Venice: December 1610

Pages 85-104

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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December 1610

Dec. 1. Senato, Secreta. Despatches from the Proveditore Generale di Candia. Venetian Archives. 123. Girolamo Capello, Governor in Crete, to the Doge and Senate.
Announces the arrival of five fugitives from the galleons. They were at once sent to the lazaretto under pretext of quarantine, but really to have them safely in hand, for some of them are Venetian subjects.
Candia, the first of December, 1610.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 124. Depositions of the Fugitives.
They had landed from galleons of the Grand Duke of Tuscany which had sailed from Leghorn fourteen months before, on a privateering expedition to the Levant. Among the prisoners was one called William Emis, an Englishman, from London.
Asked how and whence he came on board the galleons, he said “We were bound for Cyprus on board our own ship; we fell in with the galleons; they took me by force”; asked what was his calling, he answered “Gunner”; asked what pay he had, he answered “None.”
Dec. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 125. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The King has been much gratified by the kindly and honourable reception which your Serenity has given to the son of the Earl of Salisbury and to the son of the Great Chamberlain. He liked seeing the letters written by the Ambassador and by the Viscount himself. He noted the expressions used and the account of the reception, and all the other details described in the letters. He praises and appreciates these marks of regard all the more highly seeing that in Milan not only did they receive no favours but while halting there the principal person of their suite, the Viscount's Governor, was arrested on a denunciation for carrying a pistol. On Sunday his Majesty expressly sent Lord Hay (Baron d'Ee), gentleman of the bedchamber and a prime favourite, to assure me how much he appreciated this courtesy towards his subjects. Lord Hay was pleased to find me with the Ambassadors of France and Holland and in the presence of many gentlemen, so that his representations were the more conspicuous. After expressing abundant thanks he went on to say that I should assure your Serenity that his Majesty had a long memory, and that no subject of yours would ever come to this Kingdom without receiving similar courtesies. He wished in order to prove his gratitude that I should ask him some favour. This he said twice over. He also begged me to inform your Serenity so that this might be published abroad, so that all might know the esteem in which he holds your Serenity and also the Viscount, whom, after his own sons, he placed before every one.
The Ambassador returned formal thanks, and as to the suggestion that he should ask a favour he said that he had nothing more at heart than to convince the King that he had no friend more loyal than the Republic, and the favour was taken as granted.
Lord Salisbury and the Chamberlain have also thanked me.
No further news from Germany or Holland.
All the royal family left London on Saturday last; but I hear the Queen does not like the air of Greenwich at this season and will come back soon. The King is pleased that at the approaching Christmas she should give another Masque of Ladies; it will precede the Prince's Masque, and neither will be so costly as last year's, which to say sooth were excessively costly.
While all negotiations as to the abolition of wardships have been suspended, and it was supposed that his Majesty had renounced the idea of abandoning his protective rights, he, after some skilful secret manipulation, summoned thirty Members of Parliament to his presence and after exhorting them to speak freely, not as if speaking to their King but to one who with them had the welfare of the Kingdom at heart, he dealt with them so kindly that he captivated the mind and the will of all. The substance of his discourse was to ask them whether they would help him in his straits; the Members urged that his difficulties were voluntary, all the same they gave an answer that left good hopes of the conclusion of the matter. I hear, however, that Parliament is very angry that the thirty Members have gone beyond the mere hearing and reporting the King's proposals, and if they are not punished it will be thanks to their number.
The Prince has applied to Parliament for certain privileges enjoyed by his predecessors; he will meet no opposition, as everyone is anxious to please him.
Casaubon, who came from France, cannot make up his mind to accept the very considerable inducements offered him to keep him in this country, or at least feigns not to, perhaps in the hope of getting more. It seems that before returning he is waiting the release of Malveno, (fn. 1) a Scot of learning and remarkable genius, who has been in the Tower for four years for having offended by his vivacity the religion the King professes. The Duke de Bouillon begs for him to put him in the University of Sedan.
The Chancellor of Scotland has begged for the release of the ex-President (Elphinstone). He hopes in time to recover some of his property.
They are proceeding against Catholics with unusual rigour. The oath is being administered everywhere, especially to recusants. They are trying to lay their hands on priests. Six were arrested last Sunday in London, and another has been hung and quartered in Oxfordshire. The protection of many great men and all his many friends failed to save his life.
London, 2nd December, 1610.
Dec. 2. Minutes of the Senate, Terra. Venetian Archives. 126. That ninety-five ducats of lire 6 soldi 4 the ducat be voted to Moderante Scaramelli for his journey to France, where he has gone to act as Secretary to Antonio Foscarini, appointed Ambassador in England.
Ayes 136.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 4.
Dec. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 127. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Parliament of Paris condemns Bellarmin's book “Tractatus de potestate summi Pontificis in temporalibus adversus Guillelmum Barclaium.” It was first proposed to treat it as Mariana's book was treated; but on its being pointed out what an uproar it would cause throughout the world to send the book round the town in the car of infamy and then to burn it by the hands of the common executioner, it was resolved to prohibit it.
Paris, 2nd December, 1610.
Dec. 3. Collegio, Lettere. Venetian Archives. 128. Letters patent announcing that, in gratification of the Ambassador of England, the sentence of imprisonment for life pronounced on Count Benedetto Lombardo by the Captain of Verona, in date 23rd August, 1610, be commuted into four years' relegation to the fortress of Palma.
[Latin and Italian.]
