Venice: December 1602

Pages 510-513

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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December 1602

Dec. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1103. Francesco Contarini and Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassadors in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I, Contarini, made my public entry into Constantinople last week; received with the usual ceremony. On arriving at the Embassy the customary banquet took place. A great many Turks, some of quality, were present; as well as the French Ambassador; the English Ambassador excused himself on the score of precedence.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 2nd December 1602.
Dec. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1104. Francesco Contarini and Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassadors in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Yesterday we had audience of the Grand Signor, with all the usual ceremonies. The banquet was extraordinarily splendid. The Grand Vizir frequently invited us to eat; and the conversation Was most cordial. When we went into the Sultan's presence, we found him of a cheerful countenance., smoking and turning his eyes with pleasure upon us as though to show that he saw us gladly. As the ship “Martinella” came into port she fired the usual salutes, and being very close in shore the shock broke some windows in the kiosk. The Azamogliani came out and made a row, demanding the master of the ship. I sent Borisi to the Bostangi Pasha to make apologies, and he took Borisi to see the damage; besides the broken glass the plaster had fallen on the rich carpets. The Bostangi accepted the excuses and asked for some sporting dogs.
Dalle Vigne di Pera, 2nd December 1602.
Dec. 5. Original Minutes of the Senate, file 73, Venetian Archives. 1105. Petition to the Senate.
It is now some two years ago that certain English privateers seized and carried off to England a ship, Master Christoforo Cornelis of Hamburgh, bound from Lisbon to Venice with a cargo of sugar and other merchandize, the property of Venetian nobles and merchants, and valued at fifty thousand ducats and upwards. Last April these same Englishmen seized and carried off to England another ship, Master Diego Pires, likewise sailing from Lisbon to Venice, with a cargo of sugar and other goods, the property of Venetian nobles and merchants as in the previous case, to the value of twenty-five thousand ducats and upwards. Despatches from London bring news that one of the Queen's great galleons has captured a hulk (urca) named the “Speranza,” Master Giaches Stin of Lubeck, and carried her to England; she was bound from Portugal to Venice with a cargo of sugar and other goods, owned as above, by Venetian nobles and merchants, and valued at fifty thousand ducats.
In the case of the first ship, the interested parties appealed to your Serenity, begging you to order the sequestration of English vessels lying here. That was done, but in spite of the sequestration the English escaped, and the goods, for reasons not vouchsafed to us to know, were set free. We, the interested parties, accordingly came to terms with an English merchant who was going home to London that we would give him so much per cent. on the value of all goods belonging to us which he should succeed in recovering; and although he has frequently written to say that he has done his utmost, and has used every diligence to recover something, we have had to advance from here three or four per cent. and more upon the whole value for current expenses.
In the case of the second ship, a special commissioner was sent with letters of recommendation from your Serenity to the Queen, in order to recover the stolen property. Although our agent used extraordinary diligence, and although recent letters from your Serenity to the Queen demanded restitution of your subjects' property, and notwithstanding that her Majesty seems to have written promising satisfaction, nevertheless not one of us has succeeded in obtaining his rights, nor does there appear to be any chance of his doing so.
Will not, then, your Serenity grant us of your special grace our petition that one of your secretaries be sent to England, not only to recover the one hundred and twenty-five thousand ducats' worth of stolen goods, the property of your nobles and citizens, but also to make public representations in order that these vessels may for the future be restrained from plundering the property of Venetians ? We are convinced that we shall easily obtain these favours from the Queen when they are demanded by a public agent in the public name; for we gather that her Majesty looks to deal with public officials seeing that she takes no notice at all of private agents.
Mr. Paul Finder, on the strength of letters from the Queen obtained from your Serenity the appointment of judges and a decision in his favour in a far less obvious cause, and so in return we are sure to recover our gold and to secure ourselves for the future. It is well known to all the world that on other occasions your Serenity sent a secretary to Sicily and obtained full satisfaction.
Should it please your Serenity, we, the interested parties, offer with all reverence to bear the charges; and we assure your Serenity that our petition is made not so much in our personal interests as in those of the State, seeing how much your customs suffer; for unless some remedy be devised the trade in those ports will be entirely ruined, for it will be impossible to find anyone to insure in the face of such dangers, and if no one will underwrite, merchants will not consign cargoes in face of the grave risk. And we can assure your Serenity that recent orders for sugar have been cancelled on the receipt of the news about this last seizure of goods.
And certain remarks made here, lead us to think that no better nor more efficacious remedy can be found than the despatch of a representative of your Serenity, through whose agency the goods may be recovered, and matters arranged for the future, as this is a favour greatly desired by her Majesty, as we are informed. And with this we humbly kiss your Serenity's robe.
Referred to the Savii
+ 5.—0.—0.
Ser Fancesco Molin Councillors.
Ser Alvise Zorzi
Ser Alvise Bragadin
Ser Nicolò Sagredo
Ser Filippo Pasquiligo
Dec. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1106. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the DOGE and SENATE.
The King of France has intercepted letters from the King of Spain addressed to many of the French nobility urging them to throw off their allegiance to the King. It is obvious that Spanish policy is directed to creating internal divisions in France; and this receives confirmation from the fact that Spain is offering peace to England and to the States.
Paris, 7th December 1602.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Dec. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1107. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King of Spain is letting it be understood that he is willing to come to terms with the Queen of England if a reasonable and honourable peace can be devised.
Paris, 8th December 1602.
Dec. 14 Original Minute of the Senate Register 95, Venetian Archives. 1108. The Petition just read sets forth the interest of the Petitioners in the ships seized by the English. Motion made that the Cabinet (Collegio) be called on to elect one of the Secretaries to the Senate to go at once to England at the sole charges of the interested parties; and to furnish him with letters and instructions.
+ 96.—44.—38.
Dec. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1109. Agostino Nani, retiring Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I will say no more about the miserable misfortune which befell the illustrious Signor Zuanne da Mosto when, returning from his consulate in Cairo, he was plundered by English buccaneers. If the pirates are, as is reported, at Modon disposing of their booty, I will do all I can to attempt its recovery. It will be difficult to root out the English from Zante, for there are seven English bertoni lying in the port, and though they are said to be merchantmen, more than one of them would not shrink from piratage.
Zante, 23rd December 1602.
Dec. 23. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1110. Piero Bondumier, Venetian Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports arrival in Zante on the 21st of the Consul da Mosto whose ships had been seized and plundered by English pirates off Cape Malea. The damage amounts to one hundred thousand ducats. We have written to the Turkish Authorities in Modon.
Zante, 23rd December 1602.