Venice: January 1603

Pages 513-526

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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January 1603

1603. Jan. 6. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1111. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The King has sent to inform the Queen of England, through his Ambassador resident, that he holds the Duke de Bouillon guilty of conspiracy in concert with Spain, and he asks the Queen's advice in the circumstances. As the Duke de Bouillon, on account of his religion, has always enjoyed the favour of the Queen, the King hopes in this way to destroy it. The Queen returned thanks for the King's good opinion of her, but evaded an answer. She was pressed again, and then said she would instruct her Ambassador in France (fn. 1) to reply. He was told to say that the Duke de Bouillon's rank and religion made it unlikely that he could have taken part in Biron's conspiracy, or had intelligence with Spain; that he was not the only one who favoured Condé, and she could not see why he alone should be punished. The Ambassador demanded an audience; but after keeping the King waiting two hours almost, he sent to plead a sudden indisposition.
Paris, 6th January 1603.
Jan. 7. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1112. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Queen of England has published an order that all Jesuits are to leave the kingdom within twenty days, (fn. 2) along with their dependants. Those who are not dependant on the Jesuits are to go out in thirty days.
The Earl of Tyrone has sought to be restored to favour on certain conditions, but orders have been sent that he must surrender at discretion.
Paris, 7th January 1603.
Jan. 8. Original Minutes of the College, Venetian Archive. 1113. Scaramelli's Commission.
That Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, Secretary to the Senate, destined for a mission to Her Majesty the Queen of England, be instructed as follows:
We have been petitioned by interested parties to send a Secretary to the Queen of England to endeavour to secure restitution of goods stolen on the high seas; we thought fit to accede to this request, and have elected Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli to the post. He will start at once and make all speed with his journey. Arrived in London he will seek audience and present the credentials we give him, and will commend to her Majesty's attention the business committed to him. He is to thank her Majesty for all she may hitherto have done. He will stay in England as long as may be necessary, at the charges of the interested parties, who shall pay for his journey there and back, and if anything worthy of notice occurs he will report to us.
+ 22.—1.—0.
Jan. 8. Original Minutes of the College, Venetian Archives. 1114. Letter to the Queen of England.
Much merchandize belonging to our subjects has been seized by the English on the open sea; we are sending our right trusty and circumspect Secretary of the Senate, Giovanni Carlo Scaramelli, to secure its restitution at the hands of your Majesty's singular justice, and through the excellent disposition we are persuaded you hold towards us. We therefore beg your Majesty to lend the same credence to him as you would to us ourselves, &c.
+ 22.—1.—0.
Jan. 9. Original Minutes of the College, Notatorio 72, Venetian Archives. 1115. Secretary Scaramelli is going to England on public service; no officer or judge in this city shall allow him to be cited or named to his damage during the whole time of his absence.
Jan. 11. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1116. Simon Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Some of the money the King has raised may be applied to a new expedition to Ireland. The presence of the Jesuit Father Manloni (Maloney ?) gives some colour to this. He was sent here last year with a view to his going to Ireland as Nuncio.
Valladolid, 11th January 1603.
Jan. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1117. Piero Bondumier, Venetian Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Repeats despatch of December 23rd. Reports the mission of Giorgio Sumachi with authority to spend two hundred and fifty sequins upon inducing the lieutenant of the Sanjak of the Morea to go with him in person to Modon to recover the stolen goods and to punish the pirates.
Also persuaded the English merchants in this port to send out three of their own ships for the same purpose; but they affirmed that they would only sail to recover the goods, not to fight the pirates; for their ships were merchantmen unsuited for combat. Along with the English we sent Messer Francesco Mondino. The English ships were the “Sacra” (La Nave Sacra) and the “Darling” (Darlina). The third did not sail. They abandoned Mondino without any good cause, and I have examined the chief owners of these ships here resident and bound them over to appear at every call of justice.
Zante, 14th January 1602 [m.v.].
Jan. 14. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1118. Zuane Da Mosto, retiring Consul in Alexandria, to the Doge and Senate.
