Venice: February 1617, 1-15

Pages 426-439

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 14, 1615-1617. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1908.

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February 1617, 1–15

Feb. 3. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni Costant. Venetian Archives. 619. To the Bailo in Constantinople.
You will continue to insist upon the abolition of the carazo until you succeed.
With regard to the affair of the Archenda, we receive the enclosed information to-day from the Proveditore of Zante. In conformity with this we allow you to relieve the English merchant, Arthur Garnai, of what concerns the portion of the Archenda bought by Cariati our subject, which may amount to about 200 ducats, we understand. We leave it to your prudence, however, to settle that difficulty as advantageously as you are able. We think it right to add, that as this merchant made so much ado about so insignificant an affair, it may be doubted if he has not some ulterior object, to use this payment to fortify greater pretensions. It is, therefore, necessary to act cautiously and to abstain altogether from putting anything in writing.
Ayes 155.
Noes 3.
Neutral 3.
Feb. 3. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 620. To the Secretary in England.
They write from Savoy that the duke and M. Lesdiguières are to leave for the army on the 2nd or 3rd inst. The Savoyard troops have recovered Buri.
Nothing of moment has happened in Friuli. There have been some skirmishes in Istria. The Usocchi have sallied out of Segna and done damage to the island of Cherso and some ships. On returning they were pursued by our ships and abandoned their booty.
The like to the Imperial Court, Rome, France, Spain, Milan, Naples, Florence, Padavin, Dolce, the Hague, Turin.
Ayes 133.
Noes 6.
Neutral 0.
Feb. 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 621. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Since my last despatch the count of Scarnafigi has seen Winwood and Edmondes five times. The first three were spent in conversation without decisions; at the next, on Monday, the two deputies tried to persuade the count to proceed to Piedmont with letters credential from His Majesty to tell His Highness that the affairs of the princes in France are in such a desperate state that they are nearly lost, to the great detriment of the general cause. His Majesty wishes to know whether His Highness would prefer to see the help of England given to himself or the princes of France as His Majesty cannot render assistance in more than one place. The ambassador recognised that this was one of the usual devises to spin things out and to rid themselves possibly of his continual importunity by sending him to Piedmont. Accordingly he replied that he had never shirked the fatigues of a journey when His Majesty commanded, but instead of letters credential from His Majesty he would rather take instructions and a declaration in writing of the points which should be proposed to the duke. Without this he would not go, but could answer himself that the king must first declare what help he proposes to give, and then His Highness will say whether he desires it most for the princes or himself. But the deputies would agree to give anything but letters credential, neither would they state the extent of the help, so that the plan of the journey is at present abandoned. They proposed to refer everything to the king that same evening, and report to the ambassador the reply on the principal points about help.
The following morning they sent for him and told him that His Majesty had fresh letters from France, saying that the Marshal Lesdiguières had written to the Most Christian from Piedmont on the 23rd December, that he was with the duke of Savoy, and he hoped this move would produce good results, facilitating an accommodation with the governor of Milan and increasing the reputation of the crown of France. The king of England rejoiced greatly at this hope and so he proposed to delay his plans for helping the duke until he saw what would happen after the marshal's arrival in Italy. Moreover, he was bound to await the negotiations of Lord Roos and felt sure of good news thence, as the Spanish ambassador told him he was certain that peace would ensue.
