Venice: July 1600

Pages 417-421

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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July 1600

July 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 893. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The news from Flanders points to rather better prospects of peace with England. It seems that his Highness is bent on a truce with the States for some years.
Rome, first of July 1600.
July 1. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 894. Girolamo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I have not yet been able to see the Capudan Pasha to find out from him the truth of the conversation with the English Ambassador, but I will go one day next week.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, the first of July 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 8. Original Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 895. To the Queen of England.
The excellent treatment accorded to her Majesty's subjects in the Levant, should be a proof of the Republic's desire to preserve and extend commercial relations, and to maintain that mutual friendship and goodwill which has always existed in the past.
In the Levant the English had and still have a trade of great importance, but it is a matter of the highest regret that the vessels belonging to subjects of the Queen have committed and still commit acts of depredation throughout the Levant, upon Venetian merchants, against the Queen's expressed intention. The Republic has made the proper complaints, but no steps have been taken. It has particularly grieved us to learn that goods belonging to our subjects in England have been sequestrated on board the ship “Santa Maria,” Master Christoforo Cornoles, and in the interests of our subjects we have been obliged to issue the orders which we thought necessary and reasonable for the compensation for damage suffered by our subjects. It is quite impossible to maintain any right on the ground that the vessels seized belonged to the Queen's enemies; for there is nothing to warrant the argument that the goods of friendly states on board an enemy's vessel partake of the nature of that vessel.
Nevertheless on account of the great respect which the republic bears to the Queen, and because of its desire to gratify the Queen in every way, it has revoked the sequestration of the capital of English subjects in Venice; in the hope that the Queen, when convinced of the justice of the Venetian claim, will act with her wonted fairness, giving stringent orders that Venetian shipping shall not be molested, but that the English shall absolutely desist from depredations, and that our merchants who have lost goods on board the “Santa Maria,” shall be indemnified as soon as possible, as the Queen is affectionately begged to do, in the certainty that she will, for she has already given caution for the restitution of goods illegally seized. And that will be of benetit to the good understanding between the Republic and the Queen, and to mutual commerce among their subjects. Order to the Five Savii alla Mercantia to revoke the sequestration ordered by the Senate on February 24th, and to set all goods at liberty.
+ 136 — 0 — 18.
Original Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 896. Amendment to the Preceding Motion.
Alvise Grimani moves, after the preamble of the original motion to insert “and seeing that many of her Majesty's subjects, who, in port appear as merchants, but on the open seas are nothing but public pirates, have constantly damaged the subjects of the Republic and no steps have been taken thereon, in spite of our protests, we have been obliged to take such action as we thought necessary: and seeing that from the letters of her Majesty, it is clear that she has been grossly misinformed, for had she known what we have stated above, she would have ordered the restitution of the stolen goods, instead of listening to interested parties;—we beg her, on the faith of our declaration, to order the restitution of their capital to our merchants, in accordance with the caution which she most prudently imposed upon the captors; and to instruct her subjects to refrain from molesting ours.”
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 897. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen of England has sustained a severe defeat in Ireland; and has arrested some Dutch ships on their way back from the Indies laden with much merchandize. This cannot fail to breed some disagreement between them ; and the event may assist the negotiations for peace at Boulogne, if other accidents do not overthrow them. And seeing that no active preparations for Flanders are going forward here, one concludes for certain that they do not mean to come to a rupture; for if they wish to make a diversion they would certainly have to increase their forces in that part. A week or two ago some English vessels were at Gibraltar, with a large capital on board. The Adelantado sent out five galleons fully armed and manned to capture them; but the galleys were repulsed after some rough handling by the English, who defended themselves most bravely.
Madrid, 10th July 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 898. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The States have replied to the Imperial Envoys, absolutely declining any negotiations for peace. Archduke Albert sounded the mutinous troops, and found that after receiving one pay they were ready to follow him into the field. He left Brussels with his army, in all about ten thousand men, between horse and foot. Count Maurice was lying near Ostend, after capturing some forts erected two years ago to protect Bruges from Ostend. The Archduke retook these, and engaged the van of the enemy, which he succeeded in driving back; but Count Maurice arrived with the main body of his army, and so reanimated the fight, that the Archduke's troops broke and fled, leaving, they say, between two and three thousand men on the field; and Archduke Albert is slightly wounded in the head. Count Maurice's losses are also heavy.