I left Alexandria on the 29th of, November on board the “Veniera,” Master Dandolo of Milo. On the 14th of December in the morning we were off Cape Malea, with a light head wind. We were attacked and captured by an English berton with a crew of about eighty men, of whom fifty were armed with muskets. They took all our weapons, and about thirty of them boarded us and kept us there for four days. We were in doubt as to our fate, for the majority wished to kill us so as to hide all traces of their guilt. They finally resolved to take our ship and to put us on board theirs. To do this at their ease they, took us into the Channel of Sapienza. On the 19th they took us with them into Modon and cast anchor, giving us leave to go. We were in serious risk of being made slaves by the Turks. On the 21st we reached Zante, where I reported all to the illustrious Agostino Nani, who had arrived the same day. The captain of the English is a certain William Piers of Plymouth, England, and most of his crew hail from there as well.
Zante, 14th January 1602 [m.v.].
Jan. 15. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1119. Piero Bondumier, Venetian Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports that when it suits them these villanous English spare neither friend nor foe. More than thirty a year pass the Straits of Gibraltar. They trade in cloth, and instead of landing it here as they used to do, they take it into Turkish ports, to the damage of Venetian customs dues. They have homes (case ferme) in all those ports. They bring broad-cloth, cables, tallow, iron, arms, sausages; &c., and take away silk, cotton, linen, indigo, gall nuts, carpets, camelots. They take their cloth into Ragusa and Ancona as well. They are made very welcome by the Turk, and are thoroughly acquainted with those waters of the Levant; so much so that even passengers do not think their lives safe except aboard an English vessel, although the fares are double.
Zante, 15th January 1602 [m.v.].
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 1120. Letter from Consul da Mosto to the Sanjak of the Morea.
Relates how he was captured. States that the English pirates have gone to Modon, where they are reported to have hired a whole house to store their booty.
Giorgio Sumachi the bearer is going to Modon to try to recover the goods; and for him the Sanjak's support is requested.
Jan. 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1121. Piero Bondumier, Venetian Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from Patras to Messer Francesco de Heriedi, French Consul here, give news that English pirates have brought a French ship into that port. As there are no signs of the crew it is supposed that they have been all murdered.
Zante, 16th January, 1602 [m.v].
Jan. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1122. Maffio Michiel, Venetian Governor in Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
The very day I reached this port, that was the tenth of this month, the luckless crew of the “Veniera” also arrived. She was plundered by the English, as your Serenity has been fully informed by my predecessor the illustrious Signor Piero Bondumier. These men had been to Modon to try to recover their ship; in this they failed, and on their way home, near the island of Sapienza, they were again attacked by another English ship and robbed of what little property remained to them, and of their vessel as well; two of their number were also carried off, and they were left with one little boat in very bad condition. She made so much water that they could not sail her, and were forced to land to sell her in Coron to certain Patinoti for a hundred sequins. With this money the luckless fellows paid their passage to Zante, as your Serenity will more fully understand from the depositions of the master and supercargo, herewith enclosed.
These strange occurrences taking place within so short a space of time have thrown into the greatest anxiety all who are concerned with trade in these parts; for if they escape the light boats (fuste) which swarm in these waters, they are caught and plundered by the bertoni; and so they know not what course to take. I will say no more on this point, which is quite worthy of your Serenity's attention.
Zante, 17th January 1603.
Jan. 17. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1123. Agostino Nani, retiring Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I enclose letters describing the plunder of Signor Zuanne da Mosto by the English. The case is desperate. Care must be taken that the English and Turkish buccaneers do not establish themselves at Modon and Coron, to dispose of their booty, now that the action of the English Ambassador at Constantinople has cleared them out of Patras.
Zante, 17th January 1602 [m.v.].
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 3. Enclosed in preceding despatch. 1124. Report of Giorgio Sumachi to the Governor of Zante, and to the Ambassador Nani.