The Ambassador Scarnafigi could not contain himself within his usual terms of address, and feeling that his long patience might reasonably come to an end he answered somewhat sharply. He went so far as to say that these excuses of His Majesty to avoid his obligations are judged by the world to be rather due to want of faith than of power, because as His Majesty is considered prudent, everyone believes that he would not have promised his help in the treaty of Asti if he had known he could not keep it, and since the treaty till now, thank God, no accident has occurred to weaken him, nor has he spent any extraordinary sum of money, so the world makes the aforesaid judgment on seeing that he will not keep his word. (Non pote' contencrsi l'ambr Scarnafigi di non trascender all' hora l'ordinario termine risservato del suo parlare, et parendoli che una cosi lunga pacientia poteva hormai ragionevolmte dimostrarsi stanca, li rispose assai vivamente, arrivando fino a dire che queste scuse di Sua Mta di non far quel che èobbligato sonno giudicate dal mondo derivare più di mancamento di fede che di potere, poiche essendo tenuto S. Mta per prudente, credesi da ogn' uno che non haverebbe promesso la sua assistentia nell' accordo d'Asti, se non havesse conosciuto di poterlo osservare, et dall' accordo in quà, si sa' lodato Iddio, non esserli occorso ne disgracia ne occasione per le quali habbia convenuto indebolirsi, ne spender estraordinaria quantità di denaro, onde vedendosi ch'ella non vuol attender la sua parola, ne forma il mondo il sopto giudicio.)
At this Winwood became warm, and heated words passed until Edmondes quieted things by saying that to satisfy the ambassador he would tell him what he ought not to do, though he knew it was wrong for a person in his position to let such things out, namely, that the king had been so prodigal in the past that at present he had nothing to spend, and the miseries of his case were not only as great as he thought the ambassador had heard, but much greater than was generally known, and, therefore, they were absolutely compelled to dally in this fashion in their negotiations with him, and to keep postponing until money reaches His Majesty from some source, to be employed on that service. He hoped it would come within two months, meanwhile they must have patience. (A questo toccar di fede riscaldossi il Vinut et vi passano delle altre parole sensitive assai, fin che l'Edmonds li acquietò, dicendo all' Ambre, che voleva per sua sodisfattione appallesarli quello che però non si conveniva, et che sapeva di far male, per la qualità che teneva, a lasciarsi uscir di bocca, cioè, che il loro Re era stato per il passato tanto prodigo, che al presente non haveva da spendere, et che le miserie della sua particolar casa erano non solo cosi grandi come crede che l'ambr haverà già inteso ma anco molto più di quello che li può esser pervenuto a notitia, et che perciò convenivano a viva forza nelli negocii che havevano con lui andar scaramucciando in questa maniera et portando il tempo avanti, fin che capiti per qualche banda denari a S. Mta da poter impiegar in quel servicio, che spera poter avvenire intorno a' due mesi, fino al qual tempo è necessario accomodarsi con la pacienza.)
The ambassador thanked him for what he had said, as though it was altogether contrary to what he desired, yet it was spoken with sincerity and to enlighten him, and did not tend to appease him with frivolous childish pretexts. He had been twenty-three months engaged upon these same negotiations without advancing a single step, and they ought to be abandoned if only for shame's sake. That if His Majesty had no money at present and hoped for some in the future, he should at least make an assignment for that time, so that with this small earnest money in hand the duke might be appeased and the king would be free from this perpetual worry. They promised to obtain audience from him of His Majesty next week, and so the ministers have terminated these lengthy negotiations, without any result except to continue the game of passing the ambassador on from one to the other.
London, the 3rd February, 1616. [m.v.]
Feb. 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra, Venetian Archives. 622. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The ambassador Tour has not yet arrived from France nor has news come of his leaving Paris. It seems that those of the Court who favour the party of the princes and Edmondes in particular, have to a great extent won over the king, so that the Baron de Tour will be less grateful to him than many believed, judging by their ancient acquaintance. It is understood that among other commissions he is to ask His Majesty not to send Edmondes back to France as ambassador, as he is too suspect, owing to his friendship with the princes and with Bouillon in particular. I enclose a letter written to the Most Christian by the latter, which your Excellencies may not have seen.
M. Caron, ambassador of the States, had audience the other day to inform His Majesty of the prorogation by the States of their final reply upon evacuating the places. He told the king that his Masters were involved in continual expense, through suspicion of their neighbouring enemy, but were yet disposed to do something to help the duke of Savoy if he was not abandoned by His Majesty, and, therefore, they begged him to come to some worthy decision, which they would immediately imitate. The king replied that he had already given powder and would do more as occasion demanded.
