Venice: January 1600

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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'Venice: January 1600', in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603, (London, 1897) pp. 387-392. British History Online [accessed 15 April 2024]

January 1600

1600. Jan. 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 836. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
News has arrived here that Prince Sigismund of Transylvania, on his way back from England, whither he had gone after leaving Poland, has been made prisoner in Pomerania, and that the Duke of Saxony has informed the Emperor and asked for instructions as to the treatment of the Prince. It is believed that the Emperor has ordered him to be detained so that he may not cause fresh trouble in Transylvania. The Vaivode of Walachia fearing lest the Vaivode of Moldavia might seize the provinces of Transylvania, had resolved to admit the Imperial troops.
Rome, the first of January 1599 [m.v.].
Jan. 4. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 837. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The hopes of concluding a peace with the Queen of England are on the increase, so news from Flanders to the King leads us to think. Both sides are equally desirous, although that feeling is concealed here as a matter of pride. Their Highnesses write continually that they are in great straits for money, although the old supplies are still continued. This may possibly induce the King and his Ministers to come to terms with the rebels, on any conditions; and this is desired by their Highnesses as well, for otherwise everything will remain in the greatest confusion and disorder.
The Envoy of his Most Christian Majesty has withdrawn without concluding his mission, for he insisted on the liberation of those vessels which had been seized even in time of war, on the ground that they were sailing under the parole of the late King of Spain, who allowed the inhabitants of Brittany to trade. He failed to obtain his request, and has left very ill pleased. He says that an Ambassador from France will arrive here in a few weeks, and will be better able to conduct his Majesty's affairs.
Madrid, 4th January 1599 [m.v.].
Jan. 8. Original despatch, Venetian Archives. 838. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome to the Doge and Senate.
It seems that the negotiation for peace between the Queen of England, the States and the Archduke is in an excellent condition; the greatest hopes are founded on the exhortation of the Queen of England to the States pointing out that they ought to concur.
Rome, 8th January 1600.
Jan. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 839. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Archduke Albert has greatly offended the people of Antwerp on the occasion of his solemn entry into that city, because he refused to robe himself according to the ancient custom of the Dukes of Brabant with mantle and ducal coronet. He urged as his reason for not complying with their wishes that his own title was higher than that of Duke. His refusal to accept, as is usual, the city guard, which was all drawn up and waiting, also gave offence. He, however, called, out some companies of Spanish infantry. These occurrences have given occasion to many verses in which the disgust of the people finds voice.
Some regiments have been disbanded in Flanders without receiving their pay. They are scattered through the country complaining that they are without the necessaries of life. To meet the present needs his Highness has drawn on his Catholic Majesty for three millions of gold, to be paid in Flanders at the rate of two hundred and forty crowns a month, the other consignments are to cease at the end of February next.
His Highness is expecting the arrival in Brussels of an agent sent by the Queen of England to carry her answer to all the representations made to her on the subject of the peace. If he does arrive his business will be to arrange the place and the meeting of representatives from both parties.
The States of Holland persisting in their resolution to entertain no proposals for peace, and seeing that the Queen of England is inclined thereto, have secretly addressed various proposals to his Most Christian Majesty that he should take them under his protection. The Spanish Ambassador here, having heard of this, begged his Majesty, in virtue of the peace, to break off these negotiations with the rebels of his lawful sovereign. The King replied that the Ambassador should not believe in any such relations for they did not exist. It is possible that the States, by this request for protection, only mean to secure all the support they can before making their complete submission to his Majesty. Perhaps they also desire to upset the peace which the Queen of England is negotiating, for it is not likely that the Queen will assent to the union of Holland to France, for that would cause her serious anxiety for her own safety.
The Dutch have made a new canal on the river Waal (Vallio), by means of which their ships can sail without being obliged to pass under the fortress of St. Andrew, which the Spanish army built at a great cost last year. And in this way they expect to render that fortress useless as a means for disturbing their traffic.
The Earl of Essex is a closer prisoner than ever. He is ill. The decision as to his fate is still unknown.
In Ireland the truce has been broken and the island is all in confusion again. The winter season forbids the use of arms.
The most illustrious gentleman Signor Zuane Basadonna has arrived here after a residence of seven years in England on account of his important affairs. He is on his way home, where if he is employed it will be seen that to the natural ability of his wit he adds a remarkable knowledge of the world.
Paris, 8th January 1599 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 10. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 840. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
News from Flanders that the States will not accept peace. They have replied to the Imperial Commissioners who asked for passports, excusing themselves on the ground of excessive occupation, and remarking that the empire should help rather than oppose them. The English agent who was expected has not arrived, and it seems that enthusiasm for peace in that quarter too is cooling down.
Prague, 10th January 1600.
Jan. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 841. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The negotiations for peace with England are moving ahead, but at a very slow pace, on account of the obstinacy of Holland and Zealand; for it seems that the Queen will not separate her interests from those of the States, and so, though both parties are desirous for the conclusion of peace, difficulties arise on this score. News from Flanders shows that their Highnesses have very little hope of a favourable issue. Here there is no word of preparations for a naval expedition, although it is the custom in this month to issue orders, and the drum is heard all round. This is a sign that they do not want to make much stir, and if the negotiations for money do not end favourably they will have neither wish nor means to do so.