On your Excellency's orders I left for the Morea, with instructions to take the lieutenant of his Excellency the Sanjak and to go to Modon to recover the ship belonging to the illustrious gentleman Venier, on board of which the Consul of Alexandria, Ser. Zuanne da Mosto, was captured by an English pirate or his men. I left on the 15th December, a Wednesday, and reached Gastuni, where the officer was stationed, late at night. Next morning I presented myself to the official and handed your letters, at the same time, making the necessary verbal explanations. The officer said he was sorry for this accident, that he would have been glad to accompany me in person had he not just heard that his master the Sanjak was to arrive presently, but that if I wanted twenty-five or thirty of his men he would willingly send them with me, and would give them orders to do all that was possible towards the success of my mission. I replied that I did not want any of his men, I wanted himself; for the affair was of such moment that without his presence nothing of importance could be effected. I pointed out that as he was in command of the place where the offence had been committed against the orders of the Grand Signor, his Excellence the Bey would be ill pleased if no steps were taken; and I begged him to make up his mind to accompany me, for by so doing he would be carrying out the orders of the Grand Signor and of the Sanjak, his master, and would also be rendering a service to Venice, who would certainly report all to the Porte. He replied that I had better go to the old Bey, and show him my letters and let him settle. The Bey was not at his palace, but was away hunting, and I waited his return towards evening. I immediately presented myself, and handed him my letters, which he read. He then asked how this ship had been captured, and by whom. I replied fully, and he said he was willing to assist me in any way he could. I said that for the present he need do nothing but order the officer of his brother the Sanjak to accompany me, and to take all necessary steps in the matter as it was his duty to execute the orders of the Grand Signor. He summoned the officer and spoke to him in my presence, urging him to accompany me and to take all the necessary steps to capture the pirates and recover the goods. The officer replied that, as the Sanjak was expected hourly, he could not go in, person, but would give me as many men as I wanted, and with all the instructions I might require. The Bey asked if that would satisfy me, but I replied that I would not move without the attendance of the officer, and that his Excellence must make up his mind, otherwise I would return home in obedience to my instructions. The Bey then said to the officer “You will have to go, to please these gentlemen ; and if my brother the Sanjak arrives I will go to meet him, and will salute him in your name.” The officer resolved to accompany me, but said “You must give me six hundred sequins for my expenses.” I replied “I have no orders to give you a penny in this affair, as it is your duty to act as the Government official on the spot.” After more talk the Bey took the officer's hand and mine and made me promise him two hundred and fifty sequins, which I agreed to give him on my return. That same night we rode off, and on the second c[ay we were in Arcadia; there we found four Turks who had come that very day from Modon. They told us that there was lying at Modon an English ship from Alexandria, selling spices, in this way : the captain and some of his men stay on shore and draw the money, upon which he writes an order for so much to be con-signed on board the ship. Five days ago two vessels of Santa Maura seized two of this captain's men and took them to Coron, where-upon he went on board his own ship and arrested two Turks, and informed the people of Modon that he would restore them when his Englishmen were restored. That same day the governor of Modon sent to Coron and brought over the two Englishmen and handed them back to the captain in return for the Turks. The captain then came on shore and began selling again as usual. On the 2Oth we reached Modon. On the road we met a Turk who was carrying two letters to Messer Jonah Aldrich (Gionà Aldriz), an Englishman, one from the captain of the privateer, and the other from a certain Battista Guistinian of Chios. I took them both, and now enclose them that your Excellencies may see the contents.
When we got to Modon we met three English sailors about in the town, and we caused them to be watched without their being aware of it. As the captain was not on shore that day we sent a boat to the ship with this Battista Guistinian of Chios, who had been acting as middleman between the English pirates and the Turks for the sale of the pepper, hides, &c. We gave him orders to go on board and to say to the captain that the officer was come for his present, as governor of the place, and that if he did not sell fairly he would lose all his goods. This Battista went on board and delivered his message. The captain consulted with his men and agreed to go on shore with the present. He put two cases of pepper, a carpet, and some dates in the boat and got in himself, and shoved off; then he repented of this step and said “It is late for me to come ashore with the present, but go you to the officer and tell him that to-morrow morning I will come to pay my respects to him and will bring his present with me.” That was on the evening of the 20th of December, a Monday. That same night the English ship the Darling (?) (Darlina) arrived. She had on board Sig. Francesco Mondino. The ships saluted each other with a salvo of artillery and lay alongside each other. I do not know what communications passed between them during the night, but in the morning the Turkish official was still awaiting the visit of the captain with the present, and seeing no signs of him, Battista