Venice: January 1597

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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, 'Venice: January 1597', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603, (London, 1897) pp. 250-254. British History Online [accessed 18 May 2024].

. "Venice: January 1597", in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603, (London, 1897) 250-254. British History Online, accessed May 18, 2024,

. "Venice: January 1597", Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603, (London, 1897). 250-254. British History Online. Web. 18 May 2024,

January 1597

1597. Jan. 1. Original Kubricario, Venetian Archives. 529. Francesco Venier, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador ill content with the French, and threatens him mischief.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 1st January 1596 [m.v.]
Jan. 6. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 530. Francesco Vendramin, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The dragoman of the English Ambassador reached Buda last month. He was at once examined by the Pasha and other military officers as to the forces, resources and intentions of the Emperor; and was warmly urged to act with the English Ambassador in securing a peace; as all the principal Turks are disgusted with the war.
Prague, 6th January 1596 [m.v.]
Jan. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 531. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
It is the universal opinion here that the arms and the designs of the Queen of England, supported by the confederate Princes, will be directed against Spain, and that by the month of March the English fleet will be in these waters. Rumour from Lisbon runs that the Schereef has promised to land forty thousand horse in Andalusia; and that in Africa thirty thousand barrels of biscuits have been baked to provision the northern fleet. Lisbon is in a panic lest the thunder of arms should be heard in that city; and many inhabitants, in alarm lest the resistance should prove inadequate, are already beginning their preparations for flight.
His Majesty has made appointments to the most important positions; and, in particular, he has sent as assistant to Seville the Count of Pignanrostro, known as Don Francesco de Bobadiglia, who is probably the best soldier in Spain at the present day. Fuentes is to be made Commander-in-Chief of all the troops in Spain, with twelve thousand crowns a year as salary, a post similar to that held by Don Pietro de Medici in Italy. All the feudatories, lay and ecclesiastical alike, are ordered to have the half of their full number of lances mustered by the month of February, and the other half is to be held ready. They have all been informed that the Queen of England, in conjunction with other Princes, is preparing to attack Spain. His Majesty has also appealed to the cities for men. The number of troops is not yet established; it will depend upon the nature of the war upon which they embark. As yet the preparations point to defence rather than to attack. News from Lisbon that two English ships have sacked Pineda, the principal emporium of the Congo. This causes still greater anxiety to the Portuguese when they see that the enemy not only infests the shores of Spain and Portugal, but appears in distant regions where the navigation is very difficult. They also have news of three other English ships which had been at Guyana off the Gold Coast, near Peru, where the English were welcomed by the natives because they would not take large gifts in order to show that they were not actuated by avarice. The Indians have given them in hostage a son of one of their little kings, and the English have taken him to England, where they intend to enter into a treaty with the natives and to acquire that province, which is very rich in gold.
It was announced the other day that eight of the Adelantado's ships had reached Ireland, where the Earl of Tyrone and other Catholics had given them a hearty welcome. (Per lettere di Lisbona s'è inteso come due navi Inglesi havevano svalleggiato il loco di Pineda, scald principale del Regno di Congo in Africa, il che fà maggiormente dubitare a Portoghesi vedendo che li nemici infestano non solo le terre maritime di Spagna et Portugallo, ma che ancora trascorrino in parti rimotis-sime, et molto difficile per la navigatione. Havendosi anche saputo di tre altri navilii d'Inghilterra che erano stati alla provincia di Guiana del Riodorato vicino alla parte del Peru, dove da quei popoli gli Inglesi furono ben veduti et accarezzati, havendosi essi schivato di ricevere grossi donativi per non dimostrarsi molto avidi delle loro richezze; onde gli Indiani li hanno dato per ostaggio un figliaolo d'uno di quei Regoli, che l'hanno condotto seco in Inghilterra con disegno di trattar confederatione et risolversi poi all' acquisto di quella provincia abondantissima d'oro.
Si publicò alli giorni passati che otto delle navi, che corsero, dell' armata dell' Adelantado fussero capitate in Irlanda, ove dal Conte di Tiron et da altri Catholici erano state amorevolmente ricevute).
While the French, five hundred men strong between horse and foot, were attempting to surprise Irun on the frontier near Bayonne, they were discovered by a cleric who swam the river and gave warning, so that the attempt failed.
Madrid, 8th January 1596 [m.v.]
Jan. 11 Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 532. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Pope said that there might possibly be Princes in Italy who, through fear of the King of Spain, were urging the King of France to prosecute the war against the Spanish without perceiving the danger. The King might be so reduced in power that he would be forced to succumb to Spain; and besides, the Queen of England, if the occasion offered, might possibly come to terms with Spain without the consent of France, and thus too the King would be exposed to gravest dangers.
Rome, 11th January 1597.
Jan. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 533. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Frenchman who is passing backwards and forwards, in the negotiations for peace, is now here; he brings letters from the Cardinal, but I have not learned their contents as yet. He told my informant, however, that the Cardinal, at his departure, charged him to say to the King that the Cardinal was his Majesty's servant, and hoped to be the intermediary in the accomplishment of this great boon for Christendom, the accommodation between the Crowns of France and Spain; and that the Nuncio, by the Pope's orders, had spoken to the Cardinal in that sense.
