Venice: April 1592

Pages 21-26

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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April 1592

April 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 51. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Agent (sic) during all the time that I have been here has neither said to me, nor caused others to say, anything which would lead me to suppose that he intends to apply to your Serenity for support in his negotiations; perhaps because he knows that in the matter of the truce the affair will fall to the ground by itself, owing to the non-arrival of Marigliani; though it is true that the departure of Hassan for Ragusa with letters has led to the rumour that Marigliani will come here after all.
Dalle Vígne di Pera, 3rd April 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 52. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Your Serenity will have gathered from my previous letters that the Spanish and the French are in discord. This has been augmented by the fact that the Duke of Parma after crossing the Somme wished the Princes of the League to swear allegiance to the Infanta. The Duke of Mayenne and the other Princes refused; the army of the League has been disbanded. I am informed that the Duke of Mayenne said these words “I should not mind a bit if the King of Navarre became a Catholic or issued, some general promise of accord; and the world would see that I made war and peace from motives of religion only.“
Chartres, 4th April 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 53. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Ferrad Pasha has resigned the post of Grand Vizir, and Sciavus Pasha has been appointed.
The Agent, or rather Ambassador of England (for so all call and treat him), is delighted at this change, though he would have preferred to see Cigala Grand Vizir. The Ambassador held no correspondence with Ferrad, but was absolutely opposed to him.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 5th April 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 54. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke of Parma has retired altogether and his army is disbanded for three months. In these circumstances the King has resumed the siege of Rouen. Although the city is resolved to resist, still they think that it will not be able to withstand famine, which can slay without bloodshed. The Duke of Parma has can toned his army in such narrows quarters that sickness has broken out in his camp, and it seems unlikely that he will be able to return to France for some time.
In Paris and throughout France they affirm that peace will be made ; but what will be the upshot of negotiations, so often undertaken and so often abandoned, no one knows. The King declares that for the well-being of the nation, he is ready to pardon and forget much. The Princes of the League are abandoning entirely their relations with Spain and Savoy, as they know that peace with them is impossible.
Chartres, 5th April 1592.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 55. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
After his Majesty had received the reinforcements from Holland, he turned his whole attention to the siege of “Rouen. The garrison were also expecting men and powder, and in order to bring them into the city they made a sortie. The attack was so vigorous that the German troops were throwsn into confusion and their Colonel made prisoner. They were retreating into Rouen when they were surprised by M. de Givry and forced to abandon their prisoners. M. de Givry was wounded, but slightly, in his shoulder.
The King has disbanded most of his cavalry and a considerable part of his infantry, either because the lack of provisions is insupportable, or because the valour of the French is of such a nature that unless it is employed at once it ebbs away.
The Queen of England furnishes a certain quantity of infantry, but in view of the circumstances it should be larger.
M. de Nevers and M. de Villeroy have been in consultation about the terms of a peace, but as yet without any visible result.
Chartres, 14th April 1592.
April 18 Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 56. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The appointment of Sciavus as Grand Vizir was made against the intentions of the Sultan himself, who, in his own mind, had designed to make Sciavus second Vizir and Sinan Grand Vizir. But Sinan was far away, and his Majesty was aware that there was pressing danger if he refused to satisfy the troops by the removal of Ferrad; he accordingly conferred the seals on Sciavus. This appointment is more popular among the people and the merchants than with the troops, who remember that the disorders of their payment took place in the time of Sciavus, though the head of the Beglierbey of Greece paid the penalty for all. It is thought that if the Sultan's daughter, who is twenty-six years old, marries Sciavus he will keep his office, if not there is danger of his losing it. Owing to his affability it is exceedingly pleasant to deal with Sciavus, but he has the reputation of being the corruptest Minister that the Sultan has ever had (il trattar con Sciavus per la sua affabilità è carrismo a tutti, ma egli è in apinione del più corrumpibile Ministro che questo Re habbia mai havuto). He makes fair promises but does not keep them except with those who give him large gifts; and on this account his previous terms of office have not had a long duration.
There is a party here, instigated by the Englishman, which desires that his Majesty should turn his attention to naval matters, in favour of the Growsn of France; and this subject will eventually be taken into consideration if the negotiations of Marigliani are not re-opened by this change of Grand Vizir; for they were completely suspended. (Altri vorrebono, cosi instigati dall' Inglese, che sua Maestà voltasse l'animo alle cose di mare per interese particolarmente della corona di Franza, in che finalmente si occuperanno, se non si repiglia il negotio del Marigliani con l'occasione della mutatione del Bassà, che prima era intermesso a fatto.)