Dec. 7. Collegio, Esposizioni Principi, Venetian Archives. 129. There came to public audience in the Cabinet Sir Dudley (Rudhyum) Carleton, Ambassador of his Majesty the King of England, along with his predecessor, both of them escorted by the Illustrious Chevalier Soranzo and a goodly number of Senators, as is usual. When each had kissed his Serenity's robe, and had been received with the wonted benignity, they took their seats and the retiring Ambassador Wotton said:—
“Serene Prince and Illustrious and Excellent Lords, his Majesty has charged me with a double duty this morning; one is to present my successor, whom it has pleased his Majesty to choose from among the chief and dearest of his subjects; he is of his Majesty's Privy Council, and holds the post of Chief Secretary in Ireland, and this to show the great esteem which he feels for the Serene Republic. His Majesty's choice is excellent and he is highly pleased with it; it is to be hoped that your Serenity and your Lordships will share these sentiments during the whole time of his stay in this post, both because of his great qualities and his judgement and because he is so well informed as to his Majesty's excellent disposition towards this Serene Dominion.
“My second duty is to assure your Serenity of his Majesty's firm intent to preserve at all times and on all occasions his union and friendship with this Serene Dominion of the closest and sincerest nature. It is well that there should be present at this declaration a larger audience than usual; for his Majesty desires that every Prince, every nation, the whole world should be assured of this his immutable will, and he desires me to declare it in so public an audience as that no on3 may think that a change of Minister would imply a change in this good relationship. Should any one hold that a change of instrument means a change of attitude that would certainly be unsound reasoning. These representations are probably unnecessary, thanks to the great frankness with which his Majesty treats all his allies, still, for his further satisfaction, he desires me to make them; he specially adds—and these are the very words of his letter if my memory serves me—that as it was a great satisfaction to him to establish a good understanding with this Republic and as in the past he has shown his readiness to serve the good, the glory, the interests of this Serene Dominion, so he will ever embrace every way and means to daily bind and join himself more nearly to so great a Republic, esteeming it a high honour for his Crown to have so loving an alliance with a Republic which for antiquity, nobility, power, prudence, wisdom and marvel of its government, is the greatest and most glorious Republic the world has ever seen. His Majesty is well assured that these sentiments are returned by your Serenity; as you keep an Ambassador in ordinary at his Court he wishes to keep one at yours as a pledge and living testimony of his sincere affection and as an instrument to preserve and increase, if it be possible, the reciprocal goodwill, to the greatness and benefit of both States. During my residence here I have done what I could to foster so kindly a goodwill and friendship.
“Will your Serenity be pleased to hear from my successor his commission, which as coming from the same Prince and inspired by the same intention, must be in substance the same as what I have just put forward.”
The new Ambassador then said that he thought it an honour and a favour to have been appointed to serve so great a Republic, but before going further he would present his credentials. When they had been read he added that the King of Great Britain preserved for the Republic the most affectionate, ready and sincere goodwill. “He is much consoled by the good return he meets with from your Serenity. My predecessor has received permission to return home on account of his private affairs and also because his Majesty desires to employ him elsewhere, and I have been appointed to fill his place; nor will this make any difference, except that in place of a person, adorned with great parts, worth, and ability, I am here a weakling with no other adornment than an excellent goodwill and the highest reverence for your Serenity. My Master in sending me has sent a faithful servant and a true Englishman, desiring to prove to your Serenity how real, sincere and well founded this friendship is which he desires to preserve for ever without the slightest diminution. I have this consolation, that I am not sent as an Ambassador from a Prince who has differences to adjust, nor any other relations except those of sincere goodwill. So that my duty will be confined to confirming and augmenting this goodwill rather than to any other subjects. I assure your Serenity I shall not fail in my duty, and I beg your Serenity to interpret kindly my acts, as they will always be inspired by the highest regard for and a vivid desire to serve this Serene Dominion. His Majesty especially charged me to make this declaration.” The Ambassador then goes on to praise the Ambassador Correr. “On my way through France I received from the Ambassador Foscarini every attention and the same from the Ambassador Barbarigo in Savoy; and on entering the States of your Serenity your officers have shown me all honour and favour, all of which serves as a proof of the Republic's goodwill towards his Majesty. I render thanks to your Serenity and will report all to his Majesty, and I beg your Serenity to be pleased to accept my devotion during the time of my stay in this office, excusing my defects and being certain that I will serve you with all reverence as is my Master's intention.”
The Doge replied, declaring the satisfaction of the Republic, praising Wotton, “who for the space of six years has filled this office, and has left nothing to be desired on any point, so much so that we cannot but feel sorrow at his departure; but as this is his Majesty's wish and convenience, besides that the Ambassador may be employed in some important post, worthy of his merits, loving him, as we do, we must be satisfied with that which may prove agreeable to him. And we are sure that on whatever mission his Majesty may employ his Lordship, he will amply respond to all that can be expected of a worthy servant of such a Sovereign. In this loss we are consoled by the appointment of your Lordship, whose qualities have been so often explained to us by Sir Henry Wotton, have been written by his Majesty, and have reached us from other quarters. We welcome you on your own account and as the Envoy of a King so friendly to our Republic. We are deeply gratified by what both your Lordships have explained as to the perfect good-will of his Majesty towards our Republic; we shall preserve it as a jewel of great price. The Republic originally had friendly relations with his Majesty's predecessors and also with Scotland, and it was a pleasure to renew these with his Majesty. Our satisfaction is all the greater in that his Majesty being at a good age and in sound health we may promise ourselves a long enjoyment of the fruits of this good friendship; moreover he is happy in his offspring, and particularly in his Highness the eldest Prince, who truly in the gifts of his outward form appears a very Angel. To our great satisfaction we saw his portrait which, as Sir Henry Wotton knows, was shown us by that English gentleman; we are told that the gifts of his mind are in nowise inferior; he is therefore sure to imitate to the full the striking qualities of his father, and we may hope that the good understanding will be continued in him. We return thanks for the information that his Majesty is pleased with our Ambassador Correr; we are also pleased that our officers have treated you as was fitting, though we regret that at the beginning of your duties you should have been subject to an inconvenient delay, but you will excuse us on the ground of our ordinary usage, which requires such diligence especially in a matter of such moment as health. And now, your Lordship will always be welcome every time you have occasion to seek us on business or otherwise; and you, Sir Henry Wotton, should you have to leave without seeing us again, about which we do not know, a good journey to you and be assured that, as we love you and greatly esteem you and are completely content with you, we shall always be glad to hear of your prosperity and that you have those favours and honours which your most admirable qualities deserve. We shall instruct our Ambassador to thank his Majesty for his amiable disposition and to assure him of the full satisfaction which your prudence, dexterity and noble qualities have given us; and we will send our autograph letters. Your Lordship will kindly convey to the King the sure testimony of our continued respect.”
