressed in the legend that surrounds it. We were then taken to the King's gallery, and there the King came to us and spoke with us for a while. He said that besides his other acts, the Archduke's Ambassador had, the day before yesterday, sent two letters complaining that it was quite unreasonable to give the precedence to your Excellencies' Ambassador, as the State is a Republic, whereas his Master is a Monarch, and merely as Duke of Burgundy possessed of States larger than your Serenity's; in Rome the Archduke had precedence, but here I had been asked to every ceremony, and he had never received a single favour. As this was a point which affected his Master's dignity he was bound to protest by word and in writing. His Majesty said that the Ambassador of the Archduke was wrong, as his Master was not Sovereign of Flanders, which belonged to the King of Spain, but merely Governor; he added other words expressive of small regard. He then went on in terms of great affection to say that your Excellencies were once Kings of Cyprus; I added “They are still of Candia”; this the King confirmed, saying “Of Crete,” as though he meant that one ought to say Crete instead of Candia as being the term better known or more honourable. All this passed in the presence of the other Ambassadors. Looking at the French Ambassador he asked how the claims of the Archduke were regarded in France, and the reply was that they were decided in favour of your Excellencies. The Dutch Ambassador said that in France his Masters also claimed precedence of the Archduke, and if the late King had lived they would have obtained it; and it was not true that the Ambassador of the Archduke had precedence in Rome. I therefore, very well pleased, returned to the Hall along with the other Ambassadors, who congratulated me. Then came the wedded couple and the Prince, and having all washed together they sat down to table, where I was always treated with the honour due to your Excellencies, who could not desire more. In the evening, I was at the Masque, which was very beautiful, with three changes of scene. First of all certain stars danced in the heavens by a most ingenious device; then came a dance of children; finally, of lords and ladies. The Masque of the following day was a representation of Virginia, who came to welcome the couple and to promise them great fruit of this wedding. On Tuesday they could not give the third Masque, (fn. 1) which has been put off till to-morrow. The number of lords and ladies, the richness of their robes and liveries, the whole preparations, have turned out successful beyond expectation. The expenses have been so great that, in spite of their being very rich, they will feel it for some time. I put my grooms and coachmen into liveries and cloaks of velvet and gold; and I myself have worn a different dress each day, as is the custom of this Court. I have bought very fine horses, and have given several banquets to the leading gentlemen and ladies, to the complete extinction of the one thousand, five hundred crowns which were voted me by your Excellencies' kindness; nay, I have even spent something over and above. I will continue to entertain others. Everything that is done to honour this wedding is very pleasing to their Majesties, the Prince and all the Court.
London, first of March, 1613.
March 1. Original Despatch. Venetian Archives. 776. Antonio Eoscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Monday the 19th of last month I received your Excellencies' despatch of the 25th January, which contained information about the arrest of Giovanni Vicenzo Gaetano, and the Ambassador's request that he should be examined along with the owner of the rooms where he lodged, and the orders to prevent his Majesty from requesting that this examination should take place. I accordingly asked for audience through the Chamberlain, but as all these days have been devoted to festivities, I could not have it. I will soon be received, and will execute my orders. On Sunday morning while I was in the Gallery with the King, he drew a little away from the rest, and whispered in my ear that your Excellencies had done well to arrest that fellow and keep him at his disposal, and he would always reply in like terms. I recognized in his words the excellent way in which his Ambassador had represented the affair, and his continual kindly offices.
During these festivities all the gates of this city have been strictly guarded so as to ensure themselves against all danger. Yesterday I recalled the question of audience to the Chamberlain, who told me to come to the Palace to-morrow evening to see the Masque, and that we could settle about the audience. I am so highly honoured that there is nothing left for me to desire. As these favours are shown to your Excellencies I must report them, so that you may make suitable recognition to his Majesty's Ambassador.
London, the first of March, 1613.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
March 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 777. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Persian Ambassador, who was in Venice, came to visit me. He said that the King of Spain had agreed to attack the Turk without delay, and it would be as well that your Serenity should come to the same resolve.
Madrid, 2nd March, 1613.
March 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 778. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Diego Sarmiento, who had avoided the Embassy to England by obtaining the post of Assistant of Seville, has received fresh orders to leave for Britain, with instructions to display complaisance towards the King and a desire for a good understanding. I am told that the French are far on the way to conclude the match of the second Princess with England, and this would bring to an end the Spanish design to play the King of England by offers of one of the Infantas; so, too, they have dropped the idea of proposing the Princess of England for the King, as her marriage to the Palatine is settled. The Spaniards remark the fact that Count Maurice has received the Garter. Every mark of esteem from great Sovreigns towards the States rouses suspicion.
The ship “Fenice” has sailed from Lisbon for Venice with a cargo of sugar and pepper. They are manning fourteen ships in that port with sixty soldiers on each. Their intention is to send them to the Philippines to stop the fort and the trade which the English have planted there.
Madrid, 2nd March, 1613.
March 2. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 779. Domenico Dominici, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
A pirate has put into Leghorn from Ma'amura with a cargo of sugar and other rich merchandize plundered in those seas. They have asked the Duke for safe conduct and say others will arrive. His Highness at once granted it so as to prevent them from making for Villafranca, where the Grand Duke learns to his annoyance that the Duke of Savoy is offering a like asylum to pirates.
