Venice: May 1595

Pages 159-161

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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May 1595

May 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 346. Marco Venier, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I am informed that every one here desires peace, and, apropos to peace, I will tell you how the English Ambassador declares that he has orders from the Queen to treat on that subject, and also letters from the Emperor instructing him to take no steps at present, as the Imperial word has been pledged to many of the allied, Princes.
How the matter really stands I do not know; but competent judges affirm that when war was declared against Poland and then abandoned in fear of a rising in Walachia and Moldavia, the English Ambassador was the person who acted as intermediary.
All I know is that Mocato, the Jew doctor, begged me to recommend him to Ferrad as a person of confidence well suited to act as intermediary in negotiations of moment. But I did not do as he wished.
The French Ambassador has been to the Secretary of the late Sultan with news that the King of France has declared war on the King of Spain. The Ambassador pointed out that it would be impossible, at the present moment, to confer a greater benefit on the Porte. He has drawn up a statement in the Turkish tongue and sent it to the Sultan; in it he urges the Sultan to make himself master of the Spanish dominions.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 5th May 1595.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 347. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Count Fuentes is to have all the charge of affairs in Flanders till the arrival of the Cardinal Archduke. The arrival of the India fleet is delayed. The people of Seville are alarmed, for the whole month of April has been stormy. Although it is said that the English are not as strong as reported, yet forty ships have sailed from England; and as it is known that two thousand persons have died on board the Spanish fleet owing to the hardships of the journey, they say it will be no such easy matter to resist these forty.
Madrid, 9th May 1595.
May 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 348. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
After long labour and great danger of going to the bottom, the West India fleet has safely come to port. It is very rich. It sailed on the eleventh of March last, and numbered fifty-four sail. On clearing the Bahamas, and in fifty-eight degrees of north latitude, a great storm swept down and the fleet scattered; each one choosing his own route. In this disorder they ran great danger from the corsairs; and more than once they fell in with Englishmen, who fortunately could not come up with them. The total brought by the fleet, reckoning all the goods, certainly reaches the value of twenty-two millions of gold; to the amazement of every one. Six and a half millions belong to the King, and the rest to private merchants. If the King satisfies his debts he will only have one million and a half left for himself. (La summa di tutta questa flotta, computate le merci, è cosa certa che ascende a xxii milliona d'oro, con stupor de cadauno. Sei millioni et mezzo sono di Sua Maestà, il resto de particolari. Di quelli di Sua Maestà non resterà lei padrona libera di più che d'un million et mezo d'oro mentre che voglia sodisfar, come conviene, diverse obligationi.)
The King's health is still causing alarm. The doctors say that his body is so withered and feeble that it is almost impossible that a human being in such a state should live for long.
Madrid, 13th May 1595.
May 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 349. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
There is no certain news of the eight ships belonging to the West India fleet, which are still missing. It is hoped that they have made some island; others think they have returned to Havana; many fear that they have sunk or been captured by the English. This fleet has brought in the revenues of the years 1593 and 1594, and this autumn the revenue of this year in expected. If this reaches home safely they reckon that in the course of five or six months thirty millions of gold will have been brought into the country. This is amazing, and surpasses any record in the memory of man. Meantime in order to secure the safe arrival of these fleets, orders have been sent to Seville and a million of gold has been appropriated each year for the purpose.
Madrid, 19th May 1595.
May 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 350. Tomaso Contarini Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
News from Flanders about the negotiations for peace, which is greatly desired here. The States of Holland have informed the Council at Brussels that they cannot treat with the Spanish Ministers without the consent of the King of France and of the Queen of England, but that they could treat with representatives of the provinces subject to the King of Spain, and that among them might be a special representative of the King. But it is thought that this proposal is intended either to arouse the Princes, their allies, or to lay the Spanish preparation to sleep.
Prague, 23rd May 1595.
May 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 351. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The King, after twenty-seven days of continuous fever, recovered, and as his seventy-ninth birthday fell on the first day that he was free of fever, he insisted on assisting at a procession, being carried to a window in a chair. He has had a relapse, and is in bed now for five days.
Madrid, 26th May 1595.
May 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 352. Polo Paruta, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The question of the rebenediction of Henry IV. is being debated. The Pope is reminded that the kingdom of England was lost through the too great rigidity of Pope Clement VII.
Rome, 27th May 1595.