Venice: November 1610, 16-30

Pages 72-84

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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November 1610, 16–30

Nov. 16. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 108. Michiel Priuli, Venetian Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
From an English merchant who arrived here in an English ship the day before yesterday I have learned that on Monday last the ship, when sixty miles away from this island, fell in with six bertons from Tunis whose commander he understood to be Ward (Guarda). One of the six bertons came within musket shot and ordered the Captain to strike sail and yield to the ships of the Grand Signor. The Captain replied that he obeyed no one but his own King. Those of the berton declared that if he fired a single shot they would all be made slaves; the Captain answered that if the bertons began he would reply. They stood by each other thus for about three hours, then night came on and a heavy sea and they parted company.
It is also rumoured that on the 8th of the present month a berton after firing four shots has captured near Portoterra in Cephalonia a French vessel which sailed from here with a cargo of currants for Marseilles.
Zante, 16th November, 1610.
Nov. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 109. Andrea Gussoni, Augustino Nani, and Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador here (Edmondes) is of opinion that the French will not abandon the Duke of Savoy; he thinks that it is the interest of other Princes to support him so that he may not fall into the hands of Spain; and as for the King his Master, even though far off he would be ready to play his part.
Paris, 17th November, 1610.
Nov. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 110. Andrea Gussoni, Augustino Nani, and Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of the United Provinces in his audience touched on the presence of the Swedish Embassy in Holland. It is to come to the French Court to propose a league and confederation such as was submitted to England and the States. The Queen shows little inclination and Villeroy has openly said that Charles is not the legitimate King of Sweden. The Swedes urge that both England and Holland treat Charles as true King.
Paris, 17th November, 1610.
Nov. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 111. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament has been very busy these last two weeks trying to find a way to raise the money voted to the King so as to satisfy the people and with due regard to the claims of many private individuals. His Majesty himself after his return to London, which took place on Tuesday of last week, addressed Parliament in a long discourse, setting forth the necessity of extraordinary expenditure at the present juncture and pressing for some resolution. No pains are spared to keep them to their promise of the eight hundred thousand ducats of yearly revenue. The expenses on the expedition to Juliers are represented as very heavy, the Crown debts are growing daily, the affairs of Germany may at any moment call for costly aid. On this very point his Majesty has held long consultations with his Council, and shows a desire that the speeches and debates in Parliament should not be published, as he holds that the freedom of speech recently employed does not redound to the credit either of the King or of the kingdom. So far matters do not begin to shape themselves, and it is possible that Parliament may close and all the labour prove in vain. Neither this business nor that of the Prince of Anhault—of which your Serenity shall hear in my next—will prevent the King from leaving in four days for his annual hunting at Royston and Newmarket, where he will stay till the approaching Christmas. Meantime the burden of business lies on the Earl of Salisbury and the Council, who by means of couriers inform the King of all that is needful and receive his orders.
While the Duke of Savoy has been negotiating a marriage with France the Spanish, in order to break up the negotiations, have several times made offers to his Majesty to use their influence to marry the Princess of England to the Prince of Savoy, and this is the reason why the King has never believed that the negotiations with his most Christian Majesty will really take effect. I am now told by a person who has knowledge of all these matters that the Spanish Ambassador has again renewed the offer. The Queen is much inclined to this match, as the Princess is now marriageable and it is not easy to see with whom other she can be united, but the King, whose mind is more hostile to Catholicism and who would like to increase his influence with the Protestants, leans more to the Count Palatine. In his favour all the German Princes will intervene, for they would be sorry to see this question resolved by the King of Spain, and it is the opinion of many that before he leaves the Prince of Anhault will touch on the matter.
Some merchants who had a vessel of theirs seized by the Sicilian galleys, failing to recover it, although the Viceroy's sentence was quashed in Spain on the ground that the evidence of the sailors was wrung from them by torture under which some of them died, have now put out to the Indian Sea in two good ships, not without permission of the Council. They have made reprisals of a Spanish ship which had on board a cargo worth about forty thousand ducats. The Spanish Ambassador has lodged a complaint and demands that, in virtue of the Capitulations, the ship should be given over to him. It was resolved that all should be warehoused till the case could be settled; but both the Ambassador and the merchants having sent persons down to the coast to estimate the value of the goods, they, on their own responsibility, put the goods up to auction and knocked them down for a third of their value to creatures of the merchants, and, before the Ambassador could be informed, the goods were shipped to Flanders and elsewhere out of the kingdom.