Florence, 2nd March, 1613.
March 3. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 780. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The pirate captain who sailed into Villafranca with four ships is named Eston; the most famous of those who to-day are practising piracy. On other occasions he had as many as twenty-five ships fully armed at his disposal, and now besides the four at Villafranca he has other ten who are cruising outside the Straits in search of prey. It is said that on board these four he has nine hundred picked soldiers and upwards of four hundred thousand crowns in coin, as well as valuable goods to an amount that seems incredible. He sailed to Villafranca, moved by the report of the complete freedom which his Highness offers to all conditions of men in that port and on the coast of Nice. This freedom is in fact much more extensive than rumour represents, as your Excellencies may see from the enclosed proclamation, which has just been issued. From this it is clear that their design is to make the fortress of Nice and the harbour of Villafranca an asylum and refuge for all scoundrels, offering safety to everyone of whatsoever sect, religion, creed, outlawed for whatsoever crime, for debt or any other imaginable cause. I do not dwell on this, as your Excellencies can yourselves read the original. Persons of some repute tell me that Captain Eston has offered to his Highness to invest large sums in his States, on condition that he shall never be touched at the instance of any Sovreign whatsoever on the ground of plunder made by him. Eston promises in return to pay once for all a tithe of all that he invests, which amounts to a great sum. As yet I have not found out what decision they will take on this point, but the view of his Highness' temperament, which is very unwilling to let slip any opportunity of making money especially in large sums, leads one to believe that the affair will be concluded. (Il Capitano Corsaro che gionse al porta di Villafranca con quattro vascelli è nominato Esten il più famoso c' hoggidi esserciti il corseggiare. Altre volte hebbe fin 25 vascelli da corso armati del suo proprio, et hora oltre li 4 che sono a Villafranca ne ha altri dieci che sono nei mari di là dal stretto in busca d'altra preda. Sopra questi quattro vascelli, viene affermato, ch'egli habbia 900 forbiti soldati con un valsente in contanti di più di m/400, scudi, et mercantie pretiose per somma ch'a dirla riesce incredibile. E gionto al porto di Villafranca mosso dalla fama d'un' assoluta franchigia che questa Altezza promette a qualsisia sorte di gente in quel porto c nella spiaggia di Nizza, la quale in efletto è molto maggiore di quello che suona la fama, come potrano le E.E. V.V. vedere dalla qui occlusa stampa, che pur hora è uscita, per la quale assai chiaro si scopre, che qui si disegna far la fortezza di Nizza et luoco di Villafranca un asilo et refuggio di tutti i scelerati assicurandosi ogn' uno di qualsisia seta, religione o credenza, banditi per qualsivoglia delitti, per debiti, et per qualsiroglia altra sorte di cosa imaginabile, nel che non m'estendo, poi che potrano per loro medesime vederne il fonte. Da persona di qualche autorità m'è stato detto che il Capitan Esten habbia fatto proponer a S.A. di voler investire gran somma d'oro sopra i suoi Stati mentre però resti sicuro che mai non possa esser per occasion di prede fatte ad instantia de principi o di chi si sia, molestato, obbligandosi di pagare per ciò per una volta tanto la xma di tutto quello ch'egli impiegherà ch'ascenderà a grossa somma. Quello che sapro ciò si pensi di risolvere per anco non penetro, ma il saper la matura di S.A. inclinàtissima a non lasciar fuggire partito ove si tratti di denaro, et massime in quantità considerabile, fa credere che il negotio non sia per passar senza conclusione.)
Turin, 3rd March, 1613.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 781. The Conditions on which Nice and Villafranca were declared Free Ports.
Not for the good of my subjects only, but for the general benefit, we declare the shores of Nice and Villafranca free on the following conditions:—
All mariners and merchants belonging to any nation, none excepted, shall have safeconduct in Nice and Villafranca, the crime of lcesa Majestas excepted, and non-Catholics to refrain from any act that may cause scandal and from proselytising. All mariners and merchants from beyond the Straits of Gibraltar on the one side, and the Adriatic on the other, shall be free of any duty, provided they unlade and sell their goods or part of them in Nice and Villafranca.
Those who buy goods from beyond Gibraltar and beyond the Adriatic shall also be free of duties.
Our ports on this side of the Alps shall be held to pay dues; for transit the duty is one per cent.
Return goods from our markets to the two ports shall be free of duty.
Goods that are brought from places between the Adriatic and the Straits shall pay the usual dues.
Within three days of having obtained pratique the master of every vessel shall put in his manifest, upon which there shall be no charge made.
Bonded warehouses to be opened in Nice and Villafranca, where they can store their goods on the payment of twelve soldi for every bale of woollens, silk cloth, leather, etc., and same for every 1,000 lbs. of iron, lead, steel, tin, brass, copper and so on. On grain they shall pay one soldo on every three stara. (fn. 2) The merchants shall be free to handle and dispose of their goods in the said warehouses. For anchorage on every vessel from 500 to 1,000 salme (fn. 3) they shall pay one crown in gold; from 1,000 to 1,500 salme, three crowns; from 1,500 to 3,000 salme, five crowns; above 3,000 salme eight crowns.