Wotton returned thanks for this public testimony that his Serenity had been content with his services. He promises, both at home and wherever else he may be, to remain a humble and devoted servant of the Republic, and to count it a great glory to be known as such.
The Doge repeated the assurance that the Government and the whole City were thoroughly satisfied with the Ambassador, for he had always borne himself in so honourable a fashion as to leave neither the Doge nor any one else aught to desire. “You and your whole household have acted with the greatest circumspection. It is much to your praise and a matter of no small wonder that although there was in your house another religion, yet both you and all your suite have acted so prudently and circumspectly that not a breath of scandal has touched you.” (Havendo et lei et cadauno della sua casa proceduto con ogni più prudente termine; et é cosa di sua grande lode et di non poca meraviglia che, tutto che nella sua casa fusse la diversità della Religione, et ella et ogn' uno della sua casa ha proceduto con cosi prudente et aveduto termine che non si é ricevuto pur minimo scandalo.)
The Ambassador said he was too highly honoured and could never show his gratitude except by acknowledging everywhere his obligations. “And as your Serenity has touched on the point of religion I must not omit to say that I know that his Majesty's name has been roughly handled by disaffected persons, and his loyalty called in question over this point of diversity of religion; they endeavour to make out that another object than his straightforward and sincere affection led him to keep an Ambassador at your Serenity's Court. This is the drawback which great Kings and Princes suffer, that everyone, as the spirit moves him, bites and tears them. But these persons are unaware that the King is of profound judgement and knows how to distinguish between the Government of a State and religion; accordingly I take this occasion to declare and protest in public and to this large audience that my Master's intent is to preserve always a good, close, perfect and indissoluble friendship with this Serene Republic as with a great Sovereign and State, nor do he nor his Ministers intend to meddle with religious affairs; knowing that all Sovereigns are sensitive on the question of frontiers and so much the more must they be in matters of religion. This I affirm and therefore I have taken care that in my house they should live within bounds and avoid offence. (Et questo é il contrario che hanno li Ré et li Principi grandi, che ogn' uno secondo li suoi affetti ardisce di morderli et lacerarli; ma non sano questi tali che sua Maestà é prudentissima et sa far distintione da governo di Stato a cose di Religione; et per ciò con questa occasione mi dechiaro e3 protesto qui in publico et dove é cosi grande audienza che la intentione del mio Ré é di conservar sempre stretta, buona, perfetta et indissolubile amicitia con questa serenissina Republica come Principe grande et di Stato, et nel resto non intende ne lei ne li suoi Ministri di mischiarsi in cose di Religione; sapendo che sicome tutti li Prinicipi sono grandemente gelosi et mettono ogni spirito nel conservatione de confini, tanto più devono esser studiosi nelle cose di Religione; et così affermo et perciò ho procurato in casa mia che si vivi con li debiti terinini et senza dar occasione di mala sodisfazione.) After various other compliments, each Ambassador made a nephew, which each had with him, kiss his Serenity's hand, and then took their leave and departed.
Dec. 7. Minutes of the Senate, Mar. Venetian Archives. 130. As we ought to bestow upon the person of Sir Henry Wotton, Ambassador of his Majesty the King of England, the same marks of honour as it is customary to bestow on other Ambassadors:—
Motion made that a thousand crowns of public money be spent on a golden chain to be presented to him in the public name, and that two hundred crowns be given to his Secretary.
Ayes 147.
Noes 5.
Neutrals 1.
Dec. 7. Collegio, Secreta. Ceremoniali. Venetian Archives. 131. Arrival in Venice of Carleton, Ambassador in ordinary of England in place of Wotton, his predecessor.
Sir Dudley Carleton, Ambassador in ordinary to the King of England in place of Ambassador Wotton, having arrived in Venice sought leave to come to the Cabinet. Accordingly both betook themselves to San Spirito and a goodly company of Senators went to receive them and to accompany them to their lodgings first and next day to the Cabinet. As they entered all rose to their feet, as is usual in the case of Ambassadors of great Sovereigns. They explained their mission in abundant and affectionate phrases. After they had taken leave and departed, the new Ambassador was presented with refreshments to the value of fifty ducats in two relays and the old Ambassador with a gold chain worth a thousand ducats, and his Secretary with two hundred crowns.
Dec. 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 132. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court is in some anxiety about the negotiations in Germany for the union of Saxony to the “possessioners” in the Duchy of Cleves. Although many of the protestant party think it neither just nor honourable that the Duke should be made a sharer in the fruit of so much trouble and toil endured by others, still the desire to see that province quiet—towards which this step is considered to be the sole means—prevails over all other considerations. The German Princes are not in a state to sustain a war owing to their lack of money. The progress of the Poles in Russia is also causing anxiety, nor do they cease to note the movement of arms in the Duchy of Milan. As to this, however, they wait to see what will happen on the arrival of the Constable of Castile who, it is generally thought, and as Lord Salisbury told me, is coming with an olive branch in his mouth. But the success of the Poles is very displeasing to the King, to the Council, to the Dutch, and to all Protestants; and it is held by some that when the affairs of Germany are settled, something must be done to help the King of Sweden. Lately news has come to hand that the King of Sweden has cruelly ordered about three hundred of his troops—French and English, among them many persons of birth—to be cut to pieces for fear of mutiny. This is considered by all as a barbarous act, and has raised against him such hatred that he would find it difficult to levy other troops here for his service. The King has shown great resentment, and has uttered words of profound feeling. All the same, neither this displeasure nor his natural dislike for the King of Sweden would be enough to prevent his Majesty from supporting Swedish interests, which he thinks identical with his own and those of Denmark, his brother-in-law.