Rouen, 11th January 1596.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 534. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Fuentes has been to kiss hands and render thanks for the high post of Captain-General which has been conferred on him.
There is a rumour that about forty English ships have been wrecked on the coast of Brittany, but it does not meet with absolute credence.
Madrid, 13th January 1597 [m.v.].
Jan. 14. Original Rubricario, Venetian Archives. 535. Girolamo Capello and Marco Venier, Venetian Ambassadors in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The French Ambassador has kissed hands and made his presents. He urged the despatch of a fleet, and the Vizirs have orders to inspect the Arsenal. The English Ambassador declares that he will not appeal for help to the Turk, and between him and the French Ambassador there is no good understanding.
The departure of the Sultan once more for the war against the Imperialists has been three times publicly proclaimed in the market. All the same, it is thought that the Sultanas will make him change his mind. There is a great lack of horses and of all beasts of burden, and the troops are in serious disorder.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 14th January 1596 [m.v.].
Jan. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 536. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
My informant about the letters from the Cardinal to the King on the subject of the peace, came to tell me that he had been deceived, and the letters were not from the Cardinal to the King, but from the President Richardot to Villeroy. The President writes to say that he knows that both his Catholic Majesty and the Cardinal are most favourably disposed to the peace, and he rejoices to learn that the same spirit prevails here. He offers his willing services, and advises the Ministers to put their requirements into writing. The difficulty lies in this, that the French do not wish to formulate their demands so as to avoid appearing as suitors for peace. But if they won't do it the Spanish certainly won't. This leads to a strong wish that some one should step in as intermediary. The Legate has spoken to the King, but in very general terms; and one of the Princes of the blood has even complained of this. But in truth, it is the general opinion that this kingdom cannot go on much longer without a peace; although the more it is needed the less evident are the means to accomplish it.
They have ordered in England many bales of cloth for the troops; they can be bought there at an advantage. There is news from England that forty ships, well armed, have sailed to harry the Spanish coast.
Rouen, 18th January 1597.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 537. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio told me that he had spoken on the subject of peace with France three or four times to the King, and still oftener to the Ministers, but that he could never obtain any but a general answer; his Majesty declaring that it does not become his dignity to make peace with the King of France, a heretic relapsed who insists on the inclusion of the Queen of England. The Nuncio has observed to the Ministers that it rests not with his Majesty, but with his Holiness to judge of this question of religion.
The King is urged to crown his glorious reign by conferring peace on Christendom; and gentle allusions are made to the disasters which his fleets have suffered, to the many millions of gold poured out, and still pouring, and to the vast preparations for the mere defence of this kingdom. To all of these ills an alleviation, if not the end. would follow from the accord with France.
His Holiness has charged the Nuncio to secure that the King should aid the Emperor to divert him from making peace with the Turk, which he is said to he negotiating by means of an English agent.
Madrid, 21st January 1596 [m.v.]
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 538. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News has arrived that off Corunna thirty English sail have been sighted. It is supposed that they are here to reconnoitre the Adelantado's fleet.
Madrid, 22nd January 1596 [m.v.]
Jan. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 539. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Adelantado's fleet is so ruined that out of the twelve thousand and upwards, who were on board, not more than two thousand five hundred men remain. The larger number of the sailors have deserted. If his Majesty intends to use his fleet next year he will have to reconstruct it.
The rumoured shipwreck of the English in Brittany reduces itself to a great storm which overtook the wine ships which were leaving Bordeaux.
Madrid, 22nd January 1596 [m.v.]
Jan. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 540. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
News from Scotland that many Catholics in that Kingdom have already 'petitioned the King for the free celebration of the Mass, and that he would concede it. On this the heretics rose, and many of their Ministers presented themselves to the King, to whom they used terms of insolence, as is their wont, and complained of the resolve he had taken. The King replied haughtily, and they answered back, whereupon, it is said, the King caused some of them to be arrested, as he could not submit to such arrogance, and these he has beheaded. If this be true it cannot fail to bring notable results to the Catholic religion.
Rouen, 25th January 1597.
[Italian; deciphered.]
In Despatch from Germany of January 27th. Copy of Original, Venetian Archives. 541. List of Troops in the service of His Catholic Majesty in France.
Spanish, under four colonels 11,000
Italian infantry under the Marquis of Trevico and Don Gaston Spinola 1,200
Germans, under six colonels 12,000
Burgundians under the Marquis of Varambon, and the Irish regiment under Colonel Stanley 1,600
Walloons 7,000
Other Walloons 1,000
Flemish 2,000
Jan. 29. Original Rubricario, Venetian Archives. 542. Girolamo Capello and Marco Venier, Venetian Ambassadors in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Many people present themselves to the Ambassadors urging that the Republic should take steps to mediate for peace. The English Ambassador is acting in that sense, and between him and the French Ambassador the disagreement on the subject of jurisdiction over foreigners continues. Each threatens to withdraw unless he is satisfied. Unless the Sultan goes to the war nothing vigorous will be effected.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 29th January 1596 [m.v.]