We appoint two Consuls in Nice to hear all commercial cases between merchants, masters, mariners, brokers, etc. In difficult cases these two shall have power to add other three experts to make a court. No appeal in cases of less than 500 crowns of gold.
Each nation may have its own Consuls, to be approved by us. And these Consuls shall be judges of first instance between co-nationals.
Turin, the first day of the year, sixteen hundred and thirteen.
March 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 782. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Council have asked several gentlemen what help they would give if this kingdom were ever harassed by foreigners, meaning the King of Spain. Many replied that they would keep at their own charges some two, some four and some even more infantry or horse during the whole time they might be needed. They were thanked and the offer accepted should the need ever arise, and they say it may be nearer than is expected. They calculate that in this county alone, excluding the City of London, there will be about one thousand foot and one hundred horse without any cost to the King. The same step is being taken in other counties to find out for certain what his Majesty may safely reckon on. Orders have also been given to make certain fire signals which at every ten or fifteen miles can put the whole coast in communication should any considerable number of ships be sighted. (fn. 4)
The three ships intended for Virginia have sailed, others are to be commissioned by those interested in that venture. Hears from Holland that the Dutch East India fleet has sailed. The new ban has been served on the “Possessioners,” ordering them without delay to demolish Muhlheim and to prove that they have done so within two months. They, however, are firmly resolved to resist by force of arms and to keep up that strong place. The Emperor came to taking this step in spite of the protests of his Majesty's Ambassador. His Majesty made to me the remarks which you will gather from the enclosed. There is news of peace between Sweden and Denmark. It is thought that this peace and the Turkish armaments will cause the Emperor to think of anything rather than the execution of his bans.
The Elector Palatine is to leave on the 8th of next month, and will take the Princess with him. The four galleons and other royal ships that are to act as escort are being got ready.
The Ambassador of France told me that he has a copy of the peace between Turkey and Persia signed by the Grand Signior; neither the King nor any one else has positive news on the subject.
Orders for reprisals have been issued against Genoese persons and property. Some prisoners have already been captured, and the Council has refused bail or any other concession. A few days ago the ship that had the Persian Ambassador on board was seen in great peril at sea for many hours; and we do not know whether she has continued her voyage or been lost.
London, 8th March, 1613.
March 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 783. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday I was at the last of the fêtes. I had some conversation with the Earl of Northampton. Baron Hay led me through various rooms full of ladies and gentlemen to the gallery, where I found the King with the leading nobility, the Prince and the newly wedded couple were in the midst of them. His Majesty withdrew a little from the rest, he received me very kindly and said it was only right that your Excellencies, who were so much interested in the welfare of this kingdom, should be present at all the festivities in the person of him who serves you. I bowed and thanked him, and added that out of special regard for his Majesty Giovanni Vicenzo Gaetano had been arrested and was still at his Majesty's disposition under good guard. The King said he had been informed by his Ambassador in Venice; it was impossible to find out whether Gaetano's story was true, but anyway he would not forget your Excellencies' action. He told me that Gaetano had informed his Ambassador that the Count of Lemos, Viceroy of Naples, had sent four men to murder him, of whom this Gaetano is one. He complained vigorously of the Spanish intrigues. His Majesty told me that the Archduke's Ambassador had raised a thousand objections, and made a thousand indecorous remarks; but he was in the wrong; that a distinction must be drawn between friends and enemies. I replied that in this case his Majesty had done what all other sovreigns do. He then went on to remark that the Turk was arming by sea and much more by land, and has already turned his thoughts to Transylvania. He has no certain news of the peace with Persia. When the Nuncio of Spain urged the Emperor to issue a more rigid ban, they were told that he must act with caution; as there were signs of war with the Turk the Emperor could not afford to annoy the confederated Princes, of whose support he had urgent need. He told me that the peace between Sweden and Denmark was true. He thought it important and dwelt on the fact that this peace and the Turkish armaments will compel Spain and the Emperor to attend to their own business. The Queen joined us and we walked towards the great hall, where they danced the ballet.
London, 8th March, 1613.
[Italian; this part in italics deciphered.]
March 10. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 784. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marchese Villa has returned to Court and is getting ready for his mission to England. He will be accompanied by Gabaleone, and besides conveying condolences for the death of the Prince and congratulations for the marriage of the Princess, he will reopen the question of marriage. There is a general idea that the proposal is not hopeless, in view of the fact that the English must find a wife for the sole Prince left, and that there are no other marriageable Princesses of higher rank.