In the recent bad weather a Dutch ship (fn. 1) which, as I understand, had embarked at Zante certain subjects of your Serenity and some currants for Amsterdam, ran upon a shoal off this Island, and after loosing her rudder was found upon the shore, and without a soul on board. I hoped that they might have been saved by some other ship, but as her boat was found later on it is taken for certain that they have all perished. As soon as I had news of this I appealed to the King for an order sequestrating the ship and directing an inventory to be made; the Admiralty had refused to grant this request, as both the Lord High Admiral and the Earl of Arundel, within whose jurisdiction the wreck took place, pretend that it belongs to them in virtue of a law which so rules it in cases where neither human being, dog, nor cat are found on board. I urged upon his Majesty that this law was not intended to rob the owner, but only to provide for the case where it was impossible to discover the owner; that I now appeared in the name of the unhappy wives and children; that I was sure that if in addition to the sea they should find an enemy in the law of England his Majesty's pity would not fail them. I added that on other occasions the law had not been put into effect, and I offered to cite precedents. All I asked now was the sequestration and the inventory, so as not to close the door to those unhappy people for the recovery of the little that the sea had left them. I found the King well informed about the matter; he said that the Admiral and Earl of Arundel were contending over this wreck; that as the law was opposed to my request the way of grace must be adopted. I said I accepted the offer either for grace or for justice, and I never doubted but that so piteous a case would meet with his Majesty's protection. Later on Lord Salisbury told me to address myself to the Admiral and to the Earl of Arundel, to both of whom the King had spoken. These gentlemen promised to oblige me in so sad a case, but, in order not to prejudice their rights, they refuse3 inventory, housing and examination of marks; they deny that any book of the cargo has been found. I have written to the Governor of Zante for information, nor will I allow the matter to drop, and I will conduct it either by way of justice or of grace; but the distance whence information has to come and the power of these gentlemen form serious obstacles to the recovery of the goods.
I thought it desirable to impress on his Majesty the reasons why it is impossible to satisfy the merchant Cordall for the seizure of the “Corsaletta,” as the refusal in this matter had, I am told, produced a bad effect in his mind. I expressed your Serenity's regrets at your inability to oblige his Majesty; that everything that his Ambassador had asked was granted at once. As to the redintegration of the ships and goods, I said the whole matter reduced itself to the point: “Was the ship rightly seized or no?” “Yes,” said his Majesty, “that is the point.” I then said: “Sire, the English deny that they offered resistance to being searched, that they acted hostilely, that they laded currants at any Venetian port; on the other hand the Senate assures your Majesty, on the strength of repeated evidence and on the testimony of those worthy of belief, that the ship fled as far as she could, that she offered resistance with her guns as long as they found themselves face to face with a single galley; that if they laded currants in Turkish ports nevertheless those currants had been furtively conveyed from Zante, and though they may have delayed the punishment they have not diminished the crime, for agentes et consentientes pari pœna puniuntur. That the evidence here was confined to a few men, partly guilty themselves, partly bound to the guilty, and to the owner of the goods, while your Serenity had the full evidence of the large number of persons on board the galleys.” I concluded that just as the Senate had accepted the declaration of Wotton that the ship had never committed piracy, so, I took it would his Majesty accept this statement for the truth and remain satisfied. The King replied: “It is a merchant's business to seek his own advantage; and without most convincing proof I shall not lend them credence; nor will I ever doubt the justice and good-will of the Republic.” I then recommended the case of Giovanni Antonio Tizzoni. Gibbons, whom the King had caused to be arrested in Scotland, had fled before Tizzoni could present a statement of the value of the wine, and although I succeeded in making the governor of the prison responsible, still, as Gibbons had not been declared a debtor it was impossible to proceed against the jailer. The other jailer, who had special charge of Gibbons, has been put in prison at my request, and there he has ended his days.
