Venice: October 1610

Pages 51-59

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 1610

Oct. 2. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 66. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
After the affair of the English who are to settle at Leghorn was concluded the desire to go privateering has revived. The Grand Duke is opposed, but he will have to yield to his Ministers, as there is considerable profit to be got from these expeditions.
Florence, 2nd October, 1610.
Oct. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 67. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador Extraordinary has received his congé and a copy of the league signed by their Majesties; also a jewel worth a thousand crowns. Yesterday he left for Fontainbleau, where he will be received and entertained. He will be back in three days, and after staying one or two more he will set out for England covered with honours and favours.
Paris, 6th October, 1610.
Oct. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 68. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
For many days past his Majesty has been suffering from violent relaxation of the bowels brought on by the fruit he eats. (fn. 1) He did not pay attention to it, but on Tuesday at Greenwich, where he had gone to act as god-father to a son of the Earl of Argyll, he was sick and had to go to bed and to send to London and Cambridge for doctors, a thing he had never done in the whole course of his life, as he himself assured me recently at Woodstock. At the baptism the Prince took the King's place, the second god-father was the Earl of Salisbury, and god-mother the Marchioness of Winchester, (fn. 2) niece of the Earl of Salisbury on his brother's side. Everyone tries to win Lord Salisbury's favour, as his authority and reputation are without parallel in this kingdom.
The moment the Queen heard of the King's indisposition she left Hampton Court for Greenwich, and finding him much better they returned the same day to Hampton Court, which the Court loves for its size and for it3 excellent air. The King will soon leave again for his usual chase at Royston, to which he attributes so much of his health, apart from the great pleasure he takes therein, and that makes him impatient now and he is with difficulty persuaded to stay where he is until he has recovered his strength a little, though this indisposition is not considered free of danger unless he pays more heed to it than he has hitherto done. The day before yesterday I did my duty to his Majesty and to-day I have sent to enquire after his health; this has pleased them greatly, and his Majesty sent back an answer that I cannot repeat without blushing. I will defer my audience to his Majesty's convenience and will inform them of my business.
Besides the three men-of-war built in Scotland there is another here intended for the Prince. His Highness has shown solicitude and taken great pains that it should be built most carefully, even coming down himself to see that this was done. She has turned out a magnificent work for size, construction, and adornment of carving painting, and gilding. She is of 1,800 tons burden, and so built that she can hardly sink even though pierced by the enemy's artillery. (fn. 3) There are stands for eighty guns, but I am told that his Highness will not have more than fifty, so that she may be lighter and more handy. On Monday the King, the Queen and all the Princes went to see her launched, but the mouth of the dock in which she was built proved too narrow, and they had to give up the attempt. His Majesty gave it the name of the “Royal Prince”; and his Highness went down again the next day two hours before dawn at the top of the tide, being resolved at any cost to be present when she entered the river. (fn. 4) He hopes to cross over to Denmark in her very soon to visit his uncle. (Riesce una stupenda machina per la capacità, per l'artificio, et per gli ornamenti d'intaglio, pitture et oro. E di portata di 1800 botte, et fatto in modo che difficilmente può esser affondata ancorche venga forato dall' artiglieria nemica. Vi é dessignata piazza per 80 pezzi, ma mi viene affermato che sua Altezza non re ne vuole più di einquanta perché riesca più pronto et leggiero.
Andorno lunedi il Ré, la Regina e tutti li Principi per vederlo metter all' acqua, ma essendosi trovata la bocca delle fossa, dentro la quale é stato fabbricato troppo angusta, doppo haverlo mosso, bisognò cessar dall' impresa. Sua Maestà li diede nome di Real Principe, et l'Altezza sua si transferi di nova la mattina seguente due hore avanti giorno nel colmo della marea al medesimo luoco havendo voluto in ogni modo trovarsi presente quando é stato calato nel fiume. Conq il qual Vascella spera di poter passar ben presto in Danimarca a ritrovare il Ré suo Cio.)
At Cologne they are trying to arrange for the pacification of all Germany. They wish to interest his Catholic Majesty and the Archduke Albert. To the disagreement between Brandenburg and Neuburg is added this new claim of Neuburg to the guardianship of the young Count Palatine. Neuburg pretends that the father has no right to confer the guardianship on the Duke and Duchess of Deuxponts to his prejudice. Saxony continues to urge his claims to Cleves and gains strength from this discord. All this gives a great deal of trouble to the Congress sitting on this subject. The proposal to place the fortress of Juliers in the hands of the Prince of Orange meets with little approval from the King of England and the United Provinces and this is the chief reason why it is ineffective.
The Duke of Saxony recently addressed a letter to the States General of the Low Countries, but as the address was not in the form due to free Sovreigns, it was sent back to him unopened.