The English corsair is in bed, wounded by a harquebuss, which put him in danger of his life. He has already bought a palace in Villafranca and is living there. He has secured warehouses for his goods; these are so valuable that I am assured from various quarters that, what with jewels and coin, the total amounts to upwards of two millions of gold. These details were confirmed to me by the English Agent here resident, who is opposed to the ideas of the pirate on the ground that he is a rebel, odious to his Majesty. I don't know yet what decision will be taken about the safeconduct he desires to get, although it is likely that his offer to pay ten per cent. and to pledge himself to give up piracy will have great weight in helping him to his end. They are waiting nine other vessels; one, in addition to the original four, has already arrived. There are those who suggest that his Highness may use these vessels for some purpose of his own, but of this I have no certainty. As soon as Eston is cured he is expected here; and I may have a better opportunity to find out if they negotiate with him. He has resolved to give up piracy partly because of the great booty he has amassed, which he is unwilling to risk, and also because he has become hateful, not only to the Spanish, but also to the English and the Dutch, because without exception of person he plundered all alike. Last year there were thirty English and Dutch ships chartered to fight him, but they never fell in with him. (Il Corsaro Inglese s'attrova nel letto ferito d'archibuggiata, che l'ha tenuto in pericolo della vita. Ha già comprato in Villafranca un palazzo per se ov'egli alloggia, havendosi fatto accommodar magazeni per le sue mercantie, quali sono cosi preciose e di tanto valore che mi viene affermato da più d'una parte con le gioic et contanti ascendano a più di due millioni di oro. Et questo particolare m'è stato confirmato dall'agente d'Inghilterra che qui resicde, il quale però, per quanto ho potato scoprire non è favorevole a pensieri del Corsaro anzi contrario come persona ribelle del Rè et odiosissimo da sua Maestà. Non si sa anco qual risolutione sia per prendresi sopra di lui per il salvacondotto che desidera, se bene l'offerta di pagar dieci per cento con l'assoluta promessa appresso d'astenersi dal corseggiare si crede che haverà gran forza per farli conseguir quanto pretende. S'aspettano altri nove vascelli; essendori ultimamente gionto uno presso li quattro primi. Et vi è chi discorre che S.A. possa valersi di questi vascelli con armarli a qualche fine, di che per ciò non ho quella siccurezza ch'io vorrei per poterlo scriver più fondatamente. Subito ch'egli sia risanato si attende qui, et forse con miglior occasione potrò scoprire se si tratterà cosa concernente l'interesse di cotesta Serenissima Republica. Egli si è resoluto di ritirarsi così per le grosse prede che ha già fatte, et che non vorebbe adventurare, come anco per essersi hormai reso odioso non solo a Spagnoli ma agli Inglesi et Olandesi ancora, poiche senza riguardo o eccettione di persona, spogliava tutti egualmente; et l'anno passato furono contra di lui armati 30 vascelli da Olandesi et Inglesi, per batterlo, a quali però non successe d'incontrarlo.)
Turin, 10th March, 1613.
March 14. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 785. Commission to Paulo Thiepolo, elected Captain of the Great Galleys.
In order that you may know how to deal with English ships, we enclose copy of circular to all our captains, dated 24th September, 1605.
March 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives 786. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Saturday I was with the Archbishop of Canterbury. He told me that the King had informed him of the readiness with which your Excellencies had arrested Gaetano, showed complete satisfaction and was much obliged. The King had charged him to examine the case along with two other members of the Council, but the Viscount Rochester instead of bringing the right papers had brought others by mistake, hence a delay. All the same his Majesty had given orders to the Secretary at the Embassy in Venice for his guidance. The matter will be discussed and steps taken to secure the King's life. It is impossible to know whether the revelations made by Gaetano are true, though it is very likely, and the King thinks they are. I pointed out that in similar cases much depended on promptness and secrecy and that it would be well if Gaetano were as quickly as possible in the hands of the Ambassador and the King, who then could act us he thought best with the knowledge of only one or two of the Council. I said this so as to relieve your Excellencies of any further dealing with the examination of the man and in execution of your orders. The Archbishop approved my suggestion, and said he would speak about it. He then went on to tell me in confidence that six months ago the Council was warned that two persons were going to arrive here to attempt the King's life; one of these had a wound on his hand; shortly after there did arrive a man with this and other marks, and so he was imprisoned. He admitted that he was a Milanese who had served for long as a soldier in Flanders; he knew no one in this country, nor had he any business; but he cloaked his evil designs under the plea that he had come to see the country. Nevertheless the King's clemency had caused him to be discharged after a few days, and he left the kingdom. The Archbishop seemed inclined to believe that this fellow might be one of the four sent by the Viceroy of Naples. He concluded that he had always considered this Milanese, who called himself Antonio di Paton, had come here with the worst intention and on an evil errand. He told me that the King of Spain has one thousand two hundred Irishmen in his service, and careful observation had shown that out of these five or six hundred had returned to Ireland by ones and twos and threes at a time. This increased their suspicions about an attempt on Ireland. These returned Irish are dependents of the Spanish, by whom they are benefited, and are ready for any evil job, not so much thanks to their numbers but thanks to their relations in that island and because they had gained experience in the wars. Orders have been issued here and in Scotland to despatch at a moment's notice, if needed, seven or eight thousand infantry, also some horse to Ireland. He told me that the Marquis de Flores had done them a bad turn in Spain and here there reigns a general hatred of that country. He ended by saying that beacons had been prepared all round the coast to be lighted should an armada appear, and orders given that all the musters are to be filled up by the first of next month, both foot and horse, the men to be armed and ready to march. Enclosed is the Order of Council sent to all the counties.
London, 15th March, 1613.
[Italian, the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 787. After Greetings.
