Venice: November 1600

Pages 431-434

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 1600

Nov. 10. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 926. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The British Consul at Aleppo gave his support to the filibusters. He was removed from his post on the demand of the French Ambassador. But on giving the Grand Vizir a very handsome saddle he was reinstated.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 10th November 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Nov. 13. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 927. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
After these Persian Ambassadors had been received in audience all the other Ambassadors visited them. I went too. The Englishman assured me that the formation of a league was his object; and that he was awaiting the arrival of Andrea Negroni to translate the letters he had brought.
He then went on to explain the greatness of the King of Persia, who after his victories over Ussbek and Vecisolo, is now master of five kingdoms, and is already in touch with the Muscovite. He said he was amazed that none of our merchants went to Persia where silk was so abundant, especially in Khorasan. As that place was very central it offered an admirable mart for the distribution of the Indian commerce, which now goes by Portugal. He dwelt at length on the ease with which the goods might be sent from the Caspian up the Volga, and down the Düna to the North Sea. He said there was in Moscow a doctor of the Grand Duke who was studying the question.
Prague, 13th November 1600.
Nov 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 928. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The Spanish Ambassador has let it be known that he is not without hopes of the peace with England. The King of Spain, having been persuaded of the danger to which he was exposed if he were attacked in Savoy and in Flanders, has consented to concede to the Queen many terms which he at first refused.
Rome, 18th November 1600.
Nov. 18. Original Minutes of the Senate, Venetian Archives. 929. To the Ambassador in France.
Having heard what you have written on the subject of the application for a loan of three or four hundred thousand ducats made by the Secretary of the Queen of England, we approve your prudent answer, and charge you, should the Secretary touch upon the subject again, to preserve the same tone, and to point out to him that we have to face very heavy expenses for the construction of a royal fortress, which is to serve as bulwark of the state against the infidel, and for the upkeep of our forts and garrisons on a long line of frontier where we are neighbours to powerful Princes; and that we are sorry to be unable to help Her Majesty.
We have just elected Lunardo Donà and Giovanni Dolfin as ambassadors to congratulate the King on his marriage.
Nov. 20. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 930. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The Persian Ambassadors are still here. Their commission consists of two objects only; league against the Turk; and one party never to make peace without the other. Here they will promise, but the second clause can hardly be kept. The Englishman says he must go on to England and there take ship for Ormuz. The Ministers cannot make out the object of this journey for the Queen is an ally of the Turk, and not too friendly to the house of Austria. They suspect some hidden design.
Prague, 20th November 1600.
Nov. 23, Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 931. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The Ambassador of England has assured me that the Capudan Pasha has set the three Bertoni at liberty and told them they may filibuster anywhere they like outside the Archipelago. He says that from the inquiry it resulted that they had captured a Catalan not a French ship. He has given orders at Patras and Zante to sequestrate any goods which formed part of the cargo of those three ships, to see whether they are really French or Venetian, in which case the goods will be restored. He also said that the masters and men of these ships might escape the arm of the law, on the ground that they had only captured enemies vessels. The Queen certainly intended to prevent filibustering in the Mediterranean, for fear of ruining English trade in the Levant. I replied that the best way would be for the English ships to abstain from coming here; for they had but little trade, nor could I distinguish those which came for trading only; for all of them were hampered with artillery, and provisioned for a year, even to the water, and in order that they might be handy in fighting they were kept clear, leaving not only the quarter deck but also the main deck, where goods are usually placed, free for the artillery. Theft is their proper business and the object of their voyage.
The Ambassador said that in truth very few ships did sail for trading; but the Kingdom of England, though a very rich feeding ground, was not able to support the whole nation, therefore they had to take to the sea, and to be fully armed, on account of the Spanish, their powerful foes ; besides, these ships were the bulwarks of the country. Sometimes they did not find any booty on the open sea, and so pushed further; and in order to check this filibustering he had written to the Queen to prohibit it.
In course of conversation with me the French Ambassador, speaking of the damage done by the English, said that his master intended to man thirty or forty galleys in Provence in order to suppress the audacity of these bucaneers. Although he could not have seen that I did not think such a step possible, he added at once that he had dissuaded his Majesty from this scheme, seeing that the English were not approaching the coast of Provence, but were destructive only from Zante to Constantinople, and in the waters of Crete. He had rather advised his Majesty to send here six or eight ships from Brittany, which are as well fitted for these waters and for fighting as the English; and although these will not find any market for their goods nor yet any return cargoes, they will serve to cruise about and hold the English in check. The Ambassador had communicated this scheme to Hafiz (Cafis) and had added that when these ships came here it would be impossible for them to avoid doing as the English are doing; to which the Pasha replied that this would never do and would not be tolerated; the Ambassador retorted “Then your Lordship should remedy the matter in earnest.”
I have just learned something from a sure source, which seems to me of great moment, namely, that the Capitulation between the Grand Signor and the Queen has never been ratified, though it is five years since the Sultan has been on the throne. There are certain difficulties in the way. This matter has been hept most jealously concealed, but I will manage to penetrate the secret for the information of your Serenity.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 23rd November 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 932. Deposition of Master Horatio di Lusi, Caulker in the Arsenal.
He was on board the Capudan Pasha's fleet while cruising near Lepanto.
At Patras the Capudan saw three Englishmen full of spices and Levant goods, which he knew they could not have bought. He wrung as much money as he could out of the masters and then let them go.
Nov. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 933. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
One of the vessels of the West India fleet has brought news that the rest may be expected day by day.
It is said to bring twelve millions in gold, though probably it will not turn out to be so much. This is the third fleet which has arrived this year since the month of March, and between them they must have brought upwards of twenty millions in gold; and yet here they are continually racking their brains to find money, for almost all this is already mortgaged. Among other provisions they have introduced economy in the Palace, where, to say the truth, a vast amount of money was squandered.
Madrid, 25th November 1600.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Nov. 29 Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 934. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The Persian Ambassadors will soon receive their congé. His Majesty wished them to return as soon as possible to Persia, and to leave all the letters they have brought for other European Princes, and he undertook to forward them. The Ambassadors would not consent to this. Finally they agreed that his Majesty should send the powers and the ratification of the treaty by the hands of the Ambassador's brother, who was left behind in Persia, and that these should be covered by letters from the Ambassadors.
Prague, 29th November 1600.