Venice: August 1581

Pages 17-19

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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August 1581

Aug. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 38. Leonardo Donato, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
That English heretic who committed the sacrilege in Saint Peter's has been burned alive, after having a hand cut off, and being scorched with lighted torches on his way to the scaffold, where he bore himself with such firmness as to excite universal comment.
Rome, 5th August 1581.
Aug. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 39. Vincenzo Tron, Hieronimo Lippomano, Zuan Francesco Morestni, and Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassadors in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty has been assured that Don Antonio has disembarked at Calais, and further, that he has passed into England with only two companions, one a chamberlain, a person of importance, the other a common servant. Many say that his journey to England is merely the work of chance; others suppose that the Conte de Vimioso is the cause of the move. By order of the King, complaint has been made that Vimioso has been received favourably in France. The Ministers hope that this will cause Don Antonio to be rejected by the French.
Lisbon, 6th August 1581.
Aug. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 40. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of England went yesterday to the King. On his way back to Paris he waited for me in the Park of Vincennes, and sent one of his gentlemen to meet me, and to say that he desired to enjoy my company and conversation in that place. When I reached him he said, with face all joyful, “Well, how did you find the King and what did he say to you?” I replied that we had only discussed particular matters, and had not entered on any general topics nor touched on the subject of Monsieur. He said, “Well, I must tell you that I found the King very well disposed towards Monsieur, for he said to me that, having done all he could to dissuade him from his Flanders expedition, but finding him firm, it was impossible to abandon him. The King of Spain cannot be allowed to increase in power, and the County of Artois is impatient to return to its allegiance to this Grown. Spanish affairs are bad in Flanders; and the Prince of Parma has neither as many men nor as much money as they have recently declared. The part of the Netherlands which is in revolt against Spain is united and ready to accept Monsieur. He also said that he found the King disposed in favour of Don Antonio who has equipped four teen ships in England and has placed them under the command of Drake, the famous corsair. This fleet was sent to the Azores, to secure them and to fall in with the Indian fleets. Other corsairs gathered round Drake. The Queen of England did not interfere, but allowed Don Antonio to do as he pleased. Drake's fleet had worsted the Spaniards. The King of Spain deserved this treatment, for he had behaved in a like way about Ireland. The Queen hoped that the Azores would play the same part in Indian affairs as Flushing played, in Flemish (et che sperava che le isole Tercere fariano it medesimo effetto nelle cose delle indie che ha fatto Fleusínghen nelle cose di Fiandra). If they could seize the India fleet they would produce a crisis such as that which took place when her Majesty seized the money of the King of Spain which was destimal for Flanders under the name of private merchants. And this is the true way to humble the pride of Spain (et che qaesto è il vero modo di abbassar la superbia di spagnuoli) by plucking their pen feathers (levandoli queste pene maistre).
The Ambassador of the Queen of England who has been expected here for eight days, when he was six leagues off, sent to excuse himself with the King for visiting Monsieur first, as he had letters to deliver from his mistress which would not brook delay, owing to the great love there was between the two. They say he has brought much money to Monsieur.
Paris, 7th August 1581.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 8. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 41. Alberto Badoer, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Bernardino de Mendoza writes from England that Don Antonio is in that island, in a town not far from London, with a suite of 14 persons; who were all so like one another that it was difficult to distinguish Don Antonio among them. It is said that he has been twice to London to speak to the Queen, but this is not certain.
Prague, 8th August 1581.
Aug. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 42. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday the Queen-Mother returned from her visit to Monsieur, and the same day all the Court came to Paris. The King has been occupied in receiving the new English Ambassador.
The Queen-Mother in audience told me that the King had this morning sent Mons. de Bellièvre to the Prince of Parma to assure him of his Majesty's good intentions, and to promise that even if Monsieur should succour Cambray, he would not fail to interfere in favour of the status quo ante. (Non si mancherà d'intromettersi col negotio con lui, et con la detta citta perche le cose tornino nel stato de prima.)
Paris, 11th August 1581.
Aug. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 43. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Francesco of Portugal will leave one of these days for England, whence he will pass to the Azores as Governor-General of those islands and those seas in the name of Don Antonio who is in England. Two days ago the Queen of England's Ambassador Extraordinary arrived. He is lodged and provided for most honourably at the King's expense. Yesterday he was received in audience. As yet I have had no report on it. Here they are preparing most sumptuous festivals, which are to begin on the 18th September, the King's birthday. Not only the royal family, but princes and private gentlemen are spending large sums on dresses and liveries, so that the effect will surpass all expectation.
Paris, 11th August 1581.
Aug. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 44. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Secretary of Spain informed me that he had letters from that country. A captain with 600 infantry had reached the Azores. This was followed up by two thousand Spanish and one thousand German troops. If help does not come soon from England it will go ill with the islanders.
Paris, 12th August 1581.
Aug. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 45. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
News has come by way of England that Don Pietro de Velasco, sent by the King of Spain to keep the Azores in allegiance, landed his six hundred men, and built a fort; but on the 25th of last month was cut to pieces with all his men by the islanders. When this news reached England Don Antonio hastened the despatch of his supports.
Paris, 26th August 1581.