The Emperor has sent an express with news of what has happened in Transylvania, and begs for vigorous assistance. But until the question of money is resolved, this and all the other business of the King is delayed, although they hold it of great importance to keep the Turk occupied elsewhere until they are more certain of a peace with England. If the peace in Flanders comes to a good issue, some of the Council would like to send the troops from Flanders to serve under the Emperor.
Madrid, 13th January 1599 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 17. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 842. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Negotiations for peace with the Queen of England are still on foot, but as she insists on keeping all the strong places, which she says she holds as security for money spent, even after peace is concluded, it is not easy to see how their Highnesses can consent. As these towns are the keys of Holland and Zealand the Queen will never permit such a treacherous act towards her allies as the surrender of them would be.
Prague, 17th January 1600.
Jan. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 843. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Nuncio in conversation with me one day touched upon the subject of the League, about which I have already informed your Serenity, and, said to me, “I know that the Pope has great devices in his head; he is also very fortunate in his designs, and if we could only arrange the position of the Spanish crown so that it should be free from attack and secure against damage by the Queen of England, it would be possible to launch some really great scheme.”
Madrid, 22nd January 1599 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 844. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
A Secretary of Council, named Edmondes, has reached Brussels from England. He served for many years at this Court until the arrival of the present Ambassador. He is an able man, and one begins to see some opening for the negotiations for a peace.
The English Ambassador here has orders from the Queen to say, in answer to questions about the imprisonment of Essex, that she took that step in order that the Earl might recognise his fault and humble himself, not with any intent to destroy him, or ruin him, nor does she intend to remove him from any of his posts. It is thought that he will return to favour, for, in addition to what I have related above, the Queen frequently sends persons to visit him, and in order to encourage and console him the more she sends food from her own table for his use, and says she will go in person to see him. His health is better and he is now out of danger.
Paris, 22nd January 1599 [m.v.].
Jan. 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 845. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
As the interests of this Crown evidently require that the Turk should be occupied elsewhere as long as possible, they have finally resolved to send three hundred thousand crowns to the Emperor to help him to continue the war. They raise the moneys from the two millions recently borrowed of Florentine bankers, to whom they have assigned the Crusada and other ecclesiastical dues conceded to the King by the Pope, and also the capital which will arrive with next year's fleets, for no other revenue is at liberty here. They are sending to Flanders one million one hundred thousand crowns to pay the troops. This will be consigned to his Majesty's Ministers, for, to say the truth, they have little liking here for the Archduke and his lavish ways, although in fact it must be owned that this is the only way his Highness can ingratiate himself, for he has no commende nor other revenues to dispense. The Infanta has eight thousand crowns a month assigned to her to spend as she likes. It is well known, however, that they pay out this money very reluctantly, and only because they fear to lose Holland and Zealand if their Highnesses are abandoned, for they would then be forced to accept whatever terms were offered them.
The negotiations for peace with England are not moving forward as vigorously as the ministers would like, though they dissemble their desire ; while here there are no signs of provision either for offence or defence, and if they do come to any decision it will be so late and so confused that it will end in nothing, as usually happens with their deliberations. There are, however, less than ten thousand foot, partly the residue of the Adelantado's forces, partly raised elsewhere, and these they will keep until they see what is the upshot of the negotiations with the Queen of England, and of the affair of Saluzzo.
Madrid, 24th January 1599 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan 24. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 846. Girolamo Capello and Vicenzo Gradenigo, Venetian Ambassadors in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday evening, as the result of snowballing, a violent quarrel arose between the households of the French and English Ambassadors; several were badly wounded on either side, and had not night fallen worse would have happened; for the Ambassadors themselves began to take parts. There are differences between them and also no good understanding on account of past events relating to the question of jurisdiction and other issues, as I, Capello, have on various occasions informed your Serenity. Each attributed to the other the origin and beginning of the quarrel. The moment we heard of the occurrence we instantly endeavoured to calm their passions; both of them readily listened to our representations, and this morning I, Capello, visited both and succeeded in soothing their ruffled tempers. Accordingly this evening the illustrious Signor Francesco Gradenigo, son of the Ambassador, went to renew in his father's name the representations I had already made; he fulfilled his mission with great prudence, and deserves the highest praise ; for the Ambassadors agreed to send, each of them, three gentlemen of their suite to my house, who, in their master's names, solemnly declared that they had no part in this affair, and were extremely annoyed at what had happened; further, that they left to us to examine and discover the prime mover in this quarrel, and each of them promised, that when the truth was revealed they would severely punish the author, whoever he might be. In the meantime the Ambassadors were reconciled in the presence of the illustrious Signor Francesco, promising moreover to forget the injuries received, and to maintain between themselves that same good friendship which existed between their respective sovereigns. This reconciliation has given satisfaction to everyone and to us as well, in view of the evil consequences which might have followed.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 24th January 1599 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Jan. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 847. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A courier has come from Flanders with the usual announcements from their Highnesses about their difficulty in coming to terms with those people, and begging for money. It is said that between the Infanta and the Archduke there is not that good understanding that one could wish.
Madrid, 26th January 1599 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]