London, 18th November, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 112. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day after the King's return to London the Prince of Anhault and a young man, his nephew on his brother's side, were received in private audience, and afterwards his Majesty bade them to dinner with him, bestowing on them marks of affection and regard. After compliments the Prince, in a place apart, dwelt at length on the needs of the Protestant Union; he explained the difficulties in the way of an arrangement with the Emperor and the Duke of Saxony, and the dread which during the last months has weighed upon them lest an open split should take place between Lutherans and Catholics if the Duke of Neuburg should accept the offers made him and attach himself to Saxony, it being certain that if the dread of the Pope were removed that city would draw to the Catholics' rather than to the Calvinist side. That is all the more likely to happen now that Neuburg knows quite well that the Princes of the Union just as they have, on the grounds of religion, preferred Deuxponts to Neuburg as guardian of the young Count Palatine, so will they rather see Brandenburg in possession of Cleves while giving Neuburg some fair compensation. For the states of Cleves and Juliers, owing to their geographical position, are considered peculiarly adapted to unite Germany with the Low Countries and with the Princes over seas. On these considerations and by dwelling on the aims of the League of Mainz and the object of the armaments in the Milanese, the Prince of Anhault urged the King to take a lively interest in the matter, and to come to a resolve to place himself at the head of the Protestant Union and to take the Protestant Princes under his protection; this desire has grown stronger since the dissolution of the Congress of Cologne, and since it is known that the French Ambassador, arrived at Düsseldorf, would not stay there along with the other Envoys, but returned immediately to France, which left the Protestants little hope that they could in any way reckon on aid from the French Crown.
On this same matter of the League and on the subject of Swedish requests to the King as regards the differences between Sweden and Denmark there is here at present a Danish gentleman. I hear that he has made representations to the King that he should not merely not oppose the interests of Saxony, their common brother-in-law, but should use his influence to secure his being admitted as a “Possessioner” along with the other two Princes; this is held to be the only way to settle the difficulty and to avoid a war. The King is determined to support, as far as possible, the cause of these Princes, but he wishes them to adopt a policy that will ensure peace; he is most unwilling to take upon his shoulders the whole burden of affairs; he lays stress on the fact that though the League is formed merely for defence, little could be expected from Denmark and Sweden, while the other Princes of Germany have shown themselves too weak in the recent affair of Juliers; that without a strong nucleus of foreign auxiliaries they could not make much resistance to any attack from the opposite party. His Majesty must, therefore, either spend a large sum of money, a thing he is not likely to do, or must reap little honour from his assistance. On these grounds and owing to the hope that on the fall of Juliers all cause for war would cease, his Majesty delayed the signing of the terms of treaty and has sent them now in a modified form. The Protestants will not fail to meet the King's wishes, and so it is held for certain that the League will be stipulated between him, Denmark, Sweden and Holland before the Prince of Anhault takes his leave. The Prince has sent an account of all his negotiations to Düsseldorf. Meantime it has been settled that, in order to avoid divisions among the Protestants, the King shall secure the recognition of Saxony as one of the “Possessioners.” Neuburg and Brandenburg have hitherto shown themselves opposed to this, as they think that the fruit of so much toil and expense should not be shared with another.
Yesterday came news that between the Bavarian Convention and the League negotiations had passed which gave security for peace; there was also appearance of new life in the Cologne Convention. This has been welcomed here.
It has come to the King's knowledge that your Serenity has prohibited Bellarmin's reply to a work by Barclay, printed in this Kingdom, in which reply the Cardinal attributes to the Pontiff temporal sovreignty. The King is highly pleased, as I am informed by persons of importance and intimate with his Majesty.
London, 18th November, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 19. Collegio, Esposizioni Principi, Venetian Archives. 113. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
He reports the good health of the two English gentlemen guests in his house, and announces their intention of going to see the Fortress of Palma, Udine, and Treviso.
