Venice: October 1595

Pages 168-172

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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October 1595

Oct. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 371. Marco Venier, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
A few days ago the English Ambassador had a long audience of Ibraim Pasha on the affairs of Poland. The Pasha told the Ambassador that as his mistress had been the intermediary in the conclusion of peace, she was bound to use her offices to prevent the Pules from abandoning their friendly attitude towards the Porte, The Sultan ordered a letter to the Queen to be drafted, but it seems that this will fall through.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 12th October 1595.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 372. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English reinforcements will number four thousand.
Before the King left Paris he had long and intimate conversations with Antonio Perez. I have not been able to discover the subject.
Paris, 14th October 1595.
Oct. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 373. Agustino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News from Portugal that the Lisbon squadron has returned with nothing accomplished but the capture of two little English ships. News has been brought that eight English ships have landed men at Trinidad. With the guidance of an Indian they have made themselves masters of one of the forts on that island. While the English were carelessly collecting information about the gold mines, they were surpised by the garrisons of the two other forts, routed, and compelled to fly on board ship again.
Drake has put to sea at last, in spite of opposition. His fleet consists of forty sail, and they fear that he means to carry out his design to build a fort in the Indies, where his Catholic Majesty's fleet could not reach him before March. The King is negotiating a loan of three millions with the Fuggers.
The news of the death of Don Antonio of Portugal, which took place in Paris on the 12th of August, was communicated to the ministers by a Portuguese, who hoped for a reward which was promised him if the news proved true. He admitted that he had been in Don Antonio's service. The King shows great satisfaction at the news, and thinks that the ill humours in Portugal which survived during Don Antonio's life, will now die away.
Madrid, 17th October 1595.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 374. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Antonio Perez came to visit me. I treated him as became his character and my position. He says the King has summoned him to Picardy and wishes him to become entirely a Frenchman, giving me to understand that his Majesty will find a post for him. He is always accompanied by a guard of two Swiss. He confirms the departure of Drake from England a few days ago, with about seventy ships all well found, and declares that Drake is hound for Gape St. Vincent, where if he arrives in time, he may have the good. fortune to fall in with the (Indian fleet). Perez said that the Low Countries had committed a grave error in refusing to assist the King of France through jealousy of his growing power, for the weight of Spain was such that even had his Most Christian Majesty conquered all his own kingdom and possessed it for twenty years in peace, he would certainly still be no match for his Catholic Majesty of Spain, who was, perhaps, the most powerful monarch the world had ever seen. And the States ought to be all the more ready to help the King of France at this juncture, in view of the news which was constantly arriving that the Austrians were defeating the Turks—the sole power capable of counter balancing Spain, which rendered it desirable to encourage the growth of another power capable of discharging that duty. He told me that he had expressed these views to the Queen (of England).
Paris, 21st October 1595.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 375. Agustino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
They are thinking of despatching about thirty ships, some say to Ireland, some to Brittany. The majority, however, think that they are destined for Peru, to divert, if possible, the attention of Drake from landing and fortifying himself and pillaging the gold which was stored there a year ago.
Madrid, 27th October 1595.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 376. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The moment the Queen of England heard of the fall of Cambrai she ordered her troops not to cross the Channel. Although this will not matter much to his Majesty this year, especially as the winter is now so near at hand and the enemy is withdrawn into his winter quarters, while Picardy is void of victuals and full of maladies,—still, her action has made it clear that she furnished these reinforcements more to please the States of Holland, who were interested in the preservation of Cambrai, than to please the King, between whom and, her the roots of ancient rancours are still alive. The King in these circumstances has resolved to send M. de Lomennie to England. M. de Lomennie is the King's private secretary and can imitate his Majesty's hand and is