Venice: April 1583

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. All rights reserved.


, 'Venice: April 1583', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591, (London, 1894) pp. 50-55. British History Online [accessed 22 May 2024].

. "Venice: April 1583", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591, (London, 1894) 50-55. British History Online, accessed May 22, 2024,

. "Venice: April 1583", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591, (London, 1894). 50-55. British History Online. Web. 22 May 2024,

April 1583

April 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 125. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate
The garrison for the Azores has not yet begun to embark although it is at Dieppe. Don Antonio, who is at Rouen, has obtained leave to coin money, but his affairs move slowly through want of funds. It seems that after the affair of Antwerp, the Queen of England shows great goodwill towards the Spanish Ambassador and that she is treating for some renewal of friendly relations. She has two Ambassadors at the Court of Scotland, and, in appearance, is most cordial to that king, who, in fact, is under guard as before.
Paris, 1st, April 1583.
April 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 126. Giovanni Francesco Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
A little before I was received by the Pasha, the French Ambassador had an audience. The reason for this audience was the arrival of an English ship with a gentleman on board, sent to reside at this Porte with the title of Bailo (da resieder a questa porta con nome di Baylo). He came in virtue of an agreement made with the Turk two years ago. I enclose a copy of the document. The French Ambassador complains that this is a breach of the treaty with his master, which provides that all ships, except those of Venice, must sail under the French flag. (In virtù di una capitalatione che fu data da questo Signor dui anni sono a quella Regina . . . di che ne fa il sodetto Ambasciatore di Francia grandissimo risentimento, mostrando che questo saria contrafare alla capitelatione che ha il suo Re conquesto Serenissimo Signor, nella quale è chiaramente expresso che da Venetiani in fuori, tutti gli altri debbino caminare sotto la bandiera di Frantia). Your serenity will see how the matter stands, from certain articles of the treaty, and from the passages out of some despatches addressed to the King of France by the Porte, all of which I enclose. The French Ambassador has presented these papers to the Pasha, adding that he has orders from his Sovereign to oppose the reception of an English Ambassador. The Pasha deeply resented this attitude though he replied very calmly that the Porte was open to all who desired peace, and therefore it was impossible, to exclude the English; but since the King of France declared himself concerned, nothing would be concluded without informing his Ambassador. The English ship has not entered, the harbour yet. It is lying at the Seven Towers, waiting the decision of the Porte. The envoy claims to be received as the representatives of other Christian Powers are received. No one knows yet what will happen, for the French Ambassador's opposition is most vigorous. He has endeavoured to persuade me to act with him in this matter, and said that his master told him that your Serenity had given, me instructions to oppose the English. But as I have received no instructions on the subject, I thought it better not to interfere without express orders. For myself I cannot see that your Serenity's interests are such as to induce you to openly oppose the Queen of England. For even without this new treaty, the English could always trade in Constantinople, provided that they sailed under the French flag.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 5th April 1583.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in Preecding Despatch. 127. Terms granted to the Queen of England.