The peace we have enjoyed since the accession of his Majesty has bred such security that there is now a great lack of arms and munitions of war such as should be found in a well-governed country. Every man is now to provide himself with arms; the times require this and the growing audacity of the recusants. The King has therefore ordered a general muster of arms throughout this kingdom. Such order is to be carried out voluntarily for the public good. You are required to hold this muster and to enrol both disciplined and undisciplined, and to see that the companies are filled up. You are to admit no exemptions. All clergy to appear, so too the Justices. The muster is to be made in various places in the county, so that no one may have a long way to go. All musters to be held on the same day, so as to avoid the men lending their arms and horses. You are to look to the supply of powder, balls, gun carriages, tow. The ammunition to be stored in the capital of the country. You are to prepare beacons. (fn. 5)
The Court at Whitehall, 10th February, 1613.
March 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 788. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Two days after the despatch of my last the King received letters from Sir Robert Anstruther, his Lieger in Denmark, with confirmation and particulars of the peace between Denmark and Sweden. This peace is an important event; the King proposes to unite both Denmark and Sweden in the confederation of Princes. Ambassadors from both are expected. M. de Plessen has left for France with letters from the Palatine for the King, the Queen, and the Duke de Bouillon. The French Ambassador has had long secret conferences with the Councillors of the Palatine. This makes the Spanish Ambassador suspicious. The Elector of Cologne, the Duke of Bavaria and the Bishop of Bamberg have asked the Queen of France whether she would enter the league of the Pope, the Emperor and Spain. She said she would not, but no more would she join the Protestant federation. This I have from the lips of the Archbishop.
London, 15th March, 1613.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 789. Sir Robert Anstruther to the Council.
The Commissioners of Sweden and Denmark had a meeting on the 29th November, at which Vormeston (fn. 6) and I were present. Difficulties arose. The Swedish Commissioners insisting on restitution, which the Danish refused. We feared that our mission would fail. However, both sides showed satisfaction at our presence and that His Majesty should have been at the pains to send his Ministers for such a purpose. We, however, by the grace of God, so acted that peace was concluded, a peace for which the King of England alone has all the credit. Both Kings will send to thank him. The terms are, that the King of Denmark shall restore to Sweden all the strong places captured; the King and Crown of Sweden shall pay to Denmark ten tons of gold in six years' time; each ton to contain one hundred thousand dollars; the King of Denmark shall keep the castle of Helsingborg until extinction of the debt; if the debt be not paid within the stipulated time, Helsingborg shall remain to Denmark for ever; the King of Sweden renounces all claims his father, Charles, may have held to the northern part of Norway; that the question of the three crowns in the arms be not raised; both Kings and their successor may bear them. Calmar, öland and all that belongs to them shall be restored to Sweden on the 6th of April; all ships and guns captured at sea or on land shall remain to Denmark and the treaty of Stettin shall be renewed; the Danes shall be free to trade in Sweden as though they were nationals, the Swedes in Denmark on the same footing. There are many other points not yet subscribed by both parties, but they are of small moment and will not upset the peace. Though a cessation of arms has not been declared I can assure you that since August 20th there has been no fighting. Now that peace is established I trust to so work with the King of Denmark that the dues at Elsinore may be reduced to their ancient wonted proportions. From Knerod, on the borders of Denmark and Sweden.
Jan. 18th, 1613.
Robert Anstruther.
March 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 790. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
In obedience to my orders I have endeavoured to find out the nature of the league which is said to be concluded between the Turk and the Dutch. For that purpose I went to the English Ambassador. He told me he had recent letters from Constantinople informing him that the Dutch had not negotiated any league there, but merely commercial capitulations and the establishment of their consuls in Turkish ports.
Madrid, 16th March, 1613.
March 16. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 791. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The affair of Captain Eston is in such a position that, as I am informed, he has let himself be persuaded to unlade all his belongings, even to the sails and rigging of his ships, which he has placed in the arsenal at Nice; so that it is no longer in his power to move should he wish to; every puff of south-west wind that rose against him would be a master stroke for the Duke, who without racking his brains as he does now to find money, would thus have provided sufficiently and abundantly for his needs. Eston is expected at Court in two days and there are many who prophesy for him a bad end to his resolve to come to these States. He has nothing else in his favour save the edict of full security which was issued to establish the freedom of the port of Villafranca; though even here they would find a way out as Eston put in there before the publication of the Edict. Moreover this sudden increase would bring more advantage at a single stroke to the port of Villafranca than could accrue in many years by any other means. It is true that his Highness is so hard up that, to state the fact, he is unable to send out his Ambassadors for no other reason than for lack of money. The cause of this poverty is the fact that the Duke keeps on foot a large force of foreign troops which cost him three hundred thousand crowns a year. And yet though there is not a sou in the Treasury these troops have been engaged for another three months, no one knows why. (Il negotio del Capitan Corsaro è in tale stato, per quanto mi viene affirmato, che egli si ha lasciato consigliare a metter a terra tutto il suo sin le vele, et armizzi de suoi proprii vascelli nell'arsenale di Nizza, talche non è più in suo potere il levarsi di quà quando bene volesse; ond'ogni poca di garbinela che le fosse levato contra, sarebbe un colpo mæstro per S.A. che senza lambicarsi il cervello come hora fa per ritrovar denari harrebbe proveduto sufficientemente e largamente al suo bisogno; egli si attende fra due giorni in Corte, et molti sono che vano pronosticandole un esito poco felice alla risolutione che ha preso di venire in questi Stati; nè altra cosa ri è che per lui sia favorevole, senon l'editto d'ampla sicurtà uscito in stampa per la franchigia del porto di Villafranca, al che non restano per ciò di ritrovar la risolutione, poichè il corsaro capitò prima ch' uscisse il bando; oltre che per un avanzo cosi grande quando ben il porto di Villafranca non facesse altre facende apporterà tanto gioramento in un sol colpo quanto potrebbe apportarne in molti anni per altra via; et in vero, ch'il bisogno di S.A. di denari è tale ch'a dirla com'è non può spedire gl'ambasciatori destinati, non per altro che per il mancamento sudetto, la causa di cosi fatta stretezza nasce dal tenersi in piedi un mumero di militie forastiere di qualche consideratione, che apportono un dispendio annuo di più di m/300 scudi, e pur nonostante che non vi sia, si puo dire un quattrino, sono state confirmate gia 4 giorni per altri tre mesi ancora, senza redersi a che fine.)