He then went on to renew his petition in favour of the Prince de Joinville, who, as Wotton's brother writes from Paris, still wishes to enter the service of Venice. The King of England has given Wotton express orders to support the request. Wotton foresees two possible objections—the Prince is all that is well-born, valorous, etc., but who will guarantee that if engaged he will really serve if need arise; Wotton answers that if, as was the fact, the Prince offered to serve at the time of the late controversies when he was in no sense bound, so much more may he be trusted to do so when he is really engaged. The second objection is that the Republic is at peace; to this Wotton replies, Yes, but even though at peace your arsenal goes on working. “If your Serenity cannot grant my request will you instruct your Ambassador Guistinian when he arrives in Paris to inform the Prince that at least I made it?”
The Doge replied that in addition to the objections considered by the Ambassador there are others. However what cannot be done one day may be done another. As to informing the Prince orders had already been given more than once.
The Ambassador went on to say that at his last audience he had mentioned the affair of a pirate, as he had thought that his Serenity ought to know about it. He had now brought a note of particulars extracted from the letters of merchants, and this note he would leave for their consideration. The plan is feasible, nor does the offerer ask aught but his personal safety.
The note contained the name of the Englishman who offered the service. He was Randolph Jesson. He was taken, on the 16th of July last, by two Turkish galleys in the Barbary waters and brought to Tripoli. He is about thirty-five years of age; very skilled in all matters of navigation. He acquired fame among the pirates, who put him in charge of five of their ships. If he succeeds in his design he asks nothing but his freedom; he has always been an honest man, and has been forced to follow his present career.
Nov. 23. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Crema. Venetian Archives. 114. Francesco Zen, Governor in Crema, to the Doge and Senate.
After the departure of the English Ambassador, of which I gave an account in my despatch of the 7th, (fn. 2) an innkeeper of this city came to me and said that during the six days the Ambassador was stayed here, he had supplied his suite and fed his horses and coachmen, on orders of the Ambassador's Majordomo. At his departure, the host presented an account for 700 lire about, and the Ambassador told him to come to me, and that if I would not pay him he should come on to Venice or send an agent, when the bill would be discharged. At such a claim, which seems to me very strange, I was amazed; for as I had made his Excellency a present of refreshments he could quite well gather from that that I had no orders to be at charges for him, and had I had such orders the Ambassador would have been more civilly served than by a taverner. Feeling sure that a gentleman of his rank would not have acted thus without some grounds, I determined to go deeper into the matter, and I consulted with the two gentlemen I had appointed to wait on the Ambassador, and I learn from them that when the Ambassador complained of the heavy expense to which he was put by this delay in his journey, epecially for the hired carriages, they, to end the matter courteously, had held out hopes that your Serenity would not allow him to be put to such charges. I take it that the Ambassador desired to see whether this were true. I have induced the taverner not to trouble his Excellency at once at Venice, but to give him a few days' rest.
Crema, 23rd November, 1610.
Nov. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 115. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday the Prince of Anhault left the Court, where he has created an excellent impression by his negotiations and a high esteem for himself. He has received from the King a diamond jewel, and from the Prince several horses and dogs. He goes straight to Holland in a well-armed pinnace sent for him by the States. He will proceed at once to the Hague, where he is awaited by the Protestant Members of the Cologne Convention. With the others went M. de Boissise, French Ambassador, who nurses hopes that it may be possible to find a way to adjust the claims on Cleves. Many of the Protestant Princes, and especially Anhault, are in favour of admitting Saxony as a “possessioner,” though this will meet with opposition from Brandenburg and Neuburg. The Protestants were in great dread of a combination of the Imperial and Spanish arms with those of the League of Mainz; without the latter they don't think that the Spanish will move, while Imperial arms may be neglected, being weak in themselves, and the Emperor being resolved to spend not a penny more. The King of England continues to desire peace, and has made vigorous representations in favour of it to the Prince of Anhault. He wishes Saxony to be admitted a “possessioner” with obligation to pay only future, not past expenses. He has always shown repugnance to contribute to expenses which have tended to injure the Emperor.
At the Hague they will complete the treaty, as sufficient power has been sent by the King to his Ambassador. I am told, however, that the question is one of a simple defensive alliance, and that his Majesty will not be more deeply engaged than any other party; he stands firm in declining to allow himself to be made head.