By this high and mighty sign which, through God's grace, implies the sovereignty of the world, we command as follows:—
The most glorious of all the glorious women in the creed of the Messiah, the Queen of England, France, and Ireland, named Elizabeth—may her end be good—has sent letters to my supreme Porte by the hands of one of her subjects, called Velhech Mussi Harburis (William Harborn), a gentleman of experience and intelligence, who explained that many of her subjects being accustomed to come to my dominions, she begged that they might be allowed to come and go about their business. Orders were given that neither by sea nor land, neither in their lodging nor on their journeys should they be disturbed nor hindered by anyone. For this the said Queen sends to thank me, showing a sincere friendship towards my Porte, and desiring my amity, on the same basis as France and Venice, that her subjects may have liberty to trade in my dominions at their pleasure. She also asks for the release of one of her subjects named—, who is at present a slave in—. On my part, I grant the request, and issue this Imperial decree. The objects of the Queen are to have full liberty to trade. If any Englishman be made a slave he must be set at liberty. My vessels shall assist all English ships in distress. My officers are to protect them, if they are driven on shore. English debtors are to be personally responsible for their debts, they are not to be allowed to find substitutes, unless the substitute has gone surety (et se uno Inglese fusse debitore, sia dimandato il debito a lui, et non sia preso un altro in suo luogo, non essendo però egli piezo). Englishmen shall have the right of bequest. If an Englishman dies intestate his effects shall go to his partner, with the consent of the Consul. Englishmen trading in Turkey who require a legal document shall go before the Cadi, who shall apply his seal to the deed, or they shall ask for a decree (cogetto) otherwise their causes cannot be heard before the courts. If anyone attempts to seize English goods on the charge of swearing, he shall be prevented. Any English slave, on proof of nationality, shall be set free. Should any Englishman desire to settle in Turkey to trade, married or unmarried, he shall not be charged the poll tax (carazza). The English shall enjoy the right to appoint, change or create Consuls in Alexandria, Tripoli in Syria, Algiers, Tripoli in Barbary, Tunis, Cairo, and elsewhere. If they send their Dragomans on any important business, the Cadis must wait their arrival. Suits between Englishmen are to be heard by their Ambassador or Consul. Should an Englishman he carried into slavery in Anatolia or Greece he is to be diligently sought out and handed over to the English.
Turkish ships meeting Englishmen are to treat them as they have orders to treat the French and the Venetians.
Given in Constantinople the middle of the moon Sciaval in the year 988.
Encoded in Despatch of April 5. 128. Articles of the Treaty conferred at the beginning of the moon Guimaziel Achir 989, which is July 1581, and sent to the Emperor (sic) of France by the hands of Ali Muteferica
Except the Venetians, all other nations, Genoese, English, Portuguese, Spaniards, Catalans, Sicilians, Anconitans, Ragusans, who have sailed under the French name and flag from ancient times down to to-day, shall continue to do so.
Passage from a letter written by his Highness to the Emperor of France at the beginning of the moon Guimaziel Achir, 988, which is July 1580. Presented to his Majesty by the Secretary to the French Ambassador at the sublime Porte.
The Queen of England desires to enter into friendly relations with my Porte. We are anxious that you should be the intermediary, and should the Queen send an Ambassador to treat of this matter, and should he come with your recommendation, we will make every possible concession. We have written to the Queen on the subject.
Passage from another letter to the King of France, dated July 1581, conveyed by Ali Muteferica, confirms the order that all but Venetians shall sail under the French flag.
April 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 129. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Lopez de Figueroa has excused himself for being unable to raise his contingent as ordered. Everyone tries to avoid service by sea, and above all the expedition to the Azores which is greatly dreaded. This is the fourth time that a fleet has been collected for this service. Santa Cruz will have not more than ten thousand fighting men, if he has as many.
Madrid, 11th April 1583.
