Venice: June 1592

Pages 37-41

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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June 1592

June 8. Original Despatch Venetian Archives. 80. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Duke of Parma after crossing the Seine at St. Cloud, drew off towards Charenton in order to have the Marne on his flank. Along this river he marched continually, and it is thought that he is now out of France. On the march the troops plundered the houses, and even the convents of the most religious nuns in this country have been polluted and contaminated.
Chartres, 8th June 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 9. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 81. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I have received despatches containing reports from Constantinople. These I have communicated to Don Juan d'Idiaquez, and they have been forwarded to the Escurial, where they were very welcome, as throwsing light on the various rumours about the Turkish fleet.
Madrid, 9th June 1592.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 82. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The fate which has befallen M. de Lancome is precisely that which was foreseen. He has been sent a prisoner to the Tower of the Black Sea. This happened three days ago. He was conducted there by a great crowsd of chavasses and accompanied by one of his relations. All his property has been sealed and an inventory made; and then entrusted to M. de Breves. This action was not the idea of the Grand Vizir but of the Sultan's secretary, who was determined that this man, smarting under injuries, should not be allowed to go to Borne or Spain to make mischief, but that he should remain in custody till the King of Navarre came to some decision about him.
The Grand Vizir would have accepted the compromise suggested by de Breves, to confine de Lancome, under guard, in his own house, or to send him to Ragusa, but this the secretary opposed on account of Marigliani's presence in that city; nor would he consent to the other alternative, on the ground that such treatment of enemies was too lenient and that they ought to be handled with all rigour. As his word has more weight than that of any one else at the Porte, his will has been carried out. De Lancome bears his fate with great constancy, hoping that all will turn out well for him.
It seems that de Breves intends to send to France a secretary of de Lancome, who has has shown himself more of the other party than of the League. De Breves will remain here himself so as not to leave the post of the French Embassy quite vacant. Although he has no credentials the preservation of the ancient French alliance is considered of such importance at the Porte that if he choses to ask for it he will receive the treatment due to an Ambassador. Further, if he remains here the credentials as Ambassador are more likely to arrive as there would be a saving in expense. Letters of recommendation in his favour will be sent from the Porte to the King,
In Barbary there is a coral fishery which has for long been considered the support of the people of Marseilles and others of Provençe, who are wont to go to a certain place called the Bastion, held in the name of the French. Some English have now laid hands on it, and are seeking an investiture from the Porte. They offer to pay five thousand ducats a year, and to give the Grand Vizir a lump sum of forty thousand ducats. M. de Breves, however, has raised opposition, and has obtained from the Vizir a promise that nothing shall be done till despatches arrive from the King, on condition that the coral fishers shall pay a royalty on their profits. M. de Breves has begged me to testify to his services to the French Growsn in order that M. de Maisse may be informed of them; and that I should assure you that he is the person who has lessened the evils which have befallen M. de Lancome, as is the case.
The day before yesterday Hassan, the renegade of Piacenza, returned from Count Marigliani. Hassan was sent by the late Grand Vizir Ferrad. He reached Ragusa with the news of the fall of Ferrad and the elevation of Sciavus Pasha. Hassan brings to Sciavus a letter, two pages long, which is contrary to the usual habit of brevity.
This letter has been translated into Turkish and sent to the Serraglio, since when we have heard nothing more about it. Until I am able to send you a full copy, or at least a summary, I must inform you that, after compliments, Marigliani gives a detailed account of all the negotiations in this affair down to his father's time. He says that Ferrad promised him all he asked. But that is now denied here.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 13th June 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 13, Copy of Original Rubric, (fn. 1) Venetian Archives. 83. Giovanni Dolfin, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
A nephew of Alvaro Mendez has passed from England to Constantinople on business for his uncle, and to negotiate for the help of a Turkish fleet to the injury of Spain.
June 19. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 84. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Of the many Frenchmen who have come to Court to ask for money, few have gone away content. In particular M. de Lansac, who has been in Aragon, is extremely annoyed. In conversation with Count Chinchon he told the Count that he was sure that no friendly efforts had been made on his behalf, and that he repudiated the Count's friendship. Count Chinchon grew angry, and resented this speech; whereupon Don Christoforo de Mora, who was present, said that this was only a piece of French vivacity which must be endured.
The Duke of Lorraine has sent to inform the Spanish Ministers that in the election to the throne of France he will not offer himself as a candidate for the crowsn, and will refuse it if elected, unless his Majesty will pledge himself to protect the Duke. He thinks that no one can maintain himself on the throne without the support and protection of Spain.
Fuentes, who is to go as Spanish Ambassador to Savoy in place of Seralva, who is dead, will receive a salary of one thousand crowsns a month.
At the buoy at the mouth of Lisbon harbour are twelve English galleys, which prevent any vessels from leaving or entering the port. One vessel which was making for Lisbon, took these ships for friendly ships and fell into their hands. The Englishmen are reported to be well armed, and it is feared that they may make a junction with other English ships and lie in wait for the West India fleet.
The ships which should have sailed from Seville to Peru have been delayed by fear of the English; and so instead of two fleets which usually sail each year, one in February and the other in June, this year hardly one will set out. This is of very serious injury to commerce.
Madrid, 19th June 1592.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
June 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 85. Tomaso Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The ship “Sumachi” which gave me a great deal of trouble during the first year of my Embassy, is troubling me again. She was on her way to England when she was seized by some of the King's ships at the straits of Gibraltar. The cargo is sequestrated and the crews imprisoned as the Spanish declare that the ship and all on board it is English.
Madrid, 20th June 1592.
June 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 86. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday the Duke of Mayenne reached Dreux. He had with him a regiment of Spanish troops. He stopped a whole day in Dreux on account of his health, which is becoming worse day by day, so that the doctors doubt whether he can live. One of his reasons for desiring peace is in order that he may put his household on a proper footing in view of his possible death.
His Majesty, meanwhile, is fortifying Gournay on the Marne, in order to blockade Paris, and to give him command of a passage over that river.
The Duke of Parma has gone to the baths at Spa.
Chartres, 25th June 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]
June 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 87. Matheo Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The contents of Marigliani's letter disturb the Sultan.
M. de Lancome in the Tower of the Black Sea, does not lose heart. He has taken to writing as the only way of employing his restless spirit.
There is a movement on foot to allow the Florentines to trade under their own name as others do under the French or the English flag. The English Ambassador here declares that the Grand Duke of Tuscany holds more for Navarre than for the League and Spain. He points to the Grand Duke's opposition to Savoy in Provençe, and all this makes the Tuscan name more acceptable here
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 27th June 1592.
[Italian; deciphered.]


  • 1. The despatch is missing.