The secretary of the English ambassador at Constantinople has arrived here with the confirmation of the news of the outrages of the Turks against the English, as your Excellencies will have heard. They are talking of sending an extraordinary ambassador to the Porte to make strong representations upon the matter, but ultimately decided it was better to send letters and give other orders to the ambassador there. These were sent off by post a few days ago. In this connection they complain here of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, because of the way he harasses the Turks with his galleons, and by sometimes using an English one he renders this nation hateful to that people. They complain of the Spaniards as suspect of being in agreement with the Turks to chase the English from those waters, and they have spoken about it to the Spanish ambassador resident here. He justified himself, enlarging upon the continued enmity between the Catholic king and the Turk and that at present a great fleet was preparing at Naples for an attempt upon him at the first opportunity, to harass him as much as possible. The merchants interested go about saying that the French and Venetians are not displeased at these troubles, and in an underhand way they assist where they can at the exclusion of the English from the Levant, in order to increase and recover their own traffic.
A man has arrived with letters from the English ambassador with the Great Mogul, assuring His Majesty of the good-will of that prince and of the Persian king. If he is inclined to take up a great business they will give him every advantage. They wish to take from the Turks the trade in silk which they bring from Persia in caravans, and transport to England by way of the sea, the ambassador having found ports for lading and convenience for carriage, to the great advantage of this kingdom and a corresponding damage to the Turks. The affair seems so great here that their minds are hardly capable of grasping it, though they discuss it. One of the greatest difficulties in the way is money, as to buy the silk of the first year they need three to four millions of gold, and they cannot obtain more than a million by letters of change from the kingdom. However, the ambassador writes that the Persian is willing to advance the money upon good security and hostages, until the second year, and that is the position up to the present (e venuto un' huomo con lettere dell' ambr. Inglese appo il Gran Mogon, che apportono a S. Mtâ sicurezza della buona volontà di quel Prencipe et del Persiano verso di lei; la quale se haverà animo di abbracciare un gran negocio, li sara da essi con ogni termine di cortesia somministrata la commodità. Vorebbono levar a' Turchi la condotta delle scte che con le caravane levano di Persia, et transferirlo in Inghra, per la navigatione dell'Oceano, havendo l'ambr ritrovato Porti da caricarle et commodità di condurvele, con utile grandmo di questo regno, et altretanto danno de' Turchi. Pare qui il negocio cosi grande, che il loro animo non vale a capirlo, tuttavia se ne discorre; una delle maggior difficoltà che s'appresentino è del denaro perche bisograndovi per comprar le sete del primo anno tre in quattro millioni d'oro, non possono con lettere di cambio cavarne dal Regno più d'un millione tuttavia l'ambr li scrive che il Persiano con buone sicurtà et ostaggi si contenterebbe di darli commodità di credito fino all' anno secondo, et fin hora la cosa si ritrova in tal stato).
His Majesty hoped by now to have raised 400,000 crowns on his jewels, but the Dutch merchants, who were to pay it, have recently replied that they will have nothing to do with it unless the jewels, which are now in England, are taken across the sea, so that they may see them and estimate their value. His Majesty and the Council will not suffer them to be taken away, but are trying to induce the aldermen and citizens of London to bind themselves to repay the money. There will be difficulty here also, and if His Majesty cannot obtain a more ready provision for the journey to Scotland I do not know what he will decide to do.
There are seven to eight hundred sailing vessels on the coasts of Holland, Zeeland and Flanders detained by these contrary winds, which have now lasted for three months, and there are about three hundred in the Downs here (le Dune de Inghilterra) waiting for a wind, to the great loss of the merchants, as the corn for Spain is spoiled, and fifteen ships with herrings for Italy will probably return to unlade, as they cannot now arrive for Lent. (fn. 1)
London, the 3rd February, 1616 [m.v.]
Enclosed in the preceding Despatch. 623. Letter of the Duke of Bouillon to the Most Christian King.