The reconciliation of the Emperor with Mathias (fn. 5) has been coldly received by many, still it is thought that the Congress of Cologne will find a way to an agreement, and the disbanding of the auxiliaries in Cleves will not only close the negotiations in Cologne but will induce the Spaniards to disarm in the Milanese. The artillery has been taken back already to Holland, and Archduke Albert has recalled his troops from the frontier.
London, 7th October, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 8. Senato, Secreta, Despatches from Florence, Venetian Archives. 69. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The English who came to settle in Leghorn were assisted thereto by the Pope as being Catholics. I hear the Grand Duke will grant them the flag to go privateering, on paying the deposit (smiragliata (fn. 6) ).
Florence, 8th October, 1610.
Oct. 19. Consiglio de'Dieci, Parti Communi. Venetian Archives. 70. That Mattio Serpato who denounced Benetto Lombardo for carrying a pistol have a voice in the liberation of an outlaw.
Ayes 13.
Noes 0.
Neutrals 2.
Oct. 20. Senato, Secreta, Despatches from the Proveditore Generale in Candia. Venetian Archives. 71. Girolamo Capello, Governor General in Candia, to the Doge and Senate.
The English berton “Corsaletta” about which your Serenity requires information was, in obedience to orders of the Senate, consigned by this government to Arthur Sheers (Siers), an Englishman. Sheers left for Chios, and named as his agent Vivian Segari, English Consul in this city, with special orders to sell her for one thousand sequins, as by enclosed papers. Segari arranged to sell the ship and six pieces of artillery to Zorzi Vlastò for one thousand sequins, to be paid in five years, payment to be made in March each year. Vlastò, for various reasons, having refused to stand by his bargain, Segari, to avoid a suit, took over the contract in the terms in which it was made with Vlastò. This transfer was registered, and as Segari declares, Arthur Sheers was notified at Chios. Segari at present holds the thousand sequins and eight iron guns and says he is ready to pay the two instalments now due at a word from your Serenity or from Sheers. Segari says he bought the vessel so that she might not rot in port; that he has spent a lot on her and has sent her on her first voyag3 to the Archipelago and then on another to Alexandria, whence he expect her back day by day.
Canea, 20th October, 1610.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 72. Note of the papers relating to the berton “Corsaletta.”
No. 1. Letter of Sagredo mentioning order of Senate.
No. 2. Commission from Arthur Sheers to Vivian Segari.
No. 3. Notes of a minute left by Arthur Sheers with Segari.
No. 4. Inventory of the ship and her fittings as consigned to Sheers.
No. 5. Purchase of ship by Segari.
No. 6. Segari's papers when sending out the “Corsaletta” for corn.
Covered by preceding despatch. 73. Presented to the Most Illustrious Signor Cavalier by Arthur Sheers (Siers), Englishman, on the first of August 1608.
While I was in that city I received despatches from the Senate dated 2nd of May last by which I was strictly enjoined to restore the ship “Corsaletta,” captured by the commander of the great galleys, Venier, and lying now many months in that port; I was also ordered to release the master and the crew and consign all the fittings and cargo into the hands of Arthur Sheers or Ellis Martin (Hilis), an Englishman, or whoever acted for them. At the moment that I received these orders neither of these persons was in Cane and their agent sent letters to Chios, where they were, to tell them to despatch some one for this business. I now hear that the said Arthur is at Suda, in quarantine, and I have letters requesting me to give effect to the public orders; I therefore require you, without delay and removing all difficulties which might fairly arise, to restore the ship and all it contains, fittings, artillery, merchandise, everything taken out of her, all her victuals, free of any charge whatsoever even to the charge of unloading her, as also of any claim which might entail charges on the ship or her cargo.
The same to apply to all that has been saved from the wreck of the two English ships which were lost a few months ago inside Cap Spada; all this to be handed over to the said Arthur, but on hi voluntary assent you will keep two per cent. of the values. You will make the necessary deposit, and will give full and immediate execution to the will of the Senate nor cause me to come in person to that city before the ordinary affairs require, as it is my resolut intention that these orders be carried out.
Candia, 21st July, 1608.
Nicolò Sagredo.
Addressed to :—
The Illustrious Gentleman,
Girolamo Longo,
Vice-Rector of Canea.
Covered by preceding despatch. 74. Notarial act dated 14th September, 1608, executed in Canea, by which Arthur Sheers (Siers), English merchant, grants powers to Vivian Segari, acting English Consul in Canea, absent but as though present, to represent him at law in defence of his claims; to make depositions, retain counsel and solicitors, to enter protests, to recover credits, sell goods, convene Council of Twelve, in short to fulfil all that is enjoined upon him by the instructions with which he has been furnished; with right to appeal and to name substitutes, and in everything to act as though he were the said Arthur in person, who promises to be bound by all his acts.
