Venice: September 1587

Pages 308-313

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 1587

Sept. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 574. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News from the Azores that three ships of the flotilla of New Spain have arrived, and the rest cannot be much behind.
The preparations for war with England continue actively. Great stores of provisions and ammunition are being laid in. They have resolved to undertake the enterprise without any further assistance from the Pope or any further engagement with France. They hope that his Holiness will spontaneously support the cause, and that France, owing to the civil war, will be unable to injure it (et par che Sua Maestà si sia risoluta di farla senza altro aiuto del Papa, et senza maggior concerto di France; sperando che la Beatitudine Sua non mancherb da se de favorire la causa, et che francesi per le guerre civili, non siano in stato di poterla sturbare), especially as the Guise have promised to prevent a peace being effected in that country. It is thought that the war between the Turks and the Persians will continue, and so no powerful Turkish fleet will be able to come out next year. They are very glad that Ibrahim Pasha has been made Capadun, for he is well disposed towards this Crown owing to many secret presents which he has received. As to the assistance which the Queen of England might receive from the Protestant Princes of Germany, they make but little account of that, for they know that those Princes do not willingly spend their money to help others. They also hold a promise that many of the English Catholics will rise as soon as the Armada appears off the English coast. The arrival of the flotilla from New Spain has had a very large part in causing this decision, for it has brought four millions of gold for the King alone.
A spy has been sent to Tunis to discover whether the Viceroy is rebuilding the fort of Goletta.
At Lisbon an English ship, with forty Spanish and Portuguese prisoners, has arrived. On board is an English gentleman sent by the Queen, and he has had a long consultation with the Cardinal Archduke, on the question of peace it is believed. The Queen has warehoused all the cargo of the Portuguese Indiaman, without allowing any of it to be touched, nor divided, as Drake and others demanded.
Madrid, 1st September 1587.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Sept. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 575. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio has had an audience. In his Holiness's name he made four demands. First, the restitution of their revenues to the Canons of Cambray. Second, that the Archbishops and Bishops of France shall either go or send to Rome to swear allegiance. Third, that Thomas Morgan, servant of the Queen of Scotland, who has been for long a prisoner in the Bastille at the instance of England, shall be released. Fourth, the liberation of the Cardinal of Gens' property.
The Pope has not received satisfaction for his first two demands. As for the other two, his Majesty has promptly resolved to oblige the Pope, and has ordered the instant release of Morgan.
Paris, 3rd September 1587.
Sept. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 576. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Count Marigliani has been ordered to put in writing his views on the negotiations for a truce with the Turks. I have been able to have a sight of this memorandum by a very secret way, and as it is as pointed as it is brief I send a copy.
Madrid, 4th September 1587.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 577. Report of Count Marigliani.
Unable to neglect the orders of the King, my master, that I should express my opinion on the negotiations for a truce, I shall do so with all brevity and sincerity as in duty bound.
First, then, in view of this great Armada which his Majesty has prepared with the design to chastise his foes, there is no doubt but that it is highly desirable to be sure of the Turks, who are able to interfere with the enterprise; it is clear that the truce cannot be effected except by sending an Ambassador. This might be done, in accordance with the dignity of Spain, by despatching an Ambassador to Ragusa, and spreading the report that his mission is to assure the Sultan that all these vast preparations are not designed to injure him at all, and at the same time to reopen negotiations for a truce through Sciaus Pasha, and to declare that the Ambassador will arrive to ratify the treaty. The Ambassador must be a man of prudence, courage, and ability united, for he will not escape troubles and annoyances both from the Turks and from the Ambassadors of France and England. Some urge that the King will not be able to place any reliance on the Turk, and cite the example of Venice; but I am of another opinion, for the greatness of the King of Spain is more appreciated by the Turks than is generally thought, and then the Turks are, to a certain extent, held in check by the Persians, and would not venture to break the truce. If the truce is concluded the Turks will not send their fleet to invade Naples and Sicily while the King is engaged on his enterprise, as the Queen of England is doing her best to secure. I am also of opinion that by all possible means the Persians should be encouraged to continue the war, and promises of help should be made to them. In order that the Pope, who is of a very hasty disposition, may not take offence when he hears of this Ambassador, it would be as well to inform him first, and to make him understand that in treating with these foes the object is to punish other foes, and that later on our arms may be directed against the Turks. This, in brief, is my opinion. I reserve other considerations to be discussed by word of mouth.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 578. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