was again sent for the present, and took orders that the captain was to come ashore. The captain consigned the present to Battista, but said that he had no wish to come on shore. Just then Signor Francesco Mondino landed, and told me that during the night he had endeavoured to come to terms with the buccaneer that he should restore half the booty free and sell the other half as he was doing to the Turks. As for the ship the buccaneer refused to part with her on any terms; to which the captain had answered that he would reply in the morning. Mondino said he had now come to ask my opinion. I said he had better go back and make the best terms he could, for there was nothing else to be done, only the Englishman must not know anything of my presence. Signor Mondino replied to this that the buccaneer knew all about it already. He went away back to the ships to conclude the business and returned again in the afternoon with news that the Englishman refused to give back any of the goods for nothing, but said he was willing to sell though he asked a great deal more than he was taking from the Turks. And so upon this Signor Mondino set sail and went off. That was on the 21st. After Mondino sailed away the Turkish officer sent to me to say that as everything was discovered he had but little hope of success, but that I had better make up my mind what I wanted done so as to lose no time. I replied that if Battista could induce the captain to come ashore on some pretext, that would suit our purpose; accordingly we sent Battista on board with orders to say to the captain that the officer knew that the English ship had come for him; that he was to have no fears on any score; that he was to send another small present to the officer who had to leave, being summoned to meet his sovereign, and that when that was received the captain might freely come ashore to sell, because orders would be issued for his good treatment. Battista returned from the ship with two other cases of pepper and a message that the captain intended to put to sea for two or three days till the officer had left, and then he would return and continue his sale, and meantime he begged for satisfactory instructions on his behalf. Next morning, the 22nd, the ship sailed away. Then the officer summoned the commander and the judge of the city and secretly gave orders that if the Englishman returned he was to be detained with all his crew and information sent at once to himself. I said, “We ought to carry off with us the three English sailors,” but he answered, “Well, one has escaped, and the other two have been consigned to the commander, to act as interpreters and tempt the others ashore, should the ship come back; but if the ship does not come back I will get the Bey to send for them at once.” I could only consent, but I said that he ought to provide for the goods already sold so that they should not leave the city but should be placed in deposit till the affair is settled. The governor declared that the people of the place had bought nothing, everything had been sold to strangers who had carried it all off. The officer said, “This is a long business, and I have no time to spare here, but if you will get an order from Constantinople addressed to my Bey we will see that all proper steps are taken; only don't loose time over it.” I said, “Well, if your Lordship can not stay here to take the proper steps at least give orders to the authorities here to do so;” but upon this the commander declared that he would not be mixed up in the affair. That same day we set out and next night we were at Navarino. There one overtook me and told me that bull and buffalo hides were hidden away in Modon to the number of about one thousand one hundred, which had been bought by the forementioned Battista; part of them he had on board a brigantine and part stored away with certain Turks who are lying in harbour with a small vessel. I at once informed the Turkish officer but he said, “We can do nothing now that we are embarked on our journey, but as soon as we get to Gastuni the elder Sanjak will issue orders about the matter.” Next day we left and reached Gastuni on the 27th. I obtained the order and sent an officer with it to Modon, commanding the governor to seize, stamp, and impound the said hides till further orders. The Sanjak's lieutenant has written the letter I enclose, and on the evening of the 28th he started to meet his master and I left to return to Zante.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 1125. Report by Francesco Mondino.
I was ordered to embark on one of the three English ships here, the “Darling,” Captain Thomas Cox (Icox), the “Cherubim” (Cerebina), Captain Abraham Claves, the “Sacra” Captain Thomas Cruder, and to sail to recover the captured ship the “Veniera.” I em-barked on the “Darling,” on December 15th, and sailed for Modon or Sapienza. Captain Cox suggested that if we fell in with the English pirate we might induce him to take back the ship he had given to the Consul da Mosto in place of the “Veniera.” On the 10th we came to Prodano. The captain of the “Sacra” and two other merchants came on board and we dined together. During dinner I said I had good hopes of succeeding, to which one of the merchants, called Benjamin Loch, replied that for his part as the wind was fair he would like to continue his journey straight to Chios. I said they ought not to break their promise like that; but both of them replied that they had no intention of fighting the Englishman for fear of trouble in England. They went back to their ship. Next morning, the 17th, we saw that she had deserted us and we were left alone with the ship exchanged for the “Veniera.” We lay becalmed for four days off Prodano. A north wind then carried us into the channel of Modon and there we dropped anchor off Sapienza close to the “Veniera.” She hailed us through a trumpet and asked our name; our captain replied