Turin, 16th March, 1613.
March 18. Consiglio de' Dieci. Parti Secrete. Venetian Archives. 792. After the administration of the oath. That to please the English Ambassador grace be extended to Paolo Emilio Fumanelli, of Verona, condemned to fifteen years' imprisonment in one of the strong prisons of the Chiefs of the Ten. The sentence was passed by the Rectors of Verona as delegates of this Council, on December 9th, 1610. Fumanelli may now be allowed to finish his sentence in the fortress of Palma.
Ayes 4. Second vote 4.
Noes 1. 3. Suspended.
Neutrals 4. 2.
March 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 793. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador informed their Majesties of the marriage of his Master's daughter to the Palatine, and that both would shortly cross over to Holland on their way to Heidelberg. The Ambassador then went to Villeroy, and showed him letters from the King in which his Majesty excused himself for not having as yet been able to pay attention to Villeroy's suggestions of a match, on account of the wedding festivities; he said that whenever he was set at liberty by the departure of the Palatine, he would very gladly take the matter up. Meantime the Ambassador begged Villeroy to wind up the question of the credit with the Dutch, in order to remove this obstacle. Villeroy replied that they were even then engaged in examining the question, and hoped to settle it in a short time; the Ambassador then dwelt on the danger which threatened from Cleves, and his Master's desire to settle the matter. He said that the Crown of France should do the same.
A few days ago there arrived a gentleman sent from Munich by the Princes of the Catholic League to tell their Majesties of the renewal of that alliance in opposition to the Princes of the Union. He magnified the power of the League, which, he said, would be supported by Spain, and endeavoured to find out French views on the subject, and to open the way to some engagement in favour of the League. A very circumscribed answer was given him, committing the French to nothing, one way or the other; only that their Majesties desired peace in Germany and would do all they could to secure it. It is thought, however, that they will stand by their agreement with England to oppose the election of Albert as King of the Romans, because the King of Spain intends by that means to bring the Imperial Crown to one of his children. De Praslin, who was to have gone to England on a mission of condolence for the death of the Prince of Wales, would have touched on that topic; but it seems that mission will be abandoned; for as the King of England did not send to condole on the death of Orleans it would not comport with their dignity to do more than he had done.
There are two Ambassadors here from England; one from the Palatine to announce his marriage; the other is the Wirtemberg Ambassador on his way home.
Paris, 19th March, 1613.
March 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 794. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke of Rohan and the Huguenots are so cast down by the death of the Prince of Wales and keep so quiet that it is evident that they counted greatly on him.
Paris, 19th March, 1613.
March 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 795. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
A Councillor of the Palatine told me that his Master had begged the King to instruct his Ambassador at Constantinople to tell the Grand Vizir, the Mufti and whoever he thinks right, that the Princes of the Union intend to live in peace with the Sultan as long as he is fighting outside Germany, where alone they hold sway and have interests. When the Palatine is on his way through Holland he will induce the States to write in the same sense to their Ambassador at the Porte. Transylvania is of no interest to them and it is not fair that the Emperor, for his own private interests, should disturb them all. He suggested that the Venetian Ambassador at the Porte might, if occasion offered, explain to the leading Pashas the views of the Princes of the Union. I did what I could to find out whether the King has written; it seems that he has. On Saturday I was with Count Henry, and endcavoured to find out whether there were any negotiations on foot between the States and the Turk. He told me that the Ambassador had pointed out what the United Provinces might do, and had made offers; that it suited them that his Catholic Majesty should believe that there was an alliance. The Spanish Ambassador, who lives in suspicion as to this understanding, told me he wished to speak to Glover, who is in his confidence, and has just returned from Constantinople. The Ambassador is doing all he can to find out the truth. The French Ambassador told me that a copy of the Capitulations are in the King's hands; they contain provision for freedom of trade and friendly relations; if the States were at war with Spain then the Turk is to come to their assistance with thirty ships of war, but in no other circumstances nor against any other power, for it does not suit the Dutch to render themselves odious to the rest of mankind, nor to break the truce as long as the King of France is still a child and a minor. He said he was going to write to M. de Refuges to send him a copy from Holland, as I too have frequently done. On his Majesty's return I will use all diligence to get a copy and I will send it to your Excellencies, though I presume you have had one long ago.