The departure of Le Sieur from the Imperial Court is expected daily, and the delay is thought very strange. Trade is not suspended, however, and some ships have recently sailed for Hamburg; nay, English merchants have made large profits out of this difficulty, for all the cloth in those parts has gone up to a very high figure in expectation that trade would be interrupted for some time to come (anzi, da tal alteratione questi mercanti hanno sentito profitto molto grande, perché tutte le pannine che si trovano in quelle parti furono vendute a prezzi altissimi per dubbio che per qualche tempo restasse interotto il negotio).
One of the requests preferred by the Danish Envoy lately was that the English should give up Hamburg and touch at Crempe (Crinipe) instead, which is in Danish territory; but the English merchants did not approve, as that port is not so handy for the distribution of goods.
The King will soon be back at Theobalds and perhaps in London for his business with Parliament, which gives him great trouble. Every day new difficulties arise, and the more his Majesty desires a decision about his wants, in order to dissolve Parliament, the further they are away from a conclusion, as the members refuse to vote more money and the King to abandon such excellent prerogatives until he has provided thoroughly for himself and satisfied all his Ministers. His Majesty lately took to sending his demands in writing; he then adjourned Parliament for fifteen days, on the plea that members should have time for mature consideration, but, perhaps, really with a wish to further his aims by means of pressure and also to deprive them of the opportunity to discuss freely in his absence. (Prese sua Maestà expediente questi giorni passati di mandarli in scrittura le sue instanze, poi ha voluto che quel convento vacchi per quindeci giorni sotto pretesto, che ogn' uno possi havervi sopra matura consideratione ma forse per poter aiutar il suo desiderio con il mezzo di qualche ufficio, et per levargli l'occasione di parlar più liberamente che sua Maestà non vorrebbe mentre si ritrova lontana.)
The Speaker (fn. 2) has been named Chancellor to the Prince of Wales, a post of the highest importance, as it is the true door to the Chancellorship of England. The appointment has roused general suspicion that it has been made with the sole object of winning him over to support the King; and already they have noted certain of his acts which are highly suspect.
The crew of the “Red Camel,” which laded in Zante and went ashore on this coast, have all arrived safe on the other side. It does not appear that they were subjects of your Serenity, but there were on board her seventy-two barrels and nine sacks of currants belonging to Georgio Balsamo of Zante and a few others belonging to another merchant, whose specification has not yet reached Amsterdam and about which I can get no more information, as the ships books remained in the ship and the master who has come here has no recollection of the subject. He brings with him from Holland the papers relating to the cargo for the purpose of recovering the goods, and I will, in the interests of your Serenity's subjects, lend him all aid. The Lord Treasurer and the Grand Chamberlain, the day before yesterday, came to visit me in your Serenity's Embassy. They were accompanied by Lord Walden, (fn. 3) son of the one, and General Cecil, nephew of the other, and a following of carriages and gentlemen. They returned thanks for the honours and welcome which your Serenity was pleased to bestow on their sons. As this was noted by the whole City it will not only increase the repute of this house but will add to the benevolence of the English nation. Greetings for Christmas.
London, 9th December, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 10. Minutes of the Senate. Venetian Archives. 133. Addition to the Instructions given to Zuan Giacomo Zane, appointed Governor General in Crete.
You are to take steps to prevent any of our subjects from giving any kind of assistance to pirates and from dealing with them in any way.
Ayes 120.
Noes 3.
Neutrals 29.
Dec. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 134. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador makes much ado to restore the Pretender Bogdan to his throne. He keeps him in his house. By representations and by money he won over the Lieutenant Grand Vizir to present a memorial to the Sultan; it was sent in, but came out again without effect. His Majesty remarked that this was not the time to raise such a question.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 11th December, 1610.
Dec. 12. Senato Secreta. Despatche3 from Zante. Venetian Archives. 135. Michiel Priuli, Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
After making an inventory and searching that ship of Captain Ward, which was found on the shoals off Clarentza and towed into this port, it was judged of small value both because it was small and because it had been dismantled, was without a sail and in very bad condition. In order to encourage these inhabitants to prompt obedience to every command I, with the assent of my Council, have assigned the ship to Zorzi Balsamo, who was commissioned to search her and bring her over, on condition that he brings in one hundred ship loads of stone for the strengthening of the Mole.
Zante, 12th December, 1610.
Dec. 13. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 136. Marc' Antonio Padavin, Venetian Secretary in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The meeting of the members of the Saxon house was to begin yesterday in Dresden. The Duke is all the more hopeful of a good issue for his affairs in that the Prince of Anhault does not report from England all that was hoped for from the King in favour of the Princes of the Union. They say his Majesty is not averse from the idea that his brother-in-law (Saxony) should be conjoined in the succession to Cleves.
At the English Court the King of Denmark made strong representations in this sense. It is not beyond belief that at Cologne they may re-open negotiations, especially when the United Princes see that they cannot get English help.
Prague, 13th December, 1610.
