Venice: February 1595

Pages 153-155

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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February 1595

Feb. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 329. The Ambassadors Extraordinary and Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
We have arrived safely, and the value of the large escorts which accompanied us was proved by the fact that the English Ambassador and another important person were both captured at Soissons, five leagues from here.
Paris, 2nd February 1595 (sic).
Feb. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 330. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Signor Giovanni Francesco Aldobrandino has been received in audience by his Majesty, He explained that in view of the danger from the Turk, his Holiness desired to form a league between the King of Spain, the Emperor, and the Italian Princes.
The King replied courteously; touching on all the points raised. He attributed all his troubles to the war in Flanders and his zeal for the faith in France.
The whole question was subsequently discussed between Sig. Giovanni Aldobrandino and all three ministers. As regards an accommodation with France they showed themselves opposed.
As regards help from Spain to the league, they said that the King was so hampered that he could not do all that was desired of him.
I remarked that even if terms were made with France there would still be the expense and the trouble of England.
Madrid, 8th February 1594 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 331. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The report that was has been declared against Spain by France is treated with the usual silence by these ministers. But at Court there are all sorts of discussions; some speculating as to the cause, others as to the probable effects of this war, as ordinarily happens.
As to the cause it is generally thought that the King of France was driven to take this step in order to divert the attention of the nation from internal affairs, to crush the chiefs of the opposition who are dependent on the King of Spain, and, finally, to drive the Spanish to conclude a peace, as is desired by the French Crown.
As to the results of the declaration of war, some say that it is impossible that the King of France should put together a sufficient number of troops to conduct an offensive as well as a defensive war at one and the same time in various localities, to furnish the requisite garrisons and to hold his domestic foes in check. Again, grave doubts are expressed about the attitude of Flanders and the Queen of England, and stress is laid on the possible appearance of a Turkish fleet.
In short, one gathers from such speculations that public opinion is much disturbed on this subject. Two personages discussing the attitude of the Italian Princes and the question whether they would hold for France or Spain, expressed grave doubts as to the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
Madrid, 17th February 1594 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 332. Marco Venier, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I have heard, from a trustworthy source, that Ferrad Pasha sent for the Dragomans of France and England and told them that the Venetian Ambassador had shown that his own heart and that of his masters was full of sincere benevolence towards the Turkish Empire by going to kiss the Sultan's hand and by making a declaration which gave the highest satisfaction to the Porte and with which his Imperial Majesty was quite content, for he learned from it that the Venetians had instructed their representatives to display complete friendliness on all occasions. The Pasha added that this was an example which the Ministers of other friendly powers would do well to follow. But these two Ambassadors keep delaying the ceremony because neither of them is able to support a becoming retinue nor to buy presents. The French Ambassador said to me that he was aware that it was advisable to make himself personally known to the Sultan by kissing hands, but seeing that he had no information as to precedents, as I had, he thought he had, better wait for instructions from France. But these excuses are not admitted here.
To my great joy Ferrad has been named Grand Vizer. The Sultan sent him the seal just at the moment when rumour declared that he was to be strangled. So the wheel of fortune spins.
Sinan Pasha is to be sent into retirement at Damascus.
The day after I kissed hands I paid a visit to the Secretary of the late Sultan Murad. Another instance of the fickleness of fortune. T found the house which once was thronged by the greatest in the land, now quite empty, and there in a ground-floor chamber I was received.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 18th February 1594 [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 333. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Signor Carlo Doria urgently begs that the galleys should be sent to Genoa to reinforce the fleet; but it is thought that he will not gain his point, at least until the India fleets come home, on account of the English corsairs. The Spanish galleys number eighteen, not counting those in Brittany, and another eighteen might possibly be put together and that would be the limit of the naval forces of this Crown.
Madrid, 24th February 1594 [m.v.]