Venice: November 1599

Pages 383-385

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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November 1599

Nov. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 827. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Béthune, who was sent as the King's Ambassador to Scotland, has returned to Court. As he had orders to go to the Queen and give her an account of his mission, so as to remove any shadow of suspicion, he went to London and stayed there six or eight days secretly, without making known his presence to any save to his Most Christian Majesty's Ambassador resident; and then without another word he came on here. This manner of proceeding has greatly increased suspicions, and the Queen is far from pleased.
It was M. de Béthune who brought the news of Essex's arrest. Confirmation has been received with this additional detail that he is forbidden to speak to anyone. The Queen desires him to explain his departure from Ireland without her leave or that of her Council, and also to communicate the secret negotiations with the rebel Tyrone which were not authorised by her. Those who are well informed, however, tell me that there are further reasons for the arrest, and more especially this, that in the capitulations for an accord, the Earl had assented to a most vital point in agreeing to allow the exercise of the Catholic religion in Ireland. This charge weighs all the more heavily upon him seeing that on other occasions he has favoured and courted the Catholics. Besides, his counsel not to make peace with Spain, a counsel he has always maintained, with a view to be constantly under arms, followed by a large train, as indeed he has succeeded in being,—has caused great suspicion on the part of the Queen; all the more on account of the love the people bear to him; for his qualities have won for him in England exactly the same esteem as the late Duke of Guise enjoyed in France. All these suspicions in the Queen's mind are fomented and fed by persons of great weight, his foes. We wait to see the result of the decision to be taken about the greatest personage in England, the man who has enjoyed more of the Queen's favour than anyone else. (Vuole la Regina che rendi conto della sua partenza d' Irlanda senza alcuna commissiove di lei ne del suo consiglio, et insieme che riferisca le trattationi secrete che ha passato col Conte di Tirone, vibello, senza sua permissione. Ma da persone ben informate mi vien riferto che a queste si aggiungono delle altre cause, et quella specialmente perchè nelle capitulationi dell' accordo h´bbi assentito ad un punto molto essentiale, dove si parla che possi restar libero Vesercitio della Religione Gattolica in Irlanda; il che tanto maggiormente lo aggrava, quanto che per il passsato ha diverse volte favorito et fatte molte cortesie a Gattolici; oltra che è di molta gelosia alia Regina il parere, ch' esso ha sempre sostentato di non far si la pace col Rè di Spagna con fine di tenersi del continuo armato et con gran seguito, come in effetto ha; spetialmente per l' amore che generalmente li viene portato da' popoli; essendo per le sue qualità stimato in queue parti nel medesimo modo a punto che si facceva del già Duca di Guisa in questo regno. Li quali tutti sopetti sono fomentati et nutriti nell' animo di quella Principessa per officii di persone di grand' auttorità suoi nemici. Si starà attendendo dove habbia da terminare la risolutione sopra il più gran sigre di quel Regno et che più di tutti ha posseduto la gratia della Regina.)
Paris, 6th November 1599.
Nov. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 828. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The misfortunes of the Adelantado's fleet and the sums of money sunk in it, cause a lively desire for peace.
Madrid, 6th November 1599.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 829. Girolamo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Secretary has left for Venice on his way to his Court. He came to visit me, Capello, and to beg that I would recommend him to your Serenity, as I have done by letters consigned to him. They say he takes back to his mistress the answers of the Sultan and the Sultana mother and a present of robes and some jewelled girdles.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 27th November 1599.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 28. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 830. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Coemans is still in England on behalf of the Archduke Albert. He has been there on several occasions to treat for peace. He is awaiting a favourable answer, and upon that will depend other requests, which he will prefer for a conference between commissioners on one side and on the other, and the establishment of a place of meeting. It is thought that if the Queen consents, Calais or Boulogne may be selected.
The Earl of Essex is still a prisoner. He has been somewhat indisposed on account of his mental anxiety. There is news, however, that he is mending. In Ireland we hear that the truce has been broken, though confirmation of this particular is needed.
Paris, 28th November 1599.