The Danish gentleman has gone back to Denmark. He has received presents to the value of two thousand crowns. I understand that the Swedish Envoys have left the Hague without concluding anything. These Potentates know that little is to be looked for from that quarter, while the obligations would be serious owing to the successful progress of the Poles. At present, under orders from the Prince of Anhault, they are fortifying the castle of Juliers and are arming the city walls with ramparts and flanking works in such a way that there will not be a palm of ground that will not be covered by three or four defences; the Prince himself showed me a design of the place.
The business of Wardship and Purveyance is, as far as I gather, completely suspended. The Parliament has met great difficulty in raising the eight hundred thousand ducats of annual revenue promised to the King, who is almost sorry that he has deprived himself of such noble prerogatives and has made fresh demands for two millions of gold, payable in two years, to extinguish his own debts, and one hundred and sixty thousand to pay off certain officials of the Court of Wards. The King now asks for the ordinary subsidies with the intention of dissolving Parliament; but neither here does he find readiness, for Parliament is little satisfied and will renew its demand for the abolition of burdens imposed by the Royal authority only; they amount to four hundred thousand ducats a year; there is, however, no doubt but that they will end by gratifying his Majesty. On this ground only has he stayed on in London three days longer than he intended. He will leave for Royston on Saturday, and the Prince will go with him for a couple of weeks, as he must come back to arrange a Masque for Christmas. He would have liked to present this Masque on horseback could he have obtained the King's consent.
His Highness has begun to draw not only the lesser revenues of the Principality of Wales, but also other revenues the larger part drawn from land to the amount of about one hundred and sixty thousand ducats, as he exercises a certain jurisdiction in the Principality. He is now arranging his household and appointing his officers and gentlemen; (fn. 3) there are infinite offers from gentlemen who vie with one another in desiring admission, and yet there is not one who dares to attempt the way of favouritism, for although his Highness does nothing without the King's permission, yet he is extremely particular that everything shall be the resul3 of his own choice. His Majesty is very desirous that care should be taken to admit no Catholics, and this he has raised as an objection to the appointment of a very important personage as revisor of the accounts. This, and the difficulty of satisfying the demands of many persons, has caused his Highness to dismiss every one for the present. His decision will be published later on, probably when no one is expecting it.
I have dealt several times with the affairs of the Zante merchants owners of the currants found on board the “Red Camel.” I am informed that in great part they belonged to Messer Zorzi Balsamo; but as I have no proof, nor marks, nor countersigns, the Earl of Arundel, as lord of the manor, has taken possession of the goods and replies to my claims that when I have evidence enough he will not fail to satisfy my demands out of pure courtesy. Meantime in order to preserve his rights he has refused to house or to make inventory of the goods along with my agents; nor can one hinder the sale, especially as the goods have obviously suffered.
The plague, thank God, is so far diminished as to be all but extinct. This week's bulletin gives only twenty-two deaths, and that in a population of such size is considered as nothing.
I have received your Serenity's despatch of the 28th of last month authorizing me to continue the usual present to the Master of the Ceremonies and other Court officials. I can assure you it will be money well employed.
London, 25th November, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 26. Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni Principi, Venetian Archives. 116. The Secretary of the English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and said:—
The “Viscount of Salisbury” has made up his mind to return next week to England, and desires to come to-morrow to take his leave; as he has not seen the Great Council, if it were your good pleasure he would come on Sunday.
The Secretary added that the Ambassador before his departure earnestly desired that his last petition, in favour of Count Benedetto Lombardi of Verona, should be granted so that he might leave Venice both consoled and obliged, and he charged the Secretary to mention the petition. The Doge replied that the Viscount would always be welcome and as to the petition a reply would be given.
Nov. 26. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. 117. The Ambassadors to England, Molin, Giustinian, and Correr have hitherto had attached to their mission a chaplain and an interpreter; the cost of these has been charged to extraordinary expenses and allowed by the government. That is no longer possible in face of the regulation of 28th July, 1609, which disallows all extras except couriers and messengers. We must, therefore, make some fresh provision for Antonio Foscarini, Ambassador-elect to England.