I am grieved that your Majesty still retains an evil opinion of my actions. My enemies seek by every artifice to render me hateful to your Majesty. It is three months since I withdrew to my house to enjoy repose. I have sometimes seen the duke of Nevers, but there was no prohibition against this and I did not think I was doing anything suspicious. I have never found him anything but perfectly loyal. I understand that I am accused of having understandings outside the kingdom and of having sent persons to Holland and Germany to act to your prejudice. This is a manifest calumny, and the truth may easily be discovered. I now only desire to have your Majesty's commands, I place myself under your Majesty's protection, but if I am so unfortunate that my enemies have deprived me of your favour, I shall be compelled to take steps in my own defence, and if I am attacked I shall resist with the help of my subjects and friends and those who are bound to help me by ties of blood, but without prejudice to the service which I owe to your Majesty and to France.
Your Majesty's humble subject and servant,
Henry de la Tour.
Sedan, the 17th January, 1617.
[Italian; 12 pages.]
Feb. 3. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 624. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have been waiting for some days to discover how best I may raise men in this kingdom to take them to Italy, in accordance with your commands. I have had difficulties in finding out the intentions of the persons who offer themselves, as they pretend to have my promise that after they had explained themselves the republic would not give the charge of the levy to others, unless we could find any to offer more advantageous conditions. I would not bind myself to this without express orders from you, so that I cannot send definite news. Yet from their conversation and other signs it is clear that the English nation in war and in other things claims to be superior to all other nations, and is by no means disposed to yield this claim least of all to the Dutch troops, which are less esteemed by them, so that I think it hopeless to expect that the English would accept lower conditions than the Dutch, or that the colonels would take lower honours, and possibly the king and Council would not agree to it. Therefore, I think that the one who makes the levies, if he is a noble and will bring at least 3,000 foot, should have the same title as Count John Ernest, so that disputes may not arise through the English finding themselves inferior to the Dutch in the field, either in pay or in their commander, and then all would be order, instead of strife and tumult. On the other hand I understand that the English will not claim higher conditions, but will be content with what the Dutch receive. I hoped to embark the English at somewhat less cost than the Dutch, as I thought the manner of getting troops here was easier, since all could be obtained from one province near the sea. This cannot be done there. I am told, however, by a captain, that my plan can only succeed partially, if the captains are so base as to be content to take the first who offer themselves and put them in ships, without considering who they are. But if they have a higher sense of honour they will pick their men out of many bad ones, and take them from various parts, some far from the sea, further perhaps than in the Netherlands.
I have had many conversations upon the manner of payment, but I think it will be best for your Serenity to keep to the arrangement made with the Dutch.
The English ships will cost somewhat more than the Dutch, because merchant vessels generally cost more here than at Amsterdam, as they employ more sailors; it is true that they are better for the Mediterranean and more adapted for those other services besides carrying soldiers for which your Excellencies may require them. The vessels of the more northern parts are excellent, as they stand higher out of the water than the others, and they need nothing but artillery to fit them for the voyage and to be raised a little in the part above deck, but their masters could easily see to this.
The more I go into this affair the more I see that it will not be advantageous for your Serenity to take from here a body of English troops under a Scotch general or colonel, as the nations are so opposed that they cannot join together under any circumstances, so that the offence taken by England at seeing the highest charge go to Scotland would prevent the colonel from being supported by the same nobility and persons of quality that an Englishman would have. Many even of the common soldiers would not serve under a Scot, whatever was promised to them, and in order to be obeyed he would have to bring a composite force of English, Scotch and Irish, among whom there would be continued brawls and insubordination. Such things are seen every day, and the only way to prevent it is to see that the captain and men are of the same nation.
If Lord Dingwall were not a Scot, his friendship and good-will would point him out for the honour, if occasion required. But in a matter of such importance I could not do anything but bring these considerations to the notice of your Excellencies.
I have heard something about the intention of the Earl of Sussex to come and serve your Serenity. He is one of the first nobles of England and a Knight of the Garter, but I fear his demands would be too high, and I am not entirely satisfied about his other qualities.
