Venice: July 1597

Pages 277-279

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 1597

July 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 592. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have been positively assured by the General of the Franciscans (Buonaventura Calatagirona) that no definite projects of peace have been under discussion as yet, only generalities; and that the difficulties were so great on one side and on the other that in his opinion the conclusion of this peace will prove more arduous than that of '59. He says he will do all he can to secure this peace of which France stands in the greatest need. The whole matter is still at its beginning; the issue will really depend on the upshot of the capture of Amiens. The agent sent by the King into England came bach here some days ago. He reported to the King on behalf of the Queen, and by her express orders, that she was quite well aware of the King's negotiations with Spain through the agency of the Genercd of the Franciscans, but that she was also aware that the King would never obtain the peace on account of certain difficulties well known to him. What these difficulties can be is the subject of much speculation among the Ministers; the Agent and also the majority here think that she meant that the heretics of the kingdom would prevent it; as they were about to assemble at the end of this month for the despatch of business before their assemblies. The King has sent agents to attend, but Schomberg, who will be charged with a special mission, has not left yet.
Paris, 5th July 1597.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 593. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet, one hundred and twenty strong, set sail last week. They say twelve thousand soldiers, eight thousand sailors, and great quantities of ammunition are on board. It is all directed towards Spain. The Queen as yet has sent the King no sort of assistance.
Paris, 5th July 1597.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 9. Original Ruhricario, Venetian Archives. 594. Girolamo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
In obedience to instructions the Ambassador presented two hundred sequins to the Patriarch, who was much pleased, and in return has sent the Dogaressa a sacred image engraved on wory. The Ambassador has presented to the Grand Vizir the Doge's letters of congratulation addressed to the Sultan on his victory. The present government is for a large part in the hands of the Sultana, and the Ambassador has thought it prudent to present the previous letters because the date will not be noticed, as they cannot understand the lingua franca in the Seraglio; along with the letter he has presented the translation into Turkish.
9th July 1597.
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 595. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
In course of conversation with the Nuncio upon the subject of peace between France and Spain, and the difficulty of including the Queen of England, he expressed to me his private opinion that this peace might be concluded directly between the King of France and the King of Spain with a place left for the Queen of England, as had been done on other occasions.
Madrid, 10th July 1597.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 596. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The affair of the Château d'If has greatly annoyed the King and his Ministers. It seems that some days ago Don John (de' Medici) arrived off Chateau d'If with five galleys; the Duke of Guise sent to welcome him and to offer him hospitality in Marseilles; but the Duke's suspicions being roused he sent two frigates (fregate) to provision the new fort which they had just made. Don John seized these and took what was on board. The Duke sent out other ships which met with the same fate. The Duke seeing how matters were going sent to ask five English vessels lying at Toulon to help him. They gladly consented. But they had no sooner put to sea than the Florentines opened fire. Don John's galley being badly struck was forced to retire.
Paris, 12th July 1597.
Italian; deciphered.]
July 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 597. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The General of the Franciscans has been to Flanders to settle the place for the meeting of the congress to establish peace. The King's army is encamped on the same plain where King Henry II. was encamped when he made peace with Spain in 1559. It is true that Amiens was held by the French then, but by the Spanish now.
The King has begun the assault on Amiens. He is perpetually exposed to dangers. In order not to disgust the Marshal de Biron, who has already taken so active a part in this siege, and is so beloved by the troops, the King has resolved to leave the conduct of the operations entirely to him.
Paris, 19th July 1597.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 598. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
No sooner had the news of his Majesty's conference with the General of the Franciscans spread through the camp than the troops began to grumble that now when they were under Amiens and within sight of their goal, the Spanish had engaged the General of the Franciscans as a means to deceive his Majesty. The King was forced to declare that all negotiations for peace were broken off.
The King does not approve the advice of his Council to hold meetings of the congress until he is better assured of the intentions of Spain. Hopes of peace are very feeble, for the French insist on the restitution of Amiens, while the Spanish will not hear of it; nor yet will they refer the matter to his Holiness.
Paris, 23rd July 1597.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 599. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The preparations here are really only intended for the defence of these kingdoms.
Many of the troops are being disbanded.
The King's intentions about the attack on England are cooling down.
Madrid, 24th July 1597.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 31. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 600. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Adelantado does not wish to be sent to Brittany. He would prefer to go to England or Ireland; and this falls in with the King's wishes. For his Majesty thinks that if he suceeeded in disembarking some troops, even if they had to re-embark immediately, he would have in a way avenged the insult of the English landing at Cadiz. On the other hand it is urged that a landing in Brittany would serve to divert Lesdiguieres and the movements against the Cardinal, and also to facilitate the peace.
Madrid, 31st July 1597.