Venice: June 1582

Pages 36-38

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.


June 1582

June 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 87. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Monsieur continues to raise levies for Flanders. A few days ago one thousand five hundred horsemen (Raitri) arrived at Cambray; and they say as many more are expected. The Prince of Parma has begun to bombard Oudenard.
It appears that the Grand Almoner of the Queen of England, a man of great weight and of the highest authority with her, has recently had a conference with the Resident of Spain at that Court, in which he suggested a renewal of the English and Spanish alliance with the house of Burgundy (che ben saria per la conservatione de negotii dell una et dell altra parte, che rinovassero i loro Principi la confederatione che altra volta era tra quel Regno et la Casa di Borgogna). When the Duke of Alençon heard of this he was much disturbed, and instantly sent one of his gentlemen to England to complain, whereupon the Queen, to show that she had no share in the matter nor knew ought about it, summoned the High Almoner and asked him to state what had passed between him and the Resident of Spain on the matter. He at once replied that it was true; that the Spanish Resident had suggested that it would benefit both Sovereigns if they were to renew the old Burgundy league, and that he had replied that he thought his mistress, for the sake of her subjects, would not refuse. Thus the Queen desired to right herself with Monsieur, and believed that she had shown that the suggestion came from Spain, not from her, and that the answer was dictated by mere courtesy. And to prove her goodwill towards the Duke she declared that she was as ready as ever to carry out the match; always on condition that the King of France would assist Monsieur, secretly if he chose, to the same extent as she did, so that his designs on Flanders might procede. And this was the subject of the English Ambassador's recent audience with the King.
I hear that the Prince of Orange is convalescent, and begins to show himself in public.
The troops of Brisac in Normandy, and of Strozzi at Bordeaux, are embarked.
Paris, 1st June 1582.
June 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 88. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A short time ago, from some headlands on the coast of Biscay a fleet was sighted, which was recognised as the English corsairs under Drake, already well known for the damage he has done to the ships and the subjects of his Majesty. They say he is sailing for Peru and New Spain, to plunder. He has discovered that the land hitherto supposed to be mainland is divided therefrom by a navigable channel, like the Straits of Magellan, where the King has recently sent to build a fort. But as the Governors have not yet been informed of this new channel dividing New Spain from Peru, a ship has been sent to those parts to warn them of it, and that the enemy is on the sea, so as to avoid a surprise, and to secure the safety of the fleet.
The King gets his best information from England. His agent there, who claims to be the promoter of the assassination of the Prince of Orange, affirms that the Prince is dead. But as the news is not confirmed from other quarters it is still doubted.
Madrid, 11th June 1582.
June 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 89. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The fleet of Don Antonio is all assembled at the appointed place, and he has been to inspect it. It is universally believed that the destination of the fleet is to cut off the Indiamen. Don Antonio will not return to Tours, where he has left many jewels in pledge; but will go to a castle of the Queen-Mother, in the neighbourhood of Nantes.
Paris, 15th June 1582.
June 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 90. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Antonio, after visiting his fleet, set sail on the 16th aboard Strozzi's galley, the weather was fine at first, but presently came on to rain and blow. One of the ships took fire and was burned with all on board. The armament is better than was expected ; there are upwards of five thousand good troops on board.
The Prince of Parma is bombarding Oudenard which he has assaulted, but was repulsed.
Paris, 29th June 1582.