Lord Willoughby abides by his offer, and he seems to me to be the best up to the present of those of this mind. He is a soldier, has a strong sense of honour, and would advance but moderate pretensions for himself, but for the sake of the honour of his nation and his house he would not wish to be less honourably treated than count Ernest of Nassau. His estate is towards the north, which is the best part of England, and thence he would obtain all his men and would use the ships there, which as I have already said, are excellent. He would have a ship of his own built especially and would be ready to serve both by sea and land in any place he was ordered. He is one of those who asked for a promise that after he had opened his mind your Serenity would not give the charge to another, unless he offered better terms, otherwise his reputation would suffer. (Continna il Sr Baron Vilibi nell'istessa sua offerta, et per il mio debile giuditio parmi migliore che fin hora conoschi di tal pensieri. E egli soldato. Ha gran fin d'Honore et sarebbe per se stesso assai moderato nelle pretensioni, ma per honor della natione della propria casa et sua persona non desiderebbe esser trattato niente meno del Conte Hernesto di Nassau. Egli che tiene il suo stato verso il nort sarebbe da quella parte, che'e la migliore d'Inghra, tutta la sua gente, et si servirebbe di quelli vasselli che come ho gia detto sonno bonissimi, et per se haverebbe un vassello proprio da lui fabricato, et sarebbe pronto per servir in mar e in terra travagliar qualunque et in qualunque luoco chi l'EE.VV. commandassero, et dal quale se ne potrebbe cavar ogni sorte di servicio, et anco de quelli che scrissi riverentemente all EE.VV. a primo Decr. E egli de quelli che per trattar meco più particolarmente et con più sodisfattione di V. Ser*** ricerca parola che doppò che haverà aperto il suo animo non se dia ad altri il carico se non apporta quel tale condition più avantaggiose, stimando che ciò riuscirebbe con troppo smacco della sua riputatione.)
This is all I have heard about the commander. For the lower officers there are a number of men of experience, but all agree they will not be put below the Dutch.
If your Excellencies intend to employ any number of this people in the future, I venture to observe that it is impossible to overcome the difficulty of the weather, as we see in the case of the Dutch force, and, therefore, it would be well to begin in good time, and when the winds are propitious, namely from April onwards. Moreover, as the king is to go to Scotland on the 25th of March, it is necessary to have his consent before he goes 300 miles away.
London, the 3rd February, 1616. [m.v.]
Feb. 3. Consiglio di X. Parti Secrete. Venetian Archives. 625. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Council of Ten.
In the negotiations which have recently taken place, the royal deputies told the ambassador of Savoy that His Majesty was quite willing to assist His Highness with naval forces in anything that might be for his service, but he would not on any account entrust that undertaking to Sir Walter Raleigh, as he was determined that he should go to the Indies to make an attempt of a different character. Accordingly all negotiations about the Genoa enterprise are at present broken off, although I am inclined to believe that Raleigh, once he had got his ships clear of these shores would rather have entered the Mediterrancan than commit himself to the Ocean. He has spent 200,000 crowns in arming eight ships, and as he is deeply in debt, few believe that he will ever return to England again, but will take to piracy, perhaps plundering everyone alike, and make himself a rich booty; his spirit is such that he may easily make the attempt. (Nella trattatione di questi passati giorni hanno li deputati regii delto all' Ambr di Savoia a nome del Re, che S. Mta vuol bene aiutar S. Altezza con forze maritime in quello che sarà conosciuto essere di suo servitio, ma non vuol per alcun modo che se dia questa impresa a Ser Vat Rale, essendo rissoluto che egli se ne vada nell' Indie a tentarne altre di diversa qualità; et perciò vesta per ora quasi tronca ogni trattatione sopra l'impresa di Genoa; se ben io per me credo, che il Rale, come habbia sciolto le navi da queste ripe, sia più tosto per entrar nel Mediteranco che mettersi all' Oceano; poichè havendo speso ducento millia scudi in armar otto vasseli, et essendosi molto indebitato, pochi credono che sia più per retornar in Inghra, ma gettandosi alla rapina, et forse sopra cadauno indifferentemente, procurarsi grandi acquisti; et è di tal valore che li saprà ben tentare.)