Dec. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 137. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
News that Spain has ordered the disbanding of arms in the Milanese. The German troops are to cross the Alps; their object is to support the Catholic party in Germany, and to suppress the Confederates of Hall, and for this purpose they have appropriated money in some quantity. It would seem that under all this there are subtle and far-reaching designs, to unite the House of Austria, secure the election of the King of the Romans, to make a religious war which would have aims outside Germany, for in France there are Huguenots, in England Catholics, and even in the Low Countries there is diversity of creed. The Diet of Hall on the other hand has determined to invite the King of Denmark to declare himself head of the Union. These negotations have bee3 going on for long, and the King of Denmark has consulted his brother-in-law, the King of England on the subject. There can be no doubt but that he will accept the proposal, for it will bring him honour and profit on all sides; for some years he has been accumulating money and increasing his arsenal and military stores.
Paris, 14th December, 1610.
Dec. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 138. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The suspension of the decree of Parliament condemning Bellarmin's book was given by the Queen's Privy Council, and applied to the publication of the decree, not to its execution; although the Chancellor, to please the Nuncio and to remove grounds of complaint, permitted them to write to the Pope that they had obtained absolute suspension. But the Nuncio, not content with this, caused the suspension to be printed, and hence arose loud protestations. This day week Parliament met and named five Presidents to maintain its rights and to make serious complaint to her Majesty and Council.
Father Cotton, the Jesuit, has preached two or three days in the Louvre on the subject of equivocation; showing how one can swear falsely without sinning by making a mental reservation. The book is, in reality, prohibited; and three days ago while I was with the King's Advocate, the Advocate of Lyons called to ask what was to be done with the book if it reached that City. He was told to seize the book, imprison the importers and bring them to trial; he was, however, told to go and speak to the Chancellor, Villeroy, and the first President, to receive confirmation of these orders. I learned afterwards that the Chancellor and Villeroy agreed, and so did the first President, in even stronger terms.
Last week, at the instance of the English Ambassador, one who was charged with the design of passing over to England to kill the King was arrested. They say he is convicted of having declared it to be a great merit to slay a Huguenot, and much more a King of Huguenots; that if one were arrested and executed before he could carry out his design he deserved, all the same, to be counted a martyr. He is a Roman by birth, badly clothed, speaks Latin very well. He expressed exalted ideas, and many believe that he has been chosen and brought up in such opinions on purpose for such a deed.
Paris, 15th December, 1610.
Dec. 16. Minutes of the Senate. Mar. Venetian Archives. 139. To the Ambassador in England.
Sir Dudley Carleton, elected as successor to Sir Henry Wotton, has recently arrived in this city. Both of them made the representations here enclosed. We received them with the affection we are wont to show to all that Sovereign's representatives. As far as we could discover at the first audience the ambassador appears to be endowed with all those qualities which, you tell us, led to his election, and for this you will thank the King.
Of Wotton you will speak in the term3 of our letters to the King and the Prince of Wales, of which we enclose a copy. Wotton holds the originals at his own request. You will assure his Majesty of our satisfaction with him.
Ayes 120.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 2.
Dec. 16. Minutes of the Senate, Mar. Venetian Archives. 140. To the King of Great Britain.
Your Majesty's letters, conveyed to us by Sir Dudley Carleton, Sir Henry Wotton's successor, have brought us the greatest satisfaction, full as they are of affection and benevolence, promising a continuance of the love you bear us. We assure you that we shall always reciprocate it; and Sir Henry Wotton, on his return, will testify to this. His ability and prudence displayed in his transactions move us to desire for him from your Majesty every good, and we believe that your Majesty will be ever more and more satisfied. We are pleased to find that our judgement agrees with that which we gather that your Majesty holds.
Ayes 120.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 2.
Dec. 16. Minutes of th3 Senate, Mar. Venetian Archives. 141. To the Prince of England.
In praise of Wotton. We have begged him to represent to you our singular affection and friendly offers and to say that nothing would give us greater satisfaction than to hear of your successes and to see you following the paternal glory.
Ayes 120.
Noes 1.
Neutrals 2.
Dec. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 142. Antonio Foscarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. Servin (Cervino), the advocate of the King, took to the Queen several chapters of Bellarmin's book, about which the Cardinal de Joyeuse and other friends of the Nuncio had raised doubts; the substance is that the Pope has the power to depose Kings and deprive them of their kingdoms, give them over to sack, and free subjects from their oath.
The book has been found in manuscript translated into French; it was sequestrated at once. It is supposed that the end will be that the Nuncio will keep the suspension but that the book will, in fact, be prohibited.
The examination of the prisoner arrested at the request of the English Ambassador is going on. He confesses that he spoke in general terms but denies that he ever specified the King of England; of this, however, he is convicted by four witnesses. He does not conceal that he meant to cross over to England. Some writing has been found on him, but there is no certainty that he meant to go to kill the king, though there are not wanting strong suspicions.
Paris, 17th December, 1610.
Dec. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 143. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Pope said “On the death of the King of France, Father Cotton, who was so dear to his Majesty, wrote a letter to the Queen in which he exhorted her to—I do not remember what—enough, the letter was full of piety and religion. Now, in answer to this letter, there has appeared a book called 'Anti-Cotton;' it runs to about eighty pages and, with heretical licence, it speaks ill of the Catholic religion and of the Apostolic Chair. This book has been printed by Mejetti, in Venice, in Italian; in many copies there is the imprint of Lyons, but in fact it was printed in Venice, for both type and paper are recognized.” The Pope protested against this. The Ambassador replied suggesting that the Pope might have been misinformed by evil-disposed persons.
Rome, 18th December, 1610.
Dec. 20. Senata Secreta, Capitano della Guardia di Candia, Venetian Archives. 144. Antonio Civran, Captain of the Guard in Crete, to the Doge and Senate.
Sends home a report on certain Barbary pirates brought to him by a ship of Patmos.