At Lisbon the Armada is ready, and the men are forbidden to go on shore on pain of death. If the Marquis of Santa Cruz arrives within eight or ten days they say that, beyond all doubt, he will sail with one hundred and thirty ships for Flanders and England. In Biscay they have secretly put on board by night a large quantity of arms, among them sixteen thousand pikes, six thousand harquebusses, three thousand muskets. Twenty ships of the Seville squadron are out lying in wait for the English.
Madrid, 4th September 1587.
Sept. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 579. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Englishman in Lisbon has been treating with the Cardinal Archduke for a peace; the Queen offers, in addition to the old terms, to restore the Portuguese Indiaman which Drake captured. She is making the same proposals to the Duke of Parma in Flanders, where she is going to send Ambassadors. But here they know her artifices, and as they are now resolved to make this expedition in earnest they pay no attention to these proposals.
The rumour runs that the Marquis of Santa Cruz will pass over towards England, and will seize some port in Ireland, where he would await the rest of the Armada from Lisbon and Flanders, but the King himself does not credit the report, though he has given the Marquis full liberty to act as he thinks fit after securing the Indian flotillas.
Madrid, 10th September 1587.
Sept. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 580. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio, as I am informed from a good quarter, has begged the King, in the Pope's name, to assist in the attack on England.
The King made answer that he was so much disturbed by a great fire raging in his own house, that he was sure both his Holiness and all the world would blame him if he began to set fire to another's before the flames in his own were extinguished.
The Scotch Ambassador, having heard of this demand for an attack on England, had an audience of the King, and pointed out the claims which his master had on the Crown of England, for any demerit in the Queen could not be a just cause for annihilating his rights. The King showed affection for King James, and wished him all increase of State; but as for the attack on England he was too embarrassed at home to attend to other people's affairs.
Paris, 11th September 1587.
Sept. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 581. Lorenzo Bernardo, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
At an audience granted by the Grand Vizir to the French Ambassador the former said, “You should follow the line of the Queen of England who, at the request of this Porte, makes war on Spain and liberates all Mussulmains.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 15th September 1587.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Sept. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 582. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
They say from London that two noblemen and two Masters of Requests (Maestri di Rechieste) are on the point of leaving for Flanders to treat for an accord, and that the meeting will take place in Breda.
Paris, 15th September 1587.
Sept. 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 583. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The flotillas have not arrived yet, but they are expected day by day in the company of the Marquis of Santa Cruz. The cause of the delay is a great storm. The King is in a rage at the three ships which reached the Azores before the others, having parted company with the rest owing to some punctillio of precedence. They say that if the whole Armada is destined for England it would have been better for it to have assembled in Biscay and waited the commander there rather than to assemble in Portugal eight hundred miles further away. Others reply that the fleet had of necessity to go to Lisbon for arms and munitions.
Orders have been sent to Lisbon that when the flotilla arrives no sailors may land till one thousand of them have been picked for service on board the Armada. Here the prayers are continued, and will be continued for two months more. The President of the Royal Revenues declares that in this year the King has spent more than ten millions of gold in preparations.
The Earl of Morton, on his way to Bilbao, was stopped by an express courier, who requested him to go to Lisbon. He did so, and is caressed by the Cardinal Archduke, and will likely sail with the Armada.
The Spanish fleet is clearing the English from the coast; eight galleons have put out from Lisbon.
Madrid, 19th September 1587.
Sept. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 584. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
From Brussels we hear that the Duke of Parma has named as his commissioner for the treaty of peace with England, M. de Champigny, brother of the late Cardinal de Granvelle, Count Arenberg, M. d' Hausonville, the President Nisardel, and Secretary Cramer, with orders to meet on the 20th at Breda.
They write from England that although the Queen has been making provision for her fleet Drake is inactive.
Paris, 25th September 1587.