Venice: December 1599

Pages 385-387

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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December 1599

Dec. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 831. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Adelantado has arrived at Court, and in spite of his relationship to the Duke of Lerma (Marchese de Denia), so bitter is the feeling against him on account of his failure this year, that he has not yet kissed hands. I paid him a formal visit, and he told me that throughout his whole voyage he had met nothing but storms, and that he never sighted a single vessel of friend or foe, except one Flemish ship, which, taking his fleet for the Flanders squadron, heedlessly sailed right into his midst; he says his loss was very heavy, though they minimize it here. He says that things are going very well for the Catholics in Ireland; and that the Queen shows open resentment against the Earl of Essex for his failure; indeed there are rumours that she has caused him to be arrested, and as affairs in England are in no small confusion, it is held for certain that the Queen will be glad to make peace even at a disadvantage.
Madrid, 7th December 1599.
Dec. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 832. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Coemans, who was in England to negotiate a peace, is now in Brussels. He reports the favourable attitude of the Queen, who affirms that she is ready to treat for peace, and promises to do so.
She says that she will show the world that she is desirous for peace, nor will it be her fault if it is not concluded. All the same, no concrete negotiations are on foot, and this makes people suspect that her words cover another intention.
There is a rumour that the Earl of Essex's arrest will soon be terminated to his complete satisfaction. It seems, however, that the Queen, for her own particular ends, is encouraging both the faction of the Earl and that of his enemies. The ambassador here resident, who is of the Earl's party, has had his despatches stopped for many days, and has sent his secretary in all haste to keep an eye on what is taking place in England and to put an end to such irregularities.
As yet there is no confirmation of the news that the truce in Ireland has been broken. Information received by M. de Villeroy affirms that it is broken, and that everything is in confusion in the island.
Paris, 12th December 1599.
Dec. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 833. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
There is news that the Irish Catholics, on learning that the Queen was highly displeased, and that the Earl of Essex was under arrest in the Lord Chancellor's house for the accord made with them without her leave, have broken away from the terms of the agreement, and show themselves more bitter foes of the Queen than ever.
Rome, 18th December 1599.
Dec. 21. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 834. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
An ambassador from the King of Scotland has arrived here. He has come to seek the support of the King of Spain for the Scottish pretensions to the throne of England, as the Queen seems resolved to confer it upon one of her nieces. The ambassador has not yet despatched his business, and has merely received a general reply. They want to see, first of all, what will come of the negotiations for peace, which is desired here quite as eagerly as by the Queen, on account of the continual alarm about England in which she lives. A vessel has arrived here lately with eighty prisoners liberated in England. They all report that the Queen is most anxious for peace, in order that she may attend more calmly to this question of her successor.
Madrid, 21st December 1599.
[Italian; the part in Italics deciphered.]
Dec. 27. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 835. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The States of Holland have replied to the Queen of England that they absolutely refuse to enter into any negotiation for peace with Archduke Albert. It is thought that the Queen will be forced to negotiate alone.
Paris, 27th December 1599.