Venice: October 1597

Pages 290-292

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 1597

Oct. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 620. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio told me that Don Francesco d'Idiaquez had brought him a little box in which he said was the commission empowering the Cardinal Archduke to treat with the King of France. The instrument conveys the most ample powers to conclude a truce, a suspension of arms, or a peace. His Majesty places himself in the Cardinal's hands. Don Francesco d'Idiaquez showed a copy of the document to the Nuncio.
I have found out, however, that although the instrument seems to give the Cardinal a free hand, yet the King's real wishes will be conveyed by courier.
I have been informed by a person deep in my confidence, who had it from the Marquis de Velada, that the Duke of Savoy has intercepted letters from the King of France to the Duke of Luxemburg in Rome, and others from his most Christian Majesty's Ambassador at Constantinople. The letters to Borne declared that the Spanish deceived themselves if they thought that the King of France would conclude peace without the restitution of the strong places held by Spain, nor will he renounce Brittany nor pay a fenny of indemnity. He will treat of a peace only, not for a truce, nor for a suspension of arms.
The letters from Constantinople inform the King of France that he must put no reliance in the Turks, that they would make any diversion. They are tired; in confusion, and very weak; the Sultan is effeminate, and very anxious to make peace with the Emperor and Transylvania.
Tornabuoni, agent for the Duke of Mercœur, is doing all he can to upset the negotiations for a peace.
Madrid, the first of October 1597.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Oct. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 621. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A carvel has arrived from the Azores which brings news that the English fleet was sighted making sail for St. Michael's. They are afraid that the English will sack and burn the Azores; and with a view to prevent them from doing any damage on their way home, the King has sent to recall Prince Doria to Cadiz.
Madrid, 6th October 1597.
Oct. 6. Original Rubricario, Venetian Archives. 622. Girolamo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The remonstrances of the English Ambassador have not been able to prevent the Jewish emissary of Spain from opening the negotiations for a truce. The Ambassador endeavoured to persuade the Turks to treat the Jew as a spy, and to refuse to negotiate with a person of such mean condition. He was answered that Jews had negotiated before this, and the example of the peace between Venice and the Porte was cited. Thereupon the Ambassador, seeing that the Turks were inclined to a truce, declared that he would write to his Mistress advising her to follow their example, and to make peace with Spain. One in the Ambassador's confidence told him that the Grand Vizir would be persuaded to write to Don Christoforo de Mora, and that the Jew was advising the despatch of a qualified agent to Spain, or that the matter should be entrusted to himself.
The Ambassador declared that the Republic desired nothing more than universal peace which would put an end to the panic about the Turkish fleet, and to all the expenses it entailed.
The letters this Jew has brought were written by Don Christoforo de Mora and Don Juan d'Idiaquez to Salamon the Jew called Alvaro Mendez, and are accompanied by letters patent from the Spanish Ministers in Italy attesting that his Majesty has given orders to release all the slaves captured at Lepanto.
The French Ambassador has sent in copies of two letters written from Syria to complain of the damage done by the English ships in attacking the “Silvestra” and the “Lion,” and wishes to present a memorial to the Sultan.
The English Ambassador has frequently declared that if the Queen of England withdraws from her Turkish alliance her ships will harry the commerce on the coasts and islands of Turkey, and will seize the shipping of Syria and Alexandria, as the English are well acquainted with those waters. The Dutch, too, are beginning to frequent those waters, and they are able to supply sail, shrouds, and cables for the armada. The French Ambassador claims that they shall sail under the French flag, but if he is successful the Queen will forbid the traffic.
6th October 1598.
Oct. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 623. Girolamo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Hassan Pasha is ill of fever; he is a favourite of the Janizaries, but hated by Ibraim Pasha. The English Ambassador has presented a petition that he should be punished for the murder of Pasquale Dabri, who was at the Porte treating for peace.
7th October 1597.
Oct. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 624. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet is lying at Fagial, one of the Azores, without doing any damage. It is certainly waiting to catch the West India fleet.
Some days ago an Armenian was despatched from here to Ormuz, viâ Venice and Alexandria. He bore letters to the Viceroy, calling his attention to the progress of English commerce in those parts, and charging him to hinder it by all the means in his power. These orders are thought to be difficult to execute; for the English will not readily abandon that trade. Three of their ships a few months ago made a great profit in spices; with the result that in Lisbon the price of drugs has gone down.
I also hear that the King of Denmark and the Free Cities have been invited to interrupt English and Dutch trade.
Madrid, 20th October 1597.
Oct. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 625. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The English fleet, divided into four squadrons, is cruising in different degrees of latitude; one of these squadrons fell in with the ships bringing gold and silver. It gave chase, but the ships escaped into harbour at the Azores, where they unladed all their treasure. There is great alarm lest the remainder of the fleet should fall a prey.
On the eighteenth of this month, the Adelantado weighed anchor with all his fleet, and with a fair wind sailed north. The destination of the fleet is unknown. We shall soon know the result; but meantime conjecture is rife; some suppose that the recapture of Amiens by the French has caused this sudden departure.
Tornabuoni, agent for the Duke of Mercœur, has returned from the Escurial, and is delighted at this departure of the fleet.
Madrid, 28th October 1597.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 626. Summary of the Forces under the Adelantado of Castille.
Royal galleons 44 of 12,686 tons burthen.
Private 16 of 5,880
Hulks (Urche), German and Flemish 52 of 15,514
Other ships 76
Total 188 34,080
Soldiers on board 8,634
Sailors 4,000
Total 12,634