April 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 130. Giovanni Francesco Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
In my preceding despatch, I announced the arrival of an English ship at the Seven Towers, on board of which was an Ambassador from the Queen of England, sent to reside at this Porte. He was detained some days at the Seven Towers, owing to the hostile representations of the French Ambassador. But finally the Magnificent Pasha gave orders to the Captain of the Sea to send two galleys to tow the vessel into harbour, and to the Chiaus and Capigi Pashas to go and meet the Ambasador at his landing, and to conduct him to the house which had been hired for him, as is the custom on the entry of your Serenity's Bailo. Accordingly, on Good Friday, the said ship entered the port, towed by the two galleys, at the hour when the Christians were celebrating the Divine office in their churches, by singing melodies suitable to the Passion of the Cross. Suddenly when the vessel was off Serraglio Point, a great noise of artillery was heard, accompanied by a continual music of trumpets and drums and other signs of rejoicing, to the great grief and pain of these poor Christians who are here when they saw that on such a day, and at such an hour, people who called themselves Christians acted in a way so contrary to the usage of the Church, and to the dishonour of such a solemn function. People were so greatly shocked that when the Ambassador went from his ship to his house, he was escorted by no Christians, only by the Turks above mentioned; and as he passed through the streets of Pera not a Christian raised his hat; and even the Turks in contempt call him a Lutheran, and show that, they are far from pleased to see him; all the more so as, according to custom, the Ambassador provided on that very day a sumptuous feast of meats, to which hardly the Turks would come, as even they abhorred in a Christian such an insult to his religion. That evening on board ship, they had fireworks, salvoes of artillery and music, with great uproar. But they nearly paid the penalty of their sin, for one of the rockets fell back into the ship, close to the powder magazine, and set the ship on fire and it was only with great difficully that the fire was mastered. I thought it advisable to send my Secretary to call on the said Ambassador, to offer him my services, begging him to make use of all I have in my house, in sign of the good friendship which your Serenity has for the Queen. I begged to be pardoned if I did not visit him, in person, as the custom of the Porte was that no Ambassador should receive visits till he had kissed hands with the Sultan; and I assured him that, as soon as etiquette would permit me, I would not fail to visit him. The Ambassador showed great satisfaction at this message; and two days later he sent one of his suite to thank me, assuring me he would report my friendliness to the Queen.
The day after my visit to the Pasha, the French Ambassador had an audience of him also, on the subject of this English Ambassador; he raised a vigorous opposition, and left a protest in writing the, substance of which was that if the Englishman is received here as Ambassador, and if English ships are allowed to sail these waters under any other flag than that of France, his sovereign will consider himself absolved from the alliance, as this is a point expressly mentioned in his treaty with the Sultan. If, in addition to this representation, some presents were added, it would be certain that the English would be dismissed. But the French Ambassador has no authority to spend money for this purpose; and on the other hand the English make very large promises, so it is unlikely that the Pasha will care to risk the prospect of presents. It is true that some think that he will accept the English presents, and then raise some pretext for dismissing them, in order to oblige the French Ambassador (con il precedente dispaccio mio diedi riverente conto alla Serenità Vostra dell' arrivo di un navilio inglese alle sette torre, con il quale venne un Ambasciator della Regina d'Inghilterra, per ressieder a questa porta; dove si è trattenuto alcuni giorni, per li officii fatti contra di lui dall' Ambasciator di Francia. Ma finalmente commandò il Magnifico Bassá al Capitano del mare, che mandasse due gallee a remurchiar il navilio in questo porto et al Chiaus Bassi et Capigi Bassi, che con qualche numero di Chiausi et altre genti, andassero a ricever l'Ambassador dalla nave, et accompagnarlo alla casa presa per la sua habitatione, si come si accostuma di fare nella entrata delli baili della Serenità Vostra. Però il Venerdi Santo entrò il sudetto navilio nel porto, remurchiato dalle sudette gallee, in tempo che nelle Chiese de' Christiani, che sono in questa città, si celebravano li divini officii che rappresentano la