Be it moved that Foscarini and his successors, in addition to their usual staff, may have a chaplain at a salary of ten ducats a month and an interprete3 at seven ducats a month; they are to be fed at the Ambassador's charges and he may enter the cost in his extras.
The above motion was put in the Cabinet on Sept. 9, 1607, and votes fell
Ayes 16. Second vote, Ayes 13.
Noes 1. Noes 2.
Neutrals 5. Neutrals 8.
It was now amended as follows:—
That the Ambassador Foscarini and his successors, in addition to their usual staff, be allowed a chaplain and an interpreter, and that for their salaries and board be assigned out of the public moneys one hundred and eighty six ducats a year for the chaplain and one hundred ducats a year for the interpreter.
Voted in the Cabinet on Sept. 11th, 1610, with
Ayes 19.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 1.
Voted in the Senate under date.
Ayes 149.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 2.
Nov. 27. Minutes of the Senate, Terra. Venetian Archives. 118. As the English Ambassador himself and by his Secretary earnestly requested that, as a special favour to himself on his departure from this city at the close of his mission which has lasted six years, Count Benedetto Lombardi of Verona, condemned by the Captain of Verona to imprisonment for life for the reasons set forth in the answer and sentence just read, be set free or that his punishment be commuted to banishment for a stated period; seeing that it is desirable to gratify an Envoy of so powerful a Sovereign and one who depends on the Earl of Salisbury, the most favoured Minister of that Sovereign, so that he may depart content:
Motion is made that the sentence on Count Benedetto Lombardi be commuted to four years' reclusion in the fortress of Palma, with orders to report himself at least once a week to the Governor. If during this period he absent himself from the fortress he shall at once fall under the outlawry pronounced upon him by the sentence of August 23rd, 1610. That this order be communicated to the Captain of Verona and wherever else may be necessary and registered and communicated to the English Ambassador as a thing done to please him.
26th of November in the Cabinet.
Ayes 12.
Noes 1. Not carried.
Neutrals 3.
Second vote:—
Ayes 15.
Noes 3. Carried.
Neutrals 0.
Reballoted, as it was declared that the Savii agli ordini are to vote.
Ayes 17.
Noes 2.
Neutrals 0.
Put in the Senate:—
Ayes 124.
Noes 22.
Neutrals 9.
As it required five-sixth3 to carry the motion it was voted a second time.
Ayes 126.
Noes 18.
Neutrals 7.
Nov. 27. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. 119. Instructions to Antonio Pisani, appointed Captain of the Great Galleys.
In case of falling in with bertons or such like Westerlings, they are to be searched. If found to be pirates or to have done damage, they are to be treated as by the custom of war. In cases of doubt as to whether the ship is a pirate the ship shall be kept, dismantled, and the crew detained, and the goods warehoused till further orders. Minutes of the investigation and inventories of goods to be sent to Venice. In the case of frigates (Fregate) or other armed vessels bearing commission of other Sovereigns or their Ministers, if they have done no damage to our places or subjects, they are to be left free and to go their ways, but if they have done damage they are to be dismantled, an inquiry shall be held and the minutes and inventory of goods sent to Venice.
As to English ships a copy of the orders of the Senate of 24th Sept., 1605, is enclosed.
Ayes 126.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 4.
Nov. 27. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 120. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Owing to the stormy weather a privateer belonging to the gang commanded by Ward has been wrecked on the shoals off Clarentza; they say she had a crew of one hundred and twenty Turks and fifteen English. On hearing this I convened the Council of Twelve, which determined to send out to examine the wreck. The commissioners will sail to-night.
To-day comes news that off Sapienza there is another wreck of a pirate also belonging to Ward, but commanded by Achmet Rais. She had a crew of ninety, of whom fifteen are drowned. For this case also I have summoned the Council of Twelve, which determined not to send to examine this wreck. I send this news that your Serenity may understand that this thief of a Ward both by fire and by wreck is in a bad way; which we must hold to be God's handiwork.
Zante, 27th November, 1610.