From my Galley in the port of Fraschia, 20th December, 1610.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 145. Antonio da Sifanto, master of a ship just come into this port, examined by order of Antonio Civran, Captain of the Guard, deposed that he sailed from Patmos seven days ago; on his fifth day out he touched at Santorin; he left Santorin yesterday morning. At Patmos there was recently a berton called the Golden Lion, fitted out in Tunis; the crew consisted of two hundred and fifty men of various nationalities, but mostly Turks, although there were a good many English and French. She was in company with four other armed bertons and a tartana, but in a storm off Cerigo they parted company. From a Turk who came on board his ship and wishes to become a Christian, he learned that in case of storm the bertons had given a rendezvous at Cape Salamon. The berton is no longer at Patmos, she had left a few days before, but her destination is unknown. Off Cerigo she had captured one of three vessels bound from Crete with a cargo of wine and cheeses; the other two had escaped. The vessel that was captured is said to be a French saetta bound from Candia for Venice. She was at once sent into Tunis. He had fallen in with no other ships, but he had heard that in the port of Morgo was another pirate berton, careened for repairs. Knows nothing about the Turkish Armada.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 146. The Turk on board the vessel from Patmos examined by order of Antonio Civran. Short of stature, chestnut-coloured beard, great moustaches, seems to be about thirty-five. Speaking in a mixture of Turkish and French he said his name was Ali from Babylon. Had been a slave in Hungary, whence he was taken to Spain. By the help of God he escaped from slavery and went to Tunis three years ago. This year fifteen bertons went out; one was three hundred tons burden and the others small vessels; they were fitted out by Osman Missi, one of the leading men of Tunis. Six of these were dispatched to Candia and nine to the Straits of Gibraltar. He was advised to sail on board one of the six. It is forty-five days since he left Tunis. They touched at no port. Near Maino they had news that the great galleys were at hand; the news was given them by the crew of a French saetta with a cargo of wines and cheeses that they had captured. The crew of the saetta was retained and the ship herself sent to Tunis; the crew consisted of thirteen persons and two women. They put to sea and all got separated in a storm at night, nor did they see their consorts again. Their rendezvous was Cape Salamon. The crew of the berton numbered two hundred and twenty Turks, French and English; Ward's ship had one hundred and thirty; Usta Marati's one hundred and eighty; there were forty on board a small butachio and on board the others about one hundred each. The Turk served as soldier on board. The reason why he left the berton was that a woman with a child in her arms appeared to him in his sleep and warned him not to stay in that ship or else he would lose his life. The child, who was sucking the breast, left off and said “Come with me and thou shalt be my brother.” He woke from his dream and recounted it to his companions. Then he fell asleep again and the Igummo of the town appeared to him and said “What doest thou in this ship, come out of it.” In the morning he left the ship and on the road he met the Christian who is now here, who asked if he would go to Crete and become a Christian. He accepted. Before sailing from Tunis the pirates had agreed that they were to wait twenty-seven days between Cerigo and Cape Spada.
Dec. 22. Consiglio de' Dieci. Parti Communi. Venetian Archives. 147. Permission to Count Benedetto Lombardo to delay two months before going into his relegation at Palma.
Ayes 6. Second vote Ayes 5.
Noes 5. Noes 6.
Neutrals 4. Neutrals 4.
As the vote required a 2/3 majority the motion was suspended.
Dec. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 148. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have paid to the Post Master in Antwerp one hundred pounds of that money on account of postage for this year from Venice to Germany and Antwerp and from London to Venice. I have also paid the Post Master here for postage to London from Antwerp, France and Spain, from 14th July, twenty-three pounds, six shillings, one penny; total, 343 ducats 12 grossi. Accounts and vouchers enclosed. Will your Serenity cause this sum to be paid to Marco Cesareo on my letters which he holds?
London, 23rd December, 1610.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 149. Receipt from Antoine de Tassis for 100 pounds.
Antwerp, 7th December, 1610.
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 150. Note of payments.
To Antonie de Tassis.
£ s. d.
100 lire de grossi of that money that is lire sterline 59 14 0
To Felippo Burlamachi in Paris 3 9 0
To the Post Master in England 14 13 3
For extras 5 3 10
£83 0 1
In all £83 0s. 1d. reduced to Venetian Ducats at the rate of 57 pence for the ducat, equals Ducats 349, sold. 12.
Dec. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 151. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The news which has come from France that it is certain that the troops will be withdrawn from the Milanese has been well received here, except that the regiment of Madrucci is to be kept on foot and sent to Germany. This rouses some suspicion though thought to be merely one of the usual Spanish artifices, as, if they really meant to send these troops they would not so readily publish their plans. All the same I have discovered a genuine doubt lest this report should hearten the enemies of Saxony and Neuburg to stand by their claims. Everyone is convinced that the policy of the Spanish is to separate the Lutherans from the Calvinists and to ruin both, or at least to weaken them. The difficulty about Neuburg and the administration of the Palatinate is felt by the Protestants to be more urgent than the claims of Saxony to the Duchy of Cleves; for they think they could always remove any pretext for arms by placing the Duke in that Duchy. Indeed they are discussing a joint embassy to the Duke to settle some plan. From Flanders we hear that the Duke has applied to the Archdukes for their support in placing him in one or two little places in the Duchy of Cleves which as yet have remained neutral; but the answer was not to his satisfaction, for the Archdukes, who are not inclined for war, excused themselves and referred the matter to his Catholic Majesty.
