Venice: August 1601

Pages 467-472

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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August 1601

Aug. 5. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1002. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
In Portugal the fleet for Ireland is being prepared. Eight sound ocean going ships are ready and the infantry has arrived. The intention is to despatch the expedition at the middle of this month, but here there are constantly delays. There is very little hope that the expedition will effect much.
Vallodolid, 5th August 1601.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1003. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Persian Ambassador, who is going round the world, has arrived near here; at present they are considering how to receive him, and lodge him. He will make his entry in two days time.
Valladolid, 6th August 1601.
Aug. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1004. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The General (Jemisgi Pasha), on his departure charged Halil, his lieutenant, to maintain the prohibition on wine. Halil sent round to inspect the houses in Galata. I will make the merchants bring their wine to the Embassy.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 13th August 1601.
Aug. 18. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1005. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Orders to the Adelantado to restore the goods captured on board French vessels; but English goods are to be retained.
Valladolid, 18th August 1601.
Aug. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1006. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King will not allow the English and Dutch to search French vessels on their way to Spain. He insists that the French flag shall cover them.
Concerning the conspiracy of the Earl of Essex who has lately been executed; there are many rumours about the Princes who are reported to have had a share in it. But there is no real foundation for them.
The Archduke Albert, seeing that a large fleet of Dutch ships was sailing towards England at the moment that Essex's conspiracy broke out and knowing that the States favoured Essex as the man who urged war with Spain in opposition to the Treasurer, sent an Envoy to offer her Majesty every aid in his power against the Dutch. But the Queen, being certain that the fleet only came there upon terms already established with her, merely thanked the Archduke and said she needed no aid.
The King of France is also accused of being mixed up with the plot on account of some old quarrel over money which the Queen says he owes her. She is suspicious of him now that he has become a Catholic and fears that the Pope may persuade him to her damage. Moreover just at the moment of Essex's rebellion there came the report that the King was going to Calais, as indeed he intended to do., to inspect the fortresses, and there were not wanting those who suspected the King of supporting the Earl. But as regards this the Queen has been quite satisfied by His Majesty; for the friends of the Earl sent a gentleman to implore the King's intervention on Essex's behalf, on the ground that the Earl had once served in France. The King replied that as long as friends did not so fail in their duty as to forfeit the title, they could count on him, but the Earl had fallen into so great a crime that he would not recognise him as friend any more; his Majesty ordered his Ambassador in England to report this answer to the Queen, who was very well satisfied. The Queen was given to understand that the Duke de Bouillon had an understanding with the Earl of Essex. This was done with a view to rousing the Queen's suspicions about the Duke, who would be leader of the Huguenots if any quarrel between them and the Catholics broke out in France, and thus, to prevent the Duke from receiving any assistance from the Queen for the injury of this Kingdom (havendo li amici del conte mandato un gentiluomo al Rè accioche si contentasse d'auitarlo con la Regina per sua liberazione, poiche il detto Conte è stato qui in Francia mandato con gente al servitio di sua Maestà, il Re le rispose che sin' a tanto che li amici non facevano, tali mancamenti, per i quali non potevano esser più conosciuti per amici, si potevano favorire, ma ch' hora, ch' il Conte era caduto nel dilitto ch' haveva commesso non lo voleva piu conoscer; et fece sua Maestà per l'Ambasciatore che tiene in Inghilterra dar conto alla Regina, la quale ne restò ben sodisfatta. Fu però fatto creder alla Regina, ch' il Duca di Boglion s'intendesse con il Conte d'Essex, et questo con intentione di metterlo in mala fede della Regina, come quello che quando in Francia venisse divisione delli heretici con li catholici, saria capo del partito delli Ugonoti, accioche non habbi modo con l'auito della Regina di causar del male a questo Regno.)
Paris, 20th August 1601.
Aug. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1007. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
At S. Germains for eight days the King has been taking the waters of Spa, with excellent results for the purification of the blood and the preservation of his health. He is expected in Paris to-morrow, with the Queen and Madame, and will leave soon for Fontainebleau.
The Duke of Lennox (Lenes) Ambassador Extraordinary of the King of Scotland, has recently arrived to congratulate the King on his marriage. But it is thought that he may have some other mission than this purely complimentary one. When he has had his audience and I have seen him, I will be able to report further. The Queen of England, suspicious of this Embassy, has sent Secretary Edmondes (Etmon), a man of great experience who has been in France before, in addition to the Secretary of her last Embassy who remained on here; Edmondes' mission is to find out the true and inner reason why the King of Scotland has sent this Embassy.
Secretary Edmondes has likewise brought satisfaction to the French merchants for goods seized by the English. The King was so enraged at the act that he was on the point of granting letters of marque. Edmondes has also petitioned for freedom of trade with England; hitherto English cloth has not been admitted into France until it has been certificated as good by experts, which is a great drawback to the importers. The King has promised that the Council shall examine the matter. Negotiations for peace between the Queen of England and the Archduke Albert have always continued. After the dissolution of the Congress of Boulogne, agents have been passing on one side and on the other, though not persons of great weight. There is one now at the Court of the Archduke. But the negotiations, which can hardly be said to be begun, will take their colour from the seige of Ostend, and so in my next despatch I will inform your Serenity how that matter is going on; for many reasons it offers great difficulties.
Paris, 20th August 1601.
Aug. 20. Copy of Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1008. Piero Duodo, Venetian Ambassador in Prague, to the Doge and Senate.
Five thousand English are said to be in Ostend, and Count Maurice is marching with all his forces to its support.
Prague, 20th August 1601.
