Venice: February 1589

Pages 427-431

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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February 1589

Feb. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 810. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have repeated to the English Ambassador your Serenity's demand for the liberation of the crew of the “Balanzara,” detained in Ireland. His Lordship promised so to act that the Queen will give every satisfaction.
Blois, 2nd February 1589.
Feb. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 811. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is better; he rises at midday and sits in wheel-chair, as he cannot walk yet.
The Venetian ships trading with England will be confiscated on the ground that they carry to that heretic, excommunicated Queen, the enemy of his Majesty, not only provisions but sulphur, saltpetre, and other munitions. Twelve English ships have passed the Straits of Gibraltar. It is thought that the larger part of them are on their way to Constantinople to convey a new English Ambassador to the Porte, which will greatly disturb the Spanish.
The fear of a rising in Portugal has caused the King to summon several of the leading Portuguese, of whose faith he has doubts to come to Court.
The Cortes have resolved to grant the King large supplies, a million and a half in gold for four years, but the King asks for two millions a year.
Madrid, 4th February 1588 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 812. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is much better, he walks about his room with a stick.
Orders have been given to the Duke of Parma that if there is any proposal for an accord advanced by England, he is to treat for the release of the Spanish prisoners in England. It is thought certain that the Queen of England is in treaty with the Schereef of Fez.
The Cortes have voted the eight millions on condition that their own officials raise it.
Madrid, 11th February 1588 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 813. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain to the Doge an ì Senate.
On Carnival Sunday the gout returned to both his Majesty's feet, and they fear that this relapse may be a long affair.
The King and Court have gone into mourning for the Queen Mother of France.
The King desires that the fleet of New Spain shall sail during this month; and eight good ships are being got ready as an escort for it, and will bring the whole fleet up to forty sail. It is doubtful, however, what will take place. Everything is entrusted to the Count of Orgazo, the Governor of Seville, and to the new Viceroy of the Indies, who will come to a decision according to the news they receive about Drake. They say that the compact between the Queen of England and the King of Fez, is that the Queen shall send her fleet to Portugal, while the Schereef advances against Ceuta, Tangiers and Asila, places on the Straits of Gibraltar held by the King of Spain in virtue of the Crown of Portugal. But here they believe that they have discovered and traversed these designs by the orders issued to Portugal and Africa (dicendosi che il concerto con quel Re di Fez et la Regina d'Inghilterra . . . sia ch' ella mandi la sua Armata in Portugallo et che il detto Seriffo dall' altra parte si muove contra Ceuta, Tanger et Arzilla piazze del suo regno al stretto di Gibilterra che sono tenute da questa Maestà sotto la corona di Portugal. Ma qui stimano d' aver scoperto et rotto li loro disegni con diversi ordini dati nell' una et l'altra parte).
Don Pedro de Valdez, prisoner in England, who was captured at the mouth of the Channel, because his ship carried away her mast and fell behind, has now implored the King for the love of Justice, to condemn the Duke of Medina Sidonia to pay his ransome and, the ransome of all his ship's company, because the Duke refused to come to his rescue as he might quite easily have done. The King has endorsed the petition with his own hand and said that the case shall proceed. And so they are now beginning an action against the Duke, not merely for this, but for many other mistakes.
Madrid, 14th February 1588 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 814. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish Ambassador, who is half a league out of Blois in a village on the river, has been told to remove from that place, and lodgings have been provided for him, six leagues away. I hear that the Ambassador has replied that he was sent by his Sovereign to reside at Court, and that if his Majesty intended to send him far away from Court, he should give him a pass to Havre de Grace. I hear that courier of the Ambassador has lately been intercepted with despatches to M. du Maine, giving him information of all that was going on, and encouraging him to pursue the enterprise he has begun.
Vendome, 18th February 1588 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 815. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The King is very much better. All the same he lives retired as usual, though attending to affairs. Although he believes that he has broken the Queen of England's designs against Portugal and in the kingdom of Fez, yet he continues to issue orders to be ready to resist Drake should he appear, as there are persistent rumours that he will arrive with a large fleet and Don Antonio on board. The King has commissioned Albuquerque to be ready on the frontiers of Portugal to march wherever Drake threatens to land.