his most confidential servant. His mission will be to arrange for a conference of French and English with a view to meeting the wishes of the Queen. The King is aware that without the help of England and of the States of Holland which are allied with England, it will be very difficult for him to resist the power of Spain; all the more so next year, when, owing to the arrival of the Cardinal with so much money and so many men, a great effort may be looked for on the frontier. And although it was the Queen of England, acting through the Huguenots who have weight with his Majesty, who was the principal cause of the declaration of war against Spain, still, as she thinks the King, whom she was bound by every consideration to assist, has been too prosperous this year, she has not only not supported him, but has withdrawn her troops which were in Brittany under Colonel Norris. The French complain loudly of this act. Her agent here seeks to justify his mistress not merely on the ground that upon no single point have the French kept faith with her, but also because she is compelled to employ the better part of her forces in Ireland.
News has come that recently there has been a great engagement between the troops of the Queen and the Irish rebels; and that although the royal troops won the field, upwards of a thousand men fell, while Colonel Norris has been badly wounded. The enemy's loss is three thousand. The rebels it seems have sent to beg pardon, promising to lay down their arms and to live as faithful subjects to the Queen. Her agent here says it is very unlikely that pardon will be granted them, as the whole matter must pass in the usual course through the hands of justice. All this will have serious consequences for France. His Majesty wishes to raise a loan of one hundred thousand crowns a month from the French merchants for the campaign in the coming year. The terms have been settled for the amount of eight hundred thousand crowns; three hundred thousand are secured on the octroi of Paris; two hundred and fifty thousand on the general revenue of the kingdom, and two hundred and fifty thousand on the salt monopoly. Another four hundred thousand will be raised on the fees for exemption from military service.
Paris, 28th October 1595.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 377. Agustino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I hear that the Count Fuentes has taken Cambrai. He was brought into the town by the inhabitants, who hate the French. The King of France went to the rescue. He has not received the promised infantry from England, for the Queen sent Antonio Perez to excuse her on the plea that so many men had been sent out with Drake, and to put down the Irish rebellion.
Madrid, 28th October 1595.
Enclosed in Despatch from Spain. 4th Nov. 378. Lisbon, 28th October 1595.
News has been brought from Ireland by a carvel which sailed on the 21st September and reached Lisbon a few days ago. In that island General Norris, for the Queen, found himself, near the city of Antrim, opposed to the forces of that great Prince, O'Neil, Earl of Tyrone, the most powerful man in Ireland and chief of the Catholics who are in revolt. Norris, in the name of the Queen, offered a pardon if the Earl would lay down his arms and pledge himself never to go to Court. O'Neil replied that he would never treat for peace Unless both he and his friends were pardoned and permitted to practise their own religion free of any hindrance, and unless the Queen promised not to molest the Bishops, to free those who were in exile, and to restore their property and revenues.
After negotiations on this point were abandoned, an engagement took place on the 19th of last month. The scene was a great plain, and the heretics to the number of eight thousand were routed, and broken. Norris himself was wounded by a shot in the arm, and his brother dangerously in the thigh. One thousand five hundred trained troops fell. They say not an Englishman escaped, except a few fugitives who took refuge in a fort where are four hundred wounded and dead. O'Neil has captured the heavy guns and the baggage. At the same time another officer of the Catholic League has routed three hundred English in Connaught.
O'Neil is said to have burned four of the principal officers of the heretics, though General Norris offered large sums for their ransom, but O'Neil replied that he would never exchange a heretic for gold, though he would gladly spare their lives if they would abjure and live Catholic, without taking arms again against the Catholic religion. The prisoners, however, declared that they would die in the religion of their Queen.
In consequence of this defeat the Queen has sent four thousand troops to Ireland; but it seems that the Irish thought little of them, and so it is concluded that the Queen has no seasoned troops at present.
A carvel which has come from the Canaries in twelve days, has brought news that on the 6th October twenty-eight English ships appeared off the Grand Canary, and the next morning seven more. They landed many men, but were repulsed by the islanders and driven on board. They sailed next day; destination unknown. It is conjectured that these are the ships that left London a month ago under Drake, with four thousand men on board.