London, 21st March, 1613.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 796. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary of Savoy, on Monday week, received letters from Turin forwarded by M. de Jacob from Paris. The following day he went to Court, which is three days' journey from here, and had two audiences. He showed to the King a petition from the city of Vercelli on the subject of contribution to the Episcopal revenue, and the order of the Curator of the Patrimony in favour of the petitioners in spite of the Nuncio's Monitorium to the contrary. The King paid the closest attention and particularly approved the arguments of the Curator, insisting that any papal excommunication on those grounds was really invalid and unjust. He thoroughly agreed with the position taken by the Duke and made large promises. The Secretary also informed his Majesty that the Marchese Villa would soon be here, hinting clearly at negotiations for a match. The Secretary received a general answer in very satisfactory terms. He sent off the messenger again to M. de Jacob. He also handed letters to Viscount Rochester and has visited Lady Jane Drummond, the Queen's Lady, on express orders of the Duke. I saw a letter in which it was said that the Ambassador would bring gifts and means to reward those who assist him. The Spanish Ambassador has received despatches assuring him of the coming of his successor and eight thousand crowns to assist his expenses.
Among the many compositions printed on the occasion of the late festivities are some latin verses attacking Spain. The ideas are vigorous and expressed without reserve; in brief but clear phrases they touch on the negotiations for the Prince's marriage, and say they were a fraud. “Let them,” it says, “prepare an armada against this kingdom; let them spread their wiles; but remember the Armada of '88.” The gunpowder plot is laid to the door of Spain. The work is sold freely and publicly.
The day before yesterday the Admiral left to review the royal ships, and to see that the four galleons destined to escort the Princess to Holland are ready.
The Dutch Ambassador was at Newmarket last week. The King was there.
The meeting at Erfurt has broken up, and the Princes of the Union have told the Emperor that in the question of Transylvania they will deal by him as he deals by them on the points that they desire to be settled.
London, 22nd March, 1613.
March 24. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 797. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The Marchese Villa has not yet been despatched to England, so his mission will fall about Easter. He will be accompanied by a large suite of gentlemen and nobles, among whom is the son of the Count della Bastia, who, they say, is to remain in England as Lieger if the negotiations for the match take a favourable turn, as they hope here in spite of the contrary news which comes from France to the effect that the match between Madame Christine and the little English Prince is virtually concluded.
Turin, 24th March, 1613.
March 24. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 798. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Corsair (Eston) arrived in Turin two hours ago. He has only four persons with him. He is a handsome man of about forty; and as the idea of his riches grows day by day, so hour by hour grows the prophecy of an unhappy end for him. (Il Corsaro due hore fa è gionto in Turino in compagnia di soli quattro; è persona di bell' aspetto d'età di circa 40 anni; et come di giorno in giorno cresce il concetto delle sue richezze, cosi tanto maggiore d'hora in hora si fà il pronostico del suo infelice fine.)
Turin, 24th March, 1613.
March 27. Collegio, Lettere, Venetian Archives. 799. To the Palatine congratulating him on his alliance with the King of England.
March 28. Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives. 800. That three hundred and two crowns, lire three, of lire seven to each crown, be given to the representatives of our faithful notary in ordinary in our Ducal Chancery, Giulio Muscorno, for the cost of his journey to England; also one hundred ducats of lire 6 soldi 4 the ducat for his expenses in preparing for the journey, none of which was paid to him before his departure, as appears from the Ambassador's despatches of Feb. 8th just read.
Ayes 188.
Noes 7.
Neutrals 15.
March 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 801. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary of Spain went to Court with a letter from the Ambassador to the King. He begs the King to read the little book which accompanies the letter and then he will see things that will move him to burn it and punish the author. If his Majesty did not act thus, the world would think he was no friend, but rather despised the King of Spain. The book contained the verses I wrote about this day week. The King's answer was that he was not at all surprised at the complaint; for the very day the book was published it fell into his hands by chance, and he lighted on the verses attacking Spain. He at once sent for the High Chancellor, who is also Chancellor of Oxford, and told him to remove the verses and to punish the author. He promised to renew the order and to prove that he will not endure that his peers should be insulted. The letter was written in French and addressed “A Monsieur Don Alonso de Velasco, Ambassador of Spain.” The Secretary took away with him the instructions to the Chancellor, which the Spanish Ambassador forwarded, but though the book has been prohibited it is still sold freely, nor is any alteration made in it. The Ambassador told me that when he saw the King he would lodge a complaint, as he could not pass over so grave an offence so publicly given. I have received despatches informing me about the Uscocks and the Emperor's promise to remove them from Segna. As to whether there is any league between the Dutch and the Turk, on the King's return I will endeavour to find out from him himself. I am generally assured that the Dutch Ambassador at the beginning of his negotiations, finding all the other Ambassadors against him, in order to make headway, did make vigorous offers of aid against Spain, but not against any other power. The Spanish Ambassador has not yet spoken to Glover. I think I can assure your Excellencies that the Dutch have never promised aid against any but Spain.