The fleet of New Spain delays its departure; Orgazo and the Viceroy of the Indies write that they do not venture to put to sea.
The Duke of Terranova has induced the Milanese to make a present to the King of two hundred thousand crowns; and has thereby won the King's favour. The King's Factor General has been imprisoned for misappropriation of three hundred thousand crowns.
Madrid, 21st February 1588 [m.v.].
Feb. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 816. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Last night the Prince was very ill with violent sickness. To-day the doctors gave him a medicine which he could not keep on his stomach. The King ordered him to take another dose, but the Prince refused, declaring that he could not endure it. It is thought that humours which used to run off in his legs through sores which were closed a year ago, have now fastened upon his body, and chiefly upon the stomach; but as there is no fever they hope for the best.
The Schereef has marched from Marocco to Fez.
In Council they have debated whether the fleet of New Spain is to sail or not; no decision has been reached; but the majority is against on account of Drake, and because it would now be sailing to meet the season of the great heats.
The Duke of Medina Celi tells me he will not go as Ambassador to France till after Easter. He does not see what route he can safely choose. The country is so disturbed that the King can trust neither Catholics nor Huguenots, and neither of them can trust him; and so there is no cause to fear the Crown of France.
Madrid, 23rd February 1588 [m.v.].
Feb. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 817. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty, recognising that he can no longer with safety stay in Blois, which has Orleans on the one side, and on the other Amboise in which he can place nø confidence, has made up his mind to go. The Council have considered which place would best suit him. Tours was rejected; Angiers proposed because in that city he could thus more easily receive assistance from Navarre and from the Queen of England.
Vendome, 24th February 1588 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 818. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
A letter from Count Marigliani was given me, your Serenity knows by whom. I enclose a copy.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 25th February 1588 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 819. Recommends the despatch of an Ambassador from Spain.
The Spanish Armada has returned to Spain, thanks be to God, after routing Drake several times; he always refused to fight. The cold coming on the Spanish sailed round England and came home. This first journey will make the Spanish acquainted with those waters, and the attack on England will now be quite easy. Already the Spanish provinces have promised to furnish and maintain fifty thousand men to fight the English, and so your Lordship may guess whether the expedition will cause any difficulty or not. Has any one ever heard of a like offer made by a people to its Sovereign.
Milan, 8th November 1588.
Your most affectionate servant,
Count Rugier Marigliani.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 820. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
If the King goes from here to Moulins, eight days' journey from here, the whole country will be turned upside down. There will be no posts, nor can I send my lacqueys, for everything will be stopped and searched; there is no doubt but that this district will be overrun by Navarre or by Maine.
Blois, 27th February 1588 [m.v.].
Feb. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 821. Hieronimo Lippomano, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The last few days the Prince has caused great anxiety to all the Court. He has been suffering from violent sickness, on the top of which came a sharp fever. As a last remedy they gave him Belzuar stone, which did him much good, for whereas previously he had vomited his food fourteen times, after taking the powder he kept his food on his stomach, and next day shook off the fever.
The King has been in great distress, though he endeavours to hide it. He signed papers and despatched business, nor did he once go to see his son, and has visited him to-day for the first time.
I had an audience of the King to-day at four. I thanked his Majesty for the liberation of the ship “Sumachi.” I informed him how deeply your Excellencies felt the misfortunes of the Armada, and how greatly you hoped that God would one day grant his Majesty the time and the way to punish the enemies of Christianity.
Madrid, 27th February 1588 [m.v.].
Enclosed in Despatch of March 11 from Constantinople. 822. Letter to the Count Rugier Marigliani.
Informs him that if he will come as Ambassador from the King of Spain he will be well received and all proper honours will be paid to him.
Constantinople, 10th March 1589.