Venice: July 1595

Pages 162-164

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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July 1595

July 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 357. Polo Paruta, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Prior of England (fn. 1) has arrived in Rome. He has been sent by the new Grand Master of the Order of Malta to announce his elevation to that rank, and to offer the due and wonted obedience. It is not known yet whether he has any commission to negotiate.
Rome, 8th July 1595.
July 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 358. Marco Venier, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople to the Doge and Senate.
As the satin for the Sultana Mother has not arrived I shall abstain from making any excuse about the London and Flemish broadcloth for the Mute and Halil Pasha, so that she may not feel that she is neglected in comparison with others.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 9th July 1595.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 11. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 359. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
A few days ago there arrived at Court two English nobles, one, son of a Baron who is at present Councillor to the Queen, the other of the house of Arundel, a gentleman of great importance both for his birth and for his other qualities. They have come as soldiers of fortune to serve under his Majesty. The Councillor's son has brought letters of recommendation from the Queen. The other, having made the Emperor's personal acquaintance on the occasion of another visit, simply presented himself. Both were courteously received by his Majesty and commended by letter to the Archduke Mathias and to Count Charles Mansfeldt. There are not wanting those who urge that these men should not be allowed to go to the camp on account of the Queen of England's friendship for the Turk, and her intimacy with many Princes of Germany who are far from well disposed to the house of Austria. But all things considered they have resolved not to show their suspicion, though warning will be sent to the camp.
Some suggest that these Englishmen hold a mission to arrange a peace, and it is most true that the Queen has already offered to mediate. But though noble, they do not appear to be suited for such a negotiation. One of them said that when they went to take leave of the Queen, certain of her council opposed their departure on the ground that there are many English merchants in the Levant and much English property in Turkish territory which would be exposed to danger.
One left yesterday, the other will follow this week, for Vienna and Hungary. Both came to visit me and brought letters from Signor Giovanni Bassadonna, who is in London, whom they praise. Both have been in Venice. As far as I could gather, they have come to these parts merely as young men anxious to follow the wars. One of them told me that they had not gone to the wars in France, because those were civil wars; though one of his brothers had been killed in action when with the King of France. This war they thought greater and better worth seeing. They were sorry that an Englishman, who called himself a Jesuit, and was sent into Lower Germany on a commercial mission from the Queen, should have given poor satisfaction to his Majesty on account of his interference in politics; and they added that the Queen too was displeased, and if he had done what was charged against him he had certainly exceeded his instructions. They said they wished to speak to the Ministers on this point in order to remove suspicion and to prove that the Queen was most ready to oblige the Emperor. As a matter of fact, the Englishman under discussion was present at some Protestant meetings where they discussed the question of attending the Imperial diet at Ratisbon, and is suspected of having, in the Queen's name, dissuaded them. The Imperial Ambassador in Denmark has been ordered to proceed to England. It is difficult to understand the meaning of what is going on.
Prague, 11th July 1595.
Enclosed in Despatch from Madrid of July 30, Original Venetian Archives. 360. Report from Lisbon, dated July 22nd.
News has been brought from England by a galleon, which sailed on the 24th June, that on the 12th of July eight vessels, large and small, were to leave the port of London. The large ships numbered sixty, including twelve royal ships, and the flag ship was of seven hundred tons with sixty pieces of artillery. Between soldiers and sailors there were about sixteen thousand men on board. It was a current opinion among merchants that the fleet would be joined by Scottish and Dutch ships. It left London so well found in all respects that it would require neither wood nor caulkers for its repair. The troops were considered excellent and fully armed. Its destination was unknown. Some conjectured Havana, some Brittany, some the Azores where it would await the Portuguese Indiamen. Many gentlemen of importance were embarked aboard. It would wait the first fine weather, which it seems had not arrived yet, and so it had not put out.
Drake had come by land from his house, which was three miles out of Plymouth.
It was rumoured in England that a truce would be concluded for eight months between the Duke of Mayenne and the Prince of Bearn.
His Catholic Majesty has sent orders to Don Juan d'Aquilla to retire and not to attack the Bearnese. The Spanish army will not march on Plouay.
It is long since German or Dutch galleons have entered Portuguese ports owing to the embargo imposed by the Spanish Ministers.


  • 1. Andrew Wise, cf De Leva, La Legazione di Roma di Paolo Paruta, III. 197, note.