London, 29th March, 1613.
March 29. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 802. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The latest letters from the Ambassador in Constantinople are of the 4th of January. The despatches for the King contain the Sultan's orders in Adrianople, to which place he was induced to go with nearly all his harem, by Nasuf Pasha. The letters to the Levant Company contain Nasuf's orders to the Ambassador to pay indemnity for plunder committed by Middleton, (fn. 7) an Englishman, in the Red Sea. He is in command of some buccaneers. There is other news in letters of the 29th February, via Naples, but it is not trusted. The English Ambassador in Venice sends information as to the election of a Governor at Cattaro and the resolve to send him armed. But the King, and everyone else here, is convinced that Turkish arms are intended for Transylvania. The Duke of Nevers has asked leave of the Queen of France to go there with a large following of gentlemen. The Queen has not yet given her consent. The Federate Princes stand firm in their resolve to refuse all support to the Emperor until he has signed the demands they present to him. They have settled that the Elector of Brandenburg is to enter the Imperial Diet and he will do so in person. The point about the Palatine is not settled. The Spanish Ambassador tells me that in the Diet they will discuss whether Transylvania is to be defended, as though it were an open question. He thinks the Turk will take it, and also push far into Germany. The King has instructed his Ambassador at the Imperial Court to go to Brandenburg to settle some points which will be raised in the Diet. He will then return to the Emperor, from whom he has not yet had an answer to his vigorous remonstrances as regards the Palatinate, Aix-la-Chapelle, and Mühlheim. The dispatch of new Commissioners to Aix commonly produces a bad effect. In Holland Count Maurice is arming.
London, 29th March, 1613.
March 29. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 803. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
On Monday the Palatine sent to visit the Spanish Ambassador, then this Embassy, and last the Flemish Ambassador. The Spanish Ambassador could not receive him owing to indisposition. The Palatine came to this house with a great train of gentlemen. I received him as becomes a King's son-in-law. After compliments, he remarked that the House of Austria showed a great desire for war with the Turk; that they might find that the Sultan wanted nothing else than to put a Duke in Transylvania—he used the expression “Duke”—and that Bathori had had recourse first of all to the Sultan. I asked if he thought the war would be ended supposing the Emperor yielded to this demand. The Palatine's governor said “Yes.” I gathered quite clearly that the Federated Princes loathe the war with the Turk, for if it be carried on by Austrian arms they are filled with suspicion; if by their own, it is very costly. It is nearly certain that in the Diet they will introduce delays and perhaps will persuade the Emperor to allow the Turk to place Bathori on the throne of Transylvania. Since the House of Austria held the Empire it has grown poor owing to the burden entailed. The Palatine goes to-day to see the King, and on the 8th of next month he will set out with the Princess. I asked if he would be back here before winter, and he said he thought not, and added that he hoped to see me at Heidelberg when I left England. He declared he desired to be closely united to your Excellencies as was the King, and if you desired anything that would bring him closer he was always ready. He showed that he appreciated the fact that you had sent an Ambassador to his father. He praised Tomaso Contarini, and then took his leave. He spent a very short time at the Flemish Embassy, and this proceeding, which was taken on purpose, confirms your Excellencies' eminence as the equal of Crowned Heads.
London, 29th March, 1613.
March 30. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 804. Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke left Turin on Sunday at mid-day for Vercelli to meet the Infanta dowager. A few miles out he was overtaken by a messenger from the Prince. He returned to Turin next day. Yesterday he again set out for Vercelli. Yesterday morning Gabaleone left by post for Milan on the plea of buying some jewels to make a present to the Queen of England. The Corsair (Eston) is on the point of acquiring Marquisates and other fiefs. He follows the Court and the Duke wherever they go, and in appearance so far he is treated with esteem. There are some who are of opinion that his riches are not so great as reported; this I have from the lips of one who has gone very far into his affairs. (Il Corsaro sta in procinto di attendere ad acquisti di Marchesati, e altri feudi; seguita la Corte et il Sigr. Duca ov'unque egli si attrova, ch' in apparenza sin a quest hora mostra di farne stima. Alcuni sono entrati in opinione che le sue richezze non siano tante quante si và publicando et viene di bocca di persona ch' ha penetrato assai a dentro nelle cose sue.)
Turin, 30th March, 1613.


  • 1. The King was tired. The Masque was planned by Bacon. See Birch, op. cit. 1, 227, 228.
  • 2. = 83 litres.
  • 3. = 147,312 kilos; about a quintal and a half.
  • 4. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1611–1618, p. 177.
  • 5. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1611–1618. p. 169.
  • 6. See Dumont “Corps Diplomatique,” v. por 2, p. 642. The Commissioners for James were “Robertum Ambstruter de Anstrutter, ab interioris cubiculis et Jacobum Spencerum Equitem.”
  • 7. Captain David Middleton. In April of 1614 he received a commission to use martial law while in command of a ship belonging to the East India Company.