by word of mouth that we were the English ship “Darling.” The, pirates then saluted with one salvo of loaded guns, we replied with blank shots. Their skiff then came aboard us. We asked what the other ship was. They replied that she was a Venetian which they had captured. Captain Cox and I went on board and began to bargain for the recovery of the ship and the goods. We were told that it was useless to speak of the ship, but as to the goods he was willing to sell them to us for ready money if we could agree on the price. While we were arguing, news was received from the Jews of Zante that five ships were coming to recover the booty and that the pirates would be arrested if they landed, and so they warned them to keep aboard their own ship with a good guard. While talking, the table was laid and we were invited to dine. The captain of the privateers during dinner said to Captain Cox “We are afraid of no one,” and then he asked where the Venetian fleet lay. Towards evening came a boat with a message for me that Messer Giorgio Sumachi wished to speak to me. I found him with the Sanjak's lieutenant and we all went to see the governor. I complained of this shelter given to pirates. They replied that they were ignorant that this merchandise was stolen property. They told me the English pirate had married a Turkish wife; he had given her fifty sequins and silk dresses, and other fifty sequins to her father. They said there was nothing for it but to fight the Englishman. I went back on board my ship, but found that the captain declined to fight. In agreement with Sumachi, next day I went on board the corsair, offered to buy all the merchandize, but could conclude nothing owing to their extravagant demands. I told him that this was a very serious matter, as he had affronted a representative of your Serenity, and sooner or later he would have to pay the price, and that the Queen his mistress would take steps about it. He said, “I'll be punished for little just the same as for much. Get about your business; I won't give you anything, for money or without money.” Captain Cox said to him that he had ruined the Levant trade and earned a halter. That the Queen would punish him—for everyone was calling out. He simply said “I may as well lose my life for a lot as for a little; and I would have done more if I could.” I was afraid from his angry countenance that he might seize me; so I cleared out as fast as possible and went back to my ship, where Sumachi was waiting me. I told him all, and advised him to take away with him the three English he had seized in Modon. While I was dining with the Englishman a certain Battista of Chios came on board from the lieutenant to ask for a present. He was given a big table cloth, and a sack of pepper. The corsair's name is William Piers. His ship carries twenty guns and seventy to eighty men.
Jan. 15. Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 1126. Deposition of the Master and Supercargo of the ship “Veniera.”
Examined in the Chancery; a man of great height, clad in black camelot, with a greenish cloth waistcoat, a brown beard, and showing apparently thirty-five years of age. Asked his Christian and surnames, who his father was, what his country and profession, he replied, “I am called Zan Battista Cigrigne, son of the late Messer Nicolò of Venice. My business is that of supercargo. Lately I was serving on board the ship “Veniera and Company.” Asked where the “Veniera” now was and from what port she had sailed, he replied, “We left Alexandria on November the twenty-ninth, new style, and the ship was captured by an Englishman.” Asked who was in command and who were the passengers, he said that the master was called Dandolo da Milo, and the passengers were the illustrious Zuan da Mosto, lately Consul in Alexandria, Ottavian da Mosto, his nephew, a Dominican father with some of his cate-chumens, and a certain merchant named Alessandro Coglioni, who lived in Venice. Asked as to the way in which the ship was captured, where and by whom, he answered “While on our way from Alexandria and when off Cape Matapan, close by Cerigo, on the 14th of December last, we fell in with an Englishman having on board a crew of about ninety hands, all armed everyone of them with muskets. She came alongside and ordered us to shorten sail. We did so, thinking they were friends. They lowered a boat, some of them got in and came aboard of us. They asked what ship we were and whence we hailed, and we answered, ' Venetian from Alexandria, with the Consul da Mosto on board.' They asked where were the merchants, and Signor Alessandro Coglioni replied, ' Here I am.' They then asked me for the bill of lading and took me and it and Signor Alessandro aboard their own vessel to their captain. In the captain's cabin the captain asked what vessel we were, if we had Spanish goods or Spaniards aboard; I replied that we had neither. After a bit he took the bill of lading and examined it for an hour with great care; then he handed it me back. This he did two or three times. At length evening came on and he kept me and the bill of lading on board all night Next day they brought two more of our crew on board the stevedore (penese) whose name I do not remember, and the ship's carpenter, called, I believe, Anastasi of Candia. Thus we lay three days during which another vessel hove in sight and the English gave chase, but could not catch her. After that they carried us into a harbour, below Sapienza, on the top of the tide. Then they began to unlade some senna and cassia, the property of Coglioni, deck cargo, which they thought of no value, and part they threw into the sea. When they had landed what they wanted they came on board us again and forced open all the chests and took what they chose. After plundering the ship they had our own chests brought on board their vessel, and their captain told the illustrious da Mosto that his men wanted to