Venice: October 1581

Pages 20-21

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


October 1581

Oct. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 49. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Advices from Portugal state that the King has been in person to visit the works on the fort of St. John at the mouth of Lisbon harbour. Don Pietro de Valdes has returned from the Azores after his defeat. He was put under arrest as soon as he landed. Figueroa has abandoned his enterprise against the Azores. The truth is that he had little more than one thousand men; he found the island strongly garrisoned by French and English, and thought it as well not to try his fortune. Some Bretons and English, notably Captain Drake, have recently damaged and plundered his Majesty's subjects on the high seas. They say Drake will join the rebels in the Azores.
Madrid, 1st October 1581.
Oct. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 50. Lorenzo Priuli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Antonio is at Dieppe. He has with him five ships which he bought in England. Strozzi has joined him. Few have any hopes for him.
Paris, 5th October 1581.
Oct. 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 51. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
You will have heard that Don Antonio has arrived at a port of Normandy with some English ships which he raised in that island by pawning his jewels to the Queen. He no sooner landed in France than he tried to raise money there. He has been joined by Strozzi, Vimioso, and others. If he appears off the coast of Portugal he will certainly cause a rising; or he may establish himself in the Azores. The works on fort St. John are to be carried out at once.
Madrid, 29th October 1581.
Oct. 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 52. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Some weeks ago his Majesty learned that in England and Britany they were manning ships to sail to the Straits of Maggelan, and were supplying them with wood and iron, and other materials, for building a fort in a position very well adapted to harass his fleets and to disturb his quiet dominion in those parts. His Majesty resolved to forestall them, and despatched three thousand men, under Colonel Diego de Sottomayor. They were supplied with all that was required to build a fort, and were embarked on thirteen or fourteen ships. All the vagabonds in Seville were forced on board to serve as irregulars. The fleet was overtaken by a great storm, which lasted several days. Four ships sank, more than a thousand persons were drowned, and the munitions were ruined. They say his Majesty has lost a large sum; and what is worse he will not be able to fit out another fleet very rapidly, and so the enemy can forestall him and occupy the site.
Madrid, 30th October 1581.