Covered by preceding despatch. 75. Instructions given by Arthur Sheers to Vivian di Grasseti Segari.
As for the “Corsaletta” you are to have a care of her and to treat with the amiraglio who has promised me every courtesy in taking the ship to Gurgutha, which I desire may be done as soon as possible; and should he show any desire to buy her you are to sell her for one thousand sequins along with two or four or all her pieces of artillery. What you do in this matter I will hold good.
Canea, 14th October, 1608.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 76. Registration of the purchase of the berton “Corsaletta” with six cannon of cast iron, for one thousand sequins, payable in five years in five instalments of two hundred sequins each, due every March.
Covered by preceding despatch. 77. Petition of Vivian Segari to the Rector of Canea.
Has spent money on the purchase and outfit of the “Corsaletta,” and now offers to send her out to fetch corn to be consigned to the Corn Exchange on the following conditions:—
A safe-conduct for export of corn from Turkey.
May declare on his return whether he will consign the whole cargo or will keep a fourth to sell at his own good will and pleasure inside the island.
Payment to him be made immediately in golden sequins of 14 lire each.
This contract to be signed and registered.
Benetto Pesaro, Rector.
Vivian Segari.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 78. Inventory of goods found in the ship “Corsaletta,” made at the instance of Arthur Sheers and in the presence of Vivian Grasseti Segari, English Consul.
Oct. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 79. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King's indisposition has lasted longer than was expected. It has kept him for two weeks, partly in bed, partly confined to his rooms by great weakness. He is now recovering strength, though very slowly. To-day he is to come to London with the intent of going to-morrow to Theobalds and thence to Royston for a few weeks. By means of the Great Chamberlain his Majesty recently informed me that if the business for which I had demanded audience did not require his presence he would be glad if I could confer with Lord Salisbury, if it did he would find time to see me. I replied expressing my desire not to trouble his Majesty while he was recovering his health, and I said the same to Lord Salisbury, who, before engaging me in conversation, conveyed to me messages from the King. I presented your Serenity's letters and made vigorous representations that the “Corsaletta” had been seized justly on various grounds and had been set free of grace; that the damage was not caused by the Republic, but must be attributed either to the length and difficulty of the voyage, or to the negligence of the English, on whose behalf orders had been issued. Lord Salisbury replied that it was not for him to give me an answer, but only to refer all I had laid before him to the King, but he added that he did not see how his Majesty could rest content while his Ambassador wrote assuring him that right was on the English side. The owner, who importunes the King, can not be satisfied either, as he has lost all hope of recovering anything and is so utterly ruined that he stirs compassion in everyone. I desired to leave his Excellency well persuaded of the sound reason of your Serenity, and so made various replies; he complained of the delay in the restitution and affirmed that the ship had offered no resistance; I gave him the true story and pointed out that it was not likely that a ship of a Sovereign so beloved by the Republic would have been seized without grave reasons. Salisbury, on the ground of not being fully informed, relied on the statements of Wotton.
After the death of the Palatine, their Majesties turned their attention still more to the question of marrying the Princess, their daughter, to the young Count. If this match comes off it will take place in a year or a little more.
The claims of the Duke of Neuberg to the guardianship of this Prince have kept the minds of the Protestants in great doubt lest he should intend to go over to the Emperor and to submit to his decision; but by the interposition of some of them and by showing him that he would greatly injure himself by accepting now a judge whom he had formerly declined, they hope to prevent this step and to find out some device by which not only the question of guardianship be settled but the Margrave of Brandenburg may retain the Duchy of Cleves and Neuburg may receive instead some other Principality and money. Of other negotiations at Cologne the King has no news for many days, although it seems that his Ambassador is not quite satisfied with his treatment at that Congress.
The English troops at the operations under Juliers have received only two pays from his Majesty, and the Estates of the United Provinces, in whose service those troops are, have instructed their Ambassador at this Court to demand that two other pays be written off the debt which the United Provinces owe to this Crown, and to show that the Provinces have undergone great charges in sending artillery, munitions, boats and other things necessary.
The terms of the treaty signed between the King and the Protestant Princes have never been sent as yet. They are now to be forwarded to the Ambassador at Cologne; but I am told from a sure source that they are being kept back till the Duke of Neuburg's action is defined.
Meantime Prince Maurice, brother of the widow-mother of the Count Palatine, has gone to join her Highness in order to lend his counsel in all that may affect his nephew. Of Prince Maurice we hear that he has contracted a marriage with a sister of Brandenburg. This would bind that Prince still closer to the United Provinces.