A French ship has been driven into port by stress of weather; she had on board the plunder from a Spanish carvel laden with sugar, hides and other merchandize, which she had captured off Brazil. The ship has been arrested on the demand of the Spanish Ambassador, who claims her as belonging to subjects of his Master. The French on the other hand affirm that it is lawful prize in virtue of the liberty they enjoy under the treaty of peace to sail the main seas at their own risk. It is thought that a compromise will be reached. There is confirmation of the news that the pirate Ward and Sir Francis Verney, also an Englishman of the noblest blood, have become Turks, to the great indignation of the whole nation. At present they are near the straits, where they have captured two vessels which sailed from Lisbon for Italy. Your Serenity may have had this news earlier.
Last week there died at Greenwich a young lady of the Lady Drummond, who is in the highest favour and alone has free access to the Queen. There was a great suspicion that the cause was the plague. Five days later one of her companions also died. On this account the Queen was much troubled, and as soon as the danger was manifest she left Greenwich for London. The King received the news at Royston from one who had been sent for other reasons and was not well informed, and for some hours he was in deep grief, which he bore very ill until letters arrived from Lord Salisbury, who had to delay their despatch for a while, as he had set out to meet the Queen. Mercifully the rest of the Court is well, and the plague has so decreased that it no longer gives cause for anxiety. The list of deaths this week does not exceed twelve in one hundred and twenty-one parishes.
The business in Parliament has gone from bad to worse, so that the King has had to adjourn it again for two months. Meantime they will try to win over some of those who have shown most opposition, and if they do not succeed Parliament will be dissolved altogether, so that the constituencies shall elect new members. There are those who say that the King will never summon Parliament again, but his need of money is against that, and maybe this rumour is put about to frighten many of them. So far the members show little inclination to vote his Majesty any subsidy beyond what has already been voted last summer, for they despair of abolishing Wardship as the whole Kingdom earnestly desires; and the ill will which is swelling up on all sides is very serious. I hear that the Catholics have taken this opportunity to offer the King two hundred and fifty thousand ducats to remain unmolested, and they use his indignation against Parliament, to which they attribute their persecution, to assist their aim. The proposal has not been approved nor taken into consideration. The rigour in matters of religion continues, and the prisons are full of Catholics and priests. On Monday a Benedictine Friar and a secular priest were put to death; the first because he had been five times banished and last year was one of those who were handed over to the French Ambassador and by him taken out of the Kingdom; the other because on interrogation by the Bishop of London he began to press him with close arguments and vigorous demonstrations that principles adopted by him against his judgement were of no value and unworthy of such a man as he. They might have saved themselves by taking the oath, but both persistently refused. After receiving numerous visits in prison when the sentence had been passed, they were accompanied to the place of execution two miles out of the city by a crowd of about three thousand persons, among whom were many o3 the leading ladies and gentlemen. Many of the mob insisted on drawing the little cart in which the prisoners were; many fell on their knees to receive their benediction, and kissed their feet; nor was anyone hindered in such demonstrations, except that after the execution those who wished to gather their blood were driven back. The friar spoke at length warning the people and declaring that whoso finds himself not in the Catholic faith at the time of his death cannot reach the peace of salvation. He prayed and urged them to pray for the King and his Council, laying the blame of their innocent death on the heresy of the Kingdom; nor did he lack hearty applause from the very Protestants. Diligence that the corpses should not be dishonoured nor carried off availed nought, even though they were on purpose placed under sixteen thieves, who were put to death that same day; and on that there will be an enquiry.
London, 23rd December, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Dec. 25. Senato Secreta. Despatches from Florence. Venetian Archives. 152. Giacomo Vendramin, Venetian Resident in Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
At Leghorn the Earl of Warwick is building that vessel of his, but he goes very slowly, as he has not hands enough. He has lately dismissed forty head men. I am told they are very slow in spending money on such objects, as they bring no profit, and it is many days since they fitted out a privateer, nor have they granted the flag to anyone. They are, even, recalling those that have been issued. Not even Jacques Pierre, (fn. 4) who is in such high favour with Madama, has been able to obtain the use of the flag, and he is now fitting out a ship at Naples. But one cannot count on anything for certain, so frequent are the changes.
Florence, 25th December, 1610.
Dec. 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 153. Marc' Antonio Correr, Venetian Ambassador in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Their Majesties are awaiting the Marshal de Laverdin, who is coming for the swearing of the treaty with France. He cannot be far away from the sea. He will be nobly entertained, and they are preparing for his use a very beautiful palace (fn. 5) which belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury lately deceased. It does not quite satisfy the French, being outside the City and on the opposite side of the river. The Masques which the Queen and Prince are preparing are particularly directed to honour this mission, which has been sent on purpose at this Christmastide so as to admit of still greater favour being shown to the Marshal. Everything will be done to please him, partly in return for the favours shown to Lord Wotton in France, partly because it seems that there is at present a tendency to cultivate the friendship of France with greater diligence than heretofore. No news from Germany this week. The attention of the King and Council particularly directed there; they watch whether the Spanish are going to send troops there now that their soldiery is disbanded in the Milanese.
The King of Spain has written a long lette3 on this subject, to his Ambassador here; in it he speaks very bitterly against the Duke of Savoy. I have had means to secure a copy, which I send. With the adjournment of Parliament many have gone to their country houses, to pass Christmas with that splendour which is the ordinary usage of this country (fn. 6) (per passare le feste del santissimo Natale con quel splendore ch'é ordinario costume del Regno). The King came back to London yesterday; he is quite free from the worry which usually disturbs him excessively; for his Majesty is wont to say that while Parliament is sitting it is interregnum for him (resta del tutto solevato da questa molestia di animo che lo suole perturbar in estremo, dicendo la Maestà sua che mentre senta il Parlamento é per lei tempo di interegno). Certain persons have been approached with a view to inducing them to bow to his Majesty's wishes and desires (I have information on this point from a good quarter, but it would only weary your Serenity); this vile system is being continued, but as yet with small results. About the Prince's demand to be freed from his minority as regards the exercise of his prerogatives, nothing more has been said owing to the want of time, as is stated, but perhaps because, in the present disagreements, they are doubtful of the issue.