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 18th April 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 57. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
In Divan of last Tuesday the Grand Vizir and the Capudan Pasha, made petition to the Sultan for permission to arm one hundred galleys to support allies, protect the coast, and keep the enemy occupied, The Sultan replied that such a fleet was too small for offensive operations and too large for defence.
The Capudan Pasha, seeing that he could not arrive at his object in this way, has sent out spies by sea and scouts by land, in the hope that they will bring back such news as will alter his Majesty's resolution. The English Ambassador also takes care to supply news from France, and urges the despatch of a fleet in favour of Navarre and to check the designs of the King of Spain. He has seized the occasion to announce that by way of Poland an Ambassador from the King of Navarre and a son of Don Antonio of Portugal, who is starting from England, will reach the Porte. The Ambassador is waiting for presents from England for his Majesty and the Pashas ; but in the meantime he does not fail to make gifts, for the most part at the cost of those who require his favour and his support for the furtherance of their affairs. (Adopera anco l'ambasciatore di Inghilterra per far saper l'avvisi di Franza et instare che essa armata esca a favor di Navarra, et che impedisca li disegni del Serenissimo Rè Gatholico, et ha havuto a dire che per via di Polonia ha a venire qui un Ambasciatore di Navarra et anco un figliuolo di Don Antonio di Portogallo che parte di Inghilterra; di dove egli aspetta robbe mandate per presentarsi a sua Maestà et alli Bassà come ministro di quella corona; et fra tanto non resta di donare, per il più a spese di particolari che si vagliono del favore et negotiatione sua per portar avanti li loro affari.) The hopes of the English Ambassador that the fleet will put out this year to the number of fifty galleys, are fostered by the Grand Vizir and the Capudan Pasha, though those who know say that not more than thirty can be got ready.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 18th April 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 58. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Among naval men there is only one subject of conversation, that is, the great armament. It is said that if the truce with Spain is not concluded the fleet will put to sea to damage that kingdom ; others say to attack Candia, tempted by the opportunity offered, and by the firm belief that the war in France keeps the King of Spain fully occupied, and that the discord between Christian Princes will not allow him to unite his forces.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 23rd April 1592.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
April 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 59. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Four galleys should have left Lisbon to join the others which are lying at Seville, and to sail with them for the convoy of the West India fleet. They have a number of bronze cannon on board. But fear of the English at Lisbon, and at Seville too, has caused delay.
Madrid, 25th April 1592.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 60. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
As the siege of Rouen advances appeals are made to the Duke of Parma that he should come to the rescue. He replies that the King of Spain has spent so much money on this war that as a recompense he requires, either that the Princes of the League should swear allegiance to the Infanta, or that they should surrender some strong place. This answer has induced the Duke of Mayenne to enter into negotiations with the King. His Majesty has sent to the Duke three articles, signed by his own hand, so favourable to the League that M. de Villeroy declared that if the Duke of Mayenne refused them, everyone would be justified in saying that he was the cause of all these troubles. It seems that the Duke of Mayenne has shown these articles to the Duke of Parma in order to prove to him how favourable are the terms which the King offers, and therefore to induce him to abandon his claims on behalf of the King of Spain; also in the hope of frightening him into action.
The King has recalled his disbanded troops with a view to pressing the siege of Rouen.
Chartres, 26th April 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 61. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke of Parma has come back in the hope of being able to raise the seige of Rouen, as the King has disbanded so much of his cavalry. The King is resolved to give battle; and the nobility is flocking to his camp from all sides. The Duke of Parma must come to an action soon, for the lack of supplies renders it impossible for him to maintain himself for long in those parts.
Chartres, 27th April 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 62. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke of Parma advanced on Rouen; the King drew out to meet him, leaving Darnetal garrisoned by three thousand infantry. His intelligences informed him that the Duke of Parma was bringing provisions, but that he had no ammunition. The King determined to call up the three thousand infantry from Darnetal. Thus the road was left open and the provisions carried into the town. The following day the infantry resumed its position at Darnetal; and the King with his cavalry went down to Caudebec which was threatened by the Duke of Parma, who hoped that if he were master of that place he could throws provisions into Rouen.
Chartres, 28th April 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]