The Ambassadors of Sweden are still in Holland, negotiating a League with the participation of his Majesty, and they have been very successful; the States have given orders to be informed of his Majesty's resolves. His Majesty is jealous of the success of the Poles in Russia, either on the score of religion or because Spain has influence with them.
In Scotland a few days ago Bishop (?) (Bisceps) the pirate was arrested. He is very rich and has done very great damage to every nation at sea. He had gone to Scotland to lay in provisions, and under cloak of friendship he was entertained by a Scot who, at a moment when a part of Bishop's people were away to get water, attacked the ship and took the captain himself prisoner to his house; but so inclined is this race to piracy, and so feeble is the resistence offered to plunderers, that for one buccaneer uprooted many another springs up.
I have just heard that Captain Tomkins has been condemned to deat3; that is he who captured the “Balbiana.” He pleaded his own case with much boldness, and without great diligence on our side and a favourable attitude in the Judges, he would, without doubt, have saved his life, owing to the lack of evidence. He shows no fear of death, and indeed he said before the whole bench that he only regretted that he had not killed everyone found on board. (Ma tanto é inclinata questa natione al corso, et trova cosi poca resistenza nel far preda che per uno che se ne estirpi ne risorgono molti. Hora appunto intendo che sia stata giudicato reo di morte il Capitan Tomkins che prese la nave Balbiana. Egli stesso ha difesa la sua causa con molto ardire, et senza molta diligenza di questa parte et una buona dispositione de' Giudici haverebbe sicuramente campata la vita per la scarsità delle prove che si sono potute havere. Non mostra temer la morte havendo ultimamente detto nel cospetto di tutti i Giudici, che non li doleva d'altro che di non haver ammazzati quanti trovò sopra la nave).
London, 21st October, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 80. Piero Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The West Indian flotta has arrived bringing cargo to the value of nine millions of gold, two millions belong to the King and the Duke of Lerma.
Madrid, 21st October, 1610.
Oct. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 81. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
A few days ago Father Baldwin, the Jesuit, was brought here bound in very close fetters. (fn. 7) The Governor of the Tower apologised for the harsh treatment he had received on his journey and takes care that he wants for nothing. He has been thrice examined in Council. He has also been questioned as to the death of the King of France, but not only have they not, for all their diligence, got from him the smallest light, but he has succeeded in rendering nugatory the indications unfavourable to him. His courage is incredible and his answers most acute. He was posed with the supposition of a war with Spain or some other Catholic power on a point of Faith, he answered that he held himself bound to take the King of England's part, and the same should the Catholics of this Kingdom rise, or if the very Pope himself took arms on such a plea. Then on being asked what he would do should the Pope excommunicate the King and deprive him of his kingdom, he answered that he stood charged with complicity in the Gunpowder Plot, that he must give his mind to those charges. He frequently insisted to the Lords of the Council that the evidence against him was groundless, and that they should put it out of their heads that they would ever, by any means whatsoever, get from his lips what they looked for. As yet he has not been tortured in any way, and I understand that the King and Council are disposed to send him back to the Palatine by whom he was consigned to them, for they think that thus they would gain as much in the good opinion of Catholics as they would lose credit with even the heretics if Baldwin remained firm under torture and died.
London, 21st October, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 23. Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 82. To the Ambassador in England.
Authority to make a present to the Master of the Ceremonies, Lewkenor, of one hundred and fifty crowns, in view of the importance of keeping him favourably inclined, especially as our precedence is constantly attacked by the Flemish Ambassadors; also to divide one hundred crowns among the inferior officials.
Ayes 102.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 2.
Oct. 31. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Savoy. Venetian Archives. 83. Gregorio Barbarigo, Venetian Ambassador in Savoy, to the Doge and Senate.
On Thursday evening Sir Dudley Carleton, Ambassador of the King in England, arrived here. On Friday he returned my visit.
Turin, the last of October, 1610.


  • 1. Grapes. See Nichols, op. cit., Vol. II., p. 367.
  • 2. Lucy, daughter of Thomas, 1st Earl of Exeter; married to William, Marquess of Winchester.
  • 3. See Nichols, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 365, note 6, where her dimensions are given a keel 114ft., cross beam 44ft. “She will carry three score and foure pieces great ordinance and is of the burthen of 1400 tons.”
  • 4. See full account of the launch in Nichols, loc, cit.
  • 5. See Dumont, Corps. Dip. V., part 2, p. 143.
  • 6. See Rezasco Dizionario del linguaggio italiano storico et amminestrativo. A Tuscan word. If the captain of a vessel were a foreigner he had to pay a deposit to the owner before sailing.
  • 7. See Cal. S.P. Dom., Oct. 8, 1610, “Warrant to pay Sir John Burclay and Capt. Barnaby Dewhurst 120l. for conveying Baldwin from Düsseldorf to London.”