The chief reason why the king is unwilling to employ him may possibly be his disinclination to meddle with an affair which may so greatly offend the Spaniards, as even if the attempt succeeded he would never trust him to give him his rightful share of the gain.
Raleigh appears ready to obey and go to the Indies, because if he gave the slightest inclination of other designs he would be ruined. Time will disclose what he will decide to do when once he is at sea. (fn. 2)
London, the 3rd February, 1616. [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 4. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives. 626. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has not yet received any reply to his second exposition, but at his request, the States General have deputed two persons to tell him that the princes interested must be consulted, and therefore he must have patience. The ambassador is therefore waiting and does not know what will be decided.
The French ambassador continues his accustomed offices and says that nothing ought to be done without the intervention of his Most Christian Majesty. He says he thinks it impossible that the king of Spain can have approached England alone, and soon they will see clearly.
The Ambassador Carleton, who knows that the French are complaining, told me in confidence that he fears he will have to complain also that his king had not due satisfaction, owing to the devices of the Spaniards; that he had fulfilled his instructions as a minister and was awaiting the results.
On another occasion he asked me if I had any news about the going of the Ambassador Bon to England. I answered, No. He replied in the same sense as I reported before.
The Hague, the 4th February, 1617.
Feb. 6. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives. 627. Zorzi Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Colonel Stodder is in Friesland, whither he returned from the Austrian camp, to ask for advancement. He does not care about that service and he is the best captain they have. He says that they are short of everything, and if they had the same advantages as our men they would give a different account of themselves. Copy.
Prague, the 6th February, 1616. [m.v.]
Feb. 7. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Francia. Venetian Archives. 628. Ottavio Bon and Vicenzo Gussoni, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The extraordinary ambassadors for England and the States have departed. The one for Spain will leave on Thursday next, it is understood.
Paris, the 7th February, 1617.
Feb. 7. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Napoli. Venetian Archives. 629. Gasparo Spinelli, Venetian Resident at Naples, to the Doge and Senate.
The Irishman has not found his task of collecting 500 soldiers of his countrymen so easy a matter, and up to the present he has only succeeded in getting together twenty-five or thirty.
Naples, the 7th February, 1616. [m.v.]
Feb. 9. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 630. To the Secretary in England.
Our last letters from Turin, of the 6th inst., relate the taking of Crevacuore by the prince of Savoy, and the rout of a Spanish force. The capture is a valuable one.
The duke and M. Lesdiguières have left Turin for San Damiano, already attacked by the Count of San Giorgio.
In Istria our troops have taken Lumino, an important place of Pisino. Our troops at the Villa of Cliopus have been attacked and defeated from Gradisca.
The like to the Imperial Court, Rome, France, Spain, Turin, Milan, Naples, Florence, Mantua, Coire, Zurich, the Hague.
Ayes 114.
Noes 0.
Neutral 0.
Feb. 10. Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives. 631. Giovanni Battista Lionello, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Baron Tour, the extraordinary ambassador of France, arrived in England six days ago. He was almost lost at sea, and to escape they had to cut away the mast. He is so worn by his experiences that he has not been able to leave Dover, where he is staying to recover. I know that the king's unwillingness to receive him has reached his ears, as it is publicly said among the courtiers that the baron is not of a rank equal to the other ambassadors sent by the Most Christian to other places, and so His Majesty is somewhat affronted, which provides a bad beginning for negotiations.
Last week I wrote that the Dutch would not advance money on His Majesty's jewels, now they add that the other provisions of money have all fallen through. Letters have come from Scotland from the earl of Mar, the lord high treasurer there, that things cannot be ready at the appointed time, wherefore many think it will be impossible for the king to make the journey, and already His Majesty seems to have changed his mind somewhat, and has condescended to consult the Council, seeming inclined to take their opinion and to remain if they think it better, in view of the state of affairs in the world.