Aug. 22. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1009. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The fleet has not sailed yet from Portugal for want of money to pay the troops, and of other necessaries. Don Diego Brochiero, who will take the command, has sent a captain here to receive orders. Everyone complains of so many expeditions being carried on at once. There is little certainty of success; every certainty of failure and destruction of these poor fellows.
Valladolid, 22nd August 1601.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1010. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The siege of Ostend, which is considered a very difficult enterprise will expose the probable issue of the negotiation for peace between the A rchduke and the Queen of England. It seems that the Queen is not really desirous of peace, and holds that the Spanish only seek it when compelled, and would break it as soon as it suited them. All the same she is obliged to devote some attention to the question on account of her excessive expenditure in Ireland, where the Spanish, by assisting Tyrone keep her very busy; and on account of the perpetual drain of assistance to the States, any disaster to whom is felt likewise by her. There is also some slight rancour against the King of France, because, although thanks to her harassing of Spain he was able to get better terms for himself, he has never yet given her that support which she looked for, and makes some difficulties over the debt of one million one hundred thousand crowns owed to her for troops furnished at various times for France. Further, the terms agreed on between these two crowns are not strictly carried out; nor are the privileges formerly enjoyed by the English in France preserved intact
The Archduke, after the rupture of negotiations at Boulogne, on the question of precedence, sent to England a M. de Cœmans, a dependant of M. Richardot, president of the Council. Cœmans proposed to the Queen not only peace but a defensive and offensive treaty as well The Queen replied that she was most anxious for peace if it could be arranged agreeably to both parties, but as to entering upon another confederation that was a difficult subject The Spaniards would have to be included, and yet she saw that Spain was always making war on his chief enemy; however she said she would think about it. Cœmans, seeing the door thus shut to the second proposal, returned to the question of peace, which he offered to the Queen, always on condition that she should surrender the three places she holds in the united provinces, and withdraw her succours of three thousand English troops which she furnishes to the States. To this the Queen replied that it was impossible for her to surrender the fortress or to withhold her succour to the States; and that no conclusion could be reached unless the King of Spain would pledge himself not to send his fleet to the neighbourhood of English waters. No sooner had Cœmans left with this reply than the Queen sent an agent into Flanders. He was arrested at Ostend, and none too well treated.
The Archduke complained that while negotiations were on foot the Queen had sent two thousand, men to Ostend and was levying war on him. Meantime the Queen had sent another agent to Holland to negotiate with the States, and to find out whether they were able to carry on the war without her help; if they were she too would continue the war and would break off all negotiations for an accord, but if on the contrary, her assistance was necessary to their preservation as it had hitherto been, then, seeing that the length of the war had exhausted her treasury, she would like to come to terms in which the States should be included, and she would consult their interests no less than her own. The States replied that they thought they were able to continue the war provided the Queen did not abandon them, and did not entirely withdraw that hand which had hitherto sustained them; for the preservation or the loss of Ostend would entail most serious consequences, which my subsequent despatches will explain to your Serenity; for it is thought that the issue will dispose the Queen more decidedly either to war or to an accommodation. (A questo la Regina rispose che non pub per alcun modo rimetter quelle piazze ne sottrar la sua assistentia alli Stati; et che oltre di questo non si potrà venire in alcuna conclusion quando il Rè di Spagua non si obligasse di non mandar armata vicino alli mari d' Inghilterra; con questa risposta poichè Cœmans era di già partito, ha mandato la Regina un uomo suo in Fiandra, il quale è trattenuto a Ostenden et non era molto ben trattato, dolendosi l'Arciduca che mentre vi è in piedi trattatione, la Regina havesse mandato doi mille huomini in quella piazza, et la facesse la guerra. In questo mentre la Regina ha mandato persona in Holanda a negotiare con li Stati et intender da essi se potevano senza l'aiuto suo continuare la guerra, perche quando la potessero fare, lei anco intendeva di proseguirla, et alontonarsi da ogni trattatione, ma quando per il contrario havessero bisogno che lei concoresse come haveva fatto fin hora alla lor conservatione, ritrovandosi per la longhezza delta guerra motto essausta, desidereria di far accordo net quale ancor essi Stati fossero inclusi et procureria non meno il loro, che il suo particolar beneficio. Li Stati hanno resposto di tener opinione di poter far la guerra mediante che la Regina non voglia lontanarsi da essi et non vogli in tutto levarle quella mano con la quote li ha sin qui favoriti, perche dal conservarsi o perdersi la fortezza di Ostenden ne seguiranno effetti di molta consideratione che dalle suseguenti mie V. Sereniia resterà servita d' intendere. per cio è stimato che da questo successo habbia a dipender nella Regina maggior risolutione alla guerra, overo all' accomodamento); although there be some who hold that, as she cannot in safety make peace, she is aiming at gaining a stronger position with his most Christian Majesty, who cannot but feel the advantage of help from those who keep in weakness a power which for some time has been threatening his Kingdom.
Paris, 30th August 1601.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1011. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Both the Archduke and the States are profoundly interested in the siege of Ostend. Both sides put out all their strength. The Archduke has declared that he will die rather than retire. The States, assisted by the Queen of England, omit nothing for the defence of the place. If the Archduke is forced to retire, he loses in reputation, and will have wasted a vast quantity of money. The fall of Ostend would be a great blow to the States and to the Queen of England, who at present keeps a few, but excellent, ships of war in that port. The enterprise is considered most difficult, as the place can be supported from the sea.
Paris, 30th August 1601.
Aug. 30. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1012. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King left suddenly for Amiens and Calais only fourteen leagues from Ostend. The rumour that Count Maurice is to enter Ostend with all his forces is not credited. There are close on eight thousand men in the place, chiefly sent by the Queen of England, and there is no need of more.
Paris, 30th August 1601.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]