Venice: February 1601

Pages 445-447

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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February 1601

Feb. 3. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 953. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The ship “Silvestra” arrived on the 26th of last month. Everyone was eagerly awaiting her arrival; as she cleaved the Serraglio point she fired a fine salvo of artillery, which gave more pleasure in the Serraglio than the English salvo of some days ago.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 3rd February 1600 [m.v.].
Feb. 5. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 954. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
These Persian Ambassadors have not left yet. I have procured a copy of their commission and a rough draft of the treaty they are to propound, and I enclose them.
Prague, 5th February 1600.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 955. The valorous Sir Anthony Sherley (Scherlei) came to Persia from Frankland; he has enjoyed the highest rank in our service. You must know that he has made a place for love of you in our hearts; and I desire to make a league with all you princes of Frankland. An honoured subject of ours goes with him as Ambassador to the Sovereigns.
We desire that you should treat with the said Sir Anthony, and consider him as our supreme commissioner, (il nostro commissario supremo).
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 956. Heads upon which the King of Persia desires the Emperor and other Christian Princes to treat with his Ambassador, Mr. Anthony Sherley, Knight, of England.
Feb. 12. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 957. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The Persian Ambassadors have left at length. The intrigues to separate them, and to send them back by Muscovy, were of no use. In view of the great expense which the Englishman incurred, the Emperor has given him two thousand florins, and other seven hundred for the journey. Between these two Ambassadors they have received a present of two thousand thalers' worth of silver, very little compared with their hopes, though they cost his Majesty one hundred and twenty thalers a day all the time they were here.
Prague, 12th February 1601.
Feb. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 958. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News from England that a Persian Ambassador has arrived, and has been received and treated with great honour. The Queen has made him a present of a Portuguese hulk, with all its cargo, just captured in those waters. After he had received his congé, five ships and five hundred soldiers were assigned him for his escort home. An English Ambassador to the King of Persia goes with him. The object of the Persian Embassy was, perhaps, to secure aid against the Turk, or, more likely to open up commercial relations between Persia and England. The Queen, though very feeble and tottering on account of her illness, nevertheless appeared on this occasion adorned and bedecked with great pomp, and right royally. They say that the Queen, aware that she cannot live much longer, has made her will in which she has named the King of France as her Executor, a duty which he has accepted (la Regina s'era, fatta vedere conquell' occasione tutto che fiacca et vacilente per le sue indispositioni, però ornata et adobbata con pompa grande et veramente regale. Et di più avvisano che la Regina vedendosi in stato di non poter haver troppo più vita, haveva fatto il suo testamento et chiamato essecutor il Rè di Franza, il quale havea accettato il carico).
Madrid, 14th February 1600 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]
Feb. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 959. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
We have news that the ship “Martinella” has been captured off Paros, by two English Bertoni, with which she fought for six hours; the crew escaped in their boat. This news has recalled the depredation of the ship “Gagliana,” and has thrown all the merchants, Turks, Jews, and Christians alike, into the greatest consternation, as everyone is touched. Even I have lost some of my property on board, which I was obliged to leave behind me on my hurried departure.
The English Ambassador has told Cigala that the Englishman who is with the Persian Ambassador at the Imperial Court, was an exile from England, although a blood relation of the Queen. The rumour that his mission is to arrange a league between Persia and the empire, gains ground. Cigala sent to ask me what I know of the matter. I replied that I knew nothing. The French Ambassador, in order to magnify the military importance of the war between his master and the Duke of Savoy, goes about saying that it will prevent the union of Christendom, for the King of Spain will be occupied in the defence of his brother-in-law, while the King of France will most certainly make a descent on Italy.
As to the Englishman who is at Prague, the Ambassador says that a year and a half ago he passed from Venice to Aleppo with a safe conduct for Persia, whither he was sent by the Queen to persuade the Persians not to allow provisions to enter Ormuz, a fortress in the East Indies belonging to the King of Spain; and to declare that she would send her fleet to harass the Spanish in those quarters. The French Ambassador adds that a brother of this Englishman has remained behind in Persia; and that his most Christian Majesty has informed him that the Persian Embassy, now in Prague, will move on to Venice, Rome, France, and Spain, in order to negotiate a league.
These two Ambassadors of France and England, though very ill-disposed towards each other are still united over the interest of their Sovereigns, which is to harass Spain; and they omit no opportunity to incite the Turks ; all of which tends to the ruin of Christendom.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 20th February 1600 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Feb. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 960. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The defects and shortcomings of this government are growing daily more apparent; and they try to cure them by changing the doctor not by going to the roof of the ill. Hafiz Achmet the Grand Vizir has just been dismissed and Hasan Jemisgi named in his place; Jemisgi tried to decline the dangerous honour, but the Sultan ordered him to take Hafiz's place in Divan, without further reply.
The French Ambassador when paying his visit of congratulation was received with small honour in the vast crowd; he cared the less, however, as he wished to pay his compliments at that conjuncture, being unable to make a present like the other Ambassadors. The English Ambassador, though he brought with him the usual present, was dismissed by the Pashas with a couple of words without even being asked to sit down, to his great confusion.
Dalle Vigni di Pera, 20th February 1600 [m.v.].
[Italian; deciphered.]