The Spanish ambassador went recently to the royal council to ask that Sir Walter Raleigh should not be allowed to go to the Indies. He is to leave in two months with eight ships full of nobles, all well appointed, to acquire mines. The ambassador said that it will cause much harm and will deeply offend the Catholic king to see countries subject to him and the ships of his people ill-treated by Raleigh. The Council replied that Raleigh was going with limited commissions from the king in the service of His Majesty, and things were so arranged that he should not pass the limits of his duty and his Catholic Majesty would have no reason to complain. The ambassador was not appeased by this reply. He returned to the council and spoke even more strongly, and produced a book with descriptions of two other voyages made by Raleigh in the Indies, full of cruelty and plundering, from which he concluded that the third would not be different. The Lords of the Council were offended at this and refused to reply, but directed Winwood to tell the ambassador privately that he would do well to rest content with the first reply, as the king was set upon Raleigh making the voyage, and if he overstepped his instructions his head would pay for his disobedience, and so it would be better not to trouble the king or Council again. (Recceverono con disgusto quei Signori del Consiglio questo replicato ufficcio dell' Ambre ne volsero farli altra risposta mà commissero al Secrio Vinut che li dicesse a parte Che Sua Eccza haverebbe fatto bene di restar sodisfatto alla prima risposta già fatta poiche era ferma mente del Re, che il Rale andasse al suo viaggio nel quale se havesse contravenuto le sue instruttioni, che li sonno state date, hareva la testa con che pagherebbe la disubbedienza, et però non dovesse intorno di ciò più travagliar ne S. M. ne il Consiglio.)
An English pirate is in the Downs with two ships. He left here with licence to go in quest of pirates, but I know that he had patents from the ambassador of Savoy that if he captured any Spanish ship he might go to Villafranca to sell it. Lord Rich had the same licence. He sent three ships buccaneering. As he has done so most secretly, without the knowledge of his king or his ministers. I beg your Excellencies to keep it hidden, because if it came out His Majesty would be highly offended with Scarnafis, much harm would be done and various heads would fall. (L'istessa licenza ha havuto il Baron Rich, che ha mandato tre vascelli in corso, il che facendosi qui secretissimamente senza saputa del Re ò de' Ministri supplico le Ecc. VV. reverentemente a tenerlo ben sepolto in se stesse, perche risapendosi di qui, oltre il disgusto che S. Mta professerebbe con Scarnafis, molti resterebono rovinati et diverse teste si perderebbono.)
The ambassador of Savoy issued these commissions in order to harass the Spaniards as much as possible, and also because when their ships go to Villafranca His Highness may use them as he may think necessary from time to time.
Count Scarnafigi had audience of the king yesterday at Theobalds, and has not yet returned. I will report his negotiations in my next despatch.
It is stated among the merchants that four, ships which were coming from the Levant, have been taken by pirates, to the great loss of the mart.
I acknowledge the receipt of your Serenity's letters of the 13th and 19th December.
London, the 10th February, 1616. [m.v.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 11. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 632. To the Ambassador at Rome.
With regard to the doctor's degree at Padua, it is certain that the Counts Palatine in times past were not accustomed to ask for any profession of faith when they granted it, and they granted the degree in all faculties and sciences. Consequently our ordinance does not alter the custom which has always been observed, but if anything restrains it, since it grants the degree only to those who desire it in philosophy and medicine, in which to testify that anyone is a good philosopher or a good physician is of no prejudice to the Catholic religion, and Greeks and Jews are admitted without any scandal. It is ordained that this may be done privately by a doctor deputed specially, and we hope that His Holiness will be satisfied and recognise the grounds of the representations which have been made to him. You will only perform the office if His Holiness refers to the matter and not otherwise. We shall be glad to know who gave this information to the pope, if you can find out.
Ayes 143.
Noes 2.
Neutral 0.
