Venice: January 1594

Pages 116-120

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1897.

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January 1594

Jan. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 243. Polo Paruta, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
As regards the forces of Navarre, his faction here declare that in a very short time he will be at the head of at least twelve thousand foot and four thousand horse; that is to say, four thousand French and three thousand Swiss now in his camp; other five thousand Swiss that are being raised in his name at this moment, and a magnificent cavalry, the flower of French nobility. Add to those the four thousand English infantry which the Queen of England is said to be sending to his Majesty.
Rome, 1st January 1594.
Jan. 4. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 244. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Palfy, one of the captains of Lower Hungary, has been ordered to inform the Beglierbey of Greece, who was the nearest of the Turkish generals, that his Majesty was much pained by the rigorous imprisonment of his Ambassador, as it was not the custom of war to treat prisoners with such severity; and when war broke out between the Porte and any other power it was usual to leave the Ambassador of that power at Constantinople, and not to take him along with the army; or if he was taken along with the army it was usual to treat him as befitted his rank. Palfy has orders to negotiate with the Pasha for the better treatment of the Ambassador, and for permission to send him some money for his maintenance. The Beglierbey replied that he would gladly have done all that lay in his power, only the Ambassador was already dead; put to death by orders from Constantinople. There are not wanting those who affirm, however, that the Ambassador is still alive, but so crushed by sufferings of mind and body that there is but little hope of saving him. The said Ambassador was one of the great Barons and had always been a Calvinist, but just before he started on this Embassy, partly thanks to the influence of some clerics, partly through the reading of Bellarmine, he joined the Catholic faith. He was a man of profound learning, an d so in the course of his debates he found himself convinced.
Prague, 4th January 1593 [m.v.].
Jan. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 245. Polo Paruta, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
After communicating the news from Constantinople, his Holiness explained his desire to unite Spain the Empire, and the Republic in a league against the Turk.
I set forth the reasons which would cause the Republic to hesitate.
Rome, 8th January 1594.
Jan. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 246. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The accounts of the failure of Alvise Vezato, all agree with one another. I enclose a letter received from him, and have taken steps to till his post of Consul till your Serenity makes provision.
Madrid, 8th January 1593 [m.v.].
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. Your Lordship will have heard of my troubles; but I think it right to send you full information.
You must know that in the year 89 a company was formed to take over the tunny fisheries of Algarve from the Government, at a price and on terms so favourable that the company was envied by all the Spaniards, and it was calculated that the profits of the company would amount to upwards of one hundred thousand ducats.
But it has pleased God in his justice to ordain that out of the six years during which the company has been in existence, five have been the most sterile ever known.
An examination of the royal registers for the ten years before the formation of the company, shows an average take of one hundred and seventeen thousand atuni, whereas ours for five years was one ninety-thousand.
We have lost in these five years ninety thousand ducats. But by the terms of our contract we are not bound to pay beyond our takings; and his Majesty is under obligation to deduct all losses caused by English, French, or Moorish corsairs. We estimate the damage at fifty thousand ducats.
Outside Lisbon, 28th December 1593.
Aloise Vezato,
[Italian.] Venetian Consul.
Jan. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 247. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
His Majesty, at the request of his good subjects of Meux, resolved to go to that city, though the weather was most unfavourable and the country under flood. He crossed the river at S. Denis at the risk of his life and with the loss of several of his gentlemen, who were drowned as well as their horses.
Many governors are coming to Paris to renew the oath of allegiance. The King gains over some one every day, not only because he has become a Catholic, but also because the conditions on which he receives even those who have most deeply injured him are taken to be the result of an indescribable clemency and extraordinary humanity.
On the advice of his Ministers the King has resolved not to admit the neutrality of the cities, on the ground that it would constitute a diminution of the royal prerogative; but the war which the King of Spain is really waging upon him, and the condition of affairs in France compel him to endure numberless indignities, and will oblige him to adopt the advice of those who urge him to consent to the neutrality for a limited time, a year or less.
Chartres, 10th January 1593 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 248. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of Spain is continually massing troops with the intention of thwarting the action of the King of France; but Turkish successes against the Emperor give some hope that Spain will be hampered.
Here it is thought that Spain will do all she can to form a league against the Turk, and by the help of other Princes will hold the Turk in check in Hungary, thus gaining time to effect the ruin of this country, which is the only obstacle to that enormous preponderance in Christendom which is generally supposed to be the real object of the Spanish nation.
The French are supposed to have an understanding with the Turk for the molestation of the house of Austria.
Chartres, 11th January 1593 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 18. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 249. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of Navarre has an army of six thousand Swiss, six thousand French, three thousand English, and three thousand Dutch.
The States of Holland have sent an English Colonel to England, to raise two thousand five hundred soldiers from the Queen.
Prague, 18th January 1593 [m.v.].
Jan. 25. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 250. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
There is a rumour that Sinan Pasha has been strangled by order of the Sultan, and Ferrad Pasha appointed in his place.
Prague, 25th January 1593 [m.v.].
Jan. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 251. Franceso Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Prince Giovanni Andrea Doria has lately had a long audience of the King. The subject was the affairs of England, and the way in which an Armada might be created of sufficient power to warrant an attack on that Island, with greater prospect of success than on the former occasion. It is well known that his Majesty likes to discuss this subject with his commanding officers. Everyone is agreed that at this juncture England is shaken by religious feuds, by plagues, and other internal troubles; and the Spanish being, to a certain extent, masters of the ports of Brittany, the attack on England could be made with every hope of success.
The Ministers add their usual suggestions about Flanders and France; declaring that, unless England is attacked, it is evident that both France and Flanders will continue to be a source of exhaustion for the treasury of Spain. This argument incites his Majesty to make one more supreme effort to conquer England.
Prince Andrea Doria, on being asked when he intended to leave Spain, said he should like to start in April, but was afraid his Majesty would detain him all the summer. When it was remarked that if the Turkish fleet put out he would be obliged to go to look after the Italian squadron, the Prince replied that no Turkish fleet would sail this year, though the Venetians thought the contrary.
A Genoese sailor here has been experimenting before the King with a secret invention of his own for preparing pitch in such a way as to resist fire. The Adelantado of Castile, writing to the Council of State, highly commended the invention as very suitable for all kinds of shipping, and especially for resisting the English, from whose artificial fires the Spanish had always suffered enormous damage. The Genoese has been sent to Seville to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who is instructed to make a variety of experiments at once.
Madrid, 26th January 1593 [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]