Venice: July 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.

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, 'Venice: July 1583', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591, (London, 1894) pp. 59-62. British History Online [accessed 24 May 2024].

. "Venice: July 1583", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591, (London, 1894) 59-62. British History Online, accessed May 24, 2024,

. "Venice: July 1583", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 8, 1581-1591, (London, 1894). 59-62. British History Online. Web. 24 May 2024,

July 1583

July 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 145. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
On the vigil of St. John, the 23rd of June, the fleet under the Marquis of Santa Cruz, set sail. It numbered 40 ships, 12 galleys, 2 galleons and about 46 smaller ships, a large number of which are rowed. It had ten thousand troops and two thousand more to be taken up at Saint Michel's. It is hoped that the Azores will come to terms. If not they rely on force. The weather has not been good of late, and there is some fear for the lighter ships. The loss of these would upset the expedition, for they are required for the purpose of landing troops.
The arrival of the King and the Queen of France at Mezieres has aroused the alarm of this Court, and makes them believe that if the expedition to the Azores fails the French will declare open war; and that their Majesties have consulted with the Duke of Alençon on this subject. In view of this the King has ordered Tassis, his agent in France, to say to the Queen-Mother that it would be advisable to re-open negotiations for the marriage of Alençon and the second Infanta, because the first time the subject was broached in Lisbon the King had not had time to answer; nor was it even possible to answer, as the Duke's marriage to the Queen of England was at that time made public, and held as concluded. But now circumstances were altered, and it would be possible to unite the Kings of France and Spain, for a joint enterprise against the enemies of the true Faith.
The want of money at this Court is greater than it has been for many years. The cause is the delay in the arrival of the India fleet. Until that occurs this difficulty will continue. The result is that it is impossible to assist the Prince of Parma and the army in Flanders.
Madrid, 4th July 1583.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 146. Giovanni Moro, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The people of Gravelingen seized Sciaretier (Charetierre?), Secretary to Monsieur, on his way from England, and put him to cruel torture in order to find out what negotiations he had conducted with the Queen, and other matters regarding Navarre, with whom he has frequently treated on behalf of his Highness. Sciaretier is hated by the King, and is out of favour with his Highness who does not trouble himself about his sufferings.
The Palatine Laschi arrived in England not long ago. I remember to have seen him in the College with a very long beard, which he afterwards wore under his jacket, and appeared to have very little (mi ricordo haver veduto comparire nell' Eccmo Collegio con una lunghissima barbar, et poi raccoltala tutta dentro l'guibone, monstrava di haverne pochissima.)
He was received with honours by the Queen, who ordered salutes of artillery. She gave him a house and some of her own body servants.
Paris, 8th July 1583.
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 147. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty has letters from the Marquis of Santa Cruz, dated the 27th of last month. He is with the large ships, seventy leagues from Saint Michel's. He had continuous good weather. The had gone on ahead, as the winds were more to them than to the ships. Advices say that there are not more than one thousand men in the islands.
Madrid, 10th July 1583.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 148. A Statement of the Ships and Seamen who formed his Majesty's fleet to attack the Azores. Captain-General, the Marquis of Santa Cruz, who sailed from Lisbon on June 23, 1583. The fleet was composed of 98 sail, as below:—
Ships Sailors Soldiers.
Two galleons, with 496 men at the oars, besides sailors and troops 2 188 315
12 galleys of Spain, with 2,012 men at the oars 12 706 600
3 galleons Royal 3 290 524
2 gallons, belonging to the Marquis of Santa Cruz, 1,5146 tons 2 180 486
13 Biscayans and Giupuscans of 5,450 tons; to carry supplies 13 671 2,555
7 Ragusans of 3,082 tons 7 474 2,454
4 Venetians of 2,346 tons, the Lippomano, the Pozo, the Fontana, and the Santa Maria 4 229 1,158
1 Neapolitan of 499 tons 1 47 274
2 Genoese of 898 tons 2 87 374
3 Catalans of 2,199 tons 3 203 910
1 ship and 8 transports of Castro de Viduales 9 227
4 transports of Giupusea. 4 110
15 Shaloops of Castro 15 311
14 Caravels of Portugal 14 148
7 small boats 7 42
98 3,913 9,650
On leaving port the Neapolitan broke her rudder, which injured the keel. She had to stay behind, and her men and munitions were put on another ship.
Provisions of said Fleet.
Biscuits, quintals 35,500
Flour, quintals 250
Rice, quintals 1,550
Wine, barrels 4,900
Beer, barrels 450
Lard, quintals 3,320
Water, tons 4,060
Junk, lbs. 85,500
Beans, faueghe (fn. 1) (1 fanega = 55 litres) 1,500
Chicory 1,050
Oil, arrobbe* (1 arrobba = 25 lbs. Spanish, or 10 kilos) 3,350
Vinegar, barrels 280
Cheese, quintals 2,530
Barrels of water 7,000
Tunny, barrels 2,600
Sardines and other fish 58,000
These provisions are for four months.
The fleet has a hospital with its majordomo, doctors, barbers, and all that they require.
A Royal Court with its Ministers of Justice.
July 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 149. Giovanni Francesco Moresini, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Portuguese gentleman who came here with letters from Don Antonio, left four days ago on board a frigate, for Schios, where he will exchange on to a French ship and be taken to Marseilles. He bears answers from the Pasha only, not from the Sultan. The substance is that if Don Antonio will send an Ambassador with suitable presents they will furnish him with one hundred ships.
After his departure work in the Arsenal was carried on actively, and if the truce with Spain is not renewed, the fleet will probably take the sea in vigour, all the more so as they say that peace with Persia is imminent.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 12th July 1583.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 150. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
There is no more news of the Marquis of Santa Cruz, but it is considered certain that the expedition has reached the Azores in safety, and will be successful. Before the Marquis reaches the islands he will publish an edict of pardon.
Madrid, 15th July 1583.
July 31. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 151. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Last week his Majesty received letters of the 10th from the Marquis of Santa Cruz, announcing his arrival at Saint Michel's on the 7th. The light squadron had preceded him by three days. They are taking in provisions and embarking the two thousand troops that are there, and intend to sail for the Azores, which are thirty leagues off. The Marquis was informed that the general pardon had produced no effect, the garrison which consisted of twelve companies of French, two Scotch, one English and twenty-four Portuguese, was determined to resist, perhaps with a view to concealing the fact that an arrangement not to fight was their real object, but it is hoped that the sight of this armament will make them change their ideas. But for the disembarkation of troops, which is the real difficulty of the enterprise, a calm is necessary. The garrison is not large, nor is it on good terms with the islanders. The Marquis is empowered to offer any terms to the foreign troops, even money, on condition that they should withdraw, the Marquis will attempt this when he has landed his troops. We shall know the result in six or eight days, the affair does not admit of a longer delay.
Madrid, 31st July 1583.


  • 1. Martini, Manuale di Metrologia. Torino, 1883, pp. 320, 322.