memoria della passione del Nostro Signore Giesù Christo, adorandosi in quel tempo appunto la santissima Croce, con quella melodia che ricerca un tal miserio, et allhora si senti che essendo arrivato, il sudetto vassello dinanci il Serraglio del Signor, fece un grandissimo strepito con salva di arteglierie, compagnata da una perpetua musica di trombete et di tamburi, et molti segni di allegrezza, con tanto dolore et afflicione di questi poveri Christiani che si retrovano qui, vedendo, che in cosi fatto giorno, et in hora tale fosse dalli medesimi Christiani fatto cosa tanto contraria, all' uso della Chiesa in disonore di cosi gran solemnità, et che sono rimasti tutti grandamente offesi; in tanto che quando egli andava dal mare alla sua casa, non fu accompagnato da alcun Christiano ma solamente da soli diese o 12 chiausi con li capi che ho detto di sopra; et passando per le strade di Pera non fu alcuno Christiano che le cavasse la beretta anzi li Turchi vi medesimi in dispreggio lo dicevano Luterano, et mostrano di vederlo mal volentieri; tanto pià che quel medesimo giorno, havendo preparato, secondo il costume gia introdotto, un lautissimo banchetto di carne, al quale però appena li Turchi vi volessero restare, abhorendo ancor loro in un Christiano cosi fatto scherno della sua religione; la sera poi della medesima giornata li fecero nel navilio fuochi di allegrezza, con tiri di arteglierie, et musiche di instromenti; con tanto strepito; ma poco mancò che non patissero la pena del loro peccato, poiche essendo caduto uno delli raggi, che tiravano nel medesimo vassello, vicino al luogo della munitione, si accese il fuoco in modo che con grandissimma difficultà si puote estinguere. . . . . Il giorno seguente che io fui dal Magnifico Bassà l'Ambasciator di Francia andò all' audientia della audientia della sua magnificentia per causa del sudetto Ambasciator di Inghilterra, contra il quale si oppone gagliardiamente et ha fatto un efficacissimo officio, lasciando in fine un protesto in scritto, la sostanza del quale è, che se egli sarà admesso qui per Ambasciator residente, o se voranno permetter che Inglesi possino navigare ne i mari di questo Signore sotto altra bandiera che quella di Francia, che il suo Re si sentirà disobbligato da questa amicitia essendo questo patto espresso nelli suoi capitoli. Con questo officio se fosse congionto alcun donativo, si potria rescir per certo che l' Inglese saria licenziato, ma non havendo l' Ambasciator di Francia auttorità di spendere per questo effeto, et dall' altra parte promettendo assai l'Inglese difficilmente si può credere, che voglia il Bassà perdere quelli presenti. E' vero che alcuni pensano, che ricevuti che li haveranno, debbino poi far suscitare qualche varia per licenziarli, et dar sodisfacione al prefatto Ambasciator di Francia il qual mostrando meco molta confidenzia, mi ha datto conto di tutto questo negocio, et insieme, che il Bassà nel fine della sua audientia li haveva detto, che Venetiani, erano stati sempre amici della corona di Francia, et che erano quelli, che havevano fatto grande il Re Catholico, a che mi dice haverle risposto, che non stati li Venetiani, mi li tarchi che l'havevano fatto grande; le qual parole non mi è parso di lasciar di riferire alla Serenità Vostra, poichè havendo qualche incontro con quelle, che disse a me Ferat Bassà, come le scrivo con le alligate mie può fare sospettare che di ciò le sia stato ragionato alcuna cosa fra li Bassà, ben posso affermarle per quel poco, che io intendo le pratiche di questa Porta, che non è cosa piu salutifera per la quiete della Serenità Vostra che far con destrezza credere a questi, che fra il Re Catholico, el quella Serenissima Repubblica, vi sia una buona et perfetta amicitia come anco con tutti gli altri principi di Christianità. Il medesimo Ambasciator di Franza mi ha mostrato due lettere del suo Re ricevute con questo ultimo dispaccio, nelle quali, gli commette di adoperarsi in tutti li negotij della Serevità Vostra di quella maniera, che sarà da me ricercato, et che faria nelle proprie cose della sua corona, con parole efficacissime, che dimostrano sua ottima voluntà. Et l'Ambasciatore mi ha detto, che essequirà sempre con grandissima prontezza questo ordine del suo Rè mostrando desiderio, che io ne dia aviso alla Serenità Vostra perchè ella possa con l'Ambasciator di Sua Maestà Christianissima residente appresso di lei, et con il suo residente in Francia far intendere a Sua Maestà Christianissima, che egli habbia fatto meco il sudetto offïcio, et veramente che io voglio sperare, che sarà sempre pronto, a far servitio alla Serenità, Vostra essendo buonissimo Christiano, et conoscendo, che il suo re haverà sempre grato, ch' egli si dimostri affettionato a quella Serenissima Repubblica. Grazie.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 19 Aprile 1583.
[Italian; deciphered.]