The conference of Boulogne has not begun yet, it seems. Apparently they are waiting for a modification of the powers from Spain. The disaster in Flanders will cause the Spanish Envoys to grant all they can to the Queen to induce her to conclude peace.
Paris, 10th July 1600.
July 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 899. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Envoys at the congress of Boulogne have come to dispute over a question of precedence, to the scandal of the onlookers and the risk of upsetting the negotiations; for Doctor Garriglio, who was recently sent from here, wished to take precedence of Don Balthazar de Zuniga, his Majesty's Ambassador to their Highnesses of Flanders. This has caused extreme disapproval here, and orders have been sent that they are not by their vain pretensions to disturb the whole negotiations, especially as they are both ministers of one and the same Prince.
Madrid, 12th July 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 900. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
All through these last days there have been persistent rumours that the Queen of England was dead, these were credited on account of their source; but now we learn that she has been very ill, though quite recovered. The delay in the arrival of the King of France at Lyons was supposed to be caused by his waiting to learn the issue; for he is obliged to pay attention to the movements in England.
They have very good news about the peace between the Queen of England and the Archduke; and things have come to such a pass as to lead to expectation of a favourable conclusion.
Rome, 15th July 1600.
July 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 901. Girolamo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Four days ago I went to visit the Capudan Pasha. I mentioned the mischief done by English vessels, and he showed that he thought the matter of high importance; but he added that the English Ambassador was a person of no importance, and quite ignorant how to treat the Pasha properly. In the course of conversation the Capudan assured me that the Ambassador had never used the words I wrote; but had merely complained that the French Ambassador had employed unfriendly offices towards him, and was trying to make me believe what was not true, and what I had never dreamed of saying. This being so, I will go no further in the matter, as I had intended, with the English Ambassador. But, seeing that the French Ambassador is informed by his Consul at Cairo of a suspicion that the ship “Vidala” has been seized by two English vessels, I enclose copies of the passage in these letters. God grant the news be false.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 15th July 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 902. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Your Serenity will already have heard of the battle that took place between the Count Maurice and the Archduke. The Archduke's losses are very heavy. They try to conceal them as much as possible. The news causes great anxiety here, both on account of the mischief that may arise in Flanders, and because it may cause trouble in the negotiations for a peace with England, which will take up a vantage ground. They are negotiating a loan of five millions of gold; part for Flanders, part for Spain.
Madrid, 29th July 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]
July 29. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 903. Girolamo Capello, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The French Ambassador, thanks to his continual complaints against the English Ambassador on account of the mischief done by English to French vessels in these seas, has at length obtained an order instructing the Capudan Pasha to open an inquiry on the subject, and to find out if the facts alleged by the French Ambassador are true. The Grand Vizir, in an audience I had with him, asked me if these excesses were really committed. I assured him of what I had heard from Candia and other quarters, and I added that, as these misdeeds were committed by robbers, there was no doubt but that the Queen, on being informed, would take the necessary steps, only it was incumbent on the Turks to see that these vessels found no shelter in the ports of the Grand Signor; for, if they could not find safe harbour nor market for their spoils, they would be forced to adopt another line. The Pasha answered that he would most willingly write to the Queen, but that he had no confidence in her Ambassador, a very ordinary person, and he feared his letters would never reach the Queen; he wished to send them through your Serenity; as for the second point, orders had already been issued to the Capudan Pasha. I assured him that the Ambassador would never commit so grave an error as not to forward letters from the Grand Signor to his mistress; but I advised the Grand Vizir to send for the Ambassador and to sound him, as to his intentions. The Vizir attached much importance to the whole business on account of the continual complaints which reached him, about the damage done by the English. I believe he will do all he can to meet the question, especially as he will be incessantly urged on by the French Ambassador.
The Grand Signor has retired to Scuttaretto, and public rumour has it that for three days he has been subject to one of his fits of idiotcy, with lucid intervals.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 29th July 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]