Nov. 29. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from Zante. Venetian Archives. 121. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
To-day the boats I sent to examine the wreck off Clarentza have returned. They have towed the wreck into this port. There was not a soul on board her, for they were all taken, along with the artillery and the best of her cargo, by the son of the Bey of the Morea. He holds them all safe in his Sanjak; they numbered one hundred and twenty in all, including twenty English and the remainder Greeks and Turks. The ship herself is a French saetta captured by Ward. From an inventory made by my orders nothing was found in her but some biscuits and some stone cannon balls. Thank God for the ruin of this pirate. I have reported to the Bailo at Canstantinople that he may make due complaint of the Bey of the Morea for sheltering pirates.
Zante, 29th November, 1610.
Nov. 30. Collegio, Esposizioni Principi, Venetian Archives. 122. The English Ambassador came to the Cabinet and spoke as follows:—
“Most Serene Prince, these two Englishmen (Cranborne and Howard) have started on their journey and have begged me to render infinite thanks to your Serenity for the high honour and favour they have met with in this city, for which they bear away with them eternal gratitude. The Viscount has already written twice to his father, so that he may make acknowledgment to the Venetian Ambassador in England. The Earl will certainly do so, for among his other noble qualities he prides himself on his gratitude, a virtue highly esteemed by us.”
The Ambassador returns thanks for the favour shown him by the commutation of the imprisonment for life inflicted on Count Benedetto Lombardi into four years' relegation to the fortress of Palma; but seeing that his petition had not been granted in full he was rather disappointed until he considered that the offence of the Count was recent and the sentence but lately passed, that the government was prudent and that some show of punishment must be maintained; considering also that such graces are not easily granted, the Ambassador felt consoled; nevertheless, on the eve of his departure after a service of six years and three months he thought he was entitled to beg that the relegation to Palma be converted into banishment; in this way justice would still be satisfied, as there would still be a certain mark of castigation.
The Doge said he was glad the English gentlemen had good weather for their journey and that they were satisfied with the little that had been done for them out of regard for themselves and for Lord Salisbury. As to the grace the Ambassador may rest assured that it is an extraordinary one and he may well be proud of obtaining it. The case was recent and very grave, and the commutation from perpetual imprisonment to four years' relegation at Palma—a very garden one might say, and as it were his own home—may be considered one of the very highest favours that could be conferred. “That your Lordship may see how seriously we consider this crime of carrying a pistol we may tell you that for merely having a pistol on him, without having committed any excess, but merely out of youthful caprice, while going from one house to another, a few days ago the Council of Ten condemned to imprisonment for life one of our own nobles of the house of Malipiero, and there he will stay for life; nevertheless in spite of the gravity of the offence and in spite of the high majority required to carry such a grace the Senate to oblige your Lordship has voted this commutation, which one may say amounts to setting the Count at liberty, for he has to stay in Palma, a spacious fortress where the air is better than at Verona, and for four years only instead of in a close prison for life; so that to us it seems that this grace is so signal that that gentleman ought to be eternally obliged to you, and your Lordship should be content nor seek for more.”
The illustrious Signor Giacomo da Pesaro here whispered to the Doge that the Ambassador's request would amount to grace on grace and would require a still higher majority. His Serenity added “Yes, as this gentleman near me rightly suggests, this would be grace on grace, and as our law requires a still higher majority the result may be considered impossible rather than difficult. The present grace was only obtained with difficulty after several ballots, and only granted out of a desire to gratify your Lordship and to mark our regard for your person.”
The Ambassador said that he recognised the enormity of the crime and the greatness of the favour. If ordered not to ask for more he would rest quite content, but still if the full grace could be conceded he would hold it for the culmination of his debt, and if it be possible he begged that he might be laid under this further obligation.
The Doge said that they had made what seemed a suitable answer; if the Cabinet, however, should deem it expedient to do more it will take what steps it thinks fit; but it is difficult to see how the Senate can do more, and the Ambassador has every reason to be satisfied.
The Ambassador said he was aware of his obligation, but if it were found possible to do more in this case he recommended it to the Doge. He took his leave, but with no show of content.


  • 1. The “Red Camel.” See infra No. 115.
  • 2. Despatch missing.
  • 3. See Birch. “Life of Henry, Prince of Wales,” p. 209.