Occasion has also been given for great murmuring by the protection which, on the King's orders, the Judges have extended to a Scottish Knight and his two servants who, at his bidding, had slain an officer of justice when arresting the Scot for debt. The City desired to see exemplary justice meted out because of the nature of the case, which is very unusual here, and because of the universal hatred of that race. The judges by most open favouritism succeeded in moderating the rigour of the law. The case was sent to the King's Bench; and what mostly annoys the English is the pomp and sumptuousness of the accused. (fn. 7)
Casaubon, who had always shown a resolve to return to France, has at last accepted the one thousand six hundred ducats a year offered him; but his hopes aim much higher, for this rare and accomplished person is to serve a right liberal monarch in matters of study, to which his Majesty is greatly inclined, especially at this time when so many books and writings are in circulation. (Il Casabona, che ha sempre mostrata risolutione di ritornar in Francia, ha finalmente accettato gl'assignamenti fattigli per 1,600 ducati d'entrata; ma molte maggiori sono le sue speranze, dovendo questo raro et versato soggetto servire un Ré liberalissimo in cosa di studio al quale piega grandemente il genio della Maestà sua, spetialmente nelle occasioni di tanti libri et scritture che al presente vanno intorno.)
The representations which his Majesty made to the Earl of Arundel in favour of the merchants of Zante interested in the cargo of the ship the “Red Camel,” which was cast away on the coast, have produced no effect. For while the Earl shows himself willing on the one hand, on the other he says that in order not to prejudice his rights he must have in writing a renouncement of all claims and a reference to himself. I have not thought it advisable to assent to this, for to the great damage of this market, one would lose all hope of recovering anything of moment. The Ambassador of the United Provinces shares this view. However, after many attempts to recover the cargo as a courtesy from the Earl and offering to make him a handsome recognition, I intend to apply again to the King and if need be to take the votes of the Judges, so I am advised to act by Counsel. Meantime the Earl of Arundel has concerted measures with the Lord High Admiral to render their position stronger. Together they have had an estimate made of the ship and her cargo, which they put at four thousand ducats. This will give, perhaps, to our side an opportunity to make some offer which will help the case.
London, 31st December, 1610.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding despatch. 154. Copy of a letter written by his Catholic Majesty to his Ambassador in England.
The King,
Don Alonso di Velasco, member of my Council and my Ambassador in England. The transactions between King Henry IV. of France, deceased, and the Duke of Savoy are notorious. The Duke forgot the great benefits his House had received from this Crown, which at great cost restored to him his territories taken from him by the French, forgot, too, the favours and gratifications which the Lord, my Father, may he be in heaven, bestowed on his sons, and those also which I was in the course of bestowing; and so to punish so notable an injury I ordered the Count of Fuentes, my Governor and Captain General in the State of Milan, to arm, and he began to do so. But his illness and death delayed the execution of my resolve. Although the Pontiff was fully aware of the justice of my cause, nevertheless in his holy zeal and in his capacity as Universal Father, and hoping to avoid the damage which war in Italy would cause and endeavouring to preserve the peace which for so long a period and with so much ability my predecessor and I have preserved, his Holiness approached me through the Archbishop of Damascus, his Nuncio at my Court, and the Archbishop of Chieti, his Nuncio extraordinary; and by letters written with his own holy hand, renewing their representations, he besought me, with paternal love and extraordinary affection, that for the service of God and of all Christendom, I should avoid the cause of rupture and of all those ills which would be the inevitable consequence, by pardoning the Duke; his Holiness showed how much this would please him. I replied through the Nuncios that I was very willing to gratify him, but the Duke of Savoy must acknowledge his error. When the Duke understood this he sent his son Prince Filiberto, prior of Castile and Leon; and before him the Bishops of S. Jean Morienne and after him the Count de la Motte with letters of credence for the Prince, who is making use of them. He assured me that his father sent him to my feet as neither his own years nor his labours would allow him to come in person, to beg me to be pleased to accept that submission which it might please me to impose, for the Duke was in the direst distress at finding himself out of my favour, that he cast himself at my feet, nor would he rise until death overtook him or he received from me the favour of being admitted again, himself and his family, to my good graces and to my protection. Although many reasons concur to make me justly angry with the Duke and to seek satisfaction for his misdeeds, still I, considering the public weal before my own and wishing to prove to our most holy Father the love I bear him and to my nephew—and I must add that the Queen of France has written to me very warmly by her own hand, and the King by his ambassador here resident, begging me to receive the Duke of Savoy into my good graces—I resolved to stay my hand from my resolve and ordered the suspension of arms and promised to take the Duke into my favour, which will keep pace with his merits.
I, the King.
Pardo, 20th November, 1610. 1611.


  • 1. Andrew Melville or Melvin. He was tried in April, 1606, and committed to the Tower. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1603–1610, p. 354. See Gardiner, History of England, I., 319.
  • 2. Sir Edward Phelips.
  • 3. Theophilus son of Thomas Howard, Earl of Suffolk.
  • 4. One of the chief conspirators in the Spanish Plot of 1618.
  • 5. Lambeth. Sir Thomas Thynne's house, for which a rent of £100 was paid, was hired for the Ambassador's use. See. Cal. S.P. Dom. 26th Nov. 1610.
  • 6. See Cal. S.P. Dom. Nov. 27. Royston. Lake to Salisbury. “The Parliament to be prorogued on pretence that the gentlemen of the better sort should be in their country residences about Christmas in order to relieve the people with hospitality.
  • 7. Decipher reads “preguiditii,” but cipher reads b13 m63 b38 = “pregione.”