Feb. 11. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Signori Stati. Venetian Archives. 633. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
The letters to be signed by Stodder (Studler) were on the way to Brussels while Pasini was travelling here. When he arrives there to-morrow, if the bad weather does not prevent him crossing to Antwerp, they will be ready for him.
The Hague, the 11th February, 1617.
Feb. 11. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci. Signori Stati. Venetian Archives. 634. Christoforo Surian, Venetian Resident in Holland, to the Doge and Senate.
The extraordinary ambassador from France, M. de la Noueuml; (Nua), arrived on Monday evening. It is said that he has instructions to levy a certain number of troops, English, Dutch and others, as they do not trust their own, fearing that they will fly to the prince. I called upon him. He wished me to believe that matters were passing smoothly in the Grisons by means of his king, but I have heard differently from Padavin, and the English ambassador here told me that Wotton advised him of the same.
The Hague, the 11th February, 1617.
Feb. 11. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Roma. Venetian Archives. 635. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
I had my usual audience of the pope yesterday. He asked me if certain books prohibited by the holy office, such as those of de Dominis, formerly archbishop of Spalato, and others which came from Germany, were not prohibited with us. I said that the manifesto of de Dominis had certainly been prohibited, and the others would be examined and purged if they contained errors. I told him I had written about the doctorate at Padua, and he might rest assured that your Serenity had made no innovation. The pope complained of the introduction of Doctor Sertoria.
Rome, the 11th February, 1617.
Feb. 12. Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costant. Venetian Archives. 636. Almoro Nani, Venetian Ambassador at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
With regard to the document presented to the Pasha for His Majesty by all four ambassadors, we are divided at present between hope and fear. But the latter is greater than the former, because the Grand Vizier knows little and because of his irresolute nature. He knows our reasons and would like to give us satisfaction, but does not know how to begin. He has asked for a list of all the Franks described in the carazo; it was found that the number of subjects of your Serenity was ninety-two, fifteen of them married; of France eighteen, of England twenty, and of Flanders twelve. But your Serenity's subjects must be more numerous. He asked the opinion of the Chislar Agassi, who told him to do what he thought best. He then asked for our capitulations, and as the French ambassador sent his without consulting us, we were compelled to follow his example. Our capitulations differ from those of the others, which simply state that the carazo and no other imposition may not be exacted from their subjects who come to live here. The pasha has also asked for the Mufti's opinion, who has already declared against us, so that I am very anxious about the result, especially as he stated that the capitulations are of no value when they are contrary to the laws. However, I am keeping the matter alive and use what influence I possess with the Pasha to induce him to inform His Majesty of what has been done by the four ministers. He promised to do this for us, but he is very cold in action.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the 12th February, 1616. [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 15. Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Venetian Archives. 637. To the King of Great Britain.
Prince Julius Francis, duke of Saxony, recently came to this city and presented letters of recommendation from your Majesty. We received his offer of service with great satisfaction, and we thank your Majesty. We shall preserve a grateful remembrance of his offer, of which we should willingly have availed ourselves if the difficulty of obtaining a pass through the Grisons at present had not prevented us. However, we have assured the duke that, although we cannot avail ourselves of his offer at present, we will bear it in mind in order to take advantage of it.
Ayes 159.
Noes 0.
Neutral 3.


  • 1. We have hitherto the warmest winter that I think hath been seen, which proceeds from the settling of the wind continually at south-west, whereby there lie above one hundred and fifty sail, one and other, in the Downs, that are to go southward; and some of our East India ships have lain there for wind for almost ten weeks. Chamberlain to Carleton, Jan. 4, 1616, o.s. Birch: Court and Times of James 1, i. p. 386. Writing later, on Feb. 8, o.s. Chamberlain states that over three hundred sail were then in the Downs, 'more than ever were heard of to lie there so long.' Ibid. p. 390.
  • 2. The decipher is preserved in the series Senato Secreta, Comunicazioni del Cons. di X, Vol. VIII. The document is printed in Rawdon Brown's Archivio di Venezia, pp. 202, 203.