Venice: September 1585

Pages 120-122

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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September 1585

Sept. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 282. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King has at last sent M. de Lancome as his Ambassador to Constantinople. He came to take his leave of me, and told me that he had orders to act in concert with the Bailo of your Serenity. I had already heard that he was instructed to take every step for the expulsion of the English Ambassador, and he told me that he was authorised to spend four thousand scudi for this purpose.
The French Ambassador in England announces that the Queen was much disturbed at the news that the King had broken the edict of pacification with the Huguenots, and gone openly over to the Princes of the League. For better information she sent for the Ambassador, who confirmed the fact that the King was resolved to have only one religion in his kingdom, and therefore he has declared himself head of the League. This phrase “head of the League” displeased the Queen, and she sent Horatio Pallavicini to have information from the king himself.
Paris, 11th September 1585.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 283. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prince of Parma made his solemn entry into Antwerp on the 27th of last month. He is lodged in the citadel, and has five thousand infantry. Six thousand English, under Colonel Norres, are in Zealand.
Paris, 16th September 1585.
Sept. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 284. Vincenzo Gradenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is overjoyed at the fall of Antwerp. They even say that the news was brought to him at night, while he was in bed, and that he rose at once to take it to the Infante. Salazar reports that Venice does not show much joy at the news.
Barbastro, 21st September 1585.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 285. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen-Mother has sent one of her gentlemen to Don Antonio in Rochelle with 6,000 crowns and a promise to restore his pension and to give him a safe dwelling-place anywhere he may choose inside the kingdom. But Don Antonio was not found in Rochelle; he is said to have passed over into England with an Ambassador of that Queen, who was on his way back from the King of Navarre. This has displeased many, but above all the Queen-Mother.
Paris, 27th September 1585.
Sept. 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 286. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 27th inst. a courier arrived from England. He was sent by the French Ambassador with news that Don Antonio, on the 21st inst, had embarked eight thousand infantry and two hundred English gentlemen on board sixty-two vessels, and had sailed towards Portugal to try his fortune in recovering that kingdom. It surprises everyone to see how rapidly the Queen of England has made up her mind to give him such large forces. In order to obtain every information I sent my secretary to the English Ambassador. The Ambassador, who has always been very courteous to me, replied to my secretary that for days he has had no despatches from England confirming this news, nor any other, owing to the fact that his couriers are seized by the members of the League, but that the Queen-Mother has herself sent to give him information. A friend of mine, who is intimate with the Queen-Mother, tells me that in conversation with her she never ceased to praise the Queen of England's conduct.
The English who recently went to Holland have been distributed among the forts, but Flushing has always refused to admit any one. The Queen has sent two Ambassadors to offer them all the support in her power if they will prove that they intend to remain firm by admitting the English garrison. We shall soon learn the upshot; but, as Aldegonde, a man of great weight, has gone to Holland to persuade the Dutch to come to terms with the King of Spain, and to promise freedom of conscience, which was the great obstacle to an accord, it is held certain that this will prevent the Dutch from accepting the protection of England. The Prince of Parma relies rather upon negotiations than on arms for the reduction of the Low Countries; he expects a great deal from Aldegonde's mission, and rightly, for it was through Aldegonde that he captured Antwerp, in spite of the nearness of English reliefs, and the fact that the city could have held out another six months. It is expected that his Majesty is going to make Jarge concessions in the hope of bringing this long and troublesome war to a close. He inveighs continually against the Queen of England.
Paris, the last day of September 1585.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]