kill us all, and showed him a bloody dagger with which he said he had stabbed his own men to prevent them doing us an injury. He then took his leave from his own vessel, and carried off all the artillery and armour, leaving behind only the sails and four pieces, three small and one broken. His ship was a rotten old hulk, and in her we reached this port on the twenty-second of last month.” Asked why he had not made deposition before, he said that they were immediately sent off again in this vessel and in company of two Englishmen by the Proveditore and the Bailo Nani to endeavour to recover our and their property if possible, as it was reported to be at Modon. “We went upon compulsion. Signor Mondino was on board, a gentleman of Zante, and the chief of the artillery. One of our escorts left us and never appeared again; the other, after being two days out of sight was sighted again, though in the offing. On the morning of December 30th, another Englishman with a crew of forty-six came down on us and plundered us again of what little remained, and took our vessel also, as it was bigger than his. He put us on board his after taking everything out of her. He sent us off the next day when we were hard by Sapienza, after keeping two of our crew, the carpenter and the steward; of whom we have had no news. That was a Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday it blew a gale and we split our foresail and the ship heeled over, so that we gave ourselves up for lost. On Friday it fell calm and on Saturday evening we made Sapienza and entered the channel, hoping to find our consort; we beat up for Modon, but the wind was ahead and as we had no sails, nor drinking water, and three feet of water in the hold, we put about for Coron, where we fell in with a ship belonging to some Patinoti which succoured us by lashing us up to their own ship. We disembarked and left the vessel there, selling her for one hundred sequins with which we paid our journey back to Zante by way of Castel Tornese.” Asked how many they were, he said eighteen. Asked what cargo there was on the first ship he said that it was all noted on the bills of lading and included silver plate and money belonging to the Consul da Mosto. Asked if any one received, bodily injury, he said, “No, except one of the two sailors, who were carried oft, he received cuffs.” Asked if the Englishman fell in with them by chance or on information; he said they fell in by chance for they had been at sea all the time.
Enclosed in preceding Despatch. 1127. Deposition of the Master of the “Veniera.”
A man of ordinary height, with a white beard and a jacket of purple cloth, lined with fur; above forty years of age called Dandolo da Millo, son of the late Messer Costantin Chiriaco, by profession a sailor; at present, master on board the ship “Veniera and Company”; sailed from Alexandria with a full cargo belonging to various owners, and with the illustrious Zuanne da Mosto the Consul, his nephew, a friar, and another gentleman; sailed on the 29th of November for Venice. When off Matapan fell in with an English brig, manned by one hundred hands, all armed, with eighty muskets and eighteen pieces of artillery. She boarded us as a friend, and carried the supercargo on board their own ship. Kept us lying there four days, and then took us to within four miles of Modon. There they sacked the ship, helping themselves to what they liked, from clothes upwards. What they did not want they put on board their own vessel, which was in very bad condition and leaky. They cleared our ship of a certain amount of senna and cassia, and other things which we brought on here. On arriving here we were sent off again against our will by the Proveditore and the Bailo Nani, in company of two English vessels, on board One of which was Francesco Mondino. We lost the two Englishmen in consequence of bad weather; but one was soon met again two days later. I begged it to stand by us as we had neither powder nor arms, nor food. The master promised supplies in the morning; but by morning she was between ten and fifteen miles off. A brigantine bore down on us; she was about sixty tons burden and had fifty men on board, well armed, but she looked as if she would go to the bottom, so leaky was she. She lay by us a day and a half, and then after taking all that remained to us and our ship as well, we were put on board her with only a small anchor and cable of four lire the fathom; she was in a bad way, without provisions, without water, with only a few biscuits. They sent us off after keeping the steward and the carpenter. The first vessel had also taken two of our crew. In dirty weather we made for Cerigo; then came on a gale which split our foresail and made the ship heel. We were two hundred and thirty miles from Zante, and the wind due north, so we made for Sapienza to seek our consort, but could not find her. We passed out of the channel by its other mouth, so as not to be wind bound. Off Cape Gallo we sighted the first ship that had plundered us. A gale sprang up from the south-west, and as we had from three to four feet of water in the hold and pumps going day and night, we held a council of twelve and decided to strand her. We ran under Coron and got out the little anchor as well as we could, then all escaped ashore. The vessel touched a shoal first of all, and then the swell carried her on shore. A Patinote vessel helped us that night, preventing her from breaking up, and the next day we agreed to sell her. We came on in eighteen or nineteen days to Castel Tornese, and there embarked in two boats which brought us all to Zante. Asked if he or any of his men had suffered bodily harm, he replied, “No, sir, except the four men who were carried off. I believe the first ship fell in with us by chance, but the others said they were waiting for us as they were told of our coming before we left Zante; but I cannot imagine by whom.”
Jan. 17. Enclosed in preceding Despatch . 1128. Deposition of a Sailor.
A man of medium height, in a pale blue cloth jacket, roan coloured breeches, pale blue waistcoat; with a scanty beard and moustaches; about twenty-eight years old. His name is Zuanne Faciolo, son of the late Bernardin, from this side of the Po di Goro in the Ferrarese, but he has always lived in Venice, where he was taken at five years of age. He has his wife and mother-in-law living in Venice, at San Gregorio, in the Corte del Navaro, and is a sailor by profession. He arrived in Zante to-day from Patras, and before that he had been in Candia, after taking a cargo of wood to Siracuse. They sailed for Corfu and thence to Candia. On the return journey, being heavily laden with wine, cheese, and carubian beans, when twenty miles off Cerigo, they fell in with an English ship. The English ran alongside and said they were friends, and that the master was to come aboard. The English fired a round of musketry, and our captain, in a panic, let himself down by the stern into the boat and escaped, for it was dark, and the English lay on our bow; with him went all the crew and four soldiers, and I was left alone at the helm, in company with five Greek peasants, who were going to Venice about some law suits. The master and his crew made for the shore. Ten of the English came aboard the ship and slept there. Next morning they plundered the ship, taking the ten pieces of artillery that we had, and sixteen casks of Muscat wine, four sacks of nuts, twenty-two of bread—we had more than two hundred—some barrels of oil, bales, powder, and the sailors' clothes. I begged them to leave me my belongings, and they left me all I asked. They kept me with them four days on board the ship, and then let me go along with the five Greek peasants, and I put about for Barbary, and then for Candia. When I was off Gozzo I fell in with another Englishman that had plundered a French brigantine laden with linseed. These English robbed me of all that the others had left. They carried me into Patras, where they sold their booty. The master of the Frenchman was called Olivier, and I am told he came here to Zante; I have letters from him for his Consul. The first Englishman that attacked us had no more than three pieces of artillery and twenty-four men, whereas we had ten pieces and a crew of twenty-five. The master would not fight. Indeed he said during that journey that the ship was fully insured, and that he did not intend to take her to Venice, as she was insured for seven thousand ducats. On being asked if there was wood from the forest of San Marco on board the ship on her first voyage, he replied “No.” He added, “we cruised about for four days, and let the Venetian ship drift; then one morning we saw her founder, for she had been making water. We ran into Patras on board the Englishman, and there I stayed eight or nine days. I asked the English to give me something to help me to get away for I had nothing, to which they answered, 'bad for you, good for me,' but the last day they gave me ten lire, with which I set out. I came here in three days. I don't know the names of the English, except that I heard one called Bernardin.”
Jan. 20. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 1129. Marin Cavalli, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The English Ambassador has had an audience in which he spoke in favour of the Duke de Bouillon, but knowing that the subject was distasteful he did so with great reserve. He was answered that the Queen was not well informed of what the Marshal had done. The Ambassador said it was hard to believe that the Duke could have acted as was alleged; but the Queen of England never intended her affection towards the Duke to condone any bad conduct towards his Sovereign.
The Ambassador proposed a league of England and France against Spain. The Queen promised to land thirty thousamd men in Spain if the King would also invade it from Navarre with the same number. The Queen was moved to make this proposal not so much out of hatred to Spain as from a desire to lighten the burden of war. The King's reply showed no inclination to such a league.
Paris, 20th January 1603.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. Sir Thomas Parry.
  • 2. Cf. Calendar of State Papers. Domestic. 1601–1603, pp. 260, 261, 263.