Venice: February 1596

Pages 182-185

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 1596

Feb. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 398. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A letter has been intercepted, addressed to the Cardinal Archduke, urging him not to attempt the relief of la Fére, but suggesting that he might attack Ostend, which is held by the English. They hope that he will do so, for Ostend is garrisoned by one thousand five hundred veteran English troops, and can easily be supported by sea, and so they think that the Archduke would come out of the affair with little honour.
The Queen of England is ready to succour the King, provided she is not molested by the Spanish Armada.
She promises from three to four thousand troops.
It seems that the King of Spain has given up his scheme for an attack on England now that the Queen has settled her Irish and English affairs. He is well aware that neither at Corunna nor in Flanders are there troops sufficient to harass the English, even if they could effect a landing. However, an English Catholic who is here in exile says that there are frequent conspiracies among the English Catholics.
The English Ambassador who came here on an extraordinary mission, will continue to reside, and M. de Sanci will not go to England till an answer to a letter addressed to the Queen has been received.
Paris, 3rd February 1596.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 399. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen of England is really desirous for a truce, but the states of Holland and Zealand will never consent, as that would expose them to peril. They demand the departure of all Spanish, the dismantling of the forts, freedom in matters of religion. The Queen has come near to breaking with them on this point, and it seems that she would conclude a truce if no mention were made of the States. She is tired of these wars, and would like to pass the short remainder of her days in peace.
The Grand Duke of Tuscany will not advance any more money to the King of France, and so he will appeal to your Serenity for a loan of two hundred thousand crowns on the security of some jewels, among which may be the famous Sanci diamond, valued at one hundred thousand crowns.
Paris, 3rd February 1596.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 400. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The French, who are very anxious for peace, have sent to Flanders to inquire whether the Cardinal Archduke has authority to treat. The answer was that he had authority to treat with England, with the States, and with France, but separately. This rouses suspicion.
News from Nantes that Drake has taken Porto Ricco, fortified it, and left one thousand soldiers in it. He has returned to England.
Paris, 10th February 1596.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 401. Marco Venier, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
At this present juncture the arrival of an English ship with tin tallow, and a vast quantity of swords among her cargo, has given great satisfaction. She brings news that another ship with a like cargo will soon be here.
The Ambassador of France, holding it for certain that Marseilles has been captured by the King of Spain, is of opinion that the city cannot be recovered without the assistance of a very large naval force. He has obtained an order for the seizure of all vessels from Marseilles that touch Turkish territory.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 10th February 1595 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 402. Agustino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio asked me if I was aware that the Turks were proposing to renew the truce with Spain. He remarked that although such an event would undoubtedly be of some relief to his Majesty in certain quarters, meaning Marseilles, still he thought it unlikely that his Majesty would consent at the present juncture, for his example would point out to the Emperor the way to cure his own troubles by taking the same course.
Madrid, 12th February 1595 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 403. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Next to the war itself nothing occupies the King's attention so much as the formation of a league between France, the States, and England.
The Queen and the States are deeply suspicious of the King. The Queen sent to offer him help, and at first he said he did not need it now, as it was too late. He did not wish to be asked for Calais or Boulogne as security. The King and the English Ambassador, however, have come to terms that a close alliance shall be formed, and despatches on the subject have been sent to England; they await the answer. The causes of the Queen's suspicions are the terms of the truce which the King has made between all the provinces of France and those held by the Spanish, such as Brittany.
Paris, 17th February 1596.
Feb. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 404. Marco Venier, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador, on invitation as he affirms, and honourably supplied by the Sultan's orders with all that is necessary for the journey, has already raised a great tent in the courtyard of his house. He intends to join the Turkish camp in order if need be to arrange the terms of peace, or at all events to keep the Poles to their duty. The French Ambassador, on his side, wishes to sail with the fleet. He says, however, that he will not go unless provision for his journey is made by the Turks, and all his credits are paid in. They are many and large, especially one for a famous diamond of great value, bought by Sultan Murad from a certain Rucellai.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 24th February, 1595 [m v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 405. Agustino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
In addition to the information about the truce which I gave in my last, I must add that a person of great importance at this Court has informed me that Don Juan d'Idiaquez told him that on board a galley of the Neapolitan squadron, which was driven into Majorca by stress of weather, there was a Jew who had left Constantinople with letters for his Majesty. I am also informed that this Jew has passports from Prince Doria and other Ministers of the Crown. His business is the renewal of the truce between Turkey and Spain. He has shown letters addressed to the King, The Imperial Ambassador confirmed this news. The Nuncio told me that he had informed Don Christoforo de Mora that the Pope would show himself opposed to any such negotiations; for the King of Spain, after receiving such lavish support from the Holy See, was morally bound to continue the war against infidels.
Madrid, 28th February 1595 [m.v.]
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 406. Agustino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Drake is said to have been sighted off Porto Ricco with a fleet of fifty-six small ships. It seems that he attempted to land there, but was repulsed with great loss, especially through the death of John Hawkins [Jackines], who was in command. Drake is said to have sailed further on. He has a quantity of bricks on board, and other material for fortification. The rumour that he had sacked Havana is dying away. The Venetian consul in Lisbon informs me that a vessel is being got ready to convey harbequebusses to the Irish Catholic rebels, and a certain number of infantry is also being mustered to man the said ship. A vessel which left Ireland at the end of last month brings news of the progress which the Irish are making against the heretics. The ship which is to go to Ireland is waiting for a pilot. Orders have been sent to Biscay, Galicia, and Lisbon, that vessels are to sail for the English Channel to report on the Queen's preparations, which are causing no small alarm